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, February 26, 2014

Meal Planning

I’ve known for quite some time that I’ve needed to slow down and one of the things I know that I need to get things in order.  Often that means that it’s a little crazy, getting the things currently completed and getting ahead for what’s ahead.  Does that make sense.  Sometimes when trying to cut the big trees in life, I’ve got to put down the butter knife and stop cutting… in order to go get the chain saw.

One of the those chain saws is meal planning.  It sounds SO dumb but it’s soooo true.  So I’m not waiting until next week, I am doing it now.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 – Lunch (working from home today) Crockpot Chicken, served with mashed potatoes and green beans
                      Dinner – Malek with Samantha
Thursday, February 27, 2014  – spaghetti
Friday, February 28, 2014   – Out with Sheila
Saturday, March 1, 2014 – Potato Soup
Sunday, March 2, 2014  – Lunch Alive/Fuel Staff meeting – Taco/Nacho Bar
               Dinner – Archer Farms Quinoa with veggies
Monday, March 3, 2014  – Shepherd’s Pie
Tuesday, March 4, 2014  – Chicken Stir Fry
Wednesday, March 5, 2014  – Empty Buckets
Thursday, March 6, 2014  -  Stuffed Peppers
Friday, March 7, 2014  -  Tacos
Saturday, March 8, 2014  - White Chicken Chili

Living life!

How do you know there is a God?

Because I just do.

God has done some crazy amazing things in my life.

But saturday was the kind of day where God just shows up in the sweetest "I really love you" sort of ways.

Lots of great things happened Saturday! Went and hung out with a friend, celebrated at a wedding shower, and last but not least...

My Buckets (two of them) and I (and there friend) all had a really nice dinner at one of their favorite places, mancy's in Toledo. Wow! It was delicious! And then we drove home and went to see the meet "the secret life of Walter Mitty" at the dollar show. 

And in the middle of the movie, I thanked God for the enjoyment of the night. It really was a great night. I'm so thankful for my friends who have become family! They are God's reminder to me of how much He loves me! (Someday I hope they all go to Haiti with me!!)

One of the biggest issues I have in life is that I have a pretty crazy calling on my life and i live my life living out that calling. Loving others. And being a momma to my own daughter and many others.

I am often caught up in the craziness of getting things done. Mission trips, home, youth group, soup kitchens, work and I forget to really enjoy life. Let me tell you, my friends, sometimes I just gotta say no to things to say yes to others. 

Like most people I don't want to say no to anything but I'm learning to weigh my yes's and no's and it makes life so much more enjoyable.

It's not like I'm going to stop doing things... I'm just being choosy :) walking in the path God has laid out for me.


Friday, February 21, 2014

As much as we grow, sometimes we are still the same!

Man, I have to tell you that God is doing some really crazy things in my heart this week.
I found my third grade school picture, and I thought “wow, how cute” and also thought how funny it was that:
        A)     I have the same haircut as I did in third grade
        B)      I was wearing a dress

School day pictures were important back then and I tried really hard to look pretty.

Underneath my third grade picture was my second grade picture.

I distinctly remember this picture.  And the time leading up to taking it (my first thought is that when  I look hideous and it makes me want to cry about how much I needed a momma when I look at this picture).  And I have to admit, that I have always struggled with needing a momma, but it seems lately I actually ache for my momma.  And what the heck!  I’m 41 years old, you’d think I’d be over it by now!  SHEESH! She's been gone for almost 40 years and I barely knew her.

I was growing out my bangs (and let me tell you after growing out my bangs about 10 years ago, I will never have bangs again!) hence the crazy barrettes and what’s funny is that I am still not that great at doing my hair. 
I tried to be pretty (and girly) by wearing a dress.
I didn’t smile my normal smile because I was embarrassed of my teeth growing in and probably lack there of…

But really…  really… look at me.  I WAS CUTE!  I mean in a completely dorky sort of way!

I was a little girl who needed a momma.

And today… I don’t feel all that different.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

French Honey Bread

My muffin (daughter) wanted to make homemade bread in the bread maker and so we tried this recipe and I have to say that BY FAR this is the best bread I have ever made in my bread maker.  This makes a 2 lb or Large loaf.  It’s absolutely delicious!  

French Honey Bread

1 1/8 c water
1 T honey
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1 t sugar
3 c bread flour
2 ½ t yeast

Follow the direction of your bread maker! (we just put it in this order)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feeling is never easy, but it's necessary

There are days when I am afraid to start crying. I hold all the feelings in and try to keep them at arms length.

Today it was a rough one. I've been holding lots of stuff in, I've been trying to work through a few things without feeling.

And then I got this from God "that's enough!" And so here comes the next lesson. It's gonna be rough and it a gonna be hard, and it's going to be...
Worth it.

I had to say goodbye to someone that I am honored to serve God with. God brought him into my life for such a short time but at a time when God said "open your heart all the way, and feel what it feels like to love, really love, no strings attached."

This person, he's not just someone I served with once a month, he became my brother. Someone I looked out for, someone I confided in, someone that we shared the joys of loving Jesus with. 

I honestly don't know if I will ever see him again on this earth, but I will tell you, that because of him, my life has been changed for the better.

I loveyou brother leon, it's been an honor serving Jesus with you. I am a better person because I have known you!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

It's time to celebrate!!!

Sometimes I just don't get the defending of the "stay at home mom" maybe it's because I know that many of them don't sit in their butts all day. I sometimes feel like I need to defend my "working outside the home" status.

I think it's awesome when families have stay at home moms. I was always thankful for my friends who were stay at home moms that would be willing to watch Phyllis when she had a snow day and I had to work (if I didn't work, we didn't eat).

I'll tell you the truth, I don't know if I could be a stay at home mom, even days I work from home I'm about to lose my mind.

I think it takes amazing women to work inside the home or at an outside job.  I think it's great for kids to stay home and I think day care isn't all that awful either.

I think so many times our own insecurities get the best of us! We were all created with different gifts and talents and we all have our own struggles and how much better would the world be if we just accepted each other, loved each other, and truly celebrated the gifts that God created us to be!

That would be world changing!!

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Slow down!

Sometimes life seems like the opening credits of the jetsons when George is yelling "Jane stop this crazy thing!"

It seems there isn't time to stop. 



I can tell you that I know it's hard. I know it doesn't seem like there is time to rest.

Take the time. 

I've lived my life going 100 miles an hour. And if I don't stop for directions... It's usually in circles.

God is clear when He tells us to be still. 

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)

He's got it worked out. No matter how out of control life can get, He is in control. 

I don't need to manipulate data, try to get things to go my way, and neither do you. 

Isn't that encouraging? Someone smarter and bigger than you is going to take care of it all!!

And He does it because...

You are beautiful (He created you, and are made in His image - and what is more beautiful than the God of wonders?)

You are worthy. You are His masterpiece (eph 2:10)

And darling, you  are loved. 

So today, in the craziness of taking care of everyone else, fall into His arms, let Him embrace you in His arms.

As you are quiet, know you are loved!

For more encouragement go check out my friend Holley's blog at

Trusting community

Trust is not an option when you are in community with others. But to be honest it doesn't always come easy for me.

Years and years of making poor choices in friends, people move away it happens. Counting on people is hard. Trusting them with my heart.

One thing about obedience and trust and (for me) why it's so hard is that it was unfamiliar, and because of that the outcome is unfamiliar. If you never ate ice cream, it could maybe be scary if you ate something that looked similar but was gross. The outcome could be scary.

The thing about being obedient and trusting is that the results are great (for the most part) and the rewards of doing it far outweigh the risks.

Doesn't always seem easy, but it gets easier, and certainly more familiar.

True Community cannot be built without trust (and love).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I won't be afraid!

I found out something today… one of the most beautiful looking people I have ever seen in my life took his own life.  I mean, for real, this guy…  knocked me off my feet.

He lost his job and whatever else, he took his own life.

As beautiful as I thought this guy was, I never ever had the nerve to talk to him.    He was “out of my league”.

Can I tell you something?  I have made myself sick.  

That guy mattered.  And I don’t even know his name.  

What was I thinking “out of my league”?  that’s so absolutely ridiculous.

What if I would have been brave and talked to him?  What if I would have befriended him?
Oh what if?

I can live in what if’s but I can live in the “I will” place.  I will treat each person I meet just like God would, with love.  I will be brave.

Immediately I think of Joshua 1 where God just spells it out, simply… BE BRAVE – I will go with your wherever you go.

Look at these verses:
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.  (If God is for me, who can be against me??) As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (no matter how hard something is, He’s not going anywhere!) Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. (He has come before me!!!)
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you (do what He asks!!!); do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. (even if I mess it up, He will use it for good – Romans 8:28) Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (This makes me think of John 1 – The word was with God, and it was God) 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.”

I read this and I can’t help but think “God, I am so thankful for the call You have put me, and I am thankful You never leave me…  Here I am…. Send me! I won’t promise that I might not ever get nervous, but I promise, I will go, and I will just reach out for Your hand… that I  KNOW it will ALWAYS be there”

I will probably always be regretful that I didn't say anything to that man, but I will use it as a lesson to love bigger and deeper.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

What it takes

I'll tell you the truth I think I'm beautiful. Not like Katie Dorband beautiful but I think that God has done a great work in me. Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

But the other day I looked in the mirror and thought "yuck"!

I need to get serious about being all god created me to be. It is not that God loves me differently or that I don't love myself but I need to be healthy to be ready to do all He has created me to be and do.
Like all things, I want my changes to be long lasting and hard work will need to be done. And there are a lot of things that I know, I just need to put them into practice. The truth is that I don't need another app,

I need a Savior.

I need to focus on Him. Love Him and surrender my life to Him, all of it, including the things I eat and why.

So today... Here we go! Again.