All posts tagged: love

Pack These Words for the Journey

We were sitting around on the grass under the lovely Spring sun, her face splashing all over us while, within eyesight, the kids squawked and imagined other worlds and pushed little bums down slides. Drinking up the bliss of adult company, we were a rabble of mothers comparing notes on parenting. Conversations like these lurch erratically from behavioural woes and toilet-training mishaps to school uniform orders and an amicable if somewhat competitive exchange of sentences that begin with, “My darling did the cutest thing…” This day, we were navigating the topic of sleep deprivation. Some of us have had a bad go thanks to certain munchkins who don’t understand the division of night and day – years after their entry. Others (myself included) have brains that fail to take the hint of lights out and body in horizontal position. The tips to counter insomnia were predictable: count sheep, think of the colour blue, take some sleeping tablets or do some, er, strenuous exercise before shut-eye time. But Kristy had a new one. “I tell myself …

I Never Thought Abortion Would Cross My Mind… But It Did

Leading up to Christmas, I want to share with you FIVE GIFTS of LIFE. These are five real stories of local women who fell pregnant young, outside of their plans, and made good anyway. Each Friday between now and Christmas, I’ll publish another. First was Rachel. Here’s the second, Stacey: In the space of a week, Launceston woman Stacey received a little feet pin in her letterbox and happened to be watching television when an Emily’s Voice ad aired – five times. It was the ad detailing Madeleine’s story of grief following her decision to abort her own baby at eight weeks. Stacey was 16 years old, eight weeks pregnant and not a believer in consequences. With Madeleine’s story on her mind, the pin in her hand – with feet the same size as a 10-week gestation baby – she knew that the wrestle in her head was over. “I never thought abortion would ever cross my mind – I always thought it was wrong, but when it came to me finding out I was …

She’s Pro-Life and Doesn’t Realise it

I met a woman who is pro-life and doesn’t realise it. She’s one of those people with grit and strength learnt through hardship yet without the hard shell of bitterness that many battlers wear. Let’s call her Rachel. Before the law called her an adult, she had done many adult things. Drugs. Alcohol. Sleeping rough. Sex in exchange for a place to lay her head. And at sweet 16 she was pregnant, a child about to bear her own child. Rachel smiles and laughs through the telling of her story, slowing to emphasise the gut-wrenching bits, but not lingering there long. It’s in the past now. The present is her focus – how could it not be when it involves a happy toddler and the rollercoaster of motherhood! Why did you keep your baby? I ask. She was the typical candidate: young, emotionally unstable, no money and in the vice of substance abuse. “It never crossed my mind to abort my baby,” she says. “I couldn’t tell you why.” She pauses, eyes travelling to an …

From Sleeping Rough to Cradling a Newborn

The night of Rachel’s 16th birthday was the first she slept rough on a park bench in Launceston.
It was winter. None of her family called. Her boyfriend said she was a “Slut!” and pushed her out the door.
Sweet 16, it was not.
Rachel slept rough for a week before she started exchanging sex for a place to sleep.
How did it get this bad?

It’s Small, Slimy and Can Kill

It still shocks me what is said on social media with its few degrees of separation. The no-holds-barred statements laced with hate, the offensive name-calling and the lies. They hide behind their tablet, computer or smartphone and muster the most loathsome messages to pierce reputation and self esteem. The pack mentality of those who follow suit is the lowest game of follow-the-leader. Speaking of pack mentality – we’ve seen it alive and well at the footy with the Adam Goodes booing controversy. No one should be subject to public, repetitive, malicious words delivered from the anonymity and distance of ‘the crowd’ – whatever form that takes. The problem is nothing new. In fact, the problem is a very small slimy thing that also gives much delight in devouring mum’s apple crumble or pulling silly faces or kissing our beloved. “The tongue has the power of life and death,” Proverbs 18:21 reads. The tongue – as a symbol of our individual voice and right to use it – is a dangerous weapon. Never has it been more important to …

Six Ways to Use Your Ears Better

Pop used to turn his hearing aid down when his wife started nagging him about keeping the house tidy or eating too much cake. Pretty sure he did it in church too, when the ladies’ choir started their warbling. He admitted as much before he died many years ago, his wet eyes a-twinkle, leaning in to share one of the perks of old age. Selective hearing. Kids are masters in the field. My four-year-old teenager knows how to roll his eyes and has been caught in the act after mummy has hit broken-record point with the asking and asking and asking of “shoes on” or “eat dinner” or “pack up toys”. It’s a look that says, “I heard you the first time, I just decided not to listen!” Selective hearing. But we shouldn’t give the young and the old too hard a rap for something everyone in-between has surely struggled with. We’re not very good at listening these days. We have two ears and one tongue yet for most of us, the dominant compulsion is to talk …

Letter to the Gay Community: Is Same Sex Marriage Really What You Need?

Monday June 29, 2015 To homosexuals everywhere in support of same sex marriage, Do you believe that changing Australia’s Marriage Act will be the panacea you need? I’m genuinely interested. You have suffered severely as a minority group; shunned, bullied, locked up, medicated and even murdered for your sexual attraction. The treatment you have endured – and indeed, continue to endure in some pockets of society – is unacceptable. You, like anyone else, have the right to respect, love, acceptance and a life unhindered by prejudice. Like victims of any traumatic injustice, I understand your desire to seek acknowledgement and affirmation of your value and identity. My question is, will changing the traditional definition of marriage do that? We look to Ireland where law has changed to allow same sex marriage as a result of last month’s referendum. Have you noticed the vernacular of the gay lobby in the proceeding celebrations? The change has been lauded as “recognition” of gay people, “validation” of lifestyle, “acceptance” in communities and so on. Very little has been said about marriage itself. Could …

Loving Floyd – a Story of Hurt and Hope

You know when a friend does something really amazing and you just want to scream “I KNOW HER! I KNOW HER!” to ride on the coattails of their success a little? That’s what I’m about to do. Chantelle Pitt is a friend of mine and she’s also a newly published author. The hard story of her son Floyd’s short life and the profound journey God has taken this family on is now a book with real pages, chapters and even some photos! The book is titled ‘Loving Floyd’ (Ark House Press) and here’s the blurb: “Is it possible to experience unimaginable pain and loss and still want to talk to God? Is it possible to come to a place of surrender and acceptance regardless of the outcome? Is it possible to learn so much about God, yourself and others through the grief of the most precious gift now gone? LOVING FLOYD is the remarkable story of one couple who fought to the end to save the life of their unborn son. Relying on her raw …

There’s a Difference Between Humility and Self-Deprecation. Just Sayin’…

My mum sent me a text last week. It made me feel twice my height and warmed me from the chest outwards. I guess I’m going to have to share it with you now… (Sorry mum, I know it was intended for my eyes only!) “Hey Claire, I want to express how I see you as a beautiful, stunning, gorgeous woman with beautiful long flowing golden hair, such incredible blue sparkling eyes and milky skin – which are all your assets. Enjoy being you, as you are perfect the way you are!” Gah! Did I mention it also made me a little teary? A funny thing happened when I sat down to write this piece. I wanted to share the beautiful message my mum sent me, to show how wonderful she is, but there was a reticence to include those descriptions of how she sees me. “Wouldn’t that be big-noting yourself?” the voice in my head said. How are you at taking compliments? Me? Rubbish. Someone says, “I love your outfit!” and I’m reflexively muttering, …

God Doesn’t Wear Camouflage

ANZAC Day is arguably the most spiritual day of the year. For many Australians, listening to a bugle call during a dawn service will be their most spiritual experience. The dew underfoot. The huddle of community. The warming rum. The dark. And the long unwavering notes of The Last Post that peal into the reverent air. We stand there in the throng and remember the savagery of war, the sacrifice for our freedom and the scars our country bears, acknowledged on the breasts of generation after generation. It’s a church service for war, sacrifice and tragedy. What I love are the stories that surface of men and women of faith who served our country. As they served, God served their needs – in the trenches, on hospital stretchers, in their darkest hours. This year The Bible Society has released a book and website that tells profound true stories of service men and women who relied on God through the grisly bits. They all died – some during and some after the respective battles. Most were …