My Life Is His Answer

God answers prayer.

He uses the answer itself,
When it comes, to
Comb my heart and tease out the snarls.
Always, always.

His answer and my repentance –
One brings the other as sure as a
Baby’s head at my shoulder
Invites a storm of kisses.

The enemy of my soul feeds on my heart-snarls
Rasping in my ear that all I have done before
Is empty.

His accusations are exact, a perfect recitation
Of my rankest hidden moments.
But he is so very limited in his conclusions.
He takes the pieces, but
Fails utterly at the point of ‘Therefore, . . .’
And isn’t that the magic of the gospel,
That the enemy is right,
But I’m still not condemned.

The Lover, the Answerer, breaks in and speaks
Even as He answers my prayer,
He fills all I did before with
Himself. And so His
Good answer, the fruit I bear, is whole and

His answer and my life are
The same thing.


April on Woodland Street


Getting Merried

In June, our daughter and her love will be
Merried! We attendants will merry them as they
Promise to
Merry each other
‘Til death does them part.

As busy as I’ve been, working toward the merry day,
It wasn’t real to me until my friends
Gave a tea and
Made it so –

Sabbath afternoon, when mind and body
Long only for green pastures and still waters,
My church sisters,
In high heels,
Decorated and celebrated my daughter’s
With me. For us.

I’ve been to teas and showers, and the
Stuff on the tables is fascinating
In the abstract.
Oh, what a beautiful painting by Anna.

But these things, this painting,
This towel, were for my daughter
(six-weeks-old in her pink onesie, surely)
In her St. Elmo home.
With her husband. Her husband.

It’s very different.

The groom’s grandmother Mary,
While carrying a table, asked
‘Could I be part of the second load going home?’
Adding even more muscle and sacrifice.

There is nothing fragile about tea-givers;
They are giving life
More than I ever understood
Until my own child was the merried one.

My friends. They make me merry.  ~

Tea-givers                                                             A guest of honor

Lovely touches



Little Thoughts While Andrew’s In St. Louis And I’m Waiting For The Storm

~ While exercising one day, a tatted gent sidled up with an I-know-you look and said,
Hey, aren’t you Lucky’s ex-wife?”
I am not making this up.
I stuttered out, “No, I’m Andrew’s wife.”
And he nodded knowingly, “Oh, you’re with Andy now!”
I know I don’t look like a magazine while exercising, but I wept that I looked like I could have been married to, and divorced from, someone named Lucky. And was the tatted gent implying that in his humble opinion Lucky was lucky because I was his ex? Was he that subtle? I realized that Tat Gent probably told his boys at the parlor that night that he had run into Lucky’s ex and she’s with Andy now and he always knew she was trash. I ended up really resenting Lucky for putting me through this.

~ I watched a woman chew her gum today. She was the kind who chews gum with her whole face. Mesmerizing.

~ Speaking of faces, when you are making a joke with your high school students and say, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” and then blush because that strikes a little too close to home. And they haven’t read The 3 Little Pigs anyway.

~ Speaking of hair, the current enormous triangular eyebrow trend?? I grew up in the days of Brooke Shields, so I’m all for a healthy eyebrow. But this?

~ Speaking of trends, I saw a tiny undergarment recently – I won’t say where – that had a tag on it that was bigger than the tiny undergarment. Which led me to an existential flight of fancy in which the tag was the product and the tiny undergarment was the tag, and it was entirely plausible.

~ Speaking of seeing a tiny undergarment and not saying where, I visited my kids recently and enjoyed the college rhythm of life. Time is different there. It’s the equivalent of coming through a toll gate into the broad area where there are no lanes quite yet. And it’s a wild free-for-all! Drive here, drive there, roll down the windows and holler. No wonder they have such joy and unique productivity.  They’re incredibly busy, but days and nights mean different things to them than they do to the rest of the world.

~ Speaking of college kids, they have no money. They really don’t. However, they somehow afford the following: a special razor ordered online that is heavy as Grandma’s silver and so, so good for the skin (Amazon suggests you also buy Harry and Co’s herbal shave lotion ((get it? Harry? Hahaha)); a combo color-changing nightlight/essential oil diffuser that will open the sinuses and decrease anxiety; the kitchen hand soap from Mrs. Meyers in spa scents that I crave but settle for Sam’s; Tresemme, Cetaphil, organic vegetables, quinoa, almond milk, almond butter, Rewind candles for the talking area, and Netflix. Hmmm. Essential oil to diffuse the anxiety that comes from being broke which comes from shopping for things to deal with the anxiety that comes from being broke . . .

~ Speaking of anxiety, I ran up against a challenge today. Said to myself, “You are a hero and life’s about figuring it out.” It worked!

~ Speaking of figuring it out, actually, God figured it out, or was never stumped to begin with. He started the lawn mower for me on the third pull. My first two pulls had no effect on the machine whatsoever.

~ Speaking of mowing the lawn, today was a valuable day. While waiting for the storm to arrive I figured out how to work the Coleman camp stove, ground enough coffee for two days (Wyatt Pettus, you have two days to fix my power lines if they go down tonight, and your bum shoulder is no excuse), filled the car with gas, gathered candles, stocked up on healthy snacks, heroically walked right past the Utz Cheeseballs in the huge container and if anything screams buy-the-cheeseballs an imminent apocalypse does, went for a walk, and am now officially ready for the storm.

~ Speaking of healthy, a friend and I agreed at barre last night that after this amount of time doing barre, we expected to look different. We still look like us.

~ Well, that’s about it except that as I sit here and wait for the storm, I can see all sorts of grass sprigs I missed in my character-building mowing. Grrrrr.

Food righteousness!                            Youtubing “How to start a Coleman stove.”