Earlier this week, I had big feelings over small things.I cried over Christmas lights. It wasn't pretty. I was skeptical and cranky about our tree. But today, the tree is decorated with a colorful cacophony of memories and strung with not-LED colored lights. The sun is hitting it just so--illuminating the striped glass ball that used to hang … Continue reading What are You Seeking this Advent?
Here we are. It's Holy Week. In the middle of a pandemic. We are being braced for increasingly difficult and heartbreaking weeks ahead. May I offer a prayer practice? The week before life in Minnesota shut down for the virus, I spent my Tuesday night at a class for directing the Extended Ignatian Exercises. Participants … Continue reading Praying through Holy Week in a Pandemic
"Come and see . . ." These may just be my favorite words in the Bible today. I say today, because maybe other words will hold that distinction tomorrow. For today, "Come and see" sends a breath of life into my heart. These words are an invitation to not know now. I am invited to … Continue reading Come and See: The Invitation of Imaginative Prayer
On New Year's Eve, I said good-night to my 11-year-old, and the weight of a decade hit me in the chest. Where were we 10 years ago? In another life. Another city, a different house, we only had two kids, neither in school yet. Time and circumstances have reshaped the way we spend our time … Continue reading What Does it Mean to Live Yes? (On Marking Time and Living Forward)
Last year, when December was just around the corner, and I noticed that my to-do list was becoming more and more consuming, I asked the question: "How do I want to be this season?" I knew that the answer was not: stressed or focused on buying things or getting stuff done. Rather, I wanted to … Continue reading An Advent Calendar for Wonder and an Open Heart
Before I get lost in the to-do list. Before I jot down lists of presents to buy. Before I stock my pantry in anticipation of Christmas baking. Before I get out ornaments and lights. I need to take a breath. I need to take another breath. I need to pull out my journal and sit … Continue reading What Does Your Soul Need for Christmas? (or preparing for a contemplative holiday season with questions)
Have you tried the practice of being? This may be my favorite spiritual practice ever. Find a quiet spot, sit still, and breathe. That's all. It sounds so easy. But I am quick to forget how to do nothing. There is always something to do. Someplace to go. It is easy to fall out of … Continue reading The Practice of Being
An ache lodges in my chest late summer. I long to drink in the blueness of the sky and treasure each cumulus cloud drifting overhead. I want to absorb all of the sunlit warmth my body can hold. I want to hold on to the cricket songs and bird melodies, the cicada's thrum. I don't … Continue reading Glory. Glory. And Gone.
Wonder is on my Christmas list this year. Why wonder? Faith starts with wonder according to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. In God in Search of Man, he writes: "The sense for the 'miracles which are daily with us,' the sense for the 'continual marvels,' is the source of prayer." In contrast, "The surest way to … Continue reading Cultivating Wonder
What do you hope for this Advent? I found myself asking this question the other day. I wrote down answers like: I hope for a heart full of wonder. I hope for a heart open to mystery and the holy. I hope for a heart that is ever softening and expanding. I hope for a … Continue reading An Advent “To-Be” List