Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm back!

Hello friends! I've actually been back for about a week. Life has just been a little hectic. My retreat was wonderful. I had 3 full days of being totally off the grid. After about 27 hours I began to feel pretty restless for awhile and wondered if I would make it another 48 hours! I was also fasting. So, I was having withdrawals and hunrgy at the same time! It made it though. It was an amazing experience to having silence, total silence, for such an extended time. It's amazing what you see and hear when you turn everything off. Did you know that trees "creak" when the wind blows? Who knew?!

The retreat center was gorgeous. The picture is of the labyrinth there. I walked it everyday. I had a mixture of beautful sunshine with cool winds, and rain on one day. I loved it all. In the days to come, I will tell you more about what I did, learned and discovered. For today, you can go to this link:

My faith community has a blog for Lent and today was my turn to post.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I turned 39 last October, so I’m in the middle of my 40th year…as my blogger friend, npp (, was so kind to remind me of recently. Forty years is mentioned in the Bible quite bit. Most notably by Israelites wandering (for 40 years) and Jesus fighting with the devil. Neat.

I’m intrigued by questions right now. For a few years now, I’ve been reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I love this book. It’s a daily devotional book. Every time I read it, the entry for each day is new to me. She begins the year by asking questions. Until now, these parts of the daily entries didn’t catch my attention. They are this time. She poses questions like: “What do you need to be truly happy?” “What truly matters to you when no one is watching?” “If one year from now you could be living the most fulfilling, creative, joyous life you could imagine, what would it be? And what would have to change in you for that to happen?” What is the sadness in your heart that you cannot name?” What do you truly believe about yourself as a woman, wife, daughter, employee…?”

I find myself, today, wanting to answer these questions more deeply than what is really comfortable. Answering most questions like this require one more question for me, “Why?” And then asking again, “Why?” I can make changes: change what I’m doing or how I’m doing it, start something, or stop something. Yet, I feel restless to go beyond “just doing something different." I’m drawn to really look at my beliefs about myself. “What is it I truly believe about the girl in the mirror?” I’m a pretty well put-together person, I’m funny, I make good impressions, I’m generally nice…all those things are genuine. Yet, I’ve always struggled to…well, put on a show. I’m a singer…I like an audience and I’ve learned to handle a crowd well. That performance seeking, though, spilled over into all parts of my life years and years ago. I’ve been to plenty of groups and plenty of therapists. I’m much better than I used to be. Yet, I still know that I would much rather present someone who is happy and has their shit together, than one who struggles and cries. The bigger problem, though, is that I get caught up in my own story sometimes and forget to even be honest with myself. It’s not intentional…it’s just unconscious. Living life on auto-pilot. This is not a good thing for me. Life has given many wonderful blessings over the last few years and I’m so grateful. But the other truth is that life has been really, really hard and painful. There are things to grieve. I learned from losing my father that grief is a process. For awhile, the shock of his passing helped me just do day to day life. Then one day, that shock began to wear off and I began to feel the reality of that loss. Perhaps it is no different with the rest of my life. Perhaps, I am beginning to awaken. This is good. I am truly thankful for this place I’m in that is hard. And it seems hard at times to even name or define. I’ve come to believe that struggles and pain have purpose and it is good. Not that God places those things in my life to teach me something…that’s bullshit. God is just present and nothing is an accident.

For a few months I’ve been wanting to go away for retreat…all by myself. Between schedules and procrastination it just hasn’t happened….until now. I leave in exactly 6 days. I cannot wait. I can hardly contain my excitement! No computer, no phone, no TV, no one…just me, my questions, a mirror and God.