Taking the Backroad

Some days, nothing seems to work out quite as planned. Ever had one of those?

I had one yesterday. It seemed like everything was going all wrong, and yet . . . here’s what I learned in the midst of a whole lot of frustration and anxiety: when the pressure mounts, I need a backroad

A few details:

I had a birthday party to go to, one that required driving my Honda CRV about 130 miles. Not just any party, mind you, but a gathering of about 100 friends, old and new, celebrating a woman for whom I once worked and who has remained a delightful, long-distance, seldom-seen, but always-loved friend.

During the years since last we met, a lot has happened in both our lives. She enjoyed a successful 30 year career in fund-raising, I had a small floral business, attended and graduated from seminary and served as a pastor for a dozen and a half years. Now, we are both retired and keep in touch primarily through Facebook, of all things.

But this lovely invitation arrived from her children: please come and mark a milestone at a garden party on a Sunday afternoon in April. My husband could not go (for reasons you’ll understand shortly) and happily sent me off alone, knowing that I would pick up our middle daughter and take her along with me before spending the night with her family.


Of course, this was the first time ever that we had our grand-girls for the entire weekend! It was pure delight — but their pick-up time came a few hours after I was due south, so it was a solo trip this time around.

We loved having our only two girls with us! On Saturday morning, we went to our local zoo — a beautiful location not far from us, where we enjoyed watching two recently born giraffes, saw a gorilla stuffing her face and wondered about a couple of very anxious small foxes, pacing back and forth behind their glass gate. After a quick lunch,  we just made it to the matinee of “Cinderella,” and surprised ourselves by actually loving the movie.

I will add here that each of our two nights with them brought 2:30 a.m. visits from the 5-year-old, who then slept with us in the middle of our king-sized bed, punctuating the next five hours with an occasional swift kick or sweet cuddle. 

All of it was great fun.

The undercurrent for the weekend, however, was this party, something I was curiously nervous about. It had been a very long time since I’d seen any of these people, it was very likely that the only people I would know would be her family and my own daughter, it was a long drive, there were too many details to pull together on top of caring for our girls for 48 hours, yada, yada, yada . .

I made pb & j sandwiches all around after we got back from church yesterday, loaded the car and backed out of the garage feeling tense and uncertain, pulling onto the freeway about 15 minutes later than I had hoped.

And then . . .
I hit a massive traffic jam about 25 miles out the door.

My anxiety level skyrocketed and I texted my daughter to have her husband check the traffic advisories for me (don’t worry, I did it hands-free, via bluetooth). Then, up ahead, I saw the exit for a backroad to the second freeway I needed to travel, a road we used to take many years ago, and I quickly took a sharp right and headed off to Highway 118.

Of course, as I did so, I could look down from the ramp and see that the traffic was beginning to break up on the main highway and my SIL’s text arrived telling me it would all dissipate and I’d have a clear shot.

But the die was cast and I just kept truckin’, as they say.


And I’m so glad I did.

After about six long blocks of signals and small town traffic, I found myself on a long and winding two-lane road, cutting through orange groves, nurseries, low mountains and all-around lovely scenery. 


It was a beautiful afternoon, and as I gazed out the windows, I could feel my shoulders unkink, my arms relax and my back settle more kindly into the seat.

I breathed a sigh and said, “Thank you, Jesus.”

I enjoyed every minute of that 18 mile detour, reveling in the beauty all around me, the somewhat slower-than-freeway speed of the traffic and the promise of what lay ahead.

Just changing speed and direction helped me to shrug off the worry and embrace the anticipation, to offer a prayer of thanks for my friend and the kind invitation of her family, and rejoice that my girl was willing to go with me.

I stopped and changed my clothes at our daughter’s home, she came out to greet me looking adorable and then so kindly assured me that she knew exactly how to get there. And we were off!

We handed over our car to the valet (now be honest here, friends: how many times do you go to a private party where there is valet parking?) And as we filled out our name-tags, I watched my beautiful daughter connect with my friend’s adult children. They made us feel so welcome! Any remaining worry or uncertainty just melted away, I finished the relaxation process begun on that backroad, and we both enjoyed the entire event.


It was a sunny, gently breezy afternoon and evening, beautiful hearty appetizers were served, everyone was friendly and kind. And the house was beautiful — complete with large koi pond, an outdoor kitchen, pool and hot tub and a divine patio area where we chose to sit down and eat a light supper comprised of truly well-prepared food.

Both of us were glad we came.


Sometimes, what we really need is a backroad, you know?

Sometimes, we need to pull out of the traffic, change the view, allow our bodies to unwind and our minds to re-charge. Sometimes we need to take that detour, disconnect from the usual, maybe even give in to the inevitable.

I know that what I most needed on that long drive was to re-learn this truth: hard-charging, over-anxiety is never a good thing. Never. 

There’s a reason the most frequent words out of the mouth of God in scripture are: “Be not afraid.” All along life’s way, I simply have to remember to trust: to trust the goodness of God, the faithfulness of friends, the beauty that is so often most present in the details.

I had not seen Lyla or her kids in nearly 25 years, yet they greeted us as dear friends. We began to catch up and even to make connections for the future. I also saw a few other old friends, enjoying brief conversations with each one.

Big social events are not my ‘thing.’ But you know what? This one was. 

And all it took for me to discover that . . . was a slight detour on a beautiful backroad.


Linking this with Laura Boggess’s “Playdates with God,” Lisha Epperson’s “The Sunday Community,” and Kelly’s “Small Wonders” series.

Everyday Heaven – SheLoves, April 2015

It’s that time again – my monthly spot at that good, good place, SheLoves Magazine. You can begin this one here and follow the link at the bottom to get to the rest of it. The theme this month? “Thin Places”DSC03813

Several decades ago, I stopped talking about heaven as if it were ‘up there’ somewhere, in the ethereal blue sky, far away from the life we know here. Even though scripture uses that kind of metaphor frequently, I began to find it unhelpful. A metaphor is one thing — and believe me, I love a good metaphor — but when we begin to use the metaphor as our primary understanding or even description of the real thing? Well, that’s when the metaphor loses its power and can too easily become a stumbling block.

I’ll be honest here and admit that the pictures of heaven that were painted for me when I was a child were not particularly attractive. The idea of sitting around on a cloud, strumming a harp and singing non-stop just didn’t cut it with my 9-year-old self. And it doesn’t cut it with my 70-year-old self, either — and this self is a heckuva lot closer to actually seeing heaven than that 9-year-old was.

So when I took a course on Revelation in seminary, I was struck by the power of the worship described in that book and I was pushed to re-think my whole concept of an eternity spent with God. I began to wonder about all that non-stop singing and to question the sort of rootless, purposeless existence a cloud-sitting, harp-strummer would have to endure in the heaven-I-thought-I-knew.

Maybe heaven is a place where there are many good things to do, maybe even good work to do? The highly metaphorical language of Revelation tells us there are rivers and trees and a garden — so who cares for those? There is also a magnificent city, glistening in the light of an eternal sun — who keeps that place running? And there are all kinds of people there, streaming up the road to join in the celebration. Where will they live and what do they do?

Hmmmm . . . Maybe heaven is a place where the learning we begin here somehow continues, where we can try all different kinds of instruments and not get stuck with harps, where there will be lots of lovely things to look at and wonder about, to plan for and bring to fruition. Maybe heaven is a place of catching-up and catching-on, of finding exactly the right rhythm of working and resting, of discovering more and more layers to love and kindness and strength and wonder.

Now this is a heaven I can dream about and actually look forward to!

Click on this line to join the conversation about thin places today!

Something New, JUST FOR YOU!


DSC01477 easter lilies

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

This has been the greeting for this season of the Christian year for centuries. So I greet you, on this first Monday of the Easter season with the words of our fore-parents in the faith — He is risen!

This magnificent truth is something to celebrate. And more than that, it is something to live. ‘We are an Easter people’ — I’ve heard it, I’ve read it and I believe it to be true. This grand Easter event colors every other aspect of life when we lay claim to the word ‘disciple’ — Easter changes everything.

So it seems to me that this first week of the Easter season is a natural marker for new beginnings. And I am beginning something today, something which makes me more than a little bit nervous:


I have an eBook!


And I am giving it away to everyone who signs on the dotted line for yet another new thing in my life: a semi-monthly personal letter.

This small epistle will be from me to you, and will land in your in-box on the 1st and the 15th of each and every month for at least the next year. That means the first issue will show up in just nine days.

I’m calling this letter, “More Wondering. . . ,” and in it I will say things I won’t be saying anywhere else on the worldwide web. It will be an amalgam, I hope. A mash-up of personal note, updates on my book-publishing project (did you know I have one of those?), things that have caught my eye on the web, quotes I love, photos I’ve taken. A little of this and a little of that — all of it, I hope, adding up to something worth reading and enjoying.

My blog guru, LW Lindquist, has been hard at work putting the ebook together — and friends, it looks amazing! It’s an edited version of the blog series I did at the beginning of 2014 called, “Living the Questions: Reflections on the Mystery.” I’ve edited those essays for this new format, and added some questions for reflection at the end of each of the eight chapters.

An 8-chapter book — can you believe it?

I cannot tell you what a joy it was to see this thing jumping up at me from the screen of my Kindle Fire. 

It will be available as a free download whenever you subscribe to my new letter, “More Wondering . . . ” Because it’s in PDF format, the book is easily downloadable to any mobile device that connects to the internet. I just turned my Kindle sideways, and there it was, filling the entire screen! Amazing, right? 

I am delighted to be able to offer you this gift. And I want you to feel free to share this news with friends. In fact I hope you will — and please direct them back here, directly to this post so that they can get their own copy — after all, it’s FREE!

I think it looks pretty fabulous — don’t you?

Living the Questions 3D cover

You can sign up for the “More Wondering . . .” letter using the form below, or the signup form in the sidebar:

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And yes, there will soon be one of those pesky pop-ups on this blog. That’s because I really would love for anyone who reads something I’ve written here to have the opportunity to join our newsletter circle.

Can you all help me spread the word? a Facebook share or a tweet or two would be just grand.

Thanks, friends! And I hope you enjoy the eBook and the newsletter when it comes into your inbox on the 15th of this month.

#Small Wonder — Looking for the Little . . . in Me


It was just a simple photo. A black and white shot of a young, blond girl staring back at the camera, honest, open, sweet, inquisitive. It was one of about sixty photos spread out on a table for our perusal and possible devotional use. I grabbed it, stuffed it in my bag and immediately took it back to my room at the retreat house.

There were eleven of us there, with not much of an agenda except to be quiet for a while, to follow where our hearts led and to sit with God. Sleep, walk, take photographs, try a little art, journal, read, pray, reflect, have a small conversation with one or two others. Just twenty-four hours — not nearly long enough, by the way — a gift from our denomination in exchange for being spiritual directors on-call for pastors/staff/spouses looking for partnership on the journey.

They were a gift, these hours away, in a beautiful place, with kind people. And I chose that photo of a young girl to take with me on my inward journey. She sat propped up on the desk in my room for a few hours, then on the bedside table. And she accidentally got put into my bag for the journey back home. I’ll return her to her owner soon. 

But not just yet. 

I need to remember her and to notice the ways in which the girl in my borrowed photo reminds me in of the girl in the picture at the top of this post, the girl who happens to be me at age ten.

Sometimes the little girl inside gets shoved to the sidelines and when she’s pushed over there, she can stir things up in ways that are important. She gets anxious, wondering if she’ll be overlooked forever. So sometimes, I need to stop, look for her and listen.

How are you today, honey? Feeling cared for? I want to take good care of you, I really do. I don’t want you to worry. And I don’t want you to worry me, okay? 

Most of the time, all she needs is a fond look, a pat on the head, a few loving words. That’s it. When she feels safe, she comes right back into the center of things and looks out my aging eyes with wonder and anticipation.

I need her, you see.

I need her to remind me that there will always be a part of me that is young, easily frightened and yet open to learn and be loved. She helps me to be young-at-heart, even when the bones and the joints, the muscles and the skin tone are showing their antiquity.

She is the wondering center of me, a key player in my own sense of self, a gift from long ago to today.

Joining with the lovely Kelly Chripczuk today for her wonderful series (just discovered by me) of short essays on small things each week. Thanks, Kelly.

Book Review Tuesday: “The Fringe Hours” by Jessica Turner AND a GIVEAWAY!!

There are a lot of blogs that are written by and for young moms. A LOT. But a few of those rise to the top of the popularity heap, for a variety of reasons. Jessica Turner’s blog, “The Creative Mom,” is consistently at the tippy-top of that heap.

For good reason.

Jessica is lovely in every way I can think of and she manages to do a whole lot of livin’ within a tightly constricted lifestyle – constricted in the most joyful and meaningful of ways (she is raising three tiny children with her husband, Matthew Paul Turner, and she works full time at a job she loves and is good at) – but constricted nonetheless.

When I was a young mom . . . back in the days of covered wagons and ornery cattle . . . I would have deeply appreciated this book, these words. I never had a paying job outside my home until my kids were raised and gone, but I had three babies in four years, was an active volunteer at our church and in the broader community, tried to have a healthy marriage and was layered with local family commitments on all sides. The beautiful little book she has written would have found a most welcome place in my life back then and I highly recommend it to anyone with young children. It’s called The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.

I know what she means when she writes about finding ‘fringe hours’ to spend on ourselves, making and taking time to honor the person God has created and gifted each one of us to be before we are friend, wife, mom, daughter, sister. There is a whole, complete person inside every mom who needs tending from time to time. But too often, women in general — and women who are moms in particular — put themselves at the very bottom of the list, most often trailing off into the dust, never to be seen or acknowledged again until all the kids are out of the house.

And that is not right. Nor is it healthy – for anybody in our homes. The old saying about giving as good as you get can be applied in all kinds of ways, and one of the truest is the one that Jessica writes about in the pages of this encouraging book. Unless moms figure out ways to give to themselves, they will have very little left to give to anyone else.

This little blue book is full of helpful hints and good reasons why finding those fringe hours is so important. Jessica surveyed a couple of thousand other mothers and weaves her findings throughout these chapters. (She also details those findings at the end of the story and those are fun to read through!)

And she looks squarely at some of the biggest obstacles to doing fringe hours well: guilt, procrastination, self-imposed expectations, comparison and stubbornness. That last one involves the willingness to admit when help is needed and the wisdom and humility to ask for it, something that seems to be exceedingly difficult for most women I know.

She also encourages moms to build and maintain community as an effective means of finding ways to delight and encourage ourselves. Sometimes the very best medicine for a tired mommy is a coffee date with a good girlfriend. And then again, sometimes it’s doing something we love all.by.ourselves when the house is quiet. Jessica finds those hours in the early morning — I found them late at night. Whatever works, DO IT. 

This book is written for a very specific audience — mothers of young children — so it doesn’t directly apply to me at the stage of life I am currently enjoying. Nonetheless, this is a book I would happily give to every young mother I know. In fact,  I HAVE A COPY TO GIVE AWAY THIS WEEK!!

SO, leave me a comment and let me know if you’d like to be entered in the drawing and I’ll pick a winner and announce it one week from today.

Please hurry on over to your favorite bookseller and order a copy for yourself or a good friend. This one’s a keeper. 


I received an advance copy of this book to read early, but no other compensation for this review.


The Invisible Wound


I’m doing some strange things of late. At least they feel strange for me, at this point in my life. 

I have joined a choir. And not just one choir, but two.

Uh. . . where do I think I’m going to find the time for all of that? 

I was also invited to sing in a vocal ensemble that is fledging at our church community and I said yes.

What in the heck??

This is my mental (and actual, day-to-day) list these days:

     I’ve got a book brewing in me, and I keep pushing it further onto the back-most burner of my brain. Yet, it’s there . . . niggling.

     I’ve got a stack of books on my bedside shelf and another dozen whispering to me from my Kindle.

     I need to think ahead for the blog (although I’ve done some of that. . . have I mentioned there will be a Lenten daily devotional series and that it’s all finished??  That is something of a miracle right there.)

     Several of those books on the stacks of my life need to be reviewed.

     My mom took a nasty tumble this week, landing in the ER where we both spent nearly six hours on Wednesday. (She is bruised and very tired, but nothing was broken, thanks be to God.)

     My husband is dealing with vertigo off and on.

     We signed up to get our names on the waiting list for apartments at a nearby retirement community and yet . . . 

     We’re also looking at houses. Smaller houses, closer to the ocean. And when I say ‘we,’ that really means, ‘I’ because houses are my territory. I do the read-ups, the shopping, the open houses and if, by some miracle, something suitable actually shows up, then I bring my husband along. Fortunately, my son has interest and some expertise in house-shopping and he sends me possibilities.

We’re in the midst of change, maybe even a sea change — I can feel it. And right smack dab in the center, there’s this thing about choral singing.


Well, it’s a long story, which I will try to shorten for the purposes of this post.

From the age of 5 until the winter I moved to Santa Barbara to take a pastoral position here, I sang in some sort of choir. Always. Church choirs, junior high and high school choirs, college choirs, seminary choir. And I loved it. It was just a part of who I was, a regular, steady place where I could lose myself in sound, in the color of chords, in the joy of making harmony. Choir was the place where I could feed a whole other part of me, a part that wasn’t particularly visible in the rest of my life.

And then we moved here. For me to take a pastoral position in this church that I love, a church that didn’t have a choir.

But I was so excited about the job! And the people! And the place! And the call!

So the choral singing part of me got shoved to the edges, sublimated, out of sight and nearly forgotten.

Until that little ensemble I mentioned sang in church one Sunday a couple of months ago, before I joined it. So on that particular Sunday, I was not a singer, I was a listener.

And that felt so.very.wrong.

I do not understand all of this, believe me. I’ve carried it around for several weeks now, pondering why I had such a visceral reaction to that whole morning. And a phrase I wrote recently seemed to sum it up: “It was a wound I didn’t know I had.”

I can do that to myself pretty easily, it seems. Can you? There was sacrifice of various kinds when we made the decision to come here when we did. But far larger than that, at least to me at that time, was the beautiful truth that this call was also a great gift. A Great Gift. So, I tended to let the gift part overshadow some of the grieving that I needed to do when we transferred our entire life to a new community, a new lifestyle, a new everything.

That Sunday morning opened the door to a wound I had ignored for a very long time, a piece of myself that had been buried, a piece that needed to experience the light of day once again.

So I decided that I need to sing. Regularly. Chorally.

Now please understand — it’s been eighteen years since I’ve sung in a choir. And I am now 70 years old. The voice, she ain’t what she used to be – nowhere near, as a matter of fact. But here’s what I’m learning. I can still read music pretty dang well. I still love to tackle new things. I still love to hear others around me singing their parts. I still love the totally unique sound that combined human voices can bring to the world. I still LOVE IT.

So on Tuesday nights, from 7:00 – 10:00, I’m singing in the Santa Barbara Community College Concert Choir. We’re doing a concert on May 2 — lots of spirituals, folk songs, fun stuff. There are about 100 singers, half of them college students, half of them 50+ — and we sound great. GREAT, I tell you.

And then, for a complete contrast, every other Friday night, I become part of a small group of women, almost all of them 60+, who sing a very limited and very interesting set of songs designed to be sung around the bed of seriously ill or dying people. Neither of these choirs is ‘Christian,’ though each one sings some music from the Christian tradition. Each of them is totally unique and each is expanding my horizons in new ways.

Do you remember that my word for this year is S T R E T C H?

Well, you know what? This stretch feels really, really good.

How to Live When the End Is Near — Deeper Story

It happens to all of us. I’m here to tell you, this is the truth: we all get old, some of us a lot older than others. And that day is here for me. Sigh. Truth be told, I still don’t quite believe it! You can start this little reflection here and then follow me over to one of my favorite places in the entire web, A Deeper Story.


Four generations on Christmas Eve, 2014

This is a big year for me, one of those milestone numbers. It’s the year that my 3rd grade self decided would be the year I became really old. This is that year — 2015. I was born on January 23, 1945 (which means my birthday shorthand reads like this: 1-23-45. My father was convinced I’d grow up to be a mathematician, just like he was — but I fooled him. Big time.)


Yes, this is the year — in fact, this is the month — that I turn 70.


But I have something important to tell you right here: that number no longer feels old (as in decrepit). Yes, it does feel old (as in a lot of years), but inside this lined face and underneath this white hair? I feel like I’m about 45.


Aging is a strange phenomenon. The longer you live, the further out ‘old’ becomes. When I was 20, I thought 50 was ancient. But when I was 50, and still two years away from a new job that would keep me busy for a decade and a half, I thought 70 sounded old.


Now I’m 70 and you know what? 90 sounds ‘old’ to me these days.


So as I listened to the end-of-the-year sermon last month, a sermon focused on two of my favorite characters in Luke’s birth narrative of Jesus, I thanked God for every one of these years. For the privilege of walking around on this planet, with people that I love nearby, good work still to do and relatively good health and humor to enjoy. And it was the old codgers — Simeon and Anna — who helped me to say that ‘thank you,’ loud and clear.


You remember those two, right? The oldsters who were in the temple in Jerusalem? The ancient ones, the ones who had been waiting for the ‘comfort’ of Israel to show up. The ones who spent their days praying and hoping and looking, both of them described as righteous, devout and faithful. Those two may have been old, but they were still paying attention to the zeitgeist, they were two strong and deeply centered people, ever on the look-out for God’s promised one. . .



Come on over to ADS to reflect with on all three old people . . . Simeon, Anna and me!



An Advent Journey: When God Became Small — Day Two


1 Thessalonians 4:1-18, The Message

One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.

Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.


It’s just a small phrase, a few words carefully chosen by Eugene Peterson when he was doing his wonderful paraphrase (based on real knowledge of the languages) – a living spirited dance.

And what is he talking about with that fine phrase? Working together with God to bring God (and ourselves) pleasure — true pleasure. He’s talking about the life of faith. 

As a dance. 

My fundamentalist grandmother would roll over in her grave!

I, however, think it’s an absolutely perfect description of what God invites us to do when we turn our faces in God’s direction: to partner with God in this dance of life, to dance the kingdom in!

One of the most graceful kinds of dancing I know is the hula. About three years ago, I had the privilege of watching a lovely Benedictine nun do a hula of her own creation, set to a song of praise to God; I wept at the beauty of it.

It was the perfect picture of what this life of ours can look like — worship and work, faithfulness and beauty, offered in a spirited dance to the God who made us. 

Oh, Lord, help me to dance with you, to follow your lead and to enjoy the process. As I wait in this season of Advent, looking forward to celebrating that wee baby, give my feet extra measures of grace and freedom. Give my heart a new sense of commitment. Forgive me when I make our life together into a ‘dogged religious plod,’ trapped by expectations and guilt. Help me to inhabit your presence with joy and thanksgiving. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

31 Days of Looking for the Little: Shared Moments of Delight — a Guest Post!

One of the sweetest things about this internet world is the connections that can be made — connections across time and distance, life experience and life stage. One of my dearest ‘finds’ has been Kelly Chripczuk, who writes beautiful words over at “A Field of Wildflowers.” Turns out she is a licensed pastor in the same denomination in which my husband was raised and with whom we served in Africa over forty years ago. She wrote this sweet, small piece and asked if I thought it might fit in with this 31-Day series. YES, indeed, it does! Delightfully. Thank you so much, Kelly.
858632_556242587728338_1323787Kelly photo  138_o
Kelly Chripczuk is a Spiritual Director, Writer and Speaker who lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband and four kids.  She writes and speaks on the topics of identity, anxiety, transition and the practice of noticing and receiving the love of God in the midst of daily life.  You can find her blogging at www.afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com or follow her on facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/AFieldOfWildFlowers.

It’s a rare Sunday evening with no school on Monday.  To celebrate, we’re having a “pizza party” in the living room, the six of us gathered around the lap top with paper plates filled with pizza and chips.  The older kids, my husband and I line up along the old leather couch and the three-year-old twins sit in front of us in little plastic chairs, their plates resting on the old scarred piano bench. 

The kids watch the movie and my husband I alternate between watching the movie and watching our children.  We share looks over their heads as entertained by their perceptions of the show as we are by the movie itself.  Then this little exchange, so precious and sweet, takes place between the twins:

“Yours yummy?”  Isaiah asks, holding a sour cream and onion potato chip in one hand, his faced turned toward his brother who doesn’t hear him.

“Yours yummy, Yevi?” he persists, raising his already loud little boy voice and replacing the unpronounceable “L” of Levi with a “y.”

“Huh?” his brother finally replies, turning to look him in the eye.

“Yours yummy?” Isaiah wants to know.

“Yeah, yummy!” Levi replies with unmistakable enthusiasm.  “Sometimes me dip it on my pizza like this,” he adds, demonstrating his method of scraping a chip across the top layer of pizza.

“Yeah,” says Isaiah, turning back to the show with the satisfaction of their shared pleasure evident in his voice. 

Witnessing this from behind, my husband I smile with our hands over our mouths, our hearts savoring the bond of companionship so deep, so sweet, in ones so little.  We’re delighted by their delight, our hearts awakened to joy through this small moment of pleasure shared.


What small moments of delight have you experienced lately?  

Just Wondering