girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Friday, December 19, 2008

day 160

today is my first day back in texas.
this morning i woke up thinking, 'i wish i was home...'
only to realize that i was home!!
my last few days in london were great.
shannon was able to get us on a rooftop terrace of parliament so that we could see big ben up close!
it was one of those lovely rainy, cold english days and a pretty euphoric feeling standing up there.
that's when the 'day of processing' began.
if you know anything about shannon hopkins, you know she makes you think!
afterward we had coffee and then went for lunch to one of my favorite american diners, TDIFridays.
then we went and had a glass of wine at 'Gordons' which is down in some catacombs in the city.
so we went from the top of the city to underneath the city all in one day,
whilst processing all along.
it got my mind thinking...
remembering all that i've come through over these past 5 1/2 months along with what the future could be.
and now i'm home...
home sweet home.
it will be good to rest and to be in my own space for awhile.
it hasn't even really set in that i'm here-i think that will take awhile.
but soon enough everything will start coming back to me and i'm sure i'll develop wanderlust once more.
but for now, i'm back in texas...
who knew i would miss it so much.
maybe now i can start to smell like home again.

Friday, December 12, 2008

...and on the 6th day...

...God created MANchester.
at least that's what they tell me.
my trip to manchester last week was great.
i got to spend time with laura drane and her husband mark...
and then also ben edson, his wife ruth & their kids jude and lily.
i also got to see their community, sanctus1, in action.
from the moment i walked in the door i was set to work helping them set up for their advent art installation-'GIFT'.
sanctus1 meet in a cafe called nexus which is in the basement of the methodist church block in the center of manchester.
also sharing their back office space in a network called 'SPEAK' which works on getting out information on the injustices of the world.
so you've got sanctus, great art installations, fighting injustices, and great coffee all in one spot.
oh, and some of the 'leadership team' at sanctus are paid by BOTH the methodist & the anglican church.
so if i had to pick a word for manchester, i would pick:
it's not like in the states where each church and denomination is fighting the others down the street for fear of their lives.
no, in manchester (and around a lot of the UK) the church just wants to survive and is happy to let the other denominations do the things they do best...
let the baptists do their baptisms well,
let the anglicans do their liturgy well, etc.
sanctus1 was cool.
we had some great intellectual conversations and they do some kickass alt. worship...
but i was reassured that ben (one of the leadership team) is only artsy by association.
that made me feel a bit better.
i also got to stay in 'laura drane's castle'!
(it's really an old cathedral that's been renovated into 25 different flats)
it's beautiful and a really great space-i guess when you've got old cathedrals on every block it's easy to find new uses for them.
sanctus was a great way to end this trip.
it got my creative/spiritual/questioning juices flowing again.
now i've got about 5 days left and i head back to texas.
i'm excited, but it will be sad to leave this time and space.
it'll take a long time to unpack everything...
literally and figuratively,
but for those that have read throughout the trip-
i'm gonna be glad to get home and tell all these stories.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


my friends jonny baker and jon birch over at proost proost (the fellas that published the 'book of blessings' from the wellspring community) have been cooking up a project for advent for a while which is now available... 

inspired by the grace community and their service nine over the last few years, they commissioned nine artists to interpret nine different pieces of the christmas story. 
all the pieces have been created in response to one of the traditional nine readings from the nine lessons and carols christmas service. 
there are 6 movies and 3 tracks. 
the items are not available individually - they wanted to keep this as a set. 
i think it's a great idea for communities interested in doing something different and creative for advent and the christmas season.
the whole compilation is available for NINE pounds...
which is like $13 or something, depending on how the dollar is doing on any given day :)
YOURS TRULY is on the 5th track with the one and only mr. jon birch...
it's a blessing based on mary & the angel that visits her and the verses luke 1: 26–35; 38.
check it out on the proost website!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


the last couple of weeks have been crazy!
shannon has returned from her 'american tour'-fundraising and more  sweet notions.
as soon as she hit the ground we started to get thanksgiving ready (she throws a party each year and invites over the americans & english).
it was a great time, but an awful lot of work for someone like me who doesn't cook.
i did, however, pull off a corn souffle and two pumpkin pies. 
they were great...ask anyone!
during that time my friend molly from oklahoma came over for a visit so i got to show her some of my new 'stomping ground' around london.
we also took a trip down to the coast and hung out in brighton.
today is my second day hanging out in manchester with the community sanctus1.
last night they had their weekly gathering and we discussed the prophets for their 2nd advent week...
tonight i'm going to help a local vicar serve beer at his church where they're hosting some bands,
today and tomorrow i've been helping out with a group called 'speak' that work in social justice issues,
saturday i'm helping out at a craft fair being held in the cafe that santus1 meets in,
and then that night i'm volunteering from 2am-6am at the cafe (we call cabs and hang out with folks who need it).
then i'm back to london to ride out my last week and a half before returning to the states!
i've loved this trip...
so much more processing to go,
but i am so ready to be home.
so ready for christmas!!!
oh, and did i mention i saw SNOW on my train ride up to manchester?