Have you ever met someone and felt kismet/peoria immediately? You know what I’m talking about…one of those people that the moment you meet them you feel like you’ve known them FOREVER! Before the Gathering, a dear Pastor friend of mine has been trying to connect me with his youth person. He was like, “I just think you two would get along great.” At the Gathering, we were able to connect via phone but werent sure if we would be able to meet in person. However due to rainy weather and my group wanting to hang out at the hotel, I was able to run away for a brief time. I found her and we hit it off immediately. We stood and talked for like twenty minutes or so! It was crazy because I felt so comfortable around her and just feel like Ive known her forever! She is like a sister to me already and we have only known each other a week. On the busrides home, we found each other texting each other and talking. I’ve met some pretty awesome people in my life and when I met them I felt so at peace, so full of kismet and they became and are still some of my closest and best friends. I have a feeling this new friend and I will be friends for a LONG TIME TO COME! So blessed to have her in my life! I can’t even begin to describe how amazing I feel about this friendship! God, thank you for the wonderful blessings in my life!
Well we made it to NOLA and then the Gathering kept us super busy so I didnt have a chance to update the blog. Wed night we gathered with 33,000 plus of our friends in the LutherDome. Rachel Kurtz sang her song “Make a Difference” which is also the Gathering theme song. On Thurs, we spent time with 800 of our friends from the NW MN synod. So good to spend time together as a synod! Then in the afternoon we went out on our discipleship lab which was so much fun—basically a scavenger hunt. Friday we learned how to practice peacemaking. Youth had opportunities to give blood, donate hair etc. Saturday was our service day. Our service project was about experiencing the culture. We went to the New Orleans School of Cooking where Chef Kevin cooked for us. Then we talked about our perceptions and misconceptions of hunger in the world. Sunday we loaded the buses back up, worshipped one last time and then begin the journey home. We stopped at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis TN and then on to Lamberts; the home of throwed roll. Yep they really do toss/throw rolls at you! So much fun and the food was awesome! Finally made it home around 6 pm on Tuesday night. The Gathering was fun and had great speakers that the youth really identified with but we all were ready to be home!
Some trip snippets:
-Buses rolled on out of Moorhead!
-Stopped at a rest stop and already ran into another group from EaND!
-Landed in KC for the night!
-Six Flags! The Boss was a big hit!! Kept my friend Mel company since she couldn’t go on any rides! We did ride the train a few times!
-Up in the Arch! So cool!
-Lunch at the Hard Rock in Union Station!
-Landed in Meridian Mississippi for the night!
-On to Gulfport! Spent time at the beach! Such a great day!!
-Supper at the Cajun Crawfish Hut! Catfish, Shrimp, Chicken!
-Cool worship on the beach! I got to help bless everyone!
-Lots and lots of time on the bus watching movies, playing camp games etc!
-Onto NOLA tomorrow!!
More to come later!
At the moment I am washing clothes and packing (headed off to the ELCA National Youth Gathering) but thought this FF was so much fun I had to play.
1. If a spaceship landed in your back yard, and three very cute little aliens knocked on your door and asked you to show them around Earth,where would you take them? (Remember, you have superpowers from last month’s Second Friday Five, so if you need to use them for transportation, feel free to do so.) Golly, there are so many places that I would love to take these cute little aliens. I probably would first take them to one of my fave places: SuperAwesomeBibleCamp. I also would show them the beauty of the prairies of ND. I would take them to CO and the Rocky Mountains. I also would take them to Wartburg Seminary and Dubuque and since we are in Dubuque, I would take them to beautiful Galena IL. Ok its probably a good thing we have super powers because I would take them EVERYWHERE I could possibly think of!
2. What is making you grumpy these days? Actually there really isnt anything making me grumpy at the moment!
3. O.K., so now that you got the grumps out, what is one thing today that will be sheerly joyful for you? As I look towards the ELCA Youth Gathering, joy fills me as I know that I will get to see friends I havent seen in forever. Joy for me today was getting to indulge in some yogurt from Tutti Fruitti. Spending time with youth from church brings me joy! Beautiful summer days bring me joy. Actually so much joy these days!
4. I am pitifully, once again, trying to grow a garden. Last year I only harvested one cucumber. This year, I have zucchini, cucumbers and tiny tomato plants. Everything is abloom, but the jury is out whether there will be any yield. So, do YOU have a garden? What are you growing? If you don’t, what is your favorite fresh summertime vegetable/fruit/flower? I dont have a garden but I love fresh produce. My fave is tomatoes but I love cukes and green beans and sweet corn from the garden too! Actually there isnt much that I dont like from the garden!
5. If the aforementioned aliens suddenly demanded all the contents of your closet, OR ELSE (as in clothing, shoes, etc.) but kindly said you could keep three items, what would they be? My Kindle, My Bible, and a family photo
I went away on a wonderful continuing ed event but I started a little blog study before I left and want to finish it. I am so thankful for my friend Anna for posting about Hope for the Weary mom on her blog. Even though Im not a mama, it has blessed me too! Thanks for that Miss Anna!
Chapter Six—“Sometimes It Takes An Altar”
Of course, I have wanted to walk away…to walk away from my dream to have a family and to be a mom. But then God finds this way to remind me that I am not on this journey alone. God will not let me down! Boy aint that the truth?!?! But when I get down and start feeling Eeyorish, it’s really hard to listen to that voice of God. And thats when I need that altar…that place where I can totally feel God’s grace, peace, love, and most especially presence! For me it might be as simple as walking the aisles of Target like my friend Anna or simply spending time at my favorite place in the world;SuperAwesomeBibleCamp! I’ve knelt at the altar of God in an airport waiting at my gate for my flight. This happened in January of 2010 when my friend Renee lost her husband Ben in the Haiti earthquake. Another place that I have experienced this place is in the Rocky Mountains. There is just something so holy about the Lutheran Academy of the Rockies and being in a place where I can feel, see, and experience God’s presence. It is a place that gives me life again and again. Another place for me is the prairies of ND…hence the blog title! Where are those places for you?
Chapter Seven (The End)—“When Life Hurts Too Much”
Loss and grief is not a topic any of us like to talk about. However it is something we all experience. And most of those experiences bring us completely and utterly to our knees. My friend Anna and her husband J went through way more than anyone should go through to finally get their precious Sam! I remember grieving with all of my friends who have tried so hard to have a family and havent been able too. And then there is me, who wants so badly to have a family. I grieve being a mama! I know it may sound selfish and also maybe makes me feel a little dumb but its the truth; its my reality!
Will someone ever call me mama? Will I ever get to hold that precious infant in my arms and know love that only a mama can explain?
What I have come to realize in the midst of this study is that being a mama is hard work. Mamas grow weary yet God gives them the strength! I may grow weary waiting for my dream to come true but the truth is God gives me strength too. I just need to be patient, to trust in God who is faithful and true!(That is easier said than done most days though!)
God surprises me in so many and various ways! Lately I have been completely awestruck at events/conversations that have taken place in my life. I have not always been 100% confident of who God has created me to be. However I have grown over the years. Yet I am still humbled and surprised when I meet new people and they become my friends so easily. I was just reflecting on some conversations I had recently with individuals who tell me I have gifts…..who tell me that I shouldnt apologize for my emotionalness. They just simply accept me for ME and that is just what I need! I simply can be who God created me to be without apologizing, without making excuses, etc! What an unbelievable amazing humbling gift! I am so blessed and thank GOd for these numerous and wonderful blessings in my life!! Thank you my dear friends for helping me see me for me when that isn’t always so easy!