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 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 (:

New to The Homesteading Apartment? Don't miss a post and subscribe here...
Related Posts with Thumbnails