• My Poems,  The Church Year

    Anna Waits {a #poem}

    Light is coming she’d heard and read, and widowed, she had nothing calling her name but His across the years like an echo from The Garden so long ago. She’d been seeking (was He hiding?), steadfastly determined, for what else was her life but this–an always looking in the temple courts, trusting the doorway would be darkened some day when Light came into the room. (sharing from the Archives)

  • The Church Year

    The Day I Cleaned the Front of My Fridge & Found the Heart of Advent

    The arrival of Advent marks the beginning of the church year, anchored  on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In the year of our Lord 2020, the date is November 29th. Side note–New this year for 2020 FREE PRINTABLE cards for each Sunday of Advent. Just click HERE. The word ‘advent’ is from the Latin word ‘veni’–adventus–coming. The cornerstone of the Advent season is the idea of making room for God to come.  It is a time of waiting, as Mary did, with the impossible promise that a Saviour would be born, the miracle of light coming to a dark world. What does that have to do with refrigerators? Let me…

  • The Church Year

    Finding My Name~an Easter Week Story

    When my mother was taken by cancer at the age of 55 and I was 33, there was no estate to divide, no money to deposit, no silver to share. After she was gone, I wasn’t saddened by the loss of anything tangible like an inheritance, but because there were questions I would never have answers to. For instance, where did my name come from? When my mother passed, I felt unsettled about this piece of my life. The older I got, my identity and family history became more and more important. I had never heard the background, the whys or whos of my name.  There was no connection to the past,…

  • My Poems,  The Church Year

    Celestial Bodies {a #poem}

    My weary eyes need reminders to view the galaxies aright. Focused on the sliver of moon, they forget an entire orb hides in the dark. I gaze at dull concrete, traipse around the observatory, past an entrance where God stands in the doorway beckoning me to peer, Galileo-like, past roofs, across trees, into velvet sky. As feet pause on sure ground, a whisper beckons to dream above, beyond to distant beauty. Consider the immeasurable heavens inside, reckon my need as I’m handed a telescope. Brightened eyes rest and remember. This poem was written as part of Poems for Ephesians, an online project of D.S. Martin at McMasters Divinity College. I…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • The Church Year

    Five Favorite Things About Fall

    There are so many reasons I love this time of year–it’s hard to choose, but here are my top five: Pumpkins Who knew there were white pumpkins and bumpy pumpkins and sorta-blue pumpkins and well, all manner of heirloom squash family members?? God’s creativity abounds in the gourd department, no? The displays at Trader Joe’s and elsewhere are a delight for the eyes. (But no Pumpkin Spice anything. Sorry Starbucks. And sorry, Hostess. Pumpkin Spice Twinkies? Um, no.) 2. Half-a-pie moons in the night sky, crisp, clear mornings. Dew on the leaves in the garden. Purple asters, full, ripe raspberries, colors beginning to creep up the foliage in the Japanese…