Now that I'm retired from 25 years of elementary teaching, I am able to spend time in my happy place--at my desk where I read and write as often as I can. When I'm not at my desk, you can find me in my other happy place--the garden, watering, weeding and worshipping. My husband and I live near Seattle and close enough to my two grown children and grandchildren that I'm able to hug them often. That is my greatest joy.

  • Living the Season Well,  The Church Year

    Twelve Days of Christmas Begins on Christmas Day

    Christmas is a season, not just a day, in spite of the consumer-driven, gift-focused frenzy that surrounds December 25th. There is one calendar we are used to keeping time by, but as followers of Jesus, the church calendar provides a Christ-centered focus for our days. In the church year the Christmas season is marked by the birth of Christ as it should be, but that is only the beginning of the holidays. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day ending on Epiphany January 6th. The season of Twelvetide (as it is sometimes called) is a slow walk into the new year and beyond, ending with the celebration marking…

  • My Poems,  The Church Year

    A Poem for Christmas

    Dear friends, There is something afoot in God’s coming to be with us… may we ever be reminded of why he came. Merry Christmas to you and a blessed new year. Jody **photo is mine. Poem is a much edited version of ‘Manger’ from my e book, Emmanuel Poems.

  • Living the Season Well

    Can We Celebrate Santa Claus & the Savior?

    Weaving together the wonder of Christmas involves one part honoring the birth of our Savior and one part honoring the life of a saint. Nicholas, to be exact. Yes, we know whose birthday it is, but the fact is we get all the presents. It would be easy to blame our culture and their cashing in, literally, on the character of Santa Claus, but let’s not be so hasty. “As we wait for God to become incarnate, we look to the whole body of Christ, past and present, for models of embodied faith.” Beth Bevis, in “God with Us-Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas.” One example of that ‘embodied faith’ was…

  • The Church Year

    The Day I Cleaned the Front of My Fridge {an #Advent Post}

    The arrival of Advent marks the beginning of the church year, anchored on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In the year of our Lord, 2021, the first day of Advent is Sunday, November 28th. The word Advent itself is from the Latin word ‘adventus’ meaning ‘to come.’ The cornerstone of the Advent season is a time of waiting, as Mary did, with the impossible promise that a Saviour would be born, the miracle of light coming to a dark world. What does that have to do with refrigerators? Let me share. Several Novembers ago we ordered new kitchen appliances. Everything started when the microwave died. This led to a conversation…

  • Hearts on Pilgrimage

    How to Be a Poem

    God with us in the broken place. E manu el, Yahweh whose hand steadies and steers us while we lift our face. Prayers rise. We cannot transform a heart but we can tend and feed the bodies housing hope, care for roses, prune and weed, wash and fold, clothe the people who inhabit our petitions. Wholly Spirit, He is wholly with us within, animates our limbs to write His work in the world through bread and clothes, flower and song. Be a maker. Be a prayer. Be a poem. ***** It has been said we are God’s handiwork, his ‘poem,’ a word from the Greek word poiema meaning a made thing.…

  • Made Things,  Spiritual Practice

    Jesus–Heaven & So Much More

    Last week in Sunday School we talked about the number 1, and how there’s only One Way to Heaven—and that’s Jesus. Of course, “Jesus” is the Sunday School answer to nearly everything. And it works, especially if you’re a young child. But what about as we grow older? This got me thinking. Jesus said He was the door, a way into the Kingdom of God where we can have fellowship and relationship with God. Now. Right now; not just in the future. The Sunday School answer “Jesus” holds so much more than just a ticket to Heaven, but also a way to wholeness and healing. Our acceptance of God’s salvation…

  • Made Things

    Ten Things About my Mother (for my birthday)

    One of my favorite things about teaching Elementary School was being able to read aloud to children. I miss it a great deal. There’s a chapter in a wonderful book by Kate DiCamillo called ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ about a “big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor” whom the main character, Opal, dubs Winn-Dixie, because she found him outside a grocery store. Opal and her father are on their own because her absent mother died ‘because of the drink,’ he tells her. Then he recounts 10 things about her mother, one for each year Opal had been alive.  This inspired me to make my own list about my…

  • My Poems

    How to Measure Time {a #poem}

    I swerved around a swallowtail today, its goldblackblue mosaic translated across the glass and gone. Street’s curbed outline caught the corner of my eye as the colorburst startled me to noticing, awakened me to a sight just past the neighbors. A sudden glimpse of canines at their master’s feet—heads anon, ears aperk—then they rose and trotted on. ***** What if darting visions, experience, growth were not an arrow whizzing by in time but instead layers that land over our lives like a blanket? What might we make of it, the mundane atop daysweeksmonths of richness? Years folding slowly, one event or view at a time—like the memory of a butterfly’s…