Mindy's Blog


Light a Candle and Fly 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, November 07, 2011

I often tell people I feel called to stand—to live—as a bridge between the “Candle Lighters” and the “Jet Fuel Drinkers”. What do I mean by that?

  • Candle-lighters are the quiet, steady-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat mystical, focused-on-the-now, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Spiritual Formation types.
  • Jet-fuel-drinkers are the loud, fast-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat fanatical, focused-on-the-future, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Leadership types.
I love these two groups deeply; they have each formed me in their own way, and I deeply believe the cause of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the blessed community, depends upon them both. In fact, though they often speak very different languages, they need each other.

Truth is, of course, those two extremes live in me. On any given day, I’m living out of my candle-lighting tendencies or my jet-fuel-drinking tendencies. And in my dream scenario, these worlds collide—even in me. The challenge is not which is right, but rather deep, authentic integration. If combined in real life, I suppose, jet-fuel and lit candles would detonate! But in my soul, these can and must combine if I am to live out my calling; if I am to give my life as a living sacrifice, if I am to live and breathe and move in the rhythms of grace.

Last week, as I entered my office Monday morning, I felt the familiar tightening of the chest as I considered the week ahead. I was tempted, in that moment, to simply push harder and faster, to allow fear or insecurity or drivenness to fuel my activity, setting a destructive trajectory to my entire week.

But I know better by now . . . I’ve lit enough candles.

Instead, I stopped to sense and name this unsteadiness in my soul and to surrender, yet again, to God’s good care. In those moments, I felt a choice in my spirit . . . and wrote a Post-it note reminder to keep on my desk:
  • "Determine that you will experience the journey with great joy and with great peace. Why? Because of the Kingdom within."
As it turns out, I never glanced at that note again until I left the office on Friday.

But as I review the many meetings, pressures, decisions, speaking engagements, conflicts and even a pre-dawn visit to the Emergency Room with my son that occurred this week, I am glad I paused on Monday. This week felt like integration.
  • There was joy and there was peace. Why? Because of the Kingdom.
  • Projects moved forward, children were loved, desperate prayers were prayed, limits were faced and blessed, and teammates were encouraged. Why? Because of the Kingdom.
How about you? How did the reality of the Kingdom undergird you last week? How does it undergird you now, as you read? What unsteadiness might you need to name in your own soul; what would it mean for you to surrender... yet again... to God’s good care?

Light a candle... and fly.

Learning to Be Here Now 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, January 03, 2011

Learning to be “present” could be one of the best gifts you give to yourself and others this next year. But as you’ve probably already discovered in our distracted, anxiety-filled world, being “present” not at all easy. It will require some effort, some training of the soul.

Perfect fodder for a new year’s resolution! But wait, you cry… wait! This is not impressive! Just one goal?! And one that cannot be measured (in pounds or otherwise)?? But let’s think about impressive in a new light… imagine what being present could open up for you......
  • What would it be like to look deeply into the eyes of those you love, and really see them? Hear them? Understand them? Imagine just one evening marked by deep connection with those around you? What would open up? How about a whole week? An entire year?

  • And what would it be like to shake off those nagging chains of guilt and self-hatred mentioned in the video? Who doesn’t need ongoing protection from the hissing, scathing voice of the accuser?

  • Or, what would it be like to feel fear as you face challenges, failure, adversity, or conflict… feel it, but not be driven by it? What would that kind of freedom taste like? What possibilities would a fearless perspective open up for you, day after day… month after month?
To continue reading Learning to Be Here Now on Stirred Up Leadership, please click here.

Looking for Peace for Your Soul? Kicking it Old-School 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thomas a Kempis (1380 - 1471) wrote the classic devotional work, The Imitation of Christ; which is second only to the Bible  in terms of it's impact worldwide on the development of Christian Life. 

Recently, this excerpt really struck me and we used it during our last class on Ephesians.

Four Things that Bring Peace to the Soul (p 139)
My son, now I shall teach you the truest way of peace and of perfect liberty.

  1. Study, my child, to fulfill another person's will rather than your own.
  2. Choose always to ahve little worldly riches, rather than much.
  3. Seek, also, the lowest place, and desire to be under others rather than above them.
  4. Desire always-and praythat the will of God be wholly done in you.

These challenges seem incredulous to our ears today, and likely did to his contemporaries as well!

Does your soul need some peace today? How might these guides serve you, counter-cultural as they are?

Soul Searching--with Melinda Schmidt and Anita Lustrea 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Yesterday, I joined the delightful hosts of  Midday Connection, where we talked about a core Soul Care spiritual practice--Soul Searching. Classically known as Examen, or Self-Examination, this form of prayer is all about taking an honest look inside, guided by the Holy Spirit. It was a great conversation--I loved hearing from callers and those who sent emails with questions! Sounds like a lot of us are taking a deep breath and making some brave steps to grow in this area.

Of course, before we went into the deep waters of Soul Searching, we did discuss the dangers of aggressive squirrels! But you'll have to listen to the broadcast if you want to hear about that... Here's the archived recording.

We also talked about...
  • DIVE! Women, mark your calendars for November 7--or guys, let the women in your life know about this--Melinda, Anita, and I are joining forces to do a one day women's event called, Dive! Learn more about it here.
  • September 9 begins an eight week journey with Midday Connection listeners to do a small group experience using Discovering Soul Care and then Spiritual Friendships. Grab a few friends and join us!

If you'd like to go deeper in Soul Searching, you can get the book or even listen in on the class at Willow Creek from Fall 2008.