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, February 23, 2015

Living beyond

I'm ashamed to admit this but honestly I didn't think much about those that are risking their lives to spread the gospel. Those who don't argue over who does it right or wrong, those who don't point fingers at others, those who live and die for the sake of Christ. Who live far beyond themselves. Those who pick up His cross and carry it.  Until yesterday when my eyes were opened, and filled with tears. 

Today this verse hit me that is part of my reading plan.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:8-10 NIV)

If that's true, which I believe it is, I better really start living and stop being afraid of what people will think or what could happen to me. Lives matter. I must love far beyond myself. It's not about me and this life passes quickly. 

I just think about how I need to come before Him every morning, every hour, every moment, humbly and just say "whatever You want Lord" and sometimes that seems really scary. I can't imagine being called to the Middle East or somewhere that Christians are persecuted. Sometimes it's hard for me to be kind to people I don't like (how's that for the truth).

I know that for me, I need to stay close to Him, do what He says, pray, LISTEN, and obey. 

Yesterday I prayed that God would prepare hearts for His word and that people would obey, and I said "me too Lord, don't forget me". 

Not sure what He's up to, but I'm here, so send me. 

Please join me in prayer

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My girlfriend posted an article about how crazy one can get while wearing their fitbit. The truth is that I may be one of those crazies.

I originally purchased a pivotal living band which was a piece of junk and never synced correctly to my phone. But the $15 I paid for it did make me aware that I only get about 5000 steps a day (also note that it would often reset itself mid day which was frustrating). 

I decided to bite the bullet and get the fitbit charge. It is the one with the display on it. In my opinion, it is worth the extra $30 for this feature :) I love that my fitbit links to myfitnesspal app which I have always loved for tracking. 

Yes, it may be true that I have been outside at 10:30pm getting my steps in, or that a few times during the day I go walking to make sure I get my steps in. 

When I first started walking at night I'd laugh at myself about how crazy I was (am) but now I take that time to get my thoughts organized but not only that, I pray. I pray and pray. It's quiet and I am not distracted by anything. The time outside makes me thankful for lots of socks, boots, and a warm house to always get to come home to... 

So maybe I'm a little crazy about my steps, but it's been such a great thing for me! It gets me moving, gets my heart in line.  What a great little gadget!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Looking for a mess

The other day I was doing a bible study and a question was posed:  Which has most hindered your faith recently:  
Fear or familiarity.

Easy peasy.

Fear, right?

Nope, not even close… Familiarity.  Hands down
I truly believe that if God is in it, I might pause for a minute, pray, see if what is ahead of me lines up with the Word of God, but being afraid doesn’t typically stop me from doing something.  What do I have to lose if He is in it?

That doesn’t mean it’s easy or that I don’t wonder “what the heck?” but fear doesn’t hinder my faith.  I just suck it up buttercup, put my sass pants on, say a prayer and remember Josh 1:9 

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I think what most hinders me is that I know God is going to show up. I forget about the wonder of His love for me, because I’ve come to expect it.  I forget that His dying for me so that I can have eternal life far outweighs whatever provision is coming my way.  His death was the purpose of it all.  

I just got a new book The Grand Paradox that was suggested by Chilly Chilton and i tell you, I read the forward and I wish I could have got back in my pajamas and snugged up with a blanket and a glass of iced tea and devoured this book.  

Here is an exerpt from the book:
We want answers from God. We have a ravenous appetite for clarity in life. And often, we desire justification or, at least, some kind of explanation for why He allows certain things to transpire. God, however, is more mysterious than we think He should be or wish He were. Most of the time, we don’t receive the desired answers or the clarity for which we clamor. In spite of our seeking, God seems just out of our reach. Try as we might, we can’t pin Him down.
In short, the truth is: life is messy, and God is mysterious.
We struggle with these truths. We spend our energy, often wrestling in prayer, hoping to attain that place of peace in which our life is less difficult, painful and challenging.

So how do we live, grow, flourish, and remain content in the mess? How do we trust, follow, and continue to obey God when He seems to remain elusive? (xix-xx)

The truth is that maybe my familiarity is laziness. I trust God but I don’t always want to deal with the messy.  I want God to use me to solve the cuddley problems like helping kids read and believe in themselves or growing a community garden because those things are “easy” for me.  Sure I could fail, but I don’t usually focus on that.  But the tough things, like helping my city turn from it’s current state of mess to a little less messy, or the mental health crisis we have going on in our state/country, or how about GMOs? Oh the ugly problems, those are hard, messy problems and they require a Faith.  

So… I am excited to read this book, maybe get a little messy and lose the familiarity that binds me…

Here I am, send me.  Isaiah 6:8

Even if it's messy 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My crazy steps!!!

This crazy fitbit... It's motivated me to keep walking! Ok it's motivated me to get walking.

I never would have guessed that I didn't walk 10000 steps everyday, but probably on a good day I got in 5000 but now I make sure I get in a minimum of 10,000 and let me tell you sometimes it's 10:30pm when I do. 
The weather has been awful and I can't walk or run outside because I'd surely bite it. I know that walking with my fitbit probably doesn't seem like much, it's not working out with a trainer or hours at the gym, it's not insanity of beach body workouts but if there is one thing I've learned in my old age, it's important to be consistent. 

I log my food in everyday, get my steps in, drink my water, and stay connected to Jesus. In this time I've learned to better deal with my emotional eating, and I've found healthier alternatives to deal with stress, walking or stairs instead of vending machines. During that walking or stair time, I pray, I find out what the heart of the issue is.

I've always planned a lot more veggies into my day and meals. I just made a crockpot chicken cacciatore and so when I get home there isn't a lot of snacking or wondering what's for dinner. And most of the dish was made with organic ingredients (sometimes I just can't make the whole organic work - so I do the best I can).

Small changes I can live with my whole life. I still have meals (instead of days) when I eat what I want but I'm strategic about it. 

It's been good for me. I feel better, my clothes are fitting better. 

This crazy fitbit has really been a great tool for succeeding.

Success = doing the right things over long periods of time

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random Thoughts!

Well the scale is finally moving. And I put on a pair of pants I couldn’t wear before Christmas (though they are TIGHT).  Good gravy, it’s slow. No, I am not eating gravy. Gravy has gluten, gluten is horrible for me… no gravy.

I’ve made some small changes at every meal, these aren’t things that I didn’t know to do, they are things I chose not to do.  One thing I promised myself is that I would not make myself crazy.  Well… crazy-er.

I am not going to do insanity (you can though and I will cheer you on). I am going to make sure I get 10,000 steps in every day.  I hurt my back so exercise has been walking, stretching, that sort of thing, I make no apologies for taking care of myself and not over doing it.  I will get back to the elliptical and then to running… but for now…  

I eat normal food.  I just really choose what I am going to eat and plan well. I have really cut back on dairy, it’s full of fat and calories…  I do eat it but just not a lot.  I have learned over many years if I fail to plan, I plan to fail.  Yes, I carry celery and carrots around with me in case I get hungry.  It’s crazy and mostly I don’t eat them, but sometimes I do,  and I am thankful I have them… just in case.  Did you know I used to know a kid named Justin Case.  True Story.

I am little crazy about my steps.  Today might be difficult, I have a 3.5 hour meeting that I have to sit through.  HOLY MOLY.  Again, planning, I walked .75 miles this morning in the tunnels below my office.  I love walking out in the peacefulness of the night, but it’s cold people, I prefer NOT to have to be out there for an hour.

I eat A LOT of vegetables. I mean a lot of them. And after eating organic carrots for quite some time, I discovered when I ate regular carrots – GROSS!  I could taste the chemicals. No thank you. But I don’t always eat organic, it’s expensive, and I do the best I can. And that’s ok with me.  

So here I am again, refusing to get my exercise in by beating myself up, I have to take care of myself so I can be around my whole life  and I’d like to be happy.  But know if you come over for dinner… there will be vegetables…  but you don’t have to eat them, I will make you something else too!

There are my crazy thoughts!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Lessons of yesterday

Yesterday was a crazy day!  I think my blood pressure might have shot up a point or 100.  But in all that, I learned a few lessons.

11.      I was so mad at my city.  Actually at our previous mayor, she did a poor job of managing our city’s finances, and because of that we have less city services, and it makes me crazy!  It’s no shock that I don’t like my city that much, but I can either sit by and do nothing or I can do something about it. I am smart (though sometimes not always wise) and so I am going to gather data and try to do something about it.   I know…  you can’t fight city hall, but I don’t want to fight…  I just want to see if I can help.  And so I will

2.      Sometimes we need to have really great friends in our corner cheering us on.  Yesterday I was having a rough day when it came to wanting to make good choices, and I was low on my step count because I worked from home and it’s not a very far walk to the bathroom and that’s pretty much all I did yesterday except digging out plow mess!  I made a delicious dinner but I didn’t even want to eat it! I wanted to go out, probably eat something I shouldn’t! But instead I had a great cheerleader friend who said “yes you can go out” which really only made me want to eat at home because I made the food, and it made me stick to my budget.  Also she cheered me on as I was a little down about my steps, and she reminded me to keep track of the good things/choices I made yesterday!  Made me feel like a winner!

3.  I have a friend that I have known since High School but probably haven’t seen or talked to since 10th grade. We reconnected on facebook (see it’s not all bad!) and it was nice to catch up, and I hope we can meet up soon and really catch up!  He told me that when we were in high school I often lifted his spirits when he was having a bad day.  Which really shocked me! I had absolutely no idea!  I think we make crazy impacts on people’s lives (good and bad) and sometimes we never know.   I can only imagine all the times I didn’t make a difference for the good, but I am thankful for the times when I am reminded, be kind. Take good care of people you know, and those you don’t.  It matters.

Though at some point I would not have chalked yesterday up to a good day, as I walked around the block (trying to get in my 10,000 steps!) I was reminded how there are lessons in every day.  That God uses us even when we don’t know it.  That it’s important to do the right things even when no one is watching.

It just sometimes takes time.

Chicken Cacciatore - Frozen Crockpot Meal

I don't know about you, but I don't always like the food I cook in my crockpot and sometimes it's out of this world!  I try not to share recipes until I've actually eaten them.
I made up a bunch of crockpot frozen meals and am slowly getting to them!  I made this one yesterday but according to my meal plan I was supposed to make it tomorrow!  I live on the edge!
I have to say, it was pretty tasty!  I served it with rice!  I would make it again (though I cut the onions kind of big this time, next time, I will chop them smaller).

1 lb chicken breasts
1 (26 oz) jar of chunky vegetable-style spaghetti sauce (I used Aldi's Organic)

1 zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together.
Garnish: shredded Parm cheese
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Meal Planning for the week!

Well apparently my trip to Pure Pastures will be used well this week!  LOTS OF CHICKEN!  Also have bone broth cooking in the crockpot today! (I realize I am a little late to the party for making bone broth)

Sunday –
Lunch – Chicken & Broccoli
Dinner – Superbowl Nachos

Monday – 
Lunch - Leftovers from lunch
Dinner – Chicken, zucchini, & beans

Tuesday –
Lunch -  Leftovers
Dinner – Baked Chicken & Broccoli

Lunch – Out with co-workers
Dinner – Leftovers

Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Crockpot Chicken Caccitore, Brussels Sprout

Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Chicken 

Saturday –
Breakfast with Kaymac
Dinner – Creole Chicken & Rice and Beans