memory lane isn’t always pretty

The time I was small, living in Allentown, going out to play with the neighbor kid, walking up town to move through streets and allies and secret pathways behind houses, to climb to the top of the parking garage at Hess’s.

How old was I then? Ten? Twelve? I can’t remember. How long were we on our adventure? Hours? Mom said to go play. Didn’t she? When we came home, the front door of my house was locked. I rang the doorbell. Over and over. She didn’t come. She wasn’t there. Not home. Where was she? I sat on the front steps waiting. How long? Was she ever coming home? Was this the last time she would leave? Was this the final exit?

I’m sure I cried. I’m sure I cried until she returned. When she finally did come home I cried, “Where were you?” “I went to Nanny’s. I called for you, but you didn’t answer. And I got tired of waiting for you. Maybe next time you’ll tell me where you’re going.”

Are these memories even accurate? They’re 40+ years old. Can anything that old even be true anymore?

The real frustration now is these memories are 65+ years old for her. When I try to talk to her about this stuff she just says she doesn’t remember any of it. How convenient for her to have forgotten.

What am I looking for? Hoping for? Oh boy. A simple “I’m sorry. I know I could have done better. I did the best I could.” But it’s the same every time. Laughter. Brushing off. Changing the subject.

So I laugh too. What else can I do? I can’t make her change. I can’t make her into the mom I wish I would have had. She’s the only mom I have. We get along because I know how to handle her.

But getting along and handling are so much less than what I always craved. Unconditional love.

How did I get here? Why is it hurting me so much now? It didn’t matter for so long. Why now?

That is the $64,000 question.

His… Michelle

Linking with Kelli.

He is everywhere

Psalm 139:7-10
Where shall I go from you Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

God is everywhere. He is always watching. Always with me and in me. I am never alone. His right hand will hold me. Jesus is at his right hand. He is his right hand man. Jesus is with me and holds me.

I can go through my day with confidence in the One who is always at my side leading me with his right hand. It is always there for me to grab onto. Even though I let go and do scary things or make wrong turns, I need only look to my left to grab back hold of his right hand for safety. He is always there. He is my security in a world of insecurity. Even when no one understands me or loves me, God does. He made me. He understands me better than I do.

Oh dear God, thank you for your unfailing love. I love you so much but don’t understand how to love like you. I react to things out of fear and anger which lead to unloving solutions. Thank you that you are not like me. That you loved me first so I could be free. Help me to always reach out for your right hand because I know you are always there waiting for me to grab hold. Forgive me for letting it go so often. I love you so much Jesus. Amen.

His… Michelle

Linking with Kelli 4 Unforced Rhythms.


He put a dream in my heart

I can’t stop thinking about Mercy Ships today. Well who am I kidding? I think about them nearly everyday. I left a piece of my heart with them. I’m praying about them. I don’t think I am done with them yet. From this side of the Atlantic or that side. I sent an email of inquiry to see if I might be able to go back next year. We shall see what the Lord has in mind. After all, He put this dream in my heart.

In the meantime, I want to share with you my dream of riding my bicycle to raise awareness and money for surgeries on the ship.

My journey with Mercy Ships began in 2011 when I applied to volunteer on the Africa Mercy, a non governmental civilian hospital ship that provides surgery completely free of charge to the poorest of the poor in West Africa.

After being accepted, I spent 10 amazing months working in the operating room in the West African nations of Guinea and Republic of Congo. There isn’t enough space here to describe how awesome it was to see the lives of so many men, women, and children transformed by the smallest gestures of love and acceptance, life giving, and life saving surgery.

In the process of moving overseas, I sold my car. When I came home, I decided to buy a bicycle for transportation. Then I decided to get fit on the bike as well. Then I thought, why just ride for the sake of riding? Why not ride for a cause?

So this year, I’m going on a crazy missionary adventure from Key Largo to Key West, Florida. I’ll be riding 216 miles round trip over 4 days from Key Largo to mile marker 0 in Key West then back to Key Largo to raise awareness and support for Mercy Ships. This ride will take place from 11/10/14 through 11/13/14.

The goal? Raise lots of money to help offset the cost of the many surgeries provided on the ship during each field service. Each surgery costs anywhere from $250-$750.

So how is this going to work Michelle? Good question!

I would like you to sponsor me for one mile of my journey. If you choose to sponsor mile 1, you donate $1. Mile 33, you donate $33. Mile 201, you donate $201. Get the idea?

Then I would like you to share this with everybody you know and spread the word about Mercy Ships.

Want to ride along and raise money for Mercy Ships too? Great! Join my team!

Want to participate, but don’t want to sweat on purpose? I understand. I could use someone with a vehicle to carry supplies. Contact me!

Know someone in the Keys with a couch or floor to crash on? Fantastic! Send me their contact details.

Most importantly, pray for safety, amazingly good weather, and lots of folks to hear the story of Mercy Ships!

All the money raised will go to Mercy Ships. Every. Single. Dollar.

Please join me for this fantastic trip! And thanks for your support!

4 days. 216 miles. 4 Mercy Ships.

His… Michelle

Linking with Kelli 4 Unforced Rhythyms