Guest Blogger Jane M. Tucker: A Part of God’s Mosaic

Bowl Plaza mosaic*Today’s post is written by my friend Jane M. Tucker. She is the author of Lottie’s Gift.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1)

Hebrews chapter eleven describes many people who accomplished great things by faith in God. I have sometimes heard this chapter called the “Hall of Heroes,” or the “Faith Hall of Fame.” These titles conjure images of a museum where the portraits of Bible heroes like Abraham, Moses and Rahab hang on the walls. Gold name plates nailed to the picture frames tell who they were, and what they did.

The idea feeds my pride. Someday, I’ll be as great as they were. Someday, I’ll deserve to hang in that hall, too. It isn’t a healthy way to approach my faith walk.

Because the Hall of Fame idea is a trap for me, long ago God gave me a different visual: A mosaic, made of millions of different stones, each one reflecting His light with infinite beauty. In the Master’s hands I am a stone, tumbled to a high polish by time and trial, until I am fit to take my place among all the other precious and unique stones in His timeless design. The idea of a mosaic is reflected in Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (emphasis mine).

The mosaic image holds three advantages for me:

  • I measure myself rightly. I’m not so much a portrait, grandly set apart in a gallery for all to see. I’m a stone, precious to my maker, but not more so than His other precious stones.
  • I see myself in relationship with other believers. Our triune God is all about relationship. One lovely stone is admirable, but it gains even more beauty when placed with all the others to form a greater whole.
  • I remember that God wants everyone to join his family. A missing mosaic tile is instantly noticeable. God needs all his precious stones if his artwork is to be complete.

Now, let me be clear: The portrait painter and the mosaic artist are only metaphors for a God we cannot fully describe. Metaphors clothe the intangible with concrete images, but they are limited. Martin Luther called God a mighty fortress, and David called Him a rock, and those metaphors also have their limitations.

What metaphor for God speaks to you today?

When she’s not gallivanting around New York, Jane M. Tucker works and plays in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three nearly grown kids. She writes about the people and places of the Midwest on her blog, Postcards from the Heartland. Jane’s novel, Lottie’s Gift, about an Iowa farm girl with a big gift for music and the sister she loves with all her heart, is available on and at CrossRiverMedia.

*Photo by Jane M. Tucker

Wedding Photo Idea: Moms Light Unity Candle Together


Mother of the Bride, will your new Mr. and Mrs.-to-Be use a unity candle in their ceremony? If they’re still undecided, you might show them the photo above and see if they might catch the vision for something similar for their own wedding.

Having you, MOB, and the groom’s mother light your daughter’s and son’s respective candles while holding hands provides not only a sweet wedding ceremony photo, but it also sets the tone for the families to be united as well as the bride and groom. If you and the groom’s mom share this feeling of unity, why not showcase your joy and commitment with a beautiful photo like the one above?

Some couples want both the moms and dads involved in the lighting of the unity candle. Our daughters and their grooms fell into that camp. This approach can also provide a great photo opportunity. Just let your sweet couple put their own creativity to work to decide exactly how it could be done and what kind of shot they’d like the photographer to take.

So MOB, if the unity candle decisions haven’t been made yet, why not use this photo to start the conversation? May unity, love, and joy abound for your families!

*Also take note that the mothers in this photo are wearing dresses of different lengths—and unity can still reign, right?

*You might also like to read Wedding Photo Idea: A Shared Faith.

*Flickr photo by Corey Ann, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: A Prayer for Couples You Know


One of the greatest gifts we can give the couples we know and love is the gift of prayer. Our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), and if he can destroy our marriages, he gets to devour two for the price of one. Prayer is a great offensive tool against his schemes and attacks.

Here is a short but powerful prayer we can pray for the special couples in our lives. And we can pray it for our own marriages as well.

Father, I lift before you this dear couple who mean so much to me. I pray that you would protect them from the evil one and all of his schemes. Please help them, O Lord, to love you above all and to love each other the way you intend. Help them to keep their eyes on you and their arms around one another. Be their strong support through each day and every stage of their lives. Help them, O Lord, to shine for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’” Ephesians 5:31

Flickr photo by jordandouglas, Creative Commons License

*Who has been faithful to pray for you and/or your marriage?

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 16 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 12. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Wedding Thoughts from Anne Lamott’s Plan B

Kristin happy

Mother of the Bride, have you ever  read any of Anne Lamott’s work? She has a way of speaking the truth—of laying life wide open in ways almost all of us can relate to. I love that humor is often a part of it.

I thought you might enjoy hearing some wedding truth laid open Anne-style. Enjoy this excerpt from Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith as Anne shares about a time when she was involved with a friend’s wedding:

“Building a wedding is a recipe for muddle—the bridal party, the families, the guests, the minister, the vows, the food. You’re attempting to make something beautiful out of unruly and unpredictable elements—the weather, the nuttier relatives, the rivalries, disorders, and dreams. Out of mostly old neurotic family and friends, you hope to create something harmonious. You do so as an act of faith, hoping that for a brief period of time, the love and commitment of two people will unite everyone; and it will sort of work . . .

 . . .Here’s what the priest said: ‘I promise you it will all work out, in its own perfectly imperfect way. Weddings are about families, and families can be a bit of a mess under stress. But the love that will gather tomorrow night is much more important than anything else on earth, and bigger than anything else on earth, too. Because finally that love is sovereign.’”

 So be encouraged, MOB. It will all work out.

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

*With which of Anne’s thoughts do you most identify?

A Winner and a Wish

It’s Mother’s Day today and that can only mean one thing. Well, okay, it can actually mean several things :) But here on my blog, it means it’s time to announce the winner of the This One’s for the Girls Giveaway. Yes, someone’s skin is about to be pampered! :)

The winner of the Bath & Body Works gift card is . . . Robbie! Congrats, Robbie, and many sweet-smelling days to you! Hope you enjoy!

And now for the wish—and it’s one for all of you. I hope you’ll remember it always. It’s my ongoing desire for each and every one of you.

I wish for you, dear friends, an ever-closer communion with our loving Lord.

May you always long to spend time in His presence, delighting in Him and sensing His delight in you as well. May you worship Him each day and always freely pour your heart out to Him, knowing that He loves you better and deeper than any earthly parent ever could. May you ever hear His voice within your spirit and through His Word and always trust Him to lead you in the way that is best for you. In short, may He be your dearest friend and constant companion every day of your life.

I wish you all of this and more. Blessings to you this week!

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

*What do you treasure most about your friendship with Jesus?

*It’s not too late to receive the latest issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto