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, May 26, 2017

Humbled by grace

I went to a play tonight where the main character was named Margie! And they said it right (like I do!). The main character was a single mom who struggles.  The play was mostly funny and probably most people left thinking it was a great story (which it was) and it was very very funny! But me, I had all the feels!  My heart was full of so many emotions, so you can probably guessed what I did... I cried. 

God's grace isn't lost on me. I know of it's value and it's weight. I know that I work hard because it honors God. But I know that without His grace, we'd still be going to bed hungry or out on the street.  

I'm leaving for Uganda in 2 weeks. And I know the honor in that. I also know the honor of being called to Detroit. And the honor it is to love people. 

Today as I left that theatre I was humbled. Humbled that God chose me, that He continues to choose me and use me, over and over again. 

I'm going to bed so very thankful. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mailboxes and dreams

This mailbox. 

I love it. 

Who loves mailboxes?

I love that I walk to it and drop off cards to people I love. 

I love that it reminds me of my gram and we would walk to the mailbox after dinner to “make room for dessert”…  and how did she ALWAYS have a fresh “Heavenly Hash” ice cream that was my favorite EVERY time I came to visit.  It was like magic!!!
 I think I’m working on seeing the beauty of every day.  Its really easy to be in a place I’ve never been before and be in awe of it, but sometimes it is a little more difficult to see the beauty in the every day.  It’s easy to be so busy in the every day to walk past a flower on my walk. 

I’m a planner, I think it comes from always feeling like things were out of control when I was younger. The death of my mom, the fear of losing my dad.  Fast forward to a whole lot of garbage.  So the easiest thing is to “control” the situation.  Which in some ways only made me crazy, because we can’t control anything.  LOL

I’m going on a trip (Uganda), to a place that I’ve never been to, with people I don’t know that well, and leaders that I trust but don’t know that well (I wouldn’t go unless I really trusted them), doing projects that I haven’t planned.  Sounds nuts to me, and completely wonderful all at the same time!  (Welcome to the crazy in my over thinking brain)

I’m not really planning past Uganda.  I’m dreaming but not planning, those are not the same thing, and it feels good. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Ramblings of my heart and mind... Uganda

Read this the other day Neinas
I am less than 30 days away from my mission trip to Uganda and I wait in great… anxiousness. 
I also wait in great expectation!  I know the hope that is in Christ.  But I know that going on a mission trip to a foreign country is a great responsibility and it carries a heavy weight.  What God will do in me is probably much greater than what He will do through me.  I know I am small, and yet God still uses me.  And I am thankful.  I am happy to be the dot in the formation of a letter in His story.  I am that small.  And I like it that way.

About this time I start to wonder “what the heck did you sign up for?”  It happens before EVERY single trip I take whether it’s to see my friends in Colorado or Haiti or now… Uganda.  It’s a weird thing, I love to travel but it makes me nervous.  Planes crashing, people killing me, I watch too much criminal minds.   I think everyone has the potential to be a serial killer.  (welcome to the crazy that is inside my mind!).  I also know a whole bunch of tears are about to be poured out, my eyes will leak out allllll over Uganda!  (there is no shame in my crying game).  I know that God will grow me, and stretch me (did I mention I might have to give my testimony – I don’t really like speaking in front of people) and there will be moments of pain. 
And as I type all this… I will tell you… I can’t wait.  For it allllll...

I can’t wait (if we are allowed – the local church may do it) to give out Little Dresses for Africa!
I can’t wait to play dominoes with kids and adults!
I can’t wait to see the smiles of the people of Uganda
I can’t wait to see the growth in my teammates
I can’t wait to see lives changed for Christ!
I can’t wait to experience a culture I’ve only seen in pictures and heard about
I can’t wait to hear the voice of God
I can’t wait to worship the Creator of the universe
I can’t wait to see what God will do!
And I can’t wait for the things that I don’t even know about yet!

So yes, I wait in great anxiousness, and but I wait in great expectation!  I will have moments of quiet, when I can’t find the words, and moments when I won’t be able to shut up!  All my crazy will be contained, and moments that will be ALLLLLLLLLL over everything!

I will hug hard, smile big, and love fierce!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Learning and menu planning

I am learning to go with the flow lol

I have always loved structure because, let's face it, it's been about control and there is always some kind of crazy going on.

I have all the plates, cups, drink mix, fork/napkin packed for all three events this month. I make lists, check them off, there is great pleasure in that :)

I like to meal plan, but I've learned lately that our lives are crazy, and it doesn't always work out or we don't feel like eating what was planned and since it's only two of us, who cares! Lol so for the next couple weeks I've stocked the pantry, freezer, and fridge to choose what we'd like (and there's a big variety to choose from).

I'm thankful that as I'm getting older, I'm learning to hold on to what's really important, and let go of things that aren't worth holding onto, and to find a healthy balance of the rest :)

Dinners to choose from:
Shepherds pie
Taco salad
Chef salad
Chicken parm
Turkey burgers & sweet potato fries
Chicken Greek salad
Chicken alfredo
Pesto & veggies with noodles
Chicken stir fry

We are blessed beyond belief

Thursday, April 06, 2017

I must do something

There are things I love about myself, and things that I probably could do without.  I hate that I can find all the things I'm inadequate at or that I can easily go into the mode of "well I'm not equipped or enough".  I also love and hate the fact that I always feel like I must do something. I love it because when I set my heart and mind to something, it gets done, no matter how long it takes (the soccer field is just an example), I really try to be in things for the long haul.  I hate it because my heart is easily broken and I could sometimes cry for days if I over think.
I've learned to put my faith, and my life in the hands of Jesus.  I will do what He asks, whether I feel equipped or not.  And sometimes (often) it's a very humbling experience. 
I can't tell you why, because I don't know myself, I feel so called to refugees, Syrian Refugees to be exact.  If I had the money or I was allowed, I am pretty sure I would have booked a flight to Syria yesterday to go do... something.  Is it dangerous? of course it is!  But that dumb "must do something" part of me was on high alert.
That part of me, the negative self talk part of me, started with "you're not a doctor, a nurse, or anything probably helpful, YOU'VE GOT NOTHING".  I ripped my own heart out of my chest.  FOR YEARS I had listened to the voices of people I knew who "loved me" tell me all the things I'm not, who made me feel like I never lived up to their expectations, who thought I was too much spice and not enough sugar.   I'm spicy, God wired me to have a passionate heart...  that's just the way it goes.
And then I thought... I have two arms. I can love people and hold people, I can laugh with people and color with children, we can play dominoes, we can unwrap dum-dum suckers together and find out what color our tongues are after we eat them, and even for just one hour or maybe one minute, they will know that with all the evil in the world, someone really loves them. (John 1:5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.)
I don't have any great talents, I've got a doctorate in Nothing. But I am a great hugger (one of the best) and when I loveyou, you know it.  And I can cook you a meal, and after all, you've got to eat.   I'll never be a great communicator from a stage (and nor do I really want to go that! but I really admire those who can) but when I speak, I want my words to be of encouragement and love, the person in front of me is the one I care about.  And I'll take the talents from God over any other worldly talent.
I am not everything but I AM enough. (Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’")
So, I'm going to figure out how I can help refugees in this area, and I am praying about going to a refugee camp in the fall in some other part of the world.
I don't know much, but I do know... I must do something.
Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Friday, March 31, 2017

My Prayer time with Jesus

The last few months have been challenging on many
levels.  Sometimes I come home and I’m so exhausted from going 100 mph IN CIRCLES!
Going to Uganda and all that came with that was a blessing but a lot of pressure (that I put on myself).  Lots going on, keeping everything on the plate while planning for the garden… and a million other things… I still don’t know what we are serving on April 10th at the soup kitchen and I usually have it planned 3 weeks in advance. (and I'm dying to go to Haiti I'm just waiting for the "go" which may or may not be making me a little nutso)
I’ve spent the last 4 days at 5-6am praying for my church and the city of Detroit.  Each
day has been different, today I had no idea where to start… I’m just talking to God how hard can that be?  BUT I felt like I’ve been asking for the same things for 4 days!  I decided that today I would pray while listening to worship music.  I often hear a song and it reminds me of someone and I pray it over them.    So today I turned on the music and asked God to lead me in prayer. “ Just play what my heart needs Lord, because today I
don’t have the words.”

And near the end, Savior King came on by Hillsong
United though it will always be my favorite sang by Jon Whaley.  (he even has to sing it at my funeral). 
Hope which was lost, now stands renewed

Wow!  I prayed for people who have lost hope, they
are at the end of a very frayed rope, I could almost visualize it, I have been
there, when you’re perfectly healthy and you can’t seem to take the next
step.  It’s awful.  But then God comes out of nowhere, a Savior,
and rescues us and renews our hope!    I
closed my eyes and asked God to show me who needed that prayer!  Who needs hope, their faces were clear.  Some of the faces I knew, and some I've never seen before.
Let now Your church shine as the bride

That you saw in your heart as You offered up Your Life

Let now the lost be welcomed home

By the saved and redeemed, those adopted as Your own

I prayed that Woodside  Detroit, all the campuses would be beacons in their cities for those who need Him, that their love would be so loud, it couldn’t help but be heard and seen!
That because of that love, people would be saved and REDEEMED!   And I prayed for the churches in Detroit that I could think of, that truth would be spoken, that hearts would be
changed, that love would be lived. 

I give my life to honour this

The love of Christ, the Saviour King
I prayed this, for all, that they would give their lives as living gift to the one who gave
tehm life.  That they would honor Him.  That I would honor Him, in all that I do.

I Love you Lord!

Ramblings of my heart

I love traveling. To me it doesn't matter if I'm on adventure into another hemisphere or up to northern Michigan to see my friends. I feel like I haven't been anywhere in a long time!!!! It's been since December that my butt sat in an airplane on my way to snuggle three little boys and see my friends! (3 more weeks people I think I can make it!)

I love going away, but I love coming home.  I was walking around my neighborhood the other day and thought about how much I've always wanted to live in this neighborhood. It's not fancy and our house isn't much different than our old house but I love the feel of this neighborhood. I always have. I remember getting to go to levagood park on field trips and I was so in love with it!

I know I don't deserve all the goodness in my life after alllllllll the mistakes I've made and continue to make but I'm so thankful!

Today I'm on day 4 of praying for Detroit and my church and it's people. I've been so blessed by my sweet time. Each day has been different, one day seemed like I snuggled up with God and we just talked, one day was a great time of thanksgiving and excitement of what God is doing and yesterday was different in a way I cant explain. I have no idea what to expect, but this time is compared to no other, and I love it.

The fact that God CHOSE me and loves me for no other reason than He is loving is mind & heart blowing to me! He never stops amazing me! He is an amazing God!

Happy Friday friends! Sending love!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Memories of Haiti

In my "on this day" popped up in my Facebook today and I was reminded that two years ago I left for Haiti! My girl Leah came "home" today.

I've had Haitian Chicken and Sauce on my brain lately and had it ready to make (which really means I have the ingredients and thawed the chicken) and I've been thinking and praying about Haiti a lot lately.  There is a trip in July lol

There is something about Haiti. I don't know what it is but my heart will always carry Haiti in my heart.

As I was making the chicken, I was thinking about the children at the orphanage. I was thinking about the time when sweet maxtelena thought it was hilarious that my name in Haiti (they don't say "r") sounds like the greatest flavoring ever - Maggi. I thought about Superstar Fally and his fantastic basketball skills and sweet Adonis who would smile the greatest smile and we'd hug as we both would cry at the thought of my leaving. We'd play dominoes until... we couldn't play any longer. Oh sweet Ruth and sassy woodla. How does your heart ever recover from such a love?

Man, I'm so thankful for my times in Haiti and I pray that God makes a way for me to go again... soon