Thursday, August 08, 2013

What I Loved in July

Yeah, yeah, I'm posting this a week into August. C'est la vie. 

Meanwhile, back in July... Some great things happened.

The end of our epic Pacific Northwest adventure: To kick off the month, we drove from Seattle to Oregon and stayed for a few days. Breathtaking scenery, scrumptious food (who are we kidding, mainly doughnuts)... And thankfully, our three connecting flights cooperated to get us home to sleep off the jetlag for a whole weekend.

A morning in Davidson: Granted, I’ve spent my fair share of mornings in Davidson, but this one just sticks out. (And it was overcast! Yay for zero sweltering.) Walked to the farmer’s market, where we found a crepe truck and ate breakfast (we’re on a journey to find crepes as good as the French Market in Knoxville) in the midst of the bustling market. More walking and moseying followed.

Back to the pool/regular exercise: Swimming and spinning! One week, I even made it to the gym five days in a row. That’s not gonna happen every week, but it feels good when it does.

Coffee with my college chaplain: It’s always a breath of fresh air to catch up with a friend and mentor who knows you so well that you can pick up right where you left off. Thanks, Rob! 

A visit from friends, and dinner: Carrie, Brianna and Rachel - now scattered across the country - stopped through on a road trip, provided excellent company, and cooked a delicious dinner. Such a treat! I love hosting folks - plus, it motivates me to clean!

Weekends off from social media: I stare at a screen from 9-5 Monday-Friday, and my smart phone always tempts me once I get home. When we were on our big trip, we were so busy enjoying our new surroundings that I barely touched Facebook, Twitter or email. So this month, I decided to quit seeing pixels and treat weekends like the social media vacations they should be. It’s been so satisfying, and definitely something I plan to continue. It’s a small way to reclaim my time; small, but refreshing. Worth a try for everyone!

Editing my manuscript: I’ve been working on a memoir for just about a year – I started writing it during a workshop at the Collegeville Institute in August 2012 (what a beloved place… I’m going back one of these days). But whether I knew it or not, I was working on it long before that, in journal entries and emails and even posts on this blog. I’ve been marking Draft #2 up like crazy, and got a chance to work one-on-one with a favorite writing instructor. In September, I’ll head back to this class that I’ve enjoyed so much with new material to share.

School of the Spirit: I wrote here that I’m part of a year-long spiritual formation group meeting several times this year to talk, teach, learn, pray and share our faith journeys. We met again at the end of the month to focus on silence, solitude and simplicity. We’re slowly letting our busy-ness melt away to find more time and space to let God in. I find it challenging, but also renewing, and the group of folks I’m with – about 20 pastors and church leaders from around the state – is wonderful.

Wedding photography planning/dinner: Back in the fall, two of my dearest friends asked me and two other friends back in the fall if we would photograph their wedding at the end of the month. One rainy evening, we all met up for a fun and delicious dinner of homemade black bean burgers, tomatoes and orzo, fresh mozzarella and break’n’bake chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Oh, and talked photography plans for the big day.

The wedding itself: And then the big day showed up! My friends’ wedding was full of jubilant singing, joyful tears, and grins so wide our faces ached. Not to mention the beauty of the church and the set-up (they built their own Communion table), the significance of the Scriptures, the homily and Holy Communion, and the fact that so many of us had been involved in making it all come together. Friends made the Communion bread, and the delicious tiramisu wedding cake. Three of us served as photographers. Mothers made bouquets and cousins served as ushers. Countless folks blew up balloons for the reception (where we danced the night away). And just look at the brides’ shoes. With their light and joy combined, the world shines brighter.

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