Tuesday, September 11, 2012


In years past I have grieved this day, your birthday, because your life ended too soon, so abrupt.  There was too much of life to experience still.  Traveling, deepening your vocation as a counselor, becoming a dad, experiencing amazing bands like Mumford & Sons, be in community with our family and friends.  Every time I taste the sweetness of life, I ache that you're not here to savor it with me.

But it's better for you.  

Yes, better.

Just the other day in church we sang a hymn, a favorite hymn of yours.  As the church joined in song, all I could hear was your voice, your guitar.  With my eyes teary, throat tight I couldn't utter the words.  Instead I read the lyrics and they lead me to where you are now.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through
the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


 And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

The better.


Before God's full glory.

And I knew that this hymn is not just words for you to sing, but you're living in the embodiment of them.

I confess that my finite heart still can't fully understand it all.  But today instead of aching against what is no more for you, I will let joy fill my heart and celebrate who you were to us and who you are now.  Better.

Monday, March 05, 2012

you're invited...

it's one of those weeks where there are an abundance of birthdays happening. while i owe gratitude to facebook for reminding me about many of these, one of my resolutions for this year is to attempt to mail out a birthday card instead of posting a quick virtual greeting.

i love getting mail. the envelope that has your name handwritten with love and intention. growing up i was spoiled by beautiful notes sent by my grandma and throughout college i believe i got a letter each week from my mom. and it's a trait i've happily inherited from them now. i always have a collection of cards on hand for a special occasion.

with these birthdays always comes the talk of celebrating. it seems the older we get the more hesitant and resistant we become towards celebrating our lives. i'm sure this stems from a variety of reasons...not wanting to acknowledge your age, feeling that parties are silly and unnecessary, birthdays stirring up more thoughts of what you haven't accomplished rather than gratitude for the life you've lived, etc. i know i was dismissive of celebrating my birthday this year. but i have great friends who wanted to love on me, celebrate me. and you know what, i loved it. sure i was little overwhelmed by the month of celebrations that occurred. but i received it. and i challenged the messages in my head that told me i'm too old for parties or it's rather indulgent of me to have all this attention.

i don't think in the end we will ever regret the abundance of celebration we engage in. but we lament that moments that we didn't tell people how much they are loved, appreciated, valued. it's a common sentiment at funerals...the regrets of all the things we wish we could have said.

what does it look like to invite celebration into your life? whether you have a birthday coming up, a new job, baby on the way, or a wedding. and how do we celebrate the ordinary days and moments? or how you will create a moment of celebration for those in your life? even the most simple gesture, if sincere and intentional, personal and connected can bring delight into someone's day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

monday musings

a few random thoughts as i start the week...

* Is it a culinary faux pas to have a glass of red wine with garlic white wine chicken? Well I did it anyway and it all tasted GOOD!

* I had a friend give me a tutoring session on twitter. With the job title Social Media Coordinator I figured I should become more savvy about it. So while I can't promise I'll be tweeting often or anything profound you can follow me @kellyannepowers

* forgot how amazing the food at Gaia Cafe is...i could drink their salsa by the cup full.

* eating with friends is ALWAYS more life-giving than eating alone.

* Five days into Lent...no TV has definitely provided me with more space to read, rest, complete some projects. I still crave a night to just veg out and watch my "programs", but i'm committed to seeing this through. I've also been attempting to give up sugar (but this has been a resolution since the new year) I admit I've failed at least once a day. Seduced by dark chocolate, blueberry scones, and reese's peanut butter cups. For a dinner party yesterday I was asked to bring a dessert so it was a fun challenge to come up with a sweet but no sugar offering. The results...citrus mint fruit salad

* Ben Rector does a fun cover of Whitney's "I Want to Dance With Somebody" but I prefer his version of "Free Falling"

*I'm going to NYC for the first time in my life this summer. If you know my childhood dream to be on Broadway you can imagine how giddy I am for this trip!!!

Friends, "be joyful for it is humanly possible" (wendell berry)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

from ashes to life

On the eve of the lent season I find myself full of anticipation...the wonder of this time of letting go and therefore creating space to receive something new. There's also tension with season...to enter into the rhythms of Lent requires honest reflection, confession, humbleness, surrender, sacrifice, risk. Am I really willing to name what are the vices in my life, that are hindering me from living fully in God's calling? Logically, giving up things like TV, facebook or sugar seem trivial. That's why I think it's important to not just see this as an act of giving up a vice, but taking in something new, something holy. To move from being creatures of comfort to conscious, intentional people. To know myself as Christ sees me, hopes for me to be.

So my commitments for this season are...no TV. Cliche, yes. But I realize that I don't create enough space to live in silence, to read books (I have a looming stack of books that are calling my name) and to write. Especially since Mike's death I know I fill the silence in our home with the TV. And since one of my 2012 hopes was to spend more time reading and writing this will hopefully eliminate a barrier to that.

Along with this my church provides us with a great daily Lent calendar that I hope to explore. Mars Hill also goes through a book each Lent season. This year we will explore the book of Ruth. I will be meeting with a group of exceptional women to dig deeper into this text. Again full of hope and anticipation for what will be exposed in my own heart and how God will redeem me...

I'm also curious how I may relate to the book of Ruth now that my story mirrors her journey. The identity of widow is one that is still both foreign and also sacred.

Here's a psalm I've returned to and been thinking through as I step into Lent...

Psalm 139 (the message)

A David Psalm
1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

hello love.

thanks to Over the Rhine for such a beautiful valentine wish...

Hello young lovers wherever you are,

Hello not-so-young lovers with hearts fixed on the prize of growing older together, one day at a time, come what may,

Hello to those flying solo, learning to love just the feel of being human,

Hello to those head over heels in a tangle of a wrecked bed, blurring ego boundaries with an eager protagonist, drunk on it,

Hello to those who could never live with another human being and are okay with that knowledge (Fran Lebowitz),

Hello to those married with young children, running their domestic marathon,

Hello to those in love with the sky only, the very breathable air, restlessly content with this earthly mix of sometimes joy, sometimes longing, sometimes loneliness, sometimes surprising laughter,

Hello to those in love with the whole human predicament,

Hello to the broke, the well-heeled, the lucky, the lost, the quiet, the gifted, the empty-handed, the adopted, the beginners, the almost finished, the starting over, the music makers, and those with the gift of hearing and receiving the music,


Monday, September 26, 2011


i don't like the word "hate". i try to refrain from using it in casual conversation, cause with every mention it loses the weight of it's meaning. it should be reserved and entrusted for things that really warrant it's sentiment.

so i say with no apologies that i hate september 27th. i approach this day with anger cause it marks the moment when my life was severed and dismantled. when my best friend, my husband, one of kindest, most generous and loving people i knew was no longer. the first day of a long and weary journey into grief...i know some people fear facing these anniversaries and choose to distract, ignore or dismiss it. it's just too much to remember. honestly, for me i want to confront it, fight it, kick it, give it the middle finger.

but hopefully if you know me well, you know i just don't have it in me to linger long in this anger. not that it's not justified. i believe there is a place to feel righteously angered towards death, towards brokenness, to signs that this is not God's shalom. i feel all the time that God laments with me. and yet....and yet He compels me to lean into His hope, to receive His promises. anytime someone comments to me "I don't know how you get through this" or "You're so strong" (and yes I want to balk at these comments every time) i know it is because of my faith. my smile, my joy, when i laugh, when i start to dream and hope for what may be...it's because of this radical, redemptive Love.

as much as i hate this day, it has been the ones that have followed that allowed me to encounter God in some beautiful and sacred ways. and while i still can't give thanks or be at peace with the purpose of Mike's death, there is this gratitude or perhaps perspective on life, relationships, faith, loss that i never would have had before...and that is what I want to take away from this day. i trust that this perspective will serve a purpose, will shape my life into one that can serve others, enable me to be more loving, kind, giving.

Mike's ability to befriend people, care for them with such a generous spirit, unable to hold grudges, always curious...I think about that often and want to emulate it, make him proud of how I'm living. I miss his friendship the most. wishing his was here to talk about my job, the house, to meet all the new people that have come into my life recently (side note....my gratitude runs deep for the friendships i've made these past years, to have people want to step into my life and not be intimidated by my story. you know who you are...you're the best.)

so after three years i still don't know how to answer the very kind question that many of you ask..."how are you doing?" it remains complicated and ever changing. many days i wish i could say i'm great and i'm on the other side of this....i'm not sure that's even how it's supposed to be. but i have much in life that blesses me and enriches me. and that is where i want to navigate my heart...towards gratitude. for Mike, for how he shaped me into who i am, for those who have walked with me, my family, for new friendships, a beautiful home, my needs being met, a great place to work, for wine :)

so thank you for the calls and cards and notes and prayers and hopes...i feel them and they carry me through hard days like today. much love to you...

(and now i have to mention my surprise that it's been over a year since i've written on this blog...thanks for the nudge mom. hopefully i'll carve out more time and space to write...)

Saturday, August 28, 2010