“Attention – deep, sustained, undeviating – is in itself an experience of a very high order.”
~ Roberto Gerhard
- How Far to the Promised Land by Esau McCaulley
- And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer by Fredrik Backman
- The Language of the Soul by Jeff Crosby
- The Gift of Restlessness by Casey Tygrett
- Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? by Paula Faris
- Pilgrim by Ruth Chou Simons
I measured flour and butter and sugar. A bit of vanilla and water and stirred up pie dough this last week of September. The oven hummed its pre-heat song as I rolled out the pastry and crimped the edges. I’d been hungry for pumpkin pie all month and this Wednesday morning I slipped pies in the oven to bake and bubble into cinnamon pumpkin goodness.
Party mix is another snack I often make in June for harvest and think of again in autumn days.
We have a whole collection of Monarch hair accessories over at Lilla Rose!
One of the partners I work with sent me an email this month with an opportunity to share the trailer for Journey to Bethlehem. I was drawn in and I’m anticipating watching this familiar story told through music.
Do you have a favorite mug for autumn? I’d love to hear or see a photo of it!
I love mugs and our shelves and drawers hold too many. There’s something so lovely about a warm mug nestled in palms on a crisp morning. We’ve had some lovely mornings and evenings, but our temperatures are still hitting high nineties and the air conditioner is still chugging.
I read the poem Apple Picking by Robert Frost this month and I love the turn of words and imagery.
“My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.” ~ Robert Frost
I attended one of my favorite events this month. It’s filled with so much goodness, glory, and grace.
The Apprentice Gathering
The rafters beam warm and the wood welcomes the melodies, absorbing, then reverberating chords, as the music soars over, up, around the chapel. Evening sunset bathes the stage and the rows of seated apprentices with a rainbow, a kaleidoscope of color, in the stained glass sanctuary.
We worship in song.
We worship in soul.
We worship in words.
Words spoken. Words sung. Words unspoken. Words whispered.
There are tears.
Tears of joy.
Tears of pain.
Tears of sorrow.
Tears of grief.
Tears of rejoicing.
Tears of relief.
Tears of comfort.
And on Saturday morning Trevor Hudson speaks of three groanings found in Romans 8 and he says these words I can’t quite get over.
“Every person you encounter sits next to their own pool of tears. You have yours. And I have mine.”
No wonder our souls long for gentleness, ache for compassion, hope for empathy.
No wonder our souls long to be seen, soothed, safe, and secure.
Ann Voskamp gives us a next step on the way with the Waymaker by reminding us that everything turns on the turn.
“No direction matters more in your life than turning toward having a daily sacred way and rhythm of life — because this changes the trajectory and destination of your one life literally for forever and all eternity. Nothing in our life isn’t forming us one way or the other, and absolutely everything in life is formational. The screens, the movies, the music, the books, the stations, the friends, the peers, the work, the culture, are all forming us whether we are conscious of it or not.”
And there’s Ruth Haley Barton and Sabbath and John Mark Comer with a short deep dive into the six stages of faith. A.J. Swoboda speaks of the Holy Spirit, leans into our identity in Christ, and the gifts which come from our deepest wounds.
And I’ve brought home a notebook of scribbled notes, a Styrofoam box with leftover eggs Benedict, chocolates for my good farmer man, armfuls of memories made with my dearie girl and fellow comrade friends, a stack of new books, of course, and depth and width and heighth of good, good words to process.
And after we’ve sung the Creed together, the last notes of Amen drifting in the air, Jim steps forward, raises his hands and blesses us with this benediction.
“May all of your expectations be frustrated,
May all of your plans be thwarted,
May all of your desires be withered into nothingness,
That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child, and can sing and dance in the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”
~ Larry Hine, Brennan Manning’s spiritual director, who delivered this benediction at Manning’s ordination service
Amen and truly Amen.
And there’s nothing to do, but bring up “Lord of the Dance” on Spotify, turn up the speakers and let the music ring on our drive home.
Because there’s another question Trevor Hudson hands us that Dallas Willard handed him many years ago.
“Is your God gloomy?”
And friend if you find your god gloomy, may I take your hand, look deep in your eyes and whisper that we have a joyful Jesus.
And to know the Son is to know the Father.
This is our Jesus.
“I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone;
But I am the dance, and I still go on.
They cut me down and I leapt up high;
I am the life that’ll never, never die.
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me:
I am the Lord of the dance, said he.
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.” ~ Sydney Carter
We are people in whom Christ dwells and delights. May we dance in delight beside Him.