Silence and Solitude

Two words that can spark dread and dismissal or evoke a deep response of anticipation and acceptance.

I vacillate somewhere between the two responses, knowing in my head that silence and solitude are helpful for me to choose from time to time just like the slack tide in the river that momentarily ceases its ebb and flow.

This year of COVID-19 created a ‘slack tide’ season that once accepted, became helpful. I’ve noticed the value of quality time, listening and enjoying connecting with family and friends. I’ve noticed a greater awareness of the inner life, what motivates, inspires, frightens or hinders me.

I’ve noticed a growing acceptance and love for others. I no longer require them to always understand, or agree with me, or even be like me.

I’ve noticed a deeper faith in an unchanging good God who speaks gently into my life with patient wisdom.

How has this season impacted you? Have you observed changes within, priorities shifting, relationships deepening? Have you found new ways to engage in the beauty of silence and solitude as a means of bringing balance to the strong currents defining life?

A friend has enjoyed additional time of solitude in the garden, planting, pruning, tending, watering. Another friend has enjoyed the time of silence while knitting, sitting in a chair looking at the ever changing sky as she quietly prays for her family. For me it has been writing and photography as I have soaked into the natural beauty of my home state.

This has been a season of ‘unforgetting’, finding new strength, purpose and hope. How has it been for you?

The journey of unforgetting

I forgot I love to play the flute, breathing, creating, flowing, soaring.

I forgot I love being in the music.

I forgot I love the simple pleasure of following a mountain ridge with my eye and noticing every curve, buttress, cliff and fold.

I forgot I love noticing the moment.

I forgot I love the warmth of a fire on my face as I wrap my hands around a warm cup of tea.

I forgot I love being comforted.

I forgot I love the sun shining through a window on a beautiful vase of flowers, revealing shimmering colour and curves of amazing design.

I forgot I love beauty.

I forgot I love watching a farmer on his motorbike with his working dog chasing, herding, delighting in being together, taking a moment for an affectionate pat and wag of tail.

I forgot I love being appreciated for my work.

I forgot how green the grass, how deep blue the mountains, how vibrant the golden hour at end of day

I forgot the power of choosing silence and solitude

Di Priest

C-Change © 2020

Growing through awkward moments

Do you encounter ‘foot in mouth’ moments, where you sometimes over-compensate, over-think, over-react? You are not alone. Neither do these moments define or determine who you are. While these moments can often spiral you out of kilter with your values, faith, worth, meaning and purpose, God can and does use awkward moments to help us learn more of who He is and who we can be. This retreat will gently take you through these experiences with God. You are not alone and nothing is too hard for Him.

Please click here to download a PDF copy of the retreat for you to use and share.

Finding home in the heart

‘What I love most about my home is who I share it with.’ Tad Carpenter

Some years ago, one of our sons was asked how he coped with the many house moves his parents made over the years.  His response came immediately and straight from his heart. ‘Home is wherever mum and dad are.’

I don’t think my husband and I ever planned to live semi nomadic lives, it just happened out of a mix of necessity and who we are.

We enjoy discovering beauty in all places and meeting people from all walks of life.

We are drawn to people and their stories of faith, hope and love. Stories that inspire, provoke and add to our understanding of what it means to be human.

We treasure those who have trusted us and felt at home with us wherever we are.

Thomas Merton says,We’re called to give our hearts to the world, but first we have to have our hearts in our own possession. We cannot give to others what we ourselves don’t possess.”

The journey for us as ‘happy wanderers’ has been to daily learn to be at home in our own hearts.

Learning the ways of giving and receiving, owning when we are hurting others, celebrating when we are part of the solution. Learning to listen to ourselves and to others without prejudice and judgement. Learning when to accept, forgive, and love well. Learning how to let go of fixing, advising, setting straight and respectfully refusing to accept other’s attempts to do so.

Learning ultimately to allow our gentle and good God to make His home in our hearts. This is still an unfolding mystery and the greatest adventure of our lives.

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its home in you. ― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions