Friday, May 28, 2010


This evening we had the most magical thunder storm we've had in a while! Flashing beams of light darting across the sky, casting shadows all around. Then the clouds opened up, offering a downpour of nature's tears. I love storms. There's something so cathartic about watching the chaos of whipping wind, electric beams and heavy rain drops from the security of home.

It reminds me of the uncertainty of life and the storms we each face. If we look at the storms while we're standing in the rain, we're sure to be hit by lightening. But if we surround ourselves in the home of God, those storms become something mystical...the fear turns into wonder. We begin to look at the mysteriousness of what is taking place and begin to see the beauty in it.

Something that has the potential to be terrifying is transformed into a deeper moment of depending on God and we're able to see what's happening in a different light. Instead of running to find cover, we stand in awe of the power before us. We appreciate the rain that waters the land, wait with excitement for the next flash of light to show and count the seconds until we hear the boom of thunder.

I love to light a few candles in the fireplace, turn off all the lights and watch the light show from the safety of home. So the next time you find yourself in a storm, take a deep breath, find a home in the safety of God's arms, light some candles and watch the show with different eyes. You have nothing to fear. Just know that the storm will pass soon enough and you'll come away with a greater knowing of yourself and your God.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." ~ Psalm 18:2

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The 2010 She Speaks Conference

In the last couple of posts I mentioned how God has been sending me on yet another surprising journey. This year has been about moving dreams off the back burner, getting back to basics and listening to the still small voice that wants to guide me to my full potential. Well, when you ask for something, get ready!

For the past several years I've felt God calling my heart to write. So many titles and ideas seemed to leap from the quiet corners of my mind, but I had no idea where to begin. I decided to keep a journal of sorts to log the thoughts when they would appear and assumed this would be a life work that would take form 10 or 20 years later down the road. You see, I'm not a writer. English was not my major in college and I'm grammatically challenged on most days (:

But over the last few months three books have taken shape with such force that the possibility of releasing them into the world has now gotten my attention. I contacted a friend who is a writer and she suggested attending the She Speaks Conference - She Speaks is a life-changing conference for women seeking to explore the tug on their hearts to reach out to the world for Jesus. Hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries for the past nine years, She Speaks encourages and equips women as they communicate God's Word through writing, speaking and leadership.

I hopped over to the site to see when the 2010 conference might be and it just so "happens" to fall on July 30 - August 1. Not only that, but it's being held only 25 miles away from my home! With funds low and wondering how God is going to bring this around, one of the ladies working with the convention suggested raising scholarship funds.

Each year many of the women who attend do so by raising their own scholarships, whether partially or in full. Some post info on their blogs and facebook while others reach out to their church family and community. The testimonies are amazing of how God provides.

And so I'm stepping out in faith yet again. God has placed a calling on my heart to attend She Speaks in 2010 and I trust He will financially provide a way to go. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with me through a financial contribution towards a scholarship that will allow me to attend?

As you feel led to join in this exciting call, there are two ways to participate. You can call Proverbs 31 Ministries at 877-731-4663 to contribute or send a check payable to Proverbs 31 Ministries to:

Proverbs 31 Ministries
She Speaks Scholarship/Michele Yates
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill RoadMatthews, NC 28105

Please be sure to designate the scholarship in my name (Michele Yates) in order to credit my scholarship fund. You will be receipted for your tax-deductible donation. Visit the She Speaks site for more information. I appreciate your thoughtfulness so much and could not do this without you being a very important part.

"She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

A lot has been going on within the last couple of weeks and a small break was in order. No, it's not a move, but a shift in focus again. I'll go into more detail about this later, but today is about reflection on being who we are. How many of us are being the person we feel we SHOULD BE instead of being the person we truly ARE?

As a small child I had an uncle who made a great impact on my way of thinking. Not one that I realized until just recently, but affective nonetheless. This came as quite a shock since we live on separate coasts and really don't get to see each other that much. He's a scientist and just about as book smart as you can get. Ignorance isn't tolerated and those who are scholastically challenged are looked on as being questionable.

My parents did not share this view and taught us that all are valuable no matter the "status of their minds" or the degrees they hold, but for some reason this uncle's philosophy stuck. I suppose it was because this view was so foreign to my realm of understanding and after all...this guy was smart and surely he knew what he was talking about. I remember questioning my validity since there was so much I didn't know at the time.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago...New opportunities have come my way, but old thoughts from long ago kept popping up. "I don't know enough. I don't have a degree in that. I'm not in the industry, how can I possibly do that? And, did I mention this - I don't know enough." And there it was. The thought that unless I have a specific degree or credentials of letters tucked in behind my name, then I don't have anything of worth to contribute.

Now, to my uncle's credit, this is nothing he said specifically. He's a very kind man of many talents and embraces life more than most. You have to remember that this notion of what my uncle believe was taken in by a child processing the world as she knew it. It's so strange how these untrue thoughts can linger until they are challenged.

So the last couple of weeks have been spent just having gratitude for who I am. I'm not perfect by any means, have challenges just like anyone else, can be as stubborn as a mule at times and once in a while speak before thinking, but I was born with gifts and God intends on my using them (:

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." 1 Corintians 1:26-29

Oh, but this little annoying voice from my past was creeping in and causing doubt, so a decision was made to let my freak flag fly (: I am perfect just the way I am, warts and all. I may not be where I WANT to be, but I am exactly where I NEED to be at this moment.

Every day offers a new opportunity to embrace the divine that is in each of us. We are all special and offer something unique to this world. Our stories can inspire others who may be facing the same journey. We don't have to know everything, we just have to be brave enough to share what we do know.

So today reach out and let your freak flag fly! Embrace who you are, not who you think you should be. Offer a gift of gratitude to yourself because when you allow the light of who you are to shine, it warms those around you.

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