They encircle me.
My job is to notice them. Rejoice in them. Be thankful for them.
I step out of bed and my feet hit the floor. Gravity is still in effect. No ceiling walking today.
The sun shines through my window. Again it has risen.
The birds belt tunes from the fence top. The toothpaste lid is where it should be. Warm water sprays my tired body. My husband greets me with a hug. My child with a jump, some nonsense words, and a big smile ending in a full body-almost-land-on-the-floor hug.
I am loved by my family. God is in charge. My salvation is assured. Another day has begun. Grace abounds and overflows in uncountable small and big ways.
I can notice these graces of life and rejoice, or I can shut my heart to them and wish for more, bigger and better, even different.
It is a matter of perspective. A matter of choice. Realizing that life and all its quirks and mess is a gift from God who set us here on this beautiful earth surrounded with all we need to create comfortable lives.
Warm water is delightful in the early morning. A grace of life I often take for granted, until my water heater breaks and I no longer have warm liquid to wash dishes, clean hands, wipe counters, rinse hair. Lack of it can be painful.
If I look, I notice so many graces of life. The man who offers to carry my books out of the library when my hands are full with an infant. A store full of choices, and not just three mustard tones to choose from, but a plethora that makes my choice even harder, yet in a good manner. A waitress who jokes and teases a smile and then laughter from my throat. A neighbor who waves and stops to chat. Clean dishes in the cupboard. A dishwasher to clean dirty dishes. Two hands and water and soap to clean dirty pans. So many little things. So many big things.
Every day there are so many graces to count, give thanks for, ponder. Blessings from God, nature, life, and those around us. The plants grow and bloom, our children grow sturdy and mature, the rain falls on us all, waves roll in and out. God holds it all in His hands and causes it to happen.
We often assume we deserve all this, these never ending blessings, these daily gifts, and then complain for lack of more. But do we deserve them? What makes us more deserving than the next person? Or the next next person? What have we done to deserve all the little and big things of life that come with just living as a human? The things we take for granted, like air to breathe, the seasons, human kindness and honesty, the pursuit of happiness, water, and sunshine.
We deserve nothing. Nothing but death because of our sins and the penalty they carry. And yet each day our cup overflows. It is our choice. We can complain or rejoice. See life as half full or overflowing.
I can complain when my child disobeys. Or I can be thankful I have a child God has entrusted me to teach His precepts, to mold his character, to pass on the joy of living, forgiving, grace, and loving. I can mourn my unfulfilled dreams, or I can latch onto the dreams God has for me. I can view my husband as an irritant or as a gift from God. I can envy my co-workers, or rejoice in their triumphs. I can compare my life with others, or enjoy and embrace the life I currently have. I can covet my neighbor’s flower garden or plant and pursue my own. I can be angry about the problems that surround me, or realize God is in control and look forward to that next life alongside Him.
We are graced with more good gifts than our hands can hold, enough to pass on to those around us. All because of love. God’s love for us. His continual, never ending, never severing, forever and always love he bestows on us. A love so great that Jesus took our penalty of sin upon himself. He died so we might live encircled by all of life’s free and abundant graces that surround us. He died so that we might abundantly enjoy his gifts of life that he freely bestows upon us.
Live abundantly. Live Joyfully. Live acknowledging the graces that come attached with being a participant of life and beloved child of God.
“Lord, help me to notice all the graces of life that encircle me constantly and daily. The little and big things I take for granted, complain about, and that frustrate me. Give me eyes anew to perceive your free gifts of love, grace, and freedom. Then help me to pass your precious gifts of life to those around me.”
Fun video to change our perceptive: