Transformed Thinking

Love hopes and believes the best.

What we listen to affects

how we connect and relate

to ourselves and others.

We listen to lies about our self

Formed from frail humanity.

Freedom comes when we

Forgive, turn, face the Son

Leaving the past in the past!

We listen to lies about others;

Framed pictures of painful betrayals.

Freedom comes when fears

Are faced and we take heart

Finding both hope and healing.

For we finally understand,

We all listen to the same lies

And all will be healed

By the same truth.

“Father forgive them,

They do not know what they do.”

They live with lies, shaping a reality

Giving brittle illusions of power,

Control, protection, connection.

We reject what we most fear.

Therefore, we first reject ourselves.

The pain of deep disconnection

More than any can bear.

We become a city divided,

Defeated, destroyed.

The gate is unhinged,

Open and torn

As we, with broken hearts,

Hide in a corner dark and small

Afraid to step forward

To claim what is ours,

Our birthright

As sons and daughters of the King.

We are never alone, not ever!

What a comfort He brings

The great “I am,”

The Lover of my soul.

It’s no longer I that live,

but Christ that lives in me!

He died to set me free!

Di Priest ©C-Change 2007

Crazy good – Family

Here is my second response to what’s most important in my life and why?

I still remember my husband’s reaction as he carried our firstborn out of the maternity hospital on a sizzling Sydney summer day. He gently placed our precious cargo in his bassinet in the back of our blue 2 door T-18.  His face was beaming with pride, joy and delight. He could barely contain himself, constantly gazing at our precious son and saying in wonder, “He’s ours. He’s ours and no one can take him away.’

My husband grew up in a children’s foster home and his words rang of the understanding from his childhood that some families for various difficult or traumatic reasons, had to give up their children to government social workers, who would deem them safer in the care of others. Phil’s parents had become foster carers and gradually added to their homegrown brood of six children, (of which my husband was the eldest and only boy), until eventually their household expanded to an average of sixteen children. Most of them became permanents, while others came for temporary stays, before returning to their families or other carers.

My family of origin on the other hand, was a more traditional housing commission, mill worker variety of mum, dad and the pigeon pair, with me being the eldest.

Our childhoods were so vastly different and created an interesting melting pot for us to become a family and raise our three boys.

Our sons grew in the nourishing soil of being loved deeply by a devoted gentle, playful father who has always delighted in spending quality time with them at every opportunity, paying attention to their interests, sports and hobbies. And now with the uniquely characterful trio in their mid-thirties, we have the pleasure and privilege of calling them sons and dear friends.

I learned to be a mother over time, mostly through the lense of hindsight as I dared to vulnerably own and learn from my mistakes. Unlike my husband who had been surrounded by babies, toddlers and troubled teens, I had never handled a baby, let alone a new born prior to having my own. I was more the sporty, outdoors type. Always on the move, blissfully self-absorbed is a fair description. I wasn’t and am still not one of those nurturing maternally inclined women who make comforting or celebratory cups of tea to go with their home baked goods, while gushing and gooing over tiny babies.

I brought my own brand of parenting imprinted from my family of origin with its strengths and weaknesses. But, over time, and not altogether without inner resistance and struggle, I melded more and more with my husband and my offspring who have taught me to be less intense, live lighter, love and laugh more and accept imperfection in myself and those around me.

This love has expanded in us and through us over time. I’ve learned there is always more love to go around. We have always chosen to love whomever our boys loved and with that in our hearts, our family has grown, blended, strengthened and been changed for the better with each inclusion in our lives. Some have come to stay and some have gone, but our love, affection and life lessons learned from them, has remained.  A wonderful part of that embracing and engaging has resulted in the birth of three delightful granddaughters. And yes, I have rather enjoyed the gushing and the gooing.

For me, our family has been a safe place to grow up. I’m still growing up. It has been a messy, non-linear, jarring, jolting, joyous journey, of small tentative steps with stumbles, falls and stalls. With equal measure of tenderness and terror entwined in my psyche. ‘No-one comes out unscathed,’ a friend said recently.

It has been and continues to be a place of unlearning in so many ways. Of re-shaping, re-forming, recovering and restoring. A place of amazing depth and delight in the deceptively ordinary, surprising moments of giving and receiving love.

And I’d do it all again. It’s been that crazy good.

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