Saying Goodbye to Nashville

Another installment in the Nashville series. For those of you who are new to this blog, I had been recapping the sister’s trip that my sister Andrea and I took last summer. But somehow I omitted the last day. It was a blast. Hopefully these little nuggets will give you a little glimpse into how awesome this trip wasmemories to last a lifetime!

That Saturday morning, Ann and I got up and dressed for the day. We made sure all of our bags were packed and called for our Lyft driver. We waited by the door until our driver arrived. Once he arrived, we loaded everything up into his vehicle. We chatted with our driver as he drove along the road. Before we knew it,we were at the airport. 

Ann and I thanked our driver and then unloaded our luggage. We found our place in the security line. For some reason, Ann and I ended up in the preapproved line which we were not. So we had to go back to the end of the line and get back in line. Luckily our line moved quickly. We took off our shoes and unloaded our carry on items into the bins to be scanned by security. Ann and I both walked through the security checkpoints. 

After getting through security, Ann and I put our shoes back on and grabbed our items. We walked our way to our gate. As we were walking to our gate, we came across a Jack Daniels statue. We both took a few photos to show our Dad. Ann and I finally sat down and waited for the time for our flight to arrive. Before we knew it, it was time for our flight to take off.

Ann and I found our seats. We sat “Nash”; the Hard Rock Cafe bear that we bought for Mom between us. Nash drank some apple juice and enjoyed a snack with us. Nash even took a nap with us. Before we knew it, our flight was descending into Minneapolis. We got off the plane and walked to our new gate. While waiting at the gate, we ran into members from the church I serve. They were returning from visiting their daughter in Europe. We visited with them about our trip and they shared with us about their trip too. 

We soon were on the plane ready to head home. After a short trip, we were back in Minot. Ann and I waited for my friend EG to come and pick us up. Once EG arrived, we loaded up our luggage in her car and headed to my house. We unloaded the luggage into my house. 

The next morning, Ann and I headed to Walmart as Ann wanted to get her pictures developed immediately. While the pictures were being developed, Ann and I ate at Dennys. As we were eating, Ann and I reminisced about our sister’s trip. It truly was such a blast. Over the course of the week, we had walked 52,590 steps! 

For a glimpse into our week in Nashville, here is the Shutterfly photo book I made for my sister and I to remember our trip. Enjoy! Nashville Trip–Summer 2015

Not Broken!

I am broken!

Well at least, society sometimes makes me feel like that especially on days like this past Sunday; Mother’s Day.

Why is it that the world so often thinks that motherhood and womanhood are synonymous? One can be a woman without being a mother. But so often they are tied together. I think of the many times my single friends and I have been asked if we are going to be “spinsters” all of our lives. The truth is that not everyone is called to be a wife or a mom.

For me, I honestly can still be a woman of God without the call to motherhood. Yet my entire life, I have felt the call to motherhood. It is a deep deep desire of my heart. Honestly, there is nothing that I want more. And it is not because most of the world has tied motherhood and womanhood together. But because it IS a God-given call from God to me!

I cannot even begin to tell you the number of tears I have cried (and will cry) throughout my 37 years on this earth because this desire has not been fulfilled for me yet. I understand that there are other types of moms out there: the friend who cares for her friend’s children like they are her own nieces and nephews; the foster and adoptive moms, the mentors, the teachers and so many others. Perhaps God is calling me and YOU to be a mother in a variety of different ways.

The truth is that “mothering” is more often a verb rather than a noun. Mothers are called to wipe tears away. Mothers are called to fix “boo-boos.” Mothers are called to listen to their children as they utter the cries and prayers of their own hearts. Mothers are called to embrace those she loves in her arms. Mothers are called to put her children and her family first. Mothers are called to simply be who God created them to be. Sometimes that call truly is to be a mother while other times the call to motherhood is to make the best choices for their child by giving him/her up for adoption.

It saddens me that society has so often tied motherhood and womanhood together. They don’t need to be mutually exclusive. I do understand though that for myself and so many others, motherhood is a desire of our heart and a God-given call from God. Yet I will never understand why dear friends had to lay their daughter in Jesus’ care after she was born months early and lived on this Earth for only 90 minutes. I will never understand why my cousin has had to lay two children to rest either. I will never understand why some children are never born to their mothers. But what I do know is that each of these mothers were called by God to be moms.

Yes, a God-given call from God that is not given to everyone but a call that God carefully selects and chooses how and who it will be given to. Sometimes that might be by adopting or fostering a child. Sometimes that might be through a birth mother choosing a better life for her child. Sometimes it might be a call to be a mom for a little while. And even in those moments, I know that God is walking with each and every one of us who feels the call to “mother.”

So know this, my friends, if you are called to be a mom or not, you are not broken.
You are completely 100% whole even when it feels like you are not. Each of us has been given different gifts by God and I want you to know that you are not alone. Mothers or not, we are in this together!

We are not broken!

I’m linking up with these lovely ladies today: Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story; Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Three Word Wednesday!

Sunday Blessings 126

(1) A fun mail day–my new shoes from Arktana, my friend Renee’s book and my latest LuLaRoe item.

(2) A call from my mommy

(3) Attending an informational meeting on foster care and adoption.

(4) Hanging out with the LCM young adults

(5) Playing on the hammock with Little Miss M.

(6) Cool Lime Refresher on a hot day

(7) Stopping at DLC for a little while and seeing some awesome DLC peeps.

(8) Stopping by the synod office to say hello. Sad that I missed you LW and LN.

(9) Chillin’ at West Acres waiting for my sissy.

(10) GARTH BROOKS concert

(11) Meeting up with PM this morning.

(12) Lunch with PB

(13) Coffee and catching up with the bestie and getting my bday and Christmas gifts!

(14) Mothers and Others Tea at church

(15) Lots of hugs after my talk at the Mothers and Others Tea at church.

(16) Catching up on my DVRed shows from this week.

(17) A great Confirmation service.

(18) A mini Camp of the Cross reunion. Loved seeing you HD, NW and JW!!!

(19) A nice visit with FLC members–great conversation.

(20) The Butterfly Circus movie

(21) A sweet Compliment on my Diaconal cross Necklace.

(22) A sweet plate of goodies and a card left in my office.

(23) Staying at a friends house earlier this week. Thanks CG and JG!!

(24) A fantastic PLN!!!

(25) My momma!!!

Let’s Not Miss Out!

I missed the FMF party last night since I was jamming out to Garth Brooks with my sister. I missed you all,but the best concert I’ve seen EVER! If you don’t know about the Twitter party, we gather on Thursday nights and wait for our gracious host to give us the word. Then we write for five minutes unedited. It’s such a great practice in free writing! We would love to have you join us! 

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 “miss.”

My sister and I were at a Garth Brooks concert last night. One of my all time fave Garth songs is “The Dance.” The lyrics in the chorus even include our prompt word for this week, “Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain. But I’d of had to miss the dance.”Life is like that isn’t. There are so many things we could miss if we don’t take the opportunity to do them or even notice them. 

If I didn’t go to the concert, I would have missed spending time with my sister. I would have missed the best concert I’ve ever seen. I would have missed spending time with many friends who I miss. In those 24 hours or so, I spent time with so many that I love and miss. I had lunch with my friend PB today. I had coffee and caught up with my bestie today. She even gave me my birthday and Christmas presents. We have missed getting together. I spent time visiting with my colleague. I even tried seeing a few other friends. My friend Mel missed my text so we missed each other! We were both bummed! 

Life is full of hits and misses but I would much rather spend time remembering the blessings in my life; the people and places that I miss because they have put a permanent mark on my heart and mind. The places and people that have shaped me into the woman of faith that I am today. 

There are sad misses too. This weekend, I also remember those that I miss as they have left this Earth. I think of my Grandma Bess and Grandpa Sam. I think of my favorite high school English teacher. I think of my friend Chewy. Even though I miss them, I am reminded of the promises found in the book of Romans “If we live, we live to the Lord. If we die, we die to the Lord. And so then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords.”

Let’s not miss out on the dance of life, friends! 

Garth singing to a woman with cancer 
at a concert in Minneapolis in 2014.
 He’s a class act! 

It’ll Be Totally Worth It!

I took a giant step tonight.

I attended an informational meeting on foster care and adoption tonight. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve done in a long time. I walked into a room full of strangers. I stand up front every week during worship and have no problem. But tonight I felt like I was a little fish in a big pond. I sat down at a table by myself. Shortly thereafter, a lady asked if she could join me. Next thing I knew there were two couples sitting to my right and my left.

A lot of information was given to us and my mind is full. After awhile, a foster parent panel got up to speak and answer our questions. One of them was a single dad. I asked him to speak about being a single parent. And immediately, as I began asking the question, the tears began streaming down my face. (Anyone who knows me well knows that’s no surprise). I so appreciated his honesty.

Afterwards, the single dad was on his phone when I walked by. I mouthed the words “Thank You!” He mouthed back “It’s totally worth it!” Of all the words that I heard tonight, those are the words that are sticking with me. Those are the words that are replaying in my head and my heart.

Foster and/or adoption have been something that I’ve been praying about for awhile now. And lately, I’ve felt more and more like God has been tapping me on my shoulder saying “Go for it! I’ll be with you every step of the way!” And as I hear those words, I feel like God is calling me to be brave in a new way. I think I’m ready to take that next step; starting first with respite care.

This brave step all began with my friend STM saying to me a few years ago “Have you ever thought about foster care or adoption? There is such a need and I think you’d be great at it!” That conversation started a spark. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. And at almost 38 years old, my biological clock is indeed ticking. But what if God has been calling me to be a mom through foster care or adoption.

I’m not sure exactly where this journey may or may not take me. But what I do know is that God will be with me every step of the way.

And in the end, I have no doubt, it will be totally worth it!!

Im linking up with Holly and Testimony Tuesday; Kelly and the RaRa linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story; Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Three Word Wednesday. 


Seven Things April Taught Me

It is time for Emily P. Freeman’s monthly linkup What I Learned This Month. I love this linkup because it reminds me to stop and reflect on the past month; the good, the bad, and even the ugly. April was a busy month.

Here are 7 things I learned in April:

1. Ten years doesn’t seem possible, but that is exactly what April brought. April 23rd was my 10th anniversary as a Diaconal Minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Ten years was also the last time I saw my friend HL. We grew up together. It may have been ten years since we last saw each other, but it was like no time had passed at all. It was so good to eat lunch, meet her family and catch up on life.

2. One is never too old to keep learning. I decided to buy Crystal Stine’s Creative Basics course even though I took the free course last Spring. I love learning more and more about how to make awesome social media graphics.

3. It is good to look for the lovely among us at all times. There is lovely all around us. After reading Annie F. Down’s latest book, I even ventured to try something different: sushi. It was a veggie sushi but I tried something new and different. April is full of all sorts of lovely: reading on my patio, sun beating down, flowers blooming, and so much more.

Oh and pretty sure that Annie F. Downs and I could be best friends!

4. My smile is captivating! 🙂 While at country artist Canaan Smith’s concert, one of Canaan’s guitar players caught my eye. I smiled at him and sung along to the song. Next thing I knew the guitar player was throwing his guitar pick at me. It went over my head and under the seat behind me. But the young woman behind me was kind enough to give it to me.

5. A girl’s night out is sometimes just what the doctor ordered! My aunt and a friend were in town for an ambulance conference. We ended up going to a hibachi grill for supper, cruising around the mall, coffee at Starbucks and then capped off the night with a 3-D viewing of the Jungle Book. So much fun!!!

6. I think I might be a tad obsessed with LuLaRoe clothing! The Julia, the Azure, leggings, maxi dresses and so much more. The only pieces I haven’t tried are the Sarah sweater, the Lindsay sweater, the Ana dress and the Nicole dress. (I almost embarrassed to say that!) The clothes are so fashionable and best of all they are so stylish and fashion forward. My latest favorite combo is my rhino leggings and my matching colors Irma! 🙂

7. Showing up for one of my fave little girl’s dance recitals totally made her day and MINE! She was so worried that her parents were going to forget about me which of course, they didn’t. I had supper with them and enjoyed her  dance show. So much fun. And the added bonus…was getting to see other church kids perform too.

Sunday Blessings 125

(1) Voxing with VF and a sweet message from her youngest daughter.

(2) A Vox from Marie. Thanks for the awesome feedback friend.

(3) A Vox from KA

(4) A great care conference call about Mom.

(5) Looking for Lovely online party

(6) A total fan-girl moment: A Downs replying to one of my tweets to her.

(7) Bought my first pair of Arktana shoes today! So excited to get them.

(8) FMF Twitter party

(9) Finally getting a shirt I ordered awhile ago. She had sent me the wrong one.

(10) Fresh bedding

(11) Sitting outside and reading my book

(12) Yummy Elk sausage from a parishioner

(13) Getting to see baby E before him and his family move to Germany this week.

(14) CG’s Confirmation Open House

(15) A nice afternoon PLN

(16) A gorgeous Spring day

(17) Awesome Confirmation banquet