Sunday Blessings #26

(1) Awesome conversation with a new friend (Thanks CT)

(2) Receiving a package in the mail. So excited to give this gift to a friend.

(3) Awesome lunch and conversation with a new friend (Thanks KG)

(4) Reconnecting with some friends on FB as they sent me friend requests.

(5) Real “snail” mail

(6) Camp weekend at camp! So much fun to sing camp songs and get ready for camp.

(7) Being told that I have great ideas. Makes a person feel good!

(8) Talking to a little baby after worship and having her smile at me. I love that so much!

(9) So much fun decorating for the FLC kitchen shower

(10) Having my inner camp counselor come out and lead actions during camp Sunday. One of my fave moments was dancing in the aisle with one of our older members.

(11) Thanks to technology; watching a movie with a friend.

(12) Kids often understand Communion better then we give them credit for. We were using stations today to distribute communion since it was camp Sunday. After communion, the elements were sitting on the table. A little boy went up, grabbed a wafer, popped it in his mouth and then proceeded to show his mom what was in his mouth. (Reminds me of the article that was floating around FB about things kids do for communion that we adults could learn from)

(13) A great PLN (Post-liturgical nap)

(14) A text from a friend who I haven’t heard from for awhile

(15) My mom makes me smile! We broadcast our worship on the radio. This afternoon my mom called me and was like it was all guys and lots of music. She thought she had the wrong station but she didn’t it was camp Sunday.

(16) Reminders of awesome friends and seminary memories–taking out a glass which just happens to be my Class of 05 mason jar. I start filling it and then realize the pirate eye patch is still in the glass. Made me smile!!

(17) A beautiful Spring day in the 50s

(18) Camp songs

Spring Friday Five

1. Your favorite spring flower. (Is it blooming yet? If so, share the joy by posting a picture of that loveliness with those of us still waiting!) Lilacs and the ND state flower; the wild prairie rose.  And nope not blooming yet!

Wild Prairie Roses

2. Your spring cleaning routine. Do you have one? Is there a family memory or tradition around it? I really dont have a spring cleaning routine. I dont really remember one as a child either.

3. A personal area of growth where you have seen some success lately. It can be personal, physical, spiritual or familial. As I have been in my new call about 3-4 months, I finally feel like I am starting to meet new people and make new friends. Winter was sooooo long and it was hard to meet people.

4. When does “spring” usually arrive in your area? Are you holding out for late May? Or are you one of the lucky ones who has already put away her sweaters and mittens? In ND, hard to know when spring really will show up. I would say I am holding out for May! 🙂

5. A verse or set of verses from Scripture that speaks “new growth” to you.

2 Corinthians 5:17—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, behold, the new has come!”

James 1:17—“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Sunday Blessings #25

(1) Being told by many that my sermon blessed them in many ways

(2) Receiving a sweet invitation

(3) Meeting a colleague for coffee and visiting for almost two hours and scheduling to meet again on Monday

(4) A gorgeous 50 degree Spring day

(5) Getting a text from a dear friend telling me she misses me! Thanks Mel! Miss you too!

(6) A day with Mom and sissy—Applebee’s, errands etc–treasured time together

(7) That my Gpas eye surgery went well

(8) Receiving some of my tax money back—getting a pair of new jeans and a new dress in my fave color

(8) My sister and I belting it out to “Let It Go” in my car today

(9) A sweet comment on my blog from one of the parishioners at my new call. Thanks JG; you totally made my day and made me smile!

(10) A comment from a friend telling me how big of a heart I have and that I am easy to love and that in time that special man will come into my life

(11) A message from a friend who is half way around the world. Always fun to read their blog and hear what they are up too

(12) A new cd—The Rend Collective Experiment featuring the song My Lighthouse–one of my new fave songs—love it!!

(13) An awesome weekend with my sissy

(14) Some of our family SS kids having way too much fun playing with the toy bugs–putting them in my hair, etc!

(15) This new Nativity for my Nativity collection. Thanks Joni!

(16) A surprise text and visit from my best friend. She wasn’t able to stay long but she got to see my cute little abode and we FINALLY exchanged Christmas gifts (See above)!

(17) Frozen! I bought the soundtrack and the DVD this weekend!

(18) Falth, grace and love!!!

Sunday Blessings #24

(1) A hand written note from my momma

(2) Beginning to pray through my FB friend’s list for Lent and having friends tell me that their prayers have already been answered .

(3) A very nice Lenten potluck

(4) This magnificent photo that I took before Lenten worship last night

(5) Bearing gifts to a friend as he was passing through on the train

(6) Feeling incredibly loved because of the small favor I completed. You all sure know how to make a girl feel loved!!!!

(7) My first Shamrock shake of the season

(8)Meeting a colleague and friend for coffee Friday morning ; great conversation with a yummy vanilla latte

(9) Connecting with a new colleague and making a date to meet up next week

(10) Texting with one of my fave people. So blessed to have him in my life.

(11) Picking up some items to put together a little gift for a friend

(12) Watching one of my fave episodes of Full House

(13) Making taco chicken chili and an apricot meatloaf in my crockpot

(14) The Holy Spirit helping me write and give my sermon. I got lots of compliments!

(15) God’s grace—I totally skipped over the readings and went straight into my sermon. I recovered by reading the texts after my sermon.

(16) A beautiful 40 degree March day

(17) And so much more!!

Going to the Movies Friday Five

1) Is there a film that so captured your imagination that you couldn’t stop thinking about it? In what way(s) did it affect you? Frozen. There is just something so magical about that movie! Maybe also because I live in ND! 😛

2) What religious/spiritual film has touched you? This could be something overtly thematic, like The Last Temptation of Christ, or something more subtle, like Enchanted April.    Hmmm…this one isnt an easy one for me to answer. “Saved” is a funny movie that takes a humorous take. I dont recommend it to everyone because  Im sure some people will be offended by it.  I did like The Passion of Christ movie.

3) When the going gets tough, is there a film you turn to for distraction and/or to help shift your mood? School of Rock always makes me laugh. Rent is the one movie that I watch all the time. I just love that musical.

4) What is your all-time favorite movie? Man I have so many favorite movies…Grease, Because of Winn Dixie, Silver Linings Playbook, Harry Potter, Love Actually, Dirty Dancing…I think you get the idea!

5) If you were to choose a film for viewing and discussion with your congregation, what would you choose? Pay It Forward, Simon Birch, etc. But really the first movie I would choose would be Silver Linings Playbook. It is such a beautiful movie about mental illness and teachs about the illness. I think it would be a great way to talk about the illness and how we can make all God’s people feel welcome.

Bonus: If your life were to be made into a feature film, who would you want to play you? I think it would be fun to have some one like Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Adams or someone to play me!

The “Holy Space” of Prayer

Prayer is a pretty incredible gift! The last several years for a Lenten practice instead of giving something up, I have decided to take something on. Now I realize that I pray every day…or at least I try to….but often the days have gotten long and I find myself quickly getting the words out. But every Lent for the last two-three years as I have prayed through my friends list, I have realized how focused it makes me and how incredibly powerful it can be to pray for others in my life. It truly reminds me of the communion of saints gathered here and around the world!

There is something incredibly awesome and holy about being let into that “holy space.” I have been asked to pray for friends who have family members suffering an illness. I have been asked to pray for friends as they have tried to start their own families. I have been asked to simply enter into these “holy spaces” and to pray for my friends and family. I hold each prayer with delicateness and pure grace as I lift each one of them before God. “Let my prayers rise up like incense…”

And by entering into these “holy spaces,” I have watched as God has answered these prayers. God hasn’t always answered them in the time or the places that I have prayed for or that my friends and family have specifically asked for but I truly believe God has heard my prayers and hears all of our prayers. I have rejoiced with friends as they have finally been able to take their child home with them. I have mourned with friends as someone they have loved is no longer suffering and no longer in pain but has left this Earth. I have found peace in the midst of a friends troubled relationship because they have finally found peace.

Prayer has taught me so much about what it means to trust in this One who calls and claims each and every one of us as God’s children. God promises that God will never leave us or forsake us. I realize that isn’t easy to trust in because life happens but the promise is that God will always be with us. And because God is always with us, we can ALWAYS turn to him in prayer. I’ll admit there are days when I want to be selfish and pray for myself…pray for silly things. Yes, there are times when I truly do need to turn to God in prayer for healing, for wholeness, for peace for myself but the gift is when I let go and pray for those around me, I begin to see God answering prayers that I have repeatedly said to God for myself.

In praying for others, I have been asked several times by my friends how they can pray for me? I know that there is a whole community of faith in Dilworth, MN who hold me in their hearts and pray for me to find my Mr. Right, to start a family, etc. I know that there is a community of Diaconal Ministry colleagues who daily pray for me. I also know that there is a community of faith right here in Minot ND who daily pray for me too. And there are people scattered throughout the United States and even around the world who know my heart and soul and continually pray for my prayers to be answered. And knowing that is enough!

“Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).”

Sunday Blessings #23

(1) A Confirmation Small group bringing me a waffle cone on Waffle cone Wednesday!

(2) A surprise piece of mail from DLC—a Confirmation pic of my last Confirmation class at DLC

(3) Seeing a friend and having her ask when we are going to hang out again

(4) That my friends are safe! It totally sucks and is completely overwhelming that they had a furnace fire but so glad they are all safe!!

(5) Great food and conversation with a great friend.

(6) Looking up and seeing the sign for the church I was preaching at today. I thought I was lost. But I came to a stop sign, looked up and there was the sign for the church I was looking for–indeed the Holy Spirit at work

(7) Great morning of worship preaching at a friends church since she was at First Lutheran this am.

(8) An extra hour or so of sleep since I preached at a friends church and worship didn’t start until 10:30 am.

(9) Being reminded twice in the same day that I am missed

(10) Oscars night–Curled up on my couch, Cafe Mocha in hand, watching the Oscars

(11) A garage to house my car this winter—so thankful for that!!

(12) A great week that has indeed been blessed