Monday, October 29, 2012

I come

I had one of those days today where I found myself sitting at the table praying to the Lord.

Lord I come to you today with so much on my mind and so many, well thoughts..
              Thoughts about...
Tonya, emails, sweeping/mopping, Sarah, Michelle, Dinner tonight, meal planning, dinner tomorrow night with friends, reading, unpacking my groceries, parenting my little ones, Rachel, Erika, Kristi, Praying...Future, past, mine, yours.

This is all I wan to do; Abide.  Rest in You.  I believe I am.  Resting in You.  But what does that look like when my load feels so heavy?

You are the Vine and I the branch.  If I am clinging to You then all that I bear is Your fruit.  But sometimes it feels like my fruit is so heavy that it might cause me to snap.  But I don't want to be a branch weighed down and broken by good fruit.

So, I gently begin to pluck off my fruit that You have given me and I lay it at Your feet,  This is my offering to You.

Heb 13:15 Through Jesus let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of our lips that confess His Name.

In this offering receive this praise:  That I magnify Your name o God, that You would bring fourth fruit from all I do.  Because I am in You and You are in me.
we abide

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do no-thing.

As fruit is taken from my branch the Vine strengthens me and I am readied.  Readied because when we abide there is never rest from fruit.

May you abide in God our Father and unload your fruit to make room for the new.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Road trip. 3 kids, 2 adults, 9 countries, 168 hours

So here's the story....

We all had the flu over the weekend up until literally a few hours before we left for our trip through the Uk to promote Transform.  We ended up leaving in the middle of the night (hoping the kids would go back to sleep for the first leg, they didn't).  Being the responsible mom that I am (although not the most responsible person in my family;). I picked up my wallet to pack and thought I should check that I have all the documents we need.  German Visa's -check, German drivers license -check, all 5 of our social insurance cards- check(you know for that emergency.) We left the house and were on the raod.

 After driving a day and sleeping in Brussels we headed to make our Ferry reservations to enter the UK.  Troy looks at me with a white face and says, "Michelle we forgot our passports."

Oh what is one to do?  There are many 4 letter words to use here.  However, I believe there is one right one.


We were turned down at the Ferry.  They said they absolutely needed our passports and there was nothing they could do for us.  (Just to give you a glimpse of car life Fletcher was starting to pee in his pants and I had to throw away Kaleah's whole outfit because she pooped through it so bad.)

 there is more than one ferry and more than one way across this ocean.  The next stop was the tunnel.  They make you buy the ticket first and then show your passports, so we bought our ticket in faith.  The guy in charge heard our story and told us "not to get our hopes up that they would never let people through with out their passports."

 But I prayed.  And the Lord heard.  And He had mercy.

The man came back and said "I don't believe it they said you could enter the UK." 

I said "I believe it!"

So in a matter of minuets we were on the train and 2 miles under the ocean.  Wow. (don't worry we now have our passports in hand thank you Gary Witherall for overnighting them to us!)

So tonight I sit here 2 miles outside of Wales and I ponder the wonderful works of my God. I am amazed by Him and the Spirit beckons me to praise. 

Psalm 48
"Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For Better Millenniums

The Lord has taken me.  He has taken me years ago.
I saw Him walking and I followed. 
Back then I was too young to know.
Know where He was going, Know what I was leaving.
All I knew was that He was there and it was enough.

But today, today I sit, decades later.  The tears hot on my cheeks and I remember.

I remember what it was like to be known.  I remember the embrace of my mother.  I remember the smell of my house, newly built and smelling of paint and wood.  I remember the laugh of my mother in law because her son is the funniest man in our life.  I remember coffee, good coffee.  I remember favorite places.

When I followed Him I left these behind.

My tears once hot on my cheeks now begin to dry with reality.
 I am here.

 And I love it, I do. 
But then why does my heart feel this.  This sadness. 

Lord, I pray, did I hear you right when I followed you?  Why did I leave all these behind? As the words come out I know.  I know.  I know the sadness has overwhelmed me. 

The sadness is still.  So still I can hear Him picking up my heart and He whispers.

He says: You are trading decades for better Millenniums.

Peace floods my heart.

I sit here, He is with me and once again it is enough.

I continue to ponder the picture, the beauty of better millenniums and I let go.  The sadness melts away and I am filled with hope.  In this hope I live the rest of the day.  In this hope I live the rest of my decades, until the decades fade into millenniums. 

Rev 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the old had passed away.  I heard a loud voice coming from the throne saying. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people and He Himself will be with them and be their God, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

When All Is Quiet
So for the past week my world has been a little bit quieter.  I have lost significant hearing (70%) in my right ear.  At first I was not alarmed, thinking it was probably wax build up.  We had had pretty crummy Q-tips this past month.  I headed into the Dr. and at the last minute I began to panic, thinking it could be something worse.  Perhaps a bug had crawled in my ear to lay its eggs one night while I slept. (eesh)

Come join me at for the rest of the story

Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Jesus Says Follow Me...

I’m sure most of you know this bible story: John 21:15-25, Jesus reinstates Peter.  After Peter had denied Jesus not once but 3 times, Peter couldn’t just sit around and wait for Jesus to appear as He promised.  So he goes back to his old ways.  He goes fishing. 

Have you ever gone back to your old ways, when you’re tired of ‘waiting’ for Jesus?

When Jesus finally comes to find Peter He has to make sure He has his full attention.  Because what Jesus is about to tell Peter will change him at his core.  Because this is so important Jesus knows He must address what happened the last time they were together.  Instead of flat calling him out on his denial He asks Peter 3 times, “do you love Me?”  In my mind I can picture this whole scenario play out.  I see Peter’s heart break the first time Jesus asks this.  I see him respond with confidence the second time. The third time? I see his soul unite with Jesus, his Savior.  And he reply’s the only way one who’s screwed up can; “Lord you alone know all things”.    Here is when Jesus Knows He can press on with Peter.  And He says, “follow Me.” 

Jesus actually starts walking and I can see a hop under Peter’s foot as he tries to fall in step with Jesus.  Jesus tells Peter on this walk that things from now on will seem tough and hard.  At this Jesus, once again see’s Peter’s eyes flailing about, I’m sure all too familiar to the night of betrayal. Peter notices that John has been following at a close distance and he points to him asking the Lord “what about him”?  This is the second time in scripture I see the eyes of Jesus so clearly lock onto Peter, just like the moment the rooster crowed.   In Jesus’ eyes I see the kindness of a Redeemer.  As He opens His mouth I can see the strings of His vocal cords strengthen and He strongly says “what is it to you?  You must follow me.”  His kindness meets His authority and I am beckoned to follow.

Have you ever been in a season of life where your only reply is “Lord you alone know all things”?

I have been hearing these words from Jesus whispered in my heart.  And I have learned that when Jesus says “follow me” you do.  So I have been.  As I have been following completely unaware of where He is leading me I start to feel His peace.  That’s when I know just where He is leading me.  He leads me to the end of our road where our small little kindergarten is and He asks; “can you give me Khoen?” I quickly reply that of course He can have him.  He walks further towards the playground (where He knows my mind has been lately.)  Again He asks “can you give me Khoen?”  All I say is a quiet yes.  He leads me inside where my greatest fear lies.  I hear the talking of teachers and children; the language is loud and confusing, no one speaking our native tongue.  I start to tremble, my hands are shaking.  I find myself reaching for Jesus and He is not there.  I look desperately for my Jesus.  I hear a comforting voice and I turn to see a King kneeling next to a three-year-old little blonde boy.  My boy.
 Jesus looks over His shoulder at me and asks “can you give me Khoen?”  I can only reply “Lord you alone know all things.”  He says to me “let go of my sheep, I am leading him now.”    I realize it is time for me to go and as I reach the door I see Jesus surrounding my son.  I open the door to leave and I see Jesus, ready to lead me home.
Trusting Jesus as I send my first born to Kindergarten July 1st,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm A Little Tea cup

Word Study- Cup

Psalm 23:5 “my cup overflows.”  The cup being what contains the portion God gives me.  It holds what He is giving, so it can be my body, my soul, my mind, my heart, my hands. 

Matt. 10:42 “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will not lose his reward.” The cup is not mine, I can give it-or receive it.

Matt 23:25 “you clean the outside of the cup but the inside is full of greed and self-indulgence.”  The cup also refers to my spiritual state. 

Matt 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Jesus asks that His cup be taken from him.  This makes me think my cup can be a situation or season of life.

 The Cup:                                                            Applying it:
Body                                                                    Me
Season                                                                 God has moved me to Reichenbuch, Germany
Portion                                                                 My kids, husband and community

Hold it                                                                   I hold it as I control my emotions (i.e anger during discipline)
Give it                                                                   I give it as I show love and grace
Receive it                                                              I accept orders from a King

It is empty                                                             When I am selfish
Full                                                                        When I am humble
Over flowing                                                          By God’s grace

Clean                                                                     When I repent
Dirty                                                                      When I don’t

A few months went by after I had written this out.  I had just put all three of my kids down for a nap and was feeling tremendously guilty.  I had been very frustrated with Khoen when I was putting him to bed and found myself needing the Lord.  I pulled out my binder that contains all my quiet time paraphernalia and came across this word study.  It was just what I needed.  The Lord knew it and now I knew just what I was going to do after nap time.
 I got Khoen up from his nap and set him at the table.  As I walked back and forth between the kitchen and dining room he asked, “What are you doing mama?” “Just wait, you’ll see” was my reply.I returned to where Khoen sat with a tea cup, saucer, dirt and a glass of full water. I could see the quizzical look in my three year olds eyes.  After reassuring him that we weren’t going to eat my little concoction I began my production with his full attention.  As I set the cup on the saucer I explained that God made Khoen very unique and special.  “Khoen, you are like this cup.”  I also told him that the saucer represented the world/the people God put us to live around.  I lifted the glass filled with water and said imagine this is God.  He is filled with living water.  As I poured the water into the ‘khoen cup’ I said “look now you’re filled with God!”  Then I poured it back and rubbed Khoen’s cup with dirt.  I explained that the dirt was like sin.  It represents every time we hit, scream NO!, disobey or act selfishly.  Then I filled the cup back up with ‘Gods water’ I made it to pour out onto the saucer ‘the world’.  With a voice full of sadness I said “Oh no! God wants to pour himself out to the world through Khoen, but some of khoen’s ‘dirt/sin’ is spilling all over them.  How can we keep this from happening?”  I got what I had expected-silence.  So I replied with a giddy “I know!”  “lets tell God that there is dirt in us and see if He will make us clean.”  So I quickly and efficiently emptied and wiped the cup clean.  As I did this I quoted John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but be clean and live in eternal life.” (italics added) Then I refilled Khoen’s cup and let it overflow with the grace of God.  We ended by saying how pleased God is by seeing Himself, fully fall on all the people in the saucer through Khoen. 
The next day I went to a second hand store and found the most beautiful teacup and saucer set.  I brought it home to my beloved son and presented it to him as though it was more costly then gold.  Because you know what, it was.  It represented the soul that my savior died for.  He beamed from ear to ear.          

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gary vs. the Pitney's.

Just to clarify this story is not about our  friend, Gary Witherall. ;)

 Three weeks ago Troy and I thought we would embrace life with kids here in Reichenbuch and get a cat. That night at dinner we told the kids our plan and all voted on names.
 Troy voted for- bartholo-mew
Khoen voted for- Khoen
Fletcher voted for - kitty
I voted for - Templeton
Needless to say my name won. So we set out in search for our Templeton and went to the local tierhiem (animal shelter). We all five excitedly surveyed the cats while asking to see one that might be their most calm, friendly cat. The kind lady led us to a sweet looking white cat that bore the name Gary. we thought that's ironic. Good thing we came with our own name. I wanted to see how the cat would react to the three kids. After all there's three of them and the majority of them are boys, and they are three and under. Good luck cat. However, to my surprise the cat was very calm and sweet. Despite that Fletcher thought it was funny to poke his nose and giggle loudly. we held him for a few minuets and gently put him away and told the lady we would take him. She said it was a good choice and led us to the next room where we gave her our contact information. We were told they would call us in 14-15 days when Gary would be ready for pick up. We went home excited as ever and took great care in picking out cat food and water dishes and play toys at our next visit to the markets.

 3 weeks later........

 No phone call......

 Troy and I had the opportunity to run some errands without our kids and thought we should check up on our dear sweet Gary. After waiting 15 minutes to talk with someone we were led into the office where the same gal who helped us find Gary sat. She was helping a costumer who spoke English. Her (the customer) first words to us were "don't get mad at me I'm only translating.". Ok we thought, that was weird. She then began to tell us that they thought Gary was too calm for us. They didn't think it was a good fit and that he would be very likely to snap and kill one of our kids. (yes, that is the word she used). Troy immediately asked, "wow, has this happened before with Gary?". "No" Was her well meaning response. I leaned over to Troy and asked "did Gary turn into a Pit Bull? I thought we were buying a cat". We pressed a little further saying that this was the cat that the lady led us to after seeing our kids, their ages and knowing that we wanted a friendly sweet cat. She advised us as well that having a cat and baby is not always safe. After all cats like to snuggle up to babies, sometimes laying on them, even on their faces. Causing them to suffocate and die. After realizing she doesn't know what kind of mom I am (or family we are) we left it at that and told them thank you for all their well meaning advice.

 I'm not sure how long we were silent for but it was definitely broken by laughter. And a "did that really just happen?" The car ride home was needless to say a memorable one.

lets recap...
1) went to look for a sweet kind cat
2) found sweet kind cat
3) we're told sweet kind cat failed psyche evaluation
4) left without a cat, 90 euros and a great story
5) still in search for a sweet kind cat.

 Hope you had a few laughs,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A day in the life of... Us

I am a guest contributor on a friends blog.  As my intro I thought I would share our day with you all.  Thought some of you might get a kick out of seeing this.

6 am- We are awakened by the church bells that ring for 10 minutes on either side of our house.  After spending many months working hard on sleep training our kids, who knew there was a primitive world out there that still used bells as an alarm.  [I will most likely become the first missionary who burns down churches; well at least their bell towers.]

6:05- Get the kids on the couch to watch a cartoon that is popular here in Germany called, Adventures of the Little Mole.

6:10- Get the kids a sippy cup of milk and make my coffee.

6:15- Kaleah wakes up, we join the kids on the couch to nurse and watch mole.

7am- Get breakfast on the table.  Although it is Sunday and we usually have crepes or French toast, Troy is out of town this week, we will therefore have an egg.  Each.  (we're not that poor;)

7:45- Khoen clears the table and both boys are at the sink "cleaning" the dishes.
Kaleah is tired already, so I head to her room and lay her down for her morning nap.

8:00- Since the boys are so nicely distracted in the kitchen I start a new load of laundry and head to the cellar where I put a load to dry before bed last night.  Yes my washer is upstairs in my bathroom and my dryer is down 2 flights of stairs in our cellar.  Inconvenient but I am grateful to have a dryer at all!

8:30- Having returned from the cellar I quickly fold the dry clothes and put them away.  Upon my return I insist the dishes are clean enough! I strip them both of ALL their clothes.  Yes even underwear.  I struggle a little with Fletcher since he is wearing his favorite shirt.  In doing so I try to explain why we cannot live all day in sopping wet clothes.  (Oh the price one pays for a few extra min)

9:00- I pick up the broom to sweep up the remains of breakfast and my little helper Khoen follows me with the dust pan.  As we finish, Khoen politely tells me the floor is pretty icky and we should mop.  Never one to turn down an opportunity to do house chores (especially not during nap time), I oblige  him by handing him the mop. 

9:05- I walk through piles of crumbs and make a mental note to mop once Khoen is napping.  Khoen takes this moment to remind me he is cold and buck naked. 

9:15- I finish instructing Khoen as he dresses himself (it's kind of a new thing for him!)

 9:20- Fletcher has been playing extremely well by himself so I take this opportunity to start a baking project with Khoen.  We decide on chocolate crinkle cookies; some for the neighbor and some as a special treat when Troy gets home Tuesday morning.

9:50- Fletcher joins us as the cookies are mixed and I am putting them in the fridge to set for 3hours. 

9:55- We quickly clean the mess we made while baking. Who am I kidding, I quickly clean the mess Khoen made while baking.

10:05- School time.  We all gather around the little table with bibles and the school box.  We start with the home made snowman calendar.  This week’s topic: reward.  The month went something like this.... Week 1: listening, week 2: obey, week 3: reward.  Each day of the week has a corresponding scripture to that week’s topic.  Today was Ps. 19:7-11.

10:30- I set Fletch up with stickers and a blank piece of paper.  I help Khoen with his number book; tracing numbers and letters.

10:45- I cover their little table with plastic and they paint.  Thinking this might be my only chance, I run to my room to get dressed for the day.  I take a look at my arm pits and legs.  Do I chance a quick shower??  I've never seem my arm pits this bad before.  I make the more responsible decision and settle for brushing my teeth.

11:00- I return to the living room where the painting has gone to the next level.  I know what you’re thinking: what mom leaves a three year old and 20 month old alone with paints for 15 min?  This mom does.

11:15- we all finish cleaning our painting fun, and since they have both been washing their own hands, I strip off their clothes once again.  I decide that is it! I am moving to a nudist colony. 

11:20- I realize Kaleah is still sleeping and announce that I am going to go wake her up.  I walk down the hall towards her room. I am distracted by shoes that I straighten, while Khoen flies by me.  I arrive in Kaleah’s room to see Khoen has already beat me there and is "snuggling" with her in the crib.

11:30- I throw sausages in the oven for lunch and let them cook.

11:35- We ALL gather on the couch with at least 17 books.  I put Kaleah in the right position (yes at my boob) and read away!

11:50- I change diapers, we have an assembly line; Kaleah on the left Fletcher on the right.

11:55- I take the cooled sausages and pack them up along with apple sauce, goldfish crackers that arrived via mail from aunt Ni-Ni, and (oh yeah, don't forget) sippy cups of water.

12:00- Both boys are on my lap, Kaleah in her seat, we drive up the road to enjoy our lunch at the park.

12:05- While at the park the bells ring, a little late, and I hear Khoen begrudgingly say "nap time"!  I tell him to enjoy his time and we are staying up a little late from nap.

12:30- load the kids and all our "stuff" back in the car and head home. 

12:45- Change diapers, put the kids to bed! Yes all of them!

1:00- Mop all the floors before I sit down to edit blog posts and check face book.

2:00- make grocery list, take a deep breath as I realize tomorrow's grocery day and Troy is not here to tag team.  I will have to go with all three kids.  Hip hip hooray!  (totally sarcastic)

2:30- Stick grocery list on the cork board, put recipe books away and make a cup of decaf.

2:50- Kaleah wakes up.  I nurse her and spend some much needed one on one time with her.

3:30- Both boys are up.  We need some music and scripture to cloth us so I put on ‘Hide'em in your heart’ DVD. 

4:00- Khoen is very excited to finish our cookies, so I set Fletcher up to play Thomas and Khoen and I dive in.  This doesn't last long and I spend the next 20 minutes back and forth between the kitchen and living room. 

4:30- I put Kaleah down for her last nap of the day with Fletcher at my heals saying "bup, mamma, bup,".  I "bup" him right after I lay Kaleah down and head back to the kitchen.  My timer is beeping and I pull the last of the cookies out. 

4:40- I decide I need to spend some very intentional time with the boys (mostly with Fletcher) and we head out to the balcony where our sand pot is. 

5:00- I sneak in to start spaghetti, Sunday nights are always spaghetti nights.  I decide to combine it with our Friday dinner and a movie night.  I quickly set up their little table and chairs and put mole in before I dash back out to play.

5:30- Kaleah wakes up.  I nurse her on the couch where I can hear the sweet conversations just outside.  Khoen is telling Fletcher "good job Fletch".

5:50- I step outside just enough to say "dinner time!"

6:00- mole is on and we are all eating peacefully while Kaleah sits in her swing.
6:35- I clear the tables and bring them each one cookie as promised from earlier that morning.
6:45- Troy Skype’s and we all get to see him to say, hi and goodnight!

6:55- The kids head to bed.  We brush teeth, take vitamins, read books and I tell one story out of my mouth. (That’s what Khoen calls imaginary stories)

7:15- I say the last I love you's close their door and head to Kaleah's room.  I lay her down as well.

7:20- I'm back in the kitchen doing one last clean up and the doorbell rings.
It is my neighbor friend.  She invites me to ‘sports platz’ (gymnastics) tomorrow night.

8:00- I say goodbye to my friend return to my domain and try to remember what I was doing.  I look around and think the house looks pretty good and take a much needed shower!

8:45- I try to buy a book off itunes, it downloads, then is nowhere to be found.  I think "if Troy were here he would know how to find it!"

9:00- I tell myself to go to bed and catch up on some much needed sleep.  Having gone back to the states for 4 days with a 9 week old is beginning to wreak havoc on me.  I silently do the math and realize in the last week (164 hours) I have gotten a full 25 hours of sleep.  I better turn in!

9:15- Kaleah wakes up, screaming and grunting.  Guess I better add taco seasoning to my list of no no's.  Bummer.
Description: C:\Users\tro\Pictures\2012-04-30 002\IMG_0491.JPG
11:30- the house is quiet and I get to sleep!

I truly recommend you all do this.  Pick one day this upcoming week and at the end of the day do as I did and pen it out.   I found it very therapeutic, bringing a fresh glimpse of purpose.  It also validated my feelings  that life can be kinda crazy, full, mundane, and/or stressful at times.  AND, the only reason we make it joyfully through our days is because we have a gracious and merciful God!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Know what to let go of

This sounds silly I know. But I have lately been processing the things that I have given up or let go of in order to relocate my life. (aside from friends and family) Can you believe the things I miss are: commet that I cleaned my kitchen sink with religiously, my big sink that I could clean my refrigerator in, refrained beans, and my own home made mosaic tables. I had no idea that these things made up part of my identity. I mean, I knew they were a part of who i was but I didn't realize that with out them in my surroundings i would feel less known. I know for a fact if I went "home" to these things I would not be happier, in fact there is someone else living in my house, gardening my garden and mowing my lawn. So it's not even really worth thinking about;)

This week the new thing of my past that I am faced with letting go of are my cloth diapers.( I know silly right) I have loved my cloth system back home and even found it a joy to endure the hard work. I had brought my cloth diapers with the intention of using them and instead have offered them to a friend here. As I pack them up I keep postponing the drop off day. What if I want to use them again? What am I like 15 that I can't just let it go, I mean they're diapers, they hold poop. But the reality of my procrastination goes way deeper then the idea that I might use them again one day. It just another part of me to let go of.

As I come away from processing this my hope and prayer is that the Lord will build a new me. A stronger me that depends on Him for my identity as well as a humble me who isn't known by things that so easily parish or can be sold for mere dollars or euros.

Lord, this is your work in me. Freedom to become a new person in any season of this life. You will constantly change who I am in order that I might serve whoever surrounds me. I am not me, I am You.

May Jesus reign in you

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Valuable Curse

So this story goes way, way back.  Perhaps a whole decade.  When I was in High School I remember coming across Genesis 3 where God lays the 'curse' before Eve.  He tells her "I will greatly increase your pain in child birth."  I was both terrified and intrigued by this response from God.  He could have cursed Eve with anything, but He chose to curse her experience in bringing life into His world.  The ONE thing she was 'called' to do, "be fruitful and multiply."  I have always wanted to embrace this curse with her.  Knowing that there must be something in it to learn or gain from in my relationship with the Lord.  The One who had reason to put it on me.  He must have had a plan in it, God doesn't do ANYTHING without a plan.  So I determined to do it from that moment on.  
A few months ago as Troy and I were preparing for our home birth he asked me if I was sure I wanted to have this baby at home and what value does it hold.  In response I said "I'm not sure if there is any value in it, but if there is I most certainly don't want to miss it."  He said, "fair enough I will stand behind you and beside you through it all."    
To make a long story short, little Kaleah was 3 weeks late and therefore my 'home birth' plan was looking like it was not going to become a reality yet again.  So, on Feb 18th Troy and I headed for the hospital to be induced.  After 16 hours of labor and in the middle of the night I found myself mulling over The Curse.  With every contraction that seemed to take my breath away and threaten breaking my body, I thought 'O God what a curse, this will be my death." then I heard it, the promise, 2 Tim 2:15 says, "but women will be saved through child bearing-- if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety."  It was like God said to me "yes, this will be your death, but I have saved you; you Michelle have faith in Me, and in you, Michelle, dwells My love. You will see My Holiness overcome you as you trust in Me, I will save you."  So I pressed forward through the pain and the fear. This is the value I found...that at the point of no return it happened, my body...laid there cursed, but suddenly life lay there before me.  I have never seen with my eyes the perfect picture of grace until that moment.  My God, who laid the curse on me, was there to replace it with life.  So we welcomed little Kaleah Pearl Pitney with a benediction for her middle name.  Pearls; they come at great cost and with unfathomable pain, but they are so worth it.  There is always value in pain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fortress "Tower"

If you look up Fortress in the dictionary it will tell you 'Fortress' means a place that has been strengthened against attack.
I have to admit I'm growing a little fearful of baby #3 coming.  There are moments of my day that I find myself fully engaged with Khoen; teaching or instructing, at the same time Fletcher might need a word of discipline and countless minutes of follow through.  The thought races to my mind 'how will I ever manage a third?'  This morning as I was praying through this the Lord gave me a picture of Himself as my 'Fortress'.  He became a Tower for me to run into.  You might be thinking "oh yes, I know this song."  But today was the first time for me that I found things inside that 'tower' just for me.  I know your dying to find out what I found in that tower...  
I found safety from the wind of chaos
More ammo to fight the enemy who lies to me
More grace to respond to my kids and the other demands on me
More energy to stand on the foundation of Truth
More creativity to lead my kids with
More encouragement to pick me up
and silence to meet with my King...
Oh it was a good morning in the Fortress of my King who then lead me to the passage in Psalm 18:

'I love you, Lord;  you are my Strength.  Lord you are my rock, my Fortress and my Savior.'

This tower behind us is strong, it has been standing for 1100 years.
But my God is stronger, and He will stand forever!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Khoen the English sheep

So we live in a tiny village of maybe 400 people, and there are 2 churches. Of course. The catholic and the evangelical. We go to the sweet evangelical and are immensely enjoying it. It is the smallest church I've ever seen, and we don't understand more then a few words:) Anyway, khoen was invited to be in the Christmas play as a sheep. Truthfully I didn't know how he would do, he's never done anything like this before. We kept telling him he was going to be a sheep and that week we spent our "school" time talking about sheep and shepherds looking up various scriptures and telling him over and over that we are sheep and Jesus is our Shepherd. Well, when your american and move into a very small village your the talk of the town, unfortunately. So the week after the play after church a women came up to us and said, how wonderful khoen was and that everyone in town is talking about the "English sheep" we think its hilarious and odd, but I think they are starting to really embrace us into their family, which means so much to us. Now khoen goes around the house hooking Fletcher or daddy around the neck l Ike a shepherd and says " follow me". It's really sweet