Why Me? (A Story of The Open Door)


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Back in the spring, a rectangular card arrived in my mailbox. A distinctive font scrolled across an ombre watercolor wash of blue and at the top three words: The Open Door. I held the invitation to join a small group of women from around the country — speakers, writers, authors, artists, ministry leaders; the only commonality our faith in Jesus and call as bearers of hope.

As I read the invitation and explanation of the vision, as I held the small bronzed key that accompanied it, I shook my head. Why me?

I most certainly am not a superstar blogger with my beginner WordPress blog (and all the best intentions to update it). I’ve only just begun speaking. My primary ministries are in my home, our school and with women over coffee, story and prayer. My freelance writing career hasn’t yet gotten off the ground. My name has never graced a book cover. Really, my primary vocational nudge seems to be Love People. Why me?

And yet, because of my journey to stand firm on a rock of confidence that doesn’t turn like shadows, because of my desire to live fearless, because of the tremendous faithfulness of the Spirit who shows me one next step after another and another, I said yes. I walked through that open door and chose to keep believing I belonged.

Not like one belongs to a secret society or insiders’ club, but the way one allows Love’s eyes to lock with her own, to watch the mouth that forms the words, beloved, and to nod, Yes. Yes, I am.

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Five Minute Friday: Here


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“Come here,” I said, pulling you from the bed and onto the floor where I sat. You cried as I stroked your long bangs and wisps of hair from your forehead.

“But I don’t want to be seven tomorrow,” you said. “I want to stay six. I’m not ready to be older.”

You know your mama well, so I probably don’t need to tell you that the tears ran down my face then, too, because I’m not ready either, and I want to seal this moment in chunks of amber beneath a stopped clock. Make an agreement that we will both stay just how old we are now, vow to sit this way again — you tracing the outline of my arms while I memorize the shape of your cheeks.

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Pouring out and the unexpected gurgling


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I read of longing and desire from bed, covered in the quilt I brought from home and a rightly heavy down comforter.

The walls are yellow like sun, and I am sick. Not the worst sick I’ve been in my life, but sick that looks weak and tired in the eye, feels the cold burning in lungs. The kind that is relieved that curtains are pulled shut.

I am here at this vacation house with my girlfriends who are going for walks and hikes and talking in the sunshine, and all I want to do is be still and read in this bed. This is not normal for me.

I do hope to be better before it’s time to go, so I can play with them, too. These women are some of my favorites, you know? And I look forward to these times all year. I really do.

I am sad about it, and I am content. I’ve read that you can’t experience gratitude and sadness at the same time (or something to that effect), but I’ve not found that to be true.

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All limping

Trimet photo

The fussy toddler wears poop
right close to his bottom –
you can tell he has for a while.
Hot unwashed bodies carry
unique scents like pepper, fermenting fruit,
soaked and dried again towels.

Final days have ways
of making a person think extra long
about things like this.
The press of pungent humanity is
much easier to romanticize
when riding the number 8 is choice
for a time and not grocery shopping,
doctor appointment

Walking downtown streets to the law office
for my last Tuesday,
I see that young man again, just a kid
with a skateboard,
face bleeding drugs at the
same corner by the Square where
the man with the dog propped his sign
that said “Feed my human.”


There’s a piece of glass
in my foot from walking barefoot
in our basement storage.
I thought I got it all,
but today I lilt to the left
in my wedges,
remnants reminding me of
tender flesh,
how we’re all limping.

I exit the elevator onto
the 8th floor and the
sticky thick of shared spaces,
mingling smells of
yesterday’s food and perfume,
corridors only vaguely connecting
here to there
before air conditioning cuts
with its comforts.

{Photo credit}

The pelicans (an anniversary poem)


Sea foam sizzles and waves rumble,
and both call me right to the edges
because I feel no choice but to see life
in contrasting metaphor,
how Love is thunder and a settling
into sands, gentle dance of bubbles in glass

Pelicans hover over waters
as on our honeymoon 17 years ago,
and it is a breath-catching gift, this sight,
this memory,
because we’ve never seen them
on our stretch of Pacific

We watch birds skim waves
like prehistoric creatures until they catch
a glimpse, make their bodies arrow slim,
dive below the surface,
gulp up beakfuls of fish and invisible things
with soup ladle mouths

We recall pre-wrinkles, pre-midline pooch,
pre-almost everything that would be us,
how we could not tire of watching these birds from
our veranda on the Bay of Zihuatanejo
so many Aprils ago,
the artfulness of their lingering and plunging
because we saw the metaphor
then, too

We choose to plunge over and over again,
don’t we, love,
hovering over everyday before piercing surfaces,
sometimes shocking each other with our
sudden mouthfuls and
water streaming from corners,
and you’re right close to me
when we pause on the rocks to share our catch,
bones and all

On full circles and twin rocks


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Life rarely works this way, in full circles.

But when it does, just glory.

Let me tell you.

In mid-April, I served as the speaker for a women’s church retreat at a camp called Twin Rocks. This was my fourth time at Twin Rocks, a beautiful gathering of cabins, meandering grounds, dining hall and welcome center located on 120 acres at the Oregon Coast.

The first time I visited the camp in the small coastal town of Rockaway, I was a sixth grader, feet big as they’d ever be, smile unmistakably huge, and afraid. So afraid. I carried fear of rejection on me like a shaker-knit sweater. I thought I did a fair job hiding my skin beneath, but those girls could see through the gaps to my soft spots. Middle school girls have a sixth sense for this sort of thing.

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The journal and you


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When I was a kid, I owned a journal that sat on my nightstand. A plain gray one personalized with a few tulips in grass, a rainbow across the top, the word journal written in my own floppy third grade cursive.

This may have been my only journal until adulthood because, though my heart stirred with the potential of writing, I only let the words flow from mind to page a handful of times. I’m an extrovert and a helper, so those pursuits kept me busy, but more, I did not ever fill that or any other journal’s lined pages because I knew that with so many long spaces between, I could never catch up. My allergy to not being thorough and complete chilled these writing hands.

It’s been more than a month since I’ve written here, and it feels like twelve years because I don’t know how to possibly catch you all up. And I can’t, so I won’t.

Yesterday morning, I lay down on the couch to wait for my phone’s timer to let me know the French press was ready for her plunge. I wished that these few moments could stretch to an entire day to be still and write, but it was another work outside the home sort of day for me.

So I took my minutes and placed my head on the red pillow on the couch’s left arm where I always stop in the morning to be still. The early sun shone so warm on my face and so brightly through the front window that even closing my lids did not diffuse the rays. My eyeballs felt the heat.

I opened my eyes and shielded them with my hand, and I smiled like one in the arms of her love. Dust particles kicked up by yesterday’s pre-company cleaning danced like stars, let loose like free women.

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