A Bright Thread of Grace

A Bright Thread of Grace

Four years ago today, I got up early to drive to the airport to pick up my sister-in-law, Dana.

Round-bellied, I had spent Christmas afternoon taking down our Christmas tree and getting our home in order.  My two young daughters didn’t seem bothered by the day we spent packing up and putting away. As we worked, we talked about the baby born on Christmas day —the greatest gift of all — and about the gift of another baby, the one we would soon welcome to our family.

Dana had called me several weeks before with an offer of help during the birth of our new daughter. I hesitated, not because I didn’t want or need the help, but because I knew her trip would be costly to her, as she would need to leave her own two daughters during the busy Christmas season.

But: so happy I felt when I picked her up, as we loaded her bags into my van. I’ve known Dana since I was twelve years old; she married my brother when I was only 16. And: there she was, with me as I prepared for one of the most momentous days of my life.

We spent a windy morning wandering around Chicago’s Art Institute, then enjoyed a leisurely lunch together before returning to my home. That evening, we went downtown again, to see a show. How surreal it felt to ride the El home, late at night, with only hours before my daughter’s (scheduled) birth.

Dana stayed overnight with me and my new sweet daughter so my husband could be at home with our other girls. She stayed with the girls during the day, and even taught my oldest how to write in cursive (she still talks about it.) Before she left, she made several delicious meals, meals that would sustain us over my first days home from the hospital.

Dana did everyday things, with love and kindness, making a huge difference for me and my family.

Her kindness to us and the fun moments we shared are sharp memories in a time that is otherwise a blur. Because of that, whenever we tell the story of Maggie’s birth, Dana is one of the main characters.

When we choose to make a difference in others’ lives, we weave our stories with theirs and our kindness or service becomes a bright thread of grace in their lives, inextricable and enduring.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of life I want to live, colorful and connected, one where I find ways everyday to make a difference.

Tell me something! Who has made a difference in your life by doing everyday things with kindness? What can you do — today — to make a difference in someone’s life?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

The Results of Servant Leadership.

Filed As:  Dana, grace

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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  • Becky, my connection with you has been so basic and yet extraordinary! You have certainly cracked the nod for “Who has made a difference in your life by doing everyday things with kindness?”! It is mind blowing though how we weave certain paths by merely being a giver, expecting nothing in return. You were part of my inspiration in my Blog that I posted today as it does deviate from my usual posts and style/topic. It is Christmas after all and I am certainly learning from this season!

  • I have a 92-year-old uncle who lives alone, because he doesn’t want to go into a nursing home, so I cut his grass and help him with chores around the house. But while I know it helps him, I also go over to hear his stories – like the ones he tells about when he was 18 (in 1936) and drove across country with his friend Hank to Los Angeles and lived there a few months. He’s the last link to my grandparents, who I was very close to.

    I’ve been to churches where the focus was all about money – as in, you’re not giving enough – but I prefer to give of my time, because I always get a little something in return, like a good memory. :o)

  • Becky – After reading your post the moment that came to my mind occurred almost 18 years ago. We were living in Tennessee at the time and had just returned from vacation with our boys when we learned that my father passed away very suddenly. We needed to make a quick turn around and drive 13 hours the next day to head to Pennsylvania. When we began to make the numerous calls to let friends know what had happened, one of the first calls Rich made was to our Pastor. Within the hour his wife and another good friend came to the house to see what they could do to help us. They didn’t ask what they could do, they just found out what was on the agenda and started pitching in. They unpacked our suitcases, did all of our laundry, cleaned the house, cooked us dinner and even re-packed our suitcases! This gave us the opportunity to speak with family, try to come to terms with what had happened, and spend time with our boys trying to help them understand what was going on. There was absolutely nothing glamorous or special about what they did, but yet, it was probably one of the most giving things anyone has done for us. These ladies are no longer in our lives as we have moved and so have they. We have lost touch, but I will remember them and their act of kindness forever.

    • Deb,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story here. Serving others, especially in the ways you describe, is not glamorous at all, but it does create (for the people being served) indelible memories. Perhaps your pastor’s wife and the other woman served as a matter of course, a regular habit. Maybe they have forgotten about that day, similar as it might have been to a thousand other days in their lives.
      Your story is an encouragement to serve in quiet ways, as a regular habit, with the hopes that God will use me in the way you described so well here.

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