Guest Post for Michelle DeRusha: Where Do We Start with Prayer?

15_02_13_PrayWriteGrow copy

I’m guest posting this week for my friend Michelle DeRusha, the author of the fantastic books Spiritual Misfit and 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. I’m sharing a guest post based on my new book Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together. While I suggest in my book that prayer practices can help us write, we first need to sort out where we’ll begin with prayer:

 

One of my most intense moments in prayer started on a whim.

I sat down to pray in our living room one morning, and for some reason my mind kept venturing back to the moments of my deepest shame.

The relationships I’d messed up in college.

The many stupid things I said during our first year of marriage.

The time (times?) I placed unreasonable expectations on a good friend.

As I squirmed and fretted over my shame, I had a “revolutionary” thought: “What if I just prayed as if God knew all about this stuff already?”

 

We Bring Our Vulnerabilities to Prayer

I’m not breaking new ground when I say that we can’t hide anything from God or that we don’t have to be perfect in order to approach God. That’s pretty much covered from most pulpits on Sunday morning.

Actually living as if we have nothing to hide and God still loves us is quite another matter.

 

Read the Rest at Michelle DeRusha’s Blog.

Guest Post: Why We Avoid Self-Reflection… Even Though It’s Good for Us

Art-of-simple-prayer-reflection

I have the honor of guest posting today for my friend Tsh Oxenreider’s blog, The Art of Simple. If you’re new to Tsh’s blog, check out her podcast and her book about trying to live simply yet intentionally: Notes from a Blue Bike. I’m offering an adapted preview from the introduction to Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together ($.99 pre-order until tomorrow!): 

 

You don’t have to be determined to avoid self-reflection these days.

Most of us carry app-filled smart phones in our pockets to provide constant stimulation and distraction. Binge-watching shows on Netflix, social media, and even books all offer a ready escape from being alone with ourselves. Podcasts were my favorite way to avoid self-reflection until I tried going without them for a single walk.

After watching my productivity and free time slump for months thanks to the two-hour walks our son required for a morning nap (believe me, we tried everything else), I had a break-through plan. I decided to ditch my beloved podcasts and use my walks to either think of fresh writing ideas or pray.

Mind you, I love podcasts. I hardly did anything without a podcast two years ago—when all of this took place. I believed I was on the brink of a productivity explosion. I set off on my walk and promptly drove myself crazy with worry.

Read the rest at the Art of Simple!