I can’t believe I am still up! The crazy thing though is that today marks an anniversary for me! 5 years ago today I was consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. It is hard to believe it has been 5 years already! The funny thing is that at this time 5 years ago I was waiting for two very dear friends to arrive from Iowa for the day. I’m so glad they came and was blessed to have them as a part of my service! I will never forget standing out in the street at about 1 am as they handed me a special gift. It hangs on the office in my wall and reads “Diakonia.” The letters are filled with pictures of our time together at seminary. I love it because, not only, does it remind me of my call to “Diakonia,” but it causes people to ask what it means etc! Such a special day in my life! I am so thankful and blessed for the Diaconal Community of the ELCA! And those that understand, see, and know that God truly has called me into this ministry!
1. What are your feelings about celebrating birthdays, especially your own? Im definetely a birthday person! I love celebrating it especially with family and friends! Life is a gift so I feel it is important to celebrate every year of my life.
2. Do you have any family traditions about birthdays? Nope not really!
3. Is it easy to remember friends’ and family members’ birthdays? If so, how do you do it? YES! I love sending bday cards, writing on their FB walls, etc. I am a person who writes just about everyones name on the calendar to remember. It also helps that on FB it tells you whose bday is that day!
4. What was one of your favorite birthdays? (or your unhappiest?)Ive had so many great birthdays! My mom and sister surprised me and gave me a surprise party for my sweet 16th. On my 30th, my colleague Pr. M put it in the bulletin and sent out an email. (I was gone the weekend it was in the bulletin). Members of the congregation sent flowers, emails, called me etc on that day. My all time fave bday was when I started seminary. It was crazy! It was the first day of classes and I hardly knew anyone! We had watched a clip from the movie Chocolat during class so we decided to watch the rest that night in our lounge. My friend L and I went to the store and I bought my own bday cake! That night we gathered and watched the movie! After the movie, we had so much fun! We played the card game Spoons and there was spoons flying everywhere! Then we decided to eat the cake with our hands like little piggies! We laughed so hard that night!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Post anything else you want to share about birthdays, including favorite foods, songs, and/or pictures. MY FAVE CAKE!!!!!
“God’s grace is sufficient for us all”
These words are ringing in my ears as I reflect on the importance of this holy meal. Communion has always been important to me. It reminds me again and again of who this Jesus is and that God’s grace is sufficient for us all. It is not the bread or wine itself that makes this meal special. Tonight during a first communion milestone class a parent wanted to know how their child is special because he know can take communion and how is he different because he takes communion and his siblings dont yet.Im really struggling with this because it isnt the child/participant that becomes special. Just because we take communion doesn’t mean we get magical powers like Harry Potter. In fact in Luther’s Small Catechism, it says, “Eating and drinking do not do it, but rather the words that are recorded “given for you” and “shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” So my dear readers and friends, I am asking for your responses to these questions; why is communion important to you? What makes communion special to YOU?
“God’s grace is suffient for us all”
Tell us five ways in which you are anticipating, or your life is moving towards light, joy, hope–new things: new ideas, new hobbies, new people…and so on.
1. I’ve been meeting new people lately because I recently about a month or so ago joined a writing group at our local library. It has been a fantastic way to keep my writing up but also been a neat way to meet new people.
2. New life. I love babies and can’t wait until I have my own family but lately a lot of my friends have had another baby or announced they are expecting again. I am so excited for them. My good friends DJ and A just had their third child; another boy. They started the adoption process and got pregnant about the same time so their two older children are like 4 months apart!
3. Fitness and Zumba! I recently just started Zumba and LOVE IT! I may look like a fool but I love it and get such a good workout. Helps me feel good when Im feeling sluggish, down, etc.
4. Music, a good movie or a good book also brighten my day. I love listening to music. I love reading a good book etc. Always makes me escape.
5. This might seem silly but as the rising waters of the Red River continue to rise, I am reminded of new life. It always amazes me how Fargo-Moorhead pulls together as a community to help protect each other.
I have to laugh because I have been encountering feet a lot lately. As I sit here typing, I am watching “Bones” and they are trying to solve a case using feet! Then earlier today, I listened to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s sermon from this past weekend at Wartburg Theological Seminary. He says, “It is all about voices and feet.” He also quoted the Biblical text where it talks about “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News.” I love this text because it reminds me of what I am called to do and be as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. The Diaconal text is the text where Jesus washes his disciple’s feet. God calls me to wash the feet of all God’s people. However I love how Mark Hanson framed his sermon because I truly believe we all are called to share the gospel with the world. We all are called to bring Good News to each other. I cant help but be reminded of my own father, grandfather and uncle who farm and sometimes their feet are covered in mud, dirt, etc yet their feet are just as beautiful as anyone elses. During his sermon, Bishop Mark had the worshippers look at the feet of those around them and to compliment them on their feet. What if we were more intentional about helping each other see how we ALL are called to use our feet (and voices) to share God’s love with the world.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!”
Sometimes it seems like we all are so busy with the busyness of our lives, that we forget how important it is to spend time with our loved ones; to just be still and know that God is there. Yesterday after a morning meeting, I left Fargo around noon and headed for my mom’s place. Since I left the meeting early, I was put on speaker and put my cell on speaker and was able to be a part of the conversation. I arrived at my mom’s place around 4:30 pm. I picked her up but not before I opened my Christmas gift. That was the first thing she handed me! It wasnt anything fancy; a wicker basket with shampoo, body wash, conditioner, etc. I know its the thought that counts because she cant afford much but I love the basket. I think its going to become my fruit basket! We went and had supper at a local restaurant. Mom had a shrimp basket and I had their special; shrimp stir-fry with two egg rolls (pork or veggie). I chose veggie and they were the two largest egg rolls ever! Then Mom and I went back to her nursing home, we just hung out in their den and watched tv after she opened her Christmas gifts. (We were supposed to go over Christmas break to see her but the weather got yucky; really really yucky!) We also even went on the computer and because I had taken video of my apartment, I was able to show that to mom and she was able to see my apartment! (Thanks for the request S!) Mom went to bed around nine pm so I read on my Kindle and then went to bed around 10:30 pm or so. I slept in an extra room at the nursing home. Around 7:30 am, my mom came into the room to see if I was up but I was still laying there and not really awake. I still heard her come in. After her breakfast, she came in and checked again. I was awake so I got up and got dressed. Then about 9am, mom wanted to go downtown so we went to the grocery store and the drug store. Mom had to buy her ever favorite Spice Drops! We got back around 10 am and Mom told me that she would let me go. I think she was worried about the weather coming in later today. You know we didnt do anything fancy but it was good to spend time with her. I treasure that time and I know that she treasures that time as well!