This is going to serve as both a family and a creative update!
First things first – how are the Barretts?
Chris continues to feel remarkably good, much better than we’d feared he would at this stage of things. He received a DLI (donor lymphocyte infusion) about three weeks ago, and his doctors are following him to decide whether or not he will receive another aliquot of cells this fall. We believe we’ve started seeing signs of graft-vs-host disease, which means that the immune system is fired up and doing its best against all kinds of things, hopefully including the lymphoma.
The littles started back to school early this month, and thanks to an incredibly supportive school community here in New Palestine, are doing beautifully. We have found a lovely church in Cross of Grace, and Chris was given the opportunity to lead a book group there (discussing Barbara Brown Taylor‘s Learning to Walk in the Dark), which he really enjoyed. We’re intentionally doing our best to live one day at a time, and we’re feeling grateful that we’ve had a bit of a window to rest and root.
Part of feeling a bit more settled at work and at home has allowed me to start thinking about the next music project. So I’m happy to announce that I’ll be working with producer Gabriel Harley again to create an album of hymns, tentatively forthcoming this November! We’ve started pre-production (I’m actually writing this from Perfect Mix), and I’m honestly thrilled about the direction this album is heading. It’s going to be both familiar and creative, a much more intimately structured kind of recording than Awake was. I’m not doing a Kickstarter campaign this time, but watch for discounted presales this fall!
Finally, please watch for some upcoming book reviews! I’ve been itching to find time to get to these, because they are both projects I am personally invested in, projects I believe have great potential to serve as means of God’s gracious presence.
I’ll be sharing about a new resource for infertility, miscarriage, and infant death – Chris and I were both contributors, and the vision of the creative team behind it and the end project are both healing and beautiful. It’s called Though the Darkness Gather Round: Reflections on Infertility, Miscarriage, and Infant Loss, edited by the founders of Project Pomegranate – personal, poignant devotions written by both men and women who have experienced these profound losses.
I’ll also have the privilege of reviewing a new book by my dear friend and colleague Kara Lassen Oliver, Passing it On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season. My family served as guinea pigs for the devotions in this volume, and I cannot (cannot!) wait to share that experience with you.
Leaving you with the words of the hymn we’re working tonight – “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness/I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name/On Christ the solid rock I stand/ all other ground is sinking sand/all other ground is sinking sand.” No matter what, no matter what season or storm we find ourselves in, I believe that rock holds firm under our feet. And in all of it, God is connecting us more and more deeply to Jesus’ heart, uniting us with the Body that shares in his blood and his righteousness, drawing us more and more into God’s sturdy, creative love.
More soon. I’ve missed you all.