Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Narnia We go...

Yes, truly ....as literally as possible. A few weeks ago we went to Narnia, not that we haven't been there before as we have read and reread CS Lewis' books. But this time it was a little different....we went to see the filming of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader or Narnia 3 Movie in Queensland Australia. Jo and Erica know the story so well that they reckoned they could figure out exactly what was going on even though we watched the filming from a distance.

There was added interest too as we know one of the artists who is working on the scenery. Margerie was about 13 when her family first went to NZ and we have been friends of the family since. Despite the distance we have stayed in touch over the years...and now Margerie is a brilliant and talented artist....she has painted scenery for the Lord of the Rings and after Narnia 3 she goes on to do the Hobbit back in NZ. The Dawn Treader has a Dragons head at the prow....which gave Margerie the opportunity to display her talent.

Another high-light was seeing actors up close through the fence taking an afternoon break ...
poor guys they must have felt like monkeys in a zoo, only the spectators were swooning young lasses. The kids figured out we saw Prince Caspian in the distance? I was disappointed that I did not see Reepicheep as he is my favourite character in the book of the Dawn Treader. I find him a little bit too mousy in the Narnia movies, my imagination had as a more human looking mouse and a bit bigger, cute like a mouse but at least ratty size. He goes to Narnia heaven in this book, I wonder if he does in the movie? I would have loved to see how they made a man into a mouse....or is he fully animated, I don't somehow think so? Maybe he is just a real mouse??? He play a big role in this book, so it will be interesting what they make of him in the movie.

Maybe he had Mouse flue the day we were there? Or had already reached the end of his voyage in that day of filming?

We think we also saw Mr Tumnus who had unusual ears that looked very real and bright green Lycra leggings which Jonathan explained was for the computer animators to easily spot where his goat legs will go .

A generous dwarf came and chatted to the flirty girls in front of us, and one of my bigger kids wanted to know out loud for all to hear..." What would this dwarf look like in real life after the movie finished, how big would he be?" As quietly as possible I explained that that was his real size, no tricks here. Doug and I giggled ourselves to sleep that night trying to figure out what the child was thinking...that they chopped off his legs and rejoined them after the movie???? Don't you love them, kids! The other people around us were clicking away but I must say I felt conspicuous clicking away at a dwarf and so did not get a very good shot....he is the one in the white shirt with the long hair on the other side of the fence with his back to us as I sneaked a shot.

Action Take...The filming crew.

The Action.
Here Lucy and Edmond are diving off the edge of the ship, into the ocean? No onto a trampoline like thing....How I wish I had taken a a movie of this as it was such fun watching them repeat this scene over and over again! I will certainly enjoy watching the movie and thinking - "we were there," as they dive off the edge of the ship!

And in case you don't believe we were really there we visited a dear couple the Pearce's and then we couldn't resist going back to take another look even though it was dark! It was even interesting to see them packing up and taking crew back to the camp site.

What a pity we could not have gone to the 'spare oom' to find the Narnia wardrobe! Although I would hate to loose a kid in Narnia, they may land up like poor Edmond being tempted by Turkish Delight or turn into a dragon like Eustas. Although of course I don't think they are quite as naughty as those two! (But I am a biased, besotted mother!)

My late grandfather was a great fan of CS Lewis and as I read more and more about CS Lewis, the more I wish my grandfather had had the opportunity to meet him as they were very similar in many ways...imaginative academics, with a classical education, seldom found in our day and age, generous imaginations and a great love for God and his people.

I must say we were very tickled when we finally realised that some our little girls favorite friends are in fact related to CS Lewis' s step son. Joseph and Erica in particular having lived together in Narnia in their imaginations for so many years secretly savour ever single little bit of inside information that comes their way from these girls. I must remember to ask about how they film/make/do Reepicheep!

Happy Narnia dreams,
I must finally take my littlest cherub to bed - he slept all afternoon and has taken a long time to fade tonight, he has sat on my lap and enjoyed me reading about our trip to Narnia as he gets sleepy. Actually he seems to enjoy the photographs in a way that indicates he remembers his trip to Narnia which fascinates me as I thought at the time it was beyond him ...he turns two in two days, so quite cute really!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Suffering….No thank you God I think I would rather not suffer today – so if at all possible would you make any suffering that is coming my way just go away. I have, you see, been managing rather well to serve you just recently and it would be a pity to have my routine rocked a bit. I am proud, I freely admit, but only to a small degree, and selfishness well….you cannot see it for all the good I do, at least no one outside can see. And I am trying to work on it as plain as can be. I am at present rather good at self sacrifice and loving too, and don’t need anything more to make it harder to achieve right at this moment. I have had about all you could ask anyone to take this year and I don’t know really if I could cope with more, or at least so I fear. So if you were planning to test me further...to tell the truth I’d rather stagnate and stay the same as I was last year….for it is more comfortable you see for me to just be…well….me.

Without really daring to consciously think these thoughts aloud, we really do reflect them in our lives, or at least I do when I am in comfortable mode. And then some trial or suffering hits you slam in the face….you cry out to God in pain, in agony you writhe around looking for His hand, the very hand you thought you were holding all along, desperate to find it, you realise you had been going alone for far too long and you yearn to find a closeness to God again. For it is then that the moulding takes place, the measuring and finding the true place of grace. The seeing what you did not see before. The realisation of little sins and their consequences shock and the way you forgot or refused to forgive. And you realise again the suffering that your Christ went through for you and the millions of time He forgave without you even knowing you had sinned. The loving and humbly finding a joy beyond any joy you thought possible. I have not reached the point where I would dare to say…Lord let me suffer, but I can really say, thank you Lord for the suffering I have been through.

Consider it pure joy my brethren when you face trials of many kinds….James 1:2 (NIV)


Another little one was sent to bless our hearts and to be our friend. For just a very little while we loved this one as one of us. We planned and wondered what we should call this one when he/she with us first appeared as we crowded around gazing at the angel face, marvelling at God’s goodness and the amazing feat of what He could create.

But then the Lord wanted to take this little one to be with Him, another soul to praise His name for all eternity. This soul was made perfectly for the purpose of eternity.

And when I reach heaven gates I cannot wait to see those precious ones that have been conceived within my womb but who have left before I could hold and love and cuddle close to me…Yet secretly I feel that when I arrive in heaven I will be so caught up with gazing at God’s awesome face, that this will be my joy- his grace. I feel that I will be so caught up with this that there will be little time to be melancholy about where my loved ones are …for surely He is so wondrously great, far more than I can quite imagine now.

But this I know ….what a thrill I will get to meet my lovely babies right there besides me as together we sing out God’s greatness, in ecstatic rejoicing with hearts filled with perfect love, perfect peace , perfect joy…heaven, how I hunger and yearn to go ‘home’ one day.

So is God good in all of this, you ask, you wonder and you pry…why YES! Of course He is! He is the one who holds my hand , He walks with me and talks with me, He comforts with His gentle hand as He reaches down to touch us when we find the melancholy sadness too much. He sends His loved ones to cry with you and comfort and inspire, to help and to pray and care and just be with you. But at the end of the day, it is only God who can be there for every single care.

God is so good in a world full of sadness and evil…it takes faith to understand it and see it. Faith that I cannot give you, but God can, it is His gift and free to all will it receives. … For He is indeed so, so good.

Please note that this is not a theologcal discussion...we have no clear indication in scripture as to what happens to babies when they die. I believe though that just as John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb, so too can any baby - it is by grace that God gives faith...this grace can extend to babies or mentally disabled if it so pleases God. We do not know God's purposes for each and every child. It is our hope and prayer that he has extended this grace to the children we have lost over the years and that this would bring Him honour and glory.

Feeling Sorry for Myself....

My greatest weakness lies in this…that I should allow myself the luxury of feeling sorry for myself. For this is when I grow more selfish, demanding and self centred. And this is the doorway to let myself feel miserable and depressed. Feeling sorry for myself, in reality, means that I am dissatisfied with God’s plan for my life, and with his ability to give me strength in hard circumstances. Feeling sorry for myself allows me to get angry when others wrong me, to be forgiving only as I chose to forgive, not as Christ has forgiven me!
Does this mean I should be a door mat… never setting boundaries and always being overwhelmed by constantly having to forgiving repeated sins…far be it from the truth. We are always to constantly strive to work together as a team, honouring God as best we can in all we do. And sometimes it means pointing another in the right direction or saying…’hay that hurts, you cannot keep behaving like that, please can you change that.’
The problem arises though in that people cannot be changed by the likes of you and me. For it is only God who can truly change and mould a heart and life. He can use us for sure, through example and prayer. But we cannot do his work for Him for this is His ‘soul work’. And when we cannot change a person therein lies the issue of frustration and then there is the temptation to grow weary of doing good and to feel sorry for oneself. There is never an excuse for ‘feeling sorry for myself’…and besides there is a much better life in giving more than one receives. You know in 'considering our trials pure joy' is peace, freedom, real exuberant living without the clutter of the junky emotions that go alongside ‘feeling sorry for myself"
more aptly put by Spurgeon....
"Here--put your troubles here!"

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Cast your burden on the Lord--and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:21

Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins onto Jesus--cast your troubles there also! As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father in heaven! Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God--the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts--the more likely the ponds will be frozen.

Oh! It is a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can cast our burden upon the Lord. Oh, you agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a 'frown of concern'. Come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see you staggering beneath a weight, which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden--would be nothing but a bit of dust to Him. See! The Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says, "Here--put your troubles here!"

"Cast all your cares upon Him--because He cares about you!" 1 Peter 5:7

This was taken from today’s 'Grace Gems', see http://www.gracegems.org/