The Wilderness Journal and the Face of God

So, imagine me packing furiously for this beautiful opportunity to speak at the (first ever) Ancient Faith Women’s Retreat when what does my friend, Melinda Johnson, who I like an awful lot, send me?   Boom.  I mean I know I wrote it. It took three years and a lot of puzzling over the first volume of the Philokalia, but to see even a photo of a stack of the book is…

Waking Anxious, Underwater

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7   I woke up feeling anxious. It happens like this sometimes. I go to bed feeling fine. I sleep well. I might even stumble around after waking for a few minutes,…

Always Standing

I am getting familiar with the words so I am sitting down. In fact, I am sitting on my bed in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon, avoiding doing anything I had on my long list of things to do after Liturgy. I tell myself it’s a “day of rest” and all that. It feels legit. I pick up a prayer book given to me by a friend and begin to…

Running

Remember when I said I don’t like to run? I mean, there’s a whole chapter in Garden in the East on exercise in which I make it super clear that I don’t like to run and that I am NOT going to run. I do other things. I enjoy Pilates and weight training. I’ll even sign up for Flamenco classes if the mood strikes, but I don’t like to run. Oh. Um.…

Gathering In

In a few weeks, we’ll say goodbye to our house in Tennessee. We bought it back in 2005 after selling our bungalow in Chicago for more money than we could imagine. It was the height of the real estate market, just before the bubble burst. We decided to slow down our lives a little. The kids were small and we felt like the city was closing in on us. The place in…

Theologians

I’ve been steadily working on this new book that’s due out late next year. It involves reading through the first volume of the Philokalia, one page at a time, and then reflecting on something I’ve read there. It’s slow-going because it’s a meaty work but also because of the nature of my crazy life. Let’s be honest, though. My life probably isn’t much crazier than yours. We all have stuff to do,…

A Word about Suffering

Ok, fine– many words about suffering… A quick search on the topic of suffering brings out the heavy hitters– Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Khalil Gibran And that’s not even tapping into our massive supply…