The 3G web of gratitude, generosity, and grace

My 'almost famous friend' worked at my desk last week, while I worked alongside at a folding table we had squeezed into the room.  She said she was almost famous because she had been mentioned in the blog before. Well today, Ms. SS, you become famous because your generosity and graciousness prompted lots of thinking on gratitude.  Ms. SS and I worked hard one afternoon with very little chitchat.  The only sounds were the occasional exclamation from one or the other of us, and the non-stop gurgling of my stomach.   There were a few frustrated words when the software didn't behave as expected.  WTH? And the infrequent but elated yippee when it did.  Apart from the occasional exclamation, my concentration was fierce except for the moments when the 3Gs popped up.

They popped up a lot, interrupting my thoughts as I tried to get client work done.  Gratitude, generosity, and grace kept smacking me up the side of the head.  Have you ever been overwhelmed by the 3Gs?  I was, last week - all week.  It started last weekend when we had the fun of caring for our grandboys overnight.  They had fun.  We had fun, and when they left I thanked JMH.  As he was tucked into his car seat to go home, I said, "J, thanks for coming to stay with Nana.  I had fun."

Giddy, beyond tired, yet with exuberance, he said, "Thanks Nana!  I'll come back again tomorrow!"

Generosity, Gratitude, and Graciousness - 3G spider web
My first thought, was oh dear God.  Not tomorrow.  I love them all to bits, but please not tomorrow.  I'm so tired.  I laughed and was flooded with gratitude.  Grateful for little people who wrap their arms around your neck and snuggle in.  Grateful to be able to watch them try out their independence by refusing to hold your hand when asked.  I was overwhelmingly thankful for our grandboys and excited to meet the new grandbaby who will arrive later this year.

I blinked and the weekend was over and the week was flying by.  Solid, dependable, people helped me in so many different ways last week.  I felt like I was having a hard time acknowledging it all.  Some were encouragers, others were doers.  All were helping or sharing themselves because they wanted to, and I was keenly aware of their generosity.  Every single one was generous with time, talent, and self.  They were generous with feedback, ideas, and challenges.  I came away from every interaction, stronger and better, because of every one of you.  Your generosity was and continues to be a gift.

Gifts are given and need to also be received from a place of graciousness.  I have work to do on receiving gifts graciously.  I'm a do-it-myself, take control, kind of human.  I'd rather work hard and buy myself the gift because then I don't feel like I owe anyone else anything.  So all the generosity others share with me, stretches me.  My now famous friend, has stretched me by graciously and generously, offering her fine financial mind and her time to help me sort through new software.  I in turn, want to be generously gracious with my gratitude, so I am stretching and exercising my 3G abilities.

Stretching includes trusting just a little bit more than I am comfortable.  It means practicing gratitude consistently, like the client who thanks me every time we talk.  Stretching requires that I "plan for and model generosity" which is one of John Maxwell's Daily Dozen, covered in his book, Make Today Count.  Not only do we need to accept generosity with gratitude and graciousness, we need to be generous from a place of gratefulness and grace.  They are all interconnected, a lot like the spider web stretching from post to post.

Feel free to share the blog in your social media feeds and tag someone who you want to express generous, gracious, gratitude to. Tell me, what were you grateful for last week.