Looking Up


I am indebted to my son, Jeremy Parker, for receiving this image.  Thank you for looking up.

” Each one of us somewhere, somehow, has known, if only for a moment or so, something of what it is to feel the shattering love of God, and once that has happened, we can never rest easy again for trying somehow to set that love forth not only in words, myriads of words, but in our lives themselves…we have scarcely any choice but to go on trying no matter what, and there is much that is beautiful and brave and true about it. Yet we must remember this other word too: “Unless you turn and become like children …. “-Originally published in The Magnificent Defeat by Frederic Buechner

We are hours away from the beginning of Advent.  My practice this year will be to record my journey here.  Jeremy’s picture helps me see new wonder and light looking not just through this piece of stained glass at my kitchen window, but following as it points upward to the light, helping me turn and become like a child in the expectant waiting of Advent.

Unbroken Peace




Two of our granddaughters have been with us this week.   Maddie and Jordann fill the house and our hearts with energy and laughter.  They love playing with their cousin Skye,  being in our garden, feeding the fish, gathering herbs, picking flowers, and tending plants.  Maddie helped me make pumpkin waffles. Jordann drew everyone’s picture.  We sang songs from The Sound of Music and then watched the movie.  They love to play board games with Joe and me.  They like to take out the Story Cube box and make up stories from the picture cubes.  But they didn’t even know what a powerful story they were telling when I took these photographs.  They asked to visit our church’s prayer garden, so we did.  In one corner of that garden is a bench and a sandy area that contains 12 smooth stones and a clay marker engraved with the word “Peace.”  When we arrived on this afternoon, one of the first things they saw and exclaimed about was that the marker was broken.

As I watched, Maddie put the pieces back together and smiled as she read “peace.” Then they began picking up the river stones and trying to dust the sand and gravel off, but decided to take them over to the small stream nearby and dip them in the flowing water. One at a time, the stones were washed and brought to put in a circle around the Peace marker.


When all 12 stones were clean and in place, I asked them if they would like to use the stones to help them say what they are thankful for.  Without a moment’s hesitation, each girl walked the circle, saying, “I am thankful for…”  They named each other,  their Daddy and Mommy, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, their cat and dog and home, the trees and flowers.

Their story is fresh and new, because they are. But it is also an ancient story, one that speaks of acknowledging brokenness, restoration, transformation, and redemption.  And that this prompts deep gratitude.

I am thankful for unbroken peace.   And Maddie and Jordann.


Sunsets and Sonnet 73

Today is my birthday, and I almost missed one of my gifts!  While I was thinking about how many sunsets and sunrises I have been gifted in 73 years, I almost failed to go outside and witness the blaze of glory that is today’s sunset.  We do that, don’t we?  We busy ourselves with good thoughts and activity and miss the glory of what is happening right this minute.  I am thankful for every day and every blessing I have been given.  But I want to practice being present in the moment that will pass forever if  I don’t (in Mary Oliver’s words) pay attention, be astonished and tell about it.  Today’s sunset will be remembered, but the gift it has given me is more than its beauty.  Help me, Lord, to celebrate the now.031

That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73)   William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
 This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
 To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Don’t Let Love Lose


don’t let love lose

because of tripping and stumbling

don’t let light die

though it may flicker

as petals shatter

and thorns bring blood,

don’t let the rose die from drought

let it bud again with fragrant bloom


let healing happen

I choose you again

let love win