Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gone with the wind

Ecclesiastes 1: 14
" I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. "


Oh my goodness, I started to type this post a couple of weeks ago. I've been so busy, that I haven't been writing a lot lately. This topic came to me because, literally, from all of the wind we've had late in the winter and early this spring. Just when I thought the wind was dying down, it would pick right back up again. The linen bow on my front door wreath blew away a couple of weeks ago,so frustrating!! The temperature has been fluctuating up and down dramatically; hence the wind. Today is going to be in the 80's, and it'll be cooler again next week.

When I started to type this a few weeks ago, I was going to write about the Holy Spirit. I often think of the Spirit rushing down and through the house as a mighty wind where the apostles had gathered. I would love to feel the God's presence like that. Just to hit me like a great gust of wind that I feel around me all of the time. But unlike that moment in Acts (Act 2, to be precise), I don't feel God's presence rushing around me and through me like that. I long for it, but it hasn't happened for me like that. Sometimes, I feel God in a tender touch from a loved one or friend, I hear His still small voice when I pray, and listen, really listen for his will. Sometimes it's even in a flood of tears: tears of sadness, tears of relief. I still welcome that gust of mighty wind (blow me right over, Lord, I'm ready!!), but if I never feel God's presence like that, I still know in my heart that He is ever present with me. Thank you, Lord for never leaving my side.

Another topic came to me, though, through the wind, "Gone with the Wind". This has to be my all time favorite movie. I read the book too, years ago (sooo different than the movie). The character of Scarlett, though, is still the same. Scarlett is strong, determined, naive, smart, stubborn, headstrong, beautiful, flirtatious, and so much more. I wanted to be Scarlett!! Unfortunately, if you truly were Scarlett, you'd have to go through more than just a few cotillions and barbecues. You'd have to go through war, disease, death, loss, starvation and poverty. Do I really want to be like Scarlett? Unfortunately, we all have to endure hardships here on earth. Just like at the end of the movie when Melanie dies and Scarlett has her epiphany about how much she loves Rhett, these unbearable things we have to endure, mold us to be the people we are. If we cling to God and our faith in the midst of this kind of wind or storm, we will be transformed in His likeness, as we are promised. The promise is real, the promise is sure. The promise is Jesus.

Image result for scarlett o'hara
"Take your hands off me, you drunken fool."
(Photo found on Google Images)

I pray you have a great day today, enjoy it. And, I also, pray you have a good day again tomorrow.
"After all, tomorrow is another day"!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Madness!

Ephesians 4: 31-32
" Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. "


I don't generally think of myself as an angry person. But around 6:30 in the evening, after getting up at 5 in the morning and working hard all day long, when I have a 4 year old whining, my 15 year old stinking up my house fresh out of lacrosse practice and refusing to walk the dog, my 13 year old sleeping in her room, my 10 year old sassing me, AND my husband walking in the door and complaining about the condition of our house: I turn into Godzilla!!! Flames shooting out of my mouth, sounds emitting from me that bring terror to the hearts my family and perhaps even to a few unfortunate neighbors that might happen to be walking by. You get the picture, right?

Yup, that's me!!
I don't want to be Godzilla. I know how I should be behaving, I know that I am sinning. I know that it is not pretty, not acceptable, not right, not good, not proper, and most importantly NOT from God. And, the saddest part, I see my children emulating this behavior. Shame on me. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, Family. Lord, help me to put all of this anger aside. While some might even say, that I am justified, that they behave the same way sometimes, that doesn't make it right. It's still wrong. And while I still start my day with hope and joy and gladness in my quiet time, I need to remember to continuously ask God to help me guard my mouth, my thoughts, and my actions throughout the day. Can you imagine the example I am setting for my beautiful family, my neighbors, anyone within earshot??

Fortunately, verse 32 reminds me that I am forgiven. Even when I continue to stumble, when I seek forgiveness, I will find it. God is so good!! Help me, Lord, to be good, too!


I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Made in the shade

Psalm 121: 5
" The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; "


I love Psalm 121.  Verse one always been a favorite verse of mine.  The song Praise You in this Storm, by Casting Crowns uses Psalm 121: 1 in the chorus. I get emotional just thinking about that powerful song. Click on the link above and give it a listen to. LOVE IT! And by the way, that is so hard to do, praise God in the midst of our "storm". Did you lose your job? Are you going through a financial storm? Did you lose your home? Did you just lose someone you love, are you ill, is someone you love ill or dying? Some storms seem much bigger than others. But we are called to praise God through those times. Easier said than done. I am terribly guilty of worry and panic first, and then eventually I get to the praise part. Wouldn't it be better to go there first? Yes, Lord, I will praise you in this storm. As hard as it is, I know You are God, and this time of struggle is going to be used (someday, somehow) for good. Amen.

Speaking of storms, we had a snow storm last night. Just when I thought we were home free this winter from using any snow days, doggone it, we have at least one, maybe two. That's ok. I got to sleep in (I usually get up at 5 am, my daughter's alarm went off at 6 am), and I didn't even get dressed until after noon!! Whoop, whoop! I am looking forward to spring, however. Last week my husband bought me a new pair of sunglasses, and I can't wait to wear them. I'm saving them for the Blue Angels demonstration and the Boat show which are both this spring.

I recently found a new website for great new glasses and sunglasses. It's called Warby Parker and their new Spring 2017 collection is available today! Here are a couple pair of sunglasses that I'm loving.

I'm in love with these great tortoise shades!!
Marzipan Tortoise with Classic Brown lenses


Or, how about these cool blue sunglasses?
Durand Sunglasses in Deep Blue with Vintage Blue lenses

And here's something great, too, Home Try-On. Most styles are available to try-on at home FOR FREE for up to 5 days! You can select up to 5 frames to try-on at home (some exclusions may apply). You only pay for the glasses you keep. So cool.  

There are so many styles to choose from, you have to check them out yourself,
and yes, they have men's styles too!
Click on this link here- Warby Parker

Well, while I was writing this, the county called and schools are cancelled again tomorrow. I hope that means another morning to sleep in! So tonight, I'm going to be praying for spring to spring. I have some new sunglasses to wear!!

I pray you have a terrific Tuesday!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pinkaliciousness

1 Corinthians 16: 14
" Do everything in love."


And there you have it, pretty straight forward. Do EVERYTHING in love. This close to Valentine's Day, love is everywhere. But this verse isn't about an occasional, "I love you". This verse is about EVERYTHING. When we correct our children I know we are doing it out of love but, are we doing it in love? When we pay our bills? When we make a meal? When we say, "Hello"? "Goodbye"? Wash the dishes? Travelling to/from work? Grocery shopping with the kids...? I'm guilty. I am not doing everything in love. My motives aren't always love. Sometimes they are selfish, angry, panicked, defensive, exhausted, and downright foolish. I'm human, Lord, and I do things and regret things that I say and do, all of the time. I wish I would just take a moment, and remember the sacrifice, and the pain, and the true love given for me on the cross. He gave EVERYTHING, so I could live in love and be loved eternally. Thank you, Lord. I mean that, completely, in love.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating love. That's why Valentine's Day is a fun holiday. Let's celebrate love and the one's we love!! Here are some fun Valentine's gifts that I'm thinking about this year.

Cupcakes!! OMG, we have a La Cakerie opened in Bel Air. If you watch The Food Network then you must have seen Jason Hisely! He was a winning pastry chef on "Cupcake Wars", and took second place in "Sweet Genius". He's the owner, and head pastry chef of La Cakerie in Towson and Baltimore, and now Bel Air. A bonafide celebrity!! After reading my girls one of our favorite books this week, "Pinkalicious", we took a field trip to La Cakerie on Main Street in Bel Air, to see if we could find a pink cupcake. Of course we did! Here's my girl with her pink cupcake (and chocolate, we love chocolate!).

The pink icing was the first thing to go!

I also found these "sweet" t-shirts, I thought they'd make a great Valentine's gift!

                                                                                               



                        





















So fun!!




I found these pink tennis shoes at another store along Main Street. LOVE!!

Size 8, Honey!!
(These shoes are available at Urban Pearl)
Or just off of Main Street, my favorite store, The Pink Silhouette, carries Brighton jewelry which always comes with a heart. And, they have such fun clothes and accessories. Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Here's the back!!!
I think this is cutest top ever, here's the front...look at the back.


and here's some Brighton to brighten your day!



and these earrings, no hearts but anchors away!!



Right now thru February 14th The Pink Silhouette is offering 20% off in their store (some exclusions apply).Tell them Michelle sent you!!

I pray you have a fantastic Friday, and a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Money, worry, me?!

1 Timothy 6: 10
" For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. "


This final chapter in 1 Timothy is chock full of great advice about money and faith. Yes, you can have money...and faith. It's what you do (or don't do) with your money that is important. I wish I could tell you that I have loads of money, we give generously to all and, I don't ever worry about money. NOT!! I have ingrained in my Christian head that worrying about money, isn't Christian at all. But, I'm not so sure about that. I don't worship money, I worship the One True King, but I am conscious of the money coming in and going out (there is a LOT going out!) and, yes, I worry. I sometimes have to pray and refocus, because we are told, " do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. " (Phil 4:6), In Matthew 6: 25-34, we are told to be "do not be anxious about your life..."  I shouldn't worry about money, but I need to be conscientious, and deliberate in using it. Lord, help me to be a good steward of all you provide for me, when my mind wanders with worry about how I will pay my bills or give to others, help me to refocus in prayer with thanksgiving. " Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself..." (Matthew 6:34). 

We are entering an exciting chapter in my household. We have sold our home, moved, and soon will be building our "dream home".  We still have bills to pay, moving expenses, new furniture to buy, and money to save. It can certainly be overwhelming if you don't have a plan, and while it's still early in 2017, I now have a plan, thanks to "earnest". Earnest is an online, personal and student loan company based out of CA. They have products to help you to refinance your student loan or, personal loan products to help you streamline your debt. I gave some of my personal goals for this year to one of their consultants and I now have a plan in order to help me achieve some of those goals this year. What fun!! Here's my 2017 Money Saving Challenge, and I challenge you to join me!!


Your March, June, September and December will probably be a little different than mine. But consider getting a budget ready for 2018 in December. I pray today, that when you find yourself anxious, that you take a quiet moment and cast all of your anxiety on God, because he cares for you!!

Have a blessed Thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I heart you!

 1 Corinthians 13: 4
" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. "


This is the first verse of one of the most famous passages in the Bible about love. It is one of my favorite verses. I have some very personal reasons why I love it. I'm certainly not alone, though, because I'm sure it's one of the most read passages at wedding services around the globe. Let's stop and think about this verse in a different way today. A few years ago, I attended a women's conference at my church and one of the speakers used these verses in her talk. It really was profound what she said about them. Basically, she told us to substitute our name (ie. Michelle) for the word love; like this, " Michelle is patient, Michelle is kind. Michelle does not envy, Michelle does not boast, Michelle is not proud. "  Uh oh...I might be in a bit of trouble here!!! Lord, forgive me when I don't reflect you in my life. If I reflect you, then I am truly reflecting love. You, Lord, are love. Help me to be more like you, Lord, in all things, everyday. Amen.

I have love on the brain today. I'm just coming down from my last weekend high. I was high on love. I was pampered on Saturday morning, got to see my daughter perform in a chorale festival in the afternoon, and then after dropping the children at my parents house (thank you Mom and Dad!!), my husband and I zoomed off to the eastern shore to attend the charity event for my BIL, and then off to a wonderful hotel on the beach for the night (and of course there was delicious food, I LOVE me some food!!). Such a nice weekend, so full of love! Well, now I'm home unpacking again (yuck!). But that's ok, because Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air!

Here are some things I'm thinking about for a fun Valentine's Day...

- Brownies! You can't go wrong with chocolate. I've made 2 pans of brownies in the past 2 weeks (and I've eaten most of them myself). Here's a great recipe I've been using.

Tori's Brownies

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter                   1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups shortening           1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa                   1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar                      
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*
Cream butter, shortening, cocoa, and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla beat in until blended. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Carefully add dry ingredients to wet and mix until blended. Spread onto greased jelly roll pan. Bake 30-35 minutes.

Icing
1/4 cup butter
5 tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup milk 
2 cups powdered sugar 
1 tsp vanilla

 Melt butter add cocoa. Stir in milk and sugar (alternating). Remove from heat, add vanilla. Pour over warm brownies. Let set, and EAT! Yummy!!

-Hearts on doors. I saw this cute idea on FB yesterday. I heart it!! What a fun way to decorate and build up your kiddos (or get romantic with your hubby!). Every day, starting February 1st, put a heart note on the door of your kids rooms with some of the many things you love about them. So cute!

Valentine heart attack
Image is from this website (and idea for that matter!)
Skip To My Lou
I'm still on the lookout for more fun Valentine's Day ideas. I hope you heart these!! Let me know if you have a fun Valentine tradition at your house. Please leave a comment below, I'd love to share them with you. 

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fight, fight, fight!!!

Ephesians 6: 12
" For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. "


This weekend I, again, had the privilege of watching my brother-in-law take on ALS, head first. Almost literally this time because his charity, Ten Mile Miracle, held it's 3rd annual fundraiser, a Pro Wrestling event, Body Slamming ALS; and Tim, who has now been diagnosed with ALS for over 3 years, participated in the "Battle Royale" and was victorious!! Tim had a bit of an unfair advantage, though, he was victorious before he even got into the ring. His battle was already won, when our Lord and Savior died for him on the cross. Tim is a believing Christian. It is with this faith and assurance in victory, that Tim is beating the odds and able to raise awareness and money for his local ALS charity, Ten Mile Miracle. Tim's battle was won 2000 years ago, as was mine, and anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. It so simple, pray right now. Know that God loves you. Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness. Believe that through Christ we are saved, and receive Him into your heart. I pray that today, you can claim victory through Christ.  

Here are some pics from last weekends, " Body Slamming ALS" event.

Image may contain: 2 people
Here's a link to a great article by,Delaware Online.
(Photo by Steve Bernard)

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing
Did I mention the famous WWE/WWF Hall of Famer, Tito Santana, was there!!
Here's Tito and Tim!
(Photo by Steve Bernard)

...and this was Saturday!!!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting, people standing and outdoor
My SIL's and me. This was 1995...

























It was also a chance for my handsome husband and me to take have a little overnight trip. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, but who needs sunshine when you have good food??

Brunch at our hotel
We stayed at the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, it was wonderful!

This was mine...
Eggs Benedict, but served on a fillet of fish!!
Yum!!

If you'd like to make a donation to help those who are fighting their own battle with ALS, I encourage you to click on this link here, Ten Mile Miracle . ALL (100%) of the proceeds from these fundraisers go directly to helping provide for the immediate care of people in the Delmarva region suffering with this disease. Thank you for your support!

Have a blessed Tuesday!!




Thursday, January 19, 2017

The skin I'm in

Psalm 104: 15
"wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine and bread, that sustains their hearts."


Psalm 104 begins and ends with these words, " Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord. "  The verses in between, lists blessings and things that we are to praise and thank Him for. Some of these blessings I take for granted, for instance: " He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. ", I hadn't recently thanked God that Earth hasn't broken free from it's gravitational pull and started floating around in outer space. Have you?? There are so many blessings that we are surrounded with every day. Take a few minutes today to try to think of a few that you maybe even haven't thought of before. Like, "Thank you, Lord, that I only have to go to my neighborhood grocery store to get the food that I need for my family". Or, "Thank you, Lord, that my husband put gas in my van, so I can run the kids to school."  We are completely surrounded by blessings!! Look around you, and then do this: "Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord"!!!

A friend of mine started selling Rodan + Fields products in August. She is quite the sales person. She also is one of those people that is brutally honest, and doesn't have a filter. She wears her heart on her sleeve for sure, and she certainly has NO filter for her mouth! Because of this, though, when she believes in something, you have to believe her. Not only that, I have noticed changes in her complexion and, most recently, her eyelashes. I know it's because of these products. So, I took the plunge. I am now using Rodan + Fields products for myself (read "Ask her Grandma..." and you'll understand why!). I am using the Redefine regimen, and I love it! I feel it's purposeful skin care. Rodan + Fields was developed by 2 well renowned female doctors,  Doctors Rodan and Fields, of course! These same 2 doctors developed Proactiv. If you watch television, you've probably seen the commercials thousands of times. However, they wanted to develop an even better line of skincare for women (and men), like me. And they have. Originally sold in upscale department stores, they decided that women were hearing about these products more by word of mouth. So, Rodan + Fields hit the direct sales market, and women like me are not only becoming more confident and beautiful in their own skin, but they are becoming successful businesswomen as well.

My first time using Refine!!

Please join me in using these terrific products. Click on this link, https://shelleg.myrandf.com , and use the "Solution Tool" to find out what regimen will work best for you. All of these products offer a 60 day money back guarantee, so there is absolutely no risk. More importantly you are only risking delaying your best skin ever, by not trying these products. Just as a disclaimer, you know I don't usually write about things that I am selling. Quite honestly, I have never profited from writing this blog, so you know I must believe that what I'm telling you, I truly believe myself.

I pray you have a beautiful Thursday. And remember, "Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord" , in everything, today and tomorrow, too. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My jeans shrunk!

Hebrews 10: 39
" But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed , but to those who have faith and are saved. "


Perseverance is what this chapter in Hebrews is all about. You certainly don't want to be shrinking back in your faith, falling back into sin. Being destroyed doesn't sound like fun at all!! And so, we are to persevere! Paul also tells us "spur one another on in love and good deeds" (vs. 24). Paying it forward in faith and love, so to speak. I think that is something we should persevere in, loving and serving one another. Our promise is sure, we are saved by faith. Amen!!

I wish I could be more perseverant in my diet and exercise regimen, that's for sure. The only thing that has been shrinking around here, unfortunately, are my jeans!! At least I hope they are shrinking, otherwise I'm expanding!! I still don't have a scale, so I truly don't know for sure if I've gained a few pounds (or more!). But, I'm pretty sure by the way my pants are fitting that I probably have...wah, wah, waaahhh. Now that I'm 50, I really need to start putting my health and well-being nearer to the top of my very loonnnggg list. So, today's the day. I think we're pretty much done with the seasonal parties; I'm getting back on track. The simple thing that I started to do today, was to drink more water. I find that in these winter months, while I'm stuck inside, I tend to snack a lot. So, while I'm tempted to put those last few Christmas cookies in my mouth, I've decided to opt for my straw instead. And...I also decided to look good doing it, lol! I thought I'd be a lot more motivated, if my cup matched my outfit (I'm just weird that way, but hey, whatever helps you to persevere!!).

Here's my fabulous cup and my matching sweater!!!





I picked up that great anchor tumbler at my favorite local retailer, The Pink Silhouette, a couple of summers ago. You can pick up a terrific tumbler practically anywhere: the grocery store, the card shop, TJ Maxx, Target,Walmart, etc...  And, my "whaley" cute sweater, my hubby bought for me for my birthday from Talbots., they are currently having a "Extra"50% off sweater sale, through Sunday. I may need another cute sweater!!

Today, I pray you persevere in your walk, in your faith and in this life, for the promise is ours in Jesus!
 Have a wonderful Thursday.

Monday, January 2, 2017

My plans

Isaiah 55: 8
"  'For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ' declares the Lord. "


Ain't that the truth!!! I think back to a project I made in elementary school where the teacher had us make a timeline of our lives. The good news is that in the last square of my timeline I'm an angel in heaven (whew!). The bad news for any of my children after my 2nd....not there, wasn't in my plan. In my highschool yearbook, I wrote in my senior write up that I was going to go to college and then I was going to be rich. I did go to college, but rich...not so much.  That was a good plan, wasn't it?? Oh Lord, I have had some pretty good plans in my 50 years of living. Why aren't my plans your plans? In my favorite Christian song, one of the lines is, " Sometimes I gotta stop, remember that you're God, and I am not". It's just that simple. I know I try to make sense of all the twists and turns that my life has taken. Most of the bad decisions have been through my impatience with God. If I stop trying to fix things and let God be God, somehow his plans will work for good. "God is good all the time; and all the time, God is good" ! Thank you, Lord, that even when I get in the way, your ways are meant for good. Today, tomorrow, and always let your ways be my ways. Help me to be submissive to you, even when I think I know a better way. You are the way, the truth and the life. Amen.

I have had a bad cold since Saturday. It started off as just a little sniffle on Friday, but by Saturday morning I was full of congestion, and runny everything. Yuck! I have been trying to pull myself together, because believe me, moving waits for no man (or woman with a bad cold). We are trying to make this time of transition a time of organization for our family. During our renovating and selling process we packed up a lot of stuff and put it in storage. Our goal now is to go through said "stuff" and purge the heck out of it. Double yuck! My beautiful, big new townhouse, looks like a storage unit...with a really nice kitchen and a walk-in closet (lovin' me some walk-in closet!!). So, I ask for your prayers while we go through this process. Some of it's easy, but a lot of it's just so overwhelming. I can't wait to share some pics once we get things pulled together.

Here's a pic of me Friday morning...I haven't worn make-up in days and this was the beginning of the yucky stuff, but I'm keeping it real. And, you can sort of see my great kitchen in the background!!


Happy January 2nd!!