Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We all need Grace! & $20 Giveaway!

The awesome people at Dayspring gave me the opportunity to receive a product to review, and I get to give away a $20 gift certificate they provided to one of my lucky readers. So happy reading and good luck!

First off let me say that the tray is beautiful! It is a bit larger than I expected it to be and much larger than my husband thought necessary for the dining table. "Gawky" I think he said...LOL. But it would look lovely on a coffee table (or even a dining table.) :0) I wanted to show the tray in use and decided to display our family's collection of sea shells in it. Lovely if I do say so myself. It is well constructed and very versatile.

As I placed my daughters prize sand dollar on the tray, I was reminded of a beautiful yet painful story in my life of God's simple joy, unending hope, wonderful grace, authentic peace, and unfathomable love just like the words on the tray. This series of lessons came from an answered prayer of  my daughter and mine to find a sand dollar at the beach. We had been praying for several days for God to allow us the great joy of finding a sand dollar. We took a dolphin cruise to "Shell Island." Surely we could find one there! Sure enough as soon as we got to the beach, among the other 60 passengers, we found it.... a perfect sand dollar. We said "PRAISE THE LORD" and did a happy dance. ( Much to the amusement of others around us I'm sure.)

Fast forward to the end of our trip. My family dropped me off to join my dear friends for an eWomen conference. I insisted on taking the sand dollar with me to insure its safety. Well you don't have to be a genius to figure out what comes next. Safely tucked into my notebook with my Bible, I CRUSHED the sand dollar. I was just as crushed. Our answered prayers, our miracle gone. It took me a long time to figure this one out. I knew there was a lesson to be learned.

My first lesson was the life that came from my broken treasure. Did you know that if you crush a sand dollar there are tons of butterflies inside? The sign of new life spilled out of my broken dream. I held n to those butterflies for a long time.... Finally the Lord said enough of holding on to broken dreams. I threw them away.

 My next lesson came the next year as I walked the beach looking for another sand dollar. I spent most of that trip with my head down searching the sand for another "miracle." Mercifully, the Lord showed me that while I was so busy combing through sand I was missing the miracles all around me. A wonderful husband, two beautiful children, a huge family I never had growing up, all of creation proclaiming HIS GLORY and the Holy Spirit dwelling within me thanks to Jesus' death on the cross. Look around and see ALL of His blessings!

Finally, I saw yet another lesson in that sand dollar experience. When we hold our blessing too tightly, sometimes we crush them. That lesson is true whether you are holding sand dollars, children, or friends. You will crush the spirits of those you love if you hold them too tightly.

OK, if you stayed with me this far you have the great reward of getting the info on the giveaway! To enter your name for the twenty dollar Dayspring certificate leave a comment below telling me either a good use for the tray or a lesson you have learned from an unlikely object. I can't wait to hear your ideas and stories.  Don't forget to put your e-mail so I can contact you if you win the random drawing. Entries will be taken through 11:59 PM on Friday, April 22.

Truth in Disclosure: I was provided the Grace Tray by Dayspring to review for no cost. I did not promise a favorable review in order to receive the item. This is my true opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I would use the tray to bring my husband breakfast in bed! Or he could use it the same way-- bringing me breakfast in bed.

  2. I also learned a similar sand dollar lesson after searching for a sand dollar on the beach after a hurricane in the summer of 08. After praying for a whole sand dollar and finding only broken ones, which people don't pick up and keep, God showed me that I was like that broken sand dollar. Broken, and, looking on from the worlds perspective, not pretty or a keepsake. Even though I was broken(like the sand dollar) He saw me as a treasure, picked me up in my brokenness and made me His treasure. I still have the half sand dollar that I found that day, when He taught me this lesson, as I stood alone on the beach. God is so good. And how coincidental that God taught us both a lesson through sand dollars? I love you,sister.

  3. I just want you to know how touched I was while reading your story of the sand dollar. I know there is a lesson in my life somewhere that I could share with you, but I am in awe of yours. I praise God for you and your family in my life. Thank you for sharing your memory and lesson...

  4. I think that the tray makes a beautiful centerpiece!