Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Friday, September 22, 2017

A vision of the best version of me

It's been a long day and with all that's going on I could have easily said "I'm really tired from this long week I'm just going to stay home" but instead I went to be with friends and work on my vision board. I set goals every year but I've never done a vision board. I'm kind of creative in an order sort of way lol.

So I went. I laughed and just dreamed of a better version of myself.

If I could be me, only better, what would that look like?

If I could dream a dream and have it come true, what would that be? 

You can't have a dream come true without a dream (and a vision to get there). No one runs a marathon without training unless you're p-Diddy and I'm not.

I've been thinking about my goals (you might remember I do them in September) but haven't taken the time to write them out or, more importantly, how I will achieve them. 

For the last month, life seems to be a little on hold... but life will quickly get a way from me and then I'll wonder where the time went or wonder why I haven't grown or become better. (To be honest I didn't smash last years goals like I wanted)

When I look ahead and think of what would be only better...

I'd be less busy and more extraordinary 

I'd be stronger (though I did have one goal of weight loss) - I don't want to be skinny I want to be strong 

I want to love me, even my shape

I want to be bold...

Fearless

FREE

I want to enjoy my life

I love that we all got together, I love that our dreams/visions are all different and we had different ways to express those ideas.

I feel like joy seeped back into my heart a little today. I'm thankful for friends who not only invite me to dream dreams but laugh and dream along side of me 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Through the tears

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love." Washington Irving

Yesterday in the morning before church I knew it was probably destined to be a waste of eye make up day! There is no shame in my game. I cry! 

The combination of tired, the crazy of my dad in the hospital, work,  the joy of youth ministry, and seeing God around every corner and straightaway, it's going to have the end result of tears either happy or sad, or a combination of both.

My friend posted the other day about how when she was overwhelmed she did something that gave her instant gratification.. she does the dishes, I do the same... I bake.

We are going on our 19th day of hospitals and how that has just become a regular part of our lives (not gonna lie, can’t wait for this to be over).  I have to admit something to you, in all this “hard” I have felt more loved than I could possibly imagine.  People ask what they can do and I feel bad saying nothing because there isn’t much but the most important thing is prayer.  I mean what am I supposed to say “I’m dying for a pedicure” or “starbucks” or “hey can you drop off some bananas, we are out” LOL because that’s all I really have. Its’ not like I’m being prideful, there just isn’t much to do.

When I’ve asked, people have stepped into my crazy and helped in so many ways, picking us up lunch, trying to drill stump to put the stuff in, listened, laughed, brought starbucks, dinners, grass cutting, signed papers, given me whole30 thai yumminess.  So much!  And soooo much more!

There have been so many times I have cried because of alllllll the love.  I see it around every corner.  Through every tear I have cried, I have seen the good. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back where I belong 

It's an odd thing... I didn't really choose youth ministry.

In 2006 when I was at Metro South Church I kept asking to get involved and EVERY single time they'd tell me that they had someone to do this or that, until one day my dear friend Adam (he wasn't my dear friend at the time lol) contacted me and I got plugged in doing a lot of different stuff but I served in youth ministry and for the most part (it's hard!) I loved it.

When I left that church I was done with youth ministry except to go to Colorado and serve with adam. 

I loved the kids in the church but I was ready to do something else.

When I got to Woodside Detroit I swore I'd never volunteer. I loved it there but I wasn't going to get involved again. And then it happened. And slowly I got involved. And then they had a volunteer sign up. I signed up for a bunch of things and none of it seemed to click with my schedule... except... you guessed it... youth ministry!

And here I sit on a Sunday night so thankful for my new kids. Thinking about their smiles and dreaming of mission trips and camps, and maybe even a sleepover!

I love youth ministry but I wasn't so sure that's where I was supposed to end up, but clearly it is!! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It's just stuff

Some friends of mine moved to Florida from Michigan. With one box.  One box of important things. 
I’ve been in awe of that since I saw it.  Things are not important, people are.
I moved from Lincoln Park to Dearborn, with a lot of stuff.  Stuff that I’ve been giving away.  Stuff isn’t important. 
When going to Africa and saving money to pay for my trip, often I asked myself, do you really need that?  If it was “that” or Africa, which would you choose?  Africa.
Stuff isn’t important, people are.

By most standards, I don’t own a lot of clothes, and mostly wear the same ones over and over.  Except T-shirts, don’t judge me by the amount of t-shirts I own. 
I know most people don’t think about things like this but if you could only pack one box of belongings, could you do it?  What would you put in that box?

I’m challenging myself these days… what’s important?  Stuff isn’t important and yet… I have a lot of it.
Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth speaks.  Or maybe the overflow of your possessions your heart speaks.

The funny thing is that just the other day there was a really great deal on a Kindle Fire.  $15 less than usual.  And you know I had it in my cart to buy it. And then I thought “what are you doing? You bought one once and you gave it away because you never used it!”  Truth.  I don’t need one but for some reason saving $15 was appealing. How about this?  I save $35 and dont buy something that I don’t need! LOL .  Deleted out of my cart.  And even looked at it the next day… same price.  Step away from the Amazon Shopping cart.
I have always kind of prided myself that I can keep my grocery bill pretty low, but I’ve come to discover that what I save now may cost me in the future. Cheap food is full of sugar and garbage and it leads us to an old age of doctor visits and too much time in the hospital.  We are what we eat, so we shouldn’t be cheap, easy, or fast (unless it’s home grown).  I save money on groceries to buy things I don’t need. That makes no sense when I really think about it.

I’m working on being intentional in all areas of my life.  It’s a little painful sometimes but overall it’s worth it!  The things of my heart matter, people matter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Whole30 results

Some of my friends know I did a round of whole30.

I got to a place in my life where food controlled me. I ate in sadness, in gladness, when I was happy or mad, grumpy or glad.

A friend mentioned to me that she was starting a round of whole30 and I said "I'll do it with you" I kind of knew what to expect as far as eating but not everything. So I got the books, looked stuff up online, we had started about two weeks after my initial "let's do it" because I wanted to be prepared, understand everything that i was to do.

At first I thought "that's a lot of stuff I can't have" and then I thought if that's the way you're going to approach this you will not make it past day 5. So I changed my perspective. I thought of what my life would look like being healthy, not regretting the food choices I made. No more heart burn, diarrhea, constipation, no emotional eating, no diabetes, no heart issues, lower my risk of cancer. Inflammation gone in my joints. And I got to eat really tasty food that was healthy.

The truth is it wasn't easy, because companies put sugar in almost everything! EVEN IN CHICKEN BROTH! WTH!  I no longer wonder why so many people I know and love are diabetic or pre-diabetic. 

The truth is it wasn't as hard as you might think either.

So today is day 31. I'm happy to report I made it! And I'm better for it!

My dad was in the hospital 2 times for some pretty serious stuff and I didn't even flinch. I stayed more level headed (which was better for me and everyone around me). Even though I was exhausted due to so much time in the hospital, it would have been way worse if I pumped myself full of garbage.  I got a glimpse of life if I don't change

My mind was clearer.
My skin was clearer.
My joints hurt less.
My clothes fit better ( as a matter of fact I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I bought that I could never wear before)
Even though I didn't do this to lose weight, however I'm down 6.4 pounds, 10.5 inches, 4.5 in my waist alone!
I feel good about myself
When Aunt Flow ;) came to visit she wasn't a savage and my PMS was at a minimum
No sugar cravings at all
I learned about food and what's in it
I ate delicious recipes and shared with friends (I can cook Thai food now)
I prayed more

What's next? I'm not EXACTLY sure. I'll hold close to the whole30 spectrum for sure. In the beginning I thought I'd want a pizza today but I'm excited to have hummus and lentil soup. What a change in thinking.

I'm thankful

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fitting into Molds


So many times I think… Am I even a Christian? Do I look like a Christian? What does a Christian look like?
When I was growing up to me a “church lady” was well dressed, looked well groomed and always held her tongue. And she could quote the scriptures.  She always seemed to be smiling and encouraging.

Have you met me?  I mean yeah probably since you’re reading this.
I show up to church in jeans and sometimes I’d go barefoot.  My hair was sometimes(often) a mess and sometimes I barely have makeup on.  I am not quiet and sometimes I cry in church, and sometimes I swear (in real life)

I feel like I could do so much better at loving people.  I feel like I can always do more...

Yesterday someone sent me a text and asked if I’d make a video answering a couple questions.
What does it mean to pursue Holiness?
Do you personally pursue a sinless life or a Jesus filled life?

Oh great.  I don’t know. I’m not that spiritual.  You know some days I feel like I'm just a blind squirrel trying to get a nut.  I don’t have any great answers to what it means to pursue holiness. HAHA  but so I answered it (in video form which is horrible for me)
What does it mean to pursue Holiness?
I’ve found that if I try to purse things other than Jesus Himself, even the things of Jesus, I get caught up in the humanness of thinking.  Holiness – set apart.  I want to be set apart but not so much that people can’t relate to me or I can’t relate to them.  Let’s face it, we are all imperfect, or in other words, jacked up.  I don’t pursue Holiness per se because most days I am trying to get through them and I just want to be honoring to God. Do my best every day to do what the Bible says.  Some days I do ok, and some days, I end it on my knees asking for forgiveness and hoping I do better the next day.

Do you personally pursue a sinless life or a Jesus filled life?
I pursue a life filled with Jesus.  If I focus on trying a sinless life I will get tripped up, because I get focused  on sin, then it seems I see it around every corner and it grabs me up like a crazy lady trying to get that 57” TV at Walmart for $49 however if I focus on Jesus then that’s what I see.  I don’t even know if that makes any sense.  Where your eyes go, your heart goes, so I set my eyes on Jesus, and my heart will quickly follow.

So there you go.  Short and sweet. 
I don’t know if those were church lady answers but they were my answers.  I just want to love Jesus and love others.

Maybe I’m changing the way church ladies look…  jeans and t-shirts and real talk.
Sometimes I wonder what the heck God is thinking or why He doesn’t just come down and take care of a few things… Like why is Montana in need of rain and Texas and Florida got too much. I know God is good, but what the heck is that about?  Or why people who really want babies can’t get pregnant and people who aren’t exactly thrilled get them.  What’s that about too? I mean I trust God and stuff but I just wonder… 

And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of wondering why He chose me...

I don’t know if I fit the mold of a God loving person, but I do.  I just am a little rough around the edges.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

thursday happenings


The truth is I learn a lot about myself during trials. It's not that I like it but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger... except bears, they will kill you.

If I'm gonna be truthful, I'd like to tell you that I'm exhausted. And even though my dad's had tons of surgeries and procedures, this time, I'm a little anxious.  My dad is my first love, and though he drives me absolutely batty sometimes I want him to be strong. 

I am in uncharted territory.  I want to fight something but there isn't anything to fight so I'm staying quiet. Quiet is not me.  But in the quiet I can listen.

In the times when I am the most tired that is the time when I think that I'm all my weakness.  When someone says that I am hard to love, I take it to heart because that same person all my life made me feel like I wasn't good enough for... anything.  But as a dear friend reminded me, I am loveable and loved.  I just might be too much for them.  LOL, I am too much for a lot of people!

The truth is that God made me loud, and a fighter, and passionate, and kind.  He made me a lot of things but mostly He made me so that I can love LOUD and BRAVE!

It's been hard.  To see my dad who has survived so many surgeries and gone through so much in life, more than most people should have to, be reduced to needing so much care.  And let's face it I'm no Florence Nightingale.   

So here I go, in uncharted territory knowing a few things...

I was made for this, even in the moments I don't think I was.
God has all of this in the palm of His hand, and nothing happens without His permission.
I am a child of God.  He has chosen me, protected me, and made me perfectly imperfect.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Keep Calm and whole30 on...


Whole30 has been such a process for me. I have been kind of quiet about it, but I'd like to say with 7 days left I am so very thankful I did it.

I've had some comments and some crazy looks.  One person said "the lengths that women go through to lose weight".  I'd like to state for the record, I did not do this to lose weight. I did it for one reason and one reason only.  To move towards healthy.

I did make the vow to myself that I would not allow this to make me crazy. I was going in with a healthy mindset and with the attitude that I would complete it. I really haven't looked at is as the things I was restricted by.

No sugar (sugar is in darn near everything!)
No legumes (peanuts, lentils, beans)
No dairy (somehow I've survived without Feta)
No grains.  No corn, no quinoa

My whole attitude was about how good I was going to feel.  And I'll tell you, I feel really great. I think there have been moments that I've wanted to stress eat but that doesn't change my circumstances.  So I did what I knew to do and made good choices.  I can honestly say this is probably the first time in my life that has happened. And honestly, it was more out of habit then cravings. 

I feel good, even though I'm EXHAUSTED from the past days.  But I can't imagine what I'd feel like if I pumped my body full of junk!    I think I'd have a lot more energy if I wasn't in the hospital every day and if I was sleeping better, but I have had enough energy to keep the house clean in all this crazy of my life. 

This was a choice to see what would happen after 30 days and I can honestly say I could make this mostly my way of eating.  Its a lot of work and there have been dishes for days (I ran my dishwasher 4 times one day!)

I feel good.  And I don't feel crazy.  Except the week roasts were B1G1, those days I was crazy!  LOL

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sunday night thoughts 





As I was driving home today, I looked at the sky and a crazy peace came over me. 

Red sky at night, sailor's delight. 

Everyone knows it will be a good day the day after a beautiful red sky. 

It's been a weekend of a complete array of emotions.  Too many emotions. 

 


I don't always know how we are supposed to survive the trials that are sent our way, but I know that God never leaves us. 

And He sends people our way to help comfort us, or He sends us the most beautiful sky to remind us, it's as if God says to me "don't worry, I'm watching you, and I loveyou".

While this is hard because I love my dad, I have been surrounded by so many people who love me and have been praying for me, and with me.
 
I'm thankful.

Grace.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Friday night feelings 

I'm trying really hard not to get ahead of myself or anything else which is hard for me. I like to have a plan, A, B, C.

 My dad ha in the hospital again 

They think it might be... oh they don't know. 

So then I go into planning mode. But we don't know.

And I'm afraid. (I know the Bible says don't be afraid but I'm not perfect - but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that 😳)

That's the truth. No sugar coating it.

When I'm afraid I want to fight. I don't know who I want to fight but surely there is someone who needs a good ass kicking somewhere, right? Yeah, I know, that's not the answer.

It sure feels lonely when you're walking out of the hospital with your daughter. Thank God He gave me her, what the heck would I do without her?!?

I trust God, He knows what's going on, He Loves my dad more than I do, He will take care of him. 

But pray, please. 

For all of us.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Homemade Christmas!

I've been talking a lot to people about "homemade Christmas"

I did it 2 years ago and I wondered if people thought it was dumb or if they liked it or if they thought I "cheaped out" or if they realized the value of my time when I made something.

I always say "you can always make more money" but the truth is you can never get more time.  My time is valuable.  It often seems like its scarce. 

In 2015 I did homemade Christmas. I made peach jam and apple butter along with homemade biscuit mix.  I gave out my homemade taco seasoning.  It was fun to make these things, it was A LOT of work but I think worth it.

In 2016 I was too busy and did normal Christmas and spent a lot of money but not a lot of time and I had some guilt about it.

As 2017 Christmas comes closer, I've got blueberry jam made and peach jam and apple butter on the brain.  Requests for taco seasoning.  Thinking about hot chocolate again too!  And there is always cookies!  And gifts of Redbox codes and popcorn!

I'm pretty excited about homemade Christmas again this year!  Hopefully all the recipients are too!

What's your favorite homemade gift you give or have received?

What do you think about Homemade Christmas?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Foggy

Photo from here
Its foggy outside which always slows me down.  

When it's foggy I think about when I went to Terre Haute to see my friend and it was foggy and I couldn't get anywhere I wanted to be.  Now that's foggy.  Could barely see the front of my car.

Fog changes my perspective.

I don't try to see what's far off in the distance, I only focus on what is in front of my face at that very moment (and that's a good thing because a fawn ran out in front of the car in front of me while driving today).  Fog reminds me that I don't always need to see "the big picture" we need to focus on what God has set before me.

Fog makes me thankful.

It makes me see the things in front of me and count my blessings.  Thankfulness.  It precedes the miracle (Ann VosKamp).  I have read that it is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are thankful.  Well, isn't that the truth.  When I focus on the things I am thankful for, it changes my mood, my countenance. 

I believe that the little things that I (we) do in my (our) life changes the bigger picture, the love I live today is magnified in the long haul.  Being faithful in love isn't always easy, sure, sometimes it is, but sometimes it's hard and inconvenient, and not always well received, but that doesn't change the fact that it is what God has called me to do.

Today I will remember to love people right where they are, in the smallest of things.

Today, fog makes me thankful as it reminds me to slow down (rest) and why it is so very important. 

1 Corinthians 13:12The Message (MSG)
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Strength 

One thing I've really been focusing on is getting healthy, being strong.  I don't worry about getting "skinny".  I have skin, that makes me skinny. I want to be strong, so strong that I can admit my mistakes, learn from them, and grow.  That is my goal.

To me being strong isn't about how much I can lift or how much I can endure, I am a single mom, I've already proved all of that. 

Yesterday I had a crazy day.  It was not easy. I actually felt bad because I was not myself... my poor daughter, I think she waited for me to explode because in the old days that's what I did.  I was quiet until I couldn't take it anymore then I exploded.  Yesterday, I just was quiet because I was trying to be thankful in the middle of a kitchen filled with dirty dishes, trying to prepare food that can't have dairy, sugar, legumes, or grains...  All I wanted to eat was some string cheese and a tomato for dinner.  I chipped a starbucks cup and was just plain tired.  Thankfully there was no explosion. 

At some point, covered in gross sink stuff, feeling a little like a failure, I surrendered, I'm not a plumber.  Thank God it's not important to be a plumber, but at least I know the best ones.  I tried. I really did. My best. There is no failure in trying my best. 

I actually started to think of all the times I have beaten myself over being "failing". 

I think the real change came in knowing, I am God's Masterpiece.  He made me just how He wanted.  I was not made to be a drain cleaner...  Apparently He made someone else to do that :)

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)

Being healthy to me isn't about just about my body but it is about my heart and soul.  It doesn't matter what anyone says about me, if I know that I've been of good character acted humbly. 

This verse has been on my heart so much lately...

Phil 2:1-4Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I will walk with my head held high, knowing that each day I am my best me, growing stronger in my love for others as well as my love for myself.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Fail or...

Today was not the kind of day I had planned, that is for sure! I saw a beautiful sky. Then dropped my morning tea and it seemed to get worse from there. 

I had on my schedule to walk with a friend, and I kept that appointment. 

I came home and worked on unclogging our drain. I might had that I think every fork we have was dirty, there were dishes everywhere. I knocked the Twin Cities mug off the counter and chipped it. 

I needed to get this done my sanity was in the balance. I even bought a drain snake. Things just got serious y'all 

And I failed. I couldn't get it, I even got a blister. This is just too much.

I gave it the old single mom try. 

I'm out.

So phyllis and I headed downstairs to the laundry tub with the dirty dishes and now they are clean. 

I kind of felt like a failure. I mean the drain is still clogged. 

But even while Doing the dishes I was thankful. 

Thankful I had hot water. Thankful I had laundry tubs to do the dishes in. This is only temporary. I know plumbers. I didn't have to carry all the dishes by myself. Phyl took out the garbage.

If at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I'm thankful, it's a win!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

MBK Tuesday Night

Proverbs 3 1-6

My son, do
not forget my teaching,


    but
keep my commands in your heart,


for they will prolong your life many years

    and
bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and
faithfulness never leave you;


    bind
them around your neck,


    write
them on the tablet of your heart.


Then you will win favor and a good name

    in
the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all
your heart


    and
lean not on your own understanding;


in all your ways submit to him,

    and
he will make your paths straight.[
a]



On Friday I was at a Good Ole Fashioned Tent Rival!  I had talked to my dad on my way to the event, and then he called me and told me
a joke. To be honest i was a little annoyed because i was talking to someone about what needed to be served because there was food.  I laughed, and went on.  About a half hour later he called again, I literally rolled my eyes and thought I’ll call him back because I want to worship Jesus. And then my phone rang again. 
It is not like my dad to call back to back unless it’s important.  So I answered it. 

“Marg (that’s what he calls me), are you close?”
(annoyed) No, dad, I told you I’m at 8 mile and Kelly

Well, can you
come take me to the hospital? My chest is tight and I’m having a hard time
breathing.

Good Gravy I think, I don’t know if I can take this sort of thing. Life has just finally started to calm down and I wasn’t looking for “more”.  But of course, I went, and gladly because a
Daddy is a daughter’s first love.  I had
to drive across town praying the whole time that traffic would be clear, but
you know how traffic could be and I already drive like a maniac.

Answered prayers and traffic was clear. I picked up my dad and we headed to the hospital.  No one thought much was going on, my dad is old and has had more surgeries than almost everyone I know, COMBINED.  They did the normal stress test and found something.  He was going to go for his 16th surgery, this time it was a heart cathertization for one of his arteries
that was 99% blocked. 
Because I really love my dad, and my mom died so young all these trips to the hospital give me anxiety.  Normally I cry like a baby.  I’m usually nuts.  But this time was different.  I had this crazy peace.

The last few weeks I have been reading God’s Word more. I’ve been keeping the main thing the main thing.  I HAD PEACE. 
It was beyond my circumstances. 
It was beyond anything I could have imagined. 

I am not saying that I didn’t have moments of worry, but it surely was different this time. 
It reminded me of Proverbs 3:1-6

Proverbs 3 1-6

1My son, do
not forget my teaching,


    but
keep my commands in your heart,


for they will prolong your life many years

    and
bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and
faithfulness never leave you;


    bind
them around your neck,


    write
them on the tablet of your heart.


Then you will win favor and a good name

    in
the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all
your heart


    and
lean not on your own understanding;


in all your ways submit to him,

    and
he will make your paths straight.[
a]

I’m happy to report that my dad is home.  They were worried about his heart valve, the report shows it was still in good working condition. He’s got number 17 on the horizon of the next couple weeks.

I tell you all this to remind you that if you follow God, He will give you a peace in the craziest circumstances.  It won’t matter if someone you love could pass away, it doesn’t matter the status of your bills, He WILL be with you, He WILL take care of you, He WILL give you a peace that you won’t understand and certainly can’t explain!

But you’ve got to follow Him. You’ve got to surrender your life to Him. Have you done that? Doyou want to do that?  I’m telling you of all the decisions you will make in your life, it’s the best one you’ll ever make!

I asked for prayer. I think sometimes people only ask for prayer in desperation.  They don’t ask when things aren’t “pretty” or maybe they are embarrassing, we don’t want to seem like we don’t have it together, I can assure you, I don’t have it together and most days everyone knows and who cares? Who cares if people know I have it together, but honestly, most people don’t we need God to make it through our every day.  

So if you’re waiting for the perfect time, get over that, there’s no perfect time. 

He’s waiting for you.  Just like He waited for me. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'm trying

So… Yesterday I got caught up in the crazy.  Everything that is going on in the world is
taking it’s toll on my heart.  I want to
bury my head in the sand and fight every white supremacist both at the same
time. 


I posted an article, which I didn’t disagree with.  I do disagree that our president that both
sides are to blame.  But I don’t want to
talk about that here.

I honestly don’t understand racism or discrimination. My heart doesn’t bend that way.  My dad never taught me that, I will say that there are people in my family who use derogatory words to describe other races, and I do my best to let them know that’s not
ok.  When people say that hate or
racism/discrimination is part of our nature, I tend to disagree, I think it is fear.

The other day someone I know posted an article about a man who is a Muslim who is going to be running for Governor.  The man is well educated, he’s done so much to help others.  The article posted un-truths about him.  And used fear of his religion to pursade people not to vote for him. I tried my best to point out the things that weren't true and provide real truth.
Listen, if you don’t like someone because they are a raging butt-hole, I’m ok with that.  If you don’t like someone based on their skin color (no matter what it is) or religion  then you are a
racist.  And that is not ok with me.

 

I had someone send me a message regarding that sameman.  They had questions and had heard a lot of rumors.  I was happy to answer any questions they had.  The person had never been to Dearborn, had only seen weird videos on the internet.  I told them the truth, we are not under Sharia Law.  And for the record, Sharia Law does exist.  You can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia it’s Wikipedia so consider the source.  
In Dearborn, we live under the same rules as everyone else.  We’ve had our fair share of rough times and racism, and some would say it still exists.  I choose to believe and will always believe that the strength in our city comes from our diversity and that from a young age we learn about people and their hearts long before we notice the color of their skin.

Going back to my crazy yesterday… I took down the post, and prayed while cooking. I felt like I needed to apologize for contributing to
division.  Division never unites, it divides.  And there was a little bit of restlessness in my heart, and so I apologized. Was it required by anyone? Not really, but I think I needed to. I needed to humble myself.  That is why I needed to apologize. Nothing is resolved when our hearts aren’t humbled.
 

I’d like to say things are going to get better soon, but I am not sure that is true.  But what I do know, I am happy to show people a great city that is filled with a great people in either Dearborn or Detroit. I’ll be happy to sit down and discuss our views.
Hopefully we can learn from each other.
Grace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Always be ready 

The truth is I look terrible in this picture. But who cares? Today was a good day.

These two.

We serve faithfully every month at Mbk, I can't remember how long, it's almost always the three of us, sometimes more and rarely less (things come up like work or broken cars or mission trips). We all have our roles. I cook and boss everyone around all while saying "I'm not trying to tell you what to do" but I totally am! Beckie is always encouraging and fun, and pretty much is the dessert bringer. Matt he's the taste tester, dish washer, and anything else we need done doer.

At one time or another we have all brought The Word but it's not always been my favorite thing to do, it's not my gift but I'd do it if I had to. I always say "the food is my part" but lately I've given the Word more.

I learned something in Africa. Always be ready to give the Word. It's probably the greatest lesson I learned while in Uganda.  And so I try to be. I'm stretching out of my comfort zone.  And I'm glad to have friends who help when it's needed. 

I love that we all serve together and encourage each other. I'm thankful for these two!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Let us be women who love

I didn't write this but it's beautiful and it reminds me of the kind of woman I want to be

By Idelette McVicker

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb for Life to grow.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us rise to the questions of our time.

Let us speak to the injustices in our world.

Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.

Let us honour those who have been devalued.

Let us say, Enough! with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Yesterday a day to be remembered 

If someone were to ask you "what will you remember about yesterday?"


I can say at the end of the day, a lot has happened. Work, served Jesus, played with a basketball with some muffins, worshipped, took my dad to the hospital for chest pains. 

All of these things are something to be remembered and most something to be thankful for (I actually was supposed to serve food but I was too busy playing with the muffins ❤️)

I will remember about today all the ways God showed up. 

He is my provider and my job is how He chooses to provide for my family. He has placed a beautiful heart of people in a community that needs Him (and let's not be fooled, there isn't a community that doesn't need Him). He allowed me to serve Him in so many ways today. And then!!! As if that wasn't enough, He sent four little boys to bring me such joy as I played some sort of something with a basketball with them. (I wish I had a picture just so I could remember that forever). 

Oh and He allowed me to praise Him and worship Him! What a glorious honor that is!! My heart was focused only on Love.

I got a phone call that my dad needed to go to the hospital, chest pains. I was all the way at 8 mile and Kelly (East side) and somehow when I hopped on the freeway there was no traffic. And I had a sense of calm over me. 

I sent out a prayer request and God has provided me with so many people who love me and sent requests on our behalf to God! When people love you and petition God on your behalf, it's the greatest feeling!!! God sent me the best people. 

And... our poor dog needed to be let out and my friends who drove most of the day and stopped to let our dog out, I was just so thankful!

I will remember yesterday as the day God and His people showed up, in every way I needed.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Here I go... again!

It's been a couple of crazy weeks. I've had to fight hard for time to take care of myself. But fight I did. I didn't get to write as much as I liked, but I assure you, I took care of myself. 


I signed up to be involved in youth ministry at my church this summer. I actually put a lot of feelers out trying to figure out how I should serve other than showing up with baked goods once a month. 

Of all the things I signed up to check out, only one has really felt... right. 

Except. 

It seemed like a rough start for me. I wanted to be involved but I know I'm a weird church mom type and the mom types aren't as cool as someone who plays basketball or talks about the latest athletic shoes. I just don't expect kids to pick me first to hang out with. 

But you know what I know? 

No one loves like a momma. 

No one prays like a momma. 

And so... I've been praying. God open doors where you want our team to go. Go before us to prepare the way. Light the path Lord, really bright Lord, because we need to see it! 

Today our leaders told us about a great opportunity and I'm so excited!!! I'm really careful about my time as to stay in what God has for me to do but seriously... so excited!

I'm excited about our current plan and how God will use me in our church and the city and the lives of "my" new kids!

I love youth ministry. Love it! And I'm excited to use my gifts and maybe be stretched in the process!

I was made for such a time as this!!


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It's an honor!


Our city voted in the primary election yesterday.  I voted!  And I was excited to vote (unlike the gross presidential election with the two worst possible Republican & Democratic nominees – there was NO winner for our country in that election).
When I was a young child, for as long as I can remember, my dad took me to vote.  Our district voted at my elementary school.  MacDonald Elementary in Dearborn. I can remember being so proud of my school, I can remember voting in a mock election to show me how the voting booths worked.  Always George Washington vs Abraham Lincoln.  It was fun for me! 

You know what I regret about my daughter’s childhood? I didn’t take her to vote with me.  I was too busy, the lines were long, you name the excuse, I made it, and I didn’t take her. I never expressed the importance of it to her, she didn’t witness me taking the time out of my day to complete the honor, even if I did it. 
This was the first time I was able to vote in Dearborn. I was so excited. I realize that I get excited about the smallest and silliest things, but THIS WAS NOT SMALL OR SILLY!  This was an honor to vote in a city I love in a neighborhood I dreamed of living. And my daughter voted.  And all the people I voted for made it to the election that will be held in November. 

It’s an honor to vote and it makes me angry that more people do not take it seriously.  Especially the young people (yes, apparently I am one of those old crochetty old people), they have a voice, they need to use it for more than just talking!
Vote people. It’s your right. It’s an honor.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

I wish I had one more day...


To be honest, there aren't too many people I care to impress these days.  Especially since I'm working on taking care of me.


Lately I've been thinking about my Aunt Dee. I loved my Aunt Dee and she loved me but to be honest, I probably didn't appreciate her as much until she was gone.  She taught me so much. I love that she taught us all how to love so much.

She taught me about how great the library and reading are. I read all the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries.  She taught me to always check the water at the spout BEFORE using the diverter to make it a shower. 

I spent Saturday with my "mom's family" which consists of Aunt Dee's kids.  They are our only family on my mom's side, and I love that they love us so much. There aren't really words to express how thankful I am.

My cousin Kathy makes me Sauerkraut and Kielbasa at every function.  It's my favorite. And I'm also thankful for that.  I got to take the leftovers home from Saturday, it wasn't a whole lot, apparently it was everyone else's favorite too.  I decided to fry up some onions and potatoes, add some extra cabbage and then add the leftovers... Aunt Dee would have been so proud.  it was delish and it was enough for 2 meals for each of us.  And I didn't have to buy anything from the store, everything was in the fridge or pantry.  (Aunt Dee could make a great meal on a small budget - she taught me pretty much everything I know about that!) 

Today I made blueberry jam and I remembered how she used to serve jam with a spoon not a knife and I thought it was so silly as a kid, until she explained that it's easier to get out of the jar and make it to the toast.  So simple, so true.

I think she would be so proud of me. She was so excited about Phyllis (she was truly a great surprise!) and I wish she got to know her.  She only met her (Aunt Dee died when Phyl was 6 weeks old)

I'm so thankful for the years I had with her, I am so thankful for all the things she taught me and that I've been able to pass on to others I love.

If I had just one more day...  I'd hug her a million times and ask her a million questions... and I still wouldn't eat bologna salad because that's just gross ;)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Finding the calm in new places


 Whenever I am close to Belle Isle, my first instinct is to want to go kayaking.  I knew it wouldn’t work out Thursday so I planned to kayak on Friday after Woodside Weekends, but then it rained… I thought that’s ok, I will go Saturday, but then my plans changed and I spent some great time with some beautiful ladies and went for a walk on the Island.  I thought “well it’s ok, I am going to be on the Island for the baptism, I will just go after”.  HA! No.  The line was out the door, and I think I would have been in line longer than I would have kayaked.  No thank you.

So…  I decided that I would go for a walk by the light house, grab my bible and my journal because it was soon going to be back to working all day for 5 days and while I love my life, the past 4 days of “vacation” where I only had to work a couple hours every day was nice.  Better get ready because who knows what the next week will bring.  So I walked to this little opening to sit, and there was a woman and a teenage boy, I asked if I could sit there if I promised not to bother them, they were drawing.  They said “of course”.  At first I was just so in awe of the few, my feet were in the water I was journaling and the sound of the waves crashing and the familiar smell of the water was bringing me a ridiculous amount of calm.
I wanted to go in the water.  Even if it was a little chilly. Even if I was wearing my clothes (no bathing suit).  Even if that was not a beach to swim on.  Even if it is out of my character to jump in the water with great abandon in my clothes. 
I remember as a child I couldn’t wait to get in the water.  I didn’t care if it drove everyone nuts.  I just loved the water and I didn’t care if it drove everyone nuts… let me in!

So… I didn’t jump in. I walked in up to my waist.  It was chilly but it felt so good.  It felt good to just relax and not worry about if my car would get wet (I had a towel – ok I had 2), who would care that I walked back to my car soaked, it felt good to just be free, and relaxed, and calm.  It felt good to know that God created the water that surrounded me, and that love I have for water and that I’ve loved it my whole life! 
 I love this new spot. I was able to clear my head and think about things and nothing at all.  I love that it’s peaceful and beautiful. I love the view, the quiet, even the loud crashing of the waves, it seems perfect.  (Now I just need to launch a kayak from there LOL)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Being real


In my devotional today by Shauna Niequist asked two questions... 

do you choose charm over true connection? 

Is there an opportunity today to choose difficult unglamorous true love ?

The answer to the first question is... absolutely. Almost always. I'm constantly surrounded by people and often I don't trust people readily. Time and experience has proven to me that people don't belong in our "circle".  Time and experience has taught me that people can’t be trusted and that not everyone needs to know everything, and most people don’t really want to know our true selves, they want the “hi how are you? I’m really good” part of us.  And after years and years of practice at blending in because my family thought I was too much (of a whole lotta things and not enough of others) I can “sales it up” in most situations.  There are times that my face gives it away though.  It betrays me when someone says something dumb or when someone is feeding me a line of BS.  There are, however, sometimes when I can’t hold in how I feel, everyone knows I am a crier and a loud laugher.

The answer to the second question is… I hope not. LOL!!!  That really unglamorous love is hard for me.  Letting people in hoping they won’t hurt me is hard.  As my friend Katie says “you don’t make 10 year friends in 1 year” but I do know that we must be open in year 1 to get to 10 years.  So if today I am called to difficult and unglamorous, well that’s ok with me.

So today, my prayer is that my joy will be overflowing and let my love be true.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

A day in the perfect life 


That picture is not me, but someone I got to serve with today.

When I'd organize mission trips and plan out days, I actually rarely got to be hands on unless you count making breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone. I loved hearing about their days and enjoying their excitement when they'd say "it was the best day of my life". In the strangest way, I'd be so happy to know I'd have some small part in "their best day ever".

As I ask myself every day, " if money were no object and your calender was clear, what would you do? " my answer is usually a walk or time with friends or time by the water or reading or a bike ride.

 Today, as I was sitting with some really awesome kids I thought if I could do anything right now, this would be it! I'd spend my day dancing with kids and clapping to music as they bounced beach balls and laughed and smiled. I'd set up crafts and games and watch them run and laugh. I'd sit and color with markers and ask them about their lives. I'd see their smiles and reflect mine right back at them.

I had the perfect day, maybe even one of the best of life.

If I could have been anywhere, there was no place I'd rather be.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Recommendations


I love reading but I can’t say that there are too many books that I would say “changed my life” but off the top of my head I can think of three in recent years that changed my life.
 
 
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Racing-Rain-Novel/dp/0061537969/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500512657&sr=8-1&keywords=the+art+of+racing+in+the+rain+by+garth+stein

1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=1000+gifts+by+ann+voskamp&sprefix=1000+gifts%2Caps%2C194&crid=13AFXI0D4478P

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequiest


I love each book and their life changing ability.  The Art of Racing in the Rain taught me about perspective.  When someone asks for a book recommendation, this book is my “go to”.  I read it on my Kindle (but I gave my Kindle away) so I recently just picked up another copy to read this summer in my time of rest.  I read it in three days. I laughed, I cried, and I will never look at chicken nuggets the same again.

 
1000 gifts taught me to find thankfulness in the mundane of life.  It taught me that thankfulness precedes the miracle, and that in order to be open to God’s every day miracles, we need to have a heart of thankfulness.  I find more to be thankful for than I ever knew possible. I have the Audible, the book, the study.  I didn’t want to miss anything with this book.  I even gave it as Christmas presents and I am not sure anyone actually read it.

I made a joke in this new season of my life, I better get a book because I have no idea how to rest.  Insert “Present over Perfect”.  This book has changed the way I think, the way I feel. While I like to call this season “Rest”, I feel like it might be a time of big change, that the lessons I’ve learned in the first half of my life will both make me happy and to use that wisdom, and as I rest and really evaluate the good and the bad and the really ugly, there will be things that I will hate to admit but know that it is part of my story, and God will restore the ugliest parts of my life to beautiful.  This book as made me really examine myself, my life, my motives.  I’ve asked myself tough questions and dug deep for real answers.  It’s reminded me of what’s important and what’s less important. 

In this time of thinking and doing what I love (and what I don’t), I’ve remembered how much I love writing and how when I slow down I can actually hear the thoughts in my head.  It’s been so great for me, some things make it to the blog and some things stay written in a notebook, I may or may not share at some point.

This time of rest has given me so many gifts (like 1000 of them! HA!) and I thought I’d hate it, but once I gave up the struggle, I found myself with a peace I’ve never had before. 
What a blessing.