Tell Me Something I can hold

When I married I became a more acceptable thing
in the eyes of the religion I ran from.
Having a good man take me as his wife was a hall pass in this constricting world,
a ticket upgrade that gave me access to better hiding places
from the shame I felt dogged by in my youth.
Too young we said our vows and bought a house
and began making a new story that I believed if I lived well enough
would be strong medicine to erase my old pain.
Just fix it all with fresh paint
and rows of pretty flowers.

Someone was willing to have me,
right in front of God,
and I hoped this proof enough that
I might be salvaged,
along with the bits of my heart that shattered years before
when I let go my baby girl
to release her to another mother
because I wasn’t nearly enough
to remain hers.

So when into our fledgling marriage came another baby girl beautiful,
I loved her with the fury of one who has already lost one child
to her own unworthiness.
I loved her wholehearted and also fearful,
dogged by gnawing hunger to do right
because my heart had heard them hard, words like wrong and unfit
and would my fitness pass muster now these seven years since?
Then along came a boy-gift,  beloved and bright,
and then another son of sweetness – all the apples of my eyes.
My young heart spilled wild love;  they were my world.
And like a sea turtle returning to the beach where she was birthed,
I scrambled to the knowing tree,
with these bright beings
in tow.
To keep them safe and shield them
because it was the only way I’d known.

(This is my why I offer compassion instead of distain
for those trapped by fundamentalist thinking;
I know what it is to be a mamabear with bloody paw
caught in the steel teeth of that fearful-rigid trap.)

I hear people say how they have no regrets,
how they’re glad for what happened because it made them the people they are now.
I have no grid for that.
If I could bargain for it now, I’d paint their childhoods all over again
in a wholly different tone.
From a fiercely nourishing tree.
And from that Living tree I’ve poured forgiveness
on all the people, and especially myself,
and released that mom-guilt to the wind,
to the sacred river-running-through who does the restoring
of what my own hands
can’t mend.

This whole messy business of being a mother,
and now of loving grown up someones more than actual air,
but not knowing exactly how or how much or
what-just-now to offer….when or if to say the things.
Much of what I make and share spills from this place.
To leave it here for them to someday find
with a hopeful trust that it will splash them good in the living
when they need,
if they need,
but not swamp their boats when they don’t.

It grows my love for all the someones,
for all the beings learning how to be,
and for the Tree who scoops us all into a taller and more tender grace
than a body can imagine.
I often think my kids taught me to love,
or at least showed me how deep love goes.
And this new book – I made it for them.
It’s a smattering of the fruits I would have plucked from living tree
and grinned as the juice dribbled sweet down their chins
those short golden hours.

My imaginary do-over:)
The things I would go back and say.
The fistfull of flowers I want to leave some days at their doors
with a written note “for you” that means “oh how I’m for you,”
“and God only for you,”
and “ever always for you.”
Along with the words I long to have lived with them
instead of the ones I sometimes settled for
in the foreboding thicket
of the wrong-ass

I know we don’t get do-overs,
but we sometimes get more time.
This is the book I made with mine.

It’s available for you and yours,  too.
With love.
Pre-orders open over at

“I love
Tell me the words
you need to hear.
And I
will say them.
Over and over and over
until the echo sings
like whispered hymns
in the broken rubble
where churches
once stood.”
– Tyler Knott Gregson

Giving away a pre-order to a copy of Volume 2
to be mailed out as soon as it’s fresh off the press.
Just leave a comment and you’re in the drawing.

And,  hey,  I realize navigating religious weirdness doesn’t resonate with many.
It’s a niche of a story,  mine,  but it’s the one I’ve got and so I share
with hope that bits and pieces may be life to another heart
in the throes of healing and change.
Thanks for hearing me.




  1. Elephants Child on October 18, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you beautiful soul.
    And you are, always have been (despite critics who include you) and always will be.

    • jennifer on October 19, 2021 at 9:02 am

      Thanks for your ever-so-kind nudgings:)
      I appreciate,

  2. Jane Brocious on October 18, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    How lucky we are to be able to anticipate Volume 2 of “Tell Me Something Good.” Can’t wait!

    • jennifer on October 19, 2021 at 9:02 am

      Thanks for your anticipation!
      I appreciate:)
      – Jennifer

  3. Maribeth on October 19, 2021 at 11:36 am

    This is what alchemizing ashes to beauty looks and sounds like. I resonate and receive the loving-kindness and compassion with which you share.

    • jennifer on October 20, 2021 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for that potent kindness, Maribeth.
      I know you share my background and get the journey.
      Something awfully comforting in that – thanks for the read.
      – Jennifer

  4. Julia JULIA Bourque on October 19, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Jennifer, how brave you are to put all those life’s moments in words that only you can weave so beautifully. It shines with every color of life’s most cherished, most painful, and fearful, and victorious moments and comes out as a rainbow of a life well-lived despite some setbacks. All these life’s moments nestled in between covers of yet another book.
    Congratulations, Jennifer.

    Hugs, Julia

    • jennifer on October 20, 2021 at 9:28 am

      Thanks for your kind read, Julia.
      It’s balm when someone hears my words gently.
      Much appreciation,

  5. Grace Selvey on October 20, 2021 at 11:41 am

    So many times I have found myself reflected in your words – if only I had thought to speak or write myself down… more than once I have begun to compose a note to you to thank you, and life has gotten in the way! Even this time, this is my second attempt, the first one swished away by the ringing of my phone. So anyways, thank you! For not being afraid to call it “religious weirdness” when it really is weird, for opening your heart and being so very honest!

    • jennifer on November 23, 2021 at 9:58 am

      Hey my old roller-coaster riding buddy! So good to hear from you:)
      I love your words and that you took the time to share them:)
      I really would love to catch up next time you’re in the states.
      Big big hug and thanks,

  6. jeanie on October 20, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Oh Jennifer, how you take thought and word and weave it into a glorious tapestry of life — sometimes life’s biggest hurts or challenges but also its beauty and joy. Three cheers for the completion of your second volume and most of all, for being who you are.

    • jennifer on November 23, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Thanks so much, Jeanie, and for your long time friendship over these
      miles and miles of air:) I so appreciate you:)
      – Jennifer

  7. Pad on October 20, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Love you my friend. I ordered my copy. Can’t wait to dive in!

    • jennifer on November 23, 2021 at 9:54 am

      I so thank you for supporting this very small business:)
      It’s appreciated big! And it is joy to share with my dear Pad:)

  8. Gwen on November 2, 2021 at 6:51 am

    “… the foreboding thicket
    of the wrong-ass
    Hahaha!! Perfectly accurately described. That awful thieving deceiving tree underneath whose boughs I was killing myself with trying to build the good life for me and mine when my resurrected God had already made it FOR US~~~Free and clear and light and easy and eternal. I’ll never forget the day the moment when I heard and recognized the sweet taste of fruit from the Tree of Life on June 10th 2010. I totally get your navigation through religious weirdness AND your compassion for those still caught in the thicket. ♥️

    Buying your book of love-created notes today. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your life journey with us! It brings with it beautiful gifts.

    • Gwen Lilly on November 3, 2021 at 8:43 pm

      This is from Gwen LILLY..btw.. … And it was June 25th not the tenth. 😁 ‘day I’ll never forget! ♥️❤️

      • jennifer on November 23, 2021 at 9:52 am

        Big xoxo:)
        – Jennifer

    • jennifer on November 23, 2021 at 9:54 am

      I know you know:)
      Thanks for your purchase, Gwen. I sent along, also, Volume 1 because
      you won the giveaway a few months back and I never heard back about your address so I could mail it.
      Hope you enjoy!
      Big love,

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