live brave

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. – e.e. cummings

I’m sitting here, at my desk and the washing machine is whirring in the background.
The lights are on this morning because it’s overcast—a tiny taste of autumn that I know we won’t see much of until later in the month, it often stays hot all through March and into April here.
I’ve been scrolling through photos from last night’s intimate book launch.
Amanda and I gathered our respective circles, and we celebrated with pancakes and champagne. (You can get a copy of our little book here.)

And today I woke up in awe of humanity.
Some of our friends toasted to our braveness and vulnerability last night.
And it does take courage to produce, create and deliver something into the world—but when I was speaking to that circle last night I wanted to applaud them all for being brave too.
It takes courage to do a whole lot of things.

I was thinking about one of our friends who’s considering going back to University to study teaching—he’s done his fair share of brave, and this is another big leap.
I was thinking about a precious woman and her marriage that she’s been fighting for for years, making the brave decision to lay down the fight.
I was thinking about the courageous ones who are working on their own manuscripts, facing their own past to bring healing into the world with their words.
I was thinking about the ones who wake up in darkness, and struggle to shift it throughout their day, but they soldier on, bravely, for their families.
Then there’s the woman who’s embarked on her own business, invested every penny and worked around the clock—it doesn’t look like it’s taken much, but she’s given it everything she has and I salute her too.
I was thinking about the ones who have bravely laid down their own dreams, sacrificed or delayed their plans, for someone else in this season.
There is so much brave in the world.
There are so many who have walked night seasons, who know struggle and pain and continue to get up and embrace the fresh mercies of a new day.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that some faith traditions acknowledge as the beginning of the ancient Lent season. A period of repentance, and fasting, and recognising our deep and always-failing humanity, and waiting expectantly for Hope to arrive.
Alicia Britt Chole, in my favourite Lenten devotional 40 Days of Decrease, says in Day 1:
I invite you to consider Lent as less of a project and more of a sojourn. A sojourn is a “temporary stay at a place.” And a “stay” is about presence, not productivity.

Regardless of whether you acknowledge Lent or not, I think ‘Embracing Slow’ is always a good idea.
Presence over productivity.

Going against the grain is never comfortable, but comfortable doesn’t require bravery.
Are you purposing to slow over this season?


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