centre

The edge of life

The edge of holiness

A thin moment

A kiss and a whisper in the dark morning

And I lie there

as the sun lightly kisses the earth

that life is not found in bigness

it is found in each moment

but will be open to it

Open enough to drink it in?

Lent took my Gilmore Girls

This week marks my one year anniversary as a practicing Anglican.

I remember nervously walking into the small chapel early Sunday morning in 2016, not entirely sure what on earth I was doing there.

All I can say is that I followed my curiosity.

And what I have found is a truly beautiful, life giving, healing community and a spiritual practice that nourishes me.

Not to mention it’s a mere three minute drive from my house!

But enough of that.

We’re here to talk about…

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima: Fortieth)

Being in the charismatic stream of christianity for so long, the liturgical calendar was foreign to me and seemed a bit unnecessary.

These days I find deep, spiritual food in a traditional practice. It’s funny how things change. It’s funny how I have changed.

Lent is a 40 day observation in preparation for Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Palm Sunday. People can give up rich foods, luxuries, television, alcohol and whatever distracts from seeking God’s face. Its a time to become quiet and to seek a deeper connection with the divine.

Pope Francis aptly articulates the heart of Lent when he says:

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.”

This past year for me has been a year of loss, of starting again, of letting go of dreams, of grieving what was and things I am waiting for.

It’s been really hard. And I have found myself staring at a screen a lot medicate my own pain and to feel as if I’m connected in some way.

Praying, meditating or any serious spiritual practice has fallen by the wayside. I’ve had a deconstruction experience with faith so I’ve deliberately kept myself from being zealous in any spiritual discipline.

Come to think of it I’ve actually stopped being zealous about most things.

My bible has been sitting on the shelf in true “backslider” fashion for six months *shock horror gasp

In saying that, I now have a deeper faith than ever before.

But my heart longs to become quiet again. To learn how to sit with myself without constant options to distract, to numb myself from my own reality. Maybe I could try to trust God to hold me again.

This year I’m giving up social media and television. This is going to be an exercise in being brave.

I feel scared to just sit with God and myself again, I’m scared I might come away empty handed. I don’t want to force things anymore.

I don’t want to twist God’s arm into giving me my wildest dreams. I’d like to learn how to humbly accept and be thankful for the blessings in everyday.

This morning at 7am, arriving bleary eyed with my husband, we received ashes upon our forehead with the priests refrain over us “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

We then sung these words

We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts, the gift not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt. Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider view. An offering of ashes, an offering to you.” -Tom Conry

Are you doing Lent this year? I’d love to hear what your intentions are for this very special season.

Be free my friend

x Gem x

Nuh! Nights

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Have you ever just had one of those days where your so pooped from your day that you just want to flop on the couch and watch Netflix all evening?

Yeah me too!

Oh but wait…#responsibilities.

*eyeroll

But every now and then I reckon a ‘Nuh Night’ is just want the doctor ordered when it comes to self care and protecting our mental health.

The barrier to giving ourselves this gift is often what we tell ourselves when the desire to “Vege” crops up.

“I should do the dishes.”

“I should clean the floors.”

“I should get to that pile of laundry.”

Sounds familiar right?

Watch out for the “Shoulds” in your thoughts. They’re very good friends with your inner critic and they conspire with each other to make you do things that don’t really make you happy and keep you on the hampster wheel of existence, running around living a life you don’t actually like living.

So try a ‘Nuh! Night’ next time your exhausted.

Look those dishes right in the face and say

“NUH! Not tonight dishes!”

Kick that bug pile O’ laundry over in defiance!

And plonk yourself on that couch with your favourite snack and watch whatever the hell you want.

Good on you girl, you got this.

Remember.

There’s no should in NUH!

Be free my friend,

x Gem x

Perfection.

we are so much more that just bodies..

We are the arms that carry our children 

keeping them safe and secure.                         A mothers comforting embrace   

Arms that’s reach out to help another in need

We are the legs that struggle along undulating paths     

That run in ecstatic nervousness into the beckoning ocean

Legs that will us to run when our mind said stop long ago

The knees that bend down to get to someone’s level, to somehow see the world through their eyes

We are tummys, perhaps rounder than before, poking out in glorious roundess   

Life being knitted together inside 

Or simply saying we are loved and we are fed 

We are the spines that labour day in                and day out to support us, to haul, to turn, to reach high                                                             Until it can carry us no longer 

We are the faces that hold another’s and tell them it’s going to be ok!

We are the lines around our eyes that tell us of a life lived in joy, in pain and everything in between              

We are the marks and spots that looked up to bath in the sun’s rays

We are the feet that feel the warm sand between our toes

We are the hands that pen stories   

Kneed dough        

Pick flowers for loved ones 

Paint a masterpiece 

Caress the skin of a lover

When we truly see at the wonders of our beautiful and complex bodies                           It’s hard to believe that we focus on the lumpy bits, the tummy that tells of childbirth, the bingo arms, the chubby cheeks, the not so perfect teeth.       

Where did this idea of the perfect body come from?

To me     

You’re perfect, because you have lived and because you have breath in your body 

Miraculous breath, proof that you exist   

And you exist in your magical, strong and resilient body.

Please 

Respect it

Nourish it 

Say you’re sorry for those mean things you have said about it

Treat it like a treasure 

Like a dear friend 

Be at peace with your amazing, perfect body.

Be forever free my friend,

X Gem X