Total Pageviews

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The best awkward conversation I've ever had.

I am a weird girl. I have been known to say off the wall, unexpected things. I often make situations embarrassing and awkward. That's just me. That's how I am.

One of my favorite times I stuck my foot in my mouth was five years ago.

I knew I was going to be working at the church's kids day camp that summer. The pastor's son had recently moved back to the area, and would be running it. His lovely wife was standing in the lobby after church.

I had never met her before, but I kinda knew who she was. She had never seen me before, and didn't have a clue who I was.

So naturally, when I walked up to her and said something awkward, she didn't know what to do with me.

"Hello. You don't know me. I'm Michelle. Were going to be working together this summer. And I know we are going to become the best of friends."

Well, that was five years ago, and she hasn't gotten rid of me yet. She also still doesn't really know what to do with me. :)

She has been one of my biggest fans, my voice of reason, my fellow gilmore girl enthusiast, my thrift store partner in crime, my encourager, my painting partner, and one of the best listeners I have ever met.

Her life points to Jesus, in a real and honest way. She is such a wonderful and godly wife and mother. And she gave me the best fake nephew and niece this fake Auntie has ever wished for.

So happy 5 years of fab friendship dearest Si. I am so thankful for all of our chats, laughs, and most of all, you.

I am so glad I was so awkward five years ago. :)

Love, M.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tune into His Voice

Tonight I was blessed to be able to video chat with one of my dear friends in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She is a missionary there, working with families in a rough area, helping out in an after school program, and planting a church.

She also is my friend that keeps me informed on baby Nestor. (Look for an update on him later this week!)

I was telling her how lately, my heart is often conflicted with where I am, and where I want to be.

She then said the most profound thing to me.

"It is all about being so in tune to His voice. So when you're waiting, you don't rush Him, and when He calls, you don't drag your feet."

When I got off the call with her, I thought of the song that says, "Where you go, I'll go, Where you stay, I'll stay..."

I want to be wherever He has me. I want to be content in whatever state I am in. I want to follow, even when I am uncertain. And, I just want to know His voice.

What are some ways you have learned to tune into His voice?

Have a good night.

Love, M

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Plans.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

For many, this means the start of all things summertime.

Warmer weather, hopefully. (It was 88 three days ago, and 36 last night. I currently have weather whiplash.) Yard work and house work are at the top of many to do lists. Church softball leagues are beginning. Plans are being made for weekends away at the cabin on the lake. Kids are finishing the school year. Floral dresses, swim suits, and sandals are being worked into every day wardrobes. Days of sunshine and beaches are in the near future.

This summer I am focusing on a couple dreams. I am believing that He is working things out for my good, in His timing. I am excited about some newly developed desires He has placed on my heart. I am trusting He will bring them to completion, even though I am scared and nervous.

This summer may get a little topsy turvy as I trust Him in new and unknown situations. I may learn a lot, and they may be hard lessons. I am anticipating growth this summer as I believe Him to be faithful in things that don't make any sense.

So, I ask earnestly for your prayers. Please join me in prayer for productivity, to be filled with God's Word, to be obedient even when it is difficult, and above all, to shine Jesus in everything I say and do.

I know I am being vague. Please trust me that when the timing is right, I will share big things.

Trust and believe with me that He greater things are yet to come.

Have a sweet weekend.

Don't forget to remember the brave men and women we celebrate and thank for our freedom this weekend.

Love, M.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beauty for Ashes.

This is a repost from another blog I write for. This subject was very much on my heart this morning, so I thought it would be fitting to share it on here today.

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 their 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

Saturday, May 18, 2013

His arm is not too short.

A few years ago, I met K. We worked together, and quickly became friends. We both moved onto different jobs around the same time, and within a few months, we randomly started Friday night dinners.

Almost every Friday night for the last 21 months, K and I have done something together. We have had picnics, gone to movies, sat on my couch while reading magazines, gone out to dinner, or ordered from Hungry Howies. It just became assumed that Friday nights was time together. It was never the plan to do it every week, but I am so glad it happened that way. Somewhere in there, we became best friends.

When K and I first became friends, she had never been inside of a church, not even for a wedding. That was just the way she was raised. It was such a contrast to the way I was raised. I have a hard time remembering a week of my life that I wasn't in church.

I never wanted to force Jesus, church, or my beliefs on her. So, I tried to live my life in a way that pointed to Jesus and His love, I answered any question she had, but most of all, I began to pray fervently.

I prayed almost every day for 21 months. I memorized Isaiah 59:1 "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."

I begged God to soften her heart, and give her the desire to know Him. I rejoiced every time she had a question about Jesus, church, religion, or the Bible. I prayed even more. I sobbed when I drove home one particular night, knowing she was beginning to understand. I asked God to make clear opportunities in conversations to share Him.

She started to attend church with her boss pretty regularly around the beginning of the year. My heart leaped inside of me.

One day a few weeks ago, she told me she had been thinking about my future husband, and so she stopped everything and prayed for him. There are not enough words to express how much that blessed my heart. I had no idea she was beginning to pray, let alone, pray for my husband.

Last week she asked me if I would be at church when she gets baptized. I agreed, but told her, only after we had a serious conversation about some things beforehand.

So tonight, we went to dinner, we caught up after a busy week, and then we sat down on the couch. Bible in lap, I began to go over the plan of salvation. I wanted to know that she understood the Gospel, and wasn't just getting baptized just to get baptized. I wanted to make sure she knew baptism does not wash away sins, or get us into heaven. It is just a step of obedience in following Jesus. I wanted her to know that the Bible is truth, and that we can go to it for everything. Religions and denominations may not have the answers, but Jesus and His Word always will. She stopped me a couple times to clarify as I read and explained things, but at the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had accepted Jesus, confessed her sins, and believed in her heart yet.

She looked at me with big, tearful eyes, and told me she had. She couldn't remember the exact day this winter, but she had accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Between tears, I told her of how I had prayed for her for months and months to know Jesus in a real way, and how faithful He was. I told her that Jesus is the most important thing in my life. He brings hope, peace, everlasting life, love, joy, and so much more. There is nothing more I could ever want for my friends, then to know my real Jesus.

So, rejoice with me today. My heart is full.

God is so faithful. His timing is perfect.

His arm is not too short to save. His ear is not too hard of hearing.

He saves. He hears.

Thank you for all of your prayers the last couple of years. You may not know my friends, or even me, but I know people are praying.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b.

Please continue to pray for K as she is a baby believer, and is beginning to sort out her faith.

I cannot wait to share more stories in the future, of things I am trusting and believing He is working out. What a faithful God we serve.

Have a nice weekend.

Love, M