About Mothers

Remembering my mother and grandmothers,
And the mothers of all those who read this,
And their mothers, and theirs again...
Mothers of mothers of mothers,
Stretching all the way back beyond this land,
And before the names that we remember,
Before this language, or any language long recalled,
Through every age that you can name, then back again,
To a little girl who learned of joy and pain, love and loss.
Who laughed and cried and dreamed of a future not yet written,
Who became a young woman with the issue of blood,
And later conceived a little baby.

She imagined her child's life, and yearned to see her grow.
She wondered if she would be pretty.
She hoped that she would be wise.
She sent up wishes and dreams for
Smaller wounds and bigger blessings than she had known.
She prayed to be a good mother and longed to protect her from pain.
One day she lifted up her arms and felt too small for the task ahead, and
She was helped up and held up by others as her daughter was born and grew
To laugh, cry, work, wish, love, lose, bleed, conceive, deliver, love and lose again,
Then sleep beneath the same moon and stars we see at night.

They all dream about you. They dreamed you up,
Your mothers' mothers' mothers.
They wondered what you would look like.
They hoped for your triumph over every sad thing,
And gave thanks for the help you'd receive along your way.
Today their hopes are manifest in the gentle passing of your days,
In the ways you hold up others, and
In the dreams you pass on to the children,
And to their children, and theirs, and theirs again...

So we give thanks for all our mothers,
For their girlhood hopes, maternal dreams,
Their efforts, triumphs and prayers,
And for all the ones who helped along the way.
From back before that girl who spoke a language no one now remembers,
Till today,
We recall their lives, reclaim their dreams, pledge our efforts,
And send our prayers into tomorrow, with love,
For the joy and healing of the Earth and all her children.

Grace Becomes Me Better

Shame,
 A companion like a shadow,
 Familiar like a sister,
 Expected like a visitor,
 Dreaded, like a consequence --
 the arrival of the bill.

Pride, the other side,
 Smarter, faster, shadow-caster,
 Enjoyed, like a prerogative,
 Contented, like approval,
 Brandished, like a medal,
 or a prize that proves I’m right.

I bear these as self-inflicted damages, 
Like a too-small pair of shoes I choose to wear,
And a tape measure I carry around,
Measuring myself smaller than I am in secret,
Or greater than I am out loud.

But Grace becomes me better.

Grace,
Hoped-for like a present,
Relied on like promise,
Wielded like a secret weapon, with a
Smile on my lips.

Where shame would have me hold my tongue,
Or pride would have me loose it,
Grace unbinds me from my too-small words,
And frees me from my too-small shoes.

Regardless of all the times I fall short or go too far,
Grace discards my measurements,
And fashions an elegant dress,
A humbler greatness, a
Perfect-fit nakedness.

Grace unveils a barer truth - more worth the bearing,
And reveals me, now ready to run.

Due To The First Apology.....

The offenses 
 we extended had unintended 
consequences. 


What we resented,
 we transcended, and lamented 
our pretenses. 

So instead of tending thin defenses, 
we're now mending splendid fences!

Unbreakable

I am
Unbreakable, yet still
breaking over and over again, like the waves.
Too long since I was whole.

Unbreakable, yet still
I hear your voice throughout my day
Too long since I was whole,
You breathe into my ear.

I hear your voice throughout my day,
breaking over and over again, like the waves.
You breathe into my ear,
"I am."
 

More Ahas

Fill my life with great ahas,
Small uh-ohs,
Long mm-hmms,
And no oh-nos.






What I Withhold

What I hold back, I lose.
Grace I don't employ finds her way to kinder people.
Hope I don't affirm searches out a higher soul to perch upon.
Understanding I'm too clever to consider,
Is like a flame snuffed out by the wax it melted.
Truth I disguise, or hide from my eyes, flees with my integrity.
Forgiveness unsought, and healing words I leave unspoken,
Seek a freer future while I'm tethered to the past.
Kindness I withhold turns cold inside my heart.
Like a hoarded treasure in an ogre's cave,
It grows rusty waiting in the dark.

Constant Prayer

Oh God,
Subdue my pride so I'm freed from shame.
Save me so I can lose myself.
Lose me so I can be saved.
Use me so I have a better purpose.
Take me so I can be given.
Enlighten me so I overcome my darkness.
Embolden me to hold my tongue, and
Humble me when I use it.
Paint my lips with grace and mercy.
Guide my hands.
Move my feet.
Teach my heart.
Empty me of myself and fill me up with you.
Amen

Ablaze

One more of those who seek the light, who reach
To touch the cloth...just a moth
Fluttering in smoky nimbus that christens our wings
In the ashes of those who blazed ahead.
Covered in powder that feels like power but decays like carrion if
We look too long or hard at our dusty companions...
If we don’t fly into the flame.

A New Song

Teach me a new sound, Oh God, 
A new song I need to learn. 

Keep my ears from yearning to be always soothed
by words that are soft and easy to hear.
Save me from being so fond of my own opinions
That I resist a different witness, won't sing a newer song.
Discomfort me, yet protect me from being being so bruised
Or arrogant that I miss your message in my distress.

As long as I still breathe, challenge me. 
Let your witness unmask a better me along my walk toward you.
Remind me that my "good enough" elusion most often truly isn't.
Humble me so I do not demand familiar paths, easy truths,
or pre-approval of the messages I hear.
 
Let me be open to walking a new way,
Hearing a new word,
Learning a new song.  
Amen

Justify Me Not

Oh God, 
Please protect me from being so satisfied with myself that I look meanly on others.   
Give me a learning heart and guard it 
so my opinions are not rigid, self-serving, or damaging.   
Humble me and save me from the need to criticize, 
the fear of being wrong, and 
the arrogance of feeling justified. 
Mold my beliefs not from lofty place, 
but from an understanding nearer-to-the-ground 
and closer-to-your-heart.  
Open my heart to love all of your children, 
and show me more ways to be a blessing. 
Amen

Nighttime Prayer

Oh, Lord, I believe.
Help my unbelief.  
Please breathe on me tonight and keep calling to me
As I walk through my day tomorrow.
Please forgive me when I forget or ignore your voice,
and remind me again and again of my place in your kingdom. 
Put your love in my heart,
Your words on my lips,
Your work in my hands, and
My feet on your path.
I lay the longings of my heart before you, Lord,
and ask that my beloved ones be your beloved,
and that your beloved ones
Forever become mine. 
In your name I pray these things.
Amen.

All We Knew

Once, we knew it and
it was all we knew,
The essence of our essence
Knitting our bones and muscles together
In that place where we were from, and one, and all-in-one.
Yielding to it was the first thing that we did,
And shall be our final act.
However much we twist toward something other,
The Creator’s Breath
Will hold us when all of ours have been exhaled.
As we lean into, and let out that Breath, our very last,
We shall know that we are home.
We shall know again.

Ahead

I saw an old friend last night.
We sat together on the curb
Just outside the place we left our past behind.
We skipped stones toward it, across the rainy pavement,
And strained to see the things we should have seen back then.
But we didn't point them out. We both knew that they were there.
We saw the shoes we’d stashed the last time we passed,
For our return trip... just in case,
But we wouldn’t put them on again - wouldn't even dare.

We turned and went barefoot to a different place.

Dandelions



Once we gave my Nana a daisy-chain of dandelions,
And she tied flowers in our hair with ribbons 
from her grandmothers,
New wisps and old strands entwined.
And we sang in all our grandmothers’ voices,
"Aren’t our granddaughters wise and so joyful!" 
"Aren't our grandsons so loving and kind!”

Once we gave my Mama a bouquet of dandelion tufts,
And she blew wishes in our hair with wisdom
from her grandmothers,
New dreams and old longings combined.
And we sang in all our grandmothers’ voices,
"Aren’t our granddaughters wise and so hopeful!" 
"Aren't our grandsons so generous and kind!”

Once my children gave me a daisy-chain of dandelions,
and I braided wisdom in their hair with stories
from my grandmothers,
New truths and old notions enwoven.
 We gave thanks for all our grandmothers' voices,
And this chain, through the years, still unbroken.

More Than

I am more than that small thing I did
And smarter than that dumb thing I said.
I'm wiser than the bad choice I made,
And stronger than the weak me you see.
I am truer than the faithless words that passed my lips,
And I'm braver than the easy path I took.

I was anyway.
Do you remember? Do you recall that me that I was going to become?

Do you remember when I sang a song of easy grace inside my heart
And I offered help with no strings or words attached?
Do you remember when I was so joyful that it made you smile
And I stood up when sitting down was small and mean?
Do you recall when I was so kind that it made you glad
And so loving that you loved me even more?

Oh God, please restore the bigger me.
Because the smaller me is taking all the room.

Policies and Procedures

  • Always stop at lemonade stands 
  • Smile when you make eye contact
  • Hold the door even if it takes a little longer
  • Sing in the shower and in the car
  • Apologize out loud
  • Follow your first instinct to help
  • Go out of your way more often than is convenient
  • Tip more than you should
  • Give anonymously
  • Be the first to laugh at yourself
  • Share without expectations
  • Forgive
  • Compliment on character
  • Thank others for their gifts
  • Indulge your generous impulses

Did You Ever Want a Friend Like You?

Did you ever get tired of people watching everything you did?
Tired of teaching grace 

To people who should have already known?
Tired of forgiving 

People who had failed and would surely fail again?

Did you sometimes want to be smaller
Than you were made to be?
With less expectations
And demands for your attention?
 

Did you ever long to just be one-of-the guys,
and have a friend like you? 

Or wish to be a sidekick,
With a smaller part that might cost less?


I know at least one time when you did.

Could I have been your friend?
Would I have tried to defend you,

absorb a blow, or carry a load for you?
With the force of my will, could I have
Saved your head or back or hands or feet
Or side?

Can I now
When you are publicly lashed because of our self-righteousness,
Mocked because of our weaknesses,
And crucified again because we fail you still?