Wednesday Wisdom #1

Introducing a new edition to my space here! Wednesday Wisdom! A little dose for the middle of you week.

Enjoy!

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“The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”

Yesterday after just complaining to my girlfriend about how broke I am this week. A boy no older than 19 approached me as I got into my car asking for some cash to buy himself some dinner. I started chatting to him and heard what was going on his life. He told me how hard yesterday was with all the rain. We shook hands and exchanged names,I gave him a tenner and a number to an emergency relief service. I drove home so sobered by how much I had and how easy it was for me to see the lack in my life when really my new friend *Jo would’ve killed to have a car with petrol in it to drive to a house to go to that night especially in the rain. Jo* helped shift my perspective last night and I’m changed once again.
Have you had a moment like this? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Something Tay Tay Left Out

I don’t think most people jump out of bed each morning and say “By golly what a marvellous morning to be a big Ol’ hater!

Im thinking lately that perhaps most “haters” in this world are really not haters at all.

Think about the last time you felt really beat down and criticised by someone

Could it be that this “hater person” just suffers from a severe lack of curiosity?

Example:

I left home in my late teens and with this new found independence came a joy for the grocery shopping. I just marvelled at perusing each aisle, coming up with different meals to try cooking and impressing my new housemates.

An older generation of “haters” swiftly met me with comments such as:

“Oh Gemma the novelty will wear off soon! Hahah, how cute for you not to be filled with cycnacism and apathy like the rest of us!”

Ok I may have embellished that last bit..

And yet almost a decade on and grocery shopping is still such a thrill to me. It’s literally my idea of a fun weekend activity!

And I read cook books for leisure.

I’ll tell you what, I’m a pretty darn good cook now thank you very much.

I’ve even been fortunate enough to make money from my artisan baked goods and I recently interned at one of Australia’s most prestigious artisan bakeries.

What would it have been like for those well meaning older people to have approached my teen comments with curiosity?

Maybe I would’ve realised my passions earlier

It takes a lot of emotional energy to concentrate deeply in a conversation

Do we ask good questions? Or do we just mindlessly reply?

Do we listen to understand, rather then just to respond?

Are we truly absorbing what someone is saying to us or are we worrying about what to cook for dinner?

I reckon both you and I are guilty of being an accidental “hater” just by our lack of curiosity towards those we love

But there’s another way forward friend

Let’s cultivate safe, meaningful relationships

Let’s consider our opinion as optional not essential

Let’s be curious when people are mean to us, what battle must they be fighting?

Let’s try to ask more questions

Let’s help one another get to the heart of ourselves and our deepest dreams and desires

Let’s believe in one another’s dreams

Let’s be curious together

Now I must be off to bake some hater slice with extra caramel!

Be free my friend

X Gem X

Year 3

7:45pm: Our Anniversary

We’re 25 minutes late to the restaurant

A perfect storm of bills and the mortgage sent us broke

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant. I hate being seated in the middle of the restaurant

The menu has no vegan options

Now that didn’t end up of the Instagram feed!

My anniversary seems like a screaming metaphor for what marriage has been for me

So many reasons to be discontent

So many things seem to be going wrong

Not how I pictured

Not how I expected

Leaves me with heartache and eyes wide open late in the night

“Is this what I signed up for?”

Now don’t get me wrong

I’m not in any way blaming this on my darling husband

He’s amazing

But he hardly ever lives up to my militant expectations

And therein lies my problem

At the core of me lies this belief that my husband is supposed to fulfill my every desire for love, intimacy and security

And don’t we do it with everyone near to us?

My boss is supposed to make me feel good enough

My friends are supposed to make me feel included

My government is supposed to give me safety, prosperity and peace (all for free and not affecting my hip pockets at all)

My parents are supposed to make feel accepted and nurtured

And yet, many of us are left wanting time and time again

Could it be we just expect way too much of the people we love?

After yet another fight about the laundry with A; I observed something about myself

My husband is my mirror

And I saw so clearly that day

Everything I see in him is something I see in myself

Could it be that I expect so much from Adam, I beat down on him for the most fickle things because deep down there’s a little girl inside of me who never felt good enough?

Screaming at someone else for a while dulls down the noise of my internal voices

Could it be more about me than anything?

Am I contributing to a self defeating cycle?

The thought made me nauseous and thankful I didn’t have children yet

On my three year anniversary as I sat with my darling in the middle of a noisy restaurant

I couldn’t help but smile to myself

Marriage is never going to be what I wanted it to be

My relationships won’t be either

They are in fact, way better

Because I’m blessed enough to walk home with people who change me and decide to love that little girl inside of me into wholeness

It’s not always pretty

But I’m hoping I can change

So my children will grow up in a home where they feel love, treasured and completely secure. I hope they’ll know that they are loved no matter what

Just like their Mum and their Dad

Be Free today my friend

x Gem x

Lines in the Sand


“Tell us what to believe!”
The people shout from the crowd

The small still voice replies

“Much of this is for you figure out”

“Tell is what to hate Lord! Tell us,

Who is in and who is out?”

The small still voice draws silently in the sand

Pause 

“Are you without sin?

Don’t I accept you?

Didn’t I make a way for you when you had utterly failed me?

Did I not include you?”

Stones

Dropping

One by one 

To the floor

“Do a mighty miracle for us! Show us you are King!”

The small still voice gave no reply

Instead he stretched out his arms and finished it all

“I did this for you

One who doesn’t belong 

Who’s shut out of church doors

Who’s tolerated with clenched teeth and fake smiles 

Who’s not quite welcome

Politicians and clergy argue

Who’s right?

Who’s wrong? 

And the saved ones despise you

As if you had some contagious disease.”

The small still voice

Oh how he is grieved

When his children throw stones

When they could throw parties 

Invite the last

The least 

and the lonely

Open the gates wide for all to be welcomed to great table 

Let’s feast together!

Instead we made a club with an application process 

It shut you and me out 

But fear not

The small still voice is always making a way

Coming is the day 

When he’ll confuse us all 

With his radically loving way

Then our rules and our clubs will fall

And Love will win once again.

Oh I ache for the day when love will win once again.

x Gem x

Catalogue of laughs 


#Work laugh edition 1. Colleagues 

#Work laugh edition 2. Customers

#Fake laugh 

#I’m trying to impress you laugh

#Genuinly funny laugh

#Monotone laugh 

#So funny I can’t breathe laugh

#So funny my collar bones hurt laugh 

#The heriditary snort 

#The mean cackle 

#Laugh that ends in life threatening asthma attack 

#Cute mouse laugh 

#Little girl laugh (cousin of the cute mouse laugh)

What laughs do you have? I’d love a demonstration sometime 😉

Be free my friend.

x Gem x

Doubt

Do you doubt?

I know I do.

I doubt myself

I doubt my purpose

I’ve doubted my choices..most of my choices

And other people’s decisions

But I’ve never really doubted God or anything he has said.

Up until recently anyway

How I  ended up in that position is a long and complicated one I am yet to unravel

But I found myself on a normal Saturday morning doubting God’s existence for the very first time

“What if this is all just a big bunch of BS?”, I said to myself.

And it didn’t really make me feel panicked…Just kind of…sad I suppose.

I carried on with my day but internally I kind of, let go of my need for God to be real.

Let go of certainty

Let go of my need for the bible to be true or “The inherent word of God.”

Let go of any striving on my part to “fix my faith crisis”

I didn’t meditate and my only prayer went like this:

“stuff it” I said. God, if you are real, I’ll trust you’ll show up soon enough.

“Do not test the Lord your God”, my inner critic sternly pointed out.

“Shut up, I’m not listening to you today either.” 

The only thing I’ll be listening to is another episode of Will & Grace.

Sunday morning came around and my husband reminds me he is coming to church with me today.

Ok. I’ll show up I suppose.

I found the liturgy soothing in its ancient rhythm

The warmth of my husbands arm comforting

The hugs and the greeting of peace, a handshake and a wink of the eyes of a friendly stranger defrosting my cynical heart

The reverend talked about the parable of the vineyard owner and the notion of everyone getting to go to heaven, Us “holy” ones sitting in the pews and the ones out for coffee that morning, or sleeping in. We all got the same reward. How would we “good christians” feel about that?

I felt excited by this notion. I felt fed in my soul.

The eucharist left me in tears of joy. I forgot that I am apart of all this for one reason.

Because I am loved.

And there’s nothing I did to earn this love. It just is.

My position on substitutionary atonement doesn’t matter, my doubts on the bible, instituionalised religion, cock ups by myself and other Christians, my hurts, my failures, my inability to keep my spiritual disciplines to any sort of schedule pales in comparison to this kind of reckless love.

I had a revelation of grace all over again.

On a normal Sunday morning. As I dipped a cracker in some wine.

God loves me.

All the other stuff is ok to Doubt.

“Relax!” I hear a small still voice whisper to me. “I’ve got you!”, there’s a voice I remember.

The hound of heaven found me again.

When he hung on a cross and said “It Is Finished.”

I’d like think he really meant it.

Do you doubt?

Welcome to the club.

But don’t lost sight of how loved you are in it all.

Be free my friend

x Gem x

 

 

Self Care Now! 


Self care is a pretty big buzz word these days.
I think it’s great that we are all learning to take care of ourselves better, to refill our tanks intentionally before we burn out are no good to nobody. 

A short while ago, I stumbled across a profound truth when I was kneeding bread:

Self care is less about refilling an empty tank and more about digging a deeper well. 

Example.

If you living your life at a ridiculous pace, leaving no margin whatsoever to be present at any moment to allow yourself to enjoy anything, then self care may look like remaining horizontal from ‘TGIF until oh no its Monday again’. You might take a bath, eat a whole tub of icecream, take several naps and constantly crave the next holiday. Is anyone truly and deeply content living like this? I know I wasn’t.

Many Mothers struggle to find anytime to practice what we know to be “self care” because…you know….children. So how are they supposed to conform to the notion of self care being yet another list of things you’re supposed to fit into your day? 

I have a sneaking suspicion that there is so much more to self care than outward practices. 

But yes. Please. For the love of God. 

Slow the F down. 

The world will keep spinning without your constant involvement. Sorry #notsorry. But it will.

Self care for me lately has been in little moments where everyday life is inviting me to dig my well of contentment a little deeper just by savouring the moment I’m in. 

I’m reading this great book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and it has helped me shift my mindset. 

In it, Tolle poses a very challenging question: 

How much mental energy do you spend thinking about the past or considering something in the future?

Watch your thoughts for half a day and you’d be astonished. 

I saw that hardly any of my energies were placed in enjoying the gift that was in the present moment. 

So I’ve come to believe Self care is found in the Now

How liberating would it be to just allow your emotional and spiritual tank to be filled in the everyday, just by changing what you give you attention to? 

How much more joy might you feel? What would a catch up with a friend be like if you were 100% immersed in the gift of just being with them? (Rather than thinking of what you’re going to say next holaaa!) Would you love better? Would you be less anxious? 

I think Mr Tolle is really onto something divine.

These are the little moments of “now” that I have found recently: 

Particles of dust dancing in a sunbeam

Breathe entering and leaving my lungs as I woke up to the sound of my alarm

The warmth of a hug from my husband 

Sounds of birds chirping in the morning as I stepped outside my door 

The feeling of my heart pounding inside of my chest as I drove to work 

The smell of baking when I was cleaning the lounge room 

Looking into the eyes of a new friend sitting next to me at church 

A wafer dipped in wine hitting my lips during communion 

The feeling of pastel smudging underneath my fingertips when I drew a picture 

The warmth of the sun hitting my shoulders as walked to the grocery store 

Self Care is easy when you are in the Now

Self care is being content in the beauty that and love that already surrounds you.

Will you dig a deeper well and let your eyes be opened?

Give it a go! 

I commend you to try it.
Be free my friend 

x Gem x