“it will get harder,” i heard, bending over the rails of the crib, the crucified stance of the mother who feeds life in the dead of night. but i shook my head. it couldn’t. it was hard enough. and then, “there will be victory,” even as my baby wept against my chest.

what does victory look like for people who walk through the valley of shadows? i’m beginning to believe that faith is everything in the hard times, and simply re-charged in the good, like a battery… what are we, if not believers during the bad? how will we ever long for heaven if we don’t feel the curse of earth? how can we be light unless we live in darkness?

i’m beginning to think the monks and saints and john the baptists had it right. the desert is where we find God, in our leather thongs and long tunics and locust-lunches.

for in the desert, there’s nothing but space in which to see him. the incredible expanse of him.

so this afternoon while husband and children slept, all but one who gnawed on a mum-mum in his walker and gurgled at the ceiling, i pulled out my dusty guitar. and i flipped through the old worship binder my brother made me, the pages all curled and yellow, and i found it.

the song that will be my mantra for the coming ten months. the one i will sing when these four boys pull at my last nerves and make me lean into my husband like a tree losing its roots and this song will gently replant me. root by root.

and so, along with st. francis of Assisi, i sing this on behalf of weary mothers and foster mothers and fallen mothers everywhere…

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.


Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal

(shared with jen, laura and michelle)