I recently sent out my first newsletter. I’m including this first one here in case you haven’t signed up to receive it yet – you can sign up below.
Thoughts From the Labyrinth
My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this summer. We recently returned from an amazing trip to Croatia (plus an overnight in Paris). Croatia is a beautiful country. We spent almost two weeks soaking up its cities, national parks, world heritage sites, islands, culture, and food. And, if you are a Game of Thrones fan, many “historical” sites (Dubrovnik, aka “King’s Landing” in the last picture).
One of the things that piqued my interest about Croatia was a book I read last year about the war and its aftermath. Girl at War by Sara Novic is a fictional, but well-researched, account of a young woman who experienced great loss as a child during the Homeland War of the 1990’s. The book balances her childhood experience with her reflections and return to Croatia a decade later. I reread the book while we were on the trip and realized we were visiting some of the places described in the book. I highly recommend the book and Croatia.
During the trip, I also read Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Lonelinessby Leslie Verner. While sharing her experiences living in China and Uganda, she reflects on the difficulties of establishing authentic relationships in our busy, individualized, western culture. In Invited, she observes “Mostly, I long to know and be known.” As Vernier shares her loneliness in her move back to the States and then again when she moves cross-country, we can find our own yearning for relationship and genuine connection with others. I appreciated her inclusion of discussion and reflection questions as well as ideas on how to invite others into relationship.
I hope you find some time to see something beautiful, experience something surprising, and read something good this summer.
Peace in the journey,
Things I’m enjoying
Just Coffee Co-op This has been my go-to coffee supplier for several years. They have so many options of both regular and decaf. My favorite is Espresso Monkey Decaf. Their mission is wonderful, their coffee is delicious, and shipping is free!
Envirosax A friend introduced me to these a few years ago. They might be tiny, but they are mighty in what they hold – plus they’re pretty! I always have a few in my purse. I also brought them on my trip, and they were helpful not only for shopping but also for segregating dirty clothes, etc. in my suitcase.
A Closing Prayer
Faithful and loving God, where can we even begin with our thankfulness to you? Shall we begin with the world you created and called good? Or with the breath you breathed into us to give us life? Or that you have heard our cries for help?
Should our thanksgiving begin on a dark night in Bethlehem when you took on our humanity and live among us? Or is it when you called us to follow you? Or when you healed our sickness, cast out our demons, fed our bodies or calmed our storms?
Where could our thanksgiving ever end? It does not end with death but with new life. It does not end with ourselves but with your Church. It does not end with abandoned memories but expectant hope.
Holy God, you are the beginning and the end, everlasting to everlasting, faithful and true. May we clothe ourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts. For as members of one body we are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Amen.
June is the one-year anniversary of my book Prayers for the People: Scriptural Based Prayers for Worship. To celebrate, I’m offering a booklet of prayers of adoration and confession if you buy my book in the coming month. Just message me a copy of your receipt, and I will send it to you.