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Monday, April 29, 2013


This week I have been amazed at the glory of creation.

The stars on a cool desert night are so clear and bright. There are stars in between stars. I sat in awe as shooting stars darted across the black sky. It is intoxicating.

The mountains with snow capped peaks soar into the heavens. The rolling hills turn into flat desert lands at the exact moment they need to.

The sun falling behind the dark silhouettes of mountains brings a bold watercolor display across the sky. It is truly breathtaking.

In all of this beauty of creation, my heart falls more in love with the Creator. What a wonderful God to create such unexplainable beauty.

He is the God who made mountains, causes the sun to set in a beautiful display of colors, and still cares deeply about me.

I am in awe.

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth-- the LORD God Almighty is his name. Amos 4:13

Have a lovely Monday.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beauty For Ashes

This is a repost from the new website I am writing for, I wanted to share it, because this is one of my favorite verses, and I believe in the importance of it's message.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61:1-3a

As Christians, we have been given a specific 'to do' list in Isaiah 61. We are told to proclaim the good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release prisoners from darkness, proclaim God's favor, comfort those who mourn, and provide for those who grieve.

When I first read these verses, honestly, I was overwhelmed. How can I do this? I don't know what this looks like. Is this even possible?

And then, I remembered, Jesus did all of this for me. He gave me the ultimate good news, the Gospel. He bound up heartaches buried so deep no else even knew they were there. He set me free from sin, death, my flesh, the grave, and Hell. He released me from the darkness of this world. He has poured out so much favor on me, it doesn't even make sense. He has comforted me in times when life fell apart. He was always there. He gave me grace and mercy when I didn't deserve it, and could never have earned it.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The only way to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task is to remember what Jesus did for us, and realize we have everything we need to pour it back out unto others. He has given us the perfect example, and the power to complete this 'to do' list.

So, what does this look like practically? I don't believe we have all been called to move to a third world country and start an orphanage, to walk the streets of Detroit and feed the homeless, or even to be a shoulder to cry on for every broken heart. God has placed you and me in this exact time and place for a purpose. There are broken people in every corner of this world, in offices, schools, homes, streets, hospitals, funeral homes, and even in churches. We are commanded to love them as Jesus loves them, care for them, and share the good news.

How can we do this?

-Preach the good news to the poor. How can you share Jesus with someone who doesn't know Him? Where may it be uncomfortable to share the Good News? Who are the poor, oppressed, and afflicted in your life, and in the world?

-Bind up the brokenhearted. How can you use your past heartaches and pain to help heal another? Will this help you realize your brokenness has value?

-Proclaim freedom for the captives. How can you be a voice for those who are enslaved, captive, and carried away? What can you do to raise awareness for the captives in our world?

-Release prisoners from darkness. How can you bring light to addicts of all sorts: body image, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, pornography, gambling, etc.? How can you help someone break free from the darkness of depression, anxiety, bitterness, cynicism, insecurity, worry, self hate, and the lies from Satan?

-Proclaim God's favor. How does your life show that you have God's favor? Do you recognize it yourself? Do you share what He has done for you with others?

-Comfort all who mourn. How can you be available to listen when someone's life falls apart? In what ways can you be a comfort to someone?

-Provide for those who grieve. What can you do to be a help to someone who is grieving? How can you make thier life easier in a time of pain? How can you cultivate joy, beauty, and praise in their lives?

What does this look like today for you?

Have a great day. Love, Michelle

Two Words

I recently spent a week out of town. One of my high school friends got married, and I went to help with the wedding, and be a bridesmaid.

I spent a lot of time pondering. Because that's what I do in airports and on airplanes. I ponder life. I ponder people. I ponder myself.

I spent 10 days in an unfamiliar city, with people I had just met, and may never see again. I had nothing and no one familiar around.

If you know me, you know I'll talk to just about anyone, anywhere, about anything. I love people. I love to talk.

Two words kept rising to the top of any conversation. Whether I was standing in line for coffee, waiting for a plane, doing wedding crafts, meeting the bride's family, wherever I was, my conversation included these two words.

I never thought much about it before. Back home, I talk about these two words daily. Almost everyone I converse with has heard me talk about these two words. I do it so regularly and with people so familiar, it never caused me to stop and ponder.

But, delayed planes really make me ponder.

Every single day I was gone, I shared these two words with complete strangers. Every day for the past few months of my life, back home I talk about these two words. I can't go a day without saying these two words.



Sitting on the plane I began to think, what was so special about these two words that 24 hours couldn't go by without me uttering them to anyone?

Then it hit me. They both changed my life. Completely changed. They both give me purpose in my life.

I am literally not the girl I was before.

I just want to be like Jesus. I want to love people.

I want to be able to look back over the past years and without doubt know that He has transformed me, and is continuing to do so. I want to point others to Jesus. I want to know His love, compassion, patience, peace, faithfulness, favor, joy, and goodness. I want them to be my life's song. I want bitterness, gossip, lust, vanity, and sarcasm to fall off me as I cling to Him and to His word. I want to be not important, and for Jesus to be everything.

Ah, Bolivia. 2 months, and I was in love.

I left part of my heart there. Bolivia may not be where I end up, but its where this girl experienced God is such an overwhelming and real way. It is where I fell in love with the least of these. It is where my purpose really took root and passion and dreams started to grow. It was my first huge solo adventure. It was where I decided wherever He sends me, I'll go.

How can I not go a day without saying those two words? When something seriously changes your life, you want to tell everyone.

So thank you. You listen when I ramble. You encourage me. You believe in me. You are patient when I share my dreams again and again and again and again. Thank you.


kindness challenge again

I have a small group of high school girls I see on a weekly basis at church. Recently I encouraged my small group girls to be kind. The think I'm kinda crazy, and told me it is hard to be kind. I remeinded them that I wasn't asking for huge acts of kindness. Just small, consistent, intentional acts of kindness. They grumbled about my challenge, so I am not sure if they will do it. But it got me thinking.

I was reminded how easy it is to slip into my own life, where all that matters is me. Kindness is not something that is expected. It is not glamorous. No one gives out gold stars for being kind. It is is easy to get caught up in life and just making that work. Kindness is often inconvient and uncomfortable. Sometimes it can cost money or time. When we don't receive thank you's, and our feelings get hurt. It can be hard.

So, get over it.

Be kind. You are not too busy, money is not too tight, and you have enough people around you to be kind.

So, I challenge you and I once again. Spend the next week doing daily acts of kindness. Don't just do them for people you know. Be kind to strangers. Even if it is uncomfortable.

Pray specifically for people and how you can be kind in a way that makes a difference to them. Then do it.

I challenge you to involve other people. Challenge your kids, students, co workers, whoever to also be kind this week.

I would love to hear of fun and creative ways you shared kindness this week!

Seven days. Seven ways. Be kind.

Love, M

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Update on Nestor

This is the latest I have received from my friend Kathryn. She is back in Bolivia, serving fulltime. I hope to Skype with her soon to get more information. But for now, this is enough.

Nestor, a baby who was extremely malnourished due to a hole in his heart, is now strong and growing! The first picture is him a 16 months weighing 11 pounds and the second is him now, 2 years 3 months weighing 22 pounds! Praise God!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And The Winner Is.....

Thank you for joining me of a week full of Being Content While Single! I loved sharing what God is teaching me. And I really enjoyed reading your feedback. It was so encouraging!
If you are interested in following my blog, you can subscribe by email. I write about a variety of topics. (What God is teaching me, His faithfulness, challenges to be more thankful, mission work, having a heart for the broken, being single, etc.) You can always click on the words under the "what am I talking about" section on the right for certain topics.
I loved doing this giveaway contest! I have never done one before, and it was fun to buy for it. I had 32 entries! That was more than I had thought I would have, so thank you!
So, without any more nonsense....
The winner is....
Kim B. from Mt. Pleasant, NC
Congrats Kim!
Please send your address to me an email at
Your fun pack of prizes will be in the mail ASAP!
Thanks for a fun week everyone!
Have a great weekend!
Love, Michelle

Friday, April 12, 2013

Being Content While Single : Adventure

Today is my last official post for this series. I am saddened to see it come to a close. I have enjoyed reading your comments. They have blessed me more than you could know. It boggles my mind that I don't know most of you, and yet God is allowing me to speak to you. I feel so under qualified and inadequate to share on being content while single, because a lot of days, I'm not. Thank you for letting me share my honest, not always glamorous life with you all. It brings my heart comfort to know I am not alone. You are wonderful. Keep those comments coming! I will draw a name tomorrow morning for one lucky reader to win some of my favorite things!
Adventure. I love adventure. Or at least I love the idea of it.
Last Valentine's Day I got on a plane all by myself, and flew down to Cochabamba, Bolivia. I didn't know anyone there. I went to work in orphanages for six weeks. Six weeks may not seem like a long time, but because it was the farthest away from home I had ever been, the longest time away I have ever been, and the first time truly alone, I was freaking out a little bit. I set out on my journey full of ideas of adventure and knowing my Jesus was going with me.
I had been told by people growing up that I would never really go anywhere. I would always be here, just stuck because I was too scared to go and do. They had their reasons to believe it. I was a very shy girl growing up. I didn't get my driver's license until I was a freshmen in college. I never went away to college. And then I never ended up finishing. I love being around my family, and just being home. I never wanted to move out of my parents' house, even after I was married. My plan was always to graduate high school, meet a nice man, and have babies. All of course by 23, because that is how every woman in my family has done it.
But that isn't me, anymore. My family lost our house my junior year of college, and I moved out and into my own place. It was frightening. But, God began to teach me to rely on Him, to trust that He will provide, and that He is always faithful. He taught me to dream. It was there in the quiet walls of that little apartment that He began to transform my heart. He became my best friend.
My dream to become a missionary began when I was four years old. My dad went on a building mission trip, and when he came home he told me stories. I was shocked that people around this world didn't know about Jesus, little babies didn't have parents, and churches didn't have buildings. I knew that this was what I wanted to do when I was older.
In high school, I went to Jamaica three times and served in orphanages. In college, I went to Guatemala, Honduras, and a reservation in Arizona to serve. But it wasn't until I went to Bolivia, alone, for six weeks, that I suddenly believed in my dreams and adventure. I really began to believe in myself, and that God could use me, even without a man beside me.
God has taught me so much when I am alone, and adventuring with Him.
I know that not everyone can relate to wanting to live in a developing country to work with orphans. And I have to remember that isn't my life currently. My heart may be beating for South America, but the rest of me needs to live here, in the now. I need to believe that God can use me wherever I am, I can choose to be content wherever I am, and I can dream and have adventures wherever I am.
So, I may not be getting on a plane today to fly somewhere crazy and new, but a sense of adventure is a good thing to have everyday.
God has been revealing a lot to me, about me lately. I have found myself holding out on doing things, just in case "he" shows up. Okay, I am now realizing that is not healthy, but before, I didn't even realize I was doing it.
I am learning adventure isn't just plane rides and trips. Adventure can be doing something you have always wanted to do, but for some reason haven't. Adventure can be small or huge. It is up to you to decide what it means to you.
My hair adventure:
My hair has always been brown and curly. But, I have always secretly wanted to have blonde straight hair. I never would change it, because honestly I wanted my hair to be long, brown, and curly for my wedding. I felt like I couldn't change it because my man may show up, and want to get married, and my hair was the wrong color. I hope you're laughing, because as I am writing this, I am. Who thinks like this?!? I was so caught up in worrying about plans that were not happening, I couldn't focus on living in the now. I am proud to say that now, I am a blondie. I don't know how long I will keep it this color, but I am loving it. And I am so thankful that I finally let myself make my own decision.
My kitchen adventure:
I love to bake. Put me in the kitchen, and I am a happy woman. Since I moved out unexpectedly, I didn't have all of the wonderful kitchen gadgets I wanted, I didn't even have the basics. So over the past three years, I gathered the basic essentials for my kitchen. I always avoided buying the things I really wanted because I thought that I could just register for what I wanted when I got engaged. (Once again, what was I thinking?!) I wasn't allowing myself to live in the now because I was so concerned about the future. So, on New Year's Eve, I went to the mall with my best friend from Japan, and used all of my Christmas money on kitchen things. The night before I had made a wish list, after reading hundreds of product reviews. It was one of the best feelings to do what I wanted, and not wait on a man. I loved my best friend chasing down a man who was working to help him find a specific zester I had on my wish list. He didn't even know what a zester was, but he found it. When I checked out, the lady working asked me what I was buying everything for. When I told it was all for me, she gave me a weird look, but I didn't care. I was living for me. I had always wanted a stand up Kitchen Aid mixer, and God blessed me with one! (Read the story here!) So now my kitchen is stocked with the good stuff, and I can bake to my little heart's content, knowing I'm not waiting on a man to buy a pie pan.
My serving adventures:
I live near Pontiac, Michigan. Pontiac is a rough city. It is located in between Flint and Detroit, two of the most dangerous cities in the country. But for some odd reason, I love Pontiac. I know my friends and family do not always love my love for the city. I have served by walking the streets early in the morning handing breakfast to the homeless. (Read the story here!) I have gathered coats, mittens, and hats for the homeless in Flint. I have served at community bbqs for low income neighborhoods. Every time I drive down there, it is an adventure. So much uncertainty surrounds me. Who will I meet? How can I meet their needs? How can I point someone to Jesus today? I love it.

Social media is perfect breeding grounds for boredom and discontentment. I challenge you to log off, and find adventure this week. There are people everywhere that need to be loved.

Friday's question: What is stopping you from living the life you want? What are you going to do about it?


GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! Today is the last day to enter!! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. You can go back to previous days blogs for additional entries. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck! Prize Pack includes: The book Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His, Measuring cups and spoons, Nivea lip balm, Revlon nail polish, and a Bath and Body Work's lemon candle.

The Complete Series:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Being Content While Single : Truth

Hello Day Four! Wow! This week and this series is flying by!!
Today I want to talk about the importance of truth and truth tellers in your life.
As a single girl, we often hear lies. Lies can come from many places; whispers in your mind that you are not good enough to have a man, thoughts that God has forgotten about you, overheard conversations of church women saying there must be something wrong with you, feelings of hopelessness, the reminder that everyone is moving on while you just stay single and stuck, and of course, there are others. These are all lies.
You deserve to be loved. You are a treasure.You are wonderful.You are not forgotten. There is a plan.
Quiet the enemy's lies with truth from God's Word. "When there is a fight between your heart and your head, experience has taught me that the best thing to do is pick up your Bible and remind yourself of what God says. ... You need to return to the truth of God's Word that will last forever, not meditate on circumstances that will change and fade." (Undaunted Caine) God's Word is the only absolute truth. It is unchanging, unwavering, and always consistent. Be in the Word.
I also think it is very important to have 3 certain types of people in your life: a single friend, a friend that hasn't been married long, an an older friend that has been married for a while. They all need to point you back to the truth of God's Word, give sound advice that aligns with Truth, and won't be  afraid to call you out on stuff.
I love weddings, but I would be lying to you, if I told you I jumped up and down every time I received an invitation in the mail. Sometimes it is just plain hard to be excited for your friends when you feel like you are missing out. One of my best friends gave me great advice. She reminded me that none of these girls were marrying my man. He was still out there, waiting for me. Just because my friends are getting married and moving on, doesn't change anything from the plan God has for me. Instead of being sulky and bitter, I needed to choose to rejoice for my friends. I have clung to that piece of advice through a couple of wedding seasons, multiple babies being born, and friends buying houses. I am so grateful I have a friend who loves me enough to tell me in truth and love to get over myself. :)
I called my dad sobbing the other day. (I hate being an emotional girl. I am not even sure why I started crying that day, but I ended up crying because I am still single, and it doesn't feel fair, and its wedding season.) My dad is the kindest, wisest, and godliest man I know. He reminded me to wait on God's timing. I told him that it felt like it was never going to happen for me, I was going to be alone forever. He then told me, "Michelle, I really don't think so. God has a plan, and you are in it." What wise words. It stopped me mid sob. I needed that truth in that exact moment. God does have a plan, and I am in it. I am so thankful I have a dad who will tell me truth, even if I am an emotional basket case.
One of my best friends is just like me. We're two peas in a pod when it comes to being single, loving Jesus, and wanting adventure. We often have long talks, multiple nights a week. We talk about everything under the sun. Often the topic of marriage and our future husbands come up. We pray together, laugh together, and share dreams together. When she speaks truth into my life, it is sometimes softer than someone else's voice. She understands my struggles, because they are her struggles. She will let me talk all of my frustration out, then will ask a question that makes me really think, and points me back to truth. She doesn't fall for my excuses, and won't let me make them. She knows me too well. She doesn't beat around the bush, and I trust what she says, because I know she is actually saying it to both of us. It is such a blessing to be best friends and single together. I often pray that our husbands show up the same day, so the other is not left behind.
I also have a friend that has been married around 10 years. She gives me occasional glimpses into her marriage that are truthful. She doesn't pretty up situations, or act like marriage is always the easiest thing ever. I really appreciate her honesty that marriage is hard, but worth it. Years ago she told me that some mornings when she wakes up, she doesn't feel like loving her husband, but that love is a choice, not a feeling. It is shown in actions, not just by words. I am so thankful I have her giving me real, truthful wisdom.
Honestly, I didn't want to write this blog. I didn't want to share my struggles with people I don't even know. I wanted to avoid talking about how I cry far too much, how I often struggle with being content, and how I often believe the enemy's lies. I didn't want to appear desperate, emotional, or crazy. But I know this is what I was supposed to write today. I am a work in progress, and God is teaching me daily what it means to find contentment in Him. Today just seems like it is a bit more of a struggle. So, I pray something in here made sense, and that God can use it for His good, because I feel like a bit of a tired mess today.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! It really has been incredible.
Have a lovely afternoon.
Love, Michelle
Thursday's question: Who in your life brings you truth and points you back to the Bible?
GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. You can go back to previous days blogs for additional entries. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck! Prize Pack includes: The book Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His, Measuring cups and spoons, Nivea lip balm, Revlon nail polish, and a Bath and Body Work's lemon candle.
The Complete Series:

Don't forget to check out the other 15 blogs in this series about Intentional Living!
linking up with:Cornerstone Confessions

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Being Content While Single : Prayer

Welcome to Wednesday! The week is half way over!
Today I want to talk about praying for our husbands. I know, you're single, you don't know him yet. Well, neither do I. But I don't think that should stop us from praying for them. The God we pray to is well aware of who our men are, so when we pray for them, although we don't know who they are, He already does. And that same God, hears our prayers.
I want to interject that by praying for them, I do not mean asking God to send them sooner. I have often prayed that, but today I am talking about something totally different.
A few months ago two other girls and I did a Bible study. We decided to do a book study, and somehow stumbled upon the book, Praying for Your Future Husband. (This book is part of the giveaway!) It changed my world. It pointed me to Christ, and to the Bible in such a real way.
This book encouraged me to pray for my man in real ways. Not just prayers for our future marriage, but actually praying for him right now, wherever he is.
This has changed my view of a lot of things. I realize my husband is a real man, right now. He is already born, grown, and living life somewhere. (When I pray for him, I always picture him in Africa, is that weird?) He has real struggles, problems, and disappointments. My prayers right now can effect him, right now. I may not know him, or his exact problem, but I believe that when I pray for patience, strength, and protection, God knows what he needs in that moment, and He hears my prayers. What a unbelievably incredible way to impact his life before even meeting him!
One of the biggest bonuses of praying for my future husband, is that it has brought so much contentment and peace to my heart. I am not sure how it works, but I know the more I pray for this very real man, the more faith I have in God's plan, and the more at ease my heart feels.
 "Trust also means believing your prayers will work in the life of your future husband even though you can't see him today. ... You have most likely not met him yet, but your prayers will make a difference in his life. As you pray, you too are changed. You're building your trust. You're placing your hopes in God's hands, and there's no better place they can be." (Praying for your Future Husband-Preparing Your Heart for His Gunn and Goyer)
Another thing praying for my future husband has done for me, is put things into perspective. When I think about some girl kissing my husband right now, I don't like it. The same is true for him, I'm sure he doesn't want some random guy kissing his future wife. The more I pray for him, the more I realize I want to remain pure for him. I want to save the late night conversations, the flirting, the cuddles, and the sharing of hopes and dreams. It is teaching me to guard those things close, because there is only one man worthy of unlocking them, and he isn't here yet.
I have a little notebook with random ramblings. They are letters and notes to my husband. I long for the day to sit down and read them with him. I can't wait to hear his side of the stories of the nights I woke up from a deep sleep with him on my heart, and protection on my mind. What was he doing? How did God answer my prayers? While I was out serving Jesus, was he doing the same? What situations was he in while I prayed for clarity in making decisions? I have dated my letters, in great anticipation of hearing his adventures that just may correspond with my prayers.
I know praying for him now is also good practice for being a praying wife, and a praying mother one day. It is a good habit to start now.
I urge you to begin praying for your husbands. I have had the most incredible few months of trusting God, and learning contentment while praying for mine. I know it may be a slightly strange concept to some of you, but I encourage you to try.
Have a great day! Love, Michelle
Wednesday's question: What are 3 things you can pray for your future husband right now?
GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. You can go back to previous days blogs for additional enteries. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck! Prize Pack includes: The book Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His, Measuring cups and spoons, Nivea lip balm, Revlon nail polish, and a Bath and Body Work's lemon candle.
The Complete Series:
Don't forget to check out the other 15 blogs also doing the Intentional Living Series. You will be encouraged! I know I have been so far!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Being Content While Single : Love

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back to my series on Being Content While Single.
Today's topic is about love. I know, I know, hold up, you're a single girl, there is no love connection going on for you. So, why am I talking about it? Well, because I think loving yourself is pretty important, man or no man.
What do I mean by loving yourself? Nothing too profound, I promise. I think it is important to know what you like and don't like. Treat yourself with respect, and take good care of yourself. Learn to love spending time with yourself.
Believe that you really are wonderful. You have value. You are beautiful. You are uniquely special. It's true. I promise.
Discover what you like. How do you really like your coffee? Take time to figure it out. (My personal favorite right now is strong coffee with brown sugar and a bit of whole milk.) Don't just like something because you always have. Try new things, and discover what you like and don't like. (I thought I always hated coconut until I made the best coconut chocolate cookies for a friend last year, and quickly became obsessed with coconut! Who knew?)
What do you enjoy doing for fun? Get out there and do it. I love to swing on swing sets, put on an apron and bake for hours, go on barefoot walks in the fall, shop for random vintage things, eat ice cream in a cone with sprinkles, and lay in the middle of the grass with a good book and the sunshine to keep me company. Find activities you love, and do them. Do something small everyday to put a smile on your face.
Don't let yourself not do what you enjoy because you're always waiting for someone to join you.
Taking time for yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do. We all are busy, and it is important to relax.Take yourself on dates. (It's not pathetic, I promise.) (Just think about it, no one to steal your popcorn, or talk over the best parts, and you get to see whatever movie you want!) I try to give myself one date night a week. Sometimes that doesn't work, but I try my best to be alone more than just sleeping. Schedule time with yourself just like you would any friend. Put it in your calendar, and don't break your appointment. It is so easy to be busy, and never spend time with yourself, but I think you miss out on spending time with and getting to know a great girl, YOU! (I know that was kinda cheesy, but it is so true!)
Get beautified for yourself. Yes of course, getting all dolled up for a hot date is fun, but why not treat yourself the same way? You are wonderful. Buy the new mascara, and have fun with your lashes. Get those stunning stilettos out of of the closet for a fun night out. Try out a new hair style, just for fun. I recently am beginning to embrace this. I was turning into a bit of a bum lately. In the past month or so I have intentionally styled my hair, and put some make up on (even if it was just mascara and burt's bees lip balm) even if I was just wearing yoga pants and a tee shirt. Looking good helps you feel good.
Learn to disconnect. Get off facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter, your phone, email, and all other means of constant communication. Unplug for a while. Nothing too important is going to happen while you take a three hour break. And if it does, you will get to it when you turn your phone back on. I struggle with this one. I like the idea of it, but sometimes the reality of it is another story. Social media is really good at getting you to compare yourself with others. A break can be a really positive thing, even if its only for an afternoon. On my alone night, I turn my phone off, and put it on the charger in another room, and just hang out with myself. It is an easy way to really focus on you time.
GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck!
Tuesday's question: What are 2 ways you can focus on loving yourself this month?
Love, Michelle
The Complete Series:


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Being Content While Single: Identity

Happy Monday! And welcome to my first official day of my new series, Intentional Living: Being Content While Single.

Today I want to share what I believe is the most important component to being content while single, identity. I believe identity can make you or break you. Who you think you are will influence how you act and how you live.

Your true identity will not be found once you have a ring on your finger, a man at your side, or a baby on your hip. You are more than that.

Your identity must come not from changing circumstances, but from Christ alone, who is the only steady force in our lives. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Here are a couple of my favorite truths and verses that do not change.
You are a daughter of the King. “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
He rejoices over you. 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 his singing. Zephaniah 3:17

He chose you on purpose, individually chosen for himself. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

He has a plan.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

He has forgiven you. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

He is always with you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

He loves you. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

When we first find our identity in Christ, over others and things, we become a more steadfast person. We are not as likely to be pushed around by emotions of bitterness, worry, anger, jealousy, resentment, worthlessness, and other feelings. We can know that we are loved, and that doesn't ever change due to our relationship status. We can know that regardless of our Friday night plans, we have a God who thinks we are beautiful. Despite our ideas of what we thought we would have in our lives by now, we have a God who knows the whole plan, and is working it out for our good, in His perfect timing. We are treasured daughters of the King. He rejoices over us.

You are loved by the relentless lover, you are forgiven more than you know, you are known by the God of the universe, and He even calls you by name.

We didn't have to choose Him, He already chose us.

So, stop with the worry, rest in Him, and remember who you really are.

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] (Ephesians 1:4-5 Amplified Bible)

When we realize our identity truly is in Him, we can rest in His arms, knowing He loves us, and that will never change.

GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck!

Monday's question: What is your favorite verse that reminds you of your true identity?

Happy Monday.

Love, M

Be on the lookout for a giveaway at the end of the week!

The Complete Series:

Intentional Living: Being Content While Single: Main Page

This is for all the single ladies who are struggling to be content in their lives. Being single while everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives with their special person, leaving you sitting there, on your couch can be a bit depressing at times. I know, because I live there. Let's stop throwing our little pity parties, and intentionally live content. Join me for five days as I attempt to shine a light on ways we can intentionally strive to be content.

Here are the topics I will be discussing: (I will update as they are posted)

Day One: Identity -Where is our true identity?
Day Two: Love - Do you love yourself?
Day Three: Prayer - Are you praying for your husband and yourself?
Day Four: Truth - Do you have a friend who will speak truth into your life?
Day Five: Adventure - Do you go on adventures?

Check out 15 other great bloggers that will be showing us how to live intentional in other areas of life.
There will be a giveaway at the end of the week, so stay tuned! Happy reading!

GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck!
Love, Michelle

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Being Content While Single: Intro

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to write a mini series about Intentional Living. I have never done something like this before, so I agreed. 16 bloggers from different corners, all joining together to write their take on Intentional Living. Everyone of us has a different topic, under the Intentional Living umbrella.
I thought I had chosen my topic right away. But then, I battled for weeks. I had a little list of topics that I was comfortable with, and someone knowledgeable about. "Being thankful." "Being a good friend." "Loving people like Jesus does." "Listening to God's voice." "Being kind." But, you aren't reading any of those right now. You're reading about Being Content While Single.
Bah. Not my plan at all. Writing about being kind, thankful, or loving people is easy, because it isn't really personal. It doesn't get into the nitty gritty. Writing about being single is getting into areas I'm not comfortable with myself, and sharing them with people I don't even know. I knew this is what I am supposed to be sharing, but I refused for weeks. Once I told God ,that in fact, He knew better than I, and accepted this topic, I had peace.
Just to be clear, if it were up to me, I would already be married to a tall, handsome, plaid wearing, Jesus loving, adventure taking kinda man. I would have lots of babies, and be content to be in my kitchen, wearing an apron and lipstick, and being the sweetest little house wife this world has ever known.
But, that's not my life. I am single and 25. I have heard every cliche, story, and piece of advice in the book about being single, waiting on God's timing, and men. The girls in my freshmen small group at youth group have had more boyfriends in six months than I've had, ever. I haven't dated much at all. I am the perpetual bridesmaid, always being told that I'm just like the girl from that movie, 27 Dresses. I only have 3 things on my 'make it or break it list', and I haven't really found a man that meets all of them. I don't think my standards are unattainably high, I just know that I am wonderful, and worth a good man who loves Jesus, more than he could ever love me. I have tried blind dates and online dating. It just hasn't worked. I believe God knows my man, and is working things out, in His perfect timing. Sometimes, I get easily frustrated and annoyed with my lack of man and babies, but I have learned so much the past year or so about God's faithfulness, so I know He has me, and He has this.
Discontentment is something I don't normally struggle with, but naturally, as I prepare to write this week, I have struggled in the worst way. So, everything I write, God is teaching and reteaching me a step ahead of you reading it.

So, with all of that being said, here it is. A week's worth of me trying to figure out how to be content with this single season I'm in, so I can then share it with y'all. I hope you stayed tuned for all five days.

There are 15 other bloggers doing the same thing, just with different topics. Check them out, and be encouraged.

GiveAWay Info: I will be giving a way a prize pack with some of my favorite goodies at the end of this series! There is only one prize. You can enter every day of the week by answering the question at the end of each daily blog. Leave a comment with your name, city and state, and your answer to my question to be entered in this week's prize pack! I will announce the winner in a post on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. The winner will have to contact me via email at with their mailing address to receive their prize. Good luck!
Sunday's question: What area of singleness do you struggle the most with?

Love, Michelle :)

The Complete Series:


Intentional Living Bloggers & Topics

Intentional By Grace – “Filling Up Your Life & Not Just Your Schedule”

Christian Mommy Blogger – “Intentional Blogging”

Intentional Homeschool – “Intentional Training” – “Embracing Rest”

Live Called – “Making Your Home a Haven”

Triple Braided Kids – “Cherishing Your Baby’s Development”

Gospel Homemaking – “Intentional Attitudes”

Season The Day – “Parenting with a Purpose”

Grace Everyday – “Empowered by Grace”

Creating Naturally – “Preserving Family Memories”

Running Against the Odds – “Training our Mind and Body”

Young Wife’s Guide – “Glorifying God in Your Homemaking”

A Biblical Marriage – “A God Centered Marriage”

New Life Steward – “Intentionally Walking With God”

The Purposeful Mom – “A Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character”

Adventure In the Unknown – “Being Content While Single”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feeling Cranky vs. Choosing Joy

Yesterday, I woke up late, or so I thought. I was rushed, trying to get ready, when at 5:30 am, I realized it was my sleep in day. I didn't have to go into work until an hour later than normal. There was no reason for me to be up that early.

I could've been in bed, dreaming sweet dreams. Instead, I was awake, cranky, cold, and still sick. The shower ran out of hot water, again. I only had time to shave one leg. I still couldn't breathe due to a stupid sinus cold. Last month had days boasting of 50 degrees and sunshine, and it was a brisk 22 degrees that morning. I stubbed my toe walking in the dark.

I was plain cranky.

I knew the crank would continue all day long, if I didn't do anything to stop it. So I decided to get over myself and choose joy. I made myself be thankful. I told myself to make a list of 20 things I was thankful for before 8 am, and it transformed my day.

I am thankful for:
1. The extra hour to get ready.
2. Drinking coffee at home, and enjoying it, unrushed.
3. A clean kitchen, because I washed the dishes last night.
4. My warm and cozy bed.
5. A cute dress to wear.
6. Time to try a new way to curl my hair.
7. Extra prayer time.
8. Getting gas last night, so I didn't have to this morning.
9. My drive to work is 8 minutes.
10. There is no construction on my drive to work.
11. I saw the sunrise.
12. Mason jars.
13. Perfect sing a long songs on the radio.
14. Texting with my best friend in Tokyo.
15. I love my job.
16. The baby was in a good mood.
17. My friends who encourage me.
18. Big, exciting things happening in friends' lives.
19. Patience, when I feel like I don't have any left.
20. Being told I'm beautiful by a 4 year old.

When I focused on what I was thankful for, my entire day changed.

Choose joy.

Choose to be thankful.

What are 5 things you are thankful for this morning?

Have a good day!

M :)