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)


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix dry ingredients.

Mix wet ingredients.

Mix them together.

Make them! YUMMY!!

Fr. Jack

I was just standing in my kitchen, making punkin waffles for Pretty Sarah, she loves punkin.

I was thinking about a member of our family. My grandpa's brother, Fr. John P. Maierle, aka Fr. Jack.

I wonder how much he anguished over my lifestyle. Watching me make poor choices over and over again. I never understood why he would ever want to be a priest, serve a God that I feared, not because I loved Him, but because of consequences, all of which, I deserved, I deserved more, however, He is, afterall, a God of grace. But that's not the God I knew. I think Fr. Jack tried to talk to me about Jesus, however, I didn't really want to hear about Him. I went to church, wanted my daughter to have a relationship with God however, I didn't really have one myself. I had a weird view of God, especially because I never understood why God would take my mom from me, I'll never understand it, however, I know His way, His will, is the only way.

I wonder what Fr. Jack thinks now? I wonder if he thinks "I knew eventually she'd come around". I wonder if it shocks him that I'd love to go back to school and get my Master's in Theology. Sometimes it shocks me! I wonder if he is up in the choir of angels singing, just bowing down to God, knowing that we will be together one day. That in this vapor, I spend it with Him, serving Him.

I wonder.

I stand in my kitchen, knowing that it is because of God, and Fr. Jack's life for Him that it is because I have this home, a home that is filled with love, that it protects us from the elements, it makes us able to help others, it makes us able to serve Him.

Taco Seasoning


I'm always looking for homemade, I'd rather home-make it than to buy a package. Weird I know... For those who love packets, this is a great back-up if you think you have a packet and you don't!



2 T chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t oregano
1 t paprika
1 1/2 t cumin
1 t salt
2 t pepper

Measure out spices (note that all are teaspoons EXCEPT the chili powder!)

Brown ground beef, drain the fat, used 3 Tbsp per pound of meat/ Add 2/3 cup of water, mixed it up with the ground beef and let it simmer down.

Cali


I'd love to go to California.

Seriously considering going over Christmas vacation this year. I've never been there, you know what the hard part is? Figuring out which part of California to go to...I'd like to go to 2 or 3 places but I don't want to start at the bottom and drive my way up only to drive all the way back to the bottom... Maybe we will fly into one place and fly out of another... who knows it seems so far away, but really... it will be here before we know it... it's already February!

California Dreamin'... on such a winter's day

Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning to be flexible


So my Friday was planned, its my lifegroup/biblestudy night... I was all set to go, and I get a text from a student asking me to come to the Trenton Talent Show. I really look forward to Life Group and I had just sent a text saying I would be there, however, I sent a note saying "sorry, my kids are in a talent show and I need to be there".

I'll tell you something, I love Youth Ministry, even when it's brutal, and I've been doing it for awhile, 3 years at Metro, and I think only in the last 6 months have I really felt like I belonged. I finally found my place, though some will say I'm crazy for feeling like that... I like being the mom-type.

So.. mom's go to performances. And I went, and I was so proud, sitting in the 4th row (4th row is my row), taking pictures. They are on my facebook :)

So proud, Gina, Bri, Sarah, & Mary performed!

So glad I was flexible, and changed my plans to support them! I love them so much!!

Matt 12:6 (msg) "There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—'I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual'—you wouldn't be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he's in charge."

Small Victories

So I wanted grilled cheese, I wanted a tuna melt, I wanted...

I got... Subway. Turkey on whole wheat. Albeit I ate the foot long of turkey, but it was good and I am full. I hate being hungry.

5 points for 6", but i added cheese, 2 pts, and mayo another 1, so that means I hate 16 points for lunch, which kind of is high, but I'll behave for dinner, and I should be all good. And i said it was a small victory anyway, I looked on line, tuna melts are anywhere from 19-25 points, and I would have gotten chips or fries... so I think I did ok, I ate things that were good for me, loaded up on the veggies.

Tomorrow is weigh in, I relaly am not sure how i will do, but this I know... I made good choices all week.

Its a journey not a race.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I give my life

I was asked yesterday (and this isn’t a direct quote) ‘do you do anything besides church?’ and the person asked me in the most kind way… not to be a jerk or anything.

The answer, not really.

I may seem like I have the weirdest life. I might seem like it’s boring.

My big ‘vacation’ this year? I’m going to Detroit to help those who need a hand up. I’m going to Detroit to help those who were made in the same image of the God who made me (in His image).

Almost every Sunday of the year spent with High Schoolers.
Almost every Wednesday of the year spent with the most beautiful girls (my freshman life group)
Fridays… bible studies

So just by pure math 42% of my week is spent at church, that does not count preparing for Wednesdays or getting ready for Sundays.

I don’t tell you all that because I want a standing ovation, I tell you this because its my choice. I’ve lived my life crazy, men, alchohol. That I’ve found is a life of regret. When you sit and your prayers are more please forgive me instead of ‘thank You Jesus’ or I’ve lived my life sick & sad (hungover and regrets) and though I am VERY far from perfect and I still have consequences to my actions, I really do love my life.

I chose to live a life of love.

I was kind of discouraged yesterday just because I was thinking ‘is this right? Am I doing the right thing?’ and I walked into the auditorium and Savior King was playing, instantly I felt at ease. I love that song. When I walked out after changing my clothes and I heard…

I give my life to honor this
The love of Christ, the Savior King

And I almost started crying… You see I have no life without Christ. These days are just a whisper, a vapor compared to eternity. But these days are a choice, we get to choose how we live and who we live for. And yes, I get tired, but after rest, after resting in Him, I am rejuvenating, ready to serve again! Drawing all inspiration off Him, listening in the quiet times, and listening when He speaks loudly because I’m just not getting it…

I give my life to honor this
The love of Christ, the Savior King

Whatever is missing in my life, will be filled by Him.

And you know what came next, I really did randomly open my bible, and looked down and read what was underlined…

Gal 6:7-10 7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

So after all that, how can I not believe that I am making the right choice with my life. So maybe to some I seem like I don’t have much of a life, but I will tell you, I have the best life of all, one lived without regret, less consequences, and one filled of Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace, that can only come from One. Jesus.

So the answer the question, do you do anything other than church stuff? Not really, and I LOVE IT!!

I give my life to honor this
The love of Christ, the Savior King

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

not leaning on my addiction

Today has been a rough day, and it certainly didn’t help that my mp3 player is at home on my desk and not in my ears… but oh well, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

It was lunch time, off to Panera. Panera is fresh, but not always healthy. If I had my complete choice, I would eat creamy tomato soup with Asiago Roast beef sandwich. Imagine my surprise the day when I found out Creamy Tomato Soup is 9 points, and the ARB sandwich is 8 points (for ½). Holy Cats! But you see, I am learning not to find comfort in food… Hello, I’ve got a butt to prove that does NOT work, besides my disposition is still the same after eating all that comfort food! So instead I chose the Garden Veggie with Pesto, VERY good, 3 points, a much better choice with a Fuji Apple Salad (6). I did eat the chips because they are both 3 points and I’d rather have chippies. OH, and did I mention, I’d love to wash it all down with an 11 point cranberry muffin, but I passed on the cranberry muffin.

So all in all, lunch was 12 points instead of 20 (or 31 if you count the muffin! HA!)

It’s a daily struggle, and the moment that I use food as an addiction is a day that I feel I lean more on satan and less on God. I feel that if I lean towards the addiction, I am binding myself up. I am saying that I am not a victor, especially if it something that I willingly do. It’s one thing to eat something thinking I’m doing well (like the tomato soup counting at 5 points when it’s really 9) but when I say “I want the soup, because I feel I deserve it after the day I’ve had (meaning I am justifying my sin) then I’m saying God, you’re not big enough to get me threw this, I need to deal with the root cause of my issues, not just try to cover them up with a bandaid (or a muffin).

I’m getting there. First step is identifying there is an issue, and then finding out where the issue comes from…

The Boys


I have these two little boys in my life now, these two completely precious gifts from God. Oh, my His goodness. They are Adam and Katie's.

I love them so much! Do you ever wonder how your heart can hold so much love? With all my kids at Alive and Fuel I often wonder how when a new one comes to love, I just do, and I don't love any of the rest of them less... And then these two amazing, smart, cute, handsome little boys come, and I love them SOOO much I seriously sometimes can't stop kissing them, I wonder how that is? How can you just have so much love it never stops overflowing from your heart?

Maybe I'm crazy... Crazy in love with Jesus that is! And love Him makes me love even more!

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LOL

I have worked with the same woman for ten and a half years. It doesn’t seem that long but I guess it is. Good thing we track by calendar because I’d have no idea of time without one.

Its been one of those years [and yes, I realize it's only January :) ] We were talking about some stuff that is just hilarious to us, probably to no one else but we were laughing out loud at the craziness of it all.

Last night, I was sitting in Panera with Phyllis, and some guy sat down next to us, read the paper and carried on a conversation with himself, or someone I couldn’t see… I almost called you Sara for a pick up. And part of me felt kind of sorry for the guy, but then all of a sudden he started talking to the ‘commodont’ (I apparently am blind because I didn't see him) and about someone’s sex slave and pig snouts, and I just couldn’t help it, I bust out laughing. We had to leave. It was just so crazy…

So all I’m saying is that sometimes, you just gotta laugh, so you don’t cry.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Migraines

Its been a long time since I've had two migraines in a week (give or take a couple days). Sometimes I get small ones from no caffeine, however, this isn't one of those. Caffeine does really help. Last weeks was a combination of no caffeine and way too much stress.

Today's has nothing to do with caffeine. It's all stress. And it's not good to wake up with one of those kind. And usually I can pinpoint the stress and I can deal with it, however, this time, I think I can pinpoint it, but I don't know if I can deal with it. I thought I was, but after yesterday, maybe not so much.

The real stress is that someone hurt me, and in almost every instance, they always say its my fault for hurting not their fault for hurting me. And so there in lies the problem. I can take responsibility for myself, I can say 'ok, maybe I am over-reacting to the hurt' however, I can't take responsibility for the hurter. And so I feel like nothing gets resolved. It doesn't help that in the center of this hurt, I keep remembering the letter that says 'I just don't like the person that stands in front of me' and every time hurt reoccurs, I just think 'they don't even like me, so they probably don't care that they hurt me'.

If I had the option, I would stay home and sleep for about 6 more hours (not exaggerating) but instead I will forge on, pray I don't throw up, and take two excedrins, and work with God to figure out how to resolve this.

Psalm 69:29 I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hurting people don't always hurt people

Today after a tearful outburst, I just asked God to surround me. I don't usually pray for myself. And it was a long cry, it was crying but it was also crying out.

I wasn't expecting today. It was something that completely caught me off guard, it wasn't something I was expecting, I was in the middle of a bible study.

As I walked into the church with a heavy heart and lots to do... I had this crazy self talk going on, I was trying to be positive. I was trying to keep my mouth shut as much as possible, because I know that it is when I am hurting (and busy) that my motorboat mouth will outrun my rowboat brain, then it's a lot of back tracking to apologize, and a lot of ground lost. And so I really did try to do my best.

Funny, in the ironic way, that we studied James 1 today. Count it all Joy! Oh man! I just laughed. That was my favorite chapter when I first became a Christian because it seemed that something was always happening... and it usually sucked!

We sang a new song today for us, Joy will come by Desperation Band. WOW! It blew me away.

You see I know that in all things, He is. I know that everything that happens is for my good, but better, His glory.


James 1:2-18 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This is my first pass at our Mission Trip needs list

This is my first pass at the needs of our Detroit Mission Trip!
LOTS OF PRAYER!!!
10 Lg Captain Krunch PB Cereal
10 Lg Captain Krunch Fruity Cereal
10 lg Honey Comb
5 Lg Frosted Mini Wheats
5 Lg Reeses PB Cereal
3 Lg Fruit Pebbles
3 Lg Fruit Loops
2 Lg Raisin Bran Crunch
10 Lg Apple Jacks
30 2 Ltr pop
15 18 oz creamy peanut butter
15 Strawberry Jam or Preserves
15 Grape Jelly
29 jars spaghetti sauce
29 lbs Mostocolli Noodles
19 lbs elbow macaroni noodles
19 lbs rotini noodles
75 10 ct Fruit snacks
3 parmesean cheese
75 10 ct Choc chip granola bars
10 lg oreos
10 fudge strip cookies
10 vanilla pudding (instant)
3 boxes plain graham crackers
125 packages of cheese/peanut butter cracker
10 choc frosting
7 white cake mix
1 large sprinkles
4 heath bits
4 chocolate syrup
6 freeze pops
3 200+ count suckers
3 aluminum foil
2 saran wrap
3 12 ct Double roll toilet paper
24 rolls paper towel
8 anti bacterial soap
2 Gallon Ziploc Bags
2 Qt Ziploc bages
3 Napkins
2 600 ct spoons
2 600 ct forks
8 Taco seasoning
8 spanish rice
8 rotel tomatoes
200 Reusable Water Bottles
6 broom handles (for rollers)
2 hand mixes (new or gently used)
5 igloo water coolers
4 Roasters (new or gently used)
3 Pancake Griddles (new or gently used)
10 Lg serving spoons
2 large cutting knives
3 spatulas
200 pens
6 paring knives
150 composition notebooks
5 coolers
3 13 gal garbage cans
20 1.5" angle paint brushes
20 2" paint brushes
20 blue tarps
15 2" or larger masking tape
45 roller covers
15 rollers (for painting)
2 30 gal black garbage bags
1 13 gal 13 gallon garbage bags
15 rubbermaid totes
25 $20 gift cards to Aldi's
10 $20 gift cards to Kroger
10 Gift Cards to Pittsburgh Paints (in Taylor)
10 $20 gift cards to Meijer

37 = old maid!

I'm thirty seven, and I can count, and all of a sudden i realized in 3 years I am going to be 40. Man, I'm a genius. When people say things like 'you're 28 right?' well, I know you're lying, and no, I have a seventeen year old, so no, I wasn't 11 when I had her.

And I've never really had a problem with my age, but all of a sudden I was like "ahhh I'm an old maid!!" Ugh. And you know my response "hey creepy guy with the red tail, get out of my head!". I mean, I really want to be married, and so many people I know are like 'it's over-rated' but really, I don't think it is... I think its exaclty what you BOTH put into it.

You see I know he'll try to distract me, but I know what this beautiful book says... 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. (Jer 29:11) and so I'll wait. I am sure I'll be saying "when, God, when?' but until then, He is preparing us both for an amazing future!


Friday, January 22, 2010

amazed...

So... I started thinking about the Detroit Mission Trip, and to be honest, I started freaking out a little (yeah, a little), and the number that popped in my head... 150... wow! that's a lot, 150! what if it's more?!

And of course, immediatly, I thought of the food. WOW! 150! yikes! I'll need a crew!

Ok, as Donald Tubesing says
"Stress is like spice–
in the right proportion it
enhances the flavor of a dish.
Too little produces a
bland, dull meal;
too much may choke you."

OK... so slow down sister, its only January, and we will probably go in August...

So I'm talking to my life group about it (yes, I'm in a life group, and I completely love it!!) and they tell me to put together a list, and as EJ says "let the church be the church". Ok, and as I was just praising God for tonight and our study and all the people in the group and all their suggestions... I started with this list of just a few things "that will be good" and God says "really, you know how big I am?" and I was like yeah, I probably shouldn't put a limit on the list, so my list is GINORMOUS, and you know what's crazy? As big as my list gets, God is WAY bigger, can provide for every need and then some...

I'm blown away by God, and you know what else? If I'm being honest, I almost didn't join the lifegroup/biblestudy because I thought "ugh, another thing" and seriously, I can't imagine my life without them. WOW.

My God is a mighty big God, who meets all my needs, I stand in amazement of His love and grace. He is, and all is well.

Phil 4:19-20

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

20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I hate it when God says...

That I need to do everything in love. I was thinking about making some locker love. It’s these silly magnets I make and give to the kids for their lockers. It’s always God’s Word and God is the ultimate love… so you see. Yes, I am quite aware that I am a HUGE dork!

So today I was praying about what scripture I should put on it. Oh… 1 Cor 16:14 Do everything in love.

Really God? I know, I know but I don’t always like it, at first. But I’m cracking up because yesterday I was just like ‘what the heck?’ and I wanted to come out swinging, even though I hate conflict, I was ready for it, and I was ready to stir some conflict up, and I had come to resolution last night that I was giving this up, that it was taking my time away from God and my true focus, to live love. But this morning, I was like ‘what if I just spend a few minutes doing some more research?’ and then God says ‘do everything in love’. Ok, so going after that mess and digging in it, that’s really not love. And because I don’t go stir up some conflict, it doesn’t mean I’m a doormat, it just means I’m a child of God, and I follow Him.

I said that I don’t like ‘do everything in love’ at first. But really, there are really are no consequences when we do everything in love. It might seem a little hard at first to press on through the mess, but I think in so many ways doing everything in love is bigger than anything we say. I think that if we do everything in love, we show people how God has changed our lives, and our heart. It means we show the difference of hypocrite and a true lover of Christ.

Doing everything in love defeats any weapon that someone or satan has tried to form against us. It brings us closer as a body of Christ. To do everything in love means that we gain ground for the Glory of God instead of sliding back. It means that every step we’ve made closer to being like Jesus is a step that we don’t lose.

And so… I guess I don’t really hate it when God says ‘do everything in love’ it just means I’m getting a little closer to being more like Him and less like me. How can you find fault in that?

1 Cor 16:14 Do everything in love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm not a victim

So I found out today that someone lied to me for two years, and that doesn't include the money that was stolen from me.

But let me tell you this, and this I am sure of... I am not defeated and I am not a victim.

This is what I am...

I am loved
A child of God
Smart
Funny
Saucy
I am beautiful (that one was hard)
An overcomer
A conqueror

I was bought by a price that no one can ever match.

And so I am not defeated and I am not distracted.

I am focused on a Love that never fails.

1 Cor 13

1If I speak in the tonguesa]">[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b]">[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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

So satan, go crawl back under your rock.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So I’m wondering… because I totally would…

But if the opportunity arose, knowing everything you know now and you’d have no guarantee one way or another about your current financial status, and initially it may cost you (you would get some cash back on your taxes of some sort – though I am in no way a tax accountant)…

Would you adopt an orphan from Haiti?

This is purely hypothetical of course, but I am just wondering, because seriously, I’d take 2 or 3, even though I know that it would be hard… and yes, I know that many will think I’m crazy…

The Doctor is in!


So I am super tired, I wondered why this morning… and then I thought… duh? Up late for the last two weeks, exhausted because of the breaking heart I have (for myself and others), it’s January and gloomy and COLD, and I am missing 3 of my nutritional supplements! Last night I think I fell asleep at 9:00 (possible sooner) and woke up at 5:30 (I try to get up at 5AM but I just couldn’t this morning).

So all that being said, I can’t stop the scripture Matthew 9:12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have seen a bunch of people running from their problems lately. Because in that given moment its easier.

Ever been to the doctor and not like the direction or diagnosis that he has given you, so you don’t go back? I will tell you that when I answer that question, the answer is a resounding yes! Is that good? No.

So if you’re doctor says you have internal bleeding, and says “stop strenuous anything” and you don’t, or he says “take this medicine” and you don’t or you don’t completely follow the directions, and you never return to his office, what result do you expect? You should indeed expect to get worse, not better.

So as we have our own internal emotional bleeding, we need to find someone who we trust, someone who is Godly to help us get healing (though really ALL healing comes from Jesus but sometimes we need a little direction from people who have been down the path you’re on). We need to not only read His Word but follow the directions He gives us. What result do you think you’re going to get if you don’t do what the ultimate physician gives us? The definition of insane is to do the same act over and over expecting different results. Many of us (me included) do the same thing over and over and think we are going to overcome the hurt we have or we run from the things that hurt us instead of confronting the issues (in a Christ like way – especially if its people) or finding out the true root cause of the issues, thinking we will over come and stop the bleeding.

I don’t know what your directions are, what path you’re on, but this I know. He always has the answer.

Luke 5:31 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken with zucc & shrooms!


I adapted this recipe from here...

1.5 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
2 clove garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (3oz each because that's a real portion!)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
2 small zucchini (about 1.5 cups)

In a medium bowl, combine the broth, tomato paste, ground black pepper, oregano, salt and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the chicken in the oil for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.
Add the reserved broth mixture, zucchini, and mushrooms to the skillet and bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Its kinda saucy (like me!) but I really liked the flavors

Serving with whole wheat pasta!

Serves 4

Getting back on track

I don't know what happened to me in 2010 but I did ok that first week, it was our birthday weeks, the week of 4-9 I was up a little but not worried because overall I was down for the holidays... then the week of the retreat happened, I was stressed and tired and honestly just tried to do ok, i didn't weigh in because we were gone.

The weekend of the retreat I did HORRIBLE, OMW! Seriously, there were points when I thought 'why am i eating this?' and took another bite! OMW!!!

So then I'll get back on track Monday, I took a couple of my kids out to eat to Mexican... Yeah, ok, I ate so much I was FULL to the max only to stop at coldstone later and get a 'like it' WTH???

So it's Tuesday... and I am really back on track!

For breakfast I made my own breakfast sandwich...
egg +egg white (2)
morning star sausage patty (2)
spinach (0)
veggie cheese (1)
Arnold bread (1)

for snack celery and that powder peanut butter (1)

Lunch
Bean salad (which BTW is my FAVE!) (5)

afternoon snack
cherry tomatoes & string cheese (1)

I still have 16 left for dinner, which I love having a good dinner so as not to go to bed hungry or have a little left over for a popcorn snack :)

So there you have it, just like everyday with Jesus is a daily (sometimes minute) surrender so is handing over my old eating habits!

Today is a new day, and I only have one option... and that is to succeed!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Overwhelmed

Sooo... to say I am overwhelmed by the greatness and grace of God, would be an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!!!

So this week after lesson one in our Freshman Life Group bible study, a student asked me why God let bad things happen. That's a hard question to answer and at the time, I wasn't sure of what context she was asking about (sometimes that helps to answer). I had given the example of my mom dying when I was very young. It has made me seek God in direction on how to be a mom. It sucks and you can check out my journey of giving the glory to God by selecting this link and you can read all about it.

This weekend was surely a busy one, actually busy for a couple weeks getting ready, typically on all trips, by the time we've started the trip, I am already tired.

I was doing something, and Amber and Sarah were sitting together listening to the Alive band practice, so I went and sat with them and Miss Emily joined us. (I was told there is a picture of it, but no picture can even come close to the view I had but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see it). I started to become overwhelmed with the grace and greatness of God, and started to cry. Who am I to get to love these girls? I am certainly a wretch, I continue to screw up all the time, however, because of God's goodness, I am blessed by their lives. I am a mother figure in their lives, I kiss the tops of their heads, I hug them (the students), I tell them to get their butts in line when need be, and I love them, even when I screw up. To some of them, I am their mom. And once I started crying about the greatness of him

So I was thinking about why God let's bad things happen and the example I gave her, of me and my mom, and I thought tonight about that moment. God has made me who I am, the loving parts of me, that's all the goodness of God, He has shown me such a love, and love that I am blessed to pass on to others.

Because I didn't have a mom on this earth growing up, I try to be who I needed when I was young, I think about what I needed, kisses, and hugs, direction, and encouragement.

God, please use me, please continue to help me grow into who you want me to be, who You say I am. Let me see Your greatness everywhere I go, and Lord, let me see You in me. Lord, I love You, I am so thankful for who You are, and for who you make me. I love you so much, and You love me more! That is truly amazing.

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 upon 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.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thankful

I don't know when it happened exactly, but one day, one choice I decided to live my life for God, not just say I loved Him, because really, actions speak louder than words, don't they?

We leave today for our Winter Retreat, Dreaming Awake. I can't wait. I was going over the material and it's awesome, I've packed a bunch of stuff! I've loaded my mp3 player with music, and podcasts for my time alone. Mostly I've packed love.

Please pray for us, for our kids to grow in God's love. For salvation if there are any kids who don't know and love Jesus. For safety.

Love to you while we are gone!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

He works because HE IS!

I believe that God can make all things good.

I got some stamps and my favorite one is ‘God is and all is well’

I’m learning to not focus on anything but the goodness of God.

I’m not only learning that God can take something not so great and make it into something great! When I see God move that’s what I mean.

In the last week I’ve seen God make good from hurting people hurt people. And I’m praising Him for the lessons and love that have come from open arms and open hearts to work through it, to love through it. I’m praying like crazy for those still hurting.

I’ve seen satan try to run rampant, and I’ve seen God rescue, many, including me.

I’ve FELT the hurt of someone betraying me, stealing from me, and He's healed me through it, and to thank Him for pulling (or pushing) me from that mess and to change my hurt feelings into praises for Him and prayers for the one who hurt me.

Romans 8:28 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm blessed!

Now let me tell you, I am blessed for so many reasons!

Today is Wednesday, we leave Friday for the Winter Retreat! Much much MUCH to do... currently there are 10 bags of candy getting divided...

Packing list to be made...

And that's all good! but you know what's better??

I'm getting to see God move like crazy, and with that, satan is going crazy, so I am praying for SO many! I am seeing God impact so many lives! It's amazing!

I'm so blessed! And honored!

God is... and all is well!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Much given, much required

If you've ever come over, there is a good chance that there are papers on almost every surface and the place needs a good dusting, and even quite possibly the dishwasher needs to be emptied and filled again. That's just the way it is.

Over the break while I was home, my house was picked up, straightened, and all that jazz, but about 1/2 hour after I went back to work a hurricane struck, again. That hurricane is Hurricane Busy. Someone said on Sunday as I yelled across the room for a hug, they said 'you look busy' I said 'if you what til I'm not busy, you'll never get a hug'... lol

I would love a well kept, clean house, and have even considered getting a housekeeper to come in twice a month change the beds, wash floors, sweep, vacuum, dust, and give the place a good once over. And I haven't given up on the that thought either.

In this day and age, I am fortunate to have been provided a great job and even more fortunately, I've been called to serve an amazing God, which means that sometimes I spend 5 hours at the church on a Saturday or my dining room is filled with provision for mission trips. That's just the way it is, and I am ok with it, most days...

As a start to my day, up at 5:30, shoveled the sidewalk and walkway to porch (thankfully a snow angel came and plowed my driveway - Praise God for snow angels!!), threw in a load of laundry, bathed, hair blow dryed, house picked up a little, about to make lunches, empty the dishwasher, and ski-daddled off to work!

This is what I call life, filled to the rim with the blessings of God! To whom much is given, much is required...

1 Cor 4:1-3
1So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fill us up, send us out

There is some crazy-good stuff happening in the hearts of our students, and some I am watching drift, and it scares me, to my core. I will tell you that as long as you live in the world, and all its temptations, it is hard to remain close to God. At least it is for me. The day that I miss reading (or listening) to the Word, easily becomes 2 weeks of missing. Listening to too much music outside of that focused on praise, soon becomes my focus. And that's a dangerous line for me to walk.

I was listening to the Alive Band praising to the song 'God of Justice' and I was thinking about how God gives us all the tools to fill us up so we can go out and be world changers, however, we must do something too, we must read, listen, sing, encourage, make time, and love. There are gas stations all over the place, but if we don't stop to refill our tanks, soon we will run out of gas.

I was laughing because there were many times I had to be doing 4 things at once, and in the middle of all that, I had kids 'Margie, do you have a minute' meaning that they needed to pay for their retreat. I kept saying 'in a minute, I'll have a minute'. At times I just thought 'there is no way I can get all this done', and somehow each time that I stopped and prayed literally 'God guide my steps' one thing got accomplished at a time or someone offered to help, and I said 'yes, please' (that's a bigger accomplishment than you can probably imagine).

Its going to be a busy week, they always are when we are going somewhere. We've got to pack, I've got phone calls to make, things to arrange. For some of the it will be a fun week, but for me, if I am speaking honestly, it will be busy, for someone who really likes her time by herself, it's hard to be always surrounded by people, even those I love, so I have plans for cross country skiing by myself or a quiet walk in the woods and a God who listens and loves.

Thank You God for so many ways that You give us to fill us up. To keep us focused on You. I'm thankful for those in my life that whisper and shout encouragement, I am thankful for those who lift me up in prayer and thank You for the honor of doing that for others! I love You!!

Matthew 6:6 (msg) "Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.


God of Justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

We must go live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

To act justly everyday
Loving mercy in everyway
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give


Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out Lord
© 2007 Sparrow

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I wish I could say...

I try to be careful about what I write here. Even though they are my feelings and its my blog, but in the end, it's God's story in my life and so sometimes, as much as I'd like, I have to be honoring to that. (and sometimes I get a note from Sara - or someone else, that says 'remove that post)

I have indeed talked to people about what's bothering me, and I have gotten quite a bit of wisdom from people, and I have been told that I am helping others because of the way I am dealing with it. But it's not easy.

I wish I could just talk to the person who continues to hurt me, however, in the past when I have done that, they tell me I'm depressed and need to get on medication. And while I believe that may be necessary for some people (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that) that is not my issue. I just want them to maybe take responsibility for their actions as well as say "I'm sorry I told you in a letter that I don't like you, I may have meant it, but I'm sorry I hurt your feelings".

I wish that if it is true that they don't like me, that they would just cut me loose instead of dragging me along. I mean, it would hurt, A LOT, but if that's how you feel, then that's how you feel, let's face it and move on, because clearly, I can't do it on my own. But know if you do that, understand all the implications of that choice.

And if they didn't mean it (that they didn't like me), or meant it in the heat of the moment, I wish they would just say they are sorry and take actions to repair the relationship.

I don't think that either one of those two actions is too much to ask for, and one more thing, all must be done in person, because that's the grown up thing to do.

Luke 11:9-10 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened

Friday, January 08, 2010

Keeping this side of crazy...

Though I live a crazy life and sometimes by Thursday (or Tuesday!) our house is unkept, papers, laundry that needs to be put away, the first week of January is always hectic, we have birthdays and getting back into the swing of things.

We live a very busy life, but it is one we love.

Wednesday Phyllis made the musical!! It is a wonderful thing (although adding more to our life)! She just glows when she talks about it. Because of some things that happened, she was ALMOST discouraged, however, she pushed on and she made it. I am sometimes amazed at how my beautiful talented funny daughter can get discouraged, SHE’S AMAZING! And as I sometimes step back, I watch God do a mighty work in her, actually, He’s running rampant in our house. Grace, forgiveness, stemming from… love.

Even though I am busy, when I get the chance, I tend to hunker down, I tend to just stay home, clean, take care of the things I need to take care of. That means that I don’t do other things. I have a bible study tonight. And while I have been looking forward to discovering God’s Word with people that I not only love, I adore, part of me (a really big part) just wants to stay home. I just want to rest. Tomorrow is just this side of crazy… WW, nails, breakfast party for Phyllis, Phyllis to work, then to drama, then home… and that’s a long and busy day.

I have to keep just on this side of crazy. Otherwise, in my tiredness, hurt will overwhelm me, I’ll be so loud that I can’t hear God. And that’s just no ok with me. Its not ok for hurt to rule my life or my heart. It’s not ok that I don’t hear from God when I know He’s speaking to me. And so as I go on my crazy day at work, I will listen, and I will obey what God has in store for me, because He not only knows what’s best for me, He is what’s best for me.

Phil 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Obedience

Today I was listening to the daily audio bible podcast, first I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this!! I listen to it while I am at work, typing away, it keeps me focused because I can’t hear all the background stuff that goes on AND the word of God is seeping into my brain.

I was listening today to the specifics of how to build Noah’s Ark. He didn’t at all leave anything to question. And that so spoke to my heart because the Holy Spirit came over me and just said ‘these aren’t just suggestions, so all the other things that He has breathed are not just suggestions either. Can you imagine if Noah would have said ‘I think I’ll leave this out or add my own spin to the blueprint’, it would have been disasterous… and so what makes me think that if I only chose to follow some of the direction of God that I would get a different result if I don’t follow EXACLTY what God says.

That means I can’t justify or chose what I want to follow, I must follow it all, even when it’s hard. Even when I don’t want want, it means I must.

Obedience.

a : an act or instance of obeying b : the quality or state of being obedient2 : a sphere of jurisdiction; especially : an ecclesiastical or sometimes secular dominion

Obey

1. To carry out or fulfill the command, order, or instruction of.
2. To carry out or comply with (a command, for example).


BIBLE

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Obey – fulfill instruction

I need to be obedient! It means surrender! It means I need to set aside me.

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise. (NIV)
Proverbs 19:20 Take good counsel and accept correction—
that's the way to live wisely and well. (msg)
Proverbs 19:20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,
so you will be wise the rest of your life. (NLT)
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future. (ESV

Tracking

Last year I tracked my weight on a website, I've been logging it this year, curious, I looked at where I was compared to last year's lowest weight...

I'm lower than any weight in 2009 :)

Choices

The most spiritual activity you will engage in today is making choices ~ Erwin Mcmanus

It’s January 7th, it already seems like a long year! I am choosing to swim in the Lord. I am CHOOSING to let His grace surround me like an ocean. I am choosing to let others swim with me.

One of my resolutions… live love

Yikes, that’s not easy. And it’s easy to say “well he/she made me mess up”. Nope each choice, each reaction, it’s ours to make

When we get to heaven, we will see paradise. But is it just me, is that hard to remember, somedays, impossible to remember? For me it’s so hard to stay focused on that. I WANT to, I WILL, become more like Christ everyday but things like hurt and frustration feel like they are playing tug of war with my heart. I sometimes feel bruised on the inside.

I am finding or I am learning (and obeying) that I need to rest. I need to snuggle into the arms of the Lord, to rest and regenerate, BEFORE I burn out.

Have you ever drained the battery in your car? If it weren’t for your alternator, every time you used your car, your battery would be dead. The first time you completely drain your battery (leaving lights on – alternators only work when you run your car) it doesn’t take much to recharge it, the more times you drain it, it takes longer to recharge, and then eventually you need a new battery.

Living love to me means that sometimes I will be drained by loving people who hurt me, who frustrate me, and if I don’t surround myself with people who recharge my battery, if I don’t read the bible, if I don’t rest (cars can’t go forever without rest either) I will be burned out. The longer I go without a recharge, the longer it takes to get back on track to loving.

Yesterday at about 5:30 I felt exhausted, I felt as though I could crawl into bed and sleep until next Wednesday, and while I know that’s not possible, I longed for my bed. Fortunatly for me, I got to have dinner with two of my girls, and so I pushed on, I am happy that I did, I was blessed. They did the BloodWater Mission poster, they have contributed $7 and their goal is $100! They want to have bake sales and take the poster to school to raise money! I love their enthusiasm!! I decided (after praying) that if they raise/contribute $100 by Feb 14th (Valentine’s Day – the day of love) that I will match it. I was looking for a match, and in the mirror I found it!

I’m trying to stay focused on the Lord, thank You Jesus for the mp3 player where podcasts and the bible fills my ears, brain, and most importantly heart!

Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Texting

Proverbs 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly

I have a love/hate relationship with texting.

I love texting to share a scripture that has touched my heart.
I love texting to send a note that says 'hey, I love you' or 'hey I'm thinking of you'
I love texting to get out a mass prayer request
or
I love texting to send a quick note or ask a question when I'm in the middle of something else
It's also great for communicating when your child is in school to say 'hey so and so is picking you up' or 'hey, plans changed'

HOWEVER!!!!!!

I don't like texting when people send me a mass stupid picture of a teddy bear...
I don't like texts for main ways of communicating ESPECIALLY when one or both parties are hurt.

Texting was not designed (at least in my opinion) to have full converstations or a way to resolve an argument or hurt feelings.

1. It's very easy to be 'brave' (and hurtful and STUPID) when you don't a)hear the person's voice or b)see the person's face. Also, tone can be assumed not heard and taken the wrong way.
2. Nothing but hurt usually occurs

In the last 3 or 4 months, I can think of at least 10 issues with texting. All resulting in messes. In the last 3 weeks, I can think of 2 very hurtful situations that have resulted because no one was willing to pick up the phone.

We were created to have relationships with each other, and I think texting is taking as far from that as possible. And there are times that I am at fault too.

God is so working on my heart so that I can be more like Him and He's showing me ways that I hurt myself (stopping growth) and how I hurt others. The words from my mouth as a direct correlation to how my heart is doing.

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

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Keep quiet

Today I was in Aldi's getting a few things. I had maybe ten things in my cart, I was next in line, this guy walks up and says 'this is all I got' which was one thing and walks right in front of me. Now truth be told, I probably would have said 'go ahead' but he walked in front of me. And I was MAD! I mumbled 'I can't believe you did that' so something to that affect, and truly, I was going to just go nuts on him, I just thought who does he think he is thinking his time was more important than mine? and blah blah blah, I only had like one bags worth of groceries, and suddenly, it came over me, the Holy Spirt, "shut up, he's had a rough day" and that I did.

Because really, who did I think I was thinking my time was more important than his? And really, if I was going to let him go anyway, who really cares.

I was just texting someone about how satan uses time to keep me away from God, and that time was no different, how could I show someone the love that was shown to me, if I can't even let someone walk in front of me in a grocery line.

And so again, I am reminded...

James 1:19-20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Happy Birthday Phyllis!

Today Phyllis is seventeen years old! Happy Birthday to Phyllis and Happy 17th Anniversary of the best day of my life!!!

I can’t believe how time is flown, to think it seemed like she was just born, that she was just starting kindergarten, just turned a teenager, and here she is 17!!

So… seventeen things I love about her (and let me tell you, I’m saving you, because I could go on for seventeen hundred years about the things I love about her).

She’s beautiful (inside and outside)
She never gives up
Her smiles lights up a room like her life lights up my life.
She loves big, and aspires to love bigger
She loves Jesus!
She does things that are uncomfortable and succeeds
She sings beautifully
She’s a great writer, she can express her feelings well on paper
She inspires greatness
She sees people who are hurting and alone and tries to do something about it.
She loves to make others feel special
She wants to be a world changer
She is a world changer
She’s brave
I love that she lets me kiss the top of her head
She is an encourager
She is wise! She follows His ways!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEAN! I never thought I could love anyone as much as I love you!!

Matt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Honesty

If I am going to be honest, I am so hurt. I am hurt because once again my dad has disappointed me, not just me, but this time it rolled right down to my daughter. I am amazed sometimes how I just keep going back for more.

it is no wonder I'm jacked up. I keep going back and being hurt.

And you know what I want to do? I want to eat something, I want to go to a fancy resturaunt and be treated like the princess I wish my dad would treat me like, heck, I'd settle for an hour of his time, but I guess in over two years, that might just be too much to ask for.

I have family that goes away for Phyllis's birthday and then they say "we'd really like to celebrate". Well, how about you don't go away the weekend of her birthday and chose a different one or how about you invite us? Oh, sorry, we don't care about you THAT much. And this is how I feel... "you've never been what we would have liked you to be, you're not what we'd like you to be, you suck, maybe we can fit you in, if not, sorry 'bout that".

That may not be how they feel but that's how I feel. Its often hard for me to keep all that in. It's hard not to word vomit, it's hard not to send nasty emails, it's hard. And it's hard not to find comfort in food. Ok, it's not. It's like a gushing wound, and the only thing that will, even if only temporarily, stop the bleeding is mashed potatoes.

So everyday this week (yes, I get that its only Tuesday) I have gotten on the treadmill in the morning, I have listened to sermons (teachings) on my way to work, I listen to them during the day, I am reading at night. Because in order to be healed, you need a Healer. if you go to a doctor for surgery, you go to a surgeon, well I need a healer, so I'm going to the greatest healer, Jesus, and so in order to be healed, I will fill myself up with good things, I will be nourished from His Word, His love.

This really isn't about food.

Matt 11:28-30 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Monday, January 04, 2010

Looking for a match!

We are starting something in our Freshman Girls Life groups… the girls are going to be donating money to bloodwater.org, organization that provides clinics and clean water to Africans.

Did you know that just $1 can provide clean water to an African for a year?? Amazing.

This morning as I was running the water as I brushed my teeth, I stopped the water and wondered how many times I’ve done that and how many times I’ve taken advantage of the water at my disposal.

My goal is for our girls to donate $100, maybe more, you never know what a bunch of crazy teens who love Jesus can do.

One of the things we are going to do is as we donate, we will have a poster board and we will glue pictures of Africans on it to put a face to the dollars. I am visual and I like to see who we are affecting, I think it will be positive.

I’m looking for a match. I am looking for someone who will match what the girls donate. Even if it’s $5 (because that means that for every $5 my girls donate, 10 africans will be affected). Imagine, we can turn the world upside-down in love. If you are interested, send me an email or a message (on facebook) at christdrivenmom@yahoo.com

If you can’t donate, I ask that you please be in prayer for this effort, that this isn’t an emotional response but a change of heart in these beautiful young women who have been touched by a love that none of us will ever completely understand.
Matthew 25:31-46 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All 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. 33He 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. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

3 years!

Its been 3 years this month that I have been in Youth Ministry at MetroSouthChurch I've seen a lot of things come and I've seen God move like crazy. I feel like everyday is it's own mission trip, a mission of bringing kids to Jesus.

I can remember the first time I walked into Fuel, I wondered what the heck I was doing there, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. I wondered why Adam ever thought I'd be good at YM, it was crazy good, but crazy!

Then there was the transition of both ministries, Alive & Fuel. WOW!

I've seen kids come and go, I've seen them go crazy for God and then leave, and then come back, and I'm still praying for some that have left, I can't tell you how excited I am when they come back, a big "thank You Jesus" goes up on their behalf. And I'll tell you, I've seen more Youth Staff come and go than I can count, each one of them leaving breaks my heart too.

I can't tell you how much I love the kids, you'll never know unless you've been in Youth Ministry. And one thing about Youth Ministry, its brutal. It's not for the weak, if you're weak, you soon learn to lean on God, you have your heart expanded and broken in the same night, you're life is never the same.

I've seen God move like crazy, I mean crazy.

I never thought I would be in Youth Ministry when I came to Metro, I thought I'd be doing something with the 'grownups', I didn't think I was that effective in Youth Ministry, but God has given me some crazy gifts that I hope, in some ways, have brought glory to God in Youth Ministry. And if I am going to be honest about it, I've thought about quitting more times than I care to admit, and then God sends me one of those beautiful faces and I change my mind.

I've learned more about leading in Youth Ministry than anywhere else, and I've been able to take what I've already known...

I've learned how to lead because of our AMAZING youth pastor and his beautiful wife.

I've learned how to love bigger than I ever thought possible, because God has loved me bigger than I ever thought possible.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”- Micah 6:8

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Keeping my mouth shut & staying focused


My first instinct when hurt is to really lash out. I wrote 2 other blog posts today, and I typed 3 emails, none of which I sent. That was good. I hope that one day it will get to the point that I don't even type them.

I'm learning to hide under the hand of the Lord. And in that, I always pray that He really places one hand over my mouth.

When I lash out, I spend more time asking for forgiveness and trying to get my focus on Him. So today I chose to just keep my eyes on Him, they were crying eyes but focused they were.

Currently podcasts are being loaded onto my mp3 player of the Daily Audio Bible, I've got 3 sermons ready for listening. My lunch is packed, and my goal is to get on the treadmill in the morning and listen to the bible.

Focused.

On Him.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”- Titus 2:11-12

Saturday, January 02, 2010

"only" a pound a week

This is for 2009, but you get the idea... if I lose a pound a week for the next year, I will be 3 lbs away from my overall goal!!

By Valentine's Day I'd be 7 lbs. lighter!

I’m loving it!

By St. Patrick's Day I'd be 11 lbs. lighter!

With the luck o'the Irish I'll make my goal.

By Easter I'd be 13 lbs. lighter!

I'd be a cuter bunny.

By Memorial Day I'd be 23 lbs. lighter!

What a memory that would make!

By Flag Day I'd be 25 lbs. lighter!

I’d wave my flag proudly then.

By Independence Day I'd be 27 lbs. lighter!

That's quite a declaration of independence from overeating!

By Labor Day I'd be 36 lbs. lighter!

What a wonderful reward for all my hard work.

By Columbus Day I'd be 41 lbs. lighter!

What a joy to discover what I can do.

By Halloween I'd be 44 lbs. lighter!

I would know I had more than a ghost of a chance.

By Thanksgiving I'd be 47 lbs. lighter!

I'd have so much to be thankful for.

By Christmas Eve I'd be 51 lbs. lighter!

Talk about being merry.

By New Year's Eve I'd be 52 lbs. lighter!

It's not just a new year, It's a new ME!

Taking care of me

One of my resolutions was to take care of me. I was reading the ending of 'God's Leading Lady' by TD Jakes. Wow! God spoke so loudly to me, reading about Tabitha and how she didn't take care of herself even though she served like crazy and she died. And God raised her from the dead. I feel like that so much, I serve like crazy and am emptied out exhausted. I've got to remember to take care of me, to let God fill me up before I am completely empty.

On the last page(this is a paraphrase, you need to buy the book or get it from the library if you want to read the real deal) of God's leading lady it says that we are in a race, that our legacy of greatness awaits us. That what we are going after (the crown that the Creator has for us) is better than any award that we could ever think of. That we need to fix our eyes on the prize, that we need to go after it with everything!

Its the beginning of a new year, endless possibilities! I have something in particular that I am praying about, something that I believe that God is calling me to, I just need to put legs to my prayers and let God guide me.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”- Psalm 90:12

WOW! Still not defined!

I went to weigh in today and I was down 3.8, total of 17 lost! WOW!! HAPPY JON WHALEY DANCE FOR ME!!

But I'm still not defined by a number! it's all for Jesus! I have motivation posted in my kitchen with scripture!

it's about taking care of myself in so many ways to take care of others, to bring Glory to Him!!!! Its about saying "I'm different, I'm happy inside and I don't need food for comfort, because I find comfort in Him"

but I am happy!! 17 pounds, if I lose 1 pound a week for the next year, I will be SO close to my goal. And it's totally attainable. It's about good choices. It's about loving myself! It's about being the creation that God created, it's about so much more than food!!

Happy New Year, may you find the Love deep down inside of you to inspire you to be all that God created you to be.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Oatmeal Waffles

1 c whole wheat
1/2 c. white flour
1 c. quick oatmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
6 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients. Blend with wire whip. Bake in waffle iron.

I will not be defined by a number

That's easy to say after this week or so of eating like crap, but over all I've done "Ok". I'm down more than I was 3 months ago, so I'll call it a success!

This coming year, I will be a success no matter what the number on the scale says. I will not let myself be defined by a number.

I will be defined by love.

And as I open my eyes to the love and beauty God has for me, I will defined by the love He has for me.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”- 2 Corinthians 5:17

I resolve...

To love God
To live out love
To live fearless faith
To find the hope when I feel hopeless
To seek wisdom
To think before I speak
To ask God if I should say it before I speak it
To beg God to cover my mouth before I word vomit
To believe that people really do have the best intentions
To be quick to listen and slow to speak
To bring glory to God every day
To be His hands and feet
To serve
To take care of myself so I can take care of others
And in case I forget...
To live out love

Happy 2010!!!