Thursday, February 26, 2015

Over Coffee (Five Minute Friday)

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 "Visit." Write for five minutes; unedited.

There is something so incredibly holy about pulling up a chair, sipping coffee or even wine with a dear friend. And as we visit, we hear each others stories and our souls become intertwined as we realize we have more in common than apart.

I have been blessed throughout my life to have friendships like this that when we visit together, my heart becomes full. We pray for each other. We laugh so hard our sides ache. We cry on each other's shoulders through those difficult times. These are the women that I hold dear and jump at every opportunity to visit over coffee or wine with them.

I visit every Thursday evening over Twitter with the #fmfparty. I visit over coffee and conversation with my best friends. Sometimes these visits become few and far between because our schedules become full. Other times, these visits are just what my heart and soul need. I am always thankful for these visits and cannot wait for the next one to come.

My friends, pull up a chair, sit down, and I'll pour you a beverage of your choosing and then we can sit and visit!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Blessings 70

(1) A nice lazy day

(2) The Liebster Award

(3) Flowers from one of my Confirmation small groups. So sweet!!

(4) A milestone blessing bowl for my house; given to me by a colleague at work.

(5) A member giving me a ride home. Even though it's only a block, she thought it was too cold for me to walk.

(6) A call from my mom letting me know she was in town and getting to have lunch with her.

(7) Making prayer magnets and having only a handful left after Ash Wed services.

(8) Members calling and inviting me to go with them to Heritage Singers variety show tonight.

(9) Heritage Singers Variety Show. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a LONG time!!

(10) A surprise package from my friend SM! It's a Line-A-Day 50 Year Journal! I'm so excited to use it!!

(11) Visiting with my friend KG and being at our friend ST's moms funeral.

(12) Dad, Cork and I coming to Minot for the weekend.

(13) Ground Round with my sis, Dad, Cork, and some of Cork's kids and grandkids.

(14) Brunch with Dad, Ann, and Cork

(15) So much fun teaching the little ones at Family SS this morning about the Holy Spirit.

(16) Family Game afternoon at church

(17) A surprise in my office after church. To the gifters, thank you so much!!

(18) Texting with some of my fave people. God has a way of having those texts pop up when either one of us needs a friend. It always amazes me!!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Open My Heart

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 "Open." Write for five minutes; unedited.

For a long time I have asked for God to open my heart to that special person to love. It is a prayer that I continually seem to be lifting up to God in prayer. And I patiently wait for God to hear my prayers. There are days that I wonder if God hears them at all.

This year my oneword365 "brave" is finding its way into my head and my heart in a lot of ways. There have been whispers shared with me through friends gently nudging me to pray about being a foster mom or adopting a child of my own. For a long time, I have felt God's nudgings but I have felt more roadblocks than open doors. Is God continually nudging me to open my heart and to trust God to hold my heart?

I am not sure what door is opening for me, but what I do know is that I need to trust in God...to trust God to make me brave; to fully give my heart up to God! God has a way of opening our doors, sneaking in, and showing up when we least expect him.

As my heart waits to be opened for that special someone to love, I am choosing to be brave. I want to be a woman who is brave and doesn't tiptoe around fear. In the words of Renee Swope's, "I want to be a woman overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear."

Praying for God to continually open my heart!

Waiting in Faith

Do you ever have one of those times when a sermon you've heard just keeps replaying in your brain? Last week's sermon was one of those for me! It has a deep grip on my head and my heart. Last weekend my colleague PB was the preaching Pastor for the weekend but unfortunately was not feeling well, so my other colleague PK had to preach. PK's words and sermon have been replaying in my head ever since last Sunday.

The whole theme of PK's sermon was about "waiting upon the Lord." One of the questions that he asked especially has been replaying in my heart and head this week. The question he asked was this, "How many "untils"? Can you wait for them in faith?"

How many "untils?" "Can you wait for them in faith?" Anyone who knows me or has read this here blog knows how my heart yearns so deeply to be a wife and a momma. I have often said....I cannot wait until I find my Mr. Right. I cannot wait until I have my first child. I cannot wait until....(fill in the blanks). And as I heard those questions, I found myself caught by them.....caught so much that my head shook along in agreement and a lump caught up in my throat. I'll be honest I haven't been very good at waiting in faith for my prayers to come true.  There have been more days than not when I wonder if God has heard my prayers at all. But the truth is I need to trust more fully. I need to wait more patiently. I need to especially wait for them in faith.

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the assurance of things not yet seen"

 "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return!" As I heard those words last night and the cross marked on my forehead, I found myself saying, "Tara, you need to wait in faith...wait in faith for your "untils" to come true. It also reminded me that in my own humanity and even mortality, I am a human; called, claimed, and loved by God. And God is continually making me new! God is continually making YOU new too friends! I know that isn't easy for us to hear but God has this incredible way of taking dust and making it into beautiful things. And so as I wait in faith, I trust God to make my "untils" come true and for God to make me new!









Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Liebster Award

My friend Susan at Hope Heart Home nominated me and Praying on the Prairie for the Liebster award. Susan and I met through the #write 31 days challenge, but more specifically, we both participated in the fourth round of the #fmfpartysnailmail and ended up on the same list! It was so fun to send real mail and get to know this wonderful lady through handwritten notes. We also both participate often in the Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung's place.

The Liebster Award originated in Germany and it is an award given to bloggers, by bloggers, who don’t have a zillion followers. It’s a fun opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better.

The rules have been amended this time around and have a fun 31 days twist on them. (The strike throughs indicate the changes that were made for this round.) As my friend Melissa said, who has time to nominate 11 people; 5 though seems totally doable! :)

Rules:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominates you.
  2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominates you.
  3. Nominate 11 5 other bloggers with 200 followers or less big or small.
  4. Create 11 5 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know they’ve been nominated!
Here are the questions Susan asked:

If you could have been “on the scene” of any event in Jesus’ life here on earth, which one would you choose and why? Wow...that is a hard question to answer. I think it would have been really cool to be at the Last Supper and the foot-washing. I also think it would have been pretty incredible to be at his crucifixion and Resurrection. It would have been so hard but it would have been pretty incredible to come to the tomb and find it empty too.

What is your greatest challenge in your everyday walk as a believer? This one is pretty easy for me! Anyone who reads this here blog knows the deepest desires of my heart. There are days that I wonder if God hears them at all. And there are also days I am able to put all my trust in God.

Rooster or Owl? Totally owl! I bought my friend SM's little girl Lucy the cutest owl outfit. I saw it and couldn't NOT walk out of the store with it. I also have a stuffed owl on the dashboard of my car. My friend Melissa's girls gave it to me as a going away present. I love it!

Weekend getaway with one favorite person – beachside or mountain chalet? Moutain chalet in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado! :)

It’s a snowy weekend. You can’t get out in the car. You opt for a good book or good movies? I love to read so I would probably chose a good book. But I must admit that lately I have been rather lazy about reading and would probably pick a good movie first! But the ideal day would be a mix of both; good movies and good books!

Now it is my turn to nominate five amazing women so here goes my five:

(1) Therese Moma at Tales from a Southern Catholic Momma
(2) My dear friend Sarah at Every Day Holy
(3) Faith at Sweet Violet
(4) Bethany at Riding on Abba's Shoulders
(5) Dana at Dana Butler

My friends, if this isn't your cup of tea, feel free to pass. But if you want to do this, that is awesome. Please be sure to link back to me. And here are your five questions:

(1) What brings you the most joy?
(2) If Jesus were to come to your house today, what would you serve?
(3) Since it has been so cold, I thought we would look towards summer. What is your favorite summer activity?
(4) Your fave Bible story or verse?
(5) What is the song that is continually on repeat these days?

Happy writing!!!


    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Our Words DO MATTER!

    "Sticks and stones may break my bones....but words will never hurt me." Oh how untrue that phrase is. Words do hurt!! In fact, words sometimes are so painful it is hard to come back from them.

    As a young girl, I was the child that was teased...and probably in some senses of the word, bullied. I was called many different names "Cry baby" "OJ Spiller" and the list goes on and on. Even as the tears fell from my face, many of them still continued to call me some pretty mean names. It took me a long time to get past those ugly words that were hurled at me as a child. I will admit that a few of those individuals have come to me and apologized...but not everyone has!

    Over time and after giving up those moments and hurting words to my God, I have found myself moving on. But I will admit that I am one of those individuals who tries very carefully to say what I want to say and to say it in a positive light. Yes, I admit that sometimes I get angry and have raised my voice...just ask my Confirmation class...but after a few minutes, I find myself reflecting and trying very hard to cast good light...good words.

    In this social media age, I think what we say matters more than it ever has before! Social media has a way for us to think we can say anything we want. But the truth is that we CANNOT! We still have to be careful of what we say. There are thousands, no millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Someone is likely to read our words and be hurt by them even if that was NOT our intention at all!

    And today I was reminded of how easily and quickly someone can be hurt! A friend was hurt by someone else's words and actions today on a group thread. My heart is breaking for her!! And I am angry with and for her! Our words do matter!!!

    God wants us to lift each other up with tenderheartedness and kind words. God wants us to lift each other up rather than knock each other down. I pray that we can be more careful with our words and treat each other with kindness and respect. The world would be a much kinder and gentler place if we truly realized the power of our words and used them for good rather than evil.

    "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."--Ephesians 4:32

    "Let us love not with words or speech but with actions and in truth."--1 John 3:18



    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Sunday Blessings 69

    (1) A member saying my sermon gave her a little peace yesterday.

    (2) Getting back into a workout routine

    (3) Watching Full House reruns

    (4) A great and productive staff meeting this afternoon

    (5) Awesome #fmfpartysnailmail!!

    (6) Talking to my Daddy on the phone and finding out they might visit me next weekend or the next.

    (7) Candles that I got from some of my Confirmation students for Christmas that have helped get the burnt smell out of my office! A ballast went out in one of the flourescent lights in my office!

    (8) A sweet email from a fellow blogger letting me know that she appreciates me reading and commenting on my blog.

    (9) Texting with my sissy

    (10) A V-Day card from my sissy

    (11) Hanging with my friend EG

    (12) Chocolate molten lava cake

    (13) Volunteering at the downtown V-Day dinner! So much fun and I got to run the cash bar!

    (14) Texting with MW

    (15) Holding an infant while greeting today at church

    (16) Helping with a Baptism at church. I love marking these milestones!!

    (17) Buying Girl Scout cookies from one of my church kiddos! She was soooo excited to sell them so I bought three boxes!!




    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    God's Beloved (A Valentine's Day Post)

    I am one of those people who appreciates Valentine's Day and the fact that we honor ALL those we love on this day! But as a single woman, this day is definitely a reminder to me of the fact that I am not married etc yet. However though I know that I am indeed loved and honored by God. I am valuable! I am loved! I am worthy...more precious than silver or gold!

    Yesterday afternoon I was out and about doing errands, listening to the radio station K-love when they shared a blog post by Jessica Morris titled "I'm single. Stop Pitying Me on Valentines." As the dj read portions of the blog post, my heart was full..because Morris's words spoke straight to my heart.

    The end of the article was one of my favorite paragraphs in the whole piece: "I’m single. Not sick, not a problem and not past my prime. So please don’t pity me on Valentine’s Day, because today of all days, I need your help to remember that my value doesn’t rest in a relationship status, in a box of chocolates or in a red rose. It rests in the fact that no matter what lies ahead of me, I am God’s beloved and His plans for me far exceed the feelings of a day." Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/im-single-stop-pitying-me-valentines-day#LKIzlsvPhUj0Xikx.99

    My friends, today if you are married, or divorce or single, know that you are one of God's beloved and that is enough! Happy Valentine's Day friends!