Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

Ever have a moment like this? Maybe you didn't catch your ice cream cake with your face & it fell all the way to the ground! Somewhere out there is another photo of me laying on the kitchen floor because a perfectly delicious marshmallow jello something (salad?) had fallen out of the refrigerator & upside down on the floor, while still in the bowl. I just laid there looking at it, wondering if there was anyway to scrape it off the floor & still be delectable.

Life is funny!

What's your funny oops moment of the week? We all have them, so share the joy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's TUESDAY TEA TIME! and today I found even more fun Tuesday Tea Time photos on Google, that I might have to share two!

While I was hangin' with WOK this morning before coming to my other job (sittin' at a desk, answering the phone when it rings), he was watching "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" (the recent version of Mr. Roger's neighborhood) & Daniel was having a "Birthday Tea" with his friend Catarina's (the cat) monkey. I'm not sure I've ever had a birthday tea, but it sounds like a fabulous idea!

My GOLDEN birthday is tomorrow!

My mom mentioned that she had never heard of a "golden birthday" till getting to know Auntie Di many years ago. This is a family friend who's known me my whole life, I believe. I vaguely remember celebrating my brother's golden birthday when he turned 14. However, a 14 year old boy generally isn't into sparkly gold things. I totally intend to wear whatever gold I have! This honestly isn't very much though. I have costume jewelry, a tank-top that's flecked with gold, & a brown scarf belt/hair wrap. I just remembered I might have some old dance costume pieces left, but I'm not sure I want to venture into that! AND I sorta want to go to Target & buy these gold sandals or something like them. I generally don't splurge on cheap unsupportive shoes anymore, but this is a special reason, right?!

How have you celebrated your or other's GOLDEN birthdays?

With a birthday tea perhaps? While I'm sure I'll have tea in the morning, my plans are to do a historical tour of Fort Snelling, maybe some hiking along the river, get my free schooner of beer from Manning's Cafe, pick up my Dairy Queen ice cream cake, return home in time for some sort of surprise delivery, dinner & live music at Hells Kitchen with friends, & then back to the JZ Seminary Shack to share the ice cream cake with friends. It should be a splendid day!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snippits!

It's Sunday Snippits with

GOOD: A week ago today Z & I graduated from Luther Seminary with our Master of Divinity degrees. We were blessed with many of our family members being able to join us in person & several cards from those who were not able to travel. We really encourage more travel for our Ordination & Consecration service(s). Monday morning we got up bright & early (3am CST) to travel to MI for synod assembly & to meet the Bishop & his staff who help place us in our first calls as ordained pastor & consecrated Diaconal Minister. I even got to catch up with my good friend LK from college! He's doing his pastoral internship in MI this year & it had been nearly 3 years since we had seen each other. Upon our return to MN we've been working. I got to hang out with WOK both Thursday & Friday this week. Friday night some friends came over to hang out & Saturday night we hung out with some other friends to celebrate SS's b-day (one of many people I know born on May 28).

BAD: We still dont know much about our future, but we have hope in what's to come. Our energy is low due to the consistant cloudy skies of MN.

UGLY: The tragedies around the country & world are the ugliest pieces of life right now. Tornados in OK, landslides burying kids on a field trip in St. Paul MN,  & the homelessness of so many people in this unpredictable weather.

COMING UP: Tonight we're celebrating JHM's birthday (also on May 28), Wednesday is my GOLDEN birthday, Thursday is camp day, & J&K WT are getting married over the weekend!

TILL NEXT TIME: So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh - for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abby! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ - if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. NRSV Romans 8:12-17

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

Congratulations to the Luther Seminary class of 2013 & their friends & families!

Believe it or not, I don't know every person in this photo, but I know at least most of their names. The two young men in the front are our friend's & classmate's boys who were present to receive an honorary diploma for their dad (see Dec. 2012 posts). You can barely see me standing behind & in-between the two of them. What you can see is celebration. 

I have no doubt that every person in this photo is going to do fantastic things through the Spirit and for the church each & every day of their tomorrows.

How are you celebrating graduation season?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thirsting for a Thursday Special

You've most likely missed Sunday Snippits & Tuesday Tea Time, those are everybody's favorite pieces of me sharing Life, Spirit, & Sparkle. So here's a Thursday Special to quench your Thursday Thirst!

The topic of the day: ambiguity

As I sit quietly listening to see if WOK will wake up from his nap, the 6 fingered cat Ernie (yes, after Hemingway) is howling from the basement. 

This is not ambiguity, this just is.

Now that graduation has come & gone, Z & I sit in a time of unknowns. Maybe today's topic should be hopeful unknowns. Ambiguity still fits though because we know that we have been assigned to serve in the North/West Lower Michigan synod & we know that the synod staff is working to give us potential placements. We know so much & at the same time, so little. 

Last week we celebrated 4(+) years  with friends & shared how we have been impacted by each other & our time at seminary. The next day family started arriving & Saturday afternoon we had all of our immediate family in our apartment except for my brother (who was camping in PA). At baccalaureate we were reminded to let the Gospel surprise us & at commencement we were given a pep talk to not be boring. Living in ambiguous unknowns is NOT boring.

It is the working of the Spirit that keeps us hopeful in the unknowns & the ambiguous "answers" to our questions of "What's next?!"

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

Luther Seminary, a place where the Spirit has soared through the walls of education & people, working for and with the church, for years. Together we have enriched each other's lives & together we are sent out to be "Jesus with skin on."

What's sending you out?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tea Time!

Due to high velocity of social events & work schedules, Juls of Life, Spirit, & Sparkle will return ASAP.

Today was an earl gray kinda day.

What's in your mug?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Snippits!

Happy Mother's Day!

The last week has been no less busy than any other. Life in the fast lane is my style, I just choose to fill it differently depending on where I am each day. After finishing my last class of graduate school last week I was able to sleep in a little extra & catch up on lost beauty rest. That brings us to Sunday Snippits with

and so that I don't forget here is the link to watch my thesis defense presentation on Spirit-led Hospitality Leadership for and with First/Third Ministries.

GOOD: Last week was a release of energy after the busyness of finishing my final semester at Luther Seminary. Monday I enjoyed baking cookies for my final class on Tuesday morning. I'm not much of a baker, but chocolate chip cookies are a sinch & I especially enjoyed the gluten free cookies (1 cup overnight oats, 2 ripe bananas, & whatever add-ins - I chose chocolate chips - you want, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15min & voila!) Wednesday started the end of the year festivities with an outting to the Wild Roast Cafe with my Grouplife friends from Jacob's Well Minneapolis. Thursday was the annual Blessings Banquet where we honor, thank, & meet our donors. Then we went to Mannings Cafe (aka the Seminary pub of many decades) to celebrate a friend's birthday. Friday we enjoyed a cheese & wine party with friends, Saturday we served at Feed My Starving Children with other graduating classmates & their significant others. Then we ended the week with food & games at Dave & Buster's with more classmates.

BAD: Wednesday was supposed to be the annual staff & faculty vs. students & their families baseball game. The darn weather didn't cooperate though & it was canceled. It didn't start raining heavily till 7pm, but the weather is so unpredictable.

UGLY: I'm really stretching to say that anything from last week was ugly. I'm sure there were things in the news, but nothing that directly affected me. The Lord has blessed me abundantly. G'byes have started & that is never fun, so we'll say that is ugly. I'm in denial that I have seen snow coming from the sky in the last week.

Coming up: Today we celebrated Mother's Day at the St. Paul Grill with Dad & Mom N & naturally we talked about all the excitement happening this last week & in the weeks to come. Due to such excitement, I may not be blogging for Friday Foto Fun, Sunday Snippits, or Tuesday Tea Time starting at the end of this week. This week we have more celebrations & family coming in for graduation weekend next week. ONE WEEK from today we will officially be graduated with our Master of Divinity degrees! Then off to synod assembly to network.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

photo courtesy of Shutterstock 5/10/13

Have you ever been waiting & waiting for something & then it arrives?

I'm guessing we all have been here. Maybe you were waiting for a birthday, graduation, wedding, or vacation. I've been waiting for the green leaves to return. This morning, they're back! They're small, but they're there.

It's a little piece of promise for a changing tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

Except I'm without tea today.

Last night I baked a couple dozen cookies for my final seminary class & barely burned myself. Today while pouring my water into my travel mug I lost my grip & totally scalded two of my fingers on my left hand.

Womp! Womp!

Some days I'm just a little more of a klutz than other days.

I'm in the fun transition of learning how to be me, without a ton of schoolwork. There's still plenty of things to do, but that vacation in June is seeming much more real right now. Life as a student is what I know, but it is time to move on & learn how to not scald my fingers with my tea water.

What's scalding you in the midst?

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." NRSV Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Snippits: Resuming Life

Sunday Snippts!

I missed Friday Foto Fun due to finishing up all my work for grad-school. But the good news is, I am done! I do have to attend class tomorrow & Tuesday, but my assignments are done.

So we'll resume with the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly to get us back on track.

GOOD: Last Sunday KJ got ordained as a pastor in the ELCA. It was quite the celebration! Monday I helped lead chapel with other Word & Service leaders of the ELCA. It was a great way to show our presence on campus. I was also awarded, along with 3 other classmates, a student leadership award. It was fun & made me feel like I had something to show mom. So I sent her a picture on her phone since we don't live even down the street from each other. Thursday I was the student host for The Evidence of Hope documentary at Luther Sem. It's a great documentary with some profound statements of how we should approach our lives. Definitely worth checking out. Saturday I was up bright & early to be ready to defend my thesis at 8am. Then I got to spend the whole day with my classmates & listen to their thesis defense. The week came to a close with a fun bachelorette outing for BLF to Shamrock's Irish Nook. We rocked out with the Brat Pack Radio Supershow. Check 'em out if you're into '80's cover music.

BAD: I missed the coffee shop open mic night that I was supposed to read a few pieces of my poetry at. Yes, I write poetry on occasion, but seriously, the Spirit has to move me. I got stuck in traffic going to get groceries & couldn't be everywhere I wanted to be. I also missed my Friday Foto blog.

UGLY: While hanging with WOK, he wiped out & got a big bloody lip. Thankfully he is alright & so is my shirt that he pressed his bloody lip against. This was all while it was snowing Friday morning, later that day it was sleeting, then it rained & melted all the snow. Crazy Spring weather!

Coming up: This week is busy with 2 more classes, some meetings, & some fun. Graduation is 2 weeks from today! Happy May!