The courage to rest

Praying the ancient Vespers prayers at sunset. That's the life.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail A few years ago, I found myself in a state of being perpetually overwhelmed. I mean, I still feel that way a lot of the time now, but back then it was worse. There was more of a sense of hopelessness, a feeling that I was sinking and couldn’t figure out how to pull… [Continue Reading]

How to think about the afterlife (hint: you can’t, because you live in Flatland)

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FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I don’t spend much time trying to imagine heaven. To be honest, it always stresses me out. Every time I get a mental image that I like, I realize that something about it would get old if I had to deal with it for, you know, eternity. The other day, Joe brought home some… [Continue Reading]

Desert spirituality at two o’clock in the morning

Stars over the desert

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail Look at pretty much any culture that existed before the use of electricity, and you’ll see that they had deep superstitions about night. Throughout the ages, it’s been a nearly universal human belief that evil forces gained potency after the sun went down. Age-old evening prayers reflect fears of death: Now I lay me… [Continue Reading]

21 tips for survival mode

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FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail A few years ago I made a passing comment about being in “bare minimum mode”¬†because we had four kids under age five. I was surprised when I opened up email the next morning to have a flood of questions asking me for more details about this concept. Ever since then, any time I bring… [Continue Reading]

Six questions for conquering crazy-think and making good decisions

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I don’t do suffering well. Some generous people said that they thought I handled the pulmonary embolism thing¬†gracefully, but a) they would have retracted all of that and slowly backed away in fear if they could have heard my inner dialogue, and b) sitting in a quiet hospital room and listening to my iPod… [Continue Reading]

Behind the scenes of a mid-life crisis

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I think I had a mid-life crisis a few months ago. It was a weird experience, because I didn’t see it coming. Ever since my conversion I’ve had this unshakable sense of peace at the foundation of my life, a sort of root-level happiness that I never knew was possible. Yeah, things are hard,… [Continue Reading]

A few other things I learned from my month o’ doom

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I‘m now entering week 10,000 of this pregnancy, with only 40,000 more days to go until the April due date! (I don’t have a calendar handy, so that’s just a guesstimate.) Also, I just found out that I’m seriously anemic, which will help me fill out my “Blood-Related Issues that Make You Feel Like… [Continue Reading]

“Joy is not a flag Jesus plants in us; it is a fruit he grows in us”

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I received a copy of a new book while I was at the monastery this week. I planned to read it when I got home, but as soon as I glanced at the first page, I knew I’d been given something special. I ended up spending hours poring over its pages, soaking up its… [Continue Reading]

My (very late) word for the year

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I didn’t choose a “word of the year” this year. The New Year happened to coincide a particularly low point in the book process, even by doomed project standards, and I scrapped the whole word choosing process when the only options I could come up with were: Futility Despair Floccinaucinihilipilification Then last Tuesday I… [Continue Reading]

What a spiritual director and an MBA taught me about being overwhelmed

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FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I have a personality type that leads me to feel overwhelmed a lot. I’m ambitious but lazy; I have a latent perfectionist streak that comes out at unexpected times; I’m an Olympian procrastinator; and I’m so non-confrontational that I often find myself saying “Yes, I’d love to help with that” when what I should… [Continue Reading]