Quiet Goodnight

Tommy Stone Photo

Photo Credit Tommy Stone

hush now

don’t fear the dark
everything must sleep
every living thing
does the sky not tell you?
Do the shadows not close your eyes?
Let the sound of the water
sing a lullaby
let the soft breeze rock
your tired bones
all must nestle down and
curl around the earth
for warmth and peace


Exodus 1

15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

Cue the sound of brakes…The midwives LIED and yes they saved lives and it was for a good purpose…but God actually rewards them?  But, just a few chapters later God gives the ten commandments to Moses and cough cough “Thou shalt not lie” cough cough…

I had never focused on this tidbit before and I know that there are many ideas that seem contradictory in the Bible. It doesn’t shake my faith in scripture and this isn’t about exposing the Bible as some hoax. I am just wandering through these scriptures that I have read in the past and that every child who attends Sunday school is given as stories,  trying to see them with a fresh eye. Forgive me if I ramble because some of this is me working it out for myself on paper.

I did some searching to see what people who are much smarter and versed in scripture then I am say and one idea that made some sense to me was that God did not reward the midwives for lying but for saving the baby boys.

I think that there is another reason for theses little nuggets that pop up and make us question. One purpose is to make us do exactly that – question. Why would we assume that the God who created then entire universe out of nothing would be easy to understand? When I read a verse like this one, I am lead to cross-references and other scripture and commentary. Anything that motivates us to read more, study more, dig deeper, has to be a good thing.

I remember when my youngest was little, we had a garden and she loved the cherry tomatoes. She loved them so much that we had to watch her or she would eat too many and she didn’t seem to care if they were ripe. One day she was playing in the back yard and when she came in the house there were tomato seeds stuck to the front of her pink tee shirt. I asked her if she had been eating tomatoes and she shook her head no, unaware that the evidence was literally all over her. All she saw was that we were keeping her from something she liked. She did not see that we were protecting her from getting sick.

We humans learn very young to lie to avoid punishment. No one likes consequences but logically, maybe having no consequence makes it more difficult for us to admit our sin. Without admitting our sin we have no cognizance of the need for a savior. Without a savior we cannot be reconciled to God so lying to avoid consequence is a big problem for us.

All of us have those sayings that we inherited from our mothers. The ones that used to make us roll our eyes in disbelief at how old fashioned and out of touch our mother’s were. One that sticks with me and as with most of my mom’s sayings, now makes perfect sense to me, is “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” My mouth often gets me into trouble but I try not to add lie to the mix. It is hard enough to remember everything as I get older. I KNOW without a doubt I would not be able to remember lies. Trust is such a delicate thing and so very important. One lost it is almost impossible to get back. I think I am forgiving someone who has lied to me but I am not sure that I am successful because there is always that little doubt in the back of my mind and I am more careful. It crates an us versus them mentality.

Years ago I read about the word Koinonia.  Koinonia is being united in worship, in serving, in fellowship.

Philippians 2:1-2 says “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

If trust is broken because of lies then Koinonia is impossible, not just with each other as Christians but with Christ.

Have I got a good answer about the midwives? I think they were just humans thrust into an impossible situation and God in His wisdom, knew they looked at their options and did the best they could. Imagine being in their position. You are a poor person who has devoted your life to helping people. Now you stand before a powerful man who rules a country in which you are perceived as a second class citizen at best, a threat to the economy and society and completely at the mercy of a man who has ordered you to commit murder. They took a courageous stand and defied the order but in a way that deflected what could have been further punishment for their people if perceived as out and out defiance and survived along with saving the lives of babies. God had plans for one of those babies and we don’t know, because the story doesn’t give us any more information but it’s possible that some other infants who survived became the ancestors of other important prophets. We do know that there were mothers who would have been heartbroken if not for these midwives and their creative problem solving.

God is not okay with lies but maybe we are supposed to think. To simplistically apply laws is to go back to the time of the Pharisees and takes grace completely out of the equation.

Grace?? Oh yes. I forgot about that. Was grace present as early as Exodus? Well, Adam and Eve ate of the tree of life but God did not kill them. Was there a consequence? Big time! They were banished from the garden and life became a whole new level of difficult. We may think that was harsh but God did not kill them and so the human race went on. That was grace. (And remember that whole debacle had lies at the center of it!)

We tend to think of grace as a new testament thing but God’s grace has been with us from the beginning and thankfully will be until the end.

When my little one lied about eating the tomatoes I didn’t spank her. I did point out that I could see the seeds on her shirt. I reminded her that green tomatoes would give her a belly ache. I knew that she would have many lessons to learn as she grew older and that some of them would be painful. I loved her then and I love her now. Did I still trust her? Well, as much as you can trust a three year old who loves tomatoes.

Everything seems to point back to grace. Amen.


We started a new bible study. 24 weeks long, it is supposed to encompass selections from the entire bible. I recently started bible journalling on my own so I am using the same method for this study. The method is called SOAP. Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. The method works well for me because I have always been a skimmer. This method makes me slow down and take slower, deeper bites.

The study starts at the beginning in Genesis and though I have read the creation story multiple times, I focused in on several things this time. The two things go together for me. First of all, God SPOKE the world into being. Second, we are made in His image.

Of all of creation, we have the gift of words and the ability to create. We make art and one of the ways we make art is through words. Stories and poetry and song, all the ways that we try to describe our world, whether external or internal.

All of creation has language and poetry is nothing but us silly humans trying to translate that language into words and draw us closer in as part of that creation.

To really be IN the world, a part of everything, to hear the sun set, feel the rain blowing in, smell the sun-warmed pond, to draw warmth from the little dog curled up next to me, to hear the buzzing of conversations in a crowd with clear snippets floating past. This is poetry and the source of poetry. God IS poetry and creating and the best of us is when we love His creation, when we love everything and everyone He created. We see HIM in each other and in the world He created. WE are created in HIS image, and so if we would see God, then we must see each other and see the God spark in each of us, the potential for creation, the music, the art, and the poetry.

New Day


The morning smells like hope

is blowing in on fall winds

Sky sets fire to yesterday’s trouble

as trees raise a new day from the cold ashes.


Photo Credit: Tommy Stone



morning waits
just beyond the treeline
and for a moment
night hangs on to the sky
by the tip of ragged branches
shivering in the early morning chill
stretching for the sun
even before it appears
how do they know?
the pond whispers
and they listen

Photo credit: Tommy Stone

Bon Voyage Friend

The Paris Poets Society met tonight to say farewell to a member who is moving away. She will be greatly missed. What could I give her but a poem. See you later Sharda.


We are the lucky ones

The gifted, slightly crazy ones

Who see the world in brighter hues

With hearts too big to make us choose

We make one singing moment freeze

Or gobble eternity if we please

Paint with sunlight, wind and moon

Voice a storm, pour out monsoon

Open heart, to throat, to pen

And give it to the world again

Young or old, joyful, shattered

sing or whisper, doesn’t matter

Use your words, we tell a child

But poets play with words and smile

We know a secret, so look around

We share our souls where poems abound

The View From Here

endless conversations with each other and with God

fall again and again on deaf ears, an effort odd

in that the talk is not the walk and hearts are never

in the mix we want to fix but no one touches ever

what we know, we KNOW is always at the center there’s a door

we knock and knock and kick the wood but cannot enter

like a monkey grasps his food and keeps his hand so stuck so frozen

what the hell, we have to let it go stop clinging to our right, our might

our rotten self and staunch the bleeding, no one’s leading

all just follow this way that way on the surface storm is coming

drums are drumming but the sound is drowned by weeping

creeping up knee deep in rage we leap, all so surprised to find

it’s US not THEM, WE have to be the father, mother, sister, brother

for each other, EACH is precious, EACH is special, ALL are crucial

to survival, every loss in death or life diminishes and finishes the coffin nails

we are a chain our dna, our history, a convoluted mystery

a constant pattern of election then rejection events conspire to reconnection

a spark divine, love for creation, yet birthing seeds of self-destruction

drugged by image constant movement busy busy blur the lines

build a hideout cave to crouch in, turn the lights out, shut the blinds

we like to say we’re different, kinder, better, smarter, kneeling at the perfect altar

never stopping to discern, we set ourselves as little gods, then falter

stumble on our souls refusing to acknowledge cost we’re lost and yet

the hope that lives in each potential when we see that you are me

and I am you all swimming in a great deep sea, starving though to love is free

to feed each other, hold a hand, the only way to reach the sand

the water rising, talk is cheap, deep and deeper, still we sleep

wake, arise, the need is great, stop bailing water, fix the boat

all together we sink or float.

Sky Dancing


the clouds are busy

dancing twirling

building castles

boiling, swirling

dressed in homespun

verse and chorus

every step, performance for us

waves of music

played by wind

partners changing

dip and spin

then joy poured out

tears wash the earth

wiped clean by sun

the sky gives birth

to clouds again

and more and more

while on the ground

we dream to soar


Photo Credit: Tommy Stone



clouds may hide the sun

but cannot hide the light

through grey of dusk

a blush still peeks

soft as eyelash

on pink soft cheeks

silken brush till day is done

calls forth the stars to say goodnight


Photo Credit Tommy Stone


erased emotions strewn about
like clothing on the bedroom floor
in the corner a pile of shout
a few fears hid behind the door

hope peeps out from under the bed
erased emotions strewn about
can they be poked back in her head
gathered in piles of stinking doubt

venomous words from an angry mouth
it will take a lot to clean this mess
erased emotions strewn about
tear stained carpet and wrinkled stress

gather it up and launder all
love and laughter to take stains out
fold it fresh the weekly call
erased emotions strewn about

more work on quaterns using lines from some older poems

Move Your Feet

more time moving, less time talking
prescription for what ails us all
when angered take yourself a walking
footsteps echo down a dark hall

throw the locked doors open wide
more time moving, less time talking
swing your arms, lengthen your stride
eyes wide open at beauty gawking

find the peace that has been lacking
heal the cuts and bruises over
more time moving, less time talking
breathe the air and smell the clover

world looks better a little blurred
if you find yourself disturbed
take some time, go nature stalking
more time moving, less time talking

working with Quaterns – four 8 syllable quatrains, Refrain is repeated as line 1 of stanza 1, line 2 of stanza 2, line 3 of stanza 3 and line 4 of stanza 4.

Ten Things My Granddaughter Teaches Me About Jesus

When I married Dale, my heart grew to hold him. When our children were born, more space was added and as they married it grew even bigger, Now there is a new place, room for this new child, a part of us all.  When we are apart, no matter how far or how long, there remains a grandchild shaped place in my heart, waiting and loving and praying until we are together again.

Jesus loves all of us. There is room at the cross.

When I hold out my arms and she smiles and runs to me my heart is so full it wants to burst. Chubby little legs moving, elbows out, full speed ahead. She is not graceful as she learns to use her growing limbs, she may trip and sometimes get distracted by something else along the way. It may not look like anything special to someone watching..but it is everything to me. She is my granddaughter and I am her gamma and I will lift her when she reaches me at last.

Jesus is always waiting for us to run to Him, arms out, ready to lift us out of our aloneness, no matter where we are in our journey to Him.

When I sing to her it does not matter that my voice is not perfect or that I miss some notes. She loves it and sings with me. It may not be opera, or even pleasant as far as an artistic music endeavor and even though there might be a lesson in the words, the important part is that she is looking at my face and smiling and the singing is an act of love.

When we sing our praises to Jesus, it doesn’t matter what the words are or that our voice cracks. It’s not the song that counts. It’s the heart.

When she laughs, I can’t help but laugh with her. When she is sad or hurt, I want to cry with her. I am fascinated by her personality, by how intent she is on things and I love to watch her discover the world. I rejoice in her ‘becoming” as she grows and learns and changes.

Jesus is “over the moon” in love with us. He rejoices in our triumphs and weeps with us at our failures. He knows every little quirk. We are the favorite part of creation.

When we walk together and she reaches to hold my hand, I love to take that hand and walk with her, trying to make sure she is safe. I love spending time with her. She might stumble so I have to walk slow and bend so that she can reach me, but it doesn’t matter as long as she wants to walk with me.

Jesus is walking with us, His hand reached down waiting for us to grasp when the sun is shining and the path is smooth and lined with flowers. He is there when the way is dark and rocky and we are stumbling and weary.

When she falls down and gets hurt or is sick, I want nothing more than to comfort her and heal her. I can’t protect her from everything hurtful and it is painful to me to know that she will know pain in her life and I would spare her that, but I can’t and so I will pray that there is a hand for her to hold when it comes and that she will grow stronger. If the painful situation is one where I can help or at least let her now I am there, I pray it will make our relationship grow stronger and deeper. I would love for the answer to always be yes, but sometimes no matter how much you love someone, the answer will have to be no.

Jesus knows suffering. Jesus knows how the world can hurt you even when you have the best intentions. He has seen the weakest and meanest of humanity and died for all of us anyway. Jesus asked the Father, if there was any other way for Him to do God’s will, to take the suffering away, but He had to walk that path and die on a cross so we would have a resurrected savior.

When she spends the night at my house she sometimes wakes in the night. If I hear her I love to get up and pat her and sing to her and reassure her that she is not alone in this strange world and that someone is watching over her so she can sleep.

Jesus watches over us even when we sleep. We can give him all of the problems of the day and lean on Him for peace that comes from knowing He is always there.

I am so excited when she learns a new word or any kind of way to express herself. I am filled with joy when she can talk to me and I want to always be someone that she will want to tell anything to, secrets, hurts, questions, joy and even anger because I love her, completely, without reservation. I don’t just love this part and not love that part – I love all of her.

Jesus is big enough and has enough love that He can take all of it – all our parts, even the dark and dusty ones that we hide from each other and sometimes even from ourselves. His eyes see us, not like we see each other or ourselves, but through the lens of eternity.

The time we spend together will let a little bit of me live on through her and though my parents are gone, she learns a little bit about them through me. I hope to be around long enough to tell her stories of our family, so she can tell her children and they can tell theirs. But the stories won’t matter as much as the time. Whenever I have the gift of hanging out with her, I pray that she sees my mama through knowing me.

The time we spend hanging out with Jesus, in prayer, in praise, and in His word, we get to know Him and through Him we get to know more of God.

There is nothing she could do for the rest of her life, that would make me stop loving her. I don’t mean that I will approve of every decision she makes and there will be seasons of pride and seasons of disappointment as there are for all of us, but the love will never stop. I pray that even after I am gone from this earth, that she will know her gamma loved her.

We are so loved. No matter how old we are, how many times we stumble or how far and hard we fall, Jesus love is always there waiting to lift us up, clean us off, and let us know that we kingdom kids and He loves us. Always and forever. Amen.


Spring Break

One hundred and three work orders. In two months. That is what I have done. I have been mad and sad and frustrated and tired and dealing with scary crappy health stuff but I did it. Spring break begins.


The Weight of Anger

the weight of anger
is immense
tense and tiresome
dragging the heart down to the
level of nothing good
no laughter, no singing
it steals your voice and takes
all your choices for itself
it changes all the colors like
some bad adjustment, all tinged with
mad, sad, hurt, can’t even separate the parts
the heart beats faster and I hear
that tone in my voice you know
the one that sounds like
a banshee, like fingernails
on chalkboards
like a lonely cat
back up, fur bristled
like thistles. prickle
changed no longer
who I am but taken
by the weight
of anger

Lessons From a Statue

Photographer Tommy Stone

Photo credit: Tommy Stone

wings raised in
perpetual readiness
shuttered lids
warmed by a winter sun
nestled in the green
there are lessons here
and prayers
be still
be prepared
stay warm
find a safe place
calm whispers
in a world of chaos


As always, thank you Tommy for inspiration.

Let Go!

The last few weeks at work have been odd and unsettling. I have run through a pile of emotions and probably let my blood pressure get out of hand for nothing so I am taking a step back. I think I need to write more and stop overthinking. Some of my reactions to change are my own insecurity and I KNOW this. I just forget. Not everything that happens is because I am older, because I got injured, or because I am female. I have to remember that sometimes people are just twisted up in their own garbage and and I need to decide not to be collateral damage.

Two things have helped me get to this point. I just had to shut up and wait for them.

2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'”

A Coat by William Butler Yeats

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

I have read the scripture reference before but never felt the meaning so strongly as now. I am going to make the last few lines my meditation for the week and take comfort from knowing that every tomorrow, God will be with me.

The poem was one I discovered clicking to read a different poem. It was in the sidebar. What a wonderful find. Everyone makes their “song” a coat. I cover up with words until I believe them myself but the world always ends up ripping the coat away. A lesson I seem destined to learn again and again. The world might take the top layer but it cannot touch your song or soul. There is risk in walking “naked” but there is freedom too.

all the letters coalesce
become something they were not
and in the birth a death comes too but not
the inner center
gooey soft and chewy
still remains though rain may fall
on just and unjust
washing nothing but the dust
you must
hang on, hang in, hang out
like driftwood bleached bone beauty
hard as nails the water changed
and in becoming
whiter with each passing tear
hardened edges give way to
softened lines as words become pictures
and scars become memories
the shadows only mean the sun still shines

Thank you Mr. Yeats. You still resonate. Also thank you Jae for sharing a poem that led to the poem challenge that led to Yeats. Happy trails. Thank you to my grandbaby for taking my mind off problems and changing my perspective. Thank you blog sidebar for this quote of the day:

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
Havelock Ellis

we are all having so much fun…

I have had so much time to write in the last few months. Time does not not seem to mean creativity as the empty blog shows. My body has not been my friend. On May the 30th I broke a bone in my foot. I had surgery two weeks later and they put metal in my foot. I was no weight bearing for six weeks. When I finally started putting weight on it again it swelled and ached and it turns out it was infected. Another surgery to remove the metal. Along with the surgery they put what is called a picc line in my arm so I could get six weeks of IV antibiotics at home. Home health came once a week and changed the dressing on the picc line and drew labs. During this time I kept telling people my arm hurt. It became worse, to the point where it would keep me awake at night. After hooking up and infusing the antibiotics, I could barely lift the it off the arm of the chair. A few weeks ago I went to have the picc line removed and said once again that my arm hurt and I was hopeful that it would improve once the picc line was removed. The doctor decided I should get an ultrasound of the arm and apparently, the picc line had caused a blood clot. Now I am on two different blood thinners to make sure that the blood vessel heals without sending the clot somewhere it should not be. I was given a prescription for blood thinners in injection form and told to follow up with my local doctor. I made an appointment and when I showed up for the appointment the doctor would not do anything because they had no information from the hospital. I waited several days and called them and was told they still had no information. I told them that I only had two syringes left and if labs take three days to get results I was going to be in trouble before we got answers. This made them decide I should come on in and at least get labs drawn. I actually saw a doctor this time and he said I should have been on the shots AND oral meds and then when the therapeutic level is attained I could get off the shots and just continue with the pills. Soooo I got another prescription of ten more syringes plus the pills. The shots are not horrible but the medicine stings and it leaves ugly big bruises on my stomach. I would have appreciated doing this correctly the first time.

I had thought about trying nanowrimo again this year but I just do not feel it.

I feel like the poster-child for Murphy’s law. What can go wrong…will. I am back at work and that is helping keep my mind off it. I am trying to concentrate on my health, find a balance between rest and exercise and a balance between what I cannot eat while I am on this blood thinner and eating healthy.

Inspiration is hiding right now. Maybe when I am better I will write a medical/murder mystery/urban fantasy…kill off a few bureaucrats or at least turn them into gargoyles, forever imprisoned in stone, unable to communicate.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Write if I Want To…


Beautiful photo by Tommy Stone

sandwiched in between all the black
you know the clouds that move in unexpectedly and stay longer than you wish
no invitation, just plop down at your door with suitcase overflowing
taking over the guest room and hogging the remote
eating up the last piece of cake and tracking all over your clean bright floors

but I digress, sandwiched in-between, that’s where I was…
there is this light that dances just on the edge of your vision
creeps in with a little finesse unlike that pesky black shadow that
just wants to take over
it lingers as long as it can
hanging on by fingertips and branch endings, tossing a little pastel silk
over all that dark velvet
reminding you that darkness like uninvited company
does not stay forever
even as it sinks to the ground the last veil drifts by
pats your cheek and tucks you in
making shadow puppets on your heart
soft as a mother’s sigh