Today’s Spiritual Prescription:

I double dog dare you.

No…Triple dog.

I triple dog dare you to skip AND be sad or angry or discouraged at the same time.  But know this.  I have concluded, from numerous testings, that it is impossible!

Now my husband believes that he could both simultaneously be angry and skip.  But this is what I think.  He might be able to begin skipping while being enraged (that image alone makes me giggle), but I truly doubt his anger could outlast a worthy amount of skipping.

There is just something about skipping that lightens my heart.  Perhaps it’s because it literally gets my heart going, producing those calming endorphins. Or maybe it’s because I’m feeling silly—like I’m a carefree child again.

I remember being slightly embarrassed, yet somewhat intrigued, when my 50-something mother came skipping toward me on my college campus.  Why on earth was she skipping?

As I approach the age my mother was back then, I’m realizing the importance of not taking life too seriously. I love the fact that Jesus tells us that to enter the Realm of God we must “become like little children” (Matthew 18:1-4).

In this scripture, Jesus was implying that his adult listeners needed to humble themselves and be willing to accept the lowly position that children carried in that culture.  But I’m going to also believe Jesus understood that children have a special way of seeing the joy and beauty all around them. Most are not weighed down with the weight of the world. What a wonderful way to live life—at any age.

So…here’s your Spiritual Prescription:

The next time you are feeling out of sorts, I want you to skip.  Skip in your neighborhood, down the halls of your workplace or your school.  Skip in the grocery store, in the local park or even in your own home. Skip with your friends, your children or your grandchildren. If you must, you can do it alone under cover of night.

Give it a try and let us know here at Desert Sojourn

how high your spirits got!


With Understanding Comes Direction…

Today’s Spiritual Prescription:

Know Thyself!

I can’t help but wonder if I had truly known myself—that I am discouraged by sunny skies and long summers—would I have still accepted the job that brought my family and me to the desert?  If I had realized how much I enjoyed being outdoors (on cool and/or cloudy days) would I have even entertained the idea of applying for a position in this region of the United States where much of my time would have to be spent indoors?

Life’s is funny like that, isn’t it?  It always makes much more sense looking back…after we’ve come through that which has taught us about ourselves.  I do believe, however,  we must take advantage of these life lessons.

If we look upon our past—be that our childhood, young adulthood or even last year–and examine ourselves with open eyes, we will begin to realize: to whom we might best commit ourselves (employers, lovers, friends, spouses, hobbies), where we might choose to live, how we would best spend our time and even our money.

I trust if we take the necessary time to understand ourselves and see the patterns, we will have a clearer direction for our future wherever we are on our life’s journey.


In this Spiritual Prescription take a moment to consider these things:

(This is only a sampling of important questions and a small list of possible answers…)


What brings you joy?

Solitude? Being active? Shopping? Children? Gardening? Chillaxing? Hunting? Reading a good book? Sex?

What do you value?

Honesty? Security? Family? Diligence? Acceptance? Intimacy? Frugality? Loyalty? Spirituality? Love?

What time of year is your favorite? Your least favorite?

Fall? Winter? Spring? Summer? Fog Season? Rainy Season? Mud Season?

What are your deepest fears?

Being alone? Commitment? Failure? Getting old? Rejection? Authority? Dying? Dependence? Betrayal?


When I made the decision to accept the job here in the desert I knew that I valued being close to family and feared being rejected.  The position brought us back to the West closer to friends and family and seemed to be a place where I was accepted for whom I was as a minister.  It also appeared to be an area that could offer my family new opportunities.

The decision to move certainly wasn’t made in a vacuum and much discussion was had. I simply never considered  asking myself, or my family for that matter, what brought us joy in our lives (For me: gardening, hiking, being near water, snow, cloudy days, rain, drinking hot tea daily, baking, enjoying the outdoors with my family, walking into town, sleeping under heavy blankets–and many more things that don’t exist or are impossible or harder to do comfortably in the desert).

When we can honestly name our patterns (the good, the bad and the ugly) and understand what makes us tick—to whom we are drawn , to which situations we gravitate, that which we desire or fear, and that which we thrive on—we are better able to make the choices that uphold the good and reject the bad.

Don’t be shy!

Look upon your life, peel back the layers, ask the questions and discover more deeply who you are.  It is in truly knowing yourself that you will more clearly discern your life’s direction and God’s plan for your future.

Words of Wisdom…

My maternal grandfather sent this poem to my mom when she was a young mother and told her it was worth reading every day.  I couldn’t agree more.  I continue to be amazed at how timeless it is.  Read each line slowly, considering its place in your life right now. May these words, written nearly 100 years ago, bless your day.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,

be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant;

they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to the virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Let it Go

Today’s Spiritual Prescription:

dandilionFace it.

Whether you like it or not, there are things in your life (situations, circumstances, people, etc.) that you cannot change.  I know.  That is not what you want to hear but, take it from me—a woman who has hit her head on that idiomatic wall a few too many times—it’s true.

You cannot sanely or successfully control every aspect of your life.  And if you strongly disagree with me right about now, I challenge you to take an honest look at your life.  Look at your health, your relationships, lifestyle, and finances and I will guarantee you will see stress fractures in at least one area.

There comes a time when you have to LET IT GO.

But that’s no easy job, is it?

Even at the end of life it is hard to let go.  The new hospice patients I meet can’t always face their pending death.

Although I visit with individuals who are at ease and accept that they are dying, many of my patients are still in disbelief.  They are often angry ( at God, their doctors, life) and are grieving that life is ending sooner than they had hoped.

When this is the case I try my best to help each individual process this loss and transition into a place of peace and acceptance. I have seen people rest in sweet serenity with their new sense of freedom in welcoming their own approaching death.  They have accepted what they cannot not change.

So I’ll say it again and make it your Spiritual Prescription for today.

    Let.. it… go. 

Let go of the desire to control every aspect of your life (and everyone else’s life).  Let go of  the need to always be right.  Let go of the obsession that is  bringing you down more than building you up.

Learn to surrender these desires, needs and obsessions over to God.  Seek out the peace that will lead you to accepting that which you cannot change.

Life is too short to be stubborn. 

Accept what you truly cannot change and find the freedom therein.



Pull Weeds

Today’s spiritual prescription:


Pull Weeds

On Wednesday, I was speaking with a co-worker who had just returned from a stay-cation.  And one of her stay-at-home activities, you might ask?  Pulling weeds.  But she didn’t just pull them, she told me.  She named them.  I was initially thrown off her train of thought trying to decide if she leaned toward female or male names.  Then she explained.  With each weed she grabbed, she named one of her worries, christened the unwanted plant with that worry, and yanked it out of the ground.  She again and again removed unwanted weeds from her yard and symbolically freed herself of those burdensome worries.  She found it quite therapeutic!

And now, your Spiritual Prescription:

Just for today consider what burdens you.

What do you worry about?  What is growing out of control, unwanted in your heart?  Go to your nearest yard–yours, a neighbor’s, a local park– and start naming and pulling those weeds. Yank each one out of the ground with intention and feel your worries being cleared from the garden of your heart.

“Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving.” Philippians 4:6