At The Farm

Every July, I remember my favorite meal,
eaten with my grandmother,
in her kitchen,
at The Farm.

Every July—
When the summer isn’t so young that it feels harsh on your skin,
But it isn’t so old that the heat has sunk into your marrow.

I remember my favorite meal—
Garden squash fried in homemade cornmeal,
Tomato slices from a fruit that tastes like the joy of Oklahoma summers,
Cool and comforting cottage cheese and
A tender, fragrant peach.

Eaten with my grandmother—
How can you describe a grandmother?
Except through hugs, smiles and favorite meals.
How can you describe the loss of a grandmother?
Except through the sight of your own mother holding her hand while watching her mom struggle to live,
And hearing her whisper, “Go home, momma.”

In her kitchen—
Now occupied by a stranger who is unaware of the rhubarb pies, pineapple upside down cakes and poached eggs it is so skilled at producing.
Occupied by a stranger who I hope hasn’t replaced the white Formica countertop with golden specks that bring in the July sun through the window.

at The Farm—
Where new life, growth and death are a part of each season,
Part of the symphony of the wind and the dust and the cows,
Part of the work that makes a family so strong.

Every July, I remember my favorite meal,
eaten with my grandmother,
in her kitchen,
at The Farm.



Fragility vs. Grace

When exhaustion pushes out all resolve,
When control is relinquished from white knuckled fists
And optimism is clenched out through teeth.

When my mind listens to the pain of my body
And the pain of grief
Instead of to reason.

When reason has failed me because there are no answers
Or explanations
Or anything I can do to help.

When the only thing to do is nothing,
Simply accept.

Accept the fragility of life and everything loved.
Accept that everyday will be a battle to perceive pain as a physical sensation and nothing more.
Accept that doing the best I can won’t and can’t and shouldn’t fix everything.

Because I am human, a helpless sheep, and my way of fixing things unintentionally breaks other things.

Because You are a different being. You understand what it is to be human, but You are not human. You are not a fixer, You are a healer.

Because fixing always comes with a price, but healing comes with a journey.

Because Your grace,
Your grace of always being present,
Your grace of beauty and children and the stars,
Your grace of love and forgiveness and reconciliation,
Is enough.

It’s enough to reroute my mind from the course of fear to the course of trust.
It’s enough to make me accept that everything is fragile and You are the only foundation.
It’s enough to make me see the value in continuing the journey to heal myself and to love others.


mom and melva and me

With her decision making, my pragmatic mother taught me
To love with my heart and think with my head.

With her consistency, my hard-working mother taught me
To follow through on my promises.

With her advice, my wise mother taught me
To seek respect more than acceptance.

With her devotion, my God-fearing mother taught me
To love God, serve God, seek God and worship God with all that I have.

With her commitment, my selfless mother taught me
To love my husband, serve my husband and adore my husband.
To love my parents, honor my parents and support my parents.

With her mourning, my tender mother taught me
That no daughter is too old to be her daddy’s little girl.
That no daughter is too far away to need her mother.

With her unconditional love, my dear mother has taught me
To love my children, discipline my children, listen to my children,
talk to my children and teach my children,
What she taught me.


I don’t know exactly what my first blog post was, but in terms of my spiritual journey, the post that best describes where I was at the beginning of this blog is “Lost”. This post is somewhat of a resolution to “Lost”. It’s what I’ve learned the past 2-3 years through both daily and life changing events, including loss of loved ones, moving (twice), health issues and marriage. This blog has captured my spiritual journey through these years. I am not sure what I’ll be doing in my next season. Maybe I’ll continue to add to this blog. Maybe I’ll write a book or paint or quilt. Or maybe I’ll just take time to sit each day with God. Thank you for reading.

I thought I could find You through answers,
through reading, learning and teaching,
thought and reason.
I thought I couldn’t find You until some point in the future,
After accomplishing my goals, completing some act of service, earning the respect of my fellow Christians, or once I had my health and energy back.

But I found You in people, in relationships, in a hand softly landing on my back.
In the breeze, the firefiles, the dawn and the dusk.
In the quiet, stillness, thoughts blowing away like feathers.
In gratitude and in weakness, in cries of praise and distress.
In this unconditional love burning to be poured out of me.
In confusion and pain.
In surrender.
In hope and joy and peace.
In loss.

I found You now, present in every moment.
Present with each tick of the clock, unbound by time.
Present in each place, unbound by space or circumstance.
Present whether I am aware or not.

I did not find a solid tablet of stone, unshakeable and eternally binding.
I did not experience a voice or a vision.
Instead of answers, I found Your eyes, compassionate and captivating.
I found the miracle of every day, the blessing of each relationship and letting the lives of others affect our own.
I found a living, moving being inside me,
echoing Jesus’ words of “Follow” and “Go”.

I can’t describe where I’m going, but I can testify that your footsteps lead away from decisions motivated by fear and towards choices made in trust.

No more fear of mis-stepping.
No more thinking that I’ll never again turn away, stand still or make a choice motivated by fear.

There is only accepting my faults, my strengths and Your grace.
Only seeking Your ever present face,
As I come back to Your feet and look for Your mercy renewed each morning.

Dad & Me


Be quick to hear and slow to speak.
Be slow to become angry.
What I heard from the Bible,
I saw in dad.

To live justly, love mercy
and walk humbly with your God.
This picture clear in my mind,
painted by the sound of dad’s prayers thanking God for his grace, mercy and forgiveness

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness
humility, gentleness and patience.
These clothes my dad wears,
and dressed me in as a child,
with my purple cowboy boots.

Dad taught me speaking is more than just forming words,
Walking is more than just taking steps,
Dressing is more than just putting on clothes.
Life is more than just waking up each day.

Love must be sincere. For God is love.
Love must be learned from a model.
I can love now because I was loved first.
I know the love of one Father through another.
Thanks, Dad, for such a gift.

Psalm 89

I’ve been taught many times to start prayers with praising God since this is how the Lord’s Prayer starts. Through my own experience, I’ve learned that when I focus on God’s holiness, “bigness”, faithfulness or other incredible quality at the beginning of a prayer, what I thought I would pray about suddenly changes. My perspective transforms when I realize the one listening to my prayer can still the ocean’s wildest waves. I appreciate this psalm because it starts with a beautiful acknowledgement of who God is. Not only is God greater than any being on earth, He is greater than any being in heaven. So much greater that the heavens praise Him. He is not great and powerful like a dictator (although He has the power to do that if He wanted), but loving and kind like a father. He cares about His people and makes promises to them that He doesn’t break.

God also offers the kind of relationship with His people that allows them to communicate with Him about distressing times. I really appreciate this psalm. It demonstrates that when I praise God for His mightiness and acknowledge His faithfulness, it is okay if I still have something that is causing me to feel cast out, weak, forgotten. I can know that these feelings aren’t because I’m not praying enough or not close enough with God. Instead, I can know those feelings are a part of human life and part of the walk with God. I can know that God is with me always.

1 Chronicles 1-2

Reading these genealogies, I thought about what they may have meant to their original audience. Maybe they made the original readers/hearers feel like they were part of a larger community, a larger family. Imagine seeing your grandfather’s name in the list of names and knowing that the history about to be recorded is your own. Each time God responds to His people in this history, He is responding to your ancestors. In the same way, He will respond to you. How thrilling it must have been for the original audience to realize their close connection to God through a specific family member.

For us today, maybe these genealogies can spur us to unity. Here we see the origins of the “tribes”, Israel and Judah, and also smaller subdivisions such as the Midionites and Tirathites. However, we also see they all came from Adam. We’re all the same tribe. We know not all of the original audience members realized this, as we read about many battles in their history, one tribe against another. Sometimes God used their enmity to bring about His will. No matter what we see happening around us today, we can know that 1. We’re all the same tribe and can love each other as family and 2. There are ugly battles with incomprehensible consequences, but ultimately God is in control. While He is not the cause of the evil that produces the ugliness and pain, we do know that His perfect rule will overcome all of it.

John 1

John’s gospel does not start with the birth of Jesus, like the other gospels do. John is less concerned about Jesus’ earthly beginning and instead addresses his eternal beginning, as confusing as that oxy moron is. “In the beginning the Word already existed…” (New Living Translation). Just like God’s love and peace that is already there whenever we come to know it, the Word was already there, already complete, already perfect. This is the Word that created the world, that gave life and light to everything and everyone. It gave such a light that the dark can never extinguish or overcome it. The beginning all started with “Let there be light” and this light was given by the Word.

And then the Word became flesh. A prophet was appointed to declare this miracle, to prepare hearts for the fullness that was coming. The law that came through Moses could not make us complete. The light the Word gave us needs more fuel than the law can provide. It requires the source of the light itself to dwell in us. But how can the Light dwell in us without first coming to us? Especially since we certainly cannot go to the Light of our own accord. So the Word became flesh.

And in the Word’s flesh, we came to know God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. The Word in the flesh revealed God to us. He was the example of God dwelling within, of how God makes the light already in us become a consuming fire that rules us.

Just as the Word already existed in the beginning, so we already have the light of the Word within us. Our enemies and those that irritate us also have this life within them. And through God’s unfailing love and faithfulness, this light becomes what makes us complete, whole, perfect. We already have the light, but we are not yet perfect. We celebrate the light, but we wait for perfection. We experience tension in this worship. It is somber, painful, thoughtful, peaceful, glorious, joyful. The “already” is the deposit that fuels our hope for the “not yet”.

Father, please help me focus on the hope you have given us. On your peace and love that is already there. On the light that is already in everyone. Help me learn more about all of these things this Advent season and for all my days. I love You. You fill me overflowing. All in Your Will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Light prayer

Holy, tender Father. Full of mercy and grace and love. Thank You for the darkness of the night, and for the stars that are always there but also always moving. They help us glimpse Your perspective of time and space and challenge the limits of our own perception. Thank You for the morning light that tenderly and consistently breaks through, and for the sun whose heat touches everything. Nothing can hide from its heat, nothing is out of its reach. Father, sometimes I am in darkness and sometimes I am in daylight and sometimes I have to choose between the two. Help me know that You offer light and life in both places. Help me look to Your light for peace instead of looking to earthly securities, pleasures or pleasing other people. Please teach me about balance, wonder and humility. I love You. All in Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Advent prayer

Gracious, loving Father. You have come to earth as fire, as a dove, as a man. The light and breath of life became a man, to be born and die and conquer death. The light of life had to face the terror of death? Had to go through the depths of grief? Had to endure temptation, torture, betrayal? Knew family and friends? How could I have taken this for granted before? You made all these aspects of life but yet You are not above experiencing them Yourself, in the way that we experience them.

You direct my steps and rule my words, help me focus my thoughts and clear out my pride so there is room for You. Please… I love You. All in Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.