Mel's Heart

My thoughts about God, living for Him, being a writer, wife, mom, and child of God

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Flesh vs. Spirit

Kind of a weird title...In the past few years I've been learning more about what this means. Basically the flesh is old sinful patterns of behavior we practiced before we were Christians. 2 Cor. 5:17 says that if we're Christians,those who believe that Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Master, we are new creatures. The old has passed away and the new has come! So we have new nature.

If only that transformation took place in the blink of an eye! But it doesn't, does it? I continue to sin, to need God's forgiveness. The transformation is a step by step process, and I think this slow process reminds me that I need God, that I cannot depend on my own strength to change.

Just this week I was a walking hormonal psychotic woman! My poor household! I was walking in the flesh, not the spirit.

But the good thing is I truly felt sorry and repentant, did not want to act that way. So I apologized to my family and to God. I knew He forgave me, but honestly I was disapponted in myself and having a hard time forgiving myself.

Then just this morning I read a verse that God knew I needed to be reminded of.
Romans 8:38, 39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalties, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.

What an amazing thing to be able to count on God for his love, to count on God over and over for His forgiveness. Thank you, Lord.

Thank you!

Thank you to those of you who read my blog. I love to read your responses! Be still my heart - Chere and Ginny read my blog :) hee hee. Really, it's fun to have interaction with you. Maybe one of you will be inspired to write your own blog!

To the "wouldn't want to live without list"

Michelle streeter adds: sunshine on cold days, the scent of something baking in the oven, my puppy underneath my covers, tissues, moisturizer.

Amy P adds... my sweet strong handy husband, good running shoes, my computer, my incredible girl friends, God's forgiveness.

Ginny adds...
friends, books, flowers, dirt, worms, the color green, little girls who say I farted and then giggle; big boys who say I farted and then laugh like crazy when the girls scream!

Holly adds...
friendship, the beach, bon-fires, warm blankets, warm showers.

Amen to all the above!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Things I really wouldn't want to live without

Things I really wouldn't want to live without
(in no particular order)

Send your comments, and I'll add them to the list!

chocolate chip cookies
Magic Eraser
salad in a bag
my Bible
flowers in a garden
cell phones
little boys and big boys
a fairly healthy body
barns and horses
Dancing with the Stars and 24
hugs and kisses
hair color

The eyes of the Lord

2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

This verse has been on my mind for about a month now. I can just imagine God's eyes searching to and fro, and then stopping as He finds what He's looking for. Oh how I want His eyes to rest on me. What will he find when He sees me?

Will he see me fully devoted to Him as I work around my house - laundry, cleaning the floors, cleaning the bathroom are just a few things I need to do around here.

I think about being with my kids. What does He want to see me doing with them? Just being with them with undivided attention is often all He requires of me. I think about my temptation to multitask at all times! Today I'll really concentrate on giving Zachary and Tyler my full attention, even if they want me to watch them play Playstation!

Will He see my heart fully committed to Him as I write, as I help out a friend, as I interact with my husband?

This verse reminds me to be purposeful about all things. Everything we do has a spiritual aspect to it and can be done to glorify God. Even walking the dog. I can't help but mention that Emma is now going to have an operation in each shoulder, costing an amount I never thought I'd spend on a dog!

One part about this verse that stands out is why God is looking for a heart fully committed to Him. So He can give us His strength. Not so he can judge us or condemn us or find us lacking, as we mistakenly think sometimes. No, He wants to strengthen us. Thank you, God, that You are always for me.

Bon Voyage!

A group of friends here in Charlotte have a couple of things in common: they all have adopted children from an orphange in Liberia AND they're going on a cruise the week of Feb. 6th. Daryl Haywood entered all the mothers who've adopted in a Good Morning America contest - and they won! I'm so excited for them! They've made many sacrifices, so I'm glad they get some r & r! Watch Good Morning America the week of Feb. 6th.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Taking care of me in Memphis

I came to Memphis Friday to see my twin sister Natalie and her partner and my friend Donna. This is like a bed and breakfast to me. Natalie and Donna just take care of me and that is a great feeling. To come here by myself and on a weekend when the kids, Matthew and Christi are not here, is just a time to be free of responsiblities and it feels great! These pictures are of my precious nephew Matthew and his cute puppy, Sister.

I came mainly to be rolfed by Donna. I know that's a weird word so let me explain rolfing. Rolfing is body work, kinda like really deep massage that's painful. Really, it's nothing like massage but for most people that's a point of reference. We each have connective tissue in our bodies called fascia. Manipulating the fascia changes the whole alignment of your body, and basically for me can really alleviate the pain in my foot from plantar fasciitis (sp?) which I've had for over ten years. I already feel better! Donna has worked hard!

About the title of this blog. I think for me in some ways it's easy to take care of myself, but only to a certain point. To spend a whole weekend just taking care of me seems like an indulgence and a luxury. And it is! But I know as I grow older that God wants us to have balance in our lives.

I think for Christians, especially Christian women, it's way too easy to feel guilt and selfish when we take care of ourselves. But I think that's a lie straight from Satan. I know that I am better at being a wife, mother, friend and child of God when I take care of myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Sometimes that means having a long quiet time of reading God's word and praying. Sometimes it means eating healthy and exercise. Sometimes it means hanging with my family. And other times what I need is an entire weekend away. I would love to know what other readers think about this taking care of yourself thing.

It seems I keep returning to Ecclesiastes 3... a time to tear and a time to mend...a time to heal. Seasons for everything.

Last night Lisa came over and we ate lots of Mexican food, laughed a lot, and played speed Scrabble. How fun!

I am so thankful for the gift of rolfing, for the love of Natalie and Donna, for Donna's healing hands and the gift she's been given by God, for my sweet husband who's holding down the fort while I'm away.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die."

Oh how true I found these words this week. Tyler's first grade teacher, Dee Dee Irvine, passed away Saturday. Only 5 years older than me. 47 years old. A wife and mother to three adult children. About a month before Christmas she started having some sort of "episodes," somewhat like seizures. For about a month doctors were unsure of the problem. Then they knew. I tumor in her brain. Cancerous and unoperable. Two months later she died.

I attended the funeral Tuesday. I've only been to a few funerals in my whole life. This one was truly a celebration of life. Over and over I heard ministers, friends, and family describe Dee Dee as a woman with a sweet smile, kind, gentle, fun-loving, family-oriented, and a lover of Jesus. Over and over people repeatedly said how they never saw in her even a hint of bitterness or anger at God at what was happening to her. They saw peace, a supernatural peace that can only come from God.

I couldn't help but wonder what people would say at my funeral. Would I have been such an example of Christ to others? Would I have loved like Him? Would I have been gentle and kind yet strong like Him? Would people say I was humble like Him? Would people have noticed an unshakeable peace in me because I knew Jesus? I hope so, oh, how I hope so.

I also couldn't help but think at how quickly her life went from perfectly healthy to terminally ill. Psalm 90:12 tell us to number our days, so we may have a heart of wisdom. It's hard to live in the reality of heaven sometimes. I went home that night and hugged my boys tight and called my husband to tell him I love him.

The very next day my friends Cassie and Nate had their third child, a little girl named Reece. Welcome sweet baby! "There is a time for every event... a time to give birth."

Sometimes in the face of circumstances I don't understand, I can only say, You are God, and I am not. I trust You, Lord. How great a God we have who knows the perfect time for all things, death and birth.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lessons from Emma

How can such a little puppy have created such disruption in my life?! But she did. We got Emma in October, right in the middle of writing my book. And boy she rattled me! I thought she was the cutest thing, but I really was not prepared for all the care she would require - despite the warnings, esp. from Amy.

She peed and pooped every where, had to be taken outside about every hour, slept in her crate but cried and pooped in there, chewed on everything, and on and on. You get the picture. One day after a very interrupted night of sleep (Emma cried a lot at night), I came undone! I called Scott and told him he needed to come home from his job and take care of this darn puppy! I was delirious. (To those of you getting up in the middle of the night with babies, God bless you.)

What the lesson boiled down to was I was giving up a lot for my husband to have this puppy! And I just wasn't happy about the sacrifices. I had agreed to the puppy because I knew it would make Scott happy, I wanted to make him happy, but I wanted me to be happy too! God used this situation to show me how much of life revolved around me and my comfort and my desires.

So the lessons continue. This purebred yellow lab who we paid an arm and leg for, now has a serious limp and will probably need surgery. I love Emma now, and of course, we'll get the surgery done but I can't help but think God sure is funny!

As for the other dog in the picture. That's our perfect dog, Jenna. Got her from the pound, and she's smart and obedient and loyal and perfect.


When I was asked to submit a proposal, I was pretty much in happy shock. You see, writing a book was of course my ultimate dream, but to be honest, it was a dream I was afraid to even pray about. I knew that one day I would write a book and try to get it published, but I thought it would take many years. So the way this book came about is a miracle, truly. I have shouted, laughed, cried, and thanked God so many times. It just brings me to my knees that God knew this little dream of mine, and chose me to be used this way.

I am finding that there is no greater feeling than being used by God in the way that you really hope to be used and with the gifts He's given you to serve Him.

One thing I know for sure is that the topic of marriage was for me. I pray that other women will benefit from my book, but if no one else does, I certainly have. Marriage is hard for me. Scott and I love each other fiercely, but we are both stubborn, passionate, and selfish. So many times while writing the book, I would just have to walk away from the keyboard, go to God in prayer and tell Him there was NO WAY I could write a book on marriage, especially since at the moment I wanted to kill my husband.

So the whole process of writing the book was for me to look at myself and to be willing to surrender all of my marriage to God. So that's what I'm doing.

Friday, January 13, 2006


In the past few months I wrote my first book, What a Husband Needs from His Wife, which will be published by Harvest House Publishers July 1, 2006. I want to write the story of how this book came about for a couple of reasons. First, it's so fun for me to remember. And secondly, I hope it encourages other writers "out there."

Like most writers, I have always loved reading and writing, and I truly cannot remember a time when those two things were not a part of my life. My second time around in college I majored in English education, became a high school English teacher, taught for ten years, and then quit when I had my second child.

Being a stay-at-home mom was always what I wanted to be, so I just enjoyed that for a while. But after a while I couldn't stay away from what is a part of me - teaching and writing. So I started writing small articles, devotional types, about the subjects I was growing in, just things God was teaching me, challenging me in.

My first published article came out in the Proverbs 31 magazine in 2001 on a topic that challenges me: marriage. It was simply about some of the issues in my marriage that I was trying to work on and improve, with God's strength. After that I had a few more articles published over the years, the last of which was last November, again in P31 Woman magazine, called "Becoming Your Husband's Helper."

This was the article that caught the attention of Harvest House Publishers. They called Lysa TerKeurst, asking if she knew how to get ahold of me, having no idea we live down the road from each other! She called me to see if it was okay to give them my phone number - like I was going to say no! - we did a little screaming with excitement. And that was that. Nothing for two weeks. Of course I thought about it every day, and just tried to say to God, whatever happens, happens.

Finally they called and asked if I would be interested in submitting a book proposal on the same topic of the article. Of course, I said yes, and then began the work! I started writing the proposal in March, gave myself six weeks to complete it and turned it into them in May of 2005. Then I waited...

I had never written a book proposal, so let me tell you a little bit about that, in case you're a novice writer like me and want to know more about that. Each publisher has his own guidelines about what to include in a proposal, but generally the proposal consists of the following: 2- 3 chapters of the proposed book. These can be any chapters, not necessarily the first chronologically. Next is an outline of the book. Then biographical information and some marketing info. I gave myself a self-imposed deadline of six weeks to submit the proposal simply because I had none of this written. Perhaps if you already have a considerable portion written, you could submit a proposal in a much shorter time frame.

I'll continue later...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Little Treasures

Little things matter. I have in my purse a purple stone given to my little guy Tyler. Tyler likes treasures of all sorts, much of which I would consider trash, but this purple stone came from his precious rock collection. He knows I like purple, so he gave it to me. It reminds me of him and makes me smile when I see it.
There's so many little things I love. I'll list some, and maybe you'll be inspired to think about the little things that tickle you.
Crayola crayons in the 64 color box with sharpener
programable coffee pots, so the coffee's ready when i get up.
little boys who think burping and farting is the funniest thing ever
snow globes
cards my kids make me
old books that i read and read when i was young
gerbera daisies in bright colors
okay, on colors... pink
watching tv with my hubby
leaves that change color in the fall
laughing really hard
30 degree weather
diet coke in a can
And little things matter to God. God tells us in Luke 12:7: "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." I am so valuable to God, so treasured by Him, that He knows every inch of me.
I think also about the loaves and fish that the came from a little boy's lunch in Luke 9. Jesus fed thousands with just the little bit a small boy was willing to offer. What little thing am I willing to offer to God to see Him multiply?