Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

ha ha!

…that’s not funny

I wonder why people make fun of others?  I wonder why people think it’s funny to have a laugh at someone else’s expense…  Everyone loves to people watch but imagine the damage we do if we make fun of others.  Especially those of us who say we love Jesus.

Everyone was made by Him.  We are all God’s masterpieces (Eph 2:10) and when we put someone down or make fun of them, aren’t we slapping God in the face saying ‘boy you really missed it on that one’. 

I’m not saying that I am perfect at this but I had this happen to me recently, and I remember feeling so hurt, thinking “maybe you don’t like me, but what have I ever done to you but love you?”.  It was really hard not to cry. Maybe there was joy in laughing at someone else, but there was pain in the person that they made fun of.  Me. And really, do you think I think I'm cool?  I don't.  I'm a complete nerd, I save for freezers, and have produce delivered to my door, and I'd choose to get drunk in the laughter of small children than a bottle of whatever.  I know I'm a dork, but Jesus made me this way! And I'll always be here for you if you need me.

I think that in everything, there is a lesson.  I really can’t change the way people think about me, but I can always choose to love.  This lesson really helped me to remember that we are all made in God’s image and we should see everyone the way that God sees them. Beautiful and worthy of love. 

I am thankful that everyday God gives me new mercies, that He changes my heart, He points out to me the things in my heart that need changing to be more like Him.  I want to finish every race strong, to love bigger, to bring Him glory, and I’m thankful for love and forgiveness that He is taught me for the journey. 

Romans 12:18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meal Planning week of 4-29-12

One thing I've learned about meal planning...  it really helps with the budget!  It helps with my sanity too because everything is planned out. But it only helps if you STICK TO IT!

Sunday - Wedding (Michelle and Oscar)

Monday - Baked Chicken

Tuesday - Thai Chicken Wraps (Family Feasts Cookbook)

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Tacos/Tostadas

Friday - Turkey Burgers

Saturday - ?

I'm starting to clean out my fridge of all the non-organic meat.  And I'm also starting to save for a stand up freezer.  I have a chest freezer, but I want a stand up one too!  I have a discount card that I bought (and I'm selling) as part of a fundraiser for Haiti (and my coupon savings!) and I'm going to put the money I save in a special jar marked 'freezer'.   This will help offset the initial cost of the freezer, and then I might sell the chest freezer I have.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easy Chicken and Dumplin's

8 chicken parts (2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings)
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
4-6 carrots, sliced
1 – 1 ½ c water (you can use half chicken broth too)

In a Ziploc bag add about 1 ½ c flour, pepper, paprika, garlic powder (you can also just use Frankenmuth Chicken seasoning).  Put chicken (2 pieces at a time) in bag a shake to coat.  Brown chicken in frying pan with a small amount of oil.   Wipe out pan of access grease with paper towel.  Add soup, carrots, and water. 

Cover and cook medium to low for 45 minutes until chicken is done.

Then add the dumplin’ dough on top in little pieces (remember to keep them little, they grow)

Dumplin’ Mix
1 c flour
1 ½ t baking powder
1 beaten egg
1/3 c milk
2 T veggie oil

Stir together.  The dough will be stiff and drop on top of chicken and soup mixture.

Cover and steam for approx 15 minutes. 

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Just getting started!

I was at the Detroit Prayer walk this morning and it was kind of crazy and I ended up praying a lot of different stuff and I was looking around the city and thinking about the Detroit Mission Trip.  This year is a little different because I go to Haiti June 23-30 and then I come back for a week, and then it’s Detroit 2012!  Crazy.  While some may serve one week for ‘Detroit’ the hardest parts are the two weeks before.  There is a lot of prep that goes into it.  One of the big things… groceries.  Food is probably the most expensive thing on the trip.  Feeding 75 –100 people 3 meals a day isn’t easy and it must be good and cheap.  That’s difficult. There are things to consider like food allergies, veggie peeps, lactose intolerance, gluten allergies. 

I try to work really hard at not only feeding them food that they like, but getting some nutrition in them!  Watermelon and a veggie tray is always waiting when they arrive from working all day. Fruit with breakfast & lunch.

the start of the stock up!
I also do my best at keeping costs down.  About this time, I start picking things up ‘here and there’.  Today I got two boxes of noodles for $.62 each.  Sometimes it’s a jar of peanut butter, a box of cereal, spaghetti sauce.  None of this is added to the cost of the trip.  God blesses me with a good deal, and I bless the trip. 

If you look at the picture, that’s what I’ve got started.  And soon I will be asking for donations!  The cheaper the cost of food, the more we can spend in other areas!  We try to reach a lot of people of all different ages!

This is the tentative menu:
Everyday is cereal for breakfast (and if I get adventurous the last day will be pancakes & sausage)
For lunch each group gets:  lunch meat (selection of 2-3 kinds), peanut butter and jelly, fruit snacks, fruit, cookies, chips, and kool aid.

Tuesday – Mostacolli, garlic bread, a veggie
Wednesday – Taco Night chicken or beef (it’s really ground turkey) tacos, Spanish rice, salsa, beans, nacho cheese, chips
Thursday – BBQ chicken, pasta salad, potato salad, veggies
Friday – Pizza

Every night has dessert – typically ice cream sandwich cake, cupcakes, banana pudding

Plus snacks like chips, pretzels, drinks

I can’t wait!  

Friday, April 27, 2012

I love loving!

I serve at a church/soup kitchen once a month that is in my city. It is because of a bunch of awesome people who were faithful when God called that I am able to do that. It’s amazing to see God’s provision when we go to put the leftovers in the fridge and it’s overflowing!  It’s a good problem to have!

It seems that every time we serve a meal we say “I think that’s our favorite to serve” whether it’s meatballs, tacos, chili, fried chicken, breakfast, or chili dogs!  I think it’s an excellence thing.  When we serve we don’t just show up, our hearts are open wide, we’ve planned from the kind of plate we buy (we try to buy the Dixie kind with an edge so stuff doesn’t fall off), to all the fixin’s, dessert, drinks.  We try. 

It is only by God’s grace and love are we blessed in blessing others.  It is Him who wrote on our hearts to love in food.  It is Him who saved us. It is Him who provides the funds for the meals.  It is Him. 

He is all over our serving because He loves us.  He allows it to be our favorite no matter what we serve.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to not only serve a meal, to spend time with my friends, but to love with a gift that He gave me.

1 Cor 16:14 Do everything in love

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Traveling Meme

How old were you when you first traveled?

I went to Colorado when I was about 2

What is your favorite form of traveling: car, bus, train, or plane?

For the speed of it, a plane, but I like sightseeing in a car.

Where did you go on your first road trip?

To Sea World in Cleveland

Where did you go on your first bus ride?

I went to Florida on a Possum trip, we stopped in Gatlinburg and NC

Where did you go on your first train ride?

Dearborn to Ann Arbor

Where did you go on your first plane ride?

Colorado to see my aunt, she was in the convent

Motion sickness? Treatment of choice?

I don’t

Where would you like to go that you haven't been?

Africa, Puerto Rico, Greece, Spain

Where would you like to go back to?

I’m not sure

Travelling alone or with someone?


Your ultimate travelling dream?

Travel all over Africa

Feel free to copy and paste to your blog, deleting my answers and filling in with your own!

Prayer cards

I meet with an amazing group of women on Saturday mornings. It’s amazing how real we can be with each other and we speak love into each other’s life, we share, we pray, we eat. I cannot tell you how absolutely amazing it is!

Prayer is a huge part of our group!

This week we are going to be at the Reach prayer walk.

We pray for each other.

Our ‘ring leader’ Netta told us about how she has prayer cards for people she prays for! GENIUS! I have a long prayer list. I can’t even begin to tell you. And it’s not very organized. Until now and it’s growing, and that’s exciting!

I decided to take her idea and make one too. Now hers are super cute, mine are basic index cards with a ring. I’m kickin’ it old school. IPADs are nice, and all the crazy technology it’s fabulous, but sometimes we just need to be still before the Lord and… bring our index cards. My list is growing everyday and I am sure I will probably have to get more cards and a bigger ring, but that’s a good thing. I can’t wait to scribble the answered prayers and see God move! There are lots of people on my lists, projects (like mission trips and outreaches), salvation! It's awesome! I can't wait until the yellow ones (salvation) are answered!

1 Thes 5:16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (msg)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crazy Love

Love is so crazy!

I just ‘got’ a Compassion Child. I know that this sounds crazy because I love Jesus and I believe in loving orphans and doing whatever we can to take care of them, but I have never really felt called to ‘adopt’ a Compassion Child. Until now.

Her name is Kelin, she is so beautiful and so cute! And I’d really like to send her a pair of cute ballet shoes. My love may come from the fact that I am going to El Salvador and she is from El Salvador. I don’t know maybe because God opened my heart so wide, there was more room for her.

This little muffin is so beautiful and I just want to love her up! I can’t believe how much I love her already! How does that happen?

I’m already wondering if I can transport her to where I am going to be so I can love her in person!!!

James 1:27 (msg) Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Planning ahead for success

So yesterday I found out that chicken (if not free range/organic) is washed with ammonia to kill all the bacteria...  ugh :/

I freaked out a few months back about food and organic and blah blah.  I calmed down a bit and slide back into just "doing the best I could" which really meant that when it was convenient, I bought organic.  I have to say that I have not purchased grapes or blueberries unless they were organic since the whole mess started. Thinking about "bud kill" has made me rethink buying potatoes... for a minute, but it's serious and what I am putting in my body (and Phyllis's) matters.

I am thinking (seriously) about buying a side of beef, half a pig, and I wonder if I can buy chickens?  Of course letting someone else butcher them.

I'm trying to decide what to plant in my garden.  It seems like such a big decision... Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, green beans, lots of herbs (is it possible to make like pastes with the herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays and use them in the winter?).

I did buy that pressure cooker, i need to can some beans.  I need to figure out how to slow my life down a little.

I am going to use up what I have in the pantry and freezer.  but slowly start replacing it with organic.

Going to start investigating, slowly eliminating the yuck in our diets but not being so crazy that if I go to someone's house who hasn't made the same decision that I will snub their food.

Time to get serious while still being practical.  Going to start here

Also going to start changing out chemicals and soaps over...  but not going hog wild.  Just going to start weeding stuff out. Out with the old, in with the new...

Anyone downriver interested in starting a co-op, we could get some discounts with door to door organics  we need 4 families.

Meal Planning Ideas for April/May

I love being able to look up recipes on line but there is something about sitting down with a good cookbook.  I pulled out some of my favorite one last night and found some new recipes and some old stand bys that apparently I haven't stood by lately :)

Recipes from Family Feasts for $75 a week
Slow Cooker Chicken Caccitore
Curried Chicken & rice casserole
Grandma's Mushroom Chicken
Thai Wraps

Freezer Leftovers (I have quite a few meals in the freezer)
Stuffed Cabbage
Tomato Sauced Ribs

Chicken Teriyaki
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (Better Homes pg 238)

Chicken/Veg Sitr Fry
Greek Salad
Red Beans & Rice

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Please note before you read this... complete ramblings!

read this book!

I’m trying to plan my month of meals for April (I’m a week behind, I should have done it last week, but I have been struggling because it seems like lately I try new crockpot recipes and they are gross!  So it seems like we eat a lot of the same things (and leftovers of those same things).  I must say I think I miss lasagna the most after going G-free.

I made a double batch of meatballs and I’m going to freeze a bunch of them. I’ve got quite a bit stocked up in the freezer from leftovers (ribs from earlier this week), chili, BBQ chicken… I’ve scheduled baked chicken 2 weeks in a row… and no baked chicky!  Maybe this week!

I’m going to go look through some cookbooks and magazines tonight and see what I can rustle up…  I wish my friend didn’t tell me that chicken that isn’t free range/organic is washed in ammonia… now I’ve got to change that over… oh brother.

My list for today (it’s been a long time since I did a Saturday list)

  1. coupon sorting
  2. Lunch with the girls
  3. Avalon bakery
  4. Eastern Market (I bought 23 grapefruit)
  5. Clean out fridge
  6. Grocery shopping
  7. super saving
  8. dinner
  9. movie
  10. sleep
Eph 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Behind the curve

Ever have one of those days when you think of all the things that have left you on the low side of the curve?

Yesterday was one of those days.  A day of 'nots' which leaves my stomach in knots.

College - I wish I would have saved for Phyllis's college.  Sure we are able to make it work, no student loans is our goal, but I wish that I would have saved for it!  A lot of people I know have 529s, money saved, me... eh :/

Mission Trips - a ton of people I know have been living Matt 28 traveling all over the world, making disciples because of Love.  This year are my first!  Heck, I didn't even start going on mission trips, local, until 5 years ago.

Not married - even though people don't mean to, I think that it's natural that friends who have spouses all hang out together, it's a common thing.  Totally get it, but don't always like it.

My house was a mess, my basement needs cleaning, I'm fat, blah blah...

And then while praying, God reassured me that that I was not created in 'nots' but that I was created for glory, His, and 2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

His Word, His Love.  WOW!  Totally changed my perspective.

College - sure I may not have saved, but His provision is all over the place!  No student loans, we have the money!  YAY!

Mission Trips - I've been on 4 local, going on 2 overseas this year, + one local.  I am going in His timing.

Not married - whatever, there are benefits to being single.  

Have time this weekend to clean, and I will make a dent.  Also hoping to work outside and get some plants moved, get the weed barrier down.  

Thankful that He is a God of I AMs not I am nots.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I will have triunfo!

So there is a lot going on these last couple days!

I went to the doctor's last week...  Low vitamin D, and she put me on Metformin.  She said it was to help me lose weight and get my PCOS under control.  Well, I might have lost weight but it was because that stupid medicine made me SO sick!  I couldn't even do the elptical i was so sick/weak!  I am officially off it.  Besides there is no substitute for hard work and good eating habits.

name of photo:  mujer triunfo!
Also started my espanol hardcore.  I've got the stuff in the computer, MP3 loaded. People think I'm crazy, I listen to worship songs en espanol.  I am sure I sound like an idiot, look like one too, but whatever, it is very important (importante) that I can speak Spanish when I go to El Salvador.  I have a spanish bible too, so I can learn the verses :)  I want to sing spanish songs When I told someone today that when I go, I will speak spanish fluently they said 'yeah right'.    I will! Here is the thing, if I don't try and put forth everything I can towards something, surely I won't hit the goal.  However, if I try and I put forth the kind of effort that God expects with the strength that He has given me, I will not fail!  Plus, I am so lucky (blessed) because I work with people in Mexico so I can speak with them, and write emails. Today some friends of mine were reading something, and I actually knew the words, I was translating in my head.  I know that I sound crazy walking everywhere saying 'hola, buenos dias', it's ok.  If I could only find a way to go to Mexico for work for 1-2 weeks!  That would be the best!  So lessons in Espanol on the computer, in my ears... talking at work!  Te Amo Espanol!

Also... need to eat better and get on the eliptical everyday! now that i am feeling better, it will be much easier!  Looking forward to it actually.

There are things I know... if I want to know the bible more, I must read it, study it, learn it, memorize it.  If I want to know God more, I must spend time with Him, read His word, talk to Him.  It is no different with anything else in my life.

Good choices and positive steps forward.  That is how I will succeed!

Phil 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!

En Espanol: todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He is

I know that there are a lot of people who don't believe in God.  If some really smart, logical person asks me how I know there is a God, I don't really have a smart, logical answer.  I just know there is.

How can you look at a sunset or a sunrise or see a beautiful child or hear a giggle, how can you feel a hug or experience a smile, and not know there is a God?  Do you think I just randomly showed up?  ohmyword, no one would have ever planned me...  however, God weaved me.  He knew.  He knew all the mess I'd make, and He knew the joy I'd bring when I'm living my life for Him.

He knew.  He is.  I AM.

Today I was talking to a friend who knew me before I was saved, he's a pastor.  We've been friends for a long time.  I was telling him today that sometimes I am just blown away by the fact that not only do I know God and He speaks my language because He loves me, I am learning His Word. I KNOW IT!  I can find it.  I love learning it, I love the peace it brings me, and I love sharing it with others.

Here's the thing, I don't just like the Word of God, I don't just love it, I BELIEVE it.

I believe all the stuff in the old testament, it's real and relevant to my life as it was all those years ago.  I believe the life of Jesus, I believe that He was born of a virgin in fulfillment of the scripture, I know that He died on a cross, and I BELIEVE He rose again, and is ALIVE and because of that, I live!

How do I know? I just do.

Because He is the I am.

John 1:1-18 

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
  and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
  and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created
 and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
 and the darkness can never extinguish it.[b]
God sent a man, John the Baptist,[c] to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human[d] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[e] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.[f] 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,[g] is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

What are you really saying?

Sticks and stones may break and bones, but words will never hurt me.

What a bunch of crap that is!

Eph 4:29 (msg) Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

I can remember almost every bad thing that has ever been said to me. I can remember all the times my gramma said I was “too” something. Too fat, too skinny, too blonde, too… blah blah. I can also remember the times I have been less than encouraging. UGH!

One of my very favorite students wrote a post about people have hurt him and how it made him stronger. It made me think about how important it is to build people up and not tear them down.

Not that long ago I was bullied. I know sometimes it's hard to believe that I could be bullied!  A room full of men and only one stuck up for me while I held back the tears. I didn’t cry because I was hurt by the bully, I cried because of the people who I thought cared about me, who stood by me, who I respected (and still do), didn’t do anything. Except one. That one, he means the world to me, and even though I already respected him, he went up about 10 notches on my respect meter. The rest I've forgiven, but it was a big example of how much more I need to stick up for those who may not be able to stick up for themselves!

Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,and see that they get justice.

God told me quite awhile ago that He needed to work on me and made me take a break from some stuff. I think many people may have thought it was the wrong thing to do… but I know what God said, and it was a distinct “let Me lead you”. I am not saying it’s all be wine and roses or more like unsweetened iced tea and daisies but I can tell you, I have more joy and more love in my heart and it flows out the smile that is on my face a lot more than it ever was before! I laugh louder, hug harder, love bigger than ever before. I recognize His blessings from hugs to provision. I ENCOURAGE A LOT MORE! I see things the way He sees Him, I am more likely to see someone’s gifts and love than their faults now, and I tell them about them! I do my best to speak life because of what has been given to me (life and love!)

We (me) should be careful what we (I) say, we (I) should be careful how we (I) live. People are watching, people are listening. People need an example (a Christ-like one) and they need encouragement and love. I’m not saying I’m always perfect at this, and I do often fail (so I say I'm sorry), but I strive to speak life to everyone around me.

Love with your words! People remember them!

Proverbs 15:4 Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit

Sunday, April 15, 2012


My friend Amanda served these at her daughter's b-day party upon the request of her daughter, and I could see why once I tried them!  YUM!  They are g-free too!!  I am making them this week!!   Not really sure what kind of sauce yet. I am thinking about doubling the recipe and freezing them so I will have them ready to go for a meal!

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup blended up old fashioned oats
1/2 cup freshly minced up onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley (I used dried & just sprinkled (a lot!) by eye)

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp mccormick seasonall (the aldi brand is g-free)

1 lb. ground turkey

Mix all infredients, bake 350* for 15-20 minutes (depends on the size of your meatballs)

Meal Planning 4-15-12

I haven't done my meal planning for the month yet, but we've got lots to choose from in the pantry or freezer because I buy one month ahead based on what's on sale.

Sunday - Dorito Casserole
Alive - Ham w/ Mac& Cheese, chocolate cupcakes w/PB frosting

Monday - Tomato Sauced Ribs

Tuesday - BBQ chicken sandwiches

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Tacos or Tostadas with Spanish rice

Friday - Meatballs, rice or potatoes, and greens and beans

Saturday - Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Tomato Sauced Ribs

This is one of my very favorite recipes!  I found it while exploring my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, next time I make some recipe pages for my homemade cookbook, this will be added. 

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 stalks celery (about 1 c)
3/4 c chopped green pepper (I usually use this)
1/2 c chopped onion
1 1/2 t sugar
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t salt (sometimes I do this... sometimes not)
1/4 t black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds boneless country ribs

Mix all the ingredients except the ribs in crockpot (I use crockpot liners!)  Then add ribs, coat them.

Cook in slowcooker 8 - 10 hours on low, 4 - 5 on high!  Remove ribs and skim fat off sauce.  Serve over ribs and noodles, potatoes, or rice.


Serve with potatoes...  rice, noodles, whatever floats your boat!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Did you know that I can’t sing?  Mrs. Kane (Phyllis’ music teacher) says if you can talk you can sing.  She’s wrong.  I can’t sing. That whole joyful noise in the Bible, (Psalm 100:1 KJV) that’s me.  Which just seems wrong as two left feet because I LOVE to sing and often have a song in my head.

I have often asked God why I can’t sing.  It didn’t seem fair to me.  Why did You give me a song in my heart and no way to deliver it.

One day in my kitchen, singing… I asked again.  And God said, don’t you understand, I gave you one of the greatest gifts of all.  Everyone must eat.  Huh.  Never thought about it that way.  One of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa “if you can’t feed 100, than just feed one”. It’s profound on so many levels. 

As peeps we always see big things and want to do those.  But we must be faithful in the small things… (Luke 16:10 Luke 16:10 - "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." NLT)  Feed one.  Help one.  Love one.  Lead one.

It completely changed my attitude about my gift.  While I always enjoyed cooking, it has always been a form of worship to me, feeding others, often you might find me dancing around my kitchen, no music on, both arms raised, worshipping.  And sometimes there is music other than what’s in my heart.

God has given each one of us gifts.  It sometimes takes time and an open heart to discover them and completely embrace them.  There is no one else to give the credit to my cooking and baking, but to God. 

I’m so thankful.  I could just sing! 
Proverbs 31:15  She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants

YAY! It's Friday!!!

I’m getting pretty excited about my trips! I went to the doc today for a normal physical plus the travel clinic. My appointment times did not go exactly as planned. 9:30 to the doc, 10 to the Travel clinic… well, I got in to see the doc about 10:10 and didn’t even get to the travel clinic until 11.

I did find out that my Vitamin D3 is low (really LOW) but thankful because I have been kind of tired but pushing through it, stating ‘no rest for the wicked’. Imagine how much I can get accomplished with Vitamin D3!! Woot!!

My travel clinic appt went well, thankfully did review of both trips at the same time. It seems like it is finally going to get here! 70 days! That’s no time at all. Lots to do for the Haiti trip and the Detroit Mission Trip! Woot!

Putting the Espanol software on my computer this weekend! (and the budget software too).

I am excited about what God has in store for me and so many others…

And did you know??? Detroit (the city) is getting a Whole Foods! OHMYWORD! Please God, call me to live in the city!!! Please Please – You’re setting it up for me!!! (Yeah, I know, the world, any part of it, doesn’t revolve around me).

Happy Friday! Sending Love!!!

Matthew 28:18-20 (msg) 18-20Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

He's my portion

What if God truly was our portion? What if I looked to Him for everything? It’s something that God is really speaking to me about.

I’ve been thinking about what those guys said about Detroit, and praying for Detroit. I’ve been thinking about the cause and effect of our actions to the city, and what I’ve done to myself, and what has driven us to where we are.

I think one contributing factor is greed.

I think about the hand outs we give instead of the hand ups. We give out welfare not considering the long term welfare of the people who receive the money. What if we taught them how to do more than just survive but to really thrive?

What does that look like? I don’t really know. But I really do think it starts with loving the ‘we’ more than the ‘me’.

We rush and rush and we work and work in order to provide for ourselves. However, we don’t really provide for ourselves, God is our provider. He is our portion. Because we work long hours we have to have 24 hour EVERYTHING. We expect our grocery stores and coffee shops to be open on Holidays. MORE MORE MORE has left us with less less less.

Less time to help. Less time with our families. Declining health.

Greed. The art of wanting and having more than we deserve, and expecting more and more of it.

We have bigger houses but we spend less time together. (I have no facts on this but it seems to be an observance).

We work hard and a lot for our families, that we never see and try to avoid because our children are undisciplined and our wives/husbands are crabby. When truly, if we spent more time loving each other maybe those things would be ‘fixed’.

We have kids/teens who demand ‘respect’ when really all they want is attention and love.

We give money because we don’t have time to invest.

How do we fix all of that? JESUS!

Before we can help anyone else in His name, we have to let Him change us!

He brings hope to the hopeless. Rest to the weary. Love to the broken-hearted. (I think that’s a song) He has done that for me! He can do it for everyone!

I’m a 100mph kind of gal. There is no doubt about it. But I’ve not only learned to direct by path towards Him –I’ve learned to walk in His path, and I’ve also learned to say no (I know you don’t really believe me). I’m thankful to say that I’ve learned… It’s only money, God always sends more as I give it away. Pastor Chilly says “I don’t want to be caught sleeping when Jesus comes back”. ME EITHER!

This I know, and I believe it because I’ve lived it. God is my portion. Whatever He has for me, it’s enough. And wherever He leads, He supplies. It might not always be easy to accept what He has for me, but I know it’s best. I’ve learned that when my wanter gets turned up (I’m still waiting to get that Nook Tablet!) it’s best to sit and be still and hear what He has what’s best for me.

I am not sure of my role in the city. But I know this… if I'm not part of the solution, I just may be part of the problem. Whether my role is to sell cupcakes to provide funds for adventures, or maybe to open a bakery myself and teach someone ‘mad skills’, maybe it’s to become a principal, maybe it’s to tutor, or mentor, or provide crayons, or… maybe it’s to stay right where I am and follow His lead, maybe it’s to love what the world says is unlovable. Whatever He says… that’s where I’ll go. He’s my deliverer, my Savior, my Lord, He is my peace, my joy, my Love, He is my everything! Where He says go, I’ll go. He’s my portion, and more than enough for me!

Phil 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I love Detroit!

I was talking to two gentleman today in one of my very favorite Detroit places.  They seemed to recognize that I’d been there a time or two.  They told me it was their first time.  They then told me that they weren’t from here.  I told them I loved the city.  It was a pretty long conversation about other major cities, how ours has sports… and that’s it.  :/

They hadn’t been here in quite a few years (like 10) and they said it hadn’t changed much, but they only see it for a few brief days at a time.  They asked me if I lived in the city.  “I WISH!” was my reply.

This really is Detroit Light
It's a lighthouse just south of
Detroit on the Detroit River
They also asked me why I thought the city was dead.  Ok, it’s really hard for me NOT to come unglued. Especially when people comment on my facebook “when the last person leaves, please turn out the lights” (cierra la boca)…  Because they city never died.  Why do I think it’s the way it is? 

Well, there are some parts that are scary.  If I’m nervous about driving in an area… you should be too, but I think of John 1:5 (NLT) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.  Those places may be scary but darkness can never overcome light.  You should hear me praying through those parts… and I admit, there are parts that I’m praying “please Jesus, keep me safebut I also pray for the lives in the areas I am in.

There are some who have let sin overtake their lives. They traded integrity and good character for money and power. But there are many who love the city, who walk with Jesus, who bring life, in serving and smiles.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden. We do not cover light, we shine it!  (Matthew 5:14-15)

There are some who have chosen “me” or “we” but there are plenty more who are the heartbeat of the city, who bring life, and hope, and love to the city. There are those who do good, there are employers, and workers, and people who love and serve God with all their heart. 

Yes, I know, there are many abandoned buildings, I know a lot of things have happened in this city. 

Our view, is what we choose.  I choose to see beautiful faces.  I choose to see life. I choose to see hope.  I choose to make a difference for Love. I don’t want to be someone who come to Detroit because it’s the cool thing to do, I’ve loved this city for as long as I can remember.  I know Jesus is here!  I know that no matter what decisions are made on some levels, He is here!  He is greater than anything or anyone!

I really do think that I made an impression on those gentleman that I met, I think that they met someone who loves the city and told them about it, not in a fake way, but with a real genuine love that can only be delivered in love.

I love Detroit.  There will be no turning out of the lights… 

Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Remind me again, why don’t I live IN the city? Someday, when the time is right.

Choose Happiness

I was about to get on the bus this morning and I forgot my shoes… I had tennis shoes on, had to get my heels (please note don’t stop praying for my foot it still hurts!) and a guy said to me “change your mind? Had enough? Going home?” and I said “no, just forgot my shoes” (which caused him to look at my feet lol).

I have to admit that before the Easter 4 days off, I was tired, and it may have occurred to me at any given moment to hope in my car and proceed home, but I wouldn’t do that. Easter has left me refreshed. A combination of 4 days off with serving, relaxing, and remembering what God has done for me has left me with a fresh and vibrant attitude.

It was a short conversation about me becoming a principal and him going into banking, he said “everyone I know that went into banking is so much happier”. I said that I thought happiness was a choice. He said “no, I don’t think so, too many external influences”.

I know that Joy comes from the Lord. But is happiness a choice?

In the Declaration of Independence it says that we have the unalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. The pursuit. We can go out an pursue what makes us happy, but being happy is not an unalienable right.

I do think that happiness is a choice. I think that, sure, our circumstances can influence our happiness, but they INFLUENCE it, they don’t decide it. I think we can choose our focus.

There are many times when I am put into situations that I don’t like or I wish I could change, but it is my choice to focus on the positive, to find the joy, to be happy. There is something that many don’t know about me. I don’t really like large gatherings that I know a lot of the people. It’s really an odd thing because I do tend to be friendly, but put me in a group of 200 people and even if I know every single person, I get a little anxious. In the overwhelming of anxiousness I choose to celebrate and choose to be happy. It happened just the other day, I was standing in a sea of people that I love and I was totally uncomfortable but I chose to put on a smile, hug, and when I got a moment, took a deep breath! I choose to celebrate in those times, I choose to be happy, and I choose to love.

I always have the choice.

I have this crazy thing about my personality, I can see all that can go wrong in a situation, but sometimes I have to just see the joy and happiness in every situation, I choose to see God working.

I do think happiness is a choice, I think it can be influenced by external circumstances, but we always have a choice.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letting Go!

When I signed up for the half marathon my first thought, ok, maybe my tenth thought after “ohmyword, what have I just done” was “I think I want to do a full marathon” which seems insane, especially since it’s a really long way.  

Last year I got a stress fracture, maybe from training, maybe from something else, I don’t know.  It was doing ok, I guess kind of healed, and then lately, it’s been really hurting.  On Good Friday I had it propped up any which way I could.  And yesterday, it was pretty much hurting all day.  Even in the middle of the night I woke up with it hurting…  and this morning, pain.  Ugh :/  MY plan was to do the full marathon this year, to raise money for however, I don’t think that’s God’s plan for me.  At least not this year.  

I do have a lot going on this year.  Haiti, Detroit, El Salvador.  Maybe that’s just not in the picture this year.  I am not sure.  I’m going to be still and wait.  Listen and then go, in whatever direction that is.  I’m letting go of what I want… and doing what God has planned.

This is not always an easy thing, ok, let's face it, it's never easy, because I can kind of be a... control freak... but giving up control to the One who loves us, who really is in control, is refreshing!  It brings me joy!  

Rest assured, I will be resting my foot, AND going to the doctor.  In the mean time, I will be praying for healing on my foot.  Please join me.

Psalm 46:9-10 9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields[a] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; 
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Meal Planning 4-8-12

Did you see my snazzy new counters for my trip?  Ok, they are not that snazzy but I'm glad they are there!

I could have made any shape,
but it's Easter so I chose hearts

You want to know something funny?  God has been telling me 'not yet' for awhile.  Just do as I ask and I'll tell you... so I signed up for something... and He said... I would have said go but now finish...  :/  Oh brother!  So soon!  I'm excited!  I should have listened before I said 'yes'.

It's Easter... I don't play sports at all... but Easter makes me feel like I'm on the winning team EVERY DAY!  That's corny, but it's true!

Phyllis has a lot of working + school ahead of her this week...  so I've got some of her favorites this week!

Sunday - Easter Dinner with Mom's Family
               I made peanut butter cookies (pictured) & Ham Rolls

Monday - Shepherd's Pie
                 Also making Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup from her new book
                          **wondering why she is not coming to Detroit on her book tour!

Tuesday - Chicken Tacos, Spanish Rice (also from here)

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Tomato Sauced Ribs

Friday - Ham, rice casserole, & broccoli

Saturday - Baked Chicken, potatoes, & veggie

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Today is kind of an odd day in the Easter season for me.  Good Friday, we know about Good Friday, and of course Easter (woo hoo)!  But Saturday.  What are you supposed to do on Saturday?

Do you think the peeps of Jesus' time sat around counting?  ok, soon the 3rd day is coming and we can go check the tomb?

This is what I am doing today...  I'm storming the gates of hell for those that the evil one is trying to take.  I pray everyday, for lots of things.  but today, I am praying that satan be bound, and people be free!

I'm not ok with status quo, I want to see miracles in lives.  I want to see God move in every moment, I want to see miracles in every moment!  He is a Risen Savior!  He is to be celebrated!

Please join me.  And you can pray for my stupid foot, it was REALLY hurting yesterday!

Look out you devil!  This momma bear is praying!  If you need prayer, leave a comment on my fb or here.

Praying for freedom today!

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

Friday, April 06, 2012

Do you know?

A lot of people give the Easter Bunny, jelly beans, eggs, and chocolate some grief. I get why they do.  But to tell you the truth  it drives me crazy all the hating. Take it easy on those of us who like to make Easter baskets.  I am not even sure how the tradition of baskets and the hula-ba-loo came about (and I really don't even care). I love to give gifts, and almost anyone who knows me, knows that. And if you don't do the whole egg, basket, bunny, candy thing, I'm good with that too!  I do realize that it can be considered a waste of money. People do not have clean water, after all.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows

I know where my hope comes from, I understand (as much as my little mind can) the magnitude of the cross.  My daughter knows it, and I am sure because of my love for others, many other people see it in me too (when I am living as God instructs). 

God gave.

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.

So I give.

He gave His life.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 NIV

So I give mine.

I give because God has given me gifts (see, there it is again) of encouragement, of cooking/baking, of loving, or gift giving.  I don’t think everyone has the same gifts, and I’m ok if I don’t get anything, what God gave to me is enough.

I know that Easter is not about a bunny, or chocolate, or jelly beans, I know it is about a Lord, a Savior, a Sacrifice, a Lamb, it is about a Risen Savior, and each day, when I take breath into my lungs, I’m thankful for all that He is.

It’s Good Friday, a day that cannot be missed in our lives, because without today, we would not have life.  A day when He came, He chose the cross, His grace abounds, my heart is saddened for the need, but thankful and joyful for Him, who brings me eternal life, He brings me joy, hope, love. He is more than I deserve.

I cannot read this without crying.  

Matthew 27:11-66

 11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
   “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus[b] Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
   “Barabbas,” they answered.
 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
   They all answered, “Crucify him!”
 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
   But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
 27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
 32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
 45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d] 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[f] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
The Burial of Jesus
 57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
 62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.