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True North…..

So, I wrote this post a few weeks ago and have – with some embarrassment – just realized I never posted it.  Not to worry…the words still ring true….except that the North Star is alive and well, shining ever so brightly…more later….

With the new year arriving midst blustery winds and blowing snows, the winter sky has offered staggering views of the night skies.  Cold, stark, mysterious,  stunning.  And just at a time when I presumed that new stories would simply write themselves upon my heart and calendar, even with winter clarity I seem to have lost sight of my own North Star.

So, I went looking for it….

I was reminded of one of my favorite benchmark words for new beginnings found in

Isaiah 43:18-19 ….

“Do not remember the former things;

or consider things of old.

I am about to do a new thing;

now it springs forth’

do you not preceive it?’

I love these words because I seem to carry around alot of “former things” which get in the way of my seeing “the new thing” springing up…kinda like losing my North Star.  Without my North Star I seem to wander aimlessly about my space; moving more circular than forward, more awkward than sound, more lost than found.  I think I believed that my North Star – my guiding light – would appear in my circumstances or in my check book or by email with words and prizes to re-energize my movement and chart my new course.

But, none of those things happened.

Instead, something rumbled and tumbled inside of me having little to do with the squares on my calendar.

It is my insides that long for a new beginning. The former things that muddy my vision are not the scribbles on my new datebook.  They are the walls and strongholds entrapping my heart.

I have some hard work to do. Beautiful though it may be the North Star is simply that, my guide, my point of reference.  I am the seeker. I choose the journey.

I’ve known this for a long time.  I just wanted all the other stuff to do the really hard work and allow me to slide through…to the other side of New.

I don’t want to slide anymore.

The North Star is too magnificent, too powerful, too much to ever miss again…


Gratitude and Grace…

Charlie Brown’s Christmas remains one of my all time favorite stories that puts words and faces and images and truths to winsomely illustrate the great mystery of Luke, chapter 2.  These engaging little children….a ragamuffin band of human beings if there ever was one….often mistreating one another….often judging one another…. often missing the forest for the trees…tenderly discovers that Christmas gratitude and grace offers the power to trump all differences…all opinions, all slights or hurts; presenting itself in the lowliest of trees dressed with a majesty fit for kings.

As the holy days of Advent quickly bring us to the manger, I find myself overcome with gratitude and grace for so many of you who have chosen time and again to offer your love and grace to me…..Thank you. …. Thank you for being peacemakers and peacekeepers and grace givers when least recognized or deserved but profoundly appreciated.  May you be the joyful recipient of unsurpassing peace and amazing grace uniquely gifted during this holy season  - especially if you find yourself feeling a bit Charlie Brownish….

May you be embraced by extravagant Grace,  humbled by limitless Gratitude , and lifted by triumphant Love….

And in that holy moment may you trustfully  relinquish your fears, painful judgments, and hurtful prejudices to the miracle at the manger….

May you become lighter and freer for having chosen so…

Gratitude and Grace to you….

Come, Lord Jesus….Come….


Living Thanks….11/26/10

Melodie Beattie wrote,

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

If today…the day after….. finds you unexpectedly welcoming the unexpected –  some bit of chaos or confusion…may you live aware of  the power of renewed hope fueled by amazing grace and gratitude; humbled by what is unseen, and carried by love’s forgiveness and redemption.

Gratitude leads….always has…always will.   Shall we practice scandalous gratitude despite the unexpecteds that might have found their way to our kitchens and to our hearts?  Shall we rebel against self absorbed fears and our often massive insecurities and simply practice gratitude for what truly  has been, for what is, and what shall be?

Peace to you….


running on the plain path…11/13/10

…….For weeks now while healing from a back injury and waiting to once again run…….

i’ve found myself praying the simple prayer found in Psalm 30:7

“Lead me in a plain path.”

A simple, clear, clean…tiny little path…

No brilliant lights…

No marching bands…

No exhilarating crowds..

Just a simple, plain, honest, true, sound, strong, sure plain path.

And early today…for the first time in almost four months…I went for my early morning run…


And I thought of the simple words spoken by Jesus when he said so tenderly yet so forcefully,

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

But, I often seem unable to find truth – especially within a particular circumstance or relationship…. so within those areas….

I am not free.

And then…quite unexpectedly…without any effort or intention on my part these words came to me… also spoken by Jesus…

“I am the truth.”

“I am the truth.”

So, I thought…well, if I want to find the truth and if it is truth that will set me free and if I cannot seem to find the truth…

then maybe instead…I could just find Jesus…

and let him set me free.

Maybe I’ve complicated my race far too much…allowed far too many voices and distractions and opinions….well meaning though they be…but they have cluttered my plain path….

Truth is a precious commodity. An invaluable gift of respect we offer ourselves and those we love. It is a gift that can be costly in its revelation but any other gift – damage control, spin stories, pretty packaging – oh, those gifts can become messy litter, roadblocks on our run.

And we live unfree….so very encumbered….

You know what I mean?

Shall we seek to be made free?

And discover how to love well along the way…


Brighter Braver Colors…..10/21/10

In the absence of being able to run as much as I hope to again one day I have taken to cleaning out closets and prepping for Christmas!!  So, I pulled out a huge box of already purchased Christmas surprises to be sure I don’t buy the exact same stuff again and I found a brand new box of crayons and a first coloring book for my little granddaughter, Gracey who turns two in November.  I know it’s completely silly…but that brand new box of crayons brought tears to my eyes.  For years, I made sure that my kids always received new art supplies every Christmas – whether they wanted them or not.  And to this day because I believe my son is truly a gifted artist I want to give him new crayons and drawing pencils and art paper every single Christmas – and he is 32 years old.

I opened that lovely box of crayons – so bright and beautiful – and simply indulged in their vibrant colors.  Every color was one that a two year old would be proud and brave to hold in their chubby little hand.  And it occurred to me how easily, how willingly we ignore the best colors in the box.  Or I do.  I gravitate toward the blacks and the whites – not real colors at all – with an occasional brown thrown in for good measure but I completely miss the shocking pinks and splashy oranges and the soothing blues and greens.

And then, in an ever so sneaky way, I buy into a belief that my life is – oh, I don’t know – kinda grey, kinda cream, kinda dulled.

I want my True Color back.

So, I found that feisty Cindy Lauper song, True Colors, on  the internet and turned up the volume and colored all over notebooks and journals.  I might just paint my walls a fabulous red!

I love Cindy’s words…

“But I see your true colors

Shining through

I see your true colors

And that’s why I love you

So don’t be afraid to let them show

Your true colors,

True colors, are beautiful,

Like a rainbow.”

Amen to that……Color on……