Why Do People Get Married?

Shall we Dance

Why do people choose to get married?

Years ago I attended a retreat program presented by Deacon Arthur Miller. There were about thirty people there and it was an inspiring night filled with wisdom, laughter, and the sharing of faith. At the end of the program, I introduced myself to Deacon Art just to say a quick thanks. About six months later, I had the opportunity to attend another one of his programs. As I entered the room, Deacon Art came over to me with a welcoming smile. “Hello, Sheri!” At my look of surprise, he said: “You didn’t think I remembered you, did you?” An immediate sense of pleasure and gladness washed over me. To be noticed like that…to be remembered by name and picked out of the crowd, for just that moment…it transformed the experience for me. I felt like my presence mattered to the group and the purpose of the day. (It wasn’t until much later that I realized I was wearing a nametag, so Deacon Art had a little help in remembering me that day!) But the point remains the same. It was the moment of being noticed that stayed with me.

It brings to mind a wonderful movie I saw years ago called Shall We Dance, staring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. The movie is about John and Beverly Clark, a couple who’ve been married for almost 20 years. They have a good life together, two children, and a loving marriage. But John is in a rut and he doesn’t know why or how to get out of it. Without giving too much of the plot away in case you decide to see it someday, there’s a scene halfway through the movie where Beverly Clark is asked a question. “Why do you think people get married?” Her response: Continue reading

A Breathing Prayer

I breathe.

Lord God, You gave me the breath of life
A Divine Spark moving within
Dawning awareness that I am Your beloved child

I Breathe deeply.

ImmanuelYou are with me
Abiding in me and around me and through me
Surrounding me with extravagant love and mercy

I breathe slowly.

Jesus, You are my Cornerstone
A firm foundation to cling to when worry and fear
Threaten to steal the breath from my body

I breathe in and out.

I am drawn into Your presence, Loving God
Welling up with peace, love, and grace
Until You are ALL in ALL

I breathe in Your Holy Presence.



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Just Breathe


“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  (Genesis 2:7)

We all have those days. When nothing seems to go right. When we’re stressed out, or preoccupied, or wound up. We can’t get out of our own way. Our bodies are tense, our shoulders hunched, our faced scrunched into a permanent frown. Like a rubber band stretched so tight we’re about to snap.

We feel as far from “holy” as you can get. And sincere prayer seems impossible in the mood we’re in. The words won’t come and we can’t force it

It’s ok.

On these days your prayer can be as simple as breathing. Stop what you’re doing and just breathe. Plant your feet solidly on the ground. Relax your shoulders. If possible, close your eyes. With each breath focus only on the air moving in and out. Fall into a rhythm as you breathe slowly and deeply. Continue reading

I am the Lord Your God


Blessed be God who frees us from all burdens

That which holds me prisoner—
Lord you are MIGHTY with breaking these chains

That which presses on my soul—
Lord you are STRONG with compassion to take my yoke upon You

Blessed be God who keeps His promises

That which holds me back from the Promised Land
Lord you are FAITHFUL with promises kept—

That which keeps me lost in the desert—
Lord you are PATIENT with teaching me Your paths

Blessed be God who comes to us with outstretched arms

That which leaves me weak—
Lord you are STRONG with my name written on the palm of Your Hand

That which brings me to the foot of Your Cross—
Lord you are STEADFAST with love that endures forever


Friendship and the Face of Jesus

best friend

I love that so many of the Gospel stories depict Jesus with his friends. Traveling together, sharing meals, teaching, talking. Plus all the scenes left to our imagination. Shared laughter, gentle teasing, hugs. It’s one of the things that makes Jesus so very real to me.

I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends in my life… too many to count. I’m positive I don’t thank them often enough for the love and warmth they bring into my life.

But what about those friends who come into our lives for a period of time and then drift away? Why were they sent at that particular time? What were they meant to teach us? Does the fact that they are no longer a part of our daily experience make their impact any less important?

One such friendship I’m moved to write about today is from the year I turned eleven. Up until then my friendships were marked by a shared love of playground games, cute boys, soap operas and candy. Sweet and loyal and true.

Kathleen was the first person who taught me about discipleship. Continue reading

One Seed



The kingdom of God starts small
What is small?

Individual acts of compassion
A gentle speaking out against injustice
A kind word, a sweet smile
One meal for someone who is hungry

One act
One word
One smile
One meal

Surely one is not too much too ask

One pebble tossed into a pond
Creates ripples that grow outward and onward
Until one is not small but ALL

A more compassionate people
A world free from injustice
A resounding chorus of loving words
Beaming smiles reflecting peace in our world
Abundant nourishment for all who hunger

Loving God
If you will plant—I will sow
A tiny seed of love growing strong within my heart
Until I am a mighty branch
Providing shade for the least and last of God’s creatures


Clear and Present Darkness

At first glance this Scripture passage did not appeal to me. All the battle imagery is too aggressive and masculine for my usual approach to faith.   I tend to focus more on love and gentleness, peace and happiness. All feel-good, all the time. This talk of armor, shields, flaming arrows, and “spiritual wickedness in high places” is almost like a foreign language to me.

But the truth is there is tremendous darkness in the world. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with goodness, we will confront the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” It’s easy to see, on a more global scale, what those spiritual forces might be. War, oppression, poverty, violence. But where does this “present darkness” exhibit itself in my every day life? Continue reading

A Morning Prayer




Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
What is it that you ask of me this day?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Wake me from my slumber with your gentle calling.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Who is it that you wish me to serve today?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Reveal yourself to me.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Where will send me on this day?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Here I am! Set me on the right path.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
When will you answer?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Work in me and through me…in your own time.


Finding God in the Pots and Pans

old-kitchenI wonder if, like me, you’ve ever felt like there were two people inside of you. There’s the “busy self” who does all the everyday stuff: working, shopping, running errands, cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, taking care of everyone…and the “quiet self” or some might call the “holy self” who is focused on quiet prayer, listening to God in the stillness, going on retreats…all those great things we’re encouraged to do but never seem to find the time for. And so we struggle with this feeling that when we’re dwelling in the “busy self” we’re not quite “holy.” We’re not measuring up to the ideal.

Well, I don’t believe God wants us to live in this fractured or compartmentalized way—when we’re praying, we’re praying…but when we’re working, we’re working. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s entirely possible to encounter God, or spend time with Jesus, amidst the hustle and bustle of all we have to do. In the words of St. Theresa of Avila… “God is in the pots and pans.”  Continue reading