It’s Wednesday Prayer Day!

Gratitude Day 460

Wed., May 20, 2020

Numbers 6:23-26 –Now the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons that they are to give this special blessing to the people of Israel: ‘May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.’”

On Wednesdays, I love to focus on prayer and share some of the insights I try to embrace in my personal prayer life.

Recently, I ran across a musical video that takes a blessing and turns it into a totally beautiful musical setting.

Here’s the setting for the scripture the song is based on: Moses has led the Israelites out of Egypt. It took ten plagues for Pharaoh to release his main work force and it only happened after the plague in which the eldest son was killed. Moses and the Israelites left hastily. After the were gone, Pharaoh had releaser-remorse and wanted his skilled workers back. He sends his army after the Israelites and they are swallowed up in the Red Sea.

Now Moses and the Israelites are wandering through the dessert. The early chapters of Numbers give instructions for taking a census, how to set-up their camp and variety of other things. But right in the middle of these instructions, God comes to Moses and tells him to have his relative Aaron and Aaron’s sons shower the people with an incredibly special blessing. It’s a blessing that might have been used in worship. It’s a prayer that pours out God’s special blessing upon God’s people.

I encourage you to relax for a few minutes. Listen to this music video. Pray the same words that Moses prayed over the Israelites. May this prayer richly bless you today.

For God’s blessing upon us today, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – thank you for these special words: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon and give you peace. Amen.

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It’s Prayer Wednesday!

Gratitude Day 456

Wed., May 13, 2020

James 5:13 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Good Morning Friend! Today is a wonderful day. It’s a great day. We call today the “present” because every day is a present!

I know. Maybe you aren’t fully feeling it. Something is a little hard on your heart. You’ve been praying and praying for something … and it seems like God just isn’t getting the message. Or, it appears the prayer is being answered not like you would prefer.

And your heart feels like this sign.

A big old fat jumbled mess.

Seriously, if this describes you? It’s OK. It’s alright. Because God sees it in your eyes. God hears it in your voice. God knows it’s feeling difficult. Hard. Overwhelming.

And God is still there.

It’s Wednesday prayer day. Something heavy on your heart? Please let me know so I can pray for this situation. My prayers do not ensure your prayer will get answered more quickly. Or the way you’d like. It’s simply another person sharing what’s on your heart.

Waiting for us when our hearts are happy. Waiting for us when our hearts are troubled. Waiting for us as we sing songs of praise.

Waiting for us when things seem crazy. Out of whack.

Please remember that you are a beloved child of God. Loved by God. Warts and all.

For God’s constant desire to hear our prayers, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – Thank you for being patient with me, especially when things feel out of sorts. Thanks for hearing my prayers. May I feel uplifted and sustained by you.

Amen.

Please join me for Devos with Dianne – tonight on Facebook Live at 8 PM Central Time!

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Calvin’s Answered Prayer

Gratitude Day 447

Wed., Apr. 29, 2020

Psalm 18:6: I was in terrible trouble when I called out to you, but from your temple you heard me and answered my prayer.

While we can have a variety of tools in our spiritual toolboxes, one tool that for me is non-negotiable is prayer.

While we often think of prayer as a formal pouring out of our desires and needs to God, I think it is much, much more than this.

First, prayer is not so God can hear our requests. God already knows them before we utter them. No, prayer is more for us than for God. Prayer is our way to recognizing that there are just some things of this world that are way bigger than us and our ability to create effective change. Prayer provides a means for us to pour out our guts to God … and enlist God’s help.

Yes, prayer should be more than this. It should be praising God as well as recognizing where we fail to shine for God’s kingdom. Too often, prayer becomes a laundry list of what WE want God to do … and enlisting God to do it NOW!

And when this happens, it truly IS a beautiful thing.

Monday was one of those times when prayer was answered, and a little boy named Calvin received a new liver.

The story begins a few weeks ago when Calvin’s mother, Sarah, saw signs that something wasn’t quite right with her newborn son. Sarah called Calvin’s doctor but because of COVID-19, there was hesitation about bringing Calvin in right away. A couple weeks later, Calvin had his two-month check-up in person with his doctor where his unusual symptoms were explored. Calvin was immediately sent to the Children’s Hospital for more testing where it was determined that his liver was not working properly. On April 21, Calvin went on a transplant list.

While the transplant doctors preferred a pediatric liver, they were also aware that this might not be possible. After a couple days of a private search, Calvin’s parents were encouraged to begin a widespread public search for a living donor. In just a couple of days, the request was shared thousands of times and 200 people began the application process. This was incredible because of the extremely specific requirements for a donor.

On Mon., Apr. 27, Calvin received a liver transplant. The liver became available because another family said good-bye to their child and made a liver from their child available for donation. Yesterday, Tues., Apr. 28, became the two weeks mark that Calvin had been in the hospital. It truly is amazing that his condition was diagnosed, he was put on the transplant list AND he received a transplant all within two-weeks. Maybe even more significant is that the transplanted liver is already working in little Calvin’s body.

Talk about answered prayer. I’m confident little Calvin was on hundreds of prayer chains and thousands of individual prayer lists. Not only Calvin, but also his parents, the doctors and healthcare providers.

Calvin’s situation could be labeled a variety of things: a miracle, an answered prayer. It is both of these things and more. Some might say he was “lucky.” Yet, it’s impossible to thank God for Calvin’s liver, knowing that another family is facing a completely different outcome for their child.

Why do some prayers seemingly “get” answered and others don’t? Is it because someone didn’t pray hard enough or long enough or wasn’t sincere in their prayer? Absolutely not! It is because someone made a deal with God and now, they have to uphold their end of the deal? I honestly don’t think this is how God works.

What I do believe is that there is great comfort for this family in knowing their little guy received a liver this week and his body seems to be accepting it. Would of this happened without the prayers of thousands and the sharing of his need for a heart on social media? It’s not my place to answer this.

It is my prayer that we see prayer as a necessary and vital tool in our spiritual toolboxes. Doing so will not guarantee that every prayer request we make will get answered. It just doesn’t work this way. Having prayer as a main tool in your tool chest is a reminder that no matter how smart, skilled, articulate, nice, or outspoken you are, prayer isn’t about what we ask of God. It’s how we allow ourselves to be changed and modified through the process of prayer.

Calvin has a long way to go. His parents are very much aware of this. But for today, he’s doing oh, so good. Did the prayers of many make a difference in Calvin getting a liver this week? It’s not my place to say. What I do believe is that WE can be changed through the ritual and commitment to prayer.

This, my friends, is what I pray has also happened to hundreds and thousands of us this week.

So often, I hear people say, “I’ll pray. It’s the least I can do.”

Honestly, I’m thinking prayer is THE MOST important thing we can do, not for God’s benefit but for our own. Amen.

For Calvin’s new liver, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

PLEASE JOIN IN … It’s Devos with Dianne at 8 PM tonight on Facebook Live!

Holy God – Thanks you for coming into Calvin’s little life. We pray for the family who lost a loved one and yet made the liver available to Calvin. We lift up their disappointment as well. May you provide Calvin’s health care providers the absolute best knowledge and information to help Calvin make it through these next days. We lift up Calvin’s parents and family as well. May you provide all with comfort. Amen.

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A Prayer for Today

Gratitude Day 441

Wed., Apr. 15, 2020

Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. And while they dance, people sing: “The source of my life comes from you.”

Hello God –

Just stopping by to say, “Good Day.” And share a few things I’ve been thinking about.

Sometimes, people wonder where You are right now. And here’s what I say:

You are present with the people I know who have COVID-19 right now, even as their health maybe declining.

You are with the folks who are slowly recovering from the virus, who are trying to get stronger.

You are with the people who have been laid-off and not sure what to do next about employment.

You are with all the small business owners who have shuttered their businesses and wondering if reopening makes sense.

You are with the business owners who are still operating, often with employee’s set-up at home, but aren’t sure how they are going to make their next payroll.

You are with the doctors who are stumped by a virus they know very little about.

You are with the nurses who are exhausted and sheltering from their families to keep them safe.

You are with every parent who is learning homeschooling on the fly … while also being the PE instructor, the lunchroom supervisor … and still trying to work from home.

You are with every single person who is staying in place by themselves and feeling a bit isolated.

You are with every dairy producer who has had to dump milk, knowing the local food pantry can’t keep up with demand.

You are with every graduate who feels cheated of a graduation ceremony right now.

You are with the girls who look at their Prom dresses and wonder if it will be worn.

You are with every child who just wants to have a birthday party … and can’t.

You are with every couple who has had to delay their wedding plans.

You are with every family who has lost a loved one and had to be creative in making funeral arrangements.

You are with family who can’t be with their loved one in the hospital and depend upon nurses and caregivers to hold their loved one’s hand.

You are with the folks in nursing home and care facilities who haven’t been able to have visitors for weeks, as well as with the family members who yearn to visit and can’t.

You are with the families trying to decide what they can pay for this week and what can wait.

You are with the person who is feeling depressed, isolated and very alone.

You are with the child who longs to be with their friends at school … and can’t.

You are with the teachers who want to connect with students but are finding it challenging.

You are with the police officers, fire fighters and EMT’s that are called to serve in new ways.

You are with the truckers who are trying to get product safety to right locations.

You are with those folks who make sure there is food to by at the local grocery store.

You are with the delivery people who drop off packages at people’s homes.

You are with the folks who volunteer at food pantries and provide weekend food bags to students to help ease the challenge of food insecurity.

Be with us when we get distracted and can’t focus on what’s important because we are feeling a bit out of sorts.

Be with those who are feeling dark and alone. Bring a ray of sunshine into their lives.

Be with those who question what their next step should be. Help them to be patient and turn to You.

And for those of us who feel that You have left the building and aren’t present in our lives, find some small way to help us know that You will never leave us.

Now, simply grant us patience when our prayers aren’t answered immediately as we would prefer. Drown us in patience and humility and compassion for those who may see things differently than we do.

And when we no longer have words to say, remind us that the Holy Spirit will step in and pray on our behalf. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

Amen and Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

Interested in receiving a daily text prayer each morning? Text simplewordsoffaith to 33222 to enroll for this free daily prayer.

See you tonight on Devos with Dianne at 8 PM on Facebook Live!

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Praying When No One is Present

Gratitude Day 431

Wed., Apr. 1, 2020

Matthew 6:6: But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

Yes, pictures can speak a million words.

Just like this one.

On Fri., Mar., 27, Pope Francis prayed in a desolate St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy. A country that has been very hard-hit by COVID-19. People within the Vatican have been confirmed to have the virus.

So, the Pope employed the most impactful way he could respond: he held a prayer meeting to an empty church. An empty square. While it was televised, the Pope chose to appeal to everyone to approach our current world situation in prayer.

He closed with the Urbi et Orbi Blessing, which is normally only given by the Pope at Easter and Christmas. He decided to issue this Blessing early this year. Why? I’m not sure. But maybe he wanted those people who might not be here at Easter to hear it now.

No, the Pope didn’t pray in a closet. But he certainly understands that praying without others present is definitely still prayer.

The Pope has announced his decision to cancel all in-person Easter and Holy Week services because he feels this is the best way to love those who are most vulnerable.

What a powerful witness. It’s an extra-ordinary example of how we can best love our neighbor.

I read this line this week. I don’t remember where, but the words are spot on:

Love is the last thing we need to ration right now.

Love is the last thing we need to ration right now.

Amen and Amen and Amen.

Today is Wednesday, a day that I often write about prayer. I’m going to keep my words short. Look closely at the photos. They are doing all the talking for me today.

One last thing – please join me tonight at 8 PM Central Time on Facebook Live for Devos with Dianne. I am so looking forward to spending some time together tonight. And yes, we’ll pray together.

For the hope of prayer, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – sometimes, we wonder what we CAN do. Again and again, we are reminded the most important thing we can do is PRAY. Thank you for this wonderful witness from a man whose heart is so turned towards You. May we see that praying alone is extremely powerful and important. May we commit to praying all day, every day. Amen.

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Stocking Up on the Right Things

Gratitude Day 423

Wed., Mar. 18, 2020

2 Corinthians 4:14: We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.

Good Morning Friends –

Is anyone else in a little shock over how much our world has changed in the last few days?

If anyone else is finding it hard to have words to describe their feelings, it’s OK. I’m struggling as well. Most of us are challenged in trying to make sense of how a little, well, obviously NOT a little, virus has changed EVERY. SINGLE.THING. about our lives and world.

Seemingly, overnight.

What was unimaginable just a few days ago is happening. Quickly. Rapidly. Beyond belief.

I begin with just a few thoughts. Some may see overly obvious to you … but please hang on with me for just a bit.

COVID-19 is real. If it hasn’t happened already, there will be a day when someone you know tests positive. It happened for me yesterday. The person I know is in the hospital and has been for several days. This person’s immediate family, with whom he/she had contact with, are being quarantined. This person is doing OK and family expects the person to get better.

Here’s my point. COVID-19 is real. It’s happening. I know it is very difficult and hard to discern what information is accurate and what is fake. The folks who are trying to figure out how seriously to take COVID-19 are constructing a model and rule book as they go along because there is so much uncertainty. Is there uniform understanding and agreement amongst scientists? No. Should we be vigilant and heed their warnings? Absolutely. It is time for folks to stop thinking of this as a conspiracy or some crisis dreamed up for wrong reasons. It’s real. And some day soon, if not already, you will become aware of someone who tests positive.

Life as we know it has changed. When all sporting, entertainment and “normal” activities like school and eating out are canceled, it’s a big deal. A huge deal. Something that I, nor most everyone else, could not have imagined 10 days ago.

The pleas are real and serious: please stop going into public places unless necessary. When people say this, I pray we listen. It’s not just about whether or not we might get the virus. It’s about all the people we might come into contact with that might be compromised because we were with a carrier. Or are a carrier ourselves.

Have I been in public? Honestly, yes. Trying to make sure the kids in our community who struggle with food security, yes, I went food shopping this week so we could pack triple our normal number of Blessings in a Backpack bags.

Normally, we shop locally at our local grocery story. Needing food quickly, I found myself at big-box stores. One store was very organized and had things readily available. Yes, there were limits on certain products. The larger grocery store seemed overwhelmed with all of the shoppers. A guy who normally works in the tire department was unpacking food. Bless his heart, he tried to help this non-regular shopper at this store find what she was looking for.

I was at these stores when things might have been less chaotic. I witnessed people who were patient. Calm. Going about their business. It was just another shopping day.

Did people stare at my carts that were overflowing with large quantities of pre-packed food? You bet. More than once, I heard others comment about how much chocolate milk I was buying. When I saw the same woman at more than one store, she wanted to know how many kids I was feeding. When I explained why I was shopping, she offered to help. Right there in a large grocery store.

How we go about “normal” life must change. More than one person has commented to me that maybe this will be an opportunity for people to realign how we look at life. What is most important? Where are we committed to spending our resources of time, finances and other things? Will this finally be the kick in the pants that will help us see how short our earthly lives truly are?

None of us should be immune to these changes. We ALL must look at how we conduct regular, normal things a bit differently. When weddings and funerals are delayed and changed, it’s real stuff, folks. When school is being conducted at some level by parents who never had any intention of home schooling, the rubber has hit the road. As our local Blessings program and food pantry leaders sat down yesterday and tried to make plans to make sure the most vulnerable in our community still have resources, it’s no joke.

Let’s be very careful about predictions and how we use scripture. Yes, our normal must change. But I pray we remember WHO is in control and we do not speak for that Who.

This is a time for us to be CREATIVE. Step outside of our self-imposed comfort zones and move beyond what is most comfortable to make sure we are affecting change that will keep people safe, healthy and connected with each other. There is a whole slice of society that is and will feel very cut off these days because they can’t engage with others because they are at risk.

The picture a guy calling his dad while sitting outside of his window is precious. My sister, Debbie, reminded me of a time many years ago when the nursing home where my grandmother lived was on lockdown. My grandmother became very depressed. Debbie stood outside Grandma’s window and called her. She brought in their baby lambs and let Grandma see them through the window. “Visits” changed and were adapted. Likewise, we all can be a bit more creative in how we reach out to people. Encourage each other. Support those who literally feel cut-off.

We have the advantage of technology today. We have lots of tools that can help us be creative in how we connect with each other. I pray we embrace them and discover how to use these tools in a healthy and helpful way.

Let’s stock up on what is most important. I do not believe the popular saying that says “everything happens for a reason.” I do believe that out of challenging times, we have immense opportunity to grow, learn and be drawn closer to God.  

Rather than stocking up on disinfectant and toilet paper and wipes, let’s stock up on what is far more important: Kindness. Patience. Love. Compassion. There are a ton of people who are experiencing real affects of this. In the not too distant future, we WILL hear trained professionals address how some people will exhibit longer term impacts of what is going on right now. Rather than judging if these situations are real, let’s be folks who choose to blanket others with the attributes Christians are CALLED to display every day. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Goodness. Self-control.

What would be helpful for you to stock up in this season spiritually? The past few days, I have been contemplating what I can do through this platform to support and encourage others. The reason I write these blogs and share resources is so that I can help bring joy, peace and contentment into other people’s lives. My question to you is this: how can I help do this for you?

What means would be most helpful for you today? This week? Would daily uplifting blogs be helpful? Would a daily study guide based on scripture that you could download and do daily help you find focus? Would a weekly on-line prayer group that meets via Zoom or Facebook bring you peace? Would an on-line book study bring joy into your life? Would a 15- or 30-minute Sunday worship time be something that you would participate in?

How might we connect and encourage and support each other these days?

I want to hear from you. How might we use this platform to discover and explore faith in a whole new way? Please comment to this blog. Send me a PM. Text or e-mail or call me. Seriously.

It doesn’t matter where you are located. This is the great thing about technology! We can create opportunities for everyone, anywhere. I pray that together, we come up with a way to encourage each other through this strange time in our lives.

If you haven’t signed up for the free daily prayer text message that I send out daily, please do so now. Simply text simplewordsoffaith to 33222.

As we are reminded in the opening scripture, God is TOGETHER WITH US.

For God’s presence with us today, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – thanks for being together with us during these times which feel so different. If we are unsettled, I pray we find peace in You. If we are challenged, I urge You to bring peace into our lives. I pray that together, we can embrace ways to remain connected to You and each other. Amen.

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Wednesday Prayer Day

Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 416

Wed., Mar. 4, 2020

Psalm 55:1: Listen to my prayer, O God; don’t hide yourself when I cry to you.

It’s Wednesday which means that it’s prayer day!!

Too often, I think we never fully consider how powerful God really is. I lump myself into this category as well. When I pray, I am not bold. I limit the scope of my prayers, hoping this will entice God to act. Unconsciously, we set in our minds a limit of how much God can give us or help us.

We are stingy with God. We’re stingy with ourselves. And when we receive a gift beyond our imagining, too often, we want to send it back.

Let me be clear. God doesn’t have this magic wand that God chooses to use at times. But sometimes, don’t we wish this is the way God worked?

Since we know God doesn’t have a magic wand, it becomes easy for us to limit what we request of God.

In reality, I wish we would rather see how God is unlimited in supply. Likewise, ALL have equal access to God. If we choose.

God truly has no limit of abundance. God’s ability is far beyond our comprehension. So, if this is true, why do we often pray as if there is a limit to what God can do in any given situation?

When we move beyond a scarcity mentality when it comes to God’s ability to answer prayer, then we receive God’s goodness as an act of worship. When we see prayer as something we cooperate with God, we move beyond limiting prayer into neat, nice, little boxes.

For today, be BOLD in your prayer requests. Be audacious. Be crazy. Be unfiltered. Ask for all those things you really do wish would happen. I’m not saying these things will happen. I just pray that we see that prayer is a wonderful opportunity to move beyond our comfortable spaces and come to God with no limitations. No boundaries. No limits.

FYI – I’m also attaching the Lenten prayer guide here again; just in case you missed it. This is an easy way to build regular prayer into your Lenten journey this year. And please … be bold as you make these prayer requests.

For rediscovering that God is way bigger than we can imagine, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – why do we often approach you with an air of scarcity when it comes to prayer rather than being bold in our requests? Instill in us a desire to be bold and not afraid to ask in our prayer times. Amen.

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Make Today Amazing!

Gratitude Day 408

Tues., Feb. 18, 2020

Psalm 145:6: They will tell about the amazing things you do, and I will tell how great you are.

Did you know that today will be amazing? Yes, it will … because you simply are an amazing person! You are amazing because you were created by an amazing God. I pray that you will be blessed all day long.

Today, I’m sharing a mishmash of things that have been speaking to my life lately.

This book. When reading for fun, I am terribly into historical novels. The Tattooist of Auschwitz clearly fits into this category. The storyline is inspired by true events. Lale Sokolov. A Jew, Lale went to Auschwitz with the hope that if he went to a concentration camp, the rest of his family would be sparred. Because he knew multiple languages, he is put to work marking people when they arrive with the number they would be known by.

Because of his unique position, Lale sees and experiences a different type of life at the concentration camp. This includes risking his own life to provide food for other prisoners to keep them alive. Lale falls in love with Gita and hopes for the day when he and Gita can live as husband and wife.

The author, Heather Morris, met the true-life Lale and captured his story in this book. It’s a gut-wrenching, lovely example of how people endure the most difficult of situations. I just became aware that there is a sequel called Cilka’s Journey. I have this book on hold through the library and can’t wait to read/listen to it!

This music. When I’m working at my computer, I often yearn for some quiet, background music that won’t distract me. I’ve tried a variety of YouTube videos, which are also free. I’ve tried lots of these videos. This is one that I adore because it is real Christian songs played on the piano with no music. You can listen quietly to the music doing a variety of things … and no one has to know its Christian music.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/awesome-country-apple-fritter-bread-5618421

This bread. I LOVE quick breads, muffins, and such. Lately, I’ve cut back on carbs. But on Saturday, I just like I wanted to make something. So, I made this apple fritter bread. It’s intended to taste like an apple fritter but without the deep frying.

I would say it’s quite successful. I was even more happy that I made it when a friend popped in for a spontaneous visit! We had cups of coffee and thick slices of this bread and agreed it tastes quite nice. It’s easy and with no special ingredients, easy to make. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of my loaf before it was all gone. (P.S. – Marci – here’s the recipe!)

The Mary Experiment. Several people have shared that they are working through the book with a small group of people. This truly warms my heart!! This is EXACTLY what I hoped people would do! I hope many of you will find a couple people to discuss the book with. Use the questions at the end of each chapter. Or download the full study guide, available here for free: https://app.convertkit.com/forms/designers/1110952/edit

If you live within in a few hours of Madison, WI, I will happily come and join in your group for an evening. It would be very rewarding for me to meet with and hear what others are discovering about themselves as they read this book. Just send me an e-mail (dideaton@hotmail.com) or contact me on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook … if you happen to follow me there, would you be so kind as to leave a review? You can either do it on the Simple Words of Faith page or the Dianne Deaton Vielhuber Page. When people visit my sites for the first time, they often look at reviews written by other people. If you find benefit from either the blog posts or the daily text message prayers, please mention this in your review. Thanks in advance for providing these!

And if you know someone who might enjoy reading these blog posts, please refer them! I know many of you read these off of social media. I encourage you to sign-up through simplewordsoffaith.com to receive the blog posts as an e-mail as well. Not receiving the daily text prayers? Just text simplewordsoffaith to 33222.

No matter what is going on in your life today, God and I both think you are AMAZING! Go make it a great day!

For a God who created each of us as amazing people, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Hi God – You truly are amazing. When I see your fingerprints in my life, the lives of others and in the world around us, I pray that I will never stop being amazed as well. Thank you for always being with me. Amen.

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Knowing Your “Why”

Gratitude Day 407

Mon., Feb. 17, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11: I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.

It was a very spontaneous dinner. Hubby Rick and I went to a high school basketball game. While there, we ran into our friends Bob and his daughter, Sarah. After the game, we decided to stop and have a bite to eat.

We covered a variety of topics: work, personal things, what is next in our lives, etc.

The conversation made me stop when Bob said to me, “Dianne, what is your “why?”

It was such an interesting question. It’s something I had been thinking about; contemplating and wondering. You see, I’m thinking about what some of the great and wonderful things are I see myself doing. Rather than just rushing into the doing part (I really AM trying to take my own advice from The Mary Experiment: When DOING and BEING Collide), I’m being thoughtful. Intentional. Reflective. I’ve prayed about this, consulted with others and been working through a couple helpful books as part of this process.

Rather than answering Bob’s question directly, I did what I prefer others would not do to me: I answered with a question. I asked Bob’s his why. He quickly repeated his why, using a sentence that was easy and memorable and concise.

One day last week, I think my “why” came to me. Or at least I’m rolling it around for a few days to see how it feels. It uses words that I repeatedly used in my recently published book … but takes it a bit further. Right now, I see my why as:

Finding Joy, Peace and Contentment in my daily living. And then, to inspire others to do the same.

Why is it so important to know your why? Because this becomes the benchmark by which you guide and direct your life. The things that fulfill this statement become the things that you focus your life around. Yes, there are things that we must do that will not necessarily fall into our why statements. Laundry still needs to be done, bills get paid and gas put into the car. I’m not sure any of these things bring me joy, peace and contentment. Yet, they are necessary.

Nonetheless, I CAN choose to do things each and every day that fit into my why statement. In fact, if I’m not choosing to do things that support my life mission, then either I need a new life mission OR I need to re-evaluate my choice.

Do you have a life mission? Do you know what is the benchmark by which you want to examine and determine what is most important to you? It’s not necessarily tied to our “work” job, although it may. Your why is what drives you to get up in the morning, where you get lost in your work and gives you the feeling that you are in your wheelhouse.

Your why should be very different from my why. It should reflect who you are and what is important to you. It should be as unique to you as your fingerprint. Your why is something that you discover for yourself and then choose to follow in your life.

Whether you are 14 or 90, you can and should have a why. It may have evolved over time … and this is OK. Your why helps you focus your time, energy, talents and resources into where you can get the most bag for your buck; impact with energy; opportunity to make effective and long-term impact.

Just how will I live out my why? Well, this is what I’m still working on. One small way I can fulfill my why today? By showing just a few photos from our recently remodeled bathroom. We’ve worked on it for months and months. It’s been basically ready for awhile but there were just a couple details that I wanted to finish out. Finally, … they are done and I’m so happy with the result.

When I walk into this bathroom, I feel joy. It brings me peace because of the coloring and style. I find so much contentment in knowing that this bathroom will add value to our home. More importantly, it reflects who Hubby Rick and I are.

A why statement may seem not important. I’m feeling that it is. I’m feeling that it will help me get this next stage of my life more right than without such a statement. I’m know that just how I live out this statement needs lots of time and attention. Yet, it is also a wonderful feeling to have a starting place.

Can you take a few minutes this day or week and think about your why statement? What were you put on this earth to do? What can you do that no one else can do? What gifts and talents did God bless you with so that you can share them with someone else?

Take the time. YOU are worth it. God longs for YOU to be clear about this. I pray you discover a why statement that is deeply meaningful for you.

For a God who gives each one of us a why for us being here, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – Thank you, God, for putting a person into my life to challenge me to think about my why. I pray that as I continue to think this through, continue to bring people into my life who speak to me and help me determine who best to live out my “why.” Amen.

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