Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Time friends!

Amidst the busyness of life, I hope you're always finding time for tea.

I recently had a bit of a conundrum at home because I nearly ran out of caffeinated tea. I only drink one caffeinated beverage a day - true in pregnancy & even when I'm not - but I rely on that one usually in the morning. I have a plethora of caffeine free that really needs used up due to age, but that wasn't helping. I was able to scrounge up tea bags that were not my go to tea bags - but also needed used due to age - & get by before getting to the store, but it seemed like a trip to the store was not fitting in to my schedule.

And if you're like me, it's hard to buy everyday things for yourself that you know make a really easy stocking stuffers or other gift items for this time of year.

This is seriously just a tea drinker's problem. It's really not a conundrum. I made do, like we do.

May we help each other keep ourselves afloat through tea time & the holidays this season!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

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Hiya Tuesday Tea Time Friends!

I really meant to rock 'n roll for every Tuesday in November, but then life happened & I didn't have a piece of art to share & so on & so on.

This past year has been incredibly unbelievable in so many ways. It really goes back further than that for Z & I, but that's not worth rehashing at this point. After going through the birthing process at such a premature stage for both myself & Kaia people (mainly medical professionals) would ask, "Are you ready to have another baby?" They weren't being pushy, they were being realistic that I (& Z) may not be mentally ready, but that our bodies would be physically doing their normal things.

When would we ever be mentally ready? Our first born, who was quite the surprise, broke our hearts in all the best ways. Kaia broke our hearts by being in my womb & making us grow in love for one another. Kaia broke our hearts the day she was born & we knew we could not force life on to her. Kaia broke our hearts in the memories & stories that we now hold so dearly. Kaia broke our hearts to be more raw, vulnerable, & giving. So much of what we do as a couple we do in honor or memory of Kaia. The reality is we would never be mentally ready for another baby & we knew it. We also felt, months ago, that the best way to honor Kaia was to make her a big sister.

We have no idea what the health of this rainbow baby will be or if it'll even prove to really be a rainbow. But we have hope, lots & lots of hope. We are filled with joy & fear all at the same time. While I found that I could barely hold the news in after finding out at such an early stage (week 4 or 5), when it actually came time to share the news I was very anxious. It wasn't worry about what people may think or say, it was the "what if" game that we so often do with ourselves. It was & is truly a relief to share the news of our rainbow baby & receive the support & prayers & silliness that comes with letting people know. It is another life & it is worth celebrating, just as we celebrate its big sister Kaia.

A lot of the last year has hurt emotionally, physically, & all around just hurt. And there will be more hurt in the future, but we have a choice to either let that bring us down or build us up & we choose to let it build us up. We look up for the rainbow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Time followers!

I apologize for my absence over the last few weeks. I almost missed today, but felt the need to take a minute or two just to say hello.

This month started with some vacation time, thus the first missed post, then I came back to work & had other priorities. Today there are many items on my "to do" list & creating "margin" is one of them.

I've been co-leading a book study at work since mid-September & last night's practice that we discussed was creating "margin." Margin is a time-out, a way to step back & breath, to say no to things, to take time for yourself. Margin is Tuesday Tea Time!

BGEG & I talked last week & touched base on blogging & her artwork for this month & both said, "ah well, gotta take a breather every now & then." So that is exactly what this month is. Without even trying I was creating margin for myself by not taking the time to blog. Unless sparked by the urge to share with you through the end of the month, I will continue to make this margin & not let myself feel guilty for not sharing with y'all.

The picture (that I hope posts, though Google has given me a warning about mixed content being an issue) says "Tea just isn't the same without you!" That is very true. Have no doubt that there has been Tuesday Tea Time, just no blog to go with it. This month has also been a good one to reflect on margin as it is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. There have been memory walks & the wave of light & memorials. My friend EH is still blogging her journey after the birth & death of #AlexanderScott. In fact today's post is about a struggle for her happy birthday.

Take time today for margin for yourself, for your loved ones, for your coworkers, for your community, for life lived & not lived.

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Time followers!

I apologize for my absence over the last few weeks. I almost missed today, but felt the need to take a minute or two just to say hello.

This month started with some vacation time, thus the first missed post, then I came back to work & had other priorities. Today there are many items on my "to do" list & creating "margin" is one of them.

I've been co-leading a book study at work since mid-September & last night's practice that we discussed was creating "margin." Margin is a time-out, a way to step back & breath, to say no to things, to take time for yourself. Margin is Tuesday Tea Time!

BGEG & I talked last week & touched base on blogging & her artwork for this month & both said, "ah well, gotta take a breather every now & then." So that is exactly what this month is. Without even trying I was creating margin for myself by not taking the time to blog. Unless sparked by the urge to share with you through the end of the month, I will continue to make this margin & not let myself feel guilty for not sharing with y'all.

The picture (that I hope posts, though Google has given me a warning about mixed content being an issue) says "Tea just isn't the same without you!" That is very true. Have no doubt that there has been Tuesday Tea Time, just no blog to go with it. This month has also been a good one to reflect on margin as it is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. There have been memory walks & the wave of light & memorials. My friend EH is still blogging her journey after the birth & death of #AlexanderScott. In fact today's post is about a struggle for her happy birthday.

Take time today for margin for yourself, for your loved ones, for your coworkers, for your community, for life lived & not lived.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Time friends!

This season of life I've decided to watch Dancing With the Stars instead of The Voice. I have also been looking for the glimpses of blue skies & sunlight amidst the gray days. Just yesterday I intentionally took a different route to work to be able to admire the small piece of blue sky.

Dancing With the Stars simply means flipping between the two channels we get for the show I prefer in the moment. The blue skies means I'm looking for the pieces of good like I always try to do. The days are getting darker much earlier already & the time change isn't for another month!

This also means cooler weather & hopefully the Fall colors soon. In this area of MI Fall means not simple apple cider but cherry apple cider. And yes, it's delicious! 

If you haven't gotten out & enjoyed a piece of Fall in you're area this Tuesday Tea Time go & explore, even if you have to go over your lunch break. A little exploration is good for the heart & soul.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time friends!

After a week away, I have returned. I had to show myself grace when last week's Tuesday came & went & there was not a Tea Time post. Apparently I've been so on the go that my lack of social media posts is cause for concern to some (ahem mom). There is nothing to worry about, just on the go & took a few days away to celebrate #LifeSpiritSparkle with friends.

This past week I got to check off another state visited on the U.S.A. Map. As random as the trip was, it was well worth the wear & tear of travel. I stayed with family on Z's side in CT for the special occasion of my college days best friend AJO's ordination. I enjoyed family time with legit family & Cap fam. I enjoyed a quality New England lobster roll & apple picking adventure. The days were cooler & the leaves were just on the verge of turning color.

The main event was very special. It was a joint ordination for three individuals & the bishop shared a sermon that spoke to everybody present. The music was phenomenal & the reunions & new introductions were life giving. You can't ask for days like that! Well, OK, you can, but they don't happen without a little effort.

May we seek & live into providing the life giving moments of our days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hiya Tuesday Tea Time Friends!

Have we all said goodbye to summer & hello to Fall?! It's not quite over as the late summer heat is still lingering for good parts of the day. Plus as far as the Starbucks app told me, I am unable to purchase a pumpkin spice anything at my local Starbucks just yet. No worries as I have pumpkin spice tea from a few Christmases ago. I know some tea drinkers think it goes stale, but I haven't noticed.

As Labor Day has come & gone, so has a season. The school & programming year are back in full swing officially today & there's a freshness in the air for new starts. The next several months hold much promise with more structure in the calendar. With the slight change in weather & the scheduled days more solid there is a peace of heart & mind that bring in the fresh air.

Amidst the flurry of our days may this peace dwell within us all in the fresh air of late Summer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

I have found it hard to know what to write about today. My friend EH has been blogging her experience after the death of her baby Alexander Scott in July. I thanked her just the other day for her writing. EH is a wonderful poetic writer who is able to put things into words that I did not seem to know what to do with originally. I wanted to remain optimistic and seem hopeful. I am an optimistic person and I am hopeful.

However hard I may try to mask the continuation of grief over the death of my Kaia Gene, there are days that emotions run heavy. It is hard to imagine that I could have a daughter that it is anywhere between 1 1/2 months old to 6 1/2 months old. It is hard to imagine all of the belongings that I would be using right now to clothe her, feed her. and bathe her. It is hard to imagine the restless nights many and most young parents experience.

These pieces are not our reality. Kaia Gene did not live beyond one day. If you follow my blog or know my story you know that she came incredibly prematurely. And there's no reason that any of that happened as it did. So I have hope. I choose to celebrate life. This has been a choice I have made since I was a young girl. I celebrate the life of Kaia Gene, Heather, Alexander Scott, and of the many other infant deaths I have heard about since Kaia's death. Yes it is overwhelming to know how many people are grieving the death of an infant. 

It is also joyously overwhelming to know how many people are celebrating a recent announcement of pregnancies & healthy births. One colleague recently announced her pregnancy with twins and then another with her second pregnancy. I also celebrate the many babies that were born within a month before Kaia's original due date or just shortly there after. I celebrate the many babies that will be born, from close lifelong friends, in the next month or two.

Yes, some days are heavier than others. Optimism and hope always win out for me. However this has been a great lesson in showing myself grace and accepting that, and hoping for, grace from those I work and live with in community. For more insight on this journey be sure to check out ErinHaligowski.WordPress.com.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hello Tuesday Tea Time friends!

This last week has been a very wet week for much of the country. While there was flooding in Louisiana, up north we have had very intermittent hard fast and then slow and light rain falls.

I just brought home my wellies from work yesterday. You know it is some serious rain when I bring out my wellies. However like I said sometimes it was slow and light rain. These rains are not so intimidating and seem to be all right to head out into. They seem so appealing that even my sweet puppy dog doesn't mind going out into these rains.

Not only once, but twice did MG and myself head out into these light slow rains for a short walk. The first walk, as I opened the door and realized it was raining, I thought to myself "Shoot! My coat is at work and so is the dogs." There was not much I could do about that in the moment and so we went on out into the rain. Naturally when we were standing at the other end of our building and just across the street, the rain started to become heavier and more frequent. Thankfully Z had gone into work that day and he could bring our coats home. I was fairly equipped for the rain the rest of the week.The second time I found myself stuck in the rain it was by pure choice that I did not wear my rain jacket.

There's something refreshing about a walk in the light rain and sometimes even in the heavy rain. Both times I stopped briefly to stand up straight and turn my face upward toward the sky to catch rain as if it were snow. Thankfully it was not snow yet. Both times I gave thanks for the rain and the refreshing moment provided by Mother Earth. 

Finding ways to be refreshed with Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Timers! Today I bring you a unique piece of Britta Gene Art for the rest of the month.

One week before traveling to IN for Kaia's burial service Britta Gene & family were in MI. While at lunch & deciding the rest of the afternoon activities, the family had decided to get matching tattoos. Like a good sister, Britta Gene leaned over with a spark in her eye & asked, 'wanna get a tattoo?!'

I had been toying around with another tattoo for quite some time & despite what people say, not because they are addicting. For a long time I thought I wanted the Diaconal cross, but was never satisfied with simply that. Then I had been playing around with the idea of the ; (semicolon) tattoos that represent mental health awareness & a reminder to pause, to breath, & take one step at a time. While I didn't have enough time to decide where to add the ; to my already small heart design (by Britta Gene), I may save up to have it added eventually.

The heart tattoo is to honor Grandy. Britta Gene's Grandy was a lovely woman with a heart for others & a wonderful deep belly laugh. I can still hear her laugh when I stop & listen. It was after Grandy's death that Britta Gene started seeing hearts all over her daily ins & outs. This taught many of us to look for heart finds. Just yesterday I saw a heart find in the healing of my skin where I burned myself. Seriously, heart finds EVERYWHERE!

My forever heart find is with Kaia Gene, who taught me a new thing or two about love. The heart artwork is buried with Kaia Gene in her urn vault. My heart tattoo is a touch less glamorous (it doesn't sparkle) & a daily reminder to just love. Love & look for love & be love & do love because love is love is love is love is.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

As the IN August sun set over the farm, I knew in my heart that everything was alright. We had just finished celebrating the memorial service for Kaia Gene. Surrounded by family & friends we acknowledged that there was nothing right or easy about what we were doing, but we know that Kaia Gene has been redeemed and called by God.

This past Friday we buried Kaia Gene next to my cousin Heather. Heather was stillborn 48 years ago and never had been given a memorial where her mother, my aunt, could be present. I shared at the memorial service, for both Kaia and Heather, that there is nothing easy about the stories that surround the death of a child, but that it is easy to honor the memories of these dead children simply by hearing their stories. It is important to provide space in life for us to feel uncomfortable about real life events, such as the death of a child, & to share this space together.

Friday night we shared that space together. That space in which we share life's hardships and uncomfortable places is holy space. Though I was woken up the night after Kaia was born with the verses of Job running through my head, I know just as Job knew, that still we are to give praise to God because we are alive to do so.

Today I give my praise to God for new opportunities, new relationships, and the undying love God continues to show us through God's people & creation. As the IN August sun set over the farm, I knew in my heart, my head, & my very being, that everything was all right.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy August everyone!

I'm honored to be back to guest blog for Juls. The last time I was here it was the dead of fall, my favorite time of year. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that the Virginia heat wave gives us a break sooner rather than later.

My previous post spoke of self care, even amidst busy life seasons. Over the last 6 months I've been growing my professional life but also dedicating time to things I am passionate about on a personal level.

I recently launched This Is Infertility, a way to honor my and my husband's journey through infertility. The stories have flooded in and I'm grateful to have a moment in time to read the voices of others and hear their perspective. While they may be small glimpses into their journey, I'm reminded of the power of dialogue, and storytelling, and hard truths.

"Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable." -David Ausburger

As I go through my days, I try to remember to allow others to be heard. To embrace their truths, their journey, and their hardships. Sometimes that means quietly listening, sometimes it means offering a hug, and even sometimes it means just simply validating their truth with your words.

I find that as I become more intentional in how I listen, others are more willing to open up. And in turn, understanding of the different journeys we experience flourishes.

How can you make sure someone is heard today?

(and therefore loved.)

Oh! And my tea recommendation this week? A classic Earl Grey with a pinch of sugar with a side of a lemon wedge.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Time friends!

The reality is that the month of July has been a very trying month for not only our country, world, but my simple every day life. One never knows how certain dates or anniversaries or random days are going to hit them & the majority of the July days have been unfortunately heavy.

While my heaviness has not been because of infertility, I want y'all to check out my friend's new project through her business of Hampton Roads Doulas at This is Infertility. Because of my health history I was lead to believe I may be infertile & thus the pure surprise of my pregnancy with Kaia Gene. I know this project will benefit hundreds of people. My friend LB is doing amazing work & recently expanded her business across the country to LA at Doulas of Los Angeles.

I pray to put this heaviness to rest with the coming memorial service for our sweet Kaia Gene in another week & a half. I know that this time will pass & lighter days are ahead. And till then I move along one foot in front of the other with my tea in hand.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday teatime friends! I come to you later in the day today because I'm finally able to wrap my mind around all life happenings both personally & in our world a little bit better at this point in the day.

Life continues to be good & challenging.

I could talk about black lives matter, all lives matter, or gun control. I could talk about the death of a child, the children we hope for, or the children without a home. I could talk about politics & the hilarity & sadness of Stephen Colbert's show at the Republican Party convention.

There's so much that today's teatime could focus on it leaves me without words.

Take time to care for your neighbors. Take time to care for each other. Know that there are only visual differences between the colors & the textures & the labels. We are all humans trying to survive. Be nice. Be kind. Be helpful. Be neighborly. Be love. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Time Friends!

We've come to another important milestone in our year. Z and I, and others, remembered our original due date for baby Kaia Gene this past Sunday July 10. July 10 is also our oldest nieces birthday & our a very good friend MBR's birthday. This July 10 we also said goodbye to a youth who will be moving to a new state in the next few days. This July 10 we both went to work & preached the good news in various ways. Z preached as a preacher & I is a Diaconal Minister, serving youth ministry. This July 10 marked a significant milestone in our year even amidst the usual Sunday happenings.

After the usual Sunday lounging we hopped in the car & drove to meet up with good friends for dinner. These friends are not friends that we see very often due to distance, but friends that there's a piece of home in our friendship. LK & I have been friends since our first semester at CAP, nearly 14 years ago. The Spirit led us in similar ways for several years as we both figured we shouldn't stick with our original choice of study at CAP & switched to religious studies. Then beyond CAP we both went on to serve 2 years with YE & that's when RK entered our lives. Let's just say, not only do they have the same last name now, but 2 adorable & energetic little ones (a 3rd on the way) & therefore LK & RK got to know each other much faster & in a different way than RK & I did. They are a delightful couple to have spent part of such a unique day in our year with them.

It was like meeting with a piece of home to have dinner with them. We caught up on life in the here & now & remembered life from long ago. Our connections through college days, Youth Encounter days, all our world travels & calls to ministry keep us connected. These pieces keep us at home with each other. Being we met on our original due date & their third wee one growing (due in November) we connected through hopes for our families & funny stories of the growth of all life. They left, trying to make it back to be with their extended family - all together for an annual family gathering nearby - so that they could help with putting the 7 youngest to bed.

You can't make these pieces of life happen. They just do & for that simple piece, I give thanks. Today's Tuesday Tea Time is dedicated to the milestones & the delightful pieces of life that just are.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hello Tuesday Tea Timers!!!

Happy July! I hope y'all had a great holiday weekend. Even if you found yourself outside the USA, I hope you're enjoying this beautiful time of the year.

This week is a very busy week with the National Cherry Festival going on near by. I give thanks to all who have helped with the parking lot youth ministry fundraiser & look forward to the days of service in our community coming up later this week. We'll be helping Habitat for Humanity one day & participating in an area clean up another day.

While I'm in the throes of summer work busyness, I still take my time for tea on Tuesdays. I love this photo by Britta Gene Art for this month. It makes me want to be relaxing in that chair with a good cup of tea. This rocking chair is buried deep in some of the woods outside my hometown. It's a quiet & peaceful place. It is a lovely place made by lovely people.

Enjoy you're tea time today & if you're as active as me this week, be sure to stop & savor the tea time today & whenever you need it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Timers! It's so great to be with you again this week. I have a confession to start off our today's Tuesday Tea Time. Last week I was at camp & at camp it's not as easy to have morning tea as it is to have morning coffee. Now I will admit that I did not seek out a tea kettle. I guess I was looking for a bit of a change. However, when I had that first tea, at the end of the week, it was so so delicious.

Yes last week I was a coffee drinker, to some degree. The 1st° is that I am in denial & the 2nd° is that I started out with maybe a half a cup of coffee each day, but by the end of the week I was having a full cup of coffee to get my morning going The other piece was I never drink straight black coffee. I always add cream and sugar. Could I ever become a real coffee drinker?Perhaps, but not likely.

Knowing this & admitting this brings a different meaning to the phrase "camp changed me." Camp has changed me, but not just camp, also the Spirits presence in, through, & around my camping experiences in life. Camp is my happy place, camp is where my tribe is, camp is where nature grows wildly & stands out in beautiful new ways. Camp has brought me a week of drinking coffee & camp has brought me a sense of knowing my world a little bit more thoroughly.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday teatime friends! I'm coming to you a few days early sitting on my patio drinking a homemade iced chai. I'll be at camp today, when this is posted. But don't worry, I will enjoy Tuesday Tea Time at camp just as much as I would from home or work or wherever! And don't think that I'm so fancy that it's truly homemade chai. It is Tazo Chai that was on sale at Target, my favorite shop, and mixed with Meijer brand unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

I've had a lot on my mind as I think the whole world has these days. This last week has been unreal in many ways. I learned about the Orlando massacre during the prayers of the people in church on Sunday (6/12) morning. By late Monday morning, I learned about an unexpected death of a close family friend, that also happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning. then I believe it was maybe the next day that on the radio on the way to work that I heard about the little boy who was taken by an alligator at the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World. One piece after another, weirdness and things completely out of our control popped up.

It seems that in the last year I have been reminded of how much is truly out of my control and all the people I know as well. Maybe I just don't know the right people! Kidding! I love the people I do know and in fact I was raised in such a family that I find myself feeling love, philĂ­a or brotherly of course, for people I don't know. The last year of life has been completely about things happening that nobody has any control over. We may point fingers at people or at inanimate object's but the reality is that life happens and sometimes it's hard and other times it's wonderful.

While life goes on, lift your chin, lower your shoulders, plant your feet on the ground & take a deep breath. This is where you are, right now & that is where you are for now. Be where you are, who you are & while it may be messy, know that you are loved right in your spot. You are you, & that is good.

Share this with others who need this love - ahem, everybody! - & know that love is greater than hate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time Friends! It's good to have you here safely, shining like a star with the tutu girl.

In the wake of the Orlando hate crime, I find myself rather speechless. Our gun laws have to change. We have to listen to each other's stories more intently & show respect to each other for the sheer fact that we're all trying to survive this world.

The Gospel lesson I preached on this past weekend was Luke 7:36 - 8:3. The main focus was the faith shared by the strange woman who was in a home where she was not welcomed. The Gospel news of the story is that it is not up to us to choose who is welcome in our world, but it is up to Jesus, our resurrected Lord & Savior. It is ours then to love like the strange woman, no matter who tells us "no," because Jesus tells us "yes."

So love as best you know how. We don't have to understand or see eye to eye, we just have to love.

We weep with those who weep. For Orlando, for Muslims, for LGBTQ, for individual families mourning tragic loss, we weep.

Because we love.

Love in action, being lived out as the verb that it is, will change this world.

In the words of artist Britta Gene, just love.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning & happy Tuesday Tea Time!

Today as we enjoy our morning beverage I introduce you to the Britta Gene Art Tutu Girls. They're some of my favorite work because they have so much character. Their story is shared in poetry & there's always a touch of sparkle.

Their stories aren't always easy & that makes them very real. Their stories are often dream like & that makes them Britta Gene Art. Britta Gene just had her first art fair of the season last weekend & has a show at the Ft. Wayne airport in July, followed by another art fair.

Summer is a fun time for new opportunities. There's new teas & new festivals & new sunsets & new trails to be hiked. Hop on over to Britta Gene Art & contact her about her new pieces today!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time!

I'm here with many thanks today after a celebratory weekend filled with birthday shenanigans. Growing up birthdays were always made fun for a few reasons. One reason was it was always the start of summer & another was that it always meant good food shared with family & friends. Of course it's always fun to be gifted too. And there was always somebody else with a birthday within days of mine to celebrate too, such as my friends KPK, HG, & 3MD!

Over the years I've had some memorable birthdays. For years my birthday meant my Mammaw would make me whatever kind of pie I wanted. Generally I chose cherry. I was 'kidnapped' more than once by friends & surprised once in Hong Kong. The HK surprise was pulled off so well because I was actually returning to the states a few weeks before my actual birthday, but my friends wanted to celebrate with a cook-out in the park. My birthday has always been an excuse for adventure of new life pieces.

This year we went on a hike, enjoyed a Starbucks treat, took part in the monthly pancake breakfast at our apartment complex, saw Alice in Wonderland: through the looking glass in IMAX 3D (it was excellent), then had dinner at Patisserie Amie. That was all the day before my actual birthday! My actual birthday was filled with a wonderful Sunday morning at work, a quiet afternoon, & a graduation party in the evening. 

The biggest surprise this year was when my children's message got hijacked in the best way possible. My message was highlighting church camp & I had just mentioned camp fire songs when I was told they had a song for me. Before I knew how to respond, the entire congregation was singing 'Happy Birthday' to me. I was blown away in the best way possible. Not only did they sound good, they weren't even prompted to do such a thing & it is quite powerful being sung to by roughly 100+ people.

So today as I enjoy my Kombucha Tea (he picked up the right kind this year!), I am thankful for the fun & the memories & the many well wishes from around the world. This year is bound to be a little better & healthier than the last. Farewell to a beautiful Lusty Month of May!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Time friends!

It's good to be with you today. Last week I could not find the words or energy or focus to join y'all. It was a touch of adventure just to get my own cup of tea to truly begin my day & that happened 2 hours into my morning.

Last week my mind was wondering about the two Amber Alerts on my phone in less than a week. Both babies were found, but what really bothers me is that these alerts have to be sent out ever. Warmer weather does not equal the right to kidnap or steal or give away children or humans of any age.

More recently, in just the past few days I have heard stories of the loss of children in two different ways. No matter the ways in which a child leaves this world, the hard reality is that it is beyond our control. Like the case of the one Amber Alert, we may mess up & make the wrong decision (to leave a child unattended), but more often than not it is not an action of our own. The questions that arise from these instances most often go unanswered.

What brings solace, is the witness of baptism & new life that defies this reality of death. When we acknowledge our lack of power in death, we make room for God's greatness to shine through with the promise of everlasting light. Thanks be to Christ!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time!

Today in the lusty month of May (have you listened to the wonderful Julie Andrews sing this yet?) we celebrate all the mothers of our lives. Yes, this is in lieu of the observed Mother's Day this past Sunday (in the USA & Germany at least). This was my first Mother's Day as a mom to baby Kaia & my furbaby MG. As women are becoming more empowered to talk about, & act against, the challenges of being a women, with or without children, & the adventures that bring us to our different identities of motherhood, I stand firm in that all who identify as a female have the ability to claim 'mother' as a piece in their life roles.

I shared an article titled 'When You're Not a mom on Mothers Day,' on Facebook the other day, taking no time to write any of my own thoughts or reflections on the article. Throughout the day the article received many comments of people reassuring me of my motherhood & sharing their care for me/women who would still be pregnant if that mysterious day didn't happen as it did 8 weeks ago. The love that continues to be shared is wonderfully overwhelming.

I am a mom. I've been a mom for years, but in a different way. I took care of my cousins children when they were little ones. I even taught the twins to tie their shoes! The twins are now finishing their first year of high school. I was a camp counselor, day camp director, Spoke Folk leader, baby sitter, youth director, pet sitter, & many other roles that taught me to be motherly. 

I was never phased much when that one random doctor told me I may never bear children back in the mid 1990s. I honestly just figured if that was true I'd adopt if having my own children was ever part of my calling. I knew that I'd never know what it felt like to be a mom until I had the chance to feel like that. And as I've mentioned, I've had many experiences to feel motherly about, but of course none of that compares to holding my sweet Kaia Gene against my chest while she breathed life for those 93 minutes she had with us (on Pi Day).

I am a mom, madre, mother, mommy, mama. I am beyond thankful for all the moms that have helped me learn how to be motherly. And I am thankful to all the moms who entrusted me with their children & gave me the time to grow as a mothering being. Mother's Day was different this year, but that's alright. 

Happy Mothers Day today, the other day, & every day to all the mothering type of people.

And if you still have a spot of tea left, or need a refill, hop on over to Stumbling into Faith for a read on Mother's Day in 2016 written by my dear friend MBR. A "new mom" herself, she reflects on the brokenness of Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's the first Tuesday Tea Time in the lusty month of May!

May is my favorite month! It is a month of continuous warming weather that brings Spring buds to bloom & a month of many celebrations. It is May, the lusty month of May!

A huge thank you to my friend TS for editing & posting last week's Tuesday Tea Time. You know you've got good people in your life when you text them (yes both TS & AS) at 7am their time, simply to ask for help getting your blog posted, & they willingly jump on board with not a peep about the time difference between your location & their's. I'm sure it was a delightful way to potentially be woken up to on a Monday morning!

This week marks 7 weeks already gone by since baby Kaia Gene graced us with her presence. Every Monday I remember the Monday morning she was born & give thanks for her life, my life, Z's life, & Easter. I then take a deep breath and move on into my day. 

Last Monday I was attending a work related retreat & while it is a bit of a retreat, it is also work related & therefore of course there was a guest speaker. This year's speaker was Dr. Ben Stewart of LSTC & he shared his passions regarding creation care & natural burials. It really is fascinating work for the church & world, but all I could think while he was speaking was 'shit! My daughter is in a pearl urn.' There's nothing natural about a pearl urn or the reality that Z & I had to make the decisions we did about our daughter's life. Many parents can relate on a variety of levels to this unfair, but real & natural piece of life.

While life can be unfair at times, there is plenty of life to celebrate. And that is just what we do in this lusty month of May, we celebrate!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Grab your drink & a comfy seat, and together we'll enjoy our Tuesday Tea Time!

Together, we'll smile at the unpredictable Spring weather & hold tight in the comfort of a warm mug in our grips. Some say tea is a hug in a cup.

Together, we'll share highs & lows & ins & outs of life as of late.

Together, we'll be, you & me, with our mug of tea, warm in our souls.

Together, there'll be tea, for you & me.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Timers!

Northern MI has finally been kissed with a touch of true Spring weather. It's amazing the buzz of energy this brings to everybody & everything. We're eager to celebrate the warm weather & all that it brings. We've already been enjoying the usual Spring cleaning pieces of switching out our wardrobes, sweeping out the garage, putting the cushions on the patio furniture, & taking longer walks with the furbaby.

Over the past several weeks one of the biggest blessings has been people sharing their stories of life with me. The stories have spanned the ages, years, & topics. They have all been raw with life & spirit, & the sharing created sparkle.

For decades it's been taboo to talk about the loss of a baby (at any stage), mental health complications, & much of life. We seem to make these taboo pieces taboo simply by not sharing our stories around them. The reality is though, even if our stories are that we don't have words to tell our stories, that is our story. There are great stories told in the silence & sighs of life, as well as in the the screams & exclamations.

My story, in just the last year or so, has been greatly impacted by the realities of a loved one living with mental health complications that have rocked our world. And if you've been following tea times recently, you know that last month I delivered our first baby extremely prematurely resulting in her death & the loss of a piece of our hearts. We are a living taboo & our stories are one in a million.

Thank you to all for sharing the deep, below the surface realities of life with me. We learn how to react & care for one another in the taboos of life, when we live through these moments together. Living through these moments with y'all near & far is a blessed time of sharing our hearts with one another.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

 Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

What a wild ride of life over the past month, to say the least. Many of you have joined in the abundance of tea consuming & good life discussions that can do nothing other than deepen relationships. Thank you for being part of community. As my friend, colleague, & mentor Dr. Terri Elton, has said about me, I thrive on community. Being part of a community that works to exist for the sake of each other is key to many a persons, if not all, well being.

For now our space for Kaia is complete. In its current state, 1 month after her birth & death, it has almost the most decor it will have. Providing friends come forward with art they wanted to make for baby Kaia, those pieces will be added to her memory space. In a few months we'll bury her ashes, and in due time her future siblings will be gifted the use & play of the books, blankets, & Beatrix Potter stuffed animals. The pieces that will always be a part of her space in our home will be her name blocks, framed foot print piece, a glass cross from the funeral home, a ceramic angel from her Papau's pharmacy co-workers, a few knit pieces, and a gifted piece of art or two.

The pieces have come together for today. Our baby Kaia rests peacefully in our hearts & more literally in the heavens around us with God who holds us all together (despite our attempts to break apart) & even more literally in her small pearl urn on the cedar chest in our room. We drink our tea & move along one day at a time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello tea time friends. Have you ever had the experience of watching something on tv & then watching it come to life right in front of you? We all know the things we watch on tv are based from someone's (or perhaps many a someones) real life story (& the pieces of many stories). It's not often we actually believe our lives could become a piece of such story telling.

So much life has happened in the last year that not only have we joked about a movie or a book, but others have even suggested it. While we choose to acknowledge the hardships, celebrate the joys, & continue into the tomorrows, it's hard to imagine our crazy wonderful challenges as captivating for an actual media story. We've been friends since the Fall of 2009, a couple since the beginning of 2010, & JZ since Summer 2011. 2015 was a year of one scary life piece after another (ya know, mental health diagnosis, a few change of jobs, multiple moves, glamping & a trip to Japan) & then, just when we didn't think more excitement could be had in a year, we found out we were pregnant.

2016 is a new adventure with names to many of the wild life challenges, but yet much of the pieces leave us wondering. The wonderful pieces leave us to dream. And pieces of those dreams will become reality & we'll have new unnamed pieces that send us into further wonderings. The named pieces will give us the grounding we need to move forward one day at a time, piece by piece. And so we go with the courage to be (& simply be) & Life, Spirit, Sparkle as our guide.

For a glimpse of what we watched the night before Kaia was born & in our recovering days since, check out PBS/BBC Call The Midwife.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

I'm 2 weeks into not being pregnant any longer. This is still a weird reality. The first week after Kaia's birth & death was somewhat of an out of body experience for Z & I.

We are by no means the first or the last to have loved & to have lost a child in this way. And while every fiber of our being knows, believes, & trusts fully that Kaia is in the arms of God, it does not make us want her in our arms any less.

Our Spirit gifted faith & celebration of Easter helps carry us through each day into the next. Some times life starts to blur so quickly from one big event to the next, that it takes something to jolt us to a stop & focus on our breathes.

Kaia Gene's life & death jolted us to this stop. It's not how we wanted to be forced to stop, but most likely nothing would have been ideal if it was so big & disrupting to our very cores to make us stop.

Breathe, just breathe. That is what I've been doing to get me through these times. I've been focusing on my breaths. Especially the importance of deep breathing. And with each breath I take the time to give thanks for that breath, for the moment, & for the life that I still have here on earth. We are granted new perspectives in these life events that jolt us to a stop.

Reminded of how precious our time with loved ones is, we plan for the future, one step at a time. And let's be honest, we plan for the future one sip of tea after another, after another, after another, at a time.

Today I'm getting lost in my Tuesday Tea. Thanks for sharing the time!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Snippets: One Word 365 ~ CREATE

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Easter Sunday is my favorite holiday. It is the story of resurrection & salvation that the world needs. It is the story of resurrection & salvation that I & my family need.

Death has been heavy as of late.

Monday, March 14 I was woken up with what turned out to be labor pains. At 9:33am Kaia Gene came into the world at only 23 weeks & 1 day old. I knew on the way to the hospital that it was not my sweet girl's time to show herself just yet. My womb dancer not only came breech naturally, she then succeeded to share life with us for a full 90min. This was just enough time to have her be baptized by myself & Z & leave her little 1lb 3.6oz print on my chest where she rested & on Z's arms. Our hearts had pieces stolen that day, but Kaia Gene deserved all the heart we could give her & more.

Wednesday, March 23 we woke up to a phone call from MN. We knew it was to say Z's dad had joined Kaia & many other saints gone before in heaven. We had been grieving this pending death for the better part of the past month. Cancer had reared its ugly head in February & the prognosis was never favorable. Z's final conversation with his dad was about shamrock shakes on St. Pattys day & dad got so excited about having his own shamrock shake, he hung up on Z! While we knew this phone call was coming, the real truth of his death doesn't quite seem real. It has brought a new quiet to the family.

Thursday, March 24 in conversation with my mom, she says, 'Oh yeah, today's the day for Zoey.' This meant that Zoey, the family dog of 12.5 years & my 'replacement' after leaving for college, was finally being put to rest. This was another expected phone call & awaited death. Zoey lived a good long life for being 50% Rottweiler. She is missed & has left her mark of drool even on Z's & my couch.

So what do you do when life stings at you repeatedly?

While we've had our days of weeping & pajama wearing all day long, we've continuously leaned into scripture, each other, prayer, & those who have been doing what they can to make sure we're eating & showering & other daily ins & outs.

We've found focus in the ways we've been forced to grow. Dad Nelson was 64 years old & his cancer has caused us a health awareness in the foods that we do & do not eat. Zoey was 50% Rottweiler & outlived her life expectancy by roughly 3 years. She was a big ol' loving puppy till her last breath. We all want to love & be loved like that. And baby Kaia, our much anticipated first child, taught us about strength. We never thought pregnancy was possible for us. Then Kaia came so fast, so early that I wasn't given any meds or even an I.V. Giving natural birth to a baby that hasn't even the chance to turn just yet (she was breech) without meds in 2016, is pretty phenomenal in my book.

We are beyond thankful for the prayers & words of support from people in all parts of life. The pieces all come together when you need them the most. We are thankful for the care packages, the engraved jewelry with Kaia's name, the scarf that each material was picked with purpose, and the phone calls. We love our communities & ask that you keep checking in & sending your support.

What we are most thankful for is the resurrection of Jesus that creates all of this life's purpose. It is through the ways that people have cared for us that we see Jesus' resurrected. It is through this resurrection that death is silenced & our family gone, from this world, have eternal life.

The tomb is empty! The dead has been raised! Alleluia! Praise be to God!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Kaia Gene
March 14, 2016 9:33a - 11:07a

Beautiful & pure new life
You graced us
With your tiny breathes
Your long feet
Your potential height
Your daddy's nose
Baptized with ice cold water
Holy in the moment 
& the Word of God
The Spirit present
May you dance
& dance
With the saints
Gone before
Always loved

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time!

In the last week I have been processing one significant life change. While it has nothing to do with baby Frieda, of course it makes me wonder about her future.

Last week Youth Encounter (YE) announced their closing. This was not a huge surprise, but just as a beloved spot such as camp is hard to let go of, so is an organization that provided those spots all over the world.

I grew up with YE ministries. I learned about church, love, friendship, adventure, missions, & following a Spirit led call through my experiences. I went to my first youth quake in the fifth grade & was hooked by the Spirit. I then attended my first Congress turned Construction Zone (aka Zone) as a 9th grader & when I went off to college I volunteered at all the events nearby that I could. It was only natural to apply for a year of volunteer ministry to follow my college graduation. And when you survived nearly a full year of living in intentional community, why not apply for a second year?!

And we can't forget being introduced to great opportunities such as Side by Side (SxS) Global Missions & Spoke Folk (SF). I signed up for SxS in September 2001. I told my parents I was going to Kenya in 2002 & that'd I'd be 18, so they couldn't tell me no. Possibly not the best approach, but it's what was done. So when I returned from a month of travels to & from Kenya, I blindly signed up for SF. It took one SF tour to have me hooked. I was always trying to recruit others to do SF with me. In fact some of my CAP fam couldn't believe when I said I hadn't toured in a year or more.

Now it's been 14yrs since SxS, 8yrs since SF, 8yrs since Mosaic, & 7yrs since New Dawn. After finishing my year with New Dawn in Fall '09 I started seminary & started a new phase of life. Time slipped by & I have volunteered & worked temp jobs for YE as I was offered & able. In fact I was working for YE right before my current call.

Saturday night I attended my last piece of a YE event. I saw friends I hadn't seen in years & trust the Spirit will bring us together again. I was hit by all these pieces of ministry that have helped get me to where I am today. Then I was hit by the fact that it was my first & last chance to share YE, in that way, with baby Frieda. Frieda will no doubt have her own story, but she will also have one of the largest extended families one could imagine. No matter where I go, there are connections of friends who pick up right where we are & I trust they will offer that same YE family welcome to baby Frieda as she builds her own adventure.

Thank you YE for being such a powerful presence for the church over the last 51 years. I'm beyond blessed to have known your ministry & to take it with me through the years to come.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time!

Today I come to you 3.5 teas in for the day. One to start the day, 0.5 in my Arnold Palmer at lunch, & a 2 bag oops to end the day. If decaf drinks aren't truly 100% caffeine free, what does it mean when you accidentally (or purposely) use 2 tea bags instead of 1?!

That's life though, filled with surprise of all sorts! I was multitasking & went to remove my tea bag to find & remove two tea bags. Double the plum green tea! 

After the last week of family matters, crazy travels, work, & the health of both my dad & Z's dad & our growing families (we have a new niece!) this 2 tea bag at once crazy seems pretty normal. All these pieces of life plus gray late winter weather & continual snow fall & the whole pregnancy piece have me wiped out!

To pick myself up I drink more tea & water, but really it's all about pace & balance. I think I've written before about not feeling guilty when Tuesday Tea Time happens late, so today toss your self inflicted guilt aside & enjoy an evening tea. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Timers!

Today we come to you with the fun news that baby Nelson can now be referred to as Frieda! Disclaimer, Frieda will not be her name, but it's a fun nickname till she's born. That's right, we're having a girl!

We truly had ourselves convinced that it was a Jimminy, but only based off of logic that wasn't all that logical. And yes, Jimminy is another baby nickname we use, inspired by Friends.

While many a person has said 'oh th pink you will have!' It strikes me as rather presuming. There is so much about our baby girl that she will decide & that may even mean someday she becomes a he. Yes, I know that's radical, but let's stop shoving the societal expectations in our baby's faces before they're born!

Don't get me wrong, my favorite color is purple. I also really like dark pink, greens, blues, oranges, yellows. What a second, I think I like the whole rainbow & then some!

I expect my baby will learn to love the rainbow of her world just as well. And we love her & her rainbow too. No matter what.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time is here again!

Lately I've been drinking a lot of tea in lieu of the bitter colder than articles that catch  weather & the cough I can't seem to kick to the curb. It warms the soul & the throat.

I finally read that one Still Steeping article I've been saving for weeks, if not a few months now about why tea is a religion & coffee isn't. Anybody else do that with articles that catch their attention but aren't pertinent to their day to day life? I'm certain I'm not alone.

So why is tea a religion & coffe isn't? I urge you to read the article, but here's my takeaways. Coffee brewers are always trying new things (also good for religions) & tea is highly based on traditions (& so are many a religion. This was the catch for me bc I appreciate tradition, but it's important to make new (try new) tradition.

Like I said, read the article, but know that by being part of Tuesday Tea Times, you are participating in the religion of tea & we are part of an ancient world of traditions that build a beautiful community of tea love.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

  Hello Tuesday Tea Time followers!

After a few days away in sunny southern CA, I am adjusting back to the February chill in pure MI. 

The last week has been another incredible experience at my 4th ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza. I connected with friends from my past, strengthened relationships that were still fairly new before the trip, & made many new connections. It is a privilege to be part of such a wonderful group of leaders from across the country that work in a large variety of ways for the sake of God's love being shared with children, youth, young adults, & adult ministry. 

This event is a time of Spiritual & Relational Renewal. It is a time to be in community, continuing my education around topics that are important to my personal context (there's something for every context) in ministry. You can't ask for much better continuing education than that, if you ask me! 

I took part in conversations around the event's theme of Wonder regarding the rite of confirmation, self care, gender knowledge & appropriate respectful language, mental health realities in ministry leadership, & community college campus ministry. That is only to name a few of course. The few days of the "E" are so jam packed with two to three & sometimes four things or more to choose from attending at any given time. The speakers are profound, vulnerable, beautiful people that know how to share life, God, & laughter. There was even a magician who taught us all a "simple" trick that I couldn't do again when I went to show Z!

Seminary professors, synod staff, bishops, rostered leaders, college faculty & staff, plus a slew of other people acknowledge this event as the one event for those of us who work in children, youth, & family ministries to attend each year. It is a time to reflect on your personal leadership & expand your knowledge & renew your spirit.

I'm already looking forward to #ext17 in Louisville, KY. Hope to see many of you there! For one more thing to check out, check out OMG Center for a great place to wonder about God & life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Timers!

So much excitement in the air this week! Over 600 leaders of youth ministry are headed to the annual ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza this year in CA. It's February & a leap year. And Britta Gene Art has given their website a facelift that looks fabulous!

So this week you have three simple tasks.

First, if you're not a user or follower of hashtags, figure them out. And if you are new to hashtags or well seasoned in their creation, follow & join in the conversations from #ext16 to join in with the Extravaganza wherever you are!

Second, enjoy this unique quirky short leap year month & be sure to celebrate all of the babies who were or will be born on the 29th. Hats off to you leap year babies!

And check out Britta Gene Art at http://www.brittagene.com to top off the excitement of February. If you're feeling the excitement contact Britta Gene about purchasing a piece of her work for your Valentine, even if that Valentine is yourself!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Good morning Tuesday Tea Time!

While sipping a thermos full of sweet plum green tea the other day, sitting by a fire, in a very busy ski lodge, I couldn't help but think about the water I had used to make my tea earlier that day.

If you haven't heard, there's a water crisis. Sure this has been a global issue for years, decades of fen, but most recently it's come close to home in Flint, MI. It seems rather timely & Sprit lead that one of the big movements with this last Summer's ELCA Youth Gathering was the 'Walk for Water' challenge.

Daily, around the world, there are hundreds of thousands of people that walk miles upon miles to get clean water. At the gathering there was a simulation that youth & adults could get an idea about what it's like to walk the miles with not just the empty containers, but the very heavy filled containers. Cool, right?

The question now is how can we help raise not simply awareness to our communities & government, but to help the people of Flint in their need? This is such a desperate need that it will take years to fix. And sadly some of the fall out of Flint's lead heavy, aged rusty pipes, & who knows what else, filled water has cost some people their lives. The city knew about this problem for some time before calling for help, which doesn't help the public frustration with it all.

If you'd like to help support the people of Flint through water filters that filter out all the yuck, or through funds to go to local churches who want to be safe water locations, but now need to have all their internal piping redone, please visit this link to learn how to help. And to cover our bases, write a note to MI government.

Change must happen internally so it can be shared externally. We can make a difference & we need to make a difference. So let the water flow & the tea be pure.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hello Tuesday Tea Time!

This week I get to share our exciting, yet surprising even to us, news of our expecting baby Nelson early this coming summer!

As one friend joked, 'that's what happens when ya have too much downtime!' 

We have been so on the go since we found out though it's hard to see straight some days! 

Now my collection of caffeine free tea comes in extra handy. Not to mention the inches of snow we've had lately that make a nice cup of hot tea extra nice at any point in the day, making good use of my tea collection. 

Surprise doesn't even quite wrap this experience up for us, but it's the best surprise we could've asked for to end an incredibly chaotic weird year. So today raise your cup to baby Nelson & ridiculous amazing God blessed surprises!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's Tuesday Tea Time & Hot Tea month!

Hot tea always helps me to slow down, even if only for a moment. Many mornings I don't take my first sip of my hot tea till I'm on my way to work & some days not till I've gotten into my office & set things down. While I have no problem, especially as a young adult, fully living into the fast paced world that is 2016, I find it often stressful & anxiety provoking to stay in this fast pace 24/7.

Thankfully hot tea & snowy roads slow me down. In fact in lieu of this past weekends snow storm, I found it quite enjoyable driving slowly to work & sipping my tea. Now if only I were as skilled as the British Police in the Minions movie & could pour myself a nice tea cup full of tea from a pretty tea pot, while driving down the road!

This week while you speed through each day, stop for a half a day or more & let the day speed by you. Enjoy a hot cup of tea & breath deep, celebrating yourself right where you are.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Tea Time! One Word 365!

Art By Britta Gene Art

Happy New Year! It's that time again for a new One Word 365. In 2015 my word was heart, to remind me to live with my heart out for the world. To live with my heart open to vulnerability to build community to live a life of Spirit led hospitality with the Sparkle of day to day happenings.

This year, after some playing around with words & a prayer or two, my word is 'create.' I chose create, or it chose me, so as to focus on creating space, time, & overall Life Spirit Sparkle. Space for God to be the light that has overcome all darkness, time for myself & others, and to live more fully a life led by the Spirit & filled with Sparkle.

The choosing one word instead of a big ol' resolution has become a trend, but a pretty great one in my story. As I've been reading about more & more friends, colleagues, & groups choosing one word, I'm inspired by the ways others are using their one word. Some are using it for a focus in their continuing education, others as a way to think up, in, & out, & others so they don't have to live through another big resolution gone awry & never finished.

I encourage you to live by one word that helps you be a better version of who you want to be & who you are. Choose a word that makes you smile & gives a skip in your step & a light challenge in your day - only light bc some days are challenge enough.

Share your word in the comments!