Wednesday Prayer Day – Resolving Opposite Prayer Requests

Gratitude Day 523

Wed., Oct. 14, 2020

James 4:3 – And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires.

I know that it’s happening right now. People are praying for exact opposites to happen:

For “their” candidate to win the presidential election.

Or another election.

For a referendum to pass or not pass.

For people’s minds to be changed to their “correct” position.

How can all of these prayers be answered?

They can’t.

Someone is going to be disappointed. We just pray that it won’t be us.

And my heart becomes sad.

Prayer IS important. It’s mandated by Jesus as a way for us to draw closer to God, share our heart with God and have confidence that God wants what is best for us.

The problem is … sometimes we get it wrong.

Our prayers aren’t the best prayers.

Our prayers are more about US than they are about GOD.

We convince ourselves if we just pray hard enough, God WILL see it our way.

And my heart becomes sad.

Don’t get me wrong. God is interested in every single last detail in your life and our world. God’s desk never gets too cluttered that God forgets the desires of your heart. But here’s the deal. Sometimes we get it wrong. And we aren’t wise enough to see, believe or know this.

And my heart becomes sad.

My heart becomes sad because I’ve tried to bargain with God myself … more than once. My heart is sad because I know better than to pray these self-serving prayers … and yet I still do. My heart is sad because in my prayers, I’m already setting up the structure of winners and losers … and forget that in God, there are no losers. Only winners.

Can we be a little more careful with our prayers in the days ahead? Can we hear that prayer is more about transforming ourselves than transforming God? Can we allow ourselves to trust in God even when these self-serving prayers we reiterate aren’t answered … and we just want to blame and give up on God?

Answering prayer isn’t about us. It’s about God. Thank goodness there is someone who knows a lot more than we do … and will provide God’s will to prevail

Yes, we can be angry. Mad. Blame God and assure everyone that God has let you down when those prayers aren’t answered exactly like we would like.

God will still love you. God will still advocate for you. God will never leave you.

Now, if we can only remember that it’s not really about us. It’s only about God.

For a necessary attitude adjustment about prayer, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – We want You to trust us and our prayer requests when really what is necessary is us to trust You. Remind me again that You have this. Now, help me depend upon You, no matter what happens in the days and weeks ahead. Amen.

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Let’s Make October A Month of Thanks

Gratitude Day 517

Wed., Sept. 30, 2020

Isaiah 38:19 – It’s the living who thank you as I do today. One generation makes your faithfulness known to the next.

They are two enormously powerful words: THANK YOU.

Two words, when put together, can express significant emotion, appreciation and insight into what is so important to us.

Two words, while easily said, I wish were shared more often.

In my credenza, I keep a manila file folder labeled, “Personal.” This is where I keep special cards or letters that people have sent me that I find deeply meaningful and personal. While it’s difficult to admit that I have this folder, there’s a significant reason why. When I’m having a bad day or struggling with whether or not what I do makes any difference, sometimes I pull out that file folder and read the little notes and letters it contains. Often, it’s the encouragement that enables me to look at what work lies before me … and keep going. It’s these thank you notes and letters that I know will remind me of why I sometimes do what I do.

At nearly every wedding I have performed, I encourage couples to sprinkle certain words into their daily vocabulary with each other daily and often. “Thank you” is definitely one of those phrases.

For some people, thank you rolls right out of their mouths with little effort. For others, these are words reserved only for special occasions. I’m of the belief that these two words must and should be said and repeated simply as often as possible.

Multiple times a day.

There’s something about knowing when someone else appreciates something that you have done. Yes, we shouldn’t need the “thank you,” I know. But it certainly feels good to receive it, doesn’t it?

I’m on a mission right now to encourage as many people as possible to treat each other with kindness. We DESPERATELY need more kindness and encouragement these days. Rather than expecting someone else to be the kindness, how about we ALL be the kindness?

Together. With “A Month of Kindness: October 2020.”

It’s really simple. Save, download or print the October 2020 calendar. Then, every weekend in October, send a thank you note to one person. Suggestions are provided for each day. It doesn’t have to be long. It can be a postcard. An e-mail would work … but I think an actual snail mail thank you would be more meaningful. Just write out 22 thank you notes during the month of October … and see what happens.

No need to send anything else in the envelope with the thank you. Just a simple note expressing your appreciation is all that is needed.

I keep thinking … if 100 people sent 22 thank you cards in October; we’d be sending 2,200 thank you notes. If 200 people sent 22 thank you notes, we’d be touching 4,400 people’s lives. If 300 people each sent these thank you notes? Together, we’d be reminding over 5,000 people that they do something that makes a difference.

Imagine over 5,000 people taking a thank you note, putting it in a manila folder labeled “Personal” and then storing it in a spot where they can go when they’re having a bad day. These thank you notes can have significant impact for years and years and years to come.

So, will you partner with me and send 22 thank you notes during the month of October? Will you hand out five copies of The Month of Thanks October 2020 calendar to friends and ask that they participate as well? Make it a family project. Ask a loved one to do this as well.

And see how your attitude changes after writing 22 thank you notes. Pay attention to how your loved one’s outlook may shift ever so slightly in the next month. Be amazed when people start telling others how they received a thank you note in the mail and what an impact it had on them.

22 cards. 30 days. Let’s do this together. Are you in? If so, please let me know. I can’t WAIT to see and hear about how these thank you notes are demonstrating kindness, joy and love in our communities and world that desperately needs it.

For your willingness to bring boatloads of kindness to our communities for the next month, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – While we appreciate when someone shares “thank you” with us, I pray that we will choose to be ambassadors of kindness and thank you throughout the month of October. May we appreciate the power of these two words, embrace the possibilities that can happen when we express thank you and partner with you in encouraging others to be so grateful for many things in our lives. Amen.

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Be Still. Know that I am God.

Gratitude Day 507

Wed., Sept. 9, 2020

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!

The last few weeks have felt way too full. There have been lots of good things … but maybe just a few too much.

It hit home for me when Hubby Rick shared a little story with me. He was having a cook-out with some friends earlier this summer. I wasn’t able to join because of another commitment. When someone asked where I was, Rick shared his normal response, “Out saving the world. You know Dianne. She begins the day figuring out who she’s going to help today.”

Rick said all of this with admiration. But it stopped me. Once again, I’ve let my husband down. Too often, he gets relegated to the bottom of the importance list.  Again, and again. I’ve lost count of how many times Rick has been replaced with something else I deemed more important. In just the last week.

Rarely does he complain. His acknowledgement of this most often happens via a story that he shares as part of a conversation he’s had with someone else. I often wonder what the response back to him is. Probably not as much admiration as he expresses and a lot more “Hmmm.”

When Rick asked me last week if we could squeeze in a kayak outing with our friends Dave and Kris, it moved to the top of my priority list. For a few hours, other things COULD and WOULD wait. In total honestly, I mentioned a couple errands that I would like to do as long as we would be “in the area.” Ever multi-tasking and trying to be efficient, Rick complied, and the date was set.

We loaded our kayaks up into his 1995 pick-up. It used to be my father-in-law, Tony’s, pick-up. Rick acquired it after his Dad passed away. It is two-wheel drive. (Who has one of those anymore?) It is old enough to vote. For many years it was the vehicle we had with the least number of miles.

The truck has a cassette player. Tony always listened to polka music in the truck. The cassette he usually listened to remains in the truck’s cassette player. Often, we’ll crack up the tunes for a bit and remember Tony. On this day, the music was silent as Rick and I took the opportunity to reconnect and share during the drive to the pre-appointed park where we’d meet our friends.

After a picnic in the park, all four of us launched our kayaks into Mirror Lake and paddled up and down the lake. For many minutes, the world slowed. The hum of traffic from the interstate remained close at hand and increased in volume as we paddled underneath bridges that crossed the lake. We stopped short of the dam at the upper end of the lake and retreated back in the direction we came from. Along the river, the landscape replicates the scenery the area around Wisconsin Dells is famous for: layers of shelfed rock formations that stick out from the landscape. Incredibly beautiful, we agreed to return back later in fall when the leaves are turning color to see the anticipated color explosion.

I tried not to feel guilty about taking an afternoon to drink in the great outdoors. I willed myself not to think about what else I COULD be doing. I tried to stay in the moment and be still with our friends. Nature. Hubby Rick. Myself. Almighty God.

Be still and know I am God.

It’s hard to know God when we’re so busy running from one thing to the next. It’s impossible to know God when we fill our lives with everything but quiet. Most often, God chooses not to compete with all of the noise, and we miss out on opportunities to hear God speak directly to us. It saddens my heart to observe how many times I choose noise and busyness over quiet and stillness.

Be still. Know I am God.

The lesson never grows old. It’s never mastered and always applicable.

Today. Tomorrow. Next week.

Be still.

Know I am God.

For the opportunity to be still and see God, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Almighty God – My heart is reminded of how often I choose something of this world rather than making sure I’ve met you each day. Forgive me for the times I’ve chose busyness and noise over stillness and You. May I take even a few moments and find You today. Amen.  

REMINDER: Devos with Dianne tonight on Facebook Live at 8 PM CT. Tonight’s topic: courage.

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Lessons from COVID-19: As School Starts

Gratitude Day 504

Tues., Sept. 1, 2020

Proverbs 9:9 – Teach the wise, and they will become wiser; inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.

Traffic will be considerably busier past our house today. School buses will rumble by. The car and foot and bike traffic will pick up, the first time in nearly six months?

Why?

Today is officially the first day of school in Wisconsin. My social media feeds will be filled with “first day of school photos.” So fun to see!

Maybe in your area, school has already started. Some colleges and universities have been holding classes. Others start this week. Building and facilities and campuses that have had virtually zero census the past six months may jump up considerably this week.

For many students, teachers and staff, there’s often the first day-of-school jitters. But let’s be honest. There are a lot more of those jitters this year. And for a lot more folks.

Several of our grandkids will be attending new buildings and school districts this week. Even for those who are returning to a same building, they have voiced feelings about experiencing new things this school year. Let’s be honest. Anyone remotely connected to a school system know things will be vastly different at the beginning of the school year. Even for those not directly affected, there is awareness this WILL be a different school year.

Some schools are only offering virtual learning. Others have a hybrid system with some in-person and some virtual. A more limited number are giving complete in-person teaching a whirl. I cannot imagine a school without a minimum of three options/plans at the onset of school with contingency plans ready to be enacted at any time, knowing that eventually, new options/plans may also need to be explored. Certainly, the desire for students to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities is also a major dilemma.

What is the right thing to do? Ask any number of people and you will receive equally the same number of opinions. Keeping students and staff safe are high priorities. Understanding that parents who have been assisting students with education needs for going on six months while often balancing a job are feeling very stretched but also concerned about quality of education. Teaching groups, extra tutors and a variety of other alternative education options have sprung up like crazy. For some, these options just aren’t a consideration and they feel their child is being left behind educationally.

Certainly, I don’t have all the answers for providing education during a pandemic. All I can offer are a few suggestions:

  • Be kind. Be kind to those who have a different opinion about how education should be conducted this fall. Be kind to teachers and staff and bus drivers and school board members and administrators who are trying to offer quality education in a completely different way than they expected/have been trained/prefer. When something doesn’t go as you would like/expect/prefer, please use kindness as your go-to emotion. Not anger. Not disappointment. No displeasure. Yes, you can and should have these reactions as well. But please, please, please let kindness rule the roost and your attitude first.  
  • Fill your heart and mind with lots of grace: for everyone involved. At the end of the day, I honestly believe that people ARE trying to do their best. It is everyone else’s job to recognize and honor this. Period.
  • Be flexible. None of us can look a day or a week or a month into the future and anticipate and know what is going to happen. What we can do is be gracious in knowing things WILL change. As this happens, offer to fill in the gaps and bring some calm into an already chaotic situation. Be part of the solution rather than adding to the already overwhelming problem.
  • Step in and help those who are overwhelmed. Have extra time on your hands? Offer to help those kids in your neighborhood who might benefit from additional attention. Or pitch-hit in with your grandkids or neighborhood kids. Take dinner to a family completely overwhelmed and give them a small break.
  • Ask folks how they are doing and simply LISTEN. When people are in the middle of slugging through a difficult situation, they can often feel alone. Sincerely ask them how they are doing. And then, LISTEN. Do not offer up suggestions or ideas unless specifically asked for. Your role is just to be a listening place. Period.
  • Send encouraging notes or texts to staff and students. It can feel like a VERY LONG year at the beginning of this school year. Re-enforce with those affected that they aren’t along, even if all you can do is offer emotional support. Everyone needs to hear they are doing a good job once in a while.
  • Pray, pray and pray some more. This situation is going to continue for a while. People will get weary. Tired. Perplexed. Encouraging proper mask wearing will get old quickly. Kids will want to see and be with their friends. Teachers maybe teaching on multiple platforms which takes extra time. Administrative folks might be fielding a wide range of opinions. Let me be clear: THERE. ARE. NO. EASY. ANSWERS. Everyone needs some wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Be a major advocate for this.

It’s easy for those not making the decisions about education to become arm-chair quarterbacks. Expressing creative ideas and alternatives is great. Yet, I pray we can remain on the positive side of encouragement. Every day. All day. Consistently. Because our education systems need positive cheerleaders. This year, more than ever.

For the opportunities to encourage a positive educational experience, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – We can’t fully imagine how much anxiety and fear there is going into this year’s school year. May those involved tern to You as the important source of wisdom we all need. Amen.  

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Wednesday Prayer Day – Be Still

Gratitude Day 497

Wed., Aug. 12, 2020

Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

Be still.

And know that I am God.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Yet, being still really isn’t that easy.

Especially during a pandemic.

Should kids go to school or not?

Should there be sports this fall?

Whan an effective vaccine be found?

Be still?

Right.

Rather than honoring God as God, we sit perched on our executive chairs of control. We are SO. SURE. We know what is best for ourselves and everyone around us. And we go out of our way to make sure everyone knows who is in charge.

Listen again.

Be still.

Listen. Hear. Know.

Stop trying to be God. Take over. Be in control.

Instead, let God do God. Take a break. Turn your faces upward and towards God rather than burying them in your cell phones. Whatever it is that is demanding too much, just stop. Organize a stay-cation with the One who is God. Spend  time every day just simply being with God. Reconnect with God’s constant place in your life.

Be still.

Know God.

That’s all.

Amen.

For the reminder to be with You, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Be still. Know that God is God. The end. Amen.  

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Tonight is Devo’s with Dianne – 8 PM on Facebook Live. See you then!

Lessons from the Dentist: Out with the Old & In with the New

Gratitude Day 495

Wed., Aug. 5, 2020

2 Corinthians 5:17 – So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!

Twice in the last month, I’ve been to the dentist.

This has not happened in YEARS.

When I went in for a semi-annual cleaning, a few weeks ago, I saw a new dentist. Dr. Dani is new to the clinic where I go. I think this is the fourth or fifth new dentist that I have had at this clinic. Quite honestly, it’s not the dentist that is important to me. It’s the hygienist that I stay with.

Sara has been my hygienist for, well, let’s just say a REALLY long time. It seems that when a new doc joins the clinic, she becomes one of their hygienists. And so, I get a new dentist.

My visits to the dentist are very, very mundane when it comes to dental work. Twice a year, I show up for a cleaning. Twice a year, Sara and I chat non-stop as we catch up on our lives. The dentist pops in for about three minutes, does a quick once-over at my teeth and waltzes back out the door, telling me they will see me again in six months. Sara and I pick up our conversation right where we left off once this little formality is over.  

It’s been this way for decades. Literally. The last time I had a cavity filled was when I was in the single digits.

Until now. Enter Dr. Dani. The few fillings that I have are old and not from the same type of material that is used in fillings these days. Dr. Dani felt it was time to remove these fillings that are old enough to vote a couple of times over and replace them with something new. Little cracks are forming in the teeth with the old fillings. New fillings would prevent further damage.

Out with the old and in with the new.

A new dentist = a new person looking at my teeth. A new dentist = new fillings.

I’m not sure what the average lifespan of a tooth filling is. I’m guessing that I probably got my parent’s money worth on those two fillings. And so, it’s time for a new set of fillings.

Today, I went into a different room with a different person assisting Dr. Dani. Everything went fine and about an hour later, I had two new fillings. For the next few hours, talking was weird and swallowing a liquid felt awkward because my entire mouth was numb. It’s a short-lived price to pay for two new fillings.

Out with the old. In with the new.

As difficult as change is sometimes, new can be good. Helpful. Important. Jesus said that we don’t pour old wine into new wineskins. Only new wine goes into new containers. Likewise, people don’t sew patches from new clothing into old clothing. Why ruin a perfectly new article of clothing?

Paul takes the analogy further. With the arrival of Christ on earth, EVRYTHING changed. He’s the new creation, the fulfillment of God on earth. Before Christ, it was about obeying hundreds of rules. Christ changed this. God and Christ become accessible to all. Jesus pools all the rules into two seemingly simple ones: love God and love your neighbor. That’s all.

While I see the new making more sense than the old, we often get hung-up in wanting the old rather than the new. We’re trying to patch a new and enhanced understanding of God into old garments. And almost ruining the new article of clothing.

I’m not suggesting that we overlook the Old Testament. The pre-Christ on earth stuff in the Bible is so helpful in understanding Christ. Holding the two in tandem IS important. Focusing only on one leads to cracks in our understanding of God. Seeing faith with a new set of eyes allows us to discover new things about God and ourselves. It enhances our faith … not limits our faith.

What’s most important about change and faith? Keeping our eyes focused on the One who is the basis of our faith to begin with. Falling back on the source of faith and making sure this remains the basis of all good things of our faith. When God is a part of change, we are assured that we’re never alone, even when change leaves us feeling numb.

We’re in a time when how we experience faith is changing. We’re being forced to re-examine what church is and what it means for us today. Rather than running away from these changes, let’s sit in the chair with God and allow God to speak to us. Daily. Regularly. Often. Even when words maybe hard to say and navigating these changes feels awkward, let’s keep ourselves grounded in the very One who gives us life. New creation. New possibilities.

For lessons about change while sitting in the dentist’s chair, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – we find ourselves exploring what church means for us today. We are challenged to re-examine our old ways of thinking about faith and community and explore new wineskins of faith. New garments that connect with people. Encourage us to stay close to You as we navigate these changing times. Amen.  

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The Time We Had Unexpected Visitor

Gratitude Day 493

Wed., July 29, 2020

Matthew 9:10-11 – While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Yesterday, we had an unexpected visitor at our house.

Not a two-legged version. No, a four-legged version.

Rick called it a ground squirrel. Our neighbor lady called it a mole. I call it a rodent that needed to return outside.

Bigger than a chipmunk, he wasn’t terribly big and had a tail. Quite honestly, when I saw him move, he zipped rather fast, which was just fine with me.

Hubby Rick is back to work, which means he gets home around sun-up and goes to bed. Late morning when he awoke, he asked me where the mouse traps are. Not sure we have any, I asked why he wanted one. “Something’s been chewing on the manual for the dehumidifier in the basement,” was his reply.

Within the next hour, he announced that our new resident was NOT a mouse but something bigger. With the basement door open to our first floor, our little buddy became brave enough that he’d found his way onto the main floor of the house. Rick saw him scoot by.

So now, what are we going to do?

Rick wasn’t sure exactly where he went. Behind the fridge? The stove? Under the door and into the downstairs bedroom? We wasn’t sure.

We have an exceptionally large two-piece buffet that is original too the house. Both our visitor and I were surprised when I quickly saw him as I peaked behind the buffet. There is a hot water radiator used to heat the house also behind the buffet. He quickly hid behind the radiator, not sure what to do next.

Fortunately, the buffet is in a little room just beyond the rear entrance of our house. It would be a quick and easy exit for him … if he headed the right direction. Not wanting him to escape back into the main area of the house, Rick blocked the possible alternative routes while I made sure he stayed behind the buffet. Soon, he was squeaking at us. I’m not sure if he was hungry, scared or simply wanting attention. At least we knew he was still behind the buffet. Using a broom, Rick kicked him out from behind the water radiator. He came around the door and fortunately, headed towards the light and out the back door.

Whew! Disaster averted. We plan on being gone the rest of the week and certainly DID NOT want him hanging out inside the house while we were gone. We could imagine the damage that he could do.

Of course, all the while we were trying to coax him back outside, Rick and I were discussing HOW he got into the house. We think he came in through a basement window that has had outside access. Clearly, the window must be closed while we are gone.

More than once, Jesus ended up at a house during his public ministry and not everyone was so sure he should have been at the house where he was. He had just called Matthew, a tax collector, to join his inner circle of friends who were also identified as his disciples. Now, a tax collector was not always the most honest of people in first century Jewish culture. Basically, a tax collector would charge whatever he thought he could get out of a family for taxes. A portion went to the Roman government and the rest? Well, the tax collector pocketed for himself as his income. The more pressure a tax collector could enforce upon people while paying their taxes, the more lucrative the position would be.

This made tax collectors less than model citizens and certainly not the most admired of folks by the local church leaders. The church leaders are appalled that Jesus not only asked Matthew, a known swindler of a taxpayer, to join his inner group. Jesus also accepted an invitation to his house for dinner. A double whammy.

None of this bothered Jesus. He went ahead with his plan to call Matthew and demonstrate for everyone that sinners were acceptable and expected within God’s kingdom.

He was a lot more forgiving of who was in the same house as him than I was with our little rodent friend. I felt quite like a Pharisee wanting to chase the little guy out of Dodge and make sure he wasn’t getting into my things.

Yes, I know the situations are different. I am fully aware that this little guy isn’t the Son of God and really needs to return to his natural habitat.

Yet, I know that regularly, it’s SO. EASY. for me to judge others, just like the Pharisees. I question whether or not someone deserves the unlimited amount of grace that God extends each one of us or wonder if God should grant me an extra dose of grace, whether I deserve it or not. I look at what things how I want them and assume I know best. Whereas Jesus saw things I could see and was aware of more going on in a situation than I ever will be.

I pray that we can be more accepting of others, much like Jesus. Be open to see and hear and observe how someone with a significantly different background is loved just like we are.

I pray we see ourselves more as agents of grace than enforcers of the law.

Grace wins over law every time. Let’s remember this the next time we have an uninvited visitor into our lives.

For lessons that can teach us well today, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – may You open my fear to be comforted by You. Help me accept that Your kingdom is much richer than I can ever imagine. Amen.  

It’s Wednesday which means it’s Devos with Dianne tonight at 8 PM CT o Facebook live. See you then!  

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Wednesday Prayer Day – Where It Begins

Gratitude Day 491

Wed., July 22, 2020

Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

This. This is where I prefer to begin my mornings.

It doesn’t happen every day. Sometimes, two days may go by in a row where I do not prioritize spending time on the front porch. In this chair. Getting my heart right before the day gets going.

But this is where I would like to spend every morning.

On the front porch. Taking care of business with God before I take care of any other business.

Truth? I spend more time reading and journaling than I do praying. Sometimes, well, most every day, I get distracted and spend time scrolling and scrolling rather than focusing and focusing.

It’s just something that I do. For my heart. My soul. My life.

Does it change a lot the rest of the day? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Those minutes on the porch in that chair speak to me. Remind me. Challenge me to not loose focus. Make everything about myself. Remember Whose I am. Recall what a great life I have.

The rest of the day maybe filled with distractions. Too often, I lose focus. Yet, I still believe the time spent here, even if for only a few minutes, is important. Helpful. Defining. Significant.

Where’s the place you go to find the One who created you and offers you unending grace? Send me a photo. I would love to see your place.

For a special place to spend time with God each morning, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Hello God – Thank you for always being with me; whether I purposefully stop and spend time with You. Inspire me to find a little place where You and I can spend time together. Today. Tomorrow. Most days. Amen.

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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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