Gratitude Day 503

Sat., Aug. 29, 2020

James 1:19 – Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.

It’s Saturday morning. I feel like I’ve had a variety of things buzzing through my brain and happening in my life this week. Thank you for giving me a place to share some of those buzzings and happenings. I appreciate every one of you that takes times to read along. I pray there is something here every time I write a post that resonates with you. Today is a wide variety. I suggest a few options of reading beyond this post and encourage you to grow your faith in a variety of ways this weekend.

This. This is how Hubby Rick and I celebrated our 20th anniversary: we went SKYDIVING! Seriously. It was a rather 11th hour decision. In a very casual conversation over lunch the day before our anniversary, we mentioned about talking different times about going skydiving. But we never had. I went online, found two appointments for the following afternoon at a location not too far from our house and signed us up! In less than 24 hours, we were jumping out of a plane on a tandem dive!

It was exhilarating. Amazing. A rush. All those words that others share about sky diving. We went on tandem dives, which means we were basically strapped to another person who is a diving expert. Yet, you get all the emotions and feelings from diving.

Moral of the story: if there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, DO IT! We are glad we did.

A shout-out to our friends, Mel and Ruth Ann, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary today! Mel and Ruth Ann have been the coordinators of our local food pantry for years. Decades. A long time. We consider them special people in our lives. In a pandemic world, it’s difficult to celebrate such an event. After food distribution one night this week, a few of us food pantry folks gathered together for cake and ice cream. Very casual, low-key and a surprise! Have a great day, Mel and Ruth Ann. You inspire Rick and me.

The value of personal thank you notes never diminishes. Just yesterday, Hubby Rick and I received a hand-made thank you note from a young gal who we dearly love. She and her family had been to our house last weekend. She took the time to draw and write a very personal thank you note. As both Rick and I read the thank you note, we once again know why we dearly love her: because she is real. Sincere. Appreciative. All in a 13-year-old teen. This is a great reminder and lesson for the rest of us. Take note: thank you notes NEVER grow old. Rather than expecting one to show up in your mailbox? Send one to someone (or just a plain old card.) It will add a smile to the person’s face and a lift to their step.

I needed to read this article. Maybe you do as well. Unfortunately, I have find myself spending too much time on my phone and social media just the last couple of days. This article, Malls and Museums, is written by Tsh Oxenreider and addresses her struggle with perspective of social media. It’s just a great overall reminder of how life is changing these days.

We live in Wisconsin, which has seen plenty of national attention this week because of the shootings in Kenosha, WI. It saddens my heart as these struggles with race continue in America.

Here’s what I want to say about the race challenges in our culture today. First, I feel very unqualified to speak about them because I have not experienced what black people have. I’m a white woman. My perspective is so different from a black person’s perspective. I cannot and will not say that I understand how they feel because, well, I can’t.

What I can do is listen. Try to hear their feelings and their position. And so, this is what I’m doing. There are two specific recordings that I have found helpful for me and so I share them with you. First, I encourage you to listen to Julia Jackson’s interview from the beginning of the week. She is the mother of Jacob Blake, who was the man shot in Kenosha, WI last Sunday. Her words are powerful. Important. Speak volumes.

For more extended listening, please go to YouTube and listen to the Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man series put together by former NFL player Emmanuel Acho. A few months ago, he recorded his first conversation, which has led to a series of conversations. Some of the folks in the subsequent conversations you may know. Others, you may not.

Take the time to listen to them all. It doesn’t have to be all in one setting. Do it over a period of time. But LISTEN.

In the part 2 conversation with Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, Roger encourages people to listen. Really listen. He says that too often, we don’t always listen to what someone else is saying. We only have conversations because we want someone else to affirm our position. This is not really listening, he says. (FYI – the conversations with Roger were released before the happenings this week when many professional athletes chose not to participate in a game or practice.)

I agree with Roger Goodell. And this is why I’m trying to listen to folks who know a lot more about this than I do.

Listen. It’s what I want to try and do more of this weekend. Next week. Every day.

For the reminder of the need to listen, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – What began 20 years ago at a service where we committed ourselves to You and each other, Hubby Rick and I celebrate today. Thank you for bringing us together and being with us as we experience married life together. I pray we see You as the glue that holds us together today and every day going forward. Amen.  

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