Thursday, August 30, 2012

God Will Make a Way: Learning Via the CFA Uproar

Hurting Hearts.

Angry words.


Accusations of ignorance and judgement.

I stumbled smack into all of this recently on a mommy forum. Our group of women were once united by a love for our children. But on this day? Words typed angrily out on a computer threatened to tear us apart.

These conversations continued for days with our moderators eventually shutting down all discussion pertaining to Chick-fil-A. I walked away with a sad heart. I believe our group missed something crucial here. 

God Will Make a Way

Can I be honest? It makes my heart scared to hear people think Christians hate based on who you love. Anger boils over at the mention of who is saved versus who surely must not be. It blows my mind when some (but not all) on both sides seem to forget...we are all sinners. And it makes my heart break to think as we go into a political election season that Christians are reserving harsh words for each other. 

This brings to my mind the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman in John 8. In that story, men wanted to trap Jesus by bringing the accused woman before Him. If he showed her grace He would be violating Moses' law. But if he ordered her stoned to death He would reported to the Romans for violating their rules. So, what would Jesus do?  

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:7 New International Version (NIV)

Wow. Can you imagine the looks on the men's faces? Talk about being convicted! One by one, they dropped their stones. One by one they slowly drifted away leaving not one person to execute her. 

My point today is not to rehash the debate surrounding CFA. Instead, I want to spread a message of hope. Yes, we ALL sinners. With one Savior. 

But wait...I still have issues with all of this!

 - the bible says I can't love whomever I want
- the bible says I can drink what I want (smoke, get divorced or rid of my boss, et)
-I had a bad experience with "Christians"
-the church is a place for people I don't understand...I'm just not like them
-I have done some terrible things in my life. God could never love me...

Ah, those issues.
Put them away, my friend. 

Don't let Satan take away a glorious eternity from you by preventing you from accepting the free gift from Christ. 


You see, no matter who you are or what kind of sin you have in your heart, it doesn't prevent you from accepting Christ. The rest of the stuff? Let God take care of it. I promise He will. 

Just for today, will you consider taking a step toward faith? Trust? Will you admit to Christ you are a sinner (just like the rest of us) and ask Him to be your personal Savior?  

One step at a time. 
God will make a way. 

Dear God, I am a sinner. Thank you for sending your son...your only son to live and die for me. So that I may spend an eternity with you in heaven. I pray for your forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into my heart and life today. Help me to set aside the "stuff" and focus on your love for me...a child of God. 

In Jesus' Name I Pray. Amen.

If I can pray for you please leave a comment below or email

Blessings, Michelle

Today I wrote my post as part of Faith Barista's Thursday Faith Jam. Head over to her site for more inspiration, encouragement and letters to God. You'll be hooked!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Piece of Me

Welcome to those of you who are here from reading my devotional Dirt Road Dependence on Encouragement Cafe! I am beyond excited about being part of their writing team and feel God encouraging my heart to keep sharing the wonderful truth and inspiration He has in store for us. My blog is truly a piece of me as it captures my heart...

My name is Michelle and I am wife to my husband Brian who is from Galway, Ireland. We have two little miracles. Teagan is our big three-year-old-going-on-20 and Isla is our kissing bandit one year old. 

On Teagan's Travels I share adventures of our family, friendships, the adoption of my nephew, who is like a son to me, my advocacy for Compassion International and our love of international travel. I am a constant amateur photographer. 

My girlfriends will tell you nary a play date moment goes by without my attempts to capture it! 

I also blog about my faith  and life here. I feel God is leading me to share and it has been my blessing to do so. I lost my mother, father and step-mother all in the past few months which has been especially difficult for me. I pray my loss and vulnerability during this tender time will encourage others. God has been so comforting during these moments and I can't imagine going through this without His truth in hand.  

In addition, I blog about the difficulties we had becoming parents. Infertility is a numbing, isolating road to travel and it is my prayer that this would be a place where readers feel free to develop community. 

Finally, I write about doing life together. The sticky floor mommy days, juggling a crazy schedule , mishaps, adventures and more. I cherish my life and can't wait to find out more about you! Will you grab a cup of coffee and join me?  

My plans are to launch a new website in the next few weeks, have giveaways, online bible studies and more this year. 

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite posts:

Teagan's travels button, 2012 february

Come join me on for my Destination: Inspiration linky party. If you have an inspiring or encouraging post to share it takes less than five minutes to add yours. And if you need inspiration there are several wonderful writers who return each week to encourage you! 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Destination: Inspiration Linky Party #21 & Featured Blogger

Kayse Pratt

live authentically, laugh joyfully, love intentionally

Today I'm excited to feature my friend Kayse's new website and blog. She just rolled it out this week and I LOVE it! What a cool place to hang out with a cup of coffee and get a ton of encouragement and inspiration! 

Click Button or Here to visit Kayse's blog!

Aren't they the cutest family?
This site just makes me feel happy visiting it! I know you will love Kayse's writing too!

If you are looking for blog design, Mindy from Simply Design did a wonderful job on this and so many other sites I keep seeing pop up in blog world. My plans are that she'll be able to roll out my new site sometime in the near future! I am practically jumping out of my chair when I think of the possibilities here. I would like to turn Teagan's Travels back into our family blog and focus on my ministry within a new site so stay tuned...

Please visit Kayse's site and say hello! 
She's got some wonderful giveaways going on this week!

If you are interested in guest posting or being featured here send an email to It would be great if you include a picture as well and a blog button, if you have one. 

Alright, we are off to another great party. 
Share as many inspirational posts as you like!

Passport to an Awesome 
Destination: Inspiration Party!!!

Teagan's Travels Button, 2012 February

I Was Featured, 2012 February

*I  am trying to grow my little blog so I'd really be excited if you would follow me using Google  Friends Connect or Linky Followers on my sidebar!

*Grab my button and post it somewhere on your blog if you want to totally make my week.

*Link to your post instead of your overall blog address.

*We all love comments so spread the love to at least one other blogger.

Have a great week! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blogging for Compassion: Be the Voice

Would you chose to be a hero today?  Could you let your mouse lead you to a new, great, big role that promises to change at least one life, not to mention yours....forever???

Join the Compassion Blogger Network

One Christmas morning Brian and I became sponsors of a little girl in Rwanda named Pascaline. Our hearts ached from another round of fertility treatments that ended in miscarriage. We believed God called us into the sponsorship experience so we could take a break. Reset. Focus on someone else's needs for a bit. And in the process? Our sponsorship, in Jesus' name, would bless them. 

But God is so good and always full of surprises. We quickly realized that we were the ones being blessed! Our partnership with Pascaline's parents is so powerful. So moving. It healed our hearts and continues to provide daily joy half way around the world from her little village! We are truly family. Forever connected in a powerful love based in Christ's love for us.  

I quickly signed up to be an Advocate for the organization. Recently, we recently began a new sponsorship of Elibie, a sweet little girl from Burkina Faso. 

Today, using my blog to help change the lives of children around the world has enriched an already tremendous blessing!

Compassion is a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. The organization was founded in 1952 and today it helps more than 1 million children in 26 countries.

In my opinion? Compassion International provides the best and most effective means for making real change in the lives of children devastated by poverty!

Challenge: Be the Voice!
Use your blog to speak up on behalf of children in poverty

Blessings! Hope to see you back here for Tuesday's Destination: Inspiration Linky Party!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Living Like Lydia

I love how God used women in the bible to change everything. I want to live as Lydia did, with a heart that seeks and courage that changes life for those around me...

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

Acts 16:14
New International Version (NIV)

In Acts 16: 11- 40 we learn of Paul and Silas' arrival in Phillippi. There they met Lydia. We can suppose she was a wealthy woman because she was a business woman who sold wonderful fabric. I imagine her as a person of great influence. A strong woman with a full schedule. 

She was also a spiritual seeker. She didn't know much about God and nothing of Jesus. But as she waited outside a prayer gathering on the Sabbath, God rewarded her faithful belief and interest in learning more. He blessed her with a strategic meeting by introducing her to Paul. 

Lydia heard Paul's message and accepted Christ into her heart. And despite the danger of doing so, she brought her entire household to hear the message. As a result? Everyone of them was  baptized.  

Ordinary woman, doing extraordinary things. The first convert to Christianity in Phillippi...

Our challenge today is to live like Lydia. 

What opportunities do we have to seek with an open heart like hers? 

What connections will we make where we can share the gift of salvation with others? 

The bible teaches us when we live boldly, sharing the gift of our Christian life with others more blessings will be ours. Today, I pray we live boldly, seeking Christ, full of faith and compassion for others. 

I hope you have a wonderful day today! Peace be with you. 

Blessings, Michelle

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dear God: I Blew It

Dear God,  
It happened again today. 
Despite my best intentions...I blew it, God. 

What would you say to God if you could reveal the deepest parts of your heart in a letter? What would you confess? What help would you ask for? 

Dear God,  
It happened again today. Despite my best intentions...I blew it, God. 

I woke up early and the day started off with such promise! In my heart I had the best intentions: I would let You prioritize and lead my day. 

But as our day got going, my toddler pushed and pushed my heart. She took toys from her baby sister, wouldn't stay seated at the dinning table, and she even locked me out of the car as I was putting her in her car seat. Oh God, how I love her dearly. But some days? If I am honest? She depletes my patience supply before we even get to 9:00!

As the day moved on a less than helpful manager at the bank bumped into my happy. She wouldn't notarize a document I really needed completed because it was in the wrong format. I left frustrated. It was a wasted trip with the kids in tow. 

This was followed by that mean shopper at the grocery store who pulled into my spot...a spot clearly marked for moms with kids. My heart simmered as she trotted into the store alone.

By nap time I was exhausted physically and emotionally. The last little bit of patience I had melted in a fit of anger when my toddler woke her sister up for the third time. I yelled. I threatened. I slammed her door. 

It was ugly, God. 
My unglued moment. 
A moment where the least desirable parts of my heart showed. To my most precious little one. 

As my baby cried on the other side of the door I breathed, breathed, breathed. Willing myself to calm down. Asking you for help. 

But the damaged was done. 
I was not a great mom today.
I did not model how to be patient. How to love each other. How to talk softly and respectfully. 

Oh God. I trudge heavy-hearted toward dinnertime now. My energy is gone and I just feel defeated. I pray tomorrow I'll "get it right." I pray for a heart like Jesus'. A heart full of love, patience and understanding despite the world that can throw some crazy at us some times. 

And I pray for your forgiveness. Thank you for loving me anyway, God. No matter how I disappoint or fall short of glorifying You, I know there is always hope for me in your unending love and patience for my life. 

In Jesus' Name I Pray, 

Today I wrote my letter to God as part of Faith Barista's Thursday Faith Jam. Head over to her site for more inspiration, encouragement and letters to God. You'll be hooked!

If you are like me, you need help for the days when someone gets "all up in your happy." You know. Those unglued days. I am so excited to share that my favorite Christian author, Lysa TerKeurst has a brand new book out on this very subject!

God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it! Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has had experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or we react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how. 

Filled with gut-honest personal examples and biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: 
  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. 
  • Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication. 
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between. 
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.

Lysa has invited some amazing bloggers, writers and women to be part of her Unglued Webcast TONIGHT (Thursday, August 23rd). It airs LIVE from 8-9pm EST. 

Go to to view it... if it doesn't show up right away be sure to refresh your browser. There will be a replay the next day in case you miss it or want to share it.  I hope y'all will tune in for that!!!!

Now tell me, what would You say in a letter to God? Or how do you calm down when life becomes Unglued?

Blessings, Michelle

Monday, August 20, 2012

Destination: Inspiration Linky Party #20 and Featured Blogger

Welcome to a new Destination: Inspiration Linky Party! I am so grateful you are here and can't wait to read some of the awesome inspiration you have in store for us this week. But before we dive in, I want to introduce you to this week's Featured Blogger.

Lara Sadowski, author of 
Journey of a Southern Gal
Peach Cobbler, Ice Tea and My Walk With the Lord

Lara and I met at the She Speaks conference in July. We became fast friends within a group of precious women that super charged my experience there. Now we encourage each other daily, pray for one another and are forming a writing critique group!

Do you have girlfriends who have come into your life with such ease that you feel you have known each other forever? That's Lara for me and I imagine so many other lives she touches! I can't wait for you to get to know her better too so read on!

1. Tell us about you and your ministry.
My name is Lara Sadowski, and I am a newlywed, married 18 months to my sweet David! When we said our "I DOs" on February 13, 2011, I also became a stepmother to Derik, now 15 years old. I could not ask for a better stepson, and I love him with all of my heart. Boy, am I blessed!! 

My blog is "Journey of a Southern Gal" and I write about my life growing up in the South, but I mostly write about how much I love Jesus Christ. I battled clinical depression from childhood, and that depression led me down the dark road of anorexia nervosa when I was only 11 years old. I spent a good chunk of my life in physical and emotional pain, but the Lord never left my side. He led me to an amazing Christian counselor about 10 years ago, and I have been in recovery ever since. "His Perfect Image Ministries" was born out of my pain, but our Lord is in the "Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons" business. I am blessed to be able to share my story of healing to girls and women alike who are battling or who have battled the same demons I did, and His Perfect Image Ministries is an amazing platform on which I can do that.

2. Share something unusual about your life.
WOW! Something unusual about my life? Well, I am 44 years old, but I still love the Muppets and Charlie Brown as much as I did when I was a kid. I love to dance, so I so enjoy doing the "Charlie Brown Kids" dance when I am brushing my teeth. It gives my hubby a big chuckle. I also have the "Linus and Lucy Theme" as my ring tone on my iPhone, so you can always find me dancing before I hit "Answer." :-)

3.  How did you discover blogging and why do you do it?
I discovered blogging through journalling. I have kept a journal/diary since I was a kid, so blogging was just another way to get my thoughts on paper (or on screen). The beautiful thing about blogging is that words can reach countless numbers of people around the world. What a gift God has given us so we can encourage His flock with His good news!!

4.  Where was your favorite trip and why?
Oh, my favorite trip? It has to be Paris, France! I went five years ago with my sister and one of our best friends, and we had a ball! Loving history and crepes (not necessarily in that order!), I fell in love with Paris as well as Normandy and the Loire Valley Region. David and I have both been to France -  just not together, so we are planning a trip to experience it. The Lourve was my FAVORITE part, and I need at least five days to get through that. And the bowls of chocolate mousse were not bad either!!

5. Show us what you've got! Share the title, description and link to your favorite post!

Please come visit me at "Journey of a Southern Gal" at  I only have two posts so far (new blog!), but I will link you to a post about my experience at the She Speaks 2012 Conference:

Please visit Lara's site and say hello! I look forward to hearing more from her on Teagan's Travels, hopefully as a future guest blogger and through linking up weekly!

If you are interested in guest posting or being featured here send an email to It would be great if you include a picture as well and a blog button, if you have one. 

Alright, we are off to another great party. 
Share as many inspirational posts as you like!

Passport to an Awesome 
Destination: Inspiration Party!!!

Teagan's Travels Button, 2012 February

I Was Featured, 2012 February

*I  am trying to grow my little blog so I'd really be excited if you would follow me using Google  Friends Connect or Linky Followers on my sidebar!

*Grab my button and post it somewhere on your blog if you want to totally make my week.

*Link to your post instead of your overall blog address.

*We all love comments so spread the love to at least one other blogger.

Have a great week!