Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Thursday, May 31, 2012

No fear, just Love


I often feel so brave that if someone asked me to go cliff diving, I’d go.  Or I’d get on a motorcycle and drive across country (with a helmet of course). Or I’d do some other ridiculously scary thing to me. 

And sometimes my legs seem paralyzed with fear.  That I could stand in the same spot forever.  Thinking “I’ll just wait here”.

And then I remember it. 

God did not create me with a spirit of fear.

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (NKJV)

I learned it in NKJV and it is actually my favorite version of this particular verse. 

Today I was just thinking about all the crazy awesome things that are coming this year!  So many things I NEVER thought I’d do.  And each one started with a single step, sometimes with my eyes closed, arms out.  I loveYou Jesus, I trust You.  The steps weren’t always easy but I trust Him.

I was literally dreaming about the word ‘Hope’ today.  Expectation.  Trust.

I think about all the things I’ve messed up in my life, but I know that when I put my love and hope in Jesus, my life truly changed. It didn’t mean that it got easy, though living your life with less (because I’m not without until I’m in heaven) consequence certainly is MUCH MUCH MUCH better.  Can’t even compare the two.

I trust Jesus. I sit with here with great expectation that if God calls me to something or somewhere, He’s got it covered.

I have my Hep A&B shot tomorrow.  My insurance does not cover them.  I was telling friends at dinner tonight, the money just comes, I don’t know how, it just does.  And I come home today, and there, from God, is the money to pay for the shot.  WHAT?!  Again?!  Yes, it happens to me all the time. 

Hope isn’t a silly thing, that might happen.  If God says that He will take care of it, I wait in expectation for Him to show up! 

You see, God truly did not create me with a spirit of fear, He created me with a spirit of Love, and I love Him, and I know that fear isn’t real, but Love is.  And it wins.

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

Getting a new routine!


Since I’m a morning person (mostly out of survival – sometimes the days I have almost kill me!) I’ve got to get a new morning plan of attack (garden put in).  lately, I’ve just been getting up and taking care of the house but since I’ve got the new garden almost put in (Mrs. Mac – you’re my hero) I’ve got to actually PLAN when I’m going to water it. 

This is my morning plan (which makes it all the more important that I go to bed on time – 9:30).

Eat a banana or a serving of some kind of fruit (get my body moving!)
Time with Jesus!
Water the yard
            8 pickling cukes
            8 basil
            6 Cilantro
            3 flat leaf parsely
            3 cherry tomatoes
            7 beefsteak (tomato)
            4 early girls (tomato)
            4 Bonny something or others (tomato)
            4 yellow squash
            3 zucchini
            8 celery

That’s all that I’ve gotten planted so far. Tonight/tomorrow I am going to try to get the peppers & onions planted! This gardening is a lot of work (and this is just the beginning!!) I’m excited because I hope I can share my garden with a local soup kitchen that I serve with friends!  I love the thought of VERY fresh yummy veggies for them!

Then after I get this all watered, I need to get on the elliptical, and then shower, and get on with the day!  Let’s hope I can get the normal stuff like laundry, dishwasher, and getting dinner in crockpot, when necessary, done too!

It’s a good thing I’m a morning person, or I’d be sunk!

Also going to try to get some evening watering in and weeding!

Yay for summer!

I'm trying to be a Proverbs 31 woman (because I'm not a wife yet!), I have quite figured out how to get it all done, but I know starting out my day with Jesus is the best! 

Proverbs 31:10-31


A wife of noble character who can find? 

    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value. 
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands. 
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy. 
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A conversation!

OHMYWORD!  24 days until I leave for Haiti!

I was out in the garden (the celery and zucchinis are now planted!!) and I was having one of those "I'm glad God can handle it moments".  "our" conversation didn't start out so good!  I was just letting it all out, and soon, i began praising Him for being Abba, Father.  WOW!

Amazing how He takes our moments and He is so good that we end up praising Him!

I'm so glad to love and serve a living God!


Monday, May 28, 2012

I miss it!


Rarely will you ever hear me say that I miss a time in my life.  Not because I had some crappy life but because I truly enjoy wherever in life I am.  I don’t miss Phyllis being two, though, I loved 2, or really any age.  Each time in your life has it’s pros and cons but when you love Jesus, you see way more pros than cons. 

Today I was driving over a bridge on Grosse Isle and I said “I miss having a boat” well, technically, it was my dad’s boat, but we don’t need to get technical.    I thought I’d always be a boater.  Seriously, I thought once my dad didn’t have a boat, I’d have one.  But that’s not God’s plan for my life, and let me tell you, I did not just say that with a smile. I didn’t.  Ok, there you have it.  I WANT A BOAT! 

Wonder why I’m so uptight, and wound up, because drinking water is not the same as swimming in it.  Reading is not the same on the beach as it is when you’re on a boat.  The warm sun, even rainstorms are better when you’re on a boat.  Nothing winds me down more than being by the water. Hence why I go read a certain bench by the riverwalk or why I go to Belle Isle. 

I started to cry.  Yes, that’s right, like a little baby, I cried.  I trust God with all that I am, but can’t I have a boat?  Really, doesn’t have to be big, just something to tool around in, I’d be happy to continue to pull up the anchor.  I don’t need to go water-skiing, I just need a place to sit, and read, jump in the water when I’m hot. 

Ok, so there is my whining for the day.  It’s too beautiful to keep all that up.  I just wish I had a boat!  I thought I’d be a boater my whole life! Because my heart still is!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Greek Dressing

Actual pic of dressing!
Truth be told, I do not like store bought dressing.  I think ranch tastes 'chemically' and the vinegar type are WAY too sweet. I will eat them but I'd rather make my own.  So there you have it, I'm a dressing snob.  But you could have probably already guessed that because I like most things homemade. (No poison High Fructose Corn Syrup in homemade either!)

I found a Greek Dressing recipe in Family Feasts but I didn't have dijon mustard so I forged ahead (I know, I'm a rebel).  Let me warn you, once you make this, you may want to eat Greek Salad for the next two weeks. You have been warned, and if this could happen to you, double the recipe.


1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c water
1 1/2 t sugar (it called for 1T, but I cut that in half)
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1 t black pepper
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced (that's not a mistake, garlic powder AND fresh garlic)
1/2 c red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients together.

Enjoy.

You can thank me later!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Talking to myself, speaking life!

Sometimes I can be frightened by my own shadow. Shadows are dark, but like fear, there really isn't anything to be afraid of.  So I started speaking some real truth into my own life.  I don't know why people think the bible isn't relevent, or why it's not true...  Get a life people, A REAL LIFE! and follow Him, it's the BEST THAT'S EVER BEEN (and it's nothing compared to heaven!)!

My friend Netta says she talks to herself, and I've been talking to myself ALL day!  So here are a few of the things I've been saying to myself!

I'm not afraid!
Josh 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”



It's all good!
Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
 
I can do it!
Phil 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength
 
I don't need to think I'm strong, He is strong in me
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.
 
I am AWESOME!
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Don't worry
Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.




Bobby

I am blessed to work with a lot of great people.  I've got one though, he's my favorite.  We are on the same team, but he is a true leader. 

He's the one on the far right
Sometimes you get to work with people you like, and sometimes you get to work with people you respect.  And sometimes you're just lucky enough to work with people you love and respect.

Today is Bobby's birthday!  Yesterday we had carrot cake for his birthday because he told me he wasn't going to be here today!  So... I made him his absolute favorite today.  Coconut cake.  Why two cakes? because he's my favorite.

He's the one that you go to when you have to make a decision and you need both sides of the story.
He's the one who kisses the top of your head you're completely overwhelmed.
He's the one who says "I wish you the best" and he means it.
He's the one who is grace giving but won't take any crap.
He's the one that when you say "good morning sunshine" every morning when you wake past him rolls his eyes but you know he secretly smiles :)
He patiently teaches you everything you know about wire harnesses :)
He makes you laugh
He loves his family

Today's his birthday and I'm so thankful that God gifted us with a present!

I'm so thankful for him, if you know him, you'd love him too!

Happy Birthday Bobby!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God is here

Lady in Meijer:  Are you a teacher?
Me: No (inside wondering why she asked me this)
LIM:  that's a lot of snacks
Me: (as I LOL) - no I serve in a soup kitchen with friends, and I didn't have time to make cupcakes for dessert so they are getting these (insert feeling guilty here)
LIM:  They are just as good (meaning the lil debbie treats)
Me:  No, they are not, but they will like them (insert smile here as I remember how much our BH peeps love pre-packaged treats - they are easier to carry in your pocket than a cupcake)

We go on chatting about how she serves in Detroit and maybe she will serve at Blessed Hope (BH). I tell her about BH and how wonderful the peeps are there. I don't know what will happen, whether she will or she won't, but it was like God just whispered "let your heart be open, I will be glorified".

I needed to also get tortillas, I thought I had TONS in the freezer, turned out I must have used them for something :) and so I had to buy them at Meijer this morning before work.  To tell you the truth, if I didn't need the tortillas, I might have just said "forget it, they can go without a treat this one time" but I didn't really have a choice but to go to the store.

picture from here 
I was thinking about how God is in today.  He was in yesterday, and He will be there tomorrow (one of the many benefits of serving a living God).  He reminds me that He was there yesterday in my long day, He will be there today, no matter the circumstances what come my way.

He said "I'm here, Margie, don't forget that today".  

I'm thankful that when I need Him, He's not some idol that I carry around in my pocket, when I'm tired and weary (and teary), He carries me.

God is in today.

It's gonna be a good day!

Matthew 11:28-29 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Miercoles?

Miercoles = Wednesday

Today is Wednesday and I haven't posted since Sunday?  oui.  No wonder I'm about to lose my mind, I've got all this stuff ramblin' 'round in my head and I need to get it out.  Sometimes letters just float around in my head until I post, then it just makes more room :)

Work Eat Pray

Let's just say that is the WRONG order.

I don't know how positive a post this will be.  Let's just start and I'll just get out of the way and God can move.

HUGE deadline at work.  I'm totally stressed and add that I've got two FULL days of training, and quite frankly, I don't have time for it.  The deadline doesn't move.  We never get training and so it's super great they decided to give us some, but it could not have come at a worse time.  Deadlines don't move and this was almost impossible. I've been dreaming about it, waking up in a cold sweat, lying awake at night about it, praying  about it.  Remembering that to whom much is given, much is required.  I'm blessed beyond belief, so here comes the much is required part. (Luke 12:48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.)

I've got a sore throat.  It just started as a little tickle, yesterday came some excess mucus, and now my throat is on fire. Great when you've got training where you actually talk.

I think saw a married guy that I know tap the butt of a married woman that I know.  This ain't football.  I hope it was nothing, but that's never good.  Keep telling myself, PRAY!  PRAY! PRAY! for both their marriages but I must say I was a little shocked!

I got a grill in my garage in about 1000 pieces, I am not kidding.  It haunts me.  I can hear it taunting me "you think you can do this?!  HA!  I don't think so" but I can, and I will, and I will not give myself excess pressure, it WILL get done. I can do all things!  Phil 4:13 and sometimes 'all things' means you call someone to do it.  And if i just can't get it done, I'll call and pay someone :)

My fridge is making some weird noise, sometimes it sounds like it wants to launch.  And service windows of 4 hours just don't hack it.  I had an appt for Friday, I was going to try to work from home, but it will be necessary that I'm at work on Friday... so it will have to be another week.  Or move the appt to after 3 (we get out at 2 on Friday) though I'm sure I'll be laptoping it this weekend.

Detroit Mission Trip is coming up!  I talk a lot about Haiti and El Salvador but Detroit is coming too!  There is a ton of pressure that comes with it! The budget, the planning...  ohmy!  Thankful to some awesome peeps who are helping us gather items and thus reducing the cost!  I've ordered a ton of stuff! I love to see God move, and God moves in our city.  No need to get on a plane, our city needs Detroit.  Yes, I know.  Why don't I just move there? Because I own a home that's under water, and I can't bring myself to short sale it.  I wrote a whole post about it, asked my friend to read it, and asked her if it could be taken offensively, and since she never answered (she's SUPER busy) I don't want to post it.  No short saleing for me. But don't think I don't want to, God says no.

In the moments when I have a moment, I am trying to be quiet and still, to rest. To listen, I do enough talking. In the times when the world is LOUD, I seek God in the quietness, to hear His voice, to pray.

I'm thankful that to whom much is given, much is required.
I'm thankful for the need to pray.
I'm thankful for a God who listens.
I'm thankful that He moves in our lives when it's crazy (even in our own doing)!
I'm thankful for knowledge and wisdom
I'm thankful for muffins who drop my blood pressure!
I'm thankful for cough drops and healthcare
I'm thankful for Hope
I'm thankful for love
I'm thankful for peace that is way beyond our understanding
I'm thankful for people who pray with me and for me.
I'm thankful for salvation
I'm thankful for the God of the universe who goes before me, around me, after me.
I'm thankful for a God who puts one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth
I'm thankful for a God who restores marriages
I'm thankful for a God who calls us to be obedient and lived a life as 'do as I say, AND as I do'
I'm thankful for the Word of God
I'm thankful for encouragement
I'm thankful that the God of the universe and everything in it, chose me!
I'm thankful that Jesus loves me!

I'm thankful!

Today is the day The Lord has made, let us REJOICE!!!!

Psalm 118:28-29

You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

No expectations - only Love!


I was thinking about my trip today and how I have no expectations. 

People are always asking me if I’m excited about my trip to Haiti.  Yes. The answer is yes. 

What will you be doing?
            Loving orphans

Practicing one of our VBS lessons
God has a BIG plan for your life!
Other than that, I don’t know.  Sure we are preparing, our team will be praying practicing teaching English, preparing for VBS, crafts, all kinds of stuff. 

But I have no idea really what it will entail until I get there.

Have you ever known that I am not flexible.  Really, I’m not.  God gave me the awesome gift of planning.  I’ve planned so much of our Detroit Mission Trips because God has given me so mad skills in that department.  Sometimes when you have ‘mad planning skills’ you may have less ‘flexibility skills’.  Well, at least I do.

It’s ok though.  Over the last few years, God has been working on my obedience and trusting skills.  “Do what I say” just like a parent (because God is my Father) He teaches me that His way is best.   And sometimes as parents we have that ‘do as I say not as I do’ mentality, but God is perfect.  He gave us the best example EVER!     

This trip is about Love but it is also about obedience.  From the very beginning, God has said “ don’t You trust me?” It’s kind of scary that I would even need for Him to say that to me, I feel like I love Him so much but then sometimes I say “that’s a lot of money” because I always like my attitude to be “it’s only money, I can always make more”. But sometimes I get a little wrapped up in it.  But this trip has been a shining example of God providing.  For my trip and in my providing me more love than I thought my heart could ever hold.  Can you believe that I leave in 33 days?  HOLY MOLY!

In case you’d like to join me in praying for the ‘muffins’ at the orphanage… there are 19 ages 3-11.  10 girls, 9 boys.  I can almost picture their beautiful faces and their beautiful brown skin, and their onyx eyes, perfection.  God provides for them too!  He loves them just as much as He loves us!  OHMYWORD! Doesn’t that just make you so JOYFUL!

Psalm 139. 
1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand —
    when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
Doesn’t it make you crazy (good) how much God loves us?! 
May you know God’s love today, may His Word be a love song to you!
The only expectation I have about this trip is that God is already there, we are just meeting Him there, and there is love. 


Meal Planning Week of 5-20-12


I have the incredible blessing of having both my freezers FILLED!  So for the next couple weeks I am going to be planning my meals around making room in the freezer (I’m sure there are things in the bottom of the chest freezer that I’ve forgotten about)

Sunday – 
leftovers will be from this!
Lunch – BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
            Leftover chicken from BBQ, Buns from Avalon, leftover salads from BBQ
Dinner – Turkey Burgers

Monday – Crockpot chicken – Cream of mushroom soup, chicken, potatoes, & carrots

Tuesday - Tacos

Wednesday – Fresh Keilbasa on the grill

Thursday – Jerk chicken

Friday – Salad with whatever leftover meat there is

Saturday – TBA!

You gotta let go sometimes!

Yesterday I had some people over for a BBQ only to find out that something was wrong with mine!  I thought I was out of propane but nope... because I went and got both my tanks filled up! so...  I decided that I'd just bake the chicken with BBQ sauce. THEN I decided I'd go buy a new grill.

it seems there were more than this!
I run up to ACO, they had one for $129, I normally am a great shop-arounder (I literally figure out the price per sq in of cooking surface) but in the few ads I looked in, it seemed to be the cheapest, and quite frankly, I don't need anything fancy, I just need something for us.  I love grilling in the summer, it's quick and easy and the house doesn't get hot.  We don't have central air right now so any help keeping the house cool is needed!

So, it was 3pm, and people were coming at 4:30, before looking into the box, I thought "I can do this".  And then I opened the box.  MILLIONS OF PIECES.  But I forged ahead.  After a half hour and only the two legs together, I gave up.  I decided to go back to plan B and BBQ in the oven.  Sometimes you just have to say "I give up" instead of stressing yourself out!

I will get the grill done at some point this week.  Not sure when.  But it will get done.  Even the best laid plans just don't work out the way we want them to. I would have been a giant stress ball trying to get that all done, and then I would have been crabby when people came over.  Instead, I just enjoyed the company!

Making the chicken in the oven was fine, it still tasted good. Maybe not as good as on the BBQ but it was good enough (nobody complained!).

So today, I will work more in the garden, get all my yard waste to the curb (4 bags + the galvanized can) + whatever i clean up today!  And if time, the grill will get done, or it won't, but there is always tomorrow!

Psalm 118:24 (NLT) This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thankfuls

I was driving to Detroit this morning, and then I got about 1/2 mile away and thought "OH NO It's flower weeekend".  Thankfully it was 7am and almost everyone is probably still sleeping.  I normally like flower weekend, I take my time there breathe in,but today I had stuff to do!

I FINALLY found a parking spot, man I wonder what it's gonna be like at noon! From the time I shut my car door to the time I opened it...  11 minutes!  I walked quickly to my favorite vendors, and then BAM, i was out.  Stopped at Billy's Starbucks (mack & woodward), but he wasn't there :/ then headed over to Avalon.  Got a bunch of goodies (did I ever tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that place?!?).

On my way home I started saying outloud 'my thankfuls'.  I was thinking about my gram who I know loved me, but sometimes I know she thought I was a kook (and I've only gotten worse since she went to be with Jesus), I was thanking God for giving me a spirit that believes I can do it even when it's hard (and even when no one else believes I can!)...

My list was so long!  I'm a blessed gal.  My list went on and on.  I am not who I want to be, but I sure am not who I used to be!

Can you believe God got up on that cross for me?  (and you!) and He loves us!  He loves us when we mess up, He loves us when we come running to Him, He loves us in our joy and sadness!  He never leaves us!  He's our Abba!  Our Almighty!  He's our EVERYTHING!

So good!

Phil 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Waste not Want not

There are few crazy things I've been collecting for my trips...  plastic bags!

Since it will be the rainy season in Haiti, I've been collecting Ziploc bags (2 gallon size) from a move to store each outfit for Haiti.  Yes, it's true, to make it easy on myself while I am there, I will take 7 bags, each with a days worth of clothing...  capris, shirt, underwears, socks, etc in each bag. That way when headed to the shower, it will be easy to grab also, my clothes will stay dry since it's the rainy season.

I've also got 2 or 3 garbage like bags for my dirty clothes that have been collected from my Door to Door deliveries.  That way I don't have to use the ones I use for garbage (am I the only one who really hates buying garbage bags?)

Saving a little here and a little there means I can buy other things for my trip :)

I think sometimes we forget that everything is not BIG.  The one is just as important as the 99 just like if you're trying to save for a mission trip and asking people for money, you shouldn't be spending your own money on expensive drinks...  I'm learning that lesson in my own life!  Thankfully even when we are not always faithful, GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!

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.

There is something about His name

Yesterday, I don't know what it was.

I know all the things in my life that are crazy, but I know that I am more blessed than 99% of the world!  In stuff and those who have 'more' than me, may not have anything if they don't have Jesus.  


Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Awhile ago I wondered what I was doing at my current job.  I was actually kind of jealous of missionaries who God calls to some amazing things,  bringing hope to the hopeless, loving the poorest of the poor, loving orphans, whatever, but God made it clear that just because someone has money doesn't necessarily mean they have anything.  And funny because I went to Equip on Wednesday and that scripture was in the teaching.  

Money doesn't buy happiness, it buys 'stuff'

And then I realized, my mission field doesn't look like a Compassion commercial, it looks like life of people who need love.  Who need Him.  I see it.  God has given me this incredible gift of making cupcakes for birthdays.  His love is in every single one. I love in a lot of different ways.

Yesterday I had kind of a rough day, one thing on it's own, probably not that big of a deal.  All the things together, still not that big of a deal, add the pressures of my job, I felt like I had an elephant on my chest.  I actually never expect anyone to fully understand, so I keep a lot of it bottled up inside and pray.  And a lot of times I simply pray 'Dear God, one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth' and hope that I don't explode. Sometimes I feel like I'm holding back vomit. And I also pray for real peace that already exists, and I send out text prayer requests.  I know that I have faithful friends.

One friend sent me something so simple.  Breathe.  Say His Name.  Jesus

And so I did.  And instantly, tears started to flow.  It was all releasing, there is something POWERFUL about His Name.  Jesus.

As I was crying, I was praying, sometimes just saying "Jesus is in ___________" and so simply everything seemed so small.

I had to get my car washed and vacuumed (it was long over due) and I expected a HUGE line, nope, I was the first car, and there was a HUGE line when I left :).  Thank You Jesus.

And then I came home to a 'late' Mother's Day card from my nieces, I'm pretty sure somewhere in the bible it says "love is always on time".  OHMYWORD! Hallmark has nothing on those girls!  And their momma, all you people who think you got it together, Amanda, she's the best!  Loving, encouraging, and beautiful. I'm crying just thinking about that family.  

Maybe there are days that I can't seem to get through because I just don't have it in me.  But Jesus is bigger than all that mess, and because I love Him and accepted Him, He is always in me, sometimes I just need to change my view, stop focusing on me and my stuff and simply, just come before Him, and say His name.  

Jesus. 

There is something in that Name.

Today's scripture of the day: 

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I think I'm giving up!

My debit card... that is.

I've always been a cash/check kind of gal.  Within the last year or so (maybe it's been two now, I don't know) I got a debit card.  And to tell you the truth, it's been nothing but a pain in my butt! 

I've had one stolen.  Drained the account, thankfully it is not my main banking, it has always been just an extra account that I created if I needed to use it. (Airline tickets, Door to Door Organics, on-line shopping)

In the last week, it has been declined in two very inconvenient moments. The first, buying tickets for two cuties to go on the carousel, thankfully I had money in the car!  What would I have said to those boys, its not like you can talk to someone at 7PM at night and really get it straightened out...  There WAS money in my account.

Last night, which was the most embarrassing, it was declined while I was buying coffee.  The problem?  someone got ahold of my number and decided to go shopping on my dime.  I like to shop, I like to give, but I'm not ok with someone deciding that I should be generous!  Again, thankfully, I had cash. But it was super embarrassing!

Of course, this can all be fixed, but it's annoying, and embarrassing.

I have not had an actual credit card in years, probably a good decade!  I've paid by cash and check for a really long time!  I can use my checking account on Amazon, which is where I buy the most on-line stuff, there is also paypal :) 

Currently, usually on the weekend, I take out a certain amount of cash, and when it's gone, it's gone.  Somehow having actual money in my hand makes me more wise about spending it (or at least I think about it more).  Also, a lot of times, if I use my debit card, gas is $.10 more a gallon. 

23 gallons (fill up for my mini-van) X $.10 = $2.30. 
6-8 fill ups a month - $13.80 - 18.40/month
72 - 96 a year - $165.60 - $220.80/year

That's a lot of money in itself!!!

I could sponsor a child for 4 - almost 6 months with just that '$.10'!!!  it can also give water to 165-220 Africans for a year! crazy how little things add up!

 Somehow before the debit card, I paid cash for gas!  how about that?!

I am so thankful that even in things like being embarrassed over a declined debit card, God continues to breathe His wisdom into me!

So I think I am just be giving up that stupid debit card.  I will put it in a safe place (albiet inconvenient) and if i need it to buy airline tickets or something, I can find it and use it (and put it back).

Titus 1:7-9 For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.






Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I WANT THIS!

Ok, seriously... I want this! 

It's not like I can't afford it. I can. 

I want it, but I keep talking myself out of it. 

I can talk myself into or out of pretty much anything. You know i get all excited to plan a vacation (like how I want to go to NYC) but then I start looking at how much things cost, college tuition, a stand up freezer, paying for this and that.  Shots for El Salvador & Haiti, knowing that people have balances. 

Detroit Mission Trip coming up.  Lots of outreaches.  oh, $200 can go a long way.  But I really do want it.  But I also want a new phone.  Oh the joys of having a wanter.  I need to turn it down.  I told my friend once, that if you really want it, put the money aside for 6 months, if nothing comes up that you don't find a need for that money, then get it.  I need to follow my own advice.

anyway, just thought I'd show you what I dream about EVERYDAY.  I check it almost EVERYDAY!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Cleaning out the beds!

overgrown!
It has been a crazy winter/spring in Michigan!  My flower beds are nuts!  Admittedly I have abused/neglected them this year!  So today was the day that I decided to make a dent, ever be it very small, into the mess.  I've got to get it together because the biggest mess of the beds is my second vegetable garden.  but in order to clean that out, I have to make room for the flowers (getting rid of the weeds) in the other beds.  OH BOY! this will be quite a mess.



half covered with weed barrier
I decided to start simple.  Cover the empty bed with weed covering.  CHECK!
covered!
ready for flowers!
 Then... I moved on to the front (I don't have a before pic) but I cleaned it out... but good!  Put some weed blocker down there.  I'll move flowers into that place... but not yet.

future home of transplanted tiger lilies
I also have a ton of tiger lilies that I am going to move to the side of the house from the crazy flower bed.  Made room for that... Another day - like Thursday or maybe even later tomorrow after I have dinner.

I filled a garbage can full FULL I tell you of weeds.


lots of weeds

Preparing to get my garden ready

My garden.


I am so thankful that I will have two pretty big veggie gardens this year!

Bed 1 (home of tomatoes & other things)
Tonight when I get home I'm going to be doing some cleaning out of the beds and putting the weed
I’m stoked about it. Especially the more I read about food, the more afraid I become, and let’s just not even think about the amount of money we spend!! HOLY MOLY! I don’t mind spending money for quality ingredients, but not full of hormones, fertilizer (non-organic), and pesticides.

I’ve decided to plant the following:


Pickling Cucumbers
Roma Tomatoes
Grape tomatoes
Beefsteak tomatoes
Zucchini
Squash
Parsley
Basil
Cilantro
Green peppers
Jalapenos

I might do potatoes or onions… but thinking that might just be too much… I don’t know. I don’t want to be overwhelmed! LOL! Maybe next year!

I’m excited!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Not exactly

Today didn't go exactly as I planned. We had reservations for lunch, however, when we got there I found out they weren't serving their normal menu, it was a 'special' menu, which means, they marked up the price in honor of Mother's Day.  I won't be forced into spending a crazy amount of money for lunch, so we headed over to Olga's (recently opened on Woodward). After that we went shopping (which wasn't in the plan but we both got some cute stuff), then we went and saw "Good Deeds" which was OK, but had the song "right here waiting" at the end.  Hello? Tyler Perry?  who does the music for your movies? REALLY??  Richard Marx, Phyllis and I were cracking up! Then I made dinner (tostadas).

Here is the Meal Plan for the week:

Sunday:  Tostadas
Monday:  Chicken Teriyaki
Tuesday: Out with Cheryl
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Spaghetti
Friday: Pupusaria with the El Salvador Team
Saturday:  BBQ here with Haiti team :)

Have a good week!!!  My heart overflows!