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)


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Count your blessings!

Sometimes, quite often really I can count my burdens. I don’t want this or that, I don’t like this, why do I have to deal with so-and-so, why does everyone have to be a jerk, why can’t I have ____. It makes you crazy and negative.

And then, you hear something or you look at someone, and God whispers to your heart, or you open your bible and your heart changes.

I walked into a hornet’s nest yesterday. And I could have gotten all riled up but instead I thought about Levi. I thought about his sweet head on my chest and ‘nugglin’ with him. I thought about how much I had missed seeing him (I was sick) and I thought this really is what its all about. Its about hugs and kisses.

I think about how busy Phyllis and I are. And how sometimes we have to schedule our time together or steal away for church and brunch (I really wanted to go to The Whitney, however this pay period it’s a no so we will go somewhere else) or how its just Panera and dinner. Or we stand in the bathroom and we talk and how she says ‘can you cut me some cucumbers, green peppers, and carrots?’ and she knows I will because I love her and I want her to have a full belly. I think about how being someone’s friend means so much to me, more than I ever thought possible. And how a smile, even if its just through the phone can make your heart smile.

I could focus on a million horrible things, but that does not do my heart good. Count your blessings, even when it means we count something that’s hard because we know that God is working for our good.

Yesterday during worship Katie asked us to list what we were thankful for. I could have gone on and on and on and on and on and on. How thankful I am for a Savior! A Savior that if all He did was give me eternal life would have been enough, however, besides that, He gave me His Word to give me direction in life. He gives me never ending grace. He gives me a love that I will never comprehend but as He pours into me, I will pour into others.

Thankful

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SPEAK LIFE!

I woke up this morning with a job. I'm thankful that I'm employed, but that's not the job I'm talking about. The job I speak of today came from The Lord.

Speak life

How many times we don't do this. Sometimes we walk by an opportunity to speak life into someone. Whether its breathing the Word of God into their lives or encouraging them.

Sometimes we're just jerks and we are sarcastic, and say mean things in a funny way. Its much easier to tear someone down than to build them up. Ever notice that the fastest part of a home improvement project is the tearing down but the best part of it is the putting together?

Today I am urging you to speak life into someone's life today. It will not only encourage them, but you will see them as God sees them. Whether its a card, a facebook message, a phone call, a face to face, an email, a comment, whatever it is, I encourage you to speak life into someone!

Eph 4:29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (msg)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Prayer

If you're lucky at some point in your walk you realize how awesome prayer is. It becomes this part of your life almost like breathing. If you ask me to pray for something I'm praying.

Sometimes i don't even know what else to do for someone, so I pray... and pray... and pray... today was one of those days, I just prayed and worked.

I was telling my girlfriend today that in all my new studying that I somehow have been able to take the feelings I've had and turn them into words to God, to be able to express how I feel not just say 'hear my heart God because I don't have the words'. Its been this incredible transformation. Sometimes I still have those moments where my heart is broken and I just have to rely on the God of the universe that knows and feels everything.

I'm so thankful for prayer, for the words up, and the love down.

1 Thes 5:17 Never stop praying

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The new has come!

It was 6 years ago this weekend that I was baptized. Only God knows the things He orchestrated to get me to that moment. I remember how nervous I was and then there was my Sista Sue in the back with me, if you could have seen us in the back singing and dancing! Wow! And my friend Christie made sure that the Worship team sang my favorites that day! It was an amazing day. I was saved just prior to my baptism and could not wait to get dunked!

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


Today I was driving to Real Church today, and My Redeemer Lives came on (I was listening to ‘The Very Best of Hillsong Live’ on my way. I was brought to that day, not even realizing that my baptism day was ‘this weekend’. I text Sue, thought about Christie. Thinking about how much God has changed my heart. The Old is gone.

Earlier I was thinking about how I didn’t save any of my fat clothes since I’ve started ‘downsizing’. How I don’t need reminders of who I was and resting on the ‘new has come’.

I’ve begun a new or maybe just different season in my life. Its crazy, crazy good.

My heart is opening, God is just moving like crazy.

Last night, I did something that I consider brave. Maybe not brave for anyone else, but it was a big deal for me. I pulled up the carpet in my living room. It was filthy and I so wanted my hardwood floors back. I had no idea what it would look like. I know my dad won’t be thrilled, but I am moving the carpet to the basement. I love it. I love my floors (I need a rug) and I love that sense of accomplishment I got from completing the task of doing something I was afraid to do. I’m not a ‘diy’ home improvement gal. I’m a ‘write a check’ kind of home improvement gal. But God is teaching me to brave on a lot of different levels. I even used a cro-bar!!!

I’m getting rid of a lot of ‘stuff’ in my life, physical and emotional because of the leading of God. Its only in obedience to Him, because I don’t always want to. Everyday I chose to follow God, there’s a little more new, and a little less old. To be more like Him!

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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week in Review

So I know all my faithful fans (all two of you) have been going through withdrawals since I haven't written, its been a crazy busy week! and not all of it good.

1. Cold is on its was out thanks to Jill and Cyrota Plus or whatever its called! Finally the stuff is breaking up, unfortunatly, I am coughing it up, I am now (lady like or not) an Olympic spitter (sorry, but I'm not swallowing it)

2. The DIA was awesome with Rosie last night! I had such a great time!

3. Bought one size smaller jeans today! woo hoo!!

4. I saw a ton of kids give their lives (some for the first time, some back) to Jesus on Wednesday, I was blown away by the goodness of God and His grace and love.

5. Still loving Zumba, bought a 10 pack pass this week!

6. Ran

7. Going to dinner with an old friend today, God is reminding me that we were created to be in relationship with people

8. Greatest children's book 'the boy who changed the world' by Andy Andrews

9. Shuffle came, excited to load it.

10. Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser

11. Jesus, always in the midst of it all



Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that i've never seen
I am changing, less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things
You make all things

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mpg

My brain is pretty simple (not to say that I’m not smart because I’m totally smart!) God uses great analogies sometimes to teach me stuff.

I went to 1721 tonight, I actually didn’t know if I was going to go until last night when one of my students asked me to go. I actually didn’t have a job to do so I was thinking I would just stay home. You see, that was always my life in Youth Ministry, I always had something to do, but then I’d get mad because people would only say something to me after I did something. What an idiot! But if you’ve been reading you know that I’ve stepped down from Alive on Sunday nights, it was a hard choice but I had to be obedient. Its been difficult, especially since no one has actually checked on me to make sure I’m ok that I didn’t fall off the deep end or to even see if I’ve been behaving myself, I think it would be so easy to hide my sin since no one is close enough to see, but if they’d ask me, I would have told them the truth. So if you’re wondering… I’m behaving.

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I am one of those dorks who never likes to stand there and pump gas, seriously, I put in $10 or $20 at a time because I just don’t feel like standing there, please don’t get all logical on me. Now when you have a Toyota Corolla that gets 31 mpg that’s really not that bad, you can go days on that, however, if you have a Ford Windstar, you don’t get very far because you only get like 17 mpg or something ludicris like that.

While I was in Youth Ministry ‘full time” meaning 20-30 hours a week (yes really that much sometimes) I sometimes used that same logic of spending short periods of time in the bible (though I’ve always spent time in prayer) or listening to teachings, reading, and I didn’t get very far on that ‘fuel’. I’ve made quite a few changes in my time with God, I read the bible, bible studies, study things for life groups, read, etc. I go a lot further, and actually my tank doesn’t get to empty because I am constantly fueling it.

So… on to tonight, I went, I soaked in the worship like a sponge, listened to a great ‘story of God in a great man’s life’ and poured into kids. That’s it. No words, no sign ups, no sorting, and at first I felt kind of guilty about that, but then I remembered, I’m in a new season, I’m in a season of renewal, of sunshine, and rain. I think about the winter, its not my favorite season, its quite, and cold, but it’s peaceful. It’s a time when the God of the universe has said ‘be still’ to the earth. It’s a time where the ground rests in order to have a beautiful spring, summer, and then onto harvest time. I think this time for me is about rest, though in the winter, the white beauty is something to behold! I think God has some great rest and some greater things for me to behold in this time. Maybe it’s a little less work, and a time of rest for me so that I can be ready for a great spring, I’m not sure what He has planned, I just know that even when its hard to be still, I will be obedient and rest so that I will get plenty of mpg with the fuel that is being provided.

Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wrestling

I need a cool wrestling name, maybe ‘Margalious’ since that’s what some of my students call me. I think maybe I might be able to join the WWE. But before I get my butt in a leotard and on TV I better drop a few pounds.

I wrestle with a lot of stuff, sometimes for no good reason.

I stepped on the scale on Sunday and gasped. I was up four pounds. It was a rough week, followed by too much eating out with the incorrect choices. Ruby Tuesdays and Roma’s and truth be told, I ate both times to the point of wanting to go purge in the bathroom. That is not good. Don’t even know how many calories that was and quite frankly I don’t want to know.

But once I looked at the scale, I simply said ‘time to get back on track’. If a train goes off a track for 10 feet there is going to be problems, if it goes off a track for a mile, even more problems, that’s why its best to just stay on track. There have been times in my life when I simply would go off the deep end for a week or two (or years) before I got back on track. And that causes quite a mess in my life. So I started tracking on Sunday and yesterday and happy to report ‘back on track’.

Another thing I often wrestle with is community. I can easily become a hermit and a loner. And if someone hurts me, I can often just retreat. I’ve been really making an effort to reach out, to say ‘yes’ when someone wants to do something though I could make an excuse why I wouldn’t or can’t. We really were meant to be in relationship with others and I know that it is in my loneliness that is when I will make a mess of myself and in that dark and scary place of my head. So I’ve been saying ‘yes’ and its actually been good. Going out to dinner with a friend this weekend that I haven’t seen in a couple years and pretty excited about it.

There have been a couple silly victories that I will share.

Third Day concert – During ‘I got a feeling’ Mac always asks the crowd to jump the second time they sing the chorus, I jumped through all of them, including the first one. That’s right, and I jumped through the whole thing, and probably could have gone longer! That was sweet!

Zumba – its getting easier, which means I’ve got to try harder! I want the best workout possible!

I chose exercise and time with God over ice cream in an incredibly stressful situation! God spoke to me sweetly and strong during our time together.

I’m sleeping well!

1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Worship

Last night I went to see Steven Curtis Chapman & Third Day at DTE Music Theatre. You don’t go to something like that and expect a normal concert. At least I don’t. I go expecting to be moved. I expect that God will work in my heart. Its not just emotional, He changes us, if we allow Him.




The first band was a band I’d never heard of, CALEB. They only played like 4 songs but I actually really liked them. The great thing is that if you don’t know the words, you get to listen to them. They sang this song called ‘We will wait’. It was an awesome song. By the time it was over, I was crying.

Next was Steven Curtis Chapman, I’ll tell you the truth, I only looked forward to two songs, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Heaven is the face’. But he was SO good. There was one song, ‘Yours’ it spoke to me on so many levels. One thing is that I worry about ‘my kids’ so much. I worry about the choices they make, I worry about the choices that others make and they pay the consequence, but really it all belongs to the Lord. I will storm the gates on their behalf, I will stand in the gap, but at the end (and beginning) of everyday, Jesus has got it. I need not worry.

I really looked forward to Third Day, this was the third time I’ve seen them. I don’t know how they do it, but they blow me away EVERY time, however, I’ve heard Mac use some of the same lines at least 2 times! But they music, wow! They didn’t play Consuming Fire which is probably my favorite, but that’s ok, it was great!

I’m praying for a good friend of mine, if you get a chance, just say a quick prayer, I know that God has it. In Jesus Name!

Matthew 8:23-27 23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"


26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.


27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My run

I get there early. If you know ANYthing about me, you know that I am anxious. I didn't sleep all that well afraid I would not hear the alarm. I got up put on my new running clothes (which BTW really do make a big difference!) and off I went to the Detroit Zoo! My first run! 10K, while I was there I started thinking 'why didn't I just do a 5K?' but I remembered that in about a month I'm doing the half marathon and a 5K is a piece of broccoli now (you should not use cake as an example when running lol). 3 miles is what I do when I just want to do a 'quick run'.

The 5K started before the 10K, so all the late 5K people got to cut in front of the 10K which was making me crazy, all I wanted to do was get my number. I was nervous and I just wanted my number, thinking to myself 'plan ahead people, did you now know when the race started?' but eventually I got my number, and my friend walked up at the same time! How great is that, all those people and there she was! Eliz is her name.

So we did all our stuff to prepare (meaning dropped off our shirts and pottied) and headed for the starting line. We were towards the back, and pretty much everyone passed us, but I didn't care. Ok I cared but its about me and God not everyone else. So we were close to last, I think there was 2 or 3 people behind us. Goal always is to bring Glory to God and so worrying about everyone else does not do that. And so we ran and ran. At about mile 5 there was my friend Rita who volunteers at the zoo! I screamed 'RITA!!!!' I was so happy to see her. THAT my friends is how God loves me, I was tired but seeing Rita just boosted my energy! So... we finished! Phyllis was at the end, she took a picture (though far away) of me crossing the finish line.

It was pretty sweet! I am so glad I did it, nervous and all, thankful for the people who encouraged me all along, and in texts this morning!

Eleanor Roosevelt said 'do one thing everyday that scares you'. Well, I was scared but I did it! I feel like everyday I am growing and making positive choices I am becoming who God intends for me to be.

Hopefully I will have pics soon! Lovetoyou!

1 Cor 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Writing is key

There are a lot of things going on in my life. As always. One thing I've learned about me is that I must write. This blog is my journal, its where whatever craziness in my life goes on gets written down, the good the bad the ugly and sometimes the really great!

Today I stepped on the scale, only once a week. That's all. If I do it everyday I go crazy. It was a couple pounds up to be honest. It frightened me. Its been a couple days in a row of not making the best choices for dinner, so its time to get back on track. I pulled out my book today, wrote my breakfast and my tracking book will be in my purse and back to tracking we will go. Its easy to forget to count something or eat the correct portion size. But if you write it down (and you've got to be honest!) somehow it helps.

Its like that with my budget, with my eating, with my feelings. I need to write it down, in the craziness of my life, I need to be accountable.

1 Cor 1:7 (msg) Just think—you don't need a thing, you've got it all! All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

it rains

It rains on the just and unjust.

This morning I really kind of didn’t want to run. I had a few excuses but none of them all that valid. So off I went. About 1.5 blocks into it, it started to rain. Ugh. But if it rains on ‘game day’ we’re still running, and this is a short run, 3 miles, a piece of cake, now. I’m hoping that it will be perfectly beautiful on ‘game day’ so that I will appreciate it all the more! Thankfully I had my new hat, two times I’ve worn it, two times it’s rained, I am sure it’s a coincidence even though it is a Lion’s hat. LOL. But as it rained I really just wanted to turn around. What’s the big deal? I’m running my 10K tomorrow its not like I’m not going to run, right? Wrong. You said you were going to run 3, now go run.

As I was running, I was thinking about Matthew 5:45, it rains on the just and the unjust. I was thinking about how quickly I could stop running and go back to old habits, I’m too tired, I need to do ________. That’s not an option for me. Only one way, thank you. I was going to get rained on whether I did what I was going to do or not. But it felt so good to finish, it felt so good to complete what I set out to do.

There are many times in our lives when we do what we should and things don’t turn out that great or they just plain stick, but we know that God is always there. He never leaves us or forsakes us, no matter how much we stink or don’t follow through.

Tomorrow is my first race. I’ve only just run for fun. LOL run for fun. Its exciting and scary at the same time! I was thinking about doing the hot chocolate on in Chicago or the turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. Not sure yet.

No matter what I decide or how fast or slow I run, no matter what, God is always with me. Rain or Shine!

Matt 5:43-48 43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Friday, September 17, 2010

'Just Right'

When it comes to some food, when people ask me how I make it, I can’t always tell them, about that much or add a little to your taste. For some its so hard to cook that way, but that’s the way I cook. Its kind of the way I love too. There is no recipe for love. You just kind of do what you feel led to, sometimes adding a little more sugar or a little less vinegar depending on the need. Right? I was just asked in a text about frosting, how long do you cook it? Not sure, till it looks right. Oh yeah, what a great help I am.

I think there are times in our life when we just have to be lead to do something til it looks right. As a mom (to my daughter and all the other kids I love) I have to know when its time to coddle and when its time to say ‘suck it up’ listening (stirring) til I know when its time to heat it up or cool it down.

You don’t gain this skill in loving or cooking overnight. There are many times when unwanted tears come or overcooked noodles because we cooked it too long or times when we didn’t listen long enough or cook long enough and our timing is off resulting in raw feelings and eggs. These skills come from experience and making mistakes and sometimes doing perfectly, in spite of ourselves.

When it comes to cooking, I’m always thankful that my dad said ‘never be afraid to try’. There were many batches of chicken noodle soup that went straight to the garbage disposal until I finally perfected it. In love, there are many times when I had to say I was sorry because I didn’t love or listen (to the person or the Holy Spirit) enough. I’m thankful to both my fathers (Earthly and Heavenly) for loving me while I make a mess sometimes but keep striving for perfection.

Isaiah 64:8 8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

Its 3 in the morning

Its been quite a week to say the least. TGIF

Lucky number 13
13. what are you afraid of the most?
Being who I used to be

Yesterday I was told something. I was not happy about what I was told. I didn't even know what to say. Sometimes 'I'm sorry and I loveyou' have to be enough, because that's all there is.

My heart was breaking, it was sad and furious all that the same time.

Now, I'll tell you that I really super wanted to go get some ice cream. And then I remembered my friend's post the other day 'if hunger is not the problem, than eating is not the solution'. No going to Meijer to get a half gallon (which are now 1.75 BTW) of ice cream. What I really needed was for God to speak to my heart. I needed Him. And so I knew it wouldn't be a long run, because I REALLY hate running in the dark, but I threw on my headphones and ran. I wasn't finding music to be very soothing to my soul, and quite often music opens my heart so that God can get in. Maybe that's not right but that's how it is. "I don't want to forgive, do You hear me, I don't want to" God kept speaking. He through His Word at me, spoke to me but then I remembered Sarah's post the other day 'Forgiven people forgive'. Ugh. I know but I don't want to. And so then, I started praying because I thought 'that is who you used to be' and it freaked me out, because I remembered I had just written that was what I was most afraid of. Then that song 'Shackles' by Vicki Winans came on. My heart just rejoices that God has given me freedom. I just prayed and worshipped and ran!

Forgiven people forgive. My heart is not completely right, but its on the mend. Forgiveness is the key.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children”- Ephesians 5:1

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meme

1. what is your current obsession?
running

2. what are you wearing today?
Black EVERYTHING

3. what’s for dinner?
whatever Melissa and I decide on

4. what’s the last thing you bought?
lunch at a yucky middle eastern place

5. what are you listening to right now?
nothing

6. if you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Greece on the water

7. one thing you wanna change about yourself?
I’d love myself more

8. if you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Greece but I need to stay longer than an hour

9. which language do you want to learn?
Espanol Por Favor

10. what’s your favourite quote?
Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway ~Joyce Meyer

11. would you cook for me?
yes, what would you like?


12. what is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I wouldn’t, I’d punch them in the nose!

13. what are you afraid of the most?
Being who I used to be

14. who do you want to meet right now?
Mark Wahlberg

15. what is your favorite color?
Brown

16. give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
style? what's style? Latest one is put a hat on when you run

17. what is your dream job?
baker/mom/wife (I already am two of those)

18. what’s your favorite magazine?
HOUR

19. if you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Nike + Sportsband

20. what do you consider a fashion faux pas?
black shoes, white socks

21. who according to you is the most over-rated writer?
?

22. what brings a smile on your face instantly?
Phyllis

23. a word that you say a lot?
love

24. what are you going to do after this?
run

25. what do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
eat or shop

26. what makes you go wild?
can’t tell you

27. what are your favorite movies?
Remember the Titans, Invincible, Blind Side (didn't realize I liked so many football movies!), Hitch

28. what inspires you?
Love

29. what do your friends call you most commonly?
Margie

30. would you prefer coffee or tea?
tea. Iced or Sweet Wild Orange

31. which other blogs do you love visiting?
lots

32. favorite dessert/sweet?
Tiramusu from Roma's or Walnut cake

33. how many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?
2

34. when you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
wow, that's some crazy hair

35. favorite season?
Fall

36. one wish that you really want to see it come true?
Peace for someone but its more of a prayer not a wish

37. what breaks your heart?
kids who are hurting, people who are hurting

38. what's one thing you really want to do in life?
Love

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting filled up

I don’t feel ‘good’. And warning you now, my heart is crazy – and so my thoughts are too, and so there is a lot of rambling ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

I’m stretching, and sometimes we stretch and we don’t feel that good, stretching to the point to what I refer to as ‘the pull’ stretching until we might actually pull something. Staying in the ‘safety zone’.

I’m super flexible, I bet you didn’t know that about me. Almost pretzel like. Weird. But that’s my body, not my spirit. My spirit is sometimes as rigid as a 4 x 4. Even though I jump out, I do it unwillingly but I do it out of obedience, I completely do things afraid and often feel like I’m in the dark, alone. Although I know that’s not true.

Yesterday I read my daily devotional check it out here, I had been praying that the ‘right’ one would come along and I’d be like ‘yes, I could read this everyday’ (ever notice how our emails can get filled up with stuff we just don’t read), so after checking out the website for a week I finally got up the ‘courage’ to subscribe. Lol, I’m such a nerd. Anyway it was about running, and why the author of the devotional runs and her feelings about it.

About 6-7 years or so ago I ran, I worked out 8 times a week, yes, that’s right, 8, 5 days I ran, 3 days I did two-a-days. Yes, I was hot. But now I’m starting to feel beautiful (GASP I SAID IT!) but my running was because I wanted to escape from who I was, running away from something is never good, unless you have a destination in mind of a new ‘place’. I started this crazy Biggest Loser contest, regained my love of running, but I don’t run as an escape anymore, I run for clarity, its amazing what an hour away from the distractions of life can do for you, its amazing the amount of stress that can be released each time your foot hits the pavement or with each endorphin. But I run towards who God has for me to be. Each step a step closer to Him.

Last night I was lying in bed, I was kind of feeling… empty… I was feeling like a shell. And I was writing about it (not going to share sorry) but then I got this visual of an empty bottle. Ready to be filled up. And so I grabbed my bible and my bible study and did a couple sections of it. After I was done, I was so happily surprised about the filling up that was done by the Holy Spirit. I guess if you want a drink, you should go to the well! How about that!?!

Psalm 41

Isaiah 40:29-34
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Here I go!

It was a great weekend.

Ran with some friends on Saturday, even though a lot of the time I felt so slow and that I was holding them back, they never made me feel that way, and encouraged me the whole time! That last ½ mile was a killer though, I wanted to quite SOOO bad. But I didn’t, and was excited that I finished, soaking wet and all!

I’m going to get a running outfit for my two running events in the next 5 weeks, this Sunday the 10K (that’s 6 miles) and the half marathon (13.1 miles) and I am getting the Nike Sportsband too. It will help me improve my speed and track how fast I am going and hopefully stay a little more consistant.

To tell you the truth though, after that very long run, my body was tired, I took a shower, got some food, watched a movie, and crashed. Sunday was a fun day, Phyllis and I went to Arts and Apples and then Qdoba for lunch. We really like Qdoba but it’s a lot of food and there aren’t any in our area so we only have it once in awhile. Then we had the Alive tailgate and the kickoff for Alive School year 2010-2011. It was awesome and I was happy that I could make a ton of stuff without having to buy stuff, I had a huge pack of chicken, turkey burgers, pasta salad, cupcakes, lemonade! It was great, and the kids were so happy! I love loving in food.

So my big decision? Has anyone wondered? It was a very difficult decision. I am no longer doing Sunday night Alive. Well, I start my new journey in October. I will still be working with students on Wednesday nights, and I will always love them. I don’t know how the students will feel, I am sure some will be singing ‘ding dong the witch is dead’ and others may be a little sad. I am sure I will still be around, I love them too much to stay away, and its been a super hard decision, but one that God has continued to tell me it was time.

About a month after I was saved, God had told me that I would someday be a speaker. Seemed completely logical to me, I love public speaking and I love Jesus, so sounds really great right? I’m not ready, a million reasons why I’m not ready. I had kind of just given up on it, forgot about it, whatever, and then one day at a teleconference, God had reminded me of that plan again. ‘you may have forgotten, but I haven’t’. But I haven’t felt like it was really going to happen, and in my running, it has been this incredible time of hearing the Voice of Truth, worshipping, praying, I think a large part of that is because its not filled with distractions of ‘regular’ life, facebook, tv, computer, house, whatever, so it’s a great time to hear Him. And it seems weird to say this but its been a time when God just speaks to me. When He tells me things I need to hear and sometimes I just don’t want to. Everything in last months has been ‘I need to work on you for awhile’ and that’s painful. He’s actually taken me to the point of ‘uncomfortableness’ in the things I loved. That’s hard. But in everything He’s told me, He’s directed me in His Word to get confirmation. Sometimes it’s a random something that gets sent to me, sometimes its just the opening of a book in the bible, sometimes it’s a directed path. Its been crazy. Loving it but its crazy. And maybe that seems crazy to everyone else, because it sounds crazy to me when I say it.

I’ve started this journey with a bible study by Beth Jones, Getting a Grip on Health and Healing and I’m looking forward to Getting a Grip on Your Lip (I know hard to imagine I need this! But stretch with me lol). I’m excited because I am currently in the study of Luke on Friday nights but once I am done with the current study I’m in, I’m going for the Book of John. My girls wanted to study that gospel so I am happy to study it with them. However, I think I’ll be done with it by myself than we will be together but its super great, the life of Jesus!

I’m excited and scared about my new journey. I’m nervous about this step I’m taking. But I’m taking it anyway. Unashamed and Afraid.

Josh 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Friday, September 10, 2010

A week in review

Its been a crazy week, some good some bad. For some reason you come here to ready my blogs… so here goes…

I’m not political… but I don’t think it was right for that church to burn the Quran. All I have to say is… ‘way to show the love of Jesus’. That’s all.

I ran 6.15 miles yesterday, excited to puke because it meant I pushed myself

Tired of coughing

Your smile

Running with friends on Saturday! 10 miles! We probably won't run all 10!

Phyllis made call backs for two productions for the fabulous AKT Theatre and made caberat for the fundraiser on Oct 2!

Going to Arts and Apples this weekend in Rochester ! Never been, but I like Art and I like Apples and spending time with my girl, so what could be better? I’m such a nerd, I love fall.

Need to go looking for a cute running outfit and hat so I can run in style next week at the 10K and the half marathon. Again, nerd.

Wondering… should I do more tomatoes? Make more homemade spaghetti sauce, it was good! Oh, but that’s a lot of work! I need to make applesauce too, so I need to cool my jets and not get over my head…

Love new songs!

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”- Isaiah 46:4

Thursday, September 09, 2010

YEAH! I puked!!!!

Ok, so today I could have made a million (maybe 20) excuses why I couldn't run, but I did!  6.15 miles!  I mapped it out, I wanted to know that I could do it before my 10K, I am running with someone else and they are not sure if they can run the whole thing, but I wanted to make sure I could.  No matter what, we finish together!

It was tough today!  6.15 miles is a long way!  But it was pure worship for me.  I've given God my heart, my life, and now I'm turning over my body to him.  No more will I be held captive by this body of mine, it doesn't belong to me anymore, and you can't be held captive by things that don't belong to you.

Every song that played today was just what my heart needed to sing!  Pure worship, music and running! 

It was so awesome! and I pushed myself so hard that when I got home, I PUKED!  woo hoo!!!  yes... i realize that's weird but I'm excited that I pushed myself!

All you who need...

A brain
A heart

Please go visit the wizard… quickly…

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Cinderella

Each day a good friend of mine sends me a song, or two, sometimes it’s a song that I already know and sometimes it’s a new song. One song ‘someone to fall back on’ is probably my favorite song right now, along with a song called ‘Cinderella’ by Steven Curtis Chapman. I have to admit, I am not a huge Steven Curtis Chapman fan, not because he’s not good, just because he’s just not one of my favorites but this song, blows me away.

One reason is that we all wish to be Cinderella. The story of my life is no secret to this blog, mom died, dad loved me, did the best he could. I can tell you that I loved dancing with my dad. I actually have a picture of me and my father dancing, I don't know how old I was, it was at my cousin Wendy's wedding. You can tell by the smile on my face how much I loved my dad, and dancing with him. There are times in my life that I can only imagine the anguish I brought my dad, I was and still am, quite a pill. I am also quite sure that sometimes my dad looked to the heavens (and still does) and says 'Hey Phyllis(my mom), can you take care of this one?'. Its not a bad thing, its just the way it is. I love my dad. And even though our relationship has not been without its issues, he loves me.

The other is because just like he sings… one thing I know is that one day she’ll be gone. I cannot even tell you how much I love my daughter. She is amazing, I don't say that because I am her mom, I say that because she truly is. You think when they are little that you will always have... time. I can remember times when she was little and I worked so much, I tried so hard to give her every opportunity, to be the best mom I ever could be, and loving her always. If you would have seen her when she was little, she was this little ball of smiles, when she walked, she bounced, she had that much joy! When she smiled, her eyes lit up (still does). She has always been a little fighter too, she conquered JRA with such tenacity and grace. She never gave up. Never. Now, she is a beautiful young woman who loves so much, its hard to see her hurt, but she never stops loving. She's beautiful and funny, and smart (seriously - she amazes me at the stuff she knows), and I don't know if she actually knows what she wants to be when she grows up, but she knows what she loves, and she's chasing that dream, which is super exciting to see.

The thing about the song, its true, one day that bell will strike 12 and soon she will be gone, but I know she'll always need her momma, always ebbing and flowing into new ways, and most importantly she will need me always to love her. And that I will always do.

Ek 16:44 'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter."

Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Decisions

I had to make a really tough decision. I've actually known the answer for weeks, but I kept saying 'no, I'll keep on'. And then... one more thing that frustrated me. It wasn't the actual act it was that I'm so tired of being tired. It was not having enough in me to say 'its not that they don't love you, they just forgot'.

A really good friend said to me something like 'God doesn't call you away from something unless He calls you to something' (see I really do listen) however this time when He called me away from something, He didn't call me to something He called me to Him.

I often wondered is that God or something else? But each time, I'd open the Word, in different places, and get the answer. It was crazy, crazy good. So for the past couple days I've been wondering if I made the right decision (I'm always second guessing) and then I started a new bible study (one that I found while cleaning out a drawer) and one particular section was about rest (how about that) and it used Phil 2:25-30 (msg).
25-27But for right now, I'm dispatching Epaphroditus, my good friend and companion in my work. You sent him to help me out; now I'm sending him to help you out. He has been wanting in the worst way to get back with you. Especially since recovering from the illness you heard about, he's been wanting to get back and reassure you that he is just fine. He nearly died, as you know, but God had mercy on him. And not only on him—he had mercy on me, too. His death would have been one huge grief piled on top of all the others.
28-30So you can see why I'm so delighted to send him on to you. When you see him again, hale and hearty, how you'll rejoice and how relieved I'll be. Give him a grand welcome, a joyful embrace! People like him deserve the best you can give. Remember the ministry to me that you started but weren't able to complete? Well, in the process of finishing up that work, he put his life on the line and nearly died doing it.

I didn't almost die physically doing what I was doing, but inside, it was stealing my joy, I was frustrated and hurt, and its time to rest, its time for me to let God truly move in my heart, its time for me to rest and Him to work. I don't know if that makes any sense, and it was so hard to take the step of faith because a lot of my friends are part of all of this, though I don't know how good of a friend I've been lately.

It was a difficult decision, but one I'm not sorry I made, just wish that I would have just stepped out sooner. I have no idea where this is going to lead me, but I'm excited to find out!

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Matthew 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, September 06, 2010

He finds our beauty

We all have struggles, I totally struggle with beauty. I can't remember 5 times in my life when I was told I was pretty or beautiful. Whether we like it or not, as young girls, often, that's where we find our value. In how beautiful we are.

These days when I struggle, I hit the bible. As I open it, I pray, let Your Word speak to the darkest parts of my heart, Lord. Let me hear Your voice.

I saw that video, I wrote exactly how I felt at that moment. I apologize if it hurt your feelings, that was certainly not my intention. But I won't delete the post, because this is my journey, a look into what makes me laugh and cry, this is how I express what God does in my life.

Yesterday, during my run and runs before that, God has said to me, 'its time you let Me work on you, I know that you want to help, serve, but its time, I've done so much in your life, but you've got to stop being distracted, you've got to let Me just teach you who you are'. Oh. My. That's hard. To stop and focus on me, I've kind of been doing that with the Biggest Loser, but I think its time for the next level. I know that as great as its gonna be, its gonna be rough, I'll be in the fire. And that hurts, but if we want to be refined, that's what we need to do. And to be honest, I need to stop going around some of the same mountains, its time to let God move them. Or for Him to work in me, so when I have faith, I can move them myself.

You might find it odd, but yesterday, I was just moved like crazy, during a song that moves me EVERY time I hear it, 'to know your name' we just do the chorus, and somehow during that song I felt such love, that knowing that just knowing the name of Jesus brings HUGE beauty to my life. Knowing that He speaks to me in the quietness of my life and in the chaos of it.

Psalm 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems
Forgiven I'm alive restored set free
Your majesty resides inside of me
Forever I believe
Forever I believe
Arrested by Your truth and righteousness
Your grace has overwhelmed my brokenness
Convicted by Your spirit led by Your word
Your love will never fail
Your love will never fail


I know You gave
The world Your only Son for us
To know Your name
To live within the Saviour's love
He took my place
Knowing He'd be crucified
And You loved
You loved a people undeserving

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm not what I once was...

So I just watched this video, I was super excited to see it! I couldn’t wait!

Then I saw it. The first 5 seconds I gasped! It was my ‘I am Metro’ video. I look horrible. Not to be overly dramatic, but let’s face it, I look like jabba the hut from Return of the Jedi, I even have a green shirt on! Fat AND ugly.

You know what I think so much about? You know the part that hurts me the most, is really how I look, I know I’ll never see those numbers again, but how many people in the last few years told me I was beautiful! Are you kidding me? You are all LIARS! I see myself, you wonder why I never wanted to be in pictures or videos, because I guess maybe I always new that I looked like that but truly didn’t want to believe it.

I just think of how many people told me I was beautiful. It makes me sick. SICK SICK SICK! I don’t really expect that someone would say to me ‘hey fatso, drop a few pounds, its no wonder you’re lonely, you look like a pig” but why did everyone lie? That’s what I want to know. Why did you allow me to believe that I was beautiful?

What am I thankful for, now that I’ve seen the video? I’m thankful, as Birdie says in Hope Floats “I’m not who I once was”. Because I’m not, sure I have a long way to go, but I am not who I once was, and that was certainly good motivation…

As in Col 4:5 it says “make the most of every opportunity” well, in this case, it means pushups/crunches/dips and running whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Long Weekend - Homebody Version...

I took today off to have a four day weekend. I haven't been sleeping well, its due to a few things, coughing, I can't fall asleep after I exercise, and my mind just won't shut down.

I feel like I am constantly on the run but nothing is getting accomplished. Yesterday I cleaned out the pantry, and two shelves in the kitchen, I organized the stuff I am giving my friend for her garage sale, its nice to get rid of 'stuff' and know its going towards something awesome!

I need to pull out my garden this weekend because I don't know when I will have time if I don't do it this weekend, also I decided I'll probably freeze the tomatoes instead of canning just because its easier and less chance of spoilage.

Might even take out the air conditioners this weekend. Its Michigan so it could go either way, but I'm kind of sick of air conditioned house! I'd also like to rip up the carpet in my living room! I would have to eventually get my floors redone, but my carpet is filthy, and I love my floors!

Since I have 4 days I'm going to try to get some running in, shooting to be able to complete 6 miles this weekend!

Also hoping to watch some football this weekend!

I also want to move my computer upstairs!

But here's my heart... Lately I feel like a yo-yo...

My emotions are up and down, and round and round. I feel things are crazy, I do what I'm supposed to do, but I feel like everyone around me is telling me I'm doing it wrong. If I hear from God, am I doing it wrong? How do I know I'm hearing from God? Its backed up in His Word, EVERYTIME I open it. I wonder how Oswald Chambers could have possibly written the perfect devotional for me all those years back and in each verse, it is like God has hand chosen them for me.

I ended up with the most annoying cold. I cough and sound like a barking seal. I was told that the reason I am sick is because my stress level is so high. Well, duh, who you talking to?

I feel like I should do something, but I can't seem to do it, disappointing people makes it hard. The thought of just not being friends with people is hard, not that I would lose any friends, its just that life changes.

All these things seem like leaps of faith. To take a step and not know what's below seems crazy to me. I don't feel like God is telling me to be still, I think He's just telling me that 'I've got something for you, it will be better than you expect, but you've got to take the step with me, remember, once you were blind and now you see, well, we've been working on obedience, and its time to take the next step.

That's hard.

Obedience is truly harder than sacrifice.

1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifce, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (msg)
22-23 Then Samuel said,
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing,
not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you
is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God
is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God's command,
he says No to your kingship.

Yikes, stepping out, afraid but not afraid. Ready for something new but afraid. But I can't live afraid... another great football quote: Play every down like in your life don't ever come off the field asking yourself the questions 'what if' or 'I should have' or 'if I only', don't ask yourself those questions, play every down as it it was your last.

It reminds me of Colossians 4:5 in the second part of the verse, it says to make the most of every opportunity. don't stand on the side lines, be a part of the game, love the things you do in life!

And that's partly why I want to do the half marathon, what an accomplishment, something I never thought I'd do, even if I have to walk some of it, I'm excited!

So that's it! My 'to do' list and my heart...

Make the most of every opportunity!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Just signed up!!

I just signed up for a 10K on Sept 19th at the Detroit Zoo!

and then...

I signed up for the Half Marathon on Oct 17th with some fabulous friends!!!!

Oh... I'm crazy... but I'm loving it! and stoked!