Backyard Graces and a New Day

I may be Asian-American, hair as black as night, but one of my favorite literary characters is Anne Shirley … yes, red-haired, freckled face Anne of Green Gables.

Some years ago, for our first anniversary, my husband surprised me with a trip to see Lucy Maud Montgomery’s homestead in gorgeous Prince Edward Island, Canada. This was a childhood dream come true for me. I was able to walk the very “haunted woods” and meander the path to the alleged “lake of shining waters” and trudge up the red sand cliffs that once inspired Montgomery’s stories. What great memories. 🙂

PEI Kim in Woods3

PEI Dinner in Souris PEI Red Sand Shore w Kim One of the most endearing things about the character Anne Shirley is that despite her mostly well intentioned heart, she constantly gets herself in a tangle. She’s spirited, compassionate, and yet as stubborn as her hair is red — and for this, trouble ensues. She is certainly relatable though! She once says so insightfully, “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

I like that.

Each day is a new beginning.

I’ve been thinking about grace today.

I’ve always liked the word, as you can tell from the name of this blog.

But I wonder if this word, over time, has started to lose its weight?

Yesterday I was hit with my own sin and loss of patience, and I began to contemplate what it truly means, as the name of this blog says, to be invited by grace.

I began to realize … we cannot grasp the weight of grace until we have been broken. We cannot understand the richness of grace until we have been emptied. We cannot know the beauty of grace until we come to see our sin as ugly and abhorrent. We cannot be changed by grace until we truly encounter the radical love and forgiveness of a holy God.

The invitation of grace is only as amazing as our understanding that while we are unworthy, the doors have been flung open, and we have been welcomed in …

So yesterday, the kids and I spent some time in our backyard. We all needed some fresh air after being mostly cooped up for the last two weeks dealing with a string of sicknesses. At first, the sun almost felt too over-powering (like when you come out of a movie theater and have to adjust to the flood of bright lights). But it was such a gorgeous, perfect seventy-something degree California day.
digging in the backyard The kids went straight to the dirt to dig their way “to China” and the center of the earth and so forth. But I was seized by these flowers. They have been here flowering for months, and why had I not noticed it? backyard flowers
Right there in my backyard, a picture of grace, bathing in light … something so easy to miss.

I hope you too get a respite from the darkness.

I promise you, God writes His mercies everywhere.

Yesterday may have held mistakes, may make you cringe and wonder if you will ever be who you want to be, but we have been invited into a day that is new, a clean slate in God’s eyes.

Yes, “Anne-girl” got it right. Today is a new day, with no mistakes in it. Yet.

And that is pure grace.
backyard play

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ~ Ephesians 2:8

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14 thoughts on “Backyard Graces and a New Day

  1. Beautifully written.
    You brought to mind one of my favorite passages

    It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
    They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

    I am so grateful for the Lord’s faithfulness and forgiveness. 🙂

  2. Thank you Natasha! That photo is special to me. 🙂 Yes, we had some great memories … I wish I could go back there one day and the kids.

    1. The movie series was awesome. I watched it numerous times. Such nostalgia :). Remember those puffed sleeves Matthew secretly bought for Anne? So sweet to have found another Anne fan!

  3. Anne of Green Gables has forever been my favorite too! How lucky you were!!! I love the way you tied it into God’s precious grace for us. Beautiful reminder.

    1. You must be a kindred spirit! 🙂 I loved our time there … and hope to go back, this time with our children. Oh how I miss these kinds of stories!

  4. I too love Anne of Green Gables! Her spunk and personality is so refreshing to me. In fact I just finished reading the book again not long ago. I love how you connected the book with grace. How true and beautiful it is that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it. I wish I would remember that more often, instead of waking up and carrying over the emotions or baggage from the day before. Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Kim. Such a thoughtful post! 🙂

  5. Oops, I said I read the book “again”, but really I read it for the first time. I used to watch the movies ALL the time. I was in love with Gilbert. So. in. love. 🙂 haha

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