Life continues to be very full! There can be those moments of doubt that creep up where I wonder if I am "failing" in one of my various roles. However, in the midst of it, God was providing encouragement in many different forms. First, my FABULOUS group of moms in our Mom's Connection at church suprised me by saying that they felt that I took care of everyone else and that they wanted to do something for me and they were going to take turns bringing our family a meal once a week! I was suprised, overwhelmed and had to fight the urge to say, "No, really you don't need to do that, but thanks anyway." But I accepted this gift of grace. Then a few days later, I opened up my mail and received a fun card of encouragement from a good friend. But still doubts continued to plague and one morning, I had kind of hit a low. As I was spending some quiet moments in my office, a person came in to drop a few things off and then ended up telling me a story about a low point in their life and how something I said came to them in that hour. That person left telling me words I needed to hear, words directly in response to what I had cried out to God earlier that morning. A gift of grace. I left a short time later to grab some food at my house before going on some hospital calls and I pull up to my house and my mom's car is in my driveway! I go in and find her trying to suprise me by cleaning up a few things and helping with my mounting laundry piles. I couldn't take it anymore, I said, "STOP! I can't take one more nice thing being done for me!" Of course, she didn't stop. My mother is wonderful. But it was a lesson for me about the gifts of grace that God offers us. It is SO much EASIER to GIVE those gifts that RECEIVE those gifts. I don't want to have to "need" help or be perceived as one who someone needs to encourage and do something nice for. How dumb does that sound! I love to help others and encourage others; I love those moments when I know that the Holy Spirit is moving through my words or actions; that I have joined in partnership with God to offer another one of God's gifts of grace. And here I was ready to deny (or fighting against the urge to deny) that same experience for someone else. I am thankful for the wonderful people God has put in my path; those who have showered me with gifts of God's grace. I hope that you can be on both sides of this blessing, both in giving those gifts and in receiving them because both have powerful lessons.