You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2023.

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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