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: 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...]

Repentance redefined: silent no more

tools

Day 2:            "The pattern of Hannah’s spiritual growth echoes that of many, many other women in Scripture: growth toward a larger sense of voice and personhood rather than silence." I grew up in a faith tradition that believed women were to be seen and not heard in the church and, for most part, at home, too. Based on a few verses from the Epistles, an entire gender, including myself, was silenced. Yet new questions rose within me as I began to listen to the collective … [Read more...]

“M” is for mystery and for mystic

cloud dump

"The more I listened, the more I recognized within myself a deep hunger to be more aware of the Mystery all around me." I don’t know why it is that when I attempt to meditate, my mind resorts to Dr. Seuss. It has been more than 30 years since I was first read Dr. Seuss’s ABCs to our son, but it is still stuck deep in the crevasses of my neural folds. Big “A” little “a”, what begins with “A”? Aunt Annie’s alligator “A”, “A”, “A.” Big “B” little “b” what … [Read more...]

A Holy Rant

IMG_2093

Why is it that most Christians assume that spirituality is a unisex reality? Why have I, in 55 years of church attendance, never heard a sermon on gender differences in spirituality and only one that even acknowledged it as real (thanks Bob C.)? Why is it that in a culture where we talk more and more about gender difference in how we shop and have heart attacks and think, we neglect to talk about how we experience God differently? Why is there not a course in gender different … [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...]

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 … [Read more...]

Welcoming interruption, welcoming transformation

butterfly

"Transformation is real and it can make us into a woman we would never have imaged, a woman who feels at once like a stranger and a friend..." I’ve run across a few things this week that brought up the topic of interruption… A conversation with a directee and this insightful and concretely helpful blog post by Chris Corrigan. As often happens with me, those thoughts connected to the story of a woman in Scripture, the woman with the hemorrhage. Her whole story is presented to us as … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and limitations

Georgia

"The moments when we meet our limitations are often the times when we struggle the most with self-compassion." It has been an exciting week in the Davis household. On Tuesday, we welcomed our first grand child, Georgia Lynn Burleson-Davis.  Isn’t she beautiful? Though 3 weeks earlier than we anticipated, her birth went marvelously well and her parents are taking spectacular care of her… so my husband and I are trying to support them in their many sleepless nights with meals and a … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and not-so-easy small choices

pool party

One of the challenges of learning the spiritual practice of self-compassion is that it most often comes to us in the shape of not-so-easy small choices. Think of Mary of Bethany who courageously chose to sit at Jesus’ feet to learn... And stayed there even when her sister complained bitterly. Think of the woman with the hemorrhage who hoped beyond reason, bravely and illegally entered the fray of the crowd, and reached out to touch the hem of the Rabbi believing she would be healed... … [Read more...]


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