Thank you Lord!

Psalms 62:1-2 โ€œMy soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.โ€  Ps. 62:5-6 โ€œFind rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Ps. 62:7-8 โ€œMy salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. "Selah"


Last night I was spending time with my Lord, and He gave me Psalms 62:8 to read.  So I backed up after reading that scripture and read the entirety of Psalms 62.  So comforting.  You see, this last year has been challenging in so many ways.  Friendships gained, lost, ministry gone, family, illness, work, betrayal, hurt.  The one I haven't spoken of much is the illness part.  I still don't know what to put, but its something I've been dealing with since before I came back to the Lord in 2004, and am now back to facing it to find out what is wrong.   I saw another specialist today, and the scriptures the Lord gave me last night gave me the courage to proceed forward to see this doctor.  I liked him.  He spent almost an hour with me, and listened to everything.  He didn't make me feel like I was crazy. He didn't make me feel like I was making it up.  He did tell me he didn't know yet, but now begins the process of more tests.  Today, I am okay with it.  I just want to get to the bottom of it once and for all.


Several months back, I confided in someone I thought I could trust, and their response to me was "buck up" and basically told me I didn't have enough faith and that was why I hadn't been healed yet.  Whoa.  Hey, thanks for that tid bit of advice, next time keep it to yourself.  God's word says I need to have faith the size of a mustard seed — I've got that.  So why isn't my body healed yet?  I don't know.  I've searched.  I've talked.  I've prayed.  I've read scriptures over myself, etc.  Nothing changes.  What I've realized, however, is that through this journey I've met people I probably wouldn't have gotten to meet before.  I have gotten the opportunity to witness to so many people along this journey, and I praise God for that.   I got the opportunity to pray with one of my doctors.  How cool is that!?  That wouldn't have happened if my health was good and all was well. 


Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."


I continue to praise and thank the Lord through this journey — I continue to pray for healing.  I pray for His strength, His purpose, His wisdom, His mercy.  God just use me.  He is so good to me, and I am so blessed in so many other ways that I hate to even complain about this one little issue.  I mean, really. 


Reading the book of Job has helped tremendously.  I will post more on my thoughts on that later, but the funny thing is that Job's friends thought that they had this tremendous insight into why Job was going through what he was going through, and they didn't have a clue! 


So why am I sharing this?  Because I am requesting prayer for this journey that I am on — healing first and foremost, but wisdom for me and the doctors — wisdom to know what to do.  That I would not get discouraged.  Strength.   Courage.  Boldness to speak about Jesus wherever I go.  Thanks muchas!


Oh yah, if you're going to tell me to have more faith, or to pray harder, or anything along those lines, please feel free to keep that to yourself.  :-)  If you want to be with me on this journey to just be there to encourage, please feel free, but if you think the Lord has given you special insight into why I'm sick (but He hasn't told me yet), again, please keep that to yourself.  May the Lord bless you in 2009!

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John 1:16 "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." 

Man I feel "full".  We had the absolute best Christmas week EVER!  We began our celebration on 12/23 in celebrating my daughter's 15th birthday!  WOW!  Her birth seems like yesterday to me.  I remember the first time I held her in my arms.  Wow is all I can say.  She is turning into such an amazing young woman, and I'm so thankful to the Lord for her.  He is doing such a GREAT work in her!

Christmas Eve we celebrated our "Christmas" with Hannah, as she was going to her dad's on Christmas Day.  We gave the kids their "big" gift on the 23rd so they could all enjoy it.  That "big" gift was Rock Band 2!  They started it up at 9 am on Christmas Eve and didn't quit until 6 pm.  OH MY GOODNESS!  It was so fun watching them play it, laughing at them, laughing at each other.  Such a full time of goodness!  We had a house full.  Because of the snow (thank you Lord) Lacey (Joe's oldest daughter) got "stuck" at our house for almost a week.  It was such a blessing to have her there.  God is doing amazing things in her life also!  WOW!! 

The Lord has been so good to us.  Christmas Day was our Christmas, and we opened the majority of the presents that day.  The kids were overwhelmed, and so thankful and it was so much fun blessing them with the things they so wanted!  The look on their faces at times was priceless!!  LOVED IT!  I'll post more pics later.

So after Joe cooked breakfast!  Yes, I'm blessed with a husband who cooks!  A good kisser and he cooks!  Great combo!  Thank you Lord!  :-)  I decided to run a present up the street to some friends of ours, and took Ruby (the dog) for a walk.  The snow was so deep that she was having to hop up with each step to trudge her way through.  Went out into the middle of the road, and there were some areas where cars had driven so we could walk.  Then walked to another neighbors house with a gift, shoveled off the front and back deck, and then talked the kids into coming outside and playing in the snow.  We ended up building a HUGE snow ramp in the back yard and sledding down it.  It was hysterical!  Ruby even climbed up there, and road down on my lap two times!  Too funny!  Got pics of that too! 

We were all worn out by the time we went to Joe's parents for dinner that Joe fell asleep almost immediately!  Only a small portion of his family was there — so there was ONLY 15 of us!  He has a HUGE family, so when all of them show up its a housefull.  We had such a great time visiting with the family.  They are such a great bunch of people, and I LOVE THEM! 

I never thought that the Lord would bless me so much, but He truly has and I am so thankful to Him for all He has done in my life.  I am so thankful for what is to come, and am pressing on towards the goal!  Joe and I are making some changes in our lives, and while many people may not understand —  its the Lord's will and we are following what He wants us to do.  It's not been an easy decision, but sometimes you gotta do what He wants you to do — blessings always follow obedience.  So onward and forward, and we are looking forward to what He has for us in the upcoming 2009!

God bless all who read this — I would love to hear your Christmas stories too — so please feel free to write down your family fun times.  I pray the Lord blesses you, and keeps you, and that He shines His face upon you!  With Love, Michele.

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Merry Christmas!!!!!


1.   Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit.  In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.   Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly.   It's rare..  You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it.  Have one for me. Have two.  It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy.  Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's.  You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple,Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three.   When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry,

Cookieless January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a  journey to the grave with the  intention of  arriving  safely in  an attractive and well preserved body, but  rather to skid in   sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly  used up, totally worn  out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Merry Christmas from The Cotterills!!!

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Unconventional Family — Blended Families


Joe and I were married almost two years ago this coming February.  We have what is now known as a "blended family."  My kids are to the left there.  I had no idea 20 years ago when I graduated high school, went on to college, where my life was going to go or end up at.  As I sit here in the dining room with my family — I reflect on how I ended up here, and I am so thankful for all that has happened to me, and am thankful for my "unconventional family."

Everyone thought we were crazy (I think) because Joe had four teens and I had one teen, and we were getting married.  I can't tell you how many people questioned me about it.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord brought Joe and I together, and knew without a shadow of a doubt that if He brought us together that He would make this possible.  I had several mature Christians tell me that it was going to be very difficult.  I told them I didn't receive that.  (respectfully)  ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lord gave me a scripture early on before I'd even decided to date Joe — it was Josh. 24:15 "As for me and my family we will serve the Lord."  I held onto that.  I remember praying that if marrying Joe and his children was the Lord's will, that I would hear this scripture from my Pastor to me.  A few days later our Pastor did an alter call, and we went forward for prayer.  Three times in a row my Pastor hollared that scripture, and looked directly at Joe and I.  That did it for me.  Although periodically I would have fears about what I was doing, I knew that if the Lord was with me, that He must have something great in store.

Well, He did.  As we celebrate my daughter's birthday (12/23), and the start of our early Christmas, due to unconventional families  (those who have gone through divorce know that you usually have to share your children during the holidays) I get to watch and listen to them play with one of their new toys that the Lord allowed us to bless them with.  Rock Band 2!!!  They are interacting with each other, laughing hysterically, and I'm just loving this whole thing. 

Has it been easy?  Not all the time, but I can tell you that my heart feels so full right now, and I am so thankful to the Lord for my "unconventional family."  All families have challenges, conventional or unconventional.  Our children are doing good in school, don't do drugs or alcohol, attend church and youth groups without us prompting them, and they love the Lord.  I love them so much — if I knew back then what I know now — I would do it all again. 

Merry Christmas to all of you.  Blessings to all of you who read this, and those who don't read it.  If you happened upon this, and you have a blended family I would love to chat with you and connect with you.  It's not always easy, but with the Lord's help, it is possible!

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So good!

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I would marry you.' One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her  saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine. This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations. Life Is a Gift. Today before you say an unkind word- Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food – Think of someone who has nothing to eat.  Before you complain about your husband or wife – Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life – Think of someone who went to heaven too early. Before you complain about your children – Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep – Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive -Think of someone who walks the same distance.

And when you are tired and complain about your job – Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning  another – Remember that not one of us is without sin. And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down – Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.  Thank you Jesus!!!!


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Rant & Memory Foam Slippers

Oneof the kids killed Joe's cell phone, so it gave me an opportunity to upgrade my phone (since I was eligible) and gave Joe my cell phone.  Here is my new toy, and I am loving it!  I am trying out internet on it temporarily, and amazing what things this little thing can do.  I can watch tv on it if I want to!  I can watch movies!  I can send and receive email.  I know for some of you, this is not new stuff, but I've just had a plain Jane phone for a long time.

Oh yah, I also bought some $10 memory foam slippers at Walmart, and am wearing them at work today — am totally loving this! 

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