Stacking Stones {A Day in Sedona…with Video!}

CousinsatCathedralRock2We step out from under the canopy of trees to an open expanse of rock, a solid place to stand and admire the formations over our heads. At the side, creek water rolls over boulders and skitters through, continuing its slow chisel into the earth. I tip my head back, squint my eyes and look up to take in the work of ancient winds and waters, art sculpted out of red sandstone.

Who knows how it was decided which parts of the rock would stay and which ones would float away? Whatever the give and take, the layers that lasted stand now as jagged steeples pointing up in an uncluttered sky.

No wonder the people call this place Cathedral Rock. Continue reading

Burn Out vs. Everlasting Light


I’m burned out again on man-made things, the light of screens that trigger something in my brain or my self-esteem and keep me up at night thinking, thinking, thinking, spinning in mental circles, striving in thought, my imagination making up new ways I’m lacking or overlooked.

For all the good in my social media (picture social justice insights, ways to simplify my life, happy news about a friend’s cancer going into remission, and video footage of my brother rocking out to a radio fanny pack), time spent there often clouds my life with problems in the world that I can’t fix, arguments I can’t win, prolific peers I wish I could keep up with, circles where I’m not invited, and, yes, time-consuming cat pictures.

Man-made screens. Man-made light. Man-made overload. Man-made problems.

I remember years ago dragging my feet toward the car in my university parking lot in downtown Indianapolis, frustrated both about the foreign language class I’d just finished and about a failing romantic relationship. Just then, in interruption to my pity party, I heard a crackling sound over my head. Continue reading

A Playdate with Poe


Gray low-hanging clouds block the blue and sunshine. The air is warm, but the violent wind hisses this won’t last long. It rips leaves from high branches and sends them flying.

Down a hill and off the path, we swish our feet in fire-colored leaves already on the ground, ankle deep.

In fall, things morph–
shadows lengthen,
night kidnaps morning,
wind groans,
owls spook from skeleton branches.

A walk in the woods makes you feel like you’re living a page in a mystery story. Continue reading

The Soldier and the Seed

This May has been more busy than the one I wrote about below. I’ve attended baby showers, entertained a whole host of job and ministry possibilities and helped my husband prep for interviews, driven out of town to share a talk at a women’s retreat, read three books, hot-glued a polar bear habitat for my son’s school project, written an article for the High Calling, dreamed up an easy breezy summer session for The Story Circle (I need it!), taken a day trip to the Detroit passport agency to rush renewal for a crazy opportunity that got dropped in our lap (I’ll tell you more about that soon!), stayed overnight with some of our favorite people in southern Indiana and hiked the trails of Brown County together, said farewell to friends moving out of town, celebrated half a dozen birthdays of family and friends, and somehow managed not to spontaneously combust. So, once again, we’re just now getting to the yard work. The piece below, a memorial of my soldier poet grandfather that I wrote two years back, has a lot to say to me now in our current circumstance as my husband and I try to discern what dreams must die so that the most vibrant versions of ourselves can sprout and grow to fruition. I’d love to know how my grandfather’s poem speaks to you. Continue reading