from famine to Feast

Wow! I’ve always said that life can change in a blink of an eye. Well, that has happened for us!

We’ve gone from moving from Baltimore, Maryland to Montgomery, Texas. We’ve settled in and are really beginning to enjoy all that Texas has to offer. My daughter has settled into the 7th grade and is doing exceptionally well; good grades, caring friends and an awesome youth group.  I have gone from resting and revitalizing to eating from the fruit of the land.  Job offers, new business opportunities and another venture in helping people keep their homes. All this and school part time~~ the passionista is busy busy busy.

Also working on the ministry website for Lucaslevin.org…Great music, great words and excellent teachings make this prophetic voice one of a kind. Stop by the blog or like him on facebook.

karis logo

If I must be truthful, I flourish and shine during the busy times. I think that I get bored and lazy when things are too quiet. When my proverbial back is against the wall, I rise to the top!  Something very strange but also very true. Some of us thrive being in the pressure cooker. I love it there. Am I an adrenaline junkie? I don’t know.  But the proof is in the pudding or so they say.

Just wanted to drop a line…it’s been so long. East coast people, I am very envious of the snow…so here are some pictures of who I am an where I want to be.

dancing in the snow           snow in central park

promise to live from intention

It’s been forever (actually 26 days) since I’ve sat down to blog. Bad me….very bad me…But tonight I was surfing Pinterest and found some awesome quotes…this is my new favorite

That was the day she

MADE HERSELF PROMISE

to live more from

Intention

and less from

Habit

Can we dare! Should we try? She made herself a promise. It doesn’t say she acted on it. We imply that part of the quote. As I read it, though, I was immediately uplifted. I searched Google for the author and was informed this was an “unknown person”. However, there are many many many links on the internet that use this very quote for inspirational purposes.

I made me feel like I should immediately promise myself and my Maker to live more by intentionally plotting out some point or another. I was to step away from random ramblings, wonderings and haphazard intentions.  I need to make a commitment to myself to live with a purpose as in various times gone by. I’ve been very willy nilly lately and I can FEEL that some of my purpose of life’s living has been cast on the winds.

In other words, I’ve been lazy with commitments to myself and others. School homework goes undone while I surf the the cable channels. Books lie unread even when everything within me longs for the intellectual stimulation that I know they provide me. Projects collect dust while I throw the mail and other useless nothings on top of them so I can’t see them.

Why? What has happened to this detail oriented maven or checkoff lists and timelines? Can we propose that I have fallen asleep at the wheel? I think that is it. I think that I have been lulled to sleep by boredom and complacency. Really, I’m serious. I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in the hum dum same ole same ole. Now comes the task of wringing out my brain and establishing a routine of purpose.

We all these times where we just start to go through the motion of eating without tasting, looking without really seeing and doing out of habit rather than with purpose.  Instead of seeing all the colors of the rainbow, we see black and white. Instead of hearing a symphony of sound, we hear an annoying whaaa whaa whaaaaa of the teacher from “Charlie Brown” cartoons.

Let’s commit now to stop and listen to the birds, the children laughing or our favorite song on the radio! Lets say yes to something new and fresh.  Let’s try the new restaurant or try a new dish and share it with friends and family. LET’S STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES even if you can only find them in your local grocery store.

Come on! Lets kick it up a notch and enjoy what’s left of the winter and stop complaining that’s it’s to cold. It’s the best time to take a brisk walk and let that cold air hit your lungs and clear out your brains!

Until next time Live Intentionally AND of course with Passion!

“…Live more from intention…”

Thank God for New Beginnings

new-beginnings end

Here we are again; a new year a fresh  start! Many a New Year’s Eve, people around the world swears off old things or behaviors and makes the commitment to start a fresh in the morning. I say, well done! Without a game plan or a destination, how would you know when you win or arrive?

Our past is the foundation on which our lives are built. Sometimes, though, we need to pull out the bad pieces and “firm up” our foundation with new knowledge or new experiences. In other words, “Out with the old and in with the new”. This is another New Year’s phrase that we are all familiar with.

I believe, and trust me, this is my revelation, that because so many people vow to start afresh on January 1 of any given year, that there may be some kind of “something extra”. No magic, no hocus pocus, not even the hokie pokie. Why is it that others throughout time have chosen the New Year to start over? Why have we all tried to start a new job, project, diet then?

Is it because instinctively we know that this time of year is special? I feel in my heart that it is a time for a fresh start. I know what you are thinking. Why do so many people fail then? How about lack of discipline! Come on! You know I’m right.

We’ve all started the race and the enthusiasm of the race carries us only so far. In my own instance, it’s my lack of discipline that sees me though and I give up. What about stamina? Even a certain amount of endurance? We all want those wash board abs but do we want to eat right, exercise vigorously and do the other things we need to do to get them. I say no!

Up until now, passion has carried me. That is only part of it for me. I give in too easily when things start to require more than I’ve ever given. When things become hard, I tuck my tail and run.

But hey, we all fall off our proverbial wagons, boy o. We give up. We all do.

ride the wave

Now…time to buckle up, lace up the boot straps and put on your big person panties. Let ride the wave as far as our initial passion carries us and then jump right in with the discipline. If you fall off the wave, catch the next on. Keep jumping waves until you hit the beach.

Don’t give up, because that’s the worst thing you could do. Look at Einstein and other great inventors. If they would have given up at the first failure we wouldn’t have the light bulb and other great discoveries.

Another important thing for us to do is to keep renewing and adjusting our goals. If you have to do it daily, weekly or even monthly do it. Things are ever changing and that is all we can count on really. Don’t frustrate yourself with an outdated goal.

Let me know if this post has helped you at all. Give us some feedback. And remember… Passion is a POWERFUL force.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

new_beginnings

Remain Positive no matter what!

Christmas-2013

I had the honor of doing some addiction groups in Baltimore while at home for the Christmas holiday break. I love working with people who are still struggling with addiction. I know that being humble and thankful helped me overcome a wicked drug addiction, and I love sharing that every chance I get.

The first day I get there, the receptionist shared that one of the clients’ had O.D’d the night before. As is usually the case, the rumors burned through the recovery center like wild fire. When the announcement came during the group session, the clients’ sat in shock.

Many shared memories of the deceased, others sat grieving and one client moved to the back of the room to pray.  I left him alone, finding out later that they were close and shared the same religious affiliation.  One client shared that he had been concerned about the client weeks before and approached him about it. They discussed it and he had seemed to have resolved his issues.

heroin and needle

In fact, the gentleman sharing stated that the client had been really upbeat and happy the day he passed. They were supposed to go shopping that because the deceased had money and he didn’t want to go out alone. Unfortunately, the call to go never came; the next day the tragic news.

Although we can go through and analyze tons of scenarios, I want to focus on just one aspect of this:

“WE ARE NOT GUARANTEED A TOMORROW!!”

One minute all is well with the world and then, everything changes within a blink of an eye. Whether it changes for the good or the bad, it doesn’t take long to change everything. And the one thing that every person in this world can count on is that very thing: Change!

The tides change, the seasons change, the world revolves on its axis and life changes. Every second of every minute of every day. While we cannot be prepared for everything, we can enjoy everything that happens to us. We CAN choose to go through it with a good attitude, with a smile or with a song.

It’s our choice to face life with the feelings that we project to the world. It’s not always good, but a positive attitude can help you get through it, dissolve your stress and keep other illnesses away from you.

After all, we can’t really do one positive thing by worrying about a negative situation or even a situation that we don’t fully understand. Choose instead to try your best to stay positive. IF you can’t do it ALL the time, that’s okay too. The key is not to beat yourself up when you can’t be celebrate the times that you CAN. That in and of itself is a game changer.

I’m making a firm commitment to stay positive no matter what comes my way. I am going to make an effort to view things from a different point of view other than a negative Nelly view.

Have a joyous and prosperous New Year My Friends until we meet again.

positive-workskills-small

 

The time between times

I don’t know if I’ve said this or not yet, but we recently made the cross country boogie from Baltimore, Maryland. We loaded up the soccer mom van, two cats and all we could cram in and headed to Texas. 5 days later, and we ended up in a beautiful town called Montgomery Texas which is up the I-45 from Houston.

God moved in our favor and 24 hours after we got here we found an apartment with a great view of Lake Conroe and a wonderful pool. The apartment was the right size for us and was exactly within our budget.

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Our friends that were here made sure we had a fridge full of food and some necessities to get us started.

Two and a half months later and we are settled in.  My thirteen year old daughter is doing the best she’s EVER done in school; she is involved in our youth group at church and has friends all over the area. She was one of the reasons that we moved in the first place; that she found her own way makes me fill up and thank my Maker over and over again!

Me, I was happy. I worked in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland with the worst of the worst when it came to addicts. I put in as much time as I could, getting dirty on the front lines and basking in the glory of helping those had given up long ago. Oh it was bloody and messy and I was happier than words could ever express.

Baltimore-City-aerial-view

And then the call came. No not a phone call! Silly wabbit! God, the Big Cheese, The Man upstairs, Abba, JC,  Jesus on the main line …tell him what you want, you know GOD.  Many things fell into place and after a year of intense prayer, preparation, research and very little savings we were on the road.

AND IT IS SO VERY DIFFERENT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been quiet and restful and peaceful and I keep looking around and wondering what the heck is wrong? This is not my life. There are no people to help place the pieces back together, no fussing, fights, aggression, name calling and general jimmy jackery.

In talking this over with my Pastor, I came to realize that this is the calm before the storm; OR, the storm of storms that will come in the future. I have been given this time to rest spirit, soul and body. Wow when I think about the love that God has toward me, He has given me a time of rest. Wow! Cool! Wow (did I say that already?) ooooo. Good!

NOW WHAT? There is only so much time to rest and take care of you and study for school and all.

What are we supposed to do in the time between times?

 I can tell you that I’ve been bored since forever ago. So what have I done with this time? I’ve read some new books that I wouldn’t normally read. Signed up for some classes, too, so I could finish my degree. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed and tried to get a job and cried and prayed and stayed and restarted a business only to put it down again because it wasn’t time for that.

Okay so I’m NOT the example you should follow. Get in the Word and find out what, specifically is right for you to be doing. AND For heaven’s sake, rest too AND get your house in order.

rest

Make sure that before things heat up again that you have a routine in place for yourself, your family and whatever else you are juggling in your life during your quiet time.

I really don’t take to sitting idly by while there are people out there who are suffering. So I have been setting the stage to start in my chosen field again, but slowly this time. I will make sure that I have the right balance of God, family and all the other things in my life.  I didn’t have that before.

If you find yourself in the time between times, PRAY. Ask for Wisdom and direction. Ask what you should be doing during this time. There is always a plan for our lives.  Jesus promised that our Father would send another comforter.

SJ-HolySpirit

The Holy Spirit has been given to lead us into all things that pertain to life and godliness. He is our helper and our teacher.

No matter what…rest…for He alone knows when you will get another chance.

Write and let us know how you’ve dealt with your time between assignments or as I call it the time between times. Until next time, in all you do, do it with Passion.

Our best friend!

SJ-HolySpirit

We have a secret strategy and a secret strategist on our team. We really can’t lose. Haven’t we been given every good thing that pertains to life and godliness? Doesn’t the God who created everything love us with a love that cannot be fathomed or understood with our finite mind? Didn’t Jesus promise that He would send another in His stead?

I want to talk about our best friend today. The helper has been given yet do we allow Him to help? I know that He has made all the difference in my life. He has taught me what it means to be loved unconditionally.  He has made me see what it means to never be alone or abandoned no matter what happens or how I feel.

The problem is that sometimes I don’t yield to His wisdom or to His plans. I actually think that I know more about the situation than He does. I hear Him clearly but I doubt. And then it all comes screeching to a halt.

Isn’t the truth simply that we must all learn to walk in what has been purchased at such a great price? Can someone please explain, then, why we don’t live to the fullest potential that has been purchased for us?

But the tragic thing is that every one of us, from time to time, has just plopped down on our rumps and given up without a fight. Haven’t we all allowed an enemy that has been defeated stab, parry, slash, and shackle us without a flick of our eyelashes? We act as if the Word of God is irrelevant in these situations:  Like it doesn’t even matter that we are all seated with Christ in heavenly places.

Why? Is it in the nature of man to just throw up his hands and say “what’s the point”? Do we feel like things are going so well, that we should sabotage our success before someone or something else does it? I have often questioned myself about these very things. I have done it time and again to myself. So I can relate.

hs the teacher

If you are at this point in your life, please know that you are not alone. We’ve all do it and truth be told will probably do it again. The joyous news is that we are forgiven. The Almighty knows us in all of our insane thoughts and reasoning’s. There is always another chance to turn and head in the right direction.

Be encouraged today!  There has been one that was given to help us. He walks in us and through us and promised that once he enters, He will never ever leave us or forsake us.  The sweet and gentle Holy Spirit is here. Ask for His help in your hour of need. He is 1/3 of the Godhead. He is a real person who is to be loved and honored just like Father or Son. He is my friend.

Ask Him in. He is for you today. He makes intercession for us just like Jesus does. How can we ever lose when we have 2/3 of the Godhead praying for exactly what we need?

holy_spirit_fire_by_jpsmsu40

Drop a line and let us know how we can pray with you today!

Until next time my passionate friends!