On January 2, I wrote, “I suppose, if I have one goal or one word for myself this year, I’m leaning toward GRACE. GRACE when I want to beat myself up. GRACE when I want to beat someone else up.”

The words “I suppose” sound half-hearted.

“If.” Noncommittal.

“I’m leaning…” Not quite there.

Perhaps, I needed a plan. Perhaps, more prayer.

Sure enough, by October, my word of the year had escaped my otherwise-preoccupied mind. I searched the blog and discovered these few lines toward the bottom of my first post of 2022.

“I’m leaning toward GRACE. GRACE when I want to beat myself up. GRACE when I want to beat someone else up.”

And what have I been doing to myself these last few days?

Beating myself up.

On housekeeping, on Christmas shopping, on my inability to move from the couch after work, on my not checking in on friends and family.

Then there are the fantasies of throwing throat punches. On the road, in the grocery store, even at school.

Then the anger melts to tears.

And suddenly, finally, I hear GRACE in the back of my head. In a velvety smooth voice, she says, “Honey Child, what would Jesus do? ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34).”

And that’s GRACE—

Feeling the love and paying it forward, understanding we’re human and flawed, extending ourselves GRACE and love and time for honesty and patience for what we cannot control, knowing God will get us through if we just lean in.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and LOVE and GRACE and PEACE to you!

51 thoughts on “On GRACE

  1. May you have a joyous holiday from someone who beats herself and others up. I 🙏🏽 pray for your health and that the New Year may bring good news to you, health, love and joy!🎅🙏🏽🎄❤️❣️


  2. Yes, extending grace to ourselves, others, and even to God. True, the Big Guy doesn’t need it, but I should give him the benefit of a doubt—trusting His love.

    Speaking of such matters, I finally found out where H ended up, after dropping off my “dad radar” for two months. He’s living with a recovering addict (6 years clean) Thank God he’s not on the streets!

    A very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

    PS. I imagine the voice of grace in your head sounds a lot like your mom’s. Mine does too. My mother called me “sugar.” Nobody else has ever called me that. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Crystal. Your words are always such a blessing and come at just the right time. Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  4. “The trying of your faith worketh patience…” But who wants trials? 😉
    Wishing you and yours a happy Christmas holiday and the grace to stay pleasant all through it.
    (Have you read the poem, “The Twelve Days of Christmas Turkey”?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a couple of good friends whom I use “grace” to describe. It’s the perfect word for those who rise above all the chaos that life presents.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”

    One big lesson my characters need to learn in my new book is to love self. Loving one another is much more difficult when we don’t even extend that grace to ourselves.

    BTW, as Kate the cat lady blogger always says, sometimes it’s just too people-y out there, and we have to hide away. Many of us go through the “want to punch people in the throat” phases. 😏

    Blessings to you.


  7. Grace – Feeling the love and paying it forward. And we often forget to extend it to ourselves.
    I wish you a merry Christmas and a year of blessings ahead with health and in other areas too.


  8. Merry Christmas Eve, T -363, Crystal! Like you, I basked in my family’s love this weekend. Thus, the belated wishes. …Better yet, let’s say the delay burnished them to a warm glow; it made them richer.

    Your own entry is beautifully graceful. As defined both by its elegance and its emotional poise, and by the way it fills the promise you made nearly a year ago. The trials were far more daunting than you deserve, though they’re far too typical of our current world. Yet, you navigated them successfully, understanding they draw you nearer the supreme Grace.

    The point isn’t that we all fall short in finding the challenges annoying, dismaying, or frustrating. We’re in good, and universal, company in that regard. Nonetheless, we appreciate Grace’s completeness in rising above them. In this way, they show how powerful a Commitment we’ve received.

    Keith …or is this merely a word-generating program? Who can tell these days?


  9. Thank you for sharing!!.. hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year filled with peace, love, happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be and until we meet again… 🙂

    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)


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