Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Last night before bed, I cried. I cried because everything in life was stacking on top of everything else, and it was 10 seconds of weakness. Then, when I stopped feeling sorry for myself because my leg was having a spasm and I was feeling super-sick, as was Jonathan and Truett, and because it also was going to ruin my birthday plans today, I started quoting scripture to myself. Just then, my mind was flooded with thoughts, and so many of them, so I grabbed my phone, and began to record audio. Here is what I said last night, to myself, and to anyone else that wants to listen. This is word for word, no additions, no subtractions. This is real Michelle at 11pm.

Most people think that I've got my life put together in a pretty little package with a cute bow on top. It's just not true.

I feel nearest to God not when I'm a beautiful vase of flowers sitting on the table, but when I'm shattered and broken on the floor. Is it because God isn't near me during those beautiful times? Absolutely not. He's always near me. James 4:8 says "Come close to God and God will come close to you..." the problem with having a life so put together and a life so beautiful is that you're not on the lookout for God. You don't see him. He might be in the room and pass you by but you never even look up, because you're having such a good time at the party. You might be talking to your friend and God walks by and taps your shoulder, but you don't even turn around because you're enjoying the food and the dancing. Sometimes you have to fall on the floor from a heart attack before you need his help.

God is near the brokenhearted. God has been more near to me in the past few months than at any other time in my life, which is saying something, because God has been near to me for many years. I think the turning point for me was when...and I'm sorry if you've never heard this before, but I'm about to drop you right in the middle of the mess, but it's true. My life is an open book, so I have to share this story.

Jonathan and I had a really rough marriage. Actually, that would be the understatement of the century  We struggled every day. We never, for months, had a day when we weren't struggling to get along. There was even a period of 3 days where we literally did not speak a word to one another. It was bad. Do you know how we overcame it? God.

God literally broke me. Broke me. You know the verse in Jeremiah 18 that says, "But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over." That's my life, and that's Jonathan's life, which I'm sure he would tell you about, because we don't have secrets about this. We are different people now, whole people. We love one other fiercely and completely, and we get along like you wouldn't believe.

We were in a dark place. But you know what, the darker the place, the brighter the light. God called us out of that place just to show us his bright and shining perfect light, and we've never turned back. I really am a changed person. I literally went to bed one night and woke up another person. I couldn't get enough of the Scripture. I had to read my Bible. I had to get up early. I needed God like you need water on a 100 degree day. I had to have him. I can't even explain it to you unless you've gone through it yourself. The Lord is near you in your darkest times, and he's also near you in your best times. Remember to look for him.

We often see him in our darkest times because we are looking for him. But in the good times, look for him all the more, so you can truly enjoy his presence...with no agenda or needs, or asking him to do something for you. Just simply be with the creator of the world. He's asking to be with you. Don't wait until you have a tragedy for him to grab your attention. He died for you.


And then I went to sleep about a minute later, not remembering why I was so sad in the first place. I have everything.

My life is an example to many,because you have been my strength and protection.
Psalms 71:7

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Parents

Some people have funny parents and some have serious ones. Some people love their parents and get along with them like best friends, and some really don't. Some talk with their parents every day, and some talk with them once a month, or maybe even once a year. I wonder sometimes what other people's parents are like, but I never dwell on it long, because I love mine...SO MUCH.

Meet Them:
My mom is Robin. Beautiful, talented (at absolutely everything, aka Martha Stewart), nurturing, generous with her words and her love, a servant.

My dad is Wayne. Strong, hilarious (corny in the best sort of way), adventurous, a prayer warrior, always ready to help, reliable, honest, a learner.

I don't take them for granted you know. I'm really lucky. They care so much about every small thing in my life and they are there for me when I need them. They give beyond what they need to, they are patient, they do what they say they will, and they always give me their best. I'm lucky to have them, and I thank God for them! Even now, they still surprise me.

My mom, for example, was here today and I was talking to her about memorizing Scripture. I had never known that she had memorized so much. I asked her what she knew, and she quoted the entire chapter of Romans 12 and James 1 right there! Come on now, that's awesome. I can't believe I didn't know that about her.

And my dad, he loves fixing things...or maybe he doesn't, be he always offers to help, so I assume that he does and he really has me fooled if he doesn't! He fixed our shower drain, our mower, and I'm sure he would have fixed anything else I had on a list, but I don't invite him over to put him to work! He cracks me up. He was waiting with me at the hospital the other day reading the instructions to follow when we got home, from the paper that the nurse gave me. "Do not operate machinery. Now Michelle, no bulldozing. You need to stay off all kind of big tractors like that, and definitely no rototilling the yard tonight." Where does he come up with this stuff?

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Hi blog family! How are you, anyway? I know I talk about my life on here a lot, but I'd love to hear about you. If any of you have a blog that I don't yet follow, please post below with the link so that I can follow you back! I love reading about your lives just as much as peas love carrots.

Ya know what else? My kiddo is huge. That boy brings my joy, joy, joy! Have you all met Truett yet? If you've missed him growing up these last 15 months, let me catch you up real quick. This kid is awesome. He's talking in single words, but of course I think that's amazing in every way. He loves corn like it's straight sugar, and he's a milk addict. He wears a size 6 shoe, runs everywhere he goes, loves to hug people, and you'll find him standing by his crib asking to go to bed every night around 7:45pm sharp. "Night night?" This little boy was the blessing I always dreamed of having...but he's way WAY more.

Also, if you think of it, please pray for me on Friday and Saturday. I'm having a spinal tap on Friday afternoon as a follow-up test for a lot of reasons. I have to lay flat on my back after the procedure for 24 hours, so that just means a lot of good memorizing of Philippians, right? See, I knew it was all going to work out!

Let me leave you with this last thought...lately I've been learning that when we become more occupied with what has happened in the past, or about what might happen in the future, we are missing the present, and THAT becomes a problem. My life is filled with more "what ifs" than I know what to do with these days, but that shouldn't and won't concern me. I refuse. It truly doesn't matter. What matters is the present, and today is what counts, and if I don't accomplish anything all day long besides loving my family and pleasing the Lord with my actions, then I'll consider the day well spent!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Memorizing Scripture

I've never had a conventional thought life, where I can think at the drop of a hat like some people can. I feel that I'm full of great ideas though when I'm truly relaxed and in my element. You know how it goes, right? Am I the only one that has great ideas in the shower or on a long walk?

So, I was sitting at the bank drive-thru the other day, patiently waiting for my turn, listening and humming along to David Dunn, and I had this crazy thought: why don't I memorize the whole Bible? Like I said, a little crazy audacious!

I'm not planning on memorizing the whole Bible, but I did consider at least starting with larger chunks. There is so much value in knowing God's Word. I've learned that it can't help me if I don't know it, and I know it by reading it and memorizing it, what else?! There are so many times that I quote a verse to myself but I can't remember where it's found. I'm forever bad about knowing verse locations, although I can quote you the actual words (which are more important anyway) all day long.

Well, I'm crazy enough to think that I could and should memorize entire chapters and books of the Bible. Why not? Maybe I'll start with Philippians. You can't go wrong with an encouraging letter from Paul!

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Mercies Every Morning!

I have received so many kind facebook messages, emails, comments, texts, and words from the most wonderful friends in the world. I have never felt more loved or encouraged through anything. It has truly been such a blessing to me.

When I found out about this illness, I was ironically enough reading the book of Job. I was in the midst of the book (which I have always loved, by the way). I love how the NLT version of the Bible calls the title of the first chapter, "Job's First Test" because there are inevitably many more tests if you've ever read the story! Take a moment and read Job 1:6-11 with me:

One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

This leads me to the point of this whole blogpost. 

As I was waiting yesterday afternoon to get several other rounds of tests, including some MRIs of my neck and back, I checked Facebook for the first time that morning. I saw a comment pop up from my friend Lori, and if you know her, there is nothing in me that ever questions that her encouraging words are straight from the heart of God. You literally feel the Lord's hugs when you read them. It said...

I couldn't sleep...got up...just read your blog. There's something about the "middle of the night" that helps remind me that nothing matters except my relationship with God. I remember a sweet conversation with you, sitting on my couch after a girls bible study in my living room several years ago. There is a childlike faith in you...so sweet and refreshing! It's funny how those who decide to trust God that way (like a child) seem to be boldest warriors. I am learning more each day...it's not about this life! Our real life is in heaven...you are 26 and "you get it"! I can hear the Heavenly Father saying to the enemy, "Have you noticed my warrior, Michelle?" Onward, sweet girl, I am praying! I love you! Lori

Do you know what that meant to me? The Lord was speaking directly to me through someone else, and I actually shed a few tears right there in the waiting room. God knew I was feeling anxious about the next hour, and he literally sent me...in perfect timing...the encouragement that I needed to hear...in a form that I understood...from a friend that I loved. Come on now, that's amazing.

It happens every day I tell you. Every single day his mercies are new! He literally sends me something good. Every. Single. Day. Oh how he loves us! I hope that you allow God to use you to bless someone else this week. Don't hold back when you know you should speak up. You'll be missing an opportunity to bless others, and they'll be missing out on the blessing. It's time to say something and tell the world what God does for you! What are you afraid of anyway? I'm afraid of one person misunderstanding God's kind heart, because it's far too good and he paid far too much.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

And Lori is right. I'm not giving up so easily.

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