Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mindful Monday: Consider the Flowers of the Field

Anya flowers quotes for depression.jpg
I’m big into leading with faith these days. I guess it’s because I have no other option. When you have two adults in a household whose jobs are majorly affected by the economy, you either panic or pray. I’ve panicked for plenty long already. Now it’s time to pray.


Instead of rushing from one job to another, I have decided to take a few weeks and try to center myself, list the values and priorities in my life. As different writing possibilities surface that could provide additional sources of income, I return to the same phrase: But I don’t want to be stressed out.


That’s how I’ve been living for the last year or so. Working my tail off in order to afford date night, lunch with the girls, a train ride to New York, coffee at my favorite café. And it’s resulted in more health conditions than I care to go over. Just today my dentist told me if I don’t stop clenching my teeth, my back molars will begin to fracture.

I’m to the breaking point where, if I want something–a latte or a dinner out–I ask myself, “How many hours do I have to work for that thing?” Because, the way I look at it now, a pair of shoes isn’t worth four hours of hard work. When the kids ask, “Can I? Can I?” I do the math and figure out how much time away from them that thing demands. And I tell them to save up their allowance.


God has definitely showed up the last week or so to take care of us. I feel his presence in a way that wasn’t there before. But I also realize He doesn’t care so much about the extras in life. He’ll provide the bread and water, but not the ski chalet.

This morning, I read the following reflection by Catherine De Hueck Doherty:

Faith is to believe without understanding, without seeing. God has blessed us with the gift of our intellect, and up to a point we understand many things about ourselves and the world around us. However, when you begin to move deeper into faith, something very strange happens.

You have been walking in the sunshine of your intellect. God has helped you and encouraged you to use it. Then, just like in the tropics where there is no twilight and day becomes night within minutes, so God plunges you into the night. He says, “Put your head in your heart and believe! For now there is no answer. I am the answer. You won’t see me in the dark. You will have to follow me in faith, without knowing. Arise and believe!”


I’m trying very hard these days to put my head in my heart and believe … which means pursuing the type of writing that fulfills me and makes me feel as though I am contributing my part to the common good, not necessarily the most lucrative. I’m trying to believe that God will take care of me and my family if I put my energies into the activities that he created me to do. 

I’m trying to consider the flowers of the field, as Sister Madeleva Wolff, CSC, president of my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College, from 1939 – 1961 wrote about in the following reflection:

I have considered flowers of the field 

And how they dwell 


Silent, at peace, and beautiful, 

Each in a wind-walled cell.

And I have thought on wild, 

unlettered birds,
Song-silver things,
Free on their little leash of air;
I have considered wings.

I have dreamed petalled peace, and wilding flight
Into the sun.
Whose is the ultimate blossoming?
Whose the empyrean?

I know the Maker of all birds, all flowers.
He understands
The bud that breaks, the bird that flies
To freedom in His hands.

Illustration by Anya Getter.

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  • Mary

    What a beautiful poem, Therese. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    I’m having my own stressful morning, between two part-time jobs, one of which always seems to be blowing up at any given time. But, like you, I’m trying to concentrate on what matters most. Today, it is celebrating my son’s Valentine’s Day birthday, no matter what the state of my worlds, large and small, outer and inner.
    I believe you are right to try to hang onto the type of writing you do so well, that only you can do. And to try to put your head in your heart. Keep leading with faith, and may your steadfast effort bring you all the blessings you deserve.

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  • Lori

    I will add you to my prayer list. I believe you are a gifted writer whose writing helps so many people. I wish there was a way your books could be purchased by hospitals, EAPs,and Dr. offices across the country and used as a patient ‘giveaways’……new patient gift….congrats on your new baby gift…happy birthday gift etc. etc. Maybe The Pocket Therapist needs a new title that would draw more readers. It is a book that people should have in their nightstand or sitting by their toilet, but maybe they are put off by the title? Hang in there……pray for ‘marketing ideas’…..YOU DO GOOD WORK!

  • Bill

    Thanks again for your abiding honesty with all of us. When I read “Beyond Blue,” I feel like I’m in an ongoing conversation with a good friend. And I have the easy end, not having to say much, if anything. The things you say are so often responsive to what’s on my mind, I can just sit and nod my head.
    So, as so many others have said, Keep doing what you do so well. It is a God given talent which, it is clear to me, He is pleased that you exercise, even when it is a challenge. I started reading “Beyond . .” some time ago when I was depressed. I am feeling pretty free of it now (perhaps in part due to reading what you share) but I will continue to read it because it’s just plain good and I would miss it if I stopped.

  • VickiB.

    Therese, thank you for another column that miraculously hits me when and where I need it most. Here’s a passage from C.S. Lewis that gets me to stop and think and relax:
    “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on …
    “But presently, He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to. The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of …
    “You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
    Love, *hugs* and roses to all … VickiB.

  • Sherry

    Where there is no cross, there is no crown. By dying we live and by losing we gain. Through suffering we grow because our soul purpose of existence is to glorify God and do His biddings. Logically, it does not make sense but the things that are spiritual may not make sense to our carnal nature. Two years ago, I became very ill with Lupus, Sclerderma and Arthritis. My marriage was unraveling at the seams and my spirit was crushed. I had two options, live or die. I chose to live and started by rising early in the wee hours of the morning to pray. I also went on a forty day fast and after the fast radically changed my diet. I added herbs to my daily intake and I refrained from fried foods, dairy products, flesh foods and sugar. I totally surrender myself and everything in my life to God. (Total surrender). After three months, I went back to the doctor’s office and was told all of my antibodies were back to normal, my symptoms were gone and all of the diseases had reversed themselves. I praised God for his faithfulness and live in His presence. My marriage did end but I realized much of my sickness came from the stressful marriage. To God be the glory for His wisdom and grace. In His providence He has made a life a vision of light and I have learned to trust Him where I cannot trace Him. God bless you.

  • Edy

    I have been inspired once again today by coming to this website. I am struggling with loss of income and I just know in my heart that God does provide. However, at times, like today I need a boost and today that boost came from God through all of the words I read here today in the article and comments. I remember reading last week somewhere about the work, the building that has to be done in order to get us where God needs and wants us. It is painful, it is difficult, and it stretches us and hurts. So, I just know that God is trying to show me that he is making me into something better, stronger and more alive for him. He is showing me that others have struggles also. He is showing me that pray works. He is showing me where I need to be just this minute and this very second. I believe that if you pray and you turn it all over to him that he will put you where you need to be. I have a long story to tell and I want to help others that are going through the same thing I am going through. I feel that is where God is leading me to go, but I have to become strong in order to get there. Thank you today everyone for helping me see and starting my day with remembering that God is constructing me to become a helper in this world and he is providing me with the plateform that I need in order to tell others about him. Have a very blessed day each and everyone of you.

  • Lindy Allen

    What a beautiful soul you have! I decided to stop being so busy a few years ago, do with less money and more time – and guess what? I have a wonderful quality of life. I create my treasured time, with my treasured people and things instead of being artificially entertained – and I don’t need a penny to do it! I look inside myself for faith in tough times, rather than looking outside myself to things that can be easily taken away. When I try to be “sufficient unto myself” I find my faith growing. Paradoxically, I also find that God provides wonderful help from family and friends, even strangers to help my faith.
    Dear Therese – Faith only seems fragile at the time, but it grows in the times you feel it’s fragile until suddenly you have a “knowing” that God is behind the clouds of doubt all along.
    You and your family are in my prayers.

  • S

    I feel like bursting into tears after reading this post and the comments. How do you manage to have unwavering faith when you feel like God abandoned you long time ago.. I know HE does not forsake his children and that he has unconditional love towards all his children. I so want to believe HE is unbiased and does not pick his favorite child and outcast the rest. But I do not feel HIS presence or feel safe knowing that HE is looking out for me. I seem to have lost something that blind belief that I can count on him considering I do suffer from panic attacks.. But I want to believe…I want to have faith…I envy those who do..

  • Edy

    Dear S….
    I too suffered from panic attacks while driving after having a lot of stress in my life. I went through this at two different times in my life. I remember asking God to heal me and wondering why that wasn’t happening. I remember reciting “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” as I was in a panic state while driving. I would get so down when my prayers weren’t answered. I finally went for counseling and they did have to put me on medication for awhile. Also, the second time they did behavioral therapy and EMDR. I still get anxious sometimes when I am stressed, but I now am without that panic feeling all the time while driving. I hope that you can believe that there maybe a purpose in this happening in your life. I am now able to encourage and help my husband as he awakes every morning in a panic and faces this throughout the day. I have a better understanding of what he is going through, because I have felt the same pain. I wondered for years why God was not helping me, but now I am stronger and see the benefit of having the panic attacks in order to help get me to where I am today. I have said a prayer for you that you can find you peace and faith in God.

  • Edy

    Thank you for your kind and precious words. God does provide us strength through various ways…I just keep looking for anyway possible to find what his words are for me today!!

  • Frederick Arend

    If marriage is the union of two opposite sexed couples, then, it cannot simultaneously be the union of two same sexed couples. Since the human race is here today, then,marriage must be the union of two opposite sexed couples, because only such a union can produce the human race. Encouraging the union of same sex couples by giving theme the rights and privileges of marriage can only serve to diminish the human race.

  • Frederick Arend

    Life cannot begin because in order for it to begin it would have to exist in a previous condition of existence and proceed from there to life, and there are only two conditions of existence: life and death. Viability, a third condition of existence that proceeds life, is therefore, logically impossible. To propose a third condition of existence such as the persistent vegetative state is to enter the realm of mysticism and magic. Vampires, zombies, and the walking dead, are in the third condition of existence.

  • Dawn Olsen

    The comment about same sex marriage is biased and immoral. It is called Free Will and if it is not physical harming us than it is not wrong. Maybe this is why there are so many children in the world waiting to be adopted, to give gay persons children. God asks us to love our children and our neighbors not judge them on color, race, and sexual preference.
    As for your idea about a third existence proceeding life is logically impossible what about spiritually possible? I encourage you to read, “Hello From Heaven!” by “Bill Guggenheim & Judy Guggenheim”. I will go one step further, I encourage you to have me send you a copy of a picture I have hanging on my wall. It is a black and white, it was taken by camera of sand untouched, the ocean and clouds. Approximately one week after my husband (and most importantly my best friend)who was only 42yrs old, died from a massive heartache and I was experiencing much, much grief. I was on my bed looking at the picture and I saw something different. As I got closer to it I looked in the sky at the clouds and there in my picture is a complete face that is illuminated in light.
    I have to say I am glad that I do not go to your “church” because I really love my GOD.

  • Susie

    I know how it is trying to make end meet. I have prayed and prayed and I do believe God has answered my prayers by getting into a business where you are an independent consultant with a huge amount of support. So far it has been awesome and I know it will be a huge success in only a few short months. This is great for stay at home moms. If you by chance get this message, please e-mail me because I would love to help you become financially secure because you have helped me so much.

  • silvana rotondo

    Hi therese, i am peruvian, also mildly bipolar, and your column is my favorite from belief net. I thought you were a millionaire by now. Perhaps you can hire the ex-manager of the Friends cast to renegotiate your salary! you are really good. Good luck, and thanks for everything you write, i respect your point of view.

  • silvana rotondo

    Hi therese, I am peruvian and mildly bipolar. Your column is my all time favorite from belief net. I thought your were a millionaire by now. Perhaps you can hire the ex-manager of the former Friends cast to renegotiate your salary! you do such a good job. Thanks for everything you write, I respect you, and respect your comments. Silvana

  • S

    Dear Edy,
    I am truly touched by your message. Thank you for kind words and encouraging message. I guess facing painful situations does bring out compassion and empathy towards “others” going through the same situation. I am grateful for your prayers and from the bottom of my heart wish you and your husband good health & abundance”

  • S

    Sherry your message is truly inspiring and has made me evaluate my life… Total surrender to GOD and the path he has chosen for us is easier said than done!! It is so praise worthy to see that you changed your lifestyle completely for the better and reversed your ill health. Kudos to you & Therese who bring hope to all others who need a push towards mending our own lives.
    God bless & Love…

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