A’s Blessingway, 2019

Blessingway:  in Native American tradition [Navajo], a ceremony called a Blessingway created space for women to come together as a support circle for the expecting mother, and bless the way ahead for her. It is a gathering of the most trusted and cherished women in her life; those who will provide support and encouragement as she explores the challenges and joys that lie ahead as she approaches motherhood.

As the time comes close for sweet baby Caleb to arrive, we honored Autumn with some of her favorite things (henna and lattes!) and words of encouragement and love.  Never doubt the power of a woman, especially when surrounded by other women supporting her.

Unashamed, Baptism Photos

You may have recently seen stories in the news about an American singer / celebrity who traveled to Israel and was baptized there.

You may have heard there was a backlash.

You may have heard she was shamed, yelled at, and scolded on social media.

She was told she should never have gone to Israel. Told that it’s not politically correct to travel there or support that country. Told that showing even vague support for the Israeli government was wrong, and that she had offended her fans.

You may have heard how she caved to this pressure.

She publicly apologized. (Literally, apologized.) She deleted photos. Said she should never have gone to Israel. She recanted everything she had shared, just days before, about her baptism experience.

Well, this seems like a good day to share…

I traveled to Israel.

I support the nation of Israel & their government. I love the people of Israel.

I will never regret going to Israel, or apologize for it.

I didn’t publicly post the photos of my baptism in the Jordan River before now, because I saw no need. But perhaps there is a need. Perhaps there is a need to make it clear that standing with Israel is not something to apologize for, and that traveling there is not an act worthy of retraction.

So, here they are.

Photos taken at the same river where that celebrity was baptized.

The river where Jesus was baptized.

You’ll notice I’m with my husband, who was baptized just moments before I was.

We will never regret.  We will never change our minds.  We will never apologize. 

 

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“If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.”  Psalm 137

Keep Paddlin’

I uploaded these photos late (“late” as in almost a year later) — and somewhere along the way the photos got all mixed together, so I can hardly tell which are 2018 and which are 2019 — or who knows when exactly. But then, does it really matter? They all come from that period known as “summertime” when the cicadas are loud and the river is rushing.

chestatee river
ready to go kayaking
kayaking on the river

We had a wonderful and relaxing day on the river! 

Do you ever have those days that if you just close your eyes you can go back to — and you’re there in an instant? A memory in which all is good and right in your world? This time on the river is a day that I can re-imagine so clearly: that warm sensation of being mildly sunburnt, the splashes of cool water against the kayak, voices singing just for the fun of it, the vague waft of cigar smoke… hooked on that feeling.

Israel 2019

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Photos from our trip to Israel, April 2019

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. [Psalm 122] 

C.A. & K. 2019

“Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

—Nicole Krauss, The History of Love 

“Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a completeness, a fullness, a wholeness of life.”

— Thomas Merton

Congratulations to Carol Anne & Kendall…  May your journey be filled with many magical days.

Wedding Photos by the incomparable Kristin Faye.

Listening

Listening lately: LOVE this song in general, and this Postmodern Jukebox “Mr. Postman” remix in particular.

“I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Might’ve had your fill, but you feel it still…”    – Portugal The Man

Gratitude Lately

Lately I’ve been grateful for encouraging notes.

And for scarf weather.

I’ve been grateful for macarons.

And for brunch dates.

For appropriate headwear.

Of all kinds.

I’ve been grateful for cookies.

And for beloved friends with babes on the way.

I’ve been grateful for kitty snuggles.

And family gatherings (with photos that capture our spirit nicely).

What are you grateful for in this wonderful month of November?