Monday, June 29, 2015


is a bowl of watermelon, broken by small, eager hands
is two candles, with two lips blowing them out
is a coffee shop, decorated in secret with love and crepe paper
is words, beautiful words, streaming in one after another
is yellow and pink, blooming from glass jars
is chocolate and coffee, and more chocolate
is a hot mug, a cold drink, and rainbow sprinkles
is exchanging hearts and breaking bread in the sunshine
is candy colored balls and bowling pins
is community, and counting blessings before sleep 
is bare legs and a sippy cup, snoring softly next to me

Thursday, June 25, 2015

where I'm from | poetry

School has begun again!
Last night I completed the first assignment of the quarter
and it was so good that I couldn't help but share it.
We were given the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon to read
and then asked to reflect on our own childhoods and the memories that defined them.

To begin we made lists of specific details of our childhood homes,
phrases we remembered, objects that were commonplace to us.
We made note of all those precious tidbits and seemingly insignificant details
that bury themselves deep inside us and paint a portrait of our lives.

Then we were provided a template, to fill in and create our own "Where I'm From" poem.
I am from yellow painted walls and a hill of wild flowers,
(that was perfect for rolling down)
I am from the rhododendron bush
that nearly blocked dad’s workshop door. 
From the giant pink blooms that made fingers sticky.

I’m from grace before supper and barbecues on sunday.
From big dreamers and kind hearts and quick wit. 
I am from Cole and Julie and a little bit of Rankin.

I am from homemade pizza and passionate words and competitive card games. 
From “don’t you take that tone with me” and “Jesus loves you”. 
I am from Holy Communion and 'give us today' and the undeserved grace of a savior. 

I’m from Kitsap County and Ireland, burnt peanuts and black licorice. 

From the time my dad used his riding lawn mower to pull my sister and I on a sled through the snowy yard, the time we sat huddled on a church pew with soggy tears and wept for my nana, and the time my sister and I boarded a plane for Germany because this town is just too small. 

I am from shoeboxes of old photos and newspaper articles and meaningful words on pretty paper. 
I am from travel journals and diaries and hand me down clothes, saved for the next generation. 
I am from trinkets and treasures and trophies, stored in plastic bins. 
I am from milestones, carefully framed above the mantle. 
If you are interested in creating your own poem, here is the template

“Where I'm From” Poem Template
I'm from______________________________
(specific ordinary item/food item when you were a kid),
From __________________________________
(product name/Household Cleaner that is always in your home) and_____________________________
(product name /First aid item that is always in your house).

I am from the________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
(home description...adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the ________________________________________________________
(plant, flower, natural item), the________________________________________________________________
(description of the natural item).

I’m from ____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
(family tradition / something your family always does) and ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________
(description of family trait / way in which family members are alike – physically, emotionally, intellectually), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the ________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
(description of family tendency + reunion, family vacations, watching football, dinner around the table)
and ________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________ (another family tendency).
From__________________________________________(something you were told as a child) and ____________________________________________(another).

I am from___________________________________________________________
(representation of religion, or lack of it).
I'm from _____________________________________________
(place of birth and family ancestry),
_____________________________________________(two food items representing your family).

From the time when ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
(specific family story about a specific person and detail), the___________________
_________________________________________________(another detail), and the ________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
(another detail about another family member).

I am from___________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________
(location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth/summary of life / where you keep your memories.)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

thy will, my pleadings

( I've been so caught up, in who I'm not - Plumb, Lord I'm Ready Now)

Seek me
Fight for me
Trust me
and let the rest go. 

and I've been praying words
that sound like pleadings,
they say,
show me, tell me,
speak to me!
who am I to you?
where are you leading me?
what plans have you purposed for me?
please, I sigh.
and I've been frustrated
and exhausted
and exasperated, even.
and my heart is well intentioned,
and my longings are earnest.
but then you bring me to my knees
and you take me to that place
where I realize that my anxious heart
stems from a heart not fixed on you.
that my fears and worries 
and my desires 
are not breathed from you to me
but are the product of misplaced trust
a mind focused 
on what the world tells me
that I need to know
what the world tells me
that I need to be
so here, I lay my hands 
before you, Lord God.
yet, again.
offering this life, 
that in me,
that through me,
Thy will be done. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

chaos matters

because real life is messy
with days that can be both minutes
and months
and those days lead to change
and so much has happened
and I'm standing still
and it's almost May
and the lists get longer
with no check marks
and I glance back on the plan
and I wonder
can I start again?
with a new direction
a new plan
and I don't know what this is
but a call from the Almighty
still I sit in silence
scared these thoughts
have no depth
and these days
have no meaning
and this life
is too broken
to be worth sharing
I've grown close
to uncertainty
I'm learning to hold it's hand
in my plans
in my moments
in my prayers
in my hopes
but therein lies the chaos
bear with me
as I begin, yet again

Monday, January 19, 2015

and here we are

and christmas was spent with family
and wine
and diamond rings 
and celebrations
and planning
and a child ricocheting off the walls 
and tears and tantrums (both mine and hers)

and baking. loads of baking. 
and cincinatti chili with hot dogs 
and beer
and doritos
and mac n cheese
and insane sister breakfasts
and seafood feasts
and italian feasts

and the eve was spent assembling plastic chaos 
and I used lots of dry shampoo
and showered very little

and we missed the lights
and some of the traditions
and I went to church at nearly midnight
and I sang those words, “come thou long expected Jesus”
and I ached for Him

and there were goodbyes
and there were hard conversations
and there were frustrations

and the new year came unnoticed
and the resolutions never left my head
and I read the words of others
and I cried

and there was a weekend away
and it was filled with snow
and long underwear
and unmet expectations

and I came home to textbooks
and longer to do lists
and challenges
and un-mailed Christmas cards

and I prayed for peace
and I prayed for healing
and I sought relief
and I fought back tears
and I sat still
and He met me there

and here we are

Saturday, November 8, 2014

my soul longs

as the deer pants for water, so my soul longs after you. 

I used to sing these words on Sunday mornings,
in a chorus full of other voices. 
I used to sing these words with a different understanding, 
believing that soul longing was something attained.

I used to pray that my soul would long for Him - like it was supposed to.
I used to misunderstand this hymn entirely.

as the deer pants for water, so my soul longs after you.

without question, without prayer, without trying,
my soul longs for you.
as second nature as an animals thirst,
my soul longs after you.

in my waking, in my sleeping
in my trying, in my failing
in my praying, in my hiding
my soul longs after you

you alone are my hearts desire, and I long to worship you.

you don't have to try and long for Him,
you were created to long for Him.
whether you want to or not,
whether you identify it as that or not,
your soul will always long for Him.

and it is in the realization of our longing,
it is in the knowledge of our need,
it is in the accepting of our yearning,
that we begin to feel peace. 

you alone are my strength, my shield, to you alone, may my spirit yield.
you alone are my hearts desire, and I long to worship you. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You Are Not Baggage

this goes for all of you
but especially you...

you aren't a mistake

a burden
an inconvenience
or a punishment

you aren't the result of a guilty conscience
or a ticket to heaven

you aren't a regret
you aren't a bad decision
you aren't an oops

you are the intricate design
woven in the hands of a master

you were planned
you have purpose
you are adored

you are the best gift
the greatest adventure
the longest laugh
the deepest love