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)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Scripture Reading

About a year ago, my gram died. It was time. And for me it was peaceful, I was able to say what I needed to say to her, I knew where she was going. I typically am chosen to read scripture at a funeral. I take this as a great honor. When my gram died, I had a scripture that I had chosen that I wanted to read. However, it wasn't approved by the church to read at a funeral. To say the least, I was torqued off. From the moment they told me until now. I understand that in some "circles" they don't encourage the "normal" people to read their bibles. However, I belong to a circle, that not only encourages it, they expect it. Do bible studies, get in the Word, talk about it, and most importantly, live it. Thank you very much. I like it that way. I've never been one of those people who can accept what people tell them to do without asking why. And if you don't tell me why, there's probably no chance that I will do it. I come from a long line of rebels, however, most of them were a little more subtle about their rebellion, I'm just right out there. Apparently, I'm demonstrative, or so I've been told.

Today, I was chosen again. And I'm telling you, it hasn't even happened yet, I'm torqued, because I know I'm not going to get to pick. And it bugs me, because I'm smart enough to pick out an appropiate scripture fitting the life of my loving aunt. I'm smart enough to open my heart and listen to what God would have me read. And in a quiet voice, I will hear what to read, and why, the Holy Spirit is wonderful, and loving, and soothing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Janet Maierle

My Aunt Janet died yesterday. She was my dad’s sister. My whole life I referred to her as “retarded” not in a bad way, it was before politically correctness. It’s just the way it was.

If you knew her, you knew Jesus.

I’m sure that most people wouldn’t see it that way, but I do. She was the closest thing to Jesus you could get on this earth. I’ll tell you a little bit about her… tune out if you’re not interested.

She was loving. She loved you no matter what. When you walked in the room, her face lit up, and it was an instant hug. If we all loved like she loved, shew, the world would be a better place. I’m telling you, she would give you the best hugs ever, even after her stroke, she had one good arm, and she would hug you and never let go if you’d let her.

She was patient and kind, smart, and funny.

My dad loves to tell the story, I’ve heard him tell the story of long ago (back in the day before twist off caps)… My dad asked Janet to go get him a beer. She did, and she brought it to him. He looked at it, and said “how do you expect me to open it?” to the drawer in the center section and got the bottle opener and brought it right to him. Smart kid. And oh! My favorite, when you asked “who wants dessert?” her hand went straight up! Can’t get much smarter than that. I think that’s my favorite memory of her.

She loved “Ickle Me Tickle me” by Shel Silverstein, I would read it to her, and she’d laugh and laugh! I would bring the book to my grams and read it to her.

She couldn’t talk but she could communicate well. You knew what she wanted, and when she wanted it. We just had to figure out a way to communicate with her.

She was fun-nee! She loved hanging out with my dad in the kitchen, she would laugh and laugh and laugh while trying to shove him in the oven. It was great. We’d laugh because she loved “her big brother Bob” so much! She had the best laugh ever, right from her belly!

Her favorite snack? Fritos and Canada Dry (not Vernors, it was too fizzy). Although, one time we went to this awesome picnic and the Vernors guy was there, I thought it was so cool.

She taught us all how to love bigger and better than before.

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Ickle me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
By Shel Silverstein from “where the sidewalk ends”

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
"What fun!"
"It's time we flew!"
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
As higher
And higher
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.
"Hold on!"
"Stay in!"
"I hope we do!"
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle too
Never returned to the world they knew,
And nobody
Knows what's
Happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too

Monday, June 23, 2008


We leave for Desperation Conference on Thursday afternoon. I took the day off not knowing what time we were leaving and I wanted to be sure I was ready to go and no one was waiting on me.

It is a conference for kids high school and college age. Undoubtedly, I will be one of the oldest ones there. It’s ok. I love going to these things, I love being available so the kids can experience these things. What I just said is entirely true, but there is more. I am desperate to get closer to God too. Although this conference is for the youngsters, I always get a lot out of them, they get you recharged and firing on all cylinders, as they are intended to do. Once they give you the initial push, it's up to you to keep it going.

The downside of these conferences is that there are thousands of people who all leave (and have to come back) at the same time to eat, typically it’s fast food all the way and that does not sit well with me. But that is easily remedied… We are bringing the BBQ, I’ve got fruits and veggies ready, I will make a veggie tray, we’ll have granola bars, and some fun treats too! It's cheaper to cook ourselves and then we can buy t-shirts instead of Taco Bell :)

I’m excited to go, it should be a great time of being together, a great time of being with God. I always feel like I’ve had a hug from Him when I come home.

Psalm 142:6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The rain came down...down... down...

So what did you do today? We had a busy day planned… it ended up being a grand adventure!!

We were driving through Allen Park during “flood ‘08”. The water just came down too fast and the sewers couldn’t keep up, besides all the leaves that were brought down by the storms, that was clogging up the drains too. It finally stopped raining, and eventually we were able to navigate… that is until we would get to an intersection that was too deep… and then we’d sit there. Until… Phyllis and I decided to clean out the sewer drains so the water could flow freely. We laughed, and we wondered what people thought… until some chucklehead told us what he thought… and then I yelled at him, and his neighbor said “oh don’t worry about him, he’s a <<>>.” We cleaned out about 12 sewer drains. It was funny.

I felt like Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day…
It was crazy and fun!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Plans

I know it's hard to believe but I've really chilled out on my schedule. I have to say, I have been scheduling more fun things.

Alive is off to the Big Ticket Festival in Gaylord this weekend to play and worship. I wish i was going, but sometimes we have to say no. Even though I am not there in person, I am there in spirit (I sent them with my grill and food)

Next week is the Desperation Conference in Kalamazoo, I can't wait. I'm DESPERATE to take time to really go deeper with God, to see the kids go deeper with God.

When July comes, it's the mission trip, and then a quick weekend to Traverse City to lay by the beach and chill out.

I'm looking forward to a trip to the beach, too, and boat outings...

Softball games, and life group outings... Alive Camping in August, Life Group camping in September.

I can't wait to enjoy my summer!!

Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Venturing out!

Today I forgot my lunch! Ugh, figures too because I don't really have time to go out. We have 3 buildings on our campus, and 2 cafeterias. I am in the one building without a cafeteria, so I always go to building A cafeteria. Today, I decided to be adventurous and go to building B, I hardly ever venture over there because it's our official corporate building and it makes me nervous. Feeling especially cute today, I felt it was ok to go over there.

It was a beautiful walk, noticed some newly planted daisies, the grass was perfectly cut, it was obvious someone took a lot of time doing it. They had a good sandwich special (turkey & monterrey jack) and as an added bonus - 3 yummy soups (it was hard to choose), beef barley, chicken enchilada, and stuffed pepper.

I walked back to my desk wondering why I hadn't been brave enough to venture over there. I also walked back with this feeling of being loved... I know it's kind of nutty to feel loved over sandwich and soup... but I did. I felt like not only the needs of eating were met, but my wants as well.

Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kids these days!!!

I wonder what you are thinking when you look at that title. It could go either way, huh?

I was watching a baseball game with my girlfriend yesterday, one of our lifegrouper's son plays and he coaches. We went up the ballfield to watch the game.

I noticed something, kids are getting so much cuter! I don't know how to explain it, but EVERY kid was cute (some were obnoxious but they were still cute!) I look back on pictures of me and my friends, and I don't think we were that cute. But now, they breed them cute!!

Maybe it's because I love more or something, but the tall ones, the short ones, the skinny ones, the "healthier" ones, all cute. Even that little one who cried and threw a fit when he was out at first.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Today is Father's Day! I was always disappointed because rarely did we make something in school for Father's Day but we ALWAYS did Mother's Day...

But I always loved Father's Day, it was the day to celebrate my dad, he always took really good care of me. I'm still here, as he would say, in spite of myself!

Every year I buy a "Grandpa" shirt for my dad. This year, I walked right past the display but I found it! I know my dad loves to brag about Phyllis.

It's funny, I still love Father's Day! And I love to celebrate it with my dad, we're going to lunch today. In the past, we spent that time on the boat.

Even though I know it's probably not true, I usually feel like my dad loves me because I have Phyllis. My relationship over the past few years, especially lately, has changed with my dad, lately, I feel like he more pities me than is my dad and my friend. I am not really sure how to change that, but I'm thankful for him, no matter the role he plays in my life. He's always there for me, he's actually always there for everyone, that's just the kind of man my gram raised.

He will always be my hero. It's funny how some things never change.

“The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son (daughter) delights in him.”- Proverbs 23:24

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Perfect Summer Days in Michigan

1. Getting your car back

2. Greenfield Village

3. De-humidifiers

4. Sunshine

5. Filling up the pool

6. Car windows open

7. Warm Breeze

8. Straightening up

9. Wishing I was on the boat

10. Sleeping with the windows open
Psalm 50:2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.

Greenfield Village Motor Muster

I do love Greenfield Village. My stepmom and dad invited us to hang out with them. My stepmom has a pass and my stepmom's friend has a car, and it was an absolutely beautiful day!!

The garden photos

Check out the pictures of the garden as it grows

Friday, June 13, 2008

More Blooming!

I went out yesterday to check out my make shift garden. It’s crazy how excited I am!!

I even stopped at Wal-Mart and got little tags to put by each plant, what a nerd. There is something about planting veggies and watching them grow. I even think my zucchini plants have tripled in size since the weekend when I planted them. My girlfriend has nick-named me the zucchini queen since I put zucchini in almost everything (trying to sneak in a veggie where I can). The basil is flowering, the mint is spreading, the parsley is growing, and the tomato plants have little flowers on them already!! Even my cantaloupes I planted are growing; everything I’ve planted is pretty much an experiment since I’ve never really had a garden before.

Since I always equate everything to God or a lesson, “what am I supposed to learn from this?”, I found myself wondering how proud God must be when He plants us somewhere and we bloom. And like my cantaloupe that are not in the best environment for them to grow, they are still growing, and my life is often like that. Having a child without being married is not the ideal situation, however, I believe that I have bloomed into a good mom and I am thriving in the environment, needing some sunshine (blessings and encouragement), water (food, love), and fertilizer (the Word & God) as I go.

Even my flowers that I transplanted are doing well, and I dropped some seeds in the flower beds last night (because I knew it would rain today).

I will take some pictures soon so you can see all that will be harvested soon!!

Isaiah 35:2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


When you were a kid and they played competitive games in gym, when were you chosen? Were you chosen first, towards the middle, or at the end? I can understand if this process was taken out of schools all together, because it really was a blow to your self-esteem.

There is a place in my life where I am never chosen, or I should say I am never chosen to lead. The person in charge, I believe, doesn’t think I am smart enough, good enough to lead. I often think this is funny because I am smart enough, I am good enough, and I am a good leader. I am often chosen in other aspects of my life to lead. I’d laugh, but it’s not funny. This person… is the first to ask me to do something that involves “dumb” work. The stuff that it doesn’t take much brains to do, the stuff that they don’t want to do. I’ll be honest, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I get downright angry, and sometimes I just remember that I am called to do the work of God, no matter how big or small and to get over myself.

Another place in my life there is great change going on. I was chosen. I was chosen to live and to be loved. Lately, that has changed. I’ve not only been “kicked to the curb”. It’s something that I sometimes laugh at (mostly because I don’t know what else to do), I get angry, I cry, and sometimes I say “ get over yourself, life isn’t about you”. Sometimes things are only here for a season.

In all this, I try to remember one thing, I am chosen. No matter if I was first in line or last in line. I was chosen. I was chosen to LIVE. I mean really live, not just on this earth, but to live for eternity. God would have come just for me. I try to remember that if I live a life in Christ, there is great joy in everything. There’s blue skies and even rain when we need it. It’s not always easy to remember that’s it’s not all about us, no matter how hard we try.

I’m glad to know that I am chosen.

Duet 18:5 for the LORD your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the LORD's name always.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Basement drains

I have always had an issue with water and my drain, since the 2nd month I moved into my house, over 6 years ago. I watch it like a hawk. Usually in the spring I need it snaked out, it’s a ritual, kind of like a yearly PAP , preventative measures.

I was thinking on Sunday, I probably should have it done soon. Another thing I was stressing about on Sunday.

The last couple days we’ve had quite a bit of rain. This morning I walked down to the basement to get a shirt…

And you know what?

No water.

Oh, thank You Jesus.

I can only imagine the breakdown I would have had if my basement was full of water.

Oh… God is good.

Psalm 6:6 6 I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

Monday, June 09, 2008


It’s a crazy thing. You’d think I’d have some sort of self esteem. I mean, other than low.

I can’t accept a blessing because I feel like it’s comes from pity, not love.

I can’t accept a compliment because I feel like you only say it because you think you should say it.

You can’t understand why I never want to try new things or do things I’m not good at. I don’t need anything else in my life to suck at.

I don’t just want to scream “I DO MATTER” but most importantly I want to believe it!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I felt like I was going to break down at any minute this morning. I’ll admit it, I am very concerned about money. My car breaking down was a very unexpected expense, and renting a car, another necessary, but unexpected expense. Truly wondering how I am going to recover from this. I know I will, I know God always provides but I had it planned out, the money for the economic stimulus check. It wasn’t going to be spent on frivolous things, money for our mission trip, the desperation conference, household repairs, etc. No vacations here.

I had in the plans for last weekend to get 3 yards of dirt delivered. ~$120 so I could plant the garden. I was going to shovel it all myself. There isn’t $120 now. But there was little seedlings to be planted to offset some costs of groceries, we eat a lot of veggies in the summer. I was truly excited, I’ve never had a real garden here!

Yesterday I watered the little seedlings wondering what was going to end up of them. While sitting in the kitchen cutting up my veggies for the week, I decided that I would just have to plant them where I had room. Sure it’s not the best way, but if I have to grow the zucchini up the fence instead of however they grow, well, so be it. I might was well try. I’ll plant the cantelope in the back, no extra dirt, but it will be ok, that was kind of an experiment anyway. Some zucchini planted by the side of the house with my redneck tomatoes, chives, and basil. Celery, hot peppers, green peppers, and spinach that will just have to bloom where they are planted.

Sometimes situations aren’t as we planned, sometimes we just have to do the best we can, and bloom where we’re planted.

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”-
Habakkuk 3:19

The scripture above was verse of the day. How fitting. He is the Director of me. I will bloom wherever He plants me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

feel good preachers

Do you wonder why preacher’s who are the feel good preachers do so well? I started thinking about it last night.

“Feel good preachers” give people easy hope. Hope and Faith are gifts from God but I wouldn’t classify them as something that is easy. Believing in something you can’t see isn’t easy, if it was I think everyone would do it.

“Feel good preachers” tell people that everything is going to be ok, just stick with it, and pray.

Let’s face it, things aren’t easy. Cancer comes, cars die, people lose their jobs, husbands leave wives, moms abandon kids. It’s not always going to be easy, unless you have easy hope, a few choice scriptures that say “don’t worry, it’s going to be ok”.

I’m not putting down any scripture, there are some I turn to or come across that warm my heart, however, there are some that really challenge me, and sometimes, they are the same scripture. Think about Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. So what does that say to you? Dedicate what you do to God, and it’s going to work out? Or does it say to you, Commit to the Lord, and your plans will succeed (because they are His plans)? Either way it’s not easy, but I think the first is easier, because it could be thought that if I just give my plans to the Lord, I’m good.

People have been beat down by religion. And by religion I don’t mean Jesus, I mean the rules and man made regulations of religion. I remember inviting the clerk at the photo counter to Metro (he had a red Mohawk) and his response “I hate religion”, I simply replied “me too, but I LOVE Jesus”. He hasn’t come yet, but everytime I am there, and he is, I invite him again. People like “Feel good preachers” because I think “Feel good preachers” tell people what they want to hear – it’s ok if you screw up, but it’s going to be ok.

Well, you know what? Sometimes it’s just not ok. Sometimes, friends and families die, husbands do not come back, moms leave their children, never to return. It happens, and it sucks, but it’s not ok. But there is always hope. Hope to make it through. That hope, Jesus.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It went well

Phyllis had her oral surgery today. It was pretty major. 1 transplant (she had tooth in the roof of her mouth and it had to be put in the right place), 1 wisdom tooth extraction, and 2 of her back molers “straightened out” “they were coming in sideways instead of up and down.

I don’t really know who had more anxiety over the whole thing, me or her. I have a weak WEAK stomach when it comes to blood. Ick. I could never be a nurse, even though I come from a long line of nurses. I even felt like I was going to throw up when they pulled out the gauze, I know, I’m a wimp.

They numbed her and drugged her up really well, so she is doing well. She’s iced up to reduce swelling, watching Cinderella. She should be “out cold” in about 5 more minutes.

Again, I was walking out the Dr’s office, holding my daughter up.

Thank You God for great doctors
Thank You God for compassionate nurses
Thank You God for good insurance
Thank You God for the money to pay my portion
Thank You God for good meds
Thank You God for giving me a strong enough stomach not to throw up

I just can’t help it sometimes, I can’t help but to thank God for so many things. Keep praying for quick healing!!

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Take time to breathe... and make a few phone calls

You can read from my other posts that my car died. I need a new engine. I had two estimates. One for $3100 & the other for $3200. ~6 month warranty on both. I made one more phone call. $2450, same warranty everything is pretty much the same. This is a no brainer. Tow the car to the new place (after calling the place it was at to see if they would match the $2450 price). Nope, couldn't even come close. So... to the towing place that had a repair shop attached. It's been there for a long time, they beat all the prices. Apparently in the world of disposable cars... repair shops need money.

I am glad I didn't make any snap decisions, I am glad I prayed and praised.

My car is on the mend :) I definitely know I made the right decision to get it fixed instead of getting a new car.

Proverbs 24:14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I could give you a list a mile long of the things bugging me… I could give you a list 10 miles long of the things I am blessed with. I am ever amazed at how much God loves me, how sometimes I can actually feel His arms around me, about how kisses come from heaven.

Life isn’t easy but you can’t be happy until you’re greatful. I think I heard that somewhere before.

I’m surrounded by people who love me, I get to surround people who need Love. Really, what more can I ask for?

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

P.S. I know greatful is really spelled grateful, but I think it's great to be full of blessings... so I spell is different.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Today I threw my hair up in a clip, threw some make up on, threw on the Alive Shirt and Jean shorts and off to church I went. I got more “you look beautiful”s today then I think I have ever gotten in my life.

My secret? Love looks good on me. I love baptisms, I love church, I love people, I love students, I love God, I love loving. I can understand why people become obsessed with people, loving and that feeling of love is addicting.

There is not much I can do like Jesus. I can’t really go without sinning… I can’t be born from a virgin, I don't have much patience or I'm not a teacher… but there is one thing I can do that is like Jesus (though not His full capacity). I can love. And love LOUD I can.

Love looks good on me… I think I’ll wear it tomorrow.

Isaiah 60:5 Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.