Who is Grace?

Grace is my grandmother and also one of the most special people in my life.  When I was in elementary school I had to do a project on who one of my heroes was.  Unlike most children my age who picked a superhero, sports star, or celebrity, I picked my "Gram".  At that age, my reasons were simple enough;  she was loving, always giving my sister and I nice things, good for fun at anytime of the day or night, available by phone when I was in trouble with my parents, the greatest cook ever, and just all-around awesome.  Today she remains one of my heroes, but for so many more reasons. 

By my age, my Gram was a full time wife and mother to 3.  She was in charge of a household, a budget, and a family.  Like most matriarchs you know, she was the "glue" that held her family together. My Gram raised this family in a small modest home with one main floor and a basement.  Three children grew up with 1 small bathroom to share with 5 people.  My gram cooked dinners and baked her delicious desserts in a kitchen with barely enough counter space for a coffeepot.   My Gram may not have had everything in life she wanted but she always had what she needed.  And she chose to live her life thankful for that and focused on what truly mattered, her family.  Years later, I think she would say her family of 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren is one of her greatest sources of happiness, and isn't finding true happiness what life is all about?

So when I'm feeling the pressures of today's society, wishing I could live in a bigger house, wanting a newer car, looking at my kitchen and imagining granite counter tops and a big farmhouse sink, I think of my gram and am reminded of a simpler time.  A time when we worked to live, not lived to work.  A time when communities were tighter, where strangers waved and said "hello" to one another, a time when happiness was found in the moments and memories we created with one another and not in the purchases we made or the size of our income.   It's hard not to be swept up in today's consumer-driven market and Americans' materialistic views.   It's easy to focus on everything we want and forget to be thankful for having everything we need. 

So "Live Like Grace" is my motto in life.  In a world where bigger is better and materialism spreads like wildfire, "live like grace" is my reminder to ground myself, step back, and proclaim what really matters in MY life.  It anchors me to the humble beginnings of my family, holds me to what is dear and important in my present my life, and inspires me in my quest to strive to live as simply and as wholly as possible in a society that's pushing us to always want "more".

My Grammie "Grace"  and my Pap (who is equally as awesome) and all of their grandchildren/greatgrandchildren. (with one not yet pictured because he/she is still in a belly!)

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