It’s Treasure Hunt Tuesday, and while I still have lots of VBS treasures on my mind from last week, I’ve also been taking in so many great podcasts recently and would love to share a few of them here in hopes the blessings can be multiplied to you as well.
“Creating space for your soul to breathe” is a tagline from Emily that captured my heart the first time I read it on her blog several years ago. Although she has now added a bit to that statement, she still includes it as part of her creative work’s mission, and I love how it still resonates with me. So the fact that she dedicated a podcast episode to dig deeper into that theme of “creating space” made my heart smile from the moment I read the title all the way through listening to the entire episode.
In this 16-minute podcast, Emily tells of finding a discounted book called The Solace of Open Spaces and how it spoke to her on a subject that has long resonated with her life and passion. There is a paradox of how we have a tendency to strive to fill empty spaces, but we actually can become more full by holding space. That’s something that definitely rings true in my life as well (with perhaps more than a slight twinge of conviction, too).
My heart echoes these words from Emily’s prayer to our Heavenly Father:
“Transform our emptiness into sacred space.
Be our patience as we trust in your slow work and simply do our next right thing in love.”
|A little way I was able to create space for my soul to breathe |
while also carving out time to write this week.
This episode features a conversation between Emily and author/professor James Bryan Smith. He tells about how he sometimes refers to himself as “the Forrest Gump of the Christian world” because somehow over the years he has made connections he could not have possibly orchestrated for himself with people like Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Frederick Buechner, Brennan Manning, Rich Mullins, Henri Nouwen, and more. But God has used each of them to shape his life and ministry in profound ways.
Jim (as he prefers to be called) also gives the back-story behind a key statement Emily quotes from him often:
“I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakeable kingdom of God. The kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.”
I still keep coming back to that declaration as well, and the story he tells reminds us of the power of words that portray what is true in beautiful and memorable ways.
Are you sensing a pattern here? I loved that Jim (James) and Emily both got to be on each other’s podcasts for different conversations, and I can’t help but share them both. Also note that even though this one is titled “part 2,” their first discussion on his podcast together was about 9 months earlier, so this is not actually a continuation but instead an additional separate conversation with her.
In this episode, Emily compares unmade decisions to being like toddlers at dinnertime, always demanding our attention. But our decisions and the way we make them are part of our formation process in Christ as well. What do we see as most important? How will we keep that in mind as we make decisions? How can we choose to simply do our next right thing in love?
Emily also talked about how often we want to have complete clarity before we make a decision, but she quoted Marie Forleo in saying,
“Clarity comes from engagement, not from thought.”
So many times it seems the right directions seem to be made clear only after we begin to take action. Then we finally start to sense the peace we’ve been looking for and can make any needed adjustments as we continue in motion and take the next steps. Oh how often I need to be reminded of this!
** Born to Create podcast with Kent Sanders, episode 084: Your Memories Make You Who You Are (with Casey Tygrett)
If you read my blog post from a couple of weeks ago, you know that Casey’s book, As I Recall, has already deeply impacted me, so as soon as I saw that Kent had interviewed him for his podcast, I had to check that out, too. I definitely enjoyed their conversation and appreciate how Casey talks about the role of memories in our identity and spiritual formation. He also shares a bit about his creative journey and writing process, which I was intrigued to hear as well.
(P.S. I went back to edit my earlier post to include a mention of this podcast there, too. I definitely want to remember it when I look back, and I want others interested in the book to have a link to the podcast also.)
** Speaking of memories, this week marked five and a half years since my husband’s passing, and I couldn’t help but revisit this post I wrote five years ago, at the six-month milestone… As much as part of me wants to go back and edit a few little places in the post, it seems more fitting to let you read it exactly as I shared it then:
I’m grateful for how God continues to work in us even when we’re in the middle of the mess with the struggles we face day to day. I need to remember that often in my current season as well.
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)
|A VBS treasure reminding us of God's presence and promises.|
I’d always love to hear from you as well! What experiences, memories, words, people, or decisions have shaped or formed your life? How can you see God’s work in you through them? Are there any ways you intentionally create space for your soul to breathe? Or are there any other treasures you’ve been finding lately? Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.