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)


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Enjoy your moments

I can't even explain to you how beautiful colorado is!!! I'm sitting here in the quietness of the house (which is the opposite of how it usually is) and I'm thinking about how lucky I am!

When we got here the mayor on the announcement said "300 days of sunshine". That's seriously enough for me to say "I'm in"

The temperature was 85* today and it was perfect, and the evening cooled down to perfection.  I mean it got a little chilly but it was very nice!!!

We stopped and got yummy Thai food for lunch and ate it at the park, because as Katie said "eating inside seemed like a sin on such a beautiful day" and we went to the airplane park as the boys call it and we walked by this cute little stream... And of course had to get our feet wet! And the boys wanted to go deeper so some kind of crazy auntie thing came over me and we walked in the stream, well I carried the boys a lot of the time and we were silly and we found "a treasure" in the water... A golf ball. Lol and then we were so lucky!!!! We found another one!!!!  What a fun time filled with smiles and giggles and hugs and kisses!!!

We celebrated Zion's birthday which was our "official" reason for coming out even though when 5 people you really really love live somewhere, you don't need an official reason lol! We celebrated with delicious food, lots of giggles, Rice Krispie treats, Popsicles (Zion loves Popsicles!!!!), glow sticks, flashlight tag, and balloons!

In the past few months I've had a crazy change in my schedule and it's been an adjustment and sometimes it's a really difficult one but in some ways it's been absolutely amazing! I'm still serving because serving Jesus is in my DNA, but im spending way more time with people i love, I'm less hurried and harried, I'm a lot lore go with the flow, I have noticed I feel like I smile more. I am more relaxed and things still get done, I'm just not a control freak about it. 

I thought about how there is a good chance this weekend could have not happened if I had been too busy! I could have easily let it slip by and a year could have gone by without visiting these lovelies! I could have postponed and tried to fit it in, but instead I fit things around it because it was a priority. 

The truth is I couldn't imagine my life without these lovelies and so I am not going to, they will always be a priority for me. They bring lots of love and joy to my heart. I was thinking about someone who means a lot to me and how our time isn't always carved out because of our schedules but when we get it, we enjoy our time together, and I don't take one minute for granted. 

I'd like to give you a tidbit of advice, don't wait. The things that you love, go after them, take the time to spend time with the people you love, visit the places you've always wanted to see! Don't postpone your joy!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finding in peace in letting go



Yesterday was the 3rd Tuesday of the month, which means it was time to make a meal for My Brother’s Keeper.  It’s one of my favorite ways to serve Jesus.

In the past I have always had the craziest biggest plans for dinner.  I’ve always had this attitude that our meal has to be the best meal they have all month.  To the point of craziness.  To be honest, as much as I love serving them a delicious meal I’d push myself to a point of exhaustion, and something that I loved would cause my heart to be overwhelmed.  I cared so much about what everyone else thought. 

In the past couple months, God has slowed my heart so much. He’s changed my focus from everyone else to Him.  And loving God is simple, it’s when I change my focus to anything else, it just gets… well crazy.

So last month, I made mostacolli.  I have always prayed about what God wants me to bring, and I follow through, but sometimes I tend to take it over the top (imagine that) but the last two months the direction has been to keep it simple and so that I have and both times, it certainly has been beneficial.  Simple meals and everyone has really loved, one guy even came up for thirds yesterday and all it was just Chili-Mac… but they loved it!  (and the funny thing is that since I never follow a recipe – I’ll never be able to make it that way again HAHAHA!)

I think that sometimes I make things way too complicated.

I love a church in Buckley, MI (the Tabernacle), they have a mission statement:

Love God, love people

I really doesn’t get any simpler than that.

And loving God means following Him, and being obedient.  Sometimes it’s doing things that are difficult and that we are afraid of.  The fear of being heart broken, the fear of letting people down, the fear of the unknown.  I remember one time when I was struggling with something I didn’t like, and I said to a friend “it sucked but at least I knew what I was up against” and my friend simply said to me “I understand it’s hard, but right now, it’s the devil you know versus the devil you don’t, just stick to the way that you’ve been lead and it will all work out”.  I made that decision based on being lead by God and I’ll never be sorry about that.  And even though it was hard, it was worth it.

Every decision should be able to be made that easily.  Follow God.  What does He say?   What does 
He say in prayer?  What does His Word say?  What is the feeling that I have in my spirit?

Following God helps grow the peace in my fruit.  I don’t get angry about things, my attitude is a lot more “go with the flow”, I actually have to try to be a control freak, I don’t spend my time trying to control things or make them happen, I, of course plan and prep, and do the hard work in order to be successful, but it is to honor God and for that reason only.

I’ve never had such peace in my life,  and I’ve never noticed so many people with a lack of peace in their lives, and it has changed my prayer life.  I pray often that they will learn to let go, trust God, and learn to rest in His peace.

It’s a process, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.  Living Simply.  Loving God.

I love the harvest of fruit

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The truth is...

"My secret is that I'm always angry"

 Last night we were watching the Avengers, and Bruce Banner who turns into the hulk said that.

Today, I'm so tired. I forgot my sweater (actually grabbed my sweater dress instead of a sweater as I headed out the door in my sleeveless shirt) so I'm embarrassed that I had to wear a black zippee at work. Probably because I was rushed as I packed for My Brothers Keeper this morning... For the record, the reason I'm tired was worth it. Every.minute.

But as I'm tired running into Kroger for a few last minute things, three people cut me off in the store... There isn't enough sauce on my noodles (LOL - how dumb is that!), I'm annoyed about a project I am working on and had I not been tired, I can deal with all these things. But tired, I could send up big, green, and ugly.

So I whisper "grace". The truth is I need it as much as I need to give it.

Because the truth is that in these moments, I am most like me and least like Jesus and let's be honest... I have no reason to be a jerk.  But if you know me, I can go from sweet to a real jerk in 2 seconds flat...  And if I am tired, it might be even quicker.  That is why I try to take good care of myself, get rest, eat well...  read my bible, bible studies, spend time with friends, etc.

I'm blessed to have spent time with someone I care about, I have a great job (that makes it possible to pay for groceries at the grocery store without worries and that I can ), I've got a million blessings (and I got a free tea this morning!!!! FREE CAFFEINE!!!) and I'm going to serve at my favorite place today!!
So while I may have moments of wanting to throat punch someone (and it's not even Thursday!) Jesus is in me, I'm covered by grace, so my only choice today is to choose to live love.

And I will try to take a nap later.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rest, child

Wow, it's quiet. People are playing games, crocheting, playing guitar, I read a chapter in a great book (Chasing God by Angie smith) and i felt this overwhelming desire to stand in the doorway to the outside world. The weather is kind of dreary and as beautiful as it still is, I haven't gotten any super fabulous pictures the kind that are Facebook braggy but I still take them because I love the beauty of gray. 

Days like these force us to be still, snuggle up, think, pray, relax, rest, and find comfort in the very One who loves us most. We don't get wrapped up in the wonder seeking of the moments, we just are because, He is. 

I stood by the side door, warm on one side from the house, and the cool damp air hit my face and made me just... Thankful. Thankful that sometimes He says "stop running, child, just snuggle up in Me".

I looked out the door and I went to get my camera because while the picture might not be Facebook fabulous but they ring so sweetly to my heart, I didn't want to forget this moment, not ever. 

Rest in this moment, with Me.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a tiny little secret...

Soo...  I have this crazy secret to tell you...  and I think it's HILARIOUS and you might not even care... but I thought I'd share it with you...

In our house...

We use men's deodorant/antiperspirant.  Yes, and there are no men living in our house. 

We sweat, and we sweat a lot, and women's normal antiperspirant just doesn't cut it.  That one commercial for secret "strong enough for a man but made for a woman"... bull-oney.  And then we tried the clinical strength...  nope.  it worked for a while but then it just seemed to make a mess of our clothes (no thanks!) so one of my favorite students told us about how she uses "Old Spice" and we tried it, and we like it. 

To tell you the truth, I hated most of those girly scents, like the baby powder one... BLECK!  DISGUSTING! 

So like most things I've found, it doesn't have to be expensive to work well, and it seems like men's things are cheaper than women's anyway. 

So if you come to my house and you see a men's deodorant, don't freak out, I'm not hiding a guy anywhere, we just use that deodorant.  LOL


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Overflowing



Well Good Morning Everybody!  (OK in my mind I can hear Chad saying that! From Sunday mornings at Metro with his big flashy smile!)

But today I woke up and I prayed, I prayed for my teams that I went to Haiti with this year, specifically.  It’s been a long couple months since I’ve been there, and my last trip was hard, really hard.  It probably was the hardest trip I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some doosies…  

My friend was IM’ing me yesterday and I thought about how incredibly lucky I am, really blessed by the amazing, gentle hand of God. My life hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure, and in that I’ve probably made it harder on others around me, and I’m sorry for that.  Mostly, I’ve probably made it hardest for my Peanut, while I’d like to have given her all her hearts desires, I couldn’t. But we sure have had some great times, and I am so thankful for the things we’ve done, worked hard for, cried through, laughed so loud we were annoying, and I’ve loved, oh how I’ve loved her, and many countless others.  This single mom is blessed more than she deserves, that’s for sure

I am going to Germany, I’ve never been there before, and I’ve always wanted to go, maybe because my dad’s best friend while I was growing up is from there, I don’t know, but I’ve always wanted to see that beautiful country.  I am so excited!!! 

I was thinking about the time I got to go to Vienna, Austria.  I mean, wow. I don’t even know how we could have ever afforded it.  Surely, God’s provision.  We went on such a tight budget, it was crazy, I think we split EVERYTHING (and we always had enough) because we didn’t have a lot of extra money.   But we went, and I was able to see the World’s Oldest Zoo  but better than that, I saw my daughter sing at the Musikverein in Vienna.  I mean, it’s crazy, I was just some stupid single mom, barely making it, and my daughter with this amazing talent…  God has surely blessed us.     

And how many times have I been to Haiti?  Yikes!  A place I never wanted to go, and my heart just feels so free and open there, I am so thankful to have gone so many times, met so many amazing people, and loved so very much!  I don’t know what the future holds, but I hope it’s more trips and more hugs, and more smooches!

And in 8 days I will be joining 5 people I love so very much!  They moved to Colorado, and everyone knows that I wish I was there. OH MAN!  I miss them!  Its hard to follow after the kind of leader that Adam (and Katie) are without missing it.  it’s hard to love 3 little boys, and have them steal your heart, only to move away, but the truth is, I am better for knowing and my best for loving them.  And how lucky am I that I can go see them.  I mean, it’s just amazing!!!

But you know what the best part is? I’m in a place where I love, and am loved. I have friends who love me EVERYDAY even when I’m a crazy person, and calm me down, and celebrate with me.  I have a great job, and a great cute little house, I have too much stuff (and I’ve gone in my life without!), we are never without clean water and food, and love.  I am going up north with people this weekend that I love and love me, and I might have to do some work, but that’s ok, because if I worked at McDonald’s I wouldn’t have to do that, but I probably couldn’t afford to go if I did.  And I also get to hug my dear friend because I am going a little early to see her!  

It’s been a long journey, not without heartache and pain, but worth every step.  

My heart is full, I am covered by the grace of God.

I am thankful!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Crockpot Freezer meals!



I tried some crockpot freezer meals, I was going to wait til I actually tried them, but I thought I'd forget... so here they are!



Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 24 oz bag of frozen corn (can be less depending on preference)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped red onion (I used just plain old yellow onion)
  • 2 cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t chipotle powder
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • *1/2 c water or chicken broth for freezer meal.
Shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Container: cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, serve with hot tortillas or tostitos. Dress with sour cream, guacamole, and/or cheese
The day I make it, I will add 1 cup corn (that I prepped in my freezer) and 1 can black beans


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Crockpot Green Chile Pork Stew
Serving Size: 6
Adapted from: Skinny Taste
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless pork loin roast, fat chopped off
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c chopped onion
  • 2 four ounce cans green chiles
  • 2 t chopped jalapeno (I did 3 to make it a bit more spicy)
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (whichever heat you prefer) (I did 10 oz fresh tomatoes and 1 jalapeno – seeded and chopped)
  • ½ c chicken broth
  • 1 T cumin
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut pork into 2-inch pieces
  2. In a skillet add the olive oil and heat then toss in the pork and brown on all sides
  3. Add one tablespoon of flour at a time and cook a little between each one
  4. Add the pork and the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot
  5. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, if frozen 7-8 hours
  6. ***If you are making it for a freezer meal skip the browning and just toss everything into your freezer bag.
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Mexican Casserole
1 pound ground beef (cooked)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 small green pepper (chopped)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes ( I used 2 c fresh tomatoes)
8 oz tomato sauce
1/4 c water
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 T chili powder
Don’t add to freezer bag:
1 1/3 c. uncooked instant rice (or 3 c. cooked rice)
1 c. cheddar cheese
I will add 16 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed) when I cook it that day!
Cook 4-6 hours on low

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Taco Soup
1 pound ground beef
1 onion (chopped)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can rotel (I used 10 oz fresh tomatoes, 1 jalapeno seeded and diced)
½ can water
2 T taco seasoning
Mix all ingredients in freezer safe bag and freeze. 
To serve, throw it in the crockpot for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

The day I cook it I will add 1 c corn, and 2 cans chili beans

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Chicken Cacciatore
Ingredients:
1 lb chicken breasts
1 (26 oz) jar of chunky vegetable-style spaghetti sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together.
Garnish: shredded Parm cheese
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.