133 Ways “Grace is”

When my wife and I came home from work the day before yesterday it was hot in the house. Very hot.

That moment when you realize the air conditioner is not working hot. That moment when you start thinking I did not plan for fixing the air conditioner hot.

The repairman just left the house. Now it is that moment when you realize it will take a while to pay for fixing the air conditioner.

I am looking for grace in this moment of my life.

Six months ago when I started writing in this little corner of the internet I also began posting most days of the week on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter.

In the middle of September, on a whim, I wrote:

Grace means even as a Cardinal fan God still loves the Cubs.

I then started thinking about what grace is and I began a little journey.

Except for a few days when I was distracted or not feeling particularly graceful, every Monday through Friday since September 15 I have posted a simple “Grace is” statement.

They are brief and crystalized into a moment. I have tried to keep my eyes open for something, anything, that reminded me of the unmerited favor of life. It has been fun.

Watching for moments in the day where a gift of life comes my way has helped me pay attention to the small things. Sometimes the grace moments have been mundane and sometimes surprising. Most of them reminded me of the deep character of God in all corners of life.

In the last six months I have posted 133 “Grace is” statements. Reading down the list now reminds me of the seasons of life and how from fall through winter to spring God works to bring us grace in ways we seldom see coming.

Here they are in their unedited form. Scan the list and maybe you’ll find a couple that will bring some grace to your day. If you need some grace today, feel free to borrow one of these . . . .

Grace means even as a Cardinal fan God still loves the Cubs.
Grace is a long walk with your dog before dawn.
Grace is holding an infant in your arms.
Grace is silence in the middle of a long day.
Grace is music.
Grace is beauty.
Grace is spending time with your children.
Grace is hope.
Grace is forgiveness.
Grace is silence before a long day.
Grace is Friday.
Grace is prayer in a quiet moment.
Grace is acceptance.
Grace is a long conversation with an old friend.
Grace is prayer in a noisy world.
Grace is watching baseball with your son (or daughter!).
Grace is a retreat with friends.
Grace is a long walk with an old friend.
Grace is deer moving through the woods.
Grace is the first sign of leaves turning.
Grace is being greeted by your dog upon returning home.
Grace is fall break.
Grace is a nap on Sunday afternoon.
Grace is surprising your wife with a trip to Steak and Shake and watching the smile on her face.
Grace is you.
Grace is praying for a friend in need.
Grace is rain.
Grace is your baseball team still playing in late October.
Grace is a clean house.
Grace is still cheering for your team after the last out of the season. It was a good year, Cardinals!
Grace is God’s fall canvas.
Grace is a long conversation with your daughter.
Grace is discussing philosophy with your son.
Grace is lunch with people I love.
Grace is a 31st wedding anniversary.
Grace is remembering the childish joy of Hallowe’en.
Grace is the memory of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12.1).
Grace is followers on Twitter/Likes on FB page!
Grace is Monday. Yes, even Monday is a gift.
Grace is the freedom to vote one’s conscience.
Grace is living with others of a different opinion.
Grace is a kind comment to a divisive Facebook rant.
Grace is college basketball season starting. Go Bruins!
Grace is life.
Grace is a good cup of coffee on a cold day.
Grace is loving angry people.
Grace is listening to someone tell the same story over and over again.
Grace is returning home to your family.
Grace is a half day of work before the holiday.
Grace is reading a good book on a Saturday morning.
Grace is saying thanks.
Grace is a good night’s sleep.
Grace is frost at dawn.
Grace is a fist bump.
Grace is your daughter cooking a wonderful dinner for you.
Grace is Advent.
Grace is holding hands.
Grace is the sound of your child’s voice.
Grace is final exams!
Grace is hot water.
Grace is rereading a favorite book.
Grace is the end of finals.
Grace is making new friends.
Grace is a cap, gloves, and scarf on a cold day.
Grace is pile of folded clothes.
Grace is hope in the face of darkness.
Grace is sunshine on a wintery day.
Grace is a cabin by the creek.
Grace is carrying someone else’s burden for them.
Grace is another day to live.
Grace is anticipation.
Grace is family visiting for the holidays.
Grace is a homemade cranberry scone for breakfast.
Grace is sleeping in . . . .
Grace is a story of those who always loved you.
Grace is a new year full of wonder.
Grace is a Fuji Apple. Yum!
Grace is a clean kitchen.
Grace is a homemade oatmeal muffin.
Grace is a rainy day.
Grace is laughter.
Grace is reading scripture.
Grace is a second cup of coffee after a sleepless night.
Grace is 33 degrees on a rainy wintery night.
Grace is conversation over a cup of coffee.
Grace is civil rights for all.
Grace is the ability to dream.
Grace is knowing when to say when.
Grace is asking questions.
Grace is listening.
Grace is learning something new.
Grace is finding a quiet place to unwind.
Grace is beginning the day in Cusco, Peru.
Grace is walking on Incan stones with your daughter.
Grace is Andean peaks.
Grace is sunrise over Machu Picchu.
Grace is the wonder of God’s creation.
Grace is coming home.
Grace is waking up at home.
Grace is being loved for who you are.
Grace is a bowl of cherries.
Grace is anticipation.
Grace is your child coming home from far away.
Grace is the edge of Spring.
Grace is traveling to Florida for Spring Training Cardinals baseball.
Grace is watching the groundskeeper care for the field after the game.
Grace is a walk on the beach with your sweetheart.
Grace is baseball.
Grace is cruise control on a long drive.
Grace is the sound of birds at dawn.
Grace is your son turning 21.
Grace is a sigh of relief.
Grace is a warm breeze, birds singing, and warm sunshine on a Spring day.
Grace is a rainy day.
Grace is a miracle.
Grace is a hug.
Grace is sharing your life story with others.
Grace is a week to remember the passion of Jesus.
Grace is snow on a spring day.
Grace is absorbing betrayal.
Grace is speaking the truth in love.
Grace is someone dying for you.
Grace is waiting for good news.
Grace is new life!
Grace is taking a deep breath of spring air.
Grace is honesty among friends.
Grace is a clean desk.
Grace is reading scripture.
Grace is embracing difference in others.
Grace is an unexpected smile.
Grace is reading with an open mind.

Every now and then someone on Facebook or Twitter has responded with their own “Grace is” statement. I think it would be cool if grace became contagious. Feel free to share your “Grace is” statements at any time!

Oh, and now that the air conditioning repairman has left, I am reminded that “Grace is being cool.”

What reminds you of grace? What is grace to you? Finish this one . . . “Grace is . . . .”

  • Bill

    Grace is breakfast with a friend.

    • Darrell Gwaltney

      Yes, one of my favorite “Grace is” moments!

  • Tim

    Grace is reading an encouraging reminder of God’s gift of grace!

    • Darrell Gwaltney

      Thank you, Tim!

  • Janis

    Grace if finding the perfect pillow to sleep on.
    Grace is finding a great book and never wanting it to end.
    Grace is realizing that the world does not revolve around you.
    Grace is having a husband who always puts you first.

    • Darrell Gwaltney

      Ah, Janis, these are some very good “Grace is” statements! Thank you very much for sharing them!

  • Charlie Mitchell

    Grace is a granddaughter snuggling on your lap.
    Grace is a perfect drive on a green golf course on a crisp spring morning

    • Darrell Gwaltney

      Charlie, these are just great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Charlie Mitchell

    More – Grace is being married 44 years to your best friend.

    Grace is seeing your boys become dads.

    Grace is having granddaughters when all you had were boys.