Initially, ‘Glasses of Grace’ started because my niece, Grace, had to get glasses for reading. Since grace is such a spiritual topic and the fact that my niece is such a doll, I started thinking about the ways God shows us His grace on a daily basis. From His servings, His glasses, of grace to us - to seeing the world through the eyes of grace (or Grace, since she had new glasses and better sight), it made sense in more ways than one, so a title was born. Blessings and all, this is my life…

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wishing you...

...a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just something fun to do

This is fun. I found it on another blog site and thought it was cool, so here it is. Let me know how many people have your name. I'm curious!

HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
18
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tributes and prayers

Life has been a whirlwind lately. My sister and brother-in-law went with Justin’s mom, wife and some other family members to Ft Hood, TX last week for something they do to honor the service men and women stationed out of there who have died serving our country. Evidently they do this every 4 weeks. For some reason, I assumed they did it once a quarter or something, but when my sister told me they do this ceremony every 4 weeks, it was just another thing to drive home the impact that this war is having on so many families. From what my sister said, it was a very powerful and touching ceremony and I'm glad to know that they have something like this for these families that have lost loved ones. It is still hard to comprehend all that has happened so far this month, even to me. I still just can't imagine that Justin won't ever be there to eat my sister's cooking at Christmas again! He absolutely LOVED my sister's cooking, and she's even made the comment that she doesn't know if she'll be able to make oyster dressing again for a while. The little things like that are the hardest, you know? While they were gone to Ft Hood, I got to play ‘mom’ to two sweet girls. We had fun and stayed on schedule the whole time, believe it or not. I was glad! I am also glad that I am close enough to my nieces that I can step in and take over without too much change to their schedules. The circumstances are sad, but I was glad to be able to fill in.

Aside from all of this though, I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the topic of intercessory prayer. I suppose this is on my mind and heart so much because of all of this with Justin, but just as much, because so many people I know are going through such hard things right now. There are several people who immediately come to mind…and I don’t mean people who are acquaintances, I mean close friends. In the midst of remembering these people and praying for the needs that I know about, I have been reminded of something I read in an article once about intercessory prayer and how often we may say we will pray for a need someone has shared with us, then go away and never give it another thought.

WOW.

That is still an extremely powerful and convicting sentence to me because I am sure I have been guilty of this at some point, no matter how mindful to remember I may have tried to be. It got my attention enough to make me respect and honor the promises of prayer that I may make to others. It made me make a mental note to not let requests and needs of others fall between the cracks of a busy life. My friends deserve better than that. They have given me a glimpse into the things that are most important to them…how can I possibly not honor that?

Being single, one of my main focuses is on my friendships and the people God has placed in my life for whatever reason. The older I get, the more I realize how much I have just in relationships and I realize more and more how much of a gift I have been given in having the trust, transparency and openness that I do in my friendships. With this being the case, intercessory prayer for these friends and their needs is not only a responsibility, it is an honor, and one I am glad to fulfill!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

9Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Realities...

This was in my Sunday school book this past week and it really got my attention...

"Is there a tool that can measure how much we are like God? Maybe someone can invent a video recorder that captures our actions and gives us a percentage of how godly we are. But would that suffice? A camera that captured our actions couldn't judge our motives. Just because people read the Bible or attend church does not mean they are like God. Paul encouraged Timothy to commit himself to the spiritual disciplines so that Timothy might serve as an example to others of how to remain committed to the principles that helped him to grow in godliness."


I would venture so say we could all afford someone to come along side us with that kind of encouragement from time to time. My most immediate thought when I read this is that I certainly wouldn't want to see any measurement of how short I fall because I already know that my thoughts and my motives are not always what they should be. When I see that in print, it makes me sad and I almost cannot believe that I am putting that out there for anyone to read, but Paul didn't necessarily want to see perfection in Timothy, only that he was making progress in his growth toward godliness. We are examples to a watching world and while perfection isn't possible....a commitment to growth and progress is.....and THAT gives me hope.

And now, another picture of Justin and Flat Stanley....just because I LOVE that he did this for Grace.....


And an update on arrangements...

His funeral will be Sunday at 2:00 our church. They met with Pam and others and got it all ironed out today. He will be buried in North GA somewhere. So now they wait for the weekend. I know that many people are praying for them and I truly believe that Kathleen, Justin's wife, has that assurance in her heart. There were news crews there yesterday interviewing Kathleen, Justin's mom and my brother-in-law and I was very proud of Kathleen when I saw the reports last night. I've only been around her a few times since she and Justin were together here for such a short time, but I was amazed at the strength she seemed to have, at least on camera. I know that our prayers and God's strength are the things that are carrying her right now, I just pray that we will continue to remember them after this week is over because that's really when the hard part starts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A hero in more ways than one...

This is a picture of Justin in Iraq. I have seen it before, but my sister brought it over tonight to have me scan some things to put on CD. I love this picture because I know Justin was proud to be doing something for our country, but if you will look at his chest, he has a little guy on him named 'Flat Stanley' that my niece, Grace, sent him in Iraq for a school project last year when she was in 1st grade. The idea is that 'Flat Stanley' is so thin he can fit in an envelope and therefore go anywhere in the world. The whole class did this project, each with their own 'Flat Stanley,' to see how far he could travel. The recipients, like Justin, would then take pictures of 'Flat Stanley' while he was out with them as they were going through their daily routine. For us regular people, it would be eating out, going to the post office, filling the car with gas, shopping, etc, but in Justin's case, he was propped on his gun, riding on some piece of equipment or whatever his day entailed. The recipients would then write a small journal about his travels. It was a fantastic project and it thrilled Justin that Grace sent this to him. He sent her a very sweet letter back telling what all 'Flat Stanley' had done, but that 'Flat Stanley' didn't like MRE's!! (....the 'meals ready to eat' that they have when they are on the go.) It was a cute, sweet note and now Grace has a fantastic thing to remember Justin by. I am sure with time she will realize what a treasure she now holds in her little hands. My brother-in-law said tonight that Justin's buddies were cutting up with him for doing this, but he told them to laugh all they wanted, he was doing it.....and he did!


I asked my sister if she had a picture or could get a picture of Justin and his wife and children from when he was home a couple of weeks ago and she didn't have any. I'm sure she will get one with time and I plan to post it so that those of you who don't know them will have an idea of who you are praying for, but my sister did have the above picture that was taken about a year ago, not too long before he left. Justin is on the left, his mom is beside him and his brother is in the back. My nieces are in the middle, then my brother-in-law and sister. After the fact, you look at pictures like this and realize how much there is that we probably take for granted in everyday life....just 'regular' events like getting together for dinner, which is where they were in this picture. Who would have ever thought that this would be one of the last times they would be together? I know I certainly didn't when I saw this picture a year ago. It truly does seem that the 'small' moments end up being the ones that mean the most, you know? This has been a very busy and very hard week for all of them just in coming to grips with the realization of what has happened, but more hard times are to come once his remains make it home, so please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Iraq hits home

This is not normally something I would post about, but I wanted to let those of you who read this know so you can pray for this family.

My sister called me about 30 minutes ago and said they just found out that their nephew, the son of one of John's sister's, was killed in Iraq. He was 21. I don't know when or how it happened yet, but she said he was a scout and was probably going into one of the areas ahead of other troops. His wife had been visiting our church and joined only a month or month and a half ago. She and Justin have a 9 month old and she also has a 4 year old child from another relationship. She is only 20 herself, so she is very young as well and to be given such a hard thing to deal with, I just can't imagine. Justin was home just two or three weeks ago, so he had not been back in Iraq long at all. From what my sister said, he had only a few weeks to go before he would have been home for good. I can't remember if the baby had been born or was just an infant when he left the first time, but he was amazed at how much she had grown. I'm glad he was able to be here and have that time with them recently. I called the church to have their family put on the prayer list and have them contacted and ministered to in some way. It's just a very sad situation all the way around and unfortunately, it is being played out with many families.....this is just the first time I have known it to happen to someone I know or someone whose family I am familiar with.

If you think about it, please keep them in your prayers, and Justin's mom too.

I appreciate it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Through the eyes of a child...

Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall


While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love."

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. May this story serve as a reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful - and we don't have to travel anywhere special to experience them.

Enjoy your gifts!