About Me

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Welcome friend, I'm Lynda Joy - grateful follower of Jesus, honoured wife to my darling, proud mother of 5, home-educator, massage therapist, & enthusiastic creative. I'm delighted that you are here, sharing this God-given treasure-hunt called life with me... So many gifts waiting to be discovered. So, here's to life, joy and health!

24 July 2012

We've Shifted House

I've got a new address... and I'm excited about it!

It's just like shifting house... and I've done that a few times :)

We ('we', because all the members of my family get roped in in one way or another)  are still finding our way around and making things fit just right. It's a process that takes time, but we are functioning...'LIFE'  is happening over at the new house.

It's the same me, the same family, the same desire to find all the gifts that HE has graciously given to us each day... just a new house that's in a better location for us, with better access for all of you.

The new address, so you know where to go, is http://fruitofgratitude.com/ ... real easy! Click on this link and it'll magically transport you through the streets of cyberspace to our new place. It'd be great to have a visit with you. Click like or even better, leave a comment ... love to hear your thoughts.

If you like visiting enough and want to return, then follow with email, facebook, twitter, or networked blog, so that I come to you each day... easily!

See you soon

19 July 2012

Morning 'music'...

3 gifts MUSICAL...

A new day...
 A fresh beginning...
  A song in my head as I wake.

Slip into fluffy slippers...
 Draw warm dressing gown tighter...
  Race madly as I hear 'music' of rubbish truck, and realise that I forgot to put it out last night-AGAIN!

Chatter of birds calling out praise for this new day...
  Sun silently rounding my horizon's edge...
    Drone of distant cars heading for adventures.

Click of kettle as it switches off...
 Connecting of computer bits & bobs as mechanical life appears...
  Emails emanating the music of communication ... and a delightful musical smile      http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G4nX0Xrn-wo&sns=em

Sleep encumbered salutations...
 Sharing of day's schedules...
  Spraying of hairspray signalling readiness for all of today.

Cacophony of morning clamour...
 Gratitude for gift of hearing...
   Morning 'music'- a gift!


"1000 Gifts"...

#201  Company on my morning walk
#202  Hearing the music of birds together
#203  Compassion from a friend's heart
#204  The promise of a cuddle when my darling returns
#205  Being encircled with daughter's care
#206  Fresh perspective with a new day
#207  Food for my grumbling tummy

18 July 2012

Hanging Down...


Tears hanging down...
Heart hanging down...
Dreams hanging down...

Pete Wilson said,
It's those unexpected shattered dreams that provide us with twists and turns in life where we meet God. Rarely do we surrender when we feel strong and in control. But when a dream is shattered, when life takes an unexpected turn and veers out of control, that's when we fall to our knees. That's when a new dream can grow. http://www.incourage.me/2012/07/i-will.html

Pride hanging down...
Control hanging down...

John 5:19 "Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."
What does He mean when He says, "The Son can do nothing of Himself"? Is Christ helpless? Without the Father's help, can He do no more than any other man?

v30 : "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."
He seeks the will of the Father. He is saying, "I cannot act independently of the Father." He limits Himself to do only those things that the Father desires Him to do. He can do nothing that the Father does not want Him to do.    *"The Life of Christ" by Frank Hamrick

Will hanging down...

If we want something that is not the same as the Father, then we are CHOOSING our sinful nature with our will.

Choices hanging down...

Sometimes we have already chosen & don't realise it... wrong dreams...dreams that have become idols taking the adoration and focus that belongs to our Father.

Just as Christ's works witness to His deity, so mine witness to what I am...

Shame hanging down...

I bow my heart down...

My Saviour reaches down...

And lifts me up... I am forever grateful!


"1000 Gifts"...

#197  HIS heart of love
#198  Begonia hanging down

#199 PawPaw hanging down

#200  Clouds hanging down

 with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

17 July 2012

3 gifts of Stone in the Earthquake

3 Gifts IN STONE...

It came from nowhere...suddenly my world was shaking.
I've had them before...know these tremors well...but this one was unexpected.

An earthquake in my heart.

The element of surprise adds to the shock...I thought I had done things so that this quake wouldn't hit me again...prepared myself. This one was deeper.

My attempts at repairing the damage from previous quakes fell in piles of rubble. I see it strewn all around me. Useless fumbling attempts at making it right...it's not.

Automatically I try to defend myself against the force that I perceive is threatening to engulf me... each time these tremors have come I've done it... defended myself... protected myself by pushing away. This time it was different.

I still feel it's force...raw...deep...strong
There is no defense to protect me this time.

Stunned, I survey the wreckage. Too dazed to comprehend it fully, yet trying to grasp the magnitude. So much waste...so many broken pieces.

I do the only thing I know... I call out to HIM, the cornerstone of my heart...

...the only thing left standing true


"1000 Gifts"...

#192  Jesus, the cornerstone of my heart
#193  Mortar & Pestle - a gift from my darling - making foccaccia bread tonight

#194  A friend's first rose-bud
#195  Motivation and energy to clean the bathroom of all the mould - Yuk!
 #196  A winsome statue reminding me to pray for gorgeous daughter

15 July 2012

Dancing in HIS love

3 gifts YELLOW...

My favourite colour!
As a child, my favourite flower was the buttercup...growing wild
Later I would write a song... about buttercups dancing before our King

Sang it to my children.
Still one of creative daughter's favourites

A desire deep, to dance in the light of HIS mighty love

I'm learning to dance...
some days bold
other days fragile steps

HE leads with gifts
I follow with thanks
HE returns joy
I overflow yellow... happiness

A beautiful dance with the One who has my heart.


"1000 gifts"...

#182  Sunlight coming across floor
#183  Exciting night producing with creative daughter... she's clever!
#184  New yellow pegs
#185  Middle son made his famous pancakes for lunch...indulgence!
#186  The hard sweat of breaking new ground
#187  Love that carries us through
#188  Daughter cooking dinner and doing dishes as well
#189  Time with HIM and the guitar
#190  The weekends when my darling & I can talk more on the phone
#191  Creativity

14 July 2012

When I am down I must...

3 Gifts Learned...

I've been here before...      
and what did I learn?

remind myself...

Do not ask myself "How I feel?" Feelings are not what I am.
 Feelings are just flags to things happening deeper down.
What is it really? Ask the deep questions... unlayer the onion...

Tears overwhelming me... I pick up the phone. Dialing his very familiar number... my darling.

I have learned I must talk it out. I need to voice those thoughts that roll around inside. Many of them will become visibly foolish when spoken...I need to see them disappear... bubbles bursting.

with grateful thanks LomaPhotograpy©

Needing to be patient as I help his male-mind connect the dots already formed in my rabbit warren female-mind. His once disdained, logical viewpoint is now highly valued and sought after. He shows me another viewpoint.
He reminds me I am loved and I am grateful.

The second thing I have learned is to look at surrounding situations.
Am I too tired? Yes, YES, and YES!!!
Am I feeling frazzled with too many things on? Are there issues sitting unresolved in my heart that are causing my emotional reservoir to leak?
I have a sleep.

with grateful thanks LomaPhotography©

Talked through and somewhat refreshed by a sleep, I have learned to get up and do, and in the doing...sing.

Sometimes I cannot sing- too many emotions still close to the surface...brimming over, so I play music and let the words and the music wash over me.

I soak in the positive words... the God-praise.

So, I am off to clean my room. Fold clothes and put them away, tidy up and dust a little.
Maybe change my earrings and run the comb through my hair... and sing!

with grateful thanks LomaPhotography©

Lift up my eyes to the hills which is where my help comes from. Psalm 121:1


"1000 Gifts"...

#173  Inclusion
#174  Saturday
#175  Water fights as boys clean the cars
#176  Listening to my kids laughing together
#177  A sleep
#178  Emergency emotional download calls to my darling
#179  His patient listening ear
#180  Messages reminding me that my story matter to HIM
#181  Light through afternoon sun showers

13 July 2012

"Happy Birthday to You!"

A gift of Life, Growth, Decline...

Birthday thoughts swirling... again... 50 times over.

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

I ponder where I am going in this life-gift He's given to me.

Youth thought it was forever...new depths of realization dawning as to the proximity of my 'use-by-date'. What might that be? Do I have 20...30...40 'good' years left?
If more than, or at least half, of my time is over, what have I accomplished? What do I count for?

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

I talk to others older... further along.
I listen to experience and wisdom...

They tell me tales of oak trees that spend 50 yrs on only growth... growth slow and sure... roots deep, branches wide. Only after 50 yrs of preparation does the time of fruit come. What the oak tree was created for...

I hear of some with great lists of accomplishments, tell me it all means nothing...it's the lessons they have learned in showing love to someone close that they consider their greatest work.

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

Drawing it around themselves like a heavy cloak, I watch people slowly put on old age. Bodies frail and failing... pace slowing, but with prayer becoming their constant companion. Warriors of heaven... champions of those still coming.

It would seem as if these human bodies we are gifted with, are the cocoon for the emerging butterfly of our spirit.

Becoming a friend of God... forged in this life... growth nurtured through years of relating to Him... Decline of the body heralding the greatest work of all... two becoming one.

"1000 Gifts"...

#155  Girl talks with our son
#156  Impromptu photo sessions
#157  Blue eyes twinkling
#158  Dog indulging in warmth of the sun
#159  Giggles with daughter
#160  Coffee date set
#161  Running tongue around clean teeth
#162  "Aha!" moments with new ideas
#163  Friends who send 'spot-on' youtube clips... thanks for listening to His nudge
#164  Strawberries & vanilla ice-cream

12 July 2012

Pouring it on.


Water  filling...those empty jars being filled... clean life-giving water for the thirsty

Son is watching as I fill each jar... ever thinking, he's done it since small.
He watches as I adjust lighting and get camera ready... take photos of water jars in a row.

"Those jars are like us, Mum. 'Full' is like someone who spends a lot of time with God and His Word, ...' half-full', even 'quarter-filled'...doesn't matter how much water is in them there is always someone that our water can bless.
It's really all about grace - His grace. It just overflows from our jar and spills over into their's,... even if their's is fuller than our's."

"May I use your wise words?"
"Sure, Mum." Smile quietly peeking ... "There's no copyright yet."

I enjoy a laugh with my thoughtful son.

I ponder his words of wisdom...his jar emptied into me "...even a quarter-filled jar can overflow grace and blessing for someone."

"Might I have a small amount of water for someone, Lord?"

Phone call ... a heart heavy with the burdens of life. They share some of their story, and I feel for them.

I have no magic answers. No "Thus, saith the Lord..." No, this is how to make it right". I wish I did, so I could ease it for them.

Instead, I find myself asking them if they can see the gift in their situation. Find the blessing that God is gift-wrapping for them in their mess. Revel in His great love for them. Give Him grateful thanks.

This is the water He has been graciously pouring into my jar... received that I might give.


"1000 Gifts"...

#147 Washing drying in strong breeze
#148 Phone calls that keep in touch
#149 laughing with my darling
#150 hearing his day
#151 the opportunity to pour it on
#152 fresh apple
#153 the soft taste of filtered water
#154 excitement to read yesterday's psalms again now that I have more context...makes so much more sense!

11 July 2012



It had always been that way... dark ... lonely blackness ... painful ugliness. That is all I knew. I had heard the happy people say it should be different, but, since the day of my entry to this world, this was all I knew... my reality.

BUT LOVE...God was always close...a gift

I got married.
My darling wanted to come into my world. He wanted to be close. He was optimistic... positive.

I didn't feel understood... retreated further into the darkness.

BUT LOVE... My darling chose to love me...a gift
He loved me for twelve years without saying a word, before I came to see that I was not well. I had a weakness.

Ten further years my darling loved me before I knew I was free of the darkness.

I had been made weak by the lies fed to me by the enemy of my soul. I chose to believe them... formed beliefs around these lies...convinced by the evidence I saw.

BUT LOVE...God reached out and slowly unraveled the chains that bind.  His strength... a gift

He taught me... I learned... slowly... 2 steps forward, 1 step back... this opportunity to learn, a gift.

He led me... still leads me... my Shepherd.


This freedom is humbling... bends my knee in worship...Forever grateful.


"1000 Gifts"...

#138  A walk in the rain
#139  Opportunity to bless daughter with a ride to the bus stop in the heavy rain
#140  Son company in the supermarket
#141  Conversation with family Bible readings
#142  Finding the missing invoice
#143  Sun peeking through at day's end
#144  Quiet family time
#145  Remembering His goodness
#146  Sick son's goodnight request to not wake him in the morning unless he's dead :)

10 July 2012

Victorious through RHYTHM, RHYME & REASON

Intertwined gifts ~

The RHYTHM of the home-schooling drum started beating again today. Third term commences...
19 years and it's still makes my insides hurt ... like a heavy bass in a confined space.

But the gift of RHYTHM has brought another gift...DISCIPLINE
(no wonder my insides hurt...who likes that word?!)

When we started home educating, discipline was not a quality I had very much of. But as I submit to the RHYTHM, I find DISCIPLINE tags along like an uninvited, but not unwanted, friend. The steady RHYTHM of home educating and I, may still not be BFFs (I prefer, by nature, a freer rhythm), but we sure do get along betterer and betterer the more time we spend together.

When I look in envy at my darling's disciplined nature, he tells me the secret is in 'not giving one-self a choice'. Do not ask yourself what you feel like. If you go down that path you'll only get trouble. Instead, just go with the RHYTHM...the RHYTHM of the alarm clock, the RHYTHM of the day's requirements...the RHYTHM of life.

 I try...I fail...I try again...I do a little better

The RHYME of home educating has changed over the years. It's also been a gift.
It used to have verses of games, crafts and fun-based learning. The next stanza - projects, groups and integrated learning. Now in senior years it is much more memorization, studying and text-book learning. But what a lot I've learned as we've gone through it with each one.

The poetry of it all as a whole, etched in the overflowing minds of my children.

But have I done this labour of love for the beauty of the RHYME, or the discipline of the RHYTHM? A resounding 'NO'! There is a REASON!

A REASON...a hope...a dream that we work towards. The REASON makes us keep going when the RHYTHM is hard. The REASON makes us search out new RHYMES to help us through. The REASON makes us able to stand strong and weather the tough times.

RHYTHMs  and RHYMEs help REASON to cross the finish line ...victorious!


"1000 gifts"...

#128  An early morning 'goodbye' cuddle 
#129  Nice memories of yesterday
#130  More fb birthday wishes
#131  Photography tip from creative daughter
#132  The familiar rhythm of school
#133  Daughter's piano chords emerging into a song
#134  Being reminded of the reason we home educate
#135  Easy dinners
#136  Phone call to my darling
#137  Smoothie from kind son

9 July 2012

water running over skin...

3 gifts WATER...

plip      plip plip         plip            plip plip plip

unexpected gentle rhythm
clouds low to hills
rain on broad tropical plant leaves

lying in bed listening
absorbing the gentle sounds

It's been a day filled with laughter, noise and hugs
birthday singing and party games
feeling loved and honoured
but even the good takes out of your emotional reservoirs

I go for a warm shower
enjoy the water running over skin
still my soul

opening my Bible, I wash with the water of His word to me
quiet my mind
drink in the life

water still falling
nature's percussion
eyes shut

plip plip plip         plip     plip plip        plip


"1000 gifts"...

#118  Bird sucking sweet nectar
#119  Family love
#120  Laughter
#121  Thoughts & effort in expressions of love
#122  Cherries
#123  No hurry day
#124  So much party food I won't have to cook for a week!
#125  Warm shower to end a day
#126  His Word 
#127  Gentle rain to fall asleep to

8 July 2012

Awkward Feet


CONFLICT has been reigning in my soul for a long time over this issue. I've seen His hand leading and I've tried to follow but the path has been so unclear.

I've tripped - stubbed my tender toes, scuffed my emotional knees, cried some, called out for some guidelines please...


Instead, more leading into upsidedown - the steady path I'd always walked cracking, swaying, disappearing, as the ground on which it was built was shaken.

I tried earlier to step off the path, but quickly returned to the familiar. But, yesterday, I took that determined step off the old path - unsure of what to do, where to go, or how to move ahead. Tired enough of all the internal jostling to make the CHANGE and put up with awkward feet.

Then today He spoke

Pointing me in the new direction. Opening up the path immediately in front.

New foundations to be laid while at His feet - time in His presence.

I accept the CHALLENGE.

6 July 2012

Trusting Him in the Gifts of Red, White & Blue

3 GIFTS Red, White & Blue

"It's been 10 years today" has been heard going round the family conversation today.

 I pause and reflect...

10 years since we came to this 'sun-burnt land'. 10 yrs since we began to reside under the red, white & blue flag of Australia.
Before that,  the red, white & blue star-spangled banner. And before that was the red, white & blue of our birth, New Zealand. What a journey...

A journey from a young girl aspiring to be a missionary in a foreign land, and then being privileged to spend a year in Japan. Hearing God ask her to go back, and in fear saying "No" to the One who called & equipped. She had yet to learn to trust. "I don't want to go alone. Don't want to end up like all the other single girls out there." Yet to learn that He was her supply.

Now married with five precious lives in tow, her heart feels such guilt for the "No" that haunts her. She feels no release from her burden. "I'll go anywhere, Lord, just not back to the USA or Australia." childhood memories of both still etched firmly.
Her darling seeks His supplier, and feels the freedom to go.

They prepare to go to England and at the last minute a change... a call to come and help in the US. Visas through in record time. His door opened to lessons.  She trudges through the lessons...not the most willing student. Hard to be willing when fears are ruling.

Getting the children's breakfast, her darling calls from work and tells her to turn the TV on... Sept. 11 unfolds. She watches as a mourning nation rallies together... patriotism, support. She finds beauty and is finally pleased to be here.

He smiles as the very thing that caused her lesson precipitates the next lesson...changing countries again...to Australia. He leads her gently but firmly. She tries to find the beauty in the sun-burntness. It takes time. He moves her again to a remote Aboriginal community. Beauty is found in the painted bodies pounding in the dust...in the easy laugh and the ready smile.

Moving again...each time realising that every place reflects part of His glory...every people group have beauty...every person has good. Lessons on heaven being her real home...lessons on letting go of fear and trusting His supply.

10 years ...
I smile quietly and realise that red, white & blue have been good gifts.

I wonder what colour heaven is?


"1000 GIFTS"...

#125  Quiet
#126  A clean kitchen
#127  Conversation with a friend
#128  Home-made pizza from budding-chef sons
#129  Evening walk with my darling
#130  Freedom to speak my thoughts
#131  Red, white & blue homes

5 July 2012

"I have learned to kiss the wave..."


"I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages" - Spurgeon

My attention grabbed, this thought has played over in my mind as I've gone about the day's activities. At first, my soul cries out "Yes!"
Then I chew it some more and wonder "Do I really kiss the wave?" "Do I embrace it with affection? This hard thing that tosses me about?"
Some hard waves have taught me truths about Him. I have embraced those truths. Is embracing the truth kissing the wave?

I meet my darling for lunch. I share this thought I've been savouring. In the busy food court tears run down. We share food... physically and spiritually.

Why did I embrace the truth? I ponder motives... Was it to make my life better? Was I trying to eliminate the hard thing? Moving away from pain rather than towards reward?

Continuing to move through the list of jobs, I pick up working son. We share about our days and then share spiritual. We savour together.

The Rock of Ages...the safe place...the solid place in times of difficulty. Do I go there to meet my need or because I am so overwhelmed with the love of God? "God loves everybody, therefore God loves me"...is this my belief? Or is it "As a person who finds their treasure in God I am overcome with the depth and richness of His love for me. A love that involves every part of my life and who I am"? More chewing...

Family together at day's end...laughter, talking, eating, enjoying. The food being digested all day is shared and broken down some more. Each taking what they need. Physical rest and spiritual growth as night comes.

A clear night ...cool wind. I enjoy the bejeweled sky. Such brilliance...sparkling at me. I am awed. A moment just Him and I. I feel His invitation to abandon myself to His love...to throw myself willingly against the Rock of Ages. He has my heart.


"1000 GIFTS"...

#117  The love of an awesome God - FAITH
#118  A family that shares openly - FAMILY
#119  The freedom to share - FREEDOM
#120  Birds singing all kinds of songs this morning
#121  Warmth of the sun
#122  Physical exertion in the garden
#123  Phone calls to loved ones
#124  Beautiful colours in flowers

4 July 2012

"The King was in his counting house, counting out his money...


Talking to my 21 yr-old daughter about her day, to discover we'd both been working with accounts. She in her government job working with electronic records for company finances... and me at home paying the phone bill, etc.

Honestly, I don't much care for this job! My enthusiasm was apparently showing...

"Mother, do you remember when I was little and was starting to read. The whole page was filled with gobbledygook. But with some help, and patience on your part, I began to recognise one word and then another until the whole page came alive. From the day I can remember you had us reading everything...even "Robinson Crusoe" at age 11, which I hated! You told me I had to understand it, even if I didn't like it or make a life career with it.
Well, it's the same with accounts. Some people never put in the discipline to understand money and so they are always in money-trouble. Others love it so much they make career choices and become accountants & financial planners. You may not have made a career choice for accounts, Mother, but you are empowered by the understanding you have.
...You know where you've been.
...You know where you are going.
...You know where you are right now.
And with that knowledge you can start micro businesses in Africa with a little money, sponsor children, or become a world famous architect and do something much greater for the African children.
Oh dear!...I think all the dreams of my heart just tumbled out!"

My heart swells... love that girl!
She standing on the threshold of making those dreams a reality
Me smiling as I listen to myself falling out of her mouth, ...bills all paid.

Grateful that I will not receive any automated calls saying I forgot to pay... a gift to myself!


"1000 Gifts"...

#109  A phone call from my darling at lunchtime
#110 A florist walking up to my door
#111  Help from a kind daughter with my IT issues
#112 Kids dropping by the supermarket for me
#113  New slippers just in time for this cold snap
#114  My '1000 gifts' list on the fridge reminding me
#115  The Chronological Bible Reading Programme we've joined
#116  A new more-positive approach to the accounts :)

3 July 2012

HE Loves me, HE loves me more,...


My darling is the first gift loved that comes to mind.
Second is definitely my children.
I hear Him say gently, "You."
"Absolutely! I love you." 
"OK, but this is a list of things I am thankful to YOU for...gifts that YOU have given me."
"Who gave you life?  ... Are you thankful that I created you? ...I sent My Son so that you & I could have a relationship."
I've already had hard lessons here. I am now thankful that He created me. "Yes, Lord. You love me and I am thankful."
"Does your darling love you?" 
More hard lessons are brought to mind. "Yes, Father. He loves me and I am thankful."
"Do the children I gave you love you?"
"Yes, those children love me."
"So, are you not a gift I have given that is loved
I smile... "Yes, Father. I am a gift loved."

I am grateful.

Do you see yourself as a gift loved?

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

2 July 2012

Soul Restoring

Clear blue skies,

Beautiful drying weather,





Sons helping,

Daughters laughing,





For all these gifts, I thank you.