For those of you who follow me on instagram and/or facebook, you already saw that we're celebrating and mourning the life of Brennan Manning in the Winn household. I know he's been in poor health for some time, and that really, he just longed to be in Abba's arms, which makes this such a bittersweet time. I told Adam that we should drive to New Orleans for his funeral -to which he quickly pointed out we weren't invited, nor would they likely release that info (due to crazy fans (for lack of a better word) like us). I want so badly to be part of the celebration of his life, and I would love for Brennan to see a glimpse of who her namesake was, how much he was loved and admired by so many, how many lives he touched. When I told Brennan that he passed she said "Why did you have to tell me that?" It made her sad. I explained that I thought she should know, and that really, it was okay b/c he was with Jesus now and that's really where he wanted to be. I feel like I would be remiss to not say anything here about his life and how he touched mine. I've never been a stranger to God's love and grace, thankfully I've known this truth from a young age and its never not been a part of my life. With that said, Brennan Manning showed me glimpses of God's grace in ways I hadn't understood it before, the passion in his voice when he describes how much we're loved even in the midst of our darkest days and our most horrid sins. I don't know how anyone could walk away unchanged. I've had the privilege to extend grace to some lately, some who are in a bad place, who feel unloved and like they are at their bottom. Its been a journey for me, b/c if I'm being honest, I wanted to be mad at them and judge them. How quickly I forget the grace that's been given to me when I'm put in a position to give it to the "unworthy." Brennan Manning changed my life, he changed my husband's life, he made me see God's love for me in a new way and for that I am forever thankful and grateful. It's such an honor that my child gets to carry his name, and that I get to explain to her that she was named after a divorced, ex-priest, alcoholic who really understood that "it is only through grace that we can dare to become more like Christ." Which at the end of the day, is all life is really about. Thank you, Brennan, and see you soon.