Looking for the Living

deep waters

I had the pleasure of being a part of an ordination service a few weeks ago at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston.   It was a lovely space and a wonderful service. Walking in, a friend and I commented on how you could smell the history of this place… the beautiful aged wood and generations of incense and prayer.  Somewhere in the process of the service, I noticed a beautiful stained glass window behind the altar. Though the image I offer you now is not very good (I really need a class in iPho … [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 earn … [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 is familiar with my … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and unconditional love

oregon wet

“...will we dare to grow up… into the one who extends the unconditional love and deep compassion of Jesus to ourselves?”I have recently been re-reading The Return of the Prodigal by Henri Nouwen, a thoughtful book reflecting on the story of the prodigal son through the lens of Rembrandt’s painting of the same.  Nouwen places himself inside each of the characters in that story and offers some wonderful reflections on the love of God.The part of the book that has caught my attention this we … [Read more...]

Something about God

fredericksburg 098

“When I speak about God, I offer my words as a beginning...”My fellow Patheos blogger, Tony Jones, issued a challenge  this week to those who call themselves “Theo-bloggers” to “Write something substantive about God. Not about Jesus, not about the Bible, but about God.”Since I am just now owning the title of blogger,  Theo-blogger feels like a stretch.I am also still in that “four generations of women needing extra care” family space, so these aren’t deeply seasoned words.But … [Read more...]

Crazy like Jesus

mimosa

“The soul of society is law; the soul of community is love.”-Roberto RosselliniAbout a year ago, I was at a women’s retreat where one of the icebreaker questions for Friday evening was something like, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”As we went from woman to woman, a bit of a theme emerged, many saying in one way or another that they hoped to become a “crazy old woman” as they aged.  Though those responses were obviously humorous, I think they also referenced a deep desir … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and resistance

camellia

"We tend to believe that we welcome compassion; that the world could never have enough.  At the same time, we often resist compassion,..."She was my first introduction to these thoughts on our resistance to compassion.  I have to admit that every time I read the words of this early review of my most recent book, My Own Worst Enemy, I still flinch. “Out of everything that I disagreed with the most in this book I can't complete this review without stating that adultery is NEVER okay. Yo … [Read more...]

Self-compassion: sorting guilt and shame

the vine

“Self-compassion is an extension of Jesus’ compassion…” In my life and work, one of the most helpful pieces of Brene Brown’s work is the way she distinguished guilt and shame. Guilt says: I’ve done a bad thing. It is behavior focused.  It is positively correlated with healthy change. Self is not threatened so it does not need to be defensive. Shame says: I am bad. It is personhood focused.  It is positively correlated with self-destructive behavior. Self is threatened so often goes into defens … [Read more...]

God’s love: the source of self-compassion

yellow rose

“Self-compassion allows us to access a safe space of love and belonging in the midst of our imperfection because it is sourced in a Love beyond ourselves.” My own journey toward self-compassion began with a simple observation from a passage of scripture I’ve known for a long time:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we our … [Read more...]


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