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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Feeling Low...

Have you ever felt really low?

So low that it’s hard to shake off, feeling consumed by your emotion…A feeling that is both with you and also separate from you…intimately close, yet also beyond you.

An invisible feeling that is so real it affects you physically?

A feeling so aggressive it can take over, and even affect your relationships…

I’m sure that you can relate…as I don’t think any of us are immune from this feeling.  In our broken world we are vulnerable to many, many things, which can lead to this type of feeling. 

As a Christian I have been re-born through Christ, but I have not been re-born into a perfect world, or without feelings, or in a protective bubble.  I am still in our yet-to-be-restored-world, just no longer a citizen of it…therefore how I react these days to this type of feeling is, and must be different

There was a time in my life when my reaction would have been to seek consolation from sources that weren’t healthy…what do I mean by this?  Well for example, from the arms of a lover, alcohol, spending money…I’m sure you know now what I mean!

Now I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy intimacy with your husband or wife when you feel low, or that you can’t enjoy a glass of wine, or even enjoy a holiday to help you recover.  But really at the end of the day, it comes down to where our heart is…and who or what we’re putting first.
I know that when I’ve felt really low, my first reaction is to do something that will ease my pain…now when I think about this rationally it makes sense that we want to do this ~ because the feeling is real and we want relief from it…especially when we don’t know how things will improve…

I believe it's important to acknowledge that the desire for no pain and healing is real and NORMAL!  As someone who has experienced brokenness, I believe it's important to acknowledge the REALNESS of pain and depression, and to not offer Band-Aid solutions!
We may feel like screaming out loud in frustration, but perhaps it’s our upbringing that taught us to be quiet and reserved that inhibits this, so we internalise the pain?  Sometimes we just try to ignore our emotions, and carry on as if nothing is wrong.  We may just choose to party...drinking and spending our troubles away...or to just not get out of bed!  The problem with this, is that we’re feeding ourselves with things that won’t solve our problem or satisfy us.  When we think rationally, we know that these temporary things are poor substitutes for really dealing with the problem.  And the reality is that we’re putting ourselves and our flesh before our maker, who really does want to heal us!

By putting ourselves first and feeding our desires garbage, we’re actually separating ourselves from God and true healing...

I know what it's like to ignore or suppress pain, or even to console yourself with unhealthy, selfish distractions!  Please don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying that we can't push through...but what I am suggesting is that we need to do it the right way... 

If only we did scream out loud in pain to the one who has the power to bless and heal us…  No-one understands your pain or problem like God does.  No-one has the ability to see into the future and know His plans for you.  Don’t put your pain and yourself before God, give it to Him in prayer.  When you don’t know how He could possibly turn things around for your good – feed on His word and promises which are true and unshakable. 

Take your time, be patient in your journey!  Make your relationship with Jesus your number one priority!  Seek counsel from Godly people, pray, read your Bible, keep your doctors' appointments, eat healthy,  exercise, sleep well!  Most importantly...Never underestimate God!!!



Sunday, 17 February 2013

Generation to Generation


Have you noticed how the majority of the current generation, have a very short attention span?

And let's not forget their ability to sit still long enough to have a decent chin wag...but can you blame them? I mean the majority of young people today have been raised watching short, exciting TV programs (you're picturing Playschool, yes?) and live on a pretty high, sugar diet. Perhaps right now you're picturing your grandchild or great-grandchild and are thinking about how times have changed...

Well it's not too late to give bonding another've just got to think outside the square so to speak...or to put it more plainly, reach them on their level.  Now I'm not advising that you change who you are, or do anything that you're not comfortable with.  In fact, that could be the worst thing you could do!   Academics say that the current generation relates more to authentic people, and their personal here's an idea...
You know all those really special moments in your life that you probably don't have the time or energy to put down into memoirs?  Well the younger generation probably wouldn't read them either so...turn them into your personal video story presented by flashcards.  O.K. now I'm sure I've lost you...and you're about to probably stop reading...but just hang on a tad longer and let me explain...just wait...this is cool!

 People all over the world have been making short videos (say the length of one song) to help tell their story or spread a message...and younger people love it, they totally relate to this type of media presentation.  The video presents one person, who doesn't speak (there's music playing) and over the course of the video the person presents flashcards to the camera to tell their story and displays appropriate facial expressions while the cards are shown for the viewer to read.  Does this sound boring?  Well I cannot really to put into words, just how moving these videos are.  So here are some URLs for you to check out via the internet if you're able...get a young person to assist, they'll love it, 'cause it's YouTube!  If you're really bad with technology memorise this sentence...

"I really would like to check out some clips on YouTube that I heard were great. Can you bring them up for me, I have the URLs?"  I'm sure you'll stun someone with your new lingo! Here are the URLs you need:

Then after you've seen the clips, ask your young person if they'd help you to make your own personal video...they will be so excited to help you.  Remember don't put anything too personal or specific in your video, just in case your family loves it soooo much that they want to share it with others far away via the internet.  Remember don't 'act' in your video as young people don't like falseness, and that wrinkles are cool these days...they mean that you have memories to share!

In love, Melanie...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

To Facebook or not to Facebook...

A is for Apple   B is for Bear   
C is for Cat      
D is for Dog      E is for Egg      
F is for...

Now did you think Fish or Facebook (FB)? 
How times have changed...but have we?

I know people who avoid social media altogether, and insist that if other people want to interact with them, it will just have to be the 'old fashioned' way of face to face or via the telephone... I respect their decision, yet I on the other hand have obviously chosen differently. 

For me, FB allows interaction with people that otherwise may not have been possible.  This specific platform has allowed me to reconnect with people from my past, which I otherwise would not have found.  It is a wonderful opportunity to socially connect with people.  I have found that in many ways social media really isn't very different to any other social situations.  However, it really still is quite unique, as for me, it's a unique blend of other social situations, rolled together...

The first parallel I've found is that of the school yard.  Of course FB is a real extension of the school yard for teenagers, however I believe it still feels like one for us adults. In social media, (and FB is the focus in this post) I've still found dynamics and pressures that were once felt back in school days.  If you're not getting my drift, don't worry I'll explain further.  Even though Facebook really isn't face to face interaction, I've found that all the social pressures we may have felt during our sensitive adolescent years can be very present! 

For example, do you feel pressured in relation to the 'number' of friends that you have?  Even if you don't there are those who do...and what about when you realise that someone has 'unfriended' you?  I know when this has happened to me that I've felt similar hurt feelings as to when I was an adolescent!  Immature? Maybe...but then again I think it's hard to escape, given the deliberate structure of the site with its un-private social feed (which can be similar to school yard gossip).  And what about your status up-dates and 'shares'?  Do you think twice about what you write or share? Are you concerned with how your friends may perceive you?  Is it really so different to when you were at school?

I don't know about you...maybe you've never been afraid about just being yourself...maybe you've never cared how many people are your friends or how many people like you :)  But there are many who do...just like school days!

Ok, let's take it one step further.  FB I believe is not just entirely like a virtual school yard.  I think there's also a layer of 'nightclub' in the mix.  Nightclub?  Hmmm well yes...I don't know how many of you have actually frequented these places...but well, I once was an expert (pre-Christian days).  You see, because FB isn't really Face to face, I have found that people can try to get away things that are usually socially unacceptable.  Or also just do things that I'm sure they wouldn't do, if they were really face to face with many of the people whom they're friends with.  Sometimes I'm just baffled at some of the stuff I've had to see and yes, it does remind me of the uninhibited, unsociable night clubber :) And on a serious note, we really do have to have all our wits about us, because even in this virtual social world there are real predators!
So to Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question raised here...

I'm not going to tell you what to know what I've decided.

I'd just rather prompt some though and discussion ;)

And as for me, I'm going to continue fishing in the FB virtual school yard/night club...but unlike my high school days where I wanted to be popular and blend in, I now want to stand out and unashamedly be myself...what about you?