I Don’t Know How a Heart Can Hold All of This.

I Don’t Know How a Heart Can Hold All of This.

There is a little tepee in my back yard.

My dad built it just about a year ago with sticks and string.

It now has vines meandering up it and

a wind chime that welcomes when the wind blows.

I smile each time I look at it.

It makes me think of love, fun and family.

For someone else in my family, this little tepee is a reminder

of a sad, rough time

and the beginning of a sad, rough year.

For my sister, it makes her think of love lost.

For her, this little teepee is a reminder of the choking tears shed

and of hope held loosely.

It shelters hard emotions and painful moments.

It’s a year later and we are still holding onto hope,

in varying degrees each day.


Tropical storm Irma blew through here

a few days ago.

The wind blew, trees fell, people lost power for days.

Before the storm hit I went out and

took pictures of the tepee

in the event it didn’t survive the powerful wind.


It survived unscathed.

Vines and wind chime intact.

And all I see now is hope.


I am not sure what my sister will see

when I send her a picture of the tepee still standing.

My prayer is that she sees that even though

this represents a place of pain –

that there is room for hope.

That, somehow, a place that has been reserved for grief –

has room to welcome joy.

That in the midst of hurt, somehow there’s healing.

I don’t know how it is possible for a heart to do all of this –

to hold all of this.

Nor do I understand how a tepee can survive powerful winds

and yet trees fall.

But I can see it with my own eyes.

The tepee.

The vine.

The wind chime.

I see hope.



The Pause



Stronger than a fist.


A wrecking ball


a mason.

What will your words do?

Build up


tear down?

Words aren’t just


wasted breath


are they instantly cast aside.

Our mouths, our words are

either tools of




There’s not really an in-between.

Even though we think there is when we

think about our words.


When we are thinking about

the words that someone else said

our heart puts it in

one of two categories.




Your words, my words

they matter a whole lot more than we know.

To be careless with words is to be reckless with hearts.

So the question is:

before you

type the comment

say the joke

yell your annoyance

or speak from rude

is it worth the pause?


the pause is more powerful

than the words.

The pause is where the decision happens.

The pause is where hearts are won and where hearts are lost.

Ignorance lives here.

Impatience gloats of the scars left.

Irrational waves it’s banner as the ruling authority.

Irascible boasts of it’s destruction.

It’s time to regain control of the pause.

Time to build up.

That means allowing

our hearts to be led

so that our words

build up.

It’s time to stop and think…

and then speak.

Words have power –

but it all begins




You Are Not Connected: When Words Fail

You Are Not Connected: When Words Fail


My computer often brings up a screen that says:

You Are Not Connected to the Internet.

I usually am aware that I am not connected,

however, there are times when I am trying to get something accomplished

and it just doesn’t work.

Click. Click.

No movement. No cooperation.

Not going where I want it to go.

Click. Click.

I can’t be productive without the internet!

Why isn’t this working?

And then the page comes up.

You Are Not Connected to the Internet.

Ah. Yes, of course.

I see now that there are no bars lit up to show connectivity.

That is why when I try to click the link, nothing happens.

I am not connected, so no movement, no productivity…

I am just sitting here, unable to do what it is I need to do.

If I am not connected, it just isn’t going to work

no matter how many times I click the link.

I think I need a You Are Not Connected page

for my mind and heart.

One that flashes up in front of me in the midst of conversations.

Mid-tough conversation I see my

You Are Not Connected page flash up…

And I pause.

We aren’t connected.

That is why this conversation isn’t working right now.

I can keep saying the same words and keep pushing the same agenda

but if we aren’t connected

then we are completely missing each other’s hearts.

Even though you sit across from me,

even though I tuck you in at night,

even though we are family,

even though we’ve worked together for years,

even though we live in the same town…

we miss truly hearing each other

because we are not connected.

I keep clicking but there is nothing happening.

No movement, no productivity…

just words that bounce back because of

a lack of connection.

What forms connection?

Fighting on the same team

endless dinners together

giving your best




quality time




When I see the You Are Not Connected page

flash in my mind…

It is time to stop talking

and time to start being.

Imperfect Me is Loved with a Perfect Love

Imperfect Me is Loved with a Perfect Love


“I love you for all that you are.”

These words came out as I tucked my sweet, curly-headed boy into bed.

I’ve never said that before.

It just kind of came out.

I had to stop and think to understand if I really could say that and mean it.

I love imperfectly, but I meant what I said.

Words carry weight and power.

Sometimes I forget that.

“I love you for all that you are.”

This has been said to me, too.

I struggle to believe it is true.

But he who said it first, means it and carries it out with a perfect love.

He doesn’t make lists about traits he wishes he could swap out.

He doesn’t hold my personality flaws against me.

He doesn’t shame me because I am impatient, inconsistent or undisciplined.

He doesn’t hold past choices against me and say,

“You should have known better”.

Again and and again he says, “I love you for all that you are”.

This is perfect love – a love so immense it sees my failures and flaws…

and draws me close anyway.

This perfect love is a safe place for my heart…

A place where my vulnerability is not a liability, but a place to begin.

In perfect love, there’s room for my imperfection.

Imperfect me is loved for all that I am and all that I am not…

In perfect love, there’s room for growth.

There is freedom in this love.

Freedom to be who I am…

but also a freedom to allow his love to fill in the g a p s.

I have g a p s.

We all have g a p s.

There’s no shame in that.

It just means we need a perfect love to help us be

the best conduit of love that we can be.

I can be more patient, consistent and disciplined…

But it isn’t going to happen out of my own strength.

Only perfect love can help me be all that I can be.

Only perfect love can help me love

my curly-headed, sweet boy for all that he is.

When I allow myself to be loved for all that I am,

I show my children what it looks like to be loved by a perfect love.

I want my greatest joy to be in the fact that

imperfect me is loved with a perfect love.

I want to love out of this…because of this.

“I love you for all that you are.”

He really means it.


I Need Your Perspective to be a Better Human

I Need Your Perspective to be a Better Human




I don’t know how it feels to be you.

I don’t want to guess anymore.

I would like to understand.

I realize that means asking you to wade into my ignorance.

And I am sorry in advance for the pain and frustration that my lack will cause you.

I don’t know another way.

Really, I just want to be your friend.

I can learn and understand more just by being your friend –

you don’t have to carry the weight of educating me,

as that is my burden to bear.

I will read and learn and dig in to know more. But.

Can we talk?

I would like to know what you see, what you feel, what you’ve experienced.


Because I know it is different from what I see, feel and experience

and I need your perspective to be a better human.

I will be a safe place for you to speak, please don’t censor your words.

Without our friendship, I walk into a world that is hemorrhaging and struggle to know how to stop the bleeding.

Is this something we can do together? Can friendship begin to heal not only the places that you and I are broken but also show the way for others to pursue healing?

Maybe together we can understand how to stop the flow of hate, racism and injustice.

Can friendship do that? Become a catalyst for healing?

I think it comes down to us.

To what we do.


How to Get Out of Between and Really Live.

It was a tough battle just now, getting out of bed.

I won. Mostly. I gave away a few minutes.

I am here writing, bleary eyed, but I am in my chair at the computer.

It is amazing to me that I have to fight a battle to do something I want to do…

I want to grow but I am comfy right where I am.

I want to be strong and healthy.

But actually getting running clothes on and making it out the door is a feat of epic proportions.

I want to write and as I stumbled out of bed at 5:22 am I told myself that this is what writers do.

I desire to be a patient mom and I am learning s l o w l y that it is possible for me to actually be that.

Wanting something isn’t enough.

I like to think it is.

But it never is.

I saw a drawing yesterday by @bymariandrew that said that the difference between a non artist and and artist is this: non-artists say, “I could make that” and the artist makes it.

They go ahead and make it, do it, be it.

Ideas in action.

Paint to canvas.

Hands in clay.

Pen to paper.

Feet to pavement.

Holding my tongue.

There’s a huge leap there, a big difference between thinking, “I could do that”, and actually doing it.

For a long time I think I’ve been okay getting stuck between. Between “I could do that” and actually doing it. I’ve been lounging in the between. Comfortable, I suppose, but often frustrated.

I am not a terribly disciplined person (I am guessing you’ve figured that out).

We just aren’t two peas in a pod, discipline and I.

We are working on our relationship.



Discipline is remembering what you want.

This definition of discipline works for me (most of the time)

This isn’t about rules and structure and pain.

It is simply giving yourself permission to go after what you want and being willing to put into action what you actually want.

It is being kind to yourself to get up and out of between.

So when I am faced with the decision to sleep in or get up and write.

Remember what you want!

Running or sitting on Facebook.

Remember what you want!

Prayer time or not?

Remember what you want, woman!

Remembering what I want drags me out of the between.

Pursuing what I want to do, what I am called to do, what I am gifted to do is living a life of action.

Not: “I could do that”.

I’m a whole person, here on this side of between.

I am happier here.

Remember what you want.