Gratitude Day 638
Psalm 32:11 – So celebrate the goodness of God! He shows this kindness to everyone who is his. Go ahead—shout for joy, all you upright ones who want to please him!
It’s the unofficial start of summer this weekend. And here in Wisconsin, there are chances of frost and plenty of rain. The end of the week felt more like March than May. Nonetheless, I’ve pulled together a few pieces of inspiration for us this weekend.
In the upper Midwest, we’re big fans of rhubarb. Well, most everyone I know is. I have a hill patch of rhubarb. I was excited to make something rhubarb yesterday! I pulled out one of my favorite rhubarb recipes. It’s super easy and has ingredients often on hand. Pick some up at your local farmer’s market if you do not have access and whip up this melt-in-your mouth cake this weekend. You’ll be glad you did!
Or what is another fun spring dessert you can make this weekend?
I ran across these words recently and WOW! They are making me think.
I am a big fan that doing small things regularly makes a difference. I challenge myself to do a 20-minute “project” daily as well as a couple 5-minute quick projects as well, often one inside and one outside.
What’s a 20-minute project? Something that takes a little more time but really not too long. Right now, I often spend 20-minutes outside cleaning up the flowerbeds or moving perennials. Inside can be working on something I have been putting off for too long. A 20-minute run.
What is a 5-minute project? Cleaning the toilets. Vacuuming the rugs. Paying bills. Sorting paperwork. I may or may not fully finish something … and that’s OK. It’s about small progress.
This year, I have been very regular about a morning devotion and reading time in the morning. I read scripture and other books. This helps me make sure that I read something nearly every day. And this really helps increase the number of books that I read.
Sometimes, we have way too high of expectations for ourselves … and others. I’m trying to give myself permission to not have to fully complete something when I start it. Some progress is better than none.
Try the 20-minute and 2-minute projects for a week. See how they feel for you? What is a project that feels overwhelming that you could work for just a little bit each day?
In the town where I went to high school, they have a wonderful Memorial Day tradition. Every veteran from the town has a flag designated in his or her memory. On Memorial Day, (weather permitting), the flags line the cemetery and the street outside of the cemetery. Each flag is labeled with a veteran’s name. They have a special service at one of the cemeteries and each veteran with a flag has their name read during the service.
This is the flag in honor of my Dad. He was a Korean conflict veteran. I’ll certainly be remembering him this weekend.
How will you remember our veteran’s this weekend?
In 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song to bring awareness to famine in Africa. They asked other well-known artists to join in the singing and recording of the song.
Fast-forward to today. Students from an elementary school recorded this song. After a difficult school year, students from Clarksville Elementary School pulled together to sing a song with an enduring message: We care for each other. Nothing can stop us.
It’s a message we all need to believe and live today. Take a listen. You will be glad you did.
It’s been a long 15-16 months of pandemic. In many places, we are moving towards more how things where pre-pandemic. Just because things are feeling more normal, I think it’s important that we continue to embrace some of those things we discovered during the pandemic. There are important lessons we can and should embrace from this time.
What is one of those important lessons that you will continue to embrace and live regularly?
For me, this is often tied to service. How can I encourage and support someone who could use this in their lives? Right before the pandemic started over a year ago, I began visiting my 89-year-old neighbor Kathleen every weekend. I take her over some food that she can enjoy and we sit and visit. Yes, she enjoys not having to cook. But she also tells me that our visits are just as important to her. It takes a little pre-planning to decide what to take her each weekend. Often, it is something that I am making for Hubby Rick and me. Then, it’s simply spending an hour or so visiting with her.
Without parents to visit these days, I think of my visit with Kathleen as a replacement to visiting my Mom or mother-in-law. Kathleen and I share a variety of things and chat endlessly. It’s something for both of us to look forward to.
What is some lesson that you discovered or learned or embraced from the pandemic? How can you continue to include this beyond the pandemic to add joy to your life?
This One Thing.
No matter what is going on in our world, our country or our little communities, kindness should be something we embrace. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It costs nothing. It requires no special skills. It often can be done easily in our regular day.
Just think what might happen if we all focused a bit more on offering kindness to our world rather than something negative. How might society and culture begin to shift, if only a tiny little bit? How might we be more gracious and accepting of each other? How might our personal attitude and viewpoints change if we began with kindness first?
How can you embrace one little bit of kindness today?
No matter what you are doing this weekend, I pray you are safe. Embrace good things. Celebrate joyfully and love God and those neighbors you come in contact with.
Dear God – Summer is right around the corner … and so many of us are ready for it! It’s been a tough year for many. I pray we can share kindness with those around us and remember that as we do so, we are extending You as kindness as well. Amen.
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