2013 about Graceland

If you knew me in person, you’d know my laugh. That’s what other people have told me. “I knew you were hear, I heard your laugh.”

If you knew me a little more, knew my heart beats, you’d also know my tears. I’d rather you hear my laugh than see my tears but sometimes they leak out no matter how hard I try to hold them back. They form little pools in my eyes and my voice will creak if I try to talk and it’s usually when I’m talking about God’s amazing grace and love that the tears puddle up.

My husband and I are ordained ministers. It’s very easy for me to say that as I’m a firm believer that God’s gifts are shared without discrimination. But, preaching and teaching aren’t my comfort areas so I leave those most often to my husband who God-given gifts of teaching are evident. This man is a quiet leader, who uses his example more than his words. He’s done that with our two children and now with our granddaughter.

My greatest joy and privilege is being mama to Heather and Jonathan and seeing them become wonderful adults with loving spouses and one delightful granddaughter. Our family is big and small, strewn across the country and I miss them all too much. We laugh and cry together and find ourselves in the arms of a loving God sitting with us through it all.

ARC retreat

In our 23 years of ordained ministry, the past 12 have been spent as Administrators and pastors to men in residential recovery programs. These men have helped me find my voice and to recognize that God uses me too through speaking and sharing both laughter and tears. They’ve shown me grace that I hadn’t seen clearly. They are my people.

Brennan Manning, author of Ragamuffin Gospel, Abba’s Child and many more, says, “To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.”

I stumbled the first couple of years we found ourselves ministering in the recovery community. But they have helped me acknowledge  the light side and the dark, as Manning says, of my whole life story. They have revealed my shadow side and welcomed me to Graceland. You’re welcome too. Welcome to share the light and dark, and to know there is always grace.



  • DrT

    thank you for subscribing and for your wonderful comment and fantastic blog

    • You’re welcome. Good to exchange thoughts among kindred spirits. Thank you for writing!

  • Excellent post.

    • Thank you for stopping by and your encouraging words, pb.

  • I just discovered your journal through “Two Minutes of Grace.” I look forward to being a fool with you in Graceland.

    • Jeff, I’m glad you found livingingraceland. I, too, enjoy TMG very much. She says so much in fewer words than I’m able to! We’ve discovered we are kindred spirits on this journey. Welcome to Graceland!

  • You and your husband are responding to a very noble calling, Debby. Indeed it is a pity that there are many who have lost their way due to drugs. I’m glad to know that people like you and your husband are there for these people especially when their own families or the society as a whole have already given up on them. 😉

    • Malou, thank you for stopping by Graceland and taking a look. Hope you’ll drop by time to time. I’m loving the pictures on your blog and how blogging connects our worlds.
      all is grace,

  • Hello Debby, you’ve just received a One Lovely Blog Award! Congratulations! You can check it out here: http://jrlim.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/and-the-award-goes-to/

    • Well, thank you jOyce. I don’t believe we’ve met so this is quite a nice introduction. I’ll be sure to check out your blog too. Again, thank you.

  • Hello Debby , i am Tushar Shendre, I am based in India.. and working with Submission Our Mission Trust. I am really encouraged by the way God is using you and used your Husband…. It is real joy to for our Creator LORD Jesus Christ.. Please pray for us in your prayer time this is our website…… http://www.submissionlife.org. please visit us ..we will really appriciated it.


    • Hi Tushar. I went to your blog and you are, indeed, involved in important mission work. May God use you and your team to liberate souls, nourish body and soul, and free the captives. God bless you as your serve in His name.

  • I’m definitely living in Graceland–and I LOVE the beach too!!!

  • May God Bless for your work…

    • Thank you Damien. And may God bless your service to Him.

  • I love your blog!!! I can’t wait to have more time to read more .. I found you through FMF .. I also write .. I write to heal from my past wounds and it helps to put my voice out there.. thank you for sharing your life ..

    • I agree. There is such healing and finding in writing. Thanks Karen. Glad you have found that outlet. I stopped by your site too and I’ll be back.

  • Debby, I’m charmed by your site! Just signed up to follow you. I love the quote about bonding over brokenness. I agree completely. I’m glad to have found your blog…think I’ll enjoy getting to know you and your journey. ~ Sheila

  • I, too am Debby with a “y” and I am glad Pastor J (Lillie-Put) reblogged your post! I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and like Sheila I also loved your quote about bonding over brokenness.

    • Thanks for stopping by Debby. Looking forward to sharing stories of this journey with you and learning from your journey too.

  • I have tried to leave comments on your blog but wasn’t able to do that. No email address either. I live in Margate, Fl. Have 30+ blogs. Started 11/2004. Sobriety date. 11/24/1976. Quit drinking, smoking, gluten, sugar, and diary. Love my life. Enjoy your blog. You have a writing talent. I know you will find your way very quickly. I use LinkedIn a lot. Have 800+ there–mostly recovery workers.. Also do a FB page for my 12th step work–3,700. I mean all this in the spirit of humility. Everydy i spend as much time branching out as on the blogs. Branch out to the social media which will pay high dividends for being heard. My main blog is Emotional Sobriety; Friends & Lovers. Google won’t put you in their search engine without an email address on the front page(widget) of the blog. It proves you are a human and not a blog machine of which there are millions. I have you in my feedly but have read you for quite awhile now.

    • Kathy – I’m glad you didn’t give up on posting. I may be switching to a self-hosted site soon for the blog in hopes all the tech stuff that I miss will be taken care of. Congratulations on your sobriety and your commitment to carrying the message. Love the title of your main blog: Emotional Sobriety. I will be sure to look that up and to look for you on Linkdin too. I’m sure I’ll be “seeing” you around. And you live in Margate – we’re practically neighbors! 🙂

      • Uless you want to sell something, self-hosted is a waste of money. You pay a lot and no one doesn anything but set it up. I have had both–now have all on wp.com. I will be glad to mentor you in the social media stuff. I have several blogs about it. My email is changemaker.kathy@gmail.com. Please reach out. I love teaching. Kathy

  • Marian Beaman

    I’m living joyfully under the roof of grace too – being vulnerable like Brene Brown, and apparently you.

    • Yes! Looking forward to sharing this piece of Graceland with you, Marian.