Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We're gonna make it Wednesday!! Cupcakes!!

There are many things I could share with you about how to make it in this crazy world.

In the world of Pinterest and bigger and better...

KISS

Keep 
It 
Simple
Sweets

I was watching "the chew" and they said cupcakes aren't "in" anymore. I think cupcakes will always be in!!

People like cupcakes and you can do lots of variations and snazz them a little if you prefer!

I saw a dozen cupcakes at the store for  almost $9! What in the world?

Never. 
Do you hear me?
Never would I buy a store bought cupcake! (It's ok if you do, but I won't)

I started making cupcakes because we were going through TONS of plates and forks for birthdays and cupcake wrappers are just way cheaper! I buy them on clearance or I just buy plain cupcake wrappers.

A simple mix is $1, a can of frosting $.99 at aldi! I really do like theirs best! A few eggs, some oil, water... Yum!! 

I have lots of cupcake pans and when I serve at soup kitchens, it's what I make :) it's yum and deelish!!

And the perfect time to bake a cupcake is 19 minutes (350*)

A sore arm of blessings!

This morning I woke up and my arm was sore. Like working out sore. 

What in the world did I do yesterday? 

And then I remembered, sweet Zion was sitting on my lap and leaning on my arm as I was holding him. It was giving my arm quite a workout. 

He was eating El Salvadorian cole slaw and pupusas and dipping his papas fritas (French fries) in my crema (sour cream). 

Levi sat by Adam and they were reading a book I gave them about airplanes and Judah was coloring a sunshine for poppy and sticking lots of stickers on it.

It's never ever quiet (or clean) when you're having dinner with them but in the midst of it all, I find myself praising God for Adam and Katie and their beautiful boys!  At one point I thought I'm the luckiest Auntie in the world! Judah was just being silly. Levi was drinking orange soda (who likes orange soda? Kell loves orange soda. I do I do I do) with his beautiful smile, and Zion being sweet and mischievous. They are all so different and all so sweet!

I was supposed to have to travel back from ohio late yesterday after a meeting but I got out early, it was such a blessing that I could go.

Sometimes I think about the wrong things (like friends I miss or things that are missing in my life) but on days like yesterday I think about how full my life really is!

I'm so blessed!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Praying for Masterpiece

Today i watched this video, I've watched it many times before. But as I watched it, I prayed. As I wrote out the prayer.

I want to not only be Your masterpiece Lord, I want to feel like Your masterpiece.
Create in me a pure heart.
Please help me to love like You
Help me to see people the way You see them
God give me the strength and courage to do the hard work to look more like You. Heal me from the hurt so that I can have the complete freedom that can only come from You.

Lord, I love You. Help me to be and see the masterpiece You have created. 

In Jesus name, I pray.

Amen 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's all in a name

Something hasn't  been right with me for a few weeks. I have kept seeking over and over Jesus. Finding crazy refuge in Him. 

I've started to feel better now that I've been taking my GTA and medistim. But still... Something. 

I've been asking God, what is that is keeping me from You.  

Today I was singing "I am redeemed" and it says " all my life I have been called unworthy" and for a long time I felt that way. But the truth is (and it was literally revealed to me today!!) that is NOT true. 

I was not called unworthy! I wasn't. 

But I believed I was... Unworthy, not good enough.

My dad loved me soooo very much. Really he put me first my whole life. My cousins on my mom's side always loved me and spent weekends with me and loved me so much. My gram loved me, my aunts and uncles loved me. Maybe they didn't know how I needed to be loved but they LOVED me.

Where did this lie come from? 

From the pit of hell.

At some point I, when I was young, I believed that if my momma loved me, she would have fought harder to stay.

Now, in my head, in this moment, that is the dumbest thing I ever heard! Or at least one of them.

The enemy made me believe me I wasn't worth fighting for.

But the truth is...

My momma loved me!!!

Se chose not to have treatment so that I would live!

My dad chose not to give me up for adoption (and he could have!). He chose to work at a job that maybe he didn't always like or made choices that maybe he didn't want to, because....

He loved me. 

Because I am chosen.

God chose me. 

I get it.

Maybe really to my core today.

I am chosen.

I have been so scared lately about the community center. Am I worthy? No.

But God is. 

I wondered about this name for the community center.  I kept thinking "This just doesn't seem that snazzy"

But the truth is it is perfect!

There are no children, moms, dads, cousins, grandmas, without hope. Everyone is able to be redeemed by God's amazing love and grace. 

Every child is worth fighting for, and worth dying for. And Jesus did.

Every child should know they are loved. 

Lies should be replaced by Truth.

No one is unworthy!

Everyone

Every.
One.

Is...

Chosen by Love

Friday, October 25, 2013

New goals!!

You know what's crazy? I don't really like pie but I want to learn how to make pie crust.

I mean I know how to make graham cracker pie crust but regular pie crust has always seemed like some kind of mystery to me. Maybe I should watch YouTube videos or something. I know The Pioneer Woman makes it. 

Today I had to buy a premade crust and it seemed crazy to me considering making them homemade would be so much cheaper.

Maybe it will be my New Years resolution :)

Meal planning oct 27 -nov 9

Sunday, Oct 27 - meatloaf, mashed potatoes 
Monday, Oct 28 - leftovers
Tuesday, Oct 29 - travel
Wednesday, Oct 30 - eb family night
Thursday, Oct 31 (Halloween) taco night
Friday, November 1 - taco soup (left over meat from Oct 31
Saturday, Nov 2 - out
Sunday, Nov 3 - butternut squash soup
Monday, nov 4 - potato soup (crock pot)
Tuesday, Nov 5 - leftovers
Wednesday, Nov 6 - eb family dinner
Thursday, Nov 7 - spinach ravioli
Friday, Nov 8 - leftovers/out
Saturday, Nov 9 - minestrone soup 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Craziness

The other day someone commented on my Facebook thanking me for being awesome 100% of the time. I was kind of uncomfortable because everyone who knows me knows that God made me awesome in some ways but 100% of the time... Not so much.

Then today someone said to me that I looked beautiful...  I felt like a fat cow and felt like I looked terrible because I'm tired. It's hard to believe sometimes that I'm beautiful.

However, the other day... Someone said to me "every time I see you you're falling more and more apart". What?!?

I don't think that any of these scenarios are 100% correct. 

I tell you the truth, sometimes I'm afraid of being successful. Like if I'm successful at something but then eventually fail someone would say "I knew she'd mess it up" (let's face it sometimes I do). I feel like if people thing I'm awesome that some day I'll lose my mind and they will say something like "I knew deep down she was a jerk". FYI I know sometimes I am a jerk. 

I've found such crazy great freedom but sometimes I'm dumb like Lots wife and I turn around to see who I was before Jesus and wonder of that a what people see. 

I don't know... I just thought I'd share with you...

Sometimes I know and believe I'm chosen by Love and sometimes I forget and need a reminder...

who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (1 Peter 1:2 NIV)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pass the salsa ;)

When it comes to serving and bringing food to serve at soup kitchen and shelters, I try my best to serve homemade as much as possible. 

I will tell you that sometimes it is necessary that I but store bought instead of homemade. There are times due to my work schedule what other ministries I am serving that I will pick something up. It's true. But if I have the opportunity, I make homemade. It's what I do and it's who I am.

Today i made 4 dozen Halloween cupcakes, and sometimes I wonder if the people I serve would rather have a nutty buddy instead of my cupcake, but I have to be honest, I didn't serve that to my family (I don't believe there is anything wrong if you did!) so I feel like I'm cheating the people I'm serving. I eat store bought salsa, I serve store bought salsa. Get it?

I serve Jesus not people so I try to think of it that way when I'm cooking. I really did almost have an implosion when I served potato puffs (fake mashed potatoes on the Detroit mission trip). So today as I "whipped up" some salsa I used onions and a jalapeƱo from my garden and canned tomatoes I bought on sale. And I thought Jesus is gonna love this!!!

When I picked Halloween funfetti cupcakes instead of just yellow cake I smiled. I do put that much thought into it. 

You don't have to, it might not be your gift, yours might be buying cookies or bringing plates or serving somewhere different all together. I can't build things or run electrical...

I'm thankful that God has gifted each one of us with different gifts and it might be only me and Jesus that know about the salsa or the cupcakes... But that's ok with me:)

I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7 NIV)

We are going to make it Wednesday!

We’re gonna make it… and it might be on potatoes!

I’m not here to pretend I know it all! I am not a whiz who lives on $2 per month but there are somethings that I do to save money over the winter, feed my family real food, and help me to stay on budget. And please note, when I cook for soup kitchens, I don’t get an added amount to my food budget, I do it by watching for things on sale, cooking food that is seasonal.

Seriously, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Well, the instant kind in a box but those aren’t even real so they don’t count.

One of the ways I save money is that I buy potatoes in the fall in 50 pound bags. I bet you’re thinking “that’s a lot of potatoes!” you’re absolutely correct! It is a lot of potatoes, and it lasts me a long time! My favorite potatoes are red skin or those Yukon yellow kind, mostly because the skin is so thin you don’t have to peel them to make mashed potatoes, or potato salad or whatever… and I do buy those… but sometimes in order to save money, ya’ (and by ya’ I mean me!) gotta peel a potato!

Our local farm market, Blocks, has Michigan potatoes for $8.99 for a 50 pound bag. Do the math people, that’s $.18 a pound! I put them in the basement but any cooler dark place is perfect for storage and I use them when I need them. Also a tip from Mary Ostyn from her cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a week.

http://www.amazon.com/Family-Feasts-75-Week-Penny-wise/dp/0848732960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382539747&sr=8-1&keywords=family+feasts+for+%2475+a+week

I will probably buy one more bag this weekend so I am sure to have potatoes all winter long, and yes, I realize that’s a lot of potatoes… but we like them, we eat them… and God made them!

I love supporting local businesses & local farmers!

I’ve added some links to recipes!

We’re gonna make it!

Yummy HINT! When making mashed potatoes… Throw a garlic clove in while boiling the potatoes and mash it up with the potatoes, butter, milk (I use sour cream), it takes it to a whole new yummy level!

Here is a cheezy potato soup recipe for the crock pot!

http://realmomkitchen.com/3839/cheesy-potato-soup-in-the-slow-cooker/

You can make this… but if using Michigan potatoes or potatoes with a “thicker” skin, I’d recommend peeling the potatoes

http://christdrivenmom.blogspot.com/2012/02/baked-potato-salad.html

OR this yummy delight!!

http://ilovetosharerecipes.blogspot.com/2010/11/keilbasa-potato-chowder.html

oven fries

http://www.owlhaven.net/2012/02/17/recipe-oven-fries/

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting back on track

I went to the chiropractor today. I have had a few issues lately. My hair has been falling out like crazy… my patience is wearing thin…

All things that happen when my thyroid is on the fritz… I went and got tested today, and I will tell you, there is something about just knowing that I am going to feel better soon. It might be a week or so… but I will be sleeping better, have more energy… my hair will actually stay on my head.

Also, my foot has been hurting for a long time. When I mentioned it to him, he adjusted it in about 15 different ways… two of the adjustments made me almost jump off the table, it hurt but it felt instantly better. I have also been taking fish oil to help, it will take time to see if it will work. I also want to start drinking broth every day but I need to make it…

I have taken a day off next week (Nov 1) to get things in order. It doesn’t take long for things to get out of sorts… and it seems it takes time and effort to get them back in order.

Here I go (again)…

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.

We're going to make it! By the grace of God AND hard work!!

Sometimes you would think that I can’t afford to eat the way I go on and on about people “taking my money” in welfare, obamacare, my taxes. I do really believe that if you don’t have a job and you get welfare you should have to come to my house and pull weeds since I am indeed feeding you (it’s ok if you think I’m a jerk for thinking that, I think I’m a jerk for thinking it too). I mean, I might have to start cutting my own lawn now because of this raise in healthcare!!! YUCK!

I can tell you that it’s hard for me. I have high standards. I work hard, I worked hard (4 jobs at once)and went to school while having a little one so that we would make it. My dad will hate this (sorry dad) but in every family, there is trash, and if you don’t know why it is in your family, it’s probably you. So if you are wondering… it was me. Maybe it still is me. I got pregnant at 19 by a guy who did drugs, and I left. There is a lot more to that story but we will leave it at that. I knew that people would talk about me… in my mind I thought they would say “look at her, she’s one of the ones who made it” or I thought they’d say “Oh that Margie, poor thing, rough start in life, rough ending” well I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone to pity me, and for most of my life I felt pitied because I didn’t have a mom. So I put on my boxing gloves and I fought the world, or so it seemed at times. I had some really amazing people in my life that cheered me on, let me cry on their shoulders, and taught me to live cheap. I live cheap in some ways so that I can afford other things. I will tell you that I know that it was NOT me who got me to where I am today. It was ALL God! All of it! I can tell you tons and tons of grace and provision stories in my life, but I also believe that God honored my hard work and determination.

I had also decided about a month ago that it was time to really hunker down. Cutting out the Starbucks, eating out, buying things I don’t need. I had already started a garden and canning and freezing and soon shooting my own deer ;). I am going to work some more on what I can grow that can be canned and frozen for next year, watch for canning jars at thrift stores. Honestly, food isn’t my biggest cost, but it is kind of controllable. I can tell you, that I will do pretty much whatever it takes (short of sinning) to make it, and bring glory to God.

Starting tomorrow, I will start sharing some of my tips on how I make things cheap, meal plan, coupon, how I save money. I will do it on Wednesdays… I will call it “we’re going to make it Wednesdays”. Sometimes it might be a simple comparison of costs of cupcakes or it might be a way I save money in other ways… I hope that it will remind me that by the Grace of God we will make it, and it will inspire others (and myself) to do the right thing, no matter how big or small. If there is something you would like to see, let me know!

He is good all the time.

1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You gotta have a dream if you want a dream come true

Today I was able to walk around "the community center" normally I just drive past it and dream but today, a little kid was riding their tricycle in the parking lot. 

We were looking at the building and I could see the graffiti on the building. I could see the community garden and picture the painted walls of the fifth floor.

I could hear the laughter of the children and see the smiles on their faces as they left the building reading "I loveyou every day, no matter what".

Knowing that this was a safe place for them to go. 

I dreamed about teaching moms to cook and budgeting.

It seems like such a huge dream. I had dreams as a child but they never came true so at some point I think I stopped dreaming because really what was the point.

This seems different. It's God sized and it seems that it's all Him so it's worth dreaming and pursuing. 

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (Psalm 20:4 NIV)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A week ending in thankfulness

Somedays I wake up extra thankful.  
Yesterday I went to pick up dinner from Armando's to spend the evening with the Gilmore Girls and a Gilmore guy! There are many ways to get to the restuaraunt, but I chose to drive past my favorite building and I smiled (and started to wonder again why God gave me this vision but it made me excited and nervous) & dreaming again...

Then I went to my friend's house and hung out and we had a great friend and her kids! We had a really fun time!

I'm thankful for nights like that. I'm thankful for the reminder of dreams, I'm thankful for fun times with friends.

It was the craziest of weeks and at one point I literally prayed "God I need you to take care of this, I'm out. I can't fight this" and believe it or not... He took care of it. 

God loves me in millions of different ways. It's my choice to see it and be thankful for it. 

I'm glad that I've chosen this crazy life and I'm thankful for a God who loves me and never gives up on me!

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just around the corner...

I'll tell you a story that I don't tell often.

When I was a kid I always wished that my family would say "we are really sorry, we lied to you your whole life, your mom is alive" and my mom would appear around the corner.

No one never really talked about my momma much. Probably they didn't want to hurt me and honestly even now if I talk about her or someone talks about her, I start to cry. 

I love my mom.
I miss my mom.

And I wish she was alive.

But I trust God. 

I wish that people told more stories about my momma so that somehow I would know her more even if I cried.

I still wish that someday, she'd walk around the corner and say "hi huney, I'm proud of the person you've grown up to be".

Someday I'll see my momma in heaven.

Until then, I'll love each day to make her proud.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's a choice

Sometimes loving does not come easy to me. And sometimes it seems like the most natural thing in the world.

When I see something my daughter would love, I pick it up because I love her

When I am snuggling with a muffin in Haiti or really anywhere else in the world… easy.

When I am in Detroit cooking potatoes and frosting cupcakes… easy peasy.

On the contrary, when people are rude, aggressive, and hostile… it’s hard.

When someone gets mad because I didn’t serve them Kool aid fast enough it’s difficult to say “I’m sorry” and say “really, you’re mad because I gave you kool aid at 5:01 instead of 5:00”.

Or when I’m serving an amazing meal and someone complains that the salsa isn’t hot enough… ugh

Or when someone is just a flat out bully and a jerk. It’s hard to love.

I want to love them but sometimes I just feel so wired to… fight.

I actually hate fighting even though it might seem to come so natural. Yuck.

I really strive to choose love, and to choose it always, even though sometimes I fail. Thankfully I subscribe to the fall down 7 get up 8 mentality. And while I don’t like to have to say “I’m sorry for being a jerk” I am not afraid to do it. Maybe I share too much about how I try to succeed, but sometimes I feel like I felt like things came so easy for others and not for me, and then I felt like even more of a failure.

We don’t TRY to be more like Jesus, we STRIVE for it. It is not something we do once and if we aren’t successful, we give up, we do it over and over until we get it righter and righter.

I can’t help the way other people behave. I can tell them that I find it unacceptable and tell them what I will accept, love.

I can choose to take the narrow path. I can choose not to be hurt and angry (though sometimes that is REALLY REALLY HARD!!!)

Maybe if the world saw our struggles and how we overcame them, they would see the power of Jesus in our lives and want more of Him, and less of the yuck that the world has to offer.

Until we figure out how not to hurt each other, we must always err on the side of grace, and choose love.

I don’t always know how to get the right answer.

But I know what it is.

Love.

Love = Jesus

Gal 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

1 John 4:4-21 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

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

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 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. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Peace beyond understanding

My day was kind if stinky... At least it started that way. 

Sometimes when I get wrapped up in all the things going on (and in myself) I send out prayer requests and I pray myself... 

Man today I was in a funk. And I'll tell you, I was aggressive.

Ugh

Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:44, 45 NIV)

So I put in worship music, listened to podcasts.

I got in my car to drive to My Brothers Keeper and I was still cranked up a bit... I don't know what happened but I got out of my car and walked the first load down to the kitchen (I would have have had to make 4 or 5 trips) and someone asked if I needed help. Now in the past I probably would have said "no that's ok I got it" but I was so happy for the help, like God sent those angels to help make my heart smile I said "I sure do!" And they helped me... 

And then I started doing what I do best... Cooking in the kitchen. I can make my way around any kitchen, and at MBK Ernie makes me feel so welcome, it's easy to find myself at "home". 

Once I got the potatoes situated, I started frosting 90something cupcakes and talking about life.... And how good God is.  I found myself singing and just loving right where God had me. 

One of the funniest things was that I got asked about how I thought the tigers  were going to do and what I thought of the Lions! Ok seriously, I have no idea. I know Lance Parrish no longer plays for the tigers and Barry sanders retired... Lol that's really all I know...  And it's cool to talk about those things but it was nice to get past small talk and hear about parts of his life :)

I also had been praying about how to serve the people at the church face to face.

And I got to serve kool aid today!!!! That was awesome!!!!

I still can't figure out if I have such peace why God won't let me move to Detroit!! But I'm thankful that I get to spend time there, loving the city, the beautiful people there.

I went to bed so thankful last night


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fashion Advice

Today I put on a new sweater. I promise you that the only reason I knew that it was new was because I took the tags off this morning. You might think that someone as stylish (AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH ok stop laughing!!) as me would spend HOURS and HOURS picking out her clothes. If you think that… you’re wrong. Dead wrong.

Would you like my fashionista guide to picking out my clothes? I mean I could write a whole book about this… Get out your pen, bookmark this page. Are you ready?

Step 1: Is it clean?

Yeap that’s it. I wear a lot of black and gray to work… because it’s versatile. Yes, that’s right. I can wear a lot of different colors with black and gray. But mostly… RED.

On the weekends I wear mostly wear brown. But really, what I wear most is clean. Mostly because I like my brown boots. LOL

And sometimes I might not even be that picky.

Today I must have had 8 people say to me “you’re not wearing gray and black”. Well technically, I did have black pants on. They were, indeed, clean.

Don’t judge me if you see me with the same clothes on two days in a row. It just means that Phyllis did laundry and I couldn’t remember what I wore. And what I picked was… clean.

Yes, great fashionista advice. I know.

Hold your applause, unless you are clapping because I managed to wear clean clothes today.

Matthew 6:28-30 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?



Meal Planning

I went on a retreat… and got off the Menu planning bandwagon for a week. I know that staying focused and planning is the way to succeed for me. It means I stay on budget, I stay on track with my eating habits. Simply stated, it just works for me. Not saying it’s for you… but it works for me and also takes discipline because quite frankly sometimes I don’t want to follow it.

Success = doing the right thing over long periods of time

That’s how it works (for me)

The weather is getting chilly and so our meals may change to crock pots and soups…

Tuesday – Serving at My Brother’s Keeper so when I get home I will just have a Meat Pasty (it’s an upper peninsula thing). They are pre-made and in my freezer

Wednesday, Sept 16 – Chili (making ahead Tuesday night), I use Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but use pinto beans and ground turkey

Thursday, Sept 17 – White Chicken Chili, super yum and will freeze in containers for future lunches

Friday, Sept 18 – Tacos

Saturday, Sept 19 – Out

I will be making a trip to Blocks or Krutzels on Saturday

Sunday, Sept 20 – Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli

Monday, Sept 21 – Salad (I will make homemade ranch and croutons this weekend)

Tuesday, Sept 22 – Spinach Ravioli with pesto, mushrooms, zucchini

Wednesday, Sept 23 – EB Family Dinner

Thursday, Sept 24 – Potato Soup

Friday, Sept 25 – Spaghetti with lots of veggies (I’m going to try making Pioneer Woman’s sauce)

Saturday, Sept 26 – Out

Monday, October 14, 2013

sometimes it's time for a hug


I love being an Auntie. It’s one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me. Being an Auntie is different for every person. For me, I don’t know if I could ever classify the things I do.

Yesterday my nephew who is very passionate was in meltdown mode. I’ve felt like him a lot. When he’s happy man, is that kid happy… and when he’s not… well…

One of my favorite things is that he asks Phyllis where her blue pants are, and then tells her that he doesn’t like them when she wears them. He’s a crack up!

He’s my favorite. And so are his other two brothers. They are all so different. And all three my favorites. I always kiss them and tell each one that they are my favorite and not to tell their brothers. HA!

In the middle of his meltdown over I’m really not sure, I just know somehow cake was involved. And let’s face it, cake is important, and this cake he wanted was DELISH!! I just snatched him up and held him, rubbed his back and snuggled with him, telling him that I loved him and I said to him “sometimes we just have to cry, it’s ok to cry or feel any way you do, but we can’t always act anyway we want and sometimes we just need someone to hug us”. He’s 4, he’s probably thinking “you’re a nutso Auntie Margie”.

Let me tell you, I feel like him sometimes. I am upset about whatever and I want to cry or hit someone, and I just need someone to hug me. Sometimes I just need someone to listen and tell me it’s going to be ok.

I’m thankful to God who sometimes snatches me up and takes me away from whatever it is that is making crazy, He tells me He loves me. Sometimes it’s His word that speaks to me or a song that He sings me. I’m thankful for God’s grace and the love that has surrounded me all my life.

I love being an Auntie, and always feeling like I’m God’s favorite!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

There is no fear that can't be overcome

I've learned a lot of stuff over the years....

One thing I've learned is that people are afraid. And speaking from experience, the way I behave when I'm afraid is insane. 

Sometimes fear stops me dead in my tracks. I'm afraid to go the wrong way, so I don't move at all. Enter Chosen By Love... I went and opened the bank account, got the EIN, started the paperwork then froze. And I've been stuck for about a month in the same spot. Ugh. Ok so here's the thing about  not moving... I don't go anywhere. Now, if I went in the wrong direction, I'd learn from that mistake, and find my way to the right place.  Not moving left me in the same place. Dumb. If He tells me to go... He means it and if I'm connected to Him, He will guide my steps.

Sometimes when I'm afraid I move to quickly or if I think God might have forgotten I try to make my own way and I don't mean in a trailblazing sort of way I mean in a "you pick something knowing something better might come along but a bird in hand is worth 10 in the bush" sort of way but maybe, just maybe, God's got a beautiful bird just waiting for me and if I picked up something and am holding on to it God can't give me something better. Enter most of the horrible choices in men I've made. I've learned waiting for God's best is worth waiting for.❤️❤️

Then... This is my past favorite. This one doesn't really happen anymore since I've learned my identity in Christ. 

Anger. When i used to get scared I'd get mean, I'd try to get big... I'd try to make myself bigger so others would appear smaller. That didn't work much either. Well it made people afraid to be near me because they didn't ever know what they would get. I think this is my least favorite fear factor because it's the ugliest. Now when I feel that come on I check myself before I wreck myself (& my reputation) and I ask myself "what are you afraid of?" And usually "what co-dependent behavior are you manifesting?" Doesn't take much to figure that out. I often ask myself when I'm afraid and that behavior is coming out, do I have a reason for this? Is it righteous anger? Would God be angry? If the answer is no to those things I know that I'm not in line with God.

I think for me, there is a reason that God put in the bible so many times "do not fear" because I'm just not too bright and I don't get it very quickly. But in my heart I know, God has it all. He hasn't forgotten once to rise the sun, He's not going to leave me either. 

And to me, that's more beautiful than any sunrise 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)


Friday, October 11, 2013

Right here, where I am supposed to be

My sisters (my blogging sisters) are on the sisterhood weekend in upstate New York right now and I'm in northport Michigan with my empty buckets family which seems weird that I'm not with my sisters because I love them.

Months (and months) ago God told me no to the Sisterhood weekend. I sent my money anyway. But He wouldn't let me have my way (stomp stomp Like a two year old). I've learned in those times to just relinquish whatever kind of control I have and go His way.

Then while I was in Haiti my Empty buckets family planned this retreat and there was complete peace about it. Before I could even ask He said "go". So I said "I'm in". 

This weekend is a weekend of relaxing and spending time with friends (family really) and time with God. I've seen Him all over the place. Traveling mercies to get here, perfectly painted trees, this morning a beautiful sunrise and I can hear the the song He sings me as the water hits the shore.

I keep singing the song "I need You". The bridge has the words my heart needs to sing

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

http://youtu.be/LuvfMDhTyMA

This weekend I am working on my non profit. Praying about where He wants me to go with it because it's all His. The Hope that will be spread throughout the city.... It's all Him. I just don't know why He would pick me. But I'm stepping out in His strength with courage knowing He is with me, always.

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



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Not stressing!!

Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed with all that has to be done....
Maybe you're not like me, maybe a to do list ten miles long is easy for you...
We are going up north this weekend for a retreat, and I had a long list of things I wanted to get accomplished last night.

My plan was to get off work, run to a store or two and then come home get my baking done and I even planned on staying up later than usual.

Well, I worked until 7 drove home, had to stop at Target to buy some chips for an outreach a couple of college kids in our youth ministry are doing (I don't care what you say, food makes all things better!). By the time I got home it was about 9. I'm just saying I was tired. 
I wanted to get it all done... But I decided I would do what I can do and the rest could wait or it wouldn't get done.  I started the laundry, made banana bread, got my clothes laid out, ran the dishwasher, spent some awesome time with my beautiful peanut, and I went to bed.

I woke up ready to go, get the things that need to be done, done. 

Perspective is an important thing. Sometimes I just have to ask myself "what is the worst thing that could happen if this doesn't get done?" And the fact that probably no one will die is my most motivating factor not to overwhelm myself.

I'm going away for a long weekend for crying out loud to relax... No point in stressing myself out! Ha!


P.S. Throw back Thursdays (tbt) are possibly my favorite days to post pictures :) I love looking at old photos. 

Sending love!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Here's my heart, Lord

I was driving home last night listening to the Passion Let the Future Begin CD after leaving church taking care of a few things. I was just praying and thanking God for my life.

Reminding me this weekend who I am, forgiven, loved, chosen, and free.

Sometimes people try to convince us that we are not those things.

Sometimes the enemy sends in his minions to try to convince us that we are who we used to be, that we are bound by our sin, he does a lot of things to distract us from our calling. It happens to others, and surely it happens to me.

All day I listened to the Passion Let the Future Begin CD and thought “this song is a reflection of my life, these are the words my heart longs to sing” and then a different song would come on… same thing. Let me just say, I now own the CD and it is in my itunes library. I am sure I will end up at some point giving someone my CD. (Sam, we will probably listen to it over and over on the way to Northport… LOL).

After an amazing party on Sunday with almost 700 kids running around our church, about 250 new kids, around 200 kids who gave their lives to Christ, I can’t help but be excited about where God has me. When I peeked from behind that curtain and thought “I wonder if all those kids are going to fit in the venue, this is a good problem to have! Praise God!!!” Sometimes there are moments when I wonder if where I am is where He wants me or if my life is bringing glory to Him and then I get a post card or a kid calls or tells me they love me… I just know… and I’m thankful!

I don’t know what is ahead, I can only pray that God continues to grow in me, and that He uses my life to lead others to Him, to be a light in the dark, He can have my whole life. It all. Going over my goals yesterday, I’m excited about what my life will look like in a year. I know that for the most part we don’t end up where we’d like to be without a map or guide. I know it’s hard work, and it’s a decision process every day, sometimes minute, second, or heart beat, but it’s always a decision to move forward, and for me that means moving towards Him. I know that God has great plans and I’ve prayed about my goals and where God wants me and what He wants me to do to get where He wants me, so I’ve written them down. (May He give you the desire of your heart and make your plans succeed ~Psalm 20:4)

So here’s one of the songs that really resonated in my heart last night. Thank You Jesus for loving me. You can have my life, You seem to know what to do with it better much than I do…

Thank You for always making me feel like I’m Your favorite.



Here's my heart Lord,

Speak what is true

‘Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

(Chorus)

Here's my heart Lord,
Here's my heart Lord
Here's my heart Lord,
Speak what is true

‘Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

(Chorus)

Here's my heart Lord,
Here's my heart Lord
Here's my heart Lord,
Speak what is true

Here's my life Lord,
Here's my life Lord
Here's my life Lord,
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You're all I have, You're everything

(Chorus)

Here's my heart Lord,
Here's my heart Lord
Here's my heart Lord,
Speak what is true

Here's my life Lord,
Here's my life Lord
Here's my life Lord,
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true

Friday, October 04, 2013

My girl Melissa

This is the story of a girl...


I want to tell you about someone who is very special to me... She's one of my favorites. I love all "my kids" but this one, I've been on my face praying for this one along the years...

Her name is Melissa. She was one of my girls since 8th grade. I met her in seventh grade, I had no all over my face lol.

Once in awhile we got some students that are a little bit "hard" because of what the world has dished out to them. 

Meet Melissa.

Sass pants.

Now you know I love me some sass pants... But after awhile, you gotta learn to direct that sass pants. And my daughter was nothing like Melissa so I had quite figured out how to love her... So I went and asked God "what does she need?" And for two weeks, on my face prayers for this girl (& a few others).

There are a lot of memories over the years with this beautiful girl! Jesus shines through her! I have seen her go off to Colombia and lead people to Jesus, I have heard her amazing stories of what God has done in her life. I love her beautiful smile and energetic personality (sass pants directed), I love when she yells my name "Margie" when I've told her no but she knows I'm joking.

This girl, Melissa, she serves Jesus in so many ways! Now she's a life group leader and rockin it! 

I've had the honor of loving a lot of my kids over the years and Melissa is surely one of them. She's beautiful and hilarious and fun and sweet and caring and encouraging! She's smart and hard working and loving... And loved.

She'll always be my girl, but now she's my friend!

I love you Melissa! You make my heart rejoice!!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Freedom

So today was a crazy day! Holy moly there was a moment when this craziness of outrage came over me. Honestly it was one of those moments that God must have put His hand over my mouth before I even thought to ask. There was a moment when I could feel my blood pressure rise and I got a headache and my eyes were blurry. I literally said to a lady next to me, just in case something happens, my daughter is in my phone as Phyl, call her if something happens.  

It honestly didn't take long to get back into the right spirit and forgive the person who wronged me.

Fruit.

Then a little while later I happened to run into someone who just wasn't nice to me and honestly for a long time I justified such yucky behavior, but today God reminded me that I live free He said "it is not for you to make excuses of why they can't let go... But you must".

Time passes and I was in the auditorium of our church (I love my church!!) and I was able to just let go of all that I had been holding onto, and as I worshiped and opened my heart, tears of joy just released.

How thankful I am for freedom. It is not enough to let myself live free, but I must be free!  To forgive myself of the things that I am sorry for, and to forgive others.

It is in His freedom that we love the loudest and the biggest!

I'm going to bed thankful to a God who released me from some crazy chains because He took them on Himself.


To everything there is a season

I love summer. I have many great memories of summers. I had spent years on the boat, enjoying my summers. I have so many memories of people who loved me, fed me, corrected me, loved me. Summertime sunshine, vacations, swimming, sun tans. Everyone who knows me now, knows how much I have fallen in love really hot weather (it reminds me of Haiti). But I’m learning to love all the seasons for a lot of different reasons.

But this time of year, oh it’s glorious. Just as spring is a time of rebirth, and beautiful colors of pinks and yellows and purples and millions of shades of bright green sprouting from the earth, fall has just a wide array of God’s palette selected from a different spectrum on the color wheel.

The fall brings warm fires, and sweatshirts, and jeans, and shoes (well, the shoes part stinks but there is nothing like a cute pair of boots!). The harvest of seeds planted for in the spring and cared for in the summer is a beautiful bounty of God’s provision.

It reminds me of Galatians 6:9 which God has been putting in front of me ALL the time lately, He must be trying to tell me something… haha

I think of the seasons in our walk.

Winter, rest, prayer, God asks us to be still. Rest is needed (I hate rest like a 4 year old hates naps, they are necessary, but not always enjoyed!)

Spring… a time of rebirth, oh Easter comes in the spring. Our Savior has risen! I think about how many kids I work with and how excited they are to learn and know Jesus, no matter what time of the year it is.

Summer… oh there is hard work in summer, weeding and pruning, it’s hot, sweaty, and dirty. We become very thirsty and if we don’t drink, we will die. If we don’t drink in Jesus, we will perish. And just like the thirst of our body, we must drink before we realize we need it or we are already dehydrated.

Fall… all that hard work! The payoff! HARVEST! We see lives changed with Christ! Our own heart overflows with His goodness! It is a beautiful time. A time that we remember as we start the cycle all over again!

I just have to say, I love Youth Ministry. It’s hard. I cry a lot of tears! I cry over the broken, I cry in great sadness when they wander, I cry in rejoicedness (it’s a word!! At least in my mind) when they return! I cry when they share great news with me!

I think about how my heart overflows with love for others and for Jesus because of all the seasons in my life. It amazes me that God would choose to love me, that He believes I am beautiful, that He works in my heart, and comforts me, that He corrects me with a loving hand.

I am thankful.

Let us never grow weary, and when I do, let me find my strength in You, my loving Father.

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

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.

Punkin Spice

I love punkin recipes! But I have a problem paying $3 for a very small jar of Punkin Spice… so I figured there is a good chance that I had all the ingredients in my cupboards… and lo and behold! I did!! So I made my own! And it made at least 2 times the amount in that little jar!



Pumpkin Spice Mix Recipe

Mix the following in a nice gift jar:

• 1/3 cup ground cinnamon

• 1 tablespoon ground ginger

• 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace

• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

Add a gift tag with these instructions: "For pumpkin pie, add 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of spice mix to your other ingredients."

TIP: Sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix into your carved pumpkin before lighting the candle.

Recipe from here: http://www.almanac.com/content/pumpkin-spice-mix-recipe

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Preparation saves money but it's hard work!

September and October tend to be really busy months. They are the first months of the youth ministry and we run hard and fast all year but the first months are big month for us.

It's also harvest time!  I'm loving that apples are $.89 per lb at Blocks and last weekend they were $.79. I may or may not have bought like 40 more lbs. I swore that I was not going to make apple butter but really I know my family will love it... So currently, apples are saucing so that they can be buttering in a day or two lol. But in the meantime I may have just had some warm applesauce with homemade granola in it (yum!!!)

It's this time of year that is just a lot of work. It's a time of the year when time spent mean saving lots of money in the winter and having delicious food!! 

It's a funny thing about saving money. I used to wash out ziplock bags and now I think nothing of throwing away much more expensive aluminum pans that cleaned out when thrown into the dishwasher! So I've been doing better at that! I cooked for a very large group this past weekend and saved almost all of the aluminum pans to use for next time!!

I read the book Seven. Stupid book Seven by Jen Hatmaker. (I'd totally recommend the book and might actually read it again and do the study). I don't feel called to do all the seven things. Thankfully God hasn't called me to that, however, I would if He asked (Is 6:8). But I do believe that God is speaking to me about taking better care of my resources. 

I've been given the great gift of cooking, I was given amazing women who taught me great things about running a household. 

I'm sure that people who know me think I'm a little whacky!! I'm always making my own refried beans from the organic pinto beans I home canned. I shred cheese instead of buying it already shredded (it really does taste better). A bunch of us are going up north to stay at a b&b and I'm a kook and want to bring a crockpot so I can make chicken chili to take up there. Honestly I really like the way I cook and for the most part, I'd rather eat food I make. 

I'm thankful for the wisdom that God has given me to save money... Now I just need to be faithful and obedient!