Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living

I’ve been wondering: is anything ever totally new? Some say that every seven years we have new bodies — all new cells. The saying, though, is a myth: brain cells aren’t replaced; we keep them our entire lifetimes. No matter what’s new, and no matter what’s familiar, when our world shifts and moves, how do weContinue reading “The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living”

The beauty of brokenness

An old building in disrepair, collapsing toward the ground. A rusting, defective car, stuck in layers of mud. Shattered glass. Melting candle. Cracked eggshells. Chipped ceramics. The sight of the simplest crack in a sidewalk can still my body, stun my soul. The colors and textures of a simple, broken branch can inspire poetry. It mayContinue reading “The beauty of brokenness”

Bread, art and a kindergarten heart

  “NO! I HATE this part of the bread! I won’t eat it!” My daughter had just realized that her peanut butter and honey toast was made with an “all-crust” heel piece. To a five-year-old who has never known true crisis, this realization is nothing short of devastating—on par with candy-less valentines and cake batter-scented (but NOT flavored)Continue reading “Bread, art and a kindergarten heart”

On Being Everywhere I Go

“No matter where you go…there you are,” stated the character Buckaroo Banzai in the 1984 cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. This troubling truism has become a bit of a mantra for me as I stumble through life. I frequently have too much going on. In the flurry of activity,Continue reading “On Being Everywhere I Go”

Challenged to trust in Mystery

Yesterday I finished packing up my classroom. A somber weight pressed upon my shoulders as I cleaned out my desk, dusted shelves and put books and picture frames in boxes. In the silence I prayed in gratitude for the room that has held so much life and energy for me during the past four years.Continue reading “Challenged to trust in Mystery”

Ugandan faith lesson #1: always room at the inn

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the first blog post in the five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family” by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda. Stay tuned throughout this week to experience the next four installments of Nicole’s faith lessonsContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #1: always room at the inn”

Recycled Lenten lessons

So far this Lent, I have already encountered the parts of me I don’t like. As I try to stay dedicated to my Lenten practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, I seem to keep catching a glance of myself in the mirror: I see that I am a sinner, I am weak, I am broken. OverContinue reading “Recycled Lenten lessons”

To honor Baby Jesus

Merry Christmas!! I have an invitation for you this week. Let us all enter into the story of Christmas and consider the amazing Truth: our God humbly, beautifully, became one of us. We, as a humanity, have never been the same since. The Incarnation really changed everything. Now, we are people of the New Covenant, thisContinue reading “To honor Baby Jesus”

Thanksgiving for Messy Jesus Business’ 5th Birthday!

It is amazing to me that it is nearly Messy Jesus Business‘ 5th Birthday! Thanks be to God that I listened to the encouragement of my community and friends to start a blog about living the Gospel and we’re still going strong. I am in awe, really, upon reflection on all the waves that MJBContinue reading “Thanksgiving for Messy Jesus Business’ 5th Birthday!”