Grace and Grief

Grace and Grief. It can mean so many things in every moment in life. Fog is such a metaphor for days like this.
I haven’t found the motivation to do my morning workouts the last few mornings so I had extra time to shower, straighten my hair and get out the door. I fought with super crabby grandson1 who decided to go to school with his papa. Optimus Prime, I mean grandson2, rode with me. As we were heading to the highway, I stopped and got out of the car to capture this beautiful foggy moment. Luckily the fog cleared enough to safely get on the highway, a cop was flying by with lights on and Louie casually said “I hope nobody died” Poor little 4-year old has experienced so many deaths in the past few months. As we proceeded down the highway the fog grew thicker and I wanted to make sure grandson1 and his papa were okay so I called them on the car phone and set my phone back down. They answered and suddenly in the fog, right in front of us, a freakin’ Payloader was lumbering down the highway transferring a portapotty from one job site to the next.
Thank goodness for car phones, damn good brakes and our loved ones looking out for us, I got stopped in the nick of time as a semi was coming down the highway in the other lane. After regaining my composure and mean mugging the oblivious driver as he pulled off on the approach, I asked my husband to please call the company and remind them to keep their machinery off the highway – especially in thick fog, especially before 8 when commuters are going to work, and especially when I carry precious cargo! I dropped Louie off at school, I got back in my car and the shaking started and I started the “what ifs”.
Arriving safely at work, I knew I wanted to share the story, to remind us all that Grace is really what gets us from moment to moment. Our community has been rocked by tragedy and loss these past few months – I hope we all can find the Grace (Sunshine) that helps us through the Grief (Fog).
Have a wonderful day, Sunshines – it’s Grey’t night! Love you all❤



Third Grade – wow.

DSC_3899Good Morning Sunshines! School has started. I found this letter and adapted it for Trey, it’s a great message. Have a wonderful day and week, lovelies


Today is a big day.

When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.

Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like I do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.

And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.

I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.

I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.

So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.

Buddy, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a little part of your heart will hurt a little. I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, I want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Trey! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.

Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.

Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.

Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell me. I am on your team – I am on your whole class’ team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me. We will make a plan to help together.

When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.

Trey’ton – I do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and I don’t care if you win a single one of them. I don’t care if you get straight As. I don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. I don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. I don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemons or coolest gadgets. I just don’t care.

I don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. I already love you as much as I possibly could. You do not have to earn my love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.

I send you to school to practice being brave and kind.

Kind people are brave people. Because brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.

Trust me, buddy, it is. It is more important.

Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.

Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.

Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.

I love you so much that my heart might explode.

Enjoy and cherish your gifts.

And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.

Mom (Gma)

*Adapted from a letter shared by Glennon Doyle Melton, author and creator of

Good Morning Sunshines! I love this, I’ve been feeling a lot of feels, but Empowered/Empowering is always the best feeling……YES, YES, YES!

From Danielle LaPorte (as an Affiliate, all purchases support the All By Grace House)

…to the women determined to restore the divine to where it has been pummeled out of memory,

where denial is so calcified that our beauty is last to be seen in economics and science and law —
laws that are too small for what our bodies know to be true.

The most powerful possible Yes to women
…to the dark, the spacious, the sweet, the jaded, the women who live as certain as light rays,
who renovate broken boardrooms and policies with justified anger and overwhelming Love —
Love of inclusion, of ecology, of bone solid Truth — Love of Love.
For those who do not have a Yes, I will share mine.
Because, I can be radiant with my power — from the erotic to the cash.
I can fight my pain in public, choose my lovers, work my genius into shelter and endless comforts.
I am free to heal and so I must braid myself to
those whose bodies are stolen, where mine has always been free;
whose ideals cannot even be whispered, where mine have been invited…
The most powerful possible Yes to these women.

For the women who use privilege like a drug, for the ones so wounded that they wound,
for the the ones who squander their influence because it’s too much work to come down and meet the pain of the world…
we need to gift the most powerful possible Yes to these women


The elders, the curanderas, the suffragettes, the midwives of children and art and culture,
the ones we call slut and Saint and CEO —
all with a voice to say:

We will fund it ourselves.
It’s better when it’s beautiful.
No means no.
I see you, and I love what I see.
Come, rest.
and then…Let’s dance.
We’re in this together,

all with a voice to say:
Feelings are facts.
Trust is a milestone
And Compassion is a strategy.

And that is the most powerful possible Yes a woman can give.

When years become months and months become days; you put one foot in front of the other and cherish the little things and let the big things go…

Requesting some good thoughts and prayers as we deal with Dad’s health issues – may our spirits stay as lifted as his are…

Introducing the AllByGrace House

Though she be but little; SHE is going to be a place that we can go to take care of ourselves.

Happy Sunday Sunshines!

I am back from a little FB hiatus, I sure have missed you all! Thank you to those who continued the love and inspiration. I have some great news to share with you, my 315 (and growing) soul sisters!

In the Fall of 2013, I was chosen to be a Native Nation Rebuilder with an inspirational cohort of leaders in Indian Country with the Bush Foundation. At that time, I knew that “taking care of ourselves” was an overlooked yet crucial part of Leadership. My project stemmed around this idea: In order to be an effective leader (or mother, wife, daughter, community member…) SELF-CARE is mandatory!

Well, two years and a few months later, a place for women to do just that is being created. Introducing the All By Grace House. I am in the process of finalizing the purchase of this little craftsmen gem I found in Eagle Butte. Though she be but little; SHE is going to be a place that we can go to take care of ourselves. Stay tuned for updates – we are hoping to be up and running by Summer 2016!


❤ Donita