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)


Monday, January 31, 2011

Greek Chicken

From Fix it and forget it

The information below is halved from the book.  There is only two of us in our house, and since  I am making BBQ chicken tomorrow, I used 1/2 the chicken for today and 1/2 tomorrow.
Makes 2-3 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 6 quart

Ingredients:

2-3 potatoes, quartered
1/2 chicken cut up
2 small onions, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic, minced
3 teaspoons of dried oregano (or 3 tablespoons of fresh oregano)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Directions:
I skinned all the chicken pieces except the wing (that's just too much work!) I wouldn't do that again, it was kind of dry!

Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
Add chicken onions and garlic.
Sprinkle with seasonings and top with oil.
Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 9-10 hours.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Planning 1-31-11

I got a little ahead of myself the other day, made some modifications to our week. Oh and I bought crockpot liners to make my life even easier for clean up!  Only $2 for 4 of them and I think they will be worth EVERY penny!  Especially this week with 3 (count 'em 3) crockpot recipes!
Monday - Greek Chicken
Tuesday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken & Baked Potato (maybe mashed)
Wednesday - Taco Night!
Thursday - Chicken/Rice/Broccoli Crockpot meal

Put it into practice!

I hate snow, there is no doubt in anyone's mind about that.  I have learned to appreciate it when it comes.

It means:
I will get some good cardio (snow shoveling also burns quite a bit of calories)
I will have some peaceful alone time with God
I will have the chance to show love

Huh?  show love in snow?

Many of you readers (all 3 of you) know that I shovel my neighbor's sidewalks and walk ways.

A couple of weeks ago, I came home on a Friday (always super tired on Fridays) and everyone on the block's walks were shoveled... except mine.  :(

I was soooo angry.  I thougtht 'really?'  all the times I shovel your walks and you couldn't just push that shovel in front of my house.  My daughter is on crutches, I work all week, AND I almost always do ALL of yours! 

And the next day it snowed.  You have no idea how much I didn't want to shovel anyone elses.  Well, maybe you do.  I did though, I shoveled all of theirs.

Because it says in Eph 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love

And in Col 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity

In Phil 2:1-4
 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I've been reading Phil 4 for A MONTH!  some bible reading plan, huh?  one month 4 chapters.  I've found sometimes that the problem with bible reading plans is that FOR ME, I read them just to read them and I get frustrated if I get behind and then I quit.  I have been reading other books and chapters (this month, John, Luke, Titus, Philemon, 1 & 2 Tim, Proverbs) but I have really STUDIED Phillipians and how Paul spoke to me all these years later.  How relevent the bible is to our lives. Its really been amazing!

Back to the snow.  As part of my 'appreciating' the snow...  I am going to go running today... OUTSIDE!  Yes, I know... YUCK!  but I am going to, I hate running on the treadmill, I love running outside, so I am going to try it.  I hope I end up loving it!!

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you

Week in Review & Week ahead

It was a rough week last week.  I can't even begin to tell you, but its over, thank The Lord.  After going BACK to work at around 8 on Friday, getting a ton of stuff done and leaving around 10, I felt like I could really start the weekend.  I was so stressed about how much was going to have to be done next week, starting at a negative was stressing me out, it was better that I went in.  I know it sounds NUTS but really, it was worth it.

Its gonna be another busy week but with a little planning, working out, eating right, reading my bible, a LOT of prayer I will be ok.

I planned out our menu for dinners this week.  Everyday I make us breakfat sandwiches and lunches either consist of leftovers or sometimes I go out, just to get out of the office.  Its a big crock pot week this week, and I am going to the store to get those crockpot liners to see how they work. I gotta make my life easier :)  Sometimes that stuff gets so cakes on the cockpot its almost impossible to get off!

So that's it!  Have a great last day of the weekend!


Menu Planning:

Sunday:
Lunch - Out in the D somewhere
Dinner - Cheese Potatoes & Keilbasa

Monday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken & Baked Potato (maybe mashed)

Tuesday - Chicken/Rice/Broccoli Crockpot meal

Wednesday - Leftovers of Subway (I know I'm gonna have to work late)

Thursday - Greek Chicken

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Overcome

When I feel overcome by the world...

I take great comfort in knowing HE HAS overcome the world!

And I am His! 


John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Motivated

I need to change my weight tracker. I have gained about 7 pounds since the last time I updated it. The good news is that I am back on track and feeling great, sleeping great, eating well, exercising.
I am not motivated by a number on a scale. I am looking forward to a smaller size in clothes, a smaller number on a scale. I’m not even motivated by a marathon. That is not what motivates me.

I am motivated by love. I am motivated because I want the world to see that God has done something on my insides that rolled out to my outsides. I am a stress eater, a bored eater, a celebrating eater. Those are not good reasons to eat. We should eat to live not live to eat.

Because that is what I struggle with (and I know others do too) I look no different on the outside to the world. I look like everyone else. How would anyone know that God has done a work on my heart unless they can see it. I want the world to look at me and say ‘that girl has something different, her life has been changed’.

There is a song by Hillsong United ‘Revolution’ the bridge and the chorus:
'Cause we want the world to know
We want the world to know
We live our lives for You
In all we say and do
We want the world to know
We want the world to know

Jesus is our Saviour
There will be no other
We will shout it out
We want the world to know

 I want the world to know. I want the world to know that I am loved by my Savior, I live in His grace, and that I am changed! I want the world to know that I have something different, that my life is changed, that I no longer live for myself, but I have a life and a heart fully surrendered to Him.

Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eating...

Fasting from eating out during the week, you’d never really think that this would be heart changing.

It really has been. I’m wasting less (I hate wasting), spending more time at home (I love my home!), cooking with my daughter (I love my daughter), and seeing God’s provision in a new way (I love my God, the provider).
This morning I threw Chicken and Dumplings in the crockpot, well, I threw the chicken/veggies/broth in the crockpot, the dumplings part will come when I get home. And I make my own bisquick, with whole grain flour, so its ‘kinda’ healthy. There isn’t a lot of fat in this recipe. I love that it is healthy. And crockpot cooking also helps with reducing dishes (one pot! And a knife and a cutting board).

Last night we had tacos. Turkey meat, homemade taco seasoning, freshly grated cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and homemade guacamole, and Spanish rice style quinoa. YUM! There’s a lot of gratefulness in my house when I cook. I’m thankful for Netta for always inspiring me. I’m thankful for God for some mad cooking skills, and His provision, I'm thankful for the help that I get in the kitchen from my daughter, I'm thankful that I get to show her how to cook, and some tricks, and my daughter is thankful for cooking her a good meal (though we will see what happens when we have grilled cheese, Italian wedding soup, and salad).

A good friend of mine always was talking about eating healthy and she said ‘if you make vegetables and fruit a priority there isn’t much room left for everything else’. Its true. I started putting my salad on my plate instead of a separate bowl. It takes up space, takes longer to eat, so I am eating a healthy salad, and slower! Both good habits.

A lot of people are doing some different things, but I know for me that whatever I do, I must be able to stick to for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, it doesn’t matter the results I see immediately because they won’t be lasting. I know that there will be times in my life that I will choose a cookie, or we will eat chicken alfredo, or grilled cheese, I just need to make sure that I accommodate those things in good food choices in other meals or extra exercise times.

I think all of this is to say, that in all this time that I haven’t spent in the car driving to a resturaunt, staring at a menu, I see God what I eat, and why I eat it.

Fasting really is heart changing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snater changed...

I hate snow, yes I am a snater. But I also know that snow brings the earth to rest, just as God intended.
Sometimes I even find myself thanking God for snow. I know… GASP.

My friends plow as part of their business so I always pray that God provides. He does.

When I first moved into my neighborhood I shoveled most of the walkways around me and sidewalks. We have the best mailman, and I don’t want him to have to trudge through the snow. Also, I have a couple of older couples, they don’t need to be out shoveling snow. And while I did the walkways and sidewalks, a couple others who had snow blowers did the driveways. It was perfect, we all helped each other, and if I wasn’t home, someone just took care of mine, and if they weren’t home, I’d take care of theirs.

Today I went out, and it wasn’t like that. People only did their own. And so I took care of the woman who has a hubby but he works 6 days and afternoons, the old widower, the single woman across the street, the two disabled brothers, and of course, my own.

As I was out there, I was thinking about how in life, we need to make the most of every opportunity. Every opportunity to love.

I just loved having some time outside with God, it was quiet and peaceful, and since I was all bundled up, I wasn’t really cold. I was thinking about how if it weren’t for the snow, I wouldn’t have taken that time with Him or loving my neighbors in the smallest of ways.

God made the snow so that the earth would rest… and I think He did the same for me.

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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Planning Week of 1-23-11

I can't believe how little I spend now that I menu plan... its AMAZING!  why didn't I think of this sooner!  lol!

Sunday - Spruced up left overs (we had homemade chicken alfredo yesterday) adding mushrooms, broccoli, artichokes to the leftovers!  YUM! and salad!
Monday - Tacos
Tuesday - Chicken and Dumplings
Wednesday - Grilled Whole Wheat with 2% cheese & Italian Wedding soup I have in the freezer
Thursday - Lasagne I had cut into dinner portions that I made a month or two ago that is in the freezer with Summer green beans and salad
Friday - Not sure!
Saturday - Not sure!

Blueberry Pancakes, 2 Tim 4, church, Car Picnic, afternoons alone, and love!

I don't know why you peeps keep reading sometimes, but I'd like to venture a little bit into my heart and my day!

We had yummy homemade blueberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast!  Ugly I know, but  it was yummy goodness, I know that I could have just fed us all cereal (us being Phyllis, Melissa, Rosie, & me), but I like a good breakfast to get us going, plus I knew we'd be eating a later lunch, gotta have a good breakfast to get through the day.

On the way to the D to visit Real Church at the Magic Stick Melissa asked if we were on 2 Tim 4.
"Yes, read it outloud"
So she did, and this one part almost blew me off the 75 bridge...

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength

I haven't been a Christian all my life.  When I was first saved, I had a girlfriend actually tell me that she liked the old me better than the new me.  The truth was, that I wasn't all about going to the bars anymore, I didn't need her to help me feel better because I wasn't doing things to make my life quite the mess it was before.  I remember being so mad at her, 'how dare she'... yeah yeah, I wish no harm against her, I am no longer friends with her, but I just remember sometimes I felt soooo alone because I didn't know that many people to hang out with who where Christians, and I didn't really want to hang out in the pit any longer.  And think about this... God has never left me!  Always loving me!  WOW!

Then Real Church was awesome!  Pastor Chilly brought the Word like he always does.  AND I got to hear an awesome sermon last night too at Metro! 

After church, we went to Belle Isle and had a car picnic (sometimes when you miss summer, you gotta have a little summer anyway you can) with salad, juice boxes, homemade canned pickles, and pizza from Sgt Pepperoni's on Woodward!  FUN! and there was a crazy drunk lady next to us.  We left before she did... but it was fun!

Now I am at home, getting ready for my week, going to do some cleaning, the sun is showing how much the maid missed lately cleaning (I don't have a maid, I just always say when something is dirty 'someone oughta fire the maid around here').  Going to through in a movie, probably Invincible, and enjoy my home and the grace and love that God has showered me with. 

Grace to you!!

2 Tim 4:22 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Love, Laughes, and a few tears

Luke 20.  Go read it.

Yesterday was bible study.  I almost peed my pants laughing so hard.  Not at Luke 20 though.

As always this wonderful group of family stretched me.  We started talking about going to heaven, what stops us from being excited or more like holds us back.  And I said, I could go tomorrow, if Phyllis came with me.  And then I cried, partly because I know how difficult it will be for her when I go to heaven, and then Darryl 'oh so wise' Vann gets me thinking about how I should love God so much that even though I know there will be pain, that I should still be excited to go.  Then I'm crying about being a jerk.  Oh boy. But its something to pray about, change my heart condition.

Also talking about being a good tenant to the earth.  I'm not so good, but a couple weeks back, God directed me to fast from eating dinner out.   It means I had to cook, EVERY night.  Blah!  yes, I love to cook, but I really like eating out.  The problem?  I was buying groceries to eat in, and STILL EATING OUT.  And then at the end of the week throwing a lot of stuff out.  Oh boy.  Not a good tenant, waste waste waste! So I noticed after the first week, I didn't have to throw anything out, and we ate well, saved money, and I was talking with God a lot more.  How about that?  Also, just a quick side note, did you know you can freeze bananas and then when you get enough to make banana bread just thaw them. Good stewardship.

A lot of people are fasting.  Pastor Chilly was talking about it a couple weeks ago, not sure exactly what he said, I just remember that whatever we fast from it should be to bring us closer to God.  I never really got the whole fasting thing, I think I still don't get it, but I think I'm getting closer to studying it, just want to make sure I am going in with a good heart.  Now when someone tells me they are fasting, I want to ask them 'how is it bringing you closer to God?' but I gotta figure out a 'non-jerk' way to ask that question. 

So there, my friends, this morning is my heart.  Its churning.  God is moving.  I love that, but sometimes it hurts.  Read Luke 20, ask God to speak to you, and while you are at it, read the book of Philippians, man, does Paul live a God-honoring life or what?  

Phil 4:23  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grace for the pace

I woke up this morning feeling defeated.

Truth is that I was seeing the smallness of me, and not the bigness of God.

I sent out some prayer requests.

Oh and I am so thankful for my sisters who encouraged me and loved me even though I kept calling me prayer request 'lame' but when your heart isn't rigth, that isn't lame.

One friend told me that I was skipping to October and losing the joy of January.  So true. 

A lot of people gave me some great advice and love!

A little rattled today, I remembered this crazy thing that always calms me.  The bible. 

I read 1 Tim 1-3.

So good!

1 Tim 1:12-14 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Its been really busy lately.  I really have cut back a lot and 'somehow' I allowed my schedule to get out of control again.  Time to establish boundaries again, and stick to them.

Time to find an accountablity cheerleader. One who has POM POMs and the ability to kick me in the butt if necessary.  I did this, I know that God matched us up and she is the perfect person.  She loves me and she loves Jesus, and she's a trainer :)

I sit at my computer at the end of the night, breathing a little easier, knowing that God loves me.

Grace to you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bible Reading

So many people think that its so nice of me to help with 10th grade girls. Let me tell you, I am way more blessed than them. I get misty when I think about how they love. I think about how they make me smile, how beautiful they are. Its amazing to me.


They also keep me accountable to read my bible. How can I tell them they should, if I don’t.

Right now, we are studying the book of John. This week chapter 14 & 15. One of my beauties finished the book today. I asked her what she was going to read next. So we are going to read together (read separate but both reading) 1& 2 Timothy, Titus, and then Philemon. We are committing to 3 chapters a day.

I can’t wait to see what God does in our lives when His word pierces our hearts and we are forever changed.

Want to join us?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

Provider

We filled out FAFSA.  How is it that you live but college almost seems impossible to pay for, yet, you make too much money to get any grants?  Oh Boy.

Yet, somehow, I have this peace.  That it will all work out. Not stressing, thinking about it, praying about it, but not stressing. 

There has never EVER been a time in my life that God hasn't provided exactly what I needed.  Even when we have had no groceries and little money, I have found a random $20 in the parking lot (believe it or not, I can get a lot of groceries for $20).  We've never gone hungry, or really without.

There is nothing bigger than God, there is nothing He can't do, and He owns EVERYTHING, I am blessed, I am is.  Not worried.

'My God is a God who provides'

Acts 14:17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”


'My God is a God who provides' is from the song 'Desert Song' by Hillsong United

Monday, January 17, 2011

Healed!!!

Today we went to the doctors.  They were running behind.

The PA came in.  I'll tell you, I don't like PAs, and not because they don't do a good job, but when we used to go to UofM, we had to give reports to interns, PAs, nurses, and THEN the doctor.  Oh it drove me crazy, so you know that after about 10 visits I was like 'ok, enough, if we have to give the same report 5 times, all of you come in at the same time because its obvious no one is reading the others notes'. Yes it really did go like that.

So, poor Maureen (the PA) we were like 'what the heck' and all of a sudden, we looked at each other (phyllis and I) in terror, this isn't going well. The boot is going to be on longer.

Finally, the PA keeps going, and it REALLY sounds like the boot is not coming off for another 2-4 weeks. I'm praying, Phyllis is getting teared up, and off to FB goes my status 'for the love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches'. Its not good when I say or post that.  I immediatly go into prayer mode.  PLEASE!JESUS! PLEASE!  I'm thankful for a God who doesn't need more than that.

Then they ask Phyllis to walk, the PA & some resident all say she looks great (she's been walking around the house for weeks with no boot).  Then they call the doctor over. All of a sudden Phyllis rocks up on her tippey toes!  Seriously, you should have seen the look on their faces!  They all looked in amazement!
 "Did that hurt?"  (Docs)
 "no" (phyllis)
"she's good" (Docs)

She has until Feb 9th before she can dance or work. But other than that. its good.

There was a very loud "Praise the Lord!  Thank You Jesus" from our room.

I did leap for joy in the parking lot!

You would have thought we won a million bucks!

Really?  it was better than the lottery, you can't put a price on health.

Proverbs 3:8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

P.S. The plumber comes tomorrow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rejoicing!

The other day our laundry tub overflowed.  I think the stack is clogged or something because when we run the water in the kitchen (sink or dishwasher) it backs up into the laundry tub. 

Also means I cannot do laundry.  And its a little stinky!

I had to go to the laundromat this morning (I was in and out in about 45 minutes).

To tell you the truth, its annoying.  But I'm spoiled. 

It could be worse.  Plumber will come this week. 

But I think of people who:
A) don't have running water
B) some peeps don't have great plumbers
C) can't afford the laundromat (dude! its expensive, cost me almost $13 to do 3 loads of laundry)

I find myself thankful today.

Overwhelming thankful that no matter my problem, my God is bigger than it all.  I will rest easy knowing that there is nothing that will come before me (no matter how big it is) that is bigger than my God.  Today I was singing 'Our God' and just overwhelmed by the bigness and goodness of Him, and how blessed I truly am.

This sink thing, its a little annoying, but totally manageable, and I think I'll be a little more thankful once its completely taken care of.

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Meal Planning - Week of January 15th

Sunday:
Spaghetti Leftovers from Friday with Salad & Garlic Bread

Monday:
meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Tuesday
Mexican Pasta Bake

Thursday
Slow Cooker Fruited BBQ Chicken, Brown rice, & corn (YUCK!)

Friday
Left Overs

Saturday
Chicken Alfredo, Broccoli, Garlic Bread

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Choosing to live love

Yesterday I came from work, I was so annoyed because all my neighbors had shoveled snow, and left mine.  I almost always shovel 3 or 4 of my neighbor's walkways and sidewalks.  My daughter is on crutches and I did really think 'what the heck?'.  I was thankful it didn't take very long to get it done, but I can tell you, I was a little hurt.  I know its dumb, but whatever.

This morning I got up... ugh!  no! more snow!  So I quickly grabbed the shovel and got mine done, and I went out there and thought "I'm not doing it!  I'm only doing mine" and then a voice from deep down said "it's more than a sweatshirt you know".  A deep sigh and a 'I know' and I shoveled all the normal peeps, AND the lady on the corner (I rarely do that house). 

The sweatshirt?  It says 'I choose to live love'.  And I do.  Almost always, but sometimes I get in my own way.  But not shoveling, that's not living love.

Love is a choice.  We can choose to live it or not.  I choose love.

I went scrapbooking today, 57 pages!  I could digitally scrapbook (its sooo cool) but there really is something about having that pictures, the pages, and the other stuff IN YOUR HANDS.  I scrapbooked a lot, but as each picture and page ran through my fingers, love whispered into my heart.

I choose to live love.

Sometimes its hard. 

But it is always my choice.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.


P.S.  When I got home, someone snowblowed my driveway.  Thank You Jesus.

Friday, January 14, 2011

prepartion

My beautiful daughter and I were discussing this morning how in order to be successful, there must be preparation. Life isn’t easy. Get over it already.

Please understand that I realize that grace is HUGE in our lives but let’s just face it, for most of us, we must prepare in order to be successful. Sometimes 10 minutes here, save 20 minutes later.

I know that if I have to stop for gas in the morning, it takes me longer to get to work than if I do it at night. Not because it takes me longer to pump gas in the morning but because if I don’t hit traffic at the right moment, more people on the road means that traffic will be bogged down.

I am amazed at Phyllis. I have had the distinct pleasure of walking her into school everyday pretty much for the last 3 months. Now, sometimes I do complain about it, but I get to kiss her on the head every morning and say ‘have a good day’. That doesn’t happen when she drives herself, because she sometimes isn’t even up by the time I leave for work if she drives herself. She has each class color coordinated. 1st hour notebook, folder, and book cover = yellow, 2nd hour notebook, folder, and book cover = pink, 3rd hour notebook, folder, and book cover = orange… and so on. She knows she needs all those things for each class, no grabbing the wrong colored whatever because she took the time (maybe ½ hour) in the beginning of the semester to prepare. Saves running back to locker to get the right ‘whatever’.

School. Sometimes it people are able to work their way up in a company, but for the most part, schooling in order to get a good job is necessary. If you love hair, going to cosmetology school is necessary. To be a nurse, college and nursing school. Business = college. Now, if you want to be a garbage man (there’s nothing wrong if that is your aspiration! – we need them afterall!) not much schooling is necessary, but you better be strong because my garbage is heavy – working out and being somewhat fit (preparation) maybe necessary).

Home. If I prepare the ingredients up front, dinners are so much easier. I cut my chicken in bit size pieces, all at one time, saving me time on dinner cooking time, it thaws quicker as well if needed in the microwave. I planned dinner every night this week, dinner was on the table every night within 15-20 minutes of cooking. Thus, saving money – because I didn’t go out because I didn’t want to wait for dinner to cook and because I planned, I didn’t spend unneeded money running out to get something not on sale. Saving calories – when I am hungry, I graze AND eat dinner, and saving energy (and lower stress level) so I wasn’t going crazy trying to ‘figure something out for dinner’.

I can say for myself, I have worked hard, at every job I had. I started at an insurance company and wnt to college to get my associate’s degree, took every class they offered in Excel, Powerpoint, & Word, in order to get a better job. And then onto an automotive company nad eventually did get my associate’s degree, kept going and finished my Bachelor’s Degree. It wasn’t the easiest way to get it done, but I did. Had I finished, and been willing to do the work up front, it would have been easier. A little work up front would have made things easier in the long run. But it is what it is, and maybe my story will help someone else to do the work up front instead of painstakingly finishing the way I did. BTW, I wish I would have been a teacher, and someday I might go back to school for Culinary Arts or Theology.

But most importantly, I must prepare my heart. I know that if I don’t spend even just 15 minutes each day with Jesus in His Word, in prayer, I am a mess. I am hard to deal with, I am hard of heart, and it takes sometimes DAYS or EVEN WEEKS to get back on track. If I don’t feed myself the Truth, it takes a long time to ‘undo’ the hunger of my heart.


Deut 11:18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Till I only dwell in Thee

I know that my life looks crazy to a lot of people. I know that working with teenagers is not on people’s high list of ‘fun’ things to do. I know that being friends with the person that nobody is friends with seems nuts. I know that Mission Trips to the D, and running marathons for people that you will never see, seems crazy. And why would you think it’s fun to spend your money on a book, and read to 2nd graders.
It is fun! And all those things are worthy of my time.
I left a Southfield school today after reading to a bunch of the cutest 2nd graders I’ve ever seen! I think they make kids cuter these days, because I know I wasn’t that cute in 2nd grade!
As I left the school, I turned on Brooke Fraser, the song playing was 'Hymn'
If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather
'til I only dwell in Thee?
If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after


'Til I only dwell in Thee


If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 'til
I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee
It may sound completely crazy, but I’m learning to do the things I love in serving, I do things that I don’t particularly care to do if its out of service and obedience to Christ, but really, I use my talents and let others use theirs.
I love the quote from Mother Teresa, I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. Its crazy but I am learning that if I love so much in the things I love, there really isn’t any hurt in me. i don't get frustrated because I am not doing something I hate.  And I think I really needed to learn to have love and joy in my heart to truly bring it to others.
My new saying is “I’m too old to argue”. As I watch others around me grow upset of things that have no eternal value, and they grow ugly in anger, I sit back and say ‘wow, thank You Jesus, that used to be me’. Even the other day, I had an issue, I was pretty disappointed and hurt, and I did just as the bible said, I addressed it with the person, I didn’t really like their answer, but heard their heart. What is the point of continuing to argue? There isn’t one. So I prayed and moved on. Amazing how joyous you can feel when you release things to the Lord, know that He will handle it, no anger to make me ugly. Thank You Lord, for joy.
I always said that I wanted peace, and joy, and freedom. And not to say that each day doesn’t come with its own set of problems, its just that I make a decision, ‘does this matter? will this matter? What are you really fighting for? And is the cause worth fighting for?’ sometimes I make the decision consciencely, and sometime not.
With all that is around me, all I want to do is dwell in Him who made me. Him who set the world into motion. I hear His voice as I read His Word, sometimes as if He is reading it to me. I know it sounds crazy, I know that many think I’ve jumped off the deep end. Well, come along with me, the water is perfect!
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Obstacles

Sometimes I have to just get out of the way…
The other day I was thinking about how I should start putting money away in case I don’t hit my goal of $100/mile. That way, I can put the money in to make up any difference I don’t get in fundraising.
Then God and I had a moment.
‘Really Margie, you think that I brought you to this, and I can’t deliver? I own ALL the cattle on the hill, and you’re worried that I won’t provide?’
Oh boy. I’m an idiot. When oh when will I learn to really trust God? That whole faith as small as a mustard thing again. Maybe it’s an average. I sometimes feel like I have all this faith, and then sometimes I feel like I’m that guy who Jesus says ‘you of little faith’.
Trust. Let God do what He does. You just prepare like you’re supposed to, Margie. (Yes, sometimes I talk to myself in 3rd person).
Last night I got a call to do a video thing. Obstacles.
How about the first obstacle is that I need to get out of my own way!
I remember a lot of things from MBL. One very important moment was one time when we were doing the bleachers (yuck!) and they are hard and at the end of every up and down of a bleacher we had to do some sort of core exercise, jumping, pushups, squats, etc. I remember one time I was listening to my mp3 player, I got called out on it (we weren’t supposed do, but 4 or 5 others were so I figured they were getting a little lacks in the rules – and I was the ONLY one who got called out) and Joel was just on me the whole time, and at that moment, satan got in my head and kept saying ‘see, he doesn’t think you can do it – just like everyone else’. Oh boy, that was a hard day, and then Joel comes right up next to me and he’s walking with me, all in my going up the bleachers, and the demon I am fighting is harder than any step, sit up, run, squat, that could have been put in front of me. The more I fought, the more it fought. It was horrible, and before I knew it, I was crying, and I finally just yelled at Joel (poor guy) something like ‘I know you think I’m not good enough’. Poor guy, he was probably like ‘where the hell did that come from?’ but we sat and ended up talking it out. ‘Who are you doing this for?’ God.
I had to get over that obstacle of not being good enough. It was a hard obstacle to get over, and actually took me months after that, a lot of pray, some intercessory, and God Himself during Theofastic to say ‘you cannot be measured by someone else’s ruler’. It was a hard thing.
Even now, I know God called me to do this marathon, I KNOW He did. I KNOW I can do it, but when people tell you that you can’t or they look at you like you’re nuts, its hard to remember that you can’t be measured by someone else’s ruler.
Sometimes you just have to know that there will be obstacles, that you need to get over and through them, because if you try to go around them, you will eventually be at the same place, more tired than before needing to get through it.
Romans 8:28 says And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. His word doesn’t lie. He works for our good, all the time, even when it doesn’t seem like it, and in the craziest of places using people we never would have suspected that he’d use. Amazing. Grace.
And in everything…
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
Amazing. Grace.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I must do the work!

If I want something, I must be willing to do the work. I have to say that I haven’t written everything down that I’ve popped in my mouth, I haven’t gotten off the couch and done leg lifts, and sit ups, haven’t covered 2/3 my plate with veggies, haven’t drank my gallon of water everyday. And I can tell, in a lot of ways.


Not as much energy

My clothes don’t fit like I’d like

My size isn’t going down

The scale is telling me a truth that I just don’t like

Here’s the thing, I must be willing to do the work.

I must do the work of writing things down, I must do the work of cutting up veggies, and planning out meals, I must drink my water, I must take my vitamins, I must plan.

I must get up and run. I must get off the couch and do situps, and leg lifts, and arm exercises, a healthy, strong core is important!

However.

This is not just about food for me, its about feelings, and comfort. I must also be willing to hear what God has to say to me and to be obedient and follow His direction. It means I must be deliberate in the reading of the bible, to do my bible studies about the things that I struggle with.

I know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and so is the aisle way to the size of clothes that I don’t like to wear.

I can’t take a pill, a drink meal supplements, I can do those things short term to get started, and be successful, long term, I must be willing to do the work, I must have a plan, I must stick to the plan.

For me, it means I live by faith not by feelings, it means I trust God, I listen to His direction, I pray, I praise, I pray, I praise, I do things that are hard, I do things that hurt, in order to get where I need to get. I think about the ‘Skit Guys’ and their ‘God’s Masterpiece’ skit, you’ll have to look it up on Youtube. Its worth the time to watch it. I have to believe that God is working for my good, that He has my best interest. After all, He did get up on a cross and die for me, I should, and I will live for Him.

I think about how hard it was to finish a mile and 4 months later, I finished a half marathon. Because I was willing to do the work.

Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Welcome to the Crazy-ness of it all!

The busy-ness of my mind is just as crazy as my life. Welcome to Randomness.
I don’t think I sat down yesterday for a minute. Well maybe one.
Went to the gym
Got ready for church
Running around getting breakfast, getting ready, left late for the gym, left late from the gym, which meant I had to rush to church, I had this crazy anxiety of being chased down Woodward again. Made sure I had $1 in my pocket in case crazy guy was there, please note, I will at least have 4 quarters in my pocket just in case that guy is there.
As I ran up the stairs, dropped my sunglasses, which is not the end of the world, but when you’re rushing its just like ‘ugh’ so I drop off a ‘regift’ to someone who I know will enjoy the gift more than me, she was excited even when I told her that it was a regift, but I knew she’d enjoy it. That’s a friend! As I was looking for a seat (packed house at RCDetroit) Erika came up to me and asked me if I was ok, yes, I’m just flustered. She asked if she could pray for me, I almost said no. How stupid is that? Almost… I did say yes, it seemed to really calm my soul. Worship was awesome, I was speaking to God, and HE WAS SPEAKING TO ME! Its crazy all these dreams that are in my head! Running on African Dirt. Seeing Rwanda in person not in pictures. Kissing babies and loving people, and wondering when I am going to open the bakery, I finally did get a name! I am not sure. God is doing some great things in my heart these days, obedience, trust, faith, love. WOW! I even chose not to argue a couple times even though I could have, I just didn’t want to! That’s crazy! Crazy good. I just thought ‘I’ve got too much joy to argue besides, I don’t think it will change things, just pray, God will handle it’.
Planned out dinners for the week, even cooked a bunch of it, so all it has to do is be heated or make the side dishes and dinner will be served. On the menu this week:
Shephard’s Pie
Tacos
Chicken and Veggies with Tortellini
Yesterday we had chicken, mashed potatoes, and this summer green beens
Man, I am just amazed at the way God is speaking to me, everything from love, to eat in, cook at home, you are provided for. Also about really enjoying my life. Going to plan a couple trips around the state this summer, maybe for only a day or two, but going to see the beauty that’s around. For sure going to get to Frankenmuth, can you believe? Phyllis has never been there??
Ok, that’s it for the randomness in my brain! Enjoy your week!
Proverbs 10:12 12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Good

Saturdays are supposed to be good days, right?  At points they didn't seem so good, but changed my perspective.

Well, mine started off with a really hard run.  Drew strength from God, that was good.

My uncle decided to tell Phyllis, in not so many words, that she shouldn't go into Cosmotology.  Oh boy, that was a conversation and a half on the way home.  But we talked about plans and futures, that was good.

Went to church, hugged some lovelies, that was good.

Took Phyllis' prescription in, cost $40, have the money, and live in a great country, that's good.

Been nervous about raising money for my run, so scared to ask peeps, but I put it on my FB, about 5-6 people said they would sponsor me for my run, that's good!

Everything comes down to faith.  I have faith that God is good, and whatever comes my way, it is for His good.

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

Friday, January 07, 2011

Preparation & Team Work Pays Off

I love to cook but I don't like to cook dinner during the week.  How about them apples?

By the time I get up at 4:30, to the gym, then get ready, round up the last minute things for the day (I almost forgot my shoes this morning! I wear my boots to work), drive to work, work, drive home, I am a tired birdbath.  And I'm hungry.  And I just don't feel like cooking. 

But I want to improve the amount of money left at the end of the month, so that means... I must eat in more, cook more, and plan more.  But even when I do that, I don't feel like cooking.

Last night Phyllis asked me 'do you want me to do anything before you get home from work?'
"YES! cook some brown rice".  It takes an hour to cook (and who wants to eat at 7PM - I get home around 6 - you do the math), "and pull out some chicken".

I walked in the door as the timer was going off for the rice. 

Off goes my shoes, and coat, wash my hands. All while the chicken thaws in the micro.

Heat up some Sesame Oil in the pan, garlic, ginger, add chicken, while that's cooking, cut up some carrots, run down to the freezer, grab some broccoli that was frozen this summer, grab a bag of snap peas. 

Throw in carrots, while those cook, thaw the broccoli, drained the water out. 

Add snap peas, broccoli, soy sauce, heat until snap peas are heated through, add rice, mix.

Dinner.

We were eating at 6:15.

How about that, faster than it would have taken for Phyllis to get her boot on and drive to Panera, and it was GOOD!

Ok, all that to say, preparation pays off.  It was a lot of work freezing veggies, cutting, cooking, measuring, bagging.  And so does team work.  I prepared a lot of veggies this summer to enjoy a great harvest this winter.  You reap what you sow.

We had a really good meal, tasted great! and we could really enjoy the rest of our evening. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Phyllis



Yesterday was Phyllis’s b-day, she turned 18. I can’t believe that 18 years ago, I felt more love than I would ever be able to hold.
A couple times yesterday I caught myself getting misty. How blessed am I to have such a beautiful loving daughter who loves Jesus. Oh by the grace of God go I.
I was a spaz at Panera bread yesterday trying to orchestrate this great surprise party for her. Like 18 peeps who love us. She thought she was going to have a lame birthday, but nope. I surprised her with some of her friends from school, a few family members, our church family. Balloons! Panera! And LOVE! Silly, I know. 18 years old and balloons everywhere. I saw more people roll their eyes at me, I don’t care. She’s beautiful, I love her, and I’d do it all over again!
She’s amazing.
I’m blessed.
God is good.

Phil 4:20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Running for Love


Philippians 3:10 NIV says, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

I was crabbing this morning! CRABBING! I did not want to go to the gym. At all. Nothing about running on a treadmill seemed like a good idea. ‘The things I do for love’ I thought to myself. Ugh. 2 miles in 23:39 and hating EVERY minute of it.
And then I came home, read Phil 3 as I was getting ready to take a bath. I taped it up in the bathroom so that I could read it, you don’t need to tell me that I need to find a quiet place for some alone time with God, I get that, however, sometimes I just have to do what works for me, and today that was it, I have committed to reading the book of Philippians this month, 4 times, not just reading but studying it. Along with Proverbs, and memorization. My heart is committed to it.
I have read Phil 3 quite a few times, more than 10 less than 100, that’s the most I can narrow it down to, and actually Phil 3:13-14 are some of my favorite verses. But today as I was reading, I read Phil 3:10. And instantly thought about my running. And said to myself ‘really Margie, running for water, is a privilege not a suffering, how many people would love to have the ability to run’. Oh boy. God working on my heart. Quit being a negative Nelly.
You see, although, I truly believe that running on a treadmill is way easier than running outside, at least it is for me, I am building my endurance, I am pushing myself, I am being reminded of what it feels like to push myself, so that when I get to be outside, I will appreciate it, I will be in shape (as long as I get my eating under control), and I will not only run for Love, I will love it.
And truth be told, I’m scared about this marathon. I’m scared about letting people down, I’m scared about not hitting my goal, I’m scared about not finishing. But God has called me to do this, and He says He will be with me til the end of the age!
Phil 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (memorization verse this week)
Phil 3
No Confidence in the Flesh
1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A new year

I’m starting to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to do this marathon! I ran yesterday and 2 miles on the treadmill seemed like a lot more than 2. And this morning, I reved up and ran 2 at 5am.
Sunday: 2 miles - 24:15
Monday: 2 miles – 24:00
That doesn’t seem that bad, right? EXCEPT if you run 26.2 miles at 12 minute miles its 5 hours and 14 minutes. That’s a long time to run. So my goal: 10 minute miles average – that means 4 hours and 21 minutes.
I could have easily text Katie and said ‘sorry, I change my mind’ but I wouldn’t, and I won’t. Its hard to get started. But if you never get started, its even harder to finish. I have to be honest, I'm looking at this huge mountain, and its frightening.
A lot of people are starting their new year’s resolutions. I am not resolving anything in particular. I’d like to save more money in 2011 and weigh less. That means eating at home, planning, and exercising. There are quite a few people I know starting various programs. I’m excited to hear that WW has gone with (in my mind) a healthier approach, more good for you foods less fake sugar. A few friends of mine have gone on to a cleansing program. No matter what you choose, it better be something you can stick to and maintain, because speaking from experience, you will be right back to where you started if you don’t. I’m saying this from COMPLETE personal experience.
So today, I started with a half PB/Jelly sandwich so I’d have energy to run, and my own breakfast sandwich that included spinach (you gotta get those veggies in where you can) and a snack of clementines.
As I was running, the first song that played was ‘With Everything’ by Hillsong United. I love this song and to be perfectly honest, I had a hard time not raising my arms while I was running, so I didn’t hold back. One thing about that song… there is one part that says ‘shout FORTH Your Glory’ its not ‘Shout for Your Glory’. As I run/raise money, whatever it is I want to shout it FORTH – forward. I don’t want God’s glory to stop at me, I want to move it forward, for the world to see!
I want people to be inspired, not for me, but for God. If I can just make a small difference, and someone else can make a small difference, and then we add it up like all the cookies eaten over the holidays, it will make a big difference! Be inspired by the greatness of Him to use the littleness of us.
2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Tipping?

So... often I wonder, why I have to tip the people who provide a service to me that make 'good money'....

Here's where I am...

Most peeps who do hair/nails/massages that are paid at a salon get 50% of the cost of the service. Massage costs $60-$75/hour, that means that the peep performing the serivce gets $30-35/hour. Why am I expected to tip on top of that?

My hair for a dye/cut is $90, I'm there for 1-1.5 hours. That's still $30/hour PLUS she usually does someone while I am processing. Why am I expected to tip on top of that?

Now, let me say this, I am not a stingy tipper, especially at a resturant where the peeps don't make that much money.

What is your thoughts? Seriously? Am I out of line?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

38!

Happy Birthday to me!

Phyllis made me a card for my birthday (homemade is best!) and she wrote 38 reasons ‘why she likes me and why she is proud to be my daughter’.

1. You’re loving
2. You’re a fabulous cook
3. You give good advice
4. You’re funny… sometimes
5. You’re always willing to give me good opportunities
6. You’re encouraging
7. You believe in me
8. You care for others
9. You’re selfless
10. You come to my performances to support me
11. You fought for me when I was sick
12. You gave up a lot to raise me
13. You’re caring!
14. You support others
15. You are truly committed to everything you do
16. You teach me different things to help me improve
17. You will splurge on ice cream
18. You spend time with your life group girls
19. You taught/teach me good manners
20. You gave me the good looks
21. You want to better yourself
22. You eat healthy and help me to do the same
23. You separate my birthday and Christmas gifts
24. You gave birth to me
25. You take lots of pictures = memories
26. You smell good (maybe not after working out)
27. You’re a woman of God
28. You do things you don’t always want to
29. You made sure I wasn’t a brat
30. You’re running a marathon to help kids
31. Your shopping savy ways
32. You do what’s best for me
33. You have character and integrity
34. You’re well-rounded
35. You’re humble
36. You like/wear good shoes
37. You’re genuine
38. Your heart and everything inside

Isn’t that the best! Who knew there were so many good things about me! What a great birthday! There’s chocolate peanut butter fudge ice cream in the fridge, lunch with fam, Mary Poppins with friends! Its gonna be a great birthday!