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By popular demand.

So, pregnancy. First trimester down!

So I’m pregnant. Yay! Almost 15 weeks along.

People ask me about morning sickness* & tiredness. It’s mostly over now.

But some other things that happen while pregnant are less obvious (or perhaps well hidden….) and probably some are unique to my weird mind.

Here’s where it’s at so far.

1. Burp lots. I could pass for a sailor.

2. Check my belly size every day. Try and suck it in and see how far I can get. (The less far, the happier I am!).

3. Go to the toilet lots (waiting for this to die down in the coming weeks!)

4. Wake up at night. At least 2-3 nights a week. Stay awake for an hour or so.

5. Get pins and needles. Often. Change seating position often.

6. Get sore muscles from sitting & leaning for too long.

7. Huff and puff while going up a minor incline (La Trobe Street, I’m looking at you!). Or stairs (yay, third floor living!)

8. Get teary and emotional at odd points. Feelings? What is this?

9. Have moments of terror and panic: What have we done???!!! Life will never be the same!! Is baby still ok and healthy?

10. In response to #9 above: Pray lots.

11. Stare at the unit and dream of tossing out a lot of stuff.

12. Wonder how I’m gonna fit in our tiny bathroom with a huge belly.

13. Feel justified in eating food. Lots of food. And perhaps some junk food. Ok, too much junk food.

14. Feel guilty for eating junk food.

15. Admire other peoples’ pregnant bellies.

16. Look at babies/toddlers nearby. Imagine having one 24/7. Get terrified again.

17. Read. SO much reading.

18. Check the babycenter forum. Consider posting. Mostly lurk.

19. Wait for the day I can stare people down for an easy seat on the tram.

20. Stress about money. Then think pray and think rationally and stop stressing.

21. Google problems like ‘Constant sniffles’ or ‘nosebleed + pregnancy’ or ’15 wks fruit size’ Right now the baby’s about an apple.

22. Have random moments of much excitement and smiles!

23. Wait and wait and wait til the end!!


Would love to hear if any of this resonates with you (as a previous/current pregnant woman or supporting partner!)

Oh, you wanted a baby bump pic? Sure.
Taken at 14wks. (some baby bump + bit of *ahem* padding that was there to begin with!!)

14 wk baby bump

14 wk baby bump













*morning sickness is a lie. It can actually last all day. And doesn’t always manifest in a dramatic spew in the toilet. For me, it was just waves of feeling queasy. And even then, I think I got off pretty lightly!

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A couple of things to link to

I did a bit of writing that got published online. Here it is: my article on Christian Today AU.

And I discovered, thanks to Facebook, that pictures of rats with tiny teddy bears are unBEARably cute.

I’m not even sorry about that pun.

Seriously. Look at the pictures by clicking on these words.

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Who prayed for patience?

Stephen and I have been waiting on an answer about our housing situation for a little while. We thought we might know at the middle of August.

Then the decision got pushed back to start of October.
Then mid-October.

Then we thought we’d have an answer today/tomorrow.

Now it’s pushed back to next Monday, perhaps a day or two later.

It’s getting a little tiring, to get our hopes up and then be on hold again. And we’re ok with getting a ‘no’. But getting no answer is hard.

We reached a point of frustration today. And then I realised what was happening. All this time, there is something bigger going on! I knew it!

I put my hands on my hips and looked sternly at Stephen.

“Alright,” I said. “Out with it. Which one of us has recently asked God for a good dose of patience?”

I think it was me.

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Encouraging reading

I spend a fair bit of time on the internet. I like to read, and the Internet offers no end of words to devour!

I find a lot of great articles through Jean ( and usually from one article I spy another interesting link and before I know it, half a morning is gone!

A couple of articles today have taken my breath away in awe at God and the faith of his people.

For example, this story. A woman who lived and died in the 1700’s wrote some extraordinarily deep diary entries during her life and dying process.

A quote I loved:

 “The longer I live, the more I see of the wickedness of my heart. Ah, what would become of me, were it not for the atoning blood of Jesus, to cancel the enormous sum of my transgressions.” And in another place, “My salvation must be free. And I am sure if I reach heaven, as I believe I shall through the blood of the God-man, I shall testify to all the blessed abound the throne that free, unmerited grace has brought me here.”


“But here lies my weakness, of which the enemy takes advantage: the thoughts of parting with my husband, and leaving my dear children without being able to cultivate their tender minds in the paths of religion and virtue. But is not my God able to take care of them without me? Yes, He is. I am myself a monument of his goodness, and why should I disturb him? Oh, He has been a good Lord to me, in all his characters, offices, and providences.

Courage, then, my soul!”

This article also encouraged me.

Some mornings I wake up and, like the author writes, feel fragile. Unsure. Uncertain. But I love the promise and hope that is held in God’s Word and in His very being.

To which God says in Zechariah 2:5, “I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord.” Yes. That’s it. That is the promise. The “I will” of God. That is what I need. And if it is true for the vulnerable villages of Jerusalem, it is true for me a child of God. God will be a “wall of fire all around me.” Yes. He will. He has been. And he will be.

And it gets better. Inside that fiery wall of protection he says, “And I will be the glory in her midst.” God is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he will give us pleasure of his presence.

And then there’s this guy, who has given up the world world (a high paying job) and rediscovered the joy of serving Jesus and His people.

This soup-kitchen cook serves out of a profound identity transformation. “My identity was determined by my job: by my status, the money I was making, and the house and cars I could buy. Now, my identity is in Christ: I am a follower of Christ, a child of God. My identity is now someone who seeks to help people and to spread the gospel. I’m doing what I love, for people I love, for the person I love — Jesus Christ.”



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Random thoughts

It’s the end of Week 12 at RMIT.

I’m sitting in the kitchen, alone. The soundtrack to the movie Once is on loop. I think it’s the third or fourth round through. I’m not sure whether the battery on my phone will stop it before I do. But I like it.

I want to keep posting multiple stati on Facebook, but that would be annoying (for me and the audience), thus I turn to my blog.

This week at staff meeting, it’s my turn to reflect and share how I’m going. So I’ve been doing that now, in preparation. It makes me introspective and thoughtful…things that don’t happen unless they’re told to.

I’ve really enjoyed the ministry at RMIT so far. I don’t foresee much that could make it any other way. In some ways, the big hurdles are over. I’ve done walk up evangelism to strangers (I looked far braver on the outside than I was on the inside!), I’ve organised a weekend camp for 60 students plus staff. I spend time meeting with students and handling random theological questions. My hesitation to drink coffee has all but faded, in lieu of a desire to fuel me through early mornings.

Through it all, as I reflect, one thing stands out to me. God is incredibly good and kind. And maybe I say this because I’m so very very very blessed to not have experienced much (if any) hardship in my life at all. At all the junctions where I think things might fall over, they don’t. Moving interstate to study and live on Centrelink? “No problem,” says God. “Here are some housemates to share a beautiful house with. Here’s the support shown through loving family and friends. Here’s some small things to make you smile, like hipsters on fixies, some practice in dodging trams (and tram tracks), bundling up in cold weather, and getting to know more of your brothers and sisters in Christ.” Oh, and now starting an apprenticeship to try out ministry? “Sure,” says God. “Here is the financial support you need, from the government (Stephen’s Austudy), from family and friends who believe in you, from a casual job that suits your needs exactly with hours you can choose and a low-stress environment.”

And so now, knowing that sometime in the near future the video shop Stephen and I work at, will close down, I start to stress again a bit. And yet, at the same time, not. (And it’s not to do with the glass of delicious wine consumed with the equally delicious risotto for dinner). Because I look back and I see God’s faithfulness to me. In the mundane ordinary things, like providing a job, to the wonderful, exciting moments, of reading the Bible with students. He is Good.

Of course, I’m yet to be tested. But when I am, I hope that I will look back and remember God’s goodness to me. After all, God’s instructions to Israel were the same. “It’s hard now. I know. But trust me. Remember what I’ve done for you. I delivered you from slavery to an oppressive nation! Trust in what I have already done. Trust then, in what I will do.”

1 Cor 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

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The road got my hand


I learned a valuable lesson last night and my hand paid the price for it.

Always beware the tram tracks on a bicycle.

The experience was quite something. With a jerk and a wiggle, my bicycle and I were parted. It crashed forlornly on its side, jarring the chain from it’s holdings. I flew (briefly) through the air, with my arms outstretched, like a wedding guest straining to catch the bouqet. I landed heavily on the wet road and slid a little bit (just for the effect). My left knee took a bit of a beating and the dampness of the road quickly sank into my jeans. I thanked God there were only a few cars around and none which threatened to flatten me. And then, with embarrassment I hastily gathered the contents of my basket and hobbled to the sidewalk. I fixed the chain (trying to avoid getting grease on my raw and tender skin) and rode slowly home.

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A grammatical rant: when tenets of the faith are taken over by tenants

I like having a good whinge. Doesn’t everyone? Feels good to get things off your chest, vent your outrage, indignation and frustration and – hopefully – move on with life.

That’s the aim of this whinge: to move on with life (which, at the most pretty much consists of studying for exams. So you can see why I’m easily distracted here).

On the list of things that I like to whinge about (which include, but are not limited to; annoying driving (in my opinion), when people  stop and chat in inconvenient places (like the entrance to the supermarket), and when grammar goes wrong (indeed, my favourite comics from The Oatmeal are the those related to grammar. Like this, this, and this one.

Let this be a public announcement to all: TENANT and TENET are different words!!

Tenant. A person who rents a house/holds a lease. For example: I am a tenant. I rent a house. The person who owns it is the landlord and thus, I am a tenant.

Tenet; a principle held as being true, especially of an organisation. For example: I believe in the core tenets of the Christian faith. A core tenet of the Christian faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead.

I do not rent aspects of the Christian faith. Nor are aspects of the Christian faith currently residing in the home of my landlord.

PEOPLE! Don’t let the tenants take over the tenets of the faith!

Phew. I feel better now.

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Sarah of Suburbia

In suburbia, the Soundtrack of Spring consists of bees buzzing, birds cheeping and lawnmowers roaring. Peaceful, no?
For in suburbia, every garden must be tamed from the overgrowth of winter.
In Melbourne suburbia, you have to take your opportunities when you can. Two days of sunshine and forget about having a sleep in, because suburbanites will  be seizing the morning to fight back against the dandelion and reclaim the jungle of their backyard.

For many boys, the passage to manhood is behind the motor and blades of a lawnmower. Yanking the string and summoning the sputtering, protesting motor to a confident roar of life and setting a course through the greenery is a moment of pride. I’m sure when Dads see their boys successfully start the mower on their very first try, they wave off the tears in their eyes as ‘ it’s just the sun getting in my eyes, mate. Get going, now!’. For the boys, it’s like evolution. They begin hunched over the handle, hoping their mates won’t see them, rushing the corners to get the job done so they can go and hang out at the skate park or catch a movie at the local cinemas. But, slowly, surely, every summer, they rise to the occasion. They stand – no, stride – behind the mower, becoming more careful with each turn and fussy about lining up the wheels to get the pattern in the grass nice and straight. Before they know it, they’ve moved out, married, had kids and are now teaching their own sons to conquer the lawns, thinking back to the day when their own Dad shed a secret tear – before wiping away their own.

In my family, lawnmowing has been the job of the men of the house. That, and  they cook the barbecues (under the watchful eye of Mum, of course).

But this weekend, I broke through the grass ceiling. Stephen had to concentrate on his study, and the sun was shining – it was time to seize the day and subdue the grassy verge. It was time for me to step up to the plate and wrangle our lawnmower into submission to my guiding hand.

The first time I tried to start the mower, I’m pretty sure I heard it snigger at my pitiful effort. Who knew the pull string was so long?? Second time was slightly better….but, embarrassed by my efforts, I handed the reigns to Stephen to start it for me. Which he did.
It wasn’t the easiest patch of grass for a beginner. The angle wasn’t extreme, but it was certainly trying. And my manoevering skills were quickly tested by the small trees in the middle of it.

Moving on to the second verge (house on a corner = more verge to mow. It’s a cross to bear). Emboldened by my successful mowing, I tried, yet again, to start the mower under my own strength. Pulling the cord again, there were some signs of life but they quickly died away. Encouraged, I tried again and YANKED the darn thing – it started! Dumbfounded, I didn’t quite know what to do next. Too late, I realised that there was a lever-doovey-whacker that needed to be moved from ‘Start’ to ‘Run’, and the mower floundered yet again into silence. Defeated, I called to my husband through the study window. He dutifully came running and started the mower for me again.

Finally, I was up to mowing the front yard of the house. Determined to master the mower, and armed with the knowledge to pull the bloody lever, I set my sights on the cord. I grasped the plastic T bar at the end. Summoning my strength and imagining the force within me Star-wars style, I pulled that cord and showed it who was boss – it started straight away! – and I quickly set the lever in place. Victory!!

As I mowed, I didn’t hunch over the handlebar. I strode on in pride in ever-decreasing circles around the yard. I was mindful of following neat lines and even getting close to the edge of the lawn to ensure no overgrowth got left behind. The mower and I were one; conquering the lawns, fullfiling the creation mandate and subduing our little piece of earth.

This was my Sarah of Suburbia moment. And it was glorious.


Photo from stockxchng –


Today we learned about Daniel, and the fiery furnace


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Semester began yesterday with the New Testament class. This semester we’re looking at Acts through to Revelation.

As is the case, they usually give us a memory verse for each lecture. This week’s verse was from Acts 1:8; But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

In other news, I have been tweaking with the home screen of my phone and tablet to improve the aesthetic and for my own enjoyment. Part process involved installing a home screen ‘widget’ which displays a random verse of the day.

Can you see where this is heading?

This morning I woke up, and looked at my phone (I’d love to say that that is unusual for me. Sadly, it’s standard practice!). I looked at the ‘random’ verse of the day, and was befuddled to see no other verse that…you guessed it…ACTS 1:8!!!

Of ALL the verses in the Bible for this widget to display…..on ALL the days in the universe to display it. My mind boggled at the sheer coincidence and chance of such a thing happening. I imagine God, should he be bothered with such small things, chuckling to himself at the joke he just played on my mind.

The memory verse (yellow) that I stuck to the tablet on Tuesday. Above it, the widget, which ticked over to the same verse on Wednesday.

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