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)


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Adios 2016


When I look back on 2016 I can’t help but smile.

What a year it’s been. 

Was it all good?  Nope.

But was God good, the answer is always the same, yes.

I can’t even remember everything that happened. 

It certainly was a year of change.
3 trips to Colorado
2 mission trips
100's of people fed
Changed churches and never thought I’d get involved again.  I thought I’d just do whatever God asked me to do… on my own. But I know (and always knew) we don’t do things for God alone.  He is the healer of our hearts, and the redeemer of all things. There were parts of  2016 reminded me of what happens when I try to do things in my own strength, and parts of it brought glory to God as I followed Him.
We now live in Dearborn and our Lincoln Park home is no longer ours. It all started with a house that cost $13000 in East English Village…  a lot of houses, tears, and emotions later, we ended up in our current home, and I can’t help but laugh when I think, God knew.  And each step in the process was to learn, and to recognize His goodness.

We also got a dog.  Cookie.  A rescue.  Who knew you could love a dog this much?  Its crazy to me.  Just in case you’re wondering, this did not make me a dog person, I love our dog.  LOL
I started a new job at a new company, and I LOVE it. 
 I look back in lessons in community gardens, soccer fields, hugs, tears, words, and love. 

I can’t imagine this life without love.  On days when I think I can’t go on, love carries me through.  I am thankful for prayers and hard days, and the happy ones. 
I can’t help but end this year thankful. 

I will be home tonight, doing laundry, getting the house ready for some people to come over for lunch after church.  The house is quiet, with the sound of washing machine is humming.  I am thankful.
I am thankful for dreams I didn’t even realize that came true. I am thankful for serving opportunities that never end.  I am thankful for laughter, and the good and the bad tears. I am thankful for new opportunities.
I am thankful for a God in Heaven who loves me.  I am thankful for a God that pursues my heart, and that every day I fall more in love with Him.  I am thankful that the moment I think I can’t love Him anymore or feel more loved by Him, it seems He shows up and blows me away with a love that is bigger than before.

I can’t help but wonder what 2017 will hold.
I honestly can’t even imagine.

I know that His love and faithfulness will see me through all of it.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A new year!! New hope!

War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.
Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

I heard this quote today. I thought about all the young lives that may not make it out of a dangerous city. Lack of education, sex trafficking, gangs, death, pride, and drugs.

I thought about our need to make a difference in the lives of those in generations coming up. How much they need us. How much we all need each other.

I think about how there is only one way to win against injustice... to fight it. To fight against it with prayer, and love, and doing something. It's not ok to wait for someone else to do something, because we are someone else's someone else.

I believe that 2017 is going to be a year of change. Only I can determine if the world around me will have a change for the better.

Some days it might feel like war, and that we can't go on, and some days we will run with great excitement towards our goal with great expectation of things to come!

I'm dreaming about great things, a bigger garden, the soccer field, new beginnings, a love of a lifetime, and contagious joy.

Join me, won't you?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas sweetness

As I take down my tree (for me a day late) I think about how wonderful my Christmas season was!

I have always loved Advent. The focus on Jesus. The focus on hope, love, peace, and grace for me. This year I did extra to prepare to see Him in the everyday.

I stayed and held tightly to His word, I focused on serving others, even the Christmas stockings at work were focused on the things that are needed during winter. They didn't really know but I did.

I cooked and fed people just as I love. I served with friends and really just enjoyed the season.

As it came to an end, I spent it with family, and friends and it was peaceful. I didn't have much expectation for the holiday, just to enjoy it.

I got to spend time with my dad and daughter, and lots of family and friends.

I can't help but be thankful. I'm truly blessed, i am given way more than I deserve.

Thankful for the rest of the week I have off!! I'll enjoy everyday, because I have been given the great gift of love!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sweet Christmas

Well my dear friends, Christmas Eve is upon us!  The last of my baking is in the oven. Cheesecakes for tonight and tomorrow with friends.

Yesterday was not the best if days and with the presents that needed to be wrapped and the cookies & cheesecake. The house was crazy because we have been so busy... and needed to go to the grocery store for groceries for one of my favorite families!  I decided that is not how i wanted to spend the holiday feeling. So I started cleaning the house, gave a few gifts, and felt better!!!

The presents were soon wrapped and the grocery store conquered! I decided to go to bed (because I was all kinds of exhausted) and get up early to bake!

I'm ready! After So many celebrations this week, I'm ready to settle in with my family tonight, and breakfast in the morning, and then to have a quiet dinner tomorrow.

What a sweet time I've had this Christmas season. Snuggles, cooking for others, serving with my friends, serving my friends, wrapping presents with great expectations of them opening them, baking a mountain of cookies for my family.

So thankful

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday eating!!

You may not know because for the most part I try to remain positive, no point in complaining life is too good for that, but it's been a rough couple months, especially November, I could have just eliminated that month :/

I was emotionally eating, couldn't get motivated to get "it" together and with the holidays fast approaching, I knew I needed help!! I prayed and asked God to bring me someone to help.

Enter stage left, my friend Amanda! It's been such a huge blessing for me to get back on track, accountability, menu plans, exercise plans! It's gotten me back on track taking care of myself!
 
I have found some great new workout "videos" online, even found one that is just 10 minutes that gets my blood pumping!  It's been really great because I can do them at home when I have the time.

The holiday season is here and I feel great!! Filling my body with good stuff, veggies, chicken, fresh food has been so good!! I made over 600 cookies the other day and actually didn't want any because I knew eating that sugar would send me into a terrible spiral. Not worth it!!  And make me sluggish!
 
I've given myself permission to take care of me, not just everyone else.  If there is nothing in me, what will I have to give? nobody likes sloppy seconds!  I have to be my best me to love and serve everyone the way they deserve, otherwise, I don't serve cheerfully.

I'm so thankful to be taking care of myself so I can take care of others!!! It's a busy and great holiday serving others!

Monday, December 12, 2016

perfect timing

I scheduled this trip to Colorado and when the time came to take the trip I wondered about the timing! What was I thinking?? 

And it worked out to be perfect timing!!! I spent some great time with friends! Im rested and ready to take on the holidays!

I had the best time with my friends and the boys! It was what my heart needed after a long and emotional (not the good kind of emotions). My heart was filled with love and laughter! My body got to sleep when needed! 

I started today a 12 day FIT-MAS group and I feel ready to start the challenge! It won't be easy, but it's time, my heart is ready. It is not about food for me, it's about my heart really!

I'm ready for the holidays! They are coming ready or not! You've got to stay ready so you don't have to get ready!

Happy Holidays friends!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sometimes it's hard, even if it seems

You'd think that making this happen would not be stressful but it was. Anyone can tell you, especially my daughter, decorating is not my gift. When it comes to big meals, all I really care is that it tastes good. Although, I do appreciate beautiful decorations, it's just not my "thing"


Knowing potentially 100s of people will walk past it, it was important to me that it was welcoming.  One thing I learned cleaning the church (a lesson God taught me through serving) is that it's important that a church be clean and welcoming. Normally When I have guests to my home, i clean up (at least a little), especially if i know they are coming. Church is the same. It is often over looked and unappreciated but it is so very important. So doing this window was important and I had to work really hard.

Isn't it crazy how some things are so easy for some people and so hard for others?  But it's good that we get to try new things to make us better and maybe we will love the new thing we tried because we weren't afraid to fail.

We had a great team of light stringers and tree fluffers, and lots of glitter and very little budget.

This morning I walked in, and I have to say, I really thought it was beautiful. I was proud, and let me tell you, I prayed a lot through it, "God please dont let me mess this up, and let my work be honoring and beautiful for You" and I think it's beautiful.



Friday, December 09, 2016

It's been a great year

2016 sure was a year of change.

New job
New house
New church

I watched my facebook movie (that I didn't post) and thought mine might need to be 20 minutes. It was a great year filled with it's fair share of challenges.

I certainly didnt travel as much as I'm used to, which is kind of funny because I'm on my third trip to Colorado today in 2016.

Colorado
Tennessee (twice)
Up North

I thought it was gonna be my year back to NYC, and I thought for sure I'd travel to a state I'd never been to. I was lucky escape a work trip to Germany :) but instead we got a new house :) and a lots of work to go with it.  It was way more work than NYC but way way better! To live in a safe home, in a great neighborhood, has been the most incredible blessing!

I literally fed 100s and 100s of people! That makes my heart so happy!

There were some moments of really really hard. Some truly moments when I've grabbed onto God with both hands and pleaded "please don't let me go". I trusted and prayed. I've got to say the growth has brought me joy and love, and grace to give away because I've received it.

I can't wait for 2017 and all that awaits!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Bringing joy!


I started a new job in September.  Not only at a new place, but a new job.  I had been doing my previous job for a long time.  I liked it.  A lot.  But I knew it was time for something  different.  It was time to make the step up to Manager. 
Let’s face it, I am a doer.  I like to “do”,  I believe in leading by example. 

Coming to a new workplace is not an easy task.  It can be hard to make new friends, it can be hard to learn the culture of a workplace.  It’s hard.  I never understood until in 2012 I left my employer at the time (that I LOVED) and went to a new place.  It was difficult to say the least.  This summer I had the opportunity to do something new.  I actually hate “new”, if it were up to me, I’d stay doing the same thing, but… that’s not really how we grow, so I go.  A new place, a new job, new people.  UGH.  This kind of thing brings me more anxiety than I could ever even put to words.
But here I am almost two months later, sometimes struggling with what to do or how to handle something, and I love it.  I mean I LOVE IT!!!  I ask questions (which helps me to remember to be humble), I smile, I admit I need help, I try my best to lead in humility, but mostly, I bring joy! 
It’s a funny thing, all my experience, all my whatever, and the thing that I think makes me most successful is that I really care and love people.  I listen, I laugh, and sometimes I cry with them and for them.  Yes, I cry, because that’s who I am. 

This Christmas season (and the holiday of my birthday, and the others) I decorated our cubicle area, I got everyone stockings and have put some kind of treat in them every day.  Chocolate, cutie oranges, life savers, candy canes…  it’s been fun.  I even started the tradition of “elfing”people.
And today a woman in our office came over and thanked me for her “elf” gift.  Even though it wasn’t me!  HA!  But I did start the whole thing!  HEE HEE!  She said “it’s so nice to come to work and have things be so lively”.  It’s been so fun to bring joy and love to the office.   To bring a little bit of sunshine to our crazy lives! (It's really Jesus but they might not know it)

There are a few times in my life I don’t feel like I was born for this, it’s a struggle to not always fit in, and sometimes I feel like I totally rock out where God placed me!  I choose to focus on the days that I rock it out, to walk in obedience of what God has called me to.  Each step leads me to where/what He has planned, even if the steps are hard.
It’s a crazy life, but I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pray don't worry


There is something, something that lies deep within you when your parent dies of cancer.  Especially if your parent dies at a young age.  Will it happen to me?  I have always wondered that.  It’s a horrible thing to have lurking in your heart.  It brings fear and anxiousness. 

Today I go for a mammogram, it’s just routine, but nonetheless, I will hold my breath waiting for the results.

Just recently, when having a super emotional day, I asked God what I did to ever deserve to lose my mom.  Needless to say, I was having a bad day, and I was sad about wishing I had a momma to talk to.  Years ago, I participcated in the 3day walk.  If you knew me then, you’ll remember, just as I did after some time spent with God, I worked on this.  I worked on bringing glory to God for the decisions He makes.  You might also remember that I sprained my ankle (twice) and couldn’t finish past the first day because I couldn’t get my foot back in my shoe.  It was a journey.  It was so much more than the 3day.  It was heartache, and healing, it was sadness and joy.  It was crazy.  So many people supported me. 

I know that whatever the results, there is a reason (though I can’t help but hope that there is no lumps, no cancer).  I can’t wait to get this over with!  LOL

I think all this emotion comes from deep within because even though I know I shouldn’t, I am a little worried.  But I learned a long time ago, you either pray or you worry, you can’t do both.  So today I woke up with praises for the King of Kings, in joy and thankfulness, and I will continue to pray all day. 

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Monday, November 28, 2016

a little bit of my heart


Sometimes people call me religious. What does that mean? Does it mean I'm filled with religion? That doesn't sound all that great to be honest. When I think of religion I think of hypocrisy. "Do as I say not as I do" and maybe I am, but I hope not.  I hope that people know I just want to love them, to really love them, to cry with them, to encourage them, to feed them, to celebrate with them, to really love them, all of their days.

I don't think of myself as religious, I just really really love God. I do. And the truth is I'd rather be single all my days and live this love that He's given me than be married to the "perfect" guy (though I hope to marry a man after God's own heart).

I know it's weird that I serve at soup kitchens and it brings me more joy than $1M worth of retail therapy because serving is just an outward pouring out of what He's poured into me.

I read today the song of Mary.
“And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."”


Luke 1:46-55 ESV

So good isn't it? God did not bless me with a beautiful singing voice (though I'm always singing - mostly in my head) but I was given the gift of cooking/baking so that's my song, my praise to Him. I may not be much, but I'll give Him all I am.

This song speaks so much of my heart.




Yesterday we studied psalm 100 in church. And it reminded me of all that He is, it reminded me that I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful to look back and see all that He has done, to sit in His presence and know that He is, and to look ahead, to know I can trust Him with my future.

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalms 100:1-5 ESV


He is faithful.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mistake?

I had two parents, and I know I wasn't a "mistake"... but I've watched plenty of movies but I have to say that there are very few lines in a movie resonate more than these lines from the movie Creed


I gotta prove it


Prove what?


Prove I'm not a mistake 


I know that some my family looks at me and sees a million things wrong with me, they think nothing of walking away from me. I feel like they feel like I am a mistake, I've felt that way most of my life, and so it makes me think I was a mistake. Like somehow God got it wrong with me. 


I think of a few sayings... "how people treat you says more about them then it does about you."


But the truth is that it hurts. I try really hard to not let it burden my heart but the truth is that it does. When you love someone and they hurt you, it... hurts.


I know I'm not perfect that is for sure but I know that every day I really try to live love . I don't do it perfectly everyday but I strive to be more like Jesus everyday. I cling to Him in these days, in these feelings, I read His word, I pray, I listen as He speaks to my heart. 


I am not a mistake. Somewhere these is a root that knows, I am not a mistake and I have nothing to prove 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Getting it together

The truth is that the world is crazy. People are being crazy. I can barely stand it.  I cooked for people I love. You know the movie "eat pray love" but for me it's cook pray love.

I've wanted to a say things  to people being mean and childish. But none of it came from a place of peace or humility. Shaming is not Christlike.

I decided that I would really evaluate my own life thoughts and words.

If I believe that young girls should be raised to be courAgeous and brave then I better speak that to them and more importantly I better walk it out. If I think we should stand up for injustice I better do more than stand.

Im not working on being better, I'm working on peace, joy, and thankfulness.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Joyful heart

Saturday I sat outside in the parking lot and was talking to my dear friend and I said that I was afraid to say it but life seems really great right now. I love my home, I love my job, I feel full of joy, I love and am loved by so many.

Life of course is not perfect. There are things that are overwhelmingly hard. 2016 seems to be a rough year for a lot of people and I am no exception. There have been hard days. Sad days, days I've said "what the heck God?". And in those hard times it made me seek God more. It's not always been like that but it is now. When I'm having a hard time, I ask for Him to speak to me, send me someone who loves Him for comfort, or to bring a scripture to mind.

In church yesterday the pastor talked about Doubting Thomas. How'd you like to be that guy? Well... sometimes my flesh wonders "how long will this joy last?"  The truth is... as long as I allow it to. This joy I have, it comes from God. It's not fake, it comes from Truth.  It comes from being thankful, because even in those hard times I worked hard at being grateful even if I was disheartened. I didn't always seem joyful or feel it, but I worked at it. 

I'm so thankful for 2016, for its heartache, it's hurt, it's joy, it's love. 

I was made for such a time as this.

Next adventures are coming, and they won't always be easy but growing will be good and make me more like Him!

Applied for a short term mission trip to Uganda. We will see what God has in store :) 

Happy Monday! Be joyful and keep growing! 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Grace and Strength


I see the grace of God all over my life.  To be honest, I’m often completely overwhelmed by it.    Sometimes I can’t breathe and I cry.  It’s amazing, Grace.

If you met my daughter after high school you might not even realize that she has arthritis.  Maybe you never knew her when she could barely walk, when she was in a wheelchair.  When I pushed a nine year old in a stroller and people would stare and not even smile.  She’d say “what do I do when they stare?” and I’d give her the advice to stick her tongue out at them because they’d stop.  I would dare them to say something to me. 
Christmas 1997, the year of diagnosis

Last night I watched the hard work, the perseverance of my daughter from a frail young girl to the strength of a woman.  I saw all the fight, and the crying, the hard work, I saw it be worth it.  I remember moments of barely holding on, I remember the days of prayers and friends carrying me when I couldn’t go on.  I remember.  We never gave up.  It's been almost 19 years since the day of diagnosis.

I love the saying “Strong women, may we be one, may raise them”.  But I know that the strength I have comes from when I surrender at my weakest moments, to God who carries me.

God’s grace is not lost of me.

Not everyone makes it to this moment, no matter how hard they work.  And not everyone sees the grace. 

Last night at Aerial
 
We don’t deserve it.  Sure we worked hard, but we don’t.  We deserve a life in hell, of consequences from our actions, and yet, we live a very blessed life.  We are surrounded by people who love us, even when we have been unloveable.  We live more than comfortably and we really do not want for anything. 

We live strong lives free from Rheumatoid Arthritis, the hell that it is. We look at it in the shadows of our darkest valleys.

We live in Grace. 

I can’t help but be overwhelmed.

It is amazing grace. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Faithful heroes

I just left a family night in the city at a church. I left tired, thankful, full of joy, and I'm not sure what was louder, the gym or Festival of Praise last week ;)


Feeding the kids, decorate your own donut, games, candy... I'd like to tell you it was organized chaos but really it was just chaos. It was crazy and not like I originally planned in my head. But we all know the saying "want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans" Hahaha 


The people who show up and serve there every week are heroes to me. They are faithful. It's not about spotlights or Facebook status, it's about loving even when you're tired or just to sick to go on, but serve you must. 


I'm thankful for them, they teach me what it looks like to live a life faithful to a calling. They inspire me to be the best version of myself.


What a great night. I'm so thankful 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The lyrics of our lives

It was the first U2 song I ever heard. I was at a neighbors house and none of my friends listened to U2

The album War came out in 1983, I was 10.

It's my favorite U2 song.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Nice title. 

I had no idea what the lyrics meant.

I've heard the song 100s of times. 

Today as we sat around the table eating and laughing, and singing the words rocked me to my core. I was actually afraid to laugh because I was afraid that release would begin tears.

"Many have lost, but tell me who has won?"

I'm a scrapper. I fight. Even though I could plot a death to go undetected, my heart aches.

I really do want to change the world. God has called my heart to Haiti. The country certainly has seen its share of disaster. 

I just want to do something. 

Homelessness.
Drug addiction
Mental illness
Hunger
Death
Despair

The need never ends, and while I have a heavy heart that I carry around.  How can I help? What am I called to? 

I must do something.

I'm tired of the tearing apart. War only divides. It tears apart. 

We need together. We need to be honest in our struggles so people will listen.

We need to not look at our differences as a hinderance  but as a strength to love more people.

I don't know how long we must sing this song, I don't know how long we are supposed to talk about it. 

Let's band together and do something 

I must do something 

You can listen to the song at the link below (lyrics below)


https://youtu.be/EM4vblG6BVQ

I can't believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes 
And make it go away
How long...
How long must we sing this song
How long, how long...
'cause tonight...we can be as one
Tonight...

Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end street
But I won't heed the battle call
It puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

And the battle's just begun
There's many lost, but tell me who has won
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters 
Torn apart

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

How long...
How long must we sing this song
How long, how long...
'cause tonight...we can be as one
Tonight...tonight... 

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away
Oh, wipe your tears away
Oh, wipe your tears away
(Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Oh, wipe your blood shot eyes
(Sunday, Bloody Sunday)

Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)

And it's true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die

(Sunday, Bloody Sunday)

The real battle just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On...

Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Smaller parts

The mountains, they are a great lesson for me. 

I've been lucky to have traveled a lot of places in my life. 

I'm just a motherless kid. How many times I've felt like that 6 year old who missed her momma because I never remembered.  I'd cry when people asked, and sometimes I still do cry when they ask or just thinking about it. Like I'm tearing up now. 

I've seen the mountains in Colorado, the mountains in Mexico, the mountains of Haiti, and as I sit on this balcony in the Great Smoky Mountains I can't help but think of God's ultimate plan. Each tree has a purpose. He has laid the foundation of world. 

We are like these trees. Each one beautiful and wonderfully created by The One who loves us. Our beauty does not go unnoticed. Our purpose, whatever it is, does not get overlooked by Him who made us. 

The truth is that sometimes I'd love to be the beautiful red one. The one who stands out to be noticed for it's between.  But really my strive to be like an evergreen. Strong and true. I hope to be the person that provides shade but can let the sun shine on, I hope to be dependable, true, loyal, and loving to those around me.  I fall short so many times, but like in all things His love and mercy prevails.

I'm thankful to be just a small part of a Grander plan 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Towards the sun

This morning the sun came up as majestic as it has every day before today. And just like every other time I've seen it, I was blown away. 

I took a couple pictures one of the mountains with the sun on its back, one with the sun on it.

I began to think. The view with the sun on its back, it beautiful however the view with the sun shining seemed, more majestic. 

I began to think of my walk with God, what's happened before today, the part where the sun shines on my back, it matters and its lovely but the view with the sun on it, is warm and inviting. Makes me want to run the race set before me.

I don't know all the details, but that's the way I want to go, trusting Him .

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Ramblings

For most of my Christian walk God has said "be still" and most of that time, if I'm being honest I didn't listen. That's the truth. THERE'S MUCH TO BE DONE!!!  

But lately I've calmed to a much slower pace. I pray about what to do. I use the priority system when scheduling. It often means I have to say no, but I'm much happier and more important, joy filled.

Last night  I played laser tag for the first time. I literally was so nervous i almost puked. It was fun! A lot of fun!!! (Try new things!!)

I am a lot calmer these days, I have CTFD moments but they are fewer and far in between.  I'm quick to apologize, and quick to hug.

I see my life surrounded in love because that's what i choose to surround myself with.

I can still see the thing thing or maybe what I'm missing but that's not where my focus is. Being single is not a disease. And there are bonuses in being single. I can spend my time anyway that I choose, I can have cheese and crackers or cereal for dinner. I get the whole bed. Sure there are pros to being married, but since I'm not married, I'll choose my pros. 

I can still see things I need to work on like my weight (and I'm better than I was). It's not just a weight change it's things I have to work on in my life and heart. But if you know me, you know I'm not afraid of hard work! So
I'll do it!

I'm just so thankful! I've filled my life with love, and that's what I've got!!

Still have the "must do something" attitude but I am quiet and pray first!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

31 days of love - People I love... Katie Dorband


There are few days in your life when something people say is life altering.  Sometimes maybe you don’t know it, but one sunny day, on my way to Buckley after getting home from Haiti, one phone call changed my life. 

“I have to tell you something, can you come over on Monday? I need to tell you in person. “ I Knew she wasn’t pregnant.  So no new muffins.  I actually thought I did something wrong.  You know I am always saying things that are dumb and mildly (or more than mildly) inappropriate.  And then it came…  We are moving, she couldn’t wait.  And I cried.  It was a day my life changed.  You know what other date my life changed? The first day I met her, and we didn’t even belong to the same youth ministry.  I’ll never forget her cute self, the kind of person that you think can’t possibly be that real.  After years and years of being friends, I can tell you, she is as real as it gets. 

I am thankful for her friendship, and while I love love love The Boys, I will tell you, I go to visit my friend.  She is encouraging and fun, and I am never afraid to try new things with her.  I tried the incline, climbing Red Rocks (both ALMOST killed me), found out I love paddle boarding.

My friend Katie is a great example of loving Jesus, working hard, being a great mom, and a great advocate for her children.  My friend Katie has taught me to love bigger and stronger because she teaches me to love like Jesus because she lives by example.

1 Cor 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ

Monday, October 03, 2016

31 days - People who I love - Dawn Bender


There is a writing challenge every October…  Go deeper for 31 days.  Write everyday.  I knew it was coming up but I wasn’t sure which month it was because… there is more than one month with 31 days. And now I am behind LOL but you know I always have something to say. 

What to talk about for 31 days? That always seems challenging.

There are so many great people in my life that I love and love me!  So I am going to write about them.  I am the luckiest to serve and love people.  People inspire me. They encourage me.  They teach me how to love bigger, and they stretch me.

My friend Dawn, I almost always refer to her as “Dawn Bender”.  I mean that’s her name but for some reason when I say her name I say her first and last name like it’s all one.  Dawn is all about adventure.   She likes to change things up, she also has pink hair and has had it long before all the rest of the US thought it was cool. 

The thing about Dawn is that when she loves you, and she loves me, you know it.  She is a hard hugger and a big smiler.  She loves Jesus and it shows in all the things she does.  When she speaks her excitement and love comes right out in her voice.  She raises 3 little girls who have all very different personalities with great love and joy, even when she’s tired.  She makes them a priority. 

She really inspires me with her encouragement and love for people who are the same and different than her.  I actually miss spending time with her, and even not always agreeing because I learned from her, a different perspective.  I felt loved and supported and I hope she felt the same about me.

I’ll forever be thankful to God for crossing our paths and allowing me to serve Him with her.  For her friendship and her love!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Meal planning

I don’t know how you feel about meal planning, but I love it.  I like planning out what I am making to make my life a little easier on “game day”.  Between work and the millions of other things I have going on, I’d just rather not have to always think or make a decision every day.  And what if I start to make something and realize we are missing a key ingredient.  (usually there is a work around).

 

Admittedly, I have an issue with if I plan things out on a certain day things don’t always go as I planned… so I am trying a new strategy.  Pick the meals for the week, make sure the ingredients are available, and make the food the day we want it, or that it works out for our schedule.

This week there will be two pots of soup.  This is a normal occurrence once fall hits.  We are soup eaters.  We like soup, not from a can, but homemade yummy goodness. 

 

So this week… Chicken enchilada and potato (by special request).  Now I am not gonna lie, my potato soup is slap your momma good.  It’s delicious, and not really good for you, but we can just ignore that part.  It’s delicious.  I mean, like really.

 

And I normally plan just two big meals, and we eat leftovers, life is just easier that way.  We like leftovers and they lend themselves well to crazy schedules.

 

And we got those!

 

So this week will be a cabbage stir-fry with potatoes and cut up pork chops and plain ole spaghetti, filled with zucchini, peppers, spinach, and mushrooms, and group beef.  We always have turkey burgers and sweet potatoes (to make fries) if needed and if our schedules allow.  

 

Life is better and a little less chaotic if I plan!

 

What’s on your menu?

 

 




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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It is election time!

So I thought I'd enlighten you on my thoughts in the debate. 

I didn't watch them. Honestly, it was scarier to me than Criminal Minds so I watched that for a little bit, and the cleaned up my room some more and prayed.

I can't tell you which one I want for president because the answer is none of the above. I really do think that people (if that's what they want) should vote for Gary. It seems that it went just like the funny/sad video I posted.

I've learned a couple important lessons through this election time...

You can't buy happiness but you sure can buy a truckload of crazy!

And...

If I was going to listen to people's opinion on who should be POTUS  (there is one friend who I might buy dinner for and ask her because she always has a biblical perspective) it's not the ones who post about it on Facebook.

I say this with every beat of my heart.... Whoever is POTUS is no shock to God. Nothing happens without His permission. NOTHING. 

Of course I care about the country. I honestly wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But do you know who really reigns? God. 
He is...
Sovereign 
Faithful
Lord 
Savior
Gracious 
Loving
Freedom giving 
And He is good.

Maybe I should worry about the state of affairs in our country. But the bible says "don't worry" so I'm not going to.

The truth is I've got work to be done. Soccer fields, community gardens, people to love, prayer, and a whole lot of other things. I don't have time for all this crazy. 

I'll vote. I probably won't like the outcome but it's a right and privilege.

Even though it's all crazy, I trust God, He hasn't let me down yet! And never will. He is faithful 



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stuffed peppers

4-6 peppers (choose your color - we like green and red)
1 cup rice (white or brown)
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 small onion diced 
28 oz crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce 
Salt 
Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes

Cut tops off peppers (cut up and freeze for later date or eat them)

Mix meat, rice, spices together (this is either gross or therapeutic)

Divide the meat equally into the peppers. Arrange in crockpot. Pour tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes around the peppers.

Cook in crockpot 4 hours on high, 8
hours on low. 

Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles, or your favorite veggie if you're not a "starchy"

Often I make these the night before and plug in the morning. I also sometimes add zucchini or squash. 

You can "taco" these up, adding corn, taco seasoning instead of spices and adding rotel tomatoes with chiles to tomato sauce. 


Love

In the last two months I've been to 4 weddings (one was a MI reception).

Honestly, I love weddings. I love love. Funny isn't it? That love is a noun and verb. And both are equally important.

I love weddings because they represent to me something worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for. 

For years (and still is) I pray for
Myself to love bigger than I've ever loved before.  Loving comes with a lot a joy and sometimes heartache. 

Awhile ago I was having a pity party (weddings are hard alone - and I would bet sometimes they are hard when you're together with someone but lonely), and a friend said to me "a lot of people must really love you, I don't get invited to nearly as many weddings are you do". 

Stop. Wait a minute.

It is honoring to be invited to a wedding. It is a true honor. 

Yesterday I stood in the garage (where the food was being served) after everyone ate, and was overwhelmed. I don't know what my problem is lately but my eyes keep leaking ;) because I'm so grateful.

I saw so many people that I genuinely love.  even if I hadn't seen them in years. Couples I've prayed for over years and years (that's an honor).

I can't even explain it. I sound like such a dork. Like really. But I'm so thankful to have spent my life loving, I'm so silly but it's the best part of my life! Loving! 

I don't even know if people know how much I love them or am thankful for them. They may never know, but my prayers, they carry on.

I love loving, it's the greatest.

It's above all things.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

A lamp of love!

This might be my worst decorating idea EVER! At least by the standards of the decorating world! Better Homes & gardens I am not! This comes to no
Surprise to most of you!! 

I went to Target today (for a gift card, yogurt and milk)... and you all know buying exactly what you went for hardly ever happens. 

I saw this lamp! I had to have it! (I have an aversion to buying lamps). This never happens to me! I never say "oh I LOVE THAT LAMP". Lamps are a necessity to me. Wanna see? Need a lamp... But this one!

I'm sure someone thought this would be great for filling with lots of pretty things... Well I filled it with meaningful things!

Shells my gram got me from Florida when she went, rocks from my 2014 trip to Haiti. And... All the notes I've saved over the years from people I love and that love me. I had them all in various places but wasn't sure what I'd do with them in our new home. Until... I saw this lamp!

I can't help but to think of the scripture 

““You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV


How many people have shown me love and light, and now it's really in my lamp! 

I know... It's corny, and you might think it's ugly, but I love it!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Off I go!!!

Today is my last day of vacation (weekends don't count, I'm already normally off)... 


Yesterday I met with my old co-workers to hang out, as my former boss hugged me, he said "you made all our lives better" (I'm sure some might disagree). Really in your life and all the places you go, what
More can you ask for? Especially if you carry Christ with you. Because, at least in my case, He's the best part of my life. 

Then today, my new employer called me to say "can't wait til you're here" and my new (old) boss called and said "enjoy your last day off, we are looking forward to having you join the team" 

I feel blessed. Or the luckiest, I don't know. Whatever it is, my heart is filled with joy. I feel more relaxed than I've felt in a long long time and ready for a new adventure. So thankful God guides my path!