Passion



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, July 31, 2015

Notes from the cleaning lady's heart

Sometimes on the days when we feel the most growth we open ourselves to feel the most hurt. I feel like most of the day I held back tears. Some of the time I was successful and some of the time... Not so much.

I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner but the plans changed... So like most lame people I went to the church to get it ready for Sunday. I normally clean on Thursdays but yesterday I spent my time in the sanctuary instead. And it was time well spent. 

Can I tell you there aren't too many things more humbling than cleaning a bathroom. Especially one that isn't yours. <yuck>

But that's what I do.

I'll tell you, there comes great thankfulness in cleaning a dirty church. Thanksgiving precedes the miracle (1000 gifts).

We have these stairs. Oh the stairs. I'm pretty sure that they are dirty 5 minutes after I wash them. No matter how often I wash them. But today, I found myself thankful for the dirt that was tracked in by the 100+ students and leaders that were here for 4 days. And for my own church family. 

The back stairs. That no visitors see (praise God for small miracles) it only takes 30 seconds after i wash them to look dirty! I swear the dirt particles sit on the railings and as I wash them, they wait for them to dry and then the dirt ascends on stairs like paratroopers. But our pastors use those stairs so I wash them :) I know it probably doesn't matter to anyone but me, but it's a labor of love. I'm thankful for them.

Did you know that the candy nerds are straight from the devil??? Ugh those little bits. I feel like I'm always vacuuming them. But... Those candy means children, and children bring life and love to our church, so I  thankful to vacuum them. 

And lastly, the kitchen floor. The dreaded kitchen floor. It's ALWAYS dirty. And I wash the whole dumb thing on my hands and knees at least once a week. But today as i washed it, I thought about our family who all shared a meal yesterday. What a privilege it is to gather and pray, to praise God in this place.

I never knew I'd love cleaning the church so much. Thanksgiving precedes the miracle. 

Praise God. 

(But it's ok to clean up after yourself) 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Distractions

Tonight we broke bread at church before Equip (our time of prayer). I made a huge pot of taco chili (I forget I go to a much smaller church now) and a lot of different people brought different things. Soda, dessert, sour cream, cheese... You get the idea.  It was a nice little time together (our pastors LOVE all of us together which I do too honestly). 

Normally during Equip I clean and pray. But today I really felt like The Spirit was telling me to focus. So I decided I could clean any time. I won't bore you with all the details but Pastor Jacob lead us to make space in our lives for God. 

So I took that time to pray about what is distracting me. TV/movies/Facebook 
So I deleted the Hulu & Netflix apps off my phone, also the Facebook app ( though I can still access)

Back to bible listening, worship music, and podcasts!!! 

Back to basics, baby!!

I'm excited about how He will speak. I can still watch tv at home but truthfully it is a might distraction!!

I'm excited about what I will hear in this time because He's already speaking!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Goal setting !!!

I am super thankful for my former Youth Pastor that that I served under.  He had us set goals every year!  I thought I'd share the format because I think sometimes it's hard to know where to begin.

SO HERE YOU GO!!!

********************************************************8


Lets plan to be healthy and growing this year! 

Spend a few minutes in prayer asking God to give you some direction for the coming school year as far as areas that need work or growth in your life. 

Ask God to give you vision and direction for both your personal life and ministry at alive/fuel!

Your personal spiritual life:

Goal 1. ____________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #2 ____________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #3 ____________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________


What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  ______________________

_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

(what will you do on a daily basis or regular basis to make these goals a reality?)


Personal Ministry Goals within Alive/Fuel:

Goal 1. ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #2 ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  _______________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Marriage/family Goals:

Goal 1. ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #2 ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

 What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  _______________________
___________________________________________________________________________
 _____________________________________________________________________________

 
Physical Health goals:

Goal 1. _______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #2 ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________


What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  _______________________
 
____________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________


School/Work/Financial goals:

Goal 1. ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

Goal #2 ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

 
What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  _______________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Other goals such as purity goals, friendship goals, emotional health, bucket list items, crazy ideas, etc.

Goal 1. _______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

 Goal #2 ______________________________________________________________________

Deadline/ due date: _____________________

 What is your plan to make these goals a reality over the next year?  _______________________

 _____________________________________________________________________________
 _____________________________________________________________________________

 
This is just to get you started and get your thinking going.

 Some other recommendations to help ensure that you will move forward this year:

1.  Set weekly and monthly Goals that will move you towards your yearly goals.

2.  Write all your goals down & put the paper in a place that you will see them often!

3.  Tell someone else what your goals & plans are so they can hold you accountable! 

4.  I would also recommend taking an action step in each category within the next week!

5.  I would also recommend creating a growth plan that has all your goals on it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Setting goals

Every year I set my goals in September. It started in 2012 on a retreat. We set our goals then because the school year starts and when I was in youth ministry it was my life. It's a perfect time to start, there's little pressure because people don't know so they aren't looking at you to see if you've failed or succeeded AND by the time January 1 comes, my goal success is well underway. This was one of the many great things I learned in youth ministry!! I can't believe it's been a year since I found out the Dorbands were leaving Michigan)!

It's a crazy thing is that I take weeks to pray about what my goals should be. Where does God want me to grow? What will it take to get there?

I feel like reconciliation is in the cards for next year. But with who? I'm sure it won't be easy... Forgiveness and reconciliation.

Praying for "what's next".

Sometimes it seems hard to get out and exercise after a full day at work and millions of things going on, but in that time, God works in me!  Mind, body, and spirit!

It's important to take good care of yourself!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Love serve REST repeat

It has been the craziest of 4 months!!!

I've flown to:
Haiti
Germany 
Colorado (twice)

Been on 4 mission trips since the end of March:
Haiti
Denver
Detroit (twice)
And planted a community garden

I've had very little time to rest and my trip to Haiti needed some processing afterwards. I never really got that time. Though I've taken days to rest it has not been the kind of rest I needed until this weekend.


Wow! There is something about northern Michigan that makes my heart slow down. I look around at the beauty of it, I breathe in, relax. It calms my soul.

There is always much to do. We were created to bring Him glory. But sometimes I think we need to see His glory. 

Today I drove home (without getting a ticket lol) and came home with a sudden burst of energy. Maybe because I had only gone about 900 steps. I cleaned the garage. It was a crazy mess but I felt re-energized so I tackled that ridiculous mess!! Holy moly! Cleaned out my car, and went to the church to start hauling things home. When I got to church the kitchen floor had seen its share of use so I washed it. Just a quick wash, but so much better! It makes me happy to make the church sparkle for Jesus  and so others can enjoy it!

I wanted one last moment of His glory so I hopped in my car and headed to Belle Isle. It's my favorite Monday spot. I walked about a mile and then rested while I watched the sun set and started a new book that my friend lent me. The women who wrote in this book are truly inspiring and God is working in them, and I'm sure He will use them to work through others (and me!)

It's been awhile since my heart has had peace. That it seems to be smiling. 

Love.
Serve.
Rest.
Repeat.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mission trip lessons

This since March 28 I've been on 4 mission trips (ish) 

Haiti
Denver
Helped metro with their Detroit trip
4 days

I was actually surprised at that number. I've been busy lol. 

I always tend to learn a lot before/during/after mission trips. God moves like crazy when I'm on one and a lot after. This spring/summer was no different. 

I always joke and say "stupid Netta prayed I'd see things the way God sees them". Well, she did, and He took off some scales. And some of it was beautiful and some of it was really ugly. Most of the ugly was in my own mess... Because it's been so busy it's been hard to take the time to process and work through it all. I'm getting there.

Some mission trip truths:

Sometimes people aren't what you originally thought. Sometimes it's way better than you thought, and sometimes it's much worse.

Stay hydrated. By the time you realize you're thirsty, you're dehydrated. Its the same with being close to God. Stay close.

You can never have too much toilet paper.

Know how to use a plunger

Flushing is the best!!

Smile a lot. Give grace. To others and yourself. 

Listen

Rest

Take good care of yourself

Take a minute if you need one. Otherwise you'll spend more minutes apologizing for things you said.

Right a wrong quickly. If there's an issue, address it swiftly, and with love and grace.

Making sandwiches with others is way more fun with others than by yourself.

Schedule rest after the trip.

Live out the great commandment not just the great commission. You can't have one without the other.

Serve love repeat 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Masterpiece bravery

Today I was in my kitchen praying for my church, it's short term missionaries who are coming this week, and some dear friends.

A lot of people have a quiet place where they pray... Me I got a small kitchen that some pretty awesome magic happens in! (You should have seen it last night from 10pm to 12am, it was in full effect).

When it comes to me, I know I have nerd gifts. I'm never gonna be cool, I'm never gonna be the one leading anyone anywhere unless it's to show you where the bathroom is or how to do dishes. And I am ok with that. Maybe not everyone gets my weird gifts (but they will enjoy them!) and the best part is that I don't need anyone to "get them" just don't get in my way so I can use them.

I'm reading this incredible devotional called Brave Girl boots and my heart is so moved by it!! The truth is I've been reading my bible and well, to be honest usually I'm moved beyond tears when I read it, but lately, well, not so much (how is that for a plug to get you to read the bible!). I keep reading though. Waiting with great expectation that God will knock me off my feet like He often does!! I'm being faithful and reading!  The Brave Girls Devotional... Whoa! God is speaking so much to me through it, THERE IS POWER IN OUR TESTIMONIES!!!!! 

I'm learning that being brave isn't mountain climbing or jumping off a cliff (that's either brave or crazy I'm not sure which!), being brave is being right where you are and finding joy!  Finding fruit in what you love and sharing it!!!

I'm a little nervous about this week and all I'm doing but I am excited! It's my sweet spot of serving! And I'm being brave doing what I know I'm called to do!

“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

The ugly

There are some realizations in my life that just make me want to... Slap myself.

I've just really had a rough time lately. I don't know if my own selfishness just really reared its ugly head but man it was ugly, all coming to the point last weekend when I guess I just couldn't take it anymore, and I just cried. And cried. And cried.

I said "I think God hates me" and I've been praying about that moment, like what in the world? I know that's not true, for crying outloud, I'm Gods favorite how could He hate me ;) so in my prayer time, really seeking I felt the spirit just say "who is the one who is not happy with who?" 

Ugh.

My own ugliness. 

I'm such a self jerk but I guess the truth is that because I wasn't getting my own way (though i was really hurt) I thought that must be the answer.

What a mess!  It's a bunch of things and it starting with my mess!  Im focusing on things one at a time. Asked my friend to pray for me, I need to eat better. Garbage in, garbage out. It really does feel good to make good eating choices.  

I'm working on a better me, God is working on my heart!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

You can go home again

You can always go "home" again but I don't think it always feels the same. Hopefully we are not the same as when we left, or maybe it's just me who is thankful that God has changed me, even ever so slightly.

I went back to my old church (metro) last night. I'm so very thankful for the people who greeted me and laughed really hard at the person who was 3 ft in front of me that turned around when they looked right at me. 

I went to visit for the Colombia Missions team send off. What a blessing. To see a young woman who I was her leader follow God and co lead a trip to Colombia makes my heart so overwhelmed. 

Chad and Tina lead us into the night of worship and wow! I think I might have started crying after the first word was sung. 

I stood in that building in so many places and the memories were overwhelming. One that stood out to me was this one time... Judah was having a rough time and so was I. He needed to eat dinner and I needed to get to Alive but Katie was leading a meeting or something. I pulled Judah out of his seat and sat him on my lap to eat and he leaned his head on me, and was fussy, and I said "it's ok to cry Judah, sometimes we just need a good cry" and honestly I just cried with him. 

Isn't that true? Sometimes we just need a good cry. God gave us feelings for a reason and it's ok to feel.  I have to remember that sometimes, as much as I have my heart on my sleeve, often I keep feelings bottled up.  Surely God allows us to express our feelings (look at psalms). 

I'm thankful for where God has me, even though it's not always easy, and I'm thankful for the places I'm from.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

Friday, July 17, 2015

Couragessness

I don't even know how it happened.  

But somehow i was writing for the Brave Girl Boots Blog. As I was reading the women's stories of their couragessness (it's a real word, just trust me ok?) I thought wow. I'm unworthy. I hope my story of bravery helps someone else to be brave, even if in comparison my story isn't that great. (Let's face it comparison is work of the enemy and I don't like to give that slimeball too much credit).

So fast forward to this time, and I find myself so very honored to have my name in a book of women that God made so very awesomely brave. But the truth is also that I find myself so very broken, in need of a Savior. I don't need someone to come in with some arlene's tacky glue, I need some real healing, and removal of the scar tissue. (But leave the scar so I never forget the healing that has taken place). And I'm thankful for a Savior that can do that, because ONLY He can!!!

I have been in need of "something" that can take me to the next level of where I need to be. I have felt like I didn't need more "God created you awesome" bull-ony Duh. Have you met me? The greatest parts of me are God stitched. I needed something to hit the core of me to get rid of those parts of me that have been hidden in fear. The parts that I don't like to admit I have, the parts that as God removes them and refines me, He makes them shine like only He can.

And as I pray, and seek, for wisdom and healing, I am still brought back to that moment, that moment in the car while driving to Buckley. "We are moving to Colorado". How do I love and hate those words at the very same time? I love that my friends have always been some of the best examples of TRUE disciples, following God, losing what they have for the hope of what He brings.

They weren't just people I served in youth ministry with. It might have been where we met and how we built or relationship, but those 5, that started out as 2 when I met them, they are my friends and my "nephews" and my life was never the same as each of them came into it, and surely wasn't the same after they left.

And there it is. People leave. For good reasons and bad. 

Fear of abandonment.

Yuck 

And I don't know where that comes from, maybe it's because my momma left this earth far too early. And no matter what you say I'll always believe that mommas are supposed to stay. 

Maybe it's why I hug super hard, know you are loved. I cherish that moment, it's not just a greeting or a goodbye, it's an I loveyou 

And them leaving it's been a hard  to cultivate relationships, making new friends but I am glad that God has me in this place, and those friendships are deeper than I ever thought possible (go figure, He knew what He was doing).  And then God moves me to a new church where it's not always comfortable. (Comfort zones are peaceful but I won't grow there). Starting over and getting to know people and making myself vulnerable is not always my first choice. And doing that at a time when I feel empty, ALMOST seems impossible.


But when empty, that's when God seems to do His "best work" and fills me, and fills me with the kind of love and grace and joy that only He can (it's like the best casserole EVER!)

Wow these boots! 

I remember thinking "maybe my story will change someone's heart" but really all these stories have come into my life, and are changing my heart to one that not only bears His name, but makes mine look more like His.

I keep singing "The Desert Song" by Hillsong



 
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
 
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flame
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
 
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Starting a Brave journey


So, I’ve been quiet.  For awhile, sure a post here and there but not really a whole bunch.  It's because I'm struggling, and I'm only quiet when I'm struggling.

I walk around knowing that I am blessed millions but sad inside.  And the point it came to on Sunday was that I said OUTLOUD “I think God hates me”

Now let’s just be honest, that’s just not true.  I was overwhelmed and knew I just needed a good cry, and it came, but not as I was hoping, it came after an ugly incident when someone thought they were being helpful and it was just hurtful. 

And yesterday, I cried for the better part of the day, and fell asleep crying.  Yuck.  Do you know what you wake up looking like when you fall asleep crying?  YUCK.

I realized that it’s been about a year since I got the devastating news that Adam and Katie and the boys were leaving.  Now this might not be devastating news to you, but it was to me.  And it seemed like my world got turned upside down and still is a little topsy turvy now.  My life was Youth Ministry, it was how I served Jesus.  And after they left I felt like I was standing in the middle of a field all alone thinking “now what?” (though I really have learned to love rest and found new ways to serve)

I can’t figure out where I am supposed to be. 

I started reading “Brave Girl Boots a 40 day Journey to Brave” and just reading the introduction I was trying really hard not to cry, and I was failing miserably.

Wow. Maybe the future isn’t any of my business.  Maybe I need to do a much better job of living in the here and now.  But that doesn’t seem that simple to me.  My whole life I craved the planning of what is next, maybe it’s a control thing from the days of trying to control things, but I also believe planning is necessary and helps make things excellent.

To be honest, I’d like to chuck everything and go live on an island somewhere but I won’t.  I’ll start this journey of being brave, and I’ll seek God and find out what He has, I have no clue about what I’m doing anyway. 

It’s time for HARD WORK. I hate hard work, but I love it’s rewards… 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Always be brave

Yesterday I was a dinner for a devotional for women written by women. I was blessed to be asked to write for the blog and my post was chosen for the book. Day 31

It was such an honor to be a part of something that was full of such amazing women. 

I think about where I was 3 years ago.     I dreamt of writing a book and i was then chosen to be part of the God sized dream team! I remembered that there was really only one person I ever really shared the dream of writing a book. I'd share my hopes, my dreams, and my fear about writing a book. 

After much prayer, writing a book God has Something different for me, I'm not sure if I'll ever write a book, nor do I focus on how that dream had not come true.  I think, that at least for me, there might seem like something that is of God because it seems so big, 

I think in this "brave girl" adventure I learned to remember to write what was in my heart that God gave me. I remembered that He is in all things, when I'm frightened, when I'm overwhelmed and I can't breathe. 

This adventure reminds me to be brave

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

You make me brave

It's been awhile since I blogged. I've started blog posts but then... Eh they fizzle out.

I've been wanting to get back to blogging because it's always kind if been my way to journal. 

Ive been kind of in a funk.  Which makes it hard, and Sunday after a series of unfortunate events I said "I think God hates me" which is absolutely ridiculous!!! I'm His favorite ;) how could He hate me?

So I've been digging into His Word, really listening to it. And I started journaling again in my new journal. 

I don't want to give myself things to write about that will pigeonhole me into things. Like worship Wednesday... But I'm totally inspired by my Brave girl boots wearing friends, and might start reflecting on all the ways I've been able to be brave because of Christ's strength in me.
Real 2 Cor 12:9 moments 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

I'm thankful for tonight and a book full of bravery and inspiration

Friday, July 03, 2015

Serve with me

I have to tell you about this weird character flaw I have (besides hating when people call me awesome). 

I'm terrible at socializing. 

For the most part, if you want to spend time with me, you have to serve with me. Rarely do I just sit around and do nothing. And it makes me crazy when I'm talking to someone while they are looking for someone else to talk to...

I think of my best friends, we serve together or have served together. That's where we have our best conversations, our hearts are open.

I know it's something I need to work on because not everyone likes to serve and I'm missing out and so are they (haha)

Want to clean church with me? Or pull weeds (it will be harvest soon)?!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Podcast list


The truth is that I’d like to write about current events but mostly I just want to tell some people to shut up and love someone.  So there you go…

Well, I needed to update my podcast library and a few months ago I asked people to share their favorite podcasts because I had burned through all my favorites.  I’d like to share the list that was compiled with all of you! There are a few that I have listened to (I recommend Courage Church, Chilly Chilton, Meeting house, Elevation)

Enjoy!

 
Meeting House – Bruxy Cavey

Woodland Hills – Greg Boyd

Journey Church – Felix Quinones

The Village

Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Timothy Keller

City Church – Judah Smith

New Spring – Perry Noble

Hillsong NYC – Carl Lentz

Elevation Church – Steven Furtick

Chilly Chilton

Ed Young

Lisa Bevere

Jentezen Franklin

Celebration Church – Stovall Williams

Truth for life – Alistar Begg

Your Move – Andy Stanley

River Valley Church – Rob Ketterling

Tony Evans

John Piper

Jessie Duplantis

The Crossing (St. Louis) Greg Holder

Poplar Creek – Ian Simkins

The Urban Alternative – Dr. Tony Evans

Renovatus Church – Jonathon Martin