A Simple Life

I’ve just discovered this FB page called “No Sidebar”.  A friend tagged me on an article  (see here) entitled  “because I don’t want the things the world wants for me” after she finished reading my blog called torn betwixt my dreams and just being 

I realise that there’s a whole world of people out there who just want to get off this speed train of what our lives have become.  I’ve had an internal battle going on for some time about this very thing.

cropped-dscn1620.jpgI’ve always wanted “A Simple Life”.  All those years ago when I first started this blog and called it  “Cottage Dreams – A simple life, Cottage dreams and Frugal Fashion” it was something I was yearning for and trying to create in the midst of the busy space we found ourselves in.  I lived in the country and yet I always wanted to go deeper to find the peace I was yearning for and in some ways still yearning for.  We would do what we called ‘day runners’ just to get away and find some space to breath and fill the longing for that peace. Here’s one of our little getaways!

cropped-italy-cottage2.jpgAs I think about that now, I am realising more and more that the peace I seek will only be found when I finally am at peace with me.  I need to stay true to myself, true to the things I love, true to the things that make my heart sing and if i’m not quite sure, or, if  somehow I’ve lost touch with those things, then I need to find them again.

It means being ok with liking things that maybe a best friend doesn’t like and enjoying doing the things that maybe my man doesn’t enjoy so much.   It means not going with the trend just because it’s the only way you think you can be successful.  It means resisting the urge to do something because of those words “you should”.   It may mean being happy with the outcome that may not look quite like what you had dreamed it to be.

So I flicked over to read the article that my friend sent me and found these words…

“Every day, more stuff comes into our lives: stuff in our houses, stuff on our calendars, stuff on our minds. All that stuff gets in the way of where we really want to go and who we really want to be … it’s time to make a change.” ( Sidebar Homepage) 

Wow, I couldn’t have said better how I was feeling.  I feel like I’ve walked around a mountain and up ahead I can see the place from which I embarked and as I draw close it’s slowly dawning on me that this place is good… this place of simple pleasures, trees and birdsong,  planes, trains and automobiles and things of an older era – all here in Guildford reminding me of what I really love and reminding me that the person I am – and that who I am inherently is ok.  I don’t have to be a Chameleon for someone to like me and nor do you.chameleon-20clip-20art-canstock12451364




I just have to be me.




Torn Betwixt

Some days quite frankly I am OVERWHELMED  by social media and all the voices simultaneously urging me to be somebody, to build something, to chase those dreams, to grab them with two hands and not let go lest I be MEDIOCRE  or even worse than that of a FAILURE.

Some days I wish I could silence them all, step out into my garden, grow some more veggies, then sit on my rocking chair and perhaps just play my ukelele for no reason….some days I do, but is that enough?



Years ago I found myself singing a song written by Amy Grant  “All I ever have to be” (ok, so now you know how old I am)

Even then, in what seemed like such a quieter more easy-going time of life – no mobile phones, no Facebook, no Instagram, no half-written book – there we’re still pressures to be someone, to do something and I remember the words of this song providing comfort to me in a time when I didn’t know where I was heading.

I was young and had escaped a life of control in a church that just went all wrong and found myself making a home on the other side of the country.  Suddenly my very tiny world had just become very big and choices were lining up in front of me! “WHAT WAS I MEANT TO DO?”

It was about then that the “Continentals” came to my then home town, town, Geelong. They were looking for young singers, passionate about the gospel, to join their traveling band.  I’d had just gotten myself a boyfriend, a handsome,  rather wild Maori boy, (who now is my husband) IMG_0120_2This alone was an adventure for me now that I was no longer under the watchful eye of the controllers!  If I joined the continentals I’d have to leave him and my new home in the east.  It was a dilemma….for a few minutes at least until I decided to stay put and see what this new life had for me.  I’d met some Maori crew at the local church and we formed a little band of our own so for the moment I was satisfied but wondered “had I maybe just missed the biggest opportunity of my life?”

That’s where the song came into play

“All I Ever Have To Be”

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am – I think I am

Then you gently re-remind me
That You’ve made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who You are
Who You are…

And all I ever have to be is what You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You’ve made me

And so it was, life took me on a little journey.  A journey of love and marriage, baby number one and the odd gig around town and it was good.  The Continentals went back to America without me and I sang Amy’s song to myself, often, reminding myself that He (my heavenly Father) had a plan all along.  I didn’t need to hustle, to scheme or to over-plan my life.  He’d take care of the rest.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years but Amy left me with a little dream that I’m still nurturing after all these years.  I’m resting in it tho, gently holding it and allowing it to take shape.  This ones been a long time in the shaping but unfolding it any earlier would be so wrong.  So I wait.  And in the waiting, the dream becomes more beautiful and perhaps I do too.

So if you’re feeling the pressure to BE SOMEBODY just remember that you already are someone special without the dream and that maybe in the waiting something very beautiful is happening in you!

Psalm 139:13 says that He knew you even before your ma and pa thought of you! (my paraphrasing there) That’s pretty crazy and in Jeremiah 1:5 God tells Jeremiah the same thing and not only that but that He has also consecrated him…set him apart….(that’s made for a God purpose) and what about in Ephesians 2:10 where it says we’ve been created to do good works before the foundation of the world?  Sometimes we just need reminding.  Sometimes we just need that childlike faith and trust him in the process.IMG_6761 we


Sure, I can build my dream but first I must understand what He says about it and not get all carried away with building something before the foundation is laid just the way He planned.

Stay the course my dear friends.