night surf

clicking keys
a crackling fire
faint tick tock
begin to tire
surf and sip
and pages skim
google verse
and sunlit limb
let go of day
slow and soothe
inside out
make room for you
heal my wounds
renew my mind
quiet wooing world


Man goes forth to his work and to his labor
until evening. – Psalms 104:23

image: Fire in the Evening, by Paul Klee

fall poem

Susie is learning about fall in preschool,
so we slow down to observe the changes too.
Our trees turn neon orange and yellow,
and small bright cranberry colored leaves
speckle the yard here and there (delight!).
Boxelder and lady bugs
hideout in our curtains and lampshades,
and wander the sliding glass doors in the sun.
Mums and pumpkins
squat on doorsteps and grocery store fronts,
and skeletons hang from shop ceilings
over bags of honeycrisp apples.
Our soup becomes witches’ brew,
and we are all ghosts (boo!).
What will you be?
In a blink there’s a chill in the shade,
and tiny snow pellets
bounce on our driveway and deck
in the early hours.
Pumpkin lattes become peppermint
and peak color falls to white.
We will keep slow and observe
with contented curiosity.


Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. – Acts 14:17

new places

Without the walls and windows
we’ve known and counted on
to host our fellowship,
will I see you much?
Will we find new places
to continue navigating
one another’s personalities
for the betterment of our hearts
and our character?
I want my children to know you well –
how funny you are, how clever,
how imperfect and important.
I want my children to know your children
better than most, in an inside way.
You are my people!
I know the Lord will have us neighbors,
talking and building
life-fully together.
But that’s long off,
and a lot of earth and time to travel
without seeing you much
and knowing you well,
and sharing the rocky funny holy view
with siblings who see it too.


Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19


Before breakfast
I play and read with Susie.
Mostly it’s dinosaurs and construction sites,
friendly manatees and moody fairies.
When we get to the Bible Stories,
she only wants lions and whales.
“GO TO NINEVEH,” I command.
NO! STARFISH!” says Susie.
“Yet [Yes]. Starfish.”
“GO TO NINEVEH,” I repeat.
“O-kay, O-kay,” she blithely complies.

Dear God,
Thank you for lions and whales
and for Nineveh.
I want to go to Nineveh too!
Yet I am so often
deaf to your directions,
straining to hear
your whispers in my pleasure.
Will you teach me the way?
Will it hurt to hear?
Grant me courage to bear it
so I may go and pay forward
the blessings of obedience.


Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. – Psalm 25:4-5


the giving

A friend of a friend called me on Friday
and asked if she could give me a gift
that the Lord had asked her to give.
Stunned and small, I said yes.
How I yearned to be in her shoes,
financially prepared for His requests,
humbly and boldly pointing to Him all the way.
Over the weekend, I thought of the Ukraine.
In my teens I visited orphanages there
to spread the message of Jesus.
The children had no belongings at all
except the clothes on their backs
and small collections of dirty knick knacks –
tiny troll dolls and empty eraser tins
carefully lined on their windowsills.
They clung to each other, then to us,
hungry to be held, to be touched.
When the awful parting came weeks later
and it was time to board the bus,
our hearts were broken
as little hands pressed tiny troll dolls
into our palms
so we would not forget them.
My heart and head are full and foggy
as I try to make clear these extremities
of riches and giving.
I weep a bit, then wander,
fragile and amazed,
paying the bills with holy spirit dollars.
A friend of a friend is blessed
not by the means to give,
but by the heart to step boldly at His request,
and orphans give gold out of tin.
This morning I am still lost,
in and out of worthless worry,
but I am battling the fear.
The path and the peace are somewhere
in the giving.


But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech,
in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–
see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2 Corinthians 8:7

Orphan’s Tree