Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

While life is blurring past me, I cling to the things, & the people, that I love.

This photo taken by the fun app known as #picstitch is from my parents' visit a few weeks ago.

I haven't always loved tea, but I've always loved tea parties. Nor have I had much experience with ballet, but out of my 16 years of dance classes, I did take one year of ballet. Flexibility is my game, not gracefulness.

What do you cling to when life flashes by making you dizzy?

I LOVE to dance. My friend AE & I used to dance while brushing our teeth when we lived together. Now Z just thinks I'm crazy. Don't let him fool you, he enjoys dancing too.

I also LOVE to sit with a warm mug of tea in my hands & breath deep the steam & smell of my tea. Todays blend is coconut chai. My life-long bestie BEG & her mom & sister used to throw annual mother-daughter Valentine's Day teas. In honor of these parties, they even threw me a tea party themed bridal shower 2.5 years ago. Now, not only do I enjoy tea & parties, it is my main reason I blog. Tea creates community.

Tea, dancing, & whatever & whoever you need. May they be there for you to cling to as life whirls you forward.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, & know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Ugly

Happy Sunday Snippits!

I'm back again for the weekly Good, Bad, & Ugly of the past week.

GOOD: Last Monday I was officially offered a temp. job working with an organization that does ministry that is close to my heart. I have officially now been a youth participant, junior guide, college volunteer, team member of community based ministry & international ministry, & now part-time temporary events phoner for Youth Encounter. So I'll be spending my days on the phone in the coming weeks. The week went by very quickly getting this new job up & running while also prepping to start teaching Zumba in the New Year. The later half of the week Z & I spent at a youth worker's retreat at a local camp. It was a relaxing & enjoyable few days of networking, sharing ministry ideas, learning, & making new friendships.

BAD: Being reminded over & over that when churches have to cut back, the first thing they cut are leadership positions in children, youth, & family ministries. Hearing people say things like "we don't have that many youth" & not embracing the youth that they do have.

UGLY: Knowing that these two had to wait so long to legally celebrate their love for one another because of both state & church.

WORD: I've recently been reading Eboo Patel's Acts of Faith & am really enjoying learning about the interfaith initiatives across the country & world. Be sure to check out Interfaith Youth Core today!

Coming up: Phoning, tea time, Zumba prep, & more!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time: pause

Tuesday Tea Time!

What makes you pause? Pause to stop & think about your day or the last few minutes you lived. Pause to think about tomorrow & who you'll see or work with. Pause to smile or cry. Pause to breath deep. Pause to sit with the small voice in your ear pushing or pulling you.

My tea tag today simply said "pause." It made me wonder how we pause & what it looks & feels like. In talking with my good friend KR, we said though we spend much of our time alone, we almost always have music, the tv, or something else making noise. So while we pause, we are not really ever able to pause in silence.

Pause. Check in with yourself. Check in with others around you. Pause

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Ugly!

Happy Sunday Snippits!

Another week has gone by in another blur of life.

So here we go with the GOOD, BAD, & UGLY of Juls of #LifeSpiritSparkle (use this hashtag to share the love of connection & networking)

GOOD: Last Monday Ma & Pa N made the trip back to MN safe & sound. It was good to have them here & to be able to show them where we're living. Ma & Pa P were here all week with a little bit of adventure each day. We found our way into Johnnie's, which Z & I had been wanting to check out. Tuesday afternoon I had some time to learn from the annual 3rd Tuesday Conversation (aka 3TC) offered through the ELCA Youth Ministry Network that happens each month. This months topic was about working through transition and conflict. Always a fun topic! Shout out to Interserve Ministries! Thursday we ventured to the quaint town of Charlevoix where we feasted on candy from The Taffy Barrel & jalapeno popcorn from The Poppery. It's a great place to vacation! Ma & Pa P made their way back to IN safely & welcomed family from AZ. While Z & I reacclimatized ourselves to our quiet home, made apple-butter with all the apples we had, & built our first fire in our fireplace!

BAD: Learning to juggle having guests & continue on with some personal matters is hard! I LOVE being around people, but I also am learning to carve out more "me-time" to take care of myself & my sanity.

UGLY: Our car & it's check engine light. And having friends & family who are hurting. and women's education rights in other countries (see articles on Malala)

WORD: Luke 18:1-8 God grants justice & so must we. In what ways do you experience justice in your life & how can you share that with others?

COMING UP: Skype dates with friends & a youth worker's retreat at camp!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!


My loose schedule has been thrown off a bit by having visitors & it's always a happy moment - as some say happiness is fleeting, but joy is more permanent - when I remember it's TUESDAY TEA TIME!

Today's picture is credited to Sandy at My Fiddlestix

While I am not much of a coffee drinker, I have a LOT of coffee drinkers in my life. One being my husband.
This morning, I decided to use my porcelain thermos that was a wedding present from my cousins BH & OH. We had these thermoses in storage for our first two years of marriage so as to preserve them & use up our already beat-up & well-loved ones. Now that we're in a home, we have all the space we could need & have been using many of our wedding gifts that were in storage for 2+ years.

What's the point Juls?!

Today my tea tasted like coffee. Somebody - ahem husband - has been getting our mugs mixed up! In all fairness, they are exactly alike & plain white. His lid is definitely stained differently with coffee oils than mine with tea. And we tried to mark them to differentiate, but it just washed off. So now I have to be patient & embrace the hint of coffee because it'll take a few rounds of strong tea to get rid of the coffee taste in my mug.

Woah is me. or should I say Fiddlestix?!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Snippits: the GOOD, BAD, & UGLY!

Welcome to Sunday Snippits with a review of my week in...

GOOD: This last week we did a LOT of cooking with fresh produce. Apple oatmeal in the crock pot, egg veggie wild rice dish, butternut squash apple cider soup, ciabatta bread, & sausage wild rice veggies & mushroom soup hot dish. This last week is a blur other than that. It was good, it was busy, & it went by fast. Thursday evening was the annual Spaghetti Dinner & silent auction Friday Ma & Pa N came in from MN for the weekend & Saturday Ma & Pa P joined in the party from IN. Saturday we spent the day showing off Che-boo-boo & spent some time in Mackinaw City too. Today was a busy morning with visiting from camp & now we're all just "resting."

BAD: I don't remember much about the blur of this last week. Too much going on around me!

UGLY: I don't have anything to contribute to this. Mer mer!

Coming up: Ma & Pa P are here till Friday morning, so there's a little this & that to get done or take part in this week with my ecourse or a few business things & a whole lot O fun!!!

WORD: Luke 17:11-19 & Lepers. I've only read stories about people working with people who have leprosy. It makes you think about proclaiming praise for the little things in life & befriending the visually unappealing - for whatever reason to each individual - & being the church with them.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Favorites!

LOTS o fresh cooking!
FALL smells!

Christmas Cheer?!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

I have to admit, it's 9:03pm & I'm just now getting around to blogging today. However, I didn't forget about it at all today. While I've been slow to get back into the rhythm of my blogs since moving, I've found my joy in Tuesday Tea Time again & can't let it slip by so easily.

Today's credit for the "hot tea" picture goes to artist Traci O'Very Covey. Her art is a joy to the eye with the variety of colors & content. Be sure to check it out!

Kombucha, Laundry, Newsletters, & Chopsticks sums up my day.

Kombucha is one of my favorite teas that I enjoy year round. Since moving, I haven't been able to find it, but thankfully my mother-in-law picked some up for me in MN & they're visiting this weekend! I'm sure I could order it online if I need to too. However, I figure it'll be a good excuse to try new teas if I'm unable to find it around here.

AND I'm slowly but surely making new friends that are LOCAL - that is key - that like tea too, so I will have people (or at least one person - shout out to TE!) to share tea time.

Laundry...apparently when your spouse is a foot taller than you, that means their clothes are bigger & you can't put 4 pairs of jeans, plus a few hoodies & other items in a 24+ year old washer. It sounded like a bowling ball was in there! Thankfully, all is good & the laundry is done for today.

If you're a member of Zion or St. Thomas be ready for a newsletter article in next months Teller/Newsletter!

And just a simple highlight was using chopsticks to eat dinner.

Here's to tea, productivity, cleanliness, community, & a sliver of adventure in your day (or night)!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Ugly

Happy Sunday Funday! It's Sunday Snippits with

GOOD: It's hard to believe it's already been a week since Z's ordination & family time in MN. Monday kicked off the week with some networking with Dawn Trautman - a Life Coach who I learned about a few years ago at the Youth Ministry Extravaganza. I will be participating in her online course & possibly eventually pursing becoming a Life Coach myself! Tuesday was one great surprise & distraction after another with a few Skype dates & a Starbucks date with some friends that were in the area. And an added adventure of the "Check Engine" light coming on in Mandela. Something about back-up in the catalytic converter that Perkins Performance - aka my brother - replaced a few years ago. Thankfully that was an easy fix & we found a new "Ray" (our Toyota guy in MN). Total props to Fein's Auto! Wednesday brought another wonderful surprise with visitors from MN who took us to lunch at The Step Inn - a new experience for all of us. Thursday we got out on the local trail for a bike ride before the rain started coming - & has kept coming - & Friday & Saturday I worked as a wedding coordinator for my first wedding in the area. Congrats to R&J!

BAD: The government....yeah....it's easier to not follow all the news some days.

UGLY: Humanity, sorry, but I'm stuck on the government shutdown. 

SHOUTOUT: A special shout out to the installation of Bishop Elizabeth Eaton in the ELCA Check out her speaking about being the 1st female bishop of the ELCA here!

WORD: While I get my daily scripture readings from ELCA.org, I've also been slowly reading Anne Lamott's Help, Thanks, Wow with Z. Mucho thanks to KE & Bert for the gift. It is one that I could read over & over & still be learning how to pray the words & actions of Help, Thanks, Wow.

Coming up: Big Picture, Big Purpose, Zumba choreographing, Getting out into the community more, AND welcoming Ma & Pa N. to Che-boo-boo on Friday AND Ma & Pa P. on Saturday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Favorite(s)

Thank God it's Friday Favorite!

Z's ordination service & the laying on of hands

My niece E & I loving on each other

FRIENDS visiting for a work retreat

Share some of your Favorites using #LifeSpiritSparkle

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tea Time AND Winesday Wednesday!

Tuesday Tea Time came & went & now it's Winesday Wednesday! Thank you Kathy Lee & Hoda for the reminder! Yesterday was a WONDERFUL day. While I was still coming off the high from the weekend with family & friends & Z's ordination, I let life be a total distraction in all the best ways possible.

While enjoying my morning cup of tea, I was able to Skype with RMG in MALAYSIA! Her & her hubbie CG have some exciting great news that is very cool & I hope it means I have more of a chance to possibly visit them in Malaysia while they're there. Dreaming never hurt anybody!

Then I had a scheduled Skype date with my friend & fellow Diaconal Minister(DM) SN in BISMARCK! No, not the same ring as MALAYSIA, but still exciting. I also got to meet her sweet 4mo old Evie & hear about all the wonderful things the Spirit is doing in her call to DM. It is such an encouragement to share these connections to specialized ministry. Check out Heart River Lutheran Church & support their ministry in whatever ways you are able.

After Skype filling up my morning, I headed to Mackinaw City to meet up with KS & KR at Starbucks. Can I say what a luxury Starbucks is for those of us living in rural areas. KR & KS are living in more rural areas than me (I think). KS & I are friends from seminary & KR & I met through Youth Encounter's ministries. She actually was on the New Dawn team prior to mine that also went to MALAYSIA.

Then of course the end of the day included entertainment from The Voice.

What has been your great life distractions as of late? Share the goods & enjoy the tea & wine!