Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Growing




Have you ever been sick for a long time?  Like for such a long time that you can’t even remember what it felt like to be healthy? 


One summer (yes!! Summer!!) I was sick for like 6 weeks.  I went to the doctor twice (which cost me upwards of $350), the chiropractor (the only thing that really worked, I drank essential oils (I think they may have helped too) like they were water…  It was rough.  Seriously, I was miserable.  Each time I’d hit a milestone, I’d celebrate. And by milestone, I mean, breathing out of both nostrils at the same time…  Oh, a day without blowing my nose, LET’S HAVE CAKE PEOPLE!  And then after all that… I coughed for a month…  When I went a day without coughing, I broke out party hats and we celebrated with champagne.  (Ok that didn’t really happen!)

I have not been feeling well.  My heart has been a little sick.  But I think when my heart is just a little sick, it has a big effect.  You know it says in Luke 6, out of overflow of our hearts, our mouths speak.  When my heart is hurt, it actually starts to shut down.  It’s a defense mechanism, a protection.

I was in a place that I should have left.  Months ago.  But I stayed. I tried  to be joyful and bloom where I was planted but it was time for a transplant.  But I stayed, I was disobedient, I wasn't in a bad place, but just not in a place that was for me.  And in staying, I didn’t grow.  When plants are in small pots, they will only grow so big because their roots cannot expand, and roots make us strong.

I really was disobedient to God, and I couldn’t restore my joy, and I was wounded.  And just lately I have really started to feel better.    My heart is healing and restoration seems closer than further and that feels really great!

I stopped at the garden the other day (even though it’s not the greatest…  it’s one of my favorite places in the world!) and my heart was so very happy!!!  My little baby tomato plants that I wasn’t sure would ever get fruit, have flowering buds, the plants given to me are FLOURISHING and there is tomatoes!!  All the rest of the plants are growing and flourishing! 

I am astonished about the way that my heart is challenged and growing with this garden.  I mean there were road blocks, and crazy, and then the weather…  and how I am reminded that we should never give up!  This crazy garden has changed my middle name to “Perseverance”.  Just call me Persy I guess. LOL 

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

First the plants were stolen (really who does that?!?), then the 2nd round died because of drought, and that third round of planting was late BUT THE CHARM!  I tended to them, I even prayed over that garden, I asked for help (do you even understand how hard that was?!?), and it’s growing fruit!  Life lessons from the garden.  Every time I go, it’s joy, pure joy.  It’s because I am being obedient to God, and going and doing what He has chosen for me to do.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

How great is that? We are not second choice to God, He has CHOSEN us!  And that is something!  When we accept that, and do as He would have us to do, we are full of joy and peace.  And it’s not always easy, THAT IS FOR SURE, but to get past ourselves, and humble our hearts to say “I just don’t know what to do, but Lord I’ll go wherever You ask, and I’ll do whatever You say” great joy comes. 

Moving on to living Love, wherever and however that is!

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daily Sea Creatures

Friends!  I have so much that my heart wants to say, but today, I am going to tell you a funny story or maybe a funny way that I think... this is just a small little view of the crazy in my head!

When I first was saved, I would hear about the scripture where manna would fall from the sky. 

The verse is Exodus 16:4 but instead of the word "bread' the preacher said "manna"

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

So...  apparently I never heard "bread" and seriously for the longest time... I thought it was MANATEEs falling from the sky.  Yes, giant sea creatures falling from the sky, I thought "wow, that's a lot of food".

At some point it came to my attention that it was BREAD!  MANNA not Manatee's... so now I laugh every time I hear that scripture or people talk about manna in a sermon...  it's like a little smile that I have with God and me. (can't you hear me laughing?!?)

And hey... isn't it cool that long ago God provided our daily bread?  And sea creatures!

Monday, August 22, 2016

School supply love

This past week I participated in a backpack drive. I don't know what it is about school supplies... But I love them! I mean like seriously love them! I get excited each year as they put them out. 

But it wasn't always this way. When my daughter entered kindergarten I didn't need school supplies, everything was provided. When I switched her to Catholic School I (much to my surprise!!!) received a very long list of school supplies!!  Not being an experienced mom of a child in school I panicked. First of all, we didn't have a lot of money. I was really sacrificing to send her to school. It was really difficult, then I got this ridiculously long list of supplies I needed to have THE NEXT DAY! 3 stores later (if I remember correctly) I got it aalllll! 

For her second grade year, I pulled out last year's list (that had all the grades) as soon as school supplies started coming out! I'd get pens and erasers, then the next week when markers went on sale id pick those up, and so on. It was a long endeavor, and took all summer but we got it all (btw I also learned to buy two of everything) since nothing lasts a whole school year!).

This year I purchased many backpacks for the drive, people in the stores (many people) asked me if I was a teacher lol! It seemed like such a grace moment. Thinking back when I was one who probably could have used a donated backpack and here I was helping. 

Yesterday at Woodside Detroit the pastor (from the Royal Oak campus) said that Jesus meets our needs so that we can meet the needs of others. That was so good to me, God has provided for me in so many ways, Others have helped me when I needed it, they were the vessels that God used to provide and I'm so thankful to be CHOSEN by Him to do that for others. It's humbling really. It is just amazing to me, to let His grace just rest on me. 

““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
John 13:34-35 NIV

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Love is grand

Last night was at a wedding and sat at the perfect table! I was surrounded by people I've loved and been loved by for years. People I've served and have served me.

It was at a wedding of people I've loved for longer than I can remember. 

At some point in the day my friend reminded me how loved I am to be invited to so many weddings. And it's true, and weddings aren't always easy for me, it's a constant reminder that I'm still not married. It's a constant reminder that there is something... Missing.

But yesterday as I sat with people I love, and we had real conversation not crappy small talk, I was reminded, love is the best. Often we say "love them where they are at" meaning no matter what they've done or didn't do, love them. But yesterday God reminded me that I am to love where I am. To listen, hug, support, love right where I am because I was placed in this time in this moment, to love.

Because I was made for such a time at this. (Ester 4:4)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A lesson in observing

Photo Credit: Woodside Detroit
 


I met this woman yesterday, “J” was beautiful.  She beamed.  She was stunningly beautiful.  She had the most beautiful baby in her belly, and a beautiful son name Jerimiah. 

I showed up at this “Shop Pop Up” to check it out.  I only expected to be a bystander, to check it out, to see how things were run.  To be an observer of how God was moving in the hearts of those serving and those being served.  That’s it.  Just observe.

And then it happened. She asked if someone could help her get the bag of things she shopped for.  If someone could carry her bag to the place she was staying.  She said it was two blocks away.  I honestly kept saying to myself “this is not your gig, stay out of it”.  LOL  However, there was a need and it needed to be met.  So I said I would carry it for her.  After about ½ a block, I realized WHERE I was walking to, and the realization that I was going to have to walk back BY MYSELF.  And God, whacked me in the head, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Don’t be stupid”.  Even she kept saying “are you sure, you’re going to have to walk back by yourself”.  So I got my car, and I found someone to go with me.  Because let’s be clear, we are called to help but not be stupid.

I can’t stop thinking about “J”.  I don’t know why.  But you know what I know, she touched my heart in a way that I don’t, at this moment, know why.  Her boy’s eyes were these beautiful brown saucers, his smile was sweet and hadn’t been tarnished by the world yet.  He had the most perfect teeth, and his momma loved him so very much, and that was apparent in his demeanor.  He knows he is loved.

J doesn’t have the greatest of circumstances (at least by world's view), she lives in a shelter, with one child and one on the way.  But her smile, I will never forget it.  She gets what she needs for her family, she needed a winter coat for her boy, and she got one provided by God by His people. She has the kind of spirit that I long for, that no matter my circumstances, I can smile and be thankful.  

I know that God loves me, and I know that He is good, no matter what my circumstances.  And I long to forever have a thankful heart that praises Him every minute of every day. 

I think it's funny that God sends me to do something like observing and I think it will have some kind of reflection, that I will learn some great lesson, but with an open heart, God teaches me something different, because I was willing to really look and see and to truly listen to Him speak to me. 
I will forever be thankful for that moment of just “observing” because I saw the goodness of God in all circumstances.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What's next!

When people talk about next steps in their lives they talk about "chapters". Im really wondering what God has next! But i don't feel like it's a chapter time more like when there are three asterisk at the top of a page to signify time passes.

I'm overwhelmed because let's face it, I like to keep moving. God says "child, sit, and rest". And I'm like the kids in The Sandlot "ccooommmmeee ooonnnn" lol 

What's next? Heck if I know. 

But I keep singing the song "in over my head" 

"Come and do whatever You want to"

I don't honestly know what's next. But I know I'll do whatever He wants me to do, I'll go wherever He wants me to go"

It's been weeks, maybe months since I've really "felt" that I've breathed in deep enough to let go.  I don't write much on here or even in my journal because I can't seem to have a complete thought (which i'm not sure is that our of my character).  I do things because I'm called but it seemed sometimes to be out of complete obligation.  I did things because I signed up for them, things that brought me joy, seemed to just sustain me.  I laughed but not my normal big laugh unless it was with people I complete trusted because I've been afraid to laugh because I might cry.  I haven't done as many things that I love because "I'm busy" and my feet have been planted in the same place for too long, this girl loves to travel.  (one of my new favorite sayings is "see the world, come home for love").

I'm overwhelmed.  WHAT'S NEXT?!?  I want to know!!!  There is never an absence of need.  Food, clothing, school supplies, blood, and most importantly LOVE!  PEOPLE NEED TO BE LOVED, how do You want me to love them Lord?

My heart has been sad and it's slowly healing. It's beating stronger every day.  I had to do the things I know to do, whether I felt like it or not.  Because success comes from doing the right things over long periods of time. And everyday God gives me new opportunities to be faithful and each day, I strive to possess the quality of His faithfulness. 






I have come to this place in my life
I'm full but I've not satisfied
This longing to have more of You
And I can feel it my heart is convinced
I'm thirsty my soul can't be quenched
You already know this but still
Come and do whatever You want to

I'm standing knee deep but I'm out where I've never been
And I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind

Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in
Let love come teach me who You are again
Would you take me back to the place where my heart was only about You
And all I wanted was just to be with You
Come and do whatever You want to

And further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours
And further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours

Then You crash over me and I've lost control but I'm free
I'm going under, I'm in over my head
Then you crash over me, and that's where You want me to be
I'm going under, I'm in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I'm beautifully in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I'm beautifully in over my head
I'm Beautifully in over my head
I'm Beautifully in over my head

Friday, August 05, 2016

Another lesson

This week has been a little crazy and getting the garden ready (again) has taught me quite a bit.

I'm putting a lot of effort into this garden for the third time so others can have fresh fruits and veggies. I was thinking about what a privilege it is to get fresh fruits and veggies. What a precious gift. The original fast food. 
And yet, here some of us are eating junky food with little flavor and little natural color (red food dye can make anything look good). I was thinking about how we slap God right in the face when He's given us such great choices and we pick junk.

If someone who loves you prepared a great feast for you, would you choose to eat a hot dog? I'd hope not. 

In the last couple days I've really been mindful of this! Eating healthy is a gift for a long life sentence! One I'll gladly accept!