Tuesday, October 28, 2014

That Small Seed

I gave this day to God 

I gave this day to God when I got up, and look,
look what it birthed! There, up the hill, was

the apple tree, bronze leaves, its fallen apples
spilling richly down the slope, the way God spilled

his seed into Mary, into us. In her the holy promise
came to rest in generous soil after a long

fall.  How often it ends in gravel, or dry dust.
Blackberry patches thorny with distraction. Oh,

I pray my soul will welcome always that small
seed. That I will hail it when it enters me.

I don't mind being grit, soil, dirt, mud-brown,
laced with the rot of old leaves, if only the seed

can find me, find a home and bear a fruit
sweet, flushed, full-fleshed -- a glory apple.

                                                       Luci Shaw

Friday, October 4, 2013

Remembering Transplant Day

Cord blood, a nameless gift of deep, dark purple made its way slowly into my son's soft, five year old arm, while on his bed a toy train traced an oval track, blowing smoke for show. With unveiled irony, a massive oak dressed Caleb's window with perfect red leaves -- pretty and poised to fall.

Today, a melancholy song blows in quietly with the autumn breeze. I remember holding hope then. Then great lament. Lament, but then, not without Great hope. Wind and sky, even sidewalk trees with gilded leaves re-sound notes low and deep, like witnesses or companions to costly things I store and ponder. And I am not afraid to remember this day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

lovely gifts

These beauties are 13! Emma and Amanda bless me every single day with their love, humor, insight, creativity, and helpfulness. The light in those blue eyes spill over with the sweetest grace. I love you, my girls.

Friday, June 15, 2012

a slow summer day

Lucia and I poked around the yard snipping flowers and filling small vases while Gypsy (our border collie) and June finally made nice. After chasing bugs and hopping through bushes, one tired out kitty made her way to my bed, and there she is now -- curled up like a snail on a feather cloud. Hmmm. Maybe I should go wake her up or tonight won't be quite so peaceful. Steve and the girls think it's funny how I dote, seeing that I don't like cats and all. :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meeting June

Emma has checked kitten books out for months. Very serious naming discussions and downright harassment of this NON-cat person has finally resulted in a kitten named June joining our crazy crew. :) This summer promises to be full of long, happy visits with family and friends. Can't wait! My dear in-laws are in town for a couple of weeks and have enjoyed kid's recitals, tea parties, nature hikes, and a day at the shore. This next week, another recital, a treck to Mt. St. Helen's and the Portland farmer's market. Berry season in the NW really is something to look forward to and Oregon strawberries in June can't be beat (except by raspberries in July and blueberries in August). Am I tempting you to visit? Hope so! I think I might just snap out of my blog comma even!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

be back soon...

Steve has the week off work! Yay! This little blogito is going on breakito!

Friday, March 16, 2012


{A moss covered plum tree dips blushing blossoms outside our picture window.}

A couple of things have been needling me since I shared the story of my faith in crisis (here). There is, as there always is, a broader scope to the story but things can only be written by bits, as I have time and brain space. Grace transformed me during that time in a way that eludes my attempts to tell. In retrospect, I view the timing of that spiritual free fall as His kindness because it was during a season of safety, when Caleb was still well and before stronger torrents. That slippery mire of despair and doubt His hand rescued me from? Well, it was over. Settled. Not that I wouldn't ,or don't, wrestle with trusting Him but it was as if He reassured my spirit with a rainbow of promise that I would never again be at that place of extreme doubt. No matter how dark the valley, how crippling the hardship, I would not suffer such disbelief. Not because I am faithful, but because He is. And throughout Caleb's great suffering, in my grief, and amidst all other trials, faith remains. God is profoundly good.

In a different post I wrote that He does not give us a stone for bread as we ask of Him. When the answer feels and seems to me very much a stone, I can know there is a more real knowledge that Christ Himself is my bread. He answers with Himself. Poured out, broken, and risen. This is how the gospel goes deeper and deeper into my soul. From impossible stone to living Bread. No pat answer, but a Person. I AM. I don't need to understand, I worship. His beauty, so ravishing, makes even rocks cry out.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Grandpa was in the Pacific Theater in WWII and received a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. For twenty five years, he coached varsity basketball at Northern Arizona State University while raising my dad and his sister, Patty. After my grandmother passed away, he met Sonya, his darling wife, at the mailbox (we had fun teasing them about this) and she made his last years sparkle with her delightful humor and warmth.

There was brief recognition as my parents held his hand and sat with him Saturday afternoon. For the last three days and nights, my dad stayed at his side, reading, praying and gently talking of life... In the night, he slipped away...

There is everything and nothing to say. What peace that all things are in God's hands.

Monday, March 12, 2012

meeting Emily...

"Who are all these wonderful people in your life?" inquired a new friend the other day. I had to smile. It's true! The frosting of my life is thick, rich friendship. Like a crown of wild flowers, each one is an interwoven story of grace.

Kindly indulge a little reminiscing story then, as I tell of how I met my friend Emily over fifteen (FIFTEEN!) years ago...

It was a meeting of hearts. My mom still claims the credit, and I won't disagree for, indeed, as mothers always are, she was perfectly right. She met Mark and Emily, this "cute couple" on Sunday morning, after their class had wrapped up and a mingling handful gathered around my parents, the missionaries to Russia now home for their grandson's (Caleb's) precarious birth. They introduced themselves and bantered about missions a bit, about Emily's sister, Michelle, who was then in Nepal, also with TEAM (their mission organization). Mom promptly decided to inquire if they had dinner plans. She's emphatic that her match making decision was, in fact, immediate -- before a word was spoken.

Plopping her purse and then herself on the couch, Mom cheerfully (and cheekily) announced that we would be having dinner guests and I might as well not give her that look because she simply knew we would be fast friends. She had a feeling.

Emily surprised herself by tearing up while helping to set the table. Not because our table was grand but the reverse, in its simplicity. Having married and moved from Colorado six months prior, life in Arizona (well, in Scottsdale, an affluent city where they attended church) so far hadn't remotely resembled the nourishing, "earthy" home culture she'd left behind. A pot of white chili and corn bread centered our old oak table like the yellow of a daisy. Something there, amidst honest food and conversation strummed familiar and lovely tears sprung to her eyes. What I adored (and recognized) was that Emily did not hide them but rather expressed her thought and allowed us to enter her feeling. I loved her instantly from the heart. I glanced at my mom. How do mothers do that? That evening we laughed, passed the honey, shared our sweet baby boy's story, passed the butter, learned about their families and ladled more than bowl and belly to the brim.

Lord God of us

"Were our mouths were filled with a singing like the sea, and our tongues awash with song, as waves-countless, and our lips to lauding, as the skies are wide, and our eyes illumined like the sun and the moon, and our hands spread out like the eagles of heaven, and our feet as fleet as fawns. Still, we would not suffice in thanking you, lord God of us and God of our fathers, in blessing your name for even one of a thousand, thousand, from the thousands of thousands and the ten thousands of ten thousands of times you did good turns for our fathers and for us". (Excerpt from The New American Haggadah)

Haggadah means telling --the story of the Exodus that is read aloud every year at the Passover to commemorate the Israelites delivery from slavery.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

song in the night...

For 231 days, terrorists held my dad in captivity on the other side of the world. Waiting for news laced hope with dread since news translated to wild demands and threats. The psalmists words nourished us day and night. Waiting on the Lord is difficult work. To be still and know that He is God, rather than wringing our hearts, does not come naturally to me. I'm still amazed, then, how singing in the very face of terror, is a flame that spreads peace and strength. It blazes deep within and without, proclaiming love and truth to my soul while surrounding us with flames that cannot be overcome by arrows of fear and doubt.

"On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night,
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I stay close to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm. 63:6-8

Wherever we are today, whether within the surging storm or upon a day of gentle breeze, let us sing in the shadow of His wings... As for me, I want to remember that while the world can understand praise in fair weather, it is confounded by sounds of adoration when all seems lost. May the call ring true and clear...come join the song of sinners and angels...

Praise to our glorious King!

Monday, March 5, 2012

in prayer...

As we spend the next days, awaiting our young friend, Thomas', CT scan on Wednesday and Mark's procedure on Monday, we are intensifying intercessory prayer. Join us? Knowing that God goes before them, that they are His and He is theirs is a deep, abiding comfort. We long to co-labor with them, to shoulder their burden. To labor and pray. (Ora et labora). Oh Lord, have mercy...

My unbelieving grandfather, today is being moved to my aunt's home in Arizona, away from his sweetheart wife, Sonya, so that hospice care may be provided during his last days upon this earth. He is suffering greatly, in body and soul. Please pray, friends.My dad will be flying out to sit with him, to comfort and to tell, again, the beautiful story of grace. So we pray, Lord, have mercy...

While physical distance feels vastly limiting, and despite my weak-willed nature, I turn to a realm more real than eyes can see. In prayer, I want to be found faithful. In this too, Lord have mercy...

I know even as I ask, that He IS full of mercy, He has always been merciful, and that He assuredly will be, so these days I petition His mercy even as I thank Him for it.

He does not give His children a stone for bread...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lulu's vocabulary list

The world is her oyster, no doubt. Never short on words, we think Lucia's language spins are very clever (we might be a wee biased) and too funny!

smooshmallows = marshmallows

jumpoline = trampoline

yoyuck = yogurt

hunkacheese = slice of cheese "Mom, I'm hungy, can I have a hunkacheese, pweese?"

snugglufugus = "Mom, will you cuddle me? You can be my snugglufugus!"