He Changed My Name

When I was born, my mother named me Mecheel Leigh Ritchie. She named me after the daughter of a friend. The daughter contracted spotted mountain fever when she was little and she passed away. To honor the life of this little girl, my mother gave me her first name, spelling it the same way she did.

I never focused too much on my name until I started school. The beginning of the school year is a bit unnerving for most kids. I remember the questions that swirled around in my mind each new year. Questions like, “Which teacher will I get?” “Will my best friend be in my class?” “Will my desk be in the front or in the back?” Most kids ask themselves these questions. One question that doesn’t usually make the list, (that is, if your name is John, Sally, Susie or Tom) is, “Will the teacher say my name correctly?”

However, that question dominated my mind. Why? Because without fail, each new teacher called me Metch-uwl, Meh-sheil or Michael. No one ever called me Michelle, which is my name. Although, I admit M-e-c-h-e-e-l is a unique way to spell it.

I was a very shy kid and first day roll call was a nightmare! Instead of simply raising my hand and quickly and quietly saying, “Here.” I had to answer the follow-up question, “Is that how you say your name?” I went to school for 14 years. During that time, I don’t remember anyone pronouncing my name correctly at first glance. This was my life and I learned to accept it.

Graduation finally came and my school days were over. A year later, I was married. The wedding was unforgettable and afterward we spent two weeks honeymooning and park-hopping at Disney World. It rained every day, but we didn’t care.

In addition to the fun and romantic things we did during those two weeks, we also had to do some practical things like changing our address, our car tags, etc. Government agencies are not known for their flair and enthusiasm, but those hum-drum chores went on without a glitch until we went to the Social Security Office.

When we arrived there we presented our marriage certificate and all the other documents they asked us to submit. The clerk took a look at everything and informed me that my name was incorrect. I didn’t understand. If anyone knew how to spell their name it was me. I would never forget it! I was traumatized by it!

It turned out my name was spelled wrong; not by me, but by the person who created my birth certificate and recorded it for vital statistics. I asked the clerk if we could just correct my name in the computer; but I found out quickly that this is not the way things are done. A name change took time and was expensive. My new husband frowned upon anything that would cost us more money.

When we left the office that day, the state of Florida officially recognized me as Mrs. Mechelle Foster. Not only did I leave with a new last name, but also with a new first name! ((And, I no longer have a middle name by the way. It wasn’t shown on my birth certificate.) It was hard to get used to at first, but at least no one calls me Michael anymore.

Although my name change was uncommon, the Bible is filled with stories of men and women whose names were changed by God. Why did God change their names? Because God changed them. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham when God told him he would no longer be son-less but would become the “father of many nations.” Jacob, the deceiver received a name change after he wrestled with God. His new name… Israel, means, “to struggle.” Saul, a self-proclaimed Pharisee of Pharisees and a persecutor of Christians, had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and would be called Paul for the rest of his life. In Latin, the name Paul means, “humble” or “little.” When God changes a person’s name, He has already changed their character.

God is still in the name-changing and character-changing business. No matter what name you were given when you were born or what you’ve believed or done throughout your life, God is ready, willing and able to change you from the person you are into the person He created you to be! Invite Him into your life today. You will never regret it. You will never be the same. Then you too can say, “He changed my name!”

My Most Curious Blog Entry, Period

Well, I’m almost 48 years old and definitely menopausal. Before you tell me that I’m too young for menopause, let me assure you, I’ve done my research.

According to The North American Menopause Society, (you can find them at www.menopause.org) “Natural menopause is the spontaneous, permanent ending of menstruation that is not caused by any medical treatment.” Menopause is a normal, natural event. It’s defined as the final menstrual period and is confirmed when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months. “Women will likely experience natural menopause between ages 40 and 58 averaging around age 51.”

I’m not sensitive to my climbing digits and I welcome the end of menstruation. That being said, why have I chosen to write about this in today’s blog? That’s a plausible question considering I never write about anything clinical or scientific. My blog is called, Rhyme, Reason & Real Life, after all. Ding, ding, ding! Menopause, you’ve hit the mark! I’m going to talk about you and still stay on topic. Not only is menopause currently part of my real life, I’ve also written a poem about it… that rhymes!

No. I don’t have writer’s block.

No. I did not spin a wheel of topics to determine what I should write about today with said wheel unfortunately landing on the topic of menopause.

But I have been experiencing a well-known symptom of menopause lately; and instead of letting it frustrate me, I decided to find the humor in it and write about it. I’m not sure my husband is laughing, but he is at least trying to “dwell with me with understanding.” (1 Peter 3:7)

As you may have guessed by now, I’ve been having hot-flashes! These sudden changes in body temperature now dictate the way I style my hair, the clothes I wear and how I sleep at night. And as if that wasn’t enough of an invasion, they have also assigned themselves co-writers of my blog! So let’s just give them their five minutes of fame and be done with it! Shall we?

Introducing, Hot-flashes and the written work they have inspired…

I’m On Fire (Ode to Menopause)

To say I’m menopausal is simply to begin

A million, genetic embers attack me from within

With an apocalyptic fever found beneath my skin

I know you understand if you’re one of my kin

The original sin kind

Under the curse

It could be worse

Christ took our punishment 

His sacrifice makes us free

My heart is clean

Hormones, don’t you know you’re redeemed?!

One minute I’m frozen

The next, a glistening, white flame

My husband? Who’s that?

I’ve forgotten his name

I can’t lie close to him at night

His romantic heart I can’t tend

I’m focused on my new loves

A solemn mattress and the wind

A solemn mattress with no covers

Just a simple, fitted sheet

The wind- so much wind

Above, across and around me

And if the wind is kind

It will lull me to sleep

Only to awaken 

Brushed by flames

My husband’s feet!


Have you experienced anything like this? You’ve gotta laugh. Right? If you have, I’d love to hear your funny stories. Men, I’m talking to you too. My husband could tell you all about his near-death experiences with a 10 pound, fleece blanket that was tossed over his face in the middle of the night. Men, thank you for being patient with your wives during this season of life. Let me just say, during a hot flash, no part of your body must touch another part of your body. That is why you may walk into your bedroom and find your wife making snow angels in the bed. Only to her, it feels like she’s making snow angels on a bed of hot coals! If this happens to you, just find your Bible and read 1Peter 3:7… again.



Waking Up

Lying next to you,
peaceful and still,
Light peeking at us from behind the curtains.

Not yet committed to the day,
Still claiming the night,
I hear nothing.
And I love the sound.

I smile because I am content.
And then your eyes open.
The first thing you say is, “What time is it?!”

You aren’t content to lie here in solitude like me.
You are immediately committed to the day, bound by it, in fact.

You? You never hear nothing.
If you did, you would not recognize it,
And you would be suspicious of it.
No, you never hear nothing,
For the sound of the clock is always in your ears.

Unknowingly, You have just ripped off my covers of night,
Leaving me bare to face the day.

So forgive me if I am offended by you.
And forgive me if I don’t answer.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster

I Still Do

Mr. & Mrs. Grant Foster 7-27-1991

Mr. & Mrs. Grant Foster

Twenty two years ago I changed my name, my address and my life. I married a man that I admired and loved as much as my limited experience would allow me to. At the time I thought love was just a euphoric emotion. I had no idea how much sacrifice would be involved in maintaining the relationship that began with a kiss and a prayer. I had no idea how young 19 was.

My husband and I have been through a lot together over the past 22 years… job changes, address changes, sickness, the death of loved ones, the births of our two children and the list goes on. My husband sacrifices everything for our family. All the money he makes is invested in our lives. He takes complete responsibility for feeding, clothing and providing a home for our family. I am so thankful for him and so proud of him.

It seems to me that marriage is just not a priority for young people today. It seems that fewer young men are willing to make the sacrifices that my husband makes. In the 50’s, marriage was perhaps the most important thing to a young person. Here we are 60+ years later and marriage is irrelevant to many and redefined by others.

I’m not a salesman…salesperson. I will only recommend something that I have tried and proven to be good. Marriage is one of those things. I want my single friends to find their soul mate because my life is infinitely better now that I have found mine.

I know firsthand that there are people who are in bad marriages. I don’t believe anyone should stay in an abusive situation. I do believe that marriage takes three: a husband, a wife and God. God came up with the idea of marriage. He knows how His design works. He is there to provide technical support. If you’re not married yet, let God guide you in choosing a spouse and keep Him at the center of your union. If you are married and never included God in your relationship, it’s not too late.

I still believe in marriage and that ring on my husband’s finger is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a symbol of our young love that ventured beyond the security of our parents’ homes. It’s a symbol of our maturing love that learned how to communicate the words that are the hardest to say like, “I’m sorry.” and “I was wrong.” It’s a symbol of our intimate, trusting love that doesn’t need words, and a symbol of our committed love that is not debatable, not based on emotions and has no loopholes. It means, I am his and he is mine. If you’re reading this, Sweetheart, I love you! Happy anniversary!