Category: thoughts

Sabbath Rest

My faith has been deepened by allowing Scripture to engage my imagination. The idea of a Sabbath Rest following the awful events of Good Friday has always fascinated me. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on that first Holy Saturday.

It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:54-56

Whose idea was a day of rest anyway? She thought. Remembering it wasn’t that long ago that he healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath and in the Temple too. That really angered the priests. The silence in the room was deafening, looking at the other women in the house she couldn’t understand how they all sat so still. The preparations had been made, yet the awful events of the previous day tortured her mind, as did the smell of his blood on her. She had stood near his cross and watched it flow, mixed with some watery substance. It splashed all over her and the group that stood together in disbelief. Then it was warm and fragrant, now it was sticky and itched. The dryness made her rub her arm without thought, some relief. But there would be no relief from the images and sounds that ran wild in her mind, the heavy dark wood, the sound of the hammer pounding, those thorns, the blood. It all caused her to tingle inside. Once the preparations had been made, there was nothing to do but “rest.” The slow movement of the sun kept them caged, prisoners of the ancient rest. Each woman left with her own sorrow to bear. No one had slept. Someone sobbed all night long, she tried to muffle her sorrow, to no avail, they all felt the same deep anguish and silently mourned with her.

She had had many sleepless nights, but the loneliness she once suffered was gone. Although surrounded by faithful friends she could almost hear those cold hollow voices, teasing her again. Would her “darkness” return? Was this new circle of friends enough to sustain her? Had he taught her enough to make it on her own? Could any of them make it without him? How was it that those hypocrites had won? What went wrong? She shook her head to lose the thoughts – Sunrise, the time would pass, and she would be free to go to him and fulfil the ancient customs of preparing his body – at least her hands would be busy and hopefully her mind wouldn’t wander. Being busy might prevent her doubts from engulfing her. The waiting was miserable. They barely got him in the tomb before the sun had gone down. The walk back to the house was wretched – at least they knew where he had been laid. She felt sorry for the men. She had been a witness to what happened, although it was awful at least she had been there for him. Unlike the men who had to hide – but she was a woman, and one that could easily go unnoticed. Finally, her infamy worked to her advantage. It was painful to watch him die, but maybe her presence brought him some comfort. The men wouldn’t have that consolation. For the first time she thanked God that she was a woman.

Her thoughts drifted back to his lifeless body alone in the dark, cold tomb; unprepared, rotting. Nothing could be done until the Sabbath passed. She waited for the sunset. She used to dread the sunset – the darkness, the loneliness. In the darkness she was alone, so much confusion. Hands and faces; strange men and their reproachful eyes. Their sweaty foul bodies near her, on her. The humility, the clicking tongues. The dark voices and shifting shadows, and there always was the overwhelming dread of lost memories. Her days were full of scornful looks and uncertainty of what had happened during the night. But he had delivered her from all that. If she could get through this day, she would have the opportunity to serve him, again, to honor him, lovingly devoted to caring for his body. It was the least she could do after all he had done for her … the way it should be. But now – this insufferable Sabbath rest. It was a torturous episode of constrained mourning, sitting, and thinking. The hunger gnawed her insides, no one had time yesterday to prepare food for this Sabbath. Slowly the sun withdrew its light from the sky, the new day began.

Finally, work could begin again, a chance to bathe. The water was cool against her dry itchy skin. The relief was overwhelming. She felt a quiet sorrow at washing his life’s blood off her, but the clean felt so good. Her thoughts drifted back to his body. She wondered if she could bear to see him dead. It was one thing to watch his life’s spirit leave his limp, broken body, but it would be another to see him, cold and stiff. The other women spoke calmly as they dressed for bed. She wasn’t calm, her body was finally clean but the scratchy feelings inside remained. When he died, her hope died. She began to wonder how long it would be before her “darkness” would overtake her. The voices were returning, although dim, she could hear their jarring. They brought back doubt. No! She wouldn’t give into doubt. She stood up quickly and joined the other women as they packed for the morning, the embalming spices and fresh linen, a bit of flat bread, a jar of water. Each of them longed to see him again; but they all knew this would be the last time.

Carefully finishing their preparations, the women readied themselves for sleep. Settling in, her mind drifted back to their first meeting. She could almost hear the warmth of his prayers for her deliverance. His voice pierced the hum of cold voices that had engulfed her for years. His hands were strong yet kind and gentle as he helped her stand. She remembered how her body squirmed and twisted and the groans and growling her “darkness” made as it left her body. She lashed out at him in a voice that was not her own, spitting words of defiance. Then – gone, the darkness departed and all she should see was his face, his strong dark face, smiling at her. This memory brought her deep peace and her body finally rested.

The quiet movement of the women woke her. They all knew what needed to be done, they dressed and prepared without discussion. The sky was still dark but there was enough light to see the pathway. The fresh air was filled with so many smells, smells of life, not of death. The long day of waiting was over. The women glanced back and forth at one another, now the dread of uncertainty plagued them. Someone whispered something about the stone. Who was strong enough among them to move it? No one had thought of that, maybe together they could budge it. As they walked their pace quickened. Another woman heard a rumor that guards had been placed by the tomb. In all their preparation, no one had thought of these obstacles, it didn’t matter. Their one thought was the care of his body, a proper burial. It seemed to take an eternity to get there. It was brighter now, and the pathway was clear. As they hurried along the air was suddenly filled with a loud noise. The ground underneath her feet began to move. More noises, as they came around the last curve in the pathway, they could see the tomb where he had been laid. The stone was already moved, the earth’s movement must have shaken it loose. One of the women reached the tomb quickly. Gone! His body was gone. In panic and disbelief, the women began to sob and scream. They dispersed. Her heart was broken; she felt her chest would burst. Could she stand much more torment?

Without thinking she began to run. She knew where his men were hiding. It was time for them to do something. Down the path, into town, she knew they’d still be in the upper room. She thrust the door open. Her voice was shrill, she couldn’t control her anguish. At her words they jumped up at once. A few of them pushed her aside and began to run. They had also been suffering during the long distressing Sabbath, but now they were free, free to act. They ran wildly to the crypt. It was true, his body was gone. She followed them, hopelessly lost in the confusion.

Weeping, she wandered the garden surrounding the tomb, she was alone again. The murky whispers began to return – the darkness teasing at her vision, lost in utter despair, she stumbled to the ground. Her face and hair wet with tears, she saw someone standing near her. Surely, he must have moved his body or at least seen what had happened. She begged him to tell her where the body was, in her anguish she promised to retrieve him no matter where it had been taken to. She needed to finish what she had set out to do that day, to anoint him, to prepare him for his final rest. If she could only do this one closing act of obligation, she would have lived with a purpose. Even if the darkness overtook her, she needed to find his body and care for it. She fell to the ground lost in her mourning, begging for answers. Quietly a warm familiar voice answered, “Mary.”

If you’re interested in exploring how your imagination can deepen your faith, try my Contemplative Exercise for Holy Saturday by click here.

My Scratchy Relationship with Thanksgiving

I have had an odd relationship with the idea of thankfulness. My earliest memories of being thankful came wrapped up in the torturous duty of writing thank-you notes. I know my young mother was trying to instill within me a sense of being thankful. But the task was always tinged with duty and properness. I recall sharply her edits of my thank-you notes, “Write it again.”

Full of childhood spelling and grammatical errors, her rebuke told me that my attempts to express my gratitude were — not enough. I may have only been 9 years of age. The message came through though, my thankfulness wasn’t enough, unless it was perfectly and properly expressed.

My parents caught the tail end of WW2. I scarcely remember ever going without food, I grew up in a nice home, with more than I ever needed. But this was not my parents’ experience. My mother was from a large family with a single mom growing up in east Los Angeles. My father was the only boy in a family of rice farmers in west Louisiana, hard working poor people. They both struggled with hunger and lived a life of general lack.

My childhood was overflowing with the things they never had. And they were going to make sure I knew how blessed I was. Especially at dinner time. The meal was not complete without the command to EAT everything on my plate.

“You should be thankful! There are starving children in Africa!” Along with this was the shameful admonition, “Be thankful you’re not one of them.” It was difficult to reconcile the idea that I should be thankful my life wasn’t as miserable as those “starving children.” So, thankfulness became more about guilt and lip service to parents who lived an experience I knew nothing about.

I was in my early 20s when I participated in a project to provide school supplies to low-income families. It was raining hard the day I delivered a backpack full of new school supplies to a single mother in a town only about 12 miles from my comfortable home. The place was on a small dark street with little parking. I struggled through the dirty rainwater and finally found the home, a tiny back house. When the woman opened the door, I was shocked at the condition of the building. I could see the rain water draining from the larger property under the door’s threshold. I say “threshold,” but there wasn’t much left of it, all broken away with rotting wood. The children standing behind her were full of joy at receiving new things for school. I was overwhelmed and left feeling so selfish that I had complained about my new shoes getting wet in the rain.

There it was again. Thanksgiving enmeshed in the shame of having more and not being one of “them.” Unable to reconcile, I ignored the contradiction. Never taking the time to sort through what it meant or how I should deal with it. Funny how you can avoid reconciling inner contractions until you can’t …

About 10 years ago one of my children was traumatically injured in a terrible car accident. She should have died. She didn’t. As she struggled to recover from a multitude of brain injuries and physical limitations, the “encouragement” came in from well-meaning friends. “Oh, be thankful she’s alive.”

Yes, I know, I was thankful she was alive, but my feelings of thankfulness could never replace the confusion, doubt, and pure grief I was experiencing. As if thankfulness were some kind of magic salve to make suffering vanish. Does one necessarily replace the other? Can’t they exist together? Both components in negotiating the messiness of life? Can we experience gratitude and sadness at the same time? I was thankful she was alive, but at what cost? And how did being thankful make things better? I sat by her bedside day after day trying to reconcile this paradox.

I asked God to help me. I wanted desperately to be thankful that she was alive, but I was also faced with the devastation of her diminished life. As I prayed, I felt directed to look at Scripture and discover what wisdom I could find there.

Down a rabbit-hole I went, which happens often. First, I stumbled upon all the expected definitions of thanksgiving. Acknowledging what has been done for you or given to you. Then the concept of a “sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Something that is offered at the conclusion of a great battle. Thanking God for a victory. I was still waiting for my victory. Yet, this idea was connected to the phrase a “sacrifice of peace.”
A sacrifice of peace. That is what I needed: PEACE. In Hebrew the word for this type of sacrifice is Shelem. That is so close to the ancient greeting of peace, Shalom. I believe they have the same root.

Shelem, noun;
     1. Peace offering requital, sacrifice for alliance or friendship.
     2. Voluntary sacrifice of thanks.

That was it! VOLUNTARY. A voluntary offering of thanks. This offering was nothing required or demanded. Nothing you “should” do, but something offered voluntarily.

This sharpened my understanding of what my mother was trying to do. She was trying to instill within me an idea of thankfulness yet the motivation was all wrong. She aimed at the ACT of thankfulness not the SOURCE of thankfulness. Thankfulness is a response. The interior attitude is the goal. And I’m convinced that it must be within the context of a lived experience. That day in the hospital, my friends offered what encouragement they could. Yet they were not living my experience. How could they understand the devastation that faced me? I quietly began thanking God for saving her life, yet I never stopped pleading with him for a full recovery. I was beginning to understand how these two aspects of honesty could co-exist.

This Thanksgiving I am taking a fresh look at my life, my blessings, and my struggles. Now my offering of thanks as a response for what God has done for me. It no longer is a duty. I focus on the beauty of remembering who I am, where I’ve been, and the multitude of struggles I’ve lived through. It isn’t about the “quality” of my thanks, that they’re offered with well thought out, perfectly spelled words, or even proper grammar. I am free to offer thanks enmeshed in my frustrations and doubts. And these expressions are enough. It is living in the truth that God has been faithful to give me whatever I have needed. Not always what I’ve wanted, but what I needed. Gratitude is something I can experience and express even if weighed down with confusion or sadness. Yes, God saved her life. I’m eternally grateful for that, yet I will live the rest of my life in the tension of this blessing and the multitude of issues she’ll face her whole life. Thanksgiving isn’t something I offer to simply set my mind at rest, no, gratitude is something that can and should exist no matter the situation. It is an interior attitude that steps back from whatever is at hand and says, voluntarily, “God, I thank you for all you’ve done.”

It’s Not Even Thanksgiving!

Over the summer I took on a part-time retail job. The benefits are great, and honestly, I’m enjoying the diverse nature of humanity that crosses my register. I haven’t worked retail since I was a teenager. I’m having fun.

Working retail has also forced me to deal with something – the all too early push of the holiday season. In my shop we put up a quaint recycled cardboard Christmas tree on Halloween! November 1, we were selling Christmas Tree ornaments and yummy treats destined gifts for teachers and stockings.

Our Pandora playlist hasn’t served up any Christmas songs – yet – but I’m sure it won’t be long before it does. Through this all, I’ve been musing

“What if I let Christmas come early?”

What if I let go of my judgmental seasonal attitude and embraced on onslaught of Holiday commercialism geared toward my world? What if I let Christmas come early?

I guess there are theological implications for an early Christmas, and the dangers of not being prepared. But, what is wrong with anticipating the joyous birth of Christ a month [or two] earlier?

Historically, we all moved into Christmas together through the “Advent” season, giving proper attention to all the “in-between” thoughts and implications. But now we live in a world saturated with immediate gratification, all that “waiting stuff” is seen as passé. Even to many Christians.

Can we force waiting on a culture that doesn’t see the value in it? Probably not. And still I wonder, can we do both? Can we enjoy the earliness and still appreciate the value in waiting?

I’m not sure, but I’m going to give it a try.

I looked at the calendar this morning, and it’s only SIX weeks until Christmas is here.

So, I’ve decided to set aside my cranky desires for the world around me to WAIT until the proper time to celebrate Christmas.

I’m going to adopt a cheerful attitude.

I’m going to say, “Merry Christmas” as soon as I hear the first Christmas carol over Pandora.

I’m going to be thankful that I still live in a world where I can celebrate the birth of Christ in an open and public way.

Want to join me in this experiment?  I think it will be interesting to discover what happens.



Happy Feast Day of St. Benedict

I’m a huge fan of St. Benedict! That’s a picture of me in front of the ancient arch way of his Abbey in Montecassino, Italy. I visited in 2006. It was amazing. Their website is amazing too:

I’ve studied and tried to live by the tenants of Benedictine Spirituality for over 13 years. It has changed me, my understanding of God’s expansiveness, and finely tuned my awareness of His constant presence.

His famous “Rule” became the foundation of western monastic life. Based on the teachings found in the Gospels, it is still a powerful code of living.

“Listen,” is the first word of the Rule. Listening is a lost art in this age of information. We think we listen, we certainly “hear” a lot of stuff, but hearing isn’t listening.

We need to spend more time listening to God, to one another, and to our own inner voice. I believe that listening is the beginning of humility. Take a minute a think on that idea … a simple idea for a complex time.

To celebrate his special day, I thought I’d come clean about the beginnings of my association with the Benedictine way of life. If you’re curious, you can read more here. Confessions of a Benedictine Oblate.

Last week I received confirmation that in 2018, I will be leading two weekend retreats and three Saturday retreats at St. Andrew’s Benedictine Abbey in Valyermo, California. More information to be released on that in September. I hope you’ll find some time to join me in this amazing place.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Benedictine Way of life, I’ve got some great book recommendations here.

I hope you are enjoying your summer, it sure is beautiful outside. Keep your eyes up and your ears open, God longs to speak with you.

~ lisa

Threadbare Words – LOVE

My earliest memory of the word LOVE, is listening to my mother sing along with singer/song writer, Jackie DeShannon. “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. No, not just for some, but for everyone.”

This song, released in the mid-60s, was a plea for something that was missing in the culture –love. The United States had just become involved in the Vietnam War, then Robert Kennedy was assassinated. This song became a sort of audio vigil for a country shaken by political violence. A Los Angeles radio station played the song again and again for over 24 hours. It was an old-school “social media” instrument that pulled a mourning country together.

That tragedy, and a whole generation, confronted our country for its lack of love. I believe we still need to be confronted for our lack of love, because the whole world is crying out for want of it!

Not the mushy, emotional, thing we think is love. The thing that demands, “Be this way, or that way. Be what I need, so I can love you.” No, what the world needs is real love, love that has no demands, makes no claims, and is marked by an outward focus.

The meaning of real love, or agapé, as the Greeks called it, encompasses the attributes of acceptance, equality, tolerance, and respect, yet is uniquely focused on the other. Love does not demand these things for itself, it extends them to the other. In its highest expression, true love is selfless love.

Thinking more about the needs of the other person elicits a change in me. As I begin to release my expectations of who the other person should be, accepting them as they are, I am able to really love them.

After all, this is how I want to be loved, as I am. Isn’t this the way God loves us? With. Out. Condition.

Yes, we should always strive to be the best version of ourselves, but love needs to be expressed along that process. The greatest gift you can give someone is to love them as they are, not as you think they should be.

Everyone loses as we continue to tout the importance of personal preferences, and promote the good of the individual, over the good of the whole.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. But love that is extended, through acceptance, equality, tolerance, and respect. And this love is not just for some, but for everyone.

Threadbare Words is a series of pieces exploring thin, worn-out words. The idea is to examine their real meaning, consider their overuse and, finally take a fresh look at them through the filter of a 21st century mind to discern if they’re still relevant.

If you are enjoying this series, please spread the love, and share on your social media channels with the links below.

Threadbare Words

I don’t know about you, but I think we overuse many “spiritual words.” Words like HOLY, JOY, or BLESSED.

In attempts to demonstrate our faith, we’ve depended on spiritual jargon to tell who we are and what we believe.

With overuse, so many of those words have lost their power, and honestly, most people don’t really know what they mean anymore.

In May, I’d like to take those thin, worn-out words and see if we can put new flesh on them.

I want to examine their real meaning, consider their overuse and, finally take a fresh look at them through the filter of a 21st century mind to discern if they’re still relevant.

I think I’ll begin with the word HOPE.

Email me a word you’d like me to explore! Or jump on over to my Facebook page and join the conversation:

Stop Dismissing Your Struggles

In my work as a Spiritual Director, I am trusted with the details of people’s struggles. I am often surprised when I hear people dismiss their struggles by saying:

“Oh, first world problems.”

I’m not sure why this term applies. I mean, okay, really if you’re just complaining about something trivial, I get it. But, often there is more going on beneath the surface and it’s really best not to dismiss it.

Third world people may struggle for the want of clean water or a simple medication to fight an infection. First world people may struggle to find balance with a corporate work load, to be attentive to their family or friends.

On a scale where, one suffering is compared to another suffering, there is a level of severity that can be measured, yet stripped of this measure BOTH struggles touch something internally. Both struggles have value in their context. Both struggles are catalysts for seeking and trusting God.

Let’s compare two Gospel stories where Christ encounters people with struggles: the woman with the issue of blood, and the rich young ruler. These could be seen as third world, and first world, problems.

The woman is weak and an outcast. Anyone who has contact with her becomes “unclean.” Her chronic bleeding isolates her from community life and worship.

The rich young ruler, on the other hand, follows the Law and lives in comfort. Yet, he is uncertain that his life choices will bring about eternal life.

Her plea to Christ, “My life is unbearable! Heal me!”

His plea to Christ, “My life is unbearable! Give me assurance of eternal life!”

What is Christ’s response to the woman? He commends her courage and the risks she took in seeking an answer to her struggle. Then Christ heals her. “My daughter, your faith has restored you to health, go in peace.”

What is Christ’s response to the rich young man? Does he judge him and chastise his struggle? “Young man, get over it! First world problems! Suck it up and be grateful? You know I just healed a woman in the next town who has been bleeding for 12 years. Who are you to complain and moan about your self-centered, inner yearnings for the assurance of your salvation?”

No, Christ does not minimize or pass judgment on the young man’s struggle. He does not compare the severity of his pain to the pain of others. No, Christ meets this young man where he finds him. He treats him with dignity and validates his pain. Then, in love, Christ provides an answer to the young man’s struggle. Perhaps not the answer he was hoping for, but an answer none the less.

We all hurt the same. If you dismiss your pain, you also dismiss the power of the Holy Spirit to work in it, to strengthen you internally. Don’t wallow in self-pity, allow God to use whatever struggle you have to help you understand yourself and move you forward on your journey.

We are eternal beings working out eternal longings. In this life, the irritating agent of our struggles maybe as different as the desire for clean water, or the desire for confidence in life choices, but all your struggles will work for your good, if you let them.

Do you need some help moving past a struggle? Spiritual Direction can help with this movement. Click here to learn more about Spiritual Direction and how it can help you. 


Superbowl Predictions

Superbowl LI is coming and many experts are making their predictions. As an expert in my field, spiritual growth, I want to offer my prediction as well.*

The Patriots are favored to win. How could they not be, as their quarterback is a four-time Superbowl winner. However, I’m going with the Atlanta Falcons. It’s a matter of loyalties, well, the loyalties of the team mascots, I mean.

Patriots are defined as a group, loyal to their country. They will vigorously support it and are prepared to defend it against enemies. Generally speaking Patriots are tied to land, it’s about a connection to something they’re a part of. Their association speaks of familial and historical connections.

Falcons are predatory birds, loyal to their trainer or “Falconer” as they are called. These birds are taught to hunt and are one of the fastest birds in flight, being timed at speeds over 200 MPH. They aren’t picky eaters, if they can see prey, and catch the prey, they will eat it, whatever it is.

The word Patriot has its roots in the Greek word for father, patēr. So the word, Patriot, actually makes a connection to something of the father, as in the “Fatherland.”

The real name of the Atlanta mascot is Falco Peregrinus – which is what falconers call them, peregrines. The word peregrine, found in Middle English from Latin, per- ‘through’ + ‘ager ‘field.’ As in traveling through a field, or wandering, a pilgrim.

Although Patriots show allegiance to a land in relation to the Father, selecting them to win is tempting, but I must go with the underdogs, the Falco Peregrinus.

A patriotic loyalty to one’s country is important, but like the Falcon, my loyalty belongs to one Person, not a country. I am not tied to the things of this world, I am just passing through.

Enjoy your Sunday,

~ lisa

* Please note, during your reading of this prediction be advised that, gambling is an entertainment vehicle, and with it carries a certain degree of financial risk. One should be aware of this risk, and govern themselves accordingly.
Thank You.

Enjoy this slow-motion video clip of a peregrine in flight from BBC Earth Unplugged.

What is Your Legacy?

This idea of LEGACY, keeps circling back to me. It was on my mind during the 3-day weekend celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and it kept bumping around in my thoughts during the recent Presidential Inauguration and the Women’s March the day after.

Have you ever thought of the legacy you’re leaving behind? I don’t think many of us do. I wonder if great political leaders think on this? Did Martin Luther King, Jr. realize the legacy he left us? I suppose he thought his dream of racial equality would endure, but I wonder what he would think about the redemption of his suffering almost 50 years after his death?

Years ago I had the opportunity to visit his burial site. A stately marble coffin sits dramatically amid a calm reflection pond at his Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. His headstone marked with: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free at Last. Powerful words he used in one of his famous speeches, but many people do not know that those words are lyrics from an old Negro Spiritual. I think much of the world has forgotten he was a Christian Pastor and his civil rights movement was motivated by Christian love, all part of his legacy to us.

His story is marked with a strong commitment to non-violence amid horribly violent acts, that ultimately resulted in his murder. As I reflect on his story, some parts are too difficult to imagine. Those close to him felt he knew he wouldn’t live long. I cannot imagine the inner turmoil he must have struggled with.

We all have difficult parts of our story that can inspire others, perhaps not as dramatic as Dr. King’s, but still important. If our stories aren’t shared, the lessons aren’t shared. We must be able to see how our stories plays-out in the larger story of “us.” A big part of this, is knowing yourself, knowing the role you’re playing; the good, the bad and the ugly. What is the story of your life? What is the legacy you’re leaving behind? What struggles have you overcome? What commitments have you made? Have you fought for what is important to you?

If this sparks your imagination, I want to suggest a few books that I have found helpful in my own journey to knowing myself better and telling my story.

The first book, written by Vinita Hampton Wright is The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life Designed as a type of creative devotional for writers, the reader is taken to new places of self-discovery and ultimately, God-discovery. Each chapter concludes with “Exercises for a Writer’s Formation.” I found it challenging and well written.

The other book was assigned to me in grad school. Although required reading, I found it helpful as I unraveled some of my childhood assumptions about myself. I suppose that was the professor’s goal. Reclaiming Your Story: Family History and Spiritual Growth by Merle L. Jordan, examines and then skillfully breaks down the tension between the authority of one’s family structure, and Divine authority. There are thoughts for contemplation included in each section. The final chapter entitled, “Renewing Your Spirit by Reauthoring your Childhood Story” maps out an exhaustive list of quasi-therapeutic writing projects.

Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Our stories are the seeds of inspiration for others. I’d love to hear your thoughts and encourage you to tell your story, your legacy. Leave a comment below, or message me on Facebook.


~ lisa

Here is a collection of Dr. King’s thoughts, in his own words, a beautiful little gem that I’ve had on my bookshelf for over 35 years: The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Second Edition by King, Martin Luther, III, King, Coretta Scott 

New Season of Being Loved

The season arrived a little earlier this year, but I always welcome the discipline of the 40 day journey. Every year I get to “restart” my routines and habits.

This year I’m giving up self-critique. Going to turn my eyes outward and SEE the love and mercy that God is always extending to me.

Heard someone say “We’re better able to love others when we let God love us.” Think I’ll give that a try for the next 40 days.

What are you giving up?