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)

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm a masterpiece!!

You can learn a lot if you listen. You can hear the voice of God when you think you are going to hear something else. You realize that when your heart is open, you can also hear a lot better.

I struggle with something. I struggle because I honestly think that I am a constant disappointment to my family and to those around me. I am quite sure I am. And I think, at least for this moment, I have come to grips with it.

Yesterday God’s voice was literally screaming in my ear and to my heart. I think God has been trying to tell me something for quite a long time, and yesterday, He got tired of whispering and started screaming!

“Margie, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, sure it matters a little what your family thinks, but it’s more that I can use you.”

At Alive and Fuel, I am usually not “the fun” one, I am the one who does paperwork like stuff, who helps with preparation, who cooks a meal, who covets the kids in prayer, and who is forced to take squirt guns away because it just gets out of hand. But God uses me anyway, even if I’m not the fun one.

Our pastor preached a great sermon yesterday about how God can use me (and you), and here’s a brief recap. And most of you already know this…

He uses the unlikely. Those that the world might pass by and say ‘ah’ but God knows our strengths, and puts us and call us to places that He can use us. I think that is just amazing. He’s wired us with skills and traits that help us. For instance… I am always thinking ahead. I’m typically always at the next step before I take this one. It’s the perfect gifts for doing words. I love doing words, I used to think it was lame, but I really do love that I can help people see the words to a song and help them connect with God when we just don’t have the words and it’s a connection like no other.

I also have a pretty big personality (and mouth). This can be a blessing, when you are hugged by me, it’s all the way. No half hugging, no half loving, no half smiles, no half compliments or encouragements. Sure, it gets on people’s nerves and they wish I would (or could) tone it down a bit, but ah… no way.

He uses the insecure. HUH! I got this on in the bag. I tell you, I think, and I know, no good thing comes from me, and half the time (maybe more than half the time) even the good things I do, I don’t think they are needed or wanted, but I am thankful that when I do a good thing, that God will get the credit and the glory.

He uses the failures. HUH! I got this one in the bag too. I may end up doing it right, only after I’ve done something wrong ten times… Same lesson until I learn it. And even though that’s kind of screwed up, I’m thankful that God continues to use me and continues to forgive me.

And in Him, I find love, and peace, and joy.

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Date Night

Last night Elizabeth went out for dinner, we had date night :) It was kind of funny because as a mom, I don't usually pick where I want to eat, sure I might make a suggestion, but usually I pick where someone else wants to go because I want everyone to be happy and well-fed. Elizabeth must do the same thing because it took us 3 days to figure out where to eat. We went to Dolce Vita in Riverview and it was very very yummy, we ate so much, we actually had to pass on dessert (now that's full). The food was good, but honestly, being there with my friend, not thinking about anything except the things we're thankful for, the things we struggle with, and in all of it, we were thankful that we both had a friend that we can be open and honest with, and that we both just love each other. It's a wierd thing, but I think we bring out the beautiful in each other.

We sat and talked and drank iced tea and laughed and loved.

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.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I know

I know that my heart will eventually heal. I know that eventually I will get past all this and be able to just live my life without this much hurt dwelling. I know that eventually I will forgive, even if I don't forget and keep a guarded heart. It's a like any other wound, it will heal slowly but eventually a scar will just remain.

but it's a lesson nonetheless. If you hurt yourself sticking your hand down the garbage disposal... you don't do that again.

Mal 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Real life

who needs soap opera's when you have real life??

Real conversation:

"She (who btw wasn't involved) was hurt"

"it doesn't matter that I was hurt?"

Long pause... "well..." long pause again "it matters"

At some point past the point of anger but not yet sadness I said "I don't understand why God wanted us to have families".

Let me tell you, life is easier on your own. Now I completely understand why women after being abused go back to the abusive releationship. They think it will get better "this time". I also understand the feeling of being so hurt that you swear you will never go back again. Saying "forget it all" curling up into a shell never to look out again. At this point I can't imagine ever coming out of this protective shell and trusting again. Alone is easier, it's safer, and if we love and know Jesus, we are never really alone anyway. Some people call it being independent, some call it being a loner, I call it survival.

Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.

No matter how insignificant you feel... Dr. Suess says it best...

“A person's a person, no matter how small.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I loved the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium! It's a definite must see!!
My favorite line in the whole movie, "Your life is an occasion... rise to it"
I immediatly started to cry when Dustin Hoffman (Mr. Magorium) said that to Natalie Portman (Molly Mahoney). I thought it was cool that someone believed in someone that much.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I did a paper, well many papers, while I was getting my bachelor's degree. I didn't really like the actual 'doing' of the papers, but doing the research was kind of cool because for most of the papers I was able to chose the subject. I did one on stress and the workplace.

You know why stress on the job is so difficult? Because God hooked us up with the 'fight or flight' reflex that when something happens we either want to fight someone or leave the situation. Neither of those is acceptable when you have a family to take care of or a mortgage to pay.

Lately, not at work, but in other places in my life, that reflex has been coming out more and more. And before I was a Christian, I was a fighter. I literally made a grown man cry I tore him down so much. Now, I know that fighting is not good, so I just leave if I really need to. I don't know if it's better, but I guess it's better if I leave than to hurt someone else if they hurt me.

This past weekend I had such an experience, I just left. And to be honest, I wanted to fight, but through all the tears no one would have been able to hear a word I wanted to say anyway. So I left. Nothing resolved. As I was driving, I felt that I needed the word of God. I recieved a text John 19:30. I am not really sure from the scripture what I was supposed to get from it, but all I can remember is "it is finished". Move on Margie. Don't dwell, don't let it hinder you, move on. It's finished, it's complete, put a fork in it, it's done. To be honest, I am not that good at that, I'm a dweller. Because usually when we're hurt, there is a scar, physical or emotional, there's a scar. Papa Roach sings "And my scars remind me that the past is real" It's very true. But this time, I am supposed to let it go, because it is finished. That's difficult.

Acts 7:26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?'

Saturday, March 22, 2008

greatful and undeserving

I think at some point in your life, if you are lucky, you realize that no matter how good you are or what good you've done, you realize that you are underserving and for every step, around every corner, every blessing, you should be greatful because you are completely undeserving.

I kind of laugh when people say "you deserve that" and it's a good thing, I always think "you have no idea, I don't deserve a good thing, ever, I'm a wretch". I know where I've been, and I know who got me out of it, and I am completely undeserving. For any good thing, I am completely undeserving.

I stood up, looking at the snow, which I hate, I love summer, I hate snow, and immediately I thought, He has a plan, there must be a reason... And so I believe that God is preparing a good summer for me, without winter snow, the water is too low in the summer, it means we can't get to all the places we love. I try to remember His plan is much greater than mine, and I am completely undeserving and as much as I hate snow, I am greatful for it.

Things to do today

1. Shovel my car out so we can drive home (we got 12 in in Kalamazoo)

2. Watch the kids find Easter eggs that 'the bunny' left

3. Go to the movies (I think we are going to see Horton hears a woo)

4. Not get stuck in the snow (please Lord)

5. Drink lots of water

6. Regain my sanity on the way home

7. Pick up some last minute stuff at the grocery store

8. Make pink jello fluff for tomorrow's dinner

9. Clean house in preparation for tomorrow

10. Thank God for all He's done for me.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Things I'd rather not see

I own the Passion of the Christ, I have for awhile now. I can't bring myself to watch it. Just watching parts of it, makes me cry.

I can only imagine giving my daughter up. And it makes me sad just to think about it. I can't imagine standing by and watching her beaten, especially for the good of anyone else. I seriously don't think I love anyone else that much.

I am doing a lot of reflecting this season. A lot of thinking about what a wretch I am and how amazingly undeserving I am of a God who loves me.

eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

it takes all kinds

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that everyone has different gifts for a reason. Yesterday in the midst of setting up the words for the EMU worship night, I was watching everything going on around me. Set ups, sound checks, you name it, it was pretty much being done.

Today watching the dress rehearsal for the Good Friday service, it was even more apparent. Lights, reading, singing, words, set ups, tear downs, dancing. All for His glory!!

You see, not everyone can be on the stage, not everyone can be the Pastor. Sure someone has to be the pastor, someone has to lead worship, but someone has to greet, someone has to run the nursery, the toddler area, run the sound, do the words, run the lights. It takes a whole bunch of gifts to show the love of Christ. It takes a fallen person, on their knees, it takes someone standing tall because He is risen. It takes the broken, the healed, it takes the lost, it takes the found.

All for His glory. HIS GLORY!!

God is good. All the time. He is risen. HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Matthew 28:6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Create in me a pure heart, Lord, help me to have a heart that easily forgives, that sees the beauty in people, not their faults, God let me see them like You see them. And Lord, thanks for giving me Your arms to run to. In Jesus's loving name, I pray. Amen.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”- Romans 15:13

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Go big or go home

This pretty much fits my life... and I might add, I never go home. To a fault.

This is totally my personality. I do everything big, that's why I loved 90's hair.

This can be a fault sometimes. But one thing, that I love about me is that I love SO big.

Today I saw one of our Fuel students, she hasn't been in awhile, I haven't given up on praying for her. I have a feeling, there is a battle going on inside of her. God will win, but sometimes that destruction is difficult. Today she was especially hard. That also means that little jerk is working overtime. I couldn't help but begin to pray right then. To start praying for God to work like crazy on her heart (yes, I know He is already doing it). I couldn't help but wonder, as her youth staff what could I have done differently. I then really started to tear up, there is not one heart that I am willing to give up to that little jerk, NOT ONE! And as the band was playing "inside out" I just lost it, I stopped, I took a minute, and I said, whatever it is God, use me, use me to touch the lives of the students, for You.

Open hearts. Please pray for hearts to be opened and God to pour in.

Mark 9:35 "Everything is possible for him who believes."


I think you can worship anywhere.

Yesterday we visited Grace Centers of Hope and helped prepare dinner. I seriously think I peeled/cut 30 lbs of potatoes. My hand was swollen, my arm hurt, I am an ace potato peeler and I kept thinking that if I ever had KP duty in the army... I might have made it.

We brought a CD to listen to. We were singing away. A few times, just because I couldn't help myself, my arm would go up, potato peeler in hand. Thinking about how great God is.

I worshiped peeling potatoes. There is a God in heaven, He's mighty, He's strong, He's loving, He's Everything.

Gen 24:26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today we are celebrating Ashley! Wednesday was her 17th birthday and we (Phyllis and I) are celebrating her. We are having food (of course) and cake and ice cream. Hanging out and then some of the girls are spending the night.

Ashley’s favorite ice cream is strawberry (bleck!) but I bought it anyway, because I know it’s HER favorite and it’s HER birthday, and there is always the option to buy the kind that I like (and I did).

I got a text from one of the students “what time?” and then followed by ‘I love you Margie’. And then a little while later, I got a text from another girl, and all it said was “love you, Margie”. And that may seem dumb to you, but it means so much that in the middle of the day, they are thinking of me. There are plenty of times during the day I think about them, say a praise or a prayer, and go on about my day.

And this might seem dumb too, but it just shows me that God places me on their hearts, like He places them on mine. Another reminder to me that He is always thinking about me and loving me.

I am missing life group tonight, but I am excited and honored to celebrate Ashley! I love those stinky kids so much!! Especially when they are not being stinky!!

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

thinking of my gram

Today I was driving from the bank to go pick up my lunch, down Beech Daly, and I picked up my phone to call my gram. It was kind of odd, because she's no longer here, and I know that.

My gram seemed to always take Beech Daly everywhere. I don't know why, but she did. And today, I had a big meeting, and I made sure I had my red lipstick because it's very important to present yourself well. Lipstick is essential. That's a Gram-ism.

And today... I got a new bottle of perfume. I love perfume (and it's because I played with it at my Gram's). LOVE IT! I agonized over what kind to get, should I get my standard Issey Miaki or should i get a new one... Romance by Ralph Lauren. I love that perfume, and decided that I needed a little Romance in my life :) My gram would always call me and tell me about my horoscope and how I was going to get some 'love' in my life. Gram again.

Macy's is having some sale, spend $50 or more in cosmetics or perfume, get $10 gift card. So I got a sweater for $6.50 and another sweater for $15.00. It was wonderful! Are you wondering who taught me how to be such a bargain shopper? Oh, that would be my gram again.

I think it's great that God gave us memories so that those who have been in our lives, and we will meet in heaven someday, never really leave us.

Psalm 45:17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

My dad always loved John Wayne... now I know why... Great Quote...

''Life's's even tougher if you're stupid.'' ~ John Wayne

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Yesterday I was in the grocery store, we needed a few staples, one of them being Frozen Pizzas, we really like the Digiorno kind or whatever is on sale... we eat the $.99 ones but we like the other ones, they are quick, and really important, cheap. The red baron ones were on sale for $3.99, I bought 3, looking through my coupons, I found 'save $1 on 2' and $1 off one... so I will do the math for you... That's 3 pizzas for less than $10. I am not kidding you when I tell you that I literally said "thank You Jesus for cheap pizza".

I did my lesson in 'David' and there is a section at the end of the lesson for prayer requests, I took the whole space to thank God. Thank You... Thank You... Thank You... I ran out of room on the paper but not in my heart, I spent the rest of the night thanking God. I thanked Him as each kid came in for Fuel, I thanked Him for each leader, saw Eliz, Melissa, Becky, Doreen, Michael, Erin, Emily, and many others. Oh how blessed I am!! I am getting teary just thinking about it.

And then today... we got our bonus letters. Now, I knew it was coming. I have known for months. But somehow when you hold it in your hand... it becomes real. I couldn't wait to tell someone, so of course, I called my dad. I can pay him IN FULL for the help he gave me to fix my garage - my garage almost fell down! (and I thank God for him too, he is a great dad) and I can pay for Phyllis's trip to Austria. Yes!! And I will tell you, that when I left the meeting for the Austria trip, I left crying, I thought "dear God, how will I ever pay for that?" and as clear as day He said "don't I always provide for you, would I bring you here if I couldn't?" And I trusted, I said "it's all God". He's amazing. He's faithful! Oh, yes, He's faithful.

Can I tell you another thing? This was the first month, I updated my budget, I put God first, I wrote the check out for the pay period, and I gave back to Him first, I did it cheerfully, I did it because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to, and I gave Him the full 10%, and I still had money left over (not a lot, but a little). Because why? Because He is... He is everything good. And He is faithful!

I could cry right now, I am actually fighting back the tears. I can't believe it! I can't believe that two weeks ago, I thought "I've never been hurt like this before" (and it wasn't by God, it was by someone else) and I will tell you, everyday when my focus is where it should be, I feel more joy EVERYDAY, then I ever thought possible! I struggle with why He would want to save me? I'm a wretch, I am constant screw up, I don't always have a heart of worship, but He loves me anyway.
My God is an awesome! God! I'm so thankful for His blessings!!

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”- Deuteronomy 7:9

And the verse above, was the verse of the day on! do you think it's a coincidence? A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cupcakes and Friendship and a heart like David

I started a new Bible Study: David: 90 Days with a heart like his by Beth Moore. I am very excited. I often do a lot of things, and I do them for God's Glory, but sometimes I'm tired and I'm crabby. And so I need to work on my heart. And I also have to figure out what gifts are mine, and what gifts belong to someone else, and I need to stop stealing the blessing of serving from others. Pretty excited!!

Today, my friend Melissa brought me cupcakes. Now these weren't you're everyday cupcakes, these were made with a cake mix and punkin, so they were good-for-me. Can you say "YUMMMMIIIEEEE!!!!"? Say it because they were.

For as long as I've known Melissa, I have been saying that I wanted to get to know her better. And now I really am, I joined the life group at her house, and let me tell you, that I love Youth Staff, and I love the friends I have there, but they are either A) way younger than me or B) Married, so we don't really hang out that much. It's just that I have a different schedule than most of them, and I know how much time the couples give to the ministry so I don't want to ask the females of the group to take the little time they have with their families/hubbies to hang out. To be strong, they must be together. Melissa is married, but they do a lot of stuff together with their life group and it's pretty fun when I go, and i don't feel like a 3rd, 5th, or 7th wheel. I am really liking having people to do "life" with. It was a good thing to let me guard down, and open my heart up.

Eph 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"outloud" prayer

have you ever been a big group and there is prayer requests, and one person starts and anyone can jump in and then someone closes? I don't feel like I am a good "outloud pray-er". I don't sound all profound, I usually stumble over my words, because sometimes I just don't know what to say, somehow there is a disconnection between my heart and my mouth. My brain forgets the words. I think other people are "intimadated" (for lack of a better word) to pray outloud, because I think they don't want people to think that they don't know how to pray. I used to be one of those religions that said "canned" prayers, so I haven't had a life of praying outloud from the heart, so I stumble. But I have to tell you that I always try to get my heart and my words saying the same thing. But honestly, it doesn't matter what our words say.

It's our heart that God hears. He hears when we are frustrated about something, He hears when we are so thankful for something He's done for us that our heart explodes, He hears when we are mad, sad, grumpy, glad. No matter what our words say.

Psalm 66:20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

love wins

I don't think God has completed His work in me via the Captivating Series. I am starting a bible study on the book. I am going to go through it with a couple young ladies but there was a question that was in the book that totally got me thinking...What are some of your favorite stories or movies, and in them who do you want to be?

I thought of some of my very favorite movies...

Remember the Titans

White Christmas

Maid in Manhatten

Sweet Home Alabama


Second Chance

When I am just around the house, cleaning or lounging, I will pop one of those movies in and instantly relax or get happy, almost depending on what mood I need to be in.

So in each of those movies there is an underlying storyline. Triumph of Love.

In Remember the Titans, love triumphs over hate. No color, just friendship. In the beginning it's hate, in the end, who would I want to be. The couch, played by Denzel Washington, I could be Denzela or something, I don't know. But he makes mistakes, sometimes his pride gets in the way. But his heart, shines right through. And love wins.

White Christmas. Not many people I know watch Christmas movies in July, but I can't get enough of this movie. I wanna be Rosemary Clooney. Two friends from the war, go out and take the world on in music. They meet up with the Haynes sisters, they fall in love, they make mistakes because of mis-perceptions, and in the end, things are cleared up. And love wins.

Maid in Manhatten. I want to be Marissa. Single mom Marissa meets Chris Marshall under false pretenses, they fall in love, she lies, makes mistakes, but he forgives her, and love wins.

Sweet Home Alabama. I want to be Reese Witherspoon. They meet as childhood sweethearts, she leaves, makes mistakes, almost marries the wrong guy, the right guy still loves her. She forgives him, he forgives her, they get married. Love wins.

Invincible. I wanna be Janet. Partly because she gets to kiss Mark Wahlberg and partly because she loves the Giants and no matter what, even in Eagle territory, she loves what she loves. She meets Vince, he plays football, like most men, he can't love and play football, but finally comes to his senses realizing that you can do more than one thing at a time, and love wins.

The last one... Second Chance, I wanna be Michael W. Smith's fiance. But not because she gets to kiss MWS. This one is about a guy who gets distracted from the Lord, but pulled back, ok, pushed back. He & the pastor at Second Chance church see the good in each other, humble themselves to each other and to God. And you guessed it... love wins.

I love a happy ending. I love that in Christ we are forgiven and we are loved, and we are covered in grace. I have really been struggling with accountability lately. Not really mine, I've got 'plank syndrome' where i see the speck in someone else's eye but forget about the plank in my own. I guess partly it's because there are some things that I am just not equipped to do, and others are so gifted in that area, I think they should use their gifts, and i should use mine, and each and everyday, Love will win, a little more. For the glory of God. I have to remember that I can do what I can do. That the bible says in Romans 2 that if we are harsh, if we pass judgement on others, that God will have that towards us. Ugh. I don't like that. And although, I really love grace, it's the ultimate get out of jail card, I not only am I blessed enough to get it, I have to be merciful and give it.

2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Faith and Trust

So, I was sitting in Six Stars, reading a bible study I am thinking about doing, and I swear God was RIGHT behind me, "read My book, will ya'?"

...what should I read... I kind of was skimming through... Jeremiah... no... 1 Corin... no... how about Hebrews 11? I have read that chapter quite a few times, and I think like with every chapter in the bible at different times in our lives, we can read the same chapter and get something out of it. I have been told that Hebrews 11 is like the Superheroes chapter. Whatever, we're studying heroes in the bible at Fuel, so maybe I will find something to talk to the kids about... can't hurt, right?

By faith... by faith... by faith... by faith. Almost every paragraph I think said it... by faith. Ok, I get the point, and so I started thinking about me, because that's what I do. By faith, what does that mean to me? That means that if I am going to do 'this God' thing, then that means that sometimes, I won't see what God is doing in my life... it's by faith. That means that I have to trust in Him, and just plain trust Him. That's not easy, the chapter starts out by saying "1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." That's not that easy. Well, maybe for you, but not for me.

And then there was this other part...

23By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

And I thought to myself (after I read it about 6 times) there are no ordinary children when it comes to God's children. Think about what we do in Him. We are not ordinary, we are amazing, we are special, we are loved. And think about how are kids would be if we treated them like that. What if we told them, we are going to hide you from the world, and we are going to love you, because you are God's child and you are special. Now, I am not talking about locking your kid in a closet but what if we surrounded them with so much love, they didn't know any other way? What if we just loved and loved and loved and loved, that they had no other way but to feel... loved.

By faith, to trust in His love, to trust Him, and to love. I think my heart just opened up.
2 Corin 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

Snow and elections

Well, what the heck! I like snow if I am inside and there is no reason why I should drive. Today is not that day. I must muddle through the snow with all the idiots out there in 4WD (and I am not talking about the people who actually know how to drive, I am talking about the idiots). Ick. I'm so over winter. I'm ready for some sexy, strappy sandels!!

And today I opened my myspace to find out that someone I know actually had a picture that said "vote for so & so". Now I am not in favor of any of the people running for election (I am starting to wonder if satan has had a a hand in all the candidates), I think you should all write me in, and I will be your next president!! but for crying out loud... on your myspace?! Ugh. Sorry if its you and you are offended but for the Love of God, get a life.

And just for your info, I found the VERY interesting... I'm not telling you to vote one way or another, I am not telling you to like Bush or hate him, all I am saying is look at the facts...

Taxes under Clinton 1999 vs. Taxes under Bush 2008
Clinton - Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Bush -Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Clinton- Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Bush - Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Clinton - Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Bush - Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Clinton- Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Bush - Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Clinton - Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Bush - Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Clinton - Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Bush - Married making 125K - tax $31,250

Monday, March 03, 2008

Garbage In/Garbage Out

I’ve been eating healthy (I mean really healthy) getting in at least 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies, snacking on blueberries, grape tomatoes, grapefruit, cucumbers, and popcorn instead of chips, cookies, crackers, cheese, etc. Egg whites with Canadian bacon on whole wheat toast instead of McDonald’s. I gave up diet pop altogether (and that was the hardest part)

It’s been a lot of planning. I have to say it has paid off. On my day of weigh-in (after weigh in of course) I eat WHATEVER I want. I get my cravings out, I don’t count the points, I don’t have any guilt feelings about it. It really has paid off, I feel really good, and I have no guilt feelings over what I eat that’s “not good for me”.

On Friday, however, I had McDonald’s for breakfast, fish and chips for lunch, cookies, pasta, and other various not good for me foods for dinner. And I paid the price. Not because I gained weight (I only weigh once a week so I have no idea) but because I felt like crap all day. I was tired and my stomach was sick after eating the fish and chips, and I did feel a little guilty over those YUMMY cookies for dessert.

But Saturday I was back to it, drinking my water, eating what I was supposed to, and yesterday, I made a “healthy” lasagna, fruits and veggies, and a few dinners that will just need to be warmed up for the week, all healthy, all quick.

I feel better when I eat better. Sure, I am on a quest to be at a healthy weight. But it’s just that, a healthy weight. One that I feel good about myself, one that I have energy, and one that I can be proud of.

This is a lesson in life too. If you surround yourself with people who will lift you up, you will be lifted up, you will be encouraged. If you surround yourself with people who drag you down, you will live in the mud, you will be discouraged.

I’ve made some really good friends in the last couple of months, one I started serving with, but she felt moved to serve somewhere else, but I think our friendship is growing stronger, partly because we have to make an effort to love each other.

Another friend, I am getting to know a little more each time I see her, and it’s great getting to know her more and more! And in that, I am loving her more!
In my "spiritual" life it's the same. When I fill myself with the Word, when my thoughts are good, when I am positive, when I chose to see the best in people, I feel better all around!

Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Slow Cooker Lasagna

This recipe was adapted from the awesome family recipe.

2 pounds ground turkey
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 small zucchini
2 (28oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
16 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 (24 oz) low-fat cottage cheese
2 t. dried Italian seasoning
2/3 cups water
2 (4oz.) cans of mushrooms
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook turkey and Italian seasoning in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles; drain. Combine spaghetti sauce, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, seasoned meat and water in pan, cook about ½ hour (I did this the day before). Layer thinly in bottom of lightly greased 5-quart electric slow cooker: uncooked lasagna noodles, sauce mixture, cottage cheese & mozzarella cheese. Repeat for each layer (approx 4 total layers). Cover & cook on high setting for 1 hour; reduce heat & cook on low setting for 5 hours. Can do ahead and store in fridge!! Yields 8 Servings (I have the very large rival crock pot, it was pretty full)

My daughter said this was SOO yummy!! I thought so too!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Let me first tell you that it has been a tough week. Emotionally.

I got an award on Tuesday, truth be told, I hate awards, I really hated that one. It was a sharp knife that cut very deep, and all week I felt like the wound kept re-opening and I was "bleeding out".

I kept trying to work it out with God,but I just wasn't getting anywhere.

I felt like all week, I couldn't figure out if 'this' is where I supposed to be. I believe with my whole heart that God has me where I am supposed to be, but why am I doubting. Ugh.

Friday, I went to life group, and it was full of life, just what I needed.

Yesterday, even though I hate malls, I love Junior Highers and found myself at Great Lakes Crossing. It was fun.

I was going to skip church today. We were talking about doubt. Let me tell you, I never doubt God. I never doubt His greatness, His healing, His power, I never doubt that He rose from the dead. I never doubt God. So honestly, even though this week, I could have turned and walked away from Him, it wasn't about Him, it was about me. It was about the dumb things I do, and how I hurt... i...i...i...

What do I doubt? I doubt why He would love me, I doubt that in all my mess ups, my saying things when I should, and not confronting people when they hurt me, in all my failures, I doubt why He would want me, and am I doing what I am supposed to do. I doubt that I am too selfish, and am not committed enough to Him and to doing what He wants me to be in Him.

I walked into church today, everyone was serving, I actually got to attend a full service at Metro (in 6 months, I have not done that once). I went back to an old habit. I said with my heart open wide "speak Oh God, this child is listening. Fill me up with You Lord".

The music, was resonating in my soul, the words I needed to say to God, lead by the Metro band, the sermon, engaging, enlightening, and at some points I thought that there was no one else in the room but me and Jeremy, and God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus were speaking directly to me. "dont' give up, My child, I know it's tough, and you could have walked away, but I never left you. I never left you. I will never leave you. Forgive, my child."

And so I sit here typing away, I could have walked away, and while that may not be the "Christian" thing to say, it's how I really felt. I know with all my heart that there were 'gap standers" those who prayed, to keep me from turning away. And through it all, never once, did I think God left me, He was always there, loving me, and at points holding the back of my shirt collar, never letting go.

Jude 1:20-23 20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I used to belong to a lifegroup, that was actually what really drew me into joining Metro. Sara & Dean were our leaders, we met at Jim and Tonya's house. Then I lead a lifegroup, that was a lot more work than I had time for, it was great, but a lot of work!

Last night I attended 'The Card's' lifegroup. I have been wanting to go but a lot of times I am just way too tired to go. They eat at their lifegroup, and sometimes I don't prepare enough to show up (and you know I am not showing up empty handed).

I have to tell you, in the last month, that was probably in my top two best times I've had! That sounds nuts, people who don't live Jesus probably wouldn't understand. I felt welcome from the moment I got there, and really didn't want to leave but I had to go get Phyllis.

I can't think of one extra-ordinary thing that made it great, well, one thing... Jesus was there.

1 Corin 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.