Category Archives: Uncategorized

To improve is to change…

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. – Winston Churchill

There have been a number of changes here at HBTB over the last few months, which some of you may have noticed.  The most recent change is the new web address.  Welcome, dear readers, to HolisticBodyTheology.com!

I’ve been spending a lot of time getting my new spiritual direction website, lauraknowlescavanaugh.com, up and running and updating my social media accounts in the last few days.  Now it’s time to give HBTB a new look worthy of the .com upgrade.

Due to the makeover, I won’t be posting much this week, but please be sure to stop by and browse around to see what’s changed.  I may also be enlisting your opinions on Twitter and Facebook, so be sure to share your thoughts along the way.

 

 

Mini-sabbatical: Gone to school

Hello, my dear lovely readers!

Well, I’m off to Arizona for a short certificate program in Spiritual Direction.  Because of the schedule while I’m away, I won’t be posting anything new on HBTB for the next two weeks. I’ll be back to the regular schedule on March 11th.

But don’t worry!  If you miss me, you can follow my experience on Twitter and over at my old spirituality blog: Of the Garden Variety.  I’ll be reflecting daily on my classes and what God is stirring up, whatever that may be!

Be sure to follow that blog if you want email updates while I’m away.

You can also sign up for the monthly newsletter to get exclusive updates, book recommendations, suggested meditation exercises, and more.  If you sign up before the end of the month, you’ll get the link to an exclusive guided meditation video for Lent when the newsletter arrives in your inbox.  Newsletters come out the last day of the month. Best part is, it’s free!

Yep, I’ve got a newsletter now.

I’m entering my second year with Holistic Body Theology, and I’ve been making some small developments around the blog.  Here’s one you might not want to miss.

I’m starting up a FREE monthly newsletter.  It’s still in the development stage, so we’ll see what it turns into.  For now, the newsletter will be featuring updates from around the blog, guided prayer/meditation exercises, recommendations for further reading, and more.

If you’d like to receive the monthly newsletter in your email box, click the link below to fill out the brief sign-up form.  Don’t worry! I’ll never share your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in each email.

Sign up for our free newsletter!

Let me know what you’d like to see in the newsletter. It’s a work in progress, so I want to hear from you!

Blessings on you all today, dear readers!

New Schedule: M/W/F

Hi Lovely Readers,

I know I’ve been a little inconsistent and unavailable the past few weeks.  My work volume has increased, so I’ve had less time for the joy of blogging than I expected.

Consequently, I’ve decided to start posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday in the hope that I can be a little more consistent with that schedule.

Many thanks to all of you for your comments, emails and Facebook messages over the past few months.  I would be lost without your support and encouragement.

So come back on Wednesday for a brand new post, or click the follow link to have new posts emailed directly to your inbox.  I look forward to continuing the journey with all of you!

Love,

Laura

Easter Break

Hello lovely readers! I hope you had a wonderful Easter celebration yesterday. I’m taking this week off from blogging.  See you all back here April 16th!  If you miss me in the meantime, here are 10 popular posts you might have missed:

Reflections on Body Theology: 10 Things That Annoy Me About Being a Woman

Conversation: Are You an Ender or a Starter? (Part 1)

Bathtub Spirituality: Getting Naked Before God

Performing Open-Heart Surgery

I Gave Up BEING AWAKE for Lent!

Sex Is Good, Even When You’re Not Having Any

My Body Is Rebelling

Powerful Words

Gender-Inclusive Language; Gender-Inclusive God (Part 1)

Response to: Is Premarital Sex Okay for Millennials?

Guest Post: Human Dignity–Part 2

My dear friend Stacey Schwenker has graciously agreed to share some of her journey through experiencing her sexuality as a single person during her 50 Day Challenge. If you missed it, read Part 1You can find more of her journey here.

And now, the conclusion…

So I just let it wash over me.  I sat for a good while letting his love soak in.  I cried.  I laughed.  It felt like my own heart was growing.  I was being flooded by his acceptance and reclamation of his daughter.  It was if I had let getting older with the new wrinkles and the cottage cheese cellulite separate me from God.  As if my body was unworthy of his love now.

No.  He not only reminded me of his love, he embraced me in who I am.  God loved this body on that day many years ago when I took my first breath.  He loves this body right now.  And he will go on loving my body long past my last breath on earth—whatever that will look like.  I am so precious to God.

As I sat and reveled in all of my blood pumping wonder, I thought about how I want others to treat my body—with respect and care.  This comes only from its being something precious to God.  This got me to thinking about others.  I thought about my three roommates and their beautiful bodies.  I considered them in their own mothers’ wombs and growing up as children.

Then I expanded that circle to others.  However, when I got to thinking about bodies all over the world I stopped dead in my tracks.  So many bodies are not respected.  Many are treated as possessions or used as commodities.  They are stripped naked, not of their own volition but that of a pimp or an owner who inspects their goods and throws them at willing buyers.  Their beauty and uniqueness are trampled on.  Their vulnerability is used as a weapon against them.

This is when my praying became more than exploration or asking God for eyes like his to see my body as he sees me.  This is when I heard God call me to action.  To fight.  To take action.  I might look into donating my time or money.  In my own personal life, my vocation and calling involve education and healing in the realm of sexuality.  To help others sees the value of their bodies.  Once they can know that deep in their souls, they can then begin to have empathy for the value of others’ bodies.  To help others see their deep need for intimacy and examine the choices they make in seeking to know and be known.  To understand how sex might be used as a quick route to closeness but a short one to nagging emptiness.

The more I see how my sexuality is a part of me—not a distant part or a shameful part—the healthier I feel.  My embodiedness and my femininity and my desire to be in deep relationships are all part of my sexuality.  And to deny any part of this murders aspects of my humanity.  And to recklessly embrace parts of this in disproportionate ways feeds a nasty monster in me.  We are moral beings who have choices to make.  Are we brave enough to admit that we actually make choices about our sexuality or shall we sweep things under the rug?

Christians contribute to sex trafficking in direct and indirect ways.  I know that if we have more discussions about our sexuality and make more choices to embrace our sexuality, we will actively be fighting against using sexuality as a weapon.

I will begin by fighting for my own body—to reclaim its goodness by the creator God.  And I will not stop until I fight for others’ bodies and their goodness.

Will you join the fight?

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Stacey now resides in Washington, DC.  She occupies her time by writing, baking, and enjoying the outdoors through running, biking, and hiking.  She also spends copious amounts of time with her three wonderful housemates and the people at her church, The District Church, where she leads a small group on healthy Christian sexuality.  Stacey works in advertising sales for Sojourners, an educational and advocacy organization that publishes a monthly magazine and a daily blog (sojo.net).  Stacey is passionate about seeing healing and integration of our sexuality and spends a great deal of time reading, writing, and talking about it.  She also likes a good cup of tea and handwriting letters.

Guest Post: Human Dignity–Part 1

My dear friend Stacey Schwenker has graciously agreed to share some of her journey through experiencing her sexuality as a single person during her 50 Day Challenge.  You can find more of her journey here.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Stacey now resides in Washington, DC.  She occupies her time by writing, baking, and enjoying the outdoors through running, biking, and hiking.  She also spends copious amounts of time with her three wonderful housemates and the people at her church, The District Church, where she leads a small group on healthy Christian sexuality.  Stacey works in advertising sales for Sojourners, an educational and advocacy organization that publishes a monthly magazine and a daily blog (sojo.net).  Stacey is passionate about seeing healing and integration of our sexuality and spends a great deal of time reading, writing, and talking about it.  She also likes a good cup of tea and handwriting letters.

This morning I prayed naked.  This exercise is part of a 50 Day Challenge I am doing for Lent.  Some friends of mine created 50 Suggestions to Embrace Healthy Sexuality and one of them is strip the clothes and prostrate oneself.  For me it looked more like huddling under my covers to stay warm (my bedroom is in a basement and my sensitive body doesn’t much care for its constant 65 degrees).

As I sat there praying, naturally I thought about my body.  At first I began to consider all of its shapes and sizes—the feel of my skin and hair and curves underneath my palms.  I thought about its beauty and how uniquely it was created.  There are few other things that have skin similar to us humans or a bone structure like ours.  And we each have our own and only attributes: fingerprints that never have and never will have any match; the unique combination of height, hair color, facial composition, and idiosyncrasies. 

I am the only me.  You are the only you.  Ever.  Period.  We truly are uniquely and fearfully made (Ps 139:14).  Molded with God’s own hands and done so that we are each special to him.  I am who he meant me to be.  He set each bone in place and laced each fiber of muscle and sinew.  He etched each eyelash and painted on every fingernail.

And because of this, I am beautiful to God.  Things that others might scoff at or look down upon, God embraces and finds endearing.  Understanding how God is so pleased and proud of my body means that I scoff at him when I reject parts of my physical attributes.  I do not fully understand grace if I do not treat my body with the love and respect that one of God’s beloveds deserves.

True, I have the ability to impact my flesh and bones.  I can influence my weight, my hair and eye color, my amount of hair, and my muscle mass.  I can dress it up or dress it down.  But, in all that I do am I honoring God with my body?  Am I caring for every cell of my body through my actions?  Or am I spitting in God’s face?

Sitting in my bed I also thought about my vulnerability.  Being stripped from things that hide me.  It felt like a barrier had been removed between me and God.  It wasn’t like I was clinging to my clothing in an effort to distance myself from him.  Rather, I just realized how he sees me all the time.  I felt more human and I felt him as more of God.  Somehow I could experience his love more deeply.  I wasn’t earning his love by creating or doing.  I was stuck in all my birthday suit nakedness to lie before him.  And he accepts me.  He loves me……

Come back tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion!

%d bloggers like this: