One week. That’s how long we have before our church building is turned over to the new buyer. There are 1000s of books to clean out of the library. We have stacks of porcelain plates. Gigantic pots line the kitchen shelves.

Ideally, much of it would find new homes. In reality? Our dumpster is empty and only five people have been doing the work. One now has a back injury. Another is driving one of the vehicles moving his son to a new city several states away. My husband and I have cycled from the installation of a new roof after a storm to a plumbing repair.

For months now as we’ve worked on our church move, my prayer life has lagged. I just haven’t had the heart. Clearing out has been hard, but there have also been moments of light. These moments have reinvigorated my prayer life.

On Sunday afternoon, I worked in the library. I was cleaning off a table where someone else had stacked volume after volume. Hymnals. Books on playing the organ. And, what’s this. A book of Common Prayer. I flipped it open and found prayers for Epiphany. We’re far from that season but I glanced down and read:

“Almighty and Everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people…”

God had heard our supplications. Our building sold in less than a week. We no longer have to worry about finances. The roof that was incorrectly installed? Not our problem.

Cleaning out the church I’ve loved for years wasn’t my ideal job, but it did reinvigorate my prayer life. Beside my chair sit a book of common prayer and a missal, neither of which I had seen until the day I was working to clear off that table in the library. We still have a mountain of work before us, but I no longer feel quite so alone.


We human beings want to KNOW.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I’ve posted about our church moving to a new location. It has been a huge undertaking with a lot of hand wringing.

One of the worries was our garden. We hadn’t planted the beds yet but what about our trees? It’s a stretch to call it an orchard but we have four apple trees and a cherry bush. The buyer doesn’t want them so three of us decided to give moving them a try.

The reaction was, to put it kindly, mixed. One person assured us that we were setting the church up for a lawsuit because we were breaking the real estate deal. Another pointed out that we would kill the apple trees. Some people had no fixed opinion but they still challenged our plan.

We quickly discovered that the roots of the cherry extended far beyond the bush. There was no way to dig it up. So we focused on the apple trees.

We’d done a bit of research. The most consistent information we could find was that the trees would likely survive but they would not fruit for several years. Funnily enough, we forgot to read this to the trees. Not only did they bloom but there are now tiny apples.

Three of our four blooming apple trees.

God’s creation is amazingly resilient but this is a reminder of more than that. We human beings want to know. We spend a lot of time codifying things. If x, then y.

The problem is that not everything is easy to predict. Only God is all knowing. And that’s okay. We made it through moving the apple trees. Now we’re going to attempt to transplant volunteer cherries that have come up below the original bush. It may not work but who knows? We certainly don’t have a clue. And I’m okay with that.


Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Last Sunday our pastor preached on Christ as our cornerstone. He wanted to focus on this because of the emphasis in the coronation of Charles III on the Stone of Destiny. If, like me, you gave the coronation a miss, you might now know that Britain’s monarchs are crowned atop this stone (set in the floor) that was stolen from Scotland. More than simply being part of the coronation ceremony, it arrived in its present location through war, violence, and empire.

Why was this critical to understanding the importance of Christ as our cornerstone? It was a matter of contrast but it took me a moment to understand that.

I understood a cornerstone as being important to the foundation. Which it is.

But the pastor explained that this is vital in multiple ways. A cornerstone is the first stone laid. Level, it assures that the walls and the building are level. Positioned correctly, it assures that the building faces in the intended direction with lines that are true.

So think about that for a moment. The Stone of Destiny acts as a cornerstone even today for the monarchy. It was taken. It is held. It is a symbol of might and power and repression. Note: There are my words, not the pastor’s.

But Christ as a cornerstone? Christ came to us with love. He offered grace and salvation.

When he is truly our cornerstone, this orients us in a very different way to the rest of the world. When we prayerfully focus on Him, we reflect love and grace, salvation and joy out into the world.

The Stone of Destiny or Christ or something else altogether? Which is your cornerstone?


My Thanksgiving cactus in the silver drip pan.

Recently, I reconnected with a high school friend on Facebook. Not long afterwards, I posted a photo of one of my house plants. We compared notes on our two Thanksgiving cactus and how both were in bloom. She had just started using an app for house plants and said her plants were doing better than ever before.

Now I have to admit that some plants do really well for me. Others may survive. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe an app would help.

I loaded Flora and added photos of my 18 different plants. Not surprisingly, Flora is not entirely impressed with my plant care. I should not be watering every plant I own on the same day. My air plants need to be watered every five days. My Thanksgiving cactus needs to be watered weekly. Apparently I need to quit having the same expectations for every plant I own.

This got me thinking about some of my recent interactions with my fellow human beings. Lately I’ve been really frustrated with someone I have to work with on a particular project. I like her a lot but she is one of the least focused people on the planet. We can come up with a plan but then she talks to someone else and she changes her mind about how things are going to be done.

Me? I’m goal focused. Set me on a path and get out of my way. I can change direction but it isn’t always pretty. I’d much rather be working with another friend who thinks the same way I do. Once we agree, we are off and running. But he isn’t on this project.

Flora made it clear that I should not be treating all of my plants the same way. The same thing goes for people.

God has populated this Earth with a wide variety of plants. Different plants need different conditions and present different gifts to the world. The same thing goes for people. Expecting the same thing from everyone is just going to be counterproductive.

Hopefully, as I take care of my various plants and their wide variety of needs, I’ll be reminded to be just as accepting of the variety I find in the people around me. We aren’t all Thanksgiving cactus or even air plants.


How do we know when we are doing what God would have us do? A few weeks ago, I blogged about discernment, one of several methods to pray as a group.

Another way that God speaks to us, or at least to me, is through music. This isn’t surprising since I sing in my church choir but this anthem, especially the chorus, has stuck with me this week. I’ve sampled just the final chorus for you all to hear.

Sometimes a song will stick with you because the tune is catchy. But other times it sticks with you because it was what you need to hear. In this case, it is a prayer for difficult times.

Be with me, Lord. When I’m in trouble and I don’t know what to do, be with me, Lord.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and the members of my home church. Your prayers and God’s Blessings have shone on us throughout this week.

The way ahead will not be easy but we will be traveling with Him in song and in prayer and with each other!


For those of you who don’t celebrate Ash Wednesday, it is the first day of Lent. Lent is a 40 day period of contemplation and prayer. The purpose? To be ready for Christ’s resurrection on Easter.

I know people who don’t like this particular church service but I find it peaceful. At our church, we tear cloth and nail it to a cross along with what we want to do for Lent.

Many people give something up. And I get that. You give something up in penitence. But instead of doing that, I’m reaching out to people. Part of the reason for this is that our church is going through a difficult time.

We are selling our building. Obviously this means that we will be moving. We think we know where but details are still being ironed out. It is such a stressful time and even this introvert knows that this is when we need each other.

Imagine my joy when I got home from church and sat down to write this post. I had a frantic message from my sister-in-law. “Your church is closing?” Turns out that that is the message that was posted on a community forum on Facebook. It took me four tries to come up with an accurate, polite response to post on the forum. My husband and I took turns responding to his sister.

“No, we aren’t closing. We are moving. If you’d like to stay informed, follow our church page. That way you’ll know what we are doing at our present location and at our new location.”

Ping – ping – ping. Between continued questions from my sister-in-law and various people on Facebook, I felt my blood pressure rising. Then I remembered nailing that slip of paper to the cross. Reach out. I’m not in this alone. I sent out a message. My husband and I now have plans to meet another couple from church for Saturday dinner.

When you feel the pressure of life, reach out. I know that Lori and Ruth have my back. So do these friends from church. And after I finished this post, I lit a candle in the dining room and sat in quiet contemplation.

I’m not in this alone.



I don’t think that anyone needs to be reminded that we live in divisive times.  Either you agree with someone or you are WRONG.  And you aren’t just a little wrong.  You are bad.

But when people work together it is a beautiful thing.  Recently, members of my church decided to use prayerful discernment to make a decision. If you aren’t familiar with discernment, it is when a group of people pray for an answer to a question.  Quite often it is “what should we do?” 

The reasons behind working together are simple.  None of us has a complete understanding of God’s will.  I see what I am capable of seeing.  You hear what you can hear.  There is much that we both miss.  But you and I working with other people? As a group, we will hear and see more completely.

That means that to work, discernment must be inclusive. And it also involves waiting for an answer. I don’t know about you, but waiting is where I often fall short.

For discernment to work, we must wait for an answer and not outrun the Holy Spirit. What do you do while you’re waiting? Read scripture. And listen, as St. Benedict put it, with the ear of our heart. 

In discernment, there isn’t a right answer and a wrong answer.  There is a Faithful answer. Both my concerns and your concerns must be addressed. This is very different from “the majority rules” or “you can’t please everybody.”  For discernment to work, we must hear what everyone has to say and we act accordingly.

The path ahead may be difficult. But that’s okay because with discernment you are traveling that path as a group. The sure footed can help those who need a hand over the rough spots. Those with a good sense of direction can point the way. Working together. It’s a pretty amazing thing when we pull it off.


When I read Miss Ruth’s post, I recalled a quote that had something to do with being at rest. I poked through our library of images until I found it.

There is no doubt about it. We are a nation of people who value accomplishments. We have organizers and to do lists and chimes on our phones. We have schedules and calendars and dry erase boards galore. And they are all telling us what to do. Keeping track of our busy-ness.

I’d like to ask you to do a little something in honor of Miss Ruth and yourself and even Our Maker. Take some time to simply be. Light a candle. Sit outside with a cup of tea. Take a deep breath or three or ten. And just be.

Rest, recharge and breathe.

You can do it. If it helps, add it to your list of things to accomplish. Sometimes that is all the busy that you need.





A peaceful waterfall with crystal blue water and white foam cascading over jagged brown cliffs. Foliage on trees are of varying autumn shades of orange, green and yellow. White, cottony clouds hover overhead.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.” Carl Jung

My New Year’s resolution may sound trite, but it’s been revolutionary in my own life: 

Do more of the things I love to do, with people I like to be with.

I love my sisters-of-the soul, Lori and SueBE, with all my heart, and enjoy writing posts for our blog, but I had to take some time away. Gratefully, they’ve loved me and prayed for me from afar, even when I’ve fallen off the radar.

My projects include advocating for others in the vision loss community, and I tend to go all in. But it led to a point where my own reserves of resources were low. 

I had to get back to center and sit in stillness. Doing just what I’m doing right now: Breathing. Being. Decompressing. 

In those moments, I’m able to get in touch with what’s on my heart. Issues that are complex and deeply rooted came to the fore, and, in this clear, calm state, healing started to happen. 

I found it was possible to deconstruct pain from the past and release it, with the help of an online therapist and a technique called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Rebuild from the inside out, so my foundation is strong going forward. 

So, I’ve been doing small things I love to do, and, at the same time, fixing big problems. 

The truth is, I’m fine as I am. You’re fine, just as you are. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to improve yourself; it means you finally love yourself as God loves you. That’s a habit that’s hard to learn. 

The first step is to unlearn what you were taught by your parents, peers, and people in the world. All of them want you to conform to a metric of comparison to others. But there’s no one else in the world like you.  

The second step is to put yourself first as you help others. That might sound contradictory, but, as flight attendants always say, you have to put on your own oxygen mask first.  

Just what you’re doing right now. That’s what you should be doing now. You’ve taken the time to read this post, so that means you have a free moment. 

You’ve chosen to read a blog about prayer and positivity, so it means you’re receptive to God’s nudges. 

You’re letting this sink in, so that means you’re ready to hear your own soul telling you it needs rest. There’s no need to strive or prove yourself. If you’re here, you need to hear this: all is well. You are worthy. Just be where you are right now. It’s just where you’re meant to be.

Walking Prayer

Wow. I can’t believe that it has been ten years since I first blogged about walking prayer. For a lot of us, walking prayer seems like a good idea.

Maybe, like me, you have troubles sitting and focusing. When you try to do that, you end up battling your monkey mind. Get back here and concentrate! And really, that’s okay if that’s what you want to do. Don’t chastise yourself when your mind wanders, Just gently direct your attention back to . . . your breathing. The prayer you are reciting.

But I do much better when I can move and pray simultaneously. As bad as I am at sitting still, you might think I am athletic. You’d be wrong. I’m just not good at being idle. Movement helps me focus.

If you Google walking prayer, you are going to find information on walking a set path. Some people walk the Stations of the Cross. Others walk a labyrinth. I prefer to walk my neighborhood although I will sometimes drive to a local labyrinth.

When I start my walk, I focus on my breathing.  I try to breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5. This focus on something as simple as breathing, when paired with walking, slows my mind and stills those monkey thoughts.

Sometimes I have a prayer concern, When this is the case, I gently consider the situation. This isn’t tight focus. I’m leaving myself open to hear God. If I don’t have a prayer concern, I pray about whatever crosses my mind. When I pass a school, I pray for students and staff. I pray for a neighbor whose son I haven’t seen in a while. I pray for that nice couple whose car had to be towed when it wouldn’t start.

It has been cold and icy here lately. That means that walking prayer is a hazardous undertaking. Yes, I can walk on my treadmill but it is not quiet and thus is not conducive to prayer. But I can use my phone to listen to meditative music on Youtube. Or I can choose nature sounds. With these in the background I can sometimes focus.

Other times I light a candle and watch the flame. Admittedly, I take my glasses off to soften the focus.

I get out my prayer beads. As each bead passes through my fingers, I say a prayer for someone.

What do you do when you have troubles focusing? Maybe what works for you will help someone else as well.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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