All posts filed under: Faith

What is #FLAMfaces?

Hello. I just want to let you in on something that’s about to come to fruition in this space in coming weeks. It’s based on this verse: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15. God has been whispering, nudging and hip-and-shouldering me lately towards this project that gives ordinary, everyday people a platform to share about their faith; about their extraordinary God. When I’ve read that verse in the past, I’ve felt somewhat overwhelmed. I’m much better with the written word than the spoken word! But the verse doesn’t specify, does it? It just says, be ready! And anyway, writing helps to cement new thoughts and learnings in the brain, so it comes to mind more readily in conversation. So, I have started asking local folk who live with Jesus as their saviour to do this: to speak  (write!) gently and respectfully about the reason …

My fashion faux pas

I nearly dislocated my shoulder in the fitting room at Vinnie’s. There was this top, you see. Cropped. Long-sleeved. Deep blue. BNWT (that’s Brand New With Tags for the novice used clothing shoppers among you). I plucked it off the rack and flounced into the change room, pulling that curtain fair off its plastic runners. Halfway through I realised things were going badly. Arms were in, but head was not. To push on, or to retreat? Well, I pushed on, didn’t I? Yes, I did. Until, with much grunting and jiggling, I saw light from out of that toddler-sized top, even if my arms were cantilevered from my earholes. I didn’t need to so much as glance in the mirror to know that this was not a keeper. My shoulders were screaming by now… and did I mention I had an audience? Miss Three was looking at me with a mix of bewilderment and fear. Is mummy ok? her wonky eyebrows queried. I was about to holler for scissors when the blasted top let go …

Turning dizzy into delight

She’s spinning. Spinning faster and faster. Red tulle flounces and tubby pink arms are flung wide with abandon. She is squealing. A bubbling, gurgling, ecstatic noise that begins to rumble in me too. We are laughing together. Her spinning. Me laughing, but not. Laughing and cringing at her freedom. She is slowing. Tussled hair settles on shoulders. Tulle lights on knees. Arms drop to sides. And she staggers. “Me so busy, mummy,” she says. “You mean dizzy?” I laugh. Busy. Dizzy. Same difference. I’ve just spun out of a Megasaurus week where events and responsibilities merged one into another into another. There was a fair whack of troubleshooting, of costume changes, of finding a replacement here and a stand-in there. When people asked, “How’s your week been?” it would have been perfectly appropriate to reply “dizzy” instead of “busy”. Same difference. Lately God has pressed a word into my mind. Stamp into wax. Finger into clay. Cutter into cookie dough. The word is DELIGHT. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the …

A poem. About God. And I’m no poet.

I wrote a poem this morning. I did it during my quiet time. And this is no brag, friends, because I’ve been absent from daily hangouts with my Maker lately. Confession is liberating hey. So I was perusing the scriptures and there was this compulsion to pull out my journal and write. So I did. Interrupted somewhat by a little person who wanted to be on my lap. Then off. Then on. Then crying because I said no. Anyway. This is what resulted. I’m sharing it – not because I think it’s any rival to the likes of Tennyson or Keats – but because it was a creative act of worship, of honesty and oneness that you might like to try. For me, it was just a matter of picking up the pen and letting it lead me somewhere. How do I describe you? You are vapour, whiff, mirage, question mark apparition, something my head so swiftly calculates as void. Sometimes you are here, deep in the core, flame, heat searing outward, flushed face, scalding …

These 33-year-old hands

I’m looking at my hands in the shower as the water runs over them, filling up the liminal lines, smoothing the ridges, the whorls that make up the unique geography of my skin. These 33-year-old hands. I’m thinking that 33 is how old Jesus was when he died. It’s a sobering thought. Who he is, who I am. What he was prepared to die for, what I am prepared to die for. His ministry, my ministry. His relationship with Father, my relationship with Father. His body, my body. And our hands. My hands; they smooth out sheets… spread peanut butter sandwiches… stick Star Wars bandaids on knees… tap-tap-tap on computer keys… swipe hair from eyes… stir soup… grip steering wheel… cup faces. His hands; they gestured in emphasis of teachings… washed dusty feet… brushed tears from eyes… rubbed forehead and temples… clasped tight under a murmuring mouth… stroked the fetlock of a donkey… turned tables over… ripped bread in two… comforted. His hands invited brute nails through flesh and bone. I look at my own pale …

What’s that smell?

My two-year-old darling goes to daycare once a week. She loves it – spends most of the time making dirt pies outside, Mr Biddulph will be pleased to hear, and I’m always thrilled to see how much dirt her clothes have managed to carry home. That statement’s not tongue-in-cheek, by the way. I really am stoked to see her grimy clothes, the clumps of dirt secreted in the toes of her shoes, and know that she’s been engaged in some good, old-fashioned play. Each time I pick her up, swinging her into my arms and covering her face with kisses, I notice a strange smell. When I put my nose to it, inhaling at her neck and in her ash-blonde hair, I realise what it is: someone else’s perfume – the lingering fragrance of another woman’s loving cuddles. The evidence of a Jesus-centred (or should that be Jesus-scented?) life is like this, like a sweet aroma that people are drawn to, intrigued by, entranced by, and which even rubs off on them. They take that aroma home, …

Reading the raunchiest book in the Bible.

I’ve been reading Song of Songs these past few days. I wanted to better understand the concept of my faith being a romance with Jesus. Reading this short book of the Bible always made me feel uncomfortable, confused even. Like watching a steamy love scene in a movie with your parents sitting on the couch beside you.

Upside Down

I was out walking… honestly, so many of my revelations, the whisperings from my heavenly Father, are received on these regular walks of mine, when the sun is in its infancy and the tracks are lonely. I was out walking, admiring the beauty around me; the craggy cliff faces stroked smooth and lined by the movements of the tidal river below; the merry clumps of hydrangeas in bright contrast with the grey-green of eucalypts; the air a-hum with cicada song. I was mesmerised by all of this as I scoped an uprooted tree, sprawling down the steep side of the track, silver and dying. I walked past. And as I continued, I thought about how the tree was upside down, its roots pointed up like branches and its branches digging down like roots. I turned back, walked the hundred or so metres back up steps to look again at this tree that seemed to be talking to me. Not like the talking trees in The Chronicles of Narnia or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz but more as …