Being Grateful for Grace

Sometimes, the most ordinary of circumstances has a story to tell about grace.

As you may have seen on my Facebook page, we’re having some work done on the house. Work that involves quite a bit of demolition.

It’s odd to see the bare walls, even the insulation is stripped from the 2×4’s. I know the bare walls along with electrical wires and pipes were there, but of course, I never saw them. The innards and framework were always covered by drywall and paint.

It’s surprising what you end up seeing. The walls have little areas with splashes of paint that were covered up long ago with new color. We even saw a receipt for the original house inspection stapled to one of the exposed beams. And then there was the little surprise we found when the family room rug was pulled up and discarded.

Oh my. There on the floor was some of the ugliest peel and stick tile we’d ever seen. As my husband and I looked at it, it was hard not to laugh. But then, it came to me. Not only was the tile unattractive, it was almost fifty years old. Just the right age to be made of asbestos.

Yikes. I called the contractor right away.

He said that as long as the tile wasn’t disturbed, there wouldn’t be a problem. We decided to have the new wood floor laid right over that pesky tile. Problem solved. With the new flooring in place, we’ll be protected from any harm.

The episode with the tile reminded me that I have faced many potentially harmful situations in my life. But looking back, I realized that I was protected by God’s loving power in grace.

Like the time I was in a car accident in downtown Chicago two days after my father died. I was driving two of my siblings to the planning meeting for the funeral. I had to make a quick stop at an intersection. I made that stop. The woman behind me didn’t.

The traffic attendant waved us over to the side of the road, while my brother dialed the insurance company for me, and my sister called the police. The woman who hit me flew out of her car, arms flapping in the air, yelling at the top of her voice that the traffic cops were incompetent.

It was a scary situation. But by the grace of God, the driver did calm down. I had just finished physical therapy for a neck strain, but the accident didn’t cause a reinjury. No one got hurt, and the other driver had insurance.

Finally, we made it to the planning meeting. We were late, but we were there.

In every circumstance,Β even in what seems dangerous or toxic, God’s presence and grace is active in us. Just like the wood that covers my asbestos tile, his grace envelops our lives, sheltering us from harm.

I’m so grateful for that love and protection. May I always be thankful.




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50 thoughts on “Being Grateful for Grace

  1. What a great illustration in this post, my friend! Gives me good things to consider as I was about to close up the computer and head toward making dinner. There is much here in your illustration that has been mind, heart, and spirit buzzing. I think sometimes the Lord allows things to be stripped away in order to help us see what we were missing and needed to be aware of. Sometimes He needs to show us something about our fleshly house as well and allows something to be stripped away that has been hiding a condition we needed to address. Thank you, my friend, for your thoughtful reflection here!

    • Hi Pam! You bring up some wonderful points here, I wish I had addressed them in the post! God has a way of waking us up to what he needs us to know and learn. Even a stripped down room.

      Thank you for your added thoughts here Pam. I always learn from you!

  2. I suspect that God protects us every day from many dangers and situations that we cannot even imagine.

    Sorry to hear about your car accident and glad that no one was hurt. Sometimes things go wrong to suit His purpose; for all we know that accident may well have served its purpose as a sign for that driver who hit you to reflect on her life.

    God bless you and yours.

    • Hi Victor! It’s interesting to read what God may have been doing in that accident. I wonder sometimes what he’s doing, but certainly he could have been speaking to the other driver. I was just so grateful that we were all okay. Thank you for your thoughts!

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers Victor. May God bless you too,

  3. I, too, have many stories of God’s love and protection. The time a dog came after a friend on a bike and took me down instead. Months later, after a needle in my neck and an MRI and other therapy it was determined I had a bulging disk that needed surgery. They would go in from the front, just alongside the vocal chords and take out the disk, put in a cadaver bone, and I’ll be “good as new.” No, I would not totally regain the power and feeling I lost in my left arm and fingers but I’m testimony to “it could have been a whole lot worse.” Plus the peoples’ insurance paid it all! You are right Ceil. I am grateful for His love and protection.

    • Wow Bill! That’s an amazing story! I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but the fact that you can see how God was moving and saving you from ‘a whole lot worse’ is such a testimony to faith. Thank you for sharing here. We all live such lives of grace, even in the middle of accidents and illness. Your own experience speaks volumes about that.
      Have a peaceful night,

  4. When in South Louisiana doing demolition work, we took those houses all the way back to the bones! You are right–it is so interesting to see what is behind/under all the outer cover. Reminds me of us–we try our best to hide our need for God behind all the beautiful trappings of fashion—but the day will come when it is all stripped away and there we have the hole that only He can fill. Amazing how we get on the same wave length–I wrote tomorrow’s post on this very subject yesterday. I call that a God Thing!
    Blessings, My Friend!

    • Hi Lulu! I forgot you had that experience in La., of course you would know about those ‘surprises’ you find. How fun that you wrote about the same thing! Can’t wait to read it my friend. That is a God thing for sure. I think it means I have to pay a little more attention to his wonderful grace and protection in my life. Thats fine, I’d love to do that!

      Thanks for your visit today πŸ™‚

  5. Makes me wonder how much we don’t see, have no idea of, that God protects us from. I’m so grateful that He has guarded and guided you through these difficult months, Ceil. And I’m grateful that you’re back again, sharing insight with us from your daily discoveries.

    And I can’t wait to hear and see more details about your home update. What fun!

    • Hi Linda! I’m grateful for his grace too, believe me. And like you, it makes me wonder about the things I am protected from that I don’t even recognize.

      I’d like some updates on the home stuff too. It goes so slowly…more chance to work on patience! Hope we get some walls soon.
      Have a peaceful night,

  6. What hit me hardest in this post is the fact that all these years you have lived there, never even knowing that was under there. How many times has that “unseen hand” protected us from harm, and we didn’t even realize it or know to thank Him for it? My dear Mom used to pray, “Lord, thank You for sparing us from dangers seen and unseen.” Oh, praise His name for His amazing grace! He is such a faithful Lord, and I have never loved Him more.

    • Hi Cheryl! I really love that prayer that your mom would say. It’s so true that we are protected by so much more than we recognize. It will be quite a revelation in heaven, don’t you think?

      God bless,

  7. Oh, Ceil, may we all ever be grateful for the tremendous love and grace our Heavenly Father gives to us!
    What an ordeal you had to endure! So glad God saw you through it and brought you out onto better shores. Many long years ago, I worked as a paralegal dealing with asbestos cases. Definitely, not a good thing! As long as it’s stable, you are probably okay.
    Blessings, my friend!

    • Hi Martha! It’s so interesting that now we are finding out how bad asbestos is. I’m pretty sure we had other asbestos tile in the house that we just ripped out ourselves without thinking about it. Our contractor says they see this all the time, and is confident that we’ll be fine. But as you say, not a great thing at all.

      Hope you have a wonderful week!

  8. God is amazing and sees all. He gives us freedom and free will. My mother had four miscarriages, then lost a son (who would have been my brother) at the tender age of 7 months, to bronchial pneumonia. After having lost 5 children, and my mother was almost 35 then, the doctor told her she couldn’t have any more children. 6 years later my mother was pregnant with me and when my mother reminded the doctor of what he had said years earlier, than she was unable to have children, the doctor said gently, “I remember what I said…it is obvious God has another plan.” So I was born 3 weeks early, weighing 5.8 ounces, (almost incubator, just a half pound less and I would have been), and I am grateful that God gave me life, and so were my parents. I was born only two months before my mother’s 41st birthday! Another blessing is that I did not have Down’s Syndrome as so many babies who are born at this stage are. We just never know what God has planned for us and He knows our needs.

    This is such a great post with so much to think about, dear Ceil, thank you so much for sharing.

    • Hi Linda! I am thanking you for your sharing here Linda. What a story of your life! You truly are a blessing to your family, what a miracle your birth was, and such an answer to prayer! You started out struggling a bit, but you made it πŸ™‚
      There is so much under the surface of our lives. God is working always in us in such impressive ways. Thank you for revealing his love with us today. You are an answered prayer!

  9. I admire your courage to drive in Chicago. Period. I am so glad you were alright and praise God with you for His wonderful grace. It is beautiful the way you see His protection over you in the everyday situations. I know He is smiling down on you!

    • Hi Mary! I have driven in Chicago many times, but this was just unreal. It was bedlam down there! We didn’t have a choice of venue, so off we went. I’m just glad I drove, and no ones rental car got crashed into.

      God was definitely smiling on me, although I certainly didn’t see it then. How blessed we are to have his face shine upon us!
      Have a wonderful Monday πŸ™‚

  10. We don’t always know what is under the surface until we expose it, do we? And sometimes it sure isn’t what we expected! I love how God shows us in His perfect time, when we are ready to accept the ‘renovation’ or when it is absolutely necessary for the next part of His plan for our life. I look forward to seeing pictures of the new from your renovations!

    • Hi Lynn! I sure didn’t expect what was uncovered that’s for sure. It’s interesting to see what’s behind everything. It really did expose things that needed work, both electrical and plumbing. But…now we’re better off. That’s how it is with us too. God exposes our weaknesses, and that’s the time to get working on them!

      Happy Monday!

  11. Ceil: When we moved into our house,noticed the rug had been removed. This was NOT wall to wall carpeting. The elderly lady who had lived here had chosen to stain the floor around the carpet, It looked like a bit picture frame. When a friend of ours was interested in helping her daughter and son-in-law find a house, my dad let them in to see our cousin’s house. Carpet almost everywhere. When my friend and her daughter went into the basement, friend’s daughter noticed the floors were hardwood. I don’t know what the eventual owner did about the floors.

    • Hi Cecelia! I guess that just shows that there can be tricks or treats when we strip away what’s present. I’d love to know I had hidden hardwood floors. Our first floor was all rug over plywood.

      What a story about the lady who stained her floor! I don’t think I would have caught that at all either.
      Monday blessings,

  12. I’m glad God protected you, Ceil, and that you were all okay. I think God protects us a lot more than we realise sometimes. I like the picture of his grace being like a shelter, protecting us from harm.

    • Hi Lesley! I like the idea of a shelter too. I think David wrote about God being a sturdy shelter in the Psalms. It will be amazing to hear about all the ways we were protected when we see the Lord. I know I don’t see it all now.

      Have a peaceful night,

  13. I’m glad you didn’t get affected by asbestos, Ceil. I love how God wraps us in His grace. Sometimes we may feel He is not there, but He is. Always. Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! I am too, believe me. I think it just shows what we can find under all of our layers. I just thank God that he is always with us, always protecting and comforting. That’s important to all of us who struggle.

      Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  14. Hi Ceil, What an amazing post you’ve written. Home renovation must be interesting–so much can be covered up in older homes. God’s grace is so amazing! Where would we be without God’s grace? I shudder to even think about it!


    • Hi Kim! Thank you for your kind words about the post. We did find a few problems when the walls were exposed, plumbing too. Better to know and take care of it, that’s what we decided.

      We are so blessed in God’s grace. I know I’d be so lost without it.
      Have a peaceful evening my friend,

  15. Grace is truly a remarkable work isn’t it! Covering up all the ugly, stripped, barren, sordid details that lie behind it. A beautiful post Ceil, as all of yours are! So wonderful to learn these simple lessons, yet so powerful from the experiences in life we face. God’s mercy is new every day too… so even when we mess up… His grace is there to smooth things over… how blessed we are to be in HIS care! Hugs to you today dear friend… hope the remodeling goes well for you! πŸ™‚

    • Hi MM! Thank you so much for your kind words about the post, you made my day!
      I do thank God for his grace, in protection, in strength, in making me whole again. We are blessed to be in his care for sure.
      Loved your photos today, what beautiful colors πŸ™‚

      Have a peaceful night,

  16. Hind sight is 20/20. Looking back it can be easy to see the hand of God protecting us,but as we go through a trial He is not always so visible to us.
    Often I find I’m focusing too much on circumstances and feelings and not on the cross and my risen Savior. Focus is so important. It can really change how we go through trials.

    • Hi TC! That’s really a valid point. I’m like you in the way I get lost in what’s happening, instead of trusting the bigger picture to Jesus.

      May I focus myself on him, where anything is possible!

  17. fun to read all the comments too. very insightful post. Made me wonder that the people who put in that tile thought at the time it was beautiful and perfect for that room and now 50 years later we judge it differently. I wonder what I crave and think it is just great now, my point of view and opinions that won’t hold up in time or in God’s light… mmmm, you got me thinking today… LOL

    • Hi Jean! I like where your thoughts are going here. I’m sure the floor was considered plain, but very utile. No one knew about the hazards of asbestos in the 1950-70’s at least. You’re so right about how it seemed like such a great thing then, but certainly the chance of it being toxic today.

      You always have such great insights πŸ™‚
      PS I always learn a lot from the comments

  18. Your connection, your analogy, is perfect. Isn’t it hard to see at that moment it will all be alright? That God has you covered? That is really hard for me and I should know better. I’ve been waking up earlier in the morning and enjoying my private Rosary time. It’s in the peaceful moments that I am able to know my day will be okay, that God has me covered. And when I don’t start my day with that type of prayer, I lose control quickly when life hits a bump in the road. Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Patty! Your comment is such a testament to the power of prayer. When I get out of my habit of prayer, I lost focus (and my temper) more quickly. I’m so happy for you that you have a routine that works for you, two ways!

      Nice to see you here today πŸ™‚

    • Hi Karen! Thanks for your good wishes on the reno and my PT. I only have one more apt. left, and I’m really improved. Phew! God is good.

      Hope you had a great weekend,

  19. Hi Ceil,
    I too love the what appear to be ordinary things in our lives that speak to us spiritually. I believe it is because God knows how our minds think and causes us to learn about and trust in His protective love for us as we go through our life. Even before He led me to Jesus I can look back and see that both the sad things and the ‘mad’ things have given me empathy and sympathy with others going through the same things.

    I can truly say ‘amen’ to this in my life too as I read what you have written here:-
    ‘The episode with the tile reminded me that I have faced many potentially harmful situations in my life. But looking back, I realized that I was protected by God’s loving power in grace.’
    God bless you for sharing this Ceil and, just as the end result of our walk in Christ will be, I am sure that the end result of the work on your house will be beautiful and well worth the initial pulling down of things.

    • Hi Brenda! Thank you for your thoughtful comment here. I really want to see God more in my life, and seeing parallels between little daily events and his loving life in us is so much fun. I just read someone say that our lives are ‘living parables’. I couldn’t agree more!

      I hope you’re right about the reno here. We finally have walls, along with an incredible amount of wallboard dust. Yuk. But, progress is progress, messy or not. And there is another blog post topic!

  20. I learned many lessons when my husband and I renovated two homes. But it was the work that my sons did on a wrecked and dilapidated house that impressed me the most. How they saw the vision of the final product has always amazed me. They took that house down to the studs, and completely reconfigured it. Now it is a showcase of beauty. More than ever, their efforts showed me that God has a vision for us, an *end product* in mind. And even if His work needs to *take us down the studs*, He will fashion a thing of beauty in the end.


    • Hi Sharon! People with vision like that have always impressed me too. When I see a wreck of a house, that’s what I see. A wreck!

      God’s eyes are so much better than mine. Like your sons, he can see the gold and beauty that’s just underneath it all. But do I? I love that thought. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on the story πŸ™‚

      Hope you’re back to health my friend,

  21. I love how the simple things in life can so beautifully illustrate the faithfulness of our loving God. He is indeed good to us. Such a great truth to head into my day with Ceil. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Wanda! I love that too. A writer I just read said that our daily life events are our own parables, filled with the life of God. I love that.

      Thank you for your encouraging words this morning Wanda. I appreciate it so much.
      Have a wonderful Tuesday πŸ™‚

  22. Countless times God has protected me, some I knew, some I did not know. That is the part the always amazed me, that He chose which one I was to know. Why not all of them, why only certain ones. Again His grace for I think the ones He kept from me needed protection, protection from my mind. Had I known I might have acted wrong or fear would have reign in my life. We have lived in some pretty rough places, driven more rough roads that I care to remember, I learned to close my eyes at the drop offs. Oh yes, I am grateful for his protection and His grace that gives me space to fail and get back up again, for grace fills that space. Great post Ceil.

    • Hi Betty! What a great question! I never thought about that before. Why does God only reveal certain situations and not others? That’s something to really ponder.

      I know you must have so many examples of God’s protection in your life as a missionary. And then again, how many more were there that you didn’t know? The power and protection of the Lord is so complete, I know I’ll never understand it. But how wonderful that my understanding is not necessary. Only my gratitude.
      Tuesday blessings,

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