today I was the answer!

today I was the answer; as opposed to the problem, the plea or the question, which is more often the case; but not today.  Today was trash day and it was early; these are the facts of the matter.  I had played my usual game of “beat the trash truck” and won, (my trash was out and the truck was no where in sight) I set out on my morning walk through the neighborhood.  I like walking at this time when the sun is not fully up and the people are not fully out.  It is quiet.  I get lost in my own thoughts.

Which is why I probably didn’t hear her calling my name at first.  She was across the street and almost hidden behind the large blue trash bin on wheels, no wonder I hadn’t noticed her, the trash bin is taller than she is.  She asked me to help her lift a large grey trash bin full to the top of yard and tree trimmings into the waiting blue trash bin on wheels. (and I thought I was up early, she had been working in her yard all this time, I mean how long must it take to fill one of these things up?)

Now this was no easy task considering her size and mine; kind of like the blind leading the blind.  I am small, not someone you would call in when you needed “muscle”  (but remember there was no one else around at this time) and I tower over this neighbor in need.  Surprisingly, we succeeded at our task in only a short time (she too, was playing the weekly game of “beat the trash truck”) and I was ready to continue my walk.

It was then she said these words to me, “You were an answer to my prayer, I was telling God I can’t do this, I need someone to help me.”  I can’t really describe the quiet joy that filled my heart at that moment.  I understood completely what she meant, because so often various, kind people (known and unknown) are the answers to my prayers. God always sends them at just the right time.  But at this moment I was allowed the sacred privilege of being the answer to her prayer.

I really love being “the answer” for someone else, for anyone else.  I can’t think of anything more affirming than being used by my Heavenly Father.  This was seemingly such a small service that I rendered her but her words showed that she saw God’s hand in it.  I am always looking to see God at work in the really big things of my life and of the lives of those I love.  But experiencing God in the details of my daily life is so profoundly and simultaneously comforting and thrilling that it takes me by surprise every time, filling me with awe and gratitude to God all over again.

Who am I that God would use me?  and yet He does!  I guess my prayer is that I would more often be the answer to someone’s prayer than I would ever be the cause of their need for prayer.  May I never be too busy or too blind to see God in the mundane moments of my life, this life He’s graciously given me.  What if I had foolishly thought myself too busy to cross the street and help my neighbor this morning?  I would have missed not only the opportunity to do good to someone who needed my help, I would have missed God’s revelation of Himself to me in that ordinary moment of being His hands and His feet to someone He loves.

For it is in those unexpected moments of suspending my own agenda to meet another’s need that I experience God’s presence in such a personal and powerful way, that the moment lingers, leaving me longing for more clear glimpses of my God at work behind the scenes.  Nevertheless, I continued my walk (by faith) this morning, feet on the ground, heart soaring, praising God and thanking Him that for that briefest of moments I could be His answer to someone else’s prayer.  I can’t imagine any higher calling or joy in life than this.

“From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land , a man to fulfill My purpose.  What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”  (Isaiah 46:11)

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ ”  (Matthew 25:40)

sincerely,           Grace Day






things that don’t bode well

a fully dressed swim instructor (or one wearing water wings)

your fitness trainer smoking a cigarette during your workout session

your nutritionist offers you a doughnut, cotton candy or a soda

you catch your financial planner counting on his/her fingers

the person who comes to organize your closets drops her rather large purse, spilling contents from several decades and genres everywhere or

said organizer can’t find her phone in her aforementioned large purse

your tour guide arrives late, (map in hand) because he/she could not find the predetermined meeting spot where the tour is to start

thunder while you are setting up for an outdoor event

a long line at the store with a chatty cashier

any sentence that begins with, “mom/dad, I didn’t mean to and it wasn’t my fault”

or “my teacher wants to meet with you” or  “guess what I signed you up for” or

the words, “some assembly required” or “due to unforeseen circumstances” or

“may be hazardous to your health” or “this is only temporary, but . . . ” or

the words, “lane closures, expect delays up ahead” or the words

“consult your physician before beginning this or any exercise program” or

“results may vary” or “we need to talk” or “beware of dog” or the words

“no lifeguard on duty, swim at your own risk” or (my favorite)

“falling rock zone, proceed with caution”  ( just how cautious do you need to be when falling rocks, ie. boulders are involved?)  or

“freeway ends”  (bail out now)

all these should be clues if you will, a heads up, a red flag, a warning that all may not go as planned or expected.  But do we heed them?  Do we even read the fine print on most things? (I know I don’t or I’d never get anything else done) because pretty much everything comes with a warning now; even clothes, “wash before wearing, colors may bleed, shrinkage may occur” (none of that bodes well; when will the colors cease to bleed? should I buy a size too big to allow for the predicted, possible shrinkage? and I already have to wash my dirty clothes, now I have to wash my brand new, never been worn clothes as well?)  As if shopping weren’t difficult enough already.

so I am constantly confronted by things that don’t exactly bode well, words and warnings surround me at every turn. But which ones do I really need to heed. The Bible has some practical advice about signs and warnings.  “He (Jesus) told them this parable; ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees.  When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near’.”  (Luke 21:29-31)

Jesus also said in Matthew 7:16-20, “By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  . . . Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

I have learned which road signs don’t bode well for me (road closed, detour ahead) when I am driving and I can learn to recognize God’s signs as well.  He is usually pretty clear.  For example, in 1 John 4:20-21 I read, “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And He has given us this command:  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

So there are things I can know by observing the signs, whether they bode for good or for the not so good.  Either way, I can proceed with confidence because my God knows the end from the beginning and He goes before me and with me; even through the falling rock zone that I sometimes must travel.  When things don’t bode well, I can still walk forward in faith, unafraid, because all God’s promises bode well for me.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  (Psalm 23:4)

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; . . . when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; . . . Do not be afraid, for I am with you;” (Isaiah 43:2,5)

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.”  (Isaiah 46:10)

” ‘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.’ ”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

sincerely,         Grace Day
















because I know your name

ten little girls, I know each one by name;  ten little girls and my life is not the same-

ten little girls, I know each voice and smile; with ten little girls, I spent a precious while.

I hugged each head, I held each hand; prayed with each one God’s perfect plan.

We slid on a slide, we sang songs of praise; we heard Bible stories and learned God’s ways–

we broke bread together and shared our broken stories, I went with you to where you live and watched you tell God’s glories–

to others hungry to know God’s care, it was a joy to watch you share.

ten little girls, I hear your laughter clearly, and feel your hugs and find your tears upon my heart so dearly–

ten little girls, I know you each by name; and because I do, my life is not the same–

ten little girls, with spaces in my heart; I carry you around, no matter we’re apart-

because I know your name, you are with me every day; because I know your name it is for you I pray–

because I know your name, my life is not my own; because I know your name when I’m with you I am home.

because I know your name, I will always see your face;  because God knows your name, He gives to you His grace.

because I know your name, you’re forever a part of me; because God knows your name, He calls you family–

because God knows your name, He sent Jesus to pay your price; because God knows your name, you will be with Him in paradise.

because I know your name, I will always hold you dearly;  because God knows your name He will always see you clearly.

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.”  (Isaiah 49:16)

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” (Psalm 147:4)

“But now, this is what the Lord says–He who created you,  . . .  Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.”  (Isaiah 43:1)

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (Job 23:10)

yes, my ten little girls; the God who calls every star by name knows your name too. and you can be sure that because He knows your name, He also sees you and because He sees you, He watches over your coming and your going.  Your Heavenly Father sees you, hears you and loves you.  The Bible says so!

sincerely,    Grace Day











I went to the throne room today

” . . . I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple.”  (Isaiah 6:)

” It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.  Even angels long to look into these things.”  (1 Peter 1:12)

God’s throne room may start in heaven but I feel like its’ outskirts are here on earth in the many places where people gather to worship Him and praise His name, because the train of His robe extends to earth and fills His temples, anyplace where His name is being lifted up; lifting Him up in song is part of heaven here on earth.  We enter into His throne room and into His courts with praise.

I went to the throne room today, how I wished that I might stay;  it was the music drew me there, songs of God’s praise filled the air.

but the voices were not of angels’ ringing, these were earthly voices singing; their words my tongue had never known, still I knew that I was home;

my heart knew every note and song, as I joined in with this earthly throng,  their perfect harmonies rose in praise,  offered up to the Ancient of Days.

of such things the angels cannot sing, this chorus belongs to the Lamb’s redeemed-

ours are the souls once lost, now found; ours are the bodies still earthly bound.

ours, the blind eyes now with sight, brought from darkness into light.

we, the purchased with Jesus blood;  we, the delivered from Noah’s flood.

we, with broken hearts now healed, sing our praise, our spirits yield,

yes, I went to God’s throne room today, was their singing showed me the way; I joined the earthly voices worshiping with heavenly sound, surrounded by such harmonies as no where else are found.  Zambian drum beats filled the air, their chorus swelled beyond compare, carrying me to His very throne, heaven on earth the music makes known.

“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”   (Exodus 40:34)

” . . . for the glory of the Lord filled His temple.”  (1 Kings 8:11)

sincerely,          Grace Day








full circle – a glimpse beyond the glass

“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then we shall see face to face.”  (1Cor. 13:12)  And that’s why we walk by faith and not by sight; because our earthly, human sight isn’t all that clear or good.  We lack the perspective of the God we call “Abba, Father”.   “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:9)

But the night Carla shared her story with all of us there, we all caught a clear glimpse beyond the glass of our omnipotent God at work.  There was no reason for this revelation, this moment of mercy; in allowing us to see our God at work behind the scenes, connecting all the dots.  For the most part, ours is to obey and trust that God is using our obedience to accomplish His purposes, which are always good.  With the telling of Carla’s story however, our faith was given sight for a shining moment of encouragement and affirmation.  How kind of God to let us see His hand orchestrating every detail of every event that led up to the breathtaking revelation which concluded Carla’s story.

In our humanness, we like to think that we are making a difference, we want to know that what we do matters, at least to someone somewhere.  But we don’t always get to see the end results of our efforts, of our obedience or of our prayers. And we are not alone.

Abraham didn’t live to see that whole descendants numerous as the stars in the sky and grains of sand on the seashore thing that God had promised Him.  He and Sarah had only one son, (granted a miracle child what with Sarah being barren and well beyond child bearing years and Abraham being one hundred and all) but still not exactly off to a great start on that stars/sand promise.  Then Isaac had two sons, so at the time of Abraham’s death, he could count his descendants, he could count them on one hand.  From a human perspective, God’s promise to Abraham didn’t look all that plausible given the current circumstances.  It was off to a pretty slow start. Three kids in three generations? not very promising (even if Isaac was “the child of the promise”)  But Abraham had believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

We have the advantage of hindsight when it comes to Abraham’s life, we can read all about it and see how it turns out.  But not so with our own lives.  We, like Abraham, have to obey and trust God to bring about the desired result.  Results that, just like Abraham, we don’t always get to see.  But God let Carla see a result this week at Camp Life and she shared her glimpse beyond the glass with the rest of us so that we could all be reminded just how incomparable, how indescribable, how compassionate, is the God that we belong to.

Carla had donated clothes, as many of us do from time to time, nine months ago. Her donated clothes were to be sent from Texas to Zambia, to be made available to the more than seven hundred children Family Legacy cares for in the Tree of Life Village.  Now, nine months later, Carla and her teenage daughter were here at Family Legacy’s Camp Life to spend the week with some of the children that Family Legacy serves.  In Carla’s group of little girls, there was one who was cold and needed a jacket.  When Carla asked for a jacket for this little girl, she was handed the same jacket she had donated nine months earlier! But this wasn’t just any jacket.  This had been her now teenage daughter, Lauren’s, favorite jacket when she was younger.  Now Lauren was here to see for herself, along with her mom, how God was using her jacket to show His love and care to a little girl on the other side of the world, named Peggy.

We don’t always get to see the end result of our obedience, but this day Carla and Lauren got to see what God did with their obedience.  “of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world . . . ”  (Casablanca)  Only one container of supplies had arrived out of all the containers shipped.  There are over seven hundred children in residential care and around seven hundred at Camp Life this week. And Peggy is in Carla’s group?  And Peggy gets that jacket?   Coincidence?  I think not.  Our culture may attempt to explain away God’s miracles by calling them coincidence, but God leaves no doubt. God left no doubt when He parted the Red Sea, He left no doubt when He raised Jesus from the grave and He left no doubt when He brought together Carla, Lauren, Peggy and a jacket that traveled round the world to arrive at the appointed time to clothe a chosen child.  God leaves no doubt that He is at work in our lives. He revealed Himself clearly through Carla’s experience, that each of us, for an instant, might see clearly beyond the glass for that moment.

And now back to walking by faith.  By faith we offer to God what we have.  Like Carla did.  Like the small boy with the fish and the loaves of bread did when Jesus needed to feed the thousands.  The boy offered to Jesus what he had, though it was clearly far, far short of what was needed to feed that many people.  Jesus took it and made it much more than enough.  He will do that with us too.  What we have to offer falls far short of the need.  But we are called to offer it up to Jesus anyway. He takes it and makes it not only sufficient for the need at hand but more than enough, pressed down and running over.

“In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at His reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see Him in His completeness, face to face.”  (1 Corinthians 13:12, Living Bible)

That night we all shared a glimpse beyond the glass through Carla’s story.  and I am grateful for that glimpse, grateful to be reminded that my God is at work behind the scenes, neither slumbering nor sleeping, working ALL things together for good and for His eternal purposes.

sincerely,      Grace Day









the last, last time

I was down the hallway and almost out the door, just like so many other times at the end of the school day, when it hit me.  This was my last, last time to do this. This day had been my last, last day and I had lived it like it was every other day that had gone before and like all the days that would surely follow, identical in their sameness, yet unique in the variations that existed within the framework of that sameness.  (there are always surprises when you are dealing with teenagers) Except that now there would be no days like this to follow.  Some people called it monotony, I called it comfort.  I called it home.  It is the place I have belonged.

How had I not realized that this was my last, last day?  Well, for one thing, it was not the last day of the school year, there were still almost two weeks left.  But it was my last day because I was leaving early to go on a mission trip.  Besides with the year- round school calendar we are on, there are lots of last days as we are always starting and stopping.  Even summer break is short lived, not long between the last day and the first day of starting up again.  It kind of all blends together.

So why was this day so significant for me?  Because this high school is closing.  I will not be returning here in just a few short weeks to began another school year.  I will not be returning at all.  There will be nothing here to return to. So that explains my feelings.  I have been coming to this school for many years and I don’t want that to change.  I have had many “last days” here but they have always been followed by yet another first day.  Not anymore.   I am a nomad by nature, but this school, out of all the schools I worked in, had become my home.  Now my home is closing.  When you can’t return home, where do you go?  (even teachers who retire and students who graduate can return “home” and visit their alma mater)

Growing up I was taught that the church is not the building, it is the people.  I think this is true of schools as well.  This building will still stand and will be used for younger grades and some alternative programs.  But the high school that it once was will be gone.  No more football games, basketball games, bands, choirs; no more graduating classes.  The people; the students, staff and faculty who make up this school community will be gone; dispersed and absorbed into other already existing communities. I can return to the building, but the school will be gone. There will not be another first day of school here.  This year, the last school day was truly the last, last day.

And I missed it, being in Zambia at the time of its’ occurrence.  Maybe that was for the best.  I had my own last, last day alone, in solitude, not even aware that I was living it until my final walk down the hall, when I realized that I had just finished my last, last day in the place I had come to call home somewhere along the way. How glad I am that in eternity there will be no “last, last time” for anything.  It will be all about “hello” and never about “good-bye.”   Because, eternity by definition has no end point.  So no need of good-byes, there will never be the last of anything that is good again.  There will be no more “last, last times.”  and that’s fine by me!

“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns Your house for endless days, O Lord.”  (Psalm 93:5)

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  (Psalm 23:6)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  (Revelation 22:13)

sincerely,      Grace Day








when the bad thing is the best thing

Missing a flight is never a good thing in my book, I consider it a bad thing always.  So you can only imagine my frustration as I waited long in line, listening to four chatty travelers exchanging life stories with the baggage check person, while the rest of us listened, a captive audience waiting our turn to check our bags.   But my irritation quickly turned to panic when I heard the words come down the line; “no more bags checked, it’s within forty-five minutes of departure time.”  Questions raced through my mind. Where had this rule come from?  (of course I rarely fly and almost never have luggage to check) so I would not necessarily know about this obscure rule.  But I was not alone.  Those ahead of me and behind me in this long line to check bags,  seemed also to be caught unaware and seemed also equally panicked. (which was strangely although only momentarily reassuring to me, knowing that I was not alone in my plight.)

The irony of the fact that I had waited long in that slow moving line only to be told it was now too late, was not lost on me.  As those around me protested this obvious injustice, (they were headed for a myriad of different destinations than mine, but as all our flights left about the same time, we were all in the same boat (so to speak) that of wishing we were on a plane) I wondered, “what do I do now?”

This could not be happening, I told myself.  I had printed out my boarding pass the day before, I was even TSA precheck!  And I was headed out on a mission trip, so certainly God was on my side, right?   So why would He let this happen?  I had to get to Dallas, as that was the connection to Dubai which was the connection to Lusaka, which was where I needed to end up.

So I continued to question God in my mind as I used a kiosk to register for another flight to Dallas, the next available, which left at 8:05a.m., just a couple hours later than my original 6:10a.m. flight.  I knew this would get me there in time because my friend, who was going on the same mission trip, was taking this flight.  We had planned to meet up in Dallas, but maybe God wanted me to be on the same flight as my friend, I told myself.  (like I needed to have a reason to explain the minor inconvenience of my current circumstances)  But I did want a reason and it better be a good one.  I wanted things to make sense, that is, to make sense to me.

So much for walking by faith and not by sight.  So much for trusting God in all things.  Often we wait months or years before we can look back and see how some “bad” thing that happened to us turned out to be God’s best thing for us; turned out to be God’s blessing or God’s protection of us.  But we don’t recognize it as such at the time.  And that was the case with me this early morning at the airport.

But unlike most of my past experiences, where I had to wait years to get the revelation that hindsight always provides in seeing God at work on my behalf in all the “bad” things that I have experienced; today I would see how this bad thing was clearly the best thing in only a matter of minutes.

So I arrived at my new departure gate at 6 a.m. thinking to myself, “see, I could have made the 6:10 flight.”  It was fairly empty as I took a seat to wait on my new plane.  Then it began filling up quickly, surprising since the flight wasn’t for two hours yet.  I began listening to the conversations around me and guess what I learned?  The 6:10 flight (whose gate was right next to this one) had just deboarded.  (unboarded?)  well, you get the idea.  That plane, my original plane, had not taken off as scheduled.  Why?  Two flat tires on the landing gear and no spare!  They were waiting for replacement tires.  Although apparently, they were telling the passengers that it would still take off before the 8:05 flight.

Well let me tell you, when we took off at 8:05, my original plane was still sitting on the ground with no signs of being ready to go anywhere anytime soon.  If I had been able to get on that flight as planned, I would still be sitting in Indy!  and even if I could have gotten on another flight to Dallas, my luggage, full of ministry supplies for the trip, would still be on that grounded plane.

I had wanted to be on that plane.  I thought I needed to be on that plane.  But God knew what I couldn’t know; God knew that plane wasn’t going anywhere.  God did have my back.  He made sure I got to Dallas by making sure I was denied access to my desired, scheduled flight; the one I was so determined to get on, the one I thought would take me where I needed to be, where I wanted to go.  (found out much later, that flight never did take off)

But God in His mercy took care of me by denying me what I thought I needed and giving me what I did need instead in that moment.  What a wonderful way for this mission trip to began, with God reminding me of His constant watchcare over me. This time, I didn’t have to wait long to realize the reason for the “bad” thing that happened to me in being denied access to my chosen flight.  God’s protection and provision were almost immediately apparent.

But more often, I just have to trust that any “bad” things that I experience, God will use to bring about what He knows is “best” for me.  Because my Heavenly Father always has my best interests at heart.  This airport experience just reminded me once again that I can trust Him.  Many things I will never know the “why” this side of heaven.  But I can trust that with my Heavenly Father what I think are the “bad” things will ultimately turn out to be the “best” things.  I just have to have faith – and I do!  (even if it is just a mustard seed)

“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.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deuteronomy 31:8)

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Pr. 16:9)

sincerely,       Grace Day

return and re-entry

I am back, dear readers!  (you didn’t even know I was gone, now did you?)  But I was gone bungee jumping again and my bungee held me well.  (that would be my sister, who has made this journey of the heart many times)  It is a journey that covers many miles (around 14,870 to be exact) but who’s counting?  I would love to share pictures with you all, but technology is not my ally in this endeavor.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But often it takes a thousand words to truly tell the story of a picture.  You see, in a picture, behind every smile there are tears.  And behind those tears there are broken hearts.  And behind those broken hearts are the stories of how those hearts came to be broken.  And then follow the stories of the healing of those hearts and how they came to be healed.  This leads to the smiles in the picture and brings us full circle in the story.

Such are the stories I long to share with you as I process all that God has done in this journey that has allowed me to share in the lives of the poorest of the poor, the least of these whom Jesus loves and gave Himself for, the orphans and vulnerable children of Zambia.

“From heaven the Lord looks down, He sees all the children.”  (Psalm 33:13)

sincerely,      Grace Day