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)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Meal Planning 9/29 - 10/13

Well, this is my third time of planning, two weeks at a time. I think 2 weeks is the perfect time period to do a meal plan. Typically I do my shopping 2 weeks at a time other than going to the farmers market which I do every week. This weekend has been INSANE! I’ve been cooking all weekend! And not much of it has been for home. And that means that today, I will be cooking broccoli and freezing it, and making filling for apple crisp and maybe some more applesauce. CLEARLY I have a lot of apples!

My pantry/Freezer is coming along. I am running to Trader Joe’s today at lunch to get avocados and a few others things!

Sunday – Alive Staff meeting – Lasagna, Meatballs, pasta salad, lettuce salad, dessert

Monday, September 30, 2013 – Left over Lasagna

Tuesday, October 1 – Stuffed Peppers in Crock Pot (premaking mashed potatoes Monday night) – making a double batch for freezing for lunches 

Wednesday, Oct 2 – Empty Buckets Family Dinner Tacos

Thursday, Oct 3 – Dinner with Beverly

Friday, Oct 4 – Leftovers from Tuesday

Saturday, Oct 5 – Pinto Beans, Rice, Tomato/Avocado Salad

Sunday, Oct 6 – BIG PARTY at Alive, White Chicken Chili, Banana Cake for dessert

Monday, October 7 – Greek Salad

Tuesday, October 8 – Falafel and Cucumber Sauce

Wednesday, Oct 9 – Empty Buckets Family Dinner

Thursday, Oct 10 – 12 – RETREAT!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Don't tread

So I'm reading john 5:1-9 and I thinking about the guy trying to get healing an everytime he gets close, because he's by himself and handicapped, someone cuts in front of him. 

Can you imagine? Everytime you get close, someone cuts in front of you? Ugh. I'm sure there would be some choice words coming out of my mouth.

AND people are coming out of the water and not helping him! What in the world?! 

But what if we had people in our life that we didn't love and tell about Jesus? I mean really, we've been healed and yet we walk right on by those we love and don't help them to get healing. Honestly, I'm probably guilty of this sometimes. I don't know what to say, people have weird thoughts about what it means to be a Christian. Well, I'm here to tell you, a lot of Christians are weird. And speaking for myself, hypocritical. I talk about loving people but sometimes I just want to sock someone in the mouth when I'm hurt. And I'm not always the best at loving people the way they need to be loved. I hate those things about me. I'm a jerk. 

I mean I have people I love who post things about Christians and I'm not sure if I missed the boat and upset them or they are talking about someone else. Either way, I'm sorry that I or someone else was a poor example of what it means to love Jesus because they know about Him through us. 

After reading this passage, I'm thinking and going to work on not leaving people behind. Loving them right where they are at, and loving them enough not to leave them there.

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, (John 5:1-3, 5-9 NIV)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Getting back on the path

This morning I was replying to an email and let me tell you, it was good that the other person couldn’t hear what I actually said. And I was like “whoa, shoes too tight!”. I instantly stopped myself and thought “gotta get my heart in check”. I used to go for a long time before I’d figure out that I was out of sync with God and that my heart wasn’t right. Then the window of out of step has slowly decreased.

Ironically, in my reading plan, I am to read Jeremiah 28-30.

Yes, everyone loves Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It’s a great verse. I am thankful that God has a plan for me, and that He loves me and wants great things for me. I love the message version

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

But the part of Jer 29 that I love is this…

NIV12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

MSG 12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.

“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD’s Decree.

“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—GOD’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.

That when I look for God, when I seek after Him, when I long to be close to Him, He is there. I love love love that. It’s like shoe shopping, always finding that perfect pair! And who doesn’t like shoe shopping?? Well, I love it! But really as much as I love shoe shopping, nothing compares to God. Nothing compares to having a relationship with Him. To the sweet words He has written on the page, for the Holy Spirit, for the peace that He brings to me. For the joy and the love that I have discovered because of Him.

I am thankful that it doesn’t take me long to get back into step with Him. That my heart is aligned quickly, and that my shoes then fit perfectly to walk in His path.

If you want to read about why I reference my shoes being too tight… read below

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I Have always had a crazy busy schedule but recently I've been only concentrating on what God has for me. I've cleared my schedule, I don't schedule things on Tuesdays because I need a day off.

My life seems to be so much fuller with less things. Who knew?!

Today I was driving home from visiting my friend and I was just thanking God for an emptier schedule. This week I had a pretty empty week as far as things on the calendar. It was probably destined that was because some really great things were added in. 

Instead of doing a lot of things, and actually I have lots of things I'm still doing I'm just more focused. 

I've moved from total task to perfect til relationally and tasked balanced.

The past year I've made some incredible friendships, I've strengthened some that I had before, and I've learned what it means to take care of me.

I'm thankful for the down time, the scheduled appointments, and the unexpected additions that pop in.

I'm thankful for a Daddy in heaven who knows what's best for me.

He gave me the desires of my heart before I even knew what they were, all I had to do was follow Him.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:4-6 NIV)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ramblin on...

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought 5 heads of cabbage at the local farmers market especially when I had one ginormous when already at home. I blame Phyllis, she's the one who put stuffed cabbage on the board for a suggestion for the meal planning (lol). They were 5 for $2, I was thinking wow! That's a good deal! 

I made a ginormous (two huge pans) batch of stuffed cabbage, I found my grams Dutch oven (do people now days know it's called a Dutch oven?) and piled the yummy cabbage rolls in it and another dish and covered it with a mixture of tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and water. They are now cooking in the oven. 

I had a little bit of meat mixture, but honestly no room in the pans, so I made some meatballs out of the rice/meat mixture, browned them up with some onions and mushrooms and one clove of garlic, and now they are simmering in a pan of beef stock.


I will freeze the stuffed cabbages in both large and small batches because two people cannot eat that much stuffed cabbage lol and we will also have the meatballs this week for dinner with some yummy mashed potatoes. 

There are certain times of the year that certain meals just seem to "fit" with. Fall is a time for punkin anything or stuffed cabbage. It's because, I believe we were meant to have certain produce at certain times of the year. That's why blueberries and strawberries taste best in early summer. God have us an amazing time table to be able to provide for our families and not have to can/freeze everything at one time.  (I love making strawberry jam). 

I think I could have easily just thrown that meatball mixture in the garbage and who would have known? No one. But instead I whipped up some delicious meatballs that will provide for is one meal this week (making a quick easy meal in our busy schedules).

So now that my stuffed cabbage is cooking away, my meatballs are almost finished, I am going to go for a bike ride, then come home and prepare for the week, washing veggies, cleaning house, praying for many, and praising the God of the universe who made me so different than anyone I know but perfectly imperfect :) for His Glory!

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)

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Sometimes it seems like I've got to go all out. Crazy eliminations of whatever. Exercise 2 times a day. Get to that perfect size, that perfect... Oh I don't know. 

I was a size 6 and I let someone convince me I was fat. I was constantly trying to get to... Oh I don't know. And after many crazy things that have happened, I have chased that size 6 dress for what seems to be forever only to grow weary.

I posted a picture in my favorite dress for throw back Thursday and I got a lot of likes people told me I WAS beautiful.  I'd like to say something, I'd like to venture out on a limb here, I'd like to say something without you, my readers, my friends, thinking I'm conceited.

I might weigh more now than I did then, but I'd like to tell you, maybe to the world I'm not, but I think I'm more beautiful today than I was then. 

You see, now I don't chase things that I might never catch. I don't have to pretend I have it all together. I don't have to pretend to be tough (but don't test the fact that if I have to I'll kick your butt).

I love more than I ever have. I know that true beauty comes from God. It comes from the things of Him.  


Love joy peace patience goodness kindness gentleness faithfulness and self control 

It doesn't take me too long to find joy. To find peace. Expressing love to others comes much easier today, certainly I am nicer.

I had to work on some things on the last 9 months and one of the things was to truly believe that God chose me. Because for the most part, people relate to God by the way others. I had to really really get into the Word, I had to pray, sometimes I had to plead with God to feel His love for me.i had to do a lot of affirmations, I had to fight the spirit inside me that said "you're worthless, you don't have value, you're ugly, no one will choose you... For a list  of reasons".

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)

I love Jesus and I know that He created me awesome. He is the most beautiful thing, and I was created in His image. His beauty is inside me. 

I finally believe.

I am beautiful 

It doesn't come necessarily from the way I look but... I am cute.

Beauty comes from my heart, and this is clear because I look at my pictures from Haiti (or El Salvador last year) and I see beauty.

I'm thankful. I'm beautiful and I finally believe it.

I hope you believe it about you too.

(The video for beautiful by Christina aguilera)

(The video for redeemed by Big Daddy Weave)

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)

A perfect day!!

What a perfect day! 

My heart feels so full!!

I got up this morning and tinkered around the house, folded laundry, ran the dishwasher, took a bike ride, listened to a Spanish lesson, cooked lunch, went to blocks...

My friends were moving today so I took lunch over and my plan (mostly because I was a spaz) was to drop off lunch and go home and make my daughter dinner because she had to work a really long shift. 

We sat and talked about and ate lunch because really they made me stay for lunch and then I took some of that food over to Phyllis for her lunch too!

I drove home listening to my favorite podcast "worship to go" from elevation church by Israel houghton just thinking how I might just be the most blessed person on the planet (favorite).

I was thinking about how when I joined the bible study with the empty buckets peeps how really I was "like ok I'll try this" but I had this long list of things I could or couldn't do... I was stressed out. I actually remember one of my first nights they listed off the tribes if Jacob and I remember thinking "what did I get myself into". I was sooo intimidated. I didn't even know how long I'd stick to it.

Let me tell you, these people are my some of my favorite people on the planet. Most of the time I don't know what I bring to the table besides dinner (lol) but I don't care. I love them, they love me, as together, we are family.



Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It’s a funny thing when I am unsettled, most of the time I think that if I am unsettled, I am not in step with God. Which is how I felt on Monday. So I do whatever I need to do to get back in step with Him. It’s pretty easy, actually! Reading, studying, praying. All in. That’s how I started my day on Tuesday.

Yesterday we had a big meeting at work, and it made me laugh because I was an outlier on the high side for accepting of change, resourcefulness, and optimism. WHAT!?! Me? Are you sure? Actually reminded me of the show “Sanford and Son” when Fred would say “hold on Elizabeth, I think it’s the big one”. (only if you watched Sanford and Son would you understand that reference). WOW! That just makes me laugh, and that if God can do that for me, He can do some crazy things!

I started a new study yesterday in the morning, and a new study at night. LOL. Our church is doing two different studies, and honestly, I just love the Word so much I couldn’t choose, even though I am not in either group, I am doing it on my own. I would love to do the study with someone but I know that it will cause me crazy stress if I commit to something on a day of the week other than what I’ve already got committed.

Yesterday I served at My Brother’s Keeper with some great friends, what a great time to serve Jesus. I love being in the kitchen, and I got to do what I do best, cook a meal! I left there thinking that I am so blessed with the best gifts. I always wished I could sing, I wished so much to lead worship from a stage, I mean really… I love that people from the stage lead people to Jesus because sometimes our hearts just don’t have the words, but music takes us there. But I’ve learned, that my gift, the gift of cooking, is the greatest gift! I just really love it, and everyone has to eat, and when I make a delicious meal and people have satisfied bellies, and it’s apparent in my smile that I love them, I feel like I’m the luckiest person on earth (like I’m God’s favorite). (I mean, I made some yummy carrots yesterday… and that was just so fun to doctor them up – probably not fun to anyone else, but it was fun for me!)

I drove home yesterday just in complete joy, thinking about how God has brought me to this place. How walking in obedience is really the best path. No regrets.

True freedom.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finding peace... Again

Today I start my new bible study, te last one was soooo good!! I'm super stoked about how God is going to move in my heart and how I will then pour His love, grace, and wisdom onto others. I mean what is the point of receiving that if I can't pour it onto others?

Today it has already blown me away!!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

I was just thinking about how many times I fail but thankfully every time I fall and if I feel like I don't have the strength to get back up, He is my strength.

Often people hold things against us, if we have asked for their forgiveness, and we really repent before God, that is all we can do, we can choose to live free. They can, if they choose, to hold things against us, but that is our choice not ours.

I don't, at least i try not to, worry about what others think of me. In order to have peace in my life I can only live my life according to what God has called me to do.  I am not saying that I am perfect at it, but I usually can tell when I'm not in line with God because it is painful like my shoes are too tight.  And so I evaluate my direction. I always, want to be in line with Jesus.

After reading psalm 73:23-24 I almost leaped with joy and cried at the same time!!

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. (Psalm 73:23, 24 NIV)

Yesterday, I was so out of whack and didn't have peace, how thankful I was to, once again, read His beautiful mercies that really do seem to come every morning.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; (Lamentations 3:19-25 NIV)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Menu Planning 9-15 to Sept 29

Sunday, Sept 15 – Lunch – Amanda’s shower

Monday, Sept 16 – Orphanage Team 2 Meeting, Spicy Chicken Enchiladas, Broccoli/Chicken enchiladas, rice, beans, chips & Salsa

(Pressure cooked my dried pinto beans to make refried beans)

Tuesday, Sept 17 – Stuffed peppers

Serve @ MKB Provide Meatball,

Wednesday, Sept 18 – EB Family Dinner

Thursday, Sept 19 – Tacos, refried beans, rice

Friday, Sept 20 – Out with Nikki

Saturday, Sept 21 – Lunch – COV

Dinner – Stuffed Cabbage

Sunday, Sept 22 – Leftovers

Monday, Sept 23 - Spaghetti

Tuesday, Sept 24 – Spinach/Cheddar Quiche without the crust :) (Family Feast cookbook)

Wednesday, Sept 25 – 1721 (leftover spaghetti)

Thursday, Sept 26 – BH

Friday, Sept 27 – Orange Chicken & rice

Saturday, Sept 28 – Lunch at COV (tacos)

Dinner – leftovers from Friday

Sunday, Sept 29 – Lunch Youth Meeting

Friday, September 13, 2013

My perfect plate

If you could have the perfect plate what would it look like? I mean for me, it’s chicken&dumplings, mashed potatoes, and broccoli and green beans. But that’s me. I can totally make that perfect plate.

Finding a perfect plate in my real life is often difficult. Too much of this, mostly not enough room for something else, and necessary things are completely missing from my plate…

It’s been a busy week. Well, its been a couple busy weeks. We had a great big kick off for our Youth Ministry on Sunday and that means a lot of preparation for me. I have been taking my time to spend time at home just being, getting my house ready for winter (canning, cleaning, moving my office). I have been blessed with a friend who came and pulled weeds for two days in my front alone! What would I have done without her? I’m trying to decide what I am going to do long term with my front yard… but I’m just not going to get ahead of myself. Let’s just get through this weekend, for crying out loud!

Sometimes I have to call someone and say “hey, I’m really sorry but I’ve had a crazy week and I need to spend time at home”. It also means I have to say no to things that I really want to do, some really good things.

Our church is having an amazing bible study on the book of Jonah but honestly, I don’t have a day of the week that I can spare to go to the study. It’s not that it’s not a good thing, it’s just not a good thing for me, right now. I am going to do the study, and attend the large group activities, I just know that I have to be good to myself and not make extra stuff for me to do and something that will (because it will) stress me out about expecting too much of myself.

I have a lot on my plate that God has called me to do. Chosen by Love, the orphanage, and I have taken on an admin position in Youth Ministry. It does seem like I’ve got a lot on my plate. I will tell you, I actually say no to more things in my life than I have ever said no to in my life! I’m also asking for help! I am helping people discover their gifts and use them too!! It’s an exciting time for me! And my time with God has been so amazing! I am in step with Him, over and over He says “don’t worry about what others say to you, just worry about what I say to you”. Sometimes people think I should do more, some say I should do more… but honestly, doing what He says is absolutely amazing! I’m thankful for people who love me and want me to serve with them, and I am thankful for people who are concerned for me, but I pray about so many things… my plate seems perfectly balanced for the first time in my life!

I feel like my fruit is growing, and I’m able to share it with others. It’s a perfectly designed plate. Designed by the Creator of the Universe who loves me more than I can even imagine!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Homemade Granola

Making this for a baby shower on Sunday :)

(I'm only making half a batch)

Makes: 16 cups of cereal

In a very large bowl combine:

12 c. oats
1 T. cinnamon
4 c. “goodies”– nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, coconut, and dried fruit all work well.
Mix well.

In glass measuring cup pour:

1 c. oil
1 c. honey
Be sure to pour the oil in first.  This will allow the honey to easily release from the cup. Heat oil and honey in microwave on high for a 2-4 minutes, until hot.  Pour honey and oil over dry ingredients. Mix well.Spread onto 2 or 3 large greased cookie sheets and bake at 325 degrees till light to medium brown, 15-25 minutes. Cool and store in sealed plastic containers or ziplocks.  It rarely lasts more than 3 days at our house.  If your family doesn’t eat it that fast, you can store half in the freezer until you need it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keeping my eye on the prize

After being on two mission trips to Haiti and one to Detroit, I am often checking on a lot of the wonderful people I served with. On our second trip, I said more times than I could ever count “how you feeling?”. This was said because I didn’t want to say “you ok?” and just get a “yes”. Being on a mission trip is difficult, and it’s easy to go from “I’m good to a mess”.

I feel like I said a million times in the last few days of every trip “cling to Jesus”, “read your bible”, “stay close to Jesus”. At some point I was expecting people to say “WE KNOW” but maybe that’s because I work with teenagers and they say what they feel (good and bad).

Today I was thinking about Jacob, and how he married Leah when he wanted to marry Rachel. Oh Jacob, you worked for Laban for SEVEN years in order to marry the beautiful Rachel, and for just a minute, you took your eyes off the prize… and married the wrong girl… and then you had to work seven more years in order to have your prize. (Gen 29)

How many times have I done that. I take my eyes off the prize for just a minute (or what seems to be only a minute) and then I miss the prize, and have to start all over. Oh boy. Today, I walked out my front door and looked at an area of blackeyed susans, I looked at my horrible grass… and thought “you took your eyes off the prize”. Now, my house is not what most people in our area would call “a prize”. It’s a humble place, perfect for my perfectly imperfect family. I asked for just a few things when buying my house.

A bungalow – just like my gram

Hardwood floors

A big backyard

Well, I got what I wanted, except that I don’t have a big back yard. Well, God knew… He knew that someday He would call me to serve at a church and love teenagers, and I just wouldn’t have time to take care of a big backyard.

When I bought my house… my yard was a pit. And I worked really really hard to get it looking nice… and then… I took my eye off of it… and it began to be crazy over run with weeds, and these disgusting weird trees started growing… and it is awful. I have done some work (well, really had it done) to make some cool gardening places.

Well, the other day I drove up and thought “ugh, I have the worst yard on the block” so I started talking to my friends about my plans to do some different things to the yard. One of them to take out all the crazy plants and just keep the black eyed susans and get rid of everything else. I think I blogged about my horrible yard.

And then I was reminded… the body of Christ. How we all work together to love and serve others, and EACH other. We show love by loving. My friend Lindsay sent me a text yesterday… she was at my house… pulling weeds. And I came home to a beautiful empty slate to plant more black eyed susans, but mostly I came home to the feeling that I am loved. That where I am weak, He is strong in someone else.

Here I was thinking about how I had worked so hard, and then took my eyes off the prize. And how hard I was going to have to work to get what I wanted under control… and because of Jesus, I didn’t have to. Jesus and His grace (through Lindsay) covered me so I didn’t have to work for seven years to get my prize.

Completely overwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed by the grace of God.

2 Cor 4:15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

1 Cor 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pumpkin dump cake!

1    15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
1    10 oz can Evaporated Milk
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans (walnuts are good too)
1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)

How to Make
Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray
In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
Pour into your prepared pan.
Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by your nuts or graham crackers and toffee chips.
Pour your melted butter evenly on top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

An amazing servant

I serve with a lot of awesome leaders. Each with their own set of gifts, who have hearts taken over by Jesus. 

There is one.

My sweet boy. Jon Whaley 

Sometimes I think it's funny that I call this man "my sweet boy" but I gave him that nickname a few years ago and when he's 40 I might still call him that. 

There is something about his heart. It's thankful and sold out for Jesus.

When I bring him a box of fruit snacks and he is so thankful that you might think I gave him a 52" tv.

When I blow out the electricity with my roasters he might seem all mad as he's looking for what is blowing the circuits and then he found out it was my fault, and the grace that Jon has been given is then given by him.

For years I have seen many girls fawn over Jon and people would say "don't you think it's wrong that girls come to alive because they think Jon is cute"

My answer is always the same "nope, I don't care why they come, because they might come for one reason, but they will hear about Jesus, and Jesus will meet them right where they are at".

Jon loves Jesus and it shows in his perfectly imperfect life. His creative genius is amazing to watch (& help implement - out gifts often compliment each other - he thinks it up, I buy the stuff for cheap!)

Jon's smile is infectious, his presence shines the light of Jesus wherever he goes.

Jon is encouraging to people who have greater God dreams! He's got a "you can do it" kind of personality. And he will pray for you if you have a huge God dream and will help you anyway he can.

Jon influences young men in a loving way to love and follow Jesus, not to mention how people's hearts are turned towards Jesus because when he leads worship, he gives people their hearts need to turn their hearts and lives to Jesus.

Jon's life reflects Jesus and the work that God has done in his life. 

There's a million more amazing things I could tell you in the ways God made Jon amazing!

Jon, my sweet boy, I loveyou! You, my friend, are God's masterpiece and I'm super thankful to serve Jesus with you!!

Saturday, September 07, 2013


Today I was outside and I just thought "I need to move into an apartment". I wish i could short sale my house... But alas I can't... 

My front yard is a disaster and I'm ready to pull everything out that isn't a Black-eyed Susan and plant more of those and get rid of everything else! My porch needs new railings and a new awning...  Now even if i wanted to replace the railings I couldn't because 1) I don't know how 2) I don't have time.

My backyard is over grown with a bunch if craziness from the over grown weeds of the summer. I'm just going to handle a little at a time. A couple yard waste bags a week :(

It all makes me crazy! 

I have to touch up some paint chips and get the office finishe being emptied. Office this week! That's my goal. Then next week ill work on straightening. 

There just Aren't enough hours in the day! And I'm not lazy! 

I just want to can! I'm just complete overwhelmed!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It's time

If you known for for longer than a year, you would know that I've been known to fight. Oh I'd fight about anything I believed in. I've even been known to fight about energy drinks... Oh brother. 

God has done a tremendous work in me lately and it's the weirdest thing, I don't fight. Like really, i just don't care to. When I have to go to battle, I want one thing. Love.

I'm reminded of the verse:
Do not overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

We live in a world of hurt, brokenness, sin. It's horrific. I hate it. But there are souls that need Jesus. I need Him everyday.

I came back from Haiti angry in the fact that I couldn't stay there. There were moments in my fits to God when He'd just say "are you done yet, I've got plans". Another oh brother. I had to seek Him. Seek His will. I had to surrender myself and get in line with the Holy Spirit 
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:16-18 NIV)

I mean, there is much work to be done here.  There are souls that need Jesus everywhere. He said "go into the world and make disciples". That means everywhere in our backyard. There is much work to be done.

I'm crazy excited about what God has planned for the coming year. The past year has been incredible. Incredibly hard, painful, awesome, joyful, and full of love. 

Not sure what is ahead... But I know this...
Every war to be won will be won in love 


We were made for such a time as this!!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Getting ready for the next season!

So it's Labor Day!

I needed this weekend more than I can tell you! This weekend used to mean last minute shopping for school stuff but let's not kid ourselves, I don't wait until the last minute so we just went shopping. 

It was a time to get ready for school and getting back into the routine. 

Now, my daughter is in college and she went away for the weekend... Man, how did she get so old and I stayed so young... Lol

Well this weekend I got the house prepared for winter! I bought a bushel of green beans, that yielded me 16 pints of canned green beans plus 1.5 gallons of frozen green beans. I also froze broccoli too. 

I canned 7 qt jars of peaches which btw is a ton of work and I don't think I'll be doing that again unless 1 of 2 things happen... Either they taste like gold in January or I have amnesia and forget how much that sucked.

I only got about 1/3 of the tomatoes done... I guess that will give me something to do tomorrow :) be jealous!

I had a little get together of the second team that i went To Haiti with... Our whole team couldn't be here but a few of us just chilled out and had a yummy lunch!!

I think I have plantar fasciitis. I had to wear shoes all day and my feet still hurt. When I walk I want to get crutches (I'm really not being over dramatic, it hurts that bad) so I didn't get the rest of the tomatoes done.

This long weekend gave me a chance to get caught up with my house cleaning and start getting my office cleaned out to be a bedroom again (I did not get it done but I did get a big dent. My goal is to get it emptied and then I'll worry about getting the basement organized after everything is downstairs. 

I tend to focus on my failure to complete everything instead of thinking about what i did get done! 

As part of my relaxing on Labor Day (the 1.5 hours that I did nothing) I watched "the help" and while the whole premise of "owning" someone sickens me to death, I thought about how terrible it is that we worry about what others think (the women in the movie are horrible to each other) and how we judge each other, we really need to celebrate each other! Stop being jealous and just love each other!!

So that's it... Labor Day in a nutshell!!

Getting ready for the next season...

Sending love!

Blt pasta salad

12 ounces corkscrew-shaped pasta
12 ounces lean bacon
3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion greens
5 cups chopped romaine hearts lettuce 

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble the bacon into bite-size pieces; set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon with the noodles.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, thyme, and garlic, and 3 tablespoons chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes & lettuce; toss again to coat. Garnish with the reserved bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Serve at room temperature.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Blt pasta salad

12 ounces corkscrew-shaped pasta
12 ounces lean bacon
3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion greens
5 cups chopped romaine hearts lettuce 

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble the bacon into bite-size pieces; set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon with the noodles.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, thyme, and garlic, and 3 tablespoons chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes & lettuce; toss again to coat. Garnish with the reserved bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Serve at room temperature.

He reminds me

Yesterday I was privileged to FaceTime some of my favorite muffins on the planet!!

My heart has been breaking for two weeks. I missed the kids so much, I miss Madame, the pastors, the translators...

It's been so hard to even think about Detroit and I've driven around Detroit trying to figure out why God brought me back to Michigan. I've prayed for "my kids" at Alive and the leaders at Alive. Because ill tell you the truth I've been a little bit upset that I'm here, but I know... I KNOW that God has things for me to do here. He's told me. 

There is much to do.

Haiti seems so far away, which makes me long for it even more. It makes it harder to love it here. There are always things I know to do. Read my bible, pray, write, spend time with people I love. It wasn't always easy.

I kept thinking, man, this is hard and I don't want to be here, but I will not be wavered I give my love My Jesus. 
Last year it was so hard, and the enemy tried to take me down. he used my weakness to take my eyes off Jesus. And while I was a mess, I still was running after Jesus, but I wasn't looking straight ahead, i was distracted. I'll tell you, that booger almost got me. I almost walked away, I almost ended it all. There were moments when the sting of death seemed less painful than what I was going through. But it was at that moment I turned to Jesus and grabbed on with both hands.  And to think of what God has done in and through me in the last year is amazing!

But this year, my eyes are on one thing, the Only thing.

There is much to do... But doing isn't enough. Doing doesn't even really matter. 

Loving matters.

It's really all that matters.

After that silly FaceTime, a phone call. It brought my heart joy, it tied my love for Haiti and the things of Detroit together. It reminded me that even though Haiti may seem really far away, that He holds it all in His hand. 

He holds it all in His hands. 

I don't know what God's plan is, I am not sure how He is going to work it all out. 

I just know I'm letting go of the things that keep my focus off Him... It means I'm throwing away pictures, deleting photos, I'm holding on to the things that bring me closer to my sweet Jesus. I'm cleaning my house and getting rid of stuff that can help others. I'm getting rid of things that I store up "just in case" (I'm not talking about things I'll use for mission trips, I'm talking about stuff like the extra blankets and sheets I have).

You see those things I hold on to is because I've had moments of nothing and I keep it just in case something happens. That's dumb. 

I'm in the palm of His hand and He reminds me in beautiful sunsets, in His word, in FaceTime calls, He reminds me when His grace envelops me, He reminds me in teenagers, in His presence, in His quietness that makes me seek Him, He reminds me in green beans, and in my daughter's beautiful smile. 

He reminds me

Of His Love.

I'm thankful