About me

Elizabeth Paterson is a married, mother of three children. She loves all things creative and is currently writing Children's Stories, hopefully for future publication. She is also interested in Young Adult fiction and is studying Creative Writing through an online educator.

Sunday, 16 October 2016


Written by Elizabeth Paterson - Copyright 16th October 2016

It entered silently during the night; the cold, soft fall of the first winters snow. It came in the darkness and yet something about the way the moon cast its light upon the earth made each little flake of exquisite and unique design, glimmer lightly amidst the black backdrop of the night. I looked out my window and took in the beauty of it all. Who can sleep when such a sight is on display? It was silently inviting me to come, to sit and watch its beautiful show. Before I knew it, the quiet had led me to a place of blissful contentment, and almost as though some invisible queue from the earth had signalled the right moment of climax, the sun silently peeked over the straight line of the horizon. With all the brilliance of an artist’s palette it began to paint the sky with an array of colours unlike anything I’d seen before. Each snowflake in its intricate, delicate, kaleidoscope pattern, seemed to collect the colourful light in a thousand different ways. Without a word it took on the form of confetti, in the colours, and the lightness of the way they each fell through the air. They needed no intro, no count-in, no warm up swell; they soundlessly took up their own chorus of light, and movement like a symphony of sight. The silence only added to the perfection of that moment as the sunlight grew in intensity and continued to introduce new colours and hues.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Always and Forever

My kids wanted to go play outside. Fantastic! Every parent wants that, right? It's a beautiful day outside. Not too hot, not too cold. The sun is shining and they can burn off some energy on the trampoline before nap time.
Mr 3 wanted to play with his water gun. No harm done there, really. True, it wasn't always a good idea. He'd learnt the hard way with a previous water gun to never spray the house…or his sister…or the dog. That water gun ended up in the bin. He was only allowed to squirt water at the garden or the grass; a little watering would be good for the plants. So I let him take his water gun out again today, to play with in the yard. They had their gum boots on. All was good.
They were playing well for quite some time. I checked on them every little while and yes, all was good. Until I suddenly heard Miss 1 crying.
I walked out onto the back balcony and couldn't see them, not at first, then I noticed the white shirt UNDER the trampoline.
"What are you doing under the trampoline?"
"Just playing, Mum," Mr 3 calls back.
"But why is Miss 1 crying?" I said, as I went further into the back yard to see for myself what mischief was ensuing.
"Um, because she's dirty."
I'd reached the trampoline now so no further explanation was needed. I saw the water gun on the ground next to Mr 3. I saw him MIXING up the ground with a stick. I saw their gumboots, not on their feet but on the ground. And as Miss 1 turned her head towards me with tears streaming down her face, I saw the "dirty". Her face was covered in mud and so were her feet (and I then noticed that Mr 3's feet were actually hiding DOWN IN the mud hole). Her clothes were covered in splotches of mud, especially her backside were she'd been sitting in the mud. But as the giant patch of mud covering one eye looked at me with tears mixing into the dirt on her cheeks I was filled with a mixture of emotions.
One, "oh, crap this is going to be a pain in the bum to clean up": and, two, "look at my beautiful, ridiculous children, doing what I believe kids should be really doing - playing outside, exploring their world in every way, getting a little bit dirty and loving real life (not artificial, computerised, televised life)."
So I cleaned them up. Chucked them both in the shower (Miss 1 still with her clothes on because she hates showers and was kicking and screaming), pulled a muscle in my back quite badly in the wrestling that was needed to scrub Miss 1 down and keep her from climbing out of the shower, and got myself quite drenched in the process. New, dry, clean clothes all round. Except for Mr 0 who was sleeping quite peacefully through all of this.
Take a deep breath; everyone is now in bed for nap time, including me.
Later in the afternoon Mr 3 says, "Mummy, I want to play outside".
"No, you got covered in mud this morning when you went out there this morning."
"But I promise I won't play with the water. Please Mummy!"
Well, that's new. I didn't think my 3 year old knew what a promise was. Maybe he learnt it at preschool.
"Alright then, gumboots on and stay away from the mud."
I'm sure you know how this play outside ended. Promise broken, two kids muddy again (although not as badly as before), another shower and more clean clothes on.
There wasn't a mixture of feelings this time. I was mad. Cross, angry, miffed. Whatever you want to call it. And I was disappointed.

Surely, you shouldn't feel disappointed that a three year old didn't keep a promise. But I want them to learn that a yes, should always be a yes, and a no, should always be a no - period. My child specifically told me that he wouldn't do something, and he ignored me.
Do you try to make them understand the importance of telling the truth? Probably a losing battle seeing as they are three and, not quite, two years old.
Do you let it go with nothing because you think they won't understand the lesson? Just let it roll off your back? Throw the next load of muddy clothes into the machine and wash the day away.
But when I called my husband I said "I'm obviously too trusting…" and I said it as though it was a bad thing.
But it's actually a very good thing, because it's a very God-like thing.
In the back of my mind I had predicted this outcome. And it's not the first time I have chosen to let my kids try to do something, whilst knowing deep down that it would probably fail.
Why do I keep setting myself up for failure?

Because I want to be forever giving my children opportunities to succeed.

Because I want to set them up to do well.

I offer them my trust time and time again, because I will forever believe the best in them.

I believe that they can be good, can be better, can be excellent. Perhaps you're all thinking, "don't worry about it, we've all been there. It's just what kids are like at that age." And don't get me wrong. It is always comforting to know in this hard gig called parenting, that you are not alone and others are walking a similar journey.
But what if I let past experience rob me and my children of experiencing greatness that goes beyond statistical expectations of a child's behaviour? My children would be robbed of opportunities to succeed, they would be robbed of confidence, and they would be robbed of feeling like their mother thinks the world of them.

How does this relate to God?
Well, how often has God trusted us with things, only to see us walk away from it, or misuse it?
How often has He given us extra chances, ignoring past failures, and believed that we could do what He has asked us to do?
He does not need to predict what we will do, He knows it! He knows exactly, every word, thought and action before they are even performed. And still, he offers us an opportunity to succeed. Over and over again.
He trusts us with the little things in the hopes that we will steward them well enough for Him to trust us with the bigger things. He believes the best in us. He thinks the world of us, ALWAYS and FOREVER.
Why? I mean, how could he know every bad word, bad thought, bad action, before I've made them, and still offer me an opportunity to succeed?

Because He sees me through a very pure film. A filtered lens, called Jesus. He is the Instagram of our pictures being uploaded for God to view. Those Gingham and Crema filters that smooth out the rough and ugly, and make everything look more beautiful and picturesque than it was when you took the shot. It's a parental bias that our Daddy-God has for those children who have come into His family through their acceptance of Jesus.

I think most parents have an understanding of constant forgiveness for your children, and unconditional love. But extending renewable trust on a daily basis can be hard. We can forgive people for what they have done, but so often we will never trust them again for fear that they will hurt us again. And for some that is a very serious reality. There are some things that should not be allowed to be put back in your life if they will happen again and again. But for establishing good characteristics and values in our children, these chances are invaluable and should be as innumerable as possible.

So for my children, I will not spend today holding them to what they did yesterday. And tomorrow I will let go of what they did today. They will be the wonderful people I believe God is shaping them to be. They will succeed. And I will set them up to do well all the days of their lives. Because I DO think the world of them, ALWAYS and FOREVER.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Introducing Chester & Hugh

Introducing Chester & Hugh

These are the cute little bears that started this whole new endeavor to write. 
I'd gotten the inkling to try writing again a few months back and decided I would buy myself a writing journal. I would find pictures or quotes, anything really to help trigger the author's light bulb and provide inspiration for stories and just see what happened and if I really could enjoy it as an ongoing thing.
For Ewan's 2nd birthday his Great-Grandmother (GranNan) gave him a card with a picture on the front of two bears fishing from a boat made out of Newspaper. I looked at it and thought there must be a fun story behind these bears, and so I set out to tell that story that I imagined was speaking to me off the front of that card. 
Chester & Norm and the Newspaper Boat was born. 
I sent it to my bestie and soon as I sent it I knew that Norm was not the right name. Bestie and I tossed around a few other names but Hugh was the one that really stuck with me. 
I created some illustrations to go with my story (a little different in concept to the two handsome gentlemen above - I've done some tweaking with their appearance) and even wrote a sequel that I was more than happy with. Continuing the adventures of Chester & Hugh was a great joy and I found myself not just enjoying writing but being almost feverishly excited!
The style of writing I used for C&H then birthed Florence & Rose which I have already posted on this blog previously. 
It's a strange thing to create. I have become quite attached to these characters. I enjoy thinking about them; who they are/were and where they might be headed in the future. 
Chester is playful. He always finds the fun and is quick to lead the way into something adventurous. He's the sort of bear that would thrill at the idea of jumping in puddles just after the rain. He's the bear that blows bubbles in his milk, and plays hockey with his fork and the last pea on his dinner plate. He loves activity and loves making other people laugh and enjoy themselves. If I was to liken Chester to someone I know he would be a combination of my husband and my son :)
Hugh is a little more refined. He's older than Chester and he's very intelligent. He enjoys working the muscles of his mind. But his deep thinking mind is also lively enough that he is happy to tag along in tow of Chester's playfulness. Hugh doesn't mind trying his hand at a little play acting, in fact, he enjoys the mental challenge of taking on another persona. He's well educated and has great memory recall, and although he is happy to join Chester on his adventures, Hugh will spend the time furthering his mind by absorbing the experiences and enjoying the scenery. To liken Hugh to someone that I know would have to be my Dad :)

Now when I wrote these characters I had not intended on drawing from qualities of three of the most important men in my life, but perhaps that's another reason why I love these bears. Because they remind me of the men I love. 

Chester & Hugh's story was sent off to a publisher in South Australia. They say on the website that it could take upwards of three months for them to respond to successful manuscripts and that if you don't hear from them then you can assume that you have not been unsuccessful. 

And so it is a waiting game. Waiting for months just to see if you do not get any answer so that you can then try another publisher and probably wait again.

But when I wrote this story I said to myself "Even if this never gets professionally published, I will do up a book myself just so that I can have a story to read to my children with my name on it, and dedicated to them, so they can know that I was thinking of them when I wrote this story."
And that's what I'll do now. 
While I wait, I will draw, and I will try and put together my own illustrated version of Chester & Hugh and the Newspaper Boat and see what happens down the track!

Fingers crossed!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ninja... I got something!

My last blog post was a cry for help about the writing topic 'Ninja'.
Firstly, thank you to those that responded.
Secondly, my creative juices did get flowing again and I have now submitted a piece to the KBR website team and fingers crossed it too will be selected for publication on their website in May.

What got the juices flowing was actually writing out a Ninja story based on a concept that my lovely sister-in-law presented to me. When I completed that story I ended up writing a new story which is the one I have sent off.
So in recognition of my sister-in-laws creative idea I have chosen to share the first story with you and as promised I am dedicating it to her daughter E (my niece) and her cats, Rosie and Cleo :) This is the Ninja Kitten.

The Ninja Kitten by Elizabeth Paterson
(This work is Copyright to Elizabeth Paterson 11th April, 2015)

Mumma looked at her three very different kittens one fine morning and said, “It’s time you thought about what you want to be when you grow up.” She said very seriously, “Take some time to think about it; it’s a big decision to make.”
The eldest kitten scrunched up his face so as to think very hard and said, “Mumma, I believe that a kitten of my smarts would be best suited to a life of some sort of scholar or a professor.” So the eldest kitten walked off to lay down next to a book and begin his studies.
The middle kitten said, “I’m sure I should be a musician of sorts; I can’t help but tap my paws when I hear a good beat.” So the middle kitten walked off and began batting his paws against pots and pans to hear the sound they make.
The youngest kitten was black of fur, but his Mumma could not find him when she turned to him next. Suddenly he leapt out from behind her and said in a whisper, “I know what I will be, Mumma.”
But before she could ask him to continue he had somehow vanished again. She started when the youngest kitten stealthily dropped down right in front of her nose without a sound and landed into a crouch beneath her.
Mumma watched him carefully to see if he was going to disappear again, but he stayed in his low crouched spot in front of her. “Now, what is it that you think you will be?”
The little black kitten slowly stood and whispered, “I’m going to be a Ninja Kitten!” Then he once more disappeared in a blur of black fur.
When they came together for dinner she watched her children closely to see how they were getting on with the choices they had made. The eldest kitten yawned and kept rubbing his eyes. The middle kitten kept licking his paws; they were very sore from all the banging on pots and pans. Then the little black kitten moved with such lightning quick speed that before she could even notice a fly that had begun to circle them, the youngest kitten snatched it from the air with one paw and didn’t even blink.
Not long after they’d eaten, their human came to see them. He’d been watching them all day too.
“I’ve decided to give you names, little kittens.”
He pointed at the eldest and said, “You will be called Lazy, for you are always lying about in my books doing nothing.”
He pointed at the middle kitten and said, “You will be called Noisy, for you make such a racket all day.”
Then he pointed to the youngest kitten and said, “Oh, where did the littlest one go? When you see him Lazy and Noisy, tell him that I’ve decided to call him Ninja, because he’s so stealthy and quiet that I never know where he is!”

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Ninja...I've got nothing!

I was so excited when I received the email. My breath was caught for a moment, and my face immediately cracked into a grin of joyful disbelief. I couldn't help  but smile. And then, I couldn't help but dance. I jumped up and was bouncing on my feet whilst I impatiently waited for the phone to dial my hubby. I just had to tell someone!
But he didn't answer. So I rang my best friend, because I really needed to tell someone!
But she didn't answer either. I was giddy with excitement and bounced on my feet some more and then dialed my mother-in-law.
"Mum it's me! I just have to tell someone. I'm so excited! My story has been selected to be published online sometime in April!"
When I hung up from sharing my great news with my mother-in-law, I burst into the song "I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it". I danced the most goofy moves I could think off, and Ewan joined in and cried out "Again!" when I had stopped singing and dancing. I didn't need any more encouragement than that, for I was still bubbling with excited energy and was more than happy to see him giggling at my bum shaking and arm swinging.
It was only my second submission, so I was surprised and overjoyed to have been given this tiny bit of recognition. My enjoyment in writing re-fueled.

Less than a week later when I checked the website, there it was: Grandpa's Attic by Elizabeth Paterson. It was the first one for that month to be published.

I thought. I have to try again, with next months theme. Ninja.



...I've got nothing.

I'm itching to write again, but I do not know what to write for a children's story about Ninjas.

So now I am on the look out for a muse. Some inspiration. A Gru-like "light bulb" moment. Something that can spur on the flow of writing for another successful short story.

Someone help, please. Be my muse. Hit me with some inspiration. Be the catalyst for breaking my little writers block moment here!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Your faithful ones

My greatest desire right now is that my children grow to love God. Not just because we, their parents, have told them to; but, because they themselves have experienced their own genuine and authentic encounter with the love of God and His great faithfulness. 
We pray that God will help us to lead them well, to walk in His ways and to know His purpose for their lives, but one day they will need to choose to make their faith their own. 
So I pray that He will guard their hearts as they walk in this world. I pray that they will seek to know Him and understand His incredible grace and mercy. I pray that they will perceive His enduring and unfailing love.

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19 

May our children be counted among Your faithful ones.

Behold, my God will make a way!

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. BEHOLD [emphasis mine], I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I WILL MAKE A WAY [emphasis mine] in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." - Isaiah 43:18-19

Behold, my God will make a way.

And He has.

How many of you who call the One True God, Your God, cannot say that God MADE A WAY for you in your wilderness, in your times of trial.
The wilderness; that place of bewilderment; that place where everything seems to be smothering you, overwhelming you with it's thick canopy and you are left feeling confused, lost, and uncertain.
The desert; that place of desperation; that place where everything you thought you knew and possessed seems to be stripped away from you and you are left feeling desolate, empty, alone, and thirsty for life giving hope.

When you look back, did God not make a way?

It's been said many times before, but I will reiterate what I have heard from many pulpits and from many mouths, that the Psalmist says "EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil".
EVEN THOUGH, not IF. It's a WHEN IT WILL happen, not if it maybe happens. Therefore, if our loving God does not promise us that we will have clear, smooth sailing when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, then what do we do with those valleys, wildernesses and deserts?
Let me put the emphasis then on another word: "Even though I walk THROUGH the valley..."
Did you get that? Have you heard it before and maybe glossed over it with the all too familiar voice in my head that has said "Yeah, whatever, Pastor. You don't know just how horrible a valley I'm in at the moment. You don't know how bad I have it right now."

The Psalmist recalls, not just that he was allowed to go through the difficult time, but that he knows that he can acknowledge that HE CAME THROUGH IT, that he didn't stay in that place. He continues with the great proclamation "FOR YOU ARE WITH ME".

His God not only made a way, but God was WITH HIM through it.

When you look back, can you not see how God was with you, how He made a way through?
Maybe it was a person; those timely earthly angels that God places in our lives to be a great source of comfort, encouragement and prayer support when you're struggling. Maybe it was a book; something that brought you a revelation that gave you strength to keep walking. Maybe it was occupation; something that engaged your time and gave you fuel to keep powering on for someone else's or something else's sake.
God is OMNIPRESENT. That means that He is EVERYWHERE. He's not just in one tangible place and therefore, you don't need to wait for Him to show up. He is already here. He is in that best friend that sent you bible verses to encourage you. He is in that book that spoke to you about God's enduring faithfulness and set your eyes back upon Him. He is that child that you were able to serve with your best self and know that you were still having a positive impact in the world, and that there are good things worth fighting for.
He was with you, even if you didn't notice the fiery pillar lighting the path ahead in the dark night. He was with you, even if you didn't hear his voice booming above you. He was with you, even if you didn't see the angels standing in your prison of despair to shake the chains from your ankles.
Even though we so often wish that He would, God doesn't always work in blindingly obvious ways.
But He still asks us to PERCEIVE IT.

Perhaps you do not yet have the beautiful God-given gift of hindsight. Perhaps you have not yet noticed how His hand has been upon you to guide you through.
Have you still been remembering the former things? Have you still been considering the things of old?
Turn around. Look forward to where you are going, and turn from looking behind you. See that God is doing a NEW THING. See that He has made a way ahead of you, to come out of the wilderness, to walk clear of the desert to lie down in green pastures and sit beside still waters. Let Him restore your soul.