Five Things: Online Reading

Occasionally I stare at my laptop and want something to read.

Here are the first places I go:

  1. yesandyes
    Sarah has helpful things to say about happiness, entertaining web wasters and profound true stories.
  2. Lazy Genius Collective
    Kendra aims to be lazy about the unimportant and genius about the important.
    This genius also includes the entertaining – voting for best hollywood woman.
  3. Sayable
    Lore is both spiritially and emotionally mature. She makes me reflect in helpful ways.
  4. Geeks Under Grace
    Lucas’ movie reviews make me laugh out loud and deepen my enjoyment e.g. Roman Holiday.
    I haven’t read much else on the site.
  5. Brain Pickings
    Maria pushes me to think deeply. And remember how to read longer pieces.


Five Things: to love about Black Sheep

I’m a frequent customer at Black Sheep Coffee Woolloongabba.
Our creative writers’ group meets there weekly and I often venture there alone.

Here’s five things I love there.

  1. Walking distance from my house
  2. Great coffee (and beans to take home)
  3. Lovely staff
  4. Communal table & free wifi
  5. Best cafe toilet in Brisbane – as pronounced by Brisbane freelancers wewriteyou

    Treats by Alphabet Cafe

Five things: to give

My Dad is a present person.
He loves to identify things that will delight and use them to recognise moments.
Finished a big assignment, started a new job, anniversary, just because.

Here are five things you could give someone… or give me.

  1. Vegetable bouquet
    Yes really. So pretty and then you eat it.
    Nourish Posy Co delivers around Brisbane.
  2. Meaningful card
    Your written words matter. Say something encouraging, say something true.
    Emily McDowell makes beautiful and unusual ones.
  3. Keepcup
    Useful and good for the environment – plus most coffee shops give a discount for keepcups.
    Frank Green‘s you could throw in your handbag and still drink hot coffee 30mins later.
  4. Experience
    Enjoyable time, makes a good memory, doesn’t take up any space on the shelf.
    Theatre/Film or Music for me please. Perhaps sports or activity for others…
  5. Voucher
    Sometimes the recipient knows what they need, and this feels slightly better than giving cash.
    Netherworld do gift cards. Also Charlie’s … But supermarket/Bunnings are helpful for most people.

Five things: I value about my mum

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and my mum’s birthday.

Here are five things I value about her.

  1. She loves us intensely.
    As a teenager I yelled at her to ‘f** off’, she burst into tears and gave me a hug.
  2. She adores reading.
    Our house was always full of books, and considered special things (plus now she has a collection to borrow). We read as a family and individually. Even now we enjoy company when reading.
  3. She tolerates teasing.
    Sometimes she is not quite on the same wavelength as the rest of the family. She will often be the butt of jokes, but accepts it graciously (mostly).
  4. She connects with people.
    Mum has friends from each season and place of her life. That means some of her friends she’s been friends with for 55 years! From childhood, high school, university x2, physio times in Victoria & Tasmania, school aged kids, many different work teams within Queensland Health, international colleagues and now Metro North Health Service.
  5. She’s passionate about her work.
    She’s committed to better public health services in our state, country and world.
    I was in the audience as she received the Gold medal from ACHSM. At a recent family dinner we heard a presentation about a new framework for ‘utility cavities above operating theatre’. Yes – we were riveted as well.

Five Things: that could make your money management better

Money is important. It’s coloured with eons of emotions and motivations. What can help you navigate the minefield?

1. YNAB (You Need A Budget)
Free for students, encourages you to be a month ahead for bills.
Budgeting is about setting priorities.
Without a planned budget: your priorities are impulse spending or stuck in an account where it does nothing.

2. Barefoot Investor
Part of money management now is thinking about money management in the future.
Scott is an Aussie, writing in a relaxed, relatable and explanatory manner.

3. More Money + More Happy
Earning less or being a responsible saver does not mean you have to be miserly or sadly limited.
Figure out what helps you ‘feel’ rich. Sarah helps you notice what makes you happy and how to reorganise your finances in response to those ideals.

4. Plan your giving
If you are reading this, you are probably in the richest 5% of the world.
You have a responsibility to humanity to share some of those riches.
Be intentional and thoughtful and committed.

5. Talk about it
Changing your money management usually means managing emotional responses, retraining the way you think and perhaps some lifestyle changes. Talk about it – to your spouse, your housemate, your friends.
Get wisdom from other people, learn how they think differently about money, tell them what you want to change.
Two recent examples people raised with me:
– pay someone to clean your house; you are wasting so much emotional energy and stress
– enter a spending ban on alcohol; see how many events we could enjoy before we really, really need to restock the bar

How much food do you throw out?
How much do you overeat?
How much do you spend paying someone else to prepare it?
How much do you spend socialising?

I’m still thinking through my approach to food and the time/money we spend on it.


Five things: to engage scripture with low emotional or mental energy

When I’m tired – it’s hard to study the bible or listen to teaching. Here are some other options:

  1. Thoughts to make your heart sing – Sally Lloyd Jones & Jago
    This book sits besides my bed. On low days I read one page and look at the pretty picture.
    Then later that day, I try to remember the sentence.
  2. Valley of Vision – book & album
    Thanks Puritans.
    Clear true things about God and us. Sentences that make it easy to just say amen.
  3. Audio Bible
    Sometimes I have this playing in the background while I do the things (walking/cleaning/driving to the coast with Stephen). Every now and again, I tune in and listen.
  4. Read Scripture App
    Bible restructured into logical progression with summary and explanatory videos at helpful intervals.
    Also includes Psalms with a quick thought and prayer direction.
  5. The Lydia Project
    Brisbane Christian Women’s Conversational Podcast
    This is a great initiative of Tori Walker and the Gospel Coalition Australia. Some of these are great – Becky Khan totally repeatable. Belinda Whitfield – skippable (only because I’ve done 1-1 ministry for a while).
    Listen to the intro parts – Tori explains the important pertinent facts. But broadly – so good!

Five things: becoming a dog owner changed

In October we became part dog owners of a gorgeous Murray River Retriever named Kepler.
The dog is whole, ownership is shared.

Here’s some of what changed.

  1. Cuddles are always available
  2. Strangers smile and initiate conversation
  3. Consistent communication now required (training me rather than the dog)
  4. Dog friendly cafes and bars awareness improved
  5. Long walks are more interesting.

My friend Beccy is writing an interesting series on Animals Abound. Check out Part 1.

[Better than a dog – walk around with a baby strapped to your chest. People still smile, but rarely initiate conversation.]

[Better than a baby – maybe we should just smile more.]

Five Things: to take on holiday

This term is intense – Stephen is out five nights a week.
So we have cancelled this Friday and are escaping to the beach for the weekend.

This is what I will make sure goes in the car.

  1. French press & coffee grounds
  2. Laptop & Bluetooth Speaker
  3. Pillow
  4. Togs & Towel
  5. Dog

Five things: to love women you don’t know

Today is International Women’s Day.
The ABC has Five Reasons why life is hard for Women in 2017.

Here are five ways to love women you don’t know.

  1.   Donate e.g.  Share the Dignity
    Aussie charity  organising donated sanitary products for homeless and low income women. They also fight against ‘luxury’ tax status for tampons.
  2. Talk up women
    Challies cites studies where six & seven year olds already have gendered beliefs.
    When I was a kid, the Australian government did a big campaign of ‘Girls can do anything.’
    Also I’m loving this new series Little People, Big Dreams.
  3. Stop disrespectful language and habits
    In his previous work role, my husband used the empty female toilets on site visits – because they were free from pornography.
    Friends working in administration are consistently referred to as ‘girls’; with ‘cunts and pussies’ often peppering conversation.
    Words matter – their meanings and conations develop with usage. Watch this video #LikeAGirl
  4. Affirm motherhood
    Prepare for controversy. I’m just saying it’s a viable and respected vocation. And it’s hard.
  5. Be informed
    UN Women has stats and articles.
    Remember the INTERNATIONAL aspect. In Australia most women go to school, wait until adulthood for marriage, have options for employment and motherhood is a choice. Not so in many countries.