Dear John, in this case Amelia

Dear John, in this case Amelia

It’s not you, it’s me.

My tattoos are causing quite a buzz in the bay area.  Your art is to be admired.  I’ve been asked on several occasions by people with awe  and longing in the their eyes, “where did you have that done?”  When I tell them Minnesota the tears stream from their eyes, loud moaning cries are heard for days and  I have become the grim reaper of their nightmares.

People living in Wisconsin can not cross the boarder over to Minnesota, for fear of …..for fear of……… oh heck, I don’t know…..Wisconsin natives are interesting.  For this reason and this reason only I am sacrificing for the sake of getting the world inked.  Or, at the very least getting some middle aged whiteys to come over to the dark side.   I have felt for days the pains of cheating on you and today is the day I have decided to come clean.  By the time you read this I will have already consulted with someone new.  It’s not you, it’s me.

I can’t take another second of the devastation and sorrow of everyone surrounding me  needing ink now but unwilling to drive 6 hours.

I know there will never be another you.  Since you are unwilling to pack up your entire life so that I can have just one more tattoo I have no choice….. So maybe after all it is you and not me.

I will always be thankful for the time we did have together.  Your art has made my pasty white skin an alive beautiful canvas that has opened up so many opportunities for rich conversations with others I may not have had otherwise.

I pray you recover quickly from what I anticipate is the worst moment of your entire life, losing me.  I am sincerely sorry.

Michelle

 

 

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Dear John, in this case Amelia

Dear John, in this case Amelia

It’s not you, it’s me.

My tattoos are causing quite a buzz in the bay area.  Your art is to be admired.  I’ve been asked on several occasions by people with awe  and longing in the their eyes, “where did you have that done?”  When I tell them Minnesota the tears stream from their eyes, loud moaning cries are heard for days and  I have become the grim reaper of their nightmares.

People living in Wisconsin can not cross the boarder over to Minnesota, for fear of …..for fear of……… oh heck, I don’t know…..Wisconsin natives are interesting.  For this reason and this reason only I am sacrificing for the sake of getting the world inked.  Or, at the very least getting some middle aged whiteys to come over to the dark side.   I have felt for days the pains of cheating on you and today is the day I have decided to come clean.  By the time you read this I will have already consulted with someone new.  It’s not you, it’s me.

I can’t take another second of the devastation and sorrow of everyone surrounding me  needing ink now but unwilling to drive 6 hours.

I know there will never be another you.  Since you are unwilling to pack up your entire life so that I can have just one more tattoo I have no choice….. So maybe after all it is you and not me.

I will always be thankful for the time we did have together.  Your art has made my pasty white skin an alive beautiful canvas that has opened up so many opportunities for rich conversations with others I may not have had otherwise.

I pray you recover quickly from what I anticipate is the worst moment of your entire life, losing me.  I am sincerely sorry.

Michelle

 

 

Spring Fling

It was the day before I was leaving to visit Sturgeon Bay, WI for the first time.  I read an Oswald Chambers devotional:

Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does.  If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty pod.  If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.

I then set off on my morning walk.  I was instantly STOPPED in my tracks when I saw this.

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I sat down right there and cried.

Let it be known …… I had become particularly wise during this season (in this little area).  James had already been to Sturgeon Bay at least twice and had been prayer-fully considering a call for what seemed like forever.  I changed my walking route to circle around in the community cemetery.  Exercise usually makes me cry anyway.  Add major life decision-making to it and it’s a recipe for public crying.  What better place to public ugly cry than in a cemetery?

Take any toddler on their worst tantrum day….and that was me during this call process.

I was tired

I was comfortable where I was

I had/have rock solid friends that I love, right there.  LOVE!!! We could meet for coffee face-to-face at a moment’s notice.

I was “kingdom building.” I had my ministries & knew my place in them

Kids.  This was the first call process that seemed to be moving in the “uprooting” direction that involved kids that were no longer babies but people.  People with opinions!

As I sat there open field to the left, cemetery on the right……………………………..

I cried.

I didn’t want to have to decide.

Then I walked home and packed my bag.

As it played out.  We moved.

Two years ago…..We had not even made it all the way across the bay on the steel bridge when I looked over at James and said………

“We are supposed to be here.”

That little sentence was significant for me.

I struggle with discernment.

Am I hearing God?

My own human desires

or…………the every annoying , distracting Satan?

I did not make the decision whether or not we dug in deeper in Glencoe or uprooted to Sturgeon Bay.

God did

He knows me so well.   He knew how incredibly difficult it was for me to uproot from where I had been planted for ten years.  He was clear about my future. He was about to fling me.

Like a toddler on the days we all brag about on social media.  I obeyed.

I’ve been restless the last several weeks.  Two years ago God  flung out a pod to produce fruit.   If a fruit stand were to open with my produce, would The Gardner stand back and sigh, “well done little pod?”

I reread the same devotion today.  Something different stood out.

“‘Though it tarry, wait for it.’ We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes it itself.”

I am still a sapling.  With a season opener in the distance.

Moving is Messy

Moving is messy. I expected it.  Yet at moments I’m still surprised by it.  And that, ladies and gentlemen,  may be the very reason God allowed my surroundings to spring forth from nearly every pipe, floor and as of recent my gas tank (which, if you ever need a gas tank replaced check the junk yard C&W in Sturgeon Bay,WI for a good price and jolly service!)

I gave myself permission to take up to three years to settle in.  About half way through I began to feel a sense of urgency to dig in deeper…… yet, I was unsure how or what that meant.  Well, cue the flood.  In some inconvenient ways water has dampened my spirits.  However in ways unexpected it became a flood of blessing.  Im choosing (at times minute by minute) to look to God’s word on the floodgates that were opened to pour out blessings vs the other flood reference that would put me smack dab in a big ol stinky boat.

From day one when the Uhaul arrived at 8th Place I wanted to invite everyone inside our fishbowl to see how the Rev and his family live.  As life went on and things got really messy we kept pushing our open house back.

Moving is messy but the Janitor of all janitors came in and scrubbed away the corners inside me that needed a little shine.  He didn’t let me set sail in an ark of stink……..even though there were times I felt like I had one foot planted firmly in the boat with just a toe teetering on dry land.  One night, while we were “displaced” and living in the local Best Western, it struck me that waiting until “everything was in order” was not gonna happen.  God didn’t allow Mary and Joseph to “wait’ until a room opened up in the Inn.  Nope! Jesus came in stable, which just so happens to resemble our bare bones kitchen currently. No facades. God called James (and I) to be real life living sermon illustrations. Lucky you …… you can learn from our mistakes

We opened up our house on pretty short notice and invited everyone and anyone in.  We now daily walk on our #subfloorscripture created by you.  The night of our open house I sat surrounded by a visual of the blessings brought on by God’s floodgate swinging open. I could of missed out had I set sail.

Although I feel we are cleaning up nicely from the previous move, we are still messy. We are human after all.

Dare I say……..Im hoping our next Godly lesson comes in a drier fashion.

 

Enjoy a small sample of our #subfloorscripture

 

Foreword

First, if a title is clever…..but you have to explain why it’s clever…..is it really that clever?

I have blogged a miniscule amount in the past. I titled them with flowery Christian words like beING Transformed or RedeeMEd but seasons change and so have I. Those titles are truth, but Who am I kidding? I have my moments where I appear like the woman at the well who was struck with clarity and went straight to Jesus not even considering what others thought of her.  She went boldly knowing she had nothing to lose and in awe of her gain.

However, there are so many more times when 99 sheep are following nicely behind the shepherd and you can bet that I am like sheep #100 – lost yet again. God uses the thirsty and lost in His book that leads to life and somehow He has me as an integral part of others lives whether I realize it or not. A puzzle just doesn’t seem complete with a missing piece.

8th Place is where the real me meets the me I strive to be. Since moving to 8th Place I feel as though my life is a living sermon illustration. Each situation that surrounds me here can go either way….good or bad God works it out for the good of someone. I’m guessing the someone is me but I’m open to sharing some of my real life  in case it’s for you too.  I do know typing it out helps me to process.  And some day when I’m old and my mind is not as sharp as my Facebook post led some to believe, this can spark memories and help me see how it all fits together for His purposes.

8th Place is not where I started, but just like the Old and New Testaments – past, present and my future will intertwine in time.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

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