“The Grace to Gather”

Dear Reader:

I walked over to the side fence by the garden yesterday to check on the newly planted morning glories and the luscious smell of honeysuckle enveloped me. Puzzled…I walked around the little fence and sure enough, on the other side, there it was. Honeysuckle! Where it came from I have no idea…but I paused and gathered there… while, I, also, gathered a few blossoms to sniff and enjoy in the early morning hours.

Finding a delightful surprise, at an overlooked gathering spot, brings such delight. It is spontaneous and turns an ordinary day into something special. It happens every time I turn on my fountain…suddenly the melodic sound of water falling changes the whole “feel” of the garden and turns it into something magical.

Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer in church I remember the lesson I once heard about the implication and symbolism of “daily bread.” It has remained in my consciousness every time I read or hear those two words “Daily Bread.”

We live in a society who loves to plan ahead…a lot! Even as a classroom teacher, I remember growing weary of always having to spend afternoons and staff development on planning events a whole semester ahead… before we even got to the end of our first nine weeks grading period in early fall.

It was so confusing to concentrate on daily lesson planning when the school calendar already had dates marked to discuss curriculum planning for the spring…while still in the fall.

Pastor Cameron Lashbrook in his article “About That Crowded Schedule…Practice Daily Bread” reminds us what we lose when we try to live life ahead of the present.

“The more we try to pack into a day than is necessary to live well, the more good things start to smell and taste spoiled.  Have you ever had so many great things planned that you rushed through them all, feeling like you couldn’t wait until they were all done?  Quality of life does suffer under the pressurized obsessions for unmet needs to be fulfilled and under crushing cravings for more than is needed.” (We like the idea of saving up to have lots of extras in life about everything…just in case.)

Daily acknowledgment of our dependence on God is not only an act of faith, it also sets us right mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Trusting God to provide what is needed for God’s will to be done in our lives today, every day, sets us free from the fears and obsessions that ruin our appreciation of God’s blessings and sets us free to gather up the good gifts of God that we need today not tomorrow!”

These thoughts remind me of funny little Jakie last Easter Sunday…he was so sweet and appreciative of all the little goodies and little car surprises in the eggs…so he came over and hugged me and as he started own the steps from my kitchen into the den…he said, “Boo Boo, I want to stay here forever.” Of course my heart was all aflutter and I said he could come stay with his Boo Boo any time he wanted.

He then looked around the den and noticed that the Easter baskets were missing… with all the treats and toys. John told him he had taken everything to the car so Jakie wouldn’t forget something later and be sad when he got home. Immediately Jakie started up the other set of stairs heading outside and grinned at me, “Bye Bye Boo Boo we got to go now.” (Forever is a very short time apparently in a four-year-old.)

So until tomorrow….”Dear God, help us learn the lessons of daily bread!  By frantically gathering more than we need today, what we gather begins to spoil.  Worse yet, we grow further from God, the source of all good life!

Give us the grace to gather Your daily gifts and let that be enough.  Give us the grace to trust You to know what we need and to love us enough to provide it.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The “Swamp” maple behind the garage has just taken off…with little or no attention and the red bud is sprouting leaves all over…lesson learned in gardening…leave most of nature  alone…put it in God’s care for its “daily bread.”



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 Grace to Gather”

  1. bcparkison says:

    Becky, I reposted a blog today you might find interesting . About posting book covers etc.


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