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rustic joys (erin jean warde)
May you receive the gift of rustic joys, like goosebumps rising on your skin under the cool cover of night.
I had the joy of speaking at the Women’s Retreat for one of my beloved former churches — St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waco. In the weeks leading up to the retreat, we were given information about the accommodations and how they would be… rustic. Rustic is a word used to let you know that you are at a camp not an all inclusive resort. I was not concerned — I can handle a lot when I know it’s only for the duration of one weekend — but I would say I was… curious… about what it would be like. Forever grateful, and also curious.
My big questions are typically: Will I be able to get any sleep? Will the food be something I can eat? And… what’s the coffee like? Again, I can survive a lot when it’s only over a weekend, but I was curious how I would sleep, what I would eat, and how caffeinated I could become.
And, much to my joy, the accommodations were rustic… and they were lovely.
I slept 8 hours both nights.
I ate plenty.
I had coffee to drink.
I mentioned to a few people how grateful I was to get such good sleep, especially as someone who struggles to get sleep ANYWHERE, much less on a camp bed. As for the food, I found myself going back for seconds.
Staying at camp this weekend was a loving, welcome reminder of how little I need to be okay, how much rustic accommodations can care for me. And how quickly my fears and concerns fade from my mind when I am surrounded by beautiful people, laughter, retreat, fellowship, and communion.
On the first night we were there, it was brutally hot. I remember worrying that my room may not cool down enough to be livable. The coordinators for the retreat (saints, all of them) arranged for a surprise — they got a lifeguard for our first night there, so we could enjoy an evening swim. I had taken my swimsuit, but it was a last minute addition, and I remember thinking, “I’ll probably come home and be mad I brought it because I wasted suitcase space.”
But I was oh so wrong about that. Friday night I got into that pool with friends, old and new, under the cool cover of night. It was perfect. When we got out, even the hot evening Texas breeze felt cold on my wet skin. For a split second, I felt goosebumps rise on my skin, and I knew a sense of joy in mind, body, and soul. And we had gathered as a group of women seeking joy in mind, body, and soul. When I got back to my room it was crisp, and I needed the covers when I went to sleep.
Because you see, I didn’t need an all inclusive resort. I didn’t expect one, to be clear, but at the end of the day, I know it wouldn’t have offered me anything I couldn’t get from rustic accommodations. Because what I needed was simple, some might say rustic — beloved people, a bed to hold me in rest, food to nourish my body, drink upon my parched lips, respite from the sun, and water under the cool cover of night.
I received what my soul needed — my daily bread, from a rustic weekend of being cared for by God and beloved people. May you receive the gift of rustic joys, like goosebumps rising on your skin under the cool cover of night.
Please note: There will be no weekly email next week, as I am back to back with travel. However, the Mind, Body, & Soul Care series will continue. Thank you for your patience with me!
our series continues this week
Continuing this week, I’ll be sharing my journey back to the basics of mind, body, and soul care with the paid community here on Substack. This journey will be our programming for the fall, in lieu of a book study.
I’ll be sharing different practices and ways of thinking about my recovery that helped the first time, which I will be practicing once again, as I seek healing in mind, body, and soul. Life happens — and all the coping skills in the world don’t change the fact that sometimes we just need to fall apart — but it never hurts to have some ways to care for ourselves on standby.
As always, if you think this could be helpful for you but you can’t afford a subscription, reach out and let’s figure it out. I always want my work to find the people who seek it, such that money doesn’t withhold care. <3
podcasts & articles
A Few Minutes With… The Rev. Erin Jean Warde (Matt Rhodes)
I was delighted to be a guest on Matt Rhodes’ podcast to talk about Sober Spirituality and more. There was a bit of an audio/volume issue, so please note you can watch the episode with captions on YouTube. Enjoy!
Erin Jean Warde on How to Have a More Mindful Relationship with Alcohol (The Learner’s Corner with Caleb Mason)
It was such a joy to chat with Caleb about the intricacies of sobriety and spirituality. I hope you enjoy this deep dive on his podcast. I’m partial to the title, as an avid lifelong learner!
Sober Spirituality w/Erin Jean Warde (A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast)
Hang out with Lee, Simon, and I as we talk about sober spirituality — both the book and the greater facets of what it means to think about how these two realities intersect. You can also read Sober Spirituality with this crew during the month of September via the Justice Unbound book study (details below).
Erin Jean Warde (What is Spirituality?)
Listen to my chat with the Franciscan Spirituality Center — where I’ll be speaking this weekend! — about sobriety, spirituality, and more.
Sober books for Autumn 2023 (Club Soda)
I’m so honored to see Sober Spirituality make the list of sober books for Autumn 2023, from Club Soda! Club Soda is an amazing group in the UK that encourages mindfulness around our relationships with alcohol. Enjoy the article and browse the site for more wisdom!
Sober Spirituality Book Club — started this week! (Justice Unbound)
This week Justice Unbound started their first Unbound Book Club, and they’re reading Sober Spirituality: The Joy of a Mindful Relationship with Alcohol! Each week they are reading a chapter and through Unbound socials engaging in questions and encouraging everyone to share as they feel called. Purchase the book at your local book store or check it out at libraries! (If they do not carry the book, request it!) Follow Justice Unbound on Instagram — @justiceunbound — to participate!
Discerning Sobriety: Explore mindfulness, sobriety, and spirituality — September 15-16 (Franciscan Spirituality Center)
I’m so excited to be leading this IN PERSON retreat at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin this weekend! Hold us in your hearts as we retreat and discern together.
Sober Spirituality Book Event — September 20 (St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Oklahoma City)
I’m beyond thrilled to be back in Oklahoma NEXT WEEK to talk about Sober Spirituality! If you’re one of my Oklahoma beloveds, I hope you’ll come hang out with us at St. Paul’s Cathedral!
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