Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Art of Gracious Living



Recently I read the most wonderful post about being gracious over at Muthering Heights. It was written by Myra from My Blessed Life and she listed several characteristics that encompass gracious living to her.

It got me to thinking...am I gracious? Sometimes, but many times...not so much. As a younger child I never said anything, never expressed my opinion and just went along with the crowd, except on those occasions when an underdog needed defending. That warrior spirit of protecting the vulnerable was there even at a young age. Fighting for myself, on the other hand, was a different story.

Then in my teens and 20's a more opinionated Michele came to the surface. For so many years I didn't have the confidence to express my thoughts or ideas, but when I got started...whew! Watch out!!

In my 30's I learned there was a time to say something and a time to listen, but that warrior state of defending the defenseless still got the better of me. Now that 40 has hit I can see the art in the balance. It's not my job to fight all the battles of an unjust world. There are times to speak and times to listen, but most of all life is just about waiting on God's cue to step into the task He has for you. To do otherwise is foolish.

So in the meantime I'm learning to embrace the keys of gracious living...Nourish your spirit, love the unlovely, offer friendship and hospitality each day, pursue your dreams, do everything with your whole heart, let men be chivalrous, let children be children and encourage others with a smile and kind word no matter how you're being treated.

My Grandmother showed this graciousness. This woman of honor and gentility expressed love at every opportunity. Many times she stood alone and was mistreated greatly, but she never had a negative or unkind word to say about anyone. She simply embraced their good qualities, appreciated what they brought to the table and offered love.

When we reach out with graciousness it puts others at ease and allows them to be themselves. We aren't perfect and there are days when each of us can be a raving lunatic, but graciousness gives the gift of perspective. Maybe someone in your life is having a hard time and their best behavior isn't quite coming out at the moment (: Offering graciousness instead of judgement brings love in the mix and healing to boot!

So give it a shot and see how the art of gracious living can impact your world. Then come back and share some of the ways it made a difference. I'd love hear your thoughts (:



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6 comments:

  1. well said my friend! thanks for sharing.
    judi ;)

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  2. Loved this....simply just love it!

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  3. Thanks for following! I am now following you as well. I love your blog, can't wait to read more!

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  4. Hi. Thanks for following my blog. Your blog is a beautiful encouragement to others! You must be a writer! Are one of these pics of your home? I also have a slipcovered sofa, but I'm not sure if I should throw it in the washing machine. The fabric tag recommends drycleaning, so I'm not sure which way to go.
    Hope I can also be an encouragement to you!
    Thanks.
    ~ Julie

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  5. Beautifully written, Michele. What a privilege it was to know your grandmother and you are so right about her. I see those traits in you as well. She was and would still be so proud of you. I've been honored to be in your home several time and truly enjoyed the benefit of your graciousness. You write beautifully. May God richly bless you, my friend.

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  6. I love it...but I must come back again and really absorb it.
    Currently on the run - for 10 days! Will be back to visit then.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for following. I hope you'll page back through some old posts and see what we have in common. :)
    Blessings.

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