7 quick takes

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) poem for your weekend

Our church's reading group, aka Apostles Reads, is meeting on Sunday to discuss Wendell Berry's poetry collection, A Timbered Choir. It's one of my favorite collections but doesn't include this beautiful poem, "The Peace of Wild Things". 

Listen and love. (Also, you can see digital versions of some of my favorite poems on my Poems board on Pinterest.)


(2) podcasts I enjoyed this week

We Need a Blue-Collar Theology of Work - How the church can best spiritually support the majority of American workers. | Quick to Listen from CT

Alice Parker: Singing Is the Most Companionable of Arts - "She began as a young woman, studying conducting with Robert Shaw at Juilliard, and collaborated with him on arrangements of folksongs, spirituals, and hymns that are still performed around the world today. Alice Parker is also a gorgeous thinker and writer, a wise and joyful woman, about why singing is able to touch and join human beings in ways few other arts can." | via On Being with Krista Tippett


(3) photo-based links I couldn't resist

81 of Kate Middleton's Best Fashion Moments - | via Marie Claire

31 Rare Historical Photos - | via All That is Interesting

5 Weird Old Home Trends I'd Love to See Make a Comeback -  | via Apartment Therapy


(4) links I love on the subject of caring for the refugee and immigrant

Deporting my Iraqi-Christian dad would be a death sentence. That's why I'm praying for justice.      - "ICE agents pounded on our door at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning as we were getting ready to go to Mass. The agents said that they were doing a house check...My people are facing genocide by ISIS in Iraq because of our Christian faith." | via America Magazine

An Impossible Hope. - "Three men in Syria showed me what Jesus looks like." by Stephanie Saldaña | via Plough quarterly magazine

My Father Is Not a Powerful Man: Lessons from My Refugee People - "It does not take powerful men to live powerful lives." | via On Being blog

I Wake Close to the Morning - "Why do people keep asking to see / God’s identity papers / when the darkness opening into morning / is more than enough?" A poem by Mary Oliver. | via Tina Osterhouse blog

The Last Christians: Stories of Persecution, Flight, and Resilience in the Middle East - I've put this book written by Andreas Knapp and published by Plough onto my TBR list. You too? | via Plough


(5) blog posts from this week in the archives

2015 - Anyone want to read stories about staying married? (I'm asking for a friend...) (A few months before our 25th wedding anniversary, I wrote this as a response to a book about marriage that was good, but not great because of some key words the author avoided. Want to guess which words?)

2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: It does take a village (Parenting advice that includes a story about one of the absolute scariest moments I've ever experienced as a mother.)

2011 - Mourning Friends (A poem-ish reflection on the ways friends have mourned with me, and I with them.)

2010 - Quick reflection re: "Christian" art (Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, I led a group of artists in our church. This post recalls one of the many times we discussed this topic of "Christian" art. It's a happy memory.)

2006 - The death of alone and unprotected (Perhaps the most vulnerable blog post I've ever written on one of the most healing realities of my life. Frankly, it's a little bit embarrassing to me that I ever wrote it, but my greater desire is to remember God's extravagant goodness to me. So the post stays, and every once in awhile, I share it again. )

2 Years Ago

At our house in Austin, a few months before our 25th wedding anniversary.


(6) photos from our time in and around Connecticut the past week

Bishop's Apple Orchard in Guilford, CT

Food trucks on Long Wharf, New Haven

A wedding on a boat in Lake George (NY)


(7) songs my sons & their friends wrote, produced, and performed

It's been a while since I've mentioned Where's Ulysses, and I've found myself telling our new friends in Connecticut about the band lately, so here's a refresher. (Also, click here to listen to their second EP, Surplus.)


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!

7 Sunday evening quick takes

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.

Morning Prayer at Seaside Park, Bridgeport (that's the Long Island Ferry)

Morning Prayer at Seaside Park, Bridgeport (that's the Long Island Ferry)

Mid-Day Prayer in my Living room with Phaedra Taylor's print (" CLasp Hands in times of Trouble ")

Mid-Day Prayer in my Living room with Phaedra Taylor's print ("CLasp Hands in times of Trouble")

Vespers & Poetry at St. Mary's-by-the-Sea, Black Rock

Vespers & Poetry at St. Mary's-by-the-Sea, Black Rock

Vespers & Meal Delivery to a dear parishioner after her surgery

Vespers & Meal Delivery to a dear parishioner after her surgery

Compline walk with Brian and the dog to the UB soccer field.

Compline walk with Brian and the dog to the UB soccer field.


(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.)

11 Years Ago

the summer we mucked out our flooded hometown - horrible circumstances, but beautiful memories


(7) books I'm reading for my certification as a Spiritual Director (I'll write about this more soon!)

sp.dir.books.jpg

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!

(7 Quick Takes) from the past couple of weeks

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

I spent a good part of August "unplugged", and have been putting this post together in bits and pieces for a few weeks. When I began writing it, we were all trying to process news about killing and acts of absolute racism in Charlottesville. This week, we're trying to make sense of Hurricane Harvey. May the Spirit of god lead us and guide us in discernment, prayer, and love for Him and for each other.

(1) "defining moment" sermon my husband preached

I was challenged, convicted, and comforted by the way Brian presented the "one side" of the Gospel response to the events in Charlottesville (and Boston). You can read his notes, and I recommend listening to the 25 minute presentation because you'll hear his heart on full display. I'm grateful to be a part of the congregation he shepherds.

Audio (25 minutes)

Note "On Current Events" (scroll to the August 23 post)


(2) statements on Charlottesville from U.S. Anglican leaders

On Charlottesville from Archbishop Foley Beach

The Charlottesville Statement from the Anglican Multiethnic Network


(3) books I'm reading

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin (This selection was inspired by my friend Krista's recent visit to Eleanor's home in Hyde Park, NY)

Life in the Dark: the Film Issue of Image Journal, Issue 93 guest edited by Gareth Higgins and Scott Teems

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury


(4) words I want to describe me

"Honest and funny, gracious and provocative..."

That's what Brian prayed over me recently when I was struggling to meet a writing deadline and couldn't figure out how to say the right words. He prayed this over me, and I thought: "Ah! That's exactly how I want to be. I've been waiting 46 years to figure out how to describe the way I most want to be, and he just said it perfectly in this prayer!" 

Since then, I've put the words in a place where I see them often as a reminder of his blessing.

How about you? What four words best describe the person you hope to be(come)? 


(5) photos of the sweet staycation time we spent with 3 of our kids in August

Dinner at  Captain's Cove Seaport , Bridgeport 

Dinner at Captain's Cove Seaport, Bridgeport 

Has any Dad ever looked happier with his daughters?

Has any Dad ever looked happier with his daughters?

Rainy day trip into Brooklyn -  Greenlight Bookstore

Rainy day trip into Brooklyn - Greenlight Bookstore

August.kids visit21.jpg
Andrew's 26th birthday dinner at  Luigi's Italian  in Fairfield

Andrew's 26th birthday dinner at Luigi's Italian in Fairfield


(6) blog posts from this week in the archives

2014 - My top 4 parenting epiphanies, OR My Child is Not My Property but My Guest (Each time one of my kids graduated from high school, I experienced the a few moments of parental clarity.)

2013 - What I'd Like My Son to Say to Me On His 22nd Birthday  (Kids' birthdays give me parenting clarity, as well.)

2013 - Oh Lord, you have searched me and known my love for thrift stores ("How does it feel to hear that God knows you through and through?" And, no joke, I think about thrift stores.)

2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: Your kids were supposed to have perfect parents (aka, Your Kids Were Supposed to Have Perfect Parents. You Were Supposed to Have Perfect Kids. You're All Plain Out of Luck.)

2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: You kids are not fragile (aka, "Your Worst Case Scenarios Make Room for Sturdy Grace and Steady Love)

2006 - There Are No Words (The post in which I try to process the flood that destroyed our little hometown in New York state.)

5 Years Ago

the time I wrote a bunch of posts about parenting even while I was still figuring it out.


(7) Race & Church & Media links

Untangling Race, Language and Culture in America by Anne Kennedy | via Preventing Grace at Patheos

So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence by Christina Cleveland | via On Being blog

On slavery: A time for atonement | via Aleteia

Reclaiming This Nation Begins With Reclaiming Our Attention by Courtney E. Martin  | via On Being blog

Make America Again by Langston Hughes | via Topology Magazine

On Monument Wars and On Monument Wars, Revisited  | via New City Commons

On Charlottesville - | via New City Commons


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!

Mid-vacation takes (7 Quick Takes)

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) movie we watched

Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan - 2 thumbs way up. (Once again, Josh Larsen describes best what we loved about this movie: Dunkirk and Our Deep Need to be Rescued)


(1) thing I published

On Being with Krista Tippett -- and Jesus? at Think Christian


(3) books I'm reading

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin (This selection was inspired by my friend Krista's recent visit to Eleanor's home in Hyde Park, NY)

Life in the Dark: the Film Issue of Image Journal, Issue 93 guest edited by Gareth Higgins and Scott Teems

A Ring of Endless Light: The Austin Family Chronicles, Book 4 by Madeleine L'Engle(My annual summer vacation re-read!)


(4) photos of our new home & neighborhood

Finding some beautiful spots among the chaos of unpacking.

Finding some beautiful spots among the chaos of unpacking.

We live in a renovated corset factory. Yes, you read that right. And I love telling people that! The building numbers are my favorite.

We live in a renovated corset factory. Yes, you read that right. And I love telling people that! The building numbers are my favorite.

Sometimes I feel like we moved to my childhood imagination of Sesame Street.

Sometimes I feel like we moved to my childhood imagination of Sesame Street.

Walking the dog in Seaside Park two blocks away from our new apartment.

Walking the dog in Seaside Park two blocks away from our new apartment.


(5) photos showing why I love NY in summer

Whenever I travel outside of New York state, and try to explain that upstate is not urban like the city, but pastoral, these are the scenes I have in mind. I took all of them during vacation in Canandaigua with my parents and siblings last week.


(6+) blog posts from this week in the archives

2015 - {pretty, happy, funny, real} contentment (A little slice of life from 2 summers ago, when we were on the verge of a whole lot of celebrating.)

2013 - Upon 2 Years in Austin (We first rolled in Austin on August 11, 2011 - 4 kids, 2 parents, 1 frazzled doggie.)

2012 - My Life As A Rabbit (The things we do to bring in income....)

2012 - Upon One Year in Austin

2011 - Murphys Take Austin, a family collaborated series 

Saying good-bye hurts like hell OR How My Husband's Personal Trainer Taught Me About Love (by me)

Farewell Gifts (from our NY Tribe)

Murphys Take Austin: Day 1 (from the road, by me again)

Days 2 & 3 (a photo diary)

Murphys Take Austin: Saying good-bye (from Stump Pond, by Andrew)

Days 3 & 4 (from Endicott to Cincinnati, A trip diary in which I make the infamous observation: "our desire to feel like we're on a great adventure and our desire to curl up in a ball in our old bedrooms and watch Spongebob ran smack dab into each other.")

Day 5 (from Louisville, by Brian)

Day 6 (from Memphis, by Kendra)

Day 7 (from Arkansas to Austin, by Alex)

Settling In (a photo diary from our first week in Austin, by Natalie)


6 years ago

 

 

 

 

               Our kids on a rooftop in Memphis, on our way to our new home in Austin. Craziest, most adventurous 6 years of my life. I'm so proud of us!

 

(7) Summer & Vacation-related links I love

Some links I've recently added to my Pinterest board about living and loving the communities where we live, worship, and work: Summer Holidays & Occasions

Dancing Fireflies at Dusk - "Filmed at dusk on in July, when thunderstorms cleared and a mist was rising against the mountains - some of the first fireflies of the season lit up the fields with their magic." | via YouTube

Sitting On the Porch. "Before air conditioning, television, and automobiles, and a number of other household-changing technologies, people were practically driven outside on a summer evening." | via Bacon From Acorns

Summer Music Festival with James Taylor and Lucinda Williams. Fun! Listen to 2 great American songwriter segments:  "James Taylor will teach you guitar" and Lucinda Williams talking about God, Flannery O'Connor, and her journey through the music industry. | via The New Yorker Radio Hour

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver.  One of my favorites, one of her best. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" | via Library of Congress

The Cheapest Way to Travel With Your Kids: Children's Summer Reading List. Stories that connect kids' hearts to the world. | via IMB

In the Garden by Bobby Bostic.  "Like the garden that dies in the winter and revives in the springtime, I got a new life. It is time to revive myself. " | via Plough

Robert Moses' Jones Beach.  I have vague, but happy memories of playing on this beach when I was a little girl and our family visited family friends in Long Island. This article gives a brief description of the history of the architect's vision in all the complexity of its value to the area. | via Curbed


May your weekend include sunshine, beauty and a good laugh, friends. Peace...

p.s. This post contains 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!

TGIWeekend! (7 Quick Takes)

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) movie I watched this week

Paterson, starring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani (If you love understated films that include both art & quirk, you'll like this movie! Here's a good review at Larsen on Film.)


(2) things I wrote published this week (both are rather personal - yikes!)

All Who Enter Here at Art House America

Catastrophe's Refreshingly Ancient Take on Marriage at Think Christian


(3) books I'm reading

The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

God Is Love: Essays from Portland Magazine by Brian Doyle

A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 by Wendell Berry (An Ordinary Time selection for our church's reading group.)


(4) television shows we're recording this summer

Turn: Washington's Spies on AMC (previous seasons on Amazon)

Broadchurch, season 3 at BBC America  (previous seasons on Amazon)

So You Think You Can Dance, season 14 on Fox

The Great British Baking Show, season 4 on PBS (previous seasons on Amazon)


(5) recent photos from our church community

We're so grateful to live and serve among this beautiful community of people (and, yes, we're a bit biased about our kids!)


(6) blog posts from this week in the archives

2016 - Ireland! (A year ago on July 14th we returned from our month in Ireland. All the posts with all the photos.)

2015 - Monday morning thoughts: Dancing bear act, crash helmets, and a Doxology (a stream-of-consciousness meditation on the Anglican liturgy)

2012 - 5 pieces of art inspired by the great American road trip

2010 - "Sometimes we have to change jobs in order to maintain our vocation." - Eugene Peterson (If I'd known in 2010 we were on the brink of so much change, I probably wouldn't have believed it. A prophetic post...)

2008 - Transforming Culture Symposium #1: THE GOSPEL (Andy Crouch) (You could also title this series The Origins of Tamara's Mind Blown.)

2006 - The summer our town flooded - here, here, and here (another life-changing event, captured in the earliest days of this blog)


July.Loft.jpg

View from our week. 

 

Have I mentioned we are moving? Just across town this time. See first link below. In case you're wondering, there's 5 steps to get in the door and 19 to get into the apartment. Lord, have mercy.

 

(7) Cities, Towns, & Neighborhoods links I love

Some links I've recently added to my Pinterest board about living and loving the communities where we live, worship, and work: Cities, Towns, and Neighborhoods

25 Things You Should Know About Bridgeport, Connecticut. Connecticut is a web of neighboring small towns with an occasional larger urban area thrown in. Our church is based in Fairfield, and is bordered on one side by Westport (the 22nd richest place in America) and on the other by Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut with one of the highest crime rates and lowest median incomes in the country. When we came to Church of the Apostles we drove between both, and felt strongly that we were called to love and serve both Westport and Bridgeport and everyone between. For now, we are also called to live in Bridgeport, and I'll write more about that soon. | via Mental Floss

Protective Hospitality. Jayme Reaves writes about creating safety amidst violent conflict, in two of the most infamous  neighborhoods in Northern Ireland, reminding me of the Bogside murals in Derry/Londonderry and our bus tour through Belfast las summer. It's also an intriguing perspective on what walls can mean. | via The Porch Magazine

Why America Can't Make Up Its Mind About Housing. "We are, in conclusion, profoundly conflicted as a nation when it comes to housing: we want it to be affordable, but we also want its prices to rise fast enough to be valuable as a financial investment. That’s a contradiction we need to acknowledge if our housing policy debate—and, ultimately, our housing policy—is going to be coherent and constructive." | via Strong Towns

Small is Beautiful (Except When It Isn't).   | via Comment Magazine

Stop Shoehorning Suburbia Into Walkable Places.  "All we need is the common sense to improve these areas without destroying them." | via Strong Towns

Can City Design Help End Street Harassment?   "One study shows that 87 percent of American women have experienced physical or sexual harassment in public by a male stranger ... there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. Or is there?" | via Strong Towns

Robert Moses' Jones Beach.  I have vague, but happy memories of playing on this beach when I was a little girl and our family visited family friends in Long Island. This article gives a brief description of the history of the architect's vision in all the complexity of its value to the area. | via Curbed


May your weekend include sunshine, beauty and a good laugh, friends. Peace...

p.s. This post contains 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!