Sunday, June 17, 2007


There's more to say. There's more to be said, and sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to say it all. I remember very clearly as a girl wishing that someone could crawl inside my head and know my thoughts without me having to take the time to articulate them. I walk out of libraries, especially those in Europe, overwhelmed by the sheer number of volumes that I will never read. Last night, it struck me that I will never speak fluent Italian, and I don't know why that made me sad - I've never aspired to learn Italian.

John Eldredge wrote, " . . . contentment is never wanting less; that's the easy way out. Anybody can look holy if she's killed her heart; the real test is to have your heart burning within you and have the patience to enjoy what there is now to enjoy, while waiting with eager anticipation for the feast to come" (The Sacred Romance, p. 199).

So today, I will enjoy my dear friends here that like to hear me play. In this moment, I will enjoy the breeze that is coming through the computer room window, causing my feet to wiggle happily. I will enjoy His promise that I am chosen, holy, and dearly loved. I will be thankful for the burning and for the waiting and for the feast that seems so close I can smell the anticipation.
And I will sing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

To Gloria

"James, time for your lesson," I called to my fourth-grade student in the gym over trampoline.

"Wait, I think Ms. Morton looks like she needs to jump. What do you guys think?" asked Mr. Pelton, their gym teacher.

"Yeah!!!" was the uproarious and unanimous reply of the other fourth graders gathered around the trampoline, eagerly awaiting their own turn.

"Really?" I asked. I may have also been gawking. "But I'm wearing a skirt."

"Ah, it'll be fine," Marty smiled.

And with that, I kicked off my shoes.

My mother would've been proud. Three years ago, she gave me the book/cd gift set of Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." That song is one of the most precious things my mom has given me--that and the laugh that came out of her the day she watched from the passenger seat as I drove our van into two parked cars. After that, I couldn't blame her bristling as I drove through drive-thru windows. I don't sing along with the song a lot or open the book often, but I know that the same mother who matra-ed "Slow down!" is now cheering, "Swerve a little!"

And I swerved myself right up onto that trampoline with Hannah.

"Do this," she held her hands over her jeans and pantomimed keeping my skirt down. I held, she smiled, and we jumped. And giggled. We couldn't keep from giggling. And after two stellar demonstrations from Hannah, I even learned to fall on my knees and successfully land back on my feet.

As James and I walked back to his lesson, he was smiling, and I was still giggling. I smiled for the rest of the day.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Saturday, April 14, 2007

But most of all, I wish it for myself

We said goodbye to Anna Pearl yesterday.

There is a deep longing in me to be original. It claws at me when I see a painting of daffodils in the teacher lounge or a night sky full of stars. I planned to write music during my time off this week. Reading Psalm 37 and entering the early stages of a grieving process, I want to respond with originality. But this week has left me feeling like my swollen tongue after a night of mouth-breathing.

I'm an imitator. My super-power of wanting to always be appropriately dressed was borrowed from a friend's blogsite (I couldn't even bring myself to write the word "stolen.") I like Rufus Wainwright because Vince did. I like Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird" because Ilana and Peter did. It seems I can't separate much from who I am and call it my own. I even wear my hair in a ponytail occasionally because I remember Josh Ihde telling April Cunningham he liked them in the Frito Pie line in second grade.

Is there anything original--new--in me, Abba? Am I bound to be an imitator? Is that really so bad as I've made it out to be?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

...not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry...

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

Friday, March 09, 2007

All Good Things

Were any of the women who followed Jesus ever in love with him? I really don't see how they couldn't have felt an attraction to such a man - as he healed the lame, he healed her. As he spoke words that stirred crowds, he was stirring her.

Jesus has been drawing me from my bed this week to wait for Him and to talk to Him.

At staff devotions this morning, I read a story I wrote two years ago while in Wichita - A Celebration of Dancing Shoes. Two years ago, almost to the week, God gave me a set of dancing shoes to remind me today of His love for me. He doesn't just want to give me food and shelter. He hasn't settled for keeping me alive - He wants to give me good things hidden so deep that I may have even forgotten that I once wanted them.

When I was a little girl, Kim and Jessica were two of my best friends. We spent second through sixth grade together. They had the same birthday in May, and I loved going to their parties, which they always threw jointly. Twice the presents, cake and fun. My birthday was in March, and the only other person with the same birthday in our very small school was Edgar, and he was in eleventh grade. Man, I wanted to have someone to share my birthday with . . .

Eleven years ago, Serge joined our family. He arrived in February - just in time to celebrate our birthdays on March 4. Two years after that, I got a sister for Christmas - Tatiana. That March, we celebrated our birthdays on the same weekend. Tat was born on March 2. It wasn't until the middle of those festivities that the goodness of God sunk in - He had listened, and He had remembered.

And He is listening now. A year from now, I will be able to look back and see the line of grace traced a bit longer and deeper than it lies today. He hears, and He will remember.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fail safe

"One of the greatest gifts we can offer another person is a safe place to fail." --John Lynch, Bill McNichol, and another author who I can't remember, TrueFaced

I've got a pristinely-perfect, unopened package of Oral-B Satin Floss in my desk drawer at school. I just opened the drawer to check the spelling of "Oral-B." I reread the above two sentences three times for errors before continuing to type . . .

Being me is often not a safe place for me to fail, let alone offering a truly safe place for others to fail.

"Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." -- Frederick Buechner

That struggle between grace and striving . . . where is the line drawn when a student has not practiced and comes ill-prepared to a lesson? Governments and education systems have not been built on grace. A man steals and is sent to jail for his crime. I was rewarded for my performance in school with plaques and praise and A's. I am unfamiliar with grace. And if I cannot recognize it, how can I begin to offer it to others?

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I walked out for pizza tonight. At the one bus stop between our place and the pizza shop, I passed thirty grown German men dressed in monster costumes. They were carrying their masks, but their arms and legs were brown and grizzly. I think one of them may have fallen in love with me as I passed--I'm sure I heard grunting and caught the beginnings of a mating ritual. Well, there was some jumping around at least . . . And because I wasn't planning on taking any pictures of the Hawaiian delights that I was picking up, I don't have any of this caught on tape. If me and Harry end up with little gremlins, though, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ein Gedicht zu einer beherzten Katze, die mir die ganze Welt ist und wahrscheinlich wird länger als mich leben, mindestens kann man hoffen, oder?

Meine Katze liebt mich treu,
sie geht in ihrer Streu.

English subtitles:

A poem to a beloved cat that means the world to me and will most likely outlive me, at least one can hope, right?

My cat loves me truly,
she "goes" in her litter.

ok, fine. so it doesn't rhyme in English.
shoot me.