karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

How do you change your world? One word at a time, one heart at a time

Archive for the month “August, 2018”

When the Bough Breaks

I came across Elizabeth Muser’s blog recently and have found many a gem there to soothe the soul. This one happened to inspire me so I thought I’d share it:


As Elizabeth quite rightly points out, John 15 verses 1 and 2 say that He is the true vine and we’re just the branches. I don’t know much about gardening – my mother’s the one with the green thumb – but I do know one thing from having survived many a North Carolina storm. Branches need wise pruning from time to time if the owner wants the tree to bear any fruit. Or even continue to be a healthy tree. I’ve heard Joyce Meyer say that we’re pruned if we do, and we’re pruned if we don’t. I’m convinced she’s right.

Pruning is a painful but necessary part of growth. For trees, but more importantly, for humans. If we keep investing in things that are dead, eventually those branches will fall off because they’re no longer necessary. Do we really want to wait that long? As I mentioned before, storms here have a habit of breaking healthy boughs off the best of trees, not to mention rotten oneself half-dead trees. Appearances can be deceptive; a tree can look healthy… until a storm blows by. That reminds me of life, how we have the right intentions but sometimes build on sinking sand and don’t realize it till storm season. I’m so done with dead branches that aren’t producing anything but heartache.

I’ve got to say I’m with Elizabeth on this one – I want to bend and not break. Even if it does involve God’s pruning shears. I prefer to be trimmed than lopped off.

Your thoughts?

Kari, the fruitful branch

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Making Lemonade

For anyone interested in what’s going on in this random redhead’s life recently, I’m reliving Romans 8.28.  Last year my sweet kind Duke of Wellingtons (husband) was at work when some special person decided to leave an obstacle course on the warehouse floor but forgot to tell him. This resulted in a fun “trip”, two ankle bone fractures, surgery, a metal plate that turns cold when the weather does, and one ankle permanently larger than the other, which started us on what my pastor affectionately calls “a whole new journey”, one involving pain, doctors, sleepless nights, flaring tempers, and a heavy dose of patience and long suffering… not to mention erratic drug-induced mood swings.

I recently had a similar experience myself but not quite as bad. In January, my man’s wolf dog and my Rottweiler decided to have a turf war in the middle of the living room. The Duke of Wellingtons had only been asleep for three hours, and I told the ‘boys’ that daddy was going to kill someone and it wasn’t gonna be me! So being the random redhead that I am, I tried multiple times to be a peacemaker… which resulted in a very strange finger. After praying for three months I realized i needed a little more help so I went to the doc and was told very casually, “it’s just boutineer deformity…”.

My brain is like, excuse you?!” Thankfully I caught it before it slipped out. Basically it means your finger is permanently bent into a hook, extremely painful, and impossible to use. Btw you get it from “a strong blow to the knuckle” according to google, which was confirmed by the Duke of Wellingtons, who told me, “… his fang is at an angle…” Ya think?

(Oh, I forgot to mention the 4 inch bump and the black eye… I’ve asked God for a slow mo replay when I get to heaven… )

The lesson? Never get in the middle of a dogfight. Duh! The blessing? In one of my stories there will be a guy arriving at the morgue they can’t identify but eventually they realize he’s ‘the Claw’, an old homeless man with boutineer deformity in several fingers. The occupational therapist gal laughs at me every time I go – I think I make her day – but it’s real life! You can’t make this stuff up! Jesus didn’t waste the loaves and the fishes, and nor will I! Someone someone reading that book is going to think,’boy, she did her research!’ They’ll never know.. it’s just my life…

Kari, the lemonade girl

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

** disclaimer – I wrote this some time in March/April but for some reason it didn’t post. Life has been so hectic I didn’t even realize it was still unposted, so for those interested, here were my thoughts earlier in the year!

Truth Teller

I recently heard Natalie Grant say she’s not a singer, she’s a Truth-teller. It stopped me in my tracks, and as I pondered the idea in the coming weeks I realized that simple concept, from the minute I heard it, had begun revolutionizing everything for me, especially writing. I’ve always believed I had a call on my life to write, which became a passion to share the gospel thru the foolishness of fiction, with a vague end goal to influence souls for eternity, but I hadn’t got to the root concept yet. Now it’s crystal clear. Sharing breadcrumbs for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Truth-telling.

My man often says that if you have any kind of addiction you’ll eventually be one of three things: sobered up, locked up, or covered up. There’s a lot of truth there. Anything you put before Christ becomes an idol, and it’s a slippery slope once you start down that road. Addictions come in packages large and small. They may be physical, emotional, or even spiritual but bondage abounds in this world. I personally have to stay home from Pinterest. Every time I visit, I’m there for a good five hours average. The sad part is, when I look at all the windows I’ve got open, the one I started with is nothing like the one I end up with. It’s scary. It’s also a behavior pattern for me. Don’t get me wrong – I love it as much as the next (wo)man. I just know it’s a weakness for me.

The only way to be free of anything, according to John 8 verse 32, is to know the Truth. In the original Hebrew, ‘know’ isn’t written in the passive tense but the active. Many folk know many things, but if they don’t act on it that’s not know, that’s mental assent, which is a completely different concept. You are then a hearer but not a doer, and that will never impact a heart or change the course of an eternal destiny. I wanna snatch folk out before they feel the flames. Or at least show them they have a choice.

Words just happen to be another of my passions, and it really lights my fire when people use them inaccurately or indiscriminately. Fellow wordsmiths would agree that what we sow with our mouth often comes back to bite us. Seedlings start growing and tend to produce fruit at the most inopportune of times. I’d rather tick someone off with Truth and pray God will change them than be too scared to speak and have their blood on my hands. Yep, in case you didn’t know you do now: when you contribute willingly to another’s downfall (either by action or inaction) it doesn’t sit well with Him.

I want the silly stories I pen to do mighty things in many a heart. I want to make a whole slew of folk in heaven who say, “this changed my life!” Anyone on earth ever complement anything I’ve ever done I want my responsibility, “ain’t nothing but Jesus.”

How ’bout you?

Kari, the Truth-telling gal

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

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