Jackie Gingrich Cushman

In a desire to do great things, as well as do small things greatly, my high standards might be unattainable, leading to judgment of those found lacking, including most often myself.

I have just enough patience to know that this is an area that requires much more development. With two children, I am daily given the opportunity to become more patient. I often fail, but occasionally I am able to exhibit the Grace of God mentioned earlier.

My husband and I are both very involved in the community. The Atlanta History Center, Genesis Shelter: A New Life, The Trust for Public Land, The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, to name a few. We attempt to model for our children the importance of giving back.

We belong to a wonderful faith community. This is an area that has grown in importance and focus in the past few years. The attempt to allow God's Grace to shine through has led to more prayer, more study and more understanding of how far I have to go. That must be what God's grace is for -- accepting us and loving us, even though we are imperfect. Perfection would not need grace. I need grace.

As for grades in each area, well, I've always thought that self-grading was a waste of time. After all, who has the ability to separate from themselves enough to be unbiased? Certainly not me.

What I have learned so far in life is that it is a great, frustrating, fun adventure. And, with the grace of God, I hope to be able to give an updated report when I'm 70.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.