Lion’s Den and the vulnerability of Belief

God walks before us. He never plays catch up. As so many things fall away, as our fears are presented to us daily in different ways we should be able to “see” more of whom God is.

It is during the midnight hours, the darkest moments in my life that I can hear, “see”, and feel God with the greatest clarity. To think we are alone, living and loving without the aid of others is a self-demonizing discouragement, which is fueled by our greatest fear — that we are unloved.

There are thoughts we tell ourselves to build walls of protection…it is where we live, where we hide our hearts. Where we stick our real dreams. Unknowingly, we begin to suffocate them. We expect to remain in the Lion’s Den. We secretly fear a rescue. For then, what would we do? I know trust is one of the most difficult things we learn to do, even with God.

We should strive to meet our hurt challenges with hope. Even hurt inflicted by others, greet them with hope, believing we will get through. There have been worse times, remember?

“Faith strengtheners” those problems, those issues are construed to sidetrack us. Designed to keep us right where we are, in fear and in worry mode.  Yes, I know some are so heavy and so hurtful you wonder what the point is. When we do not understand the why we move to what for, remaining stagnant in trying to understand, why me?

For a moment, let us wrap our mind around the elements of Love. There is so much more to love than what we receive. We have to be able to give back. We have to. Push forward. When in the Lion’s den our opportunities of relate, release and recover are met. We emerge better, without a scratch; better focused. I am committed in my belief that everything happens for a reason a lot of it not by our own choices but rather for our experiences. There is no way I can encourage you about faith when I do not know one thing about being faithful. I cannot assure you all will be all right if I do not know the place of not being all right. (It is temporary.) There is more in the Lion’s Den then chaos. At times, it is the place where you find your faith and the source of your faith so that you are able to continue.

Be encouraged in your Lion’s Den. Be even more the encourager when you come out of the Lion’s Den….for you will come out of it. Continue to be expectant of God’s love for you, for me, for us.

Ever hopeful,

A.Michelle!

Humility, a lesson by Bru

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I purchased a footstool when my older sons left home. I am exactly 5 feet tall—plenty opportunities for my children to joke me. Oh how Damien and Darius loved to purposely place the salt and pepper shakers or any cooking ingredients on the second shelf out of my reach. Of course, they would laugh and chuckle while I fussed.

My footstool has become a point of argument for Brutus and I. He believes it is his toy, the family “what-not”. I get frustrated because when I need it I can never find it. Our first argument, I told him how it would be and his sarcastic retort was, “Its for everybody.” So I hid it in my closet out of view.

Thursday morning, after everyone is at school, I decide to try a protein smoothie. I am blending blueberries, bananas, walnuts and I want to use just a little bit of honey. I think I see the honey way back in the back of the cabinet. I can’t reach it. I’ll just go get my footstool. It’s not in my closet, nor in the pantry. I search every room in the house and I can’t find it. So now I am mad. No longer do I really want the smoothie. Every time I try to be healthy, do something for me these little people move what is required or  it magically disappears. I’m a routine person. I know where I put my stuff. If I don’t move it, it should be right where I left it. I’m so mad I have already played out the conversation I am going to have with Brutus when he returns home.

He is home. We talk about school. He had a great day. Me: “Bru where is my footstool? I looked for it everywhere.” He runs happily into my bedroom. Bru: “You didn’t look on my side of your bed, did you?” He hands me the footstool. (I’m still mad but hiding it.) Me: “Its my footstool. I couldn’t reach something earlier today and I needed it.” Bru: “The footstool is for everybody. Its not just yours. I keep telling you that.” Me: “It is mine. It is not a toy. Again, it is mine. If you are going to use it just put it back where I can find it.” Bru, big sigh “Momma it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.” He pauses: “This conversation is over because I don’t know what I am saying right now. I don’t know where it came from.” He has this strange look on his face and jumps off the footstool and begins his homework. I am dumbfounded. He’s eight years old. I remain in the kitchen.

Me: “Bru do you think you are different?”  Bru: “Yes, but only because I tell you I love you every day and all the time. I don’t think other kids do that. Why?” Me: “Just wondering.”

What do you do with that? “….it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.”  I didn’t take his statement as an envy or jealous emotion.  I am pointing out my selfish wants for the footstool. He is  pointing out the value in having the footstool. “It’s for everybody.” I am the Psych grad; the graduate student. I’m Momma.

My children have this astonishing strength of faith, they always have. I don’t mess with it; I let it be but man they scare the heck outta me. At times I wonder why God has me as their protector, their mother, in this role. I tell Autumn what Bru says, she laughs. I ask Autumn: “How am I suppose to take care of you two, alone?” Autumn, shrugs her shoulders: “You’re doing it. You have been doing it.” She continues her homework. Brutus plays with his legos.  Well, I just send up a silent prayer for strength, wisdom and continue reading my book.

The smoothie wasn’t nasty without honey. I drank it….go me! No sugar. At this moment the footstool is in the pantry. Grateful, I am learning from two of the four greatest gifts God has ever blessed me with.

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Let go of the distractions. At times the lessons are right in front of you.

their Mom,

~A. Michelle

Reciprocity…a published work.

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So in my real life….I haven’t written for a publication in 19 years! For everyone God has placed in my life to get me to this point I appreciate you! Kisses. (and you know I have water in my eyes.) All smiles.
 Below is the digital link to the magazine featuring my article. Please read and enjoy! Also support the magazine via the website She~ol~ogy, magazine for the modern woman. Great tips on becoming the whole you.
 

Self-orchestrating God….

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When it seems as if He just doesn’t hear me; that He’s not listening my “Me” skills, and my “but God” kick in for every difficult situation.

Honestly, we the faithful ones we self-orchestrate God the worst. We pray, we sing, we lead, we encourage, we teach, we love, we live life with our own meaningful meaning….for our wants. Stick with me, if this is painful for you to read imagine my writing experience. (Its 4:30 am on a Saturday!)

I want God to immediately fix things for me. I want Him to make right where I feel I have been wronged, NOW. I want sunshine everyday. I want my heart to mend quickly, sufficiently so that I can be in love again, but like 5 years ago. I want my children to never suffer a hurt or a bruise, yet this world deems it necessary; this is Life. I want more of the greatest things He offers but I hold on with all my might that which keeps me from having greater.

Self-pity, pouting, spiritual temper tantrums are not methods of faithfully letting Him lead. God is in control. Knowing how to pray is separate from believing Him to handle every discord, every detail of your being. His way although right is often more challenging.

We move in front of God with a purposeful intent to do it our way.  Spiritually, we are connected to God. He so genius-ly anticipated this moment….your birth, every life event that gave you joy, the ones that strengthen you, your heart breaks, the moments that almost broke you. He orchestrates, perfectly without aid from us. Let go of self-orchestrating Him. I promise if we let go of our “Me” tendencies whatever your “more” is will fall exactly where it needs to be.

My God-connects for this month have been so intimate, so spiritually motivated that He takes my breath away. It’s as if every worry experienced, every thought of defeat was stopped before the doubts grew, before depression surfaced. That financial need met —NOT by another (it so easily could have been) but God provided just so. He replenished. The friendships that bind, the phone call of encouragement just when you want to cater to self-defeat. He is All-seeing. He knows.  The wise elder who prays a prayer with you, for you that is on a whole nother level that it scares you….because HOW does she know?!  You know, (I’m crying now) how He puts you right where you don’t want to be to show you your future, unexpectedly….and you don’t know how its going to happen but you know its going to happen…He prepares. Ten days into October, not even a month into the Fall season, new expectations. Wow!

Ok, my tears are covering this keyboard so I’m gonna end this. He is God all by Himself. He requires faith, trust, belief, honesty, forgiveness of self (not just for others), love. He gives grace, mercy, peace, new chances, prosperity, love….what He requires He also freely gives just for you, because of you.

With Faith,

A. Michelle!

FYI: “spiritual temper tantrums” …..well that’s my phrase. If you use it give proper credit. (Sensitive about my stuff.) Please continue to be encouraged, live faithfully hoping even when it is outside your comfort zone.