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…

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This 'n that....

As you might have expected, guess who has a new home:

She has been at my house what will be 2 weeks tomorrow, and I'm hooked! She and Sweet Kitty are learning to co-exist, but I still feel like I'm trying to keep them both happy and non-jealous of the other! :-) The little one just wants to play and the big one will only 'entertain' her in spurts. They are running and deciding whether to like each other or not as I type this. I know they are only cats, but it's an adjustment! It IS fun to watch though.

It's been a while since I've posted, but it's been a busy week....my mom got here last Wednesday and left Monday morning. She stayed 3 nights here and two with my sister and her family. Doc's memorial service was Saturday and went very well. Since I missed out on ALL the decorating genes in my family, my mom did some decorating while she was here and I'm very pleased with what she did. Several of the things she hung, I already had here, but just didn't know what to do with them. She also bought a few things, including a picture hanging in my kitchen which I love. Now I just need to get going on painting, then I may post a picture or two. It was a good visit.

On another note, I felt like scum last Thursday night when I went through my mail because I had a letter from the little girl I'm sponsoring through Compassion International. It was the first letter I've received and I was thrilled, but I felt bad because I hadn't written her yet or even returned the initial contact info I received to fill out and send back. It was something I didn't want to rush through and with time so pushed and limited during tax season, it was easy to put off. I am ashamed of that though! Needless to say, that moved to the TOP of my list! The initial packet is gone now, I mailed it this week, so now I need to sit down and write more. I've been very pleased with what I've experienced so far with Compassion International and the letter I got was just precious. They are studying David and Goliath at her church and she loves that story 'very well.' She evidently has 3 siblings, two sisters and a brother, and a best friend 'called Esther.' The letter was precious...she ended by saying, 'God bless you so much. I am happy', then I turned it over on the back and she'd drawn this sweet picture:


It is humbling, then and now, to know that a child in Africa drew me this picture and sent me a thanks for a sponsorship of $32 per month. It's SUCH a small price to pay and it's amazing to me that it can make such a difference. I am eager to get to know her.

As of today, work will slow down a bit. Tax season is over, first quarter payroll reports are done....it's amazing how life feels 'new' this time every year. I love it!

PS...my friend Jennifer has a fabulous post about a program at our church on Sunday night. She's right...it was WONDERFUL...go read about it HERE.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

'Playing God'

Giving credit where it is due at the end, this came as an e-mail today and it was too fabulous not to pass along:

PLAYING GOD

We sometimes refer to someone's actions as "playing God." By that, we usually mean that they are standing in judgment over another person in a way that only God can, or that they are making a decision regarding who will live or who will die. Most of the time, we use that term in a negative way. I heard a story recently, though, told by Mee Spousler that sheds a whole new light on the term "playing God."

Mee tells how she was trying to put her three-year-old son to bed for a nap. When she was unsuccessful, she put him in her bed and laid down with him to encourage him to rest. She fell asleep, but he didn't. When she woke up, she saw him sitting on a chair at the end of the bed, and asked, "Luke, what are you doing?"

"I'm playing God," he replied.

"Playing God?" she asked.

"Yes," he said. "I'm watching over you while you sleep."

What a beautiful thought, because that is what God does. David wrote: "I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me." (Psalm 3:4-5)

Wouldn't it be great if we could all, like that 3-year-old boy, learn to "play God" in ways that would impact this world for good?

We need to "play God" by looking at the hearts of people rather than the clothes they are wearing.

We need to "play God" by forgiving those who have offended us.

We need to "play God" by refusing to allow race or the color of a person's skin to create barriers.

We need to "play God" by being patient, kind, and loving to the the people we deal with throughout the day.

We need to "play God" by showing compassion to those who are suffering or in need.

We need to "play God" by keeping our promises and living lives of honesty and integrity.

We need to "play God" by living in such a way that we reflect the nature of our Heavenly Father.

I hope and pray that people around you will see you "playing God" this day.


Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Sunday, April 20, 2008

All was well....until....:-)

I had such high plans for these days off, but have done very VERY little of what I imagined....still, it's been nice.

An update on the cats....

The little one has finally decided that I'm nothing to be scared of and rarely hisses anymore. Good thing...progress! So I've let her out of the carrier some to walk around and play and have given her some toys that Grace wanted to get at Target the other night...still, success! She LOVES playing with the little stuffed lobster and some balls that were in the package. If you've never seen a kitten play, you have really missed something. They are hilarious! After I got home from church tonight, she was meowing at the top of her lungs, so I played with her some and decided it was time to introduce her to Sweet Kitty a/k/a Sugar. It went surprisingly well. They sniffed each other, my cat licked the little one a few times in a motherly kind of way, neither one too awfully tense....

UNTIL....

the baby figured out that my cat might be a mama and started looking for somwhere to nurse! Needless to say, hissing ensued and the 'meet and greet' was over! :-)

Right now, my cat is outside laying in the bushes, watching the cars go by and wondering what has happened to her simple, 'you 'n me' life. I feel like a mom stuck between two children! :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

What was I thinking??

Tax season is over, life is back, and it's NICE! I worked Wednesday...left early yesterday....our office was closed today for our 'after tax season day off' and THIS is how life should be! Of course, with a day off comes all the things that need to be done that have been put off....

Here's the deal:

Grace and I were at Target a couple of weeks ago and I found this pet blanket that I just KNEW my cat would love. I was right...she snuggles right up on there leaving big chunks of hair every day..a fact of changing weather with cats. She sleeps every day right in the middle of my bed, so I'd been putting a sweatshirt or something up there for her to lay on, but when I saw this blanket, I thought it would be perfect. Well, last weekend or early this week, I noticed that my cat had been licking the hair off the inside of her back legs...YUCK! :-) I took her to the vet this morning because I knew she had an allergy or something, but with the weather changing, etc, I had no idea what it was. Wouldn't you know the first question the vet asked was if there were any new blankets or anything she'd been sleeping on?? Helloooo....lightbulb moment! :-) Could have saved $56 if I had just thought of that myself! Anyway, he gave her a shot to keep her from itching and scratching, then she needed a rabies shot, so I couldn't be a bad mom and let that go unattended. Anyway, we came home and removed the blanket from the top of my bed...hopefully that will help. I do NOT want a hairless cat! :-)

On another note, I was at my sister's last night and we discovered a kitten on their deck. Their cats get pregnant, but they are SOOOOOO skittish that you can't get around them enough to know until they have babies, so next thing you know, there are kittens everywhere! I don't know where any others may have been from this most recent litter, but there was only one kitten there last night...probably about 4 weeks old. Now, when I say the two cats at my sisters are skittish, I mean it. One will let you rub her, but you can't dare pick her up. The other will sit at the door and beg for food, but the minute you open the door, she runs just far enough away that you can never touch her. Almost a wild sort of thing, but not quite...it's like they want to be tame and trusting, they are just scared. Of course with dogs there too, it's no wonder they are scared.

After some fenageling on my part, I was able to get my hands on that kitten. The mom FREAKED and ran away, the kitten hissed and spat, but eventually calmed down so we could pet her. Now my cat came from that house too and while she is still skittish, she's not nearly as 'out there' as those are, but I got her when she was only a couple of months old and she's about 7 years old now, so it's been a while. Anyway, while we were petting this kitten, my sister said, "Do you want to take her and tame her?" Well, the way she was acting and the way I love cats, I couldn't say no, thinking that I would get her used to being around people and make her sweet, then find another home for her. That is still my intent. We put the kitten in hamster cage until Grace and I could get back from Target, where we were headed to buy Barbie stuff with a gift card she got for her birthday, so we bought a carrier while we were there and I brought the kitten home. I sat the carrier in the floor when I got home so my cat could get a look at it and in it and the kitten could see what was happening, then I put the kitten and carrier in another room where she slept all night. My cat was JEALOUS! :-) She usually purrs 90-nothing, but it was midnight before she got happy again....that was cracking me up....a pouting cat! Definite attitude. :-)

Well, as I've been off today, I've gone in there to check on the kitten and she's hissed and spat so much that I've been scared to put my hand in the carrier! I did manage to slide some soft food in there, but she still felt threatened. Tonight, I took her out on the patio and took the lid off the carrier so I could change the newspaper in there and we had a little time to bond. She seemed to calm down a bit and is hopefully learning that I won't hurt her. We'll see. At this point, I am more hopeful than I was even earlier today. I asked the vet about it when I was there this morning and he said to just keep holding her and petting her and she'd change. I hope he's right. For now, here are a couple of pictures of her (or him...I really don't know yet!).....


...and the QUEEN....who is unamused! :-)


Again, I ask, 'what was I thinking?'

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Hawaii Chair

Ellen just cracks me up:

Friday, April 04, 2008

Test yourself...

I found this new quiz tonight, so test yourself too...

Which Positive Quality Are You?
Your Result: Faith

You are Faith. Faith is the belief in better things, in spite of the cynicism and doubt that swirls around us. Faith gives us strength; it inspires us to move forward and follow our hearts. "Faith tells us what the senses do not."

Peace
Love
Friendship
Charity
Courage

Which Positive Quality Are You?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The countdown begins....

As usual for this time of year, I am counting down the days until April 15. We have SO much work coming in that it appears people don't realize we've been working 6 day weeks since January and could have had their work done LONG before now. What is it about procrastination?? I know what it is...the things that are coming in now are gross and detailed and no one wants to deal with them, even the clients themselves! :-) It will nice two weeks from now to sit here and know it's all done for another year.

As negative as the above may sound, I really am at a good place. I am just thankful to have a job that is stable and pretty secure....I hope!

I am happy to report that I got my info packet on Monday about that sweet little Kate Aban from my previous post and couldn't be more thrilled or encouraged to know that sharing my blessings will be helping her as well. I am not usually one to toot my own horn, but it just puts a good feeling in my heart and new eyes in my heart and mind for the less fortunate. We really are SO blessed. Kate and Grace are both excited about all this as well, so it's fun to experience this with them too. In my info packet, there was another print of her of the one below, only bigger, so I could see her better. There was also info about the Compassion International organization and the cool thing was that there was stationery in there to help get started with letter writing.....a place for me to put a picture of myself, a place for my note, then a place for the translation of what I write...all in a cool tri-fold card. I need to sit down and get my note to her written this weekend. I keep wondering if she knows about any of this yet, if she's as excited about it as I am, and I keep looking at the map of Africa thinking, "Right THERE is some little girl that I am sponsoring!" So close and yet so far....How exciting is that? I hope and pray that I will say and do all the right things....join me in that, will you? I plan to be in it for the long haul.

That's about all for now....just work, Compassion International, and battling a sore throat, hoarseness and a run down body all the while having to push ahead...and counting down to April 15.

It's all about running the race, isn't it?