The message below was sent by one of my best friends from high school on the very day her father passed away. I felt the keen sincerity that came along with it. I was not aware that I was making an impact at that time just by behaving as I normally would—cracking jokes and laughing out loud. What came out naturally to me became something she still heretofore remembers.
“Thank you, rachel..thank you for making Dad laugh whenever you visit us at home.”
Likewise, making other people’s burdens lighter doesn’t always require too much effort on our part. It can just be a tap on the shoulder, a “hi” or “hello,” a minute or two of our time, a simple text message, a “thank you,” a smile, or a short prayer. How are you making an impact on the lives of the people around you? Whether or not you’re aware of it, you’re making a difference. Make it a good one!
Among all the household chores, one of the most detested (if not the most detested) is doing the dishes since the use of dishwashers is not yet prevalent in this part of the world (I’m in the Philippines). I can still remember how my brother and I used to divide the labor in order to accomplish this seemingly tedious task. I would always be the one to soak and scrub the dishes, and he would be left to rinse them afterwards. It was just a few years ago when I realized that it’s easier to do the rinsing; I’ve been tricked!
Some circumstances in our lives remain the same no matter how hard we pray about them, but it matters how we look. Perspective is the key. This activity that you once considered dreadful can now be therapeutic or even divine. The time you spend with the dirty dishes is also time you’re left alone with your thoughts. How did you do in the past hours? Did you hurt someone with your words? Were you able to thank the people around you? What do you want to tell God today?
Here’s an allegory. We’re like the dirty dishes; sin makes us so as we entertain bad thoughts, speak unpleasant words, and behave badly. We don’t just throw away dirty dishes, right? Similarly, when we get bedraggled because of the sins we commit, God still keeps us—He picks us up, wipes away the dirt, and rinses us until we become fit for use again. None of the dishes will ever be too crummy for Him.
Are you excited to do the dishes now?
Whenever my father would ask me to do something or go somewhere, I would normally say no. My usual reason was either I was doing something else or I didn’t feel like going somewhere. For years, I’ve given him the same response; so I thank God for the patience He’s given to him during that season.
This morning, he woke me up asking me to attend a meeting as his replacement. Guess what? I said no. As his excuse, he said he had a cold; I told him I was sick, too, so he should go instead. Then I remembered my #oneword for this year—FOLLOW. Hence, I mustered all the motivation I had to get out of bed and go out of my way.
I would be with a group of pastors during the trip, so I never thought the next hours would be fun or even anything close to that; but God has His way of surprising us almost all of the time. I went home smiling and grateful that this time, I said yes.
P.S. When it was time for me to say goodbye, they uttered: “Bye, tropa!” I couldn’t laugh any harder!
How do you define success? What makes you consider a person successful? Success means different things to different people. To some, it’s about being able to accomplish their goals; to some, it’s graduating from college and having families of their own; to some, it’s being financially stable; and still to some others, it’s being able to sleep for 8 hours a day.
During my first two years in high school, my cousin used to wake me up in the morning and even help me get dressed by putting on my socks and necktie. She would also do my homework whenever I got too tired and sleepy to finish it. I could tell how proud she was of me by the way she spoke about me in front of other people. How she’s supported me in every way she could is beyond ordinary. Over the years, many things have changed, but how she cares is an exception. To me, she’s one of the most successful people for she knows how to love, and she’s expressed it so well.
My cousin and I more than two decades ago…
If success is measured by how much you love, how successful are you?
Grace is Greater: God’s Plan to Overcome Your Past, Redeem Your Pain, and Rewrite Your Story
This is the first Kyle Idleman book that I read. Just when I needed to forgive someone, Grace Is Greater came to my rescue—a very timely read indeed.
The author’s willingness to be vulnerable by sharing almost everything—not leaving out the ugly parts of his stories—is commendable. I especially love his humor, which is sprinkled on random parts of the book, so random that I would find myself smiling then crying; praying then crying; and crying then smiling again during the entire read.
I can’t believe I finished reading the book in its entirety in just two-weeks time. That’s how engaging it has been! Turning its last page was a bittersweet moment.
The grace stories included in this book are moving and amazing at the same time because they’re all real. Reading this book made me recall the grace I’ve experienced in my own life through the years.
I recommend this writing to people who want to know more about grace, especially to those who want to appreciate grace more than ever.
With the author, I’ll echo: Grace is greater!
Pick up a copy of Grace Is Greater through the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.