Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:


Category: Advent Christmas Epiphany


Day Begins With Night

Winter Dawn on Saltspring Island, BC I love that in the Jewish and Christian traditions, days actually begin the night before based on the lunar calendar of scripture.  As the sun lowers below the horizon, swathing the world in darkness, we move into the new day.  In earlier times, the night before a Christian feast day, vigil was kept. Vigil comes from the Latin vigilia which means wakefulness.  Keeping vigil is in part what Advent is about, staying awake, keeping watch, waiting.  We may go to vigil services for Christmas or Easter.  There are times of keeping vigil in our own lives. 

Read More

Making Space: Book Giveaway (Part 1)

I have been in a process of cleaning things out, making room for something new.  I have several books that I have either read or probably won’t get a chance to read and I thought some of my readers might be interested in.  All you have to do is read over the list, select one or two titles that interest you, then leave a comment with your request.  I will email you for your mailing address and send it to you by media mail.  Read through the comments before requesting a title to make sure it wasn’t claimed already.  I will

Read More


The word inspiration comes from the Latin root spiritus which means Spirit or breath.  To be inspired is to be filled with the spirit or to be breathed into.  This is what happened when Mary received the Spirit of God into her womb.  The Spirit continues to move and breathe into each one of us, each moment of each day.  Are you willing to receive?  Have you made a welcoming space for the Spirit to move within you?  In my blog journeying today I discovered some poetic and visual inspiration: Cathleen at Back Road Journey writes about Dreams of Darkness, an invitation to “sing from deep within.”

Read More


We had a great Awakening the Creative Spirit weekend again.  This time my wonderful partner Betsey Beckman led us in storytelling, music, and song and the twelve holy women who participate were a gift to be with in their journeys of discovery.  After we closed our time together I looked outside and wished I had brought my camera.  Above the city’s rooftops, I could see beautiful Mount Rainier flanked by the snow-capped Cascades and the waxing moon, that is almost full, beginning to rise in the mid-afternoon sky. Unfortunately I have not been feeling that well.  First, right before we were leaving

Read More

Holy Darkness

When we moved to Seattle the winters became more pronounced.  I didn’t think moving 600 miles north would make such a difference, but we easily have three hours more darkness in the winter than when we lived in Northern California.  It also feels more perceptible because the sky is often gray and the sun that much lower on the horizon as it makes her gentle arc across a winter sky. In contrast then, summer days are also much longer.  Days are filled with light in long expanses.  And while summers can indeed be beautiful here in the Northwest (of course anytime

Read More

Advent Resources

Classes are canceled across Seattle today, my husband got the phone call at 5:00 a.m. notifying him (he teaches high school) and Seattle University posted their announcement soon after.  Apparently even though there hasn’t been much snowfall in the city, the low temperatures have made for icy and dangerous driving conditions.   Snow and below freezing temperatures are unusual around here and the city is not equipped to deal well, especially since Seattle is built on 7 hills, which makes for even more treacherous driving. Today was to be my last class session and I am sad not to have a chance to gather

Read More

Waters of New Birth

Painting is “Waters of Baptism” by Tim Mooney Tim audited a class I co-taught while living in Berkeley.  A good friend and I received a grant from the Practicing Our Faith people to teach a class on creativity as Christian spiritual practice (you can read a summary here) in the spring of 2003.  It was a great experience, and we got to meet wonderfully creative and spiritually grounded students like Tim (a Presbyterian pastor, artist, and spiritual director) and begin exploring some of our ideas around creativity as a vital practice for church communities and ministry.  I got an email today from Tim,

Read More