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A Thirst for God is a place for writers to gather around the table and share a feast of  stories of redemption and invitation, potluck style.  We are Nicene Creed believing men and women whose lives are examples that God is still in the business of resurrection.We believe Scripture is the Word of God, alive and active, convicting, and transforming.  We believe the Trinity truly did send one of its own, Jesus, to be born enfleshed through the Virgin Mary, to volunteer death to save us and then was resurrected through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Through accepting Jesus as our new landlord and moving into a new Kingdom, we are seeking the Light of the World to burst into our sin-crouching darkness. God begins healing every square inch of our lives, resurrecting backwards.  Welcome

Eleven Things I Learned in May

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I’ve been silent a good while.

 

Listening.

 

Wrestling.

 

Homeschooling.  I’ve taken that leap again…she who said she would never…ever homeschool…again.  But after our move to GA Madeline was drowning with math that didn’t make sense and a month into our semester Caedmon whispered this: “Mom, I love learning in the quiet.”  And so we will continue to walk forward through homeschooling one step at a time.

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In January I began teaching Healing Care Groups at Holy Cross Cathedral…what we call “Journey.” Fourteen people signed up. I hyperventilated. (You can’t create vulnerable community with fourteen people!) Two weeks later I broke them into two groups and Monday and Thursdays we use a fantastic curriculum by Terry Wardle from Ashland Seminary that I’ve been using for six years.  This year I’m adding more Anglican theology, even a few icons! (Andrei Rublev’s Trinity gave us a theological framework for where self-giving love truly begins.) And once again God has done miracle after miracle.  No joy comes close.

 

And this is what I’ve learned this May, the humorous and the hard-won:

1. Forty surprised me with its weightiness. Madeline and I sat on a porch swing in the white garden at the Vines for a bit, white blooming dogwood trees all around. She wandered off to click pictures of white azalea bushes with my camera and I listened until it seems to me the Lord sat down on the swing and took my hand and said this, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” Peace slowly settled onto my fortieth birthday.

One of Madeline’s shots:

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2. The strawberry crop ripens early here in Georgia. And they grow monsters down here.  We spent thirty minutes picking down one row and came home with four gallons.

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3. While we chopped buckets of strawberries, juice dripped across our cutting boards and we listened to this: Brennan Manning’s Parable of Willie Juan. The children surprised me afterward with their lovely insights. I can’t get enough Brennan Manning right now.

 

4. I’ve decided eggos with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream is the best brinner ever.

 

5. I’ve also decided Candy Crush is from the devil:)  I’m pretty sure I could hear Wormwood guffawing as I wasted time trying to get to one more level, my heart racing, involuntarily seeing switches in my sleep.

 

6. Clarity. This month a personal credo began to take shape: Position people to encounter Christ.  It drives away fog, keeps me grounded, removes my ego and helps me make decisions. What I’m learning? Set a feast and then get out of the way.

 

7. I will no longer yell/loudly encourage at soccer games. At the last game of the season I saw one man from Latin America turn to his wife exasperated at the American parents causing a ruccus. I no longer want to be one of them.  I will now carry lots and lots of Big League Chew gum and hide behind a camera.

 

8. I play with my children more at the beach. I dig in the sand, make dribble castles, jump waves, and giggle as we run along the surf trying not to get caught by a wave. My question is, why don’t I play more often? (This is me and my darling niece, Maggie.)

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9. I’m painfully aware I have not learned to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry,” the Dallas Willard quote that undid me over Lent.  I crave stillness and yet often go entire days without taking a breath.  #PocketsOfStillness will wind its way in and out of my writing here over the next few months…because I write to wrestle toward freedom. Follow me on the journey?  Share with me yours?  How do you carve out moments for stillness? If you carve out an intentional pocket of stillness, use the hashtag #pocketsofstillness and we’ll be able to watch the fruits of solitude on twitter and instagram.

 

10. Oh yeah, I’m done with perfectionism.  Done. With. It.  So this is what I’m hearing about the process of writing right now:

1. Pray.

2. Listen and receive word.

3. Craft and play, wrestle and bless.

4. Release fully and blow the seed on the Wind.

5. Come back to Rest in God. Hide in Him, worship, and practice my smallness.

6. Pray and get ready to hear again.

 {Pray. Receive. Craft. Release. Rest. Ready.}

No more perfectionism as if my ego is at stake…Receive and Release.

 

11. Staycations are divine, especially when your children are at someone else’s house. Thank you Miss Debby!  Friday night we stood three hours through a bizarre live show at the Buckhead Theatre seeing Postmodern Jukebox. (We can’t get this clown, which climbed up on stage out of the audience all cream ruffles and comic sincerity out of our head…all six foot eight of him…)

 

 

But the next morning we had mimosas, custard-like French toast and hours to chat and remembered with a sigh what a great decision we made nearly twenty years ago.

 

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I’m joining the always-inspiring Emily Freeman @Chatting at the Sky to share my May learnings.  And by the way, my Instagram is where I often post my learnings throughout the month. Click here to follow MTRSUMMER.

 

And you, Friend, what have you learned over May?

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Posted: June 1, 2015

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  • Summer Gross

    summerAn Anglican priest resident in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, with a congregation of three children.      
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