All posts filed under: Faith

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 …

The Positives to Having 4 Teeth Extracted in the Chair.

The day arrived. The day I had dreaded for more than a decade. The day I would have all my wisdom teeth ripped from my delicate, pink gums – in the chair, no less, and without sedation. People said, “You’ll be fine!” “The recovery is quick!” and “Get it over and done with!” Some particularly good advice saw me taking earphones and a good music mix, something to drown out the sound of the jackhammer, or whatever they call those instruments of… dental remedy. I should’ve chosen heavy metal. I chose The Loft Sessions (Bethel). I felt good. Ten years and two experiences of childbirth felt like sufficient preparation. As a friend said to me, “Having problem teeth pulled has been so much less traumatic than the pain of having them remain.” Why is that? Why do we get so cosy and comfortable with pain? Why do we get so used to living with shackles, to the point where we forget what it is to be free? We hug that pain and imprisonment close because …

Why I Don’t Have a Best Friend.

It used to bother me that I didn’t have a “bestie”. I thought I was a little bit less, somehow, because I couldn’t name someone as my exclusive nearest and dearest in the realms of friendship. You know the kind. The kind who proudly declared that I was their BFF and I could declare it back. Joined at the hip. We might have crawled around in the sun together as babies while our mums yakked on a picnic rug. And as we grew up, the bank of shared experiences made us inseparable. I didn’t have that. Perhaps it was because my parents seemed to move house every two years (and often that meant schools too), or perhaps it has more to do with my personality. I had a special friendship in high school. We were the only newbies in a class full of established friendships. We were tight. But that was my teens, navigating the complexities of growing up. Now, right now, I don’t have a best friend and I’m good with that. What I do have …

REJECTED.

I’m gonna start this post by saying that I love my kids, BUT… I love my kids but sometimes I question if they love me back. Never is this more pronounced than school holidays, when my teacher husband is home for great chunks of time and there is the wonderful expectation of family time, of the house buzzing with fun and memory-making. My heart aches a little as I write this. The truth is that my kids are so enamoured of their father that school holidays are a bit painful for me. By the end, I feel rather battered by the constant rejection. I joke about it with friends, but they know there is some hurt in my banter of being able to leave the kids with dad, not a care in the world, no clingers-on, no tears, no “I want mummy!” Come here darling, I say, let me put on your shoes. “No! Daddy do it.” Would you like to come and do the groceries, just you and me? “Is daddy going?” No. “No …

My All Time Favourite Birthday Present

It’s an awkward thing, opening presents, isn’t it? Kids have this marvellous rite of passage to react authentically to the gift they have just unwrapped. If they throw it to the side or make some brazen comment like, “It’s just clothes!” – we laugh at them, call them cute for speaking their mind. But in Adult Land, whether it’s a wonderfully thoughtful birthday gift or an I-grabbed-it-from-the-newsagent-on-the-way-here gift, there’s a certain etiquette to be adhered to. The card must be opened first, for example. A comment on the wrapping doesn’t go astray. Some will employ humour by wrestling a little with the method of wrap adhesion (tape, string, staples…) before ripping the paper apart with childish gusto (delightful diversion tactic, really). There might be layers to peel back, building tension to crescendo as cellophane, bubble wrap, tissue paper and styrofoam are gently removed to reveal… what? The moment of truth: can you let your genuine reaction free? Or will you be needing those rusty high school drama class skills once again? It was my birthday today. Would you …