Thursday, September 30, 2010


hush, baby, i want to take in all of you right now, want to memorize your impossible black eyelashes leaving shadows on your cheek, those stone-colored eyes i've never seen on another little boy, make constellations in your freckles that match mine just-so. hush, little one, everyone else is sleeping, but i'm not afraid of you waking them; i'm afraid we'll lose this moment of just us, the house all dark and still, and only us awake and sitting here. you grabbed my hand and i couldn't believe you would, that mama-love despite being busy-four, and so i rake your curls and shssssh you. hush, my love, for just a little while tonight.

linking with emily's imperfect prose

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giving back the leaves

we talked of aloneness, of our tendency to hide simply because sin exists. it ruptures us, and we hide...hide behind self-sewn leaves and fear, and our God whispers, "where are you?" he knows, but he asks us to admit we're hiding. asks us to deal with our sin. asks us to give back the leaves we hide beneath.
so today, Lord,
i dance naked and crazy like david,
i hold my hands to my breasts
not in scrutiny
but in humility,
and tears flow freely
dancing down as well
and i ask you to lead me
with silver holiness;
we dance, God-Spirit and i,
and he whispers,
"my love, i know you.
know Me. "

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


i have received so many congratulations and well-wishes through my blog and email this week, and i'm having some computer snafus, so have not been able to properly thank anyone, but i've read and appreciated all the happy thoughts sent our way! i hope to be back here regularly again towards the end of this week or early next!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Counting home

there is a coming home in his arms
where the world is only ours.
we count dreams together,
he and i,
and marvel at how our family grows.
we swell again,
our last, and
promise one another to remember every moment
(you think you will, but you don't
unless you try)
and so we wait,
breathless and hope-full
for this new life
counting us,
our home.

full of joy, i count my way towards a thousand gifts, along with ann and the gratitude community.

holy experience

172. for my husband, my beloved whom i call home
174. for three beautiful boys, all opposite me
175. the hope and joy of another one on the way
176. and REALLY not caring if it's team pink or blue
177. for telling mom for the first time ever that i thought we were expecting, small, huge!
178. for being my "perfect" number, God allowing
179. for other expecting sister (of twins!) getting some relief from her preterm contractions
180. and the babies' continued safety as they stay inside
181. for conviction to eat well this time, hoping to avoid our nicu stay from last time
182. and bacon! (our family is 99% vegetarian, but oh, to eat bacon again now that i have to obey my diabetic diet)
183. for daydreaming about names--one of my favorite parts!
184. for knowing that children are a heritage

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paper and chalk

when the chalk dies,
does the paper go with it?
do those shooting stars &
float away, land in Heaven
for dusty beings?
do the words die,
smeared, driven over, rain-erased
& long-forgotten by other playthings?
does the paper
become an imagination somewhere
i wonder.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The silent thief

(to one of the victims of our silence, l.b.)

i'm not sure who
insisted silence was gold
but i'm pretty sure
he was wrong.
there's too much to
and stories to live
and so silence has
been a thief for
took those words
"i love you"
and contorted them
into fear
and nothing
and looked a lot
more black than sheen
but we are finding
-she and i-
that listening is
and worth its weight
in gold

visit emily, my favorite thursday haunt, for her imperfect prose and join the rest of us as we write grace, imperfectly perfect.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hidden in the field

The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand." (matt 13:10-13)

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." (matt 13:44)

i've heard, sometimes, a prayer prayed: Lord, give me ears to hear and eyes to see.

david platt, in his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, asks two pivotal questions of his readers. will we believe what Jesus says, and will we obey what we hear? i'm going to be brutally honest here. i read the first chapter where mr. platt immediately dives into "become homeless," "let someone else bury your dad," and "don't even say good-bye to your family," and my mind immediately thought of my Dream Living Room. the one i've been planning fantasizing over for a few years. one that is void of kid and pet stains, that has an artsy, funky vibe that marries cool and eclectic and possibly a hint of elegant chic. THAT living room, which is, um, not what my living room looks like now. i have a girlfriend who is very "green," and we love to wax on about our schizophrenic natures: we want to hate stuff, but sometimes we love nice stuff. we want to reduce waste, but we still entertain shopping at Anthropologie, just because we can. or because we want to. and believe me, i want to. there are days i want to run so far away from kid spills and my worn pajamas yogapant look, don those statement necklaces, and feel posh for a change.
i already have my treasure.
and it's hidden in a field. one that's already been bought for me. at the highest possible cost.
and not many understand why i'd sell all my possessions and buy an empty field.
not everyone gets to see the treasure. not everyone can understand his words.
david platt wrote, "my biggest fear, even now, is that i will hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to him."
this is probably my biggest fear, too.
one of my life verses has been, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."(psalm 84:10) and i used to say during particularly hard seasons that i'd still choose to be His than to spend a thousand days with whatever idol was distracting me (a guy, academic hardship, broken relationships, even just hurt weighing heavily). can i still say that if i lose material wealth, if i didn't have an SUV to tote my kids, and nice (albeit stained, i'm not kidding!) furniture, and well, a roof at all for that matter. [you have only to look here, or here, or here to be reminded that wealthy is very subjective globally.]
what will authentic faith look like in my life?
will i have eyes to see the treasure, hidden?
will i have a heart that yearns to obey, no matter the cost?
can i forsake that dream living room? what about the idea of my kids' comfort? could i give more of myself than i already do?
can i be radical in this day and age?

i'm SO excited to be joining at marla's discussion of this book over the next ten weeks. i have no idea what it's going to look like or how we'll all participate, but i know that i expect to be challenged and encouraged. please come check it out!!

A revival inside

ever since reading all of ann's guatemala posts, i've had a song running through my head; it's an old hymn that we sang in backroad country churches growing up, and one that probably meant nothing to me the first time i sang it.
listening to the Compassion group and their stories, seeing the photos, talking about the difference between physical and spiritual poverty, has been breaking open my idea of what it means to be bread, to feed His sheep:

will you be poured out like wine, upon the alter for Me?
will you be broken like bread, to feed the hungry?
would you be so one with Me that you would do just as I will?
would you be light and life and love, My will fulfilled?

and i consider the implications of "what would jesus do?" and what would daily sacrifice of myself mean? and to be so one with Him sounds so... holy, could i really do his will? but in all these, i know i can be light, i can show love, and i can offer life to those around me, starting with my babes at home and on to the grocer and the woman who seems cold to me at church. i've found myself interrupting rants with, "well, i suppose if i gave grace..." and i think i feel a burning inside of me.

i pray for brokenness and pourings-out, and i burn inside.

continuing to count, to choose to remember the thousand daily graces, the burning that propels me:

164. a phone call with a friend, many tears shed for a burden, and her kind, compassionate, christ-filled words of encouragement
165. reminding how much he loves us
166. and how he doles extravagant grace
167. how He answers prayers, even the seemingly small ones, and this one in particular so quickly... and with a smile we heard him!
168. for husband, though sick, still willing to work, to provide
169. for a week of plenty
170. playdates last week, buffering some of the loneliness
171. and bible study to start this week, praying to meet a friend.
172. for a soul-stirring i feel inside, revival of my own heart?
173. the joy that is family, breaking bread together

holy experience

Friday, September 10, 2010


i didn't know i was worth that to you
didn't know you'd lavish me and ravish me
and leave me wanting more
didn't know you were all i had
or all i ever wanted
and i clumsily ate leftovers
of another kind.
not knowing you were there
the whole time
i didn't understand
i was made for you
and that you loved me
with your life
by giving your life to me
and i lived my life for me
and ate those stale remnants
those vestiges of selfishness
and you were waiting
for me
arms wide open
a feast just for me
because it was all
part of the price
no one course deserved
i couldn't possibly save enough
do enough
or work hard enough
to earn your love
you grace me with it daily

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On my mind today


they share jesus words today and i'm humbled by their thoughts as i think through my own on how to be more like jesus.

Phineas and me

sometimes i think i must be like that big, black cat--the social drinker (he learned from watching tiny grey)--who didn't see me turn the faucet to drip, and he yowls in thirsty protest. i'm in the shower and it's wet all around; he has no idea how abundant the water really is.
i sing shower-serenades, old hymns (the kind i know best), and i don't know the abundance pouring through me either.

Water on the human forehead,
Birthmark of the love of God
Is the sign of death and rising
Through the seas there runs a road.
There is water in the river
Bringing life to tree and plant.
Let creation praise its giver;
There is water in the font.

(2nd verse, out of deep, unordered water)

Monday, September 6, 2010


just a note to say that i'll be joining marla's radical read-a-long for the next 10 weeks.
i think i'm scared to death, but excited in a way that has my mind buzzing. i want to process here as the group processes and discusses and shares with one another how they are being stretched, and i'd love for you to join the journey, whether it's just here or over at marla's. the first chapter is next tuesday, and i'm willing to be willing, as my friend christina would say.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

As large as alone

tonight i write not saddest lines (there'll be a time for that, i suppose), but i do write discouraged. i love the Groom, and i love his collective Bride, so how the disjointedness, the square-peg-round-hole syndrome, the loneliness? but after long words hashed out, i wonder if it's even the Church's fault i'm lonely? i don't know. we were lost tonight, he and i. he carried little one in arms as a buffer and i chased older ones as desperate measure to seem busy, belonging. we were strangers in a stranger's house, and we should have been welcomed with hearts and arms and spiritual bloodlines. how the disparity?
tonight i write thanks-giving lines, for where else but in the "as small as a world
as large as alone"
can i choose to see His hands? need to see His hands? so i count.

148. for beauty and songs that make me weepy, a quiet worship
(the title of this post and the quote above, from venerable e.e. cummings, and this song is magical)

149. for faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen
150. hoping to find community THIS year
151. for faith that He will give us this request of our hearts, friends
152. for not being totally alone, having sister here
153. and lunch with all those boys together, the realization that we were 4 boys under 6 and all well-behaved!
154. for cooling weather, and time to let little feet run free
156. for shea beginning to understand the question, "what are you thankful for" and seeing his own answers
157. for copycat little brother also hearing and giving thanks
158. for bedroom full of all my loves, even if the majority of people think i'm insane
159. for his love, his grace, his hands over mine, ring-mirrors to remind of the promise
160. for purple nail polish
161. and next tattoo beginning
162. and the little things that just make me smile
163. and mostly, for not being truly alone (even when it feels it sometimes)

holy experience

Friday, September 3, 2010

The prayers of geese

she didn't know i was having a bad day when she called. i confessed to it being long, slow, boring, but those are easy words when the truth is you just didn't like self or child and air was tensely breathed. she shared life-giving words, love-words, and the encouragement was a balm.

she spoke of prayer, of women gathered 'round to lift up their children as airy incense like abraham offered isaac on sacrifice-altar. we mothers pray for our children, sometimes in loving caress and goodnight lullabies, but also in tight-gripped fear of tomorrows and failures and enemies. chins tucked in at night, prayers waft in moonlight.

the speaker at her church meeting talked of geese and how women praying with and for each other are in flock, too, and how the front goose flaps wings harder to make a current for the ride of those behind easier, or how the geese near end honk encouragement to those up front. these geese need to fly in supporting formation (that famous V) with each other--to fly solo is to fly less far.

we talk of prayer-as-legacy ; i want my loves to be wrapped in the silver aroma of prayer, a heritage of intercession the one thing they know truer than any other way of saying, "i love you."

i kiss those boys to bed, and we pray together in thanks. we three lie together in the dark, i hear baby breaths and quiet snores, and i whisper burning incense, i love you, Father.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A bowl and a harp

the smoke dances whisper white
curling and swaying like a belly dancer,
intimate and hovering.
the smell is heady and strong,
the heat rising in my throat
as incense burns ash-long.
the golden bowl collecting these prayers
gleams metallic-
a place to go, to whisper, to groan-
and a new song is sung
because He was worthy
and slain;
we become kings and priests
to serve our God
as he inhales the fragrant aroma of our prayers.
life exhales as worship:
glory to the Lamb!

a poetic paraphrase of revelation 5 for emily's imperfect prose

Love without condition

i've often said i want jesus with skin on
a chance to talk to him in the flesh
a chance to hold his brown wrinkled hand in mine

i'm pretty sure she'd like that too
even if she doesn't call it jesus;
she would like to be looked in the eyes
and talked with, not at or, worse, not at all
her skintight shirt her only shield to the night, and hate. 

i think he would know if jesus-skin offered him a real meal
not a value meal, not a dollar in change
but true change, life change
and priceless love, cigarette burning ash
and eyes that see past cardboard "laziness."

who am i to want him here
but not to be him here?
how can i not feed his sheep
when that's all he's ever asked?

to love as he loved
surely that's an impossible task
how can i? won't i get hurt? won't it cost too much?

his hands are browned and worn, and
he grips that little hand all white and chubby, and
there is a light in both their eyes,
like lightning,
the kind that burns the soul,
and i think that's the first step
to walking jesus feet-
to love without condition

ann asked how we can be jesus's hands, reaching out to the hurting in the world, and this is a poem i wrote as an initial reply. join her for walk with him wednesday?

holy experience