Sunday, June 20, 2010

Godspace and Mustard Seed Associates

A while back I came across the blog Godspace by Christine Sine.  I was in the midst of refinding myself after 2 and half years of grief and continued depression, as well as unemployment, and it occurred to me that if I got back to gardening and yardwork, I would find the connection that so used to revive my spirit and body.

So, I hopped on a search engine and began Googling gardening, flowers, plants, gardening as meditation and the like.  One of the links brought me to Godspace, and I was delighted to find it.  Here was not just articles on good gardening but also on the spiritual side of it, the reconnecting to creation and with that came the deeper, easier connection to a renewed spiritual life.  Well, at least the reviving of a once thriving spiritual life.  Grief and loss threw what I had known and loved down a steep ravine, and I wasn't sure I could rescue it or revive it once I had it back.  Combine that with the depression that follows hard on the heels of both and it is Mt Everest of impossibility, or so it seemed.  It helped to talk through it with a good friend and also my spiritual director.  Turns out I had not only lost my love of gardening and green living things of beauty to these three factors but apparently I was connected to them and I too had been in the deep ravine but over two years managed to climb out and salvage that connection to green, flowering, growing, amazing things, including the odd weed.

So now, I turn to life with quiet joy and anticipation.  That is if we get any warm consistent weather here in southern Oregon.  Tomorrow will be the first day of summer.  It is 62 degrees...I hold out hope for some hot stuff and sun.

Turning back now to Godspace by Christine Sine, it is a virtual resource for her insight into gardening and intentional living.  And for us Nor'westers, she is one of us, lives in Seattle and gets the weather angle and challenge that we have in this part of the country.  Mustard Seed Associates, her connection with like-minded Christians who look forward in the future toward sustainable and intentionally created communities.

And MSA "is a small non profit organization that seeks to raise awareness of challenges that Christians will face in their lives, churches & communities in the future. It is unique in that it is a crossroads, grassroots organization – connecting people across generations, denominations and cultures and encouraging them to become cultural creatives."

Godspace later became an e-book on her site.  But here is what Christine tells us about it:

Is the pulse rate of your life beating out of control? Do you feel out of sync with the shalom lifestyle God intends you to have? Are you having a hard time sifting through the noise and busyness in order to connect your life to God? Jesus modeled a degree of peace, celebration, and rest that’s hard to find in our stressful, hurried pace. We long to be more like him, but that lifestyle often seems unachievable.

GodSpace, an updated version of the author’s earlier book Sacred Rhythms, is a prescription for healthy living that flows directly from your faith. Christine Sine invites you to make space for God and enjoy the benefits. She looks at the natural rhythms God built into our world and how paying attention to them can strengthen every part of your life.

I have it and though I have only read parts briefly [Goal: make time to read the stuff that really matters], I am drawn to its wisdom and ideas for helping to restore what I had once known and so looked forward to each day.  She also has other books and articles, prayer cards and so forth available.  She hosts workshops on Celtic prayer and enriches her own life with the prayerful teachings of Richard Rohr.

In her other book To Garden With God, she takes us through the seasons of the Spirit as well as the seasons of the year.  All her writings are available on her blog and then through links to an ebook site.

Though my life has been complicated by issues at work since February, I am determined to make more time for outside, the garden areas around my home, rescuing the neglected Bleeding Hearts on the east side of the house, taming the wildness of my backyard and maybe evening planting some vegetables.  I know I must set aside time to do this each evening and if I do I will be rewarded not only with the beauty of creation and the caring of it, but with a renewed spirit and outlook.

I encourage those of you who garden and even the ones who don't to read or check out Christine's insights into this vital connection of gardening with God and also how to live intentionally with and among others.  Be sure to check out her workshops tab as well.  She offers Rhythms of Grace, Thin Space: Learning from the Celtic Saints, and the landmark annual Celtic Prayer Retreat.

And by all means, if you are into Green living, her blog is a huge resource.

And now I will leave you to is where I am headed!


1 comment:

Christine Sine said...

Catherine, Thank you for your every flattering and encouraging words. I hope that you do find the time you need for the outside. It is so refreshing and renewing, no matter how much we are struggling. Blessings