Day 31/16-17 – I am choosing

31 days

So I missed yesterday’s post. I am choosing to be ok about it. I’m still not very well and energy is minimal.  I am trying to keep things low key but with 3 kids – who am I kidding?

It is frustrating. For the first time in a long while I feel energised to pursue more writing and I sense God nudging me towards new things. But I don’t have the energy to ‘do’ anything apart from the basics. Having the flu is forcing me to sit with these ideas and lean into more of what God is saying. I am choosing to be ok about that. There is goodness here.

The wind is forcing mighty trees to give up their oldest limbs today. Driving home from school drop off was treacherous.  The sky is thick with clouds.  I love grey days.  They are easy.

And so what am I meant to learn today about beauty and truth?

I think it is this – stop asking questions. Start listening and start looking. There is truth and life to be found in the ordinary.  I can choose this. I can choose to let go of the struggle and the work of this. There is beauty to be found, wedded to glory and goodness, in my lounge room. God chose this. And I am choosing to lean into the ordinary, easy, grey days, and rest amongst the simple things.

The Bible is full of evidence that God’s attention is indeed fixed on the little things. But this is not because God is a great cosmic cop, eager to catch us in minor transgressions, but simply because God loves us–loves us so much that we the divine presence is revealed even in the meaningless workings of daily life. It is in the ordinary, the here-and-now, that God asks us to recognize that the creation is indeed refreshed like dew-laden grass that is “renewed in the morning” or to put it in more personal and also theological terms, “our inner nature is being renewed every day”. Seen in this light, what strikes many modern readers as the ludicrous details in Leviticus involving God in the minutiae of daily life might be revisioned as the very love of God. ”  Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

(Thanks for reading along! Here are the rest of the posts from this series)

Day 31/14 – The Morning After

31 daysIt’s the morning after.

All last week I was fighting off a cold, I could feel it lurking around me. My simple and short sighted pray had been, ‘Just don’t let me get sick before Sunday morning’. And I didn’t. This horrible cold/flu hit me at 1pm Sunday afternoon. It was an answer to prayer. One I thank God for.

Last week was busy. It was also humbling and a little bit lonely.  I was rostered on to lead our church service on Sunday, something I have not done before. It required more prayer and more planning than I expected (and resulted in an extraordinary respect and appreciation for those who do lead our services).  And a couple of my best friends are away. And even though our random text messages late into the night about Thor have delighted me beyond measure (they really have), I am missing their grace and truth in close proximity. They are my ‘go-to’ people for common sense and tea and laughter.

And now I am curled up on the couch trying to entertain a nearly 3 year old when really I just want to go to bed.  There is a good chance that ‘The Dinosaur Train’ will be on repeat today.

 

But yesterday.

Yesterday the church, in our cold and badly lit grey cement-block building, flared in magnificent colours and shimmering holy light. The building was flooded with goodness and laughter and a deep sense of heaven.

This is what it is meant to look like.

This is the beauty of the Bride.

In spite of all my planning and detailed notes, God chose to come and sit with His people and whisper to them about the wideness and glory and life of the Bride.  In all our brokenness, beauty thrived.

And so despite feeling sick and tired, I am content. The beauty of the Bride is wide reaching. It is wild and peace giving, beyond measure and holy. It requires me to show up. It requires our church to show up and choose vulnerability and forgiveness.

Yesterday, beauty and life and the church and goodness danced together. I am so grateful I was there to see it.

 

(Thanks for following along on this 31 Day challenge. Check out the previous posts here)

 

Day 31/12 – Quiet Night

31 daysI think this busy week has caught up with me.

This afternoon I sat on the couch and watched Dr Who. That helped.
I’m choosing a quiet night, a cup of tea and more Doctor Who. Don’t judge. X

‘We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one’. The Doctor, The Big Bang

 

(Follow along on the 31 Days series here)

Day 31/12 – Not prepared for this

31 daysFor since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

I am dwelling on this verse today. It is tumbling around my head as I make coffee and attempt to tame the banksia bush in the garden.

Romans is infernally perplexing to me: it was not written as systematic theology but so often it has become a rule book and a to do list.  I find myself constantly trying to extricate the true story of Romans from the bad (and well intentioned) teaching that has been layered upon it.  Romans 1:20 comes in the midst of Paul having a good go at those who don’t recognize God and His glory through creation.  There is so much going on here.

But what this verse does hint at is that God’s character is on display through the created world.  That in some glorious, mysterious way God speaks through the rain and the knotted branches.

And so I delve into the glory-filled Psalms for more; more hints and more wonder.

I find more than hints and suggestions.

I uncover grace filled skies and booming declarations of God’s infinite goodness wrapped in mountains and oceans.

I find God pushing towards me through words and wonder.

I find a God who delights to be discovered.

I find a place to stop and rest.

I find that God is wedded to beauty in a way that I was not prepared for.

Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

 

(All the posts from this series can be found here. Thanks for reading along. x)

Day 31/12 – Wedded Beauty Free Write (the journey so far)

photo(1)31 days

She insists on holding my necklace.  ‘It is the colours and its bewdiful’, she says. And that is enough to make her stretch her hands out and grab the beads. She holds them carefully in her tiny, pudgy hands.

It is all the colours, all the important colours. Pale green, bright coral, deep dark blue, peach and grey.  It is my favorite necklace. It is her favorite necklace.

New books arrived today. Books to point me in the right direction, to lift my head and hold my hand.

I hope.

Books on art and finding God in the ordinary.

I have lost the art of seeing God in the everyday. The quiet prayers that come when you are sure of his presence in the supermarket and in the kitchen. I miss those moments. For so long life has been about scratching at the surface and choosing to keep digging down, beyond the layers and the light, in the dirt and murkiness of life and doubt.

It does not come naturally to me. I have to work at taking notice.

By our back door there is a horrible patch of dirt that we cannot convince anything to grow in. My last ditch effort involved nothing more than a bag of soil, a box of grass seed and a thoughtless prayer. Weeks passed. And then yesterday the first tentative and pioneering blades raised their heads. Today there are many more and that barren, dusty patch is tinged with green and life. It makes me unreasonably happy.

I am learning to listen to my breath and my wordless prayers. I think there is goodness to be found when quietness and curiosity collide.  My timid heart is learning to look up, where it can see beauty and grace with ease. I am leaning into to where light is common and the shadows have receded. I am hopeful and I am cautious. I want to learn. I want to know the secrets found in setting suns and changing seasons.  My curious and timid heart is ready for this.

(All the posts from this series can be found here. Thanks for reading along. x)

Day 31/11 – A Reprieve

31 days

A reprieve via Mathew Fox (priest and theologian, not the actor).

‘Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing, of overcoming dualism’.

‘If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully’.

‘Do not confuse beauty with beautiful. Beautiful is human judgment. Beauty is All. The difference is everything’.

(Thanks for taking this journey towards wedded beauty with me. Check out the previous posts here)