Newness and Light

 The people walking in darkness...
I once was walking in darkness.

I once walked in the darkness of consuming and of my material things.

I once walked in the darkness of busyness and self-importance.

I once walked in the darkness of anger and impatience.
...have seen a great light 

The Light has dawned and has shone all around me.

I now walk in the light of peace and rest.

I now walk in the light of love and mercy.

I now walk in the light of forgiveness and hope.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 
 I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
New life.

New heart.

New spirit.

New creation.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh 
You were taught...to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
Walking in the light of life.

Following Him, eyes fixed on the Light, ears attending to the Word.

I was walking in darkness and have seen a great light.

I live in the land of the shadow of death but, praise be to God, a light has now dawned!

Go. Walk in Light.


Mary's Soul

There is a stillness and a hush.

There are words that shred her heart.

It is after the man of light, speaking words of miracle.

It is after the shepherds of dirt, speaking visions of angel army chorales.

It is after the star of God, shining spotlight on her baby.

It is after the scholars of heavens, laying rich treasures down.

There is the temple and the sacrifice and the consecration of a baby.

There is a man who raises hands and speaks words of praise to God.

And a sword will pierce your own soul too.
There is a stillness and a hush.

And ever after, she lives and follows Him, trusting that God will keep His promises. She is faithful in her trust.

And she stands at the foot of a cross, watching her innocent child as He is brutally tortured and murdered. As He is pierced with a sword.

And her own soul is pierced as well.

It cannot have made any sense at all. 

The murder of innocents never does. Death itself never does.

There is a cross.

There is ugliness and pain and sorrow and grief.

There is beauty and rescue and hope and the promise of life for all time.

There is faithfulness and trust in a God Who keeps His promises. Always.

In the stillness and the hush,

In the joy of angels singing 

as well as in the piercing of your own soul,

Trust in our God whose Word never fails.

I pray for a joyful Christmas for all of you, worshiping the God who makes all things beautiful in His time.

art credits: snow photo by Kirk Sewell; The Nativity by Correggio; The Three Crosses by Rembrandt; Cross photo by Asta Rastauskiene; Annunciation to the Shepherds by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem; Pieta by Michaelangelo; Advent wreath photos by Elizabeth Giger


I Am Waiting

I am waiting.

I am waiting for orders to arrive so that they can be made beautiful with paper and ribbon.

I am waiting for this beautiful new life within me to be born into this world.

I am waiting as my Papa fights this cancer.

I am waiting.

We wait each evening, eyes bright with candlelight, watching Mary wind her way around to Bethlehem.

Advent. Waiting.

As I am still and wait in this Advent, I dimly grasp that all of life is waiting.
I am waiting for peace on earth. 

I am waiting for joy to fill up our world.

I am waiting on God. 
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.
I am waiting for Christ to come and for all to be made right again.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. 
I wait in Advent for Word to become flesh.

I wait in Time for Word to return again and repair this broken world, heal my sin-broken heart.

I am waiting for a tiny baby to come quiet in Bethlehem. For an angel to sing glory. For shepherds to rush breathless. For wise men to bow humbled.

I am waiting for Christ to come.

As I wait, I find that He has, in truth, been Emmanuel, God with us, all through the full time of our waiting.

I am still.

I am waiting.



I love to travel. I love seeing new places and I love experiencing new things.

I grew up in the same town all of my life until I left for college. Once I left for college, though, I didn't stay in the same place for more than a year or two before moving on.

I have never liked the idea of settling down. It seems boring, too safe.

The reality, though? It is not safe at all. 

It is the staying, the investing, that is dangerous.

It is dangerous to stop in one place for a long time. Relationships have more of a chance to implode. Neighbors have a better idea of who you really are. Friends might reject you because they have more time to see deep inside of your heart.

I'd rather keep moving on.

I have tried to fool my own heart, convincing myself that my wanderlust is due to my love of excitement, due to my desire to not live life in safety.

That, however, is a lie. It is a lie that I have lived with for a long time.

It is because I love the safety of shallow, the security of anonymity, that I don't remain in one place for long.

Now? I've been in the same house for almost five years, and in the same town for seven.

 I'm learning. I'm learning how to be vulnerable and how to help hold others accountable. I'm learning what community, long term community, really looks like.

I'm learning how to stay.




My girls are both mildly obsessed with eating. We often have to make them stop eating rather than having to persuade them to eat.

I don't know what I'll do if this third child is a picky eater. 


Some think about it more than others. Some enjoy the act more than others. Some participate in it more than others.

We all consider it to some degree and we all (at least, those of us living in these First World sorts of places) do it fairly regularly.

We all do a lot more of it during this time of year than in any other season.

If all that we are, all that we do, is to be made sacred, then how does eating fit in? How can eating be a deliberately sacred event rather than being a piece of my day that has nothing to do with God?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ I Corinthians 10.31
Is eating simply how we sustain our bodily functions...or is there more to it than that?

I have noticed in the Bible lately that eating was meant to be much more. It is linked over and over again to fellowship with and enjoyment of God.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the Father celebrates the son's return with a feast.
Jesus shares His last supper with his closest friends and then tells them that He will not drink again until He does it with us in heaven.
The kingdom of heaven is compared to a king giving a wedding banquet to his son. 
The image of a banquet, especially a wedding feast, is used several times to illustrate our enjoyment of God when we are finally with Him in body. 
When we eat, we often are doing more than simply nourishing our bodies. We are sharing of ourselves with our family and our friends. This is sacred.

Perhaps eating is one of the last things that our culture hasn't been able to take the sacred out of. 

Our world tries hard to take God out of all that we do, to make everything a matter of utility. Yet when we share a meal with our family or with our friends, there is a sacredness there that is felt even by those who do not claim to follow God.

Even the act of growing our food is sacred. I have learned this in the past couple of years as I began our little garden.

God is a gardener. 

In the second chapter of Genesis, He kneels down and breathes life into the soil. He then sustains Adam by the soil and invites him to join in His work of gardening.

We are invited to join in God's work when we grow our food.

We are invited to join in the act of enjoyment of and fellowship with God when we eat food together.

As you eat with those you love, be deliberate. Be aware of the sacredness of what you share as you are eating. Be aware of the sacred work of those who grew your food. 

Be aware of God filling you up with His own sacredness. 

And enjoy.



All that we live splinters into moments
Moments of grace
Moments of beauty
Moments of mercy
For which we give thanks.

Moments of grace when we deserve nothing
Sweet fat dimpled hands reaching up for a kiss
Wrinkled shaky fingers caressing my cheek
Strong hand holding mine all covered with prayer.

Moments of light, of color, of beauty
Dancing lights of fireflies below with streaking lights of electricity above
Colors of sky and sun filtering down through red and gold
Sounds of water dancing, sparkling, rushing, chasing.

Moments of mercy given at just the right time
Delighted laughter of child when sister gives a gift
Food brought when time and energy has been spent
A gentle whisper bringing knowledge of love from the divine

Our splintering moments rush together as one
Grace, beauty, mercy all show us His love
Even when in darkness I can open my eyes
To all these and more and give thanks to our Lord.



Music, writing, crocheting. Gardening, canning, baking. Volleyball, reading, learning.

There are many things I enjoy doing and I have always done well at most everything I have attempted. I'm one of those who is an expert at nothing but very good at many various skills and activities. The result of this? I am a fairly confident person.

I know that with anything over which I have control, I have a good chance at success. And there you see my trouble: “anything over which I have control”.

For most of my life I have had control over all that I do. Then I became a mommy.

Suddenly I discovered that even when I read all the right books and learn all the perfect techniques, even when I master everything perfectly, my children may or may not respond as I was promised.

You may roll your eyes or shake your head at my naivety, but this truly rocked my world. My confidence had vanished.

I struggled and prayed and sought wisdom from many sources. After one particularly desperate session of prayer, though, my confidence was beautifully restored.

As much as I may have wished, God did not give me the perfect technique for parenting my little ones. My confidence in myself had nothing to do with my restoration.

Instead, God gently reminded me that He loves my girls even more than I do. Which is a lot. God wants, even more than I do, that they should love Him and love people.

And if God wants something to happen, who can stand in His way?

I still have children who refuse to respond properly to my masterful parenting techniques (which often involves stomping my foot at them), but as long as I remember God's promises, my confidence can no longer be shaken.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17.7-8