Heart Choices: It's All Grace -->

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It's All Grace

All is grace!  That's the topic for this week's Faith Barista Jam.  I'm late in writing my post and linking up.  But all is grace, right?

I have the privilege to see little hands like these every day.  Working in a private school with little ones has opened my eyes to see so much that I'd been missing.

Bonnie of The Faith Barista wrote about Brennan Manning's latest book All Is Grace.  A few of the quotes from the book touched my heart in a way that's hard to describe.  Brennan Manning became a good boy and learned to place a nuzzle on his emotions.

But it cost him his voice.

I could identify but for different reasons.

As a child, I lived with a heart defect that limited my activities.  Instead of running and playing with other children, I was sidelined.  I remember overhearing my parents talking when I was about five years old.  My mom was crying and I knew it was about me.

As I look back, I understand.  They had been told that I probably wouldn't live much longer unless I had surgery to correct my heart defect.  And at the time, the surgical techniques weren't advanced.  The doctor recommended that they wait until the risks were less.  In my five year old mind, I didn't want to cause my parents pain.  And I didn't want to make my mom cry.

So, I became a good girl.

At least as much as I knew how to be a good girl.

I tried not to cry.  I endured many injections and blood draws and was so proud that I didn't cry.

I tried to listen and obey.  But I often messed up and felt bad.

I tried to keep my room clean but ... I often failed.

Fast forward several years and I had the heart surgery.  I survived and thrived.

I wanted to make up for lost time so I worked hard at being fast.  I wanted to keep up with the other children.

I felt that I had something to prove to myself and others.

My heart surgeon Dr. Malm 1970

I spoke at a gathering of patients at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City when I was 17 years old.  I told them that I was going to go to nursing school to become a cardiac nurse so I could give back.  I wanted to encourage others going through heart surgery or who were limited by their heart condition.

I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  And then I retired.

Fast forward ten years and I found myself returning to work full time.  It was out of necessity not desire.

But in the process of working in a completely different field with little children, guess what?

I'm finding my voice.  

As I see little children learn and grow and make mistakes, I realize it is all grace.

I love to get messy as I help the children paint.

Sometimes they make mistakes.  Sometimes they say things spontaneously.  Sometimes they forget to brush their teeth or wash their hands.  But it's all grace ...

I'm discovering that I love photography and writing and playing and having fun.

I've lived most of my life in a left brain world but I realize I'm a right brain person.

No wonder I often struggled.  I always tried to keep up and do things right.

Praise God for His grace.

What about you?  Have you found your voice?  What has it taken for you to find it?

I'm linking up with Bonnie for this Faith Barista Jam.


Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Powerful blog, Debbie. You are right, we often trying to be 'good' and listen.

    I am so glad that you are finding your voice and enjoying working with children. I know you are good at it because you have the right perspective. Kids mess up (so do we as adults). Indeed, it is all about grace.

    I have to check out the book.

    Love & peace,
    <>< Iris

  2. Good morning Debbie! WOW...this is such a good testimony of what the Lord has taught you and brought you through. I am soo glad you are enjoying your job. In my mind and heart there really is not much better than little children. How I love them. Their innocence and sweetness is hard to match, and their acceptance and love unbeatable.
    The Lord always knows just what He is doing doesn't He? haha Enjoy your week-end! HUGS

  3. Thank God for His grace. We all need it. I remember when we were in the midst of raising our four, now raising our grandson. There were often times when they would do something that deserved a rather harsh punishment. I remember all the times we discussed what would be the right discipline, and how we would come to realize that we too needed to practice grace. Of course, the children didn't always get off scott-free(hm...wonder where that expression comes from?), but when I think of all the things that God has given me grace for, I can be a little more forgiving of my children. And yes, I believe they appreciate it. It is good to offer grace when so much has be given to me.

  4. This is a beautiful blog Debbie. I can just 'see' Little Debbie as a good little girl, and growing into a good teenage girl... YOU ARE STILL A GOOD GIRL!!! And it's no wonder we all love you. Those kids are so blessed to have 'Miss Debbie', just as they are blessing you with their sweet love.

    Love you!

  5. Loved this post Debbie! And, what a gift to work with kids and how blessed they are to have Miss Debbie. You are making such a difference in lives, just as you did as a nurse, just in a different capacity. Blessings for a wonderful Lord's Day!

  6. HI Debbie, as an Aunt of a special needs child, where all the rules are bent or broken or different....I am learning how to be a bit unconventional and letting some things slide. She teaches me SO much. I am still hoping to find my voice someday...better hurry I am 52 now :-)You are a real testimony! Lori

  7. Dear Debbie,
    I'm writing while tears are running down my cheeks.
    This post really got me...right in my heart.
    You know how Paul says, "Give thanks for everything."

    I have noticed and even commented the change in your way of expressing yourself.
    You were always a good and inspiring writer, because you ARE a loving, caring person.
    However, the joy, artfulness, intelligent empathy and "my cup is flooding over" testimonies have been a miracle.
    Thanks for using your valuable time sharing these right brain half changes.
    The artist in you has been let free, and so has the unconditional praiser of the Lord.

    I thank him for giving you this voice.
    From Felisol

  8. Debbie:

    I have noticed that many of your posts the past few months involve the children you are working with. I do believe you have found your niche. We can learn so much from these little ones.

    I've always enjoyed reading your blog - and we are alike in a love of writing and photography. (Playing and having fun are definite musts!) I spent 43 years of my life wondering what I wanted to be when I "grew up". When I began my job at the hospital where I work almost ten years ago, I thought I had found it. Although I like my job, and work partially because of necessity, I've learned that "me" is writing and I have a passion for women's ministry. I'm just waiting on the Lord for His direction, and in the meantime, offering myself as His willing servant.

    Thank you for this encouraging post!


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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