Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Audible Voice

I can't believe that I have not told about this. I am totally shocked. I was reading through my 2009 blog book and noticed that I never told you about the one (and only, so far) time I have heard an audible voice from God. I am still amazed that I never told about this. I wish I had because then I would have the exact date. I know it was somewhere between the end of September and the middle of October 2009. I was standing at the kitchen sink of our house in Illinois, looking out the window, crying out to God. I mean, I was bawling. Jadyn was on a stool next to me, wiping my tears with a dish towel. I was telling God how badly I needed a friend there, that I was all alone. And clear as ever I heard these words: "You have Me, Michelle". I was totally floored. Just that simple, but without a shadow of a doubt I knew it was God. Telling me the absolute truth - I did have Him, and He is all I ever need. That was true then and it is still true today....and it will be true forever.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Word Misuse

Tonight I was riding in the car with Jacob (coming home from a wedding) and I asked him if he could guess what the last song I danced to was. Before he could say anything I started singing "Down". He said "Jesus is regretting me." I said "What?" He told me that yesterday he said there would be a frog in the filter and there was, and that he was thinking "Down" in his head and it was. He said "Jesus is regretting me." I told him that he was using the wrong word (or better...the wrong phrase). He meant that Jesus was telling him something, before it happened. It was cute because he thought he was using some really big word.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Mini-Vacation, A Rogue Rabbit and A Flood

Last night I went to Grand Rapids and went to the Chris Tomlin/Toby Mac concert with Becky, Lisa, Kim and some friends of Becky's. I had a great time!! It was awesome - such a great time of worship. I spent the night at Becky's, which meant I got to sleep in, sip coffee in the AM and then go for a leisurely walk with Becky. However, on that walk I had to have an emergency bathroom stop. First, let me tell you that I had peed twice before we left. We were about 1.5 miles from home when I had to we turned around. But I HAD to go before we made it home. With Becky as my lookout, I peed off the edge of the sidewalk - not even in the wooded part. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

We swam at Grandma and Grandpa's for a while, then came home. But I brought everybody home with me - my 4 kids, Spencer, Seth and Shelby. When we got home I noticed some "turds" in the garage. I thought they were from the stinking chipmunks we have been killing, so I swept them up. A few minutes later Spencer yelled in to me that he saw the bunny in the garage. I came out and sure enough there was a baby bunny under the couch in the garage. I tried to shoo it out, but it stayed behind the couch. I yelled to the kids to get me a bucket. Shelby ran to get a dust pan and then she held the bucket while I gently persuaded the rabbit into the bucket with a golf club. She quickly covered the bucket, but the scared bunny just as quickly jumped out. After two more attempts, I finally got the rabbit into the bucket. I decided to take the opportunity to show it to the kids. However, the rabbit thought it would squirm out of the bucket again. I started chasing it and it ran out of the garage, but I wanted to make sure that it made it into the woods - in hopes that it would not come back. I chased it with one of the kids toys all the way to the woods, and was followed closely by all 6 kids and Shelby. As I turned around, I noticed that my neighbors were out on their patio with friends. How mortifying! I had just made such a huge fool of myself. Oh yeah - I was wearing my bathing suit and coverup. Real nice.

So Greg went downstairs to get extra chairs for dinner. When he got there, he noticed that there was water all over the edges of the basement. He called me down and we started pulling boxes away from the walls and noticed a TON of water under everything. After dinner he went back downstairs and checked the sump pump. The water in the sump pump container was literally on the verge of spilling over the top. Praise God that we got there just in time!!! Greg went to the neighbor's house and, praise God again, our neighbor (Brian) had a pump. He brought it over and started pumping the water out of the sump pump hole. The water was pouring (and this may be an understatement) into the hole. As quickly as his pump would pump it out, it would fill back up. I have never seen anything like this. Thank you Lord, for such an amazing neighbor. As of this minute he has been sitting in the corner of our basement for the last 2 hours, pumping water. Greg had to go to Home Depot and get a new pump and all the other stuff to hook it up. So he and Brian are down there hooking the new pump up. The kid's new clubhouse is really wet - the new carpet is soaking wet. Oh joy. But the positive thing about this is that it is only a little water and, by God's grace, we caught it in time. Thank you Lord, for Your perfect timing and great neighbors!!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For All Have Sinned

My day started with phone call at 6am from my family at Bloomington First Church of the Nazarene. They were calling me from the 5am (CST) Wednesday morning prayer service. Today was the first time with a full band - they so rock!!! What a blessing it was to hear from them all this morning! Praise God. (And I never want God to go without praise and recognition.....I read in Acts this morning about Herod being eaten by worms and dying because he did not praise God...ick!)

But then in my discipleship reading, I read that "all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And for whatever reason my eye kept going back to that. Then as I was checking my email for my DBV and it was Romans 3:23-24.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:23-24

There is a freedom when we realize that we all fall short and are in need of someone to help us. We can stop trying harder and realize that what we could not do, God already has done in Christ. We are more wicked than we want to admit, but we are more loved than we could ever dream! This is the good news to all of humanity.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,
Praise God that I know that I am in need. Thnk you Lord for being all that I need. Praise You Holy Name!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Meeting Yet

And we have decided to just go one day at a time. Unique concept, don't you think? But to live in fear is simply not working. Greg will continue to do what he thinks is right until he is given different direction. And we will wait patiently for the Lord, being strong and courageous (Psalm 27:14). Neat how my kids Bible verse for this day at VBS is perfect for this situation. I love that!!! And we will pray. This will not change. God is good, all the time.

Deep Thoughts

Yesterday I was asking for a hug. Today I got it. I was talking with my cousin and she told me that her pastor's wife was talking with her about me and she said I was "sharp". I was confused about what that meant, but my cousin clarified that this is what her pastor's wife says about someone who is close to God. Wow. What a huge compliment. I left VBS (where we were talking) and cried all the way to the grocery store. I was so honored, but was telling God that I did not think I was so sharp, in fact, I thought I was a bit dull. What was so neat about it was that in order for her to say that, she must have seen something in me. Christ in me. That is my prayer....that everyone who meets me will see Christ in me. It is even interesting because I had just been thinking of this pastor's wife this morning. I was thinking that I would like to meet with her, be mentored by her or be in a Bible study with her. I love how God is working in my life.

I was just saying that, strange as it sounds, I like being in the storm of life. I mean clearly it sounds insane to say I choose to have my life in a state of upheaval - I don't. But.....I do like the nearness of God....although I realize that it is me that is drawing closer to Him. He never moves - I do. If for nothing other than developing the habit of daily relying on God, I am glad for this time. I cannot make it through a day without meeting with God, talking with Him, pouring my heart out to Him. He cares and I know it. I am so glad that He never gives up on me. With each new day, He is there waiting for me to come, thrilled that I did. I love that He loves time with me as much as I love it with Him - more even. I am so blessed.

Another "hug" I received today also came from the mouth of my cousin. I was telling her a bit about what is going on with us and she said she saw me as someone who paid attention to what God was doing, who allowed God to use me and who was not afraid to tell others about it. Wow again. I want God to use me and use all these situations He has brought me through - for His glory. I pray that I am humbly accepting His blessings and that I can be a blessing to many people - for His glory.

It is neat to be able to watch myself grow (and, thankfully, not in the physical sense). I think, by God's grace, I am becoming more of a "meat eater", more specifically, a more mature Christian. Clearly, I have way more growing to do, but it is very exciting to notice growth in myself. Thank you again Lord. Another blessing. The thing knowledge is very basic, rudimentary at best. I know what I know and my faith is very childlike (I think). I do want my Biblical knowledge to increase, which means my studying needs to increase. Lord, please help me to continue to grow in this way and more retain and be able to recall what I have learned. Recall is the big thing. It is the thing I am not real good at. With Your help, Lord, I know I can.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have just been chatting with God. It is interesting to hear what I have been learning. We are going through such a tumultuous time right now. Waiting to see what is happening with Greg's job. I am very scared, but I know that God is ultimately in control and He will win, no matter what. But in the meantime, I just have to trust. As I was ironing shirts, I was praying....I do not want to go through this (losing a job) - I REALLY do not. But what if not losing it means we miss a blessing? God has blessed us so much lately and it has felt good. I do not think I want to lose a blessing. In fact, I do not want to lose one. It is like there is a hard core ping-pong game going on in my head. I am a basket case....some of the time. I struggle with how my husband is being treated. That is crushing me. But I keep telling him (and myself) that we need to draw our strength from the Lord and not try and do it on our own. If we try that, we will fail. God is our Rock, our Deliverer, our Source of Hope, our Everything. In Him alone will we trust.

I want to stay positive, but I fail daily at that. I get frustrated and then angry and then my patience is so low that I snap on the kids. And that is not fair. Or right. I am their mom and I need to maintain normalcy at all costs for them. They do not need to see me crying or acting out in a temper tantrum. God is good, all the time. I am being drawn closer to Greg through this. I love him, no matter what - job or no job. He is my husband - the one God chose for me. I will stand by him and be proud of him forever. He means the world to me. And the most important thing I could ever want from him is not a job, or money, or a false sense of security, but rather his complete trust in the Lord....with all his heart.

We have discussed if moving back was a mistake. The conclusion we have come to is that it was not. There have been too many ways that God has opened the doors - specific doors - for us to think that this was a mistake. God's way is perfect, even if it is not what we had in mind. Sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow. But it is absolute truth.

So, for now, we continue to wait. Greg should be having a meeting today or tomorrow. I continue to pray for changed hearts and opened eyes - knowing that larger mountains have moved (recently) and that with God all things are possible. And I rest in his everlasting promise. He is faithful, and will never leave me or forsake me. My Father loves me and knows what I need even before I need it. In fact, He knows that right now I need a hug.

I love you, Lord, and I am trusting in your perfect will. Thank you for your blessings.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Time to Run

I am training for a 5K. I now have a new course to run. As I typed those sentences, I thought of some verses, which led me to look up more verses on this topic. Take a look, then I will tell you more.

In her heart a woman pans her course, but the Lord determines her steps. Proverbs 16:9

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us through off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32

When you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:12

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

So the new route was shown to me by a friend who is now training to run with me. It is 3.2 miles - exactly enough for training for a 5K. Just over 3.10685596 miles. :) I enjoy going with her, because misery always loves company. No seriously, it always goes faster with someone else. However, I think I am going to have to try it alone sometime. Not because I don't want to go with her, but because I need to test myself. And then push myself. I really want to do this - the 5K, that is. Not sure why, but I do. And with God, ALL things are possible. Even me running (and finishing) a race.

Working for God

Today we tried another new church. After talking it through this evening, I realized that God had us at that church on this day for His glory. I am so excited about this! I mean, I do not think that this is our church, but what happened was very neat. There was a couple there who has been at the church for 13+ years and they are moving out of state. They had a slide show of them, gave them gifts and flowers and prayed over them. After the sermon, the lady sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and introduced herself to me. We talked for a while and after I told her some of my story, she asked me if I would talk to this lady that was moving, if I felt led to. I did, so I made my way over to her and introduced myself to her. Then I told her about our I hated every minute of being ripped away from all that I had known. But more importantly, how God used every minute of it for His glory. How Greg and I, separately and together, grew in the Lord. How our marriage blossomed. How I would not trade a second of the time there, even if I could. It was interesting to watch her face as I talked. I was speaking directly to her heart - she even said so. She even said that she wanted to close her ears and not listen, but she knew what I was saying was the truth. Oh was so neat to be used by God in this way! All praise and glory to God forever. Thank you Lord for letting me be a part of this. For using me for your glory. For allowing me to have this experience so that on this particular day, ordained from the beginning of time, I would be able to speak to this lady's heart - helping her to trust you more deeply (is my prayer). Oh God in Heaven, thank you!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What a Blessed Day!

Lots of stuff has been going on. Greg has had some "issues" at work and we have been praying and waiting some stuff out. I personally have been praying for changed hearts and that certain people would "treat others the way they want to be treated". In a way that only God could do, we received an answer to that prayer. Greg got a smile and a positive comment today. That, my precious friends, is nothing short of a miracle! Praise God for working in such a mighty way. We do serve an awesomely powerful Creator. That is so cool.

My kids have met some great friends here in this neighborhood, and today I got to hang out with the mom of some of them. We all had a nice afternoon at the pool and then the mom and I went for a nice walk tonight. We got back just before a huge storm hit here. In fact, my sweet, caring husband called her husband looking for me and woke him up because he was sleeping as he leaves for work at 3 am. Then as I was walking down the street I saw him backing out of the garage - he was coming looking for me. I love that man! The tornado sirens were going off, we were in the basement and my kids were very scared. It was neat to sit in the basement with them, pray for the situation and explain what was happening and answer all their questions. Another cool time.

My kids, along with the above-mentioned kids (a total of 7 kids), decided to start a club today. They arranged and decorated a room in the basement, then put up signs showing how to get to the club. They invited another boy and girl from the neighborhood to join. It is a club for everybody and their motto is "nothing crushes us". It was awesome to see them all working together without fighting. More coolness.

I have really been blessed today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I've been thinking......I feel at home here. This is interesting to me because both Greg and my mom looked at this house before we moved here and told me there were things I would not like - most importantly, the size. Well, we are here now and I love it! This house was from God, no doubt. But, oh, how He over-blessed us in this. I have never been more comfortable in any house, including my "baby" which we built. There are many things in life that one could want. But God takes care of our needs. This is just so neat.....I have been talking about downsizing since we left our first Hartland house. And, honestly, we have downsized each time we have moved. Not by much, but we have. This house is definitely smaller, but you would not really know it. I rather prefer to have my kids near to me. I do not want them in their own "wing", I want them with me. They are my kids, dontcha know? I am sure I am not adequately describing what I am trying to say, but I am trying. I feel very blessed and very at home in my new surroundings. Never thought it would be so easy. In fact, the other night I was talking to Abby and I was complaining....a lot. I really am trying not to complain so much because I really have nothing to complain about. So if I am complaining, I am just complaining. There is no real reason - so get over it. But I digress......So I was complaining to Abby, when almost immediately I told her I needed to go because I had to go for a walk. I am not sure if it appeared as abrupt to her as it did to me, but it felt very abrupt. So I left the house with Jacob on his bike and Jadyn and Grant in the stroller. I was walking down the street and there was this woman walking the opposite direction on the other side of the street. From what I could tell she wasn't looking up, in fact, she looked like she was texting. I passed her and got about 100 feet away from her when I heard her yell "Michelle! Michelle!" I thought that was weird because I knew I didn't know her. Turns out, I did know her. She is the cousin of a guy from our old Sunday school class and I had met her there. She also broke her leg quite badly when I broke mine. She lives about 10 or so houses from me. It also turns out that her cousin's wife's sister (I know, I know) lives just around the corner from me. Small little world. But what I thought was neat was that God put on my heart at that immediate minute that I HAD to go for a I could run into her. How cool is that? I love to watch how God works. And I am so glad to know that this is what I am watching....Creator Eternal, Almighty Father, Wonderful Savior, Lord of matter what you call Him, one thing is sure.....HE IS!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Enter His Presence

So today is Friday. Wednesday and Thursday, I was up at 5:50am and spent time with God. My days were GREAT! Today I was sluggish and slept in a bit, finally got up, rushed through my time with God and went back to bed. Guess how my day went? Horrible. Do I think the 2 are related? Absolutely!!! Knowing that I know that....why do I even have to think twice about how I start my day? Why is it that certain mornings it is so much harder to get up? Satan is there, wooing me to stay in bed where it is comfortable and cozy. But the truth of the matter is that God's Presence and His loving arms are more comfortable and cozy than any bed. Ever. And that is the truth. And I know it. And yet I still choose Satan's lies over the loving Presence of my Eternal God. What in the heck is going on in my head? Or maybe it is the old spirit versus flesh ~ and some days the spirit is weaker than the flesh. My spirit, not the Spirit of God. He wins always.

I love it when God speaks to me. No, it is not always in an audible voice. In fact, I have only "heard" a voice once. And it was awesome. But God has so many ways that He speaks to us. And He wants to. We just have to come to him. Daily. Enter. His Presence.


Yesterday I was driving with all 4 kids in the car. I had a Go Fish CD playing "If you're happy and you know it". I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed that all 4 of them were singing and doing the hand motions to the song ~ and enjoying it! What an amazing "mom" moment that was for me!!! They were all happy and getting along and SINGING!

Then my neighbor's dog pooped in my yard. It is not bad enough that her dog runs free and terrorizes my kids. It had to poop while she was outside with it. I am wondering about her though. If you are outside and you know your dog is, why don't you keep it contained? Instead of letting it crap in my yard. So I was frustrated to say the least. I asked her to pick it up. But then I had all kinds of thoughts about her not picking it up and then I would have to pick it up and put it right outside her garage door, so that when she backed out in the morning she would run it over and smear it in her driveway. Those, my friends, are not the thoughts of a nice person. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Clearly my heart is still a bit dirty, but I am looking for a nice and kind way to approach the situation. Then I noticed my DBV (daily Bible verse) was Colossians 3:13, which says: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." And forgive me He did. So I am trying to forgive this. The problem is that it keeps happening. I think I am going to have to talk to her, but need to pray about the words.