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, June 26, 2016


The truth is I could barely get out of bed this morning. I'm exhausted and both my houses are a complete mess. 

I rolled out of bed, every joint creeking, got ready and went to church to set up for the morning. I could have left it for someone else, but I needed some time, some quiet time, where I served someone, spent time with God and just breathed in the quiet. 

I left after having a great conversation with a friend, and headed to the Dearborn house. I stopped for a minute and had some
Yogurt with blueberries and almonds. And started to get overwhelmed by all that has to be done in the next two days. The warmth of the day and the breeze reminded me that no matter what happens, God is with us. 

I sat here thinking, I am just so thankful.  I love this little new house and I'm thankful for the other house and all the memories made there.  I'm thankful for the love that fills our home and hearts.  I'm thankful for friends and family and frozen meals that can be warmed in a crockpot so we don't have to just eat carry out today. And I'm thankful for carry out that has provided us great meals. I'm thankful for God's provision to buy those meals.  I'm thankful for tired hands and feet that can go and go and work and work, I'm thankful for a shellac mani and a pedi next week to restore them.

I'm thankful my house smells like construction because of all the work that is being done. I know soon it will smell fruity and food-licious. I'm thankful for people to do the work, and friends to help us. 

I'm thankful for a quiet church in the morning to serve at and friends who fill it with love, and laughter to
Light the world. I'm thankful for people who vacuum and clean, and people who speak and live Gods word. I'm thankful for sowers who feed our children's hearts.

I'm thankful to love and be loved. It is to feel the sun from both sides.

I'm thankful for a Savior and a God who loves me beyond all understanding and without measure. I'm thankful for His grace, love, and mercy. 

I'm thankful. 

Thankful heart

This whole new house thing has been quite an adventure. Seriously, I've learned so much.

One of the things I've learned is to accept the gifts that we've been given even when they are easy for us. You can imagine I've cooked a lot of meals in my day for others. Especially moving people or people getting their  houses ready. I really looked at it as nothing, it was simple for me, but after the last week, I understand how great that is... I love eating out but it gets expensive and it's just not as good as homemade. 

Or when a friend comes over and helps you prime the bathroom. A couple hours of help that might seem so simple means the world. It saves me time and we have great conversation while working.

Man, and I've always respected people who have a trade... Drywalling, electrical, plumbing, mechanics, etc but after this week, I've got an even greater appreciation for them. Drywalling is an art. Seriously people.

And you know you either spend your time or your money. Today I was freaking out, a tailspin moment when I just said to myself "Margie just pay someone" and it was that easy. A calming CTFD moment because I don't have any more time to spend and I'm lucky enough to have some money (not tons) to take care of a few things in order to maintain sanity. 

Or when your friend says she'll help and I'm freaking out because I'm not sure what I'll need and she simply says "how about we wait til then and you can give me a job" now it doesn't get any easier than that...

I think the greatest thing I've learned is to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em and know when to walk away and know when to
Scream for help! 

This has been quite an experience. And I'm thankful (and exhausted)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bravery in the garden

The garden never stops teaching me things.

Sunday when I went to check on it, and all the plants were stolen, I felt... Sad. I didn't even think a swear word, not one. And if you know me, really know me, you know that was a miracle (say it with me "you got that right")

Well, it "just so happens" that my friend had given me a bunch of tomato plants that I hadn't had a chance to plant before I left for Colorado and Phyllis watered them and kept them alive. 

So I went to the garden and planted them. It felt stupid. I've heard a lot of negative things, but I can tell you this is what I know...

God called me to plant that garden
God provided the extra tomato plants
Withholding those plants out of the fear of someone taking them again, is pure sin.

So I planted them, even if people think I'm stupid, I felt brave doing what I was called to do, but I feel joyful knowing that today God gave me the opportunity to be faithful and today, I was!

Bravery and stupidity sometimes look the same.

Hoping planting part two is successful, the fruit is already growing in my heart

Friday, June 17, 2016

Notes from camp

I started packing last summer hoping for a move in 2017. And then at some point this winter we put an offer in a house, then more looking followed quickly by "ohmyword we are going to move THIS year!!" Followed by more packing more donations, lots of stuff added to an already busy life. 

City camp 2016 was scheduled in Colorado. I was coming literally already exhausted. My soul was weary. I'll admit it. And I came and for two days felt like I was just resting, going to bed pretty early and up later than usual.  By the time City Camp actually started I felt ready. It's a lot of organizing and shuffling and going to bed late and waking up early.  We were scheduled to go a giant community garden but our plans changed and me & another leader (who knows Denver like I know Detroit) took 14 kids and we served lunches and water. And to prove what a great lunch maker I am, two guys fought over a lunch we made!!

We stopped and had lunch... and ice cream.

I honestly couldn't have gone to Colorado if my beautiful daughter wasn't capable of handling a whole lotta stuff while I'm gone! She prepped and painted a lot of the first floor, she kept things going.  I honestly couldn't do all God has called me to do if it wasn't for her love and support. My whole life I wished I had a momma to be friends with like other people, but instead God gave me a daughter. 

We have one more day of city camp and I'm tired but filled. I'm thankful to serve, once again, with the best youth pastor ever, I'm ready to be home soon enough to hug my girl. My weary soul is refreshed.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Joy - it does come

I stopped in Starbucks this morning, I was tired and needed a little bit of caffeine in the morning.  I saw a lady who had her tag sticking out so I put my hand on her shoulder and said “can I fix your tag for you… and she said “I know you!”.  It was my favorite teacher from LPHS.  It was so great.  I was so thankful to tell her that I was so thankful for her, and that I probably wouldn’t have made it through high school without her. (Teacher friends, you live a life of love and that is the greatest legacy)

I stopped when I got in my car and thought, man, 2016 has been rough so far, busier than I’ve ever been, and let’s face it, I am always busy. 

There have been moments when I wanted to give up, when I just couldn’t take another step.  I mean I’d have to rev myself up, give myself a pep talk, yell at myself “you weren’t made to sit around, you can rest when you’re dead!”  I’d think about some story I read about some swimmer who swam some super long race and gave up when she only had a little while to go but she didn’t see the shore, so she gave up.  I never want to give up that close to shore… so I never give up. 

I always remember “Joy comes in the morning”.  A song that is one of my favorites the lyrics say “As surely as the sun will rise, You'll come to us, Certain as the dawn appears”


with assurance or confidence

In the hardest times in my life, I know that God is faithful.  I know that the sun will rise (and if not I am with Him).  Even in the things I hate, there is something to be learned.  And it’s hard to be teachable when you hate something.  At least it is for me. 

I know that God is faithful, and joy has come, or it’s coming. 

The soccer field is happening

The garden is growing

One house is purchased, and the other is 80% packed (mostly what is left is the stuff we use everyday).

The rest will come.

I drove to Target yesterday (it’s about 1.5 miles from my new house – this is good and dangerous), and I thought man, that (all the mess and frustration) was worth it for THIS RIGHT NOW. 

Things are always going to be crazy in my life, because crazy is as crazy does. 

I’d just like to say it…

I’m happy.

Not just happy, but full of joy, and that is nothing that can take away my joy, even in the hardest of times.




Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Our new home!

It’s a long story!  How we went for wanting to live in Detroit to buying a house in Dearborn.

I lived in Dearborn until I was 15 years old.  Many circumstances…  I moved to Lincoln Park and anyone can tell you, I hated it from the minute I got there.  The house, the ‘hood, it all.  Now, let me also say, I did end up with some good friends, but that is pure grace because I was not the easiest person to get along with back then… Think of me now, multiply my attitude (developed for protection) by 100 and maybe, just maybe you’d be close to how I was.

When I bought my house, I chose Lincoln Park because at the time it was close to Phyllis’s school and my dad.  Our home has provided us shelter (for us and many others) and a place that holds lots of memories, a lot of laughter, oceans full of tears, and a place that grew love like a beautiful garden!

I never liked Lincoln Park (big emphasis on NEVER!! Like NEVER EVER).  My first week of school someone mortified me by asking me if I wanted to go “coon” hunting and I gasped and wondered if I had traveled to a place time forgot.  What the what?!?

Fast forward many years, market crashes, and lots of prayers. I really love Detroit, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about that.  I go to church there, serve there, start community gardens there, dream (and with the help of others, launch soccer fields).  I really thought moving to Detroit was the right move for us (me & Phyl).  But nothing seemed to be working out, over inflated housing prices, not so great neighborhoods, when we’d find a great house, it would get snatched up from under us (we lost a bid literally 30 seconds before it closed), it was getting so discouraging… I kept praying and hoping.  My dear friend Dawn said “DREAM BIGGER” and so I did… I dreamed of living somewhere I’ve always loved.  Dearborn.  I have always prayed to go back “home”. 


After looking at a couple houses in East English Village (EEV), Phyl & I decided that we might open our search to Dearborn.  And then the “Rathbone” house happened.  It seemed to be going along kind of smoothly, as smoothly as buying a house (especially in Detroit) goes… and then it happened.  It fell through, by no harm or foul on anyone’s part, it just didn’t work out. 

And so… I tried to put on a brave face, and not feel all that I was feeling, give the “there’s something better” brave face and people did a lot of that “everything happens for a reason” crap.  Yeah, I know.  I know but I’m allowed to be disappointed.  Not that many people know that part of the “Rathbone” house.  And then one day, I finally let it all out, and cried… and cried, and in typical fashion, I put on my sass pants, and moved on.  We decided to open the search to Dearborn.  To be honest, it wasn’t always that easy but at least the houses were in better condition and the streets were quiet, but somehow full of life.

3 offers later, I don’t even know how many houses… here we are.  A new home in Dearborn.  And I loved it from the curb, I had a good feeling before I hit the door. 

I can’t begin to explain to you that I had buried that dream of living in Dearborn so far down that I didn’t even remember.  Or that I didn’t think it was possible.  I didn’t.  Really. 

In all this, I have found that I really do have the best friends (don’t worry I won’t ask any of you to help me move), I am lucky to have the best people in my life to cheer me on, and listen to me cry, and tell me to CTFD when I’m nuts, and we really did have the best realtor who has always been like family to us.  I’d recommend him, hands down to anyone! 

I know this is where I belong (at least for now only God knows the rest).

So we are happy!  I can’t wait to move (and get rid of my current house)!

And my friend Sheila was right, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

God, He is a good God, and He loves me.