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Epic *FAIL*

So, Mister Bear, the Ladybaby, Chickabid and I are invited over to Ns place for afternoon tea, becuase J's in town for a few days over Easter and it is a great opportunity to get together.  Just to set the scene, N, J and I have been friends - best friends - since I was 17, N was 16 and J was 14.  Yes, I'm the oldest of the crew.  So by my calculation that's somewhere like 23 years.
So far, so good.
We rock up, me with a cake box of Triple Chocolate Walnut Hot Cross Muffins, because I've been told not to bring anything and in a L-O-N-G tradition of not doing as I'm told, I made some specially.
N starts getting the coffee ready, Mister Bear and the Cubs are out playing with the dog, Jand I are chatting and all is well.
Until I spot a brightly wrapped parcel on the table, with a card on it for J.  I think "Gee, N's organised!  J's birthday's not until 7th April"...
Then it dawns.
Today is the 5th April.
That makes Wednesday the 7th.  J's going back to Small Victorian Country Town on Wednesday.
I won't see her again before she returns to SVCT.
Oh, bum!!!!!
Friendship= epic fail.  Again. 
You could take the view that it's traditional for Js birthday to creep up, and I have a long history of sending belated birthday cards and gifts,half-birthday cards and gifts, even (embarrassingly) combined birthday AND Christmas gifts.  Come to think of it, J would probably fall over dead with shock if she got a card and pressie from me *on* her birthday.  or even *close* to her birthday.
But I feel like c**p.
I am starting to think that I'll never get it all together and I'll wind up shuffling off this mortal coil with a life as unfragmented and disorganised as it is now, and has always been up to this point.
Too depressing to even think about.

Can I be honest here?


There's a blog that I read that I don't read as often as I ought to.  I have a tendency to avoid it because it cuts to the quick and shines a light on all those dark places that I prefer to keep hidden.
She's not more saved than me; she's not a better person than me.  But every fibre of her being seeks the Lord, cries out to the Lord, depends on the Lord and I am only too aware that I don't.  I want to, but I don't.  In every part of her life from the big stuff like raising the kids, to the small stuff like making a pot of soup, it all, ALL is done in an attitude of prayer and service to others.   Is she perfect?  Not by a long chalk.  She leads by example.  She is NOT patient, NOT kind, NOT an exemplary mother, but she's honest.  Brutally so.  Reading her blog is like looking in a mirror under strong light, where every imperfection is highlighted and every blemish pinpointed for the ugliness it displays.  To look in that mirror is painful.  It hurts.  It gets in under all those defences, over the top of all the noise that fills and drowns out the still small voice. I should.  I should.  I should.  But I don't.
There's a situation IRL that I am involved with.  Only involved at the periphery, by proxy almost one would say.  It's an awful situation and one for which there are no answers.  None.  There is nothing I, or anyone else, could say or do that would make anything better.
Another layer to the awfulness has been added and when she was talking to me last week and disclosed the full horror of the situation, I involuntarily cried out to the Lord.  It was as though my soul took over and spoke in words that I could barely understand.  But why did it take unimaginable horror for that response?  Why is it not my "default setting"? 
Sometimes I think I am going mad.  I think that I will be driven to the brink of insanity and beyond by the voices of condemnation that shout aloud inside my head, and then whisper insidiously at the worst possible times like in the stillness and quietness of preparing to share in the Lord's Supper.  A single word can be uttered and I moan - sometimes inwardly and sometimes out loud - and Ian will look at me questioningly, but I am ashamed to admit that once again, that voice of condemnation has shouted vile and filthy words.
"You called youself a Believer?  HA!"
"You did that.  No one made chose to do that.  What a great example you have been."
"It's all your fault."
I am not now who I was then.  I am forgiven.  The voice of condemnation is not the voice of the One who died for me, but the voice of the one who seeks to separate me from the Father.  But that battle was won a long, long time ago.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

There's only way way to shut off that voice of condemnation.  It's with the Father's words and the Son's intercession.  In all the noise and busy-ness of the day; in all the clamour that demands my attention; in all the trivialities and inconsequential nothingness that pervades my soul, I have been putting the Word off.  I've been putting other things in the place which belongs only to the Lord.  So why be surprised that a spirit of condemnation has been dogging me for months?  What did I expect?

Her blog makes me feel bad.  Realising the reason for that makes me feel worse,  But...
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2)

It's not a license to sin.  The operative word is if, not when.  If we sin, we have someone to speak in our defence.  One who goes before and on whom I depend for my rightness with God.  There is no other way.
Father, I thank you for all that you've done.
You gave your Son freely for me.
And I praise you for calling me, drawing me near.
Out of blindess you caused me to see.
Jesus, I need you, as Lord of my life
I give all I have unto you.
I want to come under your heavenly hand,
And to praise you in all that I do.
(Words and music by Steve Stewart)

Back at LJ


According to my LJ homepage it has been 112 weeks since I last blogged here.
Hmm.  What has happened in those 112 weeks?  Quite a lot it would seem.
  • I left work.
  • Mister Bear became ill and was unable to work for six months.
  • I went back to work as a casual teacher to keep food on the table.
  • Mister Bear was diagnosed with sleep apnoea.
  • I started sleeping with Darth Vader ;)
  • Mister Bear got well again and went back to work
  • Ladybaby started school and hated it
  • I taught for probably the last time in my life, in a school
  • Mister Bear got a new job
  • We got a new car that came with the job
  • We decided to educate the children at home and took them out of school
  • We got very involved in our local church and started having a home group in our home
  • I realised what it *really* means to be a follower of Christ
  • I stopped scrapbooking
  • I began giving away chunks of our stuff
  • We got a new dog
  • Our old dog died
  • We started painting the house
  • We bought a lampshade for the lamp in the lounge room.  This mightn't seem like a big deal, but we were given the lamp as a handmedown when we were married.  13 years ago.  We bought a lampshade for it just after Christmas.
I think that's the potted version of the past 112 weeks.
Is anyone still reading here? 
Probably not, but if you are, by any chance, still reading, please leave me a comment.

Where am I?


journalling please drop by and visit...leave a comment if you'd like

Chickafinty elsewhere

dichroic asked...

why do you need all the complicated leaves, instead of just quitting? Is it just so you can return more easily if you ever do want / need to?

The answer is a bit complicated so please bear with me.
In NSW all public school teachers are appointed through a central body: The NSW Department of Education and Training (DET).  When a person finishes university with a teaching degree they have an interview with persons from the Department.  The Department usually employs somewhere around 15 graduates from each University**.  These 15 or so targeted teachers get a placement straight out of Uni, usually at very difficult schools in impoverished areas or way out in the country.  If you don't get targeted then you are added to the ever increasing number of teachers waiitng for full time employment and placed on "the list".  You are given a priority date and in theory, the further away your priority date is the sooner you get a job.  While waiting for a permanent job you can teach as a casual (substitute) teacher.

Mr Bear finished uni at the end of 1991, went to his interview and was not targetted.  He began teaching as a casual in 1992 and remained a casual until the end of 1998.  By that time we'd been married for two years, but I was the ony one of us who had a full time permanent job.  We needed for him to get a permanent job before we could even think about children etc.  Mr Bear retrained over 8 months while I was the sole bread winner and got a permanent job 5 weeks after completing his retraining course.  We left his name on "the list" to see how long it would take for him to be offered permanent employment with the DET.  The call came on Mothers' Day 2001, 91/2 years after he graduated!  At this time, had he accepted the job, he would have been placed on a beginning teacher's salary (27K less than what he was getting in 2001) and it would have taken him 8 years and another 2 years of university to be earning enough to support a family.  We turned the DET job down.  I might add that as a male primary school teacher he had priority of employment over females, but still had to wait nearly 10 years.

If I resigned, I would have to fill in an employment application almost straight away and submit it.  I'd be interviewed (again) and my name would be placed on the list with a priority date of around April 2007.  I could reasonably expect to receive my call for a permanent job somewhere around 2015 or thereabouts.  If I keep my permanent position I have priority of reemployment so the DET have to find me a job.  Permanent part-time positions are really, really difficult to get and I could be waiting a long time, but I'd maintain permanency with the DET and that's the crucial thing.  In addition to this, they have implemented a new system of teacher registration in NSW.  If I resign and am re-employed, the Insitute of Teachers (the registration body) will not recognise my previous service as a teacher if more than 5 years have elapsed since being a permanent teacher in a school.  I would be treated as a brand new graduate and have to jump through hoops to pass registration despite holding a Teacher's Certificate and having 15 years teaching experience.  I don't really want to do that.

It is really hard to get a job with the DET off the list because so many other people have priority before you.  For example teachers who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, teachers with a scholarship, teachers resuming full time positions after leave, targeted graduates, teachers seeking compassionate transfer and teachers eligible for service transfer all have priority over teachers on the list.  It is only if there's something left over that a List teacher gets a job.

##  There are at least 6 universities in NSW offering teaching degrees, probably more.  Each year there would be in the vicinity of 2000+ graduates spread right through NSW.  90 or so could expect to get a job right from Uni, the other 1910+ would become casual teachers.  

I got a job straight out of Uni as I was a scholarship holder.  At the beginning of my teacher training I applied for and was granted a scholarship.  The DET paid me (a little bit) to study on condition that I worked for them for 3 years afterwards wherever they sent me.  In a manner of speaking I've been employed by the DET since Feb. 1989 a total of 18 years!!  No wonder I am finidng it difficult to just resign lol.


Fourteen teaching days

I have 14 teaching days left at GPPS.
The net result of all the phonecalls yesterday is as follows:
I have 59 days long service leave that I have to use before taking unpaid leave.
I have a year and a half of leave without pay left from the 3 years allocated.
If I take the year and a half in one go, I lose right of return to my current school.
I can then opt for a service transfer or a resumption of duty transfer.  It could take years for that transfer to come through.  Leave is extended indefinitely until a suitable position is found.  If I am medically unfit to return to full time work and they have to find a permanent part time position it could take even longer.
I haven't had such wonderful news in a long, long time.

Two phonecalls

Two phonecalls will I make today.  The first will be to the NSW Teachers' Federation.  The second is to the NSW Department of Education and Training.  By the end of the phonecalls I am hoping to have a plan for leaving my job.  I talked to the boss on Monday and she has verbally okayed leave for the remainder of the year.  All that remains is nutting out the details as to exactly when and where and how.  If all goes well I should have 7 more weeks to teach (two days a week) and then I will be on leave.  LSL from the 24th April until about the 25th June or therabouts, followed by leave without pay.  I have another year of leave without pay left, but I have a nasty feeling that this is calculated on calendar years rather than actual months, i.e. the last two terms of 2007 will count as my full year, even though it will be 6 months, rather than two terms of 2007 and two terms of 2008.  Hope that hasn't confused you too much.
However it pans out, I am hoping to be on leave for the rest of 2007 and then we will think again.

Simple, but true

Found this on a message board at and I thought that it was great.

I asked God to take away my habit.-

God said, No.-

It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.-

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.-

God said, No.-

His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary-

I asked God to grant me patience.-

God said, No.-

Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;

it isn't granted, it is learned.-

I asked God to give me happiness.-

God said, No.-

I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.-

I asked God to spare me pain.-

God said, No.-

Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares

and brings you closer to me.-

I asked God to make my spirit grow.-

God said, No.-

You must grow on your own! ,

but I will prune you to make you fruitful.-

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.-

God said, No..-

I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.-

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.-

God said..-.Ahhhh, - finally you have the idea


Feb. 8th, 2007



Make bed

Tidy floor

Dirty clothes to laundry

Completed books to bookshelves


Make bed

Tidy dressing table

Tidy chest of drawers

dirty clothes to laundry

toys to toy room


Make bed

dirty clothes to laundry

toys to toy room

clear off cupboard tops


toys into tidy

tidy vanity


tidy off benches

empty bins

put away appliances

wipe off benches

unload dishwasher

load dishwasher

clean sink


Tidy off computer table

Tidy off entertainment unit

Tidy filing cabinet

Tidy off dining table



Arrange flowers

Deal with flowers


tidy off floor

tidy off lounge

clean off surfaces


water plants