How Will They Remember Me?

In July we deal with the loss of my dad. It’s a rough month, and while we know that he is in a great place, the best place, it still leaves us longing for him.

It always makes me think about my life. My legacy. We all will have one. What will be said of me when I am gone? How will people remember me, smiling? Happy? Grumpy? Disillusioned? Lost? Found?

I don’t know. I think we all hope to be remembered in the way that we would best want to represent ourselves, but is that who I really am, everyday? Doubtful.

I am the only one who can enforce that change though, from the who I always am to the woman I want to be, the friend, the wife, the mom that I desire to be. Will my errors and failures determine who I was? Will my children’s successes and failures determine who I was? Can I make a difference today that will leave a mark on history? Yes. I can. I am not awesome, incredible or cool even. I am a nerd. I like fixing computer problems, and troubleshooting things, making things with power tools- the big kinds, building things from scratch; from desserts to desks. I like to create new things out of old things. I have learned that He does too. The Lord who made you created you as you are, and He has a place He wants to take you to. A you; that you have always desired to be. That new you, can do anything with His help. You can change you. You can make you better. It doesn’t mean that people won’t still think you are the old you, or that they will stop referencing the time of your life where it was all messed up; but it will stop them from saying you still do what you used to do. No one can prove a heart change, but you can prove an actions change. I can change my face. Not only with cosmetics, but I can smile at a stranger when I normally would pass without any interaction. I can pick up what someone else drops and return it to them, I can buy dinner for the person behind me in the fast food line. I can be the change I want to see in the world and when I am gone; it can be said, that I changed the world.

Blessings,

mel

Drenched

Yesterday I experienced something brand new in worship. Something I have never had happen before. I had a vision. It was so awesome and so simple and I thought, “wow, this is what it’s like”?!

Remember that song- Keith Whitley did and then Alison Krauss remade it- “When you say nothing at all”?

That was my dad and my song. We used to sing it together, and now when I hear it, I cry or weep or think about how different this life has been, how the unexpected is always unexpected. When you thought you knew someone and then realize that you never really did. Or when you are so overwhelmed with disappointment and hurt that you cut off any and everything that has the potential to enter that inner circle. “When you say nothing at all” has some incredible words, my favorites were, “try as I may, I could never explain, what I hear when you don’t say a thing”.

That’t what yesterday was like. I saw what I couldn’t hear. He is incredible. The God who spun you into existence long before He laid the foundations of the earth; He is amazing.

I left my house in a rush yesterday because I was running late to get to worship practice; it was pouring rain, in a way I haven’t seen in a very long time. The ground was unable to absorb it quickly enough so it was pooling rapidly in our ditch out front. The ditch is normally bone dry and it is at a minimum 2 feet deep. It was overflowing as I was pulling out of the driveway, and I focused and went on in to church. As the service ramped up during worship, we were singing Fire Fall Down. For those of you who have experienced open worship that’s a normal style worship song, but for so many others the thought of calling Fire down sounds a bit strange and uncomfortable. As we were worshipping though I saw my ditch flooding over and felt it impressed upon me without words that the Lord is desiring to pour Himself out like the rain yesterday morning, so much that we can not contain His presence, that it floods over onto everyone and everything around us. I could feel His desperation for us to experience His fullness and I spoke. I expressed exactly that to the congregation gathered there in His name. I rarely speak into microphones, I sing, and sing only, and even when I am singing, I rarely want to use a microphone because He is the only one I care to sing to. My worship isn’t for people, it’s for the living God who set me free, who drew me into His arms when I was unworthy to rest there. He took in a pauper and made her a princess. It is the perfect picture of His mercy and grace in our lives, that we would sup with Him at His dinner table.

As I was speaking I could sense fear crowding in around me, would I be judged, do the people who know me best think, “What is she doing, she is so flawed.” I was feeling pressure, “If I mess this up, then the service is changed and not for the better.”  At the end, I just had to embrace the courage to speak out, because holding it in not only could have trapped me in fear of ever speaking, or not giving someone a picture that the Lord had for them, and the courage to reach out and take what the Lord was offering.

If you are in a dry and desperate place today, reach out to Him, He is waiting to take your hand and lead you on a path of restoration, goodness and mercy!!!

Get drenched in His presence today!

Blessings,

mel

She’s a Teacher; and so much more

What I write may never change the world, but it will always change me.

I write for me. I see so many bloggers and writers and I admire what they say and how they got to where they are and often I feel ashamed of my work. I don’t measure up against the incredible talent I see around me. I read articles and posts and I am astounded and inspired. I am touched and pulled into a someone else’s world. I see the best of them, and afterwards I often sit and think, “I can never be that.” I probably won’t ever be that, that isn’t to say that I don’t value myself I do, but when you have so many areas of interest, having one reign seems impossible. I am not a good photographer- in fact I normally don’t even have a camera available to catch those incredible moments. I can’t do tutorials, because I am teaching myself as I go. I can’t speak on home making or decorating, because those are things I haven’t been blessed to do. I tell you about life, my life and God’s faithfulness and if that is all I ever do, I pray that His words upon your heart will mark you for His Kingdom! This isn’t a place where you will ever be profoundly changed by anything I say or do; but I will tell you about those who profoundly impact me.

My best friend is a teacher. She shouldn’t even be labelled as a teacher, she is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a co-worker and a friend. She inspires, develops, creates, and empower’s those of us Jesus viewed as the greatest; the purest, children. She lifts them up when life is dragging them down. She holds their hand, eases their burdens and wipes away tears. She goes home and makes being there a priority, she doesn’t get a sick day, or a mental health day, there are no vacations from little taps on the shoulder, or a cry of need. She is incredible. She did marriage the right way, finding the man God had for her, marrying in purity and then living in blessing. She inwardly holds her frustrations and anxieties to not taint the world around her. She overcomes the enemy with a prayer, sometimes whispered sometimes heaved glancing at the sky and asking for strength to go another day. One more day to guide the lives of countless people. By guiding one child, she is touching thousands. Each of us has a number factor following what impacts us. If I am impacted the world around me is impacted, my children are impacted, their children, their friends and the cycle continues. She makes a choice daily to make learning as visually and mentally stunning as possible.

 

The goal is not just to learn, but to learn in an environment that breeds peace and comfort, joy unspeakable. A place where faith and imagination come together and say, “Yes, we can”. She makes me weep, when I remember her desperate love for me to return to the Father. When I was lost, she called my name in the wilderness until she finally heard me answer. She is precious. A gift from God, my friend, my sister, the one who like it or not, says it. I wish I was more like her. If she ever made a career of writing, she would have you constantly laughing, but that isn’t what matters to her. She is able to guide her talent in one direction. Of this I am envious. I am wrapped in so many things, writing, sewing, singing, crocheting, making- something going on all the time. I never stop; but I rarely finish. As each new year comes to a close I listen and I hear her heart for her students. How each year she is using her money to make changes in a classroom that to most teachers is just a room. To her it is a home away from home. No child can enter and feel inconsequential. No parent can enter and think she is just riding it out until retirement. She is gifted. She doesn’t know she is gifted and will shrug it off, but she has a God given ability to bring atmosphere with her. She operates in the fruits of the spirit in her classroom. She is kind and gentle, loving, and generous. At the end of my life, I hope I will have been- more like her.

I have known her since childhood. We have walked through life’s unbelievable, so painful you can’t breathe trials, and we continue to come out the other side and I can tell you without a doubt; she is vital to my life.

10 [b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax
    and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
    and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
    a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
    her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
    her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
    and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
    for everyone has warm[c] clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
    where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
    and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

While I could have highlighted all of it, I don’t want her ego to get too inflated! : )

She is my sister by choice. I pray that she knows she has value, and worth all the days of her life. That she is highly favored and blessed in incredible abundance. May she walk in dignity and honor and withstand the war of comparison.
When attacks come may she have the strength to war in Heavenly places, while the angels stand guard. May she rise and fall in the safety of her Father’s arms. May she never doubt the love and faithfulness of the Lord. Let the watchman guard her thoughts and mind, letting nothing that defaces her heart enter. May a spirit of peace and comfort rest in and on her forever. May lives be changed because of her love and dedication to the Father. Lord, would you have your way in her life, giving her all she needs for life and Godliness.

My dear Maureen- be blessed richly today. You are a world changer.

 

Blessings,

mel

 

Two Sparrows in a Hurricane

When I was young, around 12ish, I was at my grandmother’s, more affectionately known as Nannie, and now as an adult- Nan. (More about why the name grandma, or grandmother doesn’t seem affectionate another time) : )

We were in her house either sewing or cleaning- either could have been correct, because that’s what I did there most of the time; and I loved both.  The song Tanya Tucker used to sing came on the radio- Two Sparrows in a Hurricane. If you don’t listen to Country Music then you probably haven’t heard it, but I remember that she stopped what she was doing, and that was odd. She is like me, we don’t sit still. It just doesn’t happen, I would love to sit still, yet I can’t seem to get my body to listen. She closed her eyes and I asked her what was wrong, and she told me, “This was papa’s and my song”. She didn’t sing it, in fact, I don’t know that I have ever heard my Nan sing. I am sure she sings the hymns at her church, but I think it is more Millie Vanilli style. Lips are moving, but sound does not appear.

She sat still for almost the entire song, and I was moved. My grandfather, Papa, died when I was about 8/9 years old. He had a head injury and lived in a coma for 3 years after. When he began to get better, he fell out of his wheelchair at the nursing home. I remember sitting in his lap cuddling him and laying beside him in his bed at the nursing home. I remember when he passed and how sad everyone was. More pleasantly I remember him riding me on his tractor to the mailbox to get mail, and on a fun golf cartish contraption from back in the early 80′s. I remember being called “toot-toot”. A name I have ashamedly lived up too. :) I remember joy when I was around him, and feeling like I mattered. I remember hat he had a scratchy gray, black beard and that my Uncle Steve looked just like him.

What I don’t remember are the years before I was born, the times when my Nan weaped at home, because she lived during a different time. A time where her wants, rights and wishes for her life, mattered very little. Where adultery was a norm, and women must turn a blind eye to it, or live miserable for presenting it as a problem. My Nan was different than most women. She is tough as nails, most of which I am learning is how she protects herself. She hides as I do, behind a very strong exterior. Inside though, there is brokenness and pain. She loved my papa. I mean really loved him. He was not a saint, nor was she. He was not her dream come true everyday, but neither was she. He was full of himself and stingy with his money. He was a good father, and a good friend. From all accounts I have heard as an adult, he was a good man. Who made mistakes, just like you and I. My Nan loved him, and he loved her and they fought the rest of the world to make it. Never believe that your marriage is not a place of attack. The enemy doesn’t care whether you are serving the Lord, or not, he hates marriage. He despises when we value and honor a covenant, because it is something HE does not have the ability to have.  Within every marriage there are hiccups, some are huge, and some are small. Some matter a lot, and others seems little by comparison, but never believe that the mini fights can’t be the last straw. The little fights, normally range around very important things that matter. For my Nan a little say in some things would have made a huge difference to her. Being asked what her opinion is and feeling that it mattered- could have changed everything.

As it is, Nan loved my papa and he loved her, and despite what pain they caused each other in their years together, they brought just as much joy and happiness. The lyrics below tell not just my Nan’s story, but mine as well. She taught me to persevere. To not back down, to value my marriage, to fight for it when everyone else thinks you are crazy. To value the risks with the reward.

 

She’s fifteen and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the keys to her heart
It’s just matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

There’s a baby crying and one more on the way
There’s a wolf at the door with a big stack of bills
They can’t pay
The clouds are dark and the wind is high
But they can see the other side

She’s eighty-three and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the key to her heart
It’s just a matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

Like two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

Love makes a way- where there was no way. On the days I want more than anything to throw in the towel, those tough days where you must dig deep within yourself to find a well of love for your spouse, I remind myself; I fight not for myself and Tim, but for my grandchildren and great grandchildren who will be able to say, the World says, we will never make it; but Love says we will. Love is God, and God is love. He says we will make it. I hold onto His word tight and I believe that He will be faithful to complete every good work He begins.

 

Blessings,

mel