Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I can see a very long way

I have pushed myself pretty hard these last few weeks. There have been a lot of super opportunities. And they have been awesome. Truth is that when I am serving Jesus it is one of the ways I am closest to Him. Whatever it is. And so it makes sense that I want to do it always. But I will tell you the truth, sometimes I get so tired. And I can normally function on about 6 hours sleep. I like waking up at 4:30/5am and hoping out of bed. I got to bed early because let’s face it by 9am I’ve put in quite a day. Yesterday and today I have slept in until 7am. Honestly, that’s late for me. But I know that I’m tired. And so I’ve let myself sleep in.

One of the ways I love to serve Jesus is to serve those who serve. Tomorrow is our leader’s meeting, and so I am honored to serve them lunch. Tomorrow I will provide (through God’s provision) chicken noodle soup, stuffed pepper soup, turkey enchilada soup, and black bean soup. Tortilla chips, rolls, salad, homemade dressing, and dessert.

I have to admit, I am sick of cooking. At least for large groups.

Often people ask me if I am dating… and when I say no I get a lot of opinions… I also get sad looks. Which then makes me sad. Because I am happy. I know when to hold ‘em and no when to fold ‘em. I trust God that when the time is right, He will bring me the perfect person to share my life with. Until then, I will serve Him.

Today I was watching the show “The Cleaner” it’s no longer on TV but I really loved it. Phyllis got me Season 1 on DVD. I haven’t watched it in a long time. At the end of the first episode, in the first season, it plays one of my favorite songs…
 I remember crying when I heard that song thinking I wonder if my life is ever going to be what I hoped for. Remember I wanted to be married with 6 kids?

But I'll tell you, my life is better than I ever could have imagined. Sure I would like to be married. But some day, God will bring him. I want God's best for my life. Until then, I'll stay completely connected to Him. 

Today I heard this song today, and it hit me completely differently, the last line of the song... It's amazing how my heart has changed since I completely trust Him and have freedom. 


It's a small vision of what God has planned for me. A life of love.

On a clear day I can see, see for a long way...

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again

And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Just let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day I can see, see for a long way
On a clear day I can see, see for a long way.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It precedes the miracle

There was one Christmas that in two days I went to 4 different places and i remember being so stressed. Trying to be everywhere.

Honestly it was awful. Literally worrying about everyone being happy.

everyone but me

I swore I would never do that again.

Often I say that id love to have holidays at my house. The more the merrier. But my house is small. And I'm the baby adult so until someone kicks the bucket or I get married no one is going to let me have a holiday.  It's ok though, I've found ways to make my inner holiday cook happy by cooking for others.

This year is somehow different. God has changed my heart to one of complete thankfulness. The freedom I have found in completely accepting Gods grace and love can't really be translate into words, it's more of a countenance.

This thanksgiving it's two places to go and one on Saturday. 

It's not stressful somehow. I'm thankful for all my family. I'm thankful to love and be loved. 

Oh a life of thankfulness.

A miracle in itself.


Thank You Yahweh.

May I see You in all things, may I praise You in all things

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1 NIV)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Yesterday was a good day but none of it seemed "right". Do you feel that way sometimes? You just feel like something in your spirit isn't right.

When that happens to me I pray. I also get in God's word.

I don't know what else to do. 

I got this idea for a Homemade present. As I promise you, you probably won't find it on Pinterest. Remember I don't have an account and I don't have any talent. But I'm kind of excited to give my first one away (someone's birthday is coming up).

After working on it my heart was quieted. Maybe I just needed some quiet time where I wasn't fixing the dishwasher, putting plastic on the windows, or cooking or cleaning.

Hmmm... Rest

So as always, when God gives me exactly what I need... I find myself... Thankful.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Beautiful things


I am tired.

Remember that whole slow down, don't book too many things I was shooting for? 

Yeah. Well, last week I blew it. Something every day. Significant things every day. 

What in the world. Somehow it all snuck up on me.  That is what happens if I don't protect my time. Tomorrow, for real, I'm doing nothing.

Today. I'm exhausted but really what an amazing day!! I cooked and cooked and cooked! Which I love!!  

My friend came over and helped, we had the best time!! I got to choose relationship and task!! Hee hee!!

Oh and I made the best sweet potatoes EVER!!!!  Ok... So here's the deal. I don't like sweet potatoes. For real. Yuck. But there must be some kind of magic in my kitchen because they were seriously delicious!! Like "how come I've never made these before?" Delicious. You know what I put in them? Butter. And less than 1 c brown sugar for 30 pounds of potatoes. For real. Deeeeeeelish!

I'm laying here thinking about some really incredible people in my life. I'm sooooo thankful. 

What a beautiful day today was!!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9 NIV)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Spending my day off!!

I have never had this much vacation in my life! Let me tell you, it's awesome!

I spent many weeks on mission trips (which might not sound awesome for everyone else, but it's great for me!) I take quite a few days for youth group events (again I know it's kinda weird). And then I scatter days throughout the year for random long weekends. I'm blessed because I am finishing the year with Fridays off :)

Today I have the day off but I've been super busy at work, which, for the record, I'm sooo thankful for even though I'm exhausted! I had to work after I came home from serving and work until 10:30! I  fell out right after that!

Today is my day if errands so I can really enjoy my weekend! I'm doing fun things with great friends this weekend so that means I have to get what needs to be done, done!

Clean house
Oil change
Grocery shopping
Meal planning
Clean out my car
Work in my cookbook!

It's going to be a great day I like busy productive days that lead into fun filled days!!!

It's going to be a great day! I'm putting on my new Audrey Assad shirt, a zippie, and running shoes :) (well and jeans because that would be weird)

Happy day people!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I'm not afraid

I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you're not alone
Follow if you feel like you've been down the same road (same road)

Did you know that I love eminem? Well, not in a creepy way but I pray for him and I love his music. I mean I do. I don't listen to it much because all the swearing makes me angry :( but sometimes when I'm afraid, I sing the lyrics above! I get pumped up say Joshua 1:9, pull my big girl panties up and kick fear right in the teeth!

Today I had to do a hard thing. And it sucked! I have a great friend who said "I know it's hard, but you can do it"

I said "I'm not afraid of hard things, I just don't like it".

There is something about knowing that you've got the biggest protection ever surrounding you. It smashes fear like a penny on a railroad track!! Squash!

I'm so thankful for God who loves me, protects me, and says "don't worry, child, I got this one".

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9 NIV)

Monday, November 18, 2013

one down... 99 more to go!

Well I thought I'd put together a cookbook... Seems kind of nutty but... You know me... Never at a loss for nutty ideas! So here's my first page. You gotta start somewhere....

Thank you for purchasing this cookbook. I truly hope you love it. I hope that your pots are full, your soul is fed, and someone does your dishes.

I believe that every recipe has a story to tell.

There are reasons why we make the things we make, we love the things we love, traditions that are made. I've shared some of mine with you...

Like when I was a kid, my dad made homemade Mac&cheese, and I wanted it out of a box. I still make the very yummy-it’s-everyone’s-favorite-except-Phyllis’s! The funny things about when we are a kid. It's a favorite and it wouldn't be a mission trip without it!

Some recipes are developed because I didn’t like to spend money on prepared food or that the store bought contains high fructose corn syrup. Some recipes are passed down for generations (I think it’s dumb not to share recipes). Some I find on the internet or in a cookbook and I adapt it. I am no genius, and I’m not fancy, so if that’s what you’re looking for… pass this along :)

I put this together because we need to raise money for our 2014 Winter Retreat. I love teenagers. They are like adults with no filter. The harder the outside, the more I see the need for Jesus. I started as a Youth leader because I always did what my daughter was in. I really didn’t think I was all that great at it. But here I am, years later, in the heart of Youth Ministry, exactly where God intended for me to be. I love to cook. I even like to cook for teenagers. And mostly I love Jesus. So this seemed like the perfect thing.

May this cookbook bring your family (however that looks) great love.

This is from my house to yours…

with love.

Chosen By Love,


Sunday, November 17, 2013

He steadies my heart

I'll be honest here, I have had what I refer to as "puke" stomach for awhile now.  Maybe a month maybe longer. Because I'm often anxious, it happens every so often but I don't let it bother me. 

Well for the last week or two, I've like I should be carrying something with me in case I throw up. I tried talking to someone about it, and they basically said get over it. Which made me want to throw up more. The devil uses that kind of stuff like a playground with me. "See no one really cares about you" is the craziest merry-go-round lie that is spun.
 Yesterday, when I walked into church I decided that I have had enough!  I got to church early (like an hour - which is weird when I don't have anywhere to serve) on purpose... Mostly I was hoping someone would need something and distract me from the way that I was feeling...
So I sat in the front row and cleaned my purse out and prayed. Please God... There is something bothering me and honestly I don't know what it is. Please. Help. Me.
I decided to go visit with my friend which often lowers my "defenses" which it did. We shared, we laughed. It did my heart good.

It didn't take long into worship to let go, to ask God to search my heart, "what am I afraid of?"

Oh I better be ready if I ask that question.

Letting people down.

Oh in my crazy mind I'm good at that. 

Then add to that people have been speaking such garbage into me. One of them kept saying "I'm worried about you" but I knew she wasn't being sincere.  But the deal is, I pray about every thing I say yes to. EVERY thing. I am careful not to take on too much and actually asked for help with a task yesterday. I knew I had to let something go... So I prayed. I only do the things that God tells me is ok.
As dumb as it may sound... I even pray about my meal plan. Mostly I pray and thank God for His provision.

I've learned in the middle of this "episode" to really know who I am in Christ, to give myself a gut check (ha!) to where I am with Jesus, and to go to Him to figure out what the deal is...

I've learned to make sure that I'm finding comfort in just "being" with God not just serving Him. 

I'm thankful for a God who loves me so much to let me serve Him and who calms my heart.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Celebrating everyday

There was one holiday that Phyllis went to my dad's side of the family and I went to my mom's side.


After that holiday, I said that would be the last time that ever happened.

Now that she is getting older she has to work holidays sometimes. I'll admit it, it stinks. 

But I can choose to focus on that OR we can find a different way to celebrate the holiday and being thankful for her and our little family.

I'm going to send dinner with her for her and her co-workers who have to work because let's face it, the people we work with become our extended family. After she gets off work, hopefully we can just hang out at home, maybe watch a movie or a show together maybe have a piece of pie together.

When I think about it, it reminds me to be thankful for everyday whether it's a national holiday or not. 

But for real... Please don't shop on thanksgiving or any other holiday so people can spend time with their families.

You probably don't need another cheap tv anyone or some crazy thing they marked up 150% so they can tell you they marked it down 75% and make you feel good about "saving" money and that you haven't wasted your hard earned money for a bunch of stuff you don't need anyway.

Missing it...

You might not understand but sometimes I think about being in Haiti and how easy it was. 

Sure there were moments when I thought I'd lose it. There were moments when I was sad, and frustrated... But those moments are few and far between.

The moments I miss are the ones snugging up with beautiful children and laughing and tickling and coloring, and being Sargent Slaughter making sure everyone drank their water, and making new friends. There is something about friends made while serving Jesus that just can't be explained.

I am laying here tonight really missing Haiti. Praying for those that are close and those that are far. I pray for new friends and friends that have seemed to move on.

I'm excited about the things that God has in store for me and my family and I'm thankful for all He has done.

Haiti, and all the beauties that are held by You, I miss you tonight...

Until we meet again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We're gonna make it! Iced tea!

Well, I missed "we're gonna make it Wednesday" but I thought I'd pass this crazy savings technique to you.

It’s no surprise that I drink a lot of iced tea. I love it! My favorite from Starbucks is a Trenta Black Tea light water no sweetner (because I’m sweet enough) with a splash of Passion. At one point I was drinking at least on a day, but probably on average I drank 10 per week.

A cost of $31.30 per week**

$125.20 per month (based on a 4 week month)

$1627.60 per year

That’s a lot of money.

That’s a mission trip to Haiti.

That’s more than 16 mission trips to Detroit.

I do still get Starbucks. Once or twice a week.

But to be honest, I’ve found something better. And cheaper. (and faster).

Every Sunday I prepare for the week. Yes, I know it’s nerdy, but you survive how you survive, and I’ll do what works for me.

I line up 5 or 6 1qt mason jars (this number depends on how many are clean at the moment, we use mason jars for EVERYTHING now)

Each jar get 5 tea bags.

1 Tazo black tea bag (this is my favorite black tea, I really like the flavor)

1 Tazo Passion tea bag

3 Target or Aldi brand tea bags (MUCH cheaper than Tazo)

I have found that I don’t need 4 Tazo tea bags to get the flavor I like, 1 will do it. So I get all the caffeine at a fraction of the cost ;)

I fill the canning jars with hot water. Let them cool. Top them and put them in the fridge, and each day, I grab one, put it in my bag and head off to work. Each canning jar yields 3 Trenta size cups once I add water to dilute (the tea in the jars is STRONG!!). I drink 3 cups per day.

If I base the full cost of the jar vs. the cost of just one cup per day…

Cost savings per cup: $2.57

Cost savings per week**: $ $25.72

Cost savings per month: $102.88

Cost savings per year: $1,337.42

That’s a lot cash savings in a year… we are going to make it!

**based on 10 per week

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Giving thanks!

Yesterday I was driving to work and I was thinking about thanksgiving. I wish I cooked on Thanksgiving because it would be so much easier for me if I just cooked for everyone and they came to me. I am blessed to basically have 3 families. Mom, Dad, and Stepmom’s. Honestly, it’s nice to be loved but trying to get to see everyone on holidays can be stressful. Thankfully my dad’s family meets at some point over the weekend (this year it’s on Saturday) so that just leaves going to Mom’s and Stepmoms. In years past we’ve gone out of town, we’ve stayed in town… I just try to make it work the best I can and hope that everyone understands.

I’ll be honest, I wish it stresses me out more than I’d like to admit. I just can’t be in two places at once. I remember one Christmas when I was engaged that we went to 4 places in two days. Christmas eve – my mom’s side & his parents’ house, Christmas day – My dad’s house and then to his mom’s brothers. Ohmyword, I swore I would never do that again. Everybody was tired and it seemed like no one understood how hard it was to balance. Well, I was right, I never had to do that again ;)

I was listening to SmileFM (I think) on my way to work and there was a contest going on that was flying people home for the holidays. This one woman hadn’t seen her dad in 6 years.


6 years?

If it meant I had to walk, I could not go 6 years without seeing my dad. I’d take back pop bottles, sell plasma, sell candy bars, whatever it took to see my family. I literally call my parents on Sundays and say “are you having lunch today?” and crash their party LOL.

I am thankful for the way God changes my perspective. Instead of worrying about how I am going to get to two places this Thanksgiving (and my baby girl has to work until 7), I will enjoy my time with my family, whether it is an hour or 6 and I will be thankful! And I’ll talk to Phyllis, maybe we can watch a movie or something together on Thanksgiving night (Or Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving) and I will call myself thankful.

1 Chron 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever

Breakfast Burritos

Often my best recipe ideas are born out of ingenuity! Surely I am not the inventor of breakfast burritos, but I was trying to think of a way to supply everyone in the van would be able to have a yummy breakfast. We were leaving early (earlier than most of the peeps would normally be up!), so I wanted to make sure my peeps were well fed.

After much thought…

Breakfast burritos.

Thought about the things in my pantry, my fridge, and a minimal amount of things I would have to purchase.

Eggs, sausage, onions, green peppers, red skin potatoes, and Monterrey Jack & Pepper Jack cheese.

Sounds delicious, right?

My daughter was happy that day too because as she left for work, she got one too!

There were some left overs so I threw them in the freezer, and we warmed them up for the rest of the week. I got a cute little comment from my girl “Mom, if we have stuff to make more breakfast burritos, can you make more, they were good”

I had already been planning on making them, just a different combination of yummy goodness.

This week, I had some chorizo so I decided to add some of that… breakfast burritos are forgiving yummy goodness.

This week’s burritos consist of the following:

Hacienda Whole Wheat Tortillas (

Eggs (from Aldi)

Chorizo from Honey Bee Market (

Black beans that I canned myself - I will never buy organic beans from Whole Foods again, they were not as good as the guy I get my black beans usually… lesson learned (

Onions from Blocks

Zucchini, Green peppers, and tomatoes from a vender in Eastern Market (

I had Havarti cheese slices from Aldi, so I used that instead of buying something.

I was able to make 11 burritos (Phyllis ate one before she left for work)

I freeze them wrapped in aluminum foil and then remove and warm up in microwave and eat on my way to work. Because of the many veggies they can be kind of drippy I wrap them in paper towel when I eat them on my way to work.

So… that’s my exciting breakfast for the day.

I like that I control the items that go in our food, it’s cheaper to make them myself, and just plain yummier!

From my house to yours <3>
Psalm 146 (has nothing to do with this post, but I really loved it this morning!)

Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the LORD.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Feeling safe

As someone who has been scared most of her life I will tell you that trust just does not come easy for me.

I guard my heart and act tough. Now if I had to, I'll tell you that I really could probably snap someone's neck if I had to, but I really really don't want to.

It's taken a lot of searching to really put my guard down and let people in, and even to let people take care of me. In the past I've always been the one who "took care of things" whatever that thing is. There were even times when I may have thought God wasn't moving fast enough and I'd defend myself or anyone else for that matter.

These days it's really different. I trust people in leadership, I really pray, and I've been known to just cry out to God and say "please take care of this, I just don't even know what to do".

It means that sometimes I ask for help with something or I might just call someone and say "can you please be here just in case?"

I used to think that was weakness. But I'm finding strength in my place. I don't feel like less of a leader because I ask for help or protection, really on the contrary, I feel like more of a leader, I'm finding my place with my gifts and letting others use theirs.

I find more peace and more comfort in knowing I'm cared for, I'm loved, and because of that, protected.

It is good.

And I am thankful.


Menu Planning, November 10-22

Last weekend I made breakfast burritos and there was leftovers, so I froze them, and then we ate them all week. It was really great. Apparently my peanut head really liked them, because she asked for them again. Last weekend I made them with onions, green peppers, red potatoes, eggs, jalapeno cheese and breakfast sausage. This week I am going to make them with black beans, onions, green peppers, and eggs, and jalapeno cheese. I might even sneak in a little chorizo. I also have whole wheat tortillas for them this week.

Sunday , November 10– Country Ribs, mac&cheese

Taco Soup (for lunch and freezing)

Monday , November 11– Out with a friend

Tuesday, November 12 – Carnitas

Wednesday, November 13 – EB Family Dinner Sloppy Joes (I’m bringing potato salad)

Thursday, November 14– out with a friend

Friday, November 15 – Leftovers

Saturday, November 16 – Refried Bean Tostadas

Sunday, November 17 – Chicken N Dumplings

Minestrone Soup

Monday, November 18 – leftovers

Tuesday, November 19 – Serve at MBK

Wednesday, November 20 – Rend Collective

Thursday, November 21 – Meat and bean tostadas

Friday, November 22 – Orange Chicken (From Family Feasts)

Goal setting and growth

Once a month a check my goals to see if I'm on track. It doesn't take much for me to get off track. Sometimes my life feels like a locomotive train speeding down the track. And if I miss a turn my train is a wreck. I make it a distinct point in August/September to set goals for the year. And I make it a distinct point to check to make sure I'm on track to those goals. 

I set the goals on belle isle this year. I sat down with my journal and wrote them out. I find that I might have great goals but if I don't write them down I'm going to get so busy I'll forget.  I don't want to forget about those goals, they will help me grow, and help me be more like Him.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13, 14 ESV)

Today seems like the perfect day for a goal check. It seems that every person I asked to do something today was busy.  Ok God, I get it. You want to spend time with me. I get it.

I hoped in the car and headed to the market got some great produce and beans (I bought black beans from whole foods and they were awful!!! They broke apart so I'm back to my favorite bean guy!!)

I headed to the water after and drove up to a picturesque moment. It's very windy and so there are white caps today. I always knew that when we were going out and there was white caps it was going to be a rough ride. But I also knew that my hair would never be in my face :)  and it was never so rough that I couldn't handle it. I had steady sea legs. 
I feel like that now. Sometimes it's a little bumpy, it's nothing I can't handle. But now I know who is in control. He holds my course steady even through the rougher patches.

It's those rough times that make us stronger, just like our sea legs.

I love this island. It's a beautiful reminder of times past and the beauty of it gives me hope of what is to come.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Today is the day!!

Today I got on the elliptical it's the first time in I don't even know how long. 

I had been riding my bike this summer to keep the pressure off my very sore foot. But I've been taking fish oil, stretching, and I had that amazing adjustment to my foot :)

I've been talking about exercising but haven't actually started. Until today. 

I have a long weekend and a lot of times I wait until after the weekend to get back to it, but I decided yesterday that today was the day.

I got on the elliptical this morning and it felt amazing, like one of those moments when I think "why haven't I been exercising all along?"

I'm glad my foot doesn't hurt and I'm glad I started today!! 

I think a lot of times we put off the things that we know are good for us because it's going to take our time and it's not always easy (ok maybe that's just me).

But I'm not afraid of hard work to get closer to being the woman God created me to be!

Here I go!! I may fall down 7 times, but I get up 8!!!

I hope to be running again someday soon!!!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The waters of forgiveness

You know when you get hurt and it heals, but the scar remains? How that area can seem tougher than the skin around it? But underneath, it’s actually more tender. That the scar tissue below the surface actually hurts MORE.

Those scars remind us not to do whatever we did before to hurt ourselves. They are constant reminders. There is a song by Papa Roach that has a lyric that says “our scars remind us that the past is real”.

I’ve actually been singing that since yesterday which is kind of weird because I don’t really listen to that song unless it happens to come on the radio… and I hardly ever listen to the radio… so… it’s kind of weird. The lyrics of our lives.

Scars can keep us from repeating the same behavior over and over again, because they remind us that we can get hurt. But forgiveness… it may still leave the scar, but the tissue below doesn’t hurt.

Forgiveness leaves the scars of wisdom.

I find myself swimming in a sea of forgiveness. God’s grace surrounds me. Forgiveness reminds me of summer. Those hot hot days when you just can’t stand it. And then… just when I think I can’t stand it anymore, I get to jump in the water (maybe it’s the way I remember my childhood). And that initial reaction when the water is a shock to my body. Almost like I don’t know what to feel, I just know I feel… relief and then I realize how great the water truly is… and I would tell you (and my dad would agree) that I never want to leave that feeling of the water, of grace and forgiveness.

Water is the first place I visit when I am stressed or out of sorts. The smell, the sound, it reminds me, that God is good.

I find myself in a place when it’s time for forgiveness, it’s time for His grace. It abounds. It is time for me to dive in and remember.

I am thankful for His grace and forgiveness, I am in need of it every day

John 4:14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Joy comes in the morning

I keep talking about how hard this past weekend was, but honestly this path month wasn't the easiest. It was full of painful reminders and I fought depression off with a very large bible, I did the things I knew to do, I focused on the things that I am thankful for and there are many. And October was a month where I said goodbye and let go of a lot of painful reminders. There were days when anxiety was high and I wanted so badly to put on my old protections and fight.

But instead.

I trusted God.

I did the things that I knew to do. I talked things out with friends when I needed to. I went away with great friends and laughed and spent time with God. 

I read my bible and did what it said.

There were days that I could have just run a muck, but I didnt. I stayed close, I leaned in, I didn't run away because I knew if I did, I have a further run back (let's face it, I'm lazy, I don't mind hard work but I don't want to do extra!)

And once again, His love never fails!

Yesterday I got some cool news that I probably wouldn't have gotten if I wouldn't have done what I know to do. 

It reminded me of these verses:

Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV)


Joy will come.

And it gives me hope. I heard this song, I don't know at what point I fell in love with this song, but it's the kind of song I want someone to sing about me.

The man I love and the man that loves me and wants to spend the rest of our lives together. 
I know that I want someone wonderful in my life but I will not settle for less than God's best for me. 

It's worth the wait and it's worth doing the hard work to make myself who God wants me to be for my husband. 

There is hope and joy in doing the right things. 

Joy really does come in the morning...

Sometimes the night seems long and dark, but that moment when the sun rises and there is a beautiful sunrise, we remember, it really was worth it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Taking my heart and thoughts captive

I don't remember what building we were in or what was going on that day.!

But my heart remembers like it was yesterday. Our worship leader, Chad, spoke about how someone once told him that our heart was fickle, that it could be lead. That sometimes when we don't feel like we want to praise God that we need to put our hand up in an act of worship and our heart will follow. 

It was a rough weekend to say the least. But as I fell asleep last night I realized that it was my choice what direction my heart would go to today. I decided to keep every thought captive. And so... I opened the bible and listened all day.

The gospel of John 1-15.

I always get stuck in John 1:5. There is something about that verse.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV)

Isn't there something comforting about that verse?!

I made see that today my heart was in the right place. Captivated by God.

I can think of so many times when it's just easier to do the wrong thing. It's easier to make the what seems to be easier choice. Loving is not always easy.

Sometimes loving people means that our hearts are broken because of their brokenness. It's hard when we let love all the way in. 

But on the contrary to that hurt,

Is that immense celebration that goes on when we decide to make the right choice. When we celebrate the healing that does come when we watch people walk in freedom.

So i have decided, I will follow Jesus. I will walk in His ways, I will let love all the way in, life is more than just survival, it's love.

I will put my hand up, guiding my heart to follow. I will take every thought captive and be captivated by a God who loves me.

And wherever you are, I'll be with you, loving you. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Encouragement needs to be authentic

There are days that start out sweet and somehow in the middle of it... Something goes terribly a rye. 

I'd like to say for the record that not too many things upset me more than when someone says "how are you still single?" Or say "you're awesome" after I just did something for them.

Well maybe for you, this seems like a compliment for me, it turns into a playground for satan because I can list off 30 - 70 reasons why I'm still single. 

I'm just gonna say it.

Shut up.

Don't ever say that to someone. Ever. It's not a compliment. 

There are many many MANY reasons why I'm still single. Maybe I should blog about them sometime. Not today though.

And another thing... While I'm at it... 

All you people... Stop telling people they are awesome because they did something for you or picked up your slack. 

Just say thank you and leave the encouragement for a time when it doesn't seem fake or because you had a gain. 

I will tell you that the sort of compliments stated above make me feel used. They make me feel like less of a Christian than pretty much anything that can be said to me. I'll also tell you that these sort of compliments make my fruit rot. They make me angry and sad and make me feel lonely (that no one is my friend unless I do something for them). 

That kind of "encouragement" doesn't seem authentic and has been working in my heart and making sure that I am authentic!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Apple bread

In the winter we make a lot of banana bread because when bananas go bad I put them in the freezer, but today I had apples so I made apple bread!

cooking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 cups apples - peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Prepare 2 loaf pans (8 1/2x4 1/2-inch loaf pans) with cooking spray.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, walnuts, and apples in a large bowl. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, and cinnamon together in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and mix until just moistened. Evenly divide mixture between prepared loaf pans.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

 Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Long weekend!!

I have spent the last 6 or so weeks getting summer grown produce canned and frozen for the winter. 

I have made apple butter and apparently it's good but I still have yet to actually do anything more than try Becky's. She purées hers, I leave mine chunky.

It has made for a busy fall. There was one day that I thought if I have to peel, cut, and blanch one more thing... I'm gonna punch myself!

But it's almost done!!  I did a bushel of acorn squash last night, I roasted it all and I'll measure it out in freezer bags... And I have one last bushel of apples (who let me buy more apples??? Lol) to peel and freeze for apple crisp. 

But this weekend, there will be very limited "Winter prep" and I will get things done around the house that needed to get done, and I'm gonna have breakfast with my girl today, spend time with Levi and Judah at the zoo (I hope we don't blow away), I'm going to a concert tonight - well really I'm serving at it), and I'm going to work on the basement, go look at the camp for our youth ministry winter retreat, and church!  It's a busy weekend but full of things I love :)