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Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Sweater weather. Friday afternoon: I arrive at the Mennonite Fellowship Building located behind the church, beside the creek. Laughter. I turn my head. Women are fitting the corners of a puzzle together with other pieces. This jigsaw puzzle has no chance of lasting the entire weekend! Aromas drift in from the kitchen. I am Baptist, but these women welcome me to retreat with them. A 20-minute drive from my home. A gift I am giving myself. A place to think, laugh, play, pray with other believing women. Saturday: Topic for the entire weekend—fruits of the Spirit. I was asked to give my testimony. My pleasure to tell how the girl in me came to Jesus, grew up and clung to Jesus, in spite of my ma

To a Room Full of Poets

I am in Little Rock, standing in front of capable poets. For half a minute, I wonder why I’m there. These people are smart and know the craft. They have stories, moments, events to tell. I begin by declaring what storytellers they are and what a great storyteller our poet laureate is. I name other storytellers. However, I point out that this group is different from some storytellers: we tell our stories in poetic form. Another poet and I do an impromptu skit. He is marvelous. He pretends to be a poet who fears putting his poetry out there for his critique group to read. I pretend to be his muse. He has a change of heart and decides to try to offer his poem to his poetry group, perhaps at the

So It’s October Again

It’s time for lines, crowds, waves of pink to ripple across the river bridge into downtown Little Rock. I’ve walked behind others dressed in pink who’ve had breast cancer. Or maybe they loved and honored someone with breast cancer. They walked and remembered. Some walked and celebrated. Sobering. My breast cancer was found in 2011. A strange year indeed. Looking back is my way of loving all victims who have heard the Big C-word as they looked into the eyes of a doctor. Today I’m sharing a piece of my story. These two poems come from my book Women, Resilient Women (2018). (So many resilient women know this story.) Crossing a Muddy Swamp We heard the C-word today, didn’t we? A muddy swamp. Wan

Wisdom I’ve Borrowed from Friends

I have been highly blessed to have known wise women during my lifetime. What a difference they have made. Sometimes they appeared one at a time, sometimes as a group. Exactly the right people I needed at the right time. And no way could I have orchestrated all that! What has turned my thoughts this direction today? What’s the story behind the story? Probably getting stung three times in the last six weeks by red wasps! Again and again, I’ve heard the whispers of my wise ones, those living and those dead. Will you stop trying to figure it out? It’s true you have never been stung before this summer, but give it a rest. You can’t be floating through this world and have ah-ha experiences and poe

Some Days Feel Not Okay

In the warp and woof of daily living, no one is perfect. No one is doing it just right all the time. You know that, right? Life can be beautiful like the zinnia and butterfly. Those are days we rejoice. But it’s not always perfect like that. Some days feel out of sorts and not okay. The barometric pressure drops, and some of us do not feel tip-top and have no clue as to why. We just wobble our way through it. I prefer calm and beautiful, but hey, this is human life. It gets messy now and then. And if the Holy Spirit starts working, it can get real messy before it gets easy and calm again. When it’s messy (unlike the butterfly and zinnia), I usually need to talk about it with someone who has

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