Christmas in New Zealand

So Christmas has come and gone and I missed posting something about it because it turns out just like costal towns in Australia, the costal towns in New Zealand don’t always have the best Internet reception… So here it is a little late, but here all the same!

Christmas is a time to celebrate joy and love with those you love, and while for Dave and I it has steadily gotten harder for us to see all the people we love on Christmas Day, for the last 10years, while we have been together, I have been pretty blessed in that at Christmas. I have been able to see and spend time with my family, if not on Christmas Day then on the surrounding days. But this year it’s a little different, this year I am away for Christmas, still with family, but with different family than the last 10 Christmases… In fact different from the last 27 Christmases… This year it’s Christmas with the George’s… Well the extended Georges… Kind of, and its been really nice.

I have to admit there were lots of things I missed from home, the biggest ones being seeing my brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on Christmas morning… And carols by candlelight… I really struggled not being able to enjoy the carols of Dennis Walter and Sylvie or being able to laugh at David Hobson, while secretly enjoying they fact that someone has sung Holy City! But thanks to the marvel that is the mobile phone (after a wrong number to some poor random in New Zealand) I was able to speak to home, and then celebrate in a slightly different fashion.

It is an odd feeling being a random at Christmas, but it was actually a great day. Dave and I were warmly welcomed and included in a delicious summer Christmas feast. We also walked on the black sand of the Otaki beach and enjoyed the surprisingly good New Zealand weather.

It turns out that even with family that we don’t spend a whole lot of time with, Christmas is still the same! Love and joy are celebrated and embraced and shared and it is still wonderful! It’s a day, I know not for all, but at least for me, I get to experience heaven on earth in the love that Christ came to bring.  I can witness joy on the face of Dave’s grandma as she laughs at a corny Christmas joke. I get to be part of the excitement as Dave’s Dad creates the wonder of Santa with a $5 warehouse scavenger hunt. And I get to be thankful for all that I have… I am truly blessed.

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There’s No Place I’d Rather Be

This song has been on my heart, in my head and on repeat in the car… it’s so simple, but it really says what I am feeling right now… I want more, I want to be more on fire, I want to change the world, I want to love more, I want to give more, I want more of Him and less of me… and I don’t really want it to go any time soon… so it is a continual prayer over my life…

IMG_8284-0Set a fire down in my soul,
That I can’t contain, that I can’t control
I want more of you God
I want more of you God

There’s no place I would rather be,
There’s no place I would rather be
Than here in your love
Here in your love

Set a fire down in my soul,
That I can’t contain, that I can’t control
I want more of you God
I want more of you God

The Curse of the Timbrel

I have discovered something truly terrifying… My timbrel hands have crossed over to Zumba… don’t know what I am talking about? Well hold on your hats…

This is a timbrel:

Well a timbrel with a CD in it… you may recognise these from the Salvation Army… or the time those two old ladies played the timbrel on Britain’s got talent and argued with Simon about the difference between timbrels and tambourines… which if you happened to watch that, you will now know that timbrels have two rows of small cymbals and Tambourines have one… but I digress (but if you would like to continue this tangent here is the link…).

The timbrel is used kind of like rhythmic gymnastics… it’s a little weird and sometimes uncomfortable to watch, but if you do it right it can look very impressive.  As a younger girl in the Salvation Army I was in the timbrel brigade… that is the timbrel performance group, where we played rhythms on the timbrel with timed choreography to mostly brass band music, but occasionally something that was a little more out there… like worship music.

Now, even though I haven’t really given it much credit so far… I loved playing the timbrel, and I still do, although now I only really play at Christmas time to the Mariah Carey version of Joy to the world… again I digress… When learning to play the timbrel one of the most important things… as any timbrel leader (or sergeant, depends how army you want to be) will tell you (myself included) is that when playing the timbrel your must tuck the thumbs of your non-timbrel hand in otherwise it looks sloppy.  I will admit I learnt this the hard way, by having my uncontrollable thumbs bandaid’ed in place by my leader (who was also my aunty).  But since then as soon as I pick up a timbrel my left thumb automatically tucks.

I thought that this automatic tucking was specific to the timbrel but this is where I made my terrifying discovery.  At Zumba we did a dance… routine… fitness extravaganza… strange semi-co-ordinated movements, which required us to put our hands in the air and then back down… if I was a stick figure… I would look something like this:

It was during this that I made my terrifying discovery, unlike everyone else who just puts their open hand in the air… mine tucked…

And I looked like an idiot… the worst bit is I can’t do it the other way… with just an open hand it feels wrong… and it wasn’t just my non-timbrel hand that tucked… but both… yes both…

I am not really sure what I am going to do about this, but it appears for the time being I am stuck with timbrel hands… even at Zumba… no bandaids required anymore.

P.S  I just discovered that if you feel like you have missed the boat and you too really want timbrel hands… well you are in luck, there are some instructional videos… so you can learn in the comfort of your own home…just click here… seriously check them out… you know you want to.