Shari Thomas

How Do We Experience Inner Soul Rest?

Is it possible to live with rhythms of work and rest in today’s society? More importantly, how do we experience inner soul rest? These questions surfaced after my last blog post, “Too Much.”

We’re not the only ones asking these questions. Time’s cover story last week was dedicated to the rising depression and anxiety in teens. The drama in junior and senior high school is magnified to a tipping point as teens struggle to [...]

Too Much….

This summer I began writing on a life-long interest, survival and resiliency, only to discover that my friend Penny Freeman was doing the same. Here are her thoughts:

I am learning about resiliency for my new life stage (sixth decade of life, fourth decade of marriage, having less energy, a weaker body, and grandchildren who expand my heart and my desire to run until I am dead).  Resiliency fascinates me because I am staring down [...]

What is Bothering You Today?

Are you overwhelmed? Anxious? Are there too many pending deadlines weighing on you?

I went on vacation this summer intending to work several hours each afternoon. We arrived at the beach Saturday afternoon. I planned to begin writing on Monday. For years, I’ve been reading and meditating on rhythms of work and rest. Sometimes I even practice what I’m learning. It took me a full day and a half, however, to recognize the humor of [...]

By |September 27th, 2016|Shari Thomas|3 Comments|

Longing for the Perfect World

September 2001 was the beginning of another church calendar year, school year, car pool schedule, fall sports, children’s church, new member lunches and the revolving door of people who came through our home. We were heading into the fourth year of our church plant drawing a unique group of skeptics, de-churched and addicts. Visiting families didn’t usually come back. Our struggling children’s ministry experienced more kids leaving then joining.

And I? I was the frantic [...]

By |September 12th, 2016|Shari Thomas|1 Comment|


We met for a simple summer lunch, both showing up in our straw sunhats. I had barely slipped into the booth before we both started talking at once. “Let me tell you the idea that came to me last night.” She announced. “I’m getting edibles.” My mind raced, trying to make sense out of what she was saying. I asked a few questions but she couldn’t hear me. “I forgot to put my hearing [...]

By |September 2nd, 2016|Shari Thomas|3 Comments|

Reentry & Group Stages

“I caught a taxi and I’m heading home” I texted my husband after our leadership intensive. John was waiting to hear about Parakaleo’s newest training event and I knew he was eager to discuss how he could use it in his work.

We both travel so you’d think we’d be accustomed to the rituals of reentry. But even with the best of plans it always requires more work then we expect. After John’s own full [...]


Backpack, beach bag, exercise roller and a sun hat large enough to shade two completes my traveling ensemble, and I head to the airport.

I’ve prepared for and anticipated this trip more than most. I’m heading home to Cuba. I haven’t been back in over eight years. And this time I’m going with my daughter, who is working on doctoral research, and my one-year-old grandson. I can’t wait to show him off, to speak Spanish, [...]

God, we yield to your ways. But we don’t like them. Not now. Not today.

We would hear our girls’ laughter drift down from playing dress up. Interruptions of anger over older brothers pranks. Years of prayers. Joys. Heartaches. Change. We grey and wrinkle, waiting. Death comes but not for us. Not yet. God, we yield to your ways. But we don’t like them. Not now. Not today.

I penned these words this morning when I learned of Kappel Cloninger’s unexpected death at 27 years old. As parents you know. [...]

It’s Not Too Late to Stop the Madness

Do you still have cookies to bake? Presents to wrap? Or horrors, presents yet to buy? I can check yes for all of the above and more.

Consider this: Are you being invited to faith in action or faith in waiting right now? According to the gospel, neither doing all you think you need to do or not doing all you think you need to do has value. It’s faith in the work Jesus Christ [...]

By |December 22nd, 2015|Shari Thomas|2 Comments|

The Art of Storytelling

When you look at your life, what do you see? How do you make sense of the world around you? How is your story similar to or unique from the stories of others? Do you tend to compare yourself to others? Do you tend to blame others or yourself when you don’t get what you think you deserve?

We approach the questions of life with certain presuppositions—filters through which we [...]