Climbing To The Mountaintop…

You are talking to one of the least athletic people you will know.  Somewhere along the line, God gave me a big dose of “spirit”…But not so much athletic ability.

Kodak moment.  I tried Junior High track (although I’ll have to admit,  it was all about boys, the suntan and what everyone else was doing!). Long story short…I remember well, running the 880.  As I made my second lap around the track, the others had finished, the crowd was leaving the stands… And I, gasping for air, was practically walking to the finish line.

That moment, resonates with me now.  Life hasn’t been simple or easy of late.  It’s not been the “leisurely retirement years” I expected at 49andcounting. Life has been a struggle.  Filled with fear, anxiousness, worry, and even a little “why me, Lord?”.   I’ve seen the lowest valley… Or maybe I’m in it.  It hurts, it’s confusing, it’s disappointing and I feel broken.

And I think of climbing the mountains in Colorado.  It’s killer on me.  I huff and puff, stop and rest a lot, and slowly climb my way up the mountain.  It’s not pretty…I assure you.

That dose of spirit He gave me?  It keeps me looking up… It keeps me looking forward… Looking for the mountaintop, looking for the finish line.  Its hurting right now…I can’t catch my breath, my mind and body aches… my spirit aches. But I know that He has more for me.  I know that God is pulling for me, rooting me on.  “Don’t give up… Hold on to hope… Rest in me”.

What’s on the mountaintop?  What’s past the finish line?…I don’t know.  But I do know that it will be glorious.  That a moment will come when I will say…I made it!  I finished!  I didn’t give up!

God has great things for you.  And the harder it is to climb the mountain… The harder it is to run the race… The more amazing it will be when you finish… And you will know who carried you through.

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A Time To Wait…

As I’ve read my bible lately it has come to me that God wants us to wait.  The Israelites waited 40 years, Moses had a wait of 80 years, Jesus prayed and waited for 40days and 40 nights. After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit.  As Christians we are called to hope.  Hold on to hope. (Hebrews 10:23)  And holding on often means…waiting.

We are living in a world that is more and more…automatic response.

A phone call isn’t what it used to be.  As a young mother, I would wait for Saturday mornings to  make long distance phone calls home as they were very expensive during the week.   When a call went unanswered, there were no answering machines, no caller ID.   I tried again later.  No texting.  Just waiting.

If I needed information for a school project.  I didn’t have Internet Explorer…I went to the library, searched for the right book or encyclopedia.  Read, and read, and read until I found my answer.  No google.  It was a process, a waiting process.

My grandmother was hours away.  We waiting anxiously to see her on holidays.  I missed her, and was so excited to see her face as she drove into the driveway.  Now, Bella just uses her Ipad and Facetimes me.  We can see each other every day.

Photographs…my the world has changed!  We would take the picture, drop the roll of film off at the local drugstore, and wait a week for it to be processed.

I hope that in this day of instant everything, we haven’t lost the ability to wait.  To trust and rest in the knowing that God is taking care of all…in His time.   Often it is the wait…the trusting…the excitement that builds in knowing the answer is coming…that time of hope…where we grow the most.

Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

My prayer for you…hope, rest, wait…and know that God is working in you as you do.



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Retro, Vinyl and the Holy Spirit…

I see peach and aqua leisure suits, shag haircuts…my favorite record album, or as they call them today, vinyl.  England Dan and John Ford Coley.  And I hear these words…”Hello now, it’s been awhile…not much, how bout you”.

I can’t remember a birthdate or year for the life of me…but here I am singing the 1970’s song in my head.  The song came to mind when I thought of you…it’s been awhile…actually a long while, over a year.  And, I miss you.  I miss sharing my, sometimes very random, thoughts.  I miss chuckling at myself, and know you chuckle, too.  I miss knowing that the words that came out on the page, were just what the Holy Spirit had planned.

And so, I’m back!  Where have I been?  Following my dream.

Actually, I just read my last post…over a year ago.   I remember exactly the day I prayed for God’s direction and  felt his answer.  I believe that was the moment that God said, “I’m giving you your heart’s desire…now is your time.”  Sorry following my dream somehow meant letting “49andcounting” go.  It just did.  But today is my time to revisit you all.  And hope that time and distance hasn’t separated us.

I have old friends that I rarely see, but when we do…it’s like nothing has changed.  And I haven’t changed much.  (more grey hair, further away from 49 than I’d like to be…oh, maybe a few other things)


I pray the words come to me again, that God gives me the gift of time to write to you, and that your heart and mine will be smiling together as we honor Him.


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Can You Help Me With My Cat???

Okay, so this post has absolutely nothing to do with being 49andcounting, other than that at 50+ with no children at home, my need to nurture has sprung forth!  The answer…a cat!

Cat’s are easy enough, right?  A litter box, some food, a little TLC.  They don’t talk back, they don’t have a pile of laundry to be done, they only need fed once a day.  And when I leave for a day or two…no babysitter.  Yes, a cat it is!

Introducing…Miss Hissy.

Miss Hissy

If you have the time, it would probably help to read a prior blog post I wrote about Miss Hissy.    If not, here’s the short version,  and where I’m needing help!  Miss Hissy came to me as a house cat, needing a new home,  as she didn’t get along with other cats (hence, her name).

It’s been a year, and Miss Hissy has warmed up to me…somewhat.  But the craziest thing…she hates my house!  The minute the door opens, out she runs.  Even before the door opens, she cries, going from door to door.  How did I get her in the house in the first place???picked her up.  I have to physically carry her in the house!

Now, my problem.  It’s zero degrees in Kansas in January.  Cold, cold, cold.  And I just can’t stand the thought of her being outside in the cold.  She runs under the deck, or curls up in our little stone house, but either place is so cold.  So, I pick her up, and bring her in.  And shut the door before I even put her down, as it’s a race to see who gets to the door first.  I’m telling you, Miss Hissy is the strangest house cat I’ve ever met.  Not that I’ve met many.

So you cat lovers…what’s the problem?  I try to entice her with things like canned cat food in the house, a warm fuzzy blanket, holding her in my lap during Real Housewives…she tolerates it all, but open the door… and out she goes.

Is there any such thing as a “cat shrink”…I believe we need one!  When it all comes down to it…I may need a “people shrink”.  She’s driving me nuts!  What more can I do?

Thinking there’s a moral to this story…”we can’t make everyone love us”, no matter how hard we try.  But…that doesn’t mean to quit trying.  Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do…keep being loving to someone that’s not so loving acting to you.  But that’s what Jesus told us is the greatest commandment…love one another.  Keep loving, keep respecting, keep being kind, keep biting your tongue if you have to.  And eventually, just maybe, they will come around.

As for Miss Hissy…I won’t give up, but I sure could use your help!



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Second Chances…

Yesterday was just a Holy Spirit kind of day for me. I know, some of you are on a much better track than I am. You pray and listen and obey. Somewhere in the listening and obeying, I occasionally get lost. I’d say I’m a prayer, even a pray-without-ceasing kind of gal. But somehow in the listening for His answers I get caught in the “is this from the Lord or am I coming up with this idea on my own?”
Anyway, I occasionally have a day or period of time in my life that God chuckles and says…okay, Michaela…I’m going to slap you over the head with the 2×4…are you listening now?? Of course, I’d prefer skywriting…but that hasn’t happened yet!
So yesterday…was just like any normal Saturday, except…I started my day with this prayer. “Lord, I’ve got a lot of options in front of me. A lot of ideas. I’m pretty happy with where you have me right now, but…do you want me to step out in faith?”
Let me interject, different story…but it all comes together.
Two of the sweetest little urchins (I mean boys) from Wednesday afternoon Kids Club had told me that they were moving at the end of the week. And earlier I had a thought…a God thought. “I should stop by their house, give them a gift, and tell them goodbye. Just to show them love.”
You know how it goes with the obeying…the week slipped away and as I drove by their house on my way to my Saturday appointment, I saw the truck full of household items and thought…”darn it, I should have stopped.” my Saturday played out, I was lucky enough to sit right next to a woman I’d never met. We got to talking. We had the same ideas, the stepping out in faith ideas! I even believe maybe we share the same brain! It was so much fun and definitely a direct answer to my morning prayer.
I was feeling pretty joyful. “Thank you, Lord! You’ve sent this soon to be friend…I just know it. You’ve shown me the path you want me to take. I prayed, you answered..and definitely this time I heard!”
Just one more stop on my way home. The gas station. And who do you think was pulling in…my little friends. Three vehicles, loaded to the top. I asked their mom, “are the boys with you?” “Sure, in the red minivan.”
So I grabbed a couple packs of SweetTarts, headed out to the van and said good-bye to my sweet friends.
“Hey boys, I’m going to miss you. Here’s a treat for your long trip. And always remember that God loves you, and keep on loving one another just like you do so well.” Those precious big brown eyes, and the nodding of their heads…I can not tell you how that was my real joy of the day.
And at the end of the day I prayed…”thank you Jesus, for giving me days like today, that I absolutely know your voice and you give me second chances”.
My joy is complete.

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Next Stop…Heaven!

Do any of you remember “Promotion Sunday”?  In the Methodist church, once a year all the Sunday School classes gathered for Promotion Sunday.  It was always a time of great excitement as you looked forward to moving “up” to a new Sunday School class.  Awards were given out for “perfect attendance” to those little angels who had made it to Sunday school each week.  Bibles were given to the 3rd graders, now old enough to read and have their own bible.

Promotion Sunday was important.  So with polished shoes, pin curled hair and our best hanky with pennies tied in it, we marched in to the sanctuary probably to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers”…that part I’ve kind of forgotten

sunday school

Many years later, I was the Sunday School superintendent.  I checked the rolls with each teacher.  Who would be the new Sunday School teachers, who had come faithfully, who could move on to a new class?  I’ll never forget stopping in and talking with all of the teachers.  Elementary…Middle  School…High School…even Young Married and Adults.

Then, last of all, was that group of little ladies that met in the corner of the sanctuary.  Most had white hair, spoke softly, carried a pocket-book.  These were the ladies that were well over 70 and many had lost their soul-mates.  They still faithfully attended Sunday School each Sunday.  And when I inquired about Promotion Sunday and realized there was no class for them to promote “up to”, one little lady laughed and said.  “Next Stop…Heaven!”

I love Sunday School, and little white-haired ladies:)

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Unexpected Moments…

There are moments in life that smack you in the face with the “unexpected”.  Moments that you can look back on and say…”that was when my life changed”.  Nothing could prepare you for the difference you would face after “that moment”.

The birth of a baby.  No matter how many books you’ve read to prepare, or if you’ve gone to birthing classes in advance…you just don’t “get it” until the moment that child is born.  At that moment, you feel love like you’ve never felt before and responsibility for the new life you hold in your arms.  You knew it was coming, but at that moment life changed and the feelings are so unexpected.

The death of a parent.  We all know the circle of life, we know with age or sickness comes death.  Sometimes we watch and wait knowing the end is coming.  But the moment you lose a parent the hole in your heart is so “unexpected”.  You can’t know the feeling or the sadness until it happens.

In our family, we’ve encountered the unexpected.  We knew it was a possibility, even a probability…but until that moment, we didn’t even know.  My brother has been diagnosed with a hereditary disease, a disabling disease.  My heart aches.  His moment has come.  Life has changed in the most unexpected way.  Each day is a struggle.  Six months ago would he have foreseen life being this way?  No.   Not until the moment came did we really know.  Know the fear, know the heartache, know the confusion.  Know the courage, the bravery, the love that this moment would bring.

What my brother has shown me in his moment is hope.  Is to never give up.  To count your blessings.  To hold on to faith, and friends and family.  He has shown us honesty and transparency because he wants to help others.  He believes in a cure and because he believes, others do to.

When life changes, when the path you’re on will never be the same again, when the unexpected becomes your reality…how do you handle it?  I know how the brave one in my life holds on…

Isaiah 41:13  I am holding you by your right hand — I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.  –New Living Translation

I love you David, and I’m so proud of you. — Michaela




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