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, April 30, 2007

Food for thought...

You may have read this before, but I thought it was very thought provoking, especially in this day and age:

Cell Phone vs. Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we used it to receive messages?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it as we traveled?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?

This is something to make you go, "Hmmm, where is my Bible?"

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cellphones, we don’t ever have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Handbag tag...and a sweet note.

Okay...now I've been tagged for something I can do timely! :-)

Nspired by Faith tagged me for a 'Handbag Tag.' The deal is to show your purse, the contents, and evidently what you had to clean out of it to make it presentable. Luckily, I had cleaned mine out last night before I went out with friends! YEA! :-)

So here's my purse...bought last year as a splurge for myself after tax season. I have to do something to make it seem worthwhile, don't I???


And the contents: wallet, PDA, checkbook, miscellaneous gift cards, asprin that I have in a film canister (!!), two packs of gum, pens, pencils, a Tide 'Go stick' (works FABULOUS by the way!), bills to be mailed, lipsticks and chapstick, and a prescription that I got at the doctor the other day along with two bubble packs of Synthroid. (Sorry you asked, huh?)


Now, these are the people I am tagging for this little venture:

MusicalJean
Bittersweet
Justabeachkat
A Closer Walk
Show Me State...of Mind (I know Tracey has already been picked, but I'm nosey and figured an extra vote for her couldn't hurt!) :-)

And while I'm posting pictures, my sister and Grace came by here on Wednesday when I was at work and I had this note on the door waiting on me when I got home from church that night:

Kate, her sister, recently got a new cell phone, so Grace inherited Kate's old one. It's not like Grace NEEDS a cell phone at 8 years old, but she's all about trying to be 'cool' like her sister (my words, not Grace's believe me!). Anyway, the point is....who in the world would not love a child that leaves a note like that for you...especially with the 'Best Friends' thing with the heart around it??? BOOO HOOO!!! All is right with the world when you get a note like that from a child. That note is definitely gonna be a 'keeper.' What a doll!

Friday, April 27, 2007

He's an 'On Time God'

This has been 'one of those weeks' for me. I've been up, down, sad, emotional, glad, grateful and humbled. I can't really think of a basic emotion that I haven't experienced. With that being said, I am GLAD it's Friday and time for the weekend. I'm ready for a couple of days to just 'be.'

In thinking about this week on the way home today, I realized that, in the midst of my less than happy state of mind, I have gotten notes and e-mails from friends which I have needed. They have been words of encouragement, "I'm thinking of you," "I prayed for you today," even an e-mail titled "You are my friend." The weird thing is that none of these people have known how much I needed those words...and the kicker is that the friend who sent the "You are my friend" e-mail lives in Florida and I hadn't heard from her in probably 6 - 8 months! WOW!

My lesson in all this, or at least part of the lesson, is that God supplies what I need just when I need it. By nature, I don't share all the details of my life with just anyone. I watch and take things in much more than I let things out, but God meets my needs whether I verbalize them to anyone or not, and that is a very humbling thing. It's been a while since I've felt like I have this week, but maybe part of it is has been to remind me that God is in control and that He's alive and active not only in my life, but in the lives of so many of my friends...and THAT is a heartwarming feeling!

"He's an on time God,
Yes He is,
He's an on time God,
Yes He is.
He may not come when you want Him,
but He'll be there right on time.
He's an on time God,
Yes He is."

Monday, April 23, 2007

How much is too much?

I'm sitting here right now listening to news coverage of today's funeral for one of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy and wondering how many of these funerals some of those students will be able to attend, emotionally and physically. Along with the studies and school work, the stage where they are in life is concentrated on those friendships and their times together. It is a sweet, close time and, along with the shock of what happened, I'm sure their grief feels almost unbearable. Saying goodbye to one friend is enough...to have to experience that more than once in a short period of time...I can't even imagine.

I also cannot imagine the life that the shooter's family must be living right now. I've heard their statement that they are 'living a nightmare' and I can't believe that anything else would be true. It's just sad that now they are left to live with the aftermath. How do you make peace with that when it's on the news everywhere you turn?

What I also cannot imagine is how a mother can move forward after her husband and two of their children, twin teenage boys, were killed in the crash of a small plane over the weekend. My sister and I have nextel radios and she radioed me when I was on the way to work this morning to ask if I had heard this on the news. I hadn't heard it yet, but evidently when she took Grace to school today, she learned of this story -- the mother in this family is a teacher at Grace's school. I've found myself wondering all day how in the world anyone can move forward after losing two children and a husband at one time. Undoubtedly, it will only be the grace of God that will carry her and her oldest son through. Again, I just can't even imagine.

I guess my heart is just heavy right now because I see these, and at least two more instances with people I know but am not listing here, and hear of so many life-altering events that people are going through...and if not life altering, they are at least trials to be endured. I am reminded of the verse in 1 Corninthians where we are told that we will not be 'tempted beyond,' what we can bear. Somewhere in my interpretation of that, I've always understood it to be that we won't be given more than we can bear and while, at the core of my being, I don't doubt that this is true, I just, in my humanness, wonder how in the world it CAN be true at times...some things just seem like too much!

God is awesome though and while I may not understand so many things in this life, I'm reminded of the song 'God Will Make a Way'....

God will make a way,
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way,
He will make a way.

THIS is my prayer for these and so many other families in need.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

AAhhhhh......

Tax deadline day.....Can I just say how glad I am that today is finally here?? With the 15th falling on Sunday and yesterday being Emancipation Day, it pushed the deadline two days later than normal, but I'm glad it's finally here. It's like my second birthday of the year! I went to dinner with friends to celebrate, then home to begin trying to find links for the 'thinking blogger' thing I promised I'd get done over the weekend. It's old news now, I know, but if there is anything that I am, I am a girl of my word. I am working on it and have two or three. Once I get five, which should be relatively soon, I'll post them. I know I said I'd do it over the weekend, but I just ran out of time....Tracey listing my faves put a crimp in my plan! :-)

We went bowling for Grace's birthday party on Friday night and had LOTS of fun. I hadn't been bowling in ages and had forgotten how much fun it was. I came in next to last with the 'big people' but I got two strikes, so I was happy about that! Since Grace's birthday is April 13, my sister usually has her party on the Saturday closest to it and I can never go because of having to work, so I was thrilled that she did it on Friday night and I could be there. Nothing like spending the evening with about 6 or 7 eight year old's! :-) Saturday was spent working, Sunday was church, nap, church, then Monday and today have been finishing up tax deadline work. Our office is closed on Friday, so I am thrilled that a three day weekend is looming on my horizon...

Nothing more, nothing less, just life as I know it...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Separated at birth??

Well, not quite...but I thought that Sophie (MusicalJean's granddaughter) and Grace looked alike too! I didn't want to assume everyone else would think the same, BUT in response to Tracey and Jean's comments to my last post, I had to post these pictures. It is amazing....they could definitely be sisters! The ones of Grace were taken in late 2002, so she would have been almost 3 years old. Tomorrow is her birthday and she will be 8. (We are having a bowling party with several of her friends...Fun huh?) I can hardly believe how quickly time flies. I've often told my sister that I never realized how quickly time passed until she had kids...and I mean it every time I say it! I added the ones of Kate because I love them both and, being the doting aunt that I am, didn't want to leave her out. They were all taken around the same time....between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2002. (By the way, the first one of Grace is her showing off lipstick that she had applied herself! HAHAHAHAHA!!)





















Amazing, isn't it?

Monday, April 09, 2007

I was wrong!

There have been times in my life when I have just been flat-out wrong and one of those times has come to my mind these last few days.

Let me start the story by saying that I was cleaning up my room when I was off the weekend before this past one (that should draw gasps since I hate housework!) and came across a 25% off coupon for Family Christian store. I had used all my 'perks' punch-out spots and evidently, a year ago (!!) was given this coupon for 25% off a purchase within the next year. That year runs out at the end of this month, so I decided I was going to go try to find a book, music or something just so it wouldn't go to waste....you know the rule....spend money to save money, right?? Anyway, making a long story short, I did not use it that day, but when I was there found a 'Best of Margaret Becker' CD that I could not live without. This is where the point of my story comes into play.....

In the summer of 1989, I went to AtlantaFest with a couple of friends from work (the ones I saw Donny Osmond with if you read my earlier post.....lots of adventures with them that I may share with time!). I wasn't really familiar with a load of people who were performing since I was just beginning to take my steps out into the 'Contemporary Christian' music world, but there was one artist there that I knew I didn't care too much for...Margaret Becker. She played loud guitar, sang way too loudly (I was probably actually too close to the speakers! :-) ) and I just didn't care too much for her. Somehow in the next couple of years, listening to the radio or something I presume, I heard her again and had a whole different perception of what I was hearing....I started giving her music a second listen and one song has spoken to me over and over again. I remember the first time I really heard it and paid attention to the words....I was laying in the floor, just listening.....then I just started crying. Powerful, powerful words. Needless to say, I have become a HUGE Margaret Becker fan....now she doesn't sing anything that I don't like!

Needless to say, this song was on the 'Best of' CD that I bought the other day. I am thinking about buying an ipod and had already downloaded this song a couple of weeks ago from iTunes so I'd have it when I finally make the purchase, but after hearing it again so much lately, I just though that it might mean something to someone else too. I'm including a link so you can listen to it being sung, but I am also posting the lyrics if you want to read them first. It is song # 6 -- I couldn't figure out how to get it to directly link...but you'll see it listed. Go HERE to listen. (Click on the green dot on the far left, pick the middle album, and song # 6....a lot of work, I know, but hopefully worth it!) There are also other songs of hers from this link I am posting, so if you interested, listen to a few of them. You won't be disappointed.

Here are the lyrics....the song is "All I Ever Wanted"


From where I lay
I can see the sun
Rising through the trees
Before I face
This morning rush
I get down on my knees

I lift my eyes
And thank You for
This life you've granted me
I pray that every day I live
Your heart will be pleased

I pray for
Hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And a heart that loves You
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You
Faithfully

From where I stand
I can see the dreams
That you have fulfilled
Such kindness I did not deserve
But You gave it still

What do I have
That You did not give
There's nothing that I can see
So all I have to give to You
Is what You've given me

I pray for
Hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And this heart to love You
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You
Faithfully

I know I don't have the power
To love You like I should
But every day with everything I have
I wish I could
I'm standing here now
These words I pray
I wanna love You better
Whatever it takes

I pray for
Hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And a heart that loves you
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You
Faithfully.


(and by the way, not to ruin a good song or thought, but I still have my 25% off thing....any suggestions on a good purchase???....and I WILL get my 'thinking blogger' choices posted this weekend...I'm just now figuring out link how to link things this week!)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two blessings...

I realize that I am totally partial, but these are two of the sweetest girls in the world...my nieces. I just adore them both. My sister e-mailed these to me tonight. There wasn't a good 'alone' picture of my oldest niece, but the youngest LOVES being in front of a camera, as you can tell! As soon as I get a good one of Kate, I'll post it too. The youngest is Grace, the sweet thing this blog is named after...(click HERE to get the story and HERE for a picture)...and, from my post a few days ago, the one who wanted to give up panties for Lent a few years ago! Can't you tell she'd say that? :-)

















Thursday, April 05, 2007

One busy week...

I just wanted to say thanks to those of you who left comments on my last post. As I know we've all found out from time to time, there is comfort in realizing that others understand just the feeling we are trying to describe. It's just cool to me that people I mostly know only through writing are willing to share so much of their heart and impact me so much. I am grateful.

Along with several of you, I got tagged by Tracey on Monday night with the Thinking Blogger Award. I was surprised about this for two reasons: (1) I usually don't have anything to say of any merit, I just post silly stuff.....No real thinking there, huh? (2) Most of the blogs I check regularly, I got from links on her blog and she used them as her choices! Uh...Thanks Tracey! :-)

Actually, there are a few blogs that I check from time to time that I don't have listed as links, so I will look at those get them posted soon. I just haven't had time this week to figure out the 'link' thing, but as soon as I do, I will get it done. This week has just been crazy busy and I'm one that isn't going to do anything until I can do it right!

Here's the week though, for real: About 9:30 on Tuesday morning, a co-worker came running upstairs screaming..."Does anyone know CPR....Does anyone know CPR?? Amanda has passed out she isn't breathing!!!!" Well, by the time we got downstairs to see what was going on, my friend Gina (who I also work with) was making an effort at CPR although she wasn't sure exactly what she was doing. Josh called 911 and fortunately, they were there within a minute. Extremely fast. Later, one of the paramedics said they were across the street when they got the call, so they dropped everything and came. Amanda had a heartbeat and she was breathing, although not regularly, when the paramedics got there. They were able to bring her around enough get her onto a stretcher and on the way to the hospital. Surprisingly, she was released later in the day and said they had determined that a new medication she had been prescribed had reacted with something else she was on and caused her to have a seizure! You know...she is only 24 and that is just scary stuff. As a result of that, several people at work have decided to take a CPR class given by the Red Cross after we get through with tax season. Not a bad idea and I will probably do the same, if not then, sometime soon. Since Amanda had stopped breathing, it really put a scare in everyone and I think we were all sort of in a fog the rest of that day.

Yesterday was just a long day because of work, children's choir, adult choir, then several of us went out for dinner for another friend's birthday. I was LATE getting home and was just dragging around the first half of the day today....I got a little of a second wind, but it's starting to hit me again. Something is telling me this will be an early to bed night! :-)

Mostly, I really just wanted, tonight, to say thanks for the comments earlier this week and to say that I am not ignoring the 'award' that has been bestowed on me in case anyone is checking to see who I unveil as my choices. I will do it soon. And to you Tracey, I appreciate the 'award' but what I appreciate most are the kind things you had to say. I know over the course of time, we have discussed some of those things ourselves, but when you put it all out there for everyone in 'bloggerland' to read, it is humbling to say the least!

.....but about that singing group comment..... :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007

April...the good and the bittersweet.


I love April because it means that spring is here...it means that I only have about two more weeks of tax season...it means I'll get my full weekends back...it means I'll get to leave work at a normal time...it means I'll get to catch up on things that I've let slide for the first 3.5 months of the year....and those things are MANY....many more than I'm willing to admit here.

Knowing all this is just around the corner gives me a sense of anticipation about life that I think I lose during the course of the year. I was talking to a friend at work the other day and we agreed that these last two weeks of tax season are almost like a dream because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. After working 6 day weeks since January with only one Saturday off per month, we talked about how working these hours makes us realize how much we appreciate having two days in a row off! This is probably one of my most favorite months of the year...

Yet as much as I like it, it is also bittersweet because, although I think of her often, it reminds me of a friend who, tomorrow, has been gone for 11 years. Her death was tragic, at the hands of someone else, and left two small children to be raised by their father. I have had to realize that there are some things in this life that I just will not understand, her death being one of them. It is a gray cloud that hovers around early April every year to me. I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. Early on, I thought that it would get easier with time or at least not be so hard-hitting, but as I was getting ready for work this morning I caught myself thinking (as I do every year), "Eleven years ago today, Tracy had no idea this would be the last full day of her life...no idea that this would be the next to the last day that she'd get her kids ready for the day...no idea that tonight would be the last night she'd fix dinner for her family and put her kids to bed." And I am sure tomorrow, I will say the same sort of things to myself as I am getting ready for work, only that day will end with her death. On top of that though, I think..."You know, this is just me, a friend, feeling this way. I can't imagine how her parents must feel today and and will feel tomorrow....how her husband, although he is remarried, must feel....how her kids must feel." I know time has to march forward, but sometimes it's good to just stop and remember....even it if hurts a little bit. She left a great legacy and even though it makes me sad, if I had to choose between the 'gray cloud' or never knowing her friendship, I would choose the gray cloud anyday.

I am thankful for a God who gives us relationships we can continue to learn from even years later. I am thankful for a God who gives us what we need sometimes long before we know we need it. I am thankful for a God who always is available to talk to when it's not always easy to talk to others. I am thankful for the stability of my job, even if it is way too busy at times. I am thankful for the 'to do' list around my house, even if it is overwhelming at times, because it gives me a safe place to get away from the world when I need to. April is the month that, maybe moreso than any other, drives my blessings home to me in ways I never would have imagined.

New growth, renewal....isn't that what it's all about anyway?