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)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

tired and thankful

so it's the end of the night, it was a very long but fabulous day...   I'm amazed, though I'm not sure why, that when I align my heart with Christ things just seem to be...  well.... good.

Lovely Saturday rainy morning.  Nails, then off to IKEA to buy a new kitchen table... and I walked out with a lot of things, but not a kitchen table.  Got my backpack for my trips!!!   Nuts.  Then we had our Bowling Fundraiser, and it was so amazing.  It may seem silly but I really was happy that people liked the baskets I made.  You should have heard the little muffins who won the cupcake basket just say the word 'cupcake' ohmyword they were SOOO cute.  I bought some tickets, and won a shellac manicure and gave it to someone I loved!  God has met our needs for our trip, the well, the trips, it's all set!  AMAZING!  we look at a large (very) need and think 'holy moly' and God just brings it.  It's one of those things that I am not surprised at about His provision but I'm always in awe.

Then off to the celebration of two of my very favorite muffins.  It seems like just yesterday that we got them, but they turned 3 this year!  What does my heart say about them?  Dear Levi and Judah... your Auntie Margie loves you so much.  Your laugh makes the cares of the world dissipate, your smooches make me feel like God loves me so much because your love and His are unconditional.  Your sweet cheeks are just so kissable!  My heart seems to explode with joy when you are around, and I look at your pictures at my desk when things are crazy, and I remember that all is right with the world.  I just super love you and can't imagine life without you, and I'm glad I don't have to.

I took two of the most beautiful muffins to the movies, we went to see the Lorax but they were a little frightened some of the 'dark' moments of movies, so we left.  I really wanted to see it... but little hearts are more important than seeing a movie.

I got my Spanish software today when I got home, and I cleaned up around the house.  And my new raised flower bed is now in place and I'm so excited about it! It's gonna be AWESOME!!!!!!! I'll take a pic tomorrow!

I'm super tired...  going to dream about some work I am thinking about having done in the upstairs bathroom :)

Good night! Love from the center of who you are!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Truth, just in time!

I just got a new picture for my room.  I have wanted it for a long time!!  I thought I was going to put it in my office, but as soon as I saw it…  I knew exactly where it should go, the wall and everything.  In my room.  The funny thing is that this picture is orange and pink… two colors that don’t really match anything in my house, but I love it! 

I was thinking about this picture and the last couple days and how I know that God has had His hand over my mouth so that I would not word vomit…  and I am sure it was quite a task, even for Him (not really, but I am quite feisty!).

Instantly I thought of John 10:10.   The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I think about this past week and how people tried to speak death into me, I know they didn't mean to hurt me (and even if they did, I'll err on the side of love and grace)… and here is the thing I’m wondering…


I know who God says I am, I know who He is.  And I know that He has great things planned for me. So why would I believe such poop!

I got this picture tonight after spending some awesome time with my friend and just some real good girl time, laughing, talk about some serious stuff, just what I needed! 

Love from the center of who you are

Romans 12:9  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Who is my center?  Christ! 

I will not believe anything less than Christ’s best.  I will speak life into others (and myself)!  I have seen Him not only show up, but show up BIG in my life and others!  He changes lives!  He gives hope!  He loves!

It’s the Easter season!  That’s big! I get all goose-pimply… because He is great! He loves me! He loves you!  He loves us so much that He died for us!  But not only did He die… HE IS RISEN! We love and serve a Risen Savior! 

Wow!  That’s good.

That’s the center I am going to love from.  Here I go... living to the fullest!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

what am I waiting for??

I often wonder what am I waiting for…

I found myself yesterday after thinking that there was something seriously wrong with me, pleading with Jesus, I need more time Lord, there is lots to do.

After going to the Doctor’s today I found out I have ocular migraines or at least that was her best guess and after reading about it, it seems like a good guess.

Here’s some thoughts that have been rattling around in my head.

Why wait to take care of myself? Am I going to wait until there is something seriously wrong to get a grip on my health? So instead of the vacation, I am getting an elliptical for the house. I cut out gluten and I hadn’t been having the normal migraines but instead I get these weird ones. I am sure that working out and eating better will help everything.

There are lots of things to do in order to be Jesus with skin on. There are students to love, orphans to smooch, water to bring, life to give! Lots of people to LOVE!!!

I cannot even tell you how excited about my mission trips I am! Haiti, Detroit, El Salvador! Look out world, here I come! LOL!

I had gotten a few things for Phyllis for Easter… but I ended up getting her a few more things… LOL Yes, I know, it’s not Christmas but I do love to give!
Also… No point in letting people make me feel like I’m not worth anything. I know (because Jesus says so) that I am not second choice, that I matter, no point in letting my feelings tell me something different!

Our fundraiser for El Salvador is Saturday, I’m super excited! I’m excited about going with my friends, tonight I am putting together 3 different baskets – cupcake (of course), fun family breakfast, and family movie night (Chipwrecked is the movie)! I’ve got some really cute containers and I’ll take photos when they are done!

Here I am! Send me! (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!”)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth

Every day for the last two weeks I’ve put on the belt of Truth (eph 6:10) and today it hit me how thankful I am for it.

Earlier today I found out that I will not be going to Atlanta for Easter. I was disappointed and really tried t o just believe that I should not be going that this wasn’t a blessing taken away from me. There is a lot I could do with the money instead going on a mini-vacation. Would I love to go? Sure! I wish people would stop saying ‘you need to take some time for yourself’ LOL because that’s not helping me with my non-foot stomping efforts.

I have even considered going over Memorial Weekend, even considered going to New York. My wanter was turned up FULL blast. I even justified not going by saying I'd buy myself a Nook Tablet (like I even need that!) So here comes the truth… and some of it is ugly.
The truth is that I was sad/hurt about not getting to have Easter dinner at my house on Saturday. I got trumped, and I wanted to have it at my house, and serve and love my family for the greatest holiday ever! He is a risen Savior. But I guess you don’t always get what you want. Oh yeah, the truth is that this holiday really is about HIM not me!

The truth is I’m restless and I feel the need to run, and I know in these times, I need to sit tight, but I was gonna run anyway. The truth is that the bible says “be still and know I am God” so I’m being still.

The truth is sometimes I feel that I have the right to spend my money, on me. The truth is that everything I have (EVERYTHING) is God’s and so that means it is really HIS money, not mine.  And I really don't have any right to it.

I’d like to go on vacation, however, the truth is the rest of the tuition is due for the Spring and the money should be spent on that, not on vacation.

I volunteered to make cupcakes and food for some peeps that I love, and the truth is that I should honor my commitment. The truth is that it was God who gave me the gift of cooking and baking, it was God who told me to serve in that way, and so I will/must be obedient.

The truth is that as much as I’d like to get away, I am blessed with people who love me and I am honored to get to spend Easter honoring the greatest Man ever known. A man who lived a sinless life, died for me (and you), He is a RISEN SAVIOR! The truth is that I will spend Easter weekend, exactly where I belong. Thank You Jesus for Truth!

That's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Eph 6:10-20 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My sister Maggie

I have a twin sister Maggie. Hee hee. People at Metro are always calling me Maggie. I mean if someone is going to make the mistake of calling you someone, it’s good to be called Maggie. Because Maggie is the kind of person you aspire to be like. Integrity, good character, loving, grace giving, fun!

If you would have told me many years ago that when I would talk about Maggie that I would cry tears of thankfulness I would have thought you were off your rocker. Things have no always been so smooth between Margie and Maggie but I know that God knit us together in more than just the similarity of our names!

Because of her, I was able to get complete healing from something that happened a long time ago. I mean it was Jesus who healed me, but it was Maggie who was Jesus with skin on who lead me to the place I needed to be!

She is constantly inspiring me… just recently she felt lead by God to go on a Mission trip… overseas which of course is amazing! And then even more recently she was lead to go on a local mission trip. She and her awesome hubby Glen worked at ‘the building’ serving people she doesn’t even know yet (because they are not at Metro), she served the people of Metro, and she was super excited about the new peeps she got meet. And I bet they were completely blessed by her.

I’m so thankful for my friend, my sister Maggie. She’s awesome and this side of heaven no one will ever truly know how thankful I am for her!

Matt 12:48-50 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Faith Dance

Have you ever taken dancing lessons (clases de baile)? I haven’t… obviously if you’ve ever seen me dance!

I had this vision this morning about God’s leading. I’ve seen dancing lessons on TV and they always say “don’t watch your feet”. Lately I’ve been wrestling with God about the silliest of things, and I know (I KNOW!) that is always best to be obedient so I am not sure why I wrestle with Him… So I am making a resolution to not watch MY steps, but to seek His.

Psalm 17:5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled

I think about all the times I just follow His lead and how much more amazing my journey is than when I try to ‘kind of’ follow His lead. So why do I try to go it my way? Oh for the love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… I’m not sure! I guess it must be some stupid pride thing that makes me think I can do it. I think of Levi and Judah who say ‘My-self’ translation “I can do it myself” but who do I really think I am? Look at these verses:

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Proverbs 20:24 A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?

Jer 10:23 LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps

I think of all the crazy (CRAZY AMAZING) places I’ve ended up ‘by accident’. And how maybe if I was to find my own way, I never would have made it!

I pray this morning that I get out of my own way. I pray for myself (and you) that we just listen and be obedient to the amazing journey that God has called us to. And speaking of steps, please pray for my stupid foot that had the stress fracture, it’s been really hurting the last couple days! I’ve been staying off it as much as possible (no running or DVD).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ant Hill Faith

Sometimes I feel like someone has snuck up behind me and is trying to keep my hands from going up in worship.  Trying to restrain me.  For me sometimes I just can’t help but to reach up to God in total joy and sometimes I reach up because I can’t hold on to anything else.

Thankfully it is only a feeling, and we know though it is difficult, we can fight a feeling, and we know that feelings can only be fought (and won) with one thing… FAITH.

I find that it is no mistake that in the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) that faith is a shield because we must often shield us from the things that harm us.  Like in a gunfight, the first thing to do is find shelter.  Even though we have the sword of the Spirit, it is the shield that keeps us safe.  It is even put on BEFORE the helmet of salvation. 

Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Boots of peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit
I wonder… I think (totally my thought here and I’m no scholar but the more I learn God’s word, the more I love It and Him) and my heart is telling me, we cannot be saved without Faith.  Believing/Trusting God without FAITH is impossible.  Turning our lives over to Him without Faith really would be impossible.  Even in Matthew 17:20 Jesus tells them… He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  They had a little faith?  A bunch of peeps who left everything, and they had little faith?  Whoa.  I think sometimes my faith is smaller than a mustard seed, maybe I could move an ant hill or something.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see

Sometimes the shield of Faith is heavy but we know that in order to stay safe, we must never leave without it (like our own personal American Express Card).  How can we fight the things of this world?  And the feelings in our own minds and hearts, I am not sure if WE can. 

But I know who can! Josh 23:3 You yourselves have seen everything the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the LORD your God who fought for you

He fights for us, He died for us!  And He never gives up on us.  Does it make you all silly and crazy inside knowing that if you were the only one… He loved you so much that He would have got up on that cross and sacrificed Himself for YOU?!  Sometimes it’s so hard to believe, but I know He really does love me THAT much. I have faith that He does.

Like most people I think sometimes I get caught up in the planning of life, looking at the checkbook, deciding what I can and can’t afford…  blah blah.  Today, was one of those ‘don’t you trust Me?’ kind of days.  God literally told me to get out of the way today.  I'll take care of this.  HA!  Oh boy.  You (me) of little faith.   

I think about how much of my sin is worry.  Ken Bussell once said to me “there’s a fine line between worry and sin”!  I’ll never forget that as long as I live!  And by the way, how did I ever get so lucky as to have someone like him in my life!  SHEW!  This is written on my heart and when I become (or start to be) overwhelmed... this resinates in me!

Today…  as I have to do every day (minute) I’m giving it all to Him.   My life.  Everything in my life!  It’s all His.  He’s smarter, bigger, more graceful, more loving than me.

Faith.  I know, I believe that He has it all.  And not only does He have it all… He is All.

P.S. I know this is all over the place, my heart is going a million miles… loving Jesus in every step!  

I wonder what crazy things God is going to do in and through me this week!  Woo hoo! Can’t wait.  You might just hear me clankin’ around!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meal Planning Week of 3-25-12

Last week I was behind... this week I'm ahead of the game!  Also... my office is CLEAN!!!!  woo hoo!!! I cleared out a bookshelf and a dresser!

Sunday - Stir Fry (I made extra rice today)
               Alive leaders - Mostacolli & garlic bread

Monday - Cream Cheese Chicken

Tuesday - BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Cole Slaw

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Version of this Mexican Lasagna  (half the recipe)

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - TBA (Probably spaghetti)


There is a book called Boundaries.  I've heard great things about it. I own it.  Never read it.  I don't want someone to tell me I have to say 'No'.  LOL

My new cabinet
I've decided to cut back on a few things and even though I am sorry I had to, and had to say no to a few things, I am not sorry.  I spent last night putting together my new cabinet, putting things away, cleaning up the house, shining the hard wood floors with cabinet magic.  I took books off my book shelf for some new loves of mine.  

This morning I got up, feeling well, refreshed. Feeling accomplished and not stressed out. My normal cruising speed is 100mph but lately it's been 150mph and I need a pit stop.  

Today I will make banana bread, dinner for some peeps, relax, maybe rent a movie, clean my office, I have a new picture coming for the walls.  I'm dreaming of taking a long weekend vacation.  Getting things organized for my trips.  What I need to buy, what I already have... does anyone have one of those vacuum sealers for clothes? I'd like to vacuum seal my clothes for Haiti (really, it's true, I want to) it's damp and I can get more in my suitcase LOL!

One of my favorite places to be is Eastern Market on a Saturday... and so I will stop there today as well and pick up some yummy vegetation.  I can't wait.  My soul opens a little more when I am there.  That probably makes no sense to anyone but me!

It's going to be a quiet (for me) restful day.  It seems the louder the world is the more restless I become.  

shhhh... can you hear that?

Isa 32:17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever

En Espanol

In English

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Joy in the Journey

I’m old enough to know that if you try to sprint 26 miles and are not in shape (or a Kenyan) you might just die. I’m also old enough to know that I always want to get to my destination in 5 minutes even though I know there is joy in the journey.

As much as I’d like to be like Jesus, I know there is a lot of chipping of the yucky stuff and lots of growing (ever notice they call them growing pains). I want to see what I’m gonna be like at the end, but I know, there is joy in the journey.

As much as I’d like to go from mediocre Spanish (at best) to completely fluent in like 2 minutes, I know that is not going to happen, I love learning, and in that journey there is joy. (Seriously, when I remember a word like pastel [cake] that I didn’t know yesterday – it brings me joy!)

As much as I’d like to drop some major poundage (TODAY), I know that even if I worked out for the next 24 hours straight and didn’t eat anything, I know I won’t get to my goal today. I want to have smaller clothes and feel better quickly, I didn’t eat an elephant to get where I am, so I know that it is good choices that get me there, and I know, there is joy in the journey.

I’m making a lot of good choices these days. Reading/Listening to the bible. Praying. Exercise. Good food choices. And in those good choices, I am feeling the joy in the journey, I feel better mind, body, and soul! When I make good choices, I hear God’s voice and feel His presence. I smile more.

I am making small, but meaningful choices everyday.

Everyday I CHOOSE to exercise, whether it’s strength training, my DVD, run, walk, something. I feel better. My stress is reduced. I have found that I actually feel better if I exercise more than once a day. I don’t have stress just once a day so even if it’s a quick walk for 15 minutes, I try to not be crazy, just make the choice to feel better. And typically when I take that extra walk or run, I hear the voice of God because the voices of the world vanish!

I learning ESPANOL! It’s so fun for me! I have always had the desire to learn it, but it seems so overwhelming plus it is intimidating to sound like an idiot! But I am getting over that! I never think that someone learning to speak English sound like an idiot, so why would anyone think that of me? Yesterday I downloaded some basic phrases and words to learn, and today, I got to speak them to someone  The word for cake = pastel I need to learn cupcakes. Today I downloaded 4 songs and printed out the words and I am going to listen to them and read them and maybe I can sing them to a little child in El Salvador! Who knows!

In the song Me Viniste a rescantar (Came to my Rescue) in the bridge it says:
Con mi fe te exaltaré,
Con mi amor te exaltaré,
Con mi ser te exaltaré

With my faith I will exalt you,
With my love I will exalt you,
With my to be I will exalt you


I’ve been reading and listening to the bible, focusing on my scripture verse of the week. Really listening to how that scripture speaks to my life! Also still doing the Names of God almost everyday (I don’t know how I forget, but sometimes I miss a day or two) but it’s been really cool to discover all that He is!

2 Chron 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I wish I could get there... I will!

right before today's run
I wish you could have seen me when I was thin. Man... I look back at those pictures and think 'wow'.  I worked out a lot, and a lot of times, I put myself first, in order to take care of me!  And now... well...  I'm fat. I hate that about myself.  

It has been a long time since I've been able to run any distance worth even mentioning.  Today I woke up, did my Shred, at lunch I ate outside with my friend and then we had a 15 minute walk.  When I got home, I walk/ran 24 minutes (1.66 miles) maybe not the fastest, but I ran more than I walked! YEAH!

I've decided that I will exercise, and I will continue to make good choices when I eat.  I may never be a size 6 again (I can't believe I was ever a size 6) but I will feel good about myself and my choices.

I've been reading two books (both I love) Hinds Feet on High Places and You're already amazing (Why I can't just read one book at a time like normal people??)  The links are for Amazon but I got mine for my Nook

Both are teaching me in kind of the same way but different too, that I was created by the God of the Universe and He didn't make junk... and that He will ALWAYS be there all I have to do is cry out to Him (He's there even if I don't cry out too!).  My heart is getting filled up and starting to really gush all over the place.  

Anyway, sometimes I feel guilty about putting myself first but if I don't take care of me, how can I take care of anyone else?

Phil 3:13-14 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.

First Fruits

Today as I flipped over my 'God is' for the day... and it came up 'first fruits'.

I was thinking about how we need to put the things that are important to us first.   Today I have a busy day after work, and working out is important to me... spending time with God is important to me... loving my family is important to me... 

It is important to know our priorities. 

all the rest is frosting...

If we put God first in our lives, all the rest will either fit in or it won't.  Reminds me of a story:

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high powered over-achievers, he said, "Okay, time for a quiz."

Then he pulled out a one gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set on the table in front of him. He then produced about a dozen fist sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is the jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in, and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied.

He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is the jar full?" "No!" the class shouted.

Once again he said, "Good!"

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager student raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things in!" "No," the speaker replied, "That's not the point.

The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all.

What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Your children....Your loved ones...Your education... Your dreams...A worthy cause.....Teaching or mentoring others.... Doing things that you love...Time for yourself.... Your health....Your significant other."

"Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things to worry about that don't really matter, and you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).
I was thinking about how we need to prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies each day for what is important to us.  We eat breakfast to get us moving everyday...

I have a busy day today after work.  Meeting, and then watching the boys which means that I don't have time to do my dvd unless of course I want to do it at 9PM, which I don't...  because then I can't sleep.  So... not really wanting to, I got up and did the DVD (Jillian is NOT nice in the morning), before things get too crazy, I read (or listen to) the bible.  I eat a good breakfast.... 

I will no longer try to to prepare each day for success.

I will prepare each day for success

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV) Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meal Planning 3-18-12

I didn't plan dinner for today... so it was very last minute! I didn't feel well all day so it had to be something easy!  I don't normally wait until Sunday to plan our meals for the week, but thankfully, I just have to pick the meals for the monthly meal plan.  Planning makes everything better!!!

I love my crockpot!!

Sunday - Tacos
Monday - BBQ Ribs (Crockpot)
Tuesday - Honey Garlic Chicken (crock pot)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Lebanese salad
Saturday - TBA (probably enchiladas)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Catching up

So I thought I'd give you an update on the whole Gluten free thing, weightloss, and a product review.

First, after I gained my composure, gluten-free is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Today was the first day that I thought 'ugh this sucks' and it's because I made my own macaroni and cheese for a serving opportunity in Detroit. THAT STUNK!  but it's ok, I'd rather feel good, then eat that.

I've been doing a workout video for the last couple days, trying to get my stamina up, and work on my core.  let me tell you, Jillian Michael's Shred DVD is effective that is FOR SURE!  It's also nice to be done in 20 minutes but I am dripping in sweat when done.I wish I could find my hand weights...  probably cleaned them up and put them somewhere that I would be able to find them!

I also am making Cream of mushroom soup tomorrow in the crockpot, the canned kind has gluten and God knows what else!  YUM!  

I also tried a new pasta!  I loved it!!  everyone has said how terrible g-free pasta is.  It's not the same, but it's still good.  I tried Tinkyada (it has a bunny on it).  I liked it so far the best, however, it costs about $1 more than others... and it doesn't mean that much to me, so unless I find it cheaper I will continue to use DeBoles.

Also... Please keep me in prayer, just as I have started to believe who God says I am, I've had that little voice in my head that says 'you suck, you're ugly, who would want you'... blah blah!  I won't believe it!  I know that God loves me... all the rest is frosting (I know some people say gravy, but I make cupcakes and no one puts gravy on cupcakes, that's weird!)

John 3:16 (msg) "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. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Finding Love & Forgiveness in the mud

Today I got a note from someone basically digging up all the crap in my past and trying to make me relive it. I actually was a little bit angry about it. It’s easy to start slinging mud when someone starts slinging it at me. But the thing is that nothing ever really gets resolved in events like that.

I could lie awake at night thinking about all the ways I could have changed the choices I made. I could have been a better daughter, mother, friend, girlfriend… I could have, and even as much as I try, many times now I fail. I’m not perfect, and if I was, I wouldn’t need Jesus. But I’m not perfect and I do need Him.

In times when the mud starts slinging, I look at how dirty I am. I look at how dirty I was, and it’s not pretty, and it makes me sick. But there’s no point in returning to the vomit and re-eating it (Proverbs 26:11). I am thankful for God’s grace, and while I always strive to live more like Him, I am thankful to live under it.

I have learned, I take responsibility for my mistakes, I seek forgiveness from those I have hurt, and from God, I repent, I learn, and I move forward in His lessons of love and grace.

I have also learned in lessons like this how much it sucks to have things of our past brought up… I don’t like it when others do it to me, and so I strive and will continue to strive to not do it to others. If we believe the Word of God to be true, that in Christ we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and if it is true that God has taken our sins from us as far as the east is from the west, and we are supposed to live our like Jesus, then we (I!!!!) shouldn’t be mud-slinging either, and we should forgive too. Which isn’t always easy when hurt is involved.

I have learned to ask myself when I am angry or mad, what is really the heart of this issue? If hurt and/or unforgiveness is found as the root, it is up to me (no one else) to dig it up, and destroy it with love and forgiveness.

So today, my heart will etch the lesson of forgiving myself and others. And living a life of forgiveness just like Jesus.

Psalm 103:11-13
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Netta!!

I know that every person is a gift from God. But this I know, my friend Netta, she is that kind of gift that you think you’ll like, but you like it even more, the more you learn about it! She’s perfectly wrapped in beauty!

I met Netta ‘by chance’ in 2007 on a mission trip with the kids. I was driving the kids to a Youth Group night and Real Church had a bible study lead by the beautiful Netta Chilton. So I went…. You can always learn, right?

There is something about Netta that almost seemed too perfect. So I followed her blog, and her hubby’s blog (I like to see if people really are as they seem). And at some point, Netta and I became friends, I don’t know the date but I am quite sure that it is written in God’s calendar. The more I know Netta, the more I love her, and I find out how perfectly imperfect she is! What I mean by that is that nobody by themselves is perfect , but Netta knows where her perfection comes from! Jesus!!

Netta radiates Christ. She loves, and when necessary she might even ask you what you’re doing when you’ve got your head in your belly button, but she does it in a loving way! Just like Jesus did! 

She is encouraging! She really does see the Jesus in others and helps others grow in their gifts!

She is loving, not only to her own family, but to those around her. Sometimes I think a hug from Netta could cure just about whatever ails you.

She’s got cauliflower ears. She is a great listener. I looked right at her on Sunday and started crying, I just needed someone to listen! And a hug (see above)

If you’ve never met Netta, you have missed out on a certain ray of sunshine that only her smile can give!

She has inspired me to do meal plans!  I am thankful for her for saving me lots of time and money, and she's got some YUMMY recipes!  she has even had a recipe published!

My friend Netta, is a wonderful daughter, a great wife (obviously because her hubby refers to her as his queen), a fabulous momma, and a fantastic friend!

I am so so so so thankful for this gift from God!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Savior King

I love this song. It makes me humbled and rejoicing at the same time. To think He came, lived a perfect life, loved, died, and He is Risen! Who else can say such a thing?! No one! His Name is JESUS! No matter how much we mess up, He is perfect!!! I give my life, to honor You!

And now the weak say I have strength

By the spirit of power that raised Christ from the dead

And now the poor stand and confess

That my portion is Him and I'm more than blessed

Let now our hearts burn with a flame

A fire consuming all for your Son's holy name

And with the heavens we declare

You are our king

We love you Lord, we worship you

You are our God, you alone are good

You asked your Son to carry this

The heavy cross our weight of sin

I love you Lord, I worship you

Hope which was lost, now stands renewed

I give my life to honor this

The love of Christ, the savior king

Let now your church shine as the bride

That you soar in your heart as you offered up your life

Let now the lost be welcomed home

By the saved and redeemed those adopted as your own

I give my life to honor this

The love of Christ, the savior king

Monday, March 12, 2012


I know that 'the boys' (Levi, Judah, & Zion) will not remember today.  I know that they are little and sometimes I wish that I could bring my camera and snap pictures of our time together.  I wish that somehow I could capture their giggles in a picture so that one day I could say to them "that day was so fun"!

My heart somehow overflows when they are around.  I'm funny and silly, and I don't even have to try to be those things that normally don't come naturally to me. I laugh from my head to my feet. Their smiles and giggles and smooches and hugs, they make my life just seem amazing when the world may not think so.

Today started out like any other day, but it ended in hugs and kisses, a sweet baby boy falling asleep in my arms.  Although it might never get written down in any books as the best day ever, but my heart knows differently.

Phyllis, Katie, Levi, Judah, and baby Zion...  I loveyou.  You make memories in my heart that will last a lifetime.

Everyone Matters

I got this book and at the time I never thought I'd get a chance to read it, but once I sat down, I couldn't put the book down.  Reggie Dabbs is not only a great man, he is inspiring!  The funny thing is that I thought he was a football player before I read the book!  He has even spoken to some of my students who were inspired and felt the love he has for students.

He has risen above being an unwanted child to be someone who knows that children matters, every single one of them!  I love that he uses the stories in the bible to help tell his story!  The word is relevent and alive, and he has a way of telling it that is amazing!

This book shows young and old that no matter your circumstances, you can rise above them, and make an awesome impact and do great things!  His story also shows the impact that we can make when we live a life of love, imagine his life if his mother did not have someone in her life that she could call 'no matter what'.

Even though I received this book for free, I've purchased it for others (and gave away my copy) and even though I recieved this book free from BookSneeze, I am not required to write a good review, but the book is AWESOME!

Cupcakes & Ramblings!

I am always astounded by the generosity of people and they way they love! Not sure why because I am surrounded by people who love all the time!

This week I have 5-6 dozen cupcake orders! How awesome is that!? Right before my first payment is due for Haiti. I have already collected enough in cupcake sales and donations that exceed my first payment but I’d really like to be half way there by the first payment <3 AND I have people asking if I will make cupcakes this weekend! WHEW! Looks like it will be a cupcake kind of weekend! I like to think of it as cupcakes for muffins! Hee hee! I cannot believe how much money I have raised in cupcakes! It’s almost like those little cupcakes leave trails of love wherever they go!

Did I tell you I’ll be serving the homeless on Saturday with some beautiful friends! Chicken, mashed potatoes, mac&cheese, veggie (I think green beans), and you guessed it… CUPCAKES! Everyone needs a treat!

Yesterday I was cooking up a storm yesterday (Boy, was I thankful for a working kitchen stove/oven yesterday!)! Cupcakes, cinnamon swirl banana bread, two batches of taco rice, homemade salsa, mashed potatoes, and Cole slaw (though I think that this wasn’t that good, I added too many carrots!)! I was praising God for such an amazing gift. I am so blessed to be able to cook for those I love! And just like an awesome God, He gives us a gift that we can share with others, and that blesses us! He is so giving!

I told you that no unnecessary spending… I hate this new rule! I love to buy stuff. Also… speaking of stuff, I super duper want a Barnes & Noble Nook Color. I already have a Nook (which is why I choose the Nook Color over The Kindle Fire), and I love it, but I know I would SUPER love a nook color, but I can’t get it? Why? Because it is a want not a need. A nook or a kindle are not a need, they are wants. Need to turn my wanter OFF! You know what I could do with $200? A lot! And so… I’ll be sitting over here… daydreaming of a Nook Color, thanking God for my Nook. I even told my friend to check up on me to make sure I’m not spending unnecessarily. Accountability. I did however pre-order The Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook so at least I’ll get a little something in the next couple weeks.

Ok, that’s enough ramblings! Gonna love on some muffins tonight with my girl! Can’t wait!

Hoping this week that there are trails of love with each step you take!

1 Sam 6:19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

He is

Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed!  I mean like I can’t breathe, when someone asks me how I am I just say ‘fine’ or if you ever hear me say “I’ll be ok” it really means that I’m a complete mess inside and if I say anything I will start to cry as witnessed by my friend this morning (man was I thankful for her!).  I don’t always know what to do in those situations.   I usually have a mix of emotions.  Sometimes I want to punch someone, sometimes I want to just cry.  But mostly I just want someone to FIX it.  Whatever I need at the moment, the basement floods, I want someone to come clean it, college needs to be paid for, a nice big fat check would be nice.

Sometimes the cleaner guys show up, and sometimes the money comes.   But one thing I have learned is to take my issues to The Throne.  Who better to take care of things than the King of Kings. There is no one higher, bigger, smarter.  In all my overwhelmedness, He is good.  When I screw it all up, He is faithful.

I am never sure of what is ahead, how things will be worked out, but I know they work out for His Glory.  So today, when my insides are churning, I will rest in the fact that He would have died just for me.  He is good.  He is my Father.  My healer. My portion.  He is my way.  He is Faithful.  He is Eternal. He is Risen.  He is ALL things. He is my Savior. He is my Lord.  He is. 

What else do I need to know?

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

Helping the Homeless?

The question mark isn't to determine whether you are helping the homeless, it is more to determine if the people you are helping are homeless.

I have no idea why it drives me so crazy about 'fake homeless people' HOWEVER if you know me, you know I could rant on this for HOURS!  I get the whole 'least of these' (Matt 25:31-46) part in the bible, trust me I get it, but I don't believe that God wants us to be foolish.  There are so many fake homeless peeps.  Yesterday (which is why I am ranting) I saw one of the ones I sometimes drive by in an establishment and he whipped out a big fat wad of cash.  And by establishment I do not mean homeless shelter.  Another guy pulled away in his mercedes after sitting outside of the establishment asking for money.

There is one guy on 75 near cass that I am quite sure he just owns a wheelchair so people will feel sorry for him.  There is another guy near Mack & 75 who has dreads who one time asked me fro $10!  ohmyword!  not change, or a dollar, $10!!  so you know what I said?  You've got a better chance of winning the lottery than getting money from me!  Maybe not my finest hour.  One woman who had a 'help the homeless' sign by my work I said to her 'you know it's against the law to accept money under false pretenses" and now... she's gone.  Again, I don't know why it drives me so crazy... but it does!  And I feel like I have a decent giving spirit!

My whole point is that I'd like to educate you on the fake homeless.

  • Check their shoes.  A lot of them have good shoes.  It's like a job interview, the first place people look is the shoes.
  • They are probably dirty if they are really homeless.
  • Yellow eyes.  Lack of nutrition
  • They will have a lot of stuff with them.  Homeless people don't have a place to leave all their stuff, they take it with them.
  • And typically they give you those puppy dog eyes...  they are just playing on your emotions.

My point really is this.  There are a lot of organizations that really do a wonderful job of helping people, getting people who really might think they have no hope, hope (Grace Centers of Hope, Detroit Rescue Mission, ARK Ministries, Focus Hope, Hope Works, many local churches - Military Ave - and many more!). Children, they need safe, clean parks.  They need organizations that love them, and teach them, and believe in them!  Places like Gleaners that have backpack programs to send them home with food on the weekends!  The Science Center, the Aquarium, places where they can LEARN!  Do you know that there are countries that don't have clean water (you may have heard this before!)?

 I understand the compassion of some to want to help, but let's not be foolish!

Proverbs 13:16 All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meal Planning & Money Saving

Sometimes it seems we have kind of a 'theme' week.  Sometimes it's lots of freezer meals (that were leftover), sometimes we eat a LOT of mexican, I guess it's kind of whatever we might have a taste for that week.  Sometimes the theme is quick and delicious!

This week I am using my pressure cooker thanks to my friend Andrea (and her mom) for the recipes!  Here's hoping for an easy week.

I've been doing a lot of praying and thinking about money saving.  I've decided that for the next couple months I am going to really focus on NOT buying things we don't NEED.  I got invited to a jean party, which I probably would have went to, and spent money, on a pair of great jeans, but I don't NEED them.  I just don't.  And I got invited to a Scentsy party, WHICH I LOVE!!!!! but I don't NEED them, I actually have plenty of wax, plenty of burners,  those are wants not needs.  I even found myself going to purchase workout videos yesterday because they were $5, but I don't NEED them.  I can run outside, I can do the tapes I already have, unnecessary spending.  NO NEED FOR THAT.  Time to turn my wanter off.

Even this week's Alive Staff dinner (and cooking for Metro's building work crew too) is pretty cheap!  Taco Rice.  Its yummy, it's adaptable, you can sneak in some veggies, and it's cheap. Serving with chips and homemade salsa (because homemade is cheaper than store bought and tastes better too!)

This week's menu:

Sunday - Dinner with the Fam (chicken, mashed taters, cole slaw, cake)
             - Alive Staff/Metro Work Peeps - Taco rice, chips & salsa

Monday - Stuffed Pepper Soup (crockpot)

Tuesday - Honey Garlic Chicken (pressure cooker)

Wednesday - leftovers (and prep for Thursday's dinner)

Thursday - Chicken Cacciatore (pressure cooker) with G-free noodles

Friday - TBA Cooking for serving some peeps in a park on Saturday

Saturday - TBA

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Managing my money

I’m really great about knowing which store has the cheapest price for this or that and I have a budget in excel but I really feel like I need to get a software program to start really tracking where my money goes… My friend Sean quoted Dave Ramsey ‘Unless we tell our money where to go it tells us where it is going.’.

I really want to be more God honoring with my money. He gave it to me, so I want to be a good steward. Give more. Save more. There is no reason that I can’t do that! But it means that there MUST be less needless spending. Oh, and did I tell you, I’ve got a kid in college. Yesterday I was having a moment of how I should have been a better mom and saved more for her college, which is completely TRUE, however, there were many years that we were in survival mode, and she has had many experiences in her life (both of us have) that I cannot put a price tag on.

So, I think I am going to go with Quicken, unless someone tells me some other program that is FABULOUS!

Saving money doesn’t sound all that glamorous but not worrying about money, and being able to give generously, really does! So I’ve got a plan! TIME TO EXECUTE! Praying for guidance on where to spend and where to cut back.

Deut 8:17-18 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Do something
 I’ve been thinking about this Invisible Children movie/video that’s been all over. I think it’s great and all, I think we should stand up and fight against the evil. I’ve been known to say that I’d like to go into every brothel and just beat the crap out of the people abusing those beautiful women and children, and after I was done, I’d like to help them get help from their violent sexual addiction, in the name of Jesus. The fighting part is not in the name of Jesus but the helping part for sure! We should stick up for those who can’t stick up for themselves, whether on a playground, in a work place, or a brothel. 

Proverbs 31:8-9 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The problem is that I believe, I really do, that sticking up for those beauties is that we have to find a way to do it WITHOUT violence.

I think that is why God put Romans 12:21 on my heart today: do not overcome evil with evil, overcome evil with good.

I believe that clean water is not a privilege, I think it should be a right. Everyone, EVERY ONE should have access to clean water, and I believe we can do it. Imagine how much we could improve the lives of others with something as simple as… clean water. I won’t go into statistics, I just want you to just imagine… drinking water with poop and pee in it because you had no other choice. Most of us don’t even like to drink well water.

My issue with that video is that people actually need to do something other than share the video. You (and me) if we truly believe in something need to do SOMETHING. It is not enough to share a video on facebook or Youtube. Sorry, it is not. Let me guess, you can’t go to Uganda, but I would guess that you spend money on something that could be used for such a purpose as helping bring clean water or supporting Invisible Children (or other organizations Love146, monetarily.

I have not always been in the position to go on three mission trips in one year. I’ve not always even wanted to. I never thought that my heart would ache to go to Africa, and yet, I love God, and I love His people. But when I couldn’t go, I sent people. My money was needed. So checks were written, meals were made, I prayed , I did whatever I could. I’m not saying this to say ‘look at me’ I’m saying this to tell you that YOU can do something.

As the body of Christ some of us work, and some of us write checks, some of us pray, some of us donate school supplies, some of us run, whatever it is, I urge you…

Do something.

You can make a difference. I promise you, you can.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God Reigns.’” Isaiah 52:7

And I think the video is great!  I love raising awareness!

March Forth/Water

Today I was driving to work and I saw a billboard for one of our local casinos.  It said March 12-21 (those were the days of the promotion).

It made me think of Romans 12:21
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

That verse just reminds me that no matter what comes our way, we are to just do good.  Love people.

So when I read March 12-21, I thought of it not as a promotion date, I thought of it more like a battle cry!

March forward with the verse!  Live It!  LOVE IT!

I find it so awesome to know God's word. That's why I learn and memorize scripture.  I keep reading it, and the more I read it, it is amazing!

So here I go... overcoming evil!

Also for those who don't know (and those of you who do), I am going to El Salvador to dig a well with my friends, we are going to bring clean water to those who do not have it.  But more importantly, we are bringing THE LIVING WATER to those in El Salvador.  I have no idea what this will look like and I'm excited to see what happens in and through me (and all of us!!)

and if you are interested (and live in the Detroit area), we are having a Bowling Fundraiser on March 31 from 1-4pm the cost is $20 for bowling, pizza, and with your paid ticket you have the chance to win 2 tickets to a Red Wings Game AND Dinner!!!  just send me a note! 

Lovetoyou!  marching forth!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

why is it bothering you?

banana bread (double recipe) in a bundt pan
Yesterday I had quite a little meltdown.  I really couldn't figure out the heck was my problem.  it wasn't something that doesn't happen (or seem to happen!) every day!  It really bothered me, and I wish that I could say I handled it well... but I can't.  

And like all things, when I mess up, I can focus on them all day, even for weeks!  ugh :/

Today I wrote out my scripture verse of the week:

Psalm 55:22 
 Cast your cares on the LORD 
   and he will sustain you;
he will never let 
   the righteous be shaken.

I knew that cast was used a lot in the bible so I decided to look it up in my Strong's concordance (I'm still amazed that I have one of these! I would recommend you get one!) 

Cast (H7993):  To throw out or down

So as I went on my walk/run this morning (after I whipped up some yummy banana bread), I really prayed about this.  Why did this bother me?  What at the core is the issue?



I hate that lesson.  I want to make sure people know that I did a good job.  That I... that I... that I... oh boy.

All day as I was 'memememememe' I was remembering the cross and how He... How He... How  He...  my little meme seems very insignificant.  I don't do a good job of showing the world who He is if I am singing a 'meme' song.

Thankfully His mercies are new EVERY morning, and in my case, sometimes every minute!

Lam 3:22-23 NKJV
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

I got this recipe from here.  Normally when I make it, I only use half the 'swirl' mixture, today I doubled the recipe and put it in a bundt pan so I used it all!

    For the bread:
    • 3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • dash of salt
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    For the swirl:
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 Tbs cinnamon
    1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and four a loaf pan. Mine was 9 x 5, but you could use any sort, I suppose. Just keep a close eye on it in the oven, and adjust the time as needed
    2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
    3. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.
    4. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
    5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, but remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eyeball on it!