Believe- John

What does it mean to believe? According to Merriam-Webster the full definition of believe is:
to have a firm religious faith; to accept something as true, genuine or real;
to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something;
to hold an opinion; think
This definition ranges from a firm religious faith to a firm conviction to holding an opinion.  What we believe seeps out into our actions and interactions with others.  This is true for what we believe deeply about ourselves to superficial beliefs about the weather, for example.  There is a complexity to our belief system that is, much of the time, unspoken or even unidentified, but surfaces through words, actions and sometimes most vibrantly through reactions to others.  What is my core belief about myself when the not-so-nice side of me surfaces; when I become prideful, fearful, insecure, angry, selfish, withdrawn or controlling? For me personally, I’ve identified that comes from a deep rooted belief that I’m worthless, unimportant and insignificant, but I know based on what God says in His word that those beliefs are lies.  When you are in circumstances that prevent you from striving to achieve success and the value that comes from it, whatever that looks like for you- the tough situations in life filled with some kind of loss, you have choices on how you respond to your beliefs- the positive and negative. Over my life, I’ve spent time in the pit with my negative belief system and experience has taught me it leads to darkness, loss and death.  In my current situation, by far the most long-lasting challenge I’ve experienced regarding my health, I’ve found joy, truth, gratitude, grace and wholeness because of my belief in who God is, not what I can do.  God replaces false, deep rooted beliefs with His truth.  It is possible, I’ve experienced it.

Our beliefs affect us, or at least they should.

When it comes to living my life for Jesus, do I want to have a firm faith and conviction or just hold an opinion about who He is, what He’s done and how He says to live? Does my belief change my heart, mind, speech and actions or do I simply hold an opinion, but it doesn’t mark my life? Even more than what do I think, how am I going to live because I believe? Do I live in a way that reflects that I accept the Bible and its message of Love to be true, genuine and real? Do I believe in the goodness of God regardless of the circumstances I find myself in? Do I believe that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are true and does this affect how I treat others?

As I read through the gospel of John, I’m going to highlight in my Bible words that Jesus speaks and look closely at the context of any tense of the word believe.

In John 1:38 Jesus asked His first question, “What do you seek?”  Imagine you are in Bethany in 85 AD with John the Baptist, not the author of the gospel, in when Jesus begins his three year ministry and you are hearing Jesus ask you, “What do you seek?”.  Would you journey with me through the pages of John in the Bible to discover who Jesus is and to decide for yourself if you believe in Him?  An invitation has been issued; it’s now up to you.

XO, Michelle

Rest

In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells the disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” They had been working so hard they didn’t have time to eat.  Is your life so busy that you often don’t stop to eat?  No matter what the demands are on you in this season of life, Jesus gently asks you to come to a quiet place and get some rest from Him.  I’ve spent a lot of years trying to put a formula together for my “quiet time” with God.  Reading a daily devotional, 15 minutes reading the Bible, reading a chapter in the Bible, writing in a journal, praying… I’ve tried waking up early in the morning, lunch-time at work and before bed and the list could go on and on. I don’t think Jesus has a perfect formula for spending time with Him and we probably over think what it should look like when all He suggests is to come by yourself to a quiet place and He will give you rest.  Is it five minutes in the morning looking out at His creation, listening to the quiet of your house or the chirping of the birds, watching the sunrise or set, turning your radio off as you drive to work, going for a walk or watching your child sleep?  As you sit quietly alone with Jesus, you will receive His rest and as a result want to spend more time with Him whatever that looks like for you.

Will you seek Jesus for the rest you so desperately need in your busy, demanding life?

I’ve continued to improve at my goal for a healthy lifestyle.  I continue to work on creating replacements that are natural instead of toxic.  I’m in more of a rhythm for cooking, creating and testing my natural creations.  A couple new additions that I will continue to improve are face powder, eye shadow and blush, deodorant, shampoo, body soap and laundry soap that looks better (what I have cleans well but all the ingredients aren’t staying mixed together so I have to shake it up).  Exciting only to me in our house, is that I figured out a formula that gets rid of static and eliminates dryer sheets!  It is hilarious that I’ve been excited to do the laundry.  I was actually out of dirty laundry for my static tests and had to wait a couple days to complete the project! Hahahaha!

 

XO, Michelle

What a Windy Day!

Oh man, was it windy last night!  As I let Cooper out this morning, I saw the snow blowing, gusts going through my backyard, the overturned glass table (fortunately it didn’t break) and the cover of the hot tub stopped by the basketball hoop which fell over.  Internally I feel the winds strongly blowing my thoughts around.  It isn’t necessarily bad, but it is exhausting and distracting to think, rethink, over think the same situation as I fall asleep and wake up.  I can analyze a situation or interaction and see ways to improve and grow as a wife, mom, friend and leader.  I make mistakes and can identify what I will do differently next time.  I’m pretty hard on myself, but once I make it right, it’s time to get moving. The only way for me to do this is spend time with God in prayer and His Word.  After feeding Cooper, I got out my journal and wrote out my prayer:

Dear Father, I need to lay right at the foot of Your throne and say I’m sorry for getting ahead of You and myself, quite frankly.  My mind gets going and doesn’t quit then it floods out of my mouth.  I didn’t lead my small group well yesterday for our study.  I know you forgive me so please get it out of my brain.  I will lead rightly next week. Clear my brain so I can hear from You. Teach me about You as I spend time with You in Your Word.  I love you! Amen

I spent some time reading Luke 7:23-30, learned about John the Baptist, Jesus and myself.

It’s still windy outside, but not in my mind anymore.  Off to continue working on organizing my healthy home and eating.

XO, Michelle

 

Amazed

When I focus on only big things, I miss out on the small joys in my days.  I’ve always felt that most of what I did in my profession (middle school teacher and high school dean of students) was very important as it affected students.  There was great purpose behind my day to day interactions and I was passionate about it; I still am! When I talk about what I did as a teacher and administrator my face still lights up.  I haven’t been able to participate in my profession for two years due to my health.  If I didn’t pay attention to the little things in my days, I would lack amazement, joy and God.

I’m reading Jesus 90 Days With the One and Only by Beth Moore.  Each day there is a passage of scripture, reflective questions and her insights into the scripture.  Yesterday was Luke 7:1-10 where a centurion’s worker was ill and dying, he sent some elders to Jesus to ask Him to come and heal the man.  Through an interaction with Jesus that demonstrated this man’s faith, verse 9 says, “Jesus heard this and was amazed at him…”  This indicates that God can be pleased with us.  I’ve always thought God would be pleased with someone doing ‘big things’ for Him, like a missionary or pastor.  There were two questions from Beth Moore:  1. Name something that has pleasantly surprised you lately.  What makes amazement one of life’s sheerest joys?  2. How often do you think God is pleased with what He sees in His people?

I was amazed at the beautiful sunrise last Thursday!  We had the most beautiful orange/yellow sky as the sun came up.  It was absolutely breath-taking!  It was surprising to see something so beautiful come through our frigid, snowy, cloudy weather!  In the grand scheme, it was something small and routine.  The sun has come up every morning during my whole life and I often don’t notice the beauty of it.  If I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have missed the joy of seeing beauty in our frigid winter.  God is a great God who created us and knows our limitations.  He is pleased with His people more than I’ve thought before.  We have been given free will so whenever we choose to love Him and others, He is amazed at our hearts.  Like a proud Father, He says, “Look at her, she showed love to another.”  Any small act within His will or in obedience to Him, pleases the God of the universe.  Creating a healthier home through cooking and creating chemical-free products, is a little thing, but it pleases God and makes a difference in the health of some very important people in my life!

“Perhaps you’ve bought into the “wretched worm that I am” mentality enough to be uncomfortable thinking about Christ being impressed by anything wretched man can do.  But since we’re attempting to develop God’s taste in us -to love what He loves, hate what He hates, and marvel at what He finds marvelous -perhaps we could all use a little adjustment in our perception of the Divine.” Beth More

In Isaiah 66:2 God spoke these words: “This is the one I esteem (regard with pleasure…have respect): he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word.”

XO, Michelle

Be Made Clean

As I reflect today on what I’ve incorporated into my healthier lifestyle, I’m going to share some of the changes I’ve made.  Part of the organizational process I haven’t conquered yet is the research for each step.  Some are logical and common sense. I’m reluctant in listing out exact details of the books I’ve read because there are points I disagree with in each and am not making recommendations for anyone else to read them, but have found positive changes to make from each of them.  I just don’t have the time right now to list out all the morsels that I’ve taken from each one.  I looked through the eyes of my personal experience at the author’s background, personal bias and compare to other studies and sources of information.
This is the order of books I’ve read that started me on the road to taking better care of my body:    The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, C.N.  She is not a medical doctor and is a vegan who eats mainly raw, whole foods.  I think protein is very important, so I am not following her way of eating. The best take away from her book was to eat green veggies before my meals.  I have celery out to snack on and eat salad before for lunch and before eating dinner.  Those are simple things that my whole family has incorporated as well, except salad for lunch.  Besides getting more vitamins and minerals from the veggies, I eat less and our dinners are hot because I can allow the final cooking to complete while we are eating salad.  I usually would skip salad by filling up on my hot proteins and carbohydrates before they got cold. It’s important to confess that I don’t do this perfectly or 100% of the time.  If I don’t plan in advance when my energy drops and fatigue sets in, my eating habits suffer.  I’ve learned that anything requiring energy doesn’t come easy for me.  It was interesting to learn that most people do not have to mentally gear up for doing things they find fun and enjoy.
I’ll move on to the rest of the “health” books tomorrow since I need to get moving with my day and want to share what I’m focusing on spiritually.
I want my life to have rhythm to it, not just a routine.  I’ve started spending time with God in the morning before I get going with what I need to do that day. My focus has been learning more about my Savior, Jesus.  One part is learning about the Christian Calendar and traditions that focus on seasons in Jesus’ life.  The book I’m reading, more like studying to learn as much as I can, is Living the Christian Year- Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross.  This isn’t just for ritual, but the meaning behind the tradition.  It is a reference, that explains and gives Biblical focus for Advent (the liturgical year begins four weeks before Christmas), Epiphany (Jan. 6th until Lent starts), Lent (starting on Ash Wednesday March 5th and going until the Resurrection of Christ), Easter season (begins after the Resurrection and ends 50 days later with Jesus’ ascension to His heavenly throne and His giving of the Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts), the rest of the year is “Ordinary Time” (which goes until late November when Advent begins again).  Of course, there are many details and focuses within each season to help us focus our days and remember what Jesus did for us.  This quote by Christopher Hill sums it up for me:  “I’m interested in the experience of sacred time, in our ability to feel the intersection of time and eternity at special places in the year…. Sacred time is what makes the Church Year a genuinely transformative practice.”
 It is week four of Epiphany with a focus on healing and forgiveness.  When we look at Jesus healing the sick we can see God’s character and how much He cares for our circumstances and what is happening in our lives.  Although physical healing doesn’t come to everyone who asks, Jesus will always, 100% of the time, heal our hearts, if we ask.  He heals, forgives, cleanses and restores our hearts when we simply ask.  Today I read Psalm 103.
XO, Michelle

 

Organization of Wellness Day

I’ve spent all morning listing out ways to create a healthier environment for for my body. It is a long list and I got many helpful ideas from Katie’s blog: http://wellnessmama.com.  It’s a good one to check out because she has done a great deal of research, experimentation and is living out her recommendations.  I put little boxes in front of each item on my list so I can check it off when I follow through.  This is not a dream list!  I am going to accomplish what I’ve set out to do.  I am determined and committed to trying over and over to get things right, family approved and accepted and a quality that I would want to share with others.  This list is long.  Way too long to list in a post, but I will be writing about them when I find what works.

Off to my experience so far with creating natural cleaning products… I’ve been loving cleaning with non-toxic cleaners.  There are so many options that clean well!  I used a store bought chemical cleaner for my stove and was quickly reminded, as I had a reaction affecting my lungs and eyes, why I’m leaving those chemical-filled cleaners in the dust.  I’m in the beginning stages of creating and testing.  This stretches me because when something new doesn’t work, I tend to go back to what works or try something else.  Not this time! I will continue to find chemical free solutions through trial and error.  When I grated my castile soap and melted it to make liquid soap, it turned into a gel that got stuck in the pumps.  I’ve experimented with it and don’t know what the problem is, so I’ve ordered liquid castile soap to use in place of making my own.  I’m anticipating more success with that.  I’m, impatiently, waiting for it to arrive.  I can’t get everything from Amazon!

I fell a bit more organized with my new healthier lifestyle after writing out my list! I already had a great jump on the food part and am feeling good eliminating many of the things that were hurtful to my body.  I’ve replaced them with great, whole foods and have been able to get my husband and boys to incorporate some changes as well.  All that being said, I feel more organized and good about creating a healthier environment.  I’m noticing positive results and will continue to take steps toward better health for my family!

If you want to make some changes, list them out!  Start slowly and move at a pace that works for you!  Replacement habits take time!  If you aren’t a list maker, how do you start to take steps for positive change?  Please do share!

XO, Michelle

I’m Back

It sure has been long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  I’ve been thinking about writing again, but haven’t taken the time to put my words down here.  I’ve relearned a lot about myself this past year and continue to work on balance and incorporating habits to my life that stay.   I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal which isn’t necessarily a bad quality (I’m working on being kinder to myself as well), but I tend to abandon projects that I enjoy and are healthy when life gets hard and eventually move on to something else.  Although I know routines are good, I can’t maintain them for more than two weeks.

I jump in to projects with two feet and everything else falls by the wayside.  That has been an obvious cycle this past year… writing, cooking, reading, food changes, juicing, exercising, yoga and removing chemicals in my home.   The pattern seems to be:

1. “I’m still at about 25% of my physical capacity than I was two years ago.  There has to be a solution to my weakness, fatigue, pain and poor sleep that debilitates me for days or weeks on end.”

2.  Take information I know or have researched and hope this will “fix” me.

3.  Buy everything I need (excessive shopping has always been an issue for me).

4.  Focus on doing that task/project.

5.  My health issues drain me physically and mentally reducing further what I can accomplish.

6.  Brick wall.

7.  Abandon. Even if it was healthy and good for me.

8.  Repeat with a new focus.

Currently, I am incorporating healthy eating habits and trying to reduce the chemicals entering my body every day.  I’ve read some great books and found helpful resources.  It’s just that I’m feeling inundated with all the information and am having a difficult time organizing myself.  One of my goals in writing again is to organize myself.  This will help me with accountability and focus.  I’m letting go of my attempt at perfect writing and the length I think is necessary for a blog post.  I will not read and reread before posting.  Maybe this will encourage others to make healthy lifestyle changes as well.

XO, Michelle

Grace Effect

IMG_20130329_165122 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them (apostles)-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”        1 Corinthians 15:10

I love Paul, of the Bible.  When I first met him on the pages of scripture, quite honestly, I thought he bragged a lot about his knowledge of the Law in the Old Testament.  He even said he worked harder than the apostles.  As I spent time with him and looked closely at his life, I’v learned it’s quite the opposite.  In the verse prior to the one above, Paul stated, “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church.”  When I didn’t look at all of what Paul said, I formed an incorrect opinion about him.

Isn’t that how our interactions with people are sometimes?  We make assumptions based on limited interaction, sometimes just from observation.    I’ve found that when I make assumptions, they aren’t always kind or may be built with jealousy or envy as the foundation.  My conclusion then is that those opinions are more about me than the other person.  It surely doesn’t come out of a heart of love for others.

As I read 1 Corinthians 15:10 I was instantly drawn to the part of the verse where Paul said, “… His grace to me was not without effect”.

You read it right, effect not affect.  Effect is defined as: something produced by a cause; power to bring about results; influence.  Other translations of the Bible verse say, “not without result; did not prove vain”.

Paul, previously known as Saul, was blind to who Jesus was.  He knew God’s Word, but He didn’t recognize Jesus as the Savior the prophets told about.  He was actually killing Christ followers.  But God got Paul’s attention by literally making him blind. When his eyes and heart were open, Paul accepted what he didn’t deserve and lived his life telling others about it.  God’s grace changed Paul’s life. It was not without cost.  In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul shares what his life was like as a Christ follower.  God used Paul to share His saving grace with the Gentiles.  His letters fill the New Testament with wise insight into living a life worthy of God’s grace.

God gave me something I didn’t deserve.  His Son as a sacrifice for my sins.  I’m thankful and grateful, but does my daily life reflect the cost of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection?

How has God’s grace influenced my life?  Is it without result or in vain?  Truthfully I’ve gone through times, years where my life didn’t reflect the effect of God’s deep love for me.  I can make excuses for why, but the fact of the matter is that after accepting Christ’s saving grace, I’ve gone through long periods of time without effect.

God’s grace was costly and I don’t want to live a life reflecting cheap grace.

We are all on a continuum of understanding and living out God’s grace.  Paul’s life is a testimony to how a life can be transformed.  From a killer of Christ followers to one teaching about how to follow Jesus Christ.  How about you?  Will you investigate how you can live the grace effect?

XO, Michelle

Raw and Real Me

My life is blessed.  It’s not perfect, but there isn’t a person whose life is.  Trust me, I’m not bragging here, there are things that are tough in my life, seriously tough things with my children, my Dad has Parkinson’s, the feeling of insecurity with Mike’s job and my personal health challenges and limitations. But I know with 100% certainty that I am loved by God, I am where He has planned, I can take all of my worries to Him to manage, I can surrender my fear at His feet, and He holds me right where I am.

This life is not my own and it is not the whole story.

When I am quiet before God, in the silence I have a visual picture in my mind with me down on my knees, head bowed with arms stretched out holding what I’m bringing before God’s mighty Throne.  As a mom, much of the time my arms are outstretched with my boys.  When I have much to pray for, I lay it all down at my sides and with both arms push it all forward as if they are gifts to put at His feet.  Praying like this lightens my worries and reminds me God knows. He knows before I even speak a word.

Why is it that I know and feel blessed, can take everything to God in prayer, but sadness pierces my heart and fear grips my mind so often?

It’s raining outside and like so many other days my eyes are too.  I’m stuck inside the house just like I feel trapped inside my body.  It’s a scary place to be because I know I can stay there for long periods of time.  It’s a constant battle and I’m fighting right now.  I want to scream, “Someone please tell me, how you can be thankful and cry tears of loss; filled with joy and sad; be blessed and mourn?”

How do these contradictory emotions coexist?

It’s like I’m on a teeter-totter, but I’m alone and running from one side to the other to keep tottering. It’s too difficult of a ride to expect anyone else to teeter with me and that’s not for lack of being loved by an amazing family and friends.  The only One that can totter with me is God, but I need to invite Him.

I do.

HE is HUGE, so in the air I sit.

God sits and waits for me to allow my pain to slide down to Him.  He’s not going anywhere and won’t allow me slam into the ground by getting up without warning.  As I let my sadness and pain go, I tumble down and He scoops me up.  I am safe in His arms.

Why can I visualize God holding me and feel it with my heart, but still feel sad?

Gender, ethnicity, age, position, religion, location, gifts, talents or skills don’t matter to circumstances that cause mourning.  Sometimes I try to make it a head game and think I shouldn’t feel this way or others have it much worse.  Those two statements may be true, but mourning is a heart process and can’t be taken care of by my mind alone, wished away or pushed into a tiny brain compartment.

I mourn for the loss of my health, my career, my colleagues, dreams I can’t bring into fruition like running a marathon, time with friends, freedom to do simple tasks easily and for missing out.  I want to mourn, be done and move on.  I believe in being ‘in what you’re in’ and the mourning process is different for every single person and situation.

My problem is that every day I have reminders of my loss and my response to some catch me off guard.  The tears come when I don’t want them, which is all the time, as they swell and sting in my eyes, then stream down my face, hot and wet, ruining my makeup, if I even put it on.

Today was a big one, it surprised me and I’m having a hard time with it.  To be fair in their replacement process for me, I promised to let my employer know if I would be able to return to work in April for next school year.  Last Wednesday, I asked my doctor to send the medical notification to work that I wouldn’t be able to return.  That way I’d get an email from my employer acknowledging they received the doctor’s letter without feeling pressured to make a decision.  My body made the decision, I was in control of letting them know, and I mourned, processed and cried a good cry.  Done.

Yesterday I received a call and today an email from my employer, clearly indicating that they never received the fax.  The tears ran as I called my doctor who hadn’t faxed the letter yet.  They ran as I sent a text message to a dear college letting her know.  At every turn today, I’ve been crying and I’m drained.  Even though I’ve not been able to physically work for a year, 3 months and 2 days, it’s still raw.  I just want to be done with feeling the loss of my career.

I don’t want to, but I have no other choice, so in it I sit.

I do not sit alone.

God invites me, so I sit with Him on His Throne.

Still, there is no deliverance from pain or a fixed body.  But in it I sit and stay and reflect back, what He says to me as best I humanly can, the only response God deserves:

“I love you always, no matter what”.

Beauty & Blessing!

XO, Michelle

Distractions- Day 17

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This is where I spend time with God. It looks like it’s time to organize this space!

There has been a flurry of sounds, messes and distractions surrounding me today.  After getting out of bed, I got a Facebook alert that distracted me before I even made my coffee.  I sat down in the family room otherwise known as Mike’s office with my computer going through status updates.  Mike works from home a couple days a week, dominates the family room and loves background noise, so the TV is on a lot.  When he has “meetings”, they are on speaker phone, the TV sound goes off, but the screen stays on.  It’s his thing, but I really don’t like extra background noise or having the TV on.  I record my shows and we watch them in the evening together.

Before I even realize it, I’m sucked into The Price is Right knowing I have other things to do around the house and even better things to get to like reading and writing.  Mike calls down from upstairs, “Michelle didn’t you do my laundry?”  Just then I remember before I went downstairs this morning, I did run the dryer a second time to get the wrinkles out of his clothes that I said I would fold yesterday and reran the washer with the clothes I put in yesterday.  I hustle it upstairs to apologize and see he is frustrated and saying he can just do it himself.  I grab the clothes from the dryer and start folding.  Saying I forgot or I’m easily distracted is a bad excuse and I’ve tried to stop saying it out loud, but it’s true.  There are so many things that as soon as I walk away I forget, as if I’m leaving my brain in the laundry room.  After folding the clothes I went downstairs to see Cooper was still outside.  Thankfully he is a dog, the weather is nice and it was only 20 minutes.

Sounds.. the rhythm of the washer, zippers hitting the sides of the dryer, the murmur of the TV, conference audio training from Mike’s computer, the unmistakably loud garbage truck, recycling bins crashing on the ground, the bell ringing at the high school and  the soft alert that I have a text message.

Hold on, the dryer buzzer is going off and I am getting up right now to take care of it.  That’s right this time I turned it on to remind me to take the clothes out and fold them. Finished and put away, talk about follow through!

There are also sounds and reminders floating around my head of what I need to do at every turn of my house, clean the dishes, organize the closet, take a shower, pick up the taxes, what should I do for dinner, finish up my Bible study lesson for today, call and make doctor appointments for the boys, put my winter clothes away and the list goes on….

I am also filled with sweet reminders of a touching text from Nathan yesterday and the feeling that I got parenting right with him, the hug I got from my over six foot tall 15 year old who towers over me, a fun date night with Mike, this calm I feel in my soul that can only be explained by God, a precious blog post from my sweet friend, Becca-Lecca-Lecca as I like to call her, about her upcoming trip to India, feeling some physical strength and absence of fatigue, quiet time with my Savior and how sweetly God spoke to Samuel when the Israelites were demanding a king.Samuel was angry and went straight to the Lord and prayed.

If I stopped right there we would have a lesson to apply to our lives:  go straight to God and talk to Him, not the person you are upset with or another person to talk about the person you are upset with (gossip). Get insight from Him on how to handle the hurtful or frustrating situation and do what He says.  More recently I’ve been realizing that most of my frustration is about me and allowing God to do His heart work. Often, I don’t have to go beyond my conversation with God.  It allows me to let go and gives me calm in my spirit.

Samuel’s story gets even sweeter and shows us about God’s character and love for us.  Our Father spoke encouraging words to Samuel (Samuel 8:7), “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king.”   The Lord told Samuel to give them a king and he did what the Lord told him to do. God speaks sweetly to each of us in different ways in every situation in our lives.  Are you listening?  He cares about the mundane tasks that need to get done during the day and the frustration I feel when I can’t even do those simple things.  He will encourage us if we stop to listen.  Samuel was known as a person whose relationship with God was grounded in prayer and when God spoke he obeyed.

“God taught Samuel that true prayer is always based first on surrender to the will of God, not on the need of man.  Samuel shows us what it means to pray the way God wants.”  This quote is from Life Principles from the Prophets of the Old Testament from the Following God Character Series by Barber, Rasnake and Shepherd.

Wouldn’t it be great to be known as a person who prays and obeys God? Let’s live like Samuel: pray and obey!

 

It is Eastertide- Day 17 and as we continue our celebration of our risen Savior, maybe some time for confession is in order as you pray today.  Our blessing today is Psalm 66:18-20:

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.  Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”

If you don’t know what Eastertide is, here is my post that explains it:  http://iloveyoualwaysnomatterwhat.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=687&action=edit

Beauty & Blessings!

XO, Michelle