Friday, May 20, 2016

Which Voice Are You Listening To??

For years I believed that my ex-husband's abuse and adultery were my fault; that his sins and choices were my responsibility. If only I had been a better wife, a better lover, a better person...
The voice of shame accused me of failure at every turn.

The day he left, he said, "No one will ever want a woman with four children!" 

And the voice of shame agreed!

“He would have stayed if you were someone worth staying for,”  I was taunted by the voice of shame.

It's all your fault that your oldest son became a drug addict. You are a terrible mother! I was accused, by the condemning voice of shame again.

I was tossed around by the stormy waves of life...
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, QLD
For a long time, I believed these lies! I felt unworthy, unwanted, unlovable, unacceptable and judged.

I felt the shame of my marriage failing, the shame of being a single mother, the shame of my life not going according to my dreams...

Through another situation in a Christian workplace, I allowed people to take advantage of me; because I still didn't know my value and worth in God, and as a person.

I worked very hard through prayer with my pastors, and through counselling with my psychologist to come to the realisation and acceptance that the accusations and feelings of shame were totally unfounded and untrue.
I am NOT responsible for the choices of others... I am only responsible for my own actions and   choices.

I know I am not perfect, however I also know that I made the right choice to raise my children on my own. Our home was a safe haven; a place of love, acceptance, laughter, peace, joy and wonderful memories. My children were happier and more settled.

The voice of shame seeks to belittle and destroy us.

However, the voice of Truth seeks to build us up and speak life into us!

Sunset looking across the Blackall Ranges from Kondalilla National Park, QLD
I recently read an article on this very topic. These words really spoke to me:

"God whispers to the hearts of His beloved: Don’t pay attention to those feelings of shame — they don’t belong to you. Shame is nothing more than the scheme of darkness.

The author of Revelation refers to Satan as 'the accuser' for good reason. One of his nastiest tricks is to blame the inflicted for sin committed against them. He pummels our minds and hearts with twisted condemnations wanting to shift our focus away from our hope in Christ."

Sunset on the Hastings River, Port Macquarie, NSW

The voice of Truth gives us peace, hope, comfort, purpose and so much more. It seeks to encourage and not condemn.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

St Kilda Pier, VIC

St Kilda Pier has been the centre of recreational activity in St Kilda since the 1850's. Both the old shed at the pier entrance and the pavilion at the end are part of Victoria's heritage. Providing panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay, the pier is a popular destination for strolling, cycling, roller blading and fishing.

St Kilda Pier's history dates back to 1853 when the St Kilda Pier and Jetty Company constructed a wooden jetty to assist the early settlers in unloading timber, building materials and firewood to St Kilda. Not long after its construction the small jetty fell victim to a stormy Port Phillip Bay and was washed away. Various forms of piers were constructed at St Kilda in the 1800's as the demand for a larger pier grew with the ever-increasing trade to and from the area. Since then the St Kilda Pier has grown to its present size, with the most recent concrete section constructed in the 1970's.

The historic St Kilda Pier Kiosk was built in 1904 and has undergone several renovations in its time. Tragically, the Kiosk was devastated by fire on September 11, 2003. After massive public support to rebuild the kiosk, it was reconstructed to the original 1903 plans, utilising some of the salvaged components, such as the cast iron roof, decorative cresting and weather vane.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Observatory Point, Point Nepean National Park, VIC

In February, I spent 5 days with my parents on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. As always, I had a wonderful time. My Mum gave me some more painting lessons and we explored some more of Point Nepean National Park.

Only a short walk along Cole's Track, from Gunners Gottage Car Park, is the direct access point to the picturesque beach at ‘Observatory Point’; which reveals the remains of historic former quarantine Cattle Jetty built in 1879 to land cattle at the Quarantine Station.

There are long stretches of sandy beach in either direction. It is the perfect place to stroll along and view the southernmost end of Port Philip, including outstanding coastal scenery and panoramic views of Bass Strait, the Rip and Port Phillip Bay.

My Mum, the painter at work...

Multiple Australasian Gannets fly past, often in groups of 4 or more, heading to Pope’s Eye; the uncompleted foundation for an island fort intended to defend the entrance to Port Phillip.
Pope's Eye is an important breeding site for Australasian Gannets, which nest on platforms constructed for them, as well as on the rocks of the reef.

The male and female Australasian Gannet are similar in plumage. Most of the body is white, with dark tips on the major wing feathers and the inner tail feathers. The head is buff-yellow and the bill pale blue-grey with striking black borders to the bill sheaths. In immature birds, the head and upperparts are mostly brown with scattered amounts of white spotting. Small flocks are sometimes seen soaring above the ocean, and an individual bird will suddenly fold its wings back and dive spectacularly into the water.

Australasian Gannets are found throughout southern and south-eastern Australia, to New Zealand. These seabirds are a familiar sight off the coast

Though the water is incredibly inviting, swimming is not recommended due to the close proximity of the beach to the treacherous and infamous ‘Rip’ – which often produces strong currents and unpredictable waves.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday: Sacred Kingfisher

The Sacred Kingfisher is a medium sized kingfisher. It has a turquoise back, turquoise blue rump and tail, buff-white underparts and a broad cream collar. There is a broad black eye stripe extending from bill to nape of neck.
Both sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts. Young birds are similar to the female, but have varying amounts of rusty-brown edging to feathers on the collar and underparts, and buff edges on the wing coverts.

The Sacred Kingfisher is common and familiar throughout the coastal regions of mainland Australia and less common throughout Tasmania. The species is also found on islands from Australasia to Indonesia and New Zealand.

The Sacred Kingfisher inhabits woodlands, mangroves and paperbark forests, tall open eucalypt forests and melaleuca forests.

Info from: Birds In Backyards

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Lake Wivenhoe, QLD

Lake Wivenhoe (Wivenhoe Dam) is South East Queensland’s largest water storage and is the main supply of water for Brisbane and the greater Ipswich area.
It is also a very popular recreation destination, with a wide variety of activities and facilities available. There are a number of recreation areas at the lake, including Logan’s Inlet, Hamon Cove and Cormorant Bay.
We also discovered this little spot belonging to a sailing club on the Eastern side of the lake; we obtained permission to go through the gate and enjoy this private & secluded area.


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