"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a New Day, A New Year


It's HERE.

2013 has passed oh so quickly.
Virtually ‘in a blink.’

As I sit here in awe, I marvel at God’s timing.

His perfect timing.

And I sigh.

For during the past year, as with many years prior, 

I’ve experienced God’s

Unmerited Grace and Favor


From having wonderful children,
To having great health.

From making great memories,

To making new girlfriends.

From Ohio’s fabulous four seasons,

To the sunny shores of Jamaica and Florida.

Yes, I have experienced the Lord’s Grace and Favor.

A ton of it.

And I am thankful.

Bottomless Mercy

Recently, I ran into someone who had wronged me.

And apparently

I hadn’t forgotten about it.

I needed additional and final closure.

I thought I had already had that closure thing.

And was finished with the forgiveness thing.

But apparently, I hadn’t and wasn’t.

After speaking with this person

About nothing in particular,

The Lord extended me Mercy
For this person.

And forgiveness.

And closure.

And reminded me that

Without Him, there go I.

And I rest.

Everlasting Love

This year began a little shaky and a little lovesick for a former broken relationship.


Ah, but then Jesus reminded me

That He, and He alone, is my very first love.

My One true love.

He always has been.

And He always will be.

And that made me exceedingly happy.

And content in my circumstances.

Tranquil Peace

Last July, I found out my position at the University

Will end June 30, 2014.

My dream job

With wonderful colleagues

On a beautiful campus

In a fabulous office

With a window (that means a lot)

Within 15 minutes from my home

Where my children attend

That provides a 100% tuition waiver, even though my children are all on full academic scholarships

That allows me to visit with my children daily in my office

That pays my bills

I have peace about it.

Sweet, tranquil peace.

This is a God ordained job.

Originated in heaven

Just for me.

Soon to be over.

The University of Toledo, Main Campus
And God has another plan for my career trajectory

Am I anxious?

You bet.

But not in that worrisome, “Am I going to be unemployed? Will I be able to pay my bills?” kind of way.

Rather, in an “I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for me,” kind of way.

In an, “I know the Lord is keeping me on campus, but where? In what department?” Kind of way.

And I rest

In the knowledge and promise of

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

And in the peace of

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

And I am tranquil.

The Gift of Reward

As the year brought service projects a plenty

From serving at the Cherry Street Mission

To volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center

From sorting clothes at the Unwed Mother’s Home

To Hosting a Garage Sale for a friend (which, by the way, was, by far, the most difficult)

My small acts of service

Were rewarded

One million fold.
And then some.

Sweet Kindness

My daughter, Joy’s, employer gave all of their employees the choice between

Two passes to the company “All You Can Eat Buffet”


Four passes to “The Lights Before Christmas,” at the Toledo Zoo.

Joy opted for the Buffet party

And she chose me to be her invited guest.

She could have chosen anyone,
But she chose me.

It wasn’t about the food, as awesome as that was

It was about her sweet kindness.

Her genuine desire to ‘hang’ with her mom.

And that was

And is

From God.
Joy also knew that I had been wanting to see the lights at the zoo for years, but just haven’t quite made it.

So, when someone at work offered two of their four tickets, Joy took them and presented them to me.

So, guess where I am going on New Years Eve?

Joy Unspeakable

August brought our annual Grayczyk Family Vacation to the warm shores of the Atlantic.

I hadn’t planned on going because all of my children couldn’t come.

But…..I did.
Joy really wanted to go with me.

Just her and her momma.

We ended up inviting Joy’s girlfriend, too.

And we experienced pure joy.

We had a blast.

Ten days of Fun-in-the-sun

A long, albeit fun, rental car ride

With shopping adventures



Picture taking

A Movie

Morning walks along the beach

And the boardwalk

And going out at night

Despite the fact that two thirds of me was still in Ohio.

I rested knowing they were happy coaching the love of their life…..soccer.

And the Lord let Joy, Danielle and I experience

Pure Joy

Compassionate Sorrow

A few months ago, my friend’s just turned ten year old daughter unexpectedly, albeit joyously, met Jesus.


Ellie was an otherwise healthy little lady who suddenly became ill.

Within two days, she was entering heaven’s gates.

Although I didn’t know Ellie that well, I was overwhelmed with sorrow for this family.

Ellie was


And is

The oldest of four young children

The daughter of the King and of a Pastor and his wife

Ellie loved Jesus with all of her heart.

She lived her young life accordingly.

By Divine intervention, she had been preparing her exit from this word.

She had painted a picture of Jesus receiving her into heaven

Written an associated poem

Recently danced a dance depicting the same.

So, goodness, we all knew where she was.

But that didn’t change the fact

That she will be missed.

And the sorrow was great.

And God was Compassionate

On everyone.

Unwavering Patience

2013 saw an entirely new realm of patience in the Grayczyk household.

In many ways

On many levels

From Bethany’s seemingly never ending illness

To Joy’s three jobs.

From Jonathan’s job

To my children’s boyfriends.
From my relationships

To the lack thereof.

From my mom’s illness

To my mom’s recovery.

And God provided the patience needed

In most every circumstance.

And it prevailed.

He was also unwaveringly patient

With me.

From my forgetfulness to read His Word to me day and night

To my complaining about the weather.

From my leaning upon myself

To my obedience being tested.

Thank God, He is patient.


Divine Revelations

And January brought our annual Mission Trip to Jamaica.

And even though we virtually break our backs with hard, physical labor

The Lord reciprocates.

He shows me that love has no boundaries.

That joy can be found in wet dirt.

That pain is universal.

That spiritual hunger is just as prevalent as physical hunger.

The helping hands make happy hearts.

That true friendship requires action.

That no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

And God is a God who sees beyond





And I am Divinely Blessed.


Rock Solid Protection
My son, Jonathan, was travelling home from a track meet last May.

He had been up all night studying for an exam and up early for the meet.

He fell asleep behind the wheel of his Pontiac Sunfire

Travelling 58mph

He struck a utility pole

And a mailbox

And flipped his car.

His track coaches were following shortly behind him and witnessed the crash.
By the time they exited their vehicle,

Jonathan had already

Crawled out of the broken window
And was sitting on the hood of the car

retrieving his insurance card. 

He walked away from the scene with only minor scrapes on his face from the windshield shattering.

Virtually unscathed.

Now, THAT is Rock Solid Protection.

Even a Glock can’t provide that.

Trustworthy Presence
Anyone who knows me knows that one of my love languages is time.

Time spent together

Watching a movieEating a meal

In each other’s presence

And Jesus provides just that.

Every minute

Of every hour

Of every day

Of every week

Of every month

And I feel it.

I know it.

I relish in it.

True Friendship

This year allowed me to remember who my true friends are

Competing in the Color Run for my birthday, Nov. 2013
My family

Most importantly,

My children.

Yes, 2013, provided experiences that not only brought us closer together as a family,

But solidified the sometimes fragile friendships between

A mother and her daughter

A mother and her son

A sister and her sister

A brother and his sister

A sister and her brother.
We realized that we truly are each others' best friends on this earth.

And that is incomparable.

We've remembered that blood truly is thicker than water.

And then I remember that Jesus shed His blood.




And that solidifies it even more.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas season, filled with many memories.
I'd also like to wish each and every one of you a Blessed New Year. Thanks for stopping by. Love, Shari



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