Sunday Blessings 30

(1) A great car ride with a dear friend—lots of great conversation

(2) Lots of hugs from my friends and colleagues in Western ND who I haven’t seen in a long time. So great to reconnect with so many of them

(3) A day of rest after Holy Week! So great and so needed!

(4) Celebrating 8 years as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA

(5) A great night helping our friend pack; so blessed to have these ladies in my life!

(6) Hearing ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

(7) An impromptu lunch with church staff. I was craving Mexican and they were at a Mexican restaurant.

(8) Receiving my latest issue of the Lutheran in my mail and seeing that they tackled the issue of mental illness; an important issue in my families life

(9) Friday Night Alive with great kids and adults at Camp Metigoshe

(10) Rain!!! I love the smell of rain…and it’s NOT snow!!

(11) Hugs from church kiddos—I feel loved!!!

(12) Wonderful caring conversation with the adults at Family SS

(13) One of the moms telling me an awesome story about her daughter. I preached today and then used a video of Brandon Heath’s song “Give Me Your Eyes.” The daughter was totally getting into the song. Afterwards we went straight into a hymn from the hymn book. The daughter turned, looked at her mom and said, “Seriously…we are back to church music!”

(14) Great conversation with great people this afternoon

(15) Mom getting to hear my sermon on the radio. I love that she can listen to me when I’m preaching cuz I know it means a lot to her

(16) Catching up with a good friend; chatting online

(17) The birth of a dear daughter to my friends J and R–so sweet! Also a new grandson for my colleague at my last call–congrats and blessings to their family!

That should do it for this week! See you in this same time and place next week!

Holiness of Being Gentle with Ones Self

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the hardest critic of myself! I’ve always been way harder on myself than gentle so that’s why I chose gentle as my oneword365 this year.

Being gentle with ones self is an obstacle in and of its self! It is so difficult! But I’m finding myself attempting to be more gentle with myself!

Recently I found myself trying to live this out—After some great girl talk, I mustarded up the courage to have a conversation with a dear friend than I needed to have. It was one of the most difficult conversations I’ve had in my life! But I needed to do it for myself! As the conversation unfolded, I definitely was feeling fear but I also wanted to do it for myself! I felt myself saying be gentle (with yourself) as we talked!

I was surprised by the gentleness and peace that came over me after that conversation. I am finding there is something so holy about being gentle with ones self! In the midst of this gentleness I am reminded that Gods grace is sufficient!!

Sunday Blessings 29

(1) Surprising my mom with a friend. We were in town for a meeting! It was so fun to see the look on her face when we stopped at the nursing home where she lives!!!!!!

(2) Great conversation with a good friend

(3) Walking with my friend to pick up her daughter at school and meeting her daughter for the first time.

(4) An Easter card from two of my fave people; Jim and Betty. I miss you guys too!

(5) A hug from a sweet 3rd grader. So glad that the kiddos are starting to show me love as I am new here!

(6) Another Easter card. I feel so loved!!

(7) A homemade Easter card from my momma; it says “No bunny loves you like Jesus!” 🙂

(8) Easter dinner with my colleague and his family and many other wonderful people.

(9) Several sweet compliments on my Easter dress. I was even told I was the cutest Easter bunny ever ! 🙂

(10) Easter treats from dear people

(11) A 70 plus degree day–so wonderful to sit outside and enjoy the day

(12) Several Easter greeting texts from dear friends in my life. I miss you all so dearly!!

(13) Talking to my momma on the phone

(14) Getting a few pics from my aunt showing me the new baby calves

(15) A nice post-liturgical nap or rather a post Holy Week crash :p

(16) My FitBit. I know that may seem strange but it has been fun to compete with my friends. It has helped me try and be more active! I love that it is getting competitive (friendly competition) with my friend Kevin. We keep flipping back and forth between each other !

(17) Watching the kiddos at church looking for and finding eggs during our Easter egg hunt

(18) A young little boy asking me a bunch of questions after my Easter children’s sermon.

(19) Texting with one of my fave people! So blessed by his friendship and to have him in my life!! Incredibly blessed!!!

(20) My momma calling to tell me that the Ten Commandments is on tv! So sweet!!

(21) EASTER JOY!!!!!!!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!!Alleluia!!!!

Sunday Blessings Twenty-Eight

Holy Week is just beginning and I’m already tired. I almost didn’t post a Sunday blessings because I’m tired but then realized that’s an even better reason to post a list. Besides that, I have been feeling incredibly entirely blessed this week!

(1) A note from my friend N telling me their prayers have finally been answered. They will meet their daughter in Bulgaria next month and then if all falls into place, she will come home in October.

(2) Fun real mail. One of my members at my previous call sent me the directory that we did last year. It had two sweet pics inside from two of my fave little boys.

(3) The HS coming to me and helping me write my sermon on our question of faith for the 6th week of Lent. Fun to get compliments on it!

(4) A text asking me to hang out

(5) A ladies night! Thanks ladies! It was such a great night! I needed that! Blessed to have you all in my life!

(6) Coffee with two wonderful ladies in my life! Excited to start our book study together!

(7) Being invited to a friends for a wine tasting party! So much fun!

(8) Being invited out to supper with some members and their daughter

(9) An awesome children’s sermon! I loved the idea and was so excited to give it! So much fun!!

(10) Having a little boy bring me a mini muffin this morning

(11) Going with a member to our shared ministry church’s Roast Beef Dinner

(12) Accidentally being called by Pastor M from my last call. Called him back and had a great conversation catching up!

(13) Making muffins to share with our seniors

(14) Watching the Family SS crew in action! So proud of what they did today!! An incredible example of helping others!!

(15) Great heart-to-heart conversations

(16) Texting with one of my fave people

(17) A great first session of First Communion class with parents

(18) Talking to my momma on the phone

And oh so many more but I’m tired so my brain is having a hard time thinking of more so this will have to do for this week!

Leading Up to Easter Friday Five

1. What is your favorite Easter candy? Jelly Beans!! I also really like the malted milk ball eggs! Oh and frosted sugar cookies! 🙂 (Yeah maybe I do have a little bit of a sweet tooth! 😛 )

2. Do you have an Easter memory from childhood to share, then please do. Or any Easter memory. Dying Easter eggs with my sister.

3. Speaking of, what your most favorite day of the past two weeks been? Why? Today (and last night) have been pretty great! Time with new friends. Starting to feel like this place is home!

4. I am kind of digging’ Chipotle’s sofritos these days (marinated and “shredded” tofu) and have been eating them like twice a week. Is there something new in your life that keeps bringing you back for more? (be ye creative here…) Zumba! I was going pretty consistently and then moved…so its been awhile since I have gotten back into a routine. I am finally getting back to routine now and am continuing to go back for more Zumba!

5. Of course, a sentence. Using the following words (or some form thereof): Tree frog, squares, kleenex, eyeglass, lost, daffodil, palms, lamb, Peeps, licorice jelly beans, and donkey

The tree frog wearing an eyeglass and blowing his nose with kleenex saw the lost lamb near the square of daffodil bushs where the donkey was eating licorice jelly beans and Peeps under a palm branch.

Be Gentle

Learning to be gentle with oneself is no easy task. I’ll admit that I am harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. Every day of 2014 I have tried to live into my #oneword 365 “gentle.” Some days I have been more successful than others.

Part of being “gentle” with myself is trying not to focus so much on why certain things haven’t happened for me yet…like finding my Mr. Right and starting a family. I’ll admit that I think about these things more than I should. So I’m trying to learn to continue to be more “gentle” and not worry about these things.

Yes, most days I have to listen deeply for that voice that says, “Be gentle, be gentle with yourself.” That gentle voice often gets muffled by the worlds distractions or my own thoughts. My prayer is that by living into this word I will be blessed!

(Some days I wonder if my #oneword365 should have been “courage.” But that is a post for another day!)

Sunday Blessings #27

(1) Getting back into a routine at Curves and having the owner compliment me on a good workout

(2) A text message from a member showing me a pic her daughter made from an art project I left in the nursery yesterday. Her daughter wanted me to see so I got a cute pic of her holding her creation.

(3) A fantastic Zumba workout at Curves. It’s been sooo long since I have done Zumba.

(4) Being told that I am a ray of sunshine and a beautiful child of God

(5) Chatting online with a dear friend. So blessed to have this woman in my life.

(6) A nice thank you note from a friend/classmate who told me that I have 2 “moms” that are proud of me

(7) Using FaithTalk cards at Tavern Talk

(8) Awesome small group guides who picked up items for our project. Such a huge help to me. I couldn’t say “thank you” enough! Thanks ladies!

(9) A message thanking me for helping with the DLC directory and that she is sending one to me. I’m excited to see it!

(10) Being complimented on my new jeans

(12) Finally defeating my MN plates and getting my ND plates put on my car.

(13) The many ways my FB friends have entrusted me with their prayer requests

(14) An above 50 degree day. I think Spring might have finally sprung!

(15) Getting waved at during worship by one of my fave little people

(16) A gift from a member

(17) My friends K and D who finally got to bring their boys home from Ethiopia. It has been a long adoption process for them. They finally are all in the States. But one of them N has fallen ill and is in the hospital, so if you could say a prayer for N and his family, that would be greatly appreciated!

(18) Making a cool project for Easter with the Family SS families

(19) Receiving my official name tag

(20) Messaging with a dear college friend and talking about life

(21) YOU!! (Yep you who are reading this, you are a blessing in my life!)

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday Rules: Write for 5 minutes on the word, no editing; 5 minutes uninterrupted. Today’s word: Writer

My hands dance across the keyboard and I write words on the page. It has been awhile since I have truly sat down and let the words pour out onto the page. Yes, my job/call allows me to write…to write sermons, etc but it just isnt the same as pouring myself onto the page. Like my friend Anna at GirlWithBlog, there were times in my life when I took pen to paper and wrote in a journal. I honestly cant remember the last time I sat down and wrote words in my journal.

Words have always been so important to me! When I was little, my mom said all she had to do was give me pen and paper and I was a happy camper. Words have always allowed me to share my feelings easier than any other art form. Words have been my form of prayer when my mom was sick or I was struggling with my own life issues or whatever it might be.

Words also are a way for me to escape. I love books and the way writers choose to use words. I hope to someday be an author myself. I have always dreamt of writing a childrens book. I love dreaming about the way my words could dance across a page and capture someones heart and soul.

As I sit here, letting my fingers dance across the keyboard, I am reminded that I too am a writer!


Recharging My Batteries Friday Five

Share five things that steady your pace, recharge your batteries and invite peace to your soul.

(1) Watching tv….good mindless tv. I love watching reality tv and I think it is because so often it is not “reality” at all. Sometimes watching tv is just what the dr ordered especially when it comes to watching tv shows that I watched growing up..Full House, Boy Meets World, etc.

(2) A nice long walk. And it would be even better if that walk was with a good friend. There is just something so incredibly holy about spending time talking with a good friend. And it would be even more incredible if I was talking and walking with a good friend in one of my fave places—SuperAwesomeBibleCamp! 🙂

(3) A good book! I love a good book. I have gotten out of my routine of reading every day so I need to get back into that routine. It will be great when Spring finally arrives and I can sit outside on my patio reading. One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer.

(4) A bubble bath! Something so relaxing about a bubble bath!

(5) Spending time with friends and family. (I miss you guys!). Whether it be at a movie. Or chatting over dinner etc.

Bonus answers: Prayer! As I have been praying through my FB friends list during Lent, I have found it truly recharging my batteries. It has allowed me to not worry about my life and myself but to focus on those I love so dearly.

Writing/Blogging- Words have always been so important to me. There is something so healing and holy for me about putting words on a page. For me, writing can often be a form of prayer.

A Big Glowing Neon Sign

God came to Moses in a burning brush. Now I don’t know about you but sometimes I have wished for that burning bush too! But then I’ve got to thinking, I don’t want a burning bush, I want something more!

I am reminded of the big Hollywood sign. Or Broadway lights…yep that’s what I want; a big bright glowing neon sign. A neon sign would be sooo much better.

Just the other day a friend and I were talking about some situations in our lives where that big neon sign would be even better. Both of us would love to look out and see that big bold neon sign telling us what is to happen.

Moses saw that burning bush and wondered what was happening. I wonder if I would feel that way too. But that neon sign would be the perfect way for God to direct my life. I’m so ready for my prayers to be answered and I’m continually looking for that burning bush but maybe I’m looking too hard or not in the right place at all!

Anyone else feel that way? I think I’m going to go look for that big neon sign now!!!