Saturday, November 29, 2008

Surfin' Saturday: A Holy Experience

The best blog discovery I've made in the last few months, without question, has been Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience. Ann's words are poetry, punctuated by luminous pictures of the simple things we often overlook. She finds beauty all around her, sees our omnipresent Lord everywhere, and writes about it in ways that reflect that beauty and cause me to pause in wonder right alongside her.

The tagline for Holy Experience is a line of poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God." I have found that Ann's blog is just that: crammed with heaven, afire with God.

I can't quickly scan her latest post the way I do most blogs; I have to slow down and savor the words. This is difficult for me; the medium of writing on a screen has led me to an unfortunate habit of speed reading, my distracted eyes impatient to absorb more, more, more.

Ann's blog demands that I stop--or rather, she invites me to stop--gently, humbly, as she offers up what she would describe as simple crumbs of bread. I find it is a feast each time I slow down to taste the goodness of the Lord as she describes Him. From what I have read, she is the kind of writer, and Christian woman, I aspire to become.

Her posts typically include links to older posts she's written--and so I easily find myself lost in a web of beauty, drawn further and further into her archives. It's good for me to have Holy Experience in my feeds; from Ann I can learn to step back from the flurry and fury of the blogosphere and listen, really listen. And then, like her, I must take what I've learned and live it--really see that beauty everywhere, in the everyday.

It's hard to pick just a few posts to highlight; I don't think I've read a single one that hasn't moved me. But some of my recent favorites include:

Strange Disappearance
May the Children Eat First
How to Parent: Just Guide Gently
What a Mother Must Sacrifice
Untangling Family Knots
The Covenantal Act of Remembering
Making of Heroes

Just now, as I browsed and composed this post, I ran across something Ann wrote in the comments section of another blog which expresses beautifully what she is seeking to do with Holy Experience:
in a cyberworld
of twittering,

can one create
an oasis…
unusual quiet,
entries that invite

one to slow,
to think, to really
enter in, consider,
blog counter-

no obligation to
comment, no full
sidebars. in a world

of so much
noise, can you
create a retreat,
build a still chapel?

Yes, Ann, you can--you have. Thank you.

Read along with me and be inspired as I have been!

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