Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grace, it's a name for a girl, and also a thought that changed the world

My wonderful friends Karen and Rob are having a baby! I'm so excited for them. They'll be such great parents. Oh, and it's a little girl. And her name is Grace.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

celtic, children and choirs

Let's play catch-up, shall we?

-Going to the novena at Clonard Monastery and listening to Steve talk about the importance of the Bloody Sunday Report, that made some great strides in healing from the terrible events of that day. It was powerful to hear a Protestant from Ballycastle speak to a church absolutely packed with Catholics from a posture of repentance, talking about the need for Protestants to receive the report as a positive step that is instrumental in Northern Ireland moving forward.

-An impromptu mid-morning stop for coffee with Andrea and Tilmann. They return to Berlin on Tuesday (and I'm very sad about this), so we're spending as much time together as possible! They're having a great barbecue tonight. I'm so glad that I get to visit them in Berlin in August.

-Walking over beautiful celtic designs changing ordinary pavement into an artist's canvas. I'm so comfortable living here that I sometimes forget I'm in a foreign country, until I come across things like this that just ooze Irishness.

-A fabulous and wonderful Children's Festival at Fitzroy complete with a massive ark to tell the Noah story, dozens of children laughing and dancing, teenagers dressed as clowns and even a juggler/fire breather! It was great. I'm exhausted. :)

-Going to St. George's with Andrea for her last time. They were having a heritage day and there was a group of women singing protest songs from the women's movement, and they sang "A Song of Peace" which is one of my favorite songs ever. It was very moving.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

sun, moon and stars

-Sunlight reflecting off of a green wine bottle on the wooden table, making it glow.

-Spending the day painting and setting up the hall for our children's festival with a crowd of lovely folks, REM blaring in the background, breaking only for an ice cream treat. We got so much done and it looks fantastic with a massive ark, beautiful paintings of Jesus with children and Daniel in the lion's den done by some of the amazing team and even a rainbow and sun and moon and stars hung from the ceiling. I can't wait for the children to see it. We're looking at big stories from the Bible and they'll see them all illustrated as soon as they enter.

-Hanging out with fabulous friends drinking wine and eating chocolate. Life's good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

swing low

-The relaxing rhythms of the lovely farmhouse at Craigantlet I often pay a visit to. It's a pretty busy week, but I was able to get away and do work from here. It's also been refreshing and wonderful to read old Wilbur Smith books and hang out with my good friends Jonee and Katrina.

-Sitting on a grassy hill watching the ocean's waves lap around it and a family of birds traverse the tumultuous waves. Warm sun on my shoulders and brilliant blue sky and the constant slish slosh of the waves gave me a sense of peace and connection with an intricately orchestrated creation.

-Jonee making a swing out of an old piece of driftwood we found on the beach. It was hung from a shady tree in the garden and we had so much fun taking turns swinging on it and laughing with the joyful abandon of children.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

tin woman

-Finding an adorable antique tin that holds tea and sugar in two separate compartments. I just love it. I think a very long time ago, this would've lived in a lunchbox.

-Wearing a long, flowy maxi dress and sandals and my favorite denim jacket. It's funny how an outfit can shape your mood. Today with the sun shining, soft fabric draped around me and comfy sandals on my feet, I feel as carefree as I would be on a holiday while still in work getting lots done. Listening to Ennio Morricone's The Mission on the walk in to work also set the tone for a great day.

-Talking to my sister and finding encouragement and support, as always. There's nothing better than a sister.

-Let's catch up a little: I led worship Sunday night and we looked at Ecclesiastes and environmental disaster and I was reminded of how incredibly alive I feel when leading worship. Singing together "It is Well with My Soul" was deeply stirring and powerful.

-Feeling ever-so-slightly like Holly Golightly as I strolled down the street with my coffee and croissant in hand.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

short stack

-Hearing Fiona (one of the young people at Fitzroy) speak with poise, sincerity and conviction on the floor of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland's General Assembly. There are so many gifted young people in PCI.

-Frances treating me to fluffy pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup at the whimsical Avoca cafe. It was delightful, and so was our conversation.

-Going to the rarified surroundings of the Linen Hall Library to write my sermon for Sunday evening. I'm preaching on Ecclesiastes and environmental disaster (just a light one, clearly!) and I don't know if it was the pancakes, the wisdom of the library, the Spirit--or more likely all 3--but it just came to me. I love when that happens.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

tea time

-I remember this particular grouping of trees in Ormeau Park to be beautiful last year, but with a long, hard winter, it's even more lovely this year.

-Having my final ladies' Bible study and enjoying the wise, insightful company and delicious treats. These teacups belonged to Eileen's Grandmother (Eileen's in her eighties). They are just so special. The ladies all took me out to lunch as a farewell/thank you because the Bible study doesn't happen over the summer. I'm really going to miss them and their constant encouragement and joy. What a blessing they've been to me.

-The soothing cadences of guitar and prophetic, velvety voice of Caroline Herring.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

eyes wide open

-Meeting Ri for coffee and her asking if we could pray. Honestly, I'm sometimes a little uncomfortable praying in public places but we just sat side by side--music blaring, people talking around us--and prayed for each other with our eyes open. It was holy. There was something so profound about not shutting out the world by shutting our eyes, but instead praying with our eyes and ears open.

-Falling asleep to rain on my window and waking to that same soothing cadence.

-Getting emails about work that include thoughtful niceties that take just a little more effort, like "I'm glad you're still with us for a little while" and "Lots of love." It makes all the difference.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

breakfast, lunch and dinner

-A really fabulous dinner: poached farm eggs from the market with asparagus, thyme-roasted potatoes and a white wine sauce. Then, easy strawberry shortcake! Yep, it's official. I'm a foodie. Yum.

-Having a breakfast outside the church for our Romania trip and getting to mingle from table to table catching up with great folks.

-Lunch with the lovely Mulhollands that was relaxed, delicious and inspiring (through our conversation, I got a great idea for an upcoming sermon).

Saturday, June 05, 2010

those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

-You can't probably see it from this picture, but little sun-illuminated flies were dancing in the sunlight, ushering in feelings of those lazy days of summer.

-Sitting with good friends sipping a Baileys coffee at the end of a very busy week.

-The fun of wearing a cotton dress on a sunny, warm day.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

cloud atlas

-A phenomenal cloud formation in the sky (even more impressive than thumb's up or rubber duckies!). I just stared overhead, mesmerized.

-Seeing a single star twinkling in the velvet deep blue sky outside my window.

-Today's lectionary reading includes Psalm 143 and it hit the spot.

Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.