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)

Friday, September 22, 2017

A vision of the best version of me

It's been a long day and with all that's going on I could have easily said "I'm really tired from this long week I'm just going to stay home" but instead I went to be with friends and work on my vision board. I set goals every year but I've never done a vision board. I'm kind of creative in an order sort of way lol.

So I went. I laughed and just dreamed of a better version of myself.

If I could be me, only better, what would that look like?

If I could dream a dream and have it come true, what would that be? 

You can't have a dream come true without a dream (and a vision to get there). No one runs a marathon without training unless you're p-Diddy and I'm not.

I've been thinking about my goals (you might remember I do them in September) but haven't taken the time to write them out or, more importantly, how I will achieve them. 

For the last month, life seems to be a little on hold... but life will quickly get a way from me and then I'll wonder where the time went or wonder why I haven't grown or become better. (To be honest I didn't smash last years goals like I wanted)

When I look ahead and think of what would be only better...

I'd be less busy and more extraordinary 

I'd be stronger (though I did have one goal of weight loss) - I don't want to be skinny I want to be strong 

I want to love me, even my shape

I want to be bold...



I want to enjoy my life

I love that we all got together, I love that our dreams/visions are all different and we had different ways to express those ideas.

I feel like joy seeped back into my heart a little today. I'm thankful for friends who not only invite me to dream dreams but laugh and dream along side of me 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Through the tears

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love." Washington Irving

Yesterday in the morning before church I knew it was probably destined to be a waste of eye make up day! There is no shame in my game. I cry! 

The combination of tired, the crazy of my dad in the hospital, work,  the joy of youth ministry, and seeing God around every corner and straightaway, it's going to have the end result of tears either happy or sad, or a combination of both.

My friend posted the other day about how when she was overwhelmed she did something that gave her instant gratification.. she does the dishes, I do the same... I bake.

We are going on our 19th day of hospitals and how that has just become a regular part of our lives (not gonna lie, can’t wait for this to be over).  I have to admit something to you, in all this “hard” I have felt more loved than I could possibly imagine.  People ask what they can do and I feel bad saying nothing because there isn’t much but the most important thing is prayer.  I mean what am I supposed to say “I’m dying for a pedicure” or “starbucks” or “hey can you drop off some bananas, we are out” LOL because that’s all I really have. Its’ not like I’m being prideful, there just isn’t much to do.

When I’ve asked, people have stepped into my crazy and helped in so many ways, picking us up lunch, trying to drill stump to put the stuff in, listened, laughed, brought starbucks, dinners, grass cutting, signed papers, given me whole30 thai yumminess.  So much!  And soooo much more!

There have been so many times I have cried because of alllllll the love.  I see it around every corner.  Through every tear I have cried, I have seen the good. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back where I belong 

It's an odd thing... I didn't really choose youth ministry.

In 2006 when I was at Metro South Church I kept asking to get involved and EVERY single time they'd tell me that they had someone to do this or that, until one day my dear friend Adam (he wasn't my dear friend at the time lol) contacted me and I got plugged in doing a lot of different stuff but I served in youth ministry and for the most part (it's hard!) I loved it.

When I left that church I was done with youth ministry except to go to Colorado and serve with adam. 

I loved the kids in the church but I was ready to do something else.

When I got to Woodside Detroit I swore I'd never volunteer. I loved it there but I wasn't going to get involved again. And then it happened. And slowly I got involved. And then they had a volunteer sign up. I signed up for a bunch of things and none of it seemed to click with my schedule... except... you guessed it... youth ministry!

And here I sit on a Sunday night so thankful for my new kids. Thinking about their smiles and dreaming of mission trips and camps, and maybe even a sleepover!

I love youth ministry but I wasn't so sure that's where I was supposed to end up, but clearly it is!! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It's just stuff

Some friends of mine moved to Florida from Michigan. With one box.  One box of important things. 
I’ve been in awe of that since I saw it.  Things are not important, people are.
I moved from Lincoln Park to Dearborn, with a lot of stuff.  Stuff that I’ve been giving away.  Stuff isn’t important. 
When going to Africa and saving money to pay for my trip, often I asked myself, do you really need that?  If it was “that” or Africa, which would you choose?  Africa.
Stuff isn’t important, people are.

By most standards, I don’t own a lot of clothes, and mostly wear the same ones over and over.  Except T-shirts, don’t judge me by the amount of t-shirts I own. 
I know most people don’t think about things like this but if you could only pack one box of belongings, could you do it?  What would you put in that box?

I’m challenging myself these days… what’s important?  Stuff isn’t important and yet… I have a lot of it.
Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth speaks.  Or maybe the overflow of your possessions your heart speaks.

The funny thing is that just the other day there was a really great deal on a Kindle Fire.  $15 less than usual.  And you know I had it in my cart to buy it. And then I thought “what are you doing? You bought one once and you gave it away because you never used it!”  Truth.  I don’t need one but for some reason saving $15 was appealing. How about this?  I save $35 and dont buy something that I don’t need! LOL .  Deleted out of my cart.  And even looked at it the next day… same price.  Step away from the Amazon Shopping cart.
I have always kind of prided myself that I can keep my grocery bill pretty low, but I’ve come to discover that what I save now may cost me in the future. Cheap food is full of sugar and garbage and it leads us to an old age of doctor visits and too much time in the hospital.  We are what we eat, so we shouldn’t be cheap, easy, or fast (unless it’s home grown).  I save money on groceries to buy things I don’t need. That makes no sense when I really think about it.

I’m working on being intentional in all areas of my life.  It’s a little painful sometimes but overall it’s worth it!  The things of my heart matter, people matter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Whole30 results

Some of my friends know I did a round of whole30.

I got to a place in my life where food controlled me. I ate in sadness, in gladness, when I was happy or mad, grumpy or glad.

A friend mentioned to me that she was starting a round of whole30 and I said "I'll do it with you" I kind of knew what to expect as far as eating but not everything. So I got the books, looked stuff up online, we had started about two weeks after my initial "let's do it" because I wanted to be prepared, understand everything that i was to do.

At first I thought "that's a lot of stuff I can't have" and then I thought if that's the way you're going to approach this you will not make it past day 5. So I changed my perspective. I thought of what my life would look like being healthy, not regretting the food choices I made. No more heart burn, diarrhea, constipation, no emotional eating, no diabetes, no heart issues, lower my risk of cancer. Inflammation gone in my joints. And I got to eat really tasty food that was healthy.

The truth is it wasn't easy, because companies put sugar in almost everything! EVEN IN CHICKEN BROTH! WTH!  I no longer wonder why so many people I know and love are diabetic or pre-diabetic. 

The truth is it wasn't as hard as you might think either.

So today is day 31. I'm happy to report I made it! And I'm better for it!

My dad was in the hospital 2 times for some pretty serious stuff and I didn't even flinch. I stayed more level headed (which was better for me and everyone around me). Even though I was exhausted due to so much time in the hospital, it would have been way worse if I pumped myself full of garbage.  I got a glimpse of life if I don't change

My mind was clearer.
My skin was clearer.
My joints hurt less.
My clothes fit better ( as a matter of fact I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I bought that I could never wear before)
Even though I didn't do this to lose weight, however I'm down 6.4 pounds, 10.5 inches, 4.5 in my waist alone!
I feel good about myself
When Aunt Flow ;) came to visit she wasn't a savage and my PMS was at a minimum
No sugar cravings at all
I learned about food and what's in it
I ate delicious recipes and shared with friends (I can cook Thai food now)
I prayed more

What's next? I'm not EXACTLY sure. I'll hold close to the whole30 spectrum for sure. In the beginning I thought I'd want a pizza today but I'm excited to have hummus and lentil soup. What a change in thinking.

I'm thankful

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fitting into Molds

So many times I think… Am I even a Christian? Do I look like a Christian? What does a Christian look like?
When I was growing up to me a “church lady” was well dressed, looked well groomed and always held her tongue. And she could quote the scriptures.  She always seemed to be smiling and encouraging.

Have you met me?  I mean yeah probably since you’re reading this.
I show up to church in jeans and sometimes I’d go barefoot.  My hair was sometimes(often) a mess and sometimes I barely have makeup on.  I am not quiet and sometimes I cry in church, and sometimes I swear (in real life)

I feel like I could do so much better at loving people.  I feel like I can always do more...

Yesterday someone sent me a text and asked if I’d make a video answering a couple questions.
What does it mean to pursue Holiness?
Do you personally pursue a sinless life or a Jesus filled life?

Oh great.  I don’t know. I’m not that spiritual.  You know some days I feel like I'm just a blind squirrel trying to get a nut.  I don’t have any great answers to what it means to pursue holiness. HAHA  but so I answered it (in video form which is horrible for me)
What does it mean to pursue Holiness?
I’ve found that if I try to purse things other than Jesus Himself, even the things of Jesus, I get caught up in the humanness of thinking.  Holiness – set apart.  I want to be set apart but not so much that people can’t relate to me or I can’t relate to them.  Let’s face it, we are all imperfect, or in other words, jacked up.  I don’t pursue Holiness per se because most days I am trying to get through them and I just want to be honoring to God. Do my best every day to do what the Bible says.  Some days I do ok, and some days, I end it on my knees asking for forgiveness and hoping I do better the next day.

Do you personally pursue a sinless life or a Jesus filled life?
I pursue a life filled with Jesus.  If I focus on trying a sinless life I will get tripped up, because I get focused  on sin, then it seems I see it around every corner and it grabs me up like a crazy lady trying to get that 57” TV at Walmart for $49 however if I focus on Jesus then that’s what I see.  I don’t even know if that makes any sense.  Where your eyes go, your heart goes, so I set my eyes on Jesus, and my heart will quickly follow.

So there you go.  Short and sweet. 
I don’t know if those were church lady answers but they were my answers.  I just want to love Jesus and love others.

Maybe I’m changing the way church ladies look…  jeans and t-shirts and real talk.
Sometimes I wonder what the heck God is thinking or why He doesn’t just come down and take care of a few things… Like why is Montana in need of rain and Texas and Florida got too much. I know God is good, but what the heck is that about?  Or why people who really want babies can’t get pregnant and people who aren’t exactly thrilled get them.  What’s that about too? I mean I trust God and stuff but I just wonder… 

And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of wondering why He chose me...

I don’t know if I fit the mold of a God loving person, but I do.  I just am a little rough around the edges.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

thursday happenings

The truth is I learn a lot about myself during trials. It's not that I like it but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger... except bears, they will kill you.

If I'm gonna be truthful, I'd like to tell you that I'm exhausted. And even though my dad's had tons of surgeries and procedures, this time, I'm a little anxious.  My dad is my first love, and though he drives me absolutely batty sometimes I want him to be strong. 

I am in uncharted territory.  I want to fight something but there isn't anything to fight so I'm staying quiet. Quiet is not me.  But in the quiet I can listen.

In the times when I am the most tired that is the time when I think that I'm all my weakness.  When someone says that I am hard to love, I take it to heart because that same person all my life made me feel like I wasn't good enough for... anything.  But as a dear friend reminded me, I am loveable and loved.  I just might be too much for them.  LOL, I am too much for a lot of people!

The truth is that God made me loud, and a fighter, and passionate, and kind.  He made me a lot of things but mostly He made me so that I can love LOUD and BRAVE!

It's been hard.  To see my dad who has survived so many surgeries and gone through so much in life, more than most people should have to, be reduced to needing so much care.  And let's face it I'm no Florence Nightingale.   

So here I go, in uncharted territory knowing a few things...

I was made for this, even in the moments I don't think I was.
God has all of this in the palm of His hand, and nothing happens without His permission.
I am a child of God.  He has chosen me, protected me, and made me perfectly imperfect.