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Lost and Found Treasures: Advent Reflections

Lost and Found Treasures: Advent Reflections

Many years ago, when we exchanged names at work, Susie picked mine and I received one of the most precious gifts ever. Beautifully hand sketched and scripted inside each letter of Merry Christmas was the story of the Annunciation. Every year I would hang it across our...
It’s “Thanksliving” Time

It’s “Thanksliving” Time

It’s not mine. I didn’t coin the phrase. A daughter of a friend of mine did. I’m adapting it. It’s Thanksliving time! My heart is full as Buffalo, New York gets hit with 3 feet of snow. I love snow. I live nowhere near Buffalo. But that’s going on as I write. We only...
the warm and cold days of november

the warm and cold days of november

it’s mid november when everthing is painted in muted tones with textures still defined before the snow falls—a good time to hike! we drove to kettle moraine this past week, when it hit the 70s! todd took the day off. we stopped at fiddleheads in cedarburg first for...
I’m Here Sis

I’m Here Sis

I heard a child This morning Ask her mother, “Why do leaves Have to die?” as she Crunched through a pile of brown crumbles On the sidewalk. “The colors were So pretty!” she said. “Where Did they go?” I didn’t hear The mother’s Response. Maybe I would have said, “We...
When Death Becomes Light

When Death Becomes Light

It was a silky, milky Scene this past Sunday Beyond the lake bluff. The horizon had been erased, Reminding me of the day That had reminded me of The first of the last seven days of my mother’s life. There had been no divide Between water and Sky, heaven and...
On Being Safe and Receiving Grace

On Being Safe and Receiving Grace

Some trees grow straight and Some trees grow curved, but they all Grow in the same woods. My heart is breaking for those who have walked away from their churches and faith because of people’s opinions, or lack of opinion. My heart is breaking over any time I didn’t...
Concrete and Light for Dark Days

Concrete and Light for Dark Days

Sometimes I have to be reminded there is no place too hard for grace. Sometimes I have to be reminded how loved we are. Sometimes that’s hard. With all the contrary words and messages, I have to remember to look in before I look out. Looking in is a form of prayer,...
Where We Walk

Where We Walk

Carousel music Sails across the sky to me. Just the thought of you Makes things whimsical. So does walking beside you, It is magical. Inside a bookstore Window, we see a book called “Life Is Hard.” It is. I am happiest Walking outside in the sun. The light lifts my...
In the Woods and On the Water

In the Woods and On the Water

Almost overnight, Trees transformed into gumdrops— That’s what I call them. Through the red maples, A black squirrel caught my eye. What a rare moment! As if being chased, I saw deer gallop and leap. But they were playing! Todd found a bookstore In Three Lakes. I...
Where the Eagle Soars

Where the Eagle Soars

At Eagle River, I am reminded, we mount up On wings like eagles. In humility, We must know how to come down. Face things as they are! Still, O heart, be still. Water appears like glass as Birds fly branch to branch. Mind, body and soul, “Be still, know that I am God.”...
Meta Lake, A Marriage and Little Miracles

Meta Lake, A Marriage and Little Miracles

We headed up to Eagle River after I celebrated my thirty days of abstaining from wine with a glass of wine the night before. It didn’t taste good. It made me tired. It kept me awake in the night. For more than thirty years, I counted on my glass(es) of wine at the end...
I Can’t. But God.

I Can’t. But God.

Two more days till we drive up north. The leaves are changing colors, it will be gorgeous. The air has suddenly turned crisp. The furnace is on. Pack sweaters! Four more days till the wedding. It has been a wonder-filled, winsome time preparing my words to officiate....
Haiku On A Fall Day

Haiku On A Fall Day

Red sweatshirt on girl Red winged blackbird flying free Red barge heading out Red roof on beach house Red motorcycle on path Red car passing by Red leaves hang from branch Green leaves turning yellow-orange We all start...
On Getting Married, Geese and Grace

On Getting Married, Geese and Grace

I’ve just returned from Arizona. I went to surprise my niece for her Bridal Shower Reception. I love surprises. (I kind of gave it away though by posting a picture of me at the airport.) I’m home now, (in bed, actually, I caught a bug. But!) I have had time to reflect...
I Just Love Surprises!

I Just Love Surprises!

Whenever we prepared to get on an airplane, my mom used to pray, “May God send His angels concerning you and protect you in all your ways.” Now my sister says the prayer. Little did I know, though, all the ways that prayer could be answered. I was flying to Tucson to...
Miss Fannie and Mr Sam

Miss Fannie and Mr Sam

I had it written in my devotional that this is the day we brought Fannie home in 2018. Mr. Sam had cancer and Todd was worried about me losing him so he found a puppy. To distract me? Mr. Sam lived six more months. It was like having a baby and an aging parent in the...
Wait! What If?

Wait! What If?

Wait! What if love is Food? What if love is Wine? What if love is a Lifeboat in waters too deep? As if I had been too preoccupied previously, Love spoke up. “I am the Bread of life, I am the Cup of Grace. “I have saved you in the storm. I have renewed you—mind, body...
What Love Is Or Isn’t

What Love Is Or Isn’t

“What is love? How would you answer that?” I asked my husband on Saturday night at 8:43 PM after he’d watch a great storm roll in from the front porch with our dog while the cat was hiding. I’d no idea where the cat was but she had a mouse trapped earlier, I knew she...
Whose Story Is It?

Whose Story Is It?

It was just an ordinary morning filled with extraordinary little moments. That happens when I step out of myself and into the flow of the day, heart full of God’s Word, eyes and ears open, watching, listening. If there hadn’t been a lakefront full of smelly dead fish...
Unexpected Guests

Unexpected Guests

Have you ever had an unexpected guest travel along side you as you take a walk—-in front, behind, above, beside and bop you on the head kind of guest? Funny Monarch. Nature’s tinker bell, spiritual symbol, life’s reminder of hope sometimes knows it has to stick around...
When Parents are Gone

When Parents are Gone

We were at the doctor’s office because of a fall. Honestly, I thought he was having a stroke when he couldn’t touch his nose, but it was dehydration again. The doctor had called paramedics to help me get him to the hospital when all of a sudden he broke out into a...
The Book That Talks

The Book That Talks

There are many books that speak to me. Poetry, philosophy, comedy, tragedy, allegory and story, written by people I admire, respect, study, reflect on, review, time and again, and who have greatly influenced me. People like, Thomas Merton and Mary Oliver, Henri...
A Fine Day and a Fine Line

A Fine Day and a Fine Line

It’s a beautiful June morning, perfect for sitting on the front porch as I have coffee and do my Devotions. Sometimes it can be distracting, being outside. We face the street, neighbors walk by, I stop reading and writing to say hello and lose the flow. I think God’s...
A Father

A Father

Sometimes hiding away In a day’s tasks and in trusting, I live beside you unaware, When as if the pulse of blood in my veins You come so vividly into my thoughts, A gust of cool mountain air, patches of sunlight, where yesterday was clouded, cold, I realize, once...
Writer’s Life

Writer’s Life

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” —A. A. Milne And maybe funnier than you know… “How was your Bible Study?” Todd asked me this morning. “Good. I’m supposed to laugh more. I don’t laugh enough.” I’ve been studying...
Closing the Circle

Closing the Circle

“Mom, the helmet?” Jackson said.      “Yes?”      “Wear it?”      “Yes.” My son is taking care of me now, I realized, just as I have been taking care of my mother. Our roles are always changing in life. Jackson is the son of Rose, the protagonist in my debut novel,...
Morning by Morning

Morning by Morning

Flames of green stare back from tips of branches imprinted against morning sky, as new shoots of color appear lit from within While the Warblers seem pleased with the decor. For yesterday, this prelude to Summer was silent, but the Sun worked all day, the Wind...
Wherever I Am You Are

Wherever I Am You Are

IWe walk the shoreline,My dog looks for things to eat,Pulling my arm off. IIFish bones, food wrappers,She finds something dangerousAlmost every day. IIISitting and resting,The dog poses like the cloudsAs the people pass. IVI have time to think,Small prayers floating...
Being in the Heart of the Moment

Being in the Heart of the Moment

My faithful partner tried to put up the screen door earlier, we both forgot where he put the screws and hinges last fall. It’s a warm spring morning, a little muggy, clear sky, just the slightest veil of mist. Shadows land in shapes and patterns covering the street....
The 24,090th Day

The 24,090th Day

I fell asleep last night to the roar of the waves. Maybe that’s why I dreamt about a Lion. I don’t know. But the Lion told me all my days were numbered before one of them came to be. When I woke, I roughly counted that I have been alive for 24,090 days. It was...
Six Days at Topsail

Six Days at Topsail

1 Once she starts Haiku She cannot stop counting words It’s meditative Their beach house is glass Flattery is not allowed Untruth is revealed Social platitudes At the sea are washed away Shards of glass rubbed smooth 2 His foot prints in sand She bends to pick up sea...
6:15 AM

6:15 AM

“It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.” Psalm 19:5 I woke up just past 4 AM Easter morning but stayed in bed till 6. Walking out the door with Fannie not long after, and remembering how...
The Long Walk Home

The Long Walk Home

I was sitting in my father’s chair (it creaks so badly, as if mimicking my own bones) and humming a Hymn a friend reminded me of. A Hymn that brought back a Sunday in 2006 at Bethel Church on Washington Island with my family. We all sang in the choir that day, all of...
The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour

The sky appeared streaked and stained, layered and lush with glory, it was the golden hour, sunrise, the dawn of a new day, but my heart was as dark as the midnight hour. Hurt does that. What do I know of hurt? Compared to this hurting world I know nothing. But I know...
The Best Day

The Best Day

Write it on your heart That every today is the Best day of the year -Ralph Waldo Emerson Does knowing that we’re going to die make for better living? Imagine seeing everything you know for the last time. Walking up the back steps that finally had to be replaced,...
As Sunlight Moves Back Morning Shadows

As Sunlight Moves Back Morning Shadows

Hearing the bird whistles I had been deaf to just moments earlier, so noisy my thoughts, I whistled back. Breathing in each sound as sunlight moved back morning shadows while Sitting in stillness, exhaling, emptying what remained of my yesterdays, Craving a refilling,...
To You On the Other Side of All That

To You On the Other Side of All That

Sometimes you have to get all the way over to the other side of something before you can see it for what it was, which can be so different from how it seemed at the time. Dog in T-shirt to protect sutures, feeding dog by hand, giving meds wrapped in sausage have all...
My Pops

My Pops

It was Saturday morning, March 26, 2016, when the phone rang as I was making coffee. “Debbie,” my dad said. “I can’t find my new mattress protector.” He had just bought a new bed. I was thrilled. At eighty-six, he seemed confident he’d be around a while. And of course...
Sure and Steady

Sure and Steady

Part of the thermostat hose broke off Todd’s car last week causing a coolant hose to come off and all of the coolant to puke out. It left a little mess in his parking garage at work. I went to meet him at the lakefront where he had pulled over on his way home when the...
Gillian and Me

Gillian and Me

We were winsome, a little different than the others, often off on our own, always looking in. I admired her, her poetic way of seeing the world, and her beige suede boots. She was smart, made pen drawings, played classical guitar, wrote poetry. She gave me the boots....
The Manuscript

The Manuscript

Day by day, moment by moment present. I had been pulled into a moment and needed a walk. I went to the lake just to see the sun on its frozen surface then turned around and went home before I froze. I had been struck by the words I’d read that morning in Jeremiah...
No Turning Back

No Turning Back

It’s been ten years today since my mom died. She loved Morning Buns so I bought one yesterday to have for breakfast this morning. They’re big, Todd and I share. You can peel off the layers one at a time. Fannie was begging for some. I told Todd to give her the old...
New Season

New Season

A friend asked me yesterday how I was feeling, I said, “Really good.” She’s the kind of friend that searches past your words.“Really?” She said with a little furrow in her brow.“Really,” I said. “I am.” She didn’t seem convinced, she’s that way. “Well, you look really...
Glimpses of Water

Glimpses of Water

Sometimes we need to be emptied Hollowed like an ol’ tree trunk in order to see through to the Water Sometimes a message is left in our path Sometimes we only need breathe to take in Beauty And other times we only need close our eyes and listen To know God is...
When Lightning Strikes

When Lightning Strikes

We woke with a chunk of the neighbor’s tree on our roof— two branches the size of two trees, limbs like trunks, snapped off, split, dead. No more leaves from these two. That tree, the size of our house times two, has been a looming accident waiting to happen. The...
Finding the Dance Within —a Morning Ritual

Finding the Dance Within —a Morning Ritual

I’ve been thinking about things that contribute to the grace and creativity and joy of a life or family or community, that allows it to thrive, to become beautiful and uniquely its own in this time and place in the world. In my own experience, the movement—Grace,...
Small Things

Small Things

3:00 am. The earlier you wake the bigger the day. Moments passing. I try to catch them—like the first family gathering in over a year—and put them somewhere safe. The chairs were full but some places were empty. Those people I brought to the table inside me. The...
haiku for morning

haiku for morning

morning, where are you? seeds of youth now buried deep, fed by soil still– … streams of light at dawn, from darkness comes your brilliance, nourishing your growth. … cast not a shadow of unrest, but protecting, till your faith takes hold. …...
Follow the Beauty

Follow the Beauty

We’re in the process of clearing things out of our well-lived-in, comfy old house—21 years for the two of us, 32 years for my parents before us, 10 of those with me there too. It’s the ol’ family home. It’s a ton of stuff! While it’s a project in and of itself for...
Seeing Him in Everything

Seeing Him in Everything

I am sorting through too many thoughts as I see him standing in the distance with a watering hose connected to a flower sprinkler head, encouraging beauty with misty veils of spray. T and I are nearing the end of our walk on an unexpectedly hot Saturday, the second...
In Case There is Any Question

In Case There is Any Question

You are the trillium catching me by surprise in the woods You are the milky white of the stars spilling across the sky You are the flash of red in a forest of umbers and olives You are the flames of glory in the setting sun You are more than I ever hoped for and far...
My Shenandoah Treasures

My Shenandoah Treasures

Seeing T scratch the old horse’s ears and then lay its head on his shoulder. watching a tiny yellow finch on the weathered farm fence one morning and seeing a bluebird the next. My son noticed the color inside the afternoon shadow. Some say bluebirds are a sign of joy...
Truly and Deeply and Madly

Truly and Deeply and Madly

As the story goes, up until 23-and-a-half years ago, I had been looking for love in all the wrong places. Then one snowy winter night in the Midwest, I came to an impasse. Standing on a street corner beneath the glow of a streetlamp, stood a tall man in a black coat....
just being

just being

busy carpenter bees buzzing crashing against farmhouse windows as i sit looking out to the shenandoah mountains far off in the distance horses stand still, statuesque one tail sweeps, a single hoof lifts, tilting into an elegant stance, the dancer’s b+ position,...

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