The red dusty dirt invites pilgrims like me to experience at a cellular level the truth that we are simply dust. I am dust, rich as this land. I am dust, buoyant as the particulars soaring through the air on an African breeze. Thank God for the witness of fellow dirt lovers in Rwanda that have taught me this week that being dust is a gift.
Together we will continue to author a story of love from the fields with a fairly simple plot: buy the oils, love the land, sustain the farmers, heal the world. We need all the great Thistle Friends to help this field flourish. With that, all I have is love and gratitude for friendship today.
I don’t know about you, but this question of how to live more generously rises up in me every so often. It has never gone away. Sometimes it manifests itself in judging others on their generosity or creates a long list in me about why I need to worry about having enough money. I think the disciples were cautioned to travel light because then they would always need each other and be a bit vulnerable.
The story of healing has value and I believe still that love is a viable business model. This is one of our big questions over the next week to explore.
Becca’s 2018 Advent Reflection: Stop & Wait
Giving thanks is an expression of morality, memory and mutuality.
This week i invite you to listen again to the story of a friend or coworker or family member. Listen like you are falling in love. Listen like your job is not to fix or change it, just witness to the story they are sharing. Listen like you will hold their story deep in your heart and be their story bearer.
It's November and the season for giving thanks. I am sharing a poem I wrote a couple of weeks ago encouraging us to become wild lovers of the woods.
On the eve of midterm elections I thought it might be nice this week to focus on some helpful hints to keep us centered and grounded on our spiritual path. Enjoy.
Grateful to Guideposts for this great three-minute interview. Look for us in the November issue and feel free to share with your friends.
As we continue to contemplate the meanings of power together, don't underestimate the power of love in your life or its ability to heal the world.
Enjoy this guest blog from one of my best friends and co-workers, Frannie Kieschnick, about what hope looked like, rising in the midst of the refugee camp where she helped launch one of our newest projects Love Welcomes.
Redefining power is an exercise that offers us an opportunity to see how we have undercut or abused our own. More and more, I am shying away from the word "empower" and using the word love.
Don't empower me. Love me.
This piece was a gift to film and offers a real glimpse into our lives at Thistle Farms. Thank you Modern Hero. Let us know what you think. #loveheals.
Recently, I have kept returning to the idea of Emancipation. My hope for sexual assault survivors, who are willing to speak their truth amidst their pain and hard work, is that there is healing. Not just for themselves, but for this culture that would still rather keep the secrets of abusers than hear the cry of those assaulted.
Becca was recently interviewed for a filming project. Here, she talks about the beauty she found in the thistle and why they’re so important to Thistle Farms…
“I wanted to name the whole place ‘Thistle Farms’ to celebrate the women, their ability to survive, their persistence, but also deep beauty and their softness, like the thistles.” —Becca
Listen to Becca’s recent interview on The Heart of Dating Podcast.
On a recent trip…I started recounting all the sisters of the community of Thistle Farms who have died as saints and survivors of some of the oldest pain the world inflicts on young women. If I could create a stained glass, I would make a field of wildflowers with thistles and healing plants. There would be sunlight pouring down, and I would piece together all the names I could recall.
I applaud the women who break up dysfunctional communities with the ploughshare of truth. I applaud communities which speak out about sexual abuse within sacred walls. And I respect the guts it takes for survivors to say, “#metoo.” The hallowed and hard ground of abuse within the church requires us all to begin a complicated and delicate walk towards healing. Abuse survivors who come forward need allies. They need spaces to speak the truth – where the only question is “tell me what happened to you.” Women’s stories, like those revealed at Willow Creek and like mine, can transform brokenness into compassion. They can transform blame for victims into support for survivors.
Kristin McWilliams, a talented organizer, leader, wife and mom, reflects in the following blog on her first year as an Executive Assistant to me at Thistle Farms. Read on to learn about why she sees it as a gift and how the work on the #thistleroad helps save lives.