Sundays—which really should be a day of worship, reflection and relaxation—are actually sometimes a little hectic for me. With all of our commitments to the ministries at our church, our day begins at about 5:30 a.m. and we don’t wind down until late in the afternoon.
This past Sunday I was feeling especially frazzled as I was chasing my two-year-old around a restaurant after church while my husband was parking the car. I am sure that my hair was tousled and my blouse was probably untucked. At this particular time, all of my lipstick had worn completely off and I was tired and ready for a nap.
Then all of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was a woman that I had never met before. With just one sentence she changed my entire mood. She said, “You are even prettier in person than you are on TV; and you seem to be such a good mom!”
Wow. That remark made my whole day!
A friend who was with me at the time overheard this sweet lady’s comment and said, “Julie, you just got covered with grace graffiti.” This was a term I had never heard of before, but one I quickly began to understand and appreciate.
Especially as women, it seems we sometimes shirk back from compliments—almost as though we are unworthy to receive them. I think it makes us uncomfortable at times; maybe because we know ourselves so well and we clearly see our own imperfections. But the truth is that the way we see ourselves is often not at all how others see us. And more importantly, it’s not how God sees us.
My friend learned the term “grace graffiti” from her pastor’s wife, Kerri Weems, who is a dynamic woman’s leader in our town. Grace graffiti is simply a random, spontaneous compliment that comes at us unexpectedly. Kerri believes (and now so do I) that we should embrace these occurrences and appreciate them as a special word of encouragement to us directly from God
When you think about it, we pour positive words into our children. We love them and nurture them and want to instill a positive self worth in them. So why wouldn’t God—our heavenly father—who loves us so much more than we could ever imagine want to do the same for us?
As I began to think about the instances of grace graffiti in my own life, I just had to smile when I thought about how simple they were and yet how they transformed my whole day each time I received one.
For example, recently I was working out at my daily boot camp class and one of the ladies sweating beside me said, “Julie your form on that is awesome!” Well, that made me want to just work harder and do more. My spirits were uplifted and my entire day made better from her simple words.
Now I am a firm believer in grace graffiti. The next time someone pays you a random, unexpected compliment that you take it in, cherish it and relish it as a special word of encouragement straight from God. And don’t forget to pay it forward too. It takes so little and make a difference in someone’s day and in their life.