Thursday, February 28, 2013

Whoa Nellie!

For years, there have been things in the past that when I talk about ‘giving thanks in all things’ I clarify, when I am being super transparent, that I am just not sure I can bring myself to thank God in/for them.

I always feel a bit of a ‘ping’ when I do this, but some things wreaked so much havoc in our lives.  The depth of the trauma so deep and so painful, I’ve teetered on giving thanks for those situations.

I would sort of waffle on that fine line of accepting the things that happened and actually trusting my Father enough to thank Him in all things.

I feel like I was able to forgive those involved.  I thought I totally accepted the situation, but did I really?  I recently heard myself say again, ‘I just don’t know if I can “thank” Him for that’.  ( I know it was not actually from His hand, but the enemy’s hand, but God allowed it)  As I said it, something just didn’t feel right.  Why don’t I thank Him?  Do I not trust Him to the uttermost?  There was unrest in my soul over it, but I felt closer than ever to saying, ‘Thank You’.

Today, reading a quote from Ann’s One Thousand Gifts Devotional

{That which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem.}

Is that what my refusal to thank Him for says?  That I don’t believe He can redeem it?  Whoa!  If this is true, and I believe it just might be, well, it feels like a dagger to my heart.  Of course I believe my Jesus can redeem all things.  When I see what He has done in my life . . . are you kidding me?

I have repented for having unforgiveness towards my Father, for accusing Him, for not trusting Him. I have thanked Him for every.single. painful circumstance in my life.  Sweet freedom and refreshment comes!

Have you been able to thank Him in ALL things??  I mean ALL things?  It’s hard, isn’t it?  I know.  It’s called radical obedience.  His Word says to ‘give thanks in all things’.  Notice it says “ALL”.  Praying for you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Any ‘Locals’ Out There?

Ladies, I would like to offer a pair of tickets to the West Michigan Women’s Expo that I am speaking at to one of my ‘local’ readers of She Looketh Well.

Anyone out there interested in attending?  Leave me a comment and I will enter your name in the drawing.

If you could share our new website with someone else who is local to the Greater Grand Rapids area, that would be awesome too! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Balance? What’s That

Like I shared last time, the Lord has been bringing about so much healing and restoring me to who He created me to be.

One thing that I have ALWAYS struggled with is, balance.  I am a very passionate person.  He created me this way, yet I have fought it for so long

You see, just like many things, each gift we have can be taken too far and when used improperly can cause problems.  For instance, being passionate is a wonderful quality.  People like me tend to be the ‘get it done’ type of people.  The ones willing to try new things and throw our whole selves into what ever we are doing.

BUT, the negative is we also can easily fall prey to drivenness, performance and perfectionism.  Where we push so hard we make ourselves sick and hurt those around us.  We push, and we push hard.  We don’t know when to stop, because we ‘need’ to be doing. We expect everyone else to be like us and push just as hard as we do.  You can see the damage the negative side of this could do, can’t you?

The negative side of ‘passionate’ has a great deal to do with how sick I was.  Since being healed and delivered, I still ‘fight’ with being passionate.  I mean, why can’t I just be balanced, you know, each day the same, even keel, just evenly going through my days?  Why do I have such crazy times and then down times?

Through a series of conversations and something I read, I believe the Lord showed me that I had the wrong idea of what balance would look like for me.  It will look all ‘calm and floaty’ for some, but not for me.  The comment that really made it clear was,

“It’s not so much about balance for people like you and me as it is about times of refreshing”  Or something to that effect.

You see, I thrive on the excitement, the chase, the thrill, the adventure.  NOTHING wrong with that.  But, the ‘balance’ to that will be taking times of refreshment, renewal, rejuvenation.  That’s where I blew it in the past.  I believed I was being lazy and unproductive and would push until I dropped.  I began to despise the passion and the needed rest.

Since seeing this, I have been enjoying and embracing who He made me to be and what I need.  I enjoy the ‘thrill’ without guilt and I soak up the ‘rest’ without any shame or guilt.  He leads me into the sometimes crazy, but then He leads me into the rest so I can recharge.  I love the ebb and flow.  I no longer resist who I am and what I need.

Sweet freedom, ladies, sweet freedom.  Do you resist who He has made you to be?  Do you wish you were like {______}?  Maybe you are fighting Him and you don’t even know it.  What is your struggle?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Amazing Article On Our Business


{re}imagine your potential with Michelle Grzybowski

Aemelia Tripp February 22, 2013


For Michelle Grzybowski, refurbishing antique furniture is more than just a hobby. “I’m living the dream!” says Michelle. She works with her family, restoring gorgeous antique pieces and encouraging as well as inspiring women through classes, antique markets, and expos, like the West Michigan Women’s Expo this March. “For me, it’s the people, it’s not about selling furniture,” she notes.

Many people ask, but Michelle decided long ago not to open a store. “I couldn’t just drop off the furniture. My heart has always been to encourage women as well.”

Michelle has always been crafty, but decided to start her business, {re}imagined just for you about two years ago with her husband and kids. . .

Read the rest of the awesome article at Women’s Lifestyle Magazine

Thank you, Aemelia, you did an beautiful job capturing my heart.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I’m Becoming ME!

I notice that I am becoming ME, who I was created to be, and guess what?  I like me.

I get all giddy when I see some new behavior or example of how much I have changed in the last couple of years, since my healing and deliverance.

The chains have fallen off in so many areas.  So many facets of fear, just keep falling off. I notice it in sometimes silly areas.

Like painting a piece of furniture some really fun color just because I love it.  Silly, I know, but what if it doesn’t sell?  What if nobody else likes it?  What if others think I was foolish for painting it that color?  See, those are old lies that still try to whisper, but no longer have a hold on me.  Fear of man, fear of failure, insecurity, self-doubt.

Purchasing Turquoise cowboy boots.  I mean, what self-respecting home school mama does that??  Not much practical about turquoise cowboy boots. Never mind that I LOVE them and they make my heart go pitter-patter.   I have never owned cowboy boots, never mind turquoise boots!  What will people think?  Too attention-getting?  They cost too much, am I really ‘worth’ it?  I mean, really now, a ‘gift’ for me??  So extravagant? Do you hear them?  Fear of man, insecurity, fear.  The “I somehow need to earn things” syndrome.

Waving wildly at the pizza guy on the street corner holding a sign.  Someone in the van said, ‘wave to the guy’. So I did. Wildly and with a huge smile.  Why not?  I think it is okay to enjoy life!  Life is hard and it hurts, often.  Why not lighten up a little, play, be silly.  Things I NEVER would do in the past.  Well, it’s not grown up and mature.

The children wonder what happened to their mama when she starts dancing in the kitchen, hands in the air, hip-bumping, singing, ‘that’s how we do it, that’s how we do it’.  The children reel with laughter. I continue on until we are all giggling.

Speaking the Truth with love and compassion, but also great boldness.  Taking full advantage of each and every platform the Lord gives to share HIS love.  To pray for the hurting even when it is uncomfortable or appears to be a bit bold.  I don’t care anymore.  I am not concerned with what someone else thinks, or if I will mess up or if I am missing God, or if . . . {fill in the blank}

I have been set free!  Free from so many lies.  In those moments when I can be a little crazy and have a little fun, why not??  I know these examples might seem like trivial things, but they really are not.  They are huge when you realize the freedom they represent.

So, I am far from perfect, which I will always be, but I like who He made me to be!  This alone is huge.  Years of self-hatred are being washed away.  Imagine a world, ladies, where we actually ‘love’ ourselves??  Not some vain, self-conceited, arrogant, ‘love ourselves’.  But one in which we embrace who He made us to be, and call ‘good’ what He has already called good.  What a sadness it must be to Him to have us hate ourselves. 

Repent! And renew your mind with who He says you are.  I promise, your whole perspective will change.

Next time, one teeny, tiny fact that lifted a HUGE burden.

What about you, sister?  Does any of this resonate with your heart?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Capture the Moment: Part 2

Last time I shared how I sense the need to Capture the Moments.  How life is a blur and how the moments can easily be missed.

Today I want to define, moments and capture.  Being a ‘words’ person, this helps me make it real.

Moments: a brief, indefinite interval of time, a particular period of importance, a brief period of time that is characterized by a quality, such as excellence or distinction.

I notice right away that ‘moments’ are brief, important.  I would agree that our moments here on earth, with our loved ones truly are ‘brief’ and oh, so important.

Capture:  to take captive, seize, gain possession of, to hold, preserve.

This is my desire, to take captive and preserve, if only for a short while, these precious moments that are so brief and important.

Some examples of what this might look like.

Stopping to watch four little children all bundled up in snow clothes traipsing through the deep snow behind the pond.  Smile, breathe it in.

Lingering long in his embrace.  Inhaling and noticing that familiar scent.  Purposing to feel the arms around you, feeling loved.

Noticing the beautiful landscape, how everything is covered in a thick blanket of freshly fallen snow.  Everything white and clean.  Beauty from my Father.

Watching as she tries out new skills in the kitchen, the sheer delight and sense of accomplishment on her face.  Pausing to capture this memory.

Seeing the grieving couple.  How, even though their hearts are broken, they love, hold each other up.  Years of being tossed about, yet their strength and love for each other is evident.  Letting the eyes fill with tears at such raw beauty.

Not rushing through the morning snuggles with the ‘baby’, who is almost too big to fit on my lap.  Cherishing these moments, they are so brief and fleeting.  One day the bursting through the door each morning will stop.

Oh, for eyes to see, and grace to stop, in this busy season.  I don’t want to miss any of it.  But I do, I choose to pass on by.  It is a choice. 

Do I, by the grace of God, choose to train my heart and eyes to stop, capture, seize and make my very own possession out of these fleeting and brief moments in time?   Or do I continue to let life whizz on by? I desire to stop,  S.L.O.W to soak up and savor the moments.

What are some ‘moments’ that you have purposed to capture?  I would love to read them, please share.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Capture the Moments

Life, being what it is, fleeting, doesn’t seem to stop.  Life doesn’t seem to care how important each moment is.  It just marches on and we are caught up in, whether we like it or not.

It is so easy for the moments, the days, the years to get away from us.  You know what I mean, don’t you?  Each season in life is different. 

When you have a house full of babies, it seems the moments d.r.a.g on, am I right?

When your house if filled with teenagers, time seems to whiz on by.

I find myself in a very different season right now.  I have adult children, teenagers, and littles.  I also have a business and ministry that demands a lot of my time.  If I am not careful, time gets away from me.  The moments, they fly by and it all looks like a blur.  So much of life is missed when it’s all blurry.

The Lord has been speaking to my heart lately.  The word ‘moments’ keeps coming to my mind.  My days with the children are no longer defined by the minutes in my beautifully printed up schedule that has each and every minute accounted for.  Schedule??  That’s funny!

No, it’s different right now.  It’s the ‘moments’ I am after.  ‘Capture the Moments’, I hear whispered in my heart.  Stop and and grab hold of the moments.  Cherish them, delight in them.

I feel the need to ponder this.  Next time, let’s define ‘moment’ and ‘capture’.  Maybe look for ways to ‘Capture the Moments’

What season do you find yourself in right now? Is life a bit ‘blurry’?


Friday, February 15, 2013


I am joining Lisa-Jo today, for Five Minute Friday.  Today’s prompt was Beloved.

He calls me, My Beloved. On his phone, that is my name. He loves with an amazing love. This girl, the little girl in me who has only longed to be loved and accepted, well, he has been loving me whole for nearly 26 years now.

It was strange, I thought, that he would love me. I mean, he is so cool and man, is he gorgeous. But he did. He pursued me. I was afraid at first, had been wounded way too many times to fall for this one. I played hard to get. Well, not really that hard. I kept one of his first messages on my answering machine for weeks. I would play it over and over again. I couldn’t understand what his last name was, so I guessed and looked in the phone book for possible last names. I laugh at myself now. Such a tough cookie on the outside, but I was a melting marshmallow on the inside.

Through thick and thin, literally, this man has loved me. When several pregnancies had left their marks all over my body, he would touch them, I would recoil. He said he loved them because they were proof of the children we have together.

Yes, I am his beloved. I know it every day as he lays down his life for me, over and over and over again.

Five Minute Friday

Monday, February 11, 2013

Healing My Heart: Letters to My Heart

Something happens—a flash from the past—reminds me of who I was, and tries to convince me it’s actually who I am.  Hurts long since dealt with seem to burst my heart wide open.

In an instant I am that little girl desperate for love.  Seeking ‘normal’ in my broken world.  The rejections, the ‘used, tossed aside, left in a heap’ shame.  It all seems to be right there—waves of tears wash over me.  Chest heaving sobs I try to hide in the shower.  How can this be?  I know I’ve been forgiven—as far as the east is from the west.

I’m really just stunned by it all.  I share it all with the man who loves me.  It’s not new to him.  I’m embarrassed to talk to my ‘husband’ about this.  Oh, for a girlfriend to share it with, but really, who knows me better?  What will he think?

He prays and listens and wipes away tear after tear. Never once repulsed by my words.  He reminds me that I’ve been plunged beneath that flood and lost all my guilty stains.  I am new.  I am clean.  No guilt or shame has an audience with me.  Silence them with His great name.  In the name of Jesus Christ.

I need to sit with my Father—hear His voice.  Listen to what He has to say.  Let His life giving word breathe life and healing and hope into my bruised heart and battered soul.  What He spoke to me is the foundation of the latest Letters to My Heart.

Dearest Michelle,

First of all, always remember that your loving Father used those circumstances, that pain, the rejection, to protect you from what wasn’t for you and to bring you to His perfect plan for your life.  It had absolutely nothing to do with you being unlovable or no good.  There was nothing ‘wrong’ with you!

Michelle, you were chosen, actually picked by the only One who really matters.  When others tossed you aside, your Father was right there choosing you every time.

You are holy.  You have been cleansed and made whole and holy.  Pure and blameless!

You are loved.  Even if every earthly love fails, His love never, ever will fail.  The Lord of lords and the King of kings loves you with an everlasting love—a forever love.

He loves you with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness has He drawn you

You will and are being rebuilt.  You will go forth with dancing.  He is your Father.  He keeps you as a shepherd keeps His flock.

He has already ransomed you from the hand that was too strong for you.

Michelle, you are always loved, adored, accepted and precious in the sight of the one Who has created you.

Recognize that you have been set free.  Look at your feet, there lie the chains, the guilt, the shame.  You have only need to walk away from it.  Hold your head up, beam with love and acceptance as you walk away, clothed in His righteousness alone.  You are His girl.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No Eye Has Seen

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Oh, ladies!  I have just come back from an amazing experience.  I doubt I will be able to put into words all that this meant to me.  I can honestly say that it was quite a ‘perspective’ changing experience!


I was asked, way back in September, to be a ‘featured presenter’ at two Women’s Expos here in Michigan.  I was literally blown away by the offer.  I believe, ‘who me?’ was my response.  The plan was for us to have a very large display booth for our business and I would share about {re}imagining furniture, hand painted signs and creative repurposing from the stage three times a day.


I was told I could share whatever my heart desired.  I felt from the second I was asked that this was a platform to encourage women.  Yes, it would likely be good for our business, but my main focus was the women.

This past weekend was more than I could have ever dreamt of.  I felt His presence every single second.  It felt completely natural to be up on that stage sharing Him and what He has done.  After the sixth talk, the owner of the show asked how I was doing and it just came out of my mouth.  I said, “I think I am doing what I was created to do.”  I have always desired it, encouraging women, touching their hearts for Him, putting my arm around them and telling them of His faithfulness and that it is going to be okay.  But now I was living it.

I am completely humbled by this opportunity.  It wasn’t something I sought out, He arranged it all.  I knew it was Him all the way.  When fear would try to come in, He was there to strengthen.  When the doubts of ‘who do you think you are’ would whisper.  I heard, loud and clear, I am a child of God, here to do His will. 

When I wasn’t sure where to start or what to say, His Spirit was right there giving me the words.

At the end of each talk I gave away a book that I love called, “You Are Already Amazing”.  I would require the winner of the book to repeat after me, “I am already amazing”.  The tears and emotions that this simple statement brought confirmed the message the Lord had for them was spot on.  I also gave them a small hand painted sign that simply said, ‘Loved’ on it.  It was to remind them that were indeed loved.  (another part of my talk)

The super cool part of all of this??  I get to do it again in March, in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI.  I could not be more thrilled and honored.


Perhaps I can share the heart of my message here, though it has been woven through just about everything I have written here.