Wednesday, December 2, 2009

They Said It

compassion header

From the latest newsletter – A Year in Review

“The redemptive potential of the local church really is the only hope for our broken world.” – Bill Hybels

“Hunger and starvation is the worst enemy of development in any state. It deprives people of their human dignity and in worst cases, leads to extreme malnutrition or even death. Availability of food is a critical determinant of people’s participation in development activities.” – Steve Njoroge

“If you want to bring about change in the world, you can’t just be an advocate of somebody else doing it. You can’t just preach lofty goals and wait for somebody else to act. You have to step up. You have to serve.” – Barack Obama

“I believe every generation has the opportunity to leave a great mark on this planet, whether it’s to see the end of apartheid, the end of the slave trade, or in our case the end of extreme poverty – every generation has the opportunity to do something great.” – Hugh Evans

“If there’s one thing that I have learned over these decades of prayer, action and intense labour, it’s to never give up hope. When hope is put to work, crisis becomes opportunity.” – Jim Wallis

“It is so refreshing seeing shining faces at the project with an enduring sense of hopefulness. Although they come from very poor families, many of which are grappling with alcoholism, separation, single parenthood, domestic violence, hunger and other ills bedevilling the society, at the centre they know they are special.” – Rev Mbega Samson Mwanzanje

“A wealthy country like Australia should be able to do better than make the international aid target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income only aspirational. We should make it a reality.” – West Australian MP Judi Moylan, addressing Parliament, September.

Compassion Australia

We can do better.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


Ok, so Thanksgiving was actually Thursday just gone. I wanted to do this on the day but didn’t get around to it and then had a really busy weekend.

The American holiday was introduced to my family back in 1999 by an American Pastor and his wife who were helping out in the Church I was in at the time. They introduced to us the delicious food as well as the Thanksgiving tradition of sharing what we were thankful for.

As I didn’t share the day with anyone, I’ll share here what things I am thankful for this year:

  • God’s provision for me. This year I have found out at various times how much God has provided for me, even when I didn’t know that He was. For example, the provision of a wage, even though I’m not working; the provision of health providers who aren’t part of the system that made me take stress leave in the first place. The psychiatrists and psychologists that have provided treatment and care to me this year are truly the best, and in so doing, they continually enable me to have time away from work to fully recover. They work for my best interests, not the interests of the Education Department or the Insurance Company. It’s amazing how great God is, and how He continues to bless us, even when we don’t notice.
  • Great parents. My parents have been there for me through the ups and downs of this year. They have supported me both emotionally and monetarily, especially when I’m not coping and can’t make big decisions. I am thankful for God’s blessing of my parents.
  • Good friends. Good friends really make a difference in life. Good friends support and listen to you through the ups and the downs. They don’t judge you when you’re ranting, when you’re up or when you’re down. Sometimes all a good friend has to do is listen to what you’re saying and sometimes agree or sometimes help you to see what you’re not seeing. I am glad God created us to be in relationships with others, and what a blessing friendships can be.
  • Good neighbours. My neighbours are the best. They’re Christian, they’re generous, they’re friendly, they’re sharing and kind. My neighbours and I share similar interests even! We enjoy talking about: food, growing food and eating food; parenting; books; card making; craft; preserving food; life in general and Christian life. They lend me their lawn mower when I need to mow my lawn and I lend them my car when they need a car with a tow ball. Their lemon tree hangs over my fence and provides me with fresh lemons all year around. They take care of my chooks while I’m away and I give them fresh eggs.  Neighbours can either make day to day life poor (especially when you constantly hear them swearing at each other and at their children, smell them smoking, have to listen to their loud music at 2 am, put up with their ‘parties’ any time of the day or night, any day of the week and then have to clean up all the glass and rubbish that has made it over the fence from those parties) or they can make it enjoyable. My neighbours are definitely enjoyable! Thank you God for good neighbours!

Well, those are the biggest things that I am thankful for this year. I am also thankful that I live in a country that allows me to go to Church and learn more about God, for through the ups and downs of this year, I have really learnt a lot about Him, which I’m not sure I would have done otherwise.

2 Corinthians 9:11
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Onwards and Upwards

Yes I've been very quiet on the blogosphere recently. But I've been busy!
I've been doing many many things and here's a brief run down on what I've been doing..

Raising chicks!


4WD'ing in the country

Tow starting Richard's trail bike...

4WD'ing on the beach
Deep Sea Fishing


As you can see, there's been a lot happening - and that's just a general overview! Hope you've enjoyed the snapshot!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday Funny

Found this in my random wanderings around the www...

Friday, August 7, 2009


As most of you know, I'm on stress leave. I've been off work for over a year now, and still with no plans of returning.
However, being off work doesn't mean I get to sit back and relax... No, there's lots of therapy that needs to be done in the mean time.
Last year I had access (thanks to Ed Dept funding) to 8 Clinical Psychologist Sessions, in which I had to learn about and work though CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. This was fortnightly, and after each session, I would come away quite sensitive.
A friend asked me, why do it if it hurts so much? (Thus showing the depth of their understanding about recovery at all - even though they're a nurse!!)
I replied, it's like treating cancer, especially with chemotherapy. The chemotherapy makes you sick... physically sick, your hair falls out and it does crazy things to your body... but it helps get rid of the cancer. That's what treatment is like for me. It does crazy things to my body, it makes me more sensitive to things people do and say around me, and sometimes it even makes me physically sick.
My psychiatrist describes it as a large wound that is taking a long time to heal. Every now and then, we need to open up the wound to let some of the dirt, puss and gunk out; but in so doing, it aggravates the wound further, so after working on the wound for a bit, we need to close it up again to let it heal some more, even though all of the dirt in the wound hasn't been removed.
Recently I've been doing a bit more therapy with my psychiatrist. I've had to read through a book called The Pocket Psycho, which is a pocket sized version of a book called Working with Monsters, both by Dr John Clarke. It describes how the Workplace Psycho (aka the workplace bully) operates, the effect it has on the victims, and a few tools to help victims.
I have really, really struggled reading this book. I have avoided, hidden and forced myself to read the book. It has been my homework for the past 3 months, and it has been HELL. I've decided to share some of my journal entries from the last three months, to help others going through the same thing, and the people around them show understanding and support. I should just note, that at my last appointment with my psychiatrist last week, we decided that it's time to let the wound heal for a bit, so the dark cloud has lifted.

I've finally dared/worked up the courage to pick up this book. I think I subconsciously stashed it away in an obscure spot so I wouldn't have to deal with it, but I knew exactly where to find it anyway.

  • The workplace psychopath tries to isolate and then destroy a target. (Gary and Ted were very good at isolating me)

  • Characteristics and behaviours include: a lack of remorse or guilt; parasitic behaviour; seeking increased power & control; manipulating & intimidating the people around them; prolific lying and deception; a constant need for excitement; superficial charm; lack of responsibility; impersonal sex life. (not really relevant here)

"When faced with a workplace psychopath's destructive behaviour, victims characteristically report feeling as though they have lost control over their lives. Panic attacks, depression, disturbed sleep & nightmares, relationship problems, confusion, disbelief, guilt, lack of trust, anger, powerlessness, flashbacks, shame, embarrassment and sexual dysfunction are just a few examples of how these victims suffer.

Some longer-term effects also include being unable to look for another job, as they do not trust people or themselves anymore, and a loss of confidence in their ability to perform adequately in their chosen profession or career.

Employees who choose to stay in the workplace despite the trauma, frequently report feeling resentment toward the company they have given so much to; they believe it has let them down by not believing or protecting them."

The above quotes are in/from the first chapter of the book - the introduction, and it has 'hit-the-nail-on-the-head'. It has described me rather well:

  • lost control of their lives

  • depression

  • disturbed sleep & nightmares

  • relationship problems

  • confusion, disbelief & guilt

  • lack of trust

  • anger

  • powerlessness

  • flashbacks

  • shame

  • embarrassment

  • unable to look for another job - do not trust themselves anymore & loss of confidence in their ability to perform adequately in their chosen career/profession

  • feeling resentment towards the company - that I have given so much to, that it has let me down by not believing in me or protecting me...

Does that mean however, that the company hasn't let me down, that the Ed Dept hasn't let me down and has protected me? Yet despite feeling it (and being told it's only a feeling, not a fact); I know they have let me down and haven't believed in me in the past. The Ed Dept lets nearly all new grads down; lets their teachers in general down AND attempts have been made in the past to discredit me, to make me look incompetent, make me out that I'm a bad teacher. In 2004, when parents were complaining to the Ed Dept about the horrible things that were going on in my school, and in my classroom, they put me up ( with me unaware) as a scapegoat!! I was sent into a meeting I knew nothing about with a random person from the Ed Department who was questioning me about why I was asking another teacher for help in using First Steps in the classroom. I was tandem teaching with another new grad, and they didn't ask her why she was asking for help from other teachers. When I was accused in 2008 of hitting a child with a book (by a parent who had never stepped foot inside my classroom so far that year); they believed them, not me!! The questioned the child - who couldn't be sure about any of the details, the asked other kids in the class, who likewise denied it happened, and yet I still got raked over the coals from the deputy and principal because of it.

I maintain - it wasn't just a feeling I had that the system and company was letting me down and wasn't protecting me. It was a FACT!! THEY BROKE ME!!!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Book Review

Today I went to Koorong with my house-mate Alison this morning, without any idea what I was going to buy, without any particular purpose only to use the gift card for $30 I had received.
Koorong had a 20% off everything sale! Great time to go shopping!! I ended up spending another $100 of my own money on top the gift card! (After the 20% off!)

However, I found the most brilliant book called, now that you are back, by Richard Beeston, about living with someone with depression.
Two years ago, Richard Beeston and his band - All Mankind, featured at Cornerstone Camp and I thought they were a really good band, but I didn't remember much about the lyrics...
Little quotes from his music feature through the book, as the songs are inspired from his experience of supporting and living with his wife as she battled with anxiety, depression and PTSD - all of which I am battling with now...

I started reading it in the shop, but Ali walked by and found me crying and very tactfully said, perhaps I shouldn't be reading that just now... So I saved the rest till I got home.
I found the book really nailed what anxiety, PTSD and depression really is like; the effect it has on your day to day life, the medical disorders were explained clearly and how it affected relationships with the people around them. It also explained clearly how to help and support someone who is going through major depression.

If you suffer from anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress/Shock Disorder or depression, or know someone who does, then this book is worth getting out of the house to buy. Either that, or see if you can order it online. It's worth the read. Actually it's worth getting your friends to read, it's worth having the people you live with read it, so they have a glimpse of what you're going through and have a better idea how to love, support, care and pray for you while you're down.

It's also good to read while you're going though it (like I am at the moment), because its really encouraging. It's encouraging to know you're not the only one going through what you're going through, it's encouraging to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and a way out, that there are good doctors out there, and there is life on the other side of depression.
Check out this website for more info about depression and links to resources.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Last week I visited friends and joined in with their Bible Study. We were looking at Psalm 139.
After reading verse 16 -
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all
were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

I commented that this shows God's predestination. The Bible Study leader later said that this verse isn't relevant at all to the doctrine of Predestination, but I disagree!!
After thinking about it for a while though, I realised there is more than one way of 'interpreting' the word predestination.
Berkhof's Systematic Theology helps explain...
The word 'predestination' is not always used in the same sense. Sometimes it is employed simply as a synonym of the generic word 'decree'. In other cases it serves to designate the purpose of God respecting all His moral creatures. Most frequently, however, it denotes "the counsel of God concerning fallen men, including the sovereign election of some and the righteous reprobation of the rest."
Given that very brief definition, I still think that this verse still points to a sense of predestination in a small way.
David sings God's praise, saying that He knows every part of him, all his inmost parts, all parts yet unformed, all days set out for him, even when he had not lived them yet.
All this points to God's omniscience - He knows all things - comprehensively. Berkhof writes -
God knows Himself and in Himself all things that come from Him. He knows all
things as they actually come to pass, past, present and future, and knows them
in their real relations. He knows the hidden essence of things, to which the
knowledge of man cannot penetrate. He sees not as man sees, who observes only
the outward manifestations of life, but penetrates to the depths of the human
heart... God has decreed all things, and has decreed them with their causes and
conditions in the exact order in which they come to pass; and His foreknowledge
of future things and also of contingent events rests of His decree.

Given that God is omniscient and omnipotent, that He is in control of all things and has decreed all things - how can you say that it doesn't point to the predestination of man?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What my taste in Music says about me....

One of my friends Blogs had this on it, and I just had to see what my taste in music says about me!
What Does Your Taste in Music Say About You?

Your Taste in Music Says You're Wild
Your musical tastes are intense and rebellious.You are intelligent... but in a very unconventional way.You are curious about the world. You love doing something new.In fact, you enjoy taking risks and doing things most people would shy away from.You are very physical. It's likely that you're athletic, but not into team sports.You have the soul of an artist. Beauty and harmony are important to you.

Yeah Baby!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Friends are interesting people.
Recently - in the past month anyway I've had a few interesting conversations with friends, and more recently in birthday cards, had lovely messages from friends. I've been comparing the two and wondering which are the truer friend.

Some 'friends' are all like - stop being a victim and go back to work, teaching isn't that bad, you're such a negative person - that's why I stopped hanging out with you.. And these can be 'friends' that you live with, have lived with in the past and saw first hand how stressful school was for the last 5 years etc..

Other friends, who by general standards, wouldn't be classed as good friends cause you only see them once a week at Church and even then the conversation isn't that good, cause they've got kids running around, interrupting etc are like - wow, I can't believe what a generous, kind, joyful, compassionate, caring, fun person you are and that you've been through 5 years of hell and are still loving and serving other people in your Church, you are the most pro-active, busy person on stress-leave I've ever heard of. What are you doing, you're supposed to be on stress-leave! etc etc etc...

So recently I've been re-evaluating what friendship is, what a friend looks like/sounds like/feels like (teacher coming out)... etc, and also thanking and praising God for the good friends that He has so mercifully provided.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queen of Colds

Well we've only just hit Autum, and already I've got a cold.
For me, it's not so much about what time of year it is, but how busy/stressed I am that causes me to catch a cold.
One year (when I was working) I had about 8 colds or more! I don't remember being well that year. However, it has given me the ultimate advantage for knowing how to look after myself when I'm not well. My house-mates call me the 'Queen of Colds' because whenever they're sick, they only get advice from me, not sympathy.
At the first sign of a cold start taking 'Ease-a-cold' Flu strength, day and night tablets, start drinking lots of fluids and go to bed!
'Ease-a-cold' is great because it eases the severity and duration of a cold/flu. It's also great because it's all natural stuff - no hard chemicals/drugs. This is a good thing for me, cause when you're on heavy anti-depressants, cold and flu tablets (eg, Codrol, Sudafed etc) don't mix well!
Sleep also reduces the severity and duration of a cold. Don't be afraid of calling in sick! Even if you get abused when you do.
Vicks Vapour Drops are also good, 'cause they soothe the throat and clear the nose. They now come in different strengths and flavours too.
Panadol - necessary for the fever, headaches and general achy symptoms that come with a cold.
Steamers or Sinus Rinsers - very important! Do regulary, and often. It helps clear out all the gunk from your sinuses, keeps it moist - so stops blockages and cysts forming. Also, if you keep your sinuses clear during the first part of the cold, there wont be as much coughing down the track and you will prevent chest infections from happening.
Vicks Vapour Rub - helps keep the head clear in-between steamers/sinus rinses.
Doctor - they can't prescribe anything for the common cold, as it's just a virus, but they can fill in doctors certificates and get you more time off work.
All important, above all - rest! Even if it's just sitting on the couch, watching DVD's or lying in bed watching DVD's. Don't push yourself to do anything.