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Purposive Pain

As they go, I had super easy childbirths for the four children I’m raising. Seriously, when seasoned mothers are swapping war-stories in front of terrified mothers-to-be, I have nothing to brag about. I needed no pain meds. Just started labor, then 12-20 hours later I had a baby. No anger or screaming, just nice conversations (or bursting into “Part of That World” from The Little Mermaid). It was all so peaceful, I kinda think a nurse or two thought I was a part of a cult where you have to have silent births. Now, don’t take from that experience that…

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Fasting

A Season of Self-Forgetting

Cheese. It’s my weakness. My Kryptonite. My Achilles heel. Two years ago, I decided to give it up for Lent. Abstaining is supposed to be difficult, right? I told people of my goal, mostly so I’d go through with it. Friends looked frightened. Even my doctor, who I happened to see the day before Ash Wednesday, said, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” (I was hoping for more support considering the health benefits of my choice. He does, however, get points for knowing me.) So I went for it. I was all in. Until Day 2, when I…

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Prayer Presence

Not long ago, I became aware that my prayers had a striving, pleading energy about them: “Lord, pleeeeaaase help me with this or that,” and “Jesus, I need to surrender this to you, but it’s so hard!” The body language that went along with these prayers was furrowed eyebrows, tight jaw, hands squeezed in fists, accompanied by tension in my neck, back, and shoulders. Can you feel that “striving” energy? That sense of fervently wanting? Pleading for my intentions to be heard? Then one day, I exhaled. I opened those fists and let my palms look up towards the heavens.…

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Not My Battle

I don't know about you but there are some days where everything feels like a battle: getting out of bed, keeping my cool when people or circumstances frustrate me, tackling that project that's coming due or folding that darn load of laundry that has been sitting on my couch for days. And then there's the intense battle that comes with trying to live a life of faith, cultivate virtue, and, ultimately, get to Heaven. In the book of Samuel we hear the familiar story of David fighting the Philistine giant, Goliath. When Goliath rebukes David for thinking he could defeat…

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A Faith without Hesitation

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” - John 20:27 he verse above and its surrounding verses (John 20:19-31) are the basis for the expression “a doubting Thomas.” Thomas said he would not believe unless he saw with his own eyes and touched with his own hands. Thomas is pretty relatable, huh? At times, we are all guilty of being cynical or judgmental about things that we cannot easily wrap our minds around. We doubt. Sometimes becoming skeptical or unbelieving. And…

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Self-Compassion – The Power of a Pronoun

In a coaching conversation earlier today, my client and I went on a journey that began with a messy situation (literally!) with her kids to which she reacted in anger and frustration, and ended with compassionate connection and self-support. Her inner dialogue shifted from a blame-based: "Why do I always...I never," to a unity-based: "I'm with you...Let's look at this together." A pivotal moment leading to her inner shift came when she was able to experience herself as a "You" rather than just an "I." Let me explain... When we refer to ourselves, we pretty typically use the pronoun, “I.”…

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Be of Good Courage

Being courageous is a matter of the heart. Not of our muscles or our bravado. Our hearts. The continuing natural disasters and horrendous violence occurring around us have been calling me to pray for a more courageous heart; a courageous heart to lead me in bringing greater compassion, humility, and charity into my little corner of the world, beginning in my own home. So, what does a courageous heart in action look like? Well, I'm still learning...here's what I've come up with so far: Courage is not always about BIG, BOLD action. The times I’ve behaved most courageously in my…

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