Being prayer

prayer bead

"But, for me, in that moment, on that particular evening, the words simply would not come" As a spiritual director, you might expect that I spend a fair amount of time thinking about prayer, talking about prayer, and actually praying. Lately I’ve been reflecting on how varied my experiences of prayer have been throughout my life.  The most poignant moment of change happened when our son was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  This is how I wrote about it in Sacred Healing: MRIs , marigolds, and … [Read more...]

Repentance redefined: Giving up exhaustion and opening to change

vine2

Day 4: Repentance redefined: Giving up exhaustion and opening to change “exhaustion was not fertile soil for growth and change” We had been meeting for about two years when my directee said to me: “You know the most helpful thing you’ve said to me since we’ve been meeting is “God is not in favor of exhaustion.”” As a woman who struggles with over-work, conversation about balance and spiritual practice were a large part of our conversations together.  But it wasn’t until we … [Read more...]

Repentance redefined: standing tall

St. Hildegard

" Not one more day did Jesus want this woman to live bent over." As I was completing work on my third book, My Own Worst Enemy,  I encountered the story of the woman bent over. Listening once more to this Jesus-initiated, compassion-driven, Sabbath day healing of a woman bent over for 18 years, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all the ways that we as women may live bent over: We tend to the needs of others while neglecting our own. We exist in life as a “living apology,” seeking to … [Read more...]

Focusing Self-compassion on Limitations

St v

I admit it: I’ve not bought a single Christmas gift yet. My husband, God bless him, has ordered a few things.  My guess is that Amazon is going to become my best friend over these next few weeks. My work schedule has been full as well as continuing to make doctor and physical therapy appointments and block off several whole days for injections. Oh, and my husband had some minor surgery this month, too. There are only 15 more days until Christmas (all of them shopping days online!) As I … [Read more...]

Focusing Curiosity on Integrity

sunflower

“Gentle curiosity has a mysterious way of opening hearts; alternatively, harsh judgment tends to close them. “   I describe myself as a person who loves to garden. And there’s lots of evidence from my past that supports that statement. At the same time, curiously, when we moved to Austin, we elected to live in a condominium with only patio space for gardening. Also curious is the fact that presently most of my plants are dying. As Alice says, “Curiouser and … [Read more...]

Happy New Year!

angel

"In life, suffering does not seem to be optional. Suffering in silence, however, does." Today is the first day of the new church year and so a great time for new beginnings. As regular readers of this blog (well, better said, those who have attempted to read the non-existent regularly posted content) you have likely noticed that this blog has suffered from a very neglectful mother. I could offer several reasons for my neglect, and may over time, but presently I’m a bit tired of my own … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and friends

sunset

 “…through the door of my friend’s compassion for me, self-compassion came and softened my heart...” It was a simple note really, a text I got this morning from a dear friend:  “Thinking of you this morning- sending a little love your way.” Surprisingly, that short, thoughtful text message stirred up a great deal of unexpected emotion in me. You see, what was not said, but clearly understood, is that she’s sending me love because she knows how much I need it right now.  She … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and self-advocacy

beauty

“It is hard to extend compassion to ourselves when others are not doing the same.” It is hard to learn to actively offer compassion to ourselves, to advocate for ourselves. We are given so many messages that say we are supposed to wait for others to discover our needs and find the compassion and courage to advocate for us. And we are fed so many messages that say we are over-reacting when we speak our genuine pain and suffering because it may not look like the pain and suffering of … [Read more...]

Settle for More

fredericksburg 041

"Faith moves us toward that which we cannot see" I will be on Midday Connection at noon today talking about chapter one of My Own Worst Enemy. We will be exploring the story of Lot’s wife and how her hesitancy to imagine and move toward a life different from what she had known sabotaged her calling to live radiantly. This is a brief snippet from the book to whet your appetite.  Turn in today or download the podcast at your convenience. Her Only Escape Was Unknown Territory The … [Read more...]

Listening broadly

lace

"We see God all around us, and learn to look for God in unusual places." This beautiful post by a fellow Patheos blogger, Enuma Okoro, reminded me of the gift of seeing broadly, of seeing God in life encounters… Here’s the story of two other women, Naomi and Ruth, who listened broadly… “It is no mistake that the two books named for women in the Bible, Ruth and Esther, have a similar sense of God at work.  In both books, God is more the undercurrent than the obvious force, more … [Read more...]


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