Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Friday Favorites!

A picture can say a thousand words, or so they say. This weeks favorites find me here. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Timers!

Have you ever been gifted something that you've held on to for quite some time & had to put serious thought into when or how you were going to use it?

These lovely chopsticks are a great example of a gift such as this for me.

Six years ago I was traveling throughout SE Asia with a team through Youth Encounter. Many of the places that we had already visited & were going to visit I had never dreamed I would travel to. However, it didn't take long upon arriving in these places to fall in love with pieces & people from these places.

Naturally I waited till the end of our travels to purchase some chopsticks, but within days was gifted these more ornate chopsticks. While the other chopsticks are more every day, we keep them on our countertop in a mason jar to be used for various food & drink items. These flowered ones had been sitting in a box in a drawer moving from one apartment or house to the next. With a newly emptied cylindrical tea tin on my hands - that I wanted to repurpose - I remembered these chopsticks in the old chocolate box in the drawer & decided to put the two items to use.

Some of the lovely chopsticks now decorate my tea corner in my office! Why would I need chopsticks in my office you ask? Clearly to stir honey into my tea!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Snippits:good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Watching a movie you enjoy the day after watching a movie that horrified you. There are certain movies that you see the previews for & think along the lines of 'if I watch that it will need to be in my home so that I can turn it off or walk away when I want.' Then you find yourself renting the movie & so enthralled by the story line that is horrifying you that you don't turn it off or walk away. I followed Gravity with two episodes of How I Met Your Mother's final season that I'm still working on finishing. Then the next day I chose to watch the movie The Hundred Foot Journey. This second movie was much more my speed! The love for food, travel, adventure & connection to life struggle is beautifully woven into reality throughout the story.

BAD: The desire so many of us who love living in the great north have for Spring to appear soon this time of year. It would be scary - in my opinion - if it came earlier than March. However, we pull out all the tricks to endure the gray winter months & are very thankful for the days with cloudless skies & sunshine. Some people just cannot be shook of the grump that sets in & those of us that can even everything out. All in all making us all a bit mad, bonkers, & off our heads!

AWESOME: Days of unexplainable sunshine in Pure Michigan in January! Go with the flow sorta work days, friends reaching out for prayers & sharing in life near & far.

WORD: While I have yet to finish I Am Malala - & maybe I never will - I have been enjoying The Paraclete Book of Hospitality. This is one of several books that I thought I would use for my graduate studies capstone project & simply did not get around to until the last week or so. A short easy ready & being based in Benedictine thought it gives some great Biblical & other references.

coming up: This is a very exciting week filled with many reunions & many gatherings of new friends at the Extravaganza!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites & though my 'to do' list is still lengthy (because I sorta didn't keep one most of the week, but made a fresh one before coming home this evening) it is Friday & it feels like a Friday & that's fun!

I just shared with my cousin last night that having Thursdays off (just as she does) throws me for a spin because Fridays become my Mondays. Well, you could say this is Monday, but tomorrow then is Tuesday & that's a busy day so I should be super productive tomorrow. Right?!

I share all of this because glancing back at my FB newsfeed, one of my favorite things was this quote from Alice in Wonderland shared by Yogi Times. Alice in Wonderland has become one of my favorite stories of all times & I especially like this quote.

There are many days I feel mad, bonkers, & off my head, but this quote reminds me that it is quite normal & makes life that much more exciting.

So may you be ok with being mad, bonkers, & off your head!

You're one of the best people!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Credit to akikotree
I've heard that we need 8 hugs a day to succeed or to be okay with our day. And while I generally am open to a hug I am not always a hug instigator. However, just like in any relationship, for it to work we must give a little to get a little. And more often than not we give a little & get a LOT in return.

Tea: a hug in a cup.

It's such a nice idea! For us to be able to find this need for touch & comfort & encouragement & love in a cup of tea is silly, but sweet. We cannot always rely on each other to achieve these 8 hugs (or however many the studies actually say) a day, but we can rely on tea.

Tea, it wakes you up, refreshes your spirit, rids you of toxins, & calms you down when in need. A hug in a cup!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Good is sharing a piece of sunshine - literally or figuratively - with one another. This past week this sunshine was shared with me - & hopefully therefore with others - through the many encounters with others. I heard or read more than once in the past week that seeing another person & living with them is seeing & living with God. This makes perfect sense to me as I have been continually returning to Genesis 1:27 recently. Come, Holy Spirit, come. All in all this past week was a good mix of my many commitments to ministry leadership. There is much excitement in the air for things yet to come!

BAD: The drive of consumerism for more, more, more. With recent cell phone hiccups & a spouse who still owns an old flip phone (gasp!) the workers at the store jump on us like hawks on prey. Seriously people, a phone that makes calls & texts is the basic desire we have. We don't need all your special plans to be able to recycle these phones that much faster when you're companies are already charging an arm & a leg. With as many people that are only using cell phones now & doing away with land lines, I truly think it would only be right if cell phone companies made phones to last more than two years. We don't buy land line phones thinking they'll only last two years so why would we want a cell phone that does that? Good grief!

AWESOME: Julia Child was once quoted for saying, "People who love to eat are always the best people." I'm SO glad to report that according to Julia I am ONE of the best people. Now let's be real, there are hundreds of us who are the best people. This past week though, I hit a wall with appetite & creativity to make new meals. That creativity is stirring making new ideas & new inspiration though already. All I needed was a trip to the produce section at Meijer! Grapefruit Goodness!

WORD: I'm given the opportunity to preach in a couple of weeks, but we have some fun adventures in between so I'm starting to sit with the passages for the week of February 8th. Aside from that, look up at the "GOOD" of today to see a little more!

coming up: Hopefully a continued nice mix of a little work with this call & a little work with that call. It's all about balance! Head up, Heart out, Move to the beat!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday & there's SO many favorites to share that I narrowed it down to this.....

Poetry on a wine cork!

"Standing here / The old man said to me / Long before these crowded streets / Here stood the Dreaming Tree."

As we walked MG this evening in the twilight of evening the sky, it was filled with pinks & yellows & grays. It was beautiful amidst the sparkling pieces of snow covered patches. Yes, there is snow everywhere, but there are only patches that seemed untouched by everything other than the wind. A phone camera could not have done this beautiful piece of God's creation justice & for a piece of extra quiet I had left my phone behind.

We returned from the walk only to make a fancy meal of Annie's Mac-n-Cheese, hot dog, & asparagus with a nice glass of Dreaming Tree Crush (thus the wine cork poetry).

Here's to your Friday Favorites as you wind down from the week. May you stand beneath the Dreaming Tree!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday! Oh Tea Time, you bring a smile to my life!

Yes, a little crazy. I know, but we all have those things that take you to a happy place. Tea is one of the most simple things in my life that takes me to a happy place.

Most anything Disney is another thing for a happy place. Once somebody tried to strip down why I love Disney so much, but seriously, I enjoy the magic & that's the gist of it all.

Another lovely consecration gift, this one from my Aunt J! The question is, do I let it sit on my shelf in my office & simply sit there (next to the beautifully awkward photo of Z & I with Cinderella on our honeymoon) or do I use it? Other than preservation I'm not sure why it should just sit there. Seriously though, I'm perplexed as it is quite unique.

How many things do we own in life that simply sit on a shelf?

I for one can say many things. It's not necessarily very realistic, but it creates a nice ambiance that I change out every now & then with the change of the seasons.

The question still remains, to use the cup or let it sit?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

Credit to The Telegraph
GOOD: Today is Installation day! Some have joked that all these big churchy terms like consecration, ordination, & installation should really just be regal & therefore like a coronation. While consecration made life as a Diaconal Minister that much more real, this will set our current calls in stone (the sword in the stone?!). This week we have experienced the quiet of January, so it is nice to celebrate the church with so many people today. Christmas is put away at the JZ Parsonage with a few remaining wintry decoration pieces filling the shelves. And in place of the Christmas tree now sits a bench we were gifted (by gifting others we were able to gift ourselves) that is really for our front porch. In the middle of January in northern MI it is not so much fun to put things on the front porch, so in the living room it sits for now. Though we think it'll be alright outside year round. It was a decent accomplishment simply to take the pieces out of the box & assemble the bench to start!

BAD: The other day we decided to check out our local Family Video - yes we live in a town without a Redbox & a classic video rental store instead - & it appeared that the majority of the films that were on the wall considered "New Release" were about warfare on a broad spectrum. This could be warfare in history, spiritual worlds, or made up worlds. What's the deal? We don't have enough warfare in our day to day living or world that we need to infiltrate more through media. No thanks!

AWESOME: Sharing in the joy of our friends' ordination & commissioning services happening across the country. While I sincerely wish we lived close enough to each event to be able to attend - & let's be honest, that means living somewhere in Z's part of the mid-west (Minnocentric Midwest) - that is not the case nor the need of the church. We are where we all are because we are called & set apart to live as leaders in the church.

WORD: So I've realized that I've stopped receiving a daily devotional that I often relied on to share something here. I tried to switch the e-mail address it went to & now I don't know where it's actually going. I'm working on starting something new.

coming up: Living the life in the winter wonderland of Pure Michigan!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Thinking about Friday Favorites today with the question, "What have I learned this week?"

Believing we are made new each day in the light of a resurrected savior, it is only right to lift up praises each day. I have found myself giving such thanks when people compliment me or something about an object that might be related to my work with "Thanks be to God!"

My hope is that people realize that I am who I am because of the living Word of God. And all that I do, I strive to do for God.

While I'd like to think that there is nobody reading this thinking, "Well good for you!" I know better. Please don't read this as "look at me" sort of thing. It is yet another bitter cold January day here & while the sun is shining - Praise be to God - it is January & many people are stuck inside & many people are dealing with depression from the often gray weather this time of year.

I share praises to lift all spirits of the good happening in the world. Some times these praises seem fairly mundane, but it is a nice thing to have a home that has electricity that powers my alarm clock that I am thankful for its snooze button. See, can be sorta mundane. Challenge yourself to list 5 praises a day for a week & see how it lifts your spirit. It's worth it!

"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." Rishika Jain's Inspiration

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time, the best time of the week! With as cold as it's been lately, every day has many tea times.

This quaint tea cup was a gift from my friend TU over at Praying on the Prairie. She just recently messaged me to make sure I got it & I've been sneaky in not responding a)because she should be receiving a thank you card any day & b)I wanted to feature the mug in today's post.

TU & I met at the 2010 Diaconal Ministry Formation Event (DMFE). Being at two very different places in life - mainly speaking that she was called & consecrated & I hadn't even completed my first full year of seminary - I am blessed to have her as a mentor, friend, & one with a better memory than I. She wrote in the card that she sent with the mug that she got this particular mug because it has a piece of the Psalms that we focused on at the DMFE.

While we have both had many life changes since January 2010, the world of Diaconal Ministers, ELCA, Lutheran Church, & youth workers has kept us interconnected. With a smile & listening ear for all who need, TU is there. So thank you for sharing Tuesday Tea Time with me today & probably many tea times yet to come!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & ugly!

GOOD: Epiphany is upon us! We continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus - the Savior - with the coming of 3 'Wise Men.' A curious addition on to the story indeed! With a deep breath I take in the new air of 2015. 'Head Up. Heart Out. Move to the Beat.' Being a new year & a few months into my new job each week has been a little different, yet a swing of ministry happenings have started to take hold on my calendar & mind each month. With a bit of a break from work this past week I experienced a little bit of cabin fever, a little bit of nostalgia, & a touch of excitement for the future that is this new year. The family enjoyed the fresh snow fall, the continuation of holiday music, a couple of fires, & many movies. We even ventured out to the movie theater for the first time since Valentine's Day 2014 to see the third installment of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. I do believe Cate Blanchett was phenomenal even if her part was minimal & I'm already looking forward to it's release for purchase so we can have true movie marathons with the Hobbit series & Lord of the Rings Trilogy. With the quiet of January already upon us & the often grey skies above us I'm honestly inspired to read many fictional books this month. Though I know that it'll have to be time intentionally taken from each day to make this happen without falling asleep (like I usually do at the end of a day).

BAD: This past week I saw many colleagues commenting on this article not simply about teen suicide, but about transgender teen suicide. These comments were wonderings of why this is still happening & why people don't intervene more heavily. Nobody is invisible, though we've all allowed ourselves to feel that way at one point or another due to others actions. Yes, we have all experienced this, so why don't we all do more to step up & take care of one another even with a simple "hi" & stop to hear how somebody is actually doing now & then rather than the fleeting "Hi, how ya doin?" as you walk by each other. No, we can't expect people to always give a full answer or maybe even a totally truthful answer, but we can give them a few minutes of acknowledging them in that moment.

AWESOME: This past week was just a lazy, low key week. 2014 ended with retirement, over a million dollars, 3 kids, & a few trips around the world (thanks to the game of Life).

WORD: Addiction & the Church

coming up: Diving into January with my 'Head up, Heart out, & (ready to) Move to the Beat!'

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Hello Friday evening Favorites!

Today was the first day back in the office since Monday & I started a praise journal in a gift from my consecration to write 5 praises a day on work days. This is a practice that Life Coach DT challenged my group with when I took her e-course over a year ago. It is amazing how this changes one outlook on life. Seriously, just being in the office made me happier today. Set aside that I had felt a little cabin-fever the last couple of days being at home!

This year my new One Word 365 is HEART! I'm sorta excited about this word because it connects to so many pieces of life, but especially with my life long best friend as she has seen SO many hearts since her Grandy's death.

I chose the word HEART not only because of the love many of us had for Grandy, but because it seemed like a healthy (OneWord365 2014) challenge to stretch my heart & mind around where my heart is in each day & how my heart is being used & how it is being shared & how it is being affected. In the world of chakras I most often think/speak/act through my throat & my heart third with my navel in second. I act out of voice & gut. So this is a challenge to continue my holistically healthy approach to life to be in tune with heart.