Glimpses of Grace

Glimpses of Grace

There are clubs out there without names or charters or offices. Clubs without buildings or meeting rooms or chairs or calendar meeting dates. These are the ‘groups of life’ that you join through experiences, both beautiful and tragic. The knowing glances from newlyweds as they watch their friends walk the aisle- joining the marriage club. Among the pews  are also glances of love lasted, worn or torn, that come from those with even more experience in the ‘marriage club’. Early morning runners greet each other with knowing waves, travelers with heavily stamped passports advise those with newly issued tickets, new mothers tell birth stories (sometimes too graphically) to those whose bellies await delivery- they all share a bond of common experiences. Then there are the tragedies. The ache you feel for someone, both known and unknown, that is walking a path you have already stumbled through. While I have not walked the path of a cancer diagnosis, or lost a child that was running through my home that very morning, I ache for them. But my pain, my thoughts, can never join their hearts in that terrible membership status like those that have received the same news. There is a beautiful song that sings the line “we are all one phone call from our knees” and that is so true for all. This past week, I watched one of my dearest friends thrown into membership of a club I reluctantly belong to as well…the sudden death of her father. I did not want that membership card, nor does anyone else, but life sends you your journey and you must take it in hand. Each path...
Father’s Day

Father’s Day

Father’s Day brings light divided as it enters the room.  Light comes,  full shining brightly,  as I watch my husband with our children. He is glue to our family, a centered base of love and wisdom that holds the whirlwind around him. Between the light I see the wisps of shadows. Shadows where my father once held geology in his hand as we inquired things of mystery. Shadows where he hid behind a large oak, waiting for grandchildren to guess where he could be found. Shadows where his own wisdom and love penetrated the generations in a physical, palpable way. But it is those very shadows that allow the rest of the light to shine brightly, a contrast of past with present, an anchor to the brightness. For where my father’s shoes once walked, shadows of his footprints still remain. In the smile of my middle son, in the twinkle of my daughter’s eyes, in my own heart and mind that share his genes. And as I watch the light mix with the shadows through the blinds this morning, I smile. It is the shadows of good memories and loving into the present with bits of the past that hold up the light today. Because my father loved so dearly and deeply, our light shines brightly as we celebrate the good men in our lives, past, present and generations future. Thank you Dad. Miss you.  ...

Thanksgiving Pumpkins into Carriages

  I am so thankful for traveling this year’s twisting and turning journey. From tightly closed doors to wide open opportunities, it has really been a gift of a year, tied up with ribbon on top. Each year begins with a blank slate. A custom canvas ready to be filled. It may have holes, or be a little crooked, but it is yours to decorate nonetheless. To look at that piece a little differently sometimes requires vision, sometimes perspective, but always faith and creativity. Perhaps, it needs to be flipped over, turned upside down, or just hung a little differently. God has provided everything we need to decorate that year, we just have to look for it.  The very essence of faith is that all will be provided, at the right time and place. It has been, for all this year, but sometimes it is hard to see. We concentrate on the pumpkin, not the carriage it could become. Even as life is unraveling, perhaps it is just preparation for it to be unrolled, pressed free of worry wrinkles, revealed, then tied into a beautiful bow. It has been a beautiful year of unraveling, of losing control in only the most wonderful ways. Faith. Fullness. Chaos. Grace. Growth. Fun. and for that perspective, I give thanks to my great God today. May your Thanksgiving be overflowing in grace and...

The Great Wide Seas are Yours

“O God, the great, wide seas are yours! You carved the oceans’ rugged floors. You set the waters in their place And made all sea life by your grace. You also made humanity To care for earth and sky and sea.” A beautiful morning to a beautiful song! Biblical References: Genesis 1-2:4; Psalms 8 Tune: John Bacchus Dykes, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861 Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey...

An Apology to the Parent of a Strong-Willed Child

I was the parent in Music class who arrived with child immaculately dressed, instructed quietly, and received immediate obedience. She participated in all the activities…clapping hands, sitting on her dot, singing along to the songs. I left the class smiling, both mom and child still perfectly dressed, and thinking to myself  “Wow! A few of those other moms in that class really need to get a handle on their children. I am sure I could whip those little rascals into shape in no time” Fast forward a couple more children and a few years. If I actually make it to the music class, it is in a very disheveled, usually unshowered state. My child’s shirt now wears stains from the sippy cup he found under the seat in the car, and as we enter the 30 minute class 15 minutes late, I note that his shoes are on the wrong feet. I still silently pat myself on the back though for remembering the shoes this time. The remaining 15 minutes of class involves me attempting to prevent him from tipping over the keyboards, running for the door and taking all the bells from the basket in the corner. Silent disapproving stares come from the other side of the room as the cutely dressed parent-child pairs sit quietly and sing along. I scream silently in my head “I WAS THE PARENT WITH THE CHILD THAT SAT ON THE DOT!! I was there! Just this time…I have met my match!” Yesterday, the battle lines were drawn and my youngest was in rare form.  He had come up with a completely new...

Buckle Up Buttercup

When my children hop in the car they are greeted with “Buckle up Buttercup” That was ringing in my head as the old button bin spilled out with several different types of buckles for creating art and listing in the Etsy shop The mother of pearl glistened with a beautiful purity and I paused The rusty metal on the miniature clips only enhanced their beauty and my mind wandered to how we can be made beautiful with our scars and hard roads Today two young children in our community lost their mother to a long hard-fought battle with cancer and my heart cries out with questions The reply I hear in God’s whisper is strap in for the ride He is in the drivers seat and knows the joys and tears and fears and dangers in the roads ahead  Buckle up...