Thursday, September 02, 2010

Lessons from the Edge

I know it's a day early, but my family is leaving Thursday morning for an end-of-summer trip up north. I won't be blogging until we get back, and I didn't want to miss a Lessons from the Edge post.
So here it is.
A day early. *grin*

The need for grace has no age limit.

That's the lesson I learned at Edgewood this week. And here's how:

*Our oldest resident (She'll be 103 in a few weeks!) joined us for Exercise Class this week. She loves to sing, and does so all.the.time. Which really is fine with me, because I love to sing, too. Except her humming can be quite high-pitched and slightly painful to the ear. However, as I looked around the Activity Room during Exercise Class, I saw many people smiling at Helen - extending her grace in spite of their personal preference - because they knew the singing made her happy.

*On Tuesday I was eating lunch with a group of three women - all of whom I would guess are probably in their 80s. One of them told me a cute story about when she and her family moved to Michigan, and I smiled as she shared it. But when she repeated the same story three or four more times, I observed grace coming from her table-mates. The smiles on their faces told me they were used to the repetition, but they really didn't seem to mind. They cared about their friend, and just let her enjoy her memories.

*We have a resident who is quite a bit younger than the rest. I'd guess him to be in his 40s. He has CP, is deaf, and "walks" around in a wheel-chair of sorts. He needs lots of care, it is difficult to communicate with him, and he always makes a mess when he eats. But I love to see the way residents show kindness and grace to this man. They look out for him, kind of like big brothers and sisters would for their little brother. They excuse the messes he makes, and they welcome him to be a part of the group. It's a beautiful thing.

*And then there's me. Hanging on to my 30s for another year and twenty days. Many of the residents at Edgewood comment about how 'young' I am. Sometimes I even hear the words, "If I were that young again..."
But being young hasn't proven to exempt me from needing grace. I have forgotten to note a change in the schedule. I have spoken too fast during announcements. Made a wrong turn going to WalMart, too! But over and over again, I have residents telling me, "You're doing a good job." "That's OK. You're still learning." "I'm glad you're here."
I welcome their gracious disposition towards me. I need it.

And as the lesson trickles on down the line, I pray God will help me be more gracious toward my children. They're doing a good job. They're still learning. And I am so glad they're here!

***I'm gone now for Labor Day weekend. Will be back to posting next Wednesday!



The Voogts said...

Grace...what a beautiful thing. What a great reminder to extend grace more often to my todder :) And a reminder of God's amazing grace. Enjoy your trip!

Jerralea said...

I love the examples of the residents extending grace to each other! I hope to do as good a job!

O Mom said...

Hope your having an amazingly fun family time. Loved this message about extending grace and that your seeing it around you. Always so encouraged by you! :)

Jessica Nelson said...

What an awesome job! I love being with older people because I know they can teach me so many things. Hope you've had a nice vacation. ;-)