The Details

After Africa, I came back to Florida. I wanted to live close to at least one of my kids. My #2 son is in Gainesville. Then, oh joy, my #1 son decided to move back too! And it was good!

But then, as with all things, the shine starts to wear off. The daily grind sets in.

I live by the beach, but I never go because I’m busy doing other things. I don’t get to visit my #2 son as much as I want because he’s still 4.5 hours away.

Pretty soon I’m dreaming of moving on. But I don’t want to leave because both kids are at least in the same state as me. There’s no point in changing hospitals because I feel like I’m working in the best hospital in the region. It is what I do, it isn’t my whole life.

Then I start praying without praying. Hoping one of my kids, or ideally, both of my kids will want to relocate because if I’m going to leave my job, my friends, and the beach, I better really leave.

Last week, I learned my #1 son’s job didn’t work out. Again. Suddenly, we’re dreaming together about what to do next. He can’t find a decent job. I have a portable job. I ask him where he would go if he could go anywhere. He chooses Arizona based on me telling stories of the time we visited when he was tiny. I tell him I’ll get a travel contract in Arizona if he wants me to. He’s like really!? I’m like yes!!

And BOOM! “Out of the clear blue sky” an idea, a vision, a dream becomes reality!

I’m so excited!!! My #2 son is thrilled and excited for us! He can’t wait to come visit us! And I will hope, dream, and pray for him to join us next year!

Now we dream and plan for our departure which, God willing, will be in July!

I’m so thankful to God for hearing my thoughts, hopes, dreams. For the amazing family ministry he’s entrusted to me. That everyone I know is excited with us!

Happy Wednesday!!!

Thankful to join #TellHisStory, Three Word Wednesday

Advent_December 20

Prepare the way of the Lord. Pave the way.

I want to be a way paver. In all I do, I want to direct people to Jesus.

That neighbor I told you about on Tuesday? I put a card in his door to encourage him. It said ~

“You aren’t equipped for life until you realize you aren’t equipped for life. You aren’t equipped for life until you’re in need of grace . In the moment of realizing your limitations, your shortcomings, your inescapable sins, all that you aren’t in that moment of surrendered lack, you’re given the gift you’d receive no other way: the gracious hand of an unlimited God. Repentance, turning around, is the only way to be ushered into grace.” Ann Voskamp

I read this and thought of you. If you ever want to talk, I’m here.

He left that morning and didn’t come back for 2 nights. I prayed for him.

Thursday morning, I looked out my window and his truck was there in the parking lot again. Thank you Jesus.

When I got home from work Thursday night, I made myself a tuna salad sandwich, downloaded A Charlie Brown Christmas, and settled in for the night. My doorbell rang. It was my neighbor coming to say thank you, to share his story of struggle, to thank me for reminding him that God is with him, to have hope. The struggle is real, but so is the hope. I reminded him again how much God is for him. He sent Jesus to die for us. The greatest gift ever. He might have to move away. We exchanged phone numbers. He hugged me as he walked out the door. Before he went, I invited him to come to Christmas Eve service with me and the little kid. He said yes.Thank you Jesus.

Yesterday I delivered another card with another message of hope and encouragement. Last night I got home, pulled out chicken tenders, downloaded A Christmas Carol, and settled in for the night. My doorbell rang. It was my neighbor coming to gift me with some pizza, huge smile on his face, he leaned in, kissed my cheek, said see you later. Thank you Jesus

I am a way paver. Thank you Jesus.

His… Michelle
Philippians 1:20

Linking @ Spiritual Sundays, The Weekend Brew

victim or survivor?

After the very hard words of yesterday, I think I should write about something less intense today.

All this soul searching, examination of the past, has me thinking I should do something with my life, something honest, helpful, beyond nursing in the operating room where one moment the patient takes a five minute glance at you and the next is under general anesthesia.

A little over a year ago, the Lord impressed upon me to stop being a victim, to start being a survivor.

To be a victim is to stay stuck in the hole of despair.

So I chose to be a survivor. I’ve been working that out ever since. What does being a survivor look like?

It looks like honest reflection of a past that cannot be re-done. It is realizing I am more than the sum of my past mistakes. It is putting all my trust and faith in the One person who loves me, forgives me, has mercy on me.

I am a survivor — of various types of abuse, addiction, self injury, hard knocks. I want to help other women who’ve experienced similar injuries to stop living as victims, to become survivors.

What is this going to look like? I’m not entirely sure. I’m thinking of an online support group to reach as many as possible, Christ centered, Bible based, a place to lift each other up with prayer, encouragement, with real life coordinated get togethers/retreats thrown in.

Why? Because I can’t seem to find anything that is just right. I used to participate in Celebrate Recovery as a group leader. It was wonderful. But there are no groups out there that fit in with my schedule. Theirs is the model for what I’m thinking about doing because it’s really good.

I’m excited for this. I hope other ladies will be excited for something like this too.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

His… Michelle

Linking up with Unforced Rhythms, Salt+Light, #TellHisStory, and #ThoughtProvokingThursday.