A Ginko’s Posture

Growing up as a country girl, near a small town in Minnesota, I had access to many good things that nature had to offer.  My childhood home was situated on two acres with an open field, wooded area, and a creek.  Both sets of grandparents lived on nearby farms where we visited dozens of times […]

Trading Worry for Wonder

All of my safety nets are gone.  At least that’s what it feels like some days.  Deciding to become a full-time missionary was my life’s dream, but the process of actually making the dream happen has become a very different thing.  Everything that once felt stable, felt familiar, and felt secure has been left behind […]

Lost & Found

Earlier this year, I began walking almost every morning at the Morton Arboretum (often with a friend from the neighborhood). I’ve lived 3 miles away from it for 30 years, but had only been there a couple of times before she invited me to walk there with her. I have always loved nature – I […]

No More Masks

For most of my life, I have been a people pleaser, co-dependent, seeking other’s approval with a strong desire to “fit in.” I’ve worn a lot of masks and struggled with perfectionism.  I have fooled myself with the illusion that if I have it all together, I won’t have to deal with the messiness of […]

Wisdom Within

I write this while on a retreat in rural Stockton, IL, where there are more nature sounds than man-made sounds. As soon as I pull into the long driveway at the entrance, my soul knows it will be cared for. Sr. Julia welcomes me and takes me to my private hermitage where, once alone, I […]

Enough Really Is

  Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash Undulating waves, Rhythms rise and fall, Cicada call thick and strong, Enveloped in summer’s song. These troubadours know that summer’s days are fleeting.  Their chorus grows more intense, urgent, each moment seized before cool nights usher in autumn. Firefly’s flicker wanes, summer’s stragglers still brim with the hope […]

Cultivating Blooms

Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash Welcome August! As a life-long gardener, I have planted gardens in the yard of every home I have lived in.  I planted my first, large-scale, organic vegetable garden in 1973 to provide a variety of healthy vegetables and herbs for a growing family.  It was a very practical garden.  […]

I Choose to Surf

I had an awakening moment on the beach last month.  Change and uncertainty on the horizon of my life resonated loudly as I experienced the whirling wind and roaring waves… After thinking about my life and pondering big decisions, my mind and heart were very full.  While good, necessary and timely, I could feel my […]

Winter Speaks

For years, even before the creation of SPA Sisters Retreats, I saw beautiful metaphors in Nature that taught me about life, God and myself. This was largely due to a cancer diagnosis because I was forced to slow down and sit down. Each morning, on my front porch, after completing a twenty-minute Christian meditation practice […]

Desert Blooms

This March, I turned 41 years old. And I quite literally found myself in the desert. Phoenix, Arizona to be precise.  Many people think of the desert as a dry, barren, rocky, dusty, sunburnt place…life barely sustainable there.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard my midwestern counterparts say, “There’s no green there. […]