I was given grace a little while ago. It's very pretty, sort of a lavender color and it smells like flowers. And whenever I like I can spritz it all over myself, grace misting on my face, droplets on my skin, soaking in.

Actually, I was given a fragrance called inner grace, from philosophy. But what a wonderful idea: Spraying yourself lavishly with grace.

Grace is hard: Hard to give and sometimes even harder to receive. I'm not very good at it either way. I could really use a bottle of "Super Grace" that I could whip out whenever I needed it.

Then when my kids push me over the edge, instead of yelling at them, I will calmly reach into my "Grace Holster" and spritz them liberally (in the face) with purple floral "Grace," the fragrance covering over the odors of disobedience. We'll all smile and hug warmly, basking in the aroma of "Grace."

Or when my husband disappoints me, instead of sulking and waiting for him to read my mind, I'll smile sweetly, and when he turns away, mist a big purple grace cloud over his head. He'll never know what hit him.

"Grace in a Bottle" could be used anywhere! You could spray it on the grumpy cashier, aim it at the car that cut you off, and discreetly douse your nosy neighbor. And then there could be "Virtual Grace" for use online. You could tag annoying Facebook posts and e-mail it to your mother-in-law. We'd all feel so much better.

Best of all, I could spray it on myself and instantly mask my own malodorous behavior before I needed to ask anyone else's forgiveness and grace: Febreze for the soul.

Alas, my pretty purple bottle of inner grace can't be sprayed on disobedient kids or e-mailed. It smells pretty at first, and then it fades. But when I mist on inner grace, it makes me think of real grace and I wonder what it smells like, sounds like, and looks like.

Grace of a friend who will clean your house and bring you meals when you are sick.

Grace smells like casseroles and Pine-Sol.

Grace from my children when they tell me I'm the best mom in the whole world, ever.

Grace sounds like the voices of children.

Grace from a spouse who says, "I forgive you. I love you even though you're not perfect. Because I'm not perfect either."

Grace looks like humility.

I've been shown so much grace in my life, more than I ever deserved. Ha. That's the key isn't it? Grace is never deserved. It wouldn't be grace then. Perhaps that is why I have a hard time being gracious - I keep forgetting that it is not earned. Grace is most required probably when we feel least like giving it.

In the darkest parts of me, I'm more grudge than grace. Some people seem to be so gracious naturally, but I wonder if anyone is actually naturally inclined to grace. Revenge and retribution, tit for tat, eye for an eye, and generally being annoyed; these seem natural.

Grace is a gift, freely given, first by God who expects nothing but that we turn and receive it, and then turn again and freely give it to our neighbor.

When I remember the grace I have been shown I do think it smelled like flowers. And was sort of purple.

Grace, purple with promise.

Grace, fresh like flowers.

Grace, given.

Grace, amazing.

Jennifer Zach tries to live graciously with her husband and three kids everyday. She would love to hear your grace stories - send them to jennizach@yahoo.com.

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