The Intrigue & Wonder of a Tape Measure, or How God is Rearranging the Furniture of my Life

The first verses of Isaiah Chapter six begin, “In the year that King Uzziah died….” and proceed to describe just what it was like when God’s presence filled the temple. What a way to worship. (Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait.) Anchoring a year by identifying it as when so-and-so has died seems an odd way to mark time, but I get it. This year, … Continue reading The Intrigue & Wonder of a Tape Measure, or How God is Rearranging the Furniture of my Life

Random Ramblings the Week of My 70th Birthday

I got a notice from the Neptune Society this week. Seriously. I felt like calling or emailing them to say, “I’m turning 70 this week. I am not dying.” It’s weird to do the math confirming I am, in fact, entering my eighth decade and realize I feel maybe 35 inside. Know what I mean? I wrote a poem about just that called “Age is … Continue reading Random Ramblings the Week of My 70th Birthday

Bill & Jody Get (and stay) Married-An Anniversary Story

July 14th, 1973. I’m not sure I can find a just right photo that sums up the time machine vibes of that day so very long ago, but I also didn’t want to let the day pass without writing a little something. I say ‘time machine’ because my wedding dress was made of cotton eyelet and my bridesmaids wore yellow checked gingham. My cake topper … Continue reading Bill & Jody Get (and stay) Married-An Anniversary Story

Lucy & Ethel Italy Travelogue–A Photo Essay

FULL DISCLOSURE: long post ahead but there are lots of great photos. The thoughts below are directly affected by a post-Europe travel brain and my best attempt at gathering my thoughts. Paragraphs may be rather random. “May be?” They are. People travel for different reasons. To see the world, visit friends, taste new food, for adventure or sight seeing, to fulfill a long held dream … Continue reading Lucy & Ethel Italy Travelogue–A Photo Essay

“I Am From”–An Interview & Poem

I recently had a chance (in the middle of the cacophony of home renovations) to chat with fellow writer Alyson Shelton who invited me to join her Instagram Live series sharing an “I Am From”  poem. “I Am From” poems originated with writer George Ella Lyon**, a poet and teacher in her home state of Kentucky. The text of my poem is below.  But for … Continue reading “I Am From”–An Interview & Poem

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 … Continue reading No Anchor But Jesus {{#backtochurch}}

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 … Continue reading Naming our Losses {#lifeinthetimeofcorona}

We Were Made for Connection

IMG_20200605_130201Last 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 we are for the sight of our friends and loved ones’ faces! And a voice–who knew how we would miss that? I was serenaded last week via Voxer by a friend on the opposite coast as she sang “It is Well” in her lovely alto voice and tears rolled down my cheeks as I harmonized with her.

Our church has live streamed “services” from an almost empty sanctuary (with stuffed animals in the audience) and the attendance last Sunday was nearly double what we have on an ordinary Sunday. This week our pastor shared a message about Jesus calming the storms, with a painting on the living room wall behind him as spoke from his home. Viewers were given his cel phone number to text in answers to trivia questions from the Bible and even the young kids got to play along. Necessity is the mother of invention, yes? Virtual or not, is a great way to be connected with those we know and love.

In that vein I’d like to share some of the goodness I’ve found online with you–a quiet word on how to deal with sadness or fear, and talk to your kids about their feelings. Orchestral music via Skype, a library tour with poet Malcolm Guite, the Quarantine Song from two very talented Grandparents, never before seen photos of crystal clear canals in Venice, Italy and opera singers and everyday folks serenading from their balconies and plazas.

I hope you’ll take some time to listen and watch; maybe you’ll find a way to connect just a little bit more with the beauty and goodness around you. Continue reading “We Were Made for Connection”

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 … Continue reading Love in the Time of the Corona

When Music Breaks Your Heart {open}

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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 can rarely match. It sidesteps your defenses and comes for you without politely asking permission.

Several years ago I was glancing out the window in my study when a Facebook message popped up with a link to Gabriel’s Oboe, a composition by Ennio Morricone from The Mission movie soundtrack. I’d seen the film years before but did not remember this particular piece. It is simple strings and gentle notes from the oboe, resonant of the Angel Gabriel, after whom the piece is named.

As soon as I hit ‘play’ I began to sob. There’s no easy way to say that–the tears came without stopping from somewhere deep inside me. God began a healing process in my life because of that moment, touching a place that was wounded in ways I didn’t even realize. When you listen, see if the final note doesn’t move you in the same way. And if you’d prefer a strings only version, here are 2Cellos and their rendition. Continue reading “When Music Breaks Your Heart {open}”