Can you see the big picture?

How a Discernment Coach can help

Let's talk about how you or your organization can navigate times of transition well.

navigating transitions well

Our lives and work are always inviting us to grow and live into our potential. As an ordained minister and organizational leader, I have been privileged to help people navigate all kinds of changes. Transition is never easy, but it’s much better when you have a sense of adventure and hope, rather than dread or confusion. I’d love to talk with you about the invitations in your own life and work right now, and see if a discernment coach could help you.

You can book an appointment with me by phone or in person on Calendly, or by using the contact form on the last page. Your first consultation is free.
navigating transitions well

For organizations


Empowering your staff, volunteers, or board

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Helping you stay on track to achieve your purpose

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Support in managing and planning for change

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For Individuals


When you're adapting to a change in your family, health, or work, you deserve a skilled conversation partner who will help you emerge from transition clearer and stronger.

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"It's lonely at the top," as the saying goes--but it doesn't have to be. I can offer a confidential space to work out questions of vision and authority, purpose and calling.

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Wouldn't it be great to come through a transition with more connection and new skills? A move, graduation, retirement, or new caregiving responsibilities can all be opportunities to grow and learn together.

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Discernment coaching is not psychotherapy and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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When people talk about transitions, there is often a sense of being in between something they’ve known and something that hasn’t emerged yet. Whether it’s a big decision about a career move, or smaller decisions about how best to spend their energy and talents day to day, being in-between is not usually very comfortable.

Years ago I came across a saying that describes this place well. “When one door closes, another door opens—but it’s hell in the hallway.” We all spend time in the uncertainty of “hallways” during our lives. Some produce more anxiety than others. I first came across the saying just as my previous marriage was ending, when “hell” seemed like an apt description. Other kinds of hallways, like the space between a graduation and whatever comes next, hold a greater sense of excitement and possibility.

In-between spaces both require and enable discernment, which I define as “making decisions according to what matters most to you.” Whether it feels like hell or not, a hallway is an excellent place for reconsidering your sense of meaning and purpose. Many religious traditions offer resources for discernment, and some people find helpful touchstones in faith or spirituality as they navigate life’s hallways. Whatever your own touchstones are, whenever you're trying to make sense of doors that have closed and doors that might yet open, you don't have to do that alone.

Discernment coaching is a way of offering company and conversation to people in a hallway of transition. As I was getting ready to launch this website, I found myself literally in the hallway: my home office. It’s not quite the office I planned when we moved into this house. With three bedrooms plus a den, it was going to be perfect for our family of three, with offices for my husband and me. Then we had another child. When our daughter started walking, I finally had to move my desk out of her room into the next best space available: the front hallway.

Now it is finally time to settle in here. As I organize this space for my work, it offers a perfect metaphor for the work itself: I am literally in solidarity with all who find themselves in one of life’s hallways. When you’re in an in-between space, I hope that our conversations about meaning and purpose can enlarge your sense of excitement and possibility—to the point where it no longer seems like hell at all.

Photo credit: Colin, DSC_0053,

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About Me

After spending most of my early years wondering whether I was “on the right track” toward my future, in my early 30s I finally discovered that what I really needed was discernment. By then I had become an ordained minister in the Lutheran church (ELCA) in 2002. However, the discernment skills and practices I most needed came from serving as Campus Minister for Vocation Discernment at a Jesuit Catholic university (Santa Clara).

My job was supporting students of any religious background (or none) in exploring big questions about meaning and purpose. Through coaching, retreats, and groups, we provided a space for students to consider choices for their future according to their deepest values and convictions. In the process I developed a richer understanding of both vocation (broadly understood as calling) and discernment, and combined them with the sense of divine and necessary grace that I carry from my life-long Lutheran tradition.

After spending years seeking the companion-book I really wanted my students to have, I wrote The Treasure Hunt of Your Life as a resource for discerning one’s own choices about life and work. In the book as well as my discernment coaching work, I believe strongly that
  1. Life is too complex for one perspective or one religious tradition's approach to big questions and life choices,
  2. Discernment is a life-long project and not at all limited to young adulthood, and
  3. Theology is only one way to talk about being a positive force in the world; I also rely on ways I learned from business administration and nonprofit leadership (I received my MBA in 2012).

I have pastored Lutheran congregations in Silicon Valley; Hong Kong; Reno, Nevada; and Bangor, Maine, where I currently live with my husband and two children. I recently served as director of the Wilson Center for Spiritual Exploration and Multifaith Dialogue at the University of Maine. Now I teach in UMaine's Honors College as a preceptor in the "Civilizations: Past, Present, and Future" course.

This website is not intended to speak for my denomination or any other communities I belong to.
About Me


  • Bangor, Maine, United States