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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bread Recipe

I know this is not my normal blog style, but I have the most delightful, and easy recipe to share. I couldn't keep it to myself!
A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon at the home of one of my friends. She is a true domestic goddess. I just love her. Crystal made the most delightful homemade bread. I attempted to make it this week, and it really is easy! So, I will share it with yall!
-3 cups of warm water
-1.5 tsp of yeast
-1 tsp of salt
-6.5 cups of flour
-preheat oven to 450 degrees
-pour ingredients (only half the flour) into a standing mixer
-using a dough hook, mix on medium
-gradually, add the remaining flour
-once fully mixed, knead dough
-let dough rise (double in size) in a covered bowl for 2 hours
-after risen, form dough into loaves (round, Italian, etc.)
-let rise an additional 20 minutes
-place on cookie sheet
-cut slits on top of loaves
-bake at 450 for 20 minutes
-rub butter on top as soon as they come out of the oven
-serve right away!
Because there is no preservatives, or extra ingredients, this bread is best if eaten within a few days of making.
You could add different mixins to make flavored bread. Chocolate chip? Cheese? Spices and herbs? Honey? The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy a slice of fresh, hot bread, and stay warm this wintry weekend!
Love, M

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve

It has been quite the busy few days.
Presents are wrapped. Shopping is finished. Groceries are purchased. Plans are made.
It's time.
This weekend, I have celebrated Christmas with my best friend and her babes, with my other best friend, some family, both of my church families, and then my roommate. Christmas is such a fun time to gather those you love close. Tomorrow will include time well spent with my second family, my mini best friend, church, and more family. I love it. It really is one of my favorite attributes of Christmas, just stopping everything, and seeing everyone.
I am over the moon excited. One of my dearest friends is flying home right now from Tokyo. Please be praying with me for a safe and smooth flight for him. 13 hours on a plane is a long time!!
I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. I can't wait to share life with them these next few weeks. What a lucky girl I am, to have so many people to love.
Cherish your loved ones extra as you spend time together this Christmas week.
Remember Jesus in the hustle and bustle.
And be praying for opportunities to share Jesus. I know a few somethings in my life that are brewing...can't wait to share my stories!
Merry Christmas Eve Eve. :)
Love, M :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday!

I write this in shock. How has it been a year already?!?! Life is flying by! It has been one year since I wrote this first blog. I never intended on actually writing much. I never planned on people reading this. I just kinda did it on a whim.

Well, 365 days, 4671 views, and numerous countries later, here we are.

It has been a wild ride. I am blown away at all that has transpired over the past year.

So, bear with me, since I am celebrating, I want to share my top 12 moments of 2012 with you, so this is going to be a long one!

What an adventure. I went all alone, to the farthest I have been away, for the longest time I have been away, to serve people I had no clue about. I lived in Cochabamba, Bolivia for six weeks. I fell in love with the culture, with the people, and the country. I went to work with orphans, and I did, but I fell in love with kids on the street. My heart broke for them. I then know that I want to be in fulltime missions, loving people that have often been forgotten about. I long for the day to be in South America again.

I nanny fulltime, when I'm not out saving the world. :) The family I nanny for has a little girl who is my absolute best friend. I love her more than I have ever loved a person. She had a little brother born earlier this year. I was nervous, could I love him too? Well, without a doubt, he has my heart. He is the reason I love early mornings, because we get to cuddle. These precious babes are everything to me, and have enhanced my life like I never thought possible.

Karen is the little girl I sponsor through Compassion International. She lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and I was able to meet her, and spend a day with her this spring. She is a delightful little girl. She just turned 6 this fall. She is full of life and energy. I was able to supply some basic needs for the family, and share Christ's love with them. It may be the best day of my life.

Many of you know the story of Nestor. I know this, because I run into you everywhere, and you ask about him, or tell me you are still praying for him. This little baby boy with a broken heart became my baby boy. I fell in love with him, and through him, God helped heal my broken heart. Nestor is in Cochabamba, at a Nutrition Center.

The Wedding. 
One of my very best girlfriends got married this summer. We met in high school at church summer camp. We only lived in the same state for a year or so, but we became lifelong friends. She now lives in Louisville, and we rarely see each other, but this summer, I flew down twice to spend time with her, and prepare for the wedding. It was so much fun! I love the man she married. He is a good man that loves Jesus, and loves her. It was such a sweet wedding.

While living in Bolivia, I began praying to move closer to work, family, friends, and church. I also prayed for a specific amount for rent. Within days of me being back home, doors opened up, and I now live in the most darling area with the sweetest downtown, and to the penny, I pay what I prayed for.

Live Live Church.
This fall, I was asked to come on staff at a small church, as their children's director. After praying, and seeking counsel, I took the position. After 20 years of wanting to be in ministry, a door opened up where I am now paid to do part time ministry, loving kids. Its mind blowing how good God is.

The Oakland Press.
Earlier this fall, The Oakland Press added this blog, my nonsensical writings to their list of blogs on their website. I was amazed at how this girl, who is not a writer, is now writing, and more people are reading. I get to share His faithfulness, and how Jesus is changing my life with people I don't even know.

I have begun to fall in love with the city of Pontiac. Perhaps because it is broken, I am drawn to it. But I have met the most wonderful people by just loving them, and feeding them on the weekends. They need a real Savior just as much as someone in another country. But while God has me here, I want to love here. So, I try.

On the first day of autumn, one of my best friends and I flew to Chicago. We flew in at 8 that morning, and flew out at 8 that night. We had no plans, no agendas, no expectations. We just spontaneously went. It was the most beautiful day. We rode the ferris wheel, we ate a hot dog from a street cart, we shared Jesus over a cup of coffee to a man, we just lived life to the fullest.

Random friends.
This year was a year filled with amazing friends. People I had just met, or relationships 20 years old were flourishig into friendships. I havefriends in almost 20 states, and multiple countries around the world now. I have become very good friends with the strangest group of people. People that don't dress like I do, talk like I do, or even believe like I do. I am honored to have the friends I have. I never thought one of my best friends would be gay, or another friend would have never before stepped inside a church. But Jesus has given me new eyes this year, to really love like He loves. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love these people with everything in me. I am so blessed they allow this crazy girl to be apart of their lives.

He is real.
Over the course of a few events earlier this year, I realized how real our God is. He revealed Himself in ways that blows my mind. He is faithful. He is close to the broken hearted. He is the one that comforts my soul. He is my best friend. He is real. He is more than just Sunday morning church. He loves me more than I could ever begin to comprehend. I have His favor. I am His beloved. He doesn't change. He is always good. He alone conquered sin, hell, death, the grave, and Satan himself. He brings joy in the sadness. He brings peace. I have purpose, only because of Him.

So, if you actually made it this far, thank you. I know that was a lot to read. My heart rejoices, after being reminded of such a special year. I wait eagerly to see what is coming up in the next year. I know its going to be big!

Thanks for supporting me by reading!

Have a great day!

Love, M :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Life is crazy.

Christmas is next week. Oh my.
I still have....
Presents to buy. Presents to wrap. Desserts to bake. Parties to attend. Friends to see. Clothes to wash. Cards to mail. Rooms to clean. Errands to run. Shopping to do. Bills to pay. Things to find. Items to return. Gifts to make. Play dates to schedule. Phone calls to make. Dishes to wash. Nails to paint. Hair to cut.
Does the list ever end?
I didn't think the holidays were getting to me, until I lost my mind a lil bit this weekend.
I found the cutest idea to make Christmas presents for friends, and package them in mason jars. (Check back after Christmas for a tutorial!) So, I made my list, and went off to the store. I checked out, paid, and went to the car. Only to realize minutes later, I forgot to buy the mason jars. So, I drove around the parking lot, to rush back in and buy the jars. I then came home, and realized the jars were much too big for the project I needed them for. So, I hopped back in my car, drove back up to the store, and bought smaller jars. I came home, exasperated, but ready to craft. I opened the jars, and instantly realized these were too small. So, for the next trip to the store, I brought the two previously purchased cases of jars back to return them. I walked up to the door, only to realize the door was locked. The cashier who had helped me my three previous shopping trips, was now laughing at me, but came to my rescue. She then informed me that the service desk was closed, so I would have to come back in the morning to return the jars. Annoyed, I bought the medium sized jars, and just came home. Thirty six jars, four store trips, and three hours later, my project was finished. I was exhausted.
I told a friend, and she told me I must have too much on my mind with Christmas coming up.
It's true. I'm stressed. I currently don't have enough money or free time to finish what I need to for Christmas. I will have both, but not until the end of the week. I have something planned almost every second of the next two weeks. I am losing my mind. How is it all going to get done?
I know I'm not the only one. This is life in America, especially during the holidays.
The point of Christmas is not to buy the perfect gift, to make the most delightful dessert, to be at every party you're invited to, or even to spend time with family.
It's all about Jesus.
In the hustle and bustle of this weekend, I forgot that. I became overwhelmed with life, because I took my eyes off of Jesus. I got caught up in what Christmas isn't about, and forgot who it is about.
He wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to remember what He did for us.
Being stressed, airheaded, and mean doesn't bring Him any glory.
So, I challenge you this week, daily take time to spend with Him. Sit at His feet. Soak up His words. Leave the phone and the list. Focus on Him. He is the only reason for the season.
Who knows, maybe spending quality time with Him will help with time management, and stress levels too!
Happy Monday!
Love, M :)

Just a reminder.

I was reading in Psalms this morning, and wanted to share a couple gems I read.
Psalm 47:8 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Psalm 49:5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me-
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Join me in praying for our nation. Pray for healing, peace, and comfort that only Jesus can bring.
Happy Sunday.
Love, M :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prince Charming.

My three year old best friend and I were talking over breakfast earlier this week.
She is a big believer in fairy tales, magic, and Santa. I love it. Spending time with her is great for my imagination. She is the reason I laugh so much. It's wonderful.
Over breakfast, we were discussing what we would ask Santa for this Christmas. She wants a giraffe and a new leotard. I told her I wanted new jeans, a few kitchen gadgets, and my prince charming to show up.
She laughed, and as serious as could be, told me, "Mechelle, you don't need to ask Santa for your prince. You already have one. Jesus is your prince charming."
This mini me of a girl has never heard me talk about men, because there hasn't been any. But she has heard me talk about Jesus as my best friend. She has heard me talk to Him while driving. She has caught me reading His words early with my coffee. In her little three year old mind, it makes sense to her.
Jesus is my Prince Charming.
I have been laughing over it all week. But then I started to think on it. It's kind of true. He thinks I am beautiful. I am His beloved. He values me. He wants to spend time with me. He loves me with an overwhelming and unconditional love. My heart belongs to Him.
So, as I still pray for my manly prince, I rejoice that Jesus is my Prince. He is the Prince of Peace.
Hope that made you laugh. Oh, out of the mouths of babes. :)
Have a great Thursday. Smile a little bit, the weekend is almost here.
Love, M :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh deer!

Tonight, I had a babysitting job. I got ready, and left the house. It is only three roads to this family's home, nice and close. I was driving and reflecting on a lot.
Driving is the time Jesus and I talk the most. I often have people with me in every aspect of life, but for some reason, its almost always just me driving. So I pray a lot. I hash things out with God. It works.
Tonight was no different. I was driving, when all the sudden I felt the need to slow down and be alert. Every sense in my body perked up. I heard His voice, "Trust Me."
And then, out of no where, a deer appeared. I had never seen a deer on this road. She was huge, but without antlers. She walked up to my car, in the middle of the road, as I was driving, inches away from me. It was one of the most bizarre moments. I hit my brakes, grateful no one was directly behind me. I couldn't believe she was that close, and I didn't hit her.
And then she was gone.
I got to the house and babysat for the night. I went to leave six and a half hours later. I got to my car, and began praising Jesus for keeping me safe driving there.
I got to the same spot in the road, while driving home, and I felt the Holy Spirit say, "look over to the right." So I did, and the deer was standing off a bit, on the side of the road, just staring at me. Once I drove by, she began to run. It was like she was waiting for me. It was bizarre all over again.
Who sees the same deer in the exact same spot, over six hours later? It was weird.
What a reminder that He is in control. I am so thankful I listened to the Spirit, and was aware as I was driving. So thankful that He kept me safe, once again.
Okay. I really need sleep.
If you could be praying for me, I am starting to get sick, and really need to be healthy. No cough, no headache, no stuffyness.
Also, I have a 5k race in the morning, so pray the rain holds off!
Love, M.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cemetery. Love. Sleep.

I visited the cemetery again today. It was an impulsive visit. With the cemetery being only half a mile from my front door, the thought occasionally passes through my mind, but rarely do I find the courage to go.
I was there for just a moment today. The busyness of the day was catching up with me, but I needed to sneak in a moment of solitude. I wandered over to where she was buried. I sat for just a minute on the cold ground.
This time, instead of being angry at God, and fighting with bitterness bubbling over, I had peace. I rejoiced that Jesus, conquered death, and now our Redeemer lives.
A line from a song became wedged in my mind as I walked back to my car.
"In death, in life, I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love."
I focused on His love, and its power. It never fails. It is overwhelming. We are so undeserving, yet He gives it freely. It is unconditional. It is ours.
There are so many things I could focus on as I fall asleep tonight. But I will choose to drift into dreams reflecting on His love for me. What a sweet way to end the day.
More tales to come. But for now, rest in His love.
Love, M.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh coffee.

The month of December I have decided to be more focused on listening to the Holy Spirit, and obeying.
This week I have been doing strange things. Tonight was no an exception.
I took my freshmen girls out for coffee today. It was a riot. Seven freshmen girls anywhere leaves trails of giggles. I love it. I love spending time with my girls. I was so excited knowing I wasn't working today, so we could make early plans.
My girls all lined up and ordered their coffee. I was in the back of the line, waiting to pay for all their drinks. I was praying silently, thanking God for letting me have sweet time with them, when I heard Him. That quiet whisper in my heart was getting louder the more intently I have been listening.
He told me I needed to buy the lady's coffee behind me. My first reaction was not obedience. I thought, I am already buying eight drinks, really Lord, you want me to buy another?  Then my second reaction was, it would be weird, all of my girls would see me, it might be awkward.
And then I obeyed.
The barista asked me if that was all, and I quickly blurted out I was buying the lady's drink behind me too. I began praying it was a lady behind me. I hadn't even looked to check. Shaking, I turned around, and there she was. Oh praise Jesus. I didn't just insult a man.
The woman told me I didn't have to, but I insisted. By now everyone is watching the awkwardness unfold. Why can't I be cool, calm, and collected in social settings?? She ordered, and I paid. She looked and me curiously and told me normal people don't buy stranger's coffee. Why would I do such a thing... Oh goodness, I have to talk, I wasn't in the mood, and I suddenly felt myself get nervous.
I turned to her, with the whole store listening to the loud thump of my embarrassed heartbeat, and told her the truth. "I was just praying, and God told me to buy your coffee. I just wanted to bless you." The cashier was slightly baffled. She said one time a girl came in and paid for someone's coffee, trying to pay it forward, but it was a rare occurrence. I then looked to both of them and explained, "I'm not paying it forward. I'm just being obedient. I just want to follow Jesus."
Oh the looks that followed...
Yup, I'm crazy. It's official. I buy stranger's coffee, and pray in line, and then talk about Jesus to everyone, while having brought two cars full of giggling high school girls.
I don't tell this story for any one to think I've got this down. I don't. I'm just really trying to obey Jesus. I'm a mess most of the time.
I was thinking about it later. None of my girls, and no one in the store would've known if I would've ignored the Holy Spirit. But only because I obeyed, did it open the door to share Jesus. I think I also was an example to my girls. It certainly sparked some conversation once we sat down.
I want them to know how to have a genuine faith. I want them to know how to have more than Sunday morning church time. It can be the most amazing thing of their lives. So, I attempt daily obedience, praying they see a real God through this simple, slightly crazed girl.
Love, M. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Where He leads, I will follow.

There a few things I know for certain.
1. Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.
2. God values obedience. He says to obey is better than sacrifice. (1Samuel 15:22)
3. The more you listen, the easier it is to hear someone's voice.
It is easy to ignore the Holy Spirit's voice in your life. He doesn't scream or flash lights, at least for me. His voice is a quiet whisper in my heart. It tells me what is right and wrong, it reminds me of verses from God's Word, and it prompts me to do things. The more I am in tune with His voice, the easier it is to say yes, and obey. The more often I obey, the clearer His voice becomes, and the easier it becomes.
So, let me share my personal challenge to myself this month.
I decided to say practice saying "yes" this month. This December, I want to follow where He leads. When He tells me to do something, however uncomfortable, awkward, or strange it is, I want to say yes. I do not want to think it out, tell God maybe, or ignore it. I want to be obedient.
So, I started this challenge to myself a couple days ago. I have done some strange things since then. At midnight, He woke me up, and told me to start praying for someone. So I did. He told me to encourage someone else. So I did. He told me to stop by the store and grab vitamins for a sick friend. So I did.
Know what's crazy? Those people that God put on my heart to pray for, encourage, or serve needed that, in that exact moment. Nothing I could've ever set up or planned. God is meeting needs through His obedient children. It boggles my mind when someone tells me they were praying for something so specific, and next thing they know it is in their hands. They ask, how could you know? I didnt, but God did, and He is good. I just want to be obedient.
And the coolest thing is that when we are obedient, it just points back to Jesus. Isn't that how we should strive to live our lives anyway?
So, if you're with me, here's the challenge. Say yes. Be open for God to use you. Get out of your comfort zone. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in all that you do.
It's going to be a great month.
Love, M :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What a night!

Tonight I went to a fundraiser event for an awesome organization, key of hope. Twenty something women from my church are going to South Africa in July to love people, and be Jesus in a broken land. I enjoyed going and hearing of what God is doing there now though His obedient people. My heart leapt for joy as I learned more of the adventure ahead for these women.

I hadn't planned on going tonight. Originally, I didn't really want to. I have a few days off of work, and I wanted to relax, and spend time alone. But I felt a tugging on my heart to go, and so I went.
I was so blessed beyond words.

Five separate people came up to me, and shared that they read my blog. I laughed. They read this? This string of jumbled words from a nobody of a girl? Well that didn't make sense. Apparently, not only did they read it, but they knew my stories.

They prayed for baby Nestor, they read of God's faithfulness, they watched the Healer fix this girl's broken heart. It blew me away.

A little while later, a woman came up to me and encouraged me about being single. She was in my small group. I had recently spoke out about the pressure in the church world to be married young, and how it feels like we are inadequate to serve in ministry without a husband. Being content while being 25 and single is hard sometimes. She encouraged me to wait on His timing and find joy in Christ alone. She also thought my hair was cute, which made me laugh because it was so dirty!

I was also blessed to spend most of the evening cuddling and sneaking desserts to my niece. She is my best friend's daughter, and one of the few absolute loves of my life. I prayed for her years before she was here, and tonight she said my name for the first time. (She just calls me "M".)

Big tears welled up in my eyes, as I reflected on how faithful God really is.

There was a silent auction, and a life auction tonight. I bid on a cute, homemade, yellow quilt, and my bid won! I love knowing my money is going to share the name of Jesus, and I got a cozy quilt to cuddle up with.

A few times tonight I shared stories of how amazing this year has been. (Check back soon for 'M's top 12 moments of 2012')  And I became so excited thinking of stories that I can't tell quite yet, because they have not come to frutation yet, but believing they will. Things are happening, big things! My heart was reminded of how I want to go and serve, but for now we wait and serve.

I had a conversation with a dear friend tonight. We both want to be in other countries serving there. We don't want to be here. But God has us in the places we are for a reason, and we trust He is faithful, and ALL things work together for good for them that love Him, and are called according to His purposes.

God knew I needed a sweet night, full of refreshment. What a perfect way to start vacation week! :)

If you would like to support any of the women going to South Africa, please let me know. $2,500 is due by the middle of January, with more to raise in the following months. If you cannot give, please be in prayer for peace for these girls as they raise money, and for God to move mountains on their behalf.

Our God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same God that used five loaves of bread, and two fish to feed 5,000+ people is still doing miracles today. I cannot wait to hear the stories of God doing big things. :)
Have a great day!

Love, M :)

email me at :

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Super Strength

Do you ever have those moments of super strength? Not quite the pick up cars and save people strength. I'm talking about a moment when you are so strong it doesn't even make sense. A moment when emotionally you are somehow put together so beautifully that you can carry other's burdens, even if only for that moment.
I had a super strength night.
My best friend from high school's  family feels like my own. I call her grandparents, grandparents. Her parents are mom and dad to me. I am often referred to as the second daughter. We have been apart of each other's lives for over ten years.
Earlier this week my friend's uncle passed away. It was very unexpected. It has been a rough week for more people I love.
My first thought when I heard, was you have got to be kidding me Lord! I just did this. The whole funeral mess, and people I love being heartbroken. Seriously?!? We're doing this again??
So, I prayed for strength.
My friend's mom called me yesterday and asked me to make cookies for the family to snack on during the funeral home time. If you know me, you know there are very few things that make my heart as happy as baking for someone I love. So, I baked. I then drove over to her house to drop them off. It was already late, and I should've been in bed, but I knew I needed to be there. So mom and talked, and talked until one in the morning. It was good for both of us to chat. I told her stories of God's faithfulness that I hadn't really shared with anyone before. I shared in different areas how He is working. It was good.
I got four hours of sleep before the alarm went off for work. But even at work today, He gave me rest. It was so weird, but so wonderful. I wasn't too tired. I wasn't cranky. I wasn't overwhelmed. I was resting in Him.
I went up to the funeral home tonight. Dreading going, but knowing He had to be my strength.
He was.
I was able to hold, hug, and comfort the broken. Mama Michelle snapped into mode, and I made sure everyone was hydrated. I helped get paperwork done. I chatted with people I had never met. I shared about the hope we have in Jesus. I talked with the funeral director for a while. It was so bizarre. I had strength.
Someone had approached me because they had recognized me. I didn't know from where, they didn't look familiar. Then they realized, it was from Ariel's funeral. I even had strength to share stories about her. I didn't want to, but I did. And there was healing in that.
I don't feel overwhelmed. I feel His strength and His power.
The funeral is tomorrow. Please be praying for the family. Pray for peace, rest, and healing. Pray that the gospel is preached, and hearts are ready to hear it. Pray that people turn to Jesus. Pray for me to continue to be strength for these people I love.
Love, M.