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, July 30, 2014

setting my heart back on course

When I was a kid, we went shopping every two weeks, when my dad got paid.  We went to the same market, Adams Market on the corner of Appoline and Warren.  No coupons, just a corner market.  My dad basically cooked dinner every night M-Fri except in the spring when we went down to the marina after work to get the boat ready for summer.  Pork chops, steak, spaghetti, fried chicken, boxed cheese potatoes, mashed tatoes, canned spaghetti sauce.  Towards the end of the two weeks meals sometimes had to get a little "creative" based on what was in our cupboards.  Also when I got old enough, I made dinner too.  Although some may look at my life and think it was hard, but God uses those moments. It was just me and my dad.  And (gasp!) we ate dinner in front of the TV on TV trays.  Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mash, & Hogan's Heroes.  Those were our dinner guests.  And if you really must know, we sit on the couch and watch TV while we eat (I know, I am an awful mother!)

Also, when I was a kid, my Aunt Dee and Uncle Ed moved to Niles, MI and I would get to spend the summers there.  My Aunt Dee taught me about cooking from real ingredients, homemade soup, cooking with what's left over, making food last, and oh let me not forget the introduction of the tomato sandwich, and the cucumber sandwich.  YUM!

Let's talk about where i am now.  My dad taught me how to cook and gave me the freedom to throw something away if it was gross.  I was never afraid to try because I was never going to get in trouble if I messed it up.  Cooking is freeing and relaxing to me.

The other day I had a dear friend who could have been benefited from a meal.  So I quickly whipped up a pasta dish (I called it fake lasagna - all the ingredients of lasagna, but rotini noodles instead of lasagna noodles), cooked up some potatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper... and purchased some fried chicken from Meijer, and whipped up a dessert of yellow cake mix & punkin, and homemade punkin spice.

I feel like sometimes my gifts aren't that glamourous (remember my post from yesterday) and that's how i like it.  Just something that fills a need and I am thankful for that.

My friend (and her family) were thankful for the dinner that I dropped off but I have to confess something to you.  Making that food, loving something did something so sweet for my spirit.  Since I have been back from Haiti, I have had good moments and some that were not so good.  I've struggled with missing Haiti and it's people (this is what I missed most! Sweating through my clothes is kind of annoying LOL).  Something about making those meals for someone I love, set my heart straight.  It reminded me that even though I know God has long term plans (I WISH HE'D JUST GIVE ME THE TIMELINE!!!!) for me, that I am called to love right where I am at.

I never could have known that all the things in my past would have helped me to get my heart back on course, but God knew.

He works it all out, doesn't He.  Especially when we turn our hearts and lives over to Him.

Romans 8:26-28 (Msg) 26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kings and Queens of my heart

I’m often humbled by the things that people say about me.  Both when it’s good and when it’s bad.  Especially in the good, I feel so unworthy.  I just really try to do the best I can, and stay in the shadows of the One who loves me the most.  Given my own accord, I’d mess things up a lot.  And clearly when I get out from under the shadow, I do.  It’s funny, there is something about sunshine that draws us to it, but then if we stay in it too long, we will get burnt.  In the shadow, we can still feel the warmth, have a beautiful view of the sun, and stay protected.

Yesterday someone posted this song

(I posted the lyrics below)

I don’t know if I eloquently will say what my heart feels, but I will give it a try.

I feel it a great privilege to serve. I feel most like myself, I feel like God has called me to do something great for Him, and so often I feel I am so unworthy.  I don’t like the spotlight, I don’t like the light because it can expose the yucky parts of me.  I’d just rather be in the background, snuggling, smooching, reading, feeding, hugging, singing (though I am sure no one wants to hear that).  

I also don’t feel like I am serving the least of these if you really must know.  What makes someone the “least of these”?  Is it based on what they have or their hearts?  Often I think of the “poor”.
Matthew 5:3 says "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (NIV) but look at the NLT version "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  Or the Message version “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

I think about every night when we would do devotionals and EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT the children would thank God for His protection and that “nothing bad happened to us today”.  Now I ask of you, does that sound like someone poor in spirit?  On the contrary it seems to my heart that they are richer than anyone else I know.  

I am thankful that I can help them in some small way provide the physical needs but their hearts provide me with a love that seems grow bigger every time I go because it is filled and then overflowed with God’s love.

As I look into eyes of each child and see the beauty that God has created, my heart is overwhelmed and completely blessed. When I ask them what they want to be when they grow up and each one answers differently based on their beautiful hearts, it overwhelms me the magnitude of Jesus in their lives. 

The children have entered my hearts as little princes and princesses.

I am overwhelmed in thankfulness for the things that God allows me to do, and it is overwhelmed by the fact that if I don’t stay close to Him, I could mess it all up.  I love Jesus and am thankful that He allows me to stay close to Him, in the shadows of Him, to live a life that will glorify Him with a love that only comes from Him.

Kings & Queens 

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crazy ramblings from a rested heart

It's been a quick trip up north. If you know me I'm not one who likes to drive a whole lot. Driven approximately 7 hours in about 30 hours is not necessarily my cup of tea.

But I will tell you. It was worth every minute of the drive every drop of gasoline.

When I come home from Haiti my heart, aches. This last trip was no different.  I love the country, the people, the craziness of degache (basically just go with it). 

I can be surrounded by people and feel completely lonely. I don't really get the time to unwind (which I'm trying to schedule in for my next trip). I come back from Haiti and hit the ground running, it's the way life is for me.  This weekend a friend from Haiti was supposed to come up to see buckley friends with me but unfortunately (for good reasons) he had to cancel and I almost cancelled too. I decided to come anyway. I was going to stay home but decided to come up anyway.

I was greeted when I got here by an overwhelming hug. One  my heart so desperately needed. And from then on it was time in the kitchen, lots of snacking, lots more hugs, relaxing (I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep talking), bonfires, talking about Haiti, talking about lots of things with people who are authentic and real. There isn't any trying to put on a show up here. They love me even though I'm not really a small town girl and I love them because they are. Life is simple up here, love God love people. (And I'm not saying that at home people don't love God and people I'm just describing here).

My heart needed to slow down more than I could have ever known. It needed to be surrounded by people who just love me for who God created me to be, loving, not thinking I'm great because I'm doing something for them.  

I had hoped that my quiet time driving would result in some answers in direction of where God wants me to serve. There has been some Crazy news that I found out about on my way here (I think my life may never be the same - I'm not sure how I didn't cry until after I got off the phone). Which resulted in some of my answers of where God wants me. I also feel like a lot of direction came  directly from God, yet still a lot of things that are unanswered.  Maybe I'll hear more direction on my way home. It's still going to be a month of quiet and seeking.  I feel like I'm in the dark about a lot of things but His light is my path and I will follow it with complete reliance on Him.

I'm thankful for the last 24 hours or so. More grateful than I ever thought I could be. In Haiti we often thanked God for simple things, today, I thank Him for this time and the privilege to love Him and His people. 

This passage blew me away yesterday. Open your heart and let it speak to you

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”

and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:36-41, 43-47, 49 ESV)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

shooting stars

There is a song that goes “catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day”

When I was in Haiti I saw my first shooting star.  Haiti is full of everyday miracles, but the fact that I was even awake for such a beautiful sight was a miracle in itself.  It was just one, but it was cooler than some fireworks I have seen.  I didn’t know if I was supposed to make a wish on it, or if I should just stand in amazement.  I just sat there in amazement.

Yesterday while sitting on my porch, on the phone, dreaming about Haiti, I saw another one.

It’s been a rough transition to come home.  It always is.

Thankfully I was able to talk to some people about Haiti last night, but that reminder of a shooting star did my heart such good. 

Yesterday I watched another team head off to the country that I love.  I cried about 6 times yesterday missing Haiti, missing the people, thinking back on the experiences, and later in the night sat down with some people I know and talked about being there.  And then spent some alone time with my friend, Amanda.  It was a good night, a reminder that God is good.  A reminder that He has us right where He wants us to grow in Him, to love Him, to cling to Him. 

Yesterday reminded me to trust the process, to feel through things, to trust what He has next, to know that I am where I am supposed to be.   To work hard to become all that He has for me to be.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

I’m excited about what the future holds, and soon I will be saying “see He worked it all out, for His good” (Romans 8:28), I am excited to trust the process in which He has for me to go.
I’m walking in the light…

Psalm 119:105-6
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Everyday I wake up around 2am and I can't figure out where I am. The other day I actually got out of bed in a panic, where is my team? I had been dreaming we were all together and woke up alone. 

I have all these feelings inside and don't know how to express them, and I can't seem to trust myself to let them out. I feel surrounded by people who love me and completely alone. 

I really do want to cry every minute. I try not to laugh too hard because it will soon turn to tears.

I am afraid to ask tough questions for fear of the answers, even though i know I'm the one who needs to ask.

I feel completely in love and completely heartbroken at the same time.

I feel the longing to be a momma, even with a grown child, which is a feeling that I haven't felt in a long time. 

I feel the need to love and hug while scared to feel for the risk of love is great.

I miss Haiti. I drove around yesterday, knowing I am blessed to live here. Knowing God has me here for a reason, and I trust Him but my heart longs for the uncomfortable places, the difficult and the dirty, the vibrant and the beautiful.

I don't really know how to explain it, but to be in a place that makes me feel most like Jesus, and serving Him seems easy, a place I know I'm called.

I feel trapped because I'm not sure of what step to take first. 

All I know is this... This verse popped up in my head over and over while we were there...

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18 ESV)

It's time to get to walking, but it's also time to stop and look to Him for direction in which way to go.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trust and simplicity

There is a saying that if you want milk you just can’t sit in the field and wait for the cow to come to you.  And honestly I’ve lived most of my life that way.  Want something?  Go get it.

And I am always busy.  And this month, I am going to take it easy.  Going to prepare my heart for my next trip and what God has up His sleeve.   Normally I would be trying to do a bunch of things to make it happen, try to figure out what God has planned.  And let’s face it trying to get one step ahead of Him.

I am going to trust Him.  I am going slow down, listen, be still.  I am not sure what's the plan, but i know the Planner.  I know that whatever He has planned is better than anything i could possibly come up with on my own.  And I have to learn to trust that and the process He wants me to go through, and it might be painful and times, but totally worth it.

I have a few things I am signed up to complete for the rest of July and August but I am going to be practicing my Haitian “no”. 

Life is about to get simpler.  Rice and Beans and time with God.  It really does sound glorious, doesn’t it?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Love from Haiti

It's my last morning in Haiti. 

I can't put into words what I'm feeling.

I'm excited to see my girl, but already missing here. I'm excited to see what God has in store for "what's next" but I'm not looking forward to moving at the speed of light.

I am going to miss...

late night conversations and creole lessons 
Yucky honey candy 
Cold toros 
Rice & beans
Rice and bean sauce so good I moaned with delight 
Spaghetti for breakfast
Boiled eggs with hot sauce
Yummy hot dogs
Yummy fruit candy
Haitian cards
Sweet faces 
My poppy pants team
Sappy music
James brown impersonations 
Laughing til I snort
Fresh mango 
Sweet voices
He has not died, He is alive
Sweet smiles
Speaking love
Living love
Great conversations 
Open hearts
Having people correct my terrible pronunciation.
Perfect blue skies
Rooftop sleeping 
Being cold in Haiti 
Warm water
Watching little rascals in French 
Sweating on tiles
Chicken feet (dirty feet)
Little dresses 
No make up
2 birds in a tree, near the beach on boat.
Flip flops
Hot cement
Psalm 23
Feeling beautiful with no make up 
Refreshing Bucket baths
Sweet time in the bible
Medical exams 
Solid glue
Learning about Jesus
Bible lessons every night
Armor of God
Melty crayons
Marker tops on the wrong markers
Matching games 
Puzzles with missing pieces 
Sweeping over and over
Purple cleaner 

33 more days