Monthly Musings: November


Where has the year gone? No really, where has it gone? November seems to have passed by at the speed of light. What to say about it?

My nephew started walking and celebrated his first birthday – in that order. Woohoo! There’ll be no stopping him now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer. About what it means and what it looks like. What it means for me. What it means for the church. Recently I came across this wonderful description of prayer by Michael Hollings and Etta Gullick*:

The important thing about prayer is that it is almost indefinable. You see, it is: hard and sharp, soft and loving, deep and inexpressible, shallow and repetitious, a groaning and a sighing.

A silence and a shouting, a burst of praise digging deep down into loneliness, into me. Loving. Abandonment to despair, a soaring to heights which can be only ecstasy, dull plodding in the greyness of mediocre being – laziness, boredom, resentment.

Questing and questioning, calm reflection, meditation, cogitation. A surprise at sudden joy, a shaft of light, a laser beam. Irritation at not understanding, impatience, pain of mind and body hardly uttered or deeply anguished.

Being together, the stirring of love shallow, then deeper, then deepest. A breathless involvement, a meeting, a longing, a loving, an inpouring.

Watch this space, because I still have a lot to learn about prayer and I’d like to invite you along on the journey with me.

This month I also discovered the rose garden and the labyrinth at the Waite Aboretum. The first time it was filled with people and children. This last Sunday I returned and was able to walk the labyrinth on my own, the birds singing in the trees my musical accompaniment.

And I was reminded of the joy of thanksgiving, especially in the company and community of others.

*quoted in A silence and a shouting: meditations and prayers by Eddie Askew.

What has November looked like for you?

31 Days: Take a moment to breathe

I’ve found that the kind of rest that refreshes me doesn’t just happen. It requires intention. It’s not just about removing unwanted stress and hurry, it’s also about embracing things that bring you joy, that are life-giving. 

One of the things that helps me to slow down, to breathe and to rest is looking at nature. Trees, flowers, mountains, animals, all kinds of natural beauty.

And if I can’t be there then a photograph is the next best thing. So I spent a little time hunting for some photographs that might also help you take that moment to breathe. Don’t rush through them, let your eyes wander around each image and take time to notice the details. Enjoy.

All images sourced from the

The Rhythm of Rest

This is Day 6 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

Monthly Musings: Three discoveries in March

Autumn Scene

I know it’s a little late since we’re already a week into April, but here are a few of my discoveries from March (in no particular order):

  • I really like lemon iced tea (and not just the bottled version), but I still dislike the taste of hot tea, even when it smells wonderful. Go figure.
  • Adelaide Writers’ Week introduced to me the short stories of Cate Kennedy (Like a House on Fire) and the micro fiction of Angela Meyer (Captives). I’ve tended not been a great fan of short stories, but after sampling the work of these two writers, I think I’ll be back for more. Clever, insightful, entertaining and thought-provoking.
  • Luke 9:51 “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” A friend recently noted that she had always interpreted that verse as “the time approached for him to be killed … to die …” but that’s not what it actually says. And I realised that I’ve always interpreted it that way too. Yes, Jesus faced death on the cross as he headed toward Jerusalem, but I don’t think he was focussed on that. I don’t think that’s why he was resolute. Hebrews 12:2b tells us that “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I think that when Jesus resolutely set his face to Jerusalem he was looking far beyond the cross. He knew what the outcome would be. He did not falter, and we receive the blessing of his sacrifice.

What did you discover in March?

Image sourced here.

An Easter Blessing for You

Make way

In the name of Jesus, may you be blessed to know the height and breadth and depth of God’s love for you. May you know the truth of his sacrifice for you; that everything you think stands between you and his love, has been nailed to the cross. He has made a way for you.

May you know forgiveness and freedom in your life.

May you see him holding wide his arms, inviting you to draw near. May you be enfolded into his embrace, and may you know the joy of his presence.

Grace and peace be with you this Easter.