A Short Update

Well hello my friends. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I sure did. It was great to see my little sis who I havent seen for five monthes. We even get to spend more time together later this week when she comes up to GF. We are going to go to a movie, some UND hockey games, and who knows what else? It should be lots of fun. Things with me are pretty uneventful but I am charging ahead as I await a call. I am not strickly tied down to ND…although it would be nice to be closer to mom. I am visiting the congregation in Hazen the second weekend in January. They want me to spend a whole weekend with them which to me means that they must see something in me. I guess I will just have to wait and see. But if not Im going to look into an opening in Waverly Iowa, it not only possibly could be the position for me but also would bring me closer to Wartburg and my seminary friends. Speaking of Wartburg, Im so excited. My Uncle Terry who is very active in ND Farmers Union said he is taking a trip later this winter that will take him pretty close to Dubuque which means I could travel with him and visit all of you. EXCITING Huh!!! I guess thats it for now. Hope you all are doing well and wishing you a blessed 2006!!! GOd bless!!

The Mystery Of The Missing Christmas Gift

I love snow! Today it was so pretty. This morning when I went to work, the sky was blue and the snow was lightly falling from the sky. It just puts a smile on my face. To me Christmas is just not Christmas without snow. And its good news for my sis who is coming home, she insisted that there better be snow when she comes home. Tonight she drove to Phoenix with another teacher. She flies out tomorrow morning and will be in Bismarck around 12:30 -1pm. I cant wait to see her. Funny how things have changed. But enough about the snow, I wanted to share a silly little story with you all. (Now I know a lot of you know the situation with my mom and that she is bipolar and etc and I am only telling you this because I think it plays a little into the story I am about to tell. When things are happening she gets extremely excited—almost over excited—which is part of the illness.) Now time for the story! My sister and I decided to get our mom a watch for Christmas because that is one of the things she asked for. My aunt Nancy and I went to Target and picked out this really pretty watch. On Friday at 3pm my mom had her Christmas party at the group home where she works so I decided to express mail it on Thursday because I just didnt have the time earlier in the week to get to the post office. I wrapped mom’s present nicely and since it was so small, I stuck it in a popcorn box—you know the ones that microwave popcorn come in—-and taped it shut. I also put papertowel in the box with the present so it didnt move around so much.Then I wrapped the popcorn box and addressed it to mom. On Friday night I called mom to ask her if she got our present. She said that she did and that she got popcorn. For a slight moment, I was confused but then remembered I stuck it in the popcorn box. I told her she better go get the box and check inside of it. She said she would after we got off the phone but I insisted that she get it while we were on the phone so I would be sure it was in there. She got the box,looked inside, opened the present and found the watch.Needless to say, we both had a little good-natured laugh about the situation but Im sure glad that it was in there. I love my mom to pieces but sometimes the illness makes her do silly things! But you know to be honest, thats what Ive come to love most about her…is her excitement, joy, love, and happiness that just exudes when she is happy! God gave Andrea and I such an awesome gift in our mother….and you know sometimes I think we forget to express that to her so Im sharing it all with you now!!! 🙂

A Heart Full Of Gladness

My heart is overjoyed with gladness right now. So many wonderful things just keep happening around me and I just cant help but have a smile on my face. This week a good college friend introduced me to a high school friend of hers who is here in Grand Forks and is my age. She also doesnt know many single people so we are going to meet and hang out sometime which makes me happy. My sister is coming home on Wednesday for Christmas which makes me so happy. 5 months is a long time and now I know what she felt like when I was going to school in Iowa. Its kind of funny how are lives have been changed…now me in North Dakota and her out of state. Although these things make me happy, the thing that makes me happiest is seeing the wonderful things God is doing in my friends life. My friend Mackenzie and her husband Kevin finally have found a place that from reading about just makes me so delighted for them. Kevin is going to be a wonderful asset to this congregation. And Mackenzie is going to bring so many awesome gifts to the congregation she is going to serve as well. Also many of my classmates are being voted on this week to be called to some churchs. I pray that God is with the congregations as they vote. I am overjoyed that my good friend Collette is finally going to be ordained tomorrow. I pray that it is a joyous filled occassion and I really wish I could be there.Know that I am giving you a great big hug from so many miles away. Ali, Im so glad your ordination went so well and was so joyous. Ali and Collette, I know you both waited a long time for your calls but you are both so gifted and are bringing so many gifts to the congregations you will serve. You know so many things have happened. I cannot even think of them all at this moment but I cant help but shout Hallelujah—God is God at the top of my lungs. And honestly, it brings such hope to my own calling. I know that in God’s timing something wonderful will work out for me. I just have to be patient so I continue to pray that God gives me that patience. However today is a day full of joy as I rejoice in the wonderful things happening to my family and friends. GOD IS DEFINETELY GOOD!!!

My Own Amazing Race…..

Well hello again tonight my friends. Not much happening here but thought it was time to post. Besides I got some somewhat good news yesterday. When I came home from work there was a message on the machine for me. The pastor from Peace in Hazen ND called to let me know that they had received my paperwork and would be passing it on to the appropriate committee for call. He said they would let me know either way. Its fun to think about the possibility but not going to get excited yet. Tonight I am having a fun little night relaxing at home. My favorite reality show The Amazing Race concludes tonight so I got to see who wins. I really want the Bransen family to win! Since Im sitting here watching tv and a lot of you are finishing homework, I wont say too much. Collette, hope your ordination plans are coming along nicely. You know in some ways the call process feels like the Amazing Race…if that makes any sense at all.Well suppose that I will close now. Take care. God bless!!

My Worlds Looking A Little Brighter These Days

I decided it was time for a post since I hadnt posted for a few days. Besides that its a Saturday night and Im sitting at home bored out of my mind trying to find something to do. There is not much on tv….no good movies or anything. My aunt and uncle went on their winter vacation so just me and the cats until Wednesday. Hope you are all doing well. Those at the seminary, I hope that the weather was nice and that Ali had a great ordination day. I really wish I could have been there but I was definetely there in spirit. I suppose you all are bogged down by the end of the semester. Just this week and then Christmas break….crazy how fast time flies. I hope you all have a blessed Advent, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

In other news….man that makes me sound like Paul Harvey or something. I dont know how many read the comments on my last post but the world is looking a little brighter these days. Shortly after I posted my last blog post, I received a letter and an email from the Bishop of Western North Dakota. He has given my name to a congregation in Hazen, ND. Hazen is near Bismarck which would be fabulous since Bismarck is half way between Mom and Dad. According to the letter, Bishop D believes that my gifts could be a tremendous asset to this congregation. Now thats great but I truly am not going to say anything about how I feel about this possibility since when I do say something, it seems to bite me in the butt. So this time Im indifferent for now and will see where God leads me. I do want to find a great call in the church but its like so many of you have told me I just need to trust the process even though it might not be the funnest (I dont even think thats a word) or easiest thing to do. In God’s time, God will lead me to the place where my gifts will best be used. Okay enough about that. My friends, I pray God gives you the patience to get all your stuff in by the end of the week. Miss you all lots! GOd bless!!

God’s Timing Is Definetely NOT My Timing

Well hello again. I was hoping this post would bring happier news but yet again Ive been disappointed. I called Olivet Church in Fargo today to find out about the position and stuff. Turns out they are going with another one of their candidates which means yet another job I have not been called to fill. I must say I am starting to feel quite discouraged. I know that I have gifts but I am starting to wonder when those gifts will be put to good use in the church. I understand that God’s timing is not my own timing but I am so ready to be doing the ministry thing. Will God ever lead me to that place? YES! Will it take time? YES! But sometimes its so hard to trust in the process. TRUST THE PROCESS!! Boy how many times did I hear that in seminary? A lot. I guess I just need to remember my own advice to my friends. Well hopefully my next post will bring better news but for now I guess I will just continue to hang in the balances.

Walking on Egg Shells!!!

So today at work was crazy, it was like walking on egg shells. The company that I am working for right now to earn money until I get my call laid like 10-15 people off. It was like an utter ghost town. I tell you its scary when you see it happen around you. Just telling them to leave and not being able to say goodbyes etc. I was so glad to leave that place when I got off at five. Complete and utter craziness today. Its so sad too right around the holiday season and many of them are single moms etc. But enough about that, life is good. I love the new show Three Wishes. Amy Grant really has made some awesome dreams come true and it was no exception tonight. Well not much else happening except a possibility of a job at a church in Fargo, ND. Sunday they will let me know if they want me to interview and stuff. Its weird because I have a good feeling about this but dont want to get my hopes up so not going to say anything. Miss you all lots. Hope you are enjoying the Advent season and are not to bogged down by the end of the semester. Well suppose I should go back to chatting with my sis. Miss you lots! God bless!