Entering In

For Sunday, March 5, 2017 – Matthew 4:1-11

All of us need wake-up calls and the opportunity to start over, which is some of what Lent offers to us. From Ash Wednesday’s sober reminder that we come from a common source, that in our very substance we are the same—no more than, or less than, good old everlasting dust—to Easter morning’s glory and grand surprise of resurrection, it is a heartfelt time of relinquishing and deepening into our humbled lowly selves and our little part in God’s big story.

It is an awesome mystery to ponder, yet who would actually choose it, to enter down into the muck of our own thoroughly human nature, all of our lack of power and control on full display, our uncertainties about our soul’s condition and whether or not resurrection is real right here and now? Let’s make a circle and discuss it, shall we?

But strange things do happen on the way to Ash Wednesday. For me this year it is pneumonia, complicated by other conditions, which now requires me, all of a sudden, to stop. Stop discussing Lent, stop talking about it, stop searching for its real meaning. Just stop. Get reacquainted with dust.

So I will lay down inward/outward and other activities for an unknown period of time. Remember that www.inwardoutward.org is the site where you will find previous postings if you want to read offerings from earlier Lenten seasons. Past lectionary reflections are under the tab called The Story.

May we each enter more deeply into our own relinquishment, ready for whatever God proposes, and may it be a restorative time for us all. With gratitude for all of you, faithful readers. – Kayla


  1. David Abbott says:

    May God’s healing power and presence be a strong and calming presence during your time of recovery. May you feel wave upon wave of prayer washing over you each moment of each day. And though your “voice” may be silent to the many who listen each day, may we strive to live out but one of the many words you’ve spoken until you return to speak once again for grace, justice, and love.

    • Beloved Kayla Sending prayers or healing and blessings and hope this time feels more like gentle desert tusn harsh exile. You are loved. sue clarke

    • Thank you for the courage to honor yourself and being a beautiful role model for the (beloved) community you have drawn.
      The light of God surrounds you – us.
      The love of God enfolds you -us.
      The power of God protects you – us.
      The presence of God watches over you – us.
      Wherever you, we, are, God is
      and all is well.
      Blessings to you and to all.

    • Lynn priemer says:

      Your reflections have been so helpful. I will miss them. There is always the letting go for the new to emerge. Thank you so much and I pray for a speedy recovery for you.

    • Your thoughts have been such a gift, lifting us with holy wisdom. Thank you for nourishing my soul. Now rest, be still… allow God’s healing presence to hold you in His firm embrace.

  2. Charlie Grover says:

    Blessing and healing, peace and assurance, to you Kayla. You are a blessing to us. Christ guard you as you rest in him.

  3. Thank you, Kayla. And may God bless your rest.

  4. I will miss this daily delight and especially miss the expression of your heart in your weekly posts. I do commend you for stopping, resting, and quieting your body, your soul and your spirit. May you find refreshment, experience the rising of new joys, and relish in quiet and deep moments with the One who loves us more than we can possibly know. Thank you for the courage to share your life’s journey with all of us.
    Blessing upon blessing to you.

    • Betty Luce says:

      I couldn’t say it more eloquently. Will miss your reflections each day. Praying for restoration of your health and energy.

  5. Mary Lou McMillin says:

    Kayla, so sorry that you are sick with pneumonia & other complications. Grateful you are taking care of yourself. Know that you & your wise words will be greatly missed! And knowvtoo that I will be holding you in prayer … praying for healing & strength & comfort…and for angels to minister unto you. With love & blessings,

  6. Lilian Revel says:

    May your beautiful dust recover soon. So sorry to hear about your illness. I’ll miss your inspiring words. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. Robyn Dadig says:

    I, too, shall miss these thought-provoking reflections, but will enjoy going to the home page and feeding on past reflections. May you rest -spiritually and ohysically – in God, and find times of refreshing and renewal, physical healing, soul restoration, and quiet joy. Blessings on you, Kayla.

  8. Anne Bosch says:

    Like Donna, I am grateful, so very grateful, for you and Inward/outward! This daily offering has been part of “what gets me up in the morning” ! May you rest and heal in Love.

  9. With gratitude for your gifts and with prayers for your healing. Great solution for people to simply go back to past postings and you can be free to rest. Rest deeply, heal deeply, and mingle with the dust and it’s gifts. Love,
    Dorothy Cresswell

  10. Elise Dennis says:

    Along with the others, Kayla, I too will miss these daily readings and will be keeping you in prayer for full healing and restoration. I seem to remember your once sharing how Gordon urged you to take time for rest and renewal (cookies and milk???) during a particularly stressful period. May you sense his encouraging and loving spirit with you as you also experience a deeper closeness to Jesus during this special Lenten journey. Blessings to you.

  11. vanessa says:

    Thank you Kayla for all your inspiring and heart-felt words. Take care. Rest well …and keep listening.

  12. Betty Little says:

    Nice to know you are taking care of yourself Kayla. Not only do I read your postings on my computer but get a double dose at church as our associate pastor is partial to your postings. We see them in our Sunday bulletin a lot.. John & I always smile since we are acquainted with the author.
    Blessings as you recoup. Betty Little

  13. Catharine Guest says:

    Prayers of healing and rest – as you abide in the knowledge that though we are but dust and to dust we will return – in the hands of our mighty Lord, the breath of the Spirit renews us – new life comes – these bones will indeed live with new purpose and vigor – because Lent is but the time of spring as dry dirt is broken in upon by blades of green as God makes all things new! Easter’s coming! Thanks be to God!

  14. C Majors says:

    I join the choir of deep gratitude. What you cull and share here are a blessing every day. Silence will make this Lenten journey into unknown space – letting go is the true wonder of this world. May there be blessings and grace along the way for you, as I/O is for others. May you be restored in this time, knowing your work in the world lives and breathes on.

  15. mary beth emerson says:

    prayers for deep and complete healing, prayers of gratitude for your ministry, Kayla. may these weeks in the dust lead to glorious light and freedom as you experience resurrection with and through Jesus.

  16. Alicia Conklin-Wood says:

    Thank you Kayla for the grace filled gifts you have brought to us week after week. When I have been down and wondering what’s it all about your thoughtful meditations gave me new life. Rest now and be re-created in Love.

  17. Blessings of peace and healing to you,Kayla! We will be searching The Story as you recover. Anxious to hear your insights on the other side of illness. May you breath in a bit of resurrection this Lenten season – may we all!

  18. Joyce O Crutchfield says:

    Dear Kayla –

    Thank you for all your wisdom and the example you set by your being. May you find rest and renewal for your body, mind and soul. I will miss your posts and I’m glad you are taking care of yourself. Prayers and blessings!

  19. Kayla, may you find a new courage to help you heal . It took courage to choose to stop your commitments. It took courage to say these words out loud that you are taking a break.

    Pneumonia drains the lungs and the heart. It saps our ability to use oxygen. God made healing from pneumonia a necessary halting because our vital organs are fighting for every breath.

    I join the rest of the family in prayers for you and I/O ministry.

  20. Mary Louise Fisher says:

    Rest heart, spirit,
    Rest mind, body.
    All shall be well,
    and all shall be well.

    With deep gratitude to you for sharing your journey.

  21. May the real and living presence of Jesus be with you during this difficult time in your life.

  22. May the courage you have given us to live the journey be yours this day as you choose rest and renewal for your own dear self.

  23. Dear Kayla,

    We are sending up prayers for your complete healing! Even in your “absence” from this space you’ll be with us. May you know yourself to be blessed and accompanied every step of the way.

    In deep gratitude.

  24. So very grateful for your ministry. Praying for your healing and restoration. Yes, rest. Sink into the deep mystery that is our bodies and trust the healing power of deep rest.

  25. Ted Hicks says:

    Take care of yourself, Kayla. Let go for awhile and be cared for.


  26. Mary Wheaton says:

    Praying this time of inward restoration brings about a speedy and full recovery. God bless you!!

    Journey well,

  27. Deb Steytler says:

    Rest easy . Renewal in unexpected and familiar ways await you. You postings have been nourishing to this ethical humanist.

  28. Zoya Walker says:

    May healing come more quickly than expected! May the Lord make His presence known daily as you recover.

  29. Sarah Erickson says:

    Praying healing mercies for you, rest, comfort, peace as you recover.

  30. Charlotte Campbell says:

    Kayla, I am so sorry you are having to contend with pneumonia. I am also moved by the way I hear you meeting this time of letting go and surrendering to the flow. I will be sending you my own version of Inward/Outward healing thoughts every morning whether or not others’ inspiring thoughts greet me in my Inbox. May you find restoration in this time of rest and silence.

  31. May you find healing and a full recovery during this time of rest. I will miss your weekly reflections — they are a blessing each week. Now is your time to rest and be blessed. Healing prayers to you.

  32. Deanna Bowling says:

    May you know, Kayla, that I also stand amongst those who are praying for you for a full recovery from whatever is going on with you, including pneumonia and the other complicating issues. I will miss you in your absence, but would at the same time feel so guilty if you put I/O before your health.

    So, prayers for you that you are able to rest and recover without any regrets. Prayers that you know that we all love you, but mostly that GOD loves you tremendously.

    See you on the turn around.

    Love, hugs and prayers,


  33. Adding my voice to all those above, Kayla.

  34. Alice Rutherford says:

    I will miss your forward-thinking wisdom , Kayla. You often provide a refreshing new perspective on scripture, and I have found myself wishing, sometimes, as I prepare for a Sunday morning reflection, that your weekly reflection came earlier in the week to spark my own sometimes jaded thinking! I will hold you in the Light. As winter moves into spring, and Lent moves towards Easter, may your body, mind, and soul heal and refresh.

  35. Carol Hunter says:


    May you find the healing you need as you lay aside your usual tasks for the vital work of rest. Your situation reminds me of my own Lent two years ago. Heart related. I encourage you: there is resurrection after laying down in the dust. I will miss your wonderful posts. They bring healing to me. I thank God for your ministry. I also thank God for the healing in store for you. May the Breath of Life fill you and sustain you. Shalom.

  36. Sara Griffi says:

    Gratitude for the lovely dust you are…. I will truly miss your presence in my life. Peace…

  37. Dear Kayla,
    I am holding you in prayer. My dear friend and closest colleague is also dealing with the same or a similar thing. May your healing be full and complete and may the journey be filled with grace.

  38. Blessings Dear Kayla.

    You and your writings have inspired and provoked me to dig deeper inside where my God resides. May you find peace and restorative healing through the extravagant mercy and love of the Master Physician.

  39. Gayle Sparks says:

    Joining so many others in sending healing prayers to you, Kayla. You are surrounded by such an outpouring of love and encouragement during your time of healing. Gayle

  40. Larraine Wood says:

    Dear Kayla,
    How we will miss your daily messages of encouragement and wisdom…a wonderful gift. We pray for you as you walk this unexpected part of your journey.
    We have happy memories of staying with you in Adams Morgan when we were visiting the Church of the Savior in 2005.
    May you be richly blessed as you take this time to heal.
    Larraine and Rob Wood
    Tamworth NSW Australia

  41. Sandy Londa says:

    Dear Kayla,
    I’ll be praying for the rest and recovery you need at this time. I have appreciated your reflections over the past several years; they have been food for my soul!

  42. Elaine Gilchrist says:

    I shall miss your insightful commentary on the daily readings. .Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching with the wider world. May God’s hand of healing be on you at this time.

  43. Ann Held says:

    Dear Kayla,
    You always bring wisdom and insights with your writings. So that will be greatly missed. May this time of being ,be surrounded by God’s grace and love. Prayers for healing and peace.

  44. Martha Frances says:

    Prayers for your pneumonia, Kayla. Thanks again for the hospitality I received from you after my brother’s funeral just a year ago this month. You are a dear. I’ve done the pneumonia thing several times & hope you heal well & soon.

  45. Kathy Rohlman says:

    Praying for restoration and healing in this Lenten season! May you be renewed and refreshed and able to sing Alleluia on Easter morning. Grace and Peace!

  46. Kayla, I take with me in my being all the gifts you have given. I pledge to live out of my more compassionate being in your honor. Your being, whether communicated in this way or not, continues it’s powerful witness.

    you are loved. I will try to be like you going forward with everyone I meet.

    I hope you will be blessed in every way that God desires. XXXOOOXXX Kathy

  47. Anna Kathleen says:

    I join the many others praying for your healing at this time. Thank you for carrying the light for us so well and for so long. Rest and heal, beloved of God,
    Anna Kathleen

  48. Ronald L Stilwell says:

    Thank you for your thought-provoking words of inspiration each week that touch my mind and soul. Glad to hear that you are taking time away to rest and heal. Bless you for being a Lenten model for self-reflection and self care. Peace, Ron

  49. Ronald L Stilwell says:

    May your time away be restful and healing. Thank you for being a good model for us all.



  50. Deb Steinkamp says:

    With all these others, I too will be praying for you as you rest and are restored to health. Thank you for sharing your reflections with us all these years.
    Blessings of Peace,
    Deb Steinkamp

  51. Praying for you, Ms. Kayla,, and grateful for what I havae received from your ministry.

  52. Carol Ingells says:

    So sorry you are ill, but grateful you are wise enough to slow down. You are in my prayers. Thanks for Inward/Outward. It is a real ministry.

  53. Jeanne Jemison says:


    Reading through these comments comforts me that you are held in love and in prayers for healing. You have and continue to be used by God to point us toward the healer of our bodies and our souls. May you receive the full measure of love and support these messages and many other untyped comments and prayers represent. I hope you can read and reread them as you take time to heal and that you can experience all the gratitude they communicate.

  54. Lora Langston says:

    Prayers to you, Kayla, that the sustenance you have so freely given to so many returns to you tenfold, resulting in new joy and inspiration. Thank you for your valuable voice.

  55. Healing blessings. May the gifts you have offered through daily postings on inward/outward return to you a hundredfold~

  56. I am grateful, dear Kayla, for all that you mean to me and to so many others. Your ministry has been life-giving to numerous people, as is obvious by all of the beautiful comments.

    May God continue to bless you and bring peace, comfort, and healing.

    I send much love.

  57. Barbara Gawle says:

    God hold you close to heart as you heal and return to strength. Our Gospel (Catholic) invited us on Sunday to reflect on our time in the Garden (Eden) and our time in the desert (Jesus). Makes for an interesting reflection and while you deal with the desert trials may you come to know soon the garden delights of healing and wholeness.

  58. g myers says:

    will miss your posts and inspirations. always a great focus towards God in our world every day. Hope you heal physically, emotionally and spiritually and take the time you need to do so. Blessing and prayers.

  59. Nancy Newell says:

    I am so grateful for the many ways your reflections have enriched my journey and that of our congregation. We will be holding you in the light of God’s restoring love .

  60. Mary H. Mele says:

    This last sentence you wrote, Kayla, will be my mantra this Lent, and a prayer for both of us.

    May we each enter more deeply into our own relinquishment, ready for whatever God proposes, and may it be a restorative time for us all.

  61. Dear Kayla,
    As you have opened God’s word to many may you open wide to God’s gentle Healing Love.
    I,too, had pneumonia at the same time, I believe, so it is easy to remember to pray for you.(and me).
    Let us rest in His Love in this sacred season.
    In deep gratitude, Lucy

  62. Michael Jenkins says:

    May you have a nourishing rest and experiece the same of strength and spiritual boost you have given to so many of us!

  63. Victoria S. Schmidt says:

    I have asked our 2,000 members of Theresians
    International to pray for your healing of mind, body and soul. May this time be a time of healing so you may return to your vital and important ministry of writing and sharing your insights. We will miss you, your wisdom and your generosity.

  64. Kathy Goering says:

    I pray God resurrect your body as you minister to so many with your wisdom. I miss you.

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