Leaving My Space Behind

The rumors turned out to be true….Spaces is going away.  It feels like I am being evicted!
 
This was my first blog, ever. 
 
It was my therapy and a means to sanity at times.  It had everything I needed at a time in my life when I was wandering!  Wandering through desert, mountains, valleys and dark forests.  It allowed me to record that journey and enabled me to see it through.  This place was my "safe" place for a little while, for 4 years. 
 
I know it sounds kind of corny to lament over a virtual abyss of words and images.  But to me it was more than that…it really was.  It was an outlet for creativity, sharing and learning.  It gave me a voice during a time when my voice was crying out for healing.  It connected me with like minded souls whose hearts, for a time, were my companions.  I not only got to hear the stories of others lives but to peek inside their lives through their pictures and music.  And that often inspired me.  The world came into my room through a screen.  The stories, prayers and comments touched my life in such a way that it often gave me hope and encouragement. 
 
It filled a void that I believe God used to keep me from isolation. Isolation is not good for getting one back into life…. I am so grateful for the time spent here on Spaces.  My love for writing has blossomed and my hope and dream is to pursue it in some form.  I want to put something out there that not only inspires and encourages but brings glory to my heavenly father.  I am asking Him to open a door of opportunity for me in this area.  I believe He will and am excited to discover what it will be. 
 
I will be migrating to WordPress until I can figure something out. I have a blogger account that is devoted to scrapbooking  "My Scrappy World" I do not post as often there and am not sure I want to combine my blog with that.  This blog has been and is about my personal walk with God.  It may be that I need to take a break for a while…I will consider that in prayer…as to what the Lord would have me to do. 
 
So many have already left, it is not the same so it won’t be too hard to say goodbye…there are a few that have not been on here in quite some time and would have liked to converse with them for a bit….but I understand that those who cross our path may only be for a season and we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be united in Heaven someday soon.  So to that end…may God pour His grace onto you in coming days….and if you want to stay connected, you can find me most assuradly on FACEBOOK
 
Grace to you….
Michelle Padilla
 

Photobucket

God’s Hands Fashion Our Lives!

 
There are times in our lives when we are transported to a place beyond what our minds can imagine.  So much of our imagination has been taken from us by the electronic devices of our times.  We can pretty much see everything on television if we look for it, so in essence nothing is left to the imagination, right??  In an instant we can find out information from our cell phones or laptops.  We don’t have to wait till we get home to find out the score of the latest football game if we are out and about and forgot to dvr it. Of course, that is, if your not a man, he would not be out and about during a football game, Wink.  But with all the means of communication and virtual experience of thrills and spills there is still no substitution for being there, live and in person. 
 
I have given birth four times since the age of 25 and through all those events it never crossed my mind that I would be witnessing the birth of my grandchild.  I remember when Benjamin called me on February 16, 2007 to tell me I was a grandmother for the first time.  I cried immediately even though I had not even laid eyes on the little guy yet. It must have been something in my sons voice that told me he was overwhelmed at seeing his sons birth.   Weeks later they had finished a video montage and sent it to me and smack dab in the middle was a video clip of him being born.  I was not expecting that video clip so when I saw it my heart leaped and I cried again.  It was sooooo very precious to me.  It was a month later that I got to fly to North Carolina and actually meet him for the first time….and hold him.  I literally was on cloud 9.  It was a feeling I will never forget, much like the very first time they placed my own babies in my arm.
 
But I have to tell you being present at the birth is a whole other feeling.  There is nothing to prepare you for all the emotions that are coursing through your mind and heart.  It is surreal to be sure.  My daughter, whom I worried would lose control, did the complete opposite.  She was focused and determined. She was ready to meet her daughter.  It was amazing to watch her and the daddy interact….it was the sweetest thing. 
 

Photobucket

Both Grandma’s were present and we both enjoyed sharing the memory of our own childbirth stories.  The anticipation was mounting as we waited for the progression of the event.  When the time came it was unbelievably dramatic.  Your mind is trying to grasp the details of how God created everything to happen in the order He planned.  How He gave us one of the greatest miracles, life in a tiny human form coming forth with all the emotion, pain, excitement and love.  We were all gathered to welcome this little girl into the world.  My heart pounded the moment I saw her slip out and then I let out a gasp. I could hear my daughter crying and laughing to see her baby girl.  I could see the tears and awe in the daddy’s face.  He cut the cord.  And she was born!  4:59 PM, 7 lbs 11 oz, 19.5 inches long and bundle of sweetness! 

Photobucket

From the moment we set eyes on her, you could not tear your eyes away.  She was perfect in every way….long fingers and toes, dimples and round cheeks, a sweet little button nose.  I just kept saying "Hello sweetie, hello Dani!"  They named her Daniela after my sister Danielle.  We call her Dani just as we called my sister when she was growing up.  And it fits her, Daniela Jade, she is so beautiful! Daniela in Hebrew is "God is my judge!" and Jade a green gemstone.  Reminding me of a Proverbs 31 woman, beautiful from the inside out.  I am praying she will serve God as I have prayed for all my children and grandchildren to do so. 

 

 1Bless the LORD, O my soul:

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name. Psalm 103

 All the Grandparents are praising God!!!   What a heritage!!!

          Photobucket  Grandpa Russell    

Photobucket  Grandpa Pete via MSN Messenger                

 Photobucket  Granny Susan                                            

 Photobucket  Grammy Shell      

You know in the days since her birth I have had a lot of time to reflect on the blessings God brings into our lives.  We don’t always stop to praise God or memorialize these moments and days as they pass.  God told His children to do so after He did something big in their lives so they would remember it was God that did it.  Like when He parted the Jordan for Joshua and His children to enter into the promised land.  He told Joshua to have 12 men, one from each tribe, to pick up a stone on their way across the dry ground of the Jordan.  When they reached the other side He had them build a memorial to remember "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever. "

Do you notice it says that "All the people of the earth…" not just His children but "all the people of the earth" He does great things everyday and how often do we stop to give Him the glory?  When I first got to hold her in my arms, I began reciting Psalm 103 to her little face.  Her eyes were open and she was looking up at me.  As I was speaking the words out loud the doctor who had delivered her began singing the verse….so instead of speaking I joined in singing it and my heart soared.  It was God who formed her, kept her and brought her forth!  It was His day.  I imagine God looking down and seeing the tear on my daughters eyes and smiling.  Smiling because He brought joy to the heart of His children in a hospital room in Houston, Texas in the form of a little girl. 

Photobucket

. . .and a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6

 

There are no more words….

Photobucket

  

Photobucket

        

Photobucket

   

 Photobucket

                                                                          

Photobucket

except, Amen!

grace to you

shell

Choices Become God’s Tools!

Photobucket

Taken in the Julia Davis Rose Garden

Boise, Idaho 08/29/10

 

 

You know it seems one day you are going along thinking life is never gonna change and then the next thing you know there are so many changes in your life you don’t know which way to look first.  That is pretty much the way my life is right now.  I prayed for God to do something new in my life, something so crazy cool it could only be from Him.  He did it!  At first, I was just wondering how He did it, then came the thought "I can’t believe it, God, is it real?" 

Yes, I questioned if it was real!  Can you blame a girl, especially since I did not see it coming?   It has been, for the most part, amazing and wonderful.  Only a few times have I asked what did I get myself in to??? ??? You often get more than you bargain for when God answers your prayers…which can be a good or bad thing depending on how full your glass is….you know what I mean???  There is no such thing as smooth sailing in every experience we have but you can enjoy the journey none the less if you have faith in God who is in control of the boat!!!

 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Photobucket

A rainbow driving into Mountain Home, Idaho 08/26/10

 

Having my 1st husband come back into my life has been a wonderful surprise.  These past few months have really taken me outside myself.    I guess after years of focusing on me, myself and I, it is a very welcome change to have someone else to relate to. I am navigating the realm of ‘relationship’ again.  I am discovering the intricacies of communicating and dying to self.  All the lessons God has taught me these past years has been about intimacy, trust and submission to His authority.   I am finding that those lessons are coming in handy now.    The intimacy has allowed me to be open and transparent. The trust has allowed me to believe God is at work in both of our lives and wants to do something great through our submission to Him.  It is all so connected!  That is the most amazing part.  In his new found relationship with Christ, I get to witness His wonderment at God’s hand in it all.  I also get to enjoy his excitement at every new thing the Lord shows him from His Word.  I even get to share in the companionship of his walk with our Lord.  Wow! Is that mind blowing or what?

 

Another change has been my faith in God.  No it has not gone away, nor has it waned, to the contrary.  It has gotten much deeper.  With that being said I have noticed that I have to ask God more questions than usual.  It is like starting over with Him in some ways.  I guess when you go to a new level with God you have to learn all new things with him.  Each time you go into a different season of life you wander around wondering how you got there and how long will you be there.  Depending on whether you accept the new place you are in is probably proportional to how long you stay there.  That makes me think of Moses.  40 years. And the children of Israel. 40 years.  Any correlation?   Maybe not…God does not always keep us in a place for 40 years, can I get an Amen on that???? LOL

 

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Psalm 143:10

 

Photobucket

I call this "Standing Out" taken on the

Trinity Mountain – Pine, ID  08/28/10

 

 

I liken the new level to going from high school to college.  It is still school but it is bigger, more intimidating to some extent and exciting all at the same time! It takes some time to get acclimated, to find your direction and get into a routine.  These past few months I have been wandering around hallways just taking it all in.  Soaking up every new thing in my life, trying to put it all in perspective.  I have to admit that there have been a few days of panic.  Feeling as if I was losing focus or getting too distracted with minor details.  There have also been some overwhelmingly scary days.  Questioning my heart and its motives.  And just as in any new situation there is always the obstacles put in the way by the enemy.  Trying to side track us or cause us to stumble and fall. 

 

But as I take time to regroup and lay it all out (list it, for type A personalities of which I am a card carrying member ) I can see the areas in which I need to balance.  I see the details God wants me to pay attention to.  That only happens if we are in tune with His voice.  To stay in tune you need to feed the spirit.  When I don’t, I am spiritually hungry.  There have been a few lean days since beginning on this journey with my first love.  I guess at first there was the feeling of euphoria.  I was so blown away by what God had done it was like a dream.  Then came reality.  The nuts and bolts of learning to relate to another human being again, even a familiar one.  Throw into that mix old feelings from the past, new conflicts from others and the unknown.  None of it has been devastating, a little painful, but even in that there is great joy.  Joy in knowing God is working behind the scenes to bring about restoration and renewal to our relationship.  What could be more fulfilling than that? 

 

To see the changes in people around us, especially our children has been a wonderful blessing.  The acceptance of everyone in our lives for our future.  We have so many cheerleaders how could we fail?  Our life has become a love story.  I know that sounds corny but who cares…it is so wonderful to be in the middle of it.  To share with my friends and family is even more wonderful!  This past week I got to take a trip to Idaho to see him retire from the Air Force.  He served our country for 26 years in uniform.  There are some awesome pics in my album here on WLS and on my FB if you would like to see.

 

Photobucket

Taken from my window, Salt Lake (it looked

like glass reflecting the clouds & sky) 08/26/10

 

 

I was very nervous about going up there for many reasons but I knew in my heart it was a God thing so was fairly certain He would take care of me. You see I was with my 1st husband at the beginning of his career.  We both met in Germany while stationed at Bitburg Air Base.  We dated and married in 1987.  We then got an assignment to Luke AFB, Arizona where I gave birth to our first child, Benjamin (who is 22 today). Shortly before Ben’s 2nd birthday he left me for another woman.  I have written often about my feelings and experience during that time so I will not rehash those  but I will explain that he married her shortly after our divorce was final, spending the next 20 years of his career married to her and raising another family. I think it says a lot about him that he remained faithful in his second marriage and raised some wonderful kids.  He paid tribute to all of his children during his ceremony as his greatest achievement above his milestones and accomplishments of his 26 year career.  Wow!

 

Photobucket

Our son, Benjamin, presenting the flag to his father

on behalf of the United States Air Force – his salute 08/27/10

 

 

While the circumstances that led to the end of his second marriage were difficult for him, God used it to draw him to Himself, much like God used my husband leaving me to draw me to Him.  He says he has no idea why he would turn to the woman he hurt so many years ago for answers but he contacted me about seeking God.  He did say that he had witnessed my walk with God through some of the most difficult things imagined and yet I still had peace and trust in God.  He wanted that too.   Did you know I prayed for him to get saved so many years ago?  I would pray on hands and knees with our children, at their bedside, for their daddy to know Jesus.  And 20 years later…..praise God!  So not only do I get to share in his new relationship with Christ, I was asked to share in the last milestone of his career, retirement.  The end of one way of life and the beginning of a new one. And a new beginning for us to start over.  To finish what we started so many years ago. 

 

God would have preferred that we had remained married originally for that is what he meant by "let no man put asunder"   But choices were made those many years ago that changed the course of our lives forever.  There was no love in those choices made, only selfish hearts who wanted what they wanted, including mine.  I have learned that only His love can cover those choices.  And then they become the tool God uses to reveal His love for us.  His love is complete when we surrender to his will, when we submit for another’s benefit, no matter the cost!  That is exactly what Christ did.  And are we not to walk as Christ, to be more like him, after all He saved us to transform us, for His glory! 

 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20

 

Photobucket

Us, on a rock, out from shore of the South Fork

Boise River, where we had our picnic 🙂 08/28/10

 

Many of you may be asking how could you take him back?  I have been asked that by a few.  How could you put aside 20 years he spent with the woman he left you for?  How do you do that?  My answer to that is why not?  I have spent many years walking with God and asking Him to do something amazing in my life.  To allow me the privilege of glorifying Him in a way that would change the lives around me.  

 

While the surrender to God’s will in your life may not be without sacrifice or difficulty, the reward, I believe, is priceless.  I believe it is a gift to walk in a surrendered love.  To put aside the hurts, the tears and the anguish of loss and let God restore the love, joy and fulfillment of companionship.  The love itself comes from God and it fills the empty hole that we are always searching to fill with other things   To rejoice that we are who we are because of the road we walked even though separated we became what God wanted us to be for each other, ultimately for Him.

 

Perhaps I could not have taken him back 20 years ago because I would have been so ate up with bitterness and mistrust, I would have drove him away.  Perhaps he would not have appreciated the freedom of forgiveness the Lord gives him today had he not lived for years with the guilt for the pain he caused many years ago.   God knew the paths we would take, then and now.  He knew the circumstances in which we would find our way back to one another.  But ultimately He leaves the choice up to us.  What will we do with this opportunity to serve a greater purpose?  Can we make a better choice today than yesterday, one that gives instead of takes?  God does have a way of bringing things full circle. 

 

He says He will work all things together for good to them who love Him to them who are the called.  Romans 8:28

 

My choice is made and I choose to believe that it was ALL for my good, our good, His good!

 

Rio Samba

Rio Samba Roses – taken at the Julia Davis Rose Garden

Boise, Idaho 08/29/10