Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Twenty Years ago . . .

Twenty years ago today, two people came close to stepping over into eternity. One a teeny, yet unborn precious baby girl and the other, her mama.

Today we celebrate Victoria’s life. She is the most amazing daughter. After three rambunctious, denim overall wearing boys I had all but given up on having any pink in my world. I had grown accustomed to Tonka trucks and mud pies.

When we found out I was pregnant we were thrilled, but honestly, I was too afraid to believe it might be a girl. We tried to find out via ultrasound, but thanks to scar tissue from previous C-sections and a breech baby, we couldn’t tell. No matter how much jumping up and down and pleading I did between scans.

This little one was flipped upside down right up until the day of birth. We scheduled an appointment at the hospital in hopes of flipping this baby head down. In the middle of the procedure, the baby’s heart rate dropped and it turned into an emergency situation. In a matter of minutes, a very few minutes, I was whisked away leaving my terrified and confused husband behind.

The last thing I remember is a very kind doctor telling me to count backwards from ten. I think I got to seven. In those few seconds I knew there was chaos and panic in the room. Instruments fell on the floor, the doctor yelling and cursing.

I awoke to almost as much chaos. Several nurses working on me, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man I love looking teary eyed into a little bundle of baby blankets. He noticed me wake up and showed me this beautiful creature, informing me we had a daughter. I did not, for one second believe him. I actually made him unwrap her and show me. Instantly I had visions of pink, bows and headbands and more pink. Lacey, girly dresses and pink, lots of pink.

Things started to get fuzzy again, more panic in the room. My blood pressure was dropping and they could not stop the bleeding. I remember feeling like I was in that place, somewhere between consciousness and not. The pain I was in as they were pressing and squeezing on my non-anesthetized abdomen was beyond description. It was as though I was watching it all happen, feeling it, yet not feeling it. I remember looking to Brian and the baby. He was praying and looked concerned. The nurses, the chaos, yet I was in a place of peace. Almost waiting it out, I had no fear, only peace.

Next I knew, things had settled down, I was fully conscious and there was calm in the room again. We marveled at this tiny creature, so perfect and pink. I’m not sure what we were spared of that day, but I am forever grateful for God’s mercy and grace on us that day. I am in awe that He chose me to be Victoria’s mama.

Twenty years ago my life was forever changed. I am so proud of the woman she has become. She is a stinker, for sure, kind of like her mama, but she carries herself with such grace. She is strong, yet submissive. Beautiful and all girly, yet willing to work hard and get her hands dirty. Of course, she even pulls of the sweaty, dirty, messy look with grace and dignity. THAT she did not get from me. She has a tender heart towards the Lord and His word. She loves her daddy’s protection. She is incredibly capable and talented. I look forward to watching her grow more into the woman God created her to be. Happy birthday my sweet firstborn daughter. I love you so very much!
P.S. the precious thing gives ME flowers on her birthday! ‪#‎soblessed‬

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Word of the Year

As usual, I wrestle with my ‘word’ each year. A girl wants to be sure, you know. Thankfully, my Father shows no signs of being weary with me.

I feel such a strong leading that ‘much will be required’ this year. Much to be done, changed, accomplished, fought for, hoped for and believed for. Part of me loves this. I love purpose and goals.
But honestly, part of me shrinks back because I know me. I know about how long ‘I’ can last. I know my weaknesses. I know some of the things required of me are far beyond ‘me’, actually, most of the things are far beyond me!

For the past several weeks, as I have reflected and prayed about this upcoming year, any ‘concern’ or question I had about it was met with the thought, ‘just believe’.

But God, this thing you seem to be leading us too, seems impossible. I hear, believe.
But my kids, or those who are hard to love, or the struggles . . . believe.
Um, we’ve been ‘here’ before and nothing seems to change . . . believe.
The physical and personal goals I almost dare to dream about . . . believe.
It seemed everywhere I turned, every question I had, every doubt that rose up was met with BELIEVE. Just believe.
What do I believe about this situation or that?
What do I believe about my God? What do I believe His Word says?
When the enemy comes roaring, what am I going to believe?
When symptoms or circumstances are beyond my control, what am I going to believe?
The scripture I felt led to was Mark 5:36. Jesus answered, Do not be afraid, only believe.

Along with this word ‘Believe’ is coming a strong sense that ‘much’ will be required this year. And a deep, deep conviction that unless I live with INTENTION, PURPOSE AND FOCUS, either I’ll burn out or do A LOT of things, but none of them well.
Believe also plays into this, because it is going to take God to bring it to fruition. So, I believe He is leading. I believe He will provide. I desperately need Him to give wisdom, guidance and strength. I know I have NONE of this of my own accord, but IN HIM, I am complete and have all I need. What am I going to believe this year? That is the question I ask.
So, officially, my ‘word’ is BELIEVE! With a side of INTENTION, PURPOSE AND FOCUS.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anniversary Letter to Brian 2015

Anniversary letter to Brian.
My dearest husband,
I have been thinking about us and where we are in life right now. I marvel at what we have been through and dream of where we may be going.
If we were currently going through some of those deep, dark times, I know what I would write. I would write of God’s faithfulness and your steadiness. Of how you have loved me through it all. Of how you held me amidst the storms, wiped tear after tear. Of how you would envelop me with your strength, even though you were breaking too. Of how you never, ever allowed me to lose hope. Of how rose up and handled it all when I was but in a puddle, weak, sick and terrified.
If we were on Sanibel Island or giving birth to one of our blessings, or held up for six weeks post- partum, soaking in the wonder and beauty of new life together, I’d surely know what to write. I would write of the incredible joy of sharing life’s most amazing ‘ups’ with your soul mate, the one God planned on purpose for you to share these things with. Of how deep joy is only multiplied when shared. Of that look in your eyes, that look of profound love and contentment. I’d struggle to find words to describe how utterly amazing oneness is, not only in the storm, but high up on the mountain tops.
So, I struggle. We are neither on Sanibel Island nor in the middle of a hurricane. Life always has its storms, but that’s not what I mean. I think, of a string of sunny days one doesn’t really notice the sun so much. Or deep into spring, does the green all around really strike you like it does in late March? Or, the beauty of the snow come February. In late November, it is haltingly beautiful and causes a deep hush in one’s heart.
I’m just struck by the simple beauty of a weathered love living day by day. I’m amazed, it feels strikingly magnificent. Marvelous and exquisite, just as it is. I am in awe of what a gift it is to ‘do’ life with you. The ONE person on this earth that truly, profoundly and wholly loves me, for me. Praising God for you, for us, for the storms, for the mountains, for the everyday sunshine. Happy Anniversary, my love.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nothing Is Too Hard For Him

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for Me?”
Struck by this verse this morning. What have you tucked away as too difficult for the Lord to change? Or wonder if He ever will answer those prayers?
Or, maybe, you feel it is 'your fault' anyway, your poor choices, it's understandable that He would not change things. After all, you deserve what you are getting.
Ladies, He is our MERCIFUL and POWERFUL God and Father!! I dare you to do a search on the mercy of God sometime. You will be overwhelmed with how merciful He is. Nothing, nothing is impossible for Him. Nothing and no one is beyond His reach. His arm is not too short to change your situation. He is merciful and compassionate!
I'm praying for some mighty big things, how about you? I know it might be uncomfortable to share what you are praying for, but let's at least pray together that God would move mountains, heal marriages, save children, heal broken hearts, deliver mightily and quickly. You don't have to name your prayer request, just comment, 'I'm in' and I'll take that as a sign you are praying and believing for big and 'impossible' things, and we will join together in prayer today!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sweet Little Gift

I interrupt this 'not supposed to be on the computer in the morning' to bring to you something so very dear and precious. Today is our first day of school this year and this is what I find on my quiet time table this morning. I know, overwhelmed, that's what I am. Overwhelmed.

He is so faithful and His grace covers!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I don't think I can even begin to put into words what these past two weeks have been like. The Lord has and continues to do a deep work. I had NO idea how badly I needed this time and the things He has done in my heart. I knew something wasn't 'right', but the depth, I did not know. I don't want it to end. I don't want to lose sight of all He has been showing me. I keep it close and keep going over it, not wanting to let it out of my sight. You see, I know me. I have had times like this, but then life goes on and much of it falls by the wayside. I am praying and believing this not be the case. I want to get up from this spot a permanently changed woman! I am trusting He will complete that which He started. I've also put boundaries and safeguards up where needed.
I was reading this scripture today and it SO speaks to where I am and have been. I've been complacent, distracted, lethargic, 'busy' with much, but accomplishing little. Asleep, that's what I've been feel this was a serious wake up call and I do not want to be lulled asleep again! The way I spend my time, my days, my prayer life, my devotional life, all of it, I am living on purpose now. LIVING on purpose. Read this 'warning'. It's no joke, ladies. Our marriages, our children's lives, our own hearts, relationships, this world around us, we have a huge part to play and the enemy wants us 'sleeping' on the job. WAKE UP!!!
Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, And Christ will shine upon you and give you light.
Therefore see that you WALK CAREFULLY [living life with honor, PURPOSE, and COURAGE]
not as the unwise, but as wise [SENSIBLE, INTELLIGENT, DISCERNING PEOPLE]
MAKING THE VERY MOST OF YOUR TIME [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are FILLED WITH EVIL.
Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is. (my emphasis added, sorry)
I just don't know how to read that and not be convicted to my very core! Time is precious and short and fleeting.
Am I being who I was created to be?
Am I making the most of my time?
How much time do I waste on frivolous things while my children's souls are in danger?
Or my marriage and husband?
Or lonely people needing the love of God?
Am I the woman of prayer I desire to be?
Is my heart on fire for God and His Word?
Am I seeking first the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Michelle?
When given a free moment or I am lonely, or afraid or sad, do I turn to God or a way of 'escape'?
There's no guilt and shame being slung here, just some real honest questions I have been asked these past few weeks. When the Holy Spirit comes in with His scalpel, it hurts, for sure, but there is no guilt or shame, just a humbling and softening of the heart and a desire to repent and change. True conviction and repentance is a beautiful and loving thing. I have been LOVED by my Father these past few weeks, trust me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Think of some nagging issues in your husband or marriage. You know, the ones that have been there for years and never seem to change. You have prayed before, maybe you still do. Or maybe you have sort of given up. It just never seems to change. He never seems to change. You've possibly lost hope, even though you hesitate to admit that.
Maybe it is your children, or a particular child. Perhaps finances, a relationship. Something longstanding that you have all but given up in your heart the hope of ever seeing it change.
I'll ask you what I questioned to myself. Do I believe in the power of prayer, or not? Really? Do I? Maybe I really don't. Do I believe God can come in and radically change the situation? Do I even believe He would?
If I am not fervently, unceasingly, consistently crying out to God for my husband and marriage, who is? Am I so foolish to think the enemy pays no attention to a husband or marriage not covered in prayer? Foolish enough to think things will just change on their own?
I am not trying to heap guilt or place a burden on our shoulders that was not meant to be there. I know there is much more to this than just our prayers. Our husband's spiritual well being and our marriages do not depend entirely upon us and how much we pray. BUT, we do have a role to play here.
Our husband's carry a great mantle and responsibility before God as the head of our families. Until recently, it hadn't hit me as to just how great it is. And who is specifically and strategically praying for him? Not a, 'thank you for Brian, bless the work of his hands, yawn, help him to be a good daddy . . . yawn, amen.'
No, fervent, effectual, interceding, heaven storming prayers on his behalf. Praying scripture over his life. Crying out to God for very specific areas of his life.
So, I ask again. If I am not doing this, who is?? Do I really believe in the power of prayer? In the power of God to radically heal and deliver? Enough to stop giving it 'lip-service'? Enough to change my lifestyle and choices so I can pray effectively? Am I living a life of integrity, by living according to my beliefs and convictions? I told you, SOBERING.
Tomorrow starts a new month. And while I am feeling a bit undone and overwhelmed with what God is doing in me. Pruning is never painless, you know. Of all the things He is calling me to or changing, I have got to make this a priority. It's got to start with our husband's and marriages, doesn't it? And lest you think this is just for struggling marriages or jerky husbands, it is not! Our marriage is great and my husband is not a jerk.  I am just deeply convicted that I have NOT been praying for that man in the way I should be. And just because our marriage is great, does NOT mean the enemy is not waiting right around the corner waiting to pounce.
I am thinking of issuing a little (huge??) challenge to you married ladies. Praying everyday for the next month for your husband strategically, fervently and passionately. What do you think? I won't make you report in. I will not necessarily be posting daily about it, but all of us joining hands, so to speak and encouraging one another to pray for our man!! I can post the list of topics in the Power of a Praying Wife book. Also, I know if you search for a list of things to pray for your husband, you will come up with lots of options if you need a springboard. Or, take some time today and make your own list of things you'd like to pray for. Or, just pick a scripture prayer from Ephesians or Colossians and pray it for him for the next month. Don't complicate it.
One more thing. If you are angry and bitter towards your husband, and honestly, he just might be that 'jerk' I mentioned. I ask you to take your heart to God, repent, forgive as Christ forgave you, even though he doesn't deserve it. If nothing else, you will be free. And honestly, I believe our merciful God even honors prayers through gritted teeth. And maybe you could spend the month on your own heart, praying for your heart to be softened even though years of neglect or abuse have hardened it. I don't know, just a suggestion. (my heart aches for you, dear one, in this situation, I know there are many)
Share your thoughts, please.

Friday, September 25, 2015

What I Truly Long For

Here is what I scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper, in no particular order. It took me all of one minute to have this list fall out of me. I had forgotten what my beliefs and desires were.

BE A WOMAN OF PRAYER: yes, I pray and have prayed, but I do not take the time to be the woman of prayer I really desire to be.

PRAY FOR MY HUSBAND AND CHILDREN: again, of course I pray for them, but as fervently and unceasingly as I desire?? I think not. I let ‘life’ (and I think you know what I mean by ‘life’) use me, drain me and I give myself to so many urgent things, while the very important things get pushed the side.

KEEPING AND RUNNING MY HOME WELL! This one hit me square in the eyes, as HELLO, my original blog is actually called, She Looketh Well, to what? The ways of her household. Are we doing fine, absolutely, BUT, am I managing and running this home as I once desired and long to do. It is crazy, but one of the things that feeds my soul is scouring out the kitchen sink. I love doing things like this, but am so BUSY. Yes, I scoured the kitchen sink the other day and cleaned out and organized two cabinets. Felt good, felt like I was living who I am.

MODELING GODLY WOMANHOOD TO MY DAUGHTERS, and sons, for that matter: is a mama who is always distracted, always busy, always chasing knowledge, always saying, just a minute, what I want to model. When God showed me this, I was convicted over and over again of all the areas I am NOT modeling what I want to these kids. I am not saying I don’t do lots of really good things, but He is gently showing me the areas that seriously need to be kicked up a notch.

MEDITATE ON THE WORD ‘DAY AND NIGHT’: how I used to study His word like a crazy woman! Yes, I still read His word, yes, I still see and hear Him leading, but I have lost my first ‘true love’ for Him and His word. For several years now it has been dry and forced. He is always and forever ‘there’, but my heart is so full of distractions, the things of this word, the flame is barely a flicker. This is not who I am, but who I have allowed myself to become.

KEEP A CALM AND UNDISTURBED MIND: I was convicted of this YEARS ago. A calm and undisturbed mind is life and health to the flesh. I have allowed the calm and undisturbed to be drained from me. No longer do I sit quietly, not chasing, not doing, not multitasking, not learning something new. No longer do I read books. Creativity is a struggle because I have given so much of my energy and peace away to the things of this world. I used to love to read books. Love to just puts, organizing something, making something in my home pretty, lighting a candle and feeling the breeze. Nope, on a treadmill to nowhere and someone keeps turning the speed up.

I loved this quote.”I have accomplished much, but lived little.” So true of my life these past few years.

BE PRESENT AND ‘AVAILABLE’: I don’t need to say much about this, but I can assure you, I am NOT, NOT, NOT present most of the time. My mind is always on half a dozen things, or checking my phone, or skimming articles as if there were some deadline. I do NOT want my kids to grow up with a picture of their mama, head down on the phone or computer all the time. Oh, I excuse it away, multi-tasking, nobody does it better than me! Or being ‘productive’, not wasting time, making the most of the time. UGH, sure, I was doing all those, but for the WRONG purpose!! I was making the most of my time so I could learn more, do more, be more . . . all except to be more PRESENT for my husband, children.

TRAIN MY CHILDREN ON PURPOSE, not by happenstance or on the defensive. Again, not like I don’t deal with situations and my kids are awesome, sinners, but awesome. But I have lost sight of the great calling to train and disciple them. I deal with things as the come, most of the time, though, shamefully, I let way more go than I probably should. Not in the name of grace, but because it is easier and so much ‘less fun’ than what I am doing in the moment. I don’t purpose to train them like I used to.

There you have it, a bold confession. Letting you peer right into my sinful heart. The really cool thing, as the Lord shows me this, I don’t feel the least bit of condemnation. I know I am a good mama and wife and homemaker, I just think He is taking me up a level, cleaning up much of my sloppiness and neglect. He doesn’t do this because He is mad at me and, man-O-mister, am I such a failure. Nope, He knows who He created me to be, what brings me greatest joy and fulfillment, and He is gently leading me back to who I am. I am so thankful!! So humbled by His mercy. But I do know this will not be easy and will cost a lot. But I am ready. I am sick of the old way. I want out. I want free. I want to live, truly LIVE!! I want to be the true me. I want to live a life of integrity, meaning living a life according to my beliefs and convictions. And girls, there are something that seriously need to go!!

Lord willing, more later. What are your goals and convictions? Are you living them? You don't have to share here if you don't want to, just giving you something to think about. Thanks for 'listening' it was good to get it out.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tough Questions

Ladies!!! I can hardly contain all the Lord is showing me during this “sabbatical”, if you will. (don’t know what else to call it)

There is no way to share all of it, but I so wish I could. Sweet, sweet conviction each day, actually many times a day. He is showing me things, answering the longings of my heart for a few years now and more! It is not easy and will NOT be easy to make the changes He is calling me too, but, I know He is faithful to complete what He has started, so I take my restless, crazy, get-r-done mind and calm it with this truth. I am the type of person to write it all down and fear I will forget it, not do it, or whatever. Mostly, because that is what has happened in the past. ‘Life’ gets in the way, I lament. But I cannot go around this mountain again. These thoughts and verses hit home.

‘As a dog returns to his vomit . . . ‘

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results’

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Sheesh, these alone are enough to make me stand up and take notice. Is there any areas in your life where you are just so sick of? Areas that NEVER seem to change? Relationships? Your marriage?

Areas where you have prayed and prayed and nothing seems to change? Or, maybe, you haven’t even prayed anymore, because, ‘why bother, nothing changes anyway’.

Maybe it’s time to do something different! Maybe you can’t change the situations, but you change you or how you handle it or how you are living.

A few questions the Lord has asked me.

What are my goals, priorities, dreams for my life and family?

What is hindering these from happening?

Does the way I am living really match my beliefs and convictions?

Like an arrow to my heart! He began to show me area after area where I am NOT living up to my beliefs and convictions. I cried out to Him and asked Him what WERE my beliefs and convictions? I couldn’t even think of what they were for a few days. That’s how much distraction and ‘life’ has taken over. I was trying to figure out who I am, but all along I was forgetting who I am. I know that might not make sense, but it does to me. Deep down, I know who I am, but I was not living it! That is not a life of integrity.

Finally, yesterday, in a flood of thoughts, I began to write down what my ‘beliefs, convictions, and desires’ were. I had almost forgotten!! I’ll share next time.

I challenge you to ask yourself the above questions. Be prepared and forewarned.

Monday, September 14, 2015

What Am I Filled Up With?

A few of the verses I have been reading of late and some tough questions I have asked myself.

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful, (Psalm 1:1)

Where do I stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of scorners? The Lord has revealed a few areas where I have spent my time with 'sinners and scorners' and I have no influence on them, so why do I stay? I have since changed this.

The wise woman builds her house
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. (Pr. 14:1)

This one stung as He showed me the areas where I was actually tearing down my 'house'. Little areas and behavior that I hadn't even realized the ramifications.

. . . but the prudent man looketh well to his going AND She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

VERY convicting once I thought about it for a nano-second.

. . . My word hath no place in you . . . (John 8:37)

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

My heart is 'right' with God. I do so love Him and His word. BUT, have I filled my heart and mind up with so much 'stuff' that there is no room, no place for His word in my heart and life? It's not that I don't 'want' to be in His word more, it's just that I am so filled up with other things, there just seems to be no room for Him. They may be very , very good things, but are they if they take the place of Him?

Some of the women I work on nutrition with will tell me, I have no room for the protein I am supposed to eat. I always ask them what they are eating that is taking up the room that protein should rightfully have. We usually find something they are eating instead. Same goes for any healthy food. If you are filled up with junk, or even 'less than optimal' food choices, you will never have room for the good stuff. OR, "I just can't eat in the morning." Really? Try skipping dinner a few nights, I bet you begin to wake up hungry.  I hope you see my analogy. When we are so filled up with other things there is no room for Him. I am reevaluating many 'things' in my life at the moment.
Just some random verses that are speaking to me at the moment.