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.

  • 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…

  • My Poems

    Cocoon-{a #poem}

    I slip on this chosen shelter, hide within silken walls and wonder— How long will these layers hold? Fragile pearlescence surrounds me- who’s to say? My shattered self is still, waiting. Gauzy quiet and singular, barren days envelop me by the hour. I take pains with my words, listen more, defy the urgency of unnecessary things. Spinning a private insulation preserves me heart and mind, a soundless cushion while my soul heals. —– No one can chart a butterfly’s birth. Not really. Skin is shed, the surprise of color shocks as wings unfurl, breathing life into deep- down cells. Chrysalis—gold. All that remains when death is past and days have…

  • Made Things

    Finding Life in Fissures of Glory

    “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”                                                 1 Peter 1:7 NIV I’ve begun this post at least three times in the last three days. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything in this space and my thoughts don’t coalesce as well. It seems a great number of things slip through the cracks, what with the energy it takes simply to manage…

  • My Poems,  Poetry

    Gilt Gift {a #poem}

    Sometimes I guilt myself right out of joy. Like the surprise of an iridescent butterfly from an unsightly cocoon, who would expect this shimmering show in morning sunlight? Eyes are trained on Northwest firs framed in blue, frosted feeders, feathered presents hidden among the trees. I’ve held my breath, wondering. Did my mother ever ponder stilling herself, take a moment with the birds in her California garden? Gaze restful at morning fog carried in on marine air? Was she ever at ease in her troubled life, as she parented us alone? I will never know. I cannot ring her up to ask, there is no email to send, no letter…

  • My Poems

    Plating the Bread of Life {a #poem}

    Bed askew with straw, rummaged       leftovers of the menageries’ last meal. A stone space quarried like the heart of a  small ark, opening just enough  to cradle the straw. The stall, open planks no match for the midnight  chill, gaps lasering light, streaming in on stone. Mother draped in simple cloth, teenaged hands trembling as she lays her infant  in the place of the animals’ meal. Suckling sounds as He stares, still, into the sky  where the host of Heaven lift voices  through the spheres Announcing His presentation,  which, as the young father recalls,  would at last be everything. Merry Christmas, friends.