When asked, "What would you do if you knew it was your last day?" The response around the table was universal and surprisingly simple. The answer was, "I would spend time with my family." In this way it is easy to relate with where we find Jesus during his last days on earth. He has arranged to have a meal with the ones that He is closest to. That meal has become famous and we know it as ,"the last supper."While it is not surprising where we find Jesus, it is amazing to learn what He is doing. John 13:4-5 says, "So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples feet, drying them with the towel he had around him." -What? Wait up...this is his last chance to..preach one more sermon, eat and drink to escape the the pain of the betrayal he know is coming, reveal the future, reminisce. When I get together with people that I know I have to say good-bye to for a long time I love to revisit the highlights of our time together. Jesus had amazing events that they could have reflected on. He could have said, "remember when I filled your boats so full of fish that they nearly sunk? or remember how I made lunch for the crowd of people with baskets left over?" No, instead of an ego inflating trip down memory lane Jesus gets down and starts to wash their feet.
The picture of washing feet was so powerful in Jesus' culture because it was something that was done over and over again. These men would think of this lesson whenever they entered a home and the servant washed the dirt off of their feet.In modern times this would be like removing your shoes at the door. My friend Carinn tells a charming story of her Grandfather. In his home you walked into the door and removed your shoes by his desk. As a child she remembers him sneaking candy into their shoes to be discovered when it was time to go home. God promises to do this for us too. Serve others, offer forgiveness and you may just find candy in your shoes.
"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Ok so I know it is February, but January was a blur as we added a teenager to our family through an exchange student program. I am just getting to my entry about "Dressember", sorry about the wait.
raised in the 2014 campaign!
One of my favorite phrases on Dressember's website says, "Women who are locking arms to face one of the greatest injustices of our time."
This imagery brings to mind the childhood game called "Red Rover." To play this game all of the kids would lock hands together as tightly as they possibly could. Then the opponent would run towards you and try and break your "chain".
One particular round of this game I can remember especially well. The cockiest, most athletic boy of the opposing team decided to run right towards me. Instead of breaking the chain, he busted my lip. He had run full force, with all of his might, straight into...my face. In retrospect I think if I had simply let go and let him run through it would have been much easier. This makes me think, what if we didn't always choose what was easier, more convient, most comfortable? What if we stood up, stood strong, and banded together so that the bullies couldn't get through. This posture is less of a fist swinging and more of a clenching of fists united.
What an honor it was this past December to be a part of that kind of an effort. Through Dressember we were able to raise awareness, raise funds, and fight back by locking arms around the globe.
Posted by Michelle Diane. at 9:00 AM
Monday, February 9, 2015
Mama, Mama, Mama....
Over and over he calls my name. My youngest struggles between fitful sleep and the agony of fever when awake. Too weak to lift his head he calls me every few minutes for help. Just as I am starting to drift into that sweet place of sleep I again hear my name. "Mama", he calls in a weak voice. I will myself be awake. Like a band-aid stuck on skin my head does not want to lift from the pillow. I pray, "Lord, give me strength."From the depths of my spirit I find the strength to rise. I set my tired feet on the floor and go to help my sweet little man.
When I return to the pillow a beautiful thought settles over me. God never slumbers or sleeps. No matter how weary I am, He is never weary. He loves to hear me cry out to His name. His hearts desire is to walk along side me, just as He did in the garden with Adam and Eve. He never tires of me calling out His name.
"Abba Father, Daddy, I need you."
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Posted by Michelle Diane. at 8:30 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2015
We had just spent a week of vacation setting up an office for Adam.We gathered all of the office supplies and files from around the house and organized them in this central command center. Adam cranked up the music on the newly installed surround sound and I was so happy to see him enjoying this little space he could call his own. The next day we got a phone call (isn't that what always what happens when we think we have life all figured out?) it was the coordinator who places exchange students. He asked if we would be willing to house a student for second semester. I laughed. "Well," I replied," our hearts are defiantly still open to the idea, but that room has just been turned into an office so there are some logistics we would have to work through." I told him I would talk it over with Adam when he got home and get back to him in a day or so.
Adam's reaction from the moment of hearing the news was...we'll do it. I was amazed by his confidence and admired his willingness to hand over his space. He said he would never let "stuff" get in the way of obeying God. You have to remember that this stuff had only been in place for a few hours literally. When he built the desk he joked that it was forever staying where it was assembled as it was too heavy to ever be moved.
Moved it was. By millimeters it fit through the doorway. We had to take apart a closet and take it outside to get it back in as it would not fit through the kitchen, but we moved it. We bought a bed, and linens and made the room beautiful.
We felt that this was God asking us a question. The question was, "is this really MY house?" You see we often say that it is God's house, but He wanted to know if one of His daughters needed a place to stay if we would welcome her.
With great joy we welcomed Estelle into our family. She is beautiful, and funny and we love her. I can't imagine what we would have missed had we not said yes. She has brought us so much life, and laughter. I've never laughed so hard as we do at diner each night when we are trying to learn to speak in German. I feel young as I enter her world and take her to the mall and hang out with teenage girls. We exercise every night together and it is so fun as we challenge each other.
Just when I think I have my path all figured out, God says, "turn here". I am so glad that we did.
Just when I think I have my path all figured out, God says, "turn here". I am so glad that we did.
|Estelle celebrated her 16th Birthday with us!|
Posted by Michelle Diane. at 10:34 PM
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
|Brooke feels deeply, and wanted to thank the special friend who made her quilt. We had good conversation reminding her that we believe in Jesus as our Savior, so we will see Sandy in Heaven someday.|
|Look closely and there is a perfect heart stitched into every white square. This makes me treasure handmade things even more. It is sobering to think that our cloth and our stitches out live our bodies. I want my treasure to be in heaven.|
Posted by Michelle Diane. at 10:27 PM
Monday, January 7, 2013
|Camping at Christian Reformed Conference Grounds...Grand Haven Mi, Lake MI|
|Craft Barn painting|
|Carnival, Alexa with her favorite...duckies!|
|Brooke and Olivia Pelon|
|Adam and Chris, the Pelon family came up for an evening.|
|Michelle, Kamra, and Addalyn|
|Henrik got to have his second birthday camping.(Cadillac MI)|
|Papa Doug and Grandma Jackie joined us for a day.|
|Twins? They are really 17months apart, but I get asked often if they are twins.|
|Kendall and Lexi...I love how children play to practice for real life. Alexa has a baby in a pack on her back and Kendall in holding a baby while they switch the laundry.|
|Alexa's Halloween bucket...made in a pinch out of an ice cream pail...turned out super cute!|
|Friday night family night...crafts.|
|Brooke on opposite day at school.|
|Easter with cousins Katelyn and Kelsi|
|Super hero...instead of face paint they used washable marker...brilliant.|
|Grandma Jackie and Papa Doug with Brooke, Henrik, Katelyn, Kelsi, and Alexa.|
|Grandma Bonnie and Papa Bill with Brooke.|
|Visit from Grandpa Milton and Grandma Jo(Adam's Grandparents) from Florida.|
|Dolly slumber party.|
|Lollipop concert with Mommy. Grand Rapids Ballet with the Symphony.|
|Brooke, Henrik, Greta and Ginger Williams.|
|Valentines day..dress I made for Brooke the night before her school party out of a red long sleeve Tee and fabric from my stash.|
|Daddy Daughter Dance.|
|I made the girls dresses, Grandma Jo crocheted the sweater.|
|We love Aunt Missy!|
|Grandma Bonnie Papa Bill at Frederic Meijer Gardens.|
|Dress and Ruffle pants I made for Brooke with the help of Aunt Jan.|
|Dress and Ruffle pants I made.|
|Dresses I made for girls from fabric my little designer Brooke picked.|
|Brooke's Friend Jenny from Cross Creek|
|Brooke's Friend Anna from Dutton Christian with her Mom my friend Erin.|
|This year Brooke has read so much Daddy says we should change her name to "Booker"|
|First Day of First Grade-Mrs. Kissinger, Cross Creek Charter Academy.|
|Happy 7th Birthday cowgirl Brooke!|
|Pinata from a gift bag.|
|Crazy hair day|
|Pajama superhero party at Ada Bible Kentwood|
|Friday night...family night..making ornaments.|
|I love volunteering in Brooke's classroom.|
|Papa Doug and Henrik|
|Shaving cream fun.|
|Grandma and Grandpa Beemer(Michelle's Grandparents)|
|Fixing dresser with Papa Bill...Henrik and Grandpa love tools!|
|"I want tools for Christmas Santa."|
|Henrik missed his nap, then was so tired he just laid down and went to sleep on the floor!|
|This is a common sight...Henrik getting into my electronics. He is wired just like Adam and likes anything that plugs in , has buttons, or lights up.|
Posted by Michelle Diane. at 8:39 AM