Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Celebration

Each year, being the 'foodies' that we are, we make something fun for our family time together on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We stay home and celebrate as a family. On New Year's Eve we play games with the littles (and bigs) and then we watch a movie with the bigs later in the evening. We used to stay up late, but the addition of numerous children and the aging of Mama and Papa have changed that a bit ;-)

Our New Year Day menu is called our "Junk Food Day", which is funny, because part of it has always been veggies and dip and fruit and fruit dip. This year we have tried to make our already pretty healthy "Junk Food Day" and make it a nourishing, healthier, healthy Junk Food Day! Are you still tracking with me??

Our Menu, past & present:

Past: Hillshire Farms Lil' smokies, half in HFCS laden BBQ sauce and the other half in horrible for you crescent rolls.

Present: The healthiest hot dogs from Costco, nitrite/nitrate free, all-beef, cut and put into a homemade BBQ sauce and a soaked recipe for whole-wheat crescent rolls.

Past: Veggies and chemical laden and hydrogenated fat filled Dill Dip

Present: Veggies and Homemade Yogurt Ranch dip, made from yogurt that we made from our raw organic milk. No chemicals!!!

Past: Fruit and Fruit Dip that was made with chemical filled Cool Whip and sugar.

Present: Fruit and Fruit Dip made with our own homemade yogurt ( I LOVE this way of making yogurt!!) that has been strained into a cream cheese and sweetened with raw honey. Tastes like cream cheese frosting, only very good for you!!

Past: Horrible for you Summer Sausage made out of only God knows what! Seriously, that bad, and filled with chemicals like nitrates, MSG, ect. Served on Wheat Thins that have HFCS and toxic fats.

Present: Summer Sausage made from grass-fed, organic organ meats from U. S. Wellness Meats. I highly recommend them. We buy our organic ground turkey from them also. Served on either gluten-free crackers from Costco or homemade Grain-free Almond and Rosemary crackers for us grain-free folks.

We will be attempting to make our own potato chips and sweet potato chips fried in organic beef tallow. I will let you know how that goes ;-) Also, I will be attempting a cheese ball, which is a favorite of Brian's that is going to be made out of our own 'cream cheese'. I wish I had remembered to pick up some raw cheese when we got our milk this week, but I can't remember everything, right?!

Boy, have we come a long way in the past couple of years! I praise God for leading and His wisdom on the best way for me to nourish and feed MY family. I do believe, as He is all wise, He knows exactly what will work best for each of our families.

One more thing; you all know my heart, right? Please don't take this as condemnation or something to overwhelm you. Just let it inspire you to read the labels, eat as close to how God made food as possible, seek HIM for how best to feed your family, research and ONLY take on what the Lord would have you take on, not some woman in blogworld, okay?

BTW, if this sounds like a lot of work, it is, but I do have a houseful of helpers! And, once you start incorporating these changes, it becomes so much easier, really!

The Closing of a Year

Today marks the closing of the year 2009. I’m always a little sentimental at the end of a year as I look back and see all the Lord has done in my life. I marvel at the endless mercy He provides each morning. I’m humbled that His grace has carried me through yet another year. I love to look back and remember the tears, the joys, the pain, the laughter, the sin, the grace (abounding grace ;-).

I’m thankful that He leads me and seems to almost stretch me too far (in my opinion), yet He knows my frame and remembers that I am but dust. I’m in awe of how perfectly He “Fathers” me; disciplines me and loves me. I am forever amazed at how He skillfully blends joy and sorrow to make and mold me into the image of His Son.

O Lord, wonderful are Your works and that my soul knows well. O Lord I feel as though my very heart could burst with praise, love, thanksgiving, and adoration.

Great and mighty is the Lord – Praise Him all you peoples – Praise Him – Come magnify the Lord with me!

Tomorrow, a look forward!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Praise Through Tears

photo credit: Reap the Harvest Ministries

As I sat there with such heaviness of heart, such a feeling of hopelessness and sense of being completely overwhelmed, the tears flowed freely. The despair seemed to pick up strength with each passing second. How was I going to stop this? How do I go out and be a mom today? I'll be of no use to anyone. I've got responsibilities today.

I cry out, "O Lord, be the lifter of my head".
I pick up my devotional today and read:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
"Sing on, dear child. I hear you and I am coming to deliver you.
I will carry that load for you. So just lean hard on Me,
and the road will get smoother by and by."
( Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman)

How do I rejoice? How do I sing?
I sense I have a choice here, the course of my day may just hang on what I do in the next few seconds. I can almost feel knots in my stomach as something in me wants to resist. Through a heavy stream of tears and sheer determination I begin to sing the only thing that comes to mind . . .
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow . . .
I wipe the tears and begin to write . . .

So I praise You through the tears, the heaviness, the darkness. I praise You because You alone are worthy of all my praise. You alone are God. There is none other besides You. You alone are my hope and my salvation. Bless the Lord, O my soul, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord with all that is within me, bless the Lord. Forget not one of His benefits~Who heals all my diseases, Who redeems my life from the pit, Who crowns me with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Who satisfies my mouth with good so that my youth is renewed like the eagles.

O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty~I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have any being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The tears cease. My heart feels lighter. Hope peeks out from behind the clouds. It is not huge, but definitely lighter. Once again, He is the lifter of my head. Once again I see that praise really is a spiritual weapon that sends the darkness away and the enemy running.
It doesn't matter what the source of your discouragement or despair, the answer is the same. Praise! If nothing else, it takes our eyes off of ourselves and puts them on HIM! It can definitely be a choice of the will with no 'feelings' involved, but it works. Offer up to Him a sacrifice of praise today, you won't be sorry.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Your Will, Not Mine

I am a planner, a 'doer', an organizer, a 'let's get going' kind of gal. I've got things I would like to do, lots of things. I feel it even more so, this drive to do, to accomplish, as it feels as though these last five months have been 'on hold'. I don't know if I am physically or mentally up for more, but it seems like something should get going here. Something should be scheduled or added back in or at the very least, there are so many things to be addressed. Right, Lord?

As I seek Him, looking forward to the new year, as usual my head is overflowing with all the ideas, the 'shoulds' the 'have-tos', the 'I'd like tos'. It is feeling a bit familiar. I am excitedly running ahead again. I am letting my thoughts, opinions and will rule my mind and heart.

I hear Him calling me back, slowing me down, saying, "Breathe, My child, breathe. Do you want to run off with your will or walk with Me doing My will?" I stop. I breathe in. I breathe out. Humbly I bow and remember a favorite hymn.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

Adelaide Addison Pollard

Is this not what I want? Him having HIS way in me?

At His feet, I put down all of my ideas, thoughts and plans, and whisper, "Have Thine own way, Lord."

Christmas Health Update

Click on the here for update.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

All my (our) wonderful blog friends,

We pray this letter finds you well. As we send our Christmas blessing to you, we want to share something that the Lord has made so real for us this year. It is the fact that out of darkness comes great treasures.

This year has been particularly trying and many days have seemed so dark. But what is so comforting is that our God will bring great treasures out of our darkness’s. Joy does come in the morning. (Ps. 30:5) He does give beauty for ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

Life here on earth can be so difficult, so dark. It doesn’t matter what the source of darkness, we all experience it. It might be severe financial hardship, and you wonder if you will be able to pay the bills at the end of the month. Or loneliness so deep it gnaws at your very gut. Heartaches and disappointments that seek to rob us of all joy and hope. Debilitating health issues that leave you weak and in fear of how to deal with them. Maybe there are rifts in relationships in your own family that break your heart. Marriage broken by divorce, children confused and hurting. Yes, life can be so hard, but there is hope, a Light.

His name is Jesus: Emmanuel (God with us), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Lord of lords, King of kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

The truth about this Jesus that we celebrate at this time of year, is that it is He Who brings great treasures out of darkness.

Put your hope afresh on Him this season! That’s what we’re doing, how about you?

Below is a brief year end update on our children.

Matthew, 22, doing his best to take care of Danniel and Levi (our precious first grandson, who is adorable, by the way :- )
Luke, 19, working on a paralegal degree from Davenport/our right-hand man!
Joshua, 18, finishing his senior year/ takes great care of his Mama
Victoria, 13, all things crafty and a huge help around the house
Isaiah, 12, all boy, loves all things wood/very gentle young man
Sarah Grace, 8, learning to knit/ sweet as pie
Isabella, 6, learning to knit and read/gentle and quiet
Josiah, 5, resident ‘smiler’ and ‘hugger’/diligent worker
Elijah, 2, pretty much rules the house/so delightful and extremely smart!

*We mourned the death of our unborn baby this past fall. We are so blessed to have six babies in heaven waiting for us! While we grieved, we also rejoiced, for this baby was a gift, if even for a short time.

May the Lord keep you and bless you this coming year. Beloved, we pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
(3 John 2)

Hoping in Him,

Brian and Michelle and children

P.S. You women are so awesome and I so appreciate you. Your encouragement and prayers means so much to me. I count myself all the richer for having 'met' you all! Sending my love and hugs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

If Only For a Moment . . .

Stop the baking, cooking, planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating . . . just stop!

Now, breathe . . . breathe in deeply . . . breathe out deeply

Close your eyes and sing with me . . .

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Sing it again, slowly, breathing in the very Jesus we celebrate.
Let's not lose sight of Him!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Here are two very easy gifts and inexpensive too. I did order some of the products from Mountain Rose Herbs, but I suppose you could find them at the health food store.

One is Handmade Lotion. It is so easy, literally five minutes! I make mine with coconut oil and/or olive oil. I scent it with lavender. I put them in little jelly jars.

Chai Tea Gift Mixes. I made these up over the weekend. I really liked this recipe.

Homemade Herb Seasoning. I love the flavor of this. It is so easy to make up. I suppose it wouldn't be frugal if you didn't buy the herbs in bulk though. I did order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, but my health food store sells bulk herbs for a pretty good price. You really don't need much of each kind, so little one ounce packets might be the way to go.

The recipe for Yummy Granola that I shared during our Breakfast Challenge is a great healthy gift too. I like to add chopped nuts and dried fruit and package in a Mason Jar.

Do you have any last minute gift ideas? Please share.

One last thing in case you have not seen these really cool snowflakes! We made these a couple of weeks ago and have them hanging over the mantle. They are really easy. (assuming you don't have adrenal fatigue and can't think straight sometimes ;-)

Devotional Material For The Littles!

I was blessed enough to be able to get back to a small portion of our morning circle time. One of the things we do (or did before I got sick ;-) is read from the bible while the littles color the appropriate color sheet. We have used these off and on for the last several years. We have, at times, just read from the beginning. We have read certain 'stories', for example, the Passover Story. We have done the Easter Story, and now we are working through the Christmas Story.
We color a certain amount and then staple them into an empty file folder. The children now have a 'book' containing their pictures and delight to retell them to Daddy!
Here is the link for the New Testament and the Old Testament.
I just print up enough copies for each child to color, but you have options of crossword puzzles, questions and word searches for each story. We love these. I use these for my twelve and under children. The twelve year old and thirteen year old are getting a little 'bored' with the coloring. One free hand draws the picture for the story and the other rewrites (narrates) the story.
Hope this helps. It is so easy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Health Update 12/10/09

One Year Blogiversary!

I can't believe I have been doing the for a whole year! I never knew when I started it would grow into what it has. And I certainly never knew I would be SO blessed by this blog and the amazing women I have met!!!

When I began this blog, my desire was to chronicle things the Lord put on my heart regarding all things 'womanhood'. My hope is that my daughters will be able to print up each section (chapter) and put together a 'book' from there Mamas heart. My struggles, my failures, my successes, but most importantly, the work of God's grace in my life.

It has grown into a ministry beyond what I could have dreamed. And the most amazing thing is how blessed I am through it. God does that kind of stuff, you know?

I can't tell you how many times I have had the thought to just let it go and the Lord sends someone along to encourage me and remind me why I am doing this. It wasn't something I just decided to start. It was with much prayer and waiting that I started this blog. I did not want to add 'one more thing' to my already full life if it was not from God. Both Brian and I prayed and knew that this is what the Lord was allowing me to do right now. It is with open hands that I hold on to this blog, trusting that if the Lord closed the door, I would lay it down. (hopefully without a struggle ;-)

I am thankful, humbled and thrilled to be able to share my heart, AND that anyone out there cares to read it. Thank you so much to the readers of this blog and to so many of you who pray for me and encourage me through email! I so wish we could meet in person, I promise, I might just hug your neck off!

So, two songs I leave you with:

Happy Blogiversary to me
Happy Blogiversary to me
Happy Blogiversary to meeeeeee
Happy Blogiversary to me!


Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Questions on Nutrition and Recipes

My sweet friend Elizabeth sent me an email asking a few 'nutrition' questions and it occurred to me to put my response in a post to possibly benefit others. So here goes.

I have a couple questions for you. We recently bought a grass-fed cow for healthy beef. I want to learn from you how you use it.

Elizabeth, I am so happy for you! We love our grass-fed beef and can't imagine going back to eating 'slaughter house' beef, especially with all we have learned! We pray the Lord continue to provide this for our family. I won't go into the benefits of eating grass-fed organic beef seeing as how you already have it. It is something that is easy to research.

Tonight we had a chuck roast that I seasoned with Lipton onion mix and a can of cranberry sauce and cooked in my crock pot until it fell off the bone. It was really delicious!

First, let me say that I would try to avoid the Lipton onion mix, it is full of MSG and the cranberry sauce probably has high-fructose corn syrup in it. Let me tell you how I have found ways to make it just as tasty and better for you. I too used to use Lipton onion soup mix as well as Worcestershire sauce and beef bullion too! Yikes!

***Whenever I make a roast, or stew meat or round steak, I always sear it in a frying pan (not Teflon), with some oil (coconut is best for this purpose, but EVOO will do) until it has great color on both sides. Remove from pan. Then I saute sliced or chopped onions, garlic and salt and pepper in a little more oil until beginning to brown. Then I deglaze the pan with some water, about 2 cups, making sure to scrape the yummy-yums off the bottom of the pan. ( you could use wine, or wine/water combo) I then dump the meat and this mixture in the crock pot and cook as usual. You would not believe how tasty this is! The browning really adds flavor. I used to need to use MSG loaded bullion cubes or beef base to make a good roast and gravy, not anymore! ***

Another important point is to season the beef liberally with good salt (sea salt) and pepper before searing. I season the beef and the onion mixture. I have learned to season each layer of my meal, which makes for a well seasoned dish versus a salty or under seasoned dish at the end.(see, watching TV is good, I have learned a lot from Food Network!)

The 'juice' from the roast is so good I usually just have to thicken it up with a little arrowroot powder (better for you than cornstarch) and water slurry. Serve over rice or potatoes or whatever.

The main cuts we use from our cow are chuck roast, stew meat, round steak and ground beef. Of course we enjoy the steaks and speciality cuts, but these four cuts make up our main menu.

We eat a beef meal twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Oh, we always have burgers on Saturday, so that is three meals, isn't it? ;-) (We have Roast Chicken on Sunday, a Leftover Chicken meal, from Sunday's chicken, on Tuesday, and Beans/Grains/Meatless meal on Wednesday and Friday.)

Stew Meat:

*Prepare as above*** and serve over 'soaked whole-wheat pasta' or rice pasta. I call this 'Sirloin Tips over noodles' ;-) (shhh, don't tell anyone;)

*Marinate in an Asian marinade, for example Tamari, garlic, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and ground pepper. I let this marinate over night, dump in crock pot, cook all day and serve over rice with veggies on the side.

*"Chop Suey" (that's what we call it) Prepare as above***, cook all day in crock pot with chopped carrots and celery. The last few minutes add in a couple of cans of bean sprouts and serve over rice.

Round Steak:

Prepare as above***, but add in a HOMEMADE cream of mushroom soup (please don't use canned which is loaded with MSG!) I use this base recipe for everything I might have used cream of mushroom/chicken soup for! I used to use it a lot. This takes a little more time, but it is far superior and again no MSG! Add mushrooms also. Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

I recently made 'Chicken Fried Steak' with our round steak. Be sure to fry it in a healthy fat, like beef tallow.

I use both the round steak and the stew meat for various soups. The one downfall to this is having to have homemade beef stock which I make way less than the chicken stock I make bi-weekly. I have asked for all the extra bones from our cow and have made batches of stock with them, but no where near as frequently, so we eat less beef soup than we used to.

Besides the obvious roast variations, we make shredded beef barbecue out of our chuck roast. Make sure it is a homemade or healthy sauce, most store brands are loaded with HFCS and chemicals you don't want.

I recently came across this blog and have since bought her book. It has a ton of 'better for you' crock pot recipes, all gluten free. The problem I find with most Fix it and Forget It type cookbooks, is that the recipes might be easy, but are usually very unhealthful. I am happy with this cookbook, though I think you could probably get by with just printing off the recipes you want from her blog. I wanted to support her, so I bought the book. You can search 'chicken' or 'beef' recipes and come up with a lot of 'not your run of the mill' crock pot recipes.

Now, I'm wondering if I can cook that bone in the chuck roast for broth and can i put it back in my crock pot to do so?? Hoping that the answer is YES, I just did it! :) I covered the bones in water, put in some chunks of carrots, celery and onion and thyme, salt and pepper. Does that sound good???

I have not tried this, but think it might work. I have saved all my bones over the months (in the freezer) and when I make stock, I dump them all in. Here is the best link for making stock. I know I have posted it before, but here it is.

Hope this helps! Anymore question?? Anyone??

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Am Only Passing By This Way Once . . .

Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me,

I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

(Matthew 25:24-26)

After reading this scripture, this lovely post at
this post from
and a few other devotionals, the Lord has been stirring my heart, this is the message that is coming through loud and clear.

I am only passing by this way just once. I don't know if I will have the opportunity to love, hug, or encourage this one again. People are hurting, confused, battered all around me, even in my own home, but also extending out to family, friends, people I pass by at the store. What will my response be to the hurting, the hungry, the wounded, the needy?

Could it be that child causing so much strife is just hungry for the love of Christ available in a hug from me?

The daughter that seems to butt heads with me as she struggles to find her place, her purpose . . .is she thirsty for approval or encouragement?

That family member that seems to be such a drain on me emotionally . . . are they hungry for love? Are they just a little scared to see their life fading away, and just need to know they are cherished, important and that, yes, they do matter, and their life counts for something?

The quiet old man who walks with his head hanging low, seemingly so sad and alone . . .?

The frustrated and weary young mama with a crying baby in her arms and two screaming toddlers at her knees . . .?

Yes, I might only be this way just this once, what will I do?

Will I feed the hungry? Give drink to the thirsty? Welcome the stranger? Visit the prisoner?

Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the needs around me. Fill me so full of Your Spirit that Your love oozes out of me. As I go about my day, may the hurting, the hungry, the broken, the wounded be comforted and loved with Your loving Spirit in me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Did You Not Tell Me?

My husband is reading a book to us called,

Missionary Patriarch: The True Story of John G. Paton.

There was a story in the book that touched my heart and convicted me at the same time. Swallow hard and read on. Below is a quote from the book:

Shortly before his decease he said to his parents, "I am going soon to be with Jesus; but I sometimes fear that I may not see you there."
"Why so, my child?" said his weeping mother.
"Because" he answered, "if you were set upon going to Heaven and seeing Jesus there, you would pray about it, and sing about it; you would talk about Jesus to others, and tell them of that happy meeting with Him in Glory. All this my dear Sabbath School teacher taught me, and she will meet me there. Now why did not you, my father and mother, tell me all these things about Jesus, if you are going to meet Him to?"
Their tears fell fast over their dying child; and he little know, in his unthinking eighth year, what a message from God has pierced their souls through his innocent words.
'Nuff said?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Look What We Woke Up To!!!!!

I love the snow! I love winter! I pray for snow all the time in the winter!
It snowed all night and we woke up to this beautiful sight.
Brian is home for the day, we are having a date "36 hours"! My Mom and her husband are home from Florida for 10 days and we get alone time!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gluten Free and Low Carb Yumminess!

I have been experimenting with gluten free recipes as one of my children seems to have a sensitivity to wheat. I have found plenty of acceptable muffin/quick bread recipes. I have even found a satisfactory gluten free slicing bread recipe, though I haven't made it in a long time. I'm not even sure where it is to tell you the truth;-)

One thing that I have been unhappy with until now, is a substitute for pizza crust. Most recipes take way to many recipes to mess with and I am not happy with the results.

Enter my two new favorite gluten free pizza crusts that just so happen to be low carb! I personally am trying to avoid all grains and beans during this healing phase of adrenal fatigue.

I will give you the links to the recipes instead of posting them here. I made them exactly like the recipe directed and both of them were delicious! I think I liked the first one a little better, but it was more work. I like easy!

Tonight we had our wonderful 'Pesto Pizza'. I top our crust, home made whole wheat for most of the family, with homemade pesto, though store bought would be fine. Then leftover cooked chicken from Sunday's dinner, mozzarella cheese and sauteed mushrooms and onions for Mama and Papa. It is like gourmet pizza, I am not kidding!

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good Days and Bad Days

Lest some of you think everyday I am just sailing through these spiritual trials, let me assure I am not! Today was a perfect example of when I am not! When I write posts like Out of Darkness Comes Great Treasures, I must be having a 'good' moment. I am also trying to encourage others, because truth be told, even the trials and afflictions are good. So often, though, they do not feel good, nor do they bring out the best in me.

Today was one of those days when the weariness of the trial becomes so overwhelming that I just want to quit! In my journal this morning I found myself almost yelling at God. All the exclamation points gave it away! Not in a disrespectful way, just passionate ;-) I am sure on the inside my arms were folded, my bottom lip out and I was stomping my feet.

A peek inside my journal:

Nothing appears to have changed! I think I am resting in You or surrendered only to be stressed and striving! I am tired of it and I don't know how to stop! You keep telling me the same thing over and over again, but I don't know how! I feel like it is telling a person with no legs to walk!

I feel like maybe You are wearing me out until I finally give. I don't want to care so much, I just want it to be done! I am tired of fighting! I am tired of not knowing, I am tired of the struggle in my mind, I feel like I am going crazy! I can't seem to do anything, I can't even stop, rest, surrender! I just want to quit!!!

Super spiritual, huh? Then I read a line like this:
"They ( the martyrs) kissed the stake at which they suffered such cruelty."


His sweet word to me yesterday:

"Rest, My child. The battle is not yours, it is Mine. I appreciate your desire to work and to do, but it is not your work, it is Mine. It is grace, My grace, not your works, that bring about the things you desire. I have told you to return to Me, rest in Me, but you go off and speed your own course. Here I sit, waiting for you to realize you have once again run on ahead. You wear yourself out trying so hard on your own. I really mean it when I say " I am your strength, I will fight your battles." Return to Me, rest in Me. It is not longer you, Michelle, you have died, it is I who lives in you.

This He gives me one day, and the very next day I am throwing a temper tantrum! Can you believe His long-suffering and mercy?!
How's that for a dose of reality?

Each Moment is Ripe With Eternal Destiny

Each moment I have with these children.
Each moment I have to honor and submit to my husband.
Each moment I am given to love and serve another.
Each moment I pray or sing or praise.

Do I realize that each and every moment in time is ripe and full with eternal destiny? Am I going to continue on with my frenetic pace or am I going to slow down, be aware of the moments?
Is it worth speeding through the moments of life just to get one more thing accomplished?
I’m tired of missing out on the awareness of the eternal destiny in these moments, because there is so much to do.

Whose voice am I listening to when I hear, ‘accomplish more, be better, get more?’ Go, go, go!? Have I bought into the American lie of ‘you can have it all?' I wonder at what cost? What does it cost me to have it all? Does it possibly cost me my health, my children, relationships, the eternal destiny of each moment?

Does Jesus drive and push me to do more? Or is that the voice of the enemy? Jesus never seemed to be in a hurry. He walked everywhere He went. He wasn’t too busy for ‘interruptions’ like people needing healing or teaching.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters . . . In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved in quietness and trusting confidence shall be your strength . . . Come to Me all you who are weary, I will cause you to rest.

No, I don’t believe Jesus is behind this crazy pace. Am I willing to listen to the Voice of my Good Shepherd instead of the voice in my head, or the the voice of our culture?

Lord Jesus, I don’t want to accomplish so much that I miss the ‘eternal destiny’ in each moment. I really don’t know how to slow down. I don’t know what to just let go of. So Jesus, teach me, lead me, cause me to rest. Open my eyes to the eternal destiny in each and every moment.