Holy Rest

linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “rest.” I’m doing this on my phone so you’ll have to forgive the errors etc.

The water lapping against the rocks. The rain clouds peering over my head. Huge rain droplets falling on my head. I get up and move to a table under the awning. This is holy space; a space to rest and take in the amazing awesomeness of God’s creation.
Yesterday we hiked; first Copeland Falls; then Calaypso cascades. The mist off the cascades permeates the air. We begin our descent down. It goes so much faster. Even this hard hike doesn’t feel like work. There is something so restful about taking in God’s glorious masterpieces of creation.
I don’t have much cell service when I’m here. That is one of the things I love about this place. I get to learn and not worry about what is happening back home. After class, I sit on the porch, pull out my colored pencils and adult coloring pages. I create and color. It’s so restful! 
I read the latest book I’m reading and let the words wash over me. A holy rest; full of peace and promise and hope!!
I’m still sitting here. The clouds have parted a little. The cool lime refresher cleanses my palate. The sun is beginning to peak through. I think I’ll enjoy this and sit here a little longer. 
For it is in this place; in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, that I find my peace; find my rest!!

Sunday Blessings 132

(1) Texting with STM (Oh and learning she’s expecting baby #2 last week–so excited)

(2) Hanging with EG

(3) A great week of VBS

(4) Voxing with KA

(5) Two of the kids at VBS bringing me presents today.

(6) People buying my book

(7) Only needing to get two new tires rather than all four.

(8) FMF Twitter Party

(9) DQ Buster Bar

(10) Lunch from Soup Kitchen. Thanks ladies!!

(11) Talking to my daddy

(12) New Hot Tamale Twizzlers

(13)Packed for my trip

(14) School House Rock Live

(15) Great music to jam to while driving. Today’s playlist included Peter Mayer, Garth Brooks, Rend Collective Experiment, Francesca Battestelli, Matt Mahrer, Agape and Rachel Kurtz!

(16) A hotel to lay my head for the night

(17) A beautiful day for a drive

Don’t Lose Who God Calls Us To Be!

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 “lose.”

Have you ever lost someone close to you? Do you yearn to sit with them and talk about faith and life? I do. I yearn to pick up the phone and phone my best friend. I yearn to sit and chat with my grandma and grandpa in their living room. It’s hard to believe how long they’ve been gone from this earth.

Losing those we love is never easy. Sometimes the loss is expected and other times it is unexpected. Yet loss is a part of life. This past week, many people in Orlando lost those they loved much sooner than they ever should have had to. These individuals were simply enjoying their night at Pulse night club. I am so saddened that someone went into that club with the intent to kill; with the intent to take someone’s life. As we remember these lost lives, it is our call to be agents of love; to share God’s love with the world.As we share our love, we lose that fear that seems to so often overtake us.

For when we let love win, we remember who and whose we all are; beloved children of God. This past week my friend KA wrote a post about who God calls her to be. She asked us to listen and hear who God says that we are too. Last night, as I lay my head down for the night, I heard God call my name. God said, “You are the sweet stanzas of my heart; poured out in love and actions.” (In the words of my blog friend KA swoon-worthy, right?)

Who does God call you to be, my friends? And once you hear who God calls you to be, don’t lose sight of who God calls you to be for when we truly live out that call, we help let love win.

Love Winning Over Fear

I remember it as if it was yesterday. My sister and I sitting on our front porch; tears streaming down my sister’s face. “Tara, why are people discriminated against for their sexual orientation?” I was speechless. As the big sister, I remember wanting to take my sisters sadness away. I wanted to take away the hurt and pain of our LGBTQ friends especially her best friend. I wanted love to always win over fear.

And most days I see glimmers of love overcoming fear. In fact, our world has made changes, but in my opinion, not enough. When we wake to the news of a mass shooting in Orlando, one’s heart cannot help but be broken. No one should ever be discrimated against. God calls us to love our neighbors.”Love your neighbor as you would love yourself!”

I understand that we may not all agree how we should handle this in our world. But it seems to me that love can always win if we choose to let love win. God sent Jesus into the world because God loved us that much. Jesus was the first one to break bread with tax collectors and sinners. In the upper room, Jesus prayed “that all may be one!”

That all may be one…..we pray that violence is never the answer.
That all may be one…we pray for the community of Orlando and all that mourn this night.
That all may be one…we pray that love ultimately always wins over our fears.
That all may be one…we pray for an end to hatred.

As the day comes to a close, I’m choosing to cling to the promises of hope, restoration and transformation. How might we let our lives be transformed? How might we let our world be transformed by love and not hatred and violence?

We are all broken clay pots; sinners in need of God’s love and grace! And as we let the light shine in our cracks, we are reminded that “light truly does shine in the darkness!” But yet I still want to reach out to my LGTBQ friends and family.

So to my LGTBQ friends, “This is not right. This is unfathomable. This is heart wrenching and maddening. I am so so sorry for the way you’ve been treated. Know that you are loved. Know that I will do my best to not be silent, but rather to help make sure this doesn’t happen again. Tonight know that I am wrapping my arms around you; embracing you in God’s love!”

It’s the least I can do!

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and not necessarily the thoughts of the people and congregation I serve. 

I am 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. 


Sunday Blessings 131

(1) A great mail day; Plunder jewelry and more LuLaRoe.

(2) Spending a few hours tonight with ST making our gathering team display board.

(3) A Vox from TM

(4) Sitting outside enjoying this beautiful night.

(5) A note on my book after I loaned it out for the night for someone to read.

(6) Hanging out with KG

(7) Texting with KL

(8) A hug from TE

(9) Holding and cuddling baby Zane

(10) Running into friends and colleagues at synod assembly.

(11) People telling me that they bought my book.

(12) So many compliments on my hair. Thanks for making me look good, TS!!

(13) My first official book signing

(14) Hanging out with some awesome peeps–JS, KS and KS, KG and KL!

(15) Visiting with and getting a hug from CB.

(16) Lunch with my word and service colleagues.

(17) Watermelon Bath and Body Works candle

(18) A cool breeze blowing in my screen door window.

(19) PB sharing a children’s sermon idea with me.

(20) Fresh radishes from the church garden.

(21) EG having to show me a worm

(22) Church Garden party

(23) A nice PLN

(24) A nice visit and meal with individuals at the gala.

I Want To….

I missed my FMF peeps tonight!

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 “want”

I want there to be peace on Earth.

I want the world to not fight about petty things.
I want to know that we can agree to disagree.

I want to always be who God created me…created us to be

I want to do my best to show God’s love to the world.

I want to be the best friend, daughter, sister, etc I can be in this world!!

I want to continue to embrace all that God gives me.

I want to be a mom and wife more than anything in this world.
It is one of the deepest desires and wants of my heart.
And yes, I must admit that I get tired of writing about and sharing this want with all of you.
But it is something that I feel from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.
It is a desire I yearn so deeply for.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of the heart.”

Like Abraham and Sarah, I want to trust fully and completely like they did.
I want to give everything over to God and to place it always in God’s hands.
What if Sarah hadn’t trusted? What if Abraham hadn’t trusted?

What if Mary hadn’t trusted the angel who told her she would bear the Christ child?

I want to wait in faith…as I trust in our God who knows every desire and who I believe will indeed see them fulfilled in God’s way and not necessarily in my way.

For the Love of LuLaRoe

Back in December, my friend Lindy invited me to a LuLaRoe online pop up. I bought my first pair of buttery soft leggings and a classic tee. From the day those items arrived, I slipped into them and immediately fell in love which surprised me. I never thought I’d be a leggings as pants girl but I was wrong.

Before I knew it, my friends and I were each taking turns hosting parties. Since then, I have tried about every piece of  clothing that LuLaRoe offers. But what is it about these clothes? For me, I’ve never felt as pretty as I do in these pieces of clothing. I am no longer afraid to show off what God has given me. Instead these clothes help me to accentuate my features. These lovely clothes remind that I am indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made!” 
A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to head out for graduation open houses and to preach for our Saturday evening worship. As I got ready, I didn’t pull out my fave pair of jeans and a tshirt instead I grabbed my new grey butterfly classic tee and black leggings. I put them on and grabbed a cute pair of black sandals. I walked out my door with my head held high.

It amazes me how this clothing line has united so many of us. Together we are united as a circle of women who love who God created them to be and who can show off their assets without hiding behind a baggy piece of clothing. But this clothing isn’t just for women either. I’ve seen men wear the leggings as comfy pants as they gave gone through cancer treatments. I’ve seen husbands wear the Patrick tshirt feeling and looking good in it! 
But I think it’s about more than the clothing, it’s about standing together as brothers and sisters in Christ. We cheer for each other. We pray for each other. We celebrate together. And even when we fall in love with the same patterns, we are gracious to one another. Here’s an example: several months ago, one of the ladies I buy from did a sneak peak of her new inventory on Periscope. I saw a beautiful green maxi skirt and fell in love! The night her party opened I went onto FB and found out that someone had already claimed that skirt. I simply commented how I was to late. The other customer saw my comment and offered to let me have them. I hesitated because she had fairly claimed then. She deleted her comment and I claimed the, after she encouraged me to claim them. Every time I wear that skirt I am reminded of this woman’s graciousness. 
Who would have ever thought that clothes would be such a gift in so many different ways? Yet that is exactly what it does for me. They help me to hold my head high as I proudly wear my rhino print leggings and my dark blue and light blue striped Irma. 
You may never fully understand our love of LuLaRoe, but what I do know is that when I wear these clothes, I feel beautiful, gorgeous, and incredibly blessed. And who would have ever thought that it would begin with a few pairs of buttery soft leggings! 
I’m 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. 


Sunday Blessings 130

(1) Texting with CT

(2) Getting mail when I didn’t think there was mail.

(3) Releasing my first self-published book.

(4) A Vox from Marie

(5) JB bringing donuts to our staff meeting.

(6) People buying my book!

(7) Circle Bible Study at the nursing home.

(8) Papa Johns supreme pizza

(9) My friends tagging me in the green items at our friends LLR party.

(10) Ann and I spending the day with momma; enjoying lunch, watching boats come in, ice cream etc.

(11) Ann and I seeing “Me before You!”

(12) Great morning of worship.

(13) Afternoon at the zoo

(14) Leftover cookies sent home with me after bible study on Thursday

(15) KFC leftovers

(16) My lawnmower

(17) Texting with EG and CT

(18) Having my name drawn for a friends drawing and getting a free piece of LLR.

My Haven from the Storms

Thursday nights on Twitter with my FMF peeps is my HAVEN from the rest of the world. The FMF party is one of my favorite things in the world. This community of bloggers have become some of my dearest friends. You hold a piece of my heart and always will. We would love to have you join us for the five minute Friday free write. 

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 “haven.” 

The thunder boomed.
The rain went pitter patter.
I stood watching the rain fall.
Hitting my bare feet as I stood
On my front porch.

A holy moment
As I walked back inside
A reminder that
God is my haven
My refuge in the storm.

God is indeed our haven;
As God loves us
And always calls us
God’s beloved children.

Just a few weeks ago, I held an infant in my arms. We walked around the crowded room and it was like we were the only two in the room. I talked to her. She listened. She fixated her eyes on the ceiling and the lights. This precious little one is a gift. Whenever the world seems full of ugliness and pain, and an infant is placed in my arms, that little body is my haven; my reminder that everything is precious and ultimately belongs to God.

“Behold I make all things new!”

I remember a few years ago, at our annual church dinner, I asked my friend if I could hold her then infant son so she could eat. She graciously handed him over to me. This little precious baby boy and I walked over to the rocking chair and rocked. Within minutes, he fell asleep on me. I sat in that rocking chair holding my friend’s baby. Again a haven in the midst of a busy day.

Not only, do I find haven in infants in my arms, I find haven in one of my fave places in the whole wide world; Camp of the Cross. It is the place where I heard the call to ministry. As I sit on the shores of Lake Sakakawea, the cool breeze blowing against my face, the night sky lit up with twinkling stars above my head, I cannot help but find peace; a peace that passes all human understanding. This holy place is my haven from the storms of life. It is the place that refills my heart and soul. It is one of the places where I truly feel and know that God is our haven in the midst of a world that feels deep loss and grief.