Saturday, June 29, 2013

Practical Theology

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says:
Pray without ceasing.

Henri Nouwen said:
The discipline of prayer is the intentional, concentrated, and regular effort to create space for God.

So, to weave those thoughts together, couldn't we say:
At all times we should create space for God.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Poem

Linking up with Five Minute Friday...

The In Between

and still the not yet.
and not to return.

in this present moment.
the memories of another day.

for just these precious hours.
had for those 24 revolutions of clock hands.

and still not what will be.
and still with promise waiting.

with present hands open.
a time to act and move.

hanging in the balance
of yesterday's regrets 
of tomorrow's dreams.

In the meantime.
A waiting.

Always a gift
to be now, here, present
in the in between.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Communion Made Me Cry

Normally I want to hug old men.
They melt my heart.
But the crotchety elderly man 
pushing a walker
during communion 
only helped me understand why
people up and leave the church
and abandon Jesus in the process.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

It's not often I stick my foot in my mouth.
Tonight I did.
That moment when
words spill out 
almost in slow motion
and my vaseline grasp 
isn't able to hold 
onto the words and 
stuff them right back 
from whence they came.

Yeah...that was me tonight.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When Timeout Isn't About the Kids Anymore

Little arms 'round my neck
with whispers of
"I love you, Mommy"
lose meaning

Little bottom has sat
on carpeted hallway
in timeout
as yet again, 
disobedience has offended.

My arms 'round their torso
with quiet words of
"You can show me you love me
without saying a word.
Wanna know how?"

Little forehead pulls away
with blue toddler eyes 
as I offer
an undiscovered truth.

Blonde head nods
and he waits.

"You say you love me
when you do what I ask of you."

Narrow passageway
becomes burning bush
of sacred ground
as my words
resound with Christ's words for me...

If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.
John 14:14 (The Message)

Friday, June 21, 2013


Linking up with Five Minute Friday.

Life, it has a rhythm.
A rhythm it was meant to have.
Established by God.
Secured in Christ.
Enabled by the Spirit.

Life, it has a rhythm.
Of work.
And rest.
And rest.
Gifted from the One who never slumbers or sleep.

Life, it has a rhythm.
A rhythm for the ages.
Of community.
And solitude.
And aloneness.
Provided by the Creator of all.

Life, it has a rhythm.
Of succeeding.
And failing.
Of mountain highs.
And valley lows.
Held out by the Guide of our ever-wandering hearts.

Life, it has a rhythm.
But I must stop to listen.
Cease in order to hear.
And when my life
and has it's being
in time with the 
Rhythm Maker
then I have truly begun to live.

Here's to really living!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Happy Father's Day

to the best












Family Man!!!

To the man I love to love
and to the Daddy
who makes a wonderful partner 
on this parenting journey...

Happy Father's Day 

I love you, Paul!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Linking up with Five Minute Friday for the first time...

I don't always feel listened to in life.
I think that's why I try so hard to do that for others.
And, for the record, in this space of mine,

here's how I know you've listened...

I see your eyeballs on me.
I can tell your ears are working faster than your mouth.
I have space to talk at my cadence - no rushing water of words before I lose my chance.
I can pause and have no words and that's ok.
Silence is embraced not trampled.
I can laugh and you'll laugh too.
I can cry and you'll cry too.
I share my failings and you share acceptance.
I confess my fears and you hold my hand.

And listening is not for the faint of heart. 
To listen is to 
hear me, 
validate me, 
affirm me 
and challenge me.

You might not share a word and yet you will have communicated the world. 

Listening, for me, means being heard.
And I just want to know my voice matters.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Promise Fulfilled

Six weeks ago, He made a promise.
Late one night, 
while I was lying in bed, 
brain a-buzzing.
He promised to meet us at Cedarly.

I know, 
it sounds strange to say 
God committed to show up
in Wisconsin 
while my husband and I 
were away on retreat.

But it happened.

No audible voice was heard.
No booming thunder swelled.
Just the still quiet voice
that stirs the soul.
A hushed whisper of heart 
that ushers peace.

As the weeks progressed, 
my anticipation grew.
After all, we had a rendezvous 
with the Lord of the universe.

I went with specific questions.
Ones that plague me.
Ones that persist.
Ones that leave my heart unsettled.
And deep down, 
in my honest recesses,
I have to admit
I was hoping 
His promised presence
would mean 
answers to my questions.

Now, Cedarly is a memory.
Last week is done.
Retreat is over.
Routine life has replaced breathing room.
I am left to process and reflect.

What I can say is this...
God kept His promise.
He showed up.
He was present.
Almost tangible.
Nearly palpable.
Cedarly, once again, served as a thin place.

I spent 5 days 
in the company of the Everlasting.
I walked intimately 
with the One who is above all.
I basked in the camaraderie
of the Friend of sinners.
I enjoyed kinship 
with Abba Father.

It was a week
reminiscent of Adam and Eve,
with glimpses into the garden-life.
Surely we are all garden people.

God kept His promise.
And none of my questions got answered.
At least, not in the way I had intended or originally hoped.

The one answer I did receive
was always the same.
The same answer 
that has been given through all of time;
to ancients and moderns alike.
The answer that leads us always back to the Source.

My only answer came in four words, 
for every inquiry, 
for every probing, 
for every examination,
the same.
"Stay close to Me."

The quest for Him 
is the solution 
for every other quest.

And so, 
in finding Him at Cedarly, 
I found the only answer I need...


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Presence (Revisiting My Word for the Year )

Busyness is an enemy to presence.
It robs me of now.
It keeps me focused on everything but the present moment.
A tyrant hoarding life, not doling it out.

And yet, if I'm honest, 
to plant myself in the weight of this moment,
to be focused only on the present,
requires a whole heck of a lot of energy.

And so, 
I offer gaunt effort to be firmly engaged in the now,
and realize
even in my attempt at presence
busyness has taken it's toll.

That's what happens when I am used to busy.
I find myself exhausted at the practice of presence.
And that just seems ludicrous.
To exhaust myself 
simply because 
I enter fully into the current moment.

Surely I must be living life
upside down
or inside out
for that reality to be so.

When was the last time I had to practice busyness?
It's not really a discipline I must learn.
It seems to find me.
And wraps it's fingers fast around my heart.
And squeeze.

So often, that which feeds my soul
is not what comes easily, 
or naturally.

I've short-circuited myself
in the pursuit of 
and productivity
and meaning.

When all along 
the answer to all these things 
lie in being present.

So, today, why not try being present?
breathe in
breathe out
make eye contact
think before words tumble out
check less e-mail
refuse to make a to-do list
laugh a bit
laugh a lot
play uno
take a nap
revel in nature
really smile
read a good book
or the Good Book
color in fluorescents
say yes more 
or say no more
dance big to a loud song

It's a right-side up 
way to think
when I realize
the journey
is just as important
as where I land
and what I accomplish.

Maybe, just maybe, 
I can be more 
by doing less.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ode to Cedarly


Lovely. Quiet. Hope-filled.

The cuckoo clock ticks time 

and I am here waiting.

The sun shines

on flowers' glory

and I wait.

Nothing as lovely as Him.

He's promised His presence.


So I wait.

In the stillness, I wait.

In the peace, I wait.

For Him.

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. 
You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God.
Psalm 40:17