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)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

An early birthday arrival

Look what I got today!! Aren't they beautiful?! They are from Dani!!

New Beginnings

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

You know what I don't like about not being perfect? That I have to forgive like I've been forgiven, and that sometimes I just need to start over. I have to put my screw ups behind me. I have to say, "God, can you please wipe that slate clean, AGAIN". Its not necesserily for the same things, it's for old and new dumb things.

That's why I like New Year's. It's a new beginning. It's full of endless promise and possibilities. Just like our lives in Christ. Endless possibilities. Truth be told that as much as I don't like to get in front of people and speak, someday I want to be a Women of Faith Speaker (or some kind of faith/motivational speaker). And each year, I know that God gives me a little more courage to do things that are out of my comfort zone. He gives me great opportunities to take the steps I need to do that. I don't know why I want to do that, I've actually always (ok, last 10 years or so) wanted to be a motivational speaker (though I don't know what the heck I would talk about to help people). I even want to go to school and study Theology. Most people look at me like I've lost my marbles when I tell them that.

I think about how great 2006 has been, and I can't wait to see what God has me doing in 2007, though some of it, I may be a little uncomfortable with.

My wish for you... as I blow out my birthday candle. May 2007 bring you unceasing hope, strong faith, a joy in your heart that makes your heart sing, good health, happiness so great that you just can't help but smile, and a love that fills your heart so much it overflows so much that you must share it with others.

Phil 3:12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


My day just didn't start out so great. Really. I wish I had a rewind button, all the way to Thursday... but just because it starts out that way, does not mean it has to end that way.
Phyllis and I got ready, went to the coney island, relax, I ate good. Even though I wanted coney and fries (double order of both) I didn't eat that. It's one of our favorite places. Then it was off to a movie, The Holiday. Ok, people, it looks like a sleeper, it is a HUGE chick flick, and let me tell you, it's a two thumbs up kind of movie. Totally great! It was just what I needed today. While I may be quirky, all is not wrong with me, sometimes it's the guy!

After the movie I wanted my haircut like Cameron Diaz, a thought I never thought I would have, I went and got my hair cut. and her hair is still way cuter than my new haircut, but I like it anyway.
It may have started out as a crappy day, but it didn't need to end like it!

Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm fat!

I had two blogs, well, I had one just for weight loss, thinking that it would help me lose weight because I would be accountable. I wasn’t. It didn’t help.

So, I’m still fat. Look at the picture of me on the right. YUCK! Look at those cheeks. I am beautiful, but not when I am this fat. I’ve already started working on my “waist watching” because I have a huge closet full of clothes, really cute clothes that I just can’t wear because I am just too darn fat. And please don’t say “you’re not fat” because I am.

Everyone has a diet that works. Quite frankly, it’s not that I don’t know what to eat. It’s that I want to eat all the time. If I don’t keep busy, I am putting food in my face. Though I must admit, eating food high in fiber is keeping me full longer, and I am sure it is helping.

I have little energy (and if you think I have lots of it, you should see me when I am at my best). And I just don’t like myself this way. I don’t like to be fat, I don’t like the feeling of being out of control. I like the way I look and feel in a size 8. I’m not going to lie. Size does matter!!

I think that for the most part, I am pretty on the inside, and I would like my outsides to match my insides, and being fat makes me ugly on both. It makes me doubt myself, does crappy stuff to my self esteem. Fat puts me at higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and self-loathing.

And so I don’t mean to offend you, if you are fat, and you are truly happy with that, then I am happy for you, but I am not happy for myself. So I am asking you, as my friends, ask me how I am doing with this eating thing, and I promise to answer you honestly, and when I don’t do well, ask me why, ask me what’s eating at me because I am eating too much of something else. I am asking, begging, don’t bring me things I shouldn’t eat (like donuts at life group), if we go out to eat, let’s eat healthy.

This won’t happen over night. But it will happen.

look at me before...

The movies

I love the movies. I love to go with people, I even love to go alone. It seems I go in spirts, I go to the movies a lot, and then not for awhile.
I went and saw the Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. Phyllis was at a friend's so I went by myself, caught the last Matinee for the day at MJR by our house. Got out my movie card, earned a free pop and popcorn with the purchase of my movie ticket - dinner and a movie- how great is that!? Watched the previews... There was a movie about war or something, I cried during the previews, who does that anyway?!

Phyllis had already seen the movie and she said I was going to like it. She said "Mom, there's a Stevie Wonder song in it". (if you didn't know, every great movie has a song with Stevie Wonder in it) I smiled. When she was little and there would be a song playing anywhere, mall, store, resturaunt, and I would say to her "who sings this song?", the answer was ALWAYS Stevie Wonder. People thought she was a musical genius, little did they know, I only asked her when it was Stevie Wonder. HA!

I remember learning in school that as Americans we were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to go after being happy but not necessarily the right to be happy. I took that to mean that sometimes you just have to make your own happiness. You have to step out of the world, and just find the blessings in life, and be happy. He brings that up in the movie.

It was a great movie, happy ending in all that. There were so many parts in the movie that I could relate to my own story, even though I am not nearly as successful as Chris Gardner. I can remember going hungry because Phyllis was extra hungry that day. I can remember dragging her to work with me on days that we just had to. And just yesterday, I can remember being so afraid that I just wasn't going to make it and I had someone who trusts me to take care of everything.

But sometimes you just realize that God is going to take care of everything. I realize that I just can't do it all on my own, and that there is someone bigger, stronger, and better than me to take care of everything. And my only job is to trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by fear?

Will there be enough money in the checking account to pay the bills? Will they one day decide that you are really just a number, and through your number out to the curb, then there is no job? Will you make that one wrong decision as a parent and WHAM! You screw up your kid’s whole life? That maybe your best friend won’t get out of prison? That one day your friends will realize that you really just are a loser, and what’s the point? That you may never find love? That one day you may end up like the homeless you serve? That your church may just decide that the sins you’ve committed are worse than everyone else’s and say “you’re just not welcome here”. That you are not good enough, pretty enough, or anything enough? And you might just be the one that God says – “I give up on you, you’re just too far gone, and you just don’t believe in my enough – you’re whole heart just isn’t enough, you weren’t worth My Son.”

I have been a worrier my whole life. I’ve said it before. I’ve worried htat my dad was going to die, I always have a plan B, sometimes a plan C, D, E, and all the way through Plan Z. I feel like Ford Motor trying to sell cars. I’ve made myself sick over the years, lost weight because all my system could handle was eggs, toast, and animal crackers. I’ve had doctors tell me that I need to write down on a piece of paper all the things I worried about, put them in the closet and after a month, see which ones came true and were worth worrying about. The answer “none”. Do you think that stopped me? Nope. One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 6:25-34. The last verse is my absolute favorite - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Somehow today, I find myself in a pit of worry. It’s like quicksand, I just keep sinking and sinking and sinking, and I just can’t seem to get myself out. And you know why? Because like everything else in life, only God can save us from ourselves.

Sara – you asked what was our New Year’s Resolution. Well, of course, I don’t want to be fat. But really, I want 2007 to be the year I no longer want to worry, I will trust in God. And maybe I can get a head start tonight.

Matthew 6:25-34

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


It's almost my birthday, next Monday, yes, New Year's Day. Probably top 10 suckiest days to have a birthday. Not kidding.

Here's the deal. Rarely do I actually get to do what I want to do on my birthday. I get a lot of suggestions on what people think I want to do on my birthday, but rarely do I actually do what I want to do.

This year my dad wants to take me out to dinner. Nice, huh? Except that my favorite resturaunt is closed on New Year's Day (reason #3 that my birthday day sucks) and I would rather just go out another day and get to eat where I want to. But I don't want to hurt my dad's feelings.

This is what I want to do on my birthday. Get up with a bunch of teenage girls all around me (Phyllis is having friends over) make them waffles or whatever, and then have Panera for lunch, and pizza for dinner. Maybe watch a bunch of movies in the middle of that. No football thank you very much.

That's it. Seems pretty uneventful to me, but pretty darn perfect. I'll fill you in on what happens...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I got two awesome gifts this year. Well, three, the most important one being that I got to see Phyllis enjoy opening her gifts.

One was White Christmas DVD, a movie I have on VHS and I watch it in July. I love that movie and during the Christmas season I just can’t watch it enough. I opened it, watched it right away.

The other gift I got, that I totally loved… A book called ‘The Christmas Shoes’. I got it from The K’s, Rob, Wanda, Ben, & Erin. I love to read. I can fall into a good book, and not fall out of it until it’s done. I can’t wait to read it. But really that wasn’t the best part of the book. It was the inscription, where I come from, when you give someone a book, you write a little something in it. “Thank you for being part of our life! You are a true friend! Someone to count on and share special holidays with. I hope that I can do for you what you have done for us.” Now that is just silly right? They hope they can do for me? Hello? Do they really know how much I love them, how much I enjoy going over there? How much it means that during the ages of like 10-14 I probably didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have but no matter what, they were always there. For many years, no one talked about my mom. It could have been that at the sound of her name, I cried. But this side of my family, they were the part that lead me to her. Stories I would hear that I was just like her, do things just like she did, only I never saw her do them.
I hate to make the bed. Only when I wash sheets do I make the bed. When I used to stay with my Aunt Dee & Uncle Ed (my mom’s family) for weeks in the summer, I had to make the bed everyday. SOOOO… I would sleep on top of the covers, as to not disturb them, hence, no making of the bed. My mom lived with them for awhile. SHE DID THE EXACT SAME THING! Funny, huh?
So I get this book, with the inscription. I can’t tell you with a million words how much I love them, and how much they do for me, mostly just loving me for who I am. That’s it. I hope I do the same for them

Monday, December 25, 2006

A different kind of Christmas this year!

It seems that this Christmas was a little different but still wonderful!

I learned so much about Luke 2 this Christmas, Pastor J was completely awesome and who would have thought that each week taking about the same passage could bring me to tears each week. 400 years, Holy moly!!

This year there was no saurkraut and keilbasa (gasp!) on Christmas eve (if you are wondering, I put my order in for next year) but there was an extra addition at our table so I could forgo the s&k. We ate later than normal so everyone could be at the table (a relative got a new job and she had to work late) but it was great! The family and food we had were fabulous.

I was so honored to read at our Christmas Eve service but I was so nervous, I hope they ask me again but it's a little unnerving to go from a church of max 200 to know that you are going to be reading in front of 400 people (no pressure) and if you think God doesn't answer prayers, I didn't cough at all when I read but I coughed a ton before and after! I can't even begin to explain to you how worried I was that God wouldn't be honored by my reading!

This year is was music, DVDs, gift cards, guitar hero (look out Marty, Phyllis might take your place someday - guitar hero this year, real guitar next year!), and a skateboard instead of dolls, and make up.

Looking back on the past year, I can't even count how many blessings I had. The answers to prayers (and the answers I didn't want to hear), the decisions I didn't want to make but was glad I answered God's call. I got new sisters, and one in-particular- who makes my heart sing, and cry, and laugh. So when I think there weren't as many presents under the tree this year, I can look back and see a million gifts that just wouldn't fit under the tree anyway.

Merry Christmas!!

Luke 2:14 "May glory be given to God in the highest heaven! And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!"

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve!

Here is a picture of Phyllis in our festive pink and brown for Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

(not my favorite picture... but it will have to do...)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Baking Beauties

It was a day of baking at the Maierle Households for the last couple of days... here are some pictures of the girls and my dad. No pictures of me thank you very much, you would be SkEERED!!

A chance

I remember about 13 years ago, Phyllis was not quite a year, my dad told us to get my stuff together, and being the kind kid that I was, I thought it was all him. We were fighting all the time at that point. I moved in with my girlfriend for a couple of months but that was not a temporary situation. It was November, and it was getting cold and I needed to find a place to live, but at $4.85/hour, I apparently made too much and I had like $1000 car. FIA told me I could lie and say I didn’t have a car and I would have to quit my job to get help. I think I made about $500/month after taxes. I looked at a single wide trailer to rent. It wasn’t even winter yet and it was already cold – with the heat on. And it was… gross. At some point I had to swallow my pride and go talk to my dad. And the giving, forgiving wonderful man he was, he took us back in.

I think about where we would be if he hadn’t. Would I ever had a chance? Would we be one of those stories you hear about single moms who are the white trash that their family is embarrassed of? Maybe I would have been on Jerry Springer. I still think my family is embarrassed of me, but at least they don’t have to “loan” me money knowing that they would never get it back.

And I guess this Christmas I think about how giving and forgiving our Father is. Where would we be had He not sent His Son down for us. Would we ever had a chance? Could we have ever sacrificed enough to make it into Heaven? His grace amazes me.

Friday, December 22, 2006

home at last!

Today was my last day of work until January 2nd!! I am ready for some peace and quiet at home. I had to go to the mall. I came to the realization BEFORE I got there, there will be a lot of people there (I hate people, I mean CROWDS, yeah, that's what I meant), said people may be crabby (be nice, be pleasant), and it may take a long time. With that being said, I finished my Christmas shopping.

Came home, got some redemption on the terrible service I have had with Direct TV, all is right in the satellite world now.

Took Phyllis to my dad's so that she and her cousin can make nut roll with my dad.

Wrapped some gifts, ordered Chinese (after reading Sara's post about what that salad did to her, I didn't want to chance it).

I read Sara's blog about how she missed her holiday get-to-gether. I missed mine to. God love the people I work with, and I love some of them too, but I spend a lot of time with them already, can't I just go home and enjoy some time with my family. And that is what I did. I wrapped up my quote (it's a good one!!), got in my car, had lunch with my dad. Came home, did the above, and all is right with the world today.

I prayed for peace, and His peace I got. And I guess that's the thing about trusting in God. He never let's you down. He's always there.

Have a great night, stay warm, and if you are spending it with those you love, give them a kiss for me.


Christmas Rules

I got these from Pat, had to share, I will post a "real" one later.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who serves carrots knows nothing of theholiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like finesingle-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer thansingle-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now.So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip?It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" orsomething. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me.
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point ofgravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out ofyour mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or butter-and-cream. If it's skim milk, pass. Why bother? It's likebuying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to controlyour eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eatother people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and NewYear's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling thebuffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat ofeggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, likefrosted cookies in the shape and size of Santa Claus, position yourselfnear them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If youleave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Pecan. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each.Or,if you don't like mincemeat, have two pecans and one pumpkin.Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with themandatory celebratory calories, but don't turn up your nose and attemptto avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. . .try some witha BIG dollop of Cool Whip!
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the partyor get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I don't care that we don't have snow, it means my pant legs aren't dragging in slush, but this year it does not seem like Christmas is coming, it just doesn't feel like the Christmas season. I know that Christmas isn't about presents, I know it's not about cards, it's about Jesus. But there are a few things that I like about Christmas. I like to give gifts. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way. I like to start my Christmas shopping in October, being done by Thanksgiving and using the month of December to pick up extras that I know someone would love. I love doing my Christmas cards, and with each of them, covering that card and those who will be receiving it in prayer.

This year, my Christmas tree looks a little sparce under there. Sure, I know there is plenty, but quite frankly, not as much as last year. I didn't send out Christmas cards because I just didn't have the money for postage ($80 that just wasn't in the budget). It seems this year that there is more need than ever or at least I am just more aware of it. It seems that people are a little grumpier and stressed out than years past. Maybe I am just getting old and noticing it more.

I am so thankful for the gift of life that Jesus gave, I am wondering in this world, where the heck is He? I'm sorry. I wonder, how come some kids get no diseases, Jay has celiac's, and now we're praying for Mac. I wonder why there is cancer going crazy down here. I wonder why my friend who has been faithful through every storm is having issues with getting her home. I wonder why people who said they were my friends (from my old church) and I have sent them emails, I don't get replies, I don't get phone calls, not even a Christmas card. I wonder if they were lying when they said they loved me, and quite frankly, I feel like they used me so they didn't have to do as much work. I am hurt this Christmas, and I am trying to get past it, and I am not doing too good at it.

Lord, I am asking You right now, give Sara her snow. Lord I am asking for Mac to be healed with whatever is ailing him, Lord, I am sitting here, with issues of not having peace, Lord, Jesus brought peace down to all Your people. Can you please send some my way? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

silly stuff & not so silly stuff

What's the first thing you do when you get a CD? I open it, pop it in the CD player and see who the people thanked. I borrowed my friend's DAUGHTRY CD, you know the hottie who really should have won American Idol last year. Ok, the guy sings one of the songs on Prison Break, has a great voice, loves his wife, is hot and do you know who the man thanks first? God and Jesus Christ his Savior. Ok, even though I just woke up, I can go back to sleep and sleep peacefully, another one for the Good Guy.

I can't read my blog (or yours for that matter) at work anymore. even at lunch! what the heck? how am I supposed to get a little unstressed? sheesh.

Second, for all you people who can't comment. Try clicking preview before you hit post the comment, that's the only way I could do it before on T-Fab's blog. I don't know if that will solve your problems, but try it.

Lastly, I know your prayer lists are mighty long, but even if it's just for a minute when you are done reading this post, can you please pray for Christie. Her & her hubby are having living arrangement issues (with the actually home not each other), can you please say a quick prayer? God knows the whole deal, because He knows EVERYTHING. Thanks. I know they are praising through a storm, but everyone can use an extra prayer.

Have a blessed day. 4 days and about 18 hours until Baby Jesus comes!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I often talk about Pastor J our lead pastor at Metro. But we have this guy, he’s kind of kooky, and wonderful. His name is Adam, he’s the youth pastor at Metro. His wife Katie is pretty great too.

Phyllis has begun going to Fuel, the Junior High Youth Group at Metro. She likes it, he doesn’t try to make her be something she isn’t, a little crazy. She’s not a jumping bean kind of worshipper, and he doesn’t make her be. She’s not a game player, he doesn’t make her.

I will admit that I was a little concerned that when she started going there that she may not fit in, that maybe somehow Adam would be like “this kid is weird” (I told you I feel like I ruined her on numerous occasions) but after speaking with him one day at the building, his attitude was completely opposite of that. He said something like “if we figure out how to reach her, there’s more kids just like her that we can bring to Christ” that is not a direct quote, but that’s what my heart heard.

Phyllis had been attending both youth groups for the last 2 months or so. She had to figure out where God was calling her to be. I think she’s known but her mom is an idiot. Sunday was her last night at Driven, at least as her home youth group. She’s found her way home to Fuel.

Adam is awesome, he’s crazy, he puts great things on for the kids, in order to bring them to Jesus, the kids love him. Adam has a Jesus heart. I’m proud to know him.

Thanks Adam for being so awesome and giving you all you got for Jesus. As a parent of one of those Fuel kids, I’m so very thankful.

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yesterday in church Pastor J was going to read the part of John that talked about God sending Jesus. I don’t know about you, but this holiday season, God has been moving like crazy in my heart. So much so that I can feel the world trying to pull me back. I could recite John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life) to you, almost to the point that I don’t realize what I am saying, but yesterday, I was weeping. I feel so blessed that God called me to Metro. I don’t know what the heck took me so long to give in and make it my church home.

I know a lot of people who say that you don’t have to go to church to believe in God. To a point, I agree with you. I will agree that it is not a requirement. I think that there are times in our lives when it just doesn’t happen. I know that some people do devotionals and bible studies without ever stepping foot in a church. But in my humble opinion, it is necessary to go to church, whether it’s in an actual church, a high school, someone’s basement or a remade over supermarket. I think that you cannot learn every bit of the word of God without people who have been called to speak/teach His word. I know I will probably get hate mail for this one, but oh well.

And so here’s my scripture to back it up. Luke 24:52-53

52Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

All these people after Jesus ascended into heaven went to the temple and praised God. I am not saying that we need to spend all our time there. I am just saying that going there is a big part of our worship.

I guess I am asking you to consider this year at Christmas. Since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, there are a lot of churches that are having morning services as well as evening services. There is a wide variety of services available. I am asking you to pray about where God has a message for you. He sent you a SAVIOR, why not go hear the Christmas Story one more time. And if you live in the Detroit area, and you want to go Sunday this Sunday at either 9:30 or 11:15 to Metro South (that’s my church), you can sit with me, I’d be glad to have you with me.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

C'mon people!

I have been in and out of stores this weekend, sometimes really good experiences and some... well not so good. I have found that most people are pretty nice, I almost got knocked over by a store manager at Farmer Jack today, but other than that, it's been ok, except for one thing...

PEOPLE!! Stop buying your kids stuff before Christmas. I am sorry if this offends you, but for the love of Chocolate Chip cookies. After Halloween all extras, toys, CDs, DVDs, matchbox cars, perfume, makeup... shopping stops. If it's good enough to buy, stick it in a stocking, or here's a crazy idea, don't give your kids everything in the whole wide world, they probably won't appreciate it anyway.

I just have to say, that in my observances this holiday season, most kids who asked for stuff, didn't even ask nicely, and sorry if you are one of those people, most of them looked like what I call 'Downriver White Trash'. Really, sorry if you are offended, and I know it doesn't sound very Christian like but even Jesus called out the Samaritan woman.

There is about a week left until Christmas. Stop buying extra stuff while you are in the stores.

This message brought to you by parents everywhere who actually just say no.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's been an amazing day

I had a 'list' post today, but something told me not to post it (hmmm... I wonder who that was).

I slept in today, until 9AM, that's pretty late for me. I must have needed the rest. I had to go to the building and get my spaghetti that was left over. I went out to my car, looked at my tires and I could see the thread showing, if you are wondering, that is not good, that means they isn't any rubber left, yeah, that's bad.

Also not good, it's Christmas time and there isn't much money left in the bank account. So I had decided to go get just two tires, even though I really new that I needed 4. 2 was what I could afford. I prayed and prayed as I was shopping around, please God, You know how much money I have, You know what I need, I trust You. BAM! Here comes one of His angels flying down, problem solved, 4 new tires, all within my budget. God is good.

I remember reading a blog from KayMac about accepting gifts when they come. Have a greatful heart. I will tell you, that I love to give gifts, probably way more than I like to accept them. I am not worthy, truthfully, that's why I don't like to receive them. But today, I cried, but I said Thank you and Thank You. That's what this Christmas is about to me this year, it's about praising God. I have celebrated 32, this will be my 33rd Christmas. I always loved Christmas. I celebrated it and partcipated in it. I know who it's centered around, I've always known that. But this Christmas, somehow, God is moving in my heart so steadfastly (I don't think that's a real word), so strong, it's just amazing. I look around and somehow I don't see what I don't have but I see what I do have.

I have a God who loves me, who blesses me, and those who love me like crazy. I have friends, and family, and sisters that are amazing.

I am in awe.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Merry Christmas

It's that time of year, the time of year when Lay-a-ways are due out of Meijer for the Christmas Season. I had a small one this year, I got some good deals, put them in lay-a-way for safe keeping. I ran over to Meijer's to pick them up. Hand the lady my receipt and I should be on my way, except she handed me some toy that I didn't buy, so something told me to open the box BEFORE I leave the counter (at this point there was a huge line behind me). Not my stuff, and the stuff in the box wasn't the great. Sooo... as you can imagine everyone is getting a little impatient, I'm a little concerned because two of the gifts were for my g-friend's sons. Things they specifically asked for.

The customer service people are concerned because I could freak out, the people in line are upset, one lady is voicing her concern, I politely said "everyone makes a mistake". Really, if that's the worst thing that happens to me this Christmas, I'll just go on my merry way...

So I suggested that I just go out on the floor and get my stuff, they put it in a box, case closed.

So that is what I did. Let me tell you something though, something I am not so proud of, there is a time when I would have freaked out, threw a fit. But really, what does that solve?! I left the store with the my temper in tact and no one else was hurt either.

When I put my layaway in the woman had a sore back, I told her I would pray for her, she needed surgery. So had I been a snit, I would have undid whatever things she thought of me (hopefully they were nice things). I also remember the day that she originally helped me, she went WAY out of her way to help me. WAY! She was pleasent and kind, even though I could tell by her breathing she was in a lot of pain.

Everyone makes a mistake, I told her boss that I did not want anything to be said to her, no write ups, everyone makes a mistake. Some much bigger than others (I'll be in that "much bigger than others" category).

There are a lot worse things that can happen to you this holiday season. Lose your job, lose a family member, not know Jesus, family who doesn't know Jesus. And many people can't afford to buy much for their family this holiday season.

All's well that ends well. I think Sara invented that saying after she ate a plate of mistletoe.

Please remember this holiday season while we're stressing out or a little short tempered, there's probably worse things that could happen, and by God's grace and love, we'll get through it.

Leviticus 19:18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

where are they coming from??

I have been blowing my nose for well over a week now... I got so many boogers I just don't know where they could possibly be coming from. I'm sick of it... this is driving me crazy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The song of my heart

Tonight was Phyllis's Christmas Concert. Yes, that's right, I said CHRISTMAS Concert. There are not too many things I like to do more than watch my daughter sing. She has a great voice (she had a solo tonight) but there is something about Phyllis when she sings, she glows. She smiles with her eyes.

She's always done that. Some kids take pictures and they smile with the "CCHHHEEEESSSEEE" smile, but not Phyllis, when she smiles, her personality comes out. It's amazing, I don't know where it came from, but you can see her heart when she smiles.

It was the best Christmas present, because Jesus lives in my daughter's heart, and it comes through her in numerous ways.

Psalm 108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
(Pictured Phyllis performing & Phyllis and her music teacher - Mrs. Kane)

Some blog survey thing...

I, unlike Sara, like to do these dumb things...

A - Available or single: Yes, and if you know any hot, single, Christian, non-mental guys, please send them my way (between 33-42)
B - Best Friend: Dani, Christie and my sisters
C - Cake or Pie: cake, yellow with choc frosting.
D - Drink of choice: iced tea
E - Essential Item you use everyday: a hug from Phyllis
F - Favorite color: Sage or Navy
G - Gummy Bears or worms: ick! Neither
H - Hometown: Dearborn, MI
I - Indulgence: Cheese
J - January or February: January (my b-day month)
K - Kids & Names: 1 Phyllis
L - Life is Incomplete Without? Jesus & Family
M - Marriage Date: none
N - Number of Siblings: 1 (but she died)
O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges
P - Phobias or Fears: I have a fear of leaving my family behind (they won't go to Paradise)
Q - Fave Quote: Christmas songs should sound beautiful and my voice sounds like a smoked Marlboro reds all my life - Chad at Metro two weeks ago (it was all I could think of)
R - Reason to Smile: Phyllis
S - Season: I like them all except Winter
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: If you're reading, you're tagged.
U - Unknown Fact about Me: I'm always nervous in front of people
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: olives - gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
W - Worst Habit: Intolerant.
X - Xrays: teeth
Y - Your Fave Food: Almost Anything at Roma Cafe in Eastern Market
Z - Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A life well lived

We had to pack up the last of my Gram's old apartment, another chapter in the book of life, closed. I got to do it all by myself, well, I volunteered to help my dad out since he's a little too stressed lately. I honestly thought I would be sad, thinking that memories with my Gram will soon be gone, but I wasn't. I thought that I would go crazy in the silence since I forgot a radio and there is none there since they are at my Gram's new digs. I danced around a celebrated a life well lived by singing "Trading my Sorrows".

Most of the stuff we wanted was already taken, this was the last of it. Dessert glasses that had numerous scoops of ice cream dished to and eaten out of. Mirrored trays of perfume. Things with no monetary value, but who can put a price on the things that make you who you are.

Packing her things I looked through books that had newspaper articles in them, things that were important at the time. I found myself finding things and wanting to hold on to them, although they would end up in a box because they really don't have any use. I think a couple of times I heard my dad's voice (he wasn't there) say "what are you going to do with that? And to the donation pile it went.

I am different from my dad because I took my time looking through books that I knew he'd want if he would just be patient. He's having a hard time with this, this is his mother who loved him like no one else, who fought for him when no one else would. She's a memory of a life well lived.

I said before that I am lucky because I have the most memories with her. I found glasses with silver leaves on them that were only used for special occasions. I remember them well, I wasn't allowed to use them, but I remember my g-pa using them to make "hi-balls", whatever that is.

I looked through photo albums of pictures of our family -of the little ones- my gram's eyes lit up with each birth of the children. Looking at each picture and her captions made my heart sing.

The one thing that made me cry was the opening of the "family bible". I was never used except to write the family tree in it. No marks in the binding, no scribbles in the margins, no underlined or highlighted passages. I found that so odd (mine looks like a little kid got hold of it). My Gram loved Jesus, He was in her heart and maybe it's because she was Catholic (I never opened my bible before I changed denominations). I found myself crying because even though He was in her heart, she never read His words. That was so sad.

My Gram is not the same Gram as I remember. I am so thankful for her love and I am so thankful for a life well lived.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I wonder…
I wonder if I ruined my daughter.
I love her and I think she’s great, but I look around at other kids her age, and she is so different from them. She doesn’t just want to be spoken to, she wants to learn. She doesn’t find silly things funny, but tell her a story that makes her laugh, something true life, and if she can learn a lesson from it, she is happy.
She’s not a normal teenager, she asks what she can carry in when we are going from car to house or house to car. She washed the bathroom floor after the plumbing escapade without being asked. She helps before I ask.
She likes quilting, and singing, sunshine, boating, reading, and Jesus. She carries her bible around to read but thinks that kids who act like fools spouting off the love and name of Jesus do a detriment. Act right she thinks.
She checks out people to make sure their words match their actions. She watches their heart and forgives.
I watched her on Saturday at Battle of the Bands. She really is an old soul that lives in a time when that’s just not normal.
I wonder if I gave her too much responsibility and expected to much.
I wonder if someday she will look back and think I was a terrible mother.
I wonder if I ruined my daughter.
But the crazy thing is, I love her just as she is.
She is the one thing in life, I think I did right. And I had nothing to do with it, it as all God.

Proverbs 22:1-6
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
2 Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
4 Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.
5 In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.

6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


It was quite a great experience at Metro today. T-Fab lost her monitor (it was right in front of her :) ) and we did awesome songs at praise and worship (T-fab did a solo – woo hoo), we missed you Dean (and Marty), please get well soon, but the guys who filled in did a great job. We sang Oh Holy Night, and that is one of my favorite Christmas songs (note to self, do a Fave Christmas song list for a blog) and I probably have sung that song one hundred times over my life. This time however, the words had a completely different meaning. Ok, well, not completely but more depth, I guess you could say.

This one part “Long lay the world, In sin and error pining” this is the part that gets me, I told you I am stuck on the 400 year thing! Down here was a bunch of knuckleheads not living like they should, maybe God was just sitting up on the throne, maybe His heart was breaking, finally, He had enough, He sent His Son, the Savior of the World, for us, for all of us. Whether you followed before or not. For us.

I have heard the Christmas story, at least 33 times, I have even walked up the gifts on so many Christmas Eve nights. And the last couple Sundays, whoa, I just am in awe of the whole Christmas experience. The night that God said, I love you so much, I am going to break my silence, I want to show you a new way, my way. Not about power and might in a scary kind of way, but a power and might of Love and Grace. No more need to sacrifice anything, because I love you so much, I will show you the ultimate sacrifice. I will send you My Son. He’s come to save the world, all you have to do is allow Him in your heart.

That’s what I learned today.

O Holy night,
The stars are brightly shining.
It is the nightOf the dear Saviour's birth;
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining,
Till He appeared
And the soul felt His worth.
A thrill of hope,
The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees!
Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine,
O night, when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night,O night divine!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Hello, and good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. My name is Margie and I am a brat. A spoiled one at that. One that says thank You to God everyday, but I’m still a brat.

Yesterday, I got my water in my house turned back on because my dad and his friend completed their plumbing plan, well, at least the parts that ensured I could have water.

It occurred to me while I was driving to church that I am a brat. Do you know how many people live without clean water everyday?

But it’s not just that folks. I have kind of felt sorry for myself for most of my life because I don’t have a mom. I know that it sounds super silly, because I do indeed have a great life. And afterall, I still have my dad. I was thinking that some people don’t have two parents that love them as much as my dad loves me.

As a single mom, I thought that I would never own my own home. I htought I would have to be married to have such a blessing. And yet, God lined it all up, and I live in a great house, that indeed does need work, but that is just to make it my own. I can pay my bills, I drive a pretty decent car. And I never want for a meal (you can tell that by looking at me). I am blessed beyond belief.

I blog before you with a greatful heart. A heart that is open to worship wherever I want because God placed me in this great country, with a great God, in a wonderful home, with a wonderful family. I blog before you blessed and in awe of God’s Love and Grace.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Friday, December 08, 2006

My dad

I know that Saturday is the day for lists... but too bad... it's coming today
1. Hecan fix anything.
2. He has the perfect chest to cry in, and he always has a handkerchief
3. He makes this nut roll thing at Christmas time (it’s Hungarian) that everyone (except me) loves. I don’t like it because it has walnuts and I don’t like walnuts so this year he’s trying it with pecans (just for me). He is passing the tradition on to Phyllis, they make it every year.
4. He makes good breakfast, and by the way, he made us omelets before we left for work/school this morning
5. He is a good captain on the boat, he loves being on the water (pictured in the doorway & on the right eating breakfast)
6. Hecalls my gram, me, & Phyllis his “favorite girls”
7. He'll do anything for anyone he loves
8. He has a great laugh
9. He tells corny jokes, and PLEASE don’t ever ask him how the angel got on top of the Christmas tree.
10. If his body was in proportion of his heart, he’d be bigger than Andre the Giant.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Some people say I have bad timing.

My dad often asks me if I spy on him when he is going into the bathroom, and then I call. Hee! It happens so much that my dad was considering getting a phone in the bathroom. How funny is that?!

It’s a gift

I think about how when I call someone or they call me, and one of us has to say, “I’ll call you right back” because there is something else that demands our attention.

God’s timing is perfect. We don’t always like it, but it is.

Sometimes we want something, for me we’ll talk about a husband. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to be married. So much so that I almost married someone who mentally abused me, and I believe that it was only a matter of time before he physically abused me. I know that there are many times in my life when the timing just wouldn’t have been right for me. I now see that something was just around the corner that would have prevented me from giving it my best or my all. God knows what is right for me. I wonder if it’s not the same for my future husband. Maybe right now, he’s not living in God’s will, maybe… oh I don’t know. But I trust God and His timing. Even though sometimes I just don’t like it.

I keep thinking about that 400 years that God didn’t make His presence known among men. I don’t know what I am so preoccupied with it, maybe it’s because I just can’t imagine it. I haven’t walked with the Lord my whole life, but I know He’s walked with me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel his love, grace, and mercy. 400 years. Back in the day, I don’t think people lived that long, but aren’t generations like 10 years? So for 40 generations, no one heard God. But just then, when God’s timing was right, poof! He sent a Savior. He sent us Jesus. Just when we needed it.

I don’t know about you, but that just blows me away.

Luke 2:10-14 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

P.S. I know it's the same scripture as yesterday, I just can't get tired of reading it...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

update on the plumbing

Still sleeping at Dad's... it's almost done (pray hard). It's all put together, just checking for leaks (and we're finding them).

I think I am coming down with a cold. I'm going to be early.

How blessed am I that my dad did all that for me, and he lives less than a mile from me so I don't have to go far?!

Good night!

What God sends

On Sunday Pastor J talked about how God hadn’t talked to the people for like 400 years, which quite honestly seemed kind of nuts to me because there are many instances every day that God speaks to me. So then Pastor J went on to Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Pastor J went on in his silly way “God didn’t send us a teacher, etc, He sent a Savior” because that is what we needed.

I think about my life and how God sends just what I need, just when I need it. Not what I want (I get that sometimes too) but what I need.

My dad is currently in my basement, ripping up the galvanized plumbing out of my basement because it needed to be done. I will tell you, it’s not really what I wanted. I had a stressful day, I could have come home, crawled into bed, and slept until this morning, but the world doesn’t stop because Margie is stressed. And God sends us just what we need.

So, first I must apologize if you have ever drank any water out of my house, the pipes were pretty gross, but good thing is, you got your iron. Second, I must say that God put it on my dad’s heart and mind, just in time. The fittings were starting to leak, that could have been a real mess if not caught in time.

I talked to a good friend today on my way to work. Just what I needed.

He sent me a new boss (Well, really, He changed the reporting structure) just in time for the doubt if I could do it set in (she believes I can do anything).

He sends great messages when we need to hear them through friends, TV, pastors, and family.

He sent me someone to laugh so hard yesterday, I teared up. I needed to laugh.

And in the little town of Bethlehem, just when we needed it, He sent us a Savior.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I had a very stressful day. I had to deal with this... nit wit, and I was so frustrated. I am amazed at how unprofessional, rude, arrogant, and just wrong she was. Her paperwork is not done, she needs to retake the 101 in her job because Lord have mercy, she has no clue of the big picture.

I had to sit with her yesterday, twice. Completely frustrated both times. Completely. Both times I wanted to scream at her and tell her she was being all those things above, but I didn't. In my head, all I could say was "be honoring to God, be honoring to God, be honoring to God, be honoring to God" even though, honestly that is the last thing I wanted to be. I had listened to Joel on the web while I was working (that is the coolest thing) and he talked about how we are exactly where we are supposed to be, because that's where God put us, so while I am there I better be honoring to God, right?

I think my blood pressure was probably off the little doo-hickey that they take it with, but I held my tongue, and today, I have to deal with, in a way that is honoring to God. I better pray the whole way to work :)

Psalm 22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Life of worship

When I first started attending FBC I thought Worship was just the part of singing. “Praise and Worship Time”.

Now I am learning that worship is more about living in the light of God. Doing things that bring honor to Him. It’s in everything I do, because I know people are watching. I am sure that there are many people who watch me and wonder if this Jesus thing is really as great as I say it is. (I think He's better)

Yesterday I was at Metro, in my Sunday best, I might add, (sweats and sneakers that were ruined at the building, hair pulled up – Good thing God already loves me!) We sang some great Christmas songs. I had to laugh when Chad said “Christmas songs should be beautiful, and my voice sounds like I have smoked Marlboro reds”. I bet God hears his heart not his voice (they did sound beautiful when he sang them). But I do know one thing, I know that God saw Dean. Dean was up there, worshipping like crazy to a God who loves him, who loves all of us.

I think as we live a life of worship, God may not always see what we do and all our deeds but He reads our hearts while we are doing it. Do I think that God watches me sweeping up the drywall dust or does He see me at the Soup Kitchen doing the dishes or handing out syrup, probably not, but do I think He can see the love in my heart? You bet I do! And on the flip side, when I am doing something out of guilt and serving because I feel like I have to instead of doing out of an act of worship, I think He sees that too.

I find myself thinking about Pastor J saying “God didn’t send a teacher, He sent us a Savior.” We didn’t need anything else, we needed a Savior. And in that, I could worship forever.

I have had a tough time this holiday season, I can’t really put it on one thing or another but a bunch of tiny things that are getting at me. But it’s up to me where my heart stands, in a life of worship or not.

Hebrews 12:28-29 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our "God is a consuming fire”

P.S. The first time I ever met Dean was at the 3rd Day concert, I remember watching him worship then too!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Last night we went to 1721Worship, it’s an event for teens. Sometimes I think I have no life and that everything I do is for Phyllis. I think maybe I should go out more, etc. But occasionally God sends me a reminder that the life I have is a great one, paved in stepping stones to get me here. We had a van packed full of kids, 9 I guess, I brought 5. We had a blast, they opened with Starfield, “I’m a revolution”, Phyllis & I just looked at each other, we love that song, I don’t think a lot of kids know it. But Phyllis and I both love that song. We love music period.

We ended up going with the kids from Driven which worked out perfectly because Julie helped with the pizzas and I helped her. We were a two woman show and honestly, I don’t know how we did it, I didn’t stop for ½ hour, drinks, pizza, needing more plates. It was great.

On my way home from dropping Ryan off, Phyllis was sleeping and I was just thinking about her. What a great girl she is, I know she’s mine, but really, she is great. She is going to 2 Youth Groups right now, Driven on Sunday and Fuel on Monday. I really like that she gets to experience two completely different sets of kids, the way that two Youth Pastors preach. Adam asked me how she liked it, I told him she did (otherwise, she wouldn’t go). He said that if they can figure out how to reach Phyllis, they can reach a whole different set of kids in addition to the ones they do. How amazing is that?! Phyllis is very much the same as me in many ways, but there is one thing she is very different than me. She does not jump in with both feet. She likes to see what it’s all about, stand in the back, check it out, make sure people do what they say and say what they do. I love that about her.

I love so many things about Phyllis, I love her spirit, her loving, giving nature, and I love to watch her worship.
I have a great life. It truly does not get much better than this.

Pictures are the kids that went from Driven, Ryan, Mark (Youth Leader from Fuel), & Phyllis, and the kids worshiping. Phyllis is next to Ryan.

Friday, December 01, 2006

lessons of today

I went to the funeral of my friend Jon today. It was packed. So many people there to pay their respects, and to show their love to the family that is now left behind until they meet again in heaven. I was asked a month or so ago by his wife if I would tell a story about Jon. What was I going to say? I loved Jon, but you know, I blubber, and I blubber. I was going to say what I wrote about him the other day, the problem was, that I really wanted people to hear about my friendship and memory of Jon, not me up there, crying. So it got a little shortened up. Ok, a lot shortened up, but the point got across.

Throughout the day people were walking up to me telling me how much Jon loved me. How he broke down when I got my degree, and other things. I wish he would have told me when he was alive. I always just thought he felt sorry for me….

Life is about lessons, and one I learned today (I really already knew it, but it was brought home today), it’s important to tell people you love them that you do. Never stand there after they are gone and say “I wish I would have…” or leave them wondering how you felt about them.

And another one I learned, get right with Jesus. If you think you are getting to heaven any other way, you can’t. He’s the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to the Father, except through Him (John 14:6). It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s just important that you do.

3rd, and probably not the last thing I realized today, is that at my funeral, I want music! I want it playing in the background during the visitation, I want lots of songs at my funeral. I want everyone to be praising and worshipping, I’ll be in heaven, praise the Lord!
Ever wonder how God lines it all up so perfectly? How the stars in the sky line up for Little Dipper and Big Dipper, like He takes so much time to get it all lined up…

It’s like that in my life too. My last post was a bit of PMS and a lot of not-so holiday cheer! Sara and I have had dinner plans for a week or so, maybe a little longer, we tried getting together before, but we just couldn’t get the date set… Maybe God just knew that I would need a little pick me up the week that He called Jon to come home, a week of a big pile of work (at work) that just seems to be getting bigger (but I love a challenge).

It was a simple dinner, I cooked instead of going out, it was a pretty simple dinner considering it was cooked in a crock pot (if you don’t have one – get one, if you have one but don’t use it, start!). It was a time of laughter. Something I haven’t had much of lately, it was like God was sending a little pick me up that I needed to get the holiday season in full swing (my tree wasn’t even plugged in). It was a little message that said “you’re doing all right Margie” it was a message that just said “have some fun”. And it was a message to say “don’t forget, I love you, Margie”.

The thing about Sara, you have to love her, you don’t even have a choice. Maybe some may find her straight-forwardness a little hard to take, the fact that she can love you so much that you are sitting in a Coney Island crying, she’s listening and she just says to you (lovingly) “what is it that you really want?” She’s about loving you so much that she believes in beatings, she believes in being truthful, and ethical, and she also believes in being honest that she’s not perfect, and that she’s a work in Christ and in process.

And it’s also always nice to get that little reminder that reality is way funnier than fiction could ever be!

And she is so wise, she solved my Christmas card dilemma, she invented Christmas cards, you know.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Hoolliiidddaaaayyysss

Matthew 11:28-30 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

It is becoming very apparent to me in my old age that savoring the holidays is something that is really important. I have lived long enough to figure out that packing your holidays to the brim is not a way to enjoy them. So this holiday season (one that I am not that enthused about) I am warning you now, I will not pack my calendar to the rim. Please don’t be offended by this, if I say no, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, I didn’t take offense when you didn’t meet me for lunch or come out on the boat, please don’t think I love you any less if I say no. Oh, and by the way, if it means extra money will be spent, it’s pretty much out. The cost of butter and sugar (at a 20 year price high) is an extra expense, not to mention presents.

I refuse to be a mean shopper or someone who forgets what this holiday is all about, because it’s about Jesus, and no offense, He’s all I need. He’s my mashed potatoes (and beans) everything else is all jello salad and gravy.

I know this sounds pretty scroogie but if it means that keeping Jesus in my heart, being cheerful to those who see me around, if it means that when people see me, they see the love of Christ… well, I guess it’s the right thing to do.

Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

beans and blessings

John 1:16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

This may not sound like a reason to get excited about beginning the ‘core’ program at Weight Watchers… but it was. BEANS! I love beans, my two favorites are Great Northern and Garbanzo. I love them! So image how I thought God must have had me in mind when He put them on sale at Kroger! 20 for $10!! That’s only 50 cents each! Woo hoo!! And I can eat them until…

I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘beans’? but really I love them, they are like one of my favorite foods, I eat them right out of the can! I think the 3 wise men should have left the frankensense and muir and brought beans and maybe some chocolate.

Thinking about all my blessings today, I thought I must have at least one blessing for each bean that is in a can. SO I was thinking about how beans compare to blessings.

1. they are both fuel for the journey. When we think we can’t go on, we think of our blessings, and we get a pick me up.
2. They are both filling.
3. Beans and blessings are inexpensive and widely available. Blessings are a gift from God, they don’t cost us a thing and they are available everywhere.
4. Both come in wide varieties, Garbanzo, Northern, Green, and home, food, friends, etc.
5. Beans and blessings can help cure obesity. (this is all about me). Beans are low in calories and fat, and when I think of all my blessings I am more likely to eat things that are good for me or not eat because I am depressed.

Psalm 128:2 You will eat the beans; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Ok… so the real verse is Psalm 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Written 11-27-06 in Memory of Jonathon A. Flowers

I sit here before you, blogging, mourning and rejoicing in the death of a friend. My friend Jon died today. Death is inevitable, death from this earth. Jon has life eternal. It seemed dumb to some, like I was giving up hope, that I prayed that he learned and accepted this man, Jesus, into his heart. I wasn’t giving up hope, Jesus gives hope.

I was on my way to church to do some unskilled labor when I got the call. I wanted to turn around and go home. I wanted... but what I want doesn't get what needs to be done, done. Besides, I didn't think that is what Jon would want, so I went, and I got a really gross job - thanks Jon.

I always seem to be trying to figure out where I fit in, like somehow I am different from everyone else. Today I realized, I am, right where I am supposed to be. I was Jon’s secretary for awhile, I answered the calls of his wife, many times. Many times, and those times, I spoke with her, we’d talk about vacations, and shopping, whatever. I grew to really like her. In the past months, I spoke with her again, my hope is that she found comfort when I called, and that she felt the prayers I was praying for her and her husband. I guess I fit in wherever God needs me.

In some ways I find it hard to be sad for my friend, in some ways I am a little jealous, he got There first. He got to meet Jesus and the most awesome God there is. The beginning, the end, and everything your heart could ever want in the middle.

It seems weird to start off a season of birth with a death. But I guess it’s because of Jesus that Jon will never die, he has eternal life.

I was listening to my new Mercy Me CD that I got today (I am well aware it’s been out for awhile) I heard this song… ‘Where I belong’. I felt like I have belonged all along, it was me who thought I was out of place, no one else. So here I am today, praising an awesome God, who gives life to those I love, theirs for the taking. That’s where I belong.

below is the kind of man he was...

As I think back on my relationship with Jon Flowers, the first word that comes to mind is encouragement.
I don’t think that there is a person that worked for Jon that wasn’t affected by the way he encouraged us.

We worked hard, but Jon made work our second home. He encouraged us to go back to school to get our degree, because he lead by example, and I watched him finish his Masters Degree, quite an accomplishment for anyone with a career, a wife, and children.
He encouraged us to take the next steps to further our careers. Many of us started out at UTA or Lear with Jon and he helped us to continue our careers, he believed that people should be given the opportunity to excel. I can remember the first time I ever had to go meet with the customer, I probably called him 10 times by 7AM (I think he may have been a little annoyed by the 6th call), he kept telling me I was going to be fine, he told me I was prepared, and most of all he believed I could do it. So, somehow I believed I could do it. He did that for a lot of us. When we didn’t think we could, he knew we could. I must have told him 10 times how much it meant to me that he helped me, he never took any credit. He always said it was me, and maybe it was me, but it was him too, standing in the sidelines, cheering me on.
Scripture tells us in Romans 1 that we should encourage each other. There are probably many people who could tell you the same story as I am today, how they remember what a great guy Jon was, about how he could make you smile or laugh just because he was laughing, that big hearty laugh, right from his belly. They will tell you how he made work not seem like work at all, that through it all, we were family. As long as I live, I’ll never forget what he did for me. Ever

Monday, November 27, 2006

In my family

I said before that loving God with all my heart runs in my family. Today our Pastor talked about being a Prodigal son, and how tough it is when you have someone in our families who runs from God, and us.

He asked if anyone in our families was a Prodigal Son. I have quite a few. So much so that people in my family have accepted it. I stand here today, telling you that I will not accept it. It is not something like "she likes oranges, but no one else does". Nope being far from God is something that I plan to take a stand against. Thankfully our Pastor, being wise like he is, gave us some steps on what to do. One of them is prayer, ok, great, I already pray for them, maybe I just don't know what to pray. Then he gave us the scariest of prayers, "Lord, do whatever it takes". After a long day with a bunch of Prodigals (and let me tell you this, I stand here, an ex-Prodigal someone who ran from God, and ran right back into His loving arms) I just needed some time with God, and it couldn't wait, so I went for a walk "to get refreshed", really I just couldn't stand not to talk to God one more minute, they thought I ate too much, though maybe they knew, I was kind of crabby. As I was walking, I wondered a lot of 'how comes' and then I realized, the 'how comes' don't really matter, and then out of pure desperation, I prayed the prayer "Lord, do whatever it takes to bring them back to You". That's a scary prayer, you think? God has a lot of power up on that Throne, He could do a lot of damage, I found myself thinking that I hope it's not too bad. But really, whatever it takes. I will pray and pray, but only they can answer when He calls. It's their choice. I hope they answer this time when He calls, He never stops calling, I am proof of that.

1 Sam 3:8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy

Isaiah 41:4 4 Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD -with the first of them and with the last—I am he."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The song of my heart

There’s not much you could have said to me yesterday to make me feel like I was worth a quarter. I could have told you every bad thing about me, everything I screw up on… it was just one of those kind of days. The kind that I don’t like to admit that I have, but I do. Its mostly because I say that I leave my baggage behind, but it slowly creeps up on me. I think that I have good self esteem, but good for what? Today it wasn’t good for much. I kept harping on the fact that there I have no skill to help with the major construction at Metro, if I did then maybe I could help get the church done by Christmas, maybe if I had better skills than dropping off food… I was praying about it… I would swear that God said to me, “what is around your neck? Go read the rest if the verse when you get home…”

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I kept just thinking I am worthy, I know God, I am Yours. But I was having such a hard time. And I really didn’t have the words, I thought, I can’t wait to sing tomorrow, maybe that will help praising in church, it usually opens me right up when nothing else will. Sometimes I just can’t seem to get out of my own way. Then I hit the ‘1’ button on my radio and there was Thousand Foot Krutch singing “breathe you in” and the chorus was resenating in my chest.

I've always been strong
But can't make this happen

'Cause I need to breathe,
I want to breathe you in
I want to breathe you in

So I sat in the car, sang the song and went in, a little stronger than I was just a minute ago, reflecting on how great God is, not only did He know the scripture verse I needed, He knew the song.

He is the song of my heart.

Psalm 131:1-3 My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Anyone who knows me, or has been in my kitchen, knows I love Pampered Chef. This is one of the recipes out of the Season’s best catalogs. I made these for a party. I have been told that this is the BEST Peanut butter cookie recipe ever, but you need a cookie press. Buy one, they are a good investment—Call Wanda, she’ll get you one.Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (And they are Jay approved!)

1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter (Creamy)

Preheat oven 350.

By Hand: Mix sugar and egg until creamy. Add peanut butter, do not overmix.

Put in cookie press, and put them on stone cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes.

Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove to cooling rack.

Christmas Memories

  1. We put up our tree last night, and like most things in my life, I won’t be on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens for the most beautiful tree… but to me, it is the most beautiful tree, there isn’t a theme really, only the theme of things I love. It has the Angel from my Great Uncle, hand made ornaments, ornaments bought because of their theme or their meaning. Here’s a list of my favorite ornaments… and some of their meanings…
    1. Kiss the Cook & Mom/Daughter cookie tray – If you know me, you know I love to bake.
    2. Hand made ornament by Phyllis in preschool, she was 3 (and loved puzzles)
    3. The one with the mom & daughter dancing. Reminds me of the ‘dance’ we’ve had all these years.
    4. . Lucy… she’s my favorite Peanuts character, and Charlie Brown is my favorite cartoon… I think she’s most like me. Hard exterior, but really just wants to be loved on the inside…
    5. Snowman with doctor mouse. I bought this in 1997 when Phyllis was diagnosed with JRA. Now when we put it on, “being sick” is just a memory… and a huge praise goes to God.
    6. The mouse playing the sax… this was made by my Aunt Dee, she was like a mom to my mom, and loved me so much. She hand painted this.
    7. Snowman ice cream cone. We got this on the Possum Trip in Gaitlenburg. I love ice cream and the trip was very memorable.
    8. I have the 12 days of Christmas that was put out by Precious Moments. I love Precious moments. The first year they released the first “4 days” was the year that Phyllis was in the 12 days of Christmas at Preschool. She was nine ladies dancing. When I put each ornament on, I see her in the dress with the green velvet top, big ribbon in the back and the cream bottom. She looked so beautiful. And when it come to the Nine Ladies Dancing part, she would put her finger on top of her head a twirl around. She was so beautiful.
    9. In 2001 there was an ornament “it’s snow fun without you”. That was the first year that Dani had written me while he was in prison. We had lost contact, and that ornament came out…
    10. Ornaments from our two trips to Disney

Friday, November 24, 2006

This is one of my favorite casseroles, and it can be made the day before, though it takes an hour to cook if it's cold, if you have someone to put it in the oven an hour before dinner time, it's perfect. OR have all the stuff measured out (and burger cooked ahead), and dump in when you get home. It's really yummy!

Cheeseburger Casserole

2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
8-oz cheddar cheese shredded
1 lb. hamburger (brown)
1 Can of French onion chips
1 Can of cream of mushroom soup
1 Can of tomato soup

Combine cooked macaroni, hamburger, mushroom and tomato soup.
Layer 1/2 batter, 1/2 cheese, 1/2 French onion chips.
Pour rest of batter.
Top with rest of cheese.

Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes (if cold then 60 minutes)
When fully cooked add the rest of the French onion chips, bake for 5 additional minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Dilemma - I need some advice...

This year, as most of you know... things are a little tight in the financial department. Now, trust me, my being tight means we eat, we pay bills, we live in a wonderful house... but there is not a lot for extras. Christmas is here, and money is accounted for the few people I am buying for... but here's my dilemma...

What do I do about Christmas cards? You think this is not a big deal, but it is for me. I am known in some circles as the card lady. I actually already have the cards (bought them in July for like $2/box) but to send out to my list (it's 200 families) that equates to about $80 in stamps. Now, I know what you are thinking... 200 families?! but if I send to this person, then I have to send to that person, there is NOT one person I could cut without feeling more guilty then I already do...

SO! What do I do? to send or not to send, that is the question? If I say a prayer for each person on the list how will they know? (that's actually what I do with each card- I say a little prayer for them) and then put the stamp on... Got any ideas?



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year in our family we have the tradition of saying what we are thankful for before we eat. I try to pick something in my head and then it's my turn and after I'm done I think of 100 more things I am thankful for and "should have said".

I could make a list as long as next week.

Phyllis, my dad, mashed potatoes (and the person who invented them), my home, my job, my car, and a million other things, but really, I'm thankful most for God's love and grace. If it could be fixed by money, as BG says (she's so wise) it really isn't broken, but God's love and grace find us in each step, each turn, all the way through our journey, even when we don't see it. We have God's love and grace not because of money, but a price paid so much bigger than that.

I'm thankful for God's love and grace.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.