Tag Archives: laughter

A Time Away

Beach Trip

As I sit to type out this post, this is my view. I set my alarm (I know who does that on vacation?!?!) but I wanted to see if I could catch the sunrise. We have a beautiful view of the ocean, but the actual sunset was just a bit behind the building…still it was amazing and if I had to live here and enjoy this every day…I think I might!! 😉

This is the first time I have ever planned a true “girls weekend away” like this. I used to go see Karlena in Denver when she was alive and I did get that surprise trip to Houston for my birthday…but this was something we planned about 6 months ago and finally the weekend had come.

It is always hard to leave my family. I honestly struggle with guilt at being away, spending money and time just on me, but can I just say that my soul needed this so much! I haven’t written more than a few times this month and last…I write when the words are there and for the most part they haven’t been there.

But as I boarded the plane in Minneapolis, the words started to come. It was as though my spirit knew I could relax and I worked furiously during that 2 hr flight. I participated in the 31 Day challenge in October last year to write every day in that month. Last year I used the Five Minute Friday word prompts, but never wrote but a day in advance.

This year, because of this trip, I have written almost ALL of the 31 posts, less the ones we won’t know the prompts for until Thursday night! I couldn’t believe it…there is something to be said about a writer getting away for some inspiration!

But it wasn’t all about writing either!

On Saturday Gindi and I went down to the beach in the morning. (We are staying in Fort Walton Beach, FL) It was overcast but warm. We sat by the waters edge and marveled at the waves crashing and the few dolphin sightings that we had, but had trouble capturing on our phones!

Beach Trip

It was so wonderful to just to have our toes in the soft, white sand, see the birds that came to dive bomb us on our porch and enjoy the constant sound of the waves.

We decided to drive down to Sandestin and do a little sightseeing. There was this adorable little beach community with food trucks and shopping and gelato!! We walked around and took pictures, fell in love with over priced jewelry and laughed.

Oh this trip was so needed if just for the laughter! Sometimes I get so stressed and overwhelmed that I forget how soul-filling laughter can be!

Beach Trip Collage 2

Then we decided to head back to Destin where we had seen a large outlet mall to do a little shopping! On the way we passed the Snappy Turtle, just the name alone warranted a stop and a cheesy photo op. Inside they had all the cheap, beach souvenirs and while I didn’t buy them, I found these jars with shells that had both Dominic and my name on them! I NEVER have seen anything with either of our names on them! It was so exciting we had to take a picture! 🙂

Beach Trip

We found a nice restaurant where we could have a dinner to celebrate Gindi’s birthday a few days late. I was too scared to try a sushi roll, but did order local grouper instead of the chicken I thought that I might have. I have eaten fish twice here and tried fried green tomatoes (which I LOVED) and crab (which I haven’t had since I was 10 and hated it!) Oh it has all been so so good!

We caught the tail end of the sunset before we set on back to our condo. I could watch a sunset like that every night. If someone forced me I wouldn’t complain at all! 😉

Beach Trip

Sunday we decided to enjoy the bountiful sunshine that the day promised and spent some more time on the beach. We walked in the water, collected small shells to take back to our kids, saw what I was certain was baby sharks…it was so peaceful and fun!

Beach Trip

Then it was back to Destin for a glass bottom boat dolphin ride. It was $29 for a 2 hour tour! It was a wonderful experience to actually be out on the water and they did a great job bringing us to where the dolphins were. It was so amazing to see them in the wild, so close!

Beach Trip

Unfortunately the trip can’t last forever…although I miss my family like crazy! This was a life breathing vacation and I hope I can convince Dominic to do something like this some day with me!! 😉

Where is your favorite place to get away and refresh? I’d love to hear because I am always thinking about where we might go next!!

Can You Relate?

Relate-Womens-Ministry-1

I want to share something that I am SO excited to be a part of. Recently I was at a baby shower with a few women from my church. We spent the entire time talking and laughing and sharing stories. It was a wonderful time connecting with some of the women that I know, but didn’t know well.

A couple of us started talking later about how we needed to try and do things like that more often. I have said before that community is so important to me and being surrounded by other women (in person) was such a gift. How could we foster that type of community in our local church?

My friend Steph has had a heart for seeing some sort of Women’s Ministry at our church form and even had the perfect name for it…Relate! A place that we could gather together as one and find all those common ways that we can relate to one another.

So we are taking a leap of faith and moving forward and Relate Women’s Ministry was born!

God gave me some words to try and express our heart behind this ministry and I wanted to share those here. Friends if you are in the Marshall MN area and want to join me for our first “event” – please let me know!! I would love to have you join us!

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I don’t know about any of you…but Sunday mornings can be pretty stressful around our house. Heck any morning can be pretty stressful. Getting everyone out the door on time, without fighting can be a challenge can’t it?

So let me just say congratulations on even being here today!

But can I be honest for a minute? I am pretty intimidated by all of you. I desperately want for you to believe that I have it all together, as though that belief would make you like me more…but the reality is that there are some Sunday mornings that I am screaming in the car on the way to church.

Can anyone relate?

Maybe you are a mom to small children and it feels like you have changed 1000 diapers too many and you just want to have an adult conversation for 5 minutes.

Maybe all of your children are grown and out of the house and you are wondering what your purpose is now?

Maybe you are single and you wonder if you will ever get married?

Or you are struggling in your marriage and you feel like you are the only one who isn’t seeing life through rose colored glasses…

Can anyone relate?

God is pretty clear about how He feels about community. He created us to be in community together, to support one another and to lift each other up.

Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

A few of us have been talking about how we can create a community for the women of Swan Lake. A safe place where we can meet and find laughter, encouragement, and lift one another up. A place where there is no judgement or comparisons but instead a time where we can share stories and just relate to one another. Find that common ground that IS there between all of us!

A place for all women. For the mothers and the singles, the empty nesters and the retirees. If you are a women (sorry guys) we extend an invitation for you to join us. Because this is new we don’t have everything figured out yet…but if you have a heart for this type of ministry we encourage you to join us and bring your ideas.

We are hoping to gather together once a month, on a Friday night or Saturday morning for a few hours. We will have an activity and a devotion and a time of fellowship. I know that there are several women here that I don’t know well and I am guessing the same could be said for many of you. We want to change that and are hoping that this is the place to start!

So for our first “event” we will be showing the movie “Mom’s Night Out” here at the church on Friday May 1st. It is a funny movie and one that all women, regardless of where they are in life, can relate to. Come ready to laugh and eat some popcorn and enjoy some fellowship with other women!

Feel free to bring a friend too! All women are welcome!

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