• Spiritual Practice

    Jigsaw Puzzles as a Prayer

    Every year at Christmas our kids get my husband and I a jigsaw puzzle. This year Santa pitched in and we actually ended up with three puzzles–birds, the beach and kites–our three favorite things. A great Friday night date for my husband and I is to build a fire, turn on the music and puzzle away….a simple, quiet joy for us. (You 30 somethings are wondering which planet we’re on, I’m sure…). The joke around here is if the puzzle goes on the card table on the day after Christmas, we can usually finish it by the first or so of June, when the ‘kids’ show up again for Father’s Day. Alas, we got a late start–one week…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Read & Pray in Your ‘Walking Around Life’

    I was going to subtitle this, “Will Jesus Still Love me if I Don’t Have ‘Quiet Time?” ‘cause I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.  Don’t get me wrong—I’ve studied Psalm 119—I know God’s word is the compass for my life, that I can’t live without it. But sometimes life goes in a different direction. I remember the days when I was able to sit outside on my deck for an hour at a stretch, maybe three times a week, and just listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speak. I wrote and wrote and wrote what I heard in those whispers on the wind to me. I…

  • Spiritual Practice

    On Prayer, Potatoes and Pulling Weeds

    I have two garden beds in my back yard—one a perennial bed of flowers, the other a 12×6 rectangle of mostly weeds. The flower bed is behaving as expected this time of year–peony shoots with their magenta spikes heading skyward, the clematis tendrils beginning to twirl up and around the bird gazebo. A ‘Sombrero’ Echinacea (bright orange) is just beginning to sneak back through the dirt and the columbine leaves are unfurling. The other space is a mostly weed bed formerly known as a vegetable garden. I have absolutely no illusions about actually planting a real garden this year, although I gave it a try. I recently impressed my friend…

  • Poetry,  Spiritual Practice

    Wait Training {a #poem}

    I want to fly these dumbbells up, down, up, down quick! The momentum of each lift rising at my side pushing past perhaps what’s safe or wise in the name of what? Speed or yes, the checklist-exercise- done! When I slow instead, face the window and raise these weighted arms slow, slow, slow-up; slow, slow, slow- down-the strain increases but the work muscle-wise is longer lasting. I feel the wait and wonder if speed is highly overrated. Aware of the answer, I rest into the process lifting again, lowering at my leisure. Repeat.Relax.Rest.Return. And find a lesson in these weights, an exercise written over taut skin, reaching to my soul.…