Grace Lessons – Week 6

unexpectedgrace1

Since Christmas, I’ve been given ample opportunity to test the thickness of my skin. The ironic thing is, most people who pursue creative arts like writing, or painting, or singing are extremely sensitive people with deep emotions and developing a thick skin is something we have to really work at.

A lot.

But the “haters” seem to have grown even more outspoken than usual, sending me Facebook messages, emails, and leaving reviews that make it abundantly clear just how much they truly detest me.

Among the hate mail in the last several weeks, I’ve been called stupid, accused of scamming readers and trying to bilk them out of their hard earned dollars, and one person suggested I acquaint myself with a dictionary. My personal favorite — someone called me a “shameless fraud” because they didn’t like the free chapter, recipe, and info I always put at the back of my books.

I couldn’t help but wonder if these people would be so full of hate and venom if we met in person. Sadly, I have to assume they probably would, at least to some degree.

Rather than stew about what was said (at least for too long), I’ve been trying to say a prayer for each one of these people who appear to be full of bitterness. To extend the grace to them they don’t appear to extend to others.

At any rate, I don’t share these nasty comments I received to garner your sympathy or pity… merely to set the stage for something fabulous.

Two completely unexpected surprises arrived in the mail recently that helped restore my belief that the world is full of wonderful people.

One was from a beta reader who sent a box of goodies from her home state. Not only was the surprise gift incredibly sweet (and tasty), her kindness brightened my day and completely warmed my heart. (Thank you, Miss S!)

The second surprise was from a fan. Her gift was…

necklace 1A personalized necklace and earrings.

The necklace has this great western vibe while still capturing a girlie feel (totally me!). There is a little cowboy hat charm, a cowboy boot with a spur, a sparkly “S”, a rose, and a locket. The earrings are arrows that match the necklace. (You can check out Bells in Bloom Jewelry to see the amazing pieces she creates!)

When I opened the box and saw this gift, I thought of all the time and attention to detail that went into it. It left me in awe that someone would do something so nice for me – go to so much work and effort to send a gift to a stranger.

Then I opened the locket…

necklace 2And I cried.

The kindness of these two people whom I’ve never met in person has so touched my heart and filled me to overflowing with blessings.

Their unexpected gifts (gifts from the heart) brought me such an incredible measure of grace – and for that I am so deeply, truly, and sincerely thankful. Those moments of unexpected grace are ones I definitely cherish and treasure.

 

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