2021 Year in Review

Although this year may not have been back to normal, (whatever normal is) we are so proud of all we accomplished. Holly and I want to invite you on a journey to see all we put our hearts and hands to this year! The newsletter will give you a glimpse of how the year began with continuing to beautify the property and then getting to see some amazing groups enjoying the space we created.

With 2020 halting all our well laid plans, my husband and I decided to use that time to focus on creating beautiful, peaceful spaces on the property for people to enjoy. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to the humble conclusion that it isn’t about what I can do, but it is all about creating space for what only God can do in the lives of others. At Shine Healing Ministries we believe that nature and undistracted time away to hear God’s whisper is healing. And we have made it our mission to create a space where people can encounter God’s heart and love.

This last year I was continually drawn to the phrase “soul rest” and as I asked the Lord what does this really mean? He whispered, “It is the place of encounter heart to heart.” The place where your heart connects with God’s. Personal encounters with God’s heart are becoming rarer as our culture is growing more distracted with each passing day. Selah Ranch is designed to be a space for the heart, where you can slow down and be reminded of what is truest about you. It is a place where you can disconnect from the distraction of the world and feel embraced by God’s love. The truest thing about you is that you are LOVED. And at Shine we believe the only way we truly learn how to love like Jesus, is to accept that he is wildly crazy about us first.

So, Holly and I set out to create experiences where women could feel just that – God’s extravagant and wild love for them! We wanted women to have a space to slow down, catch their breath, find healing, and be encouraged to not hold back but fully shine their unique light in the world. We began our retreat season with a Restorative Rhythms Retreat and then an Undone by Love experience. We also enjoyed planning a few surprises for those who came for their own self-guided retreats and ended the season with some wonderful fall nights around the fire being reminded of creative ways to connect with God’s heart and find the courage to give his love away to others.

Holly and I discovered that one of our favorite parts about the retreats was creating the participant boxes. One of the values we hold at Shine Healing Ministries is radical hospitality and the boxes became a way for us to express this to the women who came to Selah Ranch. We believe that hospitality is healing. Everyone longs for a space where they belong, can be seen fully and accepted completely. Our hope with creating the retreat boxes was that each woman would feel extravagantly loved, welcomed, and special when their eyes soaked in the contents inside. I believe we accomplished that goal and it has led to an idea we want to cultivate in the coming years!

Our dream is to create a retreat experience in a box. A buy one, give one opportunity! Where women who purchase a box will then allow us to gift a box to a woman who may have forgotten or has never realized how dearly loved she is! We want all women to experience God’s love and to expand our reach beyond those who can come in person to our retreats. We hope to partner with small business that are doing great things as well as other organizations that are loving women well. We want to make women feel even more loved by sending them “A Rooted Place” box. The name is based on Ephesians 3:17 and our prayer for every woman who experiences our ministry in one way or another is that they will find a secure & rooted place in God’s love: “Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life” (TPT).

The truth is the world and the church we’ve known are changing. People are leaving the church in droves or worse yet, some never felt welcomed in the first place. We must find unique ways to reach those with the Good News. Because ultimately it is the best new anyone could ever receive! And we believe our boxes can be an avenue to God’s heart for so many. We hope that you will choose to partner with us on this journey to continue to shape, develop and grow our property as well as send these boxes full of expressions of God’s goodness to every woman who needs to be reminded of how very loved she is!

We need monthly donors, volunteers, people with business who may want to contribute products for our boxes, and women-serving, organization that would like to network with us so that we can gift “Rooted Place” boxes to other beautiful causes. As a side note, we could also use your prayers as we have run into a few snags with building and developing indoor spaces on the property as some laws have become even more strict. However, we are believing that these obstacles will be overcome, and we will have an indoor space soon so that we are no longer dependent on good weather in order to hold our events.

Please reach out to me, josie@shinehealing.org, with any questions, desires to partner with us, or suggestions on ministries we can partner with to spread more of God’s love to the hearts of women.


Many Blessings,

Josie Muterspaw, Founder


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Where We Are Headed in 2021!

I have been in a waiting season like most of the world I presume, living through a global pandemic. It has led me to experience a deeper sense of God’s heart and the priorities that matter most in the days and years ahead. Cultivating how God sees takes time, silence, stillness, and solitude and for that I am grateful for 2020.  As I have been thinking about the vision and direction of Shine Healing Ministries for 2021, my desire is always to be led by his heart, to be fully within his will, and to be a source of his love and compassion to a hurting and weary world. As Christians we’ve heard, possibly our entire life, that we are to become more and more like Christ. But what does that mean?

When Jesus walked the earth he always spoke the language of the heart. This means he spoke in images, stories “parables”, symbols, and the like. He did so to weed out those who just wanted something from him from those who truly wanted more of him. He was seeking to connect with those pure in heart who were willing to go into the abyss of the dark unknowns to experience him in greater ways. The bible promises those who seek him will find him. One thing I know for sure is God has always been about creating spaces to encounter him not just know about him. Spaces where the heart can awaken to the True Self within and his divine presence. Spaces where the soul can learn to rest and cease so he can begin his greatest work within us.

There is a journey we must go on. A journey of discovering our True Self, the “I” within. You see, ironically, once we find our most authentic “I”, we become a greater “We”. We become a source of his true love to the world. To become Christ like ultimately means we become an overflowing source of compassion to a hurting world. It means that the things that most motived the individual self now pale in comparison with what the true “I” can become for another!

Compassion means to “suffer with”. To become a part of another’s story and no longer be driven by a what-is-in-it-for-me? mentality but how can my life become about the greater “We”. This Christ like compassion is divinely placed deep within us waiting for us to cultivate it, water it and allow it to grow.

Author, Sue Monk Kidd explains this so eloquently, “The coming of the True Self tosses us into the wreckage of the world and asks us to bind up what wounds we can and do our small part to recreate a planet of community and justice, where there is fullness of life for everyone.” This only happens when we allow our hearts to feel the pain of another, when we weep with Christ over the hurting, lost, abandoned, and in need and are moved to do something about it. Compassion creates healing spaces like no other because we finally begin to relate to the world not as if it contains strangers, but as if every other heart and struggle were ours. We see them and their story as a part of us, not separate.

There is a story I recently read by Elie Wiesel that comes from his book Night. In it he told of his horrific experience as a child in a concentration camp. One such story inspired my vision for 2021. His words painted a picture of true, Christ like compassion. He began by saying it had been three days since he had any food or water when they were led as a large group outside in the middle of winter to stand in an open field. Shivering from morning till night, thirsty yet unable to move. Forbidden to sit or bend over, the snow began to build upon their shoulders. One man suggested that the man behind him lick the snow from his shoulder to relieve his intolerable thirst. Then on down the line it went, one person’s thirst quenched by the compassionate shoulder of another.

To become Christ-like is to become this to one another. A place of nourishment, compassion, and hope. If 2020 has taught us anything it is how much we need community and connection to be healthy and whole. We survive tragedy and hardship because God moves our hearts with compassion to be for one another what he is for us. Neurotheologian, Dr. Jim Wilder, says that “in community we are waking up within each other what God wants to grow.” We can choose to sit in the stillness of God’s presence and soak in his heart so that we can become his voice of truth for another. God never stops pursuing ours hearts till we see in ourselves what he sees. He knows that if we finally discover the True “I” within it will lead to us becoming a “We” that changes the world. The undeniable truth is we need each other to help us discover the True Self within and be to the world the Christ-like examples we are destined to become!

This is the space we want to create at Selah Ranch. A space where hearts are nourished and made whole through the overwhelming, life-changing compassion and love of Christ. We want to become sources of nourishment for the thirsty soul in need of renewing and reconnecting with what is true. To create rest-filled spaces where one’s heart learns to dance to its truest rhythm and find the song God wrote for them alone. Will you join with us, whether through prayer, volunteering your time, telling others about our services, or by becoming a financial supporter? We are growing, ever pursing the path that God has placed before us. We are creating a space where the heart can awaken to the True Self within. Where God’s love, compassion, and radical hospitality can be felt in the deepest places of the soul and no longer just known as a concept but truly experienced.

We are wanting to expand in this next year, by creating indoor spaces in which to meet all year around. First, a chapel that will be open to all to come and soak in his presence. An undistracted space in nature to hear his heart more clearly. Then, secondly, we are in need of a gathering space. A place where compassion can be shared, and a healing community can begin to grow within its walls. Will you let another drink from your shoulder? Will you be a part of providing a space of nourishment for a fellow weary heart in need of a touch of compassion, rest, and love? Twenty Twenty-one is a year where God’s priorities need to become ours. This weary, burdened, world needs us more than ever to become sources that overflow with his compassion and love!


For His Glory,


Josie Muterspaw, Founder

He Always Comes

I hate to admit that Covid and the stress of it all has really done a number on me. I am a planner, a doer, a striver, a get-er-done kind-of person, and Covid put a halt to all “my” well laid plans. I had a beautifully crafted calendar for all the experiences we would hold in 2020 at Selah Ranch. Then a complete shut-down, robbing my security and leading me to a murky, not-so-pretty pit of self-pity and despair.

“I’m done,” I indignantly told God. It is nothing new, this battle between pushing through and wanting to resign. I know it well. But in the middle of the battle, seemingly out of nowhere there is always a tug from something greater within me that keeps me fighting, that keeps me believing. God never lets me fall too far before he swoops down, picks me up, dusts me off, and carries me back home. As he travels along with me in his arms, I can feel his delight as he whispers in my ear simple reminders of who I am and why I’m here.

There are two many God confirmations to share in just this one post, but over the years he has continually pointed me back in both subtle and obvious ways to Deuteronomy 11:11 and Isaiah 54. Both emphasize the work of his hands not mine; his provision, him expanding and doing, not me. But I just haven’t been able to surrender to this fully. My doer, striver hasn’t wanted to let go and take the leap of faith.

Do I truly believe he works all things for good? Even the devastation I feel. I do. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and felt it in the depths of my soul. We are blind to our own habitual and unhealthy patterns. Meaning we often don’t see the ways in which we are enslaved to our way and the world’s coercion. And it takes an awakening of sorts, often through pain to get us to look honestly at what isn’t working in our lives so that we are opened bare and willing to see if God’s way may be better.

I felt led two weeks ago to attend a church I don’t regularly go to. It was such a strong impression that without hesitation I followed the Spirit’s leading and went. The pastor of the Dream Center in LA happened to be sharing his testimony that day. Their business model and way of operating in the world is not of this world. It goes against every guru and strategist. The world will tell you that you have to create value by what you charge so that people will honor it. But Pastor Barnett did something radical, unheard of by earthly standards and decided to give everything away for free. To “be unusual” and love without borders or financial barriers! This way of operating resonated deep within me. Afterall, what trumps love?

Later that week, I had gotten a new book from Henri Nouwen about Discernment. He spoke over and over a phrase that described the community he wanted to build, and it lit up like a revelatory light within me. He used the phrase, “radical hospitality”. When I went to Onsite for a behavioral health leaders retreat, one thing that I experienced that lives with me still to this day, is their value that “hospitality is healing”.  I knew after leaving there that this was a value Shine would hold as well. I felt so loved, so seen by their hospitality and all the little added touches and details they did to make us feel special and cared about.

Mind you these concepts and foundational principles that God has been molding in me, has taken years not days. God has been revealing little by little these principles and concepts in bite size portions. It is as if he is planting seeds that need time to grow roots within and be tended to. Because the truth is we struggle to believe in things that take pure faith. We just do and God knows it.

One morning in my quiet time as I was mining all these little signs God was presenting, I heard him say, “Give where the world’s message would tell you not to.” Hum…this gently nudge came while I was in the middle of researching and working diligently on a proper business model and revamping my website. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying any of that is bad or even that charging for services is wrong. It isn’t. But God simply had a different plan, an unusual way he wanted me to personally operate under (probably because of my stubborn, do-er personality). So, I knew what he was asking of me but not yet convinced, I blurted out, “How, Lord, can I give these experiences that cost so much away for free?” And he said, “Because you’ve been given everything for free.” You see fear and the world’s prevailing message has told me, “I can’t”. I have to work hard, charge my value, and build my platform to be successful!

I was literally at the end of my rope, exhausted and defeated with trying to live up to this view of what a successful ministry needs to look and feel like. Everything God does is unique and no matter what, we have to stop comparing what God wants to do uniquely in us with what God is doing uniquely in someone else. I kept sensing that something was off. That the way I was going about it still had a touch of fear leading the way and I wasn’t fully allowing God’s specific design to come to life.

Then suddenly, I get an out of the blue text from our biggest funder. He was sending me a package and he wanted to chat about it when I received it. Well it came in the mail and when I opened it, I have to be honest I didn’t want to face what he might have to say. I was already feeling like this year had knocked me off my feet and I had failed once again to measure up. I couldn’t face him, but I had no choice. I made the call and don’t you know God was building me a ladder. He planned it all perfectly to pull me out of the muck I had been stuck in and the pit that was blocking my vision.

As the call went on, I proceeded to be honest with him about where I was and how I was feeling, and he loved me so well in that moment. Instead of rejecting me and pulling his funding he told me, “Josie, do what you do best. Love these women and let me fund it.” I don’t have words and so wish I did to describe what his words of genuine love did for me. Shame made me want to hide and just as it always does, love won!

God’s has always had an “unusual” plan for Selah Ranch. Years ago, I started seeing 1:11 and 11:11 all the time. I began to understand that this was God’s promise to me. His promise to expand this ministry by his hand and through my faith and not by my effort and performance. It has taken me years to shed layers upon layers of this pride in me. The “I’ll do it myself and I’ll just try harder” mentality has wrecked me, burnt me out and left me discouraged. This has been my way of protecting myself and fighting for my own significance. This way must be surrendered. It is the only way to enter the promise.

You see in Deuteronomy 11:10 he is telling the Israelites you can’t keep doing it the way you did when you were a slave. Your way will always enslave you. They did everything with their own hands and their own feet. They relied on themselves and they were bound. But in verse 11:11 we see a mighty shift in perspective. The land (the inheritance we are promised as God’s children) he was giving them would require them to do the unusual. To stray from the way they’ve always done it. To cease from their work and what they’ve been enslaved by in order to find freedom in letting God do what only he could on land that he had promised them. It says, “The land you are about to take over…is a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!”

All along all he has wanted me to do was drop my pride that tied my value to what I do and let him provide. He was gently asking me to stop trying so hard in my own strength to make happen what only he can. Now, even with this truth being etched in my soul, I have lived long enough to know this battle is not over. The battle in my mind. The battle between my heart and my head and the fact that the enemy won’t stop trying to kill, steal, and destroy this vision and dream in my soul for a space where love wins. Where women can come and be wrapped in an embrace of radical hospitality that leaves them speechless and feeling more loved than they’ve ever known. A space where God’s heart and vision for them becomes clear and they dance to his rhythm within their soul. A rhythm that plays back to them their unique song and reminds them of their true-identity and how dearly loved they are.

This I will keep fighting for!



A Season of New Potential: What does it hold for you?

My quiet time this morning began with a simple request. “Lord, comfort me.” I rested my hand on my heart and allowed the tears to flow. When your world is spinning where do you go?

This is a hard season. A season full of uncertainties. But isn’t life always full of uncertainties? This current reality we find ourselves in is just making it more visible. Maybe during this time God wants to make other things visible too. There are many things he wants to reveal to us in times of rest and reset that our hearts don’t even realize they hold.

Hold. It means to grasp or carry. Our hearts grasp onto false senses of security and carry burdens unacknowledged. In Hebrews 3:12 we are told to search our heart regularly because what is hiding there will make us unresponsive to what God is trying to do in us. The world we knew as “normal” made it hard for us to see. Full of distractions and noise we struggle to name and be with what we really feel. Somehow, we have come to see our feelings as the enemy of success. Maybe that is wrong. Maybe by denying our feelings we also deny our passions.

What are we really running from when we run from our emotions? Times like this, stress-filled times, bring out the best and worst of them for sure. Just a few short months ago we ran at a hurriedly pace through life, each passing day like another leaf that fell unnoticed. Unnoticed doesn’t mean non-existent and the problem is that the things that remain unnoticed within us are also left unseen.

What constant contenders fight for your attention leaving the real you unnoticed, and unseen?

One of mine is perfectionism for sure.

It tells me it isn’t polished enough. Well, to be honest, I am tired of polishing. I tired of the limiting story I’ve allowed my perfectionism to tell me and keep me stuck in!

There is another story. Why do we struggle so to let it in? I believe because we are more afraid of the true self within us than the false self that constrains us. Maybe we’ve grown comfortable with the restraints.

Could this be a time in your life where God is trying to make visible what your heart is meant to hold? Is he tapping on the door of your soul, but you have been too afraid to let him in for fear of what he would find?

When we do this, we shut out the only thing that can free us. God’s love! And we miss finding our truest selves⸺the only version of us who can live our truest story. You see shame tells you that “You need to be someone else to be accepted.” Love says, “The world is waiting for you to just be you.”

Hiding will always keep us from our truest story.

Today, allow yourself to be fully seen by the Father’s heart and let him hold you in his arms. Especially, when you feel messy, overwhelm and fearful in the midst of all this uncertainty! We need his presence more than ever to reset the storms within us and help us see from his broader, wiser, loving view. I believe he has waited patiently for this moment, the moment when our pace would be slow enough to hear him excitedly show us the beauty within that we have yet to notice!

It may sound cliché, but when we reach the point in our stories where we finally realize who God is and who we are in him, something powerful shifts in us. A fire is formed within and we are no longer afraid to let it shine! Maybe this space and time has formed just the right conditions for you to finally see what God has been smiling about all along when he looks at you!

Be You- Be a Light!

The Dream Becomes A Reality

A piece of land is just land without a vision. There are mysteries I know I’ll never solve and there are other things you just know in the depths of your soul without any logical reasoning. I have had a vision burning in my soul for decades that I haven’t been able to deny yet didn’t know how it would come to pass.

This land that is now evolving into a retreat center known as Selah Ranch, was given to us by a lovely gentleman moved by the compassion of my late father. It turns out the ripple effects of love cannot be stopped once they begin. It was a little slice of heaven, 17 acres of untouched paradise that was meant to become an oasis for the soul. I was stunned when this long-ago friend of my father’s approached me with his intentions.

After attending my father’s funeral proceedings, he had learned about the ministry my family had started and said, “I’d like to buy you the land that is for sale next to you in honor of your father. Maybe one day, I’ll share with you how much he meant to me.” And so it began, this humble man of few words bought the land.

When he approached us, my husband and I had just bought a new farm. The original plan was that my father, a veterinarian, was going to help my sister and I run a ministry using horses for healing. It was now six years later, and we had outgrown the facility we had been using. So we were just about to purchase a new property when my father died.

It is crazy how seconds can change your life, change your path. One Sunday morning in August, he died suddenly while sitting in the church pew next to my mother. I was rocked. Left shattered into a billion pieces. I didn’t know it then, but this was the moment everything shifted. One dream came to an end, but it became the catalyst for God’s unique plans for me to begin.

It seems I’ve had a long history of wanting to fix and make the world a better place. I grew into this pursuit, or so I thought, by becoming a counselor. We live in a culture that has stigmatized counseling and healing as something only the “messed up and broken” need. Once people find out I am a counselor, they seem to disqualify themselves from what Shine Healing Ministries must be offering. I’ve had many conversations with women who dismiss their own need saying, “Oh, is it for women who need healing?” As if we all don’t? I haven’t met a soul that doesn’t. What do we mean by I don’t need healing? Are we saying, I’ve got it all together, I’ve never wrestled with things within my own heart, or ever felt restless, disappointed, or like I have no purpose? Are we saying I’ve never been hurt, angry, betrayed, fearful, or struggled to forgive? Or maybe we are simply saying, “I don’t fit in to ‘that’ category.”

To heal is to grow. It is to become the best, most free version of ourselves. It is to surrender and recognize our own blind spots so that we can live fully into all we were created to be. Who isn’t seeking this? We all want to succeed, live a full life and love well. The thing is we can’t have one without the other. Healing and surrender precede a life fully lived.

It was in reading Psalm 23 one day that this concept hit me square between the eyes. David said, “He offers me a resting place in his luxurious love…That’s where he restores and revives my life.” I was finishing my book, trying to launch a new women’s ministry, counsel clients, and be a mom and wife all at the same time, when I experienced a physical and mental collapse. I exhausted myself swimming up current in the pool of perfectionism and striving for decades. Remember when I mention I wanted to fix and became a counselor. I had mistakenly thought it was my job to fix and heal. To be trained extensively so that I knew just what to do with any hurt that came my way. But I’d been looking at it all wrong.

This is where Psalm 23 became so important to me. I realized that I needed to learn God’s way of rest and to experience for myself how he restores the soul. I placed a burden on myself, that led to a stressed ridden body that revolted and said, “No, more!” It was then in the quiet and the stillness that my vision shifted from what I could offer others to what God alone could do.

There are places meant for God’s touch alone. When faced with the reality of my own frailty, confined to a hospital bed and at the mercy of testing results, something shifted in me. A burning desire that had been calling me, yet I’d been ignoring was resurfacing. I knew at this moment that I needed what David spoke about in his famous Psalm. I needed to learn to rest, to cease, and to fully surrender to God’s way, and once I did, I experienced how he restores.

Once I finally gave up the striving, I was able to receive the best gift of my life. REST. I hadn’t truly known what it felt like. Because I was constantly revolving on the hamster wheel of you haven’t been or done enough. This was when I knew other women needed a space to discover this too. They needed to know they’re enough and that they can stop striving and find restoration and acceptance in God’s unimaginable love.

So the planning began. I reached out to a long-time family friend and developer. My husband and I brought him and his wife to the land, laying out our vision and asking him if the two fit together. He could see the vision so clearly and was moved to make it a reality. He and his wife decided to take the next huge leap and fund the first phase of development: a common gathering place with a stone fire pit and shelter.

Selah Ranch began taking shape and God continued to confirm his desire for a safe spaced to be created where women could experience God’s heart for them in ways they never had before. Where they could experience the undoing of his love. By undoing, I mean him fixing all the things we’ve put in place we thought were protecting us, but ultimately enslaving us.

Yes, I am a firm believer in community and the healing power of relationships. And the most powerful relationship of all is found in pursuing God’s presence and his heart for us. I am convinced there is no greater pursuit. No worthier goal. No higher achievement than oneness with him. Learning to be shaped, molded and freed into his image is ultimately the road we all must travel if we want to grow.

The next phase is about to begin. Also, another miracle. I’ve always heard stories of how “Where God guides, he provides”, but have never experienced it quite like this before. First, we didn’t ask for the land, it came to us. Second, we didn’t ask for the firepit and shelter, God-inspired hearts and they responded. Third, we didn’t ask for cabins. Another gentleman moved by hearing our story decide he wanted to fund one along with the generous original developer and his wife that have lovingly taken our vision under their wings. God continues to show up and remind us this is ultimately his land, his vision and we will remain faithful to steward what he provides and follow where he guides.

Check out our website at shinehealing.org to find out more about the plans we have and the services we provide. We would also love for you to become a donor or monthly supporter of our ministry. We are dreaming big and pray that you will dream with us!




Josie Muterspaw, Co-Founder

Shine Healing Ministries

The Enneagram: A Journey into Self-Discovery

“If we can’t self-observe, we can’t self-correct.”

Chris Heuertz

When is the last time you caught a child in the act of doing something they had just enough insight to know they probably shouldn’t have done? They quickly and instinctively hide the evidence as they adamantly denied any involvement. But being the astute adult you are, you notice that behind their back and within their little hands tells the truth! You just have to spin them around to see it.

Unfortunately, there are somethings we never outgrow. We are always trying to hide the unpleasantness of our own personalities to ourselves and others; and what happens as we grow older, we just end up learning more sophisticated ways of hiding what we don’t want to be exposed.

A blind spot is a place on the retina that is “insensitive to light”. Our eyes are not the only place these blind spots naturally exist. We all have them within our hearts as well—places within we’d rather not let light in. This is precisely why we don’t always see ourselves as clearly as we would like to believe we do. In order to see ourselves, we must get alone with our inner world and identify the thoughts that direct us, the feelings that consume our hearts, and the instincts that drive us. One of my favorite authors on contemplative practices, Ruth Haley Barton, said, “It takes a while to adjust to the truth one finally names in the wilderness.”

This is what the Enneagram bids us to do. It is the astute adult asking us to finally admit to ourselves maybe “the me” that is showing up isn’t “the me” I want to be. It asks us to hold out our hands and name the things we’ve been hiding behind our backs. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I sometimes wish it were that simple.

The Enneagram is a tool when used correctly that gives us permission to see what we have been holding onto that no longer serves us. It then convinces us it is necessary to look deeper with curiosity and gentleness so that we can finally take off our mask! With new eyes, we can answer the questions we’ve longed to know. Why do what I do? Where did this version of me begin and how can I transform to live the life I am destined to?

The realization of how little I really knew myself began for me when I first was introduced to the Enneagram. Here I was, a clinical counselor, helping others gain insight and I was blind to many of my own protective stances and ineffective patterns. I didn’t realize as a One, how much I believed I had to be perfect to be pleasing. I was also holding myself to an impossible obligation to always be the good person who never hurt anyone’s feelings. This caused me to blur boundaries and say yes when I wanted to say no.  An even bigger ah-ha was when I realized I’d been covering up my anger for decades and letting it brew in me as seething resentment. Let me tell you, that wasn’t a pretty realization to sit with!  I resented that life, me, and others were never as they SHOULD BE! But once I began to discover this, I was able to come to new conclusions and develop healthier ways of being that have led to experiencing a joy I had let go.

Oh, how I had missed my joy. I had become so inflexible, seeing the world through the lens of faults I needed to fix. It made me blind to the good in my life, myself and others. I was constantly striving to be better and improve the lives of those around me. It felt honorable at first, but all this did was lead me down a road to complete exhaustion. I couldn’t accept what was, instead it was my job to make it all better, and I lost my ability to have fun in the chaos of all that needed fixing.

The Enneagram has opened my eyes as it has so many. But as they say, “Be careful what you wish for”. You just might have to swallow your pride, face some not so pretty aspects about your personality and do the hard work of changing how things have always been. The simple truth is our strategies for gaining the love we desire and the safety we seek created in our early years, are vastly ineffective now that we are all grown up! We can’t keep hiding the cookie behind our backs and act like it doesn’t exist.

One of the current forerunners of teaching on the Enneagram, Ian Cron, says that the Enneagram is “an ancient personality typing system. It helps people understand who they are and what makes them tick.” Brother Dave, Ian’s mentor, explains that “It is full of wisdom for people who want to get out of their own way and become who they were created to be.” He goes on to warn those who dare seek what the Enneagram has to offer by saying, “No one should work with the Enneagram if what they seek is flattery. But no one should fail to do so if what they seek is deep knowing of self.” This is one of the main reasons that we at Shine Healing Ministries integrate the Enneagram into a retreat experience and our workshops! We know that once you embark on the Enneagram journey you will discover a treasure that will forever change how you see yourself and how you interact with the world.

The Enneagram is an influential tool that when used in conjunction with God’s Word, can pave the way to true spiritual growth and transformation. You will uncover aspects of your personality that may shock you, areas where you have been blinded to yourself, and the main motivations that drive you; but in the end, every area shed light on, can become an area of freedom for you. This is our intent for all those who attend our Purposeful Pause Retreat at Selah Ranch. We want you to experience insight that leads to lasting changes. Changes that create space for you to experience the freedom to become who you were fully designed to be. So, we invite you on a journey, the journey of self-discovery. Where the truest version of you is ready to emerge!

Be sure to sign up for our email list so that you are the first to know when our 2020 dates are released!




Josie Muterspaw

Founder Shine Healing Ministries

Rise Up, Dreamer

There was a book in the Bible I completely ignored. I somehow had come to believe that it was insignificant. Until the day I heard Brian Simmons, the translator of The Passion Translation, preach on its true meaning. Suddenly, Song of Songs came alive to me in a whole new way and completely ravished my heart. This powerful 8 chapter book is every humans journey. There is a longing placed inside each one of us to find our way home to God’s heart and be undone by his love.  My prayer is that you too will find your way home to His heart and that it will completely wipe away any doubt you’ve ever had about how crazy he actually is about you! Below is just a little inspiration for your soul from my journey to yours!

Rise Up

When the weight of disappointment has emptied your soul.

Rise Up

When the mountain trail feels ever steeper and your legs want to give way.

Rise Up

When the world has shouted “You Can’t!” for one too many times.

Rise Up

When your fear has caused you to hide from your dreams and the Creator within.

Rise Up

When you can’t see an end to the struggle and the light fades in the distance.

Rise Up

When the voice of despair is calling your name.

Rise Up

To the fiery desire stirring within you.

Rise Up

To the rhythm of God’s heartbeat drowning out the self-doubt.

Rise Up

To the wonder of God’s promises reviving your cry for more.

Rise Up

To His call to rescue the wandering, lost and longing to be seen.

Rise up

Women of strength, elegance, and grit. Within you is a love that will change the world.

Rise Up

You Dreamer, for your heart, has found its way home.

Safe Spaces, Healing Places

How do you put into words an experience that is like nothing you’ve ever known before? It has taken me a month to even formulate my thoughts. Which for those who know me can attest, that is truly a feat in itself. I’m a word-junky normally ready to share my limitless thoughts on any subject I am passionate about. But not this time. I was moved in the best of ways to a place where words simply fell short.

I went with great expectations and anticipation. After all, it was Onsite. A place I dreamt of going. The crème de la crème of all treatment and retreat centers. A divine opportunity presented itself for me to attend a leadership academy for mental health professionals there. A full week of Onsite. WHAT? I knew it would be an amazing experience, no doubt, but what I didn’t realize was how life-changing and perspective-shifting it was going to be. I left with a new sense of courage to be fully me. A priceless, ever-giving, empowering gift!

It completely debunked many scripts I had played in my mind for years about people and healing. The theme of the week was basically that we become better leaders by becoming better humans. So with that, we had to face ourselves. It baffled me how easily our small group of strangers connected and showed up fully ourselves. Grown men and women together, being fully real, looking deep within, getting uncomfortably honest and becoming free. I experienced it. I saw it with my own eyes.

Yes, it was awkward at first. Kind of like the first day of school in a crowded lunchroom worried no one would accept you at their table. But oddly, the jitters began to fade as each mask was thrown to the wind and hearts were fully seen. I found people aren’t as unaccepting as we fear! There is something so simple and sacred about being loved in your weakness. The anonymous author of, The Cloud of Unknowing, stated my experience perfectly, “With an empty mind and open heart, let yourself be naked before grace.”

We don’t do this in our culture! And I have to say we are dying for a space like this to be naked before grace.

We all had a story we brought to the table that we needed to be naked with. Things that had shaped our deepest fears and cultivated the mask we felt we had to wear to be accepted. It is crazy how when you finally decide not to remain hidden, you realize you aren’t alone. It is the farthest thing from the truth. We are all struggling with something and in need of a safe space surrounded by people who can remind us we don’t have to struggle alone.

The world is longing for safe spaces to find their truest self and I’m on a mission with eight other amazing women to create a space where your heart can be naked with grace. An experience with love and acceptance that is so out of this world, you will leave speechless. A place where you can be seen, known, and loved into believing you are made for so much more. Sometimes we need a cheering section so that we can ditch the mask and show up fully ourselves. We want to be that for you!

My team and I have committed to living out what we will teach. We are focusing on becoming the best version of ourselves by pursuing God’s presence through healing rhythms of REST, HEAL, LOVE. A practice what we preach mentality through and through so that when we show up for you it will come from a genuine, authentic and safe place. We are actively in the process of seeking, creating, and learning to be “Placemakers” for God’s presence. For we know that when we create a space for God’s love to move and be felt, you will be undone is the best of ways!

Stay tuned for events on the horizon. The best is yet to come.

Is Wholeness Possible for You?

This is my life story right here. I’m grieved when I look back and see all the years my pursuit of perfection robbed me of living. Wholeness by far is the better pursuit. For it is obtainable! Isaiah 53 speaks so clearly on the matter. The prophet tells us why Jesus suffered for you and for me. Verse 4 begins by saying “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.” All so that in verse 5 we could experience something unfathomable. It’s right here a promise for you and for me! “He was beaten so we could be WHOLE. He was whipped so we could be HEALED.”

Friends you will spend your whole life chasing the unobtainable if what you seek is perfection. But wholeness that is an entirely different story. It can be yours. It can be mine! One definition of wholeness is “Being completely free of wound or injury with nothing missing and everything complete…” Another version says wholeness is “the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity.”

I don’t think many of us believe we can be wound free with nothing missing within us. One of my life verses is Psalm 34:10. It tells me that as I pursue the truest source of wholeness, I will lack nothing. “Those who passionately pursue the Lord will never lack any good thing.”

This, my friends, is a daily pursuit. It is learning to find your own rhythms of rest in his presence so that the grime of life doesn’t continue to build layer upon layer within your heart. I assure you I practice what I preach. I begin my day with rest. I sit in silence and stillness letting my body release the tension it holds from the day before and I find myself able to finally catch my breath.

Then I do what Julia Cameron calls “morning pages”. I let all my thoughts, the good, the bad, the ugly flow onto three uninterrupted pages. My inner critic does not get to make changes or point out mistakes. My thoughts are just allowed to spill onto the page before me freely and openly.

Next, I let God reveal what needs to be healed within. Maybe a little resentment here, little envy there, or maybe something much older like a childhood wound triggered from a hurtful interaction the day before. One thing is always constant. God never fails to lighten my load. He promises in Matthew 11:28-30 to do so-to carry away the burdens I bring to him and refresh my soul.

Then maybe I soak in the truth he revealed a little more and let it sink deeper or I return to a scripture I’ve already been mining. Mining means stopping to let every word bring life and new awe to your soul over a period of time. Maybe a week, maybe a month. Hey, maybe even a year if your heart so desires.

Then I might read a chapter in a book on a practice I’m trying to grow within me or listen to a song, or take a walk to end my time for the morning. But no matter what there is always a grateful pause, maybe only for a few seconds where I sit and soak in the blessing of what God did in my heart that morning.

It is refreshing to think my wounds don’t have to remain apart of me and I can experience completeness. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I am not saying we will never be wounded. I’m saying the wounds don’t have to remain within us. By pursuing rest (ceasing from your way to open your heart to God’s) and time in his presence, he will lovingly show you want needs released so that you can receive from him all that your heart is longing for. Taking a good honest look allows you to let go. Because his presence is so inviting, accepting, and unbelievably loving you can bear to look.

You see this pursuit for wholeness was never was about what you can do. We always make it so. You won’t find wholeness in your own merit by doing more, accomplishing more or pretending things don’t exist.


It is only found by pursuing wholeness through connecting deeper with God’s heart. It is in his presence that we find completeness for our weakness. It’s handing him what doesn’t belong so that he can show you what is truly within you! I promise it is beautiful. You just haven’t let yourself see it yet.

My hope is that you will begin to pursue and cultivate your own daily rhythms of rest. Maybe today you will pause for a few minutes longer than usual and soak in the beauty of what this passage in Isaiah 53 makes possible. Read it line by line starting with verse 1 and ending at verse 5. There is truth here you don’t want to miss. Truth that deserves more than a passing glance. You won’t regret it.


Be Bold ~ Be a Light


The 3 Practices That Create Space For Peace & Purpose To Grow

“So, this is how God works,” I laughingly say to myself under my breath. I prayed a prayer never realizing where it was going to lead me. I wrote in my journal, “Lord lead me to the place where no restraints can find me—where I learn to embrace all of who you say I am.”

I’ve been pursuing a new lifestyle. A lifestyle I want to teach others. I couldn’t possibly ask you to do something I haven’t first done myself. It began as three values that shape Shine Healing Ministries but now, I realize they have become so much more than that. They are my sustainable rhythms for a life well-lived. Three practice I cannot be without if I desire wholeness, peace, and purpose in my life. They are the rhythms of REST. HEAL. LOVE.

I had just experienced a wonderful rest-filled morning in my place of solitude and silence with the Lord. I was feeling settled, and really good about myself. Then it happened. Like a rushing river of angst. It flooded into my heart space so quickly. Ugliness, I often call it.  It is a feeling like a nagging acquaintance I have to tolerate. For me, it is often comparison, envy or jealousy when another woman is cruising along in the lane I want to be in. Instantly my heart blurts, “It is isn’t fair! What am I not doing for you Lord that she is?”

Obviously, God was answering my prayer. “You want no restraint hum…how about taking a look at this in your heart?” This is the HEAL part of the journey. I think more often than anything else we resist REST because it leads us to places in our hearts we don’t want to face; places and things we have to let go of that are restraining us from being LOVE. Without rhythms of REST & HEAL, we are often unknowingly kept from LOVING as he loves. We are told in John 13 that the indicator, the flashing sign of recognition that proves we are true followers of Christ is the Love we give away. I promise it is there. Written plainly in verse 34, “For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”

So I ask, “Lord, what do you need to speak into my heart about this envy, this ugliness?”  And like a gentle whisper, this thought bubbles up in the quiet where I can hear God’s heart more easily. “I am cheering for you all. I am pursuing every heart to lead them to greatness.” Yeah, yeah I get it, Lord. That makes sense. But I close my journal with still an angst to wrestle with. With questions unsettled in my heart.

That is when I heard it. A skirmish on the front porch. It jolted me right out of my quiet place and out the door I ran to see what was happening. Duke my dog and rascal my raccoon. Yes, I did say raccoon. What can I say we here on the farm we have a heart for all animals and poor little rascal was left all alone and needed a home. Anyway, back to the skirmish. They are 95% of the time, the best of friends. Wrestling and cuddling till their little hearts are content, but add food into the equation and everything changes.

Duke had a full bowl of food behind him, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Rascal’s pile. This is where the oh, God your good, ah-ha moment began. I’m sitting there between them watching this play out and realizing all the while, I’m Duke. I’m stuck looking, wanting, and trying to grab more for myself and forgetting, dismissing, and being blind to this big bowl of provision right behind me.

Peering eyes are always longing to answer the questions, “Will there be enough for me? Does God love me as much as her/him?” Then a thought came to the forefront of my mind, “Do I want to pay the price for what is in her bowl?” Because believe me there is always a cost. We are all starving for something. At one point or another, we have felt life’s sting and we don’t want to feel it again. So we frantically reach out and try to grab what we believe should be ours, and fill the hole in our soul. All the while we are often blind to what we already have or what it cost them to be where they are.

God uses experiences, metaphors to change us, to free us, to get a message through to us if we stop long enough to notice.

That morning sitting between Rascal and Duke making sure they each had their fill, made me stop and asked myself, “Aren’t we all deserving?” We all paid some kinds of price. I realized this must be how God feels at times, stilling between his earthly servants trying to mediate and show us how much he has given each one of us. Lovingly he sits and waits for us to see how much he loves us, how much he is rooting for us both. Providing for us both. Wanting greatness for each of our hearts. He promises to not forget about you and to not forget about me. He promises that in his kingdom no one lacks.

There is enough for us all. And the truth is we’ve all paid a price for the story we are meant to share. Our lives are letters to others that can bring hope at just the right time along someone else’s journey. But the truth is there are places we must stop and reflect on. Rhythms we must incorporate into our lives in order to live a life of love. Are we willing to stop long enough to let God lovingly point out where we are restrained? Rest leads us to places we must confront so that we can heal and live from a place where there is no restraint on how much love we receive and give away!

So I ask you my friends, where are your eyes peering? What is keeping you from seeing what God is trying to give you through rhythms of REST. HEAL. LOVE?

Be Bold ~ Be a Light!

Find Rhythms The Ease Your Weary Mind

Busy, stressed, weary, restless, anxious, depressed, confused. How many times in the last week or month have you used a phrase like the words above to describe your experience? Henry Nouwen says, “We aren’t rest-filled people who occasionally become restless, we’re restless people who sometimes find rest.”

How do we flip this? How do we become people who live rest-filled lives instead of rest-less lives?

At one time in my life, Henry’s words described me perfectly. I was always working to obtain a sliver of rest for my weary and anxious soul. It wasn’t until my body suffered complete exhaustion that I cried out to God for a way out. For a detour off the beaten path of societal pressures and pursuits. That is when God showed me that peace, groundedness, and clarity only come from a place of rest. By learning to live in the rhythm of his rest, I found a gift my soul was longing for.

I’ve realized a freeing truth, that productivity does not determine my significance and because of that, my soul has found a secure footing. I now can work, create and live from a place of rest because I confronted the root of what was driving my hurried, pressured practices. It was fear. Fear of being insignificant. I had to uproot this fear in my heart and allow God the space to place his truth there instead if I ever wanted off this crazy train.

Striving for significance is all meaningless really when we discover that everything that makes us significant God has already placed within us. Weariness comes from striving for things you already have but fail to embrace. I thought my books, my ministry, leading a team of women, speaking, and growing a social media platform would all prove to God and you that I was good enough. It led to me falling flat on my face. It was humiliating for this perfectionist, determined and striving woman to fail and fall the way I did. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because in my failure I was forced to let go of control. I was forced to open my heart to the fact that God had a better way. He’d given me everything I needed, but I was focused on the wrong things. It took slowing down, and really listening to God’s heart to find that what I was longing for was within me all along.

He promises us his peace! It is a crazy thought in this fast-paced world that we are actually peace-filled beings. Our fears blind us to this truth but God waits. He waits for us to discover that all he wants to do is give us the REST REASSURANCE and RESTORATION our souls are longing to experience.

To all my weary friends out there, I ask you to pause and slow down long enough to rest in the beauty, worth, and peace that has been within you all along. In Psalm 23, God offers us rest. It is up to us to discover what fear has been whispering in our ear and robbing us of the rest he offers. I challenge you to practice daily rhythms of rest in your life and see what God reveals to your heart about how beautiful you already are!

Here are a few simple practices to get you started:

Pick one scripture to read daily over the
next month. Discover what God is trying to
develop in you and speak to your heart
through this verse? Let each day bring more
depth, understanding, and rest in who God
wants to be for you.

Practice a daily dose of silence for the next
week. Begin with 1 minute the first day and
then build from there until you are up to
5-10 minutes on the 7th day. Discover what
God wants to reveal to your heart in the
stillness and how he wants to encourage
you as you disconnect from all the other
noises and distractions.

Take a walk in nature and soak in all the
beauty of the sights, smells, sensations, and
sounds. Find what is most soothing to you
in God’s creation and reflect on how you
can add more calming and peaceful
experiences into your daily life? Let this
time in nature allow you to pause and soak
in the reset, God is offering you.

Find a song that draws you right in. Pick a phrase
in the song that helps your mind focus on
what is good and true and right about what
God is doing in your life right now. Write it
out and re-read it every day for the next
month so that you intentionally focus your
thoughts on God’s view of you each day.

What is one thing you need to practice
letting go? Is bitterness, self-doubt, or fear
robbing you of the rest God wants to give
you? Focus on just one area in your life that
you need to practice releasing to God and
over the next month watch how he begins
to help you release it.

Let the REST begin…

Be Bold ~ Be A Light

A Glimpse of Humanity at Its Best

There is something to be deeply learned by cultures who still do community well. Ubuntu! I recently came across this word. A South African word that speaks of humanity and compassion at its best. It is a realization that “I am who I am because of who we all are”.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes it this way:

 “It is the essence of being humanyou can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality Ubuntu you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

This makes me think that this must be what the early church was like described in Acts 2.

“Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to another, sharing communion and coming together regularly…All the believers were in fellowship as one body and they shared with one another whatever they had…They shared meals together with joyful hearts and tender humility. They were continually filled with praises to God, enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their numbers daily those who were coming to life” (verses 42-47, TPT).

Somewhere along the way we’ve lost the essence and innocence of Ubuntu! In a culture driven by success and every man/woman for himself/herself. A need to accomplish. A drive to be first. Being “the best” leaves no room for an “us”! Women are especially susceptible, as we have a great need to prove ourselves in this world. When fighting for our voices to be heard, somehow it never seems like there is ever enough room for us all. It always amazes me working as a counselor in a school how you can see it beginning—girls sabotaging other girls’ successes. Jealousy and envy spawn early. Till all that is left is a me vs. you mentality.

What if we truly are better together? What if what we are seeking is only found when intertwined as one? Having each other’s backs and cheering each other on is where the seeds of greatness are planted and nourished.

Too many times to count I’ve been tormented mentality by my inner critic. The voice of you are not enough, you’ve messed up one too many times, no one will accept you for who you are, no one cares about what you have to say. You’ve been there too. I know you have. We are all hurting and human just longing for someone to see the beauty in us and care.

I read where in certain South African cultures part of the practice of Ubuntu is to circle around a tribe member who did something wrong, and instead of pointing out the error they praise the good in them. For two full days, it is said that they unite to encourage the tribe member to reconnect with their true nature. Is this not just like the picture of our Father we are called to be image-bears of? I have found him to be my greatest cheerleader in the many moments that shame sought to sink its roots deep into my heart! He has always gently picked me up and pointed me back to the truth of who I am every time I’ve tripped and fallen into the dust.

What would our culture be like here in “eat or be eaten American”, if we only had half the tenacity to fight for each other’s greatness to be seen. “I have a dream…” to mirror the famous words of Martin Luther King a true advocate of counter-culturalism. I too want to dream big for a world where women can come together without feeling a need to hide or fake fine and speak life into each other’s souls. Where we see the good in each other, especially when one of us as has fallen and instead of secretly feeling a sense of relief that maybe there is room for me now, we help her rise again to even greater heights of beauty and glory.

This my dear sisters is the essence of what I feel called to create space for at Selah Ranch. A fireside cozy connected community of women who circle up around each other and fight for the greatness to spring forth in each heart. No longer accepting mediocrity. NO! Because we realize that great is the God who lives within us and together, we will ignite the “raging fire” of passion and love we are called to share with His world. This fire we are promised in Song of Songs 8:7 that “rivers of pain and persecution will never extinguish…{and} Endless floods will be unable to quench” (Song of Songs 8:7).

Hum, stop and ponder with me for a moment. What if we fully trusted God’s Word when it says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)?  What would we accomplish? I believe the result would be greater than any of us could ever have dreamt alone.


Be Bold ~ Be a Light




*image taken from https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/how-the-babemba-tribe-forgives/

Letting Go Requires You To Know This…

The phrase “let go” has been coming up a lot for me lately. One problem we have with letting go is we often don’t even realize what we are still holding onto. We are creatures of habit and one habit we easily fall prey to is seeking comfort. We avoid the deeper things of the heart.

Comfort isn’t always your friend. Sometimes it is the very thing that keeps you stuck. There is no healing without facing the things within that make us squirm a little.

Because the truth is shame is only overcome in the light!

God is so beautifully gentle and kind. He loves when we invite him into our most hidden and crushed places. I love the truth found in Psalm 130:7 “Keep hoping, keep trusting, and keep waiting on the Lord, for he is tenderhearted, kind, and forgiving. He has a thousand ways to set you free!”

Invite him into every hurt, every disappointment, every place of rejection. Your heart is in the best of hands with him for he has a thousand ways to set you free!

Be sure to check out my book “Shining Freely”. It will help you begin your healing process and become aware of the places within you need to let go of so that you can live free!

Be Bold ~ Be a light!

Your Invite is Here!

I’ve learned an invaluable lesson over this last year. I used to think that if I just studied enough, trained enough, and had enough quiet time I would have all the answers to healing I needed. That’s me the 2nd one from the left above. Oh, how I look back at her now and say, “You don’t realize what is about to happen. In just a year from now, you will come to understand that deep, authentic connection with these ladies is going to change you forever!”

The most fundamental human needs we all have are to be loved, seen, and to belong. I’ve found a belonging among a sisterhood I can’t say I’ve ever truly experienced before. You see one of my core fears is that “if I’m not perfect, I’m not pleasing.” Being a mental health therapist sometimes brings with it the myth that I should have all the answers and not struggle. That is a big fat lie! I struggle, sometimes deeply, but I never wanted anyone to know. I thought it would discredit me. Now I know through the love and acceptance of these ladies, I am free to throw off my mask of perfectionism and be loved for me. Even with all my messy flaws exposed.

You see what I didn’t understand a year ago, I now realize I can’t live without. So I want to do the same for you. I want to invite into a space with me as we journey together through each day of the 40-Day Journey. It is a space where I’ll be real with you and you can be real with me. A space where we pursue truth more than comfort, and no longer let shame keep us in hiding.

I know healing isn’t an easy task and it is often something we avoid altogether. Let’s just be honest going into the hurting places within isn’t a destination everyone is dying to visit. I’ve found in my 15 years as a counselor, that many people give up on their healing journey way too soon and struggle with hurts way longer than necessary. I’m not gonna lie, this process will make you feel vulnerable at times, but freedom is on the other side of going through and understanding your pain, not in trying your hardest to wiggle around it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

So because I experienced such freedom while doing the 40-Day Journey with this amazing group of ladies, I found the courage to face my imperfections head on and share my experience with you. Traveling together, I’ll reveal to you how God’s heart was healing mine. I’ll give you the highlights as well as the not so pretty moments I had to sit with on each day of my journey!

No excuses…Your invite is sent. I sure hope you’ll join me. I can’t guarantee it will be easy, but I can guarantee the journey will change things in you. Things maybe you didn’t realize you needed or even existed.

So before we get started, if you haven’t already grabbed your copies of Shining Freely and The 40-Day Journey, you can do that here and then you can hop on over to my YouTube page(same link) and begin your journey –NOT ALONE, but together, as I walk with you through each day!

Also, be sure to come and join me for Fireside Chats this summer. The link above will also connect you to the Fireside Chat page where you can find out more!

Pssss. Drum roll please….This is hot off the press, no one else knows but the very first Fireside Chat is going to be June 13th! Stayed tuned for more details coming soon. Can’t wait to see you around the fire!

Be Bold ~ Shine Your Light!

The 2019 Shine Mentality “But What If You Fly?”

God is within her, she will not fall… Psalm 46:5 (NIV)

I often choose a word that directs my focus for the new year. This year it is “Wonder”. I want this to be a year that I pause to marvel at and soak in the awe of every move of God in my life. I want to be surprised by him every day as I learn to intermingle my life with his empowering presence. When we are curious, ponder and seek God in new ways, we find him. That is the beauty of wonder. It allows our eyes to capture God’s heart and see from an elevated perspective.

Do you know it is true that what we look for we find? I think we often do life wrong. We are so preoccupied with the negative “what if’s” that we rarely experience the positive “what if’s”!

This phrase spotlights the Shine Mentality’s focus for 2019, “What if I fall? Oh but my Darling, What if you fly?” I want flying to be my focus this year not fear of falling. I felt the Lord nudge me that this is the year to take risks for him because he wants me to experience the wonder of what can happen when I leap! Why is it that we tend to focus on the falling instead of the flying? Especially since, where we focus, we land. We think it keeps us safe, but does it really? Or does it just keep us small, afraid to leap, and stuck in a restrictive nest when the entire sky was meant for us to explore?

This week I’m proud to say I leaped! I officially launched the Art of the Pause workshop. I’ve been working on this message for over two years now and the other night I went public with it! I shared my heart and passion in front of others. Oh, don’t be mistaken, it wasn’t without fear. The months leading up to it were torturous at times. I questioned what God was doing in me and feared I’d get up there on stage and flub it all up. The battle was intense and fierce at times. Part of me was encouraged and ready for this new stage in my life and another part of me was doubting that I was made for this at all.

But what I found when I was faithful to release what God placed on my heart to share, he was faithful to show up and strengthen my wings so I could soar. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. If I hadn’t taken the leap, I would have missed the wonder of the moment. The word that kept coming to mind at the end of the night was it was “magical”. It isn’t a term I would normally use but then I realized the synonyms fit the night perfectly. It was “extraordinary, remarkable, unbelievable, inconceivable, astonishing, unimaginable, marvelous, breathtaking, brilliant, unparalleled, mind-blowing, wondrous, beautiful and delightful”. It was everything a moment can be when we partner with the wonder of God’s presence inside of us and leap!

Pastor Bill Johnson says that “We take such small risk because we live in ignorance of what we possess.” I believe when we focus on the “what could go wrongs” in life, we fail to experience the “what could go right” and forever live ignorant of the wonder of what can happen when we partner with God and simply trust. He promises he won’t let us fall!

So decide with me that this is your year take risks for Jesus. He is so worth the risk! This is the year to stop focusing on what could go wrong and start focusing on all that could go right! We cannot afford to live ignorant of what we possess. God’s divine nature has been deposited in us to partner with us and help us accomplish more than we could ever fathom (2 Peter 1:3-8).

Why live small, when we can soar? Will you leap with me in 2019?

I’d love to hear your story and for you to share on our Facebook page where you feel God is asking you to take the leap of faith this year. I believe we grow and find the courage to leap in the presence of a community of like-minded beautiful believers who are willing to engage in experiencing the wonder of God’s heart.

Be Bold ~ Take the Leap

The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Cry Out!


“When I had nothing, desperate and defeated, I cried out to the Lord and he heard me…” Psalm 34:6.

I just have a quick little message of encouragement today! I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but I’ve been feeling this message so strongly lately. God wants you to know he never left. He is near and he is pursuing your heart to free you from the hurt others have caused. From the hurt that has made you hide and push others away. He cares. You matter. Every tear he has collected.

Loneliness is quickly becoming one of the greatest health concerns of our time. If you are feeling lonely today, you aren’t alone. I believe in this moment God’s hand is reaching out saying “I’m here. I see you. I want to sit with you until your heart grasps how deeply you are loved.” Cry out to him. He’s waiting!

Be Bold ~ Be A Light!

The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Awaken the Wonder Within!

Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. 2 Peter 1: 3 TPT

Last night I sat in absolute awe and wonder as my 10-year-old daughter performed for the very first time in front of an audience. She is an aerial acrobat! Gracefully she spins, twirls and flips through the sky. This in and of itself is an amazing feat, but if you knew what she overcame to get here you’d be even more inspired.

As a Momma we want our kids to discover who they are meant to be and grow in the confidence to share their gifts with the world. And in this moment, my jaw dropped, and a joy weld up from a place deep within me as my eyes captured her raw, natural talent on display. My daughter, who struggles with sensory processing disorder, selective mutism and anxiety, finally found her true voice!

This is the girl who shies away from even the slightest attention and even struggles to muster a few words to her closest relatives at a family gathering. But no one would have guessed last night that this is her inner battle. There were no glimpses of paralyzing anxiety. She was poised, confident and unbelievably elegant. Stunning even!

What if all it took for every one of us was to awaken to what has been within us all along?

I think many of us have lost our wonder. The concept of “Wonder” has so many beautiful meanings. I’ll just point out a few: to ponder, meditate on, be curious, and to marvel. It is “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration caused by something beautiful and unexpected.”

Who am I, who are you when mingled and intertwined with God’s divine nature? Wonder sets us free to discover and to be curious about the unexpected beauty that can arises within us in the moments we catch glimpses of our true nature. Wonder frees our eyes to see and explore the unexpected beauty God placed within us just waiting to be released into the world. Wonder causes us to open our hearts to the possibility of things completely beyond our understanding and our ability to comprehend.

2 Peter 1:3 is one of those verse for me that contains so much wonder! How could I be in possession of God’s divine nature? That he would care enough to deposit within me, in advance everything I need to live this life of love and devotion in extravagant ways. Peter goes onto say that God’s divine virtues have been “planted deep within” us and we “possess them in abundant supply”. This means we have an abundant supply of “faith, goodness, understanding, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, mercy, and unending love” deposited within us (1:5-8).

But right after Peter encourages his fellow believers with this unimaginable truth, he points to what happens when the wonder within us is lost. He says in verse 9, “But if anyone lacks these things, he is blind, constantly closing his eyes to the mysteries of our faith…”. This verse makes me say, “WHAT, could it really be all because we stopped pondering, stopped being curious, stopped being in awe of the intermingling of God’s divine nature and who we are?”

The problem my friends is not that you don’t have what it takes to do things so beyond your ability and understanding. No, the problem is that somewhere along the way you lost your wonder. You stopped seeing and believing in what he has deposited in you all along. Something happened that robbed you of your curiosity and you stopped believing in the wonder within you! We’ve all experienced things that make us doubt our true nature. Hurt that makes us doubt that something beautiful could come from us. We have to get back to believing in the wonder of who God is in us and what that makes possible!!!

Sitting there watching my daughter perform before a hundred people made me marvel at the sheer beauty that emerge from her shell.  The shell she once found so comforting, couldn’t exist in this space when she allow the beauty that had been there all along to be displayed. I didn’t even recognize her at first. But God did! He knew it was within her. I believe in that moment heaven was smiling as she connected with the wonder within her and what once seemed impossible became possible.

There is a wonder within us, each and every one of us, just waiting for our eyes to meet with our creator as he lovingly shows us who we were meant to be all along!

Be Bold ~ Release the WONDER within!

The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Breathe Deeply

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

I’m a creature of habit. I tend to follow the same routine every morning. My feet touch the floor and I’m instantly greeted by my furry-friend, Duke. He becomes my little shadow as he follows me into the bathroom while I brush my teeth. Then out to the kitchen, we go. My coffee begins to brew, and like clock-work, I start my standard yoga stretches while Duke tries his best to grab my attention. I pour my coffee into only my favorite of mugs and then plop down in my cozy created space and give myself a gift. It isn’t the gift most would expect.

I pause, slow down and breathe deeply. I settle into my own skin and notice where tension has taken up residence within me. Then I reflect on what I’m holding inside. I’ll admit it isn’t always an easy process but the end result is always the same. It settles my soul, calms my busy mind, softens my stressed muscles and opens my heart to hear. They say there is an 18-inch path from our head to our heart and I believe for most of us this passageway has been intentionally closed off or clogged with things we were meant to let go of.

My experience over the last 15 years as a counselor has taught me that we not only struggle to know how to breathe deeply, we often don’t want to! Somewhere along the way we have learned to push down, deny what is inside, and press on as the only answer.

Deep breathing is always one of the first skills I teach a client, yet one of the hardest for them to embrace. When we pause to breathe, it makes things come alive in us we often don’t want to feel. So we tighten up and clog the passageway. Of course, the result of a clogged passageway is it eventually explodes and collapses under the pressure.

Ian Cron, an author and expert on the Enneagram, mentioned in his podcast that: “We are not awake to our true selves. We go through life asleep and lost in the fictional narrative we have come to believe. There is no way out of this except through a higher source.”

Over the years I’ve been saddened to see so many hearts not fully awake to who they truly are and not beating in the way they were intended. When we block the passageway from our head to our heart, we stop the full expression of who we are from being released. We get stuck in stories we don’t want to live, and we decide that it is just too painful to breathe fully. The tension bounces around inside of us blocking God’s voice and we struggle with thoughts that lead us farther from who we were designed to be.

Have you ever noticed that one of the first things to happen when you are stressed or afraid is you hold your breath or breathe quickly and erratically? Ironically, it is exactly the opposite reaction we need to have. Shallow, non-rhythmic breathing perpetuates panic and dis-EASE! A deep, long, slow, calming exhale relaxes our bodies, calms our minds, and quells anxiety. Or at least that is what God originally designed the exhale to do.

Here is a little anatomy lesson. The exhale is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system – the system in the brain that settles us. Unfortunately, in our overwhelmed, deeply burdened culture we’ve messed up the mechanisms within our brains and we are often living stuck in the part of the brain that is hypervigilant and threat-fearing.

How do we then get back to our original design and our truest selves? First, we have to unclog the passageway from our head to our heart. We have been believing false stories that say “we aren’t enough”, “we’re damaged”, “we’ll never get better” or “We’ve failed”. This isn’t the story God wrote for us. He has so much he wants to tell us about how beautifully he created us.

The only way to become truly alive is to pause to notice and face the messages we’ve held inside that are robbing us of living the life God intended. I know it is uncomfortable. It may even be terrifying for some, but without a deep, cleansing breath, we don’t fully live. Instead, we remain on autopilot and fail to experience God’s deeper presence and the world around us as he intended. This is a hard message to swallow, but in order to wake up to who we truly are, we have to be willing to take an honest look at ourselves and breath deeply no matter how painful. I promise if you do God has a better story to unravel before you.

Be Bold~ Breathe DEEPLY!

The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Seek Truth More Than Comfort

His words burn in my heart like a fire. Its like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:9

Sometimes seeking to stay comfortable is the very thing that keeps us wounded. I’m a counselor at a school and I watched this week as 110 Sophomores squirmed and wrestled with unspoken secrets in their heart at an event we host call “Redo Day”. It’s a day of self-reflection. A day to make amends—to “Say What You Need To Say”. It is a day where it isn’t about comfort but about recognition, where we ask our students to take a good hard look at themselves, and how they’ve let the events in their life shape how they have responded and how they have treated others.

The most beautiful part of it all is seeing defenses fall as one after another owns up to their mistakes and asks for forgiveness. John Mayer plays in the background as one brave soul dares to come face to face with the person they’ve hurt and attempt to mend the deep wounds between them.

“Fighting with the shadows in your head. Living out the same old moment knowing you’d be better off instead, if you could only say what you need to say…Even if your hands are shaking and your faith is broken, even as your eyes are closing do it with a heart wide open. Say what you need to say.”

Jeremiah was just a 17-year kid struggling with his own identity when God put a message in his heart to share with a generation that didn’t want to hear what he had to say. It would have been so much easier for Jeremiah to just go along with the crowd and ignore the message God set ablaze in his heart. Afterall he wasn’t given an easy message to relay. He was asked to stand up against an entire generation and uproot and confront the way they had been living. He was asking them to take a good hard look at themselves because he knew if he didn’t that complete ruin awaited them.

I’ve often related with Jeremiah. I’ve found in my 15 years as counselor sometimes people don’t really want to hear what healing requires. Avoidance is comforting. I get it, I know that looking deep within and facing what lies in the shadows is anything but comfortable. We squirm and fidget trying to find a way out of the pressure. But one thing I know well and have seen unfold over and over again is the self-destruction that results from a life of denial.

Why do we not say what we need to say? The thing we often don’t realize is that the secrets we keep hidden never heal. Secrets exposed to light can be reshaped by a corrected perspective that sets us free from the life-long wrestling match. Unless we fight the shadows in our heads and hearts, we end up sinking deeper into limiting mindset that consume places within meant for the passion that God designed us to express.

I wish there was an easier way my friends, but sometimes you have to face your fears and say the things that terrify you so that you can finally break free of their hold over you. There is a fire within you waiting to be set free, but it can’t if you keep letting your secrets extinguish the embers.

Maybe you need to validate your own pain. Stop denying its existence or rationalizing it away. Find a trusted friend, professional or pastor to makes sense of what you have held inside. The first step to healing is always AWARENESS. I encourage you to look within, pour out your heart to God and connect with others who can help you.

Maybe you are on the other side of the equation and you need to make amends with someone you’ve hurt because you were hurt yourself. Life is too short to not say what we need say and swallow our pride. Witnessing those young souls at redo day confronting the fear of judgment and ridicule to free themselves from the deep torment within allowed beauty to result. A freedom unexpected. A heart finally free to spread more of what they were designed to carry!

Maybe you are like Jeremiah. You have message burning within you to share with the world and yet it terrifies you at the same time. God has asked us to share His message of truth with a hurting world, but he never promised it would be well received. And he definitely never said it would be comfortable! But he did promise Jeremiah that he would put his words within him and I believe he’ll do the same for us today.

God’s truth that he died to set us free and heal our every hurt, burns within me. There is a fire in my bones longing for others to experience the freedom that results when we decide to finally become real with ourselves, confront what is uncomfortable, and say what we’ve been needing to say for way too long. Don’t seek comfort, seek revelation. God’s truth is the only thing powerful enough to set you free!


The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Compose a New Melody

Compose new melodies that release new praises to the Lord. Psalm 33:3

For some reason when I think of singing, I often think of American Idol. It always amazes me how people can be so oblivious to the out of tune notes they are singing. It seems to me that it is much easier to recognize when someone else is out of tune, but we struggle to recognize it in ourselves. I think it’s true with our hearts as well and recognizing what they hold. We often fail to identify the lyrics we been believing about ourselves and the world—the lyrics that devastate our hearts and keep us from believing in the song God wants to sing over us.

The Bible tells us to “sing a new song” or compose a new melody 7 times throughout its pages. There are things that happen to us, things we experience that get our melodies off key. Ian Cron, psychotherapist, author and Enneagram teacher (a powerful tool to understand who you are and others better), talks about how every personality type has a story we tell ourselves. He points out that these stories are often “polluted and in direct opposition with God’s grace”.

What is the story you’ve been telling yourself for years? Is the melody you have been playing on autopilot in your heart leading you closer to His grace or farther from it?

Don Miller, author, and expert on creating a story says “If you want to change, pick a new story.” I think we often feel like the lines have already been written and we have no power to change what our future holds. The only thing we can’t change is the past. We can’t rewrite what has happened to us or just ignore that some of the lyrics in the songs we have lived through aren’t so hope-filled. But what we can do is compose a new melody—a new way of seeing the song that has played out. We can choose to reinterpret what our past means and how we have come to view ourselves because of it.

Sometimes we have to go back to where the melody began to take shape.  Go back to the early days and ask ourselves what were the lyrics of the song often played in our homes. The Bible tells us to” sing a new song” because life can distort the song in our hearts, and this song becomes the lyrics we live out. Is the song you are singing in your heart what you want to continue to live out? You have to witness and observe the lyrics you are choosing to believe and then decide to either keep singing them or write a new melody.

The lyrics I have had to fight to rewrite in my own life as a Type 1 Reformer “Perfectionist” (according to the Enneagram) are “You’re not perfect, you won’t make it. It is never gonna be good enough.” But God’s song over me sounds more like this: “You were born for this. Created by my hand so that your weaknesses would become my strength. Partner with my power within you, and there is no stopping what we can do!”

Oh, his song over me is so much sweeter. I want to live out His song! Zephaniah 3:17 says that “the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

He song over you is full of love and is a joyful, hope-filled song. He dances with delight when he thinks of you. He can’t wait for you to get in tune with the lyrics he has written for you. It is such a beautiful song of surrender, freedom, and unbelievable purpose.

Is the song you’ve been singing satisfying to your heart or is it deafening to your soul? Fight to write a new melody and to get in tune with God’s song over you. I promise it plays out so much more beautifully than the song you’ve been singing over yourself!


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