What do you get when you put a Kelly Pickler concert with a night at the fair, with a day boating on Table Rock Lake, with an evening at First Friday Art Walk, with the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, with Branson Landing? Well, you get exhausted, that's for sure! But, you also get a fabulous "stay-cation" in Springfield, Missouri! And, when you add my awesome brother David and his equally fabulous wife Carrie to the mix, it is a wonderful way to end summer! We had such a good time doing fun things our city offered, and doing it all with family made it extra fun.
The day we spent at Branson Landing, we did lots of tasting at Devo Olive Oil Company. The interesting oils and vinegars were endless. It was so fun to blend them and make tasty combinations. I came home with a bottle of Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar. The combo is brilliant for dipping bread and also makes a lovely salad dressing.
Our stay-cation came on the heels of my trip to San Antonio where I spoke at Oak Hills Church. What an honor it was to be a part of the church where Max Lucado ministers. I enjoyed meeting him and all the wonderful people at that church (including hanging with my great friend Karen True and her husband Gerry).
The book that traveled with me to Texas was Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis. Whew! Have you read it? It's the most fascinating, troubling and difficult fiction work of his I've read so far. There were times I was really captivated and times I read on out of sheer discipline. But, the way I know it really is a good read is because I pondered its meaning for days after I finished it.
Now, if you give it a taste test, let me tell you what I wish I had known before I read it. These few facts would have helped me understand what I was reading! It's considered a parallel novel, not an allegory. It's Lewis' rendition of the mythical story of Cupid and Psyche. It's told by"Orual, the ugly Queen of Glome and Psyche's sister. Lewis writes this book as Orual's complaint against "the gods." Though I had more questions than answers after reading it, what I gained was a heightened awareness that human affection and love can become profane. And, I can question and seek after God, but until He gives me a "face" to see my own sin, I am unable to see Him. Here's my favorite quote from the book: "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face, questions die away. What other answer would suffice?" Ah, that beautiful thought was worth the whole book!
So, give these things a Taste Test:
1. A stay-cation in your town
2. Devo Olive Oil Company
3. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis