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About Me…

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here. I am currently on a new adventure and I would love to have you join me on the journey. Since I was a young girl, I’ve always wanted to write a book. As an adult I’ve thought about sharing my life story of chronic pain, domestic abuse and mental illness. But I struggled to know exactly how to write it and when.

But in the summer of 2018 that all became crystal clear to me. One day I sat down in my dining room, with my laptop, and started writing. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Eight weeks later I had a first draft – about 120 pages and 18 chapters.

After those eight weeks I was stricken with a debilitating depression. For about two and a half years I was stuck and sat despondent in my recliner. Then in March 2020 I started feeling better.

In June I decided that I needed to add “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say. I finished my story and started looking for a publisher.

Today my manuscript is in the editing process and is due to be released in October 2020.

This is what my book (Our Only Hope: Living a Life of Freedom) is about:

​“For those trying to weather through the storms of life, Grace Rockwell offers encouragement by sharing her own experiences and what she has learned from them. Growing up with chronic pain and in a negative abusive environment, where she was often rejected and alone, Grace learned to put her trust in the Lord. No matter what storms she faced, or how much pain she endured, Grace always came back to the Lord for help.

​Grace’s experiences will encourage you as you face your own storms in life. She reassures the reader that we can trust that God is always with us; He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. Our Only Hope will take you along Grace’s journey to find that the redemptive power of God is our only hope and it can become an anchor for our souls.

Grace’s passions include not only spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, but also advocating for those suffering from chronic pain, domestic abuse and/or mental illness.”

*Updated August 2020

Heroes

Joni Eareckson Tada is one of my heroes. Here is what she posted on Facebook today…

Pandemics may upset your plans, but toss in a pressure sore requiring ‘downtime’ in bed, and you’ve got the perfect storm for discouragement, right? Wrong! Yes, my plans were interrupted as I laid flat-on-my-back the other week to heal a stubborn sore, but I was not dismayed. I kept thinking, there are so many more people with disabilities in far worse situations, I don’t dare let self-pity rule the day!

So, Ken and my co-worker Catherine jerry-rigged a workstation. And it worked! God can use our talents no matter what our situation. Even while I was in bed, I could praise God, memorize scriptures, pray for others, sing to the Lord, write letters, compose radio programs, and make phone calls to encourage struggling friends.

I’m always bolstered by Psalm 41:3, “The Lord will uphold him even on his sickbed; you will transform his bed of illness into health.” God delights in transforming our lowest moments into opportunities to heal and serve.

So, don’t let COVID-19 or any other mishap ambush your plans – remember the advice of Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Even if those steps take you to bed for a while!

September 2020

THIS is what the world says:

BUT THIS is what God says:


(Psalm 91)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge–
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

You Say

I LOVE this song:

You Say
by Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know, ooh oh
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh, You say I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, ooh oh
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh, You say I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh, I believe
Taking all I have and now I’m layin’ it at Your feet
You’ll have every failure God, You’ll have every victory, ooh oh
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh, You say I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe
Oh, I believe (I), yes, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe (oh)

From Bob

Written by my friend, Bob:

Yesterday we remembered the horrific acts of September 11, 2001. That day is vividly ingrained in my mind. After I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center, I immediately responded to my job at the 911 center. But things were quiet there. Everything seemed to stop. All eyes were on the events unfolding.

One of the things that stands out for me about that time was what happened the next day. Members of the House and Senate stood on the steps of the Capitol for a moment of silence. At the end, the bipartisan elected officials spontaneously started to sing “God Bless America” to reassure the scared public that we stand strong against enemies foreign and domestic. For that one fleeting moment our country stood united. Wouldn’t it be nice if that continued?

Often it takes times of tragedy to remind us what really matters in life. When things are going well, we can easily become tied to so many nonessential, unimportant things. We tend to grow overly concerned about cars, houses, furniture, appliances, clothes, and countless other trappings of modern life. But when tragedy strikes, we recall again that life itself is enough reason to praise God.

Have you spent time today praising God for your life and for the people He has given you to share it with? That’s what really matters. When you think of all that’s good, give thanks to God.

Psalm 30

1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.
3 O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
6 Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”
7 Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
8 I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

I Remember…

Excerpt from “Our Only Hope.” To be released in the next month or two:

​It had been five years since we moved into the two-bedroom apartment in my hometown. Summer and I were sharing the master bedroom, but we were both ready for our own space. I decided to start looking for a three-bedroom home for rent. One afternoon I went to look at a home out in the country that was only one mile from our church. The visit went very well, and the house was great. I came home and told the kids that I had looked at a house close to the church. I said, “But there are two issues that you may not like. First, what would be Mike’s bedroom is very small. He would have room for his bed and dresser and that is it. The other two bedrooms are upstairs. Summer, I would give you the bigger bedroom, but you would have to walk through my room to get to it.” They both said the house sounded great and were anxious to go look at it. Then Mike said, “It sounds good to me—unless there is a pond there. Then I’m in one-hundred percent and don’t need to go look at it.” My jaw dropped and his eyes lit up like no tomorrow when I told him that it did indeed have a pond. I can assure you that for the five years we lived in that house, a lot of fish were caught out of that pond. 

​About the same time we moved into the house, I graduated from the community college Summa Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.96. I was thrilled to say the least. Then it was time to decide on a good four year college that had a teaching program. I visited a few but knew for sure which one I liked the best. It was a small college about forty-five minutes from our house. When I visited, it was like everyone on campus was a family. Then I went to the office of the person who collects the tuition. Talk about sticker shock! This gentleman told me that with my GPA and income, I would qualify for several scholarships. But the rest of the money would have to come out of my pocket. It was not an easy decision by any means, but I finally decided to go to Groving College full-time for two years to get my teaching degree. I would take out student loans to help pay for tuition and to help feed my family. 

I made some great friends in those two years, and I’m still in touch with a few. The final semester was my student teaching experience, and then I would be a certified teacher. The beginning of my third semester started out just like the first two. I drove the forty-five minutes to school but decided to turn off my radio and spend some time talking with God that day. I felt the need to pray for all of my family members individually as well as friends and colleagues. Once I arrived at the school, I walked up to my chemistry class just like I had done the past two weeks. Only that day was different. As we were gathering into the classroom, someone mentioned that a plane had just hit a building in New York. Our professor didn’t think too much about it and went on to teach the class. But as class went on, someone came in and told us that there was another plane that had just hit the same building. At that moment, time stood still. People were walking around dumb founded. Instead of going to the library to study for the rest of the day, I headed back home. On my way, I decided to stop at Brett and Mercy’s house to turn on the TV. Everything I was hearing on the radio was all so confusing and dreadful. I needed to see what was going on. That was the day our world changed forever, and it simply became known as 911.

I Understand

PLEASE take a look at my friend, Vonnie’s book that has just been released. Here is my review:

“I Understand: Pain, Love, and Healing after Suicide” is an amazing personal testimony of how one woman and her children have overcome the pain of losing a husband and father to suicide. Vonnie Woodrick has taken her pain and flipped it upside down to make a difference in our world today. Our society needs to make a change in how we view mental illness and suicide. This book will tug at your emotions as you realize what all Vonnie has endured in the years since her husband died. She is brutally honest about the stigma of suicide and mental illness. And she encourages the reader to try and understand how love can overcome the deepest, darkest moments in the life of someone suffering from mental illness. I applaud Vonnie’s vulnerability and willingness to make a difference. Her book was an eye-opening experience for me. I’ve been on the edge of taking my own life a few different times. To read her account of what that does to a family rocked my world. Do yourself a favor—read this book and help get the conversation started. We can ALL make a difference.

Grace Rockwell
Author of “Our Only Hope: Living a Life of Freedom”

#iunderstand

Jesus Doesn’t Play Favorites

Do you have a favorite aunt? A favorite sibling? A favorite niece or nephew? Maybe you like to tell your only child that he is your favorite son?

The Bible tells us that Jesus had twelve disciples. They were his students. He was a mentor to them, and he treated them like brothers. One day the mother of James and John went to Jesus asking if he would do something for her: “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” (Matthew 20:21)

Jesus responded in a way that assures us He does not play favorites: “…to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”(:23) As you might expect, the other disciples were put off by the request of James, John, and their mother: “When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.” (:24)

I can truly empathize with the anger of the other ten disciples. I know what it is like to not be the favored one. I’m so glad Jesus was unwilling to play favorites. You see, whenever I hear someone say that they have a favorite child/aunt/nephew/etc, I get angry, and my heart hurts for a while. It reminds me that I was not the favorite in my family.

My mother always talked about her favorite aunt, her favorite niece, and her favorite sister. It always made me sad, because I knew that it meant there were others who were not her favorite (myself included.)

So the next time you are inclined to regard someone as your “favorite”, please be aware that there are many of us out here who are reminded how we are not the favored one. And maybe you will rethink this choice of words. Yes, words matter. And I’m so glad that Jesus did not play favorites.

My Chair

This is my chair. My husband bought it for me several years ago. It is so comforting when I’m having bad days. Days like today and yesterday.

I call it migraine brain. I just feel icky. Fighting off a migraine with nausea and living in a fog. I hate these days. Time goes so slowly and I’m unable to accomplish anything.

Although—I did talk to my publisher today and we are moving ahead to the Production Phase! It is encouraging to finally be past the Editorial Phase. But—we might be looking at October for a release date. I will keep you posted!

I’m going to go eat some crackers now…

West Michigan

West Michigan

I live in West Michigan and just love it! Well…except February. I don’t like February at all. I took the photo above a few years ago when my husband and I went on a summer day trip here in West Michigan. The doorway reminds me of a way into the land of adventure.

Tomorrow my husband and I are taking my 13 year old granddaughter on a day trip. It is going to be a gorgeous day and we will take in part of the day at Lake Michigan. One of my favorite places is Lake Michigan!

Have you ever been to Michigan? What was your favorite part? I love the seasons…the trees…the water…the flowers…AND my family members are all close by.

A Summer Treat

A Summer Treat

I love ice cream in the summer! I am currently enjoying one of my favorite ice cream treats and thinking about my day.

It has been a very good day. As a matter of fact, I’ve had a lot of good days lately.

The past eleven years have been so difficult and painful. To get a break from the pain and sickness has been so refreshing.

Today I was able to spend some time with a dear friend. We laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Then I went to my daughter’s apartment to help her move. She just bought her first house and this mama is so proud. I’m also excited for her as she takes on this new adventure.

So here I am on my way home and decided to stop and enjoy an ice cream treat. I’m so thankful for good friends, for new beginnings, for a loving family, and for ice cream! Thank you, Lord for today! Amen

New Song

Our Masterful Composer

and Author of all life,

has given me a new song

for all eternity.

Just like the Song of Solomon

and life with his beloved,

my song is now a picture

of Christ in unity.

God put the words to music

that lovely April day,

and set it all in motion

with perfect harmony.

Each kiss upon my forehead

a very precious note,

and every “I love you”

the gift of poetry.

Day by day He is composing

a beautiful refrain,

the embraces that I treasure

sent from our Almighty.

Conducting me and my beloved

His very breath and life,

and passion the crescendo

to form the symphony.

#author, #Christ, #family, #God, #poetry, #love, #passion, #marriage, #song

John Roedel Video

I recently came to learn about a fellow writer and author named John Roedel. John is becoming well known on Facebook for his writings of essays and poetry. He has also been sharing videos of himself reading his poetry.

The following video hit close to my heart today. You see, I’ve battled my own demons of depression and suicide throughout my entire life (50+ years.)

Please listen carefully as he cries out for awareness and change. I completely agree with him that the conversations need to start. We need to ask our friends and family members if they’re ok. We need to tell each other, “I love you! I care! How can I help?”

And it is not just each individual who needs to start the conversations. I believe the church also needs to start the conversations. We need to equip our church leadership and volunteers to know how to recognize the signs. How to get the conversations started.

On John’s post today he shared these words:

“This reading is dedicated to a wonderful soul.

If you are considering suicide or you know somebody who is please call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

Hope has no expiration date.”

Here is his video:

https://www.facebook.com/862760275/posts/10163709925780276/?d=n

Heaven

One of my favorite books is simply called “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. I highly recommend it!

I recently read an article about Heaven that Randy recommended on his Twitter feed. It helps to answer some of the questions we might have about seeing our loved ones in Heaven.

It gave me much comfort. See link here:

https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/will-we-recognize-our-loved-ones-in-heaven.aspx?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=cslewis

The Ultimate Perspective Shift by Author John Roedel

Me: Hey God.

God: Hello…..

Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?

God: I would rather not.

Me: Why?

God: Because you aren’t a puzzle.

Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?

God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.

Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking down!

God: No – you don’t understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren’t falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.

Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?

God: Only the very best pieces of you.

Me: I’m scared of changing.

God: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!

Me: Becoming who?

God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! Don’t change! … Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.

Me: There goes another piece.

God: Yep. Let it be.

Me: So … I’m not broken?

God: Of course Not! – but you are breaking like the dawn. It’s a new day. Become!!!

500 Facebook Likes!

THANK YOU for your support! I made it to 500 likes! You all are the best! I’m really enjoying my summer in West Michigan. Where are you from?

  • This photo from 2009 is on our property. It is me, my granddaughter and my daughter.

Three Generations

Job

Job is one of my favorite books of the Bible! He is one of my heroes. Although he could not make sense of it, he still chose to praise God and never gave up HOPE! Job never turned his back on God. Just amazing! In the end I am always reminded that He is God and I am not. Period. So I continue to praise Him for His majesty, wisdom & love. AND that “everything under heaven belongs to” HIM. No matter what I go through, Job reminds me that “My ears had heard of you (God) but now my eyes have seen you (God); Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

Summer Evening on Lake Michigan

My First Author Event!

Tomorrow is a BIG day for me! I will be doing my first ever author event!!!

This all day event is all about Authors Helping Authors. My author friend, Maria, is doing a birthday bash to celebrate her book’s first birthday. She has invited 12 authors to “take over” her fb group page for the day. Each of us has been assigned to one hour to “take over” her group during the day.

Every hour a new author will be hosting and each one will have a giveaway. There will be GAMES AND GIVEAWAYS GALORE!

MY scheduled time is 3pm EST. Here is where YOU come in…Please join this fb group to show your support and love for reading and for authors. Then visit the group page at 3pm to learn more about me personally and about my new book “Our Only Hope: Living a Life of Freedom.”

I will be sharing information and answering questions from 3-4pm. ALSO – I will be giving away a free ebook! So come join the fun and party with us from 10am-9pm EST tomorrow!

Can’t join us at 3pm? That’s ok. Come to the group page after 9pm to read through the posts and learn about the authors and our books.

Just go to the group page below and click “Join”! Hope to see you there!!!

What is Poetry?

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Poetry is a way to express who we are and what life is.  

Poetry penetrates beyond our flesh, blood, and bones.  

Yet, it can only reveal a portion of our feelings, emotions, 

thoughts, aspirations, likes, dislikes, ethnicity, soul, and spirit.  

Poetry uses the power of words in an attempt to explain life.  

These words strive to express the forces within us 

that drive us to be who we are.  

This power that exists within words is used to hurt, heal, comfort, 

create, sanctify, transform, destroy, strengthen, or weaken.  

The poet is careful to choose the right words in an effort to channel 

this amazing power into the desired direction.  

Even after such effort, the poet realizes the futility of these attempts.  

He realizes that mere words cannot fully express who we are or what life is.  

Mere words cannot describe First Love – and the fluttering feelings 

that rise up inside of you and take your breath away.

Mere words cannot describe those intense feelings that burn in your heart 

after this First Love betrays you for another woman.  

Mere words cannot describe the inexpressible joy of giving birth 

or the profound love and joy one feels for her children.

Mere words cannot describe the anger that burns deep in your gut 

when a child is beaten by the hand of a bully.

Mere words cannot describe the overwhelming happiness 

that washes over your soul 

when you experience the unconditional love and grace 

of the Heavenly Father.

Mere words cannot describe the feelings of guilt and shame that flood your soul 

when you realize that you were wrong, 

that you hurt someone, 

and that you have grieved your Father.

Mere words cannot describe the satisfaction of knowing 

that you have created a grand idea 

and you say, “Yes, I’ve got it!”

Mere words cannot describe the grief that fills your chest 

when you hear of yet another young person 

who has taken his own life.

Mere words cannot describe the pride that fills your heart 

when you give honor to your heritage 

and your country’s flag is lifted high.

Mere words cannot describe the lump in your throat 

when you look out into the ocean or up into the sky 

and realize that there is so much more to life 

than what any human eye will ever see.

The Death of a Moment

My friend Chad is an excellent photographer. He enjoys taking pictures of people doing everyday things. He captures a lot of homeless people in the town where he used to live. Now he lives near the ocean and takes a lot of pictures of people walking on the beach and surfing. A few years ago he shared one of his photographs on social media and this is what he said about it:

“A photograph is the death of a moment, I have captured it but it can be bitter sweet, in real life it’s gone. I feel a responsibility to show the people of the future what our world, in our time was like, must tell the truth, must not be be sloppy.”                                                                           Chad Lyons

After thinking about his words and the photograph for awhile, I finally came up with a response that I shared with him:

“I have realized why I love your comment: Capturing that moment in time is exactly why I love taking photographs as well. While you capture the moment in a person’s life, I enjoy capturing the moment in time of nature. For example, when I capture a flower in full bloom; it is in that next moment that the flower begins to fade. As I capture a sunset, it is a fleeting moment that is captured for the memory of the beautiful moment in time. And no two sunsets are ever the same. As the seasons change, as the river rises, as the clouds change, I love to capture the memory in a photograph to be remembered for days to come. Thank you, Chad, for sharing your work and words!”

The photo below is one that I took soon after my husband and I were married. We were visiting the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. The water in front is an inlet of Lake Superior. It was an amazing trip and I will always remember the evenings we spent watching the sunsets over this glorious lake.

romance