About Me

About me is such a funny category, isn’t it? All the more so on a blog called Two Minutes of Grace (which should be anything but about me). :D

I’ve lived in the Mid-West, on the West Coast and in the South.

I’ve been an ice cream dipper; an aid at a long term care facility; a counselor in corrections; an out-patient therapist in a mental health clinic; the director of the National Suicide Prevention Center and two crisis intervention centers; an adoption specialist; and for 22 years, I took a wild joy ride as a Public Speaker and Trainer.

My church background is equally eclectic. I’ve been a very active member of the following denominations, in chronological order: Brethren, E.U.B., Methodist, Independent Bible, Presbyterian and Episcopal. Twice a year for 10 years, I spent a retreat week at a cloistered Abbey (Catholic) on the Mississippi river.

I’m increasingly overwhelmed with the truth of mercy and grace. Using the most simple definitions: Mercy is not getting what I deserve and Grace is getting what I don’t deserve. My hope is that Two Minutes of Grace will be a pilgrimage of the soul that we take together.

Visit here as often or as little as you like. Just know that when you’re here, I’m very glad you came and I welcome you into my heart. ~ Debbie

Should you want to comment or contact me directly, my email address is: branson.debbie@gmail.com

74 responses to “About Me”

  1. sf says :

    I totally admire how you’ve held so many different types of jobs/occupations. Too cool! Especially the one about being a public speaker. Wow. Due to my being afraid of speaking in public (or to people I don’t know, period), I really admire that very much! Also, it’s very sweet that you’ve attended and been an active member of so many church denominations. For myself, I had attended a Baptist one for the longest time. But also find Presbyterian to be similar and the Pentecostal ones lively. The last one I had attended was a non-denominational one. I used to get criticized that I was some kind of denominational-flutterer and not one who was committed. But what I say is that as long as God’s Word is being preached there, then I’d like to listen. Wonderful blog you have!

    • Debbie says :

      Welcome to TMG, sf!
      I look forward to learning from you and your experiences as you share your thoughts here.
      My ecumenical church experiences have opened my eyes and my heart to so much that I fear I would have missed, left to my own quiet reading.
      By the way, Public Speaking is only really scary the first few minutes until you get a feel for your crowd – and the rewards are instantaneous!
      Of course, when you fail, you fail big – like leaving your portable mike on when you’re in the restroom. ;D)

  2. Ajaytao2010 says :

    Nice reading about you Debbie, I loved your blog

    Thanks. I invite you to visit my blog Ajaytao2010@wordpress.com. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may definitely find something of your interest.

  3. Sebastian says :

    Hello Debbie! I look forward to really diving into your blog. Also, thank you for following my blog at Faith1st Ministry. I hope it has and will continue to be a major blessing in your life. May God richly bless you as you continue to write and blog. Please continue with us on this journey and remember to have Faith 1st. — Sebastian

    • Debbie says :

      Hi Sebastain!
      My internet is extremely limited (poor signal) right now, but when I have better access, I look forward to getting to know you much better!
      Warmly,
      Debbie

  4. literary lew says :

    Thanks for “liking” my post today. I fear I get really “far out” at times…and I am basically “far out” as in “far from the beaten path.” Therefore I need the affirmation that I get from people like yourself. And, re your post of today, “time does heal all wounds.” That is an often banalized expression but it carries a lot of wisdom. I carry many wounds…emotional in nature…and time seems to be healing them. I used to see “healing” as instantaneous and “once and for all”. But for most of us it is a life-long process and will never be complete this side of our Source. As noted so often, “O bless the continual stutter of the Word being made flesh.” (Leonard Cohen)

    • Debbie says :

      Lew –
      A beautiful quote of Cohen’s – one of my favorites!
      I loved him first through music: Suzanne – and of course, Hallelujah (the Jeff Buckley cover).
      It was years later that I first read his poetry.
      I guess what I was trying to express in the post was that I think time shuffles rather than heals.
      Within time, something painful is shuffled back into the deck and a pleasure or a new pain is turned up.
      That doesn’t mean that the pain is gone. It just isn’t the trump card anymore.
      I think that usually a wound, not just a difficult incident but a real wound that gapes, calls for attention – now or later.
      As for your blog, my friend, as trite as this sounds, I think you are a bit too deep for most of us. That doesn’t deter me from reading, but I’m not sure I have much to add to the discourse! :D

      “As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder. ” ~ Leonard Cohen

      • literary lew says :

        I just discovered that I sent you an unnecessary response by email! I did not think my response was getting through here…but it did! Thanks again for your feedback. And I love your “simple”, but elegant, gracious, and rich observations. Truth is ultimately “simple.”

      • Debbie says :

        Lew –
        For some reason, your comment on Time Heals All Wounds? landed in my About Me section. I don’t know how to move them to the post but I think that’s why you thought they weren’t getting through.
        Thank you for sharing your wise and kind words!
        Debbie

  5. Arlene says :

    Hi Debbie: I have nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award. If you’d like to accept it, please visit http://armouredup.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/one-lovely-blog-award/ to collect it. Blessings to you…

    • Debbie says :

      Arlene –
      How very kind of you.
      I’m having a bit of internet trouble.
      I’ll be over to visit when I can reconnect! :D
      Warmly,
      Debbie

  6. SPTP2011 says :

    Hi Debbie
    I have nominated you for the Sisterhoon of the World Bloggers Award
    Please check out my post

    http://sptp2011.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/

    God Bless
    susie

    • Debbie says :

      Hello dear Susie!
      My internet is almost non-existent.
      We move again this weekend so hopefully I’ll be better able to connect.
      Thank you so much for thinking of me. How very kind.
      I’ll be by to see you when the sky clears or the rig moves! ;)
      Warmly,
      Debbie

  7. befuddled2 says :

    Just wanted to drop in and say thank you for subscribing to my blog Bad Atheist. I always like to see what those who subscribe to are like. I must admit that I seem to have a rather large number of Christians following me, which I like. I like to think that I provide something useful for those of different beliefs than mine own and at the same time I try to take away something good and useful from those with whom I disagree with on some issues.

    Let me just say that in looking over your site you remind me a bit of my parents, which is probably one of the reasons why I have a good opinion of what Christianity can be and religion in general even though I am now an atheist.

    • Debbie says :

      Hello befuddled!
      And you remind me of someone in my family that I love very much! So there you have it – a chance to share our thoughts and learn from each other.
      Give me a chance and I may surprise you!
      Debbie

  8. pnordman says :

    What a beautiful website – God bless you!

  9. Freedomborn says :

    Easter is a time of rememberance, a time of thankfulness, a time of Joy…

    Many Blessings Debbie to you and your Loved ones.

    Christaian Love – Ron and Anne

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Anne –
      I think it may already be Easter where you are! I hope it’s a glorious day of joy and celebration for you and Ron!
      Debbie

  10. Debbie says :

    Thank you, Jen. I’m beyond honored.
    Debbie

  11. writinggomer says :

    Hi Debbie,

    I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
    For details see my post here,

    http://believinggodtoday.com/2012/03/31/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • Debbie says :

      ferragudofan –
      I’m afraid I dropped the ball on this one. I seem to have missed many comments here.
      Thank you for thinking of me, though!
      Debbie

  12. Debbie says :

    Gracious One. . . here I am, just now reading your “about me” page. I’ve wondered and gathered little bits from your posts and comments. Something about it all makes me cry, just because its so beautiful and so . . .Jesus. Thank you so much for wanting to do this, to take a journey of grace with us. love you! – the other deb

  13. katharinetrauger says :

    Well, here is another award notice–the “kreativ blogger” award, which I have nominated you for, because of the creativity it takes to get “God thoughts” inside 2 minutes! :)
    You can go to my site,

    http://katharinetrauger.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/kreative-blogger-award/

    to learn all abot it. :)
    You know you do not have to accept. <3

  14. Connie Wayne says :

    Congratulations on your nomination by Kate Kresse for the HUG Award. I hope that you have accepted the award and that you will be willing to share it with others. May you be richly blessed as you continue the positive work you do to help make the world a better place. I am looking forward to becoming acquainted with you and your blog. God bless, Connie at A Hope for Today.

    • Debbie says :

      Connie – What an absolutely lovely award which I do accept with honor. My gratitude to you and my thanks to Kate!
      I would love to get better acquainted!
      ~ Debbie

  15. GrowthLines... says :

    Hi Debbie. I found your blog through your supportive presence on Step on a Crack,…. I’m relatively new to the blogging conversation, but have already found so many thought provoking, insightful, and human voices. I love your blog title and look forward to sharing in more of your thoughts.

    • Debbie says :

      Hello and welcome!
      I’ve been following your comments on Step on a Crack and have been meaning to meet you. Thank you for making the first move!
      I have another blog. it’s rather long winded and entirely different.
      When I started Two Minutes of Grace, I made two promises: to keep my posts short (I try to stay around 300 words, never more than 350) and to speak from a place of grace. If I ever point a finger here – it had better be at me. ;)
      I’m off to visit you now!
      Debbie

  16. Caddo Veil says :

    Hi, Sister–it’s Shekina Glory time!! I’ve nominated you for the “Seven x Seven Link Award”–you can check out my blog (like you don’t already) to see what I wrote for you! God bless you Big today!

    • Debbie says :

      Caddo – :D My new heart friend! I see you’ve been to my I’m Late With My Thank You’s post. I’ll try to be a more gracious receiver. Thank you! You’ve totally skewed my stats for one day! (we’re not supposed to be looking at those, I know…)
      Love,
      Debbie

      • Caddo Veil says :

        No worries about “gracious receiving”, okay? I didn’t know we weren’t s’posed to look at our stats…I look, but don’t lust–is that alright?

        Anyhow, I’ve nominated you yet again–just figure that if I get something, you’ll get one too! The “One Lovely Blog Award” is “ours”, this time–will post my “speech” in a day or two… Much love to you, wherever you are! And God bless you BIG!

  17. Kate Kresse says :

    Dear Debbie: I am so happy that you found my blog so that I can find yours! I just signed up to follow your blog. Your blog is inspiring, grace-filled, loving, optimistic and lights up the world. I am giving you the Candle LIghter Award. Here is the link so that you can “candle” your blog and also so that you can pass the award on to anyone that you think fits the purpose of the award. You can do that anytime you see fit. Keep the candles spreading. The world needs joy.–http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/the-candle-lighter-award/

    • Debbie says :

      Kate – What a truly lovely honor. There are many blogging awards but the theme of the Candle LIghter Award is special. I’ll post it and pass it on with gratitude. The world does need joy! Thank you for lighting the spark!
      Warmly,
      Debbie

  18. Caddo Veil says :

    Well, I LOVE THIS! The concept of 2 minutes of grace, grabbed me first–and I found your “about” fascinating. And I’ll tell you what, I’m sold on Mercy and Grace–I appreciate the reminder about the definition. Without both, I wouldn’t be here today–literally, metaphorically and artistically. Thanks, sister Debbie, for the welcome–I’ll be back when I get something akin to “free time”. By the way, I got here courtesy of Deb’s Blog–a wonderful sister!

    God bless you richly–have a terrific Christmas!

    • Debbie says :

      Caddo of the Shekina Glory?! I’m delighted (I never use that word but it seems to fit just now) that you stopped by! I have no idea how many I’ve scared away with this page – many I’m sure. Those who read it and chose to journey in grace with me, are a treasure. I thank you in advance for the moments you spend here and look forward to learning about your heart.
      Warmly,
      Debbie
      I think I found Deb’ blog through jelillie’s blog – and when I found it, I found a dear heart friend. You’re so very right.

      • Caddo Veil says :

        How funny that, for the moment at least, I’m now “C– of the Shekina Glory”! Who knows why things pop into our mind, out of the blue–especially when it happens in that weird nether world, right as you’re coming out of sleep into wakeful thought. I picture myself arriving at the Pearly Gates and hearing, “oh, yes–you’re Caddo of the Shekina Glory”. To which I’ll reply, “I guess my sisters, Debbie and Debbie, must have gotten here before me. I hope you know we’ll be roommates!”

        Thank you again for 2 Minutes of Grace (I do hope it’s okay to have a laugh?)!

    • Debbie says :

      Dearest Caddo – I think that the Father of Light and the God of Love and relishes our laughter! :D
      If I get there first, you and Debbie will find your name on my door. Won’t it be great fun!
      ~ Debbie

      • Caddo Veil says :

        Oh, cooler than cool–our names will be on the door?! I never had that here on stupid Earth. Okay, I’m getting side-tracked, and you really don’t want that or I’ll go on for pages & pages, even with laryngitis…..I’m a crazy nut, I know. Hey–the point of this comment is to tell you I’ve nominated you for the Candle Lighter Award. Now I didn’t look too closely–do you already have this??? Well, anyway– God bless you! Love, C xxxooo

  19. Chaz says :

    Hi Debbie…. thanks for the honesty and openness.

    A thought on your mention of your personal background not having a bearing on your readers… I suppose that knowledge of specific facts about your personal background may be less relevant, however, our personal backgrounds can’t help but be all over and woven through everything we write and otherwise communicate.

    For me, I like to know a little about the people whose material I am reading. Not unlike in my musical tastes, I like to know a little about the singers. Has always been that way ever since I was a teenager listening to music on the radio.

    So for me, I am glad to know a bit about your personal background. It provides a connection and some understanding. I too have been through a divorce and I too would be considered a Christian, although that is a label I do not use on myself at this time… probably mainly as an experiment. But suffice it to say that I believe the Bible and that Jesus was who he said he was.

    In any case, glad to know more about you.

    Thanks for your reply on my post earlier. See ya on the blogs!

    Ciao.

    Chaz

    • Debbie says :

      Chaz – I’m an odd combination of being almost intensely private and fairly forthcoming so deciding what to include in this section was challenging. But, like you, I’m interested in the person behind the lyrics/words. I’m always disappointed to go to a blog and find the About section simply a link back to Word Press.
      Thank you for joining me here. I’ve read your thoughtful comments on Good Life and Livingingraceland as well as on your own blog. I look forward to getting to know more of your thoughts and your heart.
      ~ Debbie

  20. Aunt Melanie says :

    I find your personal background fascinating, and I understand what it is like to have an eclectic church background. We have that in common–and probably much more. I think contact with other denominations, although it can be confusing at times, opens the heart to Christ wherever He is found. I just discovered your blog this morning, and I look forward to returning.

    • Debbie says :

      Aunt Melanie – I’m very short on Aunts. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any – maybe you could be mine? What more could I want in an Aunt than someone who reads the Bible and prays! Thank you for spending a moment or two with me.
      ~ Debbie

  21. Linda Bourgeois says :

    Thank you for visiting my site mainly because it led me to here! Love the story of your life thus far…I have a master’s in psychology and after reading this section felt as if I have found a kindred soul. I wish I had the courage to unload the “clutter” including the yellow chairs….and get on the road to somewhere.

    I will be back to read further.

  22. Cindee Snider Re says :

    Debbie, I just read your post, The Genuine Article, and hopped over to comment, but it was gone. Great article! If you repost it, let me know. I’d love to share it. Blessings, grace and peace!

    • Debbie says :

      Cindee – I’m on the road and having an interesting time trying to get internet access.I did re-post The Genuine Article. I’d love to hear your thoughts and am anxious to get caught up with you. Thank you for your kind encouragement!
      ~ Debbie

  23. Sue Shearer says :

    You have touched my heart since the day I first met you, Debbie. I know I repeat what Gaye has said, but I too am grateful to have you in my life, even if it is from a distance now. I’m so glad we have re-connected through FB.

  24. ergliangel45 says :

    Debbie, I am here because you visited my Intentions of Intimacy. We have a similar church background. I will subscribe to Two Minutes of Grace. It is nourishing. like a tall cool drink of water. My soul is touched. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debbie says :

      ergliangel – Thank you! My, if we have similar church backgrounds, that’s truly saying something! I appreciate your kind words and will be heading back to see what you’re writing now!
      ~Debbie

  25. jewelz57 says :

    Whoops, forgot to hit the “notify about comments button” below…

  26. jewelz57 says :

    Debbie, Thanks for visiting my blog and the kind words you left there. Enjoyed my visit here today. Found something interesting. You attended Taylor University at the same time as my sister, yet she was a year older. She was born in 1955, I was born in 1957. How cool!

    • Debbie says :

      Hi there, Jewelz! I don’t know how I missed your comment – that’s so much worse than missing the notify me button!
      Amazing! I was a freshmen at Taylor in 1975 and graduated in the summer of 1978. I’ve added my email address to the top of this section. I’d love it if you’d email me her name. Maybe we knew each other? Sometimes it’s a very big small world!

  27. Cindee Snider Re says :

    I love your story! It’s all about grace and mercy and living out your faith every day in every moment. Life doesn’t come perfectly packaged. It’s messy and right there in the midst of the messiness is God, ready to forgive, redeem, wash clean and show us a better way. Love your site! A quiet blessing, a cup of cold water, moments of grace and mercy for thirsty souls. Blessings to you today!

    • Debbie says :

      Cindee – such kind, gentle words. Thank you. To quote C.S. Lewis – again – (I do quote other people, too, really) :
      “But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. ”
      That’s certainly been true for me. Thank you for reading and for your lovely comment here, where I suppose I’m most vulnerable. ~ Debbie

  28. literary lew says :

    Love your story. Thanks.

  29. bickleyhouse says :

    Schnauzer Poodle mix?

    • Debbie says :

      bickleyhouse – So that one got you, too, huh? :D Right as rain! I guess the breed hasn’t caught on. Henry was a reject designer dog when I got him for half price when he was 5 months old ( non- allergenic, and non-shedding). He looks a little like a curly version of Toto – except a little bigger and a lot cuter! He’s a certified pet therapy dog and truly a gentle soul. Another unexpected gift of grace.

  30. gaye landis says :

    as i read this, i am overwhelmed with gratitude to have you in my life.

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