Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Blog Break and Happy 87th Birthday to Elisabeth Elliot!

Christmas is almost upon us, and before we know it we will all be in 2014! I am taking a short blog break so I can be sure I can think clearly. It seems that my head is stuffed with so many ideas at once, it looks just like the inside of my refrigerator which needs major attention. 

I'll be back in about 10 days or so to give you my Time Management ideas I learned from Bible teacher, pastor, author, and time management expert Gregg Harris. I know I will need it as I regroup for 2014, so as I review it for myself, I will send it out to you! 

I also have some more great tips for wives that many of you told me was one of your favorite blog subjects. I'm listening and I love to do that, so I will because it helps me to keep my husband at the top of my list (which I need prodding because I am so easily distracted with doing what I need to do first).

So I'll see you soon for those things, and then I will be announcing that I am taking a longer bloggy break until March 1 to write edits on my book for my publisher, along with a study guide. All the changes are due by March 1, 2014, as we march toward our January, 2015 release of Don't Dump Him: Keeping Your Husband in a Throwaway World.

I'll still be continuing with my Wednesday's Link Up Party, and if you're a Christian Blogger who wants to join the party on be on my eblast when the link is live, just email me your email address to juana(at)juanamikels(dot)com.

I'll also still be doing my social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. So please, follow and visit me there!

While I'm gone, I want to invite you to read my blog archives, or watch my Youtube Videos. You can watch them below:

You may also surf through my blog archives for 2013 here, or 2012 here

Older blog archives here:

Everything is ready for you to read while I'm gone!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ ♥  ♥

Elisabeth with her husband, Lars Gren, when they visited us last March.
I join my voice with countless women who are so grateful for this godly woman's life. 
Mary and I just called her and sang Happy Birthday to her!

They were celebrating with 15 people over for dinner,
 and everyone watched the clip below that I'm giving you :-)

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Our Christmas gift to you is our blind daughter 
singing Silent Night with The Tenors this past week! 
I'm so thankful for you, enjoy this clip!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

I'd love to connect with you on your favorite spot:

You may follow my blog here or on Bloglovin'.

Keep walking by faith not sight, 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mary Singing Silent Night with The Tenors!

Mary had the thrill of singing with The Tenors in Raleigh, North Carolina last night! The Tenors are absolutely spectacular! Run, don't walk to go hear them if they perform near you! We could barely sleep afterward, and Mary had to be right back at school this morning to take a test at 7:20 a.m.! We're are so grateful for the opportunity for her to sing with them!

Thank you, Victor, Clifton, Fraser, & Remigio!

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Rehearsal was a blast! The Tenors are so friendly & humble. 
Of course, I told her how cute they were!  

Mary with Fraser, Remigio, Clifton, & Victor

Backstage between songs for Clifton (L) & Fraser (R)

Mary with Bubba Rawl who introduced Mary to The Tenors.

Before the show in the dressing room.
Mary didn't want any makeup on because she's not used to it.

Quadruple blessing having all our kids there!

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts! (photo: EDCPA website)

Enjoy this 15 second clip from rehearsal 
before the guys got all dressed up, too ☺ Merry Christmas, Everyone!


Just so you know, Mary was born with 30% of her lip missing,  25% of her gum missing, 
40% of her nose missing, Hearing loss in her left ear, 
no optic nerves—and no eyes whatsoever. 
You can find her story, and a letter I wrote when she was born here
Her YouTube clips are here.

When the evening was nearly completely over and we were at a meet and greet for The Tenors in the lobby area (it was nearly 11 p.m. by this point)—the big cheese—Bubba Rawl, came dashing up to Mary. He got right in front of her, came down on her level, and grabbed both of Mary's elbows in his palms while saying fast and excitedly, "Mary, you knocked it out of the park, clear down the street, and into the next field!!!! Tell me, tell me! How do you think you did, on a scale 1 to 10, tell me how you think you did?" 

Mary paused a long time as Bubba held his position square in front of her still clutching her elbows. I leaned in and amazingly kept my mouth shut in the long pause when Mary slowly began to speak.

"I know I should ..... be humble .................. extended paused again ............................... eleven."    

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

I'd love to connect with you on your favorite spot:

You may follow my blog here or on Bloglovin'. 

Walk by Faith, 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pleasing Our Husbands & Wednesday's LinkUp Party!

I remember years ago getting to hear Bible teacher Jill Briscoe speak in her beautiful British accent. She was speaking out of Romans Chapter 12, about offering your body as a living sacrifice. She spoke about doing all we do as an offering to God. 

She then told a story. Her husband, Stuart, had asked her to order ready mix concrete for a building they were renovating for their ministry. Her husband is a pastor.

The delivery truck arrived and began unloading the concrete where they were told to place it. There seemed to be a big problem. Something just didn't seem quite right. Concrete was being poured out everywhere! Jill was supposed to be handling this, but she quickly was in over her head.

Jill sent someone to another building to get her husband immediately who was on the pulpit preaching at the time! He departed at once to find out that Jill had ordered "ready-mixed" concrete instead of "ready mix" concrete and they were pouring out the concrete instead of leaving bags for later use! Jill told all the women gathered that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. 

Oh, my! I had never heard that! I had always heard another side to it. For instance, listen what Elisabeth Elliot often recited and I taught my children:

If a job is once begun,
Never leave it til it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well, or not at all.

Anyone who reads my writings or hears me speak knows that I can't go a week without mentioning something that Elisabeth Elliot wrote or said because she has had a great influence in my life.

So you can imagine, my surprise at hearing Jill say any job worth doing is worth doing badly.

Then this past weekend, Jill's concrete story popped back inside my head, as I totally identified with Jill's dilemma!

First I need to back up a bit. You need to know that I had just tweeted and facebooked last week, the following reminders to wives that I wrote in first person:

-I will not bring up my husband's past failures today

-I will put from my mind my husband's weak points which I cannot change
-I will concentrate on my husband's good points
-I will do something kind for my husband today that I know will please him. 

I asked the readers if they wanted to join me in doing something kind for our husbands...

Later, I decided to surprise my husband and have a fire going. Oh, I surprised him, all right.

I forgot to open the flue and smoke was billowing out of the chimney and pouring into the den. I yelled for my son to help. He grabbed the leaf blower, and opened the doors and tried to blow the smoke outside. It was freezing outside and all the cold air was rushing in.

My youngest, Mary, became truly frightened when she heard all the commotion and smelled the smoke. She hollered out, "can we die from this?" Only the dog seemed to not mind all the pell-mell in every direction! He was calm as a cucumber as John and I rushed around trying to open more doors to the outside.  So much for pleasing my husband!

I love what my friend Linda Hamilton posted to this debacle on my facebook page (Linda is a wonderful wife who prayed for her husband to come to Christ for years, and he did!).

She said, "in spite if the total mess~it was the thought that was in your heart that counted!"

There's the heart of Jill's message!

{Note to self: Funny thing as I think about it now, making a fire was not really a thing that typically would even please my husband. Making fires is something I like to do for me! So really if I truly wanted to do something kind to please him, I could have easily picked cleaning my car out, or cleaning out the refrigerator! He loves those things! And ahem... there is one thing that we all know will please our husbands... so that would be their top choice over anything! Making a fire for my husband? That's not the fire he would have wanted started!}

No matter what, let's pray that we can honor our husbands by doing something kind for them that we know will please them. Then, let's leave the results with God! Do you have a crazy or funny story when you tried to help your husband and it backfired? Or what's something you can do to help your husband?

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Now it's time for 
Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party!

Each Wednesday I like to offer to pray for your non-confidential prayer request or praise in the comment section below. Please enter a prayer if you would like me to pray for you (and pray for one another!) and I will reply to your prayer there or if you just have a comment (click the word "COMMENT" located below my signature below, under the colorful social media 
sharing squares:-)


If you're a Christian blogger, we all would love to see what you've been writing! Enter your blog link below to join the party! For readers, enjoy the blog party below!
♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

I'd love to connect with you on your favorite spot:

You may follow my blog here or on Bloglovin'. 
Walk by Faith,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cards, War on Christmas & Mary Sings Amazing Grace For Golfers

Are you sending a Christmas card out this year? We always take a Christmas picture, but I don't always mail a card. I don't think I've mailed one in a few years. This year, I had almost decided to not mail a card, when I decided to use Shutterfly and just order cards for those people on our list that live out of town.

Did you know there is a war on Christmas? You can google it if you have not come up against it in some way. Christmas school concerts are now called, "Winter Concerts." Municipalities are told not to put up Christmas references! I like to say Merry Christmas everywhere I go, because this is our holiday as Christians! It's all about Jesus!

Our cards arrived today. I don't like to say just Happy Holidays on our card, although I do hope you have a happy holiday. I definitely like to say, "Merry Christmas!" I also like to pick a scripture pointing us to our Savior or say something about Jesus.

Would you like to take a peek? Here it is!

I remember once hearing Chuck Swindoll, that wonderful Bible teacher, say that they no longer sent out cards because their list kept getting bigger and bigger every year. It's okay if you can't send a card out. A lot of people email a family picture to keep it simple.

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Mary sang Amazing Grace last weekend for a golf tournament. The man who introduced her is Ted Kiegiel, Head Golf Pro at the club where my husband and sons play golf (Ted is also coach and mentor to pro golfer Webb Simpson), and the man who took her to the microphone is our wonderful sound man from our church, Barry Kirby. My hubby is looking on :-) I thought you might like to hear it!

I love this photo I took of a photo in the clubhouse of US Open 2012 Winner Webb Simpson,
acknowledging God as the Source of blessing.
Webb is a Raleigh native who loves Jesus. A humble man who is kind to everyone,
Webb learned to play golf at the above golf course. You may also enjoy this post I did when Webb spoke to a group of middle schoolers about his life and faith in Christ.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

I'd love to connect with you on your favorite spot:

You may follow my blog here or on Bloglovin'. 
Walk by Faith,