The Simple Gifts of Daily Grace

Dear Reader:

What a wonderful day I had yesterday…I made such progress in finishing up as much of Christmas giving as possible! I knew the rains were coming and time was limited. I finished up just as the first drops began to fall yesterday afternoon. (We are in for a cold rainy few days which will get even colder this weekend…below freezing at night. * I will have to try carefully to bring “Big Red” in ( It has gotten too big for the doorway) because it has new blooms just waiting to pop and any cloth over it might snap its fragile stems.)

But oh my! Is “Big Red” ever putting on a show…cars slow down as they go past the house. “Big Red” is so proud and so am I!

This day probably won’t stand out in my long-term memory retention but to me it was special while living it. I had one of those days that just clicked…I discovered new ideas for gifts to finish up with my Christmas shopping, everyone was helpful and kind, I picked up some lunch and while re-energized got some errands done I had been putting off like going to the bank and returning a broken toy.

By the time I got home the rain and I had both settled in for the rest of the day…a great day for wrapping…definitely not one of my favorite parts of Christmas but now done. Check! It was a day that left me feeling a sense of accomplishment and that is always a great feeling.

When I came across this excerpt from the book: Small Graces by Kent Nerburn…I thought to myself…this is it…what I feel so many times at the end of the day as I do my mental assessment…did I get some “stuff” done that I wanted to do or did I pittle the time away…not doing anything important. Or was the “pittling time” more important than my daily check-off list?

See if you can identify with Kent Nerburn’s thoughts about this common dilemma among us…the need to do more each day…or not?

Excerpt from Small Graces 

(Awakin Weekly)

Night is closing in. It is time for sleep.

I have walked a quiet path today. I have done no great good, no great harm. I might have wished for more — some dramatic occurrence, something memorable. But there was no more. This was the day I was given, and I have tried to meet it with a humble heart.

How little it seems. We seek perfection in our days, always wanting more for ourselves and our lives, and striving for goals unattainable. We live between the vast infinites of past and future in the thin shaft of light we call ‘today.’ And yet today is never enough.

Where does it come from, this strange unquenchable human urge for ‘more’ that is both our blessing and our curse? It has caused us to lift our eyes to the heavens and thread together pieces of the universe until we can glimpse a shadow of the divine creation. Yet to gain this knowledge, we have sometimes lost the mystery of a cloud, the beauty of a garden, the joy of a single step.

We must learn to value the small as well as the great. […]

“Confucius told his followers, ‘Bring peace to the old, have trust in your friends, and cherish the young.’

“Do we really need much more than this? To honor the dawn. To visit a garden. To talk to a friend. To contemplate a cloud. To cherish a meal. To bow our heads before the mystery of the day. Are these not enough?

The world we shape is the world we touch — with our words, our actions, our dreams.

If we should be so lucky as to touch the lives of many, so be it. But if our lot is no more than the setting of a table, or the tending of a garden, or showing in a child a path in a wood, our lives are no less worthy.

I crawl into my bed, feel the growing warmth of the covers, hear the quiet rhythms of my wife’s gentle breathing.

Outside, the wind blows softly, brushing a branch from the birch against the house.

To do justice. To love mercy. To walk humbly with our God.

To bring peace to the old. To have trust in our friends. To cherish the young.

Sometimes, it seems, we ask too much. Sometimes we forget that the small graces are enough.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I needed to hear that yesterday…to be reassured that we don’t have to try to save the world every day…that we, ourselves, going about our daily lives is enough.

Now that I think about it…what I considered “pittling” was wrapping the gifts and it ended up being my favorite part of the day because I imagined each recipient’s face when he/she got my gift and how it would make them feel…cherished by me…I hope.

So until tomorrow…At the end of each day…let’s think back over it and ask ourselves if we gave a compliment to someone waiting in line at the bank to make him/her feel a little bit better, did we share a smile or joke with a shop keeper or clerk, did we hold the door for a harried mother with a screaming toddler, or thank a waitress for always knowing what we drink and bringing it with the menu? Small Graces of Gratitude for life in all its many forms.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

What beauty exists within walking distance of my home!

 

 

 

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Simple Gifts of Daily Grace

  1. bcparkison says:

    Love the passage and yes Big Red is beautiful but…what is that grand flowering bush ? Oh my it is grand.

    Like

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Camellia bush one block down for me…isn’t it gorgeous? We are getting to have a deep freeze this weekend so that will probably be the end of these gorgeous fall plants.

    Like

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