For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes. When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the button to include with your post. It ties us together visually. Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun! [Read more...]
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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun! [Read more...]
Food on Fridays yesterday was not labeled as part of the series “Scenes from Texas: Part Three,” but in it, I mentioned some of the food consumed at Laity Lodge, so let’s include it. Parts One and Two were on the humorous side, each including several scenes. Here is Part Four. Only one scene.Scene 8: Ashley ClevelandAshley Cleveland led us in worship at the Laity Lodge writers retreat, belting out hymns and songs in her smooth, rich alto voice.By this time, the pre-retreat meetings for our The High Calling team of bloggers were over.Joining us were songwriters, poets, novelists, memoirists, artists, and authors of creative nonfiction—all gathering at Laity for the writers retreat.The dining hall was full; the Great Hall was packed. In the days to come, we would interact with these people about poetry, fiction and nonfiction in workshop settings. [Read more...]
Here at the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe.If you want, you can simply list all the orange food sitting in your fridge right now. You could even stage a still life photo to upload and share, complete with pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Anyway, my point is that posts like that are as welcome as menus and recipes. [Read more...]
In Part One I posted about San Antonio, the Alamo, and Pee-wee Herman. Today, it’s scorpions and hammocks, fusion of horizons and the merger.
Scene 4ish: Scorpions
We arrived late to Laity Lodge.As the rest of us were unpacking and arranging our things, Deidra calls out, “There’s a scorpion out here!”I grab my camera and join her at the front door. “There,” she points.A little shaky, I quietly creep onto the porch, wondering if the scorpion might leap off the wall and onto my person with stinger poised to strike. [Read more...]
Our echoes roll from soul to souland grow forever and forever~Tennyson
After a week away, I’ve just returned home, not quite ready to share my personal experiences from Laity Lodge, where I participated in a writing workshop led by Lauren Winner and met up with my High Calling colleagues for the first time in person.
Instead, as I take time to process, I’m visiting my friends, listening to echoes roll from soul to soul as I read their reflections on our time together.
I encourage you to slip over to their homes online. Through their photography, poetry and poetic prose, you will feel much of what we experienced.
Claire Burge, our High Calling photo editor, sings of the afterness, the beginning.
In her post “When Paragraphs Become People,” Jennifer Dukes Lee, contributing editor for Family, describes the process of turning our moments and lives into sentences and paragraphs, “transmitting very self to very self”:
And in a stroke of blessing, we had a small window of opportunity to touch the person we’d already come to know through word and photo alone.
LL Barkat described a quiet moment alone one morning at Laity Lodge, when she escaped to silence.
Later, she followed up with a Spam story.
In addition to being the managing editor of High Calling Blogs, she has also been crowned the Queen of Spam, rescuing precious comments otherwise trapped in the spam-filter. You’ll see her royal can of Spam at her post “Crossing the Texas Border with Spam.”
Something’s changed, he writes.
I echo that, Glynn:
Yes, something’s changed.
High Calling content editor (work) Bradley J. Moore of Shrinking the Camel wrote, “The Word Made Flesh,” in which he describes the process of connecting with us, his High Calling colleagues, in person. “Soon you come to realize,” he writes, “that these people were your friends all along. Nothing has changed, except now you are placing your hand on their shoulder, or giving them a fist bump, or sharing your bread at dinner.”
I remember running before sunrise under these same brilliant stars and dipping my hands in the Frio River.I remember Ann and Ann doing dishes side by side, and Marcus drying. Tender arms around me when I break down over the missing, and fist bumps. I think of the hike we went on with Kenny and Scott—standing at the top of the canyon. And Ashley telling me about Kenny getting baptized in the Frio right in front of the lodge and the way she made the sacred hymns come alive for me. I remember.
Welcome Editor Dena Dyer wrote of “a kind of restlessness, a yawning ache that yearns for something I can’t find.” After highlighting each team member in “Finding Home,” she pointed out that:
He’s the cure–but we won’t be cured fully until we see Him in the flesh. Until then, we reach for heaven–our only true home–any way we can:
We create a place, born from depression and hardship, that will become a haven for starved artists and limping leaders…
We break bread with one another, crossing denominational lines and reveling in the unity of our brokenness.We find home anywhere we can, with the best people we can, until we run into His arms.
Content Editor (Culture) Sam Van Eman wrote “Spoiled Rotten: When Work and Play Meet“:
As you may know, I belong to a network called High Calling Blogs. It is an online community of more than a thousand people, focused (some more than others) on the idea that God cares about everything we do. Our families matter, of course. Faith and how it’s live out matter, too. But so do work and art and music and cooking and how we let employees go. Faithfulness in all areas of life is a bedrock belief of my own workplace – the Coalition for Christian Outreach – and High Calling Blogs shouts the same from one modem to the next.
He included a profile of each High Calling team member. “They are good folks,” he says, “inspirational followers of Christ, and now friends.”
Contributing Editor Ann Voskamp wrote “How to See God: The Light of Brokenness,” reflecting on a question Gordon Atkinson posed over lunch at Laity Lodge: “This is what I want to know,” he asked. “How do you see God?”
Ann writes in her post:
He’s waving his fork in my direction.
How do I witness the face of Holiness? How does the invisible become visible to the naked eye — to my naked and ashamed soul? How does the immaterial reality crack the fantasy of our daily material illusions? How do we find the door of the wardrobe, the way higher up, deeper in? Is that what’s he’s asking me?I have no idea. None that I can clearly articulate. How does one say how they daily see the Spirit? This is a way of the heart. I grope for words. Drag my fork tines through beans.
Though not part of our High Calling team, workshop leader Jeffrey Overstreet blogged about the retreat, as well, describing it as an event “where conversations about faith and imagination were humming for three inspiring days.” He wrote:
These people like color and surprise and texture. They’re creative. They can be spontaneous. They can be absurd, for the fun of it. They can be self-effacing in everything from their wardrobe to their creative writing. They’re smart enough to take every detail seriously, but wise enough to know that they should have a sense of humor about everything too… especially themselves. And when we lose that sense of play, we die a little.
Let us play, then.
All photos except that of Bradley Moore taken by Ann Kroeker.
We’re on a boat. Eating dinner. Talking about the game we just played that required considerable texting.After we all arrived in Texas, we immediately launched into the game. This photo, taken after the game, is on a river barge set up with tables and chairs. Left to right, there’s Ann V., Cheryl, Deidra, Sam, and Dan (standing). And in the background, our tour boat commentator with the hat.We spent the afternoon on a photo scavenger hunt. Our team didn’t have a way to upload our photos to Twitter, so we just took some snapshots as we went along, and I tweeted. So I didn’t really see San Antonio; my head was buried in my phone.We were to locate various landmarks and/or connect with people who were working, complimenting them, asking questions, and posing for a photo when possible. All the while, we were to be tweeting where we were and what we were doing, encouraging their “good work,” turning it into a game with the Twitter hashtag: #goodwork.Here, for example, is The High Calling photo editor Claire Burge complimenting and thanking a security guard at The Alamo.The tweets (most recent on the top on down to oldest/earliest):We just spoke w/gabriel a mariachi player. “I was born into it. I have been playing every day since I was 5.” #goodwork@MaryDeMuth Thanks for the #goodwork (& good word)! Hugs back from @gyoung9751 @claireburge @dukeslee & me!we found some real ducks by the river! #goodworkwe are in riverwalk area of san antonio @thehighcalling ideas? #goodworkour @thehighcalling team would love a picture idea from our community. check out other teams’ twitphotos via #goodwork for ideas.@katdish maybe we aren’t far from you? #goodwork@katdish maybe we aren’t too far from you??Our @thehighalling group is standing on a riverwalk bridge. We r trying to bring #goodwork party to everyone in community! RT w/ hashtag fun@momfluential did somebody say nutella?? you are distracting me from the #goodwork game & san antonio tour w/ @thehighcalling !@Doallas we are having a great time & you are helping make #goodwork a trending topic!Thanks @doallas fo the RT! Keep up the #goodwork !Our @thehighcalling #goodwork game has us at the buckhorn museum & childrens museum.standing w/ @thehighcalling team members in front of the emily morgan hotel in san antonio #goodwork@thehighcalling at ripley’s wax museum. @gyoung9751 & @claireburge look so real! #goodworkWE are an excited workplace team @thehighcalling !! #goodworkwe r buying ice cream for alex who says, “I feel very comfortable about it. Why not? I love ice cream!” #goodworkremebering teddy roosevelt’s #goodwork here at menger bar.@claireburge quotes coco chanel who says “to be remembered, you need to be different.” #goodwork@claireburge is writing encouraging postcard to Howard Butt & @dukeslee is writing David Rogers. #goodwork @gyoung9751 & I r messing w/phoneThe Alamo!! thank you @thehighcalling & @laitylodge for this opportunity! #goodworkwe r at hard rock cafe w/ @dukeslee fake interviewing melissa etheridge poster. we r desperate for points #goodworkwe are at beautiful mokara hotel (used to be the watermark hotel) #goodwork @omnihotels in san antonio.got a photo in front of aztec movie theater w/ @dukeslee for @thehighcalling #goodwork game.@claireburge just sent a text to her mom saying “i love you & you did a great job.” #goodworkhi @arestlessheart ! wish we could upload the fun photos for #goodwork game!we just ducked at riverwalk. #goodwork@gypsymama say hi to us, too! #goodwork we love you!@claireburge is leaving a nicholas sparks book for some random san antonio visitor or resident. #goodwork@claireburge said thank you to one of her employees via email for job well done. #goodworkwe have a photo of @mgoodyear giving directions on how to find zombies. #goodworkriverwalk bridge with team @gyoung9751 #goodwork wish i could attach photos!beautiful san fernando cathedral. #goodworkgot a picture in front of drury hotel & gave sweets to receptionist, complimenting her for #goodwork . gave plug for @laitylodge too.the snack shop employee in san antonio is doing a great job & likes her boss. #goodwork (this is a scavenger hunt assigned by @mgoodyearjust complimented hairstylist at rooster’s grooming center. the guy said she did great, too. #goodworkTeam @gyoung9751 is thankful for @lylawlindquist ‘s help! Wish u were here @thehighcalling #goodworkFinally, this isn’t a tweet–it’s just a cute shot of Jennifer Dukes Lee in front of some big sculpture.Here are Glynn Young and Claire at the Landing.And here are Gordon and Claire, sitting down after a long and tiring Scavenger Hunt.That was day one. We arrived at Laity Lodge very late, fell into our cushy beds, and slept.It’s an honor to be here, representing the High Calling community. We want to share this time as best we can—please visit The High Calling Facebook page for current photos and status updates, thanks to our Social Media Editor, Dan King. It’s our small (but high-tech) way to gather online and share this with you.