Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Who is my Jesus? Blog #4 When we question.

 

So, who is my Jesus when I question?  

I simply go back to prayer and HIS Word.  

In the last 5 months there has been much within our country and our world that is 'going wrong'. 

The Election - the mask mandates, and MUCH have littered our news agencies and the media so much so that many have just boycotted the News all together.  We have.  

Last year  or rather several months ago, a  BIG revelation about Ravi Zacharias came out and my world was not shaken, but I questioned and asked opinions and read articles.  I wanted answers. 

I really never listened or followed Ravi,  until these later years.  However when he spoke in the area of Apologetics - he certainly had a way with words.   His words made sense and in the last year, I have met people that did his bible studies, became Christians because of his lectures,  and followed his teachings and went to his conferences.  They did feel a blow when all the news was finally released.  Truth is always -- well, truth always will set us free.  

And I believe the timing was purposeful for God, as it always is, but the promise that God won't be mocked is something that I have praised but also grieved.... it is hard when the truth hurts.  

 Last year or maybe it was 2 years ago when he passed - I watched the funeral or memorial service and marveled at those that spoke and what they said  about him.   I found myself praying, Lord - that I would impact people for YOU in that way!!   

 I was most impressed with his daughter and her testimony.  I watched IG and Social Media in the days that led up to his death - post photos of  prayer circles and visits with other church  leadership.  He was impressive.  Then I watched Social Media and IG fill the feeds with the news of his sexual misconduct and I watched an interview give by Lori Anne Thompson and I cried.  

  She was mocked and literally scorned and finally - she was vindicated and set free.  Yet still, the consequences of sin - hurt. 

I prayed for his wife and daughter for several days and I prayed that in those last moments - he confessed to his wife -- all that was hidden.   As I questioned God.  And I had to come to a conclusion so I could move forward.  

 I do know that if he came CLEAN before Jesus  ( and I prayed he did this before his wife too) , then as  he met Jesus on his death -- then, indeed, he is walking the streets of heaven.  I had peace in that.  As He always spoke and taught through God's Word - which is truth.  However,  if he did not.  If he justified his sin and if he continued to lie - until that last breath -- I believe he is in hell.   That is my opinion and with those concluding thoughts - I was able to move forward.   Why did it matter to me?  It just did.  As I said, I have prayed for his wife and his daughter. 

Praise God , this  is NOT a question I have to answer or be held to - but.... again, what a shame.  But, he is not the first leader that, we as man have placed on a pedestal  -- as men and women will fail.  We are human.  

Today, a memory popped up where I had shared a quote from Ravi - and I prayed for the tremendous PAIN that is still connected to his self-centered actions and life.  Sexual misconduct is indeed real and can be very addictive  - but it is treatable, and if left  to continue - it is sin.  Pure and simple.  There are SO many more that HIDE sin.  At times, when I get in my head -- it is very easy to 'judge' my sin compared to others.  

When we compare - we are either - superior or inferior to another and THAT is NOT what God teaches or expects and that comparison....is a trick of the enemy to get us to sin.  Falling into that trap is indeed - deadly. 

When I question, I take my questions to God. 

 There are many questions I throw at Him daily.  There are questions HE gives me answers to and others I don't.  Many I may never  GET an answer  for --- until heaven.  

There are many questions floating in my head right now - this list is not exclusive to just me.  I have a feeling that you may have these questions too.  And on any given day, the complexity of these questions - varies.  

When will Jesus return?   Do you not see what he is doing Jesus?  

Will I see the Rapture?   Why haven't you answered her on that prayer? 

Will there ever be any more trust with the Government? 

Are the 'mask' and  'no mask' profile pictures and tags on photos,  leading into a season like we had,  over seas back in the 1930's,  when Hitler asked the Jews to wear the Star of David to be identified? 

Why did she get jabbed?  Do they think I am the crazy  one because I choose to be conservative? 

Is he living in fear?   Why would he not just reach out?  Where were they?  

Why won't they use their common sense?    How can you justify this?  

Why is she so stupid?   Am I that stupid?   Do they see Christ in me?  

What is next?   I am tired and why can't you come soon Jesus?  

Will she beat this cancer?   How do I pray for her?   Will she allow me to hold her?  

Will he SEE that his own SIN is worse than calling the crud out on his wife?  

Will she really just ignore me and call herself a Christian?  

What did I say now?  


You see, questions -- today, I am being transparent.  There are MANY questions that I take to Jesus. Many that HE does answer and as I continue to GET into HIS Word, HE does lead and guide me to HIS truth and HE shows me much.  

Jesus is the one I take my questions too.  HE is the BEST one to answer and when He decides to let  me wait it out - HE brings comfort.   He also alerts me to stuff -- stuff, that I know, HE will redeem and HE will address -- in HIS timing.  


Jesus is the BEST answer for all of our questions - if you have one or would like to talk and pray - reach out to me.  I LOVE talking about Jesus, but I love talking to people too!   



Monday, April 12, 2021

Who is my Jesus? - Blog #3 - Faithful and Reliable and Sweet!

 This photo was captured back in February of 2019 when Brendan so graciously supported my school girl crush and we hopped plane to Vegas one weekend so I could sit in the front row and see Donny Osmond sing and dance.  

He was gracious and allowed me a silly dream - that came true.  He makes me laugh and sometimes he frustrates me too, but in it all -- He was created for me. I rely on him - a lot;  today, I got to return the favor as he needed me for   some surgical support. 

It gets very easy to rely on our husbands. 

Today, he had some minor surgery.  Long story, but all is well!!   In the process over the last 6 weeks of pain and trying to figure out what was the cause, we have done much, researched much, and not slept much -- as he tosses and turns. 

Over the last six weeks, it was easy to go  from having great  concern for him and helping him  try to  figure out what was the cause of his pain was ---  to many nights just being frustrated and aggravated - not at him-- but at God --as  this healing process that we had claimed was not coming FAST enough.  

Funny, how we can have trust and then we don't. 

Funny, how we can pray for others and then get frustrated in our own requests.

Funny how we can claim healing and then when it doesn't happen in our time frame we get a little cranky.  

Funny, how  when your  body begins to revolt and you don't have control -- the LORD reminds you of many lessons you already know but have become 'blind' to-

Funny how your mind and the enemy wants to give you every reason to think the worst rather than the best -- 

It is all our human weakness and our flesh -- in which, we need to rely on our Savior and not ourselves!! 

In all of this - today, I was SO reminded that Jesus is faithful.   And I can rely on HIM. 

 We did pray for a miracle -- but, we believe the healing  came through the hands of a gifted surgeon that removed an 'agitated' gallbladder and its contents, a 3.5 mm stone.   

  I grabbed a book to read while waiting at the hospital - a new one, I wanted to mail to another, but wanted to read it first.  Small talk was made here and there, as we sat in that waiting room and wondered if we were in the right spot. My husband sparked a conversation with another wife waiting on her husband.  She overheard Bren's discussion with the clerk and then  exclaimed that her daughter was born in the same year as us! Which sparked even more conversation  - which ensued. 

  She revealed she a diagnosis she had just been given - cancer.  At this point,  Bren was  about to  leave for  surgery prep, but  he stopped and asked the nurse to wait. He laid his hands on Terri's shoulders and prayed for her.  I watched as tears filled her hands.  There is something very sweet when you know Holy Spirit is prompting you to pray  and your husband just covers that!   Tears filled my eyes as well, as you watch your best friend of 30+ years walk away  with a stranger and that stinking devil whispers- you won't see him again.   So I just faithfully rebuked that enemy.  Back to the  waiting room -  

 This precious woman I continued our conversation.  

In those 90 minutes  of waiting - Jesus was faithful and reliable.  

As she shared, I shared.  As she spoke of her concerns - I knew what to respond.  The last 6 weeks of Bren's  pain and  my frustrations were NOTHING in comparison to hers.  

Funny HOW God allows this if we look and seek,  we are usually reminded that our story, as hard as it may be or how aggravating,  there is always another's story  that gives us perspective. 

As I said, we shared stories.  I pulled that book I wanted to read out of my bag, and I knew it was meant for her.  Even more now, and I prayed, would she receive it?   Holy Spirit gave me a few words of encouragement and  a word knowledge that brought more tears to me and the confidence to share His gospel.  

 Maybe... maybe... Bren had to suffer the past month, just for TODAY - a divine appointment for the two of us to meet this sweet and precious woman. And yes, her name is actually -- 'sweet'.  In our conversation, she spoke something that took me back - to 10 years ago when I felt I was going to lose my husband.  

 What she said, was something that I said to a fellow prayer warrior, again  some ten years ago -- when I felt I was going to lose my husband.  

 And, Jesus - so faithfully had ME , and in that waiting room, He allowed me  to remind her that HE would be the one she could rely on and that HE was faithful. 

 And I had the faithful knowledge to know that I know,  I could rely on Jesus to cover and back up what I was claiming for her.   His truths.  

It was the most sweet visit with a total stranger. Bren was tickled to hear what transpired after he left the waiting room for surgery.   Bren and I are determined to follow up later this week. I pray and believe that if I had a sibling, a loved one,  or even my parents sitting alone in a waiting room, that HE would be faithful to me and provide a "sweet warrior " to pray for them.  

We are to LOVE one - another --

--- we are to remove the 'mask' and speak and talk and listen to those HE brings to us around us.  HE is faithful, HE is reliable and HE is able to touch lives through our hands and our hearts.  And we prayed - for her cancer and we claimed a healing.  

Today was a sweet day - Jesus is so sweet.  And we know this is not over - we are playing if we are to "water the seed".    Divine appointments are for HIS purpose and when we are faithful to what HE asks of us -- we benefit - tremendously . 

Luke 6.31 -    Do to others as you would have them do to you.


 Author's Notes:  

In this Blog series - I am trying to be mindful of what to share but also of WHEN to share.  I am very vocal on social media.  In my minds eye, I am slow to speak -- but  when I scroll and choose to seek, I will totally turn off  or scroll past stuff when there is something that is too long or something that I don't want to read.   And sometimes, I pass it by because of conviction.  

 In the last  three years, the enemy has been working SO hard to stifle my voice. 

 And yet, I am also trying to allow my words to 'be few'...that when I write.... when I speak, maybe it will have more readership.  

Then again, I am not writing for readership - but because I am expressing what I believe and feel is God speaking to me and through me.    I also enjoy writing.   Truth be told, I want to collect all of these blogs and publish them - if that is what the Lord leads me to do.  

At a very hard time, when I felt I could rely on NO one, I sought out the internet and heard the Lord speak through some godly blogs, which did help me SEEK more.  So, as I write and publish this today -- Lord -- bless this -- may the right one see and read.  This series, in my prayer and perspective  -- is I pray one reads something about MY Jesus and wants what I write about.   I pray THAT is what is heard and read instead of scrolled past.  And I pray that if you feel led to share - you will.  Bless you - Michelle 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Who is My Jesus? Blog #2 El Roi and Personal




I want to share in a series of some blogs... WHO my Jesus is! 

  This one particular Sunday morning, last  February,  as I was holding SJ,  and praying for a dear one that I had had, another conversation with because she doesn't see eye to eye with me about Jesus and His dying for my sins-- I worshiped and  music took me to HIS throne!!

 I heard Holy Spirit remind me, 'tell her of WHO I am to  you'.    So, this series of blogs has started -- Who is Jesus to me?  Whom is Jesus to you?  


I am writing this today - Saturday, February 20, 2021.  

Today, 5 different people came to my mind  over and over as I enjoyed a Saturday. 

  A cycle ride, visits from a dear son and his bride, a  bridal brunch, laundry, spider relocations, and EZLynx, as well as other things occupied this Saturday.  

 Do you ever find enough time in a Saturday to accomplish everything that you 'put off' until Saturday. ?   

Me?  No.  

But most Saturdays,  I seem to manage and get ONE LAST thing done before crawling into bed and then leave the rest for the NEXT Saturday and feel accomplished!   

Today, in my prayer and conversation time with God, five different people kept coming to mind. 

 I wanted several  of them  to experience my Jesus as their El Roi.  

 I knew one of them was actually with Jesus, and I wanted the other  to have a fresh revelation of Jesus in her  hard season. 

El Roi  is Hebrew for the "God who sees me". 

For me -- THAT is personal.  One of the most awesome experiences is when you know that you know - God DOES see you and brings you or gives you something to affirm your pain...your happiness... your situation....or just fills your being with peace.  

When you know that He sees YOU -- it brings a level of faith that you want to experience over and over.  

When you KNOW that HE sees you -- you are NOT so needy of others.  And... you are different.  

Does that make sense?  I pray it does.  If not, I pray it will. 

  In this series of blogs - my heart is to share WHOM Jesus is to me.  

He is the God who sees me.   El Roi. 

When SJ  yells, "Mimi" or "G-Man", you know it. 

 You can hear her.  

When Ava was little, she'd scream and it would drag out, "MEEEE MEEE" - again, when she saw you, there was a BIG rush of sweetness. 

 When you see a  friend or loved one after being absent from their presence for a time period - you and I know both HOW wonderful it feels to SEE them.   

There have been times when I have wanted to disappear. 

 As a child, when I was in trouble or when I was feeling neglected, I would often run away to the woods.  I would lay down in some hay, and fall asleep until the mosquitos or some bug awoke me.

  I would look around and walk back home.  Most times, I wasn't missed.  Or at least, I felt I wasn't missed. 

 I laugh about this at times, now, as an adult -- and I think of today's world. 

 THERE is no way that one of my grand kids could just walk away and me not notice. 

 Mind you - I grew up on a farm  and there was much activity... and  in a different time period... back then, kids did play outside and had, maybe a little more freedom than I would allow SJ or Ava today. 

 And, I did have a sweet childhood -- this is NOT a cut on my upbringing.  But, as I grew, and experienced circumstances, that is one area the enemy would go and whisper back at me, "see, you were never noticed  as a kid,  you were not wanted, why would you think you are wanted now?"   

The enemy is a Liar. 

Mind you -- I was never told this, and I was raised where I knew I was loved.  It is just - the enemy is a LIAR.  

So often I think..."if the enemy can tempt me at times with these lies and I DID have a good thought life as a kid, then oh my oh my, these poor people who were neglected and abused, and forgotten!"  

 However, he  ( the enemy ) has watched you and me for a LONG time and knows exactly what to whisper....  

Anyway, back to being SEEN.  

As an adult, there have been many times I have wanted to disappear again.  And again, in some of those times -- I was not missed.  I have been in a season where I felt NO one cared to pay attention.  I have also been in a season where I was so ugly in my flesh and in my head, that  I wanted to disappear and not be found and no one really came to find me because I was so 'ugly'.  

But God.   

I told you I was thinking of some precious people today - and praying.  Some of those women, do not believe that God sees them.  They have not had a revelation that Jesus loves them....YET.  I prayed that within their circumstances, they would FEEL HIM  and believe what we have prayed ....that He is a God who sees them.  Sees her.  

A few others of those precious people know exactly WHO Jesus is to them.   I prayed today, that in their hard seasons, they would be reminded that God knows exactly what has transpired and what will come forth - and that they would NOT give up until the freedom comes and/or until there is beauty from the ashes.  

 And one of those precious people -- lives in my  memory --  and I know he is experiencing God as El Roi  as I type.  And he sees God -- as I believe He and Jesus are with Him. 

That precious one is my Grandpa. 

 Well, he is the Grandpa of my husband, but I adopted him as mine - over 30 years ago.  

One of the first times I met Rev. Edwin Ziemann, he pulled me into the front room, sat me down, and asked me quite quickly and frankly -- "did I know Jesus as my Savior?"   That was a conversation that caught me by surprise but, I was  always so grateful he did.  I was only about .... 17. 

I wonder and think back the people that have come into my home -- would I have the boldness to ask, "what is your relationship with Jesus?"  

Praise God my two kids have mates and they adore God and seek HIM - but, Grandpa, that day -- was just being his evangelistic self.  He wanted to know if this young girl that his grandson seemed to be infatuated with -- knew Jesus.  


 In Heaven, if they celebrate birthdays, Edwin, Grandpa Africa is 104 years YOUNG!  

God is the God who sees.  

My Jesus is God. 

I believe God placed those 5 precious souls in my mind and heart today.  Grandpa didn't need prayer, but the other 4 did. 

 Why - cause HE is the God who sees, and I know that my prayers and intercession was important. 

 And as I prayed, I claimed victory over the enemy.  And, even though I may not get to see the fruit of my prayers, I know that my prayers were heard.  

My Jesus is El Roi.  He sees me.  

In the last 12-15 years, there have been many occasions and situations where I was hurt, or scared, and Jesus met me each time. 

 Sometimes, it was through another's words or presence. 

Other times it was during prayer, or in reading God's Written Letter.  The Bible. 

 And even other times, it was a dear friend - reaching out to remind me of HIS character and HOW Good HE is.  

And a few times, it was a weird blog, something I read, or a stranger just smiling at me in a store -- where I knew that  I knew - God was speaking to me.  

El Roi comes from the story of Haggar in Genesis - where, her prayers are heard and she knows that God saw her plight.  


God sees us.


I believe you were drawn to this blog tonight, because God wanted me to remind you - HE sees you.  

He sees your pain, He knows your hurt, and HE won't fail you.  

 I will end with this - 

Lord, for those reading this, for the ones that I prayed for today and for those YOU will lead me to tomorrow..... may they SEE you.  

May they seek you and I know that I know - YOU will be right there. 

 As Your Word says, "my sheep, hear my voice".  God I pray the one...the one that disagrees with me - would SEE you , the REAL you , even as I close this blog. 

 And I give you the praise and the honor - Lord, thank you.  



Saturday, February 13, 2021

Who is my Jesus? Blog #1 Details and Obedience

 
I want to share in a series of some blogs... WHO my Jesus is.  Back in February of 2020, I was so frustrated with a loved one -- she does not see what I see in Jesus.  It has caused and been the point of TOO many hurt feelings and conversations that didn't end well.  However, with each of those - prayer followed and God has been reminding me for years -- "I have her".  This one particular Sunday morning, that  February morning as I was holding SJ while praise and worship was filling the air, I heard Holy Spirit remind me, 'tell her of WHO I am to  you'.  

God reminded me of THAT conversation this morning.    I wrote this blog on Saturday, and was awaiting God to EDIT it.  He did this am.  

 Here it is:   IN  November,  I blogged about God being in the details.  I shared a story about having a cyst removed and  having a slight bleeding situation and God -- showed UP, right when I needed HIM through another and HE comforted and  I knew, that He had orchestrated a divine moment to remind me - HOW much HE loves me.  


The photo to the right, is one that makes me smile.  It is a mile marker in my own spiritual journal to KNOW my identity. 

  It was taken in November of 2019 when I was blessed with a "Blessing Encounter" from my family.  That day, brought forth a MUCH needed affirmation that I had been waiting for  -- for almost 10 years.  

THAT is another story or blog.  But, that smile on my face -- if you were around me, yesterday -- YOU would of seen THAT smile.  As GOD met me, through a  "chance" encounter that HE orchestrated.  


The photo at the TOP of this blog is of my Grandparents.  WELL, I claim them.  However, they are my husband's grandparents.  Edwin and Bernice Ziemann.  Today, I received this photo of them.  First of all - I LOVE the laughter and happy in their eyes and smiles.  AND I LOVE how they are holding hands.  I know that in Heaven we 'won't be married'...but THESE two - I bet have mansions pretty close to each other and in the front row of Heaven Lane, able to see Jesus anytime.....  


Anyway -- let me get back to my Encounter yesterday. 

 For some time now, the Lord had been speaking to me about BEING in HIS Word -- and ONLY HIS Word. 

 I do bible study, write prayers, and do EVERYTHING I believe HE wants me to do.  Did you hear that??   .... DO... I can keep busy, I can DO much. 

 Grace is something I had to learn and being STILL in HIS presence  will happen often...but I am learning to SOAK in it.  I am too quick to find some sort of meaning or revelation from that time with HIM and then I stop - or cut it short.  As it seems, I am always too busy.  

So, as  I am  learning to be  STILL in HIM.  I always want to make sure that I am doing WHAT HE wants me to do or again ...be still and wait.   One thing I will remind myself is..."It has to be ME and HIM and my journal" - nothing else.  

For me and my brain - that is HOW I SEE it.    


However, it is VERY easy to slip back into a study or doing something. 

 I have 'fought' this -- probably for a good year or maybe even two. 

 I HEAR Him, He extends me grace, but as I continue to have time with God, there is something to which I KNOW I have not been obedient with.  It was made very aware to my brain again -- yesterday. 

Yesterday, as part of a bible study I am presently in with some family,  Unit 9, it  deals extensively  with obedience. 

 Some activities and questions had me on my knees again and I simply asked God, "why don't I have blogs to write -  anymore?" ....

.....and as clear as I can hear my fingers type on the keyboard, I heard, "I have asked you to be still IN my Word for my Word and when you do, the words will come"...   

  I felt Holy Spirit right there. 

 I knew it.  I felt the enemy try to bully me and remind me of my UNWORTH... but, I just wrote in my bible study book -- I HEAR YOU LORD.    I HEAR YOU -- help me to be  still.... I wrote, "help me to do the study but ALSO sit in YOUR word, each day... NO matter what...may I let NOTHING come first".    I cried. 

 I played some worship music and called  my hubby, and confessed to him as well -- as he had asked me about 2 weeks, ago..."how is YOUR still time with God coming along?"   

When Bren asked, I was MAD... admitting to him that I could not answer - hurt. 

He was gracious.  He showed me grace. 

So, back to yesterday.  Back to WHO Jesus is to me.  

 I had some errands to run, and I grabbed my phone and noticed a message from a person in Cederburg ,  Wisconsin.  She was asking if I was any relation to Edwin or Bernice Ziemann from Mayville, Wisconsin.    


Yes.  

A conversation ensued and I was In AWE of a SWEET SWEET God. 


 El Roi -- HE sees us.  God knew the timing - of course.  God knew the enemy would BEAT me up again and God heard when I said and wrote in my study book, "Does my blog even matter? Does anyone even read it?"  


Julie is my new FB friend.  She was looking through old photos from her Great-Aunt Lucia.  And then she and her brother reminisced about Pastor Ziemann and his wife Bernice.   There were photos of the Ziemann familiy and other family members that have all gone to see Jesus.  

Ziemann --  that name was  very common in her childhood.  A text led to her brother coming across my blog. 

 She grew up -- she has a faith story -- she told me, "we were raised with your family name spoken of with great respect and admiration. Lucia always said that the Gospel Tabernacle was basically birthed in her parents' living room.  My understanding is that Pastor Ziemann was a part of that church plant.  My brother sent me a link to your blog of 2013 where you mentioned your husband's name and his missionary family.  And it included a photo of the Ziemanns.  Then I found you on Facebook"    


Whoa. 

She continued, "Your family had a very significant impact on our family  into the 6th generation.  I know they touched countless lives and I am one of the many.  It will be an honor  of my life to thank them in eternity for all of it.  " 


I read this and was overwhelmed with such an AWE of God -- 

One, this blessed me. 

 Two, this blessed her. 

 And, Three - I was able to share the story with Mom -- ( my mother-n-law ) and her sister - Auntie Pat today.  WOW... WOW.  


El Roi - GOD sees you -- 

HE knows WHAT you need - HE knows WHAT you need and HE wants to remind you that HE Loves you -- 

THAT smile - in my photo at the top -- God wants to plant a smile on YOU so big.  .....EVEN in our hard circumstances and trials -- HE still SEES us.   My Jesus is in the details.  HE knows me.  

 Details -- what are the chances that a blog from 2013 -- would stumble across  Julie's brother's eyes and he sent her a text and she read.  Then she read another blog and contacted me.  Praise God for Facebook and the internet.  

6 generations -- whoa... I WANT to impact 6 generations -- I want someone finding my blog in the year 2034 and may they read between the lines and KNOW that God is in the details.  

Mom ( Marilyn ) remembered Lucia - fondly.  Julie and Mom are going to have a conversation next week. Mom said today, she would sit in church with Lucie while her Daddy preached as Lucia was able to keep she and her sister Pat 'quiet'. 

  Church - sitting on a pew - keeping quiet - THAT I can relate to.   Julie sent us several photos, and today looking at the elders -- who listened to Holy Spirit and planted churches back in the early 40's and 50's ... legacy...  whoa.  I am in awe of God.  


As I said, I want to leave a legacy - I don't think our world will tarry to 2034...but, then again - It may. 

God's Kingdom Calendar is HIS.  Either way -- I know we should be living a life that shows others -- HE is Lord - and THIS is my Jesus.  HE knows how these obscure and random 'findings' of my blog -- make me KNOW - HE is the God who SEES and hears me.  


So, a simple prayer to end here -- WHAT does El Roi want you to SEE?  

May HE be that ONE to place a smile on you -- may HE remind you today, that HE LOVED you -- LOVES you .. Amen.   

Lord, I also pray that as I write about YOU - and HOW you love me... God I pray that just one - or many will read and WANT what I experienced and just ASK, as I know YOU LOVE them - as much as YOU love me...   and that -- YOU died for him or her too -- and, I pray that they'd know and understand that Jesus would go to that CROSS again for them - but PRAISE God - PRAISE YOU Lord, that HE does not have to do it again... Amen.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Merry Christmas from the Pritchards 2020

 It is that time again.  ๐ŸŽ„

I looked back and read my Christmas POST of 2019 to prepare and get into the mood to write.  I asked Holy Spirit to make sure HE was writing this and that I would keep it brief!   Let's see if it that will work. 

 I will say this... the 2019 letter ( link  below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป ) was indeed shorter than 2018!!   I need that emoji now where both hands are up!   ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️ Let's see how the 2020 letter plays out!  

Christmas 2019 

As  I read, I was amazed.  I had literally forgotten my 'word' for the year. 

 Clarity.  2020 was to bring clarity.  It has.  It did.  


I feel,  in the past 3 months,  SO much has transpired in front of our eyes  and I believe God is moving in many believers  to  see "new  and clear revelations".   I heard another mention her word for the year  a few weeks ago at our  SALT or LIFE group and I asked myself..."what is mine?"    

    "what was mine?"  ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️   

 I asked Bren too and we both sort of laughed.  I feel we are both trying to LIVE in the present  right now, that we are just making each day count  we can get very busy in that moment and our  word for the year  - just got placed in one of the piles that I keep trying to organize in my home!   

    BUT GOD.  THAT word was indeed perfect for this year.  

So, as I read it - I was tickled - OF COURSE!  ....... Clarity!  

There has indeed been MUCH clarified this year - and much  that we are waiting on God to reveal.  

I will just put it out here  first -- if you read past my soap box... you love me and will catch up on our news, if you don't make it past these next  paragraphs - I am sorry.  I pray you won't debate me, but give me a call and let's talk!!   

No, we don't believe we will take the  Covid Vaccine.  Yes, we have social distanced a bit, but mostly - we have gathered, and lived, and gathered and enjoyed the perks of being 'home'. Family dinners and church and hugs!  

 Yes, we both believe we have had COVID but have not taken a test.  It was with  minor symptoms but when the taste buds disappeared - we kind of said...oh, I think we have become a part of the heard immunity.    No,  we don't  wear masks unless we must.   And, yes, we are the ones that will smile at you at Publix without a mask.  But we keep our distance -- we just do.  I don't or won't shame you for believing what you do - please don't shame me and remind me,  that I am not doing my part.  I believe I am.  We don't believe this was a world wide pandemic, the numbers never really justified this.  Indeed, this is a crisis, but we are going to trust that God has  allowed it and He will provide the protection and guidance.  ⏰

 But, we have stayed close to home and washed our hands. ✋We don't buy into the conspiracy theories - but, we do believe this is a man made virus - meant for harm and the timing is.....interesting.  

Please.. don't debate me. ✋

 If you  wish to stop reading - that is OK too.  Your opinion is yours. 

 But, we do believe many are  living in fear and we just won't.  We  believe we have lost more lives through suicide and abortions - and that is what truly pulls on our hearts.    

  ๐Ÿ™We have had some around us - that have contracted the virus and they didn't fare well, but that is also true of other ailments. And, we have prayed for many -- many, and we continue to pray for a 'cure' or real discoveries of what is truly needed for our world -- more answers and  Jesus.   Our hearts have been truly saddened by the news of many hurting ones.  ๐Ÿ’” And we pray, for our front line workers and health care people that are indeed, always serving.  

 I will share one more insight  -- in God's Word, it tells us HE knows our comings and goings and we have a birthdate and an end date in His Kingdom calendar -- death is always hard.  Some do die too early - but God knew.  God knows.✋ 

 Some seem to escape  death and yet, others don't. I won't play God  or try to figure it out -- I won't  take matters into my own hands - but, I trust HIM and the ENTIRE bible, and as I read -- we are getting closer and closer to seeing Jesus return. ✝️

So we cast EVERY burden onto HIM...  

๐Ÿ™  We  pray and believe, we will be raptured out and up -- and  those left behind, we pray that their eyes will focus on  Jesus and seek HIS Word to know how there will be a 2nd chance.   

 In the meantime, we should be clear about WHERE we will be when we do take our last breath - whether from a ventilator in a hospital or just as we head to bed... 

 Jesus is the Savior and  we truly  pray  those around us know Him well, personally... then that peace and that blessed assurance is felt and  experienced.  When that is indeed happening -  the expectation of the  Christmas holiday brings much JOY. We expect much from God this holiday season and will  celebrate with our  loved ones.  ๐Ÿ™Œ

So, there -- THAT was rather bold, ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ yet,  it is nothing I wouldn't of said if we were face to face, I just prayed over this and asked Holy Spirit to bathe this in HIS grace and mercy -- truly...  I am nothing if but just a sinner - saved by HIS Grace.  ๐Ÿ™Œ  

Now to our family news - 

The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter!  

   Bren and I enjoyed the year - taking cycle trips and several trips to Wisconsin as I have been ON LINE and teaching since March ....so, as long as I have the internet - my classroom travels.  This year has been challenging, but I am SO thankful for my job and I still get to make connections to our parents and students.  Indeed, this is NOT ideal - but - I work with a team of great teachers and WE ARE making it work!   I am not sure what 2021 will bring, we are praying that we can go BACK  and be LIVE  in  our classrooms by Spring. God can bring that to fruition.    ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter!  

Brendan has enjoyed the year at the Insurance office and some new friendships with a love for Harley cycles as well.  He spends a lot of time in study (God's Word) and on his phone, as he is chief marketing person at our offices and he travels a lot keeping brokers with our phone number close for quotes.   He is also very prayerful about the next President and how this all will play out, if you are close to him, you know exactly HOW he thinks and feels and I am SO very proud of his faith! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป And - He has also enjoyed being back at the gym - each morning.  I join him 3 days a week -- this 'middle' age stuff is NO fun!  LOL ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️ 

The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter! 


These girls - 

These two have grown SO much.  The photo  below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป from 2 years ago, but I will update a little.  Ava is  just 5 and she has become this very sophisticated young lady that does not forget a thing.  She is very happy being MOM to SJ, but that can bring its own troubles.  SJ wants to do everything that AVA does and THAT does cause some troubles too -- as they are almost the same size now.  Just give SJ another year! ๐Ÿ‘‰

 Both girls are in a wonderful school where they are loved and learning much.  Each time Ava visits, she is writing her ABC/s on a Post-it note and I have saved them all and to see her progression from September to now - is amazing. 

 THIS teacher's heart is full.  I taught first grade for 6 years... and I would LOVE to be her teacher.  I pray -- but don't think God will move me to her school - but, I do pray.  Since September, SJ's amount of vocabulary and imaginative play is just remarkable.  Each visit there are more baby words that are now...no longer used and she corrects me.   She used to say, "waa wee" for water and now she will look at me and say, "NO Mimeeee, its warrr ter". ๐Ÿ˜Š

Both girls are loved so much -- and nightly Face time calls and trips to Mimi's hooousee is a must every few days.  


The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter! 


Cindy Renea Wine will join our family - officially in January. 

 She is kind, funny, and I have SO enjoyed getting to see her smile. I have known her for about  2 years but marveled at how GOD had already knit our families together.  As, the Holy Spirit would remind me of stuff,  I kind of did watch her grow up from afar!   And, the cutest thing, one Saturday, in looking at a photo album, I came across this. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Look below, that is Cindy and Hunter on a bench at a soccer game way back when he was four and she was six...  how sweet. 

 We were planning a trip to Wisconsin and I was trying to show Hunter what the Wisconsin Dells were and  as Cindy skimmed the photo album, she noticed her soccer team and said, "hey, I played for Don's Appliances"  ........  THEN the laughter as we studied the photo and I pointed to HP and she pointed to her little self.  ๐Ÿ™Œ Little  did we know -- and the screams of FUN!!   How cute, HOW adorable, and HOW perfect!    And he even had his arm around her - back in 1999!! 

  THIS was just a very sweet, very FUN confirmation that God is in the details.  

The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter! 

 She is an excellent cook and I LOVE that she 'dishes'  the comebacks and comments right back to Brendan when he wants to give her a hard time.   On our Wisconsin trip, I was humbled as I noticed that God created Cindy to be Brendan's other daughter - I relish their banter back and forth.  

 As I watched from 'afar' this year... I got to witness Hunter move home, due to the STAY AT HOME order and see him, make some new friends,  rekindle some other friendships, and begin to assimilate  back into Okeechobee.  I really felt he was going to stay SOUTH  but God.   God changes plans, or was this God's plan from the beginning?   Probably!    Hunter also joined our Insurance Office in October and fits nicely into our future plans for growth in the office as his Grandfather begins to step back and retire.  

  Then I had the pleasure to watch a courtship and I even got to be in on the surprise of the 'asking'.. this Momma or Mumzie as HP calls me,  is smitten and full of JOY.    We are thrilled with the extras that Cindy comes with and it has been so sweet enjoying the extended family over the last 3-4 months!   The wedding is in January, 2020 brought some clarity with our family and with the addition, we are just praising God.  

















 Last but NOT least....   


Taylor and Jake ...  we have enjoyed them on many Sunday's during the shut down, as our church continued and they were on line, so the Sunday dinners were pretty consistent throughout the summer and into the fall.   WE enjoy meeting them for dinner and asking them to hop in the car and join us here for dinner or a football game.  ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ  


The photo below is from when SJ turned 2 -- she is about to be 3 in about 3 weeks.   She has mastered potty training this year and it took a few extra months, but poopy training is finally being mastered!  yeah!!  

Taylor works at our Insurance office and runs between the Okeechobee Office and the PSL one.  She watches over several different aspects of HR and Payroll stuff and can be found each week helping Lowell with an email or some new 'tech' thing -- as we ALL try our best to stay up with the currents trends, but that generation is just BETTER at it!  This momma gets great joy seeing Hunter and Taylor work together and dinners will usually have some aspect of the 'office' to speak about!    She is also VERY much into her oils -- and calls herself the 'hippie ' mom.  However, the stuff works and her testimony of just the # of doctor's visits that SJ had in her first year, compared to her 2nd is a remarkable FACT and proof that those 'ancient' oils are indeed God blessed.     I LOVE when I see a call from her and love that our mother-daughter relationship has changed to friendship with that Ma's tone... she is my first born, I learned a lot in growing her and as SJ reacts and gives me the side eye... I love to let Jake know -- THAT is from him.  LOL.  

Speaking of Jake, he continues to work for Westside after school but his main job is being an inclusion teacher at Centennial High School.   He still coaches to an extent and mentors but mostly, he has been DAD and he is a good one.  Ava and SJ adore him!   This past summer, between his efforts and his mother's, Ava became a fish and next summer, I believe SJ will follow suit.  Jake's parents permanently moved to TN at the beginning of the year -- so we now try and plan some 'visits' to TN!   We bought our cottage right next door to them for a purpose - and then they moved..... am I a little sore about it -- NA....  they are building and that will be a  cool get away come next summer!   But we miss our neighbors and  Sunday dinners are not quite the same!!  

  Halloween was a fun memory - SJ is obsessed with Umizoomie.  It is a cartoon that was created several years ago and runs on Prime network.  SJ, probably has the first three seasons memorized and it is really a good show, it teaches kids many concepts.  Both Ava and SJ know the difference between a hexagon and a crescent!!  Seriously - but when it came time to Halloween, this Mimi set out to make a costume.  I had to laugh.  Taylor priced one on Etsy and I bragged that I could make it cheaper - well.... I didn't   Between the elements and the time.. I got MUCH satisfaction as the Pre-K teachers all recognized the accuracy of the costume, but, indeed, it was not cheaper making it myself!   
SJ and Ava on Valentines Day in 2020


SJ and Ava are dearly loved and we so enjoy our time with them... did I say that already? 

One last memory - 

 In July - we went with  Jake and Taylor to North Carolina and enjoyed a beautiful time exploring Chimney Rock and the sites near Waynesville .  The Buttered Biscuit will probably never forget us - but we certainly had a blast!   Traveling with a toddler is always filled with fun and needed patience!  


We pray and hope to have many more vacations with these kids!  

Ava enjoys reading books and so does Sawyer and reading with them is an adventure.  I love to see and hear Ava as with each visit, I can tell she has learned even more. 

Both Ava and SJ are looking forward to being a flower girl in the upcoming wedding!!  Well, let me clarify - Ava is.  She gets it.  She was a flower girl in her Uncle Nic's wedding, Sawyer - probably won't understand  -- but will have a BIG smile on her face and do what Ava does as she loves her Uncle Hunteeee 

Ok, going to wrap this up -- 


The BIGGEST news....  we are getting  another daughter! 

Bren's parents are doing ok, older hips and knees tend to cause some trouble, but they stay active and we love the time spent with them.  My folks turned 76 and 75 respectfully this year and I had the pleasure of seeing them a few times as I traveled to Wisconsin.  My dad stays busy delivering for Napa and my Mom is still a Wal-mart Clerk!  This summer she got to work in the plant department and loved that!   We are thankful for their health!!   A few of my siblings will travel south for the wedding and I look forward to that -- but, many are very busy with their kids and sports!   

Again, if you are a far away friend - we have a guest room -- with a very comfortable Temperpedic... or we will once HP is married in January, then it is OPEN again!   If you are a close friend, we pray that in 2021 - there will be many opportunities to have dinner or sit for a chat, in spite of the world's problems.  

This year, one of our BIG blessings have been to get to know a few new friends.  Through our Church family, we have met and gathered with several that are dear to us.  We have also rekindled several friendships that  have been such a blessing, that we know - will  be prayer warriors for us when and if needed!   However,  when Will and Kerry  ( Taylor's in-laws) moved to TN, the neighbors that moved in... became family as well.  Our friend, Sonia and her daughter are here cause they literally lost everything when Hurricane Dorian hit Marsh Harbour last September of 2019.  

I treasure and love the fact that I am one of 9 in my family.  I have a cousin list of 24 and when you add in their spouses and all of my aunts and uncles -- there are a lot.  Our new friends, Sonia and her husband, Ross - lost 18 of their family members.  I stop and think and cry - if I lost that many.  I know I would be a different person.   Many of those  family members were never recovered.  In one storm.  On one LONG day when that hurricane beat on that little island.  As we began to enjoy her Bahamian cooking and we began to share our stories... we knew why God placed her right next to us.    Perspective and Clarity.  

There are often - many around us,  that God brings to our table or to our lives -- for HIS purpose.  And in that process -- of learning to love them or getting to pray with them... God blesses - us.. me with the blessing of them.  

Fellowship.  Human touch - communication.   Mother Nature, Covid 19, the Media,  and MUCH of our politics and the 'world' have TAKEN TOO much from us.  2020 was a year of clarity.  It is almost done.  

I don't believe we are going to be 'back to normal',  we must begin to LIVE through Christ within our circumstances and be HIS hands and feet. 

 But, I want normal back... and I am determined to do some things -- like normal and trust that God will bless it and protect it.  

I am also believing that my word for 2021 is grace.  I have had that word before -- but, extending grace is something I want to pray for daily and share.  Our world is a MESS, but those of us that love Jesus -- I feel we need to do a better job of letting the World know why we have that peace.  ๐Ÿคท‍♀️

And with that - I really need to close.  

So, I have a feeling that THIS letter is now longer than 2018 and I know for sure it is longer than 2019's.  

May you all have a Merry Holiday and may the knowledge and expectation of Jesus and WHAT HE meant for us -- be enough.   May HIS grace be enough.  

Merry Christmas - and Happy New Year.  
Our door is open - and we love company. 
 May you and yours have a blessed day!-- Michelle and Brendan 





November 2019 - Ava 4 and SJ almost 2. 






๐Ÿ˜
PS, did I mention we are getting a another daughter??     ๐Ÿ˜  ๐Ÿ˜   

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Thinking - God is in the DETAILS.

 

I have not blogged since September.  Writers block has not kept me from blogging, other things to write and focus on too precedence.  

I literally WANT to blog more often than I do, but I am always trying to be obedient to WHAT God has me to do that day, and to focus on HIS timing in stuff.  However, the enemy will try and bully me into thinking -- "nope, you are done as a blogger".  And to those stinking whispers - I remind him that he is  liar!  

This photo is from Oklahoma back in 2013.  We were on a road trip with HP, our son, and his soccer team.  The boys won, two weeks later, we were back in the car for Texas and the finals. 

 Well, maybe we were to TX first and then Oklahoma -today, my memory slips.   Bren snapped the photo and I have looked at this photo each November and wonder - what WHAT in my head at that moment!!??    Then I scroll past it and ask God, is this for a blog?  I mean - who really cares to see my wrinkles and Ray-bans? 

Was I thinking of how the team could win? 

 Was I thinking of what was 'next'? 

 Was I thinking of a particular memory or future event? 

 I look so determined.  And as I have stated,  each year as this photo pops up, I always ask, "Lord, is this for a blog?"  


Today - it is.  Today I want to share something.  GOD is in the details.  

Long story short -- I had some minor surgery -- that sounds scary.  It was a cyst that was removed and it started to bleed a bit.  It was a bit bigger than the onocular plastic surgeon thought.  The backstory with this cyst on my eyebrow plagued me for a good 8 weeks.  And getting to that onocular plastic surgeon is another cool God story, but today that is not the story I want to share.   But God was in THOSE details as well.  

In the middle of the procedure, a month ago,  I knew I  had began to bleed a little more than normal.  Prior to the procedure, the surgeon looked to me like a hippie with his long grey hair and Jay Leno white streak in the front, but his bedside manner and tone just made me think...."what does this guy do on the weekends?".  However, he came highly recommenced by two other doctors that I do trust!  

Back to the procedure: 

So, as the nurse begins to wipe the blood out of my hair and he stitches me up, he continues asking me questions about previous surgeries and such.  

I share my history as I did have a surgery, back in 2004,  where three hours in post-op, I did began to bleed out again from my incision and the doctor had some swift actions. 

 However,  in that moment and in those questions, I assured my onocular surgeon that my other doctor  said  I didn't have a blood disorder,  it was just a complication of the surgery. 

 But... as he continues to stitch and I can't feel pain, but I can feel the  movement of him with his instruments next to my eyes -- I began to  call on and claim Jesus a bit louder! 

  After it was all done, he gave me  the post-procedure info and then left the room. 

 The nurse, who had been under her mask this entire time, lifted her head covering, sat in front of me, and removed her mask...and said, "hello Michelle, I was there with you in 2004 when you had that surgery and when you had that 2nd surgery to stop the bleeding - you are going to be fine".  

Wow.  Relief.  16 years later - what are the chances of HER being my nurse for that fateful cyst removal?  

God --  God chances.  

HE did that.  HE knew my fear and my anxious heart.  HE also knows what lays ahead in my future and I am going to believe that HE orchestrated that day.  

God is in the details. 

We all know that - but when we get such a personal experience and we are reminded that HE goes before us and is always near....it becomes a very good day!  THAT knowledge and faith has held me and I have been able to share that story several times.  

I know now - more than ever, that NOTHING is wasted in our lives.  Not the silly things nor the hard things...

God wastes nothing and uses every aspect of our lives to remind us that HE adores us.  HE reminded me that I was WORTH it.... to be comforted by a nurse that had comforted me 16 years ago.  

God is THAT personal. 

  So, 7 years ago when I pondered something and my husband happen to snap a photo of me....   I know that whatever was in my thoughts at that time - God knew and God will use if HE needs to, to remind all of us -- HE is in the details.  


23 The steps of the God-pursuing ones
follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord,
and God delights in every step they take to follow him.