Blog Archives

2017 Focus Word for the Year: Courage

I made another video. Here it is. Wellness Wednesday post on Thursday. It has taken three days so I may just go back to blogging only after this. Now that write that, I’m thinking that sounds like I may need to muster up the courage to “keep on swimming, keep on swimming…..” Sigh….one take was too long and had too many, “and, ums”, another was great until I realized some child had licked his finger and smeared my lens to be…”funny.” (insert grumpy emoji here) and there were other issues. THEN, it took our internet about 12 hours to upload, no joke. Yea….not feeling warm and fuzzy about this YouTube thing right now…

Well, here is, yet another, attempt at YouTube. If nothing else, it has me wanting to blog again. 🙂

 

 

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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What should freak me out

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photo via

I’m a spaz. I tend to freak out; I have mini panic attacks. If you ask my kids, mini is not the word they will use. But I know it and I’m gradually getting a grip. When I have to make snap decisions on the fly, I “usually” am all over the situation. I’m great at problem solving in most circumstances which comes in very handy with catering. However, I’m not always “calm” in said situation. I don’t start yelping like a chihuahua or anything but I do get intense and can bark at people i.e. my kids. I make things worse when I second-guess myself. For example yesterday, as I drove off to take my cadets to their Civil Air Patrol squadron meeting an hour away with a side-stop to drop off my ballerinas to their sister’s for their ballet lesson, we heard a BAD noise. We had only driven about thirty seconds away and pulled off into a neighbor’s driveway. We had a flat. I was on a schedule and my kids were depending on me. My first thought was to go let the neighbor know I was in the driveway and ask him if he needed me to pull out into the road so I wasn’t blocking the drive. My second thought was to call Triple A. My third thought was to call my husband and ask him what I should do. So I called him first. He said to talk to the neighbor then call Triple A. Hmmm….wish I’d thought of that. o.O

SO, I walked up the driveway and an older gent and his buddy were chatting while having a brew. Wouldn’t you know that the friend who JUST so happened to be there had an air compressor on his truck? Yep, he filled up that tire and we were able to drive the 30 seconds home, throw our stuff into The Great White Beast and get back on the road. God spoke to me through the two old guys and the air compressor. AS SOON as that man said he had an air compressor, God said, “You’re first thought should have been ME!” He gives me this situations all of the time. That He cares that much about me to take time out of His schedule, that is what should freak me out first and foremost. I should also freak out that this flat did not occur on my way to Indianapolis with my two little boys on board or on my way back. I had only been home an hour from that supply run when we left for Ohio. Ohio, where I could have been when the flat happened. But, NO, I was less than a quarter of a mile from home! That freaks me out! Thank You, Lord, for taking care of us! Also, thank You that this was not our flat:

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photo via

I’m learning to not be shaken, thank you, Building 429.

While it’s the HARD things that try my faith, it’s these little things that remind me God is on my side and if He will take time to fix a tire, He wants to work through the big stuff, too. I need to REST in that. Fretting and freaking accomplishes nothing. It just makes each situation more stressful. Years ago, I bought a little card with a Helen Steiner Rice poem and it’s a prayer I’ve been praying since I was a yoot:

“God, teach me to be patient,

teach me to go slow;

Teach me how to wait on you

when my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance

when things do not go right

so I remain unruffled

when others grow uptight.

Teach me to let go, dear God,

and pray undisturbed until

my heart is filled with inner peace

and I learn to know Your Will.”

I’m not there, yet, but if you walk in our commercial kitchen when I’m faced with a deadline or a fondant piece just fell off of a cake or there’s no money for the bills or the kids are fighting again or I forgot to buy sugar, you will catch me muttering, “Unruffled…unruffled…letting go….inner peace…unruffled…”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – The Third Day Soul on Fire Tour

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Photo Credit: Lott Shudde, http://www.thirdday.com

 

Powerful. I went to a Third Day concert Saturday and it can hardly be categorized as a “show.”  Yes, the band performed but what they performed was heart and soul surgery. We were led. We were led to The Throne and sent forth to continue the worship in our lives. The album is Lead Us Back and the tour is Soul on Fire and if you don’t get to any other concerts this year, do try to make this one.  I would feel this way even if I weren’t already a Third Day fan. I went to this particular concert to meet up with almost 70 other fans (the Gomer Family) for pre and post-show gatherings and we had joked about how nice it was of Third Day to provide a concert for our party.  I thought I was going to serve cake and meet up with friends I seldom see in person but have been blessed to get to know and love.

What I found out was I was there for conviction. We have struggles here at the Fecher abode, just like everyone else. Sometimes we need slapped upside the head by the Spirit.  God bless Third Day for their anointed ability to slap people upside the head through their music. Your Words, Our Deliverer, Victorious – powerful.  Worship is a verb, a frame of mind and a lifestyle. It’s music like that found on the new album that challenges us to look inside ourselves and take inventory of what’s missing and what’s there that shouldn’t be.  I was prepped before attending this concert that this would not be like the typical rock-your-face shows that we are used to. I was expecting “mellow.”  Mellow is not the word.  Nope, nope, nope. Powerful is the word.  Lead Us Back is their first worship album since Offerings 2 in 2003. I hope they won’t wait that long til the next one.  Music speaks to us in ways nothing else can. Sometimes it’s fun, silly, beautiful, obnoxious, danceable, etc. but something we need a regular dose of in our music intake is, in case you missed it, powerful worship.

Get thee to a show: Third Day Tour Schedule

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What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

Music Monday – When Tragedy Strikes…

Yesterday, I heard the news about the church bus that overturned in Indy and the lives that were lost in the accident. The grief must be unbearable. I don’t even know these people but as I prayed for the family and friends of the young, expectant couple who died leaving a toddler an orphan and the mom of 5, I cried. There are so few words that can be said. When my brother died at 16 from a gun accident, many words were said with good intentions but made it more painful none-the-less. The words that did get me through, though, were from those that were honest and told me that they don’t understand, either, it won’t make sense to us but God loves me and is there for me. So I went to Him over and over again. He doesn’t mind when we raise our fist and ask Him, “Why?” David did it. He was called a “man after God’s own heart” and God, while He called David out on a lot of stuff, didn’t rebuke him for expressing his fear, anger and sadness to God. When Scott died, I went back to college and the friends who knew what to say said very little. They held me, let me cry and told me to give it to God because He’s the only One Who knows what to do with it.

My Isabelle was admitted to the hospital at 4 weeks old the day Katrina hit. Having nothing else to do in a hospital room with an infant, I watched the news in horror. We were there 5 days as I watched my baby girl struggling to get and keep nutrition in her then turned to the TV screen to see people lose loved ones and suffer. It was then my favorite band decided to release early the following single from Wherever You Are to be an encouragement, to direct people to World Vision for donations and as a benefit for relief efforts. There has been so much tragedy in our nation and world. Catastrophe hits everyone at some point and the disasters and calamity will only increase as the world descends more and more into decadence and greed. Scripture tells us this. So what to say when friends and family are hit? Cry out to Jesus. For the families hurting so close to home in Indy, that’s all I have. I am so sorry.

This song is one of many Third Day songs that has blessed me and helped me through tough times. So many have been heartened by this. If you haven’t heard it before, I hope it blesses you. If you have, I hope it blesses you again.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

39.95 plus shipping and handling

“I have decided that I am not a 40 something. I am 39.95, plus shipping and handling.” That was one of my tweets today on this, my 45th birthday.  It’s also Thursday which anyone on social media should know is Throw Back Thursday #tbt.  SO, having  a birthday that ushers me further away from 40 and closer to, gulp, 50 ON Throw Back Thursday is just asking for sentimental notions, denial and a midlife crisis.  We see our kids turn 10 and we say, “Oh, they grow so fast!”  I see me turn 45 and I’m thinking, “Where did the time go?”

baby me

TODDLER me

Holy cow.

There’s a saying that goes “You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.”  Add that to one of my responses to inquiries about the number of children we have, “They keep me young,” and we have a formula for a fountain of youth.  Now that grandbabies have entered the scene, there will be no end to my shenanigans!

It’s been through being a mom that I have, quite serendipitously, re-discovered my “inner youth” and have tried to get it right this go ‘round. For example, when I was a school-girl, I would bring home those arts and crafts books from the school library, look at all the cool projects I wanted to tackle then promptly NOT make a single one of them.

school girl me

This school girl here. The 70s, the height of fashion….

 I believe that was due to my serious lack of self confidence…among other things. Then comes along the Fecher kids

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who don’t know they’re supposed to be intimidated by trying new things, have creativity and talent oozing out of their ears and I’m a new woman…girl. They have been contagious.  Now, when I get on Pinterest, I see a project I want to attack, make a supply list and the next thing we know,  the kids are asking each other, “Why is Mom painting clothespins?” (True story).  I have a refreshed appetite for adventure, travel, friends, creativity and play.

I also have a constant reminder of what child-like faith looks like.  I get stressed out.  But something has been reprogrammed in me that keeps the worry at bay. Like a kid, I see and feel God taking care of me and I know that even when there’s absolutely no money available for business bills, God will come through somehow and I watch and wait for it. I get antsy when bills are past due or I don’t get a much-needed catering job. I fret when a child is injured or sick or when the youth of our household make less-than-ideal decisions (we’ve had open discussions about how people are all stupid, us included, and this expected). But each time I venture into “worry-land,” the “que sera sera” comes over me like a wave.  Kids love anticipation. I do, too. Something the kids have taught me is that the problems that normally cause worry should create anticipation for what God will do.  I wish I could remember which Christian speaker it was that I heard talk about problems. (If you know who this is, let me know). He said, “All God’s people got problems. If you don’t have a problem, you come forward and we’ll lay hands on you and pray God gives you a problem. Because if you want to see a miracle, first you gotta have a problem! You can’t have a miracle without a problem!”

One of my mantras is “Never a dull moment!”  Big family + new season of grandbabies +a business = problems-a-plenty or, what we affectionately call them, “growth opportunities.” Also opportunities for miracles. Never a dull moment.

I’m looking forward, with anticipation, to another year of growth opportunities…and miracles. :o)

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – When Mercy Found Me by the Rhett Walker Band

There’s really no need for commentary here but I have some anyway. This song chokes me up. Anyone who has been found chokes up when they hear it. If you claim to be a Christian and you don’t choke up when you hear this song, I seriously question if you have wrapped your brain around grace. Just sayin’.

I wear out this song out because it reminds me that even though Mercy found me, I will manage to lose myself in my bad habits, my worries, loneliness, temptations and fears again and again. When I do, I have the comfort of knowing that Mercy knows where to find me even if I don’t and, though it’s stupid to ever leave Jesus arms, they’re ALWAYS open, ready and waiting for me when I’m prone to wander. I know that’s not necessarily what Mr. Walker wrote into this song but it’s what I take with me. Here’s the story behind the song:

Here’s the song. Even if you know it, read the lyrics again…and get choked up:

Did I mention I wear this song out? Heck, I wear out the whole CD.  Rhett has an intense voice and style, the band has great synergy and there’s not a song on Come To The River that I don’t love. I own so many CDs that I skip around to hear my favorites but not this one; it’s played straight through then started over again.

I cannot wait to see the Rhett Walker Band in concert again! If you’re not a Certified Rhettneck, yet, you need to get on the bandwagon!

http://rhettwalkerband.com/

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Praying for our Kiddos

NOBODY else loves our kids the way we do. Of course, God loves them more but I’m talking in the human realm. NOBODY knows our kids like we do and in many cases, we know them better than they know themselves (especially when they’re young). NOBODY can or will pray for our children the way we can.  It’s easy to get busy and forget but our children need us praying for them from the time we know they’re there to pray for.  I have a morning routine that includes pulling out my prayer journal that’s only purpose is to jot down my prayers for my children (I do have another one for general prayers but this is just for my kids). I do this to help hold me accountable. I know one day, at least one of my kids is going to get a hold of these journals (if you start this, you’ll go through several) and I don’t want them finding skipped dates. They will, though. I get into funks like everyone else. If I have a breakfast catering gig and have to get up at 4:30 am, I don’t sit down with coffee and my Bible – I run out the door inhaling coffee through my nose and putting mascara on at stoplights. SO, there are MANY times I fail to pray deliberately.

I’ve taught myself, since I know those days are going to happen, to give myself visual cues to remind me-self to pray for my kids throughout the day: The Speed Limit 70 sign reminds me to pray for their safety, the bars remind me to pray they will stay from temptation and for their choice of future spouse! You can pick your own but you get the idea.

When I am able to sit with my journal, I pray either according to what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on in the world or I use a prayer guide I picked up from a church some time ago but it’s hard to come by. It’s called the Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray for our Children by Charlotte Parker.  I found some newer versions on Amazon and Abe Books. It’s 31 days of prayers and some are kind of wordy. I break it down and either pray one of the Scriptures over my kids and/or just one of the areas listed. You can get a book like that OR Tom Harmon has a simple list for praying over your children.  You can get a WHOLE bunch of other stuff at his website and I highly recommend you add him to your favorites, GO hear him speak and read anything he has written.

Anyhoo, here’s his list:

I have conveniently linked the above image of his list to his website so you can cruise on over there after you’re done here with very little effort. You’re welcome.

Pray for your kids. Pray for your grandchildren. Pray for your children-in-law. Pray for the family you will never meet.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

Music Monday – Rise Up

So on Wednesday after a discouraging election, I got online and hit Twitter. Twitter does provide information, laughs and conversation but what I needed I found via Matt Maher. A simple blog post for November 7. A couple of Scripture passages. I found encouragement and then I found the challenge, the call – his video for Rise Up. There are some who don’t understand why some of us see dark days ahead. Don’t worry, you will. Then you will need encouraged and empowered to push through. Come back here and join the rest of us in rising up with Mr. Maher.

Thank you and God bless you Matt Maher!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – I Need a Miracle

My favorite band, Third Day, releases their newest album, Miracle, tomorrow.  We were tickled to get a preview in July when we went on the Third Day Alaskan cruise and have been anxiously awaiting the release!  When the song, I Need a Miracle, was introduced on the cruise, we were given the background that inspired the song. I cried, my friends cried, those who didn’t choked back the tears. There are folks whose struggle is so great, they buckle under the pressure. Without hope of a miracle, they (we) lose sight of the miracles surrounding us and the promise that God will bring us through. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” God provides. We just need reminded. I am grateful the men of Third Day, and others like them, allow God to speak through them to give hope.

Here’s the story behind the song, I Need a Miracle:

And, grab your tissues, the song:

Yowza, right?

Having listened to the new CD in its entirety…many times….over and over again,  let me do the decision-making for you – you are gonna want to get a copy and a few for Christmas gifts. In my best “Radio”, “Dat’s a good one!” www.thirdday.com

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Make Your Home a Haven Challenge

I just wanted to take a minute and share this challenge with the ladies. It’s from the Women Living Well Blog and I’m going to take a breath once a week to do this. I thought maybe someone else out there would like to as well. Just click on the button and you’ll be magically transported to the challenge.

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle