I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “culture.” We would love to have you join us.

Culture=”the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious or social group;” “the set of shared attitudes, values goals and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Kuchen, knoephla soup, dumplings….These are just some of my favorite foods growing up. Store bought kuchen is just not the same as Grandmas homemade kuchen. Knoephla soup warms my belly and is one of my favorite comfort foods when I’m sad.

These food items are a representation of the culture my grandparents (my dads parents) came from. They are German Russians. Germans who came over from Russia. I love learning about our culture….where we come from.

Last summer in NYC, we toured Ellis Island. I remember wondering what it must have been like to come over from Germany. Grandpa would have been a young boy.

My sister can be stubborn….a very German Russian trait. What traits do you carry from your families culture? Our cultures tell a lot about where we come from.

Promises, Promises!

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “promise.” We would love to have you join us.

It’s a rainy May Day here in Western ND. And on rainy days, I can’t help but think of Noah and the flood. Noah did as God commanded and built the arc. Two of every animal on the arc. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Then God sent a dove and placed a rainbow in the sky…a promise that this would never happen again.

What kind of promise or what did God mean by this promise? Because in our world, we still experience floods. That’s the thing about water it can be a blessing or it can be a curse. It makes me think about the rainbow and what God truly meant by this promise. What do you think?

The rainbow is a beautiful gift that God gave us. When I see the rainbow, I’m reminded of the promise given to me, to all of us in Baptism. “Tara Lee, you are a baptized child of God whatever else you are; remember that you are that; for that is the basis of whatever else you are.” In Baptism, God calls and claims us and promises to never leave or forsake us.

What kind of promises are we willing to make? Do we make promises that we can’t keep? I always remind my Confirmation students, don’t make a promise you can’t keep. Promises that are kept give us hope.

Making Room

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “practice.” We would love to have you join us.

Practice for this…..

Practice for that…

It seems today’s kids are always practicing for something.

Does practice always make perfect?

What if we are doing something we just don’t enjoy or trust have the skills for?

I am always practicing my writing. I want my words to embody God’s love in the world. I want them to glorify God. I want my words to be a gift to my readers.

This last week I’ve been thinking of the legacy of Rachel Held Evans. Her words left in bestsellers. This woman of valor who always spoke up for those on the margins. This woman of valor who never met a stranger. Even though you may have never met her, she felt like your best friend. I want to practice being more like her! I want to embody the kind of love God showed all God’s people! I want to make room at the table!

For A Woman of Valor….

I pick up the book and run my fingers across the binding of this book. Her name spanning the width of the book….Rachel Helds Evan. It was the first place I read her name as I picked up my own copy of Searching for Sunday. Her words balm to my soul as I read the entire book in three days.

To be honest, the church can sometimes be a messed up yet glorious place. There have been times in my life when I’ve had to search out and seek words that would lift up my soul. Rachel’s words have always spoken to me in that very way.

So when the words of Rachel’s death finally hit social media, my heart broke. In that moment, I wanted to do everything in my power to turn back time; to make sure none of this happened. But the reality was all to real. I knew that as the tears trickled down my face.

Here I am grieving someone I never met. Yet her words, her generosity, her being were a gift to me and the world. I am grieving that her chiildren are growing up without her. I am grieving that there will be no more words from her. I am grieving a sister in Christ who I easily could have sat down with over coffee and dreamed up ways to be the church in this broken world.

And yet in our grief, I see the wider church coming together once again because of this beautiful woman of valor.

“Church is a moment in time when the kingdom of God draws near, when a meal, a story, a song, an apology, and even a failure is made holy by the presence of Jesus among us and within us. Church was alive and well long before we came up with the words relevant and missional, and church will go on long after the grass grows through our cathedral floors. The holy Trinity doesn’t need our permission to carry on in their endlessly resourceful work of making all things new. That we are invited to catch even a glimpse of the splendor is grace. All of it, every breath and every second, is grace.” (Searching For Sunday, Rachel Held Evans; P. 1)

In addition, some of Rachel’s last words reminded us of the reality of life, death and resurrection. “Death is a part of life.” Today, this week, the next hour, the next minute, this reality is so raw, so real as we mourn this dear woman of God.

Thank You for showing us what the church should and can look like. In your honor, I will work to make that church; that kingdom appear on earth. Thank You for your words. Thank You for all you gave us. But, Rachel, thank You doesn’t seem enough! May you Rest In Peace!

Opportunity Knocked

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is opportunity.” We would love to have you join us.

“Call me”….the text read from my sister last week. I picked up the phone and called her back. A new opportunity arose and she couldn’t help but take it. A new beginning in a new place. She had interviewed the week prior.

That’s right, friends, my sister is moving to my community. We will be living in the same town. We are both excited. Our cats can have play dates. We can go on movie dates when we want to.

Today, we looked at apartments and everything feels even more real. This is really happening! How cool is that?! Two sisters hanging out more.

Opportunity knocked….and she answered.