Posts tagged faith and spirituality


Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…

Hebrews 13:15

Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

Colossians 3:16

Sing to Me.

I heard the words as if they were whispered in my dormant ear.

Me? Sing? But I can’t sing, can’t hear the tune to match my voice along the sounds that make a song. You know I’m not a singer, Lord. Deaf girls don’t sing.


I’d been asking the Father why my walk with Him seemed dry and just a little off lately. I’d sensed a distance, a disconnect. By now I’ve delighted In His nearness for so many years that the nagging sense that my heart was growing tepid worried me.

What was wrong?

After turning the searchlight of His Word onto my daily life and asking Him to show me anywhere I might be messing up, drifting from His ways, I came up with a handful of not-so-obvious sins to confess: a little selfishness here, a critical tendency there, a good bit of laziness, my usual sin of self-indulgence.

Still the silence rang loud.

Until this morning, when I asked again.

Lord, what is up? What is wrong? I need You, need that closeness, that joy, that hope that rallies me out of my warm bed on a cold morning to meet You in that place I crave.

And that’s when I heard Him say it once more.

Sing to Me.

But Lord, please. I can’t sing.

At church I mostly fake it, or hide under the loudness and face away from anyone near. Sometimes I just stop and watch and pray and sing deep where no one hears. I raise my hands while those around me raise their voices.

Sing to Me, Di.

But Phil might hear. What would he think? I’ve tried singing on my walks but that’s embarrassing too. What must the neighbors think? A woman and her dog walking down the street singing hymns that sound like two-tone, out of tune meanderings of a mad woman. Please!

Just sing to Me, Di, I love when you sing. I love that sound of tuneless worship. Like Mary’s broken box of sweet perfume spilled on My feet, wiped with her mass of tangled hair.

Sing in the beauty of your brokenness, Di, and delight Me. Forget about anyone and everyone else.

Sing to Me.

And so I pulled on thick, warm socks, grabbed the green hymnal off the bookshelf—  the one I’d  learned so long ago to worship with— and headed down two flights of stairs to the basement. Huddled by the heater, wrapped in my favorite blanket, I opened to an old favorite.

Are ye able, said the Master,

To be crucified with Me?

Yea, the conquering Christians answered,

To the death we follow Thee.

And then that second verse, asking if I am able to remember the thief who lifted his face to Jesus to find his soul pardoned and invited into His presence.

And all I can remember is that one I cannot seem to thoroughly forgive. The one who doesn’t seem sorry enough for all the wounded  left in the wake of a selfish pursuit of  happiness.

Oh Father, forgive me for the stinginess of my grace. Who am I to hold a sin against someone when You do not?

I found myself singing it again and again, louder each time, more free and full than I’d felt in a long, long time.

Lord, we are able, our spirits are Thine,

Remold them, make us like Thee, divine…

Another hymn, louder.

Again and again, with increasing confidence.

Yes! This is what I want because this is what He wants.

My gift to Him. My off-kilter, broken, not-very-lovely gift is the one He cherishes most.

And suddenly it dawned on me, how Mary must have been embarrassed when she huddled at His feet, wiping them with her tears. How the misunderstanding of unmerciful men must have weighed heavy on her unwrapped head. Were her tears like mine?

The humiliation of obedience?

The spilling of what she’d held too tight?

The relief of letting go?

And what about David when he danced before God? Had God whispered to him like He did to me?

Strip off your royal robes, David, down to the plain tunic that hides nothing. Fling off your dignity and dance for Me.

I don’t know, but I do know that this hour I’ve spent singing has released something somewhere in my insides.

And I know I’ll be back.

Back to the basement, the old green hymnal open on my lap, singing my heart out.

What about you, my dear ones?

Is He asking something of you?

Something  surprising?

Something hard?

Something so laughably easy that you’re certain it couldn’t be all He wants?

Will you listen?

Will you sing?

From my heart, filled to overflowing,


repost: march 2013

A New Series To Start

For weeks and months now I’ve been writing Letters To My Son, a series of answers to his question, posed a year or so ago,  “Mom, what should I look for in a wife?”

Such a simple question.  Such a long and involved way of answering.

I think he assumed I’d answer by talking, the way mothers do, about beauty being more than skin deep and all the fine qualities a good woman should have.

And I suspect he thought all this talking would take an hour or so.  At the most.

And now I’m finally just about talked out.  Thirty-five letters and ten months later.

I’ve loved your responses, mulled over your questions, treasured your insights. What has emerged from my mail is a generation of men and women who want to do relationships right. Who’ve seen what happens when a man and a woman mess up.

And you want more for yourself.

You have astounded me by your willingness to read and learn and ask questions and gather wisdom and wait for the right time.  You have no idea how honored I’ve been to be a part of the conversation.

But now I think its time to talk about some other things.

Because, you see, I’m hoping all this talk about dating and marriage and falling in love and honoring God and each other will actually lead to some of you falling in love and getting married!

And so, at the urging of some of my advisors...

(part of our blog team: Elizabeth, Kristi, Abi and Fallon)

and my niece, Brittany...

I am embarking on a new series.

A series I’m calling He’s Not Your Prince Charming.

While the Letters were written for men about women,

this new series will be written for women about men.

I'll be attempting to explain what I’ve seen and to make sense of what the Bible says about how men work and what they’re called to and why its sometimes so hard to fit our lives with theirs.

Now I am certainly no expert on men or marriage or much of anything else. I’m just me- a woman,  a wife, a mom. You know my story, how God allowed my me to go deaf and in turn taught me what it means to listen.

And since that near failure of my faith and the subsequent failure of my hearing, I have focused on listening to God in the everyday messiness of life and relationships.

And in all that listening, I’ve gathered some things to pass on to you. About what love really looks like, about conflict and communication, about honesty and humility and intimacy. I want to tell you how I found  joy in the midst of tension and rest in spite of my perfectionism. I want you to know that marriage can be both a crucible for building character and a refuge from all that performance-based scrutiny that is real life.

But first, I want to tell you more of my story.

Because this will be a series of letters to my girls about things like finding satisfaction and dealing with disappointments and learning how to love the men in our lives with skill and wisdom.

A mixed bag of lessons learned along the way of listening with both my Bible and my heart wide open.

So for the next couple of weeks I’ll be inviting you into the intimacies of how I met and fell in love with Phil all those years ago. I’ll tell you what I saw in him, why I fell in love, and what I thought my life would be.

And I’ll let you know mistakes I made and lies I believed. I’ll tell you what I was thinking then and what I think now. How I’ve changed and what I wish I’d known.

Most of all I will remind you over and over again that fairy tales are not real life. That our stories include great beauty and dark disappointments.

That falling in love is not the end of the happily ever after, but the beginning of learning to love our neighbors as ourselves.

From my heart,


P.S. I’d love to hear your questions. Though I’ll not be able to answer every one (partly because I don’t know!), I will attempt to include answers in every post.

I promise to pray and ponder and listen in the hopes that we can mine for God’s wisdom together.



I am an introvert.

I like to be alone. A lot.

My idea of being friendly to strangers is to nod my head when I walk by.

My idea of a great vacation is to read all day long every day. Then to take a walk and think about what I just read.

I am married to a man who actually talks to strangers. As in, engages in conversations. He admires their dog, asks the dog’s name, wants to know where they’re from, then tells them where we’re from and where we used to live and why he’s enjoying the sunshine and missing his dog.

So when my blog team suggested I write more about myself, be more personal and knowable, I just stared at these delightful girls sitting at my dining room table and said nothing.

But as all introverts know, just because I don’t talk a lot certainly doesn’t mean I suffer a deficit of words. Introverts actually do talk - we just talk internally. I am a chatterbox really. I just talk inside, long running dialogues about everything I see and smell and hear and feel and think and wonder.

Here, my dear friends are some of those ramblings:

Where I am right now: staying in a nice little condo right across from the beach in California for a week

Why? To soak our pasty-white skin in sunshine… and to make some progress on the spiritual parenting seminar we’re working on… to see our daughter who lives in L.A.

What I miss from home: The rain (don't tell Phil), my dog, my kids, my grandkids.

Where I would live if I could live anywhere in the world: Portland, Oregon

What I’m reading right now: The Hobbit (I know, I know, you thought I was going to mention something super-spiritual!)

What I’m dreaming of doing someday: Writing a lovely fantastical tale for my grandkids— stocked full of fierce dragons and elusive unicorns and mystical creatures.

What I’m actually writing right now: My story. The whole sordid tale of my failure to accept my deafness with grace and then God’s shocking sufficiency and His beautiful way of speaking in my silence.

How it’s coming: S.L.O.W.

Why: Because I’m dabbling. And doing too much other stuff at the same time.

What other stuff? Preparing a new series for the blog, writing the spiritual parenting seminar Phil and I plan to teach Memorial Day weekend, plus all the other stuff that takes up space in a full life.

What I’m learning:  To listen. To stop striving and just be still. To receive, not passively but actively. And that sometimes I don’t get done what I want to get done because I don’t have a plan of how and when I’m going to get it done.

What haunts me: My need for people’s approval.

What I’d love to do someday: Take the whole family to Disneyland and stay in a hotel together and eat and laugh and talk and tease and take pictures and just play for a week.

What I’m enjoying: Instagram. I’m addicted. I love the pictures of babies and the off-beat humor and those brief glimpses into people’s real lives.

Okay, enough about me.

What about you?

Where are you right now? What are you enjoying? What haunts you?

If I can do it so can you…

From my heart,