Womb Time (Day 18, Saturday)

February 28, 2021, By: Jimmy Scruggs

Starter Prayer: God of my rising and my falling, help me live according to my own rhythms, especially the elusive gifts of rest and renewal.

Focus Phrase: Womb Time

Today concludes the second full week of Lent and is the last day of the Listen theme. 

I can’t remember when I first started thinking about rest, sleep, renewal and rebirth as “womb time”, but I do. Hannah Garrity’s art and reflection on Psalm 22 has inspired me to share this Womb Time idea with you. Some of these thoughts are adapted from the work of Christine Valters Painter.

Human life begins in a watery womb. We spend our first months of life in water and then emerge from beautiful darkness into the world. And our need for womb time never goes away. We swaddle and hum to our newborns, providing them with enough womb time during the first months of life. And then humans of all ages, retreat into sleep every night. Sleep is womb time.

Even in our waking hours, we have womb time– hiking in the forest, relaxing at the ocean or riverside, going to the movies. We take vacations to sacred places where we feel no pressure to produce and where our energies are renewed– camping, a hotel room in a favorite city, art museums, road trips, the lake house, returning home for Christmas. Even this Journey of Lent is womb time.

Again and again, God invites us into healthy rhythms of retreating. I’ve learned the importance of following my own rhythms. I can get so caught up in planning that I forget about the process itself. Spirituality is about process and the journey itself rather than a goal to achieve.

God invites us to ebb and flow in the process of becoming our true selves. Our culture tells us to rise and rise and rise until we collapse. Nature and the Spirit offer me wisdom for a way to live that is renewing and organic.

Being organic means allowing your own process to unfold. It means allowing the rise and fall of your own energy. It means make your plans and hold them loosely and notice where your energy and desires are taking you.

Poet and theologian John O’Donohue wrote about honoring the voice and rhythms of the deep self, that place in you where God dwells: Spirituality is the art of transfiguration. We should not force ourselves to change by hammering our lives into any predetermined shape. We do not need to operate according to the idea of a predetermined program or plan for our lives. Rather, we need to practice a new art of attention to the inner rhythm of our days and lives.…If you work with a different rhythm, you will come easily and naturally home to yourself.

Be encouraged in your practice,

Katie Martinez


  • Read and reflect on Hannah Garrity’s commentary and artwork on pages 17-18 of Again & Again. The link is in every Journey email. If you’re not getting those, register here.
  • Questions for journaling and spiritual conversation:
    • When and where do you experience womb time– rest and renewal, safety and peace?
    • What needs to change about your life rhythm so that you can enjoy the process of becoming whole?
  • What word or phrase captured your attention this week? Weave your word into the prayer wall at the Taft Avenue facility; or text your word to 970-500-0970, and the prayer team will weave it into the wall for you.


  • For daily texts with the Focus Word, Starter Prayer and link to these daily posts, text the word “lent” to 970-500-0970.
  • Join Ryan on Facebook Live, every weekday morning at 10am for spiritual conversation on these Lent themes.
  • Looking for the link to the digital devotional or your copy of the print version? Register here.
  • Join the Orange Dots of Hope Facebook Group for spiritual conversations.

This is part of Again & Again: Journey of Lent 2021 with Crossroads Church. The theme, devotional booklet, poetry and art is the work of the creative community of theologians and artists at A Sanctified Art. Crossroads is grateful for this resource!