Monday, May 26, 2014

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!!"



Friday, May 23, 2014

The Power of Encouragement

 I am linking up at (IN)Couragers today! http://www.incourage.me/2014/05/the-power-of-encouragement-a-link-up.html

I will admit that I have always been an encourager. As a young child, I encouraged my best friend to be herself and not to let others get the best of her. I have sat with my sister and had numerous conversations about life and living and where God is calling her. I have continually encouraged her. I can't think of a time when I haven't been an encourager to others. I see how important it is to cheer on my friends and my family, yet there are times that I need that encouragement just as much as the next person. My soul needs to hear those words of comfort, of cheering, of knowing that I am not on this journey alone.

When I graduated high school and was looking for my first job, I wasnt sure where God was leading me. I remember my uncle encouraging me to work at Bible camp. So I decided to give it a go! It was the worst interview ever...I remember looking at the floor and never at the camp director. Yet he took a chance on me and then he couldnt get rid of me. I remember sitting with him and the program director during summer two when they told me they didnt think I would make it but they would take me as long as I would make it. But as you know, I did make it. I worked at SuperAwesomeBible Camp for approximately seven summers. And is the place where I heard God calling me into ministry.

After camp and while finishing college, I again found myself wondering what was next for me. I took a leap of faith and toured Wartburg Seminary with one of my friends who was going there to tour. The crazy thing is the moment I stepped onto that campus I knew that was where I needed to be. I remember saying, "God wants me here!" A year later, I started at the seminary. It was not at all an easy journey for me. I struggled but I still stuck with it. I remember how frustrated I was when I couldnt seem to get through my Systematic Theology class. But thanks to a professor who got me and my soul, I took the class as an independent study, we recorded our conversations, I went home and listened to them and then we talked about that conversation at our next session. It was how I finally passed the class! Without that professor and without my awesome friends, I know I would have easily given up but I didnt!

During seminary, another moment of encouragement for me happened with my advisor and my candicacy committee. We were sitting in my endorsement interview when one of the candicacy committee members asked me why I struggled so much with Systematics. I answered him the best I could. But the moment I remember the most is what my advisor said. He said, "You know how easy it would have been for T to walk out the door, shut the door and never look back. It takes more courage to stick with it." Those words were pure GOLD to me! They were the words that I needed to hear...that I could do this and I shouldnt give up!

When my sister and I became legal guardians for our mom, I was encouraged by friends to take this leap of faith. When I took this new call about six months ago, I was blessed by people who walked this journey with me and knew when to cheer me on and when to let me know they were praying for me and thinking of me. I am so thankful they are still in my life even though the miles still seperate us.

Yes, my life has been full of encouragers yet I don't always see them especially lately. Being in a new place I am so glad for the friends that have blessed my life in the last months. Yet I still struggle. Did I make the right move? Am I where God wants/needs me to be? Will I be good at this job? And so many other questions fill my heart and mind these days! Yes, yes I will be because God will place encouragers in my life to get me through those hard days.

One of the things that I need encouragement most for is not being afraid to take chances and reach out to other single women. At 35 years old, I am so ready to start a family, yet there is no prospects at all in my life! And that makes the waiting so hard! Recently my friend Sarah encouraged me to join one of the (In)Couragers Community groups. And my friends...I took the leap! I spent over an hour reading through the groups and listening for God's voice to tell me where he was leading me. The Lady N Waiting group was under the singles section and when I read their description, I felt this immediate sense of peace; a place to be me and to be with women who understand how I struggle and yearn for the encouragement to trust in God and Gods timing. I am so thankful for this community and we haven't even started meeting yet. But when I read one of the leaders stories this afternoon, it was as if my heart and soul jumped right off the page into hers.

So tonight I am thankful for so many encouragers in my life; my family, my friends (especially, you tonight, Miss Sarah), my seminary advisor Nate, my seminary professor Winston, those who took a chance on me at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp, my colleagues in ministry and so many more! May we continue to be encouragers to and for each other!

Trash, Treasure or Tea Friday Five

1. TREASURE: What is the best thing you’ve ever found at a rummage sale? Was it a bargain or just something you’ve longed for but couldn’t afford? My friend Gretchen and I were out exploring one day when the community had their city wide garbage pick-up. So it wasn't technically found at a rummage sale but it was AWESOME! At the time I was looking for a new tv stand, she saw this beautiful dresser sitting out on the curb. She was like you could sand that and spray paint it black, it would look awesome. So we picked it up and loaded it into her vehicle, cool thing was it was actually an old recorder player table. It never did get sanded or painted but it did make the move with me and now is being used as coffee bar. And since it was free, Id say that it was pretty good deal!!!



2. TRASH: What is an item you couldn’t WAIT to donate to a sale like this, and then were surprised that someone not only bought it, they were so excited to have? I cant really think of anything at the moment.

3. BUDGET: How disciplined are you at these kinds of events? Can you stick to a budget, or do you empty your wallet? Depends...most of the time I try to stick to a budget but if I find some really good items that I have been looking/longing for, then it isnt always so easy to keep to a budget!

4. TAKE IT AWAY: What’s something you’d gladly donate right this minute if I would just come pick it up? Probably the many clothes that I would love to get rid of. I got rid of a lot when I moved back in November/December but today I started taking stuff out of my closets again and now they are sitting on my bed waiting to be sorted through but its just such a nice day, Id rather be outside!!!


5. TEA: Do you have a favorite tea? Or a special teapot? Tell us more! I love tea! I am more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker. Today I even ventured into making some sun tea which I am enjoying at the moment! YUM!! I also like sweet tea! I know some people think its way to sweet but I actually like sweet! :)

Bonus: Sun tea is great with all the summer foods especially anything on the grill!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Show Them Your Heart!

A colleague and friend reminded me of this today. Being in a new place and a new call this is so important! I know there are some who have definitely seen that heart while others I'm not so sure of. I deeply want them to see my heart!

I love children especially babies and toddlers! I would do just about anything to cuddle a baby or play with a toddler. I don't even mind that I have to get down on the floor to play! I also love spending time at my friends house and love when her three year old practically demands that I sit next to her ! That is so much a part of my heart! Probably because I yearn to be a momma so deeply!

I also have learned the importance of sharing my story with others! How else will others know my heart? I have so much of my mom's heart and spirit; yet most people don't know that she daily struggles with a mental illness! As a daughter of someone who lives with a mental illness that is so much a part of my heart too!

There are many other things that make up my heart too! I hope that in this new place people begin to see my heart! In my last call, I believe that they did see my heart and loved me for it! They saw the peace and holiness I felt when I got to snuggle a baby! They saw the joy I had when I got to laugh with kiddos!

Some days I see glimpses of people seeing that part of my heart here! And yet there are some times I wonder about what they see! I second guess myself and my actions a lot but then I am reminded to be myself! Easily these words whisper into my ear, "Show them your heart and let them get to know you!" Yes, that I need to remember!!

Have you seen me show you my heart? And if so, what has my heart shown you about who God created me to be; "fearfully and wonderfully made!"

May we all show our hearts; broken, battered, bruised, and pieced together for all to see!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Life is a Journey!

Earlier today I was at home for lunch when I turned on The Chew. One of their guests today was Robin Roberts. She was talking about her new book called "Everyone has Something."She talked about how life is a journey. She said so often we ask ourselves, Will I get married?, Will I have a family?,Will I get that job?
She also stated that it is so easy for us to get caught up on those questions but if we remember that life is truly a journey that those questions maybe don't seem so important.

As I heard her state those questions we often ask, I found myself realizing how true those questions are for me. It is so easy for those questions to creep into my thoughts and every day life. I want those things so badly in my life which makes it so hard for me to trust in this journey!

I need to remember that God is with me on this journey called life and that I need to fully trust in God! I need to remember that God says, "Do not be afraid." I need to take each day as it comes and to delight in this journey called life! God does hear our deepest desires and yearnings and will answer them in God's timing not my own! (Oh how hard that is to trust in most days!!)

And so as I walk this journey called life, I am thankful for those God has placed in my life to walk this journey with me and who continually show me God's mercy, love and grace! (You know who you are!!!) These people remind me that I am not ever on this journey alone (even thought it may feel that way at times).

After some encouragement from my friend Sarah, I joined my first (In) Couragers community group this week! I am excited to see where and how these women will bless my life as we walk this journey called life together especially since many of them struggle with singleness as well.

Tonight I am thankful for Robin's words! May they always serve as a gentle reminder to always trust in God on this journey called life as I wait for my deepest desires to come to light!



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Blessings 33

(1) Roadtripping to Garrison with my friend Chris and attending the WNDBAGS meeting

(2) A great WNDBags meeting; JH and I leading practice discipleship training with the group

(3) Reconnecting with a seminary classmate. So good to see her and spend time with her.

(4) A compliment from that seminary classmate and friend telling me how great I look!

(5) Making and eating an awesome Sundried Tomato and Mushroom pasta in a Garlic and Basil cream sauce! The leftovers were just as good!!

(6) A great Zumba workout

(7) Drawing on the sidewalk at church with some of our youth

(8) Decorating the church with great people for our Celebration picnic. So much fun!!

(9) Getting a dance lesson from a dear parishioner. Sad that I accidentally deleted the video but glad I got some fun pics!!

(10) Great Celebration picnic!! Visiting, watching the kids have so much fun, and getting my face painted too!!

(11) Finally being added as an admin on the church FB page!

(12) Getting to spend time with awesome people in my life.

(13) Having a four year old insist that I sit by her at supper at her house! So sweet!!

(14) Coffee and conversation with a dear friend! So good for the soul!

(15) Getting an instant message from my sis asking if she could come visit this weekend. Lots of fun! Picnicking outside, going to the movie Moms Night Out, and so much more!

(16) Buying a patio set and putting it together myself! Pretty proud of myself for that!!

(17) A great Cantate worship

(18) Eight youth coming to my intro meeting for the National Youth Gathering! So excited!!

(19) Working in my yard with my sister; some raking, picking up sticks, etc

(20) First Tutti Frutti of Spring/Summer

(21) Lots of outside time; 70 degree weather

(22) and YOU!!! :)


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Blessings 32

(1) Lunch with a friend; thanks CD!

(2) Watching our Confirmation students going around the neighborhood hanging invites on house doors

(3) Receiving my U-Mary Alumni book in the mail today

(4) A coworker telling me that I am a good pray--er!! That I pray from my heart and soul!!

(5) Assisting Pr Ken with a Baptism. I got to read and ask the part to parents and sponsor, join in the laying on of hands; and blessing the child; marking him with the cross of Christ!! Doesn't get much better than that!!

(6) Good friends who are determined to help you out! Thanks KD!

(7) Sitting in my office working on stuff, window open and listening to the birds chirping outside

(8) Meeting another neighbor and having a nice conversation

(9) Getting to talk to a friend who recently moved. I was at Tavern Talk and my friend MJ handed the phone to me so I could answer and talk to KW! So good to talk to her!!

(10) FaceTiming with JH

(11) A beautiful day for a drive

(12) Spending time with my momma at the Mothers Day program at the nursing home; piano and violin music, and cheesecake

(13) A great breakfast meeting

(14) A wonderful lunch meeting with the synod Gathering team (4 really great ladies)

(15) A sweet text from a friend

(16) Talking to momma on the phone and wishing her Happy Mothers Day

(17) Watching our HS seniors come up for the children's time. Totally spontaneous; put a smile on my face!

(18) An invitation and lunch with dear people--so much fun. Cake and visiting afterwards at their house.

(19) Blessing our high school seniors with Pr. K

(20) Finally getting back into reading some books for fun. Current book of choice "The Fault in our Stars" which I am really enjoying!

(21) Catching up with Gma on the phone for an hour. Also getting to say hello to Gpa. Love and miss them!!

(22) Answered prayers of many friends!!! What joy!!!! Thanks be to God!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Not Forgotten

I took a little road trip to see my momma yesterday. The nursing home/assisted living place she lives at has a little Mother's Day program. I was delighted to spend this time with my mom and it was such a nice day for a drive. When I get there, I always have to laugh because she is always continually telling people who I am! And yesterday was no different! My mom exudes pure joy when my sister and/or I walk into a room. (Just ask my friend Chris who got to see that first hand one day!)

My mom is a great mom, but like lots of moms, it has not been easy for her. Yet she has always had my sister and I's best interest at heart. She loves entirely unconditionally! I love my momma with all of my heart, yet there are things that I mourn too! Since she is in a nursing home, I wonder if she will be able to be there when I finally meet my Mr. Right and need to go dressing shopping. I wonder if she will be able to share with me if/when I finally have my own child/children.

Mother's Day is a wonderful day to honor my momma and all the mommas in my life. Yet I know that Mother's Day isn't easy for many of them and even me. I have watched friends who have struggled with infertility; waiting, watching and praying for a child. I have watched friends parent children for only a few minutes and then have to say goodbye to them. I have watched as friends have waited to be matched with a child for them to adopt. Mother's Day is a day to honor all those moms as well!

Later this year, I will turn 36 and I'll admit that my biological clock is ticking...and continues to tick. Just yesterday, my mom asked about grandchildren! I know her heart is in the right place but it still doesnt make it any easier. I so want to be a momma. Something I yearn for so deeply and strongly! Yes, I could and maybe someday will adopt but that isn't easy to think about either. Who will support me on that journey? What will people think of that choice? And yet the truth is I am not getting any younger, my body maybe won't be able to carry a biological child. And for that I ache...an ache that is so deep! I so yearn to be a momma! It is one of those very good, yet very difficult things in my life!

It's hard to put into words how deep that ache is and how deep I yearn to be a mom. Yet I still carry that ache and that yearn with me out into the world. There are so many mother types in the world: those who yearn to be a momma again, those who have had to bury their own children, those who have waited to adopt, and so many more. Tomorrow may we give thanks for all of the Mothers in the world!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Another Better Late than Never Friday Five

1. What is your favorite bird, and why? I love watching birds but I am not sure if I have a favorite. Robins are so pretty. I also think parrots and parakeets are so much fun!

2. What are you most forgettable about? (insert “forgetful” where I wrote forgettable) Oops! I went to visit my momma today and half way there, I remembered I forgot to get the popcorn she asked me to pick up for her! :(

3. Which do you like better, sunrises or sunsets? Both! There is just something so incredibly holy about both sunsets and sunrises on the prairies of ND!

 


4. What ever happened to Grape Soda? Yum! Every once in awhile my inner kid comes out and I have to have a Grape soda! I love Fanta and have been able to find it once in awhile at restaurants.

5. Use these words in a sentence: U-turn sign, bat, mouse, cerulean blue, late.   The bat was flying through the cerulean blue sky while the mouse came upon a U-turn sign which made him late for supper!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sunday Blessings #31

(1) Time with friends; helping one of our friends pack--lots of laughter and hugs

(2) That same friends goodbye gathering

(3) Pure joy watching our 7th and 8th Grade Confirmation students leaned in listening to my call story

(4) Talking with one of our Confirmands about the Nebraska CornHuskers

(5) Having two of our SS kids share with me about going to the Circus this morning; telling me all about the lions, elephants, zebras, etc!

(6) Leading one of the FLC circle Bible studies at one of the local nursing homes; such wisdom in these ladies. I even had one invite me to stay for supper but unfortunately I wasn't able to do that!

(7) Pulling into my driveway and seeing a May Day basket on my porch from the local elementary school. Totally a day brightener!!!

(8) Great caring conversation with a friend at Tavern Talk

(9) Coffee and Conversation with two great ladies at one of our fave coffee shops

(10) A cancellation at the eye clinic so I can get in as early as Monday! Thankful that I will only have to wear my glasses for a few days. Silly me, tore my last contact and I've known for months that I was down to my last box!

(11) God's grace is sufficient!! I took my car to a local car dealership for them to check out some stuff! When I got there, they told me there was no charge! So thankful!!

(12) A gift from a friend after reading one of my latest blog posts (See pic below) Thanks JG!!


(13) Time with my sister; DQ, Orange Julius, Shopping, Sammy's taco pizza, etc! Love my sis!! Just wish we didn't always spend so much money when she comes to visit! :p

(14) Seeing the movie Gods Not Dead! Good movie! I still have the Newsboys song stuck in my head!

(15) A blessed Confirmation service with 12 of our youth

(16) A compliment from a parishioner

(17) Snuggling with 4 week old baby girl Lakyn. It's been so long since I've had a baby fix!! I loved every minute of it!

(18) YOU!!!

Friday, May 02, 2014

Past Years Friday Five

For today’s Friday Five, share with us where you were and what you were up to 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 years ago! What were your dreams—did you follow them? Who was journeying with you? Feel free to keep it light (I was on vacation at the beach with my bestie!) or reflect more deeply (a call was brewing…). Have any pictures from those moments to share? We’d love to see them!

1 Year ago---I was serving as the Director of Home and Family Ministry at Dilworth Lutheran Church in Dilworth, MN. Little did I know that later that year, I would find myself accepting a new call.

3 Years ago--I was continuing to serve at DLC. Also according to my Timehop, I was spending my time with two cute girls (B and C) while their mom and dad had some kid free time! :) I also was finding myself reflecting on the death of Bin Laden.

5 Years ago---Serving at DLC...getting ready for the end of another school year.

10 Years ago---I was Wartburg Seminary getting my Masters degree in Youth, Culture, and Mission. Some of my favorite memories are of WTS.

20 Years ago---I was a freshmen in high school. Little did I know that my parents would get divorced a year later. I was busy enjoying time as the VB manager, spending time in LYO, and so much more. I was dreaming of becoming an author...which I still dream of. My best friend was Mandy! (May she rest in peace!)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Knotted, Broken, and Twisted Threads


"An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break." This quote was making its rounds on FB this past week and I have been thinking a lot about how true this is. I also would add that sometimes that thread, not only, gets stretched or tangled but it also gets knotted too.


I have been incredibly blessed throughout my life to meet wonderful amazing friends. I have met those friends in my home town. I have met those friends during seminary. I have met those friends in college. I have met those friends in various places but the time, place, and circumstance really aren't important. What is important is that these people have blessed my life in ways I never imagined. And yes, there have been times when our relationships have been tangled, broken, and even knotted.

I am reminded of a time in seminary when I opened up to a dear friend about a crush I had on him. I know that our friendship was knotted and tangled after that but over time that thread has straightened out. I'll admit that there were times I wish I hadn't said a word. And of actions as of a late, I am feeling the same way. Another thread that is knotted, tangled and stretched.

But not only has that thread been stretched with my friends, it also has been stretched with all of the relationships in my life. Like when my parents divorced, that thread was stretched. When I went to seminary, that thread was knotted and tangled. That invisible thread bends, twists, and knots its way through all of our relationships and then quietly and slowly straightens itself back out again.

I think of all of my friends who love to crochet or create with needle and thread. I think of the way the needle and thread create beautiful works of arts. Sometimes they have had to begin again and start over. Other times they have had to try and fix there mistakes. In many ways, this invisible thread that connects all of our relationships creates something beautiful even after we have made mistakes. I am thankful for that invisible thread that has helped me to grow, that has helped me to find clarity in my life, but most especially that has connected to me to some pretty incredible people in my life. May we continue to be blessed by those relationships even when our threads have continually been stretched, twisted, and knotted BUT have never been broken! Thanks be to God!