What I learned from Fridays and Dunkin Donuts!

When Cash was in Kindergarten we used to have to drive to a bus stop near us that was the earliest route, so that I could get to work on time.

It was really frustrating. We would get there early every time, because you can’t chase the bus down with your car… well I guess you could, but it isn’t like me to chase anyone! :) Something we did during that season was read the Bible together and work on Scripture Memorization. It was so much fun, and even now two years later, the kids know the scriptures, what I didn’t realize was how much it would impact me and my ability to remember the scriptures.

As most of you have read by now, I grew up in church and have been a “seasoned Christian”, a.k.a. I know how to make it look good, but struggle just as much as everyone else. It’s really a false security that I display, and part of that was taught by watching the people around me in church do it. I would see people who I knew on a personal level that struggled in sins, but could quote scripture better than the preacher, and it did something in me. I didn’t want to be like that, but I am realizing that life naturally does that. If you are not careful and cautious you can become entrapped in that; I certainly have been guilty of it.

We learned this one scripture that I don’t remember hearing when I was little and it was very simple, but it gave help, and they learned it with a little bit of Dunkin Donuts as “encouragement”.

“I will call to You in times of trouble and You will answer me.” Psalm 86:7

I told them after they quoted it to me and we drove to Dunkin Donuts for the Friday memory treat that it doesn’t mean that you will get the answer you wanted- but you will get the answer you need, and you will not be alone.

I said that verse to myself today. I was sitting there in pain- heart pain, mental exhaustion and just weariness and I was thinking, “Who can I call?” and He answered me. He placed this worn scripture into my head and reminded me that I am literally one sentence from Him at all times. The best part, I know it came from Him, and He likes to stay mute with me. I can’t remember having a moment where He spoke to me specifically and just now… He did.

This is why I serve Him. He sees me. He knows me. Inside and Out. There is no pretense, just He and I looking into each others eyes and peace knowing He has me, and my entire world in His hands.

If you are anxious today; take a deep breathe and let Him just look at you with those eyes, soothe you with his spirit and relax! You can’t do anything about that problem except give it to Him anyway!

 

Blessings,

mel

His Faithfulness Garnered Favor

I spoke with a friend of the family during the visitation hours at the viewing for Aunt Dee, and while I hadn’t seen that person in years, we took a moment and caught up. While she was talking I heard something I have heard all of my life about my mother; she was faithful.

During the times of separation my parents experienced early on in their marriage when my dad was testing who he was, my mother stood faithfully by. She waited for a man who verbally and physically expressed that he was gay, and she prayed. She prayed and we prayed, with her in the corner of our hall, and he came home. I was reminded that faith is one thing, but what we do with faith is another. We can plant our faith like the talents Jesus spoke of, or we can invest faith until the outcome is greater than the initial product. My mom is a planter. She created planters.

My brother is one of the most faithful people I have ever met. He has his quirks and like me, he shares some character traits that I am sure drive people crazy; we are so far from perfect, as is our mom; but one thing he got a greater dose of from our mom was faithfulness.

We have watched him serve his workplace for the last few years faithfully. He shows up on time, everytime. If he is supposed to be there it will take an absolute emergency for him to not be there. He goes in and does what has to be done despite the inconvenience of it. He doesn’t go around talking negatively about his workplace, he is just faithful. Lunch, no lunch, break or no break he is there to do a job and he does it. He left his job making more than he is currently making for an opportunity at advancement. While the advancement didn’t come as quickly as he hoped, a little boy named Micah did, and the weight of carrying his family on one salary for the first time began to test his faith. He now had a beautiful Jessa, sweet Ashtyn and wild and crazy boy, Micah; and his wife Lindsey- whom he flat out adores at home, and all of them counted on him for the first time, not only to keep things floating, but to be faithful enough to catch the eye of God and man.

Today the Lord showed that He is the God who promotes. My brother isn’t highly educated- although he is one of the smartest people I know. He isn’t fancy- in fact when his beard is in full force he is like an Alpine Mountain man -which I love- but his wife wins that war : ). He is a normal guy, your best friends brother growing up. He is faithful every Sunday to set up at church and most often helps to tear down leading to a full 6-7  hour work day on his day of rest. He has proven himself in so many ways and I am so proud of the man that he is.

I got a call today, and my beautiful sister in law was sobbing in my ear, and immediately I thought something must be wrong. She is trying to get out-”I’m crying because I am happy”… which to me presented so many word pictures in my mind– but I digress. She finally gets out, “Keith was called in to the office today(his day off) and he is getting a raise and is being promoted to a Supervisory position.”

HALLELUJAH…. You may not know what his faithfulness looks like, but I do. I know what it is to see him sweat after a full day of work and try to spend time with his children when he is flat dog exhausted. He has faithfully served his workplace and shown what true servant leadership. He gets to see today that God honors faithfulness. God promotes- HE SEES.

When you have the chance to slide by on something at work, or in your life; to not give your best; He sees. He is faithful to finish His work, do not think He will not be faithful to promote you in yours when you do it as unto Him.

Little Brother- I am so proud of you. May the Lord continue to shine His face on you and bless you with abundant favor. You are a special, gifted and generous man, and the Lord will give you much because you have been faithful with little.

Love you!

Blessings,

mel

Celebrating Her Life

Today we will lay to rest a dear member of our family. A woman who was so very special to my brother and I as children. A little family background regarding my mothers side of the family.

We are a large family.

97% live within the same county.

85% respectively live within 5 miles of one another.

All of us are blessed to be a part of this family. My Nannie has 7 brother’s and sister. We have lost 2 of them already. They are missed, and always will be. This week we lost the wife of my nan’s brother, Uncle Ralph; Aunt Dee.

We often had family events as I was growing up, Family Reunions, and weekends spent seeing at minimum two of the brothers or sisters, and loving every minute. I have a dancing family. Oh yeah… they dance, and they do it wonderfully. I have danced with all of them. I always loved going to those events, because I was guaranteed an opportunity to be asked to dance by one of my great uncles. My great aunts and my nan can cut a rug you wouldn’t believe. I love it. Just thinking of it now, makes me emotional because I know that I am running out of time with them. Not because they are growing older, but because we all have a time we will be called home and none of us know when it will be.

Aunt Delores was fun. She was an energizer bunny just going and going, and I love her. At all of these family events she was organizing or playing games with all of us kids. She and my brother would wrestle and as the mother of four boys, she knew exactly how to do it. When I was pregnant with our daughter, Aunt Dee and Aunt Hazel both brought me the most beautiful crochet blankets- so beautiful I wouldn’t even use them. Now that Loralei is old enough to take care of precious things, I will get them down from their hiding place in her closet and let her give life to those beautiful creations.

One of the amazing parts to Aunt Dee’s story is that her sister, Hazel, is married to my nan’s other brother, Billy. Yep two sisters married to two brothers. Is that not the coolest thing?

The Lord has his timing, and when He calls, we obey. Aunt Dee left us and headed home, and as a family we grieve and celebrate her life. She leaves behind a wonderful family who will certainly miss her daily presence and incredible wit. My Uncle Ralph has had little existence without Aunt Dee, and I weep for him after 61 years of marriage to this wonderful woman, alone. When you read this will you offer a prayer for his heart to be peaceful, and for comfort beyond measure?

Today we will grieve and then celebrate and give praise to the One who gives and takes away. My Dear Aunt Dee, thank you for every chuckle, and full bellied laugh you gave me, for every moment spent in play and every hug wholeheartedly given. You were a beautiful addition to this family, and you will be greatly missed.

Blessings,

mel

Lights

The kids and I have started amping up for Christmas. We love the holiday’s. We basically skip Thanksgiving much to my dear friends chagrin. She loves the fall holiday’s, and while I love fall, there is something  about the smells, sounds and sights of Christmas that stirs me.

As a child, I was blessed. I remember asking for very few things that I didn’t get. My dreams always came to life, this taught me that I could dream, but it didn’t teach me how to  handle dreams that don’t come true.  I would creep down the stairs last Christmas Eve, and see the gifts in front of the tree illuminated by the Christmas Tree lights and something inside me would jump. I would most often go quietly back upstairs, more than the gifts I wanted to know that he had come. That the cookies I made were eaten and the milk was mostly gone.

Christmas brings out a side of me that is caged throughout the rest of the year; a light, for lack of a better word. I am in my element at Christmas. I feel different, I look different, I am different. I don’t know what it is that does it, but it’s like a cloud of anticipation settles on me, and I begin to look for miracles everywhere. My children have the same excitement, we are already prepared for Halloween night when the first movies of this holiday season hit Hallmark, while we decorate the tree and drink hot chocolate- ahem- hot coffee… It draws me, and I am all in.

I have noticed that jumping feeling on the inside of me over things other than Christmas lately. I am finding that the feeling is closer to passion than excitement. I am passionate about a few things that affect myself, our family and our nation, and those things light up in me just like a Christmas tree in the deep dark night.

I am passionate about Human Life- every cell that becomes an embryo that bears the resemblance of God should be afforded and awarded the right to live.  This bears witness in genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When we continue to allow the massacre on our own soil, we are aborting the image of God.

I am passionate about Human Trafficking, specifically sex trafficking- no human should be sold or traded to any other person: ever. We are not property; and this is occurring right here in America. We can not turn our heads and think this happens in third world countries where we are “powerless”. It’s here and it must be dealt with. If you would like more information on this growing travesty please go to this site: http://thegrayhaven.org/ or visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thegrayhaven and find out what YOU can do to impact this horrific crime against humanity.

I am passionate about marriage- Marriage is so difficult; different backgrounds, family styles, traditions, values, and morals. I believe every marriage can survive; anything. I don’t support divorce in any aspect, because in no way does God get glory when we separate what “God has brought together”. He wants to heal your marriage. He wants you to be happy, but He is not dependent on your happiness, only your obedience to Him.

I light up internally, I jump and longing fills my soul for these things; when I hear, see or learn of something that impacts any of these internal indicators, it is like Christmas year round. I want to make an impact; I want my life to have been valuable to the Kingdom of God. I want to be so lit up that people see me coming from miles away, knowing that I stand for something. I want the gates of hell to shake when I wake up and put my feet on the floor in the morning. I want to be the light. When Christmas comes, a reverence falls upon me; that my glorious Savior would humble himself to walk among the sinners of the world and call them friend. I love Santa and the beauty of the wonder he creates, but he is nothing compared to the One who gives only good and perfect things.

He wants to make your dreams come true in a way that a physical gift never could. He wants to set you free from bondage to sin, transform your heart and release you back to the world covered in his grace and light. Everyday I make mistakes, some more than others, and while I often end up as Paul wanting to do right, and yet doing wrong, I am grateful for His grace and His desire to come to me anyway. You see no matter how many lights I put on the Christmas trees in our home- that’s plural- the physical light will never be what moves me. His presence is light and that my friends; His light, moves me. As the holidays draw near, and they will quicker than most would like; allow each light you see on the store entrances, and home all around to push you closer to your passions. Those lights represent Him, and His light. Be ye the light of the World.

Blessings,

mel