Last night we used our first garden beefsteak tomato to make a salad. It was absolutely delicious. Savoring the flavours of the garden is one of my August delights. Tomatoes, squash, and basil are at the top of the list but there are also beans and the peaches we picked last week. Talk about the lavish generosity of God and in the midst there are fun opportunities for creativity. I love to take a recipe and adapt it as I did with our beans this week – Beans, red pepper, mushrooms, and onions stir fried with garlic, cumin, coriander and a touch of cayenne pepper made a mouth watering accompaniment to the salad.
In August I also find myself gearing up and planning for the rest of the year. This year I am looking forward to an exciting series of virtual retreats. Retreats shape my life, and I believe they are an important component of all our lives. This series begins with Seasons and Rhythms on September 2nd. Now is the time to establish a new rhythm for our lives. In this retreat we will learn to make space for God and discover the Christ-like pace that liberates us from a culture enslaved by time. This coincides with the celebration of the Irish saint Fiacre, the patron saint of gardening and has become a popular time for gardening groups in the Northern Hemisphere to gather and celebrate. Though this retreat will not focus on the garden, there is no way I can talk about the seasons and rhythms without sharing some of what I have learned from my time outside. It promises to be a lot of fun. We already have several people signed up and I hope you will join us. The other retreats are A Season of Gratitude October 14th and An Advent Quiet Day December 9th. Both of these focus on my own spiritual rhythm which I encourage you to adopt – October and November are my season of gratitude, and the liturgical season of Advent in December, such an important celebration for our Christian faith. Sign up for all three and receive a very special discount. This series of retreats promises to be a great way to maintain a rhythm of peace and quiet throughout the frantic season ahead. Check them out. It would be great to have you join us.
This week my Meditation Monday: To Deconstruct or Reconstruct That is the Question revolves, not surprisingly, around my thoughts on deconstructing and reconstructing our faith. These are both very important aspects of our faith, but I really am concerned that most of the recent conversations I have heard focus more on deconstruction than reconstruction. I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.
Lilly’s Freerange Friday: You Are Loved once more inspires me with Lilly’s ability to provide practical ways to enter into the love of God. I love her suggestion to wrap ourselves in a beach towel, a blanket, or a shawl today. Imagine Jesus wrapping you in his unending love.
Karen Wilk’s poem Air was a delightful read and focus for reflection on Thursday, and for National Play Day on Wednesday, June Friesen posted a delightful article on our need for play. Such a great reminder for us all.
I also want to remind you that the Godspace community extends far beyond our website. The Facebook Godspacelight community page continues to grow and is constantly active with a number of diverse voices. I love June Friesen’s daily reflections, Bob Trube’s book reviews and Judith Greenfield’s contemplative videos to mention but a few. This is a great place to interact with other parts of the Godspacelight community. I invite you to join and become part of the conversations.
I am ending today with a poem by Drew Jackson, whose poetry is one of those unsettling but important voices I am listening to. This poem is from his book Touch the Earth: Poems on the Way.
The Faces of Blessing
I guess blessing means entitlement.
I have been told my birthright is a curse.
My birthright, to be cursed because of genetics.
Ethnicity determines my access to healing.
I am right to think healing will pass me by
As it has done before in the faces of the blessed.
The faces of the blessed expect the world.
Anything less is an affront.
It is an affront to turn and say thank you –
An insult to show gratitude for what is rightfully theirs.
Rightfully theirs, they are the frightful heirs
Of every privilege of mercy.
Privileged to receive mercy, I say thank you.
I guess blessing means entitlement.
God go with you this week and throughout the month.
Join Christine for all three virtual retreats to build on what you learn from lesson to lesson, learning practices and patterns that increase the gratitude, joy, balance, and creativity in your life. Register for three seasonal spirituality retreats. September 2, October 14, and December 9.
There is a discount for registering for all three retreats at once.