Restful Waters or Turbulent Tides?…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Beside restful waters He leads me…” (Psalm 23)

I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.

Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.

You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.

Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.


Put Out Into the Deep…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

Jesus said to Simon Peter…

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”

Isn’t Lent about deep water…the depth of conversion?

Putting out into deep water calls for a deepening of faith…a journey into the unknown…a powerlessness that leads to a more complete dependence on God.

And when we lower ourselves in humility into the healing presence of God…

we are caught into His loving arms and are more deeply connected to Him who is our Savior.

Lord, grant us the courage to head for the deep waters, the humility to be immersed into the depth, the trust that You are with us and long for us to be more completely in union with You.

This Lent may we all hear the call to, “Put out into deep water.”

In the Reaching Out…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

The Parable of the Man with the Withered Hand has always intrigued me. The healing comes from Jesus’ directive, “Stretch out your hand.” How often we go through life with withered hands…hands that pull back in selfishness and self-absorption. What begins with withered hands soon affects our hearts and our minds as we shrivel into a “my way” view of life.

And yet in the reaching out there is healing. In the reaching out there is a  re-connecting…in the reaching out there is a re-attaching to the Body of Christ in which His love and strength infuses the souls of His people.

Yes, in the reaching out comes the healing from within.

We are meant to be a people connected.

Getting Purposely Lost…

image: from the heart of j

image: from the heart of j

Who gave permission for the “should be’s” and the “should have beens” to rule my life? The “should be’s” propel one into the future and the “should have beens” chain one to the past. Hushing the holler is key to living in the present…in the here and now…in the wonder of the moment…within the Great I Am.

Recently I had an appointment in a nearby, small town. I had had a week of the “should be” “should have been” sing song. Straddling between the past and the present is exhausting! And in the noise, I had misread my planner and arrived an hour early. And so I thought…what would it be like if I got lost for an hour…purposely lost?

And so I did.

I noticed the humorous names of stores, observed whole flocks of birds flying overhead, learned about the town’s large but friendly squirrels, smiled at all the dogs lounging as if it was Saturday, read interesting historical markers, and marveled at all the people walking about.

The more lost I got…the din of the “should be’s” and “should have beens” lessened.

Purposely getting lost ushered me into the wow of what’s  happening and the simplicity of the scene before me.

There is power in the present…It is there we find true peace. Getting purposely lost from time to time must make God smile…getting purposely lost was just what the Divine Physician ordered.

Leaving Ourselves Behind…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“We must leave ourselves behind if we hope to have even a glimpse of our true potentialities. But this surrender of self is the thing we find most difficult and so rarely succeed in. To the modern mind it makes no sense…Only by voluntary unreserved surrender to God can we find our home…” Fr. Alfred Delp

*Please stop by my professional blog where I post on Wednesdays…”Sticks and Stones and Names that Hurt us” at

Becoming the Treasure…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“The gift which we received from Christ Jesus in Holy Baptism is not destroyed, but is only buried as a treasure in the ground.  And both common sense and gratitude demand that we should take good care to unearth this treasure and bring it to light. Therefore, my friends, I urge you,

Become what you already are…

Find Him who is already yours…

Listen to Him who never ceases speaking to you…

Own Him who already owns you.

(St. Gregory of Sinai)

Do you know/remember the date of your Baptism? Do you celebrate this “birth”day? Do you pass this tradition on to your children, family and friends? Certainly we should celebrate intensely the day we became children of God and celebrate this day with all our family in Christ.

Today is the remembrance of the Baptism of the Lord…may we offer thanks for the gift given, although not deserved, and let this treasure be a light to all those who are still searching.

‘Lil Bits Become Lotta’ Bits…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

Our ‘lil bits become lotta’ bits…

United with Him.

He magnifies…He amplifies…He maximizes…He expands…

That ‘lil bit smile, that ‘lil bit hello, that ‘lil bit prayer, that ‘lil bit way…

You magnify…You amplify…You maximize…You expand…

and our ‘lil bits become lotta’ bits…

United with You.

May I be generous with my ‘lil bits, so they become lotta’ bits for others.

These Boots are Made for Walking…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

These boots are made for walking…right into the New Year 2016. How will you enter into the New Year? We are hearing a lot about resolutions, but as a positive psychology practitioner, I would like to point out…

Resolutions focus on changing something we perceive as wrong in our lives. Beginning with the negative often ends in the negative.  How about starting 2016 with the positive? With ONE WORD. ONE WORD that represents a new focus, a new outlook, a special quality that marks the way ahead.  Words are powerful…a single word can inspire, motivate, connect, build up and forge a path forward when that ONE WORD becomes a signpost on our journey.  I challenge each of you to prayerfully ask God to reveal to you ONE WORD, YOUR ONE WORD, for the path ahead this year. Then post this word somewhere you frequent, ponder it, chew on it, allow it to transform your faith filled, journey ahead!  (partially re-posted from New Year 2015, because I know how powerful this New Year’s tradition can become in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Listen to their words as well and let that guide your prayers for them for the upcoming year)

Your boots will walk right into the New Year with a positive, faith filled stride!

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…And next year’s words await another voice.” T. S. Eliot

Happy New Year 2016

From the Heart of J

Make Some Noise…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

Let the weary world rejoice

in spite of threats of terrorism…in spite of financial instability and an unpredictable economy…in spite of violence and health crises…in spite of opposition against the dignity of human life and the war against families…in spite of a rise in the use of illegal drugs and human trafficking…in spite of the apathy of many.

Let the weary world rejoice

Let us lay down our burdens in surrender to God..

As we struggle to walk forward in the heaviness of our burdens…we soon find…

His Grace is weightless!

Let the weary world rejoice…

 For God’s Love is unwearied…

Let the weary world rejoice…

For Our Savior has been born.