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31 December 2016


In the frantic pace of life, we need to slow down and simply observe natural forces around us and create out of that experience. What makes us truly human may not be how fast we are able to accomplish a task but what we experience fully, carefully, and quietly in the process.
- Makoto Fujimura

Knowing the excitement and anticipation and even the element of anxiety my artist friend experiences on showing her works makes it easy to stop and ask the other artists about their art. One explained the time, the hours, it requires to dye and shape and felt wool pieces that somehow adhere to other fabrics to create unexpected beauty. Another told of his evolution as an artist, the journey from realizing his abstract techniques might actually be on the edge of obsessive compulsive. A young man sat against the wall of the building and recalled the wonder of his finishing his very first painting. We are all made in the image of our Creator, made to create.

29 December 2016


Overheard today-
"My favorite color is rainbow."

Yes, I'm a mom of kids in their late teens and 20's and even 30's.
But my friends, you moms of littles and tots and babes in arm- can I tell you something?
I love your kids.
Really. I do.
I love for them to come over and play with our trains and blocks and crayons. I love to hear them tell me stories of what they love. And I don't mind a bit when they drop goldfish crackers on my floor (and neither does my dog...)

For this displaced Poppy, it's all joy to have your peeps for a morning. I promise. So ask me. Yeah, yeah, I'm busy with this and that but if I'm here, I want to serve you. I remember. I remember how sometimes you get in a pinch, and you have to go to the doctor or you need to get your hair cut. (Never ever take your littles with you to a haircut. Never. Ever. It makes the stylist nervous. And no one wants a nervous stylist. I speak from experience...) Sometimes, maybe, you just want to make your house clean without a trail of un-doing behind you. And sometimes you just have to sit in all quiet and do nothing for a time. That's ok too.

I remember those saints who served me when I was far, far away from family and my husband was far, far away besides. I'm forever indebted to the ladies who sent me their teens and the ones who had me sit on their couch or outside under their tree and reminded me that it was just a season. They were the ones who pointed me to the Word and who taught me to pray and who trusted me as a friend. We all need fellowship. Can I serve you?

And besides, is there nothing more grand than a little falling asleep in your lap?
Your littles bless me.
Thank you for sharing.


On my list of favorite things about living on the US/Mexico border...
every occassion is a good reason for loterĂ­a.

28 December 2016


A rare day of nothing on the calendar, nowhere to be meant a day fully at home, and much neglected tasks suffer no more. Blinds pulled open, dust flying, papers disposed, vacuum fired up. Linens clean, sheets changed, laundry through the cycles.

And yet, partly cloudy skies are an apt description of my own condition this day, forcing myself through chores in the foggy overcast.

This morning I nodded when I read,
It seems natural enough to protect our hearts from grief—to grimly endure or anesthetize with busyness or distraction or exhaustion. But to protect our hearts from grief is to protect our hearts from love. And that’s no way to live.
I had forgotten. I had forgotten that the opposite of joy is not sadness, but fear. I had forgotten (again) that joy and sorrow are twin eggs of the same nest. I had forgotten that love is always worth the pain—always.
I had forgotten that battered hearts are the most beautiful in the end.

26 December 2016


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
- Anne Lamott


Ever since becoming a Christ-follower, I have believed that the Perfect Storm is when Christmas falls on a Sunday. And no less so this year. 

Early to rise, the day begins- our traditional Christmas breakfast and the every-week-ordinary Sunday routine. Prayer and Sunday School and worship-
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

My favorite hymns. The sweet fellowship of our church family.
A present that didn't know how right it's timing would be. 

The ease of lunch with dear friends. An afternoon movie. Talking to far-away family. And finally, the opening of gifts, just icing on the cake, not the meal itself. 

And to finish, a family picture with the self-timer, missing the ones not in the frame so very much. 

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Oh, fall on your knees and hear the angels' voices
Singing, O, night divine

"O Holy Night"


on the morning run through the 'hood...
O come, O come Immanuel.

23 December 2016


On the morning of Monday, December 12, I woke up early and sat quietly and read and wrote and prayed in my usual morning routine. I drank my coffee and showered and dressed and made our lunch. We drove down the highway at sunrise and got stopped in traffic and crossed the border and rolled into the neighborhood late. I rushed to the school and greeted my third-graders and started a lesson on the names of parts of the body.

And then time seemed to stop.
While all that ordinary was happening, on the coast of Carolina, nothing was ordinary at all.
We soon learned that while everyday life was carrying on, our Harper, our 7 year old grandson, died.

The days since have been hard, more hard than we ever imagined that they could be. We are grateful for the prayers, for the words of encouragement and sympathy, for the support so many have shown our family over the last week, more than we will ever be able to say well. We are grateful that many of you will continue in prayer for us, as it is our strength.

On that Monday morning, I was wearing a bracelet that says, "But if not, He is still good." It is a reference to Daniel 3, to the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who upon being told they would be thrown into the fiery furnace for not worshipping the Nebuchadnezzer, continued to show and speak of their unyielding trust in their God. We too continue to trust our God and His sovereignty, even today.

I wrote the following words for me and Tim for Harper's memorial service last week...

Harper is our first grandson- he is the one who made us Poppy and Gumbo.
Kristy was privileged to be with Ashley and Tom and Harper at the very start of his life, when he was a pretty content little guy who only wanted to eat and sleep.
Those of you who are grandparents know the absolute joy and peace that comes from sitting and holding your newborn grand. It is an experience like none other. You have all of the confidence of having walked this road before and you can perhaps see ahead differently than new parents are able to. Kristy will always be grateful for that time with Harper.

Harper is all light and love in our lives. His beautiful blue eyes and his very sweet spirit penetrate deep when he looks at us. We love Harper unconditionally, which is good because all of you know that like any normal kid, he could be a little imp occasionally. Just this spring, Harper and Corbin were the ring bearers in their aunt’s wedding. Harper decided to dash and hide moments before the wedding was to begin and we pulled him out of his hidey-hole; we kept a death grip on him as we walked into the wedding ceremony. And then the boys carried out their job with all the adorable charm that you can imagine they would have.

Like all of you, our family is struggling mightily to make sense of this. Honestly, we can’t. As Corbin told us last night, “it’s not okay.” In this very terrible situation, we are trusting our God because we believe His word is true and we know from all of Scripture and from all of our experience that He loves us.  

This month, our family has been reading an Advent devotional that reminds us of Jesus’ roles as prophet, priest and king. Early this week, we were reminded that Jesus is our Priest today- the author wrote,
"But Jesus is not finished. His work on the cross is finished—it is perfect and complete (John 19:30). But His work as our Great High Priest continues. Jesus was the perfect Priest who became the spotless sacrifice, but His priesthood is ongoing. Christ died to save us, and now He lives to intercede for us before the Father (Hebrews 7:25).
Our Savior, who took on our sin and granted us His righteousness, is the One who sits at the Father’s right hand, claiming as His own those He died to save (1 John 4:10). He shepherds us even now, fulfilling the promise that none of His children will be snatched out of His hand (John 10:29). He knows our weakness, as He Himself experienced humanity in its fullness but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). And just as He saved us “once for all” by His death on the cross (Hebrews 9:12), He saves us still, granting grace and mercy as our advocate before God and our admittance into God’s presence (1 John 2:2). "

And this morning, we were again reminded that Jesus is our King today- the author wrote, 
"Christ is our King today. Not because we decide He is, but because God Himself gave Him this authority. 
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
He is our King whether we bow to Him or not. He is the King of the leaders of the countries of the world, whether they believe it or not. He is the King of our children and our friends and enemies, whether they receive Him or not. 
This is good news! Not only does our King rule over everyone and everythingHe is also a righteous and merciful judge. And He comes to make His blessings flow. Yes, He is a good King.

We are thankful that we can trust Harper to this Good King, the very Good Father. We hope that you can trust our Jesus too. 
We love you, Harper.

14 December 2016


DPP13- drivedrivedrivedrive all the day long.
Thankful for my four drivers, safety, constant encouragement, the promises we cling to, long hard hugs and silly beautiful grands at the end of the day


DPP12- "God is asking the unthinkable. To trust him in the dark. To accept his will when we don’t understand. To submit to his sovereignty in the midst of uncertainty. To believe he has a purpose when nothing makes sense. Unthinkable as it is, God keeps asking me to trust him."

 - by Vaneetha Rendall Risner, "If I Only Knew Why," at the Desiring God website

When I woke up for the day, I had plans- plans for where I would be, what I would be doing, who I would be with, even what I would take a photo of. By a few minutes to 9, all of that and all of my family was changed. We are walking by faith, and trusting that our good and faithful God walks with us in this deep sadness.

12 December 2016


DPP 11- We gathered together, young to aging, to sing the wonder of Advent, the hope of Christ who came and who comes again.

11 December 2016


DPP10- Crisp morning, good health, sweet friends, and hardly a care in the world for this litte segment of time; we watched the colors fly up and waited for the rainbow apocalypse to drift our direction. Our post-race breakfast took an extraordinarily long time, and we were all getting frustrated. After waiting and waiting (and waiting), our waitress shared a piece of her story. She was an immigrant from a far away place, mourning the death of her mom, and on this day, very much overwhelmed by the demands of American culture and expectation. We offered her prayers of comfort and hopefully a little bit of grace, yet her words echo in my head and my heart even now.

09 December 2016


DPP9- when the receiver understand what the gift is... the absolute hilarity of the White Elephant exchange.


DPP8- The longhorn really doesn't represent the fun we had (though it probably more accurately tells of my artistic abilities...)

08 December 2016


DPP7- On this afternoon, the students learn from the teacher's mistakes. Over and over again today, I am reminded of how very impressive is that simple character trait of humility.

07 December 2016


DPP6- "Truth be told, we all have hearts so easily distracted and forgetful... We need constant reminders of who God is and who we are."
- SheReadsTruth, "A Priest Calls People to Worship"

Walking out of the gym, His fingerprints the sky and again I am reminded of our Sovereign and merciful Creator God.


DPP5- A birthday-celebration-consolation dinner at the end of a very full day.

04 December 2016


DPP 4- Tribute to perhaps the oldest ornament on the tree, the much beloved Jumping Jack, faithfully hanging since 1971 (as documented by the faded script on the back). Jack hung next to my sister's Santa down in the bottom branches of the tree for a good many years, which perhaps explains his missing leg and frayed string. Well done, Jack! 

03 December 2016


DPP 3- Sweets. But the fellowship even more.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!

- Psalm 133:1 (ESV)


DPP 2- when the high schoolers came over and made themselves into Christmas trees.

02 December 2016


DPP 1-  "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
The nativity collection numbers near 20 now. It may be the only collection that I have collected for myself- not collected for me by others. Today we lined the shelves and added the newest edition, whimsical peg bodies that make me smile.


For concrete and visual learners, the pattern says so much. It is such joy to think through how to explain ideas and instructions and then see that light of recognition when it all makes sense.

I am thankful for
my favorite podcast along the way,
morning greetings,
their smiles and laughing at my language mistakes,
being back after a week away,
the voices in song,
Jesus, our pearl of great value.