Tag Archives: friends


Linking up with the beauty at The Runamuck today. Check out Amber Haines latest offering in our Concrete to Abstraction series. It has been a joy to read so many fabulous pieces linked there. Check them out as well. And submit your own. We’d love the company. This week our word is SWEATER. I kept it. You said it looked better on me, tossed it over to me, warm and wool.  Our clime did not warrant it. But, I loved it…as it was yours, who covered and kept all my secrets, warmed my still cold soul.  For years, I wore it anytime the wind blew hard, threatened to swallow me. It seemed too much, as if it would  be scratchy, but it was not so. I first wore it in pictures, winter ones, before we all left out for our other homes. It is in my closet, near the one the little Peruvian lady mailed to Rob, the Christmas after he paid to tow her stranded car, in a city that was not his, and then paid to fix it,  with a sum she and her teenage son, Han, could not understand, a man they did not know, assuming. That Christmas they sent us sweaters she had made, softer than silk, Alpaca, deep greens…and a Christmas card in hesitate, yet beautiful English. The cards continued for years. Always signed, “Han’s mother.” Both are too warm for wearing in Alabama, both speak of a love, too much…  more than enough to cover and keep. So I store them high in my closet, not cloistered away in cedar…to remind me of love, too much.



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My family doesn’t really sit together at church. Not all of us, anyway. Our church has two services. Classes are broken up between those services. Trent runs sound for a ministry 2nd service, Meg has leadership responsibilities with Mission 56 2nd service and Molly has Mission 56. So, only Sarah ever sits with us. Sometimes she sits with some of the youth gang.

Most of the time though, Sarah chooses to sit with us. Primarily, because some of our family’s best friends sit near us. She is crazy about them. I looked down the pew today at the people sitting beside me, who live their lives alongside of mine, really do live their lives alongside of mine. I saw people who don’t have to come to birthday parties and gatherings at our home, but do. I saw students who don’t have to share the pains and hopes of their hearts with me, but do. I saw friends who don’t have to read most everything that I write, but do.  I saw people who love me, who choose to care for me, who choose to live life together with me. I saw lives that are really linked together.

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There are a couple of people I have been wanting to have a drop down discussion with, a time to share our hearts and to look for convergence. This week I had an initial discourse with two of those women…it was pretty clear that God was orchestrating more (holy) things requiring our collaboration. Today, the first young woman walked into my classroom. It was time for the drop down. She began, “Here’s where my heart really is, what I really want to do?  Can I do this?”  I let her talk a bit and then I confirmed all she suspected and struggled to explain. I called her, likewise, fully into herself. I released her to be herself, all the way. It wasn’t any authority that I hold that released her, I don’t have any. It was just the resonance of my words…words that I’ve been praying since before the break.

We discussed for a minute her frustration and then dropped down to the real conversation, the floor level questions so many of us, myself definitely included, ignore all the time, like: “What is God wanting to do here, in this season, this time, with this person or group of persons?” What is HE about right now?”

I know we don’t always have clarity, sometimes I trip and stumble the whole way to some semblance of understanding. Sometimes, I never find it. But, occasionally, I seem to have a bead, or footsteps to follow, or insight. This is such as occasion.

Right now, I sense some things strongly. Strongly enough so to call others alongside.

Usually, I let people talk, show their selves: their presuppositions and paradigms. Usually, I feel them out and figure that we lack a language common enough for us to partner. Sometimes though, I stop all that and speak, speak like sound and signal. I do not keep quiet, but speak clarion the NOW, right now, right here, this.  Words escape my careful ( fearful) nature and resonate beyond me. They are nothing of me, I simply pass them through… For, when there is humility – this girl has much, and when there is something God has cleared space to attend to, and when there is a restlessness to find His heart and manifest it and move in time and grace with Him…then, I cannot help but speak what I may sense to speak.

Today was such a day…honestly, something shifted. I could feel the ground grow more stable, an important balance regained.

In four more days, I have made appointment to drop down with one who I believe is another long arranged collaborator. She is waving me and what words I might sound on in. Welcoming what I might say. I have prayed seven years and most of those days for this sit down of our souls. I have known since I first met her eyes that this day would come. I did not know how. I did not know when. Only that it would.

There is a convergence coming, in these (holy) things of which I can speak and in things not yet sanctioned for such. But, the convergence is coming forth, and it is as welcome and warming as the dawn.

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…the place that you have made

1/3 am

More Amber Brooks…because, well, this is where we are talking a lot, the Holy Spirit and I.

“I’m seeking just to find you. I’m listening just to hear. I’m reaching out to touch you. I’m quickly drawing near.

Spirit fall, you’ve torn the veil. I enter in to the place that you have made.”

...the place that you have made.

Every time that I hear this line it seems big and bold and it pounds in my heart.

I want to look into that. I want to let that run about my mind like water in a stream…

The place that you have made. What is that place that I almost see? How do I get there? I usually just seem to fall and land there…stumbling through some  wardrobe or tumbling down some rabbit hole. How do I, can I go to that secret, hidden (safe) place, at will? Because, I need to know, I need to get there and show a few others the way as well.

1/3 pm

Okay, I fell in. I was up at the school, getting ready, and avoiding boxing up more Christmas. I decided to pay my minions to do that for me. A friend reminded me why we have kids and all.

For a long time, I have been looking for someone who really gets me, speaks my particular dialect of language, is my tribe here at home. Someone about my own age, with some similar experiences, someone who on so many levels might just understand. ( I have friends here, but thank God, so much of what has shaped me for better and for worse, they have avoided in this life.)

I stumbled on and fell through to…it was so very near…that place. I walked right into… someone sent, it seems ( if I am selfishly appraising all things) just for me, to help me in some things before me to do, and someone for me to strengthen and, hopefully, help as well in those things before her.

It seems surreal…but so much does of late, so I am trying not to let that throw me.

God, always shows up…just in time, with help, when it’s needed. He always does. He always does.

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guest post – margaret pickett ( my mentor) – slam poetry viii

I’ve been waiting on this. There is no way I would close out this poetry festival without Margaret, no way.
You know that push and pull that we artists secretly beg for? How we hope someone will have the guts and attention span to make us do – what it is we are to do in this life?  How we long for someone to come and discount all our excuses to nothing, for someone to come our way who will just plain believe for us, until we can?  That’s who Margaret was and is in my life.
I don’t have any idea where I would be had she not taken a chance, believed, dared me to believe as well.
But, it wouldn’t be this graced place that I find myself.
Margaret is the best teacher and teacher of teachers I have ever come near. There aren’t many people anything like her out there. Her teachers yearn to be like her and her students dare give her only their best. And long, long after they leave the circuit of her classes, they love her.
Margaret: Love and miss you and all the KCS kids!

Getting and grabbing

Paying and charging

Rushing and neglecting

The real joys of life

Texting and tweeting

Wifi-ing and surfing

Living in the virtual

Leaving out the real

Preening and feigning

Artificial importance

Faking and taking

For granted what we have

Living in the moment

Never looking up to see

The hand of Him who gave us

The ability to choose

So we choose as if we answer

Only to our own desires

Forgetting the Image

We were created to reflect

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guest post – Kim Page Perry – slam poetry iii

The only one I could be more excited about introducing than one of my young guns, is my first best friend, Kim. I know a few things in this life. One of them is that Kim loves me. Consider the introduction a Christmas gift from me.

Kim Perry December 11 at 11:42am

I decided to take your “grown folks challenge”

On Embracing

I love her face

Weathered, creased,

Soft with age.

Ninety four!

Still a powerhouse

Moving too quickly to hug most days

Queen of two castles, north and south

Still on her own

Angel of mercy

The designated driver for

Friends whose children

Have taken away their license

To drive

Big white Florida cars.

She is still so “young”

Confused and frustrated

By the mirror’s reflection

“That is not who I am”

But there is no denying

The great grandchildren

And so,

She lies awake at night

With three generations

After her to worry for



I wonder about me

Will I thrive at her age?

Will I embrace or disparage

(Or even worse

Be ungrateful for)

The years on my face?

Can I cheat

The menopausal destiny

Of sleeplessness?

(I so enjoy a peaceful sleep)

Can I escape

The tendency

(Nature? Nurture?)

Of my family’s women

To worry

About the generations?

Hear me now.

I vow

to limit Mirror time.

Just a glance

to check for spinach and boogers

(lest I offend)

Yet I will peer deeply into

the eyes and souls of

Younger people

To find myself and

To influence

Their impact

on the generations

I rest in and claim

The Peace of God

I will pray for my kids

(and theirs and theirs)

I will leave the worrying

to another

On sleepness nights

I will create

So that I will have more

In the morning

Than coffee and yawns

(Though, I do love coffee)



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my brother

Today, “Jerm” came and preached at chapel. It’s not a formal sermon, just a sharing with the students, the 6th-12th graders. He often takes that role at the school, Jeremy is incredible at relating to people and truth. He began by sharing a lead-in that a few of us from youth group had heard before, an interesting story about the time his whole, 6 member family, lived in a 500 square foot apartment. I thought I knew where he was going and where he would finish. I know many, many of Jeremy’s stories. We kinda tag – team oversee our leadership initiative at youth group together with an incredible team of young adults and Jeremy’s also young and beautiful wife, Tiff.

We read most or many of the same books and/or blogs on one another’s suggestion. We have a shared calling: spiritual formation, and a shared passion, youth. We are both closet mystics and writers. We see the world in so many ways the same. We value similar things and measure our lives by similar standards. Jeremy and his sweet, sweet wife, Tiff, are the greatest treasure Alabama has ever afforded me. They make being here make sense to me. Most of the people who get me at all in this place, came my way by their introduction. They see me, for who I am and require nothing more of me than that I be that person.

Today, while Jeremy transitioned from his story to some new and needed place…I began to cry. At his words so beautiful and at the fact that I knew the place that those words were mined. A teacher leaned over and commented to me, “He sounds like  you.” I smiled.

He does, I sound like him and Tiff and all of our band of fellows, somehow made more…brothers. I’ve been aching for, chasing home all over the highways of late…I’ve been thousands of miles…But, it is in the eyes and words of my brothers and sisters, those particular ones who recognize our kinship and our commonalities, that I find relief and reward…home.

I struggle to describe who this young man is in my, our family’s life. I can’t carry the weight of what is between us in titles and terms of respect.

So, I introduce him, at least in my mind, as what he is…particularly, not just universally… my brother.

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