Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!!!

Good Morning from the MI Gathering 2015!!! Follow #MIgath15 for more awesome pieces from the gathering.

On day 3 of the gathering, I am treating myself to possibly the chai latte of the year! What makes it so great? They purposefully charged me the price of a coffee refill. If you know your coffee shops, you know black coffee or a simple hot tea is the cheapest drink available & lattes are a few dollars more.

If you've ever been to a youth event you know there are late nights & early mornings & days filled with lots of different activities. By day 3, as a tea drinker, I need my tea to taste like tea. So while I always pack my tea bags & most often use the hotel room coffee maker for my morning tea, this morning a treat was in order for my jump start.

Today may your tea taste like tea & a treat to you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tuesday Tea a Time!

Happy week of celebration!

It's the most wonderful celebration to end the year. A king is being born, by a radical unmarried teen. She's barely even in her teen years & claims this is the Christ child brought to her womb by the Holy Spirit.

Sounds like a crazy wild & cool enough story to want to celebrate, no matter what you believe!

So may your celebrations be merry & filled with your favorites, fit for a king.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Oh hello Tuesday Tea Time friends!

That first warm sip of tea is a check-in. A check-in to the day. A check-in of the day. A self check.

Does anybody else experience this?

There are pieces that ground us. Pieces that remind us to breath deep, smile, & do your best.

These pieces are pretty powerful pieces of us. 

These pieces are us. These pieces remind us that we are alive & the world is buzzing with a few million other pieces.

Grab tight to the pieces that make you whole & check-in, smile at yourself & the world. Even when the world is weird, it needs your smile. Even when you are weird, you need your smile & so do the rest of us.

Ah, tea & your powerful pieces life. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Time friends!

This past week has been filled with many a good travel mug or mug of tea on the go. I had a few good chances in the evening to truly enjoy a warm mug of relaxing mint or sleepy time teas.

The best tea time was a surprise tea party at work! While I didn't think the congregation could do more to welcome me, walking into the fellowship hall for the start of confirmation - we have lunch together first - a couple of youth (B & K) were asking me what my favorite teas are & then if I'm ready for my surprise.

I was totally surprised by a lovely tea party with scones, triangle sandwiches, cherry pie, & lots of fun tea to choose from. They even gifted me with a new tea cup & saucer for my office!

May your Tuesday Tea Time be as enjoyable as tea with new friends!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Holy Tuesday Tea Time!

I'm coming to you late today as it was my first day at my new job. It was a great day with many warm welcomes & unpacking & figuring out a few calendar items as December is a very busy month in the church worker's calendar.

As people continue to ask about our trip to Japan, the best part was simply being with family we hadn't seen in a very long time (aside from FaceTime). We got to see some really great things & admire God's creation. One of my favorite days really was the day we walked nearly 13 miles.

That particular day we took the train to walk to a temple, then took the train to walk around the imperial gardens, then took a train to walk around an area of Tokyo we had yet to adventure. Then we hit a wall & rested in a shopping mall because we were going on a food tour that night.

When you sign up for a food tour in Tokyo you may imagine things like raw fish. I know that's what we were prepared to have. Instead we walked through back alleys that we would've never gone down on our own to a fabulous little place were locals often go after work. Everything was grilled in front of us as we were seated "at the bar" & enjoyed skewers of vegetables & meat & seafood. Then we walked to get a traditional Japanese sweet. And then we went for more food. The last meal was a meal that we grilled at our tables. It was a mix of some form of lettuce, fish roe (though there were other combinations with other meats), a few other vegetables, & a broth. It essentially reminded us of a dish of hash. The best part was when Z awed the natives with his skills trying the dessert rolls. It was essentially a Japanese crepe with fruit & red bean.

Then we made our way back to our hotel. And that was the day we walked & walked & didn't loose our feet!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time, a chance to slow down & breathe deep.

This sort of self-care is necessary when every time you turn on the tv, radio, smartphone, social media of any sort there is another massacre large or small somewhere in someone's life.

In the midst of the world-wide chaos, I choose peace & love. Panic is not worth my time, nor yours, & there is not much many of us can do other than sign petitions, speak out, & pray. If there are things like prayer vigils or peace acts to show up for, we can show up. We can show up in the name of love & peace.

Sure there are things & people I don't like in life, but it is not worth dwelling on those things or I quickly become those things. Often the things we don't like about somebody else & speak outwardly about is really just about ourselves. Life is short & each day is a blessing, so live it large with love & peace.

Some times love is tough love, but it can still be recognized as love. And before loving others we need to know how to love ourselves, so love yourself a little extra today with tea - a warm hug in a cup.

Peace & Love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

I'm back from all my really big adventures & now just onto another new big adventure or two.

A HUGE thank you to those who filled in while I was gone. If you haven't checked them out, do so! Timothy Siburg blogs weekly - on valuable topics such as stewardship, leadership, & vocation - Britta Gene is an active artist with a heart for poetry (this month's photo - look at todays photo - is her photography work), & Lacey is a doula with a passion for living fully.

I'm so thankful for these friends in my life that live literally from one side of the country to the next. My heart is full by their sharing of their stories & by the amazing things that I got to add to my story while having these friends fill in on Tuesday Tea Time.

I hope you all found it refreshing to have some different voices present!

Coming up on Tuesday Tea Times will be some sharing of my adventures - like the day we walked nearly 13 miles in one day - & I'm sure some new things too.

We saw & experienced some really wonderful things while traveling the world, but mostly it was a time to visit family & hang out & rest. The biggest piece for me was officially being offered a new call & accepting it. So we're in a time of moving yet again.

May you warm drink - because the days have been quite chilly - warm your hands & your soul & keep you breathing deep with me as we go one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello everyone! Lacey Bauer here, filling in for Julia!  I'm an old friend, hard working entrepreneur, doula extraordinaire, passionate memory maker, and tea lover to the extreme.

For those that don't know me, I have a pure fascination with books & literature. I have a degree in English literature and find that when I get my hands on those bound pages, I get deeply lost in the story woven in front of me. It's not often these days that I have the time to sink deep into my favorite chair, cuddle up with my favorite mug and sip on that delicious tea, absorbing the words that lay before me.  But today, I made time to wander to a book store and add to my collection. I took home a variety of books; entrepreneurial, inspirational, and fictional.  Some are practical for growing my business, and some for pure enjoyment.

It was hard to make that time; to dedicate a morning to the things I love outside of my career. Sometimes I beat myself up over indulging in these outings.  "But you have more important things to do, Lacey." This time, I looked inward and remembered self care.  I remembered what it means to find the things I love most and to breathe them in and simply enjoy. So I made the time, wandered the aisles of that book store, and came home to my favorite chair, my beautiful teal hand made mug from a dear friend, and sipped on that smooth cup of chamomile lemon tea.

My encouragement for you this week is to think about the things you love(d) most and whether or not you're making the time in your busy life to do them. But always do them with that warm cup of tea.

My recommendation this week? A cherry almond black tea.  It always hits the spot.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Greetings, and Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

I’m happy to be sharing this tea time with you, filling in for my friend Julia again. To reintroduce myself, I’m Timothy, and I most often blog here. Last week I introduced myself with a bit more detail to you and told you a little about my wife Allison's and my story. I also told you about how I love questions. 

This week in the spirit of Tuesday Tea Time, as a place to take a few moments to sit and reflect while sipping on your favorite tea or hot beverage of choice, here’s your question:

Where do you dream about traveling and visiting?

I love to travel. I also love to take some time to dream and imagine. Maybe there's no better time to do this than when taking a moment to be still and relax with your favorite hot beverage. 

In thinking about traveling, Allison and I have been married just over five years and have not yet gone on a honeymoon. That's probably what I have been dreaming and imagining most about lately, at least when it comes to travel. 

I imagine there would probably be a nice warm beach, lots of sunshine (something there's less and less around this time of year with the end of daylight saving's time and the shorter days of fall), and just a good chance for Allison and I to explore a new place, to experience some new culture and cuisine, and to be on a new and exciting adventure together. 

Where are you dreaming about today? 

Thanks again to Britta Gene's art for the beautiful picture, and to Julia for letting me fill in for her on the blog. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Greetings, and Happy Tuesday Tea Time!


I’m happy to be sharing this tea time with you, filling in for my friend Julia the next couple weeks. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Timothy, and I most often blog here. I’m also a: husband, son, brother, mission developer, hot chocolate and chocolate milkshake connoisseur, a sports fan crazy about the Mariners and Seahawks especially, and grateful to be asked to share this Tuesday Tea Time with you. 


In the spirit of Tuesday Tea Time, as a place to take a few moments to sit and reflect while sipping on your favorite tea or hot beverage of choice, here’s a question for you:


What big question are you wrestling with right now?


If you’re like me, you may well have more than one. Some of the questions I’m pondering are:

• What am I most excited about right now in this awesome role of being a mission developer?
• What would it be like to serve on staff and in ministry with my wife Allison beyond this one year of internship for her and me serving as a mission developer?
• What’s Thanksgiving and Christmas going to look like this year?
• When will the Mariners make the playoffs? Will the Seahawks get on a hot streak? 


Whatever your question or questions are, take a few minutes during today’s tea time while you sip to ponder about the questions. Jot them down, and if you don’t mind, share them in the comments. I believe life is about conversations, questions, and relationships. If there’s no wrestling or curiosity, I know at least for me, I would be very bored. What about you? 


On a different note, I’m so excited for Julia’s news, and invite you all to send her great thoughts and hold her in your prayers. 


Until next time, thanks for sharing this moment with me, and Happy Tea Time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya! This week Tuesday Tea Time is brought to you by Britta Gene from Britta Gene Art!!!

hello tuesday tea time readers. let me introduce myself. i am britta gene e. glass. artist, mother to the cutest little pixie, chai tea junkie (i have a serous love for it), picture book collector, lover of anything that sparkles, and dreamer of becoming a picture book illustrator. i feel very blessed to have been asked to help out with tuesday tea time and partner up in bringing you tea related art.

i am hoping this will help get my bum in gear to start writing again for my own blog. so lets begin with one of my favorite topics to talk about... children's picture books!

every night with my little pixie, before bed, we read a few books.  among our vast picture book collection is one perfect tea cup shaped board book about tea time and bunnies.

"Bunnies for Tea" by kate stone tells a story of three bunnies who dress in fancy hats, pearls, and gloves for their tea time.
events start off as they should, pouring tea and adding sugar.  as one little bunny takes a sip out of her tea cup she topples in fancy hat and all. but all is well when her bunny friends bring out cookies and scones for everyone to snack on.

with her watercolor illustration and a little added sparkle, kate stone creates a perfect book to read with your little ones at bedtime or tea time!

thank you again for letting my into your tea time world. happy tea time!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Be sure to check out Britta Gene Art

Heya, it's Tuesday Tea Time!
It's Tuesday Tea Time!

Lately the weeks seem to be flying by at a slow pace & therefore all becomes a blur. Do you know what I mean?

This seems like more reason to stop & breath in Tuesday Tea Time if ya ask me. I finally got around this week to reading an article that I'd been saving in my inbox for several weeks.

Tea With Ninjas is a wonderfully written article with words that help the imagination go go go to a far away place. 

One of my favorite take-aways is the quote, "Tea is culturally significant in Japan - it marks a time of quiet contemplation, reflection, & rest." That is what I hope for Tuesday Tea Times too. That it is a means of breathing in your day & finding your center with where you are in the moment. Not that my words may do this, though that's cool if they do, but that stopping to remember to take tea time & actually taking tea time nurtures you in this way.

If you're not curious to know more about Tea With Ninjas, that's a shame because the article also talks about martial arts & tea drinking coming from the same philosophies. Seriously, check it out!

And before I forget, heaps of thanks & love to some up coming guest bloggers while I'm off having tea with ninjas (not really, but I'll be close!).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hey! It's Tuesday! Let's have some Tea Time!

I'm uber excited this Tuesday Tea Time to bring you something new!

If you're an avid follower you've possibly seen these tea cups before. These aren't just any tea cups, but they are now the tea cups for the month of October. Not only that, they are the tea cups created by my sister BGeG at Britta Gene Art.

Britta & I have been friends since birth. We can blame our mothers who have the same story for this wonderful piece of our lives. I've shared with you on here how Britta's family used to have mother - daughter teas & how much fun we all had growing up with tea. The tea fun is still true to this day!

Just recently Britta called to tell me she had an idea for my blog & her artwork. While I had hit a bit of a lull in my blogging & her wanting some motivation to do one new piece a month - if not more - she thought up the idea that if she did a piece of Tuesday Tea Time art for me once a month, that could be my art for my entries that month. She told me to think about it, so I did & I fell in love with the idea. 

When you visit Britta Gene's website you'll see that she's a mum of her little ladybug Ella Scott. That's where her blogging adventure ended. Britta's art includes words, but not in the same way mine has always included them. She adds the color & I add the words & voila, we have a Tuesday Tea Time entry with a lot of character!

Britta doesn't have an Etsy shop just yet, but she does keep an active Instagram account & contact information is on her website, so if you're interested in more of her work she'd be glad to hear from you. She's got more tea cups & coffee cups & tutu girls & spoons & fish & & &. Her work adds a touch of whimsy into reality & always exudes her love for the imagination to soar freely.

This week enjoy your tea & check out Britta Gene Art!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Fall is here! While it is slowly starting to mean cooler days & evenings which is great for Fall pumpkin treats, it is not as cool as it needs to be if anybody wanted to dress like this animated figure around here.

Last week I splurged & had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. To be honest, I'm not a huge follower of everything pumpkin. I'm not part of that craze. But I was someplace new, ordering my chai, & they offered me pumpkin, so I took 'em up on it. It was a wonderful treat & from what I could tell from the place & their menu, it was all home brewed.

There's something special about homemade anything. Am I right? 

Here's to finding that favorite Fall treat with your Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tea Time Tuesday followers!

This past weekend I had the joy to visit the annual Johnny Appleseed Festival for the first time since late elementary school. We ate lots of goodies, bartered for a new scarf/handkerchief with beavers all over it (it was stained), & caught up with a good friend & her mom (a new friend!).

Right before we were about to say g'bye we passed the honey stand. Tempting to buy new in their cool different bottles, but being honest with myself I didn't need any more honey at this time. Then there was the tea stand! Yet another tempting site to splurge at, but I simply took their info & said I'd feature their work in my next Tuesday Tea Time.

Teajutsu has a lovely message! They say they "are a company of good humor, of good will, of inclusion and innovation." Who wouldn't be intrigued by that self description?! It caught my attention right away. They even have a diet plan that I agree with & sounds smart & affordable. AND in good fashion, they believe that tea is for everyone. 

We all need to check them out a little bit closer & if you've tasted their teas, please let us know your thoughts in the comments! I plan to revisit the thought of purchasing a taste of Teajutsu once I get through my current supply in the coming weeks (or maybe months with my supply).

Happy Tuesday Tea Time to you all!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Lately I've been saving up in my e-mail the wonderful entries from the Tea Box blog Still Steeping. Almost all entries seem of some dreamy far off land that I can only hope to visit some day.

I save these entries with hope that I take time to read them some day & lucky for me I found the energy to read just the right one for today's Tuesday Tea Time!

The entry God in the Tea Gardens caught my attention recently. And I'm currently waiting to return to read Tea with Ninjas. God in the Tea Gardens makes me smile. The God talked about in this entry is a presence. The Tea Gardens are a place so high & lofty that the writer couldn't help but acknowledge the closeness to God.

Where was the last place you were that you couldn't help but acknowledge God's presence?

While I look for God in the every day, I was immediately taken to my one & only trip - thus far - to a tea garden high in the hills of Malaysia. The scent, the scenery, the company, & the tea were all wonderful. Another moment that in remembering I can't help but smile.

May your Tuesday Tea Time be filled with a piece of being close to God & smile on your heart.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

While people all over are loving their pumpkin spice because it's "Fall," I'm still loving my iced teas & fruit teas (hot or cold). The weather around here has been balmy!

One friend said she had her first pumpkin chai latte of the season & it was awful. This sent her on a bit of an adventure! She went from Starbucks #1 where she got the bad drink, then to Starbucks in a Meijer where the Starbucks was closed, then to a local diner where the line was a mile or two long, & finally landed at Dairy Queen. While it wasn't what she was going for, it satisfied her sweet tooth.

Isn't it crazy how life does this to us on all different levels time & time again? If you're like me, you often don't realize the expectations you've set - though we have them for every experience - & this makes it easier to ride with the rhythm or be jolted in your seat. One thing I count on is for good to happen on some level in each situation & I take it upon myself to find this good & make note of it one way or another.

Amidst the stories in the news of the last week - Kim Davis, Syrian Refugees, another hate crime or two resulting in death - it is imperative to count the good, big or small. Count the good, do the good, be the good.

And if you need to see a piece of good, watch this!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

Whether you've had your morning tea or coffee or juice (or beverage of choice) or not, you're an honorary Tea Timer simply by being here. So welcome right where you are!

It's good to be back in this strange community. Being with yall for Tuesday Tea Time warms my heart a pinch. I find this community strange though because for the most part it is a silent community.

There is something to that though, right? There's support in the number of views & +1 google likes I get & yet just the joy of having tea on Tuesday is the lingering feature of this blog.

It dawned on my late last week that with the return of Tuesday Tea Times I could have brought back a few changes. However, it was late last week & I didn't want to make any sudden changes as my recess over the last month & a half has been quite full with other life. So in coming weeks you may see some new things like artwork or imagery & potentially a change of address.

The one reassuring thing is that we will gather here for Tuesday Tea Time each week unless noted otherwise. For now it'll simply be Tuesday Tea with the potential of pop-up posts, so enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

You knew I couldn't stay away for long, right? I love to write, especially on Tuesdays with Tea! Creative writing is one small piece of self care that I can give myself. My 6th grade teacher should be so proud!

Lately the question that seems to popping up is "What is going on?!"

In the moment, which is where I need to be, I'm drinking tea, enjoying a slow morning after doing some chores & yoga. I'm sitting in a rather empty house & mentally prepping for the chores of cleaning & organizing that need done today so that we may play tomorrow.

All of that seems pretty common except for one piece. If you don't know we're moving or any of the reasons why, I'm guessing you're wondering why I'm sitting in a fairly empty house.
The skinny....our time in Chebooboo has come to a close. There are many pieces that brought this time together much quicker than we ever anticipated. The main reasons being that Z needed to seek further medical attention to care for his depression & PTSD. Naturally people have wondered where we are headed next & the answer is into a time of transition & limbo as we discern our future. We are being taken care of by a combination of family, friends, & colleagues.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." Matt 6:34 The Message

Right now, the Spirit has been present in my life through granting peace that surpasses my understanding. Peace has been granted that gives me level thinking & communicating to get things done & remember how to take care of myself & my family in the midst of fairly chaotic times. Right now God keeps showing up in #heartfinds everywhere I go, reminding me that I'm not alone.

Right now I'm enjoying my Wonderland Tea & the lovely photo of BgEG's hoosier honey!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

One Word 365: heart

My heart, a fragile strength inside me.

My heart, sometimes, though not often, on my sleeve.

My heart, faded in pieces, yet beaming all together.

My heart, always room to grow into new tomorrows.

My heart, the pieces of my heart.

Some times typing or saying the same word so many times makes me second guess my spelling or pronunciation. Heart is not only my One Word 365 word for 2015, it is part of my motto. Though, living with my "heart out" has not been much of a challenge. I've come to find I may be a bit of a bleeding heart sort of person. I give life all my heart as it is too precious of a gift to treat it any other way.

My heart has been made happy by the genuine person asking "how are you?" & patiently waiting for a reply. While they may have already jumped to conclusions of how they think I should be, it is only fair to give me my voice & let me answer - as is everybody's right for their own heart story. So thank you to those who ask & patiently wait for my heart story.

My heart has been made loopy, heavy, & relieved by my recent story. The loopy is no wonder when things have been heavy yet relieving all at the same time as of late. Ah, breathe in the pieces of life transitions!

We move forward day by day with our "Head Up. Heart out. Move to the Beat." motto helping to shape each day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Do you ever need a reminder to take a break?

I do!

Tuesday Tea Time is just that time, but even then I have to remember to stop & breath a  little deeper.

In all of life's unexpected pieces, the way we remain true to ourselves is remembering to breathe.

A few years back at a church service at Jacob's Well there was a speaker who talked about focusing on our breath & the difference that can make in a day. I remember the importance of sitting in a chair that you are comfortable in, but can also set both of your feet flat on the floor & have something behind your back. This is more of a challenge for some than others. In fact as I sit here I realize my computer should be raised quite a bit & I need a pillow behind my back to comfortably place both of my feet on the floor. The presenter also had us place both hands palm down on our legs & close our eyes.

I don't remember how long or how often it was recommended to do this, but it is a form of bringing oneself back to oneself. Being centered as many do in yoga. Taking one's eyes away from a screen & taking care of oneself so that one may take care of others (as we are always called to do in one way or another).

Life in the coming weeks is going to call for a break here & there. So no worries if I do not post, but know that things will resume as normal come Fall. In the meantime I'll be focusing on my breath.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: That I have loyal followers that read because they care & are okay when life has so many twists & turns I don't post until later in the day. This hoosier sunrise photo just omits the humidity of the day & the day had only just begun. Yes, a hoosier sunrise means a trip to my dear hoosierland. And a trip to hoosierland means pieces of self care with lunch, tea, & catch-up dates with long time friends. A trip to hoosierland also meant a meet & greet with new babies in the family! A trip to hoosierland also meant being woken up at the crack of dawn by an excited MG, always ready to greet the day & wake everybody else up. Thanks to MG's energy & an early morning walk I got this great no-filter used photo of the hoosier sun rising above the trees.

BAD: In the last week I have felt emotions that left me feeling numb, as if the wind had been knocked out of me, & plain dumbfounded. Mix a little bit of anger & hope in there & you have grief! Anybody else remember learning DABDA in health class way back when? This past week I was gifted a couple different things that I wanted eventually, but I didn't know how I wanted them. I do know I didn't want them to go down as they did. However, that's that & tomorrow is a new day. We each believe the pieces we choose to believe to get by & take care of ourselves & that's the best we can do.

AWESOME: The peace that passes all understanding & the way in envelopes one when you most need it. I have prayed for this peace for others on so many occasions & hope they have been overwhelmed with it as I have in the last week. Last week I was pleading with God for this peace at one point & by the end of the day there it was. I stood in the hallway wondering how I could be so calm & the only explanation was an answered prayer & a gift of the presence of the Spirit within me.

WORD: Today the Good News was that Jesus doesn't put us in boxes & he doesn't call us to be box monitors. Jesus pulls us out of our boxes & together we disassemble the boxes we put others in & therefore there is no need for box monitors. Jesus has it all in control folks!

coming up: One foot in front of the other with Life, Spirit, & Sparkle! Head Up. Heart Out. Move to the Beat!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Yesterday was a day filled with some of life's favorite memories & all those who celebrated with Z & I. I love that I married my best friend & that he has a name that gives us a funny couple nick-name.

We were in a local antique shop last week & spotted this odd wooden couple & both immediately joked that it clearly represented us on our wedding day.

Ridiculous & kind funny, right?!

Partnered or not, may you find this sort of goofy filled with tough love companionship in your life.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

I come to you late today due to life on the fly & living day to day due to the realities of Life Spirit & Sparkle.

It seems to be that time of year where the humidity is so great, even in Northern MI, that we have to consume food items quicker than we're accustomed to our they spoil. So in order to use up some milk today's tea was an iced chai.

This time of year an iced chai is not only a treat, but also that taste that takes me to a place of peace for just a few seconds with that first taste.

Here's hoping you had that peace today, even for a second.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Oh what a week! That doesn't even capture the cray cray, but such is life as of late. One of the good things is the amazing news about same sex marriage rights. Not only am I in favor of this, I also know that the world has so many other things worth worrying about that aren't anti-love rights. Another great piece of this last week that totally worth sharing with all who love a feel-good movie is Paddington. Check it out!

BAD: Feelings of disbelief & people saying the world is coming to an end because of recent governmental & other happenings. Really people? I believe there'll be other happenings that'll be the end of the world. But do we really want to go there?

AWESOME: All the heart finds that have popped up out of everything amidst the chaos.

WORD: Lamentations 3:22-33 is one of my favorite pieces of scripture. Everything about it is poignant. As the commentator says, this is not the end of the laments for this poet & it isn't the end of our laments. But have hope that Easter comes & comes again.

coming up: work & meetings & gorgeous Pure MI summer weather & a celebration of 4 years as JZ. Love, Life, Spirit, & Sparkle to all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Oh Tuesday Tea Time, you are my favorite!

Aren't these bird feeders great?!

I'm not a big fan of birds, as y'all may know, but I'm a big fan of the out of doors & think this is such a fun way to repurpose old tea kettles. In fact, many of these tea kettles might not even be that old. The maker of these bird feeders said it gets harder each year to find tea kettles with lids that are tight enough to secure everything. I imagine if the lid was too lose, animals might try to get inside & potentially be trapped.

In the hullabaloo of life I did not make it to the art festival during the second day to purchase one of these bird feeders, but that is more than alright.

Some times life is so silly & crazy we have to just enjoy things in the moment. And the art of capturing the moment through photos makes that moment last for as long as we need or want.

Enjoy this moment for the sake of it being a moment making up the pieces of your day & of course don't forget that touch of tea that'll make it even sweeter!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: The best part of this past week was brunch on the back patio. It was the start of a sunshine day that eventually turned rather gray. The food & company were great & that's all I needed. There were lots of other great moments in the week too, but this was that moment that continue to bring peace in to life. A start with a flu bug, a continuing education event, meetings, & VBS made for a very VERY full week.

BAD: The challenges of 2015 continue, both personally & out in our communities. To be totally honest, I haven't been certain what to say about the murders in SC. This shooting was a little too close to home for my liking. And yes, it is a race issue. An issue that is SO much more than words can put around that the silence many of us have kept for so long is screaming out as inappropriate & not fair. I firmly believe that we are truly better together, no matter our skin color, our family background, or our religion. So we struggle forward to know how to act so that we can all live better together.

AWESOME: The support of life long friends & friends we've only known for a while in hard times. One colleague reminded me that while we are in the storm, the scripture is clear that Jesus is in the storm with us. We are not alone. It is one thing to know this & another to hear it from those who know you need it.

WORD: Mark 4:35-41 on this day. It's been done & the calm will come.

coming up: The calm after the storm of VBS & as always a touch of Life, Spirit, & Sparkle.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites!

MG went to her first baseball games this week & as usual drew attention from people of all ages. She only arrived in the backpack - & as usual crawled out the window for her head - & went back in for the last few minutes we were there. Love me a good adventure with MG!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Check out this great pillow that I could've bought the other week when shopping with AJO, but didn't think I needed to in the time. I know I still don't need to own this, but really what was I thinking?

I could have Tuesday Tea Time with my tea pillow!

Totally not necessary, but also totally fun & random.

Also, not necessary is a tea subscription - signed up by accident - that sends you 6 boxes of the same kind of tea each month. The 6 boxes of Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea that Z gifted me for my b-day was the start of all this silliness. While I would still like some Kombucha - what the company was supposed to send rather than Kava - I do not need 6 new boxes of tea each month. I especially do not need 6 new boxes of the exact same kind of tea each month. Thus said subscription has been canceled & I have a LOT of Kava tea to enjoy & offer to guests.

So come for a visit & you can enjoy some tea with me!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Check out this orange fuzz!?!?! This is the lint from my dryer after drying the ELCA Youth Gathering Proclaim Justice Day t-shirts. It's the little things folks, the little things that bring good in each week. This week we celebrated birthdays again - as talked about in Friday Favorites - & the new birth of my cousin BH becoming a grandma to LEO. She was a good sized baby verging on being large, but just right for her mama & papa. I may have to make a road trip to IN sooner than anticipated to meet this little one. Bah! Also fun in the last week was conversations had while out & about for Z's birthday with church members & total strangers. There's a lot goin' on around here in Chebooboo!

BAD: A few weeks ago it came up that Chebooboo wasn't appreciated by all. This complaint didn't ask for the story of where the term comes from. It is not meant to be derogatory to the town or any people or person, it is simply a 'you had to be there' sorta endearing term I use. This is the struggle with inside jokes. Though, it is not an inside joke. It just isn't as funny for people not familiar with my home area & the seriousness that was behind the person who asked if I had said Chebooboo when I clearly had not. Each of us have some sort of little name we may use to refer to our home & this is mine. Take it or leave it. I do love this place.

AWESOME: Mt. Everest for VBS is awesome! I'm so excited in the assurance the Holy Spirit has provided for how great this week is going to be from VBS to continuing ed. opportunities to appointments.

WORD: Mark 4:26-34 Is this weeks Gospel lesson. I was originally slotted to preach, but with recent transitions I willingly gave this one to Z. What stands out to me is how simple it seems it is to grow mustard seeds, despite their size, & their perseverance. This stands out because no matter what I try, I don't seem to have much of a green thumb. So what sort of good news is this parable for me? Maybe if we stick to the basics & trust that God has already taken care of it - which God has & does - then there not much else for us to do other than try & try again. And to grant & show yourself much grace in this trying & trying again. Grace is a beautiful thing!

coming up: VBS! You Matter event! VBS! and LIFE SPIRIT SPARKLE!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Helloooooooooooooo Friday Favorites!!!

Today my favorites are shared with the birthday boy & our birthday friends! While in seminary we quickly learned that Z shared a birthday with BMG & TM & so we always celebrated big.

The first year we celebrated with all Summer birthday from my birthday over Memorial day weekend through Labor day weekend. The second year we had a great celebration for the June 12th birthdays at the 'alley house.' The 3rd year we were all out on internships or in different places & the 4th year was right after graduation.

Now a days we are lucky to have social media to wish each other all the best from wherever we are.

Happy Birthday my friends! I'm so thankful & honored & blessed & amazed to have you all in my life & I'm overall better for it. I love each & every one of you. Even you LB, who I've known longer than any of these other birthday kids! 

AND a BIG HAPPY DAY OF BIRTH to LEO (your initials still spell your future bro's name!!!). Cousin Z & I are SO excited to meet you & hang out next time we're in IN or your're MI. It's a great day to be born!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Two weeks later & I'm remembering to share about my birthday treat that of course included tea!

We've seen it all in recent years! Sparkling teas to spiked teas!

This drink is a strawberry chamomile spiked tea. The best part of this drink was the robust taste of chamomile.

I asked ours server if she could tell me the ingredients/type of tea & she was funny as she said it was a very fancy tea. When somebody says fancy tea, I think to the expensive loose leafs & brands that I've only ever been gifted or looked at on the shelf in a store. This however was one of my favorite brands that while  it is a bit of a splurge, I can afford on occasion. 
Harney & Sons Egyptian Chamomile is the most delicious chamomile I have ever had! Even with a touch of vodka, it ruled the flavors of this drink & was accompanied lightly with fresh strawberry sugar juice. Essentially the strawberries were sauteed with sugar to create a syrup & added to the tea. Overall a very calming & soothing tea time indeed!

May today's tea time be the same!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: A start to a new week is much welcomed this week. This past week was filled with LOTS of hard conversations & surrounded by LOTS of Holy Spirit presence. If it weren't for the obvious presence of the Spirit with us, it would've been an ugly week. AND we finally got around to making the freezer breakfast burritos that we had when we visited friends last month. They are a tad time consuming to put together, but well worth it for a heartier breakfast on the fly. We were also blessed to have lunch with colleagues who couldn't have been much more complimentary of our crock-pot cooking. AND it's still chilly at night, but pleasantly up North sorta warm during the day which makes for good grillin', fire-pit hanging around, & outside adventures. We had our first Friday Fire-Pit time of the summer & it was as pleasantly laid back & chill as we had hoped it would be.

BAD: Coming from a time in our culture where we want a quick fix & we want what we want when we want it, does anything but make waiting for something easy. My greatest great Uncle D always said that God wouldn't grant us patience, but he would grant us experiences to teach us patience. *sigh* Isn't that the truth? Currently as JZ Nelson we are waiting for a new normal as 2015 has been quite rocky on many levels. A season of change...

AWESOME: The most wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit was brought to me through colleagues & camp counselors & other camp staff in conversation this past week. I lead my colleagues in a session of Practice Discipleship titled 'Story of Faith Community.' We all are striving for a greater open to all wherever we come from & wherever we are sorta church. Then I had the privilege of leading 'Story of Adolescence' & 'Story of Self & Other' with camp staff at Stony Lake Lutheran Camp & was blown away with how the Spirit moved people to share & speak up & speak out for the good of each other. This all entwined with other great conversations with long-time friends & lengthy walks through the beauty of MI fill my heart with peace.

WORD: Mark 3:20-35 is a text that makes many uncomfortable to preach on. We do not want to acknowledge the ways in which we, the church, have been divided amongst our own people. However, this happens all the time. We put our trust in our leaders & while we trust them, we have to be careful to remember that they are human & fully sinner & saint. While all of our sins have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus' death & resurrection, this does not take away the seriously heavy matters that lie on some congregations. In this scripture we learn that no matter how painful it might be we have to cut ourselves free from anything or anyone who is against us being about anything other than the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have to let Jesus lead the way & not any one human.

coming up: The calm before the storm of VBS!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Paul didn't speak to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:14-19) with doubt that they are rooted & grounded in love, but clearly stated that they are rooted & grounded in love because of a generous Spirit who dwells in our hearts.

This generous Spirit throughout the decades reminds us of our our roots & where we learned about love.

One of many favorites this week was the reminder of freedom that comes from dirty feet. Dirty feet are the signs of an adventure worth being part of & making that adventure a piece of life (filled with the Spirit & naturally a touch of Sparkle).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello taste of Tea on Tuesday!

Today's Tea Time brought to you by another quaint set up in BGeg's place.

This week I tried a vanilla chai tea bag with two dollops of Bees Knees Spiced Honey & some Agave Nectar. Wowza!

One thing I'm wondering is if my brother - who gifted me the Bees Knees - got cheated because my honey is solid & impossible to get much out of the container. The link that I have above shows it clear.

Good or bad honey, I don't think I'll be making that mix of drink again anytime soon. If you are a fan of a spicy kick in your morning tea, then I highly suggest it!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: While May is generally my favorite month of the year for all it's celebrations, I'm alright with a start to June being just a day away. May has come to a peaceful nice close. Another year older, more fabulous people graduated from all sorts of different education programs, at least one (though I'm sure there are more) friends was ordained, & amidst any struggle there was always a touch of laughter & love each day.

BAD: The ugly face of mental illness. And society's failed attempts to normalize mental illness. The exhaustion mental illness causes those living with the illness & those they live with. I have seen this play itself out in my life through friends & family for years.

AWESOME: Knowing that I am rooted & grounded in love & so are you. While I took this photo the other day in attempts to capture my great new leggings & just the fun color splash of my newish sandals against the very green grass, it represents this groundedness - literally & figuratively - we have with the world around us. I've been reassured of this through conversations the caring words of jibberish when we have no actual words to share with one another.

WORD: Romans 8:12-17 I am so very glad that is not by my own doing, but by the acts of God in Christ Jesus & through the Spirit that we know of this redeeming power for all people through adoption.

coming up: June! and so much fun!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Favorite!

It's my birthday!!! Call me narcissistic, vain, or whatever, but it's one of my favorite days of the year. 

It's always filled with lots of love & well wishes & a touch of adventure. Today's adventure is exploring more of Pure Michigan with my partner who never fails to lead an adventure or two while jumping in full energy to the adventures I provide.

Life together is beautifully crazily overflowing with Life, Spirit, & Sparkle thanks to Z & all of you!

A giant donut to help with the morning birthday shenanigans!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

One of the beauties of living in Pure Michigan - especially up North - is there isn't a single day that isn't good for a campfire. There also isn't a single day that isn't good for a warm cup of tea & we all know that's like a hug in a cup!

Some days are more suited for outside fire-pit fires & others for indoors fireplace fires. The chillier temps & rain on Memorial Day meant an indoor fireplace fire was in order.

Cuddled up by the fire with MG - who's a tad bruised this week recovering from playing with her big dog friends - & my Bubba tumbler of Topsy Turvy Tea Party Tea, I bring you this Tuesday Tea Time!

Today's image brings a smile to my heart knowing the conversations & moments that happen around the table that this little teapot decorates. It's owner proudly stated this past week the "He's (referring to her husband) not a tea snob, but I AM!" We come by this honestly. Though, as much as my mom loves buying me tea & all the accessories, she herself is not much of a tea drinker. BGeG, her mom, & I all are though! Our days start with a good cup of tea, are refreshed in the early afternoon with a second - possibly a third by this point depending on the day - cup, & often end with a final cup. We know the steeping times we prefer for each kind of tea & to some degree the temperature the water needs to be to best suit the different types of tea. BGeG & I even shared our tea bags making two cups of good tea - one for each of us - this past week.

It's a heart smile, heart find, heart warming kinda connection to be able to share a tea bag!

So who wants to come for tea on the porch - after the roof is redone - & share a Tuesday Tea Time?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: This past week was a blur, but a good one at that. After a business trip I got to spend some quality time with some of my favorites (including little miss E & her owl). It's a blessing to have people who take you in, shower you with love, & let you decompress from the every day chaos on only a few days notice. I am forever grateful for the friendship of miss E & her parents (& our parents!). I could've never dreamed of having such rich relationship that started at birth & carries on. Speaking of carrying on, it's the end of the month, it's graduation day for many in the area, & it's my birthday week! There's so much good in that sentence it's crazy. There's many reasons to celebrate!

BAD: Realizing at the end of the day, when all steam was gone, that I had not kept my rhythm of blogging this last week. It made it more real & y'all got to travel with me a bit more that way. In the news this week we continue to hear about murder, sex offenders, victims, hunger, & other illness. You don't have to look far.

AWESOME: Spending a few days decompressing from life's recent happenings that are out of my control & being met where I was with good company, baby snuggles & laughter (& snot & poo), & sunshine & food & a quick lunch with family for my bday is all pretty fabulous in my book.

WORD: Commentary on Acts 2:1-21 because it's Pentecost & the Holy Spirit is here.

coming up: so much Life, Spirit, Sparkle, I don't even know which end is up!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

A good Tuesday Tea Time from a fellow tea reviewer Oolong Owl!

Pardon the layout & lack of links as I type from my phone while on the go.

While my oolong will have to wait, I'm enjoying a nice London Fog Latte.

No matter your drink, enjoy your Tuesday Tea Time & say hello to the Oolong Owl!