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Category: Unconditional Grace

Memories & Memorials, Lingering Sadness and Exhaustion

  Brutal best describes the last six months.   The traditional stress of three children in three school as well as a lot of extra travel. I find myself at the end of the new year not nearly where I wanted to be.  I’ve lagged behind in my writing as well as other household tasks.  I am struggling to find the joy of this holiday season. I love Christmas and usually decorate with more than one tree and several other decorations. This year I simply put up a tree, a smaller one than usual.  It just felt right this year. This fall has been touched with a lot of sadness.  My maternal uncle died in August after being ill for some weeks. Now, my uncle and I were not as close as some.  Mostly because of time and distance.  I lived geographically far from both sets of families, so I had limited contact with most of my mom’s family and my dad’s family.  I do have many wonderful memories of my grandparents as well as many aunts and uncles. Back to my uncle … he was the third of my mom’s siblings to pass.  She is one of…

How Firm A Foundation

So lately I am into all those house flipping shows that seem to be on every cable channel. My favorite, to my husband’s complete dismay, is Texas Flip and Move. I love seeing these people go crazy ripping out cabinets and tile and carpet.  I half imagine myself doing that to my current home but thankfully the idea of dust makes me stop.  Always, always the flip team has significant disagreements over what style to choose for their project. The other thing that seems to happen in all of these shows is a significant flaw in the house flipping process.  Most all flippers think it will be an easy and quick renovation.  Sometimes it is a plumbing program – think plastic pipes that have to be replaced. Sometimes it is a addition that the new homeowner finds was an illegal addition that has to be removed or brought up to code. Maybe the home needs a new roof because of sagging or new siding because of some harmful chemical. The worst is when you find a buckled floor. More often than not that is deal killer. Cue the shock and dismay of the house flipper.  Eventually, the flipper comes to…

Grace and Mercy From A Water Spout

Have you ever noticed the settings on a water spout? This summer in Central Texas has reacquainted me with the choices on mine. When I am watering my plants with a handheld hose, I can choose these settings: Soaker, Mist, Jet, Shower, Flat, Center and Cone. Soaker is the one I use when I want to drench a single plant. Mist is when I want a light coat on the plant. Jet is the one to use when I want to wash dirt off my porch. Shower does a nice job of covering a certain area evenly. Flat is a center line directed at one area. Center setting sprays from a central location to a perfect circle. Cone is a perfect circle outline to focus on root penetration. After a particularly eventful and spectacularly stressful week, I found myself thinking of those seven settings and God’s capacity for Grace (the free and unmerited favor of God) and Mercy (compassion and forgiveness offered when one could offer punishment instead). I mean the God I believe in – the one true God of Abraham and Issac and Father in the trinity of Father-Son-Holy Spirit – can offer His…

Milestones and Bullet Points

Milestones.  Bullet Points. We tend to sum up over lives and accomplishments in these terms.  Just look at your last resume: *Increased sales over 6 month period. *Managed staff of 10 people. Or you write the following on your blog: *Mom of three, daughter of two, wife of one. *Cleaning the same floor for seven years straight. I digress…I will not bullet-point my absence from my blog for the past 5 months.   So many things took priority:  children, homework, schedules, part-time work, indifference, anxiety and an ADHD diagnosis.  It would take me months to describe it because it was my life.   So that leads me to this:   This weekend I attended the If:Gathering in Austin.  Such a great time of renewal.  The ending moments had us write a “next step” on a rock and add to the “cornerstone.”   Mine was to write.  For 15 minutes every day.  Oh, do not worry, I have no great plans to blog every day.  My prayer and hope is once a week. Gentle readers (always wanted to say that and write that), it is hard to write.  It is a solitary process.  Crazy making.  I…