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, February 28, 2011


When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill

Seems things are crazy around me.

My daughter is graduating from high school, with a looming bill for Cosmotology in my future.

My dad’s health isn’t the greatest

Work is super stressful and super busy

But this I know, God is here.

I’m in a winter stage in my spiritual life…

I have heard that tree roots grow in the winter. Unfortunatly, I feel pretty unblooming these days.

You see, encouragement and love come easy for me in the spring, summer, and fall of my spiritual life. And I am so very thankful that I have the gift of encouragement. It seems more of a gift to me though because I am always the receiver of a hug or a smile. I get to see people achieve their goals/dreams (no matter how big or small) sometimes because I have encouraged them. It is amazing.

Some people LOVE winter, they love snow, they love that they get to hunker down, enjoy the rest. Me… not so much. In the ‘real seasons’ of our life, we prepare for winter. We plant seeds in the spring, the seeds grow in the summer (isn’t it amazing to watch the miracle of plant growth – seriously), in the fall the harvest (we can, preserve, freeze) in order to get ready for the ‘hunker down’. I think that in all the globalization of fruits and veggies, we have spoiled our winter. Sure, it truly is fabulous to have strawberries in December, but not sure if that is how God intended.

As someone who rarely slows down, winter is hard for me. Sometimes that cold is hard for me to deal with. Sometimes putting on a big coat, boots, gloves, cleaning off the car slows me down, driving slower, because I can’t get where I need to be faster, it means I do less, and I don’t like it one bit. Not one bit.

But I am in winter. I think that the seasons of our life are on a much different time than the ones in our daily lives. I feel like I had my spring where God just came alive to me, summer – lots and lots of growth, fall – the harvest, wow, some big things happened to me in the last 6 months, big things I tell you, the way I feel, the way I think, the way I love. Amazing. But its winter now, it means reading, growing deeper. Reading my bible, praying, fasting from things that prevent me from the reading and praying. I’m even sleeping more. I’m trying to enjoy this time, the slowing down, the resting, knowing that God has great and beautiful things ahead. Falling into His word, His beautiful love letters to me, the unveiling of my destiny and beauty.

Ecc 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

P.S.  Winter is lonely

Meal/Exercise Plan for the week! 2-28-11

Monday - Crockpot chicken with cream of chick & cream of mushroom soup, rice, broccoli, squash
Tuesday - Crockpot enchiladas
Wednesday - Either Chicken Spinach Salad or Panera!
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Bible study so that means Fatousch & Hummus!
Saturday - Not sure!
Sunday - Chicken, Veggie, Mashed Potatoes,

Monday - Zumba
Tomorrow - Run
Wed - Eliptical
Thursday - Run
Friday - nothing
Saturday - Run

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fear has consumed me

Most of my life I have lived in fear.
Fear of my parent dying (because one already did)
Fear of dying young (because my mom did)
Fear of losing someone
Fear of someone walking out
Fear of losing my job
Fear of dying on that stupid I75 Rouge River Bridge (I HATE THAT BRIDGE!!!!!!)
Fear of being in a car accident
Fear of losing my daughter
Fear of...

Oh my list goes on and on and on and on...

My friend Sara wrote a post about fear just the other day.  Then yesterday someone sent me this text about being afraid that something would happen to me, that someone would do something to me.  Its not really something that I am going to post on this blog but let me say something...


I'm not.  No one can take anything from me that God can't either put back in my hand or replace with something better if He so chooses.  There is nothing that can happen to me that God cannot be glorified in.  There is nothing to fear.

That someone talked about a storm that we may go through, I instantly thought of Mark 4 (though I had to look up the verse) where the disciples are in a boat, there is a storm, and they are afraid, Jesus tells that storm  Quiet! Be still!” and the storm calms down.  Sometimes I think there are truly storms in our life that toss us about, and we need to just hang on to Jesus and be still, and let Him handle the storm.  He says to the disciples He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Man, I don't want Jesus to say that to me, I want to believe in the best and the worst of times that my faith in Jesus is enough to conquer any storm.

Jesus also says that you only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain (Matt 17).  So here I go, with mustard size faith (it seems that way sometimes) and a Mighty God to say, I am not afraid. 

Whatever comes my way, let God be glorified!  He loves me!

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I know this sounds bad, but I’m not going to apologize.

This week, I planned out some meals, made some meals, and ate out when I shouldn’t have.

My house is less than perfect.

I haven’t exercised (other than the stupid snow shoveling).

I’m not going to apologize though, I’m doing the best that I can.

I’m still praying, hearing God’s voice, reading His Word.

I’m loving people in crazy silly little ways.

So until I get some rest and the rest of it comes into place.

I’m not apologizing…

How ya’ like them apples?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank you

When Phyllis was little I always made her say please and thank you...  If you didn't say 'please' you didn't get it, if you didn't say 'thank you' you didn't get to keep it.  Also... I'd say 'say the magic word, starts with P and ends with getting what you want' for 'please'.

Phyllis is now 18 and lately I've realized how much she still says thank you, and it always makes my heart smile when I make dinner she says 'thanks for making dinner, mom' and when I buy dinner she says 'thanks for buying dinner' lol.  When she does something around the house, I say thank you.  I truly appreciate it.

This morning I made her lunch (yes, I still make her lunch, she is MORE than capable, but I enjoy it - most days).  Every day I tell her that her sandwich (or lunchable) is on the counter and with whatever fruit I dish out (today, I was lazy and it was a clemintine - its usually blueberries and strawberries but I was too lazy to do it this morning - that's lazy!) and as always she said 'thank you'.  It made me smile. I don't do it because she says thank you, but it does make me feel like the littlest thing I do is appreciated.

And then I started thinking about the little things in life that really matter and how we really can change the world by just doing little things in the lives of others.  The whole 'starfish' story. 

Pursuing Love today, in little ways.  Because it matters...

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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pursuing Love

I’ve heard it said that where your money is your heart is also. I think that can be said about our time as well.

I’ve been thinking so much about time. About doing things that are worthy of my time. In everything I do. I’ve been thinking about whom I spend my time with, how I spend what little free time I have. I was thinking yesterday how I wished I had paint, because I would have painted yesterday while I was home.

I’ve been thinking about everywhere I spend my life the last couple days. Would I have regrets? What if I was told I only had 3 months to live, would I change anything?

What would you do if you only had 3 months to live? Would you do things the same?

I have to tell you, with the exception of one thing, I would do things the same. I would spend time with the people who meant the most to me, I’d do things I love, and I’d love whenever possible. SO I guess that leaves me thinking about that one thing.

I’ve decided that I will no longer just seek God, I will PURSUE Him.
1. To try to locate or discover; search for.
2. To endeavor to obtain or reach: seek a college education.
3. To go to or toward: Water seeks its own level.
4. To inquire for; request: seek directions from a police officer.
5. To try; endeavor: seek to do good.

1. To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase: a fox that was pursued by hounds.
2. To strive to gain or accomplish: pursue lofty political goals.
3. To proceed along the course of; follow: a ship that pursued the southern course.
4. To carry further; advance: Let's not pursue this argument.
5. To be engaged in (a vocation or hobby, for example).
6. To court

Pursuing Love. The title of my new blog.

Love being God. Because He truly is the definition of True Love.
I remember a time that Adam was speaking about Katie. It went something like the more I serve her, the more she serves me, and the more she serve me, the more I want to serve her. It was inspiring. Truly. That’s how I want it to be with God, it seems the more I love Him, the more I see how much He loves me. The other day, He chose me to buy someone shoes who needed them. I could cried. I already wrote about it, but how blessed I was to see a need to serve a beautiful young woman. I was overwhelmed by Love.

Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time to chill...

That's funny since its snowy outside... lol... 

It was a crazy day, I set out for work, but I got a call 'roads are really bad'.  No kidding, but I was going to just go anyway.  I kind of worked from home, kept up on my email, conference call, then in the afternoon, I blew through a ton of stuff! 

I ended up taking Phyllis to physical therapy because the Corolla is little but still wanted her to go because her foot was hurting. 

I used my dad's snow blower and cleared A LOT of snow today!!!

We were supposed to have Chicken & Rice a Roni, but I decided to make Tuesday's meal instead.  My friend Netta made it before, she said it was good, so I gave it a try!  Really liked it!  Tomorrow, we will have Monday's meal.  I don't know why but I had a ton of strawberries, so I made Strawberry Pie for Nate (Phyllis's friend) and Phyllis, it's chillin' in the fridge while they watch 'Up'.

Now I am gonna cuddle up with my book, and relax.

I hope you enjoyed your snow day! 

Romans 12:9-12 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meal Plan for the week!

Monday – Chicken, Rice-a-roni, and broccoli
Tuesday – Little Italy Chicken and Spinach
Wednesday – Out in Royal Oak
Thursday – Crockpot EnchiladasFriday - Fatousch
Saturday – Tacos (10th grade girls sleepover - Mulligan)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life is far too short…

Life is far too short…

…to not go to New York
…to not take care of myself
… to not visit my friend in prison
…to do things that are not worthy of my time
… to not plan my trip to Africa
… to let a minute go by that is not lived completely in love.

The last week has been quite an adventure. I cannot even begin to tell you the last week. A friend had a heart attack, and then my dad with his crazy leg… sheesh.

The whole time I kept thinking ‘I don’t have to do this, I don’t have to handle it, my God can do it all’ and I found great comfort in that.

Most of my life I have lived afraid. Lived afraid of running out of _________. I’ve lived afraid of death, or hurt. And sometimes I’ve lived afraid of trying because I might fail. I’ve lived lies that people have said to me, lived with the complex of inferiority.

The last 18 hours have made me realize, life is just a vapor.  And the craziness of it all... I love Jesus more!!!!!

I will…
go to New York in April
I will take care of myself, eating healthy, running, gym, zumba, no quick fixes, just hard work…
I will visit Dani more often
I will do things that are worthy of my time
I will not only plan and save for my trip to Africa to love on orphans, I will go!
I will love

And I will continue to celebrate life! In cupcakes and love!

Verse 1
Beautiful God
Laying Your majesty aside
You reached out in love to show me life
Lifted from darkness into light
Verse 2
King for a slave
Trading Your righteousness for shame
Despite all my pride and foolish ways
Caught in Your infinite embrace
Chorus 1
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love love love
Burning in my heart
[Verse 3:]
Saviour and Friend
Breathing Your life into my heart
Your word is the lamp unto my path
Forever I'm humbled by Your love
Take my life
Take all that I am
With all that I am I will love You
Take my heart
Take all that I have
Jesus how I adore You
Chorus 2
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compare to this love love love


Its 5:30, I have been up for awhile, have to go back to the hospital, my dad needs another procedure. I just am not looking forward to this day.

I am thankful for friends who love me. I had friends who volunteered to come to the hospital and sit with me. I had one friend who just kept sending me 'be strong' messages and a song.

I'm thankful for my stepmom who said to me 'we will get through this together, we will lean on each other'.

I have no idea what lies ahead, in the next 2 hours or the next two days. Finding comfort in the one who does.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The last 7 hours...

It’s been a really long day, and I’m tired, but its crazy, I need to write.

At around 4ish I got the first voicemail (my phone doesn’t always ring in the VEC)… “Margie this is Cheryl, took your dad to the emergency room he has a blood clot”… and then my phone beeped again… checked the voicemail “procedure, blah blah”

I packed my stuff up, and left the VEC and got home, got some stuff for my dad, subway for my stepmom and I (because that’s what I do…I feed people).

A long night… I don’t even know what time it was when the doctor came out… there’s so much he said. All I can tell you is that none of it sounded very good to me, the veins that he had roto rootered out are blocked, it was even hard to get to the clot let alone get the medicine to the clot. If he has an anuerism, he will probably die, even a little one. This is not good. And he has to have the procedure again in the morning…

All I can tell you is this. I don’t know much. But I know God never leaves me. I know that He has this, and everything else in His hands.

I don’t have to handle any of it. The only thing I had to handle was that the cafeteria was closed and my dad needed to eat so I went to my friend’s subway so my dad could eat (I told you, I feed people, that’s what I do!)

I’m tired. Exhausted.

I also know that a good friend of mine had a heart attack last Saturday, and now this. Our health is important, and I neglect it. I am going to change that. Healthy eating, exercise.

Good night.

Please pray.

Still loving and praising Jesus. He is my rock and my redeemer. He is my protector, He loves me, pours grace over me, and His mercy is new every morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have a headache but that won't stop me

I had a crappy day yesterday.  At least it ended well, it was my dad's birthday and he loved his present!  And I loved being with family to celebrate him! 

I crawled into bed with a book at 8:30 and was sleeping by 9ish.  I was tired, I didn't get up until 5:30.  I didn't go to the gym.  I woke up with a migraine.  Took an excedrin migraine, and typically, it gets better, but today, as of now, its getting worse and I have the shakes from the caffeine.  Great.

I refuse to let today define me.  I refuse to say that this will be a bad day.  It is a day, just like all others, that we were made to love.  I'm not sure how that will be defined today, but I will stitch my day in prayer, and I will ask for God to reveal ways for me to love.  I resolve to answer the call when its made.  I resolve to love even though it hurts.  And I resolve that I will rejoice in this day, because there are some who didn't get to see today.

I wouldn't be mad if you said a little prayer for me to get rid of this headache, and if you prayed that God would reveal some sweet ways to love.

As my friend Becky would say 'Happy Day!'

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” - 1 John 3:11

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When I find myself

Sometimes I feel like my world is crashing around me, now, I realize that it is not completely true. I know that my world is no where near crashing. The truth is that we can all expect a little rain now and then. 

I found myself whirling this morning.  Thank the Lord I did go to the gym (because that always helps).  It was like a one-two punch before I even hit the door at my job.  Oh boy.  Didn't sit down, another jab.  That's the way it is sometimes.  I know it.  It's like that for everyone.  I'm not alone.

I've got a student that is on my heart so much, I can barely breathe, I know that God will handle it all, my job is only to submit to Him in this situation, get on my face before Him, He will prevail.  Love is always the answer.

When things in my life gets crazy, I really only have one answer.  Retreat.  I can't always run to a quiet place, however, I can turn on some music that will soothe my soul. Thankful I always have my bible in my car, brought my lunch.  Going to eat and read at lunch.

Hillsong United's new album 'Aftermath' was released today, I had it on pre-order, its on its way to me.

But this song, Like an Avalanche, wow.

I can't get to Youtube now, but read the lyrics.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

Like an Avalanche - Hillsong United
Beautiful God
Laying Your majesty aside
You reached out in love to show me life
Lifted from darkness into light

King for a slave
Trading Your righteousness for shame
Despite all my pride and foolish ways
Caught in Your infinite embrace

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love love love
Burning in my heart

Saviour and Friend
Breathing Your life into my heart
Your word is the lamp unto my path
Forever I'm humbled by Your love
Take my life
Take all that I am
With all that I am I will love You
Take my heart
Take all that I have
Jesus how I adore You

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compare to this love love love

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

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

Add caption

I rarely get anything for Valentine’s Day, but I don’t care (though I did get flowers and a card this year!). People who say that Valentine’s Day is just a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ need to put a little love in it. Do I think you should spend tons of money on dinner or flowers or candy? Not really. Chilly says candy tastes better on Feb 15th because it’s half price. I tend to agree.

I love love love to bring treats on Valentines’s Day. You can see that picture, that was what I brought in today for my work peeps. There are a few missing from the pic because some were already eaten! YEAH!

And did you know that someone tried to argue with me about my ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!!’ post on facebook. I won’t argue love, it seems pointless. Its not like I only do things for peeps on Valentine’s Day, I say love on Feb 14th and the other 364 days too! Though I will say, I deleted that comment and person off my facebook. As KD would say ‘sorry about that’. I don’t even talk to that person anyway.

Oh, and yes, I did get Phyllis a sweet bag for Valentine’s Day! Its from Tukula. She was super excited and said that she kept trying to order it but it was out of stock! LOL! It was great to see her face especially after she said I shouldn’t buy her anything for Valentine’s Day! HAHA!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love! I hope that today you feel loved by the Creator! I hope that you find your worth in Him!

John 13:34-35 ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Really? Amazing. Really!

Today I went to church, I can never remember the name of the songs we sing now, but this one part 'deliver me from the evil one'.

its not the big stuff that gets me.  Or at least it doesn't seem big, but it can end big if I don't know to stop it.

I prayed and prayed.  Leave me alone, God, deliver me from this evil one.

Felt kind of alone today, not because of anything anyone did, just felt that way. 

What do You want me to do?  I start listing stuff off... nothing. 

I want you to serve me in little ways, with all your heart.  But how will I know?  The opportunities will arise


So all of a sudden its 2:40, I've got less than an hour before Marissa comes to get me for cake class.  Should I take the stew over to BH or wait till... who knows when I am going to have time.  So I load up the car.  Run it over there.  As I am walking out, this guy says 'well, at least you have pretty feet' to tell you the truth, I thought he was being a pervert.  I did.  Not nice.  I looked down.  This girl had sandels.  I asked her if she needed shoes...  'I could use some'.  'Ok I'll see what I can do'.  I'm thinking, I could give her my blue tennis shoes.  You know what God says?? No. 
I had to go buy her shoes.  Right then. Ran over to payless, bought the girl some shoes (and socks) and went back and dropped them off. 
I only had $25. But it was just enough.
I wanted to cry. 

Not because she needed shoes (though that should be reason enough).
Not because I have 20 pairs of shoes (though that should be reason enough, too)

Because He chose me.
He chose me to serve, both the beautiful girl, and Him.
He chose me to die for.

Because of love.

Matthew 25:40 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.’


Song of Solomon 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Its been quite a Sunday morning and its only 9AM.  I've got chicken cooking for BH for Thursday's meal.  I've got our dinner of stuffed peppers in the crockpot for dinner, I've been to the gym (only 20 minutes on the eliptical but I'll be running later), taken a bath, I was checking my facebook, and had a not so good moment, I was looking at my facebook profile pic, its from my birthday, I say 3 beautiful women (katie, amanda, & phyllis) and one very ugly duckling.  That's really what I saw.

I don't want to see that, I want to see 4 beautiful women.  I do!  and sometimes I see it, but today... not so much.  Why does that happen?  I'm not going to settle for that vision though, today, I will seek what God sees, but in the meantime, please pray.

Eph 2:10 (NLT) 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.

Stuffed Peppers

I use green peppers, you can use any kind you like :)

4-5 peppers
1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion
2 cups brown rice, cooked (I make it in big batches and freeze it so I have it on hand)
1/2 t hot pepper flakes
2-3 T ketchup
1 c cheddar cheese (I don't always do this, but today I did)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 14 oz cans tomato sauce

Brown ground turkey with onion (salt & pepper if you like), drain (there shouldn't be much to drain). Turn off heat.
Add rice, pepper flakes, ketchup, beans, cheese, mix well.

Cut pepper 'tops' off, you can save them to put on top or freeze them next time you need peppers.

Stuff the peppers, put in crockpot, add tomato sauce all around.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.

I toyed with adding taco seasoning - maybe next time, this is one of Phyllis's favorite things to eat and we haven't had it in awhile so I left it how she likes it.

Menu Planning 2-13-11

Yesterday I made a pot of Taco Chili, so that's what I will be having for lunch.

Sunday - Lunch - Out
Dinner - Stuffed Peppers
Monday - Chicken, pasta, asparagus!  Strawberry Shortcake for dessert - Its Valentine's day! <3
Tuesday - Dinner with Dad
Wednesday - Out
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Bible Study (that means Fattousch!)
Saturday - Nothing planned, I hope I make some plans!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


My brain has kind of been on overload. I’ve been very anxious lately.

I was thankful for today, I seemed to be busy not doing much. I had a great breakfast with my friend Dina, almost every Saturday starts with my nail appointment. I think if I wasn’t at Daybreak on Saturday mornings they wouldn’t know what to do. I made two crazy big pots of stew, and I don’t even like stew, lol.

A church that I serve at (they serve two meals a day – EVERY day! They are amazing!!!) had some crazy overabundance of mixed veggies, and instead of telling them what to do with them, I took them off their hands, added a few key ingredients, and voila stew! Its now in the freezer so they can use it when they need it. Tomorrow I make Chicken Stew for our meal that we bring on Thursdays.

While my stew (that smelled incredible and tasted pretty good if I do say so myself) cooked I went for a run. May I just say that people really need to shovel their walks. Sheesh, it was like an obstacle course out there, not to mention people were not happy when I had to run in the street (someone actually yelled at me – yeah, like it was my fault that there was snowy icy paths!). It was a tough run, it’s the first time I’ve run in 2 weeks. I just really HATE running on the treadmill, and I haven’t done any exercise except for Zumba on Mondays since I last ran. I’ve been so busy with work, and just exhausted that I didn’t exercise. I decided that I really do enjoy the elliptical so I will go to the gym in the mornings and do that, and run outside on different days. I need to exercise, and I need to love it. And I will run outside, I know that I will be ready for the 15 miles in May and I will be ready for the marathon on October. So there, I came clean.

I got the answer to my decision. Funny, I always knew.

Tomorrow I will run. I hope its easier than that last ½ mile today.

Tomorrow I have my cake decorating class. I’m kind of excited and nervous. I’ve got all the stuff to be successful, I hope I don’t screw it up. I made a 8” cherry chip cake for valentine’s day.

Tomorrow will be our time together (me & phyl) and I can’t wait.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

still pursuing

Romans 12:9-12 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer
Sometimes people think I am this great 'lover' I really try to be thoughtful, but not always loving.  I cannot wait to give a gift, not because a gift may cost a lot, but because thought went into the gift.I actually hate to give a gift just to give one.  One time I even mailed someone gum because I thought they would like it :)  silly, I know.
And sometimes if I feel like the gift is awesome I will step outside my budget because I KNEW my dad would love this specific gift.  I can't wait til my dad sees the gift AND tells me over and over (cuz that's how my dad is) how he's using it.  I CAN'T WAIT!

Every day I really do try to love someone, some days I really suck at it.  I've found this about myself, if I am not loving myself, I do not do a good job at loving others.  So I was thinking today about how Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself.  I think about the times in my life that I've been the biggest jerk... not loving myself.   And something happened to me... I really realized how much God loved me, and once that happened, I loved myself.  When I found that my worth comes from Jesus, and He loves me most, I really started realizing my worth, and loving me. It means that I take time for myself, without feeling selfish or guilty.  For crying outloud, even Jesus rested, what makes me think that  I can do anything different.

This weekend, I've got 'a weekend off'.  I'm going to spend it doing things I love, and one of those being pursuing Jesus. I'm going to spend time in the Word, getting lost in His love.  He pursues me so much, I can't wait to chase Him.

Is 51:1-3
1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father,
and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

Picture from here... I SO want this!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do... something...

It’s days like today that I don’t feel like much. I don’t feel like I matter. I just don’t. I’m tired and worn out, I can’t imagine why I have any friends, I don’t understand why anyone likes me or even loves me.

Then I remember, I was created for such a time as this. I was created to love and be loved.

I went to do my celebrity reading program today, it’s a silly thing that I do, I have no idea if it makes a difference outside of the ½ hour that I am there. I made them cookies and valentine’s today, and read a silly Valentine book. World changing, I am not so sure. I walked in today and it was a giant ‘gasp’ and they were so excited to see me, you can’t help but smile when a group of 27 (28 including the teacher) are happy to see you. I made them silly Valentines that simply said ‘You’re special’ and told them that I thought they were special and world changers, and I believe it. They are.

I was looking at a coffee table book for an organization called ‘Blue Planet Run’ and I was looking at the pictures. I was thinking about my nephews, Levi and Judah. I was laughing about their stinky poop and I started to get teared up thinking about what they had already endured in the less than a year they were in Rwanda and what they could have endured, what others endure because there is not clean water.

When you think of those things, how can I not do… something? How can I not run? How can I not raise money for beautiful faces? For beautiful lives that need someone to save them. I am so in awe of people who adopt from Africa (or anywhere) and I am just inspired by them. Right now… I’ll run.

I’ll run for beautiful faces. For beautiful lives. For beautiful love.

James 2:14-26 (NIV) 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 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.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:14-26 (msg) 14-17Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

18I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I'll handle the works department."
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
19-20Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?
21-24Wasn't our ancestor Abraham "made right with God by works" when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are "works of faith"? The full meaning of "believe" in the Scripture sentence, "Abraham believed God and was set right with God," includes his action. It's that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named "God's friend." Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?
25-26The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn't her action in hiding God's spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.

Favorite things!

There is one thing that my madre loved… that I don’t… The Sound of Music. I have no idea why I have an aversion to this movie… but BLAH! I was told when I was younger that she loved the song ‘Favorite things’ so of course, being a young child, wanting to love her momma and the things she loved, I learned every word.

Last night I found myself baking like crazy… one of my favorite things, cupcakes, cookies, and then loving my 10th grade girls, and then home again for even MORE cupcakes.

Today I am off to my Celebrity reading program (please be advised, I know I’m not a celebrity) but anyone who reads in this program is a celebrity. I am reading 'roses are pink, your feet really stink' today. I don’t know where they came up with the idea, but seriously, this is one of my most favorite things to do, which always gets the following rolling around in my head…
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things

Its gonna be a great day, I’m tired, but thankful.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Time to Rest

I feel like I've been going and going like the energizer bunny. 

I was thinking about going to do a few things this weekend. I decided that I am going to stay home... and rest. 

Its been a couple of busy weeks, I found myself being a big jerk yesterday...  And I know that when stupid things make me angry... its time to just retreat, relax, and regroup.

You will find me this weekend, at home... resting.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Wear Love!

This morning during my reading, studying, I read Colossians 3 in the message version.  Studying it for the month so I like to read different translations.  Funny how a couple words changed can blow your mind. 

12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

I was thinking about wearing love.  what does that really mean? 

I'm not that smart, so I broke it down, started thinking about clothes.  Whether we like it or not, people judge us by our appearance.  Go to the Fischer Theater in Carhart coveralls that are all dirty and see.  Or show up at a soup kitchen to serve in an evening gown.  Yes, those are extreme, but you get my point.

Ever see someone that is always joyful, usually people say 'what do they have to be so happy about?' I want to be one of those people.  I want to wear love, and have people judge it!  I want people to ask me about what makes me so happy!! 

Yesterday, I had an issue and part of me just wanted to scream 'what the heck?!' and I thought, no matter what happens, nothing can take away my salvation!  what can truly be better than that?  If that's all Jesus did, that would be sweet, but He does so much more!  that whole 'peace beyond understanding' thing, wow! 

The fact of the matter is that I just want to wear love.  I want that to be the first thing anyone sees when they see me.  Love.  I want to wear wearing love out, so it becomes like my old comfortable shoe, that I never want to part with, and won't.

He is my life!

Col 3 (msg)
He Is Your Life
1-2 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

5-8And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

9-11Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

18Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.

19Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don't take advantage of them.

20Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.

21Parents, don't come down too hard on your children or you'll crush their spirits.

22-25Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.
Got the image from here.  Really want that shirt...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

CrockPot Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted recipe from here.

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 T oil
10 oz can enchilada sauce
14 oz can tomato sauce (recipe called for 8 but I don’t think it was enough)
8 corn tortillas
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c frozen corn
2 c cheese
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded ( I cooked mine in the crockpot ahead of time with 1 c salsa and 1 T taco seasoning)
2 ¼ oz olives (GROSS, I didn’t do this!)

Saute onion and garlic in oil in saucepan. Add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce.

Combine chicken, beans, and corn together.

Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of crockpot

Layer 1/3 chicken/bean/corn mixture, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 sauce, repeat 2 more times.

Top with 2 tortillas.

Cover, cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Also, you can substitute ground beef or turkey for chicken.

Meal Planning 2-7-11

Its a mix of Crockpot and regular cooking this week!  Seems every week we have tacos and every week there is a 'YES!' from my daughter...

Monday - Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday - Roast
Wednesday - Tacos & Spanish Rice
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Bible study - Fattousch!

Raisin Nut Quick Bread

I got this recipe from Sara who got it from Betty Crocker! It's very adaptable, she's done a million things with substituting the raisins, cinnamon, pecans.

3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 c milk
1/4 c oil
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine Flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in one bowl.

Combine Sugar, egg, milk, oil in mixer. Mix away!

Add flour mixture. Mix until well combined.

Add in raisins and pecans.

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Tonight was so great!  I debated about not heading out in the snow, and a couple times I considered turning back.  The weather was pretty bad and the roads were worse!  Had I known there was going to be a snow storm I might not have purchased my 'In the Heights' tickets for tonight. 

We ended up with great seats (I bought the cheapest ones) because an usher told us we could move... shhhh.... don't tell!  and we had a fabulous dinner at Roma Cafe (as always!!) I was blessed for my birthday with a gift certificate, and I got a $25 coupon off the net that I purchased for $3.  So I still have almost $40 left on my gift certificate!  that's pretty sweet! 

The best part though?  Spending time with my girl.  We laughed and just really enjoyed each other's company, and I feel like the luckiest mom in the whole world!

But by the grace of God go I.

Proverbs 22:11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Empire State of Mind

Dreaming about our Trip to New York. Can’t wait! Here’s a few things on our list of things to do!

2. Greenwich Village Walking Tour
3. Cake Boss in Hoboken
4. Running in Central Park
5. Time Square
6. Magnolia’s
7. Pizza
8. Cheesecake AND Canoli
9. Little Italy
10. My girl

Friday, February 04, 2011

In the Heights

Every time Phyllis sees an advertisement or a poster for 'In the Heights' she says "I really want to see that" but I had decided that since we spent a little more to go see "les Mis" that we weren't going to go see any shows between Mary Poppins and Les Mis.  but I decided that with the money that I have been saving eating dinner in ALL the time, saving money by not buying tea and bringing it from home, and not stopping for breakfast, AND making lunch on Sunday instead of eating out (we always go out for lunch after church - this week I will make something in the crockpot or we will have grilled cheese and soup) we are going to see 'In the Heights'.

Yes, I realize its a splurge, yes, I realize that there are probably better uses of our resources, but I also believe that life was meant to be lived.  Maybe its because for the longest time I have not done what I liked to do for fear of _____.  But I just have seen so much happen to people, sickness, death, sadness, I don't want to waste the time that God has given me. 

I feel like my daughter has grown so fast, and soon there won't be a Saturday at the last minute date night available all the time, so just like in serving, I will be making the most of every opportunity.  I also am tired of saying "I wish I would have..."

I also got a gift certificate to Roma's for my birthday, so we are going to go there for dinner, probably, and then the musical, it will be such a great night, and I am really looking forward to it!

Hope you enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lighting up my little corner of the world

I am sorry I haven’t written. I feel like things are crazy in my head and my heart. I hear of so many hurting, and sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the fact that I want to do something. But sometimes all I can do is pray. Now, I know know know that there is nothing better that I can do, there is nothing greater than to lift someone to the thrown of Jesus and let Him handle it. I know that. I know that God is bigger, greater, mightier, smarter, stronger, loves more. I know. But I just want to do something.

Sunday Pastor Chilly was talking about how he is afraid to sleep, he said something like if Jesus comes he doesn’t want to be sleeping… I totally get that. Well, not the sleeping part because I need my rest.

People are always saying to me that I am awesome. I don’t know about all that, but I do want to be inspiring, and I do want people to see me and say “I can do that” and then do it. I think we are all called to different things, and at different times in our life the call is different.

I don’t feel called to adopt from Africa, but I feel called to do whatever God has given me that talent to do to help those He has called. Sometimes its to pray, or love, or just donate a bunch of my stuff! I feel called to run for clean water. I feel like someday, I will visit the place that is getting the donations from our run. So I will.

I don’t feel called to run a daycare, but I feel called to have a jar on my desk and collect change for a change. So I will. And I do feel called to love teenagers! so I will!!

I don’t feel called or equipped to join one of the armed forces, but I feel called to make Valentine’s and Easter cards and send candy. So I will.

I don’t want Jesus to come back or me die, get to heaven and God say “why didn’t you… I gave you the opportunity.

Maybe shoveling snow for your neighbors doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but when you are mail man/woman who has to deliver mail in the snow, I bet it’s a lot. I know that when I was a kid, I hated walking home when the sidewalk wasn’t shoveled, and may I never forget. Coming home from a long day and your walk/driveway shoveled is ‘a little heaven on the way to heaven” as Pastor Clark would say.

I want my life to count for something. I want to the world to know that Jesus changed my life, and I won’t stop loving til I’m rejoicing in heaven!

Col 4:2-6 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Light up the World – Desperation
I'm gonna believe that we will see the Kingdom come to earth,
I'm gonna believe that signs and wonders follow hearts that burn,
I'm gonna believe that sickness sin and poverty will cease,
I; m gonna believe that power from the heavens will release.

Oh let Your Kingdom come on earth
And let your will be done,

Yeah light up the world with your love,
Rain down on our hearts like a flood,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see.

I'm gonna believe that fathers and their children will unite,
I"m gonna believe that marriage will not end without a fight,
I'm gonna believe that churches will become Your hands and feet,
I'm gonna believe that acts of love and kindness will increase,

Oh let Your Kingdom come on earth
And let your will be done,

Yeah light up the world with your love,
Rain down on our hearts like a flood,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see.

As You light up,
As You light up,
As You light up the world
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory
Send Your glory

Yeah light up the world with your love,
Rain down on our hearts like a flood,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,
Our eyes will see the glory of God,

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Things to do tomorrow!

We’ve got a snowstorm coming tomorrow! I’m gonna hunker down and enjoy getting some things done! I’m going to clean tonight so I can enjoy my day!

1. Read my bible

2. Shovel

3. Make Valentine Cards for Soldiers

4. Shovel

5. Work

6. Shovel

7. Make brownies

8. Shovel

9. Make Chocolate chip cookies

10. Shovel

11. Scrapbook

12. Shovel

13. Do my taxes

14. Shovel

Proverbs 31:21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.