Saturday, 26 January 2019

Transformation


When we want to see different things come into our lives we need to remember for things to change we need to change. Sometimes in order to move forward we need to let things go. We hold onto negative thoughts, behaviours, habits and feelings that keep us from changing direction or from realising our potential.

Our mind, our words, our mood our attitudes – these are all connected. One of Shakespeare’s characters said “Things are neither good nor bad, but thinking that makes it so.” It has also been said that what you focus on is what you empower in your life. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to change our perception, our viewpoint of what is in front of us.

Friday, 18 January 2019

In My Garden - Dianthus

It has been hot and humid the last couple of weeks, which is part and parcel of summer in the sub-tropics. More rain would be most welcome, though we still have water in the dam.  Today I would like to share some flower photos. 

Dianthus or Pinks as they are commonly known do well in many parts of Australia. 
I used the think these flowers were known as Pinks due to their colour however I now understand that it is due to the zig-zagged edge of the petals, which look like they have been trimmed with pinking shears.

Dianthus vary in hardiness. I find I have more success with the Sweet Williams than I have done with Carnations. Regular pruning of spent flowers promotes better plant growth and of improves the general appearance of the plant. Fertilise periodically during the flowering season. 

A light annual dressing of dolomite lime can be beneficial. They can be cut back to about half around autumn. I find the Dianthus Jolt variety deal with heat and dryness better than many other flower plants. 






Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Getting Rid of Excess Baggage


One of the activities I included in my "Sailing Into the New Year" workshop I ran toward the end of last year included getting rid of excess baggage. I have included some of the information from the workshop in this post.

We all have excess baggage, the ideas, self-limiting thoughts, fears, resentments, and feelings that are holding us back. We can be carrying it due to painful, negative, or harmful experiences, and from interactions which cause us to react in a negative way.  We can lose sight of what God has in store for us simply because all this baggage is weighing us down.

How do we avoid carrying all that excess baggage into the new year?

By letting go of what no longer serves us.

Take some time to ponder over the excess baggage you have been carting round this year, and in previous years.

In the workshop we then wrote a list of things we did not want to bring with us into the new year. Some of the members of the group shared some of things they had written. I also included in this section of the workbook a prayer of release, so we could hand this baggage over to God. 

Two of the things I included in my list of excess baggage was worry and over-conscientiousness. You may like to write your own list of 'excess baggage' that you would like to let go of this year. 

Heb 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, 

Heb 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down,  


Friday, 11 January 2019

Tending Your Victory Garden


There is an old proverb:
Public Domain Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.
org/wiki/File:Sow_victory_poster_usgovt.gif

Sow a thought, reap an action
Sow an action, reap a habit,
Sow a habit, reap a character
Sow a character, reap a destiny

The question we can ask ourselves is 'what is it that we are sowing with our thoughts?'

If I sow some tomato seeds and carefully water and tend those seeds, I expect to see tomato seedlings emerge. I do not expect to see hollyhock seedlings, or indeed any other type of seedlings emerge from my tomato seeds.

As I water and tend the seedlings, and remove any weeds from their vicinity, I expect these tomato seedlings grow into tomato plants. I do not expect to see them change into carrots or nasturtiums as they grow.

As I carefully water and tend the plants I expect to see tomato flowers form on the plants. I do not expect to my tomato plants put forth roses.

As I continue to water and tend my flowering tomato plants I expect to see tomatoes form. I do not expect to see pumpkins or cashews fruiting on my tomato plants.

What about us and what we are sowing with our thoughts? Do we sow thoughts of lack and expect abundance? Do we sow thoughts of criticism and expect good relationships? Do we sow thoughts of worry and expect peace? Do we sow thoughts of sickness and expect health?

As I was thinking along these lines I remembered that midst the trials and tribulations of World War II the women on the Home Front were called on to create gardens to grow their own food.  Did they call these gardens Battle Gardens. No! They were called Victory Gardens. At one of the darkest times in modern history and while facing the direst of perils, these gardeners focused on victory while acting in a manner that in their way helped create that victory.  "A Victory Garden is like a share in an airplane factory. It helps win the War and it pays dividends too."  — Claude Wickard, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

  
We too can sow a Victory Garden - in our minds. A garden of healthy, empowering and powerful thoughts based on scripture. If we carefully water and tend these thoughts we will see them empower our actions. From these actions new  habits can emerge. People will see us develop a Christlike character; and just imagine the  God planned destiny we will step into as we tend our victory garden of thoughts.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4: 8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

19 For 2019


In the women's workshop I ran toward the end of last year I included an activity called My List of 19 For 2019.

This wasn't a list of New Year's resolutions. Rather it was about creating a list of things that were comforting or fun. A list of things that replenish, revive and restore. Some of the things on my list were:
  • Sit by the river to relax and read a good book.
  • Go to the movies
  • Country drives
So far I have only 13 things on my list. So I have another 6 things to think up. This morning I thought of two new things and by the time I got to adding them to my list I could only remember one! I think we are all a bit like this at times. Good ideas come to us but if we don't record these ideas somewhere they will drift away. 

Why not try coming up with your own list of 19 For 2019?

Friday, 4 January 2019

In My Garden - 4th January 2019

"This day has a feeling in my picture of warmth and light breezes and sunshine and afternoons that stretch to eternity....." Angela Thirkwell

Summer holidays here for the most part have been a picture of "warmth and light breezes and sunshine." My afternoons have not been stretching to eternity however, as both my afternoons and evenings seem to speed by.  The following is what I have managed to do in the garden the past week.

On Saturday I applied fertiliser to the citrus trees. In the orchard we have a very productive small lemon tree and a mandarin that fruits well every second year. In pots I have another mandarin, another lemon, and a cumquat tree. I also did some watering. I cut my gardening time short as Don and I went for a drive that morning.

Monday saw me weeding the 'onion' bed. This bed is planted with chives and spring onions. I watered the lemon and mandarin trees in the orchard and hand watered some other plants. I also watered the veggie patch, which is mostly resting for the summer but does have some marigold plants growing, and the rhubarb have resurrected themselves. I also applied sulphate of potash to one of my ornamental gardens and watered it in. As I worked on the ornamental garden I watch the Dollarbirds flying around hunting insects. I find them pretty.

New Years Morning was warm and still. I began work in the garden around 6.30 in the morning with some weeding and was chased off after awhile by the mozzies and midges. Some more of the dianthus (Pinks) were dead headed. I applied some Penetrade (soil wetting agent) to one of the trees in the orchard as I am a bit concerned that the soil around the tree may be hydrophobic.  This tree has never borne fruit but it is a favourite of mine because of the leaf colour and at the moment the tree is not thriving as it should. I also helped Don put up our 'butterfly' gazebo which he had taken down when T.C. Owen was predicted to come down the Queensland Coast.

Wednesday morning, just as I was about to go out into the garden I got an idea for an article for my church's weekly email. So I delayed going out into the garden while I quickly wrote 'Tending Your Victory Garden'. Once I wrote out the ideas that had come to mind I left the article for later editing and went and started my actual garden chores. I didn't manage to do a whole lot in the garden this morning as it became too hot early on. I did manage some more weeding. and I skirted the lemon tree. I watered some of the trees in the orchard and the marigolds and rhubarb growing in the veggie garden. I also watered some of the ornamental plants.

Thursday I turned some of the compost. As I was turning the compost I added blood and bone and molasses water to the pile. I also used some of the broken down compost by adding it to a new vegetable garden bed that we have been preparing. I also added some blood and bone to this bed and watered it in well.

I still have lots of Dianthus to dead head. 
Last year I transplanted a several large Agave pups to a curved garden area adjacent to a section of our driveway. I had the soaker hose watering there on Thursday and it seems that the soil in that area is quite water impenetrable. So today I applied some Penetrade and watered again. Hopefully that will help the soil soak up the water, because the Agave are looking a bit haggard.

During the week we have also been enjoying watching the King Parrots feed off the seeds produced by the many Swamp Grasstree Plants we have. These are all volunteer plants.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Every Ordinary Day


Let's be grateful for every ordinary day. Every day where reality doesn't bite. Where the bad news doesn't come.

Let us not forget to be grateful on the ordinary days. Don't let the tumult and frustration from to do lists and delayed dreams rob us of the wonder and appreciation of the ordinary day.