Saturday, May 29, 2010

Move Details (May 29 - May 31, 2010)

So, we have moved (again). We are back in Hartland, MI. We were loaded on Saturday (May 29), drove on Sunday and unloaded on Monday (Memorial Day). I have the most amazing network of friends ever! They have made this the most enjoyable time (for a move). It started with my friend Abby coordinating the entire meal system on Saturday. She started at my house somewhere between 6 and 7 am, bringing her coffee pot and all the fixings, some fruit (to go with our egg casserole), and a first aid kit. She even set up a badminton net in the front yard. What a smart girl she is! Then she left to go home and finish up the last minute details on the italian beef, turkey sandwiches, brownies, taco dip and entertainment for the kids. Seriously I don't think she slept all week. We had 16 FABULOUS people at out house to load us up. Amazing. God is so good. Greg, Tom and I left around 8:30 to go get the trucks - yes we were getting 2! When we arrived we were told they only had one truck and that the other truck was still loaded and the guy who had it thought he could have is back by 1pm. Really? I was supposed to have it at 9am! I was irritated but did not show it (I don't think). I tried to remember to "PRAY" and give it all to God. I just said that this gives us time to load the first truck without the other truck being in the way. Only, I really wanted the other truck to be in the way - at least then I knew I had it. So I left Greg and Tom there to drive the one truck back and I prayed all the way home. Reiterating that I knew God was in control and that He knew we needed this truck before I knew we needed it and that He would provide. Then I asked......I asked for the truck by 11am. We got back to the house and people started arriving and the loading began. I was in such a flurry of stuff that I lost all track of time and really everything that was going on. It felt like I was on autopilot. Then my phone rang and someone else answered it, then handed it to me. It was the truck rental place saying that the truck was there and ready. Hallelujah!!! Then I looked at the time - 11am! Praise you Lord. Thank you for coming through for me. I mean that was so cool. So Tom and I rushed off to go get it. On the way, I started crying. Tom said "What's wrong Michelle? The truck is there and we are getting it. Everything is OK." I told him that I was crying because I was so happy and then told him the story of how GOD provided at the EXACT right moment, and that the moment was actually one I asked for. I was so thrilled at God's love for me, and not just in the truck. Because by the time we had the papers signed for the truck, I was bawling. God's love for me was being poured out through the backs, arms, legs, knees, hands and brains of all these people, who have come to be my family. Makes me think about who Jesus called His family - those who do the will of God in Heaven. That is what my precious family in Christ did for me. They poured it on so thick, it was stifling. And this type of stifling is such a great one. It was amazing what these people did for me.

Greg~Mom~Abby~Tom~Troy S~Sally S~Scott S~Jeremy L~Suzie Z~Brian B~Jana B~Doug B~Staci R~Clay W~Todd J~Jeff

As they were loading, it became apparent that we did not have enough truck. I frantically struggle to find a trailer or another truck, and I was not alone in my endeavor. I know of 3 other people who were making phone calls or searching the internet for me. I love how these people loved on me. We did not find another truck or trailer. But what we did come up with was a stroke of genius!! We rented another truck for this weekend and Abby is driving it here, staying the weekend, and then taking the train back! YAY! And thank you Abby - from the very bottom of my heart. You have made my life so much easier and in more ways that just this. So, YAY, my friend is coming to visit.

After the trucks were loaded and everyone left (except Tom and Abby), we discussed our meals plans for dinner and then Abby anointed us all with oil and prayed over us. It was an amazing prayer in which she covered each one of us specifically. She has an amazing gift of prayer. I love to hear her pray! Then she scooted out and planned to meet us 2 hours later at the park. We picked up McDonald's for dinner (oh joy) and headed to the park. Abby arrived with an entire entourage of games for the kids, including picking beads up with their toes out of a bucket of water. I even tried - the cool water felt good on the hot night. After playing at the park, we headed home and found a bag on our door. It was for Grant. From the nursery at our church. Seriously? I love these people. They take the time to make people matter. And short of God, that is the most important aspect in a church, in my mind. Make the people matter. Show them that because God loves them, so do you. Guess what? You will make them want what you have if you do this. So cool. Anyway the bag had a New Testament, a book, some bubbles, and a toy frog in it(which BTW, scares the heck out of Grant). And the card was signed with all the names of the kids in the nursery saying that they would miss Grant. How seriously sweet is this? Really. I love my church and the people there. I am already missing them terribly.

Sunday we drove home. Greg and Grace in the first truck. Tom in the second truck. Then, me in my van with Jadyn and Grant. Followed by Grandma and Jacob in Tom's van. We were quite the caravan. After about 3 hours of going 50 mph, Grandma and I decided to forge ahead so that we could have groceries and dinner ready when the boys and Grace got back. Praise the Lord we all arrived safely!!

Monday morning - 8am. We had another awesome crew here helping us.

Greg~Tom~Mom~Jeremy~Matt~Melissa~Marshall~Kim~Ryan~Alex~Steve~Alec~Luke~Caleb~Victor~Colleen~Papa P~(Grandpa B was home watching all my kids)

They had the first truck unloaded in 47 1/2 minutes! Woah! Then they whipped through the second truck like it was nothing. Then didn't stop there. They came in and set up beds, re-assembled furniture, unpacked boxes. It was amazing. My friend Melissa even organized my entire kitchen - even better than if I had done it myself. And I am a picky person. I have not even changed a single thing. In fact, I have even gone out and got the things she said would make it easier (much to Greg's disapproval. But I think he will like it when he sees how much better it is). We went through a dozen donuts and $58 at McDonald's fr breakfast, but it was more than worth it for all the great help we received. Another HUGE blessing these people are in my life. I thank God for each and every one of them.

So here I sit. Tired, but in a neat kitchen. The rest of the house still has boxes around. Most of it is done, but now it is the fine tuning. If only I could rid myself of the boxes.

I am a very blessed person. I am very much loved. God shows me all the time. Thank you Lord. And thank you to every one of you "rays of sunshine" who made our move here so easy on me. I love you, not just for your help, but because you are doing God's will. THANK YOU!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bring the Details to the Lord...He's Waiting.

I have to stop working to tell you this. I have been "secretly" worried about our 2 trucks being here for the move on Saturday. I know that nothing is secret from God and He knows it too. I have been calling the truck rental place ALL DAY and have gotten no answer. In fact, I started calling there yesterday and had no answer then too. No answer equaled a more freaked out me. Then it hit me - why not pray? So I did. Guess what? The next phone call I made got answered and one of the trucks is already there and the other is expected tomorrow. WHY AM I SO SLOW? Why don't I just go to God first? He is there waiting for me. I have snot and tears running down through the sweat on my face and I am so in love with my Creator. He loves me so much right in the middle of my most unloveliness. Praise Him forever!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My Grant is a stinker too. Yesterday he head-butted Grandma because she would not give him any pop. Today (like almost every other day) he went to the bus stop and walked up to a little girl there and punched her. If he does not punch her or her friend, he kicks them. And I am surprised that Jadyn has any hair left with all the handfuls of hair he pulls from her head. What the heck is wrong? I am not sure why he is so mean but I have to keep praying that he will outgrow this "phase". Please, Lord, let it be a phase. PLEASE.

Another good-bye

Today I had a "date" with my friend and accountability partner, Lori. She took me to a place to make beaded things. We decided to make "memory bracelets" to remind us of each other - as if we would ever forget. It was really neat though. We put Jesus in the center of our bracelet because He is at the center of our relationship. Then we went to lunch at Panera and had an excellent time of eating and gabbing (2 things we both do well). When we came back home she gave me a gift. She is such a stinker, but excessively thoughtful. She gave me a beautiful black and white photo box, and inside she gave me FOUR crowns!! To remind me that I am a WARRIOR PRINCESS of God Most High!!! I love that. But afterwards we had to say good-bye. Better to say see you later. Because we will. Someday. Somewhere. If not for the next Hearts at Home conference, then at least in Heaven. And that is not an at least. I praise God for bringing the PERFECT friends into my life at the perfect time. He is so PERFECT!

Mini Victories

Even though they are not really mini victories, that is what I am calling them, because in the scheme of things they are really non-essentials. No matter what you call them, God has given them and I have received them with much appreciation. They are:

#1 The "malfunction indicator light" on my van went off. Praise God.

#2 I had a conversation with the previous tenant where we are moving to and she had nothing but glowing remarks about our future landlords. Praise Jesus.

#3 I saw pictures of our new washer and dryer and they look great - for 3 years old and FREE! Thank you, Lord.

These prove that God is in the business of the details. If it matters to me, it matters to Him. And for that, I am grateful. I know that these "things" don't matter, but it is nice to not have to think about them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today was our last day at OUR church - Bloomington First Church of the Nazarene. It was very hard for me. Pastor Scott announced that we were leaving (and we were only sort of booed) and then prayed over us. In fact, he invited others around us to gather and pray also. In his prayer he mentioned that they were "sending us out". I never thought of it that way. I was (again) so caught up in the "me" aspect of it, that I never thought that our time here was "training" and that we would be sent out. After the service, Pastor Scott even gave us a title - he called us "Michiganaries". It was awesome! Who knew? Who would have even thought? Almost like a Moses or David story - God using the most unlikely of characters. Neat.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poured Out Love

I am blessed! I have been praying that I would get up at 5 consistently to spend time with God. Because I KNOW that a day started with God is always a good day, and a day I start on my own always goes wrong. I choose God. Anyway, He woke me up at 4:52 and I will tell you I did not want to get up. It took me until 5:03 to be convicted enough to get out of my comfy bed. But, oh, the blessing is worth it. I spent some good time in prayer, Bible reading and devotions. Then made some coffee and turned on the weather channel. As I sat down on the couch with my cup of coffee in the pre-kids getting up silence, the thunderstorm started outside. I saw on the radar that it is just small storm passing through. But how perfect a blessing it is from God to me. A perfect reward for getting up and being with Him. I love a thunderstorm and to sit here in silence in my pjs with my coffee and just listen.....I could not be happier in this moment. Thank you Lord for pouring out your love on me this morning!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Another Night at My House

I was at school today for an ice cream social (Jacob) and a birthday party (Grace) - I know it is not her birthday but this is the date her teacher assigned to celebrate her summer birthday. I ended up staying at the school to bring the kids home, but while I had to wait I worked with Jacob's teacher. We had a very nice visit - mostly me talking about all God has been doing in my life recently. About an hour after I got home I got a phone call from Jacob's teacher, telling me about an "incident" that happened on the bus that morning. After hanging up with her, I questioned Jacob about it, then questioned Grace, then returned to questioning Jacob. Basically what happened was this: A girl on the bus asked Jacob to sign her yearbook. He did, then proceeded to cross off all the other names in her yearbook. A very wise choice - NOT! After talking to him about why that was unacceptable, I told him that he would need to write a letter to the girl apologizing, go to school tomorrow and buy her a new yearbook with his own money, then take the letter and new yearbook to her class and ask her teacher if he could speak to the girl in the hall. There he would apologize, give her the new yearbook and ask to sign it. Plus, he is grounded from TV until we leave Bloomington and has to stay inside for the next day. This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. Plus he is grounded from TV until we leave Bloomington and has to stay inside for a day.

Later we went to Ninja, where Jacob and Grace tested for 2 belts - successfully! Yay them! They are officially orange belts!

When we came home, Jacob, Grace and Jadyn all went to shower. Grant stayed with me as I cleaned the kitchen. Suddenly I noticed that Grant was not with me anymore. I ran upstairs calling his name, to find him walking out of my bathroom saying "I sorry Mommy". I knew that was not good. He had a large black mark on the side of his head and across his eye. As I grabbed him to look closer, I saw that it was mascara, but also noticed that his arm was soaking wet. Then I noticed that the toilet seat and surrounding area was also wet! AAGGHHH Grant!?!?!?! I took him straight away to the girl's bathroom and stripped him down. In the time it took me to throw the diaper away, he was out in the hallway, kneeling down rubbing "himself" on the carpet. Really? Come on. By this time Jacob was out of the shower and I told him to look at his brother. Jacob said "What's wrong with that? I rub my butt on the floor." Are you freaking kidding me? Am I in the loony bin? I must be headed there.

Tonight Grace was talking on the phone to Grandpa and he was asking her is she could paint a stop sign for him. And she very adamantly told him she could and would. Then she looked at me and gave me the thumbs up sign. I thought that was neat - like she was excited to do some work for Grandpa. It wasn't until later that I realized that she was remembering what I had told her earlier in the day. I had talked to my kids about how hard I worked as a kid and that if any of their grandparents ever asked them to do something, I wanted them to say yes and do it immediately.

Only 25 1/2 hours until Greg gets home!!! But who's counting?

Just a Laugh

We just got back from our morning walk ~ Jadyn, Grant and I. We walk around a pond across the street from our house and we do the same walk every day. And every day we walk past a house that has a statue of Jesus in the yard. And every day Grant says "I see God!" And today it just cracked me up. I am not sure why, but it did. Then we were watching some ducks swim and Jadyn says "Those ducks have water coming out from their butts." And I was cracking up. Maybe God wanted my day to start with a smile, maybe I just needed a laugh or two. Whatever the reason ~ these kids crack me up. Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Shameful Moment...and then GRACE!

So I have been packing for a good part of the day. I sent an email to someone who I knew probably would not answer. Then Greg called me and said he would make a call regarding my email. He called me back to say that he had made the call, got some questions answered, but never asked what I needed to know - the reason for my email. So I freaked out - I mean REALLY. I swore. Not at him, but at the situation. Then he had to get off the phone. I sat at the kitchen table bawling, Jadyn hugging me, and just feeling REALLY ASHAMED. I should have not acted like that. I called Greg back and apologized. He forgave me and said he knows I am frustrated with all that I am doing. That was nice - but not true - there is no excuse. So I cried some more and asked God for forgiveness, and guess what? The next song on the TV was "God is in Control" by Twila Paris. I love God. He knows what I respond to - songs really speak to me. But just a reminder that HE is in control and I need to let some stuff go. I cannot do it all. And I should not even try.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God's Coming Near

I was sitting on the front porch getting ready to read a book I just "found", as I was packing. The book is called "God Came Near" by Max Lucado. Before I started reading I was thinking about being still before God. When I am still, I am not still. I cannot sit there in quiet and let God do the talking. I feel that even when I try I revert into silently telling Him how much I love Him. Now I don't think telling Him this is a bad thing, but I do think I need to be still. Why? Because God wants to tell ME how much He loves me. Just as I need to tell Him, He needs to tell me. I have to be quiet. So I started reading. chapter 1 talked about the birth of Christ. It talked about how Bethlehem was so "busy" that no one noticed the arrival of the Savior. No one except the people who had nothing but time.....time to hear God - the shepherds. It went on further to say that those who missed the majestic arrival missed is not out of "evil acts or malice", but just because "they simply weren't looking." How sad. How much do I miss out on of Jesus because I and just not looking?

Then it talked about the fact that Jesus was both God and human. Often we just think of Jesus in His Divine state because it is easier to think of Him that way. IT is hard to identify with God as human - no matter how true it is. But that made me think some more.....Jesus was a 23 month old toddler bugging his mother. Jesus was a weird 8 year old boy acting goofy. It was interesting to think of my Lord Jesus in the same way as my own boys.

Then it talked about the "absurdity" of why God did what He did. Not the what. What God did makes sense - we were fallen and needed to be saved. Simple enough - just look around you. But why? Especially in the light of the fact that we keep doing wrong. By we I mean all creatures of the earth. Why did God bother to send His Son as the Ultimate Sacrifice to save us from the sins we don't stop committing? Why? The book says it this way....."it is that very irrationality that gives the gospel its greatest defense. For only God could love like that." Only God could love that way. Even when we as mothers think about the vast love we have for our kids - only God could love enough to do what He did.

We serve a Mighty God. A God who loves like no other. Praise Him.

Peter Jelly?

For the longest time Jadyn has called "peanut butter and jelly" something other than that. Today I had her slowly say it over and over until I finally got it. She calls it....peter jelly. I guess you would have to hear her say it to grasp the silliness of what I am trying to convey on paper. Oh well, I guess I just needed to have this down for the record.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today Greg was baptized! What an awesome day! Jacob, Grace, Jadyn and I were right there in the front row (Grant HAD to be in the nursery - sorry). What an amazing testimony to have our kids watch their dad proclaim that he belongs to Jesus! Oh, I love it! The kids were even clapping and cheering with everyone else. To hear my husband publically declare that it is Jesus that has changed his life and made everything so clear was greater than there are words to describe. To God be the ultimate glory forever and ever!

Know what the bad news is? I never got a family picture taken. Oh well. The day will live forever in my memory and I do have a great video.

On the topic of pictures I did get some new pictures taken of the kids. Want to see?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Gentle Reminder

I was gently reminder yesterday that it is not about me. Really? Because I think I have been living the last 35 years as if it were, especially the last few weeks. I have been thinking about going home and every time I think about it I say "I am not going back to the way things were - none of it." And who am I to say that? Did God bring me here to change me and then not use me? I think not. I was reminded that God may be using the changes in my life to impact some of the very people and situations I am trying to steer clear of. So, that said, I am your servant Lord. Use me how you will. And please let me see people the way you see them. I do not want my human vision clouding who these people are in You. I love you and want to love them the way you do. Help me Lord.

Here is the update to this story. Four days after I originally posted this I received an email from someone I knew from our old Sunday school class, but was not really close with. She said that she did not know if we were coming back to the church or the class, but that she was interested in my testimony and wanted to know if I would come back and share it with the class. See how God used the very situation I was attempting to avoid or brush past? I kept saying that I was not going back to that church or the same people, and yet God was opening a door for me to go back and share what I have been learning. Man, I love how He works.



My friend has NOTHING wrong with her. The doctor's were unable to find what was VERY there a few days prior. We serve and amazing HEALING God! And let me tell you, God has been very busy around here lately.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Morning Blessing

Not only is God showing Himself to me - for me - but this morning He blessed me with words for a friend. I have a very special friend who is going through some stuff. Since learning about the stuff I have been praying fiercely for her. I fell asleep last night praying for her, I woke up this morning praying for her and then God blessed me with her life Scripture verse on my daily calendar.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
God loves you, friend and so do I!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Take My Idea

This is kind of a secret, but....I have been thinking about writing a book about my journey with God. We will see if this is in His plans. But especially because of my growth during my season here in Bloomington, I was thinking that an appropriate title would have something to do with birth, as I have been growing for the last 9 months and I am entering into the birth phase. I have been growing and it is time to move on into the next phase that God has for me. I am nervously anticipating what He has in store for me.

In a New Light

Funny that I was just talking about this with one of my cousins this morning. Each day I get a daily Bible verse with commentary sent to my email. This was today's:
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:7-8

When we have an encounter with Christ our entire life comes into perspective. Things that we thought were great immediately diminish. Things that we couldn’t do without get left behind with no regret and no return. When we step into the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ, we are stepping into a world of freedom, for we are jettisoning the things of the world. Christ makes our lives lighter by causing us to see what we used to value in an entirely new light.

The thing I was talking about was my house in Hartland. I had my entire identity wrapped up in the 2x4s and foam board. What a crying shame. The things I missed out on because that "thing" was the sole focus of who I was. I do consider it rubbish....the thing itself and the thought that that thing was important. Bloomington First Church of the Nazarene has shown me that after my amazing God coming first - people are what matters. Get to know people. Everyone has a story to tell and they want to tell it. Make people matter - really matter. Everyone wants to matter. Open your arms, your heart, your home, and your mind. God has a lot in store for you and you need to be focusing on the things that matter to Him. "Stuff" does not matter. Consider it rubbish - because it it! Focus first on God. Daily enter His Presence and REMAIN THERE!! He will direct you and use you for people. Because people matter.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

It is Mother's Day. I was brought breakfast in bed this morning. I was given a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, animal crackers, M&Ms, a crumbled Cinnabon granola bar and a kiwi, quartered with the skin still on, all in a bowl of warm yogurt. Yes....I did eat some of it. It was made with love. Or so I thought. Jacob made it for me, and I have not quite figured if it was for real or he was just trying to make the grossest thing possible. The kids brought it to me while Greg and I were still in bed - they did it all alone. When they said that they were going to make coffee, Greg decided to get up. What he found when he got to the kitchen was a giant mess. Thankfully, I was still in bed and he cleaned it up for me! What a great husband!

Then we had some serious disobedience and Jacob ended up grounded for the rest of this week.

Off to church for, yet another, amazing service. I am so going to miss this church. I love them all so much! After church we went out to lunch at Alexander's Steak House and I had the BEST steak I have ever eaten. It was done "Santa Maria" style - a spicy, but not too spicy rub. OOOHHHHH baby! My girlfriend Abby graced us with her presence at lunch. What a blessing to spend a part of this day with her. What a great friend she is - such an encouragement to me as a wife and mother. Thanks Abby!

Then we came home and Greg took off. Sadness and a 3 hour nap ensued. Then some grocery shopping and a surprise visit to the "Abbmeister". Grace got to ride to the restaurant with Abby this afternoon and she wanted to show Jacob where Abby lived. So sweet.

Then tonight while we were sitting in a circle, holding hands and praying, I was praying for Greg and talking to God about how I do not like to be apart, and Jacob leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. Then as I went to tuck him in bed, he held up the covers for me to get under and said "get in here loverlady". I think he is "gaining wisdom" or he is totally Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I cannot tell. I just pray that he is learning and growing. He wrote a book today (part of his punishment - not a book but a page - but he enjoyed it so much it turned into a book) called "Help Your Self Book". It is for kids to read if they are being naughty. It is so are some excerpts:

"Dear mom I am sorry. I sould not be acting like this. I sould be acting like a good boy not a bad boy....Dear Dad I now I have been bad his weekend. I pramice you I am going to be good in till we get to are new house. I am going to help mom with her stuff like watching Grant and other stuff....If my mom is sleeping you should not wake her up......I she tells you to go do something and you dont lisen you should get in trobel....If someone is por you should make them food to eat. If someone has no house you should let them stay in your house.....your parents should not have to talk twice to you. you should already be doing it. If a old lady dosent have enef money for a wheelchair you should give her some money so she has enef. you should be wise not folish. you should only worship Jesus. you should read the bible every day of your should talk to God every day of your life. you should ask Jesus into your heart."

My children are such a blessing to me. They may exhaust and frustrate me, but I would not want it any other way. OK - yes I would love it if they weren't exhausting or frustrating, but then they would not be kids - and man, do I love these kids. Being their mom is the GREATEST job I could ever dream to have. Thank you Lord for blessing me so.....for allowing me to have the opportunity to be a mom and serve You though serving these angels! Thank you Lord!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Fair Bonus

Last night, after their Ninja class, I took Jacob and Grace to the book fair at school. I really did not want to go because they want everything and take care of nothing. So I told them I would take them but that I was not taking money. They decided together that they would take the money they made at our recent garage sale. Jacob took his wallet and Grace took her little purse. I forgot that Jacob's wallet had over $50 in it. When we got there he was running around like crazy and came back to me with a stack full of books. I reminded him that he was paying for them and did her really want all of these? He said yes, so we sorted through and he picked 4. Grace was carefully choosing her books and ended up with 2. As we were getting close to the checkout, I totalled up what they were spending and told Jacob that his would cost at least $21 and asked him again if he wanted to spend this amount. He said yes. I was happier that he wanted to spend his money on books that he can use, rather than some obscure toy that would be forgotten within days. Jacob pulled out a $20 bill and a $10 bill, then turned to me and asked "Do they change money here?" I was confused for a moment then I realized he was actually asking me if they would give him change back if he gave them the $20 and the $10. That was very funny to me, but he was very serious. I told him they would give him change. When we got to the checkout the lady rang up the books and Jacob's was only $12 and change. I looked at the lady as if to say "that's it?" and she told us it was buy one, get one free. Woo hoo!!!! Love that.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taste and See That the Lord is Good (Psalm 34:8)

My mind is whirling. I just read in Our Daily Bread about God having time for us. And here I sit on the "National Day of Prayer" and have spent (maybe) one hour in prayer. I have just gone about my business, not communing with my Lord at all, except for the hour at 4:55am. (I do think the Lord wants me up before the sun to see the sunrise, but that is another story) The Daily Bread reading directed me to Psalm 34, but also made me think. As a mother, how would I feel if my children "didn't have the time" to talk to me? I would be crushed. But God waits, oh so patiently, for us to come to Him, come before Him, talk to Him, be still with Him. And we rush about trying to "get stuff done" all the while forgetting completely that he is waiting there for us. I am sorry Lord for forgetting. I am sorry that in the course of the day you slip from 1st place to who knows where. PLEASE change my heart. I want you first always.

Back to Psalm 34:
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

I am overwhelmed at how much the Lord loves me. I am stumbling for the words to adequately describe my feelings at this moment. I have NEVER in my life been as close to the Lord as I am right now. I have prayed that He would "sit across the table from me so that I could hold His hands and talk with Him". This is as close as it gets to that. I feel that the Lord is showing me every day that He is right here and that He is in control.

My advice???? Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hate Doesn't Cut It

Yesterday Grace was having a bad morning. Jacob was clearly getting sick and tired of it and he yelled at her "I hate when you do this Grace. I hate you." I smacked his face, to which her replied "I hate you too." I sat across from him and told him I knew he loved me, he may not have liked me, but I knew he loved me. He had tears in his eyes (he knew he hurt me), but he remained adamant. So I told him when he got home from school he had to write a love note to Grace and me. When he got off the bus, I reminded him that he needed to write the love notes. He came in the house and I stayed outside while Jadyn, Grace and Grant played. A little while later I came in and he was sitting on the couch, watching tv. This earned him a spanking. I hate spankings and I certainly hate giving one to him at this age, but that was complete flagrant disobedience. He went and got his notebook to start writing and I reminded him that he was to write a note to each of us, telling us why he loved us. He wrote 3/4 of a page, telling what you should do to be nice. I explained to him that this was not what he was supposed to do and he needed to do what I asked him. This brought on a flood of tears and sassiness. I explained that he would be outside playing right then, IF he had done what I asked, when I asked. Everything you do has a consequence - good or bad - everything has a consequence. Then it was time to go to his basketball game. He listened so well at the game to his coach and his dad, that after the game I was walking up to him to let him know that I was so proud of the way he was listening. Once I got to him, I heard the coach asking the boys to get their water bottles. I told Jacob to go pick his bottle up - once - twice - a third time and he finally responded to me, saying very snottily "Dad is getting it." Well, there went the good that I was going to speak of. He got in the van and we had the discussion. I told him that I wanted to tell him how proud I was of his listening and then how disappointed I was of his behavior at the end. As we were driving home, he mentioned that he would have 2 hours to play before bedtime. I reminded him that he COULD HAVE had that time to play, but he chose not to do what he was supposed to do when he got home from school. He would spend that time writing the love notes to Grace and I. Again - the consequence.

So I have been thinking.....

.....about Greg's sickness last week. Thinking about how it was nothing (if you ask him he would say differently) and how I think God used it and is still using it. Greg is going to live with his parents in a few days and will be with them for about 3 weeks. I can't help but think that God was softening Pam's heart to Him, while she was vulnerable for Greg. It was so cool to experience. She even called me and told me that she was up all night Saturday night saying "Hail Mary's" for Greg. Oh, if only she was praying to the One Who Matters and Can Do Anything - God Almighty. But maybe the act of prayer is getting her in a position to respond to Christ's knocking. I am so hopeful! Oh yes, I am hopeful! I am praying that the changes in Greg's life will be so evident while he is living with his parents and that God will created in his parents a desire to know more. Then she started crying, talking to me about a mother caring for her child and wanting to make sure they are alright. That, my friends, is something I can certainly identify with. Sounds like a softening doesn't it? I can't wait!!!! God is so amazing!

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. 35 years young. It was a GREAT day. I woke up at 4:15 this morning singing "This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it..." Then I headed to church for the 5am prayer service and was so blessed. This was (most likely) the last Wednesday that I will be able to go, as Greg is heading back to MI on Sunday. But it was so cool that the Lord planned for my last day at prayer service to be on my birthday - what a gift! I was crowned with a princess crown as I sat there, by my sweet friend Abby. She said that I was to be extra special today. I was asked to lead everyone there in prayer over Abby for the tests she was about to take. I was so nervous - I am not a real good out loud pray-er. But God is so good and He provided me with the strength to do more than I thought I was able to do. After the prayer service, I came home and had a party in my bed (every time I say that it sounds bad) with my hubby and kiddos. They gave me cards and my gift - a pedometer! Yippee! I have wanted one for a LONG time. Then I came downstairs and made french toast for everyone. Then the kids (well 2 of them anyway) went to school and the other 2 and I went for a walk to try out the new pedometer. I was so excited to find out how far I have actually been walking each day. Well, the darn thing was not working correctly - even after I read the directions and set it up according to them. After my walk I returned the pedometer to the store and came home and ordered a new one online. Hopefully it will be here in the next couple of days. I had lunch with Jadyn and Grant and then received a birthday card in the mail - from Abby! I put the kids to bed and then my accountability partner came over and we had such a blessed time together praising God for His Presence in our lives. She brought me a gift - what gives? It was so neat though. She found this adorable clutch looking photo album in a black and white pattern with the letter "M" embroidered in orange. On the inside in all the photo slots she printed out all the verses that we have memorized together. So cool, especially as I was just thinking this afternoon that I needed to go over all the verses I have learned and keep them fresh in my mind. She left in time for me to get the kids off the bus and then we hung out in the yard until we had to leave to go to church for dinner. Every Wednesday our church has dinner made by some sweet older ladies who can REALLY cook. I love to go - this means I do not have to cook dinner. But tonight was special for me because it was my birthday and I wanted to spend it there. And lo and behold, guess who showed up for dinner? My buddy Abby! What a fabulous surprise she was! And that is not just because she brought me a gift too. What is with these people? Isn't there love enough? Ahhhh, I love their hearts. Anyway, she was a surprise because I thought she would be taking some tests that earlier in the day (much earlier - at prayer) she said she may take. Oh well, I was glad to see her. So we dined together and then we invited her over for cake. Before we left church we sat at the table and talked with some friends. She was telling me that they were so excited to see the changes in Greg. When we first came to church he never smiled, but now - he ALWAYS has a smile on his face. I love that other people can see what I am seeing. I pray that those in our family who don't yet know Christ as their Savior will see these changes and want what Greg has! So she came over and we sat in the garage while the kids played and my wonderful husband waxed my van, his car and Abby's car. He is so great! Then we came in and had cake (all while I was still wearing my princess crown). After the cake, Abby cleaned the kitchen and Greg bathed the kids, and I just sat. Man, they treated me so well. Then Greg came down and said he was going for a walk. Abby asked if I wanted to go with him and she would say and watch the kids. So Greg and I tooled around the neighborhood with the crown still on my head. Kids are now in bed and here I sit telling you my day. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still the Blessings Pour In....

Lord.....don't think I don't know it is You. I know it is always You. And I know that I don't deserve even half of it. That is what makes it so cool. It is almost like a reward for letting go. You are in control of every breath I have. All I have is Yours, so why do I always treat it as if it is mine? Thank you.

The report is in. Greg is great - just totally stressed out. He has been given medication to help relax his stressed areas and hopefully it will work itself out. Literally :) But seriously, I am praising the Lord and thanking Him and Him alone for taking care of Greg.

And....I just talked to my wonderful Aunt Gayle and had a conversation that was totally planned by God. I mean, all of them are but, well, you know what I am trying to say. I was calling her to ask if my Uncle Glen was busy and if he wanted to make some bunk beds. I am thinking that if we move to the house in Hartland we will need 2 sets of bunk beds. And who better to make them than Glen? We already have an heirloom cradle that he made when Jacob was born - to be handed down throughout our next generations. Anyway, she told me that she was just talking to Glen and Doug about me and the beds. I had asked her for them in the past (they were the bunk beds that were in the room with another bed, that my dad and his 4 other brothers shared) and she was using them at her cottage. They are still at the cottage (which they are trying to sell), but we agreed to a trade. She would trade me the bunk beds for a queen size bed and frame that I have. Oh, what a blessing this is!!!! If I wasn't going to get some beds made by Glen, then these are the next best thing!! The other good news? Since I am coming back I get to be Gayle's sub for golf. Yippee!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sad to Leave? Yep. Ready to Go? Yep.

I never thought I would be saying I was sad to leave Bloomington, Illinois, but I think that is going to be the case. I mean the area in general - no, but Bloomington First Church of the Nazarene - absolutely yes! That church and those people are my home. I love them all so much and in such a special way. They are some of the instruments God used to draw us to him. If they had not been so welcoming and quick to show God's love, we would not have been there. But God has a perfect plan, and from the very first time we set foot inside the doors, we knew we were home. Both Greg and I have grown more in the 6 months we have been there than in the 42 and 35 years (respectively) that we have been alive. God is our number one and we are each other's number 2 and our family is running in a way that I think is how God wants it to. I am praying that our fire for the Lord, fanned by our precious "peeps" at BFCOTN, will never fade and that we will take it onto our next journey, to whatever church God leads us to. I am still praying that it will be a small church. I know that before we left Michigan I knew I was not at the church I should be at. I was unhappy there and instead of rocking the boat, we just stuck there. Clearly, God wanted us to move away from there - I mean really far from there. He brought us here to what I call a barren wasteland (which it is not) and gave us the most amazing gift ever. Himself. Oh, how I love Him when I think of that (and always). But, because God wanted Greg and I to draw closer to Him (we were the ones who moved, not God), He brought us here and eventually to BFCOTN. When I think of all the people I have met and who have impacted my life in this short period of time, I can do nothing short of praise! We have made friends with people that we never would have even thought of as much more clearly we can see when we are filled with God's love (and when we received it). I want you all to know how special you are to us both and that even if you did not know it, you have touched our lives in ways we never could have imagined. All glory to God Most High!!!! Thank you. Thank you for your welcome arms. Thank you for your smiles. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your example. And thank you for helping us grow into the people we are now.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brownies from Heaven (and other blessings)

How can I sleep? I am so exhausted but sleep is eluding me. Yesterday, I was grocery shopping with the kids and I told Jacob that we would have whatever he wanted for dessert. He wanted hot fudge sundaes with brownies. So we got some chocolate chip ice cream and Sanders hot fudge. I told him I had brownies at home and I would make them as soon as we got home. Well, I thought wrong. No brownies here. Bummer, we thought. We were just going to have to have our sundaes without brownies. As I was making dinner I called a friend. She was still at work and told me that she was going to another friend's house to drop off.....guess? Brownies! And that her plan was to bring the rest of them to us!! Brownies from heaven! She had made the brownies the night before and had planned all along to bring them to us yesterday. I love how God cared for our need. OK, brownies were not exactly a need, but if you had asked Jacob, he would have said they were. But, isn't that so awesome that before we even knew we had a "need", God had already planned to meet it? Imagine that situation with a real need? I love how MY God works in the most amazing ways. There is nothing too big or too small for Him. He is so great! But it even goes further....because in addition to bringing us brownies, my sweet friend Abby, served us in another way last night. Greg had not been feeling well for a couple of days and last night was the breaking point. He took himself to ER and when Abby came, she so graciously offered to stay with my kids so I could go be with my husband. I love her. When I arrived at the ER and got to Greg's room, he said I was just taking advantage of having Abby there and that I wanted to get out of the house and have a date with him. the hospital. Sure. We left there with prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers, and he is still feeling terrible today. If he is not better by morning, we will have to go back. But I am confident that he will be better by morning. I am praying that he is. We have a BIG day at church tomorrow. Our pastor's mom was healed from cancer. Seriously - totally gone. God is awesome! Even her doctor is shocked. She was completely filled with cancer - everywhere - and now after ct scans and pet scans, there is NOTHING. Yes, nothing. It is so crazy cool - just like God. HE will be praised. And if we do not do it, the rocks will cry out.

For the past 3 days, we have had a garage sale. It has been exhausting to say the least. Then topping all this off with Greg being sick, I was starting to feel overwhelmed. As I was in the bathroom tonight, I found myself thanking God that I was not sick and that I was strong enough to do everything here that needed to be done. And then I remembered that just a few days ago God was getting my attention about being a servant. Was this part of what he was preparing me for? I left the bathroom a much happier person than when I went in. Thank you Lord for Your constant Presence. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me. I am nothing without you and I love you.