Yearly Archives


Entering a week made holy by Love….

Glimmers April 11, 2022

Dear Friends,

I went to church yesterday.

After receiving communion, I kneeled in my space and watched the people come forward. The choir was singing, the organ was playing and my heart was resting quietly. I was grateful, in the moment, to experience peace. Old and young, electric wheelchair rider and then families, people of multiple colors, male and female – coming up the aisle with open hearts to receive Christ.

Like many of us, Covid altered my lifestyle and the routine of church was one of the casualties over the last two years. I attended worship and a variety of prayer experiences via Zoom, my  contemplative life has deepened, but weekly attendance at my local parish changed. The time away changed me. I found other ways to connect with God’s love and, happily, my relationship with the Divine has grown. I suspect some of you have experienced an evolution in your prayer and worship in these years of the pandemic, too.

I went to church to enter into the mystery of Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. Truly a mystery, this sacred time invites us into lessons of death and the promise of resurrection. We hear of Jesus’ experience and are humbled by his example of surrender. We are reminded, friends, through this dramatic and powerful set of events, of God’s invitation to our surrender, to our dying, to our resurrection. 

I am not speaking of our physical death. Instead, this invitation to join the Paschal Mystery asks us to accept the “little deaths” that we face everyday, the losses in relationships, the broken promises, the loss of control in our lives. This invitation asks us to accept and surrender, to move into the emotional space of “not-knowing” but still trusting. This movement invites us into a deeper layer of love, into a realm we may not be able to describe but when we arrive, it feels like home. 

This year, Christian celebrations of new life coincide with the Jewish tradition of Passover. I am always grateful for that occasional overlap, for the stories of the Israelites exodus from slavery speak to the new life promised to peoples of deep faith in God. The stories and ritual of Passover spoke to Jesus. For centuries, human beings have been called to freedom from slavery, both external and internal, to trust the abiding presence of the Holy and the invitation to come home. You are in my prayer this week made holy by our human capacity for love and forgiveness, made holy by the Love that stretches through Divine presence toward our humble, human hearts.


Conscious Grieving – Cultivating Hope in the Land of Loss

Glimmers March 31, 2022

Dear Friends,

Before March slides away, I wanted to reach out and let you know about an upcoming program I am offering at Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center in Madison, CT. It is on-site, only, and will be held Monday, April 25th, 9:30-3:30. More information can be found on my “Upcoming” website page or go to Mercy by the Sea directly by clicking here. 

Loss and grief are part of our human story, there is no way around it. And these last two years have heightened our awareness of and deepened our experience of loss, collectively and personally. My 2018 book, “Grieving- the Sacred Art,” offered the idea of conscious grieving as a way of navigating our feelings, thoughts, resistances and desires in the world of grief. Due to our general avoidance of painful feelings, grief is usually managed, as best we can. Conscious grieving, however, invites us to move past the templates of our upbringing, learning new ways to honor the losses in our life….conscious grieving respects our unique experience and suggests a level of participation, a “leaning in” to loss, letting the natural movement of healing to move through us.

So our day at Mercy by the Sea will offer some ideas, create an open space for prayer and sharing, and allow the beauty of the grounds and Long Island Sound to minister to our souls. Together, we will cultivate and nourish seedlings of hope for each other, for ourselves and for our hurting world. If you or someone you know might be interested, I hope you’ll consider joining us.

All the best, Lisa

Growing Trust

Glimmers March 27, 2022


Dear Friends, 

I’m so glad to think of you as I write this message, you warm my heart as the sun warms the land around me.

I hope Spring is appearing where you are. In my world, I see snowdrops replace snow in quiet corners, tree buds tightly bundled and ready to burst, the goldfinch’s yellow returning and an ease when I walk outside. Winter’s cold has loosened it’s grip at Beseck, thankfully, and a new season outside invites a new season within.

Just like the faithful farmers and gardeners who tend their seedlings in the basement or greenhouse, I too am caring for new life. A little seed of Trust was planted in my heart, tucked away in the darkness and nourished by prayer and promise. The green seedling is strong now, leaves outstretched, reaching for the light and fed by the warmth and water below. I am growing trust.

I’m sort of proud of myself, I have to admit. The news of the world and our country weighs heavy on my heart. The faces of people in distress and anguish, the injustices that are fermenting around us, and loss – personal and collective loss…all are part of my awareness and thus part of my prayer. And still, I tend my little seedling of Trust. I suspect there are many varieties of Trust, like tomatoes, and, like tomatoes, they serve different purposes. I’m not 100% clear what the purpose is for this particular sprout, but that’s part of the deal with Trust, isn’t it? For me, it’s an invitation to openness and a generosity of spirit. We shall see…

In my quiet time today, I sat with that seed. Pushed aside, broken apart to make room for the emerging seedling, I saw the pain that comes with new life. I offered a prayer of gratitude for the promise it protected until it was time, I honored the pain of transformation that all living things endure. I told the seed that I will participate in the care of it’s seedling, this young and most eager, tendril of Trust. I will mind her lovingly and faithfully, as she, and I, mature in the warmth of the sun and the light of Love.

with affection and gratitude,




Sitting in this time and place….

Glimmers February 25, 2022

Dear Friends,               

Are you a perfectionist?

It was recently suggested to me that I am caught in a web of perfectionism. “How can that be?” I asked. “I’m overweight, the house is a mess, I’ve multiple unfinished projects piled in the corner! How can I be a perfectionist?”  Perfectionists, in my mind, complete their projects, clean the back of closets and definitely are the proper weight for their body size. They are, in my thinking, perfect. In writing this down and admitting it to you, I glimpse the fallacy of my thinking…just a glimpse, mind you, this is big stuff.

Wikipedia tells me that perfectionism “is not a synonym for excellence or conscientiousness.” Instead, its defined as “a person’s concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.” I have to admit, I am caught in that web of constant critical self-evaluation. Even right now, as I write about this personality style that some of us struggle with, I’m saying to myself, “Lisa, there is an unjust war breaking out in Ukraine. That is where your focus should be…what’s wrong with you!”

Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the the multiplicity of me…appreciate and more importantly, have compassion for the many parts that make up who I am. I have learned that we carry the memories, desires, gifts, fears, wounds and visions through our lifetime, and with a sacred lens, we can learn to welcome them all. When Jesus invites all to the table of love, could he be inviting all of me? Even my perfectionist self?

When I open my heart to my not-so-perfect-self, when I trust that all of me is truly loved, something shifts. There is more space. I am able, in this moment, to experience a deeper compassion, for myself and beyond myself; a compassion that flows toward my brothers and sisters in Ukraine on this sad February day. I have space to hold their fears and losses. When my love-fire is fueled in this moment of vulnerability, my tears join with theirs and my prayer cries out on their behalf. Sitting in this time and place, I rest in perfect Love.

Thank you for being you,


I begin

Glimmers January 16, 2022

Dear Friends,

A new year, a new beginning, at least in my little world at Lake Beseck. The holidays, come and go with their own special rhythms, and now it is January. Here in New England, we sink into deep darkness and stunning cold as the challenges of life continue. I’m glad the ice fishermen have returned, especially in this 2 degree morning. Their resolute stance of Hope is undeniable…inspirational.

I, too, am making a choice infused with hope. I am gathering together my thoughts, resources and view out the window to complete a memoir started long ago. The process is like packing for a big trip, as I make sure the essentials are at hand and, tucked away, the extra bits needed for unexpected moments. You never know when a button needs attaching, a headache needs soothing, or an island cove needs floating. This particular “trip” comes with built-in challenges, of course, that is the nature of life. So, I am learning to make adjustments – visits with the physical therapist to tend shoulders bent toward the keyboard and special headphones to manage the construction noise next door. Yes, my intention is Hope in the midst of the expected and unexpected nuances of life. 

Life in my seventh decade is a resource, as well. The years have shaped who I am, and at the same time, supported the emergence of my ease with who I was created to be. The losses, in particular, have held great lessons that teach me still. I move through the template of the Land of Loss – Alone, Passage, Surrender, Changed – and find myself thinking a little differently about relationships or experiencing feelings in new ways. This has been, for me, a path of healing and I am ready to tell the tale.

I am grateful to you, friends, who read these Glimmers and share this human journey with me. You are a resource for my project. At the same time, it is my prayer that these personal images and stories become part of your resources for the path of life. You, me, and those ice fishermen – we stand together. Let us sing together, too, with full hearts ’cause “we’re going to the end of the line.” Join the Traveling Wilburys and smile when you click on this reminder:

“It’s all right, even if you’re old and gray,

well, it’s all right, you still got something to say.

Well, it’s all right, remember to live and let live,

well, it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive.

With gratitude, Lisa


January 6

Glimmers January 5, 2022


Dear Friends,

As January 6, 2022 approaches, I seek to reclaim the understanding of January 6 that I used to share with my young sons – 30 plus years ago.

In the Christian tradition, January 6 is Epiphany. This is the day we celebrate the Three Wise Men visiting the Christ child with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These faithful scholars traveled from far away to respond to a promise, to follow the Light. Their gifts and their presence can be described in many ways, but one thing always stood out for me. They were not of the Jewish tradition as Jesus, Mary and Joseph were. Somehow, the reality of this little baby transcended lineage and location, and the Christ light reached out to humanity itself. The travelers said yes to the Mystery and their presence extended God’s light around the world.

I wanted my children to enter the experience of the Epiphany at the ground level. So, with Burger King crowns on their heads and Grandma’s Christmas bathrobes wrapped around their sweet bodies, they walked slowly toward the creche as we all sang, “We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar…” They’re outstretched hands held toys or items they were ready to share through our local Goodwill, I hoped they would see a connection with selfless giving during weeks so focused on receiving. At the same time, I hoped they would understand the invitation to walk toward the humble stable, to follow the star of wonder, star of night, that guides us to the perfect Light.

On this January 6, when our hearts are so confused and distressed by the conflict now associated with this date, let us remember the simple story of the babe in the manger, surrounded by a diverse crowd of God’s creation. Let us trust in the Light that leads the way to the Holy. May we open our hearts to hope proclaimed by these three, who took risks on their journey, who trusted their call.

Join me in singing this chorus, friends, along with the Robert Shaw Chorale. Just click on these words and keep your eye on the light that leads us all to Love.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light


Blessings of peace, Lisa