(It's Barbara Brown Taylor, by the way. She's an episcopal priest and now a college professor; a group I was in at Furman did a study of one of her books,
The whole event was smart and challenging and thoughtful, in all the right ways. I got to hang out with my high school friend Laura (who is the one who told me this was happening at her church) and I randomly ran into my Montreat friend Katelyn (who was lovely to hang out with and chat a lot with) and I am SO SO glad I went.
Her talks were about divine mystery, and endarkening as opposed to enlightening, and intentionally embracing the things we don't know and that we don't understand. And about how the language around darkness and light somehow implies that God is in one but not the other, and how to sort that out in ways that don't reduce people's dark seasons to an absence of the divine, which, no duh, is not true at all, because actually the dark might teach us things about God and ourselves that the light never could.
Anyway. It was a lot more than that, and a lot more nuanced than that, and it was fascinating.
And! I am doing it again! Next month I get to go see the fantastic Nadia Bolz-Weber in Minnesota (Another Nathan and I were in the middle of deciding what weekend I should come up, and then when it turned out NBW had an event in Minneapolis, suddenly picking a date to visit got super easy). Look! These events are for me too! I am fully embracing that!
So while I was being church-thinky at the conference last weekend, my kids were roaming around town with my Dad (who has a broken arm, because he fell off his bike, because he wins at retirement?) and Cathy (who is recovering from her last cancer surgery) and yes, they are awesome for it.
Dad took my kids, along with Ashley and John and their kids, to a big balloon festival which was apparently a long chaotic adventure of a day, including odd food planning and lots of preschool runs to porta-potties, but it ended with a yay! hot air balloons! at twilight!
|(pic from John)|
|Liam and Charlotte are so great together. Cousin besties.|
Also Anneliese was the only grandkid brave enough to strap in and jump on this big trampoline thing.
We fancy her the brave and outgoing one, but this pic that my dad took a few seconds before her jump might betray how she was really feeling about it. HA.
I keep looking at it. It keeps cracking me up.
So yeah, here's what we learned this weekend:
1.) My dad is a saint, and also dumb, and also not easily overwhelmed.
2.) Stop talking about the dark like it's always a bad/Godless thing.
3.) Hot air balloons are really freaking cool when they glow.