belly burning bright…

I want to see sweetness instead of shortness
in the brief breath of butterfly days,
to taste the seeds of next summer in the last slice of melon
and to believe in restoration even as angry words tumble out on top of themselves.
I want to honor aliveness that way,

 to believe that being is more than doing,
seeing is more than proving,
beauty is more than pretty
and that the oppressed are touched by grace each time we pray,
praying even fierce comfort into their suffering,
comfort that defies understanding,
angels whispering living things that slice right through the torment
and that no one ever,  ever suffers


It’s hard to hear the horror….to let it rake across your soul harsh
until your coals burn gray and ashe,
but I will believe that it matters what our hearts cry out,
that we can hurl our voices into the universe
and they’re heard.
For the lonely,  for the stolen,  for the terrified,
we can release penetrating light and it makes a difference.

We are not helpless;
keep the fire in your belly burning bright.


“The world is indeed full of peril,  and in it are many dark places;
but still there is much that is fair,  and though in all the lands love is
now mingled with grief,   it grows perhaps the greater.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

(my monthly  zine,  Ripplesongs,  is also burning bright with hope
and unmuddled joy,  fresh from the oven  in my little  etsy store
if you’d like a
copy to have and hold and hopefully share)



  1. Elephant's Child on September 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Another beautiful – and powerful post.

    • jennifer on September 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks for stopping by, friend;
      I appreciate your visit so:)

  2. Lady Fi on September 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Another inspiring and beautiful post. Thank you!

    • jennifer on September 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Thanks for coming by to visit, creative Fi:)
      It’s so encouraging to hear that it inspired.

  3. Lynn Wilkinson on September 8, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Jennifer, this spoke volumes to my heart!!! it’s healing and wonderful that those who shout out will be heard.
    The second image, the photograph reminds me of angles rushing to the side, creating a flurry of dust from their wings and their rush… coming to minister to the sides of those who suffer. My depression has been sinking lately and yet your worlds bring me light into the darkness and I haven’t forgotten my promise … just need to be able to send it all out.. .. I love your ministry to those who need to have hearts renewed and reclaimed and souls repurposed when the pain gets overwhelming… you are wonderfully tapped into the words that seem to come from the voice of God to those who need to hear … thank you for the purity of your love and your purpose in life.

    • jennifer on September 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Gosh Lynn, your heartpours are so beautiful….thank you.
      It’s crazy out there in places and we seem to hear only the horror;
      all the madness can be maddening. I think it knocks us out of a place
      of effectiveness if we suck in the wind behind the despairing lie.
      Truth is just so much more than the sum of facts. I believe truth always liberates.
      So much thanks to you for leaning into truth
      even when the darkness bites hard.
      Love and light (and hugs),

  4. Julia Bourque on September 8, 2014 at 3:49 am

    Dear Jennifer, the words of your caring heart floats as a sooting mist through this misery unleashed on our world. We have to believe in a merciful and just God who is still in commend of his creation. We have to believe that the prayers of our heart are heard and that this evil will be defeated, that we will one day all live in peace and harmony with one and another.

    Blessing on your caring heart.

    • jennifer on September 8, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Your balmy words are sunlight to my soul
      this morning friend….thank you:)
      love and lift to you and yours,

  5. gotham girl on September 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I always love coming here…just beautiful…and thank you so much for your kind words!

  6. Barbara on September 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    You’re beautiful zine is truly a light in the world. Thank you so much for it, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 10, 2014 at 6:09 am

      I’m so glad they found good homes in you:)
      Really hope your mom enjoys,

  7. jeanie on September 9, 2014 at 7:12 am

    How I love when you said “being is more than doing.” You’re so right. Sometimes we (I) fly around doing, doing, doing. But it is in the silent being that life is so sweet.

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 10, 2014 at 6:10 am

      it’s hard for me to remember and trust that one, Jeanie;
      I’m a doer from way back:)

  8. Leslie on September 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Love your words of faith and hope, mingled with the Tolkien quote and your always deLIGHTful images. Believing, with you…

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 10, 2014 at 6:11 am

      so glad you came by, Leslie;
      I love looking at life from your perspective,

  9. Kathryn on September 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    i know we are heard too, altho it may not seem like it at times…the Universe does respond with goodness…just look at those beautiful flowers in your photo…there is goodness and beauty everywhere if we are open to it!

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 10, 2014 at 6:21 am

      we definitely can’t tell most of the time, can we,
      except for maybe the hope in our belly:)
      Goodness…yes, that’s exactly the word.
      Thanks for joining the conversation, Kathryn:)

  10. Carola Bartz on September 9, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Very beautiful and inspiring – your words are very touching. The photo of the cosmos – so pretty. I love these flowers so very much.

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 10, 2014 at 6:22 am

      Hi Carola:) So glad you dropped by to walk through
      the flower field with me for awhile:)

  11. Susan on September 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    You are such a wise old soul and I mean that with much love and respect.

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      thanks for those kind balmy words, friend:)
      I love it when you come around,

  12. Donna on September 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Oh my it is hard not to have the harshness of life and the world steal our tenderness…I stay away from the news as it steals my heart and the pain is too much…but I pray for the world…

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Joining you in those prayers for the world
      ….it’s not impossible these things we dream:)
      always thanks, Donna,

  13. Suzanne on September 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Loved these words… “For the lonely, for the stolen, for the terrified, we can release penetrating light and it makes a difference.” Beautiful Jennifer. xo

    • Jennifer Richardson on September 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your encouraging perspective,
      Suzanne…..I love it when you come around:)

  14. Judy Hartman on September 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    It’s good to think that when we pray for those who suffer in this world, that somehow they are touched by grace. There are so many things in our world to be distressed about, I will now think of my prayers and compassion as actually touching the people I am praying for, not just hurtling out into the universe. Your words are so powerful, as always.

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