Thursday, August 9, 2012

- Ask Ellen: I am currently pregnant with our first son and I was as well a teacher (before now)in my previous life, like you. I just wanted to say that I admire your vocation to motherhood, as I find myself constantly praying for wisdom as I embark in this new role. I guess that I was just wondering if you felt like that too when leaving teaching behind.

Thanks so much for getting in touch with me.  Congratulations on your pregnancy.  It is one of the most exciting and terrifying times of your life, I assure you.  I also had very mixed feelings about leaving teaching behind.  I loved my students and coworkers and was very afraid of the isolation of new motherhood.  The first few months were very difficult as I learned about my daughter and adjusted to life away from the workplace.  But I will also tell you that even now, more than 12 years later, I look back on the first few months as the best of my life.  Even though I had a son later and I love him dearly, those first few months of just my baby and me were priceless.

I have not regretted my decision to stay home once.  Sure, some days were lonely and the world doesn't value my choice as much as I did.  But for me and my children it was the right thing to do.  You are ahead of the game as you see motherhood as a vocation.  A life-long one at that.  I will be praying for you as you make the transition.  I hope you will keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

I appreciate your kind words about my work.  I am blessed to be able to do it all from home.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ask Ellen: You mentioned that you practice Lectio Divina in your podcast interview. Can you tell me more about that? Jay.

Firstly, Jay, thanks for taking the time to listen to the podcast.  I really enjoyed being a guest on Among Women.  If you didn’t get a chance to hear the interview, it can be found here:

In the interview, I said that Lectio Divina is one of my favorite ways to pray.  Lectio Divina is an ancient Catholic tradition that brings to mind the fascination with New Age mediataion.  Catholics have been practicing meditation for centuries with one major difference fro the New Age stuff that is so popular today: Lectio Divina is centered on God.  In the process you prayerfully use Scripture to enter more deeply into prayer with God.

Before beginning the process, it is important to set aside the space and time.  As I mentioned in the podcast, silence is essential.  That was very difficult for me in the beginning.  There are four stages to Lectio Divina.

The first is simply reading.  Choose a passage of Scripture that interests you.  Read it slowly and prayerfully.  Read it as if God is speaking just to you.

The next step is to meditate on the passage.  Focus on a word or phrase that jumps out at you.  As I mentioned in the podcast, I will often write the phrase down and carry it with me all day.

Next, speak directly to God.  Tell Him what you understood and what was over your head.  Be honest.  Reveal your thoughts and emotions.  Unload what is bothering you.

The last step is to contemplate.  Just be in God’s Presence.  Be open to what HE is saying through the passage and how He is speaking directly into your life.

This is a powerful way to center your day on God and your relationship with Him.  I encourage you to give it a try.