first thing



“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.   And the virgin’s name was Mary.   And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!””
~Luke 1:26-28~

Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!


O favored one

the Lord is with you!



I want to receive the gift of routine in my life.  Nothing crazy.  Nothing overwhelming.  Just some basic training.  Likewise I hope to encourage the kids to receive this gift with me, to teach them and give them the joy of stability.

We started small.  First thing when we get up in the morning–splash our faces with water.  Water blesses.  Water restores.  Water gives life.

Now I’m ready for the day.

After about a month of this I felt ready to add something.  Habits take time to establish, after all.  So once I get out of bed, I suppose that’s where it really begins, I go into the bathroom and splash my face with water.  Then I go to the kitchen and drink.

I drink a glass of water.

Now, not only has water touched me and blessed me, but now upon drinking, the water has entered me.  The waterfall of liquid life has filled me.  Now I am ready to go into all the world, to fill the earth, to bless, to give the cup of cold water to the little ones awake.

And then I read this verse again of Mary with the angel.  The first thing he says to her blows me out of the water.  It happens like that.  You read something a hundred times and never notice it.  Then you read it again and Good God Almighty like an angel there it is.

I begin again and start there.

“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

 Yes, my Lord.

Everyday anew.  Everyday again.

Let it be to me as You have said.



A long time ago, in a memory far, far, away, a band of sisters started a band.

We called ourselves The Mountain View Girls.

We wrote and sang songs about mountains and peace and where love can be found.

The youngest and oldest recently composed our latest hit.


The Nile
(sung to the made up tune of a folksy-like country song)

Down by the riverside
I told him
He didn’t have to hide from me
Anymore, Anymore.

He said
Hey girl don’t you know
Your lion ways’ll have to go
My heart can’t take these silly games
from you
Anymore, Anymore

Let’s run from south to north my friend
These uphill battles cannot send
Us tumblin’ down this way again
you see
Anymore, Anymore

Now Jack and Jill go forth for more
Go fetch your love from yonder shore
And live in peace inside the door
of Love
Evermore, Evermore




My brothers make me laugh.

They provide the much needed comic relief.  They do it without even meaning to–just being themselves.

We sit here long past bedtime.  It’s been a long day–the good kind of long– of resting and family time and talking and power outages.

Now it’s time for a movie and no one can decide what to watch.  It’s been twenty minutes.  The Netflix is endless.

“We’ve got to choose wisely!”, my brother declares as he maneuvers the remote control.  “We’re talking the next two hours of our lives!”

That’s what I’m talking about.

the night before

“Something’s not right.”

The kids are in bed.  Advent is done.  The house is a mess–a blessed mess.

Man and wife are exhausted.  We’re not connected.  We haven’t been.  It’s been too long.

The clocks strikes midnight.

It’s all a blur.  The words.  The actions.  The throws.  The strike outs.

The missed communication.

The great misunderstanding.



The man lays lifeless on the couch.

I stand at the doorway, the threshold of hope.

This is not about me.  This cannot be about me.

“What is it?,” I ask,  “What did I do?  What can I do?”

Tell me what’s wrong.  Tell me what you need.  

“You…I just need to know you like me.”

The man whispers, pleads with final breath.

I’m confused.

Does he not know?  Has he not heard?

I stand firm in the dining room doorway.  I scramble for words.

I have an idea.

“Tell you what.  Five days.  Let’s take five days.  I’ll try extra hard to do things that tell you and show you I like you.  Then, at the end of each day, you can try extra hard to see that I like you, to write down the ways that I show you.  We can work on this together.”

He doesn’t move.

What’s the matter with me?  This isn’t working.  Nothing is working.

I don’t understand.

Isn’t this what he wanted?


Not right now.

He doesn’t have the strength.  He doesn’t have the will.  He doesn’t have the heart to work anymore, to try anymore.

He tries again–

“I just need assurance. I just need you to love me.”

I’m standing still in the doorway, staring at the lifeless man.

His words carry me over the threshold.

Why am I still standing in the doorway?

I’m here.  He’s there.

Of course.  OF COURSE.



I run.

I run to hold him, to heal him.

We don’t need to do anything–we’re together now, connected now.

The man is still lifeless, but now he’s not alone, now he’s lifeless next to me.

Now he knows.

The man lays with his wife and now he knows.

Now he knows he can breathe again.








winter wonderland


“God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend.  For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’  And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’”
~Job 37:5-6~

Even the wind and the waves obey Him.

I ponder the thought in my inner storehouse.  Daddies and children play outside in the season’s first snowfall.  Our family rests away from home in the comfort of family.  I feel my immune system giving way, fighting holiday excess of sugar and stress.  I sip warm elixir prepared by my sister.  Christmas songs fill the air as the pagans declare the glory of God.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.