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)


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Preparing

I’m often surprised.  You’d think that being old would take the surprise out of things.  Unfortunately, I’m not always surprised in a good way.  Yesterday was one of those days.  And let me just also admit, that I have no idea where I belong.  It’s a tough thing to follow God’s direction of ‘Be still and know I am God’.

Yesterday I walked into a room and was greeted with a bunch of things that made me believe that I wasn’t wanted there.  Unfortunately for the people who didn’t want me there, there was three people who did, and since one of the people was the guest of honor, I just walked out, cried, and walked back in. And smiled.  I guess you can’t be loved by everyone. 

I am going on a mission trip, 2011 (hopefully), 2012, 2013.  I know that I am not completely prepared to go.  So during this week of prayer time, I asked God to point out the things that make His heart break so that I can be more like Him. I think yesterday was one of those moments.  I think that God hates when we say mean things to each other in a ‘joking’ way.  I think that when we hurt others our response should not be ‘I was only joking’ (which by the way, I didn’t even get that) or ‘well, it didn’t hurt someone else’s feelings’.  It’s not funny if it hurts others.  In case you need help in this area, the proper response is “I’m sorry”

It often comes down to something as simple as this:

Hurting people hurt people

Praying for those who hurt me so that they will have healing so they don’t hurt.

Romans 14:19 (asv) So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Give what you need!

Sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m not part of the group.  I will admit that sometimes (often) I’m self-absorbed and super busy, but sometimes I do feel like I missed the ‘meeting’.

Today I had one of those moments.  I really felt uncomfortable and really tried to get past it.  I know that often, it probably is me…  And I realize that everyone can’t be best friends and it certainly doesn’t mean that people don’t love/like you.  In times like these, I think about how I can be a better friend. My friend Netta posted the other day ‘give what you need’ you can read about it here http://realnetta.com/a-mentor-once-said
It’s true so in times like this, I try to have a Jesus perspective of giving not a Margie perspective of ‘hey! What about me?!’ because my perspective never ends well (for anyone!)

Part of this could be that I’ve been up past my bedtime too many times this week and not eating well-balanced meals… oh boy…  so I’m going to go snuggle with my bible.  Bible in a year, Ezekial 7, 1 Timothy (I’ll have to check my phone) and James 3 tonight.

James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness (one of my favorites but hard for me!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Answer the call!

Yesterday Rosie was telling me a story about a little boy who was about 6 or 7 and how he saw a little girl who needed help getting cleaned up and how he helped her. She said that all the kids in the orphanage helped each other.

Today I was praying while running the dishwasher, doing laundry (amazing the things you can do before 7AM when you go to the gym) and I was thinking ‘what if we all did something?’ not all of us are called to the same thing.

Me, I never thought I’d be the ‘Missionary’ type. But now I try to live my life like it is a mission field, not part of some ‘weird’ movement because I think what I do is normal, and the rest of the world who don’t love, I think that’s weird. I want to live my life seeing needs and filling them with my God given talent. If it means I have to stay 5 more minutes to fill bottles and pick out pajamas or drop off clementines or last minute grocery shopping for lunches and dinners. If it means traveling the world digging wells, loving orphans, then that’s where I want to be! That’s WHO I want to be!

What if…
You saw a piece of trash and picked it up
You saw someone crying and cared for them
You saw the hungry and fed them
You saw something too big for you to handle… so you prayed.

I do believe in world changers. And for a long time I never really thought I was ‘one of them’ but even if it’s only the world around me, I want to change it with Love.

We are called to great things! Pick up!

James 1:22-25 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

SO BLESSED!!!

I’m not sure what happened or why it happened… but I don’t care!
For some crazy reason I was able to pack lunches for ‘my kids’ tomorrow and I get to meet them with dinner! It was total last minute thing… and I actually did volunteer for it. I had to go to one grocery store at lunch, and then I will go to another after work today. I didn’t HAVE to, but I know in order to get the best deals (and best quality), two stores is necessary.
I was walking through the Aldi by my work and couldn’t decide what to get… I was overwhelmed with all the choices (and Aldi doesn’t have nearly the choices of a ‘regular’ store, but it also doesn’t have nearly the cost either!) As I was looking at my list… fruit snacks, PB&J, chips, cookies, juice boxes, and a few other things I felt so overwhelmed! Overwhelmed with love.
I know that most people don’t like to grocery shop or pack lunches, heck, some people don’t even like teenagers (gasp!) but I am blessed by all those things! I felt like crying (I may have gotten a little misty) in Aldi, thinking about how the gifts that God has given me are truly a gift to others, but when I get to use them, they are a gift to me!
So… in case you’re wondering…
Tomorrow’s lunch:
Ruffle chips
BBQ chips
PB& J (strawberry)
Salami
Fruit Snacks
Fruit punch juice boxes
Fudge stripe cookies
Vanilla/choc oreo type (yes that’s right 2 – I couldn’t decide)
Water (hydrate or die!)

Tomorrow’s dinner:
Soft Tacos
Spanish rice
Homemade salsa
Tortilla Chips
Cupcakes

Yes, I do realize, I am a little over the top!

Where I'm going...

This weekend there were a lot of great sales on Barnes&Noble and Amazon for e-books for a lot of Christian writers. I had some books on my wish list, and one of them was ‘The True Identity Bible’. I could not justify spending $20 on it when I already had 4 different versions but it went on sale for $2.99 so of course… I had to have it… along with 12 other books or so… LOL! Good thing they were all $2.99 or less! Also, I’ve been waiting the book by Ree Drummond The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love Story, it however, was NOT part of the sale, but I’ve wanted to read it and I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks, I’ve got enough books to go on vacation for months! LOL
I was talking with a woman who has a kindle. She said she has some Christian books but she also has her ‘fun’ books (smutty romance novels). She asked me if I had any… I don’t know if she wanted to borrow them or what, I said ‘no’. (I didn’t say this but I thought it) I don’t waste my time with things that don’t make me Kingdom bound as far as books go I barely have time to read, so I have to make it count! I’ve actually started this in all my life. I was convicted a month or so ago about how much TV I watch but fell behind in my bible reading (I'm caught up now). I thought ‘I find time to sit and watch TV, why can’t I sit and read?” Oh boy. Let me say this, I am not judging her or you if she/you likes smutty romance (fun) books, but I know FOR ME I need to be more intentional in the way I live so that I can be intentional in the way I love, and my direction comes from Perfect Love.
Another example is that I spend WAY too much money on groceries. Feeling convicted about this, I decided that I was going to make dinner (bring my lunch) this week with stuff that we already have in the cupboards, freezer, and fridge. And I could have. HOWEVER, being the complete idiot that I am, went to the grocery store for 7 or 8 things that I needed to serve at BH and things that Phyllis wanted (bagels, soy milk) and spent $120! For crying outloud, I even had a list… but as I was shopping I thought ‘oh, you need stuff for ice cream cake for the b-day Friday) and… oh geez… I need to cut back on our expenses because...
I want to go on a mission trip in December with Phyllis, you’ll never believe where… Haiti. Yes, I know, I think that God has the most amazing sense of humor. When I made the decision that I wanted to go anywhere (but there and a few other places) God must have said ‘wait, I want to see how much you really are willing to submit to Me, because I’m sending you to Haiti’. Now I am not even gonna try to guess what God thinks or says, but I do know that He must have a sense of humor. So hopefully there is an organization going over the Christmas break :) Who knows where I will end up!
I know that living my own way has gotten me into nothing but a ‘heap of trouble’ (quoted from my gram) and living a life devoted to Jesus is so much better.
Also know… I know that I am far from perfect… nails, I do still watch TV, I have tons of movies (though I do consider whether I would be embarrassed if my pastor saw me walking out of a movie before I rent/buy/go). I also drive a gas guzzling vehicle, eat out way too much… but I am a work in progress. There is a quote by Joyce Meyer that goes something like: ‘I may not be who I want to be, but I’m not who I used to be!’
Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

A couple great quotes from Joyce Meyer
"Everytime you feed the flesh, you strenghten it. This is good if you are trying to build a good habit, but detrimental if you are trying to stop a bad habit. The way to "kill the flesh" is to starve it; to stop feeding it."
— Joyce Meyer

"If you are accused of being a Christian, there should be enough evidence to convict you."
— Joyce Meyer

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Big love

Judah pulling the wagon by 'self'

I’m not sure how God does it…  He puts this love so big in our hearts that before we even know someone, we love them.  I am always reminded of this because there are these two handsome guys, that before I knew them, I loved them, and now that I know them, my heart is over come with joy every time I see them!


sharing an ice cream with Judah

Katie & Judah on the up&down

Levi wearing Phyllis's bandana
Yesterday in the morning I stopped over and brought them cake pops and a coffee for their mommy!  And then later in the evening we (Katie, Levi, Judah, & I) went to the Riverwalk for rides on the up and down (carousel - did I mention I don't like carousels- no greater love than an Auntie who goes on a carousel), a picnic dinner, & a walk (run because it included a downpour).  Then back to our house for baths and a ‘snack’ (Phyllis’s mac&cheese and yogurt).

I don’t know how God does it, but it’s amazing.

This Auntie is so blessed!

The craziest part of today… I had NO plans that hardly ever happens!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unprepared

I'm going to Africa 2013, I have no idea where.  Maybe not knowing would drive you crazy, it kind of does to me because I am a planner.  However, this one I am handing over to God. I feel like I will know where I am supposed to go at some point.  So until then, I am preparing to go...

This is my overseas mission schedule:
Oct 2011 raising money for 4-more doing the Detroit Marathon
August 2012 El Salvador with Empty Buckets with LWI
Dec 2013 Africa... 

I'm excited about going to Africa, but I am also excited about going to El Salvador.  I'm excited about 4-more!

Did I mention that I hate the unknown?  And I haven't really done much research on either.  I know I have money to raise, fund-raising for El Salvdor, but I really haven't done that much research.  I figure I'll find out what I need to find out when it's time (good thing others aren't depending on me for info, huh?). 

This is kind of what I figure right now...

I'm depending on God to show up.  He always does.
I'm depending on God to meet my needs.  He always does.
I'm depending on God to speak to me.  He always does.

I could really screw things up. I always do (when I do things without Him or His counsel)

So I'm reading, praying, running (well not this week, it's too hot), and depending on God to meet my needs.

So I might show up in El Salvador/Africa with clothes, my bible, and a heart for Jesus, and whatever information that someone gives me.  Arms for hugging.  What else could I possibly need?

Ok, someone remind me of this post when I get a little closer to departing... because I might be freaking out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Give until it hurts!

I wish that I could say that I live as generously as I should. I remember being at Bible study and we were talking about someone who had $2M. I don’t actually remember the exact number, and someone said, they should give away 90% and keep 10%, and immediately I remember thinking people in most of the world could say the same about what we make here. 10% may seem like a lot ‘to return to God what is His’ but sometimes I will admit, I’m a little stingy.


And I remember asking a friend who was Christian why he switched to Muslim. Now, I wasn’t judging, but I just wanted to know. He said that he had witnessed many muslims that would give you the shirt off their back (literally) if you needed it or their last plate of food (and I believe he had witnessed it) because they know that God will provide. He wanted that.

I read in the book ‘Compelled to Love’ about how they barely had enough to feed 10, yet, they took the pot, gave generous portions, and God made Fishes and Loaves to feed 100s.

That seems miraculous.

It is.

What if we just gave generously not wondering about us. Just thinking… knowing really… God is a God of provision.

Makes me think. Makes me realize how sometimes I do really well about generously giving what doesn’t belong to me anyway, and sometimes, I hang on with both hands. Typically when I let go of things or even my time, generously, God seems to replace it ten-fold. And then as soon as I give that away, more just happens to ‘plop’ back in my wallet, sometimes faster than I can let go (twice I gave and thought, oh well, it’s only money, God will provide and on TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS there was a check in an envelope that I didn’t even know was there!



Yesterday I invited a family to come stay with us because they had two small children and no air conditioning. I think they might have thought I was a little nuts (which I think sometimes I am!) but I would hope that someone would do that for us. But I am not always so generous with the home that God has provided.

I want to always give! Give until it hurts.

I think of the quote by Mother Teresa “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

I want to give so that all there is left is love.

Deut 15:10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Living life in 3D

I really admire Pastor Chilly who is the Pastor at Real Church in the D. He lets Jesus use him to bring Hope to Detroit.  He brings a real/relevant and usually 'whoa' message every week.  I can't think of a time when I didn't leave challenged by a message he has delivered (and his awesome wife Netta is an awesome friend to me!)  Pastor Chilly has a Real Life Plan. ** one thing (there are many!) I admire about Pastor Chilly is that he leads by example, and he admits when he is less than perfect!

I like to think of it as living life in 3D.

Diet
Devotional
Discipline

You can check out his Real Life Plan here.

It is such a great way to think about it! For some people losing weight may be a diet, a quick fix to lose weight, but to me, it’s about what you eat, the good and the bad (and sometimes the ugly!).

Merriam Webster says Diet can be defined as:

a : food and drink regularly provided or consumedb : habitual nourishmentc : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reasond : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight
2: something provided or experienced repeatedly

I wrote out my own Real Life Plan:
Diet:
Stay within my WW points (32 + 47 extra)
Drink 96 ounces of water (minimum) – that’s ¾ gallon
Eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies (must be 0 point per WW guidelines)
Eat whole grains instead of ‘white’ carbs
Don’t overstuff myself – hey… what’s wrong with leftovers?
Eat in-between meals – but it must be a fruit or a veggie + protein

I am not going to limit myself with “don’t’s” as long as it is within my points.

Devotion:
Read my bible everyday
– I am in a study with friends with daily reading of the Chronological Bible
– 5 chapters a week with ‘my girls’ – currently we are studying Ezekial
– Memorize one scripture a week
– Dieter’s Prayer Book Devotional
– Live Loved/My Utmost for His Highest Devotional
– Journal/Blog
– Live Phil 3:13-14 EVERYDAY!


Discipline:
100 sit-ups everyday
Get 6-7 hours of sleep a night
Run/Go to gym 4 days a week
Read a God honoring book a month
More reading

When asked to comment today, here were my answers:
Diet: some good days… some not so good, I weigh in today at Weight Watchers. so who knows but I have been working on getting my fruits and veggies in. (+1.4 this week :/)
Devotion: probably best it’s ever been. it’s kind of crazy for me because I kind of felt like the ‘world’ was trying to invade my space, so I took that space and filled it with God’s Word – daily reading of the Chronological bible, reading 5 chapters a week/note taking on the book of Ezekial with my 11th grade girls I lead, following the Real church bible reading plan, and reading the ‘Utmost’ daily devotional, plus one from a dieter’s prayer devotional… And just started Rob Bell’s ‘Love wins’ and going to start ‘the poor will be glad’. (yeah – I know kind of crazy but I cut back on the TV I was watching, realized it wasn’t worthy of my time!)
Discipline: Only ran once this week (but it’s only Tuesday), plan on getting in 3 miles at least once, and gonna shoot for 4 on Saturday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What about me?

Sometimes in situations we play a victim.  Please note I didn't say that we were the victim, I said we play the victim. I think of the lyrics:


What about me
It isn't fair
I've had enough now I wasnt my share
Can't you see
I wanna live
But you just take more then you give



And then I remember, it isn't about me.  Or is it?


Recently I came under some opposition.  And I felt hurt and betrayed.  And I've thinking about a lot of things.


First being forgiveness.   There is a part in the book, Compelled by Love, where a pastor is beaten up to the point of being revived from death.  Everyone wants to go get the peeps who did such a horrible thing to him.  He says 'forgive them'.  The pastor's posse is like 'no way', he doesn't waiver.  He WALKS out of the hospital the next day, not a scratch on him.  the only proof it happened, his torn clothing.  Don't you want that in every situation?  Something happens to you, immediately you say 'forgive them' and you walk away from the situation without a scratch on you!  I don't know about you, but I WANT THAT!  Let forgiveness be my first and only reaction to hurt!  I am working on this. I don't want to think about hurt, I want to focus on love, and I don't think there can be love, if there is no forgiveness.


I've also been thinking about my not-so-perfect role in the situation.  What did I do to make someone feel like they needed to oppose me?  I mean, no one's perfect.  But did I lead in love?  Pastor Chilly said today 'if you have Christ in your heart, you're a leader'. That's good.  So how was I leading?  Like Napoleon or like Jesus?  I've got to forgive myself, and lead in love. There isn't much I can do about the past, apologize and move on.  Some may think that's weak or giving in, but I think there is great strength in knowing who you are,  and saying 'I'm not perfect, please forgive me'.  And not only who you are, but to whom you belong to. I know who I belong to.    I think of the Beatitude:


Matthew 5:5 (NIV) Blessed are the meek, 
   for they will inherit the earth


Some might say that meek could be weak, according to Merriam-Webster: 
     1 :  enduring injury with patience and without resentment : mild
     2 
: deficient in spirit and courage : submissive
: not violent or strong : moderate
But in the Message version it says:


5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.


Wow.  You're blessed when you're content with just who you are.  Now, I may not always be content with who I am, because I always want to be more like Him, but I am content in who I belong to.    So that may mean that I have to forgive when I don't really want to, or ask for forgiveness, because I know that as a child of God, that's what I need to do.

I think about what I can do if the situation should come up again.  How can I deal with it?  What would Christ call me to do?  What would bring glory to Him?  I don't ever want it to be about me.  I want to get so lost in God, that when people look at me, they see Him.  So that my whole life is surrendered to Him.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Its more than just bread!

I have a dream.  To open a bakery.

I can see it in my head.  It's not fancy or trendy.  It's homey and yummy.

Where the walls are sage green with pictures of 'my bakery family' (anyone who comes in my bakery) on the walls with their free birthday cupcake.  With white painted tables for bible studies or homework, and laughing, and crying.  Where Love is spoken here.

It's where no one loves you like your momma.

It's a place where Jesus comes to eat, and talk, and smile, and laugh. 

It's a place where you are loved no matter where you're at.  It's a place that you know you will be loved, even if it's in your coffee and danish, or your soup and some bread.

It's a place that does turn a profit, so that we can give to others generously without even thinking about it.  It's a place where we have 'THE best _____'.  And we take time off in the summer for Mission Trips.

It's a place that you get your family birthday cakes, muffins for Sunday breakfast, or just a 'little something' just when you need it.

It's a place that gives back to the community, wherever we happen to be standing, on the block of the building or in the midst of the greatest city ever (Detroit).

It's the place where you come to get your holiday desserts.

It's a place that serves seasonal specialities because everyone knows blueberries just aren't that great in November.  Only the best tasting stuff will be served here.

It's coffee, it's tea, it's juice, it's water. 

It's danish.

It's cupcakes.

It's bread.

It's soup.

It's hope.

It's friendship.

It's love.

It's food for the soul.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Walking by Faith

I had a situation come up Monday where someone said to me ‘you need to step up your game’. He also said it to someone else and both of us were in SHOCK because the reason there was an open issue and delay was because of him. I have been told a lot of things but the need to ‘step up my game’ has NEVER been one of them. More often it is ‘slow down’ or ‘chill out’ or ‘take a break’ or ‘quit being so aggressive’. For a moment, I didn’t even believe what I heard. I thought it was a mistake. Then I saw the other person’s face and I knew I heard correctly. I am sure that Jesus must have had His hand over my mouth, and I think I was just in shock and couldn’t move or even think.


I chose to not do anything at the moment, I noted a few things to him, but I chose to go with the ’24 hour rule’. In case you don’t know what that is… be enlightened. It is where you wait 24 hours to address a situation so that you are not being driven by emotion but by data (facts) - sometimes it take 48 or 72 hours. I decided to address formally (email). My email was still a little ‘hot’ because it seemed the more I thought about it, the more upset I was that someone would attack my work ethic and my integrity. After writing the email, I decided to breathe and walk away from it.

I kept struggling because of Grace.

I thought maybe that guy really didn’t realize what he said or how it would come across. Maybe he knew that he was the one at fault and not everyone reacts correctly when backed in a corner. Maybe… Maybe sometimes I’ve been extended grace when I’ve said something that was offensive. oh boy.
I knew in this situation that I was in the right. But there are many situations that I am not.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye

I was talking to a beautiful friend the other day and we were talking about how people say things to us and we are not always sure how to react or how to judge it. I picked up my bible and said ‘this is my ruler, this is my gage’. If what they say can be backed up by the bible, then I know it is Right and True (Phil 4:8-9). If it is not, I may take it into account, but it’s not the way I gage things. And if I chose to live (and die) the bible then I better be willing to walk the walk not just talk the talk.

And the truth is that I knew that nothing good would come from the email. I knew that it could, and probably would cause more friction, and the actual offense was probably not going to be addressed anyway, so what was the point?

Since I am a very emotional person, good and bad, I try to remember that I live (walk) by faith not by feelings (sight) (2 Corin 5:7). That is SO difficult for me. When something happens, I want to react. God must have wound me pretty tight when He made me, and I know that given the right situation, being high-strung can be a good thing, I just have to always work on making sure it is used for good, not evil. (just so you are aware, how emotionally ‘charged’ I am… I’ve probably cried about this 4 times because I just need a release and going around hitting people is not always an option!)

I don’t know if I did the right thing, truly, because I’m still upset about it. Not as upset as Monday and Tuesday, but again, I live by faith not by feelings.

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Echoes of my heart

My friend Kelly wrote a post about all the things she loves in summer (at least that's how I took it) and it got me thinking about our Detroit Mission Trips.  This year our church is doing something different and joining a group of students! MAN, LIVING OUT HIS WORD!!  FABULOUS!  John 17:21!!!!

I laughed to myself about how many times I hear my name on the mission trips.  Literally, I know where everything is, where everyone is supposed to be, and so guess what?  I'm the point of contact...  And part of me (most of me!) loves it!  and sometimes it drives me completely crazy!  By Thursday if you say my name while I am in thought you might get a "WHAT!?!" and I hate that. 

And by Saturday, I am missing each beautiful face, the sounds of their laughter, and even the sounds of their whining :)  Even still, I can hear their voices echoing in my heart, "I love you Margie" "Thank you for making us such good food" and truth be told, they are VERY spoiled when it comes to food.  I think they may be a little surprised this year.  LOL.  I am sure that it will be great, but it won't be mine.  For breakfast they had their choice of at least 10 different kinds of cereal, you name it, it was probably there.  Fruit (usually watermelon), 2 kinds of juice, milk (regular and soy!). For lunch... in each cooler:  PB&J (strawberry and grape!), salami, ham, turkey, cheese, bread (usually wheat because it holds up better in transit), fruit (peaches, apples, bananas, oranges), fruit snacks, cookies, chips, and water.  And sometimes even candy!  Dinner:  Mostocolli, chicken, mac&cheese, Tacos, ice box round up (leftovers), and pizza the last night (I'm not wonderwoman you know, pizza is easy!), and pop, lemonade or fruit punch.  Every night, dessert, and when they came in from the field, veggies and dip, watermelon...  it was so my pleasure to serve them.  by the end of the trip, I'm tired.  But I love it!  Occasionally I lose my mind and am thankful for grace!  But I miss them.  This year I don't have enough time to go, but I will stop up there and see them! Maybe I'll even drop off 500 ice cream sandwiches or something!  who knows!

My heart echoes with the love that God has sung to me!

Sometimes you get what you deserve...


Warning, this post may contain TMI for some... don't say I didn't warn you...

I didn't post my loss (or gain) on FB last week. i was disappointed that I had gained another pound. I must confess, I deserved it (and probably more to tell you the truth). i celebrated and kind of wallowed that week/weekend before the weigh in, so that's what happens...

This week, back on track. Went bike riding, running, went for a walk yesterday with one of my girls, we walked about 2.75 miles. Stayed within my points all week, still have quite a few of the 'extra' points left.

I'm back to planning my meals, which helps out IMMENSELY!

The problem is that my 'aunt flo' came to visit this week, and that can throw everything off! So I am not sure how I am going to do, I know that my own scale at home is moving in the right direction :)

So not sure what the scale will say, but this may be one of those weeks when I just have to say 'the scale doesn't define me' because I know it's been full of good choices!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Being who I am, striving to be God's best

Today I heard a very good sermon on marriage.  While I will admit, when I found out it was on marriage, I simply looked up, choking back some tears and said 'really God?'.  Like I need one more reminder that I am sad that I am not married, one more reminder that I am lonely.  Yikes.  But in typical fashion, I said 'speak, I'm listening'. (it was a great sermon)

I have been praying for a lot of marriages in the last couple weeks.  I think about my own husband.  The one that I dream about.  Ya'll know he has to be strong, or I will run right over him.  I know that God has got him all picked out, just waiting... I don't know what the heck He's waiting for, but until then, I will continue to grow so that I can be 'God's best' for him.

The problem is that I don't know what that is.  And it's overwhelming to think about all the things I need to change about myself that keep me from being God's best.  But I think that no one takes one step (no matter how big that step is) and finishes a marathon.  It's a lot of steps, it's a lot of steps and practice, and preparing.  And so I will keep taking that step forward trying to avoid potholes, blisters, and twisted ankles that cause me to face plant.

 I just strive to do the right thing, stay on the right path, knowing that it will lead me to where/who I am supposed to be.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Today Begin!

I'm not always set out for the long haul. To think about what I'll be doing in 10 years not only seems overwhelming but ridiculous.  It seems overwhelming because sometimes I have trouble with getting a week's worth of dinner planned let alone something ginormous like the future. Ridiculous because it seems a little crazy because only God knows what the future holds.


On my wall is a new little plaque I bought in Lexington that says: today: begin


You will find it on my beautifully painted sage green wall in my kitchen.   It reminds me that today I must begin that one step closer to wherever it is that God intends for me to be.  One step closer to healthier (thinner too I hope!), one step closer to more money in the bank to go out on Grand adventures (El Salvador, Africa, maybe even Asia, Haiti (not sure if i really want to go there - I'm just saying).  One step closer to fun vacations and rest too.  One step closer to helping my one day (not for a long time) grand babies go on adventures too!  To begin loving, a little more everyday, everyone.


Phil 1:6  I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

You can find some of Christine's work here:  http://www.gotitatgabbys.com/Christine_Mason_Miller_Collection_s/424.htm

Friday, July 08, 2011

Menu Planning

I love grocery shopping.  A lot of times on the weekends when most people probably cook at home we are running around, Phyllis works, whatever.  But this weekend she doesn't work late so I am planning meals a little better.  I whipped out my favorite store bought cookbook - Family Feasts for $75 a week, here's the blog http://www.owlhaven.net/  It is soooo awesome!  This week's meals are inspired by it!


Saturday - Grandma’s Mushroom Chicken pg 106
              Served with brown rice

Sunday - West African Peanut Chicken  p. 138 ( I think the book is a little different than the web)
               served with Brown rice
          (Alive Leaders are having burritos from the extra meat I made today - Friday)

Monday - Chicken stir fry

Tuesday – Keilbasa, cheese potatoes, broccoli

Wednesday - Chicken Corn Pone Pie p.112

Thursday – Fattousch with Feta

Friday – chicken alfredo

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My heart is in Africa

I think I've got the timing for my first trip to Africa, and I have a feeling it will not be my last...

December 2013-January 2014

I've got some things that need to be done.  I feel kind of overwhelmed by it all but OH SO EXCITED!  And to be honest... I can't believe I'm excited!  So since I am overwhelmed, I am just going to put the hurricane of my overwhelmedness (yes, it really is a word!) at the feet of Jesus, and I will let Him sort it out.

Things I need to prepare:  Finances, Heart, Weight, Spirit

Be still He tells me.  I'll read and pray.  And Be still and listen instead of talk... Oh boy, why is it that when I need to be still I feel like I have ants in my pants?

Where you see the need for change, make it

My friend Netta always thanks me when I say I want to see her, and we actually make a date.  That's not to say that we don't ever cancel or have to postpone, and sometimes I send her a text at the last minute and say 'I have this time open do you?' and I never am upset if she says no, but often our crazy and very different schedules are open at the same time.  We often do something 'out' usually end up at a favorite resturaunt and chat and chat (and chat) encourage each other and just love on each other and share our lives, it's amazing.

I always kind of chuckle to myself because really, I feel like I am so blessed by her, that it really is my pleasure!

I also have another friend that if there are 5 Sundays in a month, we meet for lunch, breakfast, or dinner.  Maybe you think "that's only 3 or 4 times a year".  You're right, it is, but that's more than I would have probably made plans if we didn't chose that silly date :)

I tell you these little things about me because I noticed that people used to say to me (and still do) 'I miss you, we need to get together' but they never made any effort to pick a date (even if it's a month out) to come over or invite me over and before you know it, 2 or 5 years (not months) have gone by and we are saying the same thing again. 

I will tell you, that I don't like that.  I saw the need for change, and I made it.

I really have been trying to make an effort to see people I love, even if I don't think they make much of an effort to see me.  I say "let's pick a date even if it's two months out, the date will be here before we know it" and it is.  I am not going to lie, sometimes it hurts my feelings that I'm the one who makes the effort to call or send a note to pick a date to see them, and maybe I'm not as an important person to them, as they are to me, or maybe it's just that they don't need to because I already pick the date.  Or maybe it's just that they never realized that time goes by so fast and it doesn't bug them.  I don't know.  It doesn't matter. They are important to me and so I make the effort.  I give the options of dates, options for things to do (Zoo, eat, cook dinner, or something I know that interests them that they wouldn't normally do because no one else in their lives is interested in that). 

They are important to me.  That's the bottom line.

I am encouraged by people who I love and love me.  I love pouring my life into others and have them do that same.  Next time you say you miss me, and I say "I haven't moved, come over" I'm not just saying it, come over, I am whip up a meal or we can go for a walk or go to the zoo (It's free! I have a supporter pass so I can take two adults + kids in addition to Phyllis and I) or whatever.  Pick a date, even if it's two months out, it will be here before we know it!

I love you, and you're important to me.

May you live all the days of your life. ~Jonathon Swift

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

putting down my rocks


I started thinking about this whole Casey Anthony thing, I must confess that up until today, I didn’t know anything about it.  Yes, that’s right, my head is in my belly button when it comes to these things.  And quite frankly, it’s none of my business.

But things like this, they make me think.

If someone stole my car, I’d be OUTRAGED!  However, if I ‘upgraded’ my seat at the Fisher Theater or a Tiger game, I’d quickly justify it by saying ‘no one was using it’.  The person who took my car could say the same thing.

If I am so angry that I say “I hope you die a long and slow painful death” and they do, was I not the one who commanded/asked for the death?  Even if they die from a serious disease years later?

How about when we get a speeding ticket (because we were) and we go to court, and if the police officer doesn’t show up, we are found not guilty?  Are we outraged by that innocent verdict?  Nope, we say ‘thank God for His grace and mercy’. 

I could go on and on about the things I’ve done and try to justify them.  I won’t.  And let me tell you, those who think I’m this great mom, it’s because of God’s grace, because I’ve made a big fat mess of my life. 

This kind of stuff makes me thing…  if I am truly outraged by an injustice shouldn’t my time, my money be invested to stop it?

I’m mad at the government?  Did I vote? Did I vote ‘for the lesser or two evils’?  Well let me tell you this, while I really don’t like when my church brings in political candidates because truly I don’t like politics, I know that my Pastor, the leader of my church says “I do care about this, I care about what happens to people, justice is important, and I want the people who believe the same things as me to get voted in” it is because he is doing something about the injustice of government.  I’m not saying that I don’t vote or select each canidate carefully, I’m just saying, I hope you’re doing something. 

I hate that I have to pay for welfare? Am I doing something about it?  Maybe I can’t do anything about the current people on welfare but we can do something about future generations, am I volunteering to tutor?  Am I reading to children? Am I helping young girls and young men find their worth and their value.

Tired of drug addicts and alcoholics and all that comes along with it?  Well what about volunteering or sending my money to places like Grace Centers of Hope where they know that Christ is the center of healing and hope.  I think about Pastor Clark & Mrs. Pam Clark (I think she’s actually a doctor), they have invested their lives in those who need Christ.    I’m sure that there are times when grace is hard to give, or when it’s tiring, but when you meet them, His light shines through them.  They saw a problem, and they sent Hope to take care of it.

Too many kids in foster care?  Who is going to take care of them?  Take one in, invest my life into them.  Or become a big sister.

Don’t like the millions of children in poverty around the world?  I could sponsor a child, get involved with organizations like Asha house, or Little Dresses for Africa, heck, go adopt a child.

This is what I’m finding out about myself, the closer I get to Jesus, the more I want to be like Him. The more I want to serve Him and others. How can I say “I can’t believe that student doesn’t go on the mission trip because they don’t have money because they waste it on slurpees and Applebees or Taco Bell” when I go out to Panera and I don’t have the money to invest in them either. 

I know that I can’t do everything. But we can all do something!

I hate sin. I do, I hate it in my life, I hate it in yours. But I know that without Jesus, I’d be sunk… you might have a clue where I’ve been… but you probably have no idea…

I am very thankful that I do not get what I deserve! This has made me think about things that I need to ask forgiveness for, and things I am forgiven of, and just need to let go!

Be the change you want to see in the world ~Ghandi

John 8:7 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

His beautiful face

So if you know me at all, you know that over and over I would say that I would never, I MEAN NEVER, go on an overseas mission trip. Now, when I say that… I always have supported overseas mission trips in various ways, I just didn’t want to go! I heard all the stories, have seen lives changed… but no thank You…


So what does God do? Puts me with a bunch of peeps who say ‘let’s go dig a well’ yeah, so I can’t say no to that. So in 2012 I am going to El Salvador to dig a well, and love peeps. I wonder how many dresses and shorts I can make for the little peeps there? Hmmmm….  We do now have two sewing machines in our house...

But even before the trip to El Salvador was even brought to my heart… Two little babies came and stole my heart. I prayed for these boys before I knew them. I loved them so much, before I ever laid eyes on their perfect chocolate skin and beautiful dark eyes. Before I was able to kiss their cute little cheeks or hear them say ‘I love you’ or laugh they had me wrapped around their cute pudgy fingers. The first pictures of them were more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, and when it says that we were made in His image, when you look at those boys, you truly can see the beauty of Jesus.

So here I am… Reading this STUPID (it’s not really stupid at ALL! It’s an amazing book!!!) called Compelled to Love. 3 words… say them with me… OH MY WORD! I can only read 1 chapter at a time because I am so engrossed in it, because I just pray and pray and pray and hear God speaking to my heart. ‘You were made for such a time as this’ I just want to get into a plane and head over to Africa and love these lovelies. Ok, but let’s not be hasty, you can’t just get in a plane a head to Africa. DUH! Because I’m not ready. Financially, I’m not ready. Spiritually, not ready. There’s much to be done.

I have to be honest about something. Saturday I could have easily made a poor choice. One that would have done quite a bit of damage. I don’t know at what point I heard God say ”don’t” and I didn’t. But this I know… had I done it, I would have been very sorry. I am sorry that I even THOUGHT about it. But on Sunday, I was praying through songs, praising His love for me, and at some point I thought ‘I’m glad I didn’t, my prayer would have been a lot different” and as I was praising Him, and praying, I was just so thankful that I spent that awesome time in prayer. I felt so close to Jesus. I knew that my heart would have been crying “I’m sorry I’m sorry” but instead it was “You are worthy, You are worthy” and I think I would have wasted time.

I was reading that book today thinking about how the last day or two I’ve thought about Him, and what He wants me to do… About why it’s important to do as He says, not as the world says. Sure it’s not easy, but it is worth it. The path to destruction is so wide, and it leaves a lot of people in a mess. I imagine running down a dusty dirty path with people standing and as I run, everyone gets dirty. But the path that He has us on, is beautiful, colorful, full of flowers and beautiful greenery. And as we walk down it, others follow us, because they know we have something different, and all those people see God’s beauty too.

For awhile, I’ve wanted to go to Africa, thinking that it was never possible. But with God, all things are possible. So I will prepare, in a lot of ways. Each decision I make, will have eternity in mind. Not just mine, but beautiful babies with chocolate skin and dark eyes, that capture your heart and then melt it. Beautiful babies that are the true reflection of God.

Scripture Memorization - John 3:16

I know it may seem a little childish, but I am a child of God, so I've decided to memorize one scripture a week for the next 100 weeks.  I found a book on my nook called 100 scriptures every Christian should Know.  I don't always trust the people who write books, I mean, this one seemed pretty harmless, helpful really but I like to make sure, so before I decided to download the sample and see what the author had to say...  well, the sample had all 100 listed in the table of contents.  HA!  No need to pay for the book. Somehow I just don't feel guilty about that.  I thought this would be a great idea for my girls that I lead so I put together the schedule, and each time they memorize one, I will put a dollar in an envelope for them, upon attending their graduation, I will the money in their grad card.  I don't normally give graduation gifts to the students because, quite frankly, there is so many of them, I just couldn't afford it.

I decided that each week, since I don't have the book to tell me why the author thinks I should know it, I will pray on it, and write about it.  It seemed kind of funny that the first one I decided to study was one I already knew.  John 3:16

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

Most people know this one.  So I decided to write it out in the NIV and the Message version.  I love the message version, as my friend Becky says when reading the old testament in the Message version "it's like reading a soap opera, only better". The Message breaks it down in everyday language, it often assists me when I don't understand something.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

I mean when you can recite it by heart, I think that's great, but when I read it, certain words JUMPED off the page to me.  This breaks it down... and this is why!  God wasn't like 'Hey, I think I'll send my son down there, it'll be good, maybe it will help someone, it will pull them out of the pit... I'm sure a couple people will love him.  Yeah, Good idea, glad I thought of it'. 

NO!  He said NO ONE NEED BE DESTROYED!!  if you believe in Him, ANYONE can have a whole and lasting life!   WOW!  Now that's good! 

All week, Phyllis was gone, my girls were gone, and I've often said that 'left unattended, I can get into a lot of trouble'. It's true.  VERY TRUE.  And who would know?  I would know.  God would know. 

In this verse, God didn't say it would be easy.  He didn't even promise we'd have a whole bunch of stuff.  He said, we would have a whole and lasting life!  Now that's a promise! 

Monday, July 04, 2011

Thankful for the power outage

I came home Saturday night to no power.  Oh boy.  It always makes my heart sink because usually the peeps across the street (who are on a different transformer than me) have power.  Extremely frustrating I tell you.  I honestly didn't even notice if they had power or not but I don't think they did because I'm usually annoyed.


My house never got really hot, I didn't have to sleep in the basement (though I wouldn't because there are creepy crawlies down there - gross!) so I slept 'ok' not as comfortable as usual but not too bad.  I woke up... hoping there would be power... nope.  Well, I got ready, put my hair in a ponytail, and I was off to breakfast that someone else made :) and then came home, stripped the sheets off the bed, and everytime I would think of something to do, I'd stop myself half way through the sentence and end it with 'oh'.  


Off to church I went and because I really had no sense of time it was, I was a half hour early. 


All week I had been praying for marriages, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So I continued on with that before church, and I started praying for my husband (you know that one that I don't have) and I started asking God for qualities that I think as fabulous in other women's husbands, please note, I don't want anyone else's husband, God already has mine picked out, He just hasn't unveiled it yet.  I started a blog post in my head (will post tomorrow) about my future husband and his attributes but I couldn't post it, well because the power was out...  so I wrote it out.  And it made me think (and pray) more about it, how I really appreciated the husbands (of my friends) that are in my life and what great examples they are and how I should never settle for less than God's best for me, it also made me thankful for the examples they are to my own daughter.  Well because I was a half hour early for church, I had a chance to write that blog out the old fashioned way. Also gave me a chance to catch up with some beauties!


Not long after I got home I took Patricia (the Corolla) for some repairs and then... right about when it was nappy time, power came on!  Praise God!  I am very spoiled you know!  When I went into the fridge, it was still cold, and we didn't lose ANYTHING! What a relief!


I was happy to do all the things I take for granted because of electricity, I even went to see a movie.  Just kind of soaked in the day.  A very good day.  


Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  

Meal Planning for the week

I broke the 2 cardinal rules of grocery shopping on a budget... I planned my meals while grocery shopping and I was STARVING when I went... bad news bears...  but I did assemble some good things this week, and since the produce looked SO good, we will be eating lots of veggies this week!

Monday – BBQ with Fam
Tuesday – Chicken Stir Fry
Wednesday – BBQ chicken Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, & Corn on the Cob
Thursday – Fattousch & Hummus
Friday - Tacos & Spanish Rice
Saturday – Grilled Chicken

Friday, July 01, 2011

I hate the way I look in running clothes


There is a very easy solution if you hate the way you look in running clothes. Don't put them on.

Ok. but that doesn't change the way you look in all the rest of your clothes. And not wearing clothes is not an option or a better choice. And I actually don't like the way I look in any of my clothes. Made in God's image does not mean a fat slob (which is how I feel, but only I can change that - at least I'm going in the right direction now).

I like running when it's hot. It's completely ridiculous, but I do. I think it's because I learned to love running again when it was extremely hot. So it kind of feels like that's my favorite time to run.

I'm going running today. I don't really want to but I am. I still need to put my Nike thing in my shoe. tomorrow. Today, I will just put my mp3 player in my running thing grab a bottle of water and head out. Only 3 miles today. I feel like i did pretty well at the track the other day.

Proverbs 4:11-13
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life