Podcast #120- Receiving prayer and love for yourself (4:21)

God reminded me lately that I also need to drink in the love of God as I pray for others. And this is the perfect season to take a pause and just remember His deep love for us. Happy Easter!

I happened to finish this episode on Easter week.  This is the perfect season to open our hearts to receive the deep love of God. Here’s a quick update on what God showed me this week. Enjoy and have a blessed Easter. 

Recently, I’ve been praying for my parents. I have this crafted prayer written out for them, and I was praying for them pretty regularly.  And today when I was praying for them, God sort of reminded me that I can pray for myself in the same way.  And I thought that’s a pretty good idea.  Because I was praying for God to release peace and joy in my parents lives. And I certain can use a lot of peace and joy in my day too.  

And so I started to pray over myself “Michele, I just pray that the Lord will pour out joy and peace into your life today.”  And as soon as I said those words, I just totally choked up. I was so surprised.  That’s not the reaction I expected.  I had no idea how tired I’ve been, and how much I really needed that prayer for myself.  

I think for the last 2 years or so, I’ve been in this mode where I’m so focused on taking care of everybody else around me… that I forgot that I needed to take time out and take care of my own needs too. I’ve been in this task oriented mode. It’s funny because when I prayed over myself, suddenly, I stopped focusing on what I have to do.  I stopped being a “Martha” – if you know what I mean.  I opened up my heart to receive the prayers and all of these pent up frustrations just came pouring out.  

I think for many of us who are care takers by nature, we tend to focus a lot on other people.  So often times, we will ignore our own needs. And I’m grateful that today, God reminded me to just take a pause and pray over me. And that I deserve the kind of attention and care that I usually give to others. And that God also wants to give me His love and peace and joy. And that it’s important for me to stop doing, and just receive His loving kindness. 

And that reminds me of that great verse that we should love others as we love ourselves.  It’s not one or the other.  But that even as we love on other people, we should remember to also love ourselves too… To pour out and receive the love of God for ourselves.  

So I just wanted to share that quick note.  To share with all my listeners. To share with everybody out there today, in this season, please take some time for yourself.  Please do something nice for yourself. And if you’re used to caring for others or praying for others, please say a prayer for yourself, and embrace and enjoy and soak up that loving kindness of God. 

So I just wanted to say that and share it with everyone.  Just something that I learned and received from the Lord today.  And that’s just a quick update from me! 

As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling a little worn out, so I took a little personal retreat earlier this year.  I am working the next series which hopefully will be coming out soon.  Thank you so much for listening.  Have a wonderful week, and we’ll chat with you next time. 

Podcast #119 – The Power of Our History With God (5:04)

Newer isn’t always better. Our spiritual history may actually help us get the breakthrough we’re looking for.

Welcome to the Sabbath Café Podcast.  You’re listening to episode #119 – the power of our history with God. 
 
I was sorting through some old notebooks the other day, and a note card fell out.  It was a crafted prayer I wrote about 5 years ago for my family.  I had tucked it away, and totally forgot it.   
 
 It was a small card, and filled up front and back with a prayer I wrote about a broken relationship.  At that time, it felt like the situation was never going to change. These relationships have been broken for years. Honestly, I didn’t know if my prayers were going to make any difference at that point.  Still, I remembered that no request is too small or insignificant to God. And sure enough, after praying this crafted prayer for about a year, a breakthrough happened!  God answered my prayers and reunited a family!  It was nothing short of a miracle.   
 
As I read it, I was amazed that most of my requests have been answered.  Changes didn’t happen overnight, but they did happen.  As I remembered how God made possible what I thought was impossible, my faith rose up.  Suddenly, all of the negativity I felt that week vanished. 
 
In our social media world, we’re always looking for the latest news and trends.  We rarely take the time to reflect on our past.  To be honest, I feel that my generation, me included, don’t really understand the value and purpose of history. I think that’s why I didn’t recognize the value and power of my own history with God. Our history with God is made up of all of the interactions and experiences between us and God. Every prayer He answers adds to that history.  When it comes to building up our faith and spiritual maturity, our history with God can be a powerful tool. 
 
History gives us perspective.  It shows us the big picture and reminds us that real change takes time.  It helps us to be patient and wait for God’s timing.  When we can’t see the hand of God at work, our history reminds us that God is indeed still working.  When we feel discouraged in the middle of the storm, it reminds us that our journey is not finished yet.  Every experience we have with God, whether big or small, adds to our faith. And every interaction we have with God brings our faith to the next step.  
 
When I feel anxious and fearful, these negative emotions can be so overwhelming that I feel paralyzed.  My mind jumps to the worst case scenario and I sink into a pit of negativity.  And that’s exactly what happened to me recently.  I felt the challenges I had were so big… so beyond me that I couldn’t muster up any faith to pray.  But when I found that prayer card, and remembered how God answered the prayers that I thought were impossible, my faith rose up.  I remembered that God is bigger than my challenges.  I remembered that despite my limitations, and my lack of faith, God really can do above and beyond what I can ask, think or imagine.  
 
Are you also facing a difficult situation lately?  Do you feel like you’re dealing with a giant in your life?  Maybe it’s time for you to take a break and remember how God has showed up for you in the past.   Push the pause button on your worries, and think about your own history with God.   If you keep a journal, this is the perfect time to take it out and read a few pages.  Not only will you remember God’s faithfulness to you, you’ll also be encouraged by how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown in your own journey.  And you may even see that your current challenge is not as big as you thought.  God can and He will help you walk through it, just like He did before.  And you will come out of the storm amazed and transformed. 
 
And that’s our podcast for this week.  I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  Thank you so much for listening.  Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year! 

Podcast #118 – Just an ordinary day… (4:25)

In the social media world, we all like to share our best sides. But when God shows up, even mistakes or missed opportunities are turned into blessings. Here’s one of mine.

Hi everyone, this is Michele, and welcome to Sabbath Café. 

Most of the time, we like to share our “success stories”… Like when God answers our prayers or when life goes smoothly, and we live happily ever after!  Those times are great, but honestly, most of the time, life doesn’t work out that way.   Everyday life is messy.   Most of the time, it’s not so clear cut.  It’s not really black and white.  There are many shades of gray.  Often I don’t know if I’m hearing God or if it’s just my own thoughts.  But you know, that’s all just part of life. As I found out this week… even when I don’t get things quite right, God will still make it a beautiful experience. 

So this is what happened… 

One afternoon, I was out running errands. I was driving along, and just had this thought… maybe I should take a left turn instead of a right turn as I normally do.  And I just thought… taking a left turn would be… kind of out of my way.  I was in a hurry. And I was thinking, “Why?  That doesn’t make sense…  Maybe it’s just my own thoughts… My adventurous side chiming in…” Some time that happens.   And so I decided to ignore that, and kept driving along.  

Sure enough, not a minute later, I came to a dead stop in this bumper to bumper traffic on a local street.  Now it wasn’t really traffic hour…. so it was kind of weird why suddenly we’re kind of stuck.  And I can feel people getting annoyed.  I can feel the cars behind me getting impatient. Thankfully, I didn’t need to get somewhere at a certain time.  So I just settled down, and follow the traffic. And about a couple of blocks down, I saw the problem. The traffic light went out at an upcoming intersection.  Because it was out, every car had to stop – all 4 ways. And that’s what started the backup. 

And that’s when I realized “Wow, if I had made a left turn back then… I would have just completely avoided this.”  I even made a mental note to myself… that on my way back to take the other route… the longer route… so I can just bypass this whole mess. 

Now what’s interesting is… if I had taken that left turn earlier, I would have avoided all this. And I’d never know that this route had problems. I would’ve drove to my destination with no issues, and thought to myself… “That was kind of weird… Was that just my own idea?  What was that all about?”  Because everything would have gone pretty smoothly.  

It made me wonder… how often something like this have happened –where God was helping me out, and I had absolutely no idea. 

I tend to look for “signs” to see if God is involved in my life…. And when I have a normal day where nothing special happens, I used to feel like God was aloof and not interested.  But this whole experience showed me that God really is speaking… has been speaking… and is reaching out to me… even when I’m running errands, but I’m the one who didn’t see it. 

And I think God is also teaching me about how He interacts with me in real life.  It’s not a big deal to Him if I make a mistake.  Everything really can be a learning opportunity, and His grace is big enough to turn my every mistake into a blessing. 

So no matter what kind of week you’ve had, I hope you’ll also ask God to show you if He has any insights for you. He may turn your very ordinary day also into something extraordinary. 

And that’s our podcast for this week.  Thank you so much for listening.  Have a wonderful week, and we’ll chat next time. 

Embracing Solitude – the art of being alone

I started thinking about this topic during the holiday season. The holidays are all about folks gathering and celebrating together. Ironically, I think that’s why it can make people more aware of being alone. In this social media age, “being alone” gets a bad reputation. I see many books and conferences about how to develop and find community, but not many books that explore the other side of reality – of being alone. Being alone and feeling alone are different. One can be physically alone, and still feel content. On the other hand, even when surrounded by family and friends, one can still feel isolated and disconnected.

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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
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Podcast #106 My Experience in Replacing Anxiety with Peace

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I started a simple 10 day program last year on learning to rest in God. A year later, I’m still working through the lessons. 😀 Decided to share some of my experiences here in podcast 6.  And you can download the free scripture worksheet here: Peace meditation worksheet.

 

Podcast #105 How my anxiety affected my perspectives

Pod-logo-aqua-square-3000x3000-medium-qtyThe title sounds really serious… but this podcast is really just about my latest silly, *facepalm* / “Homer Simpson” moment… I promise, it’ll make you feel much better about your day. 😉

My Anniversary Reflection

This year will be my fifteenth wedding anniversary.  Yep. That’s right. Fifteen years. It is hard for me to fathom the fact that I’ve been in a relationship or even a friendship with someone for this long. Unlike most couples, I was the one who had an issue with commitment when we got engaged.  It’s not that I didn’t love my husband, but the sheer enormity of a lifetime commitment simply blew my mind. My husband, Mr. J, had no such concerns. Even though we’ve only known each other for a short time, as an intuitive visionary, he can already see us together for the long haul. Our differences were quite obvious even back then.

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My Creative Beginning

I didn’t discover my gift of painting until my early 40’s. As a child, I didn’t enjoy drawing. Reading was my choice of pass time. Art classes at school always stressed me out because I was pretty bad at it compared to my classmates. I didn’t have an aesthetic sense about color either. Let’s just say that my high school friends often commented on my interesting choice of wardrobe. Yet, in spite of these negative experiences, I’ve developed into a painter in the last few years. This past Christmas season, I finally felt confident enough to give away a few paintings as Christmas gifts. My families were pleasantly surprised when they received these presents. However, no one was more surprised than me about my hidden artistic gift.

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Pruning – A Spiritual Perspective

I don’t have a green thumb. When I first met my husband, he gave me a cute potted miniature rose. One morning, I put it on the patio for some sun, and promptly forgot about it… until a week later. Alas, the tiny rose was no match for the fierce California sun. Needless to say, my husband never gave me plants again. My dad, however, grew up on a farm, and plants thrive under his care. Recently, I wanted to plant a rose in the backyard of our new home. With my dad’s help, we planted a healthy and robust rose bush. The first bloom was glorious! The beautiful blossoms were as big as a grapefruit, and bloomed for days. After the flowers wilted, I continued to water and care for the plant. However, when some of the leaves started to shrivel and yellow. I knew something was wrong.

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Photo by Asad Nazir on Pexels.com

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Podcast #102 – The Power of Remembrance

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Lately, I felt a bit disconnected from God in the midst of a stressful season. Instead of forcing myself to worship or give thanks, I took a break and remembered the last time God showed up…