Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Being a Lady

Although I used to have no time for such silly nonsense, I have developed an appreciation for courtly graces (as in courteous graciousness).

For example, I was at a singles event not long ago, and there was a point at which tables and chairs had to be folded and put away. Although most of the women moved to the sides and let the men handle the "hard labor," I helped without thinking much of it. This is pretty typical for me, and I have observed a few different reactions by the men.

Some don't notice. Fair enough.

Some rush over and grab the whatever out of my hands and do it themselves. Thoughtful, but certainly not courteous.

But this last time, one man came over and helped me fold up the table. Every time I grabbed a table, he grabbed the other end. I would thank him, and he'd wheel the table away while I started folding up another one. By about the third table, he grinned at me and said, "You really shouldn't be doing this, you know."

I said, "Yes, but I'm not the type to sit on the sidelines and watch other people work." And he just smiled again and nodded agreement. He didn't try to stop me, but he was aware and courteous enough to assist me.

This is the essence of grace.

Now, I could choose to be all offended and see his assistance as a message that I can't take care of myself, or that I'm weak. But even if he had been one of the ruder examples above, it would be demonstrating extreme gracelessness on my part to choose offense, especially when the offender's motivations would be trying to be thoughtful.

I have found myself being less gracious lately, and I want to change it. There is no benefit demonstrating my irritation with certain things, and every benefit in accepting things that are less than ideal with poise.

This goes for things in the Church as well as in my own personal interactions. Sometimes Church leadership deals with things in ways I don't like. But that is no reason to grump around at people and make my opinion known. I really, REALLY want to work on being more gracious.

So that's my spring resolution. Now I just need to figure out how to do it.


  1. Thank you for that! It is so true. I am like you and can't stand not helping. If I see something that needs to be done I'll do. That guy seems super sweet! If he is single you should definitely go for him ;)

  2. Wonderful example. May we all be more like that man - and you - in how we handle things.


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