A time to speak…

It’s an ugly time to be an American.

In many ways we are experiencing what our society at large has asked for…

…no consequences…

…no shame…

…no truth…

All the “free love” of the 60’s is now the cheap love of today, and if you ask me, we deserve to be slogging through the pig sty we’ve made of our spacious-sky country.

While I make it a point to steer clear of online political commentary, we all have our breaking points. I can’t be silent any longer, because in my humble opinion, these two presidential nominees are both abominations. One stands by and enables a pedophile and rapist. The other speaks words that tear and dehumanize the most precious and sacred parts of a woman.

My first novel, How Sweet the Sound, is a modern day re-telling of the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13. Tamar was raped by her half brother. Her father, King David, did nothing. And Tamar spent the rest of her life ostracized, condemned, untouchable.

Not much different from the way sexual sin plays out today.

On the one hand in Tamar’s story (and that of the character Comfort Harlan in my novel), there’s the act of the rape/incest itself.

On the other, there’s the silence, the refusal to acknowledge the lifelong devastation of rape and incest, and the refusal to stand up and speak out against it as well.

As a survivor with years of healing work behind me, I struggle to this day to know which is worse.

Today, my heart breaks for my country, which is so broken, so annhilated by sexual and moral sin, we are now faced with our current leadership predicament.

This is what happens when people do and say nothing about power hungry people who hurt the small and voiceless.

This is what happens when people are more concerned with saving face than with the life of another human being.

This is what happens when all we value is what feels good and we no longer care about what is right and what is good and what is true.

I have spent over a decade speaking and writing to survivors of sexual assault, rape, incest and molestation. I have spent over a decade watching the tears run down the faces of women, beautiful, precious women, who have had the parts of them created to love trampled by people who use them for macabre prowess, for humor, for sport. And I have spent my whole life dealing with the lingering effects of that abuse, too.

I’m not writing today with political answers.

After all, that’s not where the answers are.

The answers are in the hearts of good men and women who, rather than remain silent, choose to stand with survivors and speak out…

…in the voices of brave hearts who say loud and clear that at the very least, sexual innuendo, misconduct, disrespect are wrong, and that we will not tolerate a culture of rape, sexual abuse, molestation and incest in our world, our country, our states, our neighborhoods, our churches, and yes, even and especially in our homes…

…in the arms of those who will embrace survivors and say to them, “I believe you. I see you. You matter. You can heal. And you are beloved…”

…and in the healing grace of God.

I’m so tired of this season in our country.

While I don’t have political answers, I do have prayer.

And I have hope.

How Sweet the Sound is set on a pecan farm in southeastern Alabama. As Comfort says,

“Even as the pecans drop all around the trees, I am sure there will be a spring–sure as I am that the branches will once again display the splendor of their journey through rock-laden soil and torrents of storms because of the beckoning sun. Because of the rains that soak them. Because of the hands that turn the soil.”


The only political stand I am taking is that both of these candidates are sick and wrong.

The only thing I endorse today is freedom for survivors held captive by the groping hands, the words, and the silence of twisted people who were supposed to be trustworthy.

The purpose of this post today is to SPEAK  for those who feel they cannot. 

As a nation and as individuals, we can stay in the pig sty we’ve made for ourselves, or we can leave the muck behind us and run toward goodness and grace.

May November come and go swiftly.

And may the Lord have mercy on us all.

summer truth rising. a poem. 


rising with the sun




against my heart. i STEP


on the newly mown 

grass, the FOLDING and BENDING

of each FRAGILE strand

crisp then 


between my toes

too long stuffed in winter

shoes, each step 


the bright red of the trumpet


with the release of


every stamen stretching,




On home and the holidays.

I have a special little tree of my own in my home, and it’s full of gingerbread men.

The collection started the first Christmas after my first son arrived 18 years ago, and continued as my collection of “little men” grew to three.

Three plump-cheeked, smiling, laughing boys.

Three now nearly grown, handsome sons.

It’s just a tree, to most folks.

But to me, it’s HOPE.

See, like many–too many–I struggle with the holidays. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I have PTSD from childhood. And while I try–and often do–find much joy in the songs and the celebration of my Savior, a part of me remains skittish, fearful, and yes, even afraid. That’s the lifelong “gift” of being a survivor. The elusive feeling that “something bad is going to happen” lurks long and dark in candlelit corners.

So maybe you can see why this tree…one that celebrates the new home, the new family, the dedication to safely raising sons who won’t have to know the traumas we’ve been through…this tree brings me hope.

It brings me thanksgiving that while healing is hard it bears fruit.

That while the world intends to harm, the Lord can transform pain into good.

That while darkness threatens the innocence of too many children, light can and does prevail.

And so I pray this prayer today for those of you like me, for whom the holidays are a bit rough and crinkly, that you’ll find your own special way of celebrating the good and lovely, the beauty God traded for the ashes of your pain, the praise God exchanged for your mourning when He sent his Son for you.

Pray with me?

Dearest Lord and Savior, help us remember that while You are defined by overwhelming grandeur, You came to us in the simple.

That while choruses rock and praise, You are most often heard in the silence of those who tremble and fear like the shepherds.

That while we wrap up and cook up and tidy up, You’re more often found–and never leave us alone–in our messes.

That while we rush about and push through lines and traffic You wait to embrace us in the still, small hours.

That no matter how dressed up, lit up, choreographed, orchestrated, our attempts are to make Christmas about fortissimos and crèchendos, You are the only true light.

We fall on our knees, Lord.

Oh, how we fall.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that through Your love and healing…

…You raise us up to dance again.

And that You bring us safely, wholly, home.