Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When Love Wins

Today love won.  Well, actually it won on April 16th, but today I saw the result.   

Last year I counseled with a woman at With Child who was pregnant.  She was adamant about wanting to abort her baby.  I don't actually think she *wanted* to abort, but she was feeling an exorbitant amount of pressure from her mother to do so.  She had already taken the morning after pill and had morphine in the hospital, but she was still pregnant and did not want the baby. I begged her (begged. her.) not to abort.  I can still remember where she was sitting, where I was, and how I pleaded with her. I didn't see her again, but hoped and prayed that something I said resonated.

I saw her later in the year and asked about her baby.  She just shook her head and tears filled her eyes. I didn't ask.  I didn't really need to.  I could see the weight of her decision in every part of her being.  My heart just sank as she relayed to me how horrible it was and the regret she felt.  I talked to her about my forgiving God and how healing could come. She touched her belly and told me she was pregnant again.  Atonement Baby.  So often women who abort get pregnant very soon afterwards.  They don't always recognize that they are trying to replace what was lost, that they are trying to give life for the life taken.  She looked at me with her tear filled eyes and told me that THIS baby she was keeping.  She told me that her mom would not be happy, but she didn't care because it was her baby.

Today I wasn't working but got a text message that said someone was there with their newborn and wanted to see me because I helped her so she wouldn't abort.  I rushed to With Child and met her son.  Sweet Dillon.  His mother loves him and so does HER mother.   I cried my eyes out holding this boy.  I had no part in his creation, no part in his birth, but I am moved by the knowledge that God gave his mama another chance.  Her pregnancy was not easy, he was born early...but he was born.

Last week was a dark week for me.  I questioned how I could be used at With Child because I was feeling incredibly flawed as a human being. I knew in my heart that it was a lie from the pit of hell, because I see miracles at With Child all the time, but I was tormented all the same.  Today, God loved me enough to give me a glimpse (again) of what He - in His perfection -  is able to accomplish through me - in my imperfection.  So yes, I wept.  For the joy of Dillon, for the hope for his mama and for the love that God continues to show me.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

Saturday, March 2, 2013



This is my mom who would have celebrated her 77th Birthday today. God took her home 15 years ago and she is dearly missed by those who knew her and loved her - which is  most likely everyone who knew her. 

It is almost impossible to describe the loss of your mom to someone who hasn't been down that road, but it is profound.  I remember shortly after she died I was sitting in my Bible Study during the worship time and started crying.  Someone asked me what was wrong and I told her that I missed my mom.  Her response was something like, "Oh, you're still having a hard time with that?"  I was dismayed (okay, and a little angry) at her comment, but even now I have to chalk it up to someone who just hasn't been down that road...yet.  She will some day.  She'll come to understand that the loss continues for a lifetime.  It isn't the kind of thing that you can just slap a bandaid on.  Because a mom is a mom and the wound is deep.

My  peace, my only peace regarding her death, is that I share her unwavering faith in Christ.  She loved Him, followed Him, lived for Him and is now with Him.   ...and someday I will be with both of them.  One of the last things my mom said to me was, "Jesus knows best."  My mom knew me and knew that those were the precise words I needed to hear.  To carry me through her passing, to carry me through my life:  Jesus knows best.

I have had the blessing of vivid dreams of being with my mom. Wonderful, beautiful dreams of walking together, talking together.  I long for these dreams...pray for them to come.  It's all I have for now.
 I just need to say this: If your mom is still here...
~love her
~forgive her
~call her
~laugh with her
~cry with her
~write down recipes
~ask about heirlooms
~ask about her childhood
~share memories 
~hug her
~talk to her
~spend time together

My mom was 57 in the above picture and died 5 years later at 62.  So young.  None of us know the days we have left, but I believe as David proclaimed, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16  I know she believed that, too.

Love and Be Loved.

"Acknowledge and take heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below.  There is no other."  Deuteronomy 4:39

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:16-17

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Conviction Wins

Four years ago someone wrote these words (part of a larger article entitled Christians Should Not Choose Evil), which mirror my conviction with this presidential election. 

As much as I enjoy politics, I have remained somewhat quiet during this election because I have come up against great resilience from my Christian brothers and sisters when they find out I am probably going to abstain from voting for President this election.  I've been the recipient of everything from the wide-eyed stare to a verbal lashing.  I believe everyone should vote their conscience, but I have been baffled by the 'hip, hip hoorays' for Romney from friends and family with whom I usually share a like-mindedness.  Many a day I have wondered what it is I am missing that others are seeing.  Nevertheless, I can't bring myself to join the parade even when enticed by streamers and confetti.  I just don't find him party-worthy (in more ways than one).

I love the political process.  During the primary this year I wore my "I voted today" sticker with pride, as I always do.  If I don't vote it will be the first time that I haven't voted for President since I was able to do so.  It will be a very sad election for me, but at the end of the day I need to lie my head on the pillow that is on my own bed and stand by the conviction of my Spirit.

With that said - here is an excerpt of the words of  J. Robert Lancaster (underlining mine) - and some food for thought:

"I am not convinced that Christians need to vote for the lesser of two evils. First, because that is not the way we make most other significant decisions. When seeking to find a godly spouse we rarely fall back on this kind of logic. When faced with such an unpleasant choice we would likely keep looking, even if it meant staying unmarried. Every man does eventually marry a “fallen” (in sin) woman though I doubt she would appreciate being told that he married her because she was not as evil as the other girl he had been considering.

The second reason Christians need not vote for the lesser of two evils is because Christians, despite the common belief, have no obligation to vote. In fact, it is the false belief that this obligation exists which often seems to force such a “lesser of two evil” choice. This is not to say that Christians should not or cannot vote, but abstaining from an election cycle does not make one a bad Christian.

Christians are members of two kingdoms and our ultimate allegiance is to the kingdom of God. We live and participate in the kingdom of this world but this is not where our hope and salvation lie. Yet a vote in this presidential election, for either of the major candidates at least, is being billed as a statement about who you are going to place your hope in. When an election is being cast in this particular light, why do Christians feel the need to vote for the lesser of two evils? Shouldn’t we at least consider not voting at all?

...Yet nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to vote nor are we called to choose between two evils when choosing neither is a possible action. Any vote in this election seems to be a vote that will conflict with Christian principles. For that reason I have decided not to vote in this Presidential election. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil."

(Thanks for listening.  It was either this or writing about my nightmare last night which involved death and paint choices.  eek!)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Names You Won't See on a Coffee Cup

I was at the Gerber site looking at pictures that have been entered in the 2012 baby contest.  After just a few minutes I became so distracted by the names I was reading that I stopped looking at the pictures and became fixated on the craziness.   Because of the work I do, I am around babies all the time.  I've heard some doozies, but I was still shocked at the extent parents will go to be unique, essentially shackling their child for life to a name that people will:
a) laugh at
b) mispronounce
c) misspell
d) all of the above

So here, for your pleasure, is a mere pittance, a sampling of a few of the craziest names and spellings.


1.  Kynadie (They are probably going for Kennedy, but this little one will go through life with people     saying things like KyNayDee...which isn't bad if her middle name is AN and she is from Canada)
2.  Rayghan (Was there something wrong with all the other weird variations of Reagan?)
3.  Tuesday (Even though I love Keith Urban, I blame him and Nicole for starting this trend of naming girls one of the days of the week.  All I can say is that it is better than Saturday)
4.  Ove'a (Since the definition of Ove is 'a deep feeling of sexual attraction and desire' there isn't     much to say about this choice except 'ewww')
5.  Dezeray (The spelling...so unique! so unusual! so unnecessary!)
6.  Safia (She can expect the following exchange for life.  What's your name?  [Safia.]  Sofia?  [No,    Safia!]
7.  Canon (Boom!)
8.  Heaven (These parents must not have heard of the trending Nevaeh)
9.  Haylin  (This might have been a hospital typo for Kaylin - I'm hoping)
10. Keilyani (Again, why choose a name that the child will need to spell EVERY SINGLE TIME?)
11. Journey (Yeah, life is going to be a journey with a name like this)
12. Tomorrow-Lynn (...and I'm not joking.  Maybe she can be best buddies with Tuesday, or get a     free pass at the Disney Tomorrowland rides).

Boys - Overall the boys names that I saw were more normal than girls, but not all as witnessed here...

1.  Lenin (Even spelled like Vladimir's name.  His brother will probably be named Marx)
2.  Jaizyk (Huh?)
3.  Damien (Has this person never heard of The Omen?  Gee, why not just saddle him with Adolph?)
4.  Manasas (Sorry, but this sounds like a city.  Oh, and Molasses, too.
5.  Leonidas (I would have advised skipping the 'idas' and sticking with Leon, but they didn't ask me)
6.  Maxson (Ohhhhh, people there are all kinds of names with X's out there:  Jaxxon, Paxton, Flax -     just kidding about Flax, but it wouldn't surprise me)
7.  Rammy (Brother of Tammy, Sammy, and Pammy)
8.  Cash (I guess it's better than naming your son Credit)
9.  Sturges (A quick google search told me there are a lot of fish markets in Sturges, MI)
10. Asharious (That's hilarious!)
11. Bowevori (Really?  Did they put Scrabble letters in a bag, draw them, and rearrange?)
12. Taytum (Sorry, but this spelling looks feminine.  This poor kid better develop a thick skin) 

...well, that was amusing.  

Yours Truly,


Monday, June 25, 2012

God - 1, Chance - 0

This is a post about God's latest miracle in my life.  It may not resonate for those who believe life is governed by chance, luck, karma, horoscopes or crystals.  But it will for those who know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that there is a God who cares about us in an intimate, personal way.  This is a post that celebrates the God of the universe - the one and only God.  

For too long I have had two cars sitting in the driveway needing to have something, anything done with them.  Neither worked and both required more to fix than we were willing to spend.  So both just sat...and sat.  They were an eyesore to be sure, but I just never addressed the problem because they sat amidst a long list of problems that needed to be dealt with.

This past Saturday morning, John and I were sitting in the house when there was a knock on the door.  Being the bra-less, pajama-clad mess that I was, I told him I wasn't going to answer the door.  Well, he did, and the woman at the door asked him if there was any chance we were selling our car.  I came out to meet the woman and her brother and he said something to the effect of, "Oh my gosh...if this is true it is a miracle."  I had no idea what he was referring to until I got the full scoop:

He has just moved here from Las Vegas.  He is in the middle of a divorce, having a wife who cheated on him and then proceeded to get most everything in the divorce.  The night before, and then Saturday morning, he prayed and asked the Lord to lead him to the car he was supposed to buy. Saturday morning he was driving somewhere around our neighborhood to look at another car.  At some point he turned onto our street and passed our house.  Suddenly, his sister said, "Stop the truck and back up."  She pointed to the car in our driveway and told him they should stop and ask if it was for sale.  He said he didn't want to do that because it was crazy to knock on someone's door and ask that, but she persisted saying, "All they can do is say 'no'."

So she knocked, and asked, and well...we said 'yes'.

Today I met him, his sister and his mom at the DMV and transferred the title.  (Have you ever been to the DMV?  The place where you typically wait and wait and wait with all the other sad sacks for your number to be called?  Well today, Monday afternoon, the number we got was the next one to be called.  Imagine that).  I basically gave the car away, but it isn't about the money, it is about the handiwork of God. The incredible, personal, beautifully orchestrated handiwork of God.

We had many years with Dennis, our 1996 green Infinity.  I drove him until he was on life support and then the kids drove him to death. He was with us for 14 years, through grade school drop offs and pick ups, permits and licenses.  Anyone who knows me well will know full well that I was kinda sad to see him go despite the mess he was in.  Today, the new owner said that at some point in the future he will bring him by and show me what he did to fix him up.  He doesn't know yet that I likely won't be here, but it does make me happy to know that in the end Dennis didn't end up in a junkyard, but in a backyard, and that someone is going to put his pieces back together.  (To all who are wondering...yes, I do know Dennis isn't real).

...and that, my friends, is the God I know and love.  The one who takes care of my needs, even when I don't ask, by moving someone else who loves Him to knock on my door.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

English Peas by Paula Deen

This recipe was taken from the foodnetwork website (Paula Deen). It is really quite complicated, so be sure you have a pen and paper to make sure you are copying the directions exactly as needed. Here it is:

English Peas


1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) English Peas, drained


Melt the butter in small pot and add the peas. Cook over medium heat until peas are warm.

Did you get that? I know it's kind of confusing, so let me summarize. First you melt the butter in the pot and then you add the peas. Or put another way...melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a pot and throw some peas in until they are warm.

The comments following this mind-blowing recipe are funny. Here are some highlights:

"For our neighborhood block party, I put the peas on bamboo skewers and grilled them outside, then served the melted butter in individual ramekins as a dipping sauce. What a treat. My neighbors are still talking about it!" pattipoopidoo

"Was I supposed to take the peas out of the can? Cause it didn't work when I put the cans and packaged butter in the pot." jil504

"I tweaked this recipe when I made it the other night. Doubled the butter and left out the peas. It was delicious!" swedeboy

"This is very similar to my Can of Corn recipe, perhaps I could have my own show on Food Network!?" dyates_10047437

and of course I had to add my own personal review:

"I substituted Velveeta for the butter and jalapenos for the peas and poured it over tortilla chips. I call it English Nachos." ponytayl

If any of you bloggers make this, let me know how your tastebuds enjoyed this new and unique spin on peas!

(Thanks to Tracey for leading me to English Peas at: http://www.foodnetwork.com)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Dream

Wow. Have you ever woken up from a dream and thought, "THAT was a doozy!"? (Okay, I know 'doozy' may not be the exact word you would use, but you know what I mean). Well, last night I had a doozy of a dream. To preface, I dream often and vividly. It isn't unusual for me to remember more than one dream when I wake up in the morning. I'm also a lucid dreamer, which means that while I am dreaming I am often directing the action in my dream (turn this way, walk that way, etc.) Like most people my dreams are often influenced by personal things happening in my life as well as things I've seen through the course of my day. While sometimes disturbing, I've always found dreams fascinating.


Last night right before I went to bed I watched Top Chef Just Desserts. Cake maker Sylvia Weinstock was on the show, which is the only explanation for why she was in my dream. (...as if there could be another connection...) Right before I woke up I had the following dream:

I was in a hotel and Sylvia and her husband were there as well. I can't recall what my occupation was, but it was very clear in the dream that it was my job to get Sylvia and her husband to a museum filled with historical Irish (?) artifacts (6 pm) before getting them to a black tie affair at 7 pm. This was the last evening that they could attend these events so it was vital that I get them there. They were dressed in their finest and ready to go even though I was still dressed in my frumpy sweats. I told them that we were going to be traveling in my Jeep, but was stressing as I said it because I couldn't imagine these two in their fine clothes bumping along in my Jeep (I decided in my head that her husband could take the backseat since it would be the bumpiest ride). I also realized that the inside of my Jeep was filthy and I needed to get it cleaned out so they could climb in. I left them to clean out my Jeep, which I inexplainably did at the museum event dressed in my sweats. I was throwing bags into a garbage can when I suddenly realized that I threw out a bag of mail. As I was hurriedly sorting through the garbage I became increasingly stressed because I was getting later and later in picking up my guests. In the garbage I found important bills for my husband as well as a fun, stickered envelope from my cousin. I looked to the right at this time and saw a big huge parked semi mail truck that was already supposed to be at my former Bible study teacher's house. People were hounding me and asking me why it wasn't already there and I nervously began to fret myself until I finally let it go because I had the Weinstock problem yet to handle. During the dream people were milling around the breezeway of the event including one man who had a puppy on his shoulders (are you worried about me yet?). There were all kinds of other details in this dream, but ... moving on...

So, it is getting later and later. I am still in my sweats, the Jeep is now cleaned out, and I am heading back to the hotel to pick up the Weinstock's. I am an hour late getting to them, and feeling terrible because they have now missed the first event because of me. (I haven't yet figured out why they were going to an Irish museum since the Weinstock's are clearly Jewish). Here's the clincher of the dream...


As I'm driving back to the hotel - stressed out - I go through a very, very poor neighborhood. The first thing I see is an entire family working together outside their house to sort papers to get ready for the next morning's delivery (I think this is in direct relation to watching 'Downsized' before I went to bed which is about a large family struggling and working together to get out of debt). The next thing I see is a grandmother walking next to her grandson who was pedaling a trike. Finally, I turn a corner and see a family sitting on lawn chairs outside their home. The mom is playing beautiful music on the piccolo while her family relaxes, reads the newspaper, etc. The music was wafting through the neighborhood and I felt a sense of peace, calm and serenity as I drove through this part of town.

I woke up with a very clear understanding as to what this dream meant for me. It could be the right interpretation or it could be the wrong interpretation, but it was my immediate thought so I'll go with it:

I am trying so hard in my life to live up to my responsibilities and the expectations I have for myself and that others have of me. Invariably I feel like I am failing to meet their needs and to hit the mark that I've set for myself. In my dream, the juxtaposition between the black tie crowd and the poverty stricken neighborhood was startling. But those in the neighborhood, who had very little - but had each other, were happy and content on the inside with their simpler way of life.

Sometimes dreams do have messages. Although I am quite private and know that people I don't know read this, I am posting it to remember the message and perhaps pass the message on to someone else who might find it meaningful.

...and for a laugh...here's another recent dream:

My sister and I were shopping through racks and racks of sale clothes. I had a few things and was done, but she kept frantically searching for more and more items. She felt my impatience as I urged her to go. She finally said, quite emphatically, "Michele, we HAVE TO get clothes because of OBAMACARE!"

I don't know what the meaning of that dream was, but it still makes me laugh!

Sweet dreams.