New Day

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Lamentations 3:22-24.

*Ahh! Posting a Sunday Stilleto! Feels like slipping into a fabulous pair of heels…and I know a thing or two about that…!*

On my final day of renewal leave I decided to get some dirt under my fingernails. Equipped with great advice from my gardening gurus – Nita and Lila – and a very sharp pair of pruning shears, I shaped my grandmother’s crown of thorns and used the trimmings to root plants in six other pots, which are adding much needed color to our new yard. It brings my heart joy that my Nonnie continues to shine beauty on this side of eternity as well as the next.

(My neighbor thought I was a little crazy cutting a cactus by hand without gloves…you can take the girl out of Polk County, but you can’t take the Polk County out of the girl…)

I have been quite like this crown of thorns over the past six weeks: way too hot, out in the elements, in the midst of moving, and at times – prickly. This plant was one of the last items to journey to our new home from our previous parsonage. With its arrival also came the reality that we are not in Kansas – I mean Casselberry – anymore…even though we have been in Riverview close to six weeks. When Andrew unloaded this plant off the truck, the feeling overcame me that this is now our home.

And that, friends, is well with my soul.

Beginning this week at South Shore UMC I finally feel like the in between time of transition is complete. Christian Mystics often refer to “in between times” as thin places – places where the veil between reality and eternity is much thinner, or perhaps, even permeable. It is those times where people either A) really connect and root with God or B) they freeze or flee from God because it can be scary to be near something so holy.

I experienced both in my thin place of transition. I connected with God. I froze. And now – how wonderfully theological and symbolic – I have chosen to root – just as I rooted cuttings from my grandmother’s crown of thorns. I – my family – have chosen to root in this neighborhood with this church family for the Kingdom of God. Just as I took a piece of Nonnie’s original plant to make something new, so God is taking pieces of me – experiences, learnings, failings forward, and most importantly, relationships – to root me in ministry alongside the folks at South Shore.

I reckon I will need daily watering (coffee-ing?) and pruning (accountability) especially if I start to be or am prickly.

I am counting on y’all.

Thank you, South Shore UMC, for the warm welcome we received. Andrew, Joshua, and I are grateful for you and excited to root alongside you in ministry to the God we serve.

See you Sunday!

Prayer: “Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee; surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, who with his love doth befriend thee.”* Amen.

*”Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” The United Methodist Hymnal 139.

Woman In The Night: The First Witnesses

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 24:1-12.

My extended family is in the process of cleaning out my grandparents’ home as they have now transitioned to assisted living. I am honored to have brought home a chair that my Nonnie read to me in whenever I stayed with her as a child as well as a crown of thorns that was planted in her back yard under a big oak tree.


I have never prayed for a plant so much in my life as I have prayed for this plant over the last month.

Channeling the plea of the late Chris Farley, “Be strong, little roots!”

We brought home the crown of thorns attempting to root it in a pot with fresh and nutrient rich soil. For weeks it dropped leaf after leaf after leaf. This plant cannot die! It was (is!) going to be the plant we move with us wherever we go to remind me of my grandmother – a legacy of the travelling plants I carry on after my mother, who moves a rose bush from her grandmother’s house to every new home she and my father share.

I see this plant and I hope.

I hope and hope and hope.


There’s new growth on my Nonnie’s crown of thorns. And it is beautiful.

Just in time for Easter.

I hope you will join us this Sunday as we celebrate the new life in resurrection. We gather for Sunrise Morningsong Worship in the Courtyard at 7am. Join us for Easter Family Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30am. Traditional Worship will conclude our Easter Celebration at 11am in the Sanctuary. Bring flowers for our Courtyard Easter Cross and have your picture taken.

Our God is making all things new. There is new growth in each of us. And it is beautiful.

Just in time for Easter.

Prayer: “Woman in the dawn, care and spices bring; earliest to mourn; earliest to sing! Come and join the song, women, children, men; Jesus makes us free to live again!”* Amen.

*“Woman In The Night,” The United Methodist Hymnal 274.