Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friendship Meditation

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
- Romans 12:10

Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.
- Proverbs 27:17

Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Relationships: Putting it In Action

When we honestly ask which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. 
--Henri Nouwen

Last year, as our family faced a health crisis, I learned a lot about friendship. Some people avoided us, probably out of a sense of discomfort or not being sure what to say. No blaming-- it is difficult when, really, nothing said or done will make it all better. But other friends really rose to the occasion. Although many people attended to me, my friend Debbie stands out as a shining example of friendship in action. She sent gourmet food gifts to my son, and as any mom will tell you, "love my kids, love me". But she didn't stop there. She made sure I received cards and little gifts, just to let me know she was loving on and thinking of me.

When our drama and trauma was all over and we made it to the other side (with a happy ending), she even let me descend on her and her sweet family for a week of Florida sunshine and a healthy dose of restorative friendship. Poor lady. I think I talked her ear off about all kinds of stuff I had stored up inside me. And never once did she sigh and say, "Yeah, I think you told me all this before" (she had every right to, trust me).

As I contemplate the past year and think about the loving examples of friendship I've had in my life, I realize that friendship is seen and felt through love's actions. So what can we do to act in friendship? Over the years I've collected a few ideas, some I have learned through the grace of friends, others I have discovered, through the grace of God:

1. Notes:  This week I received a lovely bracelet made in Africa and a note from a friend who had just been there on a mission trip with her church (waves at Corinne). The bracelet is lovely, but the sweet note, her words of friendship, love, and encouragement brought me to tears-- no easy feat for me. There's something about handwriting and the time it takes, that speaks volumes to the heart.

2. Listening: Easier than it sounds. The tough part, I've learned, is listening without feeling like I have to fine-tune or correct or offer a solution.  I want to fix it for my friends, but that's rarely possible. Listening, sympathizing, and agreeing is usually all that's required or desired.

3. Small gifts: What is it about a gift card to a coffee shop or a pretty bookmark that perks a person up? It doesn't have to be anything expensive; it can be homemade, but a little present can really make a friend feel special.

4. Coffee or lunch: I have a friend who meets me for coffee every couple of weeks. We chat and sip talking about our kids, animals, aging, finances, and whatever else comes up. It's a lovely time together. I always leave feeling refreshed.

5. Walking: Another friend and I go for weekly walks, through ice, snow, and sunshine we get out and walk for an hour or so. Not only are we getting a little exercise, but we spend the entire time talking about all kinds of topics-- parents, marriage, faith, church, our town, trends-- whatever we want, really. I look forward to my weekly date with this sweet lady.

6. Do the unexpected. Once, a friend of mine was in a dispute with her sister. It turned nasty. All the handmade ceramic gifts that she had once given her sister were left, smashed, one-by-one, on her front stoop in brown paper bags. My friend was crushed. One morning, I got up early, bought her a pretty flowering plant, and put it in a brown bag in front of her door with a note: See, not all things left at your door are bad. She told me that when she first opened the door and saw the bag, her heart sank. But as she dared to open it, her hope was restored. It warmed my heart to know it made her smile.

7. Be there. Another time, a friend of mine called one late night and told me she was suicidal, and if she decided to take her own life, I was not to feel guilty. We hung up the phone, and I stared at it for a few minutes. Then I told my husband I was heading out for the night. I grabbed my sleeping bag and a toothbrush and drove to her house. When she answered the door, I sent her to bed to rest. "Go to bed. I'm cleaning your house and sleeping on the couch." I'm glad to say that over twenty years later, she is a lovely, active person enjoying life. At least for that night, she was under my watch and much too polite to follow through on her threat while I was there.

I think the common thread for all these ideas is time. When we invest time in our friendships-- whether through a phone call, visit, or jotting a note, we invest in the other person. There are so many things demanding our time, but few will reap the joy and satisfaction of a friendship.

What else would you add to the list to add action to friendship? Do you have any stories of acts you have done or others have done for you to encourage us and offer ideas? Let's go in blessings this week and be a friend. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In The Name Of Friendships: Lent Week Three

Beloved, let us love one another.
-- Jesus

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
-- Mother Teresa

This week for Lent, I am focusing on relationships-- friendships, acquaintances, people we pass on the street, those we write comments to on Facebook. Sometimes I'm so dismayed by the things I read on social media or the gossip exchanged over a cup of coffee. We can be awfully hard on each other. In the name of our beliefs and views and our "right" to air them-- liberal or conservative-- we can be unkind and insensitive. 

I admit I've not always had an easy time forming healthy friendships. I didn't use to be like this. When I was younger, I felt much more open and less guarded. Over the years, I've allowed a few life experiences to make me gun-shy and wary. Being a "pastor's wife" came with a fish bowl type lifestyle, replete with expectations. I think I've become a little more insecure, afraid that who I am isn't good enough. And I think, in part, I've not always done a good job choosing friends. There are probably a variety of reasons, but whatever the cause, the end result is somehow my skin was worn thin and I sometimes feel like I'm permanently flinching around people. 

But it's time to change. 

And this is the focus for my prayers and meditation this week: to be a better friend. Being guarded is a form of selfishness, keeping me from thinking beyond my own interests and concerns. It's time to quit chasing after relationships who don't want me as I am, or who don't have time for me. It's time to spend more time listening without judgment, laughing without inhibition, and loving, just because it feels good to love freely. 

I am thankful for the lifelong friendships I do have-- the ones who haven't given up on me (waves at college pals). I am thankful for the coffee dates where nothing is required of me but to show up, chat, and enjoy. I am thankful for Facebook, which has allowed me to reconnect with wonderful people from my past, and meet amazing new friends. And I'm thankful for the friendships that have yet to blossom and help me age with humor, grace, and empathy. 

How about you? Are you where you want to be with your friendships and relationships? Do you reach out readily or are you like me, more guarded and introverted? How could your relationships be a meditation for Lent this week?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Creativity Ritual

Being creative isn't always easy for me. In theory, I love the idea of connecting to God through art. My heart and mind grasp that when we create, we are imitating God, the artist. 

It is our unique gift as humans to see visions of beauty and inspiration and give them form. (Tweet this)

In practice, however, I often feel limited by the process. Writing, most often, is my chosen form of expression. I love to write... most of the time. But sometimes bringing the ideas in my head to fruition and giving them palatable words and form feels anything but spiritual. I lumber through the process, frustrated by my own lack of ability. The peaceful, spiritual image I have in my head flies right out the window (along with pages of deleted words). 

This week for Lent, however, I was determined to focus on, nurture, and find my creative joy. It occurred to me that just as church is a ceremony to prepare us for worship, I could implement a ritual to open my heart, elevate my spirit, and be more receptive.

1. Lighting a candle. I found a candle with a lovely, soft scent, placed it on my desk, and lit it. As I did so, I said a prayer asking God to light my heart and help me be a soft and gentle light. 

2. Read. I took a few minutes to read a text that challenged and elevated my mind. Currently, I'm working through a book called In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction, a collection of very well-written and thoughtful essays. Reading others' creative pieces helped set my mind and heart towards my own writing. I could have read poetry or scripture, looked at art on the internet, or watched an inspiring video or TED talk-- anything to feed my heart and inspire me. 

3.  Music. I need relative quiet when I write. Even music with lyrics can disrupt me. I found a station on Pandora that is strictly instrumental. It plays a lovely mix I find soothing and uplifting. 

4. Tea. I don't think there's anything mystical in a hot cup of tea, but the scent, warming liquid, and earthy flavor helped me feel pampered.  

4. Turn off the Internet. While I think social media serves a good purpose, I also believe it is the antithesis of creativity. (Tweet this) It is, at least for me, numbing and distracting. I downloaded an alarm clock app and set it. I'll be honest, I felt a bit "twitchy" wanting to check my mail or Facebook (now isn't that telling), but the lack of distraction was wonderful and reminded me that this time was special and sacred. 

4. Create. I wrote, not euphorically or without wrestling with my words, but I allowed myself to write, even poorly. Towards the end of my time, one piece I worked on took me to the lake near our house during summer, kayaking on the glass-like surface. My heart soared with the words. I was in the heart of creating, reliving nature, and lost in sharing an experience that brought me peace. 

Have you ever tried to make your creation process more an act of worship? What ideas do you have to set the stage and mood for a receptive heart?

And now, the winner!

I admit, when I first thought of giving away crayons and a coloring book, I wondered if it would seem childish. It was an idea born from my own love of coloring. I find it so peaceful! But it was fun to see the eager responses. I'm enjoying giving away a few gifts! The winner of the coloring book and crayons, as selected by the random list generator at is:

Julia Munroe Martin

Yay! Julia, get in touch with me and give me your mailing address-- I'm so excited you won!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Get Your Creativity On

photo from
Painting, drawing, coloring, scrapbooking, collages, photography, nature walks, writing, poetry, singing, music... what do these all have in common? Read on to find out, and at the end, get ready for another give-away.

There is perhaps no greater advocate for the act of spiritual creation than Julia Cameron. She has developed courses and written books teaching her belief that art and our spiritual connection to The Creator are closely linked. She writes in The Artist's Way, "When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives."

When we acknowledge and explore our own creativity, could it be we are conduits of God's own delight as the master artist? But I can't draw. I can't write. I can't play an instrument. We have an excuse list a mile long why we are not very creative. I know. I've used most of them.

I come from a very artistic family. My mother was an amazing artist with oils. Her paintings are abstract expressions with shapes, textures, and colors. My sister is also a gifted artist, quilter, and shares her love of creation with a school full of elementary children. My engineering dad and brother, although not artists in the fine arts sense, could always duplicate and build with their hands. Honestly, I always felt like the creative ugly duckling. My talents were not obvious. I loved to play our old upright piano and sing, but lacked the discipline and talent to hone my skills. I can't draw worth spit. I always like to write, but never saw that as a creative expression, unless I wrote poetry (really bad poetry, I might add).

But now I  believe all of us-- even me-- are endowed with innate creative urges, no matter the form it takes. For some, walking in nature and savoring creation is a way to nurture their creative soul. For others, it is painting, singing, photography, sketching, interior design, and yes, writing. The list goes on. One has only to walk in nature, through a museum, among ornate architecture or cliff dwellings of ancient peoples to know that we are born creative beings, longing to express what we see and feel.

I strongly believe that when we create, 
we may be at our closest to communing with God. (Tweet this) 

Christine Valters Paintner, author of The Artist's Rule: A Twelve Week Journey says, "When you bring awareness to your work as an artist or writer, your pen and brush become vessels of awareness of God at work."

I like to think I am communing closely with God and in his delight when I create.This week for Lent, I will try to incorporate a little creative play into each day, no matter how simple, and I will try to let it be a form of meditation and celebration.

And The Give Away!

To help you get into your creative groove, I would like to send a design coloring book and box of crayons to one commenter of this post, by Thursday, March 20th. I will announce the winner and get mailing information on Friday, the 21st. (Sorry, because of postage expenses with this, I'm going to confine the give away to within the continental U.S.) When was the last time you colored an intricate pattern and smelled a box of fresh crayons? Let your child artist out!

We are made in infinite creativity. 
 Is it any wonder we find joy when we let our inner artist out to play? (Tweet this)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Meditation On Love

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
-- Jesus

To love another person is to see the face of God. 
-- Victor Hugo

Romans 13:8  ... love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law

Friday, March 14, 2014

For the Love of...


I'm familiar with the tradition in the Catholic church of eating fish on Friday, especially during Lent. I cruised through the Internet trying to find an explanation of this observance and was puzzled to find varied explanations, none of them very clear. As best as I can tell, from several Catholic websites, it started as a tradition to abstain from meat on Fridays, as a way of observing penance. I'm not a big meat eater, so not sure how much of a sacrifice this would be for me.

Several sites discussed whether eating fish was really abstaining from eating meat and whether the original intent was to focus on grains and veggies. Still others talked about the significance of fish in the Christian history: Jesus dividing the fish and loaves, the disciples being fishers of men, the early practice of drawing a fish shape in the ground (an Ichthys) to indicate one's Christianity when it was dangerous to do so verbally.

No matter. I like fish. I'm happy to embrace this tradition. So in honor of Fridays in Lent, I will offer fishy recipes for your dining pleasure. Today's recipe comes from SparkPeople and is so ridiculously easy, I'm going to make it tonight:

image from
World's Easiest Salmon Recipe

1/4 cup real maple syrup (not pancake syrup) or honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz salmon

Mix first three ingredients in a large plastic bag and marinate salmon for at least an hour before cooking. Pour salmon with marinade into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. The salmon is done when it flakes at the thickest part. Enjoy!

Do you have an explanation of the tradition of fish on Fridays? Educate me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Putting Feet to Love

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. 
If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.
-- Buddah

Last night I happened to catch the end snippet of NBC news. They had a short clip of the disturbing conflict in Syria and the young, helpless victims of the seemingly unending hate. My heart caught. How can I be confronted with these sweet children's faces and do nothing? Just yesterday in my post I talked about love in action, and that very night this story caught my eye.


I have been receiving a daily Lent message from Fr. Robert Barron and today's message was about giving (wouldn't you know it). In it, he encourages readers to give whenever you are asked, citing Matthew 5:42: Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Fr. Barron challenges people to give to anyone-- all the mail invites for money (assuming they are legitimate, of course), all the panhandlers, even if it's just a dollar or two. He encourages people to cut back on other areas, like maybe what they order from the menu, and give that savings away. That's quite a challenge.

Everyone, of course, is convicted to do their part in their own way. Heaven knows there are many, many children in need of someone to care with action, in the world and in our own country. Tonight, my husband and I will sit down and look through the organizations helping children, as suggested by NBC News, and choose one.

Ultimately the answer to war is that Love would triumph over all the hate, but in the meantime, maybe we can find a way to put feet to that sentiment.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To Be Love

This week for Lent, I decided I would focus and meditate on the topic of love. Yesterday, I posted a link to a lovely essay my sweet 18-year-old wrote and, if I do say so (and unabashedly I will say so) it was poignant and truth-filled.

When I started out this 40-day journey, I had lofty, almost saint-like images of how and who I would be during Lent. You see, there’s an odd side to me that craves to be a monk. I read Thomas Merton with a touch of envy. From the outside peering through the glass window of his secluded hermitage, I see a spiritual being in touch with his creator, wrestling over the deep issues of the soul, taking long walks in nature in contemplative thought, and writing in his journal elegant and insightful truths. Yeah, I want to be that.

Here’s the irony of it, however. Ultimately, being that is more about the ego than anything. My ego wants to be this lofty, separated from the world, harmonious, love-filled saint. The thud-crashing reality, is what I'm really craving is a spiritual state that can only come from a lifetime of wrestling with who I am--grounded in this life with its disappointments, hurts, and confusion, and...oh, that's usually includes a heavy dose of hard-earned humility.  

After Mother Teresa’s death, correspondences were discovered revealing that during the last 50 years of her life, she wrestled with the very core of her faith, if God even existed. By then of course, she was cast in a high-profile role in life. Was she a fraud? I doubt it. She was, perhaps like most people in life, on a trajectory she began and perhaps didn't know how to alter. But I have no doubt she was truly motivated by compassion and serving, despite all the feelings being, or not being, in place.

Oh, that’s the sneaky, tricky part of love, isn’t it? The feelings aren’t always in place, and yet the actions must be. I doubt Thomas Merton’s feelings were always as they “should” be. He wrestled with life. It is, in fact, from this very place of doubt and despair most saints or great, spiritual thinkers probably travel through to become who they ultimately became, the place we get to pick up on in their lives and read about.

Attaining to an image is the fragile stuff of ego. We want a reflection. The truth is hard work, life, doubt, pain, hurt, confusion, and yet clinging to faith—these are the things that carve and form the images we often look up to. Like rushing water that little by little forms a canyon, the daily act of living carves us into humility and action, even when, and probably more so when, the feelings aren’t all in place.

So this week’s Lent challenge is to act in love--not to feel loving, meditate on lofty images of love, or pray with some abstract saintly love. It’s just to be love. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

All We Need Is Love....

I was going to write a post on love today, then I read the post my daughter-- only 18-- wrote as a contributor to the site Joyful Home and Life. She writes to a teen audience, but see if this doesn't speak volumes to you.

But The Greatest of These is Love

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Maya Angelou
“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya AngelouWouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

May you find peace and rest in your weekend.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Gratefulness in Action

For Lent this week I've been focusing on being grateful. It seems like the more I focus on it, the more obstacles have been thrown up in front of me to challenge my efforts while, simultaneously, the more reminders I've had to be grateful anyway.

So many people post videos on Facebook, I almost always pass them by. But when my friend posted this short clip (less than 3 minutes), the little girl's cute face caught my attention as if intentionally placed in front of me to sucker me in. I couldn't resist.

I'm glad I didn't. It reminded me that to cultivate a grateful heart we must, by necessity, be looking up and out beyond our own circumstances. Gratefulness expands our vision and reminds us to have a giving heart.

Jesus said we must be like little children in our faith (Matt.18:3). I think it's because children don't over-think or analyze a decision or belief, they just accept it and do it. 

May I be more childlike this week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.

--Gilbert K. Chesterson

I woke up this morning a bit out of sorts.  My floors needed swept and mopped. The carpets needed vacuumed. Laundry needed done. Am I the only one who can do the work around here? 

We missed Ash Wednesday services last night. We got the time wrong, and nowhere could I find the correct time. It's not the end of the world, or even a minor tragedy-- just a disappointment. 

Still, I am cranky. I just put another load in the laundry and have a few, brief hours alone before family returns and clutters my solitude. 

I turned to my quiet time of meditation, hoping to find solace and the feelings of Lent, whatever those may be. I read the words of my devotions then ranted, "Why is it, God, I must find you? You are God. Find me. I'm just human." I was met with a silence I don't know how to interpret. 

Sometimes I find myself wondering if, like many believe, I am conjuring a God to suit my need. I can point to nothing, like science, to prove He exists. I can't do an experiment and show my hypothesis to be fact. But ultimately, my heart can't reject what has been instilled in it for so long. It may not make "sense", but it is my decision to accept mystery as truth.

Feelings, like inspiration, are dodgy and deceptive, aren't they? They come and go, fluttering just out of reach. Sometimes we grasp them, and they are dear and feel so real. But mostly they taunt us. Are our beliefs so fragile they hang on fleeting emotions? 

When I am stuck in this cycle, it is best that I do. What I mean is, it is good for me to get out of my head. Move beyond my self. Do chores. Go for a walk or jog. Call someone who needs cheering up. Write a note to someone I haven't spoke to in awhile. Do. Or perhaps I need a good slap in the conscience: read an article about any place in the world where misfortune and misery are grounded in the sad facts of daily life and haunting uncertainty, not my conjured disappointments with life. 

Then I come full circle, quiet my heart, and find a place of gratitude for all that I have- which is, in the perspective of the world-- abundant beyond comprehension. This doesn't take beliefs or faith or religion. It is a fact I can point to with confidence. 

During this lent season, I will remember gratitude. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Let It Shine

May it be a light to you in the dark places, when all other lights go out. 

--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Today my son and I went on a short drive together and stopped off at a discount store. I was in search of candles. I  know this may not sound like a difficult task, but when you live in a small, secluded town, sometimes even the simple things can be difficult to find. 

Our out-of-town excursion didn't result in exactly what I was looking for, but I made do. After all, it wasn't the aesthetics I was seeking. Ultimately, it was the meaning. 

This year, I'm going to light evening candles in a reverse Advent way. I have six small candles for each week of Lent. I will light them all the first week, one less the following, and so on so that by Good Friday, there will be no candles lit. It will be, as the world must have felt, in darkness. On Easter, I will light them all again so they blaze and I will light the tall green candle as the final celebration. I chose green because it represents growth and life. 

May the Light shine for you.


Please join me in our 40-Day celebration of Lent and renewal. Whether you are making this journey with a specific faith intention or as a time to celebrate stillness and renewal, follow along.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pancakes Anyone?

For those of you who have practiced Lent, Shrove Tuesday is probably familiar to you. I had no idea what it was. I'd never heard of it before. But our new church is Episcopalian and goes all-out for Lent and is holding a pancake supper tonight. Well, I certainly like pancakes. Time to check out this tradition.

First stop, good ol'  Wikipedia to figure out just what Shrove Tuesday is all about.

In short, the word is a past tense for an old English word, shrive, the absolution of one's sins. It's also associated with Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday-- a last indulgence before the season of sacrifice and Lent takes place.

Why pancakes? Since people, once upon a time in the practice of Lent, were forbidden to eat milk, butter or eggs during the Lent season, and these ingredients could not be stored for the 40-day duration, the story goes they would use up these ingredients the night before Lent with a big pancake feast.

This is a practice I can dig a fork into. I love to make and eat homemade pancakes. Sometimes we even have them for dinner. Seems like a great celebration to me!

I have used the same pancake recipe for over twenty years, and make changes to the ingredients as the mood hits.

Basic Recipe: (From the 1982 edition of Sunset's Easy Basics cookbook, or as I like to call it, the Idiot's Cookbook. It was the ideal wedding gift for me.)

Mix dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar

Mix wet ingredients:
1- 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 Tbs melted butter/margarine

Make a well in mixed dry ingredients, add wet ingredients all at once, stir till blended. Pour batter (about 1/4 cup) on to hot, greased pan (I use spray oil). Cook on medium until top side looks dry, then flip. Serve with syrup, hot mixed berries, or whatever toppings you enjoy.

Flours: Play around with the flours you add. I sometimes use 1/2 cup white flour, 1/2 cup wheat, 1/2 oats or similar variations. Wheat and oats may alter the moisture needed-- just adjust milk to get the consistency you want.

Add Ins: Ooo our family likes a few things thrown in sometimes-- a handful of pecans, chocolate chips, dried cranberries-- have fun and be inventive!

Yum. Let's celebrate! I think any practice that includes the eating of bread-like substances with a sweet topping and perhaps a side of sizzling pig-flesh and eggs, is one we should all observe!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winner of a Free Book and More Resources for the 40-Days of Contemplation

I was so excited to read all the comments and enthusiasm of the invitation to join me on a 40-Day Lent season journey. You all had great thoughts and ideas to share.

But without further delay, the winner of a free book, chosen at random (, is:

Julie from Julie's Musings! 

Congratulations! Please email me at as soon as possible and let me know which book you would like. I hope which ever you choose offers you inspiration for the next 40 days.

Lent officially begins with Ash Wednesday on March 5th and ends on Easter Sunday, April 20th, 2014.

Whether you are celebrating the Christian celebration of Lent or taking this time for a 40-Day renewal and spring cleaning of you life and spirit, here are a few resources to help you with your journey.

Christian Emphasis- Suggestions and ideas specifically with spiritual pursuits in mind.

Lent Retreat- One of my favorite morning meditation sites, Pray As you Go, is offering a weekly Lent guided retreat with audio and text meditations.

Spirit Home- A great overview of what Lent is, how to practice it and audio devotionals. It also has links for additional resources.

40 Ideas for Lent- Rachel Held Evans has been compiling a list of ideas for Lent for several years. She also includes family-friendly ideas.

Retreat Ideas- A site with spiritual and non-spiritual ideas to plan a stay-at-home retreat day.

Personal Expression- Ideas to dig deeper.

370 Journal Prompts- Creative ideas for writing in your journal. With 370 to choose from, you're sure to find 40 that will inspire you.

Monthly Personal Retreat Ideas- Ideas to create a space to explore higher personal awareness.

More Personal Retreat Ideas- From the Life Liberated Project.

Nurture Your Creativity- Part of any spiritual journey includes nurturing our creativity. To me, this is the ultimate conduit of God's or our own inner voice.

Pinterest Simple Art Ideas- Creative play ideas. (I always need to keep it simple.)

13 Ways to Spark Creativity- A few good ideas here that may even inspire a few of your own ideas.

101 Artist's Date Ideas

Create Life, Creative Work: tools, resources, musings to enhance your creative potential. A Fun Resource of Creative Thought and Play

Meditation and Prayer

How To Meditate For Beginners: Ten Essential Tips

YouTube Guided Meditations

Pray As You Go- Audio daily meditations on scripture with lovely music.

Richard Rohr's Daily Email Meditations

Whether you approach this through a traditional Lent celebration or a personal Spring Renewal journey, please follow along over the next 6 1/2 weeks and join us in this online retreat. Plan to share what you're experiencing and let's grow and rejuvenate together.