Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How long does it take to fall in love?
A lifetime. Each and every day preferably.

Don't you just love that question... and answer? I read it in Melbourne's The Age newspaper recently. The writer commented anonymously on a relationship blog and gave his answer to why some find love, while others never do. Why some couples who once had it, wonder where it's gone...

When love is something you cherish every day, then every day is the perfect day to fall in love.

This is why so many are drawn to read romance. We don't just relish that one moment of conquest, when the hero secures the heroine and makes her his forever. (Although that is a pretty fine moment!) We all identify with the victories which lead to forever. The small yet poignant moments when even a look is as powerful as a grand gesture. And sometimes, even more so.

When grand gestures become yesterday's story, it's the adding together of a lifetime of everything else, which keeps us loving. It's the hard work, the silent death to self, the giving... when we think we have no more to give.

It's one more step, as promised by two dear friends at their wedding a few months ago.

I, Nathan, take you, Melanie, to be my beautiful wife. 
It is my promise to you from this day forward, 
to make every effort to step out for you no matter the cost.

In faith, in hope, and in love... one more step.
In our laughter and sadness... I will take one more step.
In our good times and bad times... I will take one more step.

When life is easy, and we are in passionate love,
I will take one more step.
When life is stressful and chaotic and I feel like we are drifting apart, 
I will take one more step.

In the times when I fell like I simply can't take one more step
... I will take one more step.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to cook kangaroo!

A friend recently asked me if there would be a meal of kangaroo in my novel. It made my stomach churn just to think about it. I had enough trouble watching my hero gut a little rabbit. But in the interest of historical accuracy and from my love of all things Colonial Australian, I delved into the history books and found this recipe.

While I know kangaroo meat is easily found in Australian butcher shops today, I'm not sure the average cook will be too keen to reproduce this recipe from the 1870s. The name of the dish alone is enough to put me off! But... for your culinary adventures, I am pleased to present you with Slippery Bob!

Slippery Bob
Take kangaroo brains, and mix with flour and water. Make into batter. Season well with pepper, salt and then pour a table-spoonful at a time into an iron pot containing emu fat, and take them out when done. 'Bush Fare' - requiring a good appetite and excellent digestion.

I'll say......

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Three things the knitting needles taught me.

When my sweet friend Anthea gave me a ball of wool one Sunday after church, my first thought was to to pass it onto my dear mother, the much better knitter and accomplished crafter. Then I looked around at the groups forming in our church pews. Baby knitters negotiated their way around needles to cast on their first row with the able help of those familiar with this beloved pastime. Others, old friends with the cadence of knit and purl, tucked their wool into handbags and pockets, eager to get started at home. All of them, committed to knit woollen blanket squares for the Born-To-Knit campaign sponsored by Save the Children Australia. And I did not want to be left out.

So I revisited the skill my mother taught me, when, as a nine year old, I found myself stuck in bed with the chicken pox. And while I did, God met me there, to impress on my heart a few more life lessons.

1. Mistakes are ugly.
Unlike the gap left by a lost tooth in a little child's smile, a dropped stitch is not at all cute. As creator of this piece, I discovered I couldn't continue knitting when one of my much needed stitches fell away. Not only did my square look wrong sporting a hole, it grieved me to think its purpose would be compromised. 

2. Mistakes are worth fixing.
The first time I suffered a loss, I packed my knitting into the car and drove to Mum's house for help. I couldn't remember how to correct a mistake until I watched her pull the needle off the square and remedy my mess. How good it looked, all restored! Days later, when it happened again, I did the same. Horrified, my kids looked on as I slid the needle away leaving the knitted square vulnerable to more unravelling. But I knew what I had to do this time, and so I mounted my own salvage attempt. 

3. Mistakes are the materials of God's restoration.
While I hated to stop the rhythm of my knitting, I knew I had to retrace my steps and return to where the damage occurred. I had to slow down and work with great patience. Sometimes, this meant undoing many rows to get to my mistake. To approach the error from an unfamiliar angle and work at the delicate task of gathering what was lost. To acknowledge wrong. To sacrifice something in exchange for restoration. 

And it's here where I savoured the best lesson. God reminded me how much He has done to rescue me. How much He sacrificed to ransom all those who belong to Him from where they've slipped, and how He wants me to weave this in my life and relationships.

If I care so much for a lost thread of wool, how much more does He care for those who belong to Him? 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Luke 19:10