Friday, January 4, 2013

The Lure of Laity Lodge

In recounting our retreat experience I will at times default to shameless plagiarizing (word for word!) from the welcome package/promo material we found in our room.  A room of more elegant-rustic charm than we could have ever imagined
and to which these few photos might testify. 
Plagiarism will be henceforth identified in blue text to 
ease my conscience.  
Call me weak but to my way of thinking, 
it is senseless self-injury to try the telling of a thing already available in prose that cannot be improved.
Our sweet suite was one of six in the Black Bluffs, a structure built right into the cliff side 
and over-hanging the Frio River. 
Anne of Green Gables might have her Lake of Shining Waters,
but does it compare to this Emerald Sea? 
I thought not.
 The walk from the parking lot to the Black Bluffs
 Down one flight of spiral steps to our room
 Literally built into the rock face
If you know me, then you already know how hopelessly smitten I am with the music of Sara Groves and the writings of Sally Lloyd-Jones.  These women have been nurturing my soul for a few years now with their particular artistry and spiritual giftedness.  Sara's blog led us to The High Calling (and the daily bible studies with Mark Roberts) which in turn led us to the awareness of Laity Lodge and the concept of spiritual retreat.

In a random sweep of the retreat schedule for 2012, 
my attention was drawn to November's Food Retreat.  
Yes.  You read that right.  A Food Retreat.  And yes, the better half of me needed some time to consider the merits of such a theme on our spiritual health.  
As a firmly established foodie however, I needed no such convincing 
and knowing that one of the featured speakers 
was none other than the illustrious Sally Lloyd-Jones 
clinched the plan for me us in no *uncertain terms!
(*aka unnecessary negotiation)

Dr. Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. His most recent book is Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating. He also has edited The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry.
“I grew up farming and still grow a garden. I also love to cook and eat. I want to help Christians think about and practice better eating. Doing the right thing tastes really good! I love sharing the table with others.”
Sally Lloyd-Jones
Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote the Bible. Well, not exactly. But she did write The Jesus Storybook Bible, along with other highly regarded (and highly recommended) children’s books. Sally also likes food. She joins us for The Food Retreat to lend a second voice to the weekend. Expect foodie-centric readings from the Storybook Bible (there are quite a few) and beyond.

 Though this marks only her second trip to Laity Lodge, 
we already count Sally as an old friend and look forward to introducing her to you.

Nathan Tasker

Gabe Scott (Pie Making)

Special Guests
Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo Austin

They’ll be cooking up something. More details soon.

I needed nothing more to start the registration process.
Here is a write up of the same retreat by Sally herself.  

God’s Love Made Visible:
The Laity Lodge Food Retreat
, by Sally Lloyd-Jones 

Friend and best-selling children’s author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, recently spent some time writing at Laity Lodge. The tail end of her stay coincided with The Food Retreat, so we asked her to take part, take some notes, and write about it after she returned home. We’re happy to share Sally’s account of the retreat, and look forward to having her back in the Canyon soon. (We’re big fans of her books too…they make great Christmas gifts!)

The remainder of this post is still under construction but I will publish it anyway.  
I am going out right now with all my boys to see The Hobbit - 
(my first real outing in three weeks as I struggle to recover from pneumonia).  
Like Bilbo Baggins, I'm going on an adventure and know not when I'll return!
*** 48 hour Time Lapse ***

Stepping out of the car in the parking lot, we caught the delightful aroma of Texas BBQ in the making.
We cast each other a thumbs up.  This Food Retreat was off to a mighty grand start.  WE passed this incredible conglomeration of outdoor cooking space en route to the Registrar's Office.

Everything and I mean Everything on the property has purpose and detail and is done with an excellence that surpasses even the most discerning taste.
When things are done for His Glory - the difference becomes very obvious.
THAT was an enormous take away for us as we ruminate the experience of Laity Lodge here at home.
The Bookstore welcomed you to either carefully borrow or buy 
from her shelves.  
 Sally's books!  (I noticed they couldn't keep up with the re-stocking)
A Hammered Dulcimer brings Rich Mullins lovingly to mind
Turns out Gabe Scott (resident Pie making expert as well) and Nathan Tasker are well connected to many of our favourite musician artists:  
The Getty's, Sara Groves, Michael Card, Rich Mullins, Andrew Peterson....
*sigh*  Music Heaven 
I wish I had gotten the story behind these sculptures but alas, 
now you are left with my uneducated guess.   
Feed my lambs?
We fellowshipped with approximately forty others at this Food Retreat.  
You are about to meet some of them, at the table and elsewhere.

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