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!