There are days when I find myself feeling full of both grace and gratitude. Some days are filled with joy, contentment and happiness over the smallest things; a great night’s sleep, a snoozing cat on the sofa next to me, a good joke, a cup of coffee, and the Crankee Yankee mostly over his bout with flu. Grace and gratitude!
Days like this are gifts that are given graciously. I never feel that I fully deserve them, but am grateful just the same. It’s that rare and precious feeling you get when the little bit of our world seems safe and full of pure happiness and peace. Grace and gratitude!
After the snowfall from a few days ago, the temps dropped down and the tree branches and the stark bushes were sheathed in ice. The sun lit up all the icy limbs with every color of the rainbow. It was as if our little part of the world had turned into Tiffany’s window display. Grace and gratitude!
There was a hymn I used to sing that had this line in it: “I have been given much, so I too must give.” I think about it each day; how lucky I am to live in a free country. I have a snug roof over my head, clothes to wear, food to eat. I have love and companionship, laughter, love, hope and joy. I have family and friends. I have had wonderful people who came before me and helped me on my way; who taught and inspired me.
It reminds me to give of my time and attention; to make a positive difference where possible. It can be as simple as a smile to a stranger, or as life-changing as giving blood at the Red Cross. We give as we can, and all gifts matter.
So far in this life, I have loved many people and have been loved by many people. Although I have lost some dear ones along the way, they are with me still and have changed my life for the better. How often did I hear my dad say to me, “be aware!” That life lesson stays with me to this very day, and I do strive to be aware at all times.
I keep reminding myself each day to look around, to notice everything, to truly be aware. For all of the bad and horrible things that have happened in our world, I believe that there have been many more acts of goodness and kindness. Most may be unseen to all but those who are direct receivers, but the intent and the energy of those acts of goodness still make a difference.
If we can just stay aware, there is truly more grace and gratitude out there than we can imagine. Look for it, and you’ll find it. Be grateful, be gracious, be kind; be aware. Watch for it; it’s everywhere: grace and gratitude.