Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

{at the beach last summer}
Micah 7:18-19
18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.

19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Isn't that so like God? To just hurl our iniquities into the sea? He is so good. Hey...wait...what's an iniquity, anyway? Well, according to an iniquity is a wicked act...a sin. Sometimes this bible talk really throws me! Why couldn't Micah just say that?

Anyway...on a serious IS just like God to hurl our sins into the sea. It IS just like God to forgive have compassion on delight in show mercy on us. Don't you just love that word "delight"? I have really grown to love it. Delight. Do you know the definition of delight? It means "to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly."
I love it because several times in the bible it refers to how God feels about me. God does not demand that we take delight in Him. Although, I'm sure He loves it when we do. He did create us to love Him, after all. But He doesn't demand that we delight in Him. Rather, He is telling us that He delights in us. He delights to show mercy...He rescues us because He delights in us...we are His delight.
And because of this...because of how much God loves us and delights in us, no matter where we are in our walk with Him...He forgives our sins and remembers them no more. Once He forgives our sins they are at the bottom of the ocean floor...never to be remembered again.
Imagine that! Really. See it in your mind. Imagine all of your wrong doings gone...hurled into the ocean by God Himself...not tossed, not just thrown, but hurled...and they sink deeper and deeper, further and further away from longer attached to who you are. Gone. Done. Forgiven. Forgotten. Amen.
He rescued me because he delighted in me...he brought me out into a spacious place {so that I could breathe again}...allow God to hurl your sins into the depths of the sea. Allow Him to delight in won't regret it. I promise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back to school.

As many of you know, I have recently returned to college to complete my degree. FINALLY. Going to college is a lot different now than it was when I started. (Which was just a few years ago...right? What? It WAS just a few years ago! At least it feels like it was...!)
OK, fine. It was many years ago. But...that's not the point here. The point here is that I finally learned how to go into the college web site! I deciphered all of my PINS and all of my passwords. I learned how to get my school email, how to attend a class online, AND how to check my grades. And guess what? I got an A in my first class!!! Oh my about excited! I was SO excited. But it was funny...I was at the college office, surrounded by very somber people, and I'm trying to hoot and holler over my A and nobody is humoring me. At all. Not even a little. I guess people get A's all the time or something. And good for them! I'm not one of them, however. So this was BIG for me! It made my day. And night. I was still pumped at 11 o'clock last night. Come to think of it, I'm still pumped this morning!
Getting an A really boosted my confidence in this whole "back to school" thing I got going. I question myself daily about this decision. And I sometimes doubt that I'll be able to do it. I wonder what the heck I'm thinking trying to go to college AND work AND raise kids AND pay attention to my hubby AND everything else.
But you far it's been really good. And my family is so supportive and has really stepped up to the plate with helping me around here. If I have to study or write a paper they take care of things. They really clear the way for me to do what I need to do. What a blessing...I'm one lucky girl.
Once I got over my doubt...and realized that I really am going to be able to DO this...I confidently signed up for my first online class. I am still struggling with my major. So I took a class that applies to either one. I will have to make a decision this next week, though....Social Science or Liberal Studies. Liberal Studies is the best decision. Social Science is the most interesting decision. we know...time is of the essence.'s looking like I'm about to be a Liberal Studies major. Which is fine. It's good. It's all just a means to an end. And if I can do it in three fewer classes as a Lib Studies major, why is there even a question? I'll tell you why there's a question. Because once I get something in my mind it takes a while for me to readjust my thinking when things change. Because I'm stubborn. And rigid at times. That's why. But I'm working on that...really. I am.
Another change was that originally I planned on taking two classes each 8-week session. But this time around I'm only taking one, again. Eventually, I will need to take two classes per session if I want a degree before I'm a hundred years old. But for this season of life I feel like I need one more session to get my feet wet. Especially since I'm trying my hand at an online class. I've never taken an online class before and I had no idea what to expect. So I decided to take just one class again. If the online class goes well I will probably arrange it so I can take one class online and one class on campus each session until I'm done. That way I won't have to be gone so much. It sounds good on paper...I'm hoping it works out like I imagine it will.
So what class are you taking, Michelle? Why, thank you for asking! I'm going to take Liberal Studies 300...a required course by Chapman. To tell you the truth...I don't even know what Liberal Studies IS. But I'm about to find out! See that stack of books in the picture? The top three books are for my class. And you know the great thing about those three books? I didn't have to pay for them! The financial aide guy at the college, Mario, had them and let me borrow them! He told me it was on my "honor". I replied, "I'm honorable!" So I better not lose them...I'd be so embarrassed!
And for someone who was never really a big reader (I went in spurts when I was younger...but hated to read books that were assigned. Such a rebel, aren't I? A brat is more like it!) I sure have a big stack of books on my night stand! I have to say, in the past 3 years or so I've come to really love reading and learning new things. I will admit, though, I'm still feeling a little rebellious about reading something someone tells me to read. Because I can be a bit of a brat on occasion (no comments from the peanut gallery!) I only want to read what I WANT to read. But I am almost 43 for crying out loud. I think it's time to stop acting 14. You think? I'll have to discipline myself to read school books first, library books second. I'll have to treat my self like I treat my kids. Because apparently rebellion isn't something one outgrows so easily.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good finds on a good weekend.

Ian and I stopped at a yard sale on Saturday. I couldn't resist. I ended up finding this box of ribbon...satin and grosgrain..."How much for the ribbon?" " can have the whole box for a dollar."
As you can came home with me.
I also dug through boxes and boxes of self-help books and diet books and cookbooks. This little "Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook" caught my eye...I liked the graphics. And it was only a quarter.
And the biscuit cutters (that I've been wanting for a long time) were 50 cents. I got another book on nutrition for a quarter, too. A handful of treasures for two bucks! Not bad, eh?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ever heard of a Blogging Bee?

Well, I hadn't either! Not until my friend Amy started one over at her blog, Homestead Revival.
Amy is a wealth of information when it comes to home keeping, clean living, organic food, making from scratch...and then some. Her blog is beautiful...her information is valuable...her spirit is sweet.
So here goes..a few posts that really struck home with contribution to the patchwork of the Blogging Bee.
The Simple Wife talked about insecurity and trusting God earlier in the week and it really spoke right to me. Getting ready for Belgium, I'm already struggling with the same issues. But between her post and being more diligent about spending time with God each morning, I'm focusing more on what I can do through Him.
Rachel at Small Notebook posted about finding freedom in routine...mainly in the area of keeping a home. This is an area I struggle with...I just don't like to clean all.the.time. I wish I did! But I don't. Rachel talked about, among other things, taking two hours each Monday to give her house a once just knock it out...get it done...get it over with. Now this is a "routine" I think I can adopt.
How about you? Care to share something valuable you learned? Visit Amy's blog...join the Bee. (It wasn't as confusing as I thought it was going to be!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stocked the shop!

I just added some new sets of note cards to my Etsy Shop today...



Stop by The Shop and take a look around! xo
**edit** As I was putting together this post, both sets of GO GREEN sold! However, I can still accept orders as "Back Order" if you'd like...just convo me on Etsy and let me know!

Before I know it... will be time to board a plane, fly over the ocean for a day (chomping my finger nails at the very thought, thankyouverymuch), and spend 10 days in Belgium.
Because so many of you are supporting me...both in prayer and through financial support...I have decided to include you in this process of preparing for my ministry trip.
While in Belgium I will be speaking...possibly just to women, but maybe not...about depression. I will be sharing biblical tools that the Lord has given me over the years to combat those dark times. I will be sharing that God is my anti-depressant...and He can be theirs, too.
Another project that God put on my heart for this trip is to create a small devotional...I envision it small enough to toss in your purse. It will be full of encouragement and scripture. It will also include some of my photos. This idea is still a bit foggy...but God has already given me notes...and possible "chapter" titles. I have created a Publisher document so that when the inspiration strikes it is ready to go. All I have to do is open it and type.
I'm really excited about this project, I have to admit. I am a creative person through and through. There is a part of me that needs to make things...whether it's food or a garden or a clothespin doll or a collage or a photo...doing these things fulfills a need in me that goes way back to when I was a little girl. I have been creative from the start...beginning with coloring pictures and sitting and drawing with my Papa. He's the master of profiles. I never could quite get it. I was more of a house and a flower and a tree kinda girl.
I remember in 2nd grade I would always be the first to finish my times tables so that I could be the first to choose my free time activity...ART.
And in 3rd grade I decided I wanted to write a book. And I did. Mrs. Addison helped me. I got an A. Or was it extra-credit? Either was awful. And my mom still has it. I was so proud of that dang book. Guess what the title was? I have no idea what I was thinking. It was titled, "Kathy". What?! That's the best I could come up with? was fun nonetheless. I wrote it and did the illustrations. It was about, yes, you guessed it, Kathy. And her mom got pregnant. And someone wanted a boy and someone wanted a guess what?!! It turns out her mom was pregnant with TWINS...a boy AND a girl. Imagine that?!
Oh my...what can I say? I was 8.
Anyway...isn't it interesting to look back on your life to see the things that God placed in you from the start? And then to see how those interests and desires come full circle to become something that God had planned for you. It's amazing. And so is God.
I humbly ask you to continue to pray for me...for inspiration, for clarity, for peace, for TIME and that I'm able to get it all done. I still have to send out my donation letter to friends and family. I'm late in doing that...again, the whole "asking for money" thing is tough for me. But...I need to raise the money, SOON...and I need help in doing I will work on that this weekend. I also need to get my passport going. Costco takes pictures for $5 each...and I need to make a Costco run I plan on doing that next week. Butter, tortillas and a passport. Interesting.
I'm also adding some more note cards to my Etsy shop in a little while...take a look if you'd like. All proceeds go toward The Belgium Project.
Is there anything else you'd like to be kept up on that I've forgotten to mention? Or do you have any questions about the ministry...the Just leave a comment or send me an email...if I have the answer I'll be happy to share with you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Nellie enjoyed her chance to be in the limelight. Libby usually hogs the camera lens...but in a rare moment, sweet Nellie was able strike a coy pose. Isn't she pretty? I just love her... is barreling down the road at about 100 miles per hour lately. Between school and work and baseball's all I can do to keep up on...anything!
The floors are dirty. The laundry is piled. The dishes are piled. There are piles of paper to be dealt with...mail, bills, lists, photos. Piles! I can't seem to get a grip on the "pile" issue. I may just have to resolve myself to the fact that I am a piler...and just go with it. I've fought it for years. And um...I'm losing the fight!
The boys are home on vacation this week and next. It throws a bit of a wrench in my machine...but it's working out OK so far. I go to work in the morning and leave them a small list of chores to take care of while I'm gone. Then I come home in the afternoon in just enough time to drop Seth off at the ball field. I come back home...change clothes...grab a snack...then head back out to his game. We usually get home around 7 or so. Unless Ian has a game...then it's more like 8 or 8:30. And hopefully I have something for us to eat when we get here. Not a whole lot lately. We've been eating junk...or "carnival food" as my friend calls it...which I think is hilarious!
I've been off from my school this week. We get one week off in between sessions. I'm still not even sure what I'm taking...and I start next week! In the past week or so I've decided (well, almost decided) to change my major. I'm thinking of switching from Social Science to Liberal Arts. Liberal Arts makes more sense for someone who wants to teach. Three of the classes for the major apply toward the credential...which is a bonus. I just want to make sure it's the right decision. I really don't want to waste any time or any money. I just don't have a lot of either to waste! So...I need to make a decision by tomorrow. Pray for me on this...would ya?
On that note, I suppose I should go toss in a load of laundry...wash some dishes...and get ready for work. Today is my Friday. Sort of. I work at our office on Friday's. But my boss is pretty nice to me...not to mention pretty cute (hi honey..are you reading today?) so it's not a bad gig!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Isaiah 42

The Servant of the Lord
1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope."
5 This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Do you ever feel like you're at a stand still? Like you're waiting for something? But you're not quite sure what that something is? I do. I feel that way right now. And if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know the last thing I am doing is standing still! I've got a family and a home and a job and I just became a college student again. I'm growing a garden and raising chickens. I am doing anything but standing still. Physically, anyway.
No. This standing still is a spiritual thing. It's a heart thing. It's all inside of me. While my life speeds by on the outside, things are at a stand still in my heart. And not in a bad way. Well, not now anyway. I was beginning to feel a little distant. Far from God. Like maybe He was giving me the silent treatment. But this morning I figure out what the problem was. It was me. I was the one who was distant.
I've been lazy about my morning quiet time lately. I blame the time change. But, really, it's just me. Tired. Distant. Busy. Allowing life to get in between me and God. So this morning I got up a bit earlier...poured my coffee...and opened my bible. I prayed and asked God for scripture...and He led me to Jeremiah 29:11...for the umpteenth time. Lately, when I ask God for scripture, He takes me to Jeremiah 29:11...for I know the plans I have for you. And I read it...and I say, "yeah, yeah...I know...I've read it before. How about something new, God?"
But He continues to send me to Jeremiah 29:11...over and over and over. And you know why? Because I haven't GOTTEN it. I read it and then I dismiss it as a scripture on the front of too many t-shirts and printed across too many coffee mugs. I read it and say, "yeah, yeah...give me something else."
But because God is God...and I am ME...He continues to gently guide me back. Until one morning...while sipping coffee...I finally get it.
Thank you, God...for your patience...for your guidance...and for your goodness. I get it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Off to a great start!

I want to send out a HUGE Thank You to those of you who have purchased my photo note cards in support of my trip to Belgium. Some of you purchased for yourself. And others have had giveaways on their blogs. And it is so wonderful and it warms my heart...

I am blown away by your support and generosity. Thank you SO MUCH.

I also want to extend another HUGE Thank You to those of you who have made donations to The Belgium Fund. I have to say, adding that Donate button wasn't easy for me. But I did it. And you responded. BIG TIME. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't say it enough...
Stay tuned for some new designs being added to the shop. There's more to come!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


These are the crazy bean poles Ian installed for me last weekend. They're trimming from our obnoxious pecan tree. They're organic...and we're using what we have and being creative. And recycling. Good in so many ways...I love them. And I think they are going to look really fun with beans twining themselves all over the place!
That is if I get them planted! I can't believe it's already 2 o'clock. Where has the time gone today? That's what happens when you sleep until 8:15. And I'd have slept later but Chris came in and woke me up. We didn't go to church today...instead we lazed around and sipped coffee...let Seth sleep in until TEN...and had a quiet morning. It was nice. And necessary.
Chris eventually went to the shop to get some stuff started for the week. Ian slept over at my brother's house last night and is still there playing with my nephew. Seth just left a bit ago to go long-boarding with his friend. And here I am...supposed to be planting seeds but on the computer instead. I'll get out there. I will. But for now...a cool diet coke...the distant sound of a neighbor's lawn mower and a quiet house is kind of nice. I think I'll savor it for just a bit longer...

**Edit** I got some seeds in the ground! Cucumbers, sunflowers, nasturtiums, zucchini, yellow squash and yellow watermelon. I planted the melon seeds on a whim. I was going to plant more zucchini in that particular spot but saw those melon seeds and thought, "Why not?!". So in the ground they went. Next weekend? Beans and peas!

Friday, March 19, 2010

It doesn't look like much now but...

...just you wait. In a few months this place will be bursting with life. And I can hardly wait!

If you go to this picture on my flickr you'll see some notes that I made...what's what and what will be. (Like the crazy sticks on the left...those are bean poles Ian installed for me using trimmed tree branches!) Tomatoes and peppers are in...and on Sunday I'm going to plant seeds. Peas, beans, zukes and cukes...and more. It's a small little garden plot...but I think we've got a good plan to utilize the space well so hopefully we'll get a decent amount of fresh veggies!

So yesterday we let The Girls out to scratch around the yard. They were being supervised and all was well. But as soon as they were left alone they flew over the fence...into the garden..and ATE MY PEPPER PLANTS. Oh my gosh...I was SO angry. They were *this* close to becoming fried chicken! We planted six pepper plants last weekend: one poblano, two Big Jims, two jalapenos and one red chile. The Girls ate the jalapenos up pretty good...I think I lost one for good. They did a number on the others, too...but I think they'll recover. I may have to replace the jalapenos...the jury is still out on that. I'll decide on Sunday.
As for the chickens? Sneaky. And destructive. And...stuck in the coop from here on out. They blew it! They've got a WHOLE YARD to scratch around in. Why did they need to be in the garden, too? Greedy...greedy, greedy girls.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *'s been a bit of a crazy week. I took my Sociology final on Tuesday. I'm not sure how I did...I am hoping that I did really well. Because if I did? I just may have pulled an A! If I didn't do well...then I'm looking at a B. And that's fine. I got a 98 on my term paper....which I'm really pleased about. And a 100% on my last quiz! So...I'd say all in all I did OK for my first time back to school!
Another thing on the school front is that I'm trying to figure out if it would be better and quicker to major in Liberal Arts as opposed to Social Science. To major in Liberal Arts would mean taking fewer courses when pursuing my credential as three of the courses apply toward the major AND the credential. So that would be nice. It would shorten my total school time by about 4 months. And at my age, I can use all of the extra time I can get! But I have to talk to the guidance counselor next week and see what she that's still up in the air. I'll know more next week.
Then...on Tuesday morning my computer power cord stopped working so we were without a home computer for a couple of days. That's why I missed Wednesday in the Word this week! I was really upset about it. I felt really bad. I haven't missed a WITW for a long time. And I hope not to miss one again! It's one of my favorite things around here!
Can you believe the weekend is here already? I can't. We've got lots of baseball nephew has a game at 11, Seth has a double header at 11 and 2, and Ian has a game at 4:30! That is a whole day of baseball! Yikes. Good thing the weather has been should be a beautiful day. Then on and digging in the dirt. Can't wait to get those seeds in the ground.
What have you got going on this beautiful spring weekend? Anything fun?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Look what else we did!

This is a cold frame. It has no lid. Yet.
I have had this cold frame lot of years. Like, 13. Chris built it for me when we first moved into our house. We put it in the backyard all those years ago...and there it sat. I think we've moved it around a few times. But it's never been used.
Well, this past Sunday as we were leveling out the garden area and planting the tomatoes and the peppers I said, "Hey Honey! Can we move that cold frame into the garden?" And he said, "Sure!"
So together we moved it from one corner of the yard where it was not being utilized to the side of the house where the garden is. That one action made me SO happy. Kind of silly how happy it made me, actually. I don't know...I think it just made me feel "official". I felt like a somewhat organized gardener. I'm not sure it's in the best location. But it's a lot closer than it was!
Now, granted, it still needs that lid. But I'm not worried. Chris has a plan for a new by next winter we should be able to actually put my cold frame to use!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Look what we did yesterday...!

That's a pepper plant you're looking at! Chris and Ian cleared and raked the plot. I organized seeds and planted the plants. Ian installed cages and some crazy bean poles I'll share another time and made a latch for the gate. I gave them all a drink and we called it a day! We weren't even planning to do this! But we stopped at Lowe's for concrete...and I decided to take a look in the garden center...and next thing you know I had 4 tomatoes, 6 peppers and a few herbs in the cart! Woohoo! I guess it's planting time!

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Beginnings: A Ministry.

I told you a few weeks back about a ministry I was chosen to be a part of, New Beginnings. In case you're new here, visit this post to read more about it and my involvement in it. We will be going to Brussels, Belgium from September 9-20 of this year. It truly is a God thing...and even though I am terrified, (again, read the original post to see why I'm a scaredy-cat...ahem) I am also getting really excited about it. We just had a meeting this morning and there were so many amazing confirmations that if I had any doubts about this whole thing before the meeting...they were certainly gone after the meeting.

OK, so down to the details. In less than two months I am going to need to purchase my ticket to Belgium. And in order to do this, I need to do some major fund-raising. I have to be honest, this is not something I am comfortable all. I'm not real great at asking for help (just ask my family...right family?)...and I'm even worse at asking for money. But I know that this is something that God has called me to I will do whatever is necessary to be obedient. of those things is asking for your help in raising those funds.
After prayerful consideration, I have landed on three ways that you can help me over the next 6 months:

  1. Prayer. HUGELY important. Oh, how I need your prayers. Pray that I am obedient and in God's will. Pray that my words are encouraging and edifying. Pray that I will be bold and brave...that I will not have a spirit of fear. Pray that I have a peaceful heart while I'm away from my family for such a long time. And pray for my husband as he willingly and lovingly holds down the fort while I'm away. Pray that the "project" God has put on my heart to take with me to Belgium is a success (more on that at a later date!'s going to be pretty cool!). Pray for the people in Belgium that we will be ministering to and whatever else God puts on your heart for the New Beginnings Ministry.
  2. Shop my Etsy shop. Over the next 6 months I will be selling my photos in my Etsy Shop in the form of note card sets, as well as some other original pieces of art, to raise funds for The Belgium Project. All earnings will go toward travel airfare, my room and board, food...etc.
  3. Donate. Maybe you don't want any note cards. Maybe you just want to give a donation. If that is the case, you will find a Donate button on the top left-hand side of my blog. When you click that button it will take you to Paypal where you can make a donation of any amount. Any amount...large or so very much appreciated. And please, if you Donate, be sure to leave your name and address so that I can send you an update when we return from our mission! I'm sure I'll have lots to tell!

So. There it is. It's official. Your support is so greatly appreciated. This whole thing is so surreal...and so humbling...and I'm grateful that you are joining me on this incredible journey.

On that note...I'm off to stock the shop! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I stopped at the thrift store the other day...

...and look what I found?!

Good stuff! I found a large pottery bowl, actually more like crockery since it's so thick...a small utensil crock to add to my unintentional collection of crocks...and a sweet little teacup. I loved the flowers inside the rim...I couldn't leave it behind. Guess what my grand total was? Are you ready? $6. Yes. I said SIX DOLLARS. For ALL of it.
Don't you just love thrifting? And to think...I almost didn't stop because it was pouring down rain so bad that day. Good thing I don't mind the rain, huh?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 18:1-19
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

One day, years ago, I had stopped by my church for something in the middle of the afternoon. I don't remember what it was...paperwork or something more than likely. I had just left the building and was headed to my car when the youth pastor drove up and bounced out of his car with a big smile on his face. (He always had a smile on his face!) He greeted me...and I greeted back. I asked how he was and what was new. He said, "Man! I've been reading Psalm 18 and it is SO GOOD!" I thought, oh, OK...well that's good. And I went on my way.
What I didn't know was that Psalm 18 was going to become very important to me.
You see, at that time I was in the midst of a really bad depression. I was in one of the worst "episodes" I'd ever experienced. But I hadn't told anyone. I kept it to myself. I kept it inside. I was dealing with it alone...not thinking that I could tell anyone because "what kind of christian would they think I was?" What I thought, and some of what I'd been led to believe by others, was that Christians don't get depressed. They can't. How can they when they're supposedly "full of the holy spirit"? If I have Jesus...if I have the holy spirit IN me, how could I be so full of desperation and turmoil? So, I kept it to myself. And in that secrecy and shame and confusion the depression grew and grew.
Eventually, I was at an all-time low. I was a mess. And I couldn't seem to get a grip. I was falling...and I was alone.
Or so I thought.
Go back to the youth pastor cheerfully bouncing out of his car and tossing Psalm 18 my way. He tossed it...I caught it...and as soon as I got home I opened up my bible to find words that would save me...from myself.
The psalmist (David) talked about "cords of death" and "cords of the grave" entangling him and confronting him. He was in trouble. He was in danger. He was being attacked and surrounded by fear. But what did he do? In his distress, he called to the Lord. He cried out. He ran to God. In the midst of the craziness, he cried out to God. And you know what? God heard his voice. God HEARD David. And you know what else? He heard MY cry, too. As I read Psalm 18 for that first time it pierced through that pierced through those crazy thoughts running through my mind. The words of David, inspired by God Himself, touched me. And at that very moment the ascent out of that darkness began.
Not only did God hear my cry...he was angry at my enemy. Smoke rose from his came from His mouth...he shot arrows at my enemy...the earth trembled because of His anger toward my enemy. Not toward me. He wasn't mad at me. He was coming to my rescue. He parted the heavens and came down with clouds under his feet to rescue me. Can you imagine that? I couldn't. But after reading Psalm 18...I saw it. And I felt it. And I believed it.
And if all of that wasn't get to verse 16. And I breathe with a deep sigh just thinking about it...are you ready? He reached down from on high and took hold of me. Isn't this amazing? Does this just not blow you away? It did me. I was stunned...I was in awe...and I was so very thankful.
As I read Psalm 18 for the very first time, I made little notations to these few verses that literally jumped off the page at me. These verses were penned for me. They may as well have said, "Dear Michelle" at the beginning and "Love, God" at the end. In November of 2005 (that's what the notation says in my bible) as God spoke to me through this beautiful Psalm, {I spoke back}....
He reached down from on high and took hold of me {thank you}, he drew me out of deep waters. {I was drowning} He rescued me from my powerful enemy, {yes} from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. {thank you, Lord} He brought me out into a spacious place; {so I could breathe} he rescued me because He delighted in me. {thank you, Lord}
Doesn't that just make you want to take a deep breath and let out a big sigh? It does me. As a matter of fact, I just now did just that. 'He brought me out into a spacious place' may very well be one of my most favorite lines. I was suffocating. I was drowning. I was in the dark. And God came...and he drew me out...and he rescued me...and he brought me out into a spacious place. So that I could breathe...
And He'll do it for you, too.
God is so good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I want to share a recipe with you...

A few years ago we had a Chili Cook Off at our church. My sweet friend and "adopted" sister, Sandra, won the contest! She made what she calls Crock Pot Chili...and it is GOOD. Definitely worth the win! It's really's really's really warm...and it's really popular around here! And I want to share it with you! Ready? Here it is...
Crock Pot Chili
1 lb. beef stew meat (I use a half pound...because I'm frugal...and it's really plenty)
1 medium onion - chopped (or if necessary, dried onion works well, too)
2 T. chili powder
2 cloves garlic or equivalent of garlic powder
1 Bay leaf
1 t. salt
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. cumin
16 oz. can tomato sauce
15 oz. can kidney beans
15 oz. can pinto beans
a dash of cayenne if you're feeling lucky punk!
In a skillet,saute the onion and lightly brown the beef. (I season the meat at this point with a little extra of the know, that whole "depth of flavor" thing.) Add canned ingredients, seasonings and cooked meat and onion mixture to the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-5. The flavors blend better when cooked for the longer amount of time...but either way it's really yummy.
Serves 6. OR 4 if two of them are hungry teenage boys with a helping leftover for lunch. I make a big ol' pan of cornbread to go with it and it is a delicious combination! Enjoy!
I put a pot of this together before we left for Ian's baseball game last night. I made some cornbread and set it aside. By the time we got home several hours later the chili was ready...the house smelled great...and we ate a delicious, warm meal after a cold night at the ball field!

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the WINNER is.....

Congratulations to WHITE STONE!
The only woman I know who can take apart a sewing machine and put it back together again!! I mean, I could take one apart...but..uh...yeah.

So, White are the winner of "The "One Year Devotional for People of Purpose, 365 meditations on how to make an impact on your world" and a set of note cards made by yours truly!

I hope you are blessed....

Please email me your name and address so I can get your prizes out to you!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As for my Etsy Shop re-stock!? I need a few more days. I ended up getting the flu last Thursday so I was out of commission for a few days. Thank you for your patience!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I feel like giving something away!!

And that something is this....

The "One Year Devotional for People of Purpose, 365 meditations on how to make an impact on your world".

And let me just say, we are ALL people of purpose. Every last one of us. And we all have the ability to make an impact in the world. None of us is too small...or too insignificant. God has a plan for our lives...for my life, for your life and for your life and for yours and yours and yours. So don't think that this devotional is not for you...because it IS. Most definitely.

Along with the devotional, in celebration of my Etsy shop re-opening happening REAL SOON, I am also going to include a set of my new photo note cards.

I am so excited!

And I hope you like them...xo

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * enter this GIVEAWAY all you have to do is tell me one thing about yourself...anything you want...anything. Whatever. Just tell me the first thing that comes to mind...I'm all ears!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The GIVEAWAY will close Sunday evening at 8pm.

The winner will be selected randomly by drawing...and will be announced on Monday when I officially RE-STOCK my Etsy shop.

So what are you waiting for? Go on...go to the Comments section and tell me something about YOU. Anything at all... xoxo

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I just want to take some time to welcome new "Followers", and to welcome some old friends (Hi Laurey!), and to say hello to my awesome family both near and far...and to say THANK YOU for taking time out of your day to stop by and see what's going on in my little corner of the world.

I love that you visit and I love when you comment! I read each and every one...and comment on the ones that allow me to. If I can't comment I will often find a way to visit your little corner of the world! I'm blessed to be in such good and beautiful company. Have a blessed day...xox

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself, the Lord will hear when I call to him.
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.
Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
(*Selah means "stop and ponder, think on this.)
A while a year or two...I had a very vivid dream. I was laying in a bed in a very dark room. The only light was a dim bulb shining directly above me. As I was laying there trying to sleep a little sheep came and jumped up on the bed and tried to lay down next to me. I immediately moved away...holding my hands away from it in disgust as it was dirty. It had dirt and leaves and hay stuck all in it's fur and I was so grossed out that it was getting in the bed. Not only did it get in the tried to snuggle up next to me. It kept wanting to get closer and closer. The more I pulled away, the closer the little sheep got to me. It was not was not was persistent. It was sweet. It needed me. It wanted comfort...and warmth...and love. I finally gave in...and I let the little sheep get close. I put my arm over its soft wool and let it close. And when I did I felt a peace like I'd never felt.
When I woke up, God whispered this in my heart...
"Feed my sheep."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


When the boys were little we would say "I love you" in sign language. You know which one I mean? The one sort of like a Hang Loose sign but with your pointer finger up, too? We did this at school drop offs...babysitting drop offs...just because.
When Ian was three I went back to work part-time. It was really, really hard...but it was also necessary. We were incredibly blessed to find out that an old friend of mine had opened a daycare and had one spot available. Ian fit right in. Even though it was a great fit and he had a great time while I was at work it was still hard for us to say goodbye to each other in the morning. So to make it easier (on both of us) right after I'd drop him off, he'd go to the front window and wave to me all the way down the driveway. Sometimes I'd do silly waves...or really BIG waves...or sometimes I'd skip...the neighbors must have thought I was crazy. But that was made the separation much easier. And it was worth it to his toothy grin instead of a sad face.
When I finally got to the car I'd get in...fasten my seat belt...then look to the window where we would both flash each other the sign language "I love you" sign. Once that was done he'd go off with the other kids...ready to start his day. And I'd drive off to work...content knowing that he was in good hands and was going to have lots of fun until I got back.

Monday, March 1, 2010

odd(s) and ends...

Sweet Nellie...she's calm. She's patient. She's friendly. Not to mention beautiful

She was feeling left out after Libby's "10 things" post the other day. No, no...she didn't tell me she was feeling left out. She's not like that. She's not a complainer like someone else we know. I could just see it in her eyes...she needed some attention, too.

(My husband finds, in a good way, of course...that I have such a knack for speaking chicken. Is it wrong? I mean, come on. I can't help it that I am a good communicator.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

So today is Monday. far, so good.
The weekend was good...some rain, some sunshine, some rest and some running around.
I got some laundry done. Chris and I cleaned the coop. I made a healthy dinner last night of stir fry and Asian slaw. I visited a dear friend on Saturday night who was in town visiting her daughter for the weekend. I got some great deals at Old additional 50% off clearance items! I worked on my paper and am in the process of learning my new Word program for term papers. (Not the most fun...but it was very necessary.) The paper itself is just about done. Now I just need to figure out how to insert citations and a bibliography. Exciting, no?
I work today at 11. My new schedule is working out well so far. I like having the morning to do things around the house. Important things like laundry, dishes, dinner prep, feeding the chickens and blogging! And I figure in the summer it will give me time to water and tend the garden. So what I originally was unsure of...a work schedule smack dab in the middle of my actually turning out to be ideal for me and my family. And I'm thanking God for that...for allowing me to have my cake and eat it, too. I can work and make a little grocery money. I can have a schedule that allows me to be available to my kids...and I won't miss a baseball game unless I'm at school! I can still be available to do the books at our business. And my hours are the same every week. This is almost unheard of in retail! So I feel very blessed. It's a win-win situation...and I'm thankful.
This week is much less busy than last week...and I'm thankful for that, too. Last week I had something going every, bible study, baseball meeting, band concert. It was a lot. But...I made it through, one day at a time, and it was good. Not to mention, it made my Friday night all the better because I got to stay home and do NOTHING. was raining!! Perfect...
How about you? How was your weekend?