Monthly Musings: February favourites

February has come and gone and summer has left us in its wake. It’s been a full month, so I thought I’d just share a few of my favourite things from February.

  • BookBurial Rites by Hannah Kent. I’ve been a little late to the party on this one since it’s taken me two years to finally get to it. At Adelaide Writers Week in 2014 I had the pleasure of hearing Hannah share a little of the background to writing the book. This is a beautifully written novel based on real events in northern Iceland in 1829. Agnes Magnúsdóttir was the last person to be executed in Iceland, convicted for her part in the murders of two men. As she waits for her execution date Agnes is sent to live with District Officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and two daughters on their farm. I actually listened to the audiobook which was wonderfully read and made it much easier to cope with the unfamiliar Icelandic names. I was transported into the story, the characters drawn with empathy and insight. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.
  • Music – Audrey Assad’s new album Inheritance was released this month. A combination of wonderful hymns and original songs, I’m having trouble picking a favourite song. Some lovely versions of beloved hymns such as “Be Thou My Vision” and “It Is Well with My Soul” notwithstanding, there are two beautiful original songs (“New Every Morning” and “Even Unto Death”) which have been an accompanying me as a daily soundtrack in the last week or two. I’ll let you choose a favourite for yourself:

  • Prayer Sunday – this year at church we are beginning a new practice of devoting one worship gathering per month specifically for prayer. This month we focussed on the presence of the Lord, and I was delighted to see how we embraced the invitation to be in prayer and silence with each other. One thing I asked people to consider were the ways in which they feel closest to God, and I shared the images below, inviting them to notice which ones they felt most drawn toward. It was wonderful to hear people sharing the different ways that they feel God’s presence with them. It may not surprise you to know that one of my favourite ways of connecting with God is to spend time out in nature – I love the invitation of a bench in a park or garden. Which images resonate with you?


  • The Fringe Festival – Think circus and jazz in a 19th century barroom and you might have a small idea of what to expect from “Scotch and Soda.” Mind-boggling feats of balance, acrobatics, trapeze artistry, and hi-jinks, accompanied by a lively group of jazz musicians. A fun time was had by all.

31 Days: Restless

One of my favourite songs is called “Restless” by Audrey Assad. And yes it’s on the theme of finding our rest in God, so of course I wanted to share it with you.

The YouTube video includes a conversation about rest and about writing the song. I hope you find it encouraging. If you like the song, it’s on Audrey’s album The House You’re Building or you can buy the song by itself on iTunes.

Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.

– Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

The Rhythm of Rest

This Day 13 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

31 Days: In the Silence of the Heart

I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence – we need to listen to God because it’s not what we say but what He says to us and though us that matters.

~ Mother Theresa


In the silence of the heart you speak.

How Lord? How does one silence the heart? How do I still my heart? How do I make space for you to enter in?

Offer up the things that are worrying you. Let go of the things you’re holding onto, and give them to me.

I will give you rest. I will make myself known to you.

That sounds good to me Lord. That sounds very good. How is it that you take my wretched, dirty gifts and then you give me the priceless gift of yourself?

In the silence of the heart you speak love. Thank you Lord.

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 3 of 31 Days to Listen. For more information on this challenge, or to see what others are writing about, check out Write 31 Days.