IT'S A GOOD LIFE to see just what I am talking about. Michelle speaks on just these very things. Faith, hope and love. In these three things we have it all. We have a God who sees us through when we can't seem to find our way through the fog. He lifts it and as He does we get a glimpse of the beauty He has brought before our eyes. The Lord has pointed me in the direction of women who are living for purpose and have a passion for bringing those around them closer to the God who restores ashes to beauty. As you read Michelle's words today you will find a woman after God's own heart. We can be the virtuous woman of God in Proverbs 31 when we surrender and totally make everything about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You will see through Michelle's life that God is real. He whispers to us until we answer His call and once we do there is nothing to hold us back from all He has for us. It is my prayer that you will find blessings today. It is my hope that you find just what the Lord has laid out for you today. In seeking Him we will find all He has created us to be and that my friends is women living in faith, hope and love. Sit back, grab a great cup of coffee, because you are in store for a special gift today.Faith, hope and love. This is what the recipe of a joy filled life calls for. If there is anyone who knows about recipes it is my guest today, Michelle Borquez Thornton. This wonderful woman of God spends time cooking up recipes sharing the love of God with others. How awesome is that? Michelle has a wonderful ministry of reaching others through sharing the gift of cooking. You will just have to check out
(Robin) Hi Michelle, please tell us a little about yourself.
(Michelle) I recently remarried an amazing man, Michael Thornton. We have known each other for years and been the best of friends, but this past summer, God opened our eyes to each other in a whole different way…a better way. I really had come to the place of surrendering my dream of being with a great man, a God given man. God really had become my “everything”. I was enjoying the freedom of single life and focused very much on my children, my treasures.
I have been a single mom for many years now, something I NEVER had in my life plan, but through it all God has been so faithful. Seven years ago, out of the pain and overcoming, came my first book "Live, Laugh, Love Again"; book on how to get beyond divorce, co-written by three other awesome women. Out of my suffering, and desperate journey to understand "why", came the book "God Crazy" a book on why ultimately "surrender" is what draws us into the heart of God. Finally, after five years of pursuing my own healing and restoration and wanting to see other women and men set free from the bondage that can keep us from walking out our purpose and destiny, I authored "Overcoming Seven Deadly Emotions" released September 2008! I founded Shine Magazine in 1999 and was Editor-in-Chief for eight years. The magazine was birthed out of my passion to see a women's publication that had fashion, travel, health, focusing on women's issues, all from a Christian world view and done with class and excellence. My passion is people, and seeing them overcome and be free from whatever is keeping them from fulfilling Gods plan. As long as I am on this earth I will give my energy to whatever I feel can help in making a difference in my life, my children's lives, and people's lives. This is me. I am driven for this cause!
At the same time I love to have fun and live life. I tell my kids "everything in moderation except for God" (except for illegal stuff of course LOL). When it comes to God we get "God Crazy"! I enjoy life and feel God gave us music to dance, and a voice to rejoice and sing. I think we can easily take ourselves way to serious and when I get too serious I try to sit back and laugh at myself, or the situation, and remember life is short. I spent too many years pretending to have it all together, to have all the answers, only to find out none of it is true. What I do know is true and real, is my love for Jesus and His POWERFUL Word, my friends, and my family. Life is short. Get over yourself because it is not about you, or me, but about giving, loving, trusting, being, laughing, dying to our own selfish, selfish nature and getting over pride and what "we" think we have to have. Life when challenged, when interrupted, suddenly is reduced to God, a few faithful friends and hopefully a family who loves you unconditionally.
Michael and I have come together during a wonderful season of my life. While we all have issues, I have never felt as healthy as I do now. My ministry partner, Tammy Maltby, and I are entertainment chefs. We travel and speak on why we cook? We cook to create deeper connection with people. Friends, who eat together, stay together.
(Robin) I would love for you to share your testimony
(Michelle) Wow! Testimony…let’s see. My story is not a short one that is for sure. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. My parents did not come to know a relationship with Christ until I was ten. At ten, I had already decided how I felt about life and God and He was not a part of it. The next ten years would be a struggle. I was a “touch the fire” kind of gal. I didn’t just take someone’s word for it. I had to find out for myself. Unfortunately, choices and consequences pretty much go hand in hand. There were many things that played a part in my years of rebellion, the NO-God Years. Those years were all about ME. I didn’t really know they were about “ME”, but they were. I was very selfish, my heart was hard, and I was angry. There were a few things that played into it.
At fifteen I was date raped by a boy. It was a very big turning point in my life. I had already begun going down a wrong road, but after the rape, I pretty much felt it was the only road I could take. The shame, the disappointment, the failure, the feeling of unworthiness, left me feeling like I deserved nothing. I allowed the enemy to lie to me and keep me believing it for about four years. I harbored hatred, despair, insecurity, anger, disappointment, in my heart for four years and out of that came some bad choices,
God was after my heart.
He never stopped pursuing me. My parents were major prayer warriors and their prayers would no go unheard. At twenty years old, after several years of fighting God, I accepted Him as Lord of my life. I was desperate for Him and at the end of myself. All the answers I had for life were not worth anything to me. They had left me in a pile of broken pieces and now I was crying out to God to put me back together again. I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and for about a year a young woman had been sharing Christ with me. Not by telling me to repent everyday, or letting me know I was going to hell if I didn’t change my ways. Those were both true, but I wasn’t ready to hear those things. Instead, she shared her life with me. She asked me to lunch, to play racquetball, she let me stay at her house when I needed a place for the weekend, and she extended love and grace to me in a way I had never seen. She even slept on a hard floor and let me sleep in her bed when I stayed over. This is a woman who changed my life forever, a woman I would never forget. I have no idea where she is today, but Sally Soderman will one day meet me in heaven again and she will see all the fruit that came from her courage to step out and have faith for my life.
(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Michelle) The journey of faith is never an easy one. God starts you out trusting Him for little things, and the way He grows you is teaching you to trust Him for bigger things. It’s a process of surrender, and this journey is not easy. It’s painful, it’s difficult, it’s perseverance, but the beautiful way in which He leads you, the dedication by which He does it, shows you His undying love for you. This love that never fails, that never leaves you, and in this you realize God is all powerful, all knowing, and all faithful. This is where the beauty lies. To have someone love you like that, to have someone believe in you so much even when you are not worth believing in, is the most beautiful thing we can experience, but it is challenging. It gets less challenging as your faith grows, but just when you start to think you can rest in the shade, he brings you something else to trust Him with. J
(Robin) Can you share with us how you came to be in the ministry?
(Michelle) Just when did you hear God calling? Ha! I didn’t want to be in ministry. I was a scared little puppy, sitting in the corner, hoping no one would call on me. I never felt worthy enough to be a leader, but God sees. He sees the gift he created and He knows how to deliver the gift to His people to be used for His glory. I simply said “Yes, Lord” I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do, say what you want me to say, and He said well then, I will take you there. I mean this sincerely. I did not have a plan except to be a mom and a wife. I did not care about anything else, but God had a plan beyond my plan. He always does. People saw something in me, they saw leadership, and God put it on their hearts to ask me to speak. He starts you out small, then He takes you one step at a time beyond your fears till you are finally running and then He slows you down. My first experience, my first “gig”, was in Colorado. My kids were all babies. I had been asked to speak at a women’s retreat. They were all sick and my week had been hell (not sure if I can say that), but it had. I was sitting on the front row getting ready for them to introduce me and I felt so empty, so useless. I felt I had nothing to say. I was so exhausted, worried about my kids, wondering why I was there, and yet when I stood up to speak, the words came flowing out of my mouth like a river. I knew that night, I would speak for Him always, at least as long as He asked me to.
(Robin) How do you define success?
(Michelle) Hmmm…that is a hefty question. You sure make me think.
Success for me is when my husband and my children feel loved and care for. I can make mistakes, but if I am not loving and living my life authentically before them, I feel as if I am not successful. Business, ministry, all the accolades of life cannot bring me fulfillment the way hearing my kids say, “Mom, you have been a great mother”, or my husband say “baby, you are an amazing woman”. I am grateful to say at this time I feel successful, but it is something I cannot take my eyes off of because the minute I do, is the minute I become a failure.
(Robin) Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself at the age of eighteen to prepare you for life ahead?
(Michelle)There you go again asking me those shallow questions (smile). Do we really take advice at eighteen? I guess the advice I would give myself is:
(Robin) With a new year beginning what do you hope to accomplish this year?
(Robin) What encouraging words would you give to someone encountering loss?
(Robin) My pastor says, "If the Lord has done something for you the least you can do is say so." Dear friend, what is the Lord doing in your life?
(Robin) As women we wear many hats. We can feel at times we are juggling with one hand. How do you do it all? Where do you begin and what do you let go?
(Robin) In your legacy what do you hope to leave behind?