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The Art of Patience

The Art of Patience My husband pulled up at our nearby grocery store to pick up the groceries we had ordered online (doing what we can to stay out of covid-19’s way). He got out of the car and a sweet lady greeted him and told him she would get to him as soon as she could. The store was swamped with orders and the help they had was limited. My husband told her to not rush and he waited patiently in his car.

After a few minutes passed by, she came out huffing and puffing, exhausted from the day. So my husband helped her load our car with the groceries. He then proceeded to tell her how much he appreciated all the hard work they do there. She looked at him with eyes of gratitude. She told him that she had considered quitting her job because she was so tired of being treated poorly by customers. She continued to explain how all her previous customers had been so impatient with the delays in deliveries or the low stock, that it would cause them to lash out at her. My husband took the time to encourage her and to explain to her how much it meant to our family that they were able to do this for us. She explained to him how his patience, kindness, and his thoughtful words provided her the hope she needed to keep pushing through this tough time at her job.

I share this story with you because I believe patience is worth practicing, learning, and mastering. It is like any skill we wish to acquire, it takes honest, hard-work but the benefits are endless.

Insta-Patience?

I can name about ten products or things right off the top of my head, that have “insta” right before it. I bet you could too. We love to have things now, not just now but right now! I mean who wouldn’t when we have everything at the tip of our fingernails? Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with things that are instant, like the rice I made last night. I’m thankful for lots of instant things! But, what isn’t right, is how we let it change our hearts. We mustn’t become an impatient or greedy people. Instant or quick things should be used as tools that we are grateful for, especially in times like these. Therefore, let me today, encourage you to strive for a patient heart, because just like the lady above, it is a beautiful way to impact and influence the world around us with the love and hope of Jesus.

We all need to become more patient, because patience is an art form that is worth practicing and mastering.

A Patient Word 

Let’s talk about the word, “Patience” for a second, shall we?

The word “patience” is used frequently in the Bible. In Galatians 5:22-23, it states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

If you look at the list above, you’ll find the word “patience” to be a powerful word, because it is indeed a fruit of the Spirit. Each one of those words above goes hand in hand. If you have kindness we’ll then you should have goodness and if you have faithfulness well then your called to gentleness and if your gentle than you should be patient, right? Therefore, as faithful followers of Christ we are called to this. We are called to be patient with one another. When we are a patient people, we are better listeners, kinder to each other, slower to react, we behave more gently, and we love each other better. God loves patience, because look how patient He is with us? Am I right?

Impatient Saul

This reminds me of a story in 1 Samuel when Saul was King of Israel. Let’s first look at 1 Samuel 8:8 and the command that Samuel gives Saul:

“And you shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me; then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

Now let’s go 3 chapters ahead to 1 Samuel 13:8-14:

“He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away from Saul. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the offerings of well-being.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the people were slipping away from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were mustering at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of the Lord’; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever, 14 but now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be ruler over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

So what do we have here? Well we see an impatient Saul, who did not listen to Samuel’s clear instructions to be patient and wait for him to perform the burnt offering. Instead, he disregarded his commands and he let his impatience overtake him. And in that swift moment, his actions led to the loss of his entire kingdom. If he had only waited a few more moments, then he might still have been king.

Sometimes our impatient actions can be destructive. We end up hurting the ones we love the most, because we didn’t slow down or wait. I am sure we all can think of a time lately when we could have slowed down, been more patient or more understanding? Being impatient isn’t worth the hurt it can cause.

Make It Happen:

Let the word “patience” fill your mind this week as you go about your daily life. Together let’s choose to be more patient with our coworkers, our family members, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Let us be slow to react or get frustrated and instead be quick to show mercy, grace and love.

Family Practices:

Instilling patience in our children is so important. That means we must lead by example. Show your kiddos how far a little grace and extra love can go! Maybe next time when your preschooler is about to have a complete breakdown over the toy your toddler isn’t sharing, she might stop and reconsider her actions because she saw how patient you have been lately. 

And remember that patience is a valuable tool that is always worth working hard for!

Blessings,

Sam (The Coffee and Bread Team)

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Glorious Maundy Thursday!

Glorious Maundy Thursday

Glorious Maundy Thursday!

Preparation for the Resurrection

Glorious Maunday Thursday is part of Holy Week is a special time of reflection on who Christ is, what He has done, what He went through for us and what He continues to do for us. Before it’s Good Friday, the day of the resurrection of our Lord, we must take some time to focus on the day before that. We must look at all that Jesus was teaching us the day before He died.

Dig Deeper with me today as we discover the truth and wisdom that Jesus imparted upon us on that day over two thousand years ago on this Glorious Maunday Thursday.

Let’s Go Straight to the Text for This Glorious Maunday Thursday!

John 13: 1-17

13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Now let’s stop here and go ahead a few verses to 34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What Do We See Here on Glorious Maunday Thursday?

On this Glorious Maunday Thursday, Jesus left us that day a powerful new commandment. It obviously was so important that Jesus Himself had to lay it out for His disciples before he was killed. In the Scripture above, we see and feel God’s love overflowing onto us. So much so that the love He blesses us with, needs to be poured out over every one around us.

He wanted us to become less about ourselves and more about others. He wants us to get down on our knees and wash others feet. What things can we do in our own daily lives that are not in our job description that would benefit others? Or what tasks could we do that would bless someone that is not expected of us? Or doing something nice that we normally wouldn’t do?

Maybe the world doesn’t expect these things from us, because it’s not laid out in our titles or positions in life, but God sure does. He wants us to mimic the actions of Jesus and live a selfless life, focused on spreading His love to others.

Now, who instantly pops into your mind when you think about a person who lives selflessly? Maybe it’s your co-worker who goes above and beyond in their work. Or perhaps a family member who is always reaching out to you. Or even a good friend who goes the extra mile to be there for you. What can those kind of people teach us?

Take a moment:

On this Glorious Maunday Thursday I want you to pause and think about areas of your life that you could be hypothetically “washing other people’s feet”. Now after you’ve done that. I suggest writing down the names of the people who have been there selflessly for you and I would recommend that you selflessly reach out to them today and thank them.

What a beautiful lesson to learn today from Jesus. Did you know that Maundy means “commandment” in Latin? It is quite fitting. Therefore, today marks the celebration of this lesson in our lives. But if also marks the celebration of the Lord’s Supper or the Last Supper. Let us look at this further…

Matthew 26:17-30

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Putting Scripture into Action on This Glorious Maunday Thursday

Today we still celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We may do it at church or with a group of friends. Right now it is difficult to gather together as a community and partake in the Lord’s Supper in honor of this holy day, but that shouldn’t stop us. Holy Week doesn’t just pause because we are in quarantine.

I recommend that today you get all those quarantining with you or even just yourself and reread the verse above out loud and take what elements of the Lord’s Supper you can find. Maybe a cracker and a juice box laying around?

Spend some time with your family or yourself in conversation:

  1. Talk or think about what Christ has done for us.
  2. Talk or think about what Christ meant by his new commandment we talked about above.
  3. Talk or think about how you can be more selfless in your daily life.
  4. Talk or think about a way you can make someone’s day this week in quarantine?

Now spend the next few minutes in prayer and thanking God for all that He is and all that He is doing in your life.

Blessings,

Sam (The Coffee and Bread Team)

Family Activity for a Glorious Maunday Thursday!

Bring these verses to life by baking your own bread with your kiddos today. Then use if for communion.

Also, wash each other’s feet! What better way to teach your kids about selflessness than by spending time washing each other’s feet.

Share below your own experience and what you did to celebrate today 👇🏼

 

 

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Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Palm Sunday in Holy Week

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Holy Week in Quarantine:

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, which goes from Palm Sunday to Easter, a time for us to reflect and rejoice in all that Jesus did for us. So as we begin to commemorate this special week, let us take some time to fully dig into God’s Word and let us celebrate each day of Holy Week together.

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

Let’s start off by diving into our Scripture for the day:

Matthew 21

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Envisioning the Story:

What a powerful event that must have been!

Take a second to really see and imagine what was going on here:

Picture the rejoicing, singing, shouting and dancing.

The amazement that was in everyone’s eyes as they saw the Hosanna.

The tears that must have been flowing down their faces as they saw their king.

Imagine the streets with the sounds of roaring praises, covered with the crowd’s cloaks and with beautiful green palm branches spread out.

It must have been quite a sight to see.

Palm Sunday in Holy Week: The Entrance to the Resurrection

The Palm in Palm Sunday:

So here we have this breathtaking scene of Jesus entering into Jerusalem. He was fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, which states

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!

    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

    righteous and victorious,

lowly and riding on a donkey,

    on a colt, the foal of a donkey”.

So now as Jesus enters Jerusalem, we mark the beginning of Holy Week. We need to  prepare our hearts as we walk with Jesus day by day this week until His resurrection on Sunday.

So what can we do today to prepare our hearts?

Well…just as all those people rejoiced when they saw Jesus, let us do the same today!

But how did they rejoice? Well one of the ways they rejoiced was by laying palm branches down before him.

You might be thinking, how can I do that here at home?

Well, hang tight and let’s look into the symbolism behind the palm branch and just how important it was to be used as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

The Mighty Palm Branch:

Now do me a favor and take a second and picture a palm tree.

What characteristics does it have?

Well it’s tall…

Quite sturdy…

Strong…

It is a remarkable tree that is exceptionally beautiful, especially the way it sways in the wind and how bright green it’s branches are.

The palm tree didn’t just have amazing qualities but it also was a symbol to the people of that day. It was a symbol of victory.

Palm Trees in the Word:

In multiple verses, we see the importance of the palm tree. In Psalm 92:12-15, the text states that “12 the righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

In Leviticus, palm branches were used for the Feast of the Tabernacles (where the Israelites celebrated all that God had done for them). In Leviticus 23:29, it says that “on the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.”

From the text and our own understanding of the palm tree, it is no wonder the palm branches were laid before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

Application:

I want you to take a moment to write down a list of things you absolutely love about Jesus. You can even draw your own palm branches on a piece of paper and on each branch write a characteristic of God. Then put them somewhere in your home where you can see them all week.

For those with kiddos like me, you can color your palm branches and use this activity to spend time thinking as a family about all the things you love about God (see my picture below for what we did). Use this activity as a symbol of our own palm branches that we can lay before Jesus as we rejoice in who He is and what He has done for us!

Also, take some time in prayer today, thank God for what He has done and is doing in our lives as we prepare our hearts this week for Jesus’ crucifixion on Friday and for His resurrection on Sunday. ❤️

Blessings,

Sam (Coffee and Bread Team)

My family’s palm branches with words that describe Jesus. We hung them on our coffee cup rack where we could see it everyday. 👇🏼
Palm Sunday Activity

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Don’t Social Distance God!

Are you social distancing God?
Are you social distancing God?
Don’t social distance God, instead social distance your fear and your worry. Let’s not stay 6 feet away from God, but rather let’s grow closer than we ever have before to Him!

The Words of Saint Patrick

I adore history, ancient voyages, daring conquests, adventures, kings and queens, and crusades. The list goes on and on for me… but around this time in March every year I love to read about the history of St. Patrick of Ireland and his quest to bring Christianity to Ireland.

Take a few seconds to read these words straight from Saint Patrick of Ireland’s prayer called the “Breastplate”:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me”.

Be Surrounded by Christ

This prayer made me stop and really think about the presence of Christ in my own life. My mind was overflowing with thoughts:

“Am I making Christ my foundation right now with everything that is going on?”

“Am I putting God before me today?”

“Am I so full of Christ that people can see Christ overflowing from me?”.

I can tell you that as I began to answer those questions, I saw areas of my life that I needed to improve upon. I think it’s even more crucial right now that we are more aware of our own answers to these questions, because let’s be honest, we really need our Jesus right now. We need hope that only comes from Him. We need His peace and His love. Don’t Social Distance God. We also really need His comfort. I could really use a Jesus hug right about now.

We Need God Now! Don’t Social Distance God

We terribly need God’s presence in our lives. So, Don’t Social Distance God. God wants us to turn that worry or that fear towards Him. He wants us to put Him before us, behind us, above us, and besides us… He wants us to put Him all around us. We should be armoring our lives with His glory. Therefore, we need to strengthen our understanding of God in our lives. We need to take a good look at how we are living our lives and how we are using our time.

Let us use this time we have to trust Him more. Let us rely on Him more. Pray with Him more. Share with Him more. Let us be so engaged in our God, that we uproot the fear and anxiety that we are facing and we turn it into hope and trust…..and Remember, Dont’ Social Distance God. This all leads to a beautiful verse in Psalm 2 that I want to share with you.

Psalm 2 and How to Make Sure You Don’t Social Distance God

Now, my best friend told me she was reading Psalm 2 the other day and so I decided to take a few moments to read it as well. The last verse completely struck me at how relatable it was to how I had been feeling over the past few days. It reads, “happy are all those who take refuge in the Lord”. Again, I began to think of God’s presence in my life. Was I really finding refuge in God during this chaos? I mean sort of. But I felt God saying “you are not giving me all your worries, Sam! I’ve got this!”

I realized that during the chaos, I was unintentionally social distancing myself from God, by not running into His arms and seeking His comfort and His guidance. He’s the last person we ever want to stay 6 feet away from.

So the question now is how do I practice this more? How do I really start putting God before, beside and literally all around me? How do I really focus my life on Him at all times? Well let me tell you a few things I’ve started to do in my own life:

  1. I am constantly praying. I am sending him every thought and every care. Prayer keeps God at the forefront of our minds, which is our own war zone, is it not? Let’s keep those mind fights at rest and keep God at the front.
  2. Everyday I read a chapter or two from whatever book of the Bible I am in. Well now I am taking that chapter that I am on and I am reading it at breakfast, after lunch and before bed. Letting the verses marinate more. How much better does meat taste when it has been marinating? The same goes for God’s Word! I was taught in college that before we preach, to really let the Word of God sink in, as we let it marinate in our hearts, we give ourselves and God the chance to speak through it and give us direction.
  3. I am finding ways to encourage those around me more. We need each other, so another way that we can keep God at the center of our lives is by giving others the light of Jesus. Spread his sunshine around to others who are in need of some encouragement today.
  4. I am also teaching my children how to become more focused on Jesus. I believe that as we encounter new lessons in our own lives that we should impart that wisdom onto our kiddos. We need to be using this time to show our children how to trust God in a season of uncertainty.

Weekly Question

So now it’s your turn. Make a list of ways that you feel called to make Jesus more apart of your life. Where are there areas where Jesus needs to be at the forefront? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 👇🏼

And remember Don’t Social Distance God, instead social distance your fear and your worry.

Blessings,

Sam (Your Coffee and Bread Team)

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The Flower in the Weeds

The Flower in the Weeds

Finding Joy in Jesus

The Flower in the Weeds

My daughter was playing in our front yard yesterday morning when she said “Mama! Look a new flower!” Instantly, I looked to see what flower she was referring to. It was a yellowish-orange dandelion, sitting high among a small patch of weeds. I instantly thought to myself, “oh shoot I thought we had gotten all of the weeds this weekend”. I groaned silently.

While I was thinking about how ugly a new patch of weeds were in our front yard, my daughter was collecting every small dandelion she could find in that small patch. She was delighted by her new flower friends. Immediately she asked if we could get a little cup of water for them to float in. As she placed each dandelion gently into the cup of water, her eyes were sparkling with pure joy. She had found The Flower in the Weeds.

“Choose to Be Joyful Even When You Encounter Days Full of Weeds” Find The Flower in the Weeds.

“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. 

The Bible’s Response: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

The Apostle Paul’s words to the church  of Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 are such a beautiful reminder to us all. The church of Thessalonica stood in a predominant city of what we now know to be a part of modern Greece.

The church sadly was facing persecution at the time and Paul was issuing encouragement and motivation in his letters to them. If you look at the verses above, you’ll notice how short verses 16 and 17 are. I find this to be important because they could have been all combined to make one long verse, but instead they were broken up. They provide us with three important commands that demand attention to how we should live and how to be more joyful.

Verses:

5:16-“Rejoice Always”

It says to rejoice…not just sometimes… but always! How do we rejoice always? Well, we find joy in the small things, in our struggles, in the mundaneness… in everything!

5:17- “Pray Continually”

Again we see another command, that reminds us that we are not supposed to engage in the act of prayer just once in awhile, but continually. Constantly. All the time!

Praying helps us center our hearts and our minds on the Lord. It reminds us of whose in charge and where our worries and heart aches should go to. It refocuses our minds on our best friend, Jesus. Prayer provides us with joy as we seek His love, comfort and peace.

5:18- “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

For this next command, when does God say to give thanks? In ALL circumstances. Again… not just sometimes or once in awhile when things are peachy. But ALL the time. By taking the time to daily praise God and to thank Him, we are creating a space to find joy.

The Point: Finding Joy. Finding The Flower in the Weeds

When my daughter pointed out the patch of weeds we had forgotten to pick, I instantly was bummed that we had forgotten to pick those and I hated how ugly they looked in our front yard. So while I saw something ugly, my daughter saw something beautiful and something that brought her joy. She had found the joy, The Flower in the Weeds.

There are thousands of things around us, even on the worst days that could bring us joy. But, it is up to us to choose to see it. To see the beauty among the weeds. In the Scripture above, Paul reminds us of ways that we can find this type of Joy, by focusing on God. So when you feel like you are stuck in the weeds, remember to find your dandelions for the day. Notice the little things in life and recognize the blessings that God has given you. Choose to find Joy in Jesus by rejoicing, praying and giving thanks CONSTANTLY. ❤️

 

-Sam (Your Coffee and Bread Team)

Questions to Ponder During the Week: 

  1. In what areas of my life could I rejoice more?
  2. Stop right now and think about the things in your life that God has blessed you with that bring you joy. Even the small things like our dandelions ❤️