Monday, December 24, 2012

Kids Again

Kids Again
30 years ago...
Joking dad in his speckled turtle neck and oddly patterned sweater
lying underneath the tree to see the star lights hidden in the evergreen
Toasty coffee breath stories snuggled close under a canopy of pine
Mom's earrings jingle belling around the kitchen, pausing for hugs and kisses
humming songs from the Christmas Eve service
and the promise of Lazzy Bear waiting in the wrapping and ribbon
16 years ago...
the world was filled with romance
When a boy dressed like a man with cheeks of red
Got down on one knee with a question, a promise, and a ring
blue carpet living room on Harvey street filled with family
and a question
Hidden inside an ornament shaped like a little country church.
and the promise of "happily ever after" waiting in a ring of gold
10 years ago on Christmas Eve
The world was filled with joy
When a two week old infant was the best present under the tree
When gifts didn't matter and the only unwrapping involved diapers,
Soft pink satin ribboned blankets or boxes of baby wipes.
and the promise of purpose in 2 blue eyes that needed me
5 years ago...
My little girl sat in my lap in her princess nightgown and kitty slippers
While her daddy, that boy turned man when we grew up together,
assembled a Cinderella castle when he is still her only prince
and the promise of the baby Jesus story is read to her wide eyes.
over 2000 years ago
A weary girl on a donkey found her way to a stable
You became man in a manger filled with hay under a guiding star.
You came into our homes to be with us under Christmas trees
To be the reason the ring of Gold won't bend or break
To become a baby so we could love ours better with You
To carry out the best happily ever after story ever told
and the promise of the cross and a stone rolled away.
You wrapped in our hearts waiting under the tree.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; 
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, 
and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14)

"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." - Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tumbleweeds and River-side Trees

The temptation of tumbleweeds beckons us all,
Rolling and bumping like the cursed eight ball.
Trying butts in to steal Trusting's turn,
Concealing the danger like a snake fern.
Lord, let me be that River-side tree
Ever-sipping the stream traced back to the sea.
The roots are unseen, but I can feel you there,
Like the steady creek of a rocking chair.
Though the stream is tiny and the sea far away
I will believe in the sea in the drought of this day.

"God's Message: "Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight. He's like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows. "But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers - Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season." Jeremiah 17:5-8 (Msg)

"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders." – Jewish Proverb

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The "S" Word (dun, dun, dun)

Three concentric circles
Orbit in the merry-go-round
Center circle usurped by dizzy, haughty eyes
Paper towels defiantly crumpled on counters
6 steps away from the open-mouthed trash can
But my universe is inside out
Backwards, inverted, on the flip side.
It takes effort to complete the stunt
in the comfort of control.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Messes hiss like insults from hecklers in the home.
Building security piece by piece
With the bricks of past let-downs.
My blueprints replacing Yours
This way I don't have to look at each brick
and remember Who formed it from dust or a rib.
I just lump them into one huge mass
Of generalities, exaggerations, judgments.
Beating my head against a wall I built.
Thus the tightened tone, the strained eyes,
The pursed lips that meet like prison bars.
Lord, save me from this culture-created view of femininity
From magazine report cards and sitcom rolling eyes
Mold me in to the women, the wife, you made me to be
Breath life into this rib, from dust, once again.

"While it may be totally foreign to most of us, the male need for respect and admiration--especially from his woman--is so hardwired and so critical that most men would rather feel unloved than disrepected or inadequate." Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only

"I don't let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else." 1 Timothy 2: 11-12

"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." Colossians 3:18

Monday, April 16, 2012


drill sergeant echoes in cortex conscience
red-faced spit-fire down at the huddled, chambered mass
"Pull yourself up by those bootstraps, soldier!"
muddy mouse maze, ruddy rat race
sinking in, sucking in
hazel pupils fall
as pupil fails
shamed shoulders arc
searching bare feet
no straps to pull
no boots for battle
no purple heart
just this raw worn
tired pink blob
and waiting
for Your breath
not straps for my boots
wind for my sails
to fly

"It often looks like things are falling apart ...where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace."
2 Cor 4:16-17 MSG

"He led us 2 quiet waters...weary bones, fatigued souls...sit in the green pastures. The water was still. We reflected too... In the face of a hurt humanity, I want to know granite reality: that God gives only good and I am always loved." AnnVoskamp

"Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing...a Genesis week... a fresh wind in my sails!"
Psalm 51:7-10 MSG

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butterfly Effect

awkward is my middle name
case for a basket of butterflies
flapping around behind my belly button
winging reverb to my shaking fingertips
and blowing words out through the mouth
I never mean to say
flutter cluttering everyone else's quiet day
I bite my lip to trap them in
but they live in my head too
ever buzzing monarch thoughts,
landing to crawl like pens on paper,
puckish shadow puppets
behind these windows to my soul
flapping incessantly,
but maybe
they're dancing...
they're just praising You
they're lifting me up to fly
fingertips at the edge of the sky
the best curse to have
is the curse of the

"Refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies." Sarah Jessica Parker

"The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less." 2 Corinthians 5:5 (Msg)

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?" Robert Browning

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame." GK Chesterton

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 09, 2012

Bubblicious Dottie

Dottie had a Mary Poppins purse with endless bubblegum
I'd skip up every Sunday morning with a smile quickly returned
soft-spotted gentle hand reaching into bottomless white leather
I'd steal a glance at her shining pearls as rare as she was
and then her open, humble palm extended like a present
magic cubes of sugar wrapped with paper and the love of Jesus
Don would hold my cheek and do his Donald Duck voice
giggling out the sugar high of touch and humor and joy
and I always knew they loved me
that church was not a steeple, a wooden cross up front,
not a building, cold and brick
but the warmth of people who loved Jesus and loved me
the gentle hands of Don and Dottie McCall
and their endless generosity of Bubblicious
a gift to our necktie and high-heeled parents as well
funneling all that impish energy that made us want to dance in the aisle
concentrated in our jaws where our taste buds danced with delight
and our shoes swayed beneath the pews like giddy pendulums
or upside down flowers laughing in an Easter breeze
where He came and died to turn our world upside down
every Sunday I'd see Him in their eyes, their smiles,
Don's duck voice and that purse of mystery
all pointing me to generosity, to joy, to Jesus
May the purse of my heart never run out of Bubble Gum.
Dottie's knowing smile went up to be with Jesus today
I hear His voice floating down, urging Don to keep smiling
and praying in his duck voice
until they can all be together again.
I bet Jesus blows the best bubbles.

"Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. In an open and humble palm ,released and ready to receive, light dances, flickers happy." Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

"Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. " Mark 4:24

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
- James M. Barrie

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The New Knew

drowning in the New Year lists of shoulds
waves crashing from both sides
more saving, less spending
more water, less sodium
more cardio, less battered and fried
and it's making all of us a little battered and fried
12 steps down to the basement
where my kid pulls me back up to You
with the placid lake simplicity of the 4 L's
and I add the 5th

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.” T.S.Eliot

"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new."(Isaiah 43:19 MSG)

"All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." ~Albert Camus

One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

"I know what I want: to see deeply, to thank deeply, to feel joy deeply. How my eyes see, perspective, is the key..." Ann Voskamp "One Thousand Gifts"