I have been on a wonderful journey over the last few days.

In keeping with my theme of doing new things with my empty nest, I decided that I want to make a renewed commitment to writing.  In order to do that, I decided I needed a new blog, or at least a remix of the old blog. When I originally started blogging in 2005, my girls were 9 and 11 and I was 41.  Now I am 50 and my girls are young women who live somewhere else a large part of the year.  My passions, interests and focus have shifted in those 9 years.  While many things have remained constant, much has also changed.  The journey from there to here was chronicled to a large degree in the words I wrote along the way, both in my journals and on these pages.

I have spent the last few days reading through the 300+ posts that I have written. My purpose initially was to see which ones would make the trip over to the new blog and which would be discarded.  As I read through them, I decided I also wanted to re-categorize some of them or create additional categories.  That became a whole new creative process as I began to see topics and themes to which I continually returned as I chronicled the stories of our life as a family and the journey of my walk with God.

Again and again, I was struck by the way one particular theme or season about which I was blogging prepared me perfectly for the next season, as if Someone knew just what was coming next.  When read over the course of just a few days, the shifts in attitude, the deepening certainties and the revealing of God’s unfolding plan for my life that took months or even years in real time seemed natural and inevitable in retrospect.  Even the seasons where I quit blogging altogether made sense in the context of the bigger picture.  God’s fingerprints were all over the books I read, the scriptures I studied, the friends and family He used to speak to me and the events that transpired around us.  All these threads of the tapestry were woven together in His timing and according to His plan, a work still in progress today.

amazing grace_tThrough the pages of my writing, while my little girls transformed into teenagers and my teenagers into young women, I became a more thoughtful parent and took myself less seriously.  I leaned into God, listened more and figured out how much I didn’t know.  I did, thank God, realize early on how quickly it was going and I think I cherished every moment of these years….or at least MOST of them!  My girls’ passion for theater became mine as I joined them on the stage in some productions and worked behind the scenes on others- another aspect of my calling during this season and an awakening or a remembering of my need for creative expression whether through writing or singing or whatever form that might take.

Some new categories emerged: Things that Make Me Laugh, Creativity, Love and Marriage, Drama/Theater, People I Admire and even a category about My Hair.  No, seriously, it appears from my writing that my hair has a great deal of meaning in my life!  If you have time and interest, I invite you to explore and see what resonates with you.  As I played with this new “toy,” the one thing that became abundantly clear was the overriding theme of pretty much everything I write- the amazing, abundant, lavish, healing grace of God’s love for me, for us and for this world.  Once I added the Grace category, it seemed that everything I wrote was imbued with some aspect of grace.  The grace of God’s perfect timing, the grace of the precious people in my life, the grace of forgiveness, the grace of the beauty of creation, the grace of a connection to something bigger and better and more meaningful than we ever knew or expected.  The grace of noticing the Kingdom come, in small ways all around us.

For that reason, this new place is called Grace Notes.

Welcome!  I hope you will visit often and have a look around.