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)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

There is joy in the serving!

I honestly didn’t know how it was going to go yesterday.  In the past one of my favorite days of the month is the day that I serve at ‘I am My Brother’s Keeper’ (MBK).  Our church goes and brings a meal and serves with another church.  It’s an amazing night.  When I leave I am exhausted.  And typically my face hurts from smiling so much.  

I always get there early and have my time with Ernie (and Leon when he was there).  We talk, share, laugh.  It’s always a nice time, and I actually feel robbed when other people come in and distrupt our 30-45 minutes of time.  I feel like its my time.  Lol, I am so selfish!

But the problem is…  and this is where I am jacked up…  I come home from Haiti and the need in America is much different than the need in Haiti and I sometimes have a hard time.  But God didn’t just  call me to serve in Haiti, and after all, I do love serving people, especially feeding people.

So I prayed about what we serve at MBK, and last night it was meatballs & gravy, noodles, cheese potatoes, green beans, and dessert. YUM!  We served almost 1000 meatballs!  WOO HOO!  I prayed about serving, God you called me to serve here, let me remember that I am serving You, and only You.  I looked forward to serving all day, I kept saying “It’s my favorite day of the month, 3rd Tuesday”.  I walked into the church and asked for help (because I always bring TONS of stuff when I come) and about 8 perfect gentlemen helped me carry all my stuff (they are always SO helpful!!!) and as I walked into the “gym”, I saw him, Ernie, standing there at the door waiting for me, and I tell you, I was smiling from my toes!  Home.  

Ernie and I went to our “normal” routine, getting everything ready (we are a great team).  I am sure he thinks I’m a nut job but he puts up with me, we talked like we normally do, he wouldn’t even let me carry the big pot of water for the noodles!  He is good to me!

I have to tell you that I know that some people might serve at MBK, and feel like they are doing some great charity work, but for me, it’s a place where I am with people I love, serving people I love, and mostly serving Jesus.  I left MBK with this amazing feeling that I spent my evening with Jesus. 
I can’t wait for next month… praying about what we are going to serve… wondering… “Jesus, what would You like for dinner next 3rd Tuesday?”

James 2:14-17 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Go Be Love

One thing with coming home from Haiti is that I have decided to clean out a lot of stuff and have a garage sale!  I have tons of stuff and I’d like to raise some money for my trip (if I can swing it) in December besides that I have two trips this summer to pay for!  I’ve been cleaning out my closets, drawers, everything.  I was going through some t-shirts and I found one that I had purchased from Visiting Orphans


Now for the longest time I read that as a command.  Go be love.  Go spread the love of Christ. 

And this morning while praying on my way to work, God spoke to my heart differently about it.

Go - Go make disciples, do it everywhere you go. 

Be – Please be with Me, spend time with Me.  God spoke so sweetly to my heart that it doesn’t matter how much I do, it doesn’t matter how much I don’t do, He wants to spend time with me.  He loves me, and my greatest desire is to love Him too.  Some of my sweetest times on my last Haiti trip was time I spent with Him

Love – Love everyone, even when it’s hard (and sometimes it really is difficult). Love those around you, love those far from you.  Do what you can to whenever you can to show those around the world, Me.

What a different perspective, especially that ‘Be’ part. Wow.  I am so thankful for a different perspective, one from the Father.  

 I am never disappointed when I spend time with Him, He restores my soul.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just call me Jelly

My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and jelly.
My daughters favorite sandwich is peanut butter and jelly.

My daughter and I made about 150 pb&j sandwiches last year on the Detroit mission trip. 

Someone asked me what my favorite part of my trip to Haiti was.

Feeding the kids pb&j was probably one of the best times I had in Haiti. (Other than my amazing God time).

Pb&j was not part of "the plan". At some point we decided to have the beautiful children over from the fishing village to the compound. I asked if we could feed them (you know that's what I do). So we did pb&j because it's easy and quick and relatively cheap. 

Michael and I walked to the store to get the supplies... This woman wanted $26 for the peanut butter alone! I was outraged!!! I mean come on you know how I can be! Of course I tried to barter with her but she wouldn't move and I offered her a price of $20 which was more than fair.

So we walked back to the compound and got the truck and drove to a different store. 

I got a bigger peanut butter, 2 mango jellys, and 5 loaves of bread AND a ragaman for $27 

Then April, Missy, and I commenced making te sandwiches. What a sweet fun time we had together making them!!! And I love Haitian bread, it's like 1.5 times bigger than our normal white bread and a little denser so it's a good belly filling sandwich!!

That's right! We fed about 60 kids from that pb&j! I never would have thought that all my pb&j making would come in handy in Haiti but it did!

Michael gave me the nickname "jelly" after that. 

I'm so thankful that God wastes nothing in our lives. Not even crazy pb&j sandwich making skills!

I love using the gifts that God has given me!!!

When you give someone a pb&j, you've given it to Me. ❤️

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm trying

I’d like to ask you something if you know me.  I’d like you to ask that you please be patient with me.  I really am trying so hard to figure out what’s next.  My life seems to be unfolding a lot differently than I ever thought.  

As the daughter of a single dad, I dreamed of growing up and having one of those “conventional” families and being married. I always dreamed of being married and honestly these days I am not sure if I will ever be married, and my heart really does say that it’s ok.  Whatever God chooses for me, I am ok with that but I am not going to say that I don’t wish for someone to share my life with.
I was in Haiti and I know that God is calling me back for a long term mission trip (and I guess in my mind anything longer than 2 weeks I consider a long term mission trip).  And as much as if someone dropped $20,000 in my lap, I know that it’s not time yet.  God has a few things to do in my heart before I go.  That’s not being scared that’s just being obedient.   Though I would LOVE it if someone dropped $20,000 in my lap or my checking account to free up that burden.  

I want to just put it out there that I am not grumpy, the truth is I am trying to feel in small increments because one day I started laughing at something that was really really funny and then my laughter turned to tears so sometimes though something is funny because I let go off everything I was holding on to.  It’s difficult because its hard to stop crying after that.  And then it’s a whole big hulla-ba-loo.

I am trying to figure out where God wants, what He wants me to do, be obedient…  It’s difficult, and I admit sometimes it’s hard to see the need here and think that it’s nothing compared to the need in Haiti.  But I do know that it’s different, and love is the same in all countries, in any language, to all people.  And that is what binds us.

So if I look distracted, or sad, or like a shell, I just ask that you be patient with me, I am doing the best I can, and sometimes all I need is a hug and a smile.  

Thanks for loving me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Future hopes and dreams

I love shopping.  I love spending money, I love blessing people with gifts, I love eating out.  At some point in my life I ran out of time, but got more money.  And sometimes I wish I had more time but I never wish I had less money ;)

I’ve come back from Haiti with a different perspective and new goals for my future.  I don’t even know how to get there.  And like most things, I look to the bible.  And I am also thankful for amazing teachers in my life.  So trying to figure this all out, I’ve spent more time in my bible, more time writing, more praying.  

When I am about to make a decision, whatever it is, I go back to a teaching that Katie did on one of our winter retreats… it was based on a book by Andy Stanley “the best question ever”.

Is this the wise thing to do, based on my past experiences, current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams?

And when I ask myself that question and really stop to think about it, even about the things that are going to come out of my mouth, it really does make a difference.  

Do you know that I haven’t purchased a Starbucks since I’ve been back, and actually haven’t eaten out since yesterday (and my friend completely blessed me and bought my dinner) so I have not spent money.  When I think about how much money I have saved because I have not “wasted it”.
I normally drink 2 or 3 Starbucks a week, I normally eat out a couple days a week.  That’s easily $50.  It’s amazing how much money in little increments can go through my fingers.  I mean even getting my car washed and cleaned out… that would be $20 for something I can do myself.  I just think I could do a lot more with that money than drink it or eat it especially since I have food and drink at home.

I don’t claim to be perfect and everyday seems like it has it’s own difficulties but staying close to Jesus means I can get through it.

What are your future hopes and dreams?   What’s your plan to get there?  I’d suggest you ask yourself that question.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The next chapter

I am going to confess something to you.  

I was SO mad at God when I was in Haiti.  We fed people which is what I love to do, but I wanted a fishes and loaves scenario… not only was there enough but there was more than enough.  I was mad!  I mean like throat punch mad!  “You could have made that pot feed 10,000 people, and I believe that you could, even big helpings! What in the world God!”

Now, God knows me, and thankfully He loves me, but if anyone deserved a throat punch that day, it was probably me.  I was just so sad, and it turned into anger.

I love Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

Well, at that moment, clearly that whole ‘walk humbly with your God’ eluded me.  What a jerk!  Who do I think I am!  Questioning God.  I guess I believe that He is in me, and that the part of me that loves others and wants to love others in feeding them is from Him.  I mean I love the verse
Isa 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

Well imagine my surprise (though some of you will not be surprised by this apparently it takes me a moment to catch up) God said as I was yelling at Him “that’s why I am going to send you”.

Well, now isn’t that a shock?

Do you know who I am God? I am not that “type” of person who goes on long term mission trips or becomes a missionary.  I look around, maybe He was talking to someone else.  Surely not me.  And let me tell you, I accept it. 

I am not sure how it is going to work out, but I accept whatever the call on my life is.  I am trusting in Him.

In all those crazy moments, I never once doubted God.  I mean, I was sad and mad, but I know He always has a plan.  He is sovereign.  In the craziest of moments, I read His word and have been super thankful for it every day since.  His word comes alive in my heart in my darkest and craziest and most amazing moments!  I’m thankful for it (that’s why I always tell people to read their bible!!)!!
Today as I was listening to the bible and listening to the story of David in Samuel my heart smiled.  Even though my story isn’t as awesome as David’s and I am not nearly the person he was, and my story isn’t written for all the world to see, God loves me so much that He has written my story and it’s glory is for Him. 

I am not sure what lies ahead, but I know that I trust the God of the universe who holds this woman in the palm of His hand.   

And someday when I do write that book… I can’t wait to write the chapter entitled “Jelly”