Retreats & Waters

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

My husband Tom and I are just back from our three day refocusing retreat at Anacortes. I loved walking on Rosario Beach picking up colorful pebbles and My husband Tom and I are just back from our three day refocusing retreat at Anacortes. I loved walking on Rosario Beach picking up colorful pebbles and breathing in the beauty of God’s world seemingly untouched by the disasters happening all around our world. My heart goes out to the millions suffering the impact of searing heat, of floods and forest fires as well as those whose lives are forever changed by the ongoing wars – Russia’s war with Ukraine, and civil wars in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria. We live in a very unstable and uncertain world. May we learn in the midst of it to trust God’s unchanging nature of love, faithfulness and justice.

I talked about our retreat time in yesterday’s Meditation Monday: My Work is Loving the World and how impacted I was by Mary Oliver’s poem My work is loving the world.  Her poetry is currently one of my guiding lights. Her words are refreshing and renewing my soul. I love the way that God provides voices like hers at just the right time for us. As I mentioned yesterday, I have read very little scripture in the last few months, but poetry and my garden walks continue to strengthen and sustain me. I feel as though the last few months have been a bit of a Sabbatical season – unnamed but still refreshing. I have not held any workshops. I have written very few articles (some of you may have noticed that there has been a lot of reposting on Godspace recently.) Poetry and the garden have provided me with the kind of soul nourishment I most need. This last week I initiated a new practice – watering the garden instead of having a morning devotional time. It has been wonderful and reminded me of Vigen Guroian who, in his book Inheriting Paradise, reminds us that water is the lifeblood of the garden and of all creation. Every time we water the garden it is a little like baptism, “we tend not only the garden that we call nature but also the garden that is ourselves, “

I think that my Sabbatical time will probably fade as the summer does and focus once more on the serious work of writing and speaking. I am planning a series of retreats that you might like to pencil in on your calendar now: September 2nd – Rhythms and Seasons, October 14th – Living in Gratitude and December 9th – Advent Quiet Day Retreat. I hope you can join me for this series. Each will be a stand alone retreat but the series together, I think will enrich our lives, nourish us through the rest of the year and prepare us for a busy new year coming.

Don’t miss last week’s posts. They were all very engaging and inspirational. June Friesen’s reminder that Saturday was National Ice Cream Day had us celebrating with our favourite caramel caribou ice cream shared with good friends. Lilly Lewin’s Cell Phone Prayer Practice was greatly appreciated by everyone too. Such a creative and practical way to pray for those we care about. On Thursday we delighted in helping Jeannie Kendall launch her new book Heroes or Villains. Each chapter has some imaginative writing from the perspective of a bible character – twenty in all – the text of part of their story, and an exploration of a quality we may (or may not, there might be surprises!) associate with them, and the relevance for our lives. I can’t wait to get hold of a copy. Diane Woodrow, in her fascinating post juxtaposes 2 very different celebrations of July 12th – Malala Yousafzai, the amazing young woman who at 17 was shot by the Taliban for advocating and encouraging female education in Pakistan and Orangemen’s Day celebrating William of Orange’s defeat of the last ever Catholic king of Britain, James II.

If you are interested in the poem I wrote about the pebbles on the beach at Anacortes, check out my Instagram account where I posted it with a short video of the waves washing over the pebbles on the beach. It was a fun thing to do.

Let me end with another beautiful poem by Mary Oliver.


Why do people keep asking to see
God’s identity papers
when the darkness opening into morning
is more than enough?
Certainly any god might turn away in disgust.
Think of Sheba approaching
the kingdom of Solomon.
Do you think she had to ask,
“Is this the place?”

~ Mary Oliver
From Felicity

Many blessings


Gift of Wonder Online Retreat

Gift of Wonder Retreat
This online retreat is based on Christine Sine’s latest book The Gift of Wonderbut with much more! Going deeper into a discovery of new depths of awe to draw us closer to God. I invite you to reawaken your inner child and rediscover the depths of awe and wonder that reconnect us to our passionate God who delights in life, celebrates with joy and exudes a sense of awe and wonder.

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