Mel's Heart

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

Monday, February 27, 2006

twenty more pages

I know the Holy Spirit will inspire me... I need to write 20 more pages in the next couple of weeks for my book. Hmmmm... Please pray for me!

I read this in a marriage book i've really enjoyed called for women only.
It's food for thought for us wives!

"Most married men don't want to abandon their wives to do 'guy things.' They want to do guy things with their wife. They want her to be their playmate. It's no different from when they were dating. For a guy, a big part of the thrill was doing fun things together.

The woman who is having fun with her husband is incrediblly attractive. If you see a woman out playing golf with her husband, I guarantee that all the other guys are jealous. Getting out and having fun together falls off in marriage because of various responsibilities, but men still want to play with their wives."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Moses was not just an old guy

For a long time in my Christian faith, the Old Testament was a mystery to me. Moses just seemed like some old guy that was really irrelevant to my life. But then about 3 years ago I began to sense a calling on my life, a calling about writing and speaking for God. I was afraid, very afraid. Really afraid of failure.

I read a book called Shadow Women by Angela Hunt (I like most of her books, by the way!) This was a very different type of book for me to read. It's the historical fiction version of Moses told from the viewpoint of three women in his life - his Egyptian mother, his wife, and his sister. This book was so timely and just made me looove Moses.

I could so relate to him. He was so afraid, too. When Moses realized God was calling him, he tried really hard to talk God out of his plan.(exodus 3 & 4) Oh, how I can relate to that!

I've been thinking lately about Moses seeing that burning bush, the one that was on fire but not being consumed, the one God used to get Moses' attention. What would have happened if Moses hadn't stopped? What if Moses had just ignored that bush?

Well, Moses would have missed out. God would have chosen someone else to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. God's will would have still been accomplished, just not with Moses.

I don't want to miss out on being used by God to accomplish His plan. I want to have eyes that see God working and I want to join God in His plan.

This morning I watched Joyce Meyer, as I do many mornings. Now I know some people are not crazy about her, but I love the way she speaks honestly about God's truth.
A woman, I think called Penny, was talking about how she'd had back pain for 20 something years. She was about my age, and she grabbed my attention because of the darn foot pain I deal with.

She said that she was praying one day and had the thought that she needed "to run for a miracle." She knew that thought was from God. So she did something radical. She began to train for a marathon. Now this was a woman who had sever pain, took lots of pain meds, and had never run. She cold have easily ignored this thought, but she would have missed out on what God had in store for her, a huge blessing!

So she trained, and on the morning of the race she had such severe knee pain she could hardly move. But she was determined, she showed up at the starting line and about one mile into the race she realized her back pain was gone! She finished the race. Her back pain has never returned.

This story made me cry! The thing that stayed with me was how she had a miracle in her life, but how she had to be a part of making the miracle happen. She had to be obedient in what God called her to do. Then she waited with faith for God to do His part.

Sometimes it's easy to think of God as a magic fairy who will wave His wand to accomplish the miracle we want. I'm sure that happens sometimes, but this story, and the story of Moses make me think about how God wants us to respond to Him in obedience first. I think I'll go think about that...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Front Cover and Galley

Friday I got the galley of my book and have one week to proofread it. A galley is the edited manuscript, and now I and some proofreaders check for the little stuff, like punctuation, typos, etc. It's interesting to see how my editor reworded things to improve them, thank goodness for editors! And my editor, gene skinner, has been so nice and encouraging. what a blessing, especially on my first book.

Then today I received an e-mail of the front cover! All this is making it seem very real. I really wrote a book and it's going to be in the book stores - yahoo!

The only slightly bad news is that they need 20 more pages. Wow. I feel like I wrote every word I could possibly think of to come up with the original 69,000 words. But I know the Holy Spirit will inspire me. That's what happened so many times before. I would sit down at my computer, not having an idea, and then I'd just start to write ideas that I had not previously thought of. That was God at work in me!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Amazing Grace

When Zachary was little, I sang Amazing Grace to him and rubbed his back as he was falling asleep. I loved that little tradition. Today our worship band played a beautiful version of Amazing Grace. That reminded me of how sweet it was to sing to zach. And then I pictured God's grace - His love, His favor, His mercy raining down on his children. He just loves us because He made us to be His children. Just like we love our children just because they're ours.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we would be called children of God, and such we are. 1 John 3:1

Amazing Grace,
how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost,
but now I'm found.
Was blind but now I see.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Night and God's Word

Tonight all the Chitwoods will be home! Yahoo! All of us love to be home together, hanging out, watching our taped shows - Survivor and (and Dancing with the Stars if I can sneak that in on the boys), watch basketball, order Dominoes and eat chocolate chip cookies. We haven't done this in a long time(well, except the cookie part) I'm so happy that we all like nights like this.

This morning's verses have really given me pause today.
Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I come to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

Then I remembered
Ephesian 6:12 that the word of God is called the Sword of the Spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 the sword of God's word is sharper than a two-edged sword.
and another connection
John 1:1 Jesus is called The Word.

The first verse in Matthew made me think about how powerful and strong Jesus is. Yes, He's love, but He's TRUTH. I love how absolutely uncompromising Jesus is in this verse. It also makes me think of God in the Old Testament where God is I AM.

One of the gifts God has given us is His written Word. By reading Scripture, meditating, and applying its truth we have everything we need for living.

There was definitely a time in my life when I didn't believe that about Scripture-that I could find the guidelines for living right there in the Bible and that this was all I needed.

My belief system in the past was a hybrid of my own thoughts, Satan's lies, self-help books, cultural influences, humanistic education with a little pinch of God's word thrown in for good measure.

It worked fairly well but then I had some experiences that God used to sift out the false beliefs. Now I am learning step by step how to live by His Word. I'm glad about that. And I really think this will be a lifelong process.

It's been a fun week of getting out of the house and seeing friends and shopping a little. Last week with the kids sick I think I left the house for about an hour on tuesday and then friday to pick up scott from the hospital. that made for quite a long week.

I'm supposed to get the galley of my book any day. fun! happy wkend!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


My next book, according to Scott, should be called What a Wife Needs from her Husband. I can assure you I could write that book in about a week. No problem reaching the word count on that one. Scott's best buddy Mike said, how's that book mel wrote working out for you, with sarcasm and a big grin. ha ha.

The past two days have been t-days, transition days. If your husband travels, you might know what I'm talking about. These are the days we adjust from him being gone a lot to now being home, which is what I want but at the same time it can be a hard switch. Scott says I have saved up all my complaints about him while he's been gone and I just need to get them out of my system. That's not far from true. And I've given him very little sympathy for his knee surgery. No, I am not a florence nightingale, or whatever her name was. Thank goodness.

At least we can laugh a lot now. That's the biggest difference as the years have gone by. We're angry less or for a shorter amount of time and we laugh at ourselves more.

So why did God ask me to write this book about what a husband needs? For me, for me to learn to put my eyes on God and see His perspective and purpose for marriage. It's not about happily ever after, as I try to make it. It's not about me, as I try to make it. It's about God. He put His stamp of approval on marriage, on oneness in marriage, knowing that quite often it would be the most challenging and rewarding assignment He gives two people.

Other reasons? Certainly. I hope God will use my book to make others examine their marriages honestly, and surrender it to God. But sometimes I want to tell Him, God you chose the wrong person. I am so not a worthy representative of You. Quite a few people told God that. I think of Moses. He tried really hard to get out of his calling to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. It makes me think of
1 Corinthians 1:27: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the things which are strong... Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My husband is home

I just discovered a comment on an earlier post from my neice Christi. She said there needs to be a photo of her, since there's one on my memphis blog of her brother matthew and his dog sister. Well, I agree, so send me one christi. I'm sure she'll be a movie star one day so i definitely need to include a photo of her.

One of my favorite memories of christi happened when she was about three. we were playing "movie" and she was telling me what to do, of course. she was the movie star in the movie. she was acting out some story and I decided to join her in the acting out of the story. she stopped and said to me, no aunt mel, you don't talk. you're the audience. and she was 3!

Scott got home from a trip to california thurs pm. we have seen each other i think about 4 days in three weeks. bummer. Now that he flies for a corporation, instead of an airline, that is no longer a typical schedule. He's actually home a lot more than that. this was just a long stretch for a variety of reasons. the good thing was it sure made me appreciate him. I'm so glad I share life with him.

Yesterday he had knee surgery so I know he'll be home for a few days.:) All went well, but he was told his basketball days are over. that's sad for him.
getting old - aches and pains and a lot more maintenance!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Parents' influence

Wow! We woke up this morning to snow! I sure didn't expect that! It's snowing big fat snowflakes right now. As a native Floridian I can still get pretty excited about snow!

Tyler and Zachary are both home sick. I wonder if Tyler has strep throat... might be a trip to the doctor today. I am thankful that my kids rarely get sick.

I was thinking this morning about my parents' influence on me and my brother Scott and sister Natalie. My brother, one of my favorite people in the world, by the way, is a writer living in NYC with his wife Margaret. He has written a book and is in the process of trying to get it published. My twin Natalie is very artistic and creative. I am a former teacher and now writer.

These interests of all three of us are so much a result of the influence of my parents. My mom and dad are verocious readers and always have been. In fact I can remember one time early in my marriage to Scott we were at my parents' house for a vacation and at one point we were all sitting in the family room together, just reading. Not talking, not watching tv. That was weird to him! But so normal for us. Growing up we had books all over our house, my mom read to us a lot, and proudly displayed anything we wrote. And now my brother and I are writers!

My mom is extremely artistic, in fact later in her life she started to pursue painting and now works in a gallery and sells her pastels. My sister Natalie is the one who got the artistic ability. I remember she was voted most artistic in high school.

But more than their talents my parents imparted their values. One of the things I have always loved about my dad is his integrity. He is a lawyer, certainly a place where one's character could be compromised, but he has always operated with dignity and integrity. He is extremely respected by everyone who knows him.

The other outstanding characteristic of my parents is their generosity. They are truly two of the most generous people I know. They are gracious hosts and have always had an open door to my friends when growing up and theirs. They love people. They listen and get to know people and that brings them pleasure. They also are financially generous. They have never held tightly the blessings God's given them. They give it away.

Wow, I have great parents! Thanks, Mom and Dad, if you're reading this!

All this to say it makes me think about what values and talents I'm sharing with my kids. It's something to think about, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Teachable Moments

My eleven year old son Zachary came home the other day feeling bad about the language he'd been using lately. He said he was using not really curse words, but not good words. Okay, and maybe some curse words. He was doing this when he was especially annoyed with a certain kid at school.

Aha! A teachable moment! One thing I've been praying for is opportunities to teach both Tyler(6 years old) and Zachary more about God and how to glorify God in their daily lives. One thing that's really been a challenge for me is to know how to share the things I've been learning in my own journey with God with them. So finally I prayed about it, instead of just pondering about it, and God has been opening my eyes to these teachable moments. I also learn a lot about this from Scott, who amazes me by what he thinks to say to the boys about God.

So I told Zachary that it was good he was feeling bad, that's called conviction and when we have the Holy Spirit in us He'll convict us about our sin. Then the next step is to confess our sins to God. That means right then and there agree with God that you sinned, repent (turn away) from it, thank God that you're forgiven,and ask God to give you the strength to do what you need to do. So he prayed (repeated my prayer) and then we talked about what he could do the next day when he's around this annoying kid.

Today he came home saying he just kept his mouth closed and he got to work with a different group - away from this kid - for a while today. Thank you Lord for your answered prayers!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

feeling like a lump

Today I was just plain feeling like a lump. At one point I actually was watching - by myself, no husband or sons around - a college basketball game. I was scaring myself, so I got up and started getting stuff done! I worked on some writing stuff, returned phone calls and emails, did way too much laundry, rode my exercise bike. And I felt a hundred times better!

Update on the book - it's finished being edited. Now it goes to layout and design and they create something called a galley, which will then be edited by them and me. I should have that by the end of February. Still a long way to go till publication date of July 1st.

My editor Gene, a wonderfully kind and gentle man, said something I really needed to hear. He said that the success of a writing career has more to do with God than with anyone's writing ability. So true!

Today I am so thankful for the godly friends in my life, friends who listen, laugh and live life with me. I've had some fun times and some great conversations lately. I never want to take them for granted. Today a writer friend called and I got to rejoice with her about exciting things happening in her career.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wrapped in Rain

Wrapped in Rain is the title of one of the best books I've ever read. It's by Charles Martin, published by WestBow, a division of Thomas Nelson, featuring unique Christian fiction.

I want to tell others about this book because I haven't felt so strongly about a book in a long, long time! The other night I actually cried while reading it. Now I'm not a big cry-er, and certainly not about a book, so that should give you an idea of its impact.

In a nutshell Wrapped in Rain is the story of two brothers haunted by an alcoholic, abusive father, but rescued by the love of Miss Ella, their black maid/nanny.

The most notable aspect of this book is that it's Christian fiction of the highest quality. I read a plethora of Christian and nonChristian ficiton. Unfortunately, I think much Christian fiction is simplistic, corny, trite, and frankly, not worth reading. This book is none of these. It's rich, honest, and filled with complex characters. It's sweet and tender without being sentimental or predictable. It's just beautiful. Thanks, Mom, for giving it to me!

Charles Martin also wrote The Dead Don't Dance. Has anyone read that?

Wow Moments

Since this writing-a-book-thing is still very new to me, I'm going to continue to write about writing a book. hee hee.

Yesterday I was emailing back and forth with Gene, my editor from Harvest House. He said he'd be finishing up the edits on my book, and then he'd start working on Stormie Omartian's book. That was a wow moment for me. Just to think that my editor is also Stormie Omartian's! Cool!

I'm writing on my wonderful new laptop computer. Our pc crashed over the weekend. I had the most valuable stuff backed up, thank God, but some important info I lost. There's a lesson for you! I lost all my email addresses, so if you're reading this and want to email me so i have your email that would be great. (

My sweet husband was out of town working all wkend, has one day in town this week which was Monday, then leaves town for the rest of the week. He was determined to get my computer situation taken care of before he left, however, because he knew I was working on some things. This was just the best news ever to me because I absolutely despise dealing with computer problems.

So he went to the computer store, decided now was a good time to get me a laptop - something we'd been discussing anyway - and in the midst of that got called out to work. So he went to work, flew back in Monday pm, went back to the store, bought me a computer, and had it all completely set up for me by the time he left at 5 am Tuesday. I think he got about 3 hours of sleep.

That was another wow moment. He loves me so much and shows me that all the time. What a sacrifice he made for me! Thank you, sweet husband!