Life Lived in Grace Notes

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Do you see those smaller notes with the slashes in them? Called grace notes to those who read music, they also offer some insight into living life. As Christians, we need the Lord and the fellowship of believers spoken of in Scripture. “…but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (I John 1:7)

In view of that, I write “Grace Notes,” a monthly newsletter for the women of Grace Reformed Church. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Italian word appoggiatura is an embellishing note usually written in smaller size. This grace note or appoggiatura, falls onto the beat and resolves to a main melodic note. This definition beyond music underpins daily life through a connotation of  appoggiatura,  meaning “to lean upon.”  

The Christian life is not a Lone Ranger existence, but rather a life that leans first on Jesus Christ, our Savior, and then supports one another as we journey through the joys and sorrows of this life. At times we lean on someone. Later, we make ourselves available for others to lean upon when they need help or encouragement. Here’s to the tiny grace note!


This last weekend Dave and I traveled from our mountain home to Annapolis to hear Keith and Kristyn Getty ‘s concert. Grace notes, Celtic instruments, incredibly talented musicians, clogging, and modern hymns filled the sanctuary that night. Not merely performers, the Gettys project lyrics and invite the audience to worship with them as they lead. That alone expresses grace. Most performers really dislike people trying to sing along with them! 


But take a look at Kristyn, singing a full concert while 7 months pregnant! The entire band radiated that joy and grace throughout the evening, an encore, and then a 20-minute jam session that followed! Look up the lyrics to “A Mother’s Prayer” on their website ( Whether you’re about to be a mother or you are giving flight to a young fledgling adult leaving the home nest, there’s a verse in there that will be a grace note for you. 

God continued to surprise us with grace notes all weekend — from my hugging students whom I had taught over a decade ago to Dave’s reconnecting with elders and pastors he had worked with for over 30 years. We stayed with dear friends, saw family, and had brunch with folks who had used our cabin this past summer. We were graced by others and, I pray, we offered some of those “lean on me” grace notes to others. 

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