Posted in church, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Raised Catholic, Returning book

Returning: A Fire in my Belly

Today’s review of my upcoming book Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, comes to us through writer, artist and editor extraordinaire, Nina Catanese.  ( (see Nina’s fun bio below!)  Nina and I met through our mutual love of Anne Rice and passion for all things gothic.  I have found in Nina a sister in spirit, not only in writing, art, music and literature, but also in the shared tension that arises between our love of the Catholic faith in which we were raised and frustrations over the shenanigans of the Institution.  Thank you Nina for sharing your own inner fire through this review and in all the work that you do!

Nina Catanese
Nina Catanese

Lauri Lumby has a fire in her belly. You can call it the fire that ignites the Wild Woman Within. You can call it the fire that forges creativity. You can see it as the flame that burned above the heads of the Evangelists, spurring them on, inspired, to share their message of hope and love. You can see it as the fire of Creation Herself.

Lauri has identified this fire and she stokes it, invokes it, and is galvanized by its power. And like Prometheus, she has taken this fire and is – thank God – sharing it with all of us. She lays bare its power in our lives – the recklessness, the passion, the creation and destruction as it holds us all in its grasp.

Lauri has tapped into her primordial Self that lives within that fire in her belly and calls upon her aspects to come forth and speak. In her poetry all the Archetypes she holds within are exorcized. She introduces us to hers in a very intimate and fearless way, inviting us to look upon our own – Mother, Child, Destroyer, Creator, Teacher, Rock Star, Lover, Sister, Healer, Spiritual Guide, Sophia the Wise, Brigid of Kildara, Kuan Yin, Magdalene – they are all there, with strong voices raised in song.

Lauri’s voice resounds in me because it speaks to the hunger I feel, having been born and raised Catholic, only to watch my faith and devotion in an irreverent and irrelevant Church wither on the vine of lies and suppression. Lauri gives voice to the frustration I feel with the Church while singing tenderly the praises of Jesus and Saint Francis and the other pure, ignited souls, and I feel like a little lost lamb having found my flock within the folds of each poem. Her words comfort me, give me hope, validate my feelings, and strengthen my resolve that the fire that lives in me is pure and is given to me by The Source. Her words invite me to sing along, to reach within to find my own Authentic Self. I have found a spiritual home, a kindred Spirit, someone who embraces the good and, with mighty scorn, denounces the wrong that has been exacted upon women throughout history. Lauri is, like John the Baptist, The Voice who cries in the wilderness. Lauri is the voice of the wilderness itself, echoing what many religiously disenfranchised women today feel.

I rejoice in her celebration of Women and of Spirit, I revel in her candor, and embrace her strength and weaknesses which she lays bare for all to see, grappling with Fear, Forgiveness, Beauty, Abundance, Receiving, Giving, to name but a few, which is what Self is all about.

Nina’s Bio…in her own words!  🙂  

I am a Carl Jung and Caroline Myss enthusiast who regularly toys with the idea of one day becoming a therapist. It is very rewarding to help people realize their strengths as well as the areas that need strengthening or forgiveness, as it helps them find their Spirit, their Spark. My literary editing profession calls for that skill – guiding people through their story to the places of strength, come to terms with or strengthen their weak parts, and locate that Spark that enables them to become better writers. I enjoy what I do, which is write, ghost write, and edit books for my editing business, Launch Pad Media. I am a published editor, having been in the business for over fourteen years. Joy is revealed to me in the flower and vegetable garden, in cooking, singing, drawing, reading, taking walks, celebrating time with loved ones, and discovering the Spirit in all of life. This year’s goals are: make meditation a discipline and get my beloved bicycle a tune-up and hit the trails and roads once more. Namaste!


I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!