Elizabeth Nunley


Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

  -- David Whyte

How I Go to The Woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours. 

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, 
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”

― Mary OliverSwan: Poems and Prose Poems

Real Change

Real change is seldom a giant step.

 It's usually a small one.  Small but deeply real.  

We hold the fear and the faith at the same time and we cross the bridge slowly.  When we get to the other side, we have been transformed - not by the step itself - but the willingness to stay open during the crossing.  

That's what changes us - creating space inside for a new way of being to emerge.

-Jeff Brown

"Pry Me Off Dead Center"

O persistent God,
Deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human
  not through the lessening of my struggles
  but through an expansion of them
  that will undamn me and unbury my gifts.
 Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
  and myself openly and my needs honestly
Sharpen my fears
  until I name them and release the power I have locked in them
  and they in me.
 Accentuate my confusion
  until I shed those grandiose expectations
  that divert me from the small, glad gifts
  of the now and the here and the me.
Expose my shame where it shivers,
  crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
  until I can laugh at last
  through my common frailties and failures
  laugh my way toward becoming whole.
 Deliver me
  from just going through the motions
  and wasting everything I have
  which is today,
   a chance,
    a choice,
     my creativity,
      your call.
 O persistent God,
Let how much it all matters
Pry me off dead center
So if I am moved inside
  to tears
   or sighs
    or screams
     or smiles
      or dreams,
 they will be real and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.

Ted Loder


"Only that day dawns to which we are awake."



I have this quote hanging amongst others on a string above my kitchen sink.  As I was fixing my coffee this morning. in my normal groggy state, I happened to glance up at it.  

What does it mean to be "awake"?  How much of my day is spent "awake"?  To be awake during this season of mothering young children means a lot of different things.  It can feel like a risk sometimes.  I risk sacrificing my own desires; I risk facing the disappointment in acknowledging my limitations as a mother; I risk experiencing the pain of witnessing my children's hurts and frustrations; I risk experiencing being triggered by my own younger parts that often surface during this season of parenting my children; I risk sheer exhaustion at meeting their ever present needs.

But I realize that by not being awake I also risk missing the joy and exhilaration of being present during the sweet moments of our days: the tenderness of a cuddle, the way my heart settles when my children love on each other, the humor of watching my one year old navigate experiences for the very first time.  

Being awake is painful, beautiful, exhausting and scary.  I feel like God INVITES me to be awake, but gives me the choice of accepting His invitation.  Some days I do and some days I don't.  And there is grace for both.