It’s launch day for my dear friend Becky Eldredge!!!!
I met Becky on a young adult retreat in Dallas 7 years ago. (How have seven years gone by since that retreat?) It was there where I was first introduced to Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction. I spent many mornings in her home sipping cups of coffee in her cozy office. When Becky announced her new book on social media, I knew immediately that it was a book I needed to read. Not only is the cover one of my favorite colors, but there was a prompting deep within that this was a book I needed in my life. I’ve made it through about half the book and it has already changed my life and my relationship with God. It truly brings me back to that little office being guided by Becky’s stories and her wisdom.
As a stay-at-home Mom, learning about my inner chapel has changed my life. This book reminded that I have my inner chapel to retreat to in the still moments of the day, even if it’s only for five minutes. God can work miracles every second we give him. I need this inner chapel now more than ever as we find ourselves sheltering in place and only seeing the outside world when we go on walks.
For example, this past Wednesday morning, I had a Zoom Doctors appointment and as I waited for my doctor to start the call. I sat in my room and entered my inner chapel. It was only for five minutes but those precious minutes brought me more peace than I could have imagined as I began to ponder the Gospel from Spy Wednesday. A week ago, I would have just wasted time but that day I used it for much needed spiritual nourishment.
My favorite nugget of spiritual nourishment is nine simple words spoke to Becky and shared with her readers. “Who I am in God is Who I am.” Those simple words have been written on my own heart and God keeps unpacking the wisdom and his promises within then!
I was able to sit down with Becky, through e-mail cause you know we’re all social distancing and we live in separate states! :), and ask her some questions about her life, her faith, and her new book!
- Favorite drink: “Coffee, water, and wine! :)”
- Favorite food: “Chips and Salsa”
- Favorite place to pray: “In my chair in my prayer space in my home or outside in nature”
- Favorite book of the Bible: “Ohhh! This is tough. The Psalms, John or Phillipians”
- Favorite Saint: “ Ignatius of Loyola with St. Teresa of Avila and St. Mother Teresa being close behind”
- Favorite song: “This is so hard to narrow down. For writing The Inner Chapel it was Take a Moment by Will Raegan”
What is your favorite part/chapter of your new book, The Inner Chapel? Yes, I know that this is like asking you who your favorite kid is! 🙂
“Some of my favorite parts of the book are sharing the memories with my grandparents and their wisdom. They had such an influence on my life and my faith that it feels like a way of saying “thank you” for all they taught me.”
How do you fit in prayer with your many responsibilities as a writer and as a Mom of 3?
“When I was in college, a religious sister, named Sr. Ily helped me think through how to pray in a busy life. She invited me to make time for the relationship that matters most in life. Since then, I have had a set time of prayer each day. It has changed as my kids have grown up. When they were babies, I prayed while rocking them or nursing them. When they had regular naptimes, I often prayed during their naps. As they got older and still in the present, I get up before my kids do in the morning to have some quiet moments to be with God. That routine of getting up each morning and making time for prayer has changed my life.”
You’ve had many holy men and women journey with you throughout your faith journey inspiring you to a deeper relationship with God. What advice do you have to someone who doesn’t have this kind of support in their lives?
“First and foremost, know you are not alone. God is with you. Second, pray for God to bring people like this in your life. Third, go seek them out. Many of the people of faith I have met came from a “yes” to an invitation to participate in something. When in high school, I was invited to attend a Catholic leadership program. I said “yes”, and through that met a ton of people who inspired and continue to inspire my faith. I have attended many retreats and met and listened to many wise retreat facilitators. Also, I began working with a spiritual director over twenty years ago. This time each month to tend deeply to my prayer life and my relationship with God supports my faith and invitation to always go deeper.”
How do you incorporate prayer and our Catholic faith in your family life with your children?
“Such a great question! Chris, my husband and I, talk about this often. For prayer, we begin all meals with prayer. Most nights (please read “most” nights) we do family prayer before bed. This is nothing formal, but we pile into one of the kids’ beds and say prayers together. Sometimes, it is a simple praying a memorized prayer together. Other times, we might do a family Examen or share intentions.
For our Catholic faith, we attend mass each Sunday as a family. We bring Catholic symbols into our home such as the Saints. Right now, sitting on our kitchen table is a candle that each family member made that has medals of the Saints each person chose tied on twine. We light these candles before our evening meal, and we call on these Saints to intercede for our family. At holidays, we bring in rituals of our faith into our day to day life also. Things such as the Advent wreath and Jesse tree during Advent.”
We all currently find ourselves in an unprecedented global pandemic, it’s a stressful and uncertain time for us all. What is your go-to prayer or prayer method in times of stress and anxiety?
“The Examen is my go-to prayer method when I am stressed or feeling overwhelmed. It is a five step prayer that allows my brain to go step by step, and yet the prayer opens up my heart to bring my entire life before God.” Becky has an audio guided Examen meditation found here: Guided Examen with Becky Eldredge
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who is just beginning the journey of going to their inner chapel and nurturing their relationship with God?
“Know you are not alone. God is with you. As much as you desire the relationship with God, God desires one with you even more. It is always about the next right step. Start with a set time of prayer each day. Begin with 5-10 minutes of prayer allowing a few moments of silence for God to speak to you as well. Finding a spiritual director is also a great tool for support!”
What is one thing you want people to know about your new book?
“I want people to know that because the inner chapel exists- we are never alone. God is always with us, and that we are given beautiful promises to build our lives upon.”
Thank you, Becky, for taking the time to answers my questions! It was such a joy to read your responses. If you enjoyed this interview, even more of her wisdom can be found in her book, The Inner Chapel. If you’ve been wanting to grow deeper in your relationship with God, I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book and grab some from your family and friends. Her book can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Loyola Press. #TheInnerChapel