A Carefree Resting Place 

  
Then my people will live in a peaceful dwelling,in secure homes, in carefree resting places. ~ Isaiah 32:18 

Carefree Resting Places
How can I find one of those places? 
Carefree and resting…..

This seems about as obtainable as visiting an all inclusive spa getaway about right now, or the Land of Oz or Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I don’t see any of that happening. I don’t even think a place like that exists.  

Yesterday, I showed my ugly side to my kiddos. I let several things steal my peace and was just raging mad about a few things. I clearly kept hearing the Lord say- Take it to Prayer.   
But I kept going on and on and we were butting heads and I was leaving no room for any discussion because I would not listen and I even pulled the trump card of – I am the parent here and I can force yada yada yada ……
Then again the Lord said- Take it to Prayer! 

Finally after about 3/4 times. I finally shut up, apologized, and said…. Let’s pray.  

Instantly Peace. Instantly all the cares I was stressing or worrying over melted away. Instantly I felt calmer. I continued to pray and when I went to bed, I slept amazing last night! 

Not one of the cares of the day that got me all riled up kept me up and restless.  

When I read this verse today and felt like it was in no way obtainable, I felt the Lord speak to me and say- 
How can you say you do not feel like it is a obtainable place when I took you there last night once you shut up and obeyed Me and stopped raging and arguing and stressing and instead took it to Me in prayer? 

Yes, Lord, You are so right…. 

Anything that has us stirred up and crazy should be immediately taken to God in prayer. That is the key to remaining in a carefree resting place. 

Lord, forgive me for raging on in my flesh when You clearly spoke to my Spirit to take every thing to You first in prayer. Help me to be a better example to my children. Help me to make You my first resource and prayer my first reaction to every situation that leaves me unsettled or confused or hurt or disappointed. Thank You for grace and mercy and not letting me continue to disobey You. I want to always be in the carefree resting place of Your presence. Help me Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
                  ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

A Place In The Sun 

  
“I am bursting with GOD -news! 

I’m walking on air. I’m laughing at my rivals. 

I’m dancing my salvation. Nothing and no one is holy like GOD, no rock mountain like our God. Don’t dare talk pretentiously— not a word of boasting, ever! 

For GOD knows what’s going on. 

He takes the measure of everything that happens. 

The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces, while the weak are infused with fresh strength. 

The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts, while the hungry are getting second helpings. 

The barren woman has a houseful of children, while the mother of many is bereft.”

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“GOD brings death and GOD brings life, 

brings down to the grave and raises up. 

GOD brings poverty and GOD brings wealth; 

He lowers, He also lifts up. 

He puts poor people on their feet again; 
He rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, Restoring dignity and respect to their lives

— a place in the sun! 

  
For the very structures of earth are GOD ’s; 

He has laid out His operations on a firm foundation. 

He protectively cares for His faithful friends, 

step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark. 

No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle! 

GOD ’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned. 

GOD will set things right all over the earth, He’ll give strength to His king, He’ll set His anointed on top of the world!”

                 ~ ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭2:1-10‬ ‭MSG‬‬
2:1-10 Hannah’s heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver. She rejoiced in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of His coming, who is the whole salvation of his people. The strong are soon weakened, and the weak are soon strengthened, when God pleases. Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we should be content, and make up our minds to our condition. Are we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the abundance he gives us. He respects not man’s wisdom or fancied excellences, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation. This prophecy looks to the kingdom of Christ, that kingdom of grace, of which Hannah speaks, after having spoken largely of the kingdom of providence. And here is the first time that we meet with the name MESSIAH, or his Anointed. The subjects of Christ’s kingdom will be safe, and the enemies of it will be ruined; for the Anointed, the Lord Christ, is able to save, and to destroy. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

I was studying these verses recently and the phrase 

“A place in the sun” jumped out at me.
A place in the sun means -a position of favor or advantage.   

I read the commentary and a few more things jumped out at me that I highlighted above in the commentary section. 

As I meditated on the verses, my hope is that we, just like Hannah, pray this prayer and look beyond the gifts and look straight to the Giver of all good things. May we too feel our guilt and value His free and precious salvation. Take your place in the sun and share the Son with others. 

                 ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

  

The Definition of Mother 

  

Moth’er – n. A female person, esp. one of the human race. b. Ancestress. 2. That which produced OR nurtured ANY thing: source of birth or origin. 3. a. A woman in authority or dignity like a mother, b. used specific as a title of a woman head of a religious house. 4.a. maternal tenderness or affection. b. to adopt or care for a child. c. To acknowledge affection and care for a child.

Mom, Mommy, Mother, Mama. The name holds strength and stability. As I studied each definition of Mother, I realized only ONE gave the right to birthing a child. The name means unconditional love and a place to fall, rest ….. without judgement, it means to teach and lead in spiritual truth. It means to love through every phase of rebellion, through any disagreement.

To this day, this very moment ….. I’ve never had that safe place to fall. I’ve never had that Mama I could go to with anything. If you’ve had to do without that kind of joy and stability, you surely know what a lost feeling that is.

God has tremendously made up for this loss in my life. I am Mama to four beautiful and wonderful boys. But I have other children too. Although I’ve always thought boys were my expertise, it’s amazing to me how out of all the other “kids” who call me Mama, almost all of them are young women. That’s not to take anything from their maternal moms. Not at all. But somewhere along the way, I’ve acquired something I can contribute to their lives. I can be a place of refuge and hopefully of Godly, sound advice, when there’s no one else who understands.

Every hardship, every trial, every thing we believe to be an injustice in our lives, can be used to God’s glory! 

I would encourage each of us older ladies to seek out at least one of these young women who are beginning the journey we started long ago. Keep in touch. Encourage them, show them the way and give them advice.

When Godly women lead the way, we can make a difference ,,, in turn, when the blind lead the blind, the world is also changed. 

~ Sandra K. Yates 


Redeemed Dates

Redeem: To recover ownership of. To turn in and receive something in exchange. To fulfill. To set free; rescue or ransom. To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. To make up for. To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of.  Variations/redeemed,redeeming,redeems.

Redeemed, what an awesome word huh?  I have come to just love that word. Maybe I associate it with my favorite book “Redeeming Love”, by Francine Rivers; I am not sure why I love the word.  God has also given me a new favorite word, Restored.  I am thrilled to see Restore is listed in the definition of Redeemed.

I am a word person.  I love quotes, I love scripture, I love great books, and I love rhymes and silly songs.   I think so many people have such great things to say.  I had an awesome walk this morning with a dear friend and the words she shared have just resonated with me all day.  She promises to blog soon about our conversation. 

I would not have considered myself a writer.  Although, my twin Sister Melissa would beg to differ I think.  I was a reader and a writer as a child.  I would write poetry, stories, letters, and songs.  She did not always enjoy my musical songwriting abilities and to this day that has become a subject of great laughs. 

Fast forward all these years and God has stirred up that love I had as a child in writing words and sharing stories.  I also credit Wendy Walters, an amazing writer and speaker that I saw earlier this year at my ordination that stirred something in me.  I am not a great writer, by far.  Thank You God for spell check and edit buttons.  My twin sister was the spelling bee champion.  It was not one of my strong suites and only time I won, she threw the competition.  I did not win until after I was busted for what the teacher thought was cheating, but was actually a lucky 8 ball I had behind my back that my sister said would bring me good luck.  Oh that is another one of those stories we can laugh for hours over. 

I am not a terrible speller, but I do occasionally make the horrible mistake of your for you’re and I rely on spell check much more as I am getting up in years.  I find it very funny and a little sad for those people that post their distaste for that spelling mistake on Facebook.  Sometimes Siri spells it that way to our defense, and sometimes I just type too fast and really don’t care if it is spelled correct or not, most know what I was trying to convey and if that is a friendship deal breaker then I give me the ole Gift of Goodbye friend, Life is too short and precious to get hung up on ‘ & E’s.

I know I drive people crazy and myself most days because I am a run on sentence kind of girl and sometimes I can go around the bush too long and I can get lost in a circle trying to remember what I was trying to say in the first place.  See I just did it right there, and got side tracked!

None the less, all that to say, I love the word Redeemed.

Recently God has been speaking to me and blessing me with “Redeemed Dates”.  I had a situation just a few weeks ago where a date that had brought me so much pain and sadness for the last 22 years was instantly transformed into a date of excitement, happiness, and anticipation of great things.  As I reflected and was shocked about the date significance, the tears, now happy tears welled up in my eyes, I started saying Thank You over and over to God for such an awesome redemption of dates and emotions for me. 

 A few days later, I read a friend’s Facebook post where a date was redeemed for her too.  Her mother had died and she always mourned the date and was affected sadly by it, but now, several years later, God gave her an amazing and beautiful granddaughter born on that date that now that date was redeemed and she will have happy memories on that date from now on. 

I saw another friend today put a post on the sadness over the loss of her son 28 years ago and was on the same date that she recently also lost a friend to cancer.  She has tied that date with those terrible losses. My heart broke for her and I began praying for her.  I remember I did that too when my brother died and then two years later when my dad died.  I hated those dates.  I would try to forget them, but subconsciously the dates would just creep up and make me miserable and sad.  I heard Dr. Phil once say that we need to not celebrate dates of death.  Our loved ones had so much more to them then the date of their deaths.  I decided then not to put so much stock into the end date and celebrate each day and the memories of those I love.   God and His word have helped me tremendously.   And just for extra blessing on a really tough date, He recently redeemed that date for me so I know it can get better.

I love this beautiful promise; Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19.

Oh this is one of my faves!  This is one of those verses I add to my prayers.  God is the way maker, when I need a way in the desert or a river in dry lands I call on Him.  You can too. 

And this promise; Therefore be very careful how you live and act. Let it not be as unwise men, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ~Ephesians 5:15-16.

We all know the days can be evil, and God is the redeemer of time, and dates!  Spend your days doing something that brings you and others joy.  Don’t live and act unwise.  Unwise is being held in bondage to depression over a date.  Remember to count the blessings, not the troubles.

And this promise; I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” ~ Isaiah 44:22

Return to Him, He is the Only one that can redeem you and sweep offenses and sins away too!

And finally this promise; The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works thy own hands. ~Psalm 138:8

God wants to perfect and restore and redeem not only our lives and what concerneth us but our dates too.  Life is too short and precious to hold onto the sadness of our past or celebrate the dates of our losses. 

I challenge you, whatever date is haunting you, Vow right now that you will do something different this year on that date.  Decide to make new memories to fill those dates.  I pray God will bring you many redeemed dates and restored lives!  XXOO Peace & Blessings, Michelle Bollom