Mel's Heart

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another book excerpt...

A Wife Is Not the Holy Spirit

A word of caution: Being your husband’s helper does not open the doors for you to give your husband advice, suggest, manipulate, nag, direct, fix or in any way to try to change him. Unfortunately, we women try so often to be our husband’s Holy Spirit. Many men commented on their distaste for wives who try to change them. “It does not mean to tell me what to do all the time,” explains Phillip. Tony said, “Do not confuse helper with director or critic.”

Get out of God’s way and let God change your husband. “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, the may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1). Did you notice how a wife can influence her unbelieving or disobedient husband? Without a word! By her behavior!

As wives our first job assignment is to be a helper to our husbands. Being a helper means being our husband’s friend, serving him, and developing closeness with him. Only as I look at my role through God’s eyes can I embrace this job assignment from God. One friend wrote in an e-mail: “I think when God made me a wife, he gave me a very special and honored title.” (Amy A.) What a sweet and right perspective she has of being a wife. May you and I have the same perspective as we treasure our role as helpers to our husbands.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

just life

1. If you do not have seasonal allegies, be really thankful.

2. Last weekend I got to go on a girls' weekend with some of my relatives: my aunt kathy, my sister-in-law Margaret, my sister Natalie and my mom. Margaret and my brother Scott flew here from NYC; Scott stayed here for the weekend with my Scott and the boys, and then Margaret, AK and I drove to Asheville about two hours away, where we met up with nat and mom. We had such a fun time! Asheville is a city I'm now in love with, lots of art galleries, cool restaurants, book stores, shops of doo-dads. We just shopped and talked and enjoyed the time with each other. Then Sunday we went to the Biltmore - very beautiful but i'm not into old stuff. that's the truth! I was happy to go but that's enough for me for awhile!

3. My sweet husband held down the fort, along with the greatest uncle Scott, but then had to leave to work Monday and did not get home till late last night. That was a bummer. I was so sad yesterday. and so were the boys. We just really like to be together! The Fergusons invited me and the boys over to dinner - thanks friends.

4. Zachary got into Union Academy!!!!!!!!!!! We are excited about this, Zachary is going to be excited but getting used to the idea right now. UA is a public charter school, take kids by lottery. It's smaller and more academically geared and they have a basketball team! We prayed about this and believe God opened this door, so it will be exciting to see what it's like. The only thing I'm not sure about is they have a year-round schedule, while Tyler will still be on a traditional schedule.

5. Today is the last day of basketball for Zach for a while, then they get out of school June 8th. We're ready for summer!

6. As for me, I'm enjoying my decorating, need to pick out a paint color
and I'm feeling the urge to write! So back to the computer!
I just went to look up a verse in Deuteronomy but couldn't find it because that was the part Emma ate. Be calm, accept the dog, love the dog....

Just Tyler

There's always something going on with Tyler. He's not one to just sit. so he lined up his pokemon cards along with some silly rubber duckies and created some scenario. He does this kind of thing a lot, very creative, wonder what he'll become...
Baseball is finished. He played catcher some. He liked it more than he had liked soccer, but he says basketball is still his favorite sport - thank goodness.
Really, Tyler just wants to play and have fun! He loves swimming with a mask and snorkel.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Results of American Idol

Did anyone else cry at the results of American Idol?! I'm not ashamed to admit that I did... Even though I was hoping for Katharine, Taylor is amazing and just seems like a great guy. When the camera showed his father crying, I lost it!
Again, it's just so exciting to see someone's dream come true!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

american idol

Before I find out the winner tonight, let me just say I thought both katherine and taylor were awesome and deserve to be in the semi-finals. I have been a katherine fan since the beginning so I would vote for her if I voted. I do have to say that I think Taylor was really at his best last night. Great purply jacket!

I love watching American Idol because I love watching people pursue a dream. I admire people with passion, people who persist and press on and just go for it.

On that note we watched American Inventor some. That was so touching and inspirational.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

You Always Know Where To Find Me

On my way home from dropping the boys off at school i was listening to Watermark's song, You always know where to find me. Oh Lord, what a comfort. Lord, You know I'll wander from You, in my heart and my actions. You know there'll be times when I choose other loves before You, times when I'll doubt Your love, times when I can't see You clearly. I'll have a divided heart and I'll choose to be own my master.

But God in your love you'll pursue me. psalm 139 asks where can I go from Your Spirit or where can i flee from Your presence? You reassure me that you will find Me, for even the darkness is not dark to You. You will find me. You will find me.

Thank you, Lord, that You did not create me and then desert me. Not at all. You created me to know me and for me to know You, to be all that I am to enjoy You and to glorify You. Thank you, Lord.

I love the story of the prodigal son, a child who chose to wander away from the one who loved him most, his father. And his father, like our heavenly Father, waited and don't you know he prayed with tears and grief for his wandering son. And then in Luke 15 I can just imagine the father standing out in front of his home, looking and wondering where his son is and what he's doing. Then his heart leaps for a long way off he sees a figure approaching and he knows it's his son. He can't run fast enough to embrace his son.

Wherever we've wandered, even if only in our thoughts and hearts, the Father longs for us to return. He'll embrace us with open arms and a heart bursting with love.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

25 Things I want to have, do, or be

Here's a little challenge for you: Make a list of 25 things you want to have, do, or be. This idea is from something I read recently. The author said to do it quickly, do it honestly.
Here's a little of my list:
self-discipline in eating and exercise
not to crave chocolate chip cookies
a family room decorated in blue and tan
2 sons who know You and follow you all the days of their lives
more energy
a teacher of God's word
to write another book

see... you can do this and then look at your list and decide what you really want. Live PURPOSEFULLLY.
Do I really want self-discipline in eating? then a good place to start is at the grocery store, making healthier food choices.
Do I really want to be a writer? Does my life show this? Do I spend time every day writing?
I hope you make your list! It's been fun and challenging for me. Try it!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fun stuff and the wassers and laughter

I am redecorating downstairs. It started with the carpet, because sweet emma peed on every inch of it. So I now have a tan carpet, called tall latte and I loved it and my friend Mandy is helping me choose other new items. She really has a gift - she can see the big picture and she can be decisive - and she can tell me what I like! I get overwhelmed with all the choices, want to make the "right" decision - one that will make my family happy and me and not waste money. She said if you really like blue and you have the money to do some new things - then go for blue! So that's what I'm doing. We drove to High Point Thursday and went to a huge place called Furnitureland South. I think we'll be going back to make a purchase there. How fun and what a blessing that I can do this!
I can drive Scott crazy with all this. He really doesn't want to talk about the decorating. He just wants me to decide and do it and call it a day. I guess it's like him trying to talk to me about buying a shed for example or perhaps a car. Those are things I really could care less about. Just make a decision and I'll be happy! and happy that I didn't have to decide!
We were bickering in the car after going to a furniture store together yesterday. He turned on a Watermark CD and put it on a song which totally reminds me of our good friends the wassers. Chere and Adam always made us laugh and we always know they're praying for us, as the song says, so when it came on i just burst into tears. It made me miss them so much and in that instance i was reminded of one of their greatest gifts to us, laughter.
Last night I went to the mother/son dance with my sweet sons - i'll post pictures when i get them developed. Both boys danced with me so that was a great mother's day present. Today basketball and baseball...

Friday, May 12, 2006

My hope is in You

My hope is in You... My hope is in You... this refrain from a song keeps echoing in my mind. Not sure why... but it's made me search my heart to see where my hope is. First, God knows we need hope... He promises He is our Psalm 39...

As I'm pursuing some dreams in my life, dreams which God has planted in my heart, I've seen my ego getting involved in ways that are yucky. You see, my dreams are for God, for God to be glorified in my life through writing and speaking specifically. But boy it's so easy to let my ego and pride get in there... am I getting paid what I "should"? Am I as good as she is? When will my time be?

Can I honestly pray, Lord, take everything away except a heart for You? Can i honestly pray, Lord, I don't want this ___________ (you fill in the blank) if it's about me in any way.

I know some friends who are wrestling wtih this, too. All I know is if God is not in it, then it's not good or perfect or pleasing or acceptable to Him. And then I really don't want it. I honestly want what God wants more than what I want.
Sometimes I get to that after a struggle, but I do always get to that point and pray that I always will.

Then longer I live a life abiding in Christ, the more I know the Lord, the more I want to know the Lord, the more I cannot imagine a life apart from Him. I have prayed a prayer for me and Scott for years, Lord make us hunger and thirst for You alone. and I have seen that prayer answered in my life and my husband's.

I am also discovering that the knowing God also means knowing yourself better and better, knowing more and more what i was created to do. Not for my own purposes but His.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, ... our inner man is being renewed day by day.

Ephesians 2:10 for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The every day life I live as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend is the realest part of my life, but it's easy sometimes to get too caught up in the dreams of speaking and writing. The way I love my husband, the way I do the laundry, the way I giggle with my boys... is real and can be offered up to Him in praise just like writing a book can be offered up to Him.
Gotta get going with this day...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Show Me Your Glory

Moses prayed to God,"Show me your glory!" in Exodus 33: 18. Now Moses prayed this after he had been walking and talking with God for some time out in the wilderness. In fact in Exodus 33:11 it says that Moses and the Lord used to speak face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. So Moses had incredible intimacy with God. But he still prayed to see God's glory.

I've been wondering what Moses really meant by that question. I think as I've meditated on this verse that Moses wanted to continue to be sure of God. And I think really key is that he wanted to continue to know more and more of God.

That's what I want. I want to know God more and more each day of my life. So I've been praying that prayer, "Show me your glory, Lord God." I've been thinking about how we see God and what is God's glory.

God's glory is who He is, His nature,His character, and the more we know Him, the more we see Him. We have to be purposeful about seeing Him,about seeking Him more than anything else in our lives.

I've seen God's glory in many ways this week... red cardinals at my bird feeders; snuggles wtih my puppy dogs; wise words from godly friends; a gift of a bracelet with all my favorite colors; hunger and thirst for the Lord in the lives of other women around me; changes in my husband's heart; a bunny rabbit out back at the farm; rain and pretty purple pink flowers; a church where God is worshipped and lifted up; the certainty of His Word.

Thank you, Lord, for a few glimpses of His glory. I'm going to continue to pray that the eyes of my heart will see His glory.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


"Our deepest wishes, our deepest dreams are known only by God alone, for He sews them into the fabric of our souls."

What's the dream in the deepest part of your soul? I used to think that I really didn't have any dreams. I married a man with lots of dreams - he doesn't have enough lifetimes to live all his dreams! What about you? Are you more like me, or Scott, or somewhere in between?

God has always known my dreams and He has used my whole life to show them to me. My dream was to be a writer, I just didn't know it! I was afraid to look! I was afraid to see what was there!

As I began to follow God more closely, I began to trust Him to be with me as I took baby steps toward my dreams. When I was a stay-at-home mom for the first time wtih Zachary in kindergarten and Tyler a little guy, I began to write my first articles, had some published. I was encouraged and kept going...

But being in a place where I wanted to write articles and could write articles started a long time ago. It started in a home where I was surrounded by books, a family who sat in a room together reading silently instead of watching tv, keeping journals as along as I can remember. God gave me a love of reading to such a deep sense that it's like food for my soul. I would hate to live without reading.

Then I went through a broken engagement that broke my heart, but God used this time in my twenties to reveal to me I was living a false life. I was a business major because I thought it was practical and realistically I could find a job. I was attached for 7 years to a guy who had a charismatic personality but it left me in the shadows, hiding and having no idea who I was.

So God used some pain to shatter some of those chains. I became an English teacher, a step closer to my dream, but not really. I loved English, I loved kids, I loved teaching - but not necessarily all together!

Then in charlotte I've met other women who share some of my dreams, who love God the way I do and they've all been a part of this tapestry God is sewing.

Now I love writing, and I love teaching God's Word and well, I love teaching my own kids! So I see how God has sewn all these experiences into my life to use them for His glory.

And I think that's what are dreams are all about. God created us, gave us dreams which would bring Him and us pleasure!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Games We Play

I was thinking recently about all the games I've played with my children. I'm not sure why that's something we've always done, but I think it has something to do with one of my ideas about motherhood. I think I've just done with my kids the things I like to do. That's a good philosophy. I think if mom is happy and doing some of the things she loves, then that will naturally be a joy she shares with her children and her enjoyment will be contagious!

My mom always did that with us. She loved crafts and art, nature, reading and she passed on those loves to her children. Of course, not all her passions caught on. She also liked to sing and sang every song on the face of the earth to us. Well, that little pasttime did not stick wtih me...

So I love playing games. Here's a few ideas that might inspire you.
For younger kids - card games - concentration, finding matches, war, uno, go fish. For older kids - scrabble,boggle, trouble, and yahtzee are a few we love.

Puzzles - Growing up I used to love doing puzzles with my aunt kathy. Now that's one of our favorite things. Especially in the summer we like to have an ongoing puzzle set up on a table.

Scavenger hunts - I've always done this with my kids, even now and they love it. When they were younger, I would draw a picture of a couch, for example, and they would have to find a clue at the couch. etc... I'd usually end with a piece of candy or a quarter. As they got older, this was a great game for teaching reading. I'd stop drawing the picture, and they'd have to read the clue. Sometimes the treasure is freedom from a chore, or maybe a reward of extra tv time.
Another fun scavenger hunt is the "out of place" scavenger hunt. Put something out of it's ordinary place, the phone in the fridge, for example, and then they'd find something out of place where the phone goes etc.

Charades - a great one for even little kids. Little kids can act out simple things like "baking a cake." Older kids can learn the real deal of charades. This is a game we always played on family vacations growing up. I can still laugh really hard remembering my parents acting out the song "Papa get the hammer there's a fly on baby's head" - or something like that!

We have had many picnics with the stuffed animals. Stuffed animals can be used in many ways - a puppet show behind a big chair or couch; one time we made a graph of all the different kinds of stuffed animals.

For the more active types - bowling with empty 2 liter bottles and any kind of ball; long jump down the hallways; cooking with cheerios and pots; indoor tennis with a baloon; and of course a nerf hoop indoors, like us! Building forts with blankets and pillows is fun, too. And add a flashlight and your kids could be happy for a long time!

Just a few ideas... let me know if you have any good ideas.