What Fuels You

Do you let stress and worry consume you?

How about anger and resentments?

All that is counterfeit fuel. Oh, it may keep you going but it’s wreaking havoc on the inside.

Let’s get still today before the Lord. Let’s invite Him into our situations and our life completely so we can be fueled well with Christ’s burning love.

It’s a much better fuel!

~ XXOO Michelle

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

I am no longer haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas past….

Perfection…… pfffst – SO OVERRATED!

I don’t need the best decorated – best made – best placed – best bought anything, anymore.

No crazy buying all year and wrapping for days for this girl. No attics and closets full of decorations.

I simplified – downscaled – and started enjoying my Christmas’s again.

No more materialism run amuck.

It’s simple and satisfying.

Presents are limited and His Presence is abundant.

Being present with friends and family and ultimately with Christ is what it’s all about.

Don’t let others expectations steal your joy.

Give yourself a break this year and give your family the greatest gift of a happy and healthy Mom, Wife, Aunt, Sister, and Friend.

Start a new tradition!

Dare to do something different this year and every year.

Trade all the tinsel and lights for more time with those you love.

Say goodbye to those Ole’ Ghosts Of Christmas Past and make some new memories that are sure to last well into the New Year and many years to come.

~XXOO Michelle Bollom

Down The Drain 

  
Banging clanging and dust slanging had my nerves shot! 

Termites

Yes, those pesky critters have had a feast with my master bath tub and shower wall.

I had a crazy 2015 and I was hoping to have this all resolved before the New Year, but it turned out to be a bigger mess than originally thought so here I was day one of more contractors and repairs starting in our home.  

As the day wore on I had gone too long between meals and my blood sugar had run low along with my patience.   

The entire wall was a crumbling pile of sawdust all the way to the roof beams! 

My pockets had already been turned completely inside out and frayed with no chance of any more hidden coins when I heard the words, it is going to cost more….

More

I did not have MORE to give- no my frayed nerves were already teetering on a tight rope.

More money???? … Money has been flying out the window faster and more fierce than toto caught up in a tornado in Kansas. 

I was trying to stay in peace but was now doing the cha cha between panic and peace when my daughter calls to inform me that the sputters in the van that is now my twins car was acting up. 

I could feel the heat rising as I realized I had to call more, drive more, give more of myself … To yet something else on my already really full plate.  
As I am getting a ride home from my mechanic I just wanted to cry on the poor guys shoulder about my days woes.
He probably wondered why I was in such a catatonic state and not my usual Chatty Cathy bubbly self. 

My hubby was closing so he would not be home for multiple hours. That was probably a blessing for him. 

As I still let the time fill in with more to do’s instead of food…the perfect storm was brewing….. 


A full almost 12 hours later since the banging clanging dust slanging started and well….just too much crapola to mention, had all started and filled my day….


I snapped! 
I don’t mean just snapped…
I mean I really really REALLY snapped! 

I unloaded like a machine gun and yes there were a ton of unworthy words flying about. I screamed at my daughter, then I screamed at my son. I turned into a crazy blubbering idiot with my hands flailing in the air. If I had my van I would have run away but I just had our jeep and I was too weak to drive stick shift.  
So I just kept freaking out wondering if I started sobbing and rocking in the corner would it freak out my kids too much and how many years that would add to the years of therapy they will already need one day…when suddenly my daughter yelled –Stop!  

It temporarily snapped me back to reality and then I kept going until again sternly she scolded me with a simple, yet very loud –“Stop Mom! Stop this and go take a shower.”

So like a scolded 2 year old, shocked, I held my head and silently walked up the stairs to the extra bathroom and closed the door. I dropped all my clothes and jumped in the shower. As the hot water poured over my very greasy and dusty hair and my unstable nerves and my really low blood sugar had me twitching, I slowly poured the shampoo and wanted nothing more than to simply go right on down the drain with all the shampoo, soap, and water.   

I wanted all the days jacked up messes to just vanish right down the drain too! I no longer wanted to deal with anything. 

As I stood in the shower trying to figure out how in a split second I lost all control. I thought:

Really? Really Michelle? What in the world? Was all my great Christian witness nothing more than unworthy word wounds inflicted now on my children? Oh yeah, and how about a F Bomb dropping ordained minister? Yeah that goes over real well like a turd in the punch bowl…..How can I be living for God and doing the Lords work and completely just nut plum up? How can I serve anyone Lord when I can’t even serve my family very well? I blew it! 

So I repented to God for what I had done, what I wanted to do, and what I hadn’t done that I should have. I didn’t make excuses for my blood sugar or pretend I had no clue what in the world just happened.   

Nope, I just said “I blew it! Lord, I was not even glimmering this time. My Light was not shining for You. No it full on burned out. It was busted and shattered just like a too hot light bulb. Father, Forgive me, I chose to curse and rant and rave instead of take anything to You. It was 100% a choice I made to lose it and let my flesh rule.   

Newsflash:

I am not nor have I ever intended to give anyone the false assumption or impression that I have it all figured out perfectly because I am a Christian. I still fail and fall daily! I post a lot of encouraging and inspiring posts mostly from my own life experiences and love the Lord deeply and try to Love others well, but I still can choose fleshly sinful unworthy behaviors. But my God is big enough to handle and forgive them ALL! 

I got done and went to apologize another time to each of my kids and gave them both a great big hug and kiss and asked God not to have them spend too many years in therapy trying to undo all my messes. 

And as I prepared for bed I reflected on my stress filled day. I thanked God for not leaving me and that there is no condemnation for those in Christ. I also thought of the gurgling of the drain and envisioned every worry and sin of the day being all washed down the drain. Even the soap that really should have been put in my mouth!   

Thank you Lord for Your Amazing Grace and Mercy. Thank You Lord for loving this imperfect sinner perfectly. Thank You for New Mercies each day. Thank You that when we take it all to You, You wash it all down the drain too. 
        ~XXOO Michelle Bollom  

Travelled So Far 

  
Great encouragement today from The Bottom Of A Bottle Blog.   Enjoy! XXOO Michelle Bollom

Travelled So Far (Proverbs 30:5) Days become harder Our thoughts become clouded The stresses of life Lay a heavy burden Upon our fragile souls Our feet so tired We’ve travelled so far Now it feels we can’t go on Yet there is a place Our tired feet can call home The Father’s arms Our refuge […]

https://thebottomofabottle.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/travelled-so-far-proverbs-305/

Who are you looking to?

I woke this morning singing the song “I look to You” by Whitney Houston.  I have loved this song for a while and it has been stuck on repeat during many difficult times of my life over the years.   The first time I heard this was after my dad’s death.  I know that during that time that it was only when I looked to Him could I continue on.  I did not know this song or know Jesus as I know Him now when I suffered the devastating loss of my brother Toby in 2006.  It was after my brother’s sudden death that I knew that I could not do things on my own.  It seemed that I jumped in with both feet seeking God.  I had done religion most of my life, but when I heard about Jesus and that it was a relationship and started learning about the Holy Spirit and reading God’s Promises in His word, well, it blew the door wide open for me.  I have never looked back. 

Sometimes life gets rough and we would like Jesus with skin on to walk those storms with us.  I love the part of the song when she says, “I am about to lose my breath”  Have you ever felt like the wind has been just kicked right out of you?  Maybe it is a devastating diagnosis or news from a doctor, or cancer has given you a limited time left on this earth.  I have walked through that one with a loved one, and recently have another loved one walking through this right now too.  Maybe it’s a spouse that just said they didn’t love you anymore and filed for divorce?  I know a few people walking through that blow right now.  An affair, a job loss, the death of a loved one?  Yes,  the list can go on and on.

 I have walked through many losses in my life and the ones that I did not look to Him were the most difficult to get through.  I say I grieved without Hope on my brothers death, but just two years later I grieved with Hope on my Dad’s death.  The two types of grieving make a world of difference.  Not that they are less painful, but looking to Him brings a peace and comfort I did not know before in the midst of the storm. 

This morning as this song was stuck in my head again, I thought, hmmm strange, I had not heard it in awhile and why do I awake humming and singing it?  Then I felt the Lord impress upon me that not just during the devastating blows Michelle, I need you to look to Me on the everyday little blows too.  I have to confess, sometimes I am not always looking to Him on the smaller things of life. Those moments when we are just bored, over tired, overwhelmed, insecure, lonely, sad, angry, our feelings have been hurt, our kids aren’t listening, our spouses are on our last main nerve.  When we are distracted or stressed or just don’t feel well.  

I am guilty of looking towards opinions or advise of others before Him, I am guilty of looking for something new to fill a void. I am guilty of finding comfort in Cheetos or a big honking piece of cake.  I am a recovering emotional/compulsive eater, shopping addict, approval addiction/people pleaser.  Note and emphasis on the “ing”  Yes I still struggle with looking just straight on to Him for all the little blows that life deals me.  We sometimes like to vent to our family or friends, but we need to remember to always vent vertically!  Send it all to Him, look straight to Him.  Don’t let anything distract us or let us lose our focus.  Keep it straight on and fully looking to Him!  

I am reminded of this wonderful Promise.

The LORD the Keeper of Israel.

A Song of Ascents.

1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
         From where shall my help come?

2My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to slip;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.

4Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

6The sun will not smite you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.

7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
         He will keep your soul.

8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth and forever.

What an awesome Promise this is! 

 

Release all those big and small blows to Him.  Keep looking only to Him.  He’s got you covered!  

 

 Enjoy this amazing song!   XXOO, Peace, Michelle Bollom

 http://youtu.be/5Pze_mdbOK8

 

 

 

 

Michelle’s Restoration Story

Michelle’s Restoration Story

Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin to share my story. God has brought so much restoration into my life and He continues to Restore me daily. Like many mom’s & wives we lose ourselves and pour into our families that we rarely leave any room for ourselves. We put our health on the back burner and burn the candle at both ends. We buy the lies of the enemy and grieve our losses without the Hope that Christ offers us. We are wounded and broken and don’t know where to turn. In 2008 I found myself overweight and overwhelmed. I suffered a stroke which led to a overload of doctors and diagnosis and finally ended with the words diabetes & thyroid disease. I joke that God took away my smoking addiction, He took away alcohol, and He took away my cake too! But what an awesome blessing it is because it forces me to take better care of myself as well as, to keep my focus on Him. Little did I know that most of my health issues and the extra weight I carried were just manifestations of trying to keep a secret buried. I revealed the secret to only a select few over the years, but it wasn’t until I released that 20 + year old secret to God and got honest and obedient to Him that He could do some of His best Restoration work in my life. My secret effects 1.3 + Million women each year. Many churches and communities promote the Sanctity of Life, but rarely have I seen churches or communities doing anything about trying to help Restore these women’s lives after the effects of Abortion. There are far too many women not operating in their God given potential because they are carrying around a heavy bag of shame from trying to hold on too tightly to their secrets. Whether that secret is an abortion, an unplanned pregnancy, not finishing high school or college, yelling at your kids, angry at your spouse, vainness, a critical or judgemental spirit, cursing like a sailor, having an affair, sexual abuse, struggling with self esteem, hurting yourself physically, turning to pills or alcohol or sex or shopping or food for escape or comfort. It doesn’t matter what it is if you release it all to God. My desire is to let women know that God can and will use you if you let Him. He can breath new life into those dead dry bones. He can turn every ounce of your pain into an amazing purpose. God wants His daughters and sons to be Restored! Are you ready to release your secrets ? To Get Real? & let God use you?

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