View this email with images Forward this email to a friend.
the Miracle Chase Miracle Club Online

If you don't ask,
you don't get.

- Regina Brett

August 24, 2011

          We were thrilled this month to hear that The Miracle Chase will be used in a course next spring at Colorado College…how cool is that?  There is however, always another side to consider and we’ve been reminded by our fellow miracle chaser David Weddle, author of the book, Miracles, “Sometimes the chasing after miracles ends with the wisdom that no miracle is coming.  If that wisdom is ‘transcendent’ then it is a miracle in itself.” Convinced that it was more than coincidence that she met Professor Weddle after planning one of Greg’s college visits, Joan tackles the notion of bargaining with God in this month’s enewsletter. 
Joan, Katie and Meb

     From the earliest of times, bargaining has been an intrinsic part of our human nature:  food for hides, trinkets for Manhattan, or as miracles go – deals with God.  I remember a particularly pointed conversation with God when I was 16, along the lines of “I promise, I’ll never ____ again, if only I survive tonight.” Over the years I have found that I was not the only one who used the bargaining approach and many can fill in this blank in their own way.  When our son was sick, my husband and I tried to bargain with God to somehow trade places and I am certain other parents would willingly make that same deal.
     Though we realize the futility and even the immaturity of these requests, by acknowledging ‘the what we need,’ we become clearer about what is important to us.   Regina Brett in her book, God Never Blinks 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours writes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  An important part of the asking is the identifying.  Sometimes our time of greatest anxiety is around the uncertainty of what to ask for – what is it we truly think we need?
     A friend in Nantucket, where I am spending the summer, told the wonderful story of her own mother who employed this bargaining approach on a routine basis.  After the dear aunt who had raised her had a debilitating stroke, she pleaded with God, "Either take her now or return her to me whole, I’ll never smoke another cigarette again.”  Though she had been a smoker for over 20 years, she never picked up another cigarette and sure enough, her aunt recovered and died peacefully years later.  When her brother was at death’s door, again she pleaded with God, “Let him recover, and I’ll never have a drink again.”  Once more, her prayers were answered, her brother recovered, and no alcohol has passed her lips since.  Not long after, the woman called her five children together and explained, she had given up cigarettes, given up alcohol, all she had left was chocolate, and she let it be known in no uncertain terms – this was sacred ground…they were on their own!
     As amusing as this story is, sometimes our bargaining with God is not so straightforward and doesn’t result in the outcome we hope.  We have heard many stories of prayers that have seemingly gone unanswered and hoped for outcomes never realized.  I think that’s where Ken Woodward’s explanation that “to believe in miracles, one must able to accept gifts freely bestowed and altogether unmerited” comes in.  Sometimes, the miracle is elusive and we feel as though our bargaining goes unheard.  I suspect that’s how my 17-year old feels when he tells me, “I’ll finish all the SAT pretests, if only I …” When I can, I try and say yes, and yet, sometimes, the answer is no and I think at those times, I may feel worse than he does.  I don’t think God has a magic wand or an evil sense of humor, still as I look at the issues facing our world I think a miracle would be good just about now:  Texas needs rain, Somalia needs food, and the world’s economy needs … well, God knows!
     If there is one thing I have learned on this miracle journey, it’s that the constancy of faith is hard; it’s hard to celebrate one’s own advantages when the practical reality for so many is difficult.  And while I know I will never truly understand, or truthfully, even always agree with God's plan, I also know I will probably continue to bargain with God, maybe not as often, and hopefully with more faith between my bouts of uncertainty.  If I am lucky, perhaps my journey will ultimately lead to the ‘wisdom of transcendence’ David acknowledges as the ‘miracle in itself.’  For me, that would be The Real Deal… 


Visit the Miracle Club Online
the Miracle Chase | Available Online | Buy the Book
Upcoming Events

Denver Eclectics
Denver, CO
Presentation and Discussion
Friday, September 9th, 10 am

Blind Babies Annual Alumni Event
Saturday, September 24th
California School for the Blind
Fremont, CA

Pennsylvania Conference for Women
Philadelphia, PA
Expert Exchange Session
"Making Your Second Act A Reality"
Tuesday, October 25th

Texas Conference for Women
Houston, TX
Expert Exchange Session
"Making Your Second Act A Reality"
Thursday, November 17th

Massachusetts Conference for Women
Boston, MA
Expert Exchange Session
"Making Your Second Act A Reality"
Thursday, December 8th

Thank you to the public libraries in Haverford, PA, Arapahoe, CO and Concord, NH for naming The Miracle Chase as a staff pick.

If you know of any venues where you think The Miracle Chase would make for a great discussion, please let us know.

Any thoughts or suggestions for improving this enewsletter can be sent to our blog at


Joan, Katie and Meb
co-authors of The Miracle Chase
It's About Faith
"When you aren't practiced at praying, you evidently resort to bargaining and begging."