Wednesday, November 23, 2011

being thankful.... grateful....

This is a photo that has always captured my attention.  I have spoken to several people and they too will say -- they love this photo/picture.  I can find it on cards in a Christian Book Store and I have given it to many but I believe, even though it shows a man being held by Jesus -- it could easily be me...  being held. 

I am most thankful and grateful. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  A National Holiday where we state what we are thankful for: 

I am thankful for: 

my family, Taylor, Hunter and Brendan  -
my extended family in Wisconsin and here in Florida -
my old friends, new friends, ministry friends, cell group girls and many others -
my car-
my dog -- Bella
my . . . . the list could go on and on....  it could, maybe the next post needs to be 100 tidbits of JOY and thankfulness.   ......  

 but in all reality, I am most thankful for the man who went to the cross for me.

HE died for me.
HE took a nail.. no  several nails for me. HE shed HIS blood to cover my sin.  ... my sin...mine.. not HIS....

When I stop to think about WHAT HE really did.. and not just for me but for Taylor, For Hunter and For Brendan too - as well as countless others... I am most humbled.

The cards say it - 'we should have a spirit of Thanksgiving every day'.. it is so true. 

Lord, I am MOST thankful to call you Lord,
To call you friend, husband, lover, and need meeter.
Lord, thank you for today and everyday.
May your light shine BRIGHT out of me, may I always seek YOU first and may I never lose touch of the PIT that YOU have brought me out of.  This past year has been difficult and yet I would not trade ANY moment as in each momemt  - YOU were always there.  They say in counsel you should never use the word 'always'... I understand why, because as humans we can't always be..... but YOU can.  YOU have always been and I know you will continue. 
Thank you God. 

Isa 49.1  "I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands!"    Lord, this is one of many scriptures that have sustained me.. and will continue to minister... thanks!  <3 

Happy Thanksgiving Lord. 

- your grateful daughter, beautiful princess -- michelle

PS .. thank you too for my wonderful friends... friends you use each day to speak to me... thank you for smacking me in the HEAD with YOUR truth!  I hear you!  <3 

PPS .. to my 'lake' pal....  you are in the CENTER of HIS will -- hold on, be thankful for the HE will not let you down, but be patient and wait on HIM. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

memories....... our 2nd home...


This was our home for almost 18 years..... seems hard to believe but when the decision to sell came about in mid June and we had a buyer in August, all one could say was - this is God's plan. This econmy... this market... in Okeechobee.... believe me, this was God's plan. I have wanted to post about our home...wanted to share a few memories, but I was also careful as I don't want to allow the Enemy to use any part of this to harm, hurt, or cause a set back. However, I read a blog today from a woman named Elisabeth and she is 'not' in my shoes but is selling her home and moving after some very real situations and I could relate. She stated she put a piece of paper on the counter of her home and began to write the memories that she was leaving behind and that Jesus would walk her through the grieving of moving away.

I liked that. Another friend of mine, recently sold her home and moved 20 years life and I just spoke to her the other night -- about the emotion one feels. I could relate. I could relate to Elisabeth. I wanted to blog, and write.. but it just was not the right time to write.. now I believe it is.

The Enemy wants me to remember this place as a place where hurt began and hurt continued... hurt comes or sin comes to our hearts... not a 'place'. The past is the past, and I don't wish to remember our home in this manner. I want to remember the good times, the great times, and the times we had to use the neighbor's shower or bathroom because of a problem.  The time that Taylor screamed for 3 solid weeks when we moved in because she did not like being by herself at the other end of the house.  I want to remember how I bathed Hunter right there in the kitchen sink.  I want to remember how I washed Taylor's hair after we found lice... and I want to remember how God spared Taylor from being a burn victim when I left a hot iron on in the extra room.  I want to remember every Christmas morning and the kids being taped as they woke up and opened their gifts.  I want to remember all the hiding placed I put their EAster baskets.  I want to remember how we repainted and how the kids picked their furnishings when we put them in their own rooms.  I want to remember EACH and every holiday when we pulled out the Christmas decorations and we decorated. And I want to remember the 'storm of the century' and see my husband, Hunter, and Taylor all pick up the branches of broken trees from the back yard.  Or when the hurricane's came through and we had to sleep at the Veranno's and poop and pee in a bucket outside.  And I want to remember the golf balls that would hit those trees at times... and we could hear a distinct 'ping'. That is what I will choose to remember.

 The kitchen was a place of gathering - ALL the time.  Funny how this picture looks so perfect - the kitchen was never perfect.  You would constantly see clutter on the counter or a kid's backpack sitting by the door and not to mention my book bag or Brendan' s stash of insurance stuff that he was working on.  I believe the BEST memories here were that of baking cookies... at the holiday time.  I also remember MANY gingerbread houses that were made, decorated, and then destroyed here.  Or how about the day we realized that Bella could get up on that table and EAT whatever was left.  Oh my.  The window overlooked our private sun bathing area..... I think Hunter used it more in the past few years than I ever did. 
 Before there was furniture in here...this was dance city USA. When the kids were young, dancing around the stereo was a constant especially when Aunt Diann visited or when Chanley and Jaiden were over.  And there were MANY nights where you could see Brendan and I dancing... goofing with the kids, and even in the moonlight before bed.. now that was a good 8-10 years ago, but I believe the dancing will start again.  I do.   You can see the beautiful outside... many rabbits crossed that yard and watching the kids swing on the neighbor's  tree was a standard.  There is also the day when I was looking outside only to see Daron shoot or maybe it was Todd -- shooting at one of those bunnies -- that was not a 'fun' thing.  And then the TV....  Every night, this area was full -- especially if there was a sports game on.  Now, we have four tv's... we each have our own... but yet, we still end up fighting for the one in the living room. 
 Our bathroom .... couldn't take a photo of the kids'  .. need I say more?  My tub.... the curtain that Grandma Ziemann made and the shelf that Lowell made to cover up the window so I could use my tub....  
 Many ,many, many, many ,dinners and guests ate at this table.  I remember how tickled I was to find this table, a gift from my grandma, and then a matching hutch.  It also gave me the perfect view of our forest outside.. that DID have colorful fall leaves in the fall....winter.. it really did. 
 And our reading room -- where we had many a family pow wow's......  were heated discussions happened, where fun transpired, where devotions occured for a bit,  and where prayer was.  The blog that I read, which prompted me to write, spoke about her prayer couch.  The couch she layed on and called out to God.  I can attest to that -- if you can make a 'black' light that shows the leftovers of blood after a crime... can you make a light that shows how often my tears soaked that couch?  Or would the light show how often my knees pressed into that carpet?   And I must say, Brendan's knees were on that carpet too.. just at different times.  That is probably one of the factors for the hurt -- we needed to be there together on our knees.   Again, I guess those may be some of the 'bad' memories but they are real.  I sat here one particular night with both of my kids and we prayed for our family... and it is a memory that was real and was so loving....and God answered that prayer. God is doing a work in our lives.  God is in heaven.  HE is real.  HE allowed this beautiful home and HE allowed the hurt that entered, but that is in the past now.  I praise HIM for HIS timing and HIS comfort and I thank HIM for holding each and every tear that was shed in that home -- on that couch -- each one was never shed without HIM knowing. 
This was our home for almost 18 years.....  seems hard to believe but when the decision to sell  was proposed, I knew it had to be, for us to start over, it was time to move away from our 2nd home and begin an adventure of 'rental' life... it was the RIGHT descision.  God provided us with a great rental and for now, as we plan for our 3rd home.....and we make the decisions of carpet, hardwood floors, and cabinets... I marvel at how God is so good. 

To be quite honest,  for years, I prayed that God -- someday I would like to build again and  THIS time, not skimp on stuff.  That is going to happen -- now when??  That is to be learned. 

Thank you Elisabeth, for blogging. Thank you God for publishing her article on and for leading me to her blog.  Thank you for leading in her life, as through her - healing took place again for me. 
Healing.  I loved #10 NW 138th Street, Okeechobee Hills, Florida  34972  -- right now, I am at peace.  Thanks.  And, I pray for the Brown's that now own our 2nd home...  ( our first home was Apt. D 202 by Pogey's)  ... I pray that our home, which was built and cared for in love will bring much joy and pleasure to them and their kids.  Amen! 


Monday, November 14, 2011


Ok.  so ..... I went to see this movie.  Tremendous... Tremendous... Tremendous....

I never did see 'flywheel' which I believe was the first production from the Kendrick brothers.  Then came "Facing the Giants".....  great movie.    Then in 2008  "Fireproof" came out -- which made a significant impact.    And now... "Courageous"..   What a movie.

God completely baffles me at times.  HE makes me think about things and HE does not 'answer' in the way in which I believe at times... most often HIS plan is much better, but HE laid it on my heart to make sure I saw this movie.

This movie should be a MUST see for every father.  Period.
This movie can change the course of a life.
This movie can be used by God to reach many lost ones.
This movie makes your laugh, cry, think, and reflect.
This movie seemed so real.
This movie is one that many of us can relate too.
This movie is tremendous.

I believe that our world will change if the men in our lives don't step up.
Step up ... However,  we as women need to allow our men to be courageous.

As women, we need to know how God created 'our men'.  They are different from us.  HE created them to behave and act in a certain way.  Men are different from women - God intended it that way.  Men are the ones that hold the spiritual covering for the home.

This movie presented a good plan of how to restore a family.... but it also reminded me that I have a high calling too.

I must allow the men within my life - to be men.
So, I will pray for them.

I will pray that they will call upon the God that created the heavens and earth and who placed the stars in the sky.... I pray they will ask for God's favor upon them.

As women, it is important to love our men, unconditionally.  So, this movie reminded me to recheck myself --to make sure I was loving as Christ loved HIS church.

Thank you Lord for the movie and the direct word you gave me....seeking YOU Lord, in every situation and I pray the Kendrick brothers are already starting on the next film.  Amen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

when you know it is time to quit....

so..   when does one quit.... ???

I was mixing up some cookie batter to roll out some cookies.  The Youth Group at Church are having a bake sale.  I had successfully stirred up 2 batches of my Grandma's roll out cookies and used up all the flour.  So, I put the eggs, sugar, and butter in the mixer and turned it on to 'cream' .....  and I turned around to grab the new bag of flour out of the pantry and in the 45 seconds it took to grab it, I turned around to see this....

the bowl was practically off the mixing stand and the batter had crawled up the sides of the bowl and was flying out.. it was everywhere...   there was a centrifugal force of that sweet yellow butter,sugar, and egg cream.....   the dog was even covered but I could not grab her fast enough to get a photo.

Clean up time...  quitting time.......  

I could not establish how much batter was really left in the bowl so I quit.  I cleaned.

I got to thinking - there is a life lesson in this.  And there was.

My life goes up and down.  One day I am so strong and the next, a little thing can set me back.  I kept asking God this morning -- 'what'????    HE reminded me of HIS security.

I am secure in HIS love.  I am HIS.
God reminded me HE wins.  HE does not quit....  HE could of scooped up the batter and added flour and made some really good cookies, but I would of needed HIS divine HELP.... I would need some supernatural power.

Right now, on this Earth - I can access that.  I cleaned up the batter and knew HE was there, always scraping my feelings up of this or that - what has been splattered here and there and HE adds to me and makes me whole again, tasting sweet.  IT is HIM.  Not... what this person says or does for me. Not what I am expecting from this one or that one.  Not what I can do on my own -- it is HIM.  ONLY HIM.  HE has to do it.

HE reminded me today, that quitting is NOT an option.  Funny,  last night at a certain point because of a certain thing.... I had really thought about quitting.  For the first time in this journey that I have been in with my family, my husband,  my friends.... I have wanted to quit ... I have asked, "can I?"...  But last night, the  Enemy really got in my head and really made me feel that quitting would be easier.  That dart came - and it was grabbed and held at bay -- not by me --- by the Holy Spirit.  HE reminded me of past victories and HIS plan is always good.  HE reminded me of the reward awaiting -- to see a whole family restored.  So, last night before I finally closed my eyes......  I asked God for a fresh new start today.

HE answered -- this am, I find it interesting that the thought of "I am quitting"..    is now like a distant thought, but it did bring me back to the Cross...... we can't do anything without HIS help.  I can't worry about tomorrow- HE is my security.  I can't allow the Enemy to put thoughts of quitting in me - I will renew my mind.  Every moment -- Every minute.

Maybe this will bless you today -- if you read to the end.  

God answers prayers.  HE allows hurt and pain -- for a reason -- so we rely totally on HIM and HIM only.    When we are restless - we need to SEEK HIM more.  WHEN we don't know what to do - we TURN to HIM.

And it is God who establishes us with  you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and give us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee ---2 Corn 1.21-22

The Holy Spirit is our guarantee -- HE is fighting for us and HE gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us while we are here... so when we want to quit, we know that we know, that is not what our Lord wants.  And so that we know,  HE will come and add scrape us up -  and add what is needed so that we are sweet and whole again.  HE restores.

Thank You Lord,  YOUR love makes me smile.

You know Lord, that the  Enemy really wants to beat me up today - do me a favor and kick him into hell - thanks, michelle

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I had a friend today ask me, what would you do?

These are some of the greatest pieces of HIS word and 'advice' that I have collected in my spiral in my purse -- which I go to daily -- which I say out loud and re-say outloud often!!

-a wife's prayers for her husband have far greater effect on him than anyone else's... even a mother' it says in Matthew 19.5.. man leaves father and mother and becomes one flesh...

- there is a difference between a choice and a mistake.... I am sorry will cover a mistake... but a choice... will need a "will you forgive me?"..   and that can reset a relationship...

- what am I to do?  Glorify God...

-be someone that people want to be around...  

-don't let the torture of loneliness that leaves you longing for anyone who will look into your soul.... overcome you... seek HIM..... let HIM see you ... don't seek others.. seek HIM!

-the joy of seeing something hopelessly dead be brought back to life -- is the greatest joy we can know..

- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.....    Love never ends... 1 Corn 13. 7-8

- Praise HIM in the storm...

-Hide the word in your heart.. that you might not sin -- Psm. 119.11

- those who sow in tears shall reap in joy!..   Psm. 126.5

- above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins..   1 Peter 4.8

-HE will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.. Isah  30.19

- romans 12.12.. be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer..

- The Lord says, " I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you".   Psm. 32.8

So -- see -- this advise sounds good,  and I believe and look to each and every card in that spiral .. and there are more... and I will go to them often  and yet,  in  my quietness, the enemy will sneak up and just pounce.... so, we must have our armor on -- being ready to battle those firery darts..

We need to stand firm and claim HIS word, hold up our shield of faith and put on that belt of truth and righteousness...   it all works when we are ready -- to be ready  = prayer.

So Lord, I don't have any advice.  I know nothing - but YOU do.  YOU speak loudly to those who asked and to me.. via your word.  YOu know today, that I am claiming victory inspite of the fact that I am weary and tired.... and you know I want it 'faster'.. but I know that YOUR time is best and I can't wait.  So, rather than allow the enemy to remind of of what is 'not yet'.... I will proclaim you and proclaim what will become..

my family will be completely restored, the hurts will be all in the past,  the awkward moments will vanish,  the counsel will turn to prayer and then it will pay forward..... the ministry will be revealed,  the  one will have his eyes opened and the other will too... the needs will be met..  the joy will resound all of the time  and what  YOU have lead me to believe... will come true... it will be better than ever.. in every situation, in every event.. with everyone... and with those and them and the others ... and then, another trial or season will come along, but this time, we will have victory in our back pocket so we will be able to fight harder, believe more, and get through that too -- until you call us all home...... thank you Lord.  YOU are a great and mighty God.  I love that illustration how we fight with toothpicks and you come in with cannons!   Ex. 14.14 -- YOU are fighting the battle and winning - I need only be still.

Lord, this prayer goes especially to those two women on my heart right now - and me -- open their the eyes of their men..... let them get a glipse of what could  be,,,,, may they want it.... may they experience you in a whole new way -- amen!
 - your daughter...   michelle

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God is faithful....

Just a quick catch up... It has been like over a month since I have posted something....  even though the Lord has been speaking and I have been learning and I have wanted to POST... HE has not had me to that point.

I always want to make sure, it is HIM speaking as I believe a few people read this ... besides myself... and my daughter.  Or at least I hope a few do read it.  Ha ha.

10 things..

1.  God is faithful cause no matter what, HE makes all things new.  Our lives in the Pritchard house are a bit different and yet very much the same.  WE have adjusted to a new place and trying our best to figure out the next plan .... building a new home.  It has been fun to dream, but yet we don't want to be working and killing our selves for the next 20 years to pay for it.  Just saying..  

In February of this year, God gave me this:   Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy!  Psm. 126.15.

Planning a home has been some of the joy!

2.  Taylor got a tatoo -well, I am not  THAT pleased with it but she is an adult.  An adult that only pays her insurance.... and her car payment... and now she is paying her schooling....  so.....  anyway, she still amazes me.

3.  Hunter finished his R3PL.... and they are the CHAMPS!  We do regionals in June....  then Nationals.. hopefully a soccer filled summer!   He is s Junior---  turned down an escort position for Homecoming, and spent over 1/2 of his allowance on one weekend to see some DJ.... go figure.  However,  his grades are great!

4.  Many people around me are being attacked by the Enemy -- oh.. I so want to squish him like a bug and I will get to watch it..   at the end of his reign - GOD wins!      In the meantime, I call it a privilege and an honor to serve HIM and pray for them..        Isaiah 30.19 says He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.

5.  I am MOST thankful for the little things as HE has been most gracious. HE has.  Things are not yet where HE wants them, but they are moving forward, praise God that the past is forgiven and slowly being forgotten!  Amen.

6.  2 Peter 3.9 says:   The Lord is no slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness,  HE is patient with you ... me.... not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance -- therefore, I will rejoice in the lost ones around me and continue to pray for them.  Amen.

7.  Bella .. has adjusted to the new place, she was 4 years old last month.  Brendan even speaks about getting another one -  can you believe that?  No way!!   No more puppies.... even though Bella is the smartest and best dog after Whizzer ( who by the way is still alive -- almost 15 and living with Marilyn and Lowell ) but, we have 'been there, and done that".

8.  Romans 12.12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.    THAT is for you -- for me... for many.   Faithful in prayer... Thank you Lord for helping me to be faithful -- and it won't stop.

9.  My job.... I LOVE it.........  what a tremendous blessing - just new people, new challenges, and the chance to really teach and have the resources -- what a neat thing.  Not that my 21 years in Okeechobee were 'bad'... no way - praise God for my mentors and peers there -- Okeechobee is blessed and so is PECS!!  

10.  My walk... thank you thank you thank you ------- I raised the $2300  and did the walk with blisters that did not totally wear me out.  It was a glorious weekend of fun but also reflection.  And it was an Encounter with God-- HE spoke loudly to me while walking!

And so -- that is my catch up --   Psm. 32.8 says  The Lord, says,  "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.".


Lord,  watch over me... I believe something is about to break open again -- and I am getting excited - excited.  Not sure what - but thank you.  You know the secret desires... bless them Lord,

- your daughter