Tuesday, March 8, 2011

grace makes beauty: the beginning of Lent.

My weekends have been so lovely lately that I'm trying not to be one of those people who just lives for Friday at 5. It's a challenge, this giving-thanks-for-every-moment, but I am finding that I notice more: that I relish the way my eggs slip and slide and shine while I make myself an omelet. That a quiet evening is viewed with a sigh of relief and a prayer of thanksgiving, that the pink and purple blooms intertwined amongst the brown branches receive more of my attention than they did last week.

I wrote that in my 25th year, I wanted to become grace. I wanted to bring my name honor. I wanted to not just receive the grace that's been given or bestow it on those I love: I want to be grace.

"Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Grace finds beauty in everything."

So sings Bono, and so I want to be.

And each day, with its ups and downs or seemingly straight-line-nothingness, I am feeling it a little bit more, like the books I have been reading for months now are finally sinking in, like it has taken a while now for these seeds I have been sowing to take root.

I am, in the smallest of ways, becoming more grace-filled.

Not by my own doing, of course, but by the One who reigns in me.

Of course, not every moment is the picture of grace. There are still moments of frustration, aggravation, and disappointment. Moments of doubt creep in, and moments of anger catch on my tongue.

But I am liking this me. She is not perfect, but she is trying to find the good, the beauty, the grace.

Tomorrow, as the season of Lent begins, I am nervous. I have been content these last few weeks, and I am afraid what a change in diet, in routine, might do to a grace-filled life. (Or a life that is trying to achieve some semblance of grace.) I have bitten off a large task, I know, but I am determined.

I plan to blog my progress, not out of pride or selfish ambition (for the day that it becomes that I will have to forfeit and move on), but for the hope of community and encouragement, a desire to see what the Lenten experience can do when we let the Spirit do his work.

Several of you have agreed to join me, armed with your own sacrifices. My hope is that we can be a source of encouragement for one another, that the sacrifices we each bring will inspire us to continue through the 40 days. 

Here's to making beauty out of ugly things.


Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

- from The Book of Common Prayer


tiffany said...

I too long to be a woman of grace--I have even given that name to my first daughter praying that my children too will long to be men and women of grace. Thank you for this lovely post and the lovely reminder that He is in all things should we open our eyes and behold His glory and presence in them.
Blessings to you as you begin your Lenten journey. May His face shine upon you as you see His hand crafting and shaping your heart to be more like His.
I am eager to take this journey with you.

Mo Pie, Please said...

Beautiful quote - and good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful, post darling. I really enjoyed reading this! And you have a fantastic blog, I'll definitely be visiting again! And thank you for writing in! I loved getting to know you better. And you have great taste in books, those are some of my favorites too!
Have a lovely week!