A hundred thoughts tumble around in my head as I write this last lesson in grace today.
Mostly, I can’t help but think about the outpouring of grace I’ve received this year. It leaves me humbled and teary-eyed, and feeling so incredibly blessed.
Truly, 2016 has been a year of grace in our home and in my heart. (And to the awesome friend who sent me an ornament that says such – I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me!).
To recap some of the lessons I’ve learned this past year:
Grace (like attitude) changes everything. Everything. Maybe the circumstances haven’t changed. Maybe the people around us haven’t changed. But when we accept grace, when we freely give it – it changes absolutely everything everything.
Sometimes there is grace in letting go. Other times we find grace in hanging on. One thing is for certain, though… grace will not fail us. Not ever.
Grace can arrive in an overwhelming, emotional, more-than-you-can-imagine kind of way. And sometimes it arrives softly, simply, in some tiny little detail or nearly missed moment.
Busy with everyday life, I am horribly guilty of passing by sweet little moments of grace — of stopping to watch the sun set, listening to the happy song of birds in the backyard, taking a minute just to smell the lovely fragrance of a rose.
On the occasions when I do indulge in those moments (and that is all they are is a few moments), my heart is lifted and my soul lighter. I need to be more mindful of savoring every sweet little moment of grace that comes my way.
We all need to give ourselves measures of grace. We need to grant permission to relax and do nothing. Go on an adventure. Take a walk. Sit in quiet peacefulness. It is in those moments when we are seeking peace and not perfection when we find what we need to continue.
I love new beginnings and I love the idea that every single day is a second chance to get things right. No matter how badly I might have messed up yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year, the opportunity for a new beginning exists every single day.
The more grace (love, forgiveness) we give to others, the more we find poured out on us. There is no limit on grace, especially when we’re giving it away. So give it away freely, along with a heaping helping of love.
I love this quote for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest is because it combines three such important things: love, joy, and grace. Love is spoken in our home. Loads of love. Love is spoken in many ways… not just verbally, but through actions, through hugs and smiles. That is a blessing for which I am grateful every single day. Every one. Joy is also chosen in our home. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably surmised by now that Captain Cavedweller is a bit of (okay – a whole lot of) a tease and jokester who is rarely serious. There is much laughter every day, but there is also joy that bubbles up from our hearts from the awareness of how fortunate we are in this life. Grace is given in our home to each other, and to those who might not reside within its walls, but reside in our hearts. Grace is extended to those who are strangers but in need of it. And ever so slowly, I’m learning to give myself sweet measures of grace.
And I like to think I’m learning to give grace instead of judgement, to see with love instead of anger (frustration, envy, hurt, etc.) Sometimes someone who is angry, bitter, spiteful or cruel just needs a little grace. And sometimes that person might even be us.
Even the tiniest measure of grace can go such a long, long way.
Life is a very precious, beautiful gift that many take for granted. It’s important, so important to be grateful for that gift. To cherish it, value it, treasure it. And to honor it by filling our hearts and lives with grace, courtesy, gratitude, kindness, and love.
More than once this year I have been greatly disturbed by the emphasis put on looking beautiful. Beauty fades, prettiness ages, but the things of real value only improve with time.
Rather than encourage young women to be “beautiful” we should encourage them to be smart and witty, clever and creative, interesting and intriguing, resourceful and captivating, graceful and kind instead of focusing on having just another pretty face.
Beauty without grace – you see it time and again. True beauty, the kind that comes from the heart, walks hand-in-hand with grace. Be your own kind of beautiful.
Gratitude and grace do such amazing things! They clothe the soul with beauty and the heart with joy.
In fact, joy is going to be my theme for 2017. So if you enjoyed this year’s grace lessons, check in on Monday’s next year as I journey through a year of joy.
Thank you all for the amazing, inspiring, heartfelt moments of grace you’ve shared with me this year. I appreciate you all so much and wish for you sweet moments and measures of grace each and every day in the coming year.