When You Can’t see the Trees

There’s a danger in going back to visit a place you’ve grown up in–a chance for your psyche to experience a bit of a jolt when what you remember doesn’t line up with reality.Actually, much of life is like that.My husband and I recently returned from an 8-day trip to California, the majority of the time in Southern California where I was born and raised, … Continue reading When You Can’t see the Trees


We’ve been informed we are flying  at 29,000 feet (approximately) above the face of the Earth, suspended (how? by speed, lift and whatnot) like a moving planet jettisoned in a line moving at the speed of sound (light?). Refreshments are served, secured with invisible payments traveling via plastic and magnets swiped by staff standing still as we travel at 575 miles per hour (approximately). My snack appears … Continue reading Miracle

When You’re in it for the Long Haul

July 14th is Bastille Day, the French National Day commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. (I believe the folks mark the occasion with fireworks.)One hundred eighty four years later, in l973, my husband and I were married. There are still a few fireworks.That was forty-two years ago; by God’s grace alone (and my husband’s persistence and loyalty) we are still married. I wrote … Continue reading When You’re in it for the Long Haul

When Your God is too Small

The family of goldfinches crest over the roof above my head. Their -V- of flight dismantles as they land branch by branch in the green, bright yellow coloring invisible to my eye.Morning has begun.The world wakes up and it is always the birds’ job to tell me so, messengers flinging notes aloft–I catch their song, hear them say, “He’s here, He’s here, He’s here.”How high … Continue reading When Your God is too Small

Grace Isn’t Cheap But It’s Free

We raised our hands and voices again this morning in worship, singing of  grace being an ocean…and if it is, we’re all sinking. Then Heaven met earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.  And well, after that line in the song, it took me awhile to get my spirit and soul focused on Jesus again. I always think about a cocker spaniel puppy when we sing … Continue reading Grace Isn’t Cheap But It’s Free

The Hurrier I go, the Behind-er I Get

My husband and I are embarking on another season of Home Improvements in the Collins Household. We’ve lived here for over 20 years; the house was built in 1979–the maintenance and care are ongoing.The other night we were calculating dimensions of the opening for a new sidelight to go next to our front door.  I was to be the recorder while my husband called out … Continue reading The Hurrier I go, the Behind-er I Get

Rethinking Church

*photo credit There’s a bit of an imperfect storm in my head with several thoughts converging–conversations, blogposts, books I’ve read; bits and pieces I’ll attempt to put together. This is a longish post and I’ve borrowed some words from my daughter (she said I could). Here’s my story, wrapped around hers. ~~~~~~~~~Standing at the sink, rinsing away the softened peels of still-hot beets, the maroon swirls drain … Continue reading Rethinking Church

My Favorite Season

Golden Gardens Seattle    j.l. collins Seattle view   j.l. collins A soaring wide-winged bird circles the lemon colored trees on the horizon.My eyes are drawn to the sight of flat-bottomed clouds stacked in the far off blue sky.I’d much rather swoon over the bursting expanse of creation in my view, but paying attention to the road as the asphalt blurs by me like so … Continue reading My Favorite Season

Celebrating Motherhood

This is not the post I intended to write for this week, but I was overcome with gratefulness for my children. Excuse me while I gush. L to R, daughter Leah, Son Aaron, family friends1984 Husband in the Firetruck, Son Aaron behind himDIL Courtney in front, daughter Leah on rightfirst grandson Hanan (now 12) Daughter Leah practicing her mad chef skills 1982 ish; Leah and … Continue reading Celebrating Motherhood