7 thankful quick takes

(1) seasonal The Kid Should See This video

(2) Spotify playlists for this week

Autumn Worship

(3) photos from my Spiritual Direction training weekend

I wanted to share a bit of happy news that's kind of taken me by surprise even though it is an answer to a long-prayed prayer.  For a few years, as we've neared the point when Brian would be done with seminary and ordination and our kids would be finished with high school, we've been praying intentionally for discernment about next steps in my own vocational calling. Certainly, no bit of learning or experience or suffering is wasted, and I've been delighted (sometimes more than others) to be using my gifts, skills and passion in many ways all along the way. But we'd set apart this season to ask God to reveal a few more specifics regarding ongoing learning and development for me.  

One clear answer was for me to apply and be accepted into the Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction. If you aren't familiar, here's a brief descriptionSpiritual Direction is a "one-to-one" ministry of coming alongside others to help them pay attention, become curious, and move toward the ongoing invitations of God to experience freedom, and enjoy life to the fullest as beloved sons and daughters in the Kingdom. The Selah Certificate Program is a two-year, cohort-based, low-residency course that will prepare me to offer trained spiritual direction vocationally and ministerially among our local church as well as those the Holy Spirit connects with me from around the world. The program begins in June 2017 and completes in spring 2019.

I don't think there's been a process more formational for Brian and me than the process of discerning vocation. For us, it's always felt a little bit backwards and slog-gish with then a sudden whoosh of "THIS IS IT!". This was the case for this decision as well. As I've been praying about further education, skill development and deeper formation in the faith, this is the opportunity like a road that rose up to meet me through the prescient invitation of a new friend and ministry leader. Of course, there's a trail of help along the way through relationship with many others. 

Last weekend I attend my second residency, held at a retreat center in Richmond, VA. Blog friends, I'd love for more prayer as I keep growing up into Christ and into a fuller expression of my true self, and for all the time, energy and financial resource needed for this endeavor. Pray also that Brian and I will continue to be used by God as a good gift in Southwest Connecticut.

Three quick things:

1. I've been working on a web page here. Please feel free to read and share with friends. 

2. A few friends and family have helped out with the cost of my tuition via a fundraising page. If that's something that interests you, you can read about it here.

3. Here's a few photos from my time in Richmond last weekend.

(4) fun Thanksgiving links

8 reasons Thanksgiving is the best holiday by Natalie Murphy | via Mac Shield online

Feast: A Thanksgiving tribute to images of food on film by Matt Zoller Seitz | via Museum of Moving Images

Thanksgiving party-in-a-post (including Lincoln's Historic Proclamation of Thanksgiving of 1863 and Classic parlor games with a modern twist )

Thanksgiving Mad Libs printables for kids | via Happiness is Homemade

(5) autumnal paintings by Grant Wood

Grant DeVolson Wood (February 13, 1891 โ€“ February 12, 1942) was an American painter best known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest, particularly American Gothic, an iconic painting of the 20th century.

(7) decades of Thanksgiving covers of the New Yorker

May your weekend include something true, something good, and something beautiful.

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!