Retreat Notes, St. Simons Island, Georgia

Retreat Notes, St. Simons Island, Georgia

What a gift it was to share with the women First Baptist Church of Christ Macon. When I lead retreats and events, I like to share links and content here. Our theme was Hilaritas, Voices on the Journey. Session 1. Exodus 15:11-21 invited us to think about Voices We Know By Heart We laughed with Adele in Carpool Karioke, wondering how songs can take us back to moments that have formed us. The Secret Language of the Heart is a book that tells more about neuroplasticity. Brene Brown reminded us that “what we are learning moves from our head to our heart – through our hands and feet.” Of course, we would add – through our voice and our song. Session 2. Matthew 15:22 invited us to think about Voices We Need to Hear. We confessed there are voices that we do not hear in the Church. I shared about the feeling of throat-ripping fury I had as a new mom. That feeling has always stayed with me as the first true realization I had of what it feels like to love that deeply, in a way that would move me to disruption. “It makes absolute sense to me when I see women who love their people crying out for their people. What in all the power of this world would stop me for the people I love? It wouldn’t be some convention of who is allowed what scraps at what table. No matter how many scholars have fallen all over themselves trying to re-story this so that Jesus is not really calling her a little dog, she is...
Too much for the Methodists

Too much for the Methodists

Today’s Wednesday Prayer is brought to you by one of my favorites – favorite writer, favorite truth teller, favorite singer. She just happens to be my favorite sister, too. She led in worship on All Saints Day last week, and wrote this gorgeous prayer. I’m told that her instructions were, “Yes, you can be yourself. Put in enough Ashley that it’s you, but not so much that you scare the Methodists.”  Now, I know Methodists don’t scare easily, and neither does God. I’m thankful that Ashley put her whole self in the prayer. Methodists – and Baptists – would do well to realize what a gift they have in counting Ashley among their own. A General Thanksgiving for All Saints Day by Ashley Robinson Blessed Comforter, we thank you for the lives of the poets, the prophets, and the profane; the well-behaved and the rabble-rousers, the peacemakers, the music makers, the noisemakers, the caramel cake makers and the mess makers; the list keepers and the delightfully scattered, and even the unnamed, undocumented, and unmentionable people who have gone before us. We thank you for the great cloud of witnesses that shades us with comfort as we continue to walk each other home. We thank you for the saints still among us who awaken us to the possibility of your kindom here on earth. We thank you for the borrowed breath that sustains us from dust to dust. We find hope that you hear every damning why, every shattered Hallelujah, every tear-ragged thank you as a groaning to be filled with your life-giving spirit that welcomes us into community with the...
Saving Your Life

Saving Your Life

I peeked out my upstairs, bedroom window on November 1, about 8:00 am, and looked out into our backyard. Amidst the sunlight peering through fall leaves and the dew glistening on the grass, I saw . . . A tiny storm trooper running full speed through the yard. My little four-year old neighbor. Our dog barking her head off alerted me to this visitor outside. I couldn’t quite get my early-morning brain to pull thoughts together and figure out why he was there, and where his mom was. We had celebrated Halloween with friends and their littles the night before, so I wondered: Did he sleep in his costume last night? (Makes total sense) Did we forget someone when we all went to bed last night? Then, I found my phone and saw this text:   After dying laughing, I searched my son’s room and found the mask under a pile of toys and clothes. Obviously. I ran outside and delivered the mask to the little storm trooper and his super-mom in the mini-van. That one is only topped by the text from earlier in the week that made me DIE laughing. I can’t. Cannot. The image of my 100 percent stylish, Type A, take-on-the-world friend hoisting herself onto a mannequin to strip him down made me sit right down and laugh. Which always makes my day brighter. There was also this honest lament made me howl: I mean. Tiny Sister Friend KNOWS the truth about her favorite clothes. She won’t get to wear them again. Probably not ever. Who among us has not felt bummed about a favorite...
Listening

Listening

“Spread the map on the table, with the coffee stain Put your finger on the places, show me where you’ve been Is that California, where your teardrops dried? You drew a circle around Georgia, can you tell me why?” A season of quiet does not mean that nothing is happening. Often, it means that things are becoming, growing beneath the surface. Things are stirring in the heart. That has been true for me. After I marched and wrote about it, I felt hurt and hushed by some of the reactions. I felt the impulse to explain myself, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to. So, I decided to shift my attention. I let the noise do what it will, and I turned my face to work that I love. Nurturing friendships, caring for my family, finishing projects, making a home. It’s been a while since I wrote here. A time of listening rather than speaking. I gave myself permission to simply be quiet, to receive the gifts that are before me, and to listen carefully. I heard what I needed to hear. I realized that I do not have to fill the silent space if I want to be quiet. I can be still. I can listen for the Spirit’s voice, for my own voice. It’s there. I can attend to the people who teach me everything, my beloveds. The little one who runs everywhere he goes, who laughs at the things I might miss. The one who listens to me, knows my heart, and loves me well. We have a beautiful home together. I’ve heard so...

#WhyIMarch

I told my sister I was proud that she was marching, but I could not do it. I was very anxious about being in crowds upon crowds of people. Then, she decided to march close to home, in Atlanta. I decided if I could name the reasons I should march, then I would do it. Here is what I came up with. This is why I plan to march on January 21, 2017. Because marching is a visual signal of the multitude of people who have something to say. It’s one thing to claim “alot of people.” It is quite another thing to see the impact on cities around the globe when people show up by the thousands, stand in city streets, and speak. This visual reminder becomes part of our imagination when we talk about “We, the People.” Because I am choosing to have trust in those who love me. I am trusting that they will love me more than they dislike my views. There is some risk for me in marching, in that my presence there will offend some family and friends. My husband and my Dad wholeheartedly support me marching, even thought they will not be there. I know that others may be surprised, offended or confused that I would participate. I am trusting that they will continue to love me in spite of how we see things differently. I have listened when they share. I have respectfully watched Fox News when it is on in their homes. Mostly, I don’t bring up political thoughts, because I am usually not interested in that being the focus....