Dec 30, 2009

Seeking a Sign

I've been thinking about light in the darkness. I've been experiencing light in the darkness. I think really I was looking for a the star in the sky that led the Wise Men to find the Baby Jesus. This Christmas season, I was looking for a sign of peace.

I don't know if it's because I have experienced darkness, that maybe I'm more attuned now to finding the light. It might be just a glimmer, a soft glow, a subtle spark, or a bright illuminating light--but all the forms of light shine in the darkness. And I seem to expect the light now. The hope the light signifies. The peace the light brings. Whatever it is, I'm grateful for finding the light, for God opening my eyes to accepting the light.

These last weeks have been filled with unrest for our family, as a loved one faced a serious condition, a fragile procedure, but then a joyous outcome. Last week I heard difficult news from a doctor, And I learned of a tough circumstance at work. Several friends unburdened their hearts of broken relationships and unexpected, even shocking news. Yes, this week I was reminded just how I much I need the Savior that has come.

I remember in the past going through valleys and pain where all I could see was the dark, the night. But now I am leaning and trusting and knowing implicitly that God is alive in the world, in the universe, in my friend's pain, my family's worry.

The thing I realize very clearly as I grow ever deeper in my faith is the eloquence in which God speaks into our lives. Sometimes just a glimmer, sometimes a blinding light. Sometimes the softest whispers in the wind, sometimes a loud proclaiming voice. Sometimes in the touch of a friend, sometimes in the sparkle of my sister's eye. Sometimes in the release of tears, sometimes in the cries of prayers.

I feel the movements in my life of God so deeply. I feel Him showing me ways to make the spaces that He desires to fill. I am aware of Him helping me shed the old skins of shame, guilt, unforgiveness, busyness and doubts and fear.

So with the new year right around the corner, I am reminded of the new creation God is making in me daily. I am reminded to put of the old away and surrender all to Him as He creates all that is new. I'm reminded to look for the light daily. I'm encouraged to stay open. To truly listen for my life. Sometimes I just want to whole already, free from sin and the things that hold me.

But the manger this year has renewed my heart and mind to remember it is a journey. I'm on the path striving and reaching and desiring a life that only Christ can give. Hope surrounds. Joy seeps in. Love in born. Light illuminates.

I am looking for the signs. And I am finding them everywhere.

"Here's another way to put it: you're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I have put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand--Shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven." (Matt 5:15-17 The Message)

Dec 25, 2009

Light in the Darkness

Light pierces the darkness

And nothing is the same

A babe has been born

In the humblest of ways

And He is our Savior.

Into the dark the light shines and shows us the way.

In the midst of a dark, dark world

Both 2000 years ago and today

Both out in the world

And in our own backyards

Hope has come.

In the past few years our family

Has experienced a life-threatening condition,

Disease, serious surgery, loss of loved ones,

A soldier going to war and other difficult moments.

We look at the tapestry of our lives woven together

With all those we love--with the challenges, pain, love and joy.

And I suppose there are choices to make:

Despair. Or hope.

Hate. Or love.

Resentment. Or forgiveness.

Chaos. Or peace.

Darkness. Or light.

No matter our circumstance, though, the light has come.

And that light -- the true light -- changes everything.

He calls from the darkness to be His light-bearers in the world.

Radiating His light in every way possible, so everyone will know

Emmanel, God with us.

Dec 12, 2009

Making Space

"In the same manner in which we clean and prepare our homes in the anticipation of welcomed guests and family members this Christmas season, let us also prepare our hearts in anticipation of the Lord coming. Christ, our most honored and eagerly anticipated guest, desires to meet with us in a heart prepared for his arrival. So eager is he to meet with us that he offers to help us with our spiritual housecleaning, working with us; creating a resting place for Himself within our hearts." --Katherine Walden, I Lift My Eyes Ministries

I've been thinking so much in Advent about making space, making room for Jesus in a new way into my heart. Someone I was discussing this with asked me, "But don't you have it figured out? You've been a Christian for a long time. Don't you just do the same thing every Advent?" The question haunted me.

Of course we all have traditions in our communities, churches and homes that are part of the beauty and wonder of the Christmas season. But the seasons of Advent and also of Lent are so meaningful to me in my Christian life I the way I prepare my heart. I think from the time I was a little girl and we lit the Advent wreath, read scripture and prayed, I knew it was a very special time. Looking back now I see the reverence of the moment, the quiet space we created to worship. As I grew in my faith I realized, for me, I found that finding God in the silence to renew my soul, to gain greater perspective, to experience Advent in a new way became an important part of my faith life.

I think the yearning in my heart to receive Jesus in a new way is a refreshing thought. But the yearning doesn't mean much if there is no action attached. As I experience Advent fully, I think deeply about the journey...not just the destination. I love the thought of reflecting, preparing, expecting, anticipating the joy of the greatest gift ever given...yet again. Because I'm not who I was even last year on my faith journey. The joys and challenges of each year bring greater depth in my faith walk and I am so grateful, to approach this season with new eyes of faith.

My boys and I recently moved to a new home and we had some trouble finding a space that seemed right for our Christmas tree. We talked through moving furniture, squeezing it in a tiny place, what size it should be to fit. Finally, we decided, even if it looked strange, we wanted it in front of the balcony doors so its light could illuminate into the night. I wondered if we had been talking about the Christmas tree, or the need for something else--the need to let light within each of us shine in a different, new way. So that perspective helped me to look everywhere for light.

I've been noticing more about about space as I thought of this topic during Advent. As I took a walk in the park on a cold December morning, I felt alive with all the space God has created in the woods, in each plant that has broken forth from the earth, in the majestic arms of branches of the oaks, in the rapidly flowing stream and in the vastness of the sky. I thought of a mind's eye photo in my memory of walking up from the creek on our farm and seeing the entire meadow covered with glistening snow and the sun setting so brilliantly. All the space He has made for us to live, and move and have our being. And now I ponder the way I can make space in my own life.

Am I so caught up in the preparations of a meal, for instance, that I hurry along my son as he tells me about his day? Or, am I willing to stop, to listen to even what he is not saying? Do I notice the glimmer in the eyes of the children at a recent community choir concert? Do I see their innocence, their delight? Do I take the time to sit with a friend in need and offer encouragement, instead of rushing out to buy the final presents. Am I learning to listen--both to the movements of God in my own life and to the very deep soul-talk of others? Have I learned to be alone and treasure my time with God in the Word, in prayer, in meditation? Am I ready to leave old habits behind, and move forward as God draws me? Am I willing to wait patiently when I don't have a answer, or the answer is "not yet"? And am I willing to strip away my own masks to reveal the authentic, nicked up, wounded, but ever healing soul that resides in me. And am I willing to open my heart fully, instead of hiding away?

When I think about making space this Advent season, what am I making room for? And I know the answer. I'm constantly called to make room for love. For God's love. For the greatest gift of love ever. It means entering spaces I might not have dared to go before, but with this knowledge that God shines so brightly.

We just need to begin making spaces, I think. And to never stop. Reflecting, then carving out those places in our lives that need more of Him. Those spaces are everywhere. Making space feels very much like finding ourselves loved. And in that space, there is a light we make our way to Bethlehem.

Dec 4, 2009


Come into view...into being

Advent arrives

In the seeking, the preparing, the waiting

Here I am anxious to go full throttle

Into the Christmas season with all its excitement

Already almost too busy to notice the reality I need most:

The time of waiting, of expecting, of hoping is necessary

Sometimes so encumbered by the "doing", I forget the "being"

Lists to make, gifts to buy, decorations to hang, friends to gather

But instead the still, small voice whispers, stirring in my heart

Until I stop, look and listen...I cannot possibly accept the gift

Be Still My Soul! Slow me down, to see and hear and respond

Prepare my heart, unchain all that holds me from seeing with eyes of faith

My Spirit needs to welcome a Savior

I want to journey to the manger, to Bethlehem, to the miracle

Let me accept your solace, Your peace

Give me joy in the smallest wonder

Waiting and seeking

Expecting and hoping

Anticipating and accepting

When I am expecting and hoping

Prepare Me.

Nov 26, 2009

Forget Not All His Benefits

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2

I love the gratitude and wonder that comes across in David's words. Remember His benefits. Speak of His greatness. Tell of the wonder of God! As the Psalm continues we find David not only singing God's praise, but calling on all of creation to join in honoring God.

Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you might ones who do His word, hearkening to the voice of His word! Bless the Lord all His hosts, His ministers that do His will! Bless the Lord all His works, in all places of dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

I love this worship that comes deep from the soul. I love singing at the top of my lungs, surrendering all of myself in Worship to the Creator, Maker, Sustainer, Savior, Redeemer of my life. Praising the one who rules over all--who is steadfast, everlasting and majestic. The gratitude that wells up in my soul just naturally needs to turn into purest praise.

Thanksgiving, followed so closely by Advent, reminds me of all the blessings that God abundantly pours out. Having a heart of gratitude helps us see God's amazing handiwork in creation of the universe, of the world, of the open skies and the vast seas, of the tallest mountain and deepest valley. It reminds us to rejoice in God's rainbow of children, to be awakened to God's everywhere, in every moment, in a stranger, in a neighbor, in our own backyard and own circumstance. I love when Paul talks about "overflowing with gratitude" -- what a joyous place to be. When someone has a truly thankful and joyful heart, we are drawn to them and their whole being -- their contagious joy, their wide smile, their encompassing exuberance. When we walk with a constant "attitude of gratitude" we can see things differently. Some things that we might naturally choose to be judgmental or negative about, we can look through eyes of faith and a heart overflowing with gratitude.

In the beginning of my journey through my separation and divorce, I began journaling. During that difficult time, I remember hearing about writing down five things everyday for which I was grateful. In those beginning days it was a difficult struggle: "Thank you for helping me get out of bed in spite of my grief." "I am grateful for my sisters helping me get through this." "I am grateful my children did not cry themselves to sleep last night." "I am grateful for living through our first Christmas where I had to leave the boys off to share time with their Dad, when all I want is my family back again." But reading over those journals is so cathartic as I see the path through my ever-growing faith walk. Over time, I reflect on a deeper heart of gratitude that God allowed through a deeper walk and joy found only in Him. "I am grateful for the God who never leaves me." "I am grateful that God has put people in my life that point me to His glory." "I am grateful that I desire to never forget all His benefits."

There are so many things I am grateful for: My God who never leaves me, my children who have been my life's purpose, my family who have been the wind beneath my wings, my faith that sustains me, my church where my faith is continually challenged, nurtured and stretched to new levels, my friends that have loved me through joys and sorrows, my home where I find peace, my job which has taught me strength and given me perspective, my writing life which gives me a chance to express my heart and faith. As I reflect on this list, I am reminded of this litany of "my's". It makes me smile at the truth: none of these precious blessings are mine, but treasures given from the amazing God that never leaves us.

Henri Nouwen, a great Christian writer I admire says: "Gratitude goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that ll of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is a given as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy."

Remember His benefits! Speak of greatness.

May each of our hearts as we enter this Advent season know the joy of hearts "overflowing with gratitude."

I am humbled and just beginning to understand deeply in my soul the depth of gratitude and grace which I experience with every breath.

Nov 10, 2009

Seeking Freedom

One step forward, two steps back

Why do I land in the same place I started?

Striving, journeying, reaching

Then like stepping on a slippery rock

I am back here again, Lord

Consumed sometimes by what holds me--

Caught in busyness and petty things that don't matter.

Held back by difficult choices, expended by discontent

Trapped by bitterness or resentment I still hold instead of releasing

Still, after all this time, that seed of unworthiness

Rears its ugly head as if I've never grown past the wounds

And, yet, they are just seeds that need to be surrendered

To the deeper faith that shines, even if only a glimmer at times

The perfect love I've accepted from You drives out fear

Teach me to live what I know firmly, but cannot see

And to sit patiently in that abiding faith with great trust

Because I know you hold my hand and hold me up

I am nothing without You, and I am reminded

True freedom can only come through you

Your faithfulness, like a soothing spring rain

Renewing and refreshing my soul

Ever deepening my resolve to honor you:

Loving unconditionally

Forgiving completely

Remembering wholly

The gift of the cross

Still on the journey

And grateful to belong to You

Finding what I seek:


Sep 13, 2009

The Welcome Rain

I welcome the rain, as a source of refreshment, God's presence

And memories of being a little girl on the farm invade my thoughts now

I recall running waiting at the porch door, being given the go-ahead to play

Splashing in puddles with my sisters, I can still hear the sounds--

Exquisite squeals of delight would abound and connect us

Even in something so simple.

I remember looking up to the heavens and thanking God for this miracle

Being awestruck by all God's mystery in the wonder of nature

The rain washes and cleanses, just as God's amazing love wraps us

Pouring out so abundantly and giving me new perspective on the clouds

My analogies of the storm in my life seem renewed by each fresh raindrop

The rain turning into a fierce storm can create havoc and shake us

Yet the gentle rain is a beautiful reminder of God's washing us, renewing us

I love to hear the rain on the roof, the rain as it hits my flowers that drink it in

But I am reminded how I need your grace God, washing me and giving me

Fresh eyes to see, a renewed heart to open, sensitve ears to hear

The cries and joys all mixed together in the healing rain

And then I see it on the horizon, brightening the sky

The rainbow of promise.

Sep 5, 2009


Our team loves your style of writing and how you quickly tie in the spiritual to the story you are telling. Unfortunately, we are looking for stories about "real families" -- meaning families that have not experienced divorce. We aren't at this time interested in stories about single parent families, since we encourage the sanctity of marriage.

This is part of a letter I received this week, as I've begun to more earnestly submit my writing for publication. As I read the first line I was excited: "Cool, they like my writing!" Then as I read on, I felt like a brick was hurled at me full-force and words of the moment felt soul-crushing.

The Sanctity of Marriage

As I've thought through and prayed through this unexpected letter and it's strong message, there were perspectives that I felt needed to be expressed, not defensively, but from the perspective of this single mom.

I'm going to start at the end: We encourage the sanctity of marriage. "Me too! Me too!" I wanted to scream. I've thought about my experience a few times of thoughtless people who would say things like: "You're divorced, you don't care about marriage." Or "You're lucky, you got rid of your husband." I remember those stinging words, and at the time, I wasn't quick enough to respond, but I've really thought about the subject. But being divorced doesn't mean I don't believe in marriage, or honor it deeply. In fact, the loss of my marriage remains the biggest hole in my heart. Well, probably larger is the loss my children have felt through divorce. But the breaking of vows, the devastation that divorce brings, isn't something I recommend!

The care and love, the commitment and honor, the respect and dignity of a healthy marriage are things I still long for deeply. I also believe that I make a concerted effort to encourage my friends and family in their own marriages. What a beautiful gift from God that bond is! I love attending a wedding and hearing the words: "What God has joined together, let no one separate." I am grateful to be part of a family (I'm one of five children), with two parents ready to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in a few weeks. My parents' love for each other through every joy and sorrow in life is an absolute beautiful gift. I feel blessed that my brother and sisters each chose a mate that honors their marriage, that shows love and compassion and unions that are Christ-centered. I'm grateful for all my friends that have strong marriages that are God-honoring and a foundation of joy. And I'm not viewing it through rose-colored glasses. I understand full-well the give and take, the "I better hold my tongue", the "will we ever be out of this valley", the sacrifices, the "speaking the truth in love" moments, the hard work a good marriage takes. But, with all my heart I honor marriage.

Real Families

Early on in our divorce I remember a specific moment that changed my perspective. My children who were probably 8 and 5 were spending the night with their father. My oldest son forgot something he needed for school and I had gone to their father and step mother's home to drop it off. As I walked up on the porch I the door was open and I could see they were all sitting down for dinner: Their dad, step-mom, my children and their step-brother. As I gazed on the scene as an outsider, it was like I was looking in on a perfect family. How my heart sunk--looking in on the laughter, teasing, enjoying the meal. "The perfect looking family, " I thought. I began to think about what God thought when he looked in on my family. It surely wasn't perfect looking (and of course, the reality is that looks are deceiving).

I began to realize that even if I perceived we were "broken", through God's amazing grace my sons and I were building something together that was a foundation honest and real and truthful. And with God at the center, I knew the family we experienced--even if it didn't look like to the outside world--was as authentic as it could be. I won't tell you that being a single parent was easy -- it was and is the most challenging job I've ever had. But, it is also the most rewarding and the most precious gift.

And that night, God showed me He would be my partner in our circumstance, and He has never, never, never disappointed me. During this time one of the best books I read was called, "Breaking and Mending" by Mary Lou Redding. In it, she described memorizing Paul's letters, so I decided to begin journaling on the letter of Colossians. I began to know in a very, very deep way as I meditated and prayed, that the only way I was truly complete, was in Christ. Nothing else I was defining myself by: being a wife, a mother, a worker, a friend, a sister, a daughter--would give me the completion within myself I desired. Christ alone was what I needed. I remember the opening of heart and flood of tears when I finally grasped that knowledge.

What a an honor and blessing that God has given me so many people on this journey of life. But it is not my roles or relationships that define me. My identity in Christ is the only identity that is completely secure, the identity that can never be taken from us, and it is the source of our wholeness. It is a journey and I'm still traveling the path. But by God's grace, I am confident I am "in Christ" and that's where I find my worth. And, I am bathed in God's amazing grace, I am certain I am living a life that is truly authentic. And when I recall all the the brokenness of the past, I can also see the beauty of all the love and forgiveness woven into our lives. In my view, that makes all of our lives pretty real.

Ever since I began the journey of being a single parent, God has put people in my life who have experienced what the same road, or similar. They were gifts to me on the journey and provided me a soundingboard, deep spiritual friendships and practical support. God has continued that this past year as I was part of a leading a single moms group. There were women who had adopted children, women going through divorce (at all stages of the grief process). All the women that I have known, as they shared their stories, have given me such fortitude and hope. And I do believe that being a single parent takes a great deal of courage and strength. I also believe that, for me, I know that kind of strength is not my own, but comes from a loving God, who pours out His amazing grace on us. He takes us from the darkness to the light to become His lights. That is about as real as it gets.

Sep 1, 2009

The Doll House

A replica of our own farm house

Built so carefully and lovingly

By my father when we were young

A mind's eye view into the wonder

That was part of my precious childhood

It was life-size and plenty big for all of us

To play and create and plan and dream

I can smell the smells of the lilac outside the door

And hear the voices of my sisters and I playing there

Encountering elation and bliss in each moment

As we directed and played and became

Nurturing our dolls tenderly there

And setting the table carefully

Eating treasures from the vegetable garden

Imagining, conceiving, creating, envisioning

Unaware we were also nurturing each other's souls

Filled with each scenaios our inventive, artistic minds would hold

Taking walks to the creek to pick delicate Queen Anne's Lace

And dye them beautiful colors of violet and pink and yellow

To decorate our tiny home away from home

Cultivating, encouraging, developing deeper things

It was magical, enchanting special place--

Set on the bigger backdrop of the farm that we all loved--

With its mystery and beauty in the expansive fields

The escapades to the creek, the luscious gardens and green grass

Even now I am in awe of the beauty, the gift, the journey

All the dreams captured

All the hearts filled

All the twinkling eyes

All the promises

All the possibilities

All the precious wonder...

Brought to life in the Doll House

Aug 24, 2009

The Old Swimming Hole

Down the incline of dirt
Back to the haven of childhood
A magnificent oak tree towering up to the sky
Where I lean to see the strong current of the creek

Closing my eyes tightly I listen
To the rippling of the water
And to the chirping of tree toads
And birds singing their haunting tunes

The quiet calm comes over me again
As I recognize the smells that still come alive--
Of earth and clay, of fish that find their home there
Of wild honeysuckle and sweet johnny jump-ups

And as I let the surrondings take me back in my memory
I hear the sweet sound of girls' giggles as they play--
Wading through the cold, clear water on a summer's day
Jumping from the vine ropes of the trees to make a splash

"Who can swim the farthest?"
"Who can make the biggest splash?"
"Who can dive or jump into the deepest part?"
"Who is brave enough to swim over the dam?"

Memories now flooding, and the tears stream down my face
The joys of a childhood so simple, filled with such joy and beauty
The years have slipped through my fingertips
Like the wildflowers and strawberries collected as a prize

A cherished and treasured place, where dreams are never too big to dream
Where sisters become friends and bonds are made never to break
Part of the sanctuary of growing up on that old farm loved so dearly
Found in the refuge, the strength, the shelter...of the old swimming hole

Aug 17, 2009

Special Place

I go to the special place again
Closing my eyes, opening my heart
Taking in the surroundings
Finding my solace there

I smell the sweetness of the wildflowers
And feel the velvet of the soft grass
The whisper the forest breeze
Brushes a calm over me

I hear the trickle of the stream
And the birds singing in the tall trees
I see the beauty of creation
Drawing me gently home

A little cove at my childhood farm
Where I go in my memory for peace
A reminder of a simpler place and time
Yet still the very thought brings me tranquility

A little girl's secret hideout
To dream big dreams
To be enveloped in God's creation
To feel a sense of belonging to something greater

And when a woman now recalls
The splendor of that special place
She is brought back again
Finding refreshment and renewal

She recalls the lessons brought to life
Where she met God and he molded her
And reminds her that the joyful girl is still alive
Inside of her heart and at the depth of her soul

That special place, though no longer mine
Still brought to life in my thoughts and dreams
Giving me strength through sensing God's presence
Transformed into the girl filled with wonder and hope

Aug 13, 2009


When I think of "home", one memory that comes to mind is the family farm where I grew up (in Allentown, NJ). I got to be on vacation last week at the beach with most of the family that I grew up with. I loved the farm when I was growing up, but when my parents moved from there several years ago is when I really began to appreciate it's beauty--the farmhouse, which was like a palace to me, the incredible gardens, the fields, the creek. It is so much a part of who I am. And as I grow and learn on my faith journey, that place--and specifically the bonds that were formed, the love that grew and flourished remind me that in many ways my authentic self, is that little girl with wide eyes of wonder and a quiet curiosity.

Over the next weeks, I'm going to share some poems I wrote a few years ago which are memories of that place, along with some I've written recently about how that beginning shaped me. I hope you enjoy taking the journey with me.


If the ash tree could talk of all the secrets told there
Of who loved who and heartbreak, pain and tears
Of joyful laughter, of stories imagined, then sweetly shared
The solace and peace of the arms that held each heart

Climbing up to the top, or sitting on the lowest limb
Or sprawled beneath the lush shade of that old friend
Where dreams were dreamed and promises kept
Where shouts of glee met quiet whispers in the night

Watching a family grow from toddler to grown
Of baseball, soccer and football games observed
Cheered each one by quietly waving the might branches
Leaves rustling in the word or catching a foul ball in his trunk

Hearing the explicit plan of each escapade to the creek
Who would build the raft, or race through cattails
Could a fort be built in the brush by the water?
Who would take the first sled ride down the hill?

Sharing the delight, then watching as each found a life of their own by explore new lands, bigger adventures
Yet knowing that his robust arms embrace each one well
Provided a strong foundation where values were born and lived

For just as he provided deep and loving protection from the world
His wisdom standing firm, yet giving room to grow and take flight
So that when the winds blow, the waves crash, the storm gathers
The roots and beauty of the tree dig in deeper, nurture more strongly

Revealing the splendor of the family he embraced for so long
His charge complete as the love that stands the test of time
Made a difference in the strength, depth and understanding of each one...
Oh the stories the ash tree could tell

To My Hero, My Dad

I can still smell the smell
And hear the sounds
Of sawdust and oil
Of saws and hammers

The haven of my hero
Working intently
To fix something
Or to create something new

With precision and pride
Teaching what it was
To bring to life
A carefully laid plan

Still, I see the old jars and cans
Filled with every size nut and bolt
The chill of the workshop
Yet the warmth and peace of it

The smell of his pipe
The twinkle of his eye
The touch of his hardworking hands
The glow of him warm and bright smile

I can still see him standing there
Beginning the creation, working diligently
Passing wisdom from children to grandchildren--
The character of the man shining through

Jul 25, 2009

Stepping Stones

So sure that is the really big truths that matter
The grandiose, the lovely, the powerful
Until God gives me a new view to ponder
And I realize that each moment, each breath
Is a path to new life, to freedom, to truth

Parenting teenagers is a bit like that
Letting go, seeing mistakes being made
And then suddently, sweetly seeing
One step at a time, the light appear

From the darkness, a glimmer, a glimpse
Like the dawn of a new day the light
Just like the depths of my own soul
Where I have kept pain or hurt alive
Instead of letting go to move to healing

As God reveals Himself in new ways
I am blessed to know
His mercies are new every morning
Each stepping stone on the path
A gift I had not expected

Each day a new opportunity
To experience God's amazing grace
One breath at a time
One moment, one glimpse, one smile

Each precious stepping stone
The reminder of
The way, the truth, the life
And am left again, in awe

Jun 23, 2009

Losing Your True North

Sometimes life is full of wonderful surprises

Blessings, really, that you know you don't deserve

I believe that's God's grace blowing through

Making you know you are seen and heard and loved

Sometimes that gift comes in a way

That makes your world so complete

Someone understands you deeply

Someone encourages your gifts

Someone loves you with an earthly love

Like you have not experienced before

When that gift is given it changes you

You see the world in these bright vivid colors

A rainbow--so glorious and brilliant

And the horizon is forever illuminated ahead

The gift is given and you know you won't be the same

And you long to know that the gift will last forever

But you can only take it one day at a time

Because, for you, it's like a miracle

That you've spent your life longing for

You find your true north

It is deep and satisfying

It is joyful and hopeful

It is deep and sensitive

It is a culmination

Of dreams finally coming true

Then just like that

Your true north disintegrates before you

The path you were traveling twists and turns again

And you are left with an ache that can't be described

Yet, your true north is a journey

To find who you were truly created to be

Persistent love that brought you here

And though it has been taken away

You look up through the tears

And a rainbow lights the sky again

Reminding you

God keeps His promises

And He will never leave

Just keep true north

Burning in your heart.

Jun 17, 2009



“Be good friends
Who love deeply.
Face each other
In love and understanding.”

In friendship, be true and open
Your lives and hearts
And in humility pray for each other
For patience, wisdom, peace,
Forgiveness and trust.

And embrace the failings and hurts
That are caused and received
In honesty and in understanding—
To accept each other in all our humanness

For this simple truth remains:
Sharing and receiving love in true,
Deep, connected friendship in concrete ways
Requires us to open our hearts, to risk ourselves—
And there is some pain and uncomfortableness
In that truth.

But only in honest, authentic friendship
That is given by God
Can we learn about ourselves
And each other—
The treasures in our hearts,
Who God has called us to be
What gifts we have to offer the world

For in God-given ordinariness
We rediscover each other
In a profound way.

Jun 10, 2009

When the Soul Grows Through Loss

Loss always brings grief--

Sometimes loss is life-altering

Sometimes it's less intense
Sometimes the onset sudden
Sometimes it comes quietly and slowly
Like the night falling on the distant horizon

For so long I was afraid to dream my dreams
So aware that my life had taken twists and turns
That I had never though would happen to me
So I tucked my dreams away deep inside myself

But I found new joy as I found such peace
As I discovered my dreams again
Making the passions of my soul soar
Experiencing this innate God-given joy inside

Greeting the darkness with an assurance
That the light will shine again
Starting as a small spark, a glow, a glimmer
Giving way to the light to shine brightly

Even through grief and suffering
Realizing the soul grows through loss
Knowing now that dreams are meant to dream
But God's dreams may be much different than mine

Realizing the depth of loss
Means there was a depth of love
And that can never be viewed
As anything less than a pure gift

Trusting God--the One who never leaves
To walk through the storms
To reshape, reform, renew
Through grace that transforms

Forcing me to come to the end of myself
To find the new beginning again--
Growing in my deepest spirtual self
Living out the innate joy inside
Striving to live compassion in the world
So aware of the gift of simple blessings

Grateful for each day
Joyful for what was
Thankful for what is
Hopeful for what is yet to be

Jun 1, 2009

Life Anchor

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

When the storms I don't expect

Gently start in the whisper of the wind

And end up blowing furiously, one big deep wisp after another

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

When what is beautiful

Slowly falls apart and I cannot stop its destruction

Dreams dashed, relationships crumbled, leaving me hollow inside

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

When the darkest of nights fall around

When the fiercest of storms come my way

And I am left in the silence, in the rubble, in the pain

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

Like the woman at the well--a soul searcher

Needing to be made whole from the inside out

I come needing to drink of life-giving water

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

Who already paid the price for my freedom

On the cross where my stains were paid in full

Only hope and grace of the cross remain

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

For I am consumed and I need release

For this hole that reveals the scars in my heart

Can only be made full in the One who never leaves

Life-Anchor, hold me steady

For no pain, or struggle or sin can separate me

From finding the magnificent beauty and light

When I lay everything at the foot of the cross.


May 19, 2009

The Journey of Letting Go

It was a particularly beautiful spring evening. I headed off to the park for an evening stroll and to spend time with God. There was so much action…teenagers playing football, bikes zooming by, geese descending on the pond so gracefully. I head up the hill and turn off on a hiking trail. I take in the sounds and sights and smells. The oak trees tower above and the smell of fragrant flowering blossoms and new grass and leaves fill the air. I am surrounded by the beauty of nature and grateful for the moments spent awakened and aware of God’s presence.

In the distance I see a Mom on her bike with two small boys following behind. The younger one is just learning to ride and by the time I reach them, the Mom and son are exasperated that he’s tired, he can’t do it, he won’t do it. I smile to myself. Her eyes meet mine and I greet her. “I’m a single Mom, “ she says, as if needing to explain her frustration, her look of being totally overwhelmed. “I am, too, “ I smile at her. “You are?” she asks incredulously. I stop and talk to the boy s and to her. She wants to know why I don’t seem as tired as her. (In truth, I’m exhausted.) I explain that my boys are grown and that I’m experiencing a very different level of parenting. She says, “What I wouldn't do for one walk in the park by myself…I just want one minute where I’m not supplying everything…the financial, the schoolwork, the encouragement, the physical play.” My heart goes right back to the moment in time she is living through. And then her eyes fill with tears and this stranger becomes a friend, “Will it ever get easy…this being alone and being everything to everyone.” My heart fills with compassion for the place she finds herself. I can only tell her to find the moments to enjoy, that as tired as she becomes not to miss any moment…because they are so fleeting. I hear my voice now quivering and realizing that so deep within me I’m dealing with the change in my home, in my life of blinking and my boys being out on their own.

Even now, life is so different. It’s more guiding, than teaching. More reminding, than telling. Less roots, more wings. And even this stage I love. I love that my life with my sons is still filled with deep questions in the night about how to forgive and what makes a girl more special than the others. What commitment is and why the bond of family is important. The debate of finding faith and realizing it makes a difference. The all-important questions of when the Phillies are going to turn it on this year.

There is a peace now. Because the foundation is set, and even though it still needs readjusting, rexamining from time to time, I’m so sure of the foundation, of my Rock, of who has been my partner in these years of creating, shaping, becoming. And I love the sounds of the boys becoming solid friends and the joyful, deep belly laughter we still share. I love the way they sitll look me and the way I still feel when they walk in the room. Yet, I know I will just blink and they’ll be gone from me…we’re holding on ever so gently now…as it should be.

And the thought comes to me quickly, but I've been thinking about it for so long. That my life a mother and especially a single mother has been so much about doing my best, taking leaps of faith and then letting go. It has been like a coming of age…letting go instead of holding on… letting of go of my husband (and best friend) through divorce, letting go of pain and choosing forgiveness, letting go of despair and choosing hope, letting go of perfection and choosing humanness, letting go of perception and choosing truth, letting go of dreams to forge new ones, letting go of loved ones with the reassurance we will be joined again, letting go of judgments and allowing freedom.

As I walk out of the woods in the park I hear this incessant chirping. I can’t believe what I’m seeing and I know, once more, it is God’s awakening me to all that is real and beautiful and points me to His glory. High above, a mother robin, is edging her baby to the rim of the nest…and she nudges again and the baby robin takes flight. And I am left in awe…of the moment, of the experience, of my life.

May 9, 2009

A Prayer from This Mother

When I close my eyes in prayer
And I feel the stillness of the night
And I am bathed in the quiet of your presence
My heart full of the gift of this day
I am covered by your love and grace.

The depth of my soul stirs
And I am so eternally grateful for being a Mom--
These precious lives – meant to hold for only a moment
And I am filled to overflowing with the joy of my life.

I wondered so long about my life’s purpose
Until the day I held my first child and knew
The course of my life had changed
As I began this journey of motherhood

The journey as beautiful as the destination
And though sometimes the road was filled
With twists and turns I never expected
I know the plan was set before me

And going the road alone has its challenges
But they are not outweighed by the indescribable joy
The gift of creating foundation and establishing roots
And partnering with a God who never, ever leaves

Learning when to hold on and when to let go
When to impart truth and when to keep silent
Knowing that being on my knees in prayer
As important as telling my own story

Even now, when I look in their eyes
I know them deep into their souls
Everything else falls away
But this unconditional, unmovable, unshakable love

Thank you for the profound privilege, God of my life
For the gifts of these miracles you’ve let me borrow
And for, along the way, making my life deeper and richer
Than I ever could have been had I not received these blessings.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Happy Mother's Day!

Apr 23, 2009


You don’t allow me to stay stuck very long
Tears stream down my face when I realize
How hard I am just trying to hold in all together
For the benefit of everyone else.

And then I sit here in the dark
In the silence
And feel your presence
Enveloping my soul.

Always in your presence
But especially in pain
I feel the gateway to comfort
Slowly, quietly like a whisper, You come.

No matter the circumstance
I feel your love covering me
With an intensity that won’t let me go.

Sometimes I can only whisper the prayers
And sometimes they don’t come at all
But still, I come, because I know I’ll find you
I seek, because I know I find
All that I need

I am certain through this life of faith
That through perseverance
I have more of an ability to endure

Because you never leave.

Whether I am tasting a cup of sorrow
Or drinking with vitality your joy
You have taught me so well
To remain in you.

Through every assurance and failure
Through every sin and triumph
Through every twist in the road
Through every straight highway

All of it ends at the same place
All of it, every moment, every breath
Leads me back to you.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Apr 14, 2009

Wounded Souls

This morning my ex-father-in-law went home to be with the Lord. Finally, he will be in peace and reunited with his wife and other family members.

The first poem I ever had published was based on an experience with him. Before he died, he agreed to have me post the poem here.

Rest in peace, I'll see you again!


I wonder how long we walk through life

Until we understand that everyone has a story?

So quick to judge when someone hurts us--

When someone lashes out, we struggle with our reactions

A friend told me once that, "Hurt people, hurt people"

And I know this to be true.

I guess until we examine the wound

Within every soul, we really don't know.

Those who suffer abuse or live with pain

Those who are belittled and humiliated

Those who are bullied and broken

All because a wounded soul, wounded them.

But how long must the cycle continue?

Someone is hurt, so they have the right to hurt you?

There are so many people that suffer

Abandonment and rejection and shame

Wounded souls crying out in the night

So I think we have an obligation, really

To learn about each other's stories

To be patient with each other's pain

My wound is not your wound

But because I have suffered wounds of my own

I need to understand what lies deep within you

May not be so different from what I have felt

Never, ever having to accept abuse or injustice

Rather, standing up with courage in the face of wrong

But still, keeping compassion within my own heart

To understand your story that unfolds bit by bit before me

To understand that your dreams may be long gone

That tragedy may have affected you or someone you love

Or maybe you didn't have the privilege of knowing real love

And disappointment and hurt have followed your heart around

I suppose we can all take part in wounding each other's fragile souls

Of feeding the darkness and the pain--

But it seems if we are called to walk in the light

To offer signs of hope and love and forgiveness

We need to find a way to be the instrument of peace

And help to heal each wounded soul.

Apr 13, 2009

He Is Not Here!

He Is Not Here!
He Was Raised,
Just as He Said.

From darkness and pain
To the brilliance of resurrection
Despair to triumphant hope!

The tomb is empty
Christ Has Risen!
What glory there is in this message.

There is depth and beauty
To this unfathomable mystery
By grace, God still blesses this world
Making us new creations every day.

He enters our lives again and again
Sometimes in the most unlikely of circumstances
Sometimes in the most unusual ways.

Jesus is seeking us
Desiring to quench our thirst 
Longing to fill our hunger
And draw us closely to Him
In the most intimate of relationships.

Life-Giving Savior
Dying to see me free
Rising to conquer death
And to live inside of me joyously.

The Easter message leaves me with incredible joy
And renews a jubilant hope that transform my life
Through suffering, pain, difficulty I have pondered the cross
And I know I am forever changed.  

The beauty of the cross
The realization of the great pain endured
The deep measure of the sacrifice given
And the glory of the empty tomb
Leaves me with hope that is unmeasurable.

All is well.
Jesus is risen.
Love is victorious.

Apr 10, 2009

The Cross Changes Everything

When my son was in middle school, one of the many angels God brought in our life was Mr. B.  He connected in a way with Kevin, that he still remembers now.  Mr. B (or Tom) could relate to Kevin, because he saw himself in Kevin when he was growing up.  I am so grateful, even now, because Mr. B (Tom) was such an incredible example of Christ and he reached out to my son, spending time with him, listening to him and building him up in a beautiful way.  He lived (and still lives) his faith and his character shines through.  He would show up for his baseball games, and later in high school, his football games.  He was an encourager of Kevin's life, and of His faith.  During Lent one year, they spent time at Tom's together building a cross used for a Lenten program we were having at church.  Everyone at the program took a nail and drove it into the cross, signifying our own part in nailing Jesus to the cross.  That cross still sits in the boys' bedroom, and is a strong remembrance and a central point of our understanding and center of our Christian faith.  And a personal reminder of indescribable love.

A favorite hymn of mine is "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"...the music and words so speak so strongly and are such a clear reminder of the center of my faith...Jesus Christ.


by Isaac Watts

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the prince of glory died

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ my God

All the vain things that charm me most

I sacrifice them to his blood

See from his head, his hands, his feet

Sorrow and love flow mingled down

Did ever such love and sorrow meet

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine

That were a present far too small

Love so amazing, so divine

Demands my soul, my life, my all 

I have always loved the words of this precious hymn of my faith..."sorrow and love flow mingled down"...and "Love so amazing, so diviine, Demands my soul, my life, my all."  Speaking of His impending death on that cross, Jesus says:  "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."  (John 12:32).  The central core of our faith--the only Son of God allowing Himself to be tortured on a cross for us.  For you.  For me.   For all.  

Christ died for our sins--all of our matter how great, or how small.  This love is so deep, so beyond anything I can comprehend, so much deeper than any other love I can ever receive.  When I think of the cross...that all ground is equal at the foot of the cross or that the only way to respond to my trials is to leave them the foot of the cross, I am overwhelmed.   The knowledge that all of my faith, all of my life is centered the cross of Jesus Christ.

There is no way, when I truly understand that kind of love and forgiveness that was given so that I may be free, that I can mutter anything but:  I need you Jesus.

Apr 9, 2009


The night of darkness

Washing the disciples’ feet

With total humility and love--

Beginning of the journey

Leading to the cross.

The bread, the cup

Offered in the Upper Room

"This is my body, broken for you.

This is my blood, poured out for you.

Do this in remembrance of me."

The blessing.


Jesus, praying alone in the garden

“Can this cup pass from me?”

“But Your will, not mine be done.”

They could not keep watch.

Disciples in the valley of despair.


Each one falling away one at a time

Betrayed by the kiss of a friend

Denied by Peter, the Rock

Turning away.

Falling away.



Apr 7, 2009

A Greater Love

I heard an old song recently by a Christian artist I used to follow. The tune so simple. The words so cutting. It really reached through my heart and took me back to a time that was pretty full of storms and darkness.

By Wayne Watson

When parents weep
There is a greater love
When children lose their way
A greater love

When wives cry out
And men have lost their dreams
There is a greater love.

When tears pour out
There is a greater love
When healing does not come
A greater love.

When sorrows flow
And joy is swept away
There is a greater love.
There is a greater love.

It got me thinking about some painful situations for others around me. And it got me thinking of God’s amazing grace in my own life in shepherding me through the storms. I remember a night I was crying out in pain, and although I didn’t say it, I felt it: “Where are you, God? “ my heart cried out. And immediately my thoughts were filled with Scripture from Matthew: “You of little faith! Why are you so afraid?” I was so wanting for easy answers. I was anxious and struggling about what choices I should make in my circumstance. I felt my emotional healing wasn’t coming and I was in a sea of very deep pain—like I had never known.

I kept repeating the scripture to myself…You of little faith! Why are so you so afraid? Did you think you would be left alone in the middle of the storm? Step by precious step of faith, it was my perspective that began to change and allow me to receive God’s grace in a new way. I was praying for healing. I was praying for answers.

Instead, that night in the dark of the night, below a little night light, I scratched out a list of God’s faithfulness to me. God, my children, my family, my church, my friends, my job, my home. In the midst of the darkness of the night and the darkness of my soul, I began to see God’s amazing love for me, and be wrapped in His loving arms so tightly. Instead of focusing on my not healing, or not having answers to my situation, or the sadness, or anything else that broke my heart, I began instead to center on God’s goodness to me.

I began each day praising Him for His presence amidst my trials. Playing praise songs on my car radio and singing at the top of my lungs, even if through tears. And very soon, God began to reveal to me blessings in the storm.

Because no matter my situation, there is a greater love. There is one that loves me so much that He died for me.

I reached for the cross on my neck that night, and realized its significance in my life. The sacrifice of the cross. And the glory of the empty tomb.

Truly, there is a greater love. And I hope no matter what circumstance comes, I can always remember to: Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2

After all, there is a greater love.

“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


Still the chill of winter
Yet the song of spring beckons us
Spring and newness with all it's hope

Yet, there are still frozen parts within me
That need introspection and examination
Cleansing and healing
Darkness lays heavy

But only as an opportunity
To reach farther
To love more deeply
To lift the veil from my own heart
To walk the path
And look to the horizon

Waiting for the dawn
To journey to the cross
Of sacrifice and pain
To the light of the tomb

From the dark to the light
The journey continues
To renew, to refresh
A gift of rebirth.

Apr 2, 2009

Comfort In Sorrow

Sometimes sorrow comes in a slow deliberate wave.  You see it coming on the horizon.  There are signs that the sorrow is approaching.  And sometimes sorrow comes like a quick lightning bolt, with intensity so strong, it knocks you of your feet.  Either way sorrow is part of our life.  And so a part of our life in Christ.  Recently, sorrow came in the strong, striking way.  When the sorrow is so deep, it seems it is too much for the soul to carry.

When this sorrow was experienced this week, it created devastation and so many questions.  I spent many hours with my sons--crying with them, praying with them, trying to make sense of pain and sorrow that had come to the life of someone they cared about.  Within the hours of weeping and talking and working through the pain, we talked of doubts of faith.  We talked about assurances of my own faith and questions we all face.  I was sure in that moment that even though there times of questioning, that doubts were only bringing us closer to the throne of grace.  Sometimes in the depth of sorrow, in the questions, in the emptiness, the encounter with God is so powerful.  God is big enough for our questions, and comes alongside us in our sorrow.  At the end of a difficult night, what we each knew as we prayed is that God was present.  And that He never leaves.  What great comfort there is in that knowledge!

When it feels like no one understands, we can run to a God with arms wide open, aching for our sorrow and longing to comfort and heal our hearts that belong to Him.  

 In Isaiah 61: 1-2:  

 "The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners."   Healer of broken hearts, broken lives, light of the darkness.

And as we make our way to the pouring rain at the foot of His cross, we see the agony Jesus suffered.  We know that we knows our pain and our sorrow.  The nails in His hands and feet, thorns piercing His brow, wounds in His side and separation from His father.  When you realize all he sacrified to save our lives, the healing can begin.  I can trust the one who loved enough to die for me.

Sometimes the sorrow that envelops our hearts is so deep, that it is hard fathom.  But then I remember the cross and what He suffered there for me.  

And I know that I am never left alone.

Apr 1, 2009



It’s impossible to portray Him wholly—

To define him, explain him,He is mystery.

Humble and daring

Soft spoken and blistering

Full of sorrow, full of joy

Strongly meek and quietly bold

Child of heaven

Son of earth

Power of eternity

Bearer of light

Former of worlds

Shaper of souls

Storm of glory

Love of God

Offender of religious

Befriender of the lost and wandering

Lamb of sacrifice

Lion of Judah

King of kings

Servant of servants

Quieter of storms

Disturber of peace

Holiness of humanity

For I no longer just know about Him.

Now, I know Him.

For when the veil is lifted

And I see Him as he is

Nothing is the same:

Transformer, Earth-shatterer,Life-giver,

Healer, Comforter, Soul-consumer, Sustainer, Redeemer.



Mar 28, 2009

Speaking the Truth in Love

Sometimes we're faced with a situation with a friend, where we nudged by the Spirit to speak the truth. I have faced that with family and friends, alike. I've talked recently with a close friend going through a lot of pain and turmoil about sharing the truth. It has brought me to a place of truly knowing that speaking the truth in love requires patience and prayer and perseverance and a spirit of gentleness and understanding.


As I long for Christ to be formed in me

I know it is God's way of maturing my faith

By giving me a covenant within my soul

To be true to God and faithful to my heart's stirrings

The gift of language, the gift of voice allows us

To praise and worship God in every aspect of our lives

And to imitate Christ as we build each other up

To come to the authentic center of who God desires us to be

So aware of the depth of my humanness

Striving, yet not always succeeding

Attempting, and sometimes failing

Yet still persevering with the intention of love

For the proof of God's amazing love for us

Flowing down from the cross of Calvary

Showers us in mercy and grace

So undeserved, yet so extravagant

For God binds us together--brothers and sisters in Christ

And we are a fragile tapestry--intertwined and complex, if we are honest

And speaking the truth in love can bring pain as well as joy

And God continually calls us to open ourselves

In total trust as He leads in gentleness, yet strength

Speaking the truth in love means trying to embody

A savior who speaks truth and gives light

It means making and keeping promises as He has

Making truthfulness and faithfulness alive in the world

What a challenge, yet an honor

To dare to transform ourselves

To imitate the example of Christ

Actively serving Him in this world

By speaking the truth in love

Mar 26, 2009


“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)

I attended a women’s retreat a couple years ago. It was a great day of fellowship and renewal. As part of the devotional time, the pastor led us on guided mediations. She had us pick a word from a basket and to meditate on that word for our ministry and our lives. We thought about if it was a word that could lead us or a word we needed to let go.

As I looked at the word, I just smiled. I’m always amazed that rainbow of ways God reveals Himself to me. The word was FORTITUDE. “How appropriate,” I thought. I had just been let go from my company in downsizing after 22 years of service. The grief and anxiety of that time was pretty stressful. Being the single parent of two teenaged sons in that situation, added some concern.

But as I thought about the word and about my faith and about how extraordinary all of the journeys of our lives are, I felt peace. This scripture from Romans came rushing back to me. A friend had read the scripture to me on the day of my divorce. Some other well-meaning friends had congratulated me on that day that I was “free”, and I felt anything but free. I felt such grief and pain. So when my friend recited this scripture to me, it really became a mantra for my life and faith.

I looked up the word fortitude. It means: strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage; perseverance. God used the moment to bring me around the bend. I had already experienced loss and grief, but as the words of this scripture sunk deeply into my soul again, I just felt God’s presence. I felt His nudge to rest in Him.

The thing is, through many storms and difficulties I’ve walked through, I am grateful for fortitude. But I wasn’t born with it. It was given to me as a gift from a loving heavenly Father. I can look at all those times and recognize that those dark times have brought new undertaking, new growth and a strength I’ve never known.

I am not the same Christian I was when I first began my walk. I’m grateful I already had a foundation of faith. But what I find beautiful is that the roots of faith are deeper now. I walk with a risen Christ who never leaves me and who I love and trust deeply.

There are days as a single parent I still fall into bed in tears—wondering how I can balance all the pressures I feel. I wonder, at times, if I have given enough of a foundation to my kids so they’ll make the choice to love God with all their hearts. The list for all of us goes on and on—balancing family, church, home, work. But fortitude in my faith-life has taught me that God is my center. It is when I center my heart and my mind on Him and surrender totally, I experience the gift of being made a new creation each day.

So through the trials and even through the joys and every ordinary moment in between God is indeed developing passionate patience, perseverance, fortitude and a strength that can only come from this God who loves us deeply.

And, my friends, I find such comfort knowing I worship this endlessly loving God who never, ever, no matter what, leaves us.

Mar 21, 2009


Mystery of faith, transformer of life
You have descended, Spirit of the Living God
Shaping my soul, awakening my core
Creating the path, leading me on.

Astounded that I see gifts I never possessed
Welling up inside so fearlessly and boldly
Tearing down the walls I had built up
Making what was broken, whole.

My cup of life that had seemed
Broken, flawed and damaged
My perception, not Yours
Perfection never the goal
But my humanness, formed by You

You have given all for me
As witnessed by the gift of the cross
But have I received—really received
And surrendered all I am back to you?

Accepting the forming of my soul
This developing, slow growth inside
Instead of my anxious control
Embracing Your grace, my humanness
Rejoicing in the gift of the Spirit

Cherishing the unsolicited
As offerings of your design
the unknown
To treasure the unfulfilled

Learning to love the flaws
And sure now of their purpose
As I let go in gratefulness
To be used for your glory.

Finally, an open vessel.

Mar 13, 2009

Pressing On

Lent is when you have me look intentionally, deliberately, purposefully
Into the well of my soul-- to all I am becoming—drawing me nearer
I feel the nudge, the prod, the desire to move
From this comfortable, contented place that I get stuck in

Your mercy is new every morning
Yet, I pause to ponder whether the newness of my soul
Means I should be approaching life differently
Seeking the unexpected, surprised by the unpredictable

Because your love isn’t something to put
In a beautiful golden box – all neat and tidy
But your love is transformational and life-changing
I can let go of my desire for seeking perfection
Because instead I’m desperately seeking you, God

Here I am brutally honest about being ordinary, broken and human
Knowing that you can take this life, these experiences
And make something beautiful to be used for your glory
Soaked and bathed in endless mercy and grace

Am I aware enough that you challenge me to be more?
To go deeper, to take risks, to approach the painful, prickly paths?
Am I connected enough to be at peace with the silence and in tune with you?
Or does my own schedule, program and plan become my short-sighted focus?

Instead, Lord, I long to be open and willing and waiting
Tearing down the walls that are really my fears
Peeling away the masks that I still hide behind
Forgetting sometimes that I am already accepted, loved

So entwined in the routine of life, that I shut myself off
From the way you want me to take the leap of faith
Push myself to the edge, allow my heart to race in anticipation
And uncover the truth. Your truth. Boldly being your light in the world.

Ignite the fire within me. And don’t let it burn out.
Until you have finished your work in me.
Give me the desire to persevere and endure.
Always keeping my goal on the cross of Jesus Christ.