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God’s Got This One…

I am a creature of habit. Everyday I take the same route to and from school. With several routes available, I stick to the same one.

I do not notice detail. I can pass by the same object or place day in and day out and not notice some obvious detail.

One late afternoon back in November while driving home from school on my all-too-familiar route, I was crying out to God with a burden laying heavy on my heart. I begged Him to show me that He was in this with me.

“God, I need to know you’ve got this one.”

As I turned off of Division onto Mission, there it was! High up in the sky were two crosses atop a church all lit up. It was as if I’d seen them for the first time ever. For a split second I thought they’d erected a new building. Then I realized that I was looking at the two crosses atop St. Aloysius Church on the GU campus. They were lit up for what I thought must have been just for the Christmas season. Come to find out, they are lit up year round.



At that moment, I was not only surprised with a sight that I’d never noticed or paid attention to, but also by the almost audible message…

“I’ve got this one.”

As suddenly as I had turned the corner, I felt His peace. A sign. A confirmation. High in the sky.

From that afternoon on, I don’t pass through that neighborhood without searching out my two crosses of hope.

Since then, I’ve been drawn to that campus to look at it more closely and take photographs. I’ve tried to get there at different times of the day in different light. I’m not one to do things alone, but this place draws me in.

One day as I walked around and took pictures, I stopped to notice the statue of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga that stands in front of the church.




Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was a Patron Saint of Youth. He died at the age of 23 assisting the sick during a plague. A short life well-lived.

My visits to this beautiful spot have drawn me into some reflection around my own life.

Moving too quickly through life causes blindness to things around that God wants to use to bless and speak to me. While my life has gone on longer than St. Al’s, am I able to say that it has been well-lived? While I’m not a patron saint of anything, can He still use me? If there were a statue erected for me after my passing, what would the placard at the base say about me and my life? Would people be drawn in to read and reflect, as I’ve done? Would my life have left an imprint that caused people to stop and think about what story they will be leaving?

This 23 year old boy left such a legacy in his few short years, that a Jesuit university was named after him.

I’m not looking for a university to memorialize me, but it draws me in to think about what I’m leaving behind. How am I making a difference in this life I’ve been given? Am I on auto-pilot and not even able to notice where I can be of service and make a difference?

I’m looking up and around more these days. Yesterday morning, as I returned home from an early appointment, I made a stop at St. Al’s with my camera and then took an unfamiliar road along the river home. A road I’d never been on. For it may be on those roads that I find more of my purpose in life as I continue to build my legacy.

Creative Eclectic · Gifts · Grace · Hope · Lessons Learned · Prayers · Questions to Ponder · Seasons · The Journey

Until Now…

Where to begin? I love to write! Writing is my escape. I communicate best in words on paper. I’ve blogged for six years. I never seem to be at a loss for words. Until now…

My recent participation at a Christian Writers Conference opened up new doors of adventure… and challenge… and excitement. Until I came home…

Several times I’ve sat down to write. I’ve got nothin’. It’s as if writing has never been a passion or a gift. What is causing this block? Why am I suddenly dry? I long to take advantage of the information gathered at the conference and play off of the excitement of the other writers with whom I spent two days.

Today as I was editing photographs from yesterday’s shoot, it hit me. God kicked my writing up a notch and invited others into my writing world.

Blogging involves other people, but they are not present. I write and it goes out into the cyber world. After posting I never really know if anyone reads the words I’ve poured out on the page. Occasionally I get a comment, but it’s always encouraging words regarding the content of my piece. No one critiques my writing. There is a measure of safety. Until now…

My new writing adventure involves a small group of women gathering once a month for a “writers group.” It involves sending writing out a week ahead so each one can read my piece and critique it. Then we will gather and share our critiques. Today I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself in to.

I’m a pretty transparent person; wearing my heart on my shirt sleeve. Why am I nervous about letting others read my writing and give feedback? I’m not writing a book. I don’t have a manuscript I’ve been working on. I have some blog entries. That’s it. Suddenly I feel like I’ve got to write something with more depth and a greater vision. I’ve always considered myself a fairly good writer. Until now…

How ironic that my first piece to submit to the group is about how insecure I feel as I embark on this new journey. Fear and trepidation are looming. That little voice in my head is saying to run and never look back. Pursue other passions. Leave the writing to those called to be real authors.

I have no idea where this new adventure will lead me. I’m determined to not let my insecurity and fear win. I’m hopeful that I will be stretched…and challenged…and encouraged. I’m excited to begin to fashion a vision greater than my blog and see it grow into something bigger that I could ever imagine; for I’ve never really had one. Until now…

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A Raging River…

Do you ever wish you could rewind time and have a do-over in a conversation or meeting?  Say something again with less emotion behind it?  Not have the conversation at all?  Take the high road instead of the rocky path you chose to walk on for that quick instance?

… me too

I learned a lesson yesterday.

I lost my God focus and let the tumultuous, crazy world around me seep into my soul.  I let my busy week get the best of me and gradually by the end my early morning quiet time was a rushed frenzy to get out the door.  I took it upon myself to care for the stresses of the week and let God take a break.  So noble of me.  I’m not even sure I stopped to pray yesterday morning.  That is how crazy my week ended.

The culminating event was awesome!  I spoke out at a meeting in a heated emotional way.  While what I shared was reality and needed to be shared, the way in which I delivered my message was wrong.  I know I hurt or offended a few people.  In that moment it became not about the actual topic, but more of an emotion airing so to speak.  Not my finest moment.

It’s spring in Spokane and the river is running high.  As I photographed the raging river a few hours later it hit me.  We are all feeling like a raging river… struggling to keep our heads above water and survive.  We are all going to bat for those we love to do the same.

IMG_4594 IMG_4600 IMG_4602 IMG_4603 IMG_4598My realization has gone deeper.  I’m not just feeling this on a professional level.  I’m feeling it in all corners of my life… as are so many others.  The waters are raging around us in regards to not only our professions but our health, our marriages, our relationships, our finances, our spiritual lives… the list goes on.  It’s daunting and overwhelming when I think about it and begin to pray for my own life and that of those around me.  In my family alone we have a loved one battling breast cancer and another living out her first year of marriage missing her recently deployed husband.

The waters are also raging across our globe.  370 families are awaiting the news of what really happened to their loved ones lost on a Boeing 777 flight.  Russia and the Ukraine are about to go to war.  Our troops are trying to tie up loose ends of a war going on far too long.

The waters are raging around us all in some form or fashion.

Stop… breathe… refocus.

While the waters may roar around us, we have a place of refuge to rest and regroup.

Grace. God extends His epic grace on us continually and sometimes we are so caught up in the wild waters around us that we don’t even notice.

No one chases grace… but grace chases everyone. ( words shared by a friend this morning)

Spring brings high waters and raging rivers, but it also brings the end to winter and a beginning to new life.  Are we able to stop long enough to see past the raging river and see the new life around us?

IMG_9019 IMG_9020 IMG_9030My prayer for everyone who feels as if life is spinning out of control would be that we can all stop…receive His grace available… begin to breathe in the new life of spring and all that it has to offer.  The waters will continue to rage around us.  It’s how we let it affect us that matters.  Do we choose to jump into the swell and work to keep our head about water or do we watch the raging river from afar and rest in His promises?

I know what I’m choosing…


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Lion or Lamb

First day of March and it’s cold cold cold! We are under the blanket of a Polar Vortex. Low temperatures and high winds which will bring below zero temperatures. Big snowfall coming in tomorrow! Then rain. It’s happening all over the country.

March – in like a lion, out like a lamb.


The month is starting out stormy and cold and fierce. According to the old saying, that means it will go out peacefully and gentle… maybe warm.

Today I’m reminded about life and how it parallels this old saying. God does not promise us that life will be easy. There will be storms. There will be lions in our life. Fierce times where hardships and battles roar around us. At times it will feel as if there may be no end. When will the gentle lamb come in and breathe grace and relief over us?

“For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares The Lord, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.” em> Jeremiah 29:11

Those words encourage me on this blustery day. I patiently await those plans that He is has for me as I give Him my whole-self each day – lions and all.

This cold wintery weather seems to be mirroring the start of 2014 – full of roaring lions. My hope rests in the coming of the lamb and gentler days… healing days… restoration… renewed hope. Spring.

“Then you shall call on Me, and shall come to Me, and I shall listen to you. And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 12-13

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I have chosen words to describe the kind of year I want 2014 to be.  One of those words is boldness.  Boldness is defined as the trait of being willing to undertake things that involve risk or danger.

Application to my life would include risk more than danger.  I tend to be one that does not take risks, especially when I am alone.  I rarely do things alone.  I’ve only eaten in a restaurant alone one time. It was a matter of eat alone or starve.  I’ve never gone to a movie alone.  I was well into my 30’s before I would go to the mall alone.  To this day is it not my favorite thing to do.  I’ve never gotten in my car and gone for a drive to explore… alone.  I’m not known for being adventurous.  At the age of 30 I was forced to live alone for the first time.  That was a huge adjustment.

Bottom line… I’m not a very big risk taker.  I think about things I’d like to do and then never end up doing them.  This past year I figured out that thinking about doing something is not the same as actually doing it.  I have a small list of regrets of things I did not do during my 20 years in CA.  I thought about them, but never acted on them.

So this brings me to last Friday.  For the past 8 weeks, I have wanted to head to Gonzaga University campus to photograph the amazingly beautiful St. Al’s Catholic Church.  One Monday evening on my way home, I was crying out to God about some difficult things we were going through.  I was praying for peace and answers and comfort.  As I turned the corner onto Mission, there off to my right were these two crosses lit up and beautiful.  They were atop steeples.  I had never seen them… and this is a route I take to and from work. Immediately, I felt a peace fall over me.  It’s as if God put them up there just for me… and just the right moment.

Several days later I was driving the same route just as the sun was going down.  As I turned the same corner, the two crosses were gleaming in the setting sunlight.  It was breath-taking.  My first thought was that I needed to photograph those crosses atop the church.  Unfortunately, I was heading to an appointment and was not able to stop.  I promised myself that I’d take my good camera and photograph them at sunset.

I spent the next few weeks thinking about it as I passed them each day.  I even made several attempts to get there in the afternoon setting sun, but something always came up.  While I wanted to do this in the worst way, my lack of boldness to step out into an adventure on my own got in the way.

Last Friday I was heading home after an appointment and had a bit of extra time.  As I was driving down Mission I suddenly had a very strong urge to just do it!  I turned around, made my way to the campus and found a parking spot.  Out into the chilly wind I went with my iPhone!  No fancy camera, just my trusty phone.  This whole adventure took about 5 minutes!  There was only so much I could do with my iPhone.

The conditions were not exactly as I’d hoped.  The sky was cloudy.  It was 11:00 AM, not sunset.  I did not have my good camera.

IMG_4245 IMG_4244 IMG_4243 IMG_4242 IMG_4241 IMG_4240IMG_4246But alas, I’d followed through with something that I’d longed to do!  While this was really just a baby step, it was huge!  It was bold for me to venture out on my own.  Like I said… baby steps.  Now I know I can do this all by myself!  Alright… stop laughing!  Everyone has to start out small!  It’s rather a challenge to myself now to do something a little more daring!

Too much of life is passing me by as I sit back in my safe world… not taking risks.

Since my little (and I emphasize little) outing on Friday, I’ve been thinking about other areas of my life that lack boldness.

It does not seem to be too much of an issue in my professional life.  I step out and do things with nary a thought.

Lately, I’ve been asking God for more boldness in my faith.  If I can step out and confidently share my professional knowledge with people, why can’t I share my heart for Jesus with people.

I’ve also boldly been asking God to change me… use me… break my heart for things that breaks His.  Boldly.  With a passion I’ve never had before.  To speak boldly into lives of those around me.

I’m not sure where this sudden urge to walk and talk and live in a boldness like never before has come from.  Perhaps He’s preparing me for something that is going to require me to be very bold… to act in boldness.  Maybe something where my boldness is key to my survival.  I really don’t know.

What I do know is that this boldness is new and empowering.  I’m excited for the coming days, weeks and months.  I’m looking forward to the places my new found boldness will take me.

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My Words for 2014…

I promised myself that I would not make a list of resolutions for 2014.  Each year I do it.  Each year I’m disappointed in myself by mid or late January.  This year I have been thinking about 2014 from a more global perspective.  What is the “big picture” for my year?  What do I want my year to look like?

I’ve been trying to come up with My One Word for the year, based on the book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen.

Last night, as we prayed for our kids and the struggles they are having, one word fell off my tongue more times than I can count.  It was the over-arching theme of my cries to Jesus. When we finished praying I knew My One Word for 2014.


I’m excited to pray and explore and write about God’s protection over my family. The enemy has such a strong hold on today’s youth and marriages and families.  My cry to God is for protection of our youth – our three teenagers in particular, as well as our family and our marriage.  My cries are also for protection over the health of those I love.  I realized that the things that have been waking me in the night and bringing me to my knees in the morning all involve a prayer of protection.

This afternoon I’ve also been thinking about the coming year is terms of it being a empty book… waiting to be filled.  I sat down to pray and asked God to fill my book with stories of…

And I began to pray a list of words.

Being that I’m now 50, I knew I’d better write these words down or I’d be in trouble.  By the time I finished heating my tea in the kitchen, the words would be gone… out of my memory!  I might even have forgotten that I was praying prior to the trip to the kitchen!

So, I leave you with my list of words… and the amazingly beautiful sunset on this 2nd day of January, 2014.

photo(1) copyphoto(1)What are your words for you this coming year?  What words describe the kind of year you are longing for?  Don’t be afraid to write them down and see what God is going to do!  Your book is empty now and you have all year to fill it!

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A Clean Slate…

Do you remember as a child getting a new coloring book and maybe even new crayons?  The excitement when you opened that brand new book that had not one bit of coloring in it!  It was all yours and you got to fill it with color and design!  And doing that with new crayons made it even better!

Do you remember getting your brand new workbook in elementary school?  No one else had written a word in it.  It was all yours.  You got to fill it with your wisdom and knowledge and new learning.

Do you remember getting a new journal?  Maybe it was leather bound or had a nice calming picture on the front of it.  Pages and pages of empty lines just waiting for you to pour out your heart.  Now this was the perfect journal in terms of how it lays open and how the pages felt when you turned them. And the lines.  Were they wide or college rule?  Or maybe there were no lines at all and you were going to do more than just write.  Maybe this one would include drawings and things glued in.

Do you remember?

Do you remember past new years where you’ve thought about the brand new year ahead?

You knew what you wanted and you had a plan for the days ahead. You may have had a say in where you were and your state of affairs as you began this new time.  Much like picking out the best journal or coloring book.  You had a fresh box of crayons with many colors.

Or you may not have been given a choice as to where you were and the state of your life.  It was like being handed a gift and you had no idea what is inside.  You may or may not have liked the journal cover or the lack of lines.  You may not have liked the theme of the coloring book.  Your crayons might have be old and dull and broken.  You were handed something that was not what you’d planned on.

I’ve recently read several authors talk about the new year being like a clean slate or a clean sheet of paper on which we can begin to draw. I love that visual. How true this is.

But there is a difficult side to this.

What if my clean slate is an old beat up chalkboard that hasn’t been cleaned very well over the years?  You know, the edges are chipped, the chalk just smears.  Oh, you can clear the surface to write something new, but the imprint of all the past writing is still there, smudged in the background. And the chalk.  The chalk is in small little chunks that are difficult to write with and there is only yellow.

The ideal would be a brand new white dry erase board!  Shiny with smooth edges.  Maybe even magnetic so you can add things other than writing!  And alongside your beautiful new white board is a clean little eraser and a variety of colored dry erase markers. It’s perfect!  The possibilities are endless!

Who wouldn’t want the new clean slate to start the brand new year?  Do we always have a choice?  A say in what we get?

I believe that more often than not, we are not given a choice.  Life happens and we could end up with either.  How we choose to use what we are given is up to us.  How we choose to live out the next year is up to us.  If we intentionally make choices that would help us end up with a cleaner, newer, shinier slate next year, then go for it!  Make those choices.  I’m convincing myself of this as I type!

Put the coffee with peppermint mocha creamer down and get on the floor and stretch these tired old muscles.  Put on your walking shoes today and get out in the fresh air and walk instead of using this day as an excuse to lay around and eat bad food!

Begin the devotional reading that is dated January 1.  Don’t wait until tomorrow because today is “a holiday.”  Tomorrow will turn into another tomorrow and we know how that ends up.

Begin today to fill your empty slate (no matter the starting condition) with things that will honor yourself and God.  Color with every color possible!  Journal your hearts deepest desires and dreams!  Fill your workbook with new learning and fresh knowledge.

I didn’t make a formal list this year.  I have a vision for the year and what I would like it to look like.  How I would like it to play out so that my slate might be that new shiny one with lots of colors and choices!

What is your vision for the coming year?  While we don’t have total control over what happens, it helps to have a basic trip tic in mind.  I don’t want the enemy to think for even a second he has a say in where my year is headed.

I know there will be struggles and hurdles.  I also know that there will be much beauty and growth and love.  I’m vowing to keep my eye on God and all things connected to Him.  My vision for the year includes keeping His Word close by.  I’m not committing to reading the bible in a year.  That will fall short before January is half over! But His word will be by my side and filling my heart and mind as much as possible.  I want that truth to be the first thing I turn to when a hurdle pops up in front of me.

I’m loosening the reigns on my resolutions this year.  I’m excited to see what unfolds.  In the meantime, I get to color and write and create and work and love and live and breathe for another day… today, January 1, 2014.

Happy New  Year and may God bless us all!


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When The Fog Rolls In…

Our journey as a Christ follower is never finished. We will be learning and growing until we take our last breath and graduate from this life into eternity. The older I get, the more excited about that I become.

On our journey, we hit milestones of growth along the way, Today was one of those for me. It was subtle, but strong.

Backing up a bit, it’s been the year of all years. Some good, but lots of bad and ugly. One of the most difficult years I’ve been through. Oh, over the years I’ve struggled and had some hardships along the way. Each time I felt God’s tender touch and grace guiding me through. I also worked hard to walk through it on my own, now truly understanding His place in my struggles.

It’s easy to celebrate and thank the Lord for the good. It’s easy to pray and ask Him for things that would make my life easier. I pray and pray and know that He will come through. I amp up my walk, believing that the more I do, the more He will hear and answer!

This past year has taken me down a different path. As we have trudged through some really tough times, I was able to begin to understand the idea of thanking Him… even in the storms. But then things would look up and I would go back to taking it on myself and working it out.

This summer I hit an all time low. I had the most difficult two weeks of my life. On my face, I cried out from the depths of my soul. I begged Him for help and healing. Then I began to praise Him as the storm raged around me.

When the fog finally lifted, I felt renewed in my faith and looked at Christ with different eyes. And alas, as time went on, I slowly took over taking care of business. All the while, working harder to make sure that He would always notice me, listen to me, hear me and then answer. In the depths of my soul, I felt that if I worked hard enough at loving Him and doing good for Him, that He would surely shelter me from the really big stuff.

Fast forward to this morning. I’m sitting in our Sunday service listening to my pastor preach his last sermon in his Epic Grace series.

He spoke of being in the fog. What do we do when the fog rolls in and envelopes us in hard times? I began to think about the past year. There seemed to have been more days of fog than usual. But it eventually rolled out and things cleared.

He spoke about letting go of the worry and fear around things that we can’t control. Life is going to happen. Hard times will fall on us. We’ve got to be okay in this moment because we don’t know what is around the corner. Why do we worry about things we don’t have control over?

Then he said something that hit me hard and was the moment of that shift for me. In so many words, poorly paraphrased, we will have hard times. We will have difficult times until the day when it will be made perfect. People struggle day in and day out. Some people have chronic illness and suffer daily. LIfe will be hard, but we will be made perfect when we leave this earth.

I know that the difficulties this past year are not the end. God has not given us our allotment and now we are good to go until we die. There will be struggles and most likely struggles greater than what we’ve already been through, but I get to choose how I respond.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
(Philippians 4:4-9, 11-13NIV)

It finally made sense to me. Just because I’m a Christ-follower, does not mean exempt from hardship. And when I’m in the midst, He may not take it away from me. I may have fog that will envelop me for the remainder of my days on this earth. But the good news is that I have a Savior who loves me enough to give me strength when I need it and grace when I don’t have enough.

If you would like to read an amazing book about the epic grace available to you, check out You won’t be disappointed!

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365 Days of Thanksgiving…

We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and the end of November.  This is the month we are “thankful.”  Many of the devotionals I read lately have the underlying theme of thanksgiving woven through them.  FB is full of people’s 30 Days of Thanksgiving.

I began the 30 Day quest on November 1.  I was on a roll though the 12th.  Then life happened.  I suddenly didn’t feel thankful and certainly didn’t want to pretend and write something each day just because I had started and everyone else was doing it.

Today is the 23 and for the past 10 days I’ve struggled.  I’ve struggled with earthly issues.  I’ve wept and wrestled with God and prayed to continue to find joy amidst the things that are weighing me down.  The furthest thing from my mind was being thankful on FB.

Admitidly, I lost sight of being thankful.  It almost made me mad to read everyone’s thoughts each day. That is one of my greatest struggles with FB.  When I’m feeling down, other people’s lives seem to be “magnificant X100!”  This only leads to my wounds needing more licking and my struggles seeming greater than they are.

This morning I awoke early (because it’s Saturday and I can sleep in!).  I grabbed my morning coffee and headed upstairs to my little hideaway.  I began to pray and invite Jesus into my morning.

In today’s  Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Jesus has invited me to sit quietly in His presence and let Him fill my heart and mind with thankfulness.  He encouraged me to look for the tiny treasures that He’s already layed out before me today.  I’m to look carefully and pluck them up one by one.  By the end of the day I’ll have a magnificant bouquet* for which I’m encouraged to offer up to Him with at grateful heart.

Moments after reading that, I could see out of the corner of my eye, the sun rising in the east.  I turned to look and this was the first gift of my day.IMG_3861Instantly, I knew what He wanted me to rest in… today and every day.


His hope. 

Hope for things seen and unseen. 

Hope for eternity. 

No matter the circumstances surrounding me each day, I have the gift of hope sitting at my feet.  For that I am thankful… every day.  I need to step out of the “November is the month to be thankful” box and live with that thanksgiving and gratitude every day.

* I heard a commercial on the radio the other day for a Thanksgiving bouquet on sale from a leading floral company.  It’s guaranteed to stay alive for two weeks AND it will bring you holiday memories!  Hmmm… I wonder what memories come packed in the box it arrives in?  Are they generic memories or can they be molded to each family? We are a little low on the memories this past year… maybe I should order one and see what we get!  It’s only $19.99!!!!!


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Everyone Has a Story…

Every person has a story. Every relationship has a story. Some stories are rich… some are sad… some are tragic… some are sweet. But, everyone has a story.

Our world is fast-paced and busy. We move from one activity or event to another in our day with a hurried sense of urgency. As we are scurrying along, we encounter people. Some we just pass by and some we engage with on different levels. Our casual meeting or deeper engagement can go well or be totally irritating. Our mood and disposition for the day makes a huge difference. If we are in a “good mood” then things that happen might not bother us. If we are in a “not-so-good” place ourselves, then these encounters may send us into that irritated, cranky, judgmental place… that place we’ve all been.

As an educator, I see young and old daily… each with a story. It’s easy to get caught up in the blame game. That child is not doing well because they are not trying very hard or they have parents that don’t “parent.” It’s easy to cast blame and condemnation on others and away from myself.

Our school has had the privilege of spending 6 hours with a wonderful local psychologist, Kent Hoffman. His work is with kids of trauma… kids that live in disorganized lives. His work is also with those of us that work with those kids. He is opening our eyes to see that each one of these kids and their parents have a story. In fact, each one of us have a story. Our lives are a novel… continually being written.

He has taught us to look at each person we are encountering and see their story and their value. When kids from disorganized lives are acting out, we simply take a deep breath and say quietly, “of course.” Of course they are struggling today, for they… (fill in the blank). Everyone has a story and behind our actions in each moment, that story is playing out.

I need to remember this each moment throughout the day. When I’m driving… when I’m standing in the line at the grocery store… when the baby is crying in the resteraunt… when my husband comes home from work frustrated and tired…

Oh, what a judgmental world we live in. We jump to conclusions about why someone is acting the way they are. If I can point out your warts, then mine don’t look so bad. Every wart has layers and layers of story behind them. Every cranky person or failing student or “bad” parent has a story. Most of these stories are not evident on the outside and we don’t see it… thus making our judgmental jumps much easier to take.

I continually need to be reminded that behind every story is an amazing God who created each of us and has his handprint on our lives… whether or not we acknowledge it. He knows every word of our story… every tear… every hurt… every moment.

I had a thought this morning. When I’m ready to judge someone else in the moment, maybe I should dial up the “review” on that person. Maybe I should go to the One who knows the story best and wrote the review. We do it for movies and books, so why not people. Before I’m ready to sneer, roll my eyes, make a judgmental comment in my head, be angry at them, cuss them out under my breath… I need to stop, take a deep breath and ask God to give me what I need in that moment so that I can extend the grace and/or mercy needed.

Imagine what life would be like if we all lived with this idea in mind. Extending grace when we don’t know the story… for everyone does have a story. I have a story…. you have a story. People may not know what that story is, but we certainly hope they will extend the grace needed in that very moment when we need it the most.

Every person has infinite value… even in those moments when we think they don’t.