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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Do you encourage other women? 

Or is this something, quite frankly, you struggle with?

Let’s face it, we’re all not natural hostesses or have ten best friends readily accessible!

However, we can all be encouragers, and in doing so, be blessed in return…

Now, I’m not saying I have all the answers…but what I will say is that I know some pretty amazingly, encouraging women, and have seen/experienced, some very inspiring encouragement…

So, I thought why not share it around, and encourage each other to encourage!

Let the flow of ideas begin…and share yours in the comment area below!

In preparation for this post, I decided to access the good old handy Thesaurus, to help stimulate my brain…and I was very impressed with what I found…so I thought; why not use this as a base!

So here goes…Encouragement, Thesaurus: English (U.K.)

(comfort, assurance, encouragement, hope, guarantee, support, backing, faith)
Do you reassure the women around you and are you available if needed?  Do you bring calmness, into a turbulent situation?  If another woman asked you to accompany her to a court trial, would you reassure you by your accompanying presence?

(assistance, aid, benefit, support, service, relief, comfort, advantage, succour, good thing, reinforcement)
Are you a helper?  Are you willing to get your hands dirty?  You know what I mean…the type of woman who says yes to encourage others!  Home removals, baby-sitting, brings the washing in while having a cuppa, passes on hand-me-down clothes, mends clothes, loans money, gives a ride, supervises the mob of kids at the park, while the other Mum goes grocery shopping alone…

(stimulus, spur, motivation, encouragement, muse)
Do you inspire other women around you?  Sometimes women don’t need to be told what to do…WHAT???…as if this surprises us!  We all know that we don’t really appreciate being told what to do, by other women…however it’s true that we can be encouraged by what other women around us do!  What woman have you been inspired by in your life, or who are you currently inspired by?  Sometimes, setting the example is a wonderful encouragement!

I just want to pause here for a moment, to share about a wonderfully inspiring women’s group that I know about; it’s called Heart Sisters.  Once a year, any women from the community can attend a fun, free evening, with an inspiring guest speaker, cuppas and supper, to obtain a secret ‘heart sister’!  Over the following 12 months, each woman surprises her secret heart sister with small gifts, and the reassurance that she is being thought of, and prayed for.  During the next annual evening, a part of the night is set aside for the women to reveal themselves to their heart sister, before getting a new one :)  The two women I know who started this event are very inspiring and encourage others by their efforts (this is just one community event they are involved in)!

(cheerfulness, optimism, merriment, joyfulness, liveliness, good spirits)
Now, you don’t need to act the clown to show good cheer for encouragement…however, it’s not very encouraging to be the sourpuss either!  I think it’s a pretty safe generalisation to say that we women like to have a laugh when we all get together…so if you find this tricky, just try to relax and maybe even have some funny remarks up your sleeve!  Sometimes, even long-time running  quips are fantastic for putting a smile on a friend’s face :)

(admiration, commendation, approval, acclaim, tribute, applause, compliment, recommendation)
Praise?  Isn’t that just something we give kids, you may ask?  Perhaps…but do you provide it for other women?  Even some of those women, who you actually may be secretly jealous of? 

And of course, I mean sincere, genuine praise!
Because, YES, we all need it…and sometimes the women who you may think don’t really need it, actually do.  I know a woman who was very blessed with talent, and did use her talents to bless her family and others, yet behind closed doors was not given much praise and was put down by her husband!

(improvement, increase, enhancement, lift, helping hand, pep talk)
How can we boost each other up?  Something I appreciate hugely, because I am aware of the time and thought gone into it, is a simple homemade, thoughtful, handwritten card!  It may sound trivial, but some kind words, in a pretty card are sometimes few and far between.  With texting, emails and social media, even a card in the mail can be RARE!

REMEMBER...we don't all have the same talents...but use your giftings to encourage the women around it your own way!

Here's a little something to make you smile...


A short poem to finish…

Do you encourage, or do you grumble?

Do you speak blessing, or curses you mumble?

Can you help out, or do you shun?

Do you bring love, or reject the Son?

Do you bring cheer, or add to sorrow?

How will you be remembered, when comes tomorrow?

God bless, Melanie :)

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sole Parenting!

A self-portrait attempt...trying something new
The sole parent…

Oh, just even typing those words stirs emotion…

Are you a sole parent? 

Or are you someone who knows one?

Chances are high, that whoever you are reading this, that you’ve answered yes to one of the above questions…

Sometimes sole parenting can seem like an epidemic, and can make us SO angry, because it seems SO unfair!

Well, I believe that it is UNFAIR and that our anger is totally justifiable!

You see we live in a world, where things are not as they should be…our world is broken, and is awaiting its restoration…imagine a perfect world with no death, and perfect peace!  No fighting, no tears, no pain…this is God’s plan! 

For us to be restored to Him through Jesus, and for the world to be made new!

I get very angry when I see struggling sole parents!  However, I don’t get angry at God; because I know it’s not His design, or will for us to be broken people, with broken relationships.

But what about the pain experienced during the interim? You may ask, and it is a valid question!

Well I think that FOCUS is the key!

F – Faith:  Faith in Jesus Christ, that He is enough to sustain, protect and provide for you!  DON’T look to singles bars…seriously!  Is your faith shaky? Well re-new it in Jesus and find REAL Focus!  And a tip for carers, is to realise that single parents are valid members of the Body of Christ, so please remember this, show them equal respect and keep them in your prayers!

O – Optimism:  Don’t sit and mope in your distress, be optimistic and pro-active!  Get busy loving and guiding your kids!  Remember Timothy from the New Testament?  Who were his main influences?  His Mum and Grandmother!  Sadly his Dad isn’t mention…but did God abandon Timothy?  No way!  Remember God cares for people in distress!!!  Perhaps a member of your family is a sole parent, and you are able to help out…DO IT!  You’ll encourage them, and also be pro-active in affecting your own emotions!  You’d be surprised at what even a small effort made once a fortnight could do to help…trust me, I know!

C – Commitment:  No matter what the world throws at you, you know that you’re committed!  No matter what happens, you’re going to get out of bed every day, and love your kids, the best that you can…DON’T settle for cheap love because you don’t have a partner!  Teach your kids that it’s ok to be single…is it what you chose?  Possibly not…but check out the Bible, it is ok to be single…you’re still just as important to God!  BE COMMITTED!  Love your kids like you’ve never been hurt!  Is it easy?  No!  But all things are possible with God!  And if you fall down, pray, and get back up!  And carers are you committed and have you made this known?  Sometimes Christian brothers and sisters are needed to fulfil real needs, when a parent is unavailable.

U – Understanding:  A single parent’s life is not easy…a lot of understanding is required!  Firstly, understand that you have real, adult needs that cannot be met through your child or children.  Take time out from your children when needed, and don’t feel guilty about it; you’ll be a better parent for it!  Make sure that you have an adult support network of family, friends and professionals :) Secondly, understanding is needed for your kids…don’t forget that kids grieve, and get stressed to.  Children need support, and you need to be their advocate to ensure they get it from you, and other people.  Thirdly, understanding is needed to be shown by others.  Sometimes others can be too quick to judge; the messy house; the back chatting child…I’m sure you know what I am talking about!

S – Sanity:  To remain sane…and I am actually being quite serious here…take your time, but try to slowly, and gently build yourself a positive, future picture/story, and take steps to achieve this.  Set some short-term achievable goals, and build from there.  Remember, start small, and slowly dream building your possible future.  It may take some time to be able to do this, when your pain is very raw.  But when you’re ready you’ll know, perhaps begin with taking classes in a hobby you like…or aiming for a promotion…or planning a small renovation…or a family holiday for you and the kids!  And carers do whatever you can, to help make these plans possible :)

In love, Melanie!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Royals Down-Under!

Yesterday morning after I had gotten my kids off to school, I was thinking about what I should try and achieve for the day…I knew my Mum was visiting later, so I decided to rope her into helping me with a task.

I braced myself as I dialled her number…you see, many times when I’ve rang, if I didn’t speak quickly enough, my Dad hung up the phone, as he thought I was some telemarketer!  So there I was, braced and listening, getting ready to say, “Hello” as fast as I could…when he answers quite casually, remarking… “Hello Mel, it’s a boy!”

To which I replied… “Pardon?”   Wondering… “Now who in the family was pregnant?”

But…Oh no, once again I was caught off guard, with not knowing the world wide news!  However I think that perhaps I was able to get away with it, being a busy mother myself :)

I confessed to my Dad that I had no idea what he was talking about…and after he told me of Prince William and Kate’s new son, he added something like… “You know your mother”...

You see my Mum has a soft spot for the British Royal family…

I actually find it quite amusing though, how often complete strangers, just because they are known in some way to others, can be treated like family members!

I mean seriously, who gets told, “It’s a boy!” when they phone their parents, when no-one in their family has had a baby!  LOL

I actually have a famous Australian relative…and she has told me some of the awful things, complete strangers have said to her…because they think they know her!  Bizarre, but true…

Later the same day I received a text message from a friend stating, “god via twitter… I had a #1 Royal Baby once.  Much more low key.  No reporters.  No hospitals.  No sex :)"

Hmmm…interesting :)

I must admit that here in Australia the British Royal family are treated more like celebrities than royalty, and this seems to have increased more since the marriage of William & Kate.  Interestingly there seems to be more respect shown here for Prince Frederik and Mary of Denmark…which is probably because Mary is ‘our girl’ and previously we’ve not heard much about this Royal family…unlike all the gossip and slander thrown about in past years, with the Prince Charles and Diana scandal.  Here in Australia, Diana was portrayed as the mistreated underdog, which endeared her to the Aussies, and Mary’s story has been the ‘fairy-tale come true’!  But overall, yes, there probably is a marked lack of respect, and more of a celebrity/fascination attraction with royals, these days here in Australia (IMO)…

So did you escape hearing “It’s a boy”???  What’s your reaction, are you excited or not fussed?  Do you think it’s wonderful for the British Royal family or is this birth, to you, just another baby’s birth? Or are you somewhere in the middle??? 

Tell me what YOU think?

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Health…what is this to you?

Defined muscles, with low body fat?

Trim and fit?

The ability to resist the slice of chocolate cake?


The daily walk?

Inner Peace?

Today I went for a walk with my dog to meet a friend for coffee (yes, I was making a healthy effort) and I had some time to think about our ideals of a healthy person…

I don’t want to just tell you what I think…but I think it’s beneficial and healthy ;) for us to think about our underlying, foundational beliefs about healthiness if we are to really care for ourselves…

It seems that there can be so many extremes and not a lot of balance, when it comes to health…I’ll try to explain…and I could be wrong…this is simply my perspective, this is not based upon Aussie stats…however if you’d like to comment with some stats that’d be cool…

For example, it seems like there is either the lazy person or the exercise addict; the thinker or the jock; the person who always thinks they’re fat or the person who always thinks they’re not big enough…

It seems like the real healthy person who has a balanced life of spirituality, work, rest and play is rare…

Too many of us (myself included) are ruled by our flesh/desires and lack discipline to maintain a truly healthy, balanced life…addiction is all too common…

Addiction to…food, exercise, chocolate, sugar, caffeine, serving, pleasure…

Balance…do you have it?


Tuesday, 16 July 2013


A definite ending…shutdown…conclusion…termination…

And then there is the modern use of the word…the up-sell version, meaning an attempt to move one… perhaps an attempt to help people?

But, Ahhhh, the phrase moving-on…such an awful expression!

Just a small plea…if someone you know is facing a major closure in their life, acknowledge it, and please refrain if possible, from jumping so quickly onto the moving-on train, in an attempt to avoid the awkwardness…it really doesn’t help, it’s an uncomfortable, sticky Band-Aid…

Closure…have you been there? Do you know this place well?

I know this place…I am a reluctant tenant for a time…

How long will the tenancy last, I don’t know?

But what I do know, is that I will not be moving on…

I will be continuing to move forward with Christ.

What a glorious hope we have in Him…

No, life is not always kind, and easy…closures are very real and painful…but what a tangible hope He provides…

Some doors may close, but only He opens the door that NO-ONE can close…