Dec 25, 2013

Gift of a Savior

May the journey to Bethlehem
Have the power to change us –
Our perspective, our actions, our hearts
As the wondrous Gift is given

If Christ is in us
Are we welcoming each one we encounter
With the same reverence and honor
With which we approach the holy manger

In a world around us that is broken
Do we carry the hope with us
That we know to be true
Through the Savior born to save us

Do we carry an abundant joy within our souls
So that we are carrying the news of the Light
Into to a world that was as dark as night
Reflecting and illuminating the True Light

Gift of a Savior
Softened heart, renewed spirit
Love for all, joy abounding
Hope has come, spread the word.

Emanuel, God with us.

Dec 21, 2013

Advent Reflection

The journey to Bethlehem is filled
With so many thoughts about preparation
Is everything ready?  Are the decorations hung?
Are the cookies made? Are the presents wrapped?

Yet my reflection leads me to knowing something more
Is the depth of my soul ready to receive my King?
Have I looked in deeply?  Have I softened my heart?
Do I have a generous spirit?  Is His joy the melody I carry?

For when I take the time and relish a quiet moment
And give myself in prayer, do I truly surrender?
To the One who comes?  To the Savior of the world?
To the Savior of my heart and life?

If we are preparing to see the King
We might think of our ouside appearance
Do we look presentable enough? Is our hair just right?
But Our King cares enough to know our hearts
And He invites us to come as we are

How humbly He comes, this Savior of the world
He comes to lift our burdens and look into our eyes
He comes to wipe away the tears and never leave us
He comes to save a world that needs rescue

Are you ready?

Dec 9, 2013

Making Space

In Advent I am called more deeply
To a sense of attentiveness
To the world around me
And the soul inside me

No matter where I am on my journey
God shows me new things with new eyes
In the waiting there are so many gifts to behold
And in my life of prayer and contemplation
I am called to draw in deeper

When I can settle into the peace
And let go of the busyness of the season
There are gifts in the reflection
That allow me to see, to notice, to awake

In each Advent season, it seems
I need to make space in a new way
To reflect, renew, restore
So that I am ready to be led
By that little Child

What is familiar becomes new again
The singing of the hymns resound in my soul
The reading of the texts are understood in a new way
And there is an illumination of what is coming

But it requires silence and thought
Not rushing through the days
Not running to Bethlehem
But putting one step in front of the other

Being aware of the journey
In the waiting.  In the reflecting.
In the attentiveness in my heart
In the opening of my soul.

Nov 26, 2013

Touching What Is Holy

I can touch what is holy
And it is around me at every moment
For it is a natural course:
Loving ourselves, loving others
But also being deeply and profoundly
Loved by God.


"The kingdom of God is within you."
When I really concentrate on that love
That love that is so encompassing
That love that is so abundant
I am left in awe.

Allow me to be grateful enough
To be trusting enough
To accept this God-given grace
Because I then see and can embrace
Creation alive within each me and others.

With age comes greater gifts:
I long for simplicity and humility
I am not caught up with measuring up
At least not by the world's stndard

I have a greater gift now
In my ordinariness there is
A deep need for vulnerability
For breaking myself wide open

To embrace all that I can be
All that I can learn
All the ways I can serve
When I listen to that
Still small voice within.


Nov 1, 2013

Crossing the Bridge

I find that I can't cross a bridge
Just watching from the other side
I need to take a leap of faith
And take one step at a time
To being the journey.

Pressing on, moving ahead
Requires faith and bit of courage

But crossing the bridge
Moving from despair to hope
Is worth the peservance
To get to the other side

Life is indeed a journey
There dreams to dream
And a life to live
And wisdom to gain

And at the center of it
Is love to be shared
Through a heart of faith
Wth fortitude and strength

Crossing the bridge means

To get to all you are becoming
And the life that's unfolding
At every moment.

Reach out your hand
Take the first step
Move the first stone
Cross the bridge

Jul 11, 2013

A Different Lens

If I just take a moment not just to look
But to really see through a different lens
I see new colors, no longer faded but vivid
I notice something different, because I am different

The world is not just black and white
But so many different hues and shades
And sometimes I think something should be my way
But taking the time for a different view brings light

When I put aside judgements or preconceptions
And just live for this precious moment I'm given
I can let go of things that hold me back
And have the courage to see in a new way

The old has passed away, the new has come
And there is precious grace in that knowledge
That letting go means beginning again
And taking a leap of faith

And seeing.  In a new light.

Just by changing the lens.

Jun 25, 2013


What does it take to be courageous?
Not afraid of danger or pain, I am told
I wonder if there is anything
Courageous within me.

But the examples are all around
In physical strength
And changed lives
In new perspective...
Even my own.

And I have been faced
Through suffering
With those that show me
Day by day
How they trying to get it right.

One breath, one step
In front of the other
Trying and striving
And leaning on the One
Who has saved us.

Lost and then found
Suffering and then healing
On death's door, and now alive
The old has passed away,
the new has come.


"Be brave.  Be strong.  Don't give up.  Expect God to get here soon." (Ps 31:24)

Jun 8, 2013

Letting Go

It is amazing when you
Have the courage to let go
Of the things that have held you
Like a bird in soaring freedom

So many times
I have thought there were
Choices that belonged to me
But they were for others to make

And there is freedom in knowing
It is not in the rescuing 
Or sweeping in and fixing
But in one thing that matters:   loving

Not loving based on good works
Loving unconditionally,
No matter the circumstance
Or whether I thought choices of others
Were the best ones.

Because I can only choose
What is mine to choose--
And I am learning 
To let my judgements
Go by the wayside.  

And when I heal,
What I know is that
I am learning how not to react
But rather, respond, with love
And THAT choice is mine:
How to respond to the circumstance.

And when I can see that growth
I know for sure
God is leading me
Changing me
Growing me

Every day.
One day at a time.

May 9, 2013

On the Gifts of Being a Mother

When I first became a mother
There was only one thing I wanted to be:  Perfect
And I must say, looking back, I was far from that
But with God as my foundation the adventure
Was and is the most glorious part of my life.

I can't begin to express how being mother
Formed me into the person God created
It took a great deal of love first and foremost
Something most would say I'm good at.

But my greatest lessons as a mother
Came out of the struggle and the sacrifice
They are those moments that still
Sparkle in my memory.

Being a mother takes courage
Being a mother takes perseverance
Being a mother takes wisdom
Being a mother takes gentleness

And it also took a great deal
Of baseball practice and fishing
Of hockey games and reading
Of creativity and immense adventure
An amazing heaping of concern maybe
But a bigger dose of joy and laughter

When I became a single parent
I thought I had to be everything to everyone
And that took me down such a difficult path
Now I know I am only myself.

But when I look back to the joys
And to the heartaches
I see all the good that came
I think mothers are a priceless jewel

And the thing of it is that we are
As different as the colors of the rainbow
But we are all doing Kingdom work
Raising up the next generation

And by God's grace
Maybe these children in our care
Can see our faithfulness and love
Our hope and dreams for a bright future.

Because we have been pursued
By a God that will never let us go
Will never leave us alone
Will never forsake us

And we are planting seeds.
For the Kingdom.

Apr 25, 2013

Finding Solace...Everywhere

The rush of the city, the honking of taxicabs
People hurrying by, pushing through
And the distinctive sounds ring in my ear
And the wafting smells of the city rise

It is a dichotomy of sorts
This girl who grew up on the farm
Who by all accounts is quiet and introspective
And longs for the slow, sunshine filled days

I think of all the ways my Spirit has taught me
That my soul needs rest and to find solace
Because it is there--at the throne of grace
That I can listen, and hear and be.

Yet, I laugh at the surprise of knowing
Even in the city with all its busyness
I find the solace, the peace, the serenity
I am looking out on a new day
With the sparklin sun rising up over
The Brooklyn Bridge--an exquisite sight.

And even in the chaos that is around
I found a chapel and I retreat there sometimes
To their noontime vespers to settle and quiet
And meet the One who created me and sustains me
And holds me, even when the world is clamoring

The chapel houses a beautiful labyrinth
And I find myself almost running there
So I get to the peace, commune with the Holy
For that is where I find the source of my life

And now I find that it isn't about running away
Or finding the silence of the chapel so much
But quieting my soul, and practicing Sabbath
Learning to expereince Resurrection.

Apr 19, 2013

Mystery of Love

It is a great mystery
When I think of the way I am loved
Deeper than oceans and higher
Than the highest mountain.

Sometimes I forget
Or I wander trying to find love
But am I always brought back
To the one who loves me most.

For the one who created me,
The one that pursues constantly,
The one that molded me
And the one that sustains me
Is the whose love I want and need.

No matter what I do
No matter how far I run
I am consumed with that love
And now I can say for sure,
I feel that love in the bottom of my soul.

And the question is:
How do I show that love back
to the One who loves me most?
How can I be faithful enough?
How can I be transformed enough?
How can I be all I was made to be?

Only with an open heart
Only in obedience
Only with all that I am.

Mar 13, 2013


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 11, 2013

Little Solitudes

This morning when I take a little solitude
I am so aware that my loneliness
Has dissipated because in this silence
The solitude I find is in You.

I sit on the deck before the sun is up
And I overlook a small patch of woods
The birds are chirping
And squirrels are already climbing

I love finding you here
And I am so aware
That you constantly pursue me
And I need these solitudes

For in these small moments
Even if the world is busy around
I find in the inner life the solace
That teaches me about listening.

I listen for the rhythms of life
And listen for the whispers in my heart
And the way you direct my path
And for the one true voice I need.

In these solitudes
I find peace in resting in You
I find love that envelops me
I find hope that pushes me on.

All found
by resting in You.

Mar 4, 2013

Creative Listening

How attentive am I?
To the world that is around me?
Do I desire to know each person
And see where the Holy is at work in you?

It is only in listening--to both what is said
And many times to what is not said
To the perspective and glimpses I hear
That teach me to listen to my life.

For my life is not about me
But about all I encounter and experience
About each sacred moment I am giving
And how see Christ's movement in it

My eyes need to be wide open to the world
And my heart needs to hold that openness too
For I need to pay attention to the path
To the touch, the smile, the whisper I encounter

Let me "Be Still and Know that I am God"
And recognize the solace and serenity
That I am given as a gift
And find You in the solace.

Feb 18, 2013

Running the Race

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:11

We want to run the race of life
And we want to run it well
With goodness and perseverance
So we can hear the welcoming words, 
"Well done, good and faithful servant."
And we are engaged in running that race.

But sometimes we're a world that runs a different race
Runninghere, running there, do this, don't forget that
A frantic pace, fitting all we can into our days
And sometimes forgetting the gift of solace.

And as Easter people
Don't we want to run up ahead?
Let's get to the joy
Let's move beyond the cross,
to resurrection.

But Lent calls us to do something so different--
To fall on our knees, to stop and to sit in silence
To just be, spending time in solitude and quiet
Learning to truly be still and listen intently

And to think about the cross and what it means
God gives us the courage to look deeply inside
And longs for us to give our extravagant attention
And sit in the gift of communion He gives.


A journey worthy of the cross.

Feb 17, 2013


Let us live in wonder
Allowing our faith stories to take hold
Reminding us to learn to live the Word
Within our hearts and in community

Let us live in wonder
Of your amazing love
As we mediate on Jesus' teachings
And His sacrifice for our sins

Let us live in wonder
As we see ourselves
In the cast of characters
Of those who loved Him,
Who rejected Him,
Who betrayed,
Who put Him to death.

Let us live in wonder
Because through this journey
We know that Resurreciton comes.
Intensify our need to strive to be
"Christ in You"

Let us live in wonder
That by recalling and understanding
Our own flaws and darkness
We live in the amazing, unconditional love
That only our Creator gives.

Let us live in wonder
For our Maker
Our Sustainer
Our Shepherd
Our Friend
Our Redeemer

The lover of our souls.

Feb 16, 2013

My Heart Garden

In my mind's eye, I can see them--
The amazing and brilliant
Flower gardens
On the family farm where I grew up.

I can remember my mother's
Joy in working on them
In planting the new flowers
And weeding so they would flourish

Or the Mother's Day
That my sisters and I planted
A whole new garden of annuals as a surprise
In the rock garden that was shaped like a heart.

And I think about the lushness of those gardens
How my mother would teach us the names of the flowers
And how the pinks and purples and hues of orange and red
Would grace those gardens, bringing so much beauty and joy

And that's the gift of Lent--
What is broken and what needs restoring
Can turn from winter into spring
As the earth breathes new life

And slowly what is dull and lifeless
Becomes vibrant and colorful
For the soil has been nurtured
And there is a resurrection song

But we are on the journey
Reflecting and examining and changing
Growing somehow the garden
Of our hearts and souls.

Journey On.

Feb 15, 2013


As I walk the Lenten journey
Help me to examine myself
With introspection, let me see my soul
And open me to your transformation.

More than that, help me to listen--
To listen with ears of faith
To listen not to just what is said
But what is left unspoken

Keep my eyes focused on You
And keep my heart focused on hope
As you do the work in me to draw me
Ever closer to Your throne of grace.

Let me listen to the cries of the world
And teach me how to respond in loving compassion
And let me not be quick with my words
But thoughtful, taking in all that I am hearing

Let me listen for seeds of promise
To the earth and all its life
To hearts of others that dream
Let me listen for hope and healing.

Let me learn that solitude
Is a gracious of gift
Of sitting with you in silence
And being wrapped in your generous love.

Teach me how to listen.

Feb 14, 2013

A Watered Garden

A friend of mine kept a Lenten poem I had written a couple of years ago, and asked if I could share again during this Lenten season.


Thinking about the journey to the cross and Jesus' time in the wilderness began my thoughts of our own wilderness, our own hunger and thirst for the Holy, the sacred.

The earth, still untilled
Surface layer hardened by winter
Barren, brown and dry
Brittle and broken stems
Lifeless, dull, fruitless

But through the soil
The tiller digs in deeply
And uproots the dried blossoms
And gives new life to what lay dormant
Forcing its way through a winter crust

Feel the blazing of bright sunlight
The warm wind blowing freely
The deep thirsting for rain
To bathe with refreshment
Waiting, wanting, longing

Sensing the approach of a rainstorm
Hearing the wind and the thunder roar
Its rumbling drawing nearer
Crack of lightning blazing the sky

And now just stillness...
The air is heavy
And one raindrop falls
Then another and another
Tumbling down upon you...
Splashing and dancing and dribbling

Through the openings of the soil
Falling faster and faster
A steady pace now
Trickling rivulets
Sinking deep into all
The readied and prepared spaces

The watering refreshes
The newness invigorates
The roots deep within and new shoots
Cleansed and purified, now flourishing

From wilderness to thriving
From emptiness to fullness
From bleakness to abundance
From death of resurrection
From despair to hope

Feb 9, 2013

What Comes Forth

I am always so amazed
At the the beauty that
Grows through the struggle
That we face.

Sometimes gently, sometimes boldly
But new life springs forth
Whether in perspective
In unmerited grace
In hte softening of a heart...

The struggles seem to lie dormant
And then hit us by surprise many times
But learning Who to lean on
How to be transformed
And being open to new life
Has something to do with the view.

Now when I look back
I realize if I had not faced a struggle
Of one kind or another
I may not have been molded
To bring me to this very present place.

And somehow even through
The cracks that appear
On the armor and walls we erect
His light makes its way through.

You are the Potter
I am the Clay

Jan 16, 2013


How do I share your presence?
It is clear you call me to give myself
But instead I seem to isolate myself instead
When you call me to let your voice be heard

It requies stepping out in faith
Giving love and reaching a hand
To become bold in faith
And reach to those who need Your love

Give me the courage
To open myself wholeheartedly
To open my Spirit so that it soars
To touch the Holy in everyone I meet

Instead of clenching fists tightly
Let me open my hands so they may be touched
So that can be a vessel of the One who created my soul
Who sustains and holds me and nudges me on in His name

Stepping Out
Hands Open
Heart Ready

Jan 15, 2013

Keep Calm and Pray On

The title of the journal--
A new gift I received
Seems to say it all,
"Keep Calm and Pray On"

It reminded me
Of the hundreds of times
I have prayed the Serenity Prayer this year
As if it is a mantra from the depths of my soul.
And it is.

"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."

How God knows my desire
to be still and know that He reigns
In my heart, in my soul, in my life
My words, my actions, my thoughts.

Trusting Him is the way I find
The Way
The Truth
The Light

He has set my path
He is on the journey
By my side
Guiding my every moment

Keep Calm
And Pray On

You are my Peace
You are my Serenity

Jan 8, 2013


Gently the sun
Peeks over the horizon
Nudging the day awake
Warming the earth

Gently the waves
Meet the sand
Breaking and receding
In a rhythm of serenity

Gently the songs are sung
In our hearts and in our souls
Whether songs of joy or sorrow
The gentle songs of life, light our way

Genthy a light glimmers then glows 
Until it is burning brightly
Just as the faith inside me has been revealed
Gently, then with vigor and intensity

Gently the baby is born 
In a quiet stable to a faithful servant
Quietly among the animals in the stable
The King of all makes his entrace in the world

Gently those we love have come into our lives
And touched us deeply and richly
And gently they are gone again
And we are never the same.