Praying About Everything

Gratitude Day 484

Wed., July 8, 2020

Philippians 4:6 – Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.

You would think with all of the time we get to spend at home these days, I would be caught up.

Or catching up.

Or nearly caught up.

Nope. It just isn’t happening.

Well, at my household, that is.

I’m still working on “things” I thought I would get done in March. Yep, March. Not May.

Why does everything seem to take so much longer these days? Maybe, it’s just me.

Nonetheless, it’s easy to get caught up about what is NOT getting done. I do it all the time.

Look at the verse at the top of the page. Or don’t … and just look at this quick paraphrase instead:

Worry about nothing. Pray about everything.

The end.

While I would not say that I am a worrier, I would say that I fret about what doesn’t get done in a day. Or week. Or month.

So, maybe this verse should say:

Fret about nothing. Pray about everything.

Maybe you don’t worry. Or fret. Maybe you overthink. In that case:

Overthink nothing. Pray about everything.

You get the drift. Replace the first word with the word that you find most often in your life. But leave the next four words alone. Don’t touch them. They are the words that can’t change because they are heart of the saying.  

Now, read them again.

Pray.

About.

Everything.

Amen.

Every day.

All day.

Today.

Tomorrow.

The next day.

Give up worry.

Pray instead.

So, rather than focusing on what didn’t get done in your day, focus on praying. Maybe, just maybe, the rest will begin to make sense.

Vector religions lettering – Don’t worry about anything pray about everything. Modern lettering. Perfect illustration for t-shirts, banners, flyers and other types of business design.

For the constant option for prayer, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – so often, we choose to focus on something that really isn’t very helpful. We find ourselves stuck and putting energy into what we can’t control. Help me turn my focus back to You. Amen.

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Wanted: 90 Birthday Cards

Gratitude Day 482

Mon., July 6, 2020

Psalm 90:14 – Fill us full every morning with your faithful love so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long.

Can I ask for you folks to help me out? Please?

A few weeks back, I shared my Aunt Beverly’s story. She lives in an assisted living in Denver, CO. And she has been confined to her room since March 8th.

Almost four months. We’re nearing 120 days since Aunt Bev has been able to leave her room for anything other than an occasional pick-up of her mail.  

All of her meals are delivered to her room. Her son is able to drop off things at the front desk for her. But basically, Aunt Bev has been confined to her room for four months.

I CAN’T. EVEN. IMAGINE.

After I shared Aunt Beverly’s story, many of you replied back with me how much her story touched you. So now, I’m going to ask for a little help back in return.

All for Aunt Beverly.

You see, she turns 90 on July 17th. The past weekend, several cousins and family members were planning on celebrating with her in Denver. Of course, everything was canceled.

Her children are not overly optimistic that Aunt Bev will be able to do anything special to celebrate her birthday. They are coming up with some creative ideas to try and honor their mother. Yet, they are struggling with how to properly honor this vibrant woman who will most likely be stuck in her room as she becomes a nonagenarian.

So, can you PLEASE help me?

Recently, during our weekly visit/chat/devotion, Aunt Beverly shared with me that basically all of her friends have died. She misses having friends, even more so during this pandemic restriction time.  

That’s why I’m hoping that 90 of my friends will adopt Aunt Bev and make her their friend, if only to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Here’s my goal. I’m looking for 90 of my friends/acquaintances/people who follow Simple Words of Faith to send Aunt Beverly a birthday card.

That’s it. Just send a card. Nothing else. If you have a birthday card, great. If you don’t, send whatever card you have. Slap a 55-cent stamp on the envelope and send it on its way. Please try and have the card arrive by July 17th, which is the actual date of Aunt Beverly’s birthday. If it’s a day or two late, PLEASE send it anyways.

Can you PLEASE help me out?  

I’ve checked with her kids. They are completely on-board with throwing her a card shower. They are so excited for me to ask 90 people to send their mother 90 cards. Can we overflow her mailbox so much that the staff have to set-up a special box? Will we get enough people to send her a card that she will spend the ENTIRE day opening birthday cards? Are there at least 90 people who were moved by Aunt Beverly’s story enough that they will send her a card for her 90th birthday?

Let’s address the cards to Aunt Beverly and have the staff at her care facility wondering where all these family members have been that sent her a simple card for her birthday.

Can we help Beverly celebrate her whole life long in the next 11 days by receiving so much love from people who simply want to bless her special day? With a card?

PLEASE, can you help me out?

I’m counting on all of you. And I’m confident you won’t let me down.

Here’s her address:

Aunt Beverly Anderson

10200 E Harvard Ave Apt. 200

Denver, CO  80231-3946

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. I can’t WAIT to see how many cards Aunt Beverly receives.

For help in celebrating a special woman’s birthday, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – For even the most vibrant of people, being confined to a room for four months is wearing. I pray that You will help keep Aunt Beverly’s spirits up, as well as be brightened by an overabundance of birthday cards. I pray that together, we can make her life and birthday so incredibly special. Amen.

If you know someone else who LOVES to send cards or would like to help celebrate Aunt Beverly’s birthday, please share this blog post with them.

Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 479

Wed., June 24, 2020

2 Timothy 1:3 – I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night.

We’ve prayed for a couple extremely specific things for YEARS.

Literally, YEARS.

It’s personal. It’s important. It’s at the top of our prayer list.

Hubby Rick and I feel so committed to these situations that they have been at the top of our prayer list for YEARS.

Every once in a while, we see a glimmer of hope. We’re cautiously optimistic. We wonder if this is the time our prayers will be answered.

Before long, we feel like we’re back where we started. Once again, praying fervently for the situations to change.

And there continues to be long-term, impactful change.

Do we give up?

Nope.

Do we wonder if our prayers are being answered?

We are completely confident they ARE being heard.

Do we start looking for an alternative to prayer and question if another route would be more productive?

Absolutely not.

Prayer is not a spring. It’s a marathon. Prayer isn’t the quick fix. It’s happens at a turtle’s pace with lots of pauses, breaks and backsliding along the way.

Do we question if God has given up on the situation?

Not on our radar screen.

Do we voice if God has stopped listening to us because we’ve prayed this SO MUCH?

No way.

Our only job is to continue to pray and pray. And pray some more.

Prayer is kind of like this. Last evening, I went for a run. It had rained a little earlier. While the temperature had cooled it, there was a heaviness to the air. Part way through the run, my glasses were steamed up. I know the route every well. It’s one I’ve ran hundreds of times. But seeing the actual road was hazy at best.

So, I took off my glasses. While the hazy was gone, everything remained blurry. It was easy to see the road but difficult to decipher any details.

Unanswered prayer is similar. In the middle of continuous prayer, the situation feels hazy. Blurry. Impossible to see what is on the road ahead. Yet a path remains before us. Maybe just how the situation will be resolved is hazy. Whether our preferred outcome will happen is blurry. But we still keep plugging along, committed to lifting the situations up over and over and over.

There’s a story about a woman who developed a relationship with God as an adult. Growing up, she wasn’t exposed to church or God. She went with her friends once in a while. But understanding prayer happened later in this woman’s life. When she discovered prayer’s power, she began to pray for her Mom. She just wanted to Mom to discover a peace in her life that she lacked for years.

The daughter prayed for her Mother for 40 years. Every day. Over and over. Towards the end of the Mother’s life, the daughter pleaded with her Mom to allow her heart to be softened by God. The day came when the Mom realized that she genuinely wanted the peace of passes all understanding.

What would have happened if the daughter quit praying after 39 years? 25 years? 10 years? I’m not sure. What I do know is that I admire this daughter for praying constantly. Every day. Over and Over.

I’m guessing she had more than a few days when everything looked blurry. Hazy. Fogged over. Yet, this woman remained committed to praying for her Mom.

I pray that Hubby Rick and I will remain half as committed to our prayer situations as this woman did to hers.

What is something that you’ve been praying for what seems like a long time? An awfully long time? I’d love to hear so I can make your request part of my prayer time.

For prayer warriors who ever seem to give up, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Often, we question the speed by which you answer prayer. Or whether you are connected to our situation. Assure us that you hear our prayers, even if the answer is quite different from what we would like. Encourage us to keep our prayer lives committed to You. Amen.

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It’s Saturday Morning!!

Gratitude Day 477

Sat., June 19, 2020

Hebrews 4:9 – So you see that a sabbath rest is left open for God’s people.

As we begin the weekend, just a few thoughts from my desk this morning.

Hubby Rick is on a four-week Sabbatical!! For the last 20 years, Rick has worked for a Wisconsin-based company called Kwik Trip. They have a company policy when an employee has worked for the company for 20 years, the employee is eligible for a four-week Sabbatical. Rick’s 20th anniversary was May 20th. He had been debating when to take his Sabbatical for a while. Recently, he decided to take it mid-June through mid-July. So, last Sunday was the official beginning of his Sabbatical.

This is very generous of his company to do this. Management sees a time for renewal as important. So far, Rick has been very committed to helping his son with a basement remodeling job and has put in lots of time with this project.

Originally, we had anticipated spending some of Rick’s Sabbatical in Italy. Obviously, this will not be happening right now. Someday, we will get to Italy. Just not right now.

An Amish buggy at a Kwik Trip store. Just a little humor for today!

He hopes to get in some fishing, kayaking, biking, etc. I look forward to a few day trips with Rick.

Have you watched the Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man videos? If not, please take the time. Ex-NFL player Emmanuel Acho released an initial video in early June. He sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white American and shares his views on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting and the hurt blacks are feeling today. Here’s a link to the original video:

The next video included a conversation with Matthew McConaughey, a very thoughtful conversation. Here’s the link for this video:

Just this week, the third video included Emmanuel having a conversation with Chip and Joanna Gaines and their five children. There are times when the conversation is a bit uncomfortable, which makes the videos even more real. Check out this conversation here:

Here is a person who is trying to help those of us who do not fully understand racism today. Here’s an opportunity for us to discover more.

Looking for a novel to read this summer? Here’s one that is set in 1932 and the Great Depression.

This Tender Land, written by William Kent Krueger, is set in Minnesota. It tells the story of two orphaned brothers who end up at a Native American teaching school. With two other orphans, they travel the Mississippi looking for a place to call their own. I listened to this on books on tape and enjoyed the story.

Missing baseball this summer? Hop on Facebook and watch worship this Sunday with Midland UMC at 9:30 AM. I’m filling in for Pastor John whose wife, Julie, had some health issues this week. Full disclosure: it was taped Friday night. On my porch. You will hear some background noise because, well, we didn’t do a studio taping but used what we had! My friend Mindy joined in with some music. There’s nothing fancy about this worship service. Amateur might be a good description. BUT it might give your baseball craving a little fulfillment! I’ll share the video on my personal Facebook page as well on Sunday. Here’s Midland’s page: https://www.facebook.com/midland.umc

Let’s make room for Sabbath this summer. I know it feels like almost everything has been cancelled this summer. BUT Summer 2020 HAS NOT been cancelled. Just as Rick is on his Sabbatical for the next few weeks, we have this wonderful opportunity find Sabbath in our lives. See those open boxes on your calendar? Keep some of them open and write the word “Sabbath” in them. Then, promise and commit to yourself to make room for Sabbath. What does Sabbath look like? It’s doing the things (or not doing the things) that will refresh your heart and soul. Bring some peace back into your life. Fill up your empty gas tank and prepare you for the next season of your life.

I am aware that some of the things that have been canceled maybe those things that fill you. So, be creative. Find other ways to fill your heart and soul this summer. I’m really trying to be thoughtful about this right now. I pray that you will be as well. We can make Summer 2020 a fantastic summer … if we CHOOSE to!

Have a great weekend. Celebrate Father’s Day with the special guys in your life. Enjoy finding Sabbath time this summer.

For many different things that feed my heart and soul, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Encourage me today, this weekend, this summer to NOT FILL every waking moment with activity. Busyness. Yes, we may be disappointed that some things aren’t happening this summer. I pray that we see this as a wonderful season to fill our hearts and souls with Sabbath. Rest. Renewal. In You. Amen.

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Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 474

Wed., June 10, 2020

Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Will you pray with me?

Help me to hear.

Help me to listen.

Help me to stand still.

Help me to extend a hand.

Help me to avoid hurtful words.

Help me be patient.

Help me be kind.

Help me. Today. Tomorrow. Every day.

For the opportunity for an attitude of prayer, I am grateful.

P.S. – It’s Wednesday which means it is also Devos with Dianne night! Please join me at 8 PM on Facebook Live. Yes, I had some technical difficulties last week. Actually, it became a teachable moment for ME! I’ll share it all tonight on Devos with Dianne. Please join in!

P.S.S – Would you like to pray together every day? You can! I send out a free text message prayer every morning. To receive this FREE daily prayer message, text simplewordsoffaith to 33222 and you’ll be signed up!

Blessings –

Dianne

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Thursday Thought

Gratitude Day 470

Thurs., June 4, 2020

Blessings –

Dianne

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Lessons from COVID-19: In the Words of a Survivor

Gratitude Day 468

Wed., June 3, 2020

3 John 1:3 – Some of the brothers traveling by have made me very happy by telling me that your life stays clean and true and that you are living by the standards of the Gospel.

I love to tell stories. I cherish capturing a sliver from a person’s life and exploring how this snapshot speaks of something that can be inspirational and encouraging for others.

Today’s story, I pray, is such a chronicle. One that will speak to you, as well as be a storyline that maybe, just maybe, you will share with someone else.

This is Linda Johnson. She is a COVID-19 survivor.

And she is ready to share her story.

This 70-something-year-old woman lives in Fond du Lac, WI with her husband, Jerry, who is currently doubling as her nurse. Historically, Linda has been a healthy and highly active woman. She exercised regularly, had a calendar full of activities that included groups and causes she enjoyed, as well as warmed lots of bleachers while attending her grandchildren’s events.

Mid-March, all of this came to a screeching halt before much of the country went into stay-in-place mode. By then, Linda was in a hospital and just trying to breathe. Literally.

In early March, Jerry provided transportation for family members who had just returned from a cruise. Jerry and Linda spent a couple hours with these folks. They shared hugs and handshakes. Unbeknownst to them, these loved ones had come in contact with passengers from another cruise ship that had people who tested positive for COVD-19 onboard.

Following the visit, Linda developed every symptom of the coronavirus, except a sore throat. On March 13th, a long swab tested her for the virus. Before the results were officially confirmed, she was admitted to a hospital because of escalating symptoms. This hospital would be Linda’s home for the next 19 days; nine of which were spent on a ventilator.

Never able to physically enter the hospital throughout Linda’s hospital stay, Jerry also tested positive for the virus. He cared for himself while under quarantine in their home.  Other family members had symptoms and tested positive for the virus. In other like situations, family would gather together to encourage and support each other. With COVID-19, everyone remained quarantined in their own home.

“The most challenging aspect of this entire experience was looking at my husband’s face when he had to go home from the parking lot and leave me at the hospital,” Linda says. “I realized that I was going to have to do this without an advocate, which challenged me to never give up hope.”

Amazingly, the hospital staff provided not only physical care for Linda; they also cared for Linda’s and Jerry’s emotional needs as well. Hospital staff never complained about having to change personal protective equipment (PPE) each time they left her room, even if their only purpose for entering the room was to give Linda a glass of water. Staff sat with her, held her hand, read her cards and provided regular updates to Jerry and the rest of their family.

“They (health care providers) performed such courageous acts, in caring for me as well as the other COVID-19 patients,” Linda says. Hospital staff were learning about the virus on the fly because the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was also gathering information from early cases. With no established guidelines to follow, the staff constantly explored different regimes to bring comfort to Linda and other COVID-19 patients.

Going on the ventilator was a huge decision that the Johnson’s and their three adult daughters did not take lightly. Linda spoke with her entire immediate family before going on the vent. Just in case.

“Throughout my hospital stay, the only time I specifically asked God for something for me is when I went on the vent,” Linda explains. “I didn’t want to remember the days I was on the vent … and I don’t.”

Unlike many patients, Linda never felt anxious while on the vent. People often experience hallucinations from the sedation medication. Linda did experience hallucinations. Yet, her memory of these hallucinations is very relaxing. Calm. They were filled with music, vivid colors, stars, and swirls in the sky, which helped her remain calm while on the vent.

In fact, Linda says throughout her entire hospital stay, she remained uncharacteristically calm and non-anxious. She attributes this to the army of prayer warriors around the globe who were committed to lifting her up in prayer. Familiar with the “Footprints in the Sand” writing before her coronavirus journey, the words from this saying take on enhanced meaning these days. “I have discovered that during troubled times, Jesus literally carries us,” Linda shared.

Completely helpless in fixing her own situation, Linda placed her heart and soul in God’s hands, willing to accept whatever the result. Since the “bus didn’t come and pick me up, I’m confident that God has a plan for me,” Linda says. “Now at home, I’m doing a lot more listening these days. I’m paying more attention. We can’t just expect God to listen to us. We need to put ourselves in a place where our hearts and souls can listen to God.”

While on the vent, Jerry and Linda were not able to communicate. Throughout Linda’s hospital stint, Jerry kept a detailed log at home of her medical situation based on his many conversations with medical staff. “She never felt far away,” Jerry says, “as she was always in my heart.” Hospital staff kept Jerry and his daughters informed and spent extra time to help them fully understand the challenges of treating an unknown disease.

Linda clearly remembers the first time she spoke with Jerry after getting off the vent. While she couldn’t really “talk,” these high school sweethearts feel this whole experience has drawn them closer together.

They know this journey has changed them … for the good. “During the months of the safer at home order in a normal year, I would be doing spring cleaning,” says Linda. “This year, a physical spring cleaning didn’t happen. Instead, I had a spring cleaning of my life; one that cleaned my heart, my mind and my life in general.”  

Linda challenges herself to maintain the peace and calmness she experienced while in the hospital in her current daily life. As she feels better and becomes more able to do things, distractions creep in. Early on, she struggled with survivor’s guilt. While hospitalized, Linda didn’t watch the news. Once home, she became aware of COVID-19 patients who didn’t make it, including people with young children. Linda questioned why she was spared … and these people were not. Her purpose now is to wait for God to reveal what God has in mind for her life as a coronavirus survivor. “I need to be gracious and accept the grace that I survived this pandemic. Now, I wait and see what is in store for my future,” Linda says.

These days, the Johnson’s appreciate their marriage, family, and neighborhood a lot more. For weeks, their friends and neighbors provided meals for Jerry and eventually for both of them. A natural hugger, Linda wanted to assure her grandchildren that she was okay. Once home, she drew herself on butcher block paper and mailed a copy to each of her grandchildren to symbolically hug them. Unsure when she will be able to physically hug loved ones, these days, she uses the COVID kiss; bumping elbows.

Aware that some people downplay the severity of COVID-19, Linda hopes that sharing her story changes this. “First, I needed to let my body physically heal. As my body gets stronger, I know that it is now time for me to deal with the emotional side of being a coronavirus survivor. This includes sharing my story,” says Linda.

In 2019, her spring calendar was packed full of sporting events, concerts, exercise class and volunteering. May 2020 only included two priorities: visits to the COVID clinic and donating plasma. Jerry has donated plasma four times. Just last week, Linda cleared the many necessary tests which allowed her to donate. They are optimistic that their plasma will help other COVID-19 patients.

Committed to making sure this “spring cleaning” is purposeful and significant, Linda relies on God to help her achieve the right teeter-totter balance point between listening and serving God versus the world’s distractions. She yearns for a clean heart that seeks the Lord in all that she says, does and lives. “My work is not done,” Linda concludes. “I pray that I will be enlightened with how I can do God’s work after coronavirus.”

For Linda’s lessons from COVID-19, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Healing God – thank you for the physical healing that Linda and so many other COVID-19 patients have experienced. Hold those families who have lost loved ones tightly in your palm. May they know Your healing presence in a different way.  Bath us with emotional healing as well, drawing us closer to You so we can have a spring cleaning of our hearts and souls. Amen.

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The Time Two People Shared a Wading Pool

Gratitude Day 468

Wed., June 3, 2020

Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

“I know how you feel.”

Too many times, I said these words. Then, a situation happened when suddenly, I realized that saying these words was simply wrong. As much as I would like to think I know how someone feels, the only person whose feelings I can ever really know are my own.

No one else.

And so, I tried to banish this sentence from my vocabulary.

Too often, I have heard people who look like me say these words to people who look vastly different from me. Honestly, I cringe every time I hear this because, seriously, there is NO. WAY. POSSIBLE. I cannot ever know how people who are hugely different from me feel.

There is no way I can know how a black person feels.

I cannot know what a person who has lived in multiple generations of poverty has experienced.  

It would be impossible for me to understand what it feels like to be judged day after day based on an ethic heritage in which your skin is brown, black or something other than European white.

It is unfathomable for me to anticipate why others would respond or question me differently than what currently happens because they think they might not be safe in my presence.

I do not know how these people feel.

I do not know the struggles they have lived.

I do not know the lens through which every potential interaction of their lives must be viewed.

I simply do not know.

So, what do I know?

EVERY. SINGLE. HUMAN. BEING. HAS. WORTH. Period.

God created all of us differently on purpose. And because God created us all, God loves us all. Period.

No one, I repeat, no one, should be valued any less than how I value myself. Period.

When any of this happens, we have a problem.

When I do this, I have a problem. And it is so very necessary for my attitude be adjusted.

I can point fingers at all the things that have happened in the last number of days and make a long laundry list of wrongs. I might even get someone to agree with me on one or two of those points.

But until I take a long, hard look at my heart and soul, well, it’s pretty useless for me to focus on what everyone else is doing wrong.

When my heart needs fixing.

When my soul is too judgmental.

When my life is far from perfect.

Every once in a while, there is someone who embodies the ability to speak loudly while using very few words.

Mr. Rodgers was one of those people.

On May 9, 1969, Mr. Rodgers invited a black police officer, Office Clemmons, to join him. Together, they rolled up their pants and dipped their feet into a small plastic wading pool filled with water.

In doing so, Rodgers broke through a well-known color barrier. Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended sanctioned separation of races in public places, many white people were opposed to desegregation. For the next five years, public pools remained a place where blacks were often not allowed to integrate with white people.

Then, there was the time Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to his pool. The Officer said that he didn’t have a towel to wipe off his feet with. Rodgers shared his towel with his friend and wiped his feet with the same towel after Office Clemmons. No words spoke of why some might have a problem with this. They just both used the towel.  

This was such an important event that Mr. Rodgers and Officer Clemmons recreated the scene in 1993 before Mr. Rodgers retired. While Rodgers could not know how Officer Clemmons felt in all of his life, he could soak his feet with him in the same pool.

And he did.

Here’s one man who examined his heart and changed his ways so that he might allow himself an opportunity to learn from someone else.

In a wading pool.

Maybe it’s time that we invited someone who looks quite different from ourselves to soak their feet with us in a wading pool. We cannot know how the other person feels. But we can listen. Share. Observe.

And then, we can share the towel.

For God’s grace in my life to see where I have opportunities to change my heart, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.  Amen.

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What I Learned in May

Gratitude Day 466

Sat., May 30, 2020

Psalm 119:116 – Be true to your word, Lord. Keep me alive and strong; don’t let me be ashamed because of my hope.

Does anyone else feel like the month of May has been FOREVER? Like 90 days long? I look at my May calendar and it is has a lot more open, white days than a “normal” May calendar would. But honestly, I’m not sure what normal is anymore!

We’re navigating a tough time right now. It’s not just the COVID-19 stuff that has my heart confused. We’re watching incredible videos that are difficult and impossible to understand. Responded to an awful incident with more violence just feels and seems crazy to me.

Life feels a lot like this sign right now: crazy curvy and a lot unknown ahead. I snapped this photo while driving a few days ago because, well, I feel like it’s a great metaphor for how I feel about life right now. As much as we’d like the road to be straight and predictable and reliable, it isn’t. Nope, it’s a lot unpredictable.

Will there in-building school this fall?

Can we ever plan a vacation again?

When is it “safe” to return to worshiping at a church building?

What can we do this summer, after so many concerts, sporting, fairs, and fun summer events have been canceled?

Will working at home continue for how longer? Will some folks just continue working from home indefinitely?

And on, and on, and on.

It is easy to worry about these and a million other things. Yet, worry, to me, is one of the most useless emotions we can have. Worry accomplishes little, other than distracts us, gets us worked up and zaps a whole bunch of energy.

Of course, the natural question is, what do we do instead of worry?

Start with J.S.T. Just. Sit. There. With God. Listening. Being. Waiting. Maybe something will come along. Maybe nothing will. Both are good. Both are fine.

Then, find a way to serve someone else. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Seriously. Nothing difficult or challenging. Just a little way to take your mind and energy off of what you don’t have control over and directed towards something you CAN control.

Our neighbor Kathleen is rounding the corner towards 90. She desperately wants to stay in her home. Before the virus stay in place began, she started receiving Meals on Wheels five days a week. While this is great, I wondered what Kathleen did for weekend food. It didn’t take me long to realize this IS something I can help with.

Now, part of my Saturday routine is to make a few things to walk over to Kathleen. It’s usually extra food that I’ve made for Hubby Rick and myself. When I drop it off, Kathleen and I have a visit. Kathleen admits she enjoys the visit just as much as the food. Honestly, it does both of our souls good. I’m trying a few new recipes and Kathleen gets to try them out.

I’m convinced one of the most important take-aways we can take from this time of life is simply how important it is to bless other people because we feel blessed ourselves. Even if you aren’t sure you are blessed one particular day, still serve, and bless another. It may shift your perspective on your personal interpretation of how blessed you feel.

Choose hope. Hope is what encourages me to stay strong with God. Hope is what promises days filled with peace and love. Hope is what assures me that no matter what the road looks like ahead, God and I will navigate it together. Every. Single. Day.

And this, my friends, is what I relearned in May. Nothing new. Just old lessons that needed to be revisited.

Thanks be to God.

For relearning lessons, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Hello God – Oh, how often I forget important life lessons. As I am gently, or not so gently, am reminded of just a few lessons again of late, may I see them as gifts from You, Lord God. Thank you for continuing to teach my heart and soul. Amen.

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