February 04, 2014

I'm Moving

I know I already mentioned that there was going to be some changes around here.

It's happening!

With MUCH encouragement from my husband, a lot of prayer and some fancy HTML footwork, I am ready to launch my new website.

Sometime today I'll post my first new piece. I've already imported everything from here. It is just a matter of fine tuning a thing or two and I can get back to what I love...writing.

Head on over, poke around, say hi and make sure you sign up for email updates. If you have any questions or comments, send me an email. :-)

Without further ado...

Welcome to:

January 28, 2014

Why I Don't Reject the Princess Title

We have referred to both of our daughters as princesses. Each one for different reasons but nevertheless, we have treated them with value. As Christ followers we believe we are children of The King so it has always made sense.

In the past year or so it seems en vogue to separate our daughters from the pressure of being a princess.

Perhaps it is the notion that all princesses are pampered, airheaded nitwits or or flat out entitled brats.

Maybe it's just semantics.

Both of my daughters have redefined princess for me.

My elder princess is kind and strong and like so many others, she is often misunderstood. She creates beauty with music and paint and laughter. She uses her voice with a fierce loyalty to defend her friends but especially her sister.

She has been wounded by gossip and shunned by those who choose whose pride won't allow them to see uniqueness as beauty.

The younger princess is brave and patient and stronger than any human being I know. Her disarming laugh and snaggletoothed grin softens the most painful of days. She wasn't supposed to live to be nine and at the age of 14, she doesn't seem to be leaving this earth anytime soon.

She has survived ignorance of the well educated and does not know how to hate, even those who disregard her value and her legacy.

My princesses slay dragons that most never face. My oldest knows compassion, my youngest is the recipient of her kindness.

Together we've learned to find the best in others, to use our blessings in lifting the burdens of others. We choose to stand firm defending what is right.

When Ray showed me this video, tears covered my face. It is full of the hope I want to young woman to know. The beauty of being strong and kind and brave is among the most lovely traits we can hope for our daughter or the wives of our sons.

This is not new and I'm not sure why I haven't seen it yet but I can't tell you how much I love it. (Don't watch it yet, I'm still talking and I don't want you to get distracted.) They apparently did a series of these couple of years ago. 

To me the video is new, the sentiment is what we live everyday.

January 17, 2014

So Many Changes!

I'm getting a makeover!

Okay, not me really. It's time to turn my blog into a website. It is way past time that it start reflecting me and the stories within.

Image edited from original at http://www.domusinc.com/

You see, I've been wondering for a long time what direction I should take with my writing. You know, should I just pick one topic and stick with it? Should my readers be able to show up and know what to expect?

Here is the thing, I am a multi faceted woman. Like a diamond, I shine when the light hits and the intensity will be different every time. That means my stories are going to come from a bit of everywhere.

The Coffee Guy is incredibly supportive. He sees value in the stories that my Creator has placed in me. The hope that lies within me needs a place to rest, to get out and find its way into the hearts of others.

Some have already noticed some changes. (The site name for one) There will be a few more before I settle into a new home on the web.

There still needs to be some renovations and decorating decisions. Like remodeling a house, it may take a bit of time but my desire is to make a place to find comfort and rest and as always.....


January 04, 2014

My One Word for 2014

"We spend more time talking about our relationship than we do actually having one." He blurted out from across the picnic table with wind snuffed candles and half eaten chicken.

He was right. It bugged me but the truth was right there.

We had met under strange circumstances and kept seeing each other without a sense of direction or purpose. What I do know is we both wanted something deeper. It just wasn't the same something and the only thing we had in common was our similar past that we were both trying to leave behind.

That evening I'd attempted to fan what ever flame might be there. A picnic dinner, local park at sunset face to face with each other. What came of it was the stark realization that neither one of us were feeding the relationship. We weren't actually having one, we just talked about one.

I'm beginning to see social media in the same light.

We try to share our lives, our politics and our faith by throwing it "out there" to see where it will stick. We jump into verbal wrestling matches full of heated words but no warmth of voice tone or connection.

Don't get me wrong, internet relationships have connected me to some of the most precious souls I know. I've been inspired to think about things outside of my small sphere. There has been movement in my heart to connect to those near me in ways I hadn't seen. I've been able to keep up with, pray for and encourage those I live far from but never wanted to lose.

Sadly it's done something else. It's cluttered my brain.

Back before digital cameras, I spent much more time setting up my shots. Taking fewer images because after all, it was expensive to develop and print. I never wanted to waste a chance at a great portrait. No one wanted to have to throw any away.

It is so different now.

As I snap away, filling up my cards with whatever comes through my lens, I take less care in the moment. I can' always go back to manipulate the image, change the lighting, demolish red eyes or crop out superfluous back grounds.

I'm finding hundreds of pictures that need to be deleted to enjoy the one or maybe two good pieces I can use. Like stray comments and discussions I can delete them.

But there is a difference.

Once words are read, they can't be deleted from the hearts of those who've read them. They take root in minds. They wound and divide and cause confusion. Unless we begin to plant words of grace and hope. Unless we sow what is meant to grow and inspire and teach we will only reap pain and division.

Jesus, God incarnate, came to reconcile us to His Father and to each other.

Pressed in by crowds, touching, being touched, weeping, healing, listening, speaking and loving.

He could have just sent angels, you know, messengers of God. Meeting us in the flesh instead of merely in writing because He is personal that way.

Here we are in this world, connecting through Facebook, Twitter, texting and blogs. We make announcements, share life events and sometimes we invite friends to join us in person. We warn of scams or mourn the passing of great leaders. As tragedies unfold our pages truly become newsfeeds. We no longer gather around flickering screen at a local cafe. We log on, throwing our status updates and pithy quotes out to the internet, hoping in some way to make sense or to feel less alone.

The internet has become our town square, our coffee shop, a meeting place. For some it has become a place for fellowship. For many, it's the only way they may ever hear about us. The truth is, very few will ever really know who we are.

When grappling with an emotional topic one night, "friends of friends" chiming in, a real life friend of mine put it in perspective. She compared it to an open party where guests who aren't invited show up. There is no relationship yet they drop in to argue. No context, no relationship and no real connection. They come only with a need to be heard or be right or both.

I don't want it to be that for me anymore. I'm tired of talking about being in relationships and not really living in them. I'm done with planning meals that no one shares. It is time to "do life" instead of planning it.

It is time to touch, be touched where we can heal and be healed.

Last year I chose the word "galvanize" for my One Word. It was better than a resolution because it wasn't about one part of my life. It wove its way through all the places to inspire and incite for change.

This year I have chosen the word "reconciliation". A word that means to restore relationships, to repair connections and to grow friendships.

After all, it is fulfilling the commandments Jesus said were most important. 

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIRV)
36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) 40 Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”

What word will you focus on this year? How about just today?

December 04, 2013

Wondering if it is Worth the Fuss

Each table was decorated with excruciating details of every imaginable Christmas theme from whimsical to elegant and dramatic to simple. Over one hundred women calmed the chatter as the speaker took the podium. Leaning in she began, "Merry Christmas! It's CHRISTMAS! I refuse to say Happy Holidays!" She laughed and continued with her talk. To this day I have no clue what she said after that. I just remember being disappointed.
I wasn't overly puzzled. I had been hearing this for a year or two by then from several corners of my life. There was even a campaign to point out which businesses were not allowing their employees to greet customers with the old greeting of "Merry Christmas". Instead, there was a decision to include everyone by using the (also old) salutation of "Happy Holidays!"
My email box was full from those offended who sent lists of  companies that were using "Happy Holidays" in their advertising. We were told that as Christians we should boycott the stores. I heard from others how they would correct the clerk behind the counter who dared utter the wrong phrase.
Seriously, I pictured a young woman, on a winter break Christmas vacation from college, trying to make some book money being corrected by angry protesters for uttering words "Happy Holidays". "It's MERRY CHRISTMAS!" they would say with incredulity. As the innocent, once cheery, clerk counts back change into angry outstretched hand, I wonder what it really says to her. Does anyone think about what that does to the rest of her day?
To be sure, I do wonder why businesses see the need to protect customers from hearing "Merry Christmas". Sometimes I'm sure it's just an innocent choice and yes, political correctness can go to far. Do we really need to over correct? After all, it IS the holiday season. We are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year as well as Hanukkah. Why not just expedite things and bless all of the holidays?
I believe you should shout the greeting you prefer. (I like "Happy Christmas". It sounds British and even a bit fancy if you have the accent.)
There is another beef some have spent their time on.  It's on using X in Xmas in place of (not opposed to) Christmas. R.C. Sproul does a better job than I do on educating others on the topic here.
So I wonder (out loud apparently), what's all the fuss? Why do we get offended? What am I missing? Can anyone really take the meaning of our own celebrations away? Is it okay to have preferences and refuse to get offended at every turn?
There are truly offensive stories we should be grabbing on to all year round. Causes that really need our attention and needs that could benefit by the raising or our voices lay silent while we debate over words spoken in the checkout like or painted on the sign of a store.
Let's get really angry about human trafficking. I want to scream about child abuse. Can we spend our time battling poverty with the money we aren't going to spend at the stores that offend us? How about volunteering at a local warming center? There are people freezing on our streets who don't care how you greet them. (Ours will be open all week here in our little burg. There is a small staff and they would be thrilled to have an hour of time to help make sandwiches to send off with the clients in the morning.)
Maybe it's my age, lack of sleep or I need a nap (I get a little fussy in the afternoon) but I couldn't stay quiet about the noise. Two friends posted similar discussions today while I was pondering this. I know I'm not alone.

Here are some links to turn our anger into righteous indignation:

Rescue Pink's mission is to bring an end to female infanticide in India through rescue, prevention and awareness.

Communities of Hope A school in Bubunza

Love 146 Fights human trafficking in the bravest of ways. 

Help One Now is committed to caring for orphans & vulnerable children by empowering & resourcing high-capacity local leaders in order to transform communities & break the cycle of extreme poverty.

Real Hope India Still has opportunities to sponsor children for their tribal Christmas.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts, leave them in the comments. My intention is not to embarrass or alienate but to make us all take a breath and think about how we can do things different and love each other better. It wasn't sparked by one person but a series of events over the years.

As Always,


December 03, 2013

Shunning the Pinterest Perfect Title

I find it interesting that the term Pinterest has found its way past a title to an adjective. Recently, I read someone describe their nuptials as a “Pinterest wedding."

For those few who may not be familiar, Pinterest is a website where users set up “boards” (think, online bulletin board) and they “pin” ideas to their boards by saving photos with links to websites in order to access them later.

It's the electronic version of cutting out magazine articles to plan parties, try new recipes, shop for clothes, learn to organize or compile dieting tips.

Anything you would have had a subscription for is now online. Not only can you find a myriad of publication ideas, but online users can post their own ideas to share online. Anyone who “follows” you can also save your ideas for future use.

My boards have been a great tool for planning special events such as my clambake birthday and upcoming vow renewal.

I've used healthy eating ideas along with inspirational articles to improve areas in my life. It's as relaxing to me as flipping through a magazine, but easier to find my way back to ideas that interest me.

Along with this phenomenon, I've noticed an unwanted consequence: the feeling of inadequacy that seems to have crept up into the minds of dear women who already feel as if they don't measure up.

To be sure, this isn't a new thing. I remember feeling second class to my friend who planned meals and parties around her Martha Stewart Living magazines even before there was a television show. Although the ideas weren't her own, they seemed unique because not everyone had perused the latest issue.

Occasionally you might hear, “I saw that in Martha Stewart!” but not as often as I hear now, “You got that from Pinterest, didn't you?”

Years ago, a friend of mine designed a costume for a themed event. It was creative, humorous and showed off her talent. When we arrived at the party, someone had borrowed an authentic costume that was close to being over-the-top.

My friend refused to put on her creation. She told me, “If mine can't be the best, I won't even put it on.” I can't remember if she ever relented, but to this day I think about how that feeling seemed to put a damper on her fun.

“... always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.” Phil.4:8

We aren't called to be better than anyone else. Who sets the standard of “the best” anyway? As I watch women strive to prove their worth through their mad entertaining skills or decorating prowess or the ability to create delicious meals that are the envy of everyone around, it breaks my heart.

It takes me to the days where I never measured up to the standards that were set by those around me. I spent years believing I wasn't enough.

I wonder now, how many raves are really enough?

What number of compliments does it take to believe that as a mom, you have arrived.

What size dress must you wear to know you are enough of a woman?

You know what I've learned? Until you see yourself in the eyes of the One who made you in His image, you will never know what enough is. We not only owe it to ourselves to start seeing the truth of real beauty in every human, we owe it to each other to bring it out as well.

We would all profit from seeing true beauty and gifts in each other: the gift to forgive; the gorgeous pleasure of true joy; the infinite return of humility, wisdom and grace. Those are the things we ought to take notice of and encourage in our fellow humans.

When I think of encouragement, I think of my mom's favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:8, “... always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.”

These are the things we will do well to learn to see in each other and find the source of in ourselves.



This post originally appreard in my weekly column for The News-Review

You can follow me on Pinterest by using the link to the right.

November 13, 2013

On My Way to Finding God's Calling

Last week was the launch of a beautiful book written by a gutsy, brave, intelligent woman whom God has gifted with more than just a poetic style. She has a heart that follows hard after her Saviour and a life that is devoted to speaking love and life into the church, Christ's bride. She speaks into the need to bring healing to every place in the world that needs the hands and feet of Jesus. With a captivating title and a bright yellow cover, the inside holds the heart of a Saviour whose story has no gender.
Growing up watching my mom teach Sunday School, organize church dinners, oversee Vacation Bible School and serve on pulpit committees, I was still aware that this was all part of complimenting my dad in his roles as deacon or Sunday School superintendent. At the same time she raised four boys and a girl, kept up with the house and in our teen years was a leader for Bible Study Fellowship. As a woman she “had her place'.
To be clear, this was comfortable for my mom. She was able to serve in her full capacity in these positions, love my dad deeply and have an intimate relationship with her Saviour. She had no desire to preach or work outside the home. She was literally and figuratively a 50s housewife.
She was content there.
Even as a young girl I began to believe that my goal in life was to find a man to fall in love with. One who I would compliment, we would fit together like two pieces of a puzzle and ride off into the sunset together. As a teen, having a boyfriend was the validation I searched for over and over. When you believe that something or someone will make your life have meaning it becomes so very hard to do anything else. When everything weighs on who you are to someone else, that is where you focus. That is the path you pursue.
During my first year at a Baptist college there was an understanding that men were there for a bachelor's (there is a certain irony in that) and the women were pursuing their "MRS" degree.
I wanted to serve in the church so my plan was to study Christian Education. That was squelched when I was told they didn't allow women into that major. However, I could major in Religion with a minor in Education. After all, women could become teachers (which includes teaching young men, just not older men). I still wasn't given hope to have a future as a Christian Education director because they don't hire women to do that. (A year later they changed the rules. A friend of mine graduated with a Christian Ed degree.)
In the years that followed, instead of pursuing career goals, I pursued the one thing in life that I had been taught would make me whole. Even if it meant a relationship with an abusive person, it was better to be in a bad relationship than none. After all, that was what I was created for, right?
Eventually I found my way back to a purer faith. Through many trials I learned that the only relationship I was truly called to was the one I was created for and that was with my Creator. Everything else would become extra. A husband and children would be blessings, not goals to achieve.
My daily desire should be to find my wholeness in Him, not in another human. Our relationships with each other should be to speak His life to each person, remembering that He created them as well. When we get caught up in the details of marital status or gender we short change the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who need us.
This morning I woke up thinking of several women who I know live their lives in pursuit of Jesus. Some are divorced, a few never married, some widowed and others married. Their value isn't in their status. One is not less because of where she has been. They are all deeply loved because God created them for a relationship with Him yet the attitudes of so many in the church would diminish those women. Jesus doesn't diminish, He heals the hearts of His people even as they fight for a place to serve. Even as they are dismissed because of their gender. If we follow Jesus' example we will find ourselves sharing water at the well instead of whispering behind someone's back. We will allow women to be like Mary who sat at the feet of her Rabbi in a culture where women stayed in the kitchen. Women “with an issue” won't have to be embarrassed to seek His healing but will be ushered into His presence with hope.
To me it is no accident that we now serve at a church that espouses these same beliefs. Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. He tells us that the second is like it and that is to love our neighbor as ourselves. He doesn't detract from it by differentiating or dividing us up in class or status. In fact when He elaborates on what a neighbor is, He uses a parable that tells how religious folks passed by a wounded man and it was one who was considered an enemy who stopped to help.
As church leaders we are called to equip the saints. That would be all saints, not just married saints, parental saints, old saints or male saints. All means all. In that, no one is more worthy to serve than any other. There are souls waiting to be touched, to be fed, to be clothed, to have their thirst quenched or to be healed.
I see a movement coming and stirring side by side with those who seek the heart of Jesus to release us to love deeper. The walls are crumbling that were built out of fear and ignorance. They did not keep us safe. Instead, they held us back from discovering our God given purpose.
When they come down, my hope is that we will be able to see Christ, standing here in our midst. Let us draw near to Him as we love one another. As we make a way for our brothers and sisters to reach into this world without impediment. In humility, let us see one another as more important than ourselves.
Philippians 2:1 “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”.
In August I reviewed the book, “Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women. It was released last week and I couldn't be happier for Sarah Bessey but even more I am anxious for every one to take the time to read her words. To know better how the Bible speaks of God's love for me has released my heart from the walls created decades ago. I am beginning to understand that my giftings aren't left in the kitchen sink to soak off last night's dinner but are woven through the dailies as well as the extraordinary moments. Christa Pitcairn, a local pastor preached the sermon, “Singled Out in A Couple's World”. (I wrote about it here.) In it she asked, “When you know you are called to a platform ministry but no one has provided that place, are you willing to preach from the street corner?”
This is me, stepping onto my street corner, bring released and drenched in the Saviour's love. As I lean in and love my Creator and I learn to love others without man made boundaries, I am finding a joy unspeakable. As I experience what it means to live in His grace, as I allow it to pour through me to others, I am finding my freedom.
To be sure, Mom wanted me to be a loving wife and mother. Even deeper than that her desire was for me to find peace in the arms of our Saviour. Shouldn't that be our hope for all of His creation?



PS: This wasn't meant as another review or an advertisement for "Jesus Feminist" but what is written there was a catalyst and balm for this part of my journey.
You can purchase it here 

November 09, 2013

In the Morning Mercies

The first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes were the colors streaking over the trees. The painted sky shows through the branches. Just last week the amber leaves fell, opening the confines of our yard and stretching out the view into the surrounding mountains.
I shifted toward the french doors to soak in the beauty of a new day. Mindful not to wake my husband I took in the moment of quiet thoughts letting them settle into my soul. This life, this simple life that I lead is just a series of little lives stacked up day on day on day. Some accomplishments are in the series, some are in the moments.
A sunrise is a moment. It's so easy to think that there will always be another sunrise but none will ever be the same. Even in the few short moments it took for me to grab my camera, the sun had shifted through different clouds changing the lights, the colors and brush strokes in the masterpiece.
As a writer, I find myself trying to formulate my moments into thoughts. I wait for those who will be awake with me to see the wonder of a new day. It's a challenge but some times the moment is my own. It is meant to be captured in my own heart, in my own mind as God whispers into my soul. He says, "Today is a new day all its own. Drink it up. Be refreshed, cleansed and renewed in my love".
Then He spoke this, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22,23 ESV)
We don't have to go looking for His mercies. He brings compassion every day. He is faithful to carry us through every difficult, painful as well as unspeakable circumstance we will ever face. His love never ceases to bring grace into our lives.
My prayer is that I'll remember to quietly wake to see it and thank Him daily.



October 25, 2013

When It's Time to Tell the Story

I wanted to wait until I was at the end of my journey to write about this one. The problem with that is, this won't end until my life on earth is done. That will be the day I'll receive my heavenly body and the story that I am living now won't really matter.

It matters now so it is now I will begin the telling.

Food, weight, body image, diets, exercise and anything in between has been a life long battle. I attended my first "diet club" meeting at the age of 13 so it's fair to say that for thirty seven years I have waged war in some way or another. There has never been a moment when I didn't care but a million moments where I didn't know how to care. If you think about it, finding one answer to weight loss for every person on the planet hasn't been done. Because every body is created  in such a unique way and every human experience has fed into the problem the answer itself is personal.

In Facebook terms, my relationship status with food would look like this:

Of course that would apply to body image and a dozen other pieces of my life as well. I suppose it has been a long time coming but for my own body, my own spiritual, emotional and physical health, the knots of confusion began to unravel over the past few years.

As I try to figure out just where the beginning of this healing path began for me I'm finding that there has never been just one piece of the puzzle. There hasn't been one great epiphany or discovery. It is all part of the journey. I don't even know if it's a new path as much as a new portion of a very long path for me. Just as living an unhealthy life for so long and not knowing where to get off, this has been a slow road to health in which I am not sure just where I got on.

In fact, after years of taking "before" pictures, there isn't one for this. With countless photos that have no "after" I gave up on creating a line in the sand. After years of feeling like a failure weighed in on me heavier than the scale at the gym did, I wasn't willing to purposely document this one. This turned out to be a great decision because the one portrait I turn to for comparison can only show you my outside progress. What you can't see is that the joy of healing and grace and peace had already rooted so deeply in my heart that the smile in my eyes tells more than the size of my pants or my favorite grey sweater.

There are some significant moments along that way that I can point to in this road of change.

*A blood test that pointed to a pre-diabetic condition steered me away from eating certain food and in the path of healing nutrition.
*When the understanding of God's grace took deep root in my soul, I began to understand the freedom He intended to lavish on me from the beginning.
*The beauty of being His beloved overwhelmed my heart to settle into me the depth of His love and my worth in His eyes. It doesn't change with my eating habits or my size. It is a immovable and steadfast as His love for me.
*He used soul sisters to reveal the gift of food in ministry and community as we break bread together. Food He created is a gift we can share and the sacred ministry of sharing a meal with another being, if embraced, can bring unity and healing and strength.
*Perhaps writing An Open Love Letter (to My Own Body) helped me see things in a new light.

As in any place in our lives that demand growth, to be sure, there are things that I have had to give up. Anyone who tells you that you can attain health without giving up unhealthy habits is selling something  This is my Creator I am talking about. In the giving up of those things, I have opened up the space for experiencing life, not death.

Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Matthew 22:37,28 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.(Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment." 

Two of the many Scripture that have made this part of the path make sense. I'm a woman who needs direction and it is in the pages of God's Word that I find the most. After all, He created me for a relationship with Him and food to sustain this body so I can have a relationship with you.

While I still reside on earth, I don't expect there to be a true "after" but a I hope you don't mind if a few "during" shots show up here

 and there.



September 25, 2013

Where I Am From

Christmas Dinner
where I am showing off my new doll

I am from lunchboxes with glass thermoses
from smocked dresses and a canopy bed
I am from the one story ranch style 
the smell of baking cakes
 and the smell of anesthesia.
I am from the violet bed, bouganvilla and yucca
The maple tree whose long gone limbs 
I remember as if they were my own.
I’m from dinner at the kitchen table and five children 
from Ted and Evelyn
from Jim and Sharon
from George and Sophronia
I’m from Sunday Services and Revival meetings
and surgeries and Girl Scout meetings.
From playing in the schoolyard over the back fence
and football in the Autumn and baseball in the Spring.
I’m from “God is love” and “Love one another”
“Girls should be quiet”, “Why can't you sit still”
“What is that scar on your face?”
and “I'm A Little Teapot” 
I’m from road trip vacations in the south
I’m from Norwalk and The Cherokee and The immigrants
Mashed potatoes and Americanized enchiladas
From my grandmother who was adopted to save a failing marriage
in a time when it was just a legal contract.
From understanding the phrase
“Babies don't make good glue”
From mother who wondered if she was enough
having been born to a woman who felt that about herself.
From painted china in my antique hutch
From artwork on walls
From the hands of women who left beauty in
a world where doubt and hurt colored their lives. 



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