Inspiration Mind

Self Improvement

Last spring, I felt like I was being consumed by problems at work.  Primarily, I was working through some issues that seemed to be spiraling downwards, and they put me into a slump.  I didn’t know how things would be resolved, but I was in a pretty negative mood, and I wanted to get past it.  I made two decisions that helped me re-focus.

The first decision was to take an on-line certification program in adult faith formation.  An email I received spoke about a new opportunity to learn the in’s and out’s of this important part of parish life.  It sounded good and I was ready for a new challenge.

The second decision was to teach a fourth grade class this school year.  One of our volunteers announced that she would not be returning in the fall, and that created an opening.  After praying about it, I felt like it would be good for me to spend a little less time on administration and get back into a classroom to teach.

Soup On Saturday Soups and Stews Vegan Vegetarian

Lima Bean Soup

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t always a fan of lima beans.  I guess it was something about the consistency, but who knows.

Recently, my next door neighbor sent a container of this soup over and it was actually quite tasty.  Here’s a version I think you’ll like.  Somehow, it reminds me that spring is coming:)

Inspiration Mind Prayer Spirit

Changing Course

I heard a great story the other day and I thought I’d share it with you.  There was a ship that was sailing on a very dark night.  Suddenly, the captain noticed a bright light directly in front of him, and he thought for sure that his ship was going to collide with another ship.

He rushed to the radio and sent an urgent message, demanding that the other vessel change its course ten degrees west.  A few seconds later, he got a reply.  “Cannot do it.  Change your course ten degrees east.”

Mind Prayer Spirit

Don’t Give Up

We all have moments when we want to throw in the towel.  I had that experience on the second week of my fitness challenge at the YMCA.  The leaders were very disorganized, and we were given conflicting information about what we were supposed to be doing.

Just about everyone was frustrated.  I started thinking that I could do this on my own, and that I didn’t need the hassle of participating in something that was not what I was expecting.  Now, in week five, I’m glad I stuck it out.  It would have been far easier to quit, but I don’t think I would have been able to achieve the results I have if I had gone it alone.

Inspiration Mind

Asking For Help

Today’s posting comes from my friend Mary Lynne.  She’s a good friend and a mental health professional in my area.  You might recall she was one of my guest bloggers this past fall.

We are by nature creatures that resist change. Even when we know that it will be good for us. There are certain to be times when we must adapt to either external demands or transitions or to the promptings or callings of God. Either way it’s best to live as fully in the moment as one can for change is on the horizon. And for those striving to live healthy in mind, body and spirit, the  rewards of this were mentioned in Paul’s previous blogs.

Ignatian Spirituality Inspiration Prayer

Time For Prayer

A quick look at the news today might cause you to dive into a tailspin.  Massive earthquakes, oil prices rising 9% in a day, civil unrest rolling across the Middle East, unsustainable levels of debt.  And that was just the headlines.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that everything is cycling out of control. That would be the case if everything depended upon us.  Being people of faith, we know that the reality is that it God is in control.  I scratch my head sometimes trying to figure out what He’s up to, but in the end, I know He is allowing these things to happen.  Our job is to pray, and to trust.

Catholic Church Inspiration Prayer

President’s Day

Happy President’s Day.  The observance commemorates the 22 February 1732 birth of the “Father of the Country,” George Washington. While Washington’s birthday has been marked as a national holiday since at least 1796 — the final year of his presidency — subsequent years saw Abraham Lincoln’s 12 February birthday added to the calendar as a separate observance.

I remember as a kid that one of the great things about February were the almost back to back three-day weekends we enjoyed.  Sadly, the Lincoln holiday was suppressed about twenty years ago, but Washington’s anniversary widely became dubbed “President’s Day” in the years since.

In 1791, Archbishop John Carroll, the father of American Catholicism and our nation’s first Catholic Bishop, wrote and delivered his famous “Prayer for the Nation.”   It is a reminder of our need to pray for our leaders, and for our country.

Main Course Soup On Saturday Soups and Stews Vegan Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Soup

Growing up, I don’t remember ever eating a sweet potato.  I’m not sure why, but it was only recently that I started integrating them into my diet.  Sweet Potatoes are a great source of nutrition.  High in fiber, they are loaded with vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.  I hope you’ll give this soup a try, even if you’ve never had sweet potatoes before 🙂

Don’t be afraid of the peanut butter.  It adds a great depth to this soup, which originated in Africa.

Fitness Inspiration Spirit

Back In Step

It’s another beautiful day in Maryland.  After what seems like a very long winter (which still isn’t over), these past few days of temperatures in the upper sixties have everyone longing for spring.

I’ve just gotten back from a long walk 🙂  I took my usual route through the neighborhood, and as I was marking the mid-way point, I realized that I hadn’t walked outside since late November.  That’s a very long time ago, and I was struck by just how much I enjoy exercising outside.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the gym, but it’s just different.

Inspiration Mind Prayer


Over the last several weeks, it seems like my life has gotten increasingly chaotic.  A new boss. Friends going through hard times. Too much to do and too little time. Sick relatives.  My list could go on and on.  I’m sure you could create your own list in no time.

When your life gets this chaotic, it’s easy to fall into despair or being overwhelmed. How will I ever get myself out of this?  I asked myself that same question on Tuesday.  With a quick phone call to a close friend, I had my answer.  I can’t do it alone.  I was asking how I could get myself out of it.  A better approach would be to ask how God can help me get out of it.