Why Two Days Changed My Fussbudgetness.

Lucy, from the comic strip Peanuts, was often referred to as a fussbudget. Over the past few years I have become a fussbudget, my heart traipsing around the landscape of complaint, unbelief, and fear. Recently I described it to someone as brooding. I can’t seem to nail down a solid description of my state of mind. Needless to say, my silent grump grump aint helpful to those in my proximity.

Then two days, one right after the other, a couple of weeks ago, shook me out of my inward sourpuss self. May 17th two of my children decided to take a giant leap…out of an airplane. Be honest, what do you think of first when skydiving come to mind? Exactly. What if the chute doesn’t open? I don’t see this thought as pessimistic, but realistic. Planes have wings to keep humans up there in the wild blue yonder, unless some zealot or deranged person uses one as a missile of mass human destruction. My son and daughter fell to earth with hardly a thud, safe, exhilarated, and the determination to do it all over again. (They’re adults, what can I do? I know what I can do… Give them an Applebee’s gift card for their birthday next year. Yes, they jumped on our dime right into their bucket list.)

The next day my longboarding (i.e. big skateboard for riding hills, not do stunts) daughter took two of her brothers to surf a local neighborhood. She was merely 3 to 4 inches off the ground and fell to earth with a thud. She dropped and rolled, but in the dropping she sustained quite a blow to the basil part of her skull. 911 was dialed, and an hour or so later she was in a medically induced coma for a closed head injury. She had a basil fracture, broken cheek bone, but no other broken bones. There was hardly a scratch on her otherwise. Barbara and I were beside ourselves with concern as the first twenty four to thirty six hours were a roller coaster of emotions and worry as the doctors came and left with assessments.

I said short prayers to God.

Not today. No funeral today God. Help!

            Other people said the longer prayers. Lots of people said the longer prayers. Our entire family is grateful for the longer prayers, and all sorts of other support through this reality. Today our daughter is in a state of the art rehab facility called Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids Michigan. Today she is. Today she is the same captivating daughter after her chute didn’t open on that hill. Today she is a self-proclaimed “safety nerd” as she deeply regrets not wearing a helmet. She is not finished healing, but is coming along much faster than predicted.

Thank God.

That is the reason I am writing about these two days. This is why I confess to the world and God my own fractures. Just because we are human, we flake out sometimes. Come on, admit it. God went looking for Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Why would God not look for us? I know this opens up the Pandora’s Box of why many things don’t make sense, all the way from 9/11 to a weak baby chick not surviving. I, for one, need to hop off my little private, arrogant self, and admit I have a lot less control than I thought.

Today, I thank God for those who continue to hold us through prayer, presence, and embraces. Life is mysterious. God is mysterious. So, if you find yourself in a fussbudget frame of mind, that’s okay, no judgement here, but consider the possibility of coming out from hiding. God is looking for you, along with some human humans.


God, thank you for all the loving people in my life. You show up when they show up, whether I admit it or not. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.


Seeds in the cracks
and the finches make a point, their point
is to poke and pick with sudden thrusts.

The sun leapt over the eastern rim
and the chatter of birds is abbreviating
like the shadows along the row of blue spruce.

Light lifts its head and warms the dew.
Diamonds on the grass cut into me
and melt between my toes.

Like a bird, I bend close and hop
on the morning sea of green
and pick at the cracks.

I pray for seeds
and then for wings.

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There

Stare at the ants like a slug.

Stop matching socks.

Don’t even intend to floss, eventually.


Don’t move.

Stand perfectly still

like a pillar of salt.


Mark all e-mails as read

and stand.

Set both feet

over the X marked spot.


Leave the shoe untied.

Allow your ego to try

to add height to your stature.

Think tall, stand tall,

don’t move at all.


The moss will grow on one side.

Your shadow will do the walking

under the sun,

under the sun.

It will be the long

and the short of it

under the sun.

Psalm 42

Isaiah 41:10

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Psalm 139

Psalm 46

Psalm 46:10

Head in the Cloud

White eye brow raised

to open an iris of patent leather sky.

The wisp hung over thoughts

tossed as hard I could.

Dark thoughts, big as chestnuts,

became smaller and bluer the higher

they flew.


Mental blocks hewn under sun,

and weighed down by gravity.

So heavy one moment,

and lighter as they ascended.

Black diminished into blue.

They flew.


I’m serious.

They are Cirrus.

Wispy, laid out on a whim.

High brow attitude

absorbing mine.

Altitude lay across thin air

where thoughts can no longer breathe.


Hold my breath of prayers O Lord

until your face turns blue.


Psalm 8, Psalm 19, Isaiah 55,



Sir Round,

I am writing to you

to ask for a continuance.

King Linear lords it over me.


Come thou now and help me with circles.

The ones I drew with eyes and a half circle

like a bowl facing the heavens.

Smiles drawn in the dirt.


The lines of men squarely turn oft times

at ninety degree angles.

3.14 sounds like a piece of pie

as the numbers spiral off into infinity.


Nights at the round table

asking questions which deflect off curves.

Job asked and God circled back in return:

Where were you when?


Sir Round,

Guide me again in what comes around.

Surround me in prayers which never end.

A diagram of a circle, with the width labeled as diameter, and the perimeter labeled as circumference

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,” This is the only use of the word circle in the King James version of the Bible.

Read Isaiah 40:18-31 Lots of questions asked throughout. I am okay with the asking and am learning to ponder  the questions which circle back from God. There is a roundness of relationship which I often slice in two with only linear thinking. Jesus asked many questions in response to questions. The root word of questions is quest btw.

Care to discuss this? Drop a line.

New Year’s Blues…”Woke Up This Mornin’…” Thoughts On A New Year.

Cliff diving any one? I am not saying go jump off a cliff. While Congress clenched their fiscals we came to the end of the year surrounded by life, liberty and the pursuit of happenings. There is evidence lying/laying everywhere including teenage girls strewn about on our basement floor. Our house filled and emptied over night and fireworks could be seen just over the distant tree line as time and space birthed a new year. I thank God the Mayans weren’t the only ones who designed a way to keep track of our earth’s laps around the sun. For breakfast I drank dark Cafe’ Verona roast and consumed beans & franks and a miniature spice cupcake.

My finger tips now rest lightly on the keys here and I wonder if I will have anything in 2013. Gathering words from the swirling brain cells (Both of them.) and pushing down the plastic squares to form sentences worth reading seems a bit scary of late. I have been taking strolls around the writer’s block for months now it seems. I read much though and experience life here in the revolving door of our house of happenings. They say write from your experience. There is experience everywhere I look. So, what do you want to read about? Or rather, what do I want to write about?…or both.

Snowflakes drift down just far enough apart that if I tried really hard I could count them.

Bacon sizzles as a zombie daughter stands over it.

Buford the bloodhound snores on the couch…

New Year’s Eve, in the midst of convoluted conversation noise, I heard a blues riff in the corner of the living room. Over and over two guitarists laid down the well known ba dah dah ba bum… I sat betwixt them and waited on my muse to lyric the music. Nothing came. No words. They kept laying it down and I sat on me duff.

I am determined not to come up empty in 2013! We all have something to say. In fact, we say much with or without words. Like I responded to a text from a long time friend’s wishes of ‘Happy New Year’…”The world is still spinning and we are hangin’ on!” There were many times in 2012 in which letting go flashed across my mind. The world seemed to spin faster and out of control with Innocents killed, wars and rumors of them, fallen leaders, economies with faint pulses, and not to mention my own faint of heart self. Hmmm.

I am still here. You are still here. Ever ask why? Don’t spend a lot of time with this question, but do ask. Maybe when your eyes first peel open as you lie on a new day is a good time to ask away. I ask with the expectation of a still small voice response. The other day I said a short prayer: (My prayers seem to be shorter and shorter, but more to the point.)  Lord, touch my heart.

The day went as expected. Lisien, my special needs child, asks every evening when I arrive home “how was your day daddy?” My standard reply is “Long and arduous.” That night she even answered the question herself with a smile…”I know, long and arduous, right?” Hmmm. What is my family catching from me with these words? Better change the conversation even if each day IS long and arduous.

My wife and I planned a date to see the movie Les’ Miserables that evening. I almost backed out because I was kind of whipped from a day of grannie stepping deliveries to each door because of ice and snow. I tend to nod off in movies anyway and I heard Les Mis was stellar. I didn’t want to miss any part of it. We went with my oldest son. My heart was deeply touched and I remembered the morning prayer. After the credits and music stopped I thought: We need more Jean Valjeans in this world. Can I become one? Can you?

Short Prayer: Lord, mold my heart. May the choices I make today be the change for a better tomorrow.

I mean it. This isn’t a Hallmark commercial…:)

Siloam. We can’t see through the tears. Prayer poem for those affected in Conneticut.



Lay these tears

over each other.


Let them roll

and fall on down

like a five year old.


May they collect

and form a pool of Siloam

while we wait for angels to stir.


Lay these tears

over each other.


Let them magnify

our crippled hearts

in the reflection.


May Jesus help

us into the salt water

of our own weeping.