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)


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 ;)