Tag Archives: grace

Silly Fences

“Some of us may just, in one-on-one conversations with our family, with our friends, over the back fence with our neighbors, talk about the reality of our lives and realize that we’re not alone.” –Patricia Ireland
If we could only see the irrationality of a fence
We would soon come to know what complete nonsense
It is to think that we could hold close inside
Behind a gate those things we wish to hide.
Or that sharp pickets fail to defend
Against relationships we do not wish to mend.
So break the lock, open wide the gate
Reach out, reach in for those that wait.
– by Trish Hernandez (2014)


Fences…everyone builds them.  Some put up a fence to keep things out and some to keep things in.  We needed one to keep our small dogs safe and to give them a little space of their own.  It was one of the first things completed after we moved in to GraceStone Sanctuary.
Putting up a fence isn’t easy work…all that measuring and post hole digging; then setting the posts, attaching rails, and finally nailing up the pickets one by one.  It is tedious hard labor.  And no matter what the purpose of the fence, someone always comes along and leaves the gate open so that very thing that you were trying to keep in or out gets through anyway.
It makes me think about our own internal fences we create as an attempt at protecting ourselves.  We go to great lengths to put up borders between us – huge privacy fences surround our hearts so no one can see our wounds.  Long clanging metal chain link provides a strong barrier against further hurts and vulnerability.  Even sharp pickets painted bright white send a pointed message of “keep away”.  Out here in the Shenandoah Valley long rail fences run alongside highways.  They mark territory.  “This is mine”, they say.  “Keep Out!”
Fences do often serve a purpose.  But what if we took a look at our inside barricades that keep us apart from one another?  What would happen if we once-and-for-all opened the latch on the gate of our heart and gave – fully, vulnerably, without fear?  I believe that it could be a beginning of honest conversations about the real things we have in common.  We may just discover we are not alone.


If you would like to know more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our website at gracestonesanctuary.com

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365 Days of Creating Missional Sanctuary™

June 17, 2015

“If we could make our house a home, and then make it a sanctuary, I think we could truly find paradise on Earth.” –Alexandra Stoddard

IMG_3065It’s been a little more than a year since I have published a blog page on 365Missional Practice.  Does that mean I took a vacation?  Did I find some other way to express my creativity? My last post contained these words of Fernando Sabino:

“In the end, everything will be okay.  If it’s not okay, it’s not yet the end.”

How many time have I said these words to myself throughout the past year?  Did I give up on the importance of Missional Practice in my daily life?  Where have I been?  Here’s the answer:  I have been on a journey, experimenting with living a deeper expression of daily mission in my life.  I, along with the enormous help from my dedicated husband, Max, have been creating GraceStone Sanctuary, a home that promotes the mission of haven, hospitality, and refuge in today’s world.  In the past year we unexpectedly sold our home and moved across the state of Virginia into our new very old house.  We have deconstructed and reconstructed our new home with a mind toward creating a sacred space that promotes a community of love, joy, hope, and peace.  So far, it has been a faith  journey of discovery and creativity.  Each day grants glorious options, as well as obstacles to be surmounted, as we continue to discern what God has in store for this remarkable place in which we find ourselves.


It has been clear that this is not an endeavor for self-satisfaction, but a joyful journey meant to be shared.  I want to share with you the continuing story of our expression of God’s love and care for the soul through GraceStone Sanctuary, a place we have only begun to create!  My prayer is that as I share the story of our home and community, you may also be encouraged and inspired to join us in our pursuit of God’s peace.

“I trust that God has made the plans to finish the good work He has already begun. He will continue constructing the life He knows I’m meant to lead as I travel freely in my journey of “becoming.” ―Michelle Aguilar

Visit us at our website at  GraceStone Sanctuary (gracestonesanctuary.com) or see our latest posts on FaceBook 


The Feeling of Home

Day 154 June 3 2014

“Home isn’t a place, its a feeling” ―Cecelia Ahern

The Entry Hallway

The Entry Hallway

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ― Maya Angelou

“What is home? My favorite definition is “a safe place,” a place where one is free from attack, a place where one experiences secure relationships and affirmation. It’s a place where people share and understand each other. Its relationships are nurturing. The people in it do not need to be perfect; instead, they need to be honest, loving, supportive, recognizing a common humanity that makes all of us vulnerable.”―Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child’s Heart

Then they all went home. -John 7:53b  The Message



Celebrate EVERY Moment!

Day 115 April 25, 2014

“Life is celebration, for those who knows how to celebrate every moment.― Bharat Zanvar

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“Today is Your Day to Dance Lightly with Life. It Really Is.”
― Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“We could all do with a bit more joy in our lives couldn’t we? The wonderful thing is that when we start spreading joy, we begin to actually experience more joy in our lives too!”― Steve Goodier

“If there is no laughter, Jesus has gone somewhere else. If there is no joy and freedom, it is not a church: it is simply a crowd of melancholy people basking in a religious neurosis. If there is no celebration, there is no real worship.” ― Steve Brown

Pray Forgiveness

Day 80 March 21, 2013

So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  -Mark 11:24,25


There is no other god like you, O Lord; you forgive the sins of your people who have survived. You do not stay angry forever, but you take pleasure in showing us your constant love. You will be merciful to us once again. -Micah 7:18,19

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”  ― Mother Teresa

“At night a hooded monk passed by where there were no lamps.
I could not see his face. I only heard these words he kept repeating:
“Teach me, dear Lord, all that you know.”
I knew instantly a great treasure had entered my soul.”
― Teresa of Ávila

Be Right Back!

Day 68 March 9, 2014

A Time For Renewal

A Time For Renewal

Oh my!  I have roofers pounding on my roof and painters scraping the walls inside.  A demolition crew is in the bathroom!  Tree trimers are in my yard.

Sounds horrible…it actually DOES sound horrible!  My whole house is shaking and quaking.  I am packed and ready to go out the door and head for the peace of the mountains.  But as I sit at the computer this morning and attempt a moment of reflection before going, I can’t help but recognize the place of Lent I am in.

Fasting and introspection, going on the journey with Jesus toward Passion Week and finally the Resurrection – all this is a transforming experience to bring disciples closer to being “Easter People”.  Just like parts of my home are currently ripped out down to the studs, the adventure of Lent helps us to see those things about us that we like to cover up with paint and tile and other pretty things.  Yet just like the current condition of my home…Lent is also a time for renewal, purification, and sanctification.  As the wall imperfections are plastered and repaired I am reminded of God’s loving grace and forgiveness and the linen white paint creates a clean canvas once again.

Soon all these laborers will be done and gone.  My home will be renewed and refreshed.  It will be a welcoming and hospitable place to receive friends and family and even strangers.  My prayer is that as I go deeper on my Lenten journey, I too, will be made over, renewed and refreshed, that my heart might be transformed into greater love and compassion in the name of Christ.

So…as you might have guessed, I will be taking a short break from my daily blogging.  The painters are ready for me to unplug my computer.  I think maybe that’s the point this time of year…to unplug and go to the mountain to listen for God’s voice.

I will be in the wilderness a while…be right back though!  -Trish

Honor Everyone!

Day 49 February 18, 2014
Honor One Another

“Honor everyone.” -1 Peter 2:17


“A partner to share the ups and downs with. Honor and strength, and knowing you’re stronger together than apart.”   ―Donna Alward

“…what is sacred is the other person -we forget that sometimes – and fail to honor who they are …”  ―John Geddes

 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” -Romans 12:9-13


Loving, Utterly and Completely

Day 43 February 12, 2014
Love Self

“When you love yourself, utterly and completely, all of yourself, what you will discover then is that you love others, all others, utterly and completely.”―T. Scott McLeod

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“When we  love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.  If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.” ―John Lennon

“Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.”―M. Scott Peck

Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”  “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  -John 8:10,11

Lord, teach me to be as gentle and forgiving with my self as you were with this woman expecting to be stoned by her accusers.  Save me from my own self-oppression and self-condemnation.   May this pure love of myself as God’s creation flow through me into those I encounter in my daily life.  Thank you for your grace.  Amen.

Healing Grace

Day 23 January 23, 2014
Healing and Wholeness

“Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.” -Nancy Spiegelberg

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Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. -Matthew 9:35

Then they cried out to the LORD because of their problems. And he saved them from their troubles.  He gave his command and healed them. He saved them from the grave.

“Release us from our past
As we seek Your face
Wash us free at last
We receive Your love
We receive Your healing grace.

-Donnie McClurkin Healing Grace

Grace IS Amazing!

Day 298  October 27, 2013

“…and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen.”  –2 Corinthians 12:9  (MSG)


“Put it in reverse.  Try doing a normal activity in reverse order and see what can be made from the results.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.  -John Newton

“Grace isn’t just forgiveness, it is forgiveness fueled by surrender.”   ― Amy E. Spiegel

 “Grace is the voice that calls us to change and gives us the power to pull it off.” ~ Max Lucado