geckos and grace

It’s that time.

Spring seems to have sprung. This week we’ve moved from last week’s cool mornings to dog breath humid by 5:00 AM.

Warmer weather brings more than budding flowers, mosquitos, and flip flops. Warmer weather wakes up the geckos.

I’m not a fan of geckos for one reason.

But this post is not about geckos.

The reason I’m not a fan of these little darlings is because my fourteen-year-old daughter is terrified of them.

But this post is not about my daughter.

I drop my daughter off at my mother’s house each morning so she can catch the school bus. Then I drive to work. Like everybody else, our morning routine is lackadaisical until one of us realizes we have two minutes to brush teethe, pack lunches, put on shoes, be in the car, and get it moving toward Mom’s.

And every warm day at Mom’s it happens.

Apparently, Mom’s front porch is a five-star gecko hang out. Truly on any warm day, one can find at least two geckos hanging out. I’ve seen as many as five at one time.  The geckos make Mom’s front porch a great big problem.

Each morning, my daughter steps from the car while eyeballing the porch. I can see no dragons from my vantage point, but she swears she can see their eyes from the driveway. Each morning, she collects her backpack and laptop slowly, glancing back to the porch multiple times, as if waiting for an attack. Each morning, I hold my breath and opt not tell her to hurry. Each morning, she walks the few feet from the driveway to the porch as if she’s walking the green mile. Each morning, I still hold breath, glance at the clock and bite the sides of my mouth so I don’t yell something less than encouraging. Each morning, she reaches the edge of the porch. And stops. And looks. And takes deep breaths. And each morning I don’t honk. Not because I don’t want to bully. I don’t honk because I don’t want to wake up Mom who may still be sleeping inside oblivious to the fact that her home is under attack by an army of tiny geckos. And then finally each morning, my daughter steps up to the door, unlocks it, and walks inside to safety.

All of this feels like hours, when it’s probably even seconds short of a minute. But by the time this process is completed each morning, I feel rushed and flustered.

Accept today.

But this post is not about me.

Today, I remembered the beginning of the school year. I remembered how for weeks I walked my daughter to the door and unlocked it for her. As frustrated as I was to see my teenage daughter terrified of the tiny creatures, I recognized she was truly terrified. Even with me by her side, her steps were slow and timid. She remained watchful for the moment when her fears (of I don’t even know what) would come true. I couldn’t help but recognize what looked like ridiculous fear to me, was my daughter choosing to be brave. Each morning.

She’s bloomed in so many ways during our Winter months. Stepping out. Stepping up. And walking herself to the door- be it ever so slowly – but walking on her own- as I watch.
And today I watched with a smile.

See, this post is about Grace.

We’re all walking our own journey, but we’re called to live in community, hold each other accountable, and share each other’s burdens. Waiting on others to deal with their stuff is frustrating. Sometimes the reason it’s frustrating is because we’ve spent all our energy dealing with our own stuff. We don’t feel like we have anything left over to give to someone else. That’s when we need to remember Jesus first loved us, and offered us His grace before we were brave, or well, or smarter, or even good. Then If we remember our imperfections, and our own slow, timid steps to progress, it’s easier to patiently wait for others while they struggle to be brave, or well, or smarter, or even good.

I wonder, how many times God has wanted to honk at me for taking too long to hear His voice.

I wonder, how many people have bit the sides of their mouth waiting for me to wrap my mind around a truth. THE TRUTH. That I am loved by God and do not have to live in fear.


Offered to us.
And therefore, we offer it to others.

Because life is not the green mile. It’s a journey full of hope and challenges. It’s a journey with fellow travelers each carrying their own baggage, fears, failures and triumphs.
All of us are trying to find our way.

And here’s one more sweet truth:

Even though I don’t honk because I’m afraid Mom is sleeping, she usually isn’t. Most days she is waiting patiently with coffee, and a warm hug.

And she is eager to chat with my brave one once she opens the door.

How much more eager DAD must be for us to step inside, and walk in the Grace He has offered.
And He waits, patiently, with a smile, ready to chat, with the children He loves.



  1. Oh my!!!!! I absolutely LOVE this!!!! Teary love piercing my spirit ❤️❤️❤️

    May I share on my blog?

    Blessings sweet sister!


  2. I Love Grace. I Love DAD having someone like you standing in the gap for me with these shared faith nuggets. Calling the other worker at the store an idiot created a new fangled culture at the store that has been unreal. My being fed up didn’t change my performance. My actions still prove I have God and they are not Him. But they all changed. God told me Sunday at Communion time that I was right but doing it all wrong. Until this beautiful thought for Grace, I didn’t know what DAD meant. I am not mad at the guy for not doing his job and leaving six deliveries for me to work. I am hurt that this whole time, I am if no value to him. I told the bosses indirectly that they are full of it and are ruining that guy favoring him. My silence has meant fending for themselves. But for me, it meant DAD to chasten me. I’m not valuable! Let’s see how much merit you have with God on your own. I had changed! But, I am better for it because I am too fending for myself on my own but Grace is applied. My silence cost me a season of discomfort coming but all I stopped doing as a new creation will flood back into action just to get me through. I Love Grace.


  3. Love this,Toni! But I do not love geckos. I especially cannot tolerate the, as Mom called them, “see-through lizards, where you can see their internal organs.” Yes, those. Ugh.


  4. I used to save the day at Parkgate Children’s Ctr. as I worked and a Gecko would have found its way in the classroom or possibly in the ladies room as I would capture then take it to the outside door , class in tow, girls grossing out boys excited as I released it back in to the wild… I don’t know if you are aware but they chirp and sometimes in concert to the point I can’t sleep . But enough about those little creatures . As I had my quiet time yesterday- I asked God to use me somehow. As I was getting in my truck , a nurse was pushing a young girl about 10 in a wheelchair for a walk – (was such a beautiful day- God prompted me to share a rose from my garden with her . Had to follow from a distance a little way and called out to them…”I have something for you … I had wrapped it and the two unopened buds in a napkin and handed it to her care- giver… The young girl lit up grinning , and the nurse I think was blown away … I was privileged and happy bored to bless her all to His glory…. # wants make someone’s day today also…I he
    Guess you could call that grace…


    1. That’s beautiful, Rhonda. Thank you for sharing. I do believe unwarranted thoughtfulness and kindness are forms of grace, because there’s giving without concern for what may or may not be deserved. Blessings to you, sweet lady!


  5. What an amazing story about who God is and how patient He is with us no matter what. Definitely eye opening as I go forward in my relationships with others dealing with struggles much different than my own…but we ALL need grace…no matter our differences.


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