Who is Behind ‘Grace Alone…’

After almost 3 years being known as “Sting My Heart” around the blogsphere, I was convinced that it was time to change the name and the look of my personal blog. But “why?” some of you might ask. How can I disobey God? He put it on my heart to make this drastic change…Let me share a little about myself…

I was born and raised in Germany; moved to Arizona in 1991. This move was not easy for me; leaving family and friends behind. Looking back, I admit that God knew what He was doing. If you never had the chance to read my testimony, I encourage to read my post “My Wander Years”

In September of 2007 another life-changing event happened. Our son Daniel moved out to be on his own. At first I thought that I would be okay with him moving on, but I was very wrong. “Empty Nest” syndrome hit like a ton of bricks 6 months later. I was in a tail-spin of emotions. Our son no longer needed me…he was doing well on his own.

In September of 2008 (almost a year after our son moved out), God put joy back in my heart. All I could think of was “Grace”…His Grace carried me through the entire ordeal of being ‘just a wife’. He made it clear to me that my life was not over…I am just in a different season of life than most of you blogging today.

I pray that God will give me courage, strength, and wisdom to encourage you in your walk with Him, no matter which season you find yourself in. May His grace be sufficient for you today and always…

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

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43 Responses to “Who is Behind ‘Grace Alone…’”

  1. Tammy says:

    I spent my first 2 years of marriage in ICELAND-almost the North Pole.We have been married for 21 years and have lived in Florida,Alabama,Mississippi,Ohio and North Carolina.The longest place we have lived was 6.5 years in Columbus,Ohio and the shortest was Corinth.Mississippi for 10 months.

  2. Debbie says:

    Hi there.
    I was wandering through the Blogs of Beauty awards and found you. I live up in Anthem.
    Just wanted to say hi and that I have added your blog to my reading list.

  3. e-Mom says:

    I hear a little bit of a German accent here! Have you ever seen the Frank Lloyd Wright museum in Scottsdale AZ? Pretty neat. I enjoy your blog, and I’ve just explored your photos. Gorgeous flowers! GB

  4. Natasha says:

    It is so nice to meet you!!

    I will be stopping by your page often..

    God Bless..!!

  5. Gil says:

    You were kind enough to post on my blog so I thought I`d pay you a visit. I really enjoyed looking through and am sure I`ll be back

    xxx gil

  6. Gattina says:

    Will share thoughts another time. For the moment I am doing Sherlock Holmes researches on your blog to find your name ! Du heisst doch nicht Elephant oder ?

  7. I understand completely. The only reason I live in the mountains is because of my dear hubby. He is the greatest person on earth. We have raised 4 children, only one left at home and he is 15. We recently became Grandparents. We have a VERY short summer and very long winter. Glad I stopped by!

  8. Margaret says:

    Hi Iris – I am new to all this blogging stuff – it is so fun! I have learned so many cool things! Thanks for all you do to make it better for others!
    Blessings, margaret

  9. Martha says:

    Another Arizona girl here! I was born and raised here! I attended NAU and experience all the “cold” I needed! Back to my mountains! 🙂

    Thanks for the party! It’s nice to meet you!

  10. I can completely agree with your comment regarding living where ever your husband is…My family and I just moved from the east coast to Oklahoma City. We know nobody here and my passions include ministry and scrapbooking, so far I have found a church but no scrapbookers, so I can understand your disappointment in not being interested in the local passions as well. Here it is all about OSU…You are a great witness of faith!

  11. Photo Buffet says:

    My mother-in-law was born and raised in Germany, too (near Mainz), and when my husband was in the army, we spent a total of six years there. We lived in Baumholder and later, in Idar-Oberstein. Our second child was born near Stuttgart. Germany is a beautiful country. Have you ever returned for a visit?

  12. jenny® says:

    oh wow…u are from Arizona! it is a nice place but I wouldn’t live there either…it’s very hot and that’s why I moved from Phils. to here because I don’t like hot weather,LoL! but the truth is, i have to move in with hubby too just like u do…we will sure have more trips going there because we enjoyed it so much! the canyon is such a terrific sight!!!

  13. Sharon says:

    My brother went to Germany twenty years ago met a German girl, got married and stayed until April of this year when they moved to Savannah Ga(he’s in the Army) I also have a brother who lives in Arizona! Not that you needed to know all that but as I read “about you” and your “100 things” I just found it interesting that your life reads almost like my sister-in-law! God bless you and I do enjoy reading your posts!

  14. Sabine says:

    Hey, just found you via Photo Hunters… Seems we have very similar life routes: I was born in Germany and moved to Malta at the age of 25. I’ve been married for 23 years (+ 9 days :D) and our son is 21, too!! Strange, eh?

    Love your funky bell bottoms… oh, I had – and cherished – them too!! *big grin*

  15. ally says:

    Hi there, I just dropped by because of the link of thankful thursday )which Iwould like to start including on my blog next thursday) I am married to a German who grew up in Spain. I am british and after we were married we lived 3 years near frankfurt. We have 3 kids and have been married 20yrs!

  16. Shannon says:

    Hello Iris! Christian Moms Alliance would like to pass on a blogging award to you. Please come by and view the details. Thank you for being such a blessing and so uplifting to the Christian blogging world.

    BTW – I just returned from Germany; we lived there for over a year as my husband is active-duty military. We also spent 3 years there a during a different overseas tour.

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  18. Amy Lathrop says:

    I Love your blog…seriously, I’m not just saying that. I’ve been reading it for some time now!

    We’re putting together a book review program for “Mommy” and Christian Women bloggers and I thought you might be interested! You may have heard of these book tours or “blog tours” before. Maybe you’ve already participated in one and know how they work. But if not…it’s super easy!

    Here’s how it works…When we have a book (see below for a list of current books we’re offering) available for review, an announcement (much like this one) will be sent out. You’ll have the opportunity to sign up for ONLY the books that interest you.

    We’ll send the book and information about the author to you for FREE! In exchange all we ask is that you blog about the book. You can review it, interview the author, or simply just announce the book and post some information about it.

    Often the authors and/or publishing companies sponsor a contest in conjunction with these blog tours. FUN. The schedule for the tour is posted at the authors website and readers follow the tour. So that means increased traffic for your blog and potential new “friends”.

    Upcoming Tours

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    If any of these interest you, email amyalathrop@gmail.com and she’ll send you some more information!

    ~~Busy Mom’s Devotional by Lisa Tawn Bergren

    ~~What Women Want by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Rebecca Price

    ~~Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple’s Guide to Keeping It Together, by Tricia Goyer

    ~~Generation NeXt Parenting: The Savvy Parent’s Guide to Getting It Right by Tricia Goyer

    ~~3:16, The Numbers of Hope, teen edition by Max Lucado and Tricia Goyer

    ~~My Life, Unscripted by Tricia Goyer

    ~~Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

    ~~Wiser Than Serpents by Susan Mary Warren

    ~~Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver


    books available later this year…

    With This Ring, Joanna Weaver

    Frazzled, Trish Berg

    Finding Stephanie, Susan May Warren

    Sweet September, Tricia Goyer

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  19. Iris, I noticed you have San Carlos, Mexico linked in your sidebar…. I spent a year there as a teen staying with my pastor at a Baptist christian cultural centre they had started there… what a BEAUTIFUL place. I hope to take my family there some day. I have pictures of baptisms taking place right under the shadow of that interesting mountain with the upside down goat appendages 😀 Anyway, was cool to see that linked to since it’s a rather tiny spot! Nichole

  20. Priyo says:

    Ich mag Ihres Blog gern. Das ist sehr schoen. Wie kann ich ein Blog einbauen?

  21. John Hoppin says:


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  23. Debbie says:

    I found your blog through Laurel Wreath’s Reflections and was glad to read that you live in Arizona. I also live in Phoenix and yes, it is HOT! But I still love it. I’m a transplant from New York (Long Island). Glad to know about your blog and will visit again. I am also a woman of faith.

  24. Peculiar says:

    Iris, I hope you don’t mind me stopping by and inviting you to do a little play-along with me. I read your blog often and participate in your Thankful Thursday whenever I can, so you may have seen or remember my name on your Linky list. I’m Peculiar from How Do We Get There From Here?. The little play-along I’ve been tagged to do is called “8 random things about me.” I hope you haven’t already been tagged by someone else to play along. If you have, I apologize. This was a fun little thing for me to do, and I was looking through my favorites list, trying to see who I enjoyed reading and who I could invite to play. I decided on you and some others. Again, I hope you don’t mind, and I hope you have time to play. If you’ll come over to my blog, you’ll see the post and the rules for playing. Have a great evening.

  25. I was wondering what HTML code you used to put your emotion on each post? I would like to add it to my blog….I also wanted to let you know that I stumbled across yor blog just a few days ago…WHAT AN ENCOURAGMENT.

  26. katrina says:

    I so understand having a change. I use to do that in my wee home in A.J.,AZ then we moved to a big house and at times I stll get that eurge to have a change. I like your Blog site. someday I will learn how to change that background to how I want it!
    Happy Octoberfest to you and your family.
    We are having one on the 12OCT08 at Spirit of Hope , ELCA on Signal Butte. 🙂
    Katrina in AZ

  27. Jennifer says:

    Hi Iris! I just wanted to stop by and see how you are doing. I’m so glad you are still blogging. I love the new look and the name! I haven’t blogged in a LONG time. I was just reading over some past entries and comments and it made me think of all of you who walked by my side while I was being reborn. I am planning on picking up the keyboard again. I hope all is well…

  28. Kim says:

    Hey Iris, just popped over before doing Thankful Thursday! I know you know this, but you will always be a MOM and your son will always need you just not in the same way! I know I will hurt too when my kids up and leave and are independent! Thanks for being so honest, and for offering encouragement to us still in the trenches!

  29. Charlotte says:

    On reading this post, I immediately identified with you moving to Arizona. We moved here in 1989. Arizona is about the last place in the U.S. I thought I would ever live. But Arizona is where God wanted us to be, and we couldn’t be happier. I was just amazed that I loved it from day one. Only God could make me feel that way. I had always loved the ocean and hated the desert. Also, we have been empty nesters for many years now but it wasn’t easy at first. I am so grateful to God that both of our kids live about 5 minutes away from our house.
    Bless you for sharing your testimony. It has been an encouragement to me and I know it has been to countless others.

  30. Katelynn says:

    Empty Nesting is not easy to get used to at all, especially if you live alone! I have 3 wonderful children with families of their own now. When my youngest son moved out 6 years ago, I kept thinking “I’m a mother… I should be mothering someone!” lol It was really hard for me.

    God is sooo good though, because a year before my youngest moved out, I became a grandma with my oldest son’s kid! Praise God!

    I loved being a mother, and now a grandma. I have been truly blessed! ;~)

  31. Grammy says:

    Hi Ires. I have left you a special award on my blog.

  32. Violet says:

    I need help in putting one like this for the on-line organization I just put up for family members in
    4 different countries.

    God bless you,

  33. Dee says:

    I know exactly what you mean. The same thing happened to me when my daughter moved into the college dorms. I was hit badly. I didn’t expect it, therefore I hadn’t seen it coming. You see, she’d been away previously for four years of boarding school.

    I guess my heart knew and began mourning the fact that statistically speaking, boys return home but girls stay in the state of the college they attend.

    So after four months of moping around trying to figure out what to do with my life now that the goal we’d strived for, for eighteen years had been achieved, I packed up my mom and we moved to the same state.

    She has since graduated from college and as expected, stayed in the same City and State where she attended school, however, that is only an hour away and I can live with that.


  34. Dena Elwood says:

    Just wanted to say how much this touched my heart,THANKS !!!
    And just how very special you are to so very many people.. God has truly blessed us all with you.. Isn’t God truly AWESOME…
    Iowa Hugs to you Iris..Love ya~~~Dena

  35. Lois says:

    wow….I enjoyed this post…
    i have 1yo twins so i look forward to the empty nest but i guesss i wont when it happens

  36. Joy back in my heart… that’s what I’m counting on. This recent move has nearly done me in… so much strong emotion from every angle. Oh, and when the first one left the nest for college, I cried for weeks. When the second one left, same thing. By the time my younger two leave, I’ll be in the home somewhere… all cried out!


  37. Classymomma says:

    Your post here brought tears, as my youngest son left last year (he was 19) and my eldest son left this year (he is 23). My 19 yr old has returned home, but I have never done so much crying in my life. Although I still have two girls at home, the grief over my sons leaving was a complete surprise to me. I can relate to the peace that He gives in the midst of these storms. So thankful we serve a faithful, understanding Savior! Thanks for sharing

  38. I like what God has done in and through you. I remember when the look was so different years ago, but I know the message remains. 😉 Glad to find you again!

  39. Tonya says:

    So glad that you shared this…especially needed to hear right about this time as my children are getting older and one has gone off to college. Thank you again.

  40. Iris says:

    I was born and grew up in Germany too!

  41. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this
    write-up and also the rest of the website is very good.

  42. Cheryl says:

    Hello, Iris! Our paths crossed online a number of years ago through the Christian Women’s Web Ring. I still have a link to you on my blog, though I’ve been out of blogging for several years and haven’t kept up. I was so delighted to come across a comment you left on a paper crafting YouTube video we both subscribe to. Our paths cross again! I’m ready to start blogging again, so “I’ll be seeing you!” God bless you.

  43. When I read your About page I knew I needed to share and say I know how you feel regarding the empty nest. My three sons — oldest married — all moved out West two years ago. It took me nearly that long to work through my feelings and sadness! But God is faithful and helps us grieve one season, letting go so that we may receive the new season. I wrote about it in these posts that I thought you might enjoy seeing. All God’s blessings on all of us Empty Nest moms as by God’s grace we create new life in the second half, nurturing “heart-children” that fulfill the call on our lives…



    AND…Bless God…my middle son flies back to NY next Monday, relocating East!! and his brothers will follow in the spring, God willing. GOD IS GOOD!!

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