• 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…

  • 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…

  • Made Things

    A Very Married Christmas

    We’re standing in the kitchen.  I move fluidly from dishwasher to counter, bending, stacking–bowls, dishes, cups, goblets.Husband is at the cupboard behind me.  I rotate, wordless, and hand him his favorite glass-he replaces it to the shelf and continues swallowing his vitamins.I interrupt his healthy intake once again, this time with the rainbow-colored stack of Ikea cups.  Without a word, he fits them on the shelf next to our stash of kid-safe plastics.I love this morning routine–coffee pot steaming and gurgling, the bird clock chiming it’s 8 am hour–the robin, I think–and the garbage truck outside our window beep-beep-beeping.It all feels so safe–full of comfort and joy.  The silent, sure…

  • Made Things

    When Worship Looks like a Bass Player in a Flannel Shirt

     “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”                                       Mary’s Song, Luke Chapter 1, vv. 47,48        One of the joys of the Christmas season at our church is to see the transformation each year from ordinary worship space to glorious, decorated festive space.  A volunteer team of folks gather of a morning, led by a gifted floral designer, and set about transforming with snowflakes, holly, ribbon and glitter galore. Soon there are trees of all sizes, gifts buried in ‘snow’, tinsel, garlands, wreaths, and voila!, our sanctuary is a wonder-filled space.      …

  • Made Things

    Wherein I take Nothing for Granted

    It’s your breath in our lungs As we pour out our praise, Pour out our praise, It’s your breath in our lungs As we pour out our praise To you only. All the earth will shout Your praise Our hearts will cry, These bones will sing, Great are You, Lord. It’s your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It’s your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise To you only Leslie Jordan & David Leonard, All Sons & Daughters – – – – – – – – – – – There was a lull in the sanctuary the other morning…

  • Made Things

    Beauty in a Broken World

           “The whole universe was stilled as though listening for a voice. For the space of one heart-beat there was peace on earth. For one fraction of a moment there was no deed of violence wrought on the earth, no hatred, no fire, no whirlwind, no pain, no fear.  Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.         “…in each of them there was an infinitesimal change. A moment that comes perhaps once in a thousand years had touched them in passing and though the experience of perfection is feather-light it brands like fire.         “It all stopped making a noise,” she said. “And God said…

  • Made Things

    How to Build a Bridge with Words

    First item on the grocery list: postage stamps. In ALL CAPS. I’ve written it down three times this week, only to return with pasta, bread and milk, but no stamps. This necessitates an emergency trip to the drugstore; I HAVE to get my Grandson’s birthday card in the mail. While the counter clerk rings up a couple of other items (I believe there was dark chocolate in the basket), I ask for two books of stamps. “We’ve got flags and Rudolph,” she announces. To  commemorate the upcoming holiday, obviously. For a split second I consider mumbling something about no Madonna and Child on the stamps, or at least Jesus in…

  • Made Things

    A Grief Observed

    I came as a witness, the extra listener, to deflect and defend, maybe decide what this grief will look like. The suited man at the table tells us there are options for this sort of thing. My daughter L holds a tissue, I poise my pen at the paper before me. Burying a child is a delicate matter and his words are quiet and slow.  I ache inside as W’s eyes glance at the caskets—small, white, simple décor, as if they might hold a child’s christening dress.  But this is not a christening. This is goodbye. W turns aside, avoiding the display like viewing a deep wound—there is too much…