Calendar Friday Five

For today’s FF, tell us about five calendar themes that you like to see hanging on your walls or going with you to appointments, or that you WISH existed to adorn and accompany your life.

(1) My handy dandy date planner. When I was serving at DLC, we always got one for each of the staff. In May, we would sit down and plan out the next year. I used that planner all the time. Since starting at a new call, I went and got myself a new handy dandy date planner.

(2) The calendar on my phone. It’s not really fancy but once it is in my phone, it is also transferred to the date planner. Hard to forget when it is in two different places.

(3) The inspirational calendars that my youth at DLC have been selling for several years. The pictures are fantastic. We always got a free sample so I would use that one in my office.

(4) Any fun calendar! Last year I bought myself a Gooseberry Patch calendar with recipes. It was fun. Sometimes I would get a calendar for Christmas from my sis…Precious Moments, kitties, etc.

(5) Hmmm I guess if I could have a calendar to WISH for it would be a calendar that would predict when I am going to find my Mr. Right etc!

My #OneWord365 for 2014

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength.” When I came across this quote on my Pinterest feed, I knew that I had found my #oneword365 for 2014! I have never done the #oneword365 so I was a little nervous to what my word might be and if I would even hear it. But the other day I kept hearing this voice whispering to me the word “gentle.” And then I came across the quote I just posted…I knew that God had been whispering that word to me. So my #oneword365 for 2014 is the word GENTLE!

I would say that most people who know me might describe me as gentle but the truth is that I am not gentle with myself. Ever since I can remember I have been pretty tough on myself. I don’t always see myself as the most beautiful. I need to remind myself to be gentle with myself. To be gentle when life isn’t turning out the way I want it to. Those of you who regularly read this blog know that I especially am not “gentle” with myself as I wait for my Mr. Right. I am so ready. Yet perhaps by being “gentle” with myself God will bring that lucky guy into my life.

Max Ehrmann once wrote, “Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul.” Yes, I need to be gentle with myself…to be gentle with who I am and who God has created me to be. And by being gentle, I believe God will bring more peace to my soul!

I also feel that I need to fall into being gentle. To be gentle with my words and my actions. There are times when I am not always gentle with those who I love. Sometimes when momma calls and I get a little impatient, I find myself snapping back and then I get mad at myself for snapping at her. I need to remind myself to be gentle with her. And to be gentle with myself because like a good Lutheran, I am both saint and sinner. I am not perfect and will make mistakes!

And perhaps as I fall into this word that God has whispered into my ear and my heart, I will find that strength as well. May your 2014 be full of gentleness as well.

2013 in Review

As I sit in my house on New Year’s Eve and reflect on this past year, I realize how incredibly blessed I am. 2013 was full of many emotions. It was filled with sadness and tears. It was filled with excitement and joy! It was filled with so much. There are still things that I wish/hope/prayer for for myself in 2014 as well as for my friends and family. Here is a look back at 2013.

Jan—January began with a bang! I roadtripped out to Loveland and Ft. Collins Colorado. It was such a joy to get to see my dear friends SP and DP as well as JCK and CK. I am thankful for JCK and CK for letting me stay with them. It was so much fun to explore downtown Ft. Collins and to ring in the beginning of 2013 with dear friends who have blessed my life.

Feb—“Silver Linings Playbook” with my sister. This movie is fantastic! I am so glad that the movie industry tackled the topic of mental illness. I bought this movie on DVD I liked it that much. February also brought about the Super Bowl and the Grammys!

March—Palm Sunday! One of my favorite times in the church year. March also brought about one of my favorite blog posts of this past year. It was a letter titled “To My Beloved.” This blog post was a way for me to share my thoughts for my Mr. Right. To this day, that is something I still hope/pray/wish for!

April—I celebrated my 7th annivesary as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. Hard to believe that it has already been 7 years! Time sure flies when you are having fun! 🙂

May—Volunteering for ND Special Olympics State Summer Games. For the last several years, I have run their concessions for them. It warms my heart to volunteer for events like this. A tornado hit in Oklahoma City—-so sad. MN passes the Freedom to Marry Act! WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!!

June—My hometown celebrated their 125th anniversary. It was so much fun. My family rode in the parade. We had a covered wagon, a 1970 something tractor and a 2013 model. I got to see many of high school classmates who I havent seen in years. It was fun to catch up with all of them. We had a summer picnic with family in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard. I participated in the community worship service with my dad and two other daughters of Zion Lutheran. What an incredible blessing! After worship, I drove to F-M and hopped on a plane so I could attend the last week of the Lutheran Academy of the Rockies. I am so thankful for friends who let me drive back with them. LAR was short but totally glad I got to do at least some of it.

July—Diaconal Ministry Gathering near Baltimore, Maryland. It was exactly what my soul needed. I love spending time with my DM brothers and sisters. Wish we could do it more often. I treasure the conversations, prayer, etc that we share at these gatherings.

August—A First for Me! I officiated at my first wedding! It was so much fun and I am so glad that I did it. The wedding was for a young lady who I have known since she was a baby. Her and her family are like family to my sister, mom, and I. For the wedding, my sis and I picked up Mom and she got to spend 4 days with us. She was so excited! I also spent some time with dear WTS friends at the MN State fair this month.

September—My 35th Birthday! Dinner with some of my favorite people at DLC, Dessert with some of my youth worker friends and DLC friends. Stopping and visiting one of my dearest friends. So blessed to have him in my life!

October—Outrageous Faith Event at UND. Getting to hear Nadia Bolz-Weber speak. Having her autograph my copy of her book. This also was the month I made the announcement to DLC that I would be leaving.

November—This was one of the hardest things of this past year! Saying Goodbye to Dilworth Lutheran. They have blessed me in so many ways and have made me into the woman leader that I am today! They will forever be in my heart and prayers! They gave me a beautiful going away gift. They had an awesome going away lunch for me. After my last Sunday at DLC, the moving van was packed up and headed for its new destination. I got the keys to my new home; a house which I am loving and so incredibly thankful for. It has been fun to make it feel like mine!

December—Beginning my new journey at First Lutheran. Being installed by one of my dearest friends who is also a diaconal minister as well. Having my sister come to my installation service. Getting to go to Mom’s Christmas party at the nursing home. I dont think I have ever been able to be there with her for it. So blessed to get to share that day with her. Christmas with the family. I also lead worship and preached at FLC for the first time this month as well.

Blessings to all of you as we begin 2014!  And may your 2014 be blessed!!