Friday, October 28, 2011

Saying Grace



"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

Most mornings I do ask for grace, mercy and wisdom to be my companions throughout my day. However, I do wonder how it would affect my activity... focus... thoughts... not to mention results, if I took those few seconds to speak grace, not just at meal times, but every time I move from one task or activity to the next.

What if saying grace actually shifts our experience from one level to another where grace swirls around us all day -- intercepting, under-girding, increasing, changing, deepening, enriching? Wouldn't it be a lovely exercise to undertake to help us center our thoughts back on the One who promises to walk with us.

(Hours Later).... I wrote the above earlier in the day -- and I just arrived back from an evening class where I was scribbling down notes as fast as I could, trying to catch the speaker's key thoughts and my particular favorite turns of phrases, when I suddenly recalled those words of Mr. Chesterton's. So for the scantest of moments I stopped trying to jostle words into the tiny space in the notebook provided... and I did say grace. First, it was a little joy bubble, then I felt a grin spreading. And I knew I had, indeed, been Graced (see my definition below)!
  

 
Want to Join Me This Weekend?

Sometimes it's good to test these things out. Does it truly make a difference to say grace? In what way? I believe it does, but let's experiment and find out for ourselves. So, I'm thinking about setting my thoughts and focus on saying grace whenever I begin something new this weekend. Today, Saturday, Sunday.

If you'd like to join me, leave a comment today -- then come back Monday and share with us (in this same comment box) about if and how saying grace worked for you. I'll be here!

 * * *


*Graced = when a person is given the strength and ability to do it easily,
without toil, yet with efficiency, effectiveness and beauty.
(my own definition)

"My yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~ Jesus


Wishing you a grace-filled day!
Brenda
xox




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15 comments:

  1. Brenda~

    What a beautiful thought from Chesterton. Thank you for bringing it to your readers' attention. I will join you this weekend just as often as I remember. I'll report back Monday.

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  2. I am challenged and blessed by this post. My immediate response is to try to figure out why we use the word "say" ...

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  3. "where grace swirls around us all day -- intercepting, under-girding, increasing, changing, deepening, enriching?"

    I love that thought, Brenda, and I'm in. I will be "saying Grace" with you this weekend!

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  4. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for this post, Brenda!

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  5. Everything about this post is just so lovely and full of grace. I do say grace for food and when I begin a blog and when I begin to write or draw. I will take this challenge. I do believe that grace makes everything better. See you Monday.

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  6. This post has really struck me and made me think. And I realize how important saying grace is at all times, not just for meals. I love the Chesterton quote, very thought provoking. I've always believed in having a running conversation with God all day but I really like this idea of "saying grace".

    Yes, I want to join you this weekend. Can I link to this on my blog?

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  7. A marvelous post, Brenda! The Chesterton quote is a keeper - and the whole premise is what The Writer's Reverie basks in - or desires to do so. Sometimes, when I have a creative block I now it is because I am not relying on HIs Grace. Seeking such daily - thanks for the challenge!!

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  8. Would not the world be a different place if everyone would take up this challenge! I am going to try to be more aware and do the same. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  9. What a lovely quotation and really, a challenge. I'll take you up on this and endeavour to "say grace" throughout this weekend.

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  10. Saying grace - verbally expressing my gratitude, at all times, any or everywhere - allows me to focus on the Giver of gifts which He has given for my enjoyment or for my growth! Love Chesterton quotes!

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  11. I'm with you...went to the temple last wed with a friend and we had prayer before attending-helped us focus on the spirit...

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  12. Brenda - I took the challenge and I can say that it was a huge success. It reminded me of The Lord nearly all day and I found many blessings along the way. I think you are on to something. I would like to keep this up. I will try.

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  13. At first I was just going to post my 'saying grace' weekend results here. Then I thought I'd put it in a posting....

    I'm back to posting a wee comment HERE... well, because life got full all of a sudden.

    Like many of us, in my relationship with God, I'm always talking with Him and I hear Him often. So He's already involved in my day, every day.

    But this exercise of saying grace each time I turned to a new activity or task (as G.K. Chesterton referenced), well, that opened things to a new level.

    In my mind, saying grace is invoking a blessing -- in its most usual way, we speak that blessing over the food we eat -- being grateful for it and then asking for it to be blessed so our bodies would benefit.

    So to take that same idea and speak a grace over each new endeavor as I went through the day was interesting, to say the least.

    It was almost as if my saying grace took even the most mundane tasks and turned them into sacred moments... all these quite ordinary events like baking an apple cake, washing up the dishes, grocery shopping, blogging, driving the car around town, reading... to name a few.

    Two things I noticed:

    1. I didn't always remember to 'say grace' but I was grateful for the 'grace' not to feel guilty either (smile). So when I did remember, I said grace then.

    2. The other surprise I noticed: it's one thing to include God at the beginning of my day and know He walks with me through it, but quite another to invite His actual blessing -- that grace -- on each individual activity, task, moment. I felt it drew us closer to each other and knit our hearts as we worked... Him and me...together.

    And I do think there was a deeper sense of purpose and order, not to mention less toil, less stress.

    It was a wonderful exercise and a lovely weekend.

    Thanks to everyone who joined.

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  14. PS... One other thing I wanted to mention. This exercise was eye-opening in how often I did not remember to say grace.

    But I was kept from being discouraged about it because I remembered Brother Lawrence, a monk from centuries past who would, each time he forgot to worship God as he peeled his potatoes and scrubbed his kitchen pots (that's where he worked in the monastery)...

    that instead of feeling dejected and discouraged, He just threw himself back on the mercy of God and started loving on Him right then and there.

    And he tells of how God's presence would come and overwhelm him with such joy that he could hardly contain himself.

    If you're interested, here's the name of the book by Brother Lawrence: "The Practice of the Presence of God"

    (first published in 1692 - the copy I have was translated by Robert J. Edmonson, Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA).

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  15. PSS... (I shoulda made a posting)...

    I just popped over to Sandy at "And He Shall Direct My Paths" where she shared her own weekend's experiences. A lovely posting with some of her own encouraging words.

    Do pop over and see for yourself:

    http://andheshalldirectmypaths.blogspot.com/2011/11/morning-coffee-tiny-triumphs.html

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To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....