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)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Food Deserts & Meijer

I went to the Meijer on 8 mile and Woodward today.  Let me say, I’ve only been there twice and it’s the worst laid out Meijer I’ve ever been to. Seriously, it frustrates me, but let me tell you this, I REJOICE because of that store.

It’s in the middle of the hood.  Well, I think it’s more on the out skirts to tell you the truth.  But do you know what a food dessert is?

You can read about it here
and here

I’ve been to Aldi where party store owners and buying cheap milk, bread, and eggs so they can resell it for 4-6 times what they pay for it. (I want to punch them!!!)  How do we expect families on food stamps who have to feed their children a healthy diet when they have to pay $7 for a gallon of milk? That doesn’t make your food budget stretch very far. It actually angers me.  A Meijer in an area with only a few places to access food makes me soooo happy!  And this Meijer is clean, has a great selection of fruits and veggies, the same sales as my local Meijer.

It makes me so happy when I’m serving somewhere and I forget a pound of butter and one time had to pay $6.99 because there wasn’t anywhere to go!  Now in my “serving area” or at least on my way home to go serve, I can stop at Meijer or Aldi, and even Kroger! 

It’s crazy and silly but it makes me so happy and full of joy to know that people can get access to lower priced food!

Its an answered prayer for so many! 

I’ll get over the “layout” issues!

P.S.  The Aldi in Highland Park is one of my favorites!  (and I’ve been to them ALL over the world!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

making a real difference

Today I was driving over the 75/Rouge bridge (white knuckled) and I had this crazy revelation….  The reason I hate that bridge is because I LIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF IT!

This is frustrating to me.  I know people think I am crazy that I want to live in Detroit, people leave the city and I’m moving towards it! I know I have a time that I have to wait and that’s frustrating.  I know I have to wait but the truth is I don’t want to.  I’m like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, I want it NOW!

I was always driving today wondering when this all started… Was it cooking at a young age or did feeding people start when Adam asked me to do my first Fuel Fundraiser dinner.  I don’t know, but I will tell you I LOVE FEEDING PEOPLE! 

Two weeks ago I thought it would be really great to give cereal away once a month at the soccer field program.  And then I felt this stirring that I was thinking too small.  But you know a budget only has so much money in it, but I thought… well if it’s of God then it will happen. I  don’t know… I really don’t know how this stuff happens, it just does.  I get a dream in my heart and I pray about it.  And “somehow” it happens…  I shared my dream with my crazy friend Angela (on Monday the 18th), who is a couponer.  A Crazy couponer.  On Sunday the 24th, she found a great deal on cereal.  But 240 boxes of cereal at any price isn’t cheap unless it’s FREE!  So I asked 30 people to donate $12.  The truth is I had no idea if it would happen.  All I knew is kids have to eat and this was a great opportunity.  I got encouraging phone calls, notes, prayers, and money!

And I was almost “there” with the money so I asked again.  And bam!  There it was. This morning I needed 25 more boxes of Cookie Crisp, and 30 more of anything else.  The plan is to give out the same kind of cereal to each child, varying by week.  Week 1 – Cheerios,  Week 2 & 3 Lucky Charms, Week 4 & 5 Cookie Crisp, Week 6 Golden Grahams, Week 7 & 8 Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  It’s easier to give out the same kind each week, no disappointments…  I’m dreaming for free milk, and free bananas.  I don’t know how all that will come but I am believing it will.

I seem need everywhere.  And I see people blaming and highlighting but I don’t know how much all those people do. Elections are coming up…  and I don’t care what kind of label someone has republican, democrat.  I don’t care really.  I just want to vote for someone who cares about the people, the kids who don’t have food, the kids in foster care, the homeless, the people drinking lead.  I’m not interested in blame, because nothing gets changed with pointing fingers, what changes things is boots on the ground and hands that want to help.

I want to elect someone who thinks and acts like me who gets the impossible done because they know it’s not about them. I want to elect someone who donates $12 to feed kids cereal for 8 weeks when they come to play soccer. 

I don’t know what the answer is, but I will be there, in the trenches (DISTRICT 6!) driving over that crazy bridge, until it’s time for me to actually live there.  Until I will prepare and work, and count on God to handle it all.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crazy dreams!!! Coming true!!!

Have you ever heard someone say "somebody needs to do something about that?" Or maybe you've even said it yourself...

Have you ever realized that you are somebody's somebody?

Somebody needs to do something about something...

I know, right?

There are a lot of things I don't like in the world... I just don't. But the truth is I can't change a whole world full of poverty, and I can't give all of Flint clean water. And the war on drugs, well I'm probably not gonna win that either. And sex trafficking, I honestly wouldn't even know what to do...

But I certainly know there are things that I can do... What if we could all just help one? We made sure that a child in need ate breakfast, or we provided clean drinking water for a family, or we taught a child that they were valuable and hard work pays off, and that there are things in life to deal with what life throws at them instead of drugs, and what if we loved our women and children well and kept good care of them and taught them that they were valued and treasured no matter what circumstance they were born into?

Today (and every day it seems) I dream about making the world a place that is filled with love and goodness and kindness... An orchard of fruit. What if we all did that? What if i set aside my own needs & wants  and you set aside your needs & wants and we helped someone else. This isn't a new concept, except that few live it out although I bet it's more than we realize.

If you're not sure where to start, start with water. It's essential for life!  You can easily donate a gallon of water to flint or even a whole case of water! Wouldn't that be something!! Or how about sponsoring a soccer ball for a child in Detroit. 

A week ago I sat down with my friend about goals and dreams!! We talked about soccer fields and lots of other dreams! 

I was dreaming about giving out cereal once a month (sometimes I dream with restrictions because I worry about money) for three months, and then I let my heart open and said "what if we could do it EVERY week?" A couple days later (today) my friend posts about cereal on sale (and she had coupons ) and I asked for people to help "send $12" and people have been donating!! My friend met me in the cereal aisle in meijer and people thought we were crazy!!! I told people if they listened "we have to do something... Soccer field" a woman even have me $20!!! What?!? That's crazy!!

This month of dreaming and following God's dream!!! It's been sooooooo exciting!!!

So there are soccer balls, some cereal... It's all coming together!!! 

People are gonna be loved!!! Does it get much better than that?!?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The love in Big dreams

I Love the field in Detroit. I love planting gardens. I walk around my favorite neighborhood near my church and pray. I hear and see other people's dreams and mine seem... Small.

I like standing in the back and watching the things that God asked me to do come to life. I like to help others make their God visions happen.

Once my friend Jon had an idea for our winter retreat. It seemed crazy and (ALMOST) impossible. It meant my friend and I went to 9 different targets at least once to every one but sometimes it was 2 or 3 times. It was amazing, and because of my silly love of finding a deal and doing anything for God even if it means going to target (that is not a sacrifice!!!!). I always fashioned myself as a dream helper but not a dreamer. 

I'm a single mom who honestly doesn't take many risks.

And then at one point about two years ago, I started to believing that I could dream dreams and that God had more than just tasks for me. The point came when some friends offered to buy my car so I could move to Haiti. (Really this happened!) and so because I had friends who believed in helping me to live out my dreams and the desires of my heart, I hooked on tightly to God. Where do You want me to go? What do You want me to do?

My dream is to be the director of a community center. And while that seems INSANE to me, I believe God can do anything and He wonderfully created me, and so He placed those desires in my heart so He already knows. He knows about the things that frighten me, He knows the things I'm great at, and the ones that I need help with. He will send people. He knows that I believe His word when He says be faithful in small things so I can trust you with much. He knows that sometimes I'm really brave because I trust Him and sometimes I'm still that very small child that believes that everyone leaves (like my momma who died).

He asked me to plant a garden last year. I did research, I raised money, I recruited help, and a garden was built. And it fed people, physically and spiritually. It was crazy and glorious!!! Maybe it doesn't seem like a community center sized dream, but it sure did to me!

Last fall He asked me to clear a lot. What?!? First of all it was a daunting task. But you know what? God sent me people to help me.  People that showed up. And I had no idea what God had/has planned. 

I now dream of a soccer field. I dream of planting a second garden.   I walk by the field and even on cold snowy January days I see green grass, I smell the flowers of spring, I hear laughter and screaming of kids!

When I think about the way God is making the craziest of things happen in my life, my dreams feel bigger than the ocean and higher than the sky. The families affected will have full hearts and bellies. 

God is funny sometimes.

And man, He loves me.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

More than enough!

Sometimes I stand in my kitchen and almost start to cry. I mean sometimes I do. But today I thought "man there is a lot of food here" as I got a big pot of sauce together to make lasagna for people that mean a lot to me. 

I thought there were times I didn't eat because there wasn't enough. And now I have the greatest blessing that I get to feed people! Families, soup kitchens, church. It doesn't seem fair! (For everyone else). It brings me crazy joy to deliver food to people. 

I was dreaming about snacks to the soccer field and handing out boxes of cereal. Man, doesn't that sound great?!? Calling myself a soccer Tia (auntie) since I won't have any kids actually playing... But you know I'm an auntie!

I'm in awe of a God who loves me so much! And that He lets me serve and be a part of His plan, and soooooo many people who serve Him too with me!!

It's the craziest thing! Seriously, I must be the favorite!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Every year my cousin buys me a journal/calendar book. Everyday has a few lines to and there are places that I can write more if I want to. I use this book for one purpose, Thankfuls.

In the book 1000 gifts she suggests we have a journal of the gifts that God gives us. It really does change my perspective. 

Everyday when I wake up I write 3 or 4 things I'm thankful for, and it helps set the tone for a grateful heart each day (though somedays I need to write more than 3 because I wake up grumpy.

I know it's not Jan 1 but it's never to late to start ;).... Get a notebook or calendar or journal and wrote 3 or 4 Thankfuls you'll be surprised how fast you get to 100 and 500 and before you know it, you'll have 1000 gifts that God has given you.

Thank you Karen for this precious gift! 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Alone - set before Him

Sometimes I surround myself with gads and gads of people. I love people. I love seeing people smile and be joyous and I like people to know that I love them, even in their hardest moments. I want to be that person who can be counted on when they need me. (Truth is I feel like I fail at this more times than I succeed).

After a really great service, our pastor asked us to go the alter if we felt lead. There is something sacred to me about the alter it is not somewhere I go to hang out. And while I'm spilling truth here, sometimes I feel the need to go but I don't. I don't know why, I just don't .  Today I went. I went to lay my fear before Jesus to never pick it up again. And I started to cry. I hate that because I know when I get up I'm gonna look awful and walk past all those people. (I hardly ever go without crying)

What am I really really afraid of?

Being alone.

Isn't crazy? I'm often alone. I've actually learned to find comfort in 'alone'.  And I've been lonely in large groups of people. 

Alone is scary. Walk down an alley when a bunch of scary people are headed towards you and you're alone... That's scary. Or when there is a large group and you're not invited, feeling very alone, that's scary to, to not be accepted.

Alone is hard.

I work very hard at making people feel like they are never alone. (Failing and succeeding) My friend Netta says that we should be the kind of friend that we would want in our own lives, and so I try to make sure people are loved and wanted, cherished and chosen. Those are more than just words I say but rather I hope they are the actions in my life. 

As I set that "alone" at the alter today God reminded me that I'm never really alone, that He is always with me. 

I don't know a lot of things, but one thing I am sure of....

We are better together, and there is no reason to feel alone. 

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy new year!!!

Happy new year!!!

It's also my birthday!! There are a lot of pros and cons to having a birthday on New Year's Day! Almost everyone I know celebrates in some way. Last night I celebrated by making (spaghetti) sauce and finishing the big window that needed plastic, and cleaning house. I'm a party animal.  I'm sure I could have done something else lol but that seemed like a good way to bring in the new year, really it's just another day! I went to bed at like 10:30 or something and was awaken by a beautiful text from my girl that said I was the best mom that ever was or ever will be. Happy birthday to me! And then many others followed. I am loved.

I am not sure what the year has for me. Last year at this time I was searching for a church home, unsure of a lot of things. Happy to say I now have a church home (courage church in Detroit - join me any time you'd like) and I'm still uncertain of a lot of things, but God sure has blessed me in 2015. I've gained a lot of new friends, grown closer to many as I opened my heart, and had the discernment to walk away from some.  I've learned that Gods timing is like cooking a chicken, no matter how much you want that chicken, you gotta wait til it's ready. Raw chicks is terrible and things before His time are not ready either.

If I was a wish maker when I blow out candles I don't even know what I'd wish for but I can think of a few things.

Maybe free shellac manicures and pedicures for a year. Ha!! I mean that would be great but that's not what is wish for!

I'd wish for people to love God with their lives, and love people.

I'd wish for people to join me at the garden planting (planning on a second garden!!!)

For my birthday id like people to join me serving at one of the places I serve dinner at and really find love and joy while serving 

I'd wish for people to take good care of themselves so they can take care of others

My prayer for 2016 is that everyone I know would live a life of love and grace. 

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday me!!!