• I suppose naming a song and album “There Will Be Surprises” is rather like praying to God for patience. Meaning, I can’t set out on a project with this title and expect not to be surprised myself. And let me te […]

  • Recently, I had the pleasure of asking Russ Ramsey a few questions about his new book Rembrandt Is In the Wind, the story of how he came to love visual art, and the interaction of that love with his faith and […]

  • [Editor’s note: Today, we bring you an oldie and a goodie from Helena Sorensen. In this Lenten reflection from 2018, Helena tells the story of how her fast from God paradoxically opened up more space for her to […]

  • I heard it said once in an interview with Michael Pollan that, when it comes down to it, every writer only really asks one question with their entire career. I can’t decide whether I agree with that assessment. […]

  • One of the reasons I love fantasy as a genre is because of the inclusion of magic. In fantasy stories—the good ones anyway—magic can reveal the spiritual realities that we all sense in life but can’t see, and h […]

    • Thank you for articulating what I loved about this movie but could not explain with my own words.

    • Boy, oh boy. Such great thoughts on this story! 

    • I agree with Kathryn- I personally loved the film, but my family didn’t seem to quite understand why. I immediately sent this to them because it’s so well written! I loved the first paragraph about “magic” just being a tool to amplify realities we all know deep down- so good.

    • That’s what I’m talkin about, Emmy!

    • Nice story. i like this very much

    • When I saw what happened to the magical house (La Casita) in the story (rebuilt on a new foundation) I was reminded of the line from Andrew Peterson’s song Hosanna: “Come and tear this temple down; build it up on holy ground.” God is building a new home for himself. Jesus is the cornerstone, and we’re the living stones.

    • My older brother passed away yesterday. So many unresolved and painful issues left unsettled, within the family. I do know that part of my journey forward will include revisiting movies, books, stories, music that can be a vital tool to reflecting on, untangling, forgiving and seeking forgiveness, and walking through the grief ahead. I know the deep magic can work backwards, to restore, renew and transform us, individually, and as a family. Thank you Shige, for your words shared here. Beautiful.

    • Nancy, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’re able to find support and comfort. I don’t know if you already have Every Moment Holy Volume II, but that’s been a source of good help for me in my own grief. I hope it might be for you too.

  • It was the 26th of December, the second day of Christmas by the traditional reckoning, and I’d spent the balance of it on the couch, nursing the cold I’d sustained thanks to late nights and early mornings and run […]

  • [Editor’s note: As we enter into the celebration of Christmas, we’d like to share with you a profound piece from Shigé Clark that has grown more deeply pertinent since it was first published in 2019. In it, she […]

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful and wise piece of writing, Shige. It harmonizes well with the message that Pope Francis delivered last night in his homily for the Christmas Eve Mass: “That is where God is, in littleness. . . . This is the message: God does not rise up in grandeur, but lowers himself into littleness. Littleness is the path that he chose to draw near to us, to touch our hearts, to save us and to bring us back to what really matters.” 

  • As I listened to Sara Groves’s new album on repeat, my mind grasped for the best way to describe what makes her songwriting so special. And as I grasped away, a moment from one of my favorite movies kept […]

    • We’re both deciding what we can abide
      Holding our tongues and speaking our minds
       
      Sara writes with such honesty and excellence, void of pretension. Her words in Deal Breaker perfectly capture the tension of relationships beginning to end. They capture the beauty, pain, and hope of such a moment, as well as the beauty of ‘the other side’ should the relationship make it through the trial.
      I agree: the albums evokes emotion and reflection without manipulation. What’s a great work!

    • Sara Groves’ way with words has influenced my life ever since I was a young girl – she was one of the few artists my mom would put on in the car. I didn’t always get her music, but I’m so glad I’ve grown to better understand it. Listening to her songs feels like chewing on jerky, if that isn’t weird to say. Slow burn is a better way to put it, as you did! Almost every pivotal point of my life has a lyric of hers tied into it somewhere. Thanks for sharing this analysis!

    • Jag har alltid gillat hennes musik. Min mamma brukade lyssna på den och jag växte upp med den.

  • I’m feeling a little lost these days, as though I’ve awakened from a troubling dream to find that nothing is where it was or as it was. I’ve entered my forties during a nationwide cultural and religious shift […]

    • Thank you, Helena. Beautiful and powerful (you and this piece). Also, “The love of God is infinite and fathomless and it will kill me. It’s the kind of fear you don’t acknowledge on a Sunday morning.” rocked me. Yeah to all that. Keep exploring, thanks for sharing as you map it out. 

    • Oh my….. thank you Helena for taking us on the journey with you into uncharted seas. Beautiful and pensive both and an echo for me just this morning as I pondered the word ‘surface’, as in, what lies below is more real than what we see.

    • Beautiful imagery.

    • I love this so much.

    • Thank you for this, Helena. Your courage and honesty give other people courage.

    • Thank you dearly for this; it was very encouraging to another soul who’s found himself in a long period of uncertainty.
      This Pilgrim Way was my favorite album in the year I discovered it—2009, I think? It’s fallen off my radar the last few years. Looks like it’s time to give it another listen (or 20).

    • Thank you for, in beautiful and brave vulnerability, creating space for others to also find the courage to push deeper into Infinite Love’s Welcome.

  • In case you haven’t heard, Andrew Osenga has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new album, Headwaters—a collection of songs written to be sung by families, friends, and churches that deals with themes o […]

  • I think my wife, Kelsey, said it best: “Find me in twenty years and I will still be listening to this warm, rich album.” Everything about Hold Still is a slow burn—even down to the process of making it, from w […]

  • In his Sunday Chef’s Address, John Cal referenced The Little Prince and made an insight that has stuck with me. He said, “It’s like when the Little Prince discovered a planet full of roses, when at first he […]

    • Yes, Drew Miller, you hit the proverbial nail on its head. I am absolutely experiencing those several gut feelings that only the feast and community of Hutchmoot produce, and which therefore only come around in their intensity and simultaneous-ness once a year – thank you for naming and claiming them, and forging the trail for the rest of us still struggling to wrap ourselves around the enormity and hilarity and overwhelming whelmedness that is Hutchmoot:Homebound. My rose… inevitably feels insignificant, not nearly as unique as I thought, and insipidly pale next to, say, just about any other rose in the room… which, of course, is the exact and appropriate humbling I need, both to cut my inevitably overgrown opinion of myself down to appropriate realism, and also to remind me that actually I DO still have a seat at the table (I’m here, aren’t I?), and therefore I DO have a voice, and my  rose is… mine, like you said. There isn’t another one quite like it. Maybe typing this comment is really me externally processing the fact that it’s truly important for each rose (and more, and more) to be in the room, for each voice — no matter how insipid, or hesitant, or not-as-excellent-as-we’d-like — to be at the table, that the community of beauty-makers is the thing, a beautiful mosaic of brilliantly individual tiles, of which I am suddenly happy and grateful to be one. 

    • I very much agree with this, not least because I also saw that everyone was coming from the same place of exhaustion I was. And that was comforting in its not-aloneness. For that reason I felt less refreshed this Hutchmoot than rearmed and challenged for what lies ahead.
      My rose is delicious food, healing in soul as well as in body as I cook for family members with extensive dietary needs and others who are safe eating in my home when they would not be almost anywhere else. I saw in various discussion places that this skill set is much needed in the wider world, and I am encouraged to continue the work.

    • “The beauty of this is that once I learn what gifts belong to me and honor them properly, I am freed up to notice and delight in the gifts that belong to others.” Yes, & amen! Hutchmoot, & The Rabbit Room community in general, tends to be full of “You, too? I thought I was the only one!” moments for me, & HM:HB 2021 was no exception. I especially enjoyed Sara Groves & Ben Shive’s session, Malcolm Guite’s keynote address, & connecting with dozens of fellow Rabbits on Instagram since. So many roses, & the variety of roses is stunning. Praise be to Creator that invites us to sub-create! 

    • Thank you for helping me ‘see my rose’. It seems to change each season, in color and shape. Sometimes I haven’t liked it at first. Sometimes I haven’t been able to easily find or even see it…being hidden by other things, some healthy, some not.  Sometimes it has been shared, sometimes it’s just for me, directly anyway.
      All of you have helped me put thoughts and words to this tension. God is glorified and I am humbled and excited.

  • Every year, as October approaches, I feel like there’s a little extra promise and anticipation in the air—partially just because I love the fall season, but in large part because October means Hut […]

  • This week, we’re sending membership gifts out to our new members. I used to be the one to pack those, and took a particular delight and care in it. I got to envision the joy on each face as they unpacked their m […]

  • As we head toward Hutchmoot: Homebound and the rundown/roundup/hoedown/low-downs are sent out, you may notice some messages to our Rabbit Room members. For folks seeing those messages and wondering what this […]

  • It was Pizza Night on Friday, March 13th, 2020. The candles were lit, the music was playing, and I had just adorned two old fashioneds with orange peels, ready for our weekly toast. That particular week had […]

  • [Editor’s note: Our theme for today at North Wind Manor’s Opening Week is story, and this evening the Manor will host a Storytellers’ Night with Helena Sorensen, Andrew Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, Doug McKelvey, […]

    • I enjoyed your book, so it’s interesting to read about your process.  As a writer myself, I appreciate that there is a certain, um,  enchantment to the development of any story. Thank you for sharing!

  • [Editor’s note: This piece is the third in a series begun by Mark Geil called “Old Favorites,” where various contributors to the blog reflect on some of the most beloved, well-worn albums and songs in their colle […]

  • waheedkh and Profile picture of Jeanine JoynerJeanine Joyner are now friends 11 months ago

  • It is no exaggeration to say that the soundtrack from 2019’s Little Women got me through 2020. For starters, Spotify told me so; its end-of-year report informed me that my favorite album was Little Women, my […]

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