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More than Horses

muttin bustingYou don’t know what you are missing!

This week here in Miles City, Montana is our annual Bucking Horse Sale! This weekend horses will be sold at auction and people from around the country and beyond will gather to buy and participate in the festivities.

It has been just about four years since my relationship with Miles City, Montana began.  It started with a conference call and quickly progressed to on site visits and eventually our family relocating to Miles City in October of that year.




Throughout the entire process of getting to know the community and congregation, the Bucking Horse Sale was a highlight.  When we arrived in town in October there was almost an entire year before the next Bucking Horse Sale in May.  Yet throughout our first months here the Bucking Horse Sale was still a major topic of conversation— church members telling us to mark our calendars, people around town make sure to tell us not to miss it.throughout

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Our Stories are God’s Stories

talking

What languages do you speak? Now I am not talking about literal languages like Spanish or French.  Let me tell you what I am talking about.

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  It is a day in the Church year when we celebrate the Holy Spirit working through ordinary followers of Jesus in order to reach beyond themselves to people who have never heard God’s story.  In reading the Biblical narrative, Pentecost seems to be a turning point from when the early leaders of Jesus’ followers went from being focused on self preservation and ministering to the group internally, to reaching out to the multitudes of people who were unable to experience Jesus in the flesh.  They started telling God’s story to those who hadn’t heard it before and the results were astounding.  In Acts 1 there is reference to the group of Jesus’ followers being around 150.  At the end of Acts 2 it says that there were 3000 converts that day— that is a 2000% increase in one day!  The account in Acts 2 says that the followers were gathered in a room and while gathered the Holy Spirit came and infused them.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit they were given the ability to speak in other languages that they had not previously known and they left the room they were gathered in and began to tell the story of God in the street in the native tongues of those that they met.




So what language do you speak?

I speak the language of moms, wives, pastors, christians trying to make sense of this often overwhelming world.  I speak the langue of people who have known love.  I speak the language of women who have miscarried.  I speak the language of people who have tried valiantly and failed, of people who have known confusion, of people who maintain hope.

Continue reading “Our Stories are God’s Stories”

Broadening the View- Weekend Inspiration

Ahhh, the weekends aren’t what they once were… Sleeping in until 11am in a thing of the past in my home.  Lazing around the house in pajamas and marathon watching movies is no longer a reality with three boys underfoot.  While I love the chaos and excitement of the weekend and the adventures that often accompany it, stepping back enough to see the bigger picture of life often doesn’t happen. Parents aren’t the only ones struggling to reclaim the weekend.  It is so easy to fill our time with commitment after commitment that keeps us running without time to reflect or step back.

Let’s be honest, it isn’t just a weekend problem.  The reality is that the routines of life keep us moving at a break neck speed through days, weeks, months, and years.  The well known saying of “you can’t see the forest for the trees” might as well be “you can’t see life’s blessings through through the traffic, the yard work, the laundry lists….” Our focus is set so intently on the tasks we must do that we are unable to notice what God is doing in our midst.

My hope with these weekly posts of “broadening the view” is that by hearing the voices of others we will step back a little from the chaos and recognize the gifts.  There are all sorts of downsides to social media, but one beautiful gift is that we have access to the voices of so many inspiring individuals.




So as you proceed through the whirlwind of the weekend, I hope you will find time to step back a little by listening, reflecting, and appreciating the gift of the voices below.  Happy Weekend to you!

This week’s focus continues on the idea of embarking on change and dealing with the twists and turns in life.  Change is inevitable, every day includes transition of some sort.  Learning how to embrace the highs and lows can result in great blessings.

Anne Lamott on how to start a new thing
lamottAnne Lamott is an author that inspires me.  She speaks truth in a vulnerable and authentic way.  She acknowledges the tough side of life while focusing on the beautiful that exists in between.  This link is to a Facebook post where she reflects on getting started and owning where you are.

The Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath
switchSo this isn’t an internet read, but this book has been an obsession of mine for a year or so.  I consumed it intitially, completely unable to put it down and bugging my husband with random tidbits that blew my mind.  Even after finishing it, I have found myself referring back to it on a regular basis.  I have applied what I learned to our ministry at church, to parenting, and to establishing other healthy changes in my life.  I think it will be a favorite for a long time and I look forward to reading more from these brothers.

Labyrinths
labyrinth
Labyrinths have been a spiritual practice for centuries.  At first glance they look like mazes, but instead of hitting dead ends there is one constant path that twists and turns.  I love the symbolism of labyrinths.  You can see where you want to go, but the path there is so much more complicated than expected.

Labyrinth Locator
Walking labyrinth can be a great meditation process.  This website will help you locate labyrinths all over the world.  For example, putting in my location it shares that there are two labyrinths to walk in Billings, one is at a Presbyterian church there (I have walked this one!).

Finger Labyrinth Meditation
lab1bIf physically getting to a labyrinth to walk isn’t feasible, I have found handheld or makeshift lawn labyrinths to be meditative and life giving as well.  This site share a bit about labyrinths in general, but at the bottom has a list of great resources and ideas of how to make your own labyrinths and incorporate children into the practice.

 

I hope these resources help you to step back and see God in the midst of your life transitions.  Blessings on your weekend!