I have been thinking about grace today. How is grace shown in my life? Sometimes I'm so busy going from one thing to another that by the time evening comes, I don't even remember instances where grace has been demonstrated. I want to change that, and I have made some progress.
The days when I am most aware of grace are the ones I spend time walking in the woods near my house. There are about 900 acres of forest behind my house, but I don't go very deep into them. For one thing a little ways in it has a steep downslope. I can actually still see my house if I look in one direction, but if I turn and face the woods it feels as if I'm there alone.
It's this alone time that helps me slow down. I grab my walking stick, put on my mudboots and head toward an easy place to enter, ready to see what there is to see. I have found some very interesting formations on trees.
It is quieter there in the woods making it conducive for contemplation. When I observe the hugeness of the trees and the vastness of the sky, it reminds me that the God who holds all this in place is the One who watches over me always.
His grace covers me.
Probably all of us have times in our days where God has protected us from something that we were totally unaware of. Last night coming home from a bridal shower a young deer came out of nowhere, but my daughter saw it in time and was able to slow down as it crossed in front of us, barely making it.
That same daughter has had some very close calls that made me realize God is watching over her. Twice in her life she has fallen down a flight of stairs, once as a baby and once as a teen. When she was three she rode her tricycle down the four steps leading from our porch but didn't receive a scratch. Another time she fell out of tree landing on her back and was fine. Once she fell out of the loft that her sisters slept in. All of those times and more, I have thanked God that His hand has protected her.
His grace covers her.
This afternoon as I relax in my rocking chair listening to the gentle music of the porch chimes I think of how blessed I am.
At times I am tempted to complain about all the repairs and changes we need to make on the house, but all that does is take my eyes away from the beauty that is all around me. I start to think that no one can feel welcome in this house that needs so much work.
We had visitors last weekend. They showed me that those things don't really matter. What matters is that we made them feel welcome sharing what we had. That is also grace at work.
His grace covers my house.
I want to be more aware and to be fully present every moment of the day. I want to see the grace in every situation, including the unpleasant ones. We are imperfect people who live in an imperfect world, but God is working in our lives and in our world through people like you and me.
Why don't we look for ways this week that we can show grace to others? It really doesn't take much to smile at someone or to give an encouraging word to those we see each day. I've found that when I take the focus off myself, it is much easier to notice those around me and to offer encouragement.
I want to make a difference right where I am starting with my imperfect, wonderful, messy, glorious, beautiful life! Won't you join me?
Here is a prayer I wrote using a template from the e-course on prayer that my daughter, Jamie, has written and is now teaching. May God grant this for all of us.