Grace a la Manure

A long time ago, a city girl princess moved to her own Winnie the Pooh hundred acre wood. This was accessible only by dirt roads that ran through a creek. She, her husband, and five children were the first new family to move into this particular “hollow” since before the civil war.  And yes, it did turn out to be more like Green Acres than Winnie the Pooh.

There are many stories of their adventures in the Tennessee wilds.  Most are funny or  happy, but some are scary, and a few are sad.   And then there are some that are all of these.  This is one of the those.

In one  six month time span several years after moving to the country;  the family’s finances became severely reduced, there was a serious crisis affecting the future of one of their teen-age children, and the queen mother, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, came to live with them. The princess was seriously considering buying one of those tacky bumper stickers that said, “Shit happens.”

One morning in the middle of this collage of challenges, the Princess was driving out their country road, harassing God, “God, I’m up to my neck in manure here. Where are You in all this?”

At that moment, she happened to glance toward the side of the road.  There sat an incredibly humongous fresh cow patty covered with dozens of glorious monarch butterflies.

It was such a typical God answer, that the princess had to stop beside the road, because she was both laughing and crying with joy.  What a ridiculous, but perfect symbol. Where there’s manure in our lives, there’s grace.  In fact, often the manure is the grace.  It’s what God uses to help us become the people we were created to be.

And a few days later, the princess just happened to come across a bumper sticker that read, “Grace Happens.”  She bought that one instead.

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on June 19, 2015, in Humor, Nature, Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. This one’s for Millie.


  2. Love the title of your blog. Where did that come from?


  3. Sandy Maniaci

    I love the visual of you pulled off on the side
    Of the road laughing! Keep writing! Love it!


  4. Molly Norman

    This is one of my very favorite stories! I was thinking about it just last week. After two years of hating the big pile of dirt by my driveway I came out to find a morning glory vine growing there! God didn’t take away the dirt but he did give me beauty in the pile!


  5. Donna Edmiston

    Love your story. Beauty in the midst of all the yuck! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Myra Berghane

    Eileen, you are great! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    Love it – and you. Myra


  7. Betty Harper

    Eileen, I love the way YOU always wrap a situation with both grace and humor. I think maybe you invented veggie wraps, and just don’t know it!


  8. In my life, I’ve often had the funny-smelling variety of grace.
    Seems to be the kind I always get, LOL.


  9. I meant the carbonated grace title. It makes me think of soda out your nose from laughing.


  10. Thank you for the graceful post, Eileen. Love the rueful humor, imagery, fairy tale vs. mundane/real life juxtaposition, and yes! The butterflies! xo


  11. I’ve seen such butterflies! All over the buffalo poop in northern Vietnam. They were beautiful butterflies – grace all over the manure 🙂


    • Love it! I’ve never seen it again or heard anyone else talk about it.
      I think it’s phosphorous or something butterflies need from the poop.
      But grace is in the timing isn’t it.
      Glad to hear someone else has seen that. Happy to have connected
      with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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