Song To Keep On Walking This Side Of Heaven

Your statutes have been my songs

in the house of my sojourning.” Psalm 119:54

Yes, Lord, that your word would be my song, 

That I would sing your word as I quarter in this house, 

That your word would last longer in me than even I do,

That you, your name, would receive bright glory 

As your words are sung in notes over the reaches of the earth.

That those who grieve with tears today

Would find those very tears turn to healing ointment,

Filled with You.

That doubts would be exposed as the enemy’s 

Faulty weapons, dulled and off-mark.

And may your words be my songs

In the house of my sojourning.


Another Great Thing About AirBnB (And Beanie Babies)

Two blonde buttercups from
Topeka stopped in last night,
Ages Two and Four,
With all of life’s accompanying
Highs and Lows. Bless it!
This adult home rang with
Little beings, who wanted salad
And didn’t want salad,
Who followed their hearts and scampered
Diaper-free for a little minute,
Who intuitively embraced
The magic in a bag full of
Beanie Babies – my one ace to help
Them through their 5:15 dinner hour.
The bag held frogs, rabbits,
Fish, bears, puppies, pigs, and
Species indeterminate.

Two hours later, while we dined on our
Thai curry to saxophone covers,
And Topeka Mom and Dad had
Wilted into bed, done for the day,
A little popsicle-pajamaed
Inquisitor came exploring.
Golden hair awry, carrying her pink ‘wee,’
She simply materialized, a personality,
A being intact,
And sat on my lap and discussed life.
Memories, voices, of my three dark-haired
Loves who
Rode their own highs and lows
Within these walls.
And Oh, their babies yet to come.

Time is a trickster. All is gone so quickly,
And all is just ahead.

When the buttercups headed out
To see Grandma at the beach,
And I went back to clean the rooms,
Beanie Babies,
Each to their kind, reposed
In rows
Against the pillows.

Such thought
Went into their placement
I want to leave them –

Beanie Babies ordering their world.



Watching The Cross

Not often, but stunningly when it happens,
I see a minute of Jesus on the cross.
My grief for Him is limited because
I am not gripped as He was with
The joy set before Him.

And as for God watching His Son
Bleed and tremble and anguish,
That does get me closer to
What it cost Him.

I had a dream last night that the
Bad Guys of Dreamland (you know them)
Had come and cut off Will’s fingers.
He was kneeling
On the kitchen floor, bleeding,

And somehow as I absorbed his pain
Into my heart, this weird dream knit
Me together with my Heavenly Father
As He willed and watched the cross.

And it made me love Him.

What It Is To Be A Mother

On becoming a mother
I contract to:

Exchange my nerves for your peace;
Give my body to yours;
Lay down my time to decorate yours;
Day-labor for your future so it’s ready when you get there;
Feed your heart with Truth, and your mind with Good,
And your body with health;
Stay awake when you are sick in body, or soul;
Wait restlessly for your whispered ‘Hey, I’m home’;
Sleep lightly when you sleep;
Feel every one of your slings and arrows first, for you,
Dream for you when you don’t know how to,
Understand you always,
Learn to listen to you,
Cheer for the smallest big accomplishments,
Toddle beside you and laugh and cry,

And to feel like all of this
Is the best present I’ve ever received,
Better than a day spa,
A lottery win,
A title,
An honors stole around my neck.

Thank you. For being born.


Prayers On The Eve Of Hard Things


Lord, I call out to your steadfast love,
To the honor of your name,
To the might of your arm,
To the rebuke of your enemies,
To your love that leads through deserts,
Foes, floods.
I look to your face as you see my distress,
To your ear as you hear my cry,
To your heart as you remember your covenant,
To your arms as you enfold me in steadfast love,
To your skin, very skin, of compassion, of pity.
You, O Lord, are the Amen and the Holy, the
Holder of Tomorrow. In those same hands,
Cup my thankful praise of
Your goodness.

A Teacher’s Reward (And A First Attempt At Rap)

Wearing my Madewells
Trying to stay well,
I know I’m paid well;
These kids behave well.
I make their brains swell,
That’s what their grades tell.

But that’s not all,
Sweet babies hearts are tall.

In their faces
A world of patience,
And expectation.
I’ll sit beside them,
Point, and guide them,
“That’s where we’re going.
Fast or slowing,
I’m going with you,
Make sure you get through.”

But that’s not all,
Sweet babies, you won’t fall!

Think all you’re learning,
As earth is turning,
And every sunrise
Broadens your eyes,
Now you can say that
North is that way,
You did not know that

And that’s not all.
Keep going, that’s not all.

You don’t believe me,
But I’m here already.
In tomorrow
There is a hollow,
A seat with your name,
A need for your flame.
You will be perfect!
No one else fits it;

World’s not right ’til you’re in it.

Your Cullman Ambassadors To The Winter Games: Departure Day

We are not actually going to PyeongChang; we are going to Roscommon, Michigan for a 30-year anniversary cross-country ski trip. But we do expect a call from the Olympics just anytime when they see clips of us on the trail. At the very least, for the first time in our adult lives, we will watch the Olympics and not feel the couch-guilt of underachievers.

But first, a few shout-outs.  Hello to our Covenant Group who foresee all sorts of tendon damage. So far, so good! We haven’t torn our ACLs getting the suitcases out. Hello to the 9th – 12th graders at Cullman Christian School! Woohooo, y’all! Check the live webcam on Thursday and Friday.  I’ll be the one in the purple jacket on the ground. Now, get on with vocab.  Thank you to Morgan Moore and Rachel Eidson at Elevate Barre for training me for this endeavor. I’ll be repping the studio with my hard-won cap! Hello to our 5 children/spouse/fiance who for some reason think we are going to die on this trip. This is not downhill skiing so our chances of death, at least in my inexperienced surmising, should be significantly lower. We will google the difference in black bear versus brown bear protocol before we head out and try to get it right should the panicked moment arise. Hypothermia won’t be a problem which you’ll see when I describe our packing. What else? Dehydration? Snow is water, right??

So we are packing today. We’ve been told that cross-country skiing is very hard and exhausting and we will be drenched with sweat, so dress in layers that can be removed. In fact, we are evidently supposed to be cold when we start out. I don’t like being cold, so that advice will be hard to heed. We’ve also been told that we will fall down a lot and that our inner thighs will be crippled in pain on day 2 from maneuvering 7-foot skis as we try to get back up. I doubt the 9 Oaks motel in Grayling, MI has a resident masseuse, but I could be wrong. I hope I am.

Ok, then. Layers. That simply means bring everything we own. We did buy some neat little tubes of fabric called Buffs that can be worn in 12 different ways and look all manner of cool. Not on us, but on the models in the video tutorial.

Our dining plans include Spike’s Keg O’ Nails in Grayling every night because look at it! Vietnamese in Indy, Middle Eastern in Dearborn.

Oh, our pets. Could someone please come feed . . . wait, WE DON’T HAVE ANY! HAHAHAHA.

Today we leave. We will hit Indianapolis, IN; Roscommon, MI; Detroit, MI; Cincinnati, OH, and then back to good old Cullman.

And if that lineup doesn’t strike you as totally romantic then I don’t know what would.