I’m driving home on a cool Autumn morning, having dropped my children off for their day at school. I’m trying to focus. Trying to sort out the best way to organise my day. The tasks are many; although perhaps not as many as they seem to be. My husband made an honest observation a few weeks ago that struck some quiet place within me; ‘I’ve noticed, Rach, that the things you have to do take up more mental real estate than they need to.’
Another way of saying, ‘You stress too much.’
It’s true, I admit it.
But how can I not? There are just so many things to be done; so many glaring, obvious demands (the 2000 plus emails in my inbox; an assortment of spam and necessary flux, intermingled for my convenience, the dirty dishes and work calls to be made, the children’s bedrooms which seem to be perpetually in a state of disarray no matter how much time I put into them; truly the black hole of our existence, where plates and bobby pins, pens and socks are swallowed in the abominable pit that is my...
I've always been touched by the story of the woman who poured out her tears on Jesus' feet and so often in my own turbulence of heart and mind, I am reminded of the time of a storm at sea, Christ Himself in the stern.
He is after all, a God not separate, nor removed from the troubles we face, but in them, He dwells. He touches us with the perfume of joy; sustains us with the bread of life and breathes into us His life so that we can live and live well.
I wrote these words for Him; they are written over the course of a few years and I share them with hesitance, because they are precious to me. Too precious for sharp judgement or the scrutiny of man. And yet, how can I live this life unless our pour out what is due Him?
May something in here strengthen your heart and remind you that you are His.
'Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.'
Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 10:34
There's something a little bit unsettling about some words that we find in the Bible, wouldn't you agree?
Parts that seem discordant with other parts, or that unsettle or contradict the view that we have of God, ourselves or the world we are living in. These are usually the parts that opponents of Christianity will bring to our attention (often with much glee, or perhaps interlaced with their own uncertainties, fears or bitter experiences.) They are brought before us as evidence, as though we were part of some court case seeking to disprove the existence of or the goodness of God.
Do you remember putting your name down to be a witness for that trial?
And yet, there are times when our beliefs come under the firing line of people we have counted as friends, neighbours, acquaintances and co-workers. Social media has opened up a pothole of antagonism and m...
My mother likes to tell a story of when I was young -about six or so - and threw handfuls of marigold seeds around our garden. She and her neighbour had carefully planted their own seeds in the garden bed earlier in the day, covering them with dirt and watering them in, unlike mine which sat willy-nilly on top of the soil. As the season passed, would you believe it, but the ones my mother had planted were scarce, but everywhere I'd cast the unlucky seeds, they'd taken root and burst into life and the result were clustered smatterings of sunshine-coloured blossoms all over the yard.
Why is it that we can work so hard, so diligently on something and see little result; at other times we cast out our 'seeds' and they burst to life before they've even landed? Can you relate? Or perhaps it is someone else's blooms you have watched and wondered about, holding your own seeds in your palm or fretting over the ground where you carefully planted them. Perhaps you are uncertain if you have any seed...
It has been a long while, friend, and you’ve been on my mind.
Quietly whispering in the background of a year that has been full and busy for all of us. It is the challenge of life to listen to the whispers; to notice the gentle movement in the corner of our eyes: the finger of God beckoning us to come.
It is the New Year, friend, and 2017 is done. We’ve packed our bags and blown away the dust from our knapsacks and suitcases, our inflatable beds and our sleeping bags. We’ve taken to the trails, to the skies, to the waters to spend time with our loved ones, to escape the busy and to refresh and relax. And now it is January. It certainly feels as though it’s been the New Year for more than a fortnight; to myself at least. Life has picked up once again and there are hot cross buns already on the shelves of our local supermarkets. Emails trickle in and the world is open for trade once more.
Do you feel ready, friend?
Have you had a chance to think about the year behind you…to assess its lesson...
We are on a temporary sabattical here at the still small voice as we take the time to spend the school holidays with our young ones. We will be back on Monday, the 16th of October. Until we next meet, may Father God's whispers comfort and bolster your soul so that you may be brace, strong and more like Christ each day. Until the 16th!
There is a quietness of spirit that awaits us; a dwelling place of restful assurance for our souls. Where is it, you ask? It is in the quiet confidence of the provision of a faithful Father. As the milk-satisfied infant rests on it's mother's breast after a feed; we are provided quiet places of rest in the Lord's provision. What does your week look like, knowing that the Lord will provide what you need, when you need it; to richly satisfy you and to help you grow strong? What does it look like to know that He will be there when you are next hungry? That a time is coming when you will rise in strength, with energy and joy, to do the works that make your heart sing?
Let your spirit grow quiet.
Are you empty?
He is there, waiting to feed you with words of life.
Are you tired?
Rest against His goodness; lean your whole frame upon it.
Are you worried for the future?
Do not fret; He has gone ahead and has already provided what you will need in that season.
The escapism that comes with printed words is wonderful!
When it came to reading, one of the best treasures were the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books because they held the charm of partnering with the author to direct the outcome.
For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, imagine a book where a few pages in, you get to choose between crossing the rickety bridge to the castle or climbing a glistening glass ladder to another world. Essentially, you as the reader get to choose where the story leads.
Find one to read if you haven't yet experienced the wonder of these books!
If you were one of the lucky ones to know the goodness of those books, maybe you can recall resisting the urge to peek your way through the story in order to determine which path was the best one to take; or perhaps you didn't resist and you arrived at the chosen conclusion exactly as planned, mapping each choice you would make along the way.
Did you know that your time here on earth is a very precious thing? If you call yourself a Christian, then you are taking the very specific stance that your life has been authored by, and continues to be written by a Creative God who has purposes to fulfill on earth.
I (Rachel) recorded this video back in July; (excuse the poor quality and the interruption at the end). I want to use this video to get us thinking about how we are using our time in light of the eternal purposes God has for each of us. I hope you enjoy.
Today we share a simple thought, because sometimes the soul needs reflection of it's own...I wonder if there is something that He wants to make beautiful for you? Is there something that you have carefully stowed away; a thought, an experience, a question; one that seemed irreconcilable, a part of yourself that you might have put away?
Would you let Abba touch it? Perhaps now is the time.
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time.