"He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." Psalm 23
It's not often I stumble upon the "still waters" David spoke of in Psalm 23. Finding the time and place for my soul to rest usually takes a little bit of effort–or a lot.
Last August, Charlie, Andi and I actually set aside a week on our calendars and went looking for some rest at a place called Malibu Lodge. Our friend who organized the retreat told us we only needed to fly into Vancouver, BC. The lodge would take care of the additional travel arrangements. Had I known then how much effort it was actually going to take to get to Malibu Lodge, I might have wondered if it was worth it.
It turned out that the "additional travel arrangements" required to reach the lodge in Princess Louisa Inlet began with a 1.5-hour drive to a ferry outside Vancouver, followed by a 1-hour ferry ride, and lastly a transfer to another hour ride in a small pontoon boat.
After hours of traveling by land and sea, our pontoon boat slowed to cruising speed and finally stopped to allow us to take in the beauty of our surroundings. The narrow inlet we were traveling opened up to give us our first glimpse of the Lodge and the majestic white-capped mountains towering behind. It was nothing short of glorious. I knew in that moment that the long journey was well worth it. It was the still water moment I longed for.
The Goff family welcomed us as if they knew us our whole lives. The visual beauty we were exposed to moments earlier was just a precursor to the beauty and warmth we experienced through the hospitality and love shown to us over the days that followed. Our souls were restored through the comforts of delicious home-cooked meals, warm beds, study of God's word and heartfelt conversations.
Throughout or time there, our fearless leader Bob led us on capers like jumping off cliffs and showed us how to walk through a powerful waterfall without dying. Our friendships were deepened by the risks we took together during the day, as well as the heartfelt conversations we shared at night. We felt alive. We felt restored. Our time at Malibu Lodge was amazing because of the place and the people. Take away one and it wouldn't have been the same experience.
When I think about our plans for Art House Dallas, I am inspired to try and recreate a place that offers this kind of rest for your souls. A place where you can come together as a community to grow spiritually and take risks creatively. A place to sit down in a big, comfy chair and take a deep breathe from the demands of your day. A place of still waters.
There are still so many details to be figured out regarding what Art House Dallas will look like, but we are excited to be working with a fantastic architect who is keeping all these ideas in mind as we design this space together.
The good news is you don't have to wait for our building to be completed to find rest and encouragement. On August 16th, we plan to provide you with a place + people a little closer to home through the launch of Art House Local. We hope you'll sign up and join one of the 8 D/FW locations hosted by incredible men and women excited to connect and learn with you in small groups. It may be the closest we can get to still waters here in the crazy city of Dallas.
Whether it's Art House Local or another event you attend, I hope you are having a great summer and taking some time to rest. I'm happy to report that I am taking my own advice and heading to Florida. Look forward to seeing y’all soon!