I've been reading the book, Sabbath, with The Bloom Book Club. Let me preface by saying, I would classify this book as a a little bit 'new age flake'. If that sounds a bit scathing, I'll add that my acupuncturist who would most closely identify with Buddhism read one of the author's other books and drew a similar conclusion. However, the author offers some profound truths in this book as well as some practical ideas on how to incorporate a Sabbath rest into your day/week. I really enjoyed this book. Over at the Bloom Book Club, they highlight some of the key suggestions from the first section, 'Rest'. It's inspired us to create a weekly Sabbath tradition that we hope to pass along to our children.
For the past year or so, I've tried to create a routine of having a daily 'sabbath'. Admittedly, I wasn't always consistent with it. I'm sure you all know how it goes - with little kids running underfoot, a house to clean and projects to finish, it can be hard to make it a priority. But a few weeks ago a friend from church directed me to this website called Pray as You Go. It's a daily (christian) meditation that you can download as an mp3. Each one starts with the chiming of bells, followed by some music, then a scripture reading, with questions for reflection interspersed throughout. Each lasts about 10-15 minutes. Dan and I both love it. Dan commented, "There's something about the British accent that's so soothing." haha. It makes it easy to commit to taking a daily Sabbath, because it's fresh and new each day and it's very relaxing. I look forward to doing it. I'm loving it.
All of this talk about Sabbath inspired me to dig a little deeper into the Jewish tradition of Sabbath. I checked out Living Judaism from the library and absolutely loved it. If you have any interest in learning more about the practices of the Jewish people, I would point you to this book. I learned so much from reading it, not just about the Sabbath, but about so many of the other Old Testament practices and their meanings.
A couple of months ago, our friends Chris and Dell introduced us to Tim Keller's podcasts. Keller is a pastor in Manhattan and also an author. It turned out that I own one of Keller's books (The Prodigal God) but his writing just doesn't grab me like his speaking. Dan and I think he's amazing and have learned so much from him. Our two favorite podcasts are Justice (as in social justice, not getting even with people or something) and The Struggle for Love. The title of the latter might sound a little cheesy, but trust me, there are some deeply profound insights in that message. They are listed as #3 and #30 here. We also enjoyed Keller's lecture to Google employees based on his book The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism.
With the elections coming and going last week, I appreciated Rachel Held Even's perspective on the 'silent majority' and creating civil dialogue between both parties. I especially enjoyed and agreed with her thoughts on the Christian response to politics (I hope this won't make anyone too itchy!) -
"But I am convinced that Christians in America can appreciate their country without worshipping it, be politically engaged without being politically consumed, and hold opinions about healthcare and the economy without insisting that God agrees. We can be civil because we know that people are infinitely more valuable than positions. We can be calm because we know that love will win in the end. We can laugh because we’re neither threatened nor dazzled by power. "
This week I made two aprons for a set of boy-girl twins who were adopted from Ethiopia.
I used this free tutorial for the girl's apron (although I altered it quite a bit!)
I made my own pattern for the boy's apron.
You know how I love to add pockets! I thought that dalmatian was so dear.
I hope they like them. I always get a little nervous sewing for others!