As we head toward fall, I'm trying to get the blogging gears moving again with a weekly catchall post. I've posted this particular series in various iterations over the years, but all of them started as a discipline to counter the anxiety I often feel headed into a weekend of social interactions. Even though I love people, and I love meaningful conversations with people, as a 45-year-old introvert I still struggle with social anxiety. So this post is an attempt for me to collect beautiful, true, and good bits and pieces from the internet and from my own ordinary life in one place as a contemplative practice. I share them to help me remember, and with the hope that it might be helpful for some of you, too.
Please let me know what you've been reading, making, doing, listening and enjoying this week. I love the ideas you share here! (and if we happen to see each other in real life this week, by all means I want to talk about it all with you!)
a little song (or 20)
I made this playlist to comfort us on our trip home from taking our youngest daughter, Natalie, to her freshman year of college. I've been saying this since we took our oldest son to his first day of elementary school about 20 years ago: There's nothing in the world more counterintuitive than to take your child to a place they've never been and leave them there. It feels kind of like shock, actually.
We are so excited for her opportunity to attend the school she's been dreaming about in the program she's been dreaming about for a long time. We're so thankful to live only three hours north on the efficient I-95. We're even looking forward to this new "empty nest" season. AND we are also sad. It's just the end of an era, and deserves a bit of boo-hooing, in my opinion.
If you're in the mood for something more cheery, here's my ongoing Summer playlist on Spotify. By the calendar we still have a couple of weeks left, friends. This playlist kept me company during a pretty refreshing Saturday breakfast-making, herb-replanting and kitchen-cleaning session this morning. Enjoy!
a good poem
a fine picture
make & do
We've been given some beautiful fresh produce by neighborly gardeners. Last night, to celebrate one of Kendra's last nights home, Brian grilled some delicious steaks. I quick searched a recipe to use the zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes we had on hand, and made this delicious vegetable side: Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Zucchini, Squash and Tomatoes. (perfect, right?) The veggies were so yummy, Brian and I ate them with scrambled eggs this morning and Kendra finished them up with pasta and a bit of leftover tomato sauce for lunch. One dish for three meals - is this what Empty Nest will be like?
a few reasonable words
Patterns of Home, Importance of Homeyness | I have a little side hobby of studying urban planning and keep learning so much from this organization. via Strong Towns blog
Retreat for Ministers to Artists: Kathleen Norris, Artists & the Vocation to Prayer | If you love artists, churches, or Kathleen Norris, you need to read this announcement. If you love all three, you just need to register for the retreat already. via Diary of an Arts Pastor blog
Joe Henry - The Mystery and Adventure of Life and Songwriting | Such an excellent interview between two intelligent, creative and seasoned adults. Listen asap. via On Being with Krista Tippett podcast
from the archives:
What I Wish My Son Would Say About Me On His 22nd Birthday | In honor of Andrew's 25th birthday this week!
My Top 4 Parenting Epiphanies, or My Child Is Not My Property but My Guest | I seem to re-learn this lesson every single September. Read if you are a parent or you know a parent. It's pretty important stuff.
a conversation prompt
Remember, friends: Only you can prevent small talk! Hopefully, I've given you a few things to contemplate and share in your conversations this week. If all else fails, here's a great question to ask everyone you meet.
I'd love to hear your answer to this question, so leave me a comment below!
May your week be filled with truth, goodness and beauty, friends.