Monday, March 10, 2008

Time to Be

clock horizontal

Sabbath. I love how Lauren Winner explains the Jewish concept, in Mudhouse Sabbath, even as she admits she is out sipping coffee and writing in the margins of a book.

The time period, she tells us, is called "Queen Sabbath" and is described as a bride. Most brides get quite stressed, but as my children's Hebrew lesson reminded us today, Sabbath means "rest". Queen Sabbath is no ordinary bride! She is royal, beautiful, filled with promise and calm.

I'm looking forward to a Sabbath of sorts over the next week. On Thursday, I'll head off to California, a place apart. Redwoods and mist, a room of my own, quiet mornings when no one else is up (the time difference assures this for me). Not quite a Jewish Sabbath, but not my usual fare either.

If all goes well, I'll hold my book for the first time, smell the new pages, remember that God took a mess and turned it into a gift to others, through the careful shaping of words and memories entwined with His Own Word.

Overall, I'm looking forward to a time to simply be...

Antique Clock in Mother's House photo, by J Barkat. Used with permission.


Dave Zimmerman's On Birthing a Book

New Waiting for Stone Crossings photos at Zimbio

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Blogger Andrea said...

Your book in your hands....
a spiritual event, indeed!!
wish I was going to Cali!!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Michelle Van Loon said...

I'm heading to Mt. Hermon myself - I'm a first-timer. (Someone linked me to your fantastic list of how to best prepare.)

I'm looking forward to seeing a redwood in person, and connecting with other writers.

May God gift you with some space to simply be - and to celebrate the birth of your book.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wow...what fun, to hold it in your hands and see what you and God made

7:23 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...


8:06 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

i'm glad for this time to just be for you, too. (and i'm with sarah -- holding it in your hands, feeling its cover, smelling its pages?! SO COOL!!)

i needed to hear this part today: "remembering that God took a mess and turned it into a gift to others." i just spent about 10 hours reliving some pretty messy parts of myself on paper . . . it was not fun, and it's all being done for a grad application . . . which means it will be read and evaluated by others and deemed worthy or not worthy for further training and fitness for ministry. yikes. i sure felt messy. but your words reminded me that God already has and is and will continue to turn this mess into a gift for others. thank you.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Michelle Gregory said...

I'm looking forward to the rest as well. Just the idea of forest and beach makes me breathe a little easier. And I'm looking forward to (hopefully) meeting you.


10:29 AM  
Blogger Michelle Gregory said...

oops! Forgot to say that maybe Rom. 8:28 could be re-translated to say "God causes all *messes* to work together for good..."


10:31 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Mmm - I love that picture of Sabbath as a peaceful bride. And I hope your rest is full of beauty and glorious surprises. I'm so excited about your book! (I need to place my order so I can get my hands on it soon too!)

Thanks for you comment at my blog... you are always so kind to stop by and leave your thoughts at my humble place. Maybe I'll get back on the blogging horse one of these days. :)

2:01 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...


Have a great time - may God make it energizing and life giving for you

3:23 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Andrea... I hadn't thought of it quite like that, but of course you are very right. It is a spiritual event. For, three years ago when I went to Mount Hermon, it's not that I got a book contract then and there but I knew that I would. I remember lying face down on the floor in the dark. (Was it the wee hours or the night or the morning? I don't remember that.) But I remember lying there and weeping freely because I had this sudden sense that the years of trouble would be redeemed through words. And that, if it be possible, things would be recovered that had seemed forever lost. Going back to MH right before the book releases seems like a "full circle" experience. A promise kept.

Michelle... Welcome to Seedlings. Feel free to drop by my table at MH and say hi. I'm glad you are going!

Sarah... ah, yes, made together. That's what it is... a thing created in partnership.

Llama... it feels that way, yes.

Christianne... and sometimes the very mess is what makes the gift possible. I remember thinking (three years ago) that if there hadn't been pain there wouldn't have been promise. This was a relief in a strange way... to understand that suffering (though I don't believe God brought it on me) could be turned in a light that would reveal precious things.

Michelle... oh, I like that Romans translation. And the beach. Wow, yes, I was just thinking of the redwoods. Be sure to stop by my table at one of the mealtimes; I look forward to meeting you.

Miriam... how nice that you came in from the field, so to speak, to this little blog stable, to respond to my comment. Sweet you!

Every Square... a good wish. Pray that for me, if you remember.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Wow - if you're going actually hold the book - it must really be spring!!!! Yahoooo!

Enjoy your time - may God make Himself more real than ever - may He flood your spirit with His.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm so very happy for you and I so very much look forward to holding your book in my hands for the first time and reading it myself. I'm sure I won't want to put it down, but slow reader that I am, especially with the good stuff, I'll have to keep picking it up.

Anyhow, have a most enjoyable time and rest there in California. Enjoy those redwoods. And hope you have wonderful, mild weather there.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

What's this about a table? You're going to have a table!

I'm looking forward to seeing you again. The presentation will be fun. Thanks again for including me.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first read your words, tears came. I am so happy for you and I so wish I could be there when that moment happens. Oh, to see that look on your face- the same look I imagine God might have when he someday sees us in all our beautiful bridal finery. His Redeemed.

We have survived our messes haven't we, however their making. Though I already know some of the story, we will probably never know the depths of each others pains (and joys) and the working of His hands in it all. Turning us into wounded healers. And a Gift, yes indeed.

May you know what a gift you are to me, as you are (and will be) to countless others. What a glorious grace. What a glorious God. He will go with you. Rest Connect. Enjoy. BE.

I love you my friend.
I will be praying for you,

PS. I am hopeless. I first read this right after you published it, and when I tried to publish my comment, couldn't remember my google password. Still haven't, so hopefully the anonymous feature works. And guess what Abbie started last night?? Her very own blog! Maybe I could get some private remedial tutoring.

5:32 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Susan... spring. Wow, yes. How the time passes! Thank you for your blessings and hopes for my time away.

Ted... thanks for your sweet encouragements. And it would be nice to get sunshine this time; last time it was cold and rainy. Either way though I hope to enjoy the restful setting!

Mark... just in the dining room. You know, they put your name on a tent card and ask you to sit at the same table at lunch and dinner, day after day. :) Yes, looking forward to seeing you too.

Kimberly... and you bring tears to my eyes. What a beautiful comment (you always were a wonderful writer and still are!) Then at the end you made me laugh. It was like having you here for just a tiny moment, remembering and sharing and hoping and laughing. I miss you. And I thank you for your profound and encouraging words.

6:05 PM  
Blogger cballan said...

Celebrate the birth!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

*Smile* I stop here in this "stable" often, even when I'm not posting very much at my own place. I guess I'm also mostly a quiet reader, so folks don't always know I'm around. A funny dynamic in blogging relationships. Although, I quess it's not all that different in face to face friendships. If you are quiet, you're generally not known too well. Anyway, tangent there. Hope you're having a wonderful retreat. :)

11:58 AM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

LL -- I missed getting the chance to say goodbye, but I'm so glad to have finally made it here so I can imagine you there, meeting new friends, celebrating your book, sharing all the things you've been learning about blogging and networking. You've worked hard; it is indeed time to rest.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Hope you're having a wonderful time there.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Reed said...

I'm going to be holding my second book sometime next month. I can't believe God trusted me to do it again! And yes, about this time last year, it was a mess that had been shelved for two years. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Blessings on your new arrival!

11:45 PM  
Anonymous ChiefHazelrah said...

I hope you enjoy California. It should be great as long as you don't encounter traffic. :)

I plan on buying your book when it's out, too; can't wait!

8:28 PM  

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