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.
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)