Mel's Heart

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

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Christmas Tree

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We sure did, and I loved just being at home with good friends. Scott made the turkey and it was so good! I made dressing using Granny's recipe. And then friends made everything else. How nice!

Well, Friday I got up in the attic by myself to get out the Christmas decorations. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is because of this - we do not have a pull-down ladder to our attic - i'm just going to say that was a stupid move by the builders. So I have to get down the ladder, carry it upstairs, climb up the ladder, stand precariously on the top, get down about 10 boxes of Christmas stuff, and carefully carry each box down. It actually was quite dangerous but I was determined to do this by myself for one reason - to avoid fighting with Scott. That's right. He hates getting Christmas stuff out of the attic. So maybe I'll fall and hurt myself one year but at least Scott and I will not have been fighting. hee hee

Tyler and I loooove decorating. It makes it so much fun to have tyler be so enthusiastic! We always get a live tree, so maybe we'll get that today or tomorrow. Last year we really didn't do much Christmas decorating, as I was trying to meet my Jan.1st book deadline, so this year we'll go all out.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, family and friends!
And a special congratulations to my in-laws, the Laposkys, and welcome to their new baby Reese!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Battle with Truth and Thanksgiving and Worship

Today I had a victorious breakthrough on some junk I've been battling - praise God. To be honest, I battle constantly insecurity. And I share that because I think so many women battle that same demon. And yes, I think it's a demon spirit straight from the pit of hell.

So here I am in a calling of speaking and writing. I have not doubted this calling since about four years ago when I began to know that this is what God wanted me to do. I question my ability, but not calling.

I love to write so I don't have insecurities about that - at least not usually:)
But I do have insecurities about speaking. You see, there are many, many things in my past and thoughts in my head, saying things like, what makes you think you can speak? what makes you think anyone wants to listen to you?

So as I've been writing a talk this past week I have just felt so defeated. And then I was just so mad at myself for feeling that way. And then God reminded me not to get mad at myself - to get mad at the enemy, Satan.

The breakthrough came this morning as I was reading from
Galatians 4:4,5 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

You see, I was trying to go back living under the Law - I was starting to get into old patterns of thinking I had to earn God's approval of my speaking; that's what the law is - the opposite of grace, as my friend Kelly Tyler and I were talking about recently. When we live under legalism, we feel guilt, condemnation, insecurity. The Law puts our eyes on ourselves - our own performance, our shortcomings. Living in grace puts our eyes on God,exactly where they need to be.

Gal 4:9 says that turning back to that way of living is turning back to what is absolutely the most worthless way of living. It's living in slavery and bondage - bondage to self, bondage to others' approval, bondage to fear, bondage to performance, bondgage to the worlds' inaccurate measure of success.

Thank you Lord Jesus that you set us free! We are your precious children so we can walk in your love and truth and grace.

Soo.... How do we live in grace, in the Spirit?
1)fill our minds with God and His truth
2)thank Him
3) praise HIm

So that's what I'm doing today and this day forward! I hope you will do the same! Amen!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bear One Another's Burdens

Galatians 6:5 says that "each one will bear his own load." So we each have individual responsibilities - for example, today i am doing mounds of laundry, which is my responsibility primarily, even though the family does help. I swear the boys would wear dirty everything before it would occur to them to do laundry..

But Galatians 6:2 tells us "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." So there's also a time when we can ask for help from others.

So I was thinking about that today and I just felt so thankful that I have neighbors who are true neighbors in every sense of the word. We help each other out all the time.

This Thursday I woke with a start, we were late getting up, it was pouring down rain, and the power had gone out. So Tyler and I were searching the house for a working flashlight, and Tyler came to the rescue with his very own flashlight! He threw on his clothes, we realized he'd missed the bus, so I ran across the cul de sac with him through the rain, banged on Suzanne's door, yelled frantically - can you take tyler we missed the bus - threw him in Suzanne's house without even waiting for an answer - ran back home to shower in the dark and get zachary up.

I was rushing like a crazy woman because it was my carpool morning and I am already notoriously late. Plus on Thursdays I just stay at zach's school to tutor. So we rush to Holly's wear I put on my makeup and blow dried my hair - and we made it!

So today I'm thankful that I have friends in my neighbors who help bear my burdens.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This week

This week...

Monday was Zachary's 12th birthday. We had celebrated with friends over the weekend, so just had a little family celebration that night. Later Tyler had boy scouts...and later Scott and I had a huge fight - more about that in a minute.

I have to be somewhere every night this week - not my favorite thing at all. But last night I got to see a friend who is in town for three weeks from France, where Todd and his family are missionaries in France. They have been there 8 years - I think that's right - and spreading the gospel in France, or any part of Europe, from what i hear is slow going. But Todd continues to be so passionate for the Lord. He just loves God and wants others to know him. So it was so worth going out to see him.

The finale of ballroom dancing was great... and I think the best man won! Go Emmett!
I wish I were a ballroom dancer. There. I said it.

Okay about the fight - really Scott and I haven't had a big fight in a long time. You know the bottom line is that we as Christians have an enemy. Satan does not want us to have a good marriage. As my good friend Kelly V reminded me, we have to be filling our minds with truth constantly and speaking truth constantly. The other thing is the flesh - basically I have a strong selfish streak and so does Scott - and so do humans! But we can learn to crucify the parts of us that God wants to decrease so that our characters reflect more of Him.

It seems since I wrote that marriage book that I just keep finding out about more and more failed Christian marriages. And I found out about one this week. And it just grieved me, and I cried for them, but I think I also cried because Scott and I hadn't reconciled before he left. It just made me think, how ridiculous it was that we were fighting. That we were giving the enemy territory into our life - and neither one of us want to do that!

So we had a good talk. We basically just need to spend some time together. It seems that we are always working on balance, trying to find a place where we both are pursuing our dreams, spending time with each other and investing in our kids. His travel makes that really hard sometimes. But that's our life - and we have a great life. And tomorrow night hopefully it will work out for us to go to dinner and a movie,which has always been our favorite thing to do.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Houston was awesome!

Well, what a whirlwind last month was. I'm glad for the rest this month. But, just wanted to say the retreat in Houston was so awesome! The women were so much fun, laughed a lot and loved God deeply - my favorite combination! I immediately felt at home with them, and the whole weekend I just felt from God a confirmation on the particular message I gave that weekend. And each time I speak now I feel a definite confirmation that this is what I want to do with my life - write and speak for God. There are definitely times of hard work, but the blessing of walking in obedience is huge!

A very awesome result of all of last month's speaking and radio interviews - my book sales were the second best so far! Yea! Every time I speak to a group about marriage, I see why I wrote that book, I see why God had me write that book! I just heard a very alarming statistic about Christian women - 40% are involved in pornography. Now we always hear about men and porn, so interesting to hear about women. Satan does not want marriage to succeed and he continues to attack. I pray for protection of your marriages!

This week i've just enjoyed a very normal week of seeing friends, catching up on laundry, watching some of my favorite shows, such as Ballroom Dancing!(go Emmett!) and hanging out with my family.

Today I had an appt. with a nutritionist, I guess that's what you'd call him. He's really a chiropractor who specializes in nutrition. I will find out more on Monday, but one of his recommendations is to get off caffeine - oh bummer, but I knew that was coming! Basically, I'm tired of having low energy so I'm going to do what he tells me to do!

Zachary turns twelve this Monday. Wow. He's getting so old. I sure do love him. I really missed my family when I was in Houston, but then I enjoy them more when I get home.

Friday, November 03, 2006

About my last blog

well, I got a couple emails about my last blog. Yes, I did "go off" a bit, esp. on homeschooling. Well, my dear friends, I want you to know if you're reading this, then it's so not about you! I am blessed to have so many loving, encouraging, and understanding Christian women in my life. We support one another and encourage one another in the call God has placed on each of our lives, and that will look different for each one of us.

No, the blog I wrote had more to do with Blue Like Jazz and then just a snippet of a conversation from another women who I don't know very well. Maybe she just needed to encourage herself that day, and maybe I came across as judgmental in my blog. If so, I'm sorry, because that's not what I intended. God has just been showing me that there's a whole world out there of other who love God, but their lives look very different from mine. And that's okay and good!

Okay, enough about that - I am off to speak at a retreat this weekend in Houston. Very excited to speak the truth, will be talking a lot about God's love and recognizing flesh patterns and lies. Please pray for me! thanks - mel

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

God in a Box

Today I’m on a bit of a soapbox. Maybe this is influenced a little by Blue Like Jazz writer, Donald Miller. Maybe God is just nudging my heart and telling me that sometimes I live in such a bubble.

I am a born-again Christian, and there is truly nothing I love more than Jesus. Now I haven’t always been able to say that. But I can say it now and know that I know that’s true to the deepest places. There’s no place I would rather be than with Him.

But honestly sometimes I have a hard time with other Christians, well, specifically the judgmental “Christians should…” kind of Christians. The kind that put God and being a Christian in a box. I had an encounter with one of those people recently, just a very brief thing. And all I felt was this completely yucky spirit of religiosity. Let me tell you. I am not about religion. I am about Jesus Christ.

So on that note I’ll just yell loudly on my blog.

Being a born-again Christian does not mean you have to be a Republican. It doesn’t mean you live in the suburbs. It does not mean that you can quote Scripture right and left. Not all Christians go to church every Sunday. We mess up a lot, we don’t always do the right thing; we are, in short, a work in progress.

We laugh loudly at potty humor, sometimes in my house, and we love redneck humor. We watch reality tv shows and love them. I read many nonChristian books.

And we don’t all homeschool. Let me go down that trail a bit… as more Christians are homeschooling, I see some who have the attitude that it’s the best thing for Christians to do, or it’s the right thing for Christians to do. And I swear they wouldn’t admit but deep down inside they have the attitude that it makes them better Christians for doing it.

I think homeschooling is great – if that’s what God has asked you to do. Period. The end.

So for all the non-homeschooling Christian moms, I’m just going to say this- I am so glad to send my children to school each day. It’s okay to like being away from your kids while they’re in school. Don’t we moms create a lot of guilt for ourselves, or should I say satan sure helps us feel condemned?

Now we have prayed about homeschooling, we definitely would homeschool if God clearly led us that way, but God hasn’t and for right now I’m glad about that.

And about being a Christian, maybe this ranting and raving sheds a bad light on me as a Christian, but I think really the world is looking for honesty, at least that’s what has always been attractive to me in other people. I mean after all, look at the Psalms. Every emotion in the big is there, so thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me and for continuing your work in me so I become more like You. That’s what being a Christian is about – loving God and bringing Him glory. It’s not about putting God or anyone else in a box. So there.:)