When she was barely two, Maddie Claire could sing Amazing Grace.  Perfect tune.  Amazing enunciation.  My choir director would have been proud of her consonants and vowel sounds.  We, knowing the song, and understanding with awe and reverence the theology, smiled and praised her musicality, realizing that most of the words were not words she attached meaning to other than for  the pleasure of singing them. Maddie turned four last week.   She uses her large vocabulary for more than singing and talking…she asks questions.  A lot of questions.  Since the birth of her baby sister, Jordann,  Maddie has been interested in the beginning and growing and arriving of babies, and last week asked her mother the time honored question about where babies come from. 
“Where was Jordann before she was in your tummy, Mommy?”   Her mother, knowing that Maddie was not ready for a total fact finding answer, wildly searched her database of acceptable answers and answered “the grace of God”.  Satisfied for the moment, Maddie went about her job of being a big sister, and, I imagine, Michala relaxed in  relief that the matter was tabled for the time being. 

 Today,  Maddie and her Daddy were painting a wall in the bedroom.  As she started to leave the room she told her Dad “If you need anything, just call my name.”  He answered, “What name should I call you?”   Maddie chided him, “You know my name, you have always known me since before I was in my mommy’s tummy.”  Jeremy continued, “ And where were you then?”

 To which Maddie solemnly replied, “I was swimming around in grace!”

 It could be that Maddie is growing in her theology.  Amazing.  Grace.

Welcome Back


Last week, when straightening the house before bringing my husband home from a hospital stay, I brought the first few roses to open since early December inside to brighten the table by his chair.  A rosemary sprig completed the little bowl of multi-colored blooms…all from the same bush.  These roses, named Mutabulis, are different colors at various points in their budding and blossoming, darkening with age, instead of fading.  Single petals open soft yellow, changing through peachy coral  to  rich pink and finally dusky crimson.  Flowers of all these colors will often be on display at the same time, looking as if a host of varigated butterflies has settled on the bush.   C. S. Lewis said  “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”  I can stand on all four sides of this huge rose bush and see a different color rose each time.  I know this is due to this old rose’s roots as well as by what they are nourished.  I believe I am hearing that the sort of person I am is due to the same things.

When I picked the flowers for Joe, they were the first and only to open.  Today, only 2 weeks later, our three rose bushes in the corner of the back yard are putting on quite a show.