Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing was written anonymously by a 14th century author, for monks.  But this Mom is benefitting alongside of many other pilgrims in prayer. 

I take hold of that cloud and delve in.  The Cloud of Unknowing is where you come to Father God.  It is simple, because you don't have to have an image of God in your mind.  You come to him in a great cloud and direct all of your love into his presence.  You approach him as the unseen God.  All of your anxious thoughts and distractions, you place them under a "cloud of forgetting".  Then using a word that captures the essence of your prayer, you direct your word into the cloud and open yourself to however God desires to reveal himself.  "One little gasp contains the height, depth, width, and breadth of the spirit." (The Cloud of Unknowing edited by Bernard Bangley)

This is a way for me to pursue relationship with Abba God, which has often not come very naturally to me.  I more often come to Jesus in prayer.  But I love being opened to the mystery of the fullness of the Godhead.  And when you take all pressure off of yourself to try and imagine or picture what God looks like, you are presenting yourself to God, as he is.  It provides a spacious place to get to know him without preconceived ideas about what he is like.  What we think Father God is like can sometimes block us from who he truly is, and who he wants to be for us.

So I take a word, LOVE, and I direct it into the cloud.  Over and again, this simple prayer, LOVE.  Or, TRUST.  Many words don't have a place here.  It is simple devotion to the heart of God from your heart.  And then you find yourself in the presence, and in the presence of God, his mystery beckons you to deeper places with him.  And then you start to feel his heart and receive from him.  You are open to whatever he wants to share with you in this great cloud of his presence.

How do you experience God as Father?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Exploring the Invitation of Jesus

Ever since I don't know, I have been drawn to prayer and the rest of Jesus.  But when you are a Mom of three little kiddies under the age of 5, you sometimes wonder how you are ever going to find the time?  Real time to spend with Jesus.  Like not groggy waking up, forcing open the eyelids after a night of up and down to spend 10 minutes in the word kind of time - on a good day!  Like not closing your eyes for a few moments getting a prayer in edge-ways only to be asked, "Mommy, why are your eyes closed?" 

I am sure that God meant for us to experience his presence in the day to day of life.  And I am sure that he is so creative he can come up with a great variety of ways to know relationship with him and that it doesn't always have to look like the traditional version of what "Quiet Time" brings to mind.  Waking up early, quiet space to spend time uninterrupted with your Saviour?  Uninterrupted is a rare beautiful thing in my life at the moment.  Hence the desire to open up a blog discussion on prayer for the busy ones.  Prayer for the run-around-in-the-rat-race but longing-for-Jesus children.  So I am going to do a series on the exploration of prayer and I welcome all your input.  Every one of your - this is how I do it stories.  All of your ways you find to "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

For starters, I open up with the Secret Garden:
I have been given an ornate and antique key.  I hold it around my neck.  There is a secret garden that is for me alone to access.  The door is covered with creepers, but I lift the creepers and unlock the door, turn the handle, and... I'm in.  Jesus is always waiting for me.  The garden is eternal, because it holds the past, present and future of my walk with God.  I sit on a bench next to Jesus and we hold each other's hands and look into each other's faces.  There is so much to be said without saying a word.  Sometimes I kneel before him with my head in his lap and pour out my tears, concerns and sorrows.  Other times we go for a walk and he shows me what is growing, what is being pruned, cut, weeded, what is being sown.  There is intimacy as we walk hand in hand.  There is sharing, heart to heart.

What does your Secret Place with God look like?

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you"

Looking back over the photos of Abi, here she is a little baby with such a smile.  Fast forward a couple of years and Abi is holding Sophia.  Nearly two years later, Abi, Sophia & Joelle sitting on the couch and I wonder some days, all this beauty in my life and some days I wonder, how am I going to make it? 

Some days I feel afraid I'm not going to make it, when I'm so tired from waking up in the night and not getting enough sleep. When I'm mediating quarrel after quarrel. When the moaning starts and there is no cut off time to it. When the crying starts and then everything else besides combines to set off the Mommy-ain't-goin-back fuse and I think, I'm afraid I won't be able to do it anymore

Then this morning's reading comes up
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you"

There's no reason to fear when I am here
When you feel at the end of yourself, it's then you will find my strength
Waiting for you in the centre of it all.

Waiting for me in the centre of it all is strength in the heart of my life. My God is the centre of the heart of my life and he smiles strength, oozes it into the fibres of me, marinades me in it, reminds me of it. I don't have to be afraid, cause he is here, with me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Whole New World


God knows when we're ready to climb up to the next level of life.  He also knows when he needs to hold onto us.  He gives us a feeling for what is to come, but knows we need his support until we are ready to take off up the branches, climb and adventure onto the next level, move forward into the next season.

It's kind of like being just about ready to crawl.  We're getting just about ready to be mobilised and launched into something new.  We're so poised, so ready, but not quite there yet. Life can be like that.  We're feeling oh so ready, yes God. But somehow, we've got some more growing, some more strengthening to do before that first tentative move takes us in a new direction. And then the world is about to open up at our front door.

It's like the first day of school and we don't know what to expect.  We are still plugged into the car chair, on the verge of the inevitable, about to walk through the door into a whole new world.  We don't know exactly what to expect.  Are we going to be ok?  Are we going to manage?  Are we going to thrive?

The first-day-of-school feeling comes with a mixture of emotions.  We are excited to be doing something new and wow, it's finally here.  But at the same time, we're not sure exactly how to feel about all of this newness.  God is like the parent who is always rooting for us.  He's behind us all the way.  He knows there's nothing to worry about.

It's not so scary after all.  We take that first step up the slide, and we're about to free-fall glide into a whole new world.

Friday, January 25, 2013


You know how you get those incredible God highs, times with God that seem eternal, like you're never going to forget them, like they're going to go on forever?  Well, isn't it funny, and strange how those times often fade in our minds, and there I am wondering where did God go, or where did I go?

But it's something He said to me, "I never left you".  That was at a time I needed it the most.

He never leaves.  But I sometimes drift.  And it's at those times, I need to come back to my inner centrifugal force of spiritual gravity and come back to that place again and again

Here we are on the verge of things altogether new.  Just testing out the new ground by stepping off the run of the mill path and exploring what can be seen, what can be found.  When I come back to my God in the centre of me, he encourages me to see things in the not so ordinary run of the mill way.  He lifts me out of the mundane and into the new way of seeing.  My circumstances may not be changing very quickly, but he can make something happen inside of me very quickly indeed.

I'm reaching out for a fresh revelation.  I'm coming back to the word to read it afresh, again and again.

I've been waiting at the door and now all of a sudden this door has a key, poised, just waiting to be turned.  It's as I come back to the threshold of God's door, that I can find the courage and strength to turn it, to walk on through.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dive into the Sea of Glass

When I feel stranded on the island of obscurity, surrounded by a sea of laundry and much else besides, back ground music being the cacophony of squabbles and crying, it got me to thinking about the sea of glass around the throne. 

There is so much peace there, it's all quiet as crystal, this sea.  Glory is what the water is made of.  The water is deeper than all my troubles.  The water goes further to quench me than anything can make me feel desperately thirsty, no dried out crusty Mom's-had-enough feeling can compete with this kind of water, that quenches thirst so deep you won't be thirsty anymore.
Dive into the sea of glass around the throne.  Revelation talks about it, clear as crystal.  That kind of peace is the peace I need to dive into, deeper than ever before.

It's here around the unconditional presence of my loving Father that I find joy in the moments, of gurgling baby, laughter and smiles amidst the trying demanding times I am faced with on a daily basis.

Diving deeper than ever before, deeper into this kind of grace is going to give me such a thrusting surge of strength into my spirit being, such a thirst quenching of grace, such a boost into clarity and perspective.  Because from my Father's side of life, everything has a purpose and a reason and a time.  And it's all beautiful in its time, it's all making something beautiful out of me.