Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Thursday, 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

Jon


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?

Signed,

Stampless

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.

Loveyou,
Margie

This is a Pampered Chef recipe, it ended up being one of Phyllis's favorites, great for brunch, a sleepover. Anytime. I always kept the ingredients on hand because you never know when a kid would spent the night. Simple. And Yummy!

Phyllis’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

1 can (8oz) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
2 T butter or margarine, softened
2 T sugar
½ t ground cinnamon
2 T raisins (optional)
¾ c powdered sugar
2-3 t milk

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll crescent roll dough into one large rectangle. Pinch seams of crescent rolls.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Spread over crescent roll dough.

Top with raisins. Starting at longer side (width) roll the dough, seal edges.

Cut into 8 slices. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Glaze: Mix milk and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Furniture!!

The furniture bringers came finally about 10:30. They said I was the first ever client to take their pictures as they were delivering...


So... here they are bringing me my new sofa! YEAH!!






Here it is...stuck... oops... who would have thought that a house built in 1951 could not fit furniture from 2006 through the front door... this could be a problem. What to do, oh what to do...
How about the window... let's bring the furniture through the window.


Here comes the sofa. THROUGH THE WINDOW!!






Next comes the love seat! YEAH!!










Here's me trying out my new sofa!!
WOO HOO!!









Here's the living room with our stuff in it. We will never make Better Homes & Gardens, unless it's the 'before' picture.

A Giving Heart


I know you know I am a huge nerd-o. Please bear with me while I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the Most High.

I decided, "oh I got a few minutes, I'll throw some stuff together for a donation to St Vincent DePaul's". 10 minutes later, 6 bags, 3 backpacks, a winter coat, 2 pairs of ice skates, and a partridge in a pear tree I realized how blessed I was. These were things I was going to sell at my garage sale last year.

I know people who shop for their kids at Thrift stores because they don't have enough money to buy new things. What we consider poor and what they consider poor are completely 2 different things. I am going to ask you something today... do you have something in your closet, your basement, or your garage that you won't donate because you could A) sell it B) you'll fit into it "someday" or C) it's too good to donate? I'd like you to look into your heart, and donate it. Most of us (and if you have a computer in your home and an internet connection - you fit this) have way more than we need and sometimes way more than we want.

Those clothes that you will "someday" fit into, could fit someone who is cold, RIGHT NOW. That game you never play because there are some you like more, could be opened by a kid at Christmas who will be thankful for it. And if it's about the money that you could make at your garage sale next summer... detail it out, and write it off on your taxes. The time you spend sitting around could be better used at a soup kitchen anyway...

I'm not passing judgement here, trust me, I fit into probably A,B, &C of those categories. I'm trying to change my own heart. Well, it's really God changing my heart, me just trying to take the credit.

You know it's no secret I love to serve. Not everyone is equipped for Soup Kitchens and Mission Trips. We all can do our part, and isn't that the way Jesus would want it anyway?

Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (thanks Becky - I stole this from your blog...)

Cornflake Chicken

7 cups of Cornflakes cereal, crushed to 1 3/4 cups

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 pounds of chicken

3 Tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Place crushed corn flakes in shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour, salt, pepper. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with crushed cereal. Place in single layer, skin side up in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Drizzle with melted margarine.

Bake about 1 hour if chicken parts (breasts, legs, thighs, wings), if boneless skinless breasts, bake 30-35 minutes.

In a million years if you told me I would eat cornflakes on chicken, I would have told you that you were nuts (I don’t even eat cereal with milk for breakfast). Aunt Shell and her family invited Phyllis and I over for dinner, that’s what we were having, Cornflake chicken, Poppa Don was making it. It was awesome! Phyllis to this day loves it, I love it, and I cannot make it without thinking of him, and all the love he had for us.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In honor of holiday dinners everywhere... and my Gram...

Gramma Marge's Orange Jello Salad

1 small pkg of orange jello
1 small pkg of lemon jello
1 tsp of Knox gelatin
2 Cups boiling water
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges, drained

Combine jellos and gelatin with boiling water.
Stir 2 minutes.
Add Oranges and pineapple (with juice), and add softened orange sherbet.
Chill for 4-6 hours

Jesus is reality


I live in the ‘real’ world.

The real world, yes the real world. Not the one that people are trying to live in.

I live in a world that means that death from this place is inevitable. Life in this place does not go on forever, however, in the real world, I truly understand that life will go on, eternally. A life in Christ.

I’m getting a little sick of the drama of my gram. I am getting sick of it because it is completely avoidable, like most drama.

Maybe some of us are a little better at death than others. Maybe some of us realize that if we are lucky, we live great lives on this earth, but things change. Our bodies and our minds grow old and weary. We are not what we once were.

My dad and I have had more than our fair share of dealing with the reality of death on this earth. We also understand that awaiting us in heaven are some dear people to us. We know that a life with God in it means that we will all be joined together again.

There are some in my family that just can’t deal with that fact that my gram is… old. That she is not what she once was. They waited until later in life to have children, so their children did not get to have the same experiences as me with her. That’s the way it goes, I guess. I feel blessed. But in that, I am the target of some not so nice things my gram has said to me over the years, that she never said to the other grandkids (and they should be blessed).

My dad called me today, livid. My family can’t come to the same conclusion of what should be done about my gram’s living situations. I feel like only me and my father are the only ones who can agree where she should be, because, quite frankly, people just don’t like reality.

Get over it. Life on this earth is hard. If you want it to get easier, I got one answer for you. Are you ready? Jesus.

While situations come and go, while blessings can turn into burdens, and burdens into blessings, while rain doesn’t always go away, there is one thing you can always count on. The love of the Lord.

I will tell you, that it is that love that held my tongue today (I was going to call my aunt) when I heard my dad because he was just… hurt. It was that love that took me right to prayer. And it is that love that will get us all through this.

There is a song by 3rd day, ‘when the rain comes’. That is a song I instantly sing when I feel the drizzle, the rain, the storm, or the typhoon coming. I don’t know how to tell my family (I’ve tried over and over), they already think I am a crack pot (they are not all wrong in their thoughts) so somehow I have to show them. No one loves you like He does.

Psalm 33:5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

But they better knock this off, or there will be some kind phone call (and it won't be pretty) and then they will really need Jesus.

When the rain comes by 3rd day
When the rain comes it seems that everyone has gone away
When the night falls you wonder if you shouldn'tfind someplace
To run and hide
Escape the painBut hiding's such a lonely thing to doI can't stop the rain
From falling down on you againI can't stop the rain
But I will hold you 'til it goes away
When the rain comes you blame it on the things that you have done
When the storm fades you know that rain must fallon everyone
Rest awhile it'll be alright
No one loves you like I do
When the rain comes
I will hold you

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Carpet

I had hardwood floors throughout my whole house with the exception of my kitchen and foyer. My dad offered to get me carpet for my living room for Christmas (and I threw in that it should be for my b-day too) after he painted my living room while I was at the soup kitchen.

To be honest, I have wanted to either carpet the living room or our bedrooms for awhile now. Hardwood floors are beautiful but have their issues too. It was a matter of cost. I just couldn’t justify spending the money I have on carpet.

It seems everyone has an opinion on whether I should have carpeted or not. I don’t mean to be a crab, but let’s make one thing clear… It’s my opinion that counts.

Hardwood floors are beautiful but they are dusty. I sweep, vacuum, and THE NEXT DAY it’s dusty and dirty again! Drives me crazy. This was the dust can go into the carpet, and I won’t see it.

Hardwood floors are cold! A little carpet in the house will be better for warmth and lying on the floor while watching TV.

I like my new carpet. I think it’s nice, I think it breaks up the house a little.

I get the furniture on Wednesday. I will post the pics of the installation of the carpet later. My dad did it all except haul it in. I helped with that. I think my daddy can do anything.


Exodus 10:5 They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen

Sunday, November 19, 2006

S'ghetti Mush

This is a different variation of spaghetti. My g-friend's mom got sick of plian ole spaghetti because that's was her brother's staple food...so she came up with this...

1 Jar of spaghetti sauce
1 pound of ground beef (I use turkey)
1 pkg of egg noodles
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Cook Egg noodles as directed. Drain.

Brown meat, add spaghetti sauce, cook through. Add cheddar cheese. Add noodles. Mix.

Serve.

Yum!

Apple Pie Bars


Filling
4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) thinly sliced, peeled tart cooking apples (I use Macintosh)
1 6 oz can apple juice
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c sugar

Crust
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
2 slightly beaten eggs

Preheat oven 375

For filling:
In a large saucepan combine apples, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and the ½ cup of sugar. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool slightly.

For Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add margarine and eggs. Mix on low speed until the mixture is blended and crumbly. Press 2/3 (3 1/2 cups) into greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan.

Spread apple mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over apples.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into bars. Makes 48

I love serving at the soup kitchen. My favorite job ever is the syrup girl for the Easter Breakfast (that is not served on Easter, but on like the Saturday before). What's not to like, you get to walk around with some sweet stuff and a smile. Everybody likes you. They were calling me the syrup Natze though last year because if I asked "would you like some more syrup?" and they said no, I would say, "are you sure, it's really good, come on, have some"...

Yesterday I took some kids to the soup kitchen as part of their Random Acts of Kindness month. They served sit down dinners to many (way too many for me to count). I was so proud of all of them. They worked their little butts off. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, dessert. All donated. The Trinity Soup Kitchen didn't have to pay for a thing, how awesome is that?! It was a dinner that was comparable to what you will be eating on Thansgiving, portions so big that most couldn't even finish! I am amazed at God's work their. There is one guy who impressed me so much the first time I went there. His name is Rick. In college, Rick was challenged in a class to take a stand for something, Rick decided to take a stand for love, and never misses a Saturday, I can't remember if it's 5 or 7 years. He took a stand for love, a stand for God. I am ashamed when I think of that. I don't do nearly that much. He is some thing to aspire to be. A stand for love, a stand for God, in a place where you can feel Jesus' love. In a place that serves "the least of these".

Matthew 25:34-40 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Saturday, November 18, 2006

2nd post for the day... i gotta have a list...


Things you have to do when you get new furniture....

1.Pay for it (I refuse to do that ‘no payment until 2165’ crap, when it’s delivered, I own it – even if I had to put it in layaway first!)

2. Paint

3. Move all the furniture downstairs (anyone got a couple of husbands I can borrow to move the couch – I attempted it by myself but couldn’t do it – I thought I could do anything!)

4. Suck up all the dust bears that gathered under above furniture

5. Put down newspaper, tape, and drop clothes

6. Wash walls to get ready to paint

7. Buy Paint

8.Wash the drapes/curtains

9.Buy the painting supplies

10.Trip over the couch that is on it’s side in the dining room

11. Praise God!!

(That's my new furniture but I got it in Olive color)

Believe


Love is the Answer

I think it’s quite odd that I have been thinking of something to write, and BOOM there is a scripture verse from CWO that goes with my theme of the day… Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous… ok on with it already.

I was listening to Building 429 “I believe”, really thinking about how our world got into such an odd place. I wondered what part of it I played, what part of the world has seeped into my heart.

I often wonder why me and my dad are really the only ones in my family that go to church (and we NEVER went when I was a kid, it interfered with boating unless someone got married, died, and Christmas Eve, that’s it) when my Gram & Gramps went every week, I had a great uncle who was a priest, and an aunt who was a nun. So in my family there is history of people giving their hearts to God when He called. I thought about Jeremy’s sermon about how kids know if you are just Sunday Christians (my words not his, I am sure his were way better) or if we follow the “love your God with all your heart” scripture, I believe my gram and gramps did. So what happened? How come my aunt married someone who doesn’t believe in God at all, my uncle lives a very worldly life. I wonder if he knows who really gave him all those blessings….

I think (and this is my thoughts not yours) that growing up, people saw all the things you couldn’t do when you were a Christian not all the great things that come from loving God. Maybe they saw that it’s not best to “represent” God if you’re hammered or high. Maybe giving part of your income that you worked really hard for back to the church didn’t seem that appealing. But I wonder… did they ever consider the great things of “representing” a God who you can love and loves us back, unconditionally, and I haven’t found anyone on the planet that at one point or another won’t disappoint us. Did they realize, no hangovers, not police at your door (yes, you really can get in trouble for doing drugs), you can’t out-give God, give Him a little of your money, your time, I guarentee, you will be blessed! There’s always someone to talk to, in your loneliest moments, He will always forgive you, no matter what you did. He’s someone you can share every joy, every sadness, He’s someone to carry you through any storm, any typhoon, and even a little drizzle when it comes your way. He is in a word… Amazing.

I wonder how many of our problems of the world come from the fact that we just don’t open ourselves enough to put faith in God’s love. How many people don’t realize that God loves them. And no boat, big house, fancy car, alcohol, drugs… NOTHING will fill their heart the way God can. That if they were the only one on earth, Jesus would have come anyway. He loves them that much! That’s a pretty big deal.

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. (2 John 1:6)

I Believe. By Building 429
Walk blindly to the light and reach out for His hand
Don’t ask any questions and don’t try to understand
Open up your mind and then open up your heart
You will see that you and me and very far apart
‘Cause I believe that love is the answer
I believe love will find a way
Violence has spread worldwide and there’s families on the streets
We sell drugs to children now, well why can’t we just see
That all we do is eliminate our future with the things we do today
Money is our incentive now so that makes it ok
Walk blindly to the light and reach out for His hand
Don’t ask any questions and don’t try to understand

Friday, November 17, 2006

Enough


I was driving down Goddard near Mortenview, there was a new Subdivision going up, and then down the road, Condos for sale…

Don’t we have enough housing? For crying out loud, there are a ton of homes for sale and people are LEAVING Michigan. Homes in foreclosure, people desperate to move out of their houses, and we’re building more.

How about we use what we have?

I am guilty of going to the grocery store and buying more, even when I have plenty in the fridge, cupboard, and freezer to make dinner. I am trying to get better and make what I have. Maybe it’s a small lesson that needs to be learned on a bigger scale.

I love my 1250 sq foot house. It’s a little packed at holidays or gatherings, but it forces people to actually interact with others. So what if we have sit on the floor or on a folding chair. And at my dining room table, there are 3 different kind of chairs for 10 people. So what. I wanted to fill my house with memories, and I do. I don’t have 10 people in 3 different rooms, I have people over who enjoy each other’s company, who laugh and cry, and pray together. I wonder, are big houses and time apart the demise of the American family? Or at very least, a small step in the demise.

I like what I have, and I am thankful to God everyday for it.

1 Tim 6:6 godliness with contentment is great gain.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

His Grace is Enough for me


John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

It must be running in the family this week…. BG wrote about “playing church”… and today I was going to write about Grace from that book that I am STILL reading… “Ragamuffin Gospel”. It’s taking me a long time to get through it, but it’s really hitting home.

Today I got cut off by a guy with a church license plate holder. I wanted to ask him “are you just playing church?” Then I thought about it for myself. If you don’t forgive him for such a small (but really RUDE) act, are YOU just “playing church”?

We’re happy and thankful for God’s grace, but do we extend it ourselves? In the book there was a passage (the page is ear-marked), it really hit hard, and I’ve read it over and over the last couple of days:
Grace tells us that we are accepted just as we are. We may not be the kind of people we want to be, we may be a long way from our goals, we may have more failures than achievements, we not be wealthy or powerful or spiritual, we may not even be happy, but we are nonetheless accepted by God, held in his hands. Such is his promise to us in Jesus Christ, a promise we can trust.

If I don’t accept this fact, that God’s grace is overwhelming, and it’s something that no matter how I fail, no matter how I succeed, God accepts me just the way I am. And in Him, are all my successes, and He carries me in His hands through all my failures. Remember, I told you, I never feel good enough, and I guess this was a good shot to the head that I am worthy, because whether I feel good enough or not, God accepts me just am I am.

So, if I don’t accept God’s grace, actually swim in it, then am I just “playing church”? His promises are not like mine, they are true, even with my best intentions I have to break a commitment or fall short, but God’s promise, it has nothing to do with intentions, He always carries through, for what’s best for me.

As BG says, “He’s not playing Savior”.

Heavenly Gracious Father, I am so thankful for Your grace. I am asking that you help me be more graceful to those around me. Please remind me when I am on the verge of playing church, help me to stop, send me gentle reminders and not-so-gentle reminders if need be. Help me to live Your will. Give me the strength and the wisdom to live Your way, Lord, not mine. And Lord, again, thank You so much for Your grace and mercy.

Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I decided that I will start sharing my Christmas cookie recipes. Some are cookies I only make at Christmas time
, some are tried and true cookie recipes like choc chip, or peanut butter... Here is my Choc Chip cookie recipe. Enjoy!!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts


COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time (yeah right, who does this except in cheesecake!!), beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375* oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sometimes you just have to say no… even after you’ve said yes.


I can feel the holidays coming up. I can already feel that “I can’t breathe feeling” settling in, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

I am not really that stressed about the gifts because I don’t buy for that many. So, don’t be offended if there is not a big present, with a fancy bow, with your name on it. But, a plate of cookies may be in your future!!

It’s that there is just so much to do. There is normal house cleaning, and things that must get done. Add an extra day of Youth Group (which is a good thing), one committed day to helping at the building and I try to get over there one other day during the week (usually Monday). Cooking on Saturday and Sundays for Metro Constructors. I am getting my furniture next Wednesday and we are painting the living room Saturday afternoon after I get done at the soup kitchen. That means… everything needs to be out of the living room, and taped up by Friday. The living room is pretty much cleaned out, an area rug, TV, and the old couch. Floors are washed… waiting for tape…

OH! Did I mention, an old co-worker called, “I’m in town – tomorrow only - wanna have dinner?” AHH!! It’s probably the only time I will see him before the holidays and I haven’t seen him for months, we’re good friends and a good faith/accountability friend. But I volunteered to help with data entry at Pastor J & Lynette’s, and Thursday is my committed day at the building.

Sometimes you just have to say no. I had to call Lynette and tell her that I needed to cancel/reschedule. It’s not serving if you are stressed out and grumbling. I am a firm believer in that.

I feel terrible and relieved at the same time. I can only do so much. I really hope she understood and wasn’t just being polite, because I HATE to break a commitment. But the thing is, I don’t need to be everywhere all the time. If I don’t serve in one spot then someone else can serve, and they get the blessing. God doesn’t need me to do His work, He may want me to serve but He doesn’t need me. And I don’t need to serve for Him to prove I love Him, He already knows. I want to enjoy this holiday season, the birth of our Savior. God sent Him down this beautiful season, and I intend to serve and enjoy… and breath.

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed you can’t breath??

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress." (Psalm 46:2)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Just in time for Thanksgiving! I don't even like Sweet Potatoes and I loved these!!

Sweet Potatoes

6 med sweet potatoes (or 3 large)
¼ c water
½ t salt
½ c light brown sugar
¼ c chopped pecans
¼ c butter

mini marshmallows

Cook potatoes, peel after cooked/cooled. Slice and place in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350*


Combine butter, salt, sugar, and water. Stir over low heat until butter melts & sugar is dissolved. Boil uncovered. Pour over sweet potatoes and cover with butter mixture. Top with mini marshallows.


Bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly

me!!

Challenged by Sara, let me introduce myself.

I am a single mom of a 13 year old daughter. It certainly wasn’t my idea to be pregnant at 20 and almost didn’t go through with the pregnancy. Glad I did though, she is the most beautiful thing on the face of the earth. She makes me always want to be a better person, and a better mom so that she is not left to clean up the messes I have had to over the years. The one thing I have done is make sure she knew God and she constantly blows me away.

I work in Automotive and it’s fast passed and really stressful, and truth be told, I love it. I love being challenged by so many things that I don’t know. And I don’t know that much, good thing I have a huge quest for knowledge.

I see the good in people, when most people can’t. I can see past a smile and I notice when I someone isn’t feeling well or kind of just disappears. I remember everything, every joy, every sorrow. It’s a good thing and a bad thing.

I want to be married. Even though I know it’s a lot of work, I am not afraid of that. I want to come home and make dinners and have babies everywhere, but if I didn’t that would be ok too. I am tired of being the only unmarried one. I also look forward to “no pants nights” when I am married (see, I don’t forget anything) and a lot of them, thank you very much.

I love to cook, it’s one of my most favorite things in the world to do. I love sharing recipes, I love making people’s favorites. I just love to cook. I would cook all day if I could, unfortunately I would eat most of the day too.

I am way bigger than I’d like to be. I am comfortable as a size 6/8. I love being thin, it’s easier to get around and clothes look much better on me. I love to work out just don’t have the money to buy a gym membership. I love to run, I love the feeling of the sweat dripping down my face and knowing that I just accomplished 30 minutes at 6 miles an hour on the treadmill.

I am lonely sometimes. I like my alone time, but sometimes I am lonely. The good thing about that is some of the best conversations with God have come from that time.

I love God and can’t stop serving, I don’t care what it is (as long as it falls within my gift category). I figure God gave His son for me, the least I can do is serve Him and others. I switched churches after about 3 years. It was a tough decision but I know I made the right one. I am excited to see how God is going to work in my life. I wish I knew the bible more, I wish that I wouldn’t have waited until I was in my 30’s to have a relationship with God. But I realize that in my wishing, there is someone in my same position 3 years ago, and will hear my testimony and know that it’s never too late to love God. God uses so much of my awfulness for His glory. He uses my own awfulness to bring me closer to Him.

I have so many favorite scripture verses that I can’t even believe it. I often use the same ones over and over in my blog because I think that lessons are learned over and over on different levels. Romans 12:2, Phil 4:13, Romans 8:28, Matthew 6:25-36, Jer 29:11. James 4:8, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 46:10.

I never feel good enough. I feel like I work really hard to be average. It’s a lot of effort, but somehow I grow from each experience a little more than the last.

I have a hot temper, I hold things in way too long and then explode. It’s one of my worst traits, and the one where if I feel like I am going to be hurt, I will thrash so hard outwardly that I will try to scare someone away. I have a huge bark, and not a very big bite, designed that way to keep those who don’t really want to make an effort away. But if I feel the need to protect those I love, I’ll knock anyone to their knees.
I love my dad like crazy. He raised me with a lot of help from some wonderful people all around. If anyone EVER tries to hurt him, I might just have to smack them. We love and fight like crazy and I wish I could be more forgiving like he is. Maybe it comes with time. He is my great friend, and a great dad. I still miss my mom though.

I love boating, and I don’t let looking terrible in a bathing suit stop me from enjoying it, though I don’t usually get in a bathing suit in front of anyone but family. Growing up, those are some of my favorite memories.

I love to read and wish that I spent more time on Bible studies and in God’s word and less time in magazines. I read Shampoo bottles or anything if there is nothing else around just like Sara.

One of my best friends is in prison. People are always surprised that I know someone who has a life sentence. Whatever I tell them, he’s been my friend since the summer before 6th grade (that’s 11 years old). We’ve been friends twice as along as we haven’t. We’re all ex-somethings and I love him for all he is and he loves me too.

I struggle with depression. It’s because I bottle a lot of things inside for a long time, and it has no where to go. I try to keep it “under control” but struggle because of everything I keep inside. Things are better now that I share with God. The feelings don’t always go away, but I can say them out loud in conversation with God. It helps. I am also the “crier”. Mad, sad, or glad, tears are coming. I think that somehow that’s how God lets me cleanse my soul to let more of His goodness in.

I need to get better with moderation. I am all or nothing. Full throttle or sittin’ on my butt. I trade one addiction for another. I hate that about me.

I love to shop, as long as it’s not clothes for me (even when I’m thin). I hate buying clothes for me. Phyllis, dad, anyone but me. I love grocery shopping, I go to a million stores to fulfill my list. Wonder Bread store, SaveAlot, Kroger, and Fruit Market. It seems crazy, but I love it, gotta get the best deal out there.

Prison Break is my very favorite show. And I love General Hospital, TV may be on but I could take it or leave it, but don’t touch my CDs, I will break your neck, your fingers, and knock your teeth out, but I will be happy to copy anything for you, you just can’t borrow them, that’s the way it goes.

I would do almost anything for anyone. I love that about me too. Just don’t ask me to do anything that would compromise what I believe.

I am a child of God.


Jer 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Monday, November 13, 2006

There’s no place like home Toto.


Yesterday I went back to my old church for a “visit”. I had a few of the people over for turkey dinner that we had at lunch time. I wondered when I went to church if I would regret my choice. I wondered if I would be sorry, and want to crawl back to them. I was surprised that I didn’t. I was welcomed, it just wasn’t home. It didn’t have that same feeling it always did. I felt like an outsider. I have some really good friends there, but they will always be my friends, no matter what church I go to.

Last night was my last official night as a Youth Leader/Worker. That was tough. I’ve loved those kids for a few years now. And I can’t help but wonder what God has in store for me next. To be quite honest, I don’t know if I will be involved in the Youth, I really am not sure where I will be serving. That’s not easy for me. I like a plan, a well thought out, see the path ahead of me plan. Each step carefully thought out. I know there is a plan, but I am not sure what it is, God hasn’t revealed it all to me yet. It’s like an unlit path, with only one step out in front of me. That’s all I can see. And I don’t really like it.

Do you ever feel like God can sometimes speak to you, and His voice is loud and clear, and sometimes when He speaks His direction is quick and quiet?

I’m a little scared right now. I don’t like this feeling. I want to serve, but I don’t know where yet. I want to feel like I belong, but not sure where the piece of the puzzle fits. I feel like I am floating in the middle of an ocean in a little raft, enjoying the view but don’t want to end up on a deserted island or lost at sea.

Staying would have been much easier. It would have, but it wasn’t the right thing to do, because as a child of God and as a parent, I must go where God calls, even if it’s not comfortable.

I guess I’ll have to do some being still to listen to what He has to say.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Scalloped Broccoli

2-10 oz pkg chopped broccoli
1/2 lb Velveeta
1 sleeve ritz crackers (crushed)
1 stick of butter, divided in two

Cook broccoli, drain well. Mix in 1/2 stick of butter and Velveeta. Place in buttered casserole dish. Mix crackers with remaining 1/2 stick of butter and sprinkle on top of broccoli mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

Thankful


It’s Sunday, today is not the day for lists, that is Saturday. But oh well, I don’t know what else to blog about and I am feeling quite blessed today after having my first of 5 Thanksgivings this year. I think we should have Thanksgiving everyday, well, not the food part or I would weigh 500 pounds!! But the thankful part, and I do, I praise God for the craziest things. I think sometimes He probably shakes His head and says, really Margie, you’ve listened to Chris Tomlin or David Crowder 1000 times, you do not need to thank me EVERY time! But maybe He’s just happy to hear me sing. Like He brought those two down just for me !!

  1. I am thankful I was not the last one up, Jimmy had to pray, and he is one great pray-er
  2. How blessed I have great friends, you all know who you are, I don’t need to mention you.
  3. I am very thankful for living in America. How blessed are we!? Thank you all of the veterans who have fought for us, and those who are in the armed forces, you guys rule!
  4. I’m thankful for food.
  5. For an awesome house, maybe it’s not the biggest on the block, or the fanciest, but God had me in mind when the men built it.
  6. I’m thankful for Jesus who gave His life for me and those I love
  7. I’m thankful for a family that loves me
  8. I am so very thankful that my Gram has the resources to be in a nice assisted living place even though she doesn’t want to be there right now. I pray that she realizes it’s where she needs to be
  9. I’m thankful for my job
  10. I’m thankful for the best kid ever. I am just amazed at how God has blessed me with her. I hope she realizes every day how much I love her and how much I stand in awe of her.
  11. I’m so very thankful for music. It’s the words when I don’t have them
What are you thankful for today?

1 Chron 16:36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD."

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Peanut Butter Bars

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar


In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread melted chocolate over the crumb crust. Chill for about 5 minutes, then cut into bars before the chocolate is completely set, then chill until ready to serve.

5 Thanksgivings


Phyllis counted that we are having 5 Thanksgiving Dinners this year (well, she's having 4 because she has to babysit tonight). Jim & Tonya's, Tomorrow with some friends from my old church (that sounds wierd), Mom's side on the 22nd, At our house (with just my dad, Phyl, & gram), and then Sunday after Thanksgiving with Dad's side. I love Thanksgiving, now do you see why?? here are some of my favorite foods from Thanksgiving.

1. Mashed Potatoes
2. Stuffing
3. Punkin Pie
4. Fresh Keilbasa cooked with Smoked Kielbasa
5. Turkey
6. Maierle Salad
7. Gram's Jello Salad
8. Macaroni & Cheese (added this year)
9. Mashed Potatoes (yes, I know it's on here twice!)
10. Asparagus Salad

This year, may you count your blessings not your burdens this Thanksgiving. May you be overwhelmed by all that God has given to you. May grace wash over your life in every way.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My day off

I took today off. I took it off about 6 weeks ago because I got tired of trying to justify that I was going to be late on the days Phyllis had to go to the Orthodontist. I don't have to worry about that stuff now, I have a great boss who knows that if I need to, I would come in on my day off and work. But I kept my vacation day.

I woke up a little later than normal, got ready, Ortho appointment and then to visit my friend Jon who has Pancreatic Cancer. Only God knows how many more days we have with him. Then the lucky guy gets to go meet Jesus (I hope he saves me a seat with a good view). I could only go for about an hour - hour & a half. It was a three hour drive, round trip. I was a little nervous about it all week, because I don't want to remember my friend "sick". But I went. And I had the most beautiful drive both ways, seemed like it was 20 minutes not 3 hours. I spoke with God, put some music on, counted my blessings, and was just so thankful that Jon had accepted Jesus in his heart. I would pray for God's healing on Jon's body, but really in my heart, all I wanted was for him to know Jesus. And he does. What more can we ask for really.

I sit here, for just a minute more, thankful to be covered in God's grace and mercy. Thankful for His love. I, like Sara, am overwhelmed. (And I am again - a copy cat).

He is good. All the time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reminders of Jesus

I am a product of my surroundings. And so are my blogs.

Yesterday we went to move my Gram’s stuff. I was in charge of making the new place homey. I brought the pictures, the silly bird clock, and other things. I got the fresh flowers, the candy for the dish. I brought her towels that are pretty mint green color (instead of the stark white ones they provide), soap dishes, and rugs. And the crucifix that hung on her wall.

There are a lot of things that I will put up with, and things my family can say to me, but there are things I think they realize there are just things that I won’t budge on.

There were only two picture hangers on the wall. And two pictures and the crucifix. One picture hanger was over the bed, the other on the far wall. So, being the controlling Jesus freak that I am, I hung Jesus over my Gram’s new bed, the big family picture on the wall, and made the decision that my dad could hang the other picture later. I don’t remember if it was my dad or my uncle, they went to move Jesus. And I about came out of my skin. “Don’t touch that Jesus”. And it still hangs there. There are some things you just don’t mess with, and Jesus is one of them.

If you think for one minute that I (or my gram) needs Jesus on the wall to be in my heart, you are completely wrong. Do I like that it is there to remind me how much I love Him, and He loves me? Absolutely. Do I want my gram to be reminded that He is with her for always? Absolutey again. I will say that she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer these days, and I want to make sure (like I know it really doesn’t matter) she knows He’s there.

This isn’t easy for me to see, to see a woman who loved me and did nice things for me. The woman that stands before us now is not the woman who made memories with me. She’s not the woman who couldn’t drive by a garage sale, she’s a shell of what she was, a woman who loved her family, who sacrificed for her family, who tried her best to center us all around Jesus.

Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Memories

Mixed vegetables at every holiday
Orange Jello Salad
First Day of School shopping
Tweety book
Mirror Perfume Tray
Colgate toothpaste
Crunchy Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies
Mini Candy bars on the bottom shelf of the fridge in brown bowl
Heavenly Hash Ice Cream
Goodie bags to take home with a banana, granola bar (Honey Oat – Crunchy Kind), mini candy bar, fritos
Tuna Fish Sandwiches with Nestle Choc Milk for lunch
Always wearing lipstick
Bungalow home
Church on Saturdays with Tomato juice when we got home to hold us over for Steak & Roni’s

My gram is going into Assisted LIviing tomorrow. Actually I am going to help move her stuff today after lunch. I started thinking about all the things from when I was little (I choose to remember this time with her, not the crazy –“You’re fat” time). The list could go on for miles. It’s funny how the little things have carried into my life.

Mixed vegetables at every holiday – nobody likes them but somehow we have them every holiday, like it’s some kind of important tradition. Last Thanksgiving we revolted, we had green beans!!

Orange Jello Salad – My gram made it for every holiday, now I make it, it’s super yummy. Most of the women in our family like it, it’s my daughter’s favorite!!

First Day of School shopping – My gram always took me school shopping, we picked out a dress to look extra special on the first day. It’s important to make a good first impression.

Tweety book – I read the same book over and over at my gram’s. funny how things repeat themselves, no matter the generation, it seems kids always want the same book read over and over. She gave it away to her neighbor girl. I was heart broken (I was like 20)

Mirror Perfume Tray – I would sit for hours spraying perfume at my grams. It was perfume that probably didn’t smell all that good all mixed together. My mom had given her some of it. I rarely leave the house without perfume to this day.

Colgate toothpaste – We used Crest, but gram used Colgate. I use Colgate now, my dad still uses Crest. Phyllis will probably use Crest when she gets her own house… lol…

Crunchy Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies- my gram made choc chip cookies, oatmeal kind, crunchy. They were so yummy. They were always in little gift bags for Christmas. They were dunker kind or you would break your teeth. I wonder where I get my love of baking cookies from??

Mini Candy bars on the bottom shelf of the fridge in brown bowl – My gram always had snickers or Milky Way fun size candy bars in her fridge, now it’s the Hershey’s s miniatures. She knows I like the Mr. Goodbars ones. I wonder if she has a stash somewhere just in case I stop by, there always seems to be at least one in the bowl.

Heavenly Hash Ice Cream – It’s my favorite, I always saved the choc covered nuts for last. It’s kind of like rocky road with whipped marshallowy stuff. YUMMY!!

Goodie bags to take home with a banana, granola bar (Honey Oat – Crunchy Kind), mini candy bar, fritos – she would send me home with Goodies for my lunch, Care Packages I think she called them. If I was really lucky… those crunchy cookies… hmmm… I wonder if she made cookies before I got there…. It’s all coming together now… I think she loved me…

Tuna Fish Sandwiches with Nestle Choc Milk for lunch – On half days or Doctor appointment days my gram would pick me up and we’d have tuna fish sandwiches (made with Chicken of the Sea Tuna in water, miracle whip, hard boiled eggs), toasted bread, and Nestle Choc Milk with an extra scoop of the mix. It was my favorite thing and it grossed my uncle out (he lived with them at the time) to eat tuna fish and choc milk.

Always wearing lipstick – My gram always had lipstick on. I almost always do too.

Bungalow home – We lived in a duplex growing up, and then a ranch. My gram lived in a bungalow. When it was time to put my “wish list” together for my house, that was first on my list. I wanted a house just like my grams, one that I could fill with memories.

Church on Saturdays with Tomato juice when we got home to hold us over for Steak & Roni’s – We would always go to church on Saturday (Catholic thing) and then come home and have a small glass of tomato juice, sprinkled wit h celery salt, and then my grampa would make steak fried, boil macaroni, and then removed the steaks and then put the macaroni in the pan to get the “juices” for flavor. It was so yummy.

There are a million more memories of my gram. She was a great lady, and I will always have those great memories to carry with me when she eventually goes to be with Jesus.


What this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. —Matthew 26:13

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I’ll never forget that phone call. It was about 7:15 am, it was winter. The yellow phone rang in our kitchen. There was a fire at the marina. My heart knew, our boat was gone. I was in either 2nd or 3rd grade. I can’t remember. I cried, hysterically. My dad told me “let’s not worry about it yet, maybe our boat isn’t gone”, he told me in later years that he knew. My dad worked the entire summer before on our boat because it was not in good condition when we bought it (we got a good deal). We hadn’t even put the boat in the water until August! I spent my entire summer running around a marina, eating McDonald’s, Arby’s, and Wendy’s and Larry Bullingtion would ask me every day if I brought him French fries. Oh, my heart was broken in about 10,000 pieces.

We went to the marina after work that day. There was my boat, the Margie Lou IV. Burnt to a crisp, the only thing that you could even make out was part of the hull and a few melted MC numbers. Our boat was the fire line because wood burns much slower than fiberglass. My dad’s friend’s boat was only burnt on one side, his was on the fire line too, it saved the boat we have now. It was a sad, sad day in the Maierle household. 3 kids had broken into a bunch of boats and couldn’t find anything to steal (no one keeps valuables on their boats for that very reason – duh) so they got mad, and set one boat on fire, the rest were “an act of God” and the kids couldn’t be charged for all the boats that burnt, just the one they set on fire.

Today on my way to work, down Grand River, there was a huge fire. I was so saddened to see it, it broke my heart. As I was driving home with the windows down, was that smell. The smell of burnt wood, of water, and of firefighter's blood, sweat, and tears, trying to save what they could. I had found myself, during the fire praying for everyone to be safe, for the fire to stop. On my way home, I prayed for store owners, and investigators. The smell of the fire brought me back to the fire at Ecorse Boat Basin all those years ago, and how our boat was one of the sacrifices for the memories my daughter will have on our boat.

I’ll never forget that smell or that day
.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gifts


There are two ways we can accept a gift. With a loving, and thankful heart or like a jerk, like the gift wasn’t good enough.

Most of the time, I am very thankful. But sometimes I can be a real jerk.

You know Metro has a new church. I stand in awe of the men who can build walls and paint ceilings (literally, I stood), cut wood, put down floor leveler. I think their gifts are very cool and I think my gifts are so inadequate. Do you know what I can do? I can make a mean brownie, clean, or make sloppy joes.

I felt so inadequate. I am not lying. I feel like when I look around at the new building, I don’t do much, I clean up bottles, drop off some food, or stand and watch the guys paint the ceiling (and spill the paint).

Ok, then it hits me, or maybe it was God slapping me in the head. People gotta eat (and you can only eat so much pizza). They have to be able to find the tools they need. They need some organization. “So use your gifts Margie. Be thankful for what I gave you.” (I can make a meal for like $20 people for less than $1 a person.) “It’s a gift and if I didn’t need someone to do it, I would not have sent you there. Now go.”

God knows that if He needs me to hang drywall, I’ll be open to Him giving the wisdom (and strength) for such a task. So until then, I’ll just show up, be thankful for muscles that aren’t sore, and using the gifts that I love. And I’ll stop being such a jerk.

You can check your spiritual gifts at this website
http://www.calvarychurch.ca/neatstuff/spiritualGifts/index.htm

Eph 4:16 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work
I always make this for Michelle (my boss) for her birthday. It's so yummy, so easy, and so good!!






Death by Chocolate!!

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
2 (3.9 ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered English toffee or Reese's Cups

DIRECTIONS

Prepare brownies according to package directions. Let cool.
Mix pudding according to package directions.
In a glass punch bowl, layer in the following order: 1/2 of the brownie, crumbled; 1/2 of the pudding; 1 toffee bar, crushed; 1/2 of the whipped topping.
Repeat layers in the same order. Save the last toffee bar to crumble and sprinkle on top before serving.

Refrigerate. Best if made the day before you serve it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Same Song, different meaning.


I told you before how I can here a song that is probably not written by a Christian artist and somehow reflect on a new meaning or at least a different meaning that it was intended by it’s author.

I was in the car yesterday, on my way home from the church, the new church (can I get a woo hoo?) and I heard “So Far Away” by Staind. It was a song that took me back to 2003. A not so happy time in my life. I had been making a lot of wrong choices. I could remember being so happy, literally standing on the top of the world. Soon to be rolled over by it, one little bad choice lead to another and another, and before I knew it I was rolling down into a downward cycle, only to be caught by the hand of God.

I remember buying the “14 shades of Gray” album, it was one of my favorites. I can remember listening to the words over and over. I was living a nightmare. And I was afraid to wake up because I was afraid it was going to be worse.

Only to be caught by the hand of God. Let me tell you folks, I didn’t hit rock bottom, I could have. I have been struggling with that crap (sorry Pat!) for a few years, I was afraid to let it go, until just recently. I had decided to let it go, to speak my pain outloud in a place where that wasn’t MY plan, but God made it His. I spoke the words outloud to a group of girls, all of which I didn’t know. I wrestled in my head with God, “I don’t want to say it” and He said “you need to say it, I need you to say it”. I said it. And somehow after saying it, I was able to release it, all the while touching the life of one young girl.

God works for those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13). Maybe those are well used scripture in my vocabulary, maybe so. They have great meaning for me.

So yesterday, I was listening to the song, thinking about the words, and the new meaning of each one because I while I know I made mistakes, I am sorry I did them, but each one, God will make good from bad. I’m not afraid of waking. God has great plans for my life, and if I am obedient, and listen, it will be better than I can ever expect.

The words are below.

So Far Away – Staind (2003)

this is my life
its not what it was before
all these feelings i've shared
and these are my dreams
that i'd never lived before
somebody shake me
'cause i
i must be sleeping

[chorus]
now that we're here,
it's so far away
all the struggle we thought was in vain
all the mistakes,
one life contained
they all finally start to go away
now that we're here its so far away
and i feel like i can face the day i can forgive
and i'm not ashamed to be the person that i am today

these are my words
that i've never said before
i think i'm doing okay
and this is the smile
that i've never shown before

somebody shake me 'cause i
i must be sleeping

[chorus]

i'm so afraid of waking
please don't shake me
afraid of waking
please don't shake me

[chorus]

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Being a Mom


Things I love about being a mom

1. Sideways kisses
2. Watching a movie together
3. I love yous
4. Going to church together
5. Smiles for cookies
6. "Yes" when I say I'll make guacamole
7. Picking the perfect presents
8. Homemade gifts and cards
9. Scrapbooking memories
10. Favorite Dinners

Friday, November 03, 2006


Sloppy joes...

I just had to laugh, I was on All Recipes.com and i get a lot of recipes from there really good, and some... well...

But I am making Sloppy Joes, and so I decided to go on the web page and look up recipes... I laughed... I love to cook... but... measure out a ton of ingredients or dump in a can.

Dump in the can.

1 lb meat (ground beef or turkey)
1 can sloppy joe mix.

Dinner is done.

AMEN