Did you know that there are marks on your heart? Not literally, but the people who have been a part of our lives leave us ‘marked’ with their presence and deeds and attitudes. Yes, without a doubt, some have marked our hearts and lives in negative ways. Some have impacted our lives in positive ways and left their mark. Have you ever considered the places that have impacted your life? A childhood home, the schools you attended and a grandma’s or your best friend’s house, to name a few. You had an image come to mind as I talked about significant places that were spaces where we grew and learned valuable lessons. These are the roadmaps of our life. They gave and still give us direction as we follow God’s will.
This past year I have had a few opportunities to revisit places that have served in my life as grace-space. I was back in my hometown earlier in the year for a funeral, and I could drive by some important spaces where I went to school and lived. My mind filled with memories and remembrances of days gone by, and, I was thankful for my experiences. I am not saying that everything that has happened in our lives is cause for celebration, yet from the vantage point of today, there were many wonderful times. A few months ago I went by the house where my grandparents lived. It was always for me a ‘happy’ place. When I pulled up in front of the house, I notice it was not a big home, and the house was maybe 800 square feet. The homes in the neighborhood seemed closer together than I remembered. The yard I played in did not appear more massive than a postage stamp. You see it was not the house that made it a ‘happy’ place, and it was the people who lived there that made the place.
What are some significant space and places from your past? Have you stopped to ponder the lessons learned from being at that place? Another grace-space for me would be the church I attended as a young person. It was a place where I not only experienced the grace of God but the kindness of God’s people. It allowed me to grow in grace in a safe and warm community. The warm memories and a sense of gratitude have nothing to do with the architecture. It had everything to do with meeting God and His people in that space. Gratitude escapes many because they never reflect on the past and the blessings that came their way. If you get stuck in a negative mindset, there is the tendency to think about all of those who have wronged you. Allow me to take a moment to acknowledge your pain. Some have experienced horrible things at the hands of others, and the places where these things took place are anything but blessings, and I understand. For a moment, are you willing to consider that there have been some healing places along the way? I am a work in progress, and we are all growing and learning and doing our best to ‘unlearn’ certain things. Today I believe it would be helpful to reflect on people and places that have impacted your life. I received help, and I remain blessed by the lives so many. Today I enjoy the benefits given by God and the many friends and family who have invested in my life.  
Today I want to show my gratitude by pouring into the lives of those around me. Let us help leave a good ‘mark’ on the hearts of our family and friends and the folks we meet along the way.

Young fashion people with a road map next to vintage car

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