Rip-tide, flash flood or perhaps a hurricane shot through with tornades; I can’t decide which best captures the general sense of my life lately.
Time has burst his dam and is flooding through my life with a swiftness I can’t hope to stem. I’m a little put out. Usually time seems rather a mild-mannered gentleman, even somewhat reserved in personality. But lately he has morphed into a petulant rebel rushing through my existence in a wild torrent of minutes that downright sweeps me off my feet (not in a good way!). And you are left here, without a single word of thanks for your all your really thoughtful comments and encouragement. So, I’m snatching this strangely calm minute to scribble a hasty thank you to you lovely souls who still visit now and then and even comment. You are a gracious bunch!
I suppose I ought to blame some of this mental blur on my current book deadline. I’m a bit like Jo in Little Women when she hunches up in the attic and enters her “vortex”. My vortex is a result of my general procrastination when it comes to writing…which means that on book deadlines I spend 2-3 weeks eating, sleeping, and breathing my book in various coffee shops around town. But I’m almost there! I can see the light! Thanks for being patient with me as I finish. Until that blessed day, here are a few of the graces with which God has very sweetly sustained me in the midst of my craziness. I thought perhaps you could use them too! I personally vouch for the restorative powers of each one:
Lavender Earl Gray Tea: Especially fortifying to weary brains when brewed in a real pot, sipped out of a decent cup and accompanied by a tiny crystal pitcher of creamy milk. There is something in actually taking time for ritual that makes me feel at least partially human again.
Glen Packiam’s Talks on Worship: My church hosts a Friday night service for twenty-somethings and this past Friday I had the great privilege of hearing Glen Packiam speak about worship as you are walking in the valley of death. Joel was with me and we both walked out of the service, glanced over at each other and almost simultaneously said “that was one of the best sermon’s I have ever heard”. The depth of Glen’s thoughts on what it means to walk through outer trouble and yet fear no inner evil is so strengthening to me. And the last bit, when he talks his way through the journey of the book of Psalms… I won’t forget that for a long time. Best of all, these are available as a free podcast from iTunes. Just follow this link to theMill website and it will direct you to the series. Look for the talks by Glen Packiam titled Resonate.
Precepts Study of Isaiah: A couple of years back, I was part of the best little Bible study group that ever gathered and was introduced to the world of Precepts Bible studies. I am now doing studying the book of Isaiah with them (I just do it from a thousand miles away) and am so enriched, so comforted, so expanded by what I am learning. I know people have various views on the inductive method of Bible study and these studies in particular, but I’ll just recommend them by saying that the simple study of Scripture with this resource walks me through the Bible day by day in a way that challenges, heartens and gladdens me even in the midst of an absolutely crazy life. You might just want to give it a try.
Photo & Recipe Blogs: Sometimes I just need a quick jot of beauty when I am having a brain freeze over a particular paragraph and in those moments, I am turning to these three photo blogs for a daily dose of colorful, contemplative soul food: Today I Am Mostly, Simply Breakfast, and SouleMama (I love SouleMama for other reasons as well). And when my brain is completely fried and I simply cannot thread another word through the needle of my thought, I cook. Yes, there is something particularly cathartic in the detailed, mindless, and yet highly creative atmosphere of cooking. It helps my brain to unwind. Lately, I’ve found plenty of inspiration at these blogs: Orangette, Soup Spoon, and Smitten Kitchen. Perhaps you will too.
This would definitely be one of those blogs that falls under the “I do apologize for the length of this letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one” (said by some famous author) category. Oh well. Just know I love writing to you all and am optimistically expecting to begin it regularly again within the next few days. Have a lovely afternoon!