Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Story of Grace

My guess is that not a lot of people would be excited if someone dropped this off at their front door.

I actually was thrilled when a recent acquaintance asked me to see what I could do with the vintage cigar boxes she found among her father's things.  As many of us are at the beginning of a new year, she was ready to let some things go and thought these could be cleaned up and used for collage.  Visually they are so very interesting.  Beautiful, mellowed colors and bold and varied typefaces lend plenty of character and texture...a great jumping off point for a mixed media piece.

I got to know the owner of these boxes a bit the day she dropped them off and a story she told me inspired the theme of my first design.  She spoke of her mother, who relocated to a new living situation after a fall and an injury.  During the transition her mother asked to visit her former home just one more time before everything was moved out.  On the day of her visit, she walked through the space, touching a few items, remembering and honoring the time spent there, probably reliving her most precious memories.  After a short time she turned to one of her daughters and said, "I'm ready to go."  She then stepped into her new life and now thrives in her new environment, making new friends, finding joy in her new situation.  What an amazing story of grace this is.

Letting go and moving forward is such a challenge when what we had before was wonderful or, at the very least, familiar and comfortable.  So often, though, we do not have a choice.  We don't always get to choose when or how our circumstances change.  Sometimes change chooses us.

This is one of the hardest things I've had to come to terms with in my walk of faith.  It took a major health crisis in the life of a close family member to teach me that I am not in control.  Somehow before my baby sister's lengthy hospital stay years ago I believed I could make anything happen if I worked hard enough or prayed hard enough.  I learned at her bedside that this is not true.  Her life (indeed all of our lives) were changed forever and only by grace have we released the old and found joy amidst the challenges of the new.

Again and again I have learned that faith doesn't give us the ablilty to control the world.  It gives us the ability thrive when our world is out of control.


  1. Between your beautiful works of art and the words that come from your soul, I am moved beyond what words can express and to tears! You are awesome!
    Love and Hugs,
    Denise Mallory

  2. What a beautiful story, had to read it twice it was so precious. Thank you! Riki

  3. Thank you for this. It is easy to get discouraged and helps to have a gentle reminder now and again of just how truly blessed I am. And I AM blessed - to have such an amazing sister who is love personified. (And the boxes are lovely, too!) I love you, sister girl.

  4. Love everything--your words, the collage, the story--you, too!


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