As you look back over 2011 share 5 blessings, they can be as grand or as simple as you like,if you year has been like mine they are probably a mixture!
1. Continuing to be blessed by the people and congregation I serve.
2. Attending and meeting some amazing new people/friends at the Lutheran Academy of the Rockies
3. Being able to spend time with my beloved family and friends
4. Finding a writing group at the local library that has helped me with my passion of writing
5. Simply just being blessed beyond my imagination throughout the year
As you look towards 2012 share 5 hopes- again, anything goes!
1. That I will finally meet my Mr. Right and be able to start a family
2. That the 7 youth going to the ELCA National Youth Gathering will be blessed by their experience.
3. That I might get to reconnect and visit with some WTS friends
4. That my life will simply continue to be blessed and enriched by wonderful friends and family
5. That I might win a poetry/writing contest
Happy New Year dear readers and friends!
Today’s Friday Five—Five things on your Christmas “To Do” List.
1. I still need to finish Christmas shopping. Im mostly done but I still have two people left. Hoping to get that done this weekend!
2. Wrapping those presents! 🙂
3. Finish addressing my Christmas cards, get them stamped and sent off in the mail!
4. Sunday School Christmas Program practice tomorrow and program on Sunday. So thankful for our music directors for taking on the Christmas program. They will do an amazing job and it takes some stress off of me which is so cool.
5. A Christmas Day sermon to write! I started it yesterday but still have a ways to go!
As a bonus, give us something that helps you remember why this season even exists.
Advent! Advent really helps me focus on whats truly important. Its about the birth of the Christ child; the Word made flesh.
Outrageous Grace! Unspeakable Joy! Last night I was at a church meeting and one of the ladies shared a poem that talked about the crazy “jingle jangle” of the holidays and how there is no mention of taking time to pray etc. As I closed my eyes and sat and listened to her read the poem, the one phrase that really jumped out at me was the phrase, “outrageous grace.” (Now leave it to me and all the rest of us good Lutherans to really find ourselves resonating with that phrase) But what is outrageous grace? What does outrageous grace look like? I think outrageous grace comes in so many and various ways. Outrageous grace is when someone stops to help you when you are having car troubles. Outrageous grace is holding an infant in your arms and knowing that nothing but nothing can seperate us from the love of God. Outrageous grace, I believe, is watching parents interact with their children. I am reminded of my friend L and her son. She really doesnt like making sugar cookies but she did it because her son wanted to. And in the end, the mess and the smile on his face was totally worth it…that is outrageous grace!! 🙂 Outrageous grace is taking time this holiday season to stand in the cold and ring the bell for the Salvation Army. Outrageous grace is patiently waiting for your first child to be born! (GirlwithBlog and J, I’m thinking of you today) Outrageous grace is realizing that Im not always right! What does outrageous grace look like to you?
In addition, I happened to be listening to one of my favorite Christian radio stations yesterday when another phrase jumped out at me. Im not one hundred percent sure on the artist but I think it was Chris Tomlin. The song is his rendition of “Joy to the World” (I think thats the song) and in the middle he keeps repeating the phrase “unspeakable joy”. So what is unspeakable joy? In many ways I think outrageous grace and unspeakable joy can look a lot a like. Unspeakable joy is hearing a friend tell about the benefit that was held for her and being overwhelmed by the many people and the money that was raised. Unspeakable joy is reading about a college friend and her family’s adoption journey. Unspeakable joy is watching a seminary friends family grow especially after their long awaited journey of getting that child about 3-4 years ago!
So, for our Friday Five, I invite you share five random things about you, or five random thoughts, or five random surprises in your life.
1. All of my cousins and I were all born on the third of a month. We are all girls. I also only have two first cousins.
2. I’m wearing my brown with pink Special Olympics ND hoodie!
3. I love nativities/manger scenes and collect them. I currently have about 30 different ones!
4. I love the Biggest Loser….and have a huge crush on Bob Harper!!
5. I am still very single….but someday hope to find my Mr. Right…sooner rather than later hopefully!
Fear is a crazy feeling, isnt it? The Advent One texts reminded us of how often fear can get in the way of our lives. This past year has been no exception. Harold Camping predicted that the world would end and then when it didnt, he gave us a new date, and when that day came and went, we were all still here. “For we do not know the day nor the hour.” Yet so many people found themselves wondering, what if he’s right. I remember a story a colleague told about a woman who is living in fear because of what is predicted in 2012. The colleague asked what she would do differently with her life if they are right. Martin Luther always said, “He would simply plant a tree” meaning he would just go on with his life! Yet how many of us are guilty of letting fear get in the way of living our lives etc! A dear seminary friend has been battling cancer. The operation was successful but then they found that that nasty “c” word had spread to her lungs. 🙁 Ive been simply amazed at her words as she has posted on her carepages site. Yes, she has found herself struggling and wondering why but one thing Ive noticed is she is NOT letting fear get the best of her….she is clinging to the promises of God. What a great example she is! I think too often we let fear get the best of us. I am just as guilty as the next person. What if I never find my Mr. Right? What if I never get the opportunity to be a mother and have a family? What if…What if…What if….and because of those what ifs, I let fear play in and am afraid to try new things. I am reminded of one of my friend Ben’s alltime favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy, the lion, the scarecrow, and the tin man all had their own fears/obstacles to overcome. During this season of Advent, I find myself clinging to the promise of this precious one who is born in a stable in Bethlehem and later dies on a cross in Jerusalem for our sins. This precious one comes to show us that fear will not have the last word but rather that God will!