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)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Setting goals

Every year I set my goals in September. It started in 2012 on a retreat. We set our goals then because the school year starts and when I was in youth ministry it was my life. It's a perfect time to start, there's little pressure because people don't know so they aren't looking at you to see if you've failed or succeeded AND by the time January 1 comes, my goal success is well underway. This was one of the many great things I learned in youth ministry!! I can't believe it's been a year since I found out the Dorbands were leaving Michigan)!

It's a crazy thing is that I take weeks to pray about what my goals should be. Where does God want me to grow? What will it take to get there?

I feel like reconciliation is in the cards for next year. But with who? I'm sure it won't be easy... Forgiveness and reconciliation.

Praying for "what's next".

Sometimes it seems hard to get out and exercise after a full day at work and millions of things going on, but in that time, God works in me!  Mind, body, and spirit!

It's important to take good care of yourself!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Love serve REST repeat

It has been the craziest of 4 months!!!

I've flown to:
Haiti
Germany 
Colorado (twice)

Been on 4 mission trips since the end of March:
Haiti
Denver
Detroit (twice)
And planted a community garden

I've had very little time to rest and my trip to Haiti needed some processing afterwards. I never really got that time. Though I've taken days to rest it has not been the kind of rest I needed until this weekend.


Wow! There is something about northern Michigan that makes my heart slow down. I look around at the beauty of it, I breathe in, relax. It calms my soul.

There is always much to do. We were created to bring Him glory. But sometimes I think we need to see His glory. 

Today I drove home (without getting a ticket lol) and came home with a sudden burst of energy. Maybe because I had only gone about 900 steps. I cleaned the garage. It was a crazy mess but I felt re-energized so I tackled that ridiculous mess!! Holy moly! Cleaned out my car, and went to the church to start hauling things home. When I got to church the kitchen floor had seen its share of use so I washed it. Just a quick wash, but so much better! It makes me happy to make the church sparkle for Jesus  and so others can enjoy it!

I wanted one last moment of His glory so I hopped in my car and headed to Belle Isle. It's my favorite Monday spot. I walked about a mile and then rested while I watched the sun set and started a new book that my friend lent me. The women who wrote in this book are truly inspiring and God is working in them, and I'm sure He will use them to work through others (and me!)

It's been awhile since my heart has had peace. That it seems to be smiling. 

Love.
Serve.
Rest.
Repeat.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mission trip lessons

This since March 28 I've been on 4 mission trips (ish) 

Haiti
Denver
Helped metro with their Detroit trip
4 days

I was actually surprised at that number. I've been busy lol. 

I always tend to learn a lot before/during/after mission trips. God moves like crazy when I'm on one and a lot after. This spring/summer was no different. 

I always joke and say "stupid Netta prayed I'd see things the way God sees them". Well, she did, and He took off some scales. And some of it was beautiful and some of it was really ugly. Most of the ugly was in my own mess... Because it's been so busy it's been hard to take the time to process and work through it all. I'm getting there.

Some mission trip truths:

Sometimes people aren't what you originally thought. Sometimes it's way better than you thought, and sometimes it's much worse.

Stay hydrated. By the time you realize you're thirsty, you're dehydrated. Its the same with being close to God. Stay close.

You can never have too much toilet paper.

Know how to use a plunger

Flushing is the best!!

Smile a lot. Give grace. To others and yourself. 

Listen

Rest

Take good care of yourself

Take a minute if you need one. Otherwise you'll spend more minutes apologizing for things you said.

Right a wrong quickly. If there's an issue, address it swiftly, and with love and grace.

Making sandwiches with others is way more fun with others than by yourself.

Schedule rest after the trip.

Live out the great commandment not just the great commission. You can't have one without the other.

Serve love repeat 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Masterpiece bravery

Today I was in my kitchen praying for my church, it's short term missionaries who are coming this week, and some dear friends.

A lot of people have a quiet place where they pray... Me I got a small kitchen that some pretty awesome magic happens in! (You should have seen it last night from 10pm to 12am, it was in full effect).

When it comes to me, I know I have nerd gifts. I'm never gonna be cool, I'm never gonna be the one leading anyone anywhere unless it's to show you where the bathroom is or how to do dishes. And I am ok with that. Maybe not everyone gets my weird gifts (but they will enjoy them!) and the best part is that I don't need anyone to "get them" just don't get in my way so I can use them.

I'm reading this incredible devotional called Brave Girl boots and my heart is so moved by it!! The truth is I've been reading my bible and well, to be honest usually I'm moved beyond tears when I read it, but lately, well, not so much (how is that for a plug to get you to read the bible!). I keep reading though. Waiting with great expectation that God will knock me off my feet like He often does!! I'm being faithful and reading!  The Brave Girls Devotional... Whoa! God is speaking so much to me through it, THERE IS POWER IN OUR TESTIMONIES!!!!! 

I'm learning that being brave isn't mountain climbing or jumping off a cliff (that's either brave or crazy I'm not sure which!), being brave is being right where you are and finding joy!  Finding fruit in what you love and sharing it!!!

I'm a little nervous about this week and all I'm doing but I am excited! It's my sweet spot of serving! And I'm being brave doing what I know I'm called to do!

“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.”
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

The ugly

There are some realizations in my life that just make me want to... Slap myself.

I've just really had a rough time lately. I don't know if my own selfishness just really reared its ugly head but man it was ugly, all coming to the point last weekend when I guess I just couldn't take it anymore, and I just cried. And cried. And cried.

I said "I think God hates me" and I've been praying about that moment, like what in the world? I know that's not true, for crying outloud, I'm Gods favorite how could He hate me ;) so in my prayer time, really seeking I felt the spirit just say "who is the one who is not happy with who?" 

Ugh.

My own ugliness. 

I'm such a self jerk but I guess the truth is that because I wasn't getting my own way (though i was really hurt) I thought that must be the answer.

What a mess!  It's a bunch of things and it starting with my mess!  Im focusing on things one at a time. Asked my friend to pray for me, I need to eat better. Garbage in, garbage out. It really does feel good to make good eating choices.  

I'm working on a better me, God is working on my heart!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

You can go home again

You can always go "home" again but I don't think it always feels the same. Hopefully we are not the same as when we left, or maybe it's just me who is thankful that God has changed me, even ever so slightly.

I went back to my old church (metro) last night. I'm so very thankful for the people who greeted me and laughed really hard at the person who was 3 ft in front of me that turned around when they looked right at me. 

I went to visit for the Colombia Missions team send off. What a blessing. To see a young woman who I was her leader follow God and co lead a trip to Colombia makes my heart so overwhelmed. 

Chad and Tina lead us into the night of worship and wow! I think I might have started crying after the first word was sung. 

I stood in that building in so many places and the memories were overwhelming. One that stood out to me was this one time... Judah was having a rough time and so was I. He needed to eat dinner and I needed to get to Alive but Katie was leading a meeting or something. I pulled Judah out of his seat and sat him on my lap to eat and he leaned his head on me, and was fussy, and I said "it's ok to cry Judah, sometimes we just need a good cry" and honestly I just cried with him. 

Isn't that true? Sometimes we just need a good cry. God gave us feelings for a reason and it's ok to feel.  I have to remember that sometimes, as much as I have my heart on my sleeve, often I keep feelings bottled up.  Surely God allows us to express our feelings (look at psalms). 

I'm thankful for where God has me, even though it's not always easy, and I'm thankful for the places I'm from.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

Friday, July 17, 2015

Couragessness

I don't even know how it happened.  

But somehow i was writing for the Brave Girl Boots Blog. As I was reading the women's stories of their couragessness (it's a real word, just trust me ok?) I thought wow. I'm unworthy. I hope my story of bravery helps someone else to be brave, even if in comparison my story isn't that great. (Let's face it comparison is work of the enemy and I don't like to give that slimeball too much credit).

So fast forward to this time, and I find myself so very honored to have my name in a book of women that God made so very awesomely brave. But the truth is also that I find myself so very broken, in need of a Savior. I don't need someone to come in with some arlene's tacky glue, I need some real healing, and removal of the scar tissue. (But leave the scar so I never forget the healing that has taken place). And I'm thankful for a Savior that can do that, because ONLY He can!!!

I have been in need of "something" that can take me to the next level of where I need to be. I have felt like I didn't need more "God created you awesome" bull-ony Duh. Have you met me? The greatest parts of me are God stitched. I needed something to hit the core of me to get rid of those parts of me that have been hidden in fear. The parts that I don't like to admit I have, the parts that as God removes them and refines me, He makes them shine like only He can.

And as I pray, and seek, for wisdom and healing, I am still brought back to that moment, that moment in the car while driving to Buckley. "We are moving to Colorado". How do I love and hate those words at the very same time? I love that my friends have always been some of the best examples of TRUE disciples, following God, losing what they have for the hope of what He brings.

They weren't just people I served in youth ministry with. It might have been where we met and how we built or relationship, but those 5, that started out as 2 when I met them, they are my friends and my "nephews" and my life was never the same as each of them came into it, and surely wasn't the same after they left.

And there it is. People leave. For good reasons and bad. 

Fear of abandonment.

Yuck 

And I don't know where that comes from, maybe it's because my momma left this earth far too early. And no matter what you say I'll always believe that mommas are supposed to stay. 

Maybe it's why I hug super hard, know you are loved. I cherish that moment, it's not just a greeting or a goodbye, it's an I loveyou 

And them leaving it's been a hard  to cultivate relationships, making new friends but I am glad that God has me in this place, and those friendships are deeper than I ever thought possible (go figure, He knew what He was doing).  And then God moves me to a new church where it's not always comfortable. (Comfort zones are peaceful but I won't grow there). Starting over and getting to know people and making myself vulnerable is not always my first choice. And doing that at a time when I feel empty, ALMOST seems impossible.


But when empty, that's when God seems to do His "best work" and fills me, and fills me with the kind of love and grace and joy that only He can (it's like the best casserole EVER!)

Wow these boots! 

I remember thinking "maybe my story will change someone's heart" but really all these stories have come into my life, and are changing my heart to one that not only bears His name, but makes mine look more like His.

I keep singing "The Desert Song" by Hillsong



 
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
 
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flame
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
 
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
 
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Starting a Brave journey


So, I’ve been quiet.  For awhile, sure a post here and there but not really a whole bunch.  It's because I'm struggling, and I'm only quiet when I'm struggling.

I walk around knowing that I am blessed millions but sad inside.  And the point it came to on Sunday was that I said OUTLOUD “I think God hates me”

Now let’s just be honest, that’s just not true.  I was overwhelmed and knew I just needed a good cry, and it came, but not as I was hoping, it came after an ugly incident when someone thought they were being helpful and it was just hurtful. 

And yesterday, I cried for the better part of the day, and fell asleep crying.  Yuck.  Do you know what you wake up looking like when you fall asleep crying?  YUCK.

I realized that it’s been about a year since I got the devastating news that Adam and Katie and the boys were leaving.  Now this might not be devastating news to you, but it was to me.  And it seemed like my world got turned upside down and still is a little topsy turvy now.  My life was Youth Ministry, it was how I served Jesus.  And after they left I felt like I was standing in the middle of a field all alone thinking “now what?” (though I really have learned to love rest and found new ways to serve)

I can’t figure out where I am supposed to be. 

I started reading “Brave Girl Boots a 40 day Journey to Brave” and just reading the introduction I was trying really hard not to cry, and I was failing miserably.

Wow. Maybe the future isn’t any of my business.  Maybe I need to do a much better job of living in the here and now.  But that doesn’t seem that simple to me.  My whole life I craved the planning of what is next, maybe it’s a control thing from the days of trying to control things, but I also believe planning is necessary and helps make things excellent.

To be honest, I’d like to chuck everything and go live on an island somewhere but I won’t.  I’ll start this journey of being brave, and I’ll seek God and find out what He has, I have no clue about what I’m doing anyway. 

It’s time for HARD WORK. I hate hard work, but I love it’s rewards…