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)


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just one more

I always loved boating, I love the water. I love rainy days by the water, hot days by water, cooler days by the water.  

This spring I walked along the river walk and watched the ice break up and as fall has come upon us, I've spent more and more time on belle isle enjoying the weather change and the extra sunshine as it reflects off the water.

Today I thought about how fall boat rides were some of my favorite boat rides. People gave up using their boats after Labor Day but I feel like we raced the winter to the very end. Sometimes we'd get beautiful warm Indian summer days and sometimes cool days in October we'd put on winter coats as a challenge to Mother Nature.

Times on the boat were my favoritiest. Times spent with my dad... And friends. Soaking up the long days of summer.

Maybe that's why I start so soon and go on so long with outdoor activities, creating memories, spending time with God, talking, listening... Challenging... Myself and sometimes Him (glad He's gracious).

Stretching it out <3... Just one more...  Until I can't have anymore.


Menu planning - week of September 27

This week's menu! Going to try to eat less meat... And more veggies...

Sunday - chicken, green beans, potatoes

Monday - black bean soup

Tuesday - chilled peanut noodles
http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/chilled-peanut-noodles-recipe/

Wednesday - Hollywood rice 
http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/hollywood-bowl-brown-rice-salad-recipe/

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Indian curried lentils
http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/indian-curry-lentils/

Saturday - tacos 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The grace of God

Yesterday I went to the zoo with some of my favorites.

There were lots of great pictures and just some moments when I just observed their cuteness. I stayed mostly in the background and soaked it up, stealing an occasional smooch or just hugging them from behind has just for a minute they'd relax into my arms. We chat for 30 seconds and they were off.  I'd get to hold their hands as we walked in the parking lot talking about slurpies and popcorn or talking about band aids. 

There are moments in my life when I'm just completely overwhelmed by the grace of God, and yesterday was one giant overwhelmingly amazing terrific one!!!

I'm lucky to be their Auntie!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites... TV

So starting in October I decided to do the writing for 31 days thing, and I now get emails from them and today I read that she does "Friday favorites"... So I decided to do a Friday Favorite that went a little crazy....

Do you know this about me?

I love shows with terrible content. I don't know why, but I do.

Empire
How to get away with murder
Scandal
Orange is the new black

Oh this list could go on and on and on...

I've always just kind of been like "oh it's no big deal, it's mindless TV" but yesterday... Oh yesterday I was talking to my friend how crazy Empire was crazier than it was last year, and to be honest... It wasn't great :( 

I really felt yesterday that even though it was my favorite show I need to stop watching it.  And it's one of those things that I might not think its a big deal but if I feel a stirring in my spirit it's time to let it go. It's kind of like "now that I have seen I am responsible".

So... While I loved the show... It's time to let go of it.  And I'm thankful to my friend who listened to me ramble last night about it as I worked it out in my heart and who was honest enough to say "does it fill your soul?"

Moving towards Him, one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Let's love!

Somedays I wake up and I'm like "woo hoo" let's rock this day! To be honest most days I wake up like that but something happens and I get discouraged.

The other day I was talking about someone negative and I said "they put my light out". :( I think about the Olympic torch and how people run with it and pass it on or how we light birthday candles one from another. Light is passed and so is joy and love.

Let us all be carriers and spreaders of love, joy, and grace. Let the people in our worlds be changed today because we loved them!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

write 31 days! October!!


I’ve been kind of slacking on writing!  I was inspired by my friend Kristin who posted about writing for 31 days.  So I logged onto write31days.com and… then I realized I have to pick a topic… what can I write about for 31 days?  OHMYWORD!  Now I’ve got to do it!

So since I always say “I’ll never be sorry I loved”

I decided that I am going to write about love for 31 days.   That means I can write about lots of stuff. 

So I made a little button for the first time!  HAHA!  It’s so cute and so me!

 

I’ll see you on day 1 of 31!  You can join me too!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Punkin bread

I make this quick bread almost every week lately at church. I love it because it uses pantry staples. Sometimes I just don't have enough bananas or whatever. I discovered this one while searching through the Betty Crocker cookbook.

I know there are specific directions but the truth is I dump it all in one bowl.

I hope you love it like the peeps I make it for.

Punkin bread

3 c sugar
1 c oil 
4 eggs
3 1/3 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2/3 c water
1 15 oz can punkin

Preheat oven 350*

I mix all the ingredients in my kitchen aid mixing bowl and turn it on til it's mixed well.

Grease TWO loaf pans.  Divide the batter. 

Bake 55-60 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

a different outlook on overseas missions


People ask me all the time “when are you going back to Haiti?”.  I have no idea. To tell you the truth, I am not sure I will ever go back, but I miss it almost every day.

Why?  Because God showed me things that I wish I didn’t see.  I wish I could go back and unsee them.  Life was a lot easier before this view.

I’d like to go on record saying that I am all about short term mission trips but my opinion is that it benefits the person going more than it actually benefits the country/people there.

I look at the amount of money that as “short term missionaries” we spend to go…

My last trip 24 people went to Haiti.  I am not sure how many people paid, I assume that the 4 leaders did not.  So I will use 20 as my number.

20 “missionaries” spent $1700 each. That’s $34,000! 

The average annual income in Haiti is $830 according to this website http://data.worldbank.org/country/Haiti

Let's do some math.

With the money that we spent, we could have paid people to do the work that we did.  If we raised the money and gave it to the pastor of the church and we could have paid almost 41 Haitians for a year!  I understand that we paid the airlines so those people were employed and we employed some Haitians, and we fed some.  But maybe we would not have gotten that warm and fuzzy feeling of getting to see our “giving” first hand.  If we believed in the work being done, why don’t we just raise the money with the same fever and just send it to the organizations we work with?

Based on a small orphanage that I have been in contact with… we could have provided food for 97 months (over 8 years).  Or based on expenses that I know about we could have run the orphanage for over three years.

I have been to Haiti quite a few times, seven to be exact.  Each time, except the last, has been an amazing experience.  It’s hard and awesome at the same time. I don’t regret any of my trips (not even the last one) because I believe that God has called me to go every time (except the last one) and a lot of “good” was done.

I talk about this last one as the exception of being called because I don’t think I was called to go. I went on my own accord and God let me.  Which was nice of Him.  And He certainly did teach me a lot.  He taught me what it looks like to be selfish, prideful, and hurtful, and that was just me : (  not even to mention what I learned as I observed in others.  I would like to say I wish I didn’t go.  But I am thankful for some really great friendships with Godly women, He showed me things that were hard to see, but necessary.  I also learned the lesson of going because I miss it instead of being called, and that was the hardest of all the lessons to learn.

I went because I missed Haiti.  I missed the muffins, I missed the people.  I did not go because God called me.  I hear so many people lately want to go because “they miss it”. Of course they do.  A week helping others, spending time with God, spending time cultivating friendships that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise, a week with no distractions of “the real world”, a week of being used by God.  Of course you miss it, I miss it too. I am not saying that they aren’t called, I am just saying I understand why they miss it.  I wanted to live there.

I do think it is a good idea for everyone to go on a short term mission trip, though I don’t think it’s necessary to go overseas.  I think if you spend time away from the "real world" and apart from yourself, cell phones, starbucks, or whatever, I think that in a year, you will miss that time too.  I think that short term mission trips are a great way to get out of your own way to serve Jesus, I think they are great for learning other cultures because you are immersed in them. I think short term mission trips give the "goer" a greater appreciation of how much they are blessed with in their own country.  A great benefit to going, especially if you think God is calling you to something more long term, is to go and see.  

I don't want to sound like I am against short term mission trips, I just really feel that something better can be done with that money. A greater long term impact, to really HELP people instead of a warm and fuzzy feeling of doing good.  And I think that God uses it all.   I think that short term missions can be done local or overseas.  I am thankful for all my mission trips, I am especially thankful for the relationships that I have established on my local trips that I am able to cultivate long term.  I am thankful for the things that I have seen and the need that has been shown to me. I am thankful for hard lessons that have come. I am thankful for wisdom and discernment. I am thankful for love.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Worship when I don't always have the words

You'll come
(Hosea 6) 

I have decided I have resolved
To wait upon you Lord
My rock and redeemer shield, and reward
I'll wait upon you Lord

As surely as the sun will rise
You'll come to us
As certain as the dawn appears

You'll come let your glory fall
As you respond to us
Spirit Rain, flood into our thirsty hearts again
You'll come.

We are not shaken we are not moved
We wait upon you Lord
Mighty deliverer triumph and truth
We wait upon you Lord

As surely as the sun will rise you'll come to us
Certain as your word endures.

Chains be broken
Lives be healed
Eyes be opened
Christ is revealed

This song has always had the dearest place in my heart. I have sung it over people, sang it at alive!, sang it out in my car. I love it.

This song reminds me that no matter what happens, He will come, just as He promised, and it reminds me to call on Him, to beckon, beg, and wait on Him.

Different parts of the song hit me at different times in different ways.


You'll come let your glory fall
As you respond to us
Spirit Rain, flood into our thirsty hearts again
You'll come.

I cannot even tell you how thirsty I was this weekend. Like the California desert waiting for one drop of rain. There were times when I just begged God, fill me up. And He did. He came like a mighty flood into my heart to fill it up to empty again.

The last two days I have served at Mbk (my brothers keeper) in Detroit. I make the meal! It's so great to be the one that draws them in (they are hungry) but others feed them with the most important stuff, the love of God.  A hunger they might not even realize they have.

I can't imagine going there this week without the fill up I got this Sunday. I needed rest and a Word from God. 

I'm so thankful, but thankful doesn't begin to describe it. 

This scripture has been feeding me all week!!

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:1-9 NIV
http://bible.com/111/1pe.1.1-9.niv

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Resting and gardens

I've had a headache for 4 days. 

Thursday I could have took a pretty educated guess that my blood pressure measured in epic proportions. My eyes went blurry and I've been on the verge of crying since then. It's been kind of terrible. I kept finding myself wanting to retreat when lets face it, there isn't time for that.

And if you know me, I'm an all or nothing kind of person, so I was ready to chuck everything to the wind but that's not practical. And God has been teaching me "process". It's not enough to repeat the fruit of the spirit, it's not enough to KNOW the fruit of the spirit, they must be lived.

I felt so much God saying "rest" and let's face it normally I don't listen. But blurry vision and headaches made me listen. 


Another thing about me is that I don't like to miss church. Like I even go on vacations, cuz well, I'm weird. I like to learn about the Word of God I like to be inspired and grow.

So going to church and resting are sometimes in deep conflict for me. When I'm at church I like to serve whenever/wherever needed and that makes it hard to rest. So I went and visited another church. Woodside Detroit. I had never been there before and some friends of mine go, so I met them there. 

It was just what my heart needed, after singing two songs (without crying heart wide open) I realized my headache was gone and the stiffness in my neck. Praise the Lord!!! The service went on, I hate to say it was "good" but the pastor brought a good Word.

On the way home, I felt a draw to the garden. I took a quick right and drove up "like I belong in the neighborhood" as a friend said to me. Haha! I thought "I don't?".

I went and looked at the garden, evaluated what was there for tomorrow's dinner and what we can give away, and my friend Angelo walked up. They are always giving me a hard time about how I come around the corners on two wheels.  

Angelo and I talked for awhile. We ended up talking about his momma. And God just spoke to me and said "say this". Now I know that's weird. But my heart was full, and I said it to him.  He said "I'm really gonna think On that". It wasn't me so I have no idea how God will use those words. We hugged and I prayed for him as we hugged and we went our separate ways.

People ask me how the garden is going and usually I just say it's fine. Because it is. I don't always know what to say because it's not like I give 100s of pounds of produce away. It grows and I give it, people from the neighborhood pick it and eat it. I've had long discussions about God and things like school with teenagers. There's been taste testing by kids who never ate a pepper or people who've never seen a cucumber that wasn't waxy. We've had small talk and deep discussions. 
We formed community in that garden, we've learned about each other, and God and we've loved.

One thing I've always said about that garden, it's from God and I can't mess it up because He's been growing vegetables before I got to this earth and He will keep on growing them. 

Today on this bright sunny day, as I left the garden I thought if all this work, fundraising, digging, shoveling, watering, harvesting, if it was all for that moment with Angelo to remind Him he is loved by God, then it was all worth it. 

There's nothing better than Love. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Confessions

I normally don't comment on current events because, well, I cannot do so with grace.

Today I read an article about the subway guy, and the mess he is in or not in, whatever and I found myself, broken. I was sad, angry, and just so broken. Maybe his outward appearance (before subway) showed how broken he was and just like all of us trying to clean up and look appealing, he was able to clean up, only to keep held together instead of really healed by Gods love.

I see the current events, because I have Facebook, and I'm lucky (unlucky) enough to to see everyone's opinions on it. 

I'm sad. I know that God is a lot of things, I know who He is in my life, and He is love.

I'm sad about the posts about planned parenthood and those who make terrible comments about abortion. I'm sad about people who judge others about their sexual preference. I'm sad about people who thinking their taking a stand based on "God" or what they believe. 

I've been reading two books. "The hardest peace" and "snake oil: the art of healing and truth telling". In the past I typically choose "forge ahead" kind of books but somehow I ended up with these two. Maybe God knew I'd need some grace and love. Because these two books are just that. As I read these two books i am more and more aware of my own need for God's healing, His love, and His grace in my life. Probably doesn't help that most days my heart feels like clay soil that can't seem to get a seed planted of Fruit of the spirit, and if I could manage to get a seed planted the water could never get there to let it grow.

The more and more I read about God's love and grace the more I know that love heals. And I can only speak from experience and a desperate place of needing it. 

People say hurtful things, I probably say hurtful things. Love heals that.
People do hurtful things. Love heals hurts and scars that we carry around that we don't even realize. 

I could list a million times today alone I failed with extending Gods grace and love and one time I just cried! This is not how i want to be!!   

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Romans 7:15 NIV

Gah!!! 

I am learning more and more everyday about needing God's grace and everyone else's need for it.

I'd like to always err on the side of grace and love right where I'm at, whoever is right in front of me. I'd like to remember that two things I've got to figure out how to get right, love God with all that i am and love my neighbor. 

If I can just get those two things right, I think I'll be better than ok.

I'm still sad, but it is in that sadness, I will seek God and find healing I so desperately need.





Wednesday, September 02, 2015

RESET!


Yesterday I sat at my desk after yelling at two different people. And I don’t mean “yelling” like just telling someone something that they didn’t want to hear, I mean YELLING!  And I threw my headphones.  Ugh.

I started thinking oh stupid gentleness. Test failed.  EVERY week, we study a part of the fruit of the spirit and the last couple weeks, I’ve been failing every “pop quiz” that has come my way.  I know that I can’t be more like Jesus if I don’t work on these fruit. I know it, and each test is a way to get better at what God knows we need to be more like Him.

I felt so defeated, and you might think it’s dumb but I cried. “I’m never gonna get this stupid fruit I’m like clay soil that nothing grows in!”.  I might have been being a tad over dramatic but I really did feel so defeated.  Ugh. 

So I put in a podcast, a teaching by Bruxy Cavey at the meeting house.  There is something about how he breaks things down, God’s love that we should share and it’s for us too!  So by the end of the first podcast I listened to, I was feeling better.  Breathing in Jesus.  Knowing I failed but also knowing His mercies are new every minute not just every morning.  I’m not perfect but I love The One who is!  And He loves me!!

Also I have been feeling kind of crummy lately.  Too many unwise choices at BBQs and other places.  Garbage in, Garbage Out.  So I decided that I would start making better choices… but wasn’t going to track…  Now, let me tell you, for me, that is not a wise choice.  I need to track my food… I just do, I do not do well if I don’t.    So I decided to enter it all at the end of the day.  That could have been awful. Just plain awful, but thankfully it wasn’t.  And I felt good, that I made good choices, and they paid off.  Today, I input my food BEFORE I packed it into my cooler for breakfast and lunch, which is even wiser.

Both of my issues are “heart issues”.  I’m angry because my heart isn’t right in all areas and I make poor eating choices because it isn’t right too.  I normally would just “chuck” the day but yesterday I decided, I didn’t need the hard reset of tomorrow (which I usually choose), I decided right that second to do a hard reset.  There was no point in waiting, only more damage to myself and others would be done if I went on the current path.  But that won't help anyone, especially me.  So I have to stop, and pray, and do what I know to do, it makes me stronger. (2 Cor 12:9 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. )

Later on yesterday I went for a walk with a dear friend and we just talked, where we are (not perfect) and where we’d like to be (Perfect). You know, that sometimes I am just a hot mess. A hot ugly mess, and yet, God works in me.  And He used this friend to remind me not be a jerk, but to be who He is creating to me to be, right where I am.  He has sent His spirit to speak to my heart to keep my light burning for Him.  

Today, I am thankful for a God who never gives up, loves me enough to correct me, and set me on the right path.  He is a Faithful Father and I am thankful for His grace. 

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”