Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tracking Growth

Bruce and I have had a full week to watch our 5-month old granddaughter. The first year of life is truly miraculous. Being an educator, I have just enough knowledge of brain development to catch most new, little skills that Kaya is acquiring.

At two months she couldn't track a toy as it moved across her field of vision. Now she watches the dog run past her and laughs in delight when its fluffy tail brushes her face. She turns her head and smiles when we call her name. She inspects her hands and can reach forward and grab an object. When we put her on her tummy on a blanket, she begins to push herself forward. Her babbling continues to grow in varied tones, inflections and complexity and she watches our faces, in fascination, as we talk and sing to her.

In a couple of months she'll be pulling herself to her feet and "coasting" along the furniture. Kiri is a little nervous about this time in Kaya's development. I call it the "bruised forehead" stage. Unsteady on their little feet, toddlers easily and unexpectedly pitch forward and bump their noggins. This stage takes constant parental vigilance. The baby wants just enough help, but not so much that his/her developing independence is thwarted.
I would love to see a brain scan of a baby from week to week. It'd be fascinating to get an inside peek of the chilod's development.

I'm a child, too, in a sense. My spirit, as a believer and worshipper of Jesus Christ is being nurtured, instructed, and trained by an ever vigilant and incredibly wise Parent. Sometimes I wish I could track my own growth on a visual chart. It'd be nice to know if I'm moving in a consistently northeast direction on the chart. Hopefully I wouldn't see too many dips, valleys, or even worse, backward movement.

We know our babies are developing normally by comparing them to growth charts. And child development experts know that at approximately six months a child learns to sit unaided, walks at about a year, says it's first words at about the same time.

I would love to meet or exceed my spiritual growth charts. I guess my husband, children and friends are my best "chart." How would they track my growth? Have I grown this year?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galations 5:23, NIV)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Love Letters

Years ago when Bruce and I were engaged we were separated for several months. He'd graduated from the University of Michigan in the Fall semester and I still had one more semester to go. He went back home to Illinois to make some money and I remained in Ann Arbor to finish my studies, work on my Master's Recital, be a graduate teaching assistant, rehearse for an opera, and plan a wedding.
Bruce promised me that he'd write every day. Each afternoon I ran down the hall to check my mailbox. Sure enough, there was a letter waiting. And such letters. Such tender words about his love, his prayers for me, his wishes for our future life together.
The months of that last semester were busy ones, but lonely ones, too. Bruce's letters reassured me each day that he still pined for me, loved me, looked forward to our wedding, thought of no other woman but me.
Those words from my beloved kept me going, encouraged me, inspired me. I knew that in a short time I'd be reunited with Bruce and then we wouldn't be separated anymore.
I've kept those wonderful letters; there's quite a stack of them. From time to time I re-read some of them. Bruce's words have remained true for over thirty years. When we've had occasional difficulties I remember how he faithfully wrote to me each day. His goodness and faithfulness shine through those handwritten pages, helping me continue to see him as my hero.

I have other letters not written by Bruce, but precious to me, as well. They contain words of promises, words of love, words of encouragement, too. I've read the words so much that they are forever inscribed on my heart:
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. God with us."
"For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
God loved, God promised, God fulfilled. Then God reminds us that He has indeed performed miracles in our midst: God with us!
What letters.
What a faithful Beloved.

(scriptures taken from NIV)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bruce and I are in San Diego for the holidays, visiting our daughter, son-in-law, and new grandbaby. We had the nicest drive out from Colorado. I-70 was in its glory, with snow-covered mountains and trees, but no snow on the roads.
With very little traffic in Utah we sped along in our Highlander, making excellent time through the deserts and canyons, enjoying listening to our eclectic IPod collection of Rachmaninov, Hovhaness, Mo-town, Toto, and Bob James.
Past Richfield, Utah, there's a stretch a few miles east of the junction of I-70 and I-15 where wise drivers watch their speed and make sure they don't go above 75. That's because they've seen what happens to unwary motorists zooming down the pass. A highway patrol officer, hiding on the median, pulls over skads of cars each day. It's one of the best speed traps I've seen, and I've driven in nearly every state in the USA.
So, on this Saturday, December 19th, as I approached that suspenseful stretch of interstate, I set the cruise control to 75, then waited for the first foolhardy traveler to pass me. Sure enough, here came a little, black sportscar, first no more than a speck in my rear-view mirror. Judging by the way he whizzed past, he had to have been going at least 95.
I said with some smugness, "you're gonna get a ticket."
Then, because I have a sin nature, I started hoping that the guy in the little black sportscar would keep going 95 so I could see the highway patrolman do his thing.
There's one last big curve before the road straightens and drops at about an 8% grade just before the junction. I lost sight of the speeder around the curve and held my breath, as if I were watching the last few seconds of a Hitchcock flick.
As I'd hoped, the highway patrolman was waiting at the bottom of the hill. Have you ever seen those nature programs where the trap-door spider shoots out of his hole and grabs the unsuspecting bug? This guy was even faster.
I laughed with glee as I passed the sportscar and the squad car, parked on the side of the road.
What vindication. What justice. The driver of the little black sportscar thought he could thumb his nose at the posted speed and get away with it. Hah! For once there was a policeman when I needed one.
After I recovered from my glee it occurred to me that God is probably not pleased with my hypocrisy. There are an awful lot of verses in the New Testament that remind people like me that I shouldn't be judging the driver of a little black sportscar. He was caught in the very act. But how many times have I done the same and simply been lucky enough not to be seen?

Next week we'll be heading home, going the same route through Utah. I'll be praying for good weather, safe roads, no drunks, no hidden highway patrolmen. . . and especially, for a gentle attitude.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We celebrate our birthdays by lighting candles on a cake, one for each year of life. It's a symbol of our loved one's presence on this earth and our delight in his or her place in our lives.

But Jesus is referred to in the scriptures as a "great light." And so a mere birthday cake and candles will not suffice for His birthday.
We decorate a fragrant Christmas tree and plug in the lights, amid "oohs" and "ahs" at its beauty.
We string lights around the exterior of our homes, sometimes migrating to nearby trees and bushes. Our neighbors look out their windows and enjoy the bright scene, too.
Mainstreet, USA goes to great lengths to lure shoppers down to its businesses with beautiful, festive music and colorful light displays. Even those who'd never enter a church or read the Christmas story appreciate the lights.

But why do we all love lights so much? I believe God has built into each human the instinctive hunger for truth. Our journey will be difficult at times. We do not want to "stumble in the darkness," or be "in the dark," or have the "wool pulled over our eyes." We know that, just as light is necessary for our well-being, light also yields truth. And that truth is a flash-light for illuminating our way when life's path is dim.

When we can "shed some light" on a subject, or "see our way clear," or expierience "a light at the end of the tunnel" we breathe a sigh of relief.

So when that Christmas tree blinks, winks and twinkles, and we gaze admiringly at the beautiful star at the tree-top, we are reminded that a "great Light" came into the world to give us God's perfect Truth.

"I have come as a light in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark." (John 12:46, New Living Translation)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Eve baby

About 90% of the time that I present my driver's license when I make a purchase, the cashier remarks, "Ah, a Christmas Eve baby. I'll bet you wish your birthday was some other time."
Yes, there were some difficulties about having a birthday the day before Christmas.
First, as a kid, you don't get Happy Birthday sung to you because you're not in school at that time.
Some relatives give you one present and say, "This is for your birthday and Christmas."
You don't usually get your own birthday party because all the relatives are coming over for Christmas Eve.
If you're a musician, your birthday always takes a back-seat to Christmas Eve musical presentations.
You don't get your own birthday cake because it's also a Christmas Eve cake for everyone.
Sometimes your relatives open their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

But. . .

You get to share your birthday with the most significant birthday of all time: Jesus Christ!
You have the honor of singing on your birthday for Jesus' birthday.
As a child, you secretly feel a little special because you arrived on such a special day.
No one forgets your birthday because your dear mother is there to tell everyone that it's your birthday.
Deep in your unconscious, the wonderful music, celebrations, fellowship and feasts of these holy days forever associate your day with His Day.
You realize that your birthday pales in significance to the One whose birth heralds God's grace to all mankind.

I wouldn't trade my birthday with anyone else's.

"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." Matthew 2:10,11)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I got an email the other day inviting me to join a touring blog. I thought that might be an interesting venture so I typed in my info and then went hunting for a picture of myself to post.
Under my Glamour Shots photos I ran into a lot of jpg #18, or 38 or 43 or whatever.

I thought I remembered #18 as the serious, professional shot, so I clicked on that picture.
This was the semi-sexy shot, the one with the pearls, slightly low-cut gown and the romantic expression. I'd done that shot thinking to print out an 8 by 10 for my husband.
Now I went hunting for the cancel button. . . or the delete button. . . or whatever button for getting rid of that photo.
Nothing. Not a single button to remove that darn picture.

Now, you understand that this was not a naughty photo. I'd never do something like that. Never! It just wasn't the image I wanted to project for a writer's blog tour.
I ran downstairs in a panic and summoned my husband. He'd get rid of the photo and then I could start fresh with the serious picture.
But Bruce was as mystified as I had been. There sat my photo, gazing dreamily out from its published spot on the page along with all the other, lovely, serious, professional shots of other writers who'd recently signed the guestbook page of this particular blog.

I spent the greater part of the morning, diligently following instructions for deleting items. Who are these people who design the help pages? If I've clicked on a help button, wouldn't you figure that I'm dumb enough to need help in plain English????
I finally shot off an email explaining my predicament and asking for computer help.
Know what I got? The same help page I'd just spent three hours trying to comprehend.
That one thoughtless click of the wrong button thrust my entire morning off kilter as I tried to undo the undoable.

It's just like a thoughtless word, a viral hurt, ah-chooed from our lips, spraying those nearby. How we long to grab that noxious vapor and stuff it back where it originated.
Too late.

If only I'd let my finger hover for a few seconds longer over that button before I forever committed myself to the photo with the wrong message.

If only I'd let my mouth hesitate before spewing the wrong word.

Computers can teach you a lot of life lessons.

Monday, December 7, 2009


For the past three summers my husband and I have been waging war with the most clever, obnoxiously cute, persistently destructive rodent we've ever encountered: the ground squirrel.
When Bruce first grumbled about the little darlings I said, "Oh, leave them alone. They're so cute and after all, we are living in their environment."

Then the rock retaining wall along our driveway started shifting and shrinking, like on old person whose spinal disks are flattening. I noticed the little piles of dirt on the driveway. It did not take me long to put two and two together. Those "little darlings" were digging networks of tunnels directly behind our wall, extruding dirt like so much sewage through thousand of convenient orifices.

"I've got an air gun," my next-door neighbor said. "I can come over and shoot 'em."
"Oh, that won't be necessary," I confidently told him. (I could take care of the rodent population with less violent means.)
So I went down to my local True Value and purchased a bag of rodent repellant.
Didn't work.
"They hate cayenne pepper," someone told me. So I roamed from hole to hole, pouring mounds of the spicy stuff down.
That lasted about two weeks. Then one afternoon I looked out my office window and saw movement. Would you believe it? One of the "enemy" actually stood up, liked he'd climbed out of his fox hole, and waved at me. I think I heard him singing Elton John's "I'm Still Standing."

One summer we were assisted in our hate crimes by an obliging, scuplted carpet-on-legs: a badger. Like a miniature dirt-moving Caterpillar his powerful front paws and claws demolished the squirrels' homes. We didn't even have to see the tragic denouement; the stillness of the yard told us everything. Unfortunately, the badger got hungry again and moved on to meatier yards, leaving ours, once again, undefended.

This past summer, help came from the sky in the form of foot-long black and white stealth bombers. Magpies, we discovered to our delight, love fresh squirrel meat. Together with some me-too crows, they lined our fenced, watching the yard with eager, beady eyes. As soon as a head surfaced, one of our warriors dropped noiselessly, plucking the hapless creature from his hideout. Thank you, Mother Nature!

Mid-August came and the squirrels disappeared down into their hybernating dens. (By the way, does anyone know why the critters don't suffocate when three feet of snow cover the ground for weeks?) I've been studying for the next summer season. Gonna hit 'em with a one-two punch next May. They won't even know what hit them.
Tell you about it next summer. If . . . I'm successful.
You never know. They might be sitting down there right now, plotting their next offensive.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My House

I like my house. It's in the Colorado Rockies.
From the front it looks like a cedar two-story cabin. People are surprised when I tell them that the place has nearly 3000 square feet.
There are two bedrooms and a bath upstairs.
My office is on the main floor. Before the great remodel of 2004 it used to be the master bedroom. I love this room. It's cozy, with a southern exposure, and looks out on Twin Sisters. When I look out the window I feel like writing.
The new Master suite is on the main floor, too. Right outside is a big wrap-around deck, a state-of-the-art hot tub, and fantastic views of the mountains. You wouldn't believe the stars at night.
Bruce's office is the entire downstairs. When he takes a break from work, he can hop onto the treadmill or the Bowflex.
Outside any window we can see deer, elk, coyotes, hawks and eagles, groundsquirrels, bunnies, chipmonks.
It's a great house. Beautiful, comfortable, spacious.
We didn't always live in such nice digs. We've lived in our share of rentals, fixer-uppers, and crowded or noisy subdivisions. For thirty years we've worked, raised our children, and dreamed about a home in the mountains. In purely economic terms, I should say that we've earned our lovely mountain home.
But there's a much nicer home that I'll eventually live in. I'm sure I can't even imagine how nice that crib will be.
I haven't done anything to earn the priviledge of living there. Some One just offered it to me. Said He'd go and build it just for me. Sweet.
All I gotta do is believe that the Builder is who He is and is giving me the place (and a whole lot of other perks, too) and in due time I'm gonna inherit an indescribably wonderful mansion. Some deal, huh?
No joke. This is on the level.
Can you think of a better deal?