Weekend Daybook: our son's the funniest person in Austin (and not only in our opinion) & more!

Until Advent (minus some vacation weeks this summer) I’ll share some of the things helping me to worship God, love people, and enjoy beauty each week for you to peruse during your weekend downtime.

(1) photo (collage) from this week

HE WON!!!!!

Every year 200+ local comedians compete over a period of six weeks for the crown of "Funniest Person”, and this is the seventh year in a row Andrew’s competed. He’s made it at least to the semi-finals each year, but this was his year to take top prize. Thanks to friends for donating some of their air miles to us Brian made a last-minute decision to be in Austin. I’ve been proud of this guy for all SEVEN years he’s worked non-stop toward this goal. When Brian FaceTimed the girls and me in to hear Andrew’s acceptance speech (first photo below) we all kind of lost it. We love Andrew’s natural ability for humor and observation, and we’re proud of him for his tenacious work ethic. Almost every week of the past seven years, he’s worked multiple nights at open mics and scheduled shows. He’s faced the ridiculous risk of standing up in front of a (semi-sober) crowd and trying to make them laugh. Now the whole world knows, not only his family, that he’s the FUNNIEST PERSON IN AUSTIN.

Way to go, Andrew! We’ll always be your biggest fans!

Acceptance speech

Acceptance speech

Brothers

Brothers

Fan club

Fan club

Thanks to a stranger for posting this on FB!

Thanks to a stranger for posting this on FB!

Here’s a guest post I convinced Andrew to contribute waaaayyyy back in 2013: 8 Lessons I’ve Learned From 9 Months Doing Stand Up in Austin, TX (Maybe I’ll get him to give us a revised edition?!?)


(2) new blog posts this week!

  1. Fourth Sunday in Eastertide: Good Friday - Featuring one of my favorites, “The Shepherd of Sandtown” by Stephen Towns and more!

  2. Practice Resurrection with Sarah Quezada (Guatemala City & Atlanta) - Have you seen the second guest post in this year’s Practice Resurrection series yet?I haven’t had the privilege of meeting today’s guest in real life, but I’ve come to appreciate her deeply. In the past couple of years that immigration issues have been in the headlines more prominently, I’ve tried to discern the voices that engage well the intersection of public policy, human suffering, current headlines, and our Christian call for allegiance to the Kingdom of Jesus above all others. @sarahquezada is the voice that’s become one of the most valuable to me at this intersection.


(3) concert films we love/recommend


(4) posts in memory of Jean Vanier, CC, GOQ (September 10, 1928 – May 7, 2019)

  1. The Tender Power of Jean Vanier - “... we don’t know what to do with our own pain, so what to do with the pain of others? We don’t know what to do with our own weakness except hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist. So how can we welcome fully the weakness of another if we haven’t welcomed our own weakness?" | via OnBeing

  2. I’m looking forward to this book! Jean Vanier: Portrait of a Free Man by Anne-Sophie Constant & translated by Allen Page (coming August 2019) - “It’s a crazy story. In August 1964 a thirty-six-year-old Canadian from a famous family – one who has already joined the navy during war at age thirteen, become an officer, earned a PhD, and taught ethics at the University of Toronto – takes up residence in a little house he just bought in the village of Trosly, France, with two mentally disabled men he has removed from a care home." | via Plough Publishing

  3. Ten Rules For Life To Become More Human from Jean Vanier - To commemorate the occasion he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear and love. “I have to change. And what is that change? To become more human.” | via The Tablet

  4. Jean Vanier Made Us All More Human by Bethany McKinney Fox - “The late founder of L’Arche showed the church how disability, vulnerability, and weakness bring us closer to one another and closer to Jesus." | via Christianity Today


(5) more notes on Spring & Eastertide

  1. Five of Our Favorite Spring Poems - from Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Liberty Hyde Bailey, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Christina Rossetti | via Englewood Review of Books

  2. “Very Early Morning” by Luci Shaw - That Timothy Botts illustration! “now / make our hearts a field / to raise Your praise.” | via Global Christian Worship

  3. New York walks: 13 perfect strolls for warmer weather - My new bucket list! | via Curbed

  4. Eastertide: How to Party Like A Christian by Lacy Finn Borgo - “Here’s the rub—partying in our culture and our time is uneventful. Our normal lives are loaded with indulgences. “Who cares if we have cake, we can have cake every day,” we say. | via Renovaré

  5. My Spring playlist on Spotify - I’m especially proud of this one!


(6) photos from the few sunny days we’ve had in May in Fairfield County, CT!


(7) blog posts from this week in the archives

  1. 2016 - Murphy people updates in a season of Fortunate Events (Still recovering from that year!)

  2. 2014 - 5 favorites: surprise discoveries in May (I need to get re-surprised by some things on this list.)

  3. 2013 - Take Up Something New: repurposing curb-side trash to furniture treasure (Glennon Interiors) (My brilliant cousin shared a guest post!)

  4. 2011 - Bread of Life (My stab at poetry.)

  5. 2009 - Lester G. Morgan, 1911 - 2009 (We give thanks for Brian’s dear grandfather and middle namesake.)

  6. 2009 - re:Imagine [worship & arts retreat] (Some good, old memories here.)

  7. 2007 - Grief (We also give thanks - in a different way - for Brian’s father each May.)

Alex busking.jpeg

4 years ago

May 2015 - When Alex was interning at the White House he spent evenings and weekends busking on Capitol Hill to help support his quest to ask Rebekah to marry him. (Maybe some person you elected helped contribute to my son's engagement - you never know? )


May your weekend include plenty of space to practice resurrection. Hallelujah! Christ is risen, friends!

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!

Weekend Daybook: listening, resting, reading, and practicing edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this week

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you,  @roseberrytea , for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you, @roseberrytea, for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!


(2) songs on repeat

  1. Jesus, See the Traveler, Sara & Ruby Groves

  2. The Kingdom Is Yours, Dee Wilson & Brittney Spencer (lyrics and chord chart here)

 

(3) projects I’ve been working on

  1. Spiritual practice stories on Instagram - I fully intended to write a blog series during Epiphany on spiritual practices that have been life-giving for me. It didn’t happen on the blog for a variety of time-related reasons, but I’ve been grateful for the IG platform to share what I’m learning and to hear back from you. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, I believe you can view what I’ve shared about the practice of silence and noticing without judgement.

  2. Last weekend we facilitated a weekend intensive for those seeking inner healing for relational, emotional, or sexual wounds. I had the privilege not only of caring for a small group of women, but also speaking on the subjects , “How Jesus on the Cross Bears the Sins Committed Against Us (our wounds)” and “Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love”. I’m hoping to share a tiny portion of that teaching in an Instagram story this week. You can read a portion of my own journey toward healing in this post I wrote during Holy Week last year.

  3. I’ve been posting the lectionary readings along with art, music, prayer, and suggested practices each Sunday in Epiphany. I’ve gained a deep affection for this season in the church calendar. I love reflecting on the groundbreaking teaching of Christ as the world first got to hear him represent the Father.


(4) meaningful conversations during Black History month

  1. This account is full of beauty, truth, and goodness. Don’t miss it: Black Coffee With White Friends on IG

  2. Perhaps the most helpful resource yet to help me understand the meaning of “whiteness”: Can “White” People be Saved: Reflections on Missions and Whiteness | Willie Jennings via Fuller Studio. Explore more on the complex intersection of race, politics, and society.

  3. Sad, convicting truth told in love: To All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep by Andre Henry

  4. In 1963, more than a dozen African American girls, including Carol Barner-Seay, Shirley Reese, Diane Bowens, and Verna Hollis, were arrested for protesting segregation in Americus, Georgia. At StoryCorps, they remember being held in a small makeshift jail for nearly two months.


(5) books I’m reading

  1. (Re) reading for Epiphany with Apostles Reads: Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L’Engle.

  2. I read the devastatingly beautiful The Sparrow five years ago and am finally getting to the sequel: Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.

  3. A big part of my final assignments for my spiritual director certification: The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn.

  4. Brian gave this to me for Christmas 2017 and I lost track of it for over a year! Glad to finally be enjoying Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice by Marilyn McEntyre.

  5. A beautiful book on the essence of my work: Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther


(6) meaningful perspectives on current events

  1. Please don’t miss this one - Gary Haugen, president and founder of International Justice Mission, speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast and demonstrates how to speak truth to power - with the U.S. president sitting two people away - to speak truth with self-differentiated, non-anxious authority. I want to memorize this speech and repeat it to myself daily.

  2. I’m done letting anger separate me from pro-life work. Simcha Fisher steps up to speak on my behalf.

  3. A Debt to Education via Plough - With four kids just finished or trying to finish degrees, this one hit home. Help us, God … “All debt forms us, but it’s important to recognize how student debt shapes our conception of ourselves and our society.”

  4. Related - The Fleecing of Millenials via NYT . (and when, oh when, will someone have the integrity of intelligence to include the economic effect of abortion in this list of things economically screwing the millenial generation?!?)

  5. On the subject of quality of life for all - Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty via American Conservative. “The state is not God, and capital punishment is not infallible.”

  6. While the government argues budgetary earmarking for Immigration Reform, let Christians consider this: How Does the Bible Orient Us Toward Immigration? The recordings at this link include the every plenary session with Dr. Danny Carroll that Brian and I attended with clergy from our diocese this past November. If I were pope for the day, I’d make it required listening for every church in the U.S. right now.


Emmett's Baby Shower1.jpeg

6 years ago

Decorating our house in Austin for our godson Emmett’s baby shower. (Our friends Blake & Krista made this gorgeous book page wreath for the book-themed shower.)


May your weekend include some rest and some fun with friends and family. 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!

Weekend Daybook: Candlemas & TGIFebruary edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

Before the links, here’s a happy reminder that today is Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation! Several years ago I wrote a brief essay about the prophetess Anna, and it’s been one of my favorite Scriptural figures ever since: Anna’s Advent Prepares Her For A Glorious Epiphany.

Here’s a lovely write-up from The Homely Hours about the meaning of Candlemas and a family liturgy printable for Candlemas. Don’t miss the enchanting Candlemas gift at this post!

And it wouldn’t be a feast day without a playlist!


(1) photo from this week*

*January’s been rough! Except for this sweet weekend Alex and Rebekah visited from Texas, one or the other of us has been sick since Christmas. I prepared this post last week and then never published it. It’s a week late, but still full of goodness. Hope you enjoy!

Alex & Bekah visited us from Austin! We spent one afternoon traipsing through New Haven & Yale campus in freezing temps.

Alex & Bekah visited us from Austin! We spent one afternoon traipsing through New Haven & Yale campus in freezing temps.


(2) of my favorite tributes to the poetic gifts of the late Mary Oliver

  1. Mary Oliver: The Gift of the Word Despair by Allison Backous Troy via Image Journal | “But in my case, as for the millions who have read “Wild Geese,” the poem popped up in my life at a time where what I needed to hear was that I was heard, and known, beyond what I could say, and that the world was not simply what I had known it to be–a flatland of concrete strip malls and familial anger–but something exciting, something that called out to me, lonely and unloved as I had felt.”

  2. With Thanks to Mary Oliver by Nancy Nordenson | “Reading her was like having a friend next to me, urging me on to pay attention, to pause, to look, to wonder, to praise.”


(3) podcasts I enjoyed recently

  1. How Does One Remember God? Christian Wiman with Krista Tippett via OnBeing | “The poet Christian Wiman is giving voice to the hunger and challenge of being religious now. He had a charismatic Texas Christian upbringing, and was later agnostic. He became actively religious again as he found love in his mid 30s, and was diagnosed with cancer. He's written, "How does one remember God, reach for God, realize God in the midst of one's life if one is constantly being overwhelmed by that life?"

  2. Ira Glass: The Man Who Launched a Thousand Podcasts via Without Fail, Gimlet Media | “On this episode, host Alex Blumberg sits down with his mentor and former boss to talk about the early days at This American Life, what Ira taught Alex, and how being a good boss means learning to set people free.”

  3. Think Christian has a podcast! Here’s Episode 1 - Heroes and Humanism (Stan Lee, Doctor Who) | “Both the Doctor Who franchise and the superheroes created by the late Stan Lee are rooted in secular humanism. How might Christian humanism relate?”


(4) photos from Alex & Rebekah’s visit earlier this month

  1. We spent an afternoon walking around Yale Campus and eating delicious Cuban food in New Haven.

  2. Also shopping at bookstores.

  3. Alex & Kendra led worship for us on Sunday and it was such a sweet gift! At one point, Brian was on the platform with just Alex, Kendra and Jordan (Kendra’s wonderful boyfriend). I snapped this photo and thought “What a blessed man!”

  4. Sunday afternoon naps are still our favorite way to hang out together. It’s Juliet’s favorite, too.


(5) links about current events in peacemaking and reconciliation

  1. We See What We Believe by Propaganda (Jason Petty) via Preemptive Love Organization | “Listen, I have no desire to adjudicate this moment. Even with the myriad of videos, no video can discern the heart of man. I am here to give commentary about us, the onlookers.”

  2. The pro-life movement has always been pro-women. Our priorities should reflect that. via America Magazine | “We should be passionate about making sure that the rest of the world can see our respect for women as well.”

  3. What It’s Like for Secular, Liberal Pro-lifers at the March for Life by Ashley Fetters via The Atlantic | “Though some describe themselves as the “counterculture within the movement,” many members of nonreligious and left-leaning pro-life groups feel welcome at the largely Christian, conservative event.”

  4. A Long Road From ‘Come by here’ to ‘Kumbaya’ by Samuel G. Freedman via New York Times | “Robert Winslow Gordon, below in 1928 and at the Library of Congress with his wax cylinders, captured the sound of someone named H. Wylie singing a lilting spiritual in the key of A.”

  5. Freedom’s Ring via Stanford University | Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech animated. This is an excellently crafted multi-media experience.


(6) links reflecting on the values of minimalism, simplicity, and tidying up

  1. Holy Clutter by Matt Miller via Comment Magazine | “Our stuff isn’t just for private joy; we have things to share.”

  2. Liturgies of Less … and More by Tish Harrison Warren with Sarah Hamersma via Comment Magazine | “There’s nothing in the Anglican liturgy that is explicit about simplicity. That’s different, maybe, from the Quaker tradition or certainly the Amish tradition. That said … I think being intentional about liturgy itself can be a practice of simplicity, in the sense that there is a kind of consumeristic impulse in evangelicalism that makes every church service novel, every church service entertaining, every church service ramping up—“This is going to be different than anything you’ve seen before.”

  3. Minimalism By Design by Bob Hamersma via Comment Magazine | “I was at peace with the realization that I would be forever changed, bereft of not only material goods but also physical abilities to do almost anything.”

  4. We Were Wrong About Marie Kondo by Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy via Out of the Ordinary podcast | “This is the story of the secret shame we all carry about our houses. And the one thing that can free you from it.”

  5. Simplicity by Erin Ware via Tend podcast | “The spiritual discipline of simplicity is often tied up with money or belongings, and specifically the idea that, if we are to follow Christ, then we have to give up everything we own (at least the good stuff!) In this episode we talk about how that is not really it. It's far deeper and much more simple.”

  6. The Reasonably Clean House via Like Mother, Like Daughter | “The Reasonably Clean, Fairly Neat, and Comfortably Tidy House: Start Here for the Plan.”


(7) blog posts from this week in the archives

  1. 2018 - Encountering Christ in Chiquila, Mexico {Walking Epiphany 2018 series} (We first met Amy at Church of the Apostles and is one of the mightiest encouragers I've ever met. Through her, we met Adiel, and together they shared with us through their stories and their work with Hands Offering Hope their great love Adiel's hometown of Chiquilá. Since our very first conversation around our kitchen table, I've been excited for the day I get to visit Chiquilá for myself. )

    You can see more from this series that published this time of the year: WALKING EPIPHANY in Juneau, AK: neighborhood notes from Wendy Wall.

  2. 2018 - 8 books our church read together last year {Apostles Reads} (I'm happy to look back on our first year reading together and see that the Apostles Reads group has been up to the challenge. They have responded to each title - from the martyrs and apostates in Endo's 17th-century Japan to the four lonely children rummaging through a wardrobe into Narnia -  with grace, humility, empathy, and intellectual curiosity.)

  3. 2016 - Next in the Series of Fortunate Events, the Rehearsal Dinner {pretty, happy, funny, real series} (The pretty, happy, funny and real photos from the Rehearsal Dinner we hosted for Alex & Rebekah's wedding party and families on New Year's Day.)

  4. 2013 - Parenting Unrehearsed: Family liturgies for Christmas and my mama's rule for feasting (And so we're learning to order our days and seasons as a liturgy. We do our best with the truth we know -- pray together as often as possible, giggle at ourselves when we fall asleep on the couch watching Home Alone instead.  We revel in the permission to both feed the hungry homeless as well as the four children grazing at the refrigerator in our own kitchen.  We take delight in the pantry bulging with ingredients for the feast that arrives on Christmas Day.)

  5. 2012 - 7 quick takes: a photo diary (A photo diary from our first January in Austin.)

  6. 2010 - IAM Reader's Guild review: Silence by Shusaku Endo (Endo masterfully depicts a stark and silent world -- in the subtle descriptions of buzzing insects, withering heat and rotten food, dark water and crimson blood stains on dusty courtyards.  His storytelling had a sobering effect on us all and we were grateful for the chance to come in from the cold January evening and cheer each other with brisk conversation, merlot and gummy fish. It was a good evening and we are looking forward to gathering again.)

  7. 2008 - Once (I love, love, love this movie and this is where it all began.)

9 years ago

January 2010: hiking through Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University, NC. I still have the pinecones I gathered on this walk. (Also, back when I lied about my hair color!)


May your weekend include some rest and some fun with friends and family. 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!

Weekend Daybook: the first of 2019 edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this month

January walk at St. Mary’s by the Sea in Black Rock (Bridgeport)

January walk at St. Mary’s by the Sea in Black Rock (Bridgeport)


(2) links to celebrate MLK’s birthday

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. – His Prophetic Faith in 15 Quotes via Englewood Review of Books

  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. – In His Own Words [Video] via Englewood Review of Books


(3) new blog posts from this week

  1. Epiphany 1: Baptism of the Lord (Look, Listen, Read, Pray, and Do to remember our own baptism in the belovedness of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)

  2. 7 Literary Books Our Church Read Together in 2018 {Apostles Reads} (From the true and devastating accounts of one lawyer’s campaign to free the wrongfully imprisoned in Just Mercy to the bittersweet fictional tale of a lonely college rad roaming the streets of Chicago with a basketball and a fantastical pet dog in Chicago to the relentlessly shocking characters in Flannery O’Connor’s deep South and more, this little reading community has responded to each title with grace, humility, empathy, and intellectual curiosity. I’m honored to be among them.)

  3. What I Read October - December {From the Book Pile 2018} (Hope you enjoy these micro reviews!)


(4) photos from Kendra’s UNT graduation!

In mid-December we drove (!) to Denton, TX to celebrate Kendra’s graduation from University of North Texas. We rented a mini-van in order to take Natalie the rest of her belongings we still had stored in a closet and to bring back all of Kendra’s belongings from her college life. I’ve come to understand that about 70 % of parenting is figuring out how to keep track of everyone’s stuff.

We rented an Airbnb in Denton so all the kids could crash together with us for the weekend. On Friday we celebrated a belated 21st birthday party with Natalie (more on that another time), on Sunday we celebrated Christmas (another bonus for driving - presents!), but Saturday was all about KENDRA. She persevered through some pretty tough circumstances to make it to this day (as do most college students, I imagine) and we wanted her to know we were so proud of her accomplishment. I helped Alex prepare pots of his famous chili recipe so that a bunch of Kendra’s amazing friends from the past four and a half years could come to the rental house and celebrate with us. It was pretty much perfect (including my obligatory ceremonial cry).


(5) links (that I’ve paid attention to) re: about the border crisis

  1. Advent, Caravans, and Engaging Their Humanity by Rev. Michael Jarrett via The Diocese of Churches For the Sake of Others ("I think one of the countless gifts our Lord gives us is a renewal of our faculty to care.")

  2. Phoenix-area families opening their homes to migrants released by ICE by Griselda Zetino via KTAR News ("“They’re here to help serve food or help distribute clothing,” he said. “But as they get a chance to meet the people and see the people, by the end of the evening they’re stepping up and saying ‘Hey, I’m willing to take somebody home with me.’”)

  3. Trump’s Border Wall Prototypes Are Minimalist Art — and Should Be a National Monument via New York Magazine (Artist Christoph Büchel saw the prototypes for President Trump’s border wall, and proposed that they be made a national monument — a concept several critics dismissed as trolling. But New York’s Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz begs to differ; the monuments, he says, are “perfect minimalist sculpture.”)

  4. Maria Rivas and Emily via StoryCorps (“Im terrified of missing you growing up.”)

  5. Retirees and Refugees: How 93-year-old Julia Allen builds community through ESL (“Their long-term goal is to help 11 elderly refugee participants pass the naturalization test that they must take within seven years of being granted entry to the U.S. — if they hope to access social services.”)


(6) photos from Christmas in Texas with our kids!

We managed to fill the mini-van with presents, some of our Christmas decorations, and some of the pots and pans we use for our favorite traditional recipes. Have Christmas, will travel!

  1. Our “Christmas” morning nativity story on the back porch in Texas farmland.

  2. One of the favorite gifts for our teacher son who sees Fred Rogers as an icon for the classroom.

  3. My friend Jen felted these little HP ornaments FROM SCRATCH to give to our kids.

  4. Brian surprised me with the incredibly thoughtful gift of asking our friend Monica to add to the set of Christmas stockings I’ve had since I was a little girl. She also cleaned up the old stockings which were singed in our New Year’s Eve 2002 house fire. Can you tell which stockings are the old ones?

  5. Some of our favorite Christmas Eve tastes and smells.

  6. This 28-year-old, handmade (by my sister-in-law, JoAnn) Nativity set deserved to be carried along on this Christmas pilgrimage after surviving all those years we’d never heard of unbreakable nativity figurines and let our little kids handle them while we scolded and read them the Bible.


(7) blog posts from this week in the archives

  1. 2018 - Encountering Christ in a D.C. Suburb {Walking Epiphany 2018 series} (As a former youth leader, I hope it's okay to say I am so proud of the woman Glorya has become, and I wish I could have heard her Neighborhood Honor Contract idea when my kids were younger!)

    You can see more from this series that published this time of the year: Rio Grande Valley & University of Notre Dame)

  2. 2017 - A Few More Words About the Hole in Wendell Berry’s Gospel (As I’ve been given the gift to reconsider my essay, I’ve been able to gain clarity what I’m hoping to say in response to those who wish to follow his ideals.)

  3. 2016 - A Season of Abundant Celebrations, part 5 {pretty, funny, happy, real series} (Thanks to outrageous generosity by our Christ Church friends and neighbors who helped provide beds, vehicles, and even entire houses, we were able to let the Wedding feasting last a whole week (sort of like the old Jewish customs, maybe?))

  4. 2011 - Dismantling the Family Enterprise (Ten of us cousins snarled up together at every church meeting, every family celebration, every summer picnic.  Some might have seen the perfect opportunity for legendary whiffle ball tournaments, starry-night manhunt sessions.  Not I.  I saw the ideal set-up for creative productions.)

  5. 2010 - I Surrender (A painting that changed my life and helped me forgive.)

  6. 2009 - Making Moments {Disciplines for the Inner Life series} (In my past I would have shot straight toward the Grand Plan to Cheer Up this Friend. I just happen to be out of grand plans when it comes to relationships. So I stood and gazed and nodded. We prayed together. And, like a small thought, a small idea, during the final sentence of prayer it occurred to me. "We're going to Subway. Do you want to join us?" )

  7. 2009 - Solitude {Disciplines for the Inner Life Series} (For, perhaps the first time in my life, I began to understand that God's rescue at noon and at night might possibly look like me laying in my bathrobe, propped up on pillows, kept company by a box of tissues and my journal. It was not pretty like an extreme close-up of a pink, tear-stained face at the end of a movie, but I'm quite certain that if I could have seen into the spiritual realm that afternoon I might have been able to see a ten thousand demons fallen by my side and a thousand at my right hand. I had made it through the day.)

6 years ago

Visiting home and enjoying time with my sister and pre-born niece, Ellie.


May your weekend include some time at home and some time with friends that welcome your tears as well as your laughter. 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!

Weekend Daybook: Thanksgiving & Advent edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from the month

I’ve been busy preparing for a  Spiritual Direction  residency and haven’t taken any photos this week! Here’s a photo I took earlier this month during a quiet retreat at my Spiritual Director’s cottage in Virginia. This story never, ever gets old.

I’ve been busy preparing for a Spiritual Direction residency and haven’t taken any photos this week! Here’s a photo I took earlier this month during a quiet retreat at my Spiritual Director’s cottage in Virginia. This story never, ever gets old.


(2) new posts in the Work Stories series

  1. Work Stories 2018 wrap-up! (I’d love to hear your stories, too. I hope you’ve been able to hear the stories, prayers, and songs from each week as a blessing and affirmation that your work matters.)

  2. Nancy Nordenson’s two kinds of work (This is the final guest post for the 2018 Work Stories series, and I’m delighted that Nancy gets to be our final word for this year. No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum of doing the work you’ve always wanted to do or just doing the work you’ve found, may you receive encouragement and hope in her words.)


(3) updates for my internet homes

  1. I’ve added a Tip Jar to my blog page. Would you consider helping to support my work here? Picture the little jar at your favorite coffee shop and that I’m adding a sweet froth to your favorite beverage each time we meet here. Every little bit is appreciated!

  2. A linktree for @a_sacramental_life on Instagram: Finally! Here’s an easier way to specific links through the blog’s Instagram page.

  3. Advent Daybook 2018 subscription: You may have noticed a little pop-up box when you visit the blog. If you don’t receive blog posts via email already, Advent is a great time to start!


(4) links to get ready for Advent

If you've ever considered following the ancient rhythms of the  liturgical calendar, there's no better time to start than at the Church's New Year: Advent. Even if your church follows the civic calendar more prominently than the liturgical, you can follow along with your brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe from the quiet spaces of your own home. You could create -- figuratively or, even, literally -- a family altar. This does not have to be elaborate, time-consuming, or expensive.  Simple tangible acts will impress themselves upon your hearts and minds for a lifetime: a book or two filled with rich images and time-tested writings, mealtime prayers, a candle or two.

  1. Advent home page

  2. How We Prepare For Advent (Join us?)

  3. A Few Simple Ways to Decorate for Advent

  4. Our 10 Favorite Advent Devotional Books (for all ages)


(5) resources to celebrate Thanksgiving

You might enjoy my Pinterest boards: Autumn Holidays & Occasions and Thanksgiving

  1. Thanksgiving Day Prayers & A Family Liturgy of Thanksgiving via Anglican Pastor

  2. For those of us formed by the Lord’s Supper, here’s a way to consider Thanksgiving through a sacramental lens: At the Table via The Work of the People

  3. Host international students for Thanksgiving through Bridges International! For local friends, watch Chris & Kelly Rowley’s invitation here: Thanksgiving Hosting and sign up here: University of Bridgeport Sign-Up

  4. Resources to honor the perspective of American Indians:

    American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving via National Museum of the American Indian

    The Thanksgiving Myth via Native Circle

    Erica Littlewolf of Mennonite Central Committee talks with Hannah Heinzekehr of The Mennononite about Thanksgiving myths, the Doctrine of Discovery and ways to engage this holiday

    Deconstructing Myths of the First Thanksgiving via Oyate

  5. Scroll through a collection of my Thanksgiving posts , and don’t miss last year’s Conversation Starters For A Harmonious Family Feast plus two playlists: Thanksgiving & Autumn Worship 2018 !


(6) November photos of loft-living in Bridgeport, CT


(7) blog posts from this week in the archives

  1. 2017 - 5 Things I Learned In October (An "examen" sorts for what I learned the previous month - both the weighty lessons and the daily hilarities. Still dreaming about #3!)

  2. 2015 - This Is Why I Broke A Promise To Myself On Facebook (the first of several times) & When Jesus Said ‘Love Your Neighbors’ Did He Mean Muslims, Too? (I meant this question sincerely!)

  3. 2014 - 5 Favorite Quotations On Writing: Kenyon, L'Engle, King, O'Connor, Berry (I need to read #4 every day.)

  4. 2013 - Why We Send Our Kids To A [Broken] Public School (Chapter 8 in the Parenting Unrehearsed series.)

  5. 2011 - Mostly Grateful (When I was just starting to figure out my life plan had been shot to heck.)

  6. 2011 - Austin, Nice to Meet You: Holiday Weekend Edition (I need to find those boots and reenact this weekend stat.)

  7. 2008 - Confession (Really, my mother was the worst offender.)

5 years ago

When my sisters flew to Austin so we could make soup together in my kitchen.


May your weekend include some time at home and some time with friends that welcome your tears as well as your laughter. 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!