Tag Archives: Madeleiine L’Engle

Moving Back Towards Grace

I’m what you might call a “glass is half full” kind of person—and this is despite the fact that I’m a worrier. I have always had a tendency to see the good side of things, all the silver linings.

But not lately.

I had one of those “this morning I woke up and I realized” revelations today: I’ve been letting stress and overwhelm get to me in other ways, not just physically.

Mainly, I’ve been seeing the world through hypercritical glasses. I’m not sure where I found these glasses, but I really don’t want them anymore.

And because of these glasses, I’ve been letting myself focus on all the faults and cracks in my world, stuff I don’t normally tend to notice. Except I’ve been noticing them all lately.

At first I was like, Wow, how could stress and being overwhelmed change me so much?!  But then I realized that wasn’t it.

I haven’t changed. But my focus has.

Yesterday I read Ti’s recent Sunday Matters post, where she talked about how she was going to try to focus on the good. I think that started me on the path of clarity. You know how something can stick to your mind like a little seed—you don’t really know it’s there, but it is, and it takes root and then suddenly you see what’s sprouted from it. I think “focus on the good” was the little seed I read yesterday that bloomed into clarity today.

And the really good thing? I get to choose where I place my focus.

In the past few days I’ve been listening to my body more. I’ve been drinking more water, and have found to my surprise I’m actually thirsty. I just hadn’t realized it. My body knew, though. Yesterday I started moving more, because it felt right and as I moved, it felt good.

So it’s like everything’s converging. I’m waking up, listening to myself. Moving back towards grace.

And you knew there’d be something bookish in this post, right? Because that’s part of my soul too, the bookishness. This morning I decided to dig out Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet; it was buried deep in my TBR stacks but I’d just read Emily Freeman’s monthly newsletter and in it she’d quoted from the book and suddenly I knew I wanted to read it. I held my breath while searching, because I was almost certain I had a copy, but with my TBR stacks, it’s always a “who really knows what’s in there” kind of proposition.

a circle of quiet

And I found it! It turns out my copy is a used copy. Here’s the title page, with someone’s inscription on it (along with what looks like a coffee stain):

circle of quiet inscription

“What we all need.” I don’t know who M & R are, but I hope they’re right. I think there’s a good chance they are. I just started reading L’Engle’s introduction to the book, and here’s something that leaped out at me:

Every so often I need OUT; something will throw me into total disproportion, and I have to get away from everybody—away from all these people I love most in the world—in order to regain a sense of proportion.

That’s my first step. I feel this way a lot, but I hardly ever act on it. But now, I will. Because I am so ready to move back towards grace.

What about you? Have you ever had moments where you feel like you’re not yourself, that you’ve stepped away from the grace of who you are? What helps to bring you back on track?