Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome

GOOD: This past week we ate a LOT of leftovers. There's only so much cucumber salad soaked in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, salt, pepper, & sugar one can handle. Thankfully it is all gone now & none of it went to waste! I love eating fresh, so really no complaints. The productivity continued this week with cleaning, some house projects, bike rides, & grocery shopping. Our fridge was stocked all week from the leftovers of last Sunday's cookout to the charades of food that always come with family visiting. You might say that eating is one of my "love languages." Really it is quality time, but often food makes time together top notch quality. Am I wrong? Thursday the reality of Fall set in with the first home football game & family rolling in for a visit. Friday was a great big adventure that we all needed to feed our souls. It's so fun to share the local area with family! Plus a trip to the island means a treat of fudge & other goodies. No, I'm not a fan of fudge, but Z is & like I said, there's other goodies!

BAD: Unnecessary lives lost. This is more than bothersome. Is prayer enough? It has to be for now.

AWESOME: Exploring the local cemetery & finding tomb stones & other things well over 100 years old. Yes, this is where I led us to on our bike ride the other night. Just until recently, on another bike ride, I realized I didn't know where the - or if there was just one - local cemetery is. This seemed strange to me to not know where this public site is. So we ventured through the uneven broken down trails & the more recently kept up roads of the local cemetery finding hidden treasures for this church nerd.

WORD: I've been returning to Romans & pondering on the theology that God has for us through Paul. Many of my fellow female colleagues often point out Paul's gender bias & so I'm chewing on that as well. Plus reading 'I am Malala' with AJO.

coming up: Maybe a bridge walk, we'll see what tomorrow morning brings. Definitely laundry will be happening & a little more of this & that!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites!

This week one of my favorites is remembering that I have this record album because my husband & best friend is a clever gift giver.

This was part of my wedding present from Z. I sort of forget about it from time to time because it is propped against the wall on top of a 6' tall book shelf. Needless to say I am nowhere close to 6' let alone taller than that to see the record cover.

I post this in honor of celebrating 50 years since the Disney movie Mary Poppins came out. For more on Julie Andrews today, check out this video. And yes, she is as wonderful as she seems. I had the honor of meeting her in person just over 3 years ago with a bunch of ladies from seminary.

Blessings on your Friday & may you share your Favorites!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

 It's Tuesday so clearly there's time for tea!

Like a true mid-west Summer, August is proving to be the warmest month & therefore hot tea was a no go today. Even Z knew I didn't want my hot water started. What can I say, I married a smart one!

Unfortunately with visitors coming later in the week it's supposed to thunder storm. SO I'm also hoping & praying that like true mid-west weather, it'll change last minute & be beautiful & sunny.

If I learned anything at camp this summer, the forecast means nothing, but the sky tells everything. And we all know, the sky is the limit!

Just think of the possibilities!

This pretty little dish was an unexpected gift given to me this week. It was handed it to me with the comment, "It's for your tea bags! I saw it at work & thought of you." Well, shoot, warm my heart why dontcha! I didn't know what it would look like, though I knew it was a little dish, I was totally surprised to see the beautiful crackled glass pottery mix. This is one of my favorite looks on pottery simply because of the natural sparkle. Many thanks to AD!

Enjoy your tea & share your sparkle! Remember, the sky is the limit.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome

Credit to Glue Arts
GOOD: This past week marked 1 year since we moved to MI! Crazy how much a year can bring. This past week we spent the week preparing to host a cookout. In the midst of that I continued to do some organizing/cleaning & recycled many papers. Z & I were officially nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which you can watch by clicking on the words "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." If you're trying to understand the phenomena of this ice bucket challenge, me too! I appreciate that more & more people seem to be announcing that they're donating to ALS research AND another cause of their choice. One friend even challenged people to donate an hour of their time to an organization they feel makes this world a better place.

BAD: It's technically Monday & I'm still awake because I want to share this blog with you. And missing the MN state fair is prolly a healthy thing, but sad nonetheless.

AWESOME: Having a place to call home & know it's not temporary because of school or internship or other life circumstances. Also, how entertaining watching people's reactions & different takes on doing the ice bucket challenge is pretty awesome. AND lastly, knowing while it's easy to think life is mundane, there a LOT going on & YOU are part of that.

WORD: Psalm 138. Why would the Lord God forsake the work of God's own hands?

coming up: More cycling & random dancing & more projecting 'cause it's what I do these days. Plus visitors from the hoosierland & beyond coming later in the week!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites!

While it's been a rather damp week here, MG has LOVED sitting outside for hours & hours. While the rain doesn't really seem to bother her, we are thankful for a roof over our front porch. Her love for the outside has gotten me out of the house more too & that's always appreciated.

Speaking of being wet, I have officially been nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. My friend AN nominated anybody who watched her video last week & that was easy to ignore. However, last night my name was called out & tagged on at least 2 social media venues by my friends that I worked with at MLC. While I accept the challenge & donate to ALS research for better treatments etc., I simply want to acknowledge the numerous & diverse needs out there for donations to research for all diseases.

As the first child in the USA to have gone through treatment for 2 types - ALL & EHE - of cancer at the same time, I cannot ignore this need. I also cannot ignore this need because of stories like this one from my friend KJ. Whatever the cause may be, share your story!

Share your story. Your voice matters.

...and if ya want, dump a bucket of ice water over your head too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

In lieu of AJO's diagnosis with Hodgkin Lymphoma I've finally been reading Cancer Theology. This book is a collection of essays/reflections on how to theologically think & live with cancer.

At the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza I was naturally drawn to ask more about this book as a cancer survivor myself. Connecting my cancer story (most of my childhood) with God - Father, Son, Spirit - has been a challenge. At the age of 7 all I knew was that God was with me & that was enough. While I still have a few essays to get through, I'm finding a theme of what I will call "returning to the foot of the cross."

Nobody will deny the variety of ups & downs in life. As Christians we are reminded through scripture that all that we are is because of the resurrected Jesus & the sending of the Spirit. God is with us. That is enough. God is with, in, through, & around us. Let's chew on that for a while & enjoy your tea time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome

Credit to SoulPancake
GOOD: This past week has been one of finding rhythm. Rhythm for getting tasks done as simple as going to bed, getting out of bed, & all the self proclaimed projects I've decided to find around the house. As today's picture choice says, it's not what the world holds for me, it's what I bring to it. Not only is it up to me to bring goodness to the world, but for every other single creature on earth to do the same, so that in essence we are helping each other thrive to make each day better than the day before. Thankfully the world around me has been bringing lots of life & helping to motivate me to bring what I am able as well. The end of the week, amidst the continued projecting of cleaning out closets was wonderful with the birth announcement of my life-long best friends' baby, a fire in our new fire-pit, a trip to the local farmer's market, & catching up with family across the country & world.

BAD: The sadness brought by the death of Robin Williams. Seriously, not one single person deserves the ability to have so much self-doubt to think one & those around them will be better without that one. We are all truly better together, even through the hard times. Also then the fear being created by "urgent prayer requests" through social media regarding politics locally & globally.

AWESOME: Receiving blown kisses from our niece half way around the world, getting to know neighbors better, & the iconic song & dance that comes from the Muppet movies is awesome. Plain & Simple. Also, celebrating, even if from afar, the love that my parents still share as they celebrate 35 years of marriage is awesome.

WORD: Reading random chosen scripture from Isaiah with Z & discussing the whiplash of everybody being doomed as sinners & then glorify the Lord for all that has been & will be given to people. Say What?! Great is God's mystery.

coming up: Continuing to play around with the rhythm of my days.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites!

 I can hardly contain my excitement to meet little miss ESG! She came 10 days after her expected due date arriving in style as you can clearly see by her adorable hat. ESG is the daughter to my dearest friends BGEG & KG.

While it's been a pretty decent week, this by far takes the cake for Friday Favorites. So precious & beautiful watching my extended family grow. Congratulations my friends, heaps of love from the mitten state.

As my friends & family seem to be having babies every other week these days I am continuously reminded of the Hebrew Shema which is the scripture of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. I pray we learn to know to live this prayer & that the Spirit continuously equips & guides as we grow in age & maturity.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9The Message (MSG)

Attention, Israel!
God, our God! God the one and only!
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!
6-9 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning! This morning I come to you with HIGH ENERGY tea that seemed needed for the second gray day in a row. Thankfully today it is raining! I don't know about you, but I deal better with the cloud cover when it brings rain (or snow). While I don't think I would do well living in an area like the Pacific Northwest, I do enjoy a rainy day.

As I continue to process my summer working at camp I'm simply amazed at the people I've met & the good they share with the world. Thus today I was inspired to use this giant "Good morning" mug. No, I can't read every language on the mug, but I honestly believe I know enough people that working together we could decipher every language shared on this mug.

Who's up for the challenge?!

It's interesting the things or people that make you share different pieces of your past. It was easily the second to last week at camp & I made a nonchalant comment about when I was in  SE Asia. I hadn't realized this was a piece of my past that just hadn't come up in the conversations with staff over the summer. This is the beauty of relationship though. As Z & I have learned from our grandparents, you may know a person for 70+ years & you will still never know everything about them.

Surprise somebody today with a piece of your story you haven't shared recently or maybe ever! And while you're doing that, enjoy your tea time!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: It's Sunday & it feels like I'm about to go to a new school for the first time. People are going to want to know how my summer was, but want the short & dirty version, which I'm not sure I'm ready to give. And some people won't even realize I was gone for 2 months. This past week as I was catching up with friends I found myself highlighting different pieces of my summer that I have grown through. I've been blown over by the Holy Spirit & floating somewhere between the clouds & the ground. "Rolling with the Punches" was my motto for this summer & I suppose I still need to go with it for a while longer. It started as my motto because I stepped into an unfamiliar system of ministry & had to find my place in the midst of it all. This included me being more comfortable with saying "I don't know" to MANY things & accepting my authority that my position gave me. So naturally this past week was spent unpacking, cleaning, getting rid of some of the old & making space to breath, wearing clothes I hadn't worn all summer & eating foods I hadn't eaten for a few months, & sleep. Oh how I missed my bed!

BAD: After being slightly off the grid for 2 months you lose track of what's going on in the world. Jumping back on the grid (or almost) & learning about seemingly petty governmental spats between the Republicans & Democrats is ugly. All the while other political unrest in places like Eastern Europe & Middle East are are getting enough attention to make people even like me a little uneasy. Mostly uneasy though because I am uneducated on what is going on without sitting down & reading news articles.

AWESOME: The singing camel in my picture from the county fair is awesome! The other day Z & I went to his first ever county fair - nothing compares to the MN State Fair - & enjoyed an elephant ear & a ride on the Ferris-wheel.

WORD: Recently I've been reading Cancer Theology & liking some articles more than others. Also, I've been dwelling in the devotions written by a colleague for God Pause.

coming up: More making space & projects around the house. Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

G'morning Tuesday Tea Time!

If I wait much longer it won't be morning, but tea is good all day every day.

Over the summer I've wondered how serious my need vs. want is for tea. I did cave with laziness once or twice & have a cup of joe. Not without sugar & creamer of course! I don't like the reaction my body has to coffee. I'm typically energetic enough for society with my extroverted tendencies & ability to project my voice.

I'm a tea connoisseur lite. Really, I'd say I'm a consumer. I do enjoy following the different tea companies on Twitter & trying their different products. I enjoy learning about the different blends & where the tea is grown & produced. But when it comes down to it, in the morning I want a cup of black or green tea & later part of the day I want something light & fruity or calming & caffeine free.

So come & share a pot of tea with me, my home is warm & my friendship is free!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Claiming Identity with Life Spirit Sparkle

AND I'm back! Just in time for fun things like Hoda's birthday, Shark week, & waiting for babies to be born.

I knew that the Spirit was leading me in this summer's work from day one. There was a stirring in my heart that couldn't be ignored. Little did I know that the scripture I would come back around to is 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!

Each day this summer was a new day that I had to roll with the punches of weather changes both literally & figuratively. Each week of campers was different from the week before with different needs & different desires for their time at camp. Each day I was being reminded of how claimed I have been & always will be by the waters & Word of baptism. This is my identity, this is my inner core, this is what every other piece of me stems from.

Thank you to those that sent mail, Facebook messages, texts, e-mails, & checked back in here wondering when the next piece of Life Spirit Sparkle might be shared.

Tomorrow's Tuesday Tea Time!