Spiritual Formation

Faithfulness 2020

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What is your faithfulness? This is a question I’ve learned from the Quakers this year in my spiritual direction training. It’s a gentle question that orients me in confusing situations, carries with it the whisper to look to the triune God for all, and welcomes me to drop into my unique selfhood. It isn’t a mandate, another link in the chain of “should” that weaves and pulls through my life. It is a question asked in trust and respect, honoring the wisdom I’ve gained, acknowledging the weaknesses and limits I have. There is space in it. As my social media has exploded with proclamations of […]

Beloved

Beloved in Grief and Disappointment

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I am so glad to host Kristen Leigh Kludt on the blog this week. She wrote A Good Way Through, which I have on my resource page as a book that helps you find God in disappointment and gives guidance on practices that are helpful during that time. Be sure to check her offer for you to get a discount on her Field Guides for the Way at the end of the post! Without further ado, here are her words about finding God’s love in the midst of facing disappointment and disillusionment in the midst of infertility. Grief in the unknown: It is baffling. How […]

Being Present

Michelle DeRusha on Letting Go

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(Jump down to continue reading from email) Today we have the honor of a guest post from author Michelle DeRusha who just released her newest book, True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created on January 1, 2019. I’ve read a few books about uncovering your true self with God, and this one really encompasses the journey well. The metaphor of fukinaoshi (Japanese pruning to an open center) is so perfect for structuring the book and the topic. She weaves her personal story, Biblical story, historical story, science, and gardening into such a beautiful exposition of this essential journey. […]

Advent

Let There Be Light

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Light’s radiance—there is a core from which it comes, its spreading brilliance splaying on anything or anyone. The visible spectrum rays touch the surface of things, irrespective of what they fall on to. But the invisible ultraviolet rays penetrate into the darkness underneath, into walls and bodies, dense and hidden innards. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the power of his word.” Hebrews 1:3 In this winter season of darkness, of waiting for Christmas where we don’t see fully yet, may we take notice of the light of Jesus speckling our lives […]

Being Present

How to Unpack Your Burdens with Jesus

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“Come to me, you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30 It is hard to receive these life-giving words into our hearts, despite our desperate “I want it!” Why? There may be many reasons, but mine is most often an unwillingness to unpack my dirty underwear. Let me explain. I am currently facing too many assignments, far more than I can accomplish in a day than […]

Attitudes

Why should a Christian practice “being present”?

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For some Christians, practicing being present sounds too other religion-y, too “out-there”, too vague. To Christians who love the “go” of the gospel, who find purpose in a mission, and joy in activity, being told to “be present” is too inactive, even a trap of the devil to stop the forward motion of the kingdom. Aren’t we supposed to be looking forward to Jesus’ coming and the full expression of his kingdom? Yes, we are. Aren’t we supposed to turn from our old selves? Yes, we are. But these are not the only aspects of following Jesus. We follow him today, too. So, why is […]

Attitudes

Being Hospitable is Central to Following Jesus

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Being hospitable is all about making space, a push to the jumble of our commitments, a pull of invitation for someone to enter despite the topsy-turvy evidence of messy, beautiful lives. Whether having someone come to my place or meeting someone elsewhere, if you are like me, you have a mental, maybe physical, closet stash of hustled miscellany out of sight. These thoughts tumble into my mental space frequently, like ubiquitous dust bunnies floating about the space. Mental dustpan in hand, I sweep these distractions up again so that I can direct my attention to my friend. This making space – temporal, mental and physical […]

Attitudes

When Fear Holds Hunger in Its Teeth

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Last week I wrote about how I discern the voice of fear and the voice of Love. This week we are starting our month-long focus on “Hunger” and how it pertains to a centered life. I am sharing from my personal experience and hope that it stimulates your hunger for God! I have written the following in truth and love, especially for my heritage. It is not glamorous, in fact, it may be painful to some. But I am trying to illumine what God has shown me as He has wrought more freedom into my life. I pray for your freedom as you read. I […]

Spiritual Formation

What are you going to do when your goals get interrupted this year?

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With a vicious flourish I slammed the comforter off and stomp-tiptoed rapidly down the stairs to the kitchen, an earplug in hand, everything fuzzy, like looking through a camera with snowflakes covering the lens, for I hadn’t put on my glasses. One thing was flashing in my mind – Stop that incessant banging! My sleep-in morning had been cut short and my overly tired kids’ sleep-in morning was being threatened by the culprit. My poor husband was standing at the sink making coffee, as quietly as he could I’m sure, while our exuberant puppy was whomping his new hard plastic blue bone underneath the table. […]

Encouragement

Learning to Host by Being a Guest

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Who would have thought that from a deeply shaded house, quiet and reserved in the center of the neighborhood, would come a quiet girl to set the table for so many? My childhood was wrapped comfortably around the dinner table, and dearest memories of deep conversation with Mom, Dad and Brother hold me grounded even today. My introverted family loved to be hospitable to each other where all thoughts, wonderings, jokes and ideas were lingered over in the settled peace of acceptance. From this deep, delightful beginning God has taken me to tables far and wide. Before I learned to host, I learned to be […]