LIFE IS A STORY

The unofficial story of how I came to be me takes into account the highs and lows of a number of cross-cultural transitions, the very real joys and challenges of becoming a mother and parenting two girls, and the winding path of spiritual formation framed by these experiences. Our life is one of language-learning, cultural transition, wrestling with a sense of belonging to more than one place, and many adventures. I write about all this on the blog, which helps me to process and to deepen the learning and the gifts these experiences offer.

  • finding stability

    Does anyone else find the lack of certainty of this season just a bit disempowering? ‘What can I do?’ we ask ourselves. And the answer is, ‘nothing.’ Nothing but wait. Well, not quite nothing. Perhaps there are in fact some things we can do in seasons of uncertainty in order to remain engaged, oriented towards hope, and attentive to the leading of the Spirit. Read more ...


  • whole-person harmony

    I recently shared some of my own story as a way to explain how I came to be on this journey towards an integration of the physical and non-physical parts of me, with my journey with God. After reading that post, someone asked me a great question: ‘What if I agree with everything you wrote?’ he asked. ‘What then?’ This post is in response to that question. Read more ...

  • letting god look at you

    Theologically, we know God is ‘other’ from us; we know He’s got his own personality, ideas and feelings, but living into that reality of God takes practice. I admit, too often, I pray to my idea of God, my image of God, or even experience God as an extension of myself, having my same thoughts, opinions, emotions. Our guest blogger offers 5 steps from St Ignatius to see God and be seen by him. Read more ...

  • life with God is lived in your body

    We were never meant to live this life in our bodies as if the physical part of us is outside our relationship with Father, Son and Spirit. This is about more than praying when we get sick - it's about being renewed in our thoughts and attitudes towards our physical life, a renewal that is the work of the Spirit. Read more ...

  • 5 ways to seek god

    In this season of racial tension, I find myself more aware than usual of my great need for God - my personal need and our shared need for salvation. I feel this desperate longing for God to show up, to bring about redemption of what has been stolen, healing for deep wounds, and goodness in this place of great complexity. I suggest 5 ways for us to seek God in a season like this one. Read more ...

  • grow more: keep a journal

    The formational effects of journalling are simple, yet profound. This is an easy practice to implement, yet can have far-reaching effects in people’s personal growth and in building community. Richard Foster argues that spiritual practices “are meant to bring the abundance of God into our lives.” I believe that is exactly what this personal and shared process of reflection and journaling can do for you too. Read more ...

  • 5 lessons: emerging from lockdown

    Here in Spain we are beginning the slow process of emerging from strict lockdown. I am aware of this place in my heart that feels cautious. Not just because of how little can be predicted about the pandemic, but also because I don’t want us to miss the deep magic of the Spirit at work in these dark and bewildering days. Here are 5 lessons from my own confinement of the soul. Read more ...

  • the gift of days

    As we pass 40 days of home confinement, we still don't know how long this restricted way of doing life will go on - longer than any of us wish. It is a season that has already, and will continue to test us. To what extent are we willing to let go of what was, to release what might be, and to be in the truth of this day? And as we do that, what kind of people will we choose to be? Read more ...

  • letter from lockdown

    Over a period of a few short weeks, we have experienced a radical shift in our normal ways of life. While this has provoked a lot of fear, could it be that we are invited into an adventure, to discover in new ways the One who is not surprised at the current state of the world, and who is always moving towards us in compassionate and redeeming love? Read more ...

  • how a spiritual director can help

    I have found it so helpful to have someone I meet with regularly who is helping me to reflect on what is going on in my life. It is helping me to grow as I become more aware of the ways God is with me to teach me, love me, and make his presence known to me in my ordinary, everyday experiences. I am sure you would find it helpful too! Watch the video ...

  • word for lent: wilderness

    At some point, it seems we all have to pass through a time of wilderness. Everything gets a bit dried out, the path seems rocky, we look in vain for the greening of the landscape that we believe will put everything right again ... May the wilderness do its inimitable work in you and in me. Read more ...


  • a poem for ash wednesday

    For many who go to more traditional churches, today is the day they will receive the 'imposition of ashes.' I did not grow up in a context where we practiced these ways of engaging our bodies in these ways of rehearsing our story with God. These days, though, I have come to appreciate that something deeply formative happens when I bring my body to the process of being with Jesus. Read more ...

  • what's your fault line?

    This weekend I was chatting with a friend who is an athletics coach. He commented that every athlete has an area of weakness, an achilles heel if you will. But he called it a ‘fault line’ - that place where all the training and hard work is most likely to break down. In Christian formation, it reminds me of the way we become known for our habitual hang-ups or ingrained behaviour patterns. Read more ...

  • the hiding place

    I have realised that there is something so renewing for me to switch off from the constant round of emails and social media exchanges, the mental awareness that what I am doing right now could be presented to others as a story, or a post, or a photo update, the subconscious wondering about how my life could be perceived by others. Read more ...


  • passivity & preparation

    Advent is a time when we practice waiting. We press more deeply into what it means to wait and to trust that God is bringing about something good that we cannot make happen for ourselves. We posture ourselves to receive his goodness, without striving as though we were ultimately responsible to bring it about. Read more ...

  • what is your invitation?

    Often, in spiritual direction, we talk about invitations. We wonder together at the invitations you might be sensing from God in a particular situation. We ponder how you might want to respond to these invitations. This week, I found myself wondering about invitations that come to us in ways we wouldn’t choose. Those undesired invitations, if you will. Read more ...

  • parachute hospitality

    Something within me responded to the generous-hearted love that was expressed across the table. The love of one person who seeks to make his home in a culture that is not his own ... and the love of the person who welcomes this willingness to bend to the form of the receiving culture, and who walks alongside to make sure that what is bent is not broken. Read more ...

older posts

You may find some of these older posts helpful or interesting.

  • soul settling

    What is the level of noise in your life? And I don’t mean the sound wave variety only, but also the ‘noise’ of distractions and busyness: attention-demanding issues that appear as insistent, flag-waving obligations and from which we struggle to achieve the distance required to gain a truer perspective. Is it possible, I ask myself, to find ways to settle my soul when life itself seems to constantly work to agitate it, or shake it up? Read more ...

  • Letting go

    I agree, and perhaps you do too, that letting go can feel like a small kind of dying. (And sometimes not so small, let’s be honest.) Could it be that, as Madeleine L’Engle writes, “without this death, nothing is born. And if we die willingly, no matter how frightened we may be, we will be found and born anew into life, and life more abundant”? We let go because we are being given something larger, something we cannot hold unless we first release our grip. Read more ...

  • A prayer resource

    Sometimes it is not easy to know how to pray. Sometimes we don't feel like praying. Sometimes we have prayed the same thing so many times, we are not sure if we're still doing the right thing! What do we do at times like this? Is there a way to place ourselves before God, to simply set the intention of our hearts towards Him and His good purposes in our lives? In this post, I suggest one such prayer practice. 

    Read more ...

  • the place of contemplation

    To evangelical ears, anything contemplative can sound a bit too floaty and mystical, and yet both contemplation and meditation are deeply Christian and part of our heritage. The early Church fathers and mothers wrote extensively of contemplation and meditation (as did the psalmist, of course!) so that, rather than being something new and dangerous, these ancient ways of meeting God are perhaps once more offered to us as part of the renewal of the Church. Read more ...

  • responding to pain

    Anything can be a prompt towards thoughtful engagement with ourselves and God. Even toothache, as it turns out. It got me thinking about the ways in which trauma or trials disturb deeply rooted things in our lives, causing us discomfort and pain. Something that we had been unaware of for years suddenly gets bumped or poked and then, there it is, that old flare in a place of wounding or irritation that just won’t be ignored. Read more ...


  • Navigating the mist

    As I looked out over the Guadalhorce valley in the early morning light, everything was blanketed in mist. The mountains on the opposite side of the valley, usually clearly visible from my balcony, were indecipherable and blurry. The mist changed my view of everything and made it difficult to discern shapes in the landscape, even those that are familiar to me. Life can be like this sometimes. Read more ...


  • formation's chief training ground

    When our kids were young, I loved the way it forced me to find simple terms to explain the big and complex things in life. While it wasn’t easy, I wonder if it is a sign of our true grasp of complex truths that we are able to explain them in ways a 6 year old could catch? Perhaps this is why I love the work of The Bible Project so much, those guys do a fantastic job of explaining deep concepts in simple ways. 

    Read more ...

  • Be in your body with joy

    Over recent months, I have been experimenting with spiritual direction focused especially on one’s relationship with one’s body. Ordinarily, anything is fair game for bringing to spiritual direction. And while this is still the case with this physical focus - the conversation may lead in any number of directions - the invitation is to pay particular attention to the ways in which God is meeting you in your physical experience. Read more ...

  • more thoughts on marriage

    A while ago, I posted here 10 relationship tips that I had been persuaded to share with a friend over WhatsApp. Phone in one hand and passport/lecture notes/grocery list/bank statement/school report (delete as appropriate) in the other, these were simply the first ten things that came to mind as I considered what it has taken to build a strong relationship over the last 25 years. Read more ...

  • the truth about me

    I don’t know about you but, when it comes to my own inner landscape, I feel like I have a pretty large capacity for denial. I guess I have found several tried and tested ways to kid myself over the years ... The thing is, we are wired for truth-telling. We are made to live in truth and it is only in our places of truth, or reality, that God can meet with us. Denial, lack of awareness, blind spots and self-deception are just not places where the good stuff can happen, you know? Read more ...

  • new life in the mess

    During this Easter season, I have found myself wondering a lot about what it means for us to experience the power of resurrection life in our ordinary and sometimes mundane lives. This sort of worked its way into me in a new way as I read the account of Jesus preparing breakfast on the beach for his disciples. This is after he’s been put to death and then risen again, so it’s part of a great heralding in of the newness signified by his not-staying-dead. Read more ...

  • the practice of play

    The ability to switch off and relax is one of the most under-rated means of building a resilient life. In fact, it’s not just under-rated, it is actively maligned. If we have fun, perhaps we are not working hard enough, taking our responsibilities seriously enough, or ‘laying our lives down’ (a particularly heavily laden religious phrase) enough. Hard core leaders don’t have time to have fun, do they? Read more ...

  • meeting god on the way

    If people were bored of hearing it, I was bored of saying it: this had been a long, dark tunnel of transition. Our move to Spain had not brought with it the life I expected. Things hadn't worked out with the team I thought I'd be part of. There seemed to be some secret to making friends in Spain that I had yet to learn ... Jacob had said, "God was in this place and I never knew it." Perhaps God was in my dark place with me, too? Read more ...

  • a prayer for spring

    I am sitting on my bed with darkness still shrouding the valley beyond the window. Yet I am aware that the air outside is filled with the chirruping and whistling of all kinds of birds as the waken to a new day. I found that I have the option on my phone to choose this sound as my alarm; it’s so much more gentle to wake up to the sound of birds than to some ghastly claxon! The cheeriness of the birds outside my window tells me that spring is well underway. Read more ...

  • ANOTHER WAY

    I seem to have a foot in two camps, these days. Or maybe I should say, I have one foot on the pontoon and the other on the vessel that is slowly moving away from me, so that I am afraid I might just end up plopping embarrassingly into the water between my feet. On the one hand, I am steeped in a spiritual tradition that teaches that to lose one’s life is to save it. Read more ...

  • Top 10 marriage tips

    Marriage gets a bad rap these days. Most people don't expect monogamous relationships to last a couple of decades, let alone a lifetime. Call me old-fashioned, but I am still convinced that marriage can be the place of our greatest growth and joy, if we can get over the way it confronts us with the things about ourselves we'd rather avoid. Read more ...

  • right here

    We think of ourselves as being more enlightened, more advanced in our thinking and ways of doing things than those who have gone before us. But way back in the fourth century, a monk living in the desert of Egypt said something that still has the ring of revelatory truth about it, all these years later. Read more ...

  • arrange your life

    Every week, I have people telling me that they don’t have enough time. They don’t have enough time to read books. Or they don’t have enough time to work out. Or they don’t have enough time to learn a foreign language. Or they don’t have enough time to cook meals from scratch. Time is one of those things that is shared out evenly; we all get the same amount dolled out to us. Read more ...

  • fear is a terrorist

    I have sometimes imagined myself running with a companion. I didn’t do this deliberately, he just sort of made himself known. It happened first when I was running out in the sugar cane fields, in the rural part of Mozambique where we lived for a while. Sandy tracks bordered by tall green stands of cultivated cane; it was a little remote out there for a lone woman, however speedy she fancied her getaway might be. Read more ...