Saturday, April 18, 2015

7 quick takes: weekend of so many good things

or Saturday night/almost Sunday morning

--- 1 ---

One thing Brian and I have learned to love about Austin is the optimistic energy that permeates pretty much the entire city.  People come to Austin not just to be here but to do things.  Fun things, exciting things, Big Things.  Our first year meeting the people of our new church kind of blew our minds.  We began to joke privately that if we met one more person pursuing a Ph.D. or starting a non-profit to save the world or working in some sort of President (as in the U.S.) - appointed position, we were gonna turn around and run back "home". We felt pretty small in the middle of so much achievement. 

After living our entire lives in a rust-belt, depressed city, our little jaded hearts weren't sure they could handle all the Can-Do spirit of this place.  Also, spending time with people who Do Things can become quite exhausting. Left unchecked, Doing becomes frenetic -- rather than intentional -- motion. We began to think maybe the best gift we could offer our new community is a little bit of calm, a listening ear and a good beverage.  

This is all fine and good until weekends like this very one.  Weekends when so many people we love and respect are Doing Good Things and inviting us to join.  How does one decide?  I'm not sure.  

For now, I take my day of rest and blog about them.

Allies Against Slavery 

I'd originally planned to attend at least part of this event.  I respect deeply the work that John Nehme and others have done to fight slavery in Austin.   

May God get glory for His name and accomplish His purposes for life through all the hard work that went into this annual event and into the daily work of Allies Against Slavery.

Across town in the property our Christ Church has just purchased, a day-long seminar in the Faith & Culture series:
"Christopher WestBest Selling Author, Speaker, Teacher and World-Renowned Expert in John Paul II’s  Theology of the Body - will present a bold, biblical vision of love and sexuality that takes us to the “cor” of what it means to be human.  His global lecturing, best selling books and multiple audio and video programs have also made him the world’s most recognized teacher of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body."
I'd also intended to attend at least part of this event.  Instead, I added two books to my reading pile.  Nothing too serious - ha!

Buzz Stops Here, opening reception

One of my favorite artists -- and lovely friends - Phaedra Taylor  created work for this exhibition of encaustic artwork.  I am totally intrigued to learn more about the history and mystery of the humble bee which Phaedra's work explores.  I will get to the exhibition -- just not today.


Speaking of Phaedra Taylor:  Christ Church commissioned her to create a triptych for our Pentecost celebration this year.  A group of artists and other helpful collaborators met this weekend to prepare interactive pieces for the commissioned work.  I'd intended to attempt one of the evenings for this work.  (I certainly appreciate the value of behind-the-scenes collaboration for art in church, after all!)

But I did not make it either Friday or Saturday evening to help out.

Our favorite troubadour hit Austin on his Texas tour.  This was the things I managed to do this weekend.  It's not every day, of course, that we get to see a friend from "home".  And it was worth it even though we drove through Austin's Friday evening rush hour AND rain which means (and this literal) it took us an hour and a half to get the 20 miles from our appointment to pick up our friend Krista and get to the concert.  Absolutely maddening, I tell you.  Thankfully we were rewarded with beautiful music and conversation with good friends.

Somehow we never thought about taking a photo together.  Here's a couple from a little over a year ago when we hosted Jason for a house show (which we hope to do again as soon as we're able).


Our friend Krista joined Jason for 2 shows last year.
In my future life, I'm going to become their manager.  We're gonna be great...

This week four of our friends in four different states gave birth to four sweet babies.  On Friday we got to visit baby Henri here in Austin.  It was a quiet affair with his momma and daddy and 1 sister, quietly tucked away in a hospital room.  In fact, Henri slept through the whole thing. He's lucky to be born into a family who live with hope in a resurrected Christ who brings life to the ground of grief.  I wouldn't have traded this event for any other on the calendar. 

Tomorrow we celebrate the baptism of our friends' dear son, Emmett.  We've been deeply honored by the invitation to be his Godparents.  We'll celebrate with our church family and then, later in his yard with doughnuts and tea.  It will be lovely and we'll soak up more sweet time with people we've grown to love. 

And that's all I be able to include in my social calendar this weekend.  Partly because I'm trying to learn how to discipline myself to the time and space I have -- even, and maybe especially, for beauty.  I took a nap, bought special coffee for my daughter and me, read a book, chatted with a niece, nephew, Mom and a couple of sisters, did some laundry.  Not Big Things, but good things, nonetheless.  

Oh, it made me afraid to not experience each one of these good things.  Afraid I would miss out, yes, but to be the most honest, afraid to not be seen.  To not count as one who is also going to Do Things here in Austin.  Well, from my lips to God's ears, may I do all that He has for me to do -- no more and no less.  May this somehow count in his upside-down economy as Enough.  

In the meantime, I will keep looking for the Risen Christ every place I find myself.  I'd love to hear how you are practicing resurrection during Eastertide.  Check out the #practiceresurrection2015 series and send us a photo story or two in these coming weeks, won't you?

--- Other good words online this week ---

  • A New Wrinkle in Time by Jennifer Maloney at WSJ:  A never-seen-before passage from an early draft of one of my favorite stories and I think it makes the story even better.
  • The Ebola Detectives at BBC News:  This article is a few weeks old, but one I've been hanging on to for the stunning graph marking God's answer to our prayers for the end of the Ebola outbreak in Africa.  
  • Practice Resurrection 2015 (and a round up of resources on the same theme) at Lent & Beyond:  What a fun surprise to see the #practiceresurrection2015 and Easter daybook posts featured in this blog post from a resource I follow all throughout the Church year!  "It is truly MUST READING for anyone wanting encouragement to celebrate the full 50 days of the Easter Season."  Probably the best "blurb" my blog ever got!


Hoping for a good and content weekend for us all, friends.


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