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)


Monday, July 30, 2012

Much rambling...

As you could have probably read lately... I got lots ramblin' in my head and heart!  So, here is where it all comes out, hopefully in all this mess, there is His message and His light shining through.


I've been praying about going back to our High School Ministry Alive on Sunday nights for a long time. I've supported the ministry in various ways for awhile, but I will be back on Sunday Nights, and I am excited! I was helping someone today, and it was like new life was breathed right into me.  


God gave me quite a break, worked a lot in my heart, in all the buzzing around, the buzzing got so loud I couldn't hear Him. (that's never good). I'm thankful for the break that He gave me, and thankful to be back.  I thought God was saying so many things in the last few months, but truly, I asked Him to light my path, and as I've been stomping around like a little kid, He is blazing the path.


Some people know, and some people don't, I was praying about adopting from Haiti.  God has given me the answer in the last week or so... the answer is...  drum roll please.... No.  While I would like to, and I and I and I and I... sing the meme song, the answer is no.  God has plans for me to great things, and at least at this moment, adoption of a child is not one of them.  I could fight Him on it, but the answer would still be no.  I am sure a lot of people are like "what?" and a lot of people just breathed a huge sigh of relief!


I've been feeling kind of weak lately, not meek, but weak, which as a scrapper, makes me crazy.   I hate feeling weak... and then my good friend texted me... 2 Cor 12:9 which happens to be one of my life verses.


Here it is in the Message version:


My grace is enough; it's all you need. 
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.



Lots of stuff rolling in my head

There is a lot of things that I am working out in my heart... I thought I'd share some of them with you.




I think a lot of people who look at me think I'm strong.
I can paint my whole house.
Work at a job, do ministry, blah blah.
I can do a lot of things, and the more I do, the more people ask.  
I think knowing that I won't say no.
Because usually I don't.
And when I do, I get this look.
Disappointment.
Because they wanted me to.
Then I think about doing it.
Just so I won't disappoint them.
It doesn't mean I don't want to help people
It means that sometimes I have to say no


***


I have a lot of great friends, a lot of friends who I tell "my stuff to" but not a best friend.  You know why? because it's hard.  I had a best friend for a long time, she left.  To this day, I don't know if I did something, or she just decided to move on, I have no idea.  She left.  I trusted her.  She left.  She has a great life, thank God for facebook, her little muffin, that I fell completely in love with is growing so fast. Auntie Margie misses her, but she misses her best friend, too.


I have friends that I grow close with, I start to trust them, then their schedules get so busy that I can't  get a moment with them, no matter the effort I take, so I just think "only for a season" and I might still be friends with them, but there isn't always time to share everything.


I have friends who I will start to open up to, and then I get a bunch of lecturing, and I think "I'm just sharing with you, I don't really need advice, I just need someone to listen".  A lot of women need advice, but some women need to share.  They just need to work it out as they talk.  That's me, I've already got the instructions (The Bible), I just need to hear it outloud without the dark voices in my head clouding it all.  Which is part of the reason I blog, I work it out on paper.


***


All of that up there, coupled with a few other things has made me very independent in some ways.  You know I try to fix everything myself.  This has lead to many victories in my life. 
I can put furniture together (really only if it's from IKEA)
Fix plumbing
Fix my dishwasher
Do my own landscaping
Paint my house
Hang pictures
Lots of other things that I start out not having a clue about what I am doing but raising my hands in triumph


A lot of this is because sometimes I ask for help and there is a reason why someone can't help me.  So I do it myself, or I ask, and the person seems like they want to help, but they just don't have time, and I completely understand.  My personal favorite is when I ask someone (very close to me) if they can help me, they say they don't know how, and 4 months later someone else asks them and they learn (that's completely frustrating).  
My dad raised me to be independent.  I think it's a blessing for him because then I just do things on my own, less work for him, I don't know if that was his plan, but I think he might have just gotten lucky on that one.  In a lot of ways, I am thankful that he did that.


The problem with being independent is that I am not dependent on anyone else. Making my  life lonely.  I know that we were created to be in relationship with people.  We were made to have friends, we were created to be blessed and be a blessing to others (that is why we all have different gifts). 
Not having a best friend, made me go to God more, which is a huge blessing. And helped me to grow in my relationship with Him. Thankfully God never leaves us, but sometimes we just want someone to listen to us, in the flesh, be Jesus to us in a real way, like when they hug us when we are crying.
Being independent has made me grow in my self so that I can do more things, being braver every day, but it means that we don't allow people to bless us.


I can choose to be sad about a lot of things, or I can choose to be triumphant and ask God to send me people to help me grow and be better. Jeanne Mayo says to give what you need. If you need a friend, be a friend, if you need encouragement, give encouragement, if you need help, help others.  So while I'm waiting, I'll do just that.


An anonymous commenter, said that I should listen to a song, it was pretty good, I thought I'd share it.    It made me cry hopefully, you already know you're beautiful, and it won't make you cry too, but if not, listen to it, and know, God made you beautiful, I'm trying to relearn that. It's a hard lesson.





Psalm 139

Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
    Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
21 Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.






Saturday, July 28, 2012

2701 -Are you done?

So, there is nothing like C&T Music Factory.


I stopped at the building to get some work done, did one thing.  Always laugh (literally outloud) when people ask me to put things together.  It's not my greatest strength, but surely I will give it the old college try. This time, it worked out.  As I was working, I really had to blog.  See post 2700.


Haven't seen a two year old throw a fit.. go ahead and read it.  Imagine me, stomping my feet.


During worship, I put my hands up in surrender to Him.  Have Your way with my life Lord.  





Make beautiful things out of my life Lord.  At during one of the songs "by your side" it was like God was just saying to me "Really, you're complaining about Me asking you to love only Me?" 


And then I saw it, another Romans 8:28 in my life. 


I don't know what God has in store for my future, but I know that whatever it is that He asks I will do it.  I will stay. I will go when You say go.


I could delete my post from early, but I don't want to, mostly because I am sure I am not the only one who suffers from acting like a two year old... but God loves us so much, that just like any parent who needs to console and comfort their children, God, often holds me tight, tells me He loves me, and to knock it off, and I feel loved.


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

2700

It’s my 2700th post. Who would have thought that I’d have enough to say enough to fill 2700 posts. That’s crazy to me. You know what else is crazy? People read this silly blog. It all started… long ago, in preparation for I don’t know what.


Lessons

Love

Recipes

Thoughts

I don’t know why God continues to use me, but He does, and I am thankful.

You’d think I’d have something insightful to say after all this time, that today might be some sort of celebration. But to tell you the truth, it’s one of those “I’m fine” kind of days hoping that no one is going to ask me how I am. There has been a lot of growth in my heart in the last month and sometimes with growth comes pain.

I was just going to post some silly post about my dream wedding. Like 10 things I’d like, I was watching “say yes to the dress” and on Rizzoli and Isles they were talking about it, and since I posted about marriage yesterday… well, I thought it would be appropriate, but I decided that I’d be doing someone an injustice if I didn’t tell you what is really going on, because of all the things I try to be on here, it’s truthful. Without hurting someone.

Yesterday I started crying, and I couldn’t stop. There were lots of reasons, and if you want to know, you can ask, but not on here. It’s not the time to reveal all that, but in person, we could meet at Starbucks and talk.

I found myself thinking a lot about food today, not because I was hungry but because it’s where I turn when alone, and I’ve felt really alone today. Honestly, I actually pulled in (and out) of a fast food place. That certainly didn’t cause my heart ache, and it’s not going to fix it either.

I have found myself being mad about things I don’t have. A husband, a bed (permentantly) in Haiti, answers to questions I have. And it’s been annoying to me.

Ever heard the song “she’s got a way” by Billy Joel? I love that song, and I’d love for someone to feel that way about me. Really, and it sometimes makes me so made that no one does! That someone doesn’t look at me like they feel that way. It makes me angry. Yes, I know I could have been married by now, but it wasn’t right, and so I have to trust God.

I want to go to Haiti, all the time, even though I know that God has other plans, and when I find myself sad these last few days, I wish that I could kiss a muffin. I know that God has other plans.

I found myself wishing a friend would call to talk because I trust them, but they didn’t and I wasn’t brave enough to make the call myself.

So for my 2700th post I’ll tell you this, I’m sad. And mad. And somehow thankful that even in my brattiness of being me and being mad at the things I don’t have, and sad for the things my soul longs for, I trust God. And I love Him. And I know He is good.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post something silly and fun! But today, I’m sad but still praising the God of the universe!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Planning... always!

I haven’t cooked since Sunday. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up my cooking, I’m traveling, but before that, I haven’t cooked more than rice and beans and an occasional cupcake and muffin.


I am cooking for a leader’s retreat in a couple weeks and most people start thinking about it maybe a week before they leave. Not me. I’ve got all the meals planned and starting to think about snacks to serve. One of my favorite snacks to serve is a sort of Smores Trail mix. Golden Graham cereal (but of course, I buy the store brand), chocolate chips, Honey teddy grahams, and mini-marshamallows. Everyone really seems to like it. Also… a veggie tray, fruit tray, and cheese and crackers are always fabulous ‘go tos” since this is a Youth Leader’s thing, and they are young, I have to factor in late night snacking, so mini-sausages wrapped in crescent rolls, ham rolls, and taco dip will be factored in somewhere. Also trying to decide desserts, so many people like different things, and I, personally, have favorites (to make) so that makes it difficult. There will be one night of cookie/brownies (our Youth Pastor and his wife love York Peppermint Patties so I cut the mini ones in half and make brownie bites. The peeps love chocolate cupcakes with my not-so-famous peanut butter frosting, and there is also ice cream sandwich cake :)
See why I start early, there is lots to think about. One thing I am never in charge of: beverages. If it were up to me… water and unsweetened iced tea (it’s perfectly clear why I am not in charge!)

So… this is the tentative menu…

Friday Night:
Mostacolli & Garlic bread with salad

Saturday:
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole & muffins & fruit
Lunch: Deli lunch meat sandwiches, potato salad (Megan’s favorite), pasta salad
Dinner: Tacos, queso, refried beans, rice

Sunday:
Breakfast: Pancakes & Sausage
Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Leftovers & mac and cheese


All this is subject to change :)

I really do put a ton of thought and love into this crazy stuff!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Changing the way I see things

When you’ve been told your whole life (or at the least the impressionable time in your life) that you are too something… too fat, too skinny, hair is too long, too short, too dark, too blond… you’ve felt like you’ve been picked last on the playground for everything, you’re friends have always been more talented, prettier… blah blah… And no one ever really told you any differently, it’s hard to see what God created you to be. It’s hard to see all the fogginess of that how beautiful God created you to be.


Still reading SUN STAND STILL and still oh-so-good, but I was praying this morning “please God let me see me how You see me”. Believe it or not, praying that takes big faith for me.There are some amazing things that I’d like to do for Jesus. Just have faith. But deep down, I think that if I really believed I am ALL that God created me to be, I’d further the Kingdom, think of all those I could speak life into who have the same issues as me. Because with everything in our lives, we were HAND CRAFTED! HIS HANDS! He knows the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7), He loves us with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3), we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! And, indeed, we are His masterpiece (Eph 2:10 NLT).

Dear God, help me to see myself, and everyone around me just like you see us! Let Your love pour into us and then out of us, so that we can lead people to You, to Your love! I love You Jesus, help me to believe all the great things You have for me, and the amazing things You have created in me! In Your loving name, I pray!

Eph 2:10 10 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.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The big and small of it

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and we were talking about how much I like the background, the details… how often I am unnoticed in the things I do. Some people would hate that, but sometimes, to be honest, I like it. It means I’m living for an audience of one. But sometimes I’d prefer NOT to be invisible.


I would say that if anyone were to think of my personality, they’d think it was “BIG” and sometimes it is! And sometimes around others, I feel so small. Sometimes, even, invisible. I’ve text my daughter before saying “I hope someone remembers I’m here”.

I hate to be talked over. I’ve actually had to address it with people. And so since I hate that, I really try in my own life not to talk over people too, sometimes I’m good at it, sometimes not-so-much. If I am in a situation where I am talked over too much, I just stop talking, and I turn to observation mode. I usually start looking for things that need to be done… so you’ll find me sweeping, or cleaning… probably why I have no construction talent, I just can clean up after others. Or if I’m feeling that way, alone, because of something that happened earlier, I will start baking… cupcakes…

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my day… That’s the beauty of being old. I used to get mad and yell about something as if to say “DON’T YOU SEE ME!?! I matter, I’m smart”, now, I try really hard to go into “meek” mode. I longfully await The (Holy) Spirit to say “shhhh” and calm me. Sometimes if I can’t wait my friend taught me to just breathe in His name “Jesus” and you might find me just saying His name until my spirit has surrendered. It brings a lot more peace and no need for me to apologize for being a jerk. I also made the decision that it’s better if I’m just hurt than me + anyone that I could have hurt or offended.

In all the “bigness” and “smallness” of me, God uses it. And I’m thankful. He’s cleaned up the messes of me, and made it glorious. Mud pies from mess I guess.



Matt 5:1-12


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
The Beatitudes
He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Coming Your Way... in Your time!

Today on the plane ride from Detroit to Dallas I ended up sitting next to this super great guy (don’t get any ideas, he was married – and happily at that). It was weird because he knew a few people in my ‘circle’. We talked about quite a few things, church, etc, one thing we talked about… Haiti.


It must have been apparent to him that I have a great love for Haiti, and in many ways feel called to go there, but I know that, now, my place is here. God is using me in Detroit, He is using me in Haiti. I’m reading a book called ‘Sun Stand Still’ – soooo good.

If I had nothing to fear, no failure, what would I do?

Well, I’d go to Haiti. What would I do? Love orphans.

He asked me, what would it take for you to go to Haiti? He meant money wise.

I’ve never even found out. I’ve talked to God and He has said “not now” even though I’ve said to Him “Lord, You know I hate to ask anyone for money, but if You let me go… I’ll ask”.

NOT. NOW.

Ugh! Greater things are happening. He is doing great things in and through me. Here.

NOT. NOW.

He didn’t say “never” or “no”. Just not now.

I know that going to Haiti for some people would be so “noble”. That’s silly.

Going to Haiti should never be about me. It should only be about Him.

If I went without His permission, He would still use me, but I know that is not His plan, and He is a light before my feet, and I will follow Him.

I am working with the Gradec Orphanage in a couple different capacities, one being “sponsorship coordinator”, I am not sure of my official title, but that’s what I do.

If you know me, you know that if I believe in something, I’d go to the end of the earth for it. Just like I do “my kids” in church. I feel the same about the Gradec Orphanage. I’d do anything for those children, and their care givers. For only one reason. Love.

So… with all that being said. What would it take for me to go to Haiti, full time.

Yes. Now.

Until then, here I am, send me! Send me to Detroit, send me to airplanes, to Haiti, just light the path Jesus, I’m coming Your way!



And if you’re interested in sponsoring a child for $25/month please email me or contact me and I will help you be blessed by the most adorable muffins!

Get moving!

Either poop or get on the elliptical.


I am off and away these few days (don’t get any ideas, someone is staying at my house this week!) and it is so super hard to eat well while you are traveling. Like this morning, the choices in the airport were less than fabulous, odd schedules, hungry because wise choices weren’t made when I picked breakfast.

So I decided that I would take advantage of the hotel elliptical. It’s not my favorite activity (I still can’t run!) but it’s better than nothing. I did a half hour, cranked out 2.64 miles! Not too bad! Honestly, mind, body, and soul it felt good.

I have often said that I struggle with food, so not letting God overcome my issues is just ridiculous, I want my insides to match my outsides. And currently, they do not! My heart has been overcome by a Saviour… my butt doesn’t look like it. That has got to stop!

I’m thankful for Myfitnesspal.com because it really does help me to be accountable and see where I am that day! I actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought I would end up. I did make good choices along the way! YAY FOR GOOD CHOICES (or at least not horrible ones!) I think I found a starbucks that is relatively close, so I am going to get an oatmeal  in the morning! And get some fruit from the hotel for tomorrow. Seriously, I am a dork!

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

Watch this video!  God did some amazing things on this trip! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I don't care about food

It's a very weird thing when I came back from Haiti, I stopped caring about food so much.  Which is kind of weird coming from someone who meal planned a month at a time, cooks for others, has a stocked up pantry all the time.


Now, don't think I'm going all anorexic on you, let's not get crazy people.  I just don't think about food. I haven't had an ice cream since I've been back, and I really don't want one.  (THAT'S JUST WEIRD!).  I went to The Market today and got zucchini, tomatoes, a pineapple, and some grapes.  Grocery shopping for the week.  WHAT?!  Yes.  That's all I need.  I've got plenty of beans in the pantry, along with organic rice (I'm going wild this week and adding zucchini).  


I don't plan out food, and for me, I think it became like a crazy obsession.  FOOD! FOOD! FOOD!  Now, I'm like "oh, I'm hungry, I should eat".  Am I the only one that seems weird to?  I can't wait until my tomatoes start changing from green to red, then... well, I'll eat tomato sandwiches, rice and beans, and oatmeal for breakfast.  


I'm not getting weird, I still eat normal meals (typically not with meat because non-organic meat sometimes grosses me out) like yesterday, I had an OHMYWORD best grilled cheese, but instead of fries... I got a salad.  Who am I anyway?


Beets for a snack last night because I was hungry, and there isn't anything really to snack on.  I love beets and I didn't wake up with some horrible feeling like my pants aren't going to fit feeling or any self loathing.  


I'm not worried about what you eat, or anything, I'm just saying, God really changed something in my heart, where I am more focused on Him, than food.  That's a good thing!


Gen 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Ramblings about Love

Every single day I miss my muffins. Sometimes it feels like every single heart beat cracks my heart because I am not there. But as much as my heart breaks that I am not there, I know that this is where God wants me to be. I know that He will use me, and I am open to that, wherever I am.


It’s funny because there are always things to look forward to without wishing your time away.

Joy to the D will be here before we know it (yes, I know it’s July, but wasn’t it just December?) so Target has been having a HUGE clearance, and I’ve been picking up toys for that. It’s a huge outreach and kids hear about Jesus, and so do their parents, but more importantly, they don’t just HEAR about Jesus, they are loved by people, they actually get to SEE & FEEL His love, in every smile, hug, and converstation. I’ve been picking things up as I find them  I’m a planner.

This weekend I will be sending a package to Haiti, something I could not do if I was there. I found flat sheets for $3.99 each yesterday at IKEA, you would have thought I found a pot of gold (which maybe I did because I could only find them online for $10 each – I saved about $60!!) There’s lots of good stuff in the package but I really only send necessities because sending a bunch of toys is kind of silly (it’s not like they have a ton of space to store them all) and they have true needs.

There are people all around me who need me to be here, in the physical sense and the emotional sense. I know that, I really do, but know that if I could (God said “go”) I’d be there in two shakes of a hind feather.

Today I was driving and praying, and the sky was sooo beautiful. I was thinking about how we see the same moon, the same sun, the same sky as Haiti. I was just thinking about how good God is. About how He is ALL. KNOWING, LOVING, He is so good. I find great peace knowing that I am under the same sky as my lovely muffins in Haiti. That soon, because December will be here soon, I will be there again. Loving them, saying “I love YOU, I love YOU, and YOU, and I love YOU” that I will be snuggling up to my snuggle muffins, smooching them, jumping rope, making crafts, blowing bubbles.

This verse has been on my heart since yesterday (and I am super thankful for His Word!):

Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The most beautifulist!


I asked so many times for God to open my heart, to make  help me love bigger than I had ever loved before.  I went to Haiti with so many things that frightened me.  I have had walls around my heart for so long that I’ve kind of just learned to function with those walls, sometimes the view was only because I was on my tip-toes trying to see over them.  And that is no way to live a life of love.

I was watching the Haiti video and I keep saying it, but really, in my life I’ve never felt beautiful, it doesn’t matter how many times people tell me, I never really feel that way.  I never really felt the way & I should because God created me for love and He did, indeed, make me beautiful.  In Haiti I felt that way. 

You wonder why I want to go back?  Because there is something about feeling exactly the way God created you to be.  To be in love.  It wasn’t easy, but it was love.

Going to Haiti wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, though before I went it surely seemed like it. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was to come back here.  Yes, I know there is lots of love to live here, but I wish I was there.  Not yet, but someday. 

I don’t know how to explain how my heart feels. 

I can’t explain how my heart was changed there.

While I am here, I will love, I will allow God to remove the walls that I have put up.  I will love bigger while I am here, I will listen, I will love.

And I’ll count down the days until I am back again, among the most beautiful!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

8

I'm down a little over 8 lbs since I left for Haiti.

I am sure 5 of it was from water but since I've got back, I've really been making an effort to eat right.  I really do believe that eating is the biggest part of losing weight, although, exercise is SUPER important.

I had gained two pounds over the Detroit Mission Trip.  HELLO!  I am a fabulous cook! Made Mac & cheese two days in a row!  Even ate non-organic meat (gasp!  LOL!) but the very next day (Sunday) I was back to tracking, and yesterday in order to maintain the correct calories, I had to get on the eliptical, and let me tell you at 8:30 at night, it was not my first choice of things to do... but I did it!

I'm happy to be moving the right way on the scale!  I am happy to feel good!

Hopefully 8 turns to 18 before I know it, then 28 :) then 38 :) and so on!

My friend Linds is so inspiring!  She inspires me EVERY day in numerous ways!!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

I don't feel the same

I was thinking today how different I feel after going to Haiti.  I keep saying things "will get back to normal, whatever that is." I don't know what normal is anymore... not that I was ever normal.


It's weird.


I feel like something is missing.


I don't know what it means to pack up all your stuff and move somewhere.  I don't know what it means to be called to a place by God, other than just following His lead.


Am I called to Haiti full time?  Oh I have no idea.  What would I do once i got there?  Only God can answer that.  But I know I am called there in some capacity.


Do I feel like I left my own child there?  Oh, I sure do!  I'm listening and following God about what He wants me to do about that.  


I do know one thing, I must love where I am, right now. I can't live my life missing something, meaning, missing an opportunity to love someone when they are standing in front of me, or within my reach.


We just finished the Detroit Mission Trip 2012.  It was amazing.  And hard.  I loved the trip. I remembered why I fell in love with serving teenagers!  I think that at one point (a few years ago), I was just so tired that I had to step back in order to keep my sanity, but I lost the vision that God had given me.  Does that even make sense to anyone but me?  There is something about teenagers.  They are amazing.  They are smelly, but they are amazing! 


The trip was completely different than Haiti, but it was sooo good!!  A lot of great things happened on the trip, it was amazing to see the kids, to see the awesome places that we worked with!  


I don't know what lies ahead for me, or where I'll end up, but I know that I will follow Him, to go wherever He wants, and until then, I will love exactly where I am.


Listening.


Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Go be love

Forgive me if the text on this isn't perfect I'm eying this from my phone. I've got pb&j lined up for lunch, breakfast casserole in the oven and a long day of packing ahead. I was just sitting there smearing peanut butter and thinking about being a momma. I love being a momma. To my daughter and so many more. I miss Haiti everyday. I miss the muffins, the people, the weather, I miss it all. Everyday. Something has not been the same in me since I left & came back. I can't help but feel that truly I left something or someone there when I left. I have 168ish days until my return to Haiti not that I'm counting lol What do I plan to do until then? Make the most of every opportunity to love right where I am. I will listen. I will go live out God's story for my life. Happy Saturday! Go. Be. Love.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

With eternity in mind...

I know that most people don't make decisions about cars with eternity in mind...

but I do...

I bought a minivan because of my small group of high school students.  One was in a wheel chair and they were in high school and a small car just didn't cut it.  I ended up loving my minivan.

Today I traded her in.  I actually was kind of crabby about it.

HOWEVER, while taking a shower...  I was praying and realized the following things:

Keeping Gertie is not living with eternity in mind.  It's not practical and God has something else in mind with HIS provision not gas...

A lot of people would be super happy to drive a 2009 Ford Fusion

She is cute (and sassy) - a lot like me!

I can afford her

It's a decision with eternity in mind...  can't reveal it all... but time will tell!

So happy day!

I'll stop being a jerk now!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Here I go... again!


After going to Haiti, honestly, I have a hard time seeing any physical need in Michigan.  Oh, you can disagree with me, all you want, and you have that right… but you also have the right to start your own blog and write all you want there.  I don’t debate.

In Michigan, if you don’t have a job, you won’t starve, there are plenty of places to go to get food, houses have roofs, and if you’re really desperate, there are plenty of abandoned homes to squat in. 

In Haiti, if you don’t work, you don’t eat.  I wasn’t on the streets long enough to see if there were homeless, so I can’t speak to that. But I do know that they are in desperate need of clean water!

After the week I’ve been home of super hot temperatures, and hearing a lot of people complain, let me tell you, not any way Jesus, I wanted to slap someone.  It was that hot in Haiti, rarely did we have electricity, and I can only speak from my own experience, I was thankful for warm (hot) clean water.  Sure, I would have loved an ice cube (or ten) but I was still thankful.

It’s been a long week, and I’ve been doing a lot of blabbing, mostly saying “what do You want me to do next Lord??  HUH? HUH? WHAT? COME ON TELL ME” all while saying “Your will, I want to do Your will, so can You tell me what it is?”  Being very impatient.  I am sure God was like “shut up!” which I know He wasn’t.  Maybe “sit there and chill out for a minute” but not “shut up”.

I almost fell off my bed this morning reading Isaiah (which by the way, I was super excited that we are reading Isaiah in our chronological reading!!!)

Isaiah 5:19 They even mock God and say,
    “Hurry up and do something!
    We want to see what you can do.
Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan,
    for we want to know what it is
  
One thing my dad always tells me to do when I’m a little overwhelmed, is to go work in the garden.  Flowers, whatever.  He says it always calms me down. Maybe he knows I won’t call him while I’m all dirty so that’s why he sends me there.  Well, it just so happens that I have quite a garden, and I haven’t really weeded it since I planted it, and it’s grown a lot.  So I spent a couple hours out there yesterday, dripping with sweat, dirty, and quiet.   Not complaining, it was AWESOME!!!!

It calmed me down a lot.  I just can’t get over God’s provision when I am in my garden.  These little bitty plants I planted just a month and a half ago have turned into beautiful fruitful bounty!  It’s amazing!  A step closer to God.

Also in that time He reminded me that I am not serving the people of Detroit, I am serving Him.  Not them. Him.  Oh boy, somehow I must have forgotten that as I was riding my high and mighty horse around!  Sheesh.

There is need in Detroit, and lots of it.  No, it’s not the same need, but there is need.  It’s different, it’s not bad, in all the ways we live, we should serve JESUS!  And the craziest thing is that it’s a PRIVELEGE to serve Him, not something we have to do!

It’s true, I want to do the will of God.  I want to walk with Him, follow the footsteps He has put before me, my prayer is that He lights them very brightly because I’ve been known to wonder and go the wrong way a time or two.

Serve Him.

That’s my mission.

Wherever it is.


Whatever He says.


Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path

Here I am Lord, I'm listening!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Money

Yesterday I was driving down 75 like I do almost everyday, and I saw a billboard:

Victim of Foreclosure?

I probably have seen this billboard before, but yesterday I was like "WHAT??"

For the most part people who are getting thrown out of their homes are not victims of foreclosure.  The victim is the person who signed an agreement with you, that you said you would honor to pay your house note.  If you paid your bills on time, your house doesn't get foreclosed on.

I knew someone who had their electricity turned off because they didn't pay their bill, and DTE (the audacity!) cut off their electricity after they made payment arrangements and didn't pay!  I think I'd do the same thing if I was DTE.

I have had problems in the past making my bills.  That's why I got more than one job or I cut back on my spending.

I have to admit, I was taking a look at my budget today and too much money is going out, but praise God there is more than enough coming in.  There are certain things I enjoy, or at least enjoyed.  I loved loved loved going out to eat.  I don't necessarily feel that way anymore because I get a stomach ache every time I eat out (AMERICA!  WE NEED BETTER QUALITY FOOD!!!), and i do like my iphone, but at the end of the day, those are just things, and we really can do without them.

There are things I've started to do to spend less, I have a garden.  I have tons and tons of tomatoes (or soon at least I will), cukes, basil, things I love that I can plant & can myself to save money down the line.  You know I'm all into organic, so I buy my organic beans dried, and can them (initial investment of the jars pays off over the long run), I eat rice, not pasta, next week I will start making my own oatmeal in the morning, along with brewing my own tea.

I'm getting a newer used car to save on car payments and gas :)  I'll be working on it next week while I am off, though I will be on the Detroit Mission Trip.  Hopefully by Friday, I will be the proud owner of a new (not brand) car.

There are a lot of things that we can make concessions in regarding the way we spend our money so that we don't become a "victim"

Need help?  I've got an easy budget to use to figure out what goes in, and what goes out!

Thank You Jesus for wisdom on how I should spend my money!!


Stinky Garbage

This morning I woke up to stinky garbage.  it's my own fault.  I put some chicken in the garbage and thought "you should take that out" but I was too lazy and thought I'd wait.  This is one of those very small moments when God works things out for my good.

I took out the garbage which just happens to be near my driveway side garden with the basil and the cucumbers (and a lot of weeds!).  I through the garbage in and thought "that ground is moist, I should pull weeds (make no mind that it is 6:00) and so I started pulling weeds and praying.  And praising God for His provision (I am going to have enough cukes to feed downriver I think) and the smell of the fresh basil was AMAZING!  I had to tie the cukes to the fence so they would grow up!  That's why the pic looks weird!

While I was praying I was talking about the Detroit Mission Trip.  it's hard this year, the same kind of need in Detroit is not the same kind of need that was in Haiti.  And no one complains in Haiti.  They accept God's will as it comes, maybe sad about it, but no complaining.

God really spoke to my heart that I don't get to choose 'the least of these' that I serve.  Because at the end of the day, I don't serve them, I serve Him. I love/hate those moments when He reminds me that I'm a jerk.  He is a mighty God and He can calm sea when His children are scared and sometimes He can calm His child in the midst of a storm.  (Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27)


I started packing for the Detroit Mission Trip, and honestly, I forgot how much work it truly is.  I also remember why I start doing it months before I actually go (it's gonna be a LONG - and not in days - weekend!) but I'll get it done, and I actually have one day that I can set up before the team is there, that will help A LOT!  A LOT LESS PRESSURE AND STRESS!


I am so thankful to God for changing my heart, and that He keeps after me and changes it more and more like Him everyday!


It's amazing how taking some sweet time to work on a garden (and take out stinky garbage) can really do you some good!



Friday, July 06, 2012

more ramblings

Lots of rambling going on in my brain! Wondering why you are still here reading… but I am glad you are!!  There might be a lot of rambling posts for awhile, we were told to do what we need to do, whether journal (I'm doing that too) or something to help us after our trip... Well... I blog!


-I didn’t do it on purpose. I’ve become an almost vegetarian. HA! I do eat meat, I am certainly not against it, but I really am staying away from it unless it’s organic. I know, you might be thinking, “she’s really lost it” but honestly, the meat here (in the States) doesn’t taste all that great (with the exception of an awesome brisket I had on the 4th) and it usually gives my belly something to complain about. I’d say probably that we weren’t designed to ingest ammonia (that’s what they wash chicken meat with to kill bacteria – and we wonder why cancer is on the rise!).

I’ve actually dropped a few pounds since leaving for Haiti, and my eating habits have certainly changed. I eat oatmeal everyday! WHAT? Yes that’s right, I’ve eaten it for breakfast a lot lately. I do waste my money on stopping at Starbucks to get “the perfect oatmeal” because I just haven’t gotten to the market to buy the stuff to make it myself. This weekend that will change. It is delicious, I will tell you.

I also either eat beans and rice for lunch or dinner, and a salad at the other meal. I’m thankful I canned my own beans because they are organic and delicious (and cheap!!!). I mean delicious!! Imagine, your food actually tasting good without a ton of stuff on it. It’s glorious!

I don’t plan on being one of those high maintenance people who won’t eat anything at someone else’s house, I just know that this way, makes me feel better, my food tastes good, and I am satisfied. Just as God intended.

-I’ve been gobbling up His Word lately. I was so excited when I found out that Isaiah was next in my reading plan! I’ve never been excited about Isaiah before, but I was excited to read it this morning!!! So good!

-I’ve also made some new friends since going to Haiti, and I’m going to visit them in August, after my El Salvador trip, it seems far away but it will be here soon enough, I can’t wait! We’ve got lots to talk about, can’t wait!!! I have a feeling there won’t be a moment of silence between the two of us!!

-Do you ever feel like you’re almost constantly talking to God? That’s how I feel lately. Talking to Him (praying) for others, thanking Him for so much!! I don’t know what I ever did (I know I did nothing!) to deserve His love, but that just makes me more thankful for it!!

-Gonna work on the I love Detroit Trip this weekend, going to get some of the food made if possible to make it easier on me next week! I’m looking forward to serving in a different capacity. It’s gonna be good!

-He is good. All the time!

-I have an unspoken prayer request. Not putting it out here (yet) but God knows. I need complete direction (and provision) for something. Please pray that He lights my path so I can see the way. That I will be obedient, no matter the direction (and it might get hard!) but that I will follow Him, and that seriously He will provide!

Isa 1:16-17
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Rambling thoughts

All day I thought yesterday was Saturday, so it was kind of weird that I had to get up and go to work instead of church today. But hey, I am super thankful for my new job.

Yesterday was a great day! I spent the morning getting things straightened out in the house, and getting some exercise in. Then I had breakfast with probably one of the most supportive people in my life. I love that she is just so encouraging & gives good Godly advice. Then after that I just came home, made some dessert and went to my cousin’s house. I brought my nephews Levi and Judah for a date though I got replaced by Emily towards the end of the evening  but it was all good! We had so much fun, and we went swimming, I am so thankful that my family is open to letting the boys come with us. The boys are awesome and my family is awesome! So it’s a winning combination.

We had a big storm in the D and everyone is freaking out because there is no power in a lot of places. Not having power used to drive me over the edge. I’d be all crazy wondering when it would come back on, but I was at my cousin’s and I thought “well, if I don’t have power, it’s just like Haiti  We went a long time without power, and if I learned something (which I learned a lot of things) – electricity is a privilege not a right. I learned that about a lot of things.

I think one of the biggest lessons I learned is to go with the flow. I learned to really trust God and to remember that He is in complete control. He knows and controls when documentation will be released, He knows when and where every child will be born.

One of my first days I looked around and wondered “why did You let this happen? And in all this craziness, why are You allowing children to be born here? Especially when I know so many people who want to have biological children?”

And then it happened… I fell in love with Haiti. I fell in love with the people and their spirits. Sometimes they looked tired (and I am sure they thought the same about me), but it’s a place of Hope. It is a place where people praise Him no matter their circumstances. When you walk past someone and say “Como Yeah?” (how are you in Creole) they say “I am well by the grace of God”. How about that?

I know a lot of people think I did some great thing by going to Haiti and loving orphans and the people who care for them, but so much I feel like they did for me. I wanted to love bigger than I had ever done in the past, I wanted my heart to change. And it did. They changed my life forever.

I know that a lot of people are thinking “don’t worry, things will get back to normal” and they have said it to me, but I have to say that while I am readjusting to America, I don’t want my heart to be the same. It was forever changed by God and I don’t want it to change back. I know that I am not the “Norm” of society, I know that following Jesus may seem crazy!!! And it is, but I feel like maybe I should be the norm, that when God changes your heart, you put both hands in the air and you say “I surrender”. It’s taken me a long time (or at least it seems that way) to give Him my whole life, and I still struggle and probably always will. But in the moments when I hear His voice, and I read His word, and it makes complete sense to my heart and my mind, I am blown away and completely in love.

I tell people that I’d love to be married. But I don’t want to just be married, I want to be married to the perfect man that God has for me, one who is also surrender to Jesus. That everyday, together, we serve Him, and each other. Let us not think about ourselves but only others. (Man that sounds insane when I say/type it out(loud).) It may happen, it may never happen (I hope it does!!!) but whatever God’s plan is for my life, I hope I am never too afraid to follow Him.

I am thankful to God every day of my life. He brings me on some crazy adventures that make the biggest of roller coasters seem like ant hills. And sometimes it’s crazy scary because I can’t see what’s around the corner (and maybe I wouldn’t go if I knew) and the adrenaline or the rush (usually I’m in tears because I think of how great the journey was) is AMAZING!

Every day is our mission. Every person is part of our mission field, whether they know Christ or not, to love them like He does! I pray that everyday, I am filled up, to be emptied again.

I don’t know how this post about the 4th of July got to this… but it’s what my heart is pouring out!

“In that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4 NIV

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Praying

I find myself talking to God a lot lately.  Call it praying, if you will.  I find myself asking Him what it is that He would have me to do about a lot of things.


You see, I'm not very smart.  I'm impulsive.  I'm quirky.  


But I love Jesus. And thankfully He takes all of me, even those things I mentioned above.


When He answers our prayers, I am never surprised, I am usually surprised when He doesn't and I never know why but I trust that He knows, and He is Sovereign, and Good. All the time.


I really really like my mini-van.  If it got better gas mileage, I would keep it forever.  But I'm selling it.  Gertie is a great van, she's got the extended warranty, she's shiney, she works/runs well.  And honestly, I never cared that I spent up to $600 a month in gas depending on the month and the driving involved. That's a lot of money.  In my prayers I am hearing God's voice that He can do more with that money.  So I am excited for the next step, and I will be selling/possibly trading in Gertie for a more economical car.


I've got some crazy things on my heart, things that in my head don't make sense but I've learned over the years, I'm just not that bright. So, here I am, praying, trusting, and listening.  Wherever You want me to go, Lord, lead the way, light the path so that I will not get lost. Do not let go. I loveYou.


Phil 4:5-7 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.