Soul Relationships

Write Anyway

I read a post today by a blogger I follow in which she gives the advice to ‘Write Anyway,’ even when we don’t feel like it. Or when we feel like our words are unoriginal. Or when we feel like we have nothing left to contribute.

Write anyway…

The writer offers several suggestions on what to write about, one of which, I’m going to write about here today…

Write about something that feels like it pulverizes your heart.

Many of you may, or may not, know that I’ve been going through a very difficult time in my personal life right now. If you follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), you’ve likely read any one of my posts and thought to yourself, “Hmmm…there’s something not very ‘Michelle’ about that.”

See, I’m a positive person by nature. I’m typically ‘glass half-full’ and an optimist. However, that’s not where I’m ‘living’ right now. Right now, I’m living in a place of hurt.

Without going into a ton of detail here, my heart has been pulverized.

My heart has been ripped out of my chest. Thrown on the ground. Stomped on. Annihilated. Pulverized.

By lies. By deceit. By intentional withholding of crucial information. This information (and the lack thereof) caused me to make some HUGE life-changing decisions, that I would have made differently, had I known.

All by someone whom I trusted very deeply. I’m finding out this person was not worthy of my trust and loyalty.

If it were just me that it affected, it would be a different story. But, it involved my kiddos too. And now I’m angry.

I’m angry at myself for allowing this to happen.

I’m angry at the other person for doing this. For making the choices made.

My heart and my soul feel parched. Devoid of feeling. Vacant of life.

I found this on Pinterest last night and shared it with a friend and it is so accurate of how I’m feeling right now.

I am awesome at putting on the ‘tough girl’ facade. But I’m hurt and broken and my heart has been pulverized.

I need a friend. Someone who isn’t going to betray me and my trust and my loyalty. Because make no mistake about it, I am loyal. As long as it’s reciprocated.

I need a friend. Someone who I can trust. Implicitly.

I need a friend. Someone who will not further break me. Because I’m tired of being broken.

I’m looking for beauty in the world and something REAL in life that I can cling to. Something genuine. Something without pretense. Something that doesn’t make me want to lick a razor blade. Something that makes me want to be a better person. Something that makes ME better. Something that leaves a legacy for my children.

I don’t want to hear you tell me about how you have all of your shit together. Because the truth is, none of us do.

I don’t want you to try and impress me with your well-put-together appearance.

I want to hear about your brokenness.

I want to know what makes your heart feel pulverized.

Show me how you are genuine.

I want to see you on your worst day, so I can see that you fall apart too sometimes.

Because transparency is what makes you relatable. And real.

And I love REAL.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Soul Relationships

Do Life Big

Happy Thursday, y’all…

Jamie Grace, one of mine and my daughter’s favorite Christian female singers, has a song called “Do Life Big.” You can listen to it here: Do Life Big. This song came to me this morning. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it, but when I did, it spoke to me.

The first words she belts out in this song are: I gotta slow down…stop for a second, take a look around.

slow down…

s l o w d o w n…

s  l  o  w  d  o  w  n

I’ve been living in a state of semi-panic and high anxiety for about 4 months now. October 20, 2016 forever changed my life. I mean, this day and all that it held ROCKED my world to its core. Those details are for another day, perhaps…

Do you know what happens physically, when you are under a lot of stress and anxiety? You lose hair, by the handfuls. It takes allllll of your brain power to do simple tasks. You can’t enjoy living ‘in the moment,’ because you are perpetually concerned for what the future holds.

Yes, I understand, as a Christ-follower, worry is a form of disbelief. You can’t have worry and faith in the same breath. I get it.

In this song, she also says “I gotta take time to hear that little voice inside, saying I came to give you life. So spread your wings and fly.”

See, this stress and anxiety and semi-panic are not the life that God imagined for me…or for my children. Because let’s be honest, they are also deeply affected by the events of October 20.

In John 10:10, we find the words of Jesus, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

The next lyrics hold the key to my ability to change my mental focus and energy.

“I’ve got a secret to share. You are enough to change the atmosphere.”

This is it. This is the reminder I needed.

I am enough to change the atmosphere…

…in my home

…in my classroom

…in my circle of influence

…in my personal space

I am enough to change…


…my outlook

…my perspective

…how my kids see me

I am enough.

I. Am. Enough.

I am enough, just as I am.

A dear friend sent me a message yesterday that said, “You are significant with or without a significant other.”

This is me, preaching to myself.

Make it an AWESOME day, folks!

Spread your smile.

Spread your sunshine.

Spread kindness.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Link-Ups, Soul Relationships

What’s Your Season?

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.


Ahhhh, spring.

I love this time of year. The weather begins to get a little warmer, the flowers begin to pop up from their winter slumber, and new life is forming

Have you ever had a particularly rough season in your life? Like the seasons of the weather, seasons in our lives come and go. And most of the time, we are able to learn a lesson or two.

We know that there is a purpose for every season of life, season of the weather, season of marriage, season of parenthood. Each season has its own intent.

My husband and I love the fall. We love the changing colors, the cooler weather and, of course, football! We love the fall so much, in fact, that we chose to get married in the fall. We made the decision to have a small outdoor wedding with only our parents, our children, our siblings and their children.

The rainbow of colors on the trees, the green grass, and the brown fields served as the backdrop for our intimate ceremony.

Our fall nuptials led us right into the holidays and the winter season. I love the winter season, for different reasons. Sometimes, I feel like I should have been born a bear. I love the cold weather for hibernating. I love the smell of hot chocolate and the feel of the brisk air on my cheeks.

The winter was a tough one for us. We faced some challenging circumstances with one of his older daughters. I had a battle with my son’s father looming in the not so distant future.

And then there’s the fact that I wasn’t working. Which was a blessing in itself; however, from the time I was able to work at age 16, I’ve always had a job. I had tied my worth to my monetary contribution to the house, therefore, I was feeling pretty insecure.

Through each season change, I’ve seen God’s faithfulness demonstrated. I feel Him bring the chill of the colder weather so we can all experience a season of rest. I see the new life that is coming around the corner with the spring.

I know that each season God has me in serves a purpose. I know that the grey winter, filled with challenges, sets me up for His blessings of the spring.

But the spring is all the evidence I need that God hasn’t given up on His creation yet. This is the season of beginnings, fresh life, and new experiences.

For me, this spring is helping me to lean into God’s light. I am ready to leave behind the darkness and struggles of winter and look to the promises of spring.

I am ready for a season where my husband and I grow together, toward Christ, rather than apart. I’m looking forward to the longer days, filled with more light. Days spent outside with our children, forming new bonds based on shared experiences.

This will be my first summer as a mom without a full-time job. This summer will be a season filled with many firsts. The long summer days that bleed into the warm summer nights will afford my family opportunities to create new memories.

Memories of seasons with life-lessons and love set to the tune of the cicadas in the trees and the smell of burgers on the grill and s’mores over an open fire.

Recently, a dear friend explained seasons of life and God’s priorities to me in this way: an idea, action or priority can’t be judged by one season our your lives. The essence of who we are can only be measured at the end when all the seasons are up.

If we give up when it’s winter, we will miss the promise of our spring, the beauty of our summer, and the fulfillment of our fall. We can’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy and pleasure of the remaining seasons. We can’t judge life by one strenuous success or formidable failure.

We must always persevere through the difficult times and know that pleasant times are coming. Leave the rest to our Creator and He will show us our priorities if we seek Him through His word and prayers.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Soul Relationships

Hard Lessons Learned

Happy Wednesday dear friends.

After driving for 22 years (you can do the math on my age), I can proudly say that I’ve never locked my keys in my car.

Until this morning.

I went into the kids’ school to talk party stuff. Tomorrow is the big Valentine’s Day class party. I chatted with a few other teachers and was headed out the door.

Until I heard my daughter crying out to me from the front door of the school. I was *almost* to my van. She informed me that she needed money for the book fair today.

So, I did what every good parent does. I grumbled under my breath the rest of the way to my van, got my wallet, and grumbled the whole way into the school. Once there, I discovered that I had a five-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill. No way this could be split equitably between two kids.

I stopped in the office, knowing they must be tired of seeing me already this morning, to ask if they had change. No such luck. My next stop was the book fair. I mean, after all, wasn’t the blasted book fair the whole reason I had to make a second trip into the school this morning? The least it could do for me is give me change for a ten-dollar bill, so I could split it evenly.

The volunteer working the book fair so kindly gave me 2 five-dollar bills and as I was leaving, two mothers from my daughter’s class asked what they could send in for the party tomorrow. Being so grateful for their donations, I shared with them what we still needed and continued on my way.

I made what I thought was my final stop in the school office, so they could deliver money to my children for the book fair. YAY!

As I’m just getting ready to walk out the door, I realize I don’t have my keys. Trying to play it cool to the ladies in the office, I’m all like, ‘oh gosh, I’m sure they’re in the van.’

I leave the office and walk out to my van. The walk, which normally takes 2 minutes tops, felt like an eternity. I was thinking to myself the whole way that I NEVER leave my keys in my van. Nor do I ever leave my van unlocked.

You’re a smart bunch of people, you’re my friends, after all. You know where this is going, right?

I get to my van, look in the window, and see that sure enough, my keys are in the van. In a split second, I look down and notice that the door is locked.


AWESOMESAUCE! I’m so loving my luck right now! I only had about a gazillion things on my mind for what I needed to accomplish the rest of this week.

See, my husband and I have been having some *ahem* difficulties with one of our children. I will NOT name names, but suffice to say, said child has had a little bit of an attitude lately. So, I’ve been thinking about ways we could improve things with said child.

We also have a legal situation with another child that is looming over us. I know that God already has that situation worked out for His glory, but hey, I’m human, right? And I can freak out and worry and stress with the best of them.

Also on my ‘list of worries’ is previously mentioned Valentine’s Day class party that I promised and swore to myself that I wouldn’t wait until the last. minute. to plan…but, well you know how that turned out.

Then of course, are everyone’s every day worries and concerns.




Weight. (I’m a woman, remember?)


All of these concerns and issues came together in a perfect storm to cause me to lock my keys (and my phone) in my van today.

When I realized what I had done, I called my husband from the school. I knew the odds of him answering the phone call were slim, for two reasons. First, it was an unrecognized number. Second, he was at work and I rarely catch him the first time I try to call. Typically, he sees my call and calls me back. I had to get my daughter’s iPod from her class to text him and ask him to answer my call.

He called a local tow company and they said they would be out as soon as they can. Y’all know what that means…

After waiting for over two hours, and many more trips to the office (I’m CERTAIN the lovely ladies in the office were really ready for me to go), they finally showed up to unlock my van. During this two hours, I endured multiple well-meaning individuals sharing with me how I might be able to avoid this fate in the future.

Also while waiting, not so patiently, for my rescuer to come, I did some thinking. I thought about how, when we are in the waiting rooms of life, we typically don’t wait patiently. Most of the time, we are trying to figure out how we can get out of our current situation as soon as possible, with the least amount of pain.

As I was waiting, it occurred to me that God might just want us to chill for a while…or two hours…

We might need to learn something in that waiting room.

Perhaps He is keeping us from something worse.

Perhaps He is keeping us from something better, simply because we’re not ready.

Perhaps He has us there because we are going to encounter someone else in that same waiting room and we can positively impact their life. Or vice versa. Maybe we need someone to be a positive influence in our life.

My point here is that, if I had my books or my laptop (or even my phone) with me when I locked myself out of my van, it wouldn’t have accomplished the same mission.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with reading or, in my case, writing, to pass the time, it would have distracted me from the lesson God wanted me to learn. The hard lesson learned.

That patience is a virtue. And one that doesn’t come easily or without cost. (To the tune of $68, as a matter of fact.)

One further point I would like to make is from a book I recently started reading called Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson. The subtitle to her book is ‘Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy.’ You can assume that this book was written to help free us from saying YES to everything that comes our way. Instead, we should select only those activities that He has called us to.

In her introduction, she says this, “Life is a gift. Time is a treasured commodity. When we open our hands and give what we have to Jesus–be it our moments, our gifts, our time, or simply room and space for Him to show up–we find life to be a sacred journey.”

This spoke volumes to me. When was the last time you had whitespace in your schedule? Whether it was for a lesson learned the hard way or whether it was to sit with your grandmother helping her figure out her phone–without having to rush to the next thing?

Either way, we all need to determine what our sacred YES is, so that we can truly be open to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Link-Ups, Series, Soul Relationships


Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the five minute friday community. But when I saw the word for today is ‘focus,’ I knew I had to share a few words with you all.

The premise for five minute friday is that you are given one word and you write for five minutes solid. No stopping…no correcting grammar. You can learn more here at Kate Motaung’s blog.

Merriam-Webster defines focus as: the subject on which people’s attention is focused; a main purpose or interest.

Focus is my word for 2016. I am going to focus more on what matters. I’m going to make my focus the intangibles of life.


As I sit here in Starbucks, I’m finding it difficult to focus on this post. It’s loud. No more are the days when you can sit in the coffee shop and have some elevator music playing softly in the background. Nope…now it’s loud…and distracting…and not relaxing in the least.

Aside from the music, it is FREEZING in here. I can’t even begin to relate to you just how cold it is. My fingers are having difficulty typing. Because my hair is pulled back today, my neck continually feels the breeze, coming from where, I’m not exactly sure. And I’m trying to get my hood to stay up, but it won’t.

It’s distractions like this that the enemy uses to derail our focus…our thinking…our attention. He wants to get us thinking about something other than God’s Word or His plan for our lives. The enemy wants to make us ‘busy.’ Because if he can make us busy, he can get us sidetracked in our goals and dreams.

See, that’s where I’m trying to focus more this year. How can I be a better steward of what God has given me? How can I focus more on what He wants from me and for me?

And a shiver just went through my bones. As I’m trying to get my thoughts in line. As I’m trying to decide the right words to say to you to help you find your focus.

Do you want to get in better shape?

Do you want to read more?

Do you want to earn more money?

Do you want to have more quality time with your family?

Then ask yourself this: is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW going to bring my desire into focus or will it cause it to be blurry? Will it cloud my vision? Or is it in line with my mission?