Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim

SOAEP Book FRONT cover Final copy Sept 19

Esther finds God everywhere.

In Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim, Esther Hizsa meets God in a smelly hospital waiting room, in her panic to catch a bus, in a woman who’s just been robbed, in church kitchens and silent retreats—even in a men’s washroom. What she discovers along the way will encourage and inspire you.

Two ways to get your copy of Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim (available in paperback or an e-book):

  1. Live locally? Pick up a copy from me.
  2. Order one from or

Praise for Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim

“In this very personal, colourful series of reflections, Esther Hizsa, bike-rider and thoroughly human being, shows us what we recognize as utterly true, if only we can learn to view our lives and our world with eyes lensed with God’s love.”
        —Luci Shaw, author, The Thumbprint in the Clay                                                                                    and  The Generosity: New & Selected Poems                                                                                     Writer in Residence, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.                                                  

“A good spiritual director is an attentive listener. The best ones are also good communicators. Esther Hizsa is both. She is a seeker and a guide. Attentive to God in her daily life, Esther finds universal truth in the simple and profound events of her own pilgrimage. Her honest disclosures make it easy to see ourselves in these very human stories.”
        —Rob Des Cotes,  Director of Imago Dei Christian Communities
and author of Fan the FlameHigher Than I and Ultreia (Go Farther)

“Esther Hizsa’s sincerity and candour gives hope to others who may wish
to open themselves to the wisdom and knowledge of their creator.”
        —Wanda Mulholland, Community Development Coordinator
at Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness

“Esther’s honest, vulnerable way of being with God is amazing and touching. Isn’t it wonderful that God is right there in those broken places? That’s the incarnation in a nutshell.”
          — Steve Imbach, Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of SoulStream Initiatives

Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim contains vignettes, poems and essays about how Esther experienced God in her day-to-day life over a ten-year period before launching this blog. These snapshots of grace have become touchstones in the dark and trail markers on her journey. What this pilgrim learned didn’t lead her to a sacred city, but to a deeper understanding of God’s love.

Read excerpts from Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim

by Jeff Imbach

Awareness and loving encounter anchor a pilgrim’s journey. Awareness in the details of life leads to intimate encounter with God in all of it.

Our contemplative journeys take us outside the boundaries of what we often think of as religious or even spiritual. They open us up to discover God lovingly at work everywhere. We see that in the Gospels, as people welcomed Jesus into their situations and experienced his transforming love. We see that in our own lives, which are also rich with moments of awareness and encounter. And I have seen that in Esther’s life.

Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim powerfully illustrates the importance of paying attention to our life. I don’t think I have ever known someone more clear about the working of God in their life. Since we first met in 2003, I have had the privilege of knowing Esther within the many facets of our shared partnership in SoulStream. She is knowledgeable and open, willing to risk, and willing to be led into new territory of the soul.

Esther’s stories demonstrate these same delightful qualities in a stunning way. Her writing is consistent with her life as we all know her, and that is what makes the book weighty with integrity. Gradually she provides us compelling accounts of how she has been carried from fear, uncertainty, and a driven need to perform well and be good into the wide expanse of God’s tender love for her.

Her journey is deceptively simple. They are just stories of an everyday person after all. But don’t read them quickly. They cry out to be savoured. Each is like a secret tunnel to something extraordinarily profound and heart-warming.

Enjoy this book! Let Esther be a trustworthy guide to you, sensitizing you to the tender moments of your own everyday life. And trust the Spirit to use the power of these stories to take you into deep and surprising encounters with God’s ever-present love for you wherever you may be.   —Jeff Imbach

       Jeff Imbach, the founding president of the Henri Nouwen Society of Canada, also co-founded SoulStream Initiatives and facilitates SoulStream courses. A long-time pastor in Calgary, Jeff has offered spiritual direction for thirty years. He is the author of two books: The Recovery of Love: Christian Mysticism and the Addictive Society, and the award-winning, The River Within: Loving God, Living Passionately.