Walking there, the air is heavy with humidity. A girl with a bob and lanky limbs rides her bike after her friend. The great cloud looms, there is expectancy in the weight of the air. They sit about, beers in stubbies, thongs thrust eagerly forward on complacent feet. Striped awnings flap and there someone tugs on a guy rope for security. Flap, flap. She sits on the edge of the balcony leaning on her knees, phone pressed to her ear watching as three walk past, two prams – trying to put the babies to sleep. A little girl takes off her shoes and complains about her hat, she goes to sit on her tricycle, the handle is around the wrong way. Seagulls line the roof, ruffled by the breeze that is lifting the edges of tents; they are perfecting symmetry. The ocean noise is messed about momentarily by someones radio then it is still. This is an ageless Australia, rain is coming.
Buying a house is stressful.
You have to make a lot of phone calls and engage with actual people about things you aren’t an expert on.
My introverted self wants to magically turn inwards and present itself as a snail.
I occasionally post here. And so on this occasion – this rather auspicious occasion, I am posting.
Ten years ago I wrote the first post of this blog – On Random.
What a ridiculously full and wildly normal and at the same time crazy ten years. Thank you for those who have read and commented and I pray that some of my sharings/learnings/failures may have helped in some small way along the way.
This blog was only ever meant to be a head dump. And it still is. I sometimes have used it like a journal/a letter/a writing exercise sometimes it has been inundated with memes and lists and cooking experiments and photos but mostly it has been for me a quiet companion along the way (sometimes a narcissistic indulgence) – a way for me to record milestones and dig out memories both from my brain in the moment and later in looking back. It is a reference point for me, a consolation at times and and encouragement to see where things once were and where they are now.
This place has been a little empty the last few years as life has exploded into happening. I am not using this occasion to call this place quits. It can linger. I can drift in and out as I please and I don’t even mind much if anyone reads it.
To catch you up (for those who do still read): this week we bought a house (yes there’s madness for you – as this all happened within the last month) and I was thinking back to before I got together with Geoff (and got married not too long after) and something God was speaking to me about – having never been one for even envisaging getting married young (and then having kids youngish) etc. – why did some of this stuff (in the scheme of life) happen so fast? And in His graciousness he let me know is that he didn’t want me being ‘preoccupied’ with certain things more than I had to, that he has other things for me to do. Life will continue to get on with itself so I can get on to what he has for me. This is a big call and I baulk at thinking what on earth are the implications of this are for my daily living. So much of life has just come along at a terrifyingly merry (not always merry) old pace, ticking boxes. It is a bit ridiculous and I feel a bit like God has indulged me at times (perhaps he likes us or something) but It certainly hasn’t seemed terribly fast when we’re in the midst of getting up at 3am to feed babies , or always good and has seemed much more round about with all our – ‘moving yet agains’. I firmly believe that God does use us at our present time and wherever we are but mostly I guess I am very ready for that head space to open up once more and turn my life a bit more outward again to see what is next (or maybe actually what is right there in front of me already).
When I was younger (younger than this blog is old) I loved the Psalm about the ‘flowers of the field':
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
and there is somewhat parallel image in Matthew 6…
25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Perhaps the next ten years will look a little different. Or maybe completely the same. Whatever the case, God is doing things right now, I just hope I am a little more aware of what’s going on and the fuzziness of the last few years of sleep deprivation and logistics of moving multiple times and trying to work out our place in the world can subside into something that breathes of it’s own accord and gives us life.
Our place here after all is always temporary.
Our faithfulness is womb deep
Deep and old
That wisdom fallow-
And that burst of ours into life
into breath –
into a wonderful, dangerous, but faith dragging world
We are dragged
but also dragged quietly
dragged in such a way that we don’t notice
and then we find ourselves
old and worn,
in that deep we find that faith
that old faith
that faith born deep
Restore to us that early faith
that persistentant hum
that hum that hides
because we want to hear it once more
be driven by it once more
take breath by it once more
and burst again to life.
Grant us and sustain us deep.
Some thoughts on Psalm 51:6-12
In the middle of my mourning
Sits joy like a happy child
In the middle of this death
I must cry with life for a while
And death is great
We are in His keep, laughing and whole
When we feel deep in life
He dares weep, deep in our soul
How great is His concern for us. How high. How good. How deep.
(lyrics from ‘Dresses’ Sixpence None the Richer)