Not Good at Saying Goodbye

Any one that has spent any amount of time with me knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry tears of joy, tears of sadness, etc. So in addition, it probably comes as no surprise that I am not very good at saying goodbye either!!

During seminary, I cried when my friends went off to internship and I was still on campus. I cried when we graduated! I cried when I left my last call and the people there. It seems like my life (like all of ours) is full of beginnings and endings!

When I took this new call about six months ago, fear crept into my heart and soul. I wondered if I would make new friends and I also wondered how long it would take to meet those new friends. But God, like God always does, provided! I have made some incredible friends in the last several months. I’m so very thankful our lives have crossed and will continue to bless my life!

But in those short months, two of my new friends have begun new journeys. Weeks ago we packed up our friend KW. This week we packed up our friend MJ. As I watched MJ’s stuff being loaded into the truck, I was thankful for both his and KW’s new journeys but I also was sad!

In just a few months, these two along with all of my new friends (as well as my other friends) have touched my heart. I am so very thankful that our paths crossed….if only for a little while.

God be with you, friends, in your new journeys!! I am not good at saying goodbye so instead I’ll say “Until we meet again.” Or in Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you!”

Yes, that doesn’t seem so finite…”Peace be with you, my friends!!”

Hellos and Goodbyes

Anyone who has ever found themselves planning for a new adventure knows that it is not easy! Saying goodbyes and hellos are difficult.

I’ve been thinking about those hellos and goodbyes lately. I am so blessed to be in this new place and I have been so blessed by the place I just left. I am reminded of all the dear friendships I’ve left behind but I also am fully aware of the new friends I am making here. I love that I am reconnecting with friends from prior adventures in my life. But I am deeply missing the friendships I have left behind. I am finding myself in this weird place between saying goodbye and hello.

I know that in time the goodbyes will fade away and the hellos will be more prominent. But for now it is such a weird place to be. Tonight when I went to Zumba, I was so glad that I went but I also found myself yearning for my Zumba girls from the Fargo Curves. I am making new friends but I deeply miss my friends. I can’t stop by and see them. I can pick up the phone but it just isn’t the same. There is just something about knowing that we are in the same city. But that is no longer the case.

“The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last time.” Oh how I am remembering this in these days.

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! 

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.

Now I’m not saying goodbyes are easy cuz they are not at all! I honestly have a hard time saying goodbye at all! I’ve been thinking more and more about this as I get ready to experience another goodbye in my life.

It is so hard to capture in words. I’m excited about this new adventure but it is so hard to say goodbye. I keep finding myself clinging to the word bittersweet; this is all so very bittersweet!

Yet I know in my heart of hearts that this is truly where the Holy Spirit is leading. I just wish saying goodbye wasn’t so hard and that saying goodbye didn’t involve me investing in Kleenex stock.

So as I prepare to say goodbye, I’m finding myself praying every moment; praying every step of this goodbye!

Eucharisto

“Eucharisto”

It’s a word that has been replaying in my head today as I reflect on my colleague’s sermon from this morning. In his sermon, he talked about listing our blessings and thanking God for all the things he gives us. He later told us that the word in the text for thanksgiving is translated Eucharisto. As I sat there and listened to his sermon, I found myself reflecting on that word. At the end of that service, I shared with this beloved community of faith that I was leaving and have accepted a new call. Then at the beginning of the second service, I had to share that letter again.

As I sat their and reflected on the past six years, I found myself clinging to that word “eucharisto” because this community of faith has blessed me in more ways than I can count or even imagine! This community of faith has continually wrapped me in God’s grace and mercy. This community of faith has completely made me into the woman leader that I am today!

And little did I realize how I had also blessed them until this morning. It was unbelievable to me how many people came up to me and told me congrats or told me how much I have grown or simply just gave me a hug and said, I cant say anything more right now (And in that simple action…they told me more than they ever needed to say!)

I know that the next 5 weeks, as I prepare to leave this beloved community of faith, will go quickly! I know that this community of faith will wrap another leader just like they have wrapped me and the leaders before me. But yet it is so bittersweet! And so I find myself clinging once again to that word “Eucharisto” (The Great Thanksgiving). One member came up to me today and simply uttered that simple word to me “Eucharisto.”

So tonight I find myself uttering it back! I am thankful for the homes and families I have been blessed to walk with at DLC. I am thankful for my dear colleagues and friends. I am thankful for Pr M and his wife S. I have learned so much from M and will always consider him a mentor and friend. I am thankful for my Tuesday morning ladies. I have learned so much about life and living for them. I am thankful for C; our office secretary. She has blessed me in so many and various ways! I am thankful for….You, and you, and you, and you……(I wish I could name you all here but that would make this ONE REALLY LONG BLOG POST!) 🙂 I am thankful for soooo much!!!

“Eucharisto” my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Praying Goodbye and a Smattering of What Ifs….

I just returned from a going away party for a good friend and her family. I used to hate saying goodbyes and I still strongly dislike them but with my seminary experiences of saying goodbye, I look at them at a totally different way. A friend recommended a book by Joyce Rupp titled “Praying our Goodbyes.” That book has become my mantra when I say goodbye. I’m excited for the new adventures this will bring my friend and her family. I pray that the transition goes well for all of them. Tonight as we gathered I found myself playing games etc with their three year old. I was climbing through tunnels and sliding down the slide with her. It was so fun!!! It made me reflect more on this current battle between my heart and my mind. I find myself asking a lot of “What if” questions!

What if….God is calling me to take on this new adventure?

What if……someday soon….God is going to bring my Mr. Right into my life?

What if…

What if…..

What if….

Saying Goodbye

Yuck! It’s gross outside! That humidity is ridiculous but enough about the weather!

Have you ever had to say goodbye? As a child, I was never one who had to say goodbye a lot. We moved when I was four and never moved again. In fact, most of my dad’s side of the family still lives in that community. Now there were the little goodbyes; saying goodbye to G and G after visiting them in the summer; saying goodbye to a new friend after meeting them at camp; etc! But then I went off to seminary—-where I was constantly saying goodbye! There was the goodbyes to the seniors as they graduated. There was the goodbye to the middlers as they went off to internship. There was the goodbye as we finished and left our new friends behind etc. Being a Master of Arts student it seemed like I was ALWAYS saying goodbye! The class I started with was on internship when I graduated….and when they came back to campus for their senior year, I was graduated and gone. Being the emotional person that I am those goodbyes were NEVER EASY for me! I think part of it was because these friendships mean the world to me and I knew that they would always be there for me etc! But it was never easy! A dear friend told me about a book titled “Praying Our Goodbyes” which has been a huge help to me in learning to pray my goodbyes! (However saying goodbye is still much easier said than done!)

As many of you, my faithful readers, know one of my best guy friends got married a year ago this next week and I have always called him “the younger brother I never wanted” because he calls me “the older sister he never wanted.” I am so happy for him and his wife! She is awesome, wonderful, etc! However they are moving on Tuesday. “Younger bro I never wanted” got a new teaching job so they are moving away from the community we have both lived in for the last four years. I am excited for this new adventure for them but I also find myself grieving! Grieving yet again; it was difficult when he got married because I knew our friendship probably would never be the same! Now dont get me wrong; I am so thankful he found the woman of his dreams etc, I just knew that it would involve some loss and grief; some grieving of a good friendship! I am so thankful for “Younger Brother Who I Never Wanted” and Mrs.”Younger Brother Who I Never Wanted!”

To learn more about about our friendship, you can read about it at these two posts:

Younger Brother

How Hes Blessed My Life

Saying goodbye is never easy! But I think one of the reasons its hard for me is because these people/places/etc have been such blessings in my life! I just wish it was easier to say goodbye!!!