Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!


This morning as I'm waiting for my tea to cool down enough to enjoy I started looking for an image to share with yall for Tuesday Tea Time. Well before I click on "images" my attention is drawn to a link for the World Tea Expo.

Just yesterday after the Republic of Tea posted a delicious looking tea on FB, I decided that I need to work in a tea shop at some point in my life. Well clearly I live in the wrong part of the country for this, so it won't be happening any time soon, but some day I will be surrounded by the smells & joys of tea ALL day long.

What part of the world would I need to live in? I told Z that this was a new life goal of mine & he said "So we're moving to Asia?" I do have lots of connections in Hong Kong, but I'm not certain I'd want to live there full-time. According to the World Tea Expo, SoCal is the place to be as a tea connoisseur. In fact, the World Tea Expo starts on my 30th birthday!

I won't be able to attend the World Tea Expo this year, but as the video from the website says, anybody that loves tea needs to attend! Who wants to come with?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Ugly

Happy Sunday! Enjoy the Snippits of Life, Spirit, & Sparkle through the Good, Bad, & Ugly. I invite you to use #lifespiritsparkle when sharing via social media throughout the week. Together life is better, Spirit is not to be denied, & sparkle is the way you or others shine in your world.

GOOD: This last week was a bit of the same ol' same ol'. A bit of work, a bit of Olympics, a bit of falling asleep on the couch because the Olympics were on so late. Z had traveled to MN & returned safely, work life continued to whirl us forward with new & changing information to finish out the week. And today we crashed because Z lead a 24 hour famine with the youth & spent the night at the church & I am just a little cruddy. In the midst of this I was able to connect with our friends B&M BR who now live in TX. Together we shared the ups & downs of life since graduating & moving in the last year. Seriously, life is so much better when shared together.

BAD: Crashing under the weight of life. Our friend's dad died. My Uncle was diagnosed with cancer on top of his pre-existing Pick's Disease. And there's been one too many days of feeling like the only thing I have control over is the laundry & dishes.

UGLY: All the war around the world. I can't imagine what it's like for some of the Olympians returning home.

WORD: There is power in Scripture no doubt. This week while working on a newsletter article I quoted Lamentations & not because the article was about lament. It was anything but. It's amazing how hope shines through in the darkness. Check out Lamentations 3:22-24.

coming up: Finishing phoning with YE, Tea Time, checking in with some friends who recently announced big life changes, & getting rid of the crud.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites!

One Billion Rising is a campaign that I learned about just over a year ago & last Friday people, like these two ladies, from all over the world rose for justice because 1 out of every 3 women will experience rape or sexual assault in their lifetime.

Many will never be given the voice to speak up, so we as a community & as a world & as a people rise up together for the voiceless.

Awareness is a key education piece that will help make these numbers of victims less. Using our voice through dance or song or poetry or speech will help with the education & cause awareness to grow. Awareness will cause action. We must stop tragically hurting each other so deeply.

I find my hope in the resurrection of Jesus & God's word from Lamentations. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him'" (NRSV Lamentations 3:22-24).

Rise with us Spirit, this I pray!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Credit given to Miss Voodoo's Tattoos
Tuesday Tea Time!

Today Tea Time comes with a snoring puppy pressed against my side. She's taken to her morning nap being on my lap or as close to me as she can get. Thankfully, I'm able to get a few things done despite the puppy's closeness.

It's so fun when I Google "Tea Time" for an image & up comes something I've never seen before! While I do have a couple of tattoos & have thought about getting another, I have NEVER thought about having a Tea Time tattoo.

This tattoo is rather impressive simply knowing how hard it is to keep hand/finger tattoos looking fresh. Each tattoo has a story & I would love to know more about this tattoo or the plethora of other tea time tattoos that show up on Google images.

Frown at the idea of marking up one's body permanently or embrace it, either way it's a piece of art that's not going anywhere.

That's a splash with Tuesday Tea Time! What's in your mug?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Snippits: One Word 365 Update

What?! No GOOD, BAD, & UGLY?

I'm multitasking!

When I chose my One Word as healthy, I meant it in a holistic way, but with a special emphasis in the emotional department.

Hi, I am a forever optimist who struggles sitting with people - including myself - in the gray times of life.

There's SO much life to be lived that I don't see the point in living in the gray times more than than the clear sparkly times. However, as I've mentioned recently, I am living in a time of limbo. I'm working a couple of different jobs & applying for others & praying for what path I should follow. I can't escape the gray.

This forever optimism comes from a lot of gray in my childhood. I like to see people happy so I figure if I share a smile then it can hide the gray.

It doesn't fix the gray, but it makes me feel good.

Thus why on the usual Sunday Snippits, I ALWAYS have a LOT more to say for the GOOD than I do for the bad or ugly.

Living healthy is hard, but beautiful!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday Favorites!

This week has been busy with a little of this & a little of that. And it's that time of the year where the weather is still playing Winter, but showing small signs of Spring in the future.

You may think "She's Crazy!" The snow & ice keep coming & that does NOT equal Spring. Well last year it did! It would snow about once a week clear into the second week of May in MN, but it would all be melted within a day or two.

My favorites this week are watching people have fun in the snow. AND clinging to the longer bits of daylight & hearing the birds chirp a little more often.

Here's our niece E in the most snow she's ever witnessed in her life. Seriously, I may be biased, but does it get much cuter than that?!

I hope that wherever you are at the end of this week & in whatever weather you're living, that you're enjoying a piece of it & finding a reason to smile.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Meet JK & his dad LK. Mom & wife, RK, posted a few pictures of her & J's tea time last week & I couldn't help but share with all of you. Of course I asked for permission before posting pictures of my friends' adorable toddler having tea time with his mom. LK is clearly studying hard for his final semester of seminary in the background!

LK & I met Fall 2003 & both being the youngest in our families, he knew how to be the bully of a brother figure that would drive me crazy & I knew how to be the bully of a sister figure that would drive him crazy. The only difference is he shares the title of being youngest in his family with his twin sister. LK & I would go on to graduate from CAP in 2007 & then on for two years of service on separate ministry teams through YE, & then onto different ministry settings & continuing education settings. LK met RK during our time with YE & they now have 2 adorable babes & are continuing to journey together as a ministry couple about to embark on life after seminary.

I sit, writing this, enjoying my second round on my bag of English tea, smiling about the friendships with this family (1/2 of which I've never actually met, like JK). Last time LK & I were together in the same place was less than a year ago & our friendship has grown a little more mature that when Z wasn't around for one reason or another, people got confused & thought LK was Z. Don't worry LK, you're not my only college friend who's dealt with such confusions. Just ask DL about him coming to Z's & my IN wedding reception!

So from across the miles, I cherish the tea time with JK & family because in my book of life, tea time is always more precious when shared with others.

May you stop & enjoy your tea with a friend (near or far) today & may it be good till the last drop!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Ugly!

Sunday Snippits! Bringing you the good, the bad, & the ugly from my world view. With a few other Snippits of life.

GOOD: This last week started with the second to last day of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza! This event is for ALL leaders working in children, youth, young adult, & family ministry throughout the ELCA & our partners in faith. I say this because you do not need to have any special degree or special title to be part of the network. You simply need to have a heart for serving the kingdom of God for the sake of children, youth, young adults, &/or families. This means your volunteers, parents, pastors, & youth leaders on all levels can join the network & attend the Extravaganza next year in Detroit, MI for renewal, education, & connection surrounding 1/3 ministries! Upon returning to Chebooboo the good is that the days are getting longer & there is hope that with the slightly warmer temps that Spring is on its way despite what that groundhog saw.

BAD: Not having much interest in football & knowing the Superbowl was boring. Leaving your interior car light on for a couple of days in a parking garage 12 hours from home & having little to no knowledge about cars is bad. I couldn't stay awake during the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Anybody else have this problem of wanting to eat & eat & then entering food coma?

UGLY: People's response to Superbowl commercials & how AMERican we are. People's attacks on Russia & having a bad outlook for having the Olympics there prior to the Olympics even starting.  Can we please live into each other's strengths & not worry about the things we cannot correct?

WORD: That read the Bible in a year plan I mentioned I restarted, I'm struggling. While having the Bible on all our techy devices is great, I still do better with opening up the book & reading as I was taught. Plus, I clearly work better with others or I'd not be struggling so much. So today my focus is on finishing Bittersweet & reading my daily devo from one of the many sources I have around here.

coming up: Another week of Zumba & phoning for YE & Valentine's Day & of course lots of Olympic games watching.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites!

SO many favorites from this past week.

This picture of the word "frame" is painted on a stole that was gifted to me as a first year in ministry person. While I've truly been working in ministry of sorts for the past 10 years, graduating from seminary & living into a more defined calling made it more official for me to stand up with the people who have been working in Children, Youth, & Family Ministry for 365 days or less.

YE has been a part of my life since 1996, if not sooner. Here I am with a number of team alumni from across the country. Many of us are serving in parish ministry settings, some of us are still in school, others of us work for YE on some level or have in our past, & we all have been crazy enough to follow a call to live in intentional community sharing the Gospel around the world.

The Luther Seminary connections were around every corner at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza! AUB & I became good friends just in our senior year. She is now serving in IL, so we are not horribly far from each other, but visits are hard to fit in. We are both looking forward to what the future of ministry leading holds for us.

The ELCA YMN is all about networking & connecting. Here I am connecting with the lovely leaders from InterServe MinistriesRaphael Malpica (his son was one of my seminary housemates), & comedian Jason Earls.

And that connecting piece I mentioned, wasn't to be avoided at this event. Here I am with 3 of my Diaconal Ministry leaders. We all attended the Diaconal Formation Event together in 2010. Three out of the four of us were students then, & now we're serving in 4 outta 9 regions of the ELCA.

May your week be as full of favorite moments as this. This is a plethora, I fully acknowledge that, but that is why we attend continuing education events and personal retreats and community events and worship, so that we may be filled up to move forward with the daily drain of life.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

I don't wear graphic tees very often any more because for so long people thought I was significantly younger than I am & graphic tees didn't seem to help. The comments were never very complimentary either. This is one graphic t-shirt, however, I would wear.

Reflecting on things of my past has been a prevalent theme of the last couple of days. Not in a "woe is me" sort of way, but in a "what the what (I'm totally overwhelmed)" sorta way.

Not that a t-shirt gets me overwhelmed, but the works of the Spirit sure do. Z & I recently road tripped to St. Louis where we were surrounded by such an incredible cloud of witnesses all working for & with children, youth, & family ministry

I've been reflecting because many of the people at ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza I have met through one piece of life or another. This past weekend I was with friends from my high school years, Capital University, Outlaw Ranch, Scotland days, Youth Encounter, Diaconal Formation Event, Luther Sem, Michigan, & most likely a few more connections than I can fully remember.

It's crazy how one place leads you to the next & you never have any idea what you're going to do when you have to head to a new place, but before you know it, the new place is the comfortable slightly aged place, & you're looking into another unknown adventuresome day.