Monday, April 13, 2015

The Last 30 Days

On the one hand, I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted anything on the blog.  On the other, I shouldn't at all be surprised given what the last month has entailed.  That's how it is during the Lent and Holy Week season in any congregation, and then everything is just a bit amplified in a congregation of 2,500+ members and as a working mom.

For me, one of the biggest dances to learn in life is getting the day-to-day stuff done while also looking ahead and planning/visioning for the future.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm not sure my brain can handle it all, and figuring out dinner to boot!  And since there is always more laundry to do and work projects on the horizon, sometimes it's good to actually take a moment to remember what I have done.  So here's a quick snapshot of what my family and I have been up to the last 30 days:

*We finished up our Lent series Finding the Light in the Dark, during which we explored where God is in the midst of some of the darker times in life.  Some of our themes were Finding Our Way through Illness, Finding our Way through Broken Relationships, and Discovering our Vocation/Purpose.  It turned out to be a great series, but it was also pretty heavy stuff to wrestle with in regards to sermon preparation.

*We had our first ever (that I know of) family retreat for families in our congregation out at Luther Crest Bible Camp.  Luther Crest is an absolute gem, and it was so great being together with other families from church soaking up family time and slowing down for a bit.  I have a great of parents on our Family Ministry Team that helped make the retreat as great as it was, and all the hard work put in ahead of time was well-worth it.

*We had an awesome Holy Week in our congregation-- from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday that includes 13 worship services, and one of those is a special Children's Good Friday Worship that I love doing.  Though it takes quite a bit of time and energy to put together, it is so worth it.  The focus of the worship service is on telling the story of Jesus' life--birth through the cross.  It's full of songs we all like to sing, and I get to talk to the kids about how because of Jesus' resurrection, we don't have to be afraid of anything-- even death-- because we know that God loves us and is with us always.

*I've completely revamped my diet.  And by diet I don't mean the way I try to lose weight but the food I eat on a daily basis.  Living with diabetes for nearly 30 years has meant that I'm always pretty aware of what I eat and have to pay attention to how it affects my body, but in the last few months I've had some medical issues that have led to a whole new way of eating.  I have cut out dairy, wheat, white sugar (though I did make an exception for an amazing dairy-free cheesecake a friend made for my birthday).  Granted, I've been doing this for longer than 30 days, but it still feels like a "new" way of being.

I haven't made these changes in order to lose weight, and my motivation has not been to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, but rather to avoid doubling over from pain and other side effects.  I have been feeling better than I have in the last year and am so grateful that I got connected with a doc and treatment that work.  I'm delighted by each new crock pot recipe I find that my whole family enjoys and love the peanut butter/coconut/oatmeal balls that just might be my new favorite snack.

*Four members of my family had a birthday, including me.  We had a such a great time celebrating my dad's birthday in Winona and I had a fantastic and wonderfully memorable birthday myself.

*I've read some great books.  Reading continues to be my number one way to unwind at the end of the day, and I just love having a book to sit down with that has well-developed characters and that makes me reflect on life, relationships, and what's most important.  A few of the latest ones I've finished are: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Levin, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber.

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