Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent: life with a little hope

Another semester of seminary is over & the holidays are buzzing around us. It has been a unique time of transition & change this semester. As seniors we've transitioned into our last year as graduate level students at Luther Seminary & started looking towards the future after graduation. As a community, we've changed faculty, staff, & students. As a world we've lived through many tragedies & many celebrations of new life & hope for a better today.

On Sunday the pastor, of Jacob's Well Minneapolis, asked us, "Where do we find hope in these times?" This is hard to answer in light of recent school shootings, stabbings, natural disasters, sudden changes & death in a community. However, in light of my recent final paper for my Holy Spirit course, I was able to share, with the community, that I find hope at the foot of the cross. The Holy Spirit that is in each breathing thing, is the same Spirit that is in Christ. The same Spirit that is in Christ, our resurrected Lord & Redeemer, is in you & me. This is Good News (this is Gospel). Just by our gathering together as community there is hope. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans:

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you...But if Christ is in you, through the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (NRSV 8:9&10).

In this time of Advent we are waiting for the celebration of Christ's birth. We are waiting in Hope that our Redeemer is near. We are waiting for our realization of righteousness in the world. We are waiting with heavy hearts of the world around us. Today, I am sad because of death. Death of the children in CT, death of the children in China, death of the people in the Philippines, death of the people in NY, death of a friend & loved ones. We are still waiting for Christ. I have hope. Paul also wrote:

For in hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (NRSV 8:24-25)

The tragedies of 2012 do not make since. Life is confusing & humanity constantly fails itself (& our creator God). So amidst the mud of today's struggles & sadness, we wait in hope of a better tomorrow & are affirmed that through the death & resurrection of Christ, there is new life in each breath we are given. Sometimes we need to sit in the dirt & sadness of life, with the the Spirit who breaths new life in & out of us, that leads us to hope for a better tomorrow. Cling to this hope & the foot of the cross...it will get us to tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moving Rhythm - Hairs, Hearts, & the Unknown

We're now officially past the constant questioning of "How was internship?" This is a good place to be because just like a year or so ago when we were constantly being asked, "How's married life?" we've ran out of answers. Maybe it's not that we've ran out of answers, but more that we've refined our answers and while the processing truly will go with us for the rest of our lives, there comes a time when  you start to move on. You become tired of the answers that you have & want to create new. Just like in a break-up of a relationship, you realize one day that you haven't thought about that person or site all day & you know that while this is a little sad, it is a great accomplishment. Life goes on!

So we're moving on and moving hearts. Throughout my time as a seminary student I have been involved with a church whose slogan is "a church for people who don't like church." Jacob's Well Minneapolis (JW) is an emergent church affiliated with the ELCA - & soon to be a Reconciling in Christ church - that encourages people to go & be the church where life takes you. I was initially attracted by their various forms of worship. The very first time I joined the JW community was early November - I think - 2009 & there was a guest speaker who had written a book about his year living like Jesus. The JW community is one that embodies my passion of lifting up, encouraging, and equipping the priesthood of all believers! Thankfully it is a community that has not only captured my heart for ministry, but also Z's heart. In fact, if you were able to attend our wedding, Pr. D who preached is one of our mentors, pastors, & colleagues from JW. It has been fun to reconnect with the community of JW after being gone for a year. I appreciate the friendships from Group Life & other JW ministries on a much deeper level after being gone. My heart has been moved & I think the Spirit has moved the hearts of others too.

This leads me to the weird place we are in this year. It's a year of "recess" if you will. We all came back ready to reconnect with our peers & some more ready than others to be in the classroom again, but we all know that it's only for another year. There are some who may be here a little longer, or for several more years depending on more education or restriction due to partner's jobs. Already the questions have started of "What's next?" While we have some dreams, we honestly do not know. We've both been working on filling out what the ELCA calls the Rostered Leader Profile (RLP - aka Really Long Paperwork) which, for me, has been great in honing my description of my call to Word & Service Ministry as a Diaconal Minister. While this is helpful, it does not make the anxiety of the unknown any less of a factor in our lives. This is a time where God really is teaching us to trust & simply rest in the peace of the Spirit. So what do I do? While I'm learning to trust & rest in that peace, I still want control. I've done this before & I did it again! I went out on a limb & let a friend drastically change my hair style. I was a bit in shock at first - at the whole experience I think - but I absolutely love it & it didn't take more than hour to come to this point of love.

The experience of my hair...for those who know me well, I used to be VERY particular about my ponytail. I didn't have one for much of my youth due to childhood cancer, so when I could have one, I did. However, in later years I have gotten annoyed with my hair & wanted simplicity with a chic fun vibe. My new friend, L, is a hairstylist who speaks limited English, but has a big heart. His partner is a PhD student at Luther Sem, so as a way to keep his work & to serve the community he styles from his seminary shack (they aren't really shacks, this is just my new catch phrase for the seminary apartments) kitchen. I went over last night with little idea of what I was looking for & while he was cutting away, my friend M & I were planning for a final project we're doing together & she was occasionally translating for us. Not only was I multi-tasking, but I'm so short, that I couldn't see myself in the mirror he had propped up on the table. What a fun surprise!

Internship year is over, Z & I have been married for nearly 16 months, our hearts have been moved by many things, our future is unknown but certain in the resurrection of Christ, & I have a new hairstyle while I'm learning to rest in God's peace that surpasses all understanding.

This is my current moving rhythm. It'll change tomorrow no doubt, but for now...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Foodie Spirit

One thing that's great about being back in the cities is the plethora of Farmer's Markets & variety of grocery stores. This last Saturday instead of going to the Farmer's Market we finally made our way over to Trader Joe's. If you've never been to a Trader Joe's it is a must! I love the small market feel. When I first moved to St. Paul in 2009 I lived only 10min from the closest Trader Joe's and now living at the seminary it's more like 20min - unless you get stuck in light rail construction traffic & there's no way to turn around, then it's more like 30! Trader Joe's has almost just as good as stuff as the Farmer's Market. We love the Farmer's Markets because of the amounts of fresh produce we can get for such a low cost. Being back at the seminary we also have the availability to have a piece of community garden. However, Z & I know little about gardening, it's been very dry, & the temps are dropping here in Minnesnowda. So maybe come Spring we'll get some ambition & dig into the dirt. Till then we'll keep supporting our local farmers.

Since the school year has started our lives have been a mixture of balancing schedules, trying lots of new recipes, and remembering how to be full-time students.

Some of the new recipes you can find on my ever growing Pinterest boards! We've tried breakfast bars, overnight refrigerator oatmeal, oatmeal muffins, sautéed mushrooms, guacamole...and have hopes to try so many more!

Last night we had a meeting with other seniors approaching graduation & life thereafter to learn about all the important forms we get to fill out before the holidays. It's exciting to think about the future & where we may land, but also terrifying having no idea where that actually will be. Even if we request certain areas does not mean we will receive a call (or two calls hopefully) to live and work in that space. We must trust in the faith instilled in us by the Holy Spirit!

So my questions of today are:

What are some yummy foods you've tried recently?
Where is the Spirit calling you?

I know, a pretty basic question and one you might not have words to express. I love the mystery & the challenge!

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica, "We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake" (NRSV 1st Thessalonians 1:2-5).

You are loved and appreciated, and the Holy Spirit has filled you to eat well & follow your convictions with the stories of our resurrected Lord. Ok, Paul doesn't say anything about eating well, but a good meal is a Spiritual thing. So explore the produce of Fall, check out your local Farmer's Markets, dwell in the Word of God, & dream about the future!

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Home Sweet Home

After much moving around over the last 9 years (since graduating high-school) we are back in the Twin Cities for one final year of graduate school. Then who knows where we'll move to. I'm hoping next year's move will be a little more permanent and to a little more spacious dwelling space. For the time being though we are thankful to be where we are.

Our time in the Northwoods came to a close a few weeks ago and while it was sad to say g'bye it was good to be moving forward. I told Z, now we have a bunch of extended family members with lake houses we can visit! What a challenging year we had & who knows what lies ahead.

We have been on the run ever since we moved back. Surprising right? Ok, not so much, I know if you read my blog that you know we're on the go at a pretty fast rate a whole lot of the time. We started back at our student jobs, have been meeting all sorts of new people and reuniting with good friends as we all return from across the country. We even threw in a trip to the DC area for our niece & God-daughter's baptism! What a joyous occasion to be a part of. The Holy Spirit is a powerful presence when we stop & acknowledge it.

Tonight we made homemade cookies and invited some friends over to catch up. Much laughter was shared by all. The weekend is a time of relaxation before the semester starts up on Tuesday. Enjoy some photos of the fun we've had over the last couple of weeks.

Happy September!

our new Ikea sofa & the crew that helped us put it together

Z & J in the Capital

J & J

MN State Fair

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Universally Called to Word & Service: Ministry for the World

After reading a number of posts on Facebook regarding diakonia (service) ministries in the ELCA, I stopped & questioned "What is God up to right now?"

Stop & think about that for a moment. Maybe for you it's nothing. I've definitely had moments of the last year that I really didn't feel God doing much - and it honestly scared me and angered me quite a bit. Maybe God is puking love all around you in a new life of marriage or a new job or town to be part in. Maybe God is holding you still where you are and keeping life quiet. Whether we realize it or not, God is all around and in everything and everyone.

My mind wondered to this place because yet again Z & I find ourselves in a time of transition. Two weeks from today we say g'bye to our Northwoods home & move back to graduate school for our senior year. As we transition, naturally we reflect. In the postings about diakonia there was one person that put a stop to what had been - and thankfully continued to be - a fruitful conversation about the knowledge in local parishes about the communities of Diaconal Ministry, Deaconess, & Associates in Ministry. Often over the past number of years - even before starting seminary - I have wondered why I was called to Diaconal Ministry/a ministry that is misunderstood & often simply not known. I've come to understand the struggle of the understanding as our numbers are fewer in all 3 rosters compared to the roster of pastor, but also because in all 3 rosters (Diaconal Minister (DM), Deaconess, & Associates in Minister (AIM)) our calls are to Word & Service. Word & Service is a broad definition, but it focuses on the ministries served by DMs, Deaconesses, & AIMs. In a sense all people - as the body of Christ - are called to Word & Service ministry. We are all called to work in bridging the world in which we live and the church in which we worship.

Z & I are both preparing for our final evaluations of our year of internship/field work as well as our final major essay for the candidacy process in the ELCA, known as the "approval essay." As we transition, reflect, & plan for our future careers in ministry I am blown away by the Spirit & the reassurance that God is with me as I was, am, and will be. How do I know this? Through the faith gifted to me by God on account of Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Also through the constant love of the larger family of Jesus. We recently returned from our vacation to CA for LSquared's wedding - which was wonderful & beautiful - and got to spend some great time with my side of our family. Then we returned & got showered with some love from Pa & Ma N & then we drove back to our intern site one last time before we move & have been over come with the support & love of congregants & coworkers. All of these people have impacted our last year of being interns & will forever be with us in our memories if nothing more.

Thank you Lord for your call to service in your Word!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Road Trips, 1 year anniversary, & Photos

June was possibly the fastest month of the last year. We started with a visit from Pa & Ma P, had separate trips in the middle, & came back to prepare for July.

Here's a picture of S, H, & I overlooking the Missouri River in Bismarck.

I had a wonderful few days visiting with S, H, & T in Bismarck. S & I got out & went to see Snow White and the Huntsmen which we decided was just ok. H provided lots of smiles & laughter. And as always it was good to connect with a fellow Diaconal Minister friend & hear about her call.

Z & I out hiking on our one year anniversary

The next trip lead us up the North Shore of Lake Superior to Lutsen Resort. It was a last minute change in our trip as the area we were supposed to go camping was closed due to recent severe flooding. The Resort - we stayed at the Mountain Inn - reminded me of the resort in Dirty Dancing.

Bonus that it's located right on the shore of Lake Superior

We spent a few days hiking, exploring Lutsen & the surrounding area, & eating really well.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to us! Here we are at Blue Fin Bay

A few other highlights that were intermixed with these travels are outdoor movie night at church, impromptu dinner & boat rides, 4th of July fireworks, our attempts at emptying out our freezer/fridge, & being able to attend the wedding of N & A.

Minnesota sure is pretty, but so are other parts of the country & world.

Next week we head to CA (not by road) for L2's wedding! Yay for family reunions!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Lusty Month of May

First may I say that if you  have not yet listened to Julie Andrews sing The Lusty Month of May from the musical Camelot, stop whatever you are doing & listen to it! Not only is it wonderful because it's a musical song or because it's about one of the best months in the whole year, but because it is sang by Julie Andrews.

I had the pleasure to meet Julie Andrews just over a year ago with some girl-friends from Luther Seminary. Andrews was touring the country promoting her new childrens book The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage. Since there was a large group of us who were obviously together - we were wearing homemade pink sparkly t-shirts & tiaras - we got asked to help the line move faster & visit Andrews together. She was as lovely as you could imagine. She shared with me that her birth name is Julia, but when she was adopted by her father her family started calling her Julie because it flowed better with Andrews. I wish I could be as pleasant as she is when it comes to people calling me Julie, however it is not my name. It makes me cringe & twitch when people call me Julie.

Back to the lovely Julie Andrews, if you haven't seen her & her daughter's Very Fairy Princess collection be sure to look it up. They make lovely gifts for ladies of all ages.

May was yet another month of transition for the Northwood Nelsons. Our superivsory leadership changed officially at work, I finished my third year of seminary, we celebrated family birthdays from afar, and Spring officially ended. Yes, we know that Spring technically isn't over yet, but for us Summer has begun. The days are longer with more relaxing time on my hands. I'm learning how to fill the days with a little work & more play. We recently bought a Nook Simple Touch & I plan to do lots of non-theological (although most anything can be seen as theological) fictional wonderfulness reading. In fact I just started the Hunger Games trilogy (literally in the last few minutes of being distracted from this blog by a text - Thanks A!)

Pa & Ma P visited from the Hoosierland this last week & we squeezed all four of us into our tiny apartment. It seems quiet now without them here. The reality is it has been a fairly quiet year when talking about the literal noise level of our apartment. This seems a bit silly to say when Pandora is playing Julie Andrew classics, my cell is randomly vibrating with new texts, & I just read out-loud the first few pages of The Hunger Games. While my parents were here we enjoyed some local treats such as Forestedge Winery, Leech Lake Brewery, & Itasca State Park. We ate lots of good food (we even had a picnic by Leech Lake), had daily cocktail time, watched a few movies, & played games. As Z put it, "It was a good staycation!"

Now onto June & the rest of Summer. It's already speeding by! Z's b-day is in a few days, "vacay" #1 is just around the corner, & our 1 year wedding anniversary is at the beginning of next month! Life is exiting in a slightly less overwhelming way this Summer & we're doing what we can to embrace it fully. There are dozens of bike rides in the near future on the miles & miles of paved trails now that my bike is spruced up with new pedals - thanks big brother for the gift & Dad & Z for putting the gift on my bike! God is good :-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

22 years of school

The end of the semester is here! It's always an exciting time of year. It's the beginning of summer and the season of birthdays for both Z and I. With summer comes a change in the pace of day-to-day living. While Z will continue being full-time in his internship, I will become even more part-time in my field work.

I feel like I can reclaim my right to cooking, cleaning, and projecting. Yes, I am one who likes to experiment in the kitchen. My cousin was just teasing me the other day remembering me as a thirteen year old who said I would never cook. I still don't enjoy baking so much, but I have learned the joys of cooking. Like my cousin said, it was only natural being named after our grandmother who was a wonderful cook and baker. So maybe the joy of baking will come some day, but for now we'll leave that up to Z. Cleaning is therapeutic for me and it has been for many years. Living in a small apartment cleanliness is also part of our sanity as it doesn't take much of being untidy to look cluttered or messy. And my projecting plans are to actually try some of the things I've pinned on Pinterest. Of course whatever I project I either have to give away or it makes more for us to pack for when we move back to the cities in a few months.

Other plans for the summer are to take total advantage of all the biking/hiking trails in the Northwoods, visit a few friends, and hopefully have a few friends visit us. In a few weeks Ma & Pa P will be visiting MN for the first time since last summer's wedding week! After their visit Z will be leading a group from work on a Youth Works trip to Canada and I will be going to ND to visit a good friend and fellow Diaconal Minister friend (& meet her hubby & little one) for a few days.

Currently Z & I are adjusting to the change in pace of day-to-day life. We're often found processing the oddities of this year and dreaming about the year ahead of us. Class schedules have been posted, but I have yet to look at it and figure out my schedule. We also have another big essay for our last piece of candidacy within the ELCA to write at some point this summer. Where we'll be headed a year from now is completely unknown so we keep "Globetrotting with God" even within the same state.

God has used this year to help me better define my call as a Diaconal Minister and as a person who is passionate about ministry with those in their First/Third of life. This summer is going to go by fast and before we know it this year of living in the Northwoods will be history in the stories that make up JZ Nelson. Before I get too far ahead of myself I best get to the list of cleaning, cooking, and projecting! I thank the Lord for all of you who share in this continuous journey with Z & I wherever we land from wherever you are

Sunday, April 1, 2012

God Parents

Last night while talking with Z's oldest brother to tell him happy birthday and catching up on life we of course were asking about our sister-in-law and her pregnancy. We have not been able to see each other since just before Christmas when she was only two months along and because of the chaos of life and distance we haven't really been the best at keeping in touch either. There are many days when we wish we lived at least in the same state if not the same town. While Z and his brother are on the phone I hear Z says, "Wow! Yes, sure. Wait, I better ask her too." What he then asked I was not expecting. C & J have asked us to be the God parents to their first child - along with J's sister too! What a humbling title to be called God Parent!

Personally, I don't think my God parents even know that they are my God parents. My former Aunt M may know and should know, but I know that my Uncle T is not in the right state of mental health to remember. Although, you'd be amazed at what he pulls out of the back of his brain from years ago despite his form of dementia. The people my parents chose did not act directly as God parents aside from my actual Baptism. Their lack of interaction with my faith development and growth is alright because I was blessed with many other people that have acted as God parents to me. However, this is not something I plan to rely on for our future niece or nephew.

Z and I are humbled and thankful for the new life in our family. We are honored to have the chance to help point out the ways in which God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are working in our God child's life. Oh what an adventure it will be! And yes, if yall have any great tips of how to be a God parent from across the miles, or even from across town, please let us know!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Day in Duluth

First of all I must say that I'm trying the new Blogger format so if something doesn't come up right that would be why.

After the last post of sharing how hard life can be, but the hope we have in Jesus I decided I was going to "kidnap" Z away for a day. One of his favorite cities is Duluth, MN so I figured we could spend a few hours in the car and have a day away. Despite the crazy March Minnesota weather it was a lovely day. Yes, we drove and walked through high winds, sleet, snow, and rain. We got some fun finds at a local antique shop that used to be a church and then headed to Canal Park where we got some new smartwool socks on sale. Seriously whoever figured out the idea of smartwool is on the A list in my book. Overall we essentially ate our way through Duluth. Nothing like a little stress indulging in favorite things! In the morning we both got a latte before getting on the road, then we had lunch at Bridgeman's and of course we had to have a banana split for dessert, we stopped to get a warm drink later in the afternoon and shared a scone, then went to dinner at Angie's Cantina and shared a margarita.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let it be a Renewing & Refreshing Spring

Wow, life is crazy! I'm reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses from the book of 2nd Corinthians which says, "If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ's love controls us" (NLT 5:13-14a). Dear Lord, may this be true! May it be your love that controls us in these crazy times and may we be crazy - in a healthy way - for you!

This year has been one of the most challenging years of my adult life. There has been a WHOLE LOT OF NEW. To be honest much of the time it has not seemed that the crazy has been caused by Christ's love. However, then I must remember that Christ's love is much more abundant and all encompassing than you or I could ever truly know and grasp.Yes, God is in the good AND in the bad of life. Jesus meets us where we are each and every day and God continuously sends the Holy Spirit to reassure us that we are loved and taken care of. For, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (NLT Eph. 2:8-9) *recapping scripture from Sunday* By the GRACE of God we have been SAVED through FAITH in Jesus Christ dying and RESURRECTING and THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT!

The JZ News Flash of the week is that the church we have been working with this year is undergoing leadership change - again!  This is sure to continue to be a learning, changing, growing time for our church and for the various leaders - those that are here now and those yet to come. It has been a learning, changing, growing time on various levels this year for Z and I. Amidst the joyous times and despite the challenges the Spirit is still whirring around, through, and in us gifting us the faith of Jesus in God and reassuring us that our calling to be ministers in the Lutheran church - more importantly in the Christian church - are on the right paths. We're learning to live in the grace that has saved us and finding ways - old and new - to love like Jesus. If we truly believe that Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross is our salvation in God and that there's nothing we can do about that then what else is there to do than love?!

One of the more common questions is, "So how does this affect you two? What does this mean for you?" It means that we are in limbo and have been for a few months now. However, in that limbo we can learn from the experience and use the fact that we are still students - and hopefully always will be. We can choose to encourage each other and those that we work with and help each other process through the hardships and negative factors. We can love with the best of our ability and remember to be in the Word of God so that the ultimate source of love - meaning the Trinity - is obviously alive in our midst and through that we learn to pray/communicate more closely with our creator and Lord.

We have only a few months left at this site and then back to the Twin Cities for our final year of seminary. Life will continue to be new and crazy. It's easy to get down, become anxious, and sneer at at each other on a regular basis, but that's not why we have been made. God says in the beginning of the Bible "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us" (NLT Genesis 1:26a). When the world is crazy - good or bad - we can find comfort in remembering who we came from and the mystery of how we got to where we are today.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 9, 2012


In honor of remembering that I am dust and to dust I shall return/Lent I give you the first blog of 2012.

It has been a bit of a weird frenzy my friends! In early January we traveled to St. Paul to have a belated Christmas with Z's parents. Then we were both participating in helping with the first wedding of 2012 for our good friends who both helped with our wedding day. After that fun event our car alarm went bazerk & died & Z left me in the cities for two weeks of J-term intensive. Dr. Malcolm puts the intense in the word intensive! 9,011 words later I can tell you a few ways to answer Jesus' question to Peter when he asks, "Who do you say that I am?" The day I finished writing that - after spending at least 10 hours on my computer - we went to take our recycling to the center before getting dinner & while still in the car I saw a wolf along the fence line. Z was outside of the car getting the recycling from the trunk & very quickly was back in the car after I told him to do so - he may have been sitting in my lap. Then we went to get dinner & met the CEO of minute clinic. Let me not forget the week after J-term course ended & the week before writing the paper we traveled to IN to visit my parents & have a belated Christmas. It was great to get away for a while & we got to venture to the home of former president of the USA Benjamin Harrison. Visiting his home makes me wonder if I would appreciate my current history course more if I was sitting in a church with lots of history....

February bled out of January & Spring semester started without a blink of the eye. I also traveled to NOLA for the Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza. This was a great chance to see the city - I had never been before - & prepare for the youth going to the ELCA Nat'l Gathering this summer. I got to catch up with some college friends that I had not seen in several years & made some new. As I was sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane to head back North I received a text message saying that my cousin was engaged! Then the next day I received another message saying that the wedding date was over the time that I was supposed to be at the Nat'l Gathering. After some prayer & discussion I opted to attend the wedding in CA & have another adult lead the trip with the Synod. Aside from that fun news school is happening full steam ahead. It's crazy to think that we only have a little over a year left. I definitely did not ever think that I would be in school for this many years.

Aside from those fun stories of life things are pretty good & chaotic like usual for us. We're both plugging away trying to be progressive in our work with our current context & towards returning to the seminary in August. It's a little crazy to think that we will have to move most likely two times in the next year and a half, so we just try not to think about it & will do what we need to do when we need to do it.

Places I've seen God working lately are through the coming warmer Spring weather, through the goofiness of my husband, in the petitions of prayers during Sunday service, & the joys of life exuded by one three year old from church.

God is good, life is crazy, & I want Spring! Happy Daylights Savings weekend!