15 January 2019

reflections on going nowhere

Sometimes life feels like a series of stumbles as I grasp for reassurance that what I’ve decided to do is (or was) the right thing to do. And what I often decide is typically arranged in a linear fashion: I want to get from point A to point B.


But life doesn’t work that way. It’s very disorienting, I must say. I think it must be very infrequent that one can say, “This is what I want and here is a sure-fire way to get it.” I think that often we change what we want in the midst of the “getting”—or we discover that the way we’ve chosen to get what we want is really not the way to get it. That path leads to something else. So, we stumble.

Sometimes I think life is the art of making peace with the fact that, though we may stumble, yet there is a grace which holds us in our stumbling. Can I live graciously in the midst of such ambiguity? That is the question. If so, how do I do that?

Lord, there is so much I simply

Sometimes I feel like I’m just stumbling my way through life; meanwhile, the culture around me says I need to get my act together and figure out what I want to make of myself. Can you believe I’m in my late forties and I still haven’t decided what I want to do when I grow up? Well, believe it—‘cause that’s me, y’all.

I wonder if you can identify?  

And I can’t help but feel this is precisely what faith is for. Yes, it’s time for this doctor of theology to take his own medicine, methinks. Believe there is a goodness at work even in feeble fits and starts. May the eyes of our hearts see such goodness in a reality that meanders perhaps more than we would like.


reflections on going nowhere
by troy cady
photo: “Info” by Steve Johnson on Unsplash 

11 January 2019

do not despise small beginnings

Do not despise small beginnings. A single seed became a verdant orchard. Every human life gestates and must pass through infancy before it can reach maturity. Relationship is built on simple, intent listening—a generous gesture that often goes unnoticed because it begins with a commitment to silence our own thoughts and words.

Respect small things. Don’t underestimate the potential inherent in hidden faithfulness or the kind word spoken to someone you may never see again. Patience compounds interest. Relatively speaking, a hug is only momentary but to the runaway who returns home and is embraced by her family again, it means eternal welcome. How refreshing it feels when we make a habit of saying to ourselves each day, “What new small thing can I learn today?” How often I forget to just keep learning, to stay open—yet, how good it is to do so! An apology can be short and sweet, but how hard it is for us to do just that small thing sometimes—yet what a difference it makes.

You never know what wondrous music might break forth by just starting with a few notes. Play the notes you can and trust that, when the time comes, you’ll know what to play next as you open yourself…to play—such a small beginning, such a small grace, the soul’s way of smiling.


do not despise small beginnings
by troy cady

*photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash


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10 January 2019

my prayer for today

I don’t know what tomorrow holds
but I know your grace is enough
to carry me through today.

So, today I let go of fear
and ask you to strengthen me
with the assurance of
your good intentions for all.

Today, I let go of the hurts
that angered me yesterday;
help me to forgive and
nurse no malice towards anyone.

Today, let no bitter root grow;
let no despair be grounded in doubt.
Instead, let hope, praise,
and gratitude flourish.

By your grace,
I say no to confusion.
Jesus, center me.
Spirit of God, make me simple;
captivate my heart with your singular love;
saturate my mind with wonder for your truth;
direct my words and actions
to reflect your beauty.

Make me happy
to do even a small good today.
Show me how even the most mundane task
is infused with your glorious delight.

This day, I dedicate all my doing,
thinking, and speaking to you,
moment by moment—
let my every breath
be a gift I give back to you.
Help me seek first
not my own way but
your rule in my life—
and, as I do so,
provide just what I need for today
and protect me from harm
both from within and
from without.

Make me strong
in gentleness and humility.
Help me be willing and glad
to be that servant
who goes unnoticed,
who serves not for recognition,
but just for the privilege of serving.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds,
but I pray you grant me these graces
just for today.


my prayer for today
by troy cady

07 January 2019

When You're Loved

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
When you’re loved unconditionally, there’s no reason to fear anymore. Life can fully flourish in you. To love is to help another hope again. Indeed, I wonder if there is any greater hope than the hope to be loved?

The child who is loved is a child who can grow—and our continued maturation through adulthood is tied to our capacity to just love and be loved. Love frees you to be you. Love is secure.

In love, we find strength. Love holds you when you just need to be held. Love gives you rest when you’re just plain dog-tired. Love believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself.

Love stretches you, too, but only because Love loves you. Love’s stretching is never guilt-driven or shame-based. When you’re stretched by love, the soul expands by grace, with grace and in grace. Love’s stretching helps us hold more grace.

There’s no reason to fear being stretched. When you’re loved unconditionally, there’s no reason to fear anymore.

My prayer is that you would know this Love first-hand and make a home in Love.


When You’re Loved
by Troy Cady

Playfulness starts from the inside and works its way out. It's about freedom of spirit. PlayFull exists to cultivate this kind of freedom in others. To stay abreast of more encouraging thoughts, we invite you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Thank you for reading!

05 January 2019

Peter, on the twelfth day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love said to me,

“Do you love me?
I know you believe in me—
but do you love me?
That’s all I want,
all I’ve ever wanted.
Listen: I see the many things
you do for me—all that work
borne of good intentions—
but I’m not asking you
to do more for me;
I just want to be with you—
I love you.
If you really need
to do something for me
to show me your love,
just do this:
notice me.
Look for me in others,
and when you see me there,
notice inside yourself
the thrill of recognition—
as if you’ve just found me
playing hide-and-seek
like a childhood friend.
Then, just tell others
how you see me in them—
because when you tell them,
you’re really telling me.
So, I ask again,
‘Do you love me?’”

My true love asked this
three times,
far fewer than the counting
of my countless denials,
but more than the
single measureless life
he gave for me.
Do I love him?
Yes, I do—
but I’m still learning
and I need help, so—
will you love him with me?


Peter, on the twelfth day of Christmas
by troy cady
after John 21:15-19

January 5, 2019

02 January 2019

Social Media: Control + Alt + Delete

Social Media: Control + Alt + Delete
by Troy Cady

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
While it is possible to sustain a playful way of relating to social media, it is not always easy. Many people this time of year decide to intentionally limit their social media usage or cut it out altogether for a while (or permanently). Indeed, experts in the fields of mental, emotional, and spiritual health recommend as much.

Social media usage even has effects that can be detrimental to one’s physical health. Consider this list from a recent article by the BBC World Service.[i]

• Dopamine - A pleasure neurochemical linked with instant reward but also addiction. Technology is increasingly being designed to specifically trigger the release of dopamine.

• Adrenaline - Best known for regulating our responses in fight-or-flight situations, but also released by likes and pokes on social media.

• Cortisol - The hallmark of stressed-out, sleep-deprived, too-busy and distracted individuals.

• Oxytocin - Released when we have exchanges in a meaningful connection. It is generally healthy but online predators can tap into its effects to abuse their victim's trust.

• Serotonin - Released when we are creative, connected, and contributing.

• Endorphins - The "painkiller" of the body. Released when we experience mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and cardiovascular exercise.

Those who limit or abstain from social media discover these alternatives are healthier:

Reading or listening to audiobooks (or podcasts)

Journaling, creative writing or sending hand-written letters

Drawing, painting or taking photographs

Exercising or playing sports; even going for a short 15-minute walk can do wonders

Playing unplugged games

Working with your hands: needlework, gardening, crafts, sculpture

Spending time with a friend

Taking a class to learn a new skill or to learn about a topic of interest to you

Dancing or listening to live music—there are plenty of free options available if you look for them

Practicing prayer, meditation or simple breathing exercises

Participating in a local church or other faith community

Volunteering for a good cause

Trying out some new recipes

Attending a storytelling group that meets weekly or monthly (they are not as threatening as you might imagine!)

As you set goals for healthy living in 2019, what real-life practices feel life-giving to you? Even choosing just one or two things to do regularly can make a world of difference. PlayFull encourages you to live a life beyond the digital world; you’ll thank yourself for it!

And, yes: we’re aware of the irony that we just used social media to post these thoughts! :-)

[i] List by Pablo Uchoa, “Why a ‘tech diet’ should be your New Year’s resolution,” BBC World Service. Source:  http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20181227-why-a-tech-diet-should-be-your-new-years-resolution. Accessed: January 2, 2019.