A Gracious Spirit 1

I’ve been in a little bit of a funk for a few weeks, struggling with some decisions and change that came into my life.   Maybe, if you’re like me, you struggle in times of change too. You wonder whether you’ve heard God right, wavering as to whether the current change is related to a lack of listening, or whether it is God’s way of moving you to the place He wants you.

Last week I prayed a lot, asking God for direction with the decisions I have to make. I didn’t see any writing in the sky, but God continuously put gracious people in my path to encourage me along my way. The words spoken to me and the things affirmed in me were encouragement enough to carry on without fear.

Encouragement came in some unexpected ways.  Two of my friend Karla’s siblings and their spouses have been visiting from out of state and all of them took time to get to know me, just because I came into their path. In fact, I met the one couple in order to bless to them, and they ended up blessing me much, much more!  I found Karla’s family to be some of the most gracious, generous, and affirming people I have ever met. What a joy to spend time with such life-giving people!

This week I met with some women who are bent on pursuing  Jesus and bringing others along for the ride.  These women encourage, strengthen, and set the pace for others.  How I loved connecting with them!  Just hearing of their love for God and for ministry pushes me along on my way!

On the lighter side, last Wednesday I spent time with my friend Laura in the Chicago suburbs, and among other things, we used up $100 in coupons from Carson’s Department Store. The store had sent me $50 off a $50 purchase, $35 off a $35 purchase, and $15 off a $15 purchase.  Who does that? I’d never even shopped there before! But because I’m thrifty, I decided to make sport of trying to spend $0 on $100 worth of merchandise.  Fun it was, and the sales lady, who is paid to sell things by the way, jumped right in on the joy of the game and met my antics with laughter as I approached the register again and again, only to find I had chosen something that was not included in the sale, or cost more, or less than what I’d thought.  We were laughing at the fun, and pretty soon an older lady trying on shoes was laughing and joining in as well!  I couldn’t help but think how my visit could have been different if the sales lady had been determined to make a buck, or had felt I was taking unfair advantage of their promotion.  As it was, we all had a wonderful time, and I was able to observe a gracious soul at work in her job. Oh, and I got $103.99 worth of merchandise for $3.99 (happy day)!

God’s grace is everywhere, and sometimes, when we are waiting for answers, we need to stop and look for what God is doing.  In fact, that is one of the main ideas of Experiencing God, the Bible Study we have just begun through women’s Bible studies. I hope to blog my way through this study, and I am challenging myself to post at least one blog per week about the study.

I have observed: that people can be very gracious and giving, and that those who love the Savior are especially prone to be liberal with His grace. I want to be like that.

I know how it feels for people to surround me and bring joy to my life.  I want to be that kind of person for others, speaking life, bringing encouragement, and pointing toward the Savior in everything I say and do.

Father, make me a person with a gracious spirit.  Help me to use words to strengthen others.   May I, as a reflection of You, be a life-giver, demonstrating the love you have for others, and helping them to continue on, in their quest to know You better   –Amen.

About Vicki Gatchell

I am a wife, a mother of four, a small-town girl, a lover of people, and most recently, I have been overwhelmingly called to share the message of Jesus Christ in Grace and Truth. I grew up on a farm near Hicksville, Ohio where I raised sheep and was nurtured in a love for nature. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University and have been practicing Physical Therapy for over 25 years. I received my Master's Degree in Ministry Studies and Women's Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. I am a life-long student of theology, a longtime ministry volunteer, and I feel called to step forward and lead.

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One thought on “A Gracious Spirit

  • Christine

    Wow….Another wonderful, inspiring post, Vicki! So many thoughts were echoed in at a Ladies Advance conference I was blessed with this past weekend. In fact here are two quotes from a speaker that I think align with your sharing: “Grace and compassion release, frees, relaxes and unbridles. It allows room for differences, loosens nerves, gives permission, expresses acceptance.” “Grace is the WD-40 that eases rigidity that everyone you love or is in your circle of infiuence is waiting for from you. So they can finally be themselves around you and grace can abound.”