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Today I saw a social media post about a group that will no longer be singing The Star Spangled Banner before their events. Their reasoning was the troubling slaver-owner history of Francis Scott Key  and a problematic line referencing slavery in the third stanza of the poem (eventually set to song). My first thought was, Yikes! This is going to make a LOT of people angry. My second thought was meh...I'm not particularly fond of the song. It's hard to sing for most people. I also feel like it puts the focus on our flag (a piece of fabric) and nationalism rather than a tribute for the country, which I think I good national anthem should do. I'm more fond of  America the Beautiful. On one hand, I could hold that many people would have strong feelings about changing something they see as a sacred song of our country. But on the other hand, I know that The Star-Spangled Banner as our national anthem has only been a thing since 1931. Yes, that's a long time, but it's no

Braving My Wilderness

Gazing out from Bell Rock at beautiful Sedona, AZ Have you ever walked away from someone or something for a season and wondered if you were really done and then something happens and it lets you know that you are  definitely  done? I had that happen today. I have been on a journey the last four years that has been incredibly painful but also full of growth and hope and new opportunities. I always thought I would have written my way through it but there were a lot of things that kept me from doing so.  One was my own self-imposed silence to preserve the peace or not offend. (Sidenote: I know there might be some who follow me on social media thinking, " that was you holding BACK ??") And yes, it was. I fully give myself many kudos from not unleashing my inner dam upon humanity.  As a matter of record, I still don't go looking to do that, folks. But I also don't want to stay silent on things that matter to me because it may make someone else feel uncomfort


  If I had our wedding to do over again, I would not wear a veil. Twenty-one years ago, I happily picked out the headpiece and enough material to create both a veil and blusher that hid my face as I walked down the aisle to matrimony. This is what my mother did and so this is the way I thought it was done. To be hidden behind a gauzy piece of material breathlessly waiting to be given and to be seen. To cross over from one phase of life and to start another. But I never asked myself, what purpose do veils serve?  To cover. To hide. To shield.  To say, “Not for you. Not now. Not yet”  In the book of Exodus, the presence of God upon Moses was so intense that the Israelites begged Moses to put on a veil because his glowing face from Divine proximity was just too much. I think we like things to be shielded. I think somewhere within our humanity, we’d rather intense and uncomfortable things stay behind veils. We don’t really want the curtain to be rip

Art in the Time of Coronavirus

This past week, I have had the privilege of watching a very good friend -- a kindred spirit -- fully inhabit her gifting as an artist. Like many women, Sarah wears many hats in her life. She is a wife, a mother, a homeschooling parent, a teacher (voice and art), and more. She has been raising three young men for the past seventeen years and as we all know, that job is all-consuming. It often does not leave much time for anything else. And yet, she has carved out the time to create. She has made it a point (with the nudging and support of her husband and three sons) to dedicate time to creating and putting out beauty into the world. And it is so very beautiful. Sarah is the one in the middle in vibrant, colorful blue! While they were visiting our area of California last week, I got to see her in action in several venues and it was a great joy to see her shine in that space. I knew her way before the art exhibit, the painting classes, and magazine spreads. She is the sa