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Photo by Laura Stephens

“Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening this way,’ and trying harder to make it happen some other way.”
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Today was one of those days when the valley sinks low, and you can’t really see much beyond the harrowing peaks rising to your right and to your left or the cliff edges cut out in front of and behind you. These days come. …

How a near-death experience redefined for a non-Christian Christian what it actually means to be “God’s chosen”.

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Fairy Slipper/Calypso Orchid in the Rockies

“You don’t choose your life. It chooses you.” — Paulo Coelho, Adultery

“…but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that abides…” — John 15:16

Back in May of this year, I was in a really scary car accident. The other party hit me from the right rear side in an intersection. My bulky SUV bounced from side to side against the pavement and somehow landed upright.

My vehicle is totaled. In the aftermath, hassling…

A love-hate relationship with Christianity and the Church.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The following piece was originally posted to my blog ( on 15 April 2019.

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”
John Lennon

Spring is fully upon us now, and my window view shifts with the movement of small, green and fandango pink trees teased by the wind. The blossoming into life…

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Chalk Cliffs, Chaffee County, Colorado

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”― Kahlil Gibran

Every few months, especially around this time of year when the sun stays around into the later hours and visits with you, leaned into the cushions of your back porch chairs, I get the urge for the wild. It’s an itch that cannot be scratched except by the rugged, red bark of a Rocky Mountain ponderosa.

So, a few weeks back, the urge that seems to be nearly an unconscious instinct in me, pulling me away from my daily life like a hooked fish, drew me back to the mountains.

The first stretch of highway heading west from my city…

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A few weeks ago, it rained for several days straight in my city. We experienced a brief reprieve of sunshine, but the rain continued off-and-on for weeks, unrelenting. I adored it. I love the quieting down that the rain creates. I love when Nature forces egocentric, inflated humanity to recognize how little control we really have over anything.

We are so reluctant to turn inward as an outwardly-focused culture. It’s good for us to be pushed inside by the storms — whether literal or metaphoric — to be reminded of our smallness and the peaceful undercurrent of our greater Being…

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Up until recently, I have never wanted to admit that I struggle with “depression”. Saying those words definitively or out loud always seemed to solidify them more. Like, if I admitted it, then depression would hang around and become even more of a clinging barnacle, increasingly growing to be an actual part of my skin (like that of the shipmates on the Flying Dutchman).

I’m still not thrilled about saying those words out loud, but I have finally begun to admit that there is something about me and my personality that makes me different from the people around me. …

Laura Jill Stephens

Nature enthusiast. Freelance writer. Plunger of spiritual depths. Gleaner and curator of wisdom in the School of Life.

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