A Day That Started Out Like Any Other Day…. A Day That Changed The World

Posted September 12, 2008 by Michelle
Categories: Patriotism and God, Remember 9/11, The Day that Changed the World


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On September 11, 2001, I was in my truck at my friend Amy’s house when a local radio personality came on stating that a plane just flew into the World Trade Center in New York City. I was dropping off my son that day before I headed off to work. He was homeschooling at the time and stayed at their house while I was at work to do his studies.
Even the other people on the radio thought he was kidding – it was just so unthinkable. But, then as time passed and the reports confirmed… It became clear that the unthinkable was indeed true. I made a phone call to my dad as I drove to the school where I worked. At that time I worked a few miles from Alliance Airport and the realization that D/FW and the Fort Worth Joint Air Base were within a 30 mile radius was not lost on me. He was an air traffic controller in those days and I felt that if anything serious had happened he would know.
He was sleeping. He awoke and I told him three times that planes were flying into the World Trade Towers… He finally awakened enough to grasp what I was saying and asked, “In Dallas?”
“No, Daddy. In New York City.” I paused as I thought about the people in those buildings. “Turn on the news, Daddy. Tell me what is going on.” Panic was setting in, even though the attacks were many miles away from the place I called home. My father turned on the news and watched them replay footage of the second plane flying into Tower 2.
“Sugar, what is going on?” I could hear the confusion – the panic in his voice. “We are at war.”
We talked a few more minutes as the tears stung my eyes. Then he finally said, “Let me call you back I need to call in at work.”
By the time I got to work, my supervisor had the news going on a local Christian radio station and a small television in her office. We went about our duties in the school kitchen listening and keeping our eyes on the television and our ears to the news as the third and fourth planes crashed. I had my children picked up early from school and hurried with the after lunch chores in the kitchen before rushing to pick up my children and get home.
One of the most staggering moments for me that day was standing in Donna’s office and watching as first one tower and then the other fell. I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me and kept repeating through the sobs and streaming tears, “Oh God, please. What about all those people.”

I watched the news coverage 24/7 it seemed like. I remember as they carried not just one but several people still alive out of the wreckage at Ground Zero days after the attack. I remember the haunting pictures of ashen covered people emerging from lower manhattan and the images of people walking and walking for miles on end to get out of New York City. Each day as the news replayed the images of what happened my heart not only stopped, it ached. I hurt for all the people who suffered the death of their loved ones – sons, fathers, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. So many died that day – and in one fell swoop America and its people were no long safe.

The stories of heroism and the United Flight 93 passengers and crew who heroically gave their lives to prevent even more devastating and loss of life. They gripped my soul, and made me proud to be an American. Fear on every front, be we were still alive. I heard the cry out to God why He had allowed this to happen and Ann Graham Lotz’s poignant words about how America was about the business of asking God to but out of our daily business and lives, but wondering why He didn’t show up in crisis. It landed on me with fresh awareness that the shield of faith had been lowered in America because of the apostasy in our land. I prayed ardently and often for this nation and its leaders, for President Bush and the decisions he made. I prayed for the families and the funerals and thanked God that my family was safe.

09-23-06 Shanksville 022
The images of those days of September seven years ago will be etched in my memory until I die, but even more so the memories of those who stood to serve, to sacrifice and to fight for our freedom will be remembered in my prayers and my heart forever. God did not promise us a life free of tragedy, sorrow or pain… Yet, He promised to be the God who would see us through every dark moment to the place of glorious light. Psalms tells us that God trains our hands for battle and our fingers for war and Jesus Himself stated there would be wars and rumors of wars until He comes again. Ours is not always to know the why, the how or the when… But to trust with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength the WHO that promises to be faithful to us to the end. Pray, my friends, as this day wains on that we will not forget the lessons and the losses of September 11, 2001 and that we will never again be the country who takes our freedom and our responsibility to one another and God for granted again.

May God bless our troops who put their lives on the line, May He bless the families who continue to mourn and grieve and May He bless the coming elections and the legacy of George W. Bush – A man willing to stand against those who sought to destroy and restore a sense of safety and hope to America once again.

 

Melek – Our King

Posted September 11, 2008 by Michelle
Categories: Bible Study: the Names of God, Inspiration and Insights

This week we study the Hebrew word Melek. Melek is translated King. Throughout the Psalms, God is called Israel’s King and not only Israel’s King, but they believed that He was King to all nations and that all kings were subject to Him. “He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Dan 2:21 (NIV)
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Today we are going to look at how God’s plan was to be Israel’s King from the beginning and how He established His Son, Jesus as King of Kings. In Psalm 72:1-3 we see a Messianic prophecy predicting the establishment of Jesus, the Christ, as the Lord’s righteous and just Millenial King.
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First of all if we go back to Genesis, we will find that Abraham and his descendants were led not by King, but by God. God was their King. Abraham and his family and servants did battle with the kings of the earth and God provided victory. Let’s look at the Hebrew word and its definition from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary before we go any further:
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Hebrew Strong’s Number: 4428
Hebrew Word: ‏מֶלֶךְ‎
Transliteration: melek
Phonetic Pronunciation:
meh’-lek
Root: from
, Greek
Cross Reference: TWOT –
1199a
Part of Speech: n m
Vine’s Words:
Kingdom

Usage Notes:

In the book of Genesis we find a curious king. He is the King of Salem (Salem is translated Peace), and he is also a priest. His name is Melchizedek and he came to the aid of Abraham after he had battled many other kings and was facing yet another king, the King of Sodom. Melchizedek provided bread and wine for Abraham in his time of need. Communion, reprieve, redemption are all exhibited in the three short verses of Melchizedek’s story.
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However, Hebrews 7 gives a bird’s eye view of this king and why his appearance in those early chapters of Genesis is so important.
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1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. 4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people–that is, their brothers–even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
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Hebrews 7:1-10 (NIV)
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Hebrews 7 establishes Melchizedek as a priest of the highest order. Not as a priest of the tribe of Levi ordained hundreds of years later after the exodus from Egypt, but a priest to whom even Levi paid a tithe to through his ancestor, Abraham. A king and a priest offering bread and wine. Sound like anyone you know?
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We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 6:19-20 (NIV)
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Christ was a priest – not in the order of Levi who was of the priestly lineage and served in the temple. Instead, He was a priest in the order of Melchizedek. A King of Peace who was also a priest. A King who came out and served the chosen man of God bread and wine and collected a tenth offering of all the plunder Abraham had amassed during his battles with foreign kings.
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In Christ we not only have a King to whom we are to submit ourselves to, but also a King who has a heart to care for His subjects, His people. He hears our pleas from His throne and He is the source of our hope and the anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6).
Again we see in Psalm 10 a picture of a King who not only rules and has dominion over every other kingdom and king, but also has a deep and loving concern for the plight of his people. A king who listens, encourages, defends and aleves our fears. A call to pay attention from the city gates all the way to the inner sanctuary of Jerusalem to lift up their heads and take notice of the triumphal entry of their eternal King. The King of Glory who is strong and mighty, the Lord Almighty – Yahweh, El Shadday.
The Lord who sits enthroned over the flood. Think of that, pointing back to the flood of Genesis – God’s sovereignty was at work even in the calamity of that great flood. From that flood He raised up a people, the Semites. From the Semites He raised up a nation that would make a name for Him – a nation to present His glory in all the earth. The Israelites through the Abrahamic Covenant. He is never off of His throne, but remains enthroned forever. He strengthens and blesses His people with peace. He is King.

In the Gospels, Christ comes as the Anointed One of God in the form of a man – Jesus of Nazareth. During His three years of ministry He explains the mystery of the Kingdoms in Parables. He says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” And then He reveals the mystery in terms which the people can understand. God manifested, God with us – He brought the Kingdom to us and made it accessible to us through Salvation and understandable to us through His Holy Spirit.

He even answered in this way when the Pharisees questioned Him about His Kingdom:

“20Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, 21Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” ~ Luke 17:20-22 (AMP)

The Kingdom over which God reigns is not only an eternal future Kingdom with real property, but it is a right now, at hand Kingdom that exists not only in our hearts, but in the hearts of those around us who love Him, too. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Does Christ have rule in your heart? His Kingdom is there.

We serve a King who is immortal, invisible, the ONLY GOD, and who is worthy of all HONOR and GLORY forever and ever. Can You SAY! YES, LORD! Oh Glory, I don’t think I can cover it any better than that. We are also co-heirs with our King… what does that look like in your economy? It looks like Heaven in mine.
When the nations of this world rage against the King of Glory, the Lamb of God, He will overcome because He is the LORD OF LORDS and KING OF KINGS AND with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers. Think of that… We are part of the Victory of the Lamb over the dark spiritual forces and principalities and the ungodly nations of this world. We are His crown.

As you read this week’s Chapter for reflection on Melek – Our King. Try to capture in your mind’s eye this description of your great and mighty King:

The Rider on the White Horse

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND Lord OF Lords.


Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV)

Stand amazed before Him friends, worship Him, He is the King.


 

Tuesday’s In Other Words: Wrestling With God

Posted September 9, 2008 by Michelle
Categories: Anger, In "Other" Words: A Writing Challenge, Inspiration and Insights

THIS WEEK’S IN “OTHER” WORDS IS BEING HOSTED BY LONI AT WRITING CANVAS….Hop on over and check out what others are saying “in other words.
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Is it awful that I was so excited to read this quote? I often hear people express their anger with God and their inability to resolve that anger over something in their lives. Parents who have lost children can find this one element of grief to be the most challenging to overcome. I often site the experience of Job when I address these types of concerns. Job started out praising God, but throughout the book bearing his name Job wrestles with his identity, God’s sovereignty, and even the purpose for which God intended all the suffering that Job was enduring.

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For some forty chapters we see Job sorting, venting, and lamenting his dire circumstances before the Lord. But, one thing God establishes for us from the beginning is this:
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“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Whew! I want that to be said of me when the annals of history are reviewed. That I never held God to account for some wrong that happened in my life. So how did Job manage to maintain his “integrity” as his wife put it while sorting out the messiness of anger and grief with God. I believe it is because to men Job defended God, but when he was in anguish – he sought out the Lord and made his complaint known only to God. Was Job putting on a brave face or was his heart sincerely holding onto something that he believed and hoped to be true in spite of all the evidence to the contrary? In my reading of Job, I found that he held onto what he believed to be true of God, what he hoped for… And, he knew that if he questioned God, God would answer him.
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And how is it that we can be sure that all this wrestling it out with God is okay? In Job 42, light dawns in Job’s life. His suffering is about to end as Job admits that nothing and no one can stop the plans of God. Read on and see what God did in response to Job’s acknowledgment:

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“1 Then Job replied to the LORD :

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2 ‘I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.

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3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures
my counsel without knowledge?’
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Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.

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4 ‘You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you shall answer me.’

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5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.

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6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.’

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10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” ~ Job 42: 1-6, 10-12 (NIV)
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Job’s plight forced him to come face-to-face with the truth about his heart, his beliefs and ultimately his God. When Job realized that his anguish had caused him to doubt God – Job repented and confessed the truth before the Lord. And if Job had stopped there, perhaps that would have been enough. Yet, he fulfilled the glory of his revelation by also praying for those who had not only accused him of being responsible for the tragedy taht had befallen his family, but they had also prompted the further questioning of God’s judgment in those sovereign acts.Job’s suffering accomplished many things, but for Job it established that his initial response was correct. That the Lord may indeed give and He may also take away, but in all things His name is to BE PRAISED. By putting on this attitude of praise in his deep anguish, Job established a hopeful pattern that would be repeated throughout his discourse with God. The identification with a God who is inately good and true. By trusting God even with the messy, angry feeling he suffered in the wake of his loss, Job proved God faithful and true to His Word. God is a God who keeps His promises. He promises that no matter what He works all things for our good and His glory, that He can take what Satan intends for evil and turn it to good, that He always has a plan that prospers us and gives us a future and a hope, and that He will never leave nor forsake us no matter how bad it gets.

I want to conclude by reminding you of the story of Jacob in Genesis 32. Jacob was running from many things in his life. Not the least of these things was the deception that had pit him an enemy against his own brother. However, God caught up with Jacob one night and wrestled with Jacob throughout that night even injuring him. When God had enough of the struggle and was about to take His leave, Jacob caught a hold of Him and said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

In spite of his past failures, in spite of the agonizing pain of the struggle, Jacob was not willing to give up. He knew that God could bless Him, change the outcome and deliver the victory and He was not leaving without it. God indeed blessed Jacob. He left that injury that Jacob suffered in the struggle to remind him of the reason for the pain. But, he gave Jacob a new identity, a better heritage and an eternal purpose to fulfill that far outweighed anything that Jacob had faced in his past. Israel’s destiny was to make a name for God – and they did… His name is Jesus and He provided redemption and salvation from this fallen existence for us all.

In my own life, I have found this passage from James to be so true. When we allow suffering to have its perfect work in our lives. When we allow God to deal with our anger, our anguish and even out pain it builds in us a complete, sure and tested faith that brings us to maturity in Christ. When we suffer and face those sufferings as Christ did – “for the joy set before us” – we fellowship with Him in those bitter moments. That prepares us for the great joy that we have in our salvation, His promises of a better inheritance and the promises of eternity with Him. Suffering – even the kind that makes us angry with God – can produce a faith that lacks nothing if we will work it out with God.

Sorting out our anger with God is honest, it is necessary and it allows God to tend to our hurts and our wounds in ways that nothing on this earth will ever accomplish. God administers healing to those wounded, angry places within us so that the Holy Spirit can do its work in our lives. Trusting God with even the ugliest of our feelings toward Him opens our lives up for not only reconciliation, but also peace, joy, and hope that overflows into and out of our lives.

The sovereign goodness of God means that He can be trusted to act mercifully with us – even if we are angry with Him. His love and His nature will not allow Him to hold His anger against us if we confess it before Him in truth and with a heart that desires to be reconciled to Him in spite of our pain. He is good, His mercy endures forever… He is ever worthy of our praise.

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Check out Loni’s website each week as we write about the quote for the week In “other” Words.

Is Anything Too Hard For God?

Posted February 17, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Confirmation and Prayer, Hearing God, Jeremiah, Nothing's Impossible for Those Who Believe, The Dream

I included Jeremiah 32:6-27 in my post yesterday. I was sitting at Chik-fil-a drinking lemonade and trying to wrap my mind around the thing while flipping to Jeremaih 33 when I saw Jeremiah 32 and this “heading:” Jeremiah purchases a piece of land. I thought…. HMMMM!
So I read the chapter and my heart started racing and my head felt as if it might spin. This passage is for us. When I came to the last two verses, I just felt like jumping up and down. I didn’t because that in Chik-fil-a might get you asked to leave.

26 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying,
27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?

Jeremiah 32:6-27 (AMP)

Jeremiah receives word from the Lord to buy a piece of property from his cousin in the land of Benjamin. Jeremiah does as the Lord bids him to do. He purchases the land without any trouble at all. Then he has the documents placed in a jar to be preserved to mark out the great thing the Lord had done.

Why?

Why was Jeremiah buying a piece of property that he had a familial right to purchase and possess mark such a remarkable occasion?

Because it didn’t make sense. No one was buying property in Judah and Jerusalem at that time. Most of the people were being carried off to Babylon for exile and captivity. But, Jeremiah was granted the privilege of purchasing property in a nation under seige. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that Jeremiah would get to keep and possess the land with the Babylonians coming against the Southern Kingdom as they were.

So Jeremiah prays and says “Lord you are so awesome, so amazing and wonderful, but surely you know the entire nation is going into captivity yet you had me go and buy a piece of land?” (My paraphrase)

God’s reply, “Behold (look here I want you to see this) I am the Lord God of everyone and everything – is anything too hard me?” (my paraphrase)

Is anything too hard for God. If He places a dream in your heart, can He not fulfill it?

Yesterday morning as Scott and I prayed together I confessed to God we wanted this dream only if it was His dream because our dream doesn’t work without Him. It was near lunch time that I was reading Jeremiah 32. And when I was leaving Chik-fil-a Scott called to ask me about where we were going to put all the people! Confirmation, confirmation, confirmation.

I was rehearsing the ranch in my mind all the way home and getting a bit overwhelmed. So last night at church we went to a class on hearing God and I heard Him say, “Stop trying so hard. I got you. You’re mine.”

We are the sheep of His pasture and nothing is too hard for Him. Has God given you a dream in your heart that you long to fulfill? Please share one paragraph in the comments and tell us about your dream.

Welcome to the Dream!

Posted February 17, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: God, Restoration Ranch, Scott, The Dream

I pray that you are blessed and join us as we pray through this dream and journey with God. My husband and I lay looking into one another’s eyes by the soft light filtering in through our bathroom door last night as we began to envision this dream.

The Ranch.

A place to be renewed, restored, refreshed, revived, resurrected, rescued, related to as well as a place to remember, reconnect, recommit, renew, reconcile, rediscover, and retreat with your spouse or family to new levels of relationship with one another and God, as well as see God begin the work of healing through intensive retreats designed to facilitate reconnection, recommittment, restoration and Revival in your lives. I pray you are blessed and pray God brings light to the darkness as we seek to do His will with what He has given us.

SIDE NOTE: Last night we talked about all the couples and families whose lives could be changed by coming to a retreat facility built as a place of worship where God’s presence is invited to minister and heal them. This morning hubs called:

Him: About the ranch?

Me: Yeah?

Him: What are we going to do with all the people?

Me: What do you mean?

Him: When they come where will they stay?

Me: I had in mind a large house so they could stay with us.

Him: Oh.

Me: Why?

Him: Well, I was just thinking if we build a place with classrooms, and you know more rooms for them to stay then we could start hosting the family reunions for your mom and dad, too. Get those started again!

Me: Well, I had thought of that. I was actually writing about the dream just now. I wrote – Full service, commercial Kitchen.

Him: Well, I just thought about that.

Me: I’ll write it down. Maybe we can start by hosting three or four couples to our home for the retreats and then build it out from there.

Him: Yeah, maybe.

We concluded our conversation by acknowledging that we must begin sowing toward the dream God has given us and understand that what seems too big and impossible for us based on who we are and have been – is nothing compared to what God can do with those who are diligently seeking what He has called them to do. We are seeking.

“Jeremiah said, “God’s Message came to me like this: Prepare yourself! Hanamel, your uncle Shallum’s son, is on his way to see you. He is going to say, ‘Buy my field in Anathoth. You have the legal right to buy it.’ “And sure enough, just as God had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me while I was in jail and said, ‘Buy my field in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin, for you have the legal right to keep it in the family. Buy it. Take it over.’ “That did it. I knew it was God’s Message. “So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I paid him seventeen silver shekels. I followed all the proper procedures: In the presence of witnesses I wrote out the bill of sale, sealed it, and weighed out the money on the scales. Then I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy that contained the contract and its conditions and also the open copy— and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. All this took place in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and the witnesses who had signed the deed, as the Jews who were at the jail that day looked on. “Then, in front of all of them, I told Baruch, ‘These are orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel: Take these documents—both the sealed and the open deeds—and put them for safekeeping in a pottery jar. For God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, “Life is going to return to normal. Homes and fields and vineyards are again going to be bought in this country.” ‘ “And then, having handed over the legal documents to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to God, ‘Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do. 18 You’re loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands—but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents’ sins. Great and powerful God, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, determined in purpose and relentless in following through, you see everything that men and women do and respond appropriately to the way they live, to the things they do. ” ‘You performed signs and wonders in the country of Egypt and continue to do so right into the present, right here in Israel and everywhere else, too. You’ve made a reputation for yourself that doesn’t diminish. You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders—a powerful deliverance!—by merely stretching out your arm. You gave them this land and solemnly promised to their ancestors a bountiful and fertile land. But when they entered the land and took it over, they didn’t listen to you. They didn’t do what you commanded. They wouldn’t listen to a thing you told them. And so you brought this disaster on them. ” ‘Oh, look at the siege ramps already set in place to take the city. Killing and starvation and disease are on our doorstep. The Babylonians are attacking! The Word you spoke is coming to pass—it’s daily news! And yet you, God, the Master, even though it is certain that the city will be turned over to the Babylonians, also told me, Buy the field. Pay for it in cash. And make sure there are witnesses.’ ” Then God’s Message came again to Jeremiah: “Stay alert! I am God, the God of everything living. Is there anything I can’t do?” ~ Jeremiah 32:6-27 (MSG) (Emphasis Added.)

Learning to Dream Again…

Posted February 17, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Dreaming Again, My Dream, our Marriage, Resoration Ranch, Scott's Dream

I wrote last month about Jeremiah 33:6 and how God is using it as a promise for restoration in our marriage. Well, something interesting has begun to take shape in our lives. I’m going to write about it at a new blog… A place to build the dream – so to speak.

That blog will be called Restoration Ranch. I will be writing all about the dream, the steps we are taking to realize the dream and how God builds the vision there. I’m excited about it… I hope you will join me as we build the dream of Restoration Ranch.

Love You.

No Time To Tarry… Siesta Scripture Memorization #4

Posted February 15, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Beth Moore, LPM Blog, Memorizing Scripture, Siestas

No time to tarry here this morning. I am pausing here to post my memory verse for the next 14 days. I heard this verse and it grabbed a hold of me during the first week of January. I told Scott I needed to memorzize that Scripture so here we are. God is so ever-lovin’ good. I heard it used again as the Scripture God gave Jimmy Evans when he began the Marriage Today ministry.
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“So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].” ~ Isaiah 59:19 (AMP)

So what Scripture is grabbing your heart these days? I’m so ready to maximize this verse in my mind and move into a new level of understanding about what God has to say to us about our lives. You bless me so… I love you guys. Beth should have her post up today over at LPM, if you want to join we are memorizing two Scriptures [of our choosing] a month (New on the first fifteenth). So start listening and pick your verse — then hop on her blog, add your verse to the twice-a-month post and hide His Word in your heart. He is so going to bless you for committing yourself to Him in this way.

A Few of My Favorite Things… ‘Bout Him!

Posted February 13, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Favorite Things, love, My Husband... My Love, Sappy Ooey Gooey Goodness

**WARNING!! SAPPY, GOOEY, OOEY, STUFF ENCLOSED** READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
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Last night younger child said to me, “You too are like OOEY, GOOEY, MUSHY kind of people now!” YEAH!

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She said this because I was heading out to Bible study and realized I had not had a good long embrace and kiss from my hubs since picking him up from work yesterday. So, he offered me a peck on the cheek and I said, “Oh No, No, No.”
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I put my arm around his waist and said, “We have not had our hug today.”
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He said, “Oh well that’s cause you been busy running here and there.” (TRUE!)
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So we snuggled up in a big hug and exchanged a few sweet kisses and soft words of affection while Taylor let the dog out the back door. She said, “Ya’ll are going to be all mushy now aren’t you.”
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She then reframed that statement. “I mean, in a good way.”
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I love it. I reminded her this is what a healthy relationship looks like when you have a license for it.
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I was all warm and fuzzy as I stepped out into the cool night to make my way to Bible study.
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NUGGET FROM BIBLE STUDY: Taken from the story of Gideon in Judges 7 – Spiritual Battle begins with WORSHIP! Now there is a truth that will set you free. (We are “BREAKING FREE” by the way.)
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I love that man of mine. I returned home to find him reading the book I bought him over the weekend and settled down to resume my task of learning to master Sudoku puzzles. I finished two all by my lonesome last night – WOO! HOO! Small to you, big to me… So deal with it.
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So as Valentine’s Day comes upon us I want to tell you a few of my favorite things about that MAN of Mine:
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1. My husband prefers warmer climates to colder ones. And… when it comes to him, SO DO I. We officially met in June and began our journey of love in those HOT, TEXAS SUMMER DAYS. He often would come down after work. My hubs has always been a construction, work outdoors, sweat a lot kind of guy. I must tell you that when he comes in from work and hugs my neck, I get all warm inside. His smell is almost intoxicating. It is a mixture of sweat, laundry soap, cologne and deodorant. It is most definitely uniquely him and it is one of my favorite smells in the whole wide world.
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2. That he never leaves the house without kissing me goodbye. (Second: That these days I’m awake to receive them.) But whether or not I’m conscious for the kissing, he is faithful to wish me well with a sweet kiss goodbye.
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3. The way he looks at me. His eyes were very nearly the first thing I noticed once I started to get to know him. I have written before that he has mood eyes, but in those early days they were that sweet amorous color I have grown to fondly call -“The Color of Fresh Sliced Limes.” His eyes on me can make me melt in a second. Maybe less.
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4. The way he looks [PERIOD]. I remember before we even met, and before I knew who he was… He used to swagger around in his hat, his Ws and his boots and I would think… He is just another heartthrob cowboy who’ll break a heart in a second and move on. I did not know this man would not even dare ask a woman to dance – but dance with any woman who asked him. I didn’t ask. Nevermind the details… I can tell you that the first time we danced together it was because HE, yes, I’ll say it again, He asked me. :o) I found my walking, talking dream man in this fella’ and I was sure it wouldn’t last. As he said after taking the Five Love Languages test, “SURPRISE!” I tell him all the time I loved him all my life… Even before we met he is the man I loved in my dreams.
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5. His hand in mine or at the small of my back. In Hope Floats, Birdie is describing how being with her soon-to-be ex-husband, Bill, made her feel safe. She said, “The way he’d look at me with his eyes, and the way he would put his hand on the small of my back and guide me through a room… It made me feel so safe.” Being close to Scott always makes me feel safe. I love it when he takes the lead and even if he lets me walk in front of him – he shows me the way with a quiet reminder of his hand upon my back. It is the sweetest feeling in the world.
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6. And while I’m at it… my favorite sound in the whole world is when I lay my head on his chest and listen to the strength of his heartbeat.
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7. That he has been patiently teaching me to “see” the numbering patterns in Sudoku puzzles. He even checks my answers and lets me figure out what I did wrong! I love it.
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8. WHEN HE PRAYS. This morning he prayed so sweetly to the Lord. We’ve been at this every morning since the first of the year and the progression of his prayers has touched deep places inside of me. His children are on a prodigal excursion right now and we are praying for them… He asks the Lord to continue the work He is doing in their lives. I told him this morning, “You are asking by faith for something that you cannot see is happening but believe He is doing anyway.” Oh how the Lord grows us up! I’m marvelling at the beautiful way He is working in my man’s life and through his prayers. GLORY TO GOD! Thank you, Lord so much for giving me a man like Scott who is willing to learn to be the man You have called him out, set him apart and ordained him to be. I love him, so… and You, too.
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9. His Warrior Spirit. My man likes to conquer and not just conquer but to WIN! I almost nagged that warrior spirit right out of him, until I realized God gave him that spirited determination – he gave it really to all men, but so few of them thrive in it anymore. I want him to be the warrior in Christ he is called to be. He is our provider, our protector, and he has been assigned the role of Priest for this family, Prophet for our household and King of our Home. He is learning to exercise his dominion well under the leadership and authority of Christ.
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10. When He says I love you. I am going to include in this when he writes it as well. Almost more so when he writes because I know writing comes so much harder for him. Yesterday’s email subject line was: “What if you did not have nail fungus?”
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Okay… That may not be the most romantic thing in the world, but it is funny. He swears to me he typed in “good morning” and the computer ate his words and regurgitated them as “What if you did not have nail fungus?” But I have my suspicions that he was just being funny since we are seeking a treatment for that very thing on his feet. Things that make you go HMMM! I print out his emails and post them around my desk so I can read them throughout the day. They are one of the sweetest things.
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That’s my top then things that I just treasure about my man. How about you? What are some things you favor about that man of yours?
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BONUS: A few years ago, my hubs and I were members of a small group at our old church. One night we did the “EMPTY CHAIR” encouragement exercise. I was reluctant to do the turn in the chair ’cause I never quite feel comfortable receiving affirmation.
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The goal was to sit in the chair with your back to the group and then each one would take a turn to say one word or phrase of encouragement or they could identify one positive thing you bring to the group. It seemed like that night each person who sat in the chair was acknowledged by their spouse last. The last member to sit in the chair got to pick the next. When my turn came I wept as I listened to the people I had grown to love, admire and respect the most as my church family called me inspiring and encouraging, deep in the things of God… I could barely stand the words that were spoken because I often feel so unworthy of such accolades. My heart then heard God whisper, “Just listen with your heart.”
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My husband, as seemed to be the unspoken rule, shared last. He said, “Michelle does know a lot about the Bible and she does know a lot about God. But for me, I guess the thing she does the most is she explains it in a way that doesn’t make me feel [less than her ]* and helps me understand.” (* I don’t remember the exact word he used there, so rather than lie – I’ll just express what it said to us that night.)

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I was UNDONE. The most precious words my man ever said actually spoke this to his wife’s heart, “It’s okay that my wife loves God so much and spends so much time in His Word because what she does helps me.”
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Remember Love always, trusts, always protects, always hopes and always perseveres… Love Never Fails. (1 Corinthians 13)

The Great Cake Caper 2009

Posted February 12, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Baking, Cakes, Delicious, Desserts, Taylor, White Chocolate

Meet our Brittany… The shameless Photog who took our pictures!
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Last week my youngest girl confessed her dream to be a world class “Baker.” She was given two very “stylish” cookbooks for Christmas one year and they are full of DESSERTS. She was sitting at the table with these two books and asked, “Do you think we could make a cake on Friday?”
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I was like yeah sure. Cake is easy – box from Duncan Hines [check], frosting from Duncan Hines [check], eggs [oops! gotta’ get those- er check], oil [check], water [check], mixer [check], CAKE DONE.
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She flips through her book and says, “Good. I want to make something out of here.”
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CHECK. AND. MATE.
She won.
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This is the very same child who used to complain about helping me cook dinner because SHE. COULD. NOT. COOK. And now she wants to make some pristine dessert from some fancy smancy cookbook and what else could I say…. “Are you sure?”
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Taylor: “Yes.”
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She continues to flip through page after page. She is diligent in her perusal of each recipe. I also begin the flipping process. I pick up the other book and start looking.
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Me: “Okay. What do you want to make?”
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Her: “I dunno. Something.”
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I land on this delicious looking white cake covered in fresh berries and my mouth started to water. There was a short, and might I add expensive list of ingredients… But this was going to be so fun! I flipped the page around toward my daughter and said, “How about this one?”


Taylor: [smiles] “Kayla and I have always wanted to make that cake! Can Kayla help?”

Me: “Sure.”

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I scanned the list again and made a mental note to pick up the ingredients from the store on Friday.

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Friday arrived. I had the blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, white chocolate, self-rising flower, eggs, milk and sugar raring to go when the Miss got home from school. Kayla arrived shortly thereafter and the cooking was in full swing!

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We had fun, laughed and I was asked several times…

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“Mom? Would you let me do it?”

So I had to put down my spatula and put on my Chief Chef hat… “Okay.”
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The cake was smashing! Like shortcake. Yum.

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A few of Brittany’s friends dropped by while we finished up pouring the cake into the pans. We licked ourselves silly trying to get every last drop of luscious, melted white chocolate out of the bowl.

The cakes were baked. I kept telling them to turn down the television and not to laugh so the cake wouldn’t fall. They said, “Don’t drop them.”

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Now we had to wait for Kayla to return from her dance practice to finish the chore.

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About an hour later Taylor said, “Do you think we could finish the cake?”

Me: “What about Kayla?”.

Taylor: “She’ll Live.”

So we melted the rest of the chocolate and began to slather it onto the first layer of cake. We covered the chocolate with a layer of mixed berries and then added the second layer. We covered it until it was running over the side with white chocolate goodness and then added more berries to the top. Can I just tell you that it was THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. CAKE. I. HAVE. EVER. SEEN?

See for yourself… I do recommend baking cakes with your children. We had so much fun!

Taylor is so proud of her cake.

We had to wait until nearly midnight before she would cut the darn thing. She wanted to wait for Kayla and Brandi… They all lived. A very rich, yummy and decadent first feat for my Girl… The Brave Little Baker.

The Sweetest Gift: A Tomato and A Rose… In that Order

Posted February 11, 2009 by Michelle
Categories: Gifts, love, My Husband... My Love, Thoughtfulness

Yesterday was grocery day. Hubs, Taylor and I went to the local Wal-Mart* and bought our two weeks worth of food and odd household/personal items. I wanted to get it done before the storms landed on us and with eldest going to work at 5:20 that gave us nearly an hour and a half to get the deed done.
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As I have shared in earlier posts, Hubs and I did the Five Love Languages test and we both ended up with gifts being important but not most important. So… I’ve been buying him little gifts and even a few really nice ones this past month while I’m out and about during the day. He also bought me a gift on our Date Night Challenge – 15 songs on a Wal-Mart MP3 gift card and bubble bath. I still have not officially decided which is my favorite. For now I will say BOTH.
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He has been very sweet bringing me a candy bar or offering his blow money to buy me a meal. So this week being Valentine’s the store was chauk full of pink and red fare. I bought his gift last week and his card a few weeks ago when they first came out. I also bought him four books from Half Price Books that are written by the author he picked up at the Christian book store a week or so ago. He is reading AGAIN! Praise the Lord. He is. I feel like we made a breakthrough there. He used to read these mystical, magical fantasy books when we met. About six years ago, we began to do a spiritual inventory and I expressed concern for those books. He sold all of them.
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God did the same thing two years ago with me about movies. I had quite a collection — around 400 I would estimate or more. I sold every last one of those movies in a week. God was so funny. Each time I would go back to the store with a new batch to sell – they offered me more money. Not Even Kidding. I would take fewer and fewer DVDs in each time and the value would increase remarkably. Things that make you go HMMMM!

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I remember that my family almost went Berzerk about it. So I only sold the ones I purchased. Which were a lot. The girls have collected some 30 or 40 DVDs since my grand selling adventure but to my delight the desire to purchase movies has all but gone by the wayside. I have “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof.” I bought Scott the movie about Ernie Davis, “The Express,” last payday but mostly – we just don’t buy movies anymore.

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I digress… and ramble. Back to the story. So we went to Lifeway so I could look through their marraige and family section for good reading material and he meandered through the music section until he found his way back to me. As we were walking back to the front of the store a book caught his eye. It was written by Ted Dekker. I thought – okay, so he could read those. I had told him about the graphic novels Ted Dekker has and we found a few on the shelf. He said he would like to check out a couple of the series that are in the books and if they were like the graphic novels he might be interested. So… We kept looking. On the next aisle, near the end was a package of books wrapped in cellophane. Three novels. One of each of a series of books written by the same author. Stephen R. Lawhead. I thought… HMMM! These look a lot like what he has read in the past. I picked it up. The price: $14.88. I wanted to slap my money on the counter right then and declare “SOLD!” but my husband was not so sure. He perused the copies and said, “For the price, I’ll try them.”
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Okay. We stepped back around to the other side of the shelf and there was one of the books in the set sitting on the shelf. I handed it to him and suggested he read it a bit. He did and decided to purchase the set. This was two weeks ago today. He has read all three books. We ordered the remaining books in one series and a new series of books from Half.com and then I found the other series he wanted to read at Half Price Books for just over ten dollars. I was so excited. I felt like I was on a real live treasure hunt. WHOO HOO! And I struck gold on Monday.

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Fast Forward. We got our groceries and were all packed into the car with about 20 minutes to spare before eldest had to be picked up from school. That is when it hit me. I’m making hamburgers for supper and I forgot the tomatoes. I had been talking about hamburgers, sold Taylor and Scott both a hamburger and then realized my favorite ingredient was ominously missing. :o(
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I confessed I would have to make hamburgers another day because my mind abandoned Tomatoes completely in the store.
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Hubs asked again what time Britt got out of school and I said, “She has to be at work by 5:20.” He said well we can go home and unload and…”

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I told him, “I’ll go get her unless you want me to stay home and put away the groceries.”

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He said, “No. I’m going to get her.”

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Done. We unloaded the groceries while he drove to the school and picked up the girl. After nearly a half hour went buy I got worried. The school is less than five minutes from our house and her work a good ten minutes from there. Plenty of time to get home. I waited another fifteen minutes and called. “Baby, is everything okay?”

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“Yes. I’m just checking out. I went to the store to get the tomato you needed.”

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My heart went, “AWE….”
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He assured me he would be right home and I was quite relieved to learn he was indeed safe and on his way home.
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I was head down in a Sudoku puzzle when he got home. He walked through the living room and almost made it to me before I looked up. I saw something in his hand that looked a bit too large to be a tomato and he grinned. My heart melted. He held one beautiful pink rose behind his back and a small bag with a roma tomato in the other.
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The rose was just opening into a beautiful teacup of soft pink petals. He said, “I picked that one because it was the only one that was opened up like that. I like it.”
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I put my flower in water and stared at the tomato. I’m going to cry right now just thinking about it.
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My man is precious to the bone. He has spent the last few weeks recapturing my heart in none to few a ways. He has been listening and engaging conversations at deep levels, we have done more “getting to know you” type of work than I could possibly even begin to tell you about. And with patience he seeks to find the words that unlock the doorways to my heart. He writes me sweet little emails nearly two or three times a week and most of all he has begun to open the doors to his own heart to me as well. I’m overwhelmed.
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Last night was a huge milestone. He told me, as I have been telling him lately, with his actions that he hears what I need and he is willing to meet me where I am. All with a rose and a tomato. I need a photograph! :o) (So I went and took one…)
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Stay Tuned… More of our life with the dog is coming up and then… The Great Cake Caper that Taylor and I embarked on last Friday! Yummy….
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