En Route


En Route

We are moving at the speed of life
Going at the pace
Whose measurement is breath by breath
Some days the beating of my
Heart is set to the metronome of grief
Overlaid by the harmonious chords of Pregnant joy, birth and death almost Collide
How do we stand in the crosshairs of
Gratitude in the longitude
Grief, latitude
I throw the threadbare anchor line
Over, scan the place where grey
Shades into shadows laced by fog
You know the place of slow fade, too
Choose to pause, honoring the loss
Here the refueling begins
I cannot stop
I catch my breath, netted
Held, released
Fill my sails always with peace
At war with the idea of war
Steer the vessel into the path of righteousness
Re-fuel the ship
We are moving at the speed of life
And grace will lead me home

Joy – Letters From The Village

joy boat leland

(In this Lenten series, Letters From The Village, I am speaking out from the heart with my strugling voice, through a fading art form. Letter writing. Because? Why? There is a lovely intimacy between reader and writer which rests in the lines of a letter. Break the seal, open the thin glue lined envelope, pull the paper from its home in the nestled space and read.)

Dear Sad You,

Hold on tight to the Lover of Your Soul in these dark times. When much seems bleak and  the world is cloaked in hurt and you wear a heavy coat of confusion, cling and grasp your God. His very hand.

And if these times were not ,would you hold on tight like the barnacles on boat bottom, hull hold fast? Do you embrace hard, white-nuckle in need and cling as the Confederate Jasmine to the lamppost when all is calm?

This place of self-sufficient stillness leaves you untethered in pride and independence, one step away or farther from your Christ.

If not for the whirling times, the turbulent stirrings in your world would you rest assured, rest alone, one step away from the Comforter.

Dear sad one, it is hard, so hard to see in this fog of war, a war in your very world. But throw your life-line to the One who calms the seas and guards your boat and loves you with unfailing love. And know that Joy comes in the morning.

Grab hold in love. Squeeze tight the line. And put on the lens of faith. That on the other side is recovery from the squalls and lessons learned in rocky times. And the same God, unchanging, always loving, remains before the storm, through the storm, and on the other side.

Look through the lens of faith and trust. Look through the lens of faith and know.

Look ahead assuredly with a knowing. Joy comes in the morning. Read the unchartered places as chartered. Steer ahead in confidence and faith. Waver not. Worry not.

And begin to set the table of celebration during the pitch and toss of your vessel. Because when the waters calm and the swells die out, you will throw a party in your soul and celebrate what you now know anew.  You will glean the glory from the storm. And what is evident in the light will bring you closer to the Protector.

Sad one, celebration longs to throw her confetti high and colorful in the air. Where the winds of change can carry it away in joyous currents of rightful praise.

It will  sail away on the winds of sweet release.

And Joy will come and the Light will be radiant, blinding even. On the other side of the storm. The blinding blue sky hovers over the horizon of doubt and gloom.

Welcome Joy as she waits to reclaim her rightful place.

And rest in and on the safe place. Hover under the Protector’s coverage, safe and dry. Warm and loved.

Then tell. Speak of Him who brought you through.

Dear broken heart put on the lens of faith and wipe the fog from your shattered view. Restoration of the broken and recovery from the wreckage wait in love, right round the next turn.

Joy is sweeter, so much sweeter after the winds have whipped your ship and tangled your heart in the messy. After your time up on the rocky hard places, sip from the cup of Joy.

And the mystery of this is just that. The Joy tastes sweeter  after the choppy trip through rough times.

Then rest. Know He is good, your God.  And thank. Savor and see. That He is good. So good, sweet one.

Your Joy has come in the morning. Sing a song of praise.

be still know thank

joining Emily, Ann, and Jennifer

Thinking of You As I Prepare Him Room

berries in sunlight

I am thinking of you as I slip out the back door. Cracking the door and slipping through to a place of preparation, pondering, reflection, and above all celebration.

And I am thinking of you as I look back over the shoulder of the year, glancing back on the months and days in review. What they held, how they shaped and what they taught.

So it is I think of you as I look at this art, this ministry, this way of writing out life on a paperless post. Of processing and framing all the grace and all the life that comes on shore, wave on wave.

I am thinking of you but I will be quiet for awhile. As I step out and embrace all that is good, and there is much. As I step out and focus on all that is glorious, and there is abundance there too. As I focus on Love Come Down at Christmas and look for ways to see His love anew, I’ll say my Merry Christmas now.

I am off for a break from this writing life. And circling the outstretched arms around family and friends. And hoping for you glory and grace and peace of our Lord.

May you embrace the Love of Christ at Christmastime as you too prepare Him room.

Room to replace the disappointment, room to fill the gaps of want, room to pour out Love and Healing where there is pain, room to fill a soul with Peace where there is fear, and room to set us free from all that binds.

Praying the space in our hearts, our lives, our homes is deep and wide for Him to come and abide.

Alleluia Anyway and Always.

Grateful for your eyes and hearts in this writing life, always.

 And Wishing you Joy in the smallest of moments ,

in all the days of this , most holy of seasons.

Merry, Merry Christmas All.

nighttime collage

Joy, Comfort and The Element of Surprise

All the moments of joy, they can sneak up on a girl. I rest in the thankfulness of the moment. But not for long. For these moments of Joy, they propel me forward infusing new life, new hope, in all the new mercies.


Yes, these moments of joy can sneak up when she least expects it.

Giving a desire to go and spread and carry and send it out. To give something away. Something of the gift.

These moments come when they are most needed. Like new skin, new flesh springing from a place of fresh healing. Where new sensations of tender feeling are born.

And the world bears  much new in this season. My heart would be wise to have eyes to see it. To wipe the foggy lense of despair and seek the tucked away offerings of life, and love and redemption in the folds of the new skin.

He did say He was doing that. Making all things new.

And old can look new to the eyes that can see, really see. See through and around with hope.

First born visits and walks around this home filled with light and life, by grace, singing. He is singing constantly. It sounds new and joyful. But as I visit the mental records of my memory, I think he always did sing.

I wasn’t always listening.

I think I surprised her as she stood stocking the shelf. Life is fragile and I had just come from a funeral. The sun shining and a full life celebrated. And we all long for those second chances. Mercifully I was given one. I told her I had woken in the night. That I felt a gentle nudge to pray for her. And I told her I should have offered to  the other day. She is a stranger. I am a stranger. We are wrapped in community by hearts, by hurting, and by need.

And she told me why I may have felt she was hurting and yes thank you for praying for me.

I was surprised by the joy of her smile. She thanked me and thanked me. But in the giving, I was left walking ten feet above the earth.  Buoyed by her tender gratitude. And I may have a new friend in this life. She smiled a smile that is blazed and branded on my soul. From her place of tangled worry and stress. She smiled and thanked.

Its as if the icy tundra, the frozen reeling earth which grieves is melting. The sorrow slowly melting from the cold. And the days, the few days between us and  His birth are a healing balm of warmth.

The pain and grief redeemed by new birth. And all that He brings as Light of the World, shining bright in cold darkness is warming the souls of men.

In these days, He brings Comfort and Joy. He is comfort and joy.

He sits across the table wrapped in budding new and I see what warmth and care of another  can do to the heart of man.

How the smile breaks so wide it wants to leave the face. How the hands wrap around gentle with comfort and joy.

My mommas heart is surprised. It is beautiful living breathing joy. And it is new. This is redemption from the piles of ash, and prayer has fueled this fire of burning joy. Its fragrant beauty drifts my way and I inhale. Billowing joy.

We dropped a gift of gold in a glass of liquid last night. For the girl who has the birthday rocking up on the heels of Christmas.  She looked down into the sparkling water and saw a gift, she knew it had been mine. I hoped that in a passing from mother to child there would be sweet surprise, in the offering. In the receiving. And in the receiving she smiled. But I realized the joy was mine…in giving of something I treasured.

Releasing  to another. There is  more joy in the offering than in the receiving.

I think I would do well to give it all away for the joy in the release. And I would be wiser than those three wise men to look to Him for all comfort and joy.

Listen, do you hear the hymns of praise. Can you hear the songs up in the heavenlies. A song of redemption breaking through the clouds, the icy pain melted by a baby born in the bleak mid-winter?

May each of you find comfort and joy in the receiving of His son. And may you seek and see and find the elements of surprise, the wonders of His love in the all around you in the beautiful days leading up to Christmas.

Alleluia Anyway Always.

Joining Emily.