Just Sayin'...

September 4, 2015

At our lawn party this year, just as I did last year, I found a great way to get around the grounds, a mini scooter! I had a lot of fun on this scooter too. As I was motoring around on it many people got a laugh out of it. What we all need to remember is that no matter how old we are we need to find joy and laughter to fill each day. This was just one of the many ways I do that very thing, just sayin'...

Anyway, as I write this the Minnesota State Fair has begun and that means one thing....summer is fleeting, enjoy those nice days while there is still time. I also realized that August was nearly over so I had better get moving on a blog post so people have something  to read, just sayin'...

Several weeks ago I invited ELCA Bishop Patricia Lull of the St. Paul Area Synod to come and help prepare and serve our Monday meal. She gladly accepted my invite and informed me she would also bring along other members of the staff at her office. This past Monday, August 24, we were blessed to have the crew join us. This is just one of the many ways people see what is going on at Open Hands, tell others and it creates more awareness for us.


Now I must tell you about my latest adventure into modern technology. Many who know me are very aware of my reluctance to move into the age of Smartphones. Yes, it's true, I still possess a good old fashion flip phone because I ONLY want to make calls and get calls, not all that other whoopdeedo! Even my cousin Jodie in Colorado said she had to laugh at me when she read my email telling her I still had a flip phone, what can I say? That said, I hope you are all sitting down as you read this. I am getting.....a NEW Galaxy S5 Smartphone. Yes, your eyes are NOT deceiving you, it is very true. I give all the credit to my sister Karen who I call the "Research Queen" in my life. Karen is the type of person who will take what I call 'a painstakingly long time' to purchase something because she desires to make sure she knows all about it, knows what is the best deal and will not act until she has covered all her bases. Because I trust her so much I let her get me this phone. She found it on ebay and told me, "If others are doing their research they are going to know this is an AWESOME deal and we will get outbid" which we did on many phones. Alas she notified me a week ago, by text message besides, that WE WON THE AUCTION!

 

I know, I know, you are asking, "You text?" In my own slow way (if you recall texting on a flip phone you know how long it takes, all the pressing of keys to get to each letter one painstakingly slow stroke at a time). I am sure to her it was 5 minutes before I could reply with a few simple words of joy. Next time you see me you will want to rub your eyes in amazement at the mere fact I have this NEW phone. Shhhhh....my Dad still has a flip phone and I would guess it must be one of the first ones made, I tease him about it and he probably wants to say, "Look who's talking, you have one too!" Now he's going to see mine and want a new one, just sayin'....

Something you may not know about me is I am a guitar player.  I have a Breedlove acoustic guitar which I bought for myself probably about 10 years ago with money I got back on my tax return. A Breedlove is unique in that if you look closely at the headstock (the portion where the tuning keys are located) you will notice the curved end. When I purchased this guitar with the help of my friends Paul and Betsy, Paul played several guitars while I closed my eyes and determined the sound I liked the best. Going into this purchase I was certain I wanted a Taylor or Martin guitar. But when I heard the beautiful sound of this Breedlove I was sold and I have been ever since. Plus I just put new strings on it, wow, what a joy that is, just sayin'... Anyway, while I was attending Bethel University and then Bethel Seminary I rarely got the opportunity to play this wonderful instrument, studies took first place. Now keep in mind I am not the best player you will ever come across but I can hold my own and like to believe I am a pretty good player, I just do not like playing for others much. Lately I have made it a point to play my guitar each evening and I can tell you it is one of the most relaxing and calming outlets for me. There is something soothing about guitar music, sure I can play some jammin' rock and roll tunes which I would not call calming, but I also play many Christian musical selections which are. Maybe one day I will actually get up the courage to ask the music director at my church if I can join the praise team. Of course at the same time I do not want to scare away the members of my church either, maybe I better rethink that comment, just sayin'....

Each day I begin my morning by reading my daily devotional "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman. No matter how many years I use this devotional book, I always come across something that inspires me or sets the tone for my day. I want to share a particular selection from this book but first I want to set the 'scene' for you. About three weeks ago I was really struggling with being the Director of Open Hands, questioning my abilities and so much more. I shared this with my friend Marlys, a wonderful woman of faith and fellow member of my church, and she told me many things but one thing in particular that resonated in my soul was, "You think you have to go out and do major things right now, you don't. You simply need to take one or two weeks at a time and only do what is on your calendar for that time frame, don't overwhelm yourself with the BIG picture." With that I give you a few select excerpts from Streams in the Desert. "Never pray for an easier life - pray to be a stronger person! Never pray for tasks equal to your power - pray for power equal to your tasks. Then doing your work will be no miracle - YOU will be the miracle. It is hard work and difficulties that ultimately lead us to greatness, for greatness is not found by walking the moss-covered path laid out for us through the meadow. It is found by being sent to carve out our own path with our own hands. Where would our faith be if not for our trials that test it; or patience, without anything to endure or experience without tribulations to develop it?" As a person of faith it is the Scriptures that often speak to me and based on what I just shared from my daily devotional, the Scriptures are where I turned the night I spoke with Marlys and read in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." AMEN to that, just sayin'.....

Before I end I must share with you another comment which my Mom made one day not long ago. For new readers of my blog I must preface my comment by telling you my Mom lives in a Memory Care facility with late stage Alzheimer's. Well one day as my Dad and I were with her we sat down at a table on either side of her. As she often does she was chattering about all sorts of things. She paused briefly and very clearly stated, "I have a brain...but I don't use it." Dad and I laughed at that comment but later thought it was somewhat profound on her part because in reality she does have a brain but she is right she cannot use it the way most people do. So among the sadness of the comment we chose to find the joy in laughing at how on earth she comes up with this stuff, just sayin'....

 

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