The New Year always holds so much! Excitement, promise, opportunity, fear, new things, and renewed things. I’m happy that the beginning of 2024 provides me the opportunity to introduce, or reintroduce, myself to you.
I can’t believe it’s been this long, but in Lent of 2021, I unapologetically gave up social media, and even updating my website, to focus on my own personal formation and growth, so I could eventually better serve others in their own journey of growth.
My ministry is focused on accompanying women to find true and authentic joy, which comes from a lived relationship with Christ and His Church. I desire to authentically represent that in my brand, and to show up as the person I’m sharing myself to be: a person of deep faith and joy. To do this I have to keep growing and deepening my own relationship with God and the Church.
What is one key thing necessary for growth? Freedom. Sometimes we need to let go of things to go after and be open to the adventure that God has invited us on. I chose to give up social media and the updating of my website. Thanks for sticking around as I have navigated this! (And before I go any further, if you’re feeling like something needs to shift or change in your life and outreach, I invite you to use the beginning of this year to get quiet with God and yourself, and be really honest about what is stirring in you.)
The past eighteen months have been an adventure: difficult, but incredibly fruitful.
I started by intentionally disengaging with social media and email followers, that means thousands of women who choose to enter my virtual space. Obviously, this is a big no-no in the marketing world. And maybe even more so in evangelization! It had to happen, though. It gave me a long moment, the freedom, to get very quiet with myself and God to go deep and focus on some important areas in my own life. Saying no to content development and full days of spiritual direction sessions, created time and space to intentionally let God grow me into who He’s been inviting me to be…and who He continues to invite me to become.
When you know God is asking you to take some big steps to be more faithful and fruitful, and you intentionally respond, big things can happen. Here’s what happened for me…I truly do love God, family, you, and myself! I sincerely care how I show up and serve in this virtual space and in my various communities. So much so it can be paralyzing sometimes and it can take big changes for me to pay attention and to be available. Here are the changes and progress that have happened for me to come back strong in 2024 to be present to you!
Completed a Certificate in Spiritual Direction to More Fully Offer Women What the Church Intends By Spiritual Direction
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I signed up for the certification course three years ago. And that’s a good thing! I honestly didn’t know I had it in me to go back to school again after an extensive stint of graduate studies in Theology and Canon Law. I have to say the formation and study for my Spiritual Direction Certificate was more rewarding and even more challenging. I learned more about God, myself, and the human person than I thought possible. We are complicated, interesting, and oh so incredible! I was formed in techniques to help my directees look more deeply into themselves and to go to God for answers and not to me as their director. This time of formation immersed me into the art of listening and an even deeper understanding of the importance of silence.
I Gave Up Alcohol! Because I Want To Go To God First and To Be the Healthiest Version of Myself
Giving up alcohol is an up and coming fad and I jumped on board. As I write this I have been living an alcohol free lifestyle for ten months. In March of 2023, I started to realize that alcohol wasn’t serving me, my relationship with God, or others. I have big dreams and I feel God is calling me to big things and I don’t want anything to get in the way… that includes the way I show up to serve you! I don’t know how long I will be alcohol free, but I love the version of myself without it in my life, and I see growth in the fact that I go to God first before a glass of wine or even an Old Fashioned.
I’ve Committed to Being More Present to My Active Spiritual Directees
I’m still not where I want to be, yet, but I have found more balance by not journeying with as many women as I had been. (Maybe that’s why Jesus started with the Twelve Disciples?) I’ve identified a maximum number of directees I can commit to at a time, and a specific schedule for when I’m able to meet, when it’s healthy to meet, while still seeking to be available and flexible to fit everyones schedules. Sometimes though, I realize that even with intentional planning, and great intentions, I have to surrender, show up for my directees, even in my poverty, and to let God work miracles. And He does!
I Created a Course for You!
Through accompanying over 200 women in spiritual direction since 2020 I discovered that personal accompaniment starts with one conversation – who is God and what is His unique plan for you. So after much discernment, I’ve decided to create a course! So you can begin that conversation whenever you are ready! You don’t have to wait for me! I believe this is the right place to start because you, my followers, have told me that these are the topics you need the most guidance with. And after this course, if you’d like, we can discern together about more personal accompaniment! I can’t wait to share more later this year.
Now Serving as a 501c3 Catholic Ministry
The only way for this (or any) ministry to be sustainable is by the community making a gift of themself. My whole mission through this spiritual direction ministry, which I have coined “Joy Seeker 501c3” is to share true Joy who is a person: Jesus Christ. And to remind, and re-remind you that you are not alone on your journey. God has gifted each one us the Church, and entrusted us to the Church, so that we can always have access to Him. I feel called to extend God and the Church to you! And I’m going to need your help to do that.
Traveled Extensively to Serve
Wheew, I am just out of a heavy travel season that I felt like was all of 2023. This included Italy, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. All for different areas of ministry I am involved in. These trips included serving as a spiritual director for three week-long retreats. On these retreats, I offered spiritual direction to both men and women and was blessed to see God provide clarity, confidence, and new life to our brothers and sisters.
Received Catholic Coaching and Counseling
I’m a strong proponent of coaching, counseling, and spiritual direction. At this point in my life, I feel like we need all three to be high functioning adults. These helping sciences offer so much. I have been able to navigate past wounds and lean into the truth that God gives us exactly what we need when we receive and activate the tools available to us with the help of professional guides.
Started Actively Looking for a New Spiritual Director
It’s hard to find a spiritual director. I hear this all the time from potential directees and I’m personally experiencing it. I was accompanied by the same spiritual director for eight years. After my formation in the spiritual direction certificate program, I started feeling a pull to find a director with training in the contemplative evocative style that I have been trained in myself. One can discover their spiritual director at an event, retreat, through a book, online search, etc. It’s often very providential and can be mysterious in how you come to learn of them. If you are currently seeking a spiritual director yourself, let’s keep one another in prayer that God sends us the right person to walk with us in our relationship with Him.
More Spiritual Direction Resources
I have a lot coming at you in these months ahead. I hope you receive it as an expression of my gratitude to you for still hanging around in my space, which is intended to be a joy-filled spot for you! God made us unique and unrepeatable! For as long as you feel called to stay engaged here on my little slice of the internet, I’ll be sure to remind you of that.