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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pass It On

“Why does grace hurt so much?”  That question is forever etched in my mind.  I have a friend who over time has helped me to know the answer to this question.  The first time she asked this question I knew very well why it hurt, but couldn’t give words to my pain.  I have been around Christian circles long enough to know that meaning of grace to be “unmerited favor”, so I know it isn’t really something that we can or need to earn.  But people aren’t so kind sometimes and so I could write a whole blog on examples of grace gone bad. (another day)

It had been four years since the death of my first husband and I had crawled in to a deep dark emotional hole.  The deeper I dug, the more I was convinced that I would never love or be loved again.  Over many conversations, Diet Coke’s and coffee, Lynn and I would talk about grace, love, God and the fact that I really was worthy of it all.  Because I knew Lynn’s background, I knew that I could trust in what she was telling me.  But more importantly I trusted in what she “showed” me.  So many of us talk about grace, and the extension of it, that to me, it has lost its beauty and uniqueness. 

Lynn has been fighting a battle for her life because of cancer and I have had many hours of wishing there were something that I could do for her, to take her pain away.  I want so much to find a tangible way to give back to her because of what she has given me over the years.

I had a dream the other night about Lynn that was very profound and really too detailed to describe here.  But when I awoke from this dream I was convinced that I really can’t give her anything that she doesn’t have.  Grace doesn’t hurt so much anymore and so rather than trying to find a way to give back to Lynn, I want to simply share what she so freely gave to me without question, judgment or expectation.  I may be all wrong, but I think that this would honor her more than a bouquet of flowers or some sentimental card. Out of the abundance I have received I want to help others understand they too are worthy of this grace. 

I know this isn't well written or even close to eloquence, but sometimes I think and write and perhaps should do less writing than thinking in times when my heart is heavy.  But somehow I know that there is another person in this world who needs to read these words and so I do what I do.  Maybe it's you and in that case I'm glad you stopped by.  

I hope that somewhere along the road you find this same grace and love.

I welcome your comments and insight so feel free to email me at

Amy Lynn Michael

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to Middle C

One of the most significant life lessons I have learned was learned in piano lessons.  A couple weeks ago Mike asked if I would teach him how to play the piano.  Because he does play guitar and drums, not at the same time, I know that he has an ear for music and that rhythm is nearly second nature for him.  This is a good foundation for a beginning piano student.  First of all it is good because he can hear when things are going bad, and he knows that playing notes without any sense of meter is just playing notes.  But when you sit down to a piano the first time and you see 88 keys it is overwhelming.  How can a person possibly know when to use which key?  Middle C.  We start with middle C and everything above it and below it begins to make sense, slowly make sense.  If you’ve ever sat down to play and started on the wrong note, you understand how being one key off can quickly humble you.  So you take your hands off the keys and you refocus and go back to the middle to find your foundation.  Eventually you know it, you feel it and your hands just flow to and from, in and around middle C.  It’s like a gravitational pull to keep you centered and ready to play the next piece.

In life we need a center; a person, place or thing that helps to keep us focused.  Every morning Mike goes out for a run.  It doesn’t matter if it is raining, sleeting, snowing or hailing, he runs every day.  Oh that the postal service could be this reliable. (that was a random thought) He runs without music so that he can hear the thoughts that need to be sorted in his mind each morning before he goes to work.  It is this time that brings him back to his center, the part of his soul that makes him who he is.  I am thankful for this because I love who he is and I wouldn’t want to interfere with this process.  My center is different.  When I am feeling lost or overwhelmed, I pray with the piano.  I sit at the piano, close my eyes, and just play.  My emotions create the melody and the intensity varies as I work through whatever it is that has inched me away from my center.  My center is a quiet place; a place where I meet the God of my understanding.  I need that place, I crave that place and sometimes when I sit down to play the tears come.  The distance from the center closes and soon I find myself back at my middle C, and it’s then that I am refueled for the next season.

I hope that as you read this that you too have identified what it is that centers you, that keeps you grounded when life’s hectic pace is bearing down on you.  I hope you have that center. If you feel you’ve lost your way, know that there is a center, a quiet center in the middle of you.  In that center may you find a peace that brings you back so that you too will be ready to face another day.

To those who stopped by to read this entry, may you know that I write because I want to offer hope to the hopeless and to encourage others to go and do likewise.

Thanks for stopping by,

Amy Lynn Michael

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