Friday, September 25, 2015


Sometimes I long to drive downtown.

Where the big buildings reach to the heavens and the big wigs power play all day.

I've shared here that my family and I long for the lush country quite often.... that open spaces, and wide plots of dirt, and tree covered trails, are something we pine and ponder often.

But there has always been a portion of my soul that thrills at the thought of a big city.

When my parents and I would make a yearly trek across the nation from Ohio to Texas when I was a teen - I would beg and whine and throw fits about stopping and staying right smack in the middle of some large metro.

Nashville was a favorite. Memphis , too.

Occasionally, they would give in to my cajoling - and book a room in one.

I loved the bustle of the big time, then.

And still do, deep down.

Being where the action is, where the trends roll, where deals and destinies are mode - there is an aspect of this that woos me.

So today....we will load the van and ride a short highway - and discover downtown again.

Because Fridays are Saturdays for us now.

And Saturdays are Mondays.

And Sundays don't exist.

When your husband pastors and preaches - your week looks different.

You have one full day off, rather than two.

You dress and drive your kids to the church hour alone on the Sabbath.

And your Sunday lunch is sans Daddy.

I am truly okay with all of this. 

His schedule is flexible in other ways that bless me, but it is different...and it did take a while to adjust.

So, Friday is the golden day these days.

Any time I can have that man within eye shot of me the full length of the lit up hours - that is a good, good day.

He is in the kitchen fixing plates of breakfast for our three blonds right now....

Allowing me to have a moment with you before I scurry off to pack kid bags for our short flight down the freeway.

I'm learning that it is so important for me to punch things out in word form on more of a regular basis - even if I don't feel particularly inspired and faith-filled or up for it.

I work things out through words.

Weaving these few this morning, will make me better company today.

My husband and children rejoice!

As I'm walking between skyscrapers and wondering through city parks here soon - I'll be dreaming and hoping and asking and seeking.

Those high buildings in town - inspire high hopes in me.

Of wild things!

Like penning books.

And publishing poetry.

And writing children's stories.

And advocating though journalism.

And telling testimonies.

And travel.

And touching lives.

And changing trajectories.

And creating words and works of art that move people....

In every genre and mode.

London did this for me. It caused a fire storm of stories and words and shows to swirl.

Houston's not London - but it's here, and I think it will do for today.

May inspiration of some kind be yours this weekend, friends.

Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife;
Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no such pleasure in life!
- from Robert Brownings Up at a Villa - Down in the City

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I'm sitting outside and I'm not sweating.

Down here in the coastal south.... this is a welcomed shift.

After months of hot humidity, we welcome the first signs of autumn here with verve and delight. 

Our falls can be flaky, true. 

But when the temps dare to wonder down into the 60's overnight - we bask in the change and relief.

Because of this...

I'm out back. 

Situated in thick St. Augustine, with pines and palms as my background - I'm visiting you from the outdoors today.

My feet are propped up on the opposite lawn chair, a mower's motor is within earshot, the smell of steak is wafting over fences, and there's a breeze tussling leaves and yard weeds.

Cicadas are singing high up in the pines, the kids have gone inside to welcome Daddy after his preach, and football is on the tube screen.


I'm so grateful.

After reading about refugees, and watching those videos, and glancing at headlines, and hearing what's happening to friends and such... my current station in life seems like paradise.

Prospective checks are necessary.

And they usually end up ringing in thankfulness and contentment.

I do have some pressing concerns going on personally, as does everyone else. I do have things happening in my life right now that raise fear and frustration. I do have questions on certain issues, and I do need guidance in many areas, and I do have some hard things I'm handling.

But standing back, looking at the broad scheme, seeing the global picture... I feel full and thankful.

A Texas diesel just roared through the neighborhood, and another mowing machine just now began to tear through green, and my middle child just got sent to timeout. 

I'm getting ready to patch this up and close this out... because it is just about time for me to slide on shoes, and pack a few kid bags, and wrangle everyone to the van for yet another first gathering of community group.

I hope the beginnings of this new season feel sweet to you. And I hope this week surprises you with some kind of relief, refreshment, and joy that abounds.

Back soon, friends. Hugs to you all.

Friday, September 4, 2015


The only thing that should be washing up on beaches is foam.

And smooth pebbles.

And ivory shells.

And century old messages in bottles.

Not boys.

Not toddlers.

Not people.

Not tiny humans completely dressed for a journey.

I laid in bed last night.... face down, hands crowning my face - in shreds over what's happening to real individuals on the other side of the waters.

Not knowing what to do. Shaking my fist at the sky. Shaking my faith. Shaking my head, and scratching it.

Why? Why is this happening? Why am I tucked between freshly laundered sheets when babies and their families are capsizing trying to flee?

What? What is actually taking place? What am I supposed to do about it?


That loved child, face down in the sand, toddler bottom perched up in the air - like he's taking a mid-day nap - my heart can't handle the depravity.

That photo put a small face on a giant problem. 

That picture screamed humanity.

And it screams at me.

And I'm broken.

Two year old boys should be basking in worlds of soccer balls and toy trucks and imagination... not escaping on the Mediterranean.

Two year old boys should be playing in sand boxes... not lying lifeless on sanded beaches.

But no.

Because of the unrest in his country - he has now been laid to rest.

And I lament it.

And so should you.

And we should mourn for this child who's lungs filled with sea.

This makes me punch air. And it makes me pray fervently.

God! Give me my role! Give them relief!

Can you imagine the life of a refugee? Simply seeking safety? Simply wanting life?

No matter brown, white, black, purple, yellow, rainbow, or polkadots...

No matter head scarf around crown, or cross dangling from neck, or jewel on forehead, or null of faith all together - if people are being persecuted, ravaged, hunted, oppressed, forsaken - no matter their faith or lack of one - no matter their status, nationality, or gene pool - they are our neighbor.

And they should be helped as such.

These are humans!

Houston has many displaced people. Help me to forge through fear, and reach out Father!

I don't know the complexities of war that are pounding parts of the world. I don't know solutions. I don't exactly know what prime ministers, and presidents, and governments, and organizations should work out here. I offer no intelligence on that.

But what I lack in mental prowess on these matters, I pray I more than make up for in heart feelings.... that lead to hands, extended.

I am asking for aid to be given, assignments to be handed, salvation to be implanted, and for revelation from Him to come to all.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

An Evening Snapshot

Cheeks have been kissed...

Backs have been scratched...

Heads have been patted....

Prayers have been lifted....

And lamp strings have been pulled.

I have tucked my three charges in for the evening.


After this nightly ritual, I most often feel so exhausted and spent - that the only thing I can do is rinse off in hot water and slide between cool sheets.

But sometimes....

I feel such a longing for a filling, that I stay up and attempt to do something that replenishes the tank.

This usually involves reading or writing.

Tonight, it's the latter.

I've lit the candle once again that sits to the left of my typing fingers here, and Song for Sienna has already come through my computer speakers.

The husband is sitting at the end of our dining table, hot cup of Texas Pecan coffee in hand, staying up late to situate Sunday's sermon.

He loves this.

And I love watching him love something.

Seeing your spouse in a role that rings true to his core - this is a gift.

Thank you, God.

Today was filled with life, and extracurriculars, and history lessons, and more than a few sibling squabbles.

Piano this morning, dance this afternoon, all manner of attempted learning in-between, dinner scarfed down and dinner cleaned up - it was a full, round 24 hours.

My eyes are drooped.

And I'm leaning back far in this uncomfortable desk chair.

And I feel tired, a bit more full, and grateful as I glance at the bed behind me - ready for the plop down.

There is much on my mind. Things, people, places I want to bring up to you. Those posts are in process.... working themselves out, freeing themselves up, and will hopefully be published in a relatively short fashion. :)

Blowing out the wick now, friends.

My cherubs will charge the day in no time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Source

Few things fill and stir me like writing does.

I'm aware that my audience here is just a handful, and that my voice is but a whisper. I know this, and if I'm being honest I sometimes lament it.

But the emptying and surge that comes from this practice, this hobby, this ministry of sorts - it's what makes me come alive and leaves me feeling wide-eyed and awakened.

No matter how meager the readership.

What's more...

When I find myself composing for a cause, championing some effort, exposing some serious devastation, shining light on any heinous act being performed around the earth, - this takes my little practice here to full circle, completes it, and makes it round and full.

Using words to rally and awaken souls....

Whether through story, journalism, or poetry....

It's what I'm after.

So when I walked the halls of that women's clinic a few weeks ago - my veins pulsed as I searched for words to describe it.

My artist friend Jamie had organized the visit - after feeling a fire rise up in her heart over the Planned Parenthood videos.

I pulled into the parking lot of a strip, and right there, situated in the middle of rowed store fronts - I saw The Source.

This is a place where women can go here in Houston - who need care in their reproductive years.

It's a life-giving, holistic alternative to Planned Parenthood.

Praise God.

The Source offers up all of the services a PP would...

Minus the taking of innocent life, plus the gift of mental and spiritual guidance.

But here is the wild thing...

They do it all for free. 

They receive no government funding. All they do, is paid for by donations. They operate on a very low budget, while still giving the highest of care at three locations.

I was extremely impressed.

And I was very inspired....

Inspired to ask myself, "What is my role in all this?"

Naturally, among a few other things, my first response to that question was envisioning myself picking up the pen.

So, here I find myself punching keys for the place - hoping that you will ask yourself the "What is my role?" question, too.

We all have a part to play in giving life.

Is it medical care? 
Is it funding? 
Is it advertising?
Is it awareness?
Is it art?
Is it sharing your story to encourage others?
Is it guiding someone you know to a life-giving clinic?
Is it mentoring?
Is it prayer?
Is it reaching out to those brave women who choose life?
Is it helping to provide care for those needing post-abortive recovery?
Is it adoption?
Is it starting more holistic clinics around the globe?

There are so many options.

If you feel led to donate to The Source, head here. Or, if you find a clinic similar to The Source in your neck of the woods - bless them with a donation, volunteer hours, or prayer.

On average 125,000 babies will be torn from wombs today by the time your head hits the pillow.

Life doesn't have to be taken from the babies, to give life to the women housing them.

Both can live and thrive....

If we all seize our role in it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

He Covers Me

I remembered grace today.

Standing at my kitchen sink, rinsing off plates and spraying down pots, rushing.

Hurrying.... because I still had a half dozen things left to do on my agenda list for the day, and the evening was approaching with speed.

As I scurried and panted through it all - I noticed other things undone and dirtied that needed tending...

The white kitchen floors.
The stains on the white kitchen sink.
The crumbs in every corner of the living room.
The dust on the bookshelves.

These things weren't even on the list - but needed my efforts, too.

Would you believe that I felt overwhelmed and weak and incapable?

Even after checking off line after line on my list already...

Even after schooling two elementary aged kids all morning, and wrangling the young third...

Even after completing not mounds of laundry, but mountains of it...

Even after cleaning bathrooms, and picking up all manner of things in the playroom, and preparing two meals with a dinner to come, and working out, and scribbling through emails, and tidying things...

Even after banging all this out alone for the husband was extremely busy each day and eve - counseling, working, writing, officiating.


Even after all that - I looked inward and felt disappointed that I couldn't accomplish everything more quickly, better, with more zeal, with more efficiency.

Never mind what I could do. Never mind what I had done.

It seemed all for not - because I couldn't tackle everything.

But then...

Standing there at my basin, water running over utensils and containers as I scrubbed off leftover contents with bare hands....

The whisper was low but sure....


There is grace for you.

You can't do everything, remember.

You can't be everyone, you know.

Look at your efforts and be pleased and satisfied.

And let My grace cover you, child.

I wasn't even looking for it.

It just plopped itself right into my jabbing thoughts and ceased them.

I stopped the scrub for a moment, looked up from the sink, took a deep breath, and thought...

"Yeah. I'll do my best. And You cover the rest. Yes and amen."

It was a sweet, freeing moment for a tired, busy Mom.

Contentment reigned after that.

Friends, it's true that grace is given at no charge.

But let's keep at the forefront....

That this doesn't mean we should play that card all the time - pulling it out whenever we need an excuse for laziness, or deliberate sin, or unrighteousness.

God is always doing His part, even when we are not.


But doesn't that make you want to work as if working for Him always?

Doesn't that make you want to give all, give your best, and walk out your role well?

And then leave all the rest for grace to cover?

Because we do fall short. Us women...we are good, but we aren't God.

We shouldn't expect ourselves to be.

This ministered so mightily to my soul in frail moments.

Thank you, Lord.

And this's yours too friend.

Let that wash over us all!...

And lead us to thanksgiving and wonder.


P.S. Speaking of grace....I got the grand gift of being able to offer up a chapter for an e-book here recently.....where all the proceeds go to digging a well in Kenya for The Mercy House. Head over to Beauty Through Imperfection to read about the project. If you feel so led... head here to purchase your copy - and enjoy the words of lots of Mama's strewn there - knowing that you are providing water for those who very desperately need it. Hugs and high fives to you all. :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

In Response

The only way I know how to start weaving words on this topic, is to begin with Wilberforce.

Before I take us all in that direction however, I need you to know that always....

No matter the theme or purpose of the piece...

I pray fervently that what I write will bear fruit and bring faith.

This one is no different, and is even more heightened so.

And also, I need you to know...

I am aware of the delicacy with which this topic needs to be dealt.

I'm striving for...

an awakening
a change
a reformation

...but all through appropriate means and measures.

I'm aiming for this to be a gentle push. But a push that gets us somewhere.

Lord, help me.

William Wilberforce was a major catalyst in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. In his day, slavery was a widely accepted and rarely contested practice.

But when he started hearing about the conditions of the boats bringing African people to Europe, the treatment of the enslaved upon arrival, the deaths that ensued from the audacious journey, the families torn apart, the children left orphaned, the children being enslaved, the kidnappings, the horribly true stories of slaves, and ship captains, and other early abolitionist....

He was stirred to action.

Upon the urgings of his like-minded friends - He decided to pick up the cause and spent the rest of his life championing for, fighting over, and campaigning about freedom for those in chains.

A part of Parliament - he used his position, giftings, wealth, and resources - to put an end to the depravity.

Even though it must have seemed like a mountainous agenda....

An unpopular one.
A dangerous one.
A controversial one...

He picked it up and changed the world, anyway.

And now here we sit.

No longer across the waters dealing with Albion and abolition...

But America and abortion.

It's been weeks since the videos surfaced.

And my heart has ached through and through with each release.

And my repentance has begun, as well.

I have felt a guttural agony over abortions for a long while now. I have screamed on the inside, and streamed tears on counter tops, and pounded my fist on walls over the issue -

But I have never really been a voice for the voiceless in this cause.

And I confess and repent.

Of my laziness.

And of my penchant for being liked.

Both of those things have kept my mouth shut and my arms empty.

But the videos that I've watched - of Planned Parenthood employees talking about babies, and crushings, and infant parts in pie dishes...

Has lit a hot fire under my rear and inside my torso.

I should have been this ignited all along. Everyone should have.

Remember the visions that were laid on my mind while I was in the UK?

One of the first things the Lord put in my head while I was in the bath in Bournemouth....was abortion.

And one of the first lines in the poem He directed me to after I got back....was on abortion.

And now here it is - before people's faces now - the realities of abortion.

And so here I am - wanting to war this with words here...and see where it leads me after that.

My goal isn't really to just defund Planned Parenthood.

Or to terminate all laws allowing abortion - although I'm up for both.

My main goal here is for there to not even be a reason for those things.

I want the people...the public...the persons that fill this nation - to be keenly awakened to the killing that takes place when a child is suctioned from a womb.

I want the truth to reign here - in such a way - that people choose life....not that it is simply forced on them.

I want heart change, not just law change.

That may seem like a pollyanna longing - but look how hearts and minds have done an about-face on slavery over the last few centuries.

It's all very possible.

Especially if the people of Christ will provide help, and homes, and aid to those who bravely choose life and living.

Many say that allowing abortion - gives women the ability to take control of their lives and bodies.

But all it really is....

is taking.

A beating heart. A synapsing mind. A growing, purposed, inspired....soul.



Fervently pray.
Ask God for your field and assignment in this.
And go forth and do what He tells you.

There are wombs tonight....that are full and pulsing.... that tomorrow will be bloodied and empty.

There were intact families in Africa at sunset way back on any given eve in the late 1700's.... but by sunrise - family members were missing, gone, taken for good.

That stopped.

Abortion must, too.


"You may choose to look the other way but you may never say again that you did not know."
- William Wilberforce

Make me poet laureate
For the world that writhes in pain
For the child sucked out of the womb
For the prisoner in chains
- From Make Me Poet Laureate by Steve Turner