Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Click your heels together, there's no place like...

I dream of the day when we are home. Not in the heavenly sense but when we officially move to the city. Some times it seems odd to do something that is contrary to what everyone is doing but I've always been kind of an odd duck. 

The city always has felt like home.  I seem to breathe a little deeper and my head seems a little clearer in the city. I'm not oblivious to it's danger but I see the beauty through the ashes. I feel the heartbeat, strong and steady. It never gives up. It's like the under dog boxer who gets knocked down but has every intention of getting up, till the last count, this city says "I will". 

The city needs love and Jesus. It needs a smile and hope. It needs people to say "I believe in you, every day".

My address might not currently say "Detroit" but it will. Soon enough, but my heart always will.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Little things

It may seem sooooo silly but I make homemade dressing. It tastes so much better than store bought (even the packet kind).

I was just making Italian dressing for pasta salad this morning and for a minute I thought "I wish I had a bottle of Italian dressing and then I thought "no you don't, that's not nearly as good".  So I whipped up some Italian dressing and poured it over.

Today we leave for the Detroit mission trip, it's one of my favorite trips of the year and I think it's funny because one of the first questions I get on any trip is "are you cooking?" For this trip the answer is always yes. 

I love serving the kids who serve the city. Yes, we grate the cheese fresh, daily cut veggies, make homemade chocolately chex mix, homemade dressing, and from scratch Mac&cheese. That's how it is in these parts. It's yummier and cheaper. And even though it's more work it's worth it.
I'm excited about this trip and the calmest I've ever been before we leave. We've done lots of changes to make this trip the best it can be, but one thing will never change...

Excellence honors God and is a reflection of His character.

Please keep us in prayer. That my kids (and the adults) will be Jesus to a broken city that needs Him so much. That they will encounter Him in ways they never have before. That their hearts will surrender to Him and serve Him all their days.

Please also pray for my feet. It's a long week on them constantly. 

And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10 NIV)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here we go!

I debated on whether I should write this or not...

Probably if you've met me you know I love my life planning my next mission trip but relax I believe my life is one giant mission trip and sometimes I just travel :)

Some people think it's odd that we drive from downriver to Detroit on a mission trip. They are right, it's not very far. But there is much work to be done in Detroit. 

Yesterday someone I know went a little crazy on me... Apparently she wasn't a fan of one of the people who invest in one of the ministries we are working with. And she was going to let me know about it. And.... What about how much money our government has sent to Haiti? Where is it all? How should I know? But I know that when I see the faces of the children I never think of those things. 

Well... I can't help the behavior of one man, nor can I answer for what happened to all that money.

I can't answer for them. I can answer for me and sometimes I don't even want to do that. You know I've got a big mouth and sometimes a very jaded heart but God is working in me!

I know that my life was meant to change the world even if it's just a small very little corner of it. 

I know that the city of Detroit is dangerous, I know I am to love right where and maybe change the life of someone or the lives of a couple people and hopefully His love will spread like wildfire.

I love the Mother Teresa quote:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

I love this poem, it reminds me that I am called to do great things even if those things no one sees or even understands.  

It's the weekend before the first mission trip of the summer and it's the biggest craziest one! It's been nuts lately but it's been good and it's what I'm called to do.  I'm excited and nervous! 

Am I ready? As ready as I am at this time before a mission trip. Lots of stuff still left to do but it will get done before we go :)

And here we go!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feeling lost

Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten how to dream.  I forgot the changing the world doesn’t happen with success by the world’s definition, it happens with each good choice we make.  It’s one decision that affects someone else positively and causes a ripple effect.  ~Kristen Welch, We are that Family

I sat across from him, listening to his dreams, this dear sweet friend of mine.  It was so exciting to hear about how his dreams were coming true.  

I have felt so lost.  I had been praying about what was next and what the future holds for me, what do I do next, where God wants me, what He wants me to do… and it happened.  Right there.  I started crying.  I wished so much that I could have the faith to step out, but I was so scared.  Not because I think I can’t do it, believe it or not, I believe that I can do almost anything.  I mean except for putting on a roof, I don’t think I could do that.

The truth is I get lost in the every day. I get lost in cheering people on, praying for others, making sure that others are taken care of, I sometimes forget about me.  I forget that I matter.  I have fought for a long time to not be forgotten.  
The truth really is that people remember me (at least I hope!) because of those things, that I am always there, that I do always pray, I do make sure that people have what they need. That is who God created me to be.

But I am scared of what people think.  I shouldn’t be because I don’t live my life for what others think of me, I work really hard at serving Jesus, and that means serving His people.  

I love the city of Detroit, I mean my soul is at such peace there.  I love it.  I know it’s dangerous, but my house was broken into where I live now, and I’m learning that “hard drugs” are in my hood too (did you know that heroin is the new marijuana?  It’s cheap, and easily accessible – thanks for legalizing marijuana, it drove up the cost – go figure).  

I’ve been praying about the Youth Center that God has laid so heavy on my heart, and God has given me some clear direction as the next step.

Sell your house, move to Detroit.

Well, there you go. 

I looked at my first house last night.  What a cute house.  In a horrible neighborhood.  And my TPMS light (tire pressure monitoring system) came on and I almost had a heart attack (thankfully no flat tire but I was NOT in a place where I would have felt safe).  It was in a neighborhood that even 25-27 years ago I was not allowed in.  It kind of was disheartening, but I believe it’s as important to know what I don’t want as I know what I do want.  So I will keep looking. 

The truth is I long for kids in the neighborhood to run past my house and maybe I hand them a cookie, or take a meal to my new neighbors, or just stand outside and practice my awful Spanish.  I dream of a lot of things.  I dream of going to a school and finding out what they need and maybe helping.  I don't know but I won't stop dreaming.

There is much work to be done in a lot of things, but God is faithful and I need to be too.  I will keep plugging along, establishing boundaries so I don’t do too much and I can stay on the path God has called me to.  It’s not always easy not to veer off, especially because some of the things I do are really good.  And I must keep dreaming, because God gives me those desires of the things He wants me to do, and to keep dreaming, to keep changing the world, for His glory.

Sometimes we need all pep talk.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Finish Strong!

People sign up for a lot of things and get excited! They do 75% of the work and then... Finish weak or don't finish at all.

It's mission trip season and to be honest I'm ready to just go! In the next nine weeks, I will be gone 4 on mission trips. Which is so exciting! It was been 4 long months of a lot of work! And I'm exhausted! I chose this and I love it but I can't for the life of me figure out why people can't just do what they are supposed to (like turn their paperwork in ON TIME!). 

And then I say to myself just like I'd say to anyone else, sister, finish strong!

God called me to do this, I was made for such a time as this and I must stay close to Him, do what I know to do, all the way until the end - strong.

I've learned a few important lessons over to the years... Stay consistent and rest, set goals, and check them frequently to stay on track. 

My life was not meant to mimic a bottle rocket. Someone lights me up, I get all crazy, really loud and fizzle out. 

More likely I was meant for my life to be like an ever burning campfire.
Start the fire, get it nice and hot- read The Word, pray
People in my life help to keep it going - things like encouragement
Keep people warm - encouraging others
Nourish their lives - Marshmallows - I mean i know you can cook other things on a fire - but marshmallows - YUM!
Keep it going - do the work to get the job done again read The Word, pray
Let it burn, get nice and hot (rest)
Maybe poke it a time or two to redistribute the fire (sometimes we need to change direction in our goals, get us a little "Fired up".
Camp fires of tended to, can burn a really long time and can spread like wildfire. Their effects can be
seen for a long time.

I want what I do to have an eternal affect, bring Glory to God, and finish strong & well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waiting not-so-patiently!

Sorry I haven't written, my heart has been quite a mess lately.  I tend to not write when I am a mess. But my journal gets filled!

I am excited about the coming summer.  In less than two weeks will be my first serving opportunity in Detroit.  I am excited about serving a team that will serve Detroit, a city I love so much.  It really is one of my favorite trips of the year.  I love it. I love a week with teenagers (even the middle schoolers haha).  A week of cooking and smiling and hearing about their trip. Its amazing. 

But the truth is, I miss Haiti.  I miss the heat, I miss the smiles on the faces of the kids, I miss the look on their faces when they wonder what I will come out with next.  I miss playing dominoes, sitting on the ground, I miss being sweaty, and drinking warm water, I miss eating the yummiest beans and rice that I just can’t seem to get right. 

I miss beautiful voices singing “Holy is the Lord”, I miss them reciting scripture with their beautiful onyx eyes closed. I miss coloring, and keeping people busy.  I miss the way cream soda suckers taste in the heat.  I miss “cold” ceramic tile.  I miss the friends I have made in Haiti. 
I miss this place that I never thought I wanted to go to.  I miss the dirt and the sweat, but I don’t necessarily miss the tears, or the heart break that comes with leaving, but it’s part of it all.  That every time my heart breaks, God fills it with His love, it’s the only thing that can occupy that space.
Haiti leaves me filled and empty all at the same time.  Haiti reminds me of how many people love me in their support.  Haiti reminds me of how much God loves me.

I am excited about this whole summer, but I cannot wait to be on the beautiful ground of Haiti, smashed in a tap tap! 

He made me for such a time as this.  So at this time, I will dive straight into His Word, listen to His voice, and wait, in the protection of His presence.

Because His timing is perfect!

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

Saturday, June 07, 2014

This old house

I was getting rid of more stuff today, more cookbooks to the donation pile and I've been feeling like such a failure about this house. 
And then... God does some crazy things, He recounts memories.
Yesterday a sweet boy thanked me for having his graduation party at my house last year. I looked at this collage of pictures of the light of my life. 

It's just a chapter margie, that's what I told myself. This house holds memories and love. Kids without homes have slept here, gatherings and love. 
It wasn't a failure and neither am I, every experience is a growing a experience. You live, you love, and you learn.
Today, as I go through stuff, like cookbooks and remember meals and loved shared. 
It's time to begin a new chapter, written by the One who loves me most.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Living simply, being filled up!

There are a lot of things that happened while I was in Haiti and some time I spent up with my friends in Buckley. 

I have learned to live with less.  

I have lived in abudance, and honestly it makes life complicated.  

What do I do with all this STUFF?

Well, first I sold and donated A LOT OF IT! (And I still have so much left!!)

And then I really started to look at my purchases.  

Do I really need that?  Is it a “oh that looks cool I NEED it” purchase?

Will it really make my life “better”?  It takes me a lot longer to make a decision about buying things, it’s like I buy a car every time I buy something.  I mean, it’s really not that crazy, but when we were in Mackinaw, it took me ALL day to decide to buy a sweatshirt.  And I made a good choice, and love it.

It means I have a lot more money left over at the end of the month than I ever did before.  What a concept ; )

I have also purchased many “good” things but now seem wasteful.  I have TONS of bible studies that I packed up to donate, lots of books I never read.  Now when I think about buying a book or a bible study, I pray about it,  “God is this what You want me to do?”  Where are You leading me?”
That being said, I just purchased “Children of the Day” by Beth Moore, I am super excited about the study, truly Beth Moore is anointed in her teaching (it took me a few days to decide to spend $15).  I am excited to dive straight into the word of God 1 & 2 Thes.  I am excited to do this study along with Beth Moore

I have to say that it’s already started breathing life into me.  The first week’s memory verse, wow, I’ve probably read it many times before, but this time, WOW!

1 Thes 1:4 We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you.

Now, maybe it doesn’t speak that much to you, but to me, there is nothing like being loved.  Loved every day no matter what!  I am loved by God and chosen.  A lot of crazy stuff has happened lately leaving me feeling empty and sad,  I so much love to give to others, serve them, but sometimes it leaves me feeling like an empty bucket and I am looking forward to be filled again!  

I love the Dessert Song by Hillsong… I know I’m filled to be emptied again, this seed I’ve received I will sow.

I’m thankful for the Love of Christ, I am thankful that He is a well that I can always visit when I am dry and tired.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Keep going the Light is coming!!

I'm on the ferry to go to mackinaw island and it's cold but I'm stubborn and like to be out on the water. What can I say I think I should have been a fisherman, well except I won't touch bait or fish... But I'd  look cute in a sun hat and a book.

One side of the boat was gray and one side was cloudy.   I was thinking how sometimes life is like that. It's cloudy and what seems to be just overcast but when we keep going and change our scenery the break in the clouds comes.

So many times I've been in places where I didn't want to be or that seemed so hopeless but I have a love that lasts. The hope of all things in all things! Just gotta keep on the path He lights for me!

Be encouraged! He is the light you're searching for!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5 NIV)

Family Weekend

My cousin turned 60 this year, so to celebrate, we all came up North to my cousin's cabin to celebrate, yesterday we went shopping and just hung out together. We went into West Branch and Gaylord.

Ohmyword we went into this antique type store, but really it just looked like a giant store of junk, they had some cool stuff but all that stuff was driving me crazy.  Just a bunch of stuff that people just don't need, for prices they shouldn't pay.

Its been nice to chill out and relax even though I never really ever stop, and i've had to work some of the time, I got about 120 bags stuffed for Haiti, just need to add a balloon and a toothbrush and the bags are ready to go and I am thankful because I have more to make!  It makes my heart so happy to be able to help others even if it's just for a moment.  I CANNOT WAIT to smooch my muffins!

Part of life is being in the moment, just hanging out with the people you're with and I am so thankful for my time with my family. Last night we laid in bed and my cousin told me stories about my momma, it made my heart so happy.  I love and miss my momma and the only stories I have are the ones others tell me.

When my daughter was little I took a lot of pictures, and I tend to take a lot of pictures now, and sometimes she'd make faces like "mmmooooommmmm" and she might even make those same faces, but I always wanted to have lots of memories for Phyllis in case I didn't make it too long in my life.

We have a few more days together and I am thankful :)