What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.
We are watching and praying for all of those recovering from natural disasters across the globe, and particularly, those in Florida this evening. Lord, have mercy. Make your goodness known in the midst of so much tragedy.
(1) television scene from this week
So You Think You Can Dance is one of our favorite reality shows (I am notoriously picky about this genre!). This year's contestants are so, so talented. I'm not sure I've ever seen a spoken word choreography piece in previous seasons, and, overall, it's not necessarily one of the best numbers ever performed. The cultural timing, though, and the absolute poetic ferocity of the Maya Angelou soundtrack puts this performance at the top of my favorites list.
(2) albums I've listened to on repeat this week
Steadfast: Live by Sandra McCracken (so, so good)from Archbishop Foley Beach
The Bird & The Rifle by Lori McKenna (A great recommendation of an excellent Nashville singer/songwriter from my friend, Laura!)
(3) of my recent favorite podcast episodes
Spiritual Direction in Prison - Episode 84 // Joshua Banner - Although I've not met him in person, Joshua Banner is a friend of a dear friend, and I've followed his ministry work for several years. This interview about the contemplative prayer outreach in prisons is stunningly beautiful. | via Renovaré podcast
Cultivated Podcast: Audrey Assad - This podcast is new to me, but is produced and hosted by another arts ministry leader I've followed for years, Mike Cosper. I'm so glad my first episode was this warm, vulnerable, encouraging interview with musician Audrey Assad. I'm looking forward to catching on back episodes! I also listened to the pilot episode of another podcast venture Cosper produced last year, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. He articulates the humble journey his church has taken trying to be a good gift to their local arts community who welcome a church with mixed responses, including one devastating newspaper review that sent them all back to the ministry drawing board. | via Cultivated Podcast
Long Island Sound: August 29th on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor - We live two blocks from the sound, so close I can hear the Long Island ferry whistle several times a day. Also, because Emma Lazarus.
(4) photos from a little Labor Day house project
Slowly, but surely, we're getting some order in our new place!
(5) photos from praying the hours this past week
I've been posting prayer excerpts, photos, and other resources @a_sacramental_life on Instagram.
(6) blog posts from this week in the archives
2013 - 20 Conversation Prompts, or How Our Family Spent 60 Hours in a Mini-Van & Lived to Tell About It: 20 conversation prompts (During our 5 years in Austin, when we couldn't afford to fly everyone back to NY for visits, we got really, really skilled at roadtrips.)
2013 - 6 Roadtrip Playlists, or How Our Family Spent 60 Hours in a Mini-Van & Lived to Tell About It (Now that summer is over, I'm sharing tips for family road trips. Oh well...)
2011 - On Being Kingdom Culverts When All Others Have Crumbled (I began this blog in 2006, a couple of weeks before historic flooding hit our little hometown, requiring my family and all of our neighbors to be airlifted to dry ground. Our town (not our own home, thankfully) was devastated, but the memories of working together with our community are priceless. Just after we moved to Austin in 2011, an even greater flood hit our hometown again. From Austin, I wrote this post, hoping to encourage my family and friends who were facing, yet again, the heartbreaking work of clean up.)
2011 - Come, Home (A clunky, poem-ish reflection on the ache of leaving beloved community behind in order to respond to God's invitation and calling on our family.)
2010 - Pumpkin-chip Cookies on the First Day of School (The recipe my momma taught that became one of our family's most-loved traditions. Also my confession about only baking twice a year.)
2006 - There Are No Words (The post in which I try to process the flood that destroyed our little hometown in New York state.)
(7) books I'm reading for my certification as a Spiritual Director (I'll write about this more soon!)
Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction by Jeannette Bakke
The Critical Journey, Stages in the Life of Faith by Janet O. Hagberg
The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn
Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way by Stephen A. Macchia
May your weekend include sunshine, beauty and a good laugh, friends. Peace...
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!