About Me

My photo
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!

30 June 2012


A dear friend is struggling with depression...a struggle I know all too well! She's worried with all the advice she is receiving. Some of it leaves her feeling more depressed, hopeless, more aware than ever of the big black hole she is in. Some of it makes her insides flare up... "I'm not like that!" "If I'm not like that then what am I like... weird?" lost and confused...like she's groping in the dark for the light switch.

I remember well the day I was told I was clinically depressed and needed to get help IMMEDIATELY. It felt like playing monopoly..."Do not pass 'go', do not collect $200, go straight to jail!" There was nothing nice in it, and I did not know where to turn for help. Yet, help was the very thing I knew that I did need. I did not feel I could turn to the church we were then attending... was afraid to go and get help from outside the church (what kind of new-age 'stuff' would they try to make me swallow)... didn't have any money to be able to pay them, anyway. I turned to the best source of all. I got step #1 right and He's led the journey from there just one step at a time.

It would be a book given to us, a TV documentary, a sermon at church. A conversation with someone who had no idea of what gift they were giving me, or a series of seemingly inconsequential events that triggered something for me. It was the patience of Job displayed in my darling as he tried desperately to understand the tangled mess of beliefs inside my head, then help me see things from a different perspective. Sometimes he succeeded... other times he failed miserably, or rather, I failed to get it. But he loved me anyway, and God helped me get it some other way.

God knows exactly the right tools to use...not too small, not too big, but just right for this moment on your journey. He's the master gardener. If you plant yourself in Him, ask Him to feed and water you. Let Him be your guide. After all, He knows you even better than you do! With that kind of knowledge, you are bound to flourish!


"1000 Gifts"...

#88 Being woken in the morning for a great photo opportunity
#89 Friends online
#90 A cloudy day
#91 Shade under the tamarillo tree as I weed
#92 Peace
#93 A son voluntarily taking out the trash

29 June 2012


 A year ago, today, we were given the diagnosis of Osgood Schlatter Disease for the pain and bumps in youngest son's knees.
"There is nothing that we can do for you. Manage the pain best you can. He may or may not grow out of it in a year or so."
Cold comfort for a 14yr old boy who loves basketball as much as his two older brothers. And when his uncle still suffers from it in his 50's it wasn't looking hopeful.
Basketball had to be curbed. Running must be curbed. Climbing stairs, even getting out of a chair, causes him pain.
Dad has always taught the kids to make the most of every situation...to laugh whenever possible, especially at yourself. Here was youngest son's test.
Youngest son has not given up his beloved sport. Instead, he has developed a whole new set of skills to increase his court time. When he's not on the court he encourages his team from the benches. He makes a joke of his 'gumby knees' and everyone laughs along with him while making room for him. Every day he comes home from basketball and immediately attends to his poor knees with ice packs and elevation.
This morning, with a big smile, he announced, "My 'twins' are having their birthday today, Mum. I'm such a proud parent." I am impressed with his positiveness in spite of the constant pain. He should be proud...proud of his ability to laugh at himself. Proud of his ability to find ways to still be a part of his team. Proud of his attitude. Proud of a test passed with flying colours.

So, to celebrate their birthday I baked his favourite chocolate cake.
He's a winner!

"1000 gifts"...

#78  Phone call to let me know she's OK
#79  Order in the bathroom
#80  Finding an 'enjoy' sign to enjoy
#80  A quiet day finding order
#81  Referred clients
#82  Boys laughing together
#83  Kindness cleaning the freezer for me
#84  Strong arms giving me a hug on his return home
#85  Swapping recipes on twitter
#86  Due to my forgetting to turn the slow cooker on, dinner is already prepared for tomorrow night

28 June 2012


Dusting... not always my favourite job :( But in today's 3 gifts I realised it could become a whole lot more positive if I change my focus.
What means a lot to me? RELATIONSHIPS! And I have photo frames everywhere to prove it... of parents, grand parents and great... of my precious babies, into cute toddlers, into fun-loving mischief and beyond... As I dust I can savour these relationships, name my gratitude for them, pray for them.

On my walls are lots of art works... oils by friends... watercolour... graphite sketches of my kids. CREATIVITY in a frame. As I dust I can name my gratitude... thank the God that I am inspired by... ponder new creations.

But it is my darling's 'framed by a frame' gift that I have been most inspired by today. He has often said over the years that "he is the frame supporting me-the picture"... He is my gift.  I have always loved it, but, today I am dusting it off...unpacking it some more...

His explanation...
 "He supports. He is her cover. He creates the environment for her to flourish. He works with her for her direction and purpose. He totally gives himself for her. He is her frame."

And what about my friends who do not have a husband-frame?

"God's heart is totally for the widows and the fatherless...those without a husband or father.  Jesus, in being the ultimate bridegroom, does all these things for everyone of us. Right now we are all being prepared to partner Him, to the glory of God the Father. The Holy Spirit, brush stroke by brush stroke, is completing the work. And the Father looks on and smiles with pride."

I like that.

Done and dusted!

27 June 2012


Unhurried  shopping with three generations ... enjoying the beauty of pretty things ... visiting shops for each other that we might not normally venture into ... chatting about this and that as we meander ... admiring creativity in each other ... delighting in bargains found ...

Home again, we interrupted the 'boys' afternoon with delighted cries of "Look what I found".  They all stopped to listen as we each showed off what we'd purchased. They admired... pleased that their girls had had fun ... pleased that we were happy with our finds ... quietly pleased that they had been able to stay home.

Cutting off labels...

I rubbed my hands over my new blanket... 100% cotton. I have lots of woolen blankets in the linen closet, but I now live in the tropics. Woolen blankets are way too warm, yet in the evening I often want to keep the cooler night air away. God knows... and cares. It had been a bargain at less than half price and exactly the colour I was after. I laid it over the arm of the couch ready for the evening.

Wriggling my toes, I savoured the fluffy slippers. Cotton again, rather than the wool I had grown up with. Perfect for here. I'd been disappointed that the slipper sale had not had much left in my size. I'd wondered about settling for a pair I didn't really like... tried to convince myself that they are only slippers, but, instead had decided to wait until I found something I really liked. As I'd walked away I felt Him tell me to look in the children's section. I've learnt to recognise His voice, but can't say I was convinced. Shame on me for not having more faith in His desire to bless me, for right in the front of the little kid's slippers was a large pair ... just my size ... and I liked them. God knows... and cares.

Finally, I folded away a new bra. Ahhhh, the joys of middle age... the changes of each new season. He knows exactly what I need TODAY. He knows just how to support me.

Changing countries, changing climates, changing seasons...
3 gifts in fabric
God knows... and cares!

I am grateful.

26 June 2012


Today was Mum's opportunity for a massage.

It's a special time for us. Just the two of us for an hour and a half, while I relax and lengthen, effleurage and stretch...

And we talk unhurried... about all the deeper things. We listen... with caring ears. We take our time and wander from one subject to another, completing each before moving on. A mother and her daughter - two women each with a family intertwined - two hearts committed to each other.

As we talk we share ideas, thoughts, plans. Once she taught me how to walk - now two separate paths with the same destination. She's further down her path than I am. Wisdom is one of the garments she wears gracefully. She shares it with me often. I am grateful.

I continue to work systematically up her body and over...exploring, finding, working, releasing...
As a grand finale I apply a hot towel for a facial massage... a little bit of heaven... and that's where we go. Time stands still as we pray for us and our's. She goes here often for me and mine, but today is special.  Together time.

Gift #1 -  A friend
Gift #2 -  Wisdom
Gift #3 -  Prayer support.

25 June 2012


Fiery red/orange, boiling, steaming. My heart...an angry cauldron. I slammed the lid shut not wanting to see any more. I had been reading about anger and felt sure it was not my problem, so, feeling confident, asked the Lord to reveal to me if I had any issues in this department. My ability to deceive myself had been impressive! I was shocked by the strength of the emotion I saw inside myself... but I knew straight away to whom my anger was directed.

Graciously, God never reveals bondage without also revealing the path to freedom. Forgiveness, challenging mindsets, being vulnerable... I am grateful.

That was 15 years ago.
Today I relish my relationship with that person.

A gift in water...water is life. The river of life flows from God. He invited me to  go deeper... and still does.
A gift in words... His words of truth to my heart. Words between two people... words of forgiveness...words of growth.
A gift in white... The colour of my heart, no longer fiery red/orange, but washed whiter than snow.
... eternally grateful

                                                                                              with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

24 June 2012


My table...
meals, birthdays, schoolwork, crafts, ...
sharing, discussions, expanding ideas, ...
laughter, tears, acceptance, belonging, ...

Nurture happens around the table. Nurture of the body, mind, soul and spirit. My table...One of the greatest tools I have.

Jesus used the table. When He called them, all of His disciples were 'once-born-only' rather than 'palingenesia' - spiritually reborn from above. For a period of three years they came and went from His table. He cooked them a fish breakfast. He fed them on the mountain with miracle bread and fish from heaven. He shared a final meal with them around a table. For three years He fed their minds with new ideas of a kingdom. He demonstrated the Father to them. And they ate...

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

What happened when He left?
One rejected and betrayed Him.
One vowed to follow but quickly ran into his own limitations.
One ran away naked not even stopping for clothes.
The rest just disappeared and hid.

Time happens...

The one who vowed to follow made those Jesus'-values His own and was the first to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
One by one the others all came back ... revelations in their hearts ... committed to their martyrdom.
His values now their's to live and pass on.

Discipled at His table.

Who is at my table?...

23 June 2012


We awoke to yet another blue cloudless sky in the winter tropics... one of the perks of living in this corner of the world. My darling and the older kids had gone to work. The younger kids had started their school work. A loaf of bread was baking. Morning routine was busy, but normal. Soon my parents, who are up visiting, would be arriving probably armed with a delicious assortment of iced buns and sweet treats. Time to get the kettle on...we don't see them often and I wanted to enjoy every minute of our precious time together.
Ring! Ring! ... a referred client in great pain. " Sure, I'll be right there".
Not too much later I'm in the car driving to her home, when I became aware of that 'overwhelmed' feeling beginning to rise within me. I love my job, but this morning I really wanted to enjoy time with family.
And then I heard Him speak from the deep place..."Do you trust me?"
I knew the answer. Many years have passed of continuous lessons in this class. His patient hand has brought me far  on this journey. "Yes, Lord. I trust you."
"Then dance with Me."

Oh, yes, I want that! I know instinctively that more lessons are ensuing, but I want it.
I choose to trust. I stop thinking of what I am missing and tell myself to give myself 100% to my new client. Soon I am absorbed in relieving her pain. I am grateful.
On completion I make my way home. A beautiful blue hue is still overhead. Family happily wiles away the afternoon until everyone is laughing and telling tales around the dinner table. Thinking we'd finished I am surprised when everyone starts bustling about. What's going on? Big lavish cake, presents...
"Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you..."
It's not quite my birthday yet, but they'd organised it as a surprise in my absence this morning. More laughing. Photos. Time with the family I love.

Is this what dancing feels like?

3 Gifts difficult...? I look back on the day and muse on how things I once found difficult are no longer such an obstacle when I choose to trust His lead.

with grateful thanks Loma Photography©

21 June 2012


To be found: 3 gifts in light.

I love light!  In science we have played with light as we marveled at it's abilities. The colours of the rainbow being a spectrum of light from the sun reflecting off droplets of moisture on the earth. Have you ever closely examined all the colours in a single drop of water?...it's magnificent! And then to try and capture them on paper...it sends my senses into artistic heaven. With delight in His wonderful creation brimming from us, we grabbed our cameras and were happily mesmerized.

So, come delight and ponder with me...

"And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light" Genesis1:3

God made light.

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©

All of the life that He created needs that light to exist. Even the things that live in absence of light require food that was made in the light.
Nourishment...warmth...vision...happy feelings...Light Life gifts from a God who cares.

Light pierces the darkness. Light exposes.
His light exposes the issues of my heart.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation" Psalm 27:1 "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12

I become light when I receive His light.

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©


20 June 2012


This morning I had a new massage client who asked me why I chose this profession. As I began to tell her my story I realised that I was today's gift.
In answer to her question, I got into massage because I was physically BENT out of shape and full of pain. I was able to be a gift to my client as I released her BENT.

I was also BENT on the inside. As I looked at me, I did not see someone BEAUTIFUL. But He, by His grace, has patiently changed me until I now see BEAUTIFUL. As my client and I were talking I was able to give her a gift by sharing some of my inside-story with her, hopefully helping her on her own BEAUTIFUL journey.


Oh, yes, I know I am LOVED! I used to question it...didn't feel LOVED... but the more He has unBENT my bends, the more secure I have become in His love.  And the more secure I am in His love, the more I can accept (and feel) the love of others...the more I can be a gift of love to them.

I ( by His grace) am a gift

How do you view yourself?

19 June 2012



'servant' is not really on my list :( It's not that I don't do things for others, but rather the attitude I see when I look into my heart.

It's on my darling's list. I've watched his example for many close-up married years...felt threatened and in awe all at the same time. Keep putting it back in the 'not today' box.
But today's '3 Gifts You Became Today In Serving' makes me bring it out and begin to unpack this unusual gift.
What is serving? What do I become? And there's the problem!...
I see fear in my heart of becoming a doormat... of loosing significance... It's the 'What about me?!' Syndrome.
But Jesus calls me to be a servant to everyone...to be the lowest... the last. It's that whole 'upside-down' Kingdom thing.
It's in loosing myself that He is found
It's in becoming insignificant that He is seen
It's either Him or me.

It's in my humbleness that He is made bigger
It's in showing His love to others that He is exalted.
It's in time absorbing His love that I have the capacity to love.
It's in being grateful for the opportunity to serve that I find joy

Now to begin putting it into practice...

18 June 2012


"... for GOD is LOVE!" 1 John 4:8

To experience love has been a continual need that I have had throughout my life. I don't think I am that unusual in this need. In fact, I think it's pretty common to everyone. We are not islands created for solitude, but rather designed in His image for relationship. We crave it, seek it, go to all kinds of lengths to get it, yet fail miserably in the finding. That's because we go everywhere but to love itself. This has definitely been my experience.

Throughout my journey, I have found that LOVE was graciously calling to me. I have answered, ... sometimes tentatively, sometimes more openly. At times it has been a struggle to even see/hear/feel Love. The call seemed to have been drowned out by the pain and hurt ringing loudly in my ears. The concrete bunker erected around my heart impenetrable.

But God...

But God in all His patient never-ending love, has thrown my struggling soul some lifelines.

#1 In the Bible, He has given me a Word picture of LOVE
#2 In Jesus, He has shown me a Perfect demonstration of LOVE
#3 In my Darling, He has given me a physical demonstration of LOVE

All are reflections of Himself...LOVE...the one I crave!

17 June 2012


My Dad...Hhmmm...

While I know he's not yet perfect, there are some aspects to who he is that are pretty close in my opinion. In fact, he kind of reminds me of Abraham in the Old Testament. Firstly, he married a very beautiful woman. Second, He left his homeland and moved to another country. Having followed in his footsteps on this one, I know it requires a lot of adaptability, patience, and a realization of where our home really is. "By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, ...for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:10-11

But more importantly, like Abraham, my Dad is a man of faith. He believes not only that God can, but also, that God does. I've watched him over the years ask, believe and receive.  I watched with innocent child-eyes and saw a real God. My faith was being developed alongside his.

I learnt from Dad to be committed...give yourself 100% to whatever you decide to do. If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well! If you believe it, then stick to it, no matter what comes at you. Hold fast to that which you believe God said.

And lastly, he gave me a love of learning. He was always willing to hear our 'roast-preacher' over Sunday lunch, as we agreed or questioned his sermon. Many meals would end with concordances, dictionaries, etc, being brought to the table as we pursued a point. I watch as his vast knowledge of world politics (not my favourite subject), or aid development in countries less fortunate than our own, is now shared with the grandchildren over a scrumptious Poppa-afternoon tea,... and I smile. My five world-changers are having their horizons challenged and broadened.

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©





Thanks, Dad.

16 June 2012


Today we moved. Not house or country, though we've done that a few times!

We moved cameras!

Creative daughter has been wanting to move into the capacities brought about with a bigger and fancier camera. Today she bought her new toy and so Father bought daughter's present camera as a gift for me. He is sure that I, too, can enjoy the wonders of this creative medium.

Delighted as I am with my new gift, there is a part of me that is scared. What if I am not good at this? What if I just don't get this medium? What if I don't have that stroke of genius, or the ability to think outside the box for that something special? What if...? What if...? What if...?

Unbeknown to creative daughter, when I was exactly her age, I too, wanted to do photography. There were no fancy digital cameras back in the dark ages...film only. So, I bought myself the best camera at the time. I was even offered a job with a photographer, but I turned it down...scared that I might fail. Today I find myself having come full-circle back to the same spot.

Today, I see my fear for what it is instead of being crippled by it's powerful emotion. That is not to say I don't feel it, but I have learnt that my fear only becomes a reality when I allow it to have power over me. Fear cripples creativity. Fear cripples thought. Fear cripples all forward movement.

Creative daughter, however, is brimming with creativity, joy and pure infectious delight. Click! Click! Click! I watch with green-tinged eyes. Could I? I won't be as good as her? She sees things that I just don't. But then I realise that I'm letting that fear control. All my excuses are just that...excuses! Fear crippling. Because I don't know anything until I have a go, until I try.

Eyes laughing, creative daughter asks if I want to go out on a photo shoot with her. Feeling her enthusiasm, feeling her warm love I take the plunge. "Sure. Would you mind giving me some help?" "Absolutely, Mum!" I feel fear begin to subside. "...Perfect love casts out all fear..." 1John 4:18. Baby steps, but I am moving!

So, today I've
   ...  moved cameras...
          ...moved away from fear..
                ....moved towards love.


Lately, I've been challenged about my deliberate goings to the Word. Not the accidentals, like reading a book with scripture scattered through it, nor the scripture put to music that I'm listening to in the background, nor even the Sunday sermon. These are all wonderful...I'm not knocking these wonderful sources of washing my soul.
But it's the times I go with purpose and deliberateness. Determined to eat. The three square meals I have in the day. All the other is snacking between meals and doesn't help one's spiritual blood sugar levels. Three times a day coming to Him and eating from His Word feeds my spirit and helps me grow strong and sure. Three square meals allows me to assimilate the food well, absorbing all the nutrients my soul needs.
Daniel was the great man he was because "...in his upper room, with his window open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." Daniel 6:10
As a child I remember  the 'prickles up your spine' feeling when I walked past my Grandma's room and saw her on her knees 'as was her custom since early days', and heard my name mentioned to the King of Kings.She was there every morning on her knees at the end of her bed. Every evening as she prepared for sleep, she undid the hundreds of little hooks and eyes on her corset with such amazing speed and dexterity, then knelt again to talk to her Lord. Habitual. As a child I was impressed and awed by her discipline and devotion. (Not to mention fascinated by how she could do that corset without even looking at them!)

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©

I think that habitual coming before our God is something our generation has sadly lost. We are too busy rushing here and there and fitting one more thing into our schedule. We've lost the depth to our relationship with Him. So, I am beginning the process of developing my habit of prayer and feasting on His Word. I'd like my grandchildren to say of me "...as was her custom".

14 June 2012


I had gone to sleep last night with my list organised of today's activities, only to be awoken early this morning by a child needing an immediate ride to work for an unexpected early start. Before getting out the door I noticed my engagement ring had broken...very unwanted! A conversation with fore mentioned child revealed I had the day all to myself with no husband or children...after 22 years of homeschooling this qualifies as highly unlikely!

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©

My tendency of old would have been to be generally annoyed at having my plans messed up, to have felt despondent over the breaking of my engagement ring - sentimental and stretching of already stretched purse strings, etc. - to have wished for a day by myself when I could choose what to do with it, rather than the things I had already committed to.
But He has been teaching me that "...all things work together for good to those who love God..." Romans 8:28 

So, I choose to trust...

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©

I trust that every gift is good, and "...every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17, "...that my Father knows what I have need of"  Luke 12:29-31.

If I trust Him, I may not sulk because it wasn't the gift I wanted. I must not be annoyed, or despondent, or unthankful. In saying 'Yes' to His gifts, I am saying 'Yes' to a treasure hunt.  There's a sense of satisfaction in putting all your effort into finding the gift, and a thrill that makes it extra special when you 'get it'.

with grateful thanks to Loma Photography ©

I 'got' today's gifts
...unexpected afforded me quality time with working child when she was fresh rather than tired at day's end.
...unwanted allows His provision to shine brighter
...unlikely quiet has been good for my soul. He promised me that.

                                                         Oh, how He loves you & me!

13 June 2012


Smells...they are everywhere... the fresh smell of morning, dog as you open the back door, car fumes as you go for a morning walk, teenage boys who've been playing basketball, their shoes - Eeekkkk! Perfume & hairspray of daughters getting ready for work, coffee from the local cafe, incense from the tarot card stand on the corner. Maybe a rose just opening, a squeeze of lemon, or a bunch of herbs. It's one of our five senses and yet, probably the most taken for granted.

God, however, does not.

What is the aroma of my life?

Amos 5:21-24 "I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not smell/savour your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream."
Am I doing the right thing on the outside, but my heart is not involved? Do I smell of truth?

Daniel 3:27b "...and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair on their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them."
Do I have the smell of the world on me?

Genesis 8:21 "And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma."
Was it the aroma of Noah's heart? Finally, after all the wickedness, anger and death,  a heart that was obedient? ...thankful?...acknowledging His lordship?
Do I have a heart that is a soothing aroma to God?

Philippians 4:18b "...a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God."
Oh, yes! That's the aroma I want to be!"

Thank you, Father, for the sense of smell.
... it warns,
... it heals,
... it charms.

with grateful thanks to Janessa Symons

12 June 2012


Ah. today is easy...my heart is FULL!

Eucharisteo - giving thanks - one week of the joydare and my heart is full to overflowing with JOY! Viewing things from this eucharisteo perspective is giving me a platform to acknowledge the wonderful gifts in my world.

Cleaning out old boxes and I found the box of all the baby 'stuff'. Very outdated in fashion, but FULL of memories PAST...

My 'To Do' list is always FULL. Comes with having family PRESENT...

My outlook for the FUTURE is FULL. That gives me hope.

Prov. 14:4 "Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox" I used to quote this to myself when the children were small and I felt forever in a mess and disarray. Would you rather have a clean and perfect house, Lynda, or a home FULL of love and relationships? They are no longer small, and I still often feel in that same whirlwind of activity and mess, but I love my heart FULL of memories. I love the relationships we've built and continue daily to build. I love the hope for the future.
Relationships built with love, make for a heart FILLED with JOY.

John 15: 9 - 12 quotes Jesus' famous words...
"As the Father loved ME, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

My aloe plant is FULL. Feels a bit like our family ..all so tall and spreading their wings. As they each move on to fulfill their destinies, may the lessons in love go with them, may the God of Love abide in them, and may His joy fill the hearts of them and theirs. ...HOPEFULL!