The last fruit of holy obedience is the simplicity of the trusting child, the simplicity of the children of God. It is the simplicity which lies beyond complexity. It is the naiveté which is the yonder side of sophistication. It is the beginning of spiritual maturity, which comes after the awkward age of religious busyness for the Kingdom of God—yet how many are caught, and arrested in development, within this adolescent development of the soul’s growth! The mark of this simplified life is radiant joy. . . .Knowing sorrow to the depths it does not agonize and fret and strain, but in serene, unhurried calm it walks in time with the joy and assurance of Eternity. Knowing fully the complexity of men’s problems it cuts through to the Love of God and ever cleaves to Him. . . It binds all obedient souls together in the fellowship of humility and simple adoration of Him who is all in all.

This amazing simplification comes when we “center down,” when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy Center where the breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to Him. Some of you know this holy, recreating Center of eternal peace and joy and live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing Center where the soul is at home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home, to feed upon green pastures and walk beside still waters and live in the peace of the Shepherd’s presence. It is the life beyond fevered strain. We are called beyond strain, to peace and power and joy and love and thorough abandonment of self. We are called to put our hands trustingly in His hand and walk the holy way, in no anxiety assuredly resting in Him.

-Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941)

Christianity Words

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’:

Psalm 103:14-18

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…

Matthew 6:25-34

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.

Blogging Christianity Life News

Our faithfulness is womb deep
Deep and old
That wisdom fallow-
just waiting.
And that burst of ours into life
into breath –
into a wonderful, dangerous, but faith dragging world
We are dragged
dragged kicking
but also dragged quietly
dragged in such a way that we don’t notice
and then we find ourselves
old and worn,
worn deep.
in that deep we find that faith
that old faith
that faith born deep
within us.
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


This is the Sixpence None the Richer song that began my fascination with the band – rather a long time ago now. It is one of those ‘instrumental through my teenage years’ things (the band) and yet it still carries weight today rather than being an embarassment (except perhaps ‘Dancing Queen’ cover which I’ve always detested). The first time I heard this song I did not like it at all and thought it was a bit wishy, but well written words have a power that pull you back in and deeper towards greater meaning even in their simplicity.

My heart is as dark as the soil, sodden with winter rains
My soul is as heavy as the peat, freshly dug from the bog
My thoughts swirl like willow branches caught in autumn winds
My body is as tense as a cat’s as it stalks its prey

Help me open my heart to You
Help me open my heart to You
Help me open my heart to You, oh Jesus
It’s what I long to do

My heart is as dark as the soil, sodden with winter rains
(Lord, brighten my heart)
My soul is as heavy as the peat, freshly dug from the bog
(Lord, lighten my soul)

My thoughts swirl like willow branches caught in autumn winds
(Lord, still my thoughts)
My body is as tense as a cat’s as it stalks its prey
(Lord relax my body)

Help me open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
Help me open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
Help me open my heart to You, oh Jesus
It’s what I long to do

Help me open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
Help me open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
Help me open my heart to You, sweet Jesus,

(Help me open my heart to You)
I want to open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
I want to open my heart to You
(Help me open my heart to You)
I want to open my heart to You, oh Jesus
It’s what I long to do


Christianity Life Music

It has been a very frustrating few weeks. At the start of the week (a few weeks back) we made the decision to move back ‘east’ closer to family and friends at the end of the year. This decision was two years in the making (I kid you not) with many competing factors both sides. It means starting again. It’s a big call, it was a big call to move out this way in the first place and we might’ve said we weren’t every going to move back that way. It’s leaving stuff we like and love a lot. It is hard.

During the week we had a random opportunity to look at a house to see if we wanted to take over a lease – 6 months ahead of schedule with 48hrs to make the decision. Not in the plan. I was going to look by myself and then someone ran into my car so Geoff wound up coming with me. We like it a lot. We applied. If Geoff hadn’t been there we probably wouldn’t have made the call.

And then things stopped. It’s been over a week. The agent cannot reach the landlord and as the clock ticks so does the overlap of rent with a fixed move date and the inability to give notice on where we are currently until we know for sure.

It’s driving me crazy.

And yet God is throwing random bits of work my way that seem to match the cost time that overlaps. He’s got that bit. I hope. God is also talking to me about house and home and what I want that or what that could look like. It’s infancy stuff. Nothing concrete more a, ‘Hey, get this on your radar you!’. Pinterest is house deep and thats super fun (seriously I’m a tad obsessed) but what other elements make up home? What do you want home to look like? What can you do with a new opportunity?

Here is an opportunity to start again. Yet again. Go again you say. Go again. It’s terribly Dr. Suess. New place, new church, maybe a new job? Back again to where we started in the first place but in a new way.

And I read the story of John’s birth. New things. Not following old paths or traditions or names.

Luke 1:59-66

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Is God in this? Yes. Will we even get approved for the house? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. I hope so. I like it. I hope too this is an opportunity of beginning. As we roll in through the next few months with a new baby (oh yeh there’s that too – besides possibly moving in two weeks, throwing a 2 year old birthday party, shooting one more wedding whilst being 34 weeks pregnant… ah crap), a new life  -I would like things to pan out in a more deliberate sense where we stop and ask God, what is home? What do you want that to look like? Blow our conceptions.

Because he sure as hell is working in a different way this time.

Christianity Life