Lipstick and Grace

Daleen's Lilacs

I have a guest blogger today! She is my friend from the West Coast, Ms. Daleen of Sunday’s Child. When I read this post, I admit to crying just a bit. 🙂 Friendship can be that way. God has blessed me with amazing friends.

Here’s her sweet post. Please leave a heartfelt comment and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win an autographed copy of my book!

Admit it, we have all said it.  “Geesh, I need some new friends.”

While in algebra class, it was easy to find a study friend.  During ballet practice, friends were there to help us learn. Moving with the Army, we met new friends every 4 years.

However, once you go over the 50 year mark, new friends are few and far between.

Most of us have settled down, take a class now and then, same job or work from home, same church friends, same neighbors, not many faces change.

Then when you aren’t looking, almost magically,  God hears your prayer and slips a new friend into your pocket.  One of those good kind of friends.  The ones with a fabulous laugh & beautiful heart.  The kind of friend who while talking on the phone,  just as she arrives at an event, you politely say good bye and good luck, then SCREAM, WAIT!  Do you have on cute earrings and good lipstick?  Seriously, she says, oh yes.  Then tells you the kind of earrings and shade of lip stick she chose.

To be honest, you feel a tiny bit guilty that she is making others wait while she finishes the phone call.  (To the world, it looks like an important phone call. Reality check, Lipstick color IS important!) Along with that tiny bit of guilt, you feel lucky.  Lucky that she is your friend and she is choosing to answer your important lip stick question before she races off to put the fine touches on an event.

I write a blog called, Sunday’s Child full of Grace.

Little did I know those five words would help me find a friend.  I write about the grace that swirls around me.

As you well know, life throws us for a loop now and then.  A couple years ago, I was on the ground trying to get back up onto the trampoline of life when Joanne offered me a cup of coffee and a hug.

Two people living on opposite sides of the country, God saw fit to bring us together.  It is Grace pure, sweet and simple.


I can’t tell you how many times I have written a slip of paper for my grateful jar about Joanne. (I just re-read this, it sort of sounds like I am a weird stalker of some sort.  I prefer to think of it as the Joanne Fan Club!)

Joanne called!

Joanne sent me a good wish card with a picture of lilacs!

 Joanne has a new grand baby!  

Joanne shared some honey!

Joanne published her book!


coffee cupBelieve it or not, we have never had a cup of coffee in person.  Honest truth.  We text and say, I can chat in 15 minutes, pour your coffee and let’s talk.  Then we get to put our feet up & drink coffee until the cup is empty or our phone batteries die.  snort.  Yes, we have talked over those annoying beeps.  Oh you don’t know?  After you chat for 3 hours on your phone it starts beeping.  The beeping means, Enough girls……..go live more life so you have something to talk about next time.

We talk about our grands.  We talk about food, husbands, kids, weddings, more food, bees, honey, quilts, cross stitch, blogs, lipstick, earrings, books, writing books, travel, vacations and yes plans to meet one day.

Joanne writes a blog about grace & love. She writes what she lives.  With the amazing ability to make those around her feel covered in grace and goodness, she somehow makes you feel better just by stopping by.

Yes, her writing is a respite in the glorious commotion of the day.  She gracefully & simply refills your spirit.  Her words remind you that there is good out there and there is an abundance for all of us.

One day, she asked if I would help her with her book.  Good Golly, Miss Molly!  I was beyond flattered that she would consider me.  I was rubbing my hands together with glee.  So excited and thrilled that she asked me to be part of her book writing journey.

Oh no, then it hit.  How on earth was I going to look over her writing and make as I call them “gentle suggestions”?  While in school and even when I home schooled, I loathed corrections made with red ink & capital letters.  Urgh.  Seemed so mean and awful and not very encouraging.  I didn’t want to come off as a school marm with a waaaaaay too tight hair bun, slapping a ruler in my hand wearing less than cute shoes.  I didn’t want to judge.

The air quickly leaked out of my (imaginary, celebratory) fancy balloon bouquet.

While I was thrilled for her book accomplishment, I didn’t want, even gentle suggestions  to smudge our  lovely friendship.  We had to talk.

We talked and talked and wrote back and forth and talked some more.

In the end, I used green ink to make my gentle suggestions.  I asked questions.  Some suggestions she jumped on, others she gently let go. We found a way to balance on the see saw.

In the style of friendship, grace guided us through.

Oh yes, I am beyond happy for her and her accomplishment.   I am grateful we worked on part of her dream together.  It was such a huge moment her life, by her sharing, somehow our friendship sort of seems sealed in the grace of the work.

I got to chat with her on the day her book cover was decided.  The day her book was being published, again we talked.  We talked as she drove to her book launch.

joanne book cover
Click on the book to order!

As I tore open the end of that padded yellow envelope, I held my breath, the book, her book slipped gently out and onto my counter.  I was teary eyed.

I am so proud of my friend.  She is (with gorgeous lipstick, sassy earrings and a beautiful smile) standing in the middle of her goal.  Sort of dream like, only for real.

Heartfelt congratulations my friend!  I loved watching you cart wheel through the book writing process.  You inspire us, your readers.

Here is the beautiful part.  The book is good.  Really good.  Each chapter is a nugget of gold. You feel bathed in grace with each page you turn.  You almost don’t want to dog ear the corners.  Ha.  I already have.  I have drawn hearts and underlined inspiring phrases. You feel as though you are sneaking a peek into her world.  Secret gems that you might use in your own jumble of life.  I know the book was written with the idea of reading a chapter here or there with a lovely cup of coffee.  However, once you open the cover, you fall into the pages and are covered with goodness & love.  You can’t put it down. Yes, that good.

Grace, it’s Amazing.

From Joanne: Thank you Daleen for this beautiful post! Friends, please leave Daleen a comment and you will be entered to win an autographed copy of my book! Be sure to check out Daleen’s blog!

Join me on my graceful journey.

14 Replies to “Lipstick and Grace”

  1. Absolutely beautiful. A long distance friendship which is so special as all friendships should be. Toasting you both with cups of java!

  2. That is awesome! I am also very proud to call Joanne “Friend”….for 25 years now! (John and Jeremy were 5 when we met!) I am also proud of her following her dream…a dream I also waited many years to follow (thought I wasn’t ‘good enough’, LOL)!
    Thank you Daleen, for giving us a glimpse of your treasured friendship!

  3. Hi Daleen – I am another “green pen” woman in Joanne’s life… though I left my “green pen” behind when I left the corporate world three years ago. I went on to live my dream of being an independent Graphic Designer – and do things like design Joanne’s book! When she signed my copy, she said she had a purple pen and a green pen and I told her to choose. She instinctively chose the purple… somehow knowing that the green was part of my past, I guess. I will proudly be her purple pen friend – and you will be her green pen friend. 🙂

    For so many reasons this has been one of my favorite projects in my new life. I think it’s because I got to combine two of my favorite things… Joanne and Design! 🙂

    1. Karen, I am so grateful to you and Daleen for making this happen. I am happy that you did this project with me and that it is one of your favorites. 🙂 What a blessing to have you in my life. With purple love, Joanne

  4. Hi Daleen! Yes, Joanne is a delightful, fun and inspiring person to know! I have enjoyed getting to know her from our church! Ordinary is Extraordinary is quite a catchy title and there are truly so many ordinary moments in one’s life that are not recognized as extraordinary! Her book will be an eye opener for many! Thank you for your blog today! God bless❤️

  5. Wow, what a beautiful friendship you wonderful ladies share. It is only through “grace” that two people, who have never met, can bond and develop such an exordinary and lovely friendship. What a blessing! I hope you both get to meet some day and sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together in person! I love the title of Joanne’s book, and as I read it I found so many “ordinary is extra ordinary” little sayings tucked away in her sentences. One I think about often is “simple things in great beauty.” I enjoyed reading your blog today, Daleen. It is so beautifully written.

  6. Lovely post. Such a tribute to friendship and a reminder of answered prayers.
    After my father died of Alzheimers and my mother began showing signs of dementia, she was lonely in her assisted living apartment where she and Dad had moved from their home. One evening when she was looking out her window and missing him, saying that they should be out in the garden planting veggies, I prayed for a special friend nearby so I could leave to drive back to Colorado with a lighter heart.
    The next morning, as I was fixing breakfast, there was a knock on the door. A friend from high school was there holding a plate of fresh cinnamon rolls. We had seen each other in years except briefly at my dad’s funeral. Janet said she was making rolls and felt a gentle nudge that Mary might like some. It turns out that her own mother was moving into the same assisted living that next weekend, so Janet brought her along. The two women had hot tea, cinnamon rolls and sweet conversation, and when Janet and her mom left, Mom hugged them both, promising Janet that she would take care of her mother and help her settle in.
    My mother didn’t need someone to take care of her…not when she had a new purpose and plan to care for someone else.

    1. Oh Marylin, what a beautiful story. Isn’t it wonderful how God sends the right people at the right time to help? I love this story of your mother and her neighbor. Thank you so much for sharing it. xo Joanne

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