I've Moved to Grace & Space

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I can't wait to see you again

the welcome mat is out

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Porch #115 🎨 4 Nurturing Somethings

 gentle conversation  
calming snapshots
uplifting linkage
occasional surprises

The last golden days of October have arrived.  Meanwhile, we're living with the awful surreal reality of the mass shooting in next-door Maine.  The whole world has gone mad with torment and grief, our politics are completely off-the-rails, and holiday excesses are just around the corner.  

Lament matters.

I don't know about you, but I need to acknowledge these stark realities even as I purposefully refocus and recalibrate, reflecting on things that are good and lovely, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).  I know no other way to continue forward.

The soothing art of dabbling with watercolors.  Choosing to purposefully quiet our ragged souls.  Falling in love with the Scriptures yet again.  And my take on blogging as 2023 edges toward a close.

Here we go.



In the cacophony of life's demands and pressures, God invites us to intentionally still and quiet our souls.  When we let our soul rest in God's presence, we no longer come to him as an infant scrambling for sustenance or demanding his attention and action.  Instead, we become like a content older child who just wants to be near for the sake of the relationship.
- Mindy Caliguire, Soul Care



If the Old Testament leaves you daunted and dazed, if the New Testament seems completely unrelated to those first 39 books, The Story of Scripture will turn your faith walk upside down and inside out.  I can't speak highly enough of Dr. Mark Yarbrough's presentation, a fascinating journey through the Word of God that connects Genesis right up through Revelation.  

After eleven in-person sessions in one weekend, I left with a whole new biblical worldview, in awe of God's covenant plan for those who love Him.  Finally, all the pieces fit together.

This course taught by Dallas Theological Seminary President Yarbrough is now FREE online.  Yarbrough is a dynamic combination of scholar theologian, gifted leader, and enthusiastic storyteller.  Click here to check out the course.  Is it time for you to go back to school?



Something's going on in the blogging world.  People are shifting gears.  Link Up gatherings aren't what they used to be.  Some writers are heading off for greener pastures while others are exploring fresh creative outlets in other social media venues.  

The pressures of family life, health challenges, and work responsibilities cramp our style and drain us dry.  We lose heart, passion, and focus.  It's not uncommon for former prolific blogging dynamos to simply fizzle out, fading from view without a trace or a farewell.

But despite all this, I do believe that 'old-school blogging' is not only here to stay but is beginning to re-emerge as a force to be reckoned with.  I'm hearing of people disillusioned with FB and Insta and whatever Twitter is calling itself these days.  There's a yearning for good solid writing and old-fashioned dialogue.  Less competition and comparison, more collaboration and community building.

All that said, I'm pulling the pieces together for my next venture.  I'm anything but technologically literate so I'm immersing myself in a labor of love that's stirred with a hefty dollop of apprehension.  (You might remember that I almost lost not one but two websites all within a span of five minutes.  And I actually lost my entire subscriber list three years ago in the bowels of the internet.  What a train wreck.  Thankfully, many of you hung on with me and God has blessed this work.)  

Anyway, you, my faithful sojourners, will be the first to know what's next.  I'm kind of excited about what He has in store.  I'll be back in a week or two.  Maybe three?  I've learned not to rush into anything new but to honor my need to move slowly.

Grace and space.

I think you'll like what's coming down the pike.  Hold your breath, say a prayer, stay tuned.

 sharing my work with 
Paula & Jeanne & Joanne 

Porch #114 * Cyclops, Empty Squares, and Russian Sage

 gentle conversation  
calming snapshots
uplifting linkage
occasional surprises

Sweet weekend, hello!

It's o'dark thirty as I tap a few words to you, friends.  The sun hasn't risen yet and maybe she won't today.  But I'm so very happy you're here.  The past few weeks kept me swept up in a whirlwind, incredibly packed and lifegiving, intense and miraculous and long.  I'm beginning to feel like I can breathe deeply again (literally, after a nasty autumn cold which created a swollen eyelid that left me looking like a cyclops, a rather scary sight for those I met on Zoom.  Sorry.)  

Anyway ... a rare event has opened up as I look to the days ahead.

I looked at my calendar yesterday and there's absolutely nothing to be seen for the week ahead.  Nada.  Those little boxes are completely gorgeously free and empty.  No appointments, no meetings, no must-dos, not a single thing.  You know how much I gravitate toward wide open white space.  

It'll be fun to see what opens up.  I have a few ideas and some hopeful hopes.


A special welcome to you brand new subscribers this month.  I've been blessed in connecting with all kinds of fascinating folks via Camp and Anne's Quick Lit and Mental/Emotional Health Awareness Sunday and Thrive in South Africa.  I feel rich and excited that you're joining us here.

You never quite know what you'll find when you open this weekly newsletter but I like it that way and hope that you will, too.  

This week's essay kind of flew under the radar and honestly, it wiped me out writing it.  When you read Grief Notes, I think you'll understand why.


Gathered Reads:

Being There
David French


japanese oranges  .  a pale blue egg
a rosy hydrangia  .  a new basket

a hand-lettered sign

my fav brunch place's
 blackboard menu

the golden hour before a
mid-October sunset

russian sage  .  japanese oranges
three freshly fallen leaves


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 I happily share my work with these bloggers
Paula & Jeanne & Joanne & Lisa

Grief Notes

I'd never really stopped and added it all up before.  But in the last month as I began to switch gears to plan for Sunday's Grief Group, it hit me.  

I lost eight loved ones in eight years.

My Dad, my Mom; my grandson, Tyler.  My niece, Jessica; my cousin, Carol.  Lifelong friend, Heather.  And my partners in ministry for many years, Bob and Brent.

As you read about these people, you'll get a glimpse of lessons on mourning I gathered along the way.

Lament matters.

It hit me that saying goodbye to any one of these loved ones would have been cause for deep grief.  But looking back, I now realize that having their traumatic deaths cascade one after the other allowed me to experience grace toward myself in the immensity of it all.

'No wonder you were so filled with anxiety.  You couldn't even catch your breath before the next loss rolled around.' 

It all made sense.  In reflecting, I understand that God's unchanging, steadying presence has truly been my salvation against totally going under.  Refusing to stuff the shock and pain was a lifeline.  I found the Psalms to be my prayer book.  Simply whispering Jesus brought calmness to my undone mind and body.  

We moved to the back row on Sunday mornings.

There was incredible healing in blogging and the faithful, empathetic support you gave.  Steadily bringing up beloved names at the dinner table kept those who left very much present.  Reaching out to others in their need rescued me from total self-absorption.  

And praise God for those few souls who quietly, patiently listened to me process again and again without trying to tie everything up with a little pink bow.  

These were priceless treasures in darkness.


Grieving well nudges us to slowly take baby steps forward, one hour at a time.  To our surprise, we find ourselves looking in the rearview mirror a bit less.  Our hearts become tenderized and we discover gratitude again ... or maybe it finds us.  

Our world view slowly enlarges.  We begin to re-emerge, re-made by what we have experienced.  What we value will most likely change and what we deem important dramatically shift.  New priorities may catch us by surprise, the opportunities given to us may be unexpected yet welcome.

If we find ourselves unable or unwilling to move ahead as the years flow on, our lives are tragically cut short.  We miss out on the beauty of God's daily good gifts and our inner absorption keeps us from seeing opportunities to reach out to those who find themselves in even more dire straits than we've experienced.  Apathy, cynicism, and bitterness far too easily seep in to fill the aching void.    

Accepting that we'll never be totally whole until we reach heaven invites us to take the pressure off ourselves to try to accomplish that goal while here on earth.  In the process of mending and being renewed, we honor the legacy of those we've mourned so deeply.  And wonder of wonders, He 'restores the years the locusts have eaten' (Joel 2:25-26).  

We become wounded healers.  

There's no need to sit in the back row anymore.

12/2023 Update
Please come and visit me at Grace & Space, my new online home-sweet-home.  I'd love to show you around.  I think you'll like it there.

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