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)


Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 --> 2011

Its almost the end to 2010, I am amazed at the year I had.

What am I thinking going into 2011? Any goals or resolutions?

Well… I’m scared out of my mind. 26.2 miles, seriously, what the heck was I thinking! Is it attainable, sure, it is but it will not be easy. What am I, an idiot?

Looking back on 2010, I am amazed.

I’m amazed at the call God gave me to be obedient and trust Him. You’d think it would be easy, but it wasn’t.

I’ve made some great friends, and happily left some behind.

My kitchen is closer to be how I’d like, I got the hole in the wall, the countertops are more than I imagined, the floor is complete, the tile for the backsplash purchased, and the painter will paint in February. Why is it so hard for me to pick out the paint?

I’ve given away so much stuff. No longer holding on to things 'just in case'. I know if I have a need, God will provide.

I’ve found freedom that I never knew was possible.

God continues to provide for me in incredible ways.

He speaks to me, and loves me, and I am humbled.

God has incredible things planned for me, I can’t see what’s ahead!

Jer 29:11-13 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Low Expectations

I have a lot of people in my life that want to see me, but only if I am the one willing to drive or make the plans or whatever.  And you know what?  Sometimes that just stinks.

I've come to find that those in my life that have no expectation from me are the ones who love me the most.  And by no expectation I mean, those who don't expect me to do or be anything that I am not already.

I have a friend the other day who said 'I don't mean to call you out' and proceeded to say something incredibly rude.  Thank the Lord, He put His hand over my mouth and said 'don't say a word'. That was difficult.  This person, has never made an effort other than to speak the words 'we need to get together', never picks a date, is willing to drive.  Nada.

And then I have friends like Christie, that we both have to put forth an effort, and we choose to do things that we both like, like scrapbooking, and we both have to drive.  We pick a date, and sometimes it gets moved, but we put forth an effort. Or friends like Katie, who really don't expect me to be anything more than I am.  Or Vicki or any other of my life group family, who know, that sometimes all I can muster is to show up.  And maybe scoop some potatoes. They just love me for me. And who I am is... enough.

I will tell you, that I believe that I need to live life to the fullest, but that means that I can only give what I have to give.  I have a certain amount of talent, energy, and love.  Its all I got.    And sometimes, it doesn't seem like much.  But I do what I can do, whenever I can do it.

Col 4:5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

working on... me

I'm working on my house.  And at the same time working on me.

I'm not good at decorating.  At least on in the 'Better Homes & Gardens' sort of way.  I think it beautiful when I see it, I just don't know how to get it there.  And besides, I'd rather have pictures of Phyllis on my walls than something that can be purchased in a store.  Do I realize that is nuts?  I don't think it is.  I find more beauty in her, than anything someone could paint.  And if you don't, well, you need glasses.

In working on my house, I've discovered a few things.  Like what I like.  Red, tan, and chocolate brown.  I love those colors, and so my house will be those colors.  I also love simple black picture frames.  I also like 3X5 notecards with bible verse taped to my mirror.

When I was baking last night (I am feeding some peeps at a soup kitchen where you have to bring the food) I made 60 cupcakes (though there's only 58 now, Katie and I had dessert), and I debated on sprinkles.  What will they think?  Will they think it's silly?  I don't know, but I put sprinkles on them, because I LIKE SPRINKLES ON CUPCAKES.

I used to be this crazy volunteer.  There was a need, I filled it.  Sometimes I loved it, and sometimes, not so much.  I only volunteer now for the things I love and feel called to do.  And you know what, I think I do a better job, and my heart is filled more with love so that it can overflow on to others a lot more.  So... I do what I like.  And there's this one project that people keep trying to get me to volunteer at... the answer is NO.  Not called, and don't want to.  Sorry.

I'm learning (or relearning) how much I like to do the following things (no matter how nerdy they may seem)
Scrapbook
Run
Workout
Go on the boat
Travel (even if its just to the other side of the state)

so...
I'm scrapbooking
running
working out
will go on the boat
and will go places this summer, even if its just a 2 hour drive away.

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This Christmas has been so different.  Even before Thanksgiving I began dreading (I mean DREADING) the holidays, I can't even go into it all but I was to the point where I felt I needed to fly out (anywhere) on Christmas Day just to avoid it.  Crazy things happened, and I loved this season. 

People ask me 'how was your Christmas?' My answer, always the same.  'Best one EVER'.  It was.  Then people would say 'what did Santa bring YOU?' Its not about gifts or Santa, though I did get some sweet ones.  A new storm door, a cool serving dish that my pean knew I'd love, an electronic bible for my purse, (I got an ipod shuffle months ago), and gift cards.  It was nice, but that's not why I loved it.

I loved it because I have truly basked in the wonder of it all. I've lived in peace.  I've listened to God's direction (and acted on it).  I've taken His Word from His book, and let it sink into my heart, and I've had so much love in my heart that I could not contain it and had to give it away. 

And I've got this crazy run to look forward to, and my friend Katie being who she is...  our goal...  $100 per mile, so that means - wait for it, wait for it...  $2620 each!  That's a lot of water my friends!  I only need 100 people to donate $1 per mile and I'm good.  That's doable, right?  http://www.askmewhyiamwearingthisshirt.com/index.html

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phil 4:13

The holiday time!

Its been an amazing holiday!  I feel like I've enjoyed so much and also gotten so much done, which makes me happy (I'm a doer).

I was able to donate about 10 bags of stuff and a TV to a great Mission, and then last night I dropped off 2 more garbage bags, 2 vacuum cleaners, a smaller bag, and two boxes! (we won't even talk about the garbage) Talk about blessed! 

I saw some good friends on Sunday, and had lunch with my friend who shares my birthday, yesterday spent time with my girls.  The rest of the week I get to spend time with friends too!  Today - Olivia and Katie, Tomorrow - Christie, Thursday - Sheila and Phyllis, Friday - My stepmom and Phyllis, Saturday - Amanda, Katie, Ava, Lana, & Phyllis (Amanda, Katie, Phyllis, & I are going to see Mary Poppins)!

I was going to post something, but wasn't sure if I should, asked a friend, but before I could answer, I got my answer - No.  So very thankful for God and His wisdom!

Well - I'm off to enjoy my day!!!

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Butter Spritz Cookies

1 c butter
1 1/4 c Confectioner's Sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in eggs and extracts

Combine Flour and salt
Grandually combine to creamed mixture
**Add food coloring if desired

Put in cookie decorator and make whatever shape you desire!

Decorate with sugar crystals

Bake 375 for 6-8 minutes

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

It seems like this has been the best Christmas Season Ever!

This morning I am waiting for my beautiful Pean to wake up and my Dad and Stepmom to come over to open our gifts, and I got everything ready for breakfast and was looking around at my house, thinking how I really need to do some deep cleaning and decided to start this morning...  I cleaned out a closet - threw out some stuff and had one full bag for donations!  LOL! 

Getting on with enjoying my day!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running and my friend Katie

Eventually we are going to get a website just for our running journey, but until we get our act together, I'm just going to blog here.

'Want to run a marathon for a good cause?'

who sends you texts like that?

My beautiful friend Katie.  That's who.

Katie is one of those people  that you think, 'she has GOT to be too good to be true'.  And she is.  I'll tell you the truth, I'd do anything with or for Katie.  Last year, I probably would have sold my house to go to Africa if she told me she needed me there.  That's the truth.  You might think its crazy but its true.  Instead all I had to do was figure out (with Delta and KLM) about some crazy transfer of tickets and pray for negative HIV tests :)  Thankful for that (and I am sure she is too, because we'd be living with her!!).

I know I mentioned it before but we are raising money for clean water for Africans.  There are many causes out there that are important.  This is just one that we will be supporting. 

Do you think its inspiring?  Do you wish you could do something?

You can.

You can pray for the Africans who will be getting the water.  You can pray for Katie and I so that we don't have any injuries.  You can come cheer us on as we run races (10Ks, 10miles, half marathons).  And....You can donate your money.  I'm not asking for a lot from you.  Little things can make a big difference.  Instead of your Starbucks for the week, do you think you could sacrifice $5?  I'll be holding a fundraiser (penny for each ounce of water I drink for a month), I'll be selling candy bars, maybe cookies, who knows... the possibilities are endless, you can donate a dollar for each mile we run in the marathon (that's $26.20).

Yesterday I half heard on the news that the city of Chelsea was having some water issues, and that people would not be able to have water and that there was a frenzy about bottled water. I can't help it, I thought 'really? a frenzy?'.  I don't mean to imply that I wouldn't be a crab monster if I didn't have water, I just thought 'its temporary, what about people who it is a permanent thing for them?'  That's why I'm running.

Last night, I was listening to Brooke Fraser yesterday and I hard this one part in a song 'now that I have seen?'  How true is that? Now that I seen the realities of others, how can I not do something?  Something.  Anything.  Right now, that looks like running.  Running for water.

1 Peter 1:8  8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 

What's wrong with me??

I love going to the gym, but I haven't been there since last week.  And last week, I only went twice.

I have been sleeping right through the alarm.  A couple of the days I understood it because I went to bed late.

Maybe its the craziness of looking for a new car, not sure. But I need to get back there.  I am looking forward to the time off, I can still sleep til 6:30 and then be there by 7, which I know still seems early, but I like to get it out of the way and I do have a lot scheduled during my break, but its all fun stuff.

My friend is here from Germany, visiting with another friend who lives in Lansing, and will have lunches, and serve at a Soup Kitchen!  Its gonna be great!! Can't wait!!!

Also, I just am not in the mood to make cookies!  GASP!  I have to get going on that, but I think it may be 5 kinds instead of 14 this year, who knows, but I think its gonna be scaled way back. 

However, I am finding joy around every corner! Its amazing!!  Hope you're having a great season!

lovetoyou!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking for a car!

If i was buying a brand new one, I think it would have been fun.  But it wasn't.  Trampling through the snow, looking at cars, being disappointed, it sucked.  I did however find Gertrude, who's nickname is Gerti.  

This expedition of buying a new car taught me a couple things.  If you find what you want, you may have to stretch your budget, but buying quality (I HOPE!) will be worth it. 
Listen to your gut.  I think the Town & Country Minivans are so cute but EVERY time I picked up a piece of paper with one on it, I got a stomach ache.  It was SO very weird! 
Negotiate.  She was marked $9,995 but I didn't want to spend that much, I had a price in mind, that no one thought they would go down to, and they did. This was kind of funny, their price was within $400 of mine, however, I was already at the top of budget and I was going to have to scrape to pay the taxes.  They said basically 'its only $400', and I said 'I know but my limit is my limit' I walked in 1) knowing I was going to be blessed, and 2) if they didn't come down, this wasn't the car for me. (I had prayed about it)
I also learned that people really do care about others. I had so many people helping me or offering to help me, it was amazing.  To see in just a small way from looking up cars, to going with me, helping me decide on the warranty, it was AWESOME!  I felt so loved!!!  so so so loved!!!

Not sure if it will be Wednesday or Thursday, but it will be! I like her, she's cute, and I am so very blessed!!!!






Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a great day!

Yesterday was a great day, exhausting and crazy busy but a great day!

I had to get up early, nail appt, yes, I do realize its frivolous, but I really like it, so... I go.  Then I had breakfast with my cousins (one is in from Nebraska) and that was great, had to run to the mall for a couple gift cards and a couple presents.  Please note, the mall does not bring out the best in me, even though the lines weren't bad, I just really hate it, makes me inpatient.  Ick.  Then I bought something that fit in the car, but I couldn't get out of the car (I have NO idea how that happened - made me miss Mildred more) so I had to cut it out of the car. That was funny! And Grace Centers of Hope came for 9 bags of stuff, a couple boxes, two TVs (we have more TVs than we can watch).
Kroger, Michaels, Aldi's, then cleaned up the house, made some food for our 10th grade Girl's Life Group Party.  The girls painted picture frames as gifts for their friends or parents, we watched a movie, ate way too much, and this morning we are going to make Graham Cracker houses (instead of Gingerbread!) and then I will have the rest of my day.  I was bummed because I missed another party, however, ours was planned first, and I felt that it wouldn't be right if I said to the girls 'hey, something else came up, can we change our party' and even if they would have said yes, I didn't want them to feel that they are second best, because they are NOT, I love spending time with them, they make me laugh!!

It was really a super great day, it was busy, and today... I hope to stay home and make cookies!

Acts 26:22(a) But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike

Saturday, December 18, 2010

oh brother! meets Grace

Then last night I was driving, and I was thinking about Kevin. And how angry I was for him making such poor choices (like picking someone else) and I was just so angry!  I thought, 'you were my best friend, we spent so much time together, I trusted you and you turned out to be a jerk'.  As I was driving to my dad's Christmas party I started to cry because I really thought 'I hate being alone'.

I think some of it had to do with how overwhelmed I was about having to find a new car, and while I realize I am not alone in doing it, the end decision falls on me.  What if I screw it up?  Oh brother, and then I started listing all the things I've messed up.  Do you even realize how long that list is?

I went to my dad's party thinking about what I would say, I wonder what they think that I'm still single, I wonder if they are disappointed in the way I've grown up.  Ugh.

And then at some moment 'Oh brother met Grace'.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor 12:9)


I remembered that God made me for such a time as this.  He made me the way I am, it doesn't matter really what they think, maybe in some small way, I inspire them, maybe they are proud of who I've become because a lot of them have had such a hand in it.

Its a good moment when 'oh brother meets grace' reminds me that I'm loved and beautiful.  And I mean it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How come?

Did you know that I am going to run the marathon for clean water?  You can read down a few posts to hear the story. 

Yesterday a friend of mine kind of tilted her head - when I said 'what?' (because people usually have some opinion about how I give too much) she said asked why I didn't do something for people here.  How come people don't adopt from here? 

I simply said, 'don't drink water (or any other beverage) for a week or add dirt to your water while you drink it'.  I am well aware that there is need here.  And I try to help here too.  And I don't mean to be a jerk, but I was listening to the commercial for Charity Motors (which is a great charity) and they were talking about people who need cars.  Please note, you don't NEED a car, it is a great blessing, and may be necessity for you to get to work and we could go 'round and 'round about how you gonna get to work without one...  But you don't NEED one to live, you NEED water. 

Our goal:  $4000 enough money to get a well for some beautiful Africans.  Please see BloodWaterMission

I'm going to go open a bank account just for this very purpose.  I'm personally going to get money direct deposited to it.  People NEED water, and I feel called to raise money and run for it. 

When Jesus saved my life, when He touched my heart, when His blessings are over flowing, its hard to sit and do nothing.  Even the littlest things matter, to someone.

Thank You Lord for saving me.  Thank You for being born on a cold winter's night so that we may have life, thank You for your never ending blessings.  Thank You for sacrificing Your life, for mine.

Matt 25:31-40  31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’





Thursday, December 16, 2010

My favorite gifts this Christmas

Yesterday I found out my van was totaled.  Oh well, its just a car, right?  Yes I know, but I really did like her.  I paid cash for her, she got us around, Bri's wheelchair fit, everyone had room, 7 seats.  But I started to think about it, she had 148,000 miles, since I've had her I got 2 recall notices, her belt was squeakie, I thought I was gonna have to take her in for some car repair.  Oh, and did I mention, she's worth more than I paid for her. HA!  That's a good thing!

When walking down the hall someone asked me how that happened?  I said I'm blessed and highly favored.  I didn't think twice about it. I chuckled to myself because I actually believe it!  I said it before, I knew it, but I didn't believe it.  But I believe it now.  AWESOME!  Then I thought about Ken Bussell and smiled because he always used to say that to me 'you're blessed and highly favored' and then I thought about how he asked me how I was, I said 'great' and started to cry the other day (good tears) and said 'for the first time in my life I have freedom'.

That is an amazing thing.  God wasn't kidding when He told me over the summer that He had great things to do in my life.  When you think about that fact that Jesus died for us to have eternal life and that really would have been  enough however, He brings us such joy, love, hope, and freedom.  Those are some amazing gifts.
Romans 11:29  for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Insanity

I almost didn't go to the gym this morning.  And I thought, its your first day back to work, you are going to have needed that exercise to keep an even keel.  Boy, was I right.

Let's just say that yesterday was not the most unemotional morning I've ever had.

Move on to the afternoon, we got Phyllis's ankle braces and a plan to get her off crutches and back to the real world of walking.

I found out that they are totaling my van. I'm not losing in the deal so praise God about that!  I'm not looking forward to finding a new van in the middle of winter but whatever.  Thankfully I do have a second car and so it makes it much easier to take my time.

I decided when things seemed to be spinning all around me that I was going to praise God through it all.  No matter what.  No one was hurt in the accident.  Justice, however handled by the Lord will be taken care of, no reason for me to get involved.

I decided that I will praise God through whatever circumstances come my way, and I can truly tell you that in the moment I decided to do that, blessings seemed to be never ending.  maybe its just that I see them a little more clearly. 

Psalm 135:3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greater Things are Yet to Come!

Six months ago (or so) I decided to do the MetroSouth Biggest Loser Challenge. 3 months of getting your life back.  It sounded insane and sometimes it was.  But because of that challenge, I completed a half marathon.  I didn't run the whole thing, but I finished and even though I always say 'I didn't run the whole thing' I was proud of myself for completing it.  Not in a prideful way, just in an accomplished sort of way.

Sunday night my friend Katie sends me a text 'want to run a marathon for a good cause?'  I didn't even think twice about my answer 'yes' about 1 minute after I just thought 'what did I get myself into?' but it didn't matter, if God puts something before you, you can complete it.  So on Oct 16, 2011, I will be running the FULL marathon.  Starting my training today, that means no more eliptical. 

We are running for clean water.  1 in 8 people don't have clean drinking water.  Imagine that because I really can't.  I toss water down the sink when its been sitting overnight because it tastes 'stale'.  Oh my word.

$1 = clean water for an African for a year.  One well = clean drinking water for a village for a lifetime. 

I'm not surprised at the things God puts before me, I'm just amazed that He choses me to bring Him glory.

So many needs, so little time, so I better start moving! Time's a-wastin'!

John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poor Mildred



So poor Mildred got hit by a stupid escort today.  She's already in the shop waiting for her surgery.  I'm fine.  Its amazing because it was cold outside, and all that adrenaline, I really didn't feel a thing.
Also big news on the home front, I'm running a marathon.  My friend Katie, inspired me, as she often does, and now I'm running a marathon.  We're running for clean water.  There will be more details, but that's the gist of it.  In January, I am donating one cent for every ounce of water I drink for the month.  Sure it doesn't sound like much, but usually I drink a gallon of water (128oz) so, that $39.68 for the month.  That's clean water for 40 people.  Amazing huh?  You could do the same thing (for how many ounces YOU drink or you can sponsor me).  I think our goal is $4000.  That amount can purchase a well for a village.




Thankful!

Yesterday I spent the day with my girl!  Its our Sunday tradition!  For awhile we were going to church and then to lunch and then errands or whatever, sometimes we came home and just hung out and watched movies, but then she started getting headaches so I would head off to church and then come pick her up and we would go from there. 

Yesterday we were getting ready for church and I was watching the weather and decided not to trek to the D because I HATE HATE HATE the 75 Rouge bridge and could visualize us hanging off the side, so we changed our plans and went and had breakfast, went to JCPenneys because she needed yoga pants and she tried on a dress and a skirt that she will get for her birthday (I'm already done with her Christmas).  We came home and I proceeded to shovel snow (and crab about it) and then made dinner, made some raisin bran muffins (because I had some raisin bran I wanted to get rid of in the pantry) and Phyllis made banana choc chip mini-muffins.  We relaxed for the rest of the evening and I think we were both asleep by 10 (at least I know I was).

This morning I woke up and reshoveled the snow instead of heading to the gym and all was peaceful outside.  The few lights shimmered off the snow, it was like having God made glitter!

How blessed am I that I have a beautiful daughter, a warm house and the ability to shovel snow (although I think I will be saving $30 a pay check for a snowblower for next year - I don't know exactly how much they are but hopefully that will be enough!), and two cars in the garage with no snow on them so that I can drive to my really good job.

Blessed blessed blessed!

Col 2:6-7  6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Life

I made a decision, though it wasn't really my decision.  God needed to do some great things in my life and so, out of obedience, I am no longer a full Alive leader, all I am is a Life Group leader.  I take this roll very seriously.  I know it sounds weird, but I do.

The girls and I did some math, and there will be 6 weeks in a row that I have spent the weekend (some part of it) with my girls Rosie and Melissa.  Its not that I like them best, it just works out that way.  I don't ever barely remembering spending relaxed time with them before, my time was so crunched that I wasn't really enjoy life, in all things, and I think I had so much pain that I was always hurt and I'm starting to think that I chose not to feel on some levels or not completely feel.  I'm not really sure if that makes sense to anyone else.

I also have discovered that I really do like who I am.  How sad is it that it took me almost 38 years to do that.  All those years of thinking I would never measure up, that I would never be who 'they' wanted to be, that the wrong daughter died, that the saying 'Sugar and spice and everything nice', I was a little too spicey and not enough sugar, but realizing that I am who I am supposed to be.  

I never was a school teacher, yet I spend time, teach beautiful girls.  I work in crazy automotive and car parts don't seem that interesting (though sometimes we have great days) I have some great friends, we do great things (like BAKEOFFs), I live in a little house that has provided warmth (physical and emotional) for people.

I may not be the person that someone dreamed I'd be.  I may be picked over because someone would rather spend time with someone else. That is ok with me, that is your choice.  I've got some great things happening in my life, and if people chose not to be a part of it, that is their choice to close that door, mine will always be open, waiting for them to realize that I am who I am supposed to be.  I cannot be measured by someone else's ruler.

Today, like most Sundays is my day to hang out with Phyllis.  Typically on Sundays I wake up, go to the gym, then usually we go to church, then lunch, then do some kind of shopping, hang out, have dinner at some point, and just chill at home.  It really is my favorite day of the week.  I love my girl.

My life may not be exciting, but its my life, and I love living it! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Songs

The other day I was listening to Christmas Music and I don't mean that 'I want a hippotamus for Christmas' or other crap, I mean REAL Christmas songs, the ones that proclaim Jesus' birth.

I happened to be listening to 'O Holy Night' and was just blown away, to tears. I had to catch myself because I really did get lost in the wonder of it all, but really I got lost in one line of the song

His law is love and His Gospel is peace
 Maybe I'm the only one who does that but just those words. His law is love and is Gospel is peace. Wow! I find myself this Christmas in a different place. I find myself lost in wonder. Lost in this crazy peace. Its amazing.

I was excluded the other day, and you would have thought that I'd be so mad, but I wasn't. I actually laughed and thought 'whatever, you keep making poor choices, and they are your choices'.

You see, I really found this crazy freedom in who Jesus says I am. Maybe that's weird, maybe its only weird to me because I've never known true freedome before.

We celebrate our freedom in this country, we fight for other countries to have the same freedom, but so many are born into a free country but are trapped by lies. I can say that Jesus broke some incredible chains in my life. I think they were such a part of my life that I didn't even realize they were there.

O Holy Night.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life


O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior�s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bake off and Potluck

We had a huge potluck, but no one brought anything lol, our division took care of it! it was sweet! We also had a bake off, guess who was in charge? me! It was super sweet! And... I entered a brownie under someone else's name and... it won! Here's the recipe!

1 brownie mix (make according to pkg directions)
1 jar (18oz I think) of Natural crunchy Peanut Butter (melt it and pour it on the brownie about 15 minutes after brownie comes out of the oven)
1 can of choc frosting (microwave it so its completely pourable and pour it on the peanut butter)
1/2 bag of peanut butter chips (top the choc frosting with them)

That's it. Its yummy!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thumbprints

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 c fruit jam

Preheat oven 325

Cream butter & sugar.
Add egg & vanilla
add flour and baking powder

Dough will be firm

Scoop teaspoonfuls, roll into balls.  place on ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  With your thumb press a depression in cookie (do not press all the way through).  Place a little bit of jam in center of cookie.

Cook 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to cool flat surface.

Did you know?

Today I was listening to the radio and ‘Mary did you know?’ came on the radio. And a little while later, The Stand. I had decided this morning that I was going to start counting my blessings because I have tons even though yesterday I did not do a good job of acting thankful.

So I just started counting and counting and counting, and I am quite sure I was over 100 before 8AM.

Thinking about ‘Mary did you know?’ Can you imagine carrying the Son of God in your womb? Takes ‘Oh my word’ to a whole new level. But then I began to think about how the things we do, the impacts we make, how they really do matter to God. How we are so blessed and should be honored to bring Him glory.

I heard God whisper so sweetly…

Margie – did you know?

That when you smile at them, they see Me?
That when you cook for someone, you’re feeding those who belong to Me?
That when you encourage someone, you’re reminding them that they are loved?

And Margie?

Did you know that YOU are loved by Me?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

UGH! Please meet Meltdown Margie

Ok, so since I'm not good at the unknown, and I get that some people may be a little better at it than others... I ate almost a whole bag of Mint M&Ms and let's just say I was a little emotional today because of a 'visitor'.  TMI whatever!  I did finally harness the sugar buzz I had and kicked out a bunch of stuff.

Got to the medical supply place only to find out that I had to have Phyllis with me in order to get her braces, UGH!
Then we went to the doctor and her foot is healed however, she is still on crutches until a newly referred rehabilitation doc clears her for driving, no crutches, and no boot.  ETA for appt: Jan 13.  Can you say 'that's a little more than we can handle at this point'?    So after a few phone calls hopefully one doc to another they will work it out, or we will look for a new doc.  Thank you very much.
Then off to Kroger where there happens to be an overabundance of old people on carts who almost ran me over more than once, thankfully I am quick on my feet.  Proceed to check out, a woman drops her bridge card, asks me to pick it up because she just got her nails done.  I said 'no'. 
I proceed to step on my favorite box of tide...  Bridge cards, I had 4 jobs - went to school - get off your butt and make something of yourself box of tide (one day I have a feeling the sides might cave in).  Blah blah (for the record, I'm not against bridge cards, I'm against a system that can be worked over without much effort, and I don't really believe it HELPS people get on their feet, but we will save that laundry for another day).  Blah blah Word Vomit, calling someone a not so nice name.  Leaving.  Migraine.  No Excedrin.  Blah blah...  Phyllis can't be in the play now, mom sees pain in daughter's eyes, would like to slap someone BUT THERE IS NO ONE TO SLAP! Hungry but if I'll eat, I'll barf, blah blah.

Then driving to be with my girls... God says to me - You live by faith not by feelings!

UGH!

His mercies are new every minute (morning).

That's right.  I don't know why we are here, but there's no point in word vomiting all over the place.  I owe the cashier an apology (I will go and explain that it was not ok for me to behave in such a way!). 

Yes, I am not happy, but I do have joy.  I have a beautiful daughter who will be walking without the aid of crutches, who has a foot that IS healed. 

And mostly, I have a God who loves me.

That is the truth.

He is the truth.

I am thankful.

Cheater

I feel like a cheater.  I mean, its really kind of silly, but I hardly ever buy shredded cheese.  I almost always buy it in the block and shred it myself.  I have to make mac and cheese for a big party and a ginormous thing of cheese potatoes for our Christmas party at work.  I mean, I don't HAVE to, I, of course, volunteered.  I love to do that sort of stuff, and whenever I make mac and cheese, I think of Katie, and it makes me smile because one time she was eating it and it had a LOT of pepper on it and she said 'I like it when it burns my tongue a little'.  :) 

Anyway, when I have to make LARGE of amounts of things requiring cheese, I always cheat and buy it already shredded. Now, I realize this seems ridiculous, but I think non-shredded cheese tastes better, though probably no one will even notice.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Furnaces! UGH!

I could not believe the estimate I got today!  OH MY WORD!  I had a figure in my head, and the estimate I got was for DOUBLE the price in my head (and I thought I had a high number! Worse case scenerio).  OH MY WORD!

I didn't know whether I should be offended, angry, or just laugh.  And let me tell you, that guy, is lucky I am not who I used to be because I would have cussed him out.  I sent him on his way, and laughed. You've got to be kidding me! 

But it was a lesson.  And God teaches us those things. In the meantime, I received four more people to call, and I will call them.  And get estimates, and ask questions.

I wonder though...  If you get a 95% efficiency furnace, you can get a $1500 tax credit (which really means you need to spend at least $4500 to get that credit) what if an 80% costs $2000 less?  Do you think it might be a scam? hmmm...  so I am going to start asking the cost of 80% eff furnaces and do my homework.  Look out, once I get educated about something, it can be dangerous for those I come into contact with.

Dan 2:20-21
20 and said:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.

12 days of Christmas

RC Detroit is celebrating 12 days of Christmas! Starts today! I don't know about you, but I really do love doing things for people. I don't need an excuse, but seriously, if you give me one, I'm all in. I actually started last week, and think I just might end up doing something until next Christmas. What would the world look like if you just did one nice thing for every person you came in contact with. A card? A homemade treat? A phone call? The cashier at your local big-chain grocery store? what if you randomly stopped at the bus stop and handed someone money to pay for their bus ticket? Or laundry soap at the laundromat? hmmm.... I do believe the world would be a better place.

So here are their suggestions
1. Dec 7: Send a note to your pastor or pastor’s wife
2. Dec 8: Buy a gift for Joy to the D! (or your favorite charity! Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, Seven Families) Acts 20:35
3. Dec 9: Give up a parking spot or seat for a stanger
4. Dec 10: Bring a treat to a Barista or cashier
5. Dec 11: Let someone go in front of you in line – Matthew 19:30
6. Dec 12: Thank someone who has encouraged you – 1 Thes 3:2
7. Dec 13: Bring cookies to a neighbor or co-worker James 1:17
8. Dec 14: Pay for a person behind you in the drive thru
9. Dec 15: Pick up some litter that’s not yours
10. Dec 16: Buy coffee for a stranger – Luke 17:7 msg
11. Dec 17: Invite someone to church today
12. Dec 18: Joy to the D!! (OR Volunteer where your heart is called)

And a partridge in a pear tree!!!!!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Leave it to me...

We were so blessed this year, as an act of goodwill, we are getting out 2010 bonuses in December instead of March. I cannot tell you what a great blessing this is to me because I have been in need of a new furnace/central air unit, quite frankly since probably when I bought my house, but until the summer, everything worked... until our A/C unit just died of old age (it was born in 1978). My furnace, God love it, is still kicking (it was born in 1951!!) I was going to get one in the spring, but instead, I bought Mildred, our minivan,so that Phyllis could drive, Patricia, our car.

This year is the last year for the energy tax credit, so I thought it would be great if God blessed me with my bonus so I could get that taken care of. And because God loves me so, a lot of other people are getting blessed too!

And then... this morning, after getting a contact from the Inside Outside Guys and one other contact from a friend, I started to worry (why do I do that!?!) about if I make a wrong choice in furnaces. UGH! I mean, I'll get three quotes, I will consult guys at work, I will pray for wisdom and discernment (and a good/fair price) but I started to get a little panicky. How ridiculous! Its like I'm walking through the desert praying for God to deliver me to water, and thinking He won't take me the last 5 steps to the water. How DUMB! I must have forgotten that He did give me brains in my head, and logic, and His wisdom.

So, as dumb as it seems, I'm excited about my new furnace/Central air and so is Phyllis because we've decided that better efficiency means that we can turn it up past 68 during the day and warmer than 60 at night!

James 2:15-17 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Saving my world, one cupcake at a time

Something happened today. Some people's feelings were hurt, some people were left out. I'm thankful I wasn't the one who caused the hurt, though I am fairly certain that it was over looked not intentional.

Today, I saw this magnet (and I bought it) 'I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world!'

And after the above situation, I decided to do what I do best, I baked. 48 cupcakes. Funfetti and Red Velvet. Also reminding myself that Miss Margie owes Jack David Red Velvet cupcakes (note to self - rectify that situation!) Maybe I don't have a cape, or a tiara, I have an apron. And I know that I cannot make up for the hurt feelings (that were not caused by me!) but I can hopefully make the difference in someone's life by saying 'you matter, have a cupcake'. I prayed over them. Silly, I know but this time of year is tough, for a lot of reasons, financial, stressful families, people are reminded of lost loved ones, and here I am making cupcakes, right? Well, I made funfetti (because they are fun!) and Red Velvet because in my crazy mind, Red Velvet cupcakes symbolize the blood of Jesus. Yes, some may say that is crazy, but I don't care. That Blood, it covers multitudes of sins, and if I serve cupcakes that are prayed over, and someone eats them, knows that they are loved and they matter... well, there's a little Jesus in those cupcakes, because there is a lot of Jesus in my heart!

So, I will save my world, one cupcake at a time!

Bon Appetit!

Encouragement!

I didn’t go to the gym Tuesday, however I did do strength training at home with my new kettle ball and soft weight ball. I didn’t go yesterday either, I woke up ‘late’. Our mornings are completely timed, I need to be out of the bath by a certain time (5:50) in order for Phyllis to then get in to get out the door by 7AM, in order for me to make it to work by 8. Every morning we are a well oiled machine, and we still have issues.

This morning I woke up a little later than I like (4:45) and so I got out the door to the gym a little later than I like. I really only had 25 minutes. I made myself a deal, if I could do 3 miles in 25 minutes, I could stop. I made it in 25:30.

Curves in Southfield is having some Holiday Special, you can try it out for the month for free. So I am trying it out, I go today to get ‘my routine’ and then I will go 2-3 times a week at lunch along with my 4-5 times a week morning cardio. I know that some may say that Curves may not be the ‘best’ work out, but you know what I think? I think that people need to do whatever they can to be healthy and do whatever works for them. There were plenty of people who thought I wouldn’t do well when I joined ‘Metro’s Biggest Loser’ and even though I got out, I kept at it, kept running, and completed the half marathon.

My stepmom works at Weight Watchers, I have so many friends who do weight watchers, and there is a lot of success there, for me, I can’t stick to it. I don’t eat fake fat or fake sugar in order to meet my points value, and this is what I think. If it works for you, then you do it, I won’t put it (or you) down, I say ‘go for it’. Besides, I have heard some REALLY great things about their new program (from others who are doing it, not working there!)!

This world is full of far too many na-sayers. We don’t need that. We need to encourage each other, celebrate each others victories, and in the event of a little slip, we need to be there saying ‘You got this!’. So if you need someone to cheer you on and celebrate with you (and be accountable) let me know, and I’ll get my pom-poms out.

Maybe that’s a weird way of looking at things, but as I was told, we cannot be judged by someone else’s ruler. We were all designed in the image of God, and we are all wonderfully and fearfully made. He knew us, He loved us, before we were even seen by the world.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Busy busy!

Today is ‘Pay it Forward’ Day! I know that its not real, but I love an excuse to love someone, though really the only excuse I need is Jesus. He loved us first! So I bought a bagel and a coffee for someone this morning! It was cute! She didn’t want me to, however once I said ‘Don’t rob me of a blessing” then she just gave me a hug!

Yesterday I came home and made dinner – that means two days in a row! It was ok, followed a recipe to a ‘T’ which isn’t always easy for me, but it needed more garlic. I’ll remember that for next time. I had dinner done, from start to finish in 20 minutes. With a view of my Chrsitmas Tree that is in the dining room instead of the living room because A) there was more room and B) I didn’t want to move furniture. The decorations I usually put all over the house are now in my living room. I thought I would hate it but ended up loving it because I really do spend a lot of time in the kitchen and in the dining room (that’s where the computer is) – we don’t even have a dining room table in the dining room – I had to move it to the basement when I had construction done and since I can’t get it up the stairs by myself, that is where it has remained. I thought I’d hate it, but I love it, and since its there and easily plugged in, its been lit up, which often doesn’t happen because where it usually is, you must be a contortionist to plug it in.

I also got a 5 lb soft weight ball and a kettleball thingy, and I love it! I did it yesterday and some work with my bands, pretty sweet while watching TV! Curves has a holiday promotion so I’m getting my free month this month!

Also, signed up for NetFlix!

My actual ‘gift’ buying is done. Only need to pick up gift cards and I’m done buying for Christmas! Love Amazon.com!!!

That’s it! Even though I hate snow, it was pretty this morning! By the end of December I’ll want the slap the weather man and anyone else who mentions the word snow, but today… it was beautiful!

1 Thes 2:19-20 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I have great aspirations to make dinner every night, I also have great aspirations to plan it out.  However, rarely do both of those work out for me.  Sometimes I make too much of something and we have leftovers forever, sometimes we really want Panera.

So this week, my menu plan? To make White Chicken Chili in my crockpot (with black beans instead of Great Northern because that's what Phyllis likes) and if it's good, I'll share my recipe.  Anything after this is a bonus.

I cut up a bunch of chicken, and I have stuff to always make dinner, so I have a couple ideas but we will see how it goes. 

Maybe that seems horrible to you, maybe I seem like a terrible mom, but its not horrible, and I am a good mom.  HA! 

Maybe I'll go crazy and plan two meals next week :)

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty

Small yet significant

This week has been full of big break-throughs and small feats!

I covered all the windows in my house in the past weekend. This may seem like a small thing to you, but I've only attempted this chore one other time, and it did not work out so good for me.  The past years I've asked the person living upstairs to do it, he was handy and so it worked out well, however, he got hitched and so now I'm left to do that stuff on my own.  I just finished the last one minutes ago.  It seemed to me like I just stood on the top of Mt. Everest. 

I changed the flapper in my toilet.  Anything associated with plumbing, I haven't shy'ed away from, I've run screaming!  So that was cool too.  Yesterday, the trap thingy came loose while I was doing dishes, water everywhere.  It was a simple fix, I did it myself.  AND I thought, well, it probably needed to be cleaned out under here anyway, so it was a good excuse ;)

Every Sunday I stop at the corner of Mack and I-75 and pick up a paper.  They cost $1.50.  I pay $4-5 depending on how much I have in my wallet.  I save about 3-5times the amount I pay in coupons so I'm happy to help.  You know, it may seem insignificant, but 'my paper guy' is always happy, and he never remembers, I actually like it that way because I love the smile on his face when I say 'have a good day'. 

I also stop at the Starbucks at the corner of Mack & Woodward to get my Venti Hot water to put my Wild Orange Tea in.  I always keeps a couple bucks in my pocket for no one in particular. Whoever gets there first.  Last week, one guy - we can call him Sam was there, and the moment I turned around, he was gone.  Under my breath I always say 'in the name of Jesus' and pray for whoever God blesses me to give to. You see, I'll tell you the truth, sometimes I have a hard time giving to beggers.  But my 'empty bucket' friends always say 'in the name of Jesus' and somehow those small words, make a big difference in my life.

What if we approached all little things with big praise?  And genuine BIG excitement.  What if we saw miracles in just sitting down to eat, or being blessed enough to pay 3times what the paper cost?  Or that silly tape that is so much easier to work with in window coverings. 

What if that is where we find peace, love, joy?  In the small yet significant things.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” - Psalm 136:1,26

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ranch Dressing

This recipe comes from Family Feasts for under $75 a week!  I highly recommend this cookbook!

1/3 c mayo
1/4 c lowfat sourcream
1/4 c milk (a little more if you want thinner dressing)
1 T white vinegar
1/2 t dried parsley
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t veggie oil
1/4 t dillweed

Mix together. Cover and chill at least 1/2 hour.

Store up to two weeks

Last day of vacation

I have a few things I need to get wrapped up before I had back to work!

  1. Gym
  2. Church
  3. Lunch (Chicken Quesidillas & Spanish Rice - I doctored up this recipe a LOT)
  4. Finish Window Coverings
  5. Put in the glass for the screen doors
  6. Seperate & ; Freeze chicken
  7. Divide up bacon
  8. Bring up Christmas decorations
  9. Put lights on tree
  10. Dinner (chicken stirfry)
  11. Get stuff ready for work
  12. Plan dinner for the rest of the week!
  13. Drop off Cranberry Bread at Blessed Hope

Hope your day is productive & enjoyable!

Proverbs 31:31 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week's Vacation

At the last minute I decided to take a week off for vacation, I had the time, and I really needed some time off, I've been on edge for months. Everyone needs vacation.

I can't say that I am looking forward to going back, I mean, I like my job but I enjoyed my time off.  I feel rested.

I still got up everyday and went to the gym or ran outside.  Mon-Thurs.

I got most of the windows in the house covered in plastic.  I just need to do Phyllis's room (which I need help with because I can't remove the window treatments so I need someone to hold them up while I do the plastic, and the front window. 

I fixed the flapper in the toilet.  If only I had really known how easy that it was.  I heard that you should actually replace it every year because they wear out and you can save yourself money in your water bill because there is less water leakage.  I don't know if that's true, but I do know that mine was worn out.

I took my car in and thankfully my rear axle wasn't cracked (recall issue). 

I changed my burnt out head light and tail light (both on the left side). I don't know how a guy would replace it without removing the battery because there was not much room.

I had breakfast twice with friends, met a great friend for coffee, went to the chiropractor, logged onto work one day while I was chilling at Starbucks.  Sent Christmas cards and candy canes to Soldiers in Afganistan.  Cleaned house.  Christmas shopping.  Enjoyed Thanksgiving.  Found Freedom and Truth.   Had three beauties spend the night after going to see The Current. 

My tree is ready to go up.  Its been a great week!  I am rested.

2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

its nice

It seems weird to say this, but its nice not to be hurt.  One of my friends has adopted an 'i don't care attitude', I have a adopted a 'its ok, you can't steal my joy attitude'.

I got a text the other day that would have sent me into a pissed off frenzy the other day. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was sent to make me mad.  But you know what?  I was a little hurt but I just thought, it can only hurt you if you let it.  Just like sometimes you can chose to be a victim.  I wasn't giving anyone permission to do that.

Yesterday I spent my day shopping, and then home, and then I had some girl time with Rosie and Melissa, we went to see 'A Current'.  it was good, and then Michelle came over and Phyllis of course was home, and it was fabulous!  We just hung out, had snacks and sundaes, and fell asleep.  I made breakfast this morning, we watched 'The Book of Eli' (well, they watched it) and I made cranberry bread for a local church/soup kitchen because they had TONS of donated cranberries. 

I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.  Praising God for each step I take and each breath I take in.

Going to put up the tree, put on the lights, and tomorrow Phyllis and I will decorate our tree that is in a totally different place than it usually is... just like my heart this holiday season!

Joy to the World!  The Savior Reigns!

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” - Colossians 3:16

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A lie becomes the truth

I went to that inner healing prayer.  I almost canceled, I was frightened.

What if its a waste of time?
But that's not really what I was afraid of, I was really afraid that it was going to hurt.  What if I go back to that place, it hurts, and it never stops hurting?

But God did not create us with a spirit of fear, and He said it right to me, 'I did not create you with a spirit of fear', how do you cancel after that?

Before we actually started, this time in my life that I had forgotten popped in my head, which I thought was nothing, but it was all I could see.  The lie I believed?  That I was never a priority, that something was always picked over me.  That I was the wrong daughter that lived, that I didn't matter, that no one really cared to know me because they didn't really love me, that I'd never measure up.  And that was it, it was all a lie.  And God showed me that. 

You can't be measured by someone else's ruler, and then a visualization of a ruler.  And did you know that there is this ruler on my desk, that has my name on it?  Its a crazy thing, I've always loved that ruler.

Last night was my 10th grade girls life group.  Every life group went to the new Metro Building, well, every life group but ours.  I wanted to take the girls to a play, The Current, but one of the girls couldn't go, so if one can't go, then we all can't go to something like that if its on a life group night.  I got a lot of flack because I wanted to have life groups, I felt no leading to go to the building, I felt leading to have life groups. I take life groups very seriously, I know we have fun, and often get off topic, but I take it seriously, and if I feel lead to do something, then we do it.  And I felt lead to have life groups.  I even got the 'Don't you want to serve God?'  One thing I've learned is that we should not do things out of guilt.   I just said in my heart 'I am, just in a different way'. 

We read John 5 last night.  We read the whole thing but our discussion never got past this:

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

This guy, hurt and broken, could get into this well to be better, but he just kept making excuses why he couldn't.  And maybe those things that held him back were real, but maybe, he was afraid of getting well. Maybe the fear of the unknown held him back.  Maybe he didn't realize how great freedom was, because he didn't know what it was.
I've heard people talk about freedom in Christ, and on some levels, I had that. But I think I was always held back.  I had 'good' reasons for never getting help, I was too busy, I was helping others, I was serving God, all what some may call valid.  This summer, God kept saying to me, "I've got some work to do in you, and I need you to be all here'.  I have come a long way in my walk, but I can tell you, I think I came an equal distance in that one hour, and found this crazy freedom that I saw that other people had, but never quite understood. 

I want my girls to have that freedom, and we talked about it last night, 'what holds you back? what hurt do you need to overcome to find truth?  What are you feeling? what lies are you believing?' Until you figure out what lies you're believing, you'll never find the real Truth.

This journey for me is nowhere near being over.  But now as I keep on this journey, I will be walking in freedom.

At one point during that healing this is all I could see:

2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.


picture from here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enjoying the days!

I can't tell you anything spectacular that has happened in the last couple days, I haven't traveled anywhere further than Somerset Mall in Troy, but I have SO enjoyed my days off!

Yesterday I worked out, had breakfast with a dear friend, got ready, coffee with another friend, hit Somerset Mall - the only thing I bought was an Eastern Market Coffee travel mug at the Detroit Shoppe, home, picked up Rosie, dinner (I didn't eat lunch - I forgot!), home and bed.

Today dropped my Windstar off for recall and I consider myself so blessed that I have another car so that I can still enjoy my day.  After my inner healing appt, I will probably head off to Starbucks, I need to do some work that I brought home, and then pick up Phyllis, she's enjoying coffee with Miranda, and I will pick up one of my 10th grade beauties, we are headed to Berkley so I can get a chiropractic adjustment and going to walk around downtown Berkley, for sure - Catching Fireflies.

So thankful today!! 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”- Psalm 100:4-5

Monday, November 22, 2010

Did I?

I've got a lot of lessons in my head right now.  I keep going back to one instance in my life that happened about 3 years ago, I actually am not even sure the year, but it was the year that Horton Hears a Who came out at the movies.  Shortly after that movie, I got a letter saying that someone didn't like who I was.   Now this wasn't just anyone, but it was someone who has meant a great deal to me over the years.  It was actually heartbreaking to read that.  And what was crazy is that I felt like I was finally starting to like who I was. I felt like my choices were a lot better, I was loving God, and living for Him.  I was trying so hard to be kind.   And then that.

I actually had thought that I threw the letter way, but I didn't, I found it last week when I was cleaning.  I didn't even open it, I just threw it in the garbage, because just a few days before that I had yet another 'event' with this person. 

Yesterday I was thinking about Noah as I was on the eliptical (really, I do a devotional while I am on the eliptical - I know - I'm ridiculous) and I was thinking about how he had 120 years to tell people about God, how they had 120 years to follow him onto this crazy ark, and man, Noah must have had some sunflower seed faith because I am sure people thought he was a whack job.  But think about how Noah must have lived his life that no one believed that he had something better.  No one believed that God was using him.

And then at service Pastor Chilly was talking about Joseph and the silver cup (and for the record, the reason I wasn't confused about the silver cup is because I didn't know what you were talking about) and how Joseph used the cup to prove if his brothers had changed. I was thinking about confrontation, I confront myself quite often about my motives, about my feelings (and truthfully a lot of times its after I've already jacked something up), but yesterday I wanted to just ask 'was it this way?' and to another person I wanted to ask 'do you REALLY believe it's fair to all?'. And God said "sshhhh... I don't think you really want to know the answers"

I think about a couple things... one is forgiveness and the other is God's timing.

God's timing is perfect, and like no other, God knows my heart, and I believe that there is a time for everything, and sometimes its a time to be quiet.  and that time is now. Just love.

And what about forgiveness? Did I really forgive if I keep wondering why? If I keep thinking 'you really don't love me, and I'll keep taking the licks because that's what you do'.  You see, I cannot control what others do, and I know that, but I can control my own actions.  Faith is not about feeling, it is about knowing who God is.  And He says 'forgive as you have been forgiven'.  And that's what I want to do, I want to forgive, and that means letting go of hurt.  I don't know why that is so hard, maybe its because it makes us vulnerable.  And then there is the opportunity for someone to hurt us again, but what if we let it go, and it never returns?  What if peace really is attainable?

I'm going to an inner healing thing, I have no idea what I am in for, but I know so much that I have been lead down this path, I have come to this time where I need to be healed, I need the internal bleeding to stop, and sometimes, you need God to send you someone to help you do that.  So if you read this, please be in prayer.

I just want peace.

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sundays

I'm sorry no post yesterday, I was too busy living life to write about it :)  Normal nail appt, then a pedi (unexpected but much needed) then a great day scrapbooking, then dinner and a play with Phyllis.

I love Sundays, I used to love them for different reasons, but now I love them as my day to kind of relax, I try to get to the gym by 8, then I come home and have breakfast, then to RC Detroit, then lunch with Phyllis, usually a trip to JoAnn Fabrics (like we really need anything lol) and wherever else life takes us! 

Enjoy your Sunday!

Be blessed!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday

Its Friday! I've got a lot of work to do today in preparation for being off for nine days! I'm excited! I don't have a lot of plans, but I'm excited to be off, I am sure there will be a trip to Cranbrook, a trip to the zoo, and some yummy tea in my future!

Wanna know something silly? I love wild sweet orange tea by Tazo, and its been really hard to find lately, they used to have it at Starbucks and that's how I fell in love with it! However they switched to some new disgusting (or bisgusting if you're Katie D.) one and then Kroger stopped carrying it, Target has it sometimes, so it seems that EVERYTIME I go to the store and find it, I pick it up, and then I just ordered 6 boxes (3 for me, 3 for a friend) and now I have like 10 boxes (not kidding!) so apparently I have some squirrel like qualities because I'm storing up for winter!

It is super yummy, a great zero calorie treat, and helps me relax!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Its Thursday!

Did anyone even notice I hadn’t posted since Monday? Where has the week gone? I’m not sure, but my house is the most picked up its been in months. I’ve been home.

Phyllis’s foot is healed, however the doctor wants three more weeks on crutches and this ginormous boot thing. Ugh. But when you pray for God to send His wisdom down to the doctor and He does, then you gotta live with it.

I’m exhausted. Mentally but not physically. Can I just tell you? Sometimes being a single mom, seemingly all alone in this world, really sucks. I remember when I was a kid, my dad had this great group of friends that supported him, and sometimes I just don’t feel like I have that. Its probably my fault because I’m so busy, but sometimes I feel like I’m always the one saying ‘can you hang out?’ like no one ever thinks of me unless they need me.

I struggled with ‘how come they only love me for what I do, not who I am?’ and then God said to me, “I created you that way, they love you for what you do, because that’s who you are, you are giving, and encouraging’. That was quite a revelation that God shared with me. However, the problem with me is that once I leave something, I think so does the thought of me unless they have to say ‘Oh Margie’s not here, who is going to do it?’ Oh well, that’s just something I need to deal with.

I also have another problem, a small one, but its still an issue. A lot of times when I use my crockpot the meals just really aren’t that good. I often wonder if other people are just like ‘hey who cares, dinner is done’ or am I just Crock Pot challenged. Yesterday’s dinner was pretty good, I loved coming home and having dinner ready, literally, walked in, went potty, washed hands, made a salad, and served dinner. That was nice. And even ‘that was a good one’ from Miss Phyllis. I guess I’ll just keep trying.

I’m off next week, so excited, 9 days off in a row! YEAH! I need some rest. Have some plans with friends, but not too much.

Its been a hard week to work out, its week 3, but I really do love it, I love the energy I have in the morning and the rest of the day! This morning, I came home, did the few dishes in the sink, washed and dried/hung up a load of laundry in addition to the normal morning routine!

So that’s it! I hope you’re still awake. Hope things are great in your neck of the woods!

Oh, and check out this devotional! I super loved it!

http://www.incourage.me/2010/11/be-blessed.html

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 10: One Confession

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14


My confession... as lame as it seems is that I am not always truthful as I'd like to be, I had another post that I would have loved to post about, how my heart is in turmoil, how I really feel, but I won't be posting it. Why?  because I don't think it will bring glory.

I'd also love to post it because its how I feel, but I think that in my hurt it would bring bad light to someone else, and I don't think that's right either, but just so you know... I'd really like to tell you how I feel, but I'll just be quiet, and if you feel the need to ask me what's going on, I'll be honest and tell you, I just won't tell you, here.

My Christmas holidays are going to look different this year, at least different for us.  I thought about going away for Christmas, however this year, I think I will be opening presents, and maybe painting my house, maybe tearing down paneling.  Its different but different is not always bad.  Or maybe we will go away, or maybe to the movies, I'm not sure, as long as I'm with Phyllis, I don't really care what we do.

“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.”- Psalm 119:143

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My decoupage project

1 John 2:14 I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Day Nine: Three songs that describe your life right now.

Today was supposed to be 2 smileys that describe your life, but that's dumb (I don't follow instructions well, or my 10th grade girls would tell you I'm a rebel lol)

Picking two songs is difficult considering I listen to music (like most people) everyday and so I picked three. They are all very different and can probably give some explanation of my heart, going in a million directions, I’ve included the videos but not the eminem song, you can look that one up on your own.

I think the first song would be Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman. I realize that the song is written in the view of a dad, but this song just reminds me how childhood is long days of fast years. I don't think I've ever listened to this song without getting misty, sometimes I ball my eyes out. I always tried so hard to be a good mom, to spend time with Phyllis, it seems that lately things are nuts but she's my girl and in my heart, she is always first.






The next song is I think God can Explain by Splendor. There are just so many things that I just don’t understand, things do not turn out the way I planned and sometimes its so easy to rest in Him and sometimes I feel like a 3 year old fighting sleep.



I think God can explain

There's a lot of things I understand
And there's a lot of things that
I don't want to know
But you're the only face I recognize
It's so damn sweet of you
to look me in the eyes
It's alright, I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I believe I'm the same
I get caried away
It's alright, I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I'm relieved I'm relaxed
I'll get over it yet
The sent of vasoline
in the summertime
The feel of an icecube
Melting overtime
The world seems bigger
Than both of us
Yet it seems so small
when I begin to cry
It's alright I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I believe I'm the same
I get carried away
It's alright I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I'm relieved I'm relaxed
I'll get over it yet.
I'm so much better than you guessed
I'm so much bigger than you guessed
I'm so much brighter than you guessed
I'ts alright I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I believe I'm the same
I get carried away
It's alright I'm O.K.
I think God can explain
I'm relieved I'm relaxed
I'll get off of your back
I think God can explain
I think God can explain
I think God can explain

Eminem, oh Eminem, I don’t even claim to understand you, but your music sometimes hits my heart like a 10 tandem truck going 100 mph. I can tend to be a loner, I can tend to pull away. One thing that happened to me recently is that I started to pull away but I wanted someone to know that I wasn’t pulling away from them, and I had suggested that we not buy each other Christmas presents, my plan was that we all go do something and spend the time together but before I could get that part out, it was a ‘fine’ and a hang up. I was furious! Fine, you’re not going to let me finish, that’s how you want it? Ok, all these times of pulling away, and then coming back, you saying you love me, but once that next thing comes along, you take off. Go, you have what you’ve always dreamed of, so I will get out of the way so you can enjoy it. I was right, I never mattered, thanks for confirmation.

I love this song because it reminds me that we are all beautiful and that we should never let anyone tell us we are not, that the world thinks they know us, but they don’t. God knows us, we are wonderfully made and even though we mess it up, it makes us who we are today, and no one can take away our beauty and His love.

Crazy what I can get from an Eminem song, huh?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

10th grade girls

I know that a lot of people are not fond of teenagers, I happen to love them!  Last night we had a sleepover!  it was really a good time, we ate, 'decorated' a house, made almost 50 cards for soldiers in Afganistan, watched a movie, then got up, made breakfast, and food for a family that just had a new addition, and they made cards for the beautiful new addition!! 

Then I had lunch with one of the girls, we ran some errands and then I came home to start decoupaging some journals and I am relaxing!

It was a great day!

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

1.  Loves Jesus
2.  Great smile
3.  Man of integrity

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank the Lord!

so... the plumber came, and the issue wasn't with 'the stack' although I am not completely sure what that is, but I do know where it is.  He ran his snake thing, and my problem?

Tree roots.

This is the first time that I've had roots that it backed up in the laundry room only, and never all that food crud.  When I am not fast enough to get the plumber out (which this time I guess I wasn't), my whole basement floods.  And its a mess to clean up.  Well, if you recall, I pulled up the carpet in the living room and put it in the basement.  And for "some reason" it did not flood in that room. 

I cannot tell you how thankful I am that it was the stinky mess that it was and not a huge flood.  I would have had to haul that carpet (wet) up the stairs, by myself!

Let me also tell you this, I may be alone in this house, and alone in figuring all this stuff out, but God really does send me angels to help me get it cleaned up!

Psalm 119:76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant

Thank You Lord!

Day Seven: Four turn offs

1.  Being a creep
2. Lying
3. No intergrity
4.  Being clingy

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

This was meant for yesterday but I've had a super lot on my mind and heart. I chose to be quiet yesterday even though I wanted to scream from the rooftops.  It was a wise choice. I didn't hurt anyone by blabbing and I didn't fall off any rooftops. 

Today (yesterday) I am supposed to write about 5 people who mean a lot to me, I think I could write about 500, but I will chose just 5.

I am always amazed at how awesome my daughter is.  Not only is she super smart (4.0) but she is kind and loving.  I couldn't have imagined a daughter this great coming from such a mess like me, but God's grace, like every other time in my life has prevailed.  She is gone for the next 3 days and its super quiet around here.

My cousin.  I can honestly tell you that in all my life I can not remember a moment she hasn't been there.  She not only is family to me, but a very dear friend.  Can't imagine not having her around.

My mom.  I miss her everyday. 

My dad. I'm thankful for him. 
My friend.  I am so very thankful that he is such a man of integrity and he makes me laugh.  He is a great example of what being a dad really is!

Col 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Before I knew you, I loved you

There is a scripture that is kind of a life scripture for me, I've always struggled with it, wanting to believe it.

Jer 1:4-8
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD

Our college pastor aka the single's director preached on it the other day.  And as I was thinking about a lot of things in the last couple days.  I've been thinking about how its hard for me, so hard for others as well.  I was thinking about how sometimes in the current times, its hard for people to see God as their father, and not be waiting for the next shoe to drop or to be let down.  God never lets us down.  we might not always get what we want, but we ALWAYS get what's best for us!

I could think of a million real life examples I have but I do not want to use them because I don't think that would be the right thing to do for the innocent and not so innocent, you know.  So, being that I just saw the movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" the other day its fresh in my mind, there are two examples in the movie of how dads let their children down, in this case girls.

The first is Carmen, her mom and dad get divorced, for really reasons we don't know about, but meets this new woman and is going to get married.  And in Carmen's eyes, has settled into this new family, leaving her in the dust because she just doesn't fit.  In her eyes, and perception is reality, her father has abandoned her.  He has moved on to something better.  Carmen has this feeling that her dad thinks she was never good enough, and when we apply that to God, we really are never 'good'  and many people wait to come to Jesus until they are 'cleaned up'. Now, we know (at least those of us who know the saving grace of Jesus) you'll never be cleaned up enough.  But it can really skew your vision. And in all reality, some dad's may never think you're good enough, they may find love in a new family, they may ditch you, but God never does.  Believing in His love and His truth, may be hard, but its the only real and true thing there is.

Then there's Bridget, her mom died, and her work-aholic father provides for her in many ways but never giving her the love that she needs. Who knows, maybe he blames her for her mother's death, maybe he just doesn't love her, and showing her love in shallow ways is all he knows, and truly we find that she seeks love in all the wrong places, when all she really wants is to be loved by her dad, and spend some time with her.  Who knows how long its been since they shared some time together, just the two of them, three days, three months, or three years.  Bridget just feels completely unloved because her dad doesn't spend anytime with her.  Its hard to believe that God would want you, when the people (your dad in this case) don't want you. 

But the thing about God, as I was reminded Sunday, is that if it was only my sin that put Him on the cross, He loves me enough that He would have gotten up there. He would have sacrificed Himself, for me, and He wants to have a relationship with me, that is filled with love, not rules.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done

Ok, so I think that's dumb, because God turns our mess into His message, so forget that.  Sorry, catch me tomorrow but let me tell you.  I woke up this morning and felt like I may be coming down with something.  I Netti Pot when I got home, took it easy (ate out), but there were dishes and laundry.  So I started the laundry and did the dishes and my drain backed up in the basement.  I tell you the truth, this was by far the STINKIEST thing I've ever smelled, I'm thinking 'uh oh, how will I finish my laundry.  Then I decided to see if it was still backed up, so I took a small bucket and drizzled some water, it went down!  THANK YOU JESUS!  so...  I cleaned it all up, and will have it cleaned out tomorrow by a plumber.  I had to take my two area rugs outside and they will go out with the trash.  Oh well. 

So I wonder, can I see Jesus in situations like this?  And so here it goes!

Thank You Jesus it was on the laundry side not on the carpet side
Thank You Jesus that I was able to clean it up, and do laundry
Thank You Jesus that I had bleach to clean it up (I never have bleach)
Thank You Jesus that I have the ability to clean it up (two working arms, and legs and everything in between)
Thank You for me not puking (that would have been even WORSE)
Thank You for a home
Thank You for the wisdom to figure out how to clean it up
Thank You for the ability to pay for the plumber
THANK YOU, that it could have flood the whole basement

So, this stinks, literally and figuratively, but its ok, its cleaned up (still a little stinky) and candles are burning, but its on its way for being fixed. 

No worries.