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…

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A new development


I'm a little freaked out right now. When I got home from church tonight, I had a subpoena waiting for me in my mailbox regarding the guy who broke into my car back in August. I've never been subpoenaed before and the thought of it all makes me a little nervous. I did get a letter a few weeks ago saying that the court date was coming up, but that it was not necessary that I be there unless I just absolutely wanted to. This matched what the police told me when they fingerprinted my car back in August. They told me then that they wanted to get my prints to compare back to the ones they lifted so they would have a 'sealed' case and I probably wouldn't hear any more about it. When I got the letter a few weeks ago, I was neither worried nor concerned because nothing was taken from me, no damage was done and I just thought justice would take its course, whatever that may be. I put it out of my mind.....until tonight. I don't know why it scares me, but it does. All I know is that they had to come get me out of the choir loft that morning and I have about 1,000 witnesses to that! I don't know what this guy looks like or anything about him. I figure something must have happened at the earlier court date to make them have to subpoena me, but I just don't know. I am going to call tomorrow and see what more I can find out.

Second, believe it or not, regarding my post earlier in the week about my doctor's office, believe it or not, those prescriptions STILL have not been called in! Thursday night. I was told Monday they would be called in that afternoon, but I gave them this week because last week was a short week due to the holiday and this week I have been too busy to go pick anything up, but there is no reason why this should have not been done before now. I am going in late to work tomorrow so I can go by the doctor's office, get these prescriptions in writing so I can drop them off myself, then I am going to have lunch with my sweet 7 year old niece, Grace. I hate when my weeks are so busy that I don't get to see her or her sister as much as I want to. I usually go down there one night during the week for dinner....my sister has always been nice enough to have me over at least once a week for dinner and to spend time with them. I miss it when that can't happen! They are getting older and more involved though, so I know things will change, but for tomorrow, I am just happy to get to have lunch with Grace, even if I have to move my own schedule around to do it. Besides, tax season will be here before I know it and I won't get to have lunch with her until April!

Life is good even if I don't understand it sometimes!

Does anybody know about subpoenas or have any idea why I may have gotten one at this stage of the game? I'd be curious to know if anyone else has had any experience with this stuff.....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Your greatest power...

(Sorry y'all, but I love this stuff!)

Your greatest power is the power to be.
To be more loving. To be more courageous.
To be more joyous. To be more friendly.
To be more sensitive. To be more aware.
To be more forgiving. To be more tolerant.
To be more humble. To be more patient.
To be more helpful.
To be a greater human being.

Wilfred A. Peterson
Author and Essayist

Monday, November 27, 2006

DO YOUR JOB!!!!


This post is just to vent because I am a little irriated about something.....for you Tracey, that would be "irra-irra-irritated!".....but still, the point is that I went to the doctor the week before last because the prescription I have for my blood pressure medication ran out and she wanted to see me before she would refill it. After they got my blood work back though, someone from their office called and said that they were upping my thyroid medication and putting me on something for cholesterol as well. Good heavens! I asked her to fax those readings over to me because she was saying it all so fast and I wanted to have it in my hands to look at and to compare back to prior numbers. Everything else was really good. I was a little surprised. Anyway, I don’t mind the medications and all because my dad’s family has high blood pressure and my mom is on cholesterol medication, so I just figure I get the best of both worlds! I’m glad these are things that can be controlled, my problem is with incompetent people in the office. When the girl called me last week to tell me all this, I asked her first of all if she could fax that page she was reading from over to me. She never did, so I called the next day and had someone else in their office send it to me. Second, when this girl originally called last week, I her if she could call the prescriptions in or if I needed to pick something up from their office. She told me they could call it in, so I gave her the number she needed. This was last Monday. I called the pharmacy Tuesday afternoon and they said they hadn’t heard from anyone, so I called the doctor’s office again and spoke to this same girl. She said that she hadn’t had a chance to talk to the doctor and wanted to be sure what the doctor wanted before she called it in. I calmly told her okay, but that I was hoping to have this done before the holiday weekend got here. What I wanted to say was, "Jiminy Christmas! Why do you need to talk to the doctor??? It is written there in black and white in her handwriting on the page I was faxed.....JUST DO IT!!!!" I called again Wednesday and their office was already closed for the holiday. AARRGGHHH!!!!

Well, needless to say, I haven’t heard a word yet, so I called again this morning, the Monday AFTER the holiday weekend, and spoke to this same girl. She seemed to BARELY REMEMBER our conversation last week then eventually said again that she would have to talk to the doctor and then asked ME what the prescriptions and changes were! Golly Pete.....HELLO! I reminded her of them and she is supposed to do it today, but we’ll see. My problem is now that I have church stuff all week and it’s going to be hard to get there to pick anything up without it being a real inconvenience.

DANG! I’m just irritated and want people to do their job!

Can you tell? :-)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A great article

I know I've kinda posted something like this before from my own perspective and based on a conversation with a friend, but this is worth sharing as well.
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The Value of a Thank You!

Imagine yourself holding a small package of note cards. They cost around three dollars for a package of eight cards done with nice paper and with accompanying envelopes. The cost for each card is about thirty-five cents. When a postage stamp is attached, at around 40 cents, the total cost is 80 cents -- not what I would call a big investment. These small cards, although inexpensive, are one of the most affirming and valuable things you can do to show your appreciation and delight to someone who has taken time to express love, or concern, or thoughtfulness, toward you as a friend!

As you have probably already guessed, the note cards I am writing about are "thank you" notes!

So often, we assume that our friends know our appreciation for their acts of kindness. That's why so many good deeds go un-thanked. Some folks say that they don't send (or expect) thank you cards and that people just need to get use to this in them. The truth of the matter is most folks don't send thank you cards unless it is expected of them. How sad to miss such a wonderful opportunity to bless others.

Ah, but this is where the Lord knocks on the door of our hearts to give us a little reminder. He uses the apostle Paul to remind us, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

He wants us to give thanks in everything? Even when things aren't gold plated or silver lined?

So often we forget that when things are tough in life for us, others are also suffering — sometimes in much worse ways than we ourselves are suffering. We get so caught up in our own agendas and personal struggling that we see no one but ourselves and our own disappointments. We even become blind to all of the blessings in our lives, and begin to focus only on the negative problems and difficulties.

When a friend brings by a loaf of warm banana bread and says, "I was baking today and thought that I would share a warm loaf with you," how often do we quickly accept it with a doleful, "Thank you," and then quickly devour the treat, never to think of our friend's thoughtfulness again? Out of sight, out of mind. Maybe we could say it, "Out of sight, out of thankfulness."

Perhaps a private, unnamed person sends money, or food, or clothing to you in a time of need and wishes to stay unknown? Does this mean also that they wish to remain un-thanked as well? Sending a thank you "through the grapevine" is not terribly difficult! Half the joy of giving is knowing that the item given was enjoyed by the person receiving it!

If God's will for us is to "give thanks in everything," I truly believe that he had a great reason for wanting to act on this principle.

Our human nature is often very negative and self-centered. We look for the big things in life to be taken care of rather than being aware of how many small, very important things have been given to us and provided for us. We complain about the color of our kitchen counter tops and the butcher block pattern, wishing for a new bright ivory ceramic tile. We forget to be thankful for having a place in which we can cook a hot meal or live in a country where foodstuffs are so readily available. We can complain about people touching our new carpet or furniture or messing up our house, forgetting to be thankful for the gift of friends with whom we can share the blessings God has given us! "What?" you ask.

Wow! Somebody cared!

Even in times of great sorrow and grief, there are things to truly be thankful for! How about the ability to cry? Without it, we would never understand the joy of it's opposite. Laughter! When we struggle, we usually find that it drives us to a place of re-prioritizing our way of living and eventually, we find ourselves very thankful for the crisis or event that caused us to get our lives back on track! We receive the grace of friends who support us in our sorrow. Even our hardest grief is a reminder of the blessing of a person whose absence we will deeply miss. Yes! "In everything give thanks!"

How often have you been given a small gift or a word of encouragement by a friend or a fellow employee, but have taken for granted that your thanks was graciously expressed? It shows a tremendous amount of character in an individual when she is willing to invest a few moments and around, oh say, 80 cents to send loving words of thanks! (Big
hint!)

In our society, the three words "I love you" can become shallow and empty. Often the statement "prove it" is the follow up reaction, spoken or unspoken, from the opposite party. I personally feel that the two words "thank you" can also be very "surfacy." They are often just two, quick, auto-programmed words that are just "thrown out there" due to socially expected etiquette. Underneath, in our hearts, the graciousness of what we've received escapes us.

Let's not let our lives get so busy and so self-absorbed, that we forget to communicate genuine thank you's to those who have blessed us. Let's not let our frantic lives rob us of the gift of saying "Thank you!" to others and to God.

When we take the time to quiet ourselves and write out our feelings of gratitude to someone, something truly wonderful happens -- both for them and for us. As we remember the act of kindness or gift given, we get to re-live the moment. We get to taste the feeling we had all over again! It also causes us to realize that the giver of the gift truly invested some of her or his valuable time, money, talent and soul in our life! "Wow! Somebody cared enough to take time out to show love and concern for my well-being! They proved it by their actions." So! If we really appreciate what someone has done, let's prove it by our words of thanks expressed in the form of written words they can read and keep.

I would like to challenge and encourage you to love and value those who have extended their love and friendship to you. Take time to clearly and sincerely express your thanks in written form. Friendships are deepened, relationships are strengthened, and above all the desire of God's heart for our lives is fulfilled by our giving thanks ... in everything!
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(c) 2006 Mary Lindow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving -


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Chris!

My friend Gina's son, Chris, turned 14 this past week. I can hardly believe he’s already that old. It has been fun to watch him grow up, but I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. I went to dinner with them and some other people for his birthday and Gina e-mailed me a few pictures, so I am posting one from the other night below so that those who haven’t seen him in a while….mainly you two, Tracey and Joan....can see how tall and cute he is. The first picture though is one of my all-time favorites. When he was little, he used to LOVE dinosaurs….I mean eat, drink and breathe them, so we were reading a book about, of all things, dinosaurs. I love when he used to lay his head on my shoulder like that and let me read to him. He was such a snuggly kid. One morning on the way to school, he asked Gina if he could be anything he wanted to be when he got to heaven. She asked him why he was asking that and what he wanted to be in heaven. His answer, “A T-REX!!” We still laugh about how adorable that was. Besides becoming a great young man, he’s a fun, thoughtful, protective friend to me as well. I’m so proud of him! It’s hard to believe he’s already almost grown!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chillin' on the chaise

I went looking for Sweet Kitty last night and she was nowhere to be seen. It was dark and she didn't answer or even stir when I called her, so I started searching, calling, pleading for her to come out....not like my house is that big, but still....you would think I could see and hear a cat! She was in the den...the same room I was in, dark as it was....totally ignoring me. I was surprised when I saw her and had to look twice because she has never really been on this piece of furniture before, but she sure seemed to have made herself at home! She was nice enough to pose for a few pictures, so I thought I'd share. What a sweet baby!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Listening and leading...


Sunday morning on the way to church, I put in a CD that I have had for a long time but never really listened to. I thought it had one particular song on it I was looking for....one that our choir has done before. It didn't, but it did have one on there that was equally as powerful. I just cried over and over all the way to church listening to it. Some songs can just do that. Anyway, I came home tonight all ready to post the words because I've been listening to it over and over in my car since Sunday, primarily with one friend in mind. BUT, I got home and had this e-mail from another sweet friend that I thought I needed to post first. I know the picture above doesn't go along with the 'horses' theme below, but it certainly exemplifies the bigger moral of the story.....listening.

Two horses

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.

His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell.

It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.

Good friends are like this ....You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours.

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle".

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And a child shall lead them -

Last night in children’s choir, we were going around the room and asking the children (Kindergarteners) what they were thankful for since Thanksgiving is on the way. Well, you know they are thankful for everything from their shoes to the hair on their head, but one sweet little girl, when it was her turn, in a precious soft-spoken voice, said, “I’m thankful for my heart.” Terri said, “That’s a great thing to be thankful for. Why are you thankful for that?” That sweet baby said, “I’m thankful for my heart because Jesus lives there….”

WOW.

Out of the mouths of babes.

14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Take the time

"No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean.”
-- Henry Adams (American Historian 1838-1918)

I got this quote from a friend a couple of years ago via e-mail. It struck me as powerful, so I printed it and taped it to my computer at work. Now that I am used to seeing it there, it gets overlooked in the day to day of life, but for some reason, the topic of words and how we use them has been on my mind lately. We use so many of them in the course of a day……for speaking as well as writing, for sharing with others, for conveying both minor and important messages to people who are listening. It just makes me wonder how many words we may say that we don’t mean, how many words we leave unsaid that we really should say and how many we actually do use to encourage others. They really can have a lasting impact.

I lost a very dear friend 10 years ago this year. She was a champion of encouragement in word as well as in deed. She would call just to say hey and that she was thinking about you. She was a hugger. She was good-hearted. She was the one who had cute nicknames for everyone. She never had anything ill to say about anyone that I ever heard. She was humble. As we all do, she had her insecurities, but she was just the one that everyone loved to be around and be friends with. Unfortunately, at 33 years old, her life was cut short by a co-worker who robbed two young children of their mother, a husband of his wife, a family of their daughter and sister, and countless friends of a thoughtful, selfless example. I learned a lesson then that changed me at the very core of my being. My last conversation with her was rushed as it was one morning when I was late to work, so I was in a hurry to get off the phone and on the road. Although there is no way I could have known that would be my last conversation with her, I cannot tell you the number of times I have kicked myself for being in a hurry. It took me a long time to get past that. I was/am a little late to work most mornings (!!)……why was that one any different? Although I still hate it tremendously, time has allowed me to take comfort in the fact that almost every time she would call, I would thank her for being so good at keeping in touch and for her friendship. Since her death, I have come across several notes that she sent me in the mail that I had forgotten I had even kept. I guess I kept them because she made me feel special and appreciated. She was such an encourager. She spoke from her heart. She said what she meant and she didn’t overlook people, no matter who they were. In friendship and in life, she was the real deal.

Life experience teaches a lot of things, and as mentioned above, I learned huge lessons from her life and from her death. I learned that it’s okay to be silly. I learned that it’s okay to tell others that you love them, that you appreciate them and that they mean something to you. I learned that it’s okay to reach out to someone who may be hurting or need encouragement. I learned that it’s okay to just ‘be there’ and that words aren’t always necessary. Although I struggle with this one, I know it’s okay because I saw her live life with her whole heart. Most of all, I watched her live her life being the kind of friend that I want to be. I learned that none of us know how long we have.

Take the time
To love somebody
Oh take the time
To show someone you care
Will you have another chance to be
The answer to a prayer
Take the time
(lyrics from ‘Take the Time’ by Michael English)

Take the time. Say the words. You (and others) will be glad you did.