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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How I Want To Be

Hi there Dear Ones:

Yep I am still living. I know I have been away from my blog for far too long. I have been absent partly to not even being home for the summer. Eric, Elijah, Noah and I started Summer off with a bang with an amazing mission trip to England then a family trip to Paris. Then we went to Charlotte for a week with everyone. Also my It Works business is literally thriving and I gasp at how the Lord is blessing us.

I think another reason is the girls have just been doing so very well. There just hasn't been any heart wrenching situations to flood this keyboard with.

But that is not to say God isn't still at work on me. I am a constant work in progress.

I hate to say it but I still have relationship issues. My heart and mind will replay an offense over and over again if I let it. Sometimes I think I have beaten it. I really do. Then something happens and I realize I haven't beaten anything I just stuffed it down and pretended it wasn't there until something happens and light shines on the dark hidden spot and it feels very fresh and raw again.

The sad truth about it all though is it beats me. It makes me feel horrible about the kind of person I am. Unholy, a faith weakling, emotionally frail, yadda yadda yadda. You get the point.

Eric's cousin shared this photo the other day on Facebook at it literally gripped my heart because it perfectly depicted my hearts desire. This is how I want to be. This is like Jesus:

I want to see the best in people. I want to have a heart that can quickly and genuinely forgive the worst. Just like my savior has done for me. I want my mind to stop replaying the yuck. I want to forget the bad. And most of all I NEVER want to lose faith in God! Because the worst and bad happens. We are all human. I know if I keep my faith that every single thing that has been set against me will be redeemed. What was meant for evil will be used for good. Weapons are formed but they don't prosper. 

Father God you know exactly what weak areas I am struggling with. In Jesus name I ask that you will not let this beat me. That I will have victory in Christ. True freedom and victory. Not, a pain behind the smile, phoney, false victory, but a more than a conquerer kind of victory. The kind the radiates your Glory because you and I both know, in and of myself, is a slight flicker at best. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Relationship Problems

Hello again Dear Ones:

God crumbled me today. In a good way because He is a good God. I had been feeling like such a project for him. So many internal issues wrestling inside myself.

Character issues. Forgiveness issues. Honor issues. Selfishness. Not a pretty list is it?

If you read my post yesterday I was feeling really bad about honoring the difficult people. I kept thinking what is wrong with me? Why is this so hard? Why doesn't hearing the truth, hearing the word make this any easier? Why do I have to have these issues?

A snipit from one of My Pastors sermons today was on Facebook. I watched it and then I crumbled. It was like a piece of the wall that has had me inprisoned was chipped away.

Yes there have been difficult people in my life. Yes there have been hurts. Some situations left me raw and broken and full recovery has eluded me. Today though it became clear that I am partially to blame. I put people in a position to fill things inside of me that they were not designed to fill. I put them in the position of trying to turn a "good thing into a God thing" the position of  turning " human encouragement into heavenly affirmation"

As this truth crumbled me before the Lord today, I felt hope. I want those walls torn completely down. I want to be set free. I want what only God can give me.

Father God forgive me for putting people in positions that they were not designed for. Forgive me, for ONLY you can affirm my deepest needs. Father God you are so incredibly faithful. Even if I am a huge project you will be faithful to complete the good work you have begun in me.

Take down the walls. Rebuild fresh and new.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Work In Progress

Good Morning Dear Ones:

I hope this Monday morning finds you in a good spot in life. I had a lovely Mothers Day yesterday thanks to my wonderful husband and children. They blessed me with my favorite. Hand written notes. My number one love language is words of encouragement and I simply treasure their precious words from the heart to me. 

Yesterday was also a great sermon at church. It was from the Elevation Honorology series. I had heard this one before and this series remains one of my all time favorites. 

Even though I had heard this particular message before there were things that still fell on me fresh. I can honestly say my heart greatly desires to live a life of honor. For some it comes pretty easy. For instance the people that make deposits in your life. Those who invest and pour into you. Those who make a wrong right. I find my love account is so full for these people that honor comes very naturally. Then there are those people who don't make deposits. Some in fact who only withdraw from your account. I personally find it a great challenge to honor those people. 

Pastor said something yesterday that really struck me. He said it's not based on what they have done for you but based on what He has done for you. WOW huh? It doesn't make honoring difficult people any easier but it has changed my perspective. It is my prayer that if I can keep my perspective in the right place that my actions will fall in line. 

Father god, you know my heart. I want to walk in your ways. I want to live a life of honor. Give me your perspective and value for others. You know where I am weak. In those areas Lord I ask that you change me. Where I am weak,because of you, please make me strong.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Tribute

Good Morning Dear Ones:

I have had someone special on my mind the past few days. This person has been and always will be very special to me. Pastor Rich. He was our Pastor for over 12 years. I can not even tell you how much I love this man but I am going to try :)

I consider this man a spiritual daddy. The things he taught me on how to love God and love people will never be forgotten. He is one of those people that exemplifies Jesus with skin on.

I don't see Pastor Rich much anymore since our family has moved in a new church direction but I think of him and the time our family had under his leadership often. It is a part of my life I greatly treasure and fondly remember.
I trust Rich implicitly. He always made it safe for you to be real and open and vulnerable and never gave advice without it being asked for. He was always full of grace and never made me feel judged but only loved and valuable. His guidance has been invaluable in our lives.

I owe a great deal of gratitude to Pastor Rich because of being a part of his life, I am a better person. A better mother. A better friend. I personally want to thank him because knowing him has meant our family has grown closer to Jesus and we will never be the same again. He has taught our family about a real genuine faith. He has helped shape and mold our lives.

I hope you get to read this Pastor Richie. Your impact on this family and many many others is not overlooked. I am eternally grateful to know you. I miss you and I love you so very much.

photo credit: Avard Woolaver via photopin cc

Monday, April 15, 2013

Change is Coming I need a MOMent

Good Morning Dear Ones:

I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my evening last night. Eric and I took Elijah our oldest son out to dinner last night to talk about college plans. Honestly this is an area that has been really difficult for me to be OK with. Not because of my Elijah mind you. Elijah is seriously one of the finest human beings I know. He loves God, loves his family and loves others.  I could not be more proud of who he is. And I know that I know that I will feel the same about who he will be.

It is hard for me to grasp that this time is upon us. This precious boy of mine is becoming a man. He's not my little boy anymore and I am caught between being very proud and at the same time wanting to freeze time.

This change is not easy. I not only love this kid but I really really like him and my heart begins to throb when I think about how much I am going to miss him. I mean it literally aches and so I stuff it down until I have to think about it.

I just have to focus on how blessed I am. Thank you Lord that you gave Eric and I Elijah. Thank you for helping us every step of the way. Some things we did right and others we grossly messed up but ultimately he is yours. Praise the Lord, He is YOURS!!! Keep your loving hand upon him. Bless Him. Use Him. Fulfill your design for His life and thank you sweet Jesus for letting me share in it.

Oh and help my Mamas heart let go ...it is one of the hardest things I have before me.

photo credit: admitchell08 via photopin cc

Monday, March 11, 2013

Interruption or Invitation?

Hi Dear Ones:

I know it has been a while. My It Works! business has really been taking off. Even as I type that I sit and shake my head. Because I had told myself NEVER again would I try a home business. But It Works! is WORKING!!! I am in my third month and have come further along in that short time than I did in more than a years time with anything else. So I just wanted to share how excited I am by what has taken place and I am even more excited about what is to come. Thank you to everyone who has loved me along my "trying" journey. I really love this quote by Thomas Edison, " I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that wont work." All that to say that I am really glad I gave it another shot. I do praise the Lord for bringing this to my path.

Now on to what I really had on my heart tonight. Some areas of my life, like the one mentioned above, I have been completely enamored with. Just so delighted by the experience. Then other things have been quite the contrary. I have even been a little miserable with how some areas have been playing out.

Some areas I have felt like I have kind of lost myself in the shuffle. I will try my best to explain.  I used to be more purposeful. Especially in areas of my family. We used to have regular outing with the kids one on one so they knew their individual importance and didn't get lost in the crowd. We used to have family meetings once a week so we just stayed connected as a family unit. As responsibilities in our family swelled those occasions became less frequent and some months non existent. Things that at one point I considered part of my calling became inconvenient.

We missed church this morning because 2 of our 6 were down with fevers, so we watched Pastor Furtick preach the 4th message of his In.Fin.8 series online so we wouldn't miss it. It was just what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I had been struggling with why couldn't I get back to my default setting. Where had my purposing gone?

Pastor Furtick posed this question:

"Are you consumed with your calling or with your convenience?"

Yep it sorta took my breath away. I think sometimes you can get worn down and you "call things like you see them and not how God see's them." Do I see what God has put before me as an interruption or as an invitation? Do I call what is before me overwhelming, too hard, monotonous, etc. etc. or do I call it how God see's it. An invitation to see his power. An invitation to my calling.

Pastor said something to this effect this morning:

Misery is inevitable anytime convenience is your consumption and God will consume your convenience to get you consumed with his calling.

So there it was. All the areas where misery was creeping in was my own consumption with convenience. My own calling things as I see them.

I am welled up right now as the whole thing settles on my heart. I have been praying over certain areas for quite a while and I have had the wrong perspective the whole time. Father God forgive me.  I have been consumed with my comfort and my convenience. I have felt interrupted and I have missed invitations. Help me where I am weak and show yourself strong. I don't want "todays excuses to become tomorrows regrets, dressed in disguise." "Turn my misery into ministry." Thank you for you faithfulness to redirect. Thank you for your redemption.

You have blessed me! I am calling it like you see it. Consume me with your calling. I don't want to miss the invitation.

photo credit: Debs (ò‿ó)♪ via photopin cc

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Special Siblings for Special Needs Kids

Hello Dear Ones:

If you are a parent of a special needs child then you know firsthand all the responsibilities and rewards that go along with your place in life. Eric and I have not been in the midst of it all on our own. Before we adopted our daughters we were blessed with four sons the homemade way.

I wanted to use this post to express just how SPECIAL they are. They have a very special place in this family unit. I have seen my sons grow in many ways since our daughters have joined our family.

First and foremost they have grown in their faith. Elijah himself told me once that all the struggle with the adoption process and with special needs was just preparation. Because real life and real faith are not easy. Talk about maturity from a 15 year old kid at the time. My sons are young men of faith, with living and real relationships with God.

My sons have grown in love. I have seen these boys love and nurture two sweet little girls inflicted innocently with fetal alcohol syndrome. They don't tolerate or put up with these two little girls. They genuinely love and adore them. They are proud of them. They are affectionate with them. They are encouraging to them. They are helpful to them. They simply are the definition of big brothers at it's finest.

My sons have grown in understanding. Just like Eric and I, they realize that life isn't always black and white. Special needs brings with it a lot of grey areas. My sons have more grace in their lives because of it.

My sons have grown in responsibility. They can medicate, feed, clean, dress, and care for their sisters on a very reliable and trustworthy level. They more then most know what goes into their care and can provide it astoundingly well.

My sons have grown in encouragement. They can see the hard times and because of their great faith, love and understanding they can find compassion and truth when discouragement and doubt comes knocking at the door.

So to Elijah, Noah, Zion and Canaan I say this. You are all very special indeed. Living with special needs isn't easy but you guys all make it heartwarming. I could not be more proud of who you are and I am blessed to be witness to who you are becoming. Jubilee and Mercy have been given amazing gifts with their special brothers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Want to be a But Head

Good Morning Dear Ones:

This is kind of a part two to my last post Know Your enemy. I think we can all agree that our real enemy is a real butt head. 

I follow Lysa TerKeurst on facebook and her status post this morning was this:

"When I'm distracted by one wrong thing, I can miss out in seeing the many right things. I think this is a tactic the enemy uses against me. Against you. Against us.

So, today when this starts happening, let's stop our negative hyper focus by saying, “but”…and start listing things that are right."

Man does the enemy get me with this tactic. So I started thinking and decided you know I can really get that butt head if I would just be a but head.

I am going to take Lysa's advice to heart. Im going to make a conscience effort, when those negative hyper focus issues come at me, to list the many things that are right. I am going to call it my spiritual headbutt.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Know Your Enemy

Dear Ones:

Have you ever had a bout with doubt? For me I have certain triggers that can send me into a nosedive.
A couple of weeks ago that trigger was pulled and my descent was put into motion. 

It's a doomed, stuck feeling. I have been angry, frustrated, and despondent. You know the times when something comes at you so hard and you see what you are really made of and you don't like what you see. 

I don't know about you but during attacks like this God and I are on screaming terms. Rattled is a good description. Questions, hesitation, uncertainty, distrust and disbelief don't just knock on the door....they come at you with tsunami force.

It is effortless to misjudge your attacker. Pain is blinding. It is hard to see past it. Whatever is in front of you is magnified.

I have been in a pit and doubt has slammed me hard. 

I decided tonight after everyone went to bed and the house was quiet and no one needed anything from me to spend some time screaming so to speak with Jesus. I was reluctant to dive in, mostly because I have been so angry that I didn't have much confidence there was a remedy for my state of mind.

So I had my bible laid out, my journal ready, but still was putting the effort off.

I decided to stall and check instagram and the first photo in my feed was this:

And here was the caption: "The enemy inserts a question mark, creates subtle doubt, and begins to multiply it... Know your enemy."

The hardness in my heart began to corrode. Once again God met this mess right where she was at. He is so faithful and I am so foolish. You would think by now I would have learned this.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the  powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

Father God I am sorry. I'm sorry for allowing doubt and suspicion to slither in. I'm wounded, weak and broken right now so I ask that you open my eyes. Help me recognize and fight my true enemy. I need to know my enemy but more importantly help me know and trust my Savior.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good and Perfect Gifts

Good Afternoon Dear Ones:

I have been thinking lately. Thinking about what raising two daughters with fetal alcohol syndrome has given me and my family. I am sure some look at our family and look at what I have laid bare in vulnerable moments and it may get interpreted as what they have taken away from us. Sure we have less freedom, challenges and more responsibilities, but this I believe:

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

What does this tell me. It tells me, that the daughters, the Lord has given me, are good and perfect gifts. God doesn't change so this is always true.

He has not only given me two beautiful daughters but he has also given me these gifts because of them:

I have more compassion. Compassion for those who are innocently afflicted. Compassion for caregivers and parents and teachers who daily love and nurture those afflicted. It is often times a judged and thankless position to be in. Compassion for isolation and loneliness. Compassion for being tired and discouraged and sometimes feeling hopeless. Compassion for running on empty because so much has been drained from you.

I have more understanding. How many times due to lack of understanding on my part, did I myself in fact judge? Not every screaming child in the grocery line or every problem child in class is due to poor parenting.

I have more reasons to celebrate. Some things come easy to neurotypical children like potty training, sleep, learning, and behavior. I know first hand just how much it takes to make strides now. And believe me it is reason to celebrate.

I have drawn so much closer to my heavenly father, because He is my source. Without my savior the discouraging times that come would have left me withered and dead. Without him my eyes would have been blind to the good and perfect gifts he has laid out before me.

Having more compassion, understanding, reasons to celebrate, and closeness, those are really good gifts don't you think? I am sure my God will use His perfect gifts in my life perfectly.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fantastic Video

Good Morning Dear Ones:

A friend of mine, who also has a heart for adoption, posted this video from ILikeGiving.com on facebook the other day and I just can't stop thinking about it. It is just so fantastic that I had to share it. Grab some tissues your going to need them.

Father God I thank you that you allowed our family to be a part of such a beautiful miracle called adoption.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Have to Brag and Celebrate

Hi Dear Ones:

As much as I am able to lay myself bare on this blog when I am struggling, I want to the same degree,  rejoice and celebrate God's ever faithful blessings in my life.

So today I want to brag on my son Noah. There are a slew of things that I could brag about him about, but today I am going to share an idea he had that has been a huge help in our large family.

It is about laundry. It is a never ending situation in our family. I have always been able to pretty much stay on top of getting everyones clothes clean, but folding is another story. I would pile each of the many loads weekly until what I named, Mount Laundrymore, developed. Just a huge pile that most of the time was dug through in frustration trying to find whose was whose. Or it required a VERY LONG time to get the chore tackled. Something that we don't have a lot of.

My Noah came up with the idea of each boy having their own exclusive laundry basket and for each boy to be responsible to wash and fold their own laundry. I have to say I doubted the idea at first but it has gone over amazingly well. The Mountain has crumbled and so have frustration levels when it comes time to get dressed.

So join me as I applaud this kid for who he is and for how he is such a blessing to our family. I tell you the young women that get the honor of becoming my boys wives one day...look out... they are good ones!

I also have to praise the Lord and celebrate today because over Christmas break my Jubilee was finally potty trained. I had dug my heels in and we refused her anymore pullups or diapers during the day. She literally begged me to put them on her but we just told her no she was a big girl now and she literally only had one accident during the whole break. I thought since she was finally waking up dry from her naps and even after all night that it was time to go hard core. I was prepared to have a big chore before me as we began but it really could not have gone any better. I sincerely praise the Lord for this because I was fearful she would literally start kindergarten in pullups. And it gives me hope that even though it took her until she was 4.5 that Mercy will get it when she shows me the signs also.

Then finally I have to celebrate My Marley girl today. She really is such a joy to me...most of the time :)
Today is her fourth birthday and we are hopeful she will, as Buster did, enjoy a long life in our family.

Blessings and hugs,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It Works

Hi Dear Ones:

Often times the New Year comes with New things. One of the New things for me this year is It Works!

I had heard about It Works products in bits and pieces on facebook and my curiosity was definitely peaked. Mostly because after four pregnancies, no amount of fitness seems to get me the results I  hope to achieve. My belly is my problem area.

A personal friend of mine shared her amazing personal results with me and I started asking questions. I became so intrigued that I not only wanted to try these products on myself but I also wanted to share the same products and opportunity with others. Just take a look at her results for yourself.

I was cautious as I approached this new endeavor. I have tried many other opportunities in the past and came away with a wounded self esteem. What is different this time is, I am not desperately searching to find something "that I am good at." Im not going to define my worth or value with this.  If you read my previous post, Gut Honest, then you know my heart desire is to have my God at the very center of everything in my life and that includes this.

I will not force this on anyone. I will not put it before relationships. What I will do is share my personal experience in a honest way.

So, if you are like me, and your curiosity is peaked, then feel free to go and check out my website and if you like what you see I'd love to hear from you. http://michelleselent.myitworks.com

All for Him,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gut Honest

Hi Dear Ones:

Let me just start by saying this isn't a typical New Years post. It started in my own personal journal. That safe place to be gut honest. In search of an adjective to describe how I am feeling right now ~
agitated came to mind. I looked up the definition and it was the perfect description.

Agitated - troubled emotionally and usually deeply.

Yep agitated is perfect. I am struggling greatly in a couple areas of my life. There are so many questions running through my brain. All I know is I want to hear from God. I want to hear what He has to say. I don't want to do things my own way. I don't want to miss His promises or become impatient and birth an Ishmael in my life.

In the midst of everything I don't know right now, I unshakably know and desire for Jesus to be smack dab in the center of every single area of my life. As Pastor Steven Furtick says I want everything in my life to orbit around Jesus.

As I was pouring out my heart in my journal tonight part of me felt guilty for some of my emotions.  I wished for what I felt honestly to honestly be something different. Something more mature or more christian. Then when I put the pen down I picked up my "unglued" devotional book by Lysa TerKeurst. The title for my devotion today was "God I'm a little mad and a lot confused."

Here was the verse for todays devotion:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Followed by the thought for today:

"God is big enough to handle our honest feelings."

At that point my tears began to fall. What a wonderful thing that we can go to God and let our gut honest feelings rip. What a wonderful thing that we can trust him and not lean on our own understanding.  How glorious that He is faithful and He will make our paths straight.

Lysa also included this verse:

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 followed by this quote, "All your heart includes the parts that are broken.

I just thought it was cool that the father spoke to me right there in my agitated state. It's ok to be gut honest. God is big enough for my mess. He is so gentle.

As it was all sinking in, there was a little knock at my door. In came my son Noah. In his hands he had a little bag of Jelly Beans and he said he had brought them to me because he thought I had seemed a little down. Oh how it blessed my heart. In that moment I was thankful that God was putting things before me, like my sweet son, to give my eyes something to focus on and praise.

Honestly not a bad way at all to start this new year... don't you think?

photo credit: amanky via photopin cc
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