Guide Us With Your Grace

Guide Us In Your GraceThis morning my husband texted me with this question: “What does ‘guide us with your grace’ really mean?”

Good question.

Pedro’s been listening to Josh Groban—probably as loudly as the speakers can handle, since I’m far away from home right now. In fact, I have only slept in my bed once since I turned 48 (on June 9)—my calendar shows that August has crept up and will pounce upon us in a few short days—whether we want it to or not.

It hasn’t been an easy summer. I like home. But I like family and learning more. We celebrated our oldest daughter and son-in-laws’ graduation from college. Pedro and I vacationed in North Carolina for 12 days, and now I’m spending time with our youngest daughter. Interspersed with all of the visits and memories, I took classes to maintain my teacher certification and improve my craft.

Inside an alligator's mind....

Inside an alligator’s mind….

A side-benefit to all the travel was the 62 new birds I added to my life list (I’m nerdy that way). Along the way I suffered through approximately 354 mosquito bites (just on my shoulders where I didn’t apply the sunblock/repellant cream) in a seven-hour time period and ventured WAY outside my comfort zone by birding alone. Without my bear spray (I’m not sure how well the bear spray would have worked with the alligators or sharks—but I’m pretty sure it works against human threats, thus, I always like to have it handy).

I also spent hours on the phone with health insurance companies trying to figure out benefits for an unusual health issue. Maybe I should say ‘soberring’ on the phone. Ever since Pedro’s life-threatening bout with cancer, just dialing an insurance company raises my tension levels by 300%. Add to that my angst and need to have questions answered.  About the time I share my insurance ID number, messy, snot-accompanied tears seem to sprout from my eyes while I hold back the sobs. Not a pretty sight.

I feel sorry for everyone I spoke to on the phone. I sounded like a blathering idiot half the time. But you know, each one of them acted with grace and compassion. They didn’t hang up or get annoyed.

And that brings me back to Pedro’s question as to the meaning of ‘guide us with your grace.’ I looked up the word ‘grace’ and discovered some surprising definitions. Grace is a thing of beauty. God guides us in an elegant, beautiful way where each piece of our story fits together in something so much larger than we can see.

I cling to the promise of future beauty during the times I struggle with the puzzle pieces. (click to tweet)

Grace means ‘mercy; clemency, pardon.’ I harbor deep gratitude that despite my mistakes and faults and ‘sobbering’ God will guide me each step of my journey—even if I step in the wrong direction and need forgiveness.

‘Grace’ also refers to the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. Not only does God guide me in beauty and forgiveness, he grants me the strength to carry on despite my emotions and reactions to setbacks.

The most curious definition of grace I discovered: moral strength. I’ve never associated ‘grace’ with ‘moral strength’ before, but I like that definition. When I have hard decisions to make and I feel inadequate to make them, God will supply the moral strength that I need.

And so my prayer for you and me today is that God will guide us with his grace—in beauty, in compassionate forgiveness, regeneration and moral strength. (click to tweet)

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • I love this post! I’m glad Dad asked you that question, because it inspired a helpful blog post for me and, I’m sure, for you and everyone who reads this.
    Laura Melchor recently posted…The First ResidencyMy Profile

    • He always asks good questions, doesn’t he?

  • Donne

    Thanks for the beautiful definition. I pray that as y’all struggle with the puzzle pieces that He will help them come together. I know it is rough, not being in your own bed all summer, but praise God that you were able to be where you needed to be at this time.

    • Amen! God’s grace is always a thing of beauty and perfect timing.

  • Beautiful! I loved when you described how God guides us in our each piece of our stories in ways that can not always be seen. That my friend is grace! To have a loving God who so willingly walks along side us even after our imperfect messes keep piling up-that is grace. Great words! I love that we have a connection through teaching! It sounds like you have worked hard this summer. Hugs!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Blessed… {and a giveaway!}My Profile

    • 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing all of my students again! New Year’s for me starts in August–I’m never sure what the hoopla in January is about ;).

  • Anita- Thank you for wrestling through this for us. It was just what I needed for today. And I love this: “Grace is a thing of beauty. God guides us in an elegant, beautiful way where each piece of our story fits together in something so much larger than we can see. ” Loved it!
    Karen Brown recently posted…When Across the Street Seems Too FarMy Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Karen. As we wrestle with those puzzle pieces, it’s nice to know that we’re not the one with the bigger picture–chances are, it will be so much bigger and beautiful than we could ever have imagined.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…God Isn’t LateMy Profile

  • What a lovely explanation of grace. I think I so often walk my own way instead of following His guidance. Then I fear coming back but if I remember the grace not only can I come back I also tend to never venture away.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…No Words to ShareMy Profile

    • That’s the best thing about his grace, isn’t it? It makes us want to snuggle in close and not wander so often.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…God Isn’t LateMy Profile

  • I like that you’re nerdy that way about birds. We all need to be nerdy about something. And, my heart goes out to you – how you felt on the phone – because when we’re in full-mode gotta-take-care-of-stuff mode – sometimes overwhelmed we really are is like a stealth volcano which erupts without any warning. I think God is the most magnificent traveling companion – because He treats all our mishaps with such compassion, good will, encouragement all rolled into grace. Wishing you peace, blessing and refreshing!
    bluecottonmemory recently posted…When By-the-Book Parenting Doesn’t WorkMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Maryleigh :). I love that term, ‘stealth volcano’–what a perfect description of those lurking emotions that you think you’ve banished!

  • Clinging to that future promise with you, friend! Sometimes the puzzle pieces just don’t seem to come together. Grateful for a God whose presence is the answer to all our questions. Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!
    Holly Barrett recently posted…Finding rest as a spiritual misfitMy Profile

  • Wonderful perspective on grace!!

  • Loved this! Great read for me today. 🙂
    Kirsten Oliphant recently posted…The Great PursuitMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kirsten :). How’s sweet little Squish doing?