About

About Quakers

Quakers believe that there is ‘that of God’ in everyone. Some don’t use the word God, but the basic belief is the same. My form of Quakerism is unprogrammed; that is, we sit in silence trying to quiet our minds, waiting for God to enter. It’s sometimes frustrating and sometimes boring, but every once in a while it is gloriously transforming.

Our formal name is The Religious Society of Friends. We call each other Friend. And no, we don’t make the oats. 

About me

Short version:

I’m a transplanted American with an Irish passport, living in Belgium – between Germany, France and The Netherlands – in an area where three cultures clash and co-exist. I used to have a stress-filled life, working as a management consultant all over the US and Canada. In 2001, my husband and I quit our jobs and moved to Europe. We came here for two or three years. We’re still here. In that time, I have taught English as a second language, become a Quaker, done volunteer work with refugees and become certified as a chocolate taster and judge.

Deeper version:

I grew up in a religious family, in a faith that was very dogmatic. I was told what I believed, and that if I doubted any of it I would go to hell. I can only speak for myself, but trying to live that faith was hell itself. My response was to throw it all away. But I always believed in a greater good-ness, something more powerful than me, something that was about justice and good-ness and fairness. I call that God. 

In university I tried out various faiths, and couldn’t find one whose image of God fit with my own innate sense of God. I stopped looking, and instead turned to psychology and science and to the pursuit of success. 

This worked for me for a while, providing a measure of comfort but not fulfillment. It fed my ego but not my spirit. At a low point, broken by the drive for success, I began a spiritual journey that has brought me here. Along the way, I found a faith whose idea of God fit with mine: the Quakers. It’s ironic, because for many years I had joked that if anyone held a gun to my head and made me choose a religion it would be Quakers. 

So here I am. In order to grow as a Quaker and to respond to the inner voice calling to me I joined a two-year course entitled “Equipping for Ministry”, designed to help find the ‘right work’ for each of us. Over the time of this course, I have found that there is a quiet voice speaking to me, and often through me. This blog is my way of letting that voice reach the ones who need to hear it.