Can you hear the Cheers?

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Enderby Cliffs 

 

A few years ago I went to a trusted counselor/prayer person with one of ‘those’ secrets. I was expecting quite the dramatic time of tears and vomiting, but no, a lights on and truth telling changed everything.

Here’s what she shared:

As one woven by our Creator, we are designed with roots of character that define us. What often happens is that darkness – choices – life’s events can take this God given root and twist it.

Here are some examples of twisted roots.

  • You protect those around you with your silence over challenging behavior. Could this be your God given root of integrity is gnarled.
  • You are bolshy and arrogant – has your root of boldness been twisted?
  • You fear confrontation and allow compromise. Has your root of being a peacemaker wandered?
  • You have a tendency to bully. But God’s plan for you was inner-strength.
  • God has created you with a sensitive spirit. A characteristic easily distorted as you become bothered about a person’s thoughts and opinions. Often becoming the fear of man.
  • You are created in His image. Circumstances have forced an opposite opinion of your character and your body image.

The God-given roots of your created character need the truth of God’s word and LOVE spoken over them.

Lord, for some of us, this is a lifetime of habits

We choose to partner with truth today,

Give us grace for ourselves and help us to stop being our own accuser.

Show us your truth; show us how to unravel lies.

Untwist warped roots into your created image.

Reveal in us our signature self – the person you dreamed up before the foundation of the world.

You promise LIFE ABUNDANTLY

Let us tune into the cheers of heaven today.

Amen.

 

You are loved,

Michelle xo

But blessed is the one who trusts in Me alone;

the Eternal will be his confidence.

He is like a tree planted by water,

sending out its roots beside the stream.

It does not fear the heat or even drought.

Its leaves stay green and its fruit is dependable, no matter what it faces.

Jeremiah 17:8

 

Joining in today with….

A Week in the Life of…

 

 

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We all have those fears that travel down the road of morbid forebodings, mine often dance darkly around car accidents. So when I received a call last week from my firstborn screaming that she had been in a car accident it would seem that what I feared most had come upon me. And then to be first on the scene and responsible for calling the emergency services.My mind quickly raced to my own accident when I was 17 in my little yellow mini, as I heard the same words ‘girls you were fortunate to walk out of this…’

All that to say I am SO thankful to God, for peace over the could’ve been, for angels and for praying friends and family.

And what I’ve learned again that even in my most feared situations there He is in the midst. The promise of God for ALL of us ‘Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear, Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted (Psalm 23 Voice)

There is one author of morbid forebodings. 

And One ever present in the reality of pain and difficulty.

This weekend I chatted a guy who found a beautiful salvation through Teen Challenge. I talked with a Mexican man who after being in Canada for two days, was on the number 10 bus and saw a service was on at Willow Park church, got off the bus and came in. The first people he met were Spanish speaking, naturally, because God loves detail. This man soon found himself wrapped up in the love of His heavenly Father and declared ‘this is my church.’ I found myself surrounded with many cheering that our Permanent Resident status is granted (thank you Canada) I spoke with friends who had been to the accident spot to give thanks to God for protection. We saw healings as those who attended Azusa Now shared stories of the event, years of pain subsiding, back pain eased, sensitivity to sound and light gone. FOR REAL.

I found myself surrounded with many cheering that our Permanent Resident status is granted (thank you Canada)

I spoke with friends who had been to the accident spot to give thanks to God for protection. We saw healings as those who attended Azusa Now shared stories of the event, years of pain subsiding, back pain eased, sensitivity to sound and light gone. FOR REAL.

We saw healings as those who attended Azusa Now shared stories of the event, years of pain subsiding, back pain eased, sensitivity to sound and light gone. FOR REAL.

And.

I looked into eyes of desperation and saw hope deferred making sick hearts cry for help.

I was reminded to consider it all joy whatever I face and to be content, to turn my eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face.

As we head into a new week I pray that you know love and grace poured into your soul,  that you know peace in the midst and his presence in every hidden space of your life.

Love, Michelle xo

P.S. Happy Birthday Mom. We love you! xx

Midday Baby Midday

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My Lent ‘fast from indifference‘ continues. Thank you for your brave messages and comments from my last post ‘Porn kills Love’ read (here) It is my most read and shared post.

Are you like me and see repetitive patterns of numbers? I see ‘33’ every. single. day and have done for 6 years. Alongside seeing it in time, it’s in my phone number… student ID… bank…you name it. Then there’s 1010.

Talking about numbers and times – I’m thinking 12. Or midday.

Last September Bobbie Houston urged friends on social media to join her to pray. She had read a New York Times article that had drawn attention to a ‘Theology of Rape’ being perpetrated by ISIS against innocent girls and the reality that the situation in these war torn regions of the Middle East was intensifying. The prayer initiative resonated and broadened to encompass the challenge of praying for misplaced people. The prayer hashtag #middayBABYmidday grew to include prayer for all people, the world, crisis, disaster, Middle East and refugees.

And now, at midday everyday all over the world there are waves of prayer ascending.

I see reminders as I scroll among the sunsets and the selfies #middayBABYmidday.

I see stories and lives changed as movements with feet on the ground rescue and change lives for good. A21 is an excellent example of a movement who believe human trafficking is modern day slavery. They state human trafficking fuels the growth of organized crime, undermining health, safety, security, and the basic needs of humanity. It is the fastest growing crime in the world. A21 educate potential victims, bring awareness to community groups, rescue victims and restore survivors.

 I was at my lovely hair stylists today. She’ll be giving birth to her first babe very soon – so we were excited to talk all things babies. We chatted about vintage cribs and sleepless nights and the gift of body pillows.

We then talked about pregnant women fleeing for their lives and how it is a reality for many and because we are worshippers and Jesus girls our hearts cannot help respond with groans for those fleeing who are heavily pregnant – those who don’t own pillows.

As we chatted I looked at the clock (just after) midday. And so it begins.

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From today my alarm is set.

I remembered reading a recent story of a Syrian mother who fled her home at 37 weeks pregnant, gave birth in Greece, and traveled immediately to the Macedonian/Serbian border. The story showed her with her 3-day-old baby who was getting treated for a skin rash by Samaritan’s Purse workers. Bobbie Houston writes ‘I can’t even imagine having to endure the last days of pregnancy and the early days of my baby’s life like this, let alone the unknowns ahead. Don’t know how to pray for? Find a story that resonates with you and START THERE’

Let us pray ‘Your kingdom come’ to this broken world.

I know, I know, we’ve got enough to think about, we all get caught up in our day, our lives, our stuff and often easily forget. But they are our family; I read ‘there is no such thing as other people’s children’.

Ready to set your alarm? Bobbie helps us with this prayer guide:

  • Pray for people who can literally give their time, strength and energy on the frontlines.
  • Pray for their safety and families
  • Pray that organizations on the ground will find the financial and human support they need.
  • Pray for the refugees and victims who are so desperately seeking a new life and home.
  • Pray that their hearts will not fail
  • Pray they will find strength to endure
  • Pray that their hope will not be disappointed
  • Pray they will discover that the world is still a magnificent place, that people are kind and compassionate, and that with enough encouragement and help, a way forward is possible.
  • Pray that refugees will miraculously overcome their trauma and move on
  • Pray that they can quickly assimilate into new culture and language
  • Pray for Governments and local communities to have the wisdom to know how to welcome and accommodate these displaced souls into healthy community.
  • Pray the church will rise to her calling and stature in this crisis.
  • Pray for those who are still under fire, attack and threat.
  • Pray many find Jesus in the midst of this exodus and crisis.

“…. and how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he is listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked is as good as ours” 1 John 5:14 Message

Today is shine a light on slavery day with the End it movement, read more here. ‘End it’ is a coalition of leading organizations in the world in the fight for freedom.

Today voices are raised.

Don’t forget to set your alarm,

Love, Michelle xo

We all remember that Miracle

 

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My Dad lay, in the deepest of sleeps, his breath rattling loose around his fragile frame. He was leaving us. Departing this momentary world. Many of those around his bed had been allowed their moment and I waited anxiously for mine. Even with ten of us around his bedside My Heavenly Father graced me my space. As I looked up to an empty room tangible peace invaded my being.

Just my Dad and me.

I looked down, one hand held a wooden prayer cross and I wrapped his other around mine.

I wanted to hold his hand as he was ushered in.

That smooth, familiar hand.

That had steered the truck to support our family.

That had betrayed…defended.

That held back screaming fans at the town hall.

That gave out aid in Croatia.

The hand that had surrendered to God.

 The miracle of his surrender made the redemption of God all the more glorious. We all remember that miracle – when God broke into the chaos, pouring rivers of living water and drowning dysfunction. Wherever the river flowed, transformation happened.

I said all I had to say; my throat squeezed tight, words finally filling my voiceless pain. He heard me, his frail, cancer eaten physical body slowly departing, but he heard me. Tears rolled down his cheeks and mine. Salt heals you know.

‘Well done Dad. Well done’

As a family we waited a few more minutes, holding every second dear, then we all gathered closer and held hands, tight.

Sounds never heard before, emotions never experienced. Then…the most glorious February sunlight shone through the hospice window, a new light.

Remembering you today Dad and so thankful to our Savior,

Love, Shell x

I pray for those of you in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, that you will not be overcome by fear.

I pray you will be reassured that He is with you in those dark moments and that He is near with protection and guidance.

I pray you will know His comfort. His presence. His peace. You are loved. Amen.

 

Porn Kills Love

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My thirteen-year-old daughter and I were chatting last night. She asked me if I knew that the same part of the brain that can be addicted to cocaine is the same part of the brain addicted to pornography. She then went onto tell me a few more facts about porn.

‘Where are you getting these facts Bella’?

‘Oh youth group, Joel did a talk on it’

I APPLAUD a youth group that addresses and educates our young people on the facts and effects of pornography.

I LOVE when I hear of our young people (male AND female) find a safe place and admit they have a problem – finding a place of support, accountability and grace with our youth staff and volunteers.

As many of my readers here are not in our youth group I thought I would share some facts that you might not be aware of.

As you know from my post yesterday I am committed to ‘fasting from indifference’ for Lent.

Indifference: lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.

Indifference is also inconsequentiality. Pornography is far from inconsequential.

Read on…

90 percent of all porn comes from the Internet, Tech blog Gizmodo puts the number of porn sites at 24.6 million, which is roughly 12 percent of total web sites. The University of Montreal study reports that boys start searching for pornography by age 10.

A University of New Hampshire survey of kids ages 10-17 found that 42% said they had viewed online porn in the past 12 months, and 66% of those said that they didn’t go searching for it in the first place. We are living in a digital age where the most hardcore porn imaginable is available for streaming 24/7/365 on a device that fits into our pocket. So even if parents have the most advanced filters in place, today’s teens will still have no problem accessing it if they want to.

How parents address this issue with their kids is based entirely on their parenting style. Parents should be teaching their children one important and fundamental lesson: porn is not sex. Pornography is a hollow counterfeit that resembles an outward appearance of sex but is the furthest thing from real intimate relationships.Nothing will diminish its presence in our technological world, but with an open dialogue and a scientifically backed perspective, parents of the Playboy generation can help their kids of the PornHub generation navigate the online minefield they walk through daily.

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PORN CHANGES THE BRAIN

Just like drugs and other addictive substances, porn floods the brain with chemicals, like dopamine. Over time, the brain gets overwhelmed by the constant overload of chemicals and starts to build up a dependency to pornography. As a result, the porn they were looking at in the beginning doesn’t seem as exciting, and many porn users go hunting for more porn or more hardcore porn to get the same rush. Eventually, the chemical release from regular healthy activities aren’t strong enough to register. This leaves the user feeling down or uneasy whenever they go for a while without watching porn.

PORN ADDICTION GETS WORSE & WORSE

The brain releases chemicals when it sees something shocking or surprising. That’s why frequent porn users often find themselves looking for more hardcore material. Also, because they’ve built up such a high tolerance to the porn they’ve been watching, many have to combine sexual arousal with the feelings of aggression.

PORN IS ADDICTIVE, LIKE A DRUG

Inside the human brain, there’s something called the “reward pathway.” Its job is to reward you when you do something that feels good by releasing pleasure chemicals. The problem is, the reward pathway can be hijacked. The way that substances like cocaine and meth make users feel high is by forcing the reward pathway to release high levels of chemicals, porn does the exact same thing. The surge of chemicals pulsing through the brain creates new brain pathways that will lead the porn user back to the behavior that triggers the chemical release. The more the user watches porn, the deeper those pathways are wired into the brain.

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PORN KILLS LOVE

In real life, real love requires a real person. Research has found that after men are exposed to pornography, they rate themselves as less in love with their partner than men who didn’t see any porn. On top of that, another study found that after being exposed to pornographic images, people were more critical of their partner’s appearance, sexual curiosity, sexual performance, and displays of affection.

PORN IS INSEPARABLY LINKED TO PROSTITUTION & SEX TRAFFICKING

Men who look at porn have been shown to be more likely to go to prostitutes, often looking for a chance to live out what they’ve seen in porn. In one survey of former prostitutes, 80% said that customers had shown them images of porn to illustrate what they wanted to do. Porn is also linked to the global issue of sex trafficking. Porn is commonly made of victims of sex trafficking and put online or sold to distributors. These sex slaves are drugged, beaten, and forced into doing porn. For porn users at home, there is no way to know the dark origins of the porn they’re watching. Clicking porn is directly supporting the demand for sex trafficking.

10 PORN INDUSTRY STATS THAT NEED TO CHANGE:

★(1) Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined. (HuffPost)

★(2) 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (WebRoot)

★(3) 34% of internet users have been exposed to unwanted porn via ads, pop-ups, etc. (WebRoot)

★(4) Porn increased marital infidelity by 300%. (WebRoot)

★(5) 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (HuffPost)

★(6) The most common female role in porn is women in their 20’s portraying teenagers. (Jon Millward. In 2013, Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn stars about various aspects of the business.)

★(7) Child porn is one of the fastest growing online businesses. (IWF)

★(8) 624,000 child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. (Innocent Justice)

★(9) Approximately 55% of teen girls living on the streets have engaged in prostitution. (Enough.org)

★(10) Child porn is a $3 billion industry. (TopTenReviews)

I hope this helps and offers a way to meaningful conversation with your children, teens, young adults, and others…be that person to bring up the conversation and help.

Let us take these facts and wrap them in the light – believing the promise that He came to give us abundant LIFE. I fully believe in the freedom that Christ offers to us ALL. No line crossed is too far. There is way back. I have seen many on this road find a place of healing and wholeness, of minds renewed, marriages restored and importantly a place of self-forgiveness.

Thanks for reading,

Love, Michelle

ALL facts and information were taken from fightthenewdrug.org an invaluable place for resources, blogs, honest stories and support.

Further posts:

An honest guest post on ‘a blog about marriage’

http://www.athingcalledloveblog.com/blog/5-ways-to-support-your-marriage-while-overcoming-a-pornography-addiction/overcoming-a-pornography-addiction/

Posts from young guys who are honest about their addiction

http://moralrevolution.com/8-things-i-would-tell-someone-who-is-struggling-with-porn/

http://moralrevolution.com/pornography-and-addiction/

 

Home sweet Home

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Day Five of 31 days of five minute free-writes.

Word prompt: Home.

I remember when we first moved to Canada and people would ask ‘does it feel like home’ I wrote about it here in my early blogging days…

Love the words of Madeleine L’Engle ‘We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where your home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity, that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.’

I glimpsed it even today.

Monday does that, being Sabbath all.

It was the silence.

The water, rushing, dancing over stones,

The dreaming.

I glimpse it

In authenticity at the table,

In the building and being,

In spontaneity and celebration

It’s in my people and those people,

It’s hearing

It’s seeing

With the sense of heaven.

I asked those under my roof the question ‘what does home mean to you?’

*My own bed. Family. Where memories are born. Familiar

*Closing the curtains. A blazing fire. Fire. Downtown abbey. The chatter of children in the background. Warm evenings on the deck. Watching the sunset. The hub of communication and well-being.

*A place to relax. To eat together. To play and to have fun. A place of love.

*Home is family.

*My happy place.

What a gift!

And then, one day…

I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…come further up, come further in! –The Last Battle. C.S Lewis.

Happy Day,

Love, Michelle

 

We are that Family.

Day Two of 31 days of writing. Word Prompt: Family.

11218918_10153328071359480_6088156165853711636_nI see my church family as a living, breathing organism with a natural rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, gathering and going out.

This week I have seen our young adult community gather close to mourn the loss of their friend Lauren. A bright light and Jesus lover, Lauren is remembered daily in our church family. They were reminded to – grieve with hope, stay close to each other and keep talking about Lauren.

Church family, it’s natural to be together as scripture encourages us. Inhaling, being close, filled up, worshipping and praying together and for one another AND exhaling going out to be light and salt to fulfill our calling.

Let’s not hide in our churches nor isolate ourselves. Let’s not add to our dysfunction with offenses and ‘not liking how things are done’ and the many issues that can distract from our priority.

Let the main thing be the main thing, knowing Christ together and sharing that with our community.

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Inhaling we live in fellowship,

Exhaling we release what the living God breathes into us.

Inhaling ask the Spirit to take control.

Exhaling we live in a place of confession and forgiveness.

Of letting go, releasing.

Breathe church family….

As God intended.

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I asked a few friends what (in a few words) ‘church family means to them’. Here are some responses…

*The book of Acts. Living it.

*A better family than the one you’re born with.

*Unity. One heart, one way. Corporate, powerful, effective prayer.

*Interactive , supportive , prayerful, “do life” together , beautiful and messy…

*A group of people bound together by blood and by love with passion for and dedication to the honor and growth of the family name and legacy. Every member with value, purpose and responsibility to the community.

*It’s the ones with the same heartbeat as your own. Ones where words are usually not necessary because there’s a deeper understanding and connection.

*Connection with people who know my story. People who will pray for me and stand by me, who accept me. People who are my tribe.

And this…being in a church family means you will never be lonely or as Psalm 68:2 puts it ‘God sets the lonely in families…’

See you tomorrow,

Love, Michelle

Goodbyes Come in Waves.

For everything that happens in life, there’s a season… Ecc 3:1

A few surprise Hellos this week.

The O’Boyles after 17 years! Missionaries for YFC who have lived in Cyprus, Dubai, Thailand and Denver – we got to hang out with this fabulous family and have Neil preach at Willow Park before they head back to the homeland. Neil is taking on the role of National Director of British Youth for Christ. Loved this moment of being their last stop before heading home.

Kande our friend from our hometown in UK who lives in Japan was visiting family in Kelowna this week. Kande looks as beautiful as ever! We enjoyed a lovely lunch and catch up.

Jolyon on business in Vancouver popped over to Kelowna. We love you Brother Jo.

And it’s…

Goodbye or an-nyeong-hi ga-se-yo to Chloe our 13-year-old student from Korea who has been with us for the school year. She has coped well with the Collins clan and leaves us with a good grasp of the English language, a love for Canada and a slight English accent.

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Goodbye to Emily as she heads off on the yellow bus to Watson Lake in the Yukon for a couple of weeks. Emily and a team from our church will be running a youth camp on a reserve, just 3 days North. Love your heart Emily.

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DSC09107Goodbye to Jessica as she heads to Green Bay camp on their discipleship training program for 3 weeks (a 20 minute drive over the bridge) Proud of you girl and remember Hawaiian Tropic Oil is not sunscreen.

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And now…

Goodbye to my friend Esther. The one who has been by my side here in Kelowna. She’s prayed for me, cried with me and laughed a lot with me. She has understood me (except for my texts) She’s watched my kids overnight when we have needed a getaway. What a gift you have been Mrs. P – Tuesday mornings will never be the same. Seriously – who will laugh so loud at my stories that Starbucks is bought to silence. As for Christmas Eve, I promise that the Collins family will take part in a pajama hunt in honour of the past few years.Your gift of leading us in worship has been beautiful, you and Chad have both been huge cheerleaders of Phil and I in Willow Park, we are so grateful to God!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Praying for you ALL as you head to Texas. You guys will be a gift to your community. Love y’all.

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Let us see the richness of ever changing seasons as God weaves these wonderful moments, we embrace them and are thankful. Even the goodbyes or should I say au revoir – until we see each other again.

May you know God’s love and presence this week,

Love, Michelle xo

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” Frederick Buechner.

Dear Church

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Dear Church,

It’s our 5-year Canniversary!

Yes – 5 years since we landed on dry Canadian soil and began the deep dig of calling this place our home.

Let’s backtrack because sometimes that’s necessary to bring the present into a healthy perspective, in other words ‘look how far we’ve come’…

The time up to our farewell was a frenzy of giving away, selling up and saying sad goodbyes – all woven with a divine thread of a call Kelowna and Willow.

It was over the Atlantic where the reality of what we had done hit me, not the best point as there was nowhere to run to, strapped into a tiny seat over an ocean. I remember Phil looking at me and knowing. That feeling lasted – my apologies to those who encountered me in the first while (a year or so…)

We landed in Kelowna, Me, Phil, and our babes Josiah (3) Bella (7) and Em and Jess (11) and as the warm air hit us at Kelowna airport – so did the welcome. Willow Parkers with gifts, flowers and all things red and white. We all smiled while Phil appeared presidential, shaking hands and kissing babies.

What a five years! I have climbed mountains, ran half marathons, faced bears, tripped over snakes, learned to slow, learned to cook, experienced new freedom and found the joy of writing.

It’s not been an easy 5 years, just because we are called doesn’t mean we are comfortable, because we live in the California of Canada doesn’t mean it’s all play and no work but this note is not about the challenges!

I think the beauty of calling is knowing that those around you are your tribe, whether they are like you or not and knowing that because you are in that place God’s purposes and plans are fulfilled.

Initially my expectations put Willow Park into a box. Don’t you find the expectations box can lead to disappointment, disconnection and distraction?

God is so kind and gracious and oh so patient with this girl who likes things in a certain way (almost ex control freak) I thankfully found my way out of ‘boxed in expectations’ and stepped into expectancy – an expectancy that keeps God in charge, that knows He keeps His promises and is always faithful.

I love all that God is doing in our community.

I have loved how you embrace the teaching on hearing God’s voice – and how you chase intimacy and desire to know His voice in your life.

I have loved watching so many of you experience Encounter God retreats – recognizing this is not just a weekend but living a life in the practice of confession, turning away from old habits and living in freedom.

You all know that our favorite meeting is our Willow One prayer. You are faithful pray-ers – keep on faithful ones. I am excited about Willow Park becoming a house of prayer.

The introduction of our Pursuit young adults service is a gift, and not just because I have a couple of young adults of my own…we will always be the biggest cheerleaders of Joel, Melissa and the next generation of our church.

I love how our doors have been thrown open to our wider community, please come and join me in the Hope Centre where the gospel is alive at the table over great food, where the gospel befriends and loves people outside of our church walls – let us become the centre of hope in our community.

Thank you for loving us and encouraging us – you have been super gracious to this English family and we are grateful…and a special thank you for loving this outgoing, introverted pastor’s wife.

Here’s to the next 5 years and beyond with you all, my prayer today is ‘may the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you’

Love, Michelle

‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’ Matthew 6:10

Beloved: Do you believe it?

Hi family, friends and readers from around the world. Thanks for reading! Here’s a snapshot of my week and some words of truth about YOU.

A week of being celebrated as a mother of this brood.

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Check out the best answers from the boy.
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Summer snow.

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We relocated the Robin’s nest as it didn’t appear to be the best place. Robin had other ideas and built another bigger and better nest, same area, slightly higher. (On a similar note, our immigration situation is ongoing. Thanks for prayers!)

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And our cutest new addition. Cloudy.

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A word I am carrying is ‘You are Beloved of the Lord’. Scripture is full of us children of God being addressed as Beloved of the Lord.

e.g“God’s beloved; God’s permanent residence. Encircled by God all day long, within whom God is at home.” Debt 33:12

Today I’m cheering each of you with this message. So, take a couple of minutes to hear this truth about YOU.

What does it mean to know I am ‘Beloved of the Lord?

It means I know who I am as a child of God. Knit together in my mother’s womb. Created with imagination and care. A piece of art, a poem. I am loved, favored. This is not some wishful thinking. Nor is it some delusion of grandeur. This is the truth of who I am as God’s child.

Henri Nouwen in his book Life of the Beloved writes:

“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.”

Love. these. Words.

Do you believe you are created for his purpose and his plans? That you are significant? That you have a God given voice, with words of a significant contribution to those around you, which is unique and only you can offer.

The person next to you cannot do what you do. Ah that person next to you. That one so easily triggers inadequacy – insecurity. Envy even…

I believe when we know our belovedness – these feelings will begin to disappear. Bob Sorge says this. ‘We need to find ourselves in Christ, when we learn the secret of living for an audience of one. Envy will no longer be an issue.’

God has named you, it’s time to let the thoughts God has of you define you, His thoughts are infinitely more important than what others think of you.

‘Let us live our lives you were exactly who Jesus thinks we are’. BG.

This truth is found in scripture, it’s found by being in his presence living aware of creator God, mindful of him. It’s no quick fix or 3 steps to ‘belovedness’ – let us allow ‘belovedness’ invade all we think, say, do.

Lets work together to break through oppression and lies about ourselves that life has forced, breaking off the stuff that keeps us down. For some of us it’s not breaking off it’s allowing God in. His embrace will break the anguish in you.

Or as Henri put it, “First of all, you have to keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: ‘These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.”

Praying this truth over you today,

Be.Loved.

Michelle x