What better way for me to tell a story, then to tell it aloud! Click here to listen to the audio version of this post.

 
Telling Stories“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” 

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These words were penned by Sue Monk Kidd in her book (and then film), The Secret Life of Bees. And oh, how I have found this to be true. 

I tell stories that often feel to me like they are on death’s door – so often untold (even more frequently mis-told) if not completely forgotten. And I can’t bear that! 

I need their stories to remember and resurrect my own.
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  • As I struggled through the excruciating years of infertility, the kindness of women who had known the same came alongside me in solidarity and strength. Remembering and telling the stories of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Hannah (and so many more) reminded me of who I was and why I was here no matter the grief, the ache, the anguish. 
  • In the days-weeks-months-years leading up to my divorce and certainly through it, the steady companionship of a marginalized, pregnant slave was all that held me together. Remembering and telling Hagar’s story reminded me of who I was and why I was here no matter the misunderstanding, the confusion, even the shame. 
  • As a mother, while worrying and wondering about the stories through which my daughters have already lived and are yet to face, the cryptic tale of a woman who knew fear far more visceral than my own danced before me in glory and radiance. Remembering and telling the story of The Woman of Revelation 12 reminded me of who I was and why I was here: to rise up on my daughters’ behalf, to fight for them, to sustain their story. 
  • Often, at the start of a new day, I consider all that waits for me in the hours ahead and I look to these same women and so many more. I ask one to walk with me – offering perspective, hope, wisdom, courage, and strength. She never disappoints. Remembering and telling her story, over and over to myself, reminds me of who I am and why I’m here – no matter what comes.
  • Just three weeks ago I sat on a stage at a church in Nebraska – graciously invited to tell the stories I love. Friday night. Saturday morning. Sunday. I recounted the lives of Eve, the Wives of Angels, the Midwives, Elizabeth, Mary, Hagar (yes, again), the Woman at the Well, the Woman of Revelation 12 (mmmhmm, again), and the Extravagant Woman. And I wept – so aware of the ways that the remembering and telling of their stories is the only thing that has enabled my own; the very thing that has offered me life and life and life. 

I must tell stories so that they can live; so that I can! 

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I’m guessing I’m not the only one. If this provokes even the slightest hunger in you – to remember and hear such stories - there is nothing I would love more than to tell you one, many, an infinity of them.

2015 SacredReadingsHere’s a place to start. One ancient, sacred story – chosen especially for you – the Sacred She who will come alongside you into and through the New Year with wisdom, beauty, and strength; who will help you remember who you are and why you are here. I promise.

2015 New Year SacredReadings. Discounted by more than 60% until midnight, Sunday, December 21. Only $54. For you. As gift. To help you remember…BUY NOW.

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    Photo from Unsplash.com: https://unsplash.imgix.net/31/RpgvvtYAQeqAIs1knERU_vegetables.jpg?q=75&fm=jpg&s=59f3df66ad2515cd56b5c095ef33ba65There’s an ancient sacred story told of two sisters – Mary and Martha. It goes as follows:

    As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But Jesus said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    I can hear Martha’s voice yet today and now, speaking directly to me – maybe even to you. 

    “So desperately I wanted to sit and listen at Wisdom’s feet as she did; to play and dance and dream. Everything in me wanted to run free and speak up and laugh endlessly. My very cells were shouting. My body was all but moving. And I knew that if I let go, I would propel myself forward with force beyond imagining. But I held back. Worse, I critiqued her.

    “You know this scene, don’t you? Like me, you’re standing in the kitchen, seeing all the “work” that needs to be done, and keeping yourself from all that you long for, the person you most want to be.

    “You hear the same voice, don’t you? “Dear Martha, you are worried about many things. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

    “No shame. No scolding. Just invitation. Listen:

    “Dear One, you are worried about many things. Choose the better part and it will not be taken from you.”
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    • The better part. Playing. Dancing. Dreaming. Reflecting. Listening. Sitting at the feet of Wisdom.
    • The better part. Loving yourself. Seeing your beauty. Writing with abandon. Loving with passion. Letting effort go. Letting tasks go. Letting fear go. Letting restraint go. Letting decorum go. And going forth. From the kitchen and into your world. From the trap of responsibility and must-do’s and duty to a place of freedom and creativity and love.
    • The better part. Not a call to obedience or doctrinal adherence. No, this is a call to trust a Wisdom that is older than time. This is a call to trusting your wisdom, your knowing, yourself.
    • The better part. It will not be taken from you.

    “Get out of that kitchen. It is not the place you are destined to stay.” 

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    May it be so for me – and maybe even for you.

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    2015 SacredReadingsI’ve written about Martha before. Just recently, actually. Clearly, her story and voice continue to speak. I love that! And hers is but one of the 52 stories I work with in SacredReadings. And for a few days more, I’m offering 2015 New Year SacredReadings for only $54 – a 60% savings. I wonder who the ancient, sacred woman is who longs to come alongside you into and through this New Year – offering Wisdom, beauty, and strength. All you have to do is ask.

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      Ferguson ProtestEvery day we are confronted with realities that confound us, enrage us, and break our hearts. We sift through their rubble for the smallest shard of meaning. We search for clues, breadcrumbs, anything that will put our tired minds at rest. And for all of this striving, it is rarely with measurable result. We know Frederich Buechner’s words are true, but we’re loathe to admit or accept them:
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      “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Do not be afraid.” 

      Still we fight, wrestle, and do battle with the unanswerable question of “Why?” We are ravenous for an answer.

      I am no different than you. I see things I cannot reconcile, no matter how hard I try. Too painful, too difficult, too impossible, too violent. I can’t shrug my shoulders and move on nor take a dogmatic position that enables me to rail at all who disagree with me. I have to find a way to hold ambivalence, to stay, to allow (though not accept) what I hate and hold on tenaciously to hope. The only way in which I know how to do such a thing is to go to stories.

      Stories of others who have asked the same questions – even more, have somehow lived without their answers. Stories that offer me perspective and wisdom – even more, companionship, kindness, and support. Stories that name and normalize my own – even more, remind me that so many have persevered and survived; that perhaps I will, as well. Stories that remind me that despite so much evidence to the contrary, grace, hope, miracles, and love endure – ever more, ongoing, infinitely, no matter what.

      “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.”
      ~ Isak Dinesen

      Stories are hardly an escape from reality; rather, a visceral and poignant reminder that one profound truth supersedes and wins out over all others (despite evidence to the contrary at times): Stories reveal all that we have in common, all that we share, all the similarity found even (and maybe especially) in difference. When we listen to an ancient myth, though far removed from our day-to-day reality, we see aspects of ourselves. When we hear a fable or fairytale, though hardly the stuff of our lived experience, we see aspects of ourselves. When we watch a film, whether drama, romance, or sci-fi, we see aspects of ourselves. And we see each other.

      We must tell stories to be reminded that we are more the same than not. No matter the time period, the culture, the politics, the religion, the lens, the perspective. We are one.

      “To hell with facts! We need stories!” 
      ~ Ken Kesey

      So let us tell stories. And let us listen to them. Our own. Others’. Any and all we can get our hands and hearts on. Those that break us open and those that bind us back together again. Most of all, those that bind us to one another – again and again and again. When we do, the inexplicable, unanswerable, and ever-nagging question of “why,” loses a little bit of its power and grace, hope, miracles, and love gain back so much more of theirs. As it should be. As it must be.

      May it be so.

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      2015 SacredReadingsI tell particular stories because of all of the above and then some, because I believe in my bones and my deepest heart that the women within them offer every bit of the grace, hope, miracles, and love – in real, visceral, and profoundly relevant ways. This also explains why I offer them to you. One ancient, sacred woman whose story will come alongside yours in 2015; who will help you live into the story that is uniquely yours. Guidance. Discernment. Wisdom. Kindness. All yours. I promise.  

      2015 SacredReadingsDiscounted pricing ends soon. Save 60%. Only $54. Learn more.

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        I know. I know. God is neither a man nor a white-bearded patriarch in the sky. And yes, I know that God is not a woman either. Qualities of both. The best of everything. (Thankfully) beyond my capacity to imagine, entertain, or hope. Energy and light and love. Yes, I know.

        But just because I know something doesn’t mean I can fully incorporate it. Just because the intellectual and intelligent part of me gets it, doesn’t mean that I don’t, still, admittedly, struggle to separate from old habits, deeply-ingrained lessons, nearly-in-my-DNA-dogma. And truth-be-told, sometimes, when stuck in this kind of mental spinning and theological puzzling, I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Only not really…

        I need ways of helping my brain latch onto and understand something else, anything else. I need experiences of something, anything else. More than all else, I need and long for my head to quiet down and my heart to speak; for Her to speak. And so, by way of practice and discipline, I imagine the voice of God as a woman. What does She say? What does She know? How does She invite me to new ways of experiencing the Sacred that already and always dwell within me?

        Most recently, just.like.this.:

        I see how deeply and desperately you long for rest. Rest from the swirling, spinning, endless thoughts in your brain. Rest from attempts to control outcomes. Rest from the labor required to get circumstances (and particular people) to go your way.
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        Despite all your best intentions, all the work your brilliant mind does to craft and implement solutions, at the end of the day, you can rest. Your heart will carry you. Your soul knows. Your intuition courses powerfully through your blood, your body, your very being. And there is a larger story that is writing you. It is beautiful and miraculous.
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        Even more, you are beautiful and miraculous. You are a womb for miracles. You bear and bring forth life that is infinite and  dazzling in impact and force. You are chosen. You are worthy. You are seen. You are so much more than enough. And you are not too much. Ever.
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        Because of all this…and so much more, you are loved.

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        And did I mention? You can rest.

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        To tell you that I have deep, unfailing faith that never wavers wouldn’t be true. What is true, though, is that I have deep, unfailing, and never-wavering hunger – and hope – for all of the above, and then some. If I could find, know, and experience this God, I’d be sold, I’d be committed, I’d be devoted, I’d preach!

        do find, know, and experience this God. Just not all of the time. 

        Anne LaMott once said that “the absence of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” Because I really like Anne LaMott and because I am convinced she has a direct line to God (how else could she write as she does?) I’m going to go with this. I trust that my uncertainty is actually the doorway into faith; a faith that far exceeds the one I grew up with, the one that is too small, the one with the white, bearded man in the sky. And as I continue to doubt, I’m going to continue with the “if God was a woman” process for no other reason than to offer my brain some God-given rest and much-deserved Grace; to let my heart lead and beat and love as it wants and knows to do. In the midst, maybe, just maybe I’ll come to believe (i.e., have faith) that every single word I’ve written above is actually true.

        That would offer me rest. And it does.

        May it be so (for you, as well).

        2015 SacredReadingsOne of the most powerful ways in which I continue to heal old images and understandings of God for myself (and for you) is to retell, reimagine, and redeem the stories of women. Ancient, sacred ones. And in honor of my 54th birthday (just days ago), I’m offering 2015 New Year SacredReadings for only $54. Don’t you wonder who the woman is who is choosing you? She’s that close, that powerful, that sacred. I promise

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          My gift to you...There are stories – women’s stories –
          ancient, sacred ones,
          that hold wisdom, encouragement,
          perspective, and grace.

          One of these stories, one of these women,
          offers all of this to you – and then some. *

          All you have to do is ask.
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          2015 SacredReadings

          Wouldn’t you love to know the one ancient, sacred story and woman within who comes alongside you in the New Year? Who will serve as your companion, guide, and friend. Who has much to say, much to offer, much to give – to you. The Sacred She who will serve as your mentor and muse…

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          I will shuffle the deck, draw a card, and introduce you to the ancient, sacred woman who has chosen you; who walks alongside you in the year ahead. She has exactly the right story to tell, words to say, kindness to offer, and direction to give. 
          She is perfect for you. I promise.
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          Julie DaleyI just received my SacredReading from Ronna. It moved me so deeply, I had to stop reading mid-way to feel everything it brought up. It couldn’t have been more ‘right’. Everything I felt in response was alive, exhilarating, and yes, scary in the way you know the truth has been revealed…a truth I must live. ~ Julie Daley, Unabashedly Female

          TanyaGeislerYou know when you scratch an itch that you didn’t know was even there? That was my SacredReading, the soothing of a deep soul itch. I’ve come to expect nothing but impeccability when it comes to Ronna’s work. Her reading left me teary-eyed and truly breathless. Truth’s like that. ~ Tanya Geisler, Leadership Coach, Step Into Your Starring Role Leader

          Ronna, your words have me stopped still, pondering, realizing nothing could be more true right now. This wisdom and guidance was handcrafted just for me. These words have reached into my very soul and touched a place that has been in slumber…Your words have brought healing in a time of immense confusion and pain. ~ SacredReading recipient

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          Here’s the best news:

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          SacredReadings 
          are $135.

          This year, to mark my 54th birthday…
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          I’m offering
          2015 New Year SacredReadings
          for $54!

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          This discounted price is only available between November 30 and December 21.

          Regular rates resume on December 22.  

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          It would be the best present ever if I knew you had a SacredReading of your own for the year ahead; if these women’s stories were known, heard, and loved even a little bit more; if you could believe-believe-believe what I do: that they long to (and do) speak in intimate, powerful, and amazingly profound ways! I promise.

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          Your 2015 SacredReading includes the following:

          • A 4-6 page keepsake document that tells you of the woman who chooses you and walks alongside you in 2015 – her story and wisdom, to be sure; more, the themes and particulars that apply to you. Truths to ponder. Questions to ask. Patterns within your story to pay attention to. Ways of being in your life, your work, your relationships that will make the year ahead far deeper and more meaningful, yes, more Sacred.

          • A personalized Blessing she speaks on your behalf that you can cherish as secret message, as mantra, as prayer, as Sacred Writ. 

          • Practical ways in which to incorporate every bit of her wisdom, her story into your day-to-day life. Journaling exercises. Reflections. More. 

          • The Sacred awareness that you are not alone; that you are accompanied and companioned by your very matrilineage – the women from whom you, me, all of us descend. 

          Your 2015 SacredReading will be emailed to you no later than midnight (PDT), December 31 so that She is yours – accessible, and available as the New Year begins – overflowing with Sacred wisdom, encouragement, perspective, and grace.  

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          2015 SacredReading

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          Don’t you wonder about the Sacred She who is choosing you?

          I do! I can hardly wait to offer you her story, her voice, her heart –
          every bit of which speaks perfectly to your story,
          strengthens your voice, and emboldens your heart.

          I promise.
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          Christine-Valters-Paintner-Ronna’s SacredReadings offer the tremendous grace of bringing together the wisdom of ancient voices with her own arresting vision for a process that is full of depth, insight, and generosity. Give yourself the gift of a soulful connection to the women who have wrestled in their own lives to bring forth treasures still shimmering  brightly for us.  Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, online Abbess at Abbey of the Arts

          Nona Jordan CoachingOn an intuitive zing, I signed up for one of Ronna’s SacredReadings. Surprising because my natural response to anything related to stories from the Bible is something along the lines of, “Wow the Bible sucks.” But the way Ronna unfurled the story had me in tears – epiphany after epiphany rolling in and washing over me. I am walking with a new understanding of myself and the most important ways for me to move through the world that are resonant down to the core. With this beautiful reading, and one conversation with Ronna, I feel like my life has changed. ~ Nona Jordan, Master Certified Coach

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          Three final notes:

          • This $54 price-point is only available for three weeks – until midnight, December 21. Order your 2015 SacredReading today!

          • Last year, a number of women ordered these as gifts for sisters, aunts, mothers, daughters, and friends. Of course, that’s available again! When you place your order, just email me (ronna@ronnadetrick.com) to let me know that it’s a gift. I will send it directly to the recipient or to you so that you can give it to them yourself. You might even order one for you and more for the other women in your world, then gather together to read them to one another. 

          • Often, after receiving SacredReadings, people want to learn more about who has shown up for them and even deeper ways in which to make that story their own. I offer one-hour calls for exactly that purpose. Pricing is normally $125/hour, including an MP3 recording of our conversation. Between November 30 and December 30, these are available for only $100 with no expiration date. Whenever you are ready to talk more, I am here for you. Click here to make that additional purchase.

          2015 SacredReading

          My SacredReading arrived and it was complex, complete, concise, evocative. Shimmering with meaning and metaphor. And then, I read it through again. It began to expand – and open, like a nested doll. You see, this work is archetypal – meaning that it’s layered, and each layer has a deeper meaning than the last. Ronna’s wisdom led me into my soul story through a new doorway where I was able to work with ancient story to make new, modern connections to my own life experience. Brilliant work. ~ Amy Oscar, Healer, Teacher, and originator of Soul Caller Training

          Wise. Beautiful. Powerful. What more can I say? Ronna has a true gift – not only for making these ancient (and often unknown) stories come alive but also allowing them to shed light on the struggles, issues, and choices that we face very day. Andrea Olson, A Multitude of Things

          Have I mentioned how much your reading means to me?? I can’t stop reading it. It’s so beautiful and just exactly what I needed to hear right now. ~ Andrea Mee Maurer

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