Tuesday, December 31, 2013

prayers for a marriage -- #23 - new year

Lord,  the New Year's Eve had brought such pain a few years ago, and then if there was not pain - there was reflection and worry -- tonight - as we approach the eve of 2013 - I have GREAT hope and expectancy for 2014...but that is because of YOU!
Lord, I pray for the families that I hold before you - that the wives of those families will continue to hope and the men in those families WON'T give up -- Lord, I pray that as they lay their heads down this eve -- that they will stop and really reflect and LOOK to you in 2014 - and that maybe tomorrow - they will believe that YOU can pull them out of the pit --
And YOU can restore them -- completely -- Simple prayer Lord, yet all so powerful as I know, that when they PUT YOU first -- and die to their 'self'...Lord, then you can begin anew.... Amen.  

And PS Lord - for my marriage - Lord God - that we both put on habits of Godliness, that we don't have the love of money.  Lord for our finances - we want to build a home and be settled again.  Lord, for our ministry together and apart -- Lord, for the habit of perseverance - that we will persevere - and not allow the enemy in.  Lord, for the growing maturity within us -- lord, that we seek YOUR knowledge and that we are good to each other.  Lord bless our time alone - may our physical time grow with You that we won't seek pleasure in other things or thoughts - Lord, that we remain pure in heart as one heart and one flesh with You -- Lord, for our faith - that it will continue to grow - amen.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Prayers for ME - and my thoughts and plaid shirts! #21.5

I think I am posting this one today as well.  I believe that tomorrow is going to be busy and If I don't get time to post prayer #22 -- this one will do --as  I believe I have to share it.

Today the enemy got to me big time.

Yesterday I helped TP clean out some stuff in her classroom and I found a old photo of her dad from 4 years ago.  I will be completely honest - why would I lie?  I guess I am sharing something personal. ( Lord, protect this.)   He was wearing his favorite blue and green  plaid Polo shirt.  A WHOLE bunch of memories were triggered up.

You see - I destroyed that shirt in a really BAD mood - um 3 years ago.  Piece by piece in a fit of anger and rage.  It is a memory that is very clear in my head.

It is in the past.  But....those triggers....  It took me a good 2-3 hours of prayer and faith   - to get past the 'past thoughts' that wanted to creep into my head.  Well - they creeped in and sat for only but a moment but  I had to REPLACE them and get RID of them.

I think I  am to post  this today, and share because  -- another person out there reading this -- needs to know that LIFE sucks at times and even though we forgive a hurt and move forward--- forgetting does not completely happen.   There are probably some memories that you won't forget.  They can be a reminder of pain if you let them, or they can be the 'thorn' that keeps you humble.  I mean -- I hardly go backwards anymore....but when I do -- Do you know what gets me 'out' of those thoughts quickly?

I think of Jesus on that cross - and what I DID...to HIM...not what was 'done' to me.

I think FAR too many people STAY in that pity party and STAY in that -- I have a problem - LOOK what happened to me --- and they won't get beyond it.

I CHOOSE to move forward - I choose to keep those problems in the past.  I don't want God reminding me of my past EVERY day....with every moment!

But - the enemy has a lot at stake....I have been praying and sending out extra invites to a Bible study next month called GIrls with SWordS at my church  and, I have been proclaiming a victory in a few other prayer requests and so,  I am sure Satan just wanted to ADD in a bit more strife.

No doubt.

I had a cool moment with my #1 first born today - as she was sharing about HOW the enemy had attacked her about her past....when she dug through some UF notebooks and stuff from 4 years ago -  it triggered a different memory with her.  But - praise God, she shared - I shared - and well, GOD won.

We had both put our triggers to prayer earlier in the day before we got to a chatting in her new classroom,  and  we both were singing praise and worship music as we worked in her room,  and we both then shared our hearts -- and confirmed to each other -- that God wins.

 It was JUST the Enemy that attacked again.

She is getting ready to START her career -- and SHE will be bold for HIM - of course the enemy is scared.  Satan hates my daughter.  Satan hates me.

As I said, I am getting ready for another Encounter Weekend - and this new bible study...so ...of course the enemy is scared.

But that is OK -- that is what we WANT to be ...Girls with Swords -- warriors for HIM - in the battle.

God wins.

So this prayer is simple --

Lord GOD -- I bind the enemy away from me....I bind the enemy away from TP - and we believe that with YOU and as YOU are in US...we will DO your good works - amen.
And PS, Lord -- that was BP's favorite shirt and if -- it be your will -- if you would tell the POLO people to REMAKE that shirt in that plaid print, cause I would SURE LOVE to buy him a new one - for the 'new man' that he is...which we love ..which I love...thank you Lord!
And God - for the marriages I am a praying for -- bind the enemy in their unions -- God -- the marriages I am praying for -- the enemy is there -- he is scheming and trying to destroy those families ..but LORD -- I pray that YOU win.  Amen.   

Prayers for a Marriage #21 - covering it up....

Taylor and I were talking today --at her new classroom-- as she was putting up POWER words and I was creating a MAP wall.  On her west wall, there  was a blackboard  that had  been taken down and it was never painted  underneath so all you see was four different colors of old paint and then some major BROWN gunk to fill in the holes in the concrete.   So, in all TRUE teacher fashion - we had to HIDE the wall with something and COVER it up.   In cleaning out some of her newly acquired book cases and cupboards, I came across a box of old maps and an old Reader's Digest Atlas.

 Anyway - let the FUN begin!

I covered that wall all right - I am a pro -- been teaching for 26 years now and I know how to cover a wall.  Lee Dixon once took a photo of my room and used it for FIRE safety training as to 'what NOT to have on your wall'...TOO much stuff that is!  LOL

I still love that he used my wall -- how did I know??  He shared the story with me but he had to delete that photo - my 'sunflowers' gave it away.  Too many people  recognized  my unique choice of wall coverings and it became a laughing point instead of a safty message.....needless to say, I have had to learn to try and restrict WHAT I place on my walls now -- as I don't wish to be a fire hazard!

But, as I spent almost 3 hours cutting, covering, and then taping a wall in old maps, I began to think about HOW much we cover up -- in our lives.

I have been thinking and watching -- others.  Married couples do a lot of 'covering'.  Maybe women DO more of the covering - hiding their pain -- or holding it in.

Maybe not.  Maybe it is really the men doing most of the 'covering' with a mask.

What do we cover up for our spouse or ourselves?
Do we have differences in moral principals?
Do we have opposing friendship choices?
Do we have different religious beliefs?

Is there anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness that we cover up?
Is there impatience or insensitivity being displayed?
Is there apathy that you cover up?  

I caught myself today.....thinking about another couple.  They are older.  We were never friends but through the insurance office, I learned a bit of their story.   I quickly judged him as it was always rumored that  he used to be a 'ladies man' -- but now I believe he is committed to his wife.   He  would always be at  church.   Why did she stay - did she ever know?    They never divorced.  They raised a family.  But still....I judged -- I thought and I wondered.  And why today did this couple come across my thought waves?       I believe it was the enemy -- trying just ANOTHER way to distract me.

THEN  I  felt the CHECK in my spirit and repented -- "what do people think about us?".

Covering - We covered SO much for so many years.

I quickly realized -again, HOW fast the enemy can sneak up on you - at it was not even an hour past church......seriously.    Tears flowed -- I would NOT want anyone to 'judge' me like that.  I want people to think of God's grace and mercy when  our names pop into their brains!

Praise GOD we fall under a God this evening -- today - HE  COVERED our sins.

Tonight's prayer is just for that -- covering..

LORD GOD - I pray that if there is a 'bad' covering happening between the couples we love and pray for - God uncover it -- reveal it - open the eyes of both so that a healing can begin.  Lord God,  I pray that they will BOTH lay down their lives -- and allow you to consume EVERY part  and then be covered by YOUR blood. 

 Lord I pray they will fight to SEEK you and learn to forgive....

Lord God - for that one couple in particular -- forgive me for judging and speculating --I know I already asked forgiveness of YOU for this, but Lord, thank you for grace and mercy that you always extend to me!  

 God I pray that their family and marriage is healthy and sound -- that the mistakes of the past - if they were true - are forgiven and I pray they have a RIGHT standing relationship with YOU right now - if not -- then I pray that their eyes will open too ...why YOU allowed me to think of them today - if it was  for YOUR purpose ---- thank you for teaching me and gently reminding me ....
I am just but a 'forgiven' sinner. 

 I was reminded today -- I am under your covering and we thankful for Your miracle of a 2nd chance. 

 Lord God for the couples I hold before you - God I pray that these prayers are reaching their ears...IN Jesus name, Amen. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Casting Crowns - Prayers for Marriage - #20

This video shows the birth of Jesus -- his death on the cross and then it asks a question- WHAT are you doing America....?? And it shows the rapture of HIS church - in an instant  - we are taken up.

Unsure what you believe - whether we are caught up pre-trib or post-tribulation...I read the left behind books and have my own opinion -- but...

Yesterday was a day when I felt the enemy was a winning...and today - I have renewed HOPE...

God wins.

Today is Day #20 in my focused prayers for marriage - 1/2 way there -- My flesh really wants to stop - posting and praying -- as it seems like my prayers are MAKING things worse....

My flesh is growing weary and I know that I know - it is just an attack.
 I know this is just the enemy - he is a liar and he is trying his BEST to convince me that I am powerless --

I am not powerless -- I am a daughter of the KING -- my prayers ARE heard!

Today --with my prayers -- the bottom line is SALVATION.....

Lord -- I pray  the people that read this-- understand and know WHY you came and that you will come again.
Lord -- I pray that the married couples around me -- understand and know that their salvation is secure in YOU...as I do believe that if they will stop and rethink and relook and check themselves ...and their relationship with YOU -- and if it is right where it should be ....then the problems within the marriage CAN be solved -- with YOU...period.  

  God I pray they will fight for their family and their marriages! 

God I pray that in any circumstance -- YOUR good can be found and I pray that no matter the 'what it looks like'.....stuff....God -- YOU can change it!  

Lord -- I pray that the circle of people  around me -- would stop and make sure -- their relationship with YOU is RIGHT on target -- that if they would watch this video - they would know - 'they are not sleepin'...

I pray they don't miss out - on Your Grace and Mercy.  Amen.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Prayer -- #19

Lord, today has been TOUGH.

Your word says that 'consider it pure joy' when we are persecuted for our faith....

That sucks.

Just saying.

Tonight's prayer is focused on my married pals but also for a loved one that is SO deceived!

God - tonight the words are this .....
        THIS is YOUR problem.....THEY need YOU to fix it..... SHE is messed up -- the enemy is a liar and I am TIRED of it 'seeming' like he gets the upper hand.  God I CALL upon ALL of YOUR best fighters....YOUR best warriors -- and I pray --  those doing the hurting -- hurt too --  I mean - I pray they would REALIZE that their actions and their sin - is causing consequences ....

those believing the lies...God I pray they are MISERABLE...

Those so deceived -- Lord, help me to show them love, even when I want to SMACK them.  

Not a 'pretty' prayer this eve Lord -- but YOU know - YOU  know my heart -- now I will retreat to my bedroom and read your word ....and remind myself that YOU win.  

God I pray they would FIGURE it out!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Prayers for marriage -- sex #18 PG-13

Ok, I don't  really want to post about this -- but it seems to keep coming into our conversations and our prayer time.

I share this - and it is rather personal again-- but I believe someone needs to hear this tonight.  I pray if you are reading this, you will respect me and my family and  not speak about it in Publix - but if you are a woman and wish to speak to me more candidly? .....contact me!   I don't counsel with men -- you can contact my husband if you are a man.  And I really don't counsel -- I  listen,  I pray, and  then pray with you ....but anyway  ----

Like it or not - one of the FIRST questions and discussions we had to have when we started some professional counsel was the 'logistics of sex'.   We had been separated and then  we were back under one roof.  We wanted to try to save our  marriage.

 At our first session  - Dr. Connie began....'Sex....How often was it occurring?  Is it still?  Is it something you want ..Michelle?   Brendan.....?'  And then the 'big kid' discussions began.   And when we have our 'check up' appointments now every 4-5 months -- THAT is the very first question she asks us both - it is a thermometer!

Sex is a thermometer in a marriage.  God created the act and the pleasure that comes with that act.
And I will be blunt - if it is not good -- then see a doctor and do what needs to be done -- to make it good again - seriously ......God did not create 'OK'.....HE created 'FANTASTIC!'........  Just saying...

Women's attention goes to kids, finances, emotional stress, sickness,  and strife - we are constantly juggling.  A week can pass...a month...even months and a woman can be  pretty much 'ok'.  Then when a disaster hits -- she seems to be surprised.   Woman have sex out of affection.  So why have sex with a man that is not being affectionate -- or making you angry, disappointed, overworked,  or unsupported.  For the men - sex is a pure need.   Everything gets clouded if that need is not met -- but I also believe that those roles can be reversed.  Why wouldn't the enemy use sex to steal, kill, and destroy and break up a home - a family......THAT is what he does ---

We went to a sexologist/family crisis therapist.  She is wonderful and she loves God and is pro - marriage, but she was also very realistic and forthright -there were many sessions where I did not like her - at all!    I won't or can't get into everything. It is tough, opening your heart and baring your hurts to another -- believing that maybe perhaps she can give some insight and yet, many times she just opened new areas of conversation and perspectives.  But, she taught us some very good tools to communicate better - and speak to each other with respect.  And...   I am being honest - sex did not seem to be our problem -- and yet, we still had to discuss it and set new ground rules  as, we were trying to mend a severed bond.

There is a book called Love and Respect that is VERY good -- and it talks about the ' crazy cycle'.  There is a book called "Everyman's battle"  and there is an "Every woman's battle"...and then there is a book by DAve Carder called "torn asunder"  --- all EXCELLENT resources for a Christian man or woman trying to seek some help and counsel when a marriage is in trouble.  But I would seek YOUR own Pastor and his wife -- ASAP for guidance and direction!

 Anyway -- back to the 'sex'....

If you and your husband are not having sex.....there is something wrong -- period.  End of story.
It is what it is.  I am just saying.   Unless you have both decided to abstain for a time - for prayer and fasting on some matter --  God's word says,  "do not deprive one another except with the consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer: and come together again so that Satan does not temp you because of your lack of self-control"  ( 1 Corinthians 7: 4-5)   Sex between a man and a woman is God's idea -- HIS idea....Sometimes, we really can't keep doing the SAME stuff all the time.  I mean, the definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing over and getting the same results'.  In our case, we had been married 23 years ....and there was a break in our marriage vows - so we had to start over.  And we had to rethink and re look at many aspects of our marriage and our 'routines'.

Now -- because of that heartache and crisis of faith - I had a little more motivation to change it up and see things from a different perspective.  And I was open to WHAT God wanted to change in me.

Now - the MAJORITY  of those  changes had NOTHING to do with sex --but sex - as I said it an important part of being one.   One flesh.

So, tonight's prayer is for a couple -- to guard their sex life if it is good, or maybe to restore it if it is bad.  It is a prayer that I found in my "Power of a praying wife" book -- and I adjusted it a bit.

 I am going to pray it and say it..... to the couples that God has laid heavy on our hearts -- but truth be told, God revealed another couple to us again - that need prayer.

 So, I have come to conclusion - that I may of had '3' couples in mind -- but God is using this on a bigger scale.  For that -- I am happy to be candid or real - as long as it can help save marriage -- I will share what I need to share.

Lord God, I pray you will bless the sexuality in our marriage, and God I seek great fulfillment for him as well as me.  Lord, restore what needs to be restored, balance what needs to be balanced.  And Lord, protect it from apathy, disappointment, criticism, busyness, unforgiveness, deadness, or disinterest.  I pray that they make time for one another -- I pray that we will make time for each other..... that they communicate their true feelings openly and remain sensitive to what each other needs.
 Lord, that they would keep themselves sexually pure in mind and body and close the door to anything  lustful or illicit that seeks  to encroach upon them.  Deliver them from the bondage of past mistakes, remove from their thoughts the effects of any sexual misconduct in thought or deed that happened outside of the marriage bed or prior to the marriage -- TAKE away anyone or anything that would lead us into temptation or infidelity - and help us to abstain from sexual immorality !!!
--- I pray they will desire each other -- no one else.  And I pray that EACH of them will figure out what needs to be done to be attractive to each other -- Show them both - HOW to be the kind of partner the other needs. God I pray they won't use the 'sex' thing as a tool for manipulation or withhold it for selfish reasons...God I pray that they would seek YOU and be ONE flesh - worshiping you in every act of love.  Amen.
And Lord, if they need to seek a sexologist - Lord, God -- give them the courage - remind them there is NO shame in being honest and seeking help.  God I pray their pride would NOT get in the way - there is NO shame to admit - we are messed up and need help -- then YOU can get the glory.  Lord, I pray that if there is hidden sin - reveal it - NOW in that couple - so that the healing can then begin. Amen.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Prayer for my marriage - #17

Merry Christmas.

Today the world stops to recognize that God gave us a gift.
I pray the ALL the ones around me can tell -- that God's gift is .....my Savior.

Today's prayer is for my marriage -- specifically.
A Christmas Love letter/prayer to my man.

But -- you can say it for your man -- or change it a bit for your wife ......

I thank God for the gift of marriage.   My prayer today is mixed into HIS word.

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.    Lord, if I write for others or just write to be heard......If I speak to others and share what I know about You ...and YET...I can't show YOUR love to them -- my words...my actions are nothing......If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.   Lord, this passage is used so often in ceremonies and sermons and most often it is used when one is speaking of the love between a man and a woman but this passage is about our love for YOU...If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. So, Lord, as I read Your word and I reflect on it -- Lord, if I don't possess YOUR love within me...these words...these blogs...and my actions are really nothing....So Lord, I pray that these words...these blogs...and my actions are of YOU - I love you Lord, and I Fear you - that does not mean I am scared - it means I HATE what you HATE and I LOVE what YOU LOVE...I want to please You.  Lord, I come to You now and pray for my own marriage and our lives...our love for each other and for You...
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  God, I pray that I am patient with Bren and that I always show him kindness even when there is tension or even when the enemy seems to be attacking...Lord, I pray that I am never envious of his actions...his time needed with You ...or any past thing that could cause division.  Lord, Your word says love does not boast -- but I boast about him...he is Yours and he loves You and I LOVE how much he seeks You and I know that is one of the reasons we are in this happy season -so I will boast to YOU about him....I will boast that I am proud of him...I will boast that he continues to SEEK you...and I am proud of that.  However, Lord, I pray that I never become so proud and arrogant to believe that it is because of 'me' or anything-- it is ALL YOUR doing Lord! - Thank you!   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Lord, I pray that my actions don't dishonor Bren in any way - I am especially mindful of what I write on this blog - I want to be real and transparent and yet, I don't wish to cause any more hurt, cause any grudge or give the enemy a foothold - when I share a personal story, I pray that it would be to illustrate YOUR glory and not to cause hurt for anyone....Lord, I Pray my actions are NOT self-seeking and God -- the enemy so wants to easily anger me at times and I praise You Lord, that I know YOU fight for me and so any  anger usually becomes so  subdue.. God that can only be because YOU are continually changing us.  Lord, we rejoice in Your word and Your truth -- I so love it when we read Your word together and discuss it and God I believe YOU planted that spark within me - to forgive and to remember ALL of our good in our past....so -- I had hope in him and I had trust in him - even when I shouldn't of.  I had the hope that YOU would restore even when it looked bad and even when he said - he did not want to be married.... Lord, I continue to ask you to protect our marriage - protect the trust I have - protect the delight we have in each other and protect our hopes....preserve us Lord.   And Lord, just continue to teach us -- to be better for each other. 
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.   God,  I so easily repeat this often - Love never fails ...human love does fail -- YOUR love does not -- God, I pray that each of us will continue to walk within YOUR love and within YOUR path -- then the love we have for each other is bonded  with YOU -- and then we become one flesh in YOU...and when all is done - we will be with You... Our completeness comes with YOU!!  11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  Lord, thank you - I have faith in my husband and hope in him and I love him -- cause he loves YOU...and I know that YOU are indeed the perfect husband - thank you for loving me through Brendan -- may our lives be used by YOU -- to help others -- experience and receive this JOY -- that two can have when they become ONE.....OH Lord - that YOU get the glory - 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prayer - #16 Lord, my weakness YOU carried....

It is Christmas 'eve'.  In many hearts - today brings such hurt.
If today was your 'anniversary' and now you are divorced or in that process - today may bring hurt.
If a loved one has recently made their entrance to heaven - today could bring memories and sadness.
Or if you just feel hopeless and forgotten - this prayer is for you!

Lord God -- You created us and we are for Your purpose - in a sense - we are married to You.
Today as Your word says, You make mercies NEW each morning - but I am thinking that there are many hurting and can't see the NEW mercies.
Lord, my heart feels for them this morning - ONLY You can fill that void or comfort that hurt.
Lord I pray that today -  that they might not look on the hurt or be reminded of the pain - but that they would think and ponder about YOU today Lord -- how Mary and Joseph were traveling and as it got dark, they knew they had to find shelter.
Lord, I pray that they think about trying to find that shelter and how YOU answered that simple prayer to find a spot - even in a manger.
Lord, I pray they will think about ALL that Mary and Joseph probably felt - wonder, anxiety, and maybe the all knowing feeling that they were witness to God's son....

Lord, I pray that they will take the time today - to really focus on You, to thank you for WHAT they can be grateful for and what is good right now.
Lord, I pray they will SEEK you and believe that with You - they can do all things.
Lord, I pray for the families that I have been holding up to You in prayer --God it seems like these prayers are 'not' working -- but I KNOW You are. 

Lord - comfort like only You can.  Lord, I pray they enjoy YOU instead of their hurt today --- help them to do that......and if the pain is JUST too hard --- then,  I pray they would read Your word and remember what You did.  Amen.  

Isaiah 53. 4-6

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried: it was our sorrows that weighted him down.  And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment fro his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's path to follow our own. yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

Thank you Jesus -- for being our covering.
Lord God -- I am humbled.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Prayers for a Marriage -- #11, 12, and 13 -- touchy post

I have not posted for 3 days -- perhaps God wanted my 'faithing until you feel it'  or 'faking it till you feel it baby'  to SINK in a few more hearts......but I have been praying.

 However, for  these past three days -  God has given me a special 'mini-' week with my brother and husband and we have been RIDING Harley bikes - over 900+ miles in 3 days...

But I have been a praying.  Lots.  Tears too.  There is a present ACHE in my heart and gut this morning for a family that is not THAT close to us - but yet, very close.

Yesterday I was 'hit' with the news of a couple that are separating.  It is a small town.   Very small.  Hash tag --- GEEZE  it is a small town where everyone seems to know each other's business.

I know God has commissioned me to be in 40 days of prayer for HIS institution of Marriage.... and as this post came together in my head-- with the Holy Spirit penning it -- I thought about all the attacks on Marriage these past few days -- the Phil Robertson stuff, there is a loved one within my own family that won't be at Christmas this year because she does not want to be with family that won't 'accept' her, and within one of the three  families that I have been calling out to God to intervene -- there has been new turmoil as well.   The news of this other couple was a shock.

It is such a small town.  Bren and I spoke quite frankly yesterday about WHAT people probably said or thought when they heard the rumor about us. And then when or if it was ever confirmed - what did they think?   We laughed a bit, cause I would get women coming to me and wanting info - and he had men come to him as well...but, Thank God - HE had me sort of 'hushed'.   And well, Bren was already hushed - he has been quiet for so long - why would he begin to 'tell' now....?
We DID laugh about that - really, praise God we can laugh now.
We also talked about a LOT of feelings and emotions and stuff and within the hurt of that - there was healing.  ( that can be another blog )

But, as I said, people probably formed opinions  and I am pretty sure that many 'chose' sides between the two of us.  It is natural -- those closest to me, probably saw what I did and how I was and probably wanted to 'kick his ass'...Being honest and transparent - but truthful here.

I wanted to do the same for a time.   ( butt kicking ) And I know there were men and women that approached him and tried to get 'dirt' on me....to justify how something could separate us.  It is just natural -- as humans we want answers to justify and to explain.

We were never really close to any couples -- just a few and I am so sure they had their own situations - "how do I speak to her and not to him?"  ...or  "how can we help both of them? ".  I know instantly within the first few weeks of our separation, the enemy began to play SUCH tricks on my mind where I would not even want to be out in public for fear that I may see him speaking or talking to one of 'my friends' and I just knew he was going to betray me even more......

   And I know there had to be people that wanted to just TELL us a thing or two - but, God kept them away.

 God did have the RIGHT people all set in place and new people HE would bring into our healing -- that prayed and helped and encouraged.    Looking back now, both Brendan and I want to be those people to other couples when God commissions it.

Not to dwell on the Phil Robertson thing...but sin is sin.  'We' put levels on it.  I have blogged about this  before and stated...my 'idolatry' ..... my 'arrogant pride'.... my 'lust'....and my own SIN was JUST as sinful in God's eye's as my husband's betrayal and infidelity.   And sexual sin - sex outside of marriage...and sex with another man's wife...is sin...and sex with my brother is sin...sex with another woman is sin...sex with an animal is sin.....sex with myself - using things to manipulate and get me excited is sin...

Why wouldn't the enemy use sex to steal, kill, and destroy ....it states that in the bible.

Jesus said, 'go and sin no more'.

But --  this post is not for those opinions or a debate on sexual choices  -- back to marriages.....

One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that God can't be explained and I don't have to try and justify HIS actions  -- I have to trust HIM.

I trust God today -- I trust that GOD is big enough to have the RIGHT people around that family right now and minister to both her and him and their children.

 I trust God is big enough that he is speaking to both parties involved.

 I trust God enough to pray earnestly for them and claim -- with God this family can be restored.  But I also trust God enough to know that....if this family does not reunite - and the marriage does dissolve...HE can still bring beauty out of the ashes and redeem her ...redeem him....and restore their children -- it will take time.

And I trust that God is holding their hearts -- if they SEEK Him.  In the meantime, I will continue to pray.

Today's prayer is a short one - I've elaborated enough -- but one week after my 'earthquake' shattered our home, I got a prayer from one of those people GOD spoke to -- to be a part of our healing.  And she sent me that prayer via Facebook - so I do have a soft spot for Facebook - it can be used of HIS glory -- but....

I want to share that prayer - as it is taped in my bible and I go to it often - as an Ebenezer stone - it is something that I remember -- and it is perfect for today.  I will leave our names in it -- but our names can be replaced with YOUR names...if this prayer suits you today.

Or if you are the couple that separated .....or  if you know them - maybe this will give you the courage to speak into their lives... I am humbled God that YOU can make a way and I trust you - Michelle

This prayer became life words....prophetic -- HE has put a new love between us.  What the enemy tried to destroy - God fixed.  God won.  Our marriage was raised from the DEAD......it was hard work - but good work.  I DO want that for every marriage -- HE can restore - anything......God I pray THAT couple will SEEK Him!

Dear Michelle,
The Lord has placed you and your family squarely and heavily on my heart.  HE wants me to tell you a couple of things.  ( I try to do what I 'm told-though I often fail. Deep Breath...) His message to you..
Michelle - You are an awesome spirit -being of magnificent worth as a person.  Your are fearfully and wonderfully made.  KEEP your eyes upon Me: for I am your strength and your shied.  As with David, because you wait patiently on Me, I hear your cries my child.  I am lifting you out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire: i am raising you up and will set your feet upon a Rock and give you a firm place to stand.  I am putting a new song in your mouth, a hymn of praise to Me. Many will see and fear and put their trust in Me.  ( Psalm 40. 1-3) My beautiful daughter I am using you.
My friend you are a light in the midst of overwhelming darkness, and I encourage you to stay the course. Keep your eyes on HIM!  My Lord, I pray YOUR will be odne. May Your LOVE conquer this marriage. May Your LOVE be the only compound that binds this marriage.  Father, Your are  Love, and I pray You place Yourself between Michelle and Brendan. I praise You Father for Your faithfulness to Your childrne. In the name of Jesus my Lord and Savior I  pray.
Your Daughter, Shelley

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prayers for a Healthy Marriage #9 - for her dream....

This prayer can be for 'him' too...but today I am focusing on the women.
God wants to remind us - HE is strong. And HE created His daughters to be strong!
With God's word as our SWORD - there is nothing the enemy can do to knock us off course in prayer for our men.  BUT....we can be swayed if we don't hunker down and stick to it.

I was caught off guard.
However, I quickly figured out what to do -- well, maybe not quickly...I faltered a lot  and I kept taking our problems back away from HIS cross and finally -- after much time and continued hurt - I got to a place where I just could not 'deal' with anything anymore and I believe at that moment - I was finally broken and willing to do whatever it took .....to wait and to be a vigilant prayer warrior for my marriage.

I had to believe in something that I did not see.
I had to have faith and trust God.
That is really HARD to comprehend as I have mentioned this before - I really thought I had it figured out and I really did believe I trusted God - but I only trusted Him as much as I could at that time.

God wanted me at a higher level with Him -- He wants to use me.  He is using me.

So this prayer is for the women  who are trying to hang in there -- they are praying for something they don't see....they want their marriage, and want God to do a great work within their husbands.

Lord God, I pray they will dream...I pray they will dream big enough to fight.  God I pray that the women /wife reading this is broken enough to place ALL pride aside and place anything that is hindering her relationship with YOU....aside...God I pray she will confess it and deal with it - as nothing can be between her and you....And then Lord.....I know  You have already placed a dream and a desire within her heart and her head.....she knows what she would like.  She wants a man that longs to be close to You.  She wants a man that lives within his bible and seeks and searches Your Words.  And then Lord....he will be that man that will love her - unconditionally.  Lord, then he can be the one that will meet the needs, comfort the broken heart and....rear the children as a team ..with her.
She needs him Lord -- the children need him...so, I pray Lord that they won't give up...that they will fight past what the 'see' and just believe that IT can be possible....Oh God, I sit here today as I know, I gave you a list of what I wanted....and by God --  You have fulfilled most of those 'wishes'...but only after You did a work on a heart....for the heart work first....open the eyes, speak to him - amen.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Prayers for a Healthy Marriage - #8

I found this today -- it is a devotional written by Shirley Dobson.  I trust her -- she is a mentor.  Google her if you don't believe me....

Lord God...that the marriages I am praying for - maybe today there will be HOPE....Lord God, that one of them who has not been feeling the 'love' ...would ...and that all of them would seek your word and gather HOPE from you - amen.  

I pray this devotional/story will bless you like it did me!  

 - humbled, michelle   

Words of Hope

“In his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
Like anyone else, I have days when discouragement seems to get the better of me. At such times I try to remember that the Lord has provided me with a source of continuing inspiration and hope. To tap into that source I need simply to open the pages of my Bible, God’s letter of hope to me.
I’m reminded of a story about an elderly woman who had lost her husband, George, some years earlier in an automobile accident. Theirs had been a long and happy marriage, and she missed him terribly. When she suffered a broken leg, she felt more confined and alone than ever. One particularly blue day, she found herself longing once again for her husband’s company. She sat in her living room and began to weep. “Dear God,” she prayed, “please give me the strength to get through this hour.”
Get your Bible, a quiet voice inside her said. But her Bible was in the bedroom, and, with her leg in a cast, she thought it would be too hard to retrieve. Then she remembered a small travel Bible on a nearby bookshelf. She reached for it and turned the pages to find a favorite Scripture.
Suddenly a letter fell into her lap. She carefully unfolded the yellowed pages. It was a love letter from George. In it, he expressed his deep affection for her. His words of comfort went straight to her lonely heart.
In the back pages of the Bible she found more notes from George. He had written them in the hospital while awaiting an operation, apparently fearing he would not return home. After he recovered, the notes were forgotten.
That woman spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the company of her husband’s letters and in the certainty that the Lord cared for her.
When you’re feeling short on hope in your marriage, ask yourself if you’ve spent enough time lately reading your “mail” from God. Jeremiah wrote, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). As we go about our days, we can draw on the same delight… if we’ll just read the Bible for a few minutes and wait for His Word to meet our need.
God loves you with infinite compassion and tenderness. He knows just what you need and when you need it. In the pages of Scripture, you’ll find example after example of His wisdom, comfort, and love— all meant for you. It’s the kind of “mail” that will really make your day!
- Shirley M Dobson

Prayers for a Healthy marriage -- #7 - Putting God first.

Lord God....I am asking you today to speak to each of the wives and husbands that are on my mind....that may read this blog prayer, and for myself...
Lord God, I pray that we will ALL be still to hear your voice and allow YOU to fill our hearts with life and peace.
Lord God, may you be first...not our marriage...not our problems...not our heartache...but YOU -
Lord God, may we worship you and not our spouses or problems...
Lord God, I know you desire to walk with me -- but too often we are too busy to listen and walk slowly with you - God, I pray for each one that reads this today -- that they will make a point of walking slower and listening more intently....
Lord God, I pray that each person within these marriages will submit wholeheartedly to YOU the Lord - the living God.
Lord God - that each of these people....individually will put YOU first and make YOU their first love....and submit to You and your lead and that YOU may be their highest priority.
Lord God, as these couples work on issues....speak to each other.....and move forward...and as a few of them learn that YOU can redeem them....I pray peace and joy over their circumstance...may they find you in the quietness of their thoughts -- and may they STAY there.
Lord God, I pray they will put You first - amen.  

This morning I was reminded that - GOD wins and HE has a great plan -- HE designed marriage and HE designed it well......HE fully wants everyone to enjoy the fruits and benefits of a healthy marriage - God my desire is that this focus and these prayers will encourage just ONE couple -- to persist!  


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Prayers for a marriage - one in particular -- #6

God can do the impossible.  I do believe it.
This is personal.  Back on 10-16-10 I sat in church  -- thrilled because I had just met John James from the Newsboys....thrilled that one of my 'Christian music giants'....was here in Okeechobee.

I mean - little Okeechobee?  Really?

I MADE Brendan take me to their concert in Ft. Pierce in April of 1991 - it was one of the first times I had a sitter for Taylor -she was only a month or two old....

But, I remember literally dragging him to that concert.  We had to sit through two other bands first and our ears were blasted -- it was LOUD, but finally  the Newsboys came out.  And they sang the song -- the one that got me hooked on Newsboys -- "Shine".

That was the only song I knew - but, I could sing it word for word!  Besides Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael  W. Smith, and Petra - there were not too many ROCK and ROLL Christian Bands.

Anyway -- I LOVED their songs and got their music...and sang it all the time.

Little did I know, that one day -- 19+ years later  - my Pastor would tell me--- I 'know' John James....He was the other 1/2 of the original Newsboys founders....he and Peter Fuller.

Anyway -- small world...yep!  Needless to say - I have heard him give his testimony, I have laughed and even fellow-shipped and eaten  with him.  I consider him my friend now....but let me go back to 10-16-10...

ON that day, I was a broken women, and he gave his testimony and he spoke of his wife and how she helped him  through God and prayer .....to realize that God had a plan for him.  You need to hear him tell it--- but that day, I heard EVERY word he said about his wife and I prayed ...God...could my husband  think that way about me one day -- ???  Could he???

He expressed his love and devotion for her and I bought his testimony CD and I have listened to her tell of what God told her and how she was persistent in praying for her husband....while he was deceived.

That was my prayer.

Today, sadly, - even though John fought hard....he is now divorced.  And he is in the process of being healed.  How does one wife...who loved him so much ....7-9 years ago....now believe that  he is not God's best for her?  How does she believe that?    I will get those answers in heaven. 

It can be turned around so quickly...how does a man, after 15+ years...all of a sudden give up? 

However...I realize.... I have been in a place where I was almost giving up -- sometimes giving up is the easier thing to do.  And...Lord...that is OK...as YOU KNOW our hearts and in the end....I don't have to account for anyone but myself.    Forgive me Lord...

My heart ached today again not only for John....but for other couples within my circle of life.
But.....my God is faithful and I am just saying....A LOT can happen so today, it is with  YOU Lord, in mind...it is with those 'couples'  in mind...I am praying for all of those that think...they are 'not' in love anymore.....

 Would you allow God....Allow HIM to really work on your heart?? ....amen.

Lord....for ALL of those women and men who have heard their spouse say, " I am no longer in love with you ".....Oh God...I know that hurt...but I know how YOU can restore and revive....
GOD I pray they will pray this prayer with me -- FIX it Lord...change it...and HOLD me until You open their eyes....I want my marriage....a piece of paper is only a piece of paper -- if it be YOUR will....FIX and restore what the enemy has taken ...what the enemy has deceived...AMEN.    


Lord, for the ones who just can't HOLD on any longer -- may they see Your glory as they are obedient to You and what You have asked them to do.  Let them know that they know...when they face You, You and she or he will agree ..."I did everything possible Lord"....  Lord, for the ones who have crossed over and made the commitment  to recommit and begin again - protect those marriages and bring them a body of believers that will support this journey.  


In all circumstances...give peace.  Undeniable peace.  


Lord, for the marriage that is just 'sitting'....either the husband or wife are just sitting and not moving...not being obedient...not living a life worth of his or her calling...or living a life of mediocracy.....Lord, OPEN their eyes, may they WANT YOU so badly Lord!  


Give us hope and bring the 'good news' to many!   Lord, I pray for John - unsure of where he is at the moment - but I  know - he is sharing your message of faith and hope.  Bless him Lord.  Bless his ex-wife and children....   Lord, continue to watch over me, my marriage and my children -- may we always give encouragement
My Wedding Day with my immediate family! 
and testimony of  YOUR great faithfulness and redemption. Amen.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Pritchards 2013

Merry Christmas!!  

It is with GREAT joy and glad tidings that we bring you a SUNNY hello from southern Florida.  We  have been watching the weather channel each day on our phones and check to see how COLD it really is up in Watertown Wisconsin.  And as we head to our jobs ( school ),  we are thankful it is about  60+ degrees -- we are able to enjoy a jacket and it warms up to 70+ by lunch time!!  

We are so thankful we live here - not that we don't miss the family in Wisconsin -- but we have lived here LONGER than we lived in Wisconsin so.....we are more 'Floridian than Wisconsinite'.  

 To all of our Wisconsin family - you are MISSED...and to our FLORIDA family and friends we wish you a very happy holiday and may the time with family be extra special this Christmas.  

 Merry Christmas.    I have a cartoon of Linus on my desk wearing his shepherd  costume - oh wait - I will insert it here:  

The Angel of the Lord did appear -- it was great joy -- that Jesus came to be born in a manger.  When I think back and ponder on what God asked of Mary, and then what Jesus did for me - for all of us - I can be brought to tears.  HE truly is our Savior.  

 All four of us will attend the Christmas Eve service at our church and then head to sweet dinner with friends.    We are celebrating with this family  - as the patriarch  of the family was blessed with TWO  kidney transplants this past year.  THAT really never  happens ---- he is a walking miracle - GOD is so gracious.  The entire community rallied around his family and I bet the people praying for God's healing on him extended from here to Cuba!   God has GREAT plans for that family yet.......  He is a  surgeon and I know that 2014 will bring even more healing and he will be able to practice medicine again -- and share that JESUS healing with many! 

Christmas Day will have us in Lake Placid Florida with Brendan's Aunt and Uncle Pothier.  Most of the 'Ziemann' family will be there and that will be a time of GREAT fun and GREAT food.  Brendan's Auntie Pat is basically Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Paula Dean all wrapped up into ONE cute package and we always treasure Christmas at her lovely home every other year!!   We have already anticipated WHAT she will make. Will it be more southern cooking, traditional, or west coast?  

This coming  week  Brendan, Daryl and I  ( my brother ) will be riding the Harley's around southern Florida as our Christmas Present to ourselves.   We are renting a bike for a week.   We are taking off after school for afternoon rides and then plan a trip Friday and Saturday to cross the state!   Can you blame my brother for getting out of the cold?   We are excited for his visit -- praying more of the family will show up in 2014!   Our 'vacation' starts the 23rd   and then we can enjoy the holiday break and look forward to the new year. Which basically will consist of visiting friends, attending church, and then working at the Insurance office a bit too.  Brendan has been diligent in bringing in new business as we have opened a 2nd branch/office in Tradition Square in Port St. Lucie.    

We JUST celebrated with Taylor as she has earned her Degree in Elementary Education.  She started at University of Florida as a  Gator and ended up finishing at Florida Atlantic -- as an Owl.  She will tell you -- she is going to get that Masters from UF and  so then, that Gator will EAT that owl-- just saying...either mascot is well earned; but she will let you know she is still a Gator at heart.  

 Taylor  has a job and should start in January.  She will  be teaching English at the High School - Juniors.  Just like her dad!!    ( With her dad! - what a blessing that will be for her!!  -- and him too!) I can't wait to hear the stories that two will share - I can only imagine.  Brendan is hoping to retire this June, he is ready to work FULL time at the Insurance office and give up having the 'summers' off.  This is year 26 for the both of us.  So, time will tell -- and God will lead.  We have been praying about it for sometime now!    I am pretty content to work as a teacher as long as the Lord has me working at PECS.  I am at the Indian Reservation still and enjoy EVERY day!    This year I have seven students that bring smiles to my face each day and I pray for each of them as I travel the 30 miles home.  I really have been blessed, every teacher should have the opportunity to work in a setting that is a teacher's dream.  However, with every dream comes some gray clouds and there are many struggles -- but, teaching seven or 27....it has become a mission field!   I am one happy teacher!  

 She, Taylor,  is very excited -- she has most of her High School Volleyball team on her Big Lake Juniors Club Team which will get into full swing  come  January.   She spends her free time at many different places...the gym...Kami and Alfred's.....church....Starbucks....  the Ins. office.... working at a resort north of town......and friends' houses.  She wants to move out - but I am thinking it maybe be a few more months yet.  She is a joy to have 'home' and it has been a riot having HP gone and her home..... She was the Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach this past fall season.  I would marvel at how Brendan and she could talk for at least an hour after every match and discuss players, plays, and then coaching strategies.  It was such a blessing.  She had a wonderful mentor /Coach as her assistant and he kept her well grounded but I have to say -- she handled the job of Varsity Coach like a pro -- we spent many a night in prayer!!    She is hardly ever home and so Brendan and I have experienced the EMPTY house in a whole new way -- and we kind of like it.  

BUT...my heart was FULL of joy and happy this past week,  as the four of us headed to Boca Raton  in one car to her graduation ceremony. And then we headed to Cheesecake Factory for lunch - and we laughed and it warmed my heart to listen to them both!   Really...?   Fun?  Let me see - with their phones they can video tape Bren and I and replay it back on Facebook.....and then there is the teasing of 'what mom says'..... and then the classic critiquing about our habits and so forth laced with laughter.......but seriously -- I loved EACH and every moment of it!   

Hunter has completed his first semester at FAU as an athlete.  He played on their soccer team and 'enjoyed' dorm life.  We continued to sit in the stands and travel 90 mintues to watch him 'sit' on the bench but it was worth every trip.  The position he played/plays was held by a Senior and HP is a freshman -- so in time, he will have more playing time!   It should be next year....the training and conditioning is intense. In season, he has practice twice a day..... Plus class.....and study hall.  Each Freshman had to log and sit in a study hall for 8 hours a week according to NCAA guidelines.  He really felt the benefit of that - his GPA was/is 3.889!   He is still a part of the soccer team and spring season is around the corner.  He will be finished with his beginning  undergrad classes after this semester so as he enters his 2nd year -- he will be labeled as a Junior.  He has even begun to take a few core classes for his major.   He is hoping to be accepted into the Accounting program and with his  GPA right now -- I am thinking he will be accepted.  We are excited for him -- as a college athlete he gets the pick of his professors and schedule and that certainly HELPS!   We were looking forward to his visit home for 3 weeks on this break -- until I saw the PILE of laundry that came with him.....and the 10:30 pm request  "ma, make me a sandwich".    But truth be told - I have missed that!   

Brendan and I got on our Harley as much as we could.  We have over 10K miles on it and can't wait to get our 2nd one.  However -- we must win the lottery or something first.  We want to build, a house  -- but that is on hold.  HOpefully in 2014.  We have begun to make  our 'bucket' list once the kids are really gone and off our payroll and we spend many nights watching Duck Dynasty, or Love it or List it and then debate on 'stupid reality' TV.  We are deeply involved in our church and love our Pastor and his wife and we are excited to see our 'little' church grow.  We have moved ONCE again, hopefully the next move will be to our home -- that we want to build --soon - but we will see what God says.  We do have a lot in a perfect spot, and we go there weekly to just stop and walk the property line and pray and ask God to make the house appear SOONER than LATER -- but that will come in time.

We did not get to Wisconsin this summer - our extra vacation time was following Hunter's Team Boca Team as they won State Cup U 18 and then advanced to Southern Regionals held in Oklahoma City.  They kicked butt....and BP and I enjoyed a week of sightseeing and tourist attractions -what FUN we had.  Then we headed 2 weeks later to Kansas City for Nationals in which the boys played hard and beat the current National Champions but lost in the last round and did not make it to the finals.  However that week brought more sightseeing and touring into Missouri and parts of Kansas!  We so enjoyed it -- I made a quick trip to Wisconsin in September to visit a dear pal from high school who was battling cancer - she is healed now with Jesus.  That was hard - very hard!  And my friend Rachel and I walked our 6o mile WALK for the CURE in Tampa Bay in October -- in honor of Trace and many others who have lost the battle of breast cancer.   However, it is with new found inspiration -- I hope to be walking in Atlanta, Georgia next October in her honor.   The 3 day trip to Wisconsin gave me extra GRANDMA time -- I got to visit her each day and then show her video of my visit from the day before and just enjoy her smile a bit.  I also got some quality time with a few of the nieces and nephews of my siblings -- and of course - some Rocky Rococo's pizza!   

We are both very grateful and thankful for family, friends, and our Lord -- who DOES provide every need and HE certainly delights in us as well - as we note often   ...."how on Earth".....  Brendan reads a lot and I blog/write and try to be an encourager to women.  We enjoy our Sundays at church in the am and then naps and Harley rides to Sebring for lunch at Cody's Steakhouse or an omlet at Waffle house in Ft. Pierce if we head east instead of west.  As I said - our Harley is getting its miles!   In fact, today  we rode  to Ft. Meyers to get it oil'd and checked - 10,000 mile check up and yes, I rode on the back - and my  butt is  sore -- 6x6in seat --   LOL.  I ENJOYED  EVERY moment of it - sore butt or not....love, love, love it!!   We laughed as we left our house and it was 61 degrees and when we got home, it was 78 - talk about a temperature change - we dressed in layers!

I may of gotten a little wordy -- much to say!  We are in a good place.  Happy.  

God is so gracious and good - HE wins.  
May HIS peace come over you in 2014 - like never before...may HE meet those needs - personal needs, financial needs, and the fun ones too.  MAY you experience joy like never before as you SIT at HIS feet-- and may YOU truly understand WHAT HE did for you on that cross -- let that be life to your soul.  God bless -- 

Michelle  ....and Brendan, Taylor, and Hunter too....

Please, if you are in the neighborhood -- call us -- we will come and meet you even in Orlando for a visit -- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   

Prayers for a Healthy Marriage - #5

This was my prayer yesterday -- I did not have the time to post it and I believe it has to be mentioned here ....I am a recovering 'busy' woman/wife.

I used to put people first.
I used to be Facebook first.
I used to put everything else first...my job...my students...my kids...my computer time...my bible study...

But now...I put God first and my husband 2nd.

There has to be proper order and even though I love a tidy house and my 'family' has to be fed.....I really try to keep the RIGHT order.

Being a wife and keeping the RIGHT order is HARD.

So, yesterday my prayers for the couples that God has me a praying for ---- were simple but direct.. and specific......

However, I did not have the time to post this.  If you are following this line of prayers, I am sorry -- as today you will have 2 of them -- but please note -- GOD knows and you maybe be reading this and I may not know exactly that this prayer FITS you ....but GOD did...and by YOU coming to this blog site and reading....HE is faithful - and HE will answer.  Amen.

GOD, I pray that these couples will place you first - that they will WANT so much of you that they empty themselves of themselves and fill themselves with you ...as only then with YOU  in them...can they begin to look at their spouse....and think that things could change....and think that the present crisis could be turned into something GOOD....

And Lord, right now -- within one couple --   I am afraid they are just beyond wanting to seek you for help - change that.  

And Lord, for that 2nd couple....God with their small kids and this holiday - I pray they both can just believe that YOU are working within them...and that as they work to heal themselves...they will TRUST YOU and trust that they will get beyond this present crisis....

And Lord for the 3rd couple ...I want YOUR glory shown -- to both of them.  They need a direct miracle -- they need answers, they need YOUR divine provision and they need -- to come clean to each other -- but first Lord, they but humbly come to YOU....I believe they are --  but I also believed that I was 'clean' before you -- and I was SO SO so so so wrong -- reveal in YOUR time....I know you won't be mocked -- bring forth every truth that eyes would be opened -- in Jesus name....

And Lord, this other couple - unsure of WHAT is going on within their lives but I see some hurt in her eyes...God I pray for that - that YOU would comfort and I know you will, that they would seek it.  Lord, I pray that they would seek you together...

And Lord, for that other couple - making a move ...transition to a new job and location - they need a home...they need  finances to be met....

God for these other two couples - help me not to judge but it certainly appears that you are not first within their hearts...I don't want to see the enemy get any glory -- maybe all seems well between them because  they are not a threat to the enemy...God I pray that their eyes would open....

God for that couple - as they lead and direct...each has some physical ailments - that need your healing touch and each have great pressure as they lead a church ...God -- grant extra wisdom and I bless them with exteme peace..

Oh and God for that couple...God I pray there is no sin within them......my heart hurts as I discern something else....

And Lord for us....God that I would always have BP 2nd after you...and not allow this 'blog ministry' or my kids...or whatever come in between us again. Amen. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

God wins. I won.

When Brendan and I took Taylor to UF four years ago, we went to the Parent Orientation.  We had to stay overnight.  The two nights before that, we had 'agreed' that he was going to leave.  He told the kids he no longer loved me.  That was June of 2009.  He left that next day, there were many tears and just TOTAL frustration on my part.  I was SO angry.  However, it was what it was.  I did not know what had been going on.  I only knew one thing - we were both so miserable.  He came back that next day and 'decided' that we should just forget the past and move forward.  We set down a few rules.  By this point - I was seeing a counselor.  He wouldn't -- but I was knee deep in seeking God by this point.  It was hell.  But...we smiled and took her to UF that day - June 20, 2009.  We were planning on getting two rooms to spend the night, but decided to stay in one - just double beds.  I walked around that campus so anxious for my girl and so hurt and miserable.  BUT.....

Much happened in the REST of 2009 and 2010..and 2011...and so forth - but...

I say all that -- cause ...GOD won.   I don't say all that to make you think that I go over and over the hurt - I don't -- but TODAY was one of those 360 moments - when God has allowed me to see a part of the full circle.   Today was her 'last' day of college.

Today, as Taylor walked across the stage, my husband and I were holding hands, laughing and OH so proud -- knowing that God wins.  It has been hard but WORTH it.   Knowing that God is  a God of 2nd chances and that GOD can bring back ANYTHING from the dead ...even a dead 'love'.  My husband and I are new people in HIM - but still very much the same in some respects.

 I am SO excited for Taylor - SO proud of God.  Thankful....

I am not posting this link  on Facebook.  It is rather personal and I don't mean to bring up the 'yuck'.  But one of the tools I used when we were in the battle - was I FOUND story after story of redemption......and story after story on line about how GOD heals and how God won out...and how this person changed...and it brought me HOPE.

So,   if you are reading it -- please note -- GOD still does miracles!  Amen!

I am so excited -- we did good -- GOD did it...she was raised in a home with a LOT Of prayer ... and there was discipline, bribery, candy, Vera Bradley, and spankings...but there was love.  And prayer...

Congrats to YOU Lord -- YOUR mercy and grace did it all...

Prayers for a marriage - #4 -- Scripture

Scripture really is LIFE.  I heard that thousands of time.  I sat in church most of my life and heard the man or woman preaching and thought...really?  It really was not until some sort of tragedy or sadness when it sort of made sense.  

I drifted for so long - thinking I knew it-- thinking I had it figured it out!  I believe God is so gracious cause HE knew I had no clue but still allowed me to live and claim HIM mine.  But finally one day -- there came a time when the hurt was just so HARD.  And there came a time when I really wanted to be TRANSPORTED to heaven - immediately.  I DID not want to live any longer.

I would not of ...nor did I think of taking my life....but - I WANTED to be gone.

Sometimes the hurt is THAT bad.  I don't claim to suffered the 'worst' hurt...I would never compare my hurts to another - we all have different points at which we want out - we all have different demons and we are all at different places.  But - in those times, when we SEEK HIM...HE comes and HIS word is life.

That is all - won't elaborate too much on this -- it is God's word that is praying today.

This is a prayer that I have posted on  my computer.  The Catholic in me takes comfort in repeating a prayer -- HIS words.  I can adjust this prayer to meet ANY type of prayer request.

I challenge you -- if you are in a difficult marriage, if that BOMB has dropped and you are at the lowest part within your own life...even if it has NOTHING to do with your spouse...speak God's word into your heart and thoughts....mediate on it.  Allow it to breathe new HOPE and life into you -- HE longs to speak to you personally.

Fill in the blanks with YOUR name....put your spouse's name in there or a loved one.  If Salvation is needed for that loved one -- this is a prayer for that too.

Lord, I pray that as I continue to share a prayer each day for the beauty of marriage...for the enduring power of marriage...for just the pure reason that YOU created marriage...God I pray this is reaching EXACTLY whom You have drawn  here -- to this blog.  God, empty me of me...this is not about me...but an expression of YOU...I want to be used ... I want to reach YOUR people like other women reached me via written word and expression -- may their lives change like mine did.  But it has to be all of you -- amen.  Thank you Lord,  humbly  - Michelle

Lord,  this prayer is for _________ and me.  I have not stopped thanking you  God for ____________________,   . . . I pray for them  constantly, 17 asking  you God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give ___________  spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that he/she   might grow in the  knowledge of  YOU, God. 18 I pray that his/her  heart will be flooded with light so that he/she can understand the confident hope YOU have given to those you  call—MY  holy people who are rich and in  glorious inheritance.[g] 19 I also pray that ___________ will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with him.  Lord, may __________  be a part of that body, may he/she  understand that he/she  is loved.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prayers for a marriage - #3 - Forgiveness

Forgiveness is SO hard.  It does not happen in a  flash - I mean, you can say "I forgive you"  but God oh God...it takes a daily refreshing and restating over and over...to walk in that forgiveness and believe that you really have forgiven the one that hurt you.

I still have to 'forgive' and pray for my husband at times.  I still say a prayer and ask God...'have I forgiven ?'   It is hard -- but I will say this -- it continues to get LESS and LESS.

Now each time that happens, I ask myself .."do I need to seek forgiveness from another?"

The Enemy gets  silenced sooner and most times now,  he only reminds me of our hurt by a trigger of some sort.

But...whether your husband ( or wife ) betrayed your vows...
Or whether he or she has betrayed you with some sexual impurity...
Or there was  a death of some sort that you must forgive their participation in...
Or he has just NOT been what you needed...
Or if he does not love God and continually hurts  you...
Or......WHATEVER it was.....

Your spouse does deserve  forgiveness -- if they are repentant....God has forgiven them.

HE forgave me.

That is one of the hardest concepts to understand or even relate on paper, but I knew that I knew -- no matter what my husband---was to be forgiven.

As....I KNEW...WHAT I did...to my Lord -- my sins put HIM on that cross.  HE went and took that for me.

THAT is the hard part to relate, when one person really LOVES Jesus...and understands WHAT HE did for us..for me...for you...YOU want to forgive like HE forgave you...Like HE forgave me.

Pure and simple.  
It will take time...You should seek godly counsel and probably professional counsel .....but forgiveness will FREE you...

But please note -- if you are in a relationship where you are being hurt - physically or tormented ...YOU need to get OUT of that ...and pray for your spouse, but eventually you will have to forgive that behavior as well -- in HIS time.

BAck to the prayer for today --- it is short...

LORD, am I holding unforgivness?  Lord, help me to forgive the hurt.  I declare that the enemy won't use the hurt of ____________________ against me nor my spouse anymore.  Lord, I want to know you so well, that I would understand this powerful mystery of forgiveness and Lord, please know, I thank you for forgiving me of MY sins...if there is anything I need to confess - speak to me clearly and show me my own sin...Oh Lord, I thank you for forgiving me and I am going to claim now, this evening that I forgive my husband for __________________ and I am asking You Lord to walk with me in these next 37 more days.....I want to see a miracle in my marriage...I need YOU to come in and get us BOTH out of this pit - and I want to testify that YOU win and that YOU were the one that restored and redeemed us.  Amen.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Healthy Marriage - Prayer Post #2 - enduring....

I have to share today that my husband said the sweetest thing.  It had to do with a word that I believed God wanted me to share with him.  I felt SO awkward speaking it to him, and I was SO afraid that he would not receive it seriously...or he would laugh....or he may feel I was 'being his holy spirit'....

It was very personal.  And when I gave him that word, I prefaced it - "don't tell me good or bad...in fact, say nothing to be about it until tomorrow -- I am too fragile to hear ANY criticism".   That was Saturday.

He honored that.

Now, if I was REALLY sure it was of the Lord... I should of BOLDLY spoke it and let it be right?

Wrong - we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, but we are also human.

You see some of our  therapy was about me judging him and being that 'nag queen' and  being his 'holy spirit'.    So you can see why I would be careful about telling him 'what' to do or think.

There is a delicate and fine line between a husband and a wife.  We are to be intimate.  We are to be supportive and each others' friend.  We can give each other advice --  But we are also separate people.   After one has been married a long time, it is easy to fall into the trap of being the 'parent' of a spouse ...instead of being the wife or the husband.    I think there are a lot of marriages where there is not a lot of respect shown or given.  Been there ....working on that!

Anyway,  the sweetest thing he said to me was, "chell, I took to heart what you said and at church on Sunday, I .....".

He took something I said ...a 'god' thing...and he respected it.  He felt my word ( from God ) was valuable and he respected what I said--- what God shared with me.

Today I thought of that -- I have waited to hear that kind of a compliment for over 20+ years...I have.  I have seen that sort of a thing on TV and read about it on blogs and in articles about good marriages ... but today....God really revealed to me, again, that HE will rebuild the ancient ruins... ( Isaiah 61 .4)

However, I am reminded that it TAKES time ----sometimes...long times..

So today's prayer is about enduring...to wait...to hold on.

Lord, I come to you this eve and I pray for those couples that you have brought to our attention and to maybe the one wife that may be be reading this tonight...God I pray that first, the enemy would LEAVE them alone for this evening and I pray that within the marriage if it is the wife that is wanting to be 'out'...or if it is the husband -- THAT the enemy would just LEAVE them be this evening and as they lay their head on the pillow,---they would stop and think -- just maybe...just maybe...YOU are there and YOU can change the other. 

 Lord, I pray that the one who wants the marriage the most...will hold on and endure and wait...wait on YOU ...as YOU can restore the ancient ruins...  You can rebuild, but sometimes Lord it takes SO long to get that answer. 

 Lord, I thank you for healing that took place again today as I reflected about that word you had for me...for Brendan...and I pray that for the one reading this tonight -- I pray that she will receive a word from YOU for herself...for himself...to ENDURE. 

 I pray that they will read Isaiah 61 and be reminded that YOU proclaim freedom for the captives and YOU  will comfort all who mourn...that YOU will rebuild the ancient ruins and YOU can rebuild their love and their marriage.  I pray that tomorrow the one who has that lonely heart, the one that is hurting and seeking YOU will see something in their spouse tomorrow...something that gives them HOPE to endure...HOPE to hang in there and HOPE to believe that YOU will do for them..what YOU did for us. 

 I thank you for my restored marriage and I thank you that the enemy did not win.  God again, I bind that enemy away from these marriages and I pray you will loose extra protection angels to them -- to watch over and when there is any doubt being voiced -- that those angels will shout loudly -- that YOU win.  And Lord, I pray that those hurting women ..or men..would reach out and ask YOU to bring to them  a mentor to pray with - someone they can reach out too...close to them.  I ask that those 'oaks of righteousness' will notice and stand in the gap - amen.