For the year and half following the onset of a chaotic time in my life, a veritable earthquake, I spent long hours in the back garden. Frequently I sat facing a lush corner of birth, Japanese maple, hydrangea, fern and baby tears. The foliage framed a leaded glass window that let light into a particularly dark corner of the house. It was nurturing sacred space where my interior mental and emotional confusion could be slowed down enough that I could listen.

 During that time I read Scripture, prayed, journaled and read, and read, and read, trying to make sense of the chaos. By June of ’94 the worst of our earthshaking experience was over and life was resenting new options and opportunities. I was also reading Elizabeth O’Connor’s Journey Inward, Journey Outward. In it she asks the question: if you could do anything you wanted to do, what would you do? My ready answer was: I’d stay home, play house, make banners and be involved in spiritual direction – and I didn’t have the slightest idea what that was!

 My answer was such a ready one that I wasn’t sure whether it was my wishful thinking or God’s call on my life. So I began an intentional process of prayer, talking with wise counsel and reading. The only limitation on the process was that would make no decision that would severely impact the counseling center financially. I waited – watching for doors to open or close.

 The following January one of my colleagues make the decision to leave the counseling group and we were all given the opportunity to decide whether we were in or out. The final door swung open and I walked through, retiring the last day of April ’95. More doors opened and I began my own business, Pavilion Banners, two months later. My first commission of three large banners was for church at the epicenter rebuilding after the Northridge earthquake. God has a sense of humor.

 Doors also began to open for spiritual direction. I entered individual direction with Mimi Simson in December ’94; one of the most rewarding relationships of my life. The following September I began Centerpoint, then a two-year training program for spiritual directors. Within fifteen months I was I living the my ready answer to Elizabeth O’Connor’s question.