I know I haven’t written in almost a year… that’s all I have to say about that. 


I like September.

It probably goes without saying that I like New England in September. I loved Fall in Missouri and Tennessee and Alabama, too, but Fall in Connecticut is a different category altogether.  September is the start, the slow fade at the tippy tops of trees. The maples in my yard are beginning that whispery-rustle of dropping leaves. September is the first hint of October’s brilliance.

I like the kids going back to school for a million reasons, namely this one: I’m by myself! Introverted me can hear my own thoughts, finish an entire task, choose my own adventure quiet moment. Geeky me can do ALL the nifty organizing and planning. But I also enjoy the process of choosing 1st day outfits and cleaning up the book bags and color-coding the calendar with school dates and activities. not everyone does that? what? weird. 

I like the new schedule, or the return of any schedule at all after summer lazily drifts by. The beginning of this season feels sweet and fresh. I like the chance it gives me to think about what’s important to me- where do I need a new routine? What do I need to work on, change, grow, or leave behind?  Note to self: leave behind Netflix binges on the couch, work on folding the laundry before the sock drawers are empty.

I like the transitional weather. Just past the heat of summer, before the bite of Winter hits the air. My favorite outfit is shorts with long-sleeves, which is a September staple. Cool mornings, warm afternoons, evenings outdoors by the fire pit… good, good, good.

I like that we celebrate our wedding anniversary in September. We remember the promise we made with our family and friends surrounding us, the bread and the wine (and the spider) and the rings and the kiss…


But I’ve cried more in September than most other months put together. Not just this year; as I look back, there has been a lot of sadness, grieving, fear, confusion, and pain in September. I’ve cried with friends, with family, with our nation, and by myself year after year at this time.

It has been a record month for loss and heartache over the years, and I don’t know how to hold that in tension with the fact that I just plain enjoy September.

It feels like too much- to remember the life and grieve the death of a beloved matriarch, but also to gather in celebration with the family she created and laugh together as her youngest great-grandchild happily smashes birthday cake and gives frosting covered grins. The first year and the last moment overlapping- a family circle.

It really is too much- to ache over and over for the friends carrying unimaginable sorrow and fear into this season, but to also look forward to these days with freedom to gather friends for coffee and conversation and laughter. Friendship in sacred moments of joy and sadness.

Too much- to remember the phone call, the diagnosis, the frightening and uncertain future, but to also savor the smell of fallen leaves in this morning’s misty rain and love the feel of September as I run.

It’s too much to cry and laugh in the same hour, sometimes the same breath.

September is too much, but I can’t help but like it.




a prayer: when we are not enough

this prayer was written for IF: Pray 2015, where we used it to pray for our world. i share it with you now if you are struggling for words and searching for hope.

Lord, we are not enough for this world.
We are not wise enough to fix all that has broken.
We are not strong enough to rescue the hurting and defeat the evil.
We are not righteous enough to give justice and mercy in good measure.

But YOU. You are enough. Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit- YOU are enough for this world.

You are the only one who is enough to fix our brokenness.
You are enough to rescue us in our distress.
You are enough to overcome darkness and defeat the evil.
You are enough to be perfectly just and merciful.
You are the only Wise God.
You are the only Strong and Almighty God.
You are the only God who is Good and Just and Loving and Merciful,
and we need YOU.

Our world needs You.

We need your miraculous movement-
to protect the weak and innocent.
to lift up the persecuted, enslaved, abused, and oppressed.
to put the refugee and orphan in homes.
to guide us to unite in wisdom, love, and strength
for Your Glory and the good of Your people.

Only You can do this, and we beg You, Lord…
we beg You to move with conviction and bring salvation into the hearts of those we love who do not know You.
we beg You to move in our churches to bring true repentance for sin, revival of obedience, and resurgence of love for You and for our neighbors.
we beg You to use us in our places to share Your love and healing and saving grace so people can see You and know You.

we beg You to heal the hearts of those who we consider enemies… those with evil intent to kidnap, enslave, abuse, persecute, torture, and kill.
Lord, we pray for their hearts to be transformed and their lives to be redeemed
for Your Glory and the good of Your people.

we beg you to protect the innocent, the child, the weak, the vulnerable, the refugee, the orphan… wrap them in security that only You can give, and show them Your miraculous provision.
Lord, save them- rescue them- so they can cry out, “God did this- God saved us!”
for Your Glory and the good of Your people.

Lord, we know we are not enough. but we are Yours, and we are enough in You.
You make us enough, and we are lifting up our lives to be used by YOU in this world, Your world…
for Your Glory and the good of Your people, we offer all we have to You.


the gift of refuge

a2538697331_16Cover Artwork by Greta Coalier

there is sacredness in an honest prayer.
a cry of desperate longing, tender and fragile from hours of weeping and begging for relief…
a soul searching for an answer, reaching out into Deep Mystery with bold fear…
a dry, brittle heart soaking up a rain of Mercy- swelling up with fullness of Love.

‘Carry it all away
It is all the same
Broken bones, broken hearts
Everything is cracked
There’s darkness all around.
I am here.’

that’s what Jason and Natalie Wilson have offered us in their debut album, Refuge– an invitation to their personal prayers, the praises and laments of real people seeking Truth from a real God.  i have the gift of their friendship, their stories- the life behind these lyrics. their songs are their hearts laid bare, encounters with God in the midst of loss, illness, and uncertainty.

‘Here I hold my desk
My thoughts are far away
It holds me in this place
Like an anchor to my soul
My mind it runs
A thousand miles an hour.
I am here.’

Hope. that’s the gift of Refuge.  in our humanness, we relate to the need, the heartbreak, the confusion, but we soar with Hope that this is not all there is. God is present in this world. He lives among us. we have a sure and steady Hope.

‘I’m tired of losing track
In the chaos all around
In this ocean of noise
I want to know You’re here
I want to speak my heart
I want to know You’re listening.
I am here.’
-I Am Here by Blessed are the Broken

i want you to have this album as it is released this week- i think you need to hear it and hear Hope.
so i want to give it to you!  leave a comment (with email address) letting me know you’re interested in owning this album, i’ll draw two names on Friday, November 6 to receive either a digital download or CD- your choice!  i’ll contact you by email if your name is drawn.
Refuge is also available on Spotify and iTunes on November 4!


photo by Bailey Mohr of Beautiful Mess Photography