Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Punkin Cheesecake Muffins

It’s a weird thing, I used to bake ALL the time, 2 or 3 times a week. Now… I hardly ever bake. In the fall my friend (Sheila) had made Punkin Cheesecake muffins, but I have no idea how they tasted because my beautiful daughter ate them, she really enjoyed them. I asked her for the recipe. You’d think it was some elaborate thing, because after all, Punkin cheesecake muffins seem elaborate.


This recipe is not elaborate…

1 package of Punkin Muffin Mix (I used Kroger brand)
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1/3 c sugar (this is an “ish” measurement)
1 t vanilla.

Preheat oven 350*

Make muffin mix. Fill 2/3 full.

Mix cream cheese, vanilla, sugar. “dollap” a tspish spoon size in the middle of the muffin.

Bake 19 minutes. This is my standard cupcake timing. You might need to bake shorter or longer, but 19 minutes is my time… and my friend Netta can confirm this timing is cupcake perfection.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Believing


Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.


It’s a difficult thing for me to wrap my head (and heart) around that God would love me whether I serve or not. I mean, it’s hard to not respond in service when I think about how much God has done for me, I WANT to serve Him, not because I think it’s something I HAVE to do, I WANT to. I want to use the gifts that He has given me, but sometimes, usually when I’m tired, I think “really, I still have to do that? I know You put it on my heart, but I’m tired God” or my part of a project is at the end when I have to wait on everyone else to complete my portion, and for unknown or unforeseen reasons, things get to me late, and I feel like everyone is standing there saying “is it done yet?!?” or I work really hard, I work with people and then the answer wasn’t what someone wanted so the say “I’ll just have so&so call, they are really good with people”. I will tell you, that COMPLETELY hurts my feels as if to say “sorry, you just couldn’t do it, we have someone better, you just suck”.

It makes me want to take my playground equipment and go Home.

This world has taught us that we have value in what we do, not who we are. And so after many many years of “doing” (I am seriously one of the busiest people I know) I find it very hard to find that God would just love me no matter what I do. Because afterall, I’ve always felt that I do because of who I am. I hate when people say “You’re awesome” after I do something for them, because if I didn’t do it, does that mean I have no value or that I wouldn't be awesome?

Even when someone tells me they love me, I wonder what they want. My thought of how God sees me and loves me is a direct reflection of how people have treated me, how can God love me if I’ve never really felt loved for who I am. My head gets that if I was the only one on earth, God loves me and would have gotten on the cross to save me, HOWEVER, my heart sometimes has a hard time accepting that. I love my daughter whether she does anything for me but why would anyone, let alone God who I am sure I’ve broken His heart millions of times EVER love me. I’ve been abandoned by people who have said they loved me… So my concept of love is jacked up.

John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.


I know He loves me… I just can’t figure out why.

Learning to accept and trust that He just does.  Faith. 

Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


It’s a lot harder to do than I ever thought it would be, but my heart is opening to all He has for me!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Walking!


Sometimes in our area the Catholic Church is dogged because their prayers are memorized and they do the same thing over and over. (If you are one of those people who speak against any church... go read John 17:20-21) I am here to tell you that today, I am so very thankful for the memorization of prayers.


As I was sitting at my desk, and it’s been a rough couple days… I started reciting Psalm 23. I have said it over and over and over and over and over again as we went to Christ the Good Shepherd. I could probably say that Psalm in my sleep. And I am THANKFUL!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
Forever.

I’m thankful that I have a mind like a steal trap, albeit a little rusty sometimes… I memorize the scriptures, the numbers. The Word of God is in my heart, in my head, and a part of my life.

There are always moments when I have to do hard things, like feel pain, that I want to turn around when I need to go forward. Retreat not advance. But I get no where that I haven’t already been if I don’t advance, and as much as I loved New York, I would not want to go to the same places I went to before.

There are moments when I think “Dear Jesus, it was easier to go around like a crazy busy person than it is to sit here quietly with You, I’ll sit but when I start squirming, Lord, hold me a little tighter”. I take great comfort in knowing that walk in the shadow of death, not in death. Death has been overcome for me, and though shadows seem real (and dark), they aren’t really real, and no darkness can extinguish the light. And that light is in me.

So if you see me, there is a good chance, you might find me crying. I am not ok, so don’t ask, unless you’re going to hug me, and pray and listen. I don’t need Christianese, I already know what to do, and I’m doing it, I’m being obedient, that’s why it hurts, I’m getting through mess that’s been around for a long time, and just like when I start cleaning a room, somewhere in the middle, it’s way worse than it was before I had started, but at some point, there is a turning point, and then it’s gloriously beautiful. And that’s me… on my way to Gloriously Beautiful…

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gratitude journal

I'm pretty sure I said "thank You Jesus" 100 times today. Maybe more!

I looked at my gratitude journal today and i started it on January 1 and I'm already at 94 things that I'm thankful for!

Wow! Ill be at 1000 before I know it.

It's been a crazy good/exhausting week. I'm thankful that I've learned to stop and say "create in me a pure heart oh God and renew steadfast spirit in me".

Even though I hate to admit it, sometimes I have to stop. Especially in those moments when I've emptied myself out. I've got to take the time to cling to Him.

Each day I promise to be kind to myself. You'd think that would be an easy thing. But it's not. And I we aren't loving who God made us to be, it's hard to love others!

I've got some big stuff coming up and so I'm getting back to the routine of 4:30 wake up so I can get all the important things done, including quiet morning time with God.

I find myself thankful as I am about to put my head on my pillow to rest.

Thank You Jesus for... Everything.

I loveYou

Saucepan brownies

1 - 12 oz pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 eggs, beaten

(1 c chocolate chips optional)

Heat oven 350*

Heat chocolate chips and butter in 3 qt saucepan over low heat stirring g frequently, until smooth. Remove from hear. Stir in remaining ingredients (once mixed you can add the additional 1 c choc chips or even nuts if you want)

Spread batter in ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.


I found refuge!

I woke up this morning hopped out of bed and made lasagne (after I brushed my teeth). Threw the towels in the dryer (aren't you always thankful in the winter that you can leave stuff in the washer and it doesn't get stinky), emptied the dishwasher, refilled the dishwasher, picked up around the house, somewhere in there I took a bath, did my hair, and got dressed... And it was 10am!
I headed off to drop off a meal to a dear sister/mom.
I was wavering about whether I was going to trek over to Courage Church. I will tell you, I was tired, well, more like exhausted. I've got a big day ahead of me. Sunday nights are Alive, and I actually try to get there around 4:30 on days like today, we have winter retreat sign ups, I have printing to do.

Do you ever wonder? How do people get it all done, AND have a clean house, clean clothes, and how can I get all the work I have to do (work work). Oh and let's not forget the ever important spending time with God (there is no chance of success I I don't stay connected with Jesus). I need about 3 more hours in everyday! I need to really pray "sun, stand still!"

The good news ? I went to church. I went seeking Him. I went to hear His Word, get connected during worship, really to take a minute or hour to get reconnected. I love Courage Church! Hugs and love and prayer, Holy Spirit.
I went from exhausted to rejuvenated. From sad to joyful.
From hurting to healing.
I found myself thankful for the saints who came before us and built this church. Each pane of the stained glass. I started laughing thinking that those saints had no idea that there would guitars and loud drums and people jumping. But God knew!
God knew and loved each one that was here before, here now, and those who will fill this church building!

Thank You Jesus that I can seek refuge in You and You are always there, waiting for me. I loveYou!

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11 NIV)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I'm thankful for my friend and her gifts

Over the summer I met this crazy person... In someways we are a lot alike... And in some ways we are completely different (she really does some crazy things).

God knew EXACTLY what He was doing when He introduced us through a mutual friend.
We actually pretty much have a standing date on Fridays but we love/trust each other enough to say "hey it's a tough week on the pocketbook how about we stay at home" or if we are tired we tell the other we need to stay home. And it's ok.
I'm pretty sure I almost got us killed one night in Detroit because I took us in a terrible neighborhood (thankfully she didn't hold it against me- good thing "the Detroit app" has turbo boost and I got us out of there).

We are both really organized, we like the details of things... People come up with crazy ideas and Sheila and I have the gifts to make it happen :)

I'm thankful for my dear friend Sheila aka my partner in crime (but we don't do anything illegal) for so many reasons! She's an encourager, she's a dreamer, she's a great listener, she puts all she has into what she does! I love the things that are different than me because she makes me a better friend, person, and follower of Jesus!
She my great friend who most people have no idea how incredible that she is because she's in the background and often goes unnoticed! But she's there... Loving and following Jesus! She's my friend! And I love her!!

1 Cor 12:22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

These "matchbooks" were made by her in order to help make everyone happy (and keep kids from burning down the church and me from having a heart attack and stroke)

snow! Snow! SNOW! SNNOOOWWW!!!



I just got done shoveling the snow… I finished all the sidewalks and porches and started on the driveway. And thought “whoa that’s a lot of snow” and honestly I thought “oh maybe later, or maybe it will just melt and I can just forget about it all”.


And then I started to think about my walk. I started thinking about how as I’ve walked with Jesus I’ve conquered a lot of stuff, I’ve done a lot of the easy stuff (shoveled porches & walkways), have even helped others (shoveled other's snow) and some harder stuff like the sidewalks. And sometimes it’s driveways. I look at it and think “whoa, am I ever gonna get there? Is this driveway ever gonna get shoveled, and am I ever going to get to through whatever lesson it is that I'm in.  And sometimes I want to cut corners, maybe leave a little behind, and that’s when I’m gonna slip up. You know like when a little patch of snow behind, then it warms up, then it gets cold again, it freezes up and then whammo! I slip up on that patch of ice and wonder why I didn’t take care of it… Same thing, I feel the pain of the past come back, and I push it down, or don't deal with it, and then it comes up in the form of word vomit or real vomit because I can't hold on to it any longer because it hurts so much!  But I finished the driveway and felt accomplished (that's my driveway pictured - please excuse the garbage cans by the garage but that's real life)

This was inspiring to me. Who would have thought that shoveling snow would give me hope to tackle some big things in my life! God is in everything we do, if we allow Him to be. He’s there no matter what, I think it’s more that we allow Him in, the more He will work! I was starting to get discouraged yesterday… and then I woke up today thinking that I have a choice. And so… I choose to be thankful. I am thankful for where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

This morning, I am thankful for:

A warm house
The ability to shovel
A long driveway (but not too long) to shovel
A warm bath to come into

I’m thankful for what’s ahead and the peace that is going to come from it. I may not always like the place I am, but it’s all up to me whether I stay here. I read in a book that sometimes the people that have caused us pain have moved on, but the person hurt is still there, still hurt, and they choose healing, they will remain hurt.

This is me, on the road to healing, complete healing, in the Name of Jesus for His glory!

Here I am Lord, ready for what You have for me!  I am hopeful! I wait with great expectation!  And I am not afraid!

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

Sending love!

Gal 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!



Friday, January 25, 2013

Menu Planning for next week

I have to plan for this week's meals, I didn't make all the food that I have planned from last week.  It's not surprising... I planned way too many meals, and there are only two of us.

I did make some crockpot spaghetti sauce last night, so I am going to throw together a lasagna for Sunday's Alive leader's meeting.  Adam was talking about honor last week, and I was thinking of ways I could honor them.  Dinner is a great way to serve them because I really love serving with them, and I guess that's what makes me want to serve them.

I can buy a minimal amount of groceries with this menu, I've got lots of food in the freezer and pantry.  That's one thing about being a single mom, and often having to go without, I can't help myself to stock up and always have lots of food stocked up! 

So...  this week's meal plan :)

Sunday - Lasagna and garlic bread (in the bread maker)

Monday - Some kind of mexican, either tacos or quesadillas
(I had to make more taco seasoning today)

Tuesday - Shepherd's pie (I haven't decided if this will be crockpot or regular)

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Stir Fry (make extra rice for Saturday)

Friday - Out

Saturday - White Chicken Chili

I'm stepping out, and being courageous!

Do you ever feel like an iceberg?

For a lot of us, we are more below the surface than what people think.  Most of my chaos is below the surface, and often, the craziness of my life comes to the surface.

I think that so much about others, that I really want to get to know them, they seem so wonderful and great, and I want to know the parts that they save for others, the super duper great parts.

For me, I hold a lot back, it's because I've been so hurt before. And so if I hold back, and don't open myself up, then I won't get hurt, but I am tired of iceberg living. I want to me more like a lily pad. Beautiful and flowering on the surface, the best parts of me, and what's below is strength.

Did you know that I am almost always scared?

Yes, it's true, I walk around waiting for the shoe to drop, and I've got 2 or 10 different plans on how to catch the shoe if it falls. A lot of times, it never does.

Last night I totally stepped out of my comfort zone, even though I knew it was the perfect time, even felt like the perfect place, and when I left I felt incredible. It was time to be courageous, to meet my fears head on and to bring the feelings I've kept down for so long to the surface. Those hurts are like the yucky part of soup that needs to be skimmed off, and it's time. And it's hard.

It felt like a huge victory! Dealing with feelings, doing something hard. It take courage to do things that are hard, but it's always worth it!

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







Thursday, January 24, 2013

I want it now!

I had someone through my past back in my face the other day. It was my choice to get hit in the heart with the crud or to deflect it with throwing crud at her or just to let it hit the floor and walk past it. Well, if I was perfect, I certainly wouldn’t need Jesus. I finally was able to get some peace about a situation by walking away. Sometimes we have to do that.  I had to choose to be kind.

There are somethings that we can’t get peace from if we walk away. It’s hard to watch people make choices that hurt them, but it’s not up to us to make their choices from them. They ask us to leave because I think it causes them pain to have us watch them go around in pain. I’m still here. Just waiting, and praying.  I have to choose to be patient.

Last night I went to bed exhausted. Just plain exhausted. I wanted to post that I was hurting, but instead, I just was quiet, went and worked, and finally let me head hit the pillow. I woke up still exhausted, and quite frankly crabby.

Being crabby or joyful is my choice. Wouldn’t it be great if I could possess the fruits of the spirit so that my spirit would be joyful? I will work on letting go of hurt and garbage until I get there! I am not willing to settle for anything less than what God has for me. I have to choose to be joyful

We reap what we sow. I'd like to reap the fruits of the spirit so that's what I'm trying to sow.  But how come it seems so difficult??  Will it ever just come "naturally'?
Here’s the problem… I’m working through some stuff, stuff that has built up over years. So I want read my book, study the fruits of the spirit, and I want to be healed of hurts that have been there for so long, I want to possess all the fruits of the spirit, and like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, I WANT IT NOW! Give me my golden egg, NOW!

I want to be patient (but that is one of the fruits that I lack) and I know that God wants me to be patient, and I think it’s one of those things that I’m gonna learn the easy way or the hard way. Oh boy… those lessons are usually very difficult for me, and requiring many lessons. I wonder if they have any of those worksheets from first grade 1 + 1 = 2; 2 + 1 = 3… I think that’s what I need!

So today… I’m choosing to slow down. I can’t decide whether to go the Women’s Ministry Night or a meeting. Both of which are optional… I just feel like I am supposed to be somewhere I just am not sure where. Ugh :/ Maybe I’m just supposed to be home.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good morning!

Good morning! I’ve been up since 4:45 which is the closest to my 4:30 goal I’ve been to in months! I actually pretty much passed out after working on a quote for 2 hours last night! I’m always thankful that I can watch Criminal Minds and work at the same time.


I woke up, thankful, probably because I went to bed thankful, even wondering what I would be thankful for in the morning (remember I’m writing 2 things I am thankful for in the morning and 2 things at night).

I love being able to take my time in the morning! I was able to spend time with God, praying, thinking about His goodness. I got the dishwasher emptied (this was on my thankful list this morning, it’s like magic, I go to bed with dirty dishes, I throw in a tablet, push a button… and SHZAM! Clean dishes.

I am also having a good hair day, so that always makes for a happy day, even though we know it shouldn’t really matter. I stopped at Avalon and got a super yummy breakfast sandwich (this is my treat for the week) and my favorite granola bar, leftovers for dinner!

It’s a busy day today, but I’m counting it all joy! Working on quotes, because… I’m thankful to have a great job with many opportunities!! I want to be thankful after six months of this job as I was on day one (though I was scared out of my mind on day one!)

But the fruit of the spirit is love.

Love that is from Jesus.

1 Cor 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails

To have that kind of love. You know how the 2nd greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves? I’m not sure I love myself that much, so how can I really love others like Jesus when I don’t love myself like Jesus does? Man, I love pretty big, but I think I could blow the doors off hatred if I can learn to really love as the bible commands, to have that Fruit. WOW! That makes me excited to just think about it!

Love getting up early, spending my time with Jesus! Getting in the right spirit to head out to love the world!

Gal 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit

Gal 5:22-23
NIV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

MSG 22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Do you ever feel like the fruit of the spirit are rotting on the vine in your life? 
Really, you think you're doing "ok" but sometimes, man, when you really look at it, you just really stink.

I said to someone "I have the fruit of the spirit hanging on my wall, but I don't know them".  Ugh :/  Talk about an eye-opener.

This will be my scripture of the week... and I am doing a study on each of the fruits.

This is going to be humbling, because I don't have these, but I promise to speak kindly to myself while I am learning and growing.  I won't grow if I throw my own rotten fruit at myself!

Love

Tonight's reading is 1 John 4:7-16

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them

Greek Chicken Pitas



I was going to make this with Greek Green Beans... but I didn't, decided on greek salad instead.  This was a super WIN!  in the dinner department!  Though, I could have made twice as much sauce (which will be remedied for leftovers tomorrow!)


Chicken
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
1 small onion diced
1/4 c lemon juice
½ c chicken broth
2 t salt

Greek Cucumber Sauce

1 t salt
1 c Greek Yogurt
1 t pepper
1 clove garlic (I used two small ones)
1 t oregano
½ cucumber, shredded
Tomato
Pita
Feta

Combine onion, lemon juice, salt, & chicken broth and pour into crockpot. Add chicken. Cook 5 to 7 hours on low.
Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with fork, set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, pepper, salt, garlic, oregano, & cucumber.
Fill pitas with chicken & tomato. Top with yogurt sauce and feta!!
YUMM!!



Greek Dressing Recipe


If you know me... you know I don't normally have ranch, italian, balsamic vinegarette, or greek dressing from a bottle in my fridge.  I just would rather have homemade, I think they taste SO much better.    I got this recipe from Family Feasts for under $75/week.

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup water
1 T sugar
1 ½ t garlic powder
1 t oregano
1 t dried basil
1 t black pepper
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
2 cloves minced garlic
½ c red wine vinegar

*I know there are two forms of garlic in this recipe... that is not a typo ;)
** she adds 1 T Dijon Mustard (I do not because it is not something I keep in my pantry, but I don't think it needs it)

Combine all ingredients into a pint size container (I usually use a mason jar) with a tight fitting lid. Shake well. Store tightly covered in refrigerator for 2 months.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meal Planning for the week!

I am always watching for free or really cheap books on Amazon for Kindle. I ended up picking up this Crockpot book for free I think… I hadn’t had a chance to really look through it until I was on the plane home from New York. One of things I know that I need to get back to is planning meals, bringing my lunch to work. I am always sooo happy about long weekends, but I know that it makes sometimes for short LONG weeks. Bringing my lunch will help me make better choices about food.


I’ve stocked the fridge with lots of yummy fresh fruits and veggies.

The weird thing about getting a book on a kindle is that is gives you a location

Today I am making pasta with pesto and veggies with Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday - Chicken Pitas & Greek Green Beans – location 1533

Wednesday – Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice loc 2548

Thursday – Spaghetti Loc 2811

Friday – leftovers

Saturday - Tamale Pie loc 3911

Random Ramblings from New York!

New York taught me a lot of crazy lessons. It's one of the busiest places on earth but somehow God knew it would bring peace to my spirit.

If something is important to you, you'll make time for it. I had quite a bucket list of things I really wanted to do in 3.5 short days in New York. I honestly didn't care too much about touristy stuff, I wanted to go to some musicals, Central Park, eat pizza, go to magnolia bakery, shop in greenwich village, go to brooklyn, hail a taxi, go on the subway.... And a few other things. I wanted to walk around and see the city. My list was kind of extreme... Not. But that's actually a lot to do in a short amount of time. Of all the things, going to Central Park was probably highest on my list other than the shows. No one else really wanted to go, so just like in other areas of our lives, we make time for the important things, and sometimes that means we get up early. I got up at 6am, got ready, and went to Central Park and just walked around, it was important to me, so I made time for it. Just like we should for people we love, the bible, our families, etc.

Sometimes it's best to give ourselves a different view of a situation. I spent the days deep in the city, however the view was completely different from the top of Rockefeller center. I also had a situation in my life where I just think I was too close and couldn't see the truth. Stepping back, praying for God's wisdom and sight and his view were essential. I honestly wa so saddened by the truth, but the truth sets us free, and sometimes we just need a different view.

Other's have value and their opinions matter. Now I know this one, but unless you're completely selfless, you might need reminding of this too! I probably would not have picked to go on a bus tour, but others wanted to, and honestly, it was AMAZING!!! There are lots to choose from, but we took the Grayline and it was soooo good!! I'm so glad that we did it! We are all different but together we can enrich other's lives!!
Phyllis & Mom

I am always thankful for my life and the crazy life I've lived. At some point I looked over at my family (mom, aunt jan, Angie, & Phyllis) and thought this is what I've been missing my whole life! At that moment I thought "this is amazing God thank You!" And so I am going to make an effort to not only talk about how we should get together but to plan it :)
View from the window of
my seat home

I loved New York! Honestly, hands down, my favorite place on earth!!! Normally when I go on vacation I am already starting to get my head back in the game before the day before I go home, but not New York. I enjoyed all my moments until I left, even the view from the window home.
 
I cannot even tell you how much I needed this trip! I'm already planning my next trip.

Stomp or the last 5 years (if its still there)
Brooklyn
Shopping in Greenwich village
At least half a day in Central Park

Thank You Jesus for the trip!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

In the park!

Ok! Let me tell you!! As if you couldn't already have guessed!! I love New York!! It isn't some place I think I'd like to live but give the chance to go on vacation anywhere, I think this is where is choose.

This morning i put on my favorite sweatshirt, my favorite shoes not worrying about whether I'd look like a New Yorker... Lets face it! I look like a detroiter mom because, well, that's what I am.
I feel rejuvenated and full of life and can't wait to hit the ground running when I get home!! I feel like one of those wind up toys that has just been wound up :)

I'm in the park now thinking over a lot of things, praying, thinking about where I've been, what God has rescued me from, and swimming in His grace. Knowing that I'm not perfect but knowing I can't change my past but can move forward! I'm not who I once was!!
Thankful for my friend Sara who taught me to be purpose driven not emotionally driven! Thanks dear friend! I'm forever thankful for that much needed advice!
I'm thankful for a lot of things as I sit on a rock in Central Park zoo (did you know you can walk through even when it's not open?)

I've got some more ground to cover while I'm here!

Sending love from Central Park zoo in New York City!!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lessons in love from New York



There are a lot of funny things that happen to me and I’m like “hmm… how did that happen?” or “wow, they recognized me?”


I went into Starbucks this morning (for the second time), the first time was for me, Phyllis, and Angie, the 2nd time for Cheryl. The first time, I was kind of stopped by a city worker, he noticed me walking towards the Starbucks, and stopped me to say hello on my way back to the hotel, and as I walked away, he said “wow, beautiful”. That in itself is crazy to me because that’s the second time that’s happened to me in the month or so… and no other women were really out on the streets this morning at 7:30. I don’t find myself as someone that others would call beautiful. I could go on and on about all the things that are wrong with me (I won’t though because I have promised myself to be kind to me & others), and all I have on is a sweater, jeans, and a scarf. Nothing fancy, that’s for sure.

My second trek to the Starbucks I walked in and the woman behind the register smiled and said “back again?”. There are MILLIONS of people in this city, and I think all I said to her was “Good morning” as I ordered my variety of beverages. And even the woman behind the coffee noticed I was in there twice this morning. We talked for a minute, it wasn’t busy the second time around, her name was Althea, which reminded me of my friend Cheree, which made me smile even bigger this morning.

I often feel forgotten or that I don’t matter, and yet it’s times like this, in this big city, that I am reminded that God loves me and that I am chosen as His. I realize it is not about me, but knowing that He is in me, and I am loved is amazing! There is something about knowing that no matter how many people in the world there are, I am loved and that my presence matters. I have the power to make someone smile. And that is one of the greatest powers to ever possess. Maybe it’s true, given a tiara and a cap, I can save the world, even if it’s just my little corner of it.

Psalm 139:13-18

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.



And by the way… I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS CITY!!!! I think it’s fabulous! I love the hussle and bussle of it! I love the noise, the busy-ness of it! Its energetic and recharging! I want to start planning another trip soon!

Sending love from NYC!

New York - Friday!




WOW! Am I tired! What an amazing day!!!


I thought I would love New York City, and I DO! I don't know if I could live here, but I certainly want to come back within the next year!

We did a lot of touristy things, and we walked A LOT!
Wicked was great, of course, what would you expect! I have posted lots of pics on my FB and will probably transfer some here too!

I think I could come here for a month!!

I'm getting up early and checking some more things out before everyone else gets moving! I really do love the hussle and bussle of the city. I love that it's not quiet at all, I love that I could get a Starbucks coffee in the Times Square area about every 100 feet LOL!

It really is a dream come true to be here! It's better than I could have ever imagined!

Sending love from New York! 

More to come! 

And... I think Detroiters are way more rude and mean than New Yorkers...


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thoughts from 10,000 ft

I said so many times that I didn't expect my thanksgiving and Christmas to be like it turned out to be. I went through quite a rough time. I have no idea the amount of prayers that were sown on my behalf. And I'm thankful for each one. Every.single.one.

I'm on a plane to New York as I am typing this. As much as I dreamed of going to New York ill be honest, I wasn't really sure if i would ever make it. I've seen this dream bubble pop more than once.

And here I am I just woke up from my take off nappie with a Trenta black tea :) on a flight that will land at JFK airport.

The first song that played on my rhapsody account? Joy will come by the Desperation band. I couldn't help but say Thank You Jesus. He cares about my littlest and greatest dreams.

I had a huge decision to make over the last couple days and I prayed and prayed. He gave me the answer. I wondered what others would think or if they would be disappointed. God said, "oh wee one? Have you forgotten, that " I know the plans I have for you, plans of hope and future it is only Me that you need to think about, and no matter what, I love you". His direction was clear, and I was to be obedient.

There is a song by Jesus culture that says "I want to know You, let Your spirit overwhelm me, let your presence overtake my heart".

That's what I want. I want what He wants for my life. I know that He has amazing plans for me, I know that a love bigger than anything I could ever imagine is ahead for me, I know that His love is greater than anything I could ever get from anything on this earth. And I know when my heart is broken, He heals it.

I don't know very much about what will happen in the future. Heck, I am not even sure what will happen this weekend but I will walk in obedience, knowing not what the future holds, but Who holds my future.

In the words of third day from the song Love heals your heart:
When you think your life is shattered and there is no way to be fixed again, love heals your heart. At a time you least expect it, you're alive like you have never been, love heals your heart.

Thank You Jesus! I Loveyou & thank You for loving me.


A Dream Come True



Do you ever just wake up and think your life must be a dream??


Today is one of those days! I’ve fallen short a million times! Ok, let’s be truthful with that number… a gazillion! I mostly just run out of time! I wanted to make a meal or two for my dear Pat, but somehow, I am not sure where the time went (though I’ve been working a ton and it’s 5:30 on the day I’m leaving for New York and I still am not completely packed – there was stuff in the dryer when I went to bed), I wish I was like so many other people, like my dear Cathy who makes, cans, even makes due when there is no water (and I didn’t hear her complain).

I woke up today thinking “wow, this is how Cinderella must have felt when she got the glass slipper, the carriage, the dress, and the prince”. Overwhelmed with gratitude!

I’m going to New York PEOPLE! It really is a dream come true. We are going to see two different musicals, Once and Wicked. We will do a tour or two. I hope to walk in Central Park, I wish I was running but my foot would totally give out. And not to mention what we are doing, I am spending the weekend with people I love, and people who love me! Isn’t it wonderful to have people who love us?! Isn’t that a dream come true in itself??

I was walking around my clean house this morning (it’s clean because we cleaned it last night) and just thinking about how amazing my life is. Maybe my house isn’t what YOU would call fabulous, but I think its perfect for us. I have a pile of stuff of things I don’t even need! WOW! My house may not be perfectly perfect, but it’s perfect for us! God knew exactly what He was doing when He blessed me with this house. It’s a house filled with love and laughter, and sometimes tears, but it’s perfect for us.

I feel so undeserving sometimes, and I am, but I am thankful for a God who loves me, friends who give me grace, and the millions of ways He has provided for me!

My life might not be a dream come true to you… but it’s a life I am thankful to live!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Listen to my heart...

Its 8:59 and I just got home, literally walked in the door, set my stuff down, changed my clothes, and opened my computer.


Listen to my heart, I have a song to sing.

I drove away from the Starbucks thinking I am so thankful for Katie Dorband. I’m thankful for a lot of my friends today.

I didn’t necessarily wake up thankful. Yesterday I had determined that I was going to write two things in the morning I was thankful for, and 2 things at night this week because I knew it was going to be a rough, very busy week. So I did. And my day ended beautifully. Busy, and crazy, but it indeed was a beautiful day. Ok, that’s not really true, someone said something about me that hurt my feelings, but I prayed, and fell asleep. But I didn’t cuss anyone out, or say anything mean, I prayed and let God speak to me, so I guess that might be beautiful (as a side note, have you noticed, I’ve been saying “indeed” a lot lately).

I woke up this morning tired. Not at 4:30, but at 5:30… well… I got up and ran the bathtub, went to my journal, prayed, and wrote down two things. I got on with my day as usual, got stuck in traffic on my way to work… My morning, was, crazy! But you know, to whom much is given, much is required. I had a great lunch with a dear dear friend (who is rather handsome) and then back to work I went… can you say overwhelmed? It’s all crazy, and I’m going to have to work while I’m in New York in the morning and probably at night too. Oh well… it’s the way it goes! I can’t wait to go to New York!!

I got a facebook message I was not really expecting! Not happy about that, but I think it’s resolved. Sheesh! Then some other stuff… and all I can think is to be thankful. Hopefully people see my heart… and that just has to be enough. I get my nails done (that’s always good) and then I meet Katie for a coffee (me tea- and Netta, you’re right, Passion tea is yummy!!) and drive away thinking that I am so thankful for the friends that God sends.

I get an email from a friend who read a book I recommended and was thankful and encouraging. (thankful that God uses me). A text from a friend who said that she read my blog and needed it (thankful that God speaks life through me). Driving down the road tears streaming down my face thinking “thank You God for letting me be one of those friends that You send”. Recapping the greatness of today, the greatness of God, and just smiling about how undeserving I am and how very thankful I am.

Then it happens… Savior King starts. I don’t think it was just the coincidence of “shuffle”, God had listened to my heart, and wanted me to sing Him a song. I pulled in my driveway singing “I love You Lord”, just so very thankful for today. I have an hour of work to do… but it’s all good, I am thankful for my job. Very thankful.

I love You Lord!



Love and Grace

My friends and I were talking about how “somehow” we screw things up, and God works it out for the better in our lives. I like to think of it as Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.


This weekend Pastor J at Metro gave a great sermon and in part of it he talked about how some people always seem to have the hand of God all over them and how it’s sometimes hard to see that happen in other’s lives because they seem like they have it all together, and it just seems to just “work out” for them. Pastor J even said “they even get the fastest lane on the freeway”. I have a friend who says “God will work it out”.

This pic is my nephew Levi. 
His smile lights up a room.
He lights up my life.
Nothing to do with this
post except that his brothers
and their parents are more
love and grace in my life
than I ever deserved!

The thing is that God does work it out, but we have to work it out too. We need to read our bible, eliminate the crap in our lives that is not good for you. If you were allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t go around eating gobs of peanut butter that would cause you to die, now would you? (at least I wouldn’t) but yet, the garbage in our life, we keep it around hoping it will get better. God dust takes work. Bible, worship music, elimination of the things that keep us from Him. That “God dust” I think is given because those people give their lives over to the One who created it. I know that this summer, I had one of the greatest summers I’ve ever had, I also had one of the HARDEST summer and fall that I can say I have ever crawled through. But I did have to work for it. I had to choose to live love, for others and myself. I had to face the lies that I was telling myself, I had to seek counsel, I had to work hard to praise Him even when it was hard. I had to keep my eyes and heart focused on Jesus. I walked around looking sad, almost always wanting to cry, scoping out every garbage can or place where I would be able to run to in case I had to puke (clearly this is no way to live my life). I chose only to listen to songs that were uplifting to Jesus and to myself. I chose songs like “light of Your face” by Jesus Culture, or “Savior King” or “10,000 reasons” to remember to be thankful. I chose to bring people in my life that would be a flashlight in my darkness. People who speak life into me, and also tell me to get a handle on it. And sometimes, I faked it. And sometimes I gave others the advice that I needed to hear, I spoke those truths outloud. God is indeed good.

As much as I’d like to blame someone else or something else, it was me who made the choices that lead me to my struggles. (but I will not discount the spiritual attack I was under, but I do need to take responsibility for my actions). And getting out of that struggle was difficult. Puking, depression, crying, sadness, being angry (nothing happens without permission from God and I kept wondering why He let it happen). I had to do a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily like, and some days I was crawling on my hands and knees to Him, reaching.

I love God, making dumb choices, well, was dumb. Dumb. If someone was to tell me that they were even thinking about doing what I did, I’d send up a flare gun!

But the bible is relevant in our lives, and I would think about the prodigal son parable. If I had enough faith to believe that all I had to do was start heading “home” that God would meet me more than half way. He would not stand there waiting for me, He’d come running too! He’d celebrate that I was back, doing what He had for me to do. He also put amazing people in my life that showed me so much love, grace, and forgiveness, I can’t even put into words my thankfulness for them.

But it wasn’t easy.

Even David, a man after God’s own heart struggled. His songs were written for the world to see. His mess, his anguish, his sadness, his anger, and his loving heart that wanted so much what God wanted for His life. David may have made several mistakes and very poor choices but God loved him anyway. And his life was blessed.

You see, people who have God dust, don’t have God dust, they have grace and love, and they’ve learned to accept it from God and from others, letting nothing change their love for Him or them. And you can’t give what you don’t have or accept from others, so it’s important to accept that grace and love so that you, someday, can be more like Jesus and give it too. I will never forget the day I accepted that love and grace in this simple sentence “I love you, every day, no matter what”. In accepting that, I learned to give it away. <3>
Maybe you’ve read my blog and all the heartache that was happening to me (some in my control and some not) and thought “what is she crazy airing her laundry out there” well, I was crazy, but I thought if I am not honest in my struggle, how will anyone know that we praise Him when it’s hard.

The hardest times in our lives our lessons, and we grow so much! We live, learn, and love through it. I took great comfort in knowing that no matter how hard it was, no matter how I was feeling, He is indeed good, and He does work it out.

God, I am thankful that You love me. That You are constantly and consistently working in my life, even when I am not. I’m thankful that You came to save me from pure death, but also that You have created such TRUE life in even when my story doesn’t look like anything great, You make it great, You fill my life with such love. God thank You for loving me! Thank You for calling me to something bigger and better than I could have ever dreamed. Thank You for working it out, for giving me a love that I never would have dreamed of, and I can only imagine what You have in store for my future. Guide every step, light the path so brightly that I cannot get lost, or waiver from it, but if I do, Lord, please always be standing there waiting to run to me, and thank You for always celebrating my way Home. I love You Jesus, with all that I am, with every part of me. Thank You for loving me first. Thank You for the dreams that You have given me, thank You for fulfilling my dreams, and giving me the steps to go forward with the ones that have not been completed yet. Thank You for casting out the fear that tries to over take me, for sending people who shine life into me when it all seems dark. Thank You for so much. I really love You.





Monday, January 14, 2013

Go!

I’m stoked to see what God does in the life and hearts of our “little” church this year. I always laugh because when our Pastor says “little” church because by the standards of churches, we are not little. I don’t even know our numbers these days, I used to, it’s not about numbers, except for the fact that each number has a name, each name has a face, each face a story of the greatness of God.


We have 6!!! Mission trips this year! 6!! WOW!

One to Detroit, one to Bogota, Colombia (I secretly hope that God calls me here someday – I guess it’s not a secret – I have a dream to tell my testimony in Spanish!), 2 to the orphanage that I am on the board of in Haiti, 1 with Poured out, and 1 with Raincatchers (I also hope someday He calls me to do this too!). I will be going on two this year. One to the orphanage, and I help lead the one in Detroit. I’m so excited!!!

This is at my desk.  My verse
of the week.  These were made
for Alive last night.


I’ve always been a local gal, I love the Detroit Mission Trip. It’s hard and lots of planning but it’s amazing to see people come to know Jesus (we have had kids get saved on this trip), help others, serve each other. It’s amazing! I’m not a “goer” on this trip, I am a “server” an encourager, I am the “waterer” of souls, I actually don’t see much harvest, I don’t see projects completed, and I spend most of my time in the kitchen trying to keep it all together. Most people might even go on this trip and not know who I am (Ok, that probably wouldn’t happen).

A lot of people look at the overseas mission trips as something harder than the local trips or somehow it’s more important. I don’t believe that. Both are completely mission minded, and Jesus calls us to love the poor.

I was listening to the song “Savior King” by Hillsong, which is probably one of my very favorite songs, I remember hearing it the first time, and I can remember just sobbing, trying to see the words as I put them on the screen as the Alive Band played. “I give my life, to honor this, the Love of Christ, the Savior King.” But today a different verse hit me, “Let the poor, stand and confess, that my portion is this, and I’m more than blessed”.

Who are the poor?
Who needs something to drink or eat?
What is it that they are thirsting for?
And who are you called to serve?

God calls us to make disciples, to the ends of the earth (Matt 28:19-20), and sometimes that end is at the end of an alley in your own city. Or maybe it's someone in your family.

In Is 58:10 it says Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

Now if you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that John 1:5 is one of my favorite verses

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it

We are called to shine the light.  Go shine it whereever you are called.

I’ve learned that we really never go on a mission “trip” because we are out in the mission field. Your home, your family, your job, where you shop, even church is your place to extinguish darkness. I was never called until last year to go overseas, and some may never be called to Haiti or China or Russia, but they may be called to Detroit, just as some may be called to Haiti, and never to Detroit. God knows what He’s doing when He calls you to something.

I don’t know where you’re called.

But when He calls, don’t just pick up.

Answer.





Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nothing to prove



I don’t have anything to prove.



Most of my life I’ve always felt like I wasn’t good enough, that I had something to prove. I seriously could carry 10 bags of groceries and a baby on my hip into the house. I move my own furniture, I painted my house. I carry heavy things… just to prove that I can, that someone might deem me “good enough”.
Sometimes I do these things out of necessity and sometimes because I feel like I need to prove my value. I can’t prove my value, whether you (or others) see it or not, it doesn’t matter, I am valued. I have mad skills in a lot of areas because of the gifts God has given me, and I don’t have anything to prove.

This is from You're already Amazing
by Holley Gerth, one of the many
things I read for encouragement
Read the book if you haven't!!
I am beautiful
I am gifted
I am smart
I am a great multi-tasker
I am a great encourager
I am great hugger
I am a lover of teen-agers
I am wise
I am loving
I am loved
I am a great cook
I am a leader
(I'd encourage you to make a list of things you are in Christ)

Maybe everyone does not see those things, but I don’t need to prove it because I believe what God says and in Ecc 3:11 it says He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Because of something that happened in my past, I have believed a lie that I was not chosen. But that’s not true, and I am worth loving and I am loved. Not everyone gets chosen to be captain on a team, and people who are on the team may have greater and different skills than the captain, just because they are not in the spotlight doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. The quarterback usually gets most of the glory in a football game, however, what would happen if he didn’t have someone to block for him? He needs a team. That is why Christ says we are the body of Christ and all the parts matter. We can’t function fully without ALL the parts.
Today, I am finding myself thankful for my gifts, knowing, and believing that I am loved, chosen, and I have a purpose.
Moving forward with the gifts that He has given me, with nothing to prove, only to know that I am loved and called to love.

1 Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it







Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good choices!



I used to get up at 4:30am which when I say that, most people wince. 4:30am is early. But I know that for my own sake, I need to get back into that habit. I loved starting my day hopping out of bed, unloading/loading the dishwasher, running if necessary. Throwing a load in the washer, onto exercise, Swiffer or clean up something, and then bathe/shower and get to work. It was indeed a busy morning, but left no chores for the evening. My house was clean… I was exercised…


I miss those days, because I get up with enough time to get ready, and get in the car… it means chores need to be done at night, after long exhausting days, which means my house isn’t as clean as I’d like it because I’m tired and sometimes I have to work at home.

I know often doing the work ahead of time it’s worth it. Hard work pays off.

Today I spent the greater part of 3 hours cleaning my office. Ohmyword… Lots of things ready to go to Haiti, Youth Ministry stuff, the room where things went with the two parties we had… Lots of CDs, donations, lots of stuff. I cleaned my office so that I could start exercising again, going to move my elliptical in that room, it will be positioned in front of the computer in order to watch while I exercise.

I’m excited to get back into a good routine again. Clean house, working on my health, mind, and body. All the things I like about myself.

Good choices

Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
All the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
nd let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Don't live afraid, live love

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?


Fear is a very daunting thing. It’s paralyzing.

I have a friend who is living in fear. And it’s really sad for me to see, I know they are trying to make the most of their life where they are, but watching them live only half of a life is hurting me. Looking at them and seeing a shell makes me so sad.

God didn’t design us for half way living and certainly He didn’t create us to live in fear. I’ve lived the greater part of my life in fear. Afraid of what? Afraid of my dad dying, leaving me as an orphan. Afraid of what people will think of me. Afraid of not having the money to pay the bills, and my latest fear that I am overcoming… Afraid of not being loved.

Know that you are deserving of being loved. You are deserving of the life that God created you to live, one of love and not one filled with fear. And I am too!

I will live each day with courage and love. Every day I have to put my sass pants on and go forward. I have to sometimes talk myself out of the darkness of being unloved. Sometimes it means I have to leave a situation or stop a relationship that is damaging to me.

There are a lot of things that cause me to fear, a lot of reactions (over reactions) to those fears, and having my house broken into escalated that fear, but I REFUSE to live in fear. That is not what God created me to be, He created me for great love. And there is no fear in love.

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



I love Mumford and Sons… they remind me of love… Love the one you hold… and I will be your goal, to have and to hold…

Sending love… always



Friday, January 11, 2013

Your story matters



There are so many things that can bring me down, to let the darkness in. One feeling not good enough. I was talking to a dear dear friend yesterday and I started spilling my guts. I guess thinking and praying about the healing I am getting and going to get has opened some wounds. It turned out that me spilling my guts helped her too so she could spill hers.



This on my fridge, along with
many other inspiring things

I’m not the kind of Christian who can pretend very long that things are perfect, and quite frankly, I think that’s dumb. Have a good “God story” who cares about what your picture looks like. I think it’s normal for people to pretend that things are perfect. We all know them, their family “looks” perfect however in the background it’s all a farce (do you wonder if that word comes from Pharisees… hmmmm). The picture of their life “looks” perfect but it’s all a mess. You don’t even want me to go “there” and I won’t. We have to be real. We have to be real about our feelings or we are not going to help those who think “they are too far gone” for Jesus to redeem their lives. I remember thinking as a young broken mom that God wouldn’t want me. I mean, man, I was a mess, but God loves me. He was there waiting for me to just turn and embrace Him. And somehow, He uses me in all my mess.

He wanted something greater for me. He gave me this crazy vision when I was first saved. And I’ve seen the look on people’s faces when I tell them. The “yeah right” look. What they don’t know is that when that vision was given to me, I went to very successful women and asked them what I should do in order to prepare for that vision. In March of 2007 I started this blog. Wow. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been writing for seven years! It seems like three. When I read my past posts I think “whoa, you sucked as a writer”. But the more I write and the more I read, I think the better I get at it. Imagine, that advice actually was valuable (smile).

I think so many times we look at some vision of what we want and we think it will happen overnight. And so we try to make it look as though our vision is complete, that God has completed His work in us. And so we have a great “picture” but it’s not always about the destination, it’s about the journey. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Eph 2:10 We need a good and true story, or who is gonna listen about the greatness of God. Even Paul was a Christian killer and look at how God used him. How many people have come to know and love and follow Jesus because of Paul? Gazillions!

Be real, be honest, love Jesus. Praise Him even in your pain. People will see it, and want what you have. You’ve got a story. Tell it. Our picture will be complete, and perfect, the day we are in front of Him, worshipping.

Did you hear that? That was a little piece of shrapnel hitting the bowl. “ting”