Gum and a Ring and a Simple Truth for Greedy Hearts (Like Mine)

I turned 48 last week. At this point in our lives, we have 4 adult children: 3 who live independently and 1 in college who spends summers and school breaks at home. That leaves 4 kids at home full-time, and means an inconsistent showing of our kids at family meals and other special events, like my 48th birthday dinner.

For this little birthday celebration, we had 4 of our 8 kids present plus one French house guest. Lately, we've housed several French guests because God put them in our path years ago and the relationships continue to grow. 


This ring, though, is what I need to tell you about, because our Mighty Joe—the brain-damaged 10-year-old—wrapped it up in a piece of black construction paper adorned with his own artwork of a train done in white crayon, and presented it to me after dinner. 

After I dramatically declared my love for the tiny heart with the faux red ruby, Joe needed to let me know how he came by it as my birthday present. 

"Daddy gave me a quarter. I wanted to buy gum but then I saw the ring and bought that for you instead."

Be still my heart.

"If Daddy had given me two quarters, I could have bought you the ring and the gum."

Well, there it is. Honesty. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.

But I often treat God this way, knowing that he's given me a gift to give to someone else, only to turn and wish he'd given me something I obviously wanted from him instead, or in addition to. I'm happy to give to others, but most of the time I think I'd be happier if I got to keep something for myself, as well. I mean, if I'm being as honest as Mighty Joe was the night he gave me the ring with the tiny heart. 

And again, this is why I need Jesus. It's the theme of my life. I wish I could tell you my heart is purer than that, but the truth is, without the perfect heart of the Savior standing in my place, it's just about as valuable as a ring bought for a quarter out of the machine in the grocery store. 

What made that ring valuable was the giver. What makes my own heart and your own heart so is the giver. And his gifts are always, always, always the best. 


Gifts For Grace Lovers

Gifts For Grace Lovers

Grace! Grace! God's grace! If you have someone in your life who loves the gospel and the freedom that God's grace brings, then how about a gift that will speak to their heart?

Yes, affiliate links are included. Thank you for your support.



I'm entirely biased because New Growth Press is my publisher, but everything they publish is from a solid gospel-centered perspective. If you have a grace-loving reader in your life, you can't go wrong with a title from New Growth.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is the quintessential children's Bible story book, because author Sally Lloyd-Jones shows us Jesus and the gospel every step of the way, reminding us of Whose we are and what He did for us. 

Do you have a teen or young adult daughter who is easily caught up in the pursuit of perfection? Who has a difficult time giving herself grace? Emily P. Freeman's Graceful is a beautiful reminder to our younger selves that Jesus paid it all and we need only to rest in His love and let Him change us from the inside out.


My friend Carmen of Old House Mercantile has some pretty great signs in her Etsy shop. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound! And of course, the ability to say "It Is What It Is" is the mark of someone who gets grace!


This pewter Lisa Leonard pendant is a great reminder, isn't it? I'd just glance at that around my neck and remember all that has been done for us!

This gold-plated necklace reminder is beautiful, too!

One of my favorite gifts ever is the Grace Wins t-shirt my friend gave me this year because she knew it was a motto I live by. Grace conquers all the sin and fear and anger and angst . . . but you know that.


What is it about us that needs to be reminded day by day that we are His, and that He has saved us by His grace? Our humanity is a constant reminder that we depend on God's grace, and Max Lucado has captured that on every page of his perpetual calendars. Just click on each photo to be taken to the shop.

Notes of grace are always welcome reminders around here. I love these cheery cards that might be just what someone in your life needs to hear.

Fill this Fire and Grace tumbler with something yummy (chocolate, anyone?) and you'll save the day!

Grace so radically changed our hearts that a book was birthed out of our story. Of course I had to include Lost and Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace on my list of gifts for grace lovers!

Lost and Found_frontcoverRGB copy.jpg