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, January 29, 2014

Ramblings of my heart and Haiti!!!

It has been the craziest of months. Our youth winter retreat is this weekend and that means it's go time for me. Considering that I have a busy job an lots of friends it takes some scheduling/planning to get it all done. Did I mention it's like -6000 degrees. I mean yesterday I finally had to wear a coat!!!  I have needed to get a new battery since the last polar vortex but I had to wait for the stores to restock. New battery finally has a check next to it :)

I always joke that the week following our two big events is my vacation week from youth ministry because I am tired.

And during all this time I really have one very important job, one that is more important than the others.

Stay close to Jesus.


Be obedient.

So while all this is going on, God has been speaking to me about Haiti. What He wants me to do. One of these things includes going to haiti in March. When I found out about this trip in November I said no really based on one thing. Money. So I said "no". But I believe that God had written the story of this trip on my heart. I've been praying for the trip since I heard about it. And then it happened, the opportunity came up. God said "go" to be honest, I still didn't have the resources. But when God says "go" it's my job to put on my shoes, grab my suitcase, and do just that... Go.

So I started talking about it, telling friends, blogging, and then I got the weirdest direction. Use gofundme to collect money. I'll tell you the truth, it was hard, asking for money. It's humbling. I have been so broke that in my life that I've gone to bed hungry. Truly, God has done great things. 

Yesterday I raised $480!!! That is humbling. I was concerned because I needed to collect $800 by feb 8!! And with yesterday's fundraising and some other donations that came directly to my house, I am there! Now that's exciting!!!

I'm sooooo very thankful!! 

I am thankful to God for giving me such a love for Haiti and for it's people!

I'm thankful for friends and family who continue to support me financially and through prayers. 

It's unbeleivable to me!! $5 or $200 it all means so much to me! I am overwhelmed by Gods love for me and for those friends and family that loves me to!!! It's amazing!!!

So... I am going to Haiti!!!  Here is the link if you'd like to donate!!

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meal Planning for the week 1-27-14

My daughter left for school this morning, she is in college.  I cleaned off her car for her.  I also shoveled the snow in our driveway and 2 neighbors plus my walk.  It was very cold this morning.

As I shoveled what seemed to be a mile driveway and I just was so thankful.  I am thankful that I can afford to send my daughter to college.   I am thankful for a warm home.  I am thankful that there is so much food in our freezer & pantry that I don’t have to go out unless I want to.  I am going to go to the grocery store for a few odds and ends, also this is our Youth Group’s Winter retreat weekend, and I have some cooking to do for the people who go up early?  OK SERIOUSLY!!  I know it’s more work, but I LOVE IT!!

Monday, January 27, 2014 – Taco Chili (modified, to use ground turkey, and whatever beans I have in the pantry

Tuesday – Lasagna pulled from the freezer (seriously, when making lasagna, it’s that much harder to make two than one and freeze one.

Wednesday – Left overs (probably taco chili but maybe lasagna)

Thursday – (for Unite peeps) – Spaghetti, bread, salad, dessert

Friday – Breakfast – French toast casserole, sausage, banana bread

                Lunch – BBQ chicken sandwiches, Baked potato salad, baked beans

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm a follower

How do you choose?

Someone asked me that. It was in regards to the places I serve and where  I send my money. 

It was a question that completely caught me off guard.

Doesn't it seem like there is need everywhere? I mean honestly I could give me whole paycheck to all the need. I could spend all my time serving in various ways.

I'll tell you the truth. 

I'm a complete follower.

I follow the Holy Spirit and where He leads. Sometimes it means Haiti, El Salvador, Lincoln park, Detroit, Rwanda, Malawi. I never know, I just listen.

I think everyone has the call on their life to do something. Whether it's $5 to help feed Haitian children, adopt locally  or abroad. 

You know what stops people? 

It's hard.

It means sometimes we give up "our" money or "our" time.  I'm gonna be blunt. Without God's provision, you would have no money, and quite frankly you'd be on the floor dead because it is Him that gives you the breath in your lungs. 

Knowing and believing that, makes it easier to give it away. Wherever He leads.

So, how do I choose?

I don't. 

I follow.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Easy French Dressing

I am known for my ranch dressing LOL I mean like typically everyone wants the recipe, AND wants to take the leftovers home.  Yes, I promise you, it's that good.  I got the basis of my recipe from my favorite cookbook. 

I was actually making ranch dressing in a large quantity so I was using the blender to mix it, and the bottom came off and dumped ALL over my cookbook. I literally ordered a new one before I cleaned up the mess.  TRUE STORY!  Thank you Amazon Prime.

I love french dressing, but it's full of chemicals, and so....  there is a recipe for the dressing in the cookbook, I decided to try it today.  I didn't have dried minced onion, so I substituted 1 tsp of onion powder.   I really love this cookbook, and I recommend it for EVERYONE!!  I am even buying it for someone I love that is getting married soon!  Again, for real, it's that good!

So, here is the recipe for French Dressing...  ENJOY!

Makes: 1 -3/4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
French dressing has always been a favorite of mine. This recipe is miles better than most store-bought French dressings, and is so quick and easy to make!
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoons paprika

Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Yesterday was one of those days after being up for an hour I was completely in a tailspin of yuck. I prayed and talked to a friend. Sent out a prayer request and thankful for so many friends.
Wednesday is "buckets" or eb on my calendar. Life group night a lot of our group and kids are sick. We called it off. I miss them but honestly I needed to be home. It took me 1 hour 45 minutes to get home. About 45 minutes longer than usual. Surprisingly I wasn't a nut job i just took my time with one goal in mind, get home safe.  And praise God I did!!!

I came home and made dinner. And while that might seem like a normal occurrence, the fact that both Phyllis and I were home at night is not a normal occurrence. Taco night.

We have no cable or internet so when I got home we put in a DVD of "the best of the Cosby show 2". I don't know how they pick the best of because I love all of that show! It's a great show!!!! 

I finally went to bed around 10 after doing some cleanup around the house, packed the bowls and stuff for bh,  and finishing my homemade valentines cards for the kids in the orphanage in Haiti :) I will send them and ring pops. Is it silly that it makes my heart smile so much that I'm giving them valentines? I want them always to remember i love them so much and never forget them!

Silly. I know.

It's amazing how our days don't stay crazy when we focus on God and focus on others.

I went to bed and woke up, thankful. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1 NIV)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Here I am! Send ME!!!!!!

My sponsor letters are going out in the mail tomorrow!  I am STOKED about this opportunity!

Dear friends,

God never ceases to amaze me!!! I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to go to Haiti March 28 to April 4!

You may or may not know but about 5 years ago I started supporting missions when my beautiful daughter said she wanted to go to Colombia. No, not the college but the country in South America.  At the time people asked me if I was going (mostly because they thought I'd never let her go by herself), I said "oh no, I'm a local mission kind of girl, if God calls me to an overseas mission trip, I'm hanging up!" But I continued to do administrative support for all the mission teams going to Haiti and Colombia.

And then He did it...

You see, I love Jesus with my whole heart, so... When He calls I go wherever He says...

In 2011 God called my friends and I to go dig a well in El Salvador, we had much planning to do, and to be honest, when we were deciding on a location I said "anywhere by Haiti". I had no desire at all to go to Haiti. Devastation, no electricity, no water…  God is funny. I was so relieved I didn't have to go to Haiti... but wait! There’s more.

But this trip was the beginning of my love to “go” on overseas missions, to love others, just like the bible says to go into all nations (Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

And then spring of 2012 our Youth pastor announced there was a few spots open to go to Haiti. And I couldn't get to the meeting to turn my money in fast enough, I couldn't sit still. My heart was screaming "please please please send me" I don't know how it happened, I just know that God had written LOVE so deeply on my heart that I wanted to do whatever He wanted me to do and go wherever He said.  Honestly I didn't even know where the money was going to come from. I started to freak out and I'm pretty sure God bonked me on the head and said "don't you trust Me?". And so I stepped out in faith.  And God provided. All of it. Even the cost of my immunizations that were needed.

I fell so deeply in love with the country of Haiti and it's people and especially the children. In one of my prayer times alone with Jesus I asked God, “why didn’t You the desire to love Haiti when we were planning our trip to dig the well?” and His answer so simple “because you wouldn’t be here now”.  I love Haiti and it’s people so much  I co-lead two trips last year to Gradec  orphanage in Delmas, a city right outside of port au prince, and was in Haiti for 2.5 weeks. And my hope is that in the summer/fall I will be on a mission trip for a week to the orphanage again.
And this brings me to today. I've been dreaming about going to Haiti in anyway God leads. I wanted to go at Christmas but never felt like He said yes... As much as I wanted to go, and so many people were willing to go with me, I never was at peace about it. I was talking to a friend a few months ago, her church is going to Haiti in March, I dreamt that I could go with her, but it seemed impossible.  I thought for sure her church would fill all the spots. And then it happened, she told me there were still spots open.  And now, I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to go to Haiti this spring, March 28 to April 4. And i have to tell you, I'm a little nervous. I’m going with a church near Traverse City to do construction work at a church in Petit Goave and also ministry to women and children.   And I am thankful that we will be stopping at Gradec Orphanage for one day so that I can snuggle, laugh, and love my favorite Haitian muffins (that’s what I call little kids – muffins)

The cost of my trip is $1600. I don't have a lot of time to raise this money, but I know if God says "go" I have no choice, because I love Him, to say "here I am send me" (Isaiah 6:8). I am asking mostly for your prayers, will you support me in your prayers? Also I am asking you to support my trip and my love for Jesus and His people all over the world monetarily. $1, $5, $20, or whatever you feel lead to give will help! (You can contact me at if you need my address to send a donation)

Thank you for your love and support! I'm thankful for you! I loveyou! May God move in your heart so greatly and deeply that you will never ever be the same!

Chosen by love,


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sometimes I don't even see it coming

I didn't know it was coming. Didn't see it! 
Dancing on a cloud. Committed to two mission trips in 2 days. Already one on the books. I was excited so excited I have a new project written on my heart.

Even though I don't like to give the enemy too much credit, I think he tried to attack me yesterday.

After going to visit Cody high school and hearing and signing up for Life Remodeled ( they gave a tour of the classrooms and one of them was a tech room where they build robots. A lot of engineer types were in the room so their engineering brains were thinking about engineering things to help them. My mom brain said "how do they get snacks when they have to work on projects late and when they race their car at MIS (Michigan international speedway) and are camping, what will they eat?". Really that's where my brain went. And so... I will be delivering snacks and gift certificates to grocery stores to the class so they can eat.  Yes, I know it's weird. But it's what God directed. 

So after this incredible weekend, and listening to an incredible message at ekklesia Detroit, I wasn't expecting and the enemy came in and just started speaking lies in my brain... And then it didn't take long for me to speak lies to myself... Ugh. Up in the middle of the night evaluating my heart because truly I knew that my mess yesterday was self induced dumb thinking, hurt.  I don't let those moments when I feel far from God last. I need to figure out what I'm afraid of.  I turn and head straight for Him. "Speak to me Abba" and I repent. 
My life is crazy and busy and I can't afford one step out of His path! His glory needs to be revealed to others, they need to see Him, feel Him, know Him, and as unqualified as I seem and feel, I know that I was chosen by love to love.

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. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:18, 19 NIV)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Moving forward

Life often seems crazy to me. People get excited about concerts or going on vacation and me? I can barely contain myself when finding out I'm going to go to Haiti and on a mission trip with my friends to Detroit. 

I mean really, who spends 2/3 of their vacation time on mission trips, other times for youth ministry. You've got to think I'm crazy because quite frankly I do. 

It's weird.

Yesterday I was in a terrible neighborhood, heart broken. Absolutely heart broken. Abandoned houses, burned down houses, THERE ARE KIDS IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

Here's my problem with all the naysayers about Detroit, you can do something. You can.

If this crazy single mom with hardly any talent can do it so can you. Wait? Let me guess you don't have time? Well send me $5 I'll put it to good use! I was made aware of a robotics team in a high school at Cody high school that work late and they need snacks and food! You buy, I'll fly. Oh wait, you don't have money, I have soup kitchens that need people to serve or how about reading to a classroom. Reading is fundamental! I'll even give you the book to read :) I got them. Don't have time or money, well get on your knees and pray!!!! Pray that God would provide an army to do His work, and His mighty provision to pay for it all. 

I'm excited for this summer. 2 trips to Detroit to make a difference locally and two trips to Haiti. I can barely contain myself!

I'm working with an orphanage in Haiti for child sponsorships. There are 16 children who need to be sponsored! And already 4 are sponsored! It's $25 a month. I've loved and seen them with my very own eyes! They are the most beautiful kids!  Their smiles can light up the darkest of places, their voices are so angelic to hear them sing is the most amazing thing! To see them soak up all they can learn! Amazing!!!

I am excited about this crazy path God has me on, and I'm still praying that God brings me an amazing man to share this journey with, but until then, my crazy feet will continue to move forward, hugging, smiling, loving, feeding, and maybe even tearing down a house or ten :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winners win!

Well, I did great exercising until my birthday... Then I don't know what happened... I can tell you what didn't happen, I didn't make it to the gym.

Note to self and my readers too... Write down your goals, and visit them frequently, it helps if you get off track to get back on track.

So here I am, at the gym on the bike. I'd love to run but the truth is my foot is bothering me and the winter retreat is coming and I need it to be In Good shape for that. 

I could have given you a million excuses why I couldn't go. I am so busy right now with youth ministry stuff, it snowed, my house needs cleaned... Blah blah.

Here's one good reason:


And winners don't win by talking about winning they win by doing. 

So here I am, at the gym. 

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. (Philippians 3:12-16 MSG)

Thinking about the person who said to me (in the sweetest most well meaning way) "just because you're bigger doesn't mean you shouldn't look nice", thinking about going to New York City. Thinking about trips to Haiti, thinking about smaller sizes. Thinking about how my insides and my outsides should match.


Yes. My insides say I am free! But my outsides say that I am still someone who struggles. And if I look like I always did or like everyone else, why would anyone want to have what I have? Jesus!!

So here I go, one step or pedal at a time, one gold eating choice at a time.

The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you’ve done are all we’ll ever want. Through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you. When your decisions are on public display, everyone learns how to live right. If the wicked are shown grace, they don’t seem to get it. In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living, blind to the splendor of God. (Isaiah 26:7-10 MSG)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grocery store love

The truth is that grocery shopping is one of my favorite things in the world!

I can pretty much buy anything I want even though I don't but i also don't have to walk around watching every single penny because we are not on such a tight budget. Going grocery shopping to me is a very vivid reminder of how far God's grace has brought us. 

The other day I was walking in behind two women. And soon I passed them and as I walked and looked at every item looking at some baking goods. There was a lot of drama going on with them. They were loud. And clearly wound up about something. So I kept shopping and I was taking my time.  In the third aisle I realized that they were still in the same point in the store. Hadn't moved and still loud.

I actually started laughing and thanking God for freedom.  And no drama.

I've had my fill of drama and really it never really get me anything. I was loud and stuck in the same spot. Getting nothing accomplished and looking like an idiot. 

 I found myself so thankful that really the only drama in my life is on a stage where I buy a ticket. 

There is something about living in freedom that eliminates the need for crazy drama in my life. The fact that I don't need to fight or put on a show to be justified. And truthfully, I am not the Justifier, Christ is. 

Someone asked in a fb post today, "what does The Lord require of you?" And immediately I thought of Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NIV)

There is something peaceful about that, isn't there? God doesn't say "hey go put on a show that shows the world who I am" 

It says act justly, love mercy, and walk with God in humility.

Wow! There's no drama there, that's for sure.

Look at the message version:

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. (Micah 6:8 MSG)

Wow. Don't take yourself too seriously... I am thankful for this, for so long, I took too much of myself seriously and left God out of my life or even tried to justify my walk with Him because I didn't believe who He said I was in Him. I put on a show. Drama.

Oh, the freedom in walking with Him. 


Lessons in a grocery store. 

God's provision of food
God's provision in true freedom

Monday, January 13, 2014

Look at the heart

I am so blessed that I serve with the best Youth Pastor ever!  I have learned to give and receive more grace than I ever thought possible!   Between Jesus, him, and his wife, I am inspired more each day to love and serve teenagers and those leaders who serve with me. 

A funny thing though…  no one can make me more crazy than Adam.  It actually makes me laugh.  Well, sometimes it doesn’t.  

When I am about to lose my mind, I think about Adam’s heart.  You see, I am soooo lucky to serve as an admin for our youth ministry.  The down fall of being an admin is that no one really knows what you do, until you don’t do it.  And sometimes I feel like I am standing on my head trying to make things happen.  I’ve learned to be in survival mode, a lot.  I am always looking for pot holes that the enemy could use to trip us up.  It means I keep tums around for one of our leaders who ALWAYS has heart burn.  It means I always have pain relievers, cold medicine, ace bandages, band aids… etc.  It means I keep colored paper hidden so when people use it all, I have a back up…

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in Youth Ministry is to look at the heart of someone.  You see, Adam loves teenagers, and he will do anything, short of sin, in order to lead teenagers to become fully devoted followers of Christ FOR THEIR WHOLE LIFE! It means that sometimes there is “extra work” involved.  And I will gladly accept that extra work if it means that it makes something better, or that a kid goes on a winter retreat because they otherwise couldn’t have gone.

I have learned one very important lesson.  One that has served me well.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7

Now sometimes, I could just lose my mind about all the stuff that I am juggling… and then here comes the best youth pastor ever and he tosses me another one.  And the truth is… that I LOVE it, I don’t ever want him to stop doing it, but sometimes I have a moment of “HOLY MOLY!!! If you would have told me that 3 days ago…. I could have prepared better.”  But here’s the thing about Adam, he’s got just as many if not more things he’s juggling, and at the end of the day, I look at his heart.  His all about Jesus, his family, and teenager love filled heart.  And I breathe a little easier, (sometimes I sigh) and carry on.  I’m lucky to serve with someone with that kind of heart.
And then… there are the teenagers…  Oh I love teenagers.  Even the sass pants trouble making ones. I love them.  Even if they think I don’t. I do.  Teenagers are probably one of God’s greatest examples of looking at the heart not the appearance (or smell!!).   As adults, we talk about how kids have it so easy.  Really?  Clearly, you don’t remember what it was like to be a teenager.  Parents aren’t home and out of their guilt, they buy them iphones…  or they give them money…  and then there is the opposite… parents who are barely making it…  and kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  Selfish adults who come in and out of their lives…  I love them, it’s hard, and heart breaking, but I look at their hearts. I see their beautiful hearts, even the hardest of them... and it brings me such joy to see them chase after God and break free from the world's chains and find complete freedom!

I have done a lot of things in my life, I have participated in many things…  Youth ministry is the toughest job that I’ll ever love.  And as I love, God equips my heart to love more and more as it’s needed.