Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What happened to Me

Good Morning Dear Ones:

So I have wrestled with this post. Not sure what or how to say things. Since November 21st I have been dealing with nerve damage in my head. That has led to frequent migraines and daily headaches and almost constant buzzing or vibrating sensations in my head. I am scared to exercise because in the past it has brought on a terrible migraine. 

In November my mom purchased a keratin blowout treatment for me on Amazon. I was super excited about this because I thought I am going to be a good mama to my girls and give them beautiful hair and save money while I am at it. Having two girls with African American hair is very expensive if you pay to get their hair done so I also felt proud of myself for doing it on my own. 

I did their hair once and it turned out amazing and yes I was by proud of myself as a mama and in saving us some money. Then in November it was time to do it all again. I did things just the same this time. I followed the directions. I used gloves. But I distinctly remember during one pass through of the flat iron, a puff of smoke went directly up in my face and I inhaled it deeply, at the time I didn't think much of it but the next day my brain started to have waves of feeling like someone was shaking my brain. As time went on it just intensified and became more constant. If you have ever been to the chiropractor or the physical therapist and felt those electrodes that they put on your body well that is how my brain/ head feels. 

I live with regret every single day of my life. I hate what I have done to myself. One day I was healthy and normal and the next I may never be again. If I had harmed my daughters I don't really know how I would live with it. I have not spoke in detail about it because I did not want to be thought of speaking out against the cosmetology profession. I support business and have a stylist that I dearly love not only for the work she does but for who she is. So I am not speaking out against professionals and I believe they are the ones trained to handle these chemicals. They have a license for a reason. 

 I am speaking out against the product itself. No amount of saving money is worth what I deal with on a daily basis now. So I say this to say be careful. Speak to your stylist about the risk.  As for my sweet chocolates I think we will do the best we can with their natural hair. 

If you think of me please pray for my healing. I know I didn't know what I was getting into but God did and I pray he will heal me every day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year ~ Kindness

Hi Dear Ones,

I know it has been a while and this is my first post of 2014. Forgive me if I am rusty. My writing has fallen to the wayside and oh how I genuinely miss it.

Here are some highlights to fill you in on what has been going on with our family. Elijah my oldest son turned 18 on December 27th and will graduate from high school this year. Jubilee started kindergarten. I promoted to double diamond with my It Works business. Basketball season is in full swing for both Zion and Elijah. Noah and I are taking a photography class together. Mercy is FINALLY potty trained during the day. I am suffering nerve damage due to a chemical I used on the girls hair to straighten it, experiencing buzzing sensations in my head and several headaches throughout the week, sometimes even migraines. And we are currently in two houses and got to spend Christmas break in our new home in Charlotte. How's that for a hodge podge recap?

So on to why I wanted to write tonight. Something about a New Year causes one to contemplate. Take inventory of where you came from, where you are, and where you want to be. I am excited about our future as a family. I sat in elevation church in August last year listening to a sermon that literally changed my life. I sat there sobbing uncontrollably. It was like Pastor Furtick had read all my journal entries and spilled out what my heart had been searching for.  For some time we had considered moving to Charlotte but the planets never seemed to line up and we put it off. Sitting in that sermon that day on my birthday weekend 2013 I felt the lord say "one year Michelle,  this time next year you will be here." I shared what I heard with Eric whose eyes widened as he told me he felt the same thing as we sat there that day. So we put our thoughts and desires into action and I will celebrate my 42 birthday as a North Carolina resident.

As we have been making physical preparations to move I thought about things I want to move in my heart this year. What did I want my word or theme to be this year?  Kindness just kept coming back to me over and over again. I love kindness. I love to see kind people in action. I want to be purposeful about kindness this year like never before. It is really easy to be self centered. To think about how things only affect you. I want kindness to move in and take up residency in my heart in a fresh and new way. It makes me a little nervous to share these things because I know me. I know how selfish I can be. I like to think about me. I am hoping though that as I purpose to be kind, that selfishness will wither, and kindness will flourish in my heart and life.

 Romans 12:10 says "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." That verse defines kindness to me, and I want it to take root deep in my heart and define how I live.

I follow the ministry of Christine Caine on Facebook and as I was solidifying my theme for this year I came across this in her feed today and I found it to be an incredible challenge so I thought I would share it here with all of you:

That is just what I am hoping for … to never be the same again. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Celebration Lenses

Good Morning Dear Ones:

My most favorite time to come on here and share is when God has spoken clearly to me.

I had a rough morning this morning. I let negativity grab ahold of me. I just didn't want to do the morning. You know the day in and day out routine. Get kids up. Feed them. Listen to their bickering because they woke up grumpy too. Look around at all the household chores that I have avoided and that have now reached embarrassing , please nobody ring my doorbell levels.

Then to top it off I completely forgot my hubby had made plans to go golfing for the day and when he reminded me and I was still in my ugly brown robe with my hair all askew in desperate need of a shower, toothpaste and grooming. I lost it. I blew up at my man. My best friend. My biggest cheerleader and soul lover besides Jesus.

My reaction was far uglier than my bed head let me tell you. So I just feel yucky. I hate I let that ugliness and harshness come out of me.

Once the house was empty it was time to address the emptiness in my heart. I sat down to be with Jesus and my "Unglued" devotional seems to be a perfect fit. I opened it up to the section where I had left off and was blown away by the perfect timing of the entry.

The thought of the day was this:

"Sometimes I feel guiltier for what I am not than thankful for what I am."

It was a WOW moment for me. I was upset for losing my patience and being ugly and God was going deeper to what has really been going on in my heart lately.

It is effortless for me to feel guilty.

My house is rarely ever really clean and barely even picked up most of the time.
Laundry rarely ever gets folded and sits in clean piles around the house unless we have a house showing.
I don't enjoy food prep, or clean up and would choose eating out, for any meal, any day of the week.
I'm having a hard time with 2 of my 6 children right now and I kind of feel at a loss as to what to do to get to a better space with it all.
I don't feel like a good leader in my business.
I keep making poor food choices.

Guilt, guilt, guilt and more guilt.

I just felt like Jesus tenderly caressed my sad heart this morning and said what are you thankful for about who you are Michelle? What about you can you celebrate? If I am honest that is a hard one for me. It's like I walk around wearing guilt tinted lenses ALL. THE. TIME.

But I know this is true in the word of God so I am going to set my mind on truth and I am going to do my best to practice it every time guilt tries to raise it's wicked head.

"For you created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well."

So what about me can I celebrate? This is what comes to mind:

I ADORE my family. I majorly care about how we are doing? I am passionate about our relationships. Having a mediocre family life will NEVER sit well with me.  Eric has called me the relationship police before and you know what I am ok with that label.

I love to encourage. If I can speak truth to someone and help lift them from low places I love to be used in that way.

I can be witty and funny.

I love finding and giving the perfect gift.

I can be very real, meaning I don't want to be pious in how I live my life.

I can write things that people can relate to.

I am tenderhearted.

I am compassionate.

I am honest.

I love Jesus.

So much of the time perspective, if looking through the wrong lenses gets me into such a mess. Father God help me put these guilt lenses down. Help me remember to celebrate who you made me to be. I don't want to dwell on what I wish I were.

Forgive me for messing up this morning.  You have begun a good work in me and you will be faithful to complete it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Chapters

Hello Dear Ones:

Life is full of chapters. Different parts that make up your story. Our family story is about to add a new chapter. We are planning a move. We have been in our current location for quite some time now. All our children were born and adopted here. We have good memories here to say the least but something is burning within us to move on.

We believe our hearts have been prepared and directed to move in this direction. We are somewhat challenged by the change and the unknowns but mostly we are excited. We are taking steps for our physical positions to line up with our heart condition. The plan is to be posting new adventures both the ups and downs next year from Charlotte North Carolina. Prayers for the details along the way greatly appreciated. Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Who Would Have Thought?

Good morning Dear Ones,

I am celebrating this morning and since my little blog here has been sadly neglected I thought it would be fun to come on here and share.

Most of you know I started a new home business endeavor in January. By started I mean I bought a business kit for a product I desperately wanted to try and had zero confidence that I really could make any money at it. The L-O-N-G list of opportunities I had tried that preceded this one pretty much obliterated my self confidence that I could be successful at any home business.

In fact Eric didn't even really want me to sign up. Not because he doesn't support me but because he knew the blow my self esteem took every single time an opportunity came along and I dreamt of helping our family out, only to be majorly disappointed at the results. I eventually came to grips that I was not a sales person and an at home business was not to be on my list of successes in life.

So why did I buy a business kit? Basically because it was such a low cost and it gave me the chance to try the product for the same cost as a retail customer.

Well, my kit arrived and I gave the product a whirl and ended up with some pretty spectacular results. I nervously and cautiously shared those results and low and behold it stirred up some interest and I started making some cash. So I kept sharing results and the opportunity and a team started forming. Much to my amazement as my team grew so did my checks. I actually was able to cover our mortgage plus this last month. I am actually helping our family. Field trips are being paid for, school supplies, school clothes, and even fun stuff like eating out too. All because we can, and no credit cards are involved. And the best part is I am doing it all from home and not missing out on my first passion of being home with my six beautiful children.

And you know what it keeps getting better. Just yesterday I promoted to Double Diamond in the company and I think my jaw is still on the floor.  This is really happening and to me of all people. I know first and foremost the glory goes to God who put something before me when I really wasn't even looking for it and second my family who supports and encourages me intensely. My
husband is completely on board now and we are building this together. Finally I give much credit to my team, above and beneath me. I have never encountered so much support in all my life. Someone is ALWAYS available and willing to help and I am still learning everyday. I am so thankful for those who have joined me on this endeavor and I dream and pray for every single one of them to achieve great success. If I can do this, ANYONE can do this!

Thanks for letting me celebrate. I am so blessed and still pinching myself.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not The Destination You Expected

Hi Dear Ones:

I heard something recently that was so good I just had to share it with you. I was listening to a sermon and an analogy was shared from a special needs parent. I can't take credit for this but I certainly can relate to it. Let me try my best to relay the story.

Imagine yourself planning for a trip. A trip to Italy. You prepare with much excitement. You get every detail set to the best of your ability. Then your travel day arrives and you board your plane eagerly anticipating your arrival in Italy. As your plane lands and you get off the plane you realize you have actually landed in Holland. You explain to the flight attendant that this is not the destination you set out for. You realize then that there is no going back. It was a one way trip and Holland is where you are. At first it is disappointing. You had certain plans in your mind that you realize now are never going to happen. You can wallow in that unexpected disappointment or you can open your eyes and see the beauty that Holland has to offer.

I think that is how it is with special needs parenting sometimes. Before we adopted our daughters with fetal alcohol syndrome all I had was Italy on the brain. Our new family members were going to be just like our biological children just a different color ;). Well when we landed we realized we were not in Italy at all.  Then it hits you that you won't even get to Italy. I really had to mourn my expectations. I had to mourn what I thought would be. But you know what Holland really is beautiful. My daughters are so very very precious. They don't learn or progress the same and they require so much support but you know what they have grown and come so far. They went from failure to thrive to thriving. They smile and are happy. They laugh big beautiful gut laughs. They love to play dress up. They can feel and give love. Yes that has come with years of therapy and specialist and medications and lots and lots of prayer but you know what I see the beauty in Holland. Holland isn't where I planned to be but you know what it is full of tulips.

Have you ended up somewhere you did not plan on being? Let me encourage you to examine your surroundings. It may be different but I am sure it is full of beauty.

photo credit: HereIsTom via photopin cc

Monday, August 5, 2013

How Long Will You Mourn?

Hello Dear Ones:

It is right at 1:00 in the morning and one hour ago my birthday started.  I just am not able to sleep tonight because I wanted to share a gift the Lord gave me yesterday.

My last two posts I have shared about my relationship problems. There are Issues I have been wrestling with for quite some time. To the point of discouragement and sometimes a loss of hope.

At church yesterday God slammed into the walls around my heart with a wrecking ball of truth and hope. I mean some serious demolition took place. I just hope I can successfully describe the experience.

Pastor Furtick  preached a word that may just go down as one of the most impactful sermons I have heard yet in my life. It was so tailor made for my emotional prison. I say prison because I have felt so chained. So stuck. Certain hurts in my life have had me bound, and honestly even though I have been a christian for most of my life I did not know how to get free. I knew forgiveness was my key but my problem has been not knowing how to turn it.

One of the verses Pastor shared was 1 Samuel 16:1

"The Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be King."

Pastor shared how Samuel had a lot invested in Saul, but Saul had rejected the word of the Lord and so the Lord rejected Saul as King. So Samuel mourned.

Let me share some of my sermon notes. Pastor hit me hard with some of these questions:

"How long are you going to stay in a season that is over? Compromise your destiny because of your history? Don't stay stuck on Saul and get to David." "Staying stuck in what was, causes you to miss what is and what could be."

Boy have I had some "Saul situations." Stuck in my pain. Mourning over how things had been and how I wish they would have been. It is so time for me to get to "David."

My next notes Is where I started to crumble. Hardness became soft. Heaviness lifted. Sweet Freedom flooded my spirit.

Pastor said "moving on doesn't mean you stop hurting or caring or even wishing, it just means, in the reality, you can't change it.""Your dream may have died, but your hope doesn't have to." I always felt like the pain had to stop hurting or that my reality had to be different for me to let things go or to hope.

I am so tired of wearing my hurts. I am ready for a new wardrobe. I am ready to stop mourning and move on. God has better for me. I don't want to miss what is and what is next.

Words have cut my soul.
Actions have broken my heart.
People have left me.

Time to stop mourning. I can't rescript those things but I can respond, and I am lifting up the hurt that I can't change to Him and moving on because God still has oil. I have hope. I have turned the key. I am set FREE!

photo credit: PMillera4 via photopin cc
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