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Blog, foodie, Friendship, prayer, Travel

Michigan trip, the beautiful RV (Part 2)

Me in Snoopy slippers by the fireplace at the RV

Me in Snoopy slippers by the fireplace at the RV

Recently I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit my friends Herb and Diane Bishop, who live there and to attend an Encounter ministry weekend. When I arrived, they took me to Holland, Michigan to see gorgeous tulips and Lake Michigan, which is like the oceans in Florida, except it has no salt. You can read the blog post and see the pics of that here.

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

This is part 2 of my Michigan blog post series, about Herb’s and Diane’s beautiful RV, where I stayed for free when I went there. It was like my own hotel room, except without the high cost!

It was an amazing time of peace and solitude for me to pray, journal, and think about things for a few days.

Herb and Diane live in a farmhouse that is over 100 years old, out in the country. They’ve talked about whether to gut the house and renovate it to be decorated into more of their taste, or to build a new house with a solid foundation or buy a modular home to sit on top of the hill, where their beautiful RV is now located.

Herb and Diane's beautiful RV

Herb and Diane’s beautiful RV

During my time in Michigan, I stayed in the RV, about 30 feet away from the farmhouse. That weekend, I went to the Encounter ministry time with Diane and her two friends, Laurie and Cheryl, which was so good.  More about the farmhouse and Encounter later.

Herb's and Diane's farmhouse

Herb’s and Diane’s farmhouse

When you look out the windows of the RV, there is an amazing view.  Herb said that you can see beautiful sunrises and sunsets on it. The acres of the field belong to their neighbor, but it’s incredible scenery. Herb and Diane’s land has such a feeling of peace on it. (They are devout Christian believers and prayer warriors for God’s Kingdom.)

View out the windows from the RV

View out the windows from the RV

 

Sunset view from the RV steps

Sunset view from the RV steps

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Blog, foodie, Friendship, prayer, Travel

God has surprises in store for you and me

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

 Did you know that God has wonderful surprises in store for you and me? 

Although I wanted to visit my friends Herb and Diane Bishop in Michigan, traveling there wasn’t on my radar this year. But they invited me there to visit them and to attend an Encounter ministry weekend. Herb had just been to the men’s Encounter, and wanted his wife Diane and their ministry Board of Directors to experience it, too, because he thought it was amazing. (I’m on their Board of Directors.) So with God’s blessing and a friend’s help, my Southwest plane trips were booked and the Encounter ministry fee was paid for!

Tulips are so beautiful

Tulips are so beautiful

Diane didn’t know this, but I had been looking at tulips at Walmart. They come in various, vibrant colors. I’ve never grown any, but think they are beautiful. Suddenly, Diane emailed me that they would pick me up at the airport and take me that day to Holland, Michigan, where there is a park filled with gorgeous tulips and they are planted all around town.

Park in Holland, Michigan with beautiful tulips

Park in Holland, Michigan with beautiful tulips

They also would take me to Lake Michigan after that, which I’d wanted to visit. I’ve never seen any of the 5 Great Lakes there. These lakes are huge and like the ocean with waves – amazing and beautiful! They even have sea gulls – but no salt in the water, like other oceans.

I sensed that God wanted me to read a Scripture over Lake Michigan and to pray and prophesy over the lake and the people of Michigan, which is Psalm 42:7, my favorite Scripture in the Bible because I love water and waterfalls:

“Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.” I prayed that God would show the people of Michigan the depths of His love, forgiveness, mercy, and goodness.

Diane and I were actually standing by the inlet to the lake/ocean when I read this. Herb was waiting in the car for us, because the park where the lake/ocean was located was closed and they wouldn’t allow people to park close by the sand dunes. When we got back into the car, Herb asked if I had actually gone to where the OCEAN was. Diane said no but that I saw the inlet, and Herb said I needed to actually go to the ocean since I had come all this way! He was so right and I’m SO glad and happy that I did go on the beach up to the waves to see it! I hope to come back one day again, maybe this summer! I’ve never seen a lake that is like the ocean!

 

 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

 

Sea gulls

Sea gulls

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Blog, Family, pets, prayer, Stress

Rescue cats update

You may have seen my blog post, Lessons From Stray Cats, on the cats that I’ve been rescuing here at our house. I thought that I’d share an update with you. I already have a beautiful black cat with green eyes, Natalya, who I adopted from a cat shelter in Belton, Missouri, several Christmases ago.

My cat Natalya

My cat Natalya

I’ve been feeding about 4 stray cats (intentionally) since spring 2023 (other stray cats may be sneaking around here, too). My husband Ray would joke that the good news spread, and we began seeing more cats hanging around to beg food from us.

My heart went out to them when they would meow at me. Ray bought me a coffee cup with the inscription, “You had me at meow” and a cute graphic on the other side of a woman and her black cat looking out at the sunset, with my name and Natalya’s on it. At Christmas, he ordered another cup with a graphic of a woman representing me and ALL the cats that I’ve been feeding and taking care of, looking out at the ocean, lol!

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

Silas is a Main Coon-tabby mix, male cat with a bushy tail and green eyes, about 2 years old. He was friendlier than the other strays who were semi-feral, so Ray thought that he had been around humans before and was possibly someone’s pet. He joked that some little girl was crying about her missing cat that I now had inside my house. It turns out that Ray was right – Silas had wandered away from his owner one day and didn’t return!

Silas

Silas

Recently, Silas was returned to his original owner, Lesslee, who lives here in Butler, Missouri, not too far from our house. I was posting on the Butler Facebook page to try to find a home for the other two stray cats that I’d been feeding here, Nichodemus (a male, Main Coon-tabby mix with green eyes and a bushy tail like Silas has) and Marmalade (a male, orange tabby).

Lesslee publicly posted under Nichodemus’ picture that I had posted: “That looks like my cat O’Malley who ran away forever ago!” 

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

I sent her a private message and she sent me a picture of her “O’Malley.” I looked at it and replied to her, “That looks like our cat Silas, who we have inside our house now!” She asked if she could come see him. I told her yes.

The day she came, Nichodemus just happened to be outside on our back patio eating. When she walked quietly to the steps where I was sitting, watching him, she shook her head and said, “No, that’s not him.” As usual, Nichodemus (who is more feral and gets scared easier) ran off into the bushes. I didn’t think that he was her cat, from her picture. Although they resemble each other, Nichodemus has darker markings on his face and his back than Silas does. Silas is also bigger and more territorial (aggressive).

Nicodemus on our back patio

Nicodemus on our back patio

When she came inside our house, I called Silas. He came walking up to us both in the utility room. As soon as Lesslee saw him, she began crying. While he had gained a LOT of weight since she had him (he loves to EAT!), she thought it was her cat O’Malley who had wandered off over a year ago. Silas came right to her and seemed to KNOW her, letting her pet him. She was shocked when I asked if she wanted him. My heart was aching at the thought of him going, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

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