Miss Rosemary

a_still_life_with_a_vase_of_roses,_a_bowl_of_peaches_and_a_mandolin-large Angelo Martinetti (1833-1895)
Miss Rosemary (Miss Rosemary)
Miss Rosemary (Miss Rosemary)
Miss Rosemary (Miss Rosemary)
at the library (at the library)
tell me, tell me, tell me (tell me, tell me, tell me)
where to get some honey (where to get some honey)
and famous Georgia pecans (and famous Georgia pecans)
cause the peach is out of season (cause the peach is out of season)
please play the mandolin (please play the mandolin)

~ §tacy §weeney


I Can’t Stop Smiling

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I think I’m the only girl I know whose teeth are falling out of her head, and I’m not a developing six year old with baby teeth. I’m contacting Tennessee Vital Records tomorrow to request a change of birthplace before my wardrobe is extracted from my closet and replaced with cut-offs, tank-tops, and flip-flops from my neck of the woods fashion.

My first impression of this new dental office is how different it is from other medical and dental clinics I visit. First, there are no ugly, mercury filled fluorescent tubes in the ceiling, or sick, snotty nosed, screaming toddlers contaminating every inch of a two foot high environment. The receptionists here are helpful and polite and I’m sitting in a cushioned chair, pulling current magazines off the coffee table to fill my wait time and drill my mind. Oh, look, an article about the first artists in this month’s National Geographic. It’s a fun read about animals, nature, and culture, but I have to pick through the “six billion years ago” bad science, evolution nonsense. I’m also enjoying an office that offers four flavors of Xylitol (a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener) chewing gum, cocoa butter for your dry lips, and wintergreen flavored mouthwash. Where are the lollipops?

I’m escorted back to exam room ten at DeMercy Dental to get a comprehensive oral evaluation, and an opportunity to share ministry notes with the family owned and operated dental staff. Their family name, DeMercy, is no coincidence. How did I get connected with this family of dentists in Roswell? Well, I’m experiencing what the evening plenary speaker, Bob Lupton, spoke about at last year’s Christian Community Development Flourish Conference. Lupton said, “Programs are vitally important, but they are not sufficient. The building blocks of neighborhoods are neighbors… incarnational relocation is the end of isolation.” That’s right. Left to my own devices, I am wired to self-destruct, not build bridges. God’s ways are not my ways.

The generous dentist, Amanda, said she will donate her free time and dental skills to restore my nine dental codes: D7140, D2392, D2393, D6750, D6240, D2740, D2950, D2391, and D2331 in just 3 visits. Where Amanda’s money is, there you will find her heart also. I will receive her gift and capitalize on it with the same respect that she earned it. I am going to have more silver caps and crowns in my mouth than the sounds of “Silver Bells” at Christmas.

Health and longevity are in my denominational DNA, but I’m a transplant protein strand and a poor example of our health message. Besides, I never think about living longer, but how many people can I feed. “Miss. Stacy, why do you walk funny?” nine year old Mo asked me one hotlanta day walking out of the community garden together. “Well, why do your teeth look funny?” I laughed quietly to myself. Is our food supply so degraded that our bare bones are neglected essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to work properly?

God has been so merciful to me, and I can’t stop smiling. I get to keep my teeth, and I have 10,000 more reasons to trust in God.

~ §tacy §weeney

The Lake is Base

Yes, Lord, you know all things
You know that I love you
You are the King!
I’m still out here playing
in the water
lake is base
the water is fine
you are mine
you are mine
you are mine
your form He formed
first foot forward I move
to meet the miraculous
Master of the €lements
€verlasting arms
I don’t have to sink
to the bottom of the sea
just walk through the fire
take what ways you please
to save your people
your love keeps me close
jumping in the waves
walking on the water
Yes, Lord, you know all things
You know that I love you
You are the King!
~ Peter
poem from Luke 5:1-11, Matt 14:22-33, John 21:1-25, Isa 43:1-7

~ §tacy §weeney

This Bites


Bright and early this morning I’m getting my first, dreaded root canal on a decaying tooth, and as I look at my black & white dental x-ray in the digital light box, I imagine what my internal organs must look like. My tooth is an enamel coated, cross section picture of death & disease. What’s worse is that I have tried to cure my dead tooth for forty shameful mornings and forty painful evenings, and I forget to factor in the past decades of careless health habits that on most days I’m still unwilling to accept or change. I don’t see animals brushing their teeth or lined up for dental visits. Despite the statistically significant research on diet & nutrition’s impact on health, specifically high fructose corn syrup, our culture is killing us.  How are we going to heal that super-sized, spiraling food chain mess? Have you seen the documentary film, King Corn? King Corn is a feature documentary from Independent Lens about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.

In truth, I have taken only half measures to recover part of my being, putting my hope in my own two healing hands, alternative medicine, *all* of Isaiah 58 (if-if-then; if-if-then), and preventative health care education piled higher and deeper.  I can now admit that I’ve been in the wrong profession, directed in part by childhood ideas that persisted to the day my four wisdom teeth were extracted. The dynamic nursing profession fits my personality, but nurses are not going to save the world any day soon. Nope. Artists! Artists are going to save the world.  Oh, where is that scripture?

What’s really tough is that I’m a patient with legitimate, physical pain, sitting in Dr. David Fagundes very comfortable dental/medical chair, opening my mouth for a professional stranger, which is very much like opening up about your emotional pain in psychotherapy.  “What’s your pain level on a scale of 1-10?” is our fifth vital sign behind temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate.  “A nine.  A nine, I talk to myself, because 10 is reserved for birthing grief, a broken femur, third degree burns, or an incurable cancer eating you alive. Ten is reserved for a narcotic addict, looking for their next high. Ten is served when new friends move away like a revolving door and the best you have to offer is a chip of your life and to break bread together as you say good-bye. Ten is reserved for when things don’t go your way and you lose. When you lose heart, and when you lose sight, and like ‘the blind man who stood on the road,’ you cry. Have you read, Dark Night of the Soul?  Me either, but I bet this hardcover book bites,” I concluded. “This bites, but the long acting Marcaine® is kicking in to a state of oral, blissful numbness.”

~ §tacy §weeney

Press This in Your Heart

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Stacy Sweeney stapling community photos on prayer board

O, my little sisters
sitting over there
sorrow in your stare
yellow hat to block the glare
show me where your hope is
O, my little sisters
let me see your blisters
life is not that easy
for a thorn or thistle
put away your pistol
Apostle Paul’s epistles
reached the heart of people (2Cor3:2-3)
a wish of which I witness
press this in your heart
and ~
whistle, whistle, whistle
whistle, whistle, whistle

~ §tacy §weeney