Podcast News and Book Save the Dates

Happy 2019! I hope that your holiday season and new year were full of rest and connection and joyful surprise.

As I settle into the new year, I’m trying something…well…new! I’ve never had a “word of the year” before, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea. I’ve wondered what it could be like to pick a theme and to see how God might speak through it. As I prayed over this coming year and what is on the horizon, I heard God whispering to me to lean into TRUST. There are changes coming this year for me and my family, and some exciting new risks, and I can already see how returning to the word TRUST has loosened some of the fear and anxiety I carry around change.

I’m curious if you have a word of the year, and how you’ve chosen it. Is this a practice you’ve tried in the past? Or maybe it’s a new concept for you too? I shared about this on social media last week, and I was encouraged by all the responses. People are carrying some beautiful words and postures into the new year.


Hard at work on sound editing.

Hard at work on sound editing.

One of the places of great risk for me this year is through the podcast, Life As Spiritual Practice. After placing this project on hold in the fall, I feel ready to share these stories of connection with the holy. I also feel scared and nervous, and leaning into that word TRUST! The first episode will launch later this week, with new episodes each week through the end of February. You will receive an email when each episode becomes available. It will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the episode, and invite you more deeply into the practice that is explored that week. I hope and pray that this podcast will be a source of warmth, connection, and inspiration in these cold winter months (for those of us in the northern hemisphere!).


Another place of risk and hope is the launch of This Life That Is Ours: Motherhood As Spiritual Practice! It’s hard to believe, after four years of work, that this book will soon be in the hands of readers! There are two events coming up in April to celebrate. You will receive separate invitations closer to the dates, but if you’re like me, you’re already planning your spring, so I wanted to share in advance!

In Pittsburgh, PA: You are invited to a launch party at White Whale Bookstore on April 6th, 7-9pm. There will be books available to purchase. I’ll give a brief reading, and then sign books. Come eat and drink and celebrate with me!

In Springfield, OH: On Saturday, April 13th, 1-3 pm, I’ll be giving an Author Program at the Clark County Public Library. I’ll give a talk on the writing process and the content of the book, and then have a book signing. There will be food and drink and books available to purchase. I hope you can join me for this celebration!

Thank you so much - for sharing this journey with me, for letting me hear a bit of your sacred story, and for the ways you bring light into the world. I am grateful for you.

The Gentleness of Candlelight

In his blessing "For Light," John O'Donohue writes:

When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

As a writer and as a spiritual director, my life's work is to gaze into the heart, to seek out the quiet, hidden places where God speaks. As John O'Donohue so beautifully wrote, candlelight is just the right amount of light with which to explore these interior spaces. When there is too much light, we become overwhelmed and blinded, unable to comprehend what is right in front of us. Too much light is painful. And too much darkness? Is just that - dark, lonely, and often frightening. And so I travel by candlelight, creating small, gently lit spaces in which to sit and to wonder. The gentleness of candlelight is the perfect light with which to explore our own sacred stories, our individual tales of how we experience God in our lives, the invitations we are hearing, and the ways we are responding. 

I feel self-conscious even writing those words on this second day of February 2017. The gentleness of candlelight? When our world is blazing with the intense light of the public realm?In our charged political climate, it feels like the important stories are the BIG stories: the ones unfolding on a national and global scale. Those are the stories that demand our attention and our energy, and rightly so. This feels like such a strange time to be starting a blog that focuses on our individual sacred stories. But maybe that is exactly why this is the right time to start this blog. The bright light of the world around us makes it challenging to see what is within. The big stories can drown out our own stories. We need spaces of quiet, of rest, of wonder. We need some silence if we are to hear God speak.  

I hope this blog will be that kind of space for you. I'll be posting once a week or so, sometimes with original blessings and prayers, sometimes with stories from life with my three kids who are also my best teachers, and sometimes about the way God is speaking to me through what I'm reading. May my words create room for you to explore your own sacred story. May we each find enough silence to hear the small, still voice of God. I'm looking forward to this journey with you, and I'm holding a candle to light the way.