Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's a great day for Paris tea from Harney & Sons. Happy Earth Day! Do something Earth friendly today.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Snippits: Good, Bad, & Awesome!

Credit given to Wallcoo.net
Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is Risen Today! Alleluia!

GOOD: This is my favorite holiday of the year by far. There's not the stress of buying just the right gifts for everybody or the money that it takes to buy those gifts. There simply the celebration of our savior Jesus who overcame death so that all people may have life. Plus like most holidays, there's almost certain to be good food to be enjoyed with good company. This past week went by fast as Z & I helped lead & partake in different Holy Week festivities. In the midst of Holy Week we started our prep for the month of May. The next month is going to be one fun even after the next & it's so great to start it out with my favorite holiday! 

BAD: The theme of death is still quite strong. My friend Mike finally entered life eternal with Jesus yesterday morning. My friend Mikey is fighting for his life right now as he has been living with colon cancer for the last 5 years. Mikey asked me if we could have a 1x1 before he left his year of ministry with YE (my 2nd year & we were both on international teams) so that he could ask me how I knew I had cancer when I was 7. The questions he was asking, I knew that he knew he had cancer, but the doctors from 3 different countries had yet to find it in his body. *sigh*

AWESOME: The many people that lift me & others up in life & help me to lift you & others up in life. You are awesome. Here this & believe it. Say it to yourself a few times, in the mirror. Believe that you are worthy & capable of good, because you are. And to top of the topic of 'awesome' what's more awesome than the story of Jesus' life & death & resurrection. No matter if you believe this to be salvation for all people or not, it's still a ridiculous mysterious wonderful story.

WORD: Life's been heavily doused in the Gospel this week. It's a little new & different each time.

coming up: VACATION! Blog posts for the next little while may only be photos or not at all. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is. Gotta unplug every now & again.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorite!

 Happy Good Friday! Today is not just any Friday for thousands of people around the world. It is Good Friday. A day that Christians come together in a solemn service to acknowledge the sacrifice of God's son Jesus for ALL of humanity.

Take that in. Believe it if you can.

On this Good Friday I will attend worship later this evening & be as productive as I can be in the mean time.

Yesterday our mail delivery person rang the doorbell in the midst of a little afternoon cleaning. My hands were clad in beautiful yellow rubber gloves that are slightly too big for me & soaked in dirty dish water. Thankfully Z was home & so he was able to answer the door in the midst of his drying of the dishes. When the mail deliverer rings the doorbell it usually means something fun has come that's too big to be put in our mail box.

This week that surprise was an Easter "basket" from Ma & Pa N. Since we were in the middle of dishes we decided to set the box aside & finish that part of our chores before opening the mail. When we were done we went to open the box & other envelopes only to find our little fur baby perched on top of the box in the chair. Sadly for Michi there was nothing specific for her in the box, but she did snatch a crumb or two from Z's cookies he was enjoying. 

May this Good Friday be a day of reflection & a day of waiting for the known Surprise that comes Sunday morning.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time! The last two days have been great for many cups of warm tea due to this never ending snow.

A week from now Z & I will be on our way to adventures in Paris. Excitement & thrill do not even begin to describe how happy travel & adventure make me. It's a major bonus to be able to take this trip with my best friend.

Nearing another year of life celebration, I am often taken aback by the people that I'm connected to in life. Today I was reminded by my colleague & friend TS that people other than my mother & mother-in-law really do read my blog. This is a good thing & a humbling thing.

I write as part of my daily goal of being creative. I write to inspire joy & love. Last year, totally ready to be done with another degree, I spun my words for my thesis in a poetic & creative writing sort of way. While I love education in all its forms, I do not do the "heady professor" talk well. Instead I exude a lot of energy & excitement around certain topics & overwhelm people. I have a lot to share, just ask me!

Why should it be a surprise that others read my blog? Well, for example, TS & I don't really know each other. We were at seminary at the same time & have mutual friends, but have only ever been in the same social setting maybe two or three times. Maybe I should listen to my own words from last week & not judge myself for the impact that I have on people or the impact they may have on me. Take a risk!

Sometime in my 20s I realized how relationships truly come & go in life. I knew this earlier in life, but had plenty of examples by my mid-20s. Thankfully social media allows me to stay ever more connected than most people think we need to be. However, here we are, sharing tea, & life & hopefully some spirit & sparkle!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome

Happy Sunday! I'm changing it up a bit. As my readers know, the ugly is often stuff we see in the news & something I struggle finding anything to share about. My heart doesn't stay in the ugly part of my days very easily. I've been conditioned to do otherwise & I'm not gonna fight that. So this past week while watching some sort of television show - if only I could remember which one! - I saw a segment on the 'good, bad, & awesome.' I knew in that moment that needed be something I tried with my Sunday Snippits, so here we go!

GOOD: The little ways those we love say hello. My bff, BGEG, has seen hearts popping up all over her life ever sense her Grandy passed away nearly 2 years ago. I was eating lunch the other day only to look at the core of my apple & see a heart. I thought to myself, "Why hello Grandy Mary & whoever else you have with you!" I say whoever else because death has been very prominent this year already & definitely in my life time of those I love. This heart was definitely unexpected & while the picture doesn't show it well, I especially loved that the apple seeds - which I enjoy eating - filled the heart. My good friend JMC convinced me some 4 or so years ago that it was okay to eat this part of the apple too. So hello to JMC in NJ! Yes, the little hellos come from the living & the dead. Call me crazy, but I believe in a God that gives eternal life & these hellos are one way God is working in the world.

BAD: Did I mention death? Yeah, I can't express enough how important it means to be in community & to be constantly reaching out to each other as part of community & sharing love with one another. We fall short of doing this for everybody & maybe even feel that others fall short of doing this for us, but try & try again is all I can impress here. On another note, our fur baby doesn't like the grass & seeks out the ever shrinking piles of snow to use the bathroom. However, even this doesn't convince her to always use the restroom outside. We we try & try again. Sigh.

AWESOME: I So much like ending on a good note! Going along with the little hellos & the apple heart, I read this week that people, Drew Barrymore in particular, also looks for hearts in her day-to-day life to simply see the love in the world. She even compiled enough materials to create a book titled Find It In Everything.

WORD: This is Holy Week for those who practice Christian traditions. That means this week we walk with Jesus in his last days on earth as a human & celebrate his resurrection as all peoples' salvation on Easter Sunday. This week, Christian believer or not, I encourage you to find an experience to take part in around Holy Week. There's worship services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, & depending on where you live possibly something special on Saturday & a multitude of celebrations on Easter Sunday.

coming up: This & that, those are my days right now. Enjoying Netflix, reading a piece of daily scripture, doing yoga, blogging, keeping the laundry done, & practicing my basic French. This week I will also toss in a little Bible Study prep for working at camp this summer.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One Word 365: Healthy

So I've tried to do a bit of weaving in my healthy updates with my regular blog postings, but today deserves its own post.

Spring is finally showing its damp & sunny self! This is very good for the soul after a long cold snowy snowy winter. However, my soul is a mixture of emotions & feelings right now.

This particular season of Lent has been heavy on the side of death. End of life, no matter the age, is hard to grasp for those of us left living. This week marked the 5th person in a circle of my life who died. He was just a year behind me in school & his sister a year ahead. We were all friends through church & living in a small town. I can't quite put my mind around the pain his family is living with right now, but my heart is heavy & sad for them & his friends. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them whenever you have the chance & I hope you take this chance weekly if not daily.

Then there's the pieces of light & happiness & hope. Today I enjoyed tea with two of TE's daughter's & friends. The best part was watching TO (TE's daughter) lead a cute Pinterest art project with her not quite one year old daughter. She painted little CO's feet to press onto the pallet for flower leaves & her hands for petals. Her best friend since first grade was there too & lead the project with her little one who's 2 years old. It was just a sweet piece of my day that I'm thankful for. I also am thankful for the random phone convos with family members & my life long friends as of late. Oh & the joy of hosting, I really love sharing the simple peaces of hospitality with others. Plus hosting a small group from church meant a good reason to make a batch of my favorite chewie cookies & this time (only the second time I've tried making them) they were a success! *The first time they were a bit like eating a cookie brick*

And some of the hope comes from conversations around upcoming jobs. I love working in ministry specifically focused on senior high youth & older. This Summer I get to hone in on my passion & test my skills with Bible studies & the many adventures of being at camp. Yes I'll miss my husband & puppy while I'm gone, but what am I if not my own person?

Physically, the healthy word has not been paired with good things around here lately. There's been head & chest colds & stomach viruses & back problems. All this I stick out my tongue to, do yoga, meditate in the Word, & pray.

and the healthiest thing I've done as of late is remembered to take many a deep breaths throughout each day to acknowledge the life that I am given & the life that I am living & all that I am capable of thanks be to God.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Welcome to Tuesday Tea Time!

See this honey pot? Isn't it cute? I received it as a gift for Christmas along with another honey pot that appeared to to be more stable & would definitely hold more honey. SO I chose to keep this cute decorative honey pot as part of my Spring decorations & use the seemingly more stable one for my daily honey.

Well the other honey pot proved to be weaker than the honey that broke the honey wand off the lid it was attached to. It still works & I still use it, but it definitely isn't kid or accident prone friendly.

And there on my little kitchen shelf, next to my sink, sits my cute bumblebee honey pot.

How often do we miss-judge something or someone & miss out on life with it? I'm still enjoying both honey pots, but to be totally honest, I rarely look at the shelf (partially because it's above my line of vision) & therefore do not enjoy this kitschy gift. No, we can't truly take it all in, but I encourage us all to choose the one that seems less pretty or less trusty & see what adventure awaits you. But don't get yourself in trouble either!

I just refilled my "other" honey pot this morning & am enjoying some sweet peach tea. Enjoy your tea time no matter the time of day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly

Credit given to Ashley Dellagiacoma
GOOD: This past week was a low key week. As usual I had no problem keeping myself busy, but I did have to be creative with what I did to fill my time on certain days. I enjoyed allowing myself time to network & prep for some work related things as well as catch up with a few good friends. Thursday Z & I took Michi to puppy care with CH & headed away for the day. Our big adventure was honestly simply because we had bought an Up North Live coupon & needed to use it before it expired. Check out Friday Favorites to learn about my highlight from that trip. The other silly fun part is we purchased a new vacuum (Shark Rocket). It works wonderfully & is very light weight & versatile. Friday afternoon in the mix of snow, ice, & rain I enjoyed lunch with my friend AVP at Indo China Gardens. The heat of spice was a good warm me up!

BAD: Winter weather is slowly fading away, but that means allergies & sickness are rampant. Yes, there has still been stuff in the JZ Parsonage. Also, there seems to be quite a few people in my life that are at or near the end of life. This reminds me to breath deep & enjoy the air around me.

UGLY: There's a lot that could go here, but it's all in the news.

WORD: Check out Anne Lamott on FB or elsewhere, she's poetic & real which I find refreshing.

coming up: The usual networking, work, cleaning, socializing, & drinking tea while the slushy icy snow stuff reveals the grass underneath.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday! Thursdays I try to stay off of computers & phone because it's Z's day off & so I treat it as my day off. (But if SFC is reading this, I didn't ignore your call, I genuinely believe we are in a game of phone tag!)

This week appears to be a week of little photography. Honestly I generally review my Facebook newsfeed to pick my Friday Favorites. Today nothing caught my eye that wouldn't have been too repetitive.

So today I searched on Google one of the places we visited on our day off yesterday. This picture is an aerial view of the former state hospital in Traverse City now known as The Village. In attempt to preserve the buildings, the city has refurbished the different floors for boutiques, restaurants, law offices, yoga studios, condos, vacation rentals, & more.

As somebody who loves to see historical places being put to use today & thriving in community, this was quite the little piece of adventure in my week.

Now who wants to looks into renting a space for a few days of vacation with me?!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Credit given to UnripeHamadryad
It's Tuesday Tea Time!

While I definitely have other tea lovers in my life, it seems the coffee lovers outnumber the tea lovers. Some of these people are people who don't care how they get their kick of caffeine & will go with either tea or coffee. However, I think some of the people in my life just like the idea of tea, but regularly go for coffee when given a choice.

I am thankful for this variety in my life. Without these two preferences there wouldn't be the crazy fun drinks that mix both tea & coffee that I've only ever found in the random quaint corner local coffee shops.

This mixture of tea & coffee preferences also brings us the joy of people in our lives that own a lot of the beverage they don't drink to be hospitable to people who do drink that beverage when they visit. The problem with this is both tea & coffee go stale when not stored properly or used regularly. And the problem for tea lovers is that coffee not only stains mugs & thermoses in color, but also with it's bitter flavor that most teas cannot mask.

I as an avid tea drinker, use to buy coffee to have for when visitors came, but did not know what sort of coffee to keep around that my visitors would actually want to drink. Lucky for my coffee friends Z is an avid coffee drinker & keeps a good supply of the real stuff. (But if you want a real education on the quality of coffee ask our friend PMc)

The cute thing about this piece of art is the quaint tea cup & the hearty coffee mug. I may decorate with tea cups, but I rarely drink out of them. I'm a true child of the 80s & 90s & a citizen of the USA & I want my tea in abundance (& I want it now!).

All that said, no matter which you prefer, you are always considered my cup of tea.