Accepting the truth that I am good

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on September 12, 2022 https://bccatholic.ca/authors/lisa-rumpel

As plants need certain things to thrive, there are ways of thriving in the spiritual life.

My interior life felt dried up like the dirt in my planter pots. I needed a good watering of prayer and the sacraments to feel refreshed again. I was worried and my body was physically sore.

I overworked my muscles from dancing. I needed to take a break and then I fell out of a workout and prayer routine. I was in acute pain so it stopped me from feeling like I could exercise. 

In my tiredness, I neglected my prayer life.

Lord have mercy on me.

Every indoor plant I own was a gift. And my task is to keep them alive. I love admiring gardens but never took to gardening before. My limiting belief is that I don’t know how to tend to the fragile plant life. 

“To plant a garden, you believe in tomorrow.” (Audrey Hepburn) I want to become more of a gardener. Becoming a gardener is a lot like becoming a saint. 

I try to do the best thing for the plants by giving them sunlight and water.  And I seek God’s will for my daily life.  

I will search for God in all the wounded places of my heart. And in the beauty of the beach and delicate flowers. This summer I spent many days at beaches swimming in the salty water and soaking up the sunshine. I also walked through Van Dusen gardens and neighbourhood gardens enjoying lush golden chain trees and roses.

I love the poem by Emily Dickinson To My Quick Ear the Leaves Conferred because it shows how much nature fills our lives. 

“To my quick ear the leaves – conferred – 

The bushes – they were bells – 

I could not find a privacy 

From Nature’s sentinels” (excerpt, by Emily Dickinson)

My three plants: Tradescantia nanouk (purple and green), spider plant and Zamioculcas zamiifolia (with waxy leaves) are all growing to my surprise. I started to talk to them as I give them water or dust their leaves. I think I’m becoming a plant mom. 

I look forward to having more plants to tend. Jazz has many plants around our apartment which make our place feel both wild and cozy. She has a natural skill at keeping them healthy and happy. She is inspiring.

As plants need certain things to thrive, there are ways of thriving in the interior life.

I think I’m becoming a plant mom.

My first step towards a more flowing faith was to make my way to confession. If my heart is achy and my desire to pray is low, I know it’s time to spend quality time with Jesus. Confession and Mass are in order.

“The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need.” Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

I traveled to the Cathedral in the morning. I arrived early and the doors were locked. I grabbed an orange juice to go and sat in the park across from the church. The sun beat down on me as I silently prepared my heart for confession. 

Pigeons walked past me and one flew a little too close to my head for comfort. 

Having a diagnosis of a mental illness can be uncomfortable too. Sometimes, I worry if people will accept me for who I am in health and in sickness. I am blessed with such a supportive and understanding family. They have actively learned about mental illness and mental health to better help me. 

We all rally around each other in the good times and the bad. I have friends who will send a hot meal when our family is experiencing a trial. Knowing that people are praying for your healing makes such a difference as well. These are no small things. It’s the small things that are the big things. 

When I finished my confession and was praying my penance a sense of deep gratitude washed over my body. A few tears welled in my eyes, and I knelt in awe and wonder at God who is so loving and merciful. 

I sat in front of the tabernacle to adore Jesus. My heart felt lighter, and it filled with hope. 

And I repeated, “In the name of Jesus Christ I accept the truth that I am good. I am beautiful. I am forgiven. I am worthy of heaven.” (Fr. Crow, from Episode 97. Spiritual warfare Tell-all with Fr. Crow. on the What in the Dang Heck Podcast) https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/spiritual-warfare-tell-all-with-fr-crow-part-1

In this episode, he explains that speaking these words can renounce lies about ourselves. Especially if we say, “In the name of Jesus.” Fr. Crow says we don’t want to give demons the foothold by believing we are destined for lives of loneliness or thinking that we are fat and ugly. 

A lot of healing can come from speaking in the name of Jesus Christ and renouncing these lies.

As I sat in the pew in the beautiful gothic Cathedral, I felt loved by Jesus and renewed in spirit. Jesus says in scripture not to worry and to be not afraid. 

I will learn to garden and to trust in the unwavering mercy of God. He loves me with or without a mental illness. I will lean into his love like my ZZ plant does.


How to find contentment when you are running on empty

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on May 4, 2022 https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/how-to-find-contentment-when-you-are-running-on-empty

“If you, like me, have been thirsting for the Lord’s presence in your life, seek times of adoration and quiet moments of prayer.” – photo from unsplash.

I sat at a corner table in the dining area of Granville Island’s public market. The view was spectacular. Floor-to-ceiling windows offered me an unobstructed view of the ocean, city, and mountains. Cormorants bobbed in the water. Seagulls flew by. Neon-jacketed runners traversed the sea wall across from me.

Ferries and pleasure boats moved slowly. Rowers practised their strokes cutting through the water.

I ate delicious Greek food from The Sprig. It filled me up as I was waiting to meet up with friends to watch a play. I wrote notes for my next column on my phone and enjoyed people-watching.

Many passersby took photos on the boardwalk right in front of me. I watched them smile. They were enjoying the spring sunshine as much as me. My weekend was turning out to be full of activity. And I was searching for that feeling of happiness.

Lately, I have felt discontent. On a walk during the week, my roommate reminded me about having a spirit of gratitude.

I can be thankful for so much. How easy it is to forget the goodness in my life. Taking everything for granted. Reflecting on my blessings from my time in the hospital helps me to see God’s hand upon me.

He was with me when I was the only one left in the residential hospital for almost a week. I felt his presence in the encouragement and quality time from the staff members helping me feel less alone.

I had a place to dance even if it was in the parking lot to de-stress.

There was a hot meal for me every day.

My family and friends called or came to visit me when they could.

New medications were adjusted to benefit my mental health.

My doctor listened to my concerns and questions.

I found ways to calm myself when train noises kept waking me up in the middle of the night.

Even in that dark period of my life last year, I felt the Lord’s presence. It is when I get cozy and everything is going well that I tend to forget to lean on him.

I want to offer some words for the young professional woman (like me) who is discontented and running on empty. It’s time to let go of the idea that busy is better. If you, like me, have been thirsting for the Lord’s presence in your life, seek times of adoration and quiet moments of prayer. Attend a weekday Mass if you can.

Jesus waits for you to give him all your worries and goals. Celebrating the Easter season is a way to remember that he calls us, “arise, my beloved one, and come.”

Cultivate trust that God has it all in hand. And practise gratitude. When I think I have control, I can become self-reliant and forget that God provides. I try to do things all with my own strength. Jesus suffers with me and provides for every need I have, so I can breathe deeply knowing I am cared for.

Don’t give up! The Lord has a marvellous life planned for you. One of greatness. It will involve suffering because we can’t reach heaven without being tested and moulded like gold in fire. We can be so afraid of suffering. Yet some of the greatest things in life come with it. If we want to obtain any success in relationships or personal prestige, it takes work. Search out new interests and hobbies. I feel so alive when I am learning a new language or a dance.

In a homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, Father Nick said, “God’s heart is always for the suffering.” How wonderful! “How blessed are we to have a God who is determined to chase after us until we finally know and experience the wonders of His goodness and mercy!” (The Practice of the Presence of God: A 40-Day Devotion Based on Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God).

As I finish writing this piece, I am sitting on the balcony of my apartment with a blanket and tea. One of my greatest treasures is to write for the newspaper and share what’s on my heart. Not everyone wants to be so open with their struggles, nor do they need to be. I feel a special call to share that it’s okay to have a mental illness and there is healing and hope. And for this I am truly grateful. It banishes the feeling of discontent.

“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord: I know my sheep, and mine know me.” When you are running on empty and don’t know what to do, turn to Jesus, who can fill you up with love.

You can check out my podcast The Will to Thrive: Stories of Resilience available on popular streaming services.


Redesign your living space and unclutter your mind for Jesus

First published in the B.C. Catholic Newspaper on January 19, 2021 – https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/redesign-your-living-space-and-unclutter-your-mind-for-jesus

Jesus will see me through the winter blues. I trust that he is with me on the little blue couch in my heart. 

“Let’s move our little blue couch over there!” My sister pointed to the wall close to the kitchen.

I nodded. “That could work.”

After watching a few episodes of the Design Doctors on Amazon Prime we drew a new floor plan for our sitting room. We tired of the layout of our room that we spend more of our time in since the start of the pandemic. We looked at each of the five points of focus in interior design: light, space, colour, flow, and storage.

The piano now had pride of place with plants and lighting around it. We moved our dark furniture to be next to each other creating warmth. Our light armchairs had their own decorative pillows and a blanket draped over it for each of us to curl up in. We rearranged what was on our bookshelves, donating items that we no longer use. 

Using creative design in the home helped me to have new perspective on my personal projects. I felt like the rearranging, culling, and cleaning uncluttered my head space as well. I no longer felt stuck. I have options. I can restart, reformat, and redo what doesn’t work in writing. And I can refresh, renew, and restore relationships.

When my prayer life seemed to dry up, I remembered that Jesus takes pride of place in my heart. I needed to toss and tether all the useless junk and sin that clutters up my soul.

“We need to be reminded that every second of our survival does really mean that we are new from God’s fingers, so that it requires no more than the miracle which we never notice to restore to us our virgin-heart at any moment we like to choose,” wrote Caryll Houselander in The Reed of God.

I opened up the window to let the cold winter air in. We admired our work and I danced in the wide-open space in the centre of the room. This room was now hygge – the Danish word for coziness, comfort, and contentment. Candlelight really makes the home hyggelig (hygge-like).

We can open our hearts for Jesus to find an inviting sitting room. Oh, how I want him to be with me during the sometimes-dreary season of winter. 

January can be a very blue month for me. The dark days a struggle. With a fresh look in my home, I have a gift of change and eagerness for what the new year will bring. When I have hopes, dreams, and goals that I am anticipating, my life has purpose.

I like to pray the CCO missionary prayer. It goes like this: “… Lord, I will go anywhere you want me to go, I will do anything you want me to do, and I will say anything you want me to say …”

And then I step out in faith. Loving the people in my life, moving forward in writing my books, and showing up at work to serve. It is not that I can do it on my own. I know that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. Someone willing to be his instrument. He has a plan for me. It thrills me and worries me at the same time.

“What if I don’t measure up? What if I mess things up?” 

Moses did not reach the promised land because he didn’t entrust himself to the Lord. It’s not an easy thing to do. Daily I need to choose to trust in my King and my God. I need to believe in his majesty and mercy. I can do nothing without him. I want him to be comfortable in the depths of my heart.

Receiving the sacrament of confession is like interior design for your soul. I have been seeking reconciliation to clean out my heart. Holding onto the promise of freedom from my sin, I begin again. 

Writes Houselander, “The question which most people will ask is: “Can someone whose life is already cluttered up with trivial things get back to this virginal emptiness?” Of course he can; if a bird’s nest has been filled with broken glass and rubbish, it can be emptied.”

Jesus will see me through the winter blues. I may not always feel his presence. I trust that he is with me on the little blue couch in my heart. 

Lisa Rumpel’s podcast with a new name, The Will to Thrive: Stories of Resilience, is available on popular streaming services. It is updated once a month on Wednesday. 


Prayer of a ‘silly woman in front of the tabernacle’

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on November 23, 2020 https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/prayer-of-a-silly-woman-in-front-of-the-tabernacle

I am never alone. For Jesus promises, “I will not abandon you.”

Early in the morning one workday, I knelt in the chapel in our building. The sanctuary lamp flickered and glowed in the dark. It was a tangible reminder that in the empty chapel Jesus was there with me listening to my prayers. 

I watched the candle’s flame dance, its light shining. I felt a peace wash over me. The feeling settled like a wool shawl around my shoulders. I am never alone. Even when I can’t see the candle burning. 

My prayer goes something like this, “Please go with me. I am a silly woman in front of the tabernacle trying to find healing and strength. Lord, I know you can help me and all my dear ones. You are silent and strong. I know with you when everything goes wrong, You are right beside me. Hold me close to you. Never let me fear. I want to be one with you. I love you, my dear Saviour. I am worried but I put all my worries in your hands.” 

Sometimes when I pray I can hear a quiet voice, “Darling, look upon me. Do not be afraid. I am always with you. I will not abandon you. I delight in your efforts, tenacity, and smiles. Do not weary. I will carry you if you are tired. I love you. You are mine. My daughter, be brave.” 

And then after those precious quiet minutes, I picked up my lunch kit and went upstairs to my desk. I was ready to offer my day for my loved ones. I set out to work in a manner pleasing to God and my colleagues. Each phone call, email, and written report is an opportunity for prayer. 

Even if you are a student and you have a lot of studying to do, it can be your time of prayer. I often think that way about my writing. When it seems I can’t take time away from house chores or other pressing work, I remind myself that this is also a way to pray. 

I am my biggest critic. When I see some of my finished work – either my writing, podcast, or videos – I start to point out all that I did wrong. Or when I fall into the same sins again and again. 

I turn to the Lord saying, “Lord, I am your cracked clay pot. I am your unpolished art. Mould me and fashion me.” 

The beauty of that moment is, I can begin again. I can learn from my mistakes or even my beginner’s method. I can grow and adapt and change. I am leaning on the strength of the Lord in prayer and the sacraments and practising flexibility. I have a strong desire to be ready for the Lord like those wise bridesmaids who had extra oil for their lamps. 

For a whole week I had trouble sleeping. I had sensory hallucinations from my mental illness showing up along with stress. It passed and I learned that taking the rest I need is non-negotiable. I treasure the hours of solid sleep I can get, knowing that this is one key way to stay healthy. 

When there is a flurry of concern in politics and culture, I hold on to the word of God, which is true. And I look to the things that I can control which are my “thoughts, muscles and impulses” (Dr. Abraham Low, American neuropsychiatrist). I am amazed at the peace I can receive when I read Scripture and give my burdens to the Lord. It does help! 

I continue to rise and give my best. Some days I am more tired than others. I focus on what I can do and “be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practise resurrection” (Wendell Berry). 

Check out my podcast, The Resilient Catholic: Shining light on your journey to flourish with Mental Health, available on popular streaming services. It is updated once a month on Wednesday.


The bravest thing you can do is ask for help

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on September 28th, 2020 https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/the-bravest-thing-you-can-do-is-ask-for-help

I delight in writing. Discovering the joy of writing and being vulnerable brings me such comfort and connection.

“Pick up the pen and be brave.” Five years ago, these words came in my heart during prayer. The Lord asked me to let go of the stigma and shame of having a mental illness.

I had been carrying it around for so long, it was time to surrender and to write about it.

I clung to the safety of anonymity and the label – bipolar disorder – that I lived with. I was hiding in my pain. I thought everyone who knew me would think mental illness is a weakness, not a sickness. My fears of people finding out reared in my head like ugly cartoon monsters. It was hard to shut them out. I trusted only a few people with my story for a long time.

When I opened up to friends about my story, and they didn’t run away, I knew I was not alone. For years, my identity was in having a disability. I began to see that I am not my illness. I have an illness. Language is important to live the truth of who you are.

I am a beloved daughter of God. 

This realization frees me from the monsters of shame, fear, and anger to live in abundance. 

On a recent workday, I went for a walk outside to recharge. I brought a picnic lunch with me and settled in at a wooden table in a garden outside of the Healthy Minds Centre. As I sat down, I noticed faint green writing in front of me. Written on the table were the words, “It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay, healing takes time.”

I smiled. It was what I needed at that moment. I was tense and stressed and worried. The message jumped out at me even though the words were faded from the sun and rain. 

As I sat down, I noticed faint green writing in front of me. Written on the table were the words, “It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay, healing takes time.”

I read once that “the bravest thing you can do is ask for help.” It takes humility to reach out. I turn to family and friends when I am lonely, afraid, or unable to cope. “Don’t you think the things people are most ashamed of are the things they can’t help?” wrote C.S. Lewis in Till We Have Faces.

When I spend time in prayer with Jesus, I’m made aware of my wholeness. The Lord is the ultimate physician. “It is the Lord … who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy” (Ps 103, 3-4).

He gives medicine and psychiatrists, counsellors and therapists, to bring us healing. We can’t do life alone. God, who is a communion of persons, made us to need each other.

So I began to write, and write, and write. I started to journal and write poems and short prose. I worked on writing a couple of books (these are still unpublished works). I started to write for The B.C. Catholic from the encouragement of my friends and the movement of the Holy Spirit. I delight in writing. Discovering the joy of writing and being vulnerable brings me such comfort and connection. As my favourite high school English teacher would say, “It’s cathartic.” 

My journals keep filling up. I keep Post-it notes and loose papers with ideas, musings, and quotes. My room is full of books – a small library. My reading list is always long. I spend many an evening curled up with a cup of tea and a good book. I am always looking to improve the craft of writing. I am learning from great writers like Austen, Lewis, and Tolkien. 

Finding my identity in Christ, my life has become a beautiful unfolding tale. Reflecting on it provides me with hope because the Lord has gifted me with good things and people. I am grateful for the unveiling of who I am; I look forward to who I will become. I no longer wear masks to hide the fact that I have bipolar disorder (although I wear a mask now due to COVID-19).

I’m unashamed and do not carry stigma from having a mental illness. I like the lyrics from the country song I Got a Truck by Devin Dawson, who sings “’Cause I got a song, I got a story to tell, I got a reason for living.”

And then, “I got a dream and a hope and a prayer … I got the drive and the grit and the spirit.”

We all have a story to share. There is room for all our stories. And we can be brave in sharing them because our hope is in the Lord. 

Lisa Rumpel’s podcast, The Resilient Catholic: Shining light on your journey to flourish with Mental Health, is available on popular streaming services. It is updated every other Wednesday.


With bipolar disorder comes gifts and crosses

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on August 31, 2020 https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/with-bipolar-disorder-come-gifts-and-crosses

At times I can have boundless energy. Then a few days later, I want to crawl into a ball of blankets and just sip coffee.

I woke up in a foul mood. My weekend sleep was interrupted by noise. My afternoon plans were cancelled. I had a heated and tearful conversation with my brother. A low mood settled on me at lunch. My day was crashing down like my internet connection. 

After crying a bit in my room, I joined my sister and her boyfriend on their route to the beach. My spirits kept sinking like a shipwreck. I needed to do something fast. As we were walking, a Wendy’s sign popped out to me. In an instant, I craved a Frosty. I quickly parted and lined up for a chocolate dessert. Tucking the icy treat in my book bag, I walked the rest of the way to a park near the ocean. 

Not wanting full sun, I looked around for shade. Many people had the same goal. I walked around thinking I was going to have to bake in the hot sun. To my delight, I spotted a tiny pine tree in the middle of the dried grass. I spread out my blanket and wiped sweat from the back of my neck. The tree sheltered my face as I dug into my Frosty with a spoon. 

Only a part of it had melted in the unusual heat. The light chocolate flavour glided down my throat, and I relished the moment. As soon as I had eaten the treat, I felt sleepy and lay down resting in the shade. Pine needles brushed my hair, and the heat felt like a soft blanket on my skin. I dozed to the sound of seagulls calling and bike wheels whizzing by me. Peace washed over me as I rested. I felt like a battery recharging in the afternoon sun. 

Bipolar disorder has offered me the opportunity to gain new skills in navigating the ups and downs. Being a woman, I already experience natural changes in energy, mood, and behaviour throughout the month; bipolar disorder brings an additional challenge. At times I can have boundless energy feeding it into multiple projects and loads of social time. But then a few days later, I want to crawl into a ball of blankets and just sip coffee, away from it all. It is humbling and draining.

Part of the reason it is hard is because of the expectations I place on myself. I always expect my performance to be amazing, and when it isn’t, I want to escape. I want to leave sadness behind me. But even nature has seasons. 

Now, I see the sadness was signalling to me. 

You matter. Take the time to do your creative work. You are worth it. Let the pen hit the paper and twirl. 

Just being alive is enough. There is nothing you need to prove. Don’t give up. 

I resonate with Talia Kruse, https://taliakruse.com/ a Catholic mental health coach who says, “The Lord gave me gifts, and the Lord has given me crosses – but both are to be offered up for his glory. He gave me the gift of being driven, and motivated, but he also gave me this cross of bipolar disorder which in many ways disrupts these gifts. Why would he give me such contradicting attributes? Only he knows – perhaps for my humility, perhaps for me to realize that not all things are easy. Whatever the case is, he knows and is faithful.”

Every up and down with bipolar disorder I learn something new about the faithfulness of God. He doesn’t give up on me. “With him, I do not feel alone, or useless or abandoned, but involved in a plan of salvation that one day will lead to paradise” – John Paul I Address, Sept. 20, 1978

Lisa Rumpel’s podcast, The Resilient Catholic: Shining light on your journey to flourish with Mental Health, is available on popular streaming services. It is updated every other Wednesday.


If there be one thing…

I hope my stories become prayers, become hopeful living.

If there be one thing for me to leave in the world. It would be a legacy. A legacy of love.

I hope my words remain etched in the fabric of life.

Stories unfold and rest in the bosom where memories are treasured.

I hope my stories become prayers, become hopeful living.

I try to be true, honest and light. There is pain and trial. With God there is might. His love never leaves me dry for long. The pen flows freely. If I sit here, a song.


Lunch on the Patio

A poem inspired by the Japanese form of Haibun Poetry, combining prose and Haiku.

Moss covers the old shed

beside the laden cherry tree

In the neighbour’s yard

Grey squirrel climbs tree

Branches sway under the sky

Shiny cherries hang

Pink peonies fill 

A tall vase

Below the stairs 

By the light switch 

Near the door

Landlords cabin bound

Flowers a gift of kindness

From their own garden

Rooftops of Mount Pleasant homes

Clouds and trees are views from the patio 

Tortillas and guacamole 

Nourish stomachs at lunch

Wind makes the trees dance

Orange slices refreshing

Senses come alive


‘Just to be alive is a grand thing’

First published in the BC Catholic Newspaper on May 26, 2020 https://bccatholic.ca/voices/lisa-rumpel/just-to-be-alive-is-a-grand-thing

I know that my small plans are nothing to what God has planned for me. His plans are bigger and better than mine.

Wildflowers dotted the grass around my picnic blanket. Shade from tall evergreens created a perfect spot for me to rest in. I kicked off my running shoes and let my bare feet enjoy the cool breeze. Laying down on the blanket tucked away in Queen Elizabeth Park felt like my own piece of paradise. Birds flitted from treetop to tree branch. Fuzzy bees flew by and visited pink rhododendrons nearby. The smell of ferns and evergreens reminded me of hiking trips of the past. Hunger pains told me it was near dinner.

Calling my mom, we chatted for a good half hour. Then after the conversation about our hopes and dreams, we said a short prayer together. Two young girls were sharing snacks on a picnic blanket near me. They laughed and picked up pinecones. I dug into my handbag for my red beaded rosary that my mom gifted me. Sitting with my chin titled toward the sky, I prayed the Glorious Mysteries with many intentions in my heart. 

The Lord is generous in his love. Even with all of the social isolation, I have felt community in the many phone calls, text messages, and video chats with my friends and family. We have become more creative in ways to connect. Virtual dance parties, brunches, movie dates, and Mass have become a way to bond when we cannot be in person.

God’s love cannot be undone with an outbreak of a virus causing anxiety to rise. It has been a “corona coaster” of worries and emotions for me lately. Going out in nature and hearing my loved ones’ voices over the phone has been a calm grounding. Surprising to me is my increased desire to create art, bake, dance, and laugh with loved ones.

My dream of completing my book has really been forefront on my mind. I know that my small plans are nothing to what God has planned for me. His plans are bigger and better than mine. I feel like God will bless my little “yes” in taking action. Without having my social calendar full, I am using the extra time to foster my creative pursuits. As I felt the Lord say to me in prayer, “Pick up the pen and be brave.” I have been journalling, writing poems, taking notes, and jotting ideas down. As a writer, living life vibrantly fills the well of creativity. I go for many walks, read lots of books, and fill my hours with varied activities which brings countless material to my writing desk. 

Being in an environment that helps me do the work and having the right tools is key. For the longest time, I was without a laptop because my old one crashed. Thankfully, I had backed up my files and didn’t lose seven years of work on my book. When we open ourselves up to what we believe God is calling us to, he provides the means. It’s amazing how many people he has connected me with to assist me in writing my memoir. “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” (Is 41:13) 

The excitement of possibility and leaning into the mystery of God’s plan helps me live through these days with hope. I will cultivate the garden of my heart, watering with prayer, acts of love, and faithful trust.

As Agatha Christie said in her autobiography, “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”