How Did Praying with Mandalas Come About?

How did Praying with Mandalas come about? Was it something you had thought about doing for a long time or a sudden inspiration?

About three years ago I began a new ministry called Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction and Retreat Ministries. The serious story behind the silly name: When Jonah was in the belly of the whale, he prayed, reconnected with God, and gained the strength to step back into the world and be who God had called him to be. That is the essence of spiritual direction and spiritual formation retreats—we pray, reconnect with God, and

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Mandalas and Contemplative Coloring

For those unfamiliar with mandalas and/or contemplative coloring, briefly describe what each is and why you’ve written a book centered on them.

Contemplative coloring is a general term used to describe the process of coloring in a meditative and prayerful way. You can do contemplative coloring with any coloring design.

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Author’s Hope for Readers

What do you hope readers will take away from reading (and coloring) Praying with Mandalas?

Rather than feeling like prayer is something that we should do, I hope that Praying with Mandalas can help make prayer feel like something that we want to do.

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Four Prayer Styles

Your book focuses on four prayer styles. Briefly describe each and how your book helps readers understand and apply them to their prayer life.

Lectio divina is praying with scriptures in such a way that people see how God is active and present in their lives. Reading scripture slowly, intentionally, and carefully listening for a word that speaks to our present circumstances helps make scripture relevant for our lives today.

Intercessory prayer is remembering the needs of others in prayer.

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Who Is This Book For?

For whom is Praying with Mandalas written?

It is written for anyone who seeks a hands-on, enjoyable way to enter into a deeper and more regular experience of prayer. It is for folks who love to color and those who are reluctant to color but willing to give it a try!

Author’s Thoughts on Readers Using the Book

How do you envision readers using Praying with Mandalas?

I imagine folks using Praying with Mandalas as a tangible way to embrace a regular practice of contemplative prayer. There is a misconception that only the most holy among us can engage in contemplative prayer. I believe that each of us

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How Readers Have Used the Book

How have readers used and benefited from Praying with Mandalas?

Readers have used Praying with Mandalas in ways far beyond my initial intention as a personal or small-group devotional resource. It has been used by parents and children for family prayer time (one family even has special prayer pencils that only come out for coloring the Praying with Mandalas book), hospital chaplains,

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Author’s Prayers for the Book

What are your hopes and prayers for Praying with Mandalas?

I pray that it will continue to be a simple yet powerful way for people to spend time with God on purpose and to learn how to live out of a place of God-centeredness rather than self-centeredness.

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A Little About the Author

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What brings you joy? What keeps you up at night?

It is so hard to know how to describe oneself so that others might know a bit of my story beyond the usual “graduated from” and “has worked at” sort of biographical highlights. I currently live just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, with my husband, two children, and dog, Bear, but I have been blessed to call many places in the world home.

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How God Blessed the Author

How did God bless you while writing Praying with Mandalas?

I have found that the only way I can write is from a place of rest, peace, and calm. Yet that can be an extremely hard place to find in my busy life—as I am sure is the case for many!

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