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This is my omnibus category. I love that I now have the occasion to use many words from my 7th grade spelling list. I love to travel, read, shop, explore, attend, volunteer, participate, listen and observe. Occasionally when I do these things I find them interesting and exciting. When I do, I will share my experience. I will (in food terms) cover everything from soup to nuts…white to red…raw to well done…cheap to expensive…thought provoking to benign…interesting to boring and everything in between. This should be…what’s the word…fun!

Living With Grace

  • Peace

    I feel as if I've been living in the eye of a storm.  I wouldn't trade a minute of it, but I've made every effort to keep up my social life and my new professional life and the result is one tired lady! 

    I've missed writing to you each day.  Writing my blog had become a part of all of my days and I've gone through a bit of withdrawal since I started working outside of my home office.  My mind still ponders on subjects that you would find interesting and often I think, "I need to write about that when I get a minute."  Unfortunately that minute hasn't come often. 

    I am learning so much.  I know I say that a lot, but I am constantly amazed that a somewhat mature 59 year old woman still has so much to learn.  The big neon sign that flashes above most of my lessons is TRUST.  Over a period of many years my ability to trust has eroded.  A little bit here and a big bit there resulting in me feeling like a cat in a room full of rockers. 

    Because of that, I've been especially grateful that God is teaching me about trust.  It seems that many of the things I read deal with trust.  It's like he has made a special path for me and said, "This is what I want you to learn now.  You are ready."

    Here are a few of the words that have crossed my path in the last few days...

    My peace is such an all-encompassing gift that it is independent of circumstances.  Though you lose everything else, if you gain My Peace you are rich indeed. 

    My all-encompassing Peace is exactly what you need, even though you sometimes feel unable to receive it...It's as if you are wrapping your fingers tightly around a small copper coin while I am offering you unlimited supplies of pure gold. Jesus Lives, Sarah Young, pg. 116

    Trust me in all your thoughts...Practice thinking in certain ways - trusting Me, thanking Me - and those thoughts become more natural.  Reject negative thoughts as soon as you become aware of them...confess them and leave them with Me.  Go on your way lightheartedly.  This method of controlling your thoughts will keep your mind in My Presence and your feet on the path of Peace.  Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, July 7.

    One of the scripture references in Jesus Calling made me smile...

    Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  Psalm 20:7

    Even in Old Testament times, people valued their modes of transportation. 

    Peace comes from inside.  It's the emotion we feel when we know that God is driving and he doesn't need our directions. 

    I can't help but think about my dear friend that directs me when she is a passenger in my car.  She can't help herself.  She tells me where to turn, where to park and every other driving direction she can manage.  It frustrates me so that when I have a choice, we often go in her car.

    Imagine how God feels. 

    He knows the path he has chosen for us - we don't - and yet we try to direct him! 

    Grace...sit back...relax...enjoy the ride.

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

  • Day 1 at my new office

    I survived!

    I feel like a kid on the first day of school.  Just as my mother taught me, I put my clothes out the night before and made sure there were no wrinkles.  My mother was a stickler for wrinkles.

    I had breakfast, dressed and went to the curb to wait for the bus.  After 3 or 4 minutes I remembered that I can drive I jumped behind the wheel and drove the 20 minutes to my new office. 

    So far so good.  I think I'll go back tomorrow...

    Living and working with Grace...and i'm grace

  • Big Oops

    It appears I goofed.  Yesterday I sent my draft along with the finished product.  I was a bit distracted. I am sorry for the confusion. 


  • Today's a Big Day!!!

    Dear Readers,

    Today is a big day for me.  After a few years of having a 40 step commute to my desk, today I increase my commute to approximately 20 minutes. 

    I start a new job today!  I am very excited. 

    Even before my divorce I decided that I wasn't finished working.  I enjoyed writing and developing my blog and all of the wonderful things I accomplished, but at night, in the quiet, when all of the noise in my life was turned off, I longed to be connected to something bigger.  I wanted to be part of a team that made a difference in the world. I was an almost full time volunteer for a few nonprofits, but there was a gap.  It was about far more than a pay was about being a part of something from the conceptual stage to the completion.  Birthing an idea, a concept, a plan, a solution and then making it happen - doing it with a team.  I enjoyed flying solo, but being part of a team is fulfilling in a different way. 

    I toyed with the idea of opening my job search to include the for-profit world, but after lots of thought, I realized that I am motivated by my heart.  I've often said that I could ask for anything for others, but ask for almost nothing for myself.  It's hardwired into my nature, and I knew, to be truly happy I needed to feel that connection.

    I will continue to write my blog but I it will take second position to my new responsibilities.  I am certain that my new adventure will give me a lot to write about.  

    Many of my readers have been with me from the beginning.  At first I was blissfully embarking on a new endeavor with my blog.  I had the time to write and develop and take photographs and indulge my creative side.  Then my world took a big hit.  You suffered through my pain and tears with me.  Some of you stuck with me when all I could do was write about my pain.  Then I began to see daylight and thankfully, with God's amazing help, I started to see my blessings and tried to focus on them more than my losses.  Gradually I began to heal and through it all I wrote and wrote and wrote.  The writing process was an invaluable part of my healing process.  I know I would be in a different place now if it hadn't been for my writing, my blog and my readers.

    For several months I have known this day would come.  I've prepared for it each day since December of 2010.  That is when I decided that I wanted to work again outside of my home office.  Since then I took a bit of an unplanned detour, but I never lost my focus - reaching my professional goals was never far from my thoughts. 

    I am very happy.  Each day since 12/10 I have done something positive that has prepared me for today.  I knew even in my darkest days that I had to heal for my own good, but I also knew that I wanted to heal so I could once again be productive in my chosen field. 

    If you don't mind, I would like to continue to write as Grace and keep my other name to myself.  So I won't discuss my organization or what I do, but I will write about the transition and the things that I am learning along the way.  A job opens up an entirely new world for developing and learning.  I'm excited. 

    Either fortunately or unfortunately, (depending on how you look at it) along the way, I will still be Grace.  Yesterday I was talking to one of my dearest friends and she asked me a very important question.  She asked, "What are you going to wear on your first day?"

    I laughed and realized that as serious and professional as I am, I'm still one that will spend a fair amount of time deciding what to wear my first day of work.  I enjoy being both ways - and one does not diminish the other. 

    So welcome aboard as we take a new path.  Please understand if I can't write each day.  I will write as often as time allows.  I'm still CeCe and Mom and friend and room-mate for George and Gracie, so I know you will understand. 

    Speaking of G and G.  I'm a bit worried they may need therapy.  I have been with them each day of their sweet little lives.  This could be traumatic for them.  I hope my new health insurance plan covers puppies!

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

  • My Plan B is now my Plan A

    My mind is whirling this morning.  I've shared that a lot of things are going on in my life.  One of the things I miss most about being in a relationship is having someone to share my joys and my sorrows.  I'm not one to worry alone, so I benefited from sharing my concerns with my husband.  When I first knew I loved him, I told him that when something wonderful happened, I wanted to tell him first and likewise, if something happened that made me sad, I wanted him to be the person I wanted to go to.  I'm an open book, so when I lost that connection, I needed a Plan B.  I have wonderful friends, but I longed for a confidant. 

    Time and time again I marvel at the things I have learned since my divorce.  In many ways I am grateful it happened because I'm not sure I would've learned the lessons I so desperately needed to learn otherwise.  

    So this week, with a mountain of things on my mind, I knelt down beside my bed and asked God what my Plan B should be?  Who should I talk to?  Who would play that role in my life? 

    A few days later I read these words in Jesus Lives...

    In Me you have everything you could ever need.  Feelings of emptiness can serve as signals - reminding you to turn back toward Me.  No matter what you are doing, I can be a co-participant with you.  In times of adversity you can lean on Me for support; in joyous times you can celebrate with Me.  I am as near as a whispered prayer - even nearer.  My banner over you is Love.  His Love, Jesus Lives, pg. 60

    With a deep sigh, I accepted the words and breathed a prayer of gratitude.  I pray about everything, but these thoughts help me to personalize my relationship with God and realize that he cares and listens and will never leave me.  Instead of Plan B, he is my Plan A - that's the way it should've been all along. 

    See, lesson learned...

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

  • Are we getting older or younger?...that is the question

    Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my new theory about aging?  After spending a few days with the Grands I decided that instead of "growing old", we actually became YOUNG again. I supported my theory by drawing correlations between my little ones and me...well I have one more that should seal the deal! 

    "One day if you get glasses, your going to ask yourself 'where are your glasses', and then you're going to find them on your face. It happens to me all the time." My 6 year old GSon - The C

    My case at rest!!!!

    We start out in this world not knowing much and we will likely leave it knowing less...



  • You get one wish...

    On Sunday afternoon I went to see the movie Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.   It was cute and entertaining and also made me think...

    Question:  If someone gave you a magic wand and told you that you could have one wish for happiness, what would you wish? 

    Think about it and I'll check in during the week and share some thoughts that I have. 

    Have a great week...and don't forget to think about my question...

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace


  • My Stay at the Warwick Melrose Hotel, Dallas TX

    Last week, as I mentioned, I spent two nights in Dallas. One night for pleasure and one for business and both at the Warwick Melrose Hotel – 3015 Oak Lawn Avenue, 75219. 

    It was not my first time to stay at the Melrose and hopefully not my last.  The Melrose is large enough to have all of the desired amenities and yet small enough that everyone I encountered knew my name.  I felt a little bit like a star – not sure what kind of star – but a star! 


    The lobby was a welcomed treat after the drive and stop and go traffic.

    Travis greeted me each morning with his winning smile in The Landmark Restaurant for breakfast.  I went down late enough that I got individual treatment.  Only one of the benefits of enjoying a slow, quiet morning.  When I’m in a beautiful hotel, I enjoyed being treated well. 


    This is the entry to the Landmark Restaurant.


    It had numerous awards displayed.  These are AAA Four Star placques.


    One of the side dining rooms.  I love the wall treatment. 


    It is ultra modern and yet feels warm and inviting.   The arched windows and historic touches balance the feel well. 


    This was a pub height banquet table near the center of the large dining area. 


    Another view of the banquet.


    As you may know, I love chandeliers. This was amazing. I especially like the amber and blue crystals. An unexpected touch.


    Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon was my treat one morning.  I ordered the hollandaise on the side.  I dipped my fork in the rich sauce and then selected my bite.  That way I could taste the flavor with less fat and calories.  It actually works well. 

    While there I spent both evenings in the Library, a great (rather large) bar featuring live music. The first night I was with my sister friend for a little while before we went to dinner and the second night I was with a dear friend that works a couple of blocks from the hotel.  Both times I felt as if I was in a beautiful, old home.  The service was impeccable and the entertainment JAZZ as I always enjoy. 

    It was a great place to people watch.  One man in particular raised my curiosity.  He was tall with thick gray hair and wore a light colored summer suit.  He was there for quite a while and one man stayed with him the entire time as others came and sat with him and left.  Others stopped and greeted as they passed.  He was quite sophisticated and carried himself as if he was somebody.  Each time someone approached he stood and offered his hand.  It was all I could do not to go over and ask if he was the infamous, powerful politician or possibly big Texas oil guy that he appeared to be.  He definitely had a JR Ewing air about him. But I controlled my urge and simply made up my own scenario about him.  When he left the much shorter, chubbier man left with him - not exactly the body guard type, but who am I to judge? 

    The rooms at the Melrose are newly decorated and done in restful bronzed neutrals.  They are spacious and interesting…not the typical rectangular hotel room.  Believe it or not, upon entering the room, the bathroom was not immediately on the left or right!  Imagine that. It seems too many hotel rooms are alike…only the drapes and spreads are changed to protect the franchise…

    I’ve often said that MY heaven will be a hotel and my room will be tastefully done.  Why?  Because as a mom and an on again, off again wife, a hotel represents no work for me. I don’t even have to make my own bed. If God is listening, I love the color scheme at the Melrose and all of the marble and chandeliers and carved wood. I’m just sayin…

    I hope that sometime this summer you will have an opportunity to stay in a hotel and enjoy your surroundings as I did.  If you plan a trip to Dallas Downtown, I highly recommend the Warwick Melrose. Summer rates are extremely reasonable. 

    Here’s to heavenly hotels! 

    P.S.  Maybe one of the reasons the waiters, etc. remember my name is because I make an effort to remember each one's name and greeting them by name.  It occurred to me a long time ago that they have the same job day after day and that the weary traveler is likely to see them as part of the scenery or decor.  If I had their job I would want to be treated respectfully and warmly - what better way that to be called by my name.  

    Living with Grace…and i’m grace

  • Limbs for Life featured in ABC's Secret Millionaire

    A brief heads up about one of my favorite nonprofits in Oklahoma City.

    Oklahoma City based Limbs for Life Foundation will be featured in an episode of Secret Millionaire tonight at 7PM (CST) on ABC. 

    Tune in to see who the secret millionaires are and how much money Limbs for Life receives.

    Once again, OKLAHOMA PROUD! 

  • Fun, Friends, and Good Fortune

    For about two months my life has been leading me around by my nose. It's seems that any control I thought I had left me long ago. I'm now just hanging on as tightly as possible and trying to enjoy all of the twists and turns. Since my trip to New York City I've seen more old friends, driven more miles and had more amazing surprises than I ever dreamed - and I'm smack dab in the middle of one of those serendipitious moments right now. As I write I am sitting in the beautiful lobby of the Warwick Melrose Hotel in Dallas - and I am grateful for how this fun junket came about. (I will include pics at another time. My iPad limits my options for such things.) After a memorable weekend in OKC I was attempting to put my world back in order after several days of too much fun and too little sleep. In the midst of trying to find my keyboard under all of the stacks of papers on my desk that needed my attention, my cell phone rang and the voice on the other end of the call was one of my favorite voices of all times. My sister friend Luci. (You are aware I give all of my friends and family members bizarre names in an effort to protect their privacy. In this case my I have given my sister friend her dog's name! She will love me for that!). For a few months Luci and I have tried to be in the same city at the same time. In spite of our best efforts, it hadn't happened, so with great excitement she said she was to be in Dallas for business and asked if I could meet her there. It took me about 3 seconds to say YES! I had a business appointment in Dallas and the timing was perfect. So before I had time to be practical I agreed to drive to Dallas to meet her. This is not our first similar adventure - and not our first adventure at The Melsose. On the drive south i flipped through the memories we have created over almost 20 years of friendship. I created a slide show in my mind that included trips to Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Chicago, Tulsa, Napa Valley, Sacramento and the list goes on! And all of the memories are among my favorite in my lifetime. Some things in my life are planned, but it seems that many of my best experiences are serendipitous. They happen in spite of me. Because 99% of them are amazing, I have learned to live with my eyes, ears and HEART open to the many gifts from God that seem to have my name on them. And by the way, I'm not special. I am convinced that things happen to everyone but sometimes we just don't see, hear or acknowledge them. Do you agree or disagree? Resond by commenting on my blog or spending some time thinking about your life. More about The Melrose, Luci and our adventure another day. Living with Grace...and i'm grace
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