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)


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm beautiful, God chose me, I'm worthy

Every girl wants to know she's beautiful. She doesn't want to have the knowledge that she was fearfully and wonderfully created, she wants to believe it. It is a truth that she needs to believe.

I'm no different than anyone else. I've got a lot of things to overcome in my life... Believing that I am beautiful an chosen and loved are a few of those things that I need to believe. Overcoming the lie that I'm ugly is high on my priority list.

I've had quite a life of people telling
me I'm " too" something and people I would have thought would have defended me just didn't. There was a time in my life when I thought I was fat and I was a size six because someone told me I had to lose another 25 lbs to be perfect and quite frankly I just think that is plain ridiculous.

There are times when I think "wow you look nice today" and there are times I think "yikes you look like one of those freak shows who don't take care of themselves".

Believing that I'm beautiful doesn't come from what I look like though. Believing that I'm chosen doesn't come from whether someone decided to stick up for me or if a boy thinks I'm cute because I really do think that I'm above average looking even if I'm not a size six. Knowing I'm worthy to be loved comes from knowing and believing that my value comes from God and is not based on what I do but who God created me to be.

The distance between knowing and believing is a distance of about 12-18 inches, and I'm taking the first step.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 NIV)



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My friend lives out her God sized dream



When thinking about someone who inspires me by living out their God sized dream, the first person I thought of was my friend Katie.

My friend Katie inspires me. Her everyday joy, inspires me.


I have known Katie for quite a long time, her husband is the best Youth Pastor ever that I serve with week in and week out at our church, Metro South Church. She serves in the high school ministry too!

My friend Katie is a lot of things, she is:

A wife
A momma
A daughter
A friend
A sister
A youth leader
A worship leader
A school counselor
An encourager
A grace giver
A lover of Jesus

When you meet Katie, you can’t help but like her. She might even come across as one of those people who seem too good to be true, but my friend Katie, she’s not too good to be true, because she loves & lives Jesus like no one else I know.

I’ve known her through the times when her and her hubby were trying to get pregnant. And it was not coming along as they had hoped. I’ve seen her struggle with timing or plans, but I’ve never seen her question that God is good. I remember the day she asked me to write a letter of recommendation for her and Adam as part of the adoption process as they prepared to bring their boys home. I remember how honored I was to be part of such an awesome thing. I remember when we got the pictures of the boys.

Here’s a video of when they met their boys



Katie does great things with great love. She is grace giving and loving. I remember this summer when I was going through such a hard time, I felt so alone, was making choices that were not the greatest, and Katie said something to me that I will never ever forget, and actually have adopted it as one of my favorite sayings to people.

I love you every day, no matter what.

My friend Katie’s dream is that all will know & love Jesus. Her dream is God sized because it is God’s dream that all will come to know and love Him. She lives her life as a loving example that His way is the best way. It’s inspiring to serve with her, because I can’t help but be encouraged by her, become a better youth staff, lover of Jesus, friend, and daughter of the King.

This is her singing with our Youth Band.



Katie loves like no one else I know, she’s living out her God sized dream!

Here’s a video of her boys from this past fall. (there’s three now – Levi, Judah, and Zion (he’s what Katie calls the belly baby)



Letting go of "control"

Sometimes I encounter people who are jerks. It happens.


They have decided that they need to “control” something and I think in my head “quit with your co-dependent behavior already”.

I might smile and think to myself “oh they are having a rough day, and probably their insides are feeling like chaos so they are trying to control things on the outside”. Why do I think that?

Because I used to feel that way all the time. I was a self-proclaimed control freak.

I used to wear it as a badge of honor.

Well, it was a badge that had a defective pin because kept poking me and causing me pain. I certainly learned that when I use the word “freak” it is a red flag that it’s not good. And I even mean that in the whole “Jesus freak” sense. I don’t want to be weird or a freak, I just want loving Jesus to seem as normal as breathing.

I will tell you that I still make lists because things need to get done, I plan out a timeline in my head of what can get done and in what time frame so that “last minute details” don’t throw me over the edge or throw me off.

I find myself a lot more at peace. I find myself almost chuckling when people are freaking out thinking “that could be you” and thanking God for teaching me the lesson of letting Him fight my battles, for letting Him walk before me and not trying to run ahead hoping “to help Him out”.

I find myself learning what it’s like to just be not do. I find myself hearing God’s voice, and sometimes the things that I hear are like surgery without anesthesia, and it hurts because sometimes pulling out a splinter actually hurts more than getting the splinter or even just leaving it, but if the splinter, like the lies that cause us pain, will fester. The infection can cause great pain and may even cause the loss of function in our hand (assuming that the splinter is in the hand), and believing lies will cause loss of function in our lives. We cannot do all the greater things that God has called us in our lives if we don’t take the pain of removing the lies, and let God heal us.

The pain of the lies in my life hurt really bad. Sometimes I have to relive the moment that lie was told, and find the truth, God’s truth, in the situation. Remembering how people who are supposed to love me and they may very well love me but they have hurt me. Sometimes I have to learn that lesson too, people who hurt us, still love us.

I’m glad with the lesson that I learned that hurting people, hurt people so that when I am hurt, I am quiet, and then I can stop the pain and hurt. I turn to God, and let Him handle the pain, the hurt, and turn it to love and joy.

I’m growing healthy fruit.

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Digging a ditch

I feel like I need to get away. Not running from anything or anyone but to get away and just be with Jesus to hear His voice and deal and feel with the pain that is deep down in my soul.
I am hoping to find a small cabin in the middle of nowhere just me & Jesus.

We've been talking about digging ditches with our students. And this is my ditch. I need to get alone with God and be still, listen, and uncover some hurt and be healed.

I will tell you that thinking about this scares me to death. Some people have to do things and doing things doesn't scare me, I know that doing things in obedience is always greater than not but the thought of sitting "at the feet of Jesus" for a whole day by myself kind of scares me.
Facing the giants of my past, dealing with hurt, scares me even though I know that it's like bad Chinese food, it needs to come out by any means possible.
What a chicken i sound like! I wonder how many word bubbles I will have done by the end of that day!

So I'm praying for the place. A quiet place. Where I will sit.

Until this ditch is dug, I can't move forward.

Speak oh God, for your child is listening.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NIV)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Feeling

It's easy for me to be Martha. Go go go. It makes life easier to get through. It makes the loneliness bare able it dulls the pain because when I'm busy I can't feel it.

To say that last weekend was busy would be an understatement. Busy week at work and it seemed like everyday I had something. They weren't bad somethings it was just that life doesn't really stop just because you spent your weekend loving teenagers.
Yesterday I was lucky that I came home and was able to sleep really well and had a nice relaxing day with my friend but honestly I felt a little "off" and that's a different kind of off than my normal off because everyone knows I'm not normal.

And then it happened. I stepped into church, and I began to feel. You see, I've been Martha but I was about to become Mary. Because I needed to be Mary. I needed to talk to God to say "hey it's me, I loveYou, and I've got all this stuff I'm holding on to, but You already know that because I have puke stomach. And so here it all is, and God while I trust You, I'm not happy about it. I loveYou but what the heck God"
For me, I love God. I hope that in all the craziness of who I am, you as the reader (all two of you) see that I love Jesus and I don't always like the way things go but I know He works it out for my good and His glory.
I know that I will look back and I will say "I understand now" or maybe I won't say that but I will ALWAYS say that I loveYou Lord. I may not always like the fire that I go through but I will always trust in the refining.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

Staying away from the pit

I wasn’t going anywhere yesterday, but my daughter needed her work jacket for… work, so I ran it over to her. The roads were horrible!


I was thinking about how thankful I am for some really incredible people in my life. And then it started… All the things I love about them, I feel like I fall short in.

My Sisters send cards, I barely can get cards out for my immediate family when I actually am going to a party. And sometimes the days go by and I can’t remember to send a FB message or text. I can barely even check my mail most days! Sheesh! They are encouraging to others, and sometimes I can barely like a status or comment, I just see the prayer requests and I pray or I praise right where I am.

My house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. I wish I was one of those people who had a clean house all the time, but it’s just not. My office looks crazy with Haiti stuff, left over Winter Retreat stuff, Detroit Mission Trip beginnings. Lord, help me, I need shelves in my office, to organize this craziness no matter how crazy it looks, it will look better than it does now.

And what happened to the meal planning momma? I used to be so good at making a meal plan, and sticking to it, and now… well I can barely even make the plan now, and I hope to make one or two of the meals I plan.

Oh, and let me add causing people pain because of the choices I made. I found myself crying in the car. Man, I was thinking about that post earlier. Perfume. And then I started about how stinky I am…

I had puke stomach Wednesday and so I did this crazy amazing exercise to figure out where it came from because there really wasn’t a reason for it. But there was, and it took the exercise to figure it out.

I cringe when someone says to me “I don’t know how you do it”. Well, quite frankly, I don’t either. I fall short about a million times, many that most just do not see.

I had this issue over the weekend where I bit someone’s head off, apologized within 10 minutes of doing so. You know why I freaked? Because I was really afraid I let them down, and somehow they’d think it was dumb to have trusted me. Failure. It’s a scary thing, especially the thought of failing someone that I really look up to. And then I blew it by losing my cool. Ugh. Rotting fruit.

I wonder if when I try to speak life into someone if they are not rolling their eyes thinking “she thinks it is so easy” well, I know it’s not always easy to make the right decision but I also know that I don’t regret making the right decisions even when they are hard, compared to making the wrong easy ones, because those wrong ones have lasting consequences. And for the record, I’m not sorry I share scripture or point people to Jesus. It is what I am called to do. I follow Him because He is always the answer, and I want Him to be the answer to the questions others ask to.

I’m learning to live life, not just get through it. Today I opened my Jesus calling devotional and it tells me to stop with the self pity and cling to God! Hmmm… How did God know that on Feb 23rd I would need that?

I’m learning it is more important to have fruit (fruit of the spirit) then to get it all done. And learning to forgive myself for the things I’ve done, or I don’t get done, is a greater offering than a clean house. A hug and listening to a student is more important than printing something off, and hopefully by God’s grace, and a whole lot of planning, I get to do both.

I’m learning that it is important to just be, and to let others bless me. And know that my prayers have to be enough, because what is more important than that?

I’m also working on doing things that I enjoy. I’m learning to live life not just “task” through it. I have three concerts scheduled in the next couple months. Winter Jam, Chris Tomlin (with Kari Jobe), and Needtobreathe.

I love serving, and I am doing that, but I’m also learning to do things I enjoy with friends! Can’t wait to go to Eastern Market this weekend and maybe even the conservatory and a fun lunch to some place I’ve never been to in the city.

Making vacation plans. Besides my mission trip to Haiti, I am looking at going to New York, Utah, maybe Atlanta, Nebraska, even if those plans go into 2014! Gives me something to look forward to! (that is if the current elected administration doesn’t take all my tax money! )

I’m working on being kind to myself, having balance, but most importantly, running towards Jesus, and giving Him all that I am. I’m learning to cling to Him instead of hovering near or in the pit of self-doubting, self-loathing, and unforgiveness. I’m learning to love me for who God created me to be, and love Him for all that He is!

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Black bean soup

If you know about my history you know that at one time I could not make soup at all. I was soup maker challenged. Now, I can tear up a pot of soup like nobody's business (ask anyone who has had my chicken noodle soup!!)

My stepmom loves my black bean soup! Here's my confession. It's the easiest thing in the world! I always give I to her for Mother's Day but she requested it early so now I have to think of a new gift idea!

2 cans black beans
1 container of fresh salsa

Heat up beans in pot, add salsa. Blend until smooth.

That's it. Instant yum!

Sometimes (I did this time) I sauté an onion, a green or red pepper then add the beans & salsa and then add some cumin (I don't know how much maybe a tablespoon or so)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Giving it all away

I was listening to Mark 14 yesterday.

The woman who took that super expensive perfume and poured I in Jesus. And the people who were there were like "what the heck are you doing????" I can only assume that the people there were people who followed Jesus not the law, and even they couldn't understand such a gift.

I have to be honest I hope that people one day say that about me.

I've been thinking about it since I heard it.

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:3-9 NIV)


Perfume. Not just any old go to the perfume counter at Macy's perfume, this is perfume that would cost a years wages. That perfume must be like that stuff I got in brazil!

Pastor Chilly always say if God isn't Lord over all of your life He isn't Lord over any of it.

This passage has been stirring my heart. What am I not giving to God that has great value in my life?

I've got to be honest with myself on this. What am I holding back? Money? Heart? What part if my heart? What am I afraid to give up that I might fail, or crazy enough what am I afraid to give up in order to live the life I've always dreamed.

I want my life to be a complete reflection of Him, of His goodness, For His glory!

Giving it all away.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Praying through the craziness


I cannot believe the craziness that has tried to infiltrate my life in the last 24 hours. I’ll tell you the truth, I have never used the phrase “cra” before, but in the last 24 hours I have used it at least 100 times.

People are CRA.

Each time the attacks came, I just started reciting scripture. Memorize it people. Do whatever it takes, memorize God’s word, you never know when you’ll need it. And often, it’s the times when I think “I’m ok” that I need it the most or someone needs the Word to get through something. Knowing and reciting is not Christianese, it is speaking life into someone’s life, and maybe even your own.

The crazier people behave, the more I pray. I pray for truth and life into their lives, I pray that Godly people surround them, I pray that the enemy’s plans be bound, I pray that their hearts truly surrender to Christ and all that He has for them, and I pray that they get a clue.

There were times in my life when I would have joined them on the crazy shuttle but now, my heart just aches for them. Literally, my heart hurts, and God has given me this incredible peace when dealing with them. (Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.) I know that one day, their hearts will be surrendered to God, and I hope that I am blessed enough to see it and if I don’t, that’s ok, because it’s not about me!

I find myself in these situations, thankful. Thankful because of the peace that God has given me, and thankful because I know I am in His will. I know that if I wasn’t part of the movement of the Kingdom forward, the enemy would be sleeping, but instead when my feet hit the floor, he says “oh crap, she’s up”. I find myself thankful that God trusts me to take care of these situations, that He knows that He has given me the tools, in my surrender, to bring Him glory.

I am thankful I am chosen!

Sending love!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thankfulness in doing... nothing

Now, we know, I never do "nothing"...

It’s been a long couple of weeks.


I found myself cracking up watching the enemy try to distract us. It started about a month out, and a few times I heard people say “I will not let the enemy steal my joy” and I said it many times myself.

Someone hit my friend’s car on Valentine’s morning, or at least she discovered it Valentine’s morning. I see how God protected the retreat, because my dad drove his van for us, and she brought my car, and Tom Barnes had a truck to transport our stuff. So… flick.

Someone literally went off on me on Friday night. My response? I didn’t have one. I said “sorry” and walked away reciting “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self control”.

Many times I was poked by the enemy, and I would literally chuckle (knowing NOT to say “is that all you got?”) and think “wow, I bet God is going to do some big things”. The more he decided to come after me, the more it inspired me to stay in the fruit. I knew I was in God’s will if the enemy was bothering me. There is something about being in God’s will that makes me just want to snuggle up in His arms, even if it’s hard. And when it’s hard, it just makes me want to snuggle more.

Right now I am in a place of rest. I took the week off from Youth Ministry. No meetings regarding YM, I have mission meetings, but that is different. My house is a mess, dishes in the sink, car full of boxes, office is a mess (again), laundry that needs to be put away. This is not how I like to live my life, but sometimes, something just has to give. My plan was to be lazy yesterday, but I did not factor in a 13 hour day. Tonight is our Haiti meeting which I am super excited about!!

Tomorrow will come, and I will work on my house, and get it back in order. I have a couple word bubbles I need to work on. The weekend will come and I will enjoy it, fun, relaxing day in the D planned with my favorite best friend! Saturday night church, and Sunday, who knows, maybe church, maybe stay home, planning for getting back on the band wagon with eating healthy, and dinner for a very hard working Alive Staff (I’m totally cheating and buying Kroger chicken for the meat part of the meal)!

I’m laying low. Recuperating. Thanking God for some incredible things He has done in my life and in my heart!

Thanking Him that I do possess the Fruit of the Spirit (ever notice it’s not fruitS of the spirit, it’s fruit, kind of like if you have one, you have them all!) because He is in me, and I am in Him!!!

Gal 5:22-23 22 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!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Burning the lies!

There are things in our lives that we need to give up. In 1 Kings 19 God calls Elisha, and Elisha makes the choice to go forward in the life that God had called for him. We all have a call on our lives, and by we I mean you and me.


1 Kings 19:19-21 19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

There are things that we need to get rid of for the life that God has called us to.

Most of my life I have encouraged others believing that God had great plans for everyone else. I had hoped that He had great plans for me too, but I believed that I wasn’t good enough, that I surely didn’t deserve to have a greater plan. I believed lies that I wasn’t good enough to ever even succeed, because after all, I have tried at things and they were hard, and I didn’t perservere. There were things I tried and it just didn’t work out for whatever reason. My dreams seem so big that someone as small as me could accomplish something so big, and so world changing.

Who would ever listen to me? What words could I ever say that people would even take seriously? No one would ever choose me anyway, so how on earth could anyone listen to me about being chosen?

Well, the truth is no one would listen to me, but the words that God gives me, those words, will be listened to.

We talked this weekend about burning the plows that keep us from Jesus and His greater plan for us.

I have been thinking so much about what should I burn? I think the thing I need to burn is the lies that I have been spoken to me and I believed my whole life. Those lies have had such an impact on my life, things I didn’t even realize.

I have been working on identifying the lies, but not only that, I have been indentifying them and “unbelieving” them. I am choosing to believe the truth and it’s really changing my life. God has delivered me from some big stuff in my life, He chooses to love me right where I am at, and He loves me too much to leave me that way.

It was an incredible weekend. There were so many times that I could have reverted back to some old yucky fearful behavior, but instead, I spoke life into myself. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and SELF CONTROL! (Gal 5:22-23). I don’t have to believe that I was the person that I once was, I am not defined by brokenness, I am not defined by my choices, I am not defined by my actions. Sure those things are a part of my history, good and bad.

I am defined by a God who loves me. Who is in me!

I am CHOSEN.

That’s what I choose to believe.

Col 3:12-17 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Greater things

Good morning! It's Sunday of the winter retreat!

Needless to say everytime I sit down my feet rejoice! I think I passed the point of tired a week ago, i passed the point of exhaustion Friday night, but God gives us strength. Great retreats don't just happen :)

Seeing these kids have a great time, learn things about themselves, about Jesus is absolutely amazing! But watching them respond to Jesus is breathtaking!!

I have a lot of favorite moments, far too many to list them all but here are a few:
*I said "I Loveyou" to a student and their response wasn't one that one might expect, he just replied "thank you".
*both our high school and jr high bands leading worship
*watching others serve our kids whether it was making poop, making the video, putting out snacks, bringing treats, leading small groups
*kids accepting Jesus for the first time
*taking 4 beautiful girls for a little outing
*countless hugs
*praying with one of "my girls" as she stood up to accept the greater things God has called her to
*not running out of food

It really was an amazing weekend!!!
Some people might have thought I was a little nuts asking for sponsorships to our winter retreat for my birthday in lieu of a gift, (not to sound cliche) but what better gift could I have ever had this to see kids come to know Jesus and accept the call on their life?

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 ESV)





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FInding true love



John 12:25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.


This verse has been resonating in my heart since Saturday. I was thinking about how much my life before Jesus “seemed” great, and sometimes it’s hard now, but I wouldn’t change it. I would rather have a life with Jesus than a life without. I’d rather be single and follow Him, then married without Him.

I mean if my life was so great before, why did I run hard and fast towards Him? Because I needed something greater. It certainly doesn’t mean that things are easy, but it means that I learn about love that really grows bigger and bigger without limits, everyday.
I’ve lived a life of pain for a long time. I often feel like one of those bombs that have the explosives packed way deep down, just waiting to rupture? That was me. The only way to disarm the bomb that’s been ticking away is to start to disarm it, to start feeling, to get rid of the packing.

I have a long way to go, but wow, the peace I feel when I start to feel, to identify the pain. To actually stop, and take time to feel or rest. It’s crazy great.

Jesus has brought me to a love I never thought I’d know.

I’m thankful to give up my life…

Sending love!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ramblings for today!



Please allow me to ramble for a moment… And I will tell you in advance, I cannot be held responsible for any grammar, spelling, or making sense at all. It’s the week of the winter retreat.

When I would go visit my gram, we would have dinner or lunch and I would start to do the dishes and she would say “no that’s ok huney, that will be my evening’s entertainment. Last night I made tags for the kids and tonight I checked to see who had medical release forms, and I may or may not have said “it was my evening’s entertainment”. LOL Dork.

I have been on the planning committee for the winter retreat, I have spent my Saturdays making match books, buying supplies, sorting supplies, laying out tags, making lists (and checking it twice), I feel like at this point, I am as prepared as I can be. Of course, I have last minute things to do, because… well, that’s just the way it goes. I keep feeling like I’m forgetting something. Today I was working with the file, and started to panic because I couldn’t find someone’s name… the filter was on. Ugh :/ But I love my life.

I had to make a decision to do a bible study. To say yes was a good idea, to say no was a good idea. How do I make that kind of choice. It was difficult. I prayed about it. I decided not to do it. It was a bible study. I really wanted to, but quite frankly, I am already working on some stuff, hard stuff, and I didn’t want the distraction, even if it was good. Just because it’s good, doesn’t mean it’s good (or good timing) for me. So I declined. I’m happy I chose not to do it. I don’t really think I have the time. I don’t want to be distracted, and if I do it, I want it to have my full attention, not another thing “to do”.

I decided to make myself a cup of tea tonight, Passion Fruit by Tazo. SO good, my new favorite. I put it in a nice heavy mug, that reminded me of the goodness of God. A Courage coffee mug. Did you know that I often am scared to make a choice. Like if I mess it up, someone will blame me. I don’t even really like to pick where I eat dinner with people because if it goes wrong, I don’t want to be responsible. How dumb. As I drank from the cup, I took courage to know that I am exactly where God wants me to be, may not be exactly where I want to be all the time, but I am thankful that His ways are better than mine.

That’s all I got. I’m tired. Sorry about the rambling. I’m so tired, I don’t even have a song today.

Oh, wait, one more thing. As part of my Starbucks rewards (I started mid December and I’ve already gotten two free ones) you get a song from itunes. I always download them, they are free. They play sometimes when I don’t have something else selected on my phone to listen to. I actually really like them.

Ok, that’s it.

Just remember I loveyou. Always.

Sending love

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm loved

We are in countdown mode for the winter retreat! It's crazy from here on out and let me tell you it's been nothing short of crazy miraculous stuff so far!

Today at one point I think 5 people were a trying to talk to me at the same time and I'm not sure who wasn't important so I was trying to accommodate them all which made my insides completely chaotic. I started to get completely overwhelmed and I started to panic thinking I was going to lose it. I just kept breathing (that's always a good thing), praying "please Jesus" because I wasn't even sure what I needed, and thanking Him for sending tons of youth staff to help me get all the stuff needed to get done, done.
I worshipped to music, prayed, told kids they were God's masterpiece, and I needed to get one more thing printed. I could have easily done the task thing I needed to get done and skipped life groups because my co leader was there but I chose relationship over the task & I was so glad I did. Kids will not remember who printed the forms, but they will remember who loved them.

The song "beautiful things" the lyrics are amazing
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You see, so many times I'm overwhelmed, I wonder if I will ever get "there" wherever the heck "there" is. I am working through so much. And sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the greatness of God and sometimes overwhelmed by the smallness of me. I guess that's 2 Cor 12:9 in real life.

His grace is sufficient for me.

He makes beautiful things. He makes beautiful things out of us.

Here I am Lord. I'm believing I am who you say I am. I'm clinging to You in the chaos of it all, knowing who You are. Loving You. Knowing You created me

Cherished
God’s masterpiece
the righteousness of God
a new creation
forgiven
belonging to God
daughter of God
God’s friend
never Alone
accepted
a part of Gods family
loved
chosen by God
complete
not a mistake
a child of God
wonderfully made
valuable beyond measure
not condemned
victorious
Holy & blameless
wise & restored
FREE
accepted
royalty

Worthy of love

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. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Chicken enchilada soup



15 oz. can of black beans, drained

15 oz can pinto bean
1 can diced tomatoes (since I have tons of whole tomatoes I just ran them through the food processor)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 big can enchilada sauce
2 - 10.75 oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 cans of corn undrained
2 can corn, uindrained
2 chicken breast, shredded


Put it all in the crock pot and cook low 3 to 4 hrs. (I would have added zucchini if I had some)

When serving top with cheese & tortilla chips

Saturday, February 09, 2013

I'm in love

It's been a busy week. We are 6 days away from our winter retreat. There is much to do before. Things don't just happen lol

Now normally by this time I can't even stand myself I'm so nuts. This year it's so different. I've intentionally stayed absolutely connected to Jesus. And... Drum roll please... I've asked for help! Gasp! I have to tell you, this asking for help thing.... Well I should have done it years ago, why didn't anyone tell me? Ha!!
Yesterday I started to panic because I thought I should be stressed. Then I realized that is just stupid.
Today during "how great thou art" I couldn't help but praise Him.
Thank You for Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Goodness, which leads to having Self control. Chains be broken!

I have loved Jesus through every retreat. But there's a difference. Here's the truth. I'm only serving Jesus. I am not fearful of letting anyone down, I'm not involved in things like transportation that stress me out. And when people ask me I say "I have no idea that doesn't concern me". Truth is, I could totally get worked up, but it's not my concern and I'd be too fearful of letting someone down if I even thought about it let alone tried to figure out if its all set. In other words, I'm minding my own business! Haha!

Another thing is that I know that these retreats do great things in the youth of our ministry, there hearts are changed, and so I run like crazy up to the retreat, I'm crazy on the retreat, and then I'm exhausted afterwards. I literally wait for it to be over.
This year it's so different, I'm excited FOR the retreat.
I'm doing a lot of things to protect my heart. To trust God. I'm actually working on just being not doing. Remembering that if I do my best that is all I can do, and no matter what I do or don't do, I am loved and cherished, and worthy of love.

I love Jesus. You should not be surprised by that. But it's different, I'm falling more and more in love with Him everyday. I'm captivated by His love, I'm captivated by Him.

I'm in love.

My life is forever changed.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12 NIV)

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. (1 John 4:16 NIV)

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. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:18, 19 NIV)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Here I am



Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


There have been some tough moments for me in the last few months. I have been stressed about work, home, lots of stuff. Today I saw a video, that absolutely blew my mind. I have seen (and done) a lot of things in my life that I wish I hadn’t, however, I stand here saying “but by the grace of God go I”.

I would put the video up, but I was appauled, and so I can only imagine what some of you might think. Vile.

The first thing I thought “thank You Jesus for delivering me from that”. Maybe you might think that I am dramatic of the things I’ve seen over the years or the things I’ve put up with in order to provide for my family, I’m not nor did I.

Maybe you think that I’m one of those “goody two shoes” kind of Christians, well, quite frankly, if you see that, you don’t know me, at all. I am no more or less jacked up than anyone else. I just know that I am forgiven and His grace covers me like a cloak.

I sit here, thankful. Thankful for Jesus. Thankful for knowing the Love of a Savior that I don’t deserve. I’m thankful for the things I’ve stepped out into obedience because He said “go” and I’m thankful for the things He dun snatched me up out of :) And I’m even thankful for the muck that He let me wallow in until it was time for me to make the choice to get out of.

The things I’ve seen doesn’t make me judgemental towards anyone else, it makes me want to run harder and faster towards those who don’t know Jesus so that they can meet Him. So they can see that if He loves me, He will love them too! It makes me want to do whatever God says to bring them closer, even if it means I look like a complete dork making scripture cards for a Winter Retreat and 9 trips to target for highlighters. If it means that I have to put my pride aside to tell someone what I’ve done so they will think “they are not as bad as me” and maybe Jesus could love them too. If it means I go to a foreign land, or hop on a freeway near me. If it means that I have to stop, and listen, on my craziest day.

Well. HERE I AM, SEND ME!

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Experiencing peace

I've never experienced anything like what happened today. I think I started to think I should get stressed out but I wasn't. I have no plan but God will work it out.

Here's the deal, we make booklets for our winter retreat and something happened and they can't be printed... Yet. I think I may have a way but I'm not entirely sure yet. Not having a plan is a little stressful but I've got 8 more days. I'm thankful I didn't wait until the last minute for all the other things I needed to do.
I have this incredible peace.
It's weird.
Really weird.

I am choosing tomorrow evening to work on these books. Hopefully it works out. Then I can print on Saturday.

I totally get the words to the song "it is well"
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say...

Peace!

Wow!

Never felt that way before!!

So good!!!

Thank You Jesus !!!!

Finding Love

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. Proverbs 21:21 NIV

I’ve been taking a really hard look at my life of being busy, of being loud, and plenty of other bad behaviors I have acquired over the years. Sure, it’s good to be busy, but not if I am avoiding dealing with pain that is deep down. Sometimes it is necessary to be loud, but not in a room of 12. Just because I’m loud, that does not make me a leader.

God is completely calming my spirit, because certainly it is not me. He is changing the way I see things. He is changing the way I see myself. That’s huge.

Valued
Loved
Chosen
Worthy of love
Without doing a thing. What? Did I just say that? And do I believe it?

Yes. I do.

There is a saying that is heard frequently in my house. It is not what you know but who you know.

I’d like to just change one letter. One lower case letter to a capital letter.

It is not what you know but Who you know

My heart is overwhelmed by His spirit. Knowing Him. Believing Him. Who HE says I am.

I have found this incredible peace in just being who Christ says I am. Not doing or serving (though I still do those things, but I serve unto the Lord not anyone else.) Their approval is not important to me, but it’s nice to hear that I am appreciated, but I do not NEED it. “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ) is what I want to hear at the end of the day, said by the One who loves me the most, the One who I want to know more and more every day, and fall more and more gloriously in love with Him.

All these years, I have longed for a husband and people have said “God’s waiting to send you the right one”.  I think, I know, He is preparing my heart for the one He has for me.  To prepare my heart to love Him more than I could ever love an earthly being, making my love for the one He has for me so much greater.  I don’t really know, but I do know, I’m finding true love. Knowing I was the lucky one.
Sending love.







(I can’t wait to see Needtobreathe in concert!!)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Nothing Compares




I was driving home from the church after dropping off something and I started praying about our winter retreat that is only 10 days away! I started praying for the band, I was praying for our small groups, and then this song came on.

And I started praying with a completely different focus! Lord, let them know You, really know You. Let them know You, let them hear Your voice, let Your Word penetrate their hearts Lord, NOTHING COMPARES TO KNOWING YOU LORD, LET THEM TRULY KNOW YOU!!

There are a lot of tangible things that God has done for me, so many things He has given me, His provision is amazing in my life, but honestly, knowing Him, is the greatest thing! Knowing that He loves me just because is amazing, knowing there isn’t a thing I can do to make Him love me more or less.

Wow.

That just blows me away!

Lord, I can never thank You enough for all You’ve done for me, but Lord, thank You for loving me when I was most unloveable.Thank You for loving me whether I do anything or not. Thank You. Lord, I know You love each person going on this retreat, Lord, start working on their hearts. Lord, let us be so wrapped up in You that in everything we do, and we say, that You are at the center of it all. Lord, let us be reminded that knowing You is the greatest, knowing You love us, really knowing it, believing it, that what it’s all about. Lord, Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Let them know You Lord.

"Chicken Business"

I made chicken soup on Sunday. I know it’s earth shattering news. Oh wait. Just kidding.


But the crazy part is that I made it with organic chicken instead of the stuff that I normally buy from the store. You know that scum that has to be skimmed off the top? Didn’t happen with the organic chicken. That really blew my mind. Seriously. What they heck are they putting in our chicken that it rises to the top and has to be skimmed off. Gross.

It made me think about the stuff I feed my soul. What am I putting in that does me harm? What am I putting in my soul that comes bubbling to the top that is harmful to others? What am I putting in that no one else sees? And may never notice, but it is harmful to me.

Wow.

I know that buying organic chicken is a lot more expensive than the “normal” stuff at the store, but it tastes better, it’s not filled with “stuff” it has less “chicken business” (that’s what my friend Katie calls chicken fat, grizzel, weird veins. It means I have to go out of my way to go to Trader Joes instead of going to Aldi, Meijer, or Kroger. It means more work. But whenever I do it, it always seem worth it. It tastes better, I feel better.

It’s the same way with the stuff I put in my life. Sometimes it’s easier not to read my bible, or spend time with God, I’m so busy, or I don’t do my “homework” or I don’t read things that will help with my healing. I turn the radio on instead of my Rhapsody. I can easily be swayed back into old habits of getting frustrated because I’m singing the “Meme” song makes the scum of my life come right to the surface once a little “boiling” happens.

Now, if I didn’t ever have to deal with another person or do another thing, I wouldn’t have to worry about that whole boiling thing, but I do, and I love people, and God has and is putting amazing people in my life, Barnabas, Paul, Timothy. I’m so thankful for the friends God sends.

I have a lot of great friends, my scarf sisters, my friends from church, my "normal" friends, I am one blessed girl!  Recently, I have joined up with  this amazing group of women, the God Sized Dream Team, and it’s been so amazing to encourage, be encouraged. I didn’t even know what to expect, and I’m kind of glad I had no preconceived notions, because it’s been nothing short of FABULOUS! They are like the star shaped noodles in the chicken soup I made the other day!

I’m thankful for the “good stuff” that’s going in, and the yucky stuff that’s coming out, because really, who wants to hold on to stuff that you’d skim off the top if you had the chance.

I know that things might seem hard in my life sometimes, and I sometimes stand there for a moment thinking “oh, I don’t know if I can do that” and then I remember Luke 12:48 to whom much is given much is required.

He loves me enough not to leave me the way I am…

Zech 13:9 This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

Monday, February 04, 2013

Being overcome by Peace




I was listening to a song today by Yolanda Adams, “Victory” and she sings about how our needs are met because Christ is our provider. I started thanking Him for those things, but then I started praising Him for some crazy things He has been doing in my heart. Bringing me some crazy peace.

I have “the book” looming over me, knowing that I am supposed to write it, HOWEVER there are some things I need to work out before I can really start writing. Which, if you know me even a little, you’ll know that I want to write right now! I love writing! I love the thought of this book, it’s name is already chosen with a picture already in my heart (Jessie Owens, be prepared, you’ll be doing the cover).

But in just the last two weeks God has been revealing so much to me and working in my heart, calming my spirit when I’m about to jump out of my own skin because of a number of issues. I can’t believe the way my heart has been calmed by the spirit. Things that would seriously make me “go off” like people missing deadlines, thus making more work for me, or people saying hurtful things, thus sending me into a whirlwind of emotions.

Peace.

Doesn’t mean I’m not annoyed or hurt, but it’s not about me, it’s not about them.

I’ve got Victory.

Death and anger and hurt and fear have lost their sting because I am an overcomer.

Not a crazy waive my sword in the air overcomer but an overcomer who walks with my head held high, in sweet surrender to a God who loves me more than I will ever know.

It’s hard for me not to run around “doing things” but to just stand still. Let God work in me.

Here I am Lord, I loveYou. Perfectly imperfect.

Sending love.





Sunday, February 03, 2013

Moving forward

"I am afraid, For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way
So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace, Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder"
 have heard the song “I wonder” many times at Metro. It often moves me to tears.
Thinking about this past week, and thinking about surrender. Of course I have moments where I think “sure life wasn’t perfect, but this is scary (and it hurts!) can’t I just go on like I was? But God doesn’t call us to lead lives that are just ok, He calls us to live a life of something greater.

Certainly I am not perfect, and I make dumb choices sometimes and the hurt of my past overshadows the greatness of my life sometimes, and that makes me sad. But i keep going forward, striving to be more like Him, making good choices, loving Him more everyday.

And sometimes, the craziest times in my life, I am afraid. How do I trust something I cannot see. There is a song that says “its better to believe than to have seen”. Sometimes it’s hard not to be afraid when I’ve been afraid my whole life. I actually can’t remember a time when I was younger that I wasn’t afraid. And now my fear looks so different. It manifests and shows it’s ugly head in a different way.

Last night, as I sang the words

"I am afraid, For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way"
Because sometimes I am afraid, what if I get past this point, and it’s not as great as I think it’s gonna be, what if…

What if…

What if…

But I have to trust. I have to trust God. I love Him, and more importantly, and on a way higher spectrum, He loves me.

Sometimes, I have to go forward, afraid. Not seeing what is ahead, but knowing He called me to go, taking one step at a time, lighting my path.

Deut 31:7-8 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Sending love





Saturday, February 02, 2013

Peace through it all

Have you ever prayed “whatever it takes” over someone’s life? I had it prayed over mine the other day. I almost jumped out of my chair and said “Oh no, not that, don’t pray that” but when you get to the point in your life when you just are ready to be healed from a hurt that has been around for a long time, you stop yourself from stopping the person praying that prayer, and you surrender.


Well, this week has been quite a week. I’ve been completely shocked by the things that people have said to me, and I’ve also been shocked by the way that people have come around me and prayed, hugged, encouraged, it’s been a crazy week.

I learned a very important lesson this week. Sometimes things FEEL like they are about me, but they really aren’t they are about the other person. It has nothing to do with us, and in that, we find peace in things that would have caused us great pain.

As I listened to the song Winter Snow, I couldn’t help but to think about this past week, and how so sweetly, how God just enveloped me during some really hurtful times. Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child.

Thank You Jesus that while the “whatever it takes” hit me like a hurricane, You were there to remind me how much You love me.

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.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Discovering Freedom!





I have sung this song over my life for so long, far too long! I have lived as a victim for far too long. I have believed lies from the enemy for too long.  (the enemy was smart to TRY to take me down...  I've got a lot of love to change the world!) I have held the wounds and fear of the past for so long because I didn’t know how to let go. I’ve lived in a world of protection. I’ve lived a life hidden behind walls, walls that are THICK and high, only allowing people who were willing to get a ladder into my life.

I lived surface level for a long time. I’ve done things to make people happy, everyone else happy.

Well, today, I am repeating to myself that I am loved, I am chosen, and I may be broken, but I am not beyond healing!

I am no longer a victim, it may take me time to find healing from the past. It may take a long time to take down the walls that have been built by lies, but the truth will set me free.

The view is going to be like nothing I've ever seen before, and I can't wait!

John 8:36 whom the son sets free is free indeed!