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Soul Care during Social Distancing

Soul Care during Social Distancing

Hi friends,

My head knows social distancing is the best thing we can do right now to keep each other safe. But my heart is rebelling with every fiber! As Christians we are called to move towards, open doors, enter into hard spaces. And yet, what we keep hearing is that in this season the way we show Christ’s love is by staying home. It just feels so weird!

I’m praying about what soul-care resources I can put out into the world during this time that would be helpful to others. But until I’ve got some clarity, I want to gather what others are doing. This post will be a continually-updating resource of what is available. Bookmark it! Come back and tell me what was helpful! Share what you’re finding so others can participate too!

Stay healthy everyone – physically, mentally, and spiritually!


Summit Ave Presbyterian

My own dear church hosted a simple Sunday service using the Celtic Daily prayer. We will likely continue in a similar, simple format in the weeks to come. Like our facebook page for updates.

UPDATE: We’ve added a “Manna for the Wilderness” blog to our website to share with one another the manna God is providing for us in this season of wilderness wandering.

Eleven:28 Ministries

This amazing organization I am so thankful to work with is hosting daily meditations at 3:00 Central on Facebook. Rhesa is a thoughtful and wise spiritual leader and I know you would benefit from taking a few moments out of your day to be in God’s presence with her.

Rend Collective

This awesome worship band out of Ireland is planning a worship event on Instagram tonight (3/16) at 6:00 Central. Looks like this will be an ongoing event so follow them for updates.

Holy Yoga

A Friday class at a local church has been a wonderful Sabbath practice for me this year. I love how Holy Yoga combines the health flow of moving my body, with encouraging words and prayers that connect my soul to God. Holy Yoga is offering a 30-day free membership to their online classes. I may just have to check this out!

Daily Prayers

My seminary colleague and friend, Terra McDaniel is a spiritual director based out of Austin, Texas. She is offering daily prayers she has curated from a variety of sources on her Facebook page. Scroll down for days you might have missed.


Taking the time to read and reflect on beautiful words feeds my soul. Here are a few that have caught my notice this season:

No Distance, Steve Garnass-Holmes

Wash Your Hands, Dori Midnight

Lockdown, Brother Richard Hendrick

Outside the Christian Tradition

A facebook friend linked me to Anisa Ab who is offering free distance meditation sessions for March 2020.

My favorite books of 2018

My favorite books of 2018

Books I read for seminary:

Speaking of Sin – Barbara Brown Taylor

We don’t talk about sin a lot at my church, but this book challenged me to think of sin not as threatening, but hopeful. When we name our sins we can actually pursue real repentance and restoration of relationships.

The Story Factor – Annette Simmons

I got to read this for my advanced preaching class and it just reminded me once again at the power of story. I plan to re-read when school is done as there are so many good tips and tricks for anyone who wants to motivate others.

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission – Amy Simpson

EVERY church pastor, staff person, volunteer, board member, and lay leader should read this book. Amy shares her own story as well stories from other families, in a challenge to the church to better care for those who suffer from mental illness and the people who love them.

Through the Eyes of Women: Insights for Pastoral Care – edited by Jeanne Stevenson Moessner

I didn’t read all of this book, but the chapters I read were top-notch and incredibly insightful. In fact, I forwarded a few of them on to my Pastoral Ministry professor for us to read next semester. The more time I spend in the church, the more I realize resources are generally written towards men with an assumption that women work/feel the same. But this book offers some really helpful insights into the lives and hearts of women, and pastors who want to care for them well would do well to pick it up.

Books I read for fun:

Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

Most of the books I “read” for personal pleasure this year I actually listened to as audio books. I need fiction in my life, but as a grad student it is really hard to find the time to read for pleasure. Audio books have been a real salvation for me. This book was such a delightful story and I fell in love with so many of the characters. I was thrilled to watch the delightful film this summer too, but the book just made me happy.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I grabbed this book off my shelf as we packed up for a spring break vacation and I am so glad I did. I loved sitting by the fire morning and evenings, and on the beach as my family built sandcastles, savoring this book. Quite a few years old, and with a new Netlflix movie that is pretty darn good, but if you haven’t read this one yet I urge you to pick it up.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Always worth a re-read. Still as powerful as ever. I wanted a refresher given my oldest is in middle school now and I anticipate this text on a reading list any day now.

This is how it Always Is – Laurie Frankel

Powerful storytelling that opened my eyes to the experiences of families with trans kids. If you want your worldview expanded and believe in the power of story to do just that, pick up this book.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown

Another eye-opening book for me, this time about race, America, and the evangelical church. I’d highly recommend this book.


Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger – Rebecca Traister

This is the one book this year that I told all my girlfriends and my sister they needed to read ASAP. This book shook me and taught me so much. I listened to the audio version and have plans post-school to buy a hard copy and mark it all up. (Just between you and me, this book and a independent study last semester have planted a few seeds of writing my own book on the theology of women’s anger. We’ll see what happens…)

Educated: A Memoir – Tara Westover

This book was a bestseller this year for very good reasons. Memoir is one of my favorite genres, and I am fascinated by Mormon fundamentalism. Add to that a hardworking, strong-willed woman who finds a way to pursue education at Harvard and Cambridge and you have a serious winner.

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Somehow I got on the audiobook waitlist early enough that I got to listen to this book right as 2018 wrapped up. What a gift it was.


How about you? Did any of my books make your list? What were your favorite books of 2018? 

Roundup #2

Roundup #2

This is a collection of things that have caught my eye out there in the vast internets recently. Perhaps something here will catch your eye as well…


to watch:

Disney Newsies: The Broadway Musical
I have a long history with the musical Newsies, and have many fond memories of HOURS watching the original movie version with my girlfriends in middle and high school. So yeah, I was thrilled when Disney created this amazing Broadway version, and even happier to hear it was being filmed to experience in movie theaters nation-wide earlier this year. I went by myself to the theater when I was in Portland last February and the whole experience had me grinning from ear to ear like a lovesick girl. The music, the dancing, the acting, the dancing. Oh man, the dancing. Now you can purchase this show and watch it in the comfort of your living room. And if you’re anything like me, make your family sit down and watch it with you. And expect profound levels of gratitude to come your way upon completion. Man, I love theater. I love art.


to put on a wishlist:

Hamilton: The Revolution
If you are a Hamilton mega-fan like your’s truly, this gorgeous book should definitely be on your wishlist. I don’t have a copy for myself yet, but browsing through it at my local store had me drooling with desire. The photos from the original cast are gorgeous, the stories and behind-the-scenes information is such a treat, and the whole feel of the book is just lovely. Here’s to hoping it’ll be wrapped up under the Christmas tree for me this year.



to listen to:

Dear Me by Nichole Nordeman undoes me every single time I hear it. She is singing my story. And maybe it’s your story too? If you have wrestled with faith, with Jesus, with church, with “magic words,” with what it really means to love…give this a listen. But be prepared with a box of tissues and a space to really surrender. It is healing music here friends.


to cook:

Healthy One-Pot Enchilada Pasta by peas & crayons

I have been searching for more vegetarian meals to add to our collection and this one was a HUGE hit with all the members of the family. We don’t need Gluten Free, so just used regular whole-wheat rotini pasta. And served with a dollop of sour cream on the side. Super delish.


Your turn: What caught your eye this week on the web? Share a link in the comments.

Roundup #1

Roundup #1

This is a collection of things that have caught my eye out there in the vast internets recently. Perhaps something here will catch your eye as well…


to read:

Can We Ever Fix Christian Movies?  by Jesse Carey (via Relevant Magazine)
Am I the only one that feels Christian movies can just be so, well, blech, sometimes? Carey speculates that it could be because these films often end neatly, and really feel preachy. Not so with the parables of Jesus. Instead, these ingenious stories have us grappling with layers of ambiguity and with questions that often don’t have a tidy answer. If Christian movies became more like the parables of the New Testament, would that make them better?

to put on a wishlist:



source unknown





Red Saltwater Sandals 
Dreaming of how adorable my feet will look in these this summer. Added them to my Mother’s Day wishlist.

to listen to:

I first heard “Better With You” by Orianthi at the gym and I loved the upbeat tempo and positive message. Crank it up and dance around your house a little today.

to cook:

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoi by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen








I have been struggling with my slow cooker lately and feeling like it always dries out my dinners. But this dish, OMG. Soooo good. Moist and delicious with incredible flavors. Like the author, I pretty much at the leftovers for lunch three days in a row. Easy, healthy, and delicious = my kind of dinner (and lunch apparently).


Your turn: What caught your eye this week on the web? Share a link in the comments.