Over the weekend I went with my son to visit Marquette U., one of his top choices for college, and on the tour we visited the Chapel of St. Joan of Arc. Well, this little gem was a bright spot on an otherwise frigid and wintry day.
You can read the official history from the college, but to sum it up, this chapel was built in the 1400s in France in honor of Joan of Arc. (She, by the way, is someone I want to learn more about some day.) It stood in Lyons, France until the 1920s when a wealthy American bought it and had it moved brick-by-brick to her estate on Long Island. Eventually it was donated to the university.
We were only in the building for about five minutes, and of course I was the last to leave with Jacob hauling me out. I couldn’t get enough of it. Even in those few moments, I sensed this internal longing, this desire to be in holy, quiet, lovely spaces like this small chapel. I needed to sit there and be quiet and let the space settle me so that I could turn my attention away from myself and to my Creator, to worship and be still.
As a pastor’s wife, I spend a lot of time at our church. And I love it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But sometimes it’s not as restful as being in a place without responsibilities, a place where I don’t notice the bulletin board needs to be updated, or the refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, or the bookcase in the youth room tidied. That’s not to say that we don’t have people who help with these things and much, much more. But it’s like the difference between visiting a friend’s house for dinner and being in your own. In my house, I see the imperfections. Somewhere else, I don’t notice and I’m not so preoccupied.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to come back to this little chapel some day. But at the very least, being my mother’s daughter, I bought the brochure on it.
If I had an unlimited travel budget, I would visit chapels like this all over the world. Wouldn’t that be amazing? To see how worshippers across the globe kneel together in front of altars like these? After hearing about the El Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 500-mile walk interspersed with stops at monasteries, convents, little Spanish villages, among lots of pilgrim wayfarers, I decided that is now on my bucket list. My dream writing assignment would be to blog my way through El Camino or write poetry or some such along a spiritual journey. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Simple Fruit Kabobs
The great thing about this recipe (p. 5), along with several others in the Redeemer cookbook is that this isn’t so much a brilliant concoction, but more like an idea for a great dish. These kabobs are definitely simple–just fruit chunks on a stick. But lined up on a pretty tray, they look appealing, attractive, and yummy!
Oh, I didn’t even notice until now that I’m making two of Kelly Q.’s recipes from this week–this one and the Simple Salsa Skillet. It’s little wonder since I’m now starting on my training for the mountain climb coming in May, and I’m trying to focus on healthy, simple meals.
This week I’m continuing with my cardio (now that I’m mostly healthy again) and adding strength training. I’m still not sure where/how I’ll do a 2-3 hour hike in this weather. I guess the treadmill if the weather doesn’t break. In addition to walking on an incline on the treadmill, I’m now carrying a backpack with a bunch of books in it. I didn’t weigh it, but I can tell you at the very least, it’s not light.
And in case you wanted an update on the picnic table snow depth, here you go.