Selfishness is Tricky

If we continually allow ourselves to be selfish,                                                                                      we’ll eventually  be convinced that it’s necessary.


If we’re often making excuses to ourselves and others about a certain area of our lives, that’s probably the area that needs change, not our lame justifications.


“I have come so that you may have life & have it to the full!” – Jesus   (John 10:10)

Lasting change comes through a relationship with Jesus…                                                                      letting Him decide what needs to change & empowering us to do it.



Talk-to-Myself-Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My family says I talk to myself, but I prefer to think of it as thinking outloud! But either way, here’s what I’ve been saying.


– Spring usually isn’t my favorite season, but since it’s warm and not soggy & rainy, I’m lovin’ it!

– When a person is taking part in a church service, walking slooowly does NOT make you more spiritual, just more noticeable. Just be yourself.

– Also, when you must get up for some reason during a church service, we can STILL see you when you’re ducking your head & bending over.

– The tribe of Levi in the Old Testament had a lot of extra duties, but extra rewards (maybe I’ll blog about that sometime!)

– Home school can bring many things to the surface: impatience, selfishness, impatience & did I mention selfishness?

– My extended family is spread  all over the country and I rarely get to see them… I miss them.

City churches have different challenges than suburb churches. One of those is the constant need for finances.

– I’m SO grateful to live in the city. Wide open space sorta gives me the heebie-gebbies after a while.

– It was 85 years ago yesterday that my Dad was born. (and he’s been gone for nearly 15 yrs. ) I miss him!

– It was around 105 years ago yesterday that Chilly’s Grandma was born… She was little, tough & adorable.

– I’m not very good at “relaxing” and yet I seem rather good at wasting time.  Grrr

– Introducing someone to a relationship with Jesus is often the easy part; helping them develop that relationship (discipleship) is much more challenging…. but also amazingly rewarding!

– To many people in my life I’m like an Aunt; to some, a sister; to others, a Mom. The funny thing is that most of them are about the same age.

– Ministry is WHO we are, not what we do

– I’m so thankful for some friends who came over & helped out with some yard work & window cleaning jobs! Yay!

– It used to be kinda frustrated when people would just send cards that only said, “Happy Birthday” and nothing else. Or just put two little words on my Facebook wall, “Happy Birthday.” But when my husband said, “Well, saying two words of kindness is nicer than not caring & saying nothing at all.”  Oh… true. That changed my entire point of view. (Sometimes I so dumb)


Anything on your mind that you wanna share?

Menu Plan Monday, March 19, 2012




Dinner – Crock Pot Meatball over spaghetti, asparagus



Lunch- Deviled Eggs or Grilled Cheese

Dinner- Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Potatoes



Lunch- Neeley Sweet Heat Tri-colored Salad

Dinner- Bacon & Eggs over Spinach



Lunch- Italian Nachos, Broccoli Tomato Salad

Dinner- BBQ Chicken, Rice, Citrus Fruit Salad



Lunch- Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Dinner- Sandwiches, fruit



Lunch- Chilly’s Egg Creation

Dinner- Grilled Hamburgers, Carrots sticks



Lunch- Corned Beef, Potatoes, Green Beans

Dinner- Citrus Fruit Salad, Homemade Pizza


For more ideas see Menu Plan Monday at


Netta’s Niche- Sweet Tea


















Chilly had this blue pitcher in his apartment for a long time

when he was still a bachelor. And now, after almost 22 years,

of marriage it is STILL our ice tea pitcher. (They don’t make’um

like they used to. Ha!)

Friends, old & new, soon learn that the blue pitcher in the frig

is & will always be Iced Tea. And they seem to love it. Ask for it.

and act almost getty when it’s offered.. well, at least the guys do,

but it’s usually right after they’ve helped with yard work or something. 🙂

It’s cheap. Easy. And we drink a gallon or more daily in the warm months.


Here’s how I make  “Swaat Tay!”

Get a ONE gallon pitcher (plastic is safest)

Put in 10-12 regular ‘ol black tea bags

Add a couple cups of boiling water to to tea bags

Let it steep for 15 min or MORE!  (I usually forget about it & it
ends up steeping for a hour or so… hmm, maybe that’s why we like it so much!)

Remove tea bags.

Add ONE cup of Splenda (or the wonderful & cheaper substitutes)

Now fill the pitcher all the way full (gallon total)


Serve with lots of ice.

(Keep it in the frig)



Thanks, Mom & Co

If you know me or even just read this blog then you’ve been

influenced by these woman… cuz they’ve all left an eternal

mark on my life.

The list is long, but here’s a few of those ladies &

a tiny snippet of what they’ve done for & taught me.



There’s a ga-gillion

things I could say about Mom,

but her strength, determination

and strong work ethic constantly

inspire me.







My Mother-in-Law-

Strong, kind, laughs

easily and raised the

man I’m in love with







Mrs. Judy Young-

helped develop leadership

and spent lotsa time listening

to my teenage “troubles.”





Mrs. Lois Graber-

Showed me what a Pastor’s

Wife in action looks

like and loved me like

a daughter




We make the choices that turn around & make us (my husband

says that all the time), but there are so many people in our lives

that influence our choices and give us tools to make those

choices.  My list could go on & on.


(Another post about my Mom & Mother-in-Law…

who are now indirectly influencing you.)


Have you contacted the ladies you who have left

their mark on you?  When did you start realizing

their influence?





A New Tree

Some people are celebrating “Earth Day” and that’s cool.

When you’re a large family on a not-too-large budget you tend to be

quite green… but it’s really just frugal & smart.

(To read my Earth Day post from last year click here. )


Today I’m celebrating a tree.


The cross that Jesus died on…

to take my place,

forgive my sin & to give me NEW LIFE!


Life that goes beyond situations

& even beyond death!





The  EGG makes a

lovely symbol of new life…

and this week my kids made

an Easter Egg tree.

We gave old things a new life.







It’s made from:

-old clothes & curtains, cut into strips

-twigs we gathered recently on a walk around the neighborhood

-spray paint from the storage in the corner of the basement

-ribbon scraps from other projects long ago

-glue from the school & craft supplies

-a blue bucket from Target, $2.50

(Is this a “Green Project” or what?)


















(This is blurry but I just

HAD to add it… for obvious






But really, we made this tree cuz I  wanted my children

to make something memorable & fun that now

decorates our home and will remind them JESUS gives NEW LIFE!























Do you have LIFE in JESUS?

What are you doing to celebrate THE TREE?


Here’s two ways you can join in the celebration…








Details here








Walk & Pray












This past Saturday, April 16th, REAL CHURCH joined with

hundreds of churches in Metro Detroit for  EACH

Prayer Walk.











Real Prayer. Fun. Encouraging. Joyful. Hopeful.

















And thousands of people committing to serve the

























Only JESUS can change DETROIT…

and He does it by changing PEOPLE!  He loves us!

Easter. Serve. Learn.

It’s EASTER week!

I love this week… even though it’s raining outside, it’s definitely

spring inside!  We’ve been doing some fun stuff so far…

We’ve been measuring things with Jelly Beans (a CD case is

9 jelly beans long), and playing guessing games that introduce

the concept of “probability,” sorting by color & making charts to show

which color has more beans.











There’s a little poem about jelly beans that tells the

story of JESUS. It’s also teaching how to use scissors,

using reading skills, writing practice and it’s just fun to color

the giant jelly beans & glue them.


























And now… the cookies… lots & lots of cookies!

They’ll help share the love of Jesus to kids in

an Urban Arts Outreach & a Tutoring/ministry

in “the projects” and to our wonderful neighbors!

My kids are helping & learning that sharing and giving

is about giving something that’s personal; something that

requires work and/or sacrifice. (Although, the concept of

sacrifice may be diminished due to the fact that they’re

allowed to eat the broken cookies!)

Here’s some sites that have inspired this projects above:

Math with Jelly Beans

Coloring page

dltk Easter Ideas


FEET! I’m blogging about Feet?

(Guys, don’t click away yet. It’s not really a girlie post!)
Last week my Mom took my 3 daughters & me to get a pedicure.
Our FIRST ever!
I hate feet. They creep me out.
Because of that, I’ve kept my feet decently-cared-for
and nails polished since I was in 4th grade.
That said, going to a salon to willing let someone ELSE
touch my feet was a big step. iiiickk
But … it was OK… really.
when she first touched my feet
I squirmed… it tickled
when the little medal tools came into sight
I turned away
when the giant cheese grater-thingy came into view
I closed my eyes & concentrated on breathing
When it was all said & done… I liked it.
Honestly, My feet looked the same as they always do.
But they didn’t FEEL the same!
They were different!
Softer. Smoother. Deep down- much better!
Much like our hearts
(I know, I’m comparing feet to hearts…and that’s kinda gross!)
We do what we’ve always done…
-normal Bible Reading
-routine prayer
– casual Christian conversations..
and the results of those efforts seems fine enough
good enough
our hearts aren’t gross or dirty looking
we appear fine
But if we let the MASTER perform the heart-treatment
of His choice, then we find out that there’s MUCH to change!
He soaks us in His loving kindness
He softens our edges
Smooths away hurts that have turned into harden calluses
Gently uses the tools of His Spirit to reshape the unseen areas,
Makes us more confident.
We may appear the same to other people,
but we know that our heart is different,
our attitudes & motives are changed…
because we let the Master, JESUS, do what He loves to do.