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)


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

STUFFED TURKEY MEATLOAF

1 can mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh baby spinach
Spaghetti sauce,
dividedshredded cheddar cheese,
2 pound ground turkey
egg, lightly beaten
½ cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together turkey, egg, bread crumbs, mushrooms, seasoning and salt.

Spoon half of meat mixture onto a greased baking pan. Flatten and smooth out.

Top with a layer of spinach leaves and shredded cheese.Top with remaining meat, flatten again and then go around the edges an seal, pulling in the loaf away from the sides of the pan.Spread spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake for about an hour or until meat registers at 170 degrees.

Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. ENJOY!

I got it from here... http://fullbellies.blogspot.com/

Basement

I hate my basement. It always looks like a mess, even if I just straighten it up because there is not enough storage. I just donated 3 bags & a box or 2 of "stuff". So I am going to have a small walk in closet built to store all my Christmas & various holiday stuff and all the extra blankets and other "stuff".

Then I have another project :) to help it along! I just have to figure it out how it will work :).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Youth Ministry highlight

Youth Ministry (YM) can be the life or death of you depending on your attitude and somedays it's the life and some days its the death. I'm just being honest.

Our Youth Pastor is focused! He is energetic and you can't help being inspired by him! He also keeps our schedules packed solid. I think most people do one or the other meaning Jr High or High school. Me I do both. One great thing about Adam is that I think he knows that I will do almost anything he asks me to do regarding YM however, he also knows there are things I would prefer to do, mostly because that's where my gifts lie and partly because I'm self-centered. I think that's one of his greatest gifts, he sees such good in people.

None of that is the real reason for the post but it's a little background. The thing about being busy with YM especially when your youth pastor is zealous (and a little nuts - all in the name of Jesus of course!) is that sometimes you just don't have time for anything else. Yes, I know I can say no. I get that. But I don't. I'm blessed because in our ministry, I have some FABULOUS, God given friends who love me even when I am most unloveable. And they love me and celebrate me in millions of different ways. There is one couple that let's me love their girls (I think they think I'm doing THEM a favor by watching the girls however, it's me who is blessed). I am so thankful for the friends I have in YM. Can't really imagine my life now without them. Even if it's 5 minutes of catch up or a scheduled (month in advance or COMPLETELY at the last minute) dinner date... I'm blessed.

Ecc 4:9-10
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hope joy love



I slept in today (7:30!).

I took my car which needs brakes to a place that I thought was trustworthy, however it turned out... not so trustworthy. They tried to tell me things I needed for my car because after looking at it, it was "dangerous". However it was really based on miles because they did not need to be done, they based it on miles alone because I got a new engine. hmmm... I left... angry, even said to them "in times like these, you can't rip people off, I can get anyone to work on my car". Jerks.

I could have let this affect me long-term, because honestly, short term, it did affect me. But thank God my blood pressure returned to it's normal place.

I stopped at Sam's Club (packed - hello it's Saturday) and just said to myself "prepare yourself, you'll be here for awhile". I just wanted to pick up a few things, and I learned a lesson on how to pick a pineapple. I found some beautiful strawberries, BIG ones! Beautiful, perfect for Choc covered strawberries. So when the kids (Phyllis and Gibby) come home from their Columbia meeting, I am going to grill some chicken, make some brocolli, a beautiful salad, and choc covered strawberries for dessert.

I feel like everyday I am a little more like "myself" and a month ago I would have probably said "they'll never know I saw these strawberries" and been content with grilling the chicken, but that wasn't me.

We can't let our circumstances run our lives, we have to be who God made us to be. Hope to a world that needs it, peace when everything is restless, joy that's unspeakable and unbreakable, and love that is never ending.

1 Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

Counting On God - Desperation Band
VERSE 1
I'm in a fight not physical
And I'm in a war
But not with this world
You are the light that's beautiful
And I want more
I want all that's Yours

PRE-CHORUS
Joy unspeakable that won't go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
'Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

CHORUS
I am counting on
I am counting on God

BRIDGE
The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I'm nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes you'll see

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Praise God!!!

Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!!

2 Sam 7:22 "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

So in case you didnt' notice! I'm thankful!! I'm Greatful!!! And I'm praising God!!!!

They do not believe that Phyllis's arthritis is not coming back! They think she may have had virus that just worked it's way out. She does have water on her knees and they are giving her a NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug) that is strong and kind of different than Napryson. We go back in 3 months and they are pretty sure this is just from all the dancing and activity from the musical!

They were very impressed with all her range of motion, especially her hips since she was VERY much affected in that area! They were so pleased with her overall health.

I don't think that I can even put into words how thankful how greatful and how loved I feel!! It just reminds me how much God loves and cares for us! How are prayers do not go unheard! At first I felt like I kind of overreacted by calling the doctor, but I believe that God gave me the 'motherly instinct' to take care of my baby, and that's what I did!

He is good! He is magnificant!! And I love Him and He loves us!!

I can't wait to see how He works in our lives!!

Psalm 48:1 Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

today

1 Cor 1:5 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—

Dear God, I loveyou. I know that you have brought joy to my life, healing where I never knew I would get healing or even knew I needed it. God I've read this scripture before. But today it hit me, you've enriched my life, not just made it a little better or made me a little happier but ENRICHED. God I know that you have this and every situation under control God, I know that You are big, not just big but magnificent. Lord, I love you. Thank you for loving me. Thank You for never leaving me. God, thank You in advance for knowing what today will bring and loving me through it. Thank you for your presence, your peace, your love, and Your HEALING to Phyllis's body. Lord, I love you and I pray all this and praise you in Jesus loving name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Be Prepared

I was never a girl scout, but I was a girl scout leader. Be prepared.


I've prepared for a lot of things in my life.


Tomorrow at 9AM we meet with the Rheumatologist at UofM Ann Arbor. This is a place I never wanted to ever return after leaving there about 6 years ago. They are nice people and all, but I had had enough of them by the time we were done.

I'm not one that goes unprepared, I've usually got an A, B, C all the way to Z plan. This time is a little different. I've got one plan, no matter the result, to hide in the shadow of the Lord. That's it. His wisdom, His love, His guidance, His strength. One plan. One very big God.

Jer 32:27 "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He loves me!


We sang the song Beautiful Beautiful (words below) in church on Sunday. I’ve never heard the song before (if we had a decent Christian radio station maybe I would have!). It was sung by Jennifer Books (who happens to be one of my favorite fuel mom’s – she’s got one of the best smiles in the world). I wish I could have found a decent Youtube to put the video up, you’ll have to check it out on Rhapsody or itunes. This song pierced my heart, and has been on played over and over on my mp3 player yesterday and is currently on repeat (yes, I can listen to the same song over and over).

I am constantly amazed by how much God loves me. In my mess, He came to me. Well, He was with me all along, it was me who needed to turn around and acknowledge Him. I just can’t believe that He could love me, that He can make my life beautiful. I screw up a lot. Maybe you know of what I speak, I’ve had battles in my insides “you know what you’ve done if anyone knew, they would kick you to the curb”. And maybe they would. Grace. How many times I’ve had it spread of me like a cloak.

Isn’t it just amazing that no matter what I do, God hates the sin not the sinner. That He loves me, in a mess or doing well. HE LOVES ME!! HE LOVES ME!! There’s no daisy “he loves me, he loves me not” game played here, HE JUST LOVES ME!

And no matter where you are, He loves you too.

Romans 8:38-39 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Beautiful Beautiful by Francesca Battistelli

Don’t know how it is You looked at me
And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace

(Chorus)
Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain
But even perfect days can end in rain
And though it’s pouring down
I see You through the clouds
Shining on my face

(Chorus)

I have come undone
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thursday


Thursday is Phyllis’s Rheumatologist appointment. For awhile I thought I had over-reacted and I should cancel her appointment but in the last week or so she’s been complaining again and asking for Aleve. Yes, my daughter is 16 and still asks if she can have pain reliever. She’s old enough to make up her mind whether she needs it, I just like to know so I can mentally take note.

I will be honest, I wish there was someone to go to hold my hand. I know I can handle whatever the answer is but somehow its easier to be brave when someone is holding your hand. Whatever we have to go up against, if anything at all, we will. And by we I mean, Phyllis, me, and God. Not in that particular order. He did it once, I can't wait to see Him do it again.

Luke 8:50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

I wrote this post earlier but I didn't post it. I had to run some errands at lunch and decided they could wait and I needed to read my bible so I stopped at a 'greasy spoon' and took a breath (see I'm learning) I was reading this today at lunch. Funny how God just "shows up" when we're seeking Him.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You can call it what you want...

I will tell you that for the last 6 months to a year I have not felt well. Did I go to the doctor in that time? No. I actually don't like "conventional medicine". It seems they want to mask your symptoms or give you a pill that you will have to take for the rest of your life instead of actually fix what's wrong. This being said that I don't look down on any one who goes to the "real" doctor or who is on medication that their body needs.

I used to go to this Chirpractor years ago and he also does kineseology. He helped me at a time when I went to the doctor for months and they were trying to figure out what was wrong with me, even accused me of eating when I should have fasted and saying that I was messing up my own test results! That was beyond frustrating. I saw him last week. He "tested" me. It seems I had quite a few things that needed to be taken care. My thyroid hit bottom, my adrenal gland was all jacked up (I apparently have way too much cortisol or something). I am not back on the vitaminie regiman. That's what I call it. It has been 4 days, I feel amazing and I know I still have a way to go.

I have been "edgy" for months if not a year, it was an effort some days not to bite off your head (and if I did, I appologize from the bottom of my heart). I was always on the verge of tears. I was up and down. I was withdrawn (and if you came looking for me while I was withdrawn, I am sure I had some excuse like "I'm just not into that sort of thing"), I was a bundle of nerves, I couldn't lose weight and I was trying, and that was frustrating me too, I was tired and I was weak. I was really struggling. These are not excuses, its just the way I felt, and I really am sorry.

I tried to remain positive, I did see the good in things but a lot of days it was a struggle and there were days that I know that God carried me. I had joy because I had Jesus. But it was dark in my head. It was a dark and scary place. Somedays there just wasn't much light.

I don't know what triggered me to go to see the doctor. I don't know what it was, I guess, I just hit the bottom and thought "I might as well just try it".

It has been 4 days and I'm not all the way there to be better, but I am well on my way! Today, the edge was off, I just sat in church greatful for a God who carried me through it all. And hopeful that those around me will be gracious and realize that I didn't mean to be so horrid.

If i ran the zoo

I went to the zoo yesterday. I had the day to myself, so I used it for myself to do what I wanted to do. And i will admit, there were things I should have done, but I didn't. I did what I wanted to do.

I had lunch with Phyllis and we showed up to Six Star and my dad & step mom were there, so we had lunch with them too which was a welcomed treat. I dropped Phyllis off at rehearsal for the musical. I've heard so much about selling gold and i had a few things that I was never going to wear again, so I decided to take it in. I thought I'd get $20, I got $140 which as great! And off to the zoo I went, because of my new found money and my love of the zoo, I bought an annual zoo pass. After the zoo... Walmart for a handful of items (I purposely did not get a cart so I wouldn't spend to much), and then... Starbucks. For Wild Orange Tea, wrote a letter, read my book, I was there about an hour and a half. It was WONDERFUL. Took my donations to the thrift store, got a few things, even something for babies Dorband! Then I came home and chilled and fell asleep on the couch.

I'm feeling so much better, feel like I'm ready to join the world again after getting on my vitamin regimen that was put together by my doctor. More energy and just feel all around better!

Praise the Lord!!

Psalm 64:10 Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Things I know

1. God puts a lot of different people in your life to love you in different ways.
2. Bathrooms are just as much for praying as peeing
3. It's better to be on the vitaminie regiman
4. Sometimes people don't love us like we'd like them to
5. God's word is alive and real in my life
6. I do much better without carbs
7. I love iced tea more than any other drink
8. The zoo is one of my favorite places
9. I can't wait to go to Austria
10. God is good

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”- Jeremiah 17:7-8

Friday, March 20, 2009

"be encouraged"

Acts 11:23 When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

When I was in Jr. High and High School my friend Nyki's gramma would say to us everytime we left the house:
Be Good
Be Careful
I love you

Everytime without fail. I know it seems wierd but I always wanted to do that. And a lot of times I say "Be blessed, be a blessing, I love you". Not everytime but I do say it quite often.

Today was a rough day. More people let go. For no other reason than it's a sign of the times. It's hard not to be discouraged. It's hard not to be sad. But our hope is in the Lord. It says in Isaiah (40:31) but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. And if our hope is in the Lord, no matter what the circumstances we will not grow weary, He gives us strength, we can do all things in Him (Phil 4:13).

Sometimes we MUST surround ourselves with the right people. We need to be lifted up, we need contagious smiles, we need God's love around us. And there are people around who do that. I have a friend, Keith Hayes (he sings in the song on here today) who often says to me "be encouraged". I've never really asked him why he says that to me, he probably says it to a lot of people but I always think "don't let the things of this world get to you, let the love of God encourage who you are and what He will do in your life". Today I met with the young woman that I mentor (how crazy is it that they let ME mentor someone) and then Keith and I spoke after. He even laughed at something silly I said (that could be a number of things). Keith has gazillions of great gifts, he's kind of like Katie in that way, I think God dropped extra gifts on their heads :) and in their hearts. If you went to church and heard him read scripture, and nothing else happened, you've had church. I don't know how to explain it, but God shows up, His word is ALIVE! Keith also I think is a natural encourager, a great listener, and he simply reminds me that "God is good".

And that He is.

Be encouraged. Speak life.

Romans 1:12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

It's Friday!

I usually love Fridays. I usually love everyday of the week.

Sunday - Church and Alive
Monday - Fuel
Tuesday - Nothing! (except once a month we have an Alive Staff meeting)
Wednesday - Church or the girls
Thursday - Nothing!
Friday - Nothing in stone but usually out to dinner
Saturday - No telling it's my day off

Today is Friday and it's someone's birthday so we are having cake. Banana from scratch. Yum! Well, I'm not eating it but everyone else will enjoy it. Except my old boss. I say this because he was let go from out company yesterday. Certainly nothing he did it's just a sign of the times. Smart, talented, great with the customer. And I stood there in shock. I have to tell you that I've seen a lot of people let go in my company, I think I counted 27 or 28 rounds of layoffs. That is just so sad.

Somehow when tragedy strikes you've got to figure out how to deal with it. Me, I just do one thing, I drop to my knees (sometimes literally and sometimes spiritually) and I pray and I praise. Yesterday I just kept humming:

Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul
Thank You Lord for saving my soul,

Thank You Lord for making me whole.
Thank You Lord for giving to me,
Thy great salvation, so rich and so free.

It didn't seem right and it seemed completely appropiate at the same time. Hosanna! God save us! There are days when I know that I don't have it nearly as bad as the rest of the world, but I'm ready for Him to come down and save us. Really all we can do is call upon the Lord to comfort us, protect us, love us.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.





Third Day Lyrics - Call My Name

It’s been so long since
You felt like you were loved
So what went wrong
But do you know
There’s a place where you belong
Here in My Arms

Chorus
When you feel like you’re alone in your sadness
It seems like no one else in this whole world cares
And you want to get away from the madness
You just call My name and I’ll be there
You just call My name and I’ll be there

The pain inside
Has erased your hope for love
Soon you will find
That I’ll give you all
That your heart could ever want
And so much more

You just Call My Name
Call My name say it now
I want you to never doubt
The love I have for you is so alive
Call My name say it now
I want you to never doubt
The love I have for you is so alive


The love I have for you is so alive
The love I have for you is so alive
You just Call My Name

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Deposits & Withdrawals

I feel like a human checking account that is overdrawn. And honestly I think that’s the only way I can explain it.

You know in order for your “finances” to be healthy you need to have a positive balance. Lately I feel like I am allowing checks to be written for balances that just aren’t available.

Sometimes I feel like I make plenty of deposits. Reading my bible (deposit), loving teenagers (deposit), serving (deposit). (2 Cor 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come)

And then sometimes I feel like I allow people to withdraw funds that just aren’t available. And I mean I ALLOW them. A lot of times I believe that people can only hurt us if we allow them to do so. You can’t help what people do, but you can help how they make you feel. Maybe that only makes sense to me!

I allow people to talk to me how they want, which is not always positive (withdrawal). I allow the things they do to affect the way I feel about me (withdrawal). And sometimes I churn up stuff from the past that has hurt me (withdrawal). Not getting enough sleep (withdrawal), not eating well (withdrawal). Being stretched too thin (withdrawal).

The biggest problem in my life with the withdrawals is that there is usually a NSF fee that sends me into a worse negative than was really necessary. And again, I allow this to happen.

I allow myself to think negatively about ME! I chose to use the world’s value and those in it to determine my worth. And I think that may be just simply a lack of faith. I say this because in Hebrews 11:1 it says 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And sometimes its “easier” to believe things we can see or we can feel. Like someone not treating us well, and sometimes the world is a lot louder to distract us from the quiet voice of God. And so we focus on what we can see instead of what we cannot see.

In Song in Solomon 4:7 it says All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. So why don’t I see that. Why do I see that people don’t believe I’m good enough? Why don’t I see what God has done in my life and focus on that?

Maybe it’s because I know what I’ve done. Maybe I’ve had too many people walk away from me. And I know, yes, I know that God has forgiven me, and I have forgiven myself for the things I’ve done, I just have a hard time forgetting. And I realize that I can’t help that people have walked away and sometimes they are only in our lives for a season (Ecc 3:1). Maybe the people who can’t see my gifts just aren’t meant to, maybe it’s them who need to see the God in me, because I know that He’s in me, I know that He’s given me great talents and gifts.

And so I will keep making deposits… taking care of myself, reading His Word, serving, and I will not allow people to take from me that is not theirs to take.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

UGH!

Some days I'm just sorry I even woke up...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

While I'm waiting



This is one of my favorite songs right now. I didn't even know it was from the movie FireProof, because I haven't seen the movie yet. I love this song because like most songs, God gave someone the words when my heart didn't have them.

There are many things in our lives we don't like to wait for. We think we know what we need or what we want. But really God has a much better plan for us. His way is the only way. I've learned that I must trust, that I must worship sometimes when to be perfectly honest, I just don't want to. But God is everything. He knows my heart.

And I'm waiting... and serving... and worshipping, and LOVING

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me

While I'm waiting - John Waller

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

What a great day


Besides the headache I had (which was so bad at points it made me woosy and I had to sit down) what a great day!

I walked in the building and it was AWESOME! The kids worked SO hard getting it all set up for the Fashion Show and the stage was SOOO cool!!

I was watching them all pull together, people who weren't going to Columbia, helping people who were. Here's the thing about teenagers, all they want is to be loved and accepted (not so different from adults) and they will rally around their friends!

It was so AWESOME! Kids from Alive, Kids not from Alive, all showing love for their friends [they got that from Jesus - some of them just don't know it yet :)]

They raised almost $300 (that will be split among the students who helped with the fundraiser) and Phyllis raised $35 in jewelry sales (she made it herself).

See the pictures here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Things to pray for today



1. I have a HORRIBLE migraine... I have a ton of spaghetti to make, and it's going to be a long day if it doesn't go away.

2. That resources for the Columbia trip are HUGE today.

3. That kids who come to the fashion show that don't know Jesus see Jesus in our kids and want to come to Alive and see/seek Him!!

4. There's enough food

5. Dorband babies and paperwork is processed quickly so babies are available to be loved on soon!!

6. Alive & Fuel. That Jesus shows up big! That God reaches students through other students and leaders

7. Salvation for those who don't know Him (pray for people YOU know)

8. Healing and Restoration

9. My friend "D" that she realizes her worth in Christ

10. Pray for God to show up in YOUR life, that He makes you hungry for Him.

Eph 1:15-23
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Excitement?


Last night I was talking with my friend, he said he did some silly go down a hill over a pond/lake thing at Boyne and won...

I said "I would never do that"

He said that's why some people have exciting lives and some people don't.

And so that's what I thought of before I went to bed and what I thought of when I woke up and on my way in.

My "boring" life. And let me say that my friend in no way insinuated that I had a boring life, that's all me.

I haven't traveled all over the world or even traveled that much in the US, though I would seriously love to visit every zoo in the United States). Though I have been on some really great trips. I was able to take Phyllis to Disney when she was 8 (6 days after 9-11 which was a SWEET time to go because no one was there!), we've gone on a Possum Trip (you travel at night and wake up at a new destination - so fun), Texas and a few other really great places... AND we're about to go to Austria... woo hoo!!!

I don't even do that many things that are that exciting. I'm busy enough, but one thing I'll tell you, boring life or not, I don't think I would trade it in for anything!! I love find joy in simple things, I love serving in Soup Kitchens, and loving teenagers, I love being excited for their accomplishments, no matter how big or how small. I love that even though I'm not the "fun" leader that they know, that I'm there (just don't be ridiculous).

I'm a mom... and to me that's the best, most exciting thing... ever!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Breath Him In

Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Sometimes the way I feel is completely without logic. Or maybe I listen to much to ‘the world’ and not enough to the spirit that is within me. I told you about the tornado that I created in my own world, some may say that I was ‘under attack’, I’ll just say that I got in my own way. I tripped myself. Sometimes I forget that I am worth saving, sometimes I forget my worth in general. Well, maybe in my own worth, I am not, but that in God’s world, I am worth saving. There have been many instances in my life where I could point out that someone might not think or have shown that I am worth anything, many times, whether true or not, I have felt kicked to the curb. I think it may or may not be true. And in all honesty, I don’t think it matters.

This is what I truly think matters. That God loves me, that He continues to work in and through me everyday when my heart is open to Him. That’s the only part I have control over, my heart, the rest is up to Him.

He has all the power. He is Mighty, He is loving, He is Graceful. He is Everything. And on my own… I am nothing.

There are times when I need to have some me time, but not so that it can be about me, I need to become rejuvenated in Him. Rest. Rest in Him. Silly, but that's why I love scrapbooking, I get to somehow relive God's blessings in my life. I read (I think in Cheryl’s comments) Sara said even divers need to come up for air or something like that. How wise is that Sara. Sometimes we need to come up for air, we need to breath Him in. And we need to do things we enjoy. This weekend I think will be one that is busy but full of things I really enjoy. Miss Ashley turned 18 today, I’m happy to say that she will have friends over our house on Friday to celebrate! I love celebrating Ashley!!! Satruday is the fashion show benefit for Phyllis and a few of her friends for their trip to Columbia. I’ve got to make Spaghetti (my biggest concern is that I have no idea how much to make!!) and then it’s coffee (tea) with Katie. Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Learning and Serving.

How thankful I am that God called me, that He called ME, that everyday He works in me, in spite of me. Even though I mess up and make quite a mess of things. Thankful I am! Thankful!

Isaiah 62:11-12
11 Indeed the LORD has proclaimed
To the end of the world:

“ Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘ Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.’”
12 And they shall call them The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the LORD;
And you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Ingredients (for about 6 servings)
For the Cake:
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mace
1 cup fresh blueberries
For the Topping:
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preparation
- To make the topping, combine cinnamon, sugar and flour in a small bowl.
- Add butter and beat with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
- To make the cake, beat together the egg, milk and butter in a large bowl.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mace into a bowl.
- Add the egg mixture and beat together until well blended.
- Stir in blueberries.
- Lightly butter a 9-inch-diameter cake pan.
- Evenly spread the cake batter in the pan and sprinkle with the topping.
- Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for about 40 - 45 minutes.

Making my own tornado

Oh, this might be some great science experiment. Unfortunatly, the tornado I am referring to almost drove me off the edge, literally.

Yesterday, I was in the middle of my own vicious circle. It was horrible. Take the events of the day, and then beating myself up, oui, it was awful, the thought of driving off the sevice drive onto the freeway, occurred to me more than once yesterday. The only thing that probably saved me? The thought of Phyllis crying for her mama. Honestly, that was it.

Maybe not everyone feels that way. I see people who seem so happy, who seem to have a well balanced life, who take just the right amount of time for themselves and for everyone else. I am not sure how to do all that. I am not sure how to let go of the things that cause me into the spiral. I feel like I've forgiven but I can't seem to forget and then I can't figure out how it's not something that I did (even though I know it's not really me).

There's only way one thing I know to do when things seem to be a mess.... Focus on Jesus. So that's what I did. Somehow He seems to make it all settle down.

Matthew 7:24 (msg)"These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pasta Ceci

1 pound pasta
Salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can, chick peas, drained
Pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Grated Parmiginao-Reggiano, to pass at table


Directions
Boil water for pasta, salt it, and cook spaghetti to al dente.
While spaghetti cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat.

Add extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.

Place chick peas in food processor and pulse grind them to a fine chop.

Add chick peas to garlic and season them with thyme, salt and pepper then saute them for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add wine or broth and cook down 30 seconds or so then stir in tomatoes and adjust seasoning.

Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Top with parsley and grated cheese.

Monday, March 09, 2009

FINALLY!

Ok, I was forced to lie! But now I can tell the truth!!


Katie and Adam are expecting!! Yes!! That's right! but not the "normal way"... they are adopting!! Two beautiful babies from Rwanda (no- I haven't seen them yet, but with parents like Adam & Katie how can they be anything but beautiful - ha - isn't that funny since they are adopting!! they might be born yet, or maybe not!) You can go on their journey with them if you would like!


Let me tell you, I'm so excited!! DAAAHHHHH!!! BBAAABBIIEESSS!!!!


It's the next best thing to having my own!!


Please pray for their family!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

red envelope


Have you heard about the red envelope phenomenon?

Can I tell you how I feel about it? I will start with one word... and then I will explain.

STUPID

First of all, you're making money for the envelope companies and the post office (who by the way does not control their costs very effectively if they have to keep increasing their prices instead of learning how to be competitive). It's like Sanders and Sweetest day or Hallmark and Valentine's Day.

Second of all, you're sending an envelope to someone who doesn't care what you think. And I might go as far as to say that those people in congress, they don't care about you. Yes, that's right. You've voted them in because they said they stood for what you believed in, Pro-life, but they don't do anything to take a stand in what you believe in. Yes, what have they really done to stop the need for abortions, because that's the ROOT CAUSE. The abortion is the result of the risk. It's the consequence.

You've voted in people who are taking prayer and GOD out of our schools, and if you take God out of our schools, the students and eventually adults will push Him out of their lives. AND YOU KEEP VOTING THEM IN. Example: Carl Levin doesn't even have to campaign!

So you send out an envelope. Big deal. Yes, you'll probably pray. Yes, that's important. SO IMPORTANT. But are you praying for leaders to be risen up to change the lives of kids by showing them Jesus? Are you supporting Youth Ministries to "stop the madness". In our ministry, we reach students who reach parents who reach their other children, brothers sisters, cousins, friends... and that means unborn children will be affected.

Do you really think that some congressman or senator is going to do anything but throw your envelope in garbage (probably not even the recycling bin) because you've identified what it is because it's RED? He's already gotten your vote for doing nothing about what he/she's promised. He takes your money and gives it to banks and insurance companies who waste it because of greed. They pass bills and laws that send your job overseas.

So what are you really going to do to make a difference?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Me, God, and a rowboat


Does anybody ever wonder if I'm really ok?

I can pretty much put on a face of "good". Sure there is a point I get to where I can't hold back the tears or the emotion any longer. But lately, I've been in the state of "good".

So if you are really wondering... I'm not really good.

I'm in a row boat with no oars.

In the middle of a sea. In a rowboat with no oars.

This is kind of a first for me.

I typically know where to go, I know where God wants me, where He plans on using me. And I go whereever it is, full steam ahead. But right now, I feel like I'm in the middle of a lake, in a rowboat with no oars. I don't know where to go or what to do or if I should stay right where I am. So I'm sitting here. And I mean this in almost every aspect of my life.

Pretending.

Pretending to be "good".

Wondering.

Wondering where it is God wants me. Besides "with Him".

Where is it that He wants me to go. What is it that He wants me to do? Or should I stay right where I am?

I know that whereever I am, I am willing and I really try to be obedient. So God uses me.

But I don't know where I am supposed to go.

I'm in the middle of the lake, in a rowboat, waiting on God.

Hebrews 6:15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.


There's a shadow I can't see
From a holy canopy
That my Father spread for me
When I'm strong or when I'm weak
When I wake or when I sleep
He is watching over me
Over me.....
Over me

To the temporary mind
I can't logically define
This love cover so devine
Just beneath what lies between
What is real and what is seen
There is a refuge in His wing
In His wing...
In His wing

CHORUS
I have found a secret place
Where I can go to hide away
Safe inside this hallowed space
I am concealed by saving grace
Forever in this sacred hideaway

Flaming arrows deep in flight
People dropping left and right
Still I'm safely out of sight
Darkness trying to prevail
Demons fighting tooth and nail
But I'm kept within the veil
In the veil... (There's a place that lies between)
(What is real and what is seen)
In the veil (A shadow I can't see)
(When I'm underneath His wing)

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE
Still within this life
There's so much to learn
Barriers to cross
Their bridges to be burned
And where the lion walks
I will not be afraid
My feet may touch the earth
But my heart is swept away
In this hideaway

Tips to save money

1. Write a list BEFORE you go to the store, plan out what you will get where. And plan your route to save money. Plan your menu around sales for the week. If something you eat a lot of is on sale, stock up! Phyllis loves oatmeal, when it’s on sale, I buy 5 boxes (or sometimes 10 boxes)

2. Pennies add up. Gas might be “only 5 cents” more, however with a twenty gallon tank, fill up 4 times a month…
5 * 20 * 4 = $4, 12 months a year… $48 a year savings… yes, it does add up. And if $48 isn’t much to you, save the money and give it to me

3. Check for “clearance” groceries. Sometimes the stores just get new stock and they need to get rid of the current stock. Once I bought milk “on clearance” for 50 cents that didn’t expire for a week!

4. Know your prices! Today I bought 2 large clinical strength + 1 normal clinical strength deodorants for $14.88 (at Sam’s)… normally I pay $11.94 for one at Walmart :)

5. Buy “off brands” or store brands. You can save a lot of money. Don’t be put off by plain packaging, all that fancy packaging is just fooling you! Don’t be a fool!

6. Use a towel to whip up a spill not paper towel!

7. Use “real” silverware, plates, etc instead of plastic or paper

8. Cut coupons. And watch for sales! A lot of times coupons are printed at the same time they run a sale, keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

9. If you don’t have a good memory, keep a notebook of which stores have the cheapest prices for your homes favorite items. Even make note of prices on your lists of what the “sale” prices are so if you are in a different store you can see which store has the best deal.

10. Shop at the Thrift Stores! You can get some “like new” stuff for really cheap. My favorite finds: Coach purse, Kitchen Aid Food processor, kids toys, 2 NEW Brooks Brothers purses (Valued at A LOT!)

11. Make your own. Cakes are a huge savings! Do you buy rotisserie chickens? You can buy a chicken for $3-4 and bake it yourself! And guacamole... $6 for a small package, 4 avocados + seasoning is $5, and you can make more - and it tastes better.

12. Grow your own. Grow your own veggies in the summer. Freeze & can the abundance! This saves lots of money and it tastes WAY better!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sam's Club


I love Sam's Club. There are things that are a good deal... and somethings... let's just say you need to know your prices (don't be fooled by the whole "buying in bulk" thing).

We've been going there to buy boxes of candy bars for a fundraiser for Columbia. Phyllis has been selling candy bars like crazy! Since I've been at Sam's I've been looking around at all the "extra stuff", like clothes. I've actually picked up a couple shirts/sweaters from there. Good quality stuff at reasonable prices. And picked up Phyllis's movie for her Easter Basket at a really good price!!

I always kind of checking to see what other people have. And I look to see what they have and think about how much people would pay if they would just do the due diligence of shopping of around. (NOTE! Do not buy pasta at Sam's it's NOT cheaper - actually you're getting ripped off!!)
I forgot how much I liked shopping there... but it's a dangerous place for your checkbook!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Faith and Doubt

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real post. To be honest my thoughts have not been coming together too well for the last week. At one point I thought to myself “I really shouldn’t be driving”, that was last Thursday. I was in quite a fog of Nyquil for the morning (I stayed home and slept), Mucinex, cough drops, and no food. It was pretty bad. I am starting to get it together, still moving a lot slower than I usually do. I am ready to feel better! All the way better!! How we take those things for granted. At this point I’m glad for the upgrade of poop from death.

Our worlds don’t stop turning just because we are sick. Last night we had a meeting for the Columbia trip. And I must say that I have decided that I am quite a jerk and have little faith. Why now am I nervous? I wasn’t nervous before, I know that she should go, and I’m sure nothing will happen, but if it should, I know that she was doing God’s work, but why am I getting a little nervous? I’m sure it’s normal but I feel like one of those people Jesus said “Ye of little faith”. I keep trying to think about what I would say to someone in my same position. But I feel like I'm saying to God "I don't believe You" even though I really do!

My bible reading hasn’t been what it should this past week because I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. I am looking forward to getting back into The Word. I am sure that God will have a message for me.

Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's totally possible...


Just want everyone to know that it's totally possible to live without lungs because I have hacked both of them up.
By the way... the Neti Pot... greatest thing ever. I'm quite sure that's how I am living without lungs.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My favorite Tea


This is my favorite hot tea. Today, I've had 5 cups. I need to keep drinking tea to keep from hacking up one of my lungs.
Thank You Jesus for TAZO Wild Sweet Orange.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

She's going to change the world, you know?

Maybe you don't know this about Phyllis, but she's a world changer.

No, she hasn't won a Noble Peace Prize (yet) but I have no doubt that someday she could.

I look at my beautiful daughter sometimes and I am amazed. where does she get all that love?

A few months back, she sold Subi beads to help women in Africa.

She still has sex trafficking in the back of her mind to have a benefit concert, she hates sex trafficking and according to her, Craig's list promotes it so I'll never shop on Craig's list.
Detroit Rescue Mission, Grace Centers of Hope, Pregnancy Centers, Soup Kitchens....

She's going to Columbia to spread the love of Jesus!

And she changes the world around her with her love.

She's changed my world in more ways than I could ever tell you, and she makes me a better person everyday.

She's going to change the world you know? Every day she makes it a little bit brighter just when she smiles.
And I love her.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi