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meditation: the cry of my heart

This illustration is from the COVID UN campaign on Unsplash.
“In this pilgrim way, I meditate on your name all night”
Psalm 119: 55

Album to listen to whilst reading today’s blog from Psalm 119: Stay the Course

We all meditate.

Whether you like the influence of the word or not, in fact, you’re doing it right now. There are words flowing through your veins. There are beliefs that are carving either flowers or dark valleys in the crevices of our minds. These sacred pathways fill our hearts and lives, it is a pilgrim way. Each thought meditation and an offering, our life’s work of worship.

“I meditate on your name all night treasuring your revelation. Still, I walk through a rain of derision, because I live by your word and counsel.”

Psalm 119: 55-65

Some days my meditation becomes my undoing. I think I need to have it all perfect, to take the next step towards finding the rest my soul longs for. Rest, rest, rest you seem so distant. In a season of so much disruption, how does my soul find its rest?

I have found this place is an eternal Jerusalem, a place of pilgrimage and meditation. When I find myself worrying through the night, I just start to repeat scripture, that reminds me of the power of my meditation. When I worry, my heart starts to become hard with the weight of the challenge. It sits heavy on my chest. As I start to reframe those pathways, I remember the beauty once again.

The Old Testament says it this way…

GOD, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children’s hearts, freeing you to love GOD, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.

Deuteronomy 30: 6-7

Proverbs says it this way…

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4: 23

The New Testament writers describe it this way…

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14: 27

In this season, where things look very different, where we are questioning safety, we are immersed in the trauma of societal change…

The cry of my heart is to walk lightly through these days of deep change. To love extravagantly and to believe the best in others. I can only do this when I change the meditation of my every day. Reframing the way that I think, worship and speak.

Let’s remember what we meditate upon and its impact on our every day. Let’s meditate on that which brings life, truth and hope. Let’s meditate through.

And the gift of Psalm 119, in this season, is that it has been calling me back to the beauty of words written so long ago in the Bible and their relevance in my life today.

What are you meditating on?

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Disturb us, O Lord.

“The insolent ridicule me without mercy but I dont budge from your revelation. I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I’m on the right track.”

Psalm 119: 51-52

The word insolent makes me feel like a naughty little school girl. She has her bottom lip extended, arms crossed and resigned herself to sitting in the corner. A picture of someone who refuses to listen, to the wisdom of someone in authority. Someone who is late on purpose, passive-aggressive over emails and digs their heels in saying there is only one way.

Someone who creates dissension on demand, as quickly as the latest Netflix series is released.






Then when the conversation is in another court and a gathering comes to listen actively to the metanarrative around a fire, they hang a do not disturb sign firmly on their front door.

Our culture has created insolence as a marker of influence in a generation that seeks attention and approval more than ever before. If I can rage against the machine and align myself with rebellion then maybe I am living a life of purpose and legacy.

Ridicule has become the tool of the rich and famous, to belittle a history that is often misunderstood. It is a tool that thrives in the dark web of the subversive culture found online.

Yet I stumble, awkwardly across places of wisdom. Stories from those who ripped off their bras in the ’60s and sung wild songs of rebellion about Jesus. People so in love with the person of Christ, that a softening of their narrative became their calling cards around a table.

Ancient landmarks, movements of worship and adoration where we learned lessons or did we?

This is the power of perspective and the metanarrative over decades and centuries, in comparison to years. We believe that we are the only generation to believe with radical rebellion that things can be different.

Or are we?

The Bible draws us to places of justice and rebellion across thousands of years, not just decades and asks us to lean towards perspective rather than rebellion.

Psalm 119 has been asking me to slow down in my anger and to reflect upon the wisdom of my responses. This is an ever-growing dissatisfaction, a yearning to be disturbed.

Sir Frances Drake, an adventurer (essentially a legal pirate) wrote this prayer as he departed Portsmouth on the Golden Hind to raid Spanish gold on the west coast of South America. The context of his occupation makes me shake my head, at the poignancy of these words and the need for disruption and perspective.

Disturb us, Lord (1577)

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.


Where have we become insolent rather than disturbing the status quo?

Start a conversation in the comments to reflect on this conversation with Amanda.

O’ Captain disturb us in ways that we would lean in to learn from the wisdom of ages, rather than the pride found in our own judgements.

O’ Captain disturb us to remember the heart and vulnerability of humanity, in those times when we want to ridicule its behaviour.

O’ Captain disturb us when we think we know better and more. Help us to sit humbly at tables with the silenced and forgotten, to bring peace with every meal.

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Remember dear heart, remember.

“O heart remember,
Remember what you said to me. These words hold me in bad times.”

Psalm 119: 49-56

My sister celebrated turning 40 this week. It feels more real than when I became this age myself. Maybe shes my little sister and if she is that old, then perhaps I am even older, which is genuinely terrifying.

We sat together as a family celebrating her turning of age, and we sobbed. My dad is not doing that great these days, and it’s hard to recalibrate our hearts amid the tragedy. Then I read Psalm 119. It has been my balm in this season of so much transition.

“Remember what you said to your servant- I hang onto these words for dear life.”

Psalm 119: 49

Sitting in a lounge room last night on a writers retreat with my dear friends, we laughed and laughed remembering. There is something so cathartic about this art of remembrance that helps us to find our way again.

Some days it’s hard to remember the promises we knew so potently from a season that’s passed. It is often in these days that it is hard to hold on to the person you used to be and stay true.

Then I remember,
I remember His faithfulness,
I remember His constant truth,
I remember.

God, you stay constant in a world that is full of movement, loss and transition. Please help me to remember. Could you help me to release that which no longer belongs in today?

It’s a new day. How do I lean towards that spacious place of knowing?

It is an opportunity to release the old ways of thinking but also to remember the faithfulness of days passed. I am honouring that which I can not change, staying present to the places that call me towards peace in my today.

What do you need to remember amid your current stories?

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He Is Able

“Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever – your commandments are what I depend on.  Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom.”

Psalm 119: 42-46

Our world is writhing in pain; one could say it is in labour pains. There is no easy way to say it, and there are no fast solutions. It is both/and. Have you ever thought something was black and white and then a perspective shifts, changing everything?

Lately, I have been reading and re-reading the same Psalm and finding present tense inspiration from its poetry from centuries past.

“Then I’ll be able to stand up to their mockery. Don’t deprive me of your truth.”

Psalm 119: 42 (the message)

I have walked alongside the pain and the after-effects of bullying for a few years with one of my children. It was something that one could laugh off quickly, but the reoccurring isolation and loneliness have been longlasting.

Social Media has felt like that same childhood battleground. Name-calling, shaming and public debates, outlined with the premise of activism. Each side brings misconduct, abuse, and the violence brings with it pain. Their voices cry out, desperately asking someone, anyone to listen and heal their grief. We desperately want to walk into the wide, free, open spaces of liberty and truth, but we struggle to apply the truth of commandments in our every day.

I often see activists, so passionate in their pursuit of the truth, but they petition with arrogance and lose sight of the voice of the person they are advocating for.

It is both/and.

Shame pervades every letter typed on a screen, shoulds, could, what-ifs and didn’t you know.

You haven’t posted!

What you have said is wrong, didn’t you know that?

That statement is patriarchal, sarcasm inserted.

That empathy is disempowering.

Activism does not give you the right to shame and mock another person’s perspective. When we access our advocacy from a place of hierarchy we forget that the education and understanding that we have, comes from a place of privilege.

You see, there are no quick fixes or words that aptly describe the problem that has been a problem for the whole existence of humanity. It is an oppression problem. It is a justice problem. It is an inequality problem. It is a distribution of wealth problem. And every single one of us contributes to the meta-narrative.

Until we all acknowledge our role and part to play in this supply chain, no transformation can begin to occur. And unless we sit in the seat of the learner and listen to one another’s stories, then how can we possibly bring change that is sustainable and long-lasting?

It all comes back to the foundation of trust. I have been learning change the way that we relate to one another and each of our lived experiences. These building blocks of trust within relationships and complex times have helped remind me of the importance of different perspectives to build empathy.

SPEAK UP WITH INTEGRITY– Are you actually living what you are posting about?

LISTEN TO HEAR– Are you listening to speak or hear?

VULNERABILITY BUILDS TRUST– Are you able to honestly share your own failures?

SHARE INFORMATION FREELY– Do you reveal all your sources and the places you have to gain insight from?

EMPOWER OTHERS– What is the agenda behind your advocacy? (Is it to make yourself gain or another?)

We all long for peaceful, wide-open spaces free from oppression but guard your heart, my dear internet friends. Question your motives, speak up for those who have lost their voices and do everything you can to sit in the seat of the learner rather than the one with all the answers.

I am learning that He is able, despite all of our complexity and pain. I want His ways above my own. I want His truth, above a filtered one. I want to see freedom come with peace in its path.

How are you building trust in this uncommon season?

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Shape my life

Let your love shape my life… Psalm 119

“Let your love shape my life.”

Psalm 119: 48-56

In the midst of the brand new season I find myself in, I have been sorting out cupboards diligently across our family home. It is an important way that I have learnt to release the old and step into the new. The way we transition changes our capacity for the new. This week I started a new role and I am stepping back from social media for a season to surrender my attention to my new team.

Amid all this change, I found myself sorting out my underwear drawer (please don’t write me letters).

I personally have a favourite style of underwear, don’t be shy, I am sure you do too. My husband does also (although he would be mortified at my choice of topic on my blog this week). It made me smile to think of the style I bought pre-parenthood and post little people taking over my whole, entire world. I look for my favourite pair as I sort through my drawer full of such things. And the day always begins in a very bad way if those preferential bottom covering friends are all hanging on the washing line out to dry.

I am looking for support.

I am looking for staying-in-placeability.

I am looking for flexibility.

I am looking for stability.

These deep breaths of comfort tell me everything will be okay. If I choose one of the left-behinds, I regret that quick choice for most of the day. The more organised amongst us would throw away all the ones that have not made the favourite cut. Maybe that could be this evenings job.

As I read Psalm 119 this week I interweaved these two random thoughts together. As blasphemous as this sounds, I have come to know and experience the older that I get, that God’s comforting voice is like my favourite pair of undies.

Recently I was standing in the kitchen with my son, talking to him about his “psychic powers” (smile). As he pokemoned me with his language and passion, I simply reframed his thinking and said to him “Babes, your powers are prophetic, not psychic” his head tipped with intrigue.

I said to him “You see I have found in my life that God speaks to me, it is a simple, soft voice but this is the way that I hear his direction and knowledge for the steps in the future” he smiled deeply and said something profound that I have not been able to shake…

Max said “Mum, I know what you are talking about now. I hear a voice in my mind. The voice is soft and kind” then with tears in his eyes he said, “Mum the voice sounds just like yours…”

“Let your love, shape my life”

Psalm 119

There is a shaping happening in all of our lives, whether we acknowledge the influence or not we are being supported, comforted and shaped by those in which we spend most of our time.

Shape holders,

Shape warmers,

Shape makers.

Moments of intimate knowledge. In my life, I have found God to be my greatest comfort in my difficult times of need. I have sometimes found that we make renewal sound so much fancier and spirituality is explained in ethereal and fancy ways.

And the thought of describing God’s love and comfort like a pair of our favourite pair of old underwear can seem a little irreverent but I find God to be gritty, reliable, constant and actually so very basic.

His love is basic and nurturing, reassuring me to take that next step of courage.

What everyday thing reminds you of God’s love?

Comment below…