Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 --> 2011

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

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

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

Looking back on 2010, I am amazed.

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

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

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

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

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

God continues to provide for me in incredible ways.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Low Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

working on... me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

The holiday time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Butter Spritz Cookies

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

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in eggs and extracts

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

Put in cookie decorator and make whatever shape you desire!

Decorate with sugar crystals

Bake 375 for 6-8 minutes

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

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

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

Getting on with enjoying my day!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running and my friend Katie

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

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

who sends you texts like that?

My beautiful friend Katie.  That's who.

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

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

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

You can.

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

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

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

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

What's wrong with me??

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

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

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

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

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

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

lovetoyou!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking for a car!

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

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

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






Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a great day!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

oh brother! meets Grace

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

How come?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Thursday, December 16, 2010

My favorite gifts this Christmas

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Insanity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greater Things are Yet to Come!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poor Mildred



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




Thankful!

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

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

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

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

Blessed blessed blessed!

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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Songs

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

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

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

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

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

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

O Holy Night.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bake off and Potluck

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

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

That's it. Its yummy!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thumbprints

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

Preheat oven 325

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

Dough will be firm

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

I heard God whisper so sweetly…

Margie – did you know?

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

And Margie?

Did you know that YOU are loved by Me?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

UGH! Please meet Meltdown Margie

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

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

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

UGH!

His mercies are new every minute (morning).

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

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

And mostly, I have a God who loves me.

That is the truth.

He is the truth.

I am thankful.

Cheater

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

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

Monday, December 06, 2010

Furnaces! UGH!

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

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

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

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

Dan 2:20-21
20 and said:

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

12 days of Christmas

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

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

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

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Leave it to me...

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Saving my world, one cupcake at a time

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

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

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

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

Bon Appetit!

Encouragement!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Busy busy!

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

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

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

Also, signed up for NetFlix!

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

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

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