A Story of Grace–God’s Best Idea

Grace is God’s best idea. Of all his wondrous works, grace, in my estimation, is the magnum opus. Friendship is next. Friends become couriers of grace, conduits of heaven’s grace. Max Lucado, pastor and author

In my book, Mom’s Gone, Now What? I tell Vicki’s mother loss story. Vicki lost her 89 year old mother to Alzheimer’s several years ago. She told me about her mother’s life as author and missionary, along with her husband, in China and India. At the end of our interview, Vicki related this grace-filled moment.

Vicki said, “My mom was very passive and hadn’t spoken for about two years. However, one day while I was visiting her—just sitting with her really—she turned, looked straight at me and said, ‘I love you, Vicki.’ I was stunned for a moment. Then I realized she had given me a precious good-bye gift.”

I believe Vicki’s experience was an example of God’s grace—Vicki receiving an unsolicited, perhaps undeserved, gift from God with her beloved mother as conduit.

Affirmation: I believe in grace.

Coaching questions: What grace moments have you experienced? Who is a conduit for grace in your life?

Vicki’s mother, Myra Scovel

What’s Your Word?

I do believe in starting the new year with new resolve, but instead of adopting a resolution, I choose a word of the year—a word that encapsulates my aspirations for the twelve months ahead. Melinda Gates, philanthropist 

For the last two years Melinda Gates has chosen the word “grace” and she thinks it is making a difference. She tells a story of the heart break she experiences when she visits children who are dying from preventable disease. Then she says, “A broken heart gives me urgency. A moment of grace gives me hope. That’s the power of a well-chosen word of the year. It makes the year better—and it helps me be better too.”

I think Gates is on to something. I’m choosing “impact” for my word of the year. I want to make an impact in the world—with my blog, my column, and, eventually, my book. I also want to impact others by caring about them, being a good friend, and fighting for policies to help our country thrive. 

Affirmation: I will make an impact this year.

Coaching questions: If you decided to choose a word, what would it be? Why? What difference can you envision it making? 


Gratitude The Japanese Way

In Japan, you say Itadakimasu before each meal to show respect to every life that went into creating your dish and to give thanks for both the food and your ability to receive it. Quoted from Oprah Magazine

It’s been my tradition since I was a little girl to say grace before each meal so I was interested in this Eastern outlook. Saying grace, whether by using the word Itakakimasu or with a child singing their words, is a ritual that gives us an opportunity to pause and consider our abundance.

Gratitude is one of the primary tenets of a joy filled life. Being grateful, on purpose, at least three times a day is a good start.

Affirmation: I am grateful.

Coaching question: How do you voice your gratitude? Whatever your faith tradition, consider saying something out loud at your mealtime to show your gratitude.