Sunday, December 30, 2007
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among brothers,
to make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman - The Work of Christmas
A Grateful Heart p 74
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I realised this was how it was leading up to Christmas - and to be honest, for me the hardest thing was coming to terms with that and also of course therefore the various comments about "I'll be thinking of you today without Lyn" etc have been quite hard to deal with. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the places the comments come from but frankly unless people have been clear that they mean "in the mixed picture that it is", those words spoken in care have been unhelpful rather than helpful. They have just added to the guilt that I've already been wrestling with.
But this is how it is in much bigger ways than just Christmas - it is my reality. While I am really thankful for so much of mum's role in my world - I wouldn't be here without her and that's pretty profound and what much of my grief has been about (think back to the way I talked about my grief as the "breaking of the umbilical cord"), life is easier and less complex than if she was around. And I'm sure that is true for her. As I said in my eulogy - her pain is now gone ... and that includes the pain she caused others (and the pain that then caused for herself).
So hesitantly I say I'm at peace with her not being around ... and growing in peace with my thankfulness for that. She knows peace she's never known before - why should I feel guilty about loving that fact and the consequences of that for me?!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
It's hard stuff - at the time I was able to sigh but it is hard stuff and I'm angry and processing it all.
It is the hard end of the presence we want to be - and sometimes the hardest thing is holding the line and loving people well enough to truly love them and not just let stuff go.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
The act of love is to say "I want you to be who you are." The act of abuse is to say "I want you to be who I want you to be." It is that simple.
James D. Gill
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Thanks Wes for the heads up.
Monday, November 26, 2007
As a teacher in spirituality, I am well aware that much that goes under the name is almost entirely introspective—an invitation to hunker down and contemplate one’s spiritual navel. At its worst, this spirituality is self-obsessed, chronically disconnected from the world and its needs, promising much but demanding nothing.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I've also been thinking of the various "tools" we use in life and how they can help or hinder us in this process. One tool that I have been using this year a bit which I do think has significant value in lots of cases, The Artists Way, I reckon for me this year has unfortunately rather than helped me walk on a journey of losing my life and in losing my life finding it, put me more in a place of seeking my life. Let me reiterate I don't think it's the tool in itself - but I do think a combination of factors has meant that for me this year this tool has been something that rather than helping me live more fully has helped me focus on myself unhelpfully.
It reminds me of needing to carefully choose the tools we need, the spiritual disciplines we need, and to continue ensuring they are things that take us in the direction we are wanting to go, ensuring that mixed with what else is happening for us they are helping us really become more shaped in the paradox of the kingdom.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I was asked the other night what it would mean for me to find my life by losing it, particularly in relation to this stuff, and I really do think that it is one of the key questions of our time, particularly for some personailities. What does it mean to give up on our path of self-improvement, look to God and let him shape and mould us. What does it mean to truly seek first his kingdom and not our own?
The outward stuff might look the same - eg. you might explore personaility types but it would be out of response to God rather than to further yourself. One such time for me recently was feeling strongly that it was good to buy a book about losing a parent when I was in New Jersey - this led to reading this book on the place between New York and Seattle and to one of the biggest life defining decisions of my life and has profoundly reshaped my relationship with God - yep that has the hall marks of a God led reading of that kind of book.
But my life is not about me - it's about God; and everything in my life needs to be shaped around that; that is where I believe true life is.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
First real day back at work on Monday - I have energy, more than I've had for years, and I'm relaxed as anything. A good friend who I work with commented "I love your energy and your blazzeness". As I was telling another friend about it last night - she said "since when have you ever been blazze" - that's about right.
Something is very different. It's a Barb I know, and who a few people know, but not many. and that's who I feel like is the main Barb at the moment - I like it. I hope that Barb can stay. She cares passionately, but is also realistic about life, is extremely able to flex, loves life, throws herself into life, is able to relax fully. But do watch out world, while that Barb parties harder than ever, the energy in that Barb also means much can happen!
Stay around that Barb!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Tonight as we were praying I had what is becoming a fairly normal experience for me. But it is now happening very regularly as opposed to what it has been over the last few years - on some occasions during more "ritualistic, liturgical" communion. Now it's happening most times I pray - especially in a "set aside" way, by myself or with others. The experience is hard to describe. Certainly on the verge of tears starts the description. Immense tenderness also helps the description along. Deep vulnerability that sees all of me and embraces me speaks towards it. I've been known to describe it as being in the same realm as the knownness and vulnerability of sex. Deep knownness and knowingness - that's getting close. It's an amazing experience that leaves me very tender everytime. It was my experience tonight, and last night during communion too - a special, very intimate time that leaves me feeling very raw, tender and vulnerable and loved, embraced, challenged and held.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I'll write some separate blog entries on different aspects of the trip over the coming days.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wendell Berry: "The significance (and ultimately the quality) of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which we are taking part."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm not sure that I can put words to what it was but I did a feel a little culture shock at American airports. I guess some words would be much rougher than Australia, service much more abrupt and just a generally different feel. Having said that though people were helpful and lovely.
I read on the plane a fair bit - mostly Hugh Mackay's new book "Advance Australia Where". Interesting to be reading about Australia as you are flying to two new countries.
Arrived in Ottawa at midnight and then the person who picked me up drove me around Ottawa for a while which was great. Then bed ... sleep ... in a bed!
This morning I got up and then was dropped at the bus to Kingston - 2 and a half hours. Arrived and went to Tim Horton's for lunch (had to have cultural introduction!) then back to the house I'm staying at, then down the street in Kingston to get a few things for the wedding I'm here for.
But sleep is calling very soon ... will write more.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
"If I relied on you to text our friendship would be over, if I have a need for a text I text x (her other close friend)"! So so true!
Given my posts a little while ago about texting I thought some readers would get a chuckle :)
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Creator of the water
Help me sink into the rhythm of the pool
To let myself be as I swim
To submit to the rhythm
And as I sink into the rhythm of the pool
As I let myself be and submit to that rhythm
Work deep within me to help me further submit to your rhythm of life.
It's a mystery
It's a paradox
You can't make it happen
But you can trust that it has happened
It is happening
It will happen
Your life is hid with Christ in God
Be true to that life
Much of your life is not in line with that reality
Live in your new reality
Put on your new self
Which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It's been interesting to process that and more specifically the autopsy report. I wasn't surprised to find that she had significant alcohol in her system - I'd suspected that some of the strange behaviour from her was connected with alcohol, so in some ways it's all confirmation of what I thought - that's nice in a strange way. But the amount was and is shocking - .28 in her blood, and that's probably a lower amount than was actually there at the time of her death. There is also evidence of numerous strokes of different ages and dad now thinks he saw some of those. There is also evidence of some pulminory stuff either as a result of the stroke or the alcohol. And now that I have a sense of how much she was drinking, I certainly don't think this situation was in any way a one off.
So how do I feel? Sad, vindicated, angry, at peace, like truth is known.
But it's wierd to think that these are the actions mum had ended up in.
It so makes me want to choose widely different paths with the things that are struggles for me.
Friday, September 28, 2007
A guy who was in a wheelchair was being assisted in buying some trousers by another guy who I think was a personal care assistant and they needed more space than our change rooms in the op shop would allow, so I pointed them through to the toilet up the back of the church property. As they walked through the community/lounge type space, this lady who was having a coffee asked if they wanted a coffee and offered to make it for them - which she proceeded to do while they were trying on the trousers. As they came back she gave them the coffee ... and then left.
It was an amazing experience to listen to - a glimpse of the kingdom and one of those times when I deeply know that what I am involved in is worth it.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Not only that though - I hate situations by and large where I am not actively involved. I get bored if I am not participating strongly and I just don't want to be in the situation. However, there is another side to that - I also enjoy actively watching! So one of my favourite things to do in a group situation is sit and contentedly let the social situation occur. What I hate however is being asked to be involved in the conversation/activity but not in a way that is fully engaging all of me. And so much of life in our normal ways of interacting asks that of us!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
And what's wierd is that lots of other people would feel like that about blogs, facebook, email, even phone - all things I feel very comfortable with ... and feel like it's "real connecting" even when there is not signifiant other contact but sms I don't - bizarre! I don't pretend to get myself - so don't feel obliged to either!!!!!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Homage To Young Men
Lyric by Luke Concannon
Verses Alastair McIntosh
Chorus Luke Concannon
Music John Parker
I want to talk to the young men out there. It’s for the women too, but especially the men, cos it’s tough to be a young man in this world. You have to face so much heartbreak and loss. In love and career and life. It’s easy to forget the meaning and give up. To burn up or sell out to addictions, despair or greed. Easy to forget that life’s a journey with a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s about navigating the future, your future. It’s about learning to become a man who’s real, and able to love.
Are you waiting for me? Are your hands down in the dirt? We belong together. I’ve been longing since my birth to be arms around you to be true to who we are, to let all our pain out to be playing in your heart.
So let’s talk about the first stage of life. The departure, when your boat is pushed out on the river. Most of who you are is still your small self. The you your family has made you, your schooling and your friends. You’ve still not found your deep self, your Great Self, cos that’s what the journey’s for. So you set out, full of hope, but with a heavy load. All the baggage of your upbringing. All the love, yes, but the fuckedupness too. Maybe the absent father, or the smothering mother, or the cold indifference of those around you. It’s no wonder you’ve a rough ride coming. It’s gonna get tough and it’s got to. So you can find yourself. So you can become a real man.
And that’s when you hit the second stage of life. The initiation in the rapids and the storms. That’s when you find the pain of brokenheartedness. Love affairs that fail, failures in career and all your hopes for what the world might have been. Plenty young men founder grazed on such jagged rocks as these. Bruised and angry in a storm of violence towards self and others. But it doesn’t have to stay like that. No, my friends, not if you push on and open to the inner grace that will bring you courage. The courage to face reality as it is, without lies. The courage to know your wound but to insist on beauty and outgrow it. The courage to open your heart, to hold fast to truth, and to stand each step in your dignity.
And that’s the courage that brings your boat to the third stage of life. To see how your small self is held in a greater Self. And that you’re fit to be an elder in your community, able to share the gifts and the blessings. Able to support and inspire what gives life among your people. And to love your beloved; to love and be loved by the Beloved no less, my friends. Because we’re talking here of love in all its meanings. And you can only love with a deepening heart. And that is why you had to grow courage on this journey to the ocean. That’s what your battle wounds on the field of life were all about. That, my dear friends, is what qualifies you to be a man in your community. Capable of loving and able to be loved…. Capable of loving and able to be loved…. Capable of loving and able to be loved
"Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny. We are free beings and children of God. This means to say that we should not passively exist, but actively participate in His creative freedom, in our own lives, and in the lives of others by choosing the truth. To put it better, we are even called to share with God the work of creatingthe truth of our identity. We can evade this responsibility by playing with masks, and this pleases us because it can appear at times to be a free and creative way of living. It is quite easy, it seems, to please everyone. But in the long run, the cost and sorrow come very high. To work out our identity in God, which the Bible calls "working out our salvation," is a labour that requires sacrifice and anguish, risk and many tears. It demands close attention to reality at every moment, and great fidelity to God, as God reveals Godsself, obscurely, in the mystery of each new situation."
The core and essence of a sustained calling in the ministry is this: to learn more and more to listen, pray, live, and act on behalf of the life of God where it is at work and where it is imprisoned in your fellow human beings.
On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry, Brain Drayton, Quaker Press 2006, page 27.
It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes of Westerhoff which a number of years ago was so central to everything I thought about - and certainly still is a foundation for me and which I've rediscovered recently:
"Our vocation is to live the life of a lover, dreamer and visionary who sees miracles on mountain tops and in slums; to live day by day in the conscious awareness of the merciful judgement of God; to be aware of God's active presence in our lives and history; to strive to discern God's will and to act with God as a sign and witness to the coming of God's Kingdom. We are called to join God in embracing and enlivening each other's faith, to help seek out experiences through which divine revelation may be made known to us, and to aid each other in the realization of our vocation."
I pray that I would live more and more in line with those quotes!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
But it's got me thinking - I reckon lots of people do think something down those lines about me. And I so know it's not true. Giving myself permission is hard, but once I've given myself permission it's as easy as anything. And it's interesting, loads of people who are quite close to me wouldn't see that but I can think of some of the closest few who know it well ... and some others. But I reckon most of the world would think the same as that ex-colleague.
Doesn't really matter what others think - although I do get a bit tired of that perception of who I am - but it did 'cause me some food for thought.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
If you don't know - Daws is my married name and for a host of reasons I didn't change my name when we separated almost 8 years ago or when we got divorced 6 years ago. It has seemed good and natural to continue on with Daws until now. Now however, in these weeks following mum's death there has come a desire in me to go back to using Totterdell, my birth name. Not sure that I can really explain why - it's something very deep in me that's decided to do it. And not sure that I can explain the timing either. But I'm conscious I don't need to - I just need to be sure in myself - and that I am ... so here goes. Happy to talk about it if you'd like - but not sure that I have heaps to say about it other than - it just seems good to do and good to do now.
But as well as that (and I'm sure deeply connected) I've been thinking lots about what it means to "be true" to who we are created to be. We are reading Colossians at 5pm at the moment and the phrase that hit me during the gospel reflection on Sunday was "your life is hid with Christ in God". So what does it mean to be true to our primary identities - that of being children of God, co-creators with God, people who have the breath of the life of God in us etc ... rather than our false selves - the ones that came later, the ones that deny life. I long to be true to my primary identity and there is something in this name change that is representative of that too. (Not at all implying that changing my name or keeping my name as Daws for this long has been bad - just the symbolism is all quite timely and deep)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Holy Play by Kirk Byron Jones
Birth, Dreaming, Death (The Schoolmasters Story)
Monday, September 10, 2007
As I've thought about it a bit over the last couple of days I've thought about my family as I was growing up - stuff has changed radically since then but that's what I was shaped by. My dad worked long hours, generally working overtime and often weekends. He gave pretty much everything to that and then some time to me. However, my memory is him working long hours but coming home and collapsing - either in front of the tv or reading a book or newspaper. So the lesson from him - blokes (or adults) work long hours that takes everything from them and then collapse. My mum was a stay at home mum all my life. Her hobbies were much more down the sewing, knitting end but of course because they were part of "homemaking", I haven't separated those off from the rest of her "work". So in what I took in she just kept going in much more low key ways but still the message that I have internalised is "women just keep doing stuff that needs to be done". An exception to this for mum was tennis - which she played lots of ... so again the message for me: to have time off it has to be something out of the house.
Combine all this with a parenting style that said clearly that art and anything of that nature was useless and that what mattered was english, maths, science etc. Also combine that with engaging actively with my faith and church at the age of 13 in ways that engaged me fully from then on. Also combine that with a personality that is very focused on others, often to the detriment of self. Also combine it with messages that reinforce that "biblically".
It's not surprising that this is a recipe for an engaged, fairly driven life that hasn't had much time for time out. In fact, I reckon looking at all that it's only really the grace of God that means it's not been more that! It's also the grace of God that I'm relooking at it and making definate choices to live differently at 32 and not older.
The lovely thing that has been true and that continues to be very true is that it only takes a choice to have time out and it's fairly easy for me - again gracious of God. But the message that has been incorporated into me is "time out is a waste of time and only to be had when you really need it".
And because of who I am and lots about my upbringing too (only child of deaf parents says most of it) really the main time out I can have at this time is by myself - quite limiting really.
Anyway - I'm pretty excited about where all this is going ... and certainly don't hear me blaming my parents in any way (they were just living life as they knew how). For me it's just about understanding where my messages, understandings and habits come from and then choosing what I want to do with them.
And what I want to do is - choose time out well and regularly ... and not just when I really need it.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
And what does it mean to age? Not the kind of aging that happens at 70 or so (although that is just on a continuum anyway) - what does it mean that at 32 you can't do what you could at 22. But that you have wisdom and life that you didn't have then whihc means you can work more productively and where we choose to live more fulfillingly.
As I process life particularly following mum's death, these are some glimpses into questions I'm asking and things I'm processing. Within the first week following mum's death, my key statement was "if I wasn't an adult before now, I am now" - so what does that mean?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
But the key statement of the day is - there is nothing I have to do, nowhere I must be. That is so my definition of true rest.
And how I long to be more in that place internally: there is nothing I have to do, sounds like grace to me. I'm glad of what I do know of it & I long to know more ... and am very thankful for what I'm learning about it.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Now that's deeply a place of healing, transformation and change but in a way far more beautiful, mysterious and precious than I've ever known. Words don't cut it to describe the beauty of what is happening in me.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The thing about grief is ...
that it is unpredictable
that it can give so much energy
that it can take so much energy
that it gives a new purpose
that it takes away your sense of purpose
that it is not understood
that others don't know how to respond
that it can be overwhelming
that it is consuming
that it amplifies everything else
that there are ways in which it is delightful
that it drains you of everything you've got
that it is a place on the edge of chaos
that it is a place where you can know God like never before
that it blurs your head
that it gives you fresh clarity
that it is intense
that it helps you enjoy the simple things in life
that it is isolating
that it is a place of abundance
that it is a place of deep solitude
that it is a place of huge aloneness
The thing about grief is that it's the process of life and death colliding.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
And to help you some more I could say that in recent years I've been converted to AFL - well at least led to have mixed allegiences ... and I am very happy that Richmond one on Friday night (going out with a mad Richmond supporter last year had that effect on me!).
Although I suspect that some of you agree with me - or at least secretly do even if you may not say it publically ...
okay I reckon I've given myself away to many of you ... (and others won't have the faintest idea what I'm talking about!)
Bring it on if you want to - I'm up for some discussion!
Friday, August 10, 2007
As I've come to terms with the "tearing of the umbilical cord" type side of the grief I'm experiencing, I've also had a really special experience. This tearing I'm experiencing from the person who gave me birth in a physical sense I will never experience with God, the one who ultimately has given me life. In the midst of knowing that separation so deeply, it's huge to experience that so deeply and profoundly too. I'm also struck by the choice Jesus made to enter into that separation. It's profound beyond words, but something I know at a much greater level now than I ever have before and am overflowing with amazement and thanks for.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Food is one of the key ways I am grieving for mum ... looking for Spicy Fruit Rolls in the supermarket, desperately trying to find her Neenish Tart recipe, being reminded by a friend of my story of mum bringing me ice cream and ice magic as I was watching tv as a kid and teenager.
This morning as I opened a packet of porridge I grieved for Paul - food again. Think I might have a glass of port in Paul's memory tonight.
Thoughts are also with others for whom this anniversary is significant.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Not sure what the day will bring.
How to be true to self
But be loving to others.
Not sure where self will be.
Tonight I am thankful,
for where God has me.
For deep peace,
and a sense of wholeness.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
One that you are never prepared for,
one you would never dream of,
One though where you know deep peace.
The bizarreness of the phonecall,
The pondering what exactly was coming,
The sense of what can happen in a brief time,
where you are having coffee and your phone is in your bag.
8 missed calls,
two urgent messages from my dad,
a phone call from the police,
a drive two suburbs; still unknown.
The walk to the house,
the being told that she had died,
the walking in and her body being on the floor,
And deeply embracing my dad.
And the pondering of how,
And the pondering of when,
Still surreal but oh so real,
My mum is dead.
The police, the coroner,
Questions about her medical history,
And then she's gone, their gone,
It's dad and me.
The reality sinks in (at some level anyway)
The phone calls begin,
The next week begins,
The rest of life begins.
I am sad,
I know the journey will be hard and long,
But I'm also relieved for her,
That her struggle is over.
I'm grateful, for the peace I have,
for the friends I have,
for the special time alone with her
The chance to say goodbye.
More phone calls,
All sorts of emotions,
Are what await me on this day.
But she is at peace,
Shalom she has never known,
Healing and wholeness is now,
Hers in abundance.
I feel so blessed,
surrounded by many,
Cared for and held in so many ways,
From Melbourne to Sydney to Canada.
Deep peace I know.
(On Tuesday 17th July 2007 I discovered that my mum was dead)
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
It would be wonderful to create your own prayer
Give yourself time to make a prayer that will become the prayer of your soul.
Listen to the voices of longing in your soul.
Listen to your hungers.
Give attention to the unexpected that lives around the rim of your life.
Listen to your memory and the inrush of your future, to the voices of those near you and those you have lost.
Out of all that attention to your soul, make a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul;
tender enough for your shy and awkward vulnerability;
that has enough healing to gain the oinment of divine forgiveness for your wounds;
enough truth and vigour to challenge your blindness and complacency;
enough graciousness and vision to mirror your immortal beauty.
Write a prayer that is worthy of the destiny to which you have been called.
Eternal Echoes - Exploring our Hunger to Belong
Friday, June 29, 2007
It's now been 7 months since we took over the op shop. It's been an amazing time and when we stop long enough to think about it we are amazed at what has happened over that time. We've got a number of new volunteers, we continue to build good community, we've cleaned and rearranged the shop, we've got some good systems in place. Things that we would name as God/life moments in some way seem to happen very often.
Here's a few stories:
- a regular customer comes in most weeks with things from her garden or something she has made
- we dreamed of the op shop being a place to help people back into the workforce (we pictured this would be a long way off). People who are in this situation for various reasons have come to us as volunteers and their experience in the shop is being transformative.
- we've been commited to keeping wastage and our impact on the environment as low as possible (hard for an op shop!). This has meant that we have been in contact with a number of different organisations and donating clothes to a number of places who need them (eg. local supported accomodation places)
- we've currently got 10 school students involved in the shop, from 5 different schools. Many of these are students doing their community service part of things like Duke of Ed.
- one of our volunteers, Nick, died a few weeks ago and it was an immense privilege to walk with others close to him a bit during this time (please do pray for Nick's family). We miss Nick and have certainly walked the process of grief ourselves too.
- having regular days where sales takings are above budget.
- people who have been regulars in the shop for years are now involved as volunteers.
So yes it's exciting! Of course, there are days, hours and issues which are long and hard, but the stories of life certainly outweigh those times.
What are our current needs?
- Our biggest need is people!
We've had an amazing number of people volunteer, but most of these due to age, ability or comfort level are not able to be responsible for the shop at a given time. So we are particularly looking for people who would be able to give 4 hours (weekday morning, 9-1, or afternoon, 1-4, or Sat 10-2) to the shop and who would be happy and able to take that kind of role. As you can tell from the stories above, it's as much about building community amongst the volunteers and customers as it is about the running of the shop, although that of course is part of it. If you are interested but
couldn't do every week, it's still worth talking with me (eg. We have one person who does a Saturday every 4-6 weeks). As well as looking for people who can do regular weekly/fortnightly times, it would be great to have people we can call on when one of us is sick or away. Shiftworkers we are also happy to work with your roster! Feel free (and invited!) to pass this information on to people beyond the Solace/St Paul's network who you think might be interested.
Another need is just people around! It's great when people are on Station St and they pop in and say hi to whoever is working in the shop (sometimes we are there by ourselves - an offer of a coffee is always appreciated!). We're also trialling different things in how we offer the space to people during the week for a place to be, people to talk with and coffee and tea. People being in the back space of the St Paul's building and just generally around always makes the feel of the shop better. Would you consider spending some time "around" the building? (which will become a somewhat more attractive possibility with heating solutions currently underway!) This could be planning to be around between 12.30 - 2.30 once a week, organising to meet someone who you would be meeting anyway at the space or just having 30 minutes spare around Station St so coming in to sit and read. If you are interested in the more structured of those things (offering to be around at a particular time each week) please talk to me but otherwise please just keep it in mind and act as you are able. Over time, the building will be used for some specific activities during the week but currently opening the building in this kind of way is the only use of the back space during the day during the week. The shop is open 9.30 - 4.30 Monday - Friday and 10 - 2 on Saturday, so those are the times when any of this would be great. Our current times we more specifically open the back space are 12.30 - 2.30 but it is usable at any time by people who will wash up their own mug etc! Just let the people in the shop know you are going through (Do particularly feel free to let
others you know who might be interested in that who are on Station St a bit eg.mum's who might be looking for a space to breastfeed)
Thanks too for the part that various people in the Solace/St Paul's network have played in this. People have provided lunch on cleaning days, helped clean, provided plastic bags as we've requested them, volunteered in the shop, shown interest, prayed, dropped in, given clothes and other things I can't think of right now. Thanks!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
- Andrea who I went to school with and who I lived with in Year 12 got married to Anthony
- I went to Sydney for Andrea's wedding
- I went to the Good Food and Wine Expo with the John and Diane Thoms
- I had a lovely dinner with Dave
- Tracy, who I have shared so much life with over recent years, went to Canada on Wednesday morning
- I had a phone call to go and pick my dad up from the dental hospital because he had trouble breathing while they were removing his tooth
- I had a great lunch with Shaz, a long term friend who now lives in Brisbane
- I've had lots of fun times with the 18month old twins who I'm friends with
- Ran Solace Sunday stuff and used lots of the resources we've created over the years as well as a good idea I had during the week. But mostly did what I did from a sense it was what would be good to do. Have had a number of responses of it's usefulness for people, from some unexpected places too.
- It's end of financial year this week so trying to ensure things are in line for that
- I went for a swim
- starting to look for new house
Monday, June 25, 2007
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heartand try to love the questions themselves ...Don't search for the answers,which could not be given to you now,because you would not be able to live them.And the point is, to live everything.Live the questions now.Perhaps then, someday far in the future,you will gradually, without even noticing it,live your way into the answer.rainer maria rilke
Monday, June 18, 2007
Discuss having drunk too much alcohol over the weekend (too much over the course of the weekend, not at any one time)
Arrive at meeting
She pours me drink of wine!
I choose to drink it!
Too much alcohol - what's that?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
And we are conscious of the impact that one person's death has on others, particularly those closest to them and to others who for whatever reason life is very fragile for. We are conscious of Nick's daughter especially. Also, we are conscious of others around our community, some of whom didn't even know Nick, who will be impacted deeply by this death.
This morning a few of us sat in the church building and put together an area in memory of Nick - candles, a cross, takeaway Chai's (we'd introduced him to them), water, words that we thought of as we thought of him - devoted, struggle, good listener, real, honest ..., his favourite cigarettes. We listened to Mia Dyson and the Cat Empire. It was special.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
When we despair of gaining inner transformation through human power of will and determination, we are open to a wonderful new realization: inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received. The needed change within us is God's work, not ours. The demand is for an inside job, and only God can work from the inside. We cannot attain or earn this righteousness of the kingdom of God; it is a grace that is given.....
God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving His grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that He can transform us.
Celebration of Discipline
Harper & Row, 1978, pp. 5-6.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Some important questions for reflection at the heart of discernment:
(a) What course of action more fully seems to resonate with the kind of life Christ lived and lives?
(b) What course of action opens up more possibilities for God to ‘come through’?
(c) What opens rather than closes doors for God’s healing, forgiving, reconciling, and creating work to go on?
“There is no guarantee that in any situation there will be only one clear and compelling answer. In the process of asking these questions, in the very process of reflecting and discerning we are making space in ourselves for the life of Christ and the creative movement of God…”
But in the meantime something mysterious has happened in me - in these things that seem to have had a hold on me for so long, I'm seeing real difference. Not thru striving or really working hard at deciding but really just thru making the kind of call I've talked about above and I guess (in quite a low key way really) looking to God to do it because I know I can't myself and giving up on some of the other answers of how change might come. What I've expereinced, observed, seen in myself is just a welling up of choices in the direction that I'm being called to walk in. It's almost (but not quite) like "of course this is what you'd do".
As this is happening I guess a couple of things have been in my mind: "what the law was powerless to do" ... I'm seeing so clearly that living by the "law" (even God's call in a sense) is powerless to break the hold of darkness, lostness and brokeness in me, as is disgust, striving, systems or any of the other things I've tried over the years. The other thing is the fruit of the spirit in the message "What happens when we live God's way? We see fruit arising in us in much the same way as fruit appears in an orchard ..." Yep that describes the experience I'm living. Deeply mysterious but deeply real and definately life producing.