Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

29 January 2009

The Key to the Door

So why "The Key to the Door?" Well, two reasons really.

Firstly, I recently had my birthday, and turned the auspicious age of 42. I laughed with a friend that 42 was double 21. If at 21 one can get the key to the door then surely at 42 one is entitled to a second key…maybe a back door key if the lock is different. And as I was reflecting on my newly acquired "two key" status, it came to me that if one were to have a blog, then "The Key to the Door" might well be as good a title as any.

But out of the mirth comes a happy co-incidence in the second reason. First and foremost I am a Christian. So it goes without saying that much of what I will reflect upon in this blog - in amongst posts about daily life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend (and maybe even letter writer and one time primary school teacher) - is Jesus, who is THE key to THE door.

Jesus says of himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) If this sounds unfamiliar and yet interesting to you, click on the Two Ways to Live button in the sidebar, have a read and see what you think.

26 January 2009

The Year of Optimism

I was introduced to the world of blogs about 18 months ago. A dear friend keeps a blog about her quilting adventures and achievements. She let me have a peek one day and I have read it ever since. Other blogs followed…

And I must say, I have benefitted a great deal from blog lurking. For one who threads a needle about once a year I can now keep my end up in a conversation about quilting! Elsewhere I have been encouraged to start reading again – something more substantial than recipe and parenting books – and I find that my sleeping brain is awakening! I have been inspired to rekindle a habit lost in the mists of babies - of starting the day reading the Bible and praying before the other members of our household get up, which for me is the best way to start the day. I have learned a good principle that in times of upheaval, life needs to be simplified and the two priorities to maintain in addition to coping with the cause of the upheaval are nurturing one's family (which basically equates to having good, simple food on the table and clothes to wear) and nurturing one's soul (which for me means keeping up those times in God's Word and in prayer.) Many other things can be put aside for a season. Even blogging, I suppose!

Inspired by my blog reading, I have been musing about keeping a blog on and off during the last year. More recently, I found myself reading the occasional HOW TO BLOG article. One memorable article stated that in order to maintain a successful blog one must:-

Read a wide collection of blogs.

Well, I read a few.

Be an active reader of blogs and therefore be an active member of the blogging community. That means leaving comments on others' blogs. Lots of comments. And they need to be well thought out, well written comments – not just a quick sentence here or there.
Well, I leave the occasional comment. And I guess a couple of them were well thought out.

Post an entry on your blog every day. And the large majority of your posts must be significant – not just humorous one-liners. And it goes without saying that each post must be well written.
Well, good writing is fine with me. But every day? Sorry – that counts me out. Frequently? Yes. Everyday? Nope. And so I put the blogging idea aside.

Just before New Year I had dinner with a friend on her annual trip home from England for three weeks of summer weather and catching up with friends. As we talked over dinner, we both decided that 2009 should be designated "The Year of Optimism" and such a year would be characterised by actually doing some of those "one day I might…" things and maybe even taking some risks. For my friend, risk taking is at the mountain climbing end of the spectrum. Now as you know, I am at the chess end of the spectrum but because I am not that keen on chess, my first risk-taking adventure in this year of optimism, from the safety of my desk and with no mountain in sight, is this blog. Welcome to "The Key to the Door."

25 January 2009

Where is Blogging on the Thrill Spectrum?

Slightly over twenty years ago (oh my, was it THAT long ago??) I did Educational Psychology – one of the compulsory units in my teaching degree. I can hardly remember a thing from the course apart from one delightful paragraph from the prescribed textbook concerning levels of thrill. It stated that people have different levels of thrill – that for some, to get the adrenalin pumping, they would need to climb mountains or engage in other such forms of dangerous sport. (The term "extreme sports" had not yet been coined!) Others could achieve the same effect from playing a game of chess. Whilst not that keen on chess I remember thinking, somewhat forlornly, that I was more at the chess end of the spectrum.