The Four Graces

by Liz Jansen

What do a horse, a carpenter and adventure rider from Colorado, my landlady, and a can of coconut milk have in common?

Have you ever felt that you’re missing something obvious that’s right in front of you?

That’s how I’m feeling right now, about the word grace. It’s been popping up regularly, and while I don’t need to assign meaning to every little coincidence, in this case, it feels like there’s a message I’m not getting. Maybe you can help me figure it out.

Grace the horse

Early in July, I rode an hour north of my home to Peace Valley Ranch, researching an article for Ontario Tourism. It’s a working ranch with cattle and horses, set in the sprawling, idyllic hills in the shadow of the Niagara Escarpment.

It was meant to be a half-hour interview with co-owner Natalie Kotyck. It was that and more, as I was taught an invaluable life lesson about embracing the present moment by a horse named Grace. Read The Gift of Grace here.

four graces

Ron Grace and Lost for a Reason

I learned of Ron through his charity work with the people of the Navajo Nation in Arizona while searching for guests for my Wheels to Wisdom podcast series.

Started out of gratitude for riding the spectacular reservation land in the southwest, Lost for a Reason is a growing group of motorcycle travelers and adventurers, and people who have a heart for giving to other people; people who are less fortunate.


Landlady Grace

I was apartment hunting when I met this Grace. Unexpectedly finding myself back where I started after completing only three weeks of what was to be at least a year on the road, I was homeless, carless and bikeless. I needed a place to settle, recover, get grounded and determine next steps, preferably without having to purchase a vehicle.

My friend Ila was driving me to physiotherapy when we spotted the Apartment for Rent sign on the front lawn. I called the number, went to see it immediately after my appointment, and that’s where I’m living now. It’s small, cozy and fits my needs just fine. Centrally located, most places I need to go to are within walking distance, including the car rental place about two minutes away.


Grace coconut milk

I was on a mission to find coconut milk for soup I was making for a dinner party. No longer stocked in the Thai food section where I usually find it, it was off by itself and the brand was different. Who would expect Grace coconut milk? Yet that’s what was on the four cans I purchased. I doubt it would have caught my attention had grace not already been on my mind.


As I was writing this article, it occurred to me that the four graces appeared when I was searching for something. Perhaps that’s the message through simple illustrations—that grace, the Creator, Spirit, God, whatever you name your higher power—is with us and within us even when we don’t know the answers. Or perhaps the synchronicity of grace is just a divine mystery, with no answers needed.

What do you think?



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Author, writer, and student Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

8 Comments on “The Four Graces

  1. Enjoyed reading this. I think you’ll have more grace in your life just because of your good-hearted nature. What goes around comes around (ha-ha).

  2. I love that you recognized what was right in front of you, from Grace the horse to Grace coconut milk, and put it all together for inspiration.

  3. Liz, Thanks for sharing 🙂 Great story! Your articles seem to come just at the right times, and for the right reasons…. Que bueno, Gracias.

  4. Years ago I read several books by Scott M. Peck (most notably, The Road Less Traveled). He considers Grace to be a force that is working for our good, all the time, whether or (usually) not we perceive it. How else does one explain the persistent and ‘random’ good that comes to us over and over? I like his perspective. And it feeds my sense of gratitude.