The incarnate Word is with us,
is still speaking, is present
always, yet leaves no sign
but everything that is.
–Wendell Berry 

I was working on a white and gray butterfly design (for the Graceland/"Window of Grace" reception) when this collage image began to form—the butterfly never did. There is still work to be done, but I became fascinated with this piece and began to wonder about the path that led to its creation. As I considered the butterfly design and the cross image, the word that came to mind was cocoon- a sheathed body poised to emerge.

On a another note, the Artistic Director of Be Theatre and I delivered our first round of contributions ($1,822 in monetary donations and gift certificates) to the Concho Valley Home for Girls/Children’s Emergency Shelter this week.  More donations are on the way (approximately $900) from a church organization that hosted an additional performance of the play. The plethora of "Window of Grace" supplies will be delivered next week after a great deal of sorting and sacking.

All were grateful—to see and experience such grace-filled giving.


window of grace

If you were to peer into a “window of grace”--apprehend that fleeting, intangible force-- what would you see? What would you experience?

As I prepared for Christmas Day, I also began preparing for the twelfth day of Christmas, the Epiphany. Celebrated on January 6, it is most often associated with the Magi’s visit to the Christ child. Its allusion to humans being called forth to journey into the night has always resonated within me.

While I have acknowledged this celebration in various ways, this year, my husband and I, in association with our friends at Be Theatre, are focusing on the word, “grace”, as we seek support and awareness for a local nonprofit, the Concho Valley Home for Girls/Children’s Emergency Shelter. “Grace” is sometimes defined as “unmerited assistance,” and I often see epiphanies in a similar light-- as something freely given, with no attending expectations.

Prompting us is the theatre’s production of the tender, humorous play, Graceland, as well as a better understanding of the CVHG’s noteworthy work for young people of all ages and genders. Within the last two months, I’ve had the privilege to work with a fellow artist and some of the young women the non-profit serves. While I’ve always sensed that opportunities for creative expression are important, I never fully realized how simple artistic supplies, snacks, and a safe place to create could produce such a grace-filled space. My time with these individuals provided me with an extraordinary experience, one I still haven’t fully integrated.

All of this to say, I am inviting all to join our little artistic group in creating a “Window of Grace” for the benefit of the CVGH/Children’s Emergency Shelter. From January 5-19, donations*, both large and small, will be accepted and placed in the theatre’s downtown marquee window. This visual representation will illustrate how grace-filled giving may fill empty spaces in the lives of others. A $2.75 roll of paper towels will be as enthusiastically received as a $5 or $500 donation** for the organization’s operational expenses. (We suspect acts of grace come in all forms, their impact not diluted by size or substance.) A short listing of the CVGH’s needs can be found below or at betheatre.com. Additional information about the CVHG can be found at conchokids.org. Please share this opportunity with others you know.

We also invite any of you who might be in San Angelo, to attend Be Theatre’s production of Graceland, slated for performances January 8-11. The theatre will be doing what the arts do so well, offering audiences a glimpse into the joys and struggles of our shared humanity. Tickets are complimentary with a donation to the CVGH. Reservations may be made by visiting the theatre’s website as listed above.

During 2014, my life has been filled with many moments of grace. I hope yours was as well.

Many blessings and much grace to you and yours in 2015. -l

Postscript: *During January 5-19, donations of goods may be dropped off Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Clemens & Associates, 21 W. Beauregard, or when you attend the production.

If you would like to participate in supporting this organization with a monetary or in-kind gift, do not let the limited dates listed above prevent your participation. Additional information about donating may be found by visiting the organization’s website.

CVHG/Children’s Emergency Shelter Donation List
Detergent/Dryer Sheets
Dish soap/Sponges
Household Cleaning Supplies
Paper Towels/Toilet Tissue
Light bulbs/AA Batteries
Trash Bags

Body Wash/Deodorant
Lotion- Face & Body
Facial Cleanser/Astringent
Shampoo & Conditioner
Hair Gel
Facial Tissue/Cottonballs
Feminine Hygiene Products
Band-Aids/Antibiotic Cream

Age appropriate clothing, especially young children’s underclothing and socks


Bottled water/Crystal Lite packets
Healthy Snacks

Art Supplies- chalk pastels, acrylic paint & paint brushes, gel color pens, art/writing journals, 16” X 20” canvases, paper towels

Movie & Theatre Passes/Tickets

Cards- Hastings, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby

Pizza- Order or Gift Certificate

Dinner at a Restaurant

**Funds for Operational Expenses (If you choose to make a monetary donation on-line or with a check, please dedicate your donation to “Grace”, by entering the word as the honoree’s name or on the check’s memo line.)


making space for grace

“Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.”Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

This holiday season, I shall endeavor to honor those empty spaces.

May your Christmas be merry and bright.- l


red hot

For the past few years, I have steered away from using the color red in my home, wardrobe, and holiday décor. Once a favorite of mine, the brilliant shade began to feel too “hot.” However, recently, a piece of red material, tucked away in my studio closet, restored this traditional holiday hue back into my life.

As I’ve mentioned before, gift cards have become quite popular among my family members. This year, I decided to pair them with some chocolate truffles and glass heart ornaments, embellished with family mementoes. After assembling this assortment of small items, I wondered how I might wrap them. As I was sifting through my gift-wrapping materials, I spotted my basket of red fabric. Before long, I was cutting and sewing bags, while my husband drew box patterns on a piece of poster board. (Yes, I lured him into my “elfing” madness, because I needed boxes of "a certain size" to protect the glass ornaments.)

I rather like these bags. They seem neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for the holiday season.

Postscript:  If you would like to make a similar bag, here are some simple instructions:  Cut fabric 12 ¾” W x 16” L. Fold in half lengthways, right sides together. Utilizing a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along length and width of fabric, leaving 6“ W opening at top of bag. Fold top down over cover itself (approximately 5” with wrong sides together), and press with iron. (This will provide a finished edge for bag opening.) Clip bottom corners next to seam, turn cover right side out, and press. Tie with ribbon and embellish as desired. (I used some items from the clearance and wedding sections of a craft store.) The finished bag will measure 6" x 10 ½".