Gratitude Day 656

Isaiah 18:4 – Here is what the Lord Yahweh said to me: “I will rest calm and confident as I look from my dwelling place, serene as on a pleasant summer day or a cool, refreshing cloud in the heat of harvest.”

Recently, Hubby Rick said to me, “I can’t believe it. Summer is already half over.”

Maybe it’s because we spent some time away (yeah!), but this summer seems to be FLYING by! Yet, I pray that we are trying to make the most of this summer and celebrate every lovely day that we have. Today is a roundup of some the things we are enjoying this summer. I hope our favs will inspire you to embrace your favs this summer.

Being Spontaneous

OK, this is really more me than Hubby Rick. Being spontaneous is Rick’s long-term goal for life: see what we can embrace RIGHT NOW!

Personally, I would like a little more planning and warning. And yes, I have discovered that some of the most fun times happen at the very last minute. I celebrate and realize this. And so, I am trying to add some spontaneity to my life.

Just a couple days before we left for vacation, I received a text message. It was sent by a particular grandchild from his Dad’s cell phone:

This is Dylan can we come on Wednesday and go to mirror lake and bring the kayak please

Yes, my heart did a backflip when I read this as well.

As it turns out, we had other things going on Wednesday. After conferring with Hubby Rick, we decided that Thursday would work, even though we were leaving for vacation on Friday. I had an appointment on Thursday afternoon. We would pick up the kids and go to Mirror Lake State Park, kayaks in tow. When I needed to leave, Rick would command the troops into the evening while the parenting adults had a date night.

Rick was a rock star. He baited hooks and escorted kids between the beach and boat landing while other kids were in the kayaks. He brought the caught turtle home and even located a second turtle on the road as a buddy to the one caught at the lake. He got girls to the pool and food for the turtles. He made sure they ate and kept hydrated, although everyone probably had enough sun.

And he came home exhausted and tired but knowing a group of kids had a VERY. GOOD. DAY.

It’s not every day a text comes from a little person in our lives requesting a special day. When it does, I hope you move heaven and earth to make it happen.

Enjoying Fresh Produce

The night we returned from our vacation, we checked out our garden before even going into the house. Nearly every day since, we’ve picked some veggie out of the garden. We are enjoying them fresh but also freezing extras for this winter. I canned peaches last night and have blueberries to freeze today.

I know canning and freezing and gardening are not everyone’s cup of tea. No problem! I do encourage us to enjoy all the fresh goodies that are available right now. Try to source locally if you can. It’s a great way to support local growers in your area.

Appreciating Live Music

This week, we attended an outdoor concert with some friends. The music was great … as well as the pie and ice cream!

So many people have commented about how much they missed live music during the pandemic. In our area, there have been several outdoor options available. Take one in! Find a friend to go with you! Appreciate how the arts add so much to our lives. And eat the pie if it’s offered! Pie, or whatever is offered, always tastes better outdoors.

Take in a Local Fair

Many youth programs have found it difficult to meet during this past 18 months. In our area, most local and county fairs are going forward this year; some still modified.

We’ve all given up a lot of things this past year. And it feels so good to do something that feels almost normal. Of course, keep yourself safe. Be smart. But go look at the exhibits. Eat at the food stand. Watch an animal show. Clap for the winners. Pick out your favorite bunny. And make wonderful memories. We’ve taken in two fairs in the last two weeks; once with grandkids and once by ourselves. Going to the fair never grows old so take one or three in.

We’re Celebrating the NBA Champs … the Milwaukee Bucks

Truth: I am not much of an NBA fan. I find college basketball more entertaining. But most people in Wisconsin have become Bucks fans of late!

In case you missed it, the Bucks won the NBA championship this past week. The last time they won a championship? Fifty years ago.

Their star player’s name is Giannis. His family immigrated from Nigeria to Greece many years ago. For the last six years, he’s been playing for the Bucks. Giannis comes from a very meager background. He speaks of selling watches so his family could eat. He came to the US with basically nothing and sent his paychecks home to his family.

I don’t know all of his story, but he truly comes across as a very humble and appreciative person. He’s won the hearts of nearly every Wisconsinite. The photo is Giannis with his son shortly after the Bucks won game 5.

If you missed the NBA championship games, not to worry. The Olympics are starting!

Celebrate Every. Single. Day.

The past 18 months have been tough, folks. And sometimes, it’s a little difficult to sort through all that has happened and continues to happen. What I do know is this: today is a gift. We will not get another opportunity to have today. Treat it like the gift it is. Make the most of today. Thank God for today and mean it.

For the ability to enjoy so many great things this summer, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – The days may be long, but the years are short. Actually, the days feel short as well! Encourage me to make the most of every day; to appreciate all that I have. May I embrace the life I have been gifted and humbly express how blessed I am. Amen.

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