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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why would I want to pray with my illness?

AWBA's next online retreat experience, "Praying With Illness", begins February 10 and continues through Lent. I asked the retreat facilitator,  Michael Landon, to share his perspective on why anyone would want to pray with their illness.  Michael responded,

“You have got to be kidding me!”  This was my first thought when several years ago a friend suggested that I might consider praying with my illness.  She didn’t mean praying to get rid of it, or to be miraculously healed… She meant, actually using my illness, my body that I felt was betraying me.  I had a hard time understanding how this trusted friend could suggest such a thing.  She of all people knew the painful journey I had been traveling!  Even she had personal experience with living with chronic disease, so how could she suggest praying with illness? 

We invite you to consider this opportunity to deepen your prayer life during the Season of Lent.  For details visit our website at Upcoming Events.  For those who wonder how an online experience forms community read feedback from past participants.  The registration deadline for this event is January 28. Read below for all of Michael's comments regarding this powerful retreat opportunity for caregivers and those with chronic disease.

What I came to realize is that up until this conversation, I had been limiting my prayers to praying “about” my illness.  My friend’s seemingly absurd suggestion of praying “with” my illness was an invitation to deepen and expand my prayer life, as well as see my illness and my body from a new perspective.  My friend introduced me to a wonderful book, Broken Body, Healing Spirit: Lectio Divina and Living with Illness, by Mary C. Earle.  I had practiced Lectio Divina for years, and had even led retreats and small groups using this prayer discipline.  I knew that Lectio Divina (Holy/Sacred Reading) could be used not only with Scripture, but with any text. I had even known some who used this prayer with art work, but I had never considered the possibility of using my body, much less my illness as the sacred text.
One of the gifts that I received through expanding this prayer form to my body was a change of perspective.  I stopped seeing my body as the enemy, and I stopped seeing my identity as being defined by my illness.  Not that praying about one’s illness is inappropriate or somehow wrong, but I had become consumed by the “about” and wanting it to go away – even though I knew that chronic disease was just that… chronic, and in my case, there was not just one disease process at work, but several – and this was before what I call “the crash of 2009” when my several different disease processes collided into one another, leaving me completely debilitated and ultimately leading to being disabled.  I realized that my friend’s invitation was to discover a new way of living within my body, and to listen to what it and what God might be saying through it.  It was also a reminder that all of our bodies are sacred.
In addition to beginning to practice Lectio Divina in a new way, I found that practicing another prayer form went hand in hand.  The Jesuit prayer of Examen is a way of reviewing one’s day, one’s week, year, life – listening for the places of consolation and desolation, those things that are life giving or life draining.  I found myself returning to a delightful little book, Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life, by Dennis, Sheila Fabricant, and Matthew Linn.  Again, this was an invitation to pray with my illness in a new way, to listen deeper, and to be open to the surprises that might be discovered.
One thing I have learned over the years, is that when it comes to prayer, it is not about the “end result,” rather about the process and being open to the experiences the path of prayer brings.  It is not about doing it right, but being intentional in our doing.  Both Lectio Divina and The Examen are invitations to experience at a deeper level.  The circumstances of one’s life may not change, but the perspective does; thus allowing us to embrace life and live it more fully.
The upcoming online Lenten Retreat, “Praying with Illness” will be a time to learn, relearn, or expand upon each participant's understanding and practice of Lectio Divina and The Examen.  I will be drawing from both Mary C Earle’s and the Linn’s books as we pray our way through Lent.  Each week I will share a little nugget from these authors as well as from my own life experiences.  Each week will have a Scripture verse or passage to connect us with the Lenten journey.  I might also share some poems or pieces of art work, or other sacred text.  However, the main text I will be inviting each of us to pay closest attention will be the sacred text of our bodies.  As this is a group experience, everyone will be invited to share from their reflections, so we can learn from one another’s experiences.  I first learned the prayer of Lectio Divina as a small group experience on a week-long retreat.  It is amazing how the Spirit moves within such groups.
I am excited about this opportunity to walk with you during Lent, and to be with each of you in prayer.  A phrase that you will often see me using when I close my thoughts is: “I will be holding you in the healing light of God’s love.”  Healing comes in many ways, but the source is God’s love, and the Gospel of John describes Jesus as “the light of the world.”  So know that I will be holding every participant in prayer and imaging the God’s healing light surrounding you.  A friend recently shared the following quote with me, and I thought it to be very appropriate to share as you consider being a part of this Lenten Journey.

“So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?"

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Holding you in the healing light of God’s love…  
Michael Landon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Something to Inspire

As I have shared (and you may notice in my profile photo), I am an artist.  I have no professional training and came to it rather late in life.  I have dedicated a room in my home as a prayer studio and begin my days in that space.   Creative expression has become such a meaningful prayer practice that I am now a student in a two-year program that will equip me to use different forms of creative expression in a healing setting for myself and others.

I was led to offer you something inspiring today.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that God comes in the beauty as well as in the hard times.  These are three art-based sites that inspire.  I have previously shared Sacred Alter with you and it bears repeating.  Click on the link below to be directed to the site.

366 Hearts
Jan Richardson
Sacred Alter

For a few months now I have been sitting with Luke 8:45, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Visual art and writings have come through me from that prayer time.  I created the above mandala a few days ago.  I have my own experience of the process   and its end product, and invite you to see what rises for you.  What I love about praying with art is that the image is open for interpretation by the artist and the viewer, and the process is equally or more important than the end result.  For those who do not consider themselves an "artist", that is good news.   Praying with art is expressing what is beneath the words rather than creating something others will admire.

I invite you to take a moment to visit these sites, reflect on the mandala and ask God to offer you a bit of wisdom for the day through creative expression.  God is the original creator and artist.  We are made in God's image which helps me trust the creative prayer process.

Prayer Rhythms

Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. -- Matthew 9:17

For this passage, my Bible concordance states, “In ancient times goatskins were used to hold wine.  As the fresh grape juice fermented, the wine would expand, and the new wineskin would stretch.  But a used skin, already stretched, would break.”  I use the wisdom of this verse often in my own prayer life and with those I companion as a spiritual director.  

Our lives are in constant motion and we choose to grow or not in response to life’s circumstances.  When impacted by chronic disease as the one diagnosed, as primary caregiver or, perhaps, professional employment that serves this population, our resulting new life can become a metaphorical “new wine.”  Our needs are different.  Our relationship with God may undergo significant testing, refining and deepening.  Our spiritual needs take on a new urgency for relevancy.  If we try to stay with the same prayer rhythm that we utilized in healthy, less chaotic times, we are essentially pouring this new life into an old “skin” that may or may not suit us in this new place.  

For myself, there are a few prayer practices that have stayed with me throughout many life transitions.  The Bible and a journal have been consistent.   Everything else changes with the seasons of my life.  Praying with art, nature, music, meditating with Scripture, dance, silence, singing, labyrinth walks, etc. all move in and out of my life as circumstances shift.   God has provided me with an abundance of  ways to connect with the Spirit, and I use the prayer practice that meshes with what I need in that moment to remain connected with God.

I did not get to that place overnight.  For a long time I was pretty much in a routine that I was unwilling to change.  I stuck with it whether or not it seemed to make a difference.  There are times to be disciplined in a prayer practice.  There are also times to open the box and allow God to enter  through new avenues.  I talked with others about their prayer practices, read books and took classes.  I visited churches different from what I had become comfortable with to experience how others prayed and what was meaningful to them.  My prayer horizons expanded to meet my deepening needs for a prayer life to hold all that was happening in me and through me.  Now, I am in a much better place to vary my prayer practices as needed to ensure my relationship with God is as strong as it can be.  My wine skin continues to grow and change as I grow and change. 

To help you deepen or expand your own prayer practices and to engage with others embarking on the same journey, I invite you to check out AWBA’s next event, Praying With Illness. This on-line retreat is offered February 10-March 31, 2013 with a registration deadline of January 28.  For those who have not participated in an Internet-based community experience and are wondering if this is something to try, visit here for some personal stories from those who have benefitted from an AWBA virtual community.

As we move move through this Advent time of active waiting, may you come to identify those places in your life where God is inviting you to new birth.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Beginning of New Life

In her book The Radical Christian Life, Benedictine sister Joan Chittister writes,  

Death is indeed a necessary part of life but everything that looks dead is not and, in fact, may really be the beginning of new life in us. (page 110) 

This is one of those truths that makes complete sense to me on a good day.  But in the middle of a "it sure looks dead” circumstance facing me head on, I am tempted to believe that this one particular moment on this one day is the one exception to the truth. 

November 1 is when some faith traditions honor those who have fought the good fight and died in faith.  I want to remember what I have read about the  saints' lives - their struggles, their perseverance, and (very importantly) their humanness that we sometimes forget because we call them "saint."  It is also vital that I remember all that I know about my ancestors and close friends who have passed on.   Because of the saints' faith stories shared through time, the biological DNA of ancestors streaming through my own biology, and the physical human touch of close friends upon my life, I sense the presence of others cheering me on.  The cloud of witnesses that surrounds each of us (Hebrews 12:1) waits to provide the inspiration to continue forward when life seems particularly difficult with an unclear path before us.  

Are there places in your life that appear to be without life and without redemption?  Is it possible there is a seed of new life on the verge of coming forth if you can persevere in the waiting?  Who in your cloud of witnesses comes to mind with encouragement to stand your ground with hope in that thin space that waits between death and resurrection?  

This picture was taken during my retreat in June 2008 at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center as the AWBA vision was deepening within me.  It is the onsite cemetery for the Sisters of Mercy who once made their home in the current retreat center building and now, along with other faithful servants, operate the retreat center as a sanctuary for others.  This has been a special place for me as I have discerned God’s call to develop this new ministry, to believe that life would come from the necessary losses that precede such a major life change,  and to find the courage to persevere in the waiting time as details were revealed.  There were many reasons why I thought AWBA impossible and too hard to accomplish.   While on this particular retreat, I received word that a close friend with whom I had walked alongside through her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in her early 50's had passed away.  That afternoon,  I made my way to the stoop at the base of this resurrected Christ figure in the middle of the cemetery.  I sat with my head bowed down into folded arms grieving my dear friend, unsure about the future, and feeling very isolated in a decision I knew had to be made for myself.  I looked up to see these grave markers - all stones honoring the life of a Sister of Mercy - and realized I was surrounded by women  who had lived lives of deep compassion and finished their race just as my friend had.  I felt buoyed and supported by the witness of these lives.   Each time I have returned to the Pines since that moment, I visit “the Sisters” and remember my friend who taught me so much about compassion.  I walk amongst these memorials  trusting I am receiving what I need for the next step of the journey.

We (I) want things to move more quickly than they do.  And, by the way, wouldn't a smooth path be wonderful as well?  AWBA exists to provide a community of support in the long, winding and often uneven journey of  your particular story.  May you find inspiration as you bring to mind the memory of one soul who offers you encouragement to seek the beginnings of new life in all the dark moments of uncertainty.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sacrifice + Bliss

Bliss coming from sacrifice - I like the hope of that idea.  Joy from sorrow, peace from sadness, resurrection from death ... so true to how life unfolds yet hard to experience as we transition from one place to the other.  “Sacrifice+Bliss” is the title of an exhibition at our community’s Franklin Park Conservatory fpconservatory.org.  The artist, Aurora Robson, identifies herself as an artist and activist.  She has intercepted over 70,000 plastic bottles and other non-biodegradable trash to create large-scale sculptures and mixed-media collages.  Aurora’s intention through this work is to create awareness about pollution and sustaining our environment for future generations.  Learn more about her at Aurora Robson.

I visited the exhibit early this week.   Viewing this rescued trash recreated into a thing of beauty, I couldn’t help but connect this artist’s intention with the desire I carry for those served through AWBA.  Many of us impacted by chronic disease experience times when it seems that nothing of the disease process can be recreated into anything of beauty.  Sometimes we may almost envision our numerous losses washed up on a remote shore somewhere and left behind.

I was overwhelmed with “Bliss” - beautiful art exploding with color and vibrancy - created from “Sacrifice” - those things tossed out as useless.  Does this thought connect with you in some way?  Are there pieces of your life “AD” (after diagnosis) that were sacrificed and seem no longer useful?  If so, sit with these images and those on Aurora's website to reflect about how this idea of moving from sacrifice to bliss might resonate with you.   Bliss may be too much of a leap today.   If that is the case, just begin to wonder if there are some sacrifices you have experienced that God has begun to creatively shift to an unexpected blessing beginning to shine forth. Look beneath the surface of the immediate moment.  Is there a blessing trying to push through to be nurtured into full blown bliss?  If it simply cannot be found today, allow it to be front and center in your awareness in the days ahead and see if something begins to shift within you. 

The retreat that AWBA will begin on October 21 includes a discussion, “Giving the Mess Some Meaning.”  Sacrifice to bliss, mess to meaning - it is all forward, creative movement.  A few spaces still remain for this on-line retreat.  If you are interested, visit  Always We Begin Again  for more information or contact director@myawba.org. Although the registration deadline is this Sunday the 14th, we may still be able to connect you next week.

May you find moments of bliss
 in whatever challenges you face today.  Share your Sacrifice + Bliss moments in the comments and inspire others in their own journeys.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Companions on the Journey

In recent years I have been blessed with wonderfully creative companions on the journey with me.   As an artist, I have been encouraged and uplifted through the richness of expressions of faith offered through music, art, sculpture, dance, photography, poetry and so much more.  Websites and blogs focusing on every aspect of faith development are abundant, and it is challenging to not become overwhelmed with the wonderful resources available with the aid of technology.   What to keep up with and what to release?  Periodically, I want to share with you some of what I have found useful in hopes you may find a piece of encouragement through the creative expression of another.  If I were to begin telling you everything I love about these four people and how they have impacted my life and some of  the choices I have made in beginning this new ministry, this post would be much too long.  So, check out any or all of these links and perhaps one will be just the nugget of inspiration you need for the day.  Do you know a blog or site you would like to share that might encourage a caregiver or someone with chronic disease?  Send them to me at director@myawba.org and we will include some of them in our monthly newsletters.  If you would like to receive the monthly Always We Begin newsletter, visit www.myawba.org and register on the home page.

Christine Valters Painter offers a five minute meditation on Silence and an abundance of other treasures through her website.
Stacy Wills has two blogs - Mandalas and Sacred Alter
Betsy Beckman,The Dancing Word, and you can see Betsy doing what she does so prayerfully at Dancer.
Michael Landon shares his thoughts on Grief in ways that inspire and offer hope.  Michael has facilitated on-line workshops for AWBA in the past, and he and I are brainstorming for  another offering this spring.

Perhaps, in this very moment, you could benefit from a reminder that your body is not your enemy, that color continues to exist even when darkness surrounds, that music and imagery can provide opportunities for a deep breath, and/or that God is nearby in times of sadness and loss.  May something in the words, images or movements of these gifted individuals bring peace to your soul this day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Story of One

“I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual.  I can only love one person at a time - just one, one, one.  So you begin.  I began - I picked up one person.  Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I  wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand ... The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the  same thing in your church, your community.  Just begin - one, one, one.”  - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

In the first post, “Welcome”, I wrote that one of the goals for this blog is to give our readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into AWBA.  As you choose to be served or to serve through AWBA in some manner, it is important to know what is beneath our surface so that you come to know us.   

This week, I want to share with you about our Board of Directors.  Some of you may have board experiences that are not particularly favorable - meetings that exceed the intended time limit, a sense of non-productivity for the time invested, board members who do not seem genuinely glad to be present, board leadership that lacks focus and purpose -- you get the idea.  Then there are those experiences such as my own last night, and that seems representative of how our monthly meetings unfold.  I leave energized and affirmed from the discussions.  I may return home with a very long to do list, but that is a good thing!  

We close and open our meetings with blessing and prayer.  Last night, we were led into a blessing time by one of our members who shared a writing by Mother Teresa of which the above is an excerpt.  Oh, how I love these words and this image I found today of Mother Teresa surrounded by a crowd and intently focused on the One in her hands.  Thank you Deb for this offering.

You are our “One.”  When people hear our mission “to provide spiritual care for caregivers and those living with chronic disease”,  I am often reminded that this is an awfully large net we have spread for ourselves.  As I hear the stories from those who reach out to us, and from those with whom I am in regular contact, I can easily become overwhelmed with the abundance of stories held in this net that is AWBA’s place of service.  Yet, at the same time, when I hear a story of One, I am right there with the individual.  I hear the details.  I hear the specifics of their unique journey.  And, in that moment, I am again captured and encouraged for what we are about.  AWBA will do a workshop, an event, an offering for whomever shows up in need of support and nourishment.  We see AWBA growing one by one by one.

I am grateful for a Board of Directors charged with maintaining daily operations and  keeping a firm grasp on our future while simultaneously being unified in the value of the Story of One.  In a culture obsessed with how many are buying a product, attending the seminars, sitting in the pews, hitting a website, etc., I do believe that as we focus on the One, the numbers and resources will take care of themselves.  

AWBA’s is blessed with a gifted, passionate, compassionate, focused, and energetic board.  Stop by to learn more about them at www.myawba.org/aboutus.php. They are the wings of Always We Begin Again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"What do you want me to do for you?"

I find many nuggets of relevant wisdom in the Bible and this is one of them.  In Matthew 25:29-34, Jesus enters into conversation with two blind men sitting by the road.  He calls to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”  It would seem that anyone with vision and a small bit of awareness would assume these blind men want their vision restored.  My interpretation of this encounter is that (1) Jesus chose not to assume based on his perspective, and (2) Jesus desired that the men articulate what they want and to hear themselves speak the words.  For me personally, there are times when life feels so chaotic that when someone asks me, “what is it that you want” - surprisingly, I can’t answer other than mumbling something about making it all go away.  That pointed question invites me to dig beneath the surface of the immediate circumstances to discern what is at the root of the mess in which I find myself at that moment.  Then (and most  importantly), I need the courage to ask specifically for what I  want.  Not easy to do sometimes.   

AWBA asks the same of those we serve.  What is it that you  want?  We have a year of events and programs already   behind us.  But, we know that we have just touched the tip of  the iceberg.  You may or may not know what you want as far  as an end result and what an effective program might  actually look like for you.  If not, can you identify the struggles  you face?  Can you share with us what programming has  been helpful and not helpful for you in the past?  I believe  that God will help AWBA weave together your feedback to  create a pathway for programs we might offer in person and  via the Internet.  

If you would like to receive an email notification when new  blog posts are made rather than remember to log on  periodically, be sure to register in the right side panel to follow this blog via email.

I invite you to respond below or, if you prefer a bit of dialogue or confidentiality, email me at director@myawba.org.

Thank you for being here this day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Strength of Community

Chronic health conditions can so quickly lead to isolation - physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual.  In my first experience as a caregiver, I felt very isolated.  People did not intend to leave me hanging.  They did not understand my needs, and I did not know how to ask for support, and even what to ask for.  There was simply no energy to make the ask. It was one step forward and two steps back on some days.  I also found that once the novelty of the crisis wore off for those around me, the isolation became even deeper.  We are a quick fix society, aren’t we?  A diagnosis that will not be healed to return us to our original state of health in the foreseeable future is a chronic diagnosis. We are challenged to reframe relationships, beliefs,  assumptions, and dreams into a new vision for the future.  Friends and family may find it uncomfortable to be deeply involved in a situation that cannot be “fixed” and they pull away in subtle ways.  Others may try  to stay with you, but find it difficult having no personal frame  of reference from which to offer authentic and helpful    support.  A chronic diagnosis often leads to days with a lot of   moving parts so even if life seems “reframed” one week, the  next week is a new picture.  Friends and family can become  weary.  Heck, you become weary but there is no option for  you to pull away.  

When AWBA launched over one year ago, our first offering was an on-line retreat that spanned an 8-week period, "Beginning Again - Benedictine Wisdom for Living With Illness." This program served caregivers and those with chronic disease and brought together people from across the United States and Canada.   The feedback was so positive for this program that it is being offered again beginning in October.  Some of you may have found your way to supportive on-line communities and understand their value as a piece of your support network.  Others may wonder how community can be established without in-person    interaction.  I wondered this myself until I experienced it personally.  We are hungry for support, for community, for authentic sharing, and for a place to be honest with our questions - no judgment, no one offering quick fix answers.  This confidential environment based on the theme of beginning again sets the environment  for a safe and sacred  container for those on a similar journey.   Visit our website at  www.myawba.org for more information about this program  and consider joining us for this retreat.  If you have particular  concerns or questions, you may email me at  director@myawba.org or via the AWBA website. 

We are not created to journey in isolation.   

Discover the well ...

A few years ago someone shared with me the wisdom, “Discover the well before you are thirsty.”  This message seems especially true for those impacted by the daily challenges of living with a chronic situation.  Caregivers and those living with a chronic disease are nurtured as they consistently engage the activities, people and environments where their spirit is filled.   A caregiver cannot continue to give from a place of compassion if he/she has not taken time for self-care. One living with chronic illness cannot expect to carry hope on the dark days if the daily regiment includes very little that brings joy and life.  Life is hard, and our wells can dry out before we are even aware of it.  Once we find ourselves living life  from a place of internal emptiness, it is very difficult to fill up without totally retreating from life.  

When I teach spiritual practices and establishing a personal spiritual rhythm, I am often greeted with silence when I ask, “What fills you?”  Some know what fills them but deem it unrealistic due to time, expense, or friends and family who make it difficult for them to be motivated for their own self care.   They have been taught to believe self-care is frivolous and selfish.  Others have no idea what fills them, and have never stopped to consider that God would want to quench their thirst while they simultaneously care for others. 

I invite you to discover your well in the midst of whatever life season surrounds you, and to begin filling it with intention and joyful abandon.  Do not wait until you are exhausted and depleted, a place in which no one (including you) is served with compassion.    What activity helps you slow a racing and distracted mind?  Who brings a smile to your face?  Where are the places that help you believe life is bigger than whatever obstacle you face?   What books or music bring a sense of God’s peace and presence to your spirit?  

If you have found your way to this blog, it is likely that you are impacted by chronic disease.  If you are the one with a diagnosis, you are more than your medical condition and life is more than the immediate challenge you woke up with today.  Drink from your well.  If you are a loved one in a caregiving role, self-care is vital if you want to be in this for the long run.  Drink from your well.  If you are a chaplain, spiritual director, therapist, medical provider or other caregiving professional, those you tend to need you to care for them from a place of abundance, not exhaustion.   Drink from your well.  

Choose life this day and watch how your heart, and the people around you, are impacted as a result.  It will make a difference.  

Peace to you this day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Hello.  My name is Judy and I am the founder and Executive Director for Always We Begin Again.  Myself and my companions on this journey (an outstanding Board of Directors) welcome you to this blog and to our new website at www.myawba.org.  It is important for me to share at the outset that I would be on the "least likely" list for those who feel equipped to lead a website development effort, set up a blog, etc.  But, in this day and age and (most importantly) considering who we serve, having a web-based presence  and a virtual connection for the development of relationships with our audience has put me in a place of needing to embark on a huge learning curve.  So, thank you for your patience as we make substantive changes to this blog each time a new lesson is learned! 

Our vision for this blog is in process but the immediate goals are to provide:

- inspiration for your spiritual journey as a caregiver or one with a chronic diagnosis,
- a behind-the-scenes peek into our programs and future hopes and dreams for serving you,
- some back story on me and my journey so that you begin to develop a relationship with AWBA to let us know needs and desires that we may be able to support, and
- a place for you to "drop in" when the road feels long and the idea of beginning yet again feels like too much.

Beyond that, we will see what develops and go from there.  When the time is right, we have a few "guest bloggers" ready to go.   They are people also walking this journey who carry an inspirational story for others.  For the present time, we will not solicit comments directly to this blog.  You can contact me at director@myawba.org.  To receive an email when new blog posts are made, enter your email

 address in the box on the right to follow this blog.  If or when it seems time to set up a group site for dialogue among participants, we will do that through another service.

Thank you for visiting and may you experience a moment of peace each time you connect with AWBA.