I can hear warm air moving through the vents of our ducted heating. There are birds outside and the gravel is wet from the weekend rain.
My laptop is before me; so is my calendar and phone; my post-its, invitations and messages that need organising so that I can see what needs attending to this week; where I need to be and what I need to do.
I'm already very behind.
I find myself thinking, 'I hate Mondays' and with it comes the sensation of weightiness. Of burden. Of energy leaking out of me.
This is my Monday-problem.
Maybe you have a Monday-problem.
Or maybe your Monday is well-organised.
Maybe you planned for it yesterday.
Feeling stuck, I find myself googling, 'Why do people hate Mondays?' and the results come up in 0.75 seconds. Almost fourteen million of them. I find an article that invites me in; to quieten myself and breathe; to allow my body to become still and relaxed. As I feel the panic subside just a little; the article invites me to be thankful fo...
I have been blessed with many wonderful friendships. People who are so different to me, who have been sent, I know, by Father, to help me to learn and grow and understand. I have a friend who is a determined optimist. It is she who has helped to shape my understanding of how it is possible to train ourselves to be optimistic.
No, wait, this is not a self-help article as such, and perhaps it veers away just a little from the style and tone of this place in virtual space, but bear with me, because it comes back to Father God.
It always comes back to Father.
At some point between childhood and adulthood, I became a pessimist. Only, I didn't realise that I was a pessimist. I didn't see myself as a negative person; instead, I thought I was a realist. My definition of an optimist was a person who had not yet learned that life was pitted against you; that you would always be let down and that hope was incredibly dangerous (it sort-of is, but in a different way! More about that another time)....
Deep beneath the layers of who you think you should be, how you see yourself; beneath the image you’ve worked so hard to fashion with your hands.
There you are.
I see you.
Do you remember who you were when you were young?
I remember who I was.
The girl who loved to make. The girl with big ideas.
I remember taking handfuls of feathers from a hole in my parent’s quilt; I knew it was wrong so I hid them in a mint green container under their bed. I was going to make wings. I had figured out the secret of flight and I bade my time until I had enough feathers to carry my weight.
I made magazines and books and bought big handfuls of rubber bands from the local newsagency. I created my own printing press. Blank paper was a gift; a limitless canvas upon which I could create worlds and dreams and adventures. I drew and coloured and folded for the sheer joy of it.
Who were you?
Did you know that we are God’s poem?
That the very fabric of our being is infused with His...
Sometimes, I wonder, if at least a little of the trouble we encounter in our dust-and-clay life here on earth is due to trying to hold on to things that are supposed to be released.
My family has recently acquired some beautiful, snugly fur-babies in the form of two female guinea pigs that we keep some of the time inside a generous-sized cage in our lounge room. The last few weeks have been devoted to trying to establish the trust of these little ones; it is a patient task and one that requires a little self-denial if nothing else: trying to handle them when they do not want to be handled is futile. They duck and run and attempt to hide, and even if they are pacified a little, their poor small hearts pound against the palm of your hand.
I don’t want our guinea pigs to stay in our arms out of fear; I want them to feel safe there.
The more I hold them against their will, the less likely they are to trust my hands.
A month ago, I released a word on our social media about holes. You can find it here. It seems to me that in this busy, crazy beautiful thing that we call life, it is easy to get caught up in the rush...our own thoughts become replaced by popular opinion, our schedules fill up before we have the chance to decide how we would like to use our days and the gift of discovering our place in the world can easily become the burden of trying to be everything that we are supposed to be all at once.
Our souls crave space; breathing room.
Abba, in His wisdom, has created seasons and rhythms in nature. The cold season, although often bleak and discouraging, allows us to come indoors and quieten our spirits. Father calls us and waits for us, promising that
Do you feel the cold right now, the hard biting wind of Winter? Perhaps there is a season of starkness you're walking in; just maybe this season feels as if it endures relentlessly and you are wading through the drifts of challenges and maddening dead-ends.
As your whispers to heaven create flurries of frost in front of you, you long for the comfort of amber flames to coax life into your cold fingers, for breath to come warm and slow as it leaves your lips.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on the 'doing' in this relationship?*
Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life."
There is invitation and hope here; sit with Him by the hearth and inhale deeply the peace that comes with the loosening of muscles as they relax in the warmth of the fire. Allow the glow to settle upon your skin and your soul.
"I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you."
When I was a little girl, I wrote. More often than not, I wrote stories about the way I wanted things to be. Sometimes I expressed my feelings through songs and poems. Abba wove the love of words into my little-girl heart so many years ago and I shared those expressions freely with those around me.
As I grew up, life got busy: I met my counterpart, children were made and loved; the world marched in and my adult-heart became sensible as it does for so many of us. I learned to be careful, because sometimes, open hearts get burned.
This world isn’t really made for vulnerability, is it?
Three years ago, Abba whispered life back to me:
Just write. He said.
His invitation was tangible; precious and private.
Once more, words began pouring like wine. I was reminded of David, the Shepherd-boy sinner with the king-sized heart.
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer."