The Return Published in FROM THE GARDEN, 2020 Bonnie McDaniel McClure I grew up across the street from a thirteen-acre garden plowed and planted by a single, lifetime farmer, his plow, and mule named Midnight. Mr. Freddie Crawford came from a long line of farmers. Farming was all his family had ever done for livelihood. He knew intimately the timing, care, and touch required to help something grow. He was humble and hardworking, quiet and non-assuming. He was deeply kind. Throughout my childhood, each summer, he would tell me that he had a watermelon growing with my name on the vine. [...]
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Standard My husband might suggest to you that I’m addicted to the BBC series Call the Midwife, and, perhaps he’s correct. I recently viewed a powerful episode that dealt with the issue of trauma, and more specifically how we “treat” those who’ve been affected by trauma, particularly in our early response to trauma. In my mind, it conjured thoughts of sterile emergency rooms and even more sterile conversations with those required to gather evidence… of not-so-well-meaning statements of “should’ve-known-better” judgement and “if-I-were-you” advice… of well-meaning friends who try so very hard, but still fail in their offerings… In Call the Midwife (series 5, episode [...]
What is a mala? A mala necklace is a string of 108 beads that are used in a meditation practice. It is a tool to help you count mantras and to act as a tactile guide. A mala has a guru bead or stone to start and end the round of mantra or meditation session and often has a tassel. The guru bead represents a space where we can draw in our mantra and sit in stillness. Guru means remover of darkness. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ”Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine [...]
Postures of Prayer & Praise are “outer representations of an inner reality” In Luke 10, when the lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, he asked him how to inherit eternal life. Like a learned rabbi, Jesus turned the question back to the lawyer, who answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus confirmed his answer as true, with a command and a promise: “Do this and you will live.” When I teach on embodied prayer [...]
For real change to take place, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present. ~Bessel van der Kolk, MD (pioneer in the field of traumatology) in The Body Keeps the Score I have already written about my journey listening to the voice of God as I’ve explored yoga as a creative Christian practice. I also want to share another reason behind my exploration of yoga as I’ve sought the Lord’s will and wisdom in this somewhat tricky and controversial issue as a follower of Jesus Christ. I am deeply passionate about [...]
I first saw the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz collecting dust on a shelf at my first job at the Yoga Garden. I vaguely knew what the actual four agreements were. What I did know was that this was one of the yoga books. I would not exactly say that there is a yogic literary canon, but most people accept this book as one of the common texts for yoga training. When I finally decided to pick this book up off of my own shelf, it collected dust for about a year. I was amazed at how fast I flew [...]
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com “If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.” — author unknown Last year I was in a particularly challenging yoga class after taking several months off from any physical activity. I was especially happy that I completed the entire 75 minute class without croaking. As I rolled up my mat, feeling very content, I heard the teacher and a student discussing what a “beautiful practice” a particular student had. Enter my ego. My satisfaction with my practice [...]
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is constant. Psalm 107:1 I love roller coasters and water parks and I’m usually up for anything...except when it comes to rides that drop straight down. Maybe you’ve ridden the Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure or the Tower of Doom at Elitches. I don’t ride these rides because I find no fun in having the floor drop out from under me, thank you very much. But a few years ago, we were at Great Wolf Lodge where I was peer pressured by my 7 and 11-year-old to ride [...]
Prayer is a huge part of the Catholic church. There are a ton of prayer practices that are recognized by the Church such asking a saint to intercede, praying a rosary, saying a novena, etc. The entire liturgical celebration is in itself a prayer. But what exactly does it mean to pray? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, “Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times)” (CCC [...]
“And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 I have this problem. Until now, I have been completely unaware of it. Here is the thing...I get up early and read my bible. Every single morning. I pray. I journal. My day begins about an hour later. The day goes on. I talk to Jesus. A lot. I talk about Jesus. A lot. But, there is something I have discovered. I don't like to be alone. Ever. Really. Like, ever ever ever ehhhhhhhhverrr. It is kind of a joke in my family. If my husband goes out of town, I have it all lined [...]