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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Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 399

Wed., Feb. 5, 2020

Ephesians 6:18: Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.

I’ve ran into this scenario too many times: a person says to me, “I don’t know what to do anymore.”

TRUTH: Yep, there have even been times when I’ve felt this way. It feels like there is NOTHING else to do.

TRUTH: There is always ONE MORE THING to do; there’s always prayer.

Why do we wait until the last minute to turn to prayer?

When it’s to the point that it feels like everything else has been exhausted? And THEN, we turn to prayer.

Why not embody prayer sooner? Quicker? Before it’s a last-ditch effort?

Yep, I’ve done it as well. I keep forgetting these wonderful words from Ephesians that encourage us to NEVER STOP PRAYING.

Especially for others.

Even when they don’t deserve it.

Even when they are slightly unlovable.

Even when it would be so much easier to simply not like them.

Then, it’s time to pray. For them. For you.

TRUTH: We pray for others, thinking God will change them. When, in reality, maybe it’s US that needs to be changed.

Not the other person. But WE need a change in our attitude. Our approach.

We deny forgiveness and it only hurts ourselves.

We focus on how we have been wronged rather than how we have wronged someone else.

I know. It’s so much easier to be the victim.

But sometimes being the victim is SO EXHAUSTING.

When nothing else makes sense, pray. For others.

But most importantly, pray for yourself. Pray for you mind, body, soul and eyes.

Maybe, just maybe, YOU will be amazed at what can happen to YOU.

For the ability to always turn to prayer; for myself as well as others, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Almighty God – Forgive us for the thousands of times we’ve turned to prayer as a last resort rather than a first option. Forgive us when we thought someone else needed a lot more prayer than we need ourselves. Open our eyes, hearts, minds and souls to the amazing power of prayer. Amen.

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It’s Wednesday Prayer Day!

Gratitude Day 369

Wed., Nov. 27, 2019

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

I’m trying to turn Wednesdays into “Prayer Day” here at Simple Words of Faith. Why? Because I think prayer is this important.

But here’s the deal about prayer. While we may think that what WE say in prayer is most important, let me share a secret.

It’s not.

No, actually, our listening to what God may say BACK to us is really more important than what we say to God.

I know. It’s goes against so much of what our culture focuses on these days. Culture tells us to make sure OUR voice is heard. Culture tells us do what feels good. Culture tells us to make sure your priorities are always at the forefront.

When we look closely to what Jesus said, he had a different opinion. He encouraged people to be a servant first to those around us; not promote our own agenda. Or desires. Or preferences.

In fact, Jesus encourages us to decrease so he can increase within us.

How’s that for being counter-cultural?

So, let’s relate this back to prayer. Often, our prayers are a laundry list of what WE want. We share every request that we can think of. We will God to intervene and answer our prayers just the way WE want them answered.

But this isn’t really how this works. No, rather than just focusing on what we say and want, God yearns for us to have a heart that is open to hearing what God says back to us.

God wants a relationship with us. Not a mandate from one to the other. Relationships work best when both parties are willing to simply listen to the other. Not just hear themselves speak … but truly listen to the other person.

I know. This feels impossible when we can’t even see God. But I know God will speak to us … if we slow down ourselves long enough to listen.

For Wednesday Prayer Request day, let’s focus on LISTENING for God today. Rather than taking first dips of spilling our guts to God, can we pause and simply listen for and to God? Just this one simple request is all I’m focusing on today.

Stop.

Listen.

Yearn for God to speak to you.

May this be enough.

May this be just what you need for today.

We have one mouth and two ears. There’s a reason why. We are to listen twice as much as we speak.

For encouragement to listen to God, I am thankful.

Dear God – forgive me for all those hundreds and thousands of time that I should have listened to You and didn’t. Create within me a deep desire to simply listen for what You long for me to hear. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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When God Shows Up

Gratitude Day 361

Wed., Nov. 13, 2019

Psalm 46:10: That’s enough! Now know that I am God! I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!

It is AMAZING how God shows up.

If we only stop and see it.

When Hubby Rick and I went to worship on Sunday, I was distracted. I wasn’t focused. In fact, I almost suggested that we stay home and watch a worship service on the internet.

It was one of the rare Sundays when I did not have a commitment of participating in worship. We could choose to worship wherever we wanted. Basically, our choice came down to going to a late service and in a location where I could run an errand afterwards.

We arrived just as worship was beginning. I knew this was a more traditional service, which, quite honestly, is not our first choice. But our butts were in the pew and we were there to worship.

Early on in the worship service, I was drawn in by the beautiful piano music. It was a baby grand piano. When Hubby Rick mentions how beautiful the piano sounds, I know it is true.

Then, it was time for the adult choir to sing. I knew it would be a more traditional selection. The music started quiet. Soft, in fact.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I’ve heard these words a thousand times. I have said them to others countless times. But this time? They were being said directly to me. For me. For my benefit.

Be still and know that I am God.

Yep, that’s you, Dianne. Just be still. Slow. Down. Pause. Listen. Know I am with you.

Today is Wednesday. It has become a day that I often write about prayer. Need I remind you, and me, that prayer happens in many different ways. Yes, it is most often the words we say to God; whether privately or with others.

Prayer can also be a verse of scripture.

It can also be words in a song.

Thanks for showing God in worship. Like I ever doubted that You would be there? I just needed to show up and hear You speak to me. Pray with me. Pray over me.

Thanks, God. You never cease to amaze me. You ALWAYS show up.

For God’s prayer through music, I am grateful. 

Lord God – Forgive me for the times when I don’t want to show up. Or want something to happen that will be convenient for me. Thanks for ALWAYS showing up, God. And speaking to me creatively and directly. Help me to listen to and for Your voice.  Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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Wednesday Prayer Day

Gratitude Day 352

Wed., Nov. 6, 2019

1 Kings 8:28:  Lord my God, listen to your servant’s prayer and request, and hear the cry and prayer that your servant prays to you today.

It’s Wednesday. This means its prayer day at Simple Words of Faith.

For Hubby Rick and I, we have a person that we know who we have limited contact with right now. Recently, our best means of contact is by sending e-mail messages.

We are trying to encourage this person. We hope our messages bring a bright spot into this person’s life. The person is dealing with some challenges in their live. We pray that we can be an encouragement.

One way we have tried to do this is by including a prayer in our e-mails. We include the person’s name and ask God to watch over this person. We acknowledge that we don’t know all the details of the situation … but God does. It has become a way for us to close our e-mails and turn the situation over to God.

Often, people will say, “I’m praying for you.” Honestly, sometimes I think we do. Other times, I think we say this as a simple platitude. Please, please, please do not tell someone that you are going to pray for them … unless you really intend to do so. If you do not intend to pray for them, just don’t go there.

If you would like a prayer of encouragement at the beginning of your day, please sign up for my free morning prayer text. Those who enroll receive a free prayer text at 7 AM central time. It’s less than 300 characters, so it’s quick and short. I send them out as a way to encourage people to choose to bath their day in prayer. If you would like to receive a morning prayer text, simply text simplewordsoffaith to 33222.

What is something that YOU would like prayers for today? Please let me know. I would love to surround it with prayer.

For community through shared prayer, I am grateful. 

Holy God – may we see prayer as our first resort in turning a situation over to you; and not our last resort. Remind us to only tell people that we are praying for them if we intend to do so. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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Simple Things that Make a Difference

Gratitude Day 333

Wed., Oct. 2, 2019

Psalm 116:6: The Lord protects the simple and the childlike;

I am reminded again and again how important the simple things of life are.

I call this blog Simple Words of Faith for a reason. My whole goal here is to connect faith to our everyday, ordinary lives. The “real” parts of our lives. Where the rubber hits the road. Where we find just a little bit of faith and God at the intersections of ordinary, real life.

It happened again for me in the simplest of ways. While I didn’t snap a single photo to capture the moments, I realized later, these little things are exactly what I want to treasure in my daily life.

Sometimes, I am present when three of our grandchildren get off the bus after school. These three are Rick’s son, Darran’s children. Darran runs a milk route. This means he picks up milk from dairy farms and transports it to a processing facility. This isn’t a straight 9 to 5 job. Sometimes, he runs late and needs someone to be with the kids until he gets home from work.

This fall, I have made myself available to do this. Together, the three kids and I spend quality time together.

Ellie is 9 and is into cooking. Well, really baking. A few weeks ago, she told me what she wants for Christmas. She marked some cookbooks and other cooking items on my Amazon account so I would not forget what she really, really wants.

Today, I brought along promised cookie dough so we could make cut-out cookies. As soon as she knew I had brought dough along, she was washing her hands. Her brothers, Waylan and Dylan, were only interested in taste-testing the dough. They headed upstairs to find other things to do.

We used season-appropriate cut outs to make the cookies. I showed Ellie how to tell when a cookie is appropriately baked by touching the top of a cookie and seeing if your fingerprint remains. We frosted and decorated the cookies as well.

Soon, Ellie was looking for a container. She wanted a container, so she put cookies in it, and she take them to school and share them with her classmates. “What a great idea,” I told her. We found a container just large enough to hold all 25 cookies. Unfortunately, the dough wasn’t gluten free. So, one boy won’t be able to eat these cookies. Next time, I’ll know.

I loved how she decided to share these cookies with her classmates. She wasn’t just thinking about how she could keep them for herself and her family. It made making the cookies with Ellie even more special.

After we finished the cookies and worked on a school project, I hunted down Dylan. Earlier, he had showed me a game he was making. Using paper and a pen, Dylan’s game had counted squares on it. Participants roll a dice and move their little paper tokens through the maze to the finish line. On some spots, players receive rewards. On other spots, people are penalized. While the rules changed a bit every time we played the game, I loved seeing Dylan use his imagination. His creativity shown through and included a written list of rules. we discovered that his game was really fun to play.

Making cookies. Playing a homemade game. Nothing big. Just simple things. But oh, so meaningful times that I get to spend with our grandchildren.

I purposely try not to look at my phone while I’m with the kids after school. Our time should be playing outside, making a special trip to the Dollar Store or helping them with something they want to do. Making sure homework gets done. I treasure every afternoon that I get to spend with these important people.

Pause for a minute. What is something that seems so simple but really makes a big difference in your life when you do it? How often do you make time for this? Why is this activity so special to you?

I’m sorry that I didn’t get any photos of the cookies nor the game. My memories just recorded in my brain. But they certainly are special ones.

For rediscovering the simple things in life, I am grateful. 

Lord God – Too often, we get caught up in making sure things get done. And we miss out on prioritizing things that will fill our soul. Thanks for the weekly time with our grandkids. I pray they value this time as much as I do. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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