Thursday, June 25, 2009


it is 12:14 a.m. i am not going to bed because i am sure as soon as i get to sleep my husband will rumble into the driveway pumped from watching the new transformers flick and i will be awakened to stories of robots alternately destroying and saving the world. while beau got his robot fix, i spent my evening making food for my darling but insatiably thirsty hummingbirds (they like my 3 cups water to 1 cup sugar recipe better than my neighbor's 5 cup water to 1 cup sugar), doing laundry and watching a very odd documentary about aging hippies in india entitled, hippie masala.

all of these boring tid bits about my life are compliments of the fact that it is 12:17 a.m. and i am trying not to sleep and that this is the calm before the storm in many ways for our household. friday i leave for general assembly for the week and as my plane flies away the summer roars off at break neck pace. general assembly, holidays, community gardens, family reunions, church events, book clubs, studies, mission trips, and a behemoth house addition project loom in the horizon. as these inevitabilities loom, i try to breath deeply and not get too stressed. as a goal oriented person i am normally most happy directly after the mountain top is reached...after the project completed...during the closing benediction. up until the point of accomplishment i am all energy and determination - striving for the finish line. this summer will be a challenge for me to not worry about not having a patio for a few months, be patient with my precious plants being moved to temporary pots, and take each challenge at church with grace and endurance. perhaps when i am most stressed i can have patience enough to slow down and make food for the hummingbirds who are even more hyper than i am and watch them take a break to eat.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


it was a little more than a year ago that we lost a good friend - david nichols - to leukemia. i can hardly believe more that 365 days have past since his death. it has been a tough twelve months trying to grapple with missing him, seeing his little family - his wife and two girls - trying to pick up the pieces of life and move forward without him, and just hurting with the pain of loss.

last week i had a dream about david. i love dreams. the rules of our "normal" world never apply in dreams. in dreams i can fly. in dreams i can chat with people who have passed away. in my dream david was holding tia who was just a baby when he died. she was playing with his face and he was smiling at her and whispering words of love. when i saw him i said, "dave, we've missed you so much!" he and i chatted for a while and then he told me he had something important to tell me. i could feel my body starting to wake up at this point and i was desperately trying to stay in my dream so that i could hear words of wisdom from my friend who is in the fullness of God's presence. i forced myself to stay in the dream and he said to me, "you need to know that you never have to be afraid." and then i woke up.

never fear. this from a young man who died at the age of 26 and left a young wife and two small children. never fear. truly on this holy week we can know beyond all doubt that we never need to fear. Christ has conquered death and owns eternity. and, as a friend of mine says, "if He owns eternity then he owns the next hour and if He owns the next hour then He owns the next minute." we need not fear. not death, not life, not loss of job, not loss of house, not broken relationships - nothing can stand between us and our hope in Christ Jesus.

i pray that this Good Friday and Easter Sunday you are confronted again with the Savior who reaches across the chasm of fear and offers not be afraid.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


beau and i spent a couple of days in our nation's capital this weekend. we visited with dean, laura, reyna, moe & peanut. we had a blast. although we were only there for two days, we were alble to see a lot - smithsonian style (i tried to take pictures with the dinosaurs but beau was too embarrassed) - and CHILL a lot at the hull/cheng household.

it was so surreal and beautiful to see my baby brother as a dad...he is a great one. i'm not suprised in the least and i am so proud of him. reyna violet is such a sweet and beautiful little girl. she is a beast - can already lift her head at 7 weeks and eats constantly. she loved her aunt beth and uncle beau which is a smart move on her part!

family is a gift and dean and laura are particular blessings to us. i pray that reyna gets a brother half as cool as dean...

Thursday, March 05, 2009


last night i baptized a baby. i told those gathered that the ancient waters of baptism are a sign that we belong to God. i asked the parents who gave this little one to be baptized - and they said, "we do."

i took the hospital issued coffee cup that the nurse gave me and i put my hand in, poured the water three times over the little eyes that will never open. i baptized him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. as the entire room wept i said the only thing i knew: that this little one has only and will only ever know pure love. from his mother's womb to the Father's arms.

i kept my tears at bay until i got home...and then let them mix with the rain that was falling. face to heaven - where that little one is...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


the kids in my church are hilarious. they are creative and kind and silly. i am so thankful to be their pastor and glad that they are not embarrassed to talk to me, give me drawings, and give me hugs.

on the last sunday of the month at our church the kids worship with the adults. we have a special children's sermon time and at the end of the service we all partake of communion together.

last week was the last sunday of the month and we had our multi-generational worship and sacrament day. when it came time to serve one of the kids who is particularly hilarious and hyper (folks at mvcn will know him as noah), beau and i bent over and i said, "the body of Christ broken for you, noah," and beau told him, "the blood of
Christ shed for you, noah." noah peered his sweet little four year old head over the chalice and said, "man, that is a LOT of blood."

it was so sweet. it is so true. it took a lot of blood to cover every one...even me. a lot of blood so there is plenty to go around - always enough. thanks be to God!

Monday, January 05, 2009


my series of text studies, sermons and reflections on the 2009 lenten lectionary texts came out this weekend in preacher's magazine. you may peruse if you wish...go to: and then click on the "sermons for the season of lent" link on the left.

it was a fun project - i was so blessed to be invited to participate. have a happy first week back into the swing of things all - peace!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


it is already 2009. life is moving so fast. it was yesterday in 2004 i graduated from duke. last night in 2006 i married my best friend. and early this morning in 2007 i took on the biggest challenge of my life (my church). i am floored by how quickly all these milestones have fled could it possibly be 2009?

and yet, this sunday is the first sunday of the new year and i know God has amazing things in store...for our church...for my family...for little old me...and i know it will all pass like a vapor.

i cannot bring myself to have any "resolutions." my whole life is one resolution after another...falling, standing up, moving forward, being pushed back, taking a break along the way while sometimes seeing the cross cleary - other times...not so much...

my only prayer is that at the end of this year i will be closer to the One who formed me from the clay than i am today...

peace to your whole being - body, mind, and spirit. happy new year.