• Life in General

    No Anchor But Jesus {{#backtochurch}}

    “Where do people put such things when they live by Plan? Our entire plan is simply Miscellaneous.” -Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons, 1950 Last Sunday was our first time back in a building to gather and worship for church since March of this year. I refer to that time as “2020 B.C.” as in Before Coronavirus. Guided by our pastor and staff, we were properly spaced in family or couple groups, masked up and elbow-bumping our hellos to one another. It was….. weird. And it was somehow wonderful at the same time. Why? Because we were together again with our brothers and sisters, standing in the same room with live music.…

  • Life in General

    Naming our Losses {#lifeinthetimeofcorona}

    When Washington State brought the country’s first case of novel Coronavirus to the US, we had no idea what had begun. While the sudden deaths of loved and aged family members was a shock, the nursing home tragedy was still an hour and a half away from where I live. Things moved quickly, tho’. Suddenly the virus was way too close to home and there were deaths of a different kind, no less significant. Travel plans were curtailed and questioned everywhere. A writer’s retreat I’d been looking forward to for a year was prayerfully and tearfully cancelled. I would grieve for weeks. Folks were elbow tapping each other the last…

  • Life in General

    We Were Made for Connection

    Last week I wrote about#loveinthetimeofthecorona–illuminating what or how we can embody love in the world in these very challenging times, especially as believers in Jesus. (And? Did you know, #loveinthetimeofthecorona is actually a hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. If you are on either of those social media platforms, type in the hashtag and be inspired.) I was originally going to title this wrap-up, “Thank you Al Gore for the Internet” (which is partially true. Thank you Wikipedia). People all over the globe are working and connecting and chatting via Zoom and Facetime, Facebook live and Marco Polo videos and so on, all thanks to the world wide web. How starved…

  • Life in General

    Love in the Time of the Corona

    It has occurred to me during this time of worldwide change and upset that although we have been told to isolate and keep our distance from one another, we may in the long run learn how to love each other better. Poetry has been my method of processing the world lately; here’s a few lines from my heart to yours. Love in a Time of The Corona* Although I cannot touch you, care goes deeper than skin–invisible; it cannot be taken away. Love underground, like somnolent bulbs shedding their skin, unstoppable eruption. Forced into the open, colors like tentative, defiant flags unfurl, waving for all to see. Bent by the…

  • 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…

  • Life in General

    Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People? Is That the Right Question?

    “Harbor me in the eye of the storm I’m holding on to the love you swore.”  -John Mark McMillan, Love You Swore The other day on Instagram I asked: “How is it we never wonder why good things happen to good people? Or why good things happen to bad people?” My reflections were a version of that all-too-common question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” As if there was some chart in the sky where God is tallying checkmarks, balancing our actions with our consequences.  Barbara Brown Taylor deals with a variation of this exact same thought in a selection in her book, “Home by Another Way.” Taylor…

  • Life in General

    The Body of Memories-September 11th

    I met a friend recently for lunch at a park near my home, desperate for her company and encouragement. Nerves were frayed, emotions out of whack, reserve tanks anything but reserved. I apologized in advance for my undone condition. As I attempted to articulate my very frail feelings, blaming my 4 am wake-up call after a night of worrying about my new book, her simple response was, “You’re exhausted, Jody. No wonder you’re on the brink of tears.” “Plus, it’s almost September 11th.” Until she voiced the obvious, I wasn’t aware that, too, was weighing on my mind. Our bodies have memory and you’re remembering that day. —– In September…

  • Life in General

    On Beauty, Books & A Birthday-A Photo Essay

    No matter where I live, I recognize the song of a red-winged blackbird. In rushes near the shore’s edge of a California beach, along the canals and waterways in the San Joaquin Valley, the tall grasses along a Louisiana bayou or deep in marshes along Washington’s coast, the voice of the songbird is the same. There’s a trilling like no other, punctuated by startled flight and appearance of dark black wings dotted with a circle of scarlet. Once you hear the voice of red-winged blackbird, you will know it anywhere. When I first began this blog, I was introduced to a writer whose work became a song of a different…