I celebrated a milestone birthday this month. As often happens when you turn not just a year but a decade older, you sense an invitation to pause, to consider both past and future. Where have I been, and where do I want to go? What story is God telling through my life?

Can you relate? Does time to be slipping past faster than you can grab it?

In 2006, my fourth book, Listen, was published.  It’s about how to listen to God through your life’s struggles, joys, and longings. It’s about hearing God through other people, and practices like prayer and meditation. Do you know what brings you joy?

That book went out of print recently. I acquired the rights, which meant I could self-publish it. If you’re an author with an out-of-print book, I’d be happy to share with you how that works.

I read through the book, revisiting the words I wrote so long ago, and thought at times, “this is surprisingly insightful.” At other times, I thought, “wow. I was really into accomplishing things for God. What exactly was I trying to prove?” Of course, at that time, I was at a church that seemed to value doing a lot more than being. Where “serving” was not only applauded but expected.

It’s like a different version of me wrote that book.

I’ve since left that church (yes, it’s Willow Creek) and so I rewrote the introduction to talk quite candidly about God’s invitation to leave (you can peak at the intro on amazon here).

So I revised. In revision, you decide what to keep, and what to change, and what to just delete.

I got the cover redesigned, did a lot of revising, and now, ta-da! I’m launching the 2023 edition of Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life. Wanna read it for free? Keep reading.

In the 17 years since this book first came out, I’ve made a lot of revisions: to my life. To my belief systems. To my relationships. (Though I’m happy to report that many people I knew when I wrote Listen are still in my life. I’ve kept the gems worth keeping.)

Lisa P and Lisa W, friends I’ve had since before I first wrote Listen. They’re gems.

As one would hope, I’ve grown. I still love Jesus, but labels within the Christian subculture that used to fit now feel like an itchy sweater, so I’ve cast those aside. I’ve rethought my positions on certain human rights issues and am much less “certain” that I can fit God into a box. I’m much more into the mystery and beauty of God than the “proofs” for any truth. I sometimes feel the need to apologize for what’s been done in the name of “apologetics.”

I know you have evolved as well—whether you’re 40 or 60 or whatever, you’re learning to pay attention, to cast off what not longer fits, or just rubs the wrong way. Maybe an invitation to listen might be an invitation to lean into what you love, and let go off what is no longer serving you.

I still believe God speaks to human beings—an audacious assertion that led me to write Listen in the first place. However, I don’t think God is issuing marching orders as much as I seemed to believe in my 40s. Oh, we used words like “calling” and “purpose” but if you dug a little deeper, my motives were mixed. That serving was sometimes about doing for God. Or actually, doing for people whose approval I sought. These days, I’m more into just being with God. And loving people without necessarily seeking to please them. Grabbing joy where I can find it.

I still do a lot. I’m a working writer. I’ve got two books in progress, two newsletters, and a couple of other clients.

I work. I play. I run. I read. I write. I get things done, but I give myself grace to not get things done also which is –I don’t know, helpful. I’ve examined my motives, and tried to let go of people pleasing. I’ve listened to God’s invitation to breathe, to rest.

Although I’ve revised it, Listen is still about what it means to listen to God: through the story of your life, through other people, through spiritual practices. God longs for intimate conversation with us—that blows me away.

Update: the opportunity for free review copies has closed. If you’d like to read listen, it’s available on amazon  (right here).