Category Archives: Grace

January 24

Chapter One

Today is a very happy anniversary of sorts for my cousin Marie and I. Marie and I had an emotional first meeting on this day a year ago in a hotel in California while I was teaching at Road to California. Marie is one of many descendants of a long relationship between my great, great […]

August 26

Bring on the Dreamers

I turned 55 today. One of the gifts of middle age is being able, if you’re lucky, to sort through the signals that society sends you about what’s important. Society tells me that I’m supposed to care a lot about material goods, fame, my appearance and how much is in my bank account. The older […]

July 31

4 square inches of mercy

Several people have asked me to describe the work we did with Appalachian Service Project last week so here’s a summary of my experience. The Woman Card We committed to this project last fall and have gone to meetings regularly to train and prepare for the week. Men and women lead the teams and many […]

December 21

It’s Here

It’s here. Today is the day I meet some members of my family I didn’t know existed. I wrote a post last fall sharing that our family discovered a branch of the family tree was missing. It was missing because my grandmother’s uncle had had a long-term relationship with an African-American woman, a descendant of […]

November 17

How to have a good day

Last week I had just finished my last teaching gig of the year and was sitting at the breakfast table wiped out. Bill was in Tennessee finishing his last teaching engagement and I had piles of laundry, stacks of contracts and dozens of emails that needed responses. The travel and deadlines had caught up with […]

October 27

Superhero

Last night at 12:50am, I was standing at the luggage carousel at Midway airport in Chicago having just returned from a very tiring industry trade show in Houston. I had been up since 7am, had to go 14 hrs without eating a real meal because I was by myself and people kept coming into the […]

September 26

Thank You Stephen Colbert

I saw something on TV this week that I’ve never seen before that made me very happy. I’ve been battling a respiratory infection and have been pumped up on Prednisone, which makes it very hard to sleep or read. Wide-awake at 3am I often watch recent episodes of late night comedy shows on demand on […]

September 13

Blessed are the Wounded

I learned today that Charlie Petersen died suddenly and unexpectedly this weekend. I met Charlie online when she was part of an online mystery quilt event we did with American Quilters Society and later in person when we were teaching on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Our first encounter was amid a number of people in a […]

May 12

Sending Out the Food

Last week I went with the 7th and 8th graders at our daugther’s school on a field trip to Feed My Starving Children to pack food for distribution to food aid charities in 70 countries. We were specifically packing food for the hungry in Nicaragua. FMSC has a wonderfully organized system that allows anyone from […]

May 05

Children’s Day Miracle

In November 1990, shortly before I was to move back to the US after nearly eight years of living in Japan, I went to Kyoto for what I knew would be the last time for a long time. Although I generally avoid collecting things, especially things that one of my friends refers to as a […]

April 04

To My Non-Christian Friends

For many years I’ve wanted to write about the things I wish my non-Christian friends understood about my faith. I’ve never felt as though I could do the idea justice and I worried that I’d alienate you or you’d think I’m trying to judge or convert you but I’ve decided that it’s time to try. […]

April 03

“Father, forgive them.”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they […]

April 01

Being True

Wednesday is the day, according to the Scriptures, that Judas betrayed Jesus. It’s just so hard to understand. But here’s what I’ve decided the truth to be about betrayal. If your goal is to be a good person, betraying anyone will always be more hurtful to you than to the person you’ve betrayed. The opposite […]

March 31

How did I get here?

By Tuesday things were not going well for Jesus. He had made a mess overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple. He had a lot of explaining to do and knew that time was running out. In my life when I often feel confused and frustrated that life is not going the […]

March 30

Palms in the Streets

[I rarely write about my faith because I don’t want to offend anyone who doesn’t share my beliefs. This week, however, is the Holy Week that leads up to Easter and I’d like to write some thoughts about that. So if that’s not of interest, feel free to check back in next Monday. Not trying […]

March 01

Nuns, warmth and the internet

Each month our family goes with a small group from Grace Lutheran, the church affiliated with our daughter’s school, to  Fraternite Notre Dame to make sandwiches.  It’s kind of a fascinating experience. Fraternite Notre Dame is a group of nuns and friars from France whose mission is to feed the homeless. They receive no salaries […]

February 20

Stamps and All

For those who regularly read this blog, you might remember that I’m following the Lenten calendar I wrote about on February 12. Today the calendar suggests that I “make a card for someone who needs extra love.” I’m going to go one better. How about a letter? You know — where you get out stationery […]

February 13

My Beautiful Lungs

Tonight I’ll be attending an art opening at the Oak Park Art League. In the show that opens tonight, Color of Passion, is a fiber art piece of mine entitled My Beautiful Lungs, pictured in the photo above. I made it several years ago as art therapy, truth be told. I wanted to re-think the […]

February 07

Because You Never Know

Thursday while I was giving a lecture I noticed a woman in the front who put her head in her hands while I was speaking. I sensed that she was dizzy or light-headed. I kept talking wondering it it would embarrass her if I asked her if she was OK or if I should assume […]

February 04

Wishes for the Pipers and Abbis

As I stepped into the Orlando airport from the jetway, my mind was full: I needed to get my bags first. When you travel to teach quilting, it’s always anxious until you see you two enormous bags of quilts on the baggage carousel. Then I needed to figure out where the rental car counter was […]