Sunday, September 30, 2012



















Friday, September 28, 2012


When you can't make yourself go to bed.
Because you're alive and you're in love.

When you feel warm and well and held.
Because you sit close to the feet of Jesus.

When you wrap your arms around His shin.
Because you don't want Him to make a move with out you.

When you rest your head right there on His knee.
Because He is your cradle.

When you are full and fat with peace.
Because His love is here and now.

When you want to do something to please Him.
Because it pleased Him to die for you.

When you want to cup His face in your hands.
Because He paid your ransom.

When your name is written in broken calligraphy.
Because His scars read like the inside of a wedding band.

When you are in love with the Bridegroom.
Because He is consumed with desire for His bride.

Like a deer pants for water.
So my soul thirsts for you, Oh God.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When You're Just In Love

Alone in a booth with You, Oh God.
Palpitating desire and joy and love and pain.
My heart beating proper cadence.
My face on the ground and...


My home is in You, Oh God.
Your scars wear my title and
My heart beats hard.
Your Name, Your Name, Your Name.
The way You raised this dead woman...



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Holy Moment

The Boy lies on our bed between us after his father bids him come.

He is thirteen.

Thirteen, and I can feel the pressure of unspent tears in him at what the world serves up on its not-so-silver platter.

His head lies on The Shoulder's shoulder, and a holy hush falls over the three of us.

I trace his face with my fingers, and his father tells him he's proud.

I rub his head, but his father tells him that he's brave.

I press my fingertips into two beloved drops of molasses moles, while his father tells him he's precious.

I tap "I Love You" in morse code on that collar bone, the one he broke in his hurry to escape the womb, and his father holds him close and tells him that he's the future.

I pat his chest, but his father tells him that he will be a good husband.

I try to fan his lashes, poke his eye instead, while his father tells him that he will be a good dad.

We pray for him, and I watch his face fight tears and smiles.

We fall silent.

Loving our son and...  

Allowing God to heal and touch us all in this moment.

This holy moment,


Monday, September 24, 2012


When the world presses you hard down, and the laundry spills its guts out of the closet.

When you're on the north side of Cinderella and your life is ashes and soot.

When you want to sit right down and cry, but snap the little one into tears instead.

When you make her grow up now because you've got bills to pay and approval to earn.

When you can't sit beside and help, tucking that escaped lock back behind her delicate ear.

When you can't kiss her freckles because something is rotting away in the refrigerator and...

Something is rotten right down in your soul.

When you can't even get your feet on the floor in the morning with out this sense of dread

 At the impossibility of getting all your checks marked off on that do or die list.

When you want to be a good steward of your time, but it just swirls this giant whirlpool of plans and...

That flushing sound you hear in your head when you look at the clock and see that it's nye time to make supper, but you've taken nothing out of the freezer.

When the clock doesn't tic toc but rather flings it's hands around, this mad time machine.

When you've fallen into panic, and you're feeling like a lousy friend.

When your words read hollow,  your heart full of pain.

When you wonder...always wonder....

Why in the world do we carry on so???

Why does my time with Jesus in the morning seem a vapor already by noon?

Why won't my conscience hush?


Lord, are You here in all the mess of me?

The little one digs down deep and comes up smiling.

Her assignment is finished, and she is proud that she was able to turn it around.

I look up from paying bills down, and my heart flies to my throat because...

I see God in her...

And I see Grace in her...

And when you're lying there on your back, you can see a big wide sky now can't you?

A little girl happy at home.

A college girl and her hair a wavy waterfall tumbling down pale cheeks.

The way it frames eyes the color of a cloudy day.

The Shoulders bent over chemistry homework with her.

That dinner is actually set to go, and we can all look forward to a healthy meal to nourish us along.

Hearts that bump hard against each other even so.

The prayers that go up for all these children.

Joshua calling home.

Calling me "Mama."

An unexpected bouquet of flowers smiling at me.

Her voice on a Sunday afternoon.

Laughing hard and...

Saying you're sorry.

Repentance bringing Heaven to our Home.

The Shoulders and his tender words to my heart.

Doing the hard things now.

Turning my face toward them because...

Cin-der-el-la is not yel-la.

She's made some mistakes and kissed some snakes.

But she leans hard into Jesus.

The Rescuing Prince of Peace Who crushed the Serpent's head.

Just.  For.  Her.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

When Towers Topple

It's on 9-11 that I sit in that round of chairs willing the floor to swallow me whole.  2012.

NYC years ago now, and I can almost feel the earth rumble as terror toppled two towers and left them to settle.  Into Dust.  Debris.  Despair.  Death.

I hold my own hands in that circle of seats, rubbing one thumb raw across the other while friends not yet friends watch my tears fall.  My life fall.

I speak and shake and press through the rumble in my heart.  Feel the twin towers of terror coming off their fear foundations.  

How exhuming the dead sometimes gives you back your life.  

And how making the decision to dig up the deep can redeem the gravest of choices.

The towers of terror topple... when I look around a circle and find the face of grace.

Amazing Grace.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Understand

"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite."  Psalm 147:5

You understand.
You hold my hand.
And rock me soft.

When the Father feels hard.

When it all looks upside down.
And all I can see is His back.
A Father's face turned away and...
A girl in there somewhere wondering if He'll ever turn around.
Smile at her?
Reach His arms out to lift her high on His shoulders?

Jesus you understand.
Your Father turned His back away.
And as you bore our sin on the cross, was that not the worst?

A Father Who turned His heart away?

Thank You that You understand.
That being on the ground is the highest ground.
That I can see things more clearly here.
That I think I can give you more of my life because...
The only thing I bring to the table is brokenness.

But didn't you change the world hanging broken?

It seems to me that now, perhaps now.
I can put trying away.
And just be.

Just be me,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A God Like You

John 6:66-68
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  
"You do not want to leave too do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  
Simon Peter answered Him, 
"Lord, to whom shall we go?"

To whom shall we go?
When we're tired of trying to find the answers on our own?
When our health won't get in line and the doctor's scratch their heads?
And when we knit skeins of blue and feel as if God has forgotten us?

To whom shall we go?
When children aren't safe from the evils of the world?
When they cry broken in the night?
And when they smother tears in the day going hungry for love?

To whom shall we go?
When our bodies don't look like theirs?
When everything sags our hearts?
And when the weight of the world ends up on our face?

To whom shall we go?
When we love a God Who is sovereign?
When He allows thorns that pierce clean through?
And when we live with scars?

To whom shall we go?
When He gives the enemy a green light?
When He says that He will use all things for our good?
And when those things make our hearts howl?  What then?

To Whom shall we go?
When we love a God Who makes us cry?
When we love a God Who goes quiet sometimes?
And when we bend our knees even so?  Even so?

Lord, to Whom shall we go?
When we want to be somebody else?
When You say Your grace is sufficient?
And when the only safe place is in the arms of a God like You?  The only safe place?

A God like You.


Monday, September 17, 2012



That the dragon of terror has been slain.
For the well of peace that resides there now.
Just that I went, you know?  I made it through.
For my fella yellas and this love I have for them.
That I miss them even now.
For victory in pools of sweat and the tears that gather under... which chin?
For men who stand for righteousness and for what is good and God.
For real men in the world.
For lions that stalk in the day.
That God uses the weak things to confuse the wise.
For her face there on the pillow just listening.
For the army she's amassing in the Kingdom.
For this sense of hope that we're taking back some serious ground.
For all of them gathering at the bottom of the steps at the airport.
For the Children in my Arms, and for the arms that held them while I was away.
That we've all grown somehow.
For the sound of music, their chatter, on the ride home...
Sweet Home.



Saturday, September 8, 2012

She Flys

How can you fly when you're afraid?

How can you leave a house full of children?

How do you spread weak wings and have faith just bare enough to lift off?

Isn't this it?

Isn't this the leaping out of nest and out into wide and holding sky?

And isn't what holds you all their prayers?

All their saying, "Go!"

And the one who says, "I'm really, really proud of you?"

Doesn't she hold your heart close and careful?

And don't you find yourself resting just a bit?

Because this is different...

It's not getting smashed and falling dead weight backward onto the hands of strangers anymore.

It's falling alright, but...

Falling right back into the arms of the Body of Christ, and always the possibility that you're going to get your heart smashed anyway.

But for this...

Those arms belong to the Everlasting One.

Your raised hands bearing this one life along.


You are the Everlasting arms of God around me.

All around me.

And the wind rushing to meet this wholly trembling heart?

So much wind that all I can do.

All I can really do now...

Is fly,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Giving Thanks


For the Rod of God and the way He disciplines His disciples.
For our rebirth, Thank You, Jesus.
For friends who hold our hands in the storm and...
Talk us out of the driving panic.
For daughters who are wise and seeking to be wiser still.
For music in our home.
For getting to pray with my sister over the phone.
For new jobs and new starts and the hope in all those answers to prayers.
For the two on their knees with me, Lord, thank You.
For two arms and two hands that I can lift to praise You God!
For the Light.
For the precious gift of repentance and the way asking for forgiveness draws You close to us.
Just all the ways Jesus makes heaven on earth.
His Spoken Words through the Written Word.
Through the glory of creation...a blue moon and a red ball sun.
The freckles that trip across the bridge of Mary's nose.
The Shoulder's reaching for my hand.
Asking me.
Breakfast and shopping with Sarah before she starts the freshman year.
A message from Joshua about patching pants and making hash browns...
Making me smile.
A chiropractor who can fix what's broken.
A trip coming up.
The prayers that are getting me there.
Thank you!

Thank you for your prayers,


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Forgive Me?

I was sitting in church today staring at her back, and facing my sin.  The human heart is deceitful if nothing else, but I couldn't hide from myself when the pastor asked if we were loving the world out there.

Am I loving the world out there?

How can I be like Jesus to a world in need, when I can hardly stand to be in the same room with my brothers and sisters in Christ?  They have hurt me... hurt my kids,  my husband, my friends.  They have slandered the Name of Jesus, and I sit in church wagging my index finger all over the room. You.  You.  You...

And me.

Because eventually the index finger finds itself tapping my heart.  You.  You, Bernadette.  

I go to bargaining with God about how I'm in the right, and they need to apologize, and they are the ones that need to repent.  Gross, right?

The God of the universe is endlessly patient with His prideful daughters, and it takes the whole church service for me to come around.  He has given me one opportunity after another this past week to humble myself and apologize.  Even when I still think I'm right.  Even when I've been hurt.  Even when to leave with out saying it would mean nothing to the other person.  Even when I'll never see the person He prompts me to apologize to again.  Ever in my life.  What is the big deal?  Really?

In my head...I hear Him ask two simple questions.  "Will you ever be sorry for saying you're sorry?  Will you ever be sorry for NOT saying you're sorry?"  I imagine myself standing in His presence.

He begins to shed light on my dark heart, and I bow my head as He hangs my life on the line...

Fluttering flags of righteous red rags. 

"OH, God, I'm sorry."  Sorry for my pride and for my part.  Hating your people in my heart and being unmoved by the possibility that they are simply...hurting.

I stare at her back and start praying that God will provide an opportunity after the service.  At first I hope maybe I can just call so I won't have to really face her.



But as I stand there praying, my desire to make things right increases, and I lunge for her when we are dismissed.

I take her hands in mine, and look her full in the face.  I want her to see the windows to my soul so she will know that I am broken and sincere.  Sorry for being mean and hateful.  Unforgiving, unkind.  Full of religion, bitterness and...pride.  I am full of pride, and I'm so sorry.

This transaction changes everything, and all is well and full and restored and right.  She hugs me and cries.  She says it so quiet..."Thank you.".  My husband gently squeezes my thigh on the ride home and tells me that I am courageous.

I want to cry because it's not true.  I'm a coward, and I stand in judgement instead of being the change I want to see in the Body.  The beautiful Body of Christ.  Are you seeing a theme here lately?  Do you wonder if I'll ever get it?

Every week I pray for those who are caught in the cycle of cutting their own flesh, and the Lord begins to reveal to me how I am a cutter myself.  Slicing deep gouges into the Body of Christ because what I want? The ONLY thing I ever want is...

 My own way.  

Watch out.  I will cut you if I don't get it, and I will slice open my own Body.  My own siblings in Christ.  This I must own.  This I must repent from and turn away from again to travel the Saving Road.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The precious Word of God.

To be cleansed.  To be healed.  To be restored.

To take my place among the members of the Body.

Forgive me,


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jesus, Man of Many Sorrows

And just like that...

You hear Him say it.

In your head like a whisper there.

"I love you, Child."

The dam breaks wide and tears crash over the spill way.

Because even though you've never felt more like a scared kid.

You know you can do anything.

In the strength of Christ.

In the power of His love.

And you whisper back just as quiet.


As you fall into Love.

And let Him fold all around you.

You open wide to all things Jesus.

The cross.  The blood.  The shame.  The reason.

Man, you get it.

And the Man gets you.

Does anything else really matter?

Just wondering,