Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

One bad apple...

I don't know why I'm awake right now. This is my sleep time. I am not a night owl. But usually when God has something He wants to say to me, He wakes me up in the middle of the night because He knows there is nothing from the outside world that can distract me. Ok God I'm listening.
Love joy peace patience goodness kindness gentleness faithfulness self control
Have you ever bought a bag of apples or a peck or bushel of apples and unknowingly there was a bad one near the middle and you waited a couple days and bam, a lot of the apples were ruined because if that bad one? I'll tell you, that just grosses me out. Bad fruit.
I'll never forget thinking I had 1.5 of the fruit of the spirit.
Now I know how important they all are and growing in them. I have them, because Jesus is in me. It's like something I never experienced. It's made me nicer, my motives pure, but when someone questions them... I'm taken back.  And I start to wonder about my own heart. Where my motives pure? Was it love that motivated me?
I don't know about you, I can only speak for myself, I cannot fake it Til I make it anymore. God put a big stop to that. I've always kind of been one of those people who carried their emotions on their sleeves, but now, if I'm being nice, it's based on love and joy. There is no faking it. If someone hurts me or is mean, and I reply in love, there isn't any fake about it. I'm newly wired that way. It's a new thing. And quite frankly it's so weird to me. This is quite a concept :)
But let me say this, if I'm struggling, there isn't any faking through that any longer. I walk in forgiveness for myself and others. If I struggle I move forward, I read, I study, I pray, I cry, I do hard word work. In other words, I water the fruit no matter how high the water bill is, because its worth it. If I don't water my garden, no fruit.
Being fake is like one apple that  will truly ruin my whole bunch (or the other 8). Being fake takes out love from the git-go. And it says in 1 Corinthians 13, if we have not love, we have nothing. So Tina Turner, love has everything to do with it. And what would be the point in that?

This week is the lesson in patience. It's not about me. The absence of patience is pride. Bleck. I must be faithful in my walk, despite my circumstances, as my garden grows, so does my love for others, and for God.
Self control 

Seeking no spoilage this week.

I think now I can go back to sleep.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What happens in a storm...

It has been a crazy week! I mean, I can’t mention most of the things that have happened them on here, because most of the things that have happened to me, have happened to someone else. And man, if the enemy is going to come at me, he doesn’t do things to me, he does things to those I love, because he knows that is how to get me . Attack those I love, and do it in such a way that I can’t do anything about it. Oh, nothing will make me stir more than not being able to help those I love. Things that would normally not bother me at all, will drive me over the edge. And I have to be really careful not to take anyone with me over that cliff.

It is in those times, that I know, rest. Take good care of myself. Make sure I am in my bible.

Here’s the thing, the enemy comes at me, or you, there isn’t any excuse to act anything but like Jesus. Now, that’s a lot easier said than done. I mean, really, have you ever heard the story of Jesus? I mean, that’s not just that easy.

But that doesn’t matter. Easy or not. My job is to be obedient to Him, and to His Word.

Yesterday, I found myself posting things on facebook about a local pharmacy that wasn’t going well. I was so annoyed. I had 5 days of trying to get a prescription and 3 calls to the doctor, 3 calls to the pharmacy. And by the time Friday came, 2 really really yucky things that happened to me, another thing that happened that has put me in a terrible situation, one that I am not happy about but it is totally correctable (and I’m sure it will be corrected, quite sure). By the time my prescription stuff got resolved, I had just about had enough for the week. And then… add the Downriver Cruise to the mix, and you’ve got Margie, about to lose her mind. I mean, I’m spinning.

Have you ever heard the saying “sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child”?

Well, about to post my third negative thing for the day yesterday, things that in the eternal scheme of things don’t even matter. And all of a sudden, I heard my dad… “slow down toots”. I don’t know if you’re dad has ever just put his hand on your leg, and said, “it’s ok”.

Now, when my dad said that to me as a child, I knew, it was going to be ok. I remember I was a funeral, for someone who didn’t love or believe in Jesus and during the funeral, officient said John 14 and ended at verse 5. And said that Jesus has prepared a way to heaven. And that we can go to heaven because we are good, and have a good heart, and left out… verse 6. I remember, I almost lost my mind, that isn’t what the bible said. My dad, my dad, who knows me probably better than anyone else, just put his hand on my hand, and said “it’s ok”. Somehow my dad calmed me, even though I knew that wasn’t true. But my dad, who loves me in a very large way, said it will be ok.

Well, yesterday, I could hear my dad, “slow down toots” and he wasn’t anywhere near me. So I went home, and had some time with My Father. I opened my bible, did my study, and heard the Voice of God like I’ve heard my earthly dad “it’s ok, just stay close”.

And so here I am. Staying close.

It doesn’t matter what happens around me, it doesn’t matter comes my way, my job is to stay close. And so… no matter what happens… Everyday, I will put on my armor (Crazy how this was my second lesson in the bible!!)

I have a whole bunch of people praying for me (please join in prayer as I go on three mission trips this summer), I am in the word, and doing studies, and rallying around friends who love Jesus.

I will not give up or give in to show the love of Jesus.

Eph 6:10-20 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My heart tonight

Dear God,

Today was one of those crazy kind of days where I saw Your goodness at every turn. When I was overwhelmed with the thought of death, You reminded me that You overcame the grave so that I never have to. You reminded me that no one is out of your reach.
When I really thought it was going to be too hot for a bike ride that I honestly didn't want to take, you gave me an awesome breeze and the power in my legs to peddle those miles like it was just one. I saw the magnificence of the sky that You painted today. It was beautifully amazing.
I often wonder what you have on mind about some things but over and over you teach me about how important it is to be raised up at the right time and by you and you alone.
Lord I thank you for teaching me to give and receive grace. I see the handiwork that you continually weave and it leaves me in awe of your greatness. 
Sometimes I know that I'm ungrateful but God I loveYou. I'm sorry for being a jerk, I'm sorry for all the times I don't wait on You and try to go my way.
God please let me see things and people like you see them. Lord, let me love like you love!

God help me to be more like you, to fall more and more in love with you, to find your word some thing I cannot live without. 

I loveyou Jesus 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 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. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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 4:7-19 NIV)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Staying on course

Yesterday was one of “those” days. You know those kind that start out pretty good, then something happens out of our control and they get a little stinky. I’m thankful for a couple things, most importantly prayer. I prayed for others, I prayed for myself. I am also thankful for good friends who talk me off the ledge.

I opened my youversion app and listened to the bible, then listened to a couple podcasts from our College Ministry Unite. Our college pastor has an amazing gift of speaking God’s word, and one of our elders preached a sermon as well, I listened to that one on the way home.

Not long after I did those things (the things I know to do) I started to feel better. I felt God’s presence around me and soon my circumstances didn’t matter. Joy.

After work I stopped at Whole Foods, which is one of my favorite places on the planet, even though I can NEVER find a parking spot in the parking lot and I have to park in the structure. Which… by the way… is free. And I had to check myself about complaining about walking to a high end grocery store 100 feet longer than if I parked in the parking lot. Oh, shut up Margie, that’s nothing to complain about… 1st world problem.  I had to thank God for that parking garage and the fact that I can shop at that grocery store! sheesh!

On a side note, you know I have issues with giving those fake homeless people money that are on the side of the freeway. But I’ve really been convicted lately about being such a jerk. (I yell at them and tell them I know they are not homeless – yes… I really do that!!) what can I say, God is working in me. I can’t imagine that God is all that proud of my behavior… and so I know that I need to do something about my attitude, and God being God told me I needed to give… But the bible doesn’t say that I have to give money to them, but it does say “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,” (Matthew 25:35) so I started carrying Nutrigrain bars (Aldi brand of course!) So I am feeding… because Jesus says to. Obedience.

Anyway, back to what I was writing about… I was driving and all of a sudden… it started pouring down rain… moments that I could barely see right in front of me. I was thankful that it didn’t last long and there wasn’t anyone around me. Well, wasn’t that a picture of the morning? I couldn’t see much except the rain that was falling around me. I just kept going. Moving forward. Just like this morning. I didn’t stop, I just kept going, doing what I knew to do.

The bible says in Matthew 5:45 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous

I say that not to say that I am the righteous, though I am righteous because of Jesus not because of anything I have done. I am certainly not perfect but sometimes yucky stuff (like a stupid rock in your windshield when you’re driving) happens when I am focused on Him, and doing (or not) things I should (or not) do. Our circumstances are just that. Circumstances. We don’t always get a choice in what comes our way, but we do get the choice in how we react to circumstances!

It’s going to be an amazing summer! But lots of rain will probably fall around me all summer and after….

I’m staying on track, keeping connected to God.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


My kitchen
Not long after I met Katie Dorband she told me that I reminded her of the verse “feed my sheep”. Because I’m always cooking for so many. It’s my gift. I’m the Jon Whaley in the kitchen. It is how I worship. That might seem so incredibly stupid to you, but I love it and embrace it, because if Jon Whaley never ate… he probably wouldn’t be worshipping because one can only go so long without food. And I rock it in the kitchen. I make the best mashed taters ever!

Honestly, it’s obvious that there isn’t much in this world that brings me more joy than feeding people. I mean, the moment I find out there might be something I have to work around, it brings me incredible joy to feed someone something that I know that they will love. I never just want a vegetarian to have to just not eat the meat part of the meal because it’s easy… I want them to ENJOY the meal. I want them to know that they are loved! By me and by God and that I appreciate them.

There was this time a few months back after I worked A LOT one weekend, all I wanted to do was make dinner. I mean, I stopped at Kroger and got chicken, but I threw together some yummy mashed potatoes, and Alfredo sauce with raviolis (and yes, I know ravioli is singular and plural), and some broccoli. After a long working weekend, I just wanted to cook for my family. Cooking brings me joy.

I love throwing a party, mostly so I can cook. But sometimes as much as I love to cook, sometimes I get tired. And worn out. In my kitchen there is some stenciling that says “ ‘ Feed my sheep’ – Jesus”. If I get tired I look up and remember… the gift of cooking really is a gift and Jesus has asked me… and my life is worshipping and serving Jesus. I read that and remember that to whom much is given, much is required.

But feeding God’s sheep doesn’t just mean with food. I am learning more and more that loving people is about telling them how valuable they are. Telling them that I love them and the things that are amazing about them. Telling them when I see Jesus at them. Feeding their souls not just their bellies. People are starving for love. I was listening to a sermon today to a sermon, and the pastor (he was a guest speaker at Elevation Church) said “if you know your purpose, you know your value.”

For so much of my life, I coveted other people’s gifts, I saw other people and wished I had their gifts… and let me tell you that was… DUMB! And I robbed myself from an amazing joy that God had for me. What a bonehead!

Truly, until you’ve really grasped and truly enjoy the gifts that God has given you, you won’t know what I’m talking about. I know who I am, I know who made me. And I know my value.

Numbers 7:3 They brought as their gifts before the Lord six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle

1 Cor 12

Concerning Spiritual Gifts

12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Love Is Indispensable

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Moving forward!

So just yesterday God tells me to do what I know to do and let Him do the rest... So what happens?! It's hot and I thought about not training today! Why oh why am I such a bonehead???

Good news!! I pulled up my big girl panties, my running pants, put on my snazzy shoes... And ran! Well 9 out of 30 minutes but I ran! And I ran more than required!! AND best of all?
I felt so great!!! I felt good running! I felt good being obedient! It feels good to do the right thing! I may not be the fastest runner or run the longest but I did it!!!

 Besides I don't want to end up looking like a line backer! I gotta keep moving forward!!!

I was talking with someone the other day... And I couldn't tell if their heart was changing or if they were being fake. Well... I saw their fruit rot right before my very eyes... But I smiled even though i was sad. You know why? Cuz I got fruit. And then I said an extra prayer for them :) it's hard to see people hurting. It just is for me. I want people to live in freedom like Christ has given me!! So I'll keep praying!!! Fruit for everyone!!!

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13, 14 NLT)

Lentil & Zucchini taco filling

I love trying new recipes!!  For the Detroit Mission Trip, I have quite a few different dietary things I have to work with (and I will tell you, this is so fun for me, making people's tummys happy and meeting their needs, I serve in some really odd ways... I know!)

2/3 c dried lentils (I used yellow organic)

1 T Taco seasoning

2/3 c fresh salsa

1 2/3 c chicken broth (or use veggie broth)

1 cup diced zucchini

Mix lentils, salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning in pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add zucchini, uncover and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve just like you would your favorite taco filling... tacos... burritos...  enchilada

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beautifully Overwheming

I have had puke stomach for the last couple days. I know that when it happens, there is something that I need to deal with, but honestly, I don’t know what it is.

So I prayed and I sent out prayer requests. When things happen that I don’t understand, I do what I know to do. I pumped up the air in my bike tires (with my new tire pump, I bought a snazzy one from Target – didn’t work right, bought a plain old kind at Aldi for half the price… worked great!).

I know that I’m starting to get overwhelmed with a lot of stuff. I want to move to Detroit, and there might be an opportunity, the thought of that is, well overwhelming, in good and crazy ways! The community centers… 2 Haiti trips, 1 Detroit trip… and I still have the normal stuff I need to do in life, like try to keep my house clean, weed the garden…

My plan was to go on 4 miles bike ride today, I know that isn’t super far, but I am just being consistant and increasing my training a little every day. I cleaned out one of my cupboards today, and a drawer that was a little nuts… I weeded some of my garden (the rain lately, and the sunshine has been such a blessing to my garden, but the weeds are CRA!!! I then hopped on my bike and did the 4 miles. As I was riding, I was reminded by God, that I am to do what I am supposed to do and let God handle the rest.

Be obedient.

I am excited about what God has planned. Sometimes I wish He’d let me in on the secret, but I know that not knowing, makes me grow more in love and in trust with God.

I pulled up on my bike today and looked at my flower bed, and it’s crazy. I mean it’s got crazy flowers all over the place, no real order, I may have originally had something planned but each year, the flowers planted, have grown, and dropped new seeds in new places, and it’s become this beautiful (at least that’s how I see it) place of color and life.

Just like my life.

Beautifully overwhelming.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rambling thoughts on a Saturday!

So I have lots rolling around in my head today!!!

I'll just start with... My feet hurt. I have no idea what's going on with them but they hurt.

I got my bike rack put on my car but I need a boy to figure out if its on correctly before I actually use it. My first trip will be to take it (my new bike) for new tubes. Mine are old. I'd like to have new ones for training. It will make me feel better. 

Ok so my nephews are 20 months and 4 years old and I just can't believe how much I love hanging with boys!! I mean I'm not really not girly but I don't touch worms either!! I really really love those boys!! Today I got to go fishing with them and yesterday I had dinner with them. Makes my heart melt and somehow all my uptightedness goes away when they are around :)

Also... Let me just tell you something... Candy crush is dumb. For those of you who play it... You don't have anything better to do with your life? Read a book for crying outloud!!

Made some cute desserts for a fundraiser today, I hope they are yummy and people enjoy them!! I didn't get them off of Pinterest. I just made them up :) I really don't want an account. I just feel like all that stuff is not my thing (I think it's great for everyone else) but I'm an old  school basics kind of gal! I don't need to go over the top anymore than I already do!!

I hope you're having a great day!

Sending love! 

Heard this song today...  I've never heard before, so sweet!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lessons on the freeway

I don’t know when it happened, but I fell in love with driving on M-10 aka “The Lodge”. When I was younger, I only took it if a freeway was really jacked up, but now I drive on it everyday. One time, late at night it got me out of a huge traffic jam on 75, it was kind of one of those “I’ll just hop on the Davison to the Lodge and I’ll avoid the traffic, now it’s just become my way of driving. I don’t even think about it most days, my car just seems to go that way now. I’ve learned some things from the Lodge over the last 6 months or so. One of the reasons why I love the Lodge is because it’s like a vein that runs right through the middle of the heart of Detroit.

To get onto the Lodge from the Davison… it’s a left side merge. This is not the norm, and sometimes it’s difficult. When merging, I have got to be ready for anything that comes my way. There is always some knucklehead who is selfish and doesn’t want to let people merge. Well, sometimes being a Christian seems that way. Surrendering to God and to others seems… well… unnatural. It just does, sometimes I want to look out for #1 (which I’m lead to believe by the world is me…) but that doesn’t really take me where I want to be in life. And of course, selfish people will always try to get in my way, take me out. But following Jesus gets me where I need to be even when it seems abnormal. Who wants to be normal anyway?

Today, which is actually how I came up with the idea for this post, there was a guy in the fast lane, going about 40 mph. Now, let me give you a lesson about The Lodge, the minimum speed is 70. I was thinking about how in my walk with Jesus and the walks of others I have witnessed, I’m going 70mph, or maybe faster, chasing Jesus and all of a sudden I slow down and all the people behind me have to slow down too. Now sometimes the person who slows down needs to slow down for a good reason (this has happened to me) and sometimes they just slow down because they feel like it. And the person behind them sometimes slows down too, and then the person behind them… and so on and so on, and SOMETIMES one of those cars (people) get caught up in an accident because they were blindly following and BOOM! Smashed up and wrecked wondering why the heck that happened! Ugh. I was just thinking about how important it is to follow God and a fast and steady pace. Never stopping, chasing, pursuing.

Other times I’ve been driving and sometimes swerves out of their lane… and I usually notice when they are trying to come into my lane. Now I usually freak out about that because if I am honest, I don’t worry about them, I worry about me, I worry about how it will affect me, smash my car, rental, making me late. Again, one of those all about me moments, but really, I should care if people are swerving off the road, on the freeway or in their walk. Sin is a slippery slope, and if we are not careful, a small swerve can put us in a ditch. I have to make sure that I am careful to stay on the right path myself, stay completely in line with where God has me, where He wants me now, and where He wants to be go. One small swerve, and it’s a long time to recover (but thankfully with His grace, there are some lessons).

I’m thankful for God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit speaking to me in ways that are relevant and real in my life, reminding me to stay close to Him, focus on Him. That’s my direction, my path.

Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,

that I may follow it to the end.[b]

34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law

and obey it with all my heart.

35 Direct me in the path of your commands,

for there I find delight.

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes

and not toward selfish gain.

37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;

preserve my life according to your word.[c]

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,

so that you may be feared.

39 Take away the disgrace I dread,

for your laws are good.

40 How I long for your precepts!

In your righteousness preserve my life.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Loving when it's hard!

I struggle with people who are not nice to me. Frankly, I sometimes think that even Jesus would slap them. It’s easy to honor and love people who are nice to us, and it’s easy to be a jerk to people who are not nice to us or who have hurt us.

But neither of those things is honoring to God. It reminds me of this verse:

Matthew 5:43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Or John 6:27-36 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

If you’ve read this blog anytime lately, I talk about having fruit. Now, I have had a few moments when I can feel my fruit rotting. Oh my word, but honestly, I remember that picture that is posted here. When I am a jerk, it is rarely about someone else, it is about me. It is about me, and my heart. Life is not about me, but if I am a jerk, that has nothing to do with anyone else but me. I have learned for me, that if I am holding something back, if I am not sharing information (that should be shared) because I want to have control because, well, I’m being a jerk, I have learned that I have chosen not to trust God and I have chosen to not love. If I love, anything I have belongs to everyone else anyway. I’m learning to let go.

And the flipside is also true. If someone is a jerk to me, sure, I may have done something not right to make them mad or hurt them, it really is about them. If they choose not to forgive that is about them. It’s my job to say I am sorry and to be truthful and to not continue to hurt that person.

Sometimes people have a hard time forgiving, and sometimes people are just not nice to me. But that’s not my issue. My job is to continue to love them, right where they are. To do all that is in my power to love.

THIS IS SOOOOOO HARD FOR ME! Just ask my friends, I complain about the hurt, but I will catch myself (if they don’t) and say “I better check myself, its not ok for them to be mean, but it’s not ok for me to do anything but love and help them”. That’s my job.

So as I write this… I’m speaking to myself. Love. Never stop.

1 Cor 13

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Overcome with thankfulness

Have you ever just had one of those moments when the Holy Spirit takes over your thoughts, your heart, and it’s almost impossible to hold back the tears?

Today I was in a meeting thinking about how lucky I am. I mean really, I am just a mess most of the time, and in the deepest darkest time in my life, God sent people to be my friends when I didn’t think I’d ever trust anyone to be my friend again. He sent friends who have loved me for a long time to come alongside me and love me, and pray for me. He reminded me how much He loves me by having a dear friend who really is more like family than a friend say to me “I loveyou every day, no matter what”.

I can pull up my bible on my phone and listen to it or read it any time I want, and man, my real bible, it’s worn out. I don’t have to hide my love for His word, and my bible is full of pictures from my journey of love and notes from people who love me.

I have bible studies, and podcasts, and music, all to help me grow more and more in love with Jesus.

Tomorrow, I meet with the second team that I am co-leading to the orphanage and I’m so excited to be a part of this team and actually so excited about serving with two other amazing leaders. And a chance to smooch on the muffins for the whole week? Wow! How did I get so blessed? Certainly not anything I’ve done, but God…

And I have like three things left to pack for the two trips! I’m sooooo excited!! I find myself so thankful for three mission trips this summer! WOW! I said I would never do three trips in one summer again, but I’ll tell you, it has been such a blessing to me, I have learned that the only way I am going to make it is to cling to God like a baby chimp holds onto it’s momma as she swings through the jungle. And, let me tell you, that’s tight. I’ve learned so much that I can have incredible joy, complete fruit really(love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in such a reliance in God, I have no control, and any thought of having control of anything really was just a false protection that I tried to create in my own mind. Sure, I am busy, and organized, but controlling, eh, I have no control, I can only control myself. Which has brought me such peace. I deal with what needs to be dealt with, in my power, and I act with good character and integrity, and I let God take care of the rest.

There is something about knowing, really believing that I am loved, I am worthy of love, and I am beautiful, that God really really does love me, in my mess, in all that I do, it is freeing, and it brings incredible fruit. WOW! And who doesn’t like fruit?!

There are things that I feel like I want in my life, but I am thankful for right where I am.

I find myself overcome with thankfulness, completely overwhelmed. I know that I am right where God wants me, and of course, I am praying about this time, and what is to come. I am excited about both, praying every day that God would do a work in my heart to move in me and through me.

Well, now, wasn’t that just a big bunch of rambling…

Sending love.

Phil 4:11-12 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Well, I'm no Beth Moore... and that's ok

I watched this great video blog by Steven Furtick on Youtube that was titled “you are not Francis Chan”. HA! I had to watch it because I thought it was a hilarious title. And it made me laugh because the other day I said I was afraid to read the book “Seven” because I was afraid of falling short. My friends being the great friends they are, they reminded me that it was not necessarily my walk but something I could learn from.

I have to tell you, if I’m completely honest, I want to be Beth Moore when I grow up. HAHA! I mean, I don’t honestly think that is my walk, I mean if I was supposed to be like Beth Moore, God would have made me Beth Moore, but He didn’t, He made me Margie Maierle. Margie Maierle doesn’t always seem so great to me. I mean, sure, I can make some of the best mostacolli you’ll ever eat in your life, and somehow I can turn 2 cans of green beans, and a pound of ground turkey (my version of the story of the fish sandwich in the bible) into enough yummy goodness that feeds 100s.

I’ve been reading a lot of books that have been blowing my mind. Things that I’m reading that shows me what it really looks like to love. Maybe it’s a meal, maybe it’s a graduation party, maybe it’s stupid gift cards, maybe it’s a hug, a smile, I don’t know much, but I know that Margie Maierle was put on this earth to love. I know that without a doubt.

I don’t expect anyone to be like me, quite frankly, I don’t know why anyone would want to, LOL. I think so many times I compare others stories and think I fall so short, but really, I don’t know ALL their stories, because most people don’t tell others about their mess, until after God has cleaned it up.

I am training for the triatholon in August and I’m nervous, and my foot already hurt after running (the stress fracture foot – but I’m not going to the doctor so don’t tell me to). And I as much as I’d like to run a marathon or even just the half, I think that 5k is what I am going to focus on. I will be faithful in the small run of the 5K, I want to get a good time (for me) and complete the triatholan (that is my goal, just to finish – no point in putting extra pressure on myself).

I’m just trying to do the best I can every day and if I learn tips as I go, about what works for me (and what I fail miserably at) I’ll share them so that they may benefit others. I am thankful for people like Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne and The Dorbands, who teach and inspire me to love Jesus more and more every day. I am thankful for them!

Eph 2:10 For you 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.   Romans 12:1-13 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Roasted Broccoli

This is one of my favorite sides, I mean, like I super love it!!  It started out by making a pasta dish, but now, I can just eat the broccoli part :)  I used all things organic!  Thanks to Whole Foods, Amazon, and Door to Door Organics!

1 – ½ lbs broccoli florets ( I used 2 heads)

6-8 cloves garlic, smashed (you think this sounds like a lot, but you need it, it’s amazing)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. In a baking dish combine broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast broccoli about 20 minutes, tossing half way, until broccoli is browned and tender.

My reading plans/study

I remember the first 1000 times I tried to read the bible in a year (ok seriously it probably wasn’t that many times I started and didn’t finish but it seems that many times) and I just didn’t make it. Especially the first time I tried to read the bible in Chronological order… I hate to say it but YUCK! But then last year I did it with Courage Church. Honestly part of the thing that kept me motivated through the disgustingness of Leviticus and the discharge was the fact that I was afraid someone was going to ask me about my commitment and I’d have to admit I didn’t make it (again) so I kept going and before I knew it, I was falling more and more in love with the Bible and God’s Word! It would speak the sweetest words to my heart just when I needed it. I finished it, and could not wait to start the next year’s bible reading plan. I used but I’m sure there are other plans. Right now I am in the book by book plan.
I’ve also never been that great at doing bible studies.

I’m starting to think I have a fear of commitment. LOL

But I started doing the first place for health “Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit and I love it! I don’t know how something written a while ago could be so perfect for my life right this moment, and the scriptures jump off the page and make me grin and cry all at the same time. He loves me.

I decided that in addition to my daily bible reading, and FP4H study, I listen to podcasts that have Pastors who preach a lot of the Word. I don’t need someone’s opinion, I want to learn the Word. I get the email notification for Beth Moore’s blog. She is starting a summer bible study on Priscilla Shirer’s “Gideon” study. Your weakness. God’s strength. It will be a great addition to what I’m already doing, but the priority will always be bible reading and then First Place 4 health. But I’m excited!

I know that a lot of people, including me, might think that this is a lot, but the more I read, the more I want to read… The more I learn, the more I want to learn.

I’m so excited about my trips, this weekend I spent a lot of time working on them, so it’s been apparent to me that I need to stay close to Him.

John 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day to my dad!! I'm thankful!

Tomorrow is Father’s Day… and I’ll tell you a secret, my dad was no Ward Cleaver but thank heaven he wasn’t Dan Conner either…

He was kind of a white Fred Sanford.

I’m super thankful for my dad. He did a lot for me and taught me a lot…

My dad taught me never to give up. One way he taught me this was by teaching me to ride a bike. I fell, I got back up, my dad would hold the back of my seat until it was time to let go. Dad’s instinctively know when to let go. And when I’d fall, he’d be there, give me a hug… and tell me to try again. (this example will be relevant tomorrow when I start running again).

My dad taught me the all important lesson of always putting the rice in the pan and then adding the water with the measuring cup. If I do it the other way, the rice sticks in the measuring cup.

Thanks to my dad for taking me to see Santa. One year he took me and I had a hole in the knee of my jeans (I was clumsy, most of my jeans had holes in the knees). It didn’t matter. He just knew it would make me happy and so he took me (I still remember my gram making a big deal about that stupid hole).

My dad taught me how to cook. He taught me how to organize a meal so that the guests or people who I am cooking for don’t eat cold potatoes and warm gazpacho. He taught me not to be afraid in the world, by not being afraid in the kitchen. I make the best chicken noodle soup because I am fearless in the kitchen, but let me tell you… I’ve thrown away some of the most disgusting chicken noodle soup in order to learn to make the best!!

My dad is a really good grampa.  He was always super loving and fun to my girl, and now that he has 4 other grandkids, he is the same way with them! 

I loved having a boat in our lives. I’m so thankful! I know that it was a sacrifice but I had some really great summers and even now, when I start getting overwhelmed, my heart longs to be by the water.

My dad also took me all over the city of Detroit, and I really love the city. I can find my way around all the city, and that also has to do with the fact that my dad taught me direction. I can typically figure out where I am by figuring out North, South, East, and West. I am so thankful for my sense of direction, it’s actually got me out of a few tough spots.

My dad also taught me to never give up on love. He was a single dad for a long time and I am sure he wanted to find someone to spend the rest of his life with, but he also had me so I am sure it wasn’t easy… My dad met an amazing woman that he would marry ;) and they are so cute together and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better stepmom or grandma for my girl.

I’m so thankful for my dad for so many reasons! He is and was a great dad and I’m thankful!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Unexpected blessings

Often we are (ok me) given the most unexpected blessings.

A couple days ago my friend asked me if I could pick something up in warren. Sure no problem. Like seriously, it's a few minutes out of my way and it was Tuesday, my night off, so really why not? It turns out for what little effort it was for me, it was a big deal for someone else. I honestly was so thrilled because I was able to drive down 8 mile and take a trek through the D. I don't know why that always seem to make me smile, but sometimes I just think "God is here, I can't  wait until everyone recognizes it." His majesty will not be ignored, people will see it in the blue skies and the eyes of the children. 
Then today I was driving down the street and these completely cute old people were trying (not very successfully mind you) to cut their grass and I just couldn't let that go on, so I asked my friends I was meeting if they minded if I took care of those cutie-patooties grass. Thankfully my friends love Jesus like i do. The people seemed shocked that 1) some crazy girl shows up to cut their grass and 2) I didn't want money. That lady tried to pay me... Good thing she was slow, input ran her. The funniest part is that I don't even cut my own grass!!!!

Sometimes we get amazing opportunities to really live the gospel. Not everyone needs a cup a water or some bread. Sometimes it's a hitch of some sort and their grass cut. I'm thankful for the opportunities to do those things. To be connected to God so that He guides me to do what He wants done.  
My friends are talking about what it looks like to really live the gospel. I don't always do the best job of it. I get busy and my eyes aren't open to see the beautiful world around me.  I don't think I'll ever define it, but i know it starts with love, True Love.
I'm a little afraid to pray this prayer... But I do a lot of things afraid...

dear God, please help me to stay connected to you, Lord, make it painful if I am not in step with You. Lord, please help me to really love You and to love bigger than I have ever loved before! Lord I loveYou and I need You everyday and I'm grateful for Your grace and Love. Please help me to love more like You! In Jesus' loving name! Amen

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30 NIV)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I know I'm weak, it's best that way

I can get wrapped up in… me. I hate that about me. I wonder if God created us to worship Him then why for the love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did He wire me to be so selfish? I mean I get that I need to put down my own needs and my own cross and pick up the cross and needs of others, thus it means a whole lot more.

I think about the community center, I think about what I think… and then I realize, I have no idea. I mean I know what it means to be a single mom, I know what it means to struggle, I even know what it is to be the child of a single parent, and while I missed my momma, I had a great childhood. My dad taught me by example what it means to be selfless. But on my own, I have no idea what the community, it’s children, it’s families need other than Jesus. I need to rely on Him to show them Jesus, only Jesus can make it right, only Jesus can turn around a city that is dark.

Sometimes in the selfishness of me I think “get my crown, we got some saving to do” thinking that I need to go change the world. That’s not my job, my job is to love, God will do the changing and the saving. And besides, running around trying to do it on my own, just makes me tired and crabby. My job is to love and to be completely connected to Him. This is the part that I go sideways on. He says go left, and I go right… so I am doing a lot of things to make sure that I keep doing the things I need to do.

Read the bible. Do my daily bible study. Listen to music that will feed my soul. I just signed up for a study with lifeway on Gideon. Your weakness, God’s strength by Priscilla Shirer. I know that it all seems crazy, but listen, I remember how my heart used to be. I know how much hurt I carried around for hurting others, but I don’t live that way, and I have got live free if I am going to love like God called has called me to do. To love like Him, to stay connected with Him, and to hear what He has for me to do. For all that He has for me. For the worship of Him. I want good stuff to reap! I want good fruit so that I can pass it on to others!

There’s big stuff happening and in the future but I can’t do it on my own, and it’s not about me. I gotta be strong (in Him).

2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Doing my best

I have days sometimes where I can't seem to do anything right!

I even just tried to download an album to my phone on noise trade but I'm a bonehead and after waiting a little while I realized I needed to be on my desktop or laptop! Duh!

I get overwhelmed with 3 mission trips hoping I don't mess anything too bad! But that's exactly why I plan so far ahead!

I beat myself up all weekend about dumb things I did! I have those days when I wonder what He ever saw in me.

And then I remember something...


And there are many days I make the right choices. Like today when i remembered that I had a frozen meal at work so when I missed lunch, I had a good choice (right) instead of a bad one (left). Victory! 

We can just do our best (& sometimes my best isn't that great...) and let God handle the rest.


Sunday, June 09, 2013


Sometimes I've just had enough. 

Today is one of those days.

I'm tired. 

I just am.

I could have picked up the towel and threw it in.  

Remember how I said I never get mad anymore? Well that's no longer true. 

I cried. My fruit rotted. 

I'm done.

Im disappointed in myself. Everyone else, well, honestly I don't think that highly of most people, so it is what it is. But me, I hold myself to a higher standard.

I worked really hard this week at staying connected to Jesus. And I did but I completely blew it. I want to go away. Poor Tom, I'll probably go see him. 

I think I've had enough of this weekend. I'm glad I can't go back in time! I wouldn't want to relive this weekend!