Wednesday, August 31, 2016

God's purpose ...NOT my plans.....

It is 'hump' day.  School is well under way, I am still trying to get myself into a routine, learn the most about each student, and be up on time to drive with my new 'car pool' buddy.  This year marks my 6th year at the Brighton REZ school and each year,  God reveals and confirms to me WHY  HE has me there -- and I am blessed 99.95 of the time.  There are days that TRY me...but like every teacher who spends 8 hours with 12-25 students in one 500 square foot area...this profession is a calling!  

But anyway.....

Today, I asked God to help me carve out a good hour to blog -- there is something that I want to share.  I don't claim to have some BIG revelation -- this is coming from my homework, as my family and I are all doing a bible study.  It is pretty cool -- Brendan and I are actually doing it 'again'...as we did it years ago when the kids were small.  Now, the kids are grown ups and we asked them to join us in this study.   It is by Henry Blackaby and it is called Experiencing God. 

Each of us is working independently...but it is so cool how God orchestrates the timing.  Because God's word is alive and active within our heads and hearts ....   LIFE speaks right out of the pages and is spills over into our lives.  

I have said it several times this past summer -- we are in the end times.  I truly believe we are in the END of the end times, and that does not scare me -- it just  makes me look and view things a little differently.   For one...I believe that in these days, we will have GREAT miracles...but also GREAT tragedy. It is what it is..... 

Being a woman that wants to see children happy, families whole, and marriages healthy and restored... my eyes are open and aware, often, of what is around me. 

 Most often, it breaks my heart.

There has been a lot of breaking hearts around me lately again.

 However -- God will win.  God can win...  God wants to win.  God...will ...win....  



My question usually is...Do you want God to win?   
My homework a few weeks ago was from this lesson:  God's purposes, Not our plans!


1.  What was God about to do when he asked Noah to build an ark?     He sent a flood.
Gen.6:5-14
2.  What was God about to do to Sodom and Gomorrah when He came to Abraham?   He destroyed it.   Gen 18: 16-21: 19: 13
3. What was God about to do when He came to Gideon?  Deliver the Isrealites!  
Judges 6: 11-16
AND...4.  What was God about to do when He came to Saul on the road to Damascus?  He showed Saul/Paul that HE was Lord!     Acts 9: 1-16


John 12: 23-25 says..."unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seek.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." 


To live a God - centered life -- I have to focus on God's purpose - not my own plans. 

There are several woman and others I know that are truly walking in HIS purpose right now and it is HARD and it hurts and it does NOT seem easy -- nor  does it make sense.  

BUT... I am so proud of God in them...they are trusting HIS will and HIS purpose ...not their own plans.  

To know God's will -- we must deny ourselves.   We must deny ourselves and return to a Christ - Centered life.   Period.  There is NO room for discussion.

To know God's will -- we must focus on HIS purposes and not our own.  Period.  There is NO room for discussion.

To know God's will -- we must seek to see the situation from HIS perspective rather than from my own distorted human  outlook.   Period.  There is NO room for discussion.  

To know God's will --  I must wait until God shows me WHAT He is about to do through me.   Period.  NO room for discussion or debate. 

To know God's will -- I have to WATCH and see what God is doing around me and be willing to JOIN HIM. 

God won't ask you to dream up something to do for HIM. 

The pattern in Scripture is that we submit ourselves to God, then we wait until God shows us what He is about to do, or we watch to see what God is already doing around us and JOIN Him. 

Psalm 20.7
Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God. 


So, I write this prayer this eve: 

Lord, for those fighting right now -- women that have made the choices to do YOUR will and not their own.   Lord, for those women standing their ground and believing that YOU will restore what the locusts have stolen.  Lord, for those women believing that YOU are fighting for them...

Lord, for those struggling to do YOUR will.   Lord, for those that have allowed their hearts to become hard and are ignoring what You clearly have told us -- to LOVE no other gods before you. 

Lord, for anyone reading this tonight that is battling in intercession for their children - of any age...that they will SEEK YOU...  

Lord,  I know that one day, we will look back at this time and see Your purpose and Your provision -- but right now there are a few that are struggling to continue ...may they SEEK Your comfort.  

Lord, for the one in particular that needs a miracle...
Lord, for those around these hurting families and such ...that they continue to believe for all involved and that those ...that won't act in a godly manner ....may they truly SEE the depth of their sin...even as I type this prayer.  

Lord, I know you hold us in your hands... I thank you for THIS blog and this reminder that YOUR purpose and YOUR plans are indeed YOURS... may we come on board and may we see  exactly WHERE we need to be.   

Lord, I praise you for these trials -- as it is indeed bringing several to their knees and to YOU and  they are affecting the ones around them.   

Lord, protect those hurting and thank you for being YOU Lord, thank you for sending HOly Spirit to us...may HE continue to teach us through Your written Word, may tomorrow be the day -- that ONE finally puts his trust in YOU...Amen. 


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

He left.

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is one way God teaches us to be self-less -- but WHAT happens when it seems, that YOU alone seem to be fighting for the marriage ALL by yourself?

WHAT happens when, "he" or "she" does not care about Jesus or has a very GREASY GRACE attitude towards what is allowable and what is "OK" within a marriage......?

What happens when he is mocking God and has such a hard heart that nothing he used to love and worship....is no longer?  

What happens when one is ready to quit.... cause she is TIRED? 

What happens when he leaves?  


Lord, I come to you as a humble servant and I seek YOUR guidance and provision to accomplish this post.    

First of all -- I want to assure You Lord, this is not about my husband -- though he is not perfect and I pray for him to continue to grow in the knowledge of You and I pray he is protected from all evil....  this prayer tonight is with one person in mind...    maybe her husband has just given up and wants to die...maybe her soon to be ex is sitting in jail... maybe her husband choose to visit a strip club this evening instead of coming home....maybe her husband just told her she was too fat and undesirable...maybe her man told her - that he has NEVER loved her...maybe he just is not longer present in the marriage...... or maybe he left  --

...pretty extreme circumstances ...and yet - the bottom line... THEY have been rejected...   So Lord, I pray that each of these wives -- would stop right now and pray to you -- and ask You to reveal to each of them...WHAT YOU want them to do - 

I bet it is to show grace and mercy  to their men...but  it may be to wait a little longer...or it may be that You are comforting them and showing them that, they  must release the burden to YOU. 

   Lord, YOUR body is being attacked.  What YOU called a marriage to be, being one in YOU,  - is being attacked.   Yes, by the world, no doubt,  but unfortunately -- it is being attacked from within.     Right from within even the "christian households". 

 Lord, I pray for the wives that are trying to HOLD onto their marriages because YOU have not released them.  

  Lord, I pray for the wives that have done everything they could possible do - physically and mentally to be and do what their husband sees as a 'good wife' and yet -- it still seems that it is not good enough.  

    Lord I pray for the wives that sit at home, take care of all the kids, meet all the bills, and still smile while their men have been out  -- and they have NOT been to a prayer meeting!    

ENOUGH.      Lord, I want to SMACK a few -- LORD,  forgive me, as I am not their Holy Spirit, nor am I   you...YOU are fighting for each of those women and you   still  love  those men that are completely deceived.   Satan is the one -- responsible...right?   Lord, I bind him away from each and everyone's marriage  that reads this -- but I also pray and ask...  how many of these marriages are in a sin pattern or crisis, not because of Satan,  but because of their own poor choices??  You know Lord...  comfort the women that are holding onto the edge of your garment.  

Lord, today I will pray about our hearts.  Lord, I pray that  my heart does not become hard.  I pray my husband's heart does not become hard -- Lord, that we both SEEK you with every ounce of our being and that we SEEK the other as our 2nd love. 

 

Lord, for these women that are hurting -- comfort them.  I pray their hearts do not become hard.  Lord, I pray they won't believe the lie that you have forgotten them. 

 Lord, I pray that YOU are our first love.  Lord,  I ask that You reveal our hearts to us - show us what can trigger the enemy to come at us.  

God, you placed the stars -- You know exactly how many hairs are  on his head - on my head...Lord, you know exactly HOW this will play out -- God I pray right now that the one reading this, will believe that the hard heart can be healed...that the hard heart can feel LOVE like never before...that the hard heart won't be tempted to find solace in another. 

 

Lord, because these men are SEEKING something that ONLY YOU can give... these men are seeking something that will numb their pain -- instead of allowing You to cover their sin.  

Lord, I pray for each of those men, could they  see WHAT they have at home and realize....she is to be treasured and she is a part of them...as in marriage, we are each others half!!?? 

God I pray that the lonely heart would open up to YOU this eve, that he or she will pour  their loneliness to YOU and that they will allow you to fill it and then tomorrow, they will do the same and let it fill them tomorrow even more while they wait on You Lord. 

 Show them, teach them, or speak to them as to WHAT you want them to respond or do with their men...  Do they wait more?   Do they leave?   Do they ask him to leave?   How can this cycle of defeat begin to change?    I still believe You don't release our spouses but, I do believe that what we have to do in obedience to You -- may be very hard...may seem crazy... but also...You will provide the answers. 

 

Lord, for the wife - trusting you.  Lord, I pray that all of us would check our hearts - are you first?  

Lord, I believe you  can heal and restore  the ones reading this as they are thinking... IS SHE SPEAKING about me?   Lord, this prayer- use it to reach those wives that need hope and perhaps those men that need a eye opened!!    Lord, may she wait...just one more day...to seek professional help....or to just wait on filing for that divorce paper-- OH God - for the couples  around me, the ones within the body of believers that I worship with...and for the couples that read this and it becomes real to them.... 

 

Or Lord, if she must change the locks to have peace and safety within her home, provide the comfort to know she is in Your will.....  

   But again, God I pray the person, the wife or the  husband  reading this will dream this eve and meet you -- and believe when they awake that YOU can turn this around - In Jesus name, amen ! 


1 Peter 4.8
Above all, love each other deeply, because Love covers over a multitude of sins.

Psalm 119: 111-112
Your laws are my treasure: they are my heart's delight.  I am determined to keep your degrees to the very end.

Today can be the beginning of a new direction..a new life for your marriage -- God CAN heal and restore what the locusts have taken -- even after MANY years! 

- Humbled....Michelle 


Friday, August 26, 2016

Happy Anniversary -- Mom and Dad

Today marks 55 years for my in laws - Lowell and Marilyn - or as we call them -- Mom and Dad.

Happy Anniversary!!   55 years -- wow -- that is an accomplishment for any couple!!
1987 - Wedding Day.

I went digging this evening for some photos --I was not thinking ahead -- I could of screen shot a few from her own collection, but failed.   Sorry...my 'cheap' camera takes will have to do!!

 Lowell/Marilyn -- Mom - Dad -- Happy Anniversary!! 
We will celebrate with dinner this weekend -- but I wanted to take the liberty of writing a bit.

I got to thinking about WHAT  to write and then asked God and He did enlighten me to something - a place in scripture....

 Proverbs 31.  I know most associate this with a godly woman -- but tonight -- this related to this godly couple! 

Hymn to a Good Wife/Husband! 

10-31 A good woman is hard to find, and so is a good husband -- and together -- I believe they are worth so much!!  
    --Yes,  worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.



Enjoying Disney with us! 


OH my -- he looks like my husband - BP! 




I have seen this displayed over and over in the 35 years I have known each of them.  I love my parents dearly however, I moved away when I was 21 ...and LP and MP ...have certainly always treated me as their daughter and not an 'in -law' or 'out-law'.!!   God was/is  so sweet to give me that kind of a relationship!   I have seen both Lowell and Marilyn trust  God without reserve and trust each other through God!!  
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
    all her life long.  I thought about this and over the past 30+ years there have been tears, laughs, rough seasons, and maybe some frustrating moments .. but I have always seen Lowell treat Marilyn with such generosity and I have never seen him be spiteful.  The same goes for her!   One of the reasons, I believe is key -- their devotion to Our Heavenly Father and trusting in God to fight all battles and changed minds and hearts. 
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
    and enjoys knitting and sewing.   OK, if you know them..they BOTH shop around well.  They especially LOVE to find antiques!   And mom used to sew -- but she'd rather find the right piece of clothing at a Thrift store now!! 
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
    and brings back exotic surprises.   They have been blessed with many travels and always always will bring back the grand-kids gifts -- always so thoughtful! 
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
    for her family and organizing her day.   Up before dawn...  yes...  she is always preparing meals but now -- mostly to entertain a couple or two from church -- she certainly has taught many about 'southern hospitality' and she is a Yankee!!   And dad... well, he never sleeps !!   There is usually 2x a month or more where you will see his car parked in front of the Insurance office at 4am!  
She looks over a field and buys it,
    then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.  I remember some of the first 'money' lessons they taught us -- first about tithing and then about setting up a budget and using envelopes to help save money and stay within budget!!   It says "she'll plant a garden"....  Have you ever seen her take left - overs and turn them into the most amazing meal??  She is indeed a wise woman!  Dad too. 
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.  This is true of Dad too...!!! 
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. And dad has to be told to quit and go home!!  
In Wisconsin ... some 10+ years ago!

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
    diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
    reaches out to help the poor.  Both LP and MP are most generous and have opened their home and hearts to many different people!! 
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
    their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.  Mom is always prepared...there is gum in her purse...cash for the child  ( my hubby) who never has money in his pocket ( he pays her back - I think!), and before you even have the chance to ask, she is offering to visit someone in the hospital or be where ever she is needed! 
She makes her own clothing,
    and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
    when he deliberates with the city fathers.  I believe they both are highly respected  -- in and around the city but also -- within their circle of influence. 
She designs gowns and sells them,
    brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.  Ok, Mom may not be currently making any clothing to sell -- but she can FIND the BEST bargains while she shops with her friends.   Often we all benefit from her finds.   And Dad too -- not that he finds good deals while shopping for clothes but seems to find the best deals for horses, hay, and the various piece of scrap metal at the dump that he turns into a treasure! 
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.  That is TRUE... there is always a smile on BOTH of their faces -- even in a storm!! 
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.   Amen, and she will quickly remind you as well -- don't say anything unless it is worth it!! 
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive. So very true of each of them -- as a team, a godly team - they have exhibited such grace and mercy while keeping an eye on SO many! 
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”  We all truly know and understand how RARE it is to have what LP and MP have....as we have watched them live their lives according to God's Word.   They are walking testimonies! 
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman  and  her husband are to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!   Amen. 


Lord, for both Lowell and Marilyn - on this EVE of their 55th wedding anniversary -- I thank you for them, I thank you for their example to us and others around.  I thank you for giving me parents "here" when mine were so far away and walking through this growing up business!! 

 Lord, I pray for the wife who sat by herself at the ball game this eve -- may one day, her children write in this manner about their mom and their dad...... 

Lord, for the wife that wants to quit cause she does not see how they can make it to their 2nd wedding anniversary -- much less their 55th .....

And Lord, for the wife that recently lost her husband....  Lord, I thank you for the example that my inlaws have displayed to me and many others...but I pray for the hurting couples right now -- that they would SEEK you and know ..there is HOPE!  

And again for the ones grieving this eve -- may they remember they will rejoice again when they see their spouse in heaven!!   

But mostly Lord, please bless  Lowell and Marilyn  - Mom and Dad on this most honored day -- Happy 55th Wedding Anniversary!!  
Amen.  

- humbled...chell

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A prayer for him..... a challenge to you -- fasting.

 Back in  late  February of 2011,  I was getting ready to attend a ladies Encounter.   We, my husband and I,  had met with our marriage counselor at the end of January and agreed that my husband would move out of the house again and that separation would be a fact.    At that meeting/counsel session -- my spirit was tired, it was mad, it was so lonely and I was challenging God and questioning....where you there?  

Taylor's 20th birthday!
  I sat at the meeting with ever fiber of my being  - mad.  Disgusted and ready to just quit.  However ---   My godly counsel assured me that God was  there and I was to continue to believe and walk in that knowledge of what was unseen.  Ha...Humph.  That was easier being said than done.  Period.

We met, agreed to meet  again on February 6th, 2011 and tell both children   ( age 19 and 15) that dad was going to move out.  Little did I know that he had no hope for our marriage and my hope was slowly disappearing.   Our therapist was indeed wise  and only shared with me what I needed to know, as my emotional state was a bit irrational at times.  To me - my entire world had been shut down and I was begging for life.

And I must state that my husband's emotional state was also irrational and needed counsel and God used our therapist to help move each of us to a better place.  She felt in her knowledge that he had to get out of the home - the guilt was overbearing him.    

My emotions at that point -- were still trusting in a human's actions.  My husband's actions.  You see - he had become my idol.   You see, I was not trusting God.  I did not understand HOW.  Even though I said, God was everything and Jesus was Lord, my thoughts and my actions did not believe it nor act in that manner.

 I was afraid.

 Even so, I was obedient to counsel and met.  February 6th, 2011 would be the date - our daughter's 20th birthday and the night we would deposit our son  by way of a flight from Miami, on an oversees trip to Coast Rica to play soccer.  I remember sitting there and just saying in my head, "OK"....and saying out loud, "OK", but something happened when I got in the car to go home.  In the car, I said to myself, "hell no".  And that is when I heard the Lord say - begin to fast.   

I had heard preachers talk about fasting and my goldly counsel had suggested it as well - but, that night, I knew it was time.  So, I began to fast and at that point, I was barely eating anything, but I had decided I would only eat breakfast and some protein at night - the rest of the day - water.

Our appointment to tell the kids would be February 6th.  It was January 30th.   By Tuesday of that week -- or Day 3 of my fast, I got a call -- the appointment had been cancelled.   Both my husband called me at school and so did the therapist.  She had been unable to sleep for a few days and felt the need to call Brendan and speak to him -- she wanted to wait, it was NOT a good idea to send  HP oversees with the thought of his  parents separating now for a more permanent arrangement.  And it was not something a 20 year old should remember on her birthday.

For some reason -- God brought me to this memory today.  For His purpose, I will share.

 When I got the phone call from the therapist I was dumbfounded and just said, "OK".   And I remember driving home from school that day in a daze.     My fasting had worked.  God had moved.   I did not want that fateful meeting to occur and it was  cancelled.   There was   3 more days  of hope where I felt that, maybe, just maybe.....this marriage would survive.
My 45th birthday - a week before my Encounter.

   Then the weekend kicked in and I was reminded that his heart had not changed -- God just had moved in the therapist's heart and delayed what would still probably happen.  

I remember feeling defeated, but my godly counsel reminded me to hang in there!   Back then, in that moment,  I was to beginning  to pray and earnestly SEEK God in any extra time as I was preparing to go to Titusville  with some women and Encounter God.

  My godly counsel reminded me that my present journey or trail at that time was not just about my marriage -- it was about me.   Me and God.   My Encounter would be at the end of the month.   Meanwhile, our communication became almost 'nill' at home and I even dreaded a family celebration for my birthday.  I made sure Taylor arranged for my seat to be in between the nieces -- I did not want to feel awkward or 'make' my husband sit next to me.  I was counting the days....

 My Encounter came.  My Encounter went.   THAT was indeed a mile marker in my life.  
From that day on -- everything changed.   And I have written about that before. 

He did move out -- for about 4 hours and moved back in by supper that evening....THAT is another blog/story.  

And... if you have never read my blog before -- My husband and I just celebrated our 29th Anniversary earlier this month.  We are in a place with God - that HE orchestrated.  We are healthy and in love and ministering to others -- God won.  More in love with each other today -- than we ever were when we met some 35 years ago as young teenagers! 

I felt the Holy Spirit brought me to this memory or this post -- from 5 years ago for HIS purpose. 

Another wife is ready to give up.
Another wife is quitting as I type. 
Another wife is mad at God. 
Another wife has placed her husband as an idol before God. 

Or maybe another wife just needs to read a miracle story and believe -- it can happen for her too.
 

And...  another victory is around the corner!!! 
I would not want to bring any harm with these memories to either of my children nor my man....  but I felt I needed to share my prayer  or what my prayers looked and sounded like when I felt there was no hope!!!  


When I could not pray with words, I used my prayer language.   I probably prayed for my marriage and my man for almost two years...using my prayer language.  It was a way for me to speak to God and Satan could not tell...but I knew Jesus was interceding. 

And when I could not pray - I would write prayers and USE God's Word in them... as His Word was life. 

So tonight - for that one or several that are ready -- here is a prayer for your man -- and tomorrow, could be the START of his repentance and a miracle....Michelle





Lord for his head, your word states in 1 Corinthians 11 that we look to You and I pray he will look to YOU and want more of YOU Lord.
 Lord, for his mind, 1 Corinthians 2 shows us that we are to have the mind of Christ and think of how the Holy Spirit will lead and not our flesh so I pray this in YOUR name that he would deny flesh and think of YOUR mind. 
Lord, for his eyes, I pray that YOU will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. 
Lord, I pray for his ears that he will hear YOUR still small voice instructing him as YOUR word states that in both Psalms and 1 Kings. 
 Lord, for his mouth, that his words would be pleasing to YOU. 
Lord, for his neck, that he will humble himself before YOU and be strong, courageous, and careful to do everything written in Your word so that he will be prosperous and successful. 
Lord, I pray for his heart that he will LOVE and TRUST YOU with his whole heart. 
Lord, I pray for his arms, that YOU will be his strength. Lord for his hands, that he will enjoy the work of his hands and see it as a gift from you. 
And Lord for his feet, that YOU will order his steps and that he will walk in YOUR truth.
Lord, for him I ask all of this in YOUR name and I secure the blessing of knowing YOU have great and powerful things in store for him. 
I pray he won't miss any amount of his heritage.
Lord, I love him but YOU love him more. May I never forget this.
amen.


God is so stinking sweet.  
Amen.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Grieving....


Grieving is hard.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" 
Romans 12.12

Grieving is very hard. 

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put out hope in you" 
Psalm 33.22

Trying to figure out what to say is difficult.  

" A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" 
Proverbs 25.11 

Sometimes saying nothing but BEING there is what is our best option. 


         "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed"
                                                                 Proverbs 11.25 

Being 'there' acknowledging their loss immediately is important.
Accepting all emotional or verbal responses without judgement is SO important.
Hugging with tender affection is a good thing.
Expect tears and emotional extremes.... Oh Lord...
Find helpful things to do for those around you without being asked!!  
Give the one grieving many opportunities to talk about the loss ----  


That last one...being able to TALK is so important and it helps so much!! 
Being able to just walk out WHAT happened or talk about HOW that person has touched your life...my life... it helps.  

When our nephew went to heaven -- I remember how hard it was to share stories about WHAT we remembered and yet, THOSE stories would bring my sister and all of us more acceptance and healing.  

Most people associate grieving with death.  But mothers also grieve when their children depart from their godly upbringing and seek the World instead of Jesus.  Fathers mourn when they see their daughters make choices that appear or seem to be unwise.   Grandparents grieve for their adult children...when they can't see His fruit coming from their lives. Wives grieve when their husbands leave.  Husbands grieve when they see their wives turn from God.  

When you experience a loss of any sort...   a love lost...  an expectation not met... there can be grieving.  


I think my Pastor said it well, "There are days when words fall far short.  Days when the questions don't have good answers.  The hurt is flesh, and the pain is real.  But the LOVE of Christ is real as well.  Today we mourn, but not without hope.  Today we weep, but each of our tears are precious to Him.  Church you are well loved.  Today, give that love freely to those around you.  John 16.33"   -


This week ....this year.... these times are NOT easy and I have come to believe that as we live in these END times or end of the END times....the miracles will be so  so great.  Like I believe there will be more and more people being cured of cancer and see miraculous outcomes that all will say..."THAT was God".....

But with those glorious reminders of HIM and our Eternal HOME...there will be more tragic events and so forth.  Terrorism and death...and loss, loss that sneaks up so quickly -- loss that makes us STOP and seek HIM, but God I pray we all SEEK you consistently and constantly ...not just in our needs.  

This week, as a teacher starting school -- it is so important to establish routines and provide a safe area for my students to come to each day and learn.  The rigor of what our students must 'do' and perform is at a level in which many of us say, "this is almost impossible -- I was learning this stuff in middle school" -- and yet, as teachers, we know what to do.  But as a teacher, we not only teach reading strategies and math skills -- we teach character.   We are with our students for 180 days each year and spend MORE time with them compared to most parents.  We have to ability to encourage and unfortunately...we can 'turn' off a child too.   

I have been teaching now for 28 full years.  This year is year 29 -- it is truly a year that I have expected to be GREAT.  It is a year where I am doing a 'new thing' and am excited about the challenge.  It is a year where I am blessed to have children of children I had in my classroom some 20+ years ago.  It is a year where I get to have the "4" sibling in a family and I know the family well enough to know -- how to encourage, what to pray in my own time and WHERE I am needed.  Indeed, I know I am in a mission field.  All teachers are.   It is my choice.  God placed me here -- there.  I know how blessed I am.  And within the first week of school, we have had to talk about death and how we have loss within our lives.  And praise God that I can pray for my students and let them know I pray for themAnd I can remind them how much we love them and that God does as well. 


But I was VERY mad at God a few days ago -- and I sought His forgiveness -- He knew - I could not hide.  I don't 'LIKE' having to do HARD stuff -- but I will obey and I will.   I did not want to "deal" with a death in the first week.   It is NO picnic looking into the eyes of a child and have to hear the words, "I am so sad, why did she die?". It is so stinking hard to look at a child and NOT want to scoop them up and tell them about Jesus and heaven.  But in a public school, we must be careful and respectful of our laws. As I would not want a teacher to look in the eyes of my children and tell them there was NO heaven ...I have to respect our freedom of speech and so forth.  It is JUST hard.  Forgive me Lord.  

  I won't try to understand or tell God what to do -- He has the perfect plan.  When God intercedes and says "yes" to our prayers -- it is for OUR best.  When HE says "no"  -- it is for OUR best.   And when I told a young 5th grader on Wednesday that I would pray for his mom to get better, and I did, I believed she would.  And when, God allows a young child to experience a death of a parent -- He knows it is for their best.   And I am pretty sure, no, I know, God  has placed the right people within their paths -- to help them walk this out.  

My heart aches yet this am for two families and those children.  One of them I have only known for 5 days and yet.... I can't look at his photo without a smile.  

So, I grieve today.  But I know there are many that grieve for these same children and their families...  but I know -- God is RIGHT there!   This is no surprise for Him.  



Lord, I come to you - I pray my words are like golden apples to these children and their fathers and mothers.  I pray  for the families - and all extended parts of these lives that Karrie and Adam touched.  I pray for any of them that ever doubted You -- that they would be drawn to the LOVE that You are but also -- to full repentance and begin to walk in their lives ...with YOU are their Lord.  May they not just get a "saving love" and give you that pledge...but indeed they would place you LORD of their lives. 

 Lord, for the believers that know and acknowledge that these two are INDEED with You and in a better place..help us to be reminded that this life is temporary.  Help us to stand in the gap for these families where we need to be.  Move where YOU need to move us -- them... BE in our lives everything.  I pray this prayer and blog would indeed be helpful to at least one... I pray specifically for those children... Jetta, Kamdon, Clayson, Landon, Jaiden and Briann. And I know that all of these children have cousins, and other siblings that  we pray for as well.  Lord, I pray that each and all of us would focus on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable -- that we would all think of these things and remember those we have lost with fond memories.  I don't know what you have in store for each of these school aged children -- but I pray for their teachers and the ones around them as this school year will indeed be different and indeed be one they remember for the rest of their lives.  God, empower their teachers -- I pray that I will be Landon's teacher for the rest of the year -- but only YOU know what the BEST is for him...and I will trust that.  Until we all rejoice in heaven again -- Amen.  

I am humbled Lord that YOU allow me this voice.  I am humbled that YOU chose me.. and my team...there are so many names I could mention, bless them each Lord, the 3rd grade team and those caring for those children right now...Sarah and Linda.. Lord, bless them in a mighty way - In Jesus Name, amen.  


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Today I marry my best friend....

The blog today is personal -- but if you love this girl like I do, you may want to read it too.  She is getting married today.  She is becoming Mrs. Bodden today!!


Dear Brooke,
Dear Friend,
Dear daughter of the MOST HIGH God....

Today is the day -- you will marry your best friend.   How do I know this...?  I have watched this from the start -- watched it begin and watched it bloom into something.  I have watched it hurt and watched it repair and grow.  I have watched it - I have watched you!   And I was privileged to watch it from the inside and have prayed for and enjoyed every moment of it!  


I am a bit partial as I love Jesse's mom   and adored by little first grader as he spent 180 days in my classroom -- but he truly is a keeper.  

Brooke, as I have told you on many occasions, you remind me of my little sister - but you have also become a dear sweet friend over the past 6 years.   Who would of thought it??   God placed you RIGHT where I needed you - this time...6 years ago.  We have chatted, cried,  fussed, and sought God together. I have been so blessed to have you RIGHT there with me in Room 102 personally -- but also for our students.    God is good.   


 I am blessed because we can have days where no words are spoken and days where tears fall like rain.    And then moments of such laughter that only we can share to our husbands.  I am so blessed that you lovingly accept my 'squirrell' moments and clean up behind me -- literally. 

I am blessed that I can count on you to love our students as much as I do and you are that second pair of eyes as our students are indeed heaven sent but need so much extra love, structure, and instruction. 

I am blessed that I can count on you to be in the room when prayer group goes 3-4 minutes late! 

I am blessed that you can whip up a worksheet from my chicken scratch. 

I am blessed that when I talk out loud you have the grace and mercy to  let me and only give me suggestions AFTER a particular lesson or procedure DID not work. 

I am blessed that you take my instruction and DO what I ask of you in the classroom - even when you don't get it -- like 5th grade math!! 

I am blessed that when I am sick or take a personal day -- I can just text or call you and sub plans are DONE.   THAT alone is one of the BEST perks in working with you.

I am blessed that when my patience has been stretched with one..you are THERE to walk him or her to the playground and have a chat.

I am blessed that you LOVE our Lord and don't think I am crazy when I anoint the desks with oil and pray over kids in private when they ask.

I am blessed that I can VENT and know you keep my confidence.

I am blessed  that we just CLICK....


Today, you officially become Mrs. Bodden. 
Next week, we both will have to practice saying Mrs. Bodden instead of Ms. Manson.

Today you will walk the aisle and it will be JUST as God planned.   

Today, I get to witness a blessed and dear friend have all the attention and LOVE she deserves. 

Today, I am happy!!   Can't you tell-- I woke up at 4am and knew I wanted to WRITE your card /blog and get it posted ASAP! 


I am blessed that I know your family and their hearts.  Your mom was one of the FIRST friends that came to me and extended such hospitality and friendship when we began attending FBC.  Your MUM MUM ...ok, Mom Mom, was such an inspiration and prayer warrior for me as we sat together in Carleen Huckabee's bible study every Saturday morning in a season where I was broken, hurting, and just 'being'.   Your dear Aunt Laurie was a sweet venting partner and friend in another season where I just did not know what was going to transpire.   God placed them all in my life.... cause HE knew I was going to be paired with you that August of 2011.  I am blessed and God is so stinking sweet.

 I know and have watched you fight with all of your might  for your first marriage.  When I speak/counsel with other women and they are frustrated and want to quit after 2 months,   I share        (without names) about a tough godly woman that stuck it out 7 years...cause she knew God asked her to wait on HIM.      And I have seen you rise up over circumstances that you had no control over.   I have seen you walk with grace and mercy -- but like me, I have seen you have some 'ugly' moments but you have quickly learned from them and I have seen you GIVE advice to your circle of friends...I have heard you state, "learn from what I messed up on".   Seeing you use your pain to help another -- is truly a blessing.   God is so proud of you!  

 I have seen you work through healing, and the fact that you acknowlege there is more healing to happen is most humble and mature!    And even though the scars are present on some days -- I believe you are walking through this new season  with grace and you are learning to extend  more mercy.....which  is a beautiful thing!   This has led to meeting Jesse and I have watched you, carefully, prayerfully,  and with God's timing -- you have allowed GOD to guide this new season.   I  believe this godly man,  Jesse, will indeed continue to make you laugh and support you in your endeavors.

I love how he has helped you regain your confidence and your spunk.  I love how he defends you and surprises you.   I love how he reminds you not to get so worked up.    I love how he is so thoughtful and wants to be the best husband and 2nd dad to Layton.  However, I know it was not just JESSE...it was God.    It is God. 

God has never left you and you acknowledge that -- God is the healer and HE will continue to grow you and I know that as EACH of you seek HIM individually and then as ONE before Him....this marriage will indeed be one that shows God's grace, mercy, but also HIS glory.

My dearest Brooke, as I close, I pray that this day -- is indeed how you imagined it.  I know the plans were changed but indeed, I know that it will indeed be perfect in HIS eyes and the eyes of others.  God bless you -- I love you -- I will see you at 5!!

Much love,

Michelle




 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Desperate prayers #17




Prayer is communicating with God.  Sometimes I talk out loud to Him. Sometimes I sing.  I even just close my eyes and whisper.   That verse that commands us to pray without ceasing was always something I just did not get.   "Lord, I can't sit on my knees 24/7".  However, I can be totally submitted to HIM 24/7 where my thoughts linger on Him, rely on Him, transfer to Him when pondering, and sit in HIM!

Prayer is entirely a spiritual thing. Prayer must be by faith because there is no earthly, rational result of spending time communication with an unseen Being.  In prayer, you reach out and take hold of the unseen.  In prayer you MUST believe that which you can't possibly prove.  This makes it one of the most difficult callings for a Christian, but it also makes is one dearest to the Lord's heart.   - School of Leaders Week 13. 

it says in Matthew 19...  I will tell you the truth, whatever yo bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  


Lord, today -- several families had to lay a son or a daughter into the ground.  Some were so unexpected that everyone around is still in shock.  Lord for each person hurting this eve, may they get rest, stay balanced in their daily lives and walk through this sadness and pain.  Lord, I pray there will be supernatural rays of YOUR  love that just pours over each one -- especially the mothers that carried those children and hurt so.  Lord, I pray they would not be bound to the past but allow it to bring forth happiness and possibilities.  Lord, I pray as they wake and move in their day, they will keep their eyes on YOU and be reminded that this life is temporary and that one day, they will be reunited.  Lord, if there is any guilt or unforgiveness within these family members - I pray that Satan would not get a foothold in - period.  

Lord,  for the ill ones.  One in particular that began chemo today -- Lord, that every good cell is not destroyed, that every bad cell is zapped and that any cells about to form would be supernaturally scooped up and out by YOUR heavenly angel nurses.  May this temporary  sickness bring glory and honor to You as she walks through it with dignity and faith.  Lord, for the families and caregivers of these loved ones - strengthen them, consume them, and rebuild them as well.  WE praise and thank you for the healing Jesus gave us through His death and His blood....that each would walk in belief that they are healed in Jesus name!  


Lord, for those scary prayers now - God that anyone reading this ...if there be any hidden sin - it would be exposed.  Lord, for the ones that have accepted the wicked choices and walk in their selfishness...Lord, break the enemy's arms... break their arms... fight on behalf of all that submit to YOU -- that they would realize their sin, become repentant and then begin to repair the damage that was done.  Lord, for those that continually offend...sin....stop and say sorry and then DO it again... God, that a true submission to YOU would be evident and apparent -- not only in those evil mockers and evil doers...but also within us -- God, that we always, that I always submit to YOU.  

Lord,   that each would put their HOPE in YOU -- that they would praise You -- our Savior and our God...   

  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dear Sweet One,

Dear Sweet one.....God has brought you to me for THIS time ....

You can't see it - but God wants you.
You can't believe that HE truly can be your true 'man'....but HE can.
You are hurting and yet.......the best way to move forward from this -- is to allow Jesus to come into your heart.


I know you have 'tried'.   I have seen some very valiant efforts.    And, I have seen your tears ..... and yet ..... you are not at the point to truly trust God.  But I can promise you -- you won't be disappointed if you allow Jesus in to fill that HOLE.

From my point of view -- God has placed you very close and near to several women around you that love and adore you.
From my point of view -- God has been 'whooing' you for several months and your head and heart continue to 'fight' back and forth -- I think you are scared.

From my point of view -- you may think that seeking God -- means that all of your fun will disappear.
From my point of view -- you may think that 'church' is weird and you are perhaps a little scared.

From my point of view -- I would agree with you -- 'church' can be weird.....  But God is not weird and seeking God  is not 'church'.  

Church is really the people.
Religion is man made.
Jesus was about showing and telling you  HOW much you are loved and that HE died for you.
Jesus came -- that the 'fun'...won't stop.
Jesus came -- to fill that HOLE and the gap left by ..... unfaithful boyfriends.... a dad that left...... friends that no longer speak to you.....

But...there is a 'church' out there where you can be fed God's Word, make friends and allow a few others to come into your life.......   and it will be good ! 


So, right now - if you stop and put some praise and worship music on--  ( I suggest going to the Internet and finding Mercy Me's --  The Hurt and the Healer song  -- download it and play it several times while looking at or reading the lyrics. )--you will find that praise helps us grow closer to God.

So, after your worship time.....Open up your bible and if you don't have one - download the YOU Version Bible app on your phone --

Read Jeremiah 33.11 -- over and over again in your mind .....

Then pray -- Lord, I am at my end.  I am scared and need to talk to someone ...I need to have a mentor that will speak life into me.  I need something to remind me that I am worth dying for and that I am loved.  Lord.....this may seem awkward, as I feel I have prayed this prayer several times ---but I need the strength now, and the courage to go to find one of those women or go to  church with one of those women You have placed around me...Lord, I will trust that I will begin to find answers and LOVE as I seek You.  Lord, I need You -- as I am so tired of this life.....I am unsure of 'which' church You will lead me to, but I will trust the people ( heaven sent angels) around me as they watch over you.   And Lord, I want what I see in a few others around me.  I want peace.  I want to KNOW that I KNOW -- YOU are God - and  I want purpose within my life.  Lord, I will try my best to believe that You indeed are interceding for me.  Lord, I need you and am tired of these up and down moments.  Lord, I want to seek you and STAY focused on You.  As I am going to pray that the women around me will mentor me and I pray that as I fall in love with You God - I am going to trust that my heart will be healed as well ---  and with that Lord, I will read Psalm 139 5x so that I will see within Your written word that indeed -- I am YOUR  favorite.  I am perfect in YOUR  eyes.  I am going to church this weekend Lord....show me which one.   And Lord, I will open my head and heart to become involved with other people...as they create the church.  In Jesus name.  



 Today a prayer request was made known to me------


If this is for you -- and you want to meet up or chat -- please do - I am in the phone book.  
 - humbled 


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

When people dissappoint me.


Do people disappoint you?  If  NO ONE disappoints you --  well...  I would question  your definition of disappointment or ask, "what are you on?" 

Last year, I made a point of asking God to show me more of what Grace looked like and what Grace meant as well as to give me the extra Grace I needed to walk out this life!

 This year, is half done,  I would say that I have been asking God here and there for something else.   I don't want to get MAD when others disappointment me.  So, I have plenty of circumstances or opportunities to apply that Grace I prayed about.

I am by NO means perfect -- but today, something  struck me and my thoughts began --

Allow me to list:

...they did not respond to my text
...he moved ahead in disobedience to God
...she flaunted her sin and made others pay with consequences
...do they realize how UNGRATEFUL they are being?



STOP.   I began this blog 2 hours ago.  I had SO much in my head that was bothering me that I wanted to vent and GET OUT.

BUT God.   God stopped it.   My husband could even hear my pounding on the keys.   I had started to make that list and I had MANY more to add, but as I typed them, I knew that I knew I had to hit the save button and come back to this blog.   Not tonight.



Then, I enjoyed some Olympics.
Then my sweet brother called me.
Then, I set about to do a bible study/workbook that my ENTIRE family is doing.  Yep... All 5 of us!!  So I did Day #4...and sent a "loving" text message to my children and asked them to post a photo of what DAY they were on..... 

Needless to say, Brendan is in the lead, I am in 2nd place and I did not make the kids prove where they were .....but I was not disappointed.   And I stopped and thought -- what happened? 
I was JUST so disappointed and ready to VENT a short  time before.


What happened.  You know -- I know -- God happened.   I received more Grace and as I poured into God's word and responded to the prompts and questions -- His presence filled me.   I was different.


Then, I had some other work for God to do and began that.   God has gifted me in some organization skills and planning skills and I may drive several nuts -- but, I must be obedient to WHAT HE has asked me to do.  Within that, the Holy Spirit flooded me with some sweet memories that my daughter had shared with me  -- what God was doing in her life.   And then I messaged a sweet new friend that has moved away and EACH time I speak to her -- whether it is face to face or via Messenger on FB -- Holy Spirit Speaks and I see a bit of heaven.

Holy Spirit reminded me of a vision/impression I had back 24 years ago.  Holy Spirit reminded me of HOW speaking to this one person, lead to this other situation, which lead to this...and then to this... and then to this... and then to my daughter...!!   Full circle -- 360!   God is so Stinking SWEET.  So stinking sweet -- how ON earth could I fuss and blog about being disappointed?


People will disappoint us.  Praise God we only have to deal with ONE day at a time  -- God will not fail us.
People will continue to behave a certain way -- when JESUS is not their Lord. 



So anyway -- I have a few prayer requests for our Lord this eve -- some I know have been severely disappointed.   They each are being obedient and waiting on God -- but satan is certainly flaunting sin all around them.  And they are tired...  And they don't 'SEE' anything at this moment -- but my God is able and HE does not fight with toothpicks.  HE has a FULL army battling for them.   I pray they will fall asleep knowing that.  I pray that tomorrow -- their miracle would happen.   But even when a circumstance changes....there is usually MORE work to be done or worked out.  True healing and restoration takes time and it takes a willing and obedient heart.  Lord, for all of them -- may they wait on YOU!    Amen. 

 



Monday, August 8, 2016

Pain is pain is pain.

Pain is pain is pain . . . . What a title for a blog this eve. This is something I have been wanting to write out for some time. Not quite sure 'how' it will turn out . .but I want to say it.



The Holy Spirit reminded me of this blog I wrote some six years ago -- and tonight, as my heart aches for a family - several family members who  are experiencing pain and loss, I was drawn to this blog again. 

1. Pain is pain. It is very important to know that when some one hurts, whether they are 19, 10 or 45 - they HURT! God feels that hurt. HE has experienced everything that can come our way. Amazing.


2. Pain is pain. Even when you 'think' your life or your situation is harder or more painful . . . .you will be enlightened  with another story or another friend who DOES have it a bit 'worse' than your circumstances and instantly you may feel a bit selfish for your fussing or hurt ---But, your pain is still pain.


3. Pain is Pain. Don't qualify anothers pain. Don't make is 'less' by saying you 'can understand' or don't make it less by telling them a different story that you think will make they feel better. Pain is Pain.


It is important to know  or realize that God can use pain.  Most importantly -- God DID not intend for this pain to happen.  He knew it would transpire ...but NO where was He sitting up in the heavens stating:   "um, this one here, must go through THIS so that her child will be able to handle THIS". 

And sometimes I debate -- is God IN time or out of time.  God knows the beginning and the end but does he micromanage up there in heaven with all of our choices?  Or does HE keep an eye on us?   These are just questions that I don't want to debate or answer right now -- but I continue to seek God for the answers.   Whenever an accident or something really bad happens to good people - I question the Lord, 'why'??  And I am reminded that -- He did not intend for this to happen.  He hurts just as much as the one who is hurting and then I remember He sent His son for us...for me... and He suffered Himself.  


HE is sovereign and yes HE knows exactly what you or I are going through but for HIS glory,   HE has esteemed you high enough and strong enough to handle the pain with HIS help.


Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12.18.


Pain is pain. Please. Whether you are the one suffering a loss, a death, a hurt . . .

Whether you are the one who is watching the other suffer a loss, a death or a hurt . .

Whether you are the child of one who is watching the loved one suffer a loss, a death, a betrayal, a hurt or a violation . .pain is pain.


Everyone hurts. Most times, we just need someone to listen and hug. Most times we just need to know there is hope.

Most times, we don't want to explain . . . .or have it explained . .we just want to cry and fuss and yell!! (personally -- I do that with God . HE knows already )


Lord, forgive me for when I 'thought' I was helping and not allowing YOU to work a miracle in a life. Lord, forgive me for being too stuck on my own pain to not see the pain in others. Lord, thank you for providing the people that loved me .....even when all I wanted to do was 'cuss'. 

Lord, thank you for breaking me, and allowing this pain . . ..I want to be used by YOU and I want to bring hope to others.


From a wise mind comes wise speech: the words of the wise are persuasive. Prov. 16.23


I think it is very important to look beyond ourselves. However, we can allow the loved ones around us to minister to us when we need it. Get the help. Allow yourself to grieve and seek HIM for true healing. But then, live  beyond ourselves. As, I have found that when I look to help others, my pain DOES become a little 'less' to me.

And I think it's important to realize and remember that it will rain on the just and the unjust -- this life was not promised to us as EASY --  after that original sin....consequences came.   So often it is 'easy' to think or accept a consequence that I brought on myself --- but when it just happens or it happens to me.   Or, it is just an accident - a pure accident where -- we have all been, but by the grace of God - I was spared or we were spared.   Today I told Jesus -- "you can tell your daddy to gather His bride!".  

I also told God - yep I did -- "when will you call us home?".  BUT some days I can also get a glimpse of heaven and then I realize..."not YET Lord"...there are too many around me that NEED Jesus.  


I believe there are many hurting people all around me. Lord, let me comfort when I need to - let me see with YOUR eyes, what I need to say, do, or how I should pray.


Lord, I have learned MANY things in this time of my 'blue period' but now I am in the green and growing period . .so teach me much. Help me, remind me  that I  would never 'level' one's pain. Help me show empathy each time. Lord, only let me open my mouth if YOU direct it.


I am so thankful for your healing.   I am humbled and honored. Lord, You are a deep mystery and I won't try to fathom it.   Please continue to use me in a mighty way.


I love you Lord. - Michelle