I’m from this family tradition of stories. Most of them funny, all embellished for effect and they seemed to shape my interest in hearing others share their stories and in sharing the stories known as life.

I’m  a  wife, mama, MeMe, sister, daughter, recovering controlling person, music-lover, learner, listener, talker, laugher and generally loud person.

I say I love God and I do but it’s a daily battle to let go of my will and submit to his. I try to follow God’s directions to make my path straight but more times than not I wonder off the edges and find myself in the thicket.


In one of my favorite books, Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli describes faith this way, “faith is the unbalancing force in our lives that is the fruit of God’s disturbing presence.” For me, life is viewed through a filtered lens called faith. My faith is placed in God. The God of the bible, the God of all, the God who is love. 


My family is big and small, strewn across the country and I miss them all too much. My greatest joy and privilege is being mama to Heather and Jonathan and seeing them become wonderful adults with loving spouses and one delightful granddaughter. We laugh and cry together and find ourselves in the arms of a loving God sitting with us through it all.

We walked through the journey of dementia with my Mama. You’ll find times when I’ve shared part of that journey here. God took mama home in 2016. While she forgot the three she’d born she never forgot the God she served.


I am a grace-learner, having learned most of these lessons from our ministry in the recovery community. This is where my husband and I find ourselves, side-by-side, day after day, serving men in a residential 6-month program. These men have found life unmanageable, most due to substance abuse. As Heather Kopp says in her book Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk, “people bond more deeply over shared brokenness than they do over shared beliefs.”  They  have turned my boxed up faith into free-form and are the inspiration behind this blogs title: Living In Graceland


The Salvation Army

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Salvation Army has been our family church for generations. It became the church where we received our ordination, both of us, him and me, and it is through them our lives are spent serving others. It’s hard to separate this in a category as it overlaps much of our life but the posts I’ve written specifically about the ‘Army’ have been some of the most popular.


Taken by our friend, Jim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I’m learning to call myself a writer and artist. Depending on the day, these realizations are impossible or certain. They are only day by day.

We are blessed to be back in South Florida, the place we call home. We’re at the beach most Saturday mornings, camera in one hand and Pepsi in the other.

I am incredibly blessed to be part of the church of drop-outs, losers, sinners and fools. We are living in Graceland. There’s room for you to come along.

25 thoughts on “About

    • Debby says:

      Jeff, I’m glad you found livingingraceland. I, too, enjoy TMG very much. She says so much in fewer words than I’m able to! We’ve discovered we are kindred spirits on this journey. Welcome to Graceland!

  1. Malou says:

    You and your husband are responding to a very noble calling, Debby. Indeed it is a pity that there are many who have lost their way due to drugs. I’m glad to know that people like you and your husband are there for these people especially when their own families or the society as a whole have already given up on them. 😉

    • Debby says:

      Malou, thank you for stopping by Graceland and taking a look. Hope you’ll drop by time to time. I’m loving the pictures on your blog and how blogging connects our worlds.
      all is grace,

    • Debby says:

      Well, thank you jOyce. I don’t believe we’ve met so this is quite a nice introduction. I’ll be sure to check out your blog too. Again, thank you.

  2. Tushar says:

    Hello Debby , i am Tushar Shendre, I am based in India.. and working with Submission Our Mission Trust. I am really encouraged by the way God is using you and used your Husband…. It is real joy to for our Creator LORD Jesus Christ.. Please pray for us in your prayer time this is our website…… http://www.submissionlife.org. please visit us ..we will really appriciated it.


    • Debby says:

      Hi Tushar. I went to your blog and you are, indeed, involved in important mission work. May God use you and your team to liberate souls, nourish body and soul, and free the captives. God bless you as your serve in His name.

  3. karenbethc says:

    I love your blog!!! I can’t wait to have more time to read more .. I found you through FMF .. I also write .. I write to heal from my past wounds and it helps to put my voice out there.. thank you for sharing your life ..

    • Debby says:

      I agree. There is such healing and finding in writing. Thanks Karen. Glad you have found that outlet. I stopped by your site too and I’ll be back.

  4. Sheila says:

    Debby, I’m charmed by your site! Just signed up to follow you. I love the quote about bonding over brokenness. I agree completely. I’m glad to have found your blog…think I’ll enjoy getting to know you and your journey. ~ Sheila

  5. debbestillandlisten says:

    I, too am Debby with a “y” and I am glad Pastor J (Lillie-Put) reblogged your post! I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and like Sheila I also loved your quote about bonding over brokenness.

  6. kberman says:

    I have tried to leave comments on your blog but wasn’t able to do that. No email address either. I live in Margate, Fl. Have 30+ blogs. Started 11/2004. Sobriety date. 11/24/1976. Quit drinking, smoking, gluten, sugar, and diary. Love my life. Enjoy your blog. You have a writing talent. I know you will find your way very quickly. I use LinkedIn a lot. Have 800+ there–mostly recovery workers.. Also do a FB page for my 12th step work–3,700. I mean all this in the spirit of humility. Everydy i spend as much time branching out as on the blogs. Branch out to the social media which will pay high dividends for being heard. My main blog is Emotional Sobriety; Friends & Lovers. Google won’t put you in their search engine without an email address on the front page(widget) of the blog. It proves you are a human and not a blog machine of which there are millions. I have you in my feedly but have read you for quite awhile now.

    • Debby says:

      Kathy – I’m glad you didn’t give up on posting. I may be switching to a self-hosted site soon for the blog in hopes all the tech stuff that I miss will be taken care of. Congratulations on your sobriety and your commitment to carrying the message. Love the title of your main blog: Emotional Sobriety. I will be sure to look that up and to look for you on Linkdin too. I’m sure I’ll be “seeing” you around. And you live in Margate – we’re practically neighbors! 🙂

      • kberman says:

        Uless you want to sell something, self-hosted is a waste of money. You pay a lot and no one doesn anything but set it up. I have had both–now have all on wp.com. I will be glad to mentor you in the social media stuff. I have several blogs about it. My email is changemaker.kathy@gmail.com. Please reach out. I love teaching. Kathy

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