Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Blessings 41

(1) Helping lead the activity at VBS with the Pre-1st Graders. So much fun!!

(2) A great afternoon and evening with EG--checking out Beer and Hymns, great conversation and so much more! Thanks for a fantastic day my friend!!

(3) A member telling me that I look awesome and to keep it up!!

(4) An awesome fantastic turn-out at S'more Summer Worship. So much fun!!

(5) Blowing bubbles with G and M while their mom was busy visiting with another mom

(6) A fantastic work-out (first time I got there this week)

(7) Lunch with FLC friends as we sampled the burgers for our fair food stand!! Yummy!!

(8) A nice thank you gift for helping lead the activity room at VBS

(9) Fun VBS program and potluck

(10) Today at VBS one of the little preschoolers said to me, "Grown-up, I need help!" It was so cute to hear her call me a "grown-up!

(11) My friends NP and RP began the adoption process almost three years ago. Today they passed court and their daughter is now officially their daughter!! Such amazing news!!!

(12) Working the FLC fairstand and getting to hear Lady Antebellum because we were close by the grandstand.

(13) Fun at the ND State Fair parade. Came home with lots of goodies!

(14) Working another shift at our fair stand

(15) A camp friend stopping to say hello

(16) Sharing a piece of lemon meringue pie with WK during our shift.

(17) Spending time with my friend EG; meeting her hubby; chatting and giving her a tour of my house

(18) A state fair corndog

(19) A text with a sweet pic of LAM

(20) Sharing a piece of sour cream raisin pie with my friend EG

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Blessings 40

(1) A member dropping off a rose from her daughters wedding this past weekend. So nice of her to share with me.

(2) Being asked to go to a play with a friend

(3) Having a good time with that friend

(4) A day of high ropes and boating with some of our FLC youth. It was such a fun day!!

(5) Coffee and conversation with one of my fave people in the world!! Thanks CT!

(6) Getting a phone call from my friend EG. So fun to talk to her!

(7) Finally getting my lawn mowed again. It needed it so badly!!

(8) Getting the HUGEST hug from one of my fave little girls cuz she missed me while I was gone.

(9) A parishioner telling me I looked beautiful today! :) I was wearing the green dress I wore for Zach and Alexis's wedding last August!

(10) Another parishioner telling me that I enjoy and love everything I do which he thinks is awesome

(11) Finally getting Mt. Laundry tacked!!!

(12) An awesome Sunday lunch; steak and corn on the cob!

(13) A relaxing Sunday

This weeks list is much shorter than the last several weeks. But it is still important for me to list my blessings! Enjoy this weeks list!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Freedom in Our Stories

It was a beautiful summer day and I was working as a camp counselor at one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I was taking in every ounce of is the experience when I received a message that my sister had called. She was calling let me know that Mom was sick and in the hospital again. Little did I know that in a matter of moments this would be such a freeing experience for me. As I sat on the payphone, tears streaming down my face, several of my co-counselors walked by and wanted to know what was wrong. I couldn't muster up the words to share my story wth them. I got off the phone and went back to my cabin. Within moments, the camp director came and asked me what was wrong? In a moment, I finally opened up and shared my; our story with him. It was the first time I openly shared about my family's struggle with a mental illness. And since that moment, sharing my story has been very important to me and totally core to who I am!

It is so hard to share our stories, but there is something incredibly holy about sharing our stories with each other. In sharing our stories, we are connected with others who have had similar experiences. I am reminded of when I began my previous call. I was at dinner with my colleague sharing my story when another individual heard me share one word; a name of a pill that only those that have experienced mental illness would understand. In just moments, my story was connected with her story because we had similar experiences in the midst of our own stories.

Story is incredibly important to who we are as people of God. God created us to share our stories. Yes, I realize that isn't always easy to do. In fact, most of the time it is darn right impossible, yet when we share our story, not only, are we blessed but I also think those that we share our stories with are blessed as well. Story opens our hearts and minds to know that we aren't on this journey alone and that there are others who hold us despite our own muddiness and brokenness in the midst of our stories.

So my friends, thank you for sharing your stories with me. And thank you for letting me share my story with you. In sharing our stories, I believe we are freed to be who God created us to be; fearfully and wonderfully made.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Sunday Blessings 38 & 39

(1) Arriving at my destination safely

(2) Singing Happy Birthday to a four year old and having ice cream cake with him and friends

(3) Watching the kiddos play outside

(4) Having lunch with new friends

(5) Listening to awesome music!! I could have sat and listened to them all night long.

(6) A beautiful hike with seminary friends and their families

(7) Leading devotions at LAR

(8) Hosting the chili lights party with my friend

(9) An awesome hike with friends; a little boy wanting to be my friend and hold my hand; so sweet!

(10) A fantastic day with my dear friend SP--Walking, talking, lunch, a stop at Coffee on the Rocks, and so much more!!

(11) A morning hike with TS around Sprague Lake

(12) Finding a few treasures at some fun stores

(13) Being in the right place at the right time

(14) A much needed and well deserved afternoon nap

(15) Being thanked for doing a good deed

(16) Awesome last chili lights

(17) A friend telling me to keep up my writing and also thanking me for being authentic about my moms illness

(18) Spending time with JK, CK and AK! So blessed to have them in my life!! Thanks for driving up from Ft. Collins!

(19) A goodbye hug from a sweet little girl

(20) A fantastic 4th of July even though it was rainy. Thanks to new friends for letting me hang out with them. An awesome parade, driving up Trail Ridge Road, a nice concert and awesome fireworks!!

(21) A great day for a drive; topped off with time in the hot tub at the hotel.

(22) The birth of my dear friend SM's little girl LM born 5 weeks early! Mom and daughter are doing fairly well but prayers are much appreciated!

(23) Many of my friends welcoming new life into this world.

(24) Friends telling me they miss me! Feeling incredibly loved!!!

(25) A text from a friend that I haven't heard from in awhile

(26) A safe trip home

(27) Sometimes it is just so holy to be off the grid. But I am glad to be back!

(28) And so much more!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Blessing 37

(1) Driving to Curves, stopped at a red light, looking over and see my friends in the car next to me, having a conversation until the light turned red

(2) Being home from council before eight pm. Very rarely are we done that early!

(3) One of our youth stopping in to see me as she had to stop and do an errand for her mom

(4) Waffle cone Wednesday with PK and Else since the weather didn't hold out for S'mores worship

(5) A fun evening with friends. Thanks EG and PL!

(6) A sweet comment from a friend about my writing

(7) Packing for my trip to Colorado! Rocky Mountains here I come!!!

(8) The longest day of the summer! Love!!!!

(9) Watching Finding Nemo as I finish my laundry and finish packing for my trip!

(10) A beautiful day for a drive and making it safely to my destination for the night

(11) Culvers cheese curds. You just have to indulge every once in awhile!

(12) Relaxing in a hot tub for a little while tonight

(13) An invitation to stop and see a friend if my travels take me through Gillette tomorrow

(14) Confirmation that I get to see my dear friend JK and her hubby next week

(15) Pure joy!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Chocolat, Chocolate and My Circle of Friends"

We sat on the floor of the seminary tv room having just finished our very first day of classes. During class, we watched a clip from the movie "Chocolat" and decided that we wanted to watch the movie that evening so here we were gathered watching the movie, the smell of chocolate cake permeating the room as it sat on the table behind the couch. Sadly I had bought my own birthday cake because it was my birthday and I wanted to make new friends. I think part of me thought I could bribe them with chocolate! :) (These souls who became my dear friends later apologized saying they should have never let me buy my own cake).

Moments after the movie ended, we were ready to cut into that cake, but instead someone uttered the words "Show me how a pig eats" (or something along those lines). I remember a couple of us dove right into that chocolate cake with our hands and shoveled it into our mouths. I remember hearing the giggling and laughter circulating throughout the room. It is one of my most favorite memories from my seminary life. Little did I realize how important these individuals who let me buy my own birthday cake would later become such dear friends in my life.

These individuals were the ones who sat with me and prayed as my sister and I made the decision to become our mom's legal guardian. These individuals are the ones who I sat and poured my heart out to during late night Perkins runs. These individuals were the ones who cheered me on when I struggled with systematic theology. I watched as two of these individuals lives became one as husband and wife and then later welcomed their dear daughter. I watched as several of them were ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament. These friendships are friendships that I treasure each and every day even though the miles seperate us.

When I graduated seminary, one of our classmates made a video of our time at seminary and the music they used was "Circle of Friends" by the Christian group Point of Grace. Every time I hear that song now I am reminded of what friendship on purpose; friendship grounded in God's love for each other looks like. I was blessed by those friendships at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp. I was blessed by those friendships at seminary. I was blessed by those friendships at my previous call and in my previous community.

One of the hardest things about having to say goodbye is having to leave those relationships behind.
I feared coming to a new community and having to make friends. As I prayed about this new opportunity, I will admit that I had flashbacks to elementary school. I remember standing alone on the playground as a little girl waiting to make new friends. But somehow in the mist of my fear at starting this new journey, God has blessed me with some incredible friendships over the last six months. I have sat with my friend CT and poured out my heart to her. I have sat and broke break at her dining room table with her and her daughters and our friend KW. I have sat with my friends EG and KG over a glass of wine. In these friendships, I have realized that I am surrounded by an incredible circle of friends from many different times and places that will always be there for me.

I miss those friends that I have left behind and I have tried my very best to stay in touch with each of them. There are days I wish I was a better friend and could keep in touch with them. There are days that I want to pick up the phone and hear their voices but yet I haven't been able to do that. I know that in time our paths will cross again.

My life is fuller and sweeter because of those friendships grounded in God's love for each of us. I am incredibly blessed with an amazing splendid "circle of friends." May we all know that deep friendship where we can share our heart and soul without fear and know that we will always be welcomed at the table for who we are!

Won't you join me at my table?

                                                    Some old school "Point of Grace"

I am linking up at (In)Couragers today!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Blessings 36

(1) Having a great meeting with a friend. Thanks ST!!

(2) Finding out a couple (some of my fave people) I married last summer are having a baby boy.

(3) An awesome coffee cake for staff meeting

(4) Finding out a card I sent a friend brightened her day!!

(5) A sweet hug from a dear parishioner

(6) Being invited to have some apple crisp with one of the ladies circles this afternoon

(7) Planking with some ladies at Curves for 45 seconds

(8) A $1 lunch as customer appreciation at a local store. A hamburger, chips, ice cream and soda or water for a dollar! Can't beat that!!!

(9) Lunch with a dear friend at one of my fave places!! Thanks EG!

(10) Girl time with two of my faves!!! Thanks EG and CT!! (EG, twice in one day)

(11) Awesome sour cream chicken enchiladas that I made off of a Pinterest recipe

(12) A wonderful Post-Liturgical nap

(13) A great morning of worship at FLC; voting to extend a call to an associate pastor

(14) Talking to my Daddy on the phone and wishing him a Happy Fathers Day

(15) And so much more!