my thirtyfourth birthday was on monday. i tried not to make a big deal about it to everyone, but in my head it was sort of a big deal. last year was probably the hardest year i have ever faced and just to be here starting another, feels like such an achievement; a triumph.

i received some special messages and gifts but one stands out the most, from my brother…

‘happiest of birthdays clare bear, the world is a better place with you in it. you have overcome trials and hardships and always kept a smile. shown others the best of yourself at all times and never had a bad word towards anyone. i love you and your little family. our lives have been a roller coaster and you have given me cheer and shown me true grace. i have always looked up to you and always will.’

words mean a lot to me and it sure made me emotional to read those words, to let them sink in and be reminded of what others see in me and the actions, that seem small at the time but that have significance.

life really is a crazy roller coaster and you never quite know where the dips and twists are going to come from. my thankfulness in all of this, is that people have believed in me. they have known who i am even when i have forgotten or lost hold of it.

grace is truly a beautiful thing. it makes the less, more and the hurts, bearable. do you know what grace looks like? grace to me is seeing the good in people, even when they’re actions may say something else. grace is free! it is freely given to us!

i encourage you to find a way to water the inner person in yourself but also encourage those around you, your family, your friends… spread the grace that you can give freely. it always comes back!

:: holding on to the good ::

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