Grace and a plastic trumpet

There has been nothing more challenging or rewarding in my life than being a mother. My sister, Frances tried to warn me but I thought, “I have a dog, how much harder can it be?” 🙂

I am a big picture person. I try not to get bogged down in the little details of life that can nip at your heels like a terrier with height envy. How this has translated into my role as a mother is simple, I let little things go and chose the hills that I would die on. For me there are very few non-negotiables in life. There is love, there is truth, there is grace and there is forgiveness. Christian and I met on the hills of grace and forgiveness. Both held our ground for a while but I was the more committed to stay for as long as it took.


When Christian brought his report card back from first grade I could tell by his face that he was upset. He handed it to me with a quiet desolation. I opened the envelope and looked to see what has evoked this crisis and could find nothing. He had five A’s and one B. I read the comments of his teacher to see if the evil resided there but she said he was a joy to teach. So I asked him what was wrong. “Mom, I got a B! A B!!!” I tried to talk to him about what a great report this was but he just couldn’t hear me. So, I saw the hill and made my plan of attack. I pulled a chair into the center of the kitchen floor and asked him to sit on it. I disappeared upstairs and came back with an array of party items. I had a goofy hat on my head, feather boas around my neck, streamers and a plastic trumpet. Christian looked at me but said nothing. I put on some music and marched around his chair, blowing the trumpet and waving streamers in the air. When he couldn’t take it any more he asked me what on earth I was doing so I sat down on the top on the hill and told him.

“Babe, you are going to meet a lot of disappointments in life. How you face them is up to you. You can spend the rest of your life focussing on what you got “wrong” or celebrate the grace of God that loves and accepts you in every moment. You can sit there for as long as you like hating your one B or you can join the party out here celebrating your 5 A’s. Only you can choose.” It took a good fifteen minutes before a very noisy drum was added to the parade but it was worth the wait.

As you look at your life, what do you see? You can focus on the failures or join with the rest of the messy crowd in God’s Big Parade of Grace.



~ by SHEILA WALSH on December 30, 2009.

21 Responses to “Grace and a plastic trumpet”

  1. Oh boy, I think I need to join your goofy parade. *Running to find my kazoo*

  2. Wow… that’s like saying the cup is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty. To me 1/2 full is the positive of looking for the good in life. 1/2 empty is the negative of looking at the rest of life. Amen Sheila. Great post!

  3. Sheila, how do you this ability to always hit the nail on the head in what seems to be every situation. My mother died in July of this year, devastating for me, but I also saw God’s grace. There were things my mother shared with me that also gave me hope and peace. For instance, she saw two angels in her room several days before she died. We got to talk about that experience and what the angels looked like (to my 6 yr old daughters delight, the ones my Mom saw wore long flowing PINK gowns). It was an amazing time for us as a family and things I will never forget.
    Thank you for your wonderful insight!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing. As always it was something that I needed to hear. I just know in my heart that you are an amazing woman, friend, wife, and mother. Thank you for being a hero and inspiration to an online friend.

  5. Beautiful! It is a challenge being a mother,often finding the correct words to say offering encouragement and love and comfort. Grace is ours for the taking, if we will only receive it… one of the lessons I have learned in my life, even this past year, and am desperately tring to instill into the lives of my own children.

  6. Sheila, I love love LOVVVE the grace parade around Christian..he got your point..he REALLY got it=priceless!!
    Chris was 6′ 5″ basketball player at 14. He absolutely LOVED humor: comedians, funny lines in movies, only his funny coaches…you get the picture. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t tell a joke to save his life lol. When I needed to get life lessons across to him, I used humor, much of it borrowed from The Cosby Show episodes;)
    Loved this post Sheila!

  7. Really needed this in light of recent events with our 19 year old son who, though smart as a whip, struggles with school every micro-inch of the way. Though it is largely his own fault, the voice of grace still needs to be spoken and paraded in our home, drowning out the gloom and doom that has so long prevailed. Thank you.

  8. Sheila: I like your glasses way better than BONO’s.

    And I like your writing even more. Stick with it girl!

  9. everyone loves a parade! what a life lesson. thanks i can use this idea with my grandchildren.

  10. I can hear the party and the music toooooooooooo!!

  11. What a great post. I’ve never been to your website until today & I had high expectations & I wasn’t disappointed. Love your outlook. Thanks for sharing. I needed to read this today.

  12. Shiela, how did you get to be so wonderfully creative and smart?I wish I had had you to learn from as a new mother. My girls are now 21 & 24. But then, I suppose I can follow your example and celebrate my A’s. I hope I can still help my girls learn to celebrate their A’s — and their B’s. Bless you again, dear one.

  13. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how much this spoke to me. Oldest daughter of three deals with anxiety and perfectionism. Me–not so much! But I love her and wish she could see how great she is ad how much she is loved…definitely by us, but mostly by Him! Thank you Sheila!

  14. Sheila,
    Your last 2 posts in particular have left me shaking my head; not in anger or disbelief, but rather in amazement at how God has brought you into my life for such a time as this. In the past I’ve read some of your books, listened to some of your music, watched you on tv,…but in the past few months God has been so powerfully using you in my life to speak to those things inside of me that few people (beyond my best friends) know about. Your greatest ministry to me has been through twitter and your blog writing. Here, through you God has spoken to me, loved on me, cheered me up, challenged me, encouraged me and wrapped His love around me and held me in the silence; brought a smile to my face on the sad days, hung out with me on the lonely days and celebrated with me on the victory days.

    It never ceases to amaze me how God brings people into our life and I sure am thankful He has brought you into mine. As I just said on twitter, I sure would love to be able to jump through the screen and give you a big hug right now. Do you think “Scottie” could beam me over to Texas???

    hugs to you big sis,
    much love,

  15. So beautiful. I can’t wait to read the next one. God has truly gifted you in many ways. Thank you for letting His love shine through you, it is a great encouragement to me. If I’m ever blessed with children I aspire to be the kind of Mom you obviously are in this blog and all your tweets. God bless!

  16. …….and PS, is it too late for you to adopt me??? 😉

  17. What a lovely reminder. How often do we just miss the parade because we’re focusing on what’s wrong. As mothers I think we too often forget to stop and smell the roses. Thanks for the reminder.

  18. Well said and demonstated, Sheila. I too was like Christian all thru my younger school years which lead up to my first time on the Psych Ward. Living in a Sorority my first year in college and feeling I didn’t measure up to all the other gals and when I couldn’t get all A’s I tried to end it all. Thankfully, today I can celebrate being back in college after 37 years and rejoice in getting that B in Algebra!!!…You were so wise in handling that situation with Christian…Thank you for sharing!!..Have a Glorious New Year’s Eve and 2010!!!!…..P.S. I still haven’t heard from my daughter, Sarah, but I am able to let her go daily thanks to the wonderful words in your book, “Let Go”. I watch and wait patiently to see what Our Wonderful Lord has in store for Sarah…..I’m lovin my semester break. Drove to La Grande Oregon to get my Mom for Christmas, then drove her to Cambridge, Idaho, back to La Grande on Mon, Troy, Idaho on Tues. then Coeur d Alene on Wed. Today I’m headed to Missoula, Mt for New Years!!..God is so AMAZING and His Love Everlasting!!

  19. i just love you, sheila walsh — you have never failed to lift me up through all the years since i first got to “know” you on television — thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Oh How I NEED your perspecti ve on life…thank u

  21. Sheila–WOW everytime I read your message it just ministers to me. I am sure I am not the only one who needs it, but yet it seems it always fits me!! I so much appreciate your dedication to the ministry. I pray blessings to you and your family in 2010. Do you know when your tour dates will be posted??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: