WELCOME TO SPIRIT & SOUL

LEESA BIRDSALL’S BLOG FOR CELTIC NATIONS MAGAZINE

Retired Presbyterian Lay Pastor/Spiritual Director/Writer/Watercolor Artist

As a recently retired Lay Pastor, I am currently enjoying time caring for my grandchildren. A life-long learner and student of theology, I have several certificates in ministry, including one in spiritual direction; as well as, a master’s degree in theology. Though much of my life has been directed in intellectual pursuits, degrees and titles were never the focus. It was the joy of learning, the sense of community, and the feeling of responsibility I had to be equipped for the ministry to which I was called. The balance is in my joy of gardening (for the rich scent of soil and growing things), watercolor painting, reading good stories, cooking yummy food, and all things outdoors (especially near a body of water). Even better is if I’m doing those things with my husband, family or friends. I could do none of this without their support.

Throughout my years of education and ministry, I have resonated deeply with Celtic spirituality: the connection between the Creator and creation, the integration of sacred and secular, voluntary simplicity and faith that is lived in heart and soul. Two of these were core values adopted by the congregation I previously served. I also enjoy Celtic music and dance, which I may have inherited from my Irish great granny. And, following a two-week visit to Scotland (one on retreat on Iona) four-years ago, I developed a deeper appreciation for all things Celtic.

More than half-way through an MDiv. degree, I recently jumped into the world of being a grandma and was unexpectedly called in a fresh direction. I view my current situation as another “classroom” where I am being fed and shaped to do the work to which God is calling me. Additionally, writing has always been a dream and I believe this is a season to begin pursuing that calling. My loves, joys, and even challenges will most certainly be reflected in what I share. Celtic Nations Magazine has graciously given me an opportunity to begin that journey. But, above all, my deepest desire for any work I do is to give glory to God, and to be a voice of hope and light in the world.