Monthly Archives: January 2011



Somehow in the last few years, I’ve felt my love for writing disappear. Partly, my attempt at hacking away at this blog is to recover it. Partly my attempt at writing again is to attack my inability to clearly focus on one thing at a time anymore.

Partly because there is something in my soul that comes alive during times of writing.

So, I was praying through creating new-old habits and including writing and reading authors that have been shelved for years.  During that time, my friend, Molly,  from Taylor started posting about writing haikus. It was so fun to suddenly be on a “reply all” message with some of the people I considered quite artsy and fabulous writers at Taylor. Someone posted about a group of writers who wrote a haiku every day for a year. So, I’m humbly dipping my toe back into this group. I’ve always adored this group of people, some of them I have know better than others, and I’ve always been grateful to dabble in this little writer’s circle.

Here is Michelle’s blog:

And I’m jumping in. Making this the year of the haiku. Not sure I’ll write one every day, so I’m going to try to write 5 of the 7 days.

Here is my first one. I think maybe I’ll think about posting my favorites weekly, on Saturday or Sunday.

Of course, this does not help my whacky self-indulgent thought that I will someday be the next Emily Dickenson. But, here goes.


letters and sounds
rhythmically cascading inside
memories now alive


Joining the conversation that began at 11 o’clock


What are you reading? What are you listening to?

I want to know!

C.S. Lewis said: If you join at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight you will often not see the real bearing of what is said. Remarks which seem to you very ordinary will produce laughter or irritation and you will not see why—the reason, of course, being that the earlier stages of the conversation have given them a special point. In the same way sentences in a modern book which look quite ordinary may be directed at some other book; in this way you may be led to accept what you would have indignantly rejected if you knew its real significance. The only safety is to have a standard of plain, central Christianity (“mere Christianity” as Baxter called it) which puts the controversies of the moment in their proper perspective. Such a standard can be acquired only from the old books. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.

As we journey into 2011, what’s your reading list?

Who is up for the challenge to mix things up?

Something old. Something new.

My list will include not only a mix of old & new; but adding some classical fiction in the mix. I’m sorry; but I’m not a modern fiction reader (most of the time). Also some theology and some topical. I’m planning to re-read almost everything I can by C.S.Lewis. I’ve also got to decide if I’m going to read some St. Thomas of Aquanis or Schaeffer or Tozer. Someone along those lines. I’ll be raiding the Miner Family Library (aka my parents house) for books. I am hoping to read a mix of Driscoll, Piper, Keller and Furtick in the next few months. With some things by Mike Breen in the mix. I also am planning to pull a few classics like the Secret Garden and some Shakespeare. I take for granted that I’m reading the Bible and digging back through my parenting curriculum from Growing Kids. Oh, and I’m planning to re-read Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning.

I also consider blogs to be part of my reading. I don’t think I’d do justice to all the blogs I read. My two favorites have to be and I also must say that Jessi’s blog is truly one of my favorites, too. I also try to keep up with our pastors and the pastors that I read or follow on twitter. So, that’s a given.

So, while we are it, let’s move on to music. 

To honor the something old, something new. I’m going with a classical station on Pandora. I’m also pulling out some more contemporary versions of my favorite hymns. One of my banner songs for the year is Kathryn Scott’s new “We Believe”. Her album also has a version of “I believe in Jesus” which I haven’t sang in years. I’m contemplating adding some vintag Mullins “Apostle’s Creed”. I also have LaCrae’s new album in my car. And as always, I will have a bit of country with a twist of Over the Rhine’s newest album.

How about you? Mixing it up with me?
How about your favorite blogs or podcasts?
How about your “must follow” people on twitter?

Gettmeouttahere and The Chipmunk


A couple nights ago, I sat down at the computer for a few minutes.  I had spent an entire day in meetings at the church. It was the first day I had left Justus for a long time. And he refused to take a bottle. Let’s talk about some stress for a nursing mom sitting in a meeting all day trying to concentrate and not burst into tears at any moment because you are so worried a bout your baby eating. (Side note: my mom rocked “Grandma” duty that day. And I came home to both boys sleeping peacefully.)

I was really tired. But, I have been trying to limit my “zone-out” time carefully. Trying to read more, spend less time scanning Facebook or watching television. Trying to press through my tiredness and fill up on good things. Yet, I am so glad I logged on to Facebook the other night. I had no idea that my extra heap of “filling up with some grace and good laughter” would come from Facebook that night. I’m so grateful for my friends Ingrid and Andy who live in Chicago. I noticed a newsfeed post that Andy had listed Ingrid as his grandmother. Made me laugh. In the same moment, Ingrid posts that she has listed Andy as her granddaughter. So, the laughter continues. Their online banter is usually therapeutically entertaining. The best part is envisioning them sitting in Chicago on dueling laptops posting funny things about each other.

In the middle of all of this, I send Ingrid a copy of the picture of my horse Frosty & I that I somehow find necessary to post on facebook from time to time. This is my horse, Frosty. Well, rather my pony. I find this picture of myself hysterical. And Frost looks like he’s about to freak out. My pink upside-down glasses had smurfs etched on the side of them. Seriously!? My mom still claims she tried to talk me out of them.

But, here’s the background on Frosty and how I remember things: My parents bought him for me, when I was in elmentary school. He was wonderful….for about three weeks. The first day that I had Frosty, I remember riding him for hours by myself. Let him “have his head” as the horse people say. Meaning, he was just running and galloping and cantering around the paddock. But, Frosty apparently liked to be ridden every day or he was not happy. Since I couldn’t drive yet, Frosty was ridden on the weekends. He threw my brother off his back one day. Then I remember him bucking me right off and onto the ground. Then I remember that my dad swung his leg into the stirrups to “show him who was boss”. When Frosty launched my dad into a pile of grass, Frosty was on his way to a new home. The best part is that Frosty made the Lima News the following year as winning some award in the county fair.

My sister loves to joke about the fact that I had a pony. It’s such a funny joke. “Jess, you were that girl with a pony!” Uh, huh. The pony that bucked me right off his back.

But, Miss Ingrid took this to an entirely nutha-level. After posting this picture to her on facebook last night, she and I and Andy ended up about 150 comments deep in a trail of straight out comedic comments about Frosty. Ingrid has affectionately named him “Getmeouttahere”.

I can not possibly recapture the whit and humor of the posts. The side-splitting-pee-your-pants laughter of the dialogue on facebook between the Williames & me the other night. But, we discussed my smurf glasses, the crazy pony, and yes, even laughed at how  much I look like a chipmunk.

But, I was so grateful that I logged on to Facebook the other night. Because I needed to laugh. I needed to laugh really hard that day.

My friend Jenna said “don’t you love those God winks?” Yes, yes, I do. I love God winks and elbow nudges that remind me that He’s got my back!

Litte Green Army Men and Scarlett O’Hara


Honestly, I know God’s word tells me not to be anxious. I know where my strength is. I know that I know that I know that Jesus loves me. So, when I struggle over and over in the same areas, I get a  bit pissy. I really do. I get pissy with myself and then I get a bit pissy with God because I just can’t get it through my head that I’m not perfect and I’m not God! It’s true. I know the truth of God’s word. I just believe I tend to give God a really hard time when there is plenty of grace abounding!

Philippians 4:6 tells me: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

I’m a driven and excitable person. I often churn and turn and twist and ponder about a million different concepts at once. It’s fabulous to be energetic and excitable. But, it’s not fabulous to carry all this chaos in my head. When the pressures of my daily life start piling up, I notice the weight of anxiety creeping in. Sometimes, it’s little stress. Sometimes, it’s big can’t-breath-here-we-go anxiety attack type stress.

God’s word tells me to “cast all my anxieties on Him, because He cares” for me. 1 Pt 4:7 So, what does this look like for me? I wish I could say that I just read that verse and my worries slip away on wispy clouds into the ocean of peace.  And there are days, when I know that I am carried above and beyond the situations. I know this is of no grit and grime of my own ability. But, sitting around and reading scripture and doing nothing to change my behavior is just plain silly.

I have been picturing all the ideas and thoughts and worries in my brain as the little green plastic army men in Austin’s bucket of soldiers. Yep, the ones in the movie Toy Story 3. The are marching around and rappelling from the cobwebs and corners, just like in Read the rest of this entry

Paradox Trapeze


White knuckled claws on the high-flying trapeze

Silence, stillness, peace evaded into the drumming cadence of chaos

Thick black lines glaringly stark against soft bellowing whispers

Stinging hot tears push down cheeks pudgy with rolling laughter

Dusty shadowed footprints mark resilience’s path

Flags of surrender on shores of victory

One last tightening grip

One last stretching limb

White knuckled claws on the high-flying trapeze



I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I’m gonna learn to love without fear

Pour me a glass of wine
Talk deep into the night
Who knows what we’ll find

Intuition, deja vu
The Holy Ghost haunting you
Whatever you got
I don’t mind

Put your elbows on the table
I’ll listen long as I am able
There’s nowhere I’d rather be

Secret fears, the supernatural
Thank God for this new laughter
Thank God the joke’s on me

We’ve seen the landfill rainbow
We’ve seen the junkyard of love
Baby it’s no place for you and me

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I’m gonna learn to love without fear

Lyrics to “Born” by Over the Rhine
Yep, you can expect to see lots of OTR’s lyrics- some of the most beautiful poetry of our era!

I could write a blog post on almost every stanza of this song.

My favorites- “laugh through the tears” which describes the paradoxes of life. To recognize the eternal sadness of this earth while clinging to the joy of the real eternity!

My second favorite the combo of “put your elbows on table” just relegates the true friendship on earth found in those who get comfy & prop their heads in their hands and listen long after they are able. Makes me very appreciative for the handful of people that I can “put my elbows on the table with”- metaphorically, of course..