Dear Former Body

As I was rummaging through my old writings I came across a few letters I wrote from when I was about thirteen. My inspiration for this writing came from there.

photo credit: unknown

Dear Body, I’m sorry for looking away as soon as I would catch my reflection in the mirror…. 

I’m sorry for masking myself with make up and replacing my confidence….

For the times I should of fed you and didn’t……

When I should’ve kept you out of harms reach and put you in the dead-center of it…. 

For not letting the tears that should’ve been righteously shed but instead ignored….

For burning myself out with lists beyond lists….

For allowing my mouth to kill and not save….

For allowing my thoughts to invade truths Christ always wants to whisper to my heart….

Apologies are great but no one believes them until they are seen through action and so body I’m ready. 

I’m ready to take off my mask…

To surround you in good company…

To let the tears fall…

To shut the mouth of this lion…

To rest in Christ. 


A Changed Heart.


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Read and Glue



20151127_115738     This little red book isn’t just book my mom read to me as a child growing up. It held truths that I hold onto today.

As I grew up reading through my “big girl” Bible I’d remember every story. The word was speaking to my heart even as a little girl.

When I learned how to read. I read it myself. Pages fell out. I’d glue them in and read on. Then it became beautiful a pattern read and glue, read and glue.

Because of those memories I keep it to remind myself how important it is to read the word to mine and Peters future children. Children hold on just as tight as adults do. They understand more than we think. Our job as is to plant the seeds in our children’s hearts and let God do the rest.

Tears weld up in my eyes as I flip through each page. My memories dance. How rare was my childhood?

How rare could our children’s lives be?

My prayer for our future children is that they too have to read and glue their children Bibles and then their grown up Bibles.

Hebrews 4:12 “ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”






Is It Just A Honeymoon Season?


Four Powerful Words

Me Monster

When others see Peter give me a kiss or watch us talk things out when there is miscommunication they say things like: 

“Have you even gotten in a real fight?”

“You know you’re only in the ‘honeymoon’ season”.  

    What they don’t understand is how adjusting to married life has been hard for us. Even our dating season was hard. PTSD, setting family boundaries, change of becoming one-flesh, new ministry opportunities, and life circumstances are hard.

The Devil constantly fights to tear our marriage apart by throwing obstacles our way. Why? Because we love the Lord!

    Going into our marriage we knew that life was only going to get harder. By pushing each other in prayer, Bible reading, in ministry projects, and in our personal walks with Christ together…the Kingdom will expand.  

    As the years go by I only hope to love Peter more than on our wedding day. And I can! Staying in prayer and in fellowship with Christ makes that possible. Marriage is another testimony for the world to see. Some might think their walk with Christ is done and the other person can finish it because they are one-flesh. They are forgetting teamwork and are putting their identity in the other person. Marriage is one-flesh, but there are two people in it. Two people who both need Christ as much as the other. Honeymoon season doesn’t have to be just a season. It can become a way of life. If others see us trying to go through our marriage without Christ being our center then disaster will be all they see. 

   These past few months have been very hard, but as a couple we are growing stronger in Him every day. Sometimes I feel like we go one step forward and twenty steps back. When I get caught up in the twenty steps back I forget that those twenty steps back might actually be us moving forward. It might just not feel that way.

If you were encouraged by this feel free to share.


When You Tell Me No

As a consultant I love hearing “Yes” But it’s OK to tell me “no”. 

When I hear “no” I hear….

“I can’t afford it.”

“I don’t want to waist your time.”

“It’s not my favorite taste or smell.”

“Maybe another time.”

As someone who is honestly passionate about what I sell seeing some one who enjoys sampling and loving the results is a huge “yes” for me. Even if they tell me they aren’t going to buy anything. I have learned that even if I hear a lot of “no’s” that doesn’t mean they do not like the products and it is NEVER personal. A lot of consultants who are all buissness and no passion hate “no”. Those are the consultant’s who have given the word consultant itself a bad name. Even I would run when I would see some one pull out a buissness card or people who would chase everyone down saying “try this”. 

I invite honesty. I invite sampling for fun. Why? Because I want to people to enjoy the product’s and not feel the need to buy them. I’m ok with “no” I’m also ok with “yes”. 

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Name Change


I am happy with this change but it has been confusing, and I know it will take time.

“Ma’am what is your name?” The person over the phone asks as I prepare for a women’s retreat.

I froze.


In that moment I had no idea what to say. Being a newlywed for a few weeks I am still getting used to our identity and who I am to Peter. Who I am now.

I finally got the last name out. “Echols”

“Thank you ma’am and your email.”

“Yeah aaah Cham-ber-lain” I begin slowly

I had no idea how to answer these simple questions. I had to sit down after getting off the phone. I wonder this question as I learn my new identity as a wife Is this what it’s like when you are adopted as and older child? Do their minds spin as they answer the same simple question ‘What is your name?’. Do they stare at the new last or first name after they write it down for as long as I do? 

Her Identity

Identity Crisis 

Identity Crisis

Me and my dad. Year of my adoption.
Me and my dad. Year of my adoption.

    I opened an envelope written in Romanian.

Silvia reads the letter. “It’s from your birth family. Wait this guy claims to be your dad.”

    I stand silent. 

She asks if I want to see him on the CD. 


    It wasn’t the I’m craving the empty void inside me kind of ‘yes’ some of us adopted children have when we yearn for our birth families even if we don’t know them. It was a sure why not? Kind of ‘yes’. 

    You see I once was bonded to my birth mom for nine months in her whom, but that was it. For so long I bound myself in curiosity letting thoughts stir of who the mystery birth-dad was. I even yearned to hear my birth mom’s voice, and feel her embrace. Some babies die and some hurt forever, because those nine months of sharing an identity  with a birth-mom is so important. That is why so many babies are traumatized when they are taken away from birth mothers. 

But when this guy marched back into my life twenty-one years later “Hi I’m your dad” in a letter all I could think was….

Are you though? You were never there when I needed you most. My dad was. In fact you might think you are my dad because I’m of your blood, but you’re not. I have a dad. But most importantly I have a heavenly father. 

Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

I do not hate this man for not doing what he should have done, be a dad. I just want to know why now…twenty-one years later…

Read on :

True Love waits…and waits…and waits…..

Photo credit: Zach Ricks
Photo credit: Zach Ricks

A lot of you who know me may be wondering why my Facebook profile has a picture of Peter and me kissing when I always say, “kissing looks gross.” There’s a small part of mine and Peter’s story we kept for our family, close friends and ourselves.

We didn’t kiss on the lips until the morning of our wedding.  

 When we set the standard of not kissing, boundaries became harder. We were allowed to kiss on the cheek and hand but there were times we decided to not even do that. We struggled along the way.  

Some may say we were too extreme but…

fighting to love each other the right way is not extreme.

Because of our broken pasts The Scariest Road we had to be, so-called ‘extreme.’ Had we kissed before our wedding it wouldn’t of been sinning. We would’ve just been falling short of goals we set and therefore making the other less important than our selfish desires. 

    We continue to thank God for our victories. Now that we are married we are more aware of the physical and emotional connection kissing has. The idea of kissing someone besides my husband is foreign and wrong.

I write this to encourage those who are fighting for a healthy relationship centered in Christ. You can do it. So don’t stop fighting for it.

I Am Overwhelmed

    I begin to tear up as I look through pictures and prayer journals packing for my next move. Memories dance.

Who am I, oh Lord, that you have brought me so far?

    Whether I choose to follow Christ or not my life is a miracle. (The Hardest Story to Tell) I don’t know the hurt girl in these journal entries. She is a stranger. 

   Meeting me a few years back and meeting me now I only hope people see a change of heart. A woman who’s lifestyle is a walking testimony.

Who am I, oh Lord, that you have brought me so far? 

    I am overwhelmed by Gods grace and how he has restored my heart again and again–how he chooses us again and again. How he fought for our very souls. How we are worth something to him.

Who am I, oh Lord, that you are bringing me so far? 

I feel like David in this prayer. I am so overwhelmed by the Lord’s love.

Psalm 8:3-4

“When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?”

  God loved us before we came to be. He chose us then, on the cross and is choosing us now.  I am overwhelmed. Despite where I am from, what I have done, the thoughts I’ve thought, the horrible things I have wanted to do, he still wants me. As I allow God to work in my heart, he patiently breaks it, molds it, then breaks it again making me more like him. This is our life long journey he wants to take with us. 

Who am I oh Lord that you are bringing me so far?

Although the constant battles of my flesh hide within my heart; I remember he broke my chains when I chose him. I don’t have to be the old girl of past. She is a stranger. She is dead. She is forgiven. She is redeemed. She is made new. 

Who am I oh Lord that you have brought me so far?

Written July 3rd, 2015

Her Identity



Four Powerful Words

looking at peter




Tending (the earth)

    These four words are the words that are going to make our marriage work. They are our reasons for our mission: marriage. There is a  power behind each word reminding us to die to ourselves and glorify God every day for the rest of our lives.

Let us define them….

The romantic part of our relationship that can not die out. If within our marriage we let romance die….we become slaves to a piece of paper and a ring. We glorify God when romance blossoms and grows.

Teamwork that is vital. We are partners with God to accomplish the things He has set out before us. Without God effective partnership between us could not exist.

As future parents we have an opportunity to pour Biblical wisdom, show Christ’s love, and be Godly examples for our children. By doing this they too will learn to love Him. 

Tending (the earth):
This really is another phrase for nurturing our mission of marriage. 

    Marriage is the front line of the spiritual battled field. There is nothing like two people coming together and loving each other like Christ. Satan hates it.
As soon as we were engaged the battles were all around for Peter and me. Our patience and self control were being tested more so than when we started dating. I honestly thought that it wouldn’t be harder but when we say we are committed to each other and Christ it is harder.
My engagement ring broke the week he was leaving for Malawi. The week before that, my car was hit in the parking lot while his car was having problems too. Two weeks before the wedding both of our cars died and I didn’t have a phone.
All the little things kept getting under my skin. Old insecurities from my past were arising. We were in spiritual warfare.  Although o
ur eyes were up and our prayers were constant there were many times we wanted to take the “easy route”. But what seemed easy in the moment would only hurt us in the long run.
We have the choice to fight for our mission. Fighting for God’s glory is love. This is what we have been learning, applying, and treasuring for our marriage. 

Written by: Peter & Mihaela

My Retreat


2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.”

“Malawi…Peter is in Malawi” I answer when everyone asks where he is.

    He is gone for a month.

    The first night away from him I was in a daze. I looked around. No one was there. Amen. No honestly Amen. It doesn’t sound like I miss him, but I do. There are countless times in a day I want to hear his voice or even watch my phone buzz knowing it’s him on the other line. 

    But he is not my everything. God is. 

    This is where God has us right now in our engagement and we are both happy because this month away is only going to make us stronger as a couple. Readers do not miss this part. I am not talking about our distance and lack of communication. I am talking about what we are doing in our month away. He is in Malawi serving missionaries, welding, and serving  the people living there. I am on a retreat! This is our separate season and we are taking advantage of it by serving Christ. I am overwhelmed by how far God is bringing us as a couple and as individuals.  I don’t know the girl I was a year ago. She is a stranger. 

    This retreat has been awakening to what God is doing in my heart. I have been able to catch up with old friends and get started on more ministry projects, and dive into the word. He is preparing me to become a partner, a companion,  a mother, and missionary with Peter. Some areas need more work than others but pardon my progress. When Peter comes back he will be different as well. Both of us stronger in Christ than we were when we said good by for a month.