giving grace

First Annual 12 Days of Christmas Grace

First Annual 12 Days of Christmas Grace

Of all the seasons of the year, Christmas is the most grace focused. Yay!

But it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the running around, decorating, baking, card writing, and gift buying during the holidays.

This year,

why not spread a little more grace this Christmas season?

It doesn’t have to be pressured or hard or adding to already-bulging schedules. It can be a fun way to keep the true spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts. Continue reading →

Posted by Janna Wright in Playing in the Wide Open Spaces of Grace, 0 comments
navigating today with wide open eyes

navigating today with wide open eyes

I just finished one of those books that you never realized how much you needed until you opened it.  Ever found one like that? The kind where the timing’s so perfect you feel heart string tugs as you read?

That’s what John Kralik’s 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Gratitude Changed My Life was for me on Sunday.

He’s honest. He doesn’t sugarcoat things. He just tells his story. Deeply. And it resonates.

You see I don’t have much patience for false Pollyannas anymore who insist we never be less than ultra-smiling with a hearty “Everything’s fine!” on our lips even as life’s knocking us down. Continue reading →

Posted by Janna Wright in grace changes everything, 2 comments
creating a change in the atmosphere

creating a change in the atmosphere

Did you know you’re a grace carrier? Yes, you. You who’s been captivated by Jesus and His great love. You who’s tumbled head over heels into Great Grace.

Now you carry Him with you everywhere every day.

You are an army of one, learning to live out the health, beauty and freedom of enjoying Jesus deeply.

It’s contagious you know, this grace. Before you know it, it starts to change the atmosphere.

That’s my prayer for each of us as partakers of grace – that we’d create contagious environments of grace right where we are.

Janna, Grace Giver

Posted by Janna Wright in grace changes everything, 1 comment
what is that smell?

what is that smell?

When my youngest brother was small he used to bury his nose in my hair or my arm, sniff deeply, and say, “You smell good.” Only he was so small it came out “You ‘mell good.”

I think of him even now when I smell something delicious or disgusting and wonder if he’s still sensitive to smell. And I wonder if my nose has evolved into as good a “smell detector” as his always was. Continue reading →

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what made me pause in the supercenter aisle

what made me pause in the supercenter aisle

Not too long ago I was struck with a deep thought, halfway between the stationery and pop aisles of Walmart. (Yes, I’m highly aware of the incongruity: deep thought + Walmart?)

Navigating the obstacle course that is the center aisle, I realized I was watching wobbly cart wheels, wan produce, cardboard displays – looking anywhere except into the faces of the people I passed.

And the thought struck me . . . Why don’t I really look at people? Why do I go my merry way, skipping around live souls God created? How can I so easily walk past someone without truly seeing her?

I guess it’s just easier that way, easier not to get involved.

I mean, what if they don’t smile back? What if he thinks I’m staring? What if I see something I don’t know how to deal with – like supreme sorrow or listless eyes? What if she actually <gasp> started talking to me?

Or perhaps I’m too wrapped up in myself. Yes, it’s far from pristine, but after all it’s what I think of most of the time – my small, little life.

Or maybe, just maybe, I have nothing to offer them today: no smile, no nod, no hope. Only eyes as empty as theirs might be.

So, I hide behind shyness, glancing at pretty baubles and cardboard – ANYWHERE but at the faces.

Look sign

Later I read the story of the rich young ruler confronting Jesus, and I’m struck by the little “stage direction” before Jesus’ final line in this scene:

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him.  (Mark 10:21)

 Here’s Jesus confronted by a man hoping to gain the “Good Teacher’s” approval. Stopped in His tracks by a man eager to brag of the ways he’s been good and done good all his life. Jesus doesn’t laugh at him or nod disappointedly or tell him, “Seriously? You think you’ve kept every commandment perfectly since the day you were born? Oh brother!”

Jesus instead gives the Pause and the Look. He stops and truly SEES the poor, searching, young man. And when Jesus truly sees this man, He loves him.

I want to be so overwhelmed by this same love and grace toward me that I become proficient at the Pause and the Look.

My prayer? That even in a supercenter aisle, Jesus’ love will stop me in my tracks, discard silly only-me thoughts, and overflow onto others so I truly see them, and maybe, just maybe, they catch a glimpse of great grace.

Janna, Grace Embracer

P.S. Have you ever felt like you’re not truly seen?

sign photo: creative commons, courtesy of timlewisnm
child photo: public domain, courtesy of lisa runnels

Posted by Janna Wright in grace changes everything, 0 comments