What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.
(1) photo from the week
This end of summer bonfire on the beach is becoming an annual tradition, thanks to friends who share their reservation with us. This year, they invited the whole church and it was completely lovely - every moment. It’s been a good summer, and I’m anticipating even more goodness this fall.
(2) new posts in the Work Stories series
Work Stories: C. Christopher Smith’s Bookish Place to Work (the first post in a brand new series of guest posts on the subject of our everyday work lives)
Charting our calling (a stream-of-consciousness reflection on the earliest days of trying to establish our calling)
(3) writer-ly links
Check out my Pinterest board: Write / Writing / Have Written
Tips for Writing (and living) from author (and friend) Nancy Nordenson
Tightening Your Writing from literary agent Rachelle Gardner : “Ack! Not my precious words!”
250 Flannery O’Connor quotes: Our church’s reading group is tackling Flannery O’Connor short stories this fall and I’ve mentioned how much reading her non-fiction has helped me better appreciate the depth of her fiction. If you don’t have time for an entire non-fiction book, maybe a handful of these quotes will do?
Here’s one of my favorites….
(5) New & New-to-Me Podcasts
Check out my Pinterest board: Listen / Listening / Have Listened
Out of the Ordinary with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy: This newly-released podcast is “for anyone who’s ever felt the nagging frustration of wondering if her life is too small, too boring or too ordinary to make a difference.”
I had the privilege of attending Christie Purifoy’s writing circle at the Festival of Faith and Writing in 2016. Before leaving the conference I’d inhaled her book, Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons and have faithfully followed her blog ever since. There is a unique quality to the voice that she adds to the overall conversation led by Christian women bloggers/authors and I respect her a lot. Looking forward to this!
Things Above Podcast with James Bryan Smith: This is another new podcast I’m looking forward to following. Our church has been reading through a trilogy of his books called The Good and Beautiful Series. I appreciate theology professor, author, and mentee of the late Dallas Willard, James Bryan Smith’s voice on the subject of spiritual formation. I’ve listened to the first episode of this podcast featuring Emily P. Freeman. An excellent interview!
Otherwise Podcast with Casey Tygrett: I’m catching up on this podcast and have enjoyed the episodes I’ve heard so far. In the most recent episode the host interviews author Seth Haines on the meaning of sobriety beyond our typical applications to a small subset of addiction which is a conversation we need to take much more seriously than we often do.
I also loved listening to episode 6 featuring C. Christopher Smith (see his guest post he contributed to this blog last week). I’m a fan of Chris’s work, and also got a pretty big kick about hearing one of my essays referenced during the episode. (I may have, in fact, squealed loudly enough to scare my dog.)
The Invitation with Josh Banner: As I continue my training as a spiritual director, I’ve been grateful for the unique offering of this podcast. Josh Banner, a certified spiritual director, retreat leader, and facilitator of contemplative prayer outreach in prisons invites listeners into mini-retreats of contemplative prayer and lectio divina. Each episode feels like a gift. (Also, I recommend the free download 40 Ways to Spend 5 Minutes with God.)
Left, Right, and Center podcast: I crave nuance and perspective and nearly demand it from my news sources (which feels like a fairly impossible task). A friend recently recommended this one to me and I’m slowly testing it out. The September 14 episode included a segment from various observant Catholic journalists representing various political viewpoints, but united in their feelings about the most recent sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church. I found their language of legitimate heartbreak to be the most authentically profound words I’ve heard from a journalistic source in a long time. I’ll keep listening.
(6) If you drove to the intersection of philosophy, spiritual practice, and theology, just around the corner from metaphysics and psychology, but not too far from what I can understand, you might find these articles hanging out. I found them fascinating.
Check out my Pinterest board: Liturgy for Life
Made For Immortality by Alice von Hildebrand: “The essence of pleasure is that it is of short duration. But God created us for immortality. What we long for is more than what pleasure can give.” | via Plough
Pneuma and Pneumonia: Reconsidering the Relationship Between Spiritual and Medical Healing by E. Janet Warring: “The Greek term pneuma means breath, wind, or spirit and is the root of medical words related to the lungs, such as pneumonia, and of theological words related to the Holy Spirit, such as pneumatology. It provides a handy illustration of the relationship between the two fields.” | via Fuller (University) Studio
The Modern Violence of Over-Work by Parker J. Palmer quotingThomas Merton | via OnBeing
The Costly Loss of Lament by Walter Brueggemann | via Richer By Far blog
Bursting Out In Praise: Faith and Mental Health by Gavin T. Murphy: "Gavin T. Murphy tells his faith-filled story of living with bipolar disorder and describes how he learned to burst out in praise in the midst of great pain, with a little help from Ignatian Spirituality.” | via Thinking Faith
Trauma, Imagination, and Sensation by Chris Krall, SJ: “… the number of people who continue to seek out and practice these Spiritual Exercises after 500 years of their existence is significant. Clearly, these ever-ancient, ever-new practices continue to transform those who undertake them. All people, directly or indirectly, deal with trauma; nevertheless, Dr Van Der Kolk asserted the truth that ‘Our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being.”| via Thinking Faith
(7) blog posts from this week in the archives
2007 - Good Medicine (From a season of figuring out how to make friends, and whether I wanted to follow traditional rules of punctuation, apparently.)
2008 - Notes from Barbara Nicolosi’s talk on “The Artist” for the Transforming Culture Symposium (“Artists don't need to be idolized or marginalized -- often the two primary ways our culture treats them -- they need to be loved with understanding, appreciated for the often non-useful, non-marketable but gory-bearing work they create, and invited into the gracious lordship of Christ and the protective, generous care of His Body, the Church.”)
2009 - Study & Spiritual Reading: Disciplines for the Inner Life (A post from my temporarily-abandoned series on the spiritual disciplines. One of my favorites from the series.)
2010 - Pumpkin-chip cookies on the first day of school (It wouldn’t be September without revisiting this post.)
2011 - The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor: from the book pile, 2011 (I finally got the courage to ask our church reading group to tackle some Flannery O’Connor short stories this fall. I referred them to this post to explain my own mixed feelings and journey in reading this inimitable author. The Habit of Being was a turning point for me.)
2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: It Does Take A Village (The third “chapter” of my parenting series. I tried to only write the things I’d learned about parenting that I thought would be true for most people most of the time and would remain true for our family for the rest of time. This lesson ticks every box for me even today.)
2015 - Back to school photo diary (Alex’s senior year at Rice University, Kendra’s sophomore year at University of North Texas, and Natalie’s senior year at McCallum High School in Austin. Pumpkin chip cookies, O-week shenanigans, and some pretty radical haircuts.)
9 years ago
Last day of summer badminton match (2009).
May your weekend include some good conversations, music, and rest. Peace...
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