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)


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Haiti

Well here I go! Trip #7 for me!!

I know I've said it before but it seems so crazy that I never wanted to go to Haiti and here I am in love with the people of haiti.

Gods been doing some incredible things in my life, doesn't He always? But sometimes they don't always seem wonderful at the time, can I get an Amen?

I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to travel. I love going places but honestly to go and serve Jesus in Haiti is the greatest! I always am so shocked by the way God continues to chose me! The fact that He chose me at all, and eternal life really is plenty, but His portion never stops.
It is always more than enough, and certainly more than I deserve.

It's been a long countdown and I'm ready to be there, it's the funniest thing to finally be on my way.

It's been a great season of rest (though many don't think my state had been restful lol) it's been a great time of reflection. I'm excited to see what God has next, I find myself praying about a garden, and the people it will serve, but not just that. That God will work in the hearts of those who build, dig, shovel, harvest. That the plans for their lives will be laid out. I pray that God will work in their hearts and bring them closer to Him.  That they will see His beauty in their lives. I pray for sweet sweaty surrender to Him. 

As I leave for haiti I pray that my heart  will be open to His word, His love, His direction. That He speaks to me.

Reflecting on this week's prayer guide (by Pastor Chilly) 

HOSANNA

humility
Obedience
Submission
Alert
Newness
Non-stop
Adoration

God save us. God save me. I LoveYou 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Here I go!!

So I've been preparing to leave for haiti for... Well for months, I pick stuff up at the store, I'm thankful now that I have a bin full of clothes that is specified for missions, I could honestly pack for haiti in less than two hours notice. It's become old hat to me. Easy peasy. I think that's good.

I also have to prepare my always clean self to the fact that I'm gonna be really dirty, really hot, and at times pretty hungry. I'm probably not going to sleep well, I'm gonna cry, I'm gonna wish for ice like I was a homeless Eskimo. It's all true. I never feel more high maintenance than when I'm in haiti as much as I like to pretend I can go with the flow. Dégagé 

You know what I never get used to? The way God moves in my heart while I am there. There are things I can never ever prepare for. He's a mighty God and He never ceases to amaze me.  When I first went i knew it was gonna be hard. I knew I'd be stretched, I just really never knew how very much. I didn't realize what would happen in my heart when I was there and especially didn't understand how it would be when I came back. For example when my daughter went to Colombia the first time she came home and didn't want more clothes because she had enough and people there lived in houses made of what our cars are made of. In my mind I guess I understood it but really my heart didn't. Until I went.
There hasn't been a trip that I haven't had immense joy and immense growing/hurt. One thing I've learned is that I must have the right heart before I leave. 
When I go to Haiti I spend a lot of time with Him. I try to get up before everyone else and just be still. It never really looks the same each day.  I wait with great expectation of what will happen in my heart.
I can't wait to go (4 days) and enjoy a place I never thought I'd love, it's gonna be wild, it's gonna be full of Him.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Let me be available

There has never been a time that I have gone to Haiti that God hasn't done something crazy in my heart. 

The first time (2012) I went I fell completely in love with the country, people of Haiti.  


There were two trips in 2013, with some of the greatest people on the planet, God did some great things, revealed a lot to me.  About myself and others.

In 2014, I went 3!!! times.  The first time (March 2014), I saw things in Haiti I had never seen before.  What in the world, I went with a group of people I never even met before.  I was blown away, I think it was the first time in my life I yelled "WHY GOD??" and I feel like He sat on the edge of the compound by the water with me and just spoke sweetly to my heart. The remaining trips were great, and I was lucky enough to do things I had never done before and go with people I hadn't been with before.  I even was able to go with one of the girls that has grown up that was in my life group.  The time I spent with God was super amazing, and both trips were hard and beautiful.

So, now it is 2015, this will be 7th time to Haiti. Pretty crazy because I had never wanted to go to Haiti before.  I mean, I NEVER wanted to go, which is usually what happens when I tell God what I don't want to do. It's 8 days until I leave.  And that makes me anxious.  What if I forget something...  what is God going to do?  Will my fruit rot?  How is He going to stretch me?  (that always hurts)  Will people like me after this trip?  (I don't know why I care about that but I do).  Will I love enough, big enough?  Can i put "me" aside, and be Christ?  It's 10 days.  I'm gonna be dirty and sweaty for 10 days.

All that being said, I am excited.  I have learned to go with the flow (which is not easy for me), I have learned when to step up, and when to find my place in the back.  I am brave enough to do things that others are doing and to say "No thank you" to the things I don't want to do without fear of rejection.  I've learned to cry without worrying what people think.  God gives me incredible vision in Haiti because I am not distracted by the rest of my world.  

I am nervous and excited and it will all seem a lot more real when I am done packing tomorrow.  (I remembered a bunch things I forgot today while in Target - but never fear, Target bailed me out!)

If you think about it, say a prayer, I think God has some big things planned for me and my heart...  I just want to be available to whatever He has for me.  Near or far, a heart wide open.





Thursday, March 19, 2015

The dirt in my life



On Saturday I was in quite a mood.  I went to starbucks and got a tea, and it was wrong, which didn’t bother me, but the barrista at the window, her attitude made me crazy, then I went to get my nails done, but I had the wrong appt day (ugh!) but I decided to make the most of it and go to Target to take care of a few things.  I realized something might be wrong with me when I almost started to cry because I couldn’t find the sweatshirt I wanted (NO! it wasn’t that time of the month).

Then Sunday I was super stressed out over… donuts. And when someone said barked at me about coffee, I told them if they were so concerned about it, to go make it themselves…  It’s true. Yes. That happened.  At that point, I knew I really needed to pray. Yes, they were crabby about their coffee, but I could have handled it much better.  

After getting my nail done on Sunday, my friend and I went to dinner and then to Chris Tomlin. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to spend time with my friend, Chris Tomlin certainly was a bonus.

My heart was really feeling so much better and then as the worship event began, I could really feel God speaking to me on so many levels.  But I still kind of was stressed… I wondered, in this place, what is bothering me?

So during the Chris Tomlin worship concert, he said something…  He never asked God to make him famous, he never asked to play for large crowds.  He asked God to let him do His (God’s) will, that his life would always be available for God to use.

Photo from here
And there it is.  I have been so stressed (silently) about this garden.  What if I don’t sell enough shirts?  what if I can’t raise the money?

Well here’s the truth, God doesn’t need me to raise money for His garden. He made vegetables long before I was even born.  He doesn’t need me to raise money, HE is the provider.  And in that moment, my heart changed.  God I want to be available to be used by You.  Whatever You need me to do, I’ll do it. Plant vegetables, sell T-shirts (probably going to do a second run because I’ve had quite a bit of more interest), I’ll meet with investors (donors but I think they are INVESTING in a community), we will have a spaghetti dinners, fill out paperwork, I will plant, and seed, and weed, and water.  And mostly, I will love.  I am available.

I met last night with a great man of God and we talked about the garden and the plans for it this summer, and I am excited!!!  

Please Lord, just use me, I just want to do what You want me to do. I’m a mess so I will be perfect in the dirt.  I loveYou. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lessons in the back

Today I was at the prayer meeting at my church in the back.  All the way in the back. Last row. 

We had an incredible worship night and me, I couldn't seem to find the words. I'm always so thankful for music that gives my heart the words when it just can't seem to find them.  Honestly I opened the book of psalms and read.

What's wrong? I wondered. Things are good. 

I'm leaving for Haiti in 15 days, planning a trip to Denver for a mission trip in June, excited for 4 days in July with my church... Imagine no mission trip in August. Lol but I'm sure I'll be busy with the garden, so that's exciting!!

I was thinking about how my friends are moving to Lansing. And I can feel myself trying not to feel. That's the truth. It's overwhelming. They are leaving, sometimes it still seems so raw that Adam and Katie and the boys left. 

You know what I do when I get overwhelmed? I go to the back. I serve in the back, I stand in the back. I try to keep from feeling because that hurts sometimes. 

While I admit God has called me to serve in the back (but not kids ministry lol) we were created to be in relationship with people and so I have to remember and work on staying engaged and not focus on tasks because tasks are easy.

As I was thinking about all this, I was overwhelmed by grace. How thankful I am to have loved and been loved by such incredible people. To have had the privilege to serve Jesus with all of them. 

And pulling back keeps me from loving the way God intended. Openhearted.

Thankful for this night when I could be calm, find peace, in a place peace always resides. In Him. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

It's not easy... but it's worth it



This is kind of shameful.

Since I was a young girl I have been on 1000s of diets.  I would hate to know how much weight I’ve lost (and gained over the years).

I was at my highest weight ever.  So high that I didn’t add those 2 extra pounds into myfitnesspal (and I am the only one who can see it)!

I decided that this will be the year I change my life.  I set (and registered) a goal of running the half marathon on Detroit this year. THe truth is that I could not run at the weight that I didn’t even want to admit to myself.  So I decided that in the next three years my goal is to lose 60 lbs.  20 pounds a year.  Yes I’d like to lose all 60 in one year but that’s a lot of pressure, and I want to make changes in my lifestyle that I can do MY WHOLE LIFE!  

I don’t drink soda (or pop) so I can’t take off those pounds.  

I don’t really eat bread…

I like dessert but it’s not my weakness.

The truth is I am an emotional eater. Happy, sad, grumpy, glad… I eat.

And that is a heart issue.
from here

It’s not just the number on the scale that needed to change, it was the way I deal with whatever life throws at me.  And that’s a lot harder than it always seems.  If I hate what I am doing, I will grab something to enjoy while I am completing tasks I don’t like.

Also, I work at a desk.  And I don’t get moving as much as I should.

Insert a fitbit in my life.  I tried buying the Pivotal Living cheap version (let’s just say I got what I paid for it).

I realized how much I DON’T MOVE.

So I decided I would start “easy” and just work on getting 10,000 steps in.  I must say, I have hit that goal EVERY SINGLE DAY!  It means I do planning on days when I know it won’t be easy, and sometimes I walk in the dark of night, and the bitter cold.  But I did it.

In the past, I would have done a hard change. 

Limit EVERYTHING and start exercising at a pace that I could never keep up with long term.
Insert the saying “I have to do this my whole life”

It’s not like I don’t know what to do… It’s not like I don’t know HOW to make good choices… 
I knew that this was time when the knowledge must be put to practical use.

Insert a promise I made myself. You will do this, because you are worth it.  I will take good care of myself.

I set goals for myself.

Lose 7 pounds (which changed to 10) before I left for Haiti

10 pounds more by 4 days

It has seemed really slow. Because let’s face it, when you do a hard change like only eating eggs, chicken, and veggies at low quantities and working out 1-2 hours a day the pounds MELT off.

There have been moments when I’ve wanted to give up. There are moments that I would like to walk to the vending machine at work when things aren’t going my way… instead I walk to the stairs, and walk for 5-10 minutes.

I plan like crazy.

I bring lots of snacks I love to make sure I don’t get to the point of starving…  These include:  grapes, grape tomatoes, celery (sometimes with Organic natural peanut butter), Netta’s famous (it’s famous to me!) popocorn, apples (sometimes with PB), grapefruit… 

80% of the time I pack my lunch at work

80% of the time I cook dinner (or eat leftovers)

95% of the time I make my own breakfast

I have to admit to you (I don’t feel guilty about this)… I’ve eaten at Roma’s, Johnny Carino’s, pizza, Red Robin, and even in Mexican Town….  but I ALWAYS plan my whole day when I eat those things.

It’s not practical to think I won’t ever eat out, or that I won’t want a big juicy burger on a gfree bun, but it is practical to plan out my day.

I also don’t have a cheat day, I have a cheat meal (and sometimes I have MORE THAN ONE IN A WEEK).  I track everything, even when I don’t want to admit I ate it. But so far in over a month, I’ve only had one day that I went over my calories for the day.

I know that 10 pounds doesn’t seem like much, but it’s better than keeping it LOL

The truth is I want God to use me my WHOLE life, and if I don’t do all I can to be healthy, that might not be very long…

Also, my momma never met her beautiful granddaughter, and I’d like to meet mine… I’d like to run and jump, and play, and enjoy them.

I am on the right track… to do this my whole life…

Because I made myself a promise…  to take good care of myself.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Lessons in Football Tickets


Image Credit  from here

I have been toying with buying season tickets to the Detroit Lions.  If you are wondering “does she like the Lions that much?”…  why yes, yes I do.  I really love football, professional football.  I have tried to do a lot of justifying to buy them…  it’s “my” money…  I work hard for it…  I can sell some of them to offset the costs…  

Isn’t that how it is when we want something, we start justifying it?  Well maybe just me.
Let me say this to you, if you have season passes to any event, I am not judging you.  I think it’s great! I wish I did.  I do.  I could sit on the couch and watch football ALL day on a Sunday if I let myself.

But then I think about what I could do with that money…  what $2100 could accomplish and I say “no thank you”.

And it’s not easy for me if you really must know.  But my house needs new windows, and a new roof, and a new furnace, and I’d like to move…  Or I really could feed the people at MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) once a month some really great meals for $2000.  Imagine what I could do with $2000 working on a community garden.  

I know that THE MOMENT I start to justify something that I want, it’s time to turn down my “wanter”.  I am working on my budget and paying things off.  

I ask the question…  Proposed by Andy Stanley…  Is this a wise decision based on my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams?

It’s not the right time, and maybe someday it will be the right time or maybe it never will be, but I know right now, the answer is “No”.  And whether I like it or not, that’s the answer I am going with.

It's funny, I feel like I've been kind of quiet lately, I do a lot more praying about situations, a lot more listening, and I feel a whole lot more peace.  And in this time, I feel like my heart is being stretched, my faith being strengthened... and it's pretty great (but not always easy).

Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her

    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.