Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

The days of being able to make sun tea are limited. This past week was beautiful & yesterday went from being quite sunny & warm to cool & rainy weather in a blink.

My motto over the summer - that I started to forget at the end - was "roll with the punches." This came from jumping into a job that was ever changing & many a things were last minute. It kept me on my toes.

Since coming home from camp this project & that task have kept me on my toes. However, today is a day to be lazy & flat footed as tomorrow is my first day of my new job.

This job will also be one that I need to "roll with my homies" (shout out to Clueless lovers) as we discover new ways for this setting to do ministry. I have no doubt, it'll keep me on my toes.

What keeps you on your toes these days?

Literally today is the last day of a Plank Challenge I've been participating in, so new ways to stay on my toes both for health of body & mind are good to share. And let's be honest. I'm not too good at staying off my toes. I like to be on the go & on the do if you will.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Seeing lots of positive things on social media made for a boost in the week. One of the best things was experiencing Blessercize. I love the crazy amount of leg warmers in these video clips! With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness week I have been playing my part in a few simple ways. One way at the beginning of the month was to help a friend with her fundraiser for childhood cancer awareness. I look forward to hearing how it turned out. Then simply getting my lap quilts out from Camp Watcha Wanna Do & sharing them on Instagram & FB & having other friends share their quilt memories. Crazy the connections something like a quilt can bring. Each year as  a camper I got to pick out a new quilt & I now have 3 that I chose to keep. Mostly this past week Z & MG & I spent time enjoying the beautiful weather. We had a camp fire, went on a lengthy bike ride, took several long walks, & enjoyed time in the hammock. We also enjoyed time at the Seasons of the North Winery's Harvest Fest & came home to catch up with our family in Japan.

BAD: This past week seemed like an "off" week to myself & many around me. There's change with many unknowns lingering in the near future & so we're all a little uneasy. It seemed like a quiet news week which makes me weary of what I missed.

AWESOME: Did you not check out Blessercize?! In other news, Anne Lamott continues to write from her heart & speak to thousands of people about the bunnies of life that we love to hate & hate to love...erm, does that even make sense? Rosh Hashanah started & there were many great stories about celebrating with community shared by friends in ministry. And because I have a lot of awesome to share with you this week, I'll leave you with One Story Catcher. She's beautiful & writes brilliantly. The Holy Spirit is really do her thang in her work.

WORD: Ezekial 18:1-4, 25-32 What is fair?

coming up: Remembering to breath deep the breath of God, finishing the plank challenge for September, & moving into my new office!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites!

This week has gone by in a blink!

Favorites included:








What are your Favorites today?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One Word 365: Health Update and BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hello! It has been a while since I have checked in with my One Word 365 choice for 2014. This year has simply breezed by. It's mind boggling to know how much has happened in the last 9 months of life. And because I thrive by being in community that cares & listens to & for one another I want to share with you an update!

Today the sun is shining & it is rather warm outside. So there's no denying the need for a walk or two with the dog & possibly even a bike ride. While I love this time of year & all the changing colors, I also know that the cold white & gray colors of Winter are not too far off for this part of the world & bike rides will be impossible & walks potentially a little less enjoyable.

That aside though, recently I find myself filled with immeasurable gratitude. My time of living in the seemingly never ending state of limbo that I have been in for many months now is over. Praise be to God!

By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit I have been called to serve as Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministries by the good people of St. Thomas Lutheran Church.

Thus I am in the joyous throws of planning a worship service to include my consecration as Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. While it is a whirlwind of information & change, I wouldn't want it any other way. Through the joyous throws the Holy Spirit is affirming & reaffirming my call to this roster & service of ministry. Some times it's funny when you're made to do something that isn't the most enjoyable for you on a typical basis - like worship planning - but on this special basis it turns into a world of fun & imagination & affirmation of the knowledge one holds.

My immeasurable gratitude is for all that have been a part of my journey to get to this point & for all that continue in this piece of my journey with me. So thank you - as simple as that sounds - thank you with all my heart for supporting me & praying for God's lead to be my way of living.

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

When you're looking for the things you love, they pop up all around you. I attribute this to be the works of the Holy Spirit saying hi. We look for the things we love to fulfill a piece of our inner being that seems a tinge empty or maybe nothing is empty but we just want that push of joy that that thing brings to us.

Last week I got to share this cute tea themed card with my life long best friend. What a treasure to have the friendship we have and common things we love. Some may say that we had no choice in being friends as our mother's are life long best friends and we were born and raised in the same town only 9 or 10 weeks apart from one another. However, I like to think it's just a beautiful piece of life that we are the friends that we are.
Do you see the Life, Spirit, & Sparkle?!

I challenge you - my readers - to share the little (and big) sparkles of connections that words cannot totally capture in the comments below.

and enjoy your tea!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

Oh Hello Fall!
GOOD: Exhaustion from too many good things is an okay problem to have. This last week was rich with conversation sharing memories of the past, stories of things once gone by, & dreams & hopes for the future. Many people have asked how AJO is doing & I would say all things considering, she's doing pretty fabulously. We enjoyed the scenery of her new home area & the beauty of Lake Michigan on a few walks & of course a trip to Target too. Then there was the precious hours of holding little miss ESG so her momma could do things like take a shower & fold clothing. Add a touch of family time with my actual family & my heart is full from this last week! My exhaustion mainly comes from such a big road trip on my own. I booked it back to be able to enjoy an afternoon celebrating the joy of another little one yet to come & to take in the changing colors of early Fall.

BAD: Star-crossed lovers separated by poor parenting & bad timing. Yes, I am that hard up for something bad this week I'm referencing August Rush.

AWESOME: Excitement based around so much new & so much unknown & a promising things for so many people. Trust me, I'll say more later!

WORD: I have come to a hiccup in my reading of Malala as it is hard to get to point of the story which I don't think comes till the end. Maybe. I might just have to read the end. Aside from that I've been enjoying my daily e-mails of scripture & reflecting on letters from Paul again.

coming up: Making this brain a little less jumbled!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday Favorites!

This week has been beautiful & exhausting.

I started in SE MI visiting my dear friend AJO & going on many lovely walks talking about life, love, & college memories. Then it continued to central IN to meet this sweet little pea in my photo & be Aunt Juls for a few days in person. A bonus brunch with my cousin LR was especially sweet with the treat of mimosas from Cafe Patachou. Then of course a return North with a quick stop at my parents.

I hope your week was filled with as much fun, love, excitement, & adventure!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

So did anybody go find mooncakes this past week? While I've been on my road trip I'm eager to get to do some things & shop in some stores I can't at home. However, mooncakes haven't been on my list. Maybe I'll add them!

What a quirky week of travels & tea. Tell me, does anybody think this tea kettle pictured actually says "tea?" I believe it is a very loose "a" if it is an "a," but I'm pretty sure it reads "Tee."

I first thought of golf because once upon a time my dad had a dream of being able to go golfing with me. However, what he didn't know is that I'm much better at carrying or carting around his bag o clubs than actually using them to shoot a tiny ball yards - & yes it would only go a few if I was lucky - through the air.

Thankfully I don't think I shot my dad's dream down entirely. I still like putt-putt!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: The plank challenge continues! To push myself more since I was already including planking in my routine before the challenge I do 30 extra seconds on top of what's asked of participants for the day. September is already half way over, say what?! Here in Northern MI there's no denying that Summer is closing or has closed & Fall is upon us. There's even murmurings of snow before the end of the month. Let's pray that those are simply murmurings! While I love the freedom of sandals weather, I also welcome the opportunity to wear scarfs & boots & cozy up under old loved quilts. This week our day off adventure even allowed me to wear my puffy vest. It was refreshing to do some hiking near to home in the cooler weather. MG even got to come with & have her first experience with a snout-full of sand. We all can learn lessons on happiness & allowing our curiosity to lead us on great adventures from this puppy!

BAD: My mom took a trip this past week & banged herself up good. Thankfully no bones were broken, but she got quite the shiner that will last her for a while. Being nearly an entire state away I've only been able to check in on her via phone. Thankfully my cousins were able to respond to her need to be taken for stitches. There's nothing quite like communication through text messages & social media to share something like this (Thanks Mom, you goof!)

AWESOME: Having reason to use my old lap quilts from cancer camp. As a kid I used to go to Camp Watcha Wanna Do every summer & each year we would get to pick out a lap quilt to use in our cabins. The sweet thing was it was generally too warm being IN in June to need them but now they are perfect for sitting around the fire or just getting some fresh air on the front porch early in the day.

WORD: Psalm 103 & thinking about what this actually looks like when one believes it with all that they are & lives it with all that they are.

coming up: ROAD TRIP! This week I am on the road visiting friends & family.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Favorites!

Happy Harvest Pumpkin from Celestial Seasonings! There's no changing the the cooler weather so why not embrace the crisp mornings with a touch of Fall?

As my sister-in-law pointed out, it's boots & jeans weather. I'll add to that & say, it's scarf weather, but when isn't it scarf weather? Scarf's go with my daily life as much as a mug of tea.

Friday Favorites are inspired this week by my co-worker who sweetly surprised me with a box of this tea earlier in the week. While I did make one last batch of sun tea in the last week in my attempts to cling onto Summer, I am not gently welcoming this touch of Fall.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

In the words of my dear friend RMG, "Happy Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival!" RMG & her spouse CG recently returned from a year in Malaysia. This was one of the first festivals they were able to take part in when they arrived in KL just over a year ago. Their 11 months or so in Malaysia makes my 4 weeks or so seem miniscule. But no matter the amount of time Malaysia has impacted our lives.

My memory doesn't serve me well to remember if I have tasted these beautiful pastries known as mooncakes. I was in Malaysia the wrong time of year to take part in this festival. Naturally the festival came to be because of political history. RMG tells the story beautifully:

Zhu Yuanzhang and Moon Cake Uprising Legend
In late Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD), people in many parts of the country could not bear the cruel rule of the government and rose in revolt. ZhuYuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), united the different resistance forces and wanted to organize an uprising. However, due to the constant searches by government, it was very difficult to pass messages. The counselor Liu Bowen had the great idea of hiding notes with “Rise up on the night of August 15th” in moon cakes and had them sent to different resistance forces. The uprising turned out to be very successful and Zhu was so happy that he awarded his subjects with moon cakes on the following Mid-Autumn Festival in celebration. Since then, eating moon cakes has been a custom on Mid-Autumn Festival.

Today soak in the adventure of mooncakes & if there's a local Asian bakery or grocery near you, see if you can find some to taste with your tea!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome

GOOD: Where did the last week go?! Seriously, in a blink Fall is setting in but Summer is still sweetly warming up the afternoons. Spontinaiety is the word of the week & my motto comes from Psalm 46 "Be still, and know that I am God" mixed with "God in, sin out, breath!" This last part is a twist on my friend TE's self proclaimed motto during her last months, "God in, Cancer Out, Breath!" Try meditating on either version - or make up your own motto - by repeating the words, practicing welcoming the Spirit's presence within you while ridding yourself of outside voices & filling your lungs repeatedly with the deepest through your nose breaths you can take. Hopefully this helps to lower your shoulders from your ears, curve your smile up, & hear the calming still small voice of God. There were many great convos this week through social media, phone, Google hangout, & Skype. One of the most surprising was the local brewery & then another later in the same day on a walk through the neighborhood with the dog. A baby & beer broke open the first conversation & dogs the second. What I learned was that there's comfort in knowing others struggles when you share in the struggle & it's a good thing we moved from "liberal MN." Thankfully the shared struggles were lighthearted topics of things from the past. The funny thing about "liberal MN" is that I think the neighbor knew we are liberal Minnesotans - yes I will claim MN for this - too so it definitely makes life in Chebooboo that much more exciting. BAD: Receiving emails regarding the maltreatment of women in the Middle East while reading Malala's story. What more can be done to stop these absurd degrading ways of thinking & acting for our sisters?! Also, check out the Half the Sky Movement for some idea of how to help.
AWESOME: Late summer bike rides, participation in a 30 day plank challenge, surprise phone calls from friends, book club with AJO, and Cheboygan Brewery's new blueberry creme ale.

WORD: In honor of the late comedian Joan Rivers, "I enjoy life when things are happening. I don't care if it's good or bad things. That means you're alive. Things are happening."

coming up: Folding laundry that I washed last week :-)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Favorites!

This morning as I reflect on my week I am SO thankful for my many connections of people I either met or got to know better because of Luther Seminary & it's community.

For instance, I got to chat with my dear friend RR, who has been on this incredible journey since we graduated as a recipient of Luther Sem's Preaching Fellowship. While that might sound pretentious or uninteresting I assure you, her gift to share story through word & song is worth looking into. Check out One Story Catcher here!

Another connection I am thankful for is TS. I think I got to know his wife a little bit better when we are all at Luther, but he has a gift for reading a LOT of stuff in one week & then sharing his highlights on his Tuesday blog. He often highlights me as somebody living into vocation which is humbling & an honor as I often neglect the part of my vocational call to simply be a community builder. TS is building community simply by mentioning the people & their works each week. Be sure to check out his works by clicking on "blog" above!

And lastly I'll highlight my friend EK who I'm about to chat with in the next hour or less. EK is beautiful inside & out. She is always quick to say hello & ask how one is doing & wait to listen for a response. She is honest when she needs to keep moving to get to her next thing & she has a gift for transparency & delivery of her thoughts. You can check her work out here!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

Woah September! Don't go by too fast my friend. Please, sit & stay for a while. I need you to stay for a while. Your warm end of Summer days to make sun tea & enjoy more bike rides in your dusk, strengthen the inner beings. You help make the middle work.

Making the middle work.

I picked this catchy little phrase up from artist Kelly Barton who is a friend of BGEG - my life long bestie - & therefore somebody I clearly need to meet someday.

There's always something more to achieve in life, but yet the true struggle isn't always in the achievements, but in the being you right where you are & knowing you are enough.

How do you make the middle work?

Tuesday Tea Time is my making of the middle work for me...

Thanks for listening September!