Six for Saturday

Gratitude Day 237

Sat., Mar. 23, 2019

Hosea 6:3 – Let’s do our best to know the Lord. His coming is as certain as the morning sun; he will refresh us like rain renewing the earth in the springtime.

Just a few random thoughts as the weekend begins.

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  1. The calendar says its spring … and we have finally had a couple days where we did not have to wear a winter coat that were filled with sunshine. When Hubby Rick and I are in the car together, it is our tradition to read a devotion together. We just use a little book called The Upper Room and read the day’s devotion. We always close with a prayer. On Friday, we were on our way to have lunch with some dear friends. As we were praying, Rick admitted out loud that his attitude is affected by the weather. He is so right. I just wasn’t as quick to admit it out loud. The sunshine, even if chilly, does affect my attitude as well. I dug out some peach iced tea and have been drinking this all week. For me, this is a sure sign of warmer weather, as I love peach iced tea in the summer.

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2. My heart has also been yearning for color. Yes, I love black and white. I wear a lot of black and grey. My house has a lot of grey walls. But I am SO READY for COLOR! Something light, something fun and something that looks a little Easterish. A couple weeks ago, I bought some eucalyptus just because it smelled good.

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A few days later, I put it into this container with a few candles and some sprigs of artificial lavender that I had. These pillows are almost the same color teal. I put them in our front parlor, moved a couple things around and WOW! It feels much more like spring. This should really have been a 20-minute makeover because I did this in less than 20-minutes. And yet, has it made my heart sing.

 

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3. We love college basketball at our house. And we watched the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger’s men team loose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. We will continue to root for the Big 10 teams. Plus, I always like to root for Tony Bennett and Virginia. I just think he’s a class act. Who are YOU rooting for?

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4. I have nearly filled up the 40 for 40 Box for Lent this year. And have started box #2. Rick brought a few things to me and asked if I have a donation box going. (I often do.) And so, his items are now in the 40 by 40 box as well. Are you working on a 40 by 40 box this Lent? How does it feel? It’s not too late to join in the fun!!

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5. We love Mexican food! Yesterday, we had lunch at a favorite Mexican place. It’s Jose’s in Baraboo, WI. I didn’t take a picture of the wonderful fajita taco salad that I had. Let me just say; it was great!

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6. Maybe by now, you have seen this video. It’s a basketball team of maybe 5th Watch #50 as he helps one of his teammates make a basket. The best part? The response of the boy who makes the basket.

https://www.facebook.com/learningexpresslakezurich/videos/845220942501420/

I saw this video with this caption: “We need more #50’s in life.” Amen.

This weekend, who can you be a #50 to? GO AND DO IT!!

For the witness of a little guy teaching us how to serve one another, I am grateful.

Thank you for the hope of new life this spring, Lord God. Sometimes, yes, these little differences do affect our attitude. May we see opportunities to be a breath of fresh air and help someone this weekend. Inspire us to do all the good we can do. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Six for Saturday

Gratitude Day 232

Sat., Mar. 16, 2019

Luke 12:26 – And if worry can’t even do such little things as that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

Interested in a few thoughts I’ve been pondering this week? Good! Here we go!!

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  1. 40 days is a long time. This week, I wrote about shopping my freezer and pantry for food during Lent. And in less than two weeks into this, I broke. I stopped at the grocery store and bought corned beef, cabbage, carrots and red potatoes to make corn beef and cabbage today. Hubby Rick starts works on Sundays, so I thought it would be easier to make it today. While Rick likes corned beef, he LOVES the cooked cabbage with corned beef. I think he earned the cooked cabbage after attending Hamilton with me this week. Will you be cooking corned beef and cabbage this weekend or going someplace for a meal? And yes, I will be back to using up that freezer and pantry …

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2. While in Chicago, we went to Millennium Park and saw the bean-shaped thing that is all the rage. FYI – I am a terrible selfie picture-taker. Rick would be even worse. I cheated and took our reflection in the bean. I know it’s a rather terrible picture. We snapped it in-between rain drops. Please, look at the bean more than us. But if you must figure out who we are, yep, that’s Rick in the red Wisconsin sweatshirt holding the umbrella. And yes, that’s me next to him. We enjoyed the park but decided it would be more enjoyable in the summer. Where has been a fun place you have visited recently?

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3. The dairy industry crisis is real, especially in Wisconsin. Here’s an article that explains the stress and emotional roller coaster for those struggling with farming right now: https://www.agupdate.com/agriview/news/business/efforts-aim-to-prevent-suicide/article_f1897cba-0a71-5545-a744-355202b17798.html

Brenda Statz shares her heart-breaking story of loosing her husband. Rick has known the Statz’s for years. He hauled their milk for many years and later, his son Darran, did. Darran hauled the last load of milk off their farm before they stopped milking cows. I know Brenda told this story purely to encourage other people who might be in the same situation as her husband, Leon. Do you know someone who struggles with depression? Share with them some of the resources available out there.

4. And the difficulties for farmers and ranchers continues. The last two weeks have been challenging for some farmers. We’ve had a lot of snow the past six months. Now, some roofs of buildings can no longer hold up the room and have come crashing down. Personally, I am aware of a few farms that have been affected by this. Pray for people who are feeling so much stress as they produce food for American and the world right now.

5. As all of this snow melts, many communities are now experiencing flooding. Yep, about all we’re talking about these days in Wisconsin is the weather. Some of these communities are the same ones affected by flooding the end of last summer. Some are new. All are dealing with lots of potential losses. Let’s hope the water evaporates with limited additional damage. Let’s have compassion for those who maybe going through another round of displacement in their lives.

6. I’ve been reading about simplicity lately. And discovering there are lots of different ways to interpret and embody simplicity in a person’s life. While I feel there are areas in which Rick and I intentionally choose simplicity, there are other areas where we can make improvements. One of the keys to simplicity? Finding your own way. Some people are more rigid about some things than others. Personally, I feel simplicity for me helps remove some of the things that pull me away from fulling the things that I feel are important. How do you view simplicity? Where do you long to have a bit more simplicity in your life?

Have a great weekend. One thing we’re doing today? Catching some Big 10 men’s basketball! Go Badgers!

For appreciation for the little things in life, I am grateful.

Jesus – we see the families and people who are affected by things going on in their lives and we simply turn them over to you. I pray that those who are struggling will find assistance. Be with those affected by flooding, snow damage … anything that affects their daily living, just be with them. May we be willing to help in ways that we can.   Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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6 For Saturday

Gratitude Day 227

Sat., Mar. 9, 2019

Deuteronomy 11:7 – Your own eyes witnessed each of these powerful acts the Lord performed.

Just a few random thoughts on this Saturday.

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  1. Every conversation in Wisconsin right now involves this topic: the weather. Most Wisconsinites are so over winter. We’re ready for spring, sunshine, less snow and less layers of clothes. On Friday, there was just a hint of something above single digits. After we finished backing the weekend food bags for school kids, a few of us stood outside and talked. Someone said it was 18 degrees. Let me just say: 18 degrees never felt so good. Later in the afternoon, I walked to the mailbox. And heard the sounds of dripping water from melting snow. I could barely believe my ears. Hubby Rick celebrated by washing both of our cars, which were covered in salt, dirt and grime. One of these days, maybe, just maybe, we’ll see grass again.

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  1. We’re attending a birthday party for a 7-year-old today. Part of the gift? This book. It’s about a tortoise who doesn’t like spring nor change. The illustrations are precious. Maybe, the book includes an appropriate attitude adjustment for those of us who are so over winter.

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  1. Lent 2019 is off and running. Each year, I like to pick a book and use as part of my daily devotion during Lent. This year, I am using this book by Paula Huston. Each day, she has a little devotion and an activity to help you move towards simplicity during the next 40 days. If you are looking for something to use this Lent, it’s not too late. (Remember: the 40 days of Lent don’t include Sundays. So, you can still get a Lenten devotional book, use it on Sundays and you’ll still complete it!) Here are a couple sentences from the book that struck home with me:

The desert Fathers and Mothers understood that clinging to possessions, no matter how precious or beautiful, is a form of servitude. We cannot move easily when we are burdened by the things, however lovely, we carry on our backs.

(Side note – I read this sentence AFTER I had posted today’s #4.)

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  1. 40 for 40 This Lent – I hope you will join me in finding an item each day that you no longer need or love, putting it in a box and then donating a box-full of items at the end of Lent. One person shared with me that she could do an 80 for 40 This Lent … and not even notice a difference in her house. My reply? Go for it! If you have a spouse, whether they participate or not, you can choose an item for them each day as well!

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  1. Who doesn’t love baby lambs? My sister Debbie’s family is nearing the end of lambing season. And they have a bunch of cuties. I’ll share more about them in a day or two. For now, enjoy this picture of their precious little bundles of joy. Seriously … after 30 seconds in a pen of baby lambs even in negative 15-degree weather, how can you not have a smile on your face?
  2. “I’m powerful. I’m unshakeable.” The words rang through our car last night while driving home. Our youngest three grandkids were with us. They had requested that we listen to one of the old VBS CD’s I keep in the car. Each grandchild has their favorite song on this CD. Dylan’s happens to be a song that says, “You’re powerful. You’re unshakeable.” After the singers sang, “You’re powerful,” he echoed in his not-so-inside voice, “I’m powerful” and so on. His reaction to the song made my heart skip a beat. I’m not completely positive Dylan understood that it’s God who is being declared as powerful and unshakeable in this song. But the words struck home with him. No matter what is going on in your life right now, I pray that you see God as powerful and unshakeable. We may be challenged in our faith at times. This is OK. Even when we are trying to sort through something and make sense of it in our lives, our powerful and unshakeable God walks right beside us on this journey. For this, we have every reason to be grateful.

For a powerful and unshakeable God in my life, I am grateful.

O God – may we see you as powerful and unshakeable today. No matter how we muff up our lives, our churches and our communities and world, You still are You. May your power and presence comfort and give me peace today. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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6 For Saturday

Gratitude Day 223

Sat., Mar. 2, 2019

Philippians 1:6 – I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.

It’s Saturday morning. And before you get rolling with all the fun things you maybe doing this weekend, here are six little things to help you focus your weekend and maybe even put a smile on your face.

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  1. This Lent. Ash Wednesday begins next Wed., Mar. 6. The official beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday is a time for personal reflection. It’s a time when we forgive ourselves, forgive others and explore how we might draw ourselves closer to God throughout Lent. There is a tradition of “giving up” things during Lent, such as candy, chocolate, sugar, etc. The idea is by giving something up, you will replace this desire for a longing to grow deeper with God and your relationship with God I have followed these “giving up” traditions in Lent. For years, I have given up sugar. I am also a proponent of “adding in” something during Lent. Maybe you decide to spend a specific amount of time with God each day. Or send a card to someone every day. Possibly read a special devotion or book during Lent. Personally, I feel adding in something during Lent can be deeply meaningful. I’ll share a few more thoughts about Lenten practices in a couple days. However, I encourage you to start thinking about what practices you want to embody this Lent.

2. This Song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIaT8Jl2zpI

“You Say” by Lauren Daigle

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3. This Cartoon. For those of you who have had enough winter, this is just for you! Sent to me by my dear friend, Rhoda. I think she’s sick of winter as well!

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4. This Sign. Recently, I officiated at a wedding and this sign was part of the decorations. Look closely. It’s a piece of paneling! How clever!! Maybe paneling can be upcycled??!!

5. This Bible Verse. It’s one that I’ve been reflecting upon lately:

Mark 2:17 “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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6. These flowers. The one’s Hubby Rick gave me last week. They still look beautiful this week!

God can and will do good work in you today!

For God’s ability to find good in life’s little things, I am grateful.

Almighty God – may we see you in our lives today. May you do good work in and through us. May we celebrate little things that bring us joy and a smile today. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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