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

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 – That Old Wheel

Yes, I’m still here. I continue to do that “thing” where I tell myself I’m going to reward a finished to-do list with sit-down-with-my-blog time. Yea…right…12 kids, 3 grandbabies, catering business, homeschool, laundry.  In light of the fact that I still have taxes to prep, I’ve decided that if I’m ever going to post again, I better sit down and do it then get on the list. Everything important eventually gets done and the things that don’t get done are the things that never get finished anyways. That being said, I’ve had A LOT on my mind! I could have 50 posts since the last one if writing was my job. I’ll get there…I won’t give up!

On my mind, recently, have been a few peeps who either are deliberately trying to hurt me or are carelessly and/or selfishly wounding my family and I. An ongoing struggle has been a family member that I sincerely wish would be involved with my children and myself but has spent years making excuses then blaming me that we don’t spend time together.  There’s more to it but suffice it to say, it hurts, it’s frustrating and I’m about fed up.

Others on my mind are some folks who I once thought friends but, because they believed the gossip of others without ever contacting me to confirm that what they were hearing is true, decided I was unworthy and “don’t pay me no mind anymore.”

Finally, I am a business owner. I own a catering and custom cake design business with my family. We have worked hard to create a legitimate food service industry business. There’s a whole other blog post on what that entails but for this one, being attacked by another for no other reason than we’re competition is aggravating. The quality of my product has been questioned and even lied about and it’s been implied that I and others in the business have been trying to sabotage this person who has a reputation for playing dirty.  The other thing about me is I try to be a nice person! I don’t “get” people who aren’t nice to others. And when they come after my family or me just because they’re mean, I kinda want to get mean back.

So these situations have been popping around in my head like popcorn and my thoughts have not been passing the Philippians 4:8 test, I can tell you that. Last week, as I was running errands and running amuck, I popped in a cd I haven’t listened to in a while, Jason Hoard’s The Road Ahead.

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That Old Wheel came on and I had to listen to it over and over again (there’s kind of pun there – if you listen to the song, you’ll get it.) This album was released in 2011 and That Old Wheel was originally performed by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr., so it’s  certainly not new but this song in particular was just a friendly reminder to hang in there; what comes around goes around. The lyrics don’t mention it but it reminded me, also, to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Tsk, tsk….anyone who knows us knows that we’re some of God’s favorites so I feel somewhat sorry for those who want to muck with us.

I’m going to keep hanging in there and keep my chin up. For every person who wants to see me down, there are a bunch more who keep me up and I want to do the same for them. I’m going to try to remember to focus on those friends and family instead how low those “other” people can make me feel.  I hope you will hang in there with me.

Click on the album pic for the I-tunes link. You won’t be disappointed!

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?”

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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.

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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

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

 

Get over it?

I started my day yesterday with a bee in my bonnet. It started out appropriately somber but then I peeked in on Twitter. My intention was to just post a simple remembrance as, I thought, everyone else does in honor of 9/11. I must be naive. I cannot believe the tweetabomination I witnessed. I believe people should be allowed to share their opinions, no problem there. But I also believe there are people with opinions that need readjusted for the sake of humanity. I’m just glad I know God is in the “readjustment” business and will take care of it. A gal I follow shared  this young attitude’s tweet who posted, and I quote, 

I had a pit in my stomach to begin with; I usually do on 9/11. This post made me sick. While it’s my contention, after perusing his profile and reading his tweets,  this kid didn’t get spanked enough as a, um, younger kid (save your anti-spanking lecture for another blog) and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas that will, most certainly, land him in the hospital, prison or the morgue, there’s not a thing I can do for this ungrateful, brain-damaged youth (except pray that he’s saved from a fire or car accident – caused by his marijuana activism – someday by a firefighter who read this particular tweet – yea…I can pray that).

What I CAN do is cancel out this ONE guy’s ignorance by making sure my TWELVE kids NEVER. FORGET.

SO, in lieu of our usual morning devotion, I gathered the 10 that were home around my laptop to watch this video:

There were tears. The older ones recounted what they remember. I shared how I found out: we haven’t had broadcast TV in years and we were finishing up our devotion time so the radio was off and we had no idea what was occurring. My Mom called almost hysterical. She knew my routine and knew I would, most likely, not be aware of the tragedy that had befallen us. We were still unsure if it was an accident or terrorism at that point. It was so surreal. And so frustrating! I couldn’t turn on a TV and see what was going on. I called my husband at work and they were all watching it. I called my mom back and we were on the phone as she updated me with what she knew and then the second plane hit. I heard my aunt yell in the background. My mom cried out and told me what happened. I started to cry and my confused kids were gathered around asking what was wrong. It was a blur then and even more-so, now.

I don’t know at what point we decided to go to the library but we did. I was surprised to find it open as time seemed to stand still; the city was SO quiet. We checked out books on skyscrapers, New York City and the Twin Towers. We went home and poured over our findings as we read together about the architecture of the buildings that had collapsed earlier that day. We had so many questions, like everyone else. Why would God allow SO many to die? Why the Twin Towers? I don’t need to list them all – everyone asked those questions. As we studied how the buildings were designed our discussion quickly switched to how many people were saved. This was before we heard of the many stories of folks who were late to work that day or had to call in sick. In case you missed it, if the Twin Towers had been built like most of the buildings in that day, they wouldn’t have fallen straight down. They would have collapsed over onto other buildings. Do you think there’s a chance that God had His hand on who would be the architect and how these buildings would be built since He knew what was coming? I do. Check it out, if you’re interested:

We have free wills, given to us from God. Therefore, free wills who choose to believe in and act on evil will be evil. That’s the fallen world we live in. We also live in a world of beautiful, courageous people as evidenced that day by firefighters and police officers trying to save others. We also have a God who loves us and plans for us. He planned how buildings would be made, what brave people would be needed on the planes to avert further catastrophe, a couple of fender benders to make some people late, I read of someone spilling coffee all over themself so had to run home to change clothes, the list goes on. I also know there are people serving our country attempting to prevent this from happening again. I don’t pretend to trust our government but I do trust the men and women serving our country.

It’s late and I’m starting to ramble. Let me cut to the chase – history is loaded with tragedy. From the Garden until now, pride, greed, anger, bigotry and other assorted forms of hatred have let people to commit incomprehensible acts against mankind. We should not be surprised when it happens. It seems as though it’s to be expected but we are shocked when tragedy strikes. We should be. We should visit history often, be shocked then thankful so we don’t become like the self-absorbed, apathetic, ungrateful, smart alleck  twitterbrat mentioned above and so we NEVER

Get Over It.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

The Last Supper- “Will you marry me?”

I’m trying to establish routine so I’ll post more often. I know myself and if I have  a “system” for something, I’m able to work it. I figure Sunday is a good day for “Eye Drops & Q-Tips” – “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matt. 13:15-16

I know God has spoken into my life, but He has spoken into so many others that have blessed me, convicted me, taught me and challenged me. So I am compelled to share what they have to say once in awhile.

So I give you the anointed Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North. The first time I saw TAN in concert,  I was blown away by the teaching of  this amazing Jesus Freak and his passion for the Word and for others. Be blessed!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Love is not blind

“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.” –Rabbi Julius Gordon

I’ll be honest. I’ve always thought that phrase “Love is blind” is stupid. On the one hand, if you love someone without knowing (seeing) them, you don’t really love that person; you love your idea of who that person is or you love pretending to love or you “really have a good impression of them and could possibly love them….eventually.”  On the other hand, if you REALLY know someone, odds are you see crud that isn’t very loveable. If a person REALLY knows you, they see the same in you. Makes love a tad inconvenient, I think. And, frankly, exhausting at times.

So much has been written about unconditional love and commitment, I’m not sure I need to add to the list but I do have a different angle at the moment. My thing is- why do I bother? Why do I keep loving or trying to love people who make it difficult? Especially when they don’t return the favor.  I just want to be loved where I’m at. You know? Unconditionally? I don’t need every stinking shortcoming pointed out.  OH, and how I love it when I hear I’ve been mentioned in conversations where I was not present. (It’s okay – I know they’re just jealous they’re not as awesome as me.) I have been stabbed in the back, belittled, berated, exasperated and exhausted from folks not willing “to see less because they see more.”  I want to “return the favor” sometimes and often, I do. Other times, I just give up. But something keeps bringing me back for more.  I could just leave these people behind. “Eat my dust.” That’s what I want to do. But, apparently, I’m a child of God and He won’t let me. I say apparently because, I confess,  I see how bad I can be, like those folks who see more, and I hear the voices say I really can’t be adopted or I wouldn’t be so bad.  Quite often, I’m the exasperating one who loves conditionally and can be difficult to love.

But Christians have the Holy Spirit in them and I know He’s in me because He won’t let me quit, grows love in me when I want to hate, gives me joy when I feel depressed, lifts the guilt when I know I’m guilty and helps me find love in others when “those” others show how me NOT to love. So why love?

Jesus loved me enough to die for me. I didn’t do anything worthy of that. In fact, quite the opposite. Motherhood has given me a taste of why Jesus did what He did. These little people can drive me crazy but I love them like crazy! They can act stupid, annoying, & infuriating (kind of like me) but I love them enough to die for them. I don’t claim to love as unconditionally as Christ (as evidenced by this post) but I can say He has done something in me that doesn’t make any sense – He loves me and His love is in me. It sounds weird but it’s the only explanation for why I love the jerks in my life.  That doesn’t mean I have to be a glutton for punishment – one of my mantras is “I have enough of my own drama. I don’t need anyone else’s.” But it’s a comfort to me just to know I love another because I can’t help myself – it’s a Jesus Freak thing.

SO, ya freaks, just ‘cause I love ya doesn’t mean I don’t see how rotten you are, too. It just means us brothers and sisters in Christ can be rotten together and know that when God looks at us, He sees what Jesus did for us so that’s what we should see, too.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle