Monday, December 26, 2011

what we build

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.” __John Ruskin There are many things that a parent “builds” for a child…a physical edifice, I believe, the least of them. Our faith, belief, and love are at the top of the list. Anything we invest time and treasure into, will take root and grow. May our investments be those of eternal value, and not the things that can rust, rot, or be stolen from us. May those who come behind us find us faithful. g

Monday, September 19, 2011


In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

with you

“when the layers subside
and the fortune is empty
the pigment of our days
will echo pure
and I will be nowhere
if not with you”

Kylie Johnson,
Australian potter/poet

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My daddy built a bridge. It is a strong bridge with many yards of concrete, poured into its large forms; steel; and thick planks of wood treated to last a lifetime. My daddy built a bridge, a bridge to help us get to the other side of a creek that has the potential of raging like a river.

My daddy built a bridge. It was a strong bridge. It took years to build. It was made of faith, hard work, and self-sacrifice. It bridged from an old way of life (that had generations of poverty and addiction) to a new way of life (that centers on God, and education, and dreams).

My daddy has spent his life building bridges, and I am so thankful that he did.


Monday, May 16, 2011

happy anniversary, jon and em

My Jon and Em,
Happy, happy anniversary! I can’t believe that you are celebrating two years together today. Time flies. We’ll be saying the very same thing in ten years, twenty years, or thirty…time flies.

You’ve had two eventful years. You have already gone through many things that long-timed married couples have not had to face. In the years to come, who knows what will happen to the two of you…there will be very good times, and there will be unbelievably bad times, but I want you to remember that, through it all, you have each other and you have God. With that kind of support, you can face anything!

I hope your day has been lovely. I hope your next month will be better than you are anticipating, and I hope the next years will bring you, and those who are around you, great love and joy. Remember…true love never fails.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

in praise of moms

Today, I bless my mom, and every mom, who has/have:
* lived and died making life better for her children;
* stayed when staying is not the easiest thing to do;
* wished her children well…giving them permission to explore and grow;
* lived a life of purity and honor;
* made mistakes, and were quick to say, “I’m sorry;”
* mourned children lost and children found;
* seen potential in the tiniest of things;
* loves when loving hurts; and
* kept baking brownies to the very end.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for supporting me and loving me, no matter what,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

love never fails

Our Emily and Jon have been married for nearly two years. Like all life events of great consequence, it seems like yesterday that Jon joined our family…but it also seems as if he has been a part of us forever.

I have to be honest, I was not very excited (or supportive) when the two of them announced their intention to marry in just a few months time. Emily had so many plans for her life (many that would take her far away), and I just didn’t see a man (husband) dropping his life and helping her achieve those dreams. I thought it would better to get all of that out of the way and then get married, but they didn’t see it my way at all…and in a few months’ time, they were married.

It was a beautiful day…the day they were married….God blessed it with family and friends. This was the song Emily walked down the aisle to…with Loyd and me on each side, “giving her away”:

Love Never Fails
Brandon Heath

Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most

Love does not run
Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside

Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you

Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time

Love will protect
Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don’t

Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you

When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

Love is right here
Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life

Love is the river than flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you.

Jon and Emily are about to finish a year in Phillidelphia…the place she wanted to go to work on her master’s degree. They are looking for a place to go for her internship (probably Haiti or Rwuanda). She is realizing her goals, and Jon has been with her every step of the way. He left his life…for a much more difficult life…and he has done it with the grace of God’s love…that Love that never fails….

Thank you, Lord, for sending Jon our Emily’s way. Thank you for giving her someone who wants to share in her life, in such a way, that is helping her become what you created her to be. Thank you for the way your love is, at times, so unexpected, but just exactly what we need…you never fail.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

life's not perfect

I wrote this entry a year ago, and I’ve just come upon it. It seems to speak my heart today.

Life’s not perfect…not exactly a news flash for those of us who have been “around the block…and back”…, but it does seem to be part of the human psyche to try get life as comfortable as possible. Maybe, though, it is in discomfort in life that, how shall I say it…makes the pearl grow in the oyster…

What about those of us who strive for perfection…in a world where perfection is as alien as pigs flying? I wonder how much of my life has been fettered by my desire to be perfect.

I recently read these words written by Canadian poet/songwriter, Leonard Cohen

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget you perfect offering

There’s a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

My sister can no longer “ring the bells” of her life on this earth. She was so focused on the “perfect offering,” that I think she felt she always fell short. I have always felt that I fall short…until my fifties, and now I am trying to wrap my expectations of myself (and the expectations that other people have for me, I for them) in a realistic place around the real truth of the matter. The real truth being that the only person’s opinion that I need to be concerned about is that of God. He wants me to give him all that I have (as paltry as it seems), so that his light can shine through.

Another Canadian poet, Mary Oliver, asks this pointed question:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I must say, the past few years have been wild…and life, though far from perfect, is much more precious than ever.

keep me remembering,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

kiss your life

“Kiss your life. Accept it just as it is. Today. Now. So that
those moments of happiness you’re waiting for do not pass you
by. Kiss your life. Today. Now. Just as it is.”

I found this quote on someone’s blog. It was printed on a canvas that the writer displays in her home. I don’t know who said it…but it speaks to me.

When a significant someone (or something…like a dream or an idea or a belief) leaves, you have to reevaluate life…you have to refocus. You can (probably will) go through depression…you can question the need to go on with life as usual…The thinking might be: “If this can happen once, it can happen again.” “What’s the use?”

Anything becomes possible…especially the unspeakable…the things of nightmares and worst case scenarios. The monster is under your bed…there is a big, deep, black hole waiting to gobble you up….

So much of life consists of searching for the gold at the end of the rainbow….The “If I could just make (win) this much money....” “If I could just get this…go here…go there.” If I had just married that person (or not married this person).” “If I could move.” “If I could stay.” “If I had done this.” “If I had not done that.” “If we had only known….” This kind of thinking can multiply quickly in times of trouble…in times of life and death…

I have found that the sooner I accept life as it is…warts and all…looking not for that which is perfect, but for that which is sustaining…
like: time with family, a child’s genuine enjoyment of little things, learning something new, God’s presence…These small, quite things of life have made my heart smile again…. Not for long. Not forever. But for today. For now. I’m trying to learn to kiss my life again.


Monday, January 17, 2011

not as it should be

Today, I wrote to the family of a young man, who is fighting for his life, in a hospital, after a traumatic car wreck:

I have been reading Mary Beth Chapman’s new book, Choosing to See. She and her husband, Steven Curtis Chapman, lost a five year old daughter, when their 17 year old ran over her with his car two and half years ago. Her new book chronicles their family’s journey through the shock and grief. It spoke to me in the place I’m in.

She sites a quote from CS Lewis:

“We’re not necessarily doubting the God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

This is a song that she and her husband co-wrote:

“This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We'll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control.”

I’m adding this, here on my blog:
So much of what happens to us, this side of heaven, is puzzling and painful. “Why, God, why?” we ask. “Why, does it have to be this way?” The truth is, though, bad happens…very bad happens…but our trust is in our God who has control of everything… the waves in the ocean…the sun’s rise and set…even life’s circumstances that take our breath away…Our God is in control…even when it is not as it should be.

Thank you, God,