Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Friday, April 29, 2011

Here I am! Send me!

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. _Martin Luther King, Jr



So my life group, most of us, are going on a Mission Trip to Central America to dig a well. I’m always up to something, aren’t I? This year, running a marathon to raise money for Rwandan wells, 2012 I'm actually going with a team to drill the well.  Crazy...

I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

Phyllis and I are both going. It’s a lot of money. I’m not a big one for fundraising. I hate asking for money, and it’s a total pride thing. Oh boy, Pride. Two times in one week. I can feel some hard lessons coming on if I don’t get on my knees about this, if I don’t read up and listen up about this. This will be an act of obedience for me. It will mean that not only do I depend on God, pursue Him, His will, it means I have to listen to Him and do what He says.  My next book in the bible to read & study... Isaiah.

I’ve never done anything like this before.

Since there is a good chance of us going to a Spanish speaking country, this will be a great opportunity for me to use the 4 years of Spanish I had in high school as a base and learn how to speak it, and get confident at it.

So here I go, stepping out, not sure of what will happen, but trusting that whatever it is, God will be with me every step of the way.

Is 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Did you know...  Facts from Living Water International Website
 
LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL KEY FACTS
• 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population. (WHO-UNICEF)
• 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This amounts to around 5000 deaths a day. (UNDP)
• LWI projects providing safe water and hygiene education at an average cost of twenty dollars per person, for a generation. (LWI)
• The simple act of washing hands with soap and clean water can reduce diarrheal diseases by over 40%. (UNICEF)
• Providing water and hygiene education reduces the number of deaths caused by diarrhoeal diseases by an average of 65%. (WHO)
• Water-related disease is the second biggest killer of children worldwide, after acute respiratory infections like tuberculosis. (UNDP)
• The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 40 pounds, the same as the average airport luggage allowance. (UNDP)

• Water and sanitation infrastructure helps people take the first essential step out of the cycle of poverty and disease.


WATER-RELATED DISEASES

• At any given time, half the population of the developing world is suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with inadequate provision of water and sanitation. (UNDP)

• At any one time, half of the developing world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-related diseases. (UN)

• Around 90% of incidences of water-related diseases are due to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene and is mostly concentrated on children in developing countries. (WHO)

• Intestinal worms infect about 10% of the population of the developing world. Intestinal parasitic infections can lead to malnutrition, anaemia and stunted growth. (WHO)


WATER USE

• The average North American uses 400 liters a day. European uses 200 liters. (UNDP)

• The average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC))

• On current trends over the next 20 years humans will use 40% more water than they do now. (UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

• Agriculture accounts for over 80% of the world’s water consumption. (UN Environment Programme (UNEP)


EDUCATION AND ECONOMY

• 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases. (UNDP)

• 11% more girls attend school when sanitation is available. (DFID)

• 40 billion working hours are spent carrying water each year in Africa. (Cosgrove and Rijsberman 1998)

• Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task. (DFID)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pride comes before the fall

So yesterday I rejoined WW (weight watchers) and to tell you the truth, you know what inspired me? I beautiful girl who Friday night at our church’s Good Friday service gave her life back to the Lord. After all her mistakes, she said, “I’ve had enough of this world, I’m going back”. I cannot tell you in words how much I love this beautiful girl and how I’ve prayed for her and how much she inspires me.  Oh, my soul!


I have been writing my talk for Saturday, and am in awe of God’s grace and after all I’ve done, He always takes me back. Food is a struggle for me, so much so that I had started a blog titled it’s not about food. And I thought about how I was worried about what people would think, and what would people say about my high number. Pride.

The bible talks a lot of pride, it brings strong men down, and quite frankly, I’d rather walk to the feet of Jesus or bury my head in His heart than to have Him bring me to my knees.

Pride comes before the fall… I love the message version of Proverbs 16:18

First pride, then the crash—

the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

So I’ve weighed in, I’ve planned for today, I’ve actually written all my points out til dinner. Going out for Phyllis’s Honors Dinner, which I am not sure what they are serving, but I know I’ve got plenty of points to work with.

What are you struggling with? And what are you going to do about it? And is it keeping you from Jesus?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Err on the side of grace

Some people do really well on their own, me I need support, and accountability.  I need other people's ideas, etc.

After a long fight with pride, I rejoined Weight Watchers.  Talked to some peeps about their newest program, and I must say... I think I'm gonna like it.  I mean as much as you can like not getting to eat whatever you want and as much as you want... but I'll like it more than being fat, thank you very much.

So... I'm sure a lot of people think 'oh here she goes again, fallen, I wonder how long she will last this time?'  There are so many times we fall, we get back up, we go running back into the arms of God, for whatever our struggle is.  And I always think we should err on the side of grace. Forgive people, lift them up, even if they might fall again.  Err on the side of love...  I do that for others, but I'm so hard on myself! 

Well, here's the thing, I'm erring on the side of grace for me.  No more self loathing. Even to the point that I cleaned out my closet and if the clothes weren't within one size (down) of where I am now, they are getting donated.  No more self loathing (every time i looked at those size 8 pants I'd think 'you're such an idiot, a failure! - NO MORE OF THAT!).  Half the fun of losing weight is buying new clothes anyway! 

So here I go... (again)...

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.

To whom much is given... much is required

I could go on and on and on (and on) about all my blessings.  I have a lot.  A lot of stuff and more than my share of grace has been spread over my life like yummy creamy peanut butter (or cake frosting whichever you prefer).

Today is my first day back to work after a much needed vacation.  I had to come in Monday because there was something urgent (not sure why it was urgent all of a sudden but oh well) and then... the customer did nothing while I was off.  Oh well, such is life.

Its been crazy and my crazy little chest 'twitch' came back, but I can do what I can do, I take my job as a serious blessing, because I have been given much, and in that much is requred.

I am blessed not stressed, it will all get done eventually and a job well done. 

Happy day back from vacation to you! 

Luke 12:48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Seeing the Rainbow

Everytime I talk about 'the flood' in my house, I am constantly reminded of God's promise of the rainbow.

So, my basement flooded about 3 inches +/- 1/2 in depending on the area.  I ended up having a great company (Service Master in Romulus) it's who State Farm recommended, and since I am no expert in basement cleanup, I left it to the experts (I call that wisdom).  Within 3 hours they pretty much had the mess cleaned up Easter Sunday Morning, oh, by the way... I had the best plumbers in the world!  Sewer Specialists in Monroe come clean it out in case you live Downriver or the area... call them!  734-242-4365!  Seriously, the BEST! and they had the drained cleared in less than 2 hours or so from the time of my phone call! (I call that being blessed!)

So, thank the Lord, I have Sewer back up insurance as part of my policy, $1000 deductible, it covers a variety of things, but it doesn't cover furnishings, but it does cover the clean up (about $2400) and the carpet and major appliances, and the walls.  That means the couch, the desk, and my Christmas tree (ugh) are not covered in the loss.  (and btw my cleanup was an easy one... and the cost... about $2400!)

Some peeps have told me that I should make a little noise about it.  I called for a copy of the policy, which I recieved, and clearly, it's not covered.   I don't have a good feeling about raising a little noise, and I don't feel like any good will come of it (I call that the Holy Spirit).  I have been a scrapper my whole life, and to be honest, most of that has not brought me peace except now, when the Holy Spirit leads, and so I've decided that I am blessed, it's just stuff, and I'd rather be thankful and have peace, than to argue about a couch, a desk, and some end tables.

I see the rainbow in God's promise of His word.  The whole time, the whole vacation, whatever came up, I chose to focus on what is good, noble, praiseworthy, truthful, admirable. And just like His Word says, it has brought me great peace.

I got too much stuff anyway, and my basement floor has never been so clean! 

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

(I know I've been writing about these verses a lot, but it's etched in my heart, so I can't apologize)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Enchilada Soup

This is from this cookbook , page 93 to be exact. 

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion (about 1 cup)
3 cloves of garlic
4 c chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds of cooked, shredded chicken
1 15 oz can black beans
1 14.5 can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c corn kernels
1 7oz salsa verde or 4 oz can green chiles
1 T seeded and minced jalapeno pepper
1 T chili powder
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 c sour cream
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 c fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large pan, stir in onions and garlic, cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in chicken, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, salsa, jalapeno, and chili powder.  heat to simmering.

Add cornstarch to small bowl, stir in water and mix until the mixture is smooth.  Stir into soup and simmer 10 minutes.  Whisk sour cream together with 1 c hot soup in a small bowl and then stir into soup until well blended.  Stir in lime juice and cilantro.  And serve!

The week ahead!

It's Easter! Thank You Lord!

The cleanup crew is coming today to clean up the mess in my basement. I'm really trying not to be anxious about the mess or the high deductible, it all seems very shallow compared to what He did and all He rescued me from, you know?

I've been kind of just relaxing this morning, my back is a little tender, I got out of the practice of planning my week's meals, so it is time to get back to it. Things go better with planning. Also kind of realized how much I have stocked up and it's time to use some of it up, what's the point of having it if you don't use it? I pulled out my 'the farm chicks in the kitchen' cookbook. I also found some recipes I'd like to try on their blog

Sunday -
Lunch: Tacos
Dinner: Easter Dinner with the family

Monday Lunch: Enchilada soup (a version of page 93)
Dinner: Spinach Chicken Salad

Tuesday: Asian Quinoa (page 94)with chicken and asparagus

Wednesday: Superintendent's dinner (Phyllis is top 10% of her class)

Thursday: Chicken with Pasta & Veggies

Friday: fattousch & hummous at bible study

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A week in review!

My week wasn’t anything like I planned.

My house is almost finished (will be done tonight!) which would have never happened if we went to NY. I’ve spent some great time with friends and Phyllis.

I learned more about the Passover, which makes me love Jesus more!

I got to be part of the celebration in heaven when someone ‘comes home’ to give their life back to Jesus! Had cupcakes and everything (you know it’s not a party without cupcakes!)

And today… Madea movie! Did I mention I love Madea! Hee hee!

I’ve got 6 beauties sleeping downstairs, Brie, Rosie, Melissa, Katie K, Michelle, and Phyllis, I snuck out to get my nails done while they were sleeping and gonna make breakfast in a little bit.

I love Jesus. I know that people think I’m a little whack about that but yesterday (and the day before, and the day before that) God has really been doing some crazy things in my heart the last week.

In one week I’ll be telling God’s story in my life to a bunch a beautiful women and I’m excited!

I’m amazed by You! May I never forget!



Phil 3:7-14 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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learning to bloom!

I always say that I want to bloom where I'm planted. I trust God but somehow I always want to do something else.  Funny because I hate change.

Monday I had to go into work on my vacation.  I think people were more upset than me.  I had decided that even on the hardest and suckiest of days that I would be thankful for my job. When you work at McDonald's it is not so imperative that you come in on your vacation, you don't have that kind of responsibility (most of the time) but with the responsibility I have, comes a good living for my daughter and I.  Blooming!!!

I love cooking for people!  I made a giant vat of mac&cheese and sent some to one family, and tomorrow (or maybe today) I will deliver mac&cheese and Keilbasa to two other families!  Blooming on vacation - I was supposed to be in NY!

I have learned that in order to bloom, I must be thankful!  I wrote out thank you notes for some gifts I had received, I hope to get them in the mail soon!  It wasn't really the gift I was thankful for, though I was SUPER thankful, it was for the person who gave it to me.  How thankful I am for the peeps God has placed in my life!

Isaiah 35:2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God

Monday, April 18, 2011

What does your life look like?

I'm supposed to be on vacation.  I'm up, getting ready to go to the gym, and then I'll shower, and go to work.  Not because I want to but because I'm blessed to have a good job, and I only need to work on one thing :)  And besides, shouldn't our lives reflect excellence?
I was out the other day with Phyllis at Roma's, we happened to be sitting next to a table of four who claimed they were 'Christians' I beg to differ though, I think they were church goers. There's a difference.  I will have to tell you that if someone came in and was taking a poll 'are you a Christian?' and they stood up, it might have been one time in my life that I would have said 'no' because, and while I don't mean to be judgemental but I am, I wouldn't have wanted to have been associated with them.  And it got me to thinking... how many times could people say that about me?
Oh boy.
Too many.
I strive to look like Jesus, to have my heart resonate Him.  I fall short soooo many times. AND I HATE THAT ABOUT ME!
I choose to live love, but I don't always.
Jesus says 'Forgive them Father for they know not what they do'. (Luke 23:34)
FORGIVE ME FATHER, sometimes I don't realize it, but sometimes I do.  I want to be more like you!  Like in John 3:30 when John says that we must be less and He must be more!
Let it not ever be about me.
I heard a great teaching yesterday... Be available, usable, submissive, & forgettable.
That's what I want.
Available for God to use me - I need to just be waiting for His call
Usable -Once He calls, I want Him to use me!
Submissive - Do whatever He asks!  (you know like that whole 'If God calls me to an overseas mission trip, I'm hangin' up - and now I'm going' I bet He laughs at me all the time)
Forgettable - that somehow, no one sees me, they only see Christ.

Here I am, Lord.  SEND ME (and by this I mean, send the best part of me - YOU)!

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thankful!

got a lot to be thankful for!

I put the first coat of beige on the dining room walls!  I'm sure you are all sick to death of hearing me talk about painting!  I'm tired of doing it, but it's coming along and I'm more than half way done.  Sure would have been easier to pay someone but I think God had different plans.  It really has been kind of cool to accomplish this on my own! (with the help of Phyllis).  I can't believe I'm doing it!  I even got new doors for all the bedrooms, closets, and the bathroom!  It's gonna be SWEET!

Thankful that I can make dinner for the Alive leaders today, they are having chicken tacos!  My peeps love tacos!

Phyllis decided she wanted to move upstairs, it's a bigger space, she's getting older and I think it will be nice for her.  Now her turquoise room will become the office. 

Praying about digging a well in Central America for peeps who need water.  Sometimes I think I've lost my mind, but I'm thankful I can do it!  And I'm thankful for the peeps I'm going to be doing it with!

My favorite store Catching Fireflies had a groupon special today!  I was excited! I love that store! I've gotten some good deals lately on that sight & Living Social!

I've got too much stuff and I'm getting rid of some of it by giving it for a garage sale to bring a baby from Africa to their mom&dad!

I've got lots of peeps who love me!

Happy Sunday everyone!  Sending love!

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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This weekend!

Here's my to-do list... can't wait til it's a ta-done list!  Good thing I'm on vacation... because come Monday... I'm gonna be tired!

1. Painting (all the red is done in the house!) at least for now :)
    Dining room (Pony tail)
    Stairway downstairs (Ponytail & Sasperilla)
    Kitchen (NOT SURE LOL!)
    Trim (YUCK)
2.  Hung Pics in the my room
3.  Maybe IKEA (I ran out of black frames!)
4.  Catching Fireflies (either Berkely or Rochester)
5.  Dinner for Alive (no idea yet)
6.  Plan out rest of the week
7.  Maybe Edges
8.  Roma's for lunch today?
9.  Buy an electric saw (so excited!) & saw horses!
10.  Church!
Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do you really want to know?

People ask me how I am. In passing, and on the phone.

Well here's the answer.

I'm trusting God.

Because I'm sad, hurt, angry, stressed out, and see spots on many occasions.

I used to write scripture on 3X5 cards and place them all over my house. While it looks a little crazy, I highly recommend it for learning scripture, read it while brushing your teeth, using a Q-tip, making dinner, etc. On the cabinet in the bathroom it said 'Trust in God, but also trust in Me" ~ Jesus (John 12:44)

I'm trusting, because that's all I can do. Because while I trust God, I still want to know:
Why did You know put Osteo-arthritis in my daughter's body? Because the doctor said there would be no affects from the JRA.
Hasn't she been through enough?
WHY?
WHY?
WHY?

I KNOW that all things work for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, but I HATE THIS! OK! I HATE IT! We've already been through this once, and once was enough!

But I'm trusting! I'm believing in healing!

So if you ask me how I am? I'm trusting. And I'm focusing on Phil 4:8-9

The rest is for God to handle, and I'm thankful for that.

Still going on vacation

I'm still taking the week off... nothing set in stone as far as plans go, but I need a vacation. I'm telling everyone at work that I'm going to Iceland so they can't call me LOL. We might spend a day in Chicago.

If I don't get a vacation, someone might die, and it might be me, so that would be bad!

I've got lots of stuff around the house to do plus I'd like to go SOMEWHERE!

So that's it! It's FRIDAY! YEAH!!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh the places you'll go!!

I think everyone should read this book! It's the theme for Phyllis's Grad Party!

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I may not have it all together...

I always feel like I'm a mess.  Do you feel like that?

I feel like I'm always saying I'm sorry or letting someone down.

Today I had a business SAE dinner AND a Spring District Concert. And I didn't know how to say no to either... and I'm so blessed that I didn't have to.   I met up with the peeps from work and then rushed to my car (as best as one can rush in 3in heels) and made it just in time to make the part where Phyllis sang.  She said she didn't care if I made it, BUT I CARED!

I often feel like I don't fit the mold of a corporate woman and I'm not the picture perfect mom, I'm not the picture perfect anything, but I am glad for grace. 

And I'm glad that God made me just how I am.  I may not have it all together... but oh well.

I cannot be measured by someone else's ruler.

Postcards of love

I have to share something with you.


I got a little postcard in the mail yesterday. By little, I mean size.

That postcard may have been little in size but in my heart, it was the size of a billboard.

It basically said, I love you and you’re making a difference in the lives of others. What you do matters.

It’s amazing how such a small postcard can make such a big difference.

Encouragement.

1 Thes 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Hope

My daughter has arthritis. And I am not at all happy about it. Not at all.

Osteo Arthritis is one of those things that you really can’t do much about. I am not happy about that either.

We cancelled our trip to NY. Not happy. I wanted to go, but mostly, I wanted my daughter to be able to go.

I know there are worse things. I know it. And I’m not happy about those either.

But right now, this is OUR worse thing.

I walk around trying to be positive, but let me tell you something…

THIS REALLY SUCKS!

I trust God, I know He can heal her. It would really great if He would. Now.

I’ve had enough, but I’ll never give up hope. NEVER. I will take hope to my grave with me.

I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what you can do for me. I just need something. And thankfully at the pile of those needs, I have Jesus. And right now, it’s all I need.

Romans 5:3-5 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In times like these...

I've learned to count my blessings....  so at the risk of sounding like a ray of sunshine... I am going to start listing out my blessings, because otherwise, I'll go nuts.

I have a Savior who loves me, and I believe Him
I have great friends & family
We have enough food in our house to eat for weeks (literally)
We have great medical insurance
I have a great job
We have clean drinking water
I'm going to heaven
Lots of people love us
My van is super nerdy cool!
Phyllis is smart, funny, beautiful
God has great plans for us
I love my house
I am running a marathon!
Phyllis and I BOTH have vehicles that run well
We are FREE!
I have the ability to make a mean cupcake!
I have enough cookbooks that I could, if I wanted have a different
I work with some really wonderful peeps!
We have access to great medical care!
There are many many more!!!

But lastly!  GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!!!!!

Phil 4:8-9 8 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.

So long New York...

Well, I think that New York probably couldn't have held us anyway...

Our trip to New York is cancelled. 

I'm a little disappointed.

But it's just a vacation.

I'd give up every vacation for the rest of my life if it meant that my daughter's feet were healed.

But this I know...

God is good.

All the time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm working on it

The other day as I was shoving Marissa Lopez's burritos in my mouth, I knew I was eating for pleasure.  With all the stress I have, it is a true miracle I didn't eat all 30 of them that she brought over. 

I've gone back to the old stand-by Andy Stanley best question ever.

Is this a wise decision based on my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams?

Please God, let Your Holy Spirit speak to me and through me as I focus on You, and all that You have planned for my life.

Amen!

Happy Monday!

I’m working on painting my house, getting the outside ready, getting rid of stuff for a garage sale (check out the link), I lead a busy life. In that busy life, sometimes it makes it difficult to make wise choices in eating. It is because it always takes planning.

A bunch of guys at work do a ‘fat club’ they put in $100 and in 12 weeks they need to lose 10 pounds. If the 10 pounds is achieved, they get their $100 back, and if they don’t, their $100 is divided among the ‘winners’. I’m the first woman to do it. I need motivation. And so I’m doing it. I will get my $100 back. I weighed in this morning, and now this is it. 10 pounds in 12 weeks is totally doable, and safe. And since I think that crazy diets are dumb, and that making good choices and things that you can do for the rest of your life is the way to do… I will do this! I’m still down from before, and I have a crazy friend who will run with me or workout with me. So if you are with me, and I make a bad choice, I give you permission to say ‘are you sure?’ if I am going to eat something that might not be the best choice, but let’s be clear, I don’t give you permission to give me the ‘mom look’ or hound me about it. I am a grown up, I know my goals, but I also know that for the rest of my life, I will eat Chicken paprikash, I will have stuff that’s not always the best choice, but I know that everything in balance. It means turkey instead of ground beef, less sugar, less fat (but not fake), real food, and making vegetables a priority. And most importantly, keeping my focus on God.

And let's face it...  running a marathon thinner will be better!  (less dead weight)

Other than that, the tent is ordered (deposit in the mail), 4 days til New York, and painting is going well, cleaned out some in the backyard yesterday.

Happy Monday!

This is me… thankful!

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him

Friday, April 08, 2011

Painting & Check list

Its pretty cool to see my house come together with all this painting I am doing.  I think that people may think I'm a kook for some nights painting one or two walls. It does seem crazy, but it is also manageable. I'm by myself, so it takes me awhile.  But I don't care.  Slow and steady wins the race, the key is to not give up.

When I say 'done' I mean the main painting is done, but the trim I still have to do...
Foyer - done
Living room brown - done (only the red wall left)
Hallway - done

And because I got so much done this week, I am going to go hang with my girlfriends!

Tonight I will prep the red wall in the living room and sand a few spots in the dining room so painting can commence on Saturday :)

And the spring clean up is done!

My favorite Alive boys are going to come paint my garage (YAY!)

Things to do today:  Measure backyard and order tent

Please pray for Phyllis's foot, we go to the doctor, we've got some decisions to make about the future.  Complete healing would be FABULOUS!

Phil 3:14 (NLT) I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

High School ponderings...

I was thinking the other day about how much I’ve changed since high school. And my daughter graduating from high school is making me think about all this…
I also thought about how badly I wanted to be a teacher when I graduated but with no guidance, I never fulfilled that dream. Somehow though, God orchestrated so many beautiful children in my path, their lives are forever etched in my heart.
I really think that people who think that high school was the time of their lives, topped out at high school.
High school sucked.
You think you know everything. You know everything based on what you’ve been exposed to, and in 18 years, no matter how much media you’ve got in your life, you haven’t been exposed to much.
Here’s a little advice for high schoolers…
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. You will learn a lot from your mistakes, you will learn what you’re not good at which will drive you towards what you are good at. Don’t be discouraged.
  • No matter how good of friends you are in high school, most likely, by the time you’re 40, you’ll have a few of those friends, but most of them (and you) will have moved on to other things.
  • You’ll change a million times by the time you’re 30, you’ll spend a lot of time trying to keep up. Just be yourself, the rest just falls in line.
  • You’re loved more than you know, you just don’t see it yet. Hind sight really is 20/20.
  • Yes, you’re sick of school, just keep going, college is nothing like high school. And praise The Lord for that!
  • No matter what happens…
 God has it all in His control. Enjoy the rest of your life, it won’t be easy, enjoy and take every opportunity that presents itself.

one bite at a time

So I got a little freaked out the other day!  So much stuff.

I got this snazzy little notebook from Target for like $3 and I love it.

Each page is a different to do list...  Inside, outside, NY, everyday, groceries...  I LOVE IT.

Somehow that little checklist has made me soooo happy.

CHECK!
CHECK!
CHECK!

Everything is organized in bite sized pieces. 

The entry way is done!  Check!
All the paint is purchased!  CHECK!
Doors purchased!  CHECK!
Cap & Gown! CHECK!
The living room beige only needs one more coat!  and then on to the red!

We leave for NY in 8 days!!!!!!!!!!   Wicked (check), Walking food tour (check), checked priceline for better hotel deal - I apparently got an awesome deal on my own! (check)!!

so I'm taking things one bite at a time! 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

life happens...

It is not like right now I am busier than any other time.  I'm always busy.  Always.  I can't think of a time when I haven't been. 

I never knew I had high blood pressure before, but now that I know I seem to be obsessed with it.  Phyllis's foot is a mess and no one really knows why.  I am so busy at work.  There is a ton of stuff to do on this house.  And there always seems like someone needs something from me, and when I ask for some help, I don't know if I'm gonna get it.

Yesterday was it.  I hit the wall.  Hard.  And this may sound crazy, but I knew if I didn't do something soon, we'd never eat another good meal.

I'm a good cook, not because I have some amazing talent, but because I cook with love.  I cook well, because I care about so many things.  My friend Katie says that when I make spaghetti I kiss the noodles :)  Yesterday I made crockpot lasagna, it was DISGUSTING!  And there wasn't anything in it that should have caused it to be disgusting but it was!  We couldn't even eat it.  Phyllis made muffins...  they were gross.  And I'll tell you, that never happens.  I had nothing to do with the muffins, but if my heart didn't get right, we were going to be malnourished (that might take a long time on my part I can afford to miss a meal or two or ten).

I wanted to sit on the couch and veg for the night, but believe it or not, that would have stressed me out more.  So Phyllis trimmed the wall in the foyer, I took down some very dirty curtains that are not going to go back up, moved furniture to other parts of the room I patched walls, washed floor, then rollered the wall that Phyllis cut in, loaded the dishwasher, and then... I went straight to The Source.  I open my bible randomly, which people will say that you're not supposed to do, and read 2 Thes (I can't think of a bad part in the bible so I think random isn't SO bad), and prayed, repented for my mess yesterday, and know that yesterday doesn't define me.  I still have another apology to make, and I don't really want to and want to at the same time.

I have to remember that I can do what I can do, God actually handles it all, not what is left over after I do my part.  He handles my blood pressure, Phyllis's foot, work, home, heart issues, He handles it all!

Today is a new day. Things will get done, or they won't.  How about that.

2 Thes 1:3-12 3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[b] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.



5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.


11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.[c]  

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Love is spoken here

I've wanted this for my entry way for the longest time, but trying to design it myself kind of made me nervous... so I did what any smart girl would do... I googled it... and I found it! (thankfully for Katie because i was going to recruit her help!) It's almost perfect...  I found it here!!!

I just want the red part beige because it is going on a red wall...

But I LOVE IT!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Lots to do!

There is not one thing ahead of me that is bigger than the power behind me!I

I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed! I will not get overwhelmed!

Here it all comes… New York, graduation, grad party, one giant bill for Cosmotology school…
And let’s not even begin to discuss the daily craziness of my life!

In preparation for Phyllis’ graduation party I’ve started my to do list!
Yard
Spring Clean-up - Drew
Dirt to be filled in
Flowers to be planted
Garage to be painted (outside)
AC unit to be painted
Clean Garage
Rent Tables/chairs/Tent
House
Finish painting walls
Living Room
Foyer
Dining Room
Kitchen
Stairway downstairs
Trim
Moldings – Rob
Door handle – dad

Food
Ham – Dad
Chicken – Kroger
Potato Salad – Wanda
Chicken BLT – Kathy
Cheese Potatoes
Beverages

And Phyllis’s door handle needs to be fixed on her car!

One thing at a time I can get this all accomplished and since I am only inviting people who love us to the party, they will either help or overlook whatever doesn’t get done!

I will only be overwhelmed with the Glory of God!

Mark 7:27 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday!

OHMYWORD! there is no way there was enough hours today!

I was up at 6 and the only time I sat today was during church and Edges (and driving because that would be dangerous to stand and drive).

I just finished the 'ponytail' color in the foyer, 2 coats in the living room on two walls, and I put the first coat of 'dozen roses' on the accent wall in the foyer (my foyer is so small it probably doesn't need an accent wall but too bad, it's my house!).

I hate painting but like running, God does some great things in my heart when I am quiet and so it's good. 

I made the sauce for the spaghetti for tomorrow, first time I ever made sauce in the crockpot and put the meat in raw, it worked out well, and it was easy!

And I think I decided that I am going to have the grad party at my house, it isn't fancy, it isn't a huge space, but it is what God blessed me with, so I'm going with it.  Now I just need to find a tent, table, & chairs company.

Hangin' on this for the week:

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”


 

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Edges

So I am a HUGE fan of AKT Theatre, I mean, of course I am, Angie Kane Ferrante is absolutely amazing, but truly, Edges was amazing!

It starts out with this song 'become' and the chorus goes...

But still I smile because I need to look strong, and all the while I keep soldiering on, I want to see me from where I’ve begun, but I’m afraid to be who I am, who I want to become…

I can tell you at almost every time in my life I've felt like this.

Now, there are a few times when there is adult content, but it is certainly nothing I've never heard before and it is easily overlooked (at least my me)

So then after the first act, Phyllis informs me that the second song reminds her of me... and I'm thinking great, (the first song in the 2nd act is called 'I hope you die' so who knows right?) but after the first line, I'm crying.  Not to mention that Aaron sang it, great kid that Aaron Glenn.

I once knew a woman who tried to keep going
Who made more of life than what she had been dealt
A woman who raised a city of children
Who never got back or got asked how she felt
I once knew a woman who had a laugh just like thunder
And hands that can wipe away anyone’s tears
A women’s whose life wasn’t measured by time
Who stayed the same age despite passing years
So look bright, so look strong
Act the unbeatable part you once played
So hold tight, so hold on
Hold fast to the delicate future you made
Cause as I’m getting older
I’m finding the holes
I never wanted to see
So hold on, hold fast, hold tighter for me
I once knew a woman who would take me to breakfast
Who taught me that I could mix ketchup with eggs
I once knew a woman who saw all my moments
Who taught me to sing and to stand on both legs
I once knew a woman not scared to be challenged
Embracing all chances although she could fail
And when she fell down she would always get up
I wasn’t afraid, I knew she’d prevail
So look bright, so look strong
Act the unbeatable part you once played
So hold tight, so hold on
Hold fast to the delicate future you made
Cause as I’m getting older
I’m finding the holes
I never wanted to see
So hold on, hold fast, hold tighter for me
I don’t have to leave I can stay by your side
What can I do so you’re able to see
That I won’t ever try without you there to catch me
So please be the woman I need you to be.
Don’t cry, and act strong
Be the unbeatable part you once played
So just try and hold on
Everything’s fine mom, you cant be afraid
So hold on, hold fast, hold tighter for me

So maybe that wouldn't have made everyone cry but me... well, I guess because I've always struggled with hoping that I am a good mom (and just kind of realizing I did ok - by the grace of God go I), that's who I always wanted to be! 

But here's the deal about the Edges song cycle, almost every song, is how everyone you know (including you) has felt at one time (or all times in their lives).  Its about how we feel, and what we cover up.  I have seen quite a few musicals (I love them) but this one, beats them all, if I was able to buy the score (or soundtrack or whatever it is called) I'd buy it today.

This is what I'm saying to you... if you haven't figured it out... Go see Edges, you won't be sorry.  Support local theatre, even though I am not crazy about  Downriver, we've got some talent, AKT theatre happens to be a bright spot in Downriver, get some light, it will do your heart some good! And it's only ten bucks, you could spend ten bucks at Starbucks, and it won't be nearly as good!




P.S.  I don't mix ketchup with eggs (gross)

Menu planning 4-3-11

This week is gonna take a lot of planning because Phyllis works a lot, and I’m going to try to run more so that I can get my distance up and my speed too! I know that for me, planning is KEY!

So this is the week ahead!

Sunday – I’m only planning lunch, Phyllis won’t be home because she has plans for the evening!
For us - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, & asparagus
Alive Leaders – Sloppy Joes, potato salad, chips, cupcakes

Monday – Crockpot spaghetti sauce (I’ll make the noodles Sunday night so we just have to rinse hot water over them Monday

Tuesday – Sloppy Joes (will be made in the crockpot to simmer all day for yummy goodness

Wednesday – Probably eat at Panera – together!

Thursday – Crockpot lasagna (a version of this) with leftover sauce from Monday!

Friday – going out with the ladies to common ground in canton (I think that’s where it’s at – hopefully someone will let me know!

Saturday – I’ll be out with Katie probably & Phyllis working so it will be leftovers!

Apparently I've gone tomato crazy this week!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Breathing life

Sometimes I am just amazed at the friends I have, they breathe such life into me!

Today I went and had a great dinner with Marissa and Beckie. Earlier in the day I registered for the Martian Marathon (i'm only doing the 5k) and I got the first coat of 'pony tail' in the foyer, and two walls of the living room.  I'm making progress...

I say all this to say that I have so many friends, that believe in me and that makes me believe in myself.

I feel so blessed!

To Party or not to party

So... my latest dilemma...

My daughter is graduating from high school... 

What to do about a graduation party?

Do I just have it at my rinky-dink house with a very small backyard?
Have it at my cousin's house in New Boston?
Have it at my dad's house?
Have it at a hall?
Or not have one at all and just give her the $$ I would have spent?

See here's the thing, I love throwing a party!  LOVE IT!  It is sooo much work.  Having it at my house would be easiest but I'd love to have it at my cousin's house, but would I hurt my dad&stepmom's feelings because my dad did, in passing offer his house because of his yard, or do I have it in a climate controlled hall?

Oh brother.