With a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love…

Happy long weekend, everyone! I was able to enjoy an especially short week this week since New Hampshire had a snow day on Wednesday and I had taken Friday off to make the most of the long weekend. Well, that and to do a little celebrating with Justin since on Friday we had been dating a whole year! Yep folks, this commitment-phobe has had a boyfriend for a whole year AND has kept a balanced checkbook since November.

So I need to be honest, this week I really was not so good about trying to be healthy this week. I canceled my gym membership (in my defense, I had gone once in the last 2 months, so it didn’t make sense to keep paying for something I don’t use… and in 2 weeks I’m getting a wii fit so I will at least still have some exercise). I did make an effort to eat more fruits & veggies, but I think I canceled all that out when Justin & I went to dinner on Friday night. Since dating for a year was a pretty big deal for the both of us, we got all dressed up (and can I just say how handsome he looked in a suit & tie!) and went to Fratello’s , an incredibly amazing Italian restaurant here in the Mills. Lately we’ve been hooked on watching The Sopranos so it was pretty fun to get all dressed up, order a fancy bottle of wine, and pretend like we could actually afford to be there on a regular basis. On Saturday we promptly went grocery shopping for healthy meals, so we’ll see where this week takes me. While the snow has put a damper on my walks for now, I can still work on adjusting what I eat.

This week was full of lots of fun and excitement. On Tuesday night/Wednesday, New Hampshire was nailed with massive snow storm that made me feel like I was back in Michigan. There were over 300 schools and businesses closed on Wednesday, and I was lucky to be part of that 300. Since it’s obviously been a while since I was in school and I haven’t gotten a work snow day in a few years I felt like a kid again! I forgot how truly exciting it is to get up, turn on the news and see you’re closed, then go back to bed. When it came time to move the car for the lot to be plowed, Justin and I sure had fun playing in the snow!

It was so nice to be able to spend a day in the middle of a pretty stressful week just relaxing, watching The Sopranos, and working on a puzzle. Speaking of things that make me feel like a kid again, I got a new pair of glasses on Thursday. I’m not going to reveal how long it’s been since I last saw the eye doctor, just know that it was far too long and I’m still getting used to the stronger prescription. I don’t know what it is about glasses, but I get sooooo excited whenever it’s time to get a new pair! Maybe it’s feeling like I get to re-define my style, maybe it’s just knowing I’ll be able to see clearly again. All in all I’d say this was a wonderful week full of lots of happy memories.

As I’m sure all of you are aware, tomorrow is MLK day. During my time at City Year New Hampshire I developed a strong appreciation for the sermons and speeches of Dr. King, especially The Drum Major Instinct. What really drew me to this sermon is the idea of redefining greatness. Here is an excerpt that really hit home for me, and I try to keep near and dear to my heart.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant.

What a powerful statement. King goes on to continue to move my soul all the way through the sermon and at the end I think he nails exactly what it is to me that defines a full life:

If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.

So here’s to the long weekend, and whether you are working, or doing a service project, or just relaxing tomorrow, I challenge you to redefine your idea of greatness, and to live your life with a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.

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One thought on “With a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love…

  1. Hi Jodi!

    Just wanted to say hello to another Jodi Harper in the world (though I have been an Allan for almost 11 years now…when I got married, I couldn’t let go of my maiden name, so I made it my middle name). I am a Michigander, too 🙂 Best wishes for a prosperous and healthy 2011. Keep blogging!

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