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July 2023

Prayerful Walking

Recently I was blessed with a weekend to myself -- the husband was away, leading youth camp, and the toddler was with the grandparents for a weekend sleepover. This introvert had time to herself, y'all! It has been a long 2.5 years of intentional mothering, so this particular weekend was an incredible gift. My intention was to use this time as a personal retreat. I sensed that I needed to simply be free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, during each moment. I imagined myself prayerfully walking a labyrinth, and I happened to have the freedom to do so without planning, so I went! This labyrinth location is in New Orleans, just a 20 minute drive from my house. Nestled between a horse stable and the river levee, and adjacent to the Tree of Life, this enchanting area has been a place of prayer for me for almost 15 years. I first discovered it in college, while wandering through Audubon Park.

Walking through the park, to the Labyrinth felt so refreshing. I was thrilled to be able to explore and play in nature and God's presence, without any pressure of time or needing to be anywhere. I was able to linger and notice, to be fully present as I walked and prayed. This month, I'd like to invite you into Prayerful Walking. Jesus, himself, walked so often, I imagine his thoughts often drifted to prayer during his daily journeys. Below are some guidelines to get you started.

Set an intention as you begin your journey. Take one step at a time, placing one foot in front of the other. Notice your breath, breathe deeply and slowly. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the wind and warmth of the sun. Allow yourself to simply be in the present moment. When it feels right to end your prayerful walking, give thanks to God.

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