Oops, a year already?

Somewhere over the past few weeks this blog hit the year mark. A year of bumping around the blogosphere trying to find my voice and wonder if there were others who could share in the same key or at least a harmonious one.

My heart had been full of sorting out the wonders of ministry with men in recovery and I needed a place to say these things. To see the words in print and allow them to look back at me as if to ask, “well, are you all in?”

Along the way other parts of my heart have pushed their way through and found a place on these pages. The mysterious path of a parent with Alzheimer’s dementia, scars I carry of a young vagabond life, the risk of loving. A new-found joy of photography has also found its way as I try to capture and share visually many of these experiences.

What I know is I don’t know and am learning more and more I don’t need to know.

The daily life has me enmeshed with men living in The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Some were living in the bushes under the overpasses. Others on the beach slipping into backyard pools to bathe. Still others living at home until family pushed them out or drove them to our doors saying they weren’t welcome at home. These are the men who we share life with. These are the ones who break our hearts and make us laugh so hard we cry. They are the ones we celebrate, pray for and love. They are why this blog is called living in graceland. They are my teachers.

The tag-line under the blog title comes from this passage in Matthew as paraphrased by The Message:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with meβ€”watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-10

My husband and I are ordained ministers but this isn’t about religion. This is about life. A journey. One that can become weary and the road rough. A journey that desperately needs to remember when I get away with Jesus, He’ll give us real rest. In Him, we can recover our life. We can learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Unforced rhythms. That’s what I want. To be so in sync with Him that my heart sways and swells and quiets and beats to his rhythm. I’m not there. We walk this together. With these men who are addicts and con men. beggars and thieves. Men who are lost and now found.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see.

17 thoughts on “Oops, a year already?

  1. kylie says:

    it’s always interesting to see what bible verses people take as their personal verse. mine is one of the common ones: jeremiah 29;11

    i bet you follow the rhythms of grace better than you think you do.

    • Debby says:

      Kylie, your verse from Jeremiah is such hope for many of our men. Of course, it’s hope for all of us! It’s just they’re new to the living story of God. They are such great teachers of keeping it alive.

  2. luluberoo says:

    How could a year go by, yet I’m not any older (or wiser)?.

    You have done a great job of staying on message…and giving hope. You help more people than you know.

  3. iamnotshe says:

    Katharine. Too much sugar coating πŸ˜‰ Yes, true, old or dead … two really great choices πŸ˜‰

    Happy birthday earth angel πŸ˜‰ xo

    • Debby says:

      I can’t either Alison! I’m a slow starter πŸ˜€ I’m glad we’ve connected. I believe God has a purpose for all those whose paths I’ve crossed. I’m thankful for that!

  4. Debbie says:

    Hello dear friend!
    I guess we started our grace blogs at about exactly the same time! (isn’t that surprising!) πŸ˜€

    I think I studied you for a couple of weeks – checking out livingingraceland to see if there was truly grace there or if someone had just come up with an amazing blog name – I had blog name envy – but I confessed right away πŸ˜‰ !

    As happens in this blogging world, I eventually quit reading the blog where we “met”. But you, your blog I read every day ‘if the creek don’t rise and the internet connects’.

    I suppose the name and age connections helped, but I have to tell you, your heart called to mine right away. Only people who’ve known me for a long time, know how unusual that is. I can share a lot of myself without really sharing (risking).
    But you’re different. It was the most amazing thing to meet a kindred spirit and know it was a gracious gift of God that will be lifelong whether we blog or not.

    I’m humbled my your men.
    I’m humbled by your work.
    I’m humbled my your portrait of grace.
    I’m humbled by your honesty.
    I’m humbled by your friendship.
    I’m more grateful than I can say.
    Praying for you, always, often.
    Debbie

    • Debby says:

      Debbie, I couldn’t read your kind words, gracious really, without shedding some tears. Heidi may have told you it’s been a trying day. “Re-entry” from vacation can be like that. Your words, your friendship is a balm to my weary heart. Gods timing, dear friend. His timing indeed! ❀

  5. Heidi says:

    Debby–I did share with her right before I retired. This has been a wonderful blog spot for me. Thank you for sharing your day beginnings and day endings and all inbetween with us. I have been touched by your professional journey and personal stories. Thank you for sharing your heart and being the gracious woman we’ve come to love. Will you continue to blog daily?

    • Debby says:

      Heidi, I hope to continue blogging as long as his spirit prompts. I’m rather compulsive and find great therapy, of sorts, in blogging daily. Sometime I think I should give it a rest a day or two but, well, so far it keeps coming. Thank you for your encouragement all along the way. I can’t imagine coming this far without you and the “original crew”. I’m grateful and blessed.

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