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Busy Lives and Restless Souls
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About the Author

BECKY ELDREDGE is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer who helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with her husband and three children.

Reviews

Becky is a wife, mother, author, spiritual director, retreat leader and a woman in her mid-thirties. Hers is a fresh voice that speaks with the authority of a listening sage. She has her thumb on the pulse of today's young adults. In warm-hearted prose illustrated with stories from her own busy, restless life, she guides her readers in pathways of prayer at once traditional and now newly re-discovered. This is a practical, readable guide, filled with tools to help young and old alike discover the holy present in our midst.--J. Michael Sparough, SJ Busy and restless easily describes a typical week for me. As a new father of an infant and a full time high school teacher, I'm quite aware of the decline in my prayer life. The days of hour-long prayer periods carved out in the Jesuit novitiate schedule are long gone. The free evenings of bachelor life are past. And the moments my wife and I can go into separate rooms for our own prayer are hard to come by with a new baby. This is why I needed to read Becky Eldredge's new book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Becky is a friend and Ignatian spiritual director. She's far ahead of me in the parenting journey with three children, which is why I value the experiences and stories she shares in her writing. Becky has struggled with the busyness and restless feeling life brings us all--whether or not we are parents. If there's something that's given me the spark to reinvigorate my prayer life--to be a "busy" pray-er--it's Becky's book. Like the unfolding of one's spiritual life, her book unfolds naturally, as one acknowledges their restlessness, moves into a deeper identity of Christian life, awakens to God's love, and amid struggles and joys, discovers the life-changing power of prayer. In fact, throughout the book Becky is very clear that if one does not want to change then one should not pray. Prayer changes your life. It's risky. She writes: There are consequences to creating space for prayer in your life. If you are looking to keep your life the way it is, then, please, don't pray. If you want to stay the person you currently are, then I suggest not making time for prayer in your daily life. Because here's the reality: If you intentionally show up every day in prayer to be with God, your life is going to change. And guess what else? You are going to change! Becky took that risk on a busy-person's retreat in college where she discovered the life-changing gift of praying with Scripture. From that moment on Becky realized that she could find God in the "thin spaces"--that she could pray and encounter God while changing diapers or cooking dinner. Within all of us, she says, is an "interior chapel" where we have access to God. And that encounter with God comes in many forms. Becky uses the stories from her daily life to bring to life various prayer methods. For her, the Examen is central to her spiritual life. She explains how the Examen has helped her to find God in all things, how it helped her become aware of her need for God's mercy, and how it helps us in discernment. We must bring to God in prayer all the parts of us, even the broken parts. Busy Lives & Restless Souls truly reveals in one person's story the joy of the faith and how prayer enflames it. Becky's background in spiritual direction and giving retreats helps her know the spiritual facets and nuances of different people. She speaks words that are bound to resonate with all of us, opening up the reader to a deeper self-awareness. Each chapter contains practical steps one can take to pray and ends with some relevant reflection questions. This book isn't meant to be rushed through, but meditated on and applied to your life. It's a call for busy people everywhere to find rest in God through prayer. I always tell my students that prayer should be easy, because God is never far. Prayer can be a blessed moment of awareness or gratitude or a word of praise. Becky understands this. And this is the message of her book.--Andy Otto Missing peace in your life? If so, Busy Lives and Restless Souls is balm for all weary souls. Weaving insights from her life as a wife, mother and minister, Becky crafts a book filled with practical advice, beautiful reflections and inspiring witness. A must read!--Julianne Stanz A young, married woman's experiences, insights and profound reading of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits) and how they shaped her life. Having been immersed in the Exercises most of my adult life I found this book to be an inspiration, a challenge and a call to renew my own commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a world full of conflicts, rage and confusion this book invites us into a place of solitude, peace, and encounter with the Divine presence in our midst.--Prof. Francis Vanderwall, MA, M.Div., Ph.D. We are fortunate to have many, many books available to us on the theme of prayer and deepening spirituality. Why one more? Becky Eldredge writes - and prays - from the real world! As Becky shares her God experiences with us, they are rooted in the everyday: the joys, the excitement, the gifts, the messiness, the worries, the sorrows of our everyday lives. Becky highlights for us the reality that God is found everywhere, in all the happenings of our lives and that the time for our prayerful response is now - amid all the busy-ness! The many practical examples of prayer and listening to God are shared in a way that enables all of us to begin - or continue - using them within our sometimes harried, frenetic - but holy - lives.--Janet Schaeffler, OP I look forward to sharing Becky Eldredge's Busy Lives & Restless Souls with my students. What a delight--a young woman drawing on the wisdom of Ignatian spirituality to navigate the challenges of married life with children, while growing into a life of ministry. Becky offers a much-needed voice that will be a guide to many young women and men seeking lives of meaning and purpose. --Tim Muldoon "Busy and restless easily describes a typical week for me. As a new father of an infant and a full time high school teacher, I'm quite aware of the decline in my prayer life. The days of hour-long prayer periods carved out in the Jesuit novitiate schedule are long gone. The free evenings of bachelor life are past. And the moments my wife and I can go into separate rooms for our own prayer are hard to come by with a new baby. This is why I needed to read Becky Eldredge's new book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Becky is a friend and Ignatian spiritual director. She's far ahead of me in the parenting journey with three children, which is why I value the experiences and stories she shares in her writing. Becky has struggled with the busyness and restless feeling life brings us all--whether or not we are parents. If there's something that's given me the spark to reinvigorate my prayer life--to be a "busy" pray-er--it's Becky's book. Like the unfolding of one's spiritual life, her book unfolds naturally, as one acknowledges their restlessness, moves into a deeper identity of Christian life, awakens to God's love, and amid struggles and joys, discovers the life-changing power of prayer. In fact, throughout the book Becky is very clear that if one does not want to change then one should not pray. Prayer changes your life. It's risky. She writes: There are consequences to creating space for prayer in your life. If you are looking to keep your life the way it is, then, please, don't pray. If you want to stay the person you currently are, then I suggest not making time for prayer in your daily life. Because here's the reality: If you intentionally show up every day in prayer to be with God, your life is going to change. And guess what else? You are going to change! Becky took that risk on a busy-person's retreat in college where she discovered the life-changing gift of praying with Scripture. From that moment on Becky realized that she could find God in the "thin spaces"--that she could pray and encounter God while changing diapers or cooking dinner. Within all of us, she says, is an "interior chapel" where we have access to God. And that encounter with God comes in many forms. Becky uses the stories from her daily life to bring to life various prayer methods. For her, the Examen is central to her spiritual life. She explains how the Examen has helped her to find God in all things, how it helped her become aware of her need for God's mercy, and how it helps us in discernment. We must bring to God in prayer all the parts of us, even the broken parts. Busy Lives & Restless Souls truly reveals in one person's story the joy of the faith and how prayer enflames it. Becky's background in spiritual direction and giving retreats helps her know the spiritual facets and nuances of different people. She speaks words that are bound to resonate with all of us, opening up the reader to a deeper self-awareness. Each chapter contains practical steps one can take to pray and ends with some relevant reflection questions. This book isn't meant to be rushed through, but meditated on and applied to your life. It's a call for busy people everywhere to find rest in God through prayer. I always tell my students that prayer should be easy, because God is never far. Prayer can be a blessed moment of awareness or gratitude or a word of praise. Becky understands this. And this is the message of her book." - Andy Otto, author of God Moments Missing peace in your life? If so, "Busy Lives and Restless Souls" is balm for all weary souls. Weaving insights from her life as a wife, mother and minister, Becky crafts a book filled with practical advice, beautiful reflections and inspiring witness. A must read! - Julianne Stanz, co-author of The Catechist's Backpack A young, married woman's experiences, insights and profound reading of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits) and how they shaped her life. Having been immersed in the Exercises most of my adult life I found this book to be an inspiration, a challenge and a call to renew my own commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a world full of conflicts, rage and confusion this book invites us into a place of solitude, peace, and encounter with the Divine presence in our midst. - Prof. Francis Vanderwall MA, M.Div., PhD, author of The Enduring Quest: A Christian's Attempt to Explain Other Religions, Jesus, and Christian Practices

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