Monday Birthday

Wake up for kiddos and emailing wife.
Make lattes and milks and brush your teeth.
Change the baby and take out the dog.
Peel another banana (the first was dropped on a linty rug)
and pour some lucky charms.
Why is your iPad there? Put it here.
Reply to pressing messages (hope it’s good pressing).
Go outside and cut up the fallen tree.
Blow kisses to your girl waving from the window
and respond to an occasional question from scheduling wife.
Load all the limbs and branches into the car
and take them to the yard (2-3 trips?).
Try to keep the car relatively leafless. So, no leaves.
Return and take all the limbs and branches back out
(the yard is closed until Wednesday).
Shower. Maybe shave? Shave.
Collect kiddos and packing wife.
Drop off kiddos at in-laws and go to a movie.
Eat movie popcorn (yes!).
Drive back to in-laws and catch up over a beverage.
Open a present with an iTunes gift card (yes!)
then drive home with kiddos and distracted wife.
Drop off family and go out for Chipotle.
Bring home burritos (light rice for cilantro sensitive wife).
Change and feed the baby
and help manage ever spirited 3 yr old
(hugging, wrestling, reminding, playing with dinosaurs).
Help put kiddos to bed (teeth, hiding, prayer, song)
and pick out something to watch on TV.
Run out once more for diet coke and Dairy Queen
(s’mores blizzard for your craving wife).
Put your feet up and consider fantasy football trades.
Wake sleeping wife from the couch
and tell her its time for bed.
Re-tuck in kiddos, kiss groggy wife, and go to sleep.

On that crisp and sunny day before yesterday,
(and every day of every month)
you are loved and loved and loved
for all your care and all your character,
for all your flaws and all your excellence,
and for a thousand other things
pertaining to your heart and hands.

Your partnership is the joy of my life.
Love, your grateful wife


He will not forget your work and the love
you have shown him as you have helped his people
and continue to help them. – Hebrews 6:10


Go off the road you know so well,
on to earth and vineyard.
You saw Him there once,
out of the corner of your eye.
As surely as you in your sneakers, it was Him.
Or maybe He’s calling you to a new place.
Run there swiftly,
a swelling heart pulling you up off the earth,
legs still in stride in the air.
Arrive out of breath and holy high,
and wait there, long enough for His timing,
even though you fear the loneliness
(particularly in a place where He’s called you
thus darkness knows He’s coming boldly).
Be faithful and wait.
Even while sinking back down to the dirt,
bandaging busted stitches of old wounds,
the world almost wholly back in your brain,
press back on doubt’s entrance, and wait still.
He’s not late.
Let Him give this to you perfectly!
Remember too, He may not appear as you expect
in robes and sandals and carpentry tools.
Instead you might look up and see,
circling above your very head,
a crow and swallow transform into eagles.

08 Eagle02

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Poem inspired by my dear friend (and sister!) Tracey Bonanni and her recent Christ encounter. image: Biblioteca del Valldemosa archives.


Roger, our cheerful elderly neighbor
came to the door with two plastic bags
of oddly-shaped cucumbers and pale tomatoes
that ripen red in the sun.
Our tiny daughter greeted him (in her underwear),
“You’re not my grandpa.”
“No,” said Roger cheerfully,
“But I am a grandpa.  To Lila.”
“Ohhhhh…” said our girl, cheerfully.
That morning I prayed
for a few necessities
with expectation and thankfulness
before provision,
and I felt the full fast faith of a kid
fill my chest for an instant
in the freshness of the garden vegetables.
Granted by way of a cheerful neighbor,
my pale prayer
ripened red in the son.


Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  
Mark 11:24

image: painting by Tina Wassel Keck