month 1 of marriage; or dancing in Love-Light

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I had an idea that I would write some reflections every month during the first year of marriage. Somehow it has been a month already and while I don’t know how that has happened and feel no more like a grown up, I know that deep in my core I am thankful – deeply, utterly and overwhelmingly.

As a perpetual over-thinker and one guilty of taking life far too seriously, I *knew* marriage would be hard work. I solemnly prepared myself for the hard conversations, the compromises, the awkward friction and endless sanding down of splinters that would come from the mystery of two becoming one.

And while I know that all that still holds true, the biggest revelation in this first month of marriage has been just how much Light there has been. How good, how true, how settled it has felt for our two little lives to fall into step with one another. Something changed when we made those promises before God, each other, and those we love. As my mum reminded us in the sermon she gave at our wedding, there is something profound and important about hearing your voice make those promises out loud to the other, to hear the other make them back. Continue reading

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for john

Hi love

These are golden days that we are in, and I love that we both know it. The spontaneous laughs of disbelief that we should we lucky enough to live for such a time as this.

And of course I will go all thoughtful in a minute with the usual prescribed dash of melancholia so before I do may I say: I think you are wonderful. I am loving dancing along the ridgeline with you – with grace in our hearts and flowers in my hair. I am so grateful to learn what it means to partner with you, learn how our lives and hearts intersect at this very sweet spot.
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on love which invites you into rest

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I’ve written enough, I think, on slowing down, on making space for rest, on simplifying and giving room for roots to spread. I can recite this stuff in my sleep. I long for this season to be more about living and breathing this stuff, seeing what the shoes feel like once they’re worn in and how to deal with the blisters on my toes. But that comes with the hard cost of seeing how far short I will inevitably fall.

Because there will be days – so many days – where I fall spectacularly, and find that I really am quite rubbish, on my own, at this simplifying thing. Utterly exhausted after a busy week and another coming up, I ended up 2.30pm, crumpled up by the bus stop in tears and needing the voice of a kind boyfriend coupled with the whisper I had stifled in my heart saying ‘Go home. It’s ok’.

The tears were from

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on vulner-ability

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Vulnerability. Risk taking. Bravery. These words I have held close to my heart, readily dished out as I talked with friends . How I have tried, oh I have tried, to be intentional about living more deeply into these things. Being more of these things.

Fast forward to early evening in Paris. Weak light filters through the windows. We lie eyes closed, stealing glances every few minutes. We’re of course staring at each other through these half-closed eyes until we both catch eyes at the same time and are forced to acknowledge the silence. Continue reading

dreaming back from the start

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As he told me about his new Big Vision, his wild dreams, I wanted to cheer him on from the bottom of my heart. The desire to cheer was, for once, louder than the more familiar one to voice my doubts and suspicion. I was shocked in that moment about how so often my knee-jerk reaction is to pick holes and hand out a dose of supposed realism. Perhaps I was feeling sentimental, because today – the dreamer won out. Continue reading

love languages

When all said and done, it’s those hours that I cherish. The hours spent in the green Jeep under the gentle watch of the sweeping mountains on either side.

If God is beyond our humanly-defined modes of communication and we each hear from him in different languages, different ways, ways unique and personal to us, we must each have something precious to teach one another about God’s love languages.

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The Anne Lamott effect and “earth crammed with heaven”

Reading ‘Travelling Mercies’ by Anne Lamott quietly changed my life. Not because it was so soaringly uplifting in the way I expected but because it painted such a real canvas of who we are as deeply flawed and unashamedly beloved. I realised that God doesn’t expect superheroes from us. He isn’t default: mad, and maybe I could stop default: staring at my feet in shame at the fact that He’s mad.

This may sound like a pretty obvious revelation but it was for me a timely and much needed reminder of our broken-beautiful, desperately in need of grace. I think I’s climbed a little too far inside a religious box.

A few days later we walked past the man in front of the court building, and these ideas were brought very painfully into technicolor. The thing is, I hadn’t even noticed him. Five of us were walking back to the office and Beth noticed that someone was lying in the heat on the stone steps in front of the magistrates court. He was in a thick winter coat in blistering heat and was having a seizure of some kind which meant he was banging his head against the concrete floor. Continue reading