grace, grateful, thankful

Christmas Grace

At 11:00 pm last night, while waiting for two more loaves of bread to come out of the oven, I took a five-minute class!  Yes siree.  I watched a video on you tube, how to make a 3D paper snowflake!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5V5uRKL_eI  I love learning something new and fun and easy.  snowflake

Just another example of why I love technology.  I can take classes (any time day or night), learn things, look up things………pretty amazing that we have a “library” at our fingertips.  I love email and connecting with friends more often than snail mail.  I am even trying my hand at texting.   I love face book.   I have re-connected with so many great long, lost school chums.  Just the fact that I just typed “chums” tells you how old I am.  yikes.  I get to pick and choose who I follow.  I love getting the scripture verse of the day from one friend.  I drink my coffee over the latest quilt pattern and pictures I view daily.  I have a few friends who share silly jokes that make me giggle.    However, here it comes……………I am still old-fashioned enough that I do still write letters by hand, I still read my devotional from a book (also on my phone daily), I still go out and meet people in person and can have an actual conversation.

It scares me a bit when I see young people not able to hand write a letter or note.  I makes me cringe a little when I say thank you and the younger person says “no problem” instead of a more refined, “you are welcome”.  I scratch my head a bit when I hear someone has 487 “friends” but in real life, hides in her bedroom and does not engage in social activities.  I think part of the issue I have with poor manners is that when you are behind a computer screen, somehow it is easier to be “rude” when you are not actually looking at a person.  Please people for the sake of a kind and wholesome society we need to be loving and kind to one another.

Oh I am guilty of being “friends” and not actually seeing the persons beautiful eyes in person.  Last night was a different tune.   Instead of talking on Facebook, or reading an email, or sharing a photograph………………I actually hugged my real live friend!  Somehow, when we and I include myself in that category, get caught up in life and families and yes, blogging, somehow we “forget” to make the effort to get out there and hug someone for real.

In case it has been a while for you, here is what happens……..you make arrangements, the snow covering changes them slightly, you print a map, you bake ahead of time so you don’t come empty-handed, you chat with Mr. Right in the car, then all of a sudden a short 45 minute trip from your home, you get a little flutter in your stomach before that front door opens.  You are one, hoping it is the right home.  Two you are hoping that as much as you love the person on-line, that in real life time, things will be just as lovely.     Hold onto your hat folks, the instant that door opens you are welcomed with open arms like the prodigal son.  You are instantly bathed in a Grace like no other.  The juxtaposition of the chilly outdoors and the warmth and candle lit glow of the indoors describes the feeling perfectly.

To say that she is lovely on the outside as well as the inside, is an enormous understatement.   Her eyes sparkle with goodness.  While standing next to my friend, you can actually feel her heart spilling over with care and concern and love for others.  You instantly feel lucky to be with her.  Somehow you want to be a kinder person, you want to stand taller and be nicer just by being with her.  She has graceful gestures is one smart cookie and looks right at you when you are speaking.  When she introduced us to her son, you knew in an instant that she is one of those “good” moms.  They are proud of their children and love them greatly….and yet somehow now that the kiddos are actual grown ups you can tell she really likes them.  She wants to be friends with them.  Heck you want to be friends with them and go out to lunch and have a laugh and a conversation with them.    Here comes a good part of the story…………my Mr. Right meets her Mr. Right.  In a fleeting moment, you make the introductions, they reach out to shake hands, you want to somehow give them clues and background information to make it easier…………..both former counselors, both have two boys, both are good men who love and care for their wives…………..okay, they are grown men for heaven’s sake……………go talk, for the love of girlfriends everywhere PLEASE make it work, please like each other so that we will have that bond as well………..please……..

Oh, hey, 20 minutes passed, the girls are chatting and giggling and standing close and smiling.  What? What’s that……..the men folk (sort of forgot about them for a minute) are talking more than the women folk. Praise the good Lord.

Our brief Christmas hug exchange ended all too quickly.  Good byes and hugs and exchange of little bags of goodness…..the walk to the car.  Getting in and getting settled.  You know the drill, you wait for it, you wait, then you both burst out talking about how wonderful and smart and lovely they are in person.  You both are puffed up and pleased with yourself for making the effort to stop by and visit in person.  We talked and smiled all the way home.

I sort of want to take partial credit for “making” the effort to meet in person.  This my friends was way bigger than one person. This was a moment way more important and powerful than silly school chums wanting to meet.   We have all been on shaky ground since last week.  We all are asking why would someone be so awful.  We all are craving the kindness of others.  In a miraculous moment, the four of us were standing smack dab in the middle of pure goodness and thanks.  Thank you Lord for steering us in the direction of  real, flesh and blood friends.

I am not giving up my social networking, it is fun and silly and enjoyable. However,  last night I was gently reminded that being in the company of solid good people brings you up to a new level of goodness.  We need one another.  It makes us better people.  Standing with others, in person gives you a little more strength and courage to meet the troubles of the day.  Being bathed in Grace feels good.  It is there for all of us, free of charge.  We just need to remember to step away from the electronics once in a while and draw heartfelt kindness from friends in person.

Have I mentioned lately what a lucky girl I am?  I am grateful and thankful for giving and receiving Christmas Grace.  It feels warm and lovely and safe.

ps.  doing something nice for myself was just the sparkle I needed to increase my Christmas joy.

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Grace”

  1. What a JOY to finally see you face to face after so many years (OK, decades)!!!!!!
    You are even more delightful in person…so glad we met each others’ Mr. Right and that they got acquainted as well. 🙂
    Funny how a doggy treat and a computer glitch and a little snow were the start of such a special moment!
    I’m truly blessed to be your friend and thankful for the grace you so freely share…Patti

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