Refreshing Friday Five!

List four ways you like to relax or give yourself a break. Then name a fifth, something you’ve never been able to do, a self-care dream.

1. Writing is one way. I love to write…fiction, poetry, you name it. Its just become a great way for me to get my thoughts out on paper and relax as I do it. I havent done this in quite awhile though.

2. Ok so I hate to admit this but it is definetely one of my guilty pleasures. I relax by taking the time out of my busy days to watch reality tv. I know I know…I could think of better ways to relax but there is just something about curling up on the couch, watching the ridiculousness of reality tv, and not having to think about anything.

3. Taking a bath…and taking a bath while reading a fabulous book

4. Enjoy time in God’s awesome creation. One of my fave places to do this is at the Bible Camp I work out for almost seven summers. This place embodies God’s creation in so many ways. The camp is situated right off of Lake Sakakawea and is surrounded by the plains and prairies of ND. It is a place where I can find peace and comfort and joy. And the best part is I get to go there TODAY! Im taking some youth for a 7-9th grade bash…should be lots of fun.

5. Something I would love to do would be to go to Holden Village with some friends from seminary. Ive heard its such an awesome place and I think it would be so much fun and so relaxing to take some vacation time and visit with good friends. I also think it would be fun to take a spa day too!

The Legend of Mr Trouble

I decided that it was time to use my writing skills and tell you all a story. I love to write but am trying to write a Feb newsletter article and nothing is coming to me so thought Id procrastinate instead. I’m going to tell you all the story of my beanie babie monkey who had been dubbed “Mr. Trouble.” Its a long story thus making a long entry but in the end, trust me you will enjoy it and if it doesnt make you laugh it will at least bring a smile to your face.

It was a nice summer day where the heat was beating down. Carrie, Ben, Matt, and I decided that since it was the weekend we should head to Bismarck for the day. The four of us climbed into Matt’s car and hit the road. We talked and laughed together (mostly laughed) as we drove to Bismarck. Once we got to Bismarck, we dropped Carrie off at a friends for her friends bridal shower. Then Matt, Ben, and I headed to the mall for some shopping. At the mall, we decided to head into the nearest Suncoast Video Store. The three of us ventured around the store, gazing at what they had to offer. I decided that I was going to buy a stuffed animal or something to help with my next homesick campers. As we wandered around the store, my eyes spotted a cute gorilla beanie baby who was holding a bottle of coke. I immediately reached for the gorilla and headed to the check-out counter. As Ben, Matt, and I waited for the cashier to check us out, the gorilla decided to make his own trouble. He wouldnt ring up. The cashier had to venture to the backroom and find his item number in order to ring up his price. Finally after many minutes of frustration and the guys giving me flack for picking out an item that was causing many hassles, we paid for the gorilla and headed to the A and W restaurant where we told Carrie we would meet her. In the car, Ben and I were certain we knew were the A and W was, but what we didnt realize is we really didnt know where it was. As we clumsly and frantically trying to find our way to the A and W, Matt decided to change lanes where he almost cut an individual off and who decided to repay us with the middle finger. After many minutes of searching for the A and W, we finally found it and Carrie was still waiting for us. She quickly asked what happened as we entered the restaurant. As we were eating our much earned meal, we told Carrie everything and from that day on, the gorilla was dubbed Mr. Trouble.

However the story of Mr. Trouble doesn’t end here, it actually only begins here. I took Mr Trouble back to camp. A couple of weeks later Ben, Holly (another counselor) and I were chosen to go to day camp in a nearby small town. We were given this really car. It was a gray station wagon in which the paint was pealing off. It definetely looked like it had been used a few times. The three of us went off to day camp and enjoyed our week in small town. Then the week came to a close and the three of us headed back to camp. As we were driving back to camp, a noise came from one of the tires and we quickly pulled off onto the nearest proach. Ben, being the man of the group, concluded we had a flat tire…the only problem was the spare was under all of our luggage in the back of the station wagon so we went to work. Holly, Ben, and I grabbed the luggage and piled it in heaps on the side of the road. Once all the luggage was safely on the ground, Ben released the spare from under the floor. But then another problem arose, the tires were on a lock system and we had to find the key to unlock the bolts etc. Only problem was the key was no where to be found. Ben, Holly, and I searched endlessly for the key. After what seemed like forever, Ben found the key and was able to begin changing the tire. At about this time, some men in a white pickup asked if we needed help and we said no we think we have it now. Ben finally was able to change the tire, so we loaded all the luggage back into the wagon and headed back to camp. The minute we got back into the car and were headed back to camp, Ben said, “Mr Trouble is with us isnt he?!??”

But Mr. Trouble’s antics didnt stop there either, or so thats what Ben says. Throughout our time at camp, Mr Trouble become quite famous among the children. Ben often would tell the story of this monkey and all the problems he caused. One summer Ben, myself, and several others were asked to go to day camp in the Capital City. Since there was seven of us (five girls, two guys), we were split up into two different host homes…the boys in town and the girls out on the outskirts of town. One night the boys dropped us off and headed back into town which had been the routine all week. The next morning our host dad came down and told us that the boys were in an accident so he would be taking us to the church. Other than that, we really didnt have any details so being the girls we immediately began to worry. What happened? Where the boys okay? Would we still be able to drive the van? We quickly got ready for day camp and headed into town where we met the boys at the church. They were perfectly fine which was a relief to all of us. The boys told us that some drunk teenage boy had lost control and hit the van. Their host mom came to tell them and the boys rolled back over but Ben decided it was probably a good idea to check out what was going on. So Benand Mark got up and checked it out. The van was totalled. The boys had to make a statement for the police and call camp to let them know what happened. In the end, we had to get another vehicle to transport us back to camp and stuff. We all had to remove our stuff from the van so they could haul it away. As we were removing our belongs from the van, I grabbed my sleeping bag and everything else. And then Ben was like, “Its Mr Trouble again. He was here last night wasnt he?” And I replied, “No he was with me at our host families house.” Ben in turn stated, “well the monkey touched the sleeping bag when he slept on it so his vibes are here. Its that stupid monkey again.”

So that is the story of Mr Trouble. To this day, his stories still are somewhat of a legend around here. In all actuality, Ive come to the conclusion that it isnt Mr Trouble but rather Ben thats the jinxed one. He has been with in every instants. I guess we’ll never know will we.

Time for the Friday Five!


What? Had a few too many sangrias and put my cup on my head pretending it was my hat

When? A couple years ago

Where? Milwaukee

Why? Was just enjoying some time with some good seminary friends

Bonus: How? Drank more than I thought I had

I remember this a little but my friends tell the story much better than I ever could. Its a memorable story because it was really the first time I had drank more than enough. I am not a big drinker but that time I felt comfortable and safe with my friends.


I love today’s reading from Corinthians. I know that we all have been given spiritual gifts but sometimes it is so hard to recognize or acknowledge those spiritual gifts. I love the church Im working at. They’ve made me feel welcome etc but sometimes I get so frustrated. I had youth meetings this afternoon and only two came to the sr league and one to the jr league. I know it is going to take time for them to adjust etc but its still super frustrating. I think to myself, what could I do differently? What am I do wrong? Why dont they want to come and hang out etc? I realize I’ve only been here for about six months but I still wish more youth would come to events. I guess what Im trying to say is Im so glad I have my RevGalBlog Pals and other friends that I can confide in. What I could really use right now is someone to affirm my spiritual gifts? What I could use is someone to tell me that its ok to be frustrated? What I also could use are some nice affirming and comforting hugs?

Admiring Friday Five!

Please count down five living people you admire and tell us a little something about why they make your list. These could be famous people or people you know personally.These are five people that have had an amazing impact in my life and no one is better than the other so Im just going to list them in no particular order.

Awesome Campus Ministry Director-This woman is amazing. She has such a compassionate heart and Im so glad I was blessed to meet her. She was there for me many times. She supported me when I went off to seminary. I dont get to see her as often as I would like but she still means the world to me. I hope that some day I can be at least half the woman she is today. Thank you JH for believing in me.

The Wartburg Crew—They have all impacted my life in ways I couldnt even have imagined. Without all of you, Im not sure I would have made it through seminary. You supported me and helped me grow as a woman of faith and I am so greatful for that. You all are awesome pastors, associates in ministry, and diaconal ministers. I am so delighted and greatful that God brought all of you into my life. I am thankful for you SKDO, for you Mark, for you Liz, for you Kev and Kenz, for you Squatch and your awesome wife, for Jen, for Carrie, for Hillary, for world-traveler friend Heather, for the Andersons, and the list goes on and on…you all know who you are!

Silly-This is a play on his last name but this man believed in me when no one else did. He hired me and I later found out that he didnt think I would be able to work there an entire summer, but boy was he wrong. I ended up growing at this wonderful place and ended up working there for about six summers. It was such a delight to have Silly preach at my consecration service. If he hadnt believed in me back then, I dont think I would have ended up at seminary. I also am very thankful to Silly’s wife M as well. She is a beautiful woman of faith!

My mom-I admire my mom in so many ways. She has lived most of her life with a mental illness, yet she still loves life. She tries not to let her illness get her down. I know that living as a manic/bipolar woman hasnt been easy for her. I know that sometimes she wishes she could be a better mom, but I wouldnt trade her for anyone in the world. It is because of her that I have grown into the woman of faith that I am!

Sonflower Friend-Sonflower Friend is my kindred spirit in so many ways. She has been such an awesome friend who I admire. I love that she has followed one of her dreams and is now working in Guatemela for the God’s Child Project. She has such a compassionate and caring heart. She is truly a sister in Christ. I love that we can talk for hours together. I love that no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other, we can pick up right where we left off. Sonflower Friend is someone I admire because she is such a great friend.

My family-I love them all to pieces and dont know where I would be without their love and support. They mean the world to me! My dad is a hard-working man. My sister is a beautiful woman who has been hurt by too many stupid men. My grandparents are loving, caring, hard-working people. My aunts and uncles are loving and caring and supportive as well. All these people have helped me become the woman of faith that I am by their examples. They all have struggled but have taught me how to overcome those obstacles. (And even though she is not a part of our family yet, my dads friend C is an amazing woman and I admire her too!)

Well I guess thats it for now. I couldnt pick just five! I admire way too many people in my life and definetely wouldnt be were I am without their love and support. Thank you! And remember they are in no particular order!

Wedding Bells and Baby Rattles

Here I am sitting at work wishing I had brought my book with me. Life is crazy these days. Seems like everyone around me is either getting married or having babies. Its insane! I guess Im just at a point in my life where Im ready for Mr Right to come along. I know I cant rush it because God will let it happen when its suppose to happen but Im so ready. I went to a good friends wedding this past weekend which was fun. A couple of seminary friends are having their first children. A camp friend and her husband are expecting. Its insane. Seems like everywhere I turn there are either wedding bells or baby rattles…LOL! Other than that, nothing too exciting…just good old wedding bells and baby rattles! In time, I guess, my time will come too…just wish it would happen sooner rather than later!

First Friday Five of 07

1. “It’s my party and I’ll [blank] if I want to…”Favorite way to celebrate your birthday (dinner with family? party with friends? a day in solitude?) My fave way to celebrate my bday is to just be with family and friends. I dont care what we are doing just as long as my friends and family are there to share in the day!

2. “You say it’s your birthday… it’s my birthday too, yeah…” Do you share your birthday with someone famous? (Click here to find out!) Actually I do with several. I share my birthday with Olympic medalist Shaun White (Snowboarder). I also share my bday with Charlie Sheen and Alan Ladd.

3. “Lordy Lordy look who’s forty…”Milestone birthdays: a) just like any other birthday–they’re just numbers, people.b) a good opportunity to look back/take stockc) enjoy the black balloons–I’ll be hiding under a pile of coats until the day is overd) some combination of the above, or something else entirely. I guess for me its a good opportunity to look back and see how far Ive come in my life.

4. “Happy birthday, dear… Customer…”Have you ever been sung to in a restaurant? Fun or cringe-worthy? I dont think I’ve been sung to it in a restuarant. However I definetely do remember being sung to in the cafeteria at seminary by some friends. It was definetely fun and not cringe-worthy.

5. “Take my birthday–please”Tell me one advantage and one disadvantage about your particular birthday (e.g. birthday in the summer–never had to go to school; birthday near Christmas–the dreaded joint presents)EDITED TO ADD: This could also simply be something you like/dislike about your birthday (e.g. I like sharing a birthday with my best friend, etc.).
I love that my bday sometimes falls on Labor Day and I didnt have to go to school. A disadvantage is that because it usually falls on Labor Day weekend, people usually already have plans!

Top 10 of 2006!

Seemed like all the cool kids where posting there top ten of the year so thought Id follow suit too and post my 12 most memorable events of the year. It’s been a crazy year. I cant believe it’s already 2007 and its been ten years since I graduated high school. Craziness!!

Jan-I was still working at SEI. In Jan, my hours got cut! 🙁

Feb-I intervieved at Zion over Super Bowl weekend. It was a crazy weekend but also totally worth it since that is where I ended up.

March-Zion officially extended a letter of call to me as their director of youth and family ministry.

April-April 23 is one of the most memorable days of this past year. It was the day that I was consecrated into the ministry of word and service and became the first Diaconal Minister in Western North Dakota. It was a glorious day filled with family and friends. I was so delighted that my sister surprised me and that my good friends C and L from seminary were able to come too!

May-I moved all my stuff to Beulah and got settled in to my new apartment building that just happens to be right across from the street. I really enjoy having my own place.

June-June 1 was the day I began work at Zion as their family and youth coordinator. I spent the first week helping out with Vacation Bible School and getting to know the kids. It was a great way for me to ease my way into the life of this congregation.

July-My sister came and visited me. Our mom, my sis and I drove out to camp for their annual quilt auction. It was a great day. I got to see some old friends. I also ended up buying another camp quilt. It was weird though that some of my old campers are now counselors. I love that place to death though.

August-August was a pretty quiet month until the end of the month. My first Rally Sunday at Zion took place and it actually went really well. We had a garden party which turned out awesome. So many people came that we had to put up more tables and almost ran out of food. It was a neat way to start out the year. Also got to see my good friend J when she was home for a little while from Guatemela!

Sept-My birthday! My good friend C and I met up in Sioux Falls SD and attended the LifeLight Festival. It was rainy almost the entire weekend but it was still a great way to hang out with a good seminary friend. We got to see Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Rebecca St James, Audio A, etc. It was a great weekend and a great way to spend my bday!

Oct-My dad and his gf bought a house. They will move in sometime in the spring of 07.

Nov-I preached for the first time. The sermon is on the 11-30-06 blog entry if you want to check it out

Dec-I spent Christmas with my family. My sister was home etc. My sister and I finally got to see the inside of our dad’s new house. Its crazy how much larger it is than the house we grew up in. And so because of them moving, my sister and I had to move out everything we were storing there or pack up stuff so they could store it for us. It was quite the adventure. A and I found some pretty interesting and comical things but it also was kind of fun to go down the memory lane of our childhood.

I’m sure 07 will have many more adventures…my ten year high school reunion, attending the diaconal ministry conference in April in AZ, etc! May we all have a blessed 2007!