Whale Spouts
June 2019
Nurturing Spiritual Vitality in
Everyday Living
Dearest friends,

Eastertide is winding down, Pentecost is upon us and the lazy, hazy, dog days of summer will soon be here! Hmmm... lazy days of summer?? Well, that's a lovely myth, isn't it?! At least in my family summer days are - more often than not - just as packed with activity as ever!

So, as you move into whatever summer adventures await you, I encourage you to make space for a little "summer sabbath" - time to slow down, kick off your shoes, breathe deeply and enjoy some sacred rest. My own summer sabbath will most likely include a little "napsio divina" in the hammock and coloring/praying with mandalas!

What summer sabbath practices might you embrace to help you draw closer to God? Send me a message and let me know! Maybe we can encourage one another along the way...

I pray this edition of Whale Spouts might offer you some encouragement as you seek to nurture spiritual vitality right in the midst of your everyday living...

  • Contemplate This: A Mighty Wind
  • Silent Renewal Retreat (July 7-10, 2019)
  • Praying with Mandalas - 20% Off SALE
  • Reflection on the Holy Spirit by Rachel Held Evans

Peace and hope,
Rev. Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Spiritual Director & Founder of Belly of the Whale Ministries
"And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind,
and it filled the entire house where they were sitting."
Acts 2:2
Last week, the rush of a sudden, violent wind blew through our neighborhood and a huge tree limb crashed down in our front yard. Fortunately no one was hurt, the house was okay and the split rail fence was the only casualty!

Over two thousand years ago, there was also a sudden, violent wind that filled the entire house where the Disciples were gathered. No limbs came tumbling down, but the walls of separation did. Rather than believing that the story of Jesus was to be shared in only one way, "all of (the Disciples) were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." The wind of the Spirit blew down the cultural divisions that could have separated those gathered and each person was miraculously able to hear and understand in their own language.

As Pentecost people, I pray that the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit will continue to heal us of our misperception that there is only one way, only one language to hear God's Word. I pray that the mighty wind of Pentecost will continue to blow so that we may be able to hear Gods extravagant message of grace, repentance and resurrection each in our own way, our own context, our own language!

What a tremendous birthday gift that is for the church! Thanks be to God!
3 days & 3 nights
in the belly of the whale

"Come all ye who are weary and heavy laden
and I will give you rest." Mt. 11:28
Praying with Mandalas
Have crayons - will travel!
Enjoy this creative, relaxing summer sabbath practice. At the great deal of 20% off, order a new copy for yourself and several more to share with friends!

Thanks to my mom for this photo of the way she likes to pray with mandalas at the beach.
Reflection on the Holy Spirit
"The Spirit is like breath, as close as the lungs, the chest, the lips, the fogged canvas where little fingers draw hearts...

The Spirit is like fire, deceptively polite in its dance atop the wax and wick of our church candles, but wild and mercurial as a storm when unleashed...

The Spirit is like a seal, an emblem bearing the family crest, a promise of belonging, protection, favor...

The Spirit is like wind, earth’s oldest sojourner, which in one place readies a sail, in another whittles a rock, in another commands the trees to bow, in another gently lifts a bridal veil... 

The Spirit is like a bird, fragile alloy of heaven and earth, where wind and feather and flight meets breath and blood and bones...

The Spirit is like a womb, from which the living are born again... "

This Pentecost, may the Spirit fill your lungs, light you on fire, seal your heart, blow through you, fly about you and give you new life. Amen.

Prayer excerpts (in italics) are by Rachel Held Evans.
Art by He Qi at hequiart.com
Next month will be the 5th Anniversary of Belly of the Whale Ministries - how can that be??!! I have been overwhelmed by God's presence in what started out as a wee little idea and has grown into a meaningful ministry that has nurtured me (and hopefully others!) along the way. Next month's Whale Spouts will include a special look back at where we have been and where God may be leading us into the next 5, 10, 15 years together!
Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction & Retreat Ministries | Website