Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Grace by Candlelight

Last night during dinner I saw the lights flicker a little and about 30 seconds later out they went. With a quick glance out the window I realized the entire neighborhood was out of power. The kids got an excited but uneasy feeling about it being so dark, so I lit a candle and put it in the middle of the table. We enjoyed the rest of our dinner by candlelight.

On a normal evening I have a bunch of things that need to be done; like homework, dishes, laundry, baths, hair brushing, and stories. Usually I would get a little flustered and think to myself, “Oh great, now things are going to pile up!” Instead I made a conscious decision to not get worked up.

After dinner I left the dishes on the table. I lit a couple candles around the house. My husband decided to head off to bed as he has to get up early for work. I got the kids all curled up in bed together with the portable DVD player and a soft candle nearby. I ran the hot water for a bath and crawled into the tub. The sweet smell of holiday candles filled the house while the dim candlelight made for a peaceful bath. For some reason as soon when it is completely dark the kids began to whisper. The quietness of the house gave the feeling of midnight; however it was only 7:00pm.

We all had Peace.

After the bath I brought a glass of milk to my daughter and cuddled with her in the room as I brushed out her hair. She fell asleep in my lap and I was soon to follow.

The last couple of weeks have been filled with activities and decluttering. I could not help but get a little drained. Last night it was probably the most relaxing evening we have had in a long time. I did not make my son do his homework in the dark. I did not rush to get the dishes done or throw a load of laundry in. I simply gave into the grace that was given to us with a simple switch of the lights.

Grace and peace are things I had longed for. By acknowledging that they had arrived, we welcomed the joy and let the relaxation began. I was reminded that by being present or conscious of what happens in daily life I was able to accept this gift with an open but tired heart. I was reminded that simple things like warm water on your skin, cuddling under the blankets and the taste of food by candlelight should not be taken for granted. I felt favored at that moment and an immense amount of gratitude. Some might think of this not as grace, not as a gift, but as an inconvenience; I warn you now the subtle gift of the electricity going out in my neighborhood was no inconvenience but a much needed shove toward a new year.