Tag Archives: Adventure

Dear Friends, Beloved Reader,

Rejoice! Celebrate! Kill the fatted calf! We got through all 5,000,012 days of the most January of all the Januarys.

The Jan Calendar of Good Things - and yeh, still haven’t got round to ordering an actual real calendar yet.
The Jan Calendar of Good Things - and yeh, still haven’t got round to ordering an actual real calendar yet.

How are you doing? Lockdown 3 wasn’t the January we signed up for was it?

I’m alright, just taking it all one minute at a time. I’ve reached the learning to handstand and sorting-out-the-entire-house stage of the pandemic.


The Boss Bitch Board, documenting and celebrating all achievements great and small, has been replaced by the Cryfest – where we document all the things great and small that make us cry. Fear not, the cryfest is supplemented by the Boss Bitch 2021 Survival Soundtrack - a good mix of dance, nostalgia and Jesus.

My word this year is trust. Last year’s was adventure (yep, I’m still laughing about this). I didn’t go on any grand adventures. But it did teach me that wonder is one way to find adventure when you're stuck. I found wonder here where I am and now have to continually point out the trees, the leaves, the flowers, the moon...


Trust right now feels very much like a Pocahontas dive off a cliff. I’m trying to enjoy the freefall. Do not be surprised if at some point this year I’ve signed up for a skydive – anyone wanna come with?

I don’t know how this year will turn out, I don’t know what I’m diving into or how I’ll land. I can't even actually dive - I’ve never been able to master the logistics of it. I don’t know where I’ll end up.

But what I do know, the invitation is to trust.

Trust that we will have the grace we need to get through the day and shoes for the road we're on.

Trust that even if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, we’ll be ok - whatever ok even means.

Trust that hairdressers will open again and I'll be able to get my hair cut for the first time in over a year.

Trust that goodness and mercy are never far away.Trust

Trust in the goodness of God, at the heart of humanity, planted more deeply than all that is wrong.

Trust that I’ll find green meadows and peaceful streams wherever the diving board ends up.

Spirit of adventure, holy inviter of ledge-dancing faith and precipice living; be our courage now as we tread nervously the lines of fear and trust." Strahan, Prayer Vol 1

Pocahontas dive GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

Remember how I said I loved creating routine and structure? Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Ha! I do. I love routine and structure. For a while. 

And then, once that while of weeks/months/years has passed, I’m done. And instead of routine and structure being the trellis on which I grow, it puts limits on my thinking, it stifles my creativity and it frustrates my decision making. I love routine and structure, until I’m over it.  

And Friends, Beloved Reader, I AM OVER IT.

The Great Big Future is unknown but my day-to-day is the exact same thing. Every. Single. Day. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Again.

The Calendar of Good Things is mostly pizza, Gogglebox and Sewing Bee these days. Although, I've somehow become a 1940s housewife because we got a new hoover this week and its all I can talk about. I now spend half the day wandering around the house admiring how beautiful the carpets look. screenshot_20200528-2137087282404435362683063.png

My life is routine. Resistance to wonder has been activated. But ultimate LOLZ because my word for this year is ADVENTURE. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?! (Like rain-e-ain on your wedding day)

I crawled over the start line of 2020 an exhausted mess. Having pushed the limits of my capacity through the Summer of Celebration and then on into Autumn and Christmas. Most Sundays I crawled into church wondering how on earth I’d get through the week ahead and begging God to revive me. God is faithful - I was given grace enough to make it through each day.

I realised focusing on adventure, in a year when I had none planned, would force me to slow down and approach life differently. No uprooting myself from my much loved Croydon people, no starting a new job, no big trips abroad, no living solely in the limits of my capacity. As the great Tsh Oxenrieder puts it:

Wanderlust and my longing for home are birthed from the same place: a desire to find the ultimate spot this side of heaven. When I stir soup at my stove I drift to a distant island. When I'm on the road with my backpack, my heart wanders back to my couch and my favourite cup of coffee.

My equal pull between both are fuelled by my hardwired desire for heaven on earth. And I know I'll never find it. "Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees it takes off his shoes, the rest just sit around and pluck blackberries" unless the flickering bushes compel me to remove my shoes, traveling the world will never satisfy. Neither will the liturgy of normal life back home." From At Home in the World.

tomasz-olszewski-4s7zbRR43As-unsplashIts much easier for me to find God when I’ve chosen to test my limits in a wild adventure. My real challenge is in a comfortable and (mostly) predictable life where I don’t even notice I’m happily picking blackberries and ignoring God in the bushes on fire in front of me.

I knew I needed to find the adventure in the everyday but I never imagined the everyday would be confined to the four walls of home, Tooting Common and the supermarket. How much adventure is to be found in Zoom? And no, backgrounds of the beach/mountains don’t count.

So, here we are. Day whatever, of week whatever of the absolute write-off that is 2020. Resistance to wonder has been activated but I am fighting back. Turns out, wonder is a gateway to adventure. Turns out, wonder can be a spiritual practice.

I do the same walk every lunchtime. I’ve learned to consider the grass and the Queen Anne’s Lace and the nettles and the bluebells coming and going (I’ve also learned to ignore the giant rats). My phone is full of photos of flowers and trees and blue sky. I’ve learned to pay attention to the shape of the petals and the grouping of the leaves and the texture of the bark on the conker trees. Are they not clothed in splendour? Are they not wonderfully made? (I've also decided which trees will be the most fun to climb)img_20200528_2102568980112747719861975.jpg

Turns out, there’s no room for monotony when my eyes are wide with wonder.

Do I know how the dimensions of the earth were determined? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Have I ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have I ever visited the treasuries of snow? Does the rain have a father? Who is the mother of ice? Can I hold back the movement of the stars? Can I ensure the proper sequence of seasons or guide the constellations of the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?

Questions from Job 38 (This is a poem. Do not come at me with your science and water cycles and laws of nature)

Forget the Enneagram, Myers-Brigg and any other personality testing, this notebook is the most accurate description of who I am:img_20200528_2128286275843055040856609114.jpg

Turns out, wonder is a part of life in all its fullness, learning to love the sky you're under and embracing the liturgy of the everyday.

May you come to see your ordinary-now as the great place God has you in, as the great moment God has given to you and as the great opportunity it is if only you’ll awake to its wonder." Strachan Coleman, Commoners Communion

Where are you finding adventure in lockdown?

By Jessica Hagy
By Jessica Hagy
This simple diagram has led me to so much fun and gotten me in so much trouble.
I love comfort. I love not having to embrace the difficult, the stressful and the uncertain. And yet…
Life outside my comfort zone has taught me things I couldn’t have learned any other way. Life outside my comfort zone has developed my character and helped me to grow in faith and hope and love.
Life outside of our comfort zone is both exciting and terrifying. There’s always the possibility of failure with a side plate of embarrassment and wounded pride. But there's also adventure beyond anything we could imagine.
Ever been asked what you would do if money were no object? Apparently, retire tomorrow and travel the world with my friends is not the response people are after. But maybe the question is too narrow – it assumes our only limiting factor is finance. Perhaps a better question would be: what would you do if you trusted even just a little bit more in the goodness, faithfulness and love of God? What would you be brave enough to attempt?
Would we be bolder? More adventurous? More generous? More loving? More forgiving? More hopeful? Would we find it easier to ignore the lies of doubt, fear and worry? Would we be more willing to push the boundaries of our comfort zone?
Jesus said he came to give us life in all its fullness. A fullness which empowers us to make decisions based on faith and not fear. Faith that God loves us beyond our understanding and there's nothing that can separate us from his love. Faith that God is with us wherever we go - whether we're riding the wings of the morning, going into a difficult situation or even to The Gambia. Faith that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good - whether everything goes well or whether we have to rise from the ashes.


Confession: This life outside the comfort zone is not the life I usually live - I like comfort, did I mention that already? Though occasionally, I dare greatly enough to start a chain reaction that means I have no choice but to leave my Empire of Comfort and embrace the terrifying, exciting, uncertain and unknown. Case in point: I've waved a fond farewell  to my colleagues and have quit my job with no plan  more detailed than 'travel/volunteer in the general Africa or Asia area.' There’s not much about this that sits in my comfort zone.
I keep being told I’m brave, I don’t know about that – brave, foolish, there’s a fine line between the two and given that it feels like I’ve set my life on fire and at least five times a week day hour I ask God what I’ve done and why I couldn’t be content to just be normal, it certainly doesn’t feel brave. Rachel the wild hippy with flowers in her hair would be disappointed at my inability to embrace this unknown. So here I am, currently navigating the outer reaches of my comfort zone – if anyone wants to come join me YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME - I have drinks, food and an epic playlist. The sunrises are amazing and the night skies are devastatingly beautiful. And I have a small idea of where we might end up. Everyone but my Nan and sister will love it!
Sometimes I make myself sick because the very fact that I've written this post means I need to go out be be braver than I want to be. Well done Rach.
What would you do if you trusted even just a little more in the goodness, faithfulness and love of God? What would you be brave enough to attempt? Dare greatly team.

Guest Post Klaxon. I read this last week and loved it so much I wanted you to read it too. Timmy gracious let me re-post it - thanks Timmy!

“And, if you’re a coffee lover, there’s a place you must go to – it is called “CORALLO” and it is located at Principe Real – the very best coffee in town can be found there!! :o)”

This was the message I received from the Airbnb host I had just booked to stay with in Lisbon last summer. I had mentioned my affection for coffee and she swooped in with a suggestion that I duly took her up on when I arrived a few weeks later. Not only was the coffee exquisite, it also came with a small slab of chocolate of my choice. An excellent combination. And if that wasn’t enough, all it cost me was €1.


The fun did not end there, either. The coffee house was located near a quiet park where locals and tourists alike lingered contentedly. Some painted or read or sat, others walked or talked or worked. I happily joined them for a while. I then took to the nearby steep, cobbled streets which brought me to another park, this one much smaller, which was surrounded by tall, colourful houses and a cluster of restaurants. There I grabbed lunch. It was all such a pleasant, nourishing morning as new sights and smells and happenings greeted me – and my camera! – at almost every turn.


And all of this begun with a suggestion, a passing comment from someone I hardly knew.

It caused me reflect on how our routine interaction and engagement with others sometimes – both online and offline – has a tendency to surprise us by what they prompt and inspire. A friend uses Twitter or Facebook to beam about a book they are reading. We happen to come across the book in a bookstore and, recalling our friend’s ringing recommendation, buy it. We later open the book’s pages and find it difficult to put down. The content or style of a picture on your Instagram feed unleashes a wave of creativity into one of your followers. Someone shares with you in conversation an answer to prayer that profoundly resonates with you.

And isn’t it lovely when someone unexpectedly says to you how helpful something you said in passing years ago has been for them? We don’t even remember what it was we said, and if even we do sometimes the impact was far different and greater than we first thought.

There is a magic to our everyday exchanges that so often eludes us. That’s not to say that every suggestion or comment or post we share carries impact. But I wonder if by underestimating this there is a danger that we stay silent when there may well just be someone for whom your input will inspire something special. How often it is we keep our mouths shut or delete that thoughtfully-constructed tweet or Facebook post because we feel no one wants to listen? I am a firm believer that more people are listening to us than we realise.

“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?” God said to the prophet Zechariah (4:10, The Message).

It’s a sweet thought to wander into each day knowing that it could hold a small and beautiful beginning, all because of something hidden in the normality of conversation and social media feeds. The small beginning maybe for us. Or perhaps it will be for someone else – an aspect of their lives warmly affected by a suggestion we offered in person or online.

So, if you really want to, I say tell others about the countries, places, shops, restaurants and the like you have frequented. Instagram that quote that speaks what you’ve never been quite able to articulate yourself. Share what God is doing in your life. Talk about the book that you are currently lost in. Enthuse about the song that strikes a chord with you. Be it online or offline, if you feel the urge to raise your voice, to share about the goodness of something, do so. Whole new worlds lay ready to be explored and often it begins with the smallest of beginnings.

Oh, and if you do happen to visit Lisbon and like coffee, may I humbly suggest Corallo. The coffee, chocolate and its accompanying surroundings are a joy to savour. I can also recommend a good AirBnb host…

This post is a variation of a blog post written in May 2017 for Premier Christianity called What can we learn from this record breaking, nugget winning US teenager?

You can read more from Timmy here: www.timmybech.com/

People often ask me how I'm doing now that I'm exiled in Zone 6.

I tell them "it’s ok, I’m ok." And I am.

But I am also scared.

I am scared that before I know it I will slip into a living coma of a comfortable & complacent suburban life.

I am scared that I’ll begin to confuse the lines between want and need.

I am scared that I won't even notice when I begin to think that neighbours parking outside the wrong house is a crime punishable by getting lost in IKEA for an eternity.

I am scared that I’ll have a 9-5 office job that I don’t really like but am too afraid to leave – because without that I wouldn't know who I was?

I am scared that living in anything but a house with a garden will become unimaginable.

I am scared that I'll start reading the Daily Mail.

I am scared that as I get lulled into a false sense of security my dreams will start to shrink, as will my reliance on the God I love and try to serve.

I am scared that Waitrose will become the norm not a luxury.

I am scared of a life of  No Adventure

I am scared I will get Stuck.

I am scared that one day Jesus will put me in a group with my fellow goats – Matthew 25 y’all, I don’t actually think I’ll turn into a goat, bah!

I am scared that I’ll become a goat and not even care.

I am scared that one day I will realise how comfortable I have become and be too afraid to change it.

I am scared that I will no longer believe that Jesus is enough.

I am scared that I will trivialise the concerns and worries of my fellow suburbanites.

I am scared that I will blame the suburbs for my own laziness.

I am scared that I don't really understand the meaning of perfect love casting out fear (1 John 4 v18).

I am scared that I over dramatise everything.

BUT I do know that God is with me always, even until the end of the age (not infact a LOTR quote but Matthew 28 v 20). So really what is there to be scared of?

What about you, are you scared of anything?

Remember the days when the smallest thing was the most fascinating thing ever?

Remember the days when what is now commonplace was o so amazing?

Remember the days when what is now a nuisance was actually something you excited talked about for weeks?

This week I had a twenty minute conversation with an 8 year old about the wonders of flying economy class...

"You have a TV in the seat in front of you! And you can watch anything you like, even Horrid Henry. And there's a thing for your drink by your arm. And  tray that goes in front of you like this. And they bring you really good food - two lots of food. Lunch and dinner. And they bring you pillows. And they bring you drinks. And there's even something to put your feet on."

All this from a child I who usually only answers my questions with "Yes" or "No." It's in the detail.

Remember when the world was fascinating?

This week I'm looking into the detail of everyday life to rediscover childlike wonder.

Disturb us, O Lord,
When we are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O 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, O Lord,
To dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder 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.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Francis Drake, 1577