Spirituality, Writing


Nearly eight years ago, I quit my full-time desk job at Duke University to become a writer. I patched together freelance writing and teaching gigs until I published Saffron Cross in fall 2013.

How did I do it? Patience, perseverance, and many cheerleaders who kept me going along the way.

Dana, 12, selected for the UNCG Young Writers Program.
I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I could hold a pencil.

Since then, I’ve released two additional books (number four is coming September 2019), and am now a professor of Humanities for North Carolina’s largest community college.

I’m honored to share my story from secretary to author on Writing For Your Life. Read on …

What’s been your biggest life transition? How did you overcome obstacles along the way?

Meditation, Sabbath, Sabbath Community, Sabbath Rest, Sabbath Worship

The Science of Sabbath: How Rest Helps Us Live Well in a Non-Stop World

I recently spoke with Emily McFarlen Miller, Religion News Service reporter about sabbath.

It had been a hectic Friday. By the time she and I chatted late afternoon, I’d already taught a 6:00 a.m. YMCA Barre class, two college courses, attended meetings, and prepped to lead a bi-monthly scripture study group.

I apologized to Emily for my mushy brain and verbose answers. She was gracious. When we hung up, I realized I needed a dose of my own medicine. We’d both accomplished our goals: Emily put together an informative RNS piece on the scientific benefits of rest, and I got nudge to remember to practice what I preach.

Enjoy and share Emily’s piece. The ask yourself: How might I embrace the science and benefits of sabbath this week? Share your intentions @jdanatrent.

Enjoy, read, and share.

Book, Book Reviews, Meditation, Ministry, Spirituality

Jonathan Merritt On A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation

In his latest book, Learning to Speaking God from Scratch, best-selling author and religion writer Jonathan Merritt, discusses a chronic pain condition that left him “blurred” and “helpless like Job” (Merritt 96).

In a recent post, Merritt adds that he sought out mindfulness meditation and yoga in order to cope. As a fellow pain sufferer (I’ve have chronic migraine syndrome), I was honored when Jonathan reached out to discuss One Breath at a Time. 

In this Q&A, we chatted about the difference between meditation and prayer, skepticism of contemplative practices among Christians, meditation in scripture, church history, theology, and Jesus’s contemplative life.

Best of all, we talk about how Christians can boldly chart a path into contemplative spirituality while keeping her feet firmly planted in the faith.

Read the full interview here!