The Spiritual Side of Stump Removal


Are you stumped? You have more options than you think you do.

Yesterday was Labor Day and I exerted my best to put the word ‘labor’ into the day. It was a national holiday, but no picnic in my backyard. After 19 years in the same home, we’re finally making some changes to the backyard. Thanks to the California drought, we’re swapping out half of our dog-destroyed back lawn for decomposed granite and patio stone work. On a small side slope next to my neighbor’s backyard, I’m moving my favorite plumeria trees by taking the larger ones out of terracotta pots and plunking them down on the slope.

But to make room for beauty, I first needed to get rid of a large, ugly tree stump. The thing had been lurking there for years in the corner, hidden by newly-removed bushes. Not causing anyone pain or harm. Yet. Submerged in the dirt, it was an arborist’s nightmare waiting to take out some-overconfident sop like me.

Art, Life & Faith Question of the Week #4: What would you say to an artist struggling with a project?

[W]elcome to the Art, Life & Faith Question of the Week #4. How many artists do you know that are stuck and struggling? What would you say to an artist struggling with a project? Maybe you’re one of them? I’m interested in knowing how you get out of a creative funk and how you would help another artist? What do you do when the words on the page are a garbled mess? What happens when you can’t nail that dance move? How do you dig deep when it’s Take #19 after you’ve flubbed Takes #1-18? What happens in your spirit when that plein air painting is more of a mix between Jackson Pollock and Picasso?  Read on…


Saying Yes to Art: Artist Interview with Sculptor Karen Schmidt

[I]n this Art, Life & Faith video interview with sculptor Karen Schmidt, she offered these profound words of wisdom: When you say “yes” to your art, you will face a thousand “no’s”. She is so right. Karen Schmidt is an amazing sculptor, wife, mother and grandmother. She is also one of the most prayerful, disciplined and seasoned artists I know. Karen was a guest blogger earlier this year on Art, Life & Faith with her insightful thoughts on When Creativity Runs Dry. In this Art, LIfe & Faith interview, we talked about how she became a sculptor, her early influences, how she spends her day creating, how she cultivates her spiritual life, the current state of art in the Church and how struggling artists can find help in their work and life. Read on…

Is God Enough?

In my book, The Longing, I tell the story how chronic tendonitis in my wrists and the resulting depression kicked my butt. That’s right friends… K-I-C-K-E-D-MY-B-U-T-T!

If you’ve gone through difficult, dark periods in your life, you know how pain forces you to ask a number of difficult questions. Throw in a heavy fog of depression, like you’ve got a two-hundred pound Anaconda wrapped around your head, and that makes answering those questions even tougher.