Sunday, May 27, 2012

What's Up Holy Spirit?

For awhile now, I have been praying and contemplating about a topic that is extremely dear to my heart. Those who know me well know that I deeply yearn to have a family and to be a mom. It's something I have dreamed about and wanted for a really long time now. In September, I will celebrate my 34th birthday. I know 34 isn't that old but for me it means yet another year has passed where I haven't found my Mr. Right and haven't been able to start my family. My biological clock is absolutely 100% ticking! And as that clock ticks, I find myself praying and trying to figure out what God is calling me to do!

Several months ago a dear friend texted me after a foster care meeting at her church. She immediately thought of me. I was humbled by the fact that she thought of me. There was (and I believe still is) such a need. She thought I would be a perfect match. Her comment opened my heart to praying about it. Around the same time, another dear friend and her family announced that they were beginning an adoption journey. And also at that same time, a colleague and I began to talk about it as well. This colleague was very up front and reminded me that society is different now and I don't have to find my Mr. Right in order for my dream of being a mom to come true. The first friend who brought this up confirmed this when she told me about journeys of two of her single friends: one who is adopting and another who was doing IVF and had just found out she was pregnant. Then I visited with another friend who happens to be parent support foster care. In the midst of all of these stories and reminders of adoption, I found myself blogging and praying, praying, praying. The blogging and prayer allowed me to put it all into God's hands!

I hadn't really thought about it much lately. And then again tonight, a friend messaged me and was like,"Have you ever thought about foster care or foster adoption!? Inside I found myself laughing while on the outside, I was like, "Ok Holy Spirit are you trying to tell me something? Is this a sign from God?." My friend and I chatted for a little while about. She shared two blogs about adoption with me. I found myself reading their stories. And once again wondering what God is telling me! Is God trying to tell me something?

I'm not sure what my journey holds but what I do know is there are a lot of fears and unanswered questions. But then I also believe there are going to be many joys and possibly even peace if God is calling me to follow on this journey. I am thankful for friends who tell me how AMAZING of a mother I will be! I am thankful for this blog and my faithful readers who allow me to be honest and flesh this all out. But mostly I am thankful for a God who I can trust in and who will show me the way; who will let me know what God is calling me to do!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Inspirations Friday Five

1. What has encouraged you? Friends, Family, etc!

2. What has inspired you? Special Olympics Atheletes, my momma, and so many other things

3. What has challenged you? Starting summer with my colleague on Sabbatical. It will be good but it's just different with him not there and a new colleague joining me for the summer months.

4. What has made you smile? Spending almost two hours with a dear friend, reading a good book that is just making me smile and laugh

5. What has brought a lump to your throat or a tear to you eye in a good way? Watching the American Idol finale and seeing Philip Phillips reaction. It just made me cry as I watched him. He truly was surprised!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Holy Ground


(This blog post was inspired by another blog post I read earlier tonight that my friend Dan wrote. You can read his blog post here: The Gift of Perspective)

There is a children's book on my shelf titled "If you're not from the prairie...." This book was shared with me many years ago by a dear friend. As she read the book to me, I fell in love with it. It captures so well how I feel when I'm on the prairies (hence the title of my blog!)Here is a page from the book; "If you're not from the prairie, you don't know the wind, you can't know the wind; our cold winds of winter cut right to the core, hot summer wind devils can blow down the door, As children we know when we play any game; the wind will be there, yet we play just the same, if you're not from the pairie, you don't know the wind."(If you're not from the Prairie;David Bouchard and Henry Ripplinger;Aladdin Paperbacks Copyright 1995)

I've always felt God's presence on the wide open prairies. There is just something so incredibly holy about the prairies. I am reminded of the many families who have farmed the prairie lands. I think of my uncle, dad, and grandfather who daily work on the prairie. As a teenager, I loved driving in the tractor, taking in the vastness and holiness of the prairie.
Recently my new aunt was commenting on how she has been loving the wide open prairies but has noisy neighbors (the cows!). I said to her, "There is just something so incredibly holy about the prairies. Its hard to explain unless you have experienced it for yourselves."

The prairies allow me to see the sky as wide and as far as I can see. In so many ways, it reminds me of how wide and vast God's love for us is! The prairies allow me to feel the wind and remind me of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Can you tell I'm working on a Pentecost sermon for Sunday?) The prairies are the one place I go to--to be refreshed! The prairie always will hold a special place in my life. In so many and various ways, the prairie is "holy space" for me!

I love how the children's book closes. It truly captures how the prairie makes me feel. It reads "You see, my hair's mostly wind, my eyes filled with grit, my skin's red or brown, my lips chapped and split,I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh, I've started at the vast open bowl of the sky, I've seen all those castles and faces in the clouds, my home is the prairie, and I cry out loud."(If you're not from the Prairie;David Bouchard and Henry Ripplinger;Aladdin Paperbacks Copyright 1995)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Doing Something!

It's been an incredible day today! Why, you may ask? Today has been a day of prayer. Now, of course, I work in a church so yes, I do spend most of my days already in prayer. But today was a little different..today was about lifting up TeamKoppy and sarcoma research, today was about doing something for a friend who is battling sarcoma at this very moment, today was about continuing to carry the mat for her.

Another friend Julia ran in honor of Laura and for Sarcoma research. I cheered Julia on from the sidelines. It was the least I could do as she ran today. I'm no runner but I wanted to help in some way. I wanted to be part of the journey with her and wanted to lift both of them in prayer. So I got up before 7 am on a Saturday (which is unique for this single young lady) but I was up before my alarm even went off. The Holy Spirit knew how important this was to me; to be their on the sidelines cheering as loud as I could.

I drove to Broadway and found my spot along the route. I walked up and down Broadway until the first runners came through. And then I watched and waited for Team Koppy to run by me. After she ran by, I stayed and watched and saw many other friends (some Running Reformers, some college friends, one of my confirmation youth) run by me and so I cheered them on too. I did all of this while praying hard for Laura, for all who have been affected by cancer. I left the race and headed home.

My best friend came up for the day. However my praying didn't stop. Joni and I decided to spend some time out at the mall. We both found some great stuff. However while Joni was trying on clothes, I found myself checking my phone for Fb, Instagram and Twitter updates. I also found myself sitting and just simply waiting. And while I waited I found myself praying, praying, and praying.My friend and I went and had supper and then came home to watch a movie. And again I found myself still praying! :)

She just left so I thought I'd update my blog. Today has been an incredible, prayerful, love-filled day; full of prayers for Team Koppy, prayers for Laura, and prayers for the many who are battling sarcoma and other cancers. Like I said earlier, I am not a runner AT ALL but I wanted to do something and today that something was cheering on Team Koppy. Today that something was doing something I can do; PRAYING!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pesky Friday Five

Here is an insect-ious Friday Five:

1.What kinds of pests are in your neighborhood or area? WOODTICKS! Mosquitoes, flies,bees, wasps, etc!

2. Is there a time of year or day that increases their activity? Weather affects their activity or not? Oh yeah. Woodticks don't like the cold but the minute the weather gets nice they are a pain in the butt!

3. Is there any pest that was new to you when you moved to a new location? Nope!

4. How do you treat insect bites? Are you allergic to any? Crest Toothpaste works wonders on stopping the itching of mosquito bites! Nope I'm not allergic to anything!

5. Anything else you want to write about connected with insects/pests--Nope!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

5 Minute Friday on a Saturday

Sweet Lisa-Jo hosts a weekly linkup at the Gypsy Mama called 5 minute Friday. That's exactly what you do - write for 'five minutes flat {on the given topic} - no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.' This week Lisa-Jo's Facebook friends chose the topic of identity.


I saw this on my dear friend Anna's blog and decided to spend 5 minutes writing on identity myself.

GO....

Identity is a crazy thing. My identity is as a daughter, sister, niece, grandchild, friend, mentor, Diaconal Minister, colleague, friend...etc! One identity that I yearn for extremely deeply is to be a MOM! However I must find that special man. But then I realize that society is different now and I could be a MOM without getting married. Its hard to think about because I dont know how people would react etc. What if I decided to do IVF or to adopt as a single woman? So often I think we get caught up in those identities we want to be or so deeply yearn for but what I think we fail to remember is that God has called and claimed us. Our identity is as "children of God." I am a child of God, called and claimed, fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image! However I think that is hard for us.

My identity as a Diaconal Minister is important to me but yet it is hard for others to identify and claim that identity because they dont know a lot about the roster or understand what to do with us. However it is my call...it is one of the identities GOd has given and called upon me!

Identity is hard. Sometimes it is hard to even know what my identity is when I see how Im treated or how others are treated. Identity my friends though is who I am; a child of God!

---STOP! 5 Minutes is up! Hopefully the post makes sense! Ive never done a blog post like this before but I kind of liked it!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Jesus Was All About Love!

We are all sinful beings...that is part of our human nature.

However my hope and prayer is that we can choose love over hate, life over death, etc! I understand that not all of us agree about what the President said today about gay marriage! The truth is that we aren't all going to agree on a lot of things! (I am one who definetely agrees with the President!) However I understand where those of you who don't agree with him are coming from!

But what makes me sad is that some people choose to call us "Bible-thumpers" etc because of what the President said. Boy that is not the case at all! I don't know what God will say when we get to heaven and he declares his thoughts...but what I do know is that God is all about GRACE! God is about forgiveness! God is about love! Jesus tells us "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Jesus was the one who reached out to outcasts and sinners. Jesus wasn't afraid to go away from what the norm was.

Three years ago the church body of which I belong made a huge decision and it has not been an easy road since that decision was made(But I am so happy they made that decision!) I have several friends who are living in committeed relationships and who am I to say that they shouldnt be allowed to marry etc!They are some of the most loving and caring people I know!

What does the church look like to those outside the church who aren't welcomed? Do you think they feel love or hate, life or death? I'm pretty sure they have a hard time coming because they don't see love, they see hate and they don't see life, they see death! That makes me so utterly terribly SAD!

I'm sad that we can't agree to disagree and respect each other. What I do know though is that...

JESUS WAS ALL ABOUT LOVE!
LOVING SELF!
LOVING NEIGHBOR!
LOVING THE OUTCAST!

"Jesus Loves Me This I Know, For the Bible Tells Me So!"

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Winds of North Dakota




Growing up on the plains of North Dakota, I have always appreciated the wind. There is just something so incredibly holy about being on the wideopen prairies of No Dak with the wind in your face. It reminds me of a childrens book I found one time that talked about the winds of ND! It read "If you have never felt the wind on your face in the midst of a winter storm, If you have never been on the wide open fields with the wind blowing in the breeze...then you are not from North Dakota."

I love the wind because it reminds me that I am not the one in control...God is! The wind is a crazy thing....and reminds me of the wind of the Holy Spirit. I have been reflecting on the wind lately as Pentecost is almost here. I felt that wind of the Holy Spirit when I went to work at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp. I felt that wind also when I stepped onto the campus of Wartburg Seminary. I felt that wind when I took my first call. I absolutely felt that wind when I came to my current call. I am so thankful for the homes that make up this wonderful community of faith. They have blessed me in so many ways and I know they will continue to bless me!

Not sure where this post is going...just have been feeling a little restless lately...and wondering what that means.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Birthday Friday Five

1) What is the first birthday you remember? Hmmm...maybe when I was two or three!

2) Do you recall a favorite gift? Spending time with friends and family! Other than that, I cant think of a favorite gift persay..

3) Has anyone ever tried to surprise you for your birthday? Did it work? Was it fun? Yes! Kind of! My mom and my sister threw me a Sweet 16 Surprise party. I figured out that they were planning it but then I forgot so I was suprised when I got to the party. Yes it was tons of fun!!

4) Do you have a favorite birthday dessert? GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!

5) Describe what would be your 'perfect birthday'! Getting to spend time with those I love and who love me. I really dont even care what we do...just getting to spend time with them! :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Not All Of Us Are Hands, Not All of Us are Feet!!

Two Mondays ago on April 23rd, I celebrated my 6th Anniversary as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. Six years later, I one hundred percent feel called to Diaconal Ministry but there are times and days when I get frustrated with having to constantly explain myself and my call to ministry!

Last night I was chatting online with a dear D.M. friend and candidate who is currently attending seminary. She posed the question to me, "Do you ever struggle with not getting ordained?" I was honest with her. I told her that I haven't ever struggled with being ordained but I have struggled with not always being included. There are times it seems like it might be much easier to get ordained and be a pastor but that's not the ministry God has called me too! So how do I help others see that?!?!?!

I was saddened because this individual was put in a situation that I wish wouldn't have had to happen but it did!! The truth is it isn't just about Diaconal Ministers! It's about all the other rosters in the ELCA as well; Associates in Ministry, Deacons/Deaconesses and Diaconal Ministers.

I am so thankful for colleagues and friends in ministry who "get it" and don't question my or anyone's call to ministry! These individuals are all blessings in my life! I wish they weren't the only ones who got it though! There are times when I sometimes feel like I am not good enough or smart enough because of a comment someone made about my call to ministry. But the reality is that's not the case at all!!! I just heard and was given a different call by God and I am thankful to God for that call!

As I told my friend, there are times I feel so tired! I'll be honest I feel like I have to educate a lot but I also know that is part of this call! I just wish I didn't have to educate all the time! In all honesty, the truth is I wish I didn't have to constantly explain myself. It is EXHAUSTING!!!

But yet in the midst of the exhaustation, I know wholeheartedly that God has called me to this ministry just like he has called each and everyone of us to different calls in our lives. I am reminded of the text in 1 Corinithians 12 where we are reminded that we are one body with many members. "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the One Spirit we were all baptized into one body---Jews or Greeks, slaves or free and we are all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body (1 Corinthians 12: 12-17." So perhaps we need to remember that not all of us are hands and not all of us are feet; not all of us are called to ordained ministry, and not all of us are called to "Word and Service" ministry, but without anyone of us, the church is not one body! In fact, I believe without all of us, the body (the church) cannot fully do the work God has called us to do!!