Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Thursday meanderings of my mind . . .



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 “All heroes are shadows of Christ” 
~John Piper   

When I was a girl I had a very specific idea in my head about what a hero was.  I can remember being asked when I was at school to write an essay on my favourite hero.  It was very difficult for me to pick one . . . there were many who inspired me . . .  and none of them were very famous.

To me, a hero was someone who set a good example or who had made a difference in other people's lives.  A person, or even an animal . . .  who touched someone's life, however briefly . . . and left a positive mark in some way.   Someone who you could say  made your world  a better place for them having been there.

They didn't wear red capes and were not able to leap over high buildings in a single bound.   They didn't have magic lasso's of truth.  They did not wear white hats or ride on bold stallions, have number one pop singles, or gold statuettes on their mantles.  They were simple ordinary folk . . .  like you and like me.

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My first heroines were the women in my family . . . my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, my aunts . . . these stoic and hard working women who cared for each of us, and did all that they could for us . . . that loved us voraciously.   They taught me the type of woman I should strive to be.   They were beautiful examples of caring and honest, and of selfless service to others . . .  of the values of loyalty and honor.  Stick-to-it-iveness, and thrift.  They taught me to love the gentle art of making a home, and of caring for family . . .

And then there was my dad.   He may never have seen himself as a hero but he was.  A hero who taught me to be able to laugh at myself and with others . . . to love the written word, and music.   A man who worked hard to make sure that his family had all that they were in need of and then some.  To love the Lord and the value of prayer.  He gave me my first Bible and my early memories of going to church are of going with him, which may be surprising to some in my family . . . my every memory of my early childhood Christmas's and Easters are of my sitting beside him at church.  He always went, and he always took me.  My mother stayed home with my sister and my brother.  He taught me that real men could cry and were not ashamed to show their tears or to have feelings.

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This is a photograph of the end of the school year awards ceremony at the end of Grade one.  I am second from the left wearing saddle shoes (loved them!) and my teacher was named Miss Beizick.  I don't know if I spelt that correctly or not.   She had been my teacher that year.  I was fortunate enough to have had very good teachers in my life, both at school and at Sunday school and at home.   They, too . . . were my heroes and heroines They inspired in me a love of learning which has never left me.   They inspired me to ask questions and to seek true and honest answers.  Some of what they taught were lessons I had already learnt at home, but they helped to re-enforce those same lessons  so that they became a part and parcel of who I was and who I would become.

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Other women I looked up to and was inspired by were women of historic value . . . women like Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Golda Meir,  Alice Paul, Ida B Wells, and yes . . . Margaret Thatcher.   Women who stood up and were counted, who would not be silenced, who led by their strong examples and who achieved something of worth to mankind and women every where, and these are only the tip of the iceberg . . . there were ever so many more than this mere handful I speak of . . .

Their examples taught me that if you know something to be right and to be true you must speak up for it.   If you see those that are downtrodden or something which is happening that is wrong . . .  you must act, no matter the consequences.  That we are not here quite simply to exist . . . but that we are here to make the world a better place.  And it is not only the examples of strong and good women which have inspired me, but also the examples of men like Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy . . .  Paul Revere and Nelson Mandella . . . and most important of all . . . the Saviour.

That is who my heroes and heroines were, and I have only just scratched the surface.  Who were yours?

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A thought to carry with you through today.

╔═....๑ ƸӜƷ ๑♥๑ ƸӜƷ ๑...═╗

"March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."

 - Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning

 ╚═....๑ ƸӜƷ ๑♥๑ ƸӜƷ ๑.... ═╝  


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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Cheddar and Pepper Breakfast Farls, with Eggs, Tomatoes and Crispy Bacon.  The ultimate breakfast sarnie!


~✿ ░H░A░P░P░Y░✿ ░S░P░R░I░N░G░ ✿~


7 comments:

Marie said...

I was also fortunate to have strong female role models in my immediate family. I adored my maternal grandmother, who rose above anything life threw at her with a grace that remains amazing. She was my biggest hero growing up. As was my mother's youngest sister, who never married and worked all her life, in a time when that was not common. She rose to a high position and was at the same time warm and compassionate. I wanted to be like her!

And at school, the nuns were terrific. I went to Loreto College in Adelaide and those women encouraged my love for learning and the belief that there was nothing that I couldn't do if I put my mind to it. Several of us who went through the school at those times made ground breaking forays into male-dominated professions, thanks to the example and encouragement from the Loreto nuns. I had n o hesitation sending my own daughter to the same school and watch her blossom under their care.

I had several similar more famous heros as you did, as well as some that were more influenced by my upbringing - saints like St Teresa and strong Aussie women like Nancy Bird, Mary Lee, Masry MacKillop, Edith Cowan, Daisy Baters, Caroline Chisholm, Aeneas Gunn etc.

Marie Rayner said...

How wonderful Marie! I loved reading about your heroes! Your Aunt sounds a treasure and whilst I know some people didn't have that many good experiences with nun's as teachers, I, too had a lovely English teacher in Grade 9 who was a nun, aptly named Sister Marie! lol

I will have to look up the Aussie women you mentioned. Thanks for sharing their names with us! xxoo

Suze said...

I had one teacher I absolutely adored and some who were not so great. I still have the handkerchief Mrs Symons gave everyone at Christmas.

My héroes were more every day too. For example, my godfather; he lost a kidney in a surfing accident. then shortly after his left leg to cancer. It was a very high amputation and this man went back to uni and worked for his degree. He was an electrician and I loved to watch him work. He climbed ladders and nothing stopped him until be became an engineer. Sadly my godmother, his wife, died young from breast cancer. He kept things going and remarried. His wife is no demented and the poor guy has had two more cancers. He just plods on and lives a good life. There are so many who inspire us by living brave lives in strange circumstances.

Of course there are others as you have mentioned. Those with brilliant idea and persistence who have brought such radical change to our lives. Where wold we be without those who have improved us bit by bit?

Marie Rayner said...

Loved reading about your heroes and heroines too Suzan! Your Uncle sounds amazing!

La Table De Nana said...

I love that picture of you at school..
Your parents were wonderful carers:) look how cute you are..
I loved that at school at the awards,getting a new special book etc..
LOVED.

I think I have more heroes now..

Younger..I don't think I thought of heroes..
Loved my mom to bits..adore is more the word..
So only she.
She was my only hero.

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks Monique. I was always the smallest in my class for some reason! Also very timid, believe it or not!

Mom's are great heroes I think. My mom is still my hero too.

Sybil said...

I think you and I have ha dmuch teh same upbringing Marie and so we share most of the folks who are/were our hero's...
Sorry that I didn;t pop in yesterday (Thurs.) was waiting for a new cooker to arrive...it did...now away this morning to try ot out making toast !! Lovely start to the day down here sun shinig blue sky but a bit chilly..xxx