Friday Thoughts and a Few of My Favorite Things

Here we are at the end of another week. Spring has finally arrived, although we’d hardly know it. So far we’ve had two days of sunshine and about a dozen days of rain. The incessant rain we’ve had in the Seattle area is starting to drive me mad. I’m hoping for sun this weekend, but I’m not counting on it.

This has not been a big reading season for me. I’m working a lot, hanging out with my kids, making dinner every night, driving Lucas to lacrosse, and trying to keep up with life.

However, this week I did manage to read a few things, and took the time to listen to a good sermon and I found a new favorite song: 

I loved this from Nadiz Bolz-Weber. On Sunday evening, when John read the story of the woman at the well out of the Message, I reflected a lot on how to let Jesus be water and life, sustenance for me. Nadia talks about how water runs to the lowest point, which is where we find our deepest wounds.

Wounds and Wells; A Sermon on The Samaritan Woman

I don’t know much about Brian Dolleman, or even Brian Zahnd, but this version of the Beatitudes resonates with me right now.

I shared this on my Facebook page last night, but for those of you who missed it, this is a great essay from the Mudroom. This is Why I’m Single takes away the super spiritual need we have to define our lives in hyped-up religious jargon. We are what we are and God is right there in the middle of it with us.

I’m a monthly contributor over at SheLoves Magazine and this is my article for March. (In case you missed it!) A Car Crash, A New Road, is a story about, you guessed it, a car crash I had during my senior year of high school. That car crash led me to make some of the best decisions of my life. Wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, God is present and able to lead you into a place of life.

I really enjoyed an article on Brainpickings about a new book by Rebecca Solnit, which deals with the overwhelming harm of being silenced. “Silence and shame are contagious; so are courage and speech. Even now, when women begin to speak of their experience, others step forward to bolster the earlier speaker and to share their own experience. A brick is knocked loose, another one; a dam breaks, the waters rush forth.”

I spent most of Tuesday morning in an extended prayer time on the floor of my family room, surrounded by a cloud of tear-stained kleenex, and my journal. It was rich, restorative, and healing. This song. Oh My Soul. I listened to it over and over and poured out my heart to God.

My sister and I spent hours talking at my kitchen table during her visit. I’m still processing all of our words, and our long discussions. We looked back at our years, our lives, our stories, and traced God’s hand. Ever present. We laughed and we cried. What I want to write to you, today, during this lent season, is that God is here. With you. Right now. You are not alone. But sometimes, it feels quite lonely. 

So I pray for you … for light and grace.

For courage to lift up your eyes and see God’s provision. To recognize the manna that falls from heaven just for you, because you asked God for help.

For hope, to spring up in new places.

For the wood to clear, for the skies to open, and for the grace to glimpse into the unknown and unseen, if even for a moment.

For clarity and comprehension.

Have a wonderful weekend.

P.S. John and I will be at the first service of Newport Covenant this Sunday. We’d love to sit with anyone who’d like to join us. You are most welcome. Let me know and I’ll save you a seat. Or… surprise us and just show up. 

P.P.S. There’s good childcare.

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Tina Osterhouse is passionate about living deeply and authentically. Through fiction, blog posts, and creative essays, she writes about ordinary life and the way God meets us in our everyday circumstances and creatively weaves the sacred into them. She studied ministry and theology at Northwest University, most recently lived on thirty acres in Southern Chile, and finally returned to the Seattle area in June of 2015.

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