Thursday, 19 April 2018

Ladies Who Brunch | The Tiny Giant




Brunch. 1. (Noun) A meal that serves as both breakfast and lunch. 

I'm quite the enthusiast for brunch.  Any time when people come together to share food and share life is special to me.  At my old workplace a few friends and I used to have brunch together on our day off.  It is one of my fondest memories from my last few months of working there. 

At the start of this week I made some last minute plans to meet up with a couple of my classmates.  We explored Petersham for a while then decided to visit The Tiny Giant for some food.




The café has a beautiful wooden interior as well as an outdoor seating area.  The menu included a great selection of both breakfast and lunch foods, as well as an amazing assortment of pastries and sandwiches in the display cabinet - we were most definitely spoiled for choice!  As someone who is quite indecisive the staff were very kind and patient with us; allowing us to order some drinks whilst we decided on sweet or savoury foods for our brunch date.




Between us we ordered the chicken wrap, the pulled pork bun, and the Belgian waffles, I also went for the mango smoothie to add something sweet to my savoury choice. 

It was such a lovely place to catch up with friends and to spend time enjoying good food.  The café is bright and friendly, and the atmosphere matches it so well - pair this up with amazing food and I know for sure that I'll probably be heading back quite soon.



If you're in the Petersham area I highly recommend a visit to The Tiny Giant, it's a short walk from the train station and I am sure that you will be just as impressed with the café as I was. 




Carolyn 
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Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Journey Ahead


 


I remember the community of cottages,
surrounded by the mountains.
Protected and kept safe
by the very creation that was placed there.

I remember the settled feeling that was within my heart;
I felt at home. 
Walking through the garden
then down to the shore.

I remember my heart feeling exposed;
there was no hiding from the need to be vulnerable.
The setting was overwhelming,
and yet, there was a closeness that comforted my heart. 

And now, He is opening my heart;
teaching me to grow
teaching me to choose Him
teaching me to accept grace. 

A time of raw healing;
a daily refinement
a daily choice
a daily love that is poured out. 

I remember the community of cottages,
surrounded by the mountains.
Protected and kept safe
by the very creation that was placed there.

I remember what felt like home,
and now I look to the journey ahead;
trusting that He will lead me there again,
even as a new place beings to feel the same way.   



Carolyn 

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Thankful // The March List




Starting a thankful book is something that I have contemplated many times before.  When I was travelling last year it was something I briefly attempted but unfortunately didn't continue with. 

This month I decided it was time to start a thankful journal, to end each day making a list of things that I'm thankful for from that day, and to stay committed in doing to doing this each day. 

It's been a comforting way to finish my days.  It has helped me to reflect on the big and the little moments that have shaped the past month, and now I'm looking forward to sharing some of these moments with you. 


1.  Gods Grace and Refinement
This month hasn't always been easy and there are moments that I look back on with regret.  God has definitely been teaching me the beauty of His grace and the necessity of His refinement. 


2.  The Grounds of Alexandria
At the end of March I visited The Grounds of Alexandria with my friend Megan.  This is something I had hoped to do whilst visiting Sydney last year but unfortunately wasn't able to.  It was such a beautiful place to explore and it was wonderful to spend some time with Megan, she has such a loving nature.


3.  Video Calls
I'm beginning to feel a lot more settled here in Australia; I'm enjoying my college course, adjusting to my new routine, and spending time with some lovely new friends.  But something that I am thankful for is being able to video call home, to be able to talk with my family and close friends has been really lovely and their prayer and support has meant so much to me. 


4.  New Stationary
I treated myself to some new notebooks in the sale at Koorong and I'm so pleased with them.  I don't think I could ever own too many noteboks so I'm quite excited to add some new ones to my collection. 


5.  Painting my Toenails
Sometimes it's the little things that can bring us happiness, and for me this week that was painting my toenails.  This is something that I don't usually do but since I'm wearing flip flops a lot now (or not even bothering with shoes) I thought it might be nice.  It's a little thing but it's made me happy. 


6.  Caitlin
My fellow ISFJ who has been showing me so much love and care since I arrived in Australia.  I am so thankful for this lovely girl; late night ice cream trips, photos of puppies, pointing me back to God, watching cute Cinderella movies together, and sharing good books. 


7.  Maire & her family.
I was able to finish my month staying with my friend Maire and her family.  It was wonderful to end the month spending time with them, they made me feel like a part of their family.  We tried out a new recipe, went to the Blue Mountains for a day, and enjoyed the sunshine by the pool. 


Although it was a busy month, March was a good month and one I can look back on with a thankful heart.  Let me know in the comments what you're thankful for from the past month. 



Carolyn 
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Saturday, 24 March 2018

His work in progress.




"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139:23-24


The refining isn't easy or always wanted, but it is necessary.  Slowly but surely He is teaching me to let go of my selfishness and to embrace His grace instead.  It's taking practice but He brings me comfort when I dwell in my brokenness; I am His work in progress.  Despite my failings, He is showing me His light and His love. 

He is shining in the hearts of those around me, and in the hearts of those I have left behind.  The hearts that I am holding so dearly in my own.  He is shining in the unexpected kindness and in the intricate details that only He could compose.  He is shining in my heart and I am thankful for the warm glow that He is nurturing within me. 

The love I feel is but a fragment of the love that He has for me.  It is overwhelming yet I want more and more; to be constantly in awe of His great love.  To be running to Him despite my failings and looking for ways to love Him more. 

It's a foreign love and an uncomfortable grace.  He knows me and yet He loves me.  He knows me yet He still loves me.  It can be difficult to accept and so I try to go on without it, only to fall on my knees and be reminded that there is no way I can do this without Him. 

The refining is sometimes painful, I long for the results but my stubborn heart can be so reluctant and so selfish.  And yet, He is there with an open love that whispers my name and calls me His own.  I am His, and I am His work in progress. 



  Carolyn 
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Monday, 12 March 2018

He is still good.





Waking up to sunlight dancing across the white stone wall; delicate and elegant.  It is comforting and reminds me that today is all I have to face and that He is by my side.  I feel as though I am entering this season a little unprepared and fragile, but I am thankful that He is unchanging.  Thankful that He is still good. 

Taking off the unrealistic expectations I have placed on others and learning the vitality of looking to Him first.  That while I am dwelling on my brokenness and clinging equally tight to my pride and my shame, He is still good. 

Attempting to face each day on my strength, allowing selfishness to rule in my heart, forgetting that I am a work in progress, that striving for perfection will break me even more than I can imagine.  My heart has been scattered and fragile yet He has brought comfort and care, He is still good. 

Setting up home in my brokenness when I fall down, then a wave of His grace crashes against my heart and throws me into the swell of His reckless love.  Washing up on the shore and as my eyes flicker open He is there to hold me and help me, He takes up all my view and I feel safe.   He helps me up and guides me to put one foot in front of the other. Although I'm a little reluctant and prone to wander, He is still good. 

The sunlight is still dancing across the white stone wall; delicate and elegant.  It is comforting and reminds me that today is all I have to face and that He is by my side.  Although I feel I am entering this season a little unprepared and fragile, he has given me a pulse and therefore He has given me a purpose.  I am thankful that He is unchanging.  Thankful that He is still good.  My Heavenly Father is still good. 


Carolyn 
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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Twenty One



Twenty one.  A mixture of happy and homesick.  A mixture of thankful and thoughtful.  Unsure of how to balance it all yet feeling weightless at the same time. 

Twenty one years of laughter and heartache, learning and mistakes, and learning from mistakes.  Twenty one years of  having my heart impacted by people, the blessing of family, and friends who feel like family.  Twenty one years of growth and exploring, love and loss, strength and fragility. 

Twenty one years, countless heartbeats, immeasurable moments; all held together by the beauty of His grace.  It's strange to think that the One I once ran away from is now the One who I am constantly running to; calling His name and aching for His presence.  That even though I am so unworthy of His love, my Heavenly Father is crafting together my life with the most intricate detail and precision. 

Twenty one years of His beauty on display for all to see, although often messily hidden by my selfishness.  Now His reckless love shines through and He uses my broken past as the platform to display His mercy and the transformation only he can bring.  The cracks in my façade give way to a light that is far more powerful than my brokenness.  Years of feeling lost and now I am facing the future years with Him by my side, never leaving me and always loving me. 

Twenty one years old and yet, a child to my Heavenly King. 


Carolyn 
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A Settling Heart




It's strange how quickly He can make my heart settle.  Even when I fight Him, even when I'm reluctant, even when I just want to dip my toe in He pulls me head first into the deep end.  He forces me to trust and shows me the beauty in being brave.  He shows me that He is faithful even when I am faithless, that He is with me even when I am unlovable, and that He is gracious even though I am so undeserving. 

He settles my heart with the sunlight that's dancing on the wood, the way that it tugs at my heart and reminds me of home.  Something so simple yet it solidifies the moments for me.  Reminding me that I am here, in this moment, and so is He.  My heart aches for home yet He brings me comfort; joy in the unexpected and a love for Him that far outweighs my fears and anxieties. 

He is at work in my heart in a time when I am learning that He alone is home, that His grace is unbounding and that I need to get up and keep trying no matter how many times I fall, that He is holding me so much closer than I can understand, and that he has blessed me far beyond my worth. 

It's strange how quickly He can make my heart settle.  Yet at the same time it simply makes sense, that He alone, my Heavenly Father, can settle my heart. 


Carolyn 
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