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.

  • Life in General

    When Music Breaks Your Heart {open}

    I sat down two hours ago to write this post, but every screen I turn to–phone, tablet, computer–has an update or email or message about COVID-19. And, since it’s in my Seattleland backyard, it’s difficult to ignore. I could scroll endlessly through articles and information, repost and share what I’ve found with updates on the situation–but really? I’m convinced I need to change my focus-for my mental, spiritual and emotional health. So I’m going to talk about music. How it lifts our spirits, ministers to our souls and breaks our hearts {open}. In her new book Chasing Vines, author and speaker Beth Moore writes, Music wields a power words alone…

  • The Church Year

    How to Lent-Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us

    The city of New Orleans has a singular reputation for laissez les bon temps rouler (“let the good times roll”) no matter what time of year. During Mardi Gras, though, the celebrations take on an over-the-top frenzy that is hard to match. We lived in New Orleans in the 1970’s and saw this dress-up carnival cum Halloween celebration firsthand. Mardi Gras (literally ‘fat Tuesday’ in French) offers the citizens and umpty zillion of their best friends to dress up, dance and drink, throw candy and don beads. There are parades uptown, downtown, in the suburbs, everywhere. I still have some beads from one of those parades. I also have snapshots…

  • Female Faith Poets,  Poetry

    Female Faith Poet-Phillis Wheatley

      Several years ago in a biography of preacher and evangelist Jonathan Edwards, I read the name of  “slave poet” Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784). Wheatley wrote an elegy (poem on the occasion of one’s death) for George Whitefield, one of Jonathan Edwards’ dear friends. Whitefield and Edwards were pillars of the Great Awakening that swept the world from England to the United States in the 1700’s and Wheatley had been greatly affected by the move of God in her own life. In fact, much of her strong Christian faith shows up in her poems, which I soon found out when I went looking. What’s astonishing to me is the language and voice…

  • The Church Year

    Seven Books for the Seasons

    Did you know that woodchucks (aka the groundhog) and Jesus’ birthday have something in common? On the church calendar, February 2nd is Candlemas, the last Feast Day in the Christian year dated in reference to Christmas. This celebration of Candlemas marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple 40 days after his birth (as Jewish custom required), and the purification ceremony of the Virgin Mary at the same time. (Luke 2:29-32). The word ‘Candlemas’ (or Candlemass) refers to the custom of blessing and distributing candles and carrying them in procession before the Mass celebrated in churches in many parts of the globe. The lighting of the candles is symbolic of…

  • Poetry

    The Next Best Yes {a #poem}

      Now Let  And  Yet How can the power of my surrender be wrapped up in three slight letters? A mix of mercy in a single syllable? And yet. Placed just so, like fine crystal refracting evening sun into shards  of light, they precede each sentence, illuming my way to the next best yes. *** I’m grateful to Jesus, who is eternal and an all-at-once God, that we are bound by time. That we are asked to step into our days one at a time, one yes at a time.  

  • The Church Year

    A Slow Walk into the New Year

    It’s New Year’s Eve as I sit here in my Seattle dining room, typing with a view to the sky. Things are quiet; only the chimes noising their song outside my window as the gray and muted horizon frames the day. It’s time to be pensive and think deep thoughts, I suppose. Here are some of mine as we end not only this year, but an entire decade. There are those who relish the action of turning the last page of December’s calendar with the promise of a new start each January. But the invisible leap from one year to the next sometimes is akin to falling over a precipice…

  • The Church Year

    What’s in a Name? Only Everything {an Advent Post}

    There can be no manner of doubt a name is more easily remembered when its meaning is understood.  –A.J. Macself, from the Foreword, “Plant Names Simplified” I forgot to plant my amaryllis bulb the week of All Hallow’s Eve. I wrote about the practice in my Christmas season book, how planting a crinkly, brown bulb with antenna-like roots can be a lesson in patience and waiting during the Advent and Christmas season. But I was too busy to remember. Goodness. So, I potted the inglorious bulb the other day after soaking the accompanying ground-up coconut shreds in warm water, watching them miraculously expand and nearly overtake my 32-ounce glass measuring…

  • My Poems

    Advent-Waiting {a #poem}

    shadows smudge on the wall beside me, gray on red as I look up, pensive, pen in hand to write. how to right this over indulgence, too full of my own bloated worry? I’ve buried my prayers, fed one saturated heart with cares not meant to be carried. fasting from the thoughts that also fill my brain seems a lifeline in this season where we’re drowning in too much. I shut the door, shutter the blinds and feast on silence, making space in my waiting for the gift to arrive, though it tarry. it occurs to me, that like the Christ child’s birth, answers may look far different than I…