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)

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Buckets

I wasn’t born into a Braverman family.  Sadly my mom died when I was 16 months old, my sister died before I was born…  I have one aunt, one uncle, I was the only kid on my dad’s side until I was 19.  The only family on my mom’s side is her cousins, that I am close with.  

I think that people like the Braverman’s because they can relate to them, or maybe they wish they had that kind of family.  I know for a long time, I wish I did.

Remember the episode when Max decided he couldn’t let his team down and had to go to the game, and the WHOLE family went?

OR how about when Zeke encouraged Victor to learn about cars…  to find something he was good at.

Or how Joel and Julie didn’t allow Sidney to be such a snit?  

Remember how they all would gather around each other in the hospital or wherever if they needed each other?

Well, here’s the deal, for a long time I wished for that family…  and then I prayed.  I prayed and prayed.  And then I got one.  I was pulled in by Love to that family. And sometimes I felt like I didn’t belong because I was different, but that’s what made me the puzzle piece that fit, and when I embraced that puzzle piece shape, got all in, I was, well, thankful.  

I didn’t cry at the last episode, which really surprised the heck out of me, I cry at almost everything.  And if you know me you know that to be true.

But I am getting misty now, thinking of my bucket family that I can call when I need something.
Remember that time I was in Haiti and my toilet had some issue and I sent an email to help Phyllis? She said they ALL called within a 5 minute period.  LOL

I honestly don’t know why they love me, I just bring taco seasoning and potato soup to our puzzle.  And a bottle of Kay… But I know how each one of them have been stitched into my heart…  and how I can’t imagine life without them!

But I tell you, it takes work and effort and unconditional love to make this Bucket Family work.  It takes honesty and persistence. And maybe we don’t see each other as often now, but together we are family.  

We might not have it all together but together we have it all…

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It's a journey

Yesterday I was talking to someone about how it’s taking me so long to lose weight and I am putting a lot of effort into it…  

They said want to lose 20 lbs in 20 days, and honestly I thought “no”.  Sure I would LOVE to lose 20 lbs in 20 days but I’d like to keep it off!!  And I know that radical weight loss usually does not stay off.  

I want to lose weight NEVER to find it again.

Eat 3 chicken breasts (1 each meal) and a cup of veggies at each meal.  That’s it.

Yeah, I’d eat my arm off by day 5 if I followed that. No one wants that, I’d be so crabby.

The truth is that it took me time to become a circle, so it will take time to deflate this beach ball (LOL).  I actually like hard work… it reminds me that Excellence is honoring to God and a reflection of His character.  It reminds me that things worth having are worth effort.  There is something that I love about accomplishment and consistency.  It’s honoring and inspiring to myself. I see results in one thing in my life and I invest and work hard in other areas and I see results.  Sometimes it’s SOOOOO hard, and I remember not to depend on my own strength, but to focus on Him, and what He can do in and through me.  I remember that He equips me when I can’t seem to find the gifts, knowledge, or strength.

So I will learn to plan, track, and make better choices. Small changes that will make a big difference, and learn to love things that I hate (like the annoying Zumba instructor last night!!) or at least find things that I actually like. 

It’s all a journey. A journey of hard work and hope.  A journey of mountain tops and valleys.  A journey that brings me closer to who God created me to be.

Eph 2:10 (NLT) 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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A little bit of crazy...

See below for an update in red... 

Ok so you want to know the not so happy truth?

I’m a little crazy.


I’ve been at this eating healthy and exercising (Tracking EVERYTHING!) for two weeks… and it’s been a loss of two pounds… it sure takes a lot of effort (seriously – it took me half an hour to pack my lunch).

I’m selling these t-shirts to raise money for what God called me to do… start a community garden, do you realize, I am totally not equipped for this, I am totally relying on God… I’ve got to believe that He’s got some miracle planned because He called me to do something only He can do!  But I haven’t sold many shirts.   I know I know… He equips the called, He doesn’t call the equipped. But sometimes I feel like Noah… like He wants me to build an Ark and I don’t even know what rain is…  I guess it’s encouraging but sometimes it just seems… well overwhelming.  Here’s the shirt if you’d like to buy one

And I just finally got settled into a church and the Pastor and his wife are being called to something greater!     What in the world!  I am so excited for them, and for what God is going to do, but I am going to miss them…  I wonder what God is up to…  You can read the details here:

It all seems absolutely crazy…  And I keep wondering why God called me to something and then left me in the valley.  What in the world?!?  Did you know that the grass is always greenest in the valley?  It’s beautiful in the meadow, it’s green, and lush, and the view to the top is beautiful.  In order to look back to see where God has brought me to, I must start at the bottom, taking small steps of faithfulness (hey, that’s  fruit of the spirit!), following Him for the best view of what He is doing, and will continue to do.

Well, do I seem crazy?  Well I kind of am.  But I kind of like crazy… keeps life interesting.
So be encouraged, we all have rough days or rough times, but He is faithful and He has made us His masterpiece, and He will continue His work in us until the very end.  

Josh 1:9 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 guess I wrote this to encourage myself (and maybe you too!) with what I already know…  

So I don't know if someone read this crazy post and prayed for me!  Knowing my friends it's totally possible...

SO!  I listened to this podcast by Steven Furtick at Elevation Church
from 1/18/15 It's Gonna Take Awhile (I like suddenly better too!)

And after consuming 60 oz of Black tea that I made myself and it was STRONG! (yes that's right - TWO TRENTA TEAS!)... 

It made reminded me that we gotta do the work!  It took years for me to be a circle (I'm not out of shape, that's just my shape) and if I want to change it, I gotta work at it!  So I went and did the stairs at work for 5 minutes (KICKED MY BUTT and thighs!)

Uploaded a woman's t-shirt for the website by the suggestion of my friend (check it out

And made a phone call on my lunch (I've tried sending 3 emails and already called twice!) to meet with someone regarding the garden... I have an appointment next week!

Reminded of Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

So... don't give up! God will give you what you need to succeed!  The Word, some encouragement, and a little caffeine for good measure!

Monday, January 26, 2015

It is well

Sometimes music gives us the words my heart can't seem to find.

It is well by Bethel Music

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name(repeat last line during 3rd run)
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul x3
ahhhhhhh (softly)

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

for my heart

Sometimes I just need a good song, and some encouragement.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stepping out

For most of my life as a Christian I served in a capacity that was "easy". Spaghetti dinners, organization, administrative stuff, loving teenagers, feeding people. Truly I have been blessed with some great gifts and I've embraced them with all I have. I have lived a life that has been beautiful. It may have been beautiful but it was easy.

You know what's not easy? When God asks me (tells me ) what's next. And it's something that's just something that I can't control.  First He asks me to leave my church but doesn't tell me where to go. I have to pray, listen, follow. And it wasn't easy. I "landed" at a church THAT I ALREADY KNEW and had been to, really, God? You couldn't have just made it easy and given me the plan? COME ON!!!
Then He tells me to start a community garden but He doesn't tell me where and didn't send a check to pay for the supplies. And sometimes I have to stuff a sock in the mouth of fear!
What if I don't raise the money? (I'm selling these tshirts )
What if I can't find a place?
What if no one helps me? I don't think I can do it on my own!
Water source? What if it doesn't rain?
What if the plants don't grow?

But God...

I always say "here I am, send me"

And He said "go"

So I'm going, stepping out in faith, wondering how it's gonna work out. Clearly i have no idea.

I feel like it's the year of obedience. 

Do things that are out of my comfort zone. (Yuck)
Lack of control

I often pray "dear God work in and through me"

It's a different kind of prayer, I want to become stronger in Him and have faith that's the size of a watermelon instead of a mustard seed. I want to become dependent on Him and stop walking around in my strength (which isn't much).

It's been quite a ride... But pretty awesome! 

Here I am... Send me!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A day to remember

I was talking to my friend, I was actually dreaming a dream and thought man, my life is so weird.
 For so many years i dedicated my life to youth ministry. I cannot even count the hours and not a single one would I want back when I think of all the kids who have given their lives over to Christ. 

I was making spaghetti sauce for lots of peeps for tomorrow and I was thinking that today was a really great day!

 I went to lunch with one of my dearest friends! I love that we like the same movies, same places to eat, and sneaking gelato into the movies instead of eating popcorn (shhhhhh). 

I even got the laundry folded thanks to my daughter who washed it :) 

I'm always thankful for days where I do something fun and getting things done and serving people! It's the perfect day :)

A lot has changed in my life in the last 6 months, things that I've done for a long time, God has pulled me away from.  People that I trusted have hurt me beyond anything I can explain. Places that felt like home, no longer feel that way. 

As I change the way I serve, my heart seems to grow and things bring more joy than I could have ever expected.  As for the people who have hurt me, I feel like it's the way God protects me by removing them from my life. As I've had to search for a new church I've had to pray and listen, and figure out where God wants me, not where I'd like to be (but I love where I've landed). 

There have been days like today when things seem great and almost perfect and there have been days with great sadness. I tend to try to focus on the things I'm thankful for rather than the sad moments. I tend to take the sad moments and think about the choices I've made to get me to that place and what I can do differently. 

Certainly life isn't perfect but surely there are perfect days :) and I'm thankful for the days no matter how they end, there's a lesson in each one.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting healthy the right way!

Today I went to Panera Bread (I thought I’d be able to eat soup and salad but good gravy after looking at the ingredients of their “food” I am not sure I will ever eat there again – GROSS!!!!!!) and this woman says to me “I’d like to give you my card” and I look at it and it says weightloss on it but she tries to tell me it’s supplements to give me more energy.  

Now, I really wanted to slap her.  Yes, I know, I’m a chubster.  You can call it whatever you want.  But I didn’t need her to tell me!

But here’s the thing, I am not looking for a quick fix for weight loss, I am looking for a permenant change.  Quick fixes don’t last and usually people gain their weight back. 

The thing is that it’s not that I don’t know HOW to lose weight, it’s not that I don’t know how to keep it off.  You know what the key to success is? Making the right decision over long periods over time.

Simple right?

It may seem simple but sometimes it’s really difficult.  I wanted to stop by Baskin Robbins and get ice cream and say “well there is always tomorrow”.  Yes that’s true but eating ice cream before I go to bed won’t help me achieve my goals.

There is a verse that says that we should be faithful in small things and God will trust us with bigger things.  I know that God calls us usually to do small things and as we grow in Him, much more is given, and much more is required.  (Luke 16:10 NLT "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.)

I was taken aback by that lady but I know that God was in the lesson, abide in me, find the true source of why you over eat or make poor choices (I’m a total stress eater) and then my outsides will match my insides… healthy!

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.