Gracious, Graceful or Grateful?

Am I gracious or graceful or even grateful! When growing up, I remember I used to get so confused with so many similar sounding words e.g. consternation, constellation and constipation or flattery, factory and facsimile. Of course, I used to make mistakes in my speech and now I have to scan my mind to find the right word for a particular comment I wish to make.

Graciousness speaks to me about kindness. When we say things, people can either react or disagree with what we say and even if the latter is true some people can couch it by saying things in a gentle way without being abrupt or rude or even loud.

Being graceful makes me think of a ballerina strutting around making beautiful shapes with her body and being spot on with the timing of the music she moves to. This word also reminds me of Jesus who in John 1 came to us full of grace and truth. This sort of grace is linked with undeserved favour that God has freely given to all of mankind.

‘To be grateful’ we can all do many times in a day. Even when people do little acts of kindness to us we can appreciate them and say ‘thank you’. It doesn’t take much to say and do this. However, we, as Christians, are called to come to God with a grateful heart even when things don’t go our way. I’m reminded of the song ‘Give thanks with a grateful heart…’ Sometimes it is a sacrifice to do this and we have to use our will power to acknowledge the wonders of what God has given to us. It’s easier to be grateful when we see a beautiful sunset before us  or seeing a newborn baby for the first time but when the hardships and difficulties assail us it is harder to keep being grateful to God. We can so easily become grumpy and bitter and forget our Maker.

Let’s encourage children to develop their vocabulary and learn bigger words. They can acquire these more easily if we adults speak these words to them and then if they don’t understand the word can be explained and a word added to their understanding for use whenever they need it.

The Creation Series using language that is not patronising or too simple for reading to 3-4 years. Older children reading the books for themselves can find the vocabulary just right and at the same time their world is expanded to see what God did at the beginning of time. What a privilege is ours to be able to explain and show children the wonders of God’s creation and the wonderful words and developed in the human race that he has instigated for them to use.

Being gracious, graceful and grateful will never be mistaken again once our children grasp their different meanings and get their tongues round the individual words!