one on encouragement


compassion, I get
and that’s close
to encouragement – it’s hard
to balance between
noticing good
and nagging for better
it’s in the tone
in the heart
in feeling out
the heart of another

how can i pour courage in?
how can i call courage out?
how can i help courage grow?

i know you can do it
you are so brave
so smart
so kind
so perservering
you did that well
i’m proud of you
i’ll be right here
how can i help?
i knew you could do it



One on How I Take It

not every day
not any more
since I endured
an aching head
letting habit go
because my tiny
daughter grew inside

not black alone
not any more
cream and sugar
sitting listening across
from new friends
an old one
someone needing time

not for speed
not anymore now
instead slowing down
to listen better
to really hear
for contemplation’s sake
taking it slow


(photo credit: Erin Blinn Photography (c)2013)

One on Diving

Starting Blocks

I was a swimmer
Diving only from the blocks
Never the high dive

Which turned the water
An illusion
That might not break your fall

I was a swimmer
Who won by finishing
Without touching the lane line

Persistently, quickly
Churning out laps
Fly, back, breast, free

A tiny girl then
Before puberty conspired
To give me curves

Interfering with my aerodynamics
Slowing me down

I was a teammate
Walking the length of the pool
Shouting encouragement loud

Before puberty conspired
To make me self-conscious
Afraid of what people might think

I have relearned fearlessness
In encouragement
Shouting loud celebration

Of hard work
Of effort
Of overcoming obstacles

But I never regained
My speed off the blocks
Though I can still swim far

And I still won’t
Dive off the high dive
But I will jump

Cheering them on

One for 2013

one word for 2013
wherein I have – to start
too many things
taking up too much
precious time
and attention
that could otherwise
belong to my tiny girl
or her big brother
or her daddy, my love
where can we live
with less
what takes up
too much space
in my house
in my mind
in my heart
how can I reduce
slow down
where can I be
more intentional


hold on
only to what matters
set free
the things that do not
things least of all
people most of all
carefully allocated


so in the end
we have
just enough
and no more


The gentle reminders
That I am known
And loved
Knowing not only
Are my very hairs numbered
But the desires of my heart
Are affirmed and treasured
By the One who made and called me

Two words –
One old from a prayer meeting
Years ago
Spoken directly to my heart
Almost forgotten
Bouncing yet another
Quietly to sleep
Gently the words:
I will give you your own

And now she grows so quickly
Coming very soon
A fulfilled promise

The second just this morning
A blessing that spoke
Directly to the heart of me:
Grace and motherlove
Giving birth to hope
Gathering in
Holding close
Not only those who are mine
Not only those who are His
But those unloved
Those unwelcome
The motherless in need
Of encouragement
Of being held close
Of hearing even the hard things
Delivered in love

Part of my deepest heart
Gone a bit dormant lately
Ready to reach out again

Saving my life right now
Are two communities:
The echoes
Of the one that grew me up
And the realities
Of the one embracing me now
(Mostly) grown
Places of knowing and being known
Thin places
Where the kingdom comes
Where Love breaks through
To save

Synchroblogging: http://sarahbessey.com/in-which-we-are-saved-synchroblog/



As I sit and type
Her tiny body moves within mine
More distinctly every day
She runs a hand across my middle
Just above my belly button
She kicks high
One tiny foot
Up near my rib cage
And I know she is running out of room
That her feet will soon find my bones
And all this movement will be far less comfortable
My tiny daughter
Her body
Long promised
Moving within me
Instills deep calm
Even as she stretches out my skin
And tiny red marks streak out
Along my belly
Her daddy and I run our hands
Over this ever-more-prominent curve
Her brother leans in close
To whisper good morning
And I love you
We seek out her movement
Finding unending delight
In this small engagement
And I know I will never
See this body
These curves
Ever less than perfect
In the same way again
Appreciation newly born
Paving her pathway
Her body teaches me
To love my body
A favor I hope I can return
Long before she carries
A tiny life inside her own

Linking up:

Dear Brandon

You are six and a half
And one of these days
You won’t use all the same expressions
That make your little boy speech
So very charming and perfectly you
So I thought a list might be in order
Of some of the best things you say
Everyday lately
And the ways in which
You are very much yourself
At six and a half
You say “thee” when you mean “they”
Quaint mispronunciation, Quaker-like
You use one hundred to mean a whole lot
As in “I love you one hundred”
And you put very in front of verbs
As in “I very love you”
Sometimes you call me Bridget
And sometimes you call me EmMa
Which is short for Extra Mommy
I don’t know whether that will stick
But I like that you are working to figure out
Who you and I are are to each other
And that you seem to get why
I don’t really want to be called Stepmom
You pronounce Rapunzel like this:
You also like to dress up like that
Fair haired maiden, in my purple dress
And wield a frying pan against
Imaginary foes
You like to put random letters together
And ask us what they spell
Even though you can read well enough
To be pretty sure they don’t spell anything
You love to be asked questions
And sometimes your answers are so funny
It’s hard to find another question
The other day, you told me your friend Antonio
Was the most successful person you know
And then you explained that successful
Means “Having the most red days at school”
But you followed that up with telling me
That I am the kindest person you know
I didn’t dare ask what you think kind means
I love you at six-and-a-half, little man
And I can’t wait to see what seven looks like