Being, Not Striving

Gwen is a happily married woman of 40 years, the mom of four sons and a grandmother who loves her role! I met Gwen through our SoulStream spiritual direction training and we made a superb connection together. We also did some listening prayer together which was another connecting experience. We have even found a longtime friend in common. Gwen has been involved in Youth with a Mission with her husband for almost 40 years and with all of the above has found time to receive a Bachelor of Education from UBC and a Master’s of Ministry with SSU. As part of her studies she wrote an 89-day devotional for the students of her program. She loves writing and is a prolific journaller. I am happy to introduce my friend Gwen and her thoughtful posting on Being, not Striving.


Being, Not Striving

By Gwen Neufled


For a person like me, the eldest of seven siblings and a worrier, the aspiration to a more contemplative life-style presents daily challenges. I sit down in a prayerful posture, seeking to concentrate on the face of Jesus, striving to just BE with Him.




That may be the crux of the matter for me. Contemplation is NOT about striving.

Still I strive to bring my concentration back to center in the midst of remembering all the things clamoring to be done and people needing to be attended to. I remind myself of the need to trust that ‘everything belongs’. I feel Him smiling at my efforts. I feel Him giving me hints about how to deal with the demands of daily life. I feel His gentleness and I meditate again on His loving kindness. I’m no mystic. But I am falling deeper and deeper into Love.



  1. terri white says:

    I would love to see her 89 page devotional if it is on this! Anything else she has written?

  2. Marie says:

    Wow, I just love this entry. Thanks for writing this :) I have been practicing over the last week, to just sit and be with Him, and it is amazing what peace He is enfusing me with throughout the hectic moments of the day…it brings a smile to my face and heart to remember His beautiful presence in the right now. He is so gentle. And I relate to — with joy that He is loved by others, and that I am not alone in my depth of affection for Someone invisible!– falling deeper into Love.

    • Gwen says:

      Oh, Marie, won’t heaven be amazing
      when we will all sing our adoration in unity!!!!!

    • Hi Kim, thanks so much for this post! I actullay followed the link from Chris’ post over here to read what you had to say and agree totally. We can sleepwalk through life on autopilot and not be mindful or take notice of our surroundings. This is true whether you’re doing the 9-5 commute or on a whirlwind tour of hundreds of countries. I have made a more concerted effort to work 10-15 min. of quiet meditation into each day, to calm and quiet the restless mind, and develop more awareness. Look forward to reading more!

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