Grace Among Us

015 - Sowing and Harvest

April 06, 2023 Carri Adcock and Ebony C. Gilbert Episode 15
Grace Among Us
015 - Sowing and Harvest
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode of Grace Among Us, Carri and Ebony take a look at the concept of positive expectancy and grace. This is a concept that is current today and Carri and Ebony unpack this idea and offer a view through the “grace glasses”, and answer the question, “how does grace fit into that?”  Come join us in the exploration!

Here’s a glance at the episode

  1. The definition of positive expectancy.
  2. How goes grace fit into this concept, and does it?
  3. Once faith is applied, is there more…other steps?
  4. Steps of positive thinking.
  5. Attention to what you are planting.
  6. Care and feeding.
  7. Guided steps - one at a time, and the gift in knowing just the next step.
  8. The concept of vision and letting go of the ‘how’.
  9. God uses it ALL.
  10. All about not needing to know the specifics of the outcome, and in fact, you can’t.
  11. Be flexible to wind on the path along the way.
  12. Don’t miss the harvest.
  13. We show up to be part of the process.
  14. Believe. Trust. Obey.

Thank you so much for joining us today. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to Grace, and a new perspective that will light it up in your own life.  If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know at; we would love to hear your questions, suggestions, and/or comments. Don’t forget to share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. Until next time, be well, be blessed, be bold, and be kind to yourself.

#limitless, #gracehope, #positiveexpectancy, #graceglasses, #mindfulness #gracesupply, #gracescore, #gracehumility, #gracetest, #graceunmerited, #gracepatience, #gracehelp, #gracewind, #graceeffect, #gracecurious, #gracekindness, #gracegentleness

We'd love to meet you in person! Come Join Us in Heaven's Net. A 3-day retreat March 13 - 15, 2024 - find out more by clicking HERE.

[00:00:00.650] - Ebony Gilbert

Thank you.

[00:00:02.370] - Carri Richard

Hello. Hello. Welcome. I am Carri. I am a sustained success coach. I help people make space and enjoy the ride and make the impact that they were built to make. And my dear, dear friend is here too.

[00:00:21.970] - Ebony Gilbert

Hey, I'm Ebony Gilbert and work in the healthcare industry and also get to talk about grace with Carri Adcock sometimes, including today. So here we are.

[00:00:39.550] - Carri Richard

Welcome, Ebony. So, as we say, we do not really pre plan these, but we do come up with some pointers toward grace. Like, grace is just, it's everywhere, it's all the time. And so our intention and Ebony tell me if I'm off base, but our intention is really to point to different avenues of grace and where it shows up so that you may see more grace in your life.

[00:01:11.510] - Ebony Gilbert

I think that's spot on.

[00:01:13.830] - Carri Richard

Yay. So today, how about the topic of positive expectancy, Ebony?

[00:01:25.450] - Ebony Gilbert

It's real fancy sounding.

[00:01:27.230] - Carri Richard

It is real fancy. So if you don't mind, I'm going to start with the definition of positive expectancy, and maybe we'll just go from there.

[00:01:37.010] - Ebony Gilbert

Let's do it.

[00:01:37.900] - Carri Richard

Okay. So positive expectancy is the idea of expecting the results that you want in life and believing that you will receive them. So I think there is a lot of schools of thought out there currently out there in society that says if you believe it, you will achieve it or envision it, and it can be yours. There's all kinds of different ways of saying it. And the idea is, how does grace fit into that? Maybe? What is the view? How do you apply grace to that idea? Or do you?

[00:02:36.530] - Ebony Gilbert

I think so. What positive expectancy? What would be other words for that? If we had to come up with a list of synonyms and just spitball some of them, what would they be?

[00:02:53.510] - Carri Richard

The belief in possibilities.

[00:02:55.770] - Ebony Gilbert

Belief in possibilities. Mindfulness. Faith.

[00:03:03.770] - Carri Richard

Yes, faith.

[00:03:06.890] - Ebony Gilbert

When I think about faith, it's hard to think about faith without bringing grace into the conversation.

[00:03:12.490] - Carri Richard


[00:03:14.970] - Ebony Gilbert

But I think we'll get to it. Let's keep talking. And I think as we go through the conversation, the stone will get turned and it'll become obvious because I positively expect that it's going to show up in this conversation.

[00:03:32.370] - Carri Richard

I do too. I have faith, Ebony. I have faith that what needs to be said is going to be said.

[00:03:40.220] - Ebony Gilbert

And I'm going to be mindful of how we carry this conversation. This.

[00:03:46.330] - Carri Richard

Was good. That was good. So I want to say that positive expectancy, I do agree that if I don't believe it's possible, then I might as well have blinders on, because if I don't believe it's possible for me, then I'm not going to see the opportunities that bring that thing about, right? Whether it's a relationship, whether it's a money figure, whether it's, I don't know, a trip around the world, whatever. If I don't believe it's possible for me, then I'm going to miss that boat.

[00:04:37.690] - Ebony Gilbert

So believing is the first step. Is it the only step? Can it stop there?

[00:04:43.930] - Carri Richard

No. I think faith without works is dead.

[00:04:49.250] - Ebony Gilbert

I would agree. You took the words out of my mouth. Took the words out of my mouth. So when you and I were talking about this a few minutes ago, I mentioned that this sounds a lot like sowing and reaping.

[00:05:05.710] - Carri Richard


[00:05:06.770] - Ebony Gilbert

Seed time and harvest, which isn't always positive. You can sow bad seeds and reap bad harvest, which aligns a little bit with another concept out there in society of karma. Some parallels. Not exactly the same thing as positive expectancy. But I agree. Faith without works is dead. So if belief is the first step, what's the second step in the Carri and Ebony tutorial? To positive thinking?

[00:05:45.020] - Carri Richard

Towards positive expectancy?

[00:05:46.870] - Ebony Gilbert


[00:05:47.730] - Carri Richard

Well, if belief, right, the belief is that there's a vision. You can envision it. You believe that it's possible, but then you have to take a step towards it, right. Some kind of motion or action. Because like you said, the idea of reaping and sowing if you just to oversimplify it, if you just plop a seed in the ground and then you say, ha, I'll see in six months and I'll come harvest what I've envisioned, that might not happen.

[00:06:27.390] - Ebony Gilbert

It likely won't.

[00:06:29.030] - Carri Richard

Exactly. I have had a mentor who used to say, god doesn't bring you a cup of coffee, honey. Don't ask him for a cup of coffee. So doesn't mean he won't grow the coffee beans or help make all that happen and all these people that put it together and you go to the store and you buy the coffee and you put it in the coffee pot. But yeah, we have a big part to play.

[00:06:59.610] - Ebony Gilbert

You got to water the seed.

[00:07:01.990] - Carri Richard

Yes. Fertilizer so here's my question to you. I know, based on experience, that if I put a tomato seed in a pot and I water it and give it sunshine, I'm going to get a tomato at some point. I only know that because I have experience with that and it's kind of a known entity, right. But if I have a dream that I've never seen happen before, and now I want to plant that seed, like, how do those next steps come to me?

[00:07:48.390] - Ebony Gilbert

I think they have to be guided. They're guided steps. I can't speak for the Ebony and Carri tutorial, but I can tell you how I do it. I pray. And I'm not praying for the entire yellow brick road to be revealed. Could that be too much? I don't want to know every corner and turn ahead of time. That's intimidating to even think about. But tell me what my next step is, and then I take that step, and then I wait for the next step and the next step. And sometimes they happen rapidly. The doors open and things just come together, and sometimes they don't. So let me think about this for a second. Let me think positive. Expectancy I positively expected that when I graduated from college 20 years ago that I was going to get a job, now going to be able to take care of myself. Right. That was my positive expectation. This is going to happen. The bigger picture of sowing and reaping and planting seeds was I've got to get good grades in high school to get a scholarship. I've got to keep the scholarship in college to maintain it and graduate.

[00:09:10.350] - Ebony Gilbert

I've got to make good connections and network to meet the right people. So those were steps right along the way. And it was more than just getting a job. I had a vision for success and for diversity in my career path and for choices. And I had a very specific vision. Had no clue how it was going to happen, had no clue what it was going to be. My degrees are in social work. I do not work in social work. Now, no one could have told me 25 years ago this would have happened, but the vision came to fruition. So I expected these things. I didn't know what the paved road looked like. Every step and turning away and let me know if this is making sense. So if we're talking about what the next step is, I think there are lots of steps to prepare yourself, prepare the soil, to fertilize it, to water the seed. You don't always know how that plant is going to look when it comes out of the ground.

[00:10:13.730] - Carri Richard

Yes, exactly. To your point about your degree, right. You went to college, you got your degree, and today does your social work degree help what you're doing today 

[00:10:32.010] - Ebony Gilbert

In so many ways? Does my job description say social work? No, it does not.

[00:10:37.310] - Carri Richard

Exactly. I have degrees in foreign languages and international relations, and I was a computer geek and a thought leader in high tech, and I really wanted to be an interpreter. I love language. It's very math oriented, just in a different way. Right. It's formulaic. It's really interesting. And I love culture, and I like how the language reflects the culture. Like in French, window shopping is actually the English version of it is licking the windows. Anyway, I digress. So those are my degrees. But I was a computer geek at heart. I grew up in Silicon Valley. I loved computers, and that's the path I took. However, I helped translate highly, highly technical from highly technical teams to business people. Right.

[00:11:45.250] - Ebony Gilbert

You're still interpreting. You're still translating.

[00:11:47.750] - Carri Richard

Exactly. But without faith and understanding, I have, it's guided steps, one step at a time. I can't see the whole path. I couldn't correlate that later. I love the idea I only see God in my rearview mirror, so I can see all this great work that God and Grace has done, but later so I just take I don't know if I'm going off on a tangent.

[00:12:22.660] - Ebony Gilbert

No, you're good. I'm following you.

[00:12:24.180] - Carri Richard

Take one step at a time. So to your point of do I know the outcome? Do I know the specifics of the outcome? No. Do you need to know the how? Absolutely not. It's that positive. Like, everything's working towards that. But I have to take the action to see what the next step is.

[00:12:46.140] - Ebony Gilbert

Right. I like that. I have an example. I planted a bunch of seeds last year. I bought a planter and got some grow bags and did all this stuff. Well, I placed one of my bags under a tree because it didn't need direct sunlight. I didn't account for the tree having a lime issue and infiltrating the soil in my bag, so I had to pivot. And my point here is you can have a vision. You can sow you can have guided steps. You can have positive expectation. It does not always stop the weeds from growing. It doesn't always stop the noise and the distraction and whatever is coming to disrupt that vision. And that's where the guided steps are really, really important. That's where the faith is really important, because you can't get discouraged, you can't get dismayed. And you have to really trust and believe and have faith that God's going to grace me through this and all things are working together for my good. So I just moved the bag. It was a simple fix in this case, and put some neutralizer in the soil and went on my life. And the seeds came up and they were fine.

[00:14:08.540] - Ebony Gilbert

But if I hadn't been tending to it, let's say I'd gone on vacation for a couple of weeks and didn't see it and didn't pay attention to it and didn't revisit it, it would have overtaken it.

[00:14:18.800] - Carri Richard


[00:14:19.810] - Ebony Gilbert

Not because I did something wrong, but simply because of inattention. So if you're going to positively expect something or if you're going to look forward to this vision, or you're operating in the reaping and sowing, you can't just put it out there and leave it. There has to be some it's no.

[00:14:41.200] - Carri Richard

Ron Popil, do you remember that guy?

[00:14:43.770] - Ebony Gilbert


[00:14:44.090] - Carri Richard

Set it and forget it. He did like the he would sell.

[00:14:47.740] - Ebony Gilbert

Like a Crock Pot thing.

[00:14:49.120] - Carri Richard

Yeah, like a Crock Pot kind of thing. He was like, set it. The whole crowd would go, set it and forget it. Like, yeah, that's not this journey, but Grace will come for me. Grace comes along and says, hey, you're on the right track.

[00:15:06.580] - Ebony Gilbert

Yeah, keep going.

[00:15:07.940] - Carri Richard

Yeah. It might not be the track you thought it was, but you're on the right track. It's like that. Yeah. You get a little glimpse of just like you said, I can even use the example of, well, thank God you noticed. Thank God that you had that attention and that to your point, it's that continual attention. It's the nurturing of the process.

[00:15:39.790] - Ebony Gilbert


[00:15:43.950] - Carri Richard

And doing the work when you don't see the result, there's so much work that comes often, so much work goes in before the result. And I think I witness a lot of people get disappointed too early. They get disappointed because they're not seeing the result, and they give up.

[00:16:10.150] - Ebony Gilbert

I think a little disappointment is okay, it's natural, but you can't give up. You got to keep going. I think God rewards our faith. I know he does. Yeah, I know he does. And there's something comforting about not knowing how it ends or not knowing the final step in the guided steps. Because what I believe is when I put a box on something, I'm limiting myself if I throw it up and say, hey, God, do your thing, work your magic. I'm believing he's going to do something bigger and better and greater than what I imagined. And that's what I've lived. And I don't think it's because my seeds were so great. I did my part, and in some cases they were mustard seeds, in some cases they were sunflower seeds, depending on the situation. And I just worded it the best way I knew how, the best way I knew how at the time. And then he graced me.

[00:17:18.990] - Carri Richard

Absolutely. It's almost like we do our part if we continually do our part faithfully, with faith, with Thanksgiving, with like, this is the next step. Not so worried about all the steps after just this one, being present to this one. I think God just fills in all the gaps. Put some silicone seal over here and some caulk over here and fill in.

[00:17:52.970] - Ebony Gilbert

That disappointment line that's trying to creep up. Just keep waking up and taking the next step.

[00:17:57.760] - Carri Richard

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:18:00.030] - Ebony Gilbert

I love the spray foam stuff that fills in cracks. There was like 1000 infomercials about it years ago. That stuff is wonderful. I don't even know the name of it, and if I did, I probably shouldn't use it. But I feel like God, he looks at our faith and he goes, oh, I got an order for some spray foam, and I'm going to go fill in the gaps and the cracks, and I'm going to seal this back together so you can feel whole again. To go into the next day and the next vision and the next thing, to have you fulfill your purpose, that's comforting.

[00:18:33.290] - Carri Richard

It is comforting.

[00:18:34.400] - Ebony Gilbert

I've never thought of God as spray foam until this moment, but I really love this stuff. It just fills in the gap.

[00:18:46.250] - Carri Richard

Yeah. All we do not all we we need to show up to be part of the process.

[00:18:54.570] - Ebony Gilbert

Show up?

[00:18:55.610] - Carri Richard


[00:18:56.290] - Ebony Gilbert

Get up.

[00:18:56.810] - Carri Richard

Here I am with my little shovel. Here I am.

[00:19:01.210] - Ebony Gilbert

Got my gloves on. I'm ready to dig. I'm ready to get into this. I don't know if it's going to rain. I don't know if the storm is going to come and totally blow my plans out the park, but whatever it is, tomorrow will come and it'll be a new day. I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to get up. I'm going to show up. I'm going to take the next step. And I think that applies to so many things.

[00:19:22.210] - Carri Richard

I think so, too. I think it applies to everything.

[00:19:25.510] - Ebony Gilbert

I was going to say that, but I didn't want to. But that's what I believe, too. I think it applies to everything.

[00:19:32.470] - Carri Richard

Absolutely. And the power of community is that when I forget all this, because I do I'd love to say, like, I just live this 100% all the time, and that would be totally, totally not real because I'm human. And I think I got it. I think I have all the answers. I think many things that are not very graceful, like, oh, this one's so small. He's not worried about this one. Or I really want it to end up a certain way. And so when I'm focused on what it should look like, then I'm edging him out, right? And when I'm in those places and it seems like, oh, my gosh, nothing's going to happen, and for me, it's talking to people like you. It's talking to my sweet sisters who remind me, hey, Carri, it's just not time, or what's the next step? Or it's all working out. Or, hey, how about you be patient for a little bit? Or do you see what this just happened? Sometimes I can't see what's happening, right, because I'm too close. I'm up at the edge of the painting, and I got to be able to step back.

[00:21:06.550] - Carri Richard

So for anybody out there who has doubt or is in the midst of disappointment, like, reach out and share it with somebody.

[00:21:24.410] - Ebony Gilbert

Absolutely. A good friend, one of us. Reach out and let somebody be your spray foam talk you up real quick. The thing that came to mind, and I know this stuff, but different ways to see it in real life. When I was planning those seeds, I don't remember, I think it was strawberry seeds. They are super tiny. I mean, they're tiny. Tiny, like specks of sand kind of tiny. I was so fascinated that I put this tiny little grouping of strawberry seeds in this bowl, and before you can even plant them, you have to freeze them because you have to simulate a wintertime. You have to do all these things to prepare this seed. But you put them in this thing, and they start to bloom, the sprout and you know the size of the strawberry? You know the seeds on the strawberry? Yeah, the actual seed is smaller than that. Okay, so my point here is and once I had an epiphany moment in my backyard doing this last year, whatever you're sowing is so small compared to what you reap. So small. The harvest is so much bigger than the seeds that go in the ground.

[00:22:46.950] - Ebony Gilbert

So when you get disappointed and you get discouraged, you have to remind yourself, this is bigger than this right here, this one seed that's annoying and aggravating me, and I'm working on it every day and tilling the land and doing all this stuff could produce a crop that's going to feed how many people? So this one vision, and I have no idea the way it ends. I'm thinking it's going to be one thing. It could be so much bigger. It could be something that nourishes your entire family or your entire community, or it can put you in a position to be sitting in front of a podcast talking about your experiences. We don't know how big the ripple effect, the stone in the pond, we don't know. Yeah, we don't know. But I let that encourage me. I think about that bag in my backyard on that cloudy day that made no sense at the moment, there's not even any sun out today, but I'm going to plant. And what happened over time, and it just really encourages me because we're using it as a metaphor, but it's also real life.

[00:23:51.450] - Carri Richard


[00:23:53.610] - Ebony Gilbert

And I'm going to have positive expectations that even if lime gets in my bag, even if the cracks of disappointment get into the foundation of what you're trying to build, it's going to be all right.

[00:24:07.550] - Carri Richard


[00:24:08.590] - Ebony Gilbert

One day, one step at a time.

[00:24:10.500] - Carri Richard

Take the next step. And to your point, you have no idea. We really don't have any idea how it all works out. I do know I can say it all works out. It may not always feel like it.

[00:24:23.570] - Ebony Gilbert

Think about the times when you thought you knew, when you were pretty convinced it wasn't even a question. You're like, no, I know how this ends. Were you right?

[00:24:35.050] - Carri Richard

No, never. I don't think. Ever? No, it was never. The gifts do not come in the package. I think they're going to come in, so I better be open to all the gifts.

[00:24:50.550] - Ebony Gilbert


[00:24:51.630] - Carri Richard

And it's a lot more fun. And you know that tiny, tiny strawberry seed, that little tiny grain of sand? Everything that that strawberry plant needed, every single thing that it needed to grow and feed a lot of people was in that seed.

[00:25:12.210] - Ebony Gilbert

Was already there.

[00:25:14.400] - Carri Richard

Yeah. So how does that work without grace?

[00:25:18.010] - Ebony Gilbert

That was already there? Yeah.

[00:25:21.430] - Carri Richard

You don't have to go get more. You just have to take care of it.

[00:25:26.220] - Ebony Gilbert

Take care of what you have. Be a good steward of that water it pay attention to it.

[00:25:34.240] - Carri Richard

Yeah. And believe it's possible.

[00:25:37.690] - Ebony Gilbert

So we got to believe. We got to trust, right. Have some faith and trust, and then we've got to obey. There's an obedience part of this, right? You got to take the steps when you hear the small voice or that door opens, you've got to take the action. Faith without works is dead. And I think if we believe, trust and we have faith and we take steps, there's going to be a harvest on the other side.

[00:26:01.720] - Carri Richard


[00:26:03.890] - Ebony Gilbert

Now, I don't know if it's going to happen next week or next year or two years or three years or whatever it's going to be, but it's going to happen.

[00:26:08.860] - Carri Richard

Yeah. That's not our design.

[00:26:11.940] - Ebony Gilbert

It's none of our business.

[00:26:13.830] - Carri Richard

No, it's not. So we just walk along the road and see how it goes.

[00:26:22.810] - Ebony Gilbert

Absolutely. Well, this encouraged me today. Thank you.

[00:26:26.220] - Carri Richard

Me too. Thank you. I think we did it.

[00:26:29.640] - Ebony Gilbert

I think so. I think so. We'd love to hear comments. We'd love to hear your feedback. What do you think about it? What do you call it? Positive expectations. Sowing and reaping. Karma, faith, trust. I think there's a lot of different ways to label it. I think it's getting at the root of the same thing.

[00:26:49.600] - Carri Richard


[00:26:53.190] - Ebony Gilbert

Yeah. Absolutely. Awesome sauce.

[00:26:57.590] - Carri Richard

Yes, ma'am.

[00:26:58.970] - Ebony Gilbert

Awesome sauce. For those of you who like to read, there's a parable in the Bible. You can literally google it. Bible parable. Sowing and it's going to come up and it's going to talk about seeds falling on good ground and bad ground and rocky ground and all this kind of stuff. Read it, though. I think it directly aligns with what we're talking about today.

[00:27:29.630] - Carri Richard

I agree.

[00:27:32.770] - Ebony Gilbert

And we'll put in the notes for this show, the reference for that.

[00:27:38.610] - Carri Richard

You're always great at the wrap up, Ebony. I appreciate you.

[00:27:42.760] - Ebony Gilbert

I have a vision.

[00:27:44.320] - Carri Richard


[00:27:46.070] - Ebony Gilbert

And the stuff comes at the very last 30 seconds, because I have no idea what it's going to be before then.

[00:27:52.630] - Carri Richard

And you don't have to. Yes.

[00:27:55.750] - Ebony Gilbert

It takes time to get there, though, so don't beat yourself up if you're not there now. Don't beat yourself up if you're like. I need to know. I need to know. And you're anxious about it. It's not a bad thing. I think it's natural, but keep trying it. I think the more you get some under your belt, the more you see that this harvest is big and this expectation has yielded something way beyond then you get a little bit more comfortable operating in that space.

[00:28:21.230] - Carri Richard


[00:28:22.210] - Ebony Gilbert

Like swimming. You don't want to swim in the deep end if you ever swim before.

[00:28:25.510] - Carri Richard

No. You might want to wait in the wait.

[00:28:28.120] - Ebony Gilbert

We're going to wait a little bit yeah. Before you go, jump off the diving board, and then before you know it, swimming laps at the Y.

[00:28:36.450] - Carri Richard

There you go. On the high dive. All right, well, as always, thank you.

[00:28:42.840] - Ebony Gilbert

Thank you.

[00:28:43.330] - Carri Richard

This was fun.

[00:28:44.480] - Ebony Gilbert

It all always is. Thank you all for listening. All right, great.

[00:28:49.040] - Carri Richard

Grace out. Bye.