our slumber party
Once upon a time
There was a family with five daughters

So let me ask you,
“Who is richer, a man with five daughters
Or a man with a million dollars?”
And the answer is …
The man with five daughters …
Because he knows he has enough.

It is good to be part of a family
That knows it has enough …
That knows it is enough
To be wrapped in love
To be accepted, regardless.
Even when you break the rules,
Or break the mold
Or, ok, when you break wind.

It is good to be part of a family
Where adoption is as strong as birth,
And there are no half-sisters,
Only whole.

Where love draws you in and tells you
In the very center of your soul
That you are enough,
Just as you are,

When I count my blessings
These are surely at the top of the list:
A family whose love for each other
Has verified the miracle of enough.
It is the tangible evidence and true reflection
Of an even greater love
That surrounds us all.

[a sister slumber party with our folks 2/26/16]

On Giving up Guilt for Lent

hands clasped in prayerTwo weeks into Lent and I’m still wondering what to give up.
I’m feeling kind of bad about that.
Maybe, I should just give up guilt for Lent.

Not, of course, that I’ve never done wrong.
Not even that I’m free of wrong right now.
But that the focus on what is wrong with me
Is a bottomless bog. Continue reading

Got it nailed

nail in woodThe very moment when I think I’ve got it nailed, it moves. Jello to a wall, as they say.

I don’t know how people can be so sure of what they know – sure enough to tell me what I should do; sure enough to claim an infallible authority that is not possible within the context of human endeavor. Continue reading

that whisper


That whisper …
It is the brush of the Holy One upon my soul,
It is the kiss upon my cheek
That wakes my spirit to the day.


That wonder,
That gasp and sigh,
That aching hope,
That tear,
They are mine in response.

Do you not know?

I think you do.
The call of beauty
Cannot be ignored.

for sheer joy


On this Valentine’s Day,
When everyone is thinking of love,
Or wishing for love,
Or claiming and proclaiming love,
I wake to joy.

I wake to a warm memory of a cold night.
I wake to smile at the edges of delight
Sketched on my memory.
The evidence of love in the simple,
More than the spectacular.

To watch a mother watch her children dance,
To join friends sharing whiskey, wine and cheese,
To see a daughter revel in her daddy’s joy,
Is to cuddle up close to the warmth
Of deeper flames.

Was that a shiver of cold or of delight?
The exquisite splash of note and tone,
The words that speak to simple truths,
Of dusty memories and faithful harmonies.
It makes the singers giddy. Completely.

I know it, too …
The sweet tug of love expressed in apricot pies,
It sings within my soul.
Not loud, but oh, so very real.
And I am grateful.

Ash Wednesday

apple bite“Just one small bite,” the serpent says,
“And you will be like God.”
“It is not death, but knowledge you will find.
And knowledge is power, you know.
You will know good and evil – you will be like God.”

That silly bite. Why didn’t I just listen to the words
And not to the seduction? I already knew good . . .

But, Ah! To be like God!
I should have read the fine print.
To be like God, but without the power.
To be like God, but without the wisdom.
How, then, like God?
All I really did was put myself in charge.
Not a very wise choice, given the job description.

So what can I do now?
Only one thing . . . abdicate.
Let God be God and me be me.
The ashes I will wear today.
Are ashes from an apple.

[cropped photo by Patrick McFall per cc 2.0]

the kiss upon my soul

the shadow of a kiss


Jesus’ breath in me is his kiss upon my soul. (Jack Levison)


There is a deep vulnerability required of true relationship. I hand you the keys to my heart, knowing that gift gives you the power to bring me low, but also knowing that only that kind of intimacy is the true seal of relationship. Otherwise, we are just playing in the foyer.

You, oh Jesus, maintained that vulnerability all the way to the cross, and then came back and offered yourself again, without reservation. You will not be deterred. Nothing can separate us. (Nothing? Not even my refusal to forgive others; to forgive myself? Will you love me, even through the barriers I create in self-deluded self-defense? I dare hope so.)

So – even when my mind gets me tangled, even when my heart feels cold, even when I just cannot hold on to the intellectual or emotional parts of my faith – even then, I can breathe. And you breathe within me, loving my soul, kissing my soul, till I come back to you. Till I come back to life.

This moment-by-moment intimacy – your breath coming into my lungs; my breath flowing out into the world – this exchange of life … what a miracle. I gratefully relish your kiss upon my soul. (And dare to hope, when breathing stops, to feel the kiss, the deep embrace, as you welcome my soul to its true home, in you.)

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.


[photo by Jeremy Vandel per cc 2.0]
[This meditation was sparked in response to ‘Day 6’ in Forty Days with the Holy Spirit: Fresh Air for Every Day by Jack Levison.]

What if …

stump in a green woodI am deep within the woods, encompassed by green and damp and shadow. The quiet hum of nature surrounds me and the path I walk opens up just a bit to a small clearing with a stump in the middle: a forest altar. I have not seen this particular one before, but know their holy purpose.

I bring myself – I bring my heart – into this place and try to let go of the rush of my day and the noise of my encapsulated life. I try to drop the urgency of the routine so that I can be here. Whatever else, a moment’s touch with truth is necessary for my day. There are many layers I have put up around my soul to keep it from this touch, yet the touch is life. Continue reading