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)

Monday, August 24, 2015

A small accomplishment

So yesterday I was walking around our church neighborhood and I noticed this building that's across the street from the school right near our church. The front is still standing but the back is burnt out and it looks like a jungle. 

You know how in our lives we can't unhear something or unsee something ?

Well last year when we were signing up for Life Remodeled I remembered that one of the speakers had said that girls couldn't ride the bus because the street lights were burnt out and the areas were so over grown that they were getting kidnapped. And you know what? That's not ok with me. It's just not and I make no apologies for that. 

And so when I saw that crazy jungle that really wasn't ok with me either. And I make no apologies for that. So i posted about it and some friends said they would help!  I have to pick a day.  But in the mean time... All day that building was on my heart. So I came home and made dinner and decided to go... Do something. 

All I have is mostly gardening tools lol. You'd be surprised what a willing attitude and a pair of hand pruning sheers can do!!!

I know that people talk to me and think I'm nuts and sometimes make fun of me. They do, I hear them, but I don't care. I laugh right along with them, because I know it's weird. 
I know it's weird to think I can change the world. I'm just a single mom who has not much. And when it comes to talent, a frying pan, a broom, and some small gardening tools is all I got. But sometimes, it's just small things that we need to make a difference to someone. 

You see, I know that it was just a couple bushes today, and next week it might be a bigger area, but now I know there isn't a place for someone to hide to harm children, or no little varmits  will be hiding those bushes that carry disease. And that means tonight, I can sleep a little easier, until tomorrow when it's time to do something else.  

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”  1 John 3:18 NIV

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meal Planning for the next two weeks!

Last meal planning was great!  I was flexible and realized I planned too many meals but it was good because my freezer is stocked up and so is the pantry.  I am slowly putting food up. Peaches this week, and some green beans.  And I have no pinto beans, black beans,  or red beans canned (how did that happen!!)
Monday:  Brats, green peppers & onions, and leftovers

Tuesday:  BBQ chickenpizza (from leftovers and I'll make my own crust) after I get home from serving at MBK (Fried Chicken, Mashed taters, and Corn)

Wednesday:  Spaghetti (frozen sauce leftover from my trip to Roma's the other day)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday:  Wedding

Saturday:  Chicken Stir Fry

Sunday:  Lunch: church BBQ

                Dinner:  Tacos

Monday:  Chicken on the BBQ

Tuesday: Out with Ivonne

Wednesday:  Sesame noodles (a version of this) and chicken

Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  ?

Saturday:  Sprinkle for The Groves Family

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I love my church

I really love my church. I have had moments when I've been really proud of what we do "as the church", I'm thankful for two pastors who bring it every week, our worship team loves Jesus, a group of children's staff and youth ministry that loves and cares for the kids. 

We are small but mighty. 

I love that it seems that everyone serves in our church in some capacity. From the kids ministry inside our church so people can hear the word to those who faithfully serve twice a week to the homeless. We love.

That's what I love about our church. 

I love that God lives and breathes in each of us, and we exhale, Him.

There was a group of us who sat in my garage today as we wished our friend "hasta pronto" I thought how absolutely blessed I was to be a part of this little group. A group of people who love Jesus and do their best to live has He has called us.

So as this night closes, I find myself so very thankful

Saturday, August 15, 2015

There's fruit in the waiting

Do you ever just wait for something?

And you want it so bad? 

I hate waiting. 

Sometimes I want to skip to the end just to see what happens?

Does the boy get the girl? 

The end is always great but the story is always greater.

One of my favorite quotes is from the book "greater" by Steven Furtick, he's the lead pastor at Elevation Church. "You'll never get to greater until you are willing to leave good enough behind". It's one of the quotes on my white board at work.  Honestly there aren't too many actual work things on that board lol, program volume, SOP (start of production), and some random names I can never remember but always seem to need.

While I'm waiting I always try to remember that God is preparing me. 

I had a dream a few weeks ago about this guy, and he said "I wish I
Would have met you sooner" and I smiled and said "but I wasn't ready" lol like i was chicken that wasn't ready, still raw inside. The truth is that was the absolute truth. God has down some crazy things in life in the last 10 years but I can say that even in the last three or even the last year my heart is overwhelmed by the healing that has taken place so that I can love more. 

It's certainly not always easy but the work He has done in my heart means I carry around a fruit basket and don't chuck it at people. 

You don't make jam until the fruit is ripe. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thankful ramblings

Today was a great day and one of those that I just feel so incredibly thankful for.

I went to Blocks, which if you get the chance to go anyway but the weekend is enough to be thankful for.  And I got stocked up on some things (like my 50 lbs of potatoes!!!) and lots of different veggies! We love beets and I was able to get a big box and we will roast them for dinners. I'm gonna make sour pickles that are good for digestion... And a few other things to get ready for the shin dig on Sunday that will be at our house. Just  don't wear your "farm Detroit" shirt because tons of people will ask you questions because they think you work there. Lol

I found myself so thankful that I can cook for my family and friends. And I can do it on a budget.  And I'll store food up for the winter.

And I needed to go to aldi for normally stocked items in our freezer and pantry. I've really missed my girls Ava and Lana so I swung by their house and asked them if they wanted to go grocery shopping. Now I laughed because you would have thought I asked them to go to cedar point. They were so excited! I mean that's how cool I am haha but really I guess it doesn't matter what you do when you love someone, as long as you're together <3

Later Quin is coming over and we are going to Sam's club to get some things he and his beautiful bride to be need for their wedding. And I'm making lunch :) I'm thankful to help them and able to spend time with him!!

Im thankful today <3

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Understand your "attacks"

Did you ever have a time in your life when maybe "the enemy" came after you? I personally don't like to give the devil too much credit but I don't ever doubt that there is one and he'd like to distract us. 

I happen to be in a time of preparation, learning, resting (for me), listening. And I feel like in the last week the enemy has tried to distract me. I could tell you stories, but I won't... Sometimes it's hurtful and sometimes it's amusing. I just think "I must be on the right track or he wouldn't be working hard to shove me off in front of the train.

So... In the past week, I've had a couple "things" come at me, things that would have been considered "big guns" in the past... But I know who I am! I know who God made me to be, I have learned that things that seem "like big guns" are only distractions, they are like water guns and so it's important to know what we are fighting against.  I just had to blow dry my super cute hair after that "attack" lol 

I thankful for the times that I rest and spend time with Jesus! 

And now I'm singing the jingle "on the right track to nine mile and Mack"

Eph 6:10-17 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Peace, love, and kindness

I have no idea what God has in store for me and sometimes it drive me completely batty and sometimes it brings me such peace :) how is that? My only answer is... Have you met me? I'm a fruit loop 

Lately I've noticed that my very big personality is shrinking. Big is a protection for me. I use my big personality to keep from getting hurt. 

I hate being hurt. I mean no one really likes it but I think that it has also over shadowed the best parts of me. The parts that love others. I didn't let people in so they couldn't hurt me, but that meant they couldn't love me either. And I couldn't love them to the fullest potential of love either.

I have found myself in uncharted territory and it's weird, and hard, and good too. I have found myself in the sweetest of spots. My heart filled with joy but also hurt.  

While in that hurt, I've had to work through some things... And that's never easy but the best fruit is at the top of the tree, closest to the Sun! 

This week we were studying "kindness". 

*Jesus asks "who is your neighbor?" 

*And kindness is the outward expression of love.

Those two points have been rolling around in my heart for the last couple days.

In order to love like Jesus, and to live out that love (kindness), I've got to be vulnerable. 

Yikes. That's scary.

The hardest things are always the scariest. And where I find the most peace in letting go. 

I'm learning to really live by loving more. 

Sunday, August 09, 2015

He has plans

When my daughter was about 4 someone asked me what my favorite age was... I said every age for different reasons.

I got one of those weird looks and she said "that's such a Margie answer". Lol I have no idea what that really meant. But I honestly meant it.

Maybe I was just a young dumb mom who was really broke, but I enjoyed my daughter even when times were really hard. 

And there were times that it was really hard. Moments when I was so paralyzed by fear, I almost couldn't function. Moments when I didn't know if there was enough to eat (and sometimes there wasn't) but I loved all those years for different reasons.

Sometimes I hear someone say "I don't want my baby to grow up" (and they could be any age). I think I might always make a deer in the headlight look.

No thanks. 

I love my "grown" daughter. She will always be my baby (sorry Pean). 

I love talking to her about her job, or meeting her to go kayaking... Or having a great dinner with her. 

I think about God's crazy plans... I am thankful and annoyed that I'm on a need to know basis about what He's got planned and apparently He doesn't think I need to know. 

I don't know why God does what He
Does. Why we grow, and why He takes some home too soon. Why He doesn't leave us in where we are doing great and then He moves us.

This I know... Even when I'm stuck in the middle... I'm always thankful... 

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The best laid plans...

I hate the middle. 

I don't like sitting in the middle. Even my favorite spot on the tap tap is the end. 

I like new beginnings, even the unknown, and I (for the most part) like endings. 

Middles with no end in sight are not my favorite. I like to see where I've been AND where I'm going. 

A lot of times I still feel like a little girl who lost her momma always afraid that her daddy would die and she'd be left... Alone.

No matter how busy someone is, if they are a single mom, they are alone a lot. I've learned to embrace alone and I'm not scared of it. Sometimes I actually like it. Sometimes I just need and long for quiet. One of my favorite things to do is go for long walks or sit on the ledge and watch the sun come up. But sometimes people have group outings (like girls nights) or gatherings in fun places and don't invite me. And i see it and while  happy for them, sometimes it feels like another nail in the loneliness coffin.

Sometimes I'll tell you that I have the best life! I can come and go pretty much anytime I want. I don't have to ask permission to do things I want to do (like go to Haiti or Colorado), and sometimes I'll tell you that life being single is hard. It's not always that I don't have the chance to date (I feel like I the  guys just aren't that great) or we date for awhile and for whatever reason it just doesn't work out. I don't always know why, and sometimes I thank God for protecting me from an idiot and a life that would have been less than His best for me.

In the lonely times I realize that life just might be different for me. I mean let's face it, I'm weird. I like to read the bible (I really was excited to read Deuteronomy), I like community gardens, and making large amounts of peanut butter and jelly, I love cooking, and I love serving people I love. And whoa, kayaking, a new love. Serving Detroit brings me great joy. I love encouraging people and cheering them on!! It's all weird I know. 

But there is something (someone) missing. I put my daughter first her whole life and of someone wasn't good enough to be her dad, he wasn't good enough for us. And in a gazillion years I'll never be sorry for that choice. 

I cling often to the scripture 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

But there is more... I always keep reading...

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.””
Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV

So I cling to the rest, I seek Him. And to be honest sometimes I seek Him half heartedly and that leaves me half of what I could and should be. But when I seek Him, He removes  me from the captivity of the messes I get myself into. And He gives me freedom! 

I am in the middle right now. I have let go of a lot of distractions, said good bye (if only in my heart) to some who shouldn't be in my life) in order to get to the next place God has for me.  

I'll keep seeking. With my whole heart.

I can see where I've been but I have no idea what the future holds but I know it's good. 

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Fruit and burnt potatoes

I'm not gonna lie... I'm in love! With kayaking!

I was driving today to belle isle where I can do one of my favorite things at one of my favorite places :) 

I was trying to decide today which I was gonna do, weed or kayak but to be honest I didn't want to make that choice. So I didn't. I can only go kayaking until 7 and I can pull weeds long After that... So I went kayaking, then put some potatoes on the stove and commenced weed pulling. I thought I was out there for 1/2 hour but apparently much longer because I burned the potatoes and all the water out. Yes. It happens 

And normally i don't burn things. I mean that year I took 18 credit hours, worked full time, did youth ministry and burned cookies. Stress. And things are a little stressful now... And maybe a little more than i want to admit. I burned potatoes :(

While I was out there I was thinking about all the places I don't know if i fit. I was thinking about how sometimes I just feel like this random puzzle piece that doesn't fit anywhere. Maybe that doesn't make sense to you but sometimes that's how I feel. And I feel like maybe even if there was the puzzle I'm like that piece in the sky that no one would realize was missing until it was all put together. So... Since I was out in the garden, I prayed... God change my heart, let me know I'm where I'm supposed to be. I'm in the middle so I won't see too much fruit right now, just give me peace.

I finished transplanting the 6 basil plants to a better spot after weeding and I went in the house to discover the burnt potatoes.

Now if you know me, you might have thought "oh she's gonna freak out, she loves potatoes" but instead I just simply said "oh no".  

And that my friends is fruit. Not a cuss word (that may have been a miracle), I didn't even think it. That's a peaceful heart condition. 

Thankful that i had leftovers for dinner and remade the potatoes. Thankful to have potatoes. 

Thanksgiving precedes the miracle. 


“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
Psalm 126:2-3 NIV

Sunday, August 02, 2015

I'll wait

So Friday I was cleaning the church and I noticed an apartment for rent... I thought oh it will be filled soon but wouldn't that be a great place to live!

I was prayer walking today. We do that at my church, we gather and pray but I try to pray outside in the neighborhood (remember that day I taught the kid to spit?). I like walking outside except that I get sweaty but whatever. So as I was walking I saw the sign and I thought "oh!!!!! Perfect" but I knew this didn't fit the timing that I know I'm on. There's lots of stuff to do to get ready to move and I'm NOT ready not even close but I'm closer than I was 6 months ago :) and I know there are some things financially I need to do but I'm not gonna lie... I started trying to put it together and I'm pretty sure I heard God give me a loud stern Haitian "no!!"

And then I laughed when I thought about the fruit of the spirit we are studying this week... PATIENCE!! Good grief Charlie Brown!

I knew there was gonna be something that God would speak to me...

Jerome (our guest pastor) really brought it today and when it comes down to this and everything else I rush into... I am selfish and want what I want... NOW! Ick

But I trust God and His timing and to be honest it always works out best when I do what He says. (How about that!?!)

I'm thankful for all the things He works out (even In the times when I try to rush ahead of Him)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 NIV

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Meal planning for 2 weeks

The best way to stick to my budget is to plan.  I put together a list of dinners based the meat and pantry things we had. I was really happy to make my first trip to Blocks And stocked up on lots of veggies and fruit along with a trip to Aldi's. We've got a good plan for the week!!!
I don't always follow a recipe but there are lots of links to what I used for the idea of the recipe!  I added lots of extra vegetables to the Chicken Parm Skillet.   
Saturday, August 1:  Chicken Parm skillet  adapted from here

Sunday August 2: 
Lunch: leftovers 
Dinner:  corn chowder adapted from here

Monday August 3:  
Lunch:  Corn Chowder and salad
Dinner:  Mexican Chicken wraps

Tuesday August 4:
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner:  stuffed peppers and mashed potatoes

Wednesday August 5:
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  chicken stir fry

Thursday August 6:
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: out

Friday August 7:
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  chicken Alfredo and broccoli

Saturday August 8:
Lunch: fresh tomato sandwiches
Dinner: out

Sunday August 9
Dinner: orange chicken  with rice

Monday August 10:
Lunch: leftovers 
Dinner: sesame noodles and chicken

Tuesday August 11:
Lunch: leftovers

Wednesday August 12:
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: spaghetti and meatballs 

Thursday August 13:
Lunch: leftover

Friday August 14:
Lunch: leftovers 
Dinner: ice box round up