Windows are openings to life, providing scenic views for inspiration. If you come to my window I hope you will find the blessing of a scenic view that inspires you. Perhaps it will be a supportive message from my blog, a poem, a quote or a prayer. It could be the discovery of a good book to read, or a movie to view—perhaps an invitation to attend one of my retreats.
When someone asks where I’m from and who I am, this is how I like to introduce myself: I come from the meadows, vineyards and forests of Altus, Arkansas. The country is a cherished memory of what I call first home. My childhood companions were animals, birds, insects, trees, plants, wild flowers and angels. I come from a family that was not without flaws. By today’s standards we may even qualify as a bit dysfunctional yet in spite of our defects I have always felt a unique and beautiful bond with my family.
My second home is with my Benedictine community of sisters, St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. We follow the rule of St. Benedict with the gospel as our guide.
In addition to writing, part of my ministry is leading retreats. In my retreats I attempt to draw you to the window of your soul. I invite you to look through that window, see the gifts you have been given, recognize your potential to assist in the healing of our world, and become involved in a process I call deep listening.
By nature I am a bit nomadic. I probably belong to the tribe called hunters (as opposed to the gatherers who settle into one place, tend their crops and wait for the harvest). Belonging to the Hunter Tribe fits me quite well spiritually for I am always seeking, reaching beyond what I can see with my visible eye. My hunt is for the great Source of Life we call God. My hunt is for meaning and purposeful living. Jesus, the Christ, is my guide. I feed on eternal questions and deep listening. In spite of being a hunter I long for solitude and have even taken a vow of stability of life which may seem not to fit with a hunter’s heart. Yet even hunters are called into solitude and quiet as they wait for their prey. They learn to keep vigil. There are hunters who, in the midst of the hunt, discover that the prey they thought they were seeking turn out to be far beyond their original expectation. They return home with nothing to brag about except the scenic view of a pierced heart that only they can see and understand.
Perhaps we are all a bit like that. We don’t fully understand our own vigilance and who it is we are waiting for, until suddenly we feel the breath of the Hound of Heaven on our heels. We slow down, then, and turn around to discern who might be hunting us.
These Things I Have Learned on the Great Hunt:
- All work (even menial tasks) can become a joy rather than a burden.
- “Practice” is one of the most important words in the spiritual life.
- It is harmful to my soul to judge others.
- All moments of waiting can become moments of keeping vigil.
- The book of the earth is as holy as the book of scripture.
- I am happiest when I am able to surrender my own will.
- If I am not happy with what I have, I probably won’t be happier with more.
- Even if I don’t agree with someone I can learn much by listening to them.
Here Is One Way Of Describing Myself:
- I am creative, restless, joyful, spiritual, forgiving, and loyal.
- I love morning, good books, good coffee, the earth, movies, and lectio divina
- I feel intense, hopeful, lonely, overwhelmed, and open-minded
- I need words, silence, God, friends, laughter, tears, and questions
- I fear prejudice, violence, quarreling, judging and gossip
- I would like to be a blessing, another Christ, a servant leader, a disciplined disciple.