Today’s dilemma

I’m holding it together today, Lord or more accurately I’m holding myself together for now.  Please don’t ask me to humble myself just yet Lord, couldn’t I wait just a little longer?  If I really pray to you I have to let myself be broken once again and that hurts, Lord.  You know that it does.  I have to trust that You will put me back together again, like all the other times, like You always do, but the process is so painful.  Today I want to avoid the pain.  At least for a little while.

Do I have to die to self again today, Lord?   I know it is the only way,  the only way to experience Your resurrection power working in me, as You bring me back to life once again, the life that You have called me to live.  Each time I let go, each time I stop trying to hold it all together myself;  it is then that my fear surrenders to my faith in You.  I trust all over again that You will put me back together when I humble myself, broken before You. I trust, just as I did that very first time, that You will bring me back from death to walk in life with You for another day when I obey You and die to myself again.

I know Lord, You would want me to remember that You have always been faithful.  You heal my brokenness each and every time that I bring it to You.  Your resurrection power prevails in me each day that I die to this world.  Your faithfulness will continue.  This I know.  So help me, again today, to stop trying to hold myself together, help me instead to let go and in faith let You alone hold me, Lord Jesus.

And thank you Lord, for knowing that You and I will go through this process maybe more than once today and certainly again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that for as long as I live.  Thank You for knowing and for understanding, for having compassion on all You have made, including me.

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 1:6)

“and His incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 1:19-20)

sincerely,                 Grace Day





A letter of apology to my children

First of all, let me say these words seem long overdue.  Let me say I am so sorry for not sharing them sooner.  I am sorry for what I have left unsaid, I am sorry for any words I have not shared with you that I should have. Perhaps I am just now understanding myself what I have spent a lifetime learning.  And as I continue to learn I feel compelled to share with you, my children what is on my heart,  what I am sorry for not sharing sooner.  Perhaps I thought actions were enough, but words are needed to give certainty to the intent, to the reason behind the actions.

As millennials I see you searching for identity and purpose in your lives.  We all do.  For many it is a lifelong quest.  We were made for more than meets the eye here,  we were born with eternity in our hearts. You were made for more; you were born with eternity in your heart. And so you search.  You long to live for something greater than yourself, especially if you are one of the lucky ones who figure out early on that living for yourself alone is never fulfilling.  And so we all search.  We find our identity in what or in who we belong to.

When you find your identity in the person of Jesus Christ, when you belong to Him, your search will come to an end.  Why?  Because who better to find your identity in than the One who created you?  the One who knows every hair of your head?  the One who has your name engraved on the palms of His hands?  the One who formed you in your mother’s womb and knows the way that you take?  the One who calls every star by name and yet calls you by name as well?  the One who calls you a son or daughter and calls you friend?  the One who left His home in glory to shed His blood on a cross to buy you back from sin for God for eternity?  God is the One who knows you and knowing you fully, found you of such infinite worth that He spared nothing, not even His only Son, to reconcile you to Himself.

Our purposes are so small,  God’s are so vast.  Our purposes so fleeting, God’s so lasting. You know that Jesus died for you, to save you from the penalty for your sin. But Jesus’ death and resurrection was just the beginning of the story, not the end of the story.  It is where relationship with Him begins, not ends.  Jesus came to save you from yourself for a purpose infinitely greater than yourself. He is Savior and He is Lord and He is so much more. (as if that weren’t more than enough all by itself)  He is infinite in all ways, you can spend a lifetime pursuing Him and never come to the end of Who He is or what He wants to teach you or what He has for you to do.  It is an adventure beyond what you could imagine or choose for yourself. It is full of life’s molehills and mountains, full of mercy and mustard seeds of faith making miracles, transforming hearts and changing lives, yours included.  I’m sorry if I never told you this in words.

I’m sorry if I never said to you that God has a plan for your life.  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”  (Jer. 29:11)  You were created on purpose,  you were purchased with Christ’s blood for a purpose, a purpose bigger than yourself.  You have an eternal purpose, you are part of a story bigger than your own story, you have a part in God’s story.  This is your context, for there is no purpose apart from context. Purpose requires context and context requires connection. You will find your purpose not in a what, but in a Who.  In the context of an eternal, everlasting God’s plans for those He created, you will find your purpose as you are connected to your Creator.  “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”  (Psalm 33:11)  Created in His image, you are invited to participate in His eternal purposes.

The answer to your fleeting insignificance is your Creator’s eternal significance.  In light of eternity, your brief years here on this earth are like the new grass that springs up in the morning but by nightfall is withered and fading away.  Even so, you are of infinite value to your Creator.  “O Lord, what is man that You care for him, the son of man that You think of him?  Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.”  (Psalm 144:3-4)  And yet, “. . . not one of them (sparrows) will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  . . .  even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  (Matthew 10:29-31)

So there it is; the God who created you cares for you, He knows you by name and He watches over your comings and goings.  We all search for significance; we want our lives to matter, we want to think that we matter.  When you find your identity in Jesus (who loved you enough to give His life to secure your eternal future with Him) you will also find your significance and purpose for your brief existence here.  You are significant because the One who created you is significant.  You have purpose because His purposes are good and eternal and unshakable. God invites you to live the life He has given you for His glory rather than for your own.

Dear readers, why would I share such a personal letter in such a public way?  I guess because everyone of us struggle with these questions of identity and significance and purpose.  Because we are looking for answers and where we find those answers (or in whom) will determine our futures.  Because we all have often gone our own way, wandering far from the Heavenly Father who created us and loves us.  And because, we each like the prodigal son, can return to a Heavenly Father still waiting, still watching and even now preparing for our return.  ” So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”  (Luke 15:20)    This is the welcome that awaits each of us as well upon our return.  We have His promise we will be welcomed with open arms.

There is always more to say,  but I will stop here.  Trying to capture in words God’s infinite, eternal story and the unmerited mercy He extends to each of us in inviting us in to participate in His working all things together to accomplish His good purposes in each and every life, is more than could ever be expressed.  Yet my hope is, these words will encourage you to seek your identity, significance and purpose in your Heavenly Father, who loves you with an everlasting love.

I love each of you,   sincerely,       mom

“. . . He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  (Ecc. 3:11)

“. . . No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”  (1Cor. 2:9)







An Ordinary Day

It was an ordinary day, another ordinary day.  By that I mean it looked to be the same as the day before had been and the same as the day that would inevitably follow was expected to be.  I spent my day looking for the extraordinary, waiting for the extraordinary to show up and change my life.  That didn’t happen and so it remained an ordinary day.  Or so I thought.

A day like any other day.  I wake up and take a shower with clean water (an ordinary day), with hot water (an ordinary day).  I put on warm, dry, clean clothes (an ordinary day).  I have good, nutritious food to eat for breakfast and to pack for my lunch (an ordinary day).  I have a hat for my head, shoes for my feet and gloves for my hands (an ordinary day)  I have a job to go to and a car that runs well to get me there in safety (an ordinary day).  I have a home to return to after work (an ordinary day).  I can stop for gas, groceries and anything else I need on my way home (an ordinary day).  My home is warm or cool as needed and I have a bed for sleep, not the floor (an ordinary day).

It occurred to me then that my ordinary day is extraordinary in every way to most of the people currently living here on this earth.  And I do not recognize nor appreciate this extraordinariness of the days I live.  My eyes are blinded by what I have grown used to and so take for granted.  No, today I did not win the lottery nor any other unexpected award or accolade.  But if that is the measure of my day, I am sure to miss the magic of the miracles hidden in every mundane moment of my day, while waiting on something that never materializes.

Again I am reminded that my so called “ordinary day” has been filled with extraordinary moments.  Did I notice them when they occurred?  Do I remember them now?  I think of the stark beauty of the morning moon in the sky, taking my breath away as I drove to work today.  I think back over my day.  Encouraging words from a co-worker, an unexpected hug from a student, being inspired as my favorite song plays on the car radio, a neighbor’s warm greeting, time for a conversation with a friend, an opportunity to be of help to someone else, something to laugh about and someone to share the laugh with, the chance to brighten someone’s day with a  smile and a kind word, the privilege of praying for a loved one or for anyone, reading God’s word; these are only some of the not so mundane moments that blend together to make up my ordinary day, which isn’t so ordinary after all.

How extraordinary in this world to wake up in safety, go to work in safety, go to sleep in safety.  How extraordinary in this world to move about in freedom; to choose your work, to choose your spouse, to choose where you will live, where you will shop, where you will worship, indeed if you will worship at all.  You are free to choose all these things and so much more. How extraordinary.

In truth, perhaps there are no ordinary days.  Each day is a gift from God, each day is unique in its’ own right, never to be repeated, not to be taken for granted, not to be wasted or wished or squandered away.   I think days are like snowflakes and people, no two are exactly alike, despite their infinite numbers.  Only an infinite Creator God could accomplish something like that, and He has.  (I’m reminded of the movie, Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray keeps living the same day over and over again.  Each one turns out differently as he makes different choices each time.  Even in the repetition there is variation and room for surprise, change and growth).

I am grateful for each new day, even when from my perspective they look like they are going to be a repeat of the day before,  with nothing new.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  That’s what I count on, what I look forward to; a new beginning each day, a clean slate every morning, another chance to right the wrongs of yesterday, to make up for my mistakes and do better than I did the day before.  I get a chance to fix what I broke yesterday, to offer apology, to heal the hurt, to do for someone what I left undone; I am given  another chance to lay down and be the bridge.  What a gracious God to give me that opportunity, another day to live, another day of opportunity to do good to those I will come into contact with on this one of a kind, never to come again day.

What an extraordinary God to grant me such extraordinary days.  Thank you,  Lord.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)

sincerely,                Grace Day


Another hole in my heart

There’s another hole in my heart today, one that wasn’t there before.  What was there before was a space, a space filled perfectly by a dear lady that my friend and I visited in the nursing home.  We have been visiting her for a few years now, I can’t really say how many. Time has a way of passing by unnoticed until some event demands that we take notice.  Today was such an event; the death of this dear lady.  My Sunday afternoon friend, I could call her, though we visited her other times as well, but lately it had been mostly Sunday afternoons.

This sense of loss I’m feeling, has taken me by surprise.  Although, I guess we are never fully prepared to lose someone. I always think there will be one more time together.  And now, today, I know there won’t be, not here on earth anyway.  I feel the presence of the newly emptied space even as I realize I won’t be visiting her this afternoon.  Sunday afternoons will look different now.

How is it that I am so impacted by someone who didn’t know my name or what I did or anything about my life or me?  You see when we met,  just a few short years ago, this dear lady was already in the memory care unit of her facility.  We had no history together, had no shared experiences or family connections

And the same is true for me as well.  I never knew this dear lady other than as she was when I met her, in this particular season of her life.  I never knew her as the wife, mother, neighbor, co-worker, cook, gardener, pet owner and so much more that she certainly must have been before we ever met. She was unable to tell me of these things which had been her life experience and she had no need to know of the things that were mine.  We simply had relationship in the moments we were given each week.  We read from the Bible, what we discovered was her favorite Psalm, as well as other passages and watched God’s living Word do His work in her and in us. We sang hymns and learned which ones she loved to sing out with enthusiasm and joy.  We prayed with her and over her and saw the peace and comfort our prayers brought her and received her grateful thanks in return.    And so we became family of sorts in the short time given to us.

I suppose the idea was that my friend and I would be a blessing to this dear lady.  But somehow I was the one who felt blessed by God after each visit.  I was the one who tended to look forward to the visits,  she had no expectation that we were coming or not.  When did this turn from duty to privilege without my awareness?  Probably during the same time that the space in my heart had been created by and filled with this dear lady’s presence.

Her face would light up with recognition when she would first see us, she would greet us warmly and always thanked us for coming.  My friend always said this dear lady had a twinkle in her eyes, unless she wasn’t feeling well.  We saw her through a hospitalization, (from which she recovered)  and a move to a new facility most recently.  She always seemed to bounce back.

This dear lady was fulfilling God’s purposes for her still, in this season of her life. When we are a part of God’s story, our lives always have meaning and purpose even if we don’t see it or it’s not apparent to others. She could still tell her daughter that she loved her. She was teaching me compassion for and awareness of people who could easily be forgotten in this final season of their once vibrant and productive lives.  She was showing me that everyone has infinite worth in God’s eyes. Yes, God was still using her to accomplish His good purposes in any lives that came into contact with hers. I will miss her.

Today I’m feeling the emptiness in the space in my heart that was hers alone to occupy.   It will remain empty now, another hole in my heart; well worth the price of allowing another person a place in my life and heart.  The person whose life is well lived will have a heart that resembles swiss cheese as a testimony to all those who have been loved by him or her.  That is the price, unfilled holes in the heart.

Today I thank God for this dear lady, knowing how important she is to her Creator.  A sparrow fell today, was caught in the arms of Jesus and taken to the place He had been preparing for her all along.   I can rejoice!  I can mourn and I can rejoice at the same time.  Only with God is this possible.   thank you, Lord.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  . . .  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”    (Matthew 10:29-31)

sincerely,                         Grace Day

The Bane, The Bode and the Beautiful

There are many things that qualify as the BANE of my existence but I’ll just share a few in the hope that you can relate and I’m sure you have some of your own that you’d like to add to the list.

First of all PASSWORDS (they are needed for anything and everything it seems and using the same password for everything seems to defeat the purpose of protecting me from whatever it is I need protecting from, which would be hackers, I presume?)

ROUNDABOUTS  (no explanation needed I assume?)

CHILD PROOF CAPS on medicine containers, (or on anything else for that matter),  litter boxes; (this one is self explanatory),  commercials during sporting events or any favorite TV program, (the commercial’s whole purpose is to interrupt my viewing at the precise moment when the action or dialogue is at its peak and my interest as a viewer is at its’ highest so that I will “stay tuned” of course),

ONE WAY STREETS,  when I urgently need to go the opposite way and my desired destination is even in sight but I can’t get there and must journey away from it rather than toward it.

AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEMS,  where you cannot get a real, live person, even by pressing zero,  but are consigned to an infinite labyrinth of choices within the confines of the system, none of which will ever lead you to a real, live person should your reason for calling not fit into any category allowed (or maybe you just crave human conversation and the personal touch?  you want to know you’ve been heard)  warning: this particular “bane” may leave you frustrated, exhausted, screaming into your phone and regretting the time you’ve spent without a result to show for it.

STUDENTS WITH EARBUDS in both ears during class,  students on their phones during class, students impersonating other students

TAILGATERS (not the sports kind,  the kind in a car in traffic)

There are also many things in life that don’t BODE well and we would do well to take notice of them and spare ourselves, if that is possible, from their results.  Examples of these things abound, surrounding us at every turn, calling out to us, serving as a warning to the more discerning among us while blithely ignored or tragically unnoticed by those of us less aware.  Consider some of the most obvious;


the “road construction ahead, delays are possible”  sign  (meaning get off now, before its too late)

any statement prefaced with “now don’t take this the wrong way but . . . ”

flight delay due to mechanical difficulties

the words  “let me put you on hold for just a second”

sign  “not responsible for lost or stolen items”

the words, “don’t call us, we’ll call you”  or “the check’s in the mail” or “some restrictions may apply”  or “no returns, refunds or exchanges”  (buyer beware)

new, never before heard noises coming from your refrigerator, your furnace, your car, your washing machine, your hair dryer (basically any unnatural noises from any machine you depend on to fulfill a necessary function in your daily life)

and then there’s the BEAUTIFUL,  surrounding us at every turn, if only we had the time and the inclination to notice.  Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but there’s plenty of it to go around for everyone to see.  “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  The beauty of God’s creation surrounds us despite anything man has done to mar that perfect beauty which existed at creation.  With every sunrise and sunset we behold a glimpse of the beauty God has in store for us.

“How BEAUTIFUL on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'”  (Isaiah 52:7)    Yes, God’s gospel, (good news) of salvation is beautiful to each and every one of us who receives it,  so beautiful in fact, that the very feet of those God uses to proclaim His message are beautiful to those who hear His life giving message.

“We can search the world over for the beautiful, but unless we carry it within us we will find it not.”  This is one of my favorite quotes.   And we do carry the beautiful within us when we have “Christ in us, our hope of glory”.  Our Creator has surrounded us with beauty so out of character amidst the brokenness we have brought into this world that we can’t help but behold it and have our breath taken away.  From the majesty of the mountains to a sky filled with stars, we can experience beauty simply by opening our eyes and our hearts to its presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”  (Psalm 19:2)

sincerely,        Grace Day