Gratitude Day 643
Proverbs 11:28 – Keep trusting in your riches and down you’ll go! But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.
During these last two weeks, summer came in hot and warm in Wisconsin. This stretch of heat turned our lawn into mostly a crunchy bed of stems. Right on the edge of one flower bed, a burst of passion pink color hovered across the browning grass: these beautiful peony flowers.
When I see these peonies and all of their glory, I remember a story from another dry May-June; specifically, the spring and early summer of 1955. This was the year my parents were married.
My parents are from central Iowa. They met at the Boone County Fair, where they were both involved in 4-H. Fast-forward a few years, and they were married at on June 19th, 1955.
They were married while Dad was on a short-leave from the Army. Stationed in Germany, he came to the states for their wedding and honeymoon for a couple of weeks. When he went back to Germany, Mom stayed back in Iowa.
Mom chose to get married in mid-June because she wanted fresh peonies from her mother’s garden as her wedding bouquet. Unfortunately, the spring of 1955 was dry and warm. The peonies were done blooming well before their wedding and she carried some other flower in her bouquet.
Yet, every time I see these brilliant and gorgeous flowers in early summer/late spring, I think of Mom and how she wanted these flowers in her wedding bouquet. This little adjustment of different flowers would be the first of many, many, many adjustments Mom would make for the next 50+ years in her marriage.
We can have wonderful, well-thought out and well-intended plans that excite us. Truth? Often, these plans turn out different from what we expect. If we trust the riches of this world too often and too much, we’ll be disappointed time after time. But when we look to God as the source of our love and life, then just like spring flowers, we’ll keep rising up and looking forward to tomorrow. We’ll adjust. Recalibrate. Refocus and be creative. And sometimes, those second or third round of plans end up being even more appropriate than our original plans.
When we live with God in our hearts, we are not promised an easy or problem-free life. Nope, this is not what God guarantees us. Instead, God assures us that we won’t have to go it alone. God will ALWAYS be with us, catching us when we’re falling and celebrating with us when we reach life’s peak.
Life is a roller coaster ride. When we take God along with us, there will always be a safety net to catch us when it becomes too much. And this, my friends, is what should encourage us to rise like flowers in the spring. This should challenge us to shine brilliantly to those around us because of God’s love in our hearts and lives. And this, my friends, is what I consider a huge blessing in my life. I pray we all find this peace and comfort and blessing for ourselves.
Other little blessings I’m celebrating these summer days?
Summer Blessings Bags. While school has concluded, there continue to be school-aged children that struggle with food insecurity all summer long. Our little Blessings program words with our local school district and food pantries to provide food sources for kids all summer long. Yesterday, several volunteers gathered to pack these summer food bags. We’ll get them distributed throughout the summer. We’re fortunate that we have the resources and ability to provide food bags for kids. What a blessing.
Peach Iced Tea. I know, it seems silly. But seriously, I think peach iced tea is one of the best drinks on a warm, summer day. Yesterday, a friend stopped by unexpectedly and asked if she could be my porch friend. After putting ice in glasses, I filled them with peach iced tea. This was her first time drinking peach iced tea. I don’t think it will be the last. Oh, and the conversation was excellent as well.
Summer Smoothie. When it’s hot and sticky and I don’t feel like cooking, this Summer Smoothie is one of my go-to meals. I often have this on the evenings when Hubby Rick is working. If a smoothie doesn’t seem like it will fill you up, add a salad with some chopped deli meat and whatever veggies you have in the fridge.
A few hints on making the smoothie – I fill up the glass I am using half-full of crushed ice. I like my smoothies thick but also thin enough that I don’t have to have a spoon. I add whatever fresh fruit I have. No fresh fruit? Frozen works. I’ve also made it with canned pineapple, and it was refreshing!
These days, I’m into adding half a banana along with whatever fruit I have. I put the other half in the freezer for tomorrow’s smoothie. I like to add some peanut protein. This makes it a bit more filling and more of a meal to my thinking. This can be ordered online or bought at a store with more unique food items.
Dump the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend. Thin it will a little half-and-half or milk until it’s the consistency you like. I think the half-and-half makes it taste a little richer. Enjoy.
You do you … make the smoothie however you like. Be creative! Sometimes, I add a couple drops of vanilla or almond flavoring as well. Just brings out a slightly different flavor.
I know. It’s just a silly smoothie recipe. Yet, when I drink it, I feel like I’m granting myself a little treat. And I feel blessed. What is some little “treat” you find yourself celebrating as a blessing in your life?
The Fireflies are Here! Hubby Rick and I went for a late-night stroll last night. It was dark and we walked along our favorite route just outside of town. Thousands of fireflies lighted our way. We both commented on how it feels early for them. And yet, their little buzzing lights were such a fun sight to see.
Those little blips of light in an otherwise dark evening reminded me of the light that came into the world whose name was Jesus. He might have only been physically on earth for a short period of time. Yet, his presence changed so much of history. And this, my friends, truly is a blessing.
For these simple summer blessings which I find all around me, I am grateful.
Holy God – Like spring flowers, Your presence is such a gift. Too often, we trust things of this world that are so temporary. May we find daily blessings in the seemingly little things of life that give us hope in You. Amen.
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