Invitation: One Word for 2014

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  There’s a scene in my book where I’m praying with my spiritual director, Debby. She asks me to sit quietly with God, and eventually, after minutes of silence, instructs me to ask God for one word. One word. That day, I sat on her floral loveseat begging my brain and my soul to stop [Read More...]

Light Your Candles Quietly: Keeping Advent with Mary, Vol. 1 (A Repost)

"Light your candles quietly, such candles as you possess, wherever you are" -Alfred Delp

  This week I’m working to finish edits on my book. In my absence, I’ll be reposting a three-part series from last year. Here’s Vol. 1. Happy Advent, friends. _______ I need to finish unpacking my house. I might pop a blood vessel if I don’t get pictures hung up soon. I’ve hardly thought about [Read More...]

Courage to love

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The thing about humans is that in order to understand one another, we must sacrifice a bit of ourselves. It’s difficult to empathize because to do so is to reject the most self-protective part of our nature. To love is to be vulnerable and vulnerability is a dangerous thing. I get that. You want to [Read More...]

One Good Phrase: Diana Trautwein (One day at a time)

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I wish Diana Trautwein and I lived in the same town. If we did, I would force her to meet me for coffee every week and tell me what she’s reading. And then I’d make her be my spiritual director. And then I’d be really sweet and ask her to preach me a sermon. Every [Read More...]

Accidental Simplicity (A guest post for D.L. Mayfield)

  My friend D.L. Mayfield has been hosting a series at her blog about “Downward Mobility,” what it looks like to pursue less stuff and, in doing so, live more fully. When she asked me to contribute, all I could think was how I should not be the poster child for pursuing less stuff. I [Read More...]

One Good Phrase: Jennifer Grant (…For a Reason)

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I’ve only begun to get to know Jennifer Grant this year, but in these several months I have found her genuine, kind, and always willing to encourage and advise a newbie writer like me. It’s a treat to have her as part of this series. – If you’re a parent, you’ve likely been through something [Read More...]

To St. Benedict, on his feast day (A repost from last year)

My Dearest Benedict, You and I didn’t meet in the regular way. I wasn’t making lifelong vows in a sacred space, a cross pressed to my chest, holy fingers on my forehead. Instead, I was soaking in an Epson salt bath, recovering from birthing a child. (Something I’m guessing, you encountered little of in your [Read More...]

Pentecost and my new post at a Deeper Church

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I have a new post up at a Deeper Church about Pentecost, the daily physical stuff of life, and the question my son’s Sunday School asks him every week: “Are you ready to worship God?”   “’I will not take you out of the world.’ There are enormous implications here that I can so easily [Read More...]

One Good Phrase: Tanya Marlow (Do It Anyway)

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Tanya Marlow would probably not admit it, but she is brave. That’s why I’m drawn to her writing and her view of the world. Tanya has a disease that has forced her to live almost entirely housebound, but I find her vision of life refreshingly big and beautiful. Though she is a lovely English lady across [Read More...]

Holy Week

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Friends, I like for us to spend our Holy Week at Mama Monk quietly, contemplatively. So I’ll be mostly silent around here, though I will be posting every day from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. My posts will be reflective in nature: art, poems, and quotes to go with each day of the week and [Read More...]