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!!

Praying on the Prairie’s Top Ten Blog Posts from 2013

My friend Anna over at GirlwithBlog posted her top ten posts from 2013. As I read through her list, I thought it would be fun to see what my top posts here at Praying on the Prairie are. So here you go…..my top ten blog posts from 2013.

(10) I Am A Daughter; Part 2    
http://prayingontheprairie.net/i-am-daughter-part-two/

I am a daughter! Yet somedays it is easier to be that daugher than other days. As many of you know who read this blog, I am a daughter of a woman who lives with a mental illness. She has taught me more about faith and life than I can even begin to tell you. She has never let her illness get in the way of who she is. She is the most faith-filled woman of God and has nurtured faith in both me and my sister.

(9) Road Maps and Traffic Signs
http://prayingontheprairie.net/road-maps-and-traffic-signs/

If you are a faithful reader to this blog, you know that I have commiserated often about how my life isn’t where I would like it to be. At 35 years old, I am so ready to find my Mr. Right and settle down with a family. For the most part, my heart is content, yet I yearn so deeply for these things; yearn sooooo sooooo soooo DEEPLY

(8) Goodbyes
http://prayingontheprairie.net/goodbyes/

I’ve never been one who is good at saying goodbyes! And attending seminary didn’t help that at all, the community was always changing around me. I am thankful for a dear friend who shared Joyce Rupp’s book “Praying our Goodbyes!” It helped me look at goodbyes in a different light.

(7)Sunday Blessings
http://prayingontheprairie.net/sunday-blessings-2/

I am sitting here listening to the news and my heart is just sad. The death of Glee star Corey Monteith, the verdict in the Treyvon Martin case, a local special needs man having his bike stolen (twice). I can’t help but be sad yet there is so much to be thankful for so instead of dwelling on the sadness I am going to list at least ten things that I am thankful for today.

(6) On Being Single….and Trying to be Content
http://prayingontheprairie.net/on-being-singleand-trying-to-be-conten/

I honestly love my life! I am at the point in my life when I, for the most part, am feeling content. However there are times that I really struggle with where I am as well. I hate to be such a whiner but it is something that I pray for every day. I am so ready to settle down, have a family, etc. I know that it will happen in God’s timing and not mine but that is so much easier said than done. Just a few weeks ago, I was gathered with many of my high school classmates…many of whom I haven’t seen in 16 years. Many of them are married and have children. Some of them are engaged. And then there is me. 

(5) Guilty as Charged
http://prayingontheprairie.net/guilty-as-charged/

Miley Cyrus…..at the VMAs. I didn’t see it but I’ve heard enough about it. I’ve heard about it on late night tv. I heard about it at Zumba at Curves tonight. She was practically unclothed; twerking with a gentleman unstage.

(4) Sunday Blessings: Lucky 13 Edition
http://prayingontheprairie.net/sunday-blessings-lucky-13th-edition/

I know I haven’t posted a Sunday Blessings in awhile but thought I would bring if back this week! What are your blessings this week? (1) An unexpected phone call from a colleague (2) Two beautiful handmade pictures from two of my church kiddos 

(3) For My Dear Friend Who Is Getting Married
http://prayingontheprairie.net/for-my-dear-friend-who-is-getting/

To my dear friend who is getting married tomorrow, I so wanted to be with you and celebrate your day with you tomorrow yet life got in the way. I’m sorry I won’t be there with you as you say I Do to your best friend. I won’t be there to see you all glitzed and glammed up. I know there will be many celebrating with you tomorrow

(2) Another Friday Five
http://prayingontheprairie.net/another-friday-five/

1. How are you? What’s up with you? I am good. I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Monday so I didn’t go into work until Wed. I am thankful that my experience was a good one and that I wasn’t in much pain. I am excited to start our 3 year old Prayer and 3rd Grade Bible milestones this week. I am looking forward to our rostered leaders retreat Sun-Tuesday of this next week. 

(1) That They All May Be One
http://prayingontheprairie.net/that-they-all-may-be-one/

Anytime I drive from Moorhead into Fargo or go home to Ashley for a holiday or vacation, I see a “Welcome to MN” sign as I take the first exit into Moorhead and to my apartment. For the most part, it is something that I know is there but don’t really pay that close of attention to it. However it was different this afternoon. Right as I was leaving work to go to Zumba, I saw that Minnesota passed the Freedom to Marry bill.(I’ll be honest I was ecstatic. I know not everyone feels that way but that was how I was feeling.) On my way home from Zumba, I came to my exit and saw that sign again. Yet today it was different. Today my heart was happy. Today I knew that those words were true…..more true than they had been an hour ago or even 24 hours or 6 years ago. 

Thank you for reading my blog my faithful readers and friends! I look forward to gathering with you here again in 2014! Happy New Year!