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Ready

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I go on sabbatical at the end of this week.
This is my second sabbatical, and this time mine overlaps with Andy's, so our family will be spending two months in Europe.
We'll start in Berlin, (where Andy will teach a class on Bonhoeffer, in the Bonhoeffer Haus, which is pretty awesome). Then we'll settle down in Paris for the duration, with short trips to London, Switzerland, Taize, Venice and Florence, and whatever day trips in France occur to us.
(When we come home, I'll have one more month left, which includes a week-long silent retreat at a monastery in Kentucky).

My goal this sabbatical is "uni-tasking," which is to say, I want to do one thing at a time.  I want to live in the moment, to be in the here and now. I want to exist in the world with five changes of clothes and no social media.  I want to struggle through learning a language, let my kids teach me things, and read novels set in the place I am visiting. I want to journal in a cafe and walk til…

checking out to be all in

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I have been easing off of social media the past few months, like a detox.  Sometimes I dip back in and it feels like a relapse - I don't like what it does to me. I feel sluggish and anxious and fired up about things that I don't need to take on.  It no longer feeds me; right now it mostly drains me.  I will be going off of it completely for the next three months as I go on sabbatical.   I have been a zealous Facebook user since 2009. Every year I print a book of the photos and things I shared about my kids (and more and more, things I didn't share - just posted to myself so that they would make it into the book).  So I find myself grieving that record-keeping and wondering what will take its place. But I also know I need to do this.  I wrote the following post on Facebook after returning from a spring break trip with my family to Mexico, and just before Holy Week:
March 25, 2018

So... 10 days away from Facebook/social media and here are some things I noticed: 1- I didn't…

Avoiding Joy / Refusing Grace - (Grace Encountered Part 3)

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John 15:9-15 (from The Message) "I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Matthew 11:28-30 (adapted from The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Overwhelmed by the heaviness of it all? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wont lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly. 


The final week of elementary school my daughter's whole 5th grade went to a camp together. She h…

A Prayer for the 4th of July

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We belong first and foremost to you, Lord. God of heaven and earth, eternity and the moment, ever and always.
Then we belong to the whole of creation; the living, the dead, the yet to become, and the reborn, the ongoing cycle of earth and life with its glorious array of ever-expanding participants: mountains and trees and oceans and valleys, gazelles and robins and rivers and earthworms, all.
Next we belong to the human family, all humanity in every corner of the vast globe, all languages, creeds, cultures, skin tones, religions, beliefs, experiences,  hopes, celebrations, losses, goals,  vocations, technologies and connections, in grief and wonder and anger and happiness and confusion and sadness and joy. Whatever happens, and no matter what, we belong to them all, all, all. And they all belong to us.
After this we are grouped -  some arbitrarily and some by choice -  into land masses and geographic regions. We develop identifying accents, clothing preferences and regional tastebuds …