Gratitude Day 198 – When Days are Hard

Sat., Jan. 19, 2019

Psalm 119:28 – My spirit sags because of grief. Now raise me up according to your promise!

1986 was a hard year for my parents, Dick and Ann Deaton. At the time, they had operated a small dairy farm in Wisconsin for over 25 years. High interest rates and a very challenging dairy industry landed my parents in an unfortunate financial situation. They literally did not know how they could ever dig themselves out of the financial hole they were in, let alone make even the smallest payment on every bill that came through the mailbox. My Dad was also having significant health issues and needed surgery ASAP.

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In early October 1986, my parents made the difficult decision to liquidate their farm assets. A farm auction was scheduled for mid-November. On an emotionally draining day, my family said good-bye to all of our cows, including our favorite ones. The machinery and equipment were sold. Even the farm truck was auctioned.

Just a few days after the sale, my Dad had shoulder surgery.

After the auction, much changed for my parents. Within a few weeks, my Dad began working off the farm. He went from milking cows and running a dairy to now calling on dairy producers and helping them produce high quality milk.

My parents rarely spoke of the emotions they felt at the time. My siblings and I were very aware of the strain these challenges put on my parent’s marriage. But as a 19-year-old, I didn’t have the maturity or presence of mind to ask my parents how they dealt with all the changes and grief involved in stopping farming. I know my Dad felt like a failure. I know he struggled to make sense of how he could have let this happen to him and his family.

Yet, my parents kept going. Eventually, they purchased a house and moved to town. Both my parents pursued new careers and were able to dig themselves out of their financial hole. But it was a while before I heard joy in their voices again and saw smiles on their faces that came naturally.

About six weeks after the auction, I was recognized as the Wisconsin Holstein Girl. This award is given to a person under 21 who has excelled in the Wisconsin dairy industry and is seen as having potential for impacting the dairy industry in the future. It was a complete surprise. I never imagined that I would be selected. My parents were present when the announcement was made. After the banquet, I handed Dad the plaque. I shared how I felt this honor was just as much his as it was mine. Had not my Dad and Mom made so many sacrifices for me and encouraged me to pursue things that I loved to do, I would not have received this honor.

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This was 32 years ago. A couple weeks ago, my nephew, Zach, was recognized as the 2019 Wisconsin Holstein Boy. I am a very proud aunt. It was surreal to see him receive this honor. At the banquet, I was taken back to the night 32 years earlier. Currently, the dairy industry is in an equally, if not an even more challenging time. In Wisconsin, about 600 dairy farms went out of business in 2018. This means about 600 farm families made the same difficult decision my parents did in 1986. I wonder how these folks are dealing with their decisions and changes. How are they coping with the loss of a career and the disappointment of having to leave a way of living that people find rewarding?

Grief is tricky. Grief can smother us and overwhelm us. There are many different stages of grief. We can feel that we’re dealing with our grief and disappointment well until something happens, and well, we aren’t. Sometimes, people feel like they get stuck in grief and don’t know how to get off the grief treadmill.

Sometimes, people want others to take on or absorb or feel their grief. But we can’t. Our grief cannot be someone else’s grief and vice versa. I can try to listen to your grief and be present with you. But I cannot remove or feel just like you do. Why? Your grief is your grief. My grief is my grief. The two are not the same.

What disappointment are you experiencing in your life right now? What is overwhelming you and making you question everything that you know and previously have believed? What disappointment would you like to eliminate from your life … and try as you might, it keeps showing back up like a bad cough?

Unfortunately, I can’t “fix” your grief. Nor can anyone else. If you are experiencing grief right now, I pray you have a friend where you can safely share your grief. I pray that you give yourself space to work through your pain and disappointment, rather than trying to mask or hide it. I pray you do not get frustrated when grief shows up again in your life, especially after you thought you had dealt with it.

What did I learn from my parents through this awful time in their lives? They dusted off their feet and kept going. They didn’t give up on their lives or marriage. They remain committed to contributing to their family and society. They didn’t let losing a farm define the rest of their lives. No, they chose to place their hope in something not of this world but in the promises of God.

When their spirits sagged because of their grief, they sought God’s promise of better days. This, I believe, is what helped them eventually cross over to a place where they could enjoy life again. In time, they found more good days than challenging days.

I do believe the experience going through those challenging days helped me. I watched my parents not give up on God or blame God or determine that faith was no longer important in their lives. Disappointment did change how they viewed faith and their relationship with God. But they decided that faith in God was important.

I pray your experience of pain and grief can help you mature in faith and help you see of God is always there as a safety net.

For lessons learned from disappointment and grief, I am grateful.

Almighty God – when bad things happen, we want quick answers from you. But seldom, do quick answers come. We question, “Why,” when maybe the more helpful question is, “Who?” Who will journey with us through these challenging days? Why, You will, Lord God. Thank you for this gift. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 186 –2018 in Review

Mon., Dec. 31, 2018

Jeremiah 29:11 –  I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

I didn’t plan to write this post. Then, I decided that sometimes it’s just helpful to look back, reflect and see how things change in a person’s life. Without benchmarks, it’s often difficult to see where or how something has changed. With this in mind, I am reflecting upon things that have changed, are different, are joys and maybe even a disappointment or two from the past year. Here goes:

Kendra's wedding

  1. I am a very blessed person. By “blessed,” I mean there are so many things in my life which bring me joy every day. I have a super husband. Hubby Rick doesn’t read my blog. When someone mentions something they read here, he may have a deer-in-the-headlights look. He is a great supporter, encourager and often takes one for the Vielhuber team. Other ways I’m blessed? A family that enjoys each other most of the time! Last January, our Deaton family celebrated my Mom’s life together. A great group of friends from many different stages of my life. Great health. A home we love. The list goes on and on. Little things we take for granted: living in a country where we have great freedom, opportunities and plenty (really to excess.) I’m blessed that every day I have the opportunities to do so many things which I enjoy doing.DSC06580
  2. A little over a year ago, I stepped back from serving two churches as the pastor to make more room in my life for things that I’ve felt God calling me to do. This has been a huge change, and quite honestly, taken more time to adjust to than I expected. It’s the first time in my adult life in which I wasn’t “working” a ridiculous number of hours all the time. I have yet to wake up a single morning and wonder, “Just what am I going to do today?” I’ve had flexibility to work on some things that I’ve put off for years. The amount of volunteer work I do has only increased. Recently, Rick attended an event without me because I had prior commitments. When someone inquired where I was, he said “she’s out trying to save the world.” There is a lot of truth in his comment and why I haven’t had a boring day yet. Because of Hubby Rick’s support of my decision, I focus on things that I want to and not feel guilty. It’s been a great opportunity for me to switch gears.letters
  3. Where have I focused some time and attention? Sorting and going through boxes and boxes of things from my Mom. Truthfully, it’s more than my Mom’s things. It’s my grandmother’s and some of my things as well. I’m not quite done … but have made significant progress. I’ve gone from 30+ boxes and totes to just a few. It’s taken a lot of time. Was it worth it? I’m still undecided. My advice? Encourage loved ones and yourself to work on getting through family information and treasures. Doing so allows people the opportunity to enjoy the things you will unearth now. And makes it more manageable for the next generation. I’m a lot more discerning about what I keep of my personal things after going through decades of information.DSC06751
  4. Going through this stuff as well as my Mom’s death encouraged me to invite the first cousins on my Mom’s side to our house for a weekend. This get-together was truly a highlight of the year. I’m optimistic we will do something again.

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    After multiple tries, this was the best I could do …
  5. Rick and I enjoy time with our grandkids as we are able. A couple days ago, we had all five for the day. At times, it was loud! It’s a joy anytime we get to spend quality time with them. One highlight was spending nine days with the eldest two grandsons on a youth mission trip to Washington D.C.DSC06807
  6. Rick and I continue updating our 110+-year-old house. We’re in the middle of hopefully our last “big” project and it’s turning out fantastic! I hope to share more by spring.
  7. One disappointment? I haven’t completed writing the book I had hoped to. I’ve worked on significant sections … but it’s still needs a lot of work. Honestly, I haven’t moved it up high enough on the “priority” list; something that will change in 2019. There is another whole part of book writing: developing an audience, marketing and such that also needs my time and attention.kids time at Midland
  8. Another personal challenge has been feeling part of a faith community on a regular basis. Many weekends, I fill in at various area churches, whether in the pulpit or playing music. I enjoy “choosing” when to help with worship and sharing my spiritual gifts. Because we are at a different churches throughout a month, it’s hard to feel connected to one faith community as I would like.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging more consistently this year. Thank you for reading my words. I appreciate every single person who takes valuable time to read how I connect faith to the normal, everyday aspects of life. I pray these words offer encouragement for you to find faith in the simplest ways in your life. The best way for more people to see my blogs are for readers to share and encourage others to follow it. If you find value in what I share, please encourage others to follow along.

I’m still working on a few goals, personal and professionally, for 2019. One thing I know for sure? God has a plan for me in 2019, as well as for you. I pray that you include God in your daily journey. Find the hope and peace God longs for you to know in your daily life.

Before 2018 closes down, make a short list of the things you’ve experienced in 2018: the great, the good and the “needs improvement” areas. I pray a quick reflection can be personally rewarding for you.

Rick & Dianne

For a very blessed 2018, I am grateful.

Holy God – thank you for accompanying me along every step of my journey in 2018. Thank you in advance for being a part of my life and spiritual journey in the upcoming year. I pray that we look to you daily and regularly to see the plans you have for us. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 176 – Blue Christmas

Wed., Dec. 12, 2018

John 11:35 –  Jesus wept.

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Today, I want to be real. I want to dig a little deeper. I want to address the Christmas elephant in the room:

For some people, the holidays aren’t all that holly and jolly. Some people would love to just skip from Dec. 1 right to Jan. 2 or 3 and forgo all the merry-making.

“Can this be true?” you wonder.

You bet.

For someone else, you may be thinking, “Finally! A word for those of us who have little or no desire to tackle all the Christmas traditions that everyone else just SEEMS. TO. LOVE.”

There can be a variety of reasons why people feel the holidays are just one hot mess waiting to happen. Maybe it’s the first Christmas without a loved one. Possibly, the holidays brew up a whole bunch of memories of past-Christmases-gone-bad. For those who feel very alone or isolated, everyone’s cuter than Pinterest Christmas cards and perfectly decorated cookies and houses are JUST. TOO. MUCH.

For some people, the holidays are one big pot of anticipation that only ends up in let-down, disappointment and anxiety. I can’t say that I know how you might feel. What I can say is your feelings and emotions are very real. No, you aren’t crazy if you’d rather keep Christmas wrapped in a box shoved to the back of a closet rather than letting it be something wrapped and under the tree.

So, what is a person who feels the only possible Christmas this year is a Blue Christmas to do?

Breathe. And then breathe some more. And then, rethink your approach to the holidays. The worse thing to do? Plow right through the holidays, thinking “everything will be just fine …” when you know they won’t.

Your best opportunity to make it through the holidays in one piece? Do some pre-thinking and pre-planning to prepare yourself with a possible game plan. Decide in advance how you might best cope. And then, live out our ideas to the best of your ability.

Here are a few suggestions for trying to live through a Blue Christmas:

  • Decide that everything doesn’t have to be the same as it always has been. In 2000, Hubby Rick’s eldest son was killed in January. We were married in August. Come December, we would celebrate our first Christmas together as a married couple. However, Rick was in a funk. The one-year anniversary of Nate’s death was approaching. He was reeling in grief, just trying to make it through each day. Throw in a whole bunch of holiday anticipation, I knew we were in for a disaster. What did we do? We decided that we would only do the things that we wanted to do over Christmas, not what had always been done previously. Ironically, we cut our tree during a perfectly nasty snowstorm. We invited Rick’s family to our house on Christmas Eve. We decided not to purchase gifts for each other and began our long-standing tradition of giving gifts to needy families instead. We lowered our expectations to what seemed manageable. And we survived. Rick survived. We decided in advance what to do and not do. When an emotion came up that we hadn’t planned for, we punted and came up with a new game plan. We built space into Christmas week when we could just be together and watch the lighted tree. And nothing else.

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  • Add something which help you remember a missing loved one. Every year, I take a wreath to the cemetery and hang it on Nate’s grave. We hang this ornament we received from the funeral home in honor of Nate on our tree. Light a special candle or sing a favorite carol in honor of someone. Make this tradition something special and meaningful, if only for you. I make rosettes every year because my Dad loved them. Making them is a little “gift” I give to myself to honor and remember my Dad.
  • If being with certain people is a challenge, be realistic about time together. Establish a timeframe which is doable for you. If a big gathering is overwhelming, plan smaller, shorter get-togethers with people important to you.
  • Be mindful of how much you drink and eat. Go for a walk and get some exercise. Plan time to clear your head.
  • Share stories and memories of a missing loved one. Often, it’s difficult for families to talk about a person who is missing. I think it’s often therapeutic to recall things rather than avoid sharing them.
  • Give space to others who might be dealing with loss or disappointment. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary. Being present is more important.
  • Allow yourself to be sad and disappointed. Sometimes, we forget that even Jesus wept. When his dear friend Lazarus died, Jesus chose not to rush to be with his family right away. Instead, he waited three long days. When he finally arrived in Bethsada where Lazarus lived, he was ambused by Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. John’s gospel records a so-important detail of this story: Jesus wept. We see the Son of God expressing his emotions and grief in the truest of ways. Give yourself permission to express your emotions and grief as well.
  • Have something to look forward to in the New Year. Plan a trip, an outing or something that you know will lift your spirits. Have the time established and in place, so all you have to do is go through with your plans.

Grief and disappointment at the holidays can come in many ways. We often think it’s a person who as passed away. However, this disappointment can also come because of a fractured relationship, knowing that “things aren’t the same as they used to be,” or a variety of other reasons. Whatever the reason for your Blue Christmas, give yourself permission to acknowledge your feelings and emotions. Lower your expectations. Take bite-sized bites of the holidays this year and let this be enough. Read the story of Lazarus and see Jesus’ emotions. They were very real.

For the possibilities of dealing with a Blue Christmas, I am grateful.

Almighty God – while this is often a fun and exciting time of the year, you know those people who really aren’t looking forward to Christmas and the reasons why. Pour out an extra dose of grace upon these people. Surround them with your love and peace. Help others recognize their reason for a Blue Christmas and allow space for this. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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godGratitude Day 145 – Who

Tues., Oct. 30, 2018

John 15:12 – (Jesus said,) “This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.”

It’s been a tough several days in the United States. So much hurt, disappointment and acts that don’t make sense. It’s difficult to image this country where everyone yearns to live and yet, people are killed while worshipping God. Each day seems to bring forth another tragedy for yet another community and a whole series of families.

It would be so easy to give up on faith, religion and God. But I am not.

Here’s why.

It is so easy to assume God “decides” that awful things should happen to people. I have a different viewpoint. Evil exists in this world. Sometimes, it runs full-throttle. Blaming God for every awful thing in this world is not helpful. Evil chooses to regularly rear its ugly head. Rather than naming evil as the culprit of everything bad in this world, it’s so much easier to blame God. In this sense, God truly gets a bad rap.

We spend so much energy and effort focusing on “Why bad things happen to good people” that we overlook the “Who will help us get through this awful time in our lives?” For me, that who is God. God promises to never leave me or never leave you. Even in the midst of difficult and challenging days.

The challenge for some people? Truly believing that God is the “Who” that can hold their hand through dark days. We often choose to focus on the “Why” to the point that we completely miss the “Who.”

I pray you don’t give up on God. I pray you look beyond today’s pain and disappointment and know God will be with you today, tomorrow and the next day. Even when God seems far away, God is right there, just waiting for you to say “Hey God, it’s me. Just checking in with you.” It really doesn’t get any more complicated than this. We often become disappointed when our prayers aren’t answered just as we wish. This doesn’t mean God has given up on you. It just means there’s potentially a different plan.

 

For a God who longs to be the “who” that journeys with you daily, I am grateful.

 

Dear God: thank you for loving me more than I can imagine. May your example of love spur us to deeply love you and others.  Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 137 – Disappointment

Wed., Oct. 17, 2018

Psalm 96:11 – Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it roar!

I messed up. Big time.

Each week, I meet with Isaac. He is a fifth grader and the student I mentor through the local school district.

Last week, Isaac was so excited to remind me that the day after we met was his golden birthday. Apparently, he had told me this the following week. And I forgot. Actually, I don’t remember Isaac telling me this. Clearly, I wasn’t paying attention.

It was the day before Isaac’s golden birthday and I was not at prepared to celebrate this monumental event for a pre-teenager. Isaac told me it was OK that I forgot. I promised that we would celebrate his birthday this week.

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Today is mentoring day. I am prepared. I have a bag full of goodies and a balloon to top it off. We will be celebrating Isaac’s birthday today.

I don’t know all of Isaac’s story, which is OK. What I do believe is that Isaac has encounter quite a bit of disappointment in his short life. Unfortunately, I added to it.

How do you feel when you are disappointed? Do you regularly get disappointed? By other people? Family members? Business associates? Friends?

Has God ever disappointed you as well? I know God has disappointed me.

It’s easy to say, “Disappointment is a part of life.” Actually, this is true. But hearing or saying those words really doesn’t make us feel any better, does it?

When I am on the side of letting someone else down, I often feel worse than they do. It is very important to me to follow through on any commitment I make. Not doing so causes me to be so hard on myself. My mind can easily spin a laundry list of no-do-good idioms of how silly I am.

So, can you imagine how God feels every time God is disappointed? We think we get disappointed in others? What about God? Every. Single. Day, God is disappointed. You. Me. Your best friend. Your worst enemy. We all disappoint God.

Yet, this doesn’t stop God from fully loving us, caring for us or wanting to move forward from the disappointment. Why is it that we can easily get caught in our disappointment? Why do we let disappointment overshadow all the good things in our lives? We let disappointment rule the emotional roost and it prevents us from appreciating and rounding up all the reasons we have to be grateful.

Thankfully, God doesn’t get hung up in disappointment. God moves forward quicker than the act of us letting God down. Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve disappointed God, God moves on. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve disappointed God, God moves on. No questions asked.

Does this mean forgiveness is cheap or free? Nope. Does this mean disappointment has no meaning in God’s kingdom? Absolutely not. What this means is we can’t measure God’s currency in the same way we measure our currency because they aren’t the same.

I am confident Isaac will and has overlooked the disappointment I caused him last week. I think I have it right this week: a bag with snacks, stickers, a game, a balloon … what else could a 5th grader want? I pray Isaac can share about his golden birthday with me tomorrow. And we’ll be able to extend it just a few more days with a little celebration tomorrow.

For God’s ability to overlook the times I disappoint God, I am thankful.

Almighty God – you are so quick to let go, move on and accept us just the way we are. Nonetheless, please forgive me for the many, many times I have disappointed you and others. May your great example inspire me to model your great love and actions in my life. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 81 – Proud Grandma Moment

Waylan Fair 2018

Fri., July 13, 2018

Psalm 128:6 – And may you see your grandchildren. Peace be on Israel!

This is our 11-year-old grandson, Waylan. He loves any animal under the sun. Literally. His happiest days are when he is with animals.

This week, he took a steer to the county fair. Thursday was show day. Unfortunately, his steer was a pill and did not cooperate. Maybe a different environment was too much for him. Before it was show time, Waylan made the difficult decision to leave the steer in the barn and not show him. Waylan had helped show another exhibitor’s calf earlier in the day. And another exhibitor let him how an animal for showmanship, which is when the youth is judged on how they handle the animal. He did very good in this class.

Right after Waylan’s showmanship class, the M.C. announced that four special awards would be given this year. For his age bracket, Waylan was selected to receive this award. Even though he was not able to show his steer, Waylan still participated and loved being a part of the fair.

It’s disappointing when something does not turn out as anticipated. I think Waylan’s Dad (Hubby Rick’s son, Darran), was more disappointed than Waylan that the steer did not show. While showing in showmanship, Waylan had a big smile on his face and loved doing what he loves so much: being with animals.

Waylan and head

Waylan worked hard this week at the fair. He pitched in and helped with all the animals various club members had at the fair. An adult shared with me that Waylan was one of the hardest-working boys he observed at the fair. To me, this is far more important than the color of ribbon he received or whether or not the steer eventually made it into the show ring.

It is easy to loose sight of what is really most important in our lives. Maybe Waylan taught us adults a lesson today. Have fun doing what you love and forget about the rest.

 Waylan in ring

For this, I am grateful.

Almighty God – when we are disappointed, we often seek someone to blame or accept responsibility for the problem. Maybe, the lesson is something other than this. May you always steer us towards the little lesson we can learn from any challenging situation. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 1 – Hope

Sun., Apr. 1, 2018

Hiking at Gibralter Rock
Hiking at Gibralter Rock

Romans 15:13 – So I pray for you Gentiles that God who gives you hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in him through the Holy Spirit’s power within you.

Since the first of the year, I have experienced a fair bit of change. Some of these changes were initiated by me. With some of the other changes, I have had less control. I feel we choose whether to embody change for a positive application or allow change to overwhelm us.

I have tried to embrace each change with a sense of gratitude. When I focus daily on some little piece of my life in which I am grateful, the changes seem more manageable.

There are various ways I have been acknowledging gratitude in my life. I plan to share these in upcoming days. Yet, I have been wanting to capture daily gratitude in a more tangible way through this blog. Today, I start this then on Easter Sunday – a day that should be rooted in gratitude for what God has done for us.

One word I would use to summarize Easter would be hope. For me, a main theme of the empty tomb on Easter morning is that death does not have the last word. Hope does. No matter what challenges we might be experiencing, the hope of the empty tomb says there is something beyond this world. Our earthly lives are but a mere appetizer to something beyond what we know today. This encourages me to move beyond the sadness, disappointment and hurt in this world and to look at what lies ahead.

This message of hope has been at the forefront of my thought process the last several days. Rick and I have enjoyed having our oldest two grandsons, Braeden (15) and Bryce (14), with us for several days. Their buddy Jordan joined us for a couple of these days. We have been thrilled to have them with us. Yet, we are also keenly aware the boys are going through possibly their toughest days. Recently, their Dad passed away from cancer. The boys came to our house right after the funeral.

Rick and I have lost all four of our parents. Losing parents who have lived full lives is very different from losing a parent as a teenager. We are very aware that we do not and cannot understand our grandson’s emotions and feelings. We see our role as simply being a soft place for them to be.

So, we let them sleep late. We did rather mundane things like hit golf balls, go hiking and take them to a trampoline park. They rode bikes, ate ridiculous amounts of candy, played basketball and threw around the football with Grandpa. Like most teenagers, they kept their cell phones close at hand.

peter-2-bb.jpgOn Thursday evening, Rick and I were part of a Maundy Thursday service. Rick portrayed a confused and questioning Peter. After worship, we sat in the car with our eldest grandsons.  Rick spoke of the emotions he felt after his eldest son was killed. He witnessed to how faith has sustained him nearly every day of the last 18 years. We desire for Braeden and Bryce to discover their own faith. And we pray our lives are a small witness to the hope we find in something beyond this world and how this sustains us in the dark valleys of our lives.

Easter Sunday 2018
Celebrating the Risen Savior!

For me, the message of Easter is this: when we experience death, disappointment and loss in our lives, fear does not have to take over. The empty tomb gives us hope that even in our darkest moments, every day is Easter day. Today, I am very grateful for this.

Risen Savior – thank you for the profound gift of hope. In the glorious empty tomb, may we not allow fear, disappointment and loss to have more presence in our lives than hope. For this, may we be grateful. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Overwhelming Disappointment

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Passport

Passport to Prayer – Lent 2016

Thursday – Mar. 17, 2016

John 11:25: Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Read John 11, the death and raising of Lazarus. For some reason, it takes Jesus two days to get the short distance to Mary and Martha’s house after he has heard Lazarus is dead. Martha is livid. She stomps out to meet Jesus and let her know how disappointed she is.

Today, recall the times you feel Jesus disappointed you. Don’t be shy. Get down to the nitty-gritty, as Martha did. Clearly express the feelings and emotions you experienced. Once you have done this, draw in long breaths of air. Release these feelings as you exhale.

You know we’ve had the same feelings as Martha, Lord Jesus. There are many times when we feel you have let us down. Help us release our disappointment this day. Forgive us for the many times we’ve focused more on our disappointments in you rather than the joy we experience in your kingdom. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

I have put together a Passport of Prayer for Lent 2016. Would you like the complete Passport to Prayer guide? Please e-mail me at dideaton@hotmail.com

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