The Kingfishers Catch Fire

3 Aug

I am loving this poem. Happy to share it with you!


As Kingfishers Catch Fire

By. Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Deal out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves – goes itself; myself it it speaks and spells,

Crying ‘What I do is me: for that I came.’

I say more: the just man justices;

Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is –

Christ- for Christ plans in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father the features of men’s faces.

24 Jun




Many things…such as loving,

going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly…

are done worst when we try hardest to do them.

-C. S. Lewis


29 Apr

Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earthbound soul, and float it right up to my Lord’s feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by his love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to him that if he will put his ear to me, he will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of his own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at his feet forever. 


Sand Castles

15 Apr

Yesterday, I wrote that God is the wave machine. Well today that guy turned the machine up to 11. They were full of might, knocking down everything in their way. Sometimes, I think I am waterproof so even though the waves were huge I thought I could hack it, umm… nadda. I stayed out for a bit but they were sending me straight back in, and I have sand burn to prove it. Completely jumbled up I gave into the safety of the shore. My little friend Rylie helped end this life risking behavior when she decided to become an architect of the most wonderful sand castle on the beach.

Oh, she had dreams for this thing. She is already quite the pace setter and leader saying things like, “We can’t give up, just because we need an extra deep moat.” and “Isn’t it the most great day!”

As we were working hard to get the moat to reach the ocean I heard Rylie make a noise of disappointment. One of her buildings in the middle, the one with the feathers on top, had crumbled after much beautification. This is when the teachable moment inserted itself… Her momma came over and started bringing the buckets back out. Then together they began to firmly pack sand like they had done earlier. As they were working I saw this mom get real close to her daughters face and with soft spoken boldness say,

“Don’t worry Rylie. We can always re-build.”

There it was.  An ooooozing of this deeply imbedded, Christ like wisdom. I really liked how she used the word “always.” Gosh, I hope I can say things like that to my kids someday. And I hope I don’t say things like…”Let me do it for you.” or “Awww, yeah it sure is ruined. Just scrape it and find something else to do like… throw bread a seagulls.”

Part of becoming more like Christ is this “always” building and rebuilding. If you want to be more like Him you have to get used to it. Actually, if we have the right glasses on we should be joyful. But, not many find rebuilding enjoyable because it is hard work. And, there can be gritty emotions like failure and loss. This is not a lifestyle for those who are comfort mongers.

Don’t be scared. God is into making all things new, and breathing life into dead men. He loves us, and so when the un-sturdy parts fall He says things like… “Let’s do this again and you should let me carry it this time.” and “I like this part… but lets add a little more _______ and do less _____.”

I think in the end, (which is what matters) we are more fulfilled with the castles that we worked really hard on… building and rebuilding… there is more joy when with God, we build something that lasts.


14 Apr

Today I am reporting to you live from the beach. I think I should have been born with gills… I love water. I am the jump in it, flutter around, splash people kind. Sorry in advance if that kind of water lovin’ bothers you. Looking at the ocean and all its’ vastness make you stop. You can’t take your eyes off it, even when all your friends are ready to go, shouting at you. The ocean makes me know that God is big and I need to recall that daily.

So yes, the ocean makes me stop. Stopping is an art form. Meaning, to rest and make your mind shut off is something you have to work at. Or if you stop too much you become someone who floats through life. Isn’t it ironic… even resting takes effort and thought. I have caught myself wanting to be busy because when I am busy I don’t have to process thoughts/emotions and I don’t have to tell people no. So this week I have pulled out of my gut somewhere the want to really let myself go there. It has been so hard.

That might sound annoying to some of you… “poor thing has to go on vacation to Florida and she is having a hard time RELAXING… Booo.” Haven’t you ever just not wanted to rest? In your little self awareness bubble you know that if you let down, you may really LET DOWN. And those kind of let downs are not fun. Not resting can be a form of avoidance and can look a lot like fear.

So I am choosing to not be that 5 year old who has to be coaxed into taking a nap, even though she is much nicer after she has had one. Or the 29 year old who has to be given a reprimand to enjoy FLORIDA! God is so good. He is the wave machine, knows the number of grains of sand on the shore, and He knows the exact condition of my heart. Evidence of his goodness is all around me… and I am going to rest in that!

Life, Love and Other Mysteries: Part About Music

8 Apr

A lot of my “discretionary spending” happens with a quick click on I-Tunes. Music can explain things in ways my words often can not. I can identify really quickly with a song, or an artist because I fully support the verse in Luke 6 that says,

“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Music requires an overflow of the heart, especially for those singer/songwriter types. Many times someone will ask me how I am feeling and none of my mixed up words seem to say what I think. However, I can usually find a song that says it exactly. I have heard someone say, “Music makes you feel a feeling.” AGREED!

A few specific topics when combined with just the right melody get me every time. I will click that I-Tunes button so fast… even if I have $20 in my checking account. 1. The topic of Love 2. Free Spirited-ness (probably not a real word) 3. Hope

Here is my album of  songs… that combine love, free spirited-ness, and hope. Some are old, some are new. Wishing you the encouragement I feel when I hear these. Enjoy.

17: Sentimental Heart: She and Him

16: When A Man Loves A Women: Percy Sledge

15: I Do It For You (Live): Bryan Adams (The live part is really important)

14: Forever: Ben Harper

13: Whatever It Is: Zac Brown Band

12: Hey, Hey, Hey : Michael Franti

11: Story: Brandi Carlile

10. She’s Got A Way: Billy Joel

9. Dancing In the Mine Fields: Andrew Peterson

8. Rolling In The Deep: Adele ( this song is best played loud, and you should know later in the album her anger is gone)

7. Your Love Is A Song: Switchfoot

6. Fields Of Gold (New Version): Sting

5. Hold You In My Arms: Ray LaMontagne (“Love is a poor man’s food”)

4. Father, Daughter: Paul Simon ( “I am gonna watch you shine, watch you grown, paint a sign so you always know”)

3. Till Kingdom Comes: Coldplay

2. Just Like The Moon: Brett Deneen (also digging his new song “Sydney”)

1. Brown Eye Girl: Van Morrison ( almost all his other songs could go on here too!)

Friendship Train

4 Apr

I have a good mom. She shoots me straight all too often. It is sobering because she is always an advocate for “the other guy.” So if you are ever worried that I am talking badly about you to my mom, you are mistaken. She doesn’t like that kind of chatter. One of the phrases I heard frequently when I was growing up was…

“If you want a friend, be a friend!”

Then she would gently tell me that my expectations of my friends were exaggerated because I myself didn’t work hard at being that kind of friend. She was right. I hope that since those childhood years that I have become  better at this. It is an ongoing process isn’t it? Figuring out how to show people how much we value and love them.

Recently, I have hit a patch where I need my friends. I need them to be my extra eyes, reminders, and prayer support. So, in this need I have seen even more the importance of having my close friends be people I can trust and know without a doubt that they are James 3 kind of wise. I have been refreshed by them day after day not because they coital my current inclinations but because they know the balance of sitting beside me and pushing me.

One of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt recently wrote a post about the things he looks for in a friend and in the same way the friend he wants to be. I pretty much agree with all of these….

*Shows up for me in a crisis

*Listens empathetically without passing judgement

*Is willing to pitch in when I am too embarrassed to ask

*Affirms me when I doubt myself

*Reminds me of who I am when I forget

*Celebrates my wins, mourns my losses

*Remembers the things that are important to me

*Trusts me with their secrets

Here is being really, really good to each other and treating others as highly valuable!