Reviving Grace in Small Things

A certain friend (you probably know who) has asked for a little help.  The help I am happy to offer is in retraining the brain to find the positive that is all around us all the time. We have been programmed by negative childhood experiences, by cynical and critical family members, by a society that loves to dwell on the bad, the scary, the suspicions, the perceived dangers. We have tapes that play in our heads.

Quieting those tapes in our heads, getting free of those filters that cause us to see limitations before possibility and threat before opportunity,  takes a hell of a lot of work and a lot of time. But we have to start somewhere, right? And why not today?

Would you like to join us?

I am going to restart my daily habit of noticing five things every day that make me smile, that make me feel blessed to be here on God’s beautiful earth, that fill me with a sense of awe, that take my breath away.

If you would like to join in, you can leave a comment pointing us to your blog or you can post your five things in the comments section.  Don’t worry. If you can’t make it to five, just enumerate however many you were able to find/notice.

I am going to set some guidelines to help us to be on the same page.

Whenever possible, try to be in the present moment. It’s great to say, “I’m looking forward to my upcoming vacation.” Sure, that’s a positive. But this practice is really, when you come down to it, about training ourselves to leave the realm of past and future, where worries and regrets rule, and settling into the holy Now, the only place completely free of regret or worry…and the only place where God can meet you.

Another guideline is this: try to be aware of an implied negative buried in your positive. If I say, “I was thankful when so-and-so left the room,” this is a not very well disguised comment on your negative feelings about that person. This is not really where we want to go in forging new neural pathways. So when you celebrate Friday but not Monday, quitting time but not starting time, be aware of the implicit negative in that positive. I’m not saying it isn’t a great place to start noticing the positive, but be aware that the ultimate destination is to transcend those veiled negatives.

Let’s start today.

7 responses to “Reviving Grace in Small Things

  1. Hi, Kelly,

    I don’t know that I’m up for doing this every day, as I’m also doing Little Brave Things…but I am very inspired to do this today, and at other times in the future, too. My link to my public Facebook site where I link to here and leave my gratitude list for today is:

    I am glad you are starting up Grace in Small Things again. It’s a great idea,

    • Awesome, Olivia! I am not on FB anymore. I couldn’t handle two blogs (plus my two classroom blogs, which I only update on Fridays), and FB at the same time. I had to cut something back. But that’s okay. It’s like my way of keeping my home uncluttered. If one new thing comes in, one thing goes out. My closet and shoe shelf are the same.

      Blessings and a big hug, K

      • olivia brown

        Kelly, it is a public page so you don’t have to be on Facebook to read it. You can still see it, anyone can! I no longer keep up a personal blog and just put the personal things on FB and the professional on the public FB page. I have been ill the last few days with some tough dental issues, and haven’t posted (only about my physical issues on my personal page), but expect to be back at some (I hope soon) point when I am better. xoO

      • Thanks for this, Olivia. I will email you.

  2. Every evening at dinner time we have a toast for something that was good that day. The four of us choose at least one thing. That way I incorporated the recognition of daily Graces as a family tradition.
    Today I told Daniel that our list was longer than usual. All little things from a friend calling to a tidier shelf. All ordinary, simple, free things.
    I might not be posting here but I´m doing the work. ;)

    • Paula, That is a fantastic practice!!! May I borrow this idea??? Kelly

      • Run with it! It really evolved with the years from a simple toast to a joyful list. And the days the kids don´t find anything the attitude is twofold. First find some simple things for them like “You had hot breakfast and went to a nice school where you have friends. There, that´s three for you” and then “Want something fun? Do something about it. Go, have an adventure, learn something, create something. Be the creator of your life.”.

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