Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful for time!

Good Morning!  I am encouraged that I got to go to church today!  I always want to remember that it is an honor to worship Jesus in church! Its so great that we can choose!  It was an amazing service today, I keep asking God about where He wants me to go to church, I certainly am not a Sunday Christian and so the church I go to needs to be a outward giving church.

I posted earlier that I am in this season of kind of like winter.  I go to a counselor and to be honest she’s been guiding me towards this season for some time now.  I thought (hoped) it would last one month.  Let’s face it, sitting still is not fun for me.

After about a month I was like “ok, I’m done” ready for what was next but she said no “this will be like 5 to 6 months” and I will be honest that almost seemed like a death sentence.  

I was driving today thanking God for this time.  Honestly one month of slowing down was kind of like a drive by shooting.  I was still moving, albeit slower, I was just slowing down to get ready to rev up at any moment to take off as fast as I could.  But I am thankful for this time.  Because it made me slow down and ease up.

I have been taking this time to seek God.  Where do you want me Lord?  I have made some changes and it’s been hard to step back and have people who have said they loved me and cared about me to not say a word to me.  And I am not sad, I’ve actually found such a joy in knowing people love me for me, not what I do for them. It’s been nice in the seeking to find truth.

I’ve said good-bye to a church that I have attended for a long time. And I have had so many feelings about that.  Thinking about memories has stirred up a lot of feelings, some good some bad.  And getting to a place of joy took time.  And I leave with a heart of gratitude, and that took time.
I’ve come to a place of quiet and peace because I am not running around at 100mph (most of it in circles. I have a chance to process things, to feel and not react.  I have time to ask myself the questions I need to: 
Why am I really upset?
What am I afraid of? (usually when I am freaking out, I am afraid of something)
If I react, what good will come of it?
What can I do to make this situation better?

I am thankful for this time of growth.  I am thankful for this time to clean out and help others with my abundance and this helps me to get rid of all the things I have held on to “just in case”.  For me, “just in case” is sin because I’m holding on to things as if to say that I am not trusting God, like He won’t provide if I need it.  It been completely freeing, letting go of stuff. And I am thankful because it takes time.

Taking the time to reflect makes me thankful for whatever time I have left in this season for God to grow me. 
Thankful as I remain in Him.

Seasons Change

picture from here
Its kind of weird being in this season of change, I don't know if I could call it winter, summer, spring, or fall. I think it's closest to winter.  Slowing down, resting.  There is a lot that happens in reflection of my mind, body, and heart.  I started working on my heart. Doing the Beth Moore study, Living Beyond Yourself, and it's been really amazing!  I love it and actually can't wait to see how it ends...  And I've already got the next one in line.

I need to really begin the focus on my body because I really haven't been feeling that great lately.  My stomach always seems to be in a constant state of flux...  I'm tired... I've had a couple migraines.

When I don't feel well, I start to think about what I've been eating... because that's usually where it starts, garbage in, garbage out.  There have been a few moments that I've had a small amount of gluten which does often throw my system for a loop.

So I've decided to just try to eat whole foods for the next month.  Start this at Christmas time?  Well, what better time is there than today.  Most of the time Christmas holidays are full of gluten full food and that makes it difficult to eat things anyway, though I've found a lot of great ways to make the foods we love g-free (Ham rolls were DE-LISH! and pretzel cookies a win!)

I actually enjoying eating real food so this really shouldn't be a problem, well except that I am going to try to steer away from dairy products because they tend to jack my system up too.

I'm really looking to feeling better :) 

Even though I don't always like this season, because it's so strange to me and I don't always like it.  It's a new season and I am looking forward to it but still a little scared because I have no idea what's next.  But God is working on my heart, and now my body, and that only brings great change...

So here I go!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy holidays!

I was gonna get all dressed up for thanksgiving with the fam and then I realized that's not really me. I just would rather wear a sweater and jeans... That's who I am. 

It's a long day of spending time with people I love and I want to be comfortable. I feel like I shouldn't have to be or wear something I'm not.  So jeans and a sweater it is.

It's all me. Sometimes I just feel like I'm not good enough or up to everyone else's expectations but really I am who God created me to be. I spend money on snacks for kids in Detroit schools instead of expensive whatever's. It's my choice. I don't choose expensive things because I'd rather just live simply and help others because that's who God created me to be. I can't help that, so I'll just be me :) 

What made me change my tune?
This silly paper I read every morning... 

Maybe you need it to... Holidays are sometimes hard on our hearts...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Zuppa Toscana (better than Olive Garden!)

I doubled this recipe and used one regular Italian sausage and one spicy and I forgot the bacon bits, but it was really good!!!


1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor)
4-6 russet potatoes, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
1 c. Half and half (recipe called for: heavy whipping cream)
2 Tbsp corn starch (recipe called for flour)

1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes before serving:
5. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
6. Add cream, kale, and bacon to the crock pot, stir.
7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Moving on...

I am simply keeping in mind that life isn't about me and my goals and wants and my worries. I am here to fulfill His purpose for me, and my job is to keep my eyes open so I don't miss it. ~Sara Frankl, Gitzen Girl

I've been at the same church for 8 years. I've loved so many there and have loved serving Jesus there. Most of my best friends are there, they have helped me to grow and cheered me on and given me a good check when I needed it.

I think I've learned to love greatest from my friends there. I've learned to not only be grace giving but grace receiving. And honestly it doesn't get better than that.

As I walked out of the church yesterday I thought "wow, I'm really gonna miss this place" and started to think about how it's not go. How am I going to start over?  it's going to be difficult.  Building relationships, finding that sweet spot of serving. 

I haven't officially found a church but I have found one that feels like home. It seems weird to say and I'm still praying. There are two places I love so I'm praying for God to lead me. 

It's harder than I thought to leave but I know it's the next step... And I must go where He leads. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My heart still dreams...

There's something about haiti. As crazy as life has been lately I have been thinking about haiti and wondering what God has planned.

Looking at the coming years vacation I wonder with great expectation of what God has planned. How many times will I go to haiti?  Will it just be once? What will I do? 

I went to a fundraiser dinner tonight and it just reminded me of how much I love that beautiful country. My last trip to Haiti this year was so different with a weird spirit that loomed over me.  I wondered what God had planned.  After tonight, I was reminded about how much I love haiti and it's beautiful people❤️

So what does God have planned? Oh I still have no idea but I'll sit and wait ❤️ 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So much...

Sometimes my heart spins. 

Freezing homeless people... Under paid fire fighters and police officers... People without coats... People who have hearts that are breaking...

The other day I was watching the news I saw a bunch of fire fighters fighting a fire at 8 mile and greenfield in Detroit. Maybe it's just me but instantly I wanted to go do something for those firefighters. I know that homemade peach cobbler bread isn't going to make their life any less risky or help them pay their bills but sometimes I just feel like I should do.... Something.

I wanted to go see Stevie Wonder tomorrow at The Palace and in case you didn't know, Stevie Wonder is my very favorite but I started thinking about the $90 for the ticket. I thought about how many coats I could buy for someone in need. 

I know that God doesn't say that i shouldn't enjoy ourselves but I don't know if it always has to be expensive.  I want my priorities to be right. How can I complain about my taxes in my city workers and roads but then I pay $90 to go see an entertainer... When I'm already going to see wicked. 

I know I seem like a kook, heck, I feel like a kook, but I must always remember that to whom much is given, much is required and I feel like I am truly blessed. I do what i should (and I know I fall short so many times) because it is right, and that's what I'm called to do.

Following Jesus makes me the best version of myself... And that's who I strive to be.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baby it's cold outside

There are things that sometimes my heart just can't bare.

I was thinking about how blessed I am today. My friends bought their dream home today and I was so happy for them, I was sooo absolutely blessed by God's blessings in their lives. I stopped for a minute and thanked Him. Did you know I live in my dream home? I prayed for this house. Don't laugh, I know it's not fancy and it's crammed and the kitchen is small and I certainly have become creative over the years cooking large quantities of food in a small kitchen.  I have to admit I probably haven't done the best job keeping up with it, but thankful for His grace, I will be a good steward of His gifts. 

Today we served at My Brother's Keeper in Detroit. Their shelter has closed because it is in need of some major repairs. People came and we filled their bellies but they had to leave.
It's cold out there people. Cold. Crack your face off cold. And they had to turn them away. I drove around the city tonight handing out muffins. Wish I had socks but muffins is what I had, thankfully. But my heart can't bear the fact that people are sleeping on the streets, literally freezing!

Now that I have seen I am responsible to do something. My friend and I were talking about a fundraiser. You know spaghetti dinner is always my go to... We can make good money and it's work but it's doable and at this point I can do it in my sleep. You know most of us are one paycheck away from the street. One wrong choice... And it is only by God's grace that I have what I have. People dream and hope for half of what I have, how can I not do something? 

Stay tuned! Spaghetti dinner/worship night may be coming your way soon!

I must do something. 

Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead.  -Albertine by Brooke Fraser 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Advent Ideas!

I’m just not that creative, or maybe I just don’t have time to be creative.  I saw this post about Advent and things children could do and I thought “wow!  Some of those are really great, and simple, and easy to accomplish!  

I saw the birdhouse one and thought that would be so fun to do with Ava and Lana and take to an retirement home, and maybe we could take some bird seed and it would attract birds for the elderly to enjoy :) We could do some fun craft and give it away, what a fun memory!!!  In my mind that’s even better than gingerbread houses!

And one of them was to leave a pound in the grocery cart… imagine how helpful it might be if I just put a $20 bill in an envelope with a note and really prayed about who got it, and how it would go to someone who needed it.  I can think of so many times in my life that would have blessed my socks off!  Changing the world… one life at a time… in the smallest of ways!

I’m pretty excited about this! I am going to pray about which ones I am going to do!!

Merry Christmas peeps!

Lettuce wraps

If you know me you know that this is my absolute hands down favorite cookbook!!  I give it away as shower gifts, I give it away because I love people... it has GREAT recipes and helps show how to keep a budget on track, and so... that's how it works with me!

Yesterday I was going through the recipe book to make something yummy for dinner... and decided to make Gramma's chicken and mushrooms (which is YUM!) and found this recipe for Thai Lettuce Wraps, which sounded delish and I wondered why I had never made them before!  and you could make them low--carb if you are into that sort of thing by leaving out the rice!  This is my adaptation of the recipe.  And they were absolutely yummy and I wondered why on earth I have never made them before!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves:6 or more 
  • Romaine lettuce (but you could use any leafy green you like)
  • 2 carrots, grated or minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1-2 T soy sauce (we use g-free - and not all soy sauce is g-free you must check)
  • splash of rice wine vinegar (recipe did not call for this, i just decided to through it in)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c cooked rice 
  • sliced up small cucumber to add to lettuce wrap - you could add any fresh veggie you have)
Wash chard or lettuce leaves, shake off extra water, and set aside in a bowl. Shred carrot, onion, garlic, and any other veggie that you desire using a food processor. Cook ground meat in a large skillet with a little slosh of sesame oil, if you have it. If you are using ground turkey, you will probably need a tablespoon or two of oil as you cook it.
Once meat is cooked, remove from pan and cook chopped veggies in the remaining oil until soft. Return hamburger to pan and mix with veggies and a good slosh of fish sauce or soy sauce (probably around 1/4 cup). Add a cup or two of cooked rice, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for a few more minutes, til ingredients are well mixed and heated.
Serve by wrapping leaves of chard or lettuce around several tablespoons of meat. Let people take their own lettuce and their own serving of meat/veggies and wrap 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How my life has been remodeled!

This is one of my favorite pictures from the week. It was on Sunday before it all started... Every mission trip needs a crazy face picture :)

I saw something on facebook or maybe I got an email from Life Remodeled, I am not sure…  It said to tell your Life Remodeled story… but it was in video form.  I don’t do video. I always feel like a complete dork with my phone in front of my face…  I just do… I don’t even like taking selfies by myself…  LOL only with people…  which I guess means it’s not really a selfie…

So I thought I’d tell you my story about Life Remodeled.  There amazing moments during the week of serving with Life Remodeled and moments of exposing my own weaknesses and things I certainly need to work on.  But my journey with Life Remodeled started I think last winter.  I tell you this because I can’t remember the date, but I remember there being snow and ice, which means it actually could have been May (it’s Michigan and Polar Vortex people) HA!  

My friends, the Buckets, all went to see what Life Remodeled was all about and if it was something we wanted to be involved in…  And I was there first because I am a kook about not being late, and as I drove around the neighborhood, I was actually kind of nervous (it was dreary and a little scary) but once I found a place to park I was soooooo excited and was ready to sign up, for what I had no idea, but I was excited. For me, I could feel God’s calling me to this area, for something but I had no idea what.  If you know me, I just go, I would likely jump into a pool not checking for water if I felt that God called me…  After the presentation, we toured Cody High School and of course, I had to pee, because, well I drink too much iced tea… I told my friends to go ahead.  After I took care of business I found myself in the Engineering part of the academy.  The STEM program (I just say the Robotics program) really got my attention!  The team was going to compete at MIS and going camping, and their teacher stated that some of them had never been camping before… And of course… I thought “they have never had a s’more before”…  Kids need food and snacks…  
So… time passes…we served the week in the Cody-Rouge district… my friends and I served all in different capacity… and I fell in love with the neighborhood, maybe it’s because I drove around it so much, met a really cute police officer, handed out candy to lots of children, prayed and prayed and prayed.  

I fell in love with a school that is abandoned, I feel like there is an area where I can plant a community garden… Just praying and following God’s lead to make it happen!

I even prayed about how I should continue to serve with Life Remodeled… and God has just lead me back to the Robotics team and Cody High School and the neighborhood.  

So every month, I try to visit Cody High School and the Robotics team.  I drop off snacks for the students, so that if they have to stay late, or get to school early… they have food in their bellies.  Who can concentrate when you’re hungry?  NOT ME!  I can barely be nice when I’m hungry… So I feel like God is calling me to love these students in such a small way of delivering snacks, bringing Kleenex and classroom needs for their teacher.  

Miss Ernestine and I!   I loved this lady!
Want to change the world? Change it in a small way to those around you, with love. That is attainable! I would love love love to open a community center and I know that it is someday going to happen, but I love serving in small ways for the Glory of God.  That His love will reach those students which is far greater than anything I can do.  

I am not sure what my future of serving holds with Life Remodeled, but I will be eternally thankful for going where God lead them to Cody High School and God calling me to serve with them!  It’s changed my life for the better!  God spoke to me so sweetly during my time with His while I was here.  (I am a little frightened that I may be eventually move into this neighborhood!) 

I would really encourage anyone who thinks they have something that is placed on their heart, no matter how small, to follow through with it!  God put it on your heart for a reason, and every single person matters.  EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.  You can change someone’s life with love!