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Mindless Wanderings

Capturing the small moments in a full life

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Being Lutheran

Fall/Winter Highlights from Yours Truly

SEPTEMBER

After I don’t know how many years of volunteering at and putting up with the traffic of Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Mark and I finally got wise.  Well, not really. It just so happened that Glen Hansard was making an appearance in Tulsa the same weekend – so we accidentally and happily escaped.  Glen Hansard is, hands down, the BEST live show I’ve ever seen and I would (and hopefully WILL!) go again and again and again. If you’re not familiar with him, do yourself a favor and watch Once on Netflix, follow him on Spotify, and watch everything – especially THIS – of his on YouTube.   He’s my favorite. By.A.Mile.

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We made a weekend of it and I was pretty stoked to go to the ACTUAL Curtis House from my favorite movie, The Outsiders. They’re raising funds to convert it into a museum. I WILL be back.  outsiders

OCTOBER

A road trip with AMAZING friends to see Lutheran “S-hero” and author of Patrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint and Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, Nadia Bolz-Weber.  Said road trip included lots of laughs and bonding over frequent potty stops (#bladdergrils), and several Uber experiences. We also took advantage of photo ops, enjoyed a fantastically fortunate dining experience at The Drop, and a less than fortunate recommendation for a local watering hole.  We ended the weekend with a gorgeous afternoon of shopping at The Plaza and lunch on the patio at  McCormick’s and Schmick’s. girls-trip-collage

NOVEMBER

Two kids home from college, plus Collin, made for a very happy Thanksgiving for me!  There’s nothing I love more than having all my chickies at home and cooking for them and feeding them.  Ethan introduced us to Cards Against Humanity (not my finest parenting moment) and we had a family game night plus chislic before Grace and Collin headed back to Jonesboro.  Honestly, the fact that they stayed late specifically FOR game night was the highlight of my holiday.thankskgiving-girls

On November 30th Mark and I spent 5 hours on the road (down and back to Conway) with mom and dad to see Ethan for 20 minutes on the stage in a one-ace play at UCA titled “The Decision.”  It was incredible and Mark and I are still, both, BEAMING with pride.

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DECEMBERdec-3

We turned our annual #Brewtheran Beervent party into a fundraiser for the ministries at our church and it exceeded all of my hopes and expectations. My good friend Sherilyn transformed our fellowship hall into a warm and cozy space reminiscent of a chalet. Our praise band musicians set the mood with their amazing talents, and Alan Gann provided several tasty home brews. My heart is FULL!

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Book Review: Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: It’s written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, my Lutheran “sheroe.” Listen to her interview on NPR. Book Review: Accidental Saints, Nadia Bolz-Weber

Details/Topics: What if that person you’ve been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today? And what if that’s the point? (I took this directly from the synopsis on GoodReads)

Favorite Quotes:  I could go on and on and quote the whole book (I basically highlighted every other sentence), but this really sums it up for me:

“And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it’s real it means we don’t “deserve” it. … And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.”

Day 12. Voyage.

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I embarked on a new voyage. Adult faith formation at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Destination: affirmation of baptism at the Easter Village. I am sponsoring an old friend and a fellow sister in Christ.

Day 4. Reflection. #AllThingsNew14

Although we attended school together every day from 4th through 12th grade – our friendship began, was nurtured, and grew in church.

We met in 3rd grade Sunday School. Then spent countless Saturdays practicing “Down by the Creek Bank,” a musical performance which included about 20 kids in grades 4, 5 and 6. Our show was so well received by our congregation that we were invited to perform it at a number of churches in the area. Together we attended Wednesday evening and Saturday morning confirmation classes through 6th, 7th (and maybe even 8th?) grade. (I’m going to go out on a limb and say a “self-paced” confirmation class isn’t the most efficient way to go!)

As we entered high school, our church youth group provided more opportunities to make memories. Together we experienced New York City, Washington DC and Niagara Falls, (not to mention 3,000+ miles riding in the back of a bus). During that 17-day trip along the East coast, we were the two rebellious girls who broke curfew (and the “no girls in the boys’ room” rule) and wound up sleeping on the floor of our chaperones’ hotel room for the next several nights.

When my family moved from South Dakota to Arkansas in the middle of my senior year, she was there to see me off at the airport. As we said our “see you laters” (because, we vowed, this WASN’T goodbye!) and I prepared to board the plane, she handed me a small gift. I was already teary-eyed as I settled into my seat and buckled up, But when I opened that gift, the flood gates opened. LaDawn had given me a a Precious Moments figurine of a rhinoceros with a tiny bird perched near his rear end. The piece was called “Friends ’til the End.” That was 25 years ago.

As I adjusted to my new surroundings in Arkansas, LaDawn was my loyal pen-pal. She had a full life back home with a steady boyfriend, a starting position on the varsity volleyball team, and all the other activities and festivities that come with your senior year of high school. But she made the time to write to me, to keep me up-to-date on all the high school happenings, and to keep me company.

Our friendship has spanned 600 miles and countless milestones: graduating college, planning our weddings, navigating the tricky waters of newly married life, infertility issues, pregnancy, and eventually motherhood. She and Jared were our only choice to be Gracie’s Godparents. We were honored when, a few years later, they asked us to play the same role for their first child Jonah.

Today, as Mark and I were cleaning out old papers and organizing photos and keepsakes, I re-read most of the letters LaDawn has sent me over the past 25 years. As I read, I reflected back on our 33 year friendship which has been firmly rooted in our shared faith. I simply have no words to describe what our friendship means to me. But I can’t help but think of this phrase: “Friends are the family you choose for yourself.”

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Day 19. Patience. #RethinkChristmas

In a Norwegian household, making lefse is a Christmas tradition. But it requires patience because it is a 2 day process. Today, our potatoes are riced. Tomorrow, we make Lefse!

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Day 12. Hope. #RethinkChristmas.

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Day 11. Steadfast. #RethinkChristmas

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Give thanks to The Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Day 10. Holy. #RethinkChristmas

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And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah 6:3

Day 8. Wisdom. #RethinkChristmas


“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

James 3:17

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