I feel SO blessed to be in a wonderful circle of friends who are family, and family who are friends! In reflecting on what makes them so amazing, the word that came to me is “Grace”. Grace is a gift, free of charge, that loves and celebrates you just as you are. Its typically tender hands (which can feel fierce at times) set you free to not only be your 100% authentic self, but also to change and grow in the most marvelous ways! With that in mind, I wrote a little “thing” titled, An Ode/Invitation to Grace:

I was the new kid in the neighborhood. As unknown children played, and I stood awkward and alone, she walked toward me with a welcoming smile and inviting words. Grace

My parents never pressured me to be ______ or do ________. They not only gave me permission to follow my heart, they cheered me on! Grace

As cold wars raged with unnatural heat around us kids, my sister and I whispered, cuddled, and comforted one another back to peace. Grace

While bullies made parts of life a living hell, my grandparents conspired to feed my soul pizza, quench my spirit with root beer, and fill my heart with world-changing kindness. Grace

In a world that preaches fear, division, and violence—God said: “Don’t be afraid. YOU are LOVED beyond measure. We’re all connected. Peace be with you.” Grace

I once took up guitar, can only kind of play it, and love Dave Matthews Band. A young man I mentored decades ago, once said when I played and sang a DMB song: “Wow. He sounds just like Dave.” I can’t remember the last time I thought of that. Grace

We’re no longer friends. It’s been a decade since we spoke. And we were the best of friends, literally. I’m grateful.  I’m blessed. He makes the world a better place.  Grace

While in the air force, I had this “interesting” mentality of keeping work and life (i.e., coworkers and friends) separate … and this buddy of mine in the air force was caring and loving enough to break this wall down. I love him. Grace

Musicians (and the Bible). Gave me permission to rage, want, feel, express, be sexy/sexual, grieve, hurt, celebrate, affirm, encourage, wonder, and love extravagantly. Grace

My child, whose middle name just “happens” to be Grace, whose kindness, care, compassion, understanding, and all-around Christ-like love for ALL inspires and grows me on the daily. Grace

The people who I interact with on the daily who embody Love, as in the wanting of and working toward the best for all (there’s SO many of you! If you’re reading this, you’re one.). You are grace!

My wife. Lisa is grace embodied. Loving me beyond measure exactly as I am. She is the nearest thing to Christ I’ve met in the flesh! Grace

Hugs & Love,


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