Surprised by Grace

In case you’ve been lost in the wilderness the last month or so, the last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about the book that I’m a collaborative author in. 365 Moments of Grace published on June 21, 2016 and became a near-instant international best seller, much to my surprise and delight!

The book is full of stories of grace: everyday grace, inspirational grace, unexpected grace, and miraculous grace. (I’m particularly fond of my story on page 38. 😉 )

But that is not the “grace” that I was surprised by, that I’m writing about today.

Tent Rocks
Tent Rocks, New Mexico, from near the top of one of the surrounding hills.

About a week ago, a few days before the book came out, my boyfriend and I planned a hiking trip with some new church friends up to Tent Rocks in north central New Mexico.  The day was forecast to reach 100 degrees or a bit higher, so we planned an early start, to get there before the day got too hot.

As we were driving on the freeway at 75 mph, I heard and felt something “clunk” against my feet. “What was that?” I wondered. I hadn’t remembered seeing any debris on the road.

My boyfriend changed lanes to pass a slow-moving vehicle, then moved back to the right. “Clunk” again. Now, this was weird. I’d been watching and definitely didn’t see anything at all on the road that time.

“Clunk” a third time. I looked at my boyfriend with concern. “What was that?” I asked. “I didn’t see anything on the road.” Neither had he, though he was already slowing, to around 65, as other cars passed us.

About that time we started to feel an occasional shaking in the front wheels. “It’s been doing that after I go over a bump on the highway,” I told him. “I guess I should get it checked out. Maybe I lost a wheel weight.”

The shaking was intermittent, but worse at higher speeds. My boyfriend began slowing down even more.

Then, the shaking intensified. I had been clueless as to what was going on, and thought that he was being overly cautious by slowing and beginning to pull over. “What is it?” I asked.

“Gonna find out,” he responded, as he pulled well off the shoulder into the dirt alongside the freeway.

I wish I’d thought to take a photo while the tire was still on the car. Big, huge chunks of tread of the tire directly beneath my feet had been shed like an old snakeskin, and the sidewall on the outside edge was completely broken through.

“Wow!” I thought, and began getting the jack out while he unmounted the spare.

If I’d been thinking, I would have taken photos for the “How to Change a Tire” lesson I should probably put up here, but it didn’t occur to me until much, much later. And, of course, I’d just “looked” at the spare when I checked the air in my tires and it “looked” okay, but the tire turned out to be quite low on air…not nearly enough air to drive on. Another point to remember for my “Basic Auto Maintence” freebie.

Very flat tire
I don’t think tires are supposed to have holes in them like that!

So, while my boyfriend walked a mile back to the nearest exit to locate some compressed-air “fix a flat,” I made a mental note to put my little case of emergency gear back in the Jeep…emergency gear that included an air pump. And, I took the tire’s photo before wrestling it into the back.

With two cans of fix a flat, the spare tire was still low, but driveable. We drove slowly to the next exit and its gas station, and inflated all the tires to spec.

“Want to still go hiking?” my boyfriend asked.

We were about ten minutes away from our destination then, and all the tires seemed okay.

“Sure,” I said. “We’re nearly there.”

hiking in the tent rocks
Hiking in the Tent Rocks Area…this is my hero, who kept me safe.

So, we still got to go on our hike. And, we ran into our friends in the parking lot (not literally) as they were leaving and we were arriving, and they got to hear the whole story.

So, what was the issue with the tires? I had assumed UV exposure, as we live a mile up in the high desert where the sun is strong and hard on rubber. The tires still looked nearly new, with about 2/3rds of their tread. But when I took the Jeep in a few days later, I was shocked: it was age. The tires were 16 years old.

16! Most only last three to five years. Wow.

Then I thought of all the road trips we’ve taken, high speeds and at night and in remote locations, on tires well past their use-by date. California once or twice. Arkansas and Missouri another time. Seattle. The Texas Coast. Sometimes on freeway, but often on skinny mountain roads with dropoffs, or remote county roads without much traffic.

All those trips where a tire might have blown out at high speed without warning, perhaps when I was driving instead of my stronger, more capable boyfriend – or even my son, on one of the trips.

And that was when I realized that this was another moment of grace. A bunch of extended moments of grace, really, over the course of several years: that nothing bad had happened, and that I hadn’t even been aware of the extent of the danger until we were safely parked and had gotten out of the car that day.

“Surprised by Grace” – God’s grace – that had kept us safe on the road the last few years.

Three years of everyday grace that kept us safe. And I gave thanks.


I want to thank you, too, for visiting my site today, if this is your first visit. I am continually adding content and courses, with a lot of basic information available for free. Additionally, I offer one on one private lessons for the most rapid learning possible, online via Skype or Zoom.

I also invite you to explore the sites of the other authors in the book via our blog tour, and to visit this page to order your own copy of our book, if you haven’t already.

We're #1
We reached #1 best seller status in four categories in the U.S. and three in Canada!
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Reaching the Top

Wow, the first day of being a published author started out with a bang!

We're #1
We reached #1 best seller status in four categories in the U.S. and three in Canada!

We reached #1 in all four of its Amazon categories in the U.S., and #1 in three in Canada, making me….

365 Moments of Grace
Happy, silly selfie of me with 365 Moments of Grace.

An International Amazon Best-Selling Author!

Now, I didn’t do it without the help of a couple hundred of my co-authors, but that doesn’t diminish in the least the thrill it gave me.

Dang. Two major life goals met in one day.

I guess it’s time to move up working on those novels so they can get published, too!

Find out more about the book and order it on this page.

Reaching Goals!

365 Moments of Grace
365 Moments of Grace is available June 21, 2016. Order now via one of the links below and receive your bonus gifts! (Bonuses available for a limited time only.)

Today, June 21, 2016, I have reached a goal that was a long time in coming – I have become a published author!

I’ve been writing online for quite awhile, but that wasn’t quite the same. I wanted to see my words in print – and not just in the “letters” section of the paper! (I reached that goal for the first time when I was sixteen.)

I love the book I’m a part of. It is a collaborative book about the various ways that grace enters our lives and makes it better. There are 365 such stories, by more than 250 authors from all over the world.

I will be sharing my piece here, later, as a “taste” of the book. So watch this blog! Or buy the book to read it on page 38. 🙂

Please use my links below to order the book on Amazon. (These links give me a small commission which is my only compensation as a collaborative book author.) You may order the e-book and get immediate delivery (available soon), or a paperback, directly through Amazon. Contact me using the form below to have me sign a paperback personalized just to you.

All orders the first two months receive a bunch of free gifts from the authors of the book as well! Enter your Amazon receipt number at the 365 Moments of Grace webpage if you order through Amazon. I will email you the gift access information when you order your signed copy directly through me.

The beautiful book trailer is on YouTube here.

Thank you!

Unsigned Paperback: Click Here or on cover photo to order directly from Amazon!

E-book/Kindle: (coming soon, approximately the beginning of August!)

Signed Paperback…complete the form below! (Please allow two to three weeks for delivery as I personalize the inscription and mail these books myself.) $24.00 includes paperback book, author dedication and signature in ink, and shipping anywhere in the U.S.
I will email you before signing your book to verify the details.

Screenshot testimonial
Unsolicited Testimonial from Virginia Spotts.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight – Pami Woodruff

365 Moments of Grace book
My piece, “Named by Grace,” is on page 38 of “365 Moments of Grace.”

Here is my author interview for the upcoming book, 365 Moments of Grace, publishing June 21, 2016.

Please share more about yourself.

I am a bit of a study in opposites – a former homeschooling stay-at-home mom who ended up a working single mom most of my kids’ lives; a woman who doesn’t believe in divorce who got divorced; and a creative free spirit who drudged for years at a desk job before calling it quits earlier this year (2016).

Why did you decide to join as a contributing author in our book?

I have always loved to write – that creative spirit I mentioned earlier – and have a dream of being a published author. I plan to write books: both shorter, non-fiction, how-to books, and longer, fictional, novels. My first novel is midway through the first revision right now. But making that transition from wannabe author to published author is scary. Taking part in a compilation book is easier, and, it turns out, lots of fun!

What do you hope each reader will take into their heart after reading our book?

The very different but real ways that God (or Spirit/the Divine/however you label it/Him) speaks to us in our everyday lives, all the time. We need to learn to listen more.

How do you define Grace?

The textbook answer I learned in church is “unmerited favor” – but as I’ve matured, it is that and so much more! It is God (the Divine, etc.) reaching down into our lives and making Himself known in some small way.

What’s one way Grace shows up in your life?

Bringing the right ideas and opportunities into my life when I’m ready for them…and not necessarily when I start looking for them! Usually I am not ready yet when I start looking. At the right time, though, the right thing shows up, sometimes nearly miraculously!

What’s your FB page and website?

My Facebook page is The School of Lost Arts, and I run Make-It Challenges pretty much monthly on the corresponding group Creating With the Lost Arts, teaching long-forgotten skills and crafts that used to be common.

The main website is TheSchoolofLostArts.com, and I have branded my teaching videos as Make It With Pam. I offer pre-recorded courses, group classes online, and 1:1 lessons in everything from sewing and knitting to candle making and food preservation!