Archive for March, 2016


Out of Breath?


Breath Prayer, also known as the Jesus Prayer, is the prayer practice that first challenged me in HeartPaths. I think this is because of two facts:

  1. I’m a little wary of “mantras.” And essentially, breath prayer is about repeating one phrase often.
  2. Breath prayer requires that you empty the mind and just allow God to fill the space in that emptiness.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a blogger might have trouble emptying her mind! Add to that the “counselor brain” and it’s darned near impossible. But, I now rely upon breath prayer for certain situations, so obviously I navigated my way through these two “mine fields” successfully. Let’s examine the practice:

The Jesus Prayer stems from what blind Bartimaeus said to Jesus in the hopes of Jesus healing him: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Simply by naming Jesus we are inviting Him into our midst and asking Him to take us as we are (warts and all) and to help us in whatever way Jesus/the Holy Spirit feels will yield healing for us.


Word of the Week: diapason

Good morning, Word Nerds! Hope you had a blessed Easter weekend!

Last week’s WOW was captious. Merriam-Webster says that captious means: 

  1. marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections

  2.  calculated to confuse, entrap, or entangle in argument

So, when I berate myself over character flaws, a forgiving God could say I’m being captious! 

Today’s WOW is diapason. I know I’ve heard this before, but I’m blanking on the definition, so I’m sure one of you knows the correct definition! Here are my 3 guesses for diapason:

diapason: (dī-ə-ˈpā-zən) 1. a REAL diaper genie (one who pops into your home to change diapers) 2. the diagonal of a trapezoid 3. the unconscious state from dieting for too long

So, have at it! Remind me of the true definition by submitting a comment below this post!

Wednesday’s Post: Out of breath?

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: captious; Word of the Week: caitiff; and Word of the Week: calumny


Slow Reader Friday: Creating a Life with God…

giving hands

Howdy, MIP Book Club Fans! I hope you have enjoyed Creating a Life with God by Daniel Wolpert. This book has pretty much been our “textbook” for HeartPaths and thus, we are just now finishing reading all the chapters.

In fact we have read the chapters out of order to ensure that we’re informing ourselves about the spiritual practices corresponding to what we’re studying in HeartPaths. The longer I’m in the HeartPaths program the more I’m convinced that the leaders of the program have paid particular attention to presenting material in a certain order so that we learn the easiest spiritual disciplines first and then “graduate” to the trickier ones later. Quite obviously Daniel Wolpert doesn’t completely agree with our little order.

Even so, this book is really helpful for introducing me to these disciplines and I also appreciate Wolpert’s very readable format. I am not required to have a Ph.D. like C. S. Lewis (and maybe a translator?) in order to understand the topics being discussed. And, if you don’t have an e-reader, this book is much easier to carry around than Soul Feast. 

Unlike Soul Feast Wolpert’s book explores, in depth, several prayer practices, such as Examen, Lectio Divina, Body Prayer, Breath Prayer, and Centering Prayer as well as journaling, creativity, praying in nature and corporate worship. There are lots of practical suggestions on how to use each pursuit to deepen your relationship with God. Here are just a few examples:

“One of the best ways to begin practicing solitude is to notice times when silence occurs naturally in our day…we can appreciate these times and savor them. We can use these times to turn inward and attend to our feelings.”

“One of the best times for me to pray the Jesus Prayer is at night when I cannot sleep.” (This works, by the way, and this is a chronic insomniac talking.)

“Your eating and meal preparation present rich avenues for prayer…take the time to think about your food. Everything you are eating came from the earth…so that you may be sustained…These…reflect the presence of a loving God…”

If you haven’t yet taken the time to create (emphasis on create!) your prayer life and time with God, then, I wholeheartedly recommend that you consult Wolpert for some fresh suggestions on how to do that now. What you might create is a brand new you!

Monday’s Post: Get your word nerd on

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Soul Feast and Slow Reader Friday: The Early to Rise Experience


Lectio Divina…

2 John

2 John

Happy Easter! Hope you are having an inspired Holy Week!

For those of you unfamiliar with contemplative Christianity, you may look at the title of this post and have this reaction: Say what?

It’s okay. A few short months ago I was right there with you. But, Lectio Divina is now one of my favorite ways to read my Bible. Thus, let’s get an overview of this prayer and reading practice.

First, it’s pronounced: Lexio Deeveena. Yep, it took me a while to learn to pronounce it that way, too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really help because there are another slew of Latin words that comprise the different parts of Lectio Divina that you also have to learn. (Egad.)

Here are the parts, one version of their pronunciation, and a quick definition of each:

  1. Lectio – Reading.
  2. Meditatio – pronounced med-ee-tah-tee-oh – meditation on the reading.
  3. Oratio – pronounced or-rah-tee-oh – prayer.
  4. Contemplatio – pronounced cone-tem-plah-tee-oh – contemplative prayer.
  5. Compassio – pronounced comb-pahs-see-oh – carry the word.


Word of the Week: captious

Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was caitiff. According to Merriam-Webster Online caitiff is defined as: cowardly or despicable. I guess certain wealthy animators could have entitled a couple of movies Caitiff Me or a particular character in a beloved children’s story could have been called the Caitiff Lion, but I doubt the author of that story or the animators would have made as much dinero with such titles.

Today’s WOW is captious. For some reason I feel like I should know this word, but its definition is escaping me, so I have a feeling all my Word Nerds are going to deluge me with comments at the end of this post telling me the actual definition for captious.

Here are my 4 guesses (yes, a bonus guess!), so you can officially give me grief about it:

captious (ˈkap-shəs) 1. being held captive 2. captivating 3. like a captain 4. like Hawkeye Pierce


Maizie’s Musings: I Went; They Left…


When the Mom person gets out my leash, I get very excited. The Mom person only gets out the leash if I’m going somewhere in that car thing. She did just that not too long ago and I could barely sit still as she opened the door and then let me get in the back seat of the car thing.

She didn’t open the big window in the roof of the car thing and that disappointed me. I like putting my head out that window and watching the world from a higher vantage point. The people in the other car things are always laughing and pointing their paws at our car thing as I do this. I don’t understand why.

She actually had the audacity to make me lay down on the back seat this time. What up with that? If I got up to look out the side windows, she made me lay down again and got angry if I didn’t! Doesn’t she know that I’m in charge?


Contemplative Meditation…


Once upon a time I didn’t read much, other than Google links or reading magazine articles at the doctor’s office. (However, I do spend a lot of time there!) Today it’s different.

What changed? I started scheduling reading time.

Yep. Scheduling it.

This habit started when I was studying for my master’s. I juggled: working full-time, parenting part-time (I still had a teen at home.), attending classes, doing a few volunteer activities, attending church, and taking care of our family home (The maid thing hasn’t really worked for me!). The only way to make sure I studied as much as needed was to start with all the deadlines for each course and then plan “backwards” what reading, writing, and researching needed to be done in order to complete assignments on time.

This usually meant that I had deadlines for reading textbook chapters. This habit is now extended to my MIP Book Selection choices. In fact I even list my reading schedule, or plan, below all the details for how to obtain that book. I invite you to read with me!


Word of the Week: caitiff

Good morning, Word Nerds! Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was calumny. Merriam-Webster Online says that calumny is: 

  1. a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation

  2. the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation

While we had some close guesses for calumny, I don’t think any were spot-on. However, I think we can safely say there’s a lot of calumny going on in the 2016 election!

This week’s WOW is caitiff. Here are my definition guesses for it:

caitiff: (ˈkā-təf) 1. a bailiff named Caitlyn 2. a Pontiff’s cane 3. an iffy cadence

What are your guesses for caitiff? Post a comment here!

Wednesday’s Post: Contemplative Meditation

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: calumny and Word of the Week: anabasis


Maizie’s Musings: Furless Fur…

Dog of Steel

Courtesy of

Those loud booms are back again. This does not make me happy. And they aren’t going away.

When the booms come, I start panting and shaking and I can’t seem to stop. I even went to my usual cave, but couldn’t stop panting. One morning the Mom person noticed that I was panting even when laying down in my cave. She must have been concerned about it because she got her furless fur on before noon (Trust me–this is unusual for her.) and left the house.

I was not wild about her being gone while the booms were going off, but when she came back, she had something for me! I’m not sure what this gizmo is supposed to be, but it resembles some of the Mom person’s furless furs.

She wrapped one part around my neck and then wrapped the rest around my middle parts. The funniest thing happened after she did that–I stopped panting! I even decided, reluctantly, to stay by her while she typed on her laptop. I was still worried the booms could get me, but as long as the Mom person was nearby, I could handle it.

When I go outside, she takes it off. I definitely do not understand that! That is where the booms are loudest and the wet stuff comes from the sky. That’s when I needed that furless fur the most! But off it comes! It doesn’t seem to matter what I think. The only good news about going outside when the booms are going off is that I get a treat afterwards.

The good news is that if I start panting or shaking, she puts the furless fur on me again and I feel better. Sometimes I still go into my cave, because I’m not quite sure how a furless fur protects me from the booms, but I’m starting to think of it as my Super Dog cape.

I wonder if I can fly in my Super Dog cape. Hmmm…..I may have to try that from the Mom person’s bed when she’s not around. Remind me to put goggles on her shopping list.

Monday’s Post: What is the definition for calumny?

You Might Also Like: Maizie’s Musings: The Suitcase; Maizie’s Musings: The Wet Stuff; and Maizie’s Musings: Bones


Looking for God in Your Journal…


Journaling, as you might suspect, is rather easy for me. Time and again, my non-writer friends tell me that they admire me keeping a journal and swear that they can’t do it. I tell them it’s because their definition of a journal is way too narrow.

If you thought journaling was just for Bridget Jones, Princess Mia and Anne Frank, and that you could only write prose in a journal, here’s the truth: you can color, draw, doodle, make lists, and write poems in a journal, too. In fact mine is usually a conglomeration of several of the above.

In reality that journal is yours. Thus, you can put whatever you want in it. You can write your thoughts  in a spiral, turning your journal every which way to create a path to the center of the page or wherever you want it to go. An exchange student friend of my daughter’s was a great artist and filled her journal pages with drawings that reflected her thoughts about being so far away from home. She allowed us to see portions of it and it was just beautiful! Others like to put inspirational quotes or Bible verses in their journals.