bev's search for grace

Looking for love and grace in every situation

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Made Up Holidays

cardsSome days are annual remembrances of events worth commemorating; some for the wonderful change they brought like Independence Day and Easter Sunday, and some for a horror that we hope to never see again like 9/11 and D-Day.
Then there are the made up holidays like Valentine’s Day, Administrative Professionals Day and yes, even Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong – I am sentimental about love, appreciate support staff and love to rake in the loot on Mother’s Day in celebration of the best job I have ever had, and the wonderful women my daughters have become – but today I am torn between the desire to see my kids turn themselves inside out on one particular day of the year, and my aggravation at all of us for letting Hallmark push us around.

And what about all the people that are left out or made to feel diminished when a holiday leaves them out – for not having a Valentine or being a mother? Do any of us really need extra days to feel insecure or inadequate on some level? Or another reason to remember the ones we have loved and lost?

So what to do about it? Refuse to participate? Create new holiday to celebrate everyone, everywhere, doing anything? We all know how that “every kid gets a trophy thing” has backfired, so maybe that is not the solution.

My new mantra – EVERY day is Mother’s Day! And don’t forget my card.





What if every 10 years we had to pick a new family?

As a divorce statistic, I know that in some ways you can claim a bit of a do-over when it comes to a spouse, but what if you were forced to clean house from cousins to siblings to children and pick all new members? That’s right, hypothetically you would be forced to choose who you would share life with for the next 10 years.

As I turned this over and over in my head – it is a rainy day and I am having fun playing what if – I have realized that as I would be choosing, others would as well, so I guess it would have to be a mutually agreed upon decision to become family. Lord, my family can’t decide what kind of pie to have for Thanksgiving, how would we ever decide on aunts and uncles? Not to mention that pretty much everyone in North America would want Oprah to be their aunt!

Now that I think of it that way, I am not sure that teams could ever really be finalized. There would have to be so many rules, like is there a predetermined number of slots in your family – for example, how many cousins is too many? And who gets Oprah?

It is interesting to ponder, and I would really like for Oprah to be my aunt, but overall I am very blessed to have the family I have and wouldn’t swap a single one of them. How about you?

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Reality TV Occasionally Is

VersaillesI just watched a documentary called Queen of Versailles, and I think I saw the first ever, in my experience, “real” reality show.

The funny thing is that I think it happened accidentally, and I am betting that the people involved were pretty pissed.

I watched with probably sinful fascination as the lives of some uber-rich Floridians were turned upside down faster than you could say recession.

The film maker planned and set out to tell the story of self-made billionaires David and Jackie Siegel, and they agreed.  They were of interest initially because they were building the world’s largest single family home. The Siegels were inspired by a trip to Versailles – and in response they decided to build themselves a 90,000 square foot home, of course they did, and they were calling it Versailles, what else? They were not chosen for their originality. Continue reading

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Time to Re-Engage


I was fortunate to hear Andy Stanley speak yesterday at the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit. He focused on Ecclesia – Jesus’ plan for his followers and the world. The following are my notes from his talk/sermon: his thoughts filtered through my voice – it felt important and I wanted to share.

Church is our word, Jesus’ word literally meant congregation/gathering/movement/assembly.

We meet in fulfillment of His words that His people would come together and nothing would stop it. All nations and people, regardless of their differences (baptism styles) will share him – and are called to make disciples.

We speak with an authority we don’t have here in America – and it gets us in trouble – as if we have the definitive idea on what church and Christianity are supposed to look like.

How it began – read about it in Acts. Message from Acts: You killed him, God brought him back to life, and we saw it happen – now say you are sorry. The critical part of that for them: We SAW it happen.

But HOW did the movementhappen? The twelve and those closest to Jesus were stuck. They banded together and stayed where they were – what was needed for a movement to happen?

A leader was appointed, pursued, trapped and not turned loose. And it was the least likely candidate – Saul of Tarsus, the Pharisee, the persecutor.

And it worked! He took the world by storm; full force regardless of difficulty – arrest, torture, even death. He couldn’t imagine the impact he was having or where it would go, but he did it anyway.

Because? – with what he knew, with what he believed, he could not imagine saying no

And for the last 2000 years, it has been what God wants us to do

“Stand firm, let nothing move you, always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”

How is God pursuing you? For what?

For me, I am fully convinced that the local church, imperfect and full of crazy Christians needs my voice. I have no idea what I will say, but I am no longer able to stay out of the discussion. The assembly has helped me, served me, discipled me – I am called to engage and then listen to hear what God wants me to do next.

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Summer is Over

ImageLast night wearing a sparkly black evening dress and spike heels I drove 30 minutes out to the urban wilderness of YMCA Camp Widjiwagan to say goodbye to summer and to Mark Weller. It was quite a night.

I went to join Smalls, Twigs, Bubbles, Smurf, Jewels, Boston, and 170 other people all with weird nicknames to honor their leader of 15 years – Scoop. I am the newcomer. I have only been working with camp for the past 6 months, but I have so loved the experience that I didn’t think twice about giving up my Saturday night to be part of the festivities. OK, I confess that when it was actually time to do my hair and makeup, I had the fleeting impulse to fake a virus and return to the couch, but I am so glad that my inner adult forced me to be responsible.

Because before the goodbyes, I witnessed something wonderful. I saw 150+ high school and college students celebrating the end of a transformative summer in their lives. Still kids themselves, they had worked hard, played hard and changed lives for the past 3 months – starting with their own. They had helped young kids to overcome obstacles like homesickness, insecurity, fear, and multiple physical limitations and at the same time proved to themselves their own worth and ability and they did it with silly songs, weird nicknames, countless skits, physical challenges and arts and crafts. Glorious. I was blessed to sit and soak up an atmosphere charged with hopes, dreams, plans and possibilities.

But the night was bittersweet. We celebrated accomplishments and said goodbyes. Goodbye to summer, to camp, to new friends and finally to the man of the hour – the director who was leaving camp after a 15 year stint that included building the camp from the ground up. I loved hearing the stories of the lives he had helped mold particularly the young men he had mentored and the families he had influenced. He leaves a great legacy behind, as he heads now to the next chapter in his story, and it started me thinking. Who am I helping?

First, what will I do this next week that will make the life of someone else better? Then, can I be committed enough and still long enough to build something like what I saw last night?

What about you?


Think Before You Follow

follow the leaderWho do you follow? Why do you follow them?
Are you intentional about choosing the leaders in your life?
I am giving a lot of thought to these questions lately.

It is a season of change for me: a new husband, a new job, more than one new boss, and a new church. Whew – even for someone that likes change – this is a lot.

One thing I am realizing is that we all are led, regardless of our beliefs.  We are led by what we read, what we watch, what we hear. If you are friends with someone that is a devotee of the Fox News Channel, you know what I mean. It seems that their followers are committed and convinced!

As I get older, I want to choose the voices that I allow in my head, but I do not want to bury my head in the sand. So I alternate CNN with Fox News. I listen to NPR on my car radio. I read the Wall Street Journal AND the Bible. I consume massive amounts of literature in lots of genres and I listen. I do my best to hear both sides, and to think!

I do not believe than anyone I have ever met or heard of has it all right or all wrong. I believe in absolute truth, I just have not met anyone personally that has completely unlocked it. I love hearing a variety of opinions and am not quick to attack someone that thinks differently from me, but I do guard myself against being swayed by every opinion. Do you?

I do think God is the ultimate authority, he just whispers way too much, so it is up to me to be quiet longer and listen harder.

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A Rose or A Rock, A Name Matters

name me whatThe world waited and watched with rapt attention to hear what the new prince would be named. As if it matters at all to most of us if the baby, third in line for the throne of England, was called George or James or Francis or maybe even all three.

What we do know is that a name matters. It is a huge responsibility for a parent to decide what label will follow their precious child through life. They must choose a name that will work from birth through youth all the way into adulthood without sounding ridiculous. A baby named Rocky will be met differently than one named Precious, not to mention Rocky or Precious as they walk toward the presidential podium one day or sit in wheelchairs in assisted living after 70 years have passed.

And we know it matters to the individual what their parents choose. Continue reading