Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012... a new year

The house at Yarrawonga

Several years ago, we went on a trip out west and visited the sheep station where Mum grew up. A large place of sweeping, dry plains, called 'Yarrawonga'. Only 25 or so years ago, Mum left this home. When we went to visit Yarrawonga, there was something we were unprepared for - the great changes that are wrought over time!

A little hut, which was deserted when Mum was a girl
The place looked so deserted and decaying, beaten about and rusted in the weather, falling apart from lack of use and maintenance. To us children, it looked old, old, old, and we could hardly believe that the place we were seeing had been a thriving, busy hive of industry only a score of years ago. Sam and I persisted in believing that it had been deserted for at least a hundred years or more :).

Today, the first day of the New Year, we enjoyed reflecting on memories like these. I opened my journal, and realised with a shock that it has been nearly six months since I last wrote in it!

Looking over these pictures, remembering Mum's childhood memories, and reading over my journal entries, reminded me so much of how life changes. So many changes, and so quickly!
Our life on this earth is so quickly passing, so frail and transient. Full of change.

The manager's cottage

What was once thriving, is quickly stilled.

What was shining and new, so quickly fades and rusts over, on this earth "where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal".

We are so busy with one task on one day, and moving on to a new one the next.

Mum's bed :). Mum longed for a new bed for years
when she was little, because her old one sagged in the middle
Finally, on her birthday, she was presented with a
new bed, this one!

The seasons change, one upon the other, without variance. Yet even here, there are changes. Frailties. A season of rain, may turn to flood. A season of dry, may become a season of drought as has stricken the land on Yarrawonga.

Our bodies grow old and weary, feeble and pained so quickly, as season passes into season.

So also are we ever changing in mind and heart, growing through the many changes of each year.
What a blessing it is to grow, if that growth is in the Lord.

Dear sisters, there is One Who will never change. A solid Rock amidst the many storms, He cannot be shaken.

He Who holds the world, in His Hands.
An old-fashioned, hand-operated wool-press. 

The shearing shed

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, "... the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1: 29).

He Who said,

"Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away" (Luke 21:33)

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1: 24 - 25).

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15: 5).

In all years, past, present and future, He is our Hope! May His Name be praised!

Happy New Year, may He bless you

:) Maddy


Anonymous said...

Dearest Maddy;

What a beautiful post! This is such an encouragement and I love the pictures of your Mum's old homeplace. :)

Isn't it wonderful to be able to trust in our Lord Jesus - the One Who never changes!

We go through so many changes and storms - yet we can always flee to the arms of our Jesus; He is always there for us.

Praise Jesus!

With all my love sister, and I'm praying for you and Happy New Year again! :)


Carra - a bondservant of Jesus said...

Dearest Maddy,
What a blessing and encouragement this post was to me this morning, when I read it just now. How your words and praise of our Dear Jesus, continuously lifts my heart, and my eyes to see His Glorious Face! Oh praise His Holy Name.

How lovely it was to see the glimpses of your Mum's old place, and to see how shocking, the emptiness is, reminds me of the Life of Jesus... and how without His functioning, His training, His trials, and even the pain He brings us (like all the hardships that farm endured)... once it is gone, there is emptiness, and death. Praise the Lord He never leaves us sister. For what could we possible be, or do, without our Master?

He is so Good, and may we ever seek Him fully, every moment, and every hour. Finding in Jesus our All in all.
Praise His Holy Name.

I send all of my love to you and yours, and my family also sends a "Happy New Year" to each of you! With the Love of Christ.
Your brethren.

Love your sister, Carra

Joy said...

Dearest Maddy,

This is a lovely post :) and encouraging as well, dear sister. It is amazing to see how 'old' and worn, like something of a long gone passed, your mum's old hometown looks even though it hasn't been too, too long ago! And it surely teaches us so many things, like April and Carra said.

Amen! Jesus is our sure Rock, our Fortress and Deliever... and our Hope in a dark world! May we abide and cling to Him always and never let go! Thank you, Maddy, for sharing these versus... I pray you have a really blessed New Year and that this year will be filled with the goodness and mercies of the Lord! May you abide in His love and feel His Presence daily. Thank you for your sweet friendship, Maddy. I love you with the love of the Lord!

In His unfailing love,

Sarah said...

Dearest Maddy,

This is indeed a very interesting and encouraging post. Thanks for sharing this with us. It is quite amazing to see your Mum's old home and to see how it disintegrated in such a short number of years when it was abandoned. How much truth we can learn from that! Our hearts can also be like that without constant tending and weeding and polishing and fixing. Jesus often does this for us. He is our Rock when all else changes. May this be our strength in this new year.

Much love in Christ,

Maddy said...

Dearest April,

Thank you for this special comment, sister. It is a blessing to rejoice in Him and to share together, in this new year!

Truly, it is wonderful to trust in our Lord Jesus, Who never changes! His Words will never pass away. He is our Refuge.

Praying for you, dear sister,


Maddy said...

Dearest Carra,

What a wondrous blessing it is to lift up our eyes and to see His glorious Face!

This is so true, that without His Life there is death. This reminded me of your post about mirrors. We may try to hide this death within (though still it will be revealed); but never, without His Life, can we be a mirror for Him.
The emptiness and decay of Yarrawonga could not be hidden - it is there to see, as clearly as if reflected in a mirror!

Praise the Name of our Lord Jesus... in Him is all hope, He is Lord! Now, new creatures in Christ Jesus, our earthen vessels need not be vessels of death and decay, destroyed by change - but vessels of His life, vessels of the Lord!

Thank you, dear sister, our family also sends their love to yours. May He bless you all in this new year, 2012.

With love from your sister,

Maddy said...

Dearest Joy,

My family sends greetings to yours, in this new year!

Isn't it amazing to see in these photos, how old and worn the place looks in quite a short space of time.

Dear sister, what can compare to this great hope we have in Jesus! Amen, may we abide in Him always, standing upon the Solid Rock. For all other ground is sinking sand!
It is special to share in this great hope with you, sister, as we together worship our Lord and Saviour and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I cherish your prayers Joy.
May His grace, and love, and joy be upon you this year, and always. I pray His Light guides your path on the 'narrow way', that you may walk surefooted - and when your steps falter (for don't our steps falter)... in His grace we have this great promise. That He will set our feet upon the Rock!


Maddy said...

Dearest Sarah,

Thank you for sharing this, sister. How our hearts can disintegrate, become abandoned, fall into decay... so quickly. It was a blessing to remember this, that He tends our garden.
In His infinite grace, He is our Rock through all weather and upheaval. Amen, may this be our strength. Praise His holy name.
"To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever".


Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

We grew up out in the country too when we were little if we were to go back I reckon it would be the same - "there is a time to every season, a time to sow, and a time to reap.." May our sowing and reaping this year be that to the glory if our great God, love in Him, Sharon