• Engage

    The Tapeworm Gallery: Freedom

                I see you signed up for another round of Celebrate Recovery at the church two towns over. Still angry and bruised, ha? I knew it. I think you should do CR again. It worked wonders the first time—especially for that anxiety and depression. So go ahead and rehash all your resentments, guilt, shame, anger and fear that stem from your wholesome childhood. Because I enjoy watching you run in circles. I meant to ask, how’s your narcissistic mother doing? Tell her hello for me. And that I said, “Thanks,” for leaving you emotionally emaciated.             I get why you don’t feel like praying. Talking…

  • Heartprints

    GOOD GRIEF: Seven Steps to Embracing Emotions- #3 The Heart of the Matter

    Being good is not the same as being godly. “They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders . . . They do all their deeds to be seen by people,” Matthew 23:4-5a  In verse 15 Jesus exhorts, ““Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you get one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves!”  Do we settle for obedience even when we know it is done with an angry belligerent heart? If we are satisfied with obedience even when attitudes are wrong we have…

  • Engage

    A New Normal: Finding Life amidst Chronic Illness

    Four-and-a-half years ago an autoimmune condition slipped into my system. Like Troy’s Trojan horse, it unleashed a stealth attack. And the battle that ensued left me battling bouts of exhaustion and extreme fatigue.   When our bodies don’t work like we want them to, we’re often left searching for a new normal. Yet as we embrace the journey, we learn to acknowledge our humanness, rest in God’s presence, and ultimately find new life.   Listen Deeply: It requires attentiveness to acknowledge the changing needs within us. We may notice our need for more sleep, cravings for solitude, or longings for better health. And only as we pay attention, can we…

  • Engage

    Everything Centers On This One Thing

    My earliest memories of Easter include new church dresses with hats and lots of yellow ribbons, intense searches for plastic eggs with the rare $2 bill stuffed inside, marshmallow peeps (which I never liked) and loads of Cadbury chocolate, complete with the resulting stomach-ache. The day came and went with a little bit of anticipation, but nominal impact on my day-to-day life. As I grew up, the cognitive recognition that Easter celebrated something important, something critical, something that all of reality hinges upon, was not lost on me. However, the disconnect between head and heart can sometimes keep the significance of an event at a distance. I would reflect on…

  • Engage

    Scrambled Souls and SILENCE – An Accessible Addiction

    Eleven years ago this fall I was invited to go on a “silent retreat”, the kind where you literally do not speak during the time period for silence. This particular one was for 36 hours. Some of my friends were incredulous. “How can a group of women be silent for that long, for any amount of time?” One of my relatives emailed me and asked, “Just what does one do on a silent retreat, like – what’s the purpose?” One colleague even ventured to look at me as if to say, “YOU, silent?” Until this first silent retreat I had not experienced the phenomenon of stopping to enter into silence…