I am asked: “What is your inner source of orientation? What is your inner compass?”

So I begin to wonder….hmmm….what guides me?

To be honest,
curiosity points the way.
I follow until
the road gets tough
then I ache to
turn back.
Who wins? Comfort or curiosity?
On a cold day, maybe comfort.
When I have the energy, maybe curiosity.

So, is curiosity my inner compass?
Sounds dangerous but true.
Sometimes I wish for
something more noble
like wisdom
or faith
or even courage.

Truthfully, I am a shy adventurer.
Always on the lookout
for another shy adventurer
to explore with.
Someone whose courage
I can borrow, or whose
wisdom I can follow
and whose faith will
keep us on the path.

Being shy makes
companioning difficult.
Needing alone time, quiet,
solitude, but friendship too.
The paradox, the balancing
of the paradox.

Maybe someday I’ll have the
wisdom, courage, and faith
to explore on my own.
Maybe someday I’ll trust that
the companions are
already waiting for me
just up the road a bit.

Maybe someday I’ll take
that one step that
leads to the rest
of my life.

Today, it seems, I’ll just
write about
the dream of it all.

The Moments Without the Oar

I’ve been taking an online class on spirituality and poetry (The Spiral Way: Celtic Spirituality and the Creative Imagination – It was a four week class and the final class was a doozy with several writing exercises. The subject was pilgrimage, specifically a form of Irish pilgrimage called Peregrinatio. Irish monks would be prompted by a dream to head out on pilgrimage. They would set off in a small boat called a coracle without a rudder or an oar and just go where the current took them. It was a spiritual journey of trust and exploration. In the class we were given several writing prompts and the first one was: “I step into the coracle and release the oar.” Here is my writing exploration and my poem: 

I am reminded of kayaking on Webb Lake in Maine. My husband, Rick likes a direction and a purpose. Yet I remember the experience of just being in the kayak on the water. The temptation to drop the oar and just see where the lake takes me. What does she want to show me? Somehow I trust her more than my own choice of direction. Sometimes I just want to be taken somewhere wonderful. I don’t want to risk making the wrong choice. I’d rather trust the wisdom of the water to show me what I need to see.

But then I have the memory of racing to shore before the storm let loose. I was very grateful for my oar at that moment. Would the lake have carried me to safety? Maybe my own instincts are more trustworthy than I give them credit. Maybe we can partner. The spirit of the water can suggest a direction. And then I can choose. Sounds like a good life and a good journey.

The Moments Without the Oar

I can trust
those moments
without the oar.

I can trust the Spirit,
your Spirit,
to deliver me to dry land

the land of your suggestion,
one you think fits me
for the moment.

I can choose
to step ashore
and venture

into something new
or something old,
whatever awaits.

I can trust
that when it is
time to journey again

the coracle will be
at the shore
waiting for me.


Thirteen Years

I am reading the book Gently Awakened by Sara Joseph about the intersection of faith and art/creativity, about giving it all to God and letting God work through your art. In the chapter titled “The Precision of Timing,” she talks about her dream of having an art studio. When she finally has one and is first setting it up, she is drawn to the story of Joseph in Genesis 41. She realizes that it was thirteen years from the time Joseph first has his God-given dreams to the time those dreams became a reality. She also realizes that it was thirteen years earlier that she first prayed about her art and handed it over to God.

I started thinking about where I was thirteen years ago. Thirteen years ago, I was not a Christian. Thirteen years ago, we had just enrolled Lindsay in preschool at First Grapevine UMC. She had not yet started class. I had not yet started bible study. We had been to one worship service. I had no idea that thirteen years later I would be in Seminary. That thirteen years later I would be having my Ministry Orientation for Elder Ordination. That thirteen years later I would be on the Strategic Team planning the future of our church. That thirteen years later I would be writing about God. That I would be sharing my faith…a faith I didn’t even have at the time.

I could never have dreamt a dream that big. I was craving more and God gave me more, and then some. Thank you, Lord.


Ephesians 3:20b  ~  Abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine