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Michele O'Leary Blog

With age and freedom, I learned to let go of insecurities that piled on top of my soul. God's never-ending love, His calling, and wooing of me helped me better understand what a daughter looks like in his own image. I am perfect because of His grace. It only took 40+ years to figure that out!

Giveaway Winner

Michele Oleary

And the winner of the giveaway is Leigh Ellen. Leigh Ellen, you should receive the devotional before Saturday, December 1st.

Thank you to all who left a comment and for all the support.

Merry Christmas, to you and your family. Savor the season and hush the rush of the busyness…find rest and refreshment in our Savior.

Color Blind

Michele Oleary

“I don’t see color,” my husband said to me as he seen me crying in our truck.

I witnessed kindness this past weekend that struck a deep cord in my soul.

A van was broken down and was blocking a lane on a busy road and car after car passed it or went around it.

“That person needs help,” I stated as we stopped behind the van.

My husband pulled into a parking lot and stepped into the busy street. As soon as he did, another person stopped, and they forged a plan to help the person in the van that ran out of gas. Help was coming but the lane needed to be cleared for traffic to flow. The four strangers worked together to push the car out of the road.

God orchestrated a lovely event of kindness to show all who were driving by and to each helping hand.

As I watched and took note of the scene unfurling in front me, my heart swelled with joy.

As we said our goodbyes and departed from one another, a Holy Spirit awareness surged through me.

With a quivering voice and tears cascading down my face, I could barely whisper the words.

“This is what our country needs more of...this kind of kindness.”

“This is how God wants us to treat one another.”

The scene rattled me.

You see, my husband, who is white, teamed up with two Hispanic men to push a young black gentleman’s van out of the road.

True community.

Christ-Love community.

Race didn’t matter. It was people helping people.

We should all have that kind of color blind.

We need, “He created us in his own image...” only kinda color.

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 NIV

Oh, friends, my heart weighs so heavy under the decay of kindness I hear, read, and see towards one another due to race, religion, or gender.

This is not a political issue; I am not even going there.

This is a heart issue.

Judgement kills kindness.

God made us out of love to love.

It all starts with the heart.

Sister’s, let’s check our hearts before our feet hit the floor each morning.

Say a little prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord in the newness of each day.

It places the lens of kindness in our heart and soul.

I still see that big, beautiful smile of the young man in the van as we waved goodbye...relief filled his face and I pray God's love flooded him too.

Sprinkle kindness on others, sweet ones, every day. It shifts the heart to see people for who they really are. Gods. 

Peace.

Overwhelm Me, Jesus

Michele Oleary

"You have not been very nice to me lately..." stated my husband the other night as we were getting ready for bed.

Ouch!

The truth is I haven't been. Yeap, I have been a big grump.

I have been prickly, sharp, and critical...mostly to him.

Poor guy. We take out our frustrations on the ones we love the most. 

I haven't started 2018 on the right foot or with the right heart.

Frustration has continued to saturate me like a sponge in a sink full of dirty dishes.

My husband's honest remark poured over conviction and highlighted pride in my sinful soul.

As I woke up to a new day, I asked for forgiveness from my Heavenly Father and from my husband. 

Thank you, God, for always giving us a new day. A fresh start.

God and His grace ushered me into the book of Psalm to remind me what is most important to Him and what should be most important to me.

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song." Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)

"Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary." Psalm 96:1-6 (NIV)

"Oh, sweet Savior, you washed away my heart of stone and refreshed my spirit with your reminder that peace in you wipes away a critical flesh-worldly heart. Amen"

I wrote in my Bible next to the verses in Psalm, "Overwhelm my heart, flood me, oh Jesus."

Yes, this is what it is all about. Praising our Lord and loving Him fully.

Sisters, praise God and sing a new song to Him. Declare His glory and salvation. Allow our Jesus to love you, so He can overwhelm your heart. Once we allow Him to flood us and overwhelm us, we can pour out His Love-Truths on others.

Will you allow Jesus to love you? Will you allow Him to overwhelm your heart? Friends, it is so freeing. 

*****

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My word for 2018 is "Peace."

The word "Peace" entered into my heart over a month ago, but boy, I haven't been living it lately. 

I will discuss more on God's peace in the next few weeks. 

Jesus. Our Peace provider. 

Do you have a word for 2018? If so, please share in the comments. 

*****

Giveaway Winner: I want to thank all who commented on last weeks blog post. I appreciate your support. The winner is...Leigh Ellen! Congrats!!

What Happens in the Broken-Bread Isle doesn't stay in the Broken-Bread Isle {Giveaway}

Michele Oleary

"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 (NIV)

There I stood, watching and waiting and observing my "twinkle-eyed" friend, Harrison. I witnessed such love in the breaking and passing of bread. 

I was not the only one in the wait, someone else took note, too.

We both approached my friend. He looked at me with those eyes of Jesus. The Love speaks and twinkles through Harrison’s eyes and oh, the smile of joy. 

He broke the bread and passed it to the "new friend," she insisted on handing the piece to me, but Harrison knew to serve her first. 

I said, "Please take it." and she did. As the bread was being passed Harrison referred to me as "His Angel." As the "new friend" took the piece of bread she asked, "Why do you call her that?" With his beautiful joy-grin and the eyes of dancing, he boldly states, "Because of who she is AND Who she knows."

Oh, the tears poured into my soul. If Harrison only had known my heavy heart.

The "new friend" looked at me, and there I saw it...those eyes...dancing, twinkling, and she asked, "Are you a Christian?" I replied, "Yes, I am."

I didn't need to ask her the same; the joy oozed out of her.

Joy danced into the broken-bread isle. We laughed, we high-fived, and Church arrived.

We talked, we shared, and Peace hovered over the three of us.

I turned and saw the line forming for a piece of the broken bread. No telling how long those folks waited but I do know they felt the presence of the One. 

I hugged the "new friend" and told Harrison I loved him and stepped away.

Friends, healing happened in my heart of hurt in the broken-bread isle. The past month has been raw, sad, and a piece of my heart broke off due to an event that happened that is not mine to share. 

As I walked out and reflected on the moment in my local grocery store, it struck me that love pours out day in and out from Harrison in the broken-bread isle of Wegman's. No surprise Jesus placed him there for such a job as this: Harrison breaks bread and gives it to folks for body AND spiritual nourishment.

Harrison passes Jesus-Hope, our Saviors-Love, and Peace-Truth to each person who is willing to receive the Broken-Bread of Life. 

This is not the first time I have written about Harrison; however, the precious moment in the grocery store struck me and stuck with me. I had to pass it to you. 

Break the Bread of Life and pass it to others, my sweet friends. Community and fellowship happen when we break bread with others. Love and gentleness walk in and intertwine hearts together. 

Jesus, our Broken-Bread. His brokeness gently steps in freedom. Such sweetness in His love. Pass it on, share, and pour out the Cross-Love on others. 

Peace.

*****

Giveaway: The Karama Collection is a company that brings dignity and purpose to artisans living in Nairobi, Kenya. I own a pair of these earrings and wear them all the time.

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*****Leave a comment below or on FB to qualify to win the earrings.*****

 

Lavish-Love

Michele Oleary

Lavish-Love, how you whisper my name.
You woo me to see your beautiful face.
Amazing Grace, oh Love so true.
Your sweet love made me new.
Cross-Freedom happened one starry night; 
Peace and Glory shimmered bright.
Your first cries of love seeped deep within,
to lavish your love all over your creation.
Lavish-Love from Above to pour on your gifts to break the chains;
Forever free because of your Name.
Love is who you are to me; perfect peace dwells within.
Thank you for coming down from Above all because of Love. 
Lavish-Love: Jesus.

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*****

Sweet Friends, I pray you are sitting at our Savior's feet savory each moment with Him this season. To stop the rush and allow the hush of Jesus flow in. His stillness sets us free to see exactly who He is: Our Lavish-Love. 

 

Empty Spaces {Giveaway Winner}

Michele Oleary

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 NIV

Hello Friends, I am sorry I am late announcing November's Giveaway winner. Real life has been happening and the penciled in planning was erased in order to share life with ones most precious to me.

To be very honest, it is 2:36 AM Saturday morning. God woke me up at midnight and I have been tossing and turning the past couple of hours. Not in worry but in awareness. 

Awareness in the movement of my heart from God. A peace He continues to pour into my soul to just sit with Him in the stillness.

Do you allow white spaces in your day? In your week? In your life? I am not good at this...allowing emptiness for awareness.

There are two words that continue to rotate around deep within me: Empty Spaces.

Joy is found in the empty spaces. 

Contentment is found in the empty spaces.

Our Maker is found in the empty spaces.

When we hand over the pencil of life to our Father,  He writes in the important stuff of life. The good stuff from the Goodness. 

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LIfe is too short not to allow empty spaces in our life to "be still and know" our Maker and allow Him to pencil in His will in our life. To find refreshment in the Peacemaker so we can go out into His community and pour out His love.

I am still wrestling around with my empty spaces and handing over my pencil. But I know without a doubt if I let go and allow God, freedom will ring within my soul.

I love you, friends. Find peace in our Savior today.

*****

Giveaway Winner is Tammy! Tammy, private message me on Facebook with your address.

 

 

 

Back To Basics

Michele Oleary


I have been a mess.

Yes, as much as I try not to think about it that way, it is my truth.

My yearning to see what the “next thing” is stirred up "self-ways" and "my want-ways" deep within me.

The strives of life can break up the Spirit of Life. 

This past year has been beautiful and exhausting, all wrapped up together in a bow of the Light and the Dark.

Friends, we can not have our feet in both worlds...one of Truth and one of worldly strives. It just doesn’t work. It also doesn’t honor our Father.

I have been praying for weeks about how God wants to use me next. What does that look like and what are the next dreams He is preparing?

The same words keep coming back to me.

“Back to Basics, my daughter.”

When we think of the word basic, it seems like a simple word and a small task. But I am learning it is neither simple or small or even easy.

It is obedience.

It is hard.

The “basics of life” is the brokenness to His truths.

Jesus didn’t strive for achievements in His ministry on earth. He kept it basic...a right relationship with His Father. Everything else flowed from there.

When the basics and brokenness intertwine together, they bring freedom and healing and His path of purpose: Loving our Father.

I lost the fundamentals of the basic-ness of His truths this past year.

As I sit still and reflect on the past year, I keep going back to something I heard several years ago, “In all you do, do it for an audience of One.” Yes, this must be my basics.

So, I will set aside, “again”, one day each week to keep learning the craft of writing.

I will take my daily stroll by the cow pastures and feel the calmness of my Healer.

I will sit at my Father’s feet, and we will dream together His dreams of what is next for our ministry.

I will continue to break bread with friends, run out of vans in laughter, and share His kindness with strangers. 

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I will smile at others and open doors at stores for mamas and “the wise ones” and pray for the ones I do not understand.

I will continue to encourage ones around me because that is my calling from Him.

I will love my family big and drop whatever to be by their side.

These are my basics of life. These are His Love-Truths for my soul.

Friends, I am not sure if I am touching a cord in your spirit. Maybe these words are just meant for me.

However, humor me and lean in as I whisper truth to you: There is nothing more important than God and a relationship with Him. Nothing.

I challenge you to “bring it back to basics” especially as we gear up for the holiday season.

Sit and share love with The Love.

Peace and Love, Sweet Friends

*****

Giveaway: I absolutely love anything Ann Voskamp pens. Leave a comment below or on Facebook to qualify to win, "The Greatest Gift" and the JOY cards.

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Last weeks giveaway winner is Rebecca Dikeman. Yeah, Rebecca! I know how to reach you, my friend.