28 February 2014

seeing the ugly idols

Bonnie asked us to share what we are learning about ourselves
at the same time Jennifer Dukes Lee is challenging us
to uncover and face our love idols then surrender them
during Lent and all the days that follow

it isn't easy to look at ugly
and particularly difficult
when the ugly is our own
fully rooted and thriving

I continue to discover how deep
my need to gain approval
of my heart, my thoughts
my words
when I look honestly
I see myself
leaning too hard on comments
virtual pats on the back
blog followers, social networking ego kisses

I think perhaps I write less than I could
or should, permitting fear
to block the flow

for if there is no output to be judged
I won't have to confront the possibility
that my words don't sing to the hearts of others
that my words have no weight, no power
no place to bear fruit

silly, that

for the words are not mine anyway
I have surrendered them
to Him, allowing Him to set the pace
the meter, message,
I am simply a pen
in His hand, the words
already pre-approved

I covet your prayers
as I take this time to soak in truth
allowing it to saturate my heart
silencing seductive lies
and together may we learn
how deep, how wide, how everlasting
is the love He lavishes freely upon us

And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:18 The Message

jamming with Bonnie

25 February 2014

going home

been away
not long
but minutes stretch
to days
and my heart hungers for home
the maple leaf a magnetic pull
back to true north
cold, yes
but home

20 February 2014

through the breaking

Authenticity, the journey to be
who ever I may be
at this moment
My mind as blank as
the screen, white before me
I have no words
as I begin
and yet in faith
begin I must
in fragmented lines
I listen, my poet's heart
willing to be willing
to scatter, shatter, open
raw and sharp
allowing what comes
to flow, to cleanse
like blood, fresh

I can not plan
or predict the shape
sharing what He allows
or commands
I follow and find my way
through the breaking
to find His words
in my voice

This is who I am
This is what I offer.

walking with the broken, redeemed beloved with Emily

jamming with Bonnie


18 February 2014

mid-February morning

the sky is brilliant blue
sun looks strangely unfamiliar
there is is a sense of lightness
floating, something like relief
yet the long months of winter 
here are no where close 
to their time of ending

I will take what comfort
and ease I can and joy 
in the lengthening days

hanging out with the poets today


15 February 2014

life blooms

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
    the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
    a symphony of song and color.

when all seems frozen
sleeping, near death
it is in the secret 
quiet place
that something fresh
waits to burst forth

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

in the quiet place with Sandy

Jumping Tandem

and singing in the Sunday choir with Deidra


14 February 2014

celebrate love

celebrate love
the theme of my day

as I baked heart shaped sweet potato biscuits
representing Malawi known as
the warm heart of Africa

celebrate love
as I prepared a special dinner
as I took care dressing
as I smeared sweet fragrance behind my ears

celebrate love
as I chilled the wine
as I lit candles for the dinner table

celebrate love
as I met my man at the door
greeting him as always
after a hard days' work

I am full
to overflowing
stuffed and warm and blessed

I am most like my Lord
when I love
and I love 
yes, I love indeed

13 February 2014

how do I love?

Valentines Day draws close.
A gift for my husband is hidden until tomorrow.
I will cook with extra attention.
Perhaps we will share a bottle of white zinfandel with dinner.
We will celebrate the one that God created out of two.
We will speak words of love.

What is this love?
For many schooled in literature or poetry
the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning come to mind:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I can't get past this opening line.
How?  How do I love?
How do I love my husband
my family, my friends
how even do I love myself?

How do I participate in this most impossible and supernatural of acts?
How does a heart, once hard, terrified
shattered by pebbles, stones, boulders thrown
trust enough to risk?
How does such a heart
continue to crack, allowing light to spill in
and compassion to bleed out?

How does what was broken
still bend into the shape of love?
The questions swirl and rush
but a quiet voice trembles clear
louder than the noise.

Only because I Did.  
Only because I Will.
Only because I Am.

And in the freshening calm, I remember.

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. 
First we were loved, now we love. 
He loved us first. 

 jamming with Bonnie

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas

and at The Grove with Velvet Ashes


12 February 2014


More and more I have been reading the tales of those who live with the rumble and shouts of voices that grab their heart and mind with lie upon lie.  Words not of life, but condemnation, confusion and shame.

So I share below a snip of my novel-in-progress, Redeeming Silence.  
Learning to hear the One True Voice is the underlying theme.

“That was a big dinner” she thought “and I'm so full. But I still want to try to eat more of God.” She sank into the sofa and opened her bible, continuing to read where she had left off.

By their fruit you will know them. Grapes aren't gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Matthew 7:16-18

“You know what kind of tree you are” the voices sneered.

“Are you going to listen to them?” asked the calm One.

“No, I am not” thought Jessie. “Help me to not hear them.”

“Choose to not listen. Choose.”

“Okay” Jessie whispered aloud. “I only want to listen to you.”  She closed her eyes and breathing deeply, drifted.

She was in surrounded by trees. Everywhere she looked she saw lush green leaves and more types of fruit than she had ever seen before in one place. There were apples of every colour, peaches, pears and every sort of citrus fruit. She wandered from tree to tree and noticed that there was not a single blemish or spot on any of the fruits. Each one looked perfect. She couldn't resist tasting them, and found each rich and sweet, totally ripe and ready to eat. The juices dribbled down her chin.

The sound of a car starting in the street below woke her. She laughed when she realized she had been drooling. Not juice, just a dream, a very nice, bright dream.

“Thank you God” she said as she rose to prepare for bed. “Thank you for showing me the good trees and not the rotten trees.”

“You can choose what you want to see” she thought she heard Him answer.

“Choices?” she smiled. “I never thought I had any choices. Might take some getting used to.”

walking with Emily and the imperfect but beloved

11 February 2014

lace and glory

this season of
the shortest days
the velvet dark deeper 
than memory 
a hole that pulls you in
fingers harsh, cold
muffled but not
don't linger long
for there are gifts barely 
how He scatters snow 
like lace, the thick
and thin
creating space
for glory revealed
without apology

prompted by tweetspeak poetry

and hanging out at the pub

09 February 2014

are you standing firm?

The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil.
    They plot crooked schemes.
They lie to convict the poor,
    even when the cause of the poor is just.
But generous people plan to do what is generous,
    and they stand firm in their generosity.

I am choosing to stand firm.
In what ways is the Lord asking you to do the same?
Have you followed the Compassion Bloggers?
Do you feel called to go?
Or perhaps you're called to send?
Do you want to know more about the work Rick & I plan to do in Malawi?
Ask me!

Jumping Tandem

singing in the Sunday chorus with Deidra


08 February 2014

centre of the waltz

So the darkness shall be the light, 
and the stillness the dancing.
T. S. Eliot

in the quiet place
of abiding
I can find myself
held fast in His embrace
in the centre of 
the waltz

seeking the still place with Sandy


07 February 2014

room for tears

This week Diana asks:
Is there room for my tears here? 

my younger self
was never known to cry
perhaps it was scolded out of me
having too often heard
"I'll give you something to cry about"

but my God gave me tears
when I surrendered to Him
my harsh and stoney heart

now I am known
as a woman who weeps
long and deep tears 
born of joy, pain, awe 
and intercession

the tears returned as a gift
to the Giver
the One Who fills
what I empty

I will not return
to the woman I was
no I would not
even if I could
so I answer 
a slightly angled version 
of Diana's question
there is no room here 
for the absence of tears

Diana Trautwein - Living into the Answers

living into answers with Diana


05 February 2014

when I ask

when I am silent and still
when I open myself enough to ask
He speaks
He does not leave me starving for His Word
I open my journal, reminded of my place
and His

In the storms and in the calm spaces
I Am
do not forget your need of Me
When you are tossed, rattled, you cry out
knowing where salvation waits
but like the Israelites
when the sailing is smooth and straight
you again begin to trust your own abilities

You are what you are
you are how you are
you are who you are
because I Am

I hold the wind, the sun, the stars
all things in My hand
the planets turn at My design
How much more do I care for you
created in My image, for My company 
and pleasure?

Just as day follows night follows day
My ways are structured and sure.
When you can not see the pattern
you must still trust it is there

broken but beloved with Emily

and jamming with Bonnie


04 February 2014

sharp edges

cold leaves me
brittle, too close 
to the edge of 
breaking, when what I
seek is unity
wholeness, to be 

a welcoming place
not these fractures
splintered, sharp to the
touch, come near and 
you leave bleeding

if I claim
innocence, lack of
foul intent, the flow
of pain continues
unhindered, hot
and raw

so let me own this
and ask you now
for grace, forgiveness
patience, that you wait
with me for warmer days

hanging out at the pub with the poets

01 February 2014

wise words

In my time of quiet, I felt urged to open my ears and let sound in.  
So much wisdom here.  And joy!
These are my favourite lines - but do listen to the whole of it!

Try this, take a breath. 
Isn't that amazing? 
It’s called breathing! 
You’re going to do it a lot. 
But nobody knows exactly how much. 
So enjoy it.

Pay attention. 
Take brain pictures, 
because amazing things will happen every day. 
You're going to do so much. 
But it’s not about what you do. 
It’s about who you are.

in the quiet with Sandy