You might remember the “Joy & Grace” rock. It was a gift from my husband, Larry. He gave it to me because I’ve often said that my goal is to “walk through life with joy and grace”. Joy seems pretty easy to understand, but what is grace? I’m sure that, depending on who you ask, you’d get a bunch of different answers. For me, grace is multi-faceted. It’s:
a God-blessed virtue,
beauty in the way we walk through life,
kindness and love,
mercy and understanding and
We have many stories in our lives. As I get older, I’m reminded constantly that the big stories aren’t always the ones where there’s a lot of fanfare or activity. They’re often not the ones where a huge financial investment was made or a lot of planning took place. The really big stories are the ones about living life. I’ve thought about this a lot since I’ve been diagnosed with a condition that affects how I “walk through life”. It’s not a “death sentence”, but as I said to a dear friend it feels like a “life sentence”.
Like most challenges there’s grace in the journey. I couldn’t even write about this for the past few weeks because I was too consumed with wrapping my head around how to live into this new way of living. When you’re only 58 years old and you’re forced to think about redefining day-to-day life, it’s certainly a wake up call. I’ve realized, in the past six weeks, how much I assumed that the way I am would always be the same. Assumptions (and sometimes a bump on a road) trip us up.
So back to grace. I’ve been really blessed in my life. I acknowledge that always. I truly am grateful for the people and circumstances that are part of my reality. And, I’ve been the receiver of a lot of grace lately.
Grace—when my family has empathy, understanding and concern for me
Grace—in the friends and acquaintances who have reached out to me, with more offers of listening ears and helping hands than one person deserves
Grace—when my grandson, Ethan, gives me the best hug ever and says, “I love you”
Grace—when my friends lift my name up in prayer at church
Grace—when a friend writes me a note saying, “You are in my prayers this morning for your healing and peace.”
Grace—when Larry takes me to appointments or makes me dinner or just sits there and talks it through with me
Grace—in my daughters’ unwavering support and love
Grace—when I called a client on the way to his home, telling him I had to turn around and reschedule, and he said to me, “Should I come and drive you home?”
Grace—in a beautiful college freshman who wrote to me and asked how I was doing, when I’m supposed to be mentoring her
Grace—when a friend makes a massage appointment for me, “just so I can relax”
Grace–when I’m able to bend down and pick up a book without being dizzy
Grace—when I walk into church and melt into a puddle of tears and have friends who hold my hand and my heart
Grace—when a friend with MS, a condition much, much more serious than mine, offers to sit with me to talk about coping skills
Grace—in the text messages a friend sends “just to check in”
Grace—when I lose the word I planned on saying and no one finishes the sentence for me
Grace—in my granddaughter Lauren who said to me, “Nana, a lot of my friends don’t even have grandparents, so I’m happy to have you even if you are dizzy.”
I am sometimes guarded and sometimes weak. I am sometimes vulnerable and sometimes strong. I speak eloquently and lose my words in the same sentence. I feel confident and I feel scared in the same breath.
Because I walk raised up by the love of so many, I have already witnessed more grace than I can measure. As life contracts, it expands; as it offers challenges, it offers support; as it induces fear, it gives us the tools for bravery; as we fall down, we are lifted up.
How many times do we not see the grace bestowed upon us; the riches thrown at our feet; the gems of family; the love and friendship and care and peace?
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found;
was blind, but now can see.”
Thank you for being grace in my life.
©2016 Peace Full Home
You have been blessed with many talents and writing is certainly one of them,. You are so gifted in putting your thoughts into words, I am grateful to call you friend. My life is richer because of you. Grace be with you.
Thank you so much for the beautiful words. Grace be with you.
Grace surrounds you