Hi, I’m Debby with a  Y. I know, you won’t remember and I’ll get over myself.  I’m from a family of story-tellers. Most of them funny, all embellished for effect and they seemed to shape my interest in hearing others share their stories and in sharing the stories known as life.

I’m also a  wife, mama, MayMay, sister, daughter, recovering controlling person, music-lover, learner, listener, talker, laugher and generally loud person.

I say I love God and I do but it’s a daily battle to let go of my will and submit to his. I try to follow God’s directions to make my path straight but more times than not I wonder off the edges and find myself in need of His amazing grace.

In one of my favorite books, Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli describes faith this way, “faith is the unbalancing force in our lives that is the fruit of God’s disturbing presence.” For me, life is viewed through a filtered lens called faith. My faith is placed in God. The God of the bible, the God of all, the God who is love. 2013




My family is big and small, strewn across the country and I miss them all too much. 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. We laugh and cry together and find ourselves in the arms of a loving God sitting with us through it all.

My mama has dementia. She lives on the opposite side of the country and no longer remembers me or who her family is. Sometimes I write about this as I gather my thoughts and sort through the emotions of it all. I beg your grace as I find my way through this sadness and grief.

Recovery                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am a grace-learner, having learned most of these grace lessons from our ministry in the recovery community. This is where my husband and I find ourselves, side-by-side, day after day, serving men in a  6-month residential program. These men have found life unmanageable, most due to substance abuse. As Heather Kopp says in her book Sober Mercies,people bond more deeply over shared brokenness than they do over shared beliefs.”  They  have turned my boxed up faith into free-form and are the inspiration behind this blogs title: LivingInGraceland

The day we left, the sun came out.

some of our group


The Salvation Army                                                                                                                                                                                      The Salvation Army has been our family church for generations. It became the church where we received our ordination, both of us, him and me, and it is through them our lives are spent serving others. It’s hard to separate this in a category as it overlaps much of our life but the posts I’ve written specifically about the ‘Army’ have been some of the most popular.


Me                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I’m learning to call myself a writer and artist. Depending on the day, these realizations are impossible or certain. I credit Brene Brown for any advancements I’ve made. They are only day by day.

We are blessed to be back in the area we call home, South Florida, where we’re at the beach most Saturday mornings, camera in one hand and Pepsi in the other. I am completely taken with photography and love shooting with my Nikon.

I am incredibly blessed to be part of the church of drop-outs, losers, sinners and fools. We are living in Graceland. There’s room for you to come along.

  • 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.