Hidden Joys

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “hidden,” I love spending my Thursday nights with my FMF friends. I adore these people! But I missed them this week since I was spending the week at the ND State Fair with my sissy.

I have been busy spending the week with my sister at the North Dakota State Fair. I love spending time with those I love and running into friends, family, etc. There were all sorts of hidden joys along the way.

I found hidden joy as I watched two church youth jump on this bouncy jump thing. I don’t know what it was called, but they were attached to a bungee cord and got to bounce high.

Hidden joy as I learned a new job at our church’s fair booth. We sell fresh made pies, made fresh every morning, hamburgers, etc. I learned how to be the cashier and loved it.

Hidden joy as my sister and I listened to awesome music at fun concerts: LoCash, Old Dominion, Kenny Chesney, and Jake Owen. Jake Owen was an awesome performer. He did the whole concert barefoot.

Hidden joy watching all the kids and families enjoying the fair.

Hidden joy in petting tiny baby goats and seeing all the farm animals.

Hidden joy in watching my mom’s face as we watched the parade and the racing pigs. Pure unspeakable joy!!!

Hidden joy even in eating yummy fair food. A Carmel Apple, roasted almonds, fry bread, cotton candy, homemade pie, shaved ice, Icees and mini donuts. I think I am seriously done for a year for eating fair food.

Hidden joy as I think about how awesome and blessed I am. 
Hidden joy as I think of all of you dear friends and family. I’ve missed so many of you!!!

The truth is there is hidden joy all around us…all the time, we just have to open our eyes to see it…to see the ways that God is active and moving in the world. 

Sunday Blessings 137

(1) Getting my hair done. Thanks TS!

(2) Family VBS fun

(3) Getting a hug from KM and having CM dump water on my head.

(4) Another great night of family VBS fun

(5) Ice cold water on a hot hot day

(6) A sweet message from RS

(7) The new berry sangria tea at Starbucks.

(8) A fun mail day–4 new books!!

(9) Time with my momma

(10) A sweet text from my friend JK

(11) Texting with MW

(12) State Fair parade with Mom, CT and her girls and CT bringing donuts!

(13) Day at the fair with mom and sis

(14) Talking to my churchwide assembly prayer partner on the phone.

(15) Getting to see a camp friend. Thanks for the hug and conversation FF!!

(16) A great weekend with momma staying at my house.

(17) Orange Julius’s and ice cream

(18) Fun with my sis at the fair

(19) Running into EG at the fair

(20) A beautiful summer day

A Little Help from my Friends

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “help.” I love spending my Thursday nights with my FMF friends. I adore these people!

I get by with a little help from my friends….

When I decided to turn my 31 days series into a book, I knew I could count on friends to proof it and give me suggestions. I knew I could count on you all to buy my book and share about it. July sales are slow but I know I can count on you all for help.

During my seminary days, it was my friends and professors who helped me finally pass systematic theology. They made me realize how important it was to ask for help. Because with that help, I could pass that class.

There are times when we just need a friend to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Just the other day, I texted a friend and asked her to pray. She responded almost immediately with some Bible verses that blessed me. Those words of help were a gift in that moment.

How can we help others? How can we ask for help when we need it? I am so thankful that we have a God who knows what we need before we even know we need it for ourselves. God is a God who helps us in our times of sorrow but also is with us in our times of joy too.

Help may only be a four letter word, but it is so much more than those four letters. Help often comes in all shapes and sizes. Help sometimes comes in friends sitting with us. Help sometimes comes in an unexpected call or text. Help comes in blog friends who give you pointers on how to stay cool like freezing your pillowcase to keep cool.

I am so thankful….that I get by with a little help from my friends!

Sunday Blessings 136

(1) Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

(2) Fun trip with my sis

(3) Driving wildlife loop at Custer State Park and seeing lots of buffalo including baby buffalo.

(4) Getting to hug and see my dear friend MP.

(5) Storybook Island

(6) Bear Country

(7) Touring where they filmed Dances with Wolves.

(8) Swimming at the hotel

(9) Asking a little girl in the elevator about her stuffed tiger, she said “I call him kitty!”

(10) Reptile Gardens

(11) My water bottle with infuser

(12) A yummy Mexican meal

(13) Texting with MW

(14) Getting lots of Christmas shopping done with my sis on vacation.

(15) Armadillo’s Ice Cream Shoppe

(16) Visiting with a lady in the hot tub at our hotel.

(17) Sending postcards to our family

(18) Breakfast with a college friend I haven’t seen in ages and her little boy. So much fun!!

(19) McKenzie and Brandon’s wedding

(20) Supper and Lunch with my aunt and sis

(21) Shopping with my aunt and sis

(22) Ice cream on National Ice Cream Day

To Create

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “create.” It was so good to join in the party again this week even if I was in and out. Party was starting just as my sister and I returned home from our vacation in SD where we were creating memories together. We took a sisters trip to the beautiful Black Hills of SD. I’m home for part of the day today. Then off on a short little trip for the end of vacation. One of the girls my sister and I used to babysit is getting married tomorrow. 

Ever since I was little, I have been a writer; a creater. My mom has told me that I often was happy with just a pen and paper. I love to create. I may not be the best artist, but I do love to create…to create Shutterfly scrapbooks, to write poetry and write in general. Create is a great word for me..and many of us!

I created a self-published book using the Amazon website “CreateSpace” this year. The book is a compilation of my 2014 write 31 days series “Living as a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness.” As I sat and worked on my book, it was so amazing to watch it come to fruition. And the minute it was finished and I held it in my hands, I had so many feelings: Joy, fear, excitement, etc. I wonder if God felt all those emotions too when God created the world.

This week my sister and I have been creating memories. Sunday-Thursday we spent in the beautiful Black Hills of SD. We went to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, drove through Custer State Park, saw awesome wildlife on the wildlife loop and so much more. I have over 100 pictures on my phone. I started uploading them to my Facebook page the other day and I still have over 80 some on my phone. I love taking photos and creating a photo book. It is so fun to create a book of memories. I carefully select the proper backgrounds, matching stickers, etc.

To create is truly a gift. It reminds us of the beautiful power of God and all God has created. Look around you today. Take in all that God created for us…a gorgeous blue sky, a warm sun, beautiful flowers and so much more.

Sunday Blessings 135

(1) Minot 4th of July Festival

(2) Watching fireworks with good company.

(3) Keeping up with my pact to get in shape during this year so I can climb a mountain next summer.

(4) Hugs from some of my fave kiddos

(5) Petting my neighbors dog Cookie

(6) A Vox from TM

(7) Momma calling me

(8) Circle Bible study at the nursing home.

(9) A lady at Curves telling me that I have pretty eyes.

(10) A call from my daddy

(11) Shopping with DC

(12) Going for a walk with my sissy at the Scandinavian Heritage Park and around my neighborhood.

(13) Checking on Oscar the cat and playing with him.

(14) Walking with my sissy at Oak Park

(15) Pastor Brandy’s baby shower at church

(16) Making it to Rapid City safely.

(17) USA Gymnastics

Build One Another Up

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “build.” It was so good to join in the party again this week. I’ve missed this amazing group of people the last several weeks, but My time in the Rockies was delightful! We love new friends at FMF so we would love to have you join us. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”–1 Thessalonians 5:11

It has been a day of deep sadness and grief as we turn on the news around us. Two more lives lost. One does not understand how this can happen in our world. Yet I cannot understand fully since my skin is white. Why is this senseless death happening?

I find myself wanting to weep and cry out tears of injustice for my friends of color. I also am wrapping my law enforcement friends in prayer too. My best friend’s husband is a highway patrolman. He would never let this happen. Yet in our world, it is happening. People of color are losing their lives for no apparent reason. It makes me sad. I am outraged.

Too often, I can be selfish. But the truth is that I want to be respectful. I want to learn from my brothers and sisters. I want us to build each other up. Yes, that is exactly what I want. I want us all to build each other up; to love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

For I believe that when we build each other up, we can also build up a wall of justice and righteousness. “Let righteousness flow like an ever flowing stream and may justice reign down.” One way we can do this is pray. ..we can build a wall of prayer that builds each other up rather than tears each other down.

“For my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

Sunday Blessings 133 and 134, Lutheran Academy of the Rockies Edition

(1) Arriving to my destination safely

(2) Seeing friends and getting hugs

(3) My buddy excited to see me, sitting with me and asking about the last time we saw each other.

(4) Being called an author! So so surreal!!!

(5) Supper with great people.

(6) Visiting with SB and NF.

(7) A great afternoon playing with an awesome two year old.

(8) So many wonderful conversations.

(9) Being told I still have my same glorious laugh.

(10) My love of story

(11) A nap

(12) Eating ice cream cake and celebrating AJ’s birthday!

(13) Finding a new book that I didn’t think was out yet.

(14) Time with JK and her girls. What a gift!!

(15) Free muffins for eating at Mimi’s Cafe for the first time.

(16) Spending the afternoon with MKB.

(17) An awesome Sunday lunch.

(18) Going to see a movie with great people.

(19) AJ telling me he saw my car and sitting on my lap during worship.

(20) Chili lights gatherings

(21) Watching the movie Zootopia for the first time.

(22) Fun City with the Beebe crew.

(23) Reading poetry at the talent show.

(24) A nice two hour nap

(25) Hiking Lily Ridge Trail with MYJ.

(26) Running into TJ and family at Lily Lake.

(27) Hard goodbyes.

(28) Rain

(29) A hotel to rest my head

(30) Picking up some of my stuff at CT’s and catching up with her. And KT showing me her new trick on the swing set.

(31) Fun mail. Thanks for the prize NV!!
Love the leggings and necklace!

(32) Catching up on my shows.

(33) Taffy!! My new faves are cherry cola and salted caramel!

(34) Chili cheese Fritos

(35) A great worship

(36) Brunch with awesome church peeps.

(37) Starting my year long pact to get in shape and climb a mountain next summer.

(38) A wonderful PLN!!

Our Protector

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “protect.” I’ve missed this amazing group of people, but Amy time in the Rockies was delightful! 

On this 4th of July weekend, I am thankful for those who have fought and protected us from our freedom. In the words of the constitution we are reminded  that we have been given life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

I don’t know about you, but there are days that I want to protect my heart and the hearts of my friends and family. I want to protect them for evil and hatred. I want to protect them from having their hearts broken. I want to protect all of us from this world, yet I know that I don’t have the power to protect but God does. God is the one who protects us and keeps us from all harm.

I know that is easier said than done especially when people we love are sick etc. Yet God stands with us even in those deep depths too. God reminds us that we are always enough because God sent God’s son into the world for each of us and out of God’s full and completed love, God ultimately reigns.

There are also days when I question what is happening in the world too. I want to protect myself from being hurt. I want to protect myself from questioning if I can do it even one more day. Yet the truth is that I am enough…because God is enough and God created me and YOU!!

Out of full and completed love, God protects us! “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God is with you; God will never leave you nor orsake you.”–Deuteronomy 31:6