All too often, people find themselves wondering whether they make a difference in life. Spot of Grace: Remarkable Stories of How You Do Make a Difference is one of those books that provides a resounding response of Yes! The author, Dawna Markova PhD - co creator of Random Acts of Kindness, sent out the following e-mail:
Settle in for a few minutes and think about a person, a group of people, an animal, or a place that helped you realize that you are unique and have something to contribute to the rest of us. Or think about someone whose spot of grace you recognized and encouraged. Then scribble it down and send it to me. It doesn't have to be correctly spelled or fancy, just authentic to you, with a few details that will bring your memories alive. You can remain anonymous if you like or use your name.*
Dawna ended the e-mail with the last lines of her touching poem, "I Will Not Die an Un-lived Life":
Know that in sending me your stories, you will be "risking your significance, taking what came to you as seed and passing it on as blossom, and transforming that which came as blossom into fruit."*
*The content in italics is taken directly from the book.
The contents of Spot of Grace provide a little insight into the author and some of her treasured memories, along with memories from countless other people. These memories will warm the heart and soul even as your emotions are led on a wonderful and eye-opening journey.
Where do I even begin with this book? I was immediately hooked and literally couldn't put it down. The rare times that my attention was away from the book were only because I couldn't resist sharing some of the deeply moving content with my husband. I have so many favourites within the pages, including the following memories in which:
· A bookmobile driver who nurtures the soul of a young bookworm
· A CEO's daughter finds a unique way to communicate with her father as he struggles with Alzheimer's
· tar Wars helps an autistic boy with his violin skills
· A sister refuses to give up on her brother when everyone else has lost hope
· A stranger on a bus journey receives an invaluable gift.
I really loved this book and the optimism and great memories it brought into my life. I found myself looking back over the years, at those people who touched my life. People like my high school English teacher - Mrs Yvonne Harding - who, with her great sense of humour and constant encouragement made high school that little more bearable. Or my neighbour when I was growing up and her patience as she shared memories of her life and treated me to tiny fresh tomatoes from her backyard. My mum remains my strongest memory when thinking of grace and generosity. I remember that mum cooked extra meals for me to take to our next-door neighbour so that Mrs Lyon wouldn't have to worry about cooking or doing the dishes while her broken arm mended.
I then thought about those who touched my life and I have never met. People like the car in front of us at the Tim Horton's drive-through one day. When we arrived at the window to pay for the order we were told the car in front had paid for us. That was very surprising and I suggested to my husband that we bless someone else in the same way, so we paid for the car behind us.
I thought about the moments in my life where I may have caught a glimpse of my own Spot of Grace and spent some time smiling as I remembered cherished memories. I thought about including them but I would prefer to focus on this book, which – in case you can’t tell - I absolutely love and highly recommend. It really changed my mood and in some ways, even my outlook on life.
I know that each of you have countless memories and stories to share and the reason I posted the original e-mail at the start of this review is that the author ends with an invitation to share your own experiences with her at: http://www.dawnamarkova.com
Also, check out the Spot of Grace website on which you can view some of the stories read aloud on video. Eve's story is the first one that touched my heart in the book and I know that as most of you reading this blog are lovers of reading and books, it will speak volumes to you also. http://www.spotofgrace.com/stories.html