Reviving the weekly post in which I share my favorite (and, sometimes, not-so-favorite) moments from the week and links from the web.
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On April 10, this blog turned 11 years old. Crazy, right? I feel like I've lived 3 or 4 lifetimes since 2006. I've lived in 6 different houses in 3 different states, worked about 5 different jobs, attended 4 of my kid's high school graduations, 2 college graduations, and 1 wedding.
In the 11 years I've been writing at this blog, I've figured out several important life questions, and asked a whole lot more. We've worked and served in 3 different churches, become confirmed in the Anglican communion, and celebrated my husband's ordination into the priesthood.
I've quit blogging 537 times, but somehow never stopped publishing new posts. It's been a consistent space in a season of unpredictable highs and lows. Even this week I quit the blog, yet here I am typing new words onto a white space. And here you are, reading them.
In the past 11 years, I've met more new in-real-life friends than any one person deserves. I've also learned the deep sadness of moving thousands of miles away from people, given the choice, I'd pick as my next-door neighbors for the rest of my life. It probably doesn't take a therapist to analyze the reason I value the relationships I've begun or maintained through this digital space. I know it can never take the place of face-to-face connection, yet it does provide a kind of connection that is also meaningful.
So Happy Birthday, blog! And thank you, friend, for participating, affirming and connecting with me through this intermediary platform. I'm forever grateful.
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April brought our first Eastertide in Connecticut (which was lovely in so many ways), and our first trip back to Texas to see our kids and as many other people we could collect on the way.
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We celebrate a family tradition of giving our children an additional middle name at the time of their 21st birthday. We hope to bless qualities we've seen grow and develop throughout their life, and give them a name to point them toward their future. We also hope to acquaint them with a hero of the faith as a reminder of their heritage within the communion of saints.
This was the first time we saw Kendra since she turned 21 in March, and were so excited to reveal her new name: Kendra Jenee Edel Murphy, after Edel Quinn.
We bless you, Kendra, for your fiercely tenacious, lovably persuasive, exceedingly capable, mystically devoted, churchly oriented, nations championing, friendship nurturing life. Godspeed into this beautiful and terrifying world, KJEM. We are always for you, and Christ is always with you.
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Favorite sights, sounds and reads from the internet this week:
- Bono & David Taylor: Beyond the Psalms - Last year, Brian and I had the privilege to support this project behind the scenes. The latest releases are examples of great conversation and craftsmanship. Excellent. | via Fuller Studio
“We don’t have to please God in any other way than to be brutally honest; that is the root not only to a relationship with God but the root to a great song . . . or any work of art of merit.” —Bono
- In Venezuala, the Catholic church endures among the revolution's ruins - One of my former co-workers in Austin was born in and still has family members living in Venezuala. I've been following the links he's posted on social media to try to understand the current turmoil. This post helped give me some historical and religious perspective. Lord, have mercy. | via America Magazine
"When the state becomes predatory, the defenders of the faith are called upon to point people in the right direction, away from the violence of the authorities and back to God. Reminding the people he is still there; he is still looking; he is still caring."
- First Listen: Various artists cover Brandi Carlile's The Story - I've always been a fan of the original album produced by T-Bone Burnett, and love several of the covers offered on this tenth anniversary edition. Don't miss Dolly Parton's version of the title track. It's a beauty! | via NPRmusic
- Rewrite Radio, the podcast from the Festival of Faith & Writing - A year ago, I attend the festival for the first time. It was a game-changer for me, even though, at the time, it felt awkward and lonely. If you love writing, reading or just listening to interesting speakers, check out the archives of previous festivals in this new podcast series. If nothing else, listen to episode #10 featuring Frederick Buechener from the very first festival in 1993. | via Calvin.edu
- What Are We Willing to Know? Forming wisdom in an age of information overload by Marilyn McEntyre - I read this post during Lent, and quickly realized it's the perfect time to re-read McEntyre's Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. For such a time as this. I need to catch up on this author. | via Comment Magazine
"I think of how often God's messengers and Jesus himself urged, "Be not afraid." Both comfort and command, those words suggest that taking that full look at the worst is exactly what the Spirit equips us to do—to have eyes willing to see, and ears willing to hear, and hearts willing to participate wherever we can in redressing injustice and fostering the kind of community we were called to by the Holy One who made us stewards and called us friends." -- Marilyn McEntyre
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We're headed into the third week of Eastertide. I hope you're still celebrating - maybe even with champagne for breakfast, as N.T. Wright recommends! On the blog, I'll be sharing a Sunday post each week, highlighting the Gospel accounts, great visual art, and some of my favorite literary quotations on the theme of resurrection life. I'm also excited to kick off the annual weekly Practice Resurrection photo contributions from friends all around the country (and globe).
In the meantime, here's 271 of my favorite songs on the theme of Gospel resurrection. Enjoy!
May you enjoy a weekend full of worship, love, and beauty, friends. Maybe even, champagne!