behind the title &cover
The title comes from Matthew 11:28-30, more specifically from The Message translation:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
This is the punch line. This is the fruit of living a life of true gratitude. Living freely and lightly as a result of trusting Jesus with your life is where it all comes together.
I really thought using 'unforced rhythms of grace' in the title encapsulated both my recollections of those who helped me and how we/you/I can help those God puts within our path. It's unforced in that a gratitude-filled life helping people will seem second nature and part of who you are. That this life of giving has a 'rhythm' to it connotes the constant and underlying beating of the drum that helps us march on with purpose.
The cover photo, taken by my very talented friend, Stephanie Goodrich, shows a road sign (which happens to be the road sign leading North out of my home town of Leaf River). It represents both the different paths peoples' lives can take with a little encouragement and the path on which my childhood leaders in Leaf River put me.