Let It Be Acclaimed

holy huddle

Holy huddle.

It was the first surprise of many: the hands laid on me at my ordination to the ministry of word and sacrament were heavy. 

Seven years ago today, I knelt in the sanctuary of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Milwaukee–the church where I discerned my call to ordained ministry (as we say in the business), where I met and married Mike, where I worshiped and learned and prayed and sang with beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Continue reading

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Filed under Ministry Matters, Thankful Hearts

How to Wash Dishes with a Three-Year-Old

Image from page 75 of "The boy's camp book; a guidebook based upon the annual encampment of a boy scout troop; the second of a series of handy volumes of information and inspiration" (1914)

1. Set your three-year-old up with a snack at the kitchen table.

2. Fill the sink with hot, soapy water and dirty dishes.

3. Put on your dish washing gloves.

4. Admit, “Yes, I’m doing dishes!” when the three-year-old asks. Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family, Your Moment of Leo

Back to School Joy

“I’m tired of playing all day. I want to learn things again.”

That’s my Zoe, who went off to second grade with a big grin on Tuesday:

back to bus.jpg

She couldn’t tell me her favorite part of the first day because “everything was so awesome.” That’s my Zoe, too: when she’s in, she’s all in. She has more “best day[s] ever” than anyone I know. Her joy and enthusiasm for life and learning fill me with joy, too.

I give thanks for Zoe’s joy and excitement, and for the wonderful teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and others who nurture and guide her and her classmates each day.

Speaking of back to school joy: Continue reading

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Filed under Music!, Thankful Hearts

The Language of Love

Swinging London

 “What’s your love language?” my friend asked.

She didn’t bat her eyelashes at me when she asked, even though it sounds like that kind of question. In fact, it’s a question in the same realm as “What’s your Myers-Briggs type?” (Pro Tip: ENFP every dang time, obviously.) We were talking about Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. It’s a little bit cheesy and a little bit gimmicky, but it’s a book I’ve found helpful in working with engaged couples and in thinking about my own relationships.

Chapman’s premise is that there are five main “love languages”–five ways that people give and receive love–and the way to sustain a relationship is to know both your own primary love language and the primary love language of your partner. (There’s a whole library of these books, of course–the principles can strengthen relationships with friends, children, pretty much anybody.)

The five “languages” are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and . . . . Continue reading

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Filed under Learning Opportunities, Thankful Hearts

Minnesota Nice: Butterfield Threshing Bee

train waiting

Waiting for the train. Look at that lean of anticipation!

I was mostly in it for the train ride.

Sure, I love tractors and steam engines as much as the next person (Pro Trip: Depending, of course, on how much the next person loves them), but it was the promise of a train ride in the park that convinced me to load the kids in the car and head over to Butterfield for the 50th annual Butterfield threshing bee.

Well, the train ride exceeded my expectations. For seventy-five cents each, we got to hang out in the depot, tell the ticket taker our imaginary destination (Zoe chose Unicornia), ride through a tunnel, and take in the sights and sounds of the bee. I bought enough tickets for two rides and we loved each one.

But there was so much more: Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family, Minnesota Nice, Taste and See

Make ‘Em Laugh

Margaret Barr's "Strange Children" [ballet], 1955 / photographer unknown

Did I ever tell you about the time I got kicked out of class?

It was a Spanish language intensive in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent the first semester of my senior year. Something was funny–I don’t remember what–and my classmate and I locked eyes and started to laugh. Since we were in class, and our teacher was kind of strict, we immediately looked away and tried to pull ourselves together.

We failed.

Whatever it was, I know it wasn’t that funny, but we could. Not. Stop. We laughed uncontrollably, and when our teacher sent us out of the room to compose ourselves we laughed even harder. It probably took us ten minutes to calm down. A classic case of church giggles.

I mention this because a similar thing happened at Saturday’s wedding. Continue reading


Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Ministry Matters

Read. Watch. Listen.

It’s Friday! That might not mean much to you. Maybe you’re working this weekend. Maybe you work every weekend. Maybe you’re retired. Maybe you have too much on your To Do List, or maybe your weekend stretches all too empty before you.

Whatever the weekend holds for you, here are a few things I’m loving lately. If you have a few minutes or hours to spare this weekend, check them out: Continue reading

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Filed under Book Report, Read. Watch. Listen., TV