Dec 29, 2012

First Snow

When the first snow comes
I cannot wait to walk
To feel the deluge of snowflakes
Falling on me and around me

So gently falling to the ground
And disintegrating below my feet
The air feels so crisp and enveloping
And I love to look to the heavens
To see the vastness of the sky turned white

But mostly I rush to take my walk
Because it reminds me of the farm
Where I grew up, where so much was formed
And it is as if I am back there as a little girl

I see the vastness of the field
With the remains of the corn stalks
From the recent harvest
And see how the snow falls

It is the endless beauty of God's hand
The field with the backdrop of forest
Towering pine trees and the walnut tree
Standing alone on the hill
I can almost hear the crunch under my feet

The way we would check the
Sled riding hill and imagine
That if the snow was really an event
We'd end up there with such fun and laughter

And I know that when I glimpse that scene
In my mind's eye--it always brings warmth
And joy to think of the memories there
And I'm so glad those thoughts come to mind still so easily

That's why I love the first snow
Gentle and quiet that brings solace
Where is the silence surrounds
As each flake joins the others

And I am filled with the blessing of the moment.

Dec 26, 2012


There is wonder and simply a gloriousness
As I hear the Christmas stoary again this year
For there is brilliance that has come after the darkness
There is pure joy is overflowing, as a result of God's redeeming love

And I am left in awe and wonder
Yet there is something deep inside that cries out--
If I am living in the illuminating light that surrounds
How will that make life different for me?
What will I do with all that has happened?

And yet, I think of Mary and that precious baby
That was born to save us from all our sins
And nothing really can ever be the same
Because God continually challenges me
To make more room and to bear witness

If the shepherds, or the angels, or the wise men
Had kept quiet and kept the awesome gift of Christ's birth
A quiet secret that was kept among themselves
The story would not have played out quite the same way

So if I'm left with such a blessing, and awe and wonder
How do I make that gift I have received faith in action?
How do I take the absolute transformation of circumstances
Turned into strength and hope and a sparkling life
To shout from the mountaintops that hope is alive?

My head and heart know that it is moment by moment
In each opportunity God gives for standing up in courage
For telling our stories and being absolutely changed by them
For reaching out in unconditional and unfathomable love

And isn't that what the birth of that Child is all about?

Dec 18, 2012


One candle...
A flicker
A glow
Even just a glimmer.

We need the Light
We need the One who is Light
To heal our broken hearts
And lead us on in hope.

For we are changed
We have found harmony in grief
And we are united in great sorrow
For all the precious that have been lost

We cry out to the Light
Turn our fear to faith
Turn our sorrow to healing
Turn our confusion to solidarity
Turn our despair to hope

And we know
That in this time unfathomable pain
In this time where the shadows envelop
We must still be reaching out of the darkness

For the light comes
One moment at a time
Quietly and so slowly at times
Twinkling and shimmering
Until the bright light can shine within

Teach us to be light bearers
Even on on the darkest night.

Dec 11, 2012

Advent Reflection

"Come, Lord Jesus!" our souls cry
As we wait for the one we long for:
God with us.

Yet, we so easily get distracted
At all things that pull us away--
Our schedules are full
And we are running at a frantic pace

So filled with all there is to do
That we forget to just be...
To be waiting to seek quiet spaces
And to listen for your voice.

For we want to run to the manger
To fast forward to what awaits us there
But there is work to do in our hearts
As we reflect on what a Savior really means

Help us to linger and seek
The joy of your presence
Instead of filling our lives
With activity that leaves us empty

Fill us with the gifts of solace
And teach us once and for all
To truly be still and know that you are God
And to be content in the waiting.

We need to approach in reverence
And examine our heart and soul
So we can receive the gift in a new way--
The gift of a tiny baby who comes to save the world

Our Savior that comes to save us.

Dec 5, 2012

Letting Advent Fill My Soul

When I think of Advent
I think of taking a walk to the creek
On the farm where I grew up--
A very favorite thing to do!

As you began to walk
Each step would reveal
A little more of the masterpiece--
The full picture of the sky,
The field, the harvested corn stalks
The shadows, the light

And that is what the Advent journey
Needs to be like for me
Taking one step at a time
Silently breathing deeply, taking it all in

Because I don't need the whirlwind
Of the parties, the decorating, the gift buying
Quite as much as I need to quiet my soul
And to wait for the Savior to be born again

It is in the quiet
In the pure solace
That I can sense the rhythms
Within my soul

I am in tune with the hunger
And thirst I have for that Savior
Who changes the world
And changes my heart

And I don't want to rush to the manger
For I need to make room and a way
For the one who knows every part of me
To live fully in my heart and to change my soul

Come, Lord Jesus.

Nov 21, 2012

Giving Thanks In All Things

Gratitude fills my heart
And I am reminded
To continually remember
To forget not all His benefits

Even in the most challenging of years
The gifts that were revealed and brought forth
Are too many to count and I am left
Feeling so full in learning how to empty myself.

The gift of paying attention to the smallest of things--
To the smile that has appeared after a long absence,
Of laughter that seems to ring through the air,
Of a touch that so deep I feel it in my soul

And awakening to the life that is such a gift
Does that to you--especially when you learn
To truly listen with the beating of your heart
To feel, and know, and be all you were created for

To notice the gift of the brilliant sunrise
But also the hues of the sunset quietly fading
Seem to bring all of life to a present that has arrived
And is just waiting to be enjoyed, and lived, and treasured.

To know that the darkness gives way to light again
To know that day by day we are being transformed
By not our circumstances, but our response to them
Not by despair, but leaning into hope

And as I pay attention and see with new eyes of faith
I know the One who holds me, who I truly belong to
Sets my path right, and moves me forward to light
So my deepest desire of bringing Him glory changes everything

For I have been blessed
And I am redeemed
And I have known undeniable faithfulness
Beyond any expression of words.

And so, my soul sings.
A song of gratitude.

Nov 3, 2012


The storm rages all around
Many plan, but when it hits
There is destruction
There is devastation

When the very physical storms come
We are knocked off our feet
The hurt all around seems surreal
Yet, it is very, very real

And yet there are storms of all kind
There are storms that rage within us
There are storms that capture our minds
And there are storms that change our hearts

All of them, it seems
Get to the heart of our spirituality
Which really means:
To see

Storms have a way of helping
Us see clearly what is important
What we cling to
And what is at the depth
Of our very soul

We are not in control anyway
Even though we think we are
We don't plan our next breath
But God does

So in all the storms of life
I've learned see a little more clearly
With each wave that washes over
To take me where I should be

Because there is this hope
This anchor for the soul
That is undeniable
That is firm and solid

Teach me to cling to the anchor

Hebrews 6:19:  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

Oct 30, 2012

Tree on the Hill

A towering tree stands at the top of hill
You cannot notice her beauty until you are up close
And experience the strength that lies within her
The courage with which she stands no matter what

Her elegance comes from her large, graceful limbs
Turned outward as if inviting the world in
As if she is embracing each moment
Each storm, each rainbow, each ray of sun.

There are deep crevices and ruts on her trunk
Signs of the storms she has weathered
But those who know her realize part of the beauty
Is the strength that came not from within,
But as  a gift from something greater, higher.

She was whipped around, branches flailing,
Old and brittle branches breaking off
So that new blooms, new life could form
So that over and over there was resurrection

This tree has learned how to embrace
And live out, and live within, and transform
Knowing that her roots are planted firmly
On a solid foundation

Sep 27, 2012

Listening to Your Life

There is deep mystery
When I take the time to
"Be still and know"...
Listening to my life.

For it has
A pattern
A history
A future
The ebb and flow.

There are times of suffering
And they are the times I seem
Out of sync, out of step
But through it all there is
A stream of love that flows through

Of knowing I am loved and loving
I am forgiven and forgiving
I have strived and I am striving
Reaching still, running the race.

There is perseverance and fortitude
There is joy in knowing I am beloved
And that I belong to the One
Who created me, sustained me
Redeems me.

Listening to my life means
There is such hope in all I have been
In all I am still, by God's grace, becoming
The ordinary that gives way to the holy, the sacred.

Hidden moments in my heart
That are somehow God's whispers of grace
That incite a passion in me to be more
To be a vessel and to pour love
The same love that was given so freely.

Aug 14, 2012

Taking Courage

There are so many days
That when I am following
The lead that I am given 
If I can just take one of leap of faith
To be strong, to take courage
I am so fully blessed.

Straight ahead
Running the race
Takes perseverance
And a good dose of fortitude
To press on.

I thought courage was for someone else
Someone who was a clear leader
Someone with great strength
Not someone like me

But the way God has changed me
Takes me from emptying myself
to heart that is overflowing
And bit by bit there is such freedom

Because all I am lacking
Is given as I look up
To the One who redeems
Who never leaves
Who restores and renews

And truly already has the plans
Laid out for my life
The God of the universe
Of the mountains and the seas

Loves me so completely
That he concerns Himself
With every detail of my life
The One who knew me
Before I was even given life 

And so what else could
My response be
But heartfelt praise
And deep gratitude.

Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you."
Deuteronomy 31:5-7

Aug 6, 2012

What Letting Go Has Taught Me

I will not say it's easy
We all have our own way
Of doing, of imagining, of believing
So letting go is not an easy place to be

But recently I learned
That letting go was a necessary step
In being who I was created to be
And allowing others their authenticity as well

Letting go, for me, means loving more
And trusting more that all will be well
That foundations that were set
Were deeply rooted

The outcomes were never in my hands
And letting go doesn't try to blame or change someone
It helps me be all of my true self and others to find their own way
For we are all on as journey together, yet individually.

Letting go allows for support without judgement
And allows others the freedom to affect their future
And it is living wholeheartedly and in truth
To become what I dream to be and others to be who they are
With all our strengths, joys, sorrows and humanness

And it is so much about acceptance and embracing
Not running to fix or change or rescue
But it is really about loving--deeply and richly
Both myself and others, wholly and completely

Thank you for giving me the courage I need.

To let go and let God.

Aug 2, 2012

Seeking Light

I like to take the road less traveled
The back roads seem to call my name
As I walk through the woods on a bright summer day
I notice how the sunlight peaks through the towering oak trees

I am not bathed in the constant, bright sunlight
But there are shadows that fall and make their way to earth
Allowing just a soft beam or glimmer, a glow
Reminding me of the ways God breaks through our darkness

Sometimes it is so subtle--
A word or a thought
Or our eyes set on something
And we slowly see the night lifting

We can't fathom how dark a night can be
Unless we are the one seeking the light
Each moment and experience brings us closer
For it is in darkness that we truly understand light's illumination

As if on the dark night of the soul
All is working together to bring new light, a new song
But we never could have imagined it, had we not lived it
And slowly the glow burns more brightly and shines outward

And when darkness turns to light
It is so humbling, so all-consuming
As if you've discovered the greatest of mysteries
Yet there is One who has led you to the path

One that has revealed the light

Set the path
Sung the melody
Opened your soul.
Created the new day dawning

Illumine me
God of Light

Jul 29, 2012


I want to be a child of wonder
To live in amazement
And to constantly
Be surprised by joy

May I be captured by rainbows
And washed by the rain
That precedes
The glorious vivid colors

To be exhilarated by the sights
Of the highest mountain peak
Or the rich orange of the
Sun waking the new day
Over the vast ocean's horizon

To love every living thing--
The delicate butterfly,
The wildflowers
In their wisps of color
The deer that runs with grace.

To be awestruck
By the laughter of child
Or the smile of a friend
Or the healing that finally comes.

To know the roots of life
Are ground deeply
In the One
Who creates
And sustains
And lifts up
And carries
And redeems.

Pure wonder.

Jul 24, 2012

The Tea Pot

There is a tea pot that sits on my stove
A precious gift from my grandmother.
It is old and is stained from many cups of tea
And the glass has a chip in it 

When I held it in my hands the other night
I thought about the fact that it resembles my life in ways
Because I now have learned to see my flaws and embrace them
Instead of hiding them or expecting perfection instead.

Accepting the blemishes
Allows the kind of growth for which I strive
And allows me to receive newness
That comes in God's time and not my own

And leaves my own prickly pursuits aside
So that I can embrace my humanness
I can cherish what is incomplete
Because I trust God is working His miracles
Even in this moment

All that is
Still has a place
And a reason

And I am not defined by the flaws
Rather, they are part of a beautiful tapestry
That is my life--joy and sorrow woven together
To bind together all God has created into this very moment

There is a way, even in struggle or pain
That God gives a gift of strength
Constantly recreating this human being
Transforming me into all that is still possible

The circumstances do not define me
And never have, though my younger self thought so
For all that it yet unknown, yet uncovered, yet to be
IS known by the One who knows me fully and completely

And calls me Beloved.

Jul 23, 2012

Healing Hands

My eyes scanned the lushness
Of each photo—
Each one telling its own story
All that each revealed, a deep treasure.

And then I see one that will always
Be indelibly etched on my soul
The healing hands of James…
“There is no testimony without the test.”

How deeply the thought, even now,
Shapes my thoughts and understanding
How I see the photograph even in my dreams
And how the memory of it stays with me.

I know that moment was filled with Spirit
Was a way of reaching my soul
Through the artist who brought the story to life
And I am deeply grateful for the moment
Where I know the touch of healing hands in my life.

For as I experienced that day, that place
It was the deeper connection with the Holy
That continues to nudge me
With the knowledge that I am changed

An inexplicable jewel on my journey
Seeking and finding the Spirit that is alive
In each person I meet in a brand new way
Weaving my faith with Presence

I am awed.

Note:  When I had the gift of traveling to New Mexico this spring, I got to meet Lenny Foster in Taos and to experience his gallery of his amazing photography.  If you get a chance, go to his website.  I was so struck and so wrapped in the presence of God. Website:

Jul 20, 2012

Eyes of Faith

Sometimes I need new perspective
I need to look at something differently
To change myself, to soften my heart
In the midst of chaos or unrest

Sometimes it's the way I'm seeing
Or not seeing.
Sometimes I'm seeing with my eyes
Instead of eyes of faith.

I know better, I've gained some wisdom
But sometimes a circumstance will occur
Or the storm wind will blow in and I'm swept up
Instead of reaching for the calm solace in my soul.

Now we see only a dim likeness of things.
As if we were seeing them in a mirror.
 But someday we will see clearly.
I cannot see completely now

Refresh me.

Let me see with eyes of faith.

Jul 17, 2012


It became quickly apparent
That being thrown into the abyss
Would require something more of me
More than will or determination or fortitude

I knew surrender was the only way
Yet, I thought I had surrendered
But looking back I was only willing
To give up  parts of me at a time
There was that control again.

I had the skills needed...
I could manage, direct, influence
Fix, rescue, mend, release, save
Even in this new darkness

But so much of the healing
That has taken place
Has something to do with total surrender
For there is a great plan.

Yet it is not my plan
There is something far greater
When trust finally becomes a way of life
When total acceptance
Washes over you and changes your soul

And when, finally,
You are becoming
Who you were created to be.

Jun 26, 2012

Giving Voice

In some simple way my soul knows
That I must give voice
to this journey.

My soul grows both in the circumstance
And in the understanding and deep wisdom
That keeps enveloping me...leading me
Further, deeper to a rich place

But if I do not give voice to the whispers
To the groanings, to the exuberant shouts
Both the gut-wrenching heartache and
The shining triumphs will lie stagnant

It would be like an unopened love letter
Whose lovely heartfelt words are never read or felt
Or a symphony's music left on the piano
With no ringing melody wafting through the air

The journey is not just about the sufferings
It is much more poignantly about the response
It is not about staying stuck in a low place
But about rising above the pain to healing

This path is about everyday miracles
And what happens when your heart is truly open
About being awake to the world around you
For all the gifts that each moment holds
And it is truly about hope.

For out of the darkness comes the light
First barely a glimmer, then a warm glow
then a brilliant, radiant, shining beam of light
That is so luminous is will never fade.