A Seed dropped in a crack 

on my small patio 5 years ago.

At the time of my husband’s passing 

I observed a seedling growing in this crack.

It is now a tree. It desires to reach up in to the heavens. 

To soar amongst the birds & the butterflies 

It dances in glory hanging over my small deck 

As a canopy amidst two colored umbrellas &  

Numerous hanging blown glass beauties!

You can not stop a  life from flourishing

If the heart ❤️ wants it to flourish

We have added 5 additional souls 

to my husbands family’s rich heritage

Since his RETURN TO GOD. 

My granddaughter who was born 

a month after his passing

thinks that she knew him

She says “remember when Papah . . ..”

We of course say. “Yes. We remember.

We remember him well.”

Every morning I see his photo hanging 

on my bedroom wall when I wake up. 

Every day I experience his presence in my life. 

In the happy noises of his ten grandchildren 

cooing & talking & playing exuberantly. 

In our children & their spouses  

As they laugh & play & nourish & love their families 

They rise up as this tree.

as a canopy over me in their love

& in their care for both my heart & for my soul.  

I am a widow. But I am not alone. 

I am like this tree as well 

Growing in a crack

In a changing season. 

Reaching up into the heavens

Where the butterflies & the birds soar. 

 You can not stop a heart from flourishing

If it wants to flourish! 

 

 

 

Sometimes it is a good idea 

to purchase your dishes 

& decorations at the dollar store

Especially if you are a person

that loves colored glass & breakable items

& if you have little children in your life.

It is my life’s experience that 

there will be occasional breakage. 

This thought somehow leads me 

To think about people & the high 

expectations that we often have of them

& how these unreasonable expectations

can cause us to view people 

As fine china secured high up on a shelf

rather than as touchable 

& loved pieces of breakable art. 

How many times do we expect 

people to be pristine, flawless, untenable perfections

When in reality we are all 

Extraordinarily – ordinary pieces

of homespun & yet lovely,

touchable & thus breakable art?  

Of course there are going to be mishaps 

Of course there is going to be breakage. 

What else can happen?

What other possibility is there?

When lovely but breakable pieces of beauty

Are often times held

in ordinary & sometimes clumsy hands?

I have personally never been a person 

That has a need for fine china in my life

Perhaps it is because I am not someone

Who wants to bring out something 

Only once a year to enjoy it

Maybe it is because 

I want to touch the experiences that I see, 

& know the beauty that lives before me. 

Albeit. Let’s be real. 

Seeing something. 

Touching something,

Holding something,

Loving something can reveal

& can even cause 

some of the cracks & the chips

that will inevitably be a result

Of this well worn love 

of any beloved piece of art in our lives.  

And so it is with people. 

We are all God’s masterpieces

And although HE holds us tenderly;

We are often held in the hands 

of the  awkward & inexperienced 

hands of humanity. 

We will all inevitably experience

Some form of breakage

As we are formed, & loved, 

sometimes held, & other times discarded. 

We will form – Cracks in our exteriors. 

Weakness in our inner parts. 

Breakage & brokenness. 

& YET, I believe 

that, – none of us really desires to be fine china. 

None of us wish to be put on a shelf.  

Never touched. Never truly understood. 

We need to be loved 

We desire to be experienced. 

We want to be known

in our extraordinary-ordinary-ness. 

We hoped to be treasured

In our messiness. In our simplicity 

In our everyday reality. 

In the end. 

If we experience life well enough,

We will discover that there is no such thing 

as fine china or perfect art. 

We are all flawed. We are all imperfect. 

Hopefully, We will all come to the conclusion 

that it is far better to love well that which we love

& love well those that we love. 

In all their imperfections & in all their flaws. 

The chips.  The cracks. The dents. The bumps  ;

than it is to pretend that our fine china has any real value in the needs of our deepest heart ❤️ 

Because herein lies, the truth of this matter:

“The well-worn  treasure of a person’s very soul

is of so much more worth

than un known prize upon the shelf. 

 

There are times in our lives

When we enter into a season 

of change & of growth.

Where our paradigms & life concepts;

Sometimes our entire belief systems

seem to implode from within.

When ideologies that we have held 

so dearly,- begin to crumble.

When they begin a process  

of unravelling in a spiral of change. 

This can be SO very painful

& unnerving. 😳

It feels like a breaking down

of our very soul

An uncomfortable dismantling 

of our ‘all too’ familiar sense of identity. 

This change can feel like our ideas 

of “what we thought we knew to be true”

are questioned.   Because they are. 🧡

THIS is called GROWTH. 

Lean into it. Embrace it. 

Allow it to teach you! ❤️

I talk about skin color
With my grandchildren
It is all very innocent
And speculative.
Is their new baby brother or cousin
Going to be porcelain white
Or caramel brown?

We laugh. We imagine.
One of my granddaughters wants
her baby brother to be just like her.

She is the only brown one.
Like her father.
The rest of her cousins and her siblings
range from very fair to caramel brown.
She is the darkest child in our family.
Like her father.

I personally am jealous.
I am a product of the 60s and the 70s 🌸 In California.
A SOCAL girl reminiscing about the BEACHBOYS,

baby oil & iodine’ 🌻 A very Caucasian Anglo-Saxon
Wannabe copper tone,
brown skinned beauty.

This is all so ironic.
Isn’t it?

In these times when people
are pitted against each other
Over the color of a person’s skin?

Why did we NOT choose
Eye color to fight over?

My eye color is awesome!!
I have bright blue eyes.
I like them. They are worth noting.

But so are my brown eyed grandbaby’s eyes
They are a gorgeous brown
with flecks of yellow.
So beautiful!
Created by an imaginative God
With no end to HIS creativity.
Both of us are unique.

I am in awe, noting that . . .
We are Both SPECIAL.

At this point In my life
I have come to the understanding that,
LIFE is NOT a competition.
It is a GALLERY of beloved ART.

Some of my grand children have asked me
What my favorite color is?

I have always had the same answer.

I am absolutely in LOVE with
ALL of the colors of the rainbow
& with ALL of their variations.
Separate and yet together
In the manner that
a rainbow INSISTS on thriving.
This is MY idea of beauty.

YES. God. I love rainbows. 🌈
Doesn’t everybody?

Isn’t this the BEST picture of
A loving God & HIS creative SPIRIT?

DISTINCT. In UNISON. TOGETHER.

So. As we go back to our conversation
About skin color, & eye color
& distinction . . .

We were having that conversation weren’t we?

Can we make it more GLOBAL?

CAN we consider the possibility
That ALL of humanity
In all of their diverse cultures & countries
Are also a important part
of an imaginative GOD
Who loves US all the same
With the same fervor
As HIS delightful POEMA?

And what if we Did the same as our God?
What if we did
See life & humans in this way?

HOW ? Would this affect us? & our paradigms?

JUST ASKING. 🤔

AMERICA?

What happened to you? 

What happened to the days 

when life was about

playing ‘around the block game’

Where we ran free & unfettered,

frolicking with friends?

Where the mystery of who held the hidden paper

was the delight in this child’s invented game?

What happened to YOU?

Where it  was safe to assume that we were safe.  

We could hide in ANY neighbor’s  yard;

the only danger

perceived was that

which was devised 

in our own imaginations?

The pretend villain. 

The opposing hero. 

Daylight savings in the 60s. 

Suburbia.  safe and sound. 

REMEMBERING . . . 

I am  running the streets outside.
I am enjoying my friends

Daylight savings. 
Crickets chirping in the yard.
The kids are safe.
Let  them PLAY.

REMEMBERING :

Popsicles on top of the  station wagon  

Fireworks on  the  Fourth of July!

WE were exuberant children

Gulping Shasta soda

without restraint;

one special day to Celebrate

the beauty & freedom of you – AMERICA  

WE felt so free; after –

Playing ping-pong and shuffleboard. 

Even the dads were in the pool;

Tossing us up into the air  

playing ‘keep away’

where we as valiant children

were almost willing to drown to hang on to the rubber ball.

 

Each & EVERY single day 

in the Summer

We were swimming in the pool;  playing

‘cut away’ &‘corner tag’

as our moms drank iced tea 

& attempted to discern the fine line between what would lead to stitches

And what was just plain FUN?

Have you changed America? 

Were you lying to me back then?

When you told me that life was safe; &

That life was good?
Were you lying to me when you told me that

we were all friends?

Or . . . 

WAS I simply naïve,

&

did not know

that I lived in a part of America

That wasn’t REAL for everyone?

 

What is real life?

Is it the space within MY bubble?

Is it the beautiful truth

that I have 10 gorgeous grandchildren 

(one waiting to be born at any moment) 

Which is the outgrowth from my relationship 

with a wonderful husband and father 

who has sadly gone on from this reality 

to reside with his Creator?

Is this REAL LIFE? 

YES. IT IS.

It is real life. It is my life. 

but. . . . 

I submit to you

That REAL LIFE exists outside of MY bubble as well 

It exists in the conversations that  

defy my mother’s voice

“to never discuss religion and politics” 

because in her view I imagine 

it was safer to stay 

in the shallowness of a lack of information. 

Than it is to compare facts and ideas. 

In her defense, there is a truth to the fact that Nobody 

can disagree  in this place of NOTHINGNESS.  

So indeed it is safe. 

 

But is it REALITY?

 

My mother is gone. She has gone to be with her Maker. 

She was a wonderful mother. I honor her memory. 

But . . . 

I am NOT A child anymore.

I am an elderly woman. Grown up. Full of wrinkles.

Able to discern my own truth. 

That is reality as well. 

And WHILE . . .

I can easily pretend that ‘my reality’ 

within my very safe & privileged bubble 

will always remain so, & I can decide 

that  “THIS reality IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME.” ;

I also have the choice

To be willing to pop my own bubble

And to attempt to crawl out from within this ‘safe haven’

into the GREAT UNKNOWN OF LIFE 

where somebody else’s bubble may intersect with my own. 

I have the choice to look, to PEER into their bubble 

To consider the validity of their paradigm 

and their view of reality as well. 

This idea  is FRIGHTENING . 

What will I FIND if I look outside of my bubble?

What if their truth disrupts my own comfortable float?

Yes   . . .  Frightening indeed!

As a Christian

(albeit embarrassed to call myself such in these times)

I believe that Jesus Christ himself was  a popper of bubbles. 

He  was metaphorically speaking-

 the annoying child at a ‘bubble blowing’ birthday party 

that runs ahead of the other children and pops and pops & pops . . . 

All of the bubbles everywhere. 

Never allowing even one solo bubble to escape without his pursuit. 

His direct ideas did NOT allow us to float free and easy and clueless

Uncaring about the bubbles outside of our own

Even IF we attempt to  settle so easily in suburbia

nonchalantly floating without pressure.

Jesus defied the norms. 

He defied the insulation that protects us from the pain

& the opinions of others

Those tedious views that do not align with our own 

Simply because they have NOT walked OUR paths. 

He challenged us. 

TO POP OUR BUBBLES. 

To jump into the mess of other popped bubbles 

Until . . . 

All of our little worlds are reduced to a new mess

of slimy soap upon the ground.   

Messy yes!  Ahhhhhhh!

But . . .  Abounding with hope. 

Humanity as a whole is NOT about ME.   SURPRISE!!!

It is not about YOU either!     SURPRISE as well! 🤪

We are important.  INDEED.
We are important.   Each of us. 

INDIVIDUALLY.   We Are IMPORTANT.  

Yes. We are important. 

But humanity itself as a WHOLE is also IMPORTANT. 

All of us are individuals that make up the greater humanity

as a WHOLE which are the IMAGE BEARERS OF GOD.

AND thus it becomes   NOT only Important but CRITICAL

For us to consider the bubbles of others

As we strive to create our own utopian flights.

When our individual bubbles of reality are tested by facts and by truth;-

I submit to you that it behooves us to consider our own soapy mess 

& Not to disregard the soapy mess of another’s circle of life. 

As IF only ‘our understanding’ is valid while we float above REALITY

As IF we are not inextricably connected,

To the greater soapy mess that is the WHOLE  of reality. 

It behooves us to consider the difficult question :

“How can we set this WHOLE soapy mess to flight?”

  

Indeed,  I ask you:

What is more beautiful to the delight of a child

at this ‘bubble blowing ‘Birthday party?’

“What is more beautiful? – One solo bubble or an orchestrated symphony of bubbles that intersect  and are floating free?”

So, as  I float in my own utopian BUBBLE; 

I offer this genuine prayer to my GOD:

PLEASE. DEAR GOD. POP MY BUBBLE. 

ALLOW IT TO FALL TO THE DIRT. 

Judge it for the deterrent that it is 

to YOUR understanding OF the greater REALITY. 

 Help me to RISE above my own uninformed paradigms 

Teach me  GOD how to rise from this mess.

Show me the BIG BUBBLE that encompasses all of us

So as bubbles floating  free and beautiful  and intertwined 

We are in alignment with YOUR FLIGHT!

PUZZLE PIECE

I recently enjoyed a weekend with my sisters.  

There has always been a joke that

I was ‘switched at birth’  because

I dance to the  beat of my own drum.  
At this point in my life I have arrived at 

‘being comfortable in my own skin’. 
I appreciate my uniqueness. I would not want to be anyone else.

Not because I believe that “I”  am something special,

yet rather because I  believe

that we all are, – “Something Special!”

I refuse to conform to another person’s idea of life. 

I wish to bring my own piece of God’s Creation

to this truly amazing puzzle of humanity;

& to discover  ‘over time’  how I fit into this puzzle.  

Without forcing myself into it;

But  by. . .  finding my own niche.  Finding my own place.

I believe, that we actually can learn to fit together seamlessly; albeit miraculously if we will just  ‘let go’ of our desire

to force others  into  conforming  to our shape & to our patterns,

&  ‘Be Brave’ enough to live into our own unique design.

This is a scary adventure;-

of discovery, & growing; & of learning & changing.

Finding our own voice, Finding our own dance!  –

& then freestyling with the rest of humanity!

But it is an adventure worth embarking on, &

we should bring as many of US on this adventure

as are willing to come.

SO – Let’s do it!  

You know that you want to be yourself  &

yet still be part of something bigger!

Let’s do to!  Today is the day!

CHRYSALIS

It is such beautiful word!  

It rolls off of your tongue 

Like a symphony, 

Like a melody of perfection,

A masterpiece of syllables.

But, . . .

In truth – it is an ugly process. 

A breaking down of the soul.

An unraveling;

A painful tearing apart.

A frightening change. 

It is the worm of SELF 

dissolving,

Into a lack of -recognition 

of who I once thought

that I was.

A frightening change

A pondering of thoughts

A reassembling of patterns

A restructuring of paradigms.

It is . . .

A terrifying adventure

Of familiar narratives rethought.

CHRYSALIS

It scares the life out of me.

I am emptying.

I am melting.

I am dissolving.

I am enclosed in a cocoon of rebirth

Dissolving,

Growing, 

Transforming,

Emerging . . .

HELP ME LORD!

I am afraid!

But, I am ready to change . . .

From worm to chrysalis to wings! 

HELP ME LORD!

I DESIRE – to take flight!

Colored glass.  

Colored marbles.  Beautiful blossoms.  

Blown glass hanging from umbrellas.  

Anything with color.  I love it!  My solution for peace.  

But, sometimes the glass as beautiful as it is,

can fall and shatter upon the ground at our feet; & then . . .

All of the broken pieces – what do we do with them?  

I have been thinking about this a lot this morning.

I am watching the world seem to “implode around me”

as division rocks our nation,

over a virus, racism, an election, religion.

For me, it is not enough anymore to go outside onto my patio and gaze at the beauty of the colored glass and blossoms.  

It is not enough to rest in the fact that God SEES all things,  although I know this to be true!  

I feel a need to see the brokenness, to feel the pain,

to understand the jagged edges

before I can move my thoughts

on to centering once again

on the tremendous beauty in this world.

WHY?  

Because I believe that behind everything that is beautiful,-

there was once a struggle. 

Inside everything there is a revelation.  

These times are difficult.  

It is always difficult when we are forced to look into our hearts, & to reconsider the validity of our paradigms.

 It is always a struggle when we are  presented

with the truth of our own myopic vision

within our own bubbles.  

It is especially trying when  we are asked by the  ‘Lover of our Souls, if maybe:

These ‘settled’ hearts of ours should not be broken?

These resolute paradigms of ours should not be shifted?  

These luminescent bubbles of the worlds that we live in

should not be burst?

So the broken pieces?  . . . 

What do we do with them?

Maybe we pick them up, and we look into their fragments

& we see what needs to be seen.  

Maybe, we hold them up into the light &

attempt to catch the rainbows swirling around their edges.  Maybe some of the pieces we need to throw away,  

& others we piece back together

& hang them up with the others.  

Maybe we recognize that GOD sees

all the broken pieces in our worlds, &

 HE loves US just the same.  

Maybe, just maybe, . . .

We stretch ourselves to embrace HIS vision of beauty!

To work towards the the “worldview” that HE desires!

Then, we can truly gaze up at our umbrellas

on our own quiet patios, & find a true Peace.

DIFFERENT SEASONS.

Different responses.  This is life!    

&, while I believe that life  is unpredictable;

& that there are many areas in life

where we have absolutely no choices

over the outcome of situations;

I also believe that in every season

we do have some control.  

But, control over WHAT?

THAT question may be be

one of the most important questions

that we can ask ourselves in this life. 

With all of life’s uncertainties,

how can we continue to THRIVE?  

How can we seize control over those things

which are uncontrollable?

Maybe our best control in life’s uncertainties  

lies in the simple question: – “WHO do I want to be?”

“Do I want to be brave?  Do I want to be afraid?

 Do I want to be a victim? Do I want to be emboldened?  Do I want to cling to old ways?  

Do I want to embrace growth?

So much of our life begins in the heart! ♥ &

in  WHAT it is that we “purpose in our heart”!  

& in this purposing is where our control lies.  

It lies in that place where we choose how to view our life circumstances. It  lies in our deepest convictions, in the  ‘deepest places within ourselves’ where we decide  who it is that we want to become through walking through our life situations? 

That is where the idea of re-creation comes in.  We were created by a magnificent GOD who loves us with a deep & passionate love! & HE has given to each of us the capacity to look inside of ourselves and consider who it is that we want to be and how we desire to live out this life that HE has gifted us.  How do we choose to react? Who do we want to be within the perimeters of our circumstances? 

This is our choice. It is not an easy one, but it will define us in the end.  At the end of the day, – Who do we want to be?  Take some time & decide & “purpose in your heart”.  The outcome of this choice is under our control.  & while this may be a very frightening thought, it can lead us to our best season yet.

 

In the past few years

I have had cause to contemplate

the concepts of  

“how to navigate through life with joy”,

especially when life throws us an unexpected curve

that is difficult to move through.  

How do we navigate successfully

the curves that life can bring?

& continue to THRIVE.  

I am convinced that the answer to this question

lies in our initial perspective of  our expectation

for this life here on earth.  

On what hill does our perspective begin?  

In considering life do we begin with the idea 

that “all should go well always

or do we understand the bigger story 

that “life on this earth is a drop in the bucket in comparison

to our future life to come. & as Jesus told us,  

“in this world you will have tribulation.

but take heart!   I have overcome this world.” 

So how do we take heart ♥ when life

doesn’t go the way that we planned?

& How has JESUS overcome this world?  

He did it on the cross when He said “it is finished!”  

It was in that moment that HE sealed

“our cause for hope in this life

& that hope being that GOD indeed

has a plan for the restoration of all of HIS creation.

There will be restoration.  

All things will be set right.

 But what about now?  In our struggles?

In the loss of someone that we dearly love;

or a fatal disease,  a dream squashed?  

How do we embrace this time here when we are navigating

these unbearable bumps in the road?

How do we take heart?

I believe that our best recourse lies

in our determination to seek Joy

& to seek it fervently!  

We are not victims in this life.  

WE ARE OVERCOMERS!-

because we are attached to the ULTIMATE OVERCOMER!  

We can pursue His kingdom values.  

Values that embrace love as the ultimate source of joy,

understanding that we are dearly loved by a GOD

who understands our pain,

but gives us the courage to walk

on this path with our heads held high

& smiles on our faces.  

Walk on bravely!  Be conduits of HIS love.  

HE will continue to “collect our tears in a bottle”

& pour them out upon us as strength.

 

 

Maybe we are all the same.

We are all thirsting for love.

We cry out for acceptance and affirmation.
& Yet, we go about it in so many different ways.

In our search for understanding

we can be needy or independent, whiny or brave.

But it’s all the same condition. The need to be seen.

To be considered as someone of value.  

To  be noticed in the sea of faces. 

For humanity to say,- “Oh. There you are! 

I’ve been looking for you.

I’ve been hoping that you are here.

You are special to me!

You know, humanity is never going to say that to us.  Indeed if we are truly fortunate

we will be truly loved &

esteemed by a handful of people.

 But Our Creator God says that to us daily.

Look for it. –

When you smile at a stranger on the street,

or nod at a homeless man on the corner,

Chat with the next person in line.

Give a hug to the child that’s crying

This is God’s voice declaring  to YOU

how much HE loves YOU !

 Look for it!  Go out!

Seek that face in the sea of faces.

That one who needs you in the moment.

And there you will find yourself.

There you will find the affirmations that you need. 

There you will find the LOVE that you seek.

 Gladden a heavy heart

Ease the burden of the discouraged. 

Set a balloon into flight. 

&  Fly . . . Fly .  . .   Up . . Up . .

Up above the sea of faces

into the very heart of GOD!

The world is in need of hope.  

Of morning glory seeds scattered everywhere.  

Scattered on the disappointment of dreams unfulfilled. Scattered on the anxieties of life.  

On hormonal days &

reflections in the mirror that disappoint.

The world is in need of the seeds of mirth,

of seeing the wisdom in decay & capturing & embracing every piece of beauty that we can; & then dispersing it

in wide abundance to everyone we meet.

We are the face of God.  

The image of the Son, who is the image of the Father.

The Father who captures every tear in a bottle &

sees the prism of radiant color in every drop.

We are not promised carefree days.

But we are given the keys to a kingdom of ideas

that will help us to walk through these days with grace.

We are not given the state of perfection in this life.

It is not within our grasp in our humanity.

But we can strive to make order and beauty in joy

& restore it again and again and again!

Not counting our days as futile but seeing this struggle

as necessary in our growth,

as a tutor in our understanding of the need

& the hope of restoration

which IS our final Destiny and Promise.

In the daily frustrations of this life,

we can acknowledge our grounding to this earth

while reaching for the stars.

We can laugh. We can stretch . We can revitalize

& spread contentment to all who see it;

-As our hope for more to come.

We are creators, made in the image of a creative GOD

who designs everything so carefully,

with such precision and yet with such abandon and joy.

This is our destiny. This is our gift. Let us wrap it up

in festive smiles and conversations

It gives us a snapshot of what will be.

Life is a learning process,

– an ever changing dynamic.

It is a mystery. It is a delight. It is a struggle.

We are all unique love letters

waiting to be written.

Beautiful creations inspired

designed by a loving GOD

with a plan and a purpose

that unfolds as our days open and close.

We come in to this world fresh and open

to the wonders that life has to offer.

We bring to it our unique perspectives

& questions & frailties.

We bear the burden of living in a fallen creation;

& as part of this creation we suffer

the common weaknesses of humanity.

We can not escape the truth

that we are all broken

on some level & yet . . .

we all desire life as it should be.

We dream of perfection.

We strive for beauty.

We rail against pain and suffering.

We look for answers.

We hope & we believe that God

will deliver us at just the perfect time.

& in that belief lies our peace.

Yet, there are times when even that

confidence can be shaken.

Because in this world we will have tribulation.

It is simply a part of living in a fallen creation.

No person can escape this fact. No one is exempt.

Just when we think that we have life under control;

the bottom can fall out.  

So what do we do with this truth?

How can we survive the inevitable pain?

Do we throw up our hands and rail at the world?

Do we curse at God? Do we whine, and itch and moan?

In these moments, is when we have the greatest power. The power to choose who we are;

& how we can face this bump in the road.

Yes, it’s true! We can choose the brave & noble path.

The path of courage.

Courage to smile in the face of adversity.

Courage to look outside the moment &

see the bigger picture.

Courage to choose the gift of perseverance

& walk the stormy path.

It is on this path that we can invite life

to show us who we are at the deepest level

& give us the endurance to find out who we can be.

In this world we will have tribulation.

But do not fear.

Christ has given us the tools

to walk through them with grace.

So walk this path;

& watch for morning-glories

along the way!