“Don’t be afraid…

The Lord Himself will fight for you,

Just stay calm.”

Exodus 14:14


I finger these hope words

Like rosary beads,

Wrapping them around my being,

Letting them do their comfort-work

Upon my restless mind

That chatters words of “cannot be”

And “I don’t see”

Where doubt and desire collide.


I’m not alone in this.

We all feel pressed sometimes

Between what is

And what we hope for,

Between what He provides

And what we desire.

We name our need,

Knowing that the provision we seek

Can only come from a God of Grace.


We know we’re not the first

To plead for deliverance,

To wrestle with reliance

On a God who values surrender,

Not self-sufficiency.


Scroll back through centuries,

Way back through the centuries,

Until you find the sons of Abraham

Suffering hard as slaves in Egypt.

Long and lean the years have been

Until the day that Moses returns

On a freedom mission from God;

And the Israelites,

They walk right out of captivity

With a shout of praise

And fists raised in defiance.


A triumphant, “Take That!” moment, this.

But defiance dries up real quick

In the face of  fear.


They’re well on their way to escape

When the unpredictable God they follow

Instructs Moses

To turn back and camp by the sea.

We can only imagine this bold move

Left Moses wide-eyed trembling.


For sure enough,

Straight to that unsecured spot

Between the bone-dry desert and a body of water

Came Pharaoh and all his might,

Every last man and beast.

And the people of Israel panicked.


They cried out to the Lord,

They turned on Moses in a flash.

With fear-laced words

They attacked them both,

“Why did you bring us out here to die?

Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt?

Didn’t we tell you this would happen?

We said, Leave us alone!”


But Moses,

Who almost always found a way to trust I AM

Spoke these astonishing words

Of calming comfort from the very mouth of God:


“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.

The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.

The LORD himself will fight for you.

Just stay calm.”


And fight for them, He did.

The sea opened up for His powerless people

And closed on the dangerous, but doomed

Enemy of His Own.


The Israelites could never have foreseen

Such a bizarre and beautiful delivery.

They would not,

Not in their wildest dreams.


And so it is with us.

We cannot know the provision he prepares.

His creativity and power know no bounds.

And even though we do not see all that He has planned,

We remind ourselves

That He is never out of options,

And His glorious presence

Can always find its way through a crack

To our spot between a rock and a hard place.


He is other.

He is I AM.

And He will fight for You.





September 2014

Italicized words are quoted directly from Exodus 14.







Posted in At the Throne of Grace, Call to be Courageous, Trust, Uncategorized | 1 Comment



I am not a particularly brave person, so I spend time studying courageous people and drawing conclusions about their choices and their character to find the source of their strength and stamina.  I am blessed to know some brave people.   They aren’t famous, but that in no way lessens the practical, inspiring power of their example.  In fact for me, it heightens it.



Brave isn’t

Riding the crest of a brilliant blue wave

Under a sparkling sun,

Onto the sandy shore

In a thrilling adrenaline rush.


No, brave is what happens while you

Paddle the breadth of a set-

In that zone where the waves seem intent

On pounding your dream right out of you

Or at least knocking you silly and sore.


Brave isn’t

Traipsing through

The delightful valley of Where I Want to Be

With cheerful companions,

A spring in your step,

And a song in your heart

Because all is as it should be.

This is a lovely season,

But it doesn’t demand you be brave.


No, brave is traveling the steep and solitary path

Because this is where you are.

Brave is holding your ground

When the ridge line narrows

And every ounce of you

Wants to scramble down to safer slopes.


Brave has to happen

Because happily ever after

Doesn’t always follow disappointment

Like it does in a Disney film,

With foot tapping, sing-a-long melodies.


Brave is often very quiet

And exceedingly easy to miss.


But brave is beautiful.

Brave is a low-burning fire

That warms those within its reach-

Its long, inclusive reach.


Brave breaks out of its comfort zone.

Brave endures.

Brave hopes while it does the next thing,

And brave can run a really, really long way

Without the finish line in sight.


You don’t need a hefty dose of brave

When you’re traveling temperate lands

Where your dreams mostly come true.

But, if you find yourself

In the midst of a stormier space

Or come face to face with some scraggy terrain,

(And you certainly will-you can count on that)

You can never have too much brave.


Alas, here’s the tricky thing:

You only get it by being it.

You put one foot in front of the other

And you walk.

You give thanks.

You dance when you can

And cry when you must

And you hang on.

You hang on real tight

To the One Who Showed Great Courage

As well as a whole lot of love,

That He might one day put all things right.




august 2014


Posted in Call to be Courageous, Hunting for Hope, Trust, Uncategorized, Wisdom please | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Being Found

“The notion of unmerited mercy is quaint but unintelligible to most of us, since it has no prototype in our human experience.  The dramatic surprise that comes in the stories of of the searching shepherd, the searching woman, and the searching father is that being found by a searching God is more important than anything we do.”

Brennan Manning – The Wisdom of Tenderness*



Being Found

I am the lost lamb.

I am the missing coin.

I am the reckless, greedy child.


Before I even knew that I was lost

Or felt a sense of sadness

At the distance between Him and me,

He had left the ninety-nine who followed Him home

To pursue me with unflagging determination

Til He found me on the precipice,

Out of fight and out of options.


Before I sensed the separation,

He lit the lamp,

Darkness no deterrent to His search.

He swept and scoured

Every last corner of that house

With greatest care

Until He uncovered

And recovered me.


Before I uttered a repentant word

Or looked to breach the gap,

He watched, waiting

At the window.

And oh the day I made my weary way up

The last road home,

He ran down the driveway

Overcome with love and compassion.

He caught what was left of me up

In His tender embrace,

And met my brokenness with mercy’s kiss. *


There is nothing half-hearted about His redeeming ways.

He revels in reunion.

He throws a party every time!


It was easy for me to wander off.

It was easy for me to squander blessing.


It was hard for him to find me.

My recovery cost Him much.


But see how He celebrates my return!

He buries me in His open arms

And holds me aloft while He sings His victory song.


The most important thing I ever did,

I really didn’t do

I was found.


He found me.


kerry peterson

august 2014


Based on Jesus’s parables of His love for us,  found in Luke 15





Posted in At the Throne of Grace, Celebration, Gratitude | 6 Comments

You’ll Miss the Mess

The past crashed in out of nowhere

While I vacuumed today,

And I swear it sucked my breath away.


For years I navigated that clangorous machine

Around all manner of childhood debris:

Burp rags and teething toys,

Then legos and tea cups,

Dollhouse ottomans, and little collections of God knows what.

Later came so many nylon gym shorts,

Books, binders, fusty old socks,

Riding boots complete with a coating of horse hair and dust-

It seemed endless.


But it wasn’t.


And the wide open spaces

Of perfectly clean carpet

Waiting for me in every quiet room today

Didn’t bring me any joy.

The absence of clutter

Made the job simpler

But, oh so much harder

For my heart.


I shut that trusty old workhorse off

And just sat in the silence

To cry out the grief

And work through the disbelief,

That those years are really gone.


They’re really, really gone.


I want to say to all you dear mamas

Still cleaning around the detritus

Of a full and messy house…

Sit down and enjoy the wreckage.


Whether you have one, three, or eight,

Go grab those havoc-wreaking creatures

You’re blessed to call “Your Kids”

And join them in their play

Or just listen to them laugh.


Because some day,

I know you know,

They’ll move on

And mess up their own house

They’ll secure with their own job,

In their own life,

And this will be good-

But it sure won’t be the same.

Some days you will miss them

With breathtaking intensity.

Believe it or not,

You’ll even miss the mess.



july 2014





Posted in A Mother's Heart, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Layers of a Life

I love the way nature seems designed to reveal so much truth about the spiritual world. Repeatedly, nature offers a fresh perspective to the way we think and the challenges we face.  



Layers of a Life

Contrary to my expectations,

There is no buffer,

No shock-absorbing space

Between the layers of life.


Rarely does it feel like a lamina of tranquility

Pads the weight of change.

A new stratum of our story

Is usually deposited

Before the one below

Has a chance to settle or solidify.


We are all familiar with the strain

Of seasons pressing, one atop another,

Without concern for conformity

Or the dictates of good timing.


I’m learning to make my peace

With the competing powers

Of upheaval and compression;

Accepting  folds, buckles, and a whole lot of grit

As part of life’s intended cycle.


I’m also learning that these layers of my life

Lose some of their edginess

When I lay down expectations

And simply take in the view.


Maybe the panoramic scene

Of life’s many layers

Is not characterized by discontinuity.

Maybe they are sculpted

With more harmony and cohesion

Than I can possibly know.




july 2014



“But the LORD has been my stronghold,

And my God the rock of my refuge.”

Psalm 94:22

Photo cred:




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments