Jeremiah 5:24 – They don’t say in their hearts, Let’s fear the Lord our God, who provides rain in autumn and spring and who assures us of a harvest in its season.
Gratitude Day 778
It was a full few days. Helping my sister prepare for all the things she had going this past weekend. Starting a binding on a quilt the night before it needed to be done and finishing it. And yes, it was a king size quilt. My first (yikes!) experience of being the official photographer at a ceremony. Leading worship at the church where I grew up, where Ms. Martha under-planned and ran out of communion during worship. Another yikes!!
We all needed just a hot minute of decompression: my sister, brother-in-law and two friends. We piled into the car and drove about 20 minutes to this little farm just outside of a nearby town. The owner, Inga, hosts a television show on PBS called Around the Farm Table on Wisconsin Public Television. She was having a fall event at her farm. It was just what the doctor ordered. Nope, it was just what God suggests when God says we need Sabbath. Regular, weekly Sabbath.
The yard featured little tents set-up for information or items to purchase. There was a 4-H lemonade and tea stand. Unique kitchen towels, super cool pumpkins and veggies for sale. We walked inside the little barn where Inga’s half-dozen cows are milked. The milk becomes organic cheese which was also for sale. Sister Debbie and I enjoyed looking at the John Deere 3020 tractor, which is the next size-up tractor that we had on our farm and was the tractor Debbie most often drove.
It was nothing fantastic or out-of-the ordinary. We wandered around the yard and barn for about an hour. The highlight of the trip? The ladies and I having our picture taken by the funny stick-your-head-through-the-hole stand. My brother-in-law Keith was more than happy to snap the photo rather than be in the cheesy photo.
And it was wonderful. Some of us picked up a little something to take home. Cindi ran into friends she had not seen in years. Inga came up and greeted us as we headed towards the car and thanked us for attending. As we left, we drove through a mowed-down hayfield and made room for another car to park in the little parking-lot area.
We chatted and laughed as we drove down the curvy country roads. We drank $1 drinks from McDonald’s and talked about people we knew in common as well as local happenings.
It was nothing fantastic or out-of-the ordinary. And it was wonderful.
It was the kind of Sabbath that filled our hearts and souls and allowed us to breathe and enjoy the day.
Friends – fall is quickly upon us. Officially here in a day or two. Nights are getting crisper and daylight hours are noticeably shorter. Soon, it will be sweater weather and time to wrap our hands around mugs of hot cider or hot cocoa. These days and nights will come quickly now.
Yet, I pray that we can find an hour or two every few days and savor this season. Renew our hearts and minds with desperately needed Sabbath that feeds us like no fantastic pumpkin-spiced-whatever can. Grab a friend or two and head to the apple orchard. Take your favorite coffee or tea or soda and sit by the riverbank for just awhile. Watch the sun rise or set and thank God for another lovely day. Enjoy every morsel of a candy apple or warm piece of apple pie. Notice the leaves turning colors while driving through the country roads or hiking on a trail. Listen to the crickets and the frogs and know that they are special in God’s creation as well.
Time and time again, I am reminded that these little Sabbaths are important. Meaningful. Deeply life-giving. We might not be able to get away for a day or a weekend. But we can find an hour or two to slow down. Drink in the scenery. Ride around with a few friends. And get our hearts and souls renewed and reconnected with God and each other.
For a great Sabbath adventure and wonderful companions to enjoy it with, I am very grateful.
Holy God – “When I have time,” we say and we know it may never really happen. Forgive me for all the people I have said I want to have coffee with and do not make the time. Forgive me for not setting aside some minutes to simply be with You and/or a friend or two. Thank you once again for another great reminder that Sabbath comes in many ways. May I embrace every opportunity that comes my way. Amen.
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