Three Places

Awoke to island rain, a soaker you’d call it on the prairies. We hugged in the honeyed light of a kitchen made gritty with the sand of our adventures, and then we drove away from the tall, green house by the river, away into the darkened landscape of a place I’d forgotten how much I love.

Even when my head won’t stop, my heart does, there by the ocean. The dune grass whispering secrets, a lighthouse long asleep, the cries of sea gulls, bare feet in toasty sand—so much sand for miles. Collecting periwinkles and claws, sea glass and driftwood. Climbing the tiers of sandstone to steal a closer look at an eagle, only for it to wing away over the waves and plunge for fish. Wading through warm tide pools. A single, exquisite sand dollar. Bubbly water rushing and retreating, rushing and retreating through the jumbled puzzle pieces of rust-red rock. Nosing over clam shells with my toe to see if the tops are pearly or dull. Cradling a glistening, quivering bowl of purple jellyfish. Fishing for bass beneath the unwavering North Star. Strolling at water’s edge when all that expanse is draped in pink lace, the horizon lost to corn-flower blue, can’t look away, don’t want to turn back, it’s never been so beautiful. And then that very brave moment when you leave behind the familiar and dive into the cold, marbled green of a totally other world, explore the fringe where you imagine you are safe, only crimson lobsters and pale crabs for company. Sunlight glittering above, peach-colored ridges endlessly undulating below. Dare to cross over the sandbar and feel, for a moment, the magnitude of the Atlantic—of every ocean—in the emptiness beneath your feet. You are so small. And so free.

How do you love two places at once? Well, my island boy said, you love a third place even more. But sometimes it’s just really hard waiting for Heaven.

Take Me

I want to go to an island that is deep, my bare feet sinking, and green, water seeping up through the roots of the universe, spreading into a shimmering pewter sea. I want to meet you there.

Your eyes will be warmth coming to claim me from the coolness drifting over the island, all fire and somnolent smoke. You’ll take my hand and lead my through the swaths of grass, hardly making a sound, a ripple. We’ll go to a quiet place sheltered from the rain, beneath the eternal trees. We’ll sit together on the moss, our hands almost touching, raindrops wreathing our hair. Somehow, I won’t shiver. We’ll listen to the weeping sky. You won’t say anything. Your silence won’t frighten me; I know it well. I won’t speak either.

I don’t know how long it will take, but eventually I will begin to hear a rhythm in the water falling into the island, rising up from the island. I’ll close my eyes.

A heartbeat. Yours.

When I open my eyes, You’ll be gone. I won’t even see a depression in the moss. I’ll touch it; it will be cold, glittering with dew. But your heartbeat will remain.

And I’ll remember: You are in everything. I am not alone. Not ever.

Please, take me to an island that is deep. I need to remember.

The Blood is available in print!

At long last, copies of The Blood are in print! It was an awesome moment—opening the box and finally seeing so many years of hard work in the flesh. Feels wonderful to hold it, and as I do, I think of the words of Catherine Doherty:

“The artist can never forget that he is not totally the creator, but that God created in him. Then God can step back and look at the creation and say, It is good. That is the true satisfaction of the artist.”

And I do hope God is saying that about this book.

Really looking forward to hearing feedback from my readers!

Happy Advent!

Go here to order your copy.

We have PAPER!

I am very happy and relieved to share the news that our printer has enough paper for the first run of The Blood. Hard copies will be available to order in early December. You can still pre-order to reserve your copy. A Christmas deal for you: buy two, get the third free! The eBook is also available through Amazon.

You can preview the prologue here or with the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon (which includes a few chapters as well!).

A blessed Advent to you all!



The Blood eBook

Alas, looks like there’s a paper shortage, which I find both frustrating and ironic, considering we live in a country with A LOT of trees. Not much we can do but surrender to God’s truly mysterious timing.

We hope that we can still offer hard copies before the end of 2021, but in the meantime, we are happy to release the eBook on Amazon. You can catch a sneak peek of the story with the “Look Inside” feature. You can also pre-order hard copies here—buy two and get the third free!

For the eBook:

A Poem: Maranatha

It’s been a long time since I’ve attempted writing poetry. And I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know a thing about what makes for truly good poetry. But I recently picked up Word on Fire’s latest journal on poetry, and curiosity in this art form reawakened. I took my children on a walk through the countryside to enjoy one of the last warm days of autumn, and then I came home and wrote this. Make of it what you will.

these long-suffering fields
air the Christ tasted
take life into
my chest
grain laid down
more alive
life renewed in
darts of blue and white—
searching gold furrows
for grace
to carry them
as this light
carries me
a colorless land
is not dead
but waiting
dreaming of pollen
as I dream
these swells of earth
held in the
mind of God
His Word endures
only breathe
listen to currents
moving over the immovable
watch cattail cotton
not lost
yes, I am fragmented
not lost

Pre-order The Blood!

After a long delay, The Blood is finally ready for publication! Our expected release is late November. We will be offering hard copies, as well as an eBook through Amazon. In the meantime, you have the opportunity to pre-order and secure a copy—or two!

I am very excited to receive your feedback. The writing process took much longer than I anticipated, but I believe the story is better for it. I also believe the story speaks profoundly to our current times. May it bless you deeply!

Go here to pre-order:

Not Invincible

The coolness of the air burns in the middle of my chest. A clarity of light moves over everything, moves through me. I see the leaves as they are—more frail than they appeared a few days ago, before the wind came and lashed the trees about and stole the heat away, before the light changed. And I see myself as I am. Part of this decaying world. I feel it every year, at this time. Summer is not invincible; I am not invincible. I ache for the words to capture the essence of something more beautiful than anything I’ve ever known, something the chill cannot wilt.

Rain is dripping from the sky. I can hear it past the window, like suds bursting. Grass that was crackling yesterday, whirring with grasshoppers, is now drinking deeply and flushing green, a final stand against the coming autumn. My chest burns. There’s nothing to be done but hold the pain there and let it move my heart closer to Home. And then turn my gaze from the silver sky, from the stillness of the trees, and write.

This Earth in Me

I once believed youth was something like a butterfly—a beautiful thing, scaling the skies. But fleeting. Ungrounded. Here one moment, gone the next. One’s gaze must eventually settle on the earth.

But now I believe youth is actually more like the earth itself.

All my memories from my earliest days of womanhood—they’re so sweet they’re painful. And I realize that to lose them would be to lose a part of me. Because they weren’t just adventures. They are my foundation. I am who I am because I walked the Camino, wandered the streets of Nahant, dreamed on the beaches of Prince Edward Island. It was in those places that I truly discovered suffering, healing, peace, joy, and ultimately love—the pieces of every human heart. I found my pieces in the sun, the sea, the sand, the wildflowers. I still wear a pendant of sea glass around my neck, reminding me that those days aren’t just memories—aren’t just fleeting. They are part of me.

This earth in me continues to grow, to bear fruit—though my marriage, my children, our home. And these, like the lupines of the island, draw butterflies to myself. They are only glimpses, nothing I can quite grasp, but as the butterflies rise to places unknown, I remember that there is more than what I’ve known and loved. I am more than who I am.

One day, when I am Home, the pieces of my heart will fuse and I will be whole.

My Children

I remember sitting on the deck at the farm. I was soon to fly away to the place where I truly became a woman. Not yet married, no home to call my own, except the one I was about to leave. My eyes were closed. I was listening to the rush of waves in the trees.

Soon after I found myself standing by the sea, eyes closed, listening to the whispering of leaves in the waves. Childhood far behind me, and yet so close.

Today, I am again sitting on the deck. Today, I am holding my baby boy, and in his breathing I hear both the leaves and the waves. The past and the future are fused in this small body—everything I dreamed he would be, and more. Yes, day by day he becomes greater than the child I hoped to hold. Like his sister.

I wrote about them, pictured myself wading through creeks with them, picking berries with them. And here they are. Blueberry eyes and honey hair. We live a different life than the one I dreamed about. Our home is not a rustic cabin. But we live by a farmer’s field. White owls ghost through our yard in the twilight and hoot by moonlight. Deer fold their legs and rest beneath our trees.

We spend hours outside together, browning in the prairie sun, dawdling in time with the small-town pace. Every now and then, we find treasure; we carry a bird nest home. There are sweet apples and tart cherries to pick. My girl skips through puddles and fills her boots with murky water. At the playground, my boy climbs up and down, up and down. He eats sand and grins. We wait for the train to come thundering by, a riot of graffiti. And when we pass through the cemetery on our way home, we always keep our eyes on the giant evergreens that brood over the gravestones—hoping to glimpse the Great Horned owl. Even if we whisper, there’s no hearing the silent beat of his wings. Better luck next time.

No, it isn’t what I dreamed. And I don’t mind at all.