… though I can’t imagine where


Early morning shadows sprinkle the lawn revealing splashes of Light

and baby fresh,




The robin hops through the landscape – stopping to listen – head cocked at the slightest rumble of a worm inching its way near.

The flower turns its head to welcome morning’s light.

And just beyond, a doe and her twins stroll past, looking for greener pastures I suppose…




… though I can’t imagine where




this day,

is a gift.

The birds know it. The flower and doe know it… and the worm that got away knows it too. Chirping in the distance, blossoming and grazing along the sun’s lit path, … inching through the warming earth. Happy to sing their morning song, they welcome the turning of this world toward its Maker.


New mercies, new hope, a new start.


What purpose do I have in this new day?

What Good works are planned for me to walk in since the beginning of time?

What voices need silencing to hear the One Voice that is needful to hear?


Be still and know that I am God.

Really know.


Quieting the noise of life

long enough to understand

 the certainty of the Life Giver.



Seasons change.

Life happens.

… I don’t know what tomorrow brings, or the day after that or next month or next year.

But this I know:

In this moment, I am loved by a King

I can face this day and all the craziness it may bring

with thankfulness.

Today, in Him, I have a haven.


Jesus loves me. This I know.


Linking up with

A Field of Wild Flowers (Small Wonder)

Tell His Story

Coffee for you Heart,

Thought-Provoking Thursdays

Five Minute Fridays


When the sun rose today…


When the sun rose today,

there was no fanfare


No holding of the breath

No dazzling colors

…No facefook photos

Nothing like the last few days when

jaws dropped and Hallelujahs rang

and spirits soared beyond their dreams




Today the clouds stayed at bay

Today the earth welcomed the sun without ringing anyone’s bells

Today was an endless sky of whitewashed Ho hum


Icy clear

… A boring yawn


Just another sunrise

in the endless Sea of Mundane


Just a small heavenly orb


spinning toward the Sun at 1040 miles per hour


racing toward Spring, clocking in at 67,062 mph

twirling around a nuclear explosion 93,000 miles away yet held firm


glued likes ants to a wall

suctioned by a quiet force pulling strong

deep within Earth’s belly


Ho hum


Just another beginning putting stars to sleep

and dressing warm the day in blue


Silly me

…I was hoping for something special


Joining with Thought-Provoking Thursdays, Tell His Story, and Five Minute Fridays, Lisha, Missional Women, and Still Saturdays

Big shout outs to hongkiat wallpapers and their photo artists: sanmonku, hameed, missstrublingstorm


The Tease


I can still feel it if I close my eyes and turn my heart just so

toward the light

that forever moment when I shed my Winter robe

and walked outside the door and was drenched in Gentle

I can still feel the dunking of satin

smoothing, changing, encircling each cell in another layer of silk

not hot and not even cool

just the slipping of every pore into a shimmering pool of liquid air

the Tease of eternity sidling up outside my balcony door

calling out like an old familiar friend, “Wear your tank top. Ditch the shoes. Bring a willing heart… let’s go explore! “

How mighty, this playful hint of Spring.


Joining with a host of writers: Five Minute Fridays, Thought-provoking Thursdays, Just Write, Playdates with God, Imperfect Prose, Tell His Story

if my words…

Writing with the Five minute Friday community… ready, set, go.


If my words could fly on the wind, if they could encompass the earth on a journey of freedom, if they could cover the heights of daring and the depths of tragedy… where would they travel? Would they beat the streets of Morocco, or scale the Cliffs of Dover? Would they follow the war torn and reveal the tears of the left behind?

How long would it take to tire of excitement and drama? to wish for routine and the humdrum of the everyday? How long before my words would find themselves back here to me again watching juncos scramble for birdseed on a wind swept rainy day? How much soaring would it take until they were at last willing to wait as I brush the last muffin crumbs from my mouth and chase down the dreams with my morning cup?

If my words could soar on the wings of the wind and travel the lengths of our vast expanse, would they someday be content to swirl around the yard on a cloudy windswept day… going nowhere… going everywhere.

simply free to share this quiet space with you?

Autumns’ Dance


The leaves burn red and blaze orange around me and for a moment I’m caught unaware – breathless. In the middle of all this beautiful change I feel every part of me smile and weep and yearn all at the same time.

What is it about Fall that causes my thoughts to tug at the edge of my heart?

I listen to the leaves rustle. I watch them wiggle and flutter dance and I wonder:

Is their’s a dance of excitement? Are they ready to spring free and soar on the wings of the wind? Or are they restless and clingy and trying desperately just to hold on with all their useless might?

Probably both.


Seasons change, I know that. And every season brings with it the same push and pull, hello and goodbye. I know that too. This isn’t my first rodeo, as they say.

But somehow, Autumn’s magnificence is greater — its letting go more severe. Autumn is beauty and tragedy. It’s all things full and all things empty. Autumn slaps you in the face with magnificence then demands in no easy terms, “ Now. Overnight. Let go.”

Fall forces all things to be settled. Finished. Harvested. Made ready for Life to be blanketed in the peace of  Winter’s sleep. To be not ready is a sad leaf clinging to a barren limb only to be pushed off later anyway… so why hold on?


So, yes, Fall tugs and tussles in me.

Some days I want to break free and tumble cross the universe. Blow this branch that I’ve clung to way too long and kick up my heels in a daring back flip that wows the crowd. I want to travel paths nudged solely by the passing whim that blows behind my steps. I want to get swept into the twirl and the swirl of it all…, unfurl my wings to adventures unknown.


Some days I just want to gently fall. Let go of waiting. Let go of trying. Just simply let go… and let the leaves fall where they may. And provide cover for the roots below.

Luke Redmond

Some days, the thought of falling makes me tremble and shutter and cling all the more. Below me speaks of death and dying, aging and withering. I scream, “NO!, I’m not ready to let loose my colors. I’m not ready to fall lifeless among the masses. I’m not ready to wait for the rains and snows and feet to trample me to a soggy, heavy mess? Where is the glory in that?!”

And Some days, I feel it all. Bright and bold. Quiet and ready. Excited to show Life’s brilliance in colors that shine true. Yet ready to gracefully move on.

So my heart waits and watches – caught up in the winds that swirl my way.

I grasp tightly.
I release willingly.

…Autumn’s dance is funny that way.


Calling All Ye Jolly Oxen!

Sometimes out of nowhere Life bubbles up so full and overflowing that it spills over into one deliciously messy puddle of delightful mud. An amazing mix of Deep and True and all of earth’s richness swirled together into a perfect pool where words splash brown – washed clean – unleashed in hard earned Joy that sparkles pure without them.


Indeed, a mucky glop of oozing goodness is this Life we get to love. Teasing us, drawing us, tugging us beyond ourselves. Bringing us to the edge of an exquisitely dirty choice:

Dive into the thick of ick? Or stay clean in sanitized, but muddy despair.

The truth is: Life is messy. It can get ugly and lonely, and desperately caked with all things grim.


And it’s easy to get lost in it alone.


But what if I make you family, and you make me yours?

What if we meet Life head on and stop pretending these mud-filled potholes are easy to walk alone?

What if that is all it takes  to uncover Hope hidden in its depths?




~  We might even discover magic!  ~


And in the thick of it all, when Good is hard to find, we’ll reach together

to the One whose hand is reaching back – muddied too – pulling us up, lifting us out…


Showing us, in his throne-to-manger way, how to love each other clean.

…Bubble bath clean!


So, let’s do it! Let’s jump in. Let’s fling off our shoes. Lift high our heads. Open wide our arms and find a hand to grab. Let’s welcome this Life in all its messy glory and dive right in with every brown splattered hope that’s left in our hearts.


Because sometimes there’s just no other way around.


I think it’s time, don’t you?


“Hey Ollie! Ollie! and all your oxen friends.” Together, we have all we need to live this crazy, hard, wonderful Life.

No more hiding! Come on in!

It’s free! Free! FREE!


So thankful for all these flickry, creatively in common photographic artists: (in order of appearance: w; nichameleon; jimee jackie tom and asha; Adam Cohn; Sangudo; fveronesi1; Ben Mcleod; Mark Dumont; my_southborough; peasap; Our Enchanted Garden; and last but not least Wes Cutshall

Morning’s Revelry


It’s icy blue outside – that shade of blue that paints itself cold between night and a dawning day.
And in the distance the roosters have begun their morning song.
Heralds of a new day, they crow in frantic urgency, “It’s coming! It’s coming! Wake up! Be ready!”

Every morning they cry.

A wandering frog joins in and the revelry strengthens, “It’s here! Look up! Be brave!…It’s time!” And quietly I’m reminded that just last week, in another land, I heard coyotes and Canada’s geese sing their version of this same song. “It’s a new day! It’s a new day! It’s a new day” … their cries beat strong.

Loud. Clear. Insistent.

         Funny, what can catch your heart’s ear when you listen to the stillness.

What do they see, these watchmen of the day? What music do they hear? What dreams lay swaddled in the arms of the warming horizon?
… Is there purpose beyond the scribbles on my planner?

At first the answer whispers, then beats loud, and pulses sure:

A call to forgive. A chance to love real. A day to live true.
A call to forgive. A chance to love real. A day to live true.

A call to forgive – the icy blue gives way. A chance to love real- the song echoes deep. A day to live true  – dreams stretch to Sun’s first beams.

Slowly in this moment between night and dawning day Life begins again.

Surely in this morning revelry there is

true and persistent


sunriseikewinskiPhoto: Flckr Creative Commons: ikewinski

Look up

I get car sick

and seasick


and any other churning illusion that paints itself Deathly Dizzy White.

I know its optical trickery.

I know Outside stands still beyond the car window… as I’m catapulted forward motionless

I know the horizon stretches beyond me steady and true … as I bob and weave among Life’s waves.

Yet try as I might, my head and my stomach can’t sort out what is still and what is moving, and I buy-in to the illusion every time. Every. Stinkin’. Time. I just can’t seem to reconcile what’s happening around me with what’s happening inside me

… and I’m left dizzy, nauseous and in desperate need for some sweet kiss-the-ground reality.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to fight this green-gilled monster. I know to guard closely, from the start, the smidgeon of balance that cowers in my inner ear. I know to let fresh air splash my face and fasten my gaze straight ahead. I know to lock sights on a distant point with the focus of a sharpshooter.

And I know to always. look. up. ALWAYS.

But Life’s choices aren’t always wrapped so neat and tidy. One day you’re looking out on the horizon of a calm and endless sea, and the next you’re gazing down mesmerized- hypnotized- by the Everydays that swirl at your feet. And before you know it, you’re pushed and tugged, whirled and churned, and left with your stomach in your throat, your head in your lap, and your feet stuck deep in shifting sand — praying to God for the spinning to stop.

Because you know all the regrets in the world won’t quiet the whirling madness that spirals in your head. Only the one who calmed the sea. With a word. And for this you hold on tight, and hold on strong,

and wait for the dizziness to pass

… because it will. It will.

So open wide the window and feel fresh the wind

It will pass.

Laugh. Cry. Dig deep. Breathe slow.

It will pass.

Look up. Look far. Look deep.

It will pass.

It will.

“I look to the hills from whence cometh my help? My help comes from the Lord
the maker of heaven and earth.”

Photo credit: Wendy Zukerman at Flickr

Photo credit: Wendy Zukerman at Flickr

Today I Dig Deep


This day I rush home. This day I tear off the Sunday best that paints me cold and distant with all things fake, and shallow. All things that I loathe…. and all things that I am.

Something is going on in my soul, like a brewing storm. Something dark. deep. unknown. And I fall to my knees.

I’ve been in this place before. I’ve heard these distant rumblings and felt the churning winds, and I’ve been caught in the deluge – unaware-  too many times to count. But not this time.

Not. This. Time.

This time I step into the comfort of my grungiest jeans and sweatshirt – like best of friends – and I rush outside to the garden, the dirt, and I dig deep.

I’m not looking to plant seeds or pull weeds or pretend I care about anything except the in-the-thick dirt of earth jammed deep beneath my nails, immersed to my elbows, and wiped in the sweat of my brow. No gloves. No tools. No caution. This is what I need. This is what my heart demands: plunge deep into this fallow ground, churn this earth too long neglected, bring it to the surface, remove the rocks … and feel. Just simply feel.

This is what I know.


But in seasons past I didn’t know. I’d face these seasons of the heart and to try to fix things by burying all the ugly. Like this garden that now lay dormant in my hand, I’d layer on the manure, heap heavy the compost, sprinkle light the peat moss and call it good. Sure, I’d dig a little here, stir a little there. But mixing deep and mixing true is hard work and makes pale the black, rich soil so desirous. “Why dilute all this goodness with such poor soil?” I wondered. “Why waste my time with what lies beneath?” I mused. “I’m only worried about the top six inches anyway, right?’ I argued. “The rains will come, the goodness will seep down. It won’t matter.” I decided. “It won’t matter.”

But it turns out that it does matters. Turns out Life can be burned in shallow, layered goodness. Turns out, like me, new roots can wither in the midst of all things holy – silent and desperate for all things real. Like me, they cry out for all of Life’s messy fullness. ALL of it.

All of humanity that cries out for Truth to burst through the layers and light the fire that has iced within.

All of Truth that stands immovable- unafraid of dirt, or ugliness or the messiness of Life.

All of Life that finds its beginning in dark, hidden places, planted firm and deep and holy in this sinner’s heart

So today I dig deep. I thrust in my hands. I crush the clods, finger the humus, I work gently together the good with the bad. I turn Life on its end and make room for Hope again. Ugly churns with Beautiful. Anger tosses with Forgiveness. Holiness makes peace with all things frail…. Mixed together. Mixed deep. Mixed True.

Life is messy. Life is holy. We live and we thrive and we are healed when we make room for both.

Today I dig deep.

Today I make ready for rain.


Alleyway Vigilantes


Down a darkened alley way I walk
 in the gloom
 of familiar shadows
 that threaten from within

Suddenly footsteps resound behind me
Racing with my heart
 They run faster
Reaching for my soul
 They draw nearer
In a moment of frenzied madness 
They have come for me 
~and I stand frozen~

there is nowhere left to hide

Suddenly silence explodes behind me

Gladness and Joy leap from the darkness
 Wrestling with Hope 
 Restraining with Peace
 Handcuffing my soul to Truth
Sorrow and Sighing have taken flight 
I am overpowered by Love

~and I am free~ 

Rescued once again
God’s Alleyway Vigilantes.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
     and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Is. 35:10)

Time for Cleaning Closets

cartoon-lady-closetOkay, it’s time.

I’m tired of pretending.

I’m tired of thinking Life will magically clean this mess around me.

It must be Spring.

…because I’m itching to start cleaning closets.

Growing up, I was that “‘has-it-all-together’ summa cum laude teenaged girl” who reveled in the chaos of my messy room. Honestly, I can’t say that I ever really noticed it, or was even disgusted by it. It just was. Pure and simple. And it worked for me.

Until it didn’t.

I only found out years later how much this bothered Mom. To her credit, and my Life’s lessons, she didn’t make a big deal of it with me. She’d rub through a few more rosary circuits, unleash her frustration with Dad, “I just can’t handle her room, Don!”, quietly close the door and let me live in cluttered glory — hoping I’d get sick of it.

And every Spring, I did.

Unfortunately for mom, when I’d break my cleaning fast, I didn’t go for the obvious. I didn’t start with those milk-crusted glasses, or the wrinkled piles that blanketed a hibernating carpet. I didn’t purge the monoliths of discarded poem-starts and unleashed Twinkie wrappers. Nope.

…I always started with the closets.

And the drawers.

And the under-the-bed peek-a-boo treasures.

… I’m an inside-out kinda girl.

Also, unfortunately for mom, her vision of a clutter-free incandescent existence for me, was a mirage at best. I often stopped — satisfied — way before the white gloves could come out (or the vacuum, for that matter).

But, the closets? Oh my gosh, the closets. When I was done, they were beautiful. Ordered and brilliant and perfectly right.

Somehow, Mom and Dad never could quite appreciate my job satisfaction. Like the grown ups in the Little Prince, they struggled with seeing things from the inside out.


(which might account for their own closets; they were a mess.)

Maybe like me now. This grown up me. Here, with my grown up clutter. And my room is messy again — a Life that needs purging, chucking, bagging, and burning. A grown up Me that is in desperate need of all things simple again. All things fresh, clean and new. Wishing for a rosary circuit and closed door, and a hope that I’ll get sick of it.

And I am sick of it. But not the outside stuff. That kind of disorder just needs time management, and a quick call to Merry Maids.

Nope, it’s the inside clutter I’m talking about. I’m still an inside-out kinda girl.

… And it’s time for cleaning out closets again.

Take, for instance, this little outfit named “Not Good Enough.” I’ve worn it way too long. It’s frayed and stained, but still so irresistibly comfortable. It’s time I let it go. It’s dated and highlights all my flaws. I think I might be ready to part ways.

And this pair of shoes. They were once so… so right. They went so well with my Not Good Enough outfit.  They were advertised as Confidence and Swagger. Unfortunately they never fit quite right, but I wore them anyway –badly;  nearly broke my neck, and heart, a couple of times. I need a new pair that fits…that fit me. Ones that will go perfectly with the new Good Enough outfit being tailored for me even as we speak.

There’s other things, too, in these closets that need purging. Most were impulsive buys. Those sale items labeled Cheap and Fast. Those “Why nots?” that seemed so right at the time… and so wrong later. Those On Clearance little ditties like Pride, and Half-Truths, Self-Righteousness and Righteous Anger (… they’re never righteous.)

I’m sure when I risk that first deep breath to start new again, I’ll find other things to toss. Like the worries that make it hard for Dreams to become big again. And hopes too young for a Life that must become brave again (not to mention Regret, which is never good for anything.) I’m sure I’ll have to rummage through the fears that often lurk in closets left too long untouched. And I’ll have to reconcile my need to see change measured in notches and pencil marks marked in inches and feet on aging doors.

But I also know there will be many things to keep — boxed up wonders meant to be dusted off, remembered, cherished and repacked for such times as these. That sense of history and self that declares, “I’ve come a long way; no, we’ve come a long way, Jesus, on this path, you and I.”  Those mementos and accessories, and bits of Life that shout, “Save me, lest you forget from whence you’ve come.” So many treasures to keep. So many new treasures to make room for.

And when I’m tempted to chuck it all in fear or in the frenzy of impatience and fret, I’ll stand still.

Perfectly still.

And know.

Know that Love and Life and God himself are in the business of making all things new. Making me new. Working in me. Rooting for me. Cleaning closets with me.  Making Life ordered and brilliant, and perfectly right.

This Roller Coaster


I love roller coasters.

I love

the growing


with each lurch

of the pulling gears












hope  that reaches

I love daring to take a fleeting glance

at Life surrounding me


giving myself





that line my path with





u          and     d





and whirly-gigging






rounds that whip the wind through my hair

I love the screams and the heart-pounding jolts

I love the   b  u  M p s  that jar the deepest parts of my senses

…I love it all



Sometimes I get caught up in this ride called Life — all of its unknowns and struggles,

and that nagging sense of up-to-me-ness that pulls at my soul.

And sometimes I get caught up grasping for Good

as if I’m on a merry-go-round struggling for the golden key that’s lies       just        beyond          reach.


But then I remember,

Life isn’t a merry-go-round 

it’s a roller coaster


… and I love this roller coaster.


Purrfectly Understood




Me Me MEEEooooow.


Loud, soft, constant, intermittent. No matter what the variation my cat only screams one thing: “Listen to meeeeee. I neeeeddd. And I neeeeed neeooooow. Serve meeeee NOW.”

Most of the time I know exactly what he wants: that perfect ear scratch, that comfortable spot on my lap (or computer), or maybe the door opened to his napping chamber. And most of the time he gets what he wants. (One notable exception are those 0’dark thirty early morning yowls that have me sending sock bombs his way to get my point across.)

However, there is one cry that has us frustratingly baffled: our senior feline meows for food that’s already in his bowl. Crying and carrying on, he moans until we follow him to his place setting and assure him: “Yep, there it is.” (At which point he always happily eats. Again.) …Um, was he not there when his yowl brought food to his bowl in the first place? And was he was not there a mere 5 minutes ago, when he purred and chowed and pretended life was cool? And was he not there the THIRD time we escorted his highness to his dish to show him that yes, in fact, his feast was still there, awaiting his presence?

Baffling. Frustrating.

(Could he possibly have Kitty Alzheimers? Not even kidding here.)

Yes, I know –in more ways than I care to admit — I’ve been duped. But lest you totally thing I’m that typical cat person. I’m not. My dad did a thorough job making us a “We hate cats” family. And quite honestly I will always choose a slobbery, devoted dog over a finicky, aloof cat. But somewhere between high school and adulthood I found myself short on canines, and in desperate need of a furry beast to pet my way through a crisis. And somewhere between despair and more tears, my sister’s deaf dingbat feline wormed her way into my heart, and I became a reluctant cat love…er…tolerater. Okay, so I’m not all cat mushy but over the years I’ll admit: there’s something obnoxiously endearing — and all too suspiciously familiar– about these “me” creatures.

Which brings me to today, because in the midst of a very one cat-sided conversation, I suddenly wondered:

Do my prayers sound all the same to God? Loud, soft, constant, intermittent and no matter what the variation, do they all say: “Listen to meeeeee. I nEEEddd. And I neeeeed  neeOOWW. Serve meeeee NOW”? Do I wander through this world with seemingly the same request, trying to lead God by my little string of commanding persistence to show him what’s the matter? Does He sometimes lovingly throw sock bombs my way just to make his answer clear? Do I yowl at a full dish, thinking my cry and his showing up, have made it somehow magically appear … when it was there all the time?

And seriously, when all is said and done, doesn’t God show up anyway, just like me … simply because I love the stupid cat?

Me (eeowww) thinks so. (Isn’t that just so purrrrrfect?)


Kaleidoscope (A New View)


Recently I wrote a post about one of my kaleidoscope days — One of those days I tumbled through life feeling disjointed and scattered. I almost deleted it. But then I stumbled on a poem I wrote that First Summer when Dad came to live with us. The summer when I was so desperately trying to find more than just a remnant of the man I once knew. I had named it Kaleidoscope too. Funny.

So I reread them both – my post and my Dad poem. And I realized that sometimes it’s just too stinkin’ easy to look at what’s broken. Sometimes it seems the only show in town are the shattered pieces tumbling in the constant of shifting sands.

So I decided NOT to delete my broken day, and I decided TO share that First Summers’ poem. Because, really, so much of this Life IS broken, and lost, and needs to be searched for.  And the tragedy of this Alzheimer world where Chris, Dad and I live IS tragic, and sad, and churns with fractured images that I’d gladly trade for just one whole complete one.

.. So, yes, I’ll share.


But today, I wasn’t reminded of tragedy or sadness or brokenness. Today I wasn’t even reminded of Alzheimer’s. Nope. Today I was reminded of the kaleidoscope’s miracle. I remembered the excitement, and the joy, that was re-created with every turn. I remembered the simple hope of unexpected beauty and transformed images. Today I remembered that we are promised beauty for ashes — a colorful, twirling dance of indescribable beauty, formed with all the fragments of our shattered, wonderful lives.

Today, I hope you are one twist away from the miracle you hope for.


In a kaleidoscope

of fractured time

you fall

a fragment of memory


a shard of shattered life


Captive in this

house of mirrors

where shifting shadows

and waking fears

are forgotten faces


a fragile life


Frozen in this kaleidoscope

of fractured


I look for you


Creative Commons by Maia C. and ark Photostream

On your mark, Get set…

TrafficSignal         In the beginning…

I learned pretty early in my time here on Earth, that I don’t like beginnings and endings. Beginnings brought the ever-looming reality of endings that inevitably caused pain. Whether those beginnings were for projects, or stories to be written, or new recipes, I decided I would avoid them as much as possible…

like I’m doing right now

Take Two

In the beginning…

I don’t like writing beginnings and endings. They can make or break a piece; the responsibility is too much. I remember in high school I’d procrastinate until the 11:59th minute. Not because I didn’t do the research, or put in the time, but because of those darn beginnings and conclusions.

And it wasn’t just in writing. It was everything. I didn’t know how to begin a friendship — so I wouldn’t. I didn’t know how I would possibly finish a project — so I never started. Or I started so many stinkin’, imperfect times that the motivation peetered out and I was left with an unfinished mess…The end.



Take Three

In the beginning…


Beginnings suck.

Take Eleventy-billion

So, here I am. On my mark. Getting set. Still wrestling with this ‘interesting’ character flaw and I read:

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

Bah-dah Boom, bah-dah Bing!  Ouila! Done deal! (Insert a little happy dance.) No more worrying about beginnings or endings! No more false or floppy starts. No more faltering or fall-flat endings. What a relief! And now all I have to do is the ‘in-between’ stuff. NO sweat.

So yes,  there’s this beginning in January.  There are hopes and dreams and heart-felt commitments to make them come true. And yes, soon enough we’ll see the ending approaching and there will be December again. And we’ll look back and see all the ways that we succeeded and failed. We’ll see that we tried hard, and loved big, and if nothing else we tried hard. But in-between? Ah, in-between, is the good stuff. In between is Life: God-given, wonderful, glorious, messy Life.

Wahoo! Bring on the good stuff. On your mark, get set…  (I’m good to go. How ’bout you? )        


photo by stevendepolo (creative commons @ flickr)


This week I wrote report cards for my fourth grade class. I wandered through the piles of scored papers — the mounds of mental notes — and I put a grade on a child’s blossoming life. Sigh. It’s not easy, grading. It can sometimes feel too clinical, impersonal, even harsh. And then come the comments — the real grade. The words that need to give life, hope and encouragement but often have to entwine some truthful ‘ow-ies.’ Sigh.

And this year the principal is reading every. single. report card. So, now, in essence,  I’m the one being graded. Sigh.

…I’ve been sighing a lot this week.

So, today I woke up exhausted, still tumbling in the kaleidoscope of last week, mixed together with all the pieces of my life that often collide — things unfinished, not started, some forgotten. Some needing loving attention. Some I thought I discarded, yet are still maddeningly there, tumbling with all the rest.

And then I thought about this blog.

Already there are beginnings of blogs I have stashed away that someday will be dragged out, worked on, published. Already I feel a sense of commitment in this area even though I intellectually know that its just a small thing in the big scheme of things. Already there are apologies I want to make, and computer things I want to tweak, and an internal ‘deadline’ I want to keep. (Can you sense another sigh coming?)

But today, I’ve just decided,  I’m laying the sighing aside. I’m going on a rare date with my hubby. I’m leaving our “Alzy Land” in the hands of a sweet friend who has a heart for Dad, and Chris and I are going to laugh, and eat, and buy a Christmas tree — and enjoy, this day — this precious gift of time — this moment.

Today, I’m going to leave my life ungraded. Or better yet, I’m going to leave the grading to a God who took the test for me and thankfully passed with flying (resurrection) colors. (I’m not going to even revise or edit this blog post.) Sigh.

Now THAT is a good sigh.