The Grace Jar #4

I was six when I graduated to a two-wheeler without training wheels. I cannot remember if my parents bought the rusted 1960 bicycle that had belonged to someone else before me for my birthday or for Christmas, but I believe it was for my birthday. Daddy took it apart, sanded it down, painted it pink and white, then put it back together. The tires were good, the seat just fine. All he needed do was add those fun streamers that came out of the padded handlebars. Mine were alternating colors of pink and white. If you didn't know that the bike was secondhand, you surely couldn't tell it. Daddy had an eye for perfection and detail. I remember being so proud of it, right down to the training wheel

The Grace Jar (#3)

I am my own worst enemy. My mind, specifically. It runs 100 miles an hour, even when I'm asleep. You may think this is because I'm a writer. An artist, if you will. And artists and writerly people have minds that simply never stop. After all, I can't go anywhere without seeing a story. And please don't let me overhear a conversation with so much as an inkling of intrigue. My mind whirls, taking what could be benign and turns it into something filled with twists and turns. I dream. Every night, I dream. Technicolor dreams with such details, you cannot imagine. Most mornings, I recall them all. Every nuance. Every word said. Every "and then, as if I passed through a veil ..." All day long, my

The Grace Jar (#2): Be Kind

Kindness. Remember that? Unlike grace, it is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Kindness, I have discovered, is easy to give, but often forgotten. We get so busy, don't we? Too busy, in fact. Just the other day I watched an inspirational video in which Rick Warren said, "God did not create you and put you on this earth just to mark things off your 'to-do' list." Those few words--that one sentence--was like a bat swung at the back of my knees. They nearly toppled me. Why? Because I'm a list-maker. Nearly at all times, I keep with me a small journal in which, every day, I write down all I have to accomplish in that day. Not necessarily in order, but things that need to be done. And then I cross

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