Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and a Little About Me

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Just wanted to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you, my dear friends who stop by this little blog...

You have all encouraged and supported me over the years with your helpful comments, sharing, friendship, warm fellowship, wonderful thoughts and insights, and kindness..

Sending out a big hug to each of you and prayers for a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and yours!

I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a little about myself, something I don't do too often, just to give a little window into my world right now and share it with you, my dear friends who read this blog..

I go by Sparrow online, but my real name is Nancy.  I live in South Carolina, in the southern United States, in an adorable little town with two traffic lights, a couple of restaurants, a post office, library, two grocery stores and a school. And a beautiful little park where you can sit by the river that runs through town and watch the leaves on the trees as they flutter in the wind..I love living in this tiny town, and we are near enough to bigger towns to have all we need, yet it's so nice to withdraw to this quiet town every day and be 'away from the rush' of the busy city.

We live on a little place in the country about 10 minutes from our town.  There are houses around, yet it's quiet and peaceful.  We have a couple of acres, with a little wood in back for us to roam around and play in. In the woods there is a tire swing, trampoline, and homemade fort (built by our neighbor) that the kids have used over the years.  There is also a trail where I walk either alone or with my daughter and just let the cares fall away in the quiet woods.  I love the woods and grew up on a farm with woods, so walking in the woods has always been a de-stresser for me.  So that's a real blessing for me, to have some woods to walk in here at our little home place.

We live within sight of the mountains and only a couple of hours from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a favorite vacation spot for us.  We also live about 4 hours from the Charleston area and the coast, and so we love to go to the beach for vacation too.  If I can figure out better how to share photos I take here on my blog, I want to share some pictures from a recent trip. Maybe my husband or teen daughter can help me!

My dear hubby and I have 4 great kids, from elementary age through high school.  We have 3 girls and a boy and they are a great blessing to us.  Each one is so different and so interesting and so wonderful!  We're delighted with who they are and they bring much joy to us.  Our youngest is our miracle child - she has a complex heart defect and had 3 surgeries in her infancy and early childhood to repair her heart enough so that it can function well.  She is doing great and we are so thankful to God for her health!

My parents live 30 minutes away on the farm I grew up on.  My brother lives in the home.  They are both struggling with dementia and we have helpers come in for many hours a day to take care of them.  My mom also has diabetes and my dad has Parkinson's disease.  They are fragile but stable right now.  I am so thankful for every day I have with them, every smile I receive from them.  Every day with them is precious and I appreciate any prayers you think of to pray for them and my brother as he does a lot of care-giving and watching over them, with the nursing aides there to help.

My hubby's family is scattered all over the country so we don't get to see them much.  They are hispanic (from El Salvador and the Basque region of Spain - our last name is a Basque name), so all my kids look hispanic except for the youngest, who looks more like anglo-saxon me!  My ancestors originally came from a little town called Gourock, Scotland - I hope I spelled that right.  And also some from other places in England.  That's all I can think of from our family background.

My dear husband is my true best friend and really funny in a quiet, reserved way.  He loves puns, loves music, can play the guitar beautifully, speaks Spanish, is willing to eat my poor cooking!  He works with computers, which is great for me, because I tend to 'break' computers a lot, haha! As for me, I majored in Chemistry in college, mainly because both my parents did, but my real love has always been writing, I think.  And nature - I love being out in nature and feel so much happier and alive and free when I'm outdoors. Right now I am a stay at home wife and mom and we homeschool our kids. 

What are my days like?  My days are filled with things like writing in my journal, helping my son with algebra (if I can remember it myself, haha), talking with my oldest teen about how all people are going to heaven (it's so enjoyable to have deep talks with my teen daughter as she has many neat insights!), reading aloud an Astrid Lindgren book to my youngest daughter, walking in the woods with my quiet middle daughter, cleaning up a little (or not! I'm a bad housekeeper!), birdwatching a bit with the kids, reading in my free time, making dinner for the family, and watching a favorite TV show (like Star Trek) with my hubby.  Our life is slow and peaceful, just the way I like it.  Sometimes the kids have outside classes at the library or get-togethers with friends.  Often we run errands or check out new books to read from the library.   We visit my parents once a week and run by an organic-type grocery to get some good foods. 

What do we 'do' for church?  It's been challenging to find a church where I hear as much grace teaching as I'd like, but that's okay because we can stay home and worship or go online for teaching or just be with God on our own and not feel we have to 'do' something on Sunday that is programmed, you know?  On Sundays we may stay home and my hubby may share with us from the Bible, or we may watch a church online, or even go to a little church up the street where the pastor talks about grace (a real treat it was to find this little church and hear the pastor talking about how much God loves us unconditionally!  He said that people are afraid they'll hear condemnation from God, when really He just wants to say He loves us!  I wish I would hear that in every church I went to, don't you?)  I do find that I fare better emotionally and spiritually if I stay out of the traditional Christianity/church arena. It helps me stay out of dualism/legal ways of thinking.  But that's just me and where I am right now.  And there are many wonderful grace teachers and churches out there, especially online.  I feel we should go where we are nourished and just watch what our feelings are inside and do what brings the most peace and least stress and tension and fear, don't you think?

What grace teaching do I like right now?   I get most of my nourishment straight from God or through a Richard Rohr devotional I read sometimes online.  I probably have about 100 grace books, and for a while I was really into reading a lot about grace, but now I seem to be in a different season.  I can read a little bit, and just soak in that for a while, but I just can't handle too much reading and thinking right now.  I find myself not wanting to read so much but just wanting to enjoy life, knowing God's alongside me in the journey.  I find I don't need to have all the answers.  There are many things I don't know, and for the first time, that seems to be okay, lol!  There's just this deep down knowing that everything is okay, and I just want to soak in that right now and not think too hard.  Does that make any sense?

So we are a quiet family and feel very thankful for all the blessings of family life God has given us, so thankful for our kids and for the health of our youngest, so thankful to be alive and see the sunrise and just go through the day together with God and then rest our heads on a warm pillow!  Life is good and our Papa is so good!

And that is about it for our quiet little lives!

I hope I haven't bored you all!  I just feel that usually I feel reticent sharing about myself, and I realized that I really wanted to share some about me and my life for all of you dear friends so we can get to know each other better.

If any of you would like to share about yourself, your life, your family, your vocation, your hobbies, where you live, etc, please do!  I'd love to get to know you better.  We're all one happy family here on my little blog, aren't we?

Once again, I thank all of you for being the friends and kind people you are.  You all embody grace and it's so beautiful to get to 'meet' all of you wonderful friends here online!

Happy Thanksgiving, with lots of love from

Sunday, November 15, 2015 Eric Champion

Here's a wonderful old song I loved back in the hubby played it this morning as one of the wake up songs he blasts through the house on the weekend to wake us all up with music, brought back great memories!  I tried to find the lyrics online but couldn't..I love how it says that no matter what storms are swirling around, deep inside we're peaceful..what a wonderful peace we have inside with God, floating in His sea of love and grace and peace within, His very Spirit within us one with our spirit- ONE Spirit, beyond all explanation!  What a beautiful place to have inside, what a beautiful ONE to live out from every day and every moment!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Eternal Moment

The Eternal Moment - All is Clear and God IS, Love IS, Beauty IS, Eternity IS! 


Moonlit Garden Gate, Provence, France
photo via bonnie

 (photo from

I came across this passage in the wonderful children's fantasy by E. Nesbit, The Enchanted Castle.  At this point in the story, a moonbeam shines on a certain stone in the garden of the enchanted castle and the enchantment is broken; everything is seen clearly once again.  The passage described so beautifully that eternal NOW moment with God where we experience Him and everything is so clear, so perfect, so you are seeing to the heart of all that is and finding HIM there, knowing that truly, all is well!  Nesbit says it so well:

"The moonbeam slants more and more; now it touches the far end of the stone, now it draws nearer and nearer to the middle of it, now at last it touches the very heart and center of that central stone. 

And then it is as though a spring were touched, a fountain of light released. 

Everything changes. Or, rather, everything is revealed. 

There are no more secrets. 

The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. 

Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here. 

Time is not; into this instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing. 

It is a moment, and it is eternity. 

It is the center of the universe and it is the universe itself. 

The eternal light rests on and illuminates the eternal heart of things."

from The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

God's Body, God's Beloved...Thoughts on Oneness

"In a letter to a man who had lost his young son to polio, Albert Einstein writes, "A human being is part of the whole called by us 'the universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind."  Richard Rohr
I love this statement by Einstein about humanity's main striving - that it is the striving to overcome this delusion of separation.  The separation was never real, but we believed or felt it was.  It was real only in our minds.  As Paul says, we were 'separated in our minds' but never in reality!  I believe we all have a longing to feel connected, feel belonging, feel one with others, with's the longing to be loved, the longing for family, for home, for security, for oneness.  We can feel separated from all that and thus strive so hard to 'find' or experience/feel it.  I know I have spent most of my life, and most of my Christian experience, searching for and trying to overcome that false sense of separation, trying to achieve that experience/state of oneness with God and so find relief and rest for my soul.
Richard Rohr says the universe is the body of God.  People want to know they are one with something bigger than themselves.  They say they want to be one with the universe or may say 'the universe showed me..thank the universe'.  But what they/we really want is to be one, not with the material body of God so much (the universe) but with the spirit of God in that universe (the Person!).  We want a soul connection of love, not just a feeling of connection with matter.  We want a personal relationship with a real Someone who cares about us, holds us, talks to us, loves us.  We want a Friend!  When we see we, as creatures of the universe, are all part of God's body, we realize we already have that connection within and we rest, we relax, the searching ends.  We were never separate from Life, Love, or God's Person.  We are part of Him.  We are God's body.  And our spirits are part of His Spirit!  In fact they are/it is ONE SPIRIT!  We have always been just One, exhibited in many forms and facets..many branches, yet all one tree!  The tree of Life is God and it is us, too, for we are part of Him..what a relief!  This is true rest for the confused mind and soul!
So we are God's body and that's great to be one with the universe, all people and things in creation being God's body.  When we meet a person, hug our pet, hold a beautiful flower, watch the waves of the sea, we are meeting God in His manifestation as matter.  That is special and wonderful!   Yet even better to me is that we are part of His Spirit deep down, having a real relationship with a real Person, connected on the spiritual level and the personal, relational level, friends with God, children of God, God's beloved! 

And maybe what Richard Rohr is hinting at is that in the final analysis, matter and spirit merge and everything is really made up of the spirit of God, just manifesting in different forms, whether energy signatures (such as sounds or light) or touchable material objects.  All is really part of God's being.  Matter is just Spirit in another form, just like everything is made of atoms, which turn out to be described at the fundamental level as neither solely matter nor solely energy but somehow BOTH.  All melding at the most basic level into the oneness that is God.  Everything made of this wonderfulness, which is turning out to be God Himself!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ocean of Grace

All is well.
Just remember,
Everything is perfect.
Nothing can go wrong
In this beautiful place,
This ocean of Grace.
You are part of it.
You are in it.
It is in you!

How wonderful that this Ocean of Grace, of Luminous Buoyant Love, is a Living and Personal Friend, a Very Special Someone - God Himself!  Our very own Dad!  In Him who is PURE LOVE we live, and move, and have our being.  Wow!  Cradled in these Oceanic Arms of Grace, our whole lives are swaddled tenderly in the One who is Perfect Love!  THAT is eternal security, THAT is eternal life, to BE in Him who is pure kindness, to know Him as He truly IS at all times - LOVE.  We rest on those endless waves of grace, lulled to sleep by the gently rocking, caressing Sea of Love Himself.  We sink into His depths and experience a peace and restfulness that is truly unfathomable!  We are at Home here in this Ocean of Grace called God!

The Floating Garden

The Floating Garden

My life is a garden
A hidden garden
A floating garden
An island garden
Floating in the Sea of Grace
Part of His Being
Carried by Currents of Love
I am in a garden
And there is a garden in me
A place of refreshment and ease
Beloved and Lovely
Peaceful and at Peace
Whole and Holy
Homey and Home
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14