Once upon a time, a dozen or more years ago, I wrote an e-mail devotional for family, friends, and co-workers.  "Crumbs from His Table" was the name of that proto-blog.  The posts here will pick up where the previous effort left off, with a mixture of essays, poems and prayers, quotes, and perhaps some book reviews and introductions to friends around the globe.

The title refers to an old prayer and a Bible story.  The Biblical source is an incident in Jesus' ministry when a non-Jewish woman, outside the scope of the promises of Messiah, asked for a miracle.  Jesus initially responds negatively:  she is like a dog begging for the children's table scraps.  She persists.  "'Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table'" (Matt. 15:27, NET).  Jesus commends her faith and grants her request.  The liturgical source is one of the communion prayers I met in childhood:  "We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy."  The phrase resonates with me because, in both contexts, it captures at once my unworthiness and God's generous grace.

After a few years of e-mail distribution, I discontinued the original "Crumbs."  Marriage to a missionary and the corollary communication responsibilities demanded all my creative energies. Since chronic illness moved us back to Texas in December 2001, I have continued to write but without much of a communication outlet.  This year a conviction has grown that a blog was the right outlet, and that the time had arrived.

Procrastination is easier than change, however, especially in a year marked so far by ill health, when daily household tasks taxed the limits of my strength and left no margin for creativity.  When things began to look up in late spring, the summer filled rapidly with family and business writing plans, and the blog once again moved to the back burner.

In July, my script for the summer was shredded and replaced with one I had not imagined.  Months of pushing through fatigue and discomfort, capped off with an onslaught of potential triggers, landed me on my sofa with asthma and lupus flares.  Until the doctor says otherwise, I have been grounded from most of my normal tasks.

At first, the pain and weakness were too intense to do more than endure.  Even reading was too strenuous.  Now that symptoms have mostly stabilized, my thinking again turns blogward.  With more time than usual to think and read, an abundance of emotional and spiritual content to process, and little access to face-to-face fellowship or ministry, the excuses are gone.

I pray this would be a place of peace and comfort; a place of communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; a place where this season of illness and whatever follows will be redeemed for my growth in Christlikeness, others' good, and God's glory.  Amen.

About Me

“Tinuviel” is my screen name.  It means “nightingale” in one of the languages J.R.R. Tolkien invented (from The Silmarillion, if you were wondering). Yes, I really am that much of a book nerd.

More importantly, I am a Christian, a wife crazy about my husband, a daughter and granddaughter and daughter-in-law, a sister, a friend, an aunt, and “mom” to one dog at present.  I am also a lupus patient.  I used to be a lot more things—student, educator, nanny, missionary, accompanist, business writer—but chronic illness is teaching me that my true identity lies in none of those things, but in Christ who bought me (even me!) with His blood.

My husband, our dog Moose Tracks, and I live in Texas at a house called Wingshadow. Moose Tracks is a dachshund-terrier mix, but he's a rescue dog so he may have a smidgen of this, that, or the other thing in his heritage, too. Our previous dog and home were Ebony and Wits’ End, respectively.

If we’re going to be friends, you should know up front that I dog-ear my books, although I’m trying to switch to sticky flags.  I am a tea-drinker by nature and a coffee-drinker by marriage. I am an Italian-Irish native Texan with the stubborn streak to prove it.

God loves me anyway.

Thank you again for your fellowship here.  If you would like to get acquainted, please leave a comment introducing yourself or contact me via this form. (You may also find me micro-blogging on Instagram at @crumbsfromhistable and occasionally on Twitter, @Ebony_Dog.)

Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ,