Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simple love

It doesn't have to be fancy to be good. 

And sometimes it just has to be simple even if you can make it more complicated. 

I am often perplexed about what to make for dinner at home and for others. A lot of times I decide what to make for group events based on what is in the freezer and pantry to try to keep expenses down. Today I decided to make meatball "subs" - I say "subs" because I am using hot dig buns (because they are cheaper) with homemade Mac & cheese. I had to buy meatballs and cheese and buns but I have all the stuff for Mac & cheese :).

I could have made the meatballs from scratch but I decided it was just easier to buy them :) sometimes I have to make life easier on myself. It doesn't always have to be a major production (which sounds funny coming from me doesn't it?). It doesn't always have to be a complete production for someone to know you love them.  Sometimes it's a simple I loveyou, a hug, a card, or meatballs on a hotdog bun with yummy delicious cheese.

I think sometimes we think in order to show love it has to be a major production. 

For me, today, it's simple. A simple meal, for people I love extravagantly. 

I hope they know.

As always, I'm the lucky one.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stove update

I've been known to be super cheap about something's and crazy extravagant if I really want something!  
Today I went and bought a new stove. I wanted my same stove/oven however the "convection" part if the oven was an extra $200ish and really even I couldn't justify it... And when I want to spend money I can ALWAYS justify it... And if I can't I say "well it's my money and if I want it..." But this time I said no. I knew that I didn't need to spend the money and for the few times I would use it... I just couldn't justify it.
I ordered my stove and I like it and ill be so happy when it makes it here & it will be cooking as usual!
And I wonder... Why do both Lowes and Home Depot both have horrible customer service in the appliance section??
1 Sam 8:13 The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. (1 Samuel 8:13 NLT)

Wisdom for today


Its been really really busy around here, my calender looks as if someone threw up on it with ink. There’s not much room for anything else, but I do make time for those I love.
I threw my back out which was a combination of too much and sleeping on the couch.  It sucked and it kicked my butt for a few days.

Listen to your body Margie. And as always, do what you should.

Confession:  I haven’t been on the elliptical in a couple weeks.  Once my back is back in shape (meaning no more pain) I’ll be back to it!  Until then, stretching… Also I used to drink 32oz of water before I left for work every day.  I haven’t done that since… I started at my new job.  Today? Check.  It’s done.

I went to bed early last night and slept and slept.  It felt so good this morning to get up (with minimal pain) and run the dishwasher, get some stuff out of the car, throw in a load of laundry, write out my grocery list, put a plan in place to clean my office (it got filled with stuff because we had a party for someone we love who is going away)…  Life back to “normal”.
Another Confession: I drink way too much Starbucks… and if that is true, then I spend way too much money there too…  But I love it.  But it’s ridiculous… so I am putting a limit on myself to only 3 a week, which might still be ridiculous… but I’ve got to start somewhere. I’ll make my own tea.  And I’ve eaten their oatmeal so much for breakfast that I’m sick of it, so I’m switching up my Breakfast routine(I'm thinking Amy's breakfast burritos). 

Sometimes when I have to scale back it’s because I’m out of control… and thankfully it’s not like that now, but why wait? 
Why wait until the bank account is empty? 
Why wait until I’ve gained weight to do the things I know I should?

So today is the day. 

Happy Day!

Lovetoyou!

James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Love


I used to be so afraid to love.  
Anyone.
Because for whatever reason... love always seemed to leave and it left heartbreak with it.
I can say I'm no longer afraid to love.  I actually choose to love with reckless abandonment now.
It doesn't mean that sometimes I'm not a  little nervous about the future.
 I mean its the future and we have no idea what we are going to come up against and trust me... I've got a crazy imagination! But sometimes I have to remember that God really does hold it all in His hands and He loves me.

One thing I'm certain of... Love wins.


I'm so very thankful for love. I'd never get through a day without it.
It shows itself in many different ways. 
A smile
A gesture
A hug
A phone call
A text
A drink
A token of love
A card

So many different ways.


I remember once a teacher told me that the more different words a society has for a word... Say like money... Mula dinero coin etc the more they value that object. 


I think love is like that for me. I don't have a lot of different words for love but I have tons of different ways to show it.

 
I'm so thankful

And I'm the lucky one


1 John 4:19 We love because He loved us first

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sure of what we hope for but do not always see

Every morning the Word is delivered to me by text.  It makes me smile EVERY single time. 

God loves me.

Today was Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

A lot of crazy things happen in my life.  Things that people wouldn't even probably believe (good thing I'm writing a book).

One of the craziest things that brings me hope?

Macaroni and cheese (the cheap box kind)

It reminds me of God's provision. It reminds me of a time when we were broke that we ate mac&cheese and corn for a whole week (mostly because i was too prideful to ask for help) because that's all the money I had after I paid bills.  When I eat Mac&cheese I think about that time, and how God was so faithful in providing me, and how incredibly blessed I am.  I know that sometimes people don't eat the things like that when they are delivered out of that kind of situation... but me, I love eating it because it reminds me, and I LOVE the way it tastes LOL

I think of people in my life who I surely don't deserve (and they think they are lucky to know me) and how God always fulfills His promises. He is faithful.  Even though often, I am not.

I don't always know what's ahead, but God loves me.  I am assured of love that I don't deserve, because I believe in Him and all His promises.

and... I really am the lucky one.

Ouch!!

This is by no means inspirational today. 
My back hurts. 
Do you know everything is connected to your back and if it moves it hurts your back??
Blink. Hurts
Breathe. Hurts

And while moving last night... 4 or 5 times I was literally paralyzed in pain.  I have to work but I've been trying to take it easy as much as I can. Sitting is the worst. 
I've been to the chiropractor. Cold packs. 
It just takes time to heal. 

Please pray. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Start your day off right

It's my favorite breakfast.

Scrambled eggs and an English muffin with BOTH butter and cream cheese. The edges of the English muffin toasted just a little but brown while the inside soft. The butter melts into the english muffin and then the cream cheese gets smeared very generously on the muffin.  
Besides the fact that it's super yummy it reminds me of my friend Erica. I spent so much time over there on weekends. Her mom would make it for us and she always made eggs and melted the yummiest of cheese on top.

My other favorite breakfast is to make scrambled eggs and crush tortilla chips in the eggs and add some cheese.  Warm a couple of tortillas and fill them with the yummy filling and top with salsa. You can do lots of variations to this. Today I added green pepper and black beans! Yum!

This has been a public service announcement for your tummy :)

What's your favorite breakfast?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The journey of 1000 miles...

Begins with a simple step

I started!!!

It's not like I wrote 50 pages today but while I was driving home today God gave me a little nudge of something that He wanted me to write:) how exciting! I don't know at what place this part I wrote will be but it was exciting to get some words  on a page (well a few pages!!). And listening to my heart about what God wanted me to write was pretty great and the words came easy. 

I know you might be thinking... What in the world? How does she even think she can write a book? Well you're probably not thinking that but that stupid voice in my head says... Lately, I've been telling that voice "Cierra La Boca"(shut your mouth).   But here's my answer... I believe that God told me to write this book, I know there has been a lot of preparation to get ready for the day that I'd start. And today... I started.

Here's the thing, if you want the greatness that God has in store for you... You've got to move closer to Him, listen, prepare, and take a step towards Him. If you wanted milk, you wouldn't stand in the middle of a field waiting for a cow to come to you.

Keep praying for direction (& the words) as I keep stepping forward.


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

Friday, September 21, 2012

So incredibly blessed

I started my day about 4 am and worked at home and then got ready and went to work and put in 13 hours . Driving home I thought about how incredibly blessed I am. Yes. That's a long day. But how incredibly thankful I am for my job. I am thankful for a car that brings me home to a place that puts me at ease as I pull down the street.
It's that first breath that you take when you walk in that you realize you're home.
I was talking to my dear friend today and thinking about how crazy blessed my life is. I have people who speak life into me. We don't really know how important it is when we don't get it. But when we have it and we breath it in like oxygen our lives seem so much better.

A few weeks, I guess it was a month ago now, I heard two sermons about speaking life. Ever since then it's resonated in me about how important it is to speak life into others and accept it as they speak it into me.

I'm so blessed. As crazy as the days get. I'm blessed. I'm loved. 



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful

It's been a long time since I've had a group of people at my house. 
Tonight I had a group of people over to wish a great friend bon voyage, he is leaving to go live in Houston. 
It was so great to have so much love and laughter in our house.
It was a crazy day an I barely got home in time for the party from work. 
It's crazy how spending time with those we love can calm our nerves.
It was so nice... Now I've got to get some work done :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My car

If you look in my car at any moment you might be surprised at what you might find. My car is almost always a mess. The only time it's not a mess is about 5 minutes after I've cleaned it out pending that I haven't been in it.

Never judge someone by a dirty car... Something has to give. 

I'm in my car a lot. I eat, drink, and sometimes even nap in my car. I read, study, plan, and pray in my car. 

I have had people make comments... I have even told someone "don't ever get mad a me because I have a messy car, its never gonna change". I think there are things that people think they can change about another person. I will always have a messy car. People don't have to like it, but they better just accept it because I don't have the clean car gene. I do however clean out my car sometimes 

There is a little insight to me... 

Stronger than I think... and never alone

There is a song from the movie “fighting temptations” that has a line that says:


I used to wake up somedays
and wish i'd stayed asleep
cuz i went to bed on top of the world
today the worlds on top of me

I went to bed last night after a great visit with a friend, thinking that I could take on anything today. I woke up… remembering that sometimes things just aren’t that easy.

I forget to get into my bible this morning. Isn’t that crazy, something that I need as much as air, I forget. Rectifying that as soon as I am done here, but I really feel like I need to write. Thankfully my dear dear sweet friend sent me a text… Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

Do you know that I wear that scripture around my neck? It is one that I have always needed around my neck. I live in the world, and it’s hard sometimes for me not to be worldly… But I know that I am in this world, not part of it. But to tell you the truth, I’ve dropped a few F*bombs in the last couple days… oh boy… I’ve got a heart condition.

Part of me just wants to put in some Eminem or something that just makes me a little bit on edge, but off the edge is where I need to be… so I will put on the bible, pray, listen to songs that are uplifting, pray, listen to a podcast, pray, and hope for a hug at some point today, and… pray. Because if I go back to the old ways… it is like this verse:

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly

I'd rather not return to vomit, thank you very much.
I know that people think I’m so strong, but today I am not feeling so strong. But I know so much that when I am weak, He is strong. I am always reminded (when I feel weak) of one of my favorite verses (which is why it is so important to know God’s word, even if you don’t know exactly where it is found – I just happen to be a numbers kind of girl so I know where things are found)

2 Cor 12:9But 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 know! God has all this, He holds my world in His hand. And I think that almost in every thing I do, I do it afraid. There is a quote from Winnie the Pooh

you are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
But I never had seen the whole quote until today

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”
  AGAIN, I am thinking about how much people mean to us, and why it is important to speak life into others so that when they have moments like I am having, they know they are loved. People need to know that they have people in their corner. Walking with them, praying for them, loving them. I have a few of those people that are with me always even if they are not with me. I’m so very thankful for them (you).

It is so important to speak life into those we love, so that they will always know that even when the world seems to be on top of them, they have someone to help them roll it off. Speak life into people, build them up (in Jesus) so that they will have His strength to come up against whatever comes their way.

Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen

Moving forward.

Knowing I am loved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blooming!


I was listening to a podcast today and I find it funny (ironic) about God’s timing.

I have been thinking so much about parents who are jealous of their kids. Or even people who are jealous of others and how we don’t celebrate the goodness in other’s lives.

Have you ever seen someone they cut someone else down, and then play it off with a HAHA or a just kidding?

I have been guilty of this myself. I hate it about myself.

There has been something that God has been working on in me, CELEBRATE others and all that God created them to be, because, just like me, they need to be celebrated!

Today I was listening to a Podcast from Elevation Church (yes, it’s true, I’m still listening to them!), it was called “Living a better life, cancel the audition” it’s the 3rd part in the series. WOW! I am constantly blown away by the Word that is delivered straight to my heart by these podcasts. Today it was talking about (this is me paraphrasing) how God already chose us, HE CHOSE US for the part we are to play in His story. And so many times, people speak death into us, things that make us fearful, the death that people speak to us put mountains in front of us that keep us from being all we created to be.

Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Isn’t it incredible how our words can speak life or death to others? We can choose to lift others up or WWE wrestling slam them to the mats. Ever see someone as you speak life to them and see the confidence they go forward with? Or the way their shoulders slump over if we hurt them?

We have that kind of power.

Kingdom forward or Kingdom rearward.

Our words can do that.

When we find ourselves jealous of others, instead of tearing someone down, even if we say it in a joking way (it is NOT FUNNY!) we need to see the greatness in others and celebrate it instead of tearing them down.

Yesterday that happened to me. Someone wasn’t nice to me (in a joking way) after I shared with them some good news and I asked very quickly, like in my next breath, God reveal what the deal is… and He did, because, well, He loves me, and wants me to be encouraged. He reveals His truth to me…

I am now even more aware of why we need to celebrate other’s good news, the greatness in them, God has a plan for them, they are chosen by God! Before anyone knew them, before they were born, they are chosen by God for greatness.

Sometimes its difficult to see what God created me to be, to celebrate the things that God has chosen in my life, because I have heard, and they have stuck to me and I see the prickly thorns of a rose instead of the beautiful flower God has created me to be.

But today… I’m choosing.

I’m choosing the view from above, the flower, not the view of the thorns.

I am chosen too… for the greatness that God has created in me.

And you too! Now go bloom!





Monday, September 17, 2012

Kids these days

It’s never a dull moment in my life… I pull into Starbucks to get dinner, yes, dinner. It’s an easily trackable item… I pull out and these 4 kids go riding past me on their bikes, and when I say “Kids” I am thinking they were the ages of 8-11. And I KNOW! What were they doing riding down Southfield!?!!?!?!?!?!?


The youngest of the kids gives me the finger. Yes, that’s right, gives me the finger, and I am pretty sure he wasn’t saying I was number one! So, thankfully for him, I am in a pretty harmless mood, but I did decide to give them a little scare! I pulled out and cut them off at the street… and I got out of my car and yelled at them. Who did they think they were giving me the finger?! Seriously, I let them go! The youngest one almost cried!

I’d say “kids these days” but I am wondering where their parents are! That is just too little to be riding their bikes down Southfield. And I feel bad for some parents who work a lot just to make ends meet, but isn’t that where as “a village” we step in and we set a couple extra plates at the table? Isn’t that where we love those kids who need help and show the real love of Jesus? I know it’s hard and I know we are all busy, but we can’t live our lives when it’s too late saying “if only I had…”

I’m in love with kids. Mostly high schoolers but I seem to be a little enamored with the Jr. Higher variety too! I found myself in the back of Fuel today praying for those loveable, yet stinky kids, I found myself talking to them, loving them, just listening. I am not sure always where I am supposed to be, but when I am around all those kids, it feels like… home.

I’m so blessed to get to love those kids!!  The kids "these days", I really do love them!

1 John 4:19  We love because he first loved us.

Being in the right place

There is something to be said for being at the right place at the right time.  The saying, after all, is "timing is everything".
Maybe it's a career opportunity.  
Maybe it's meeting the man of your dreams, even though you never even knew you dreamed him.
While I have longed to be at the front for so long, but stayed in the back, not ever thinking I was worthy of being in the front, I know that sometimes my time is well spent in the background.  I think I can have a perfect place in both.
Yesterday was Alive, and we have been praying for weeks for lives to be saved at an alter call at the end if the night . 
I stood in the back praying while a Adam gave the invitation.
Praying!
I had been praying all day, I've been praying for weeks! 
I was thinking about standing in the back last night in the perfect spot.
Sometimes I know that my place is in the front row, and sometimes I know my perfect spot is ding background stuff. Praying, standing in the back. 
I don't think that God creates us to be in the same spot all the time. I think He calls us to be obedient.
My timing may stink often, but I am thankful for His perfect timing (though I may never understand it)
There was a party in heaven last night!
Everyday I just try to listen to where God wants me. I do what He asks, I get out of the way, and let Him do the rest. 


Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daily worship

When I would go to Catholic church I'd look up at the numbers above the piano player and is check each song to see if I liked it. 


Soon after I was saved I went to a baptist church and sometimes I'd really love the songs we would sing and sometimes I'd just sit down... What a jerk. Not standing in awe if God because I didn't like a song. :/ It's so different now, when I hear a song that I've sung a million times, I think about the love I felt the first time I heard it, or I think of a verse in the bible where God has spoken to me just like the song is speaking to my heart (BTW, I am not always perfect at doing this... sometimes I still sigh)

There is a song that says "I'll bring you more than a song , for a song in itself is not what You have required". 

I'm quite sure that God loves our Sunday morning singing. I've stood in fuel and alive and heard the kids giving their voices to what their heart are feeling and for a moment I've heard what God hears, in the hugs and the tears I've been given a glimpse of what God feels.

The spot where
I wrote this post
But I know God wants more than our Sunday mornings, or our Wednesday evenings or the moments when we serve Him, whenever that is. He wants our whole lives, our hearts, and He wants us to be honest with Him. And in those times of being mad or sad, I have to remember that He loves me and His grace is sufficient. 

I personally can't walk into the auditorium or sanctuary or whatever we call it at our building and sing sings to God and hear His voice if I haven't given Him my whole life all week. I can't work out worship on Sunday mornings. If I try, I spend the whole time saying I'm sorry and that's no way to honor the Creator of the universe.

I shocked people the other day when I told them what I told God. I think there may have been an audible gasp. Well, what I said was true, and being honest about it and sharing it helps me to receive God's grace and helps me to give it when people are honest with me (even if I want to audibly gasp).

I am working out worship where I stand everyday, working out loving others, and loving myself.

Sometimes it hugs, or footballs. Sometimes it going away parties and favorite drinks.  And sometimes it's simply telling myself that God created me beautiful.

But every time... It is love. Sweet sweet love. 


Friday, September 14, 2012

Affirmation


Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

I love getting the word delivered to me every morning. You learn the word by reading it. You learn about God’s love and grace by applying it to your life. Well, at least I do.

I was thinking about the verse as I was driving into work. I had just been telling someone yesterday about my story, about just a small portion. I think because I’ve been thinking about this book thing, and how I was given the direction by God that someday I would write it, and it’s starting to really seem like a reality I’ve been thinking about the greatness of God when He came down and just wrecked my heart in a good way.

There is but opening my heart and my arms that I could have ever done for my salvation. It’s all Him. It’s hard to remember that He is not only in the big things, but also the small every day things. Like how He opens the hearts and doors for a cheaper price for the Winter Retreat or how there wasn’t any open weekends to go to Cedar Point, and then there was. Hmmm… It’s never me. Even when I explain to someone about how gas prices do affect the prices of our groceries but not as much as the media would like us to believe or why outside rearview mirrors (OSRV) fold (I mean, besides me, who cares about that stuff!). I am smart, even when no one listens to me, and sometimes it’s because they are intimidated by me (which really is funny to me!). He created me for such a time as this.

I have been listening to a message for the last couple days from Elevation Church (it’s taking me forever to get through them all because I listen to them 3, 4, 7 times each) called Frustrations of a Fixer. I’d really recommend it (there actually hasn't been one that I wouldn't recommend). Anyway… there is a part when Pastor Furtick talks about how when we need to be filled by anyone else, we are broken, that our affirmation should come from God not from anyone else because other people's affirmations will just "leak out". I instantly thought of an sugar cone filled with a mini-marshmallow. (did you know that is a way to solve your leaky ice cream issues, stick a marshamallow in the bottom… and what a treat when you’re at the bottom). I never think of God as little, but He certainly is in the little details of everything. And He can fix our leaking...  people try to love us but like an ice cream cone with a hole in the bottom, all the good stuff leaks out!

Pastor Furdick talked about how if your affirmation isn’t coming from God, it doesn’t matter how many times people say “thank you” or “you’re awesome” it will NEVER be enough, but if you get your confidence from God, it will ALWAYS be enough. Isn’t it true?! He is enough. In a list of thank you’s someone is always left off, not on purpose, but it happens. This lead me to think about this verse again, but in a slightly different way… it is by His grace that we can even do our works. It is by His love, His grace, His sacrifice, that we can do anything… there is nothing that we can boast about… and in turn, nothing that anyone needs to say thank you to us for, it’s all Him.

I wish I could tell you that I never want to hear another thank you… because truthfully, I want to know that what I do does matter, but I always want to turn that thank you to me into a Thank You to Him.

I'm working on hearing Him say "Well done My good and faithful servant" and letting that be enough.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ramblings for today

It has been an amazing couple months. My heart has been broken wide open. I don’t know if I like the word ‘broken’…


I really have had the dream of writing a book.

I wonder… who would read it?

My blog gets quite a few hits everyday, but would anyone actually PAY for a book that I would write? Does my blog encourage you? Or do you read it to see what crazy thing I’m up to next? Do you think “shew, she really has gone over the edge”? Do you ‘like’ it? Are you inspired to be more?? People tell me they read it, but rarely do I get a comment.

See, these are the things that satan uses to keep me from doing things. He reminds me of who I once was and then I get stuck. But thinking about who you were or saying that you might still be that person is like saying that God didn’t change you.

I feel like a crack pot these days. I’m going 100 mph and I’m trying to “take it easy one the curves” (on a side note, my car needs new front tires… when am I supposed to get that done?!) maybe I should take it easy on the curves literally and figurately. HAHA!

I started writing ideas for my book today. I thought… those all sound crazy. But they are who I am. Women are not just one thing. We are many facets of the love (and crap) that we’ve received over the years. We are broken and scared, healed, whole, and brave! We are love in real life. At least that’s how I choose to live my life. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I’d like to share a couple tips of my life lately.

I read and listen to the bible EVERYDAY. I haven’t always been super great at this, but knowing how much I have going on, it’s essential. But let’s not kid ourselves, it’s essential if I don’t have a lot going on (but that never happens). I listen to music that is edifying to my spirit. It might not all be “Christian” but I don’t listen to music that will make me mad. I watch TV shows/movies with everyday heroes, because I want to see their characteristics and I want to emulate them. I also listen to podcasts. The same one all day (yes, 4 or 5 times) because I hear something different almost every time and it also reinforces the things that I need to hear and the scriptures. And at least once a week (more like 2 or 3) I listen to the Podcast from Elevation Church with Israel Houghton about worship.

It’s hard, but I try to speak life everyday to more than 5 people. And sometimes by speaking… I mean I shut up and just listen. Last week a co-worker talked about something, and yesterday I followed up about it, you should have seen the smile on their face, they even turned around to make sure I was talking to them. I’ll tell you a story about what happened to me the other day. I was crying a lot. It was a rough day. People asked me if I was ok, I said “I’m fine” because I just couldn’t talk about it. I just couldn’t. One person I thought FOR SURE would follow up ask me how I was doing, didn’t. I was a little sad about it. I can’t change that. But Jeanne Mayo says “be the kind of friend you need” and so I do. I forgive and I move on (because many times, I don’t follow up). And in their defense, I’m not always the easiest nut to crack, and I once had a friend say “I didn’t check on you because I knew you’d be ok, you’re the strongest person I know”. So sometimes I expect it.

I watch people. I see if patterns are changing, and I ask that they are ok. Not because I’m nosey but because I truly care about them. I’m not always honest about my struggles but I know that sometimes my patterns change when things aren’t “right”. I’m blessed to have discernment about things. Know that if you tell me you’re ok, but your actions don’t match, I will know, and I might not say anything, but I will be praying.

I pray for the lost. And I pray for them by name. I pray for the lost like they will be found. I pray like I know God has them on His surveillance and He hasn’t missed a moment, because He hasn’t. He’s waiting for just the right opportunity to scoop them up. I BELIEVE it.

There are a few things in my life lately that I had no idea I’d be in this spot. This is not how I saw it going… but I can’t change that, I can only love right where I am at, circumstances and all. I don’t have to like it, but I have to love. Love God, and love others.

John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dreams

I’ve had many daydreams over the years. Some are simply silly.


There is one.

One that God wrote on my heart a long time ago. Soon after I was saved. I loved loved devotionals. I love being inspired by the lives of others and their knowledge of the bible and how they could make it relevant in their own lives and pouring their lives into others.

There are many things I have done in order to get prepared for that dream to come true.

But I’d like to tell you about something about me.

I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always liked to write. My poor dad, my nose was ALWAYS in a book. The words of the pages danced in my head. I would get a book and couldn’t put it down. I’m still like that if a book captures my attention. I love reading biographies especially. I’d recommend Quincy Jones’, Carol Burnett, and the Pioneer Woman.

In 4th grade as part of our reading class we did this thing called TOP (talk on paper) and we got to write a book illustrate it, and make a book cover and everything. It was so great. We even read them to the class. I loved it. Never did anything like it since but I remember it. My book cover was flannel material with a pink background and lavender flowers.

In preparation for my book, I’ve blogged. You’ll notice, I blog almost everyday. I share many things in my blog, recipes, lists, inspiring things, a song that is the lyrics of my heart, and just my own thoughts, happy, sad, grumpy, glad.

About one yearish ago someone told me at another book premiere that someday I would be doing that. I laughed it off. And then just recently I shared with someone that I wanted to someday write a book. And yesterday someone commented it on my blog. It overwhelmed me. I don’t even know where to start, and I started to cry. What if you get what you dream of?

So I’ll keep writing. I’ll keep preparing and loving God’s word, and studying it!

And I’ll be praying.

It also means that I need to find quiet to let God guide me in His path to where my book should go.

Thank you, dear friend, who has pushed me to the front of the class. I’m working on staying there. But I think it’s not enough to sit there, so I’m also working on raising my hand to be called on.

Psalm 20:4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Him

When I first became a Christian there were some AMAZING women in my life, women much wiser than me, most further along in their years and walk than me.


I was totally intimidated (and impressed) about how well they knew the bible. They’d talk about things, and I’d be completely blown away about how they knew the bible. I so wanted to be like that! I could ask them anything (like I had no idea how they knew Jesus was coming back and HOW He was going to do it) and I never felt stupid. It was amazing.

I saw their lives, perfectly imperfect. They loved Jesus and He loved them through their mess. It was kind of funny because sometimes they were cut and dry about stuff and because I was (and still am) quite worldly, I brought a completely different perspective to them. And they opened my crazy mind set and lovingly steered me in the right direction or thought about how they never saw it that way. (Imagine… most of them did not like Harry Potter and I allowed my daughter to read it! HA! But I was never afraid to talk to them about it).

They knew scripture. They could throw one at me anytime I needed it. It made me want to soak up the word of God like a sponge. Though I fell short of reading the whole bible a million times! But I just learned to love it. To dive in, read, study, talk about it.

It brought me incredibly close to God. Who can be friends with someone if you don’t know anything about them? and I wanted to be close to God, so I read.

They taught me how to pray and not be afraid to say what I needed to say. God is a big God.

They also taught me that God was there with me, always. Not just on Sundays, not just during prayer time, ALWAYS.

Yesterday while everyone was taking the challenge that Pastor J threw out, act like God is always tagging along with you, I thought it was kind of odd, that people needed to do it, because I have always known, even when I’m a jerk, Jesus is right there. I’ve always felt His presence. Until yesterday. I could not feel Him. I’m not going to lie, I threw some stuff up at Him, I was mad. And like a kid, I threw a temper tantrum, and I cried, and I still have my moments of fighting back the tears.

I found myself thankful for those encouraging, awesome women who were in my life, because they taught me by showing me, but loving me, a faith that I could not have found on my own. I tell you the truth, had I not known how big God is, how much He loves me, after the last week or so, I could have just walked away. But I do know how much He loves me (and I also know He would have come get me – leave 99 for 1) and I didn’t.

I saw God all over the place. I mean ALL over the place. In muffins, in my friends, in the warm sunshine, in people’s smile, and I even saw Him in my own tears. I saw Him in my car starting, in green grass, and brilliantly planted trees. In standing outside talking with a friend. In crying in front of friends and letting them love me. I even saw Him in love at the end of the night. But I knew He was there, even if I couldn’t feel Him.

This morning after some breathing Him in, I felt Him, and He quickly reminded that He put all those things in front of me, to remind me how much He loves me. He never left. He showed me how much He loved me.

He’s a mighty God, and I am undeserving.

Psalm 118:15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!

A day of remembrance

I was walking out of a meeting and my friend Lynne ran up to me and said “they just crashed into the WTC” and honestly didn’t think much about it because I don’t really pay that much attention to the news. I thought it was a fluke or something.


That is a terrible habit or non-habit of mine. I still don’t watch the news. Most of the time I have no idea what’s going on in the world, and to be honest, I kind of like it that way. I have enough to worry about without seeing all the craziness of the world. Though it does seem like whenever I watch the news, it’s for a reason.

They sent us home from work that day. No one would have worked anyway, but there was a thought that we (our area) would be a target due to the water ways. I don’t know about all that. I just remember the pictures, but more importantly it reminds me of heroes.

Everyday heroes who step up when needed. And I think each one of us has the ability to be a hero. It’s just a matter of looking around.

I think of the Pastors of the churches I attend, yes, I attend more than one. I belong to Metro, I also attend with my daughter an amazing church in Detroit! I am so blessed by those heroes who lead. They have great vision that they and their families live out every day. Sometimes to be fed and sometimes to feed. I think of these Pastors and their staff who sacrifice so much so that people can be saved. So they will LIVE! To be fully devoted followers of Christ. I think of the absolute best Youth Pastor EVER (seriously, Adam is THE best youth pastor ever!) who give their lives for Jesus and for teenagers all over downriver, and how he does whatever he can for his staff to help us be better, mostly, it’s showing us how to live.

Or the teachers in our area, who people say “make too much money”. Really, a starting teacher doesn’t make that much… I am not sure of the salary, but I’m guessing it’s about $30,000. Really, $15/hour, and don’t give me that crap about only working 9 months because they work many hours outside of the classroom… We’d rather let people on welfare smoke and have cell phones even when they have the ability to work! (but that’s a whole ‘nother blog – because this single mom worked 4 jobs went to school, and while I did have help from my dad, no child support). That’s the amount of money we think that is acceptable to educate our children, our future? Plan a lunch for your kids teacher, send Jimmy John’s, drop off coffee and bagels, do something… they are everyday heroes.

I think about parents who really do give it their all, who sacrifice. Being a good parent is not easy. It’s just not. Sleepless nights, countless hours working (whether it is in or outside the home).

The people of Metro. The everyday people who just “show up” and give their lives to make our church a place that lives hope, faith, and love. Whether they clean the bathrooms, work in the office making phone calls, make copies, make food for those who serve, love muffins, love Jr. Highers, High schoolers, women, and men. The people who hand out programs and make people feel welcome. To the people who connect people to ministries, those who pray. The people who built our building… those who… you are not forgotten, your time, your love, and your sacrifice do not go unnoticed. You are important, and YOU are a hero.

I think about the friends in my life who love me. Who speak love into me. The people who just talk me through my tears. And help me to remember to laugh when I want to cry. They remind me that love is still here, even when it’s hard to feel. Those who hold us when we cry, and tell us that we are beautiful, and when they look into our eyes, they help us to see what God sees. Those who love us far more than we deserve, even when the circumstances are not the way we’d like them.

Let us not forget 9-11, let us not forget the heroes who protect us in the armed forces, those who watch our borders, those who protect our streets. Tell them; show them, they are true heroes.

Don’t forget the heroes in our everyday lives. Tell them; show them, they are heroes in our lives. Don’t let a day of remembrance to be the only day we remember them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Journaling

I never really journaled before. I blogged and continue to do so but in the beginning of June I started journaling. I have always purchased journals for people but never actually did it myself. I preached the benefits of journaling but never did it myself.

I am not sure why at some point I decided to start but I did. 

Man do I love to write. Seriously. Words on a paper make me so happy. Describing a sunrise so that people can see it without actually seeing it. Knowing that what I go through helps others or at the end of a journey they see why we keep going. 
Earlier today I had no words. I had so much to say but all I could do was cry. It would be like a painter ran out of paint or a singer lost their voice, or if Einstein lost his mind. That's how I felt.

That was so hard for me.

Our church is taking a challenge to take Jesus with them wherever they go. It's weird to me because I kind of always felt like I do that. Now I can't feel God. I can see His majestic beauty all around me, I've read the words He has given to me, I've sang the songs He has inspired others to write so that when I don't have the words I can sing of His greatness. And great He is. But I don't feel Him. And I find myself wanting to be so mad at Him but I can't because I know of His greatness. I know of his love and have praised him for his provision but I don't feel him today. 

I journaled today about how I was really feeling and it helped a lot. I guess the whole point of this was to say that sometimes I can't always express all my feelings on my blog but I'm thankful for my journal. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Not exactly....

Nothing about today went like I thought it would... Well that's not true... Alive was awesome!

Normally on Sunday's I go to church with phyllis and we go to lunch. However she woke up and then I ended up back at metro because I was there yesterday but didnt get to service because I had some weird stomach issue and thought at any moment I could puke and poop. So I remained close to the bathroom. 

I was glad I came back because it was really good! I also journaled about some fears I had. God whispered for me to be quiet. I was. 

Then later I met a friend and I got some very sad news. The kind that all you can do is believe Romans 8:28. 

I'm sad and wonder if I'll sleep at all tonight...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

No fear

Do you know god says do not fear or do not be afraid like a gazillion or maybe more like over 100 times in the bible?

You'd think that by now I'd know to listen. I still don't. I think it's pastor chilly who says fear isn't even real. 

I used to worry myself sick. 
Literally to the point that I felt like I was constantly going to throw up. You know what my doctor said? "write down everything you worry about everyday and put it in a box in the back of your closet and at the end of the month open the box and see how many things actually came true. Huh. 
You know how many?
Zero
Yes that's right.
Zero
I try to remember that when I find myself worrying. 
I often find myself with friends who are worrying about something.
Sometimes all I can say is "it's gonna be all right" and I hug them.  
and I feel so dumb because I wish I could give great advice, but it won't sound nearly as eloquent from me as it did from Ken Bussell to say "you know there is a fine line between worrying and sinning"

Maybe they are having to move out of state
Or maybe they don't know where the grocery money will come from.  
Sometimes it is going in a direction that they didn't know was coming. 

I've been a worrier about money most of my life, though, that has subsided since God said to me when I was in the planning stage of going to Haiti "don't you trust Me?".  I have gone to be hungry in order for my daughter to eat (do you think it's a coincidence that I can eat for over a month on just what's in my pantry???!!!!)

There is a song by train that says something like "I'm not in it to win it, I'm in it for love" and I'd like to say that I think those are the same things because I believe love wins :) so if you find yourself nervous about what the future may bring or whatever is on your mind and heart, here's my hand (and heart) extended... I'm in it to win it with you, I'm here to hold your hand and love you through it...

Because fear isn't real.

But Faith and love.

Those are real. 

Forever.

Friday, September 07, 2012

I'm just doing my best...


I don’t have to worry about you judging me… I’m judging myself enough.

I decided after last weekend’s canning episode of canning pickles and 5 whole quarts of tomatoes that I would just freeze the rest of my crops.  It’s just easier.  I didn’t say it was easy, if it were easy, everyone would do it.  And quite frankly it’s just a lot of work. (I have a total of 8 quarts put away)

I was able to freeze corn & broccoli last week. And I decided that even though I’d rather can… I just don’t have the time (or energy) to do all of that on a Friday night.  And really, that’s the only time I have to do it. 

I have 9 basil plants outside that will be made into pesto this weekend, and I will freeze that too.  SUMMER YUM in a bag.  Did I mention… we love pesto!

I can hear a certain individual in my life speaking words of “you can’t do it all, Margie”. BLAH BLAH! Here’s the thing, I will strive to do my best everytime! And sometimes I might have to strive for someone else’s best but I will NEVER give up on trying to be the best I can be!  EVER!  Though I can still hear my gram saying “take it easy on the curves” her way of telling me to slow down! HA! I think she probably knew that would never happen!

I found myself driving home tonight wishing I was in a life group at church.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been in one, and I’m starting to miss the community, though I don’t know if I was much of a community to anyone… but it was great to love and be loved! But seriously… I am not sure if I have time…  and finding a group is sometimes hard. No.  I am not joining the single’s group… so don’t even suggest it…  and if you comment about it, I will DELETE your comment. I just don’t want to (and you’re going to make me upset).  Seriously not sure if I have the time, I have to be careful, because I have been known to overbook myself… and this is a busy time for me… who are we kidding it’s always busy for me, but we’ve got lots at Alive going on… and I have a Sisterhood reunion (please be praying about my time off for that!), Cedar Point, etc. 

So that’s it, just trying to manage my time…  freezing instead of canning… book study on Mondays instead of LG on Fridays (and maybe that will change!).

So I’m here… just doing my best…


Overcome by Love!

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I love this verse, because of Jesus I am an overcomer. And I am only an overcomer because Jesus is in me!  What have I overcome? Oh more than I could ever tell you about in just one short blog, but the thing that blows me away about God is that He just lets me say His name, and it brings me this kind of crazy complete peace. Sometimes when I get all crazy (and sometimes my friend Netta has to remind me) I just say His name, I breathe it in, I breathe it out, and I say it until a peace envelops me. Sometimes it’s one or two times, and sometimes if I don’t actually let go, it’s like 100 but I never stop until I am peaceful.

In the verse it says “I have told you these things” which prompted me to read the verse before this one. What did He say? What did He tell us? I wanted to know… and thankfully because of Biblegateway.com and Youversion.com we can check it out in just a quick moment.

Do you want to know what He said?

John 16:16-32

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

He’s gonna leave, but don’t worry, He’s gonna be back, we will see Him again… He says our sorrows will turn to joy. We will forget the pain of what came before, we will rejoice and no one will take our joy. WOW!

I have been thinking so much about love lately. Because I've been experiencing it!  I even think about the times that I have been hurt that I’d never really ever find love. When I would go to weddings, I would be so happy for the people getting married but I’d be sad for myself, I’d think “You’re never really going to have that” and I can remember sitting in the back (of course I was in the back! Ugh :/) and I said to my dear pretty friend “I don’t think I’ll ever have that” and lately, I’ve been so overcome by love, I cannot believe that my heart can be so free. Not even afraid.

I took the last two months and really opened my heart, not afraid if it would get dragged through the gravel, stomped on, I don’t even think of it. I think about the joy that I feel when I hug someone, or we smile because we love. Because He loved us first.

A song came on today on my Rhapsody account, I don’t know why it hadn’t come on any other time, my music is set to ‘shuffle’ but this morning, “to know Your name” by Hillsong came on. I remember the first time I ever heard the song, we sang just the chorus at Alive so many times. I remember thinking “just to know Your name” wow, to just KNOW the name of Jesus. That’s an honor, it’s a privilege, to say His name, wow, it brings crazy peace. He loves us! Do you get that???? He loves us! He took our place in all our sin, even knowing the outcome! I can’t say that if I always knew the outcome, that I would take the hard way… well I might, but not to get on a cross, that would be crazy! But He did! I don’t know… that makes me so excited and crazy, I could jump out of my seat! Seriously, and if you know me, you know it’s true!

We love because He loved us first. (1 John 4:19)

Thank You Jesus for loving me. Love is the most awesomest thing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnvlpNVQocw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Ramblings...

A few years ago I took a break from Sunday Night Youth Activities. It wasn’t something that I necessarily wanted to do, but God told me I needed to, He had a lot to do.

I stayed connected in various ways because I love the kids, and I truly believe in Jesus, and I believe He is what will change lives.

After a crazy summer, I am back in Youth Ministry, doing some of the same things I did before, and some different things. It’s new and exciting again! Praying about the direction of where God is leading me and how He wants me to love “my kids”.

It’s a lot of work, I feel like I’m back in constant Youth Ministry mode, check on this, spend my lunch calling there… it’s great! Knowing in some crazy way that I am moving the Kingdom forward, even if it’s finding a cheap photo booth or securing a camp for the winter retreat. I know that these are things that no one may ever recognize or think they are important, but the details are important, and I’m thankful to support those who lead! They are the secret weapons of Youth Ministry.

Trying to get the rest of my schedule in check is proving itself tricky. When the school year was in full swing, it was easier, but now with a college student it’s a lot different. I have barely been home in the last two weeks, late nights of mentoring, spending time with friends, loving students, I don’t want to neglect my own home. My family needs me too.

Praying for wisdom in all those, and specifically carving out Sunday mornings/early afternoons for family time. In a couple weeks we go for Pedi’s and I’m so excited!

I also know that I must kept myself fed in lots of different ways because I know that if I don’t fill myself with Love, it is disasterous!

I will tell you a secret, on every Detroit Mission Trip prior to this year, I rarely opened my bible, I didn’t make it a priority to listen to praise and worship music EVERY day. And I will tell you that by the end of the week, I was tired and super crabby. It’s one of those moments that if Momma ain’t happy, no one is happy. And that’s no good.

So as this school year is super crazy, I am making sure that I am listening to the bible, “fill me up” music, and listening to lots of Podcasts.

The last couple weeks I’ve been listening to Elevation Church, I actually listen to the same Podcast 2 or 3 times every day. I can almost jump out of my skin each time by the truth that God is speaking to me. Sometimes I laugh out loud, sometimes I say “Amen” to myself and sometimes outloud. Currently I am in the “Waiting Room” series. It’s sooo good. Today’s message “be joyful where you are” .

I must tell you, that is so hard for people who are planners. I even sometimes plan for the bottom to drop out when things are good. But lately, I’ve been enjoying every moment. I don’t even plan what time I go to bed. I just live in each moment. The other day I was at the Dorband’s and Judah (my snuggliest muffin) just climbed on my lap and snuggled. And I found myself captured in the moment. I even might have forgotten where I was for a moment, and then it happened, Levi climbed up too and then I realized where I was… I was in heaven. For that moment, I was in heaven. You might not know, but I prayed for those boys. I prayed loving prayers, and desperate prayers. Those boys are etched in my heart by Jesus Himself. I love those boys (and Zion too). I am living in the moments, I didn’t think about the moments when they would get down, I just loved in the moment. A perfectly orchestrated moment. So good.

Things might not be exactly how I’d like at every moment of my days, but in times at parks, or snuggles from boys, quiet times, loud times, moment by moment, I’m loving it.

I’m sure I won’t always be like this, but right now, I speak love when I feel it, a hug a little harder, and love a little more.

While I’m waiting (and working)…
Is 40:28-31
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord They will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.