Archives for December 2009

Dec 30

New Year, New Beginning, and Hopefully Big Changes

I have been both very excited and a little apprehensive about writing this post.  I’ve been praying, planning, and mentally preparing for weeks and weeks.  Part of me is excited to share.  Another part is scared out of my mind.  Because sharing my future plans could also mean sharing my future failures.

I know that God makes each day new. But there is something empowering about a new year.  And this time, a new decade. With that said, each year many begin with lofty goals only to fizzle out by the end of January.  I’m determined that that will not be me this year.  It can’t be.  And I’m stepping out on faith and a limb in saying that, It won’t be.  I’m confident of that???? Right?

Not too long ago, I proclaimed to my husband, Bible study group, and a few friends that I don’t believe in dreams anymore.  Now please don’t get upset or write me about how that’s a sad thing. Although it kind of is, but the truth is, I’ve just become more realistic as I’ve grown older.  Sure dreams can come true, but we can’t count on dreams.  If we spend all our time dreaming about what could be then we possibly are missing what is.  That’s what I mean by this.  So you may agree or disagree with me.  I don’t mean to be callous or harsh, but I don’t believe in dreams anymore…..or do I.  Maybe I should say that my dreams have just changed.

My pastor, Steven Furtick, said just a few sermons ago:  “Most of our dreams die in the wilderness of transition.”  Hmmm.  Think on that a minute.

I’ve had a lot of transition in my life.  More than I’d like.  Some of the transition was out of my control.  Some of it was because of me.  For some reason, transition has always been hard on me.  When my schedule is disrupted, I lose focus.  And since this is life, well, hello, schedules get disrupted!

I believe for 2010, that if dreams can die in the wilderness of transition, they can also be born there.  I have some real dreams for 2010.  Here they are:

1. My Health.  It is the worst it’s ever been and It’s all my fault.  I have gained 35-40 pounds all in the past 2 years. Weight has been an issue for me in the past…a little up and down, but never like this. Typically I am in good shape.  I used to be a runner.  Now I get out of breath just walking up the stairs. All is not lost, I still work out, just not consistently.  I have attempted to go on various eating plans, but I have not stuck to them.  If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that.  The good news: this can be fixed!!!!  And I have a plan.  I am going to Weight Watchers this Sunday and will begin attending weekly meetings.  I can’t run like before (I have plantar fasciatis…of course!), but I can do The 30 Day Shred.  I’ve done a bit of it before and that’s my choice of workouts for January.  I am also participating in a 30 day fast of sugar, caffeine, and negative talk.  I will be reading the New Testament  along with my church and reading a 30 day devotional that is focused on being Fit For My King. If you’d like to join me in any way (prayer, losing weight, exercising, health) I’ll be blogging about it and I’d love to hear from you too.  This is an area that I am very sensitive in. I am so upset with myself because it was just 3 years ago that I went to LA Weight Loss and lost 20 pounds.  So, the fact that I’ve added 40 pounds to my body since then just makes me sick. What is wrong with me? I know better.  The clothes in my closet don’t fit. I have no energy.  My blood pressure is high.  And I’m ready for all that to change :)

2. Fun. I don’t have so much fun anymore and I’m a naturally fun person!!!!  Lately it has seemed like so much of what I do is a chore.  Working long hours at the office and spending less time at home. Doing laundry until late in the night. Worrying about my mom who has Stage 4 Lung Cancer and the outlook is soooo gloomy right now.  Being mom to 4 kids…a few who are struggling right now. And the list goes on.  Well fun is fixable and achievable right?  Right!  I will be planning for fun. This year I will be planning 1 outing for my husband + regular dates (which we haven’t been having), 3 special outings for my kids, and planning at least 2 girlfriend get togethers.  Now this may not seem like much…let me clarify.  There will be more, but these are things I’m adding for fun.  I hope this year to be less serious and a little more impulsive.  Needing some fun.  Another great fun thing, I will be getting off work at 2:15 which means I’ll have the afternoon at home with my kids.  That is fun to me.

3. Speaking and Writing.  Y’all. Speaking at retreats and conferences makes my heart beat faster and stronger.  I love it.  And I haven’t been able to do it lately. And it’s killing me.  I’ve kind of been on pause for a little while.  I’ve been developing new topics, going deeper in my material, building the Proverbs 31 Prayer Ministry, and also proceeding with caution because of my mom’s health.  I miss connecting with women on a personal level so bad that I can’t even put it into words.  I’m so thankful that I can connect through my blog.  And I look forward to 2010 and what the Lord will bring my way and where He will lead me.  I will be speaking 2 times this Spring and I’m praying that the Lord will pave the way to increase that. Praying harder than you know. I am hopeful that my speaking ministry will be in full force shortly, but I trust God with that.  I only want ministry to be led by Him. It is my dream that I could touch lives for Christ and that I would always be willing to share the truth about life and the truth about Jesus.

4. MY MARRIAGE.  I saved the best for last.  If you’ve followed my blog over the past 2 years you know that Jeff and I have worked so hard on our marriage.  It has been far from perfect.  It has been lots of work!  And I’m sad to say that many of our problems have been because of me.  We entered marriage counseling a few years ago and that helped tremendously.  Truly, if we weren’t dedicated and committed to each other and to God, I think I marriage would be over.  Forgiveness and a greater trust in the Lord have saved our marriage.  It’s been work. And it’s worth it.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jeff and I were meant to be together.  I love him and I will keep loving him 1 Corinthians 13 style. We’ve worked hard and I think we are both ready to relax a little.  This year, 2010, I am committed to friendship, fun, and keeping it light.  Holding hands. Not arguing. Not criticizing. Spending quality time together. Me not being so sensitive. Dating weekly, taking walks, paying bills on time and continuing with our Dave Ramsey Plan, forgetting the past, and believing in each other.  Prayers appreciated.

That’s it for me.  My 2010 list.  And I’ll be reporting regularly.

A few other things needing attn this year:

1-Go to the dentist!  It’s been years!

2-Foot doctor.  My plantar fasciatis is  bad and needs attn.

3-OB/Gyn check up and mammogram

4-Physical with complete blood work up.

And some things I’d really like to do:

1-Go to concerts.  Y’all I have always loved a good show!  I love going to concerts.  I hope to attend a few this year.

2-Read 12  fiction books. This is my escape!!!!

3-Take Jeff somewhere special for one night….thinking of downtown Charlotte.

4-This list will grow………………..

So, that’s it for me.  I know I’ve shared a lot.  And I’d really like to hear from you too.  Do have dreams? Do you believe in dreams?  What are your New Year’s Resolutions/Goals?  Please share with me, I’d love to hear them.

December 31st will be lots of fun around here.  Lots of sugar and caffeine…haha LOL.  No seriously, we are keeping it low key around the Taylor home.  Watching a few movies, watching Ryan Seacrest in New York, Champaigne at midnight, and possibly a few fireworks.  Out with the old and in with the new.

New Year, New Beginning, and Hopefully Big Changes,

Melissa
30

Keri Wins the Book!

Just wanted to let y’all know that the winner of Glynnis Whitwer’s book, When Your Child is Hurting, is Keri.  Keri commented on my last blog post and was randomly selected by drawing to win.  Congratulations Keri!

Thank you so much to everyone who commented. Your comments and stories do 3 things:

1. Responding and sharing your story helps others.

2. Responding and sharing your story helps you.

3. Responding and sharing your story can help draw you and others closer to God.

Thank you for being honest and sharing your heart on my blog!

Much Love,

Melissa
Dec 28

When Your Kids Are Hurting

*** Edit, December 29th—For some reason the devotion I wrote that was posted on Monday, December 28, 2009 on the Proverbs 31 website did not get out to everyone who subscribed to receive it.  I don’t know why.  For that reason, I am leaving this post up another day.  I am giving away a book based on my devotion and this post. Please leave a comment if you are interested in the give away.

Hi, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  It seems like Christmas gets here so quickly and just a quickly it’s gone.  And people begin putting away their decorations, trees out by the road for pick up, back to work, and boom it’s the next year.  We have decided to slow it down this year. No rush to put anything away.  Enjoy the beauty of our home at Christmas (plus it always looks so bare when all the Christmas stuff is put away) and the celebration of the season just a little longer.  I love Christmas and I always hate to see it go.

On to other things…if you are visiting via the Proverbs 31 Devotion today, welcome to my blog!  The Shelter was written about my child, Dylan, however whether you are a parent or not, at some point we all have hurts and require shelter and protection.  Dylan found that in the arms of his earthly father and the protection of a home made fort.  We also can find refuge and shelter. We just have to seek it in the arms of our Heavenly Father under His provided shelter for us.  It’s there, and the way we get there is through reading and believing His Word.  Get in the Bible ladies.  I know I need to read mine more.  So often I’m sad about something and I know God is just waiting for me to call on Him instead of seeking comfort somewhere else.

If you are a parent, you know that one of the most devastating things we experience is when one of our children is hurting.  How often I’ve said, “I wish I could take that pain away from you honey” to one of my kids.  I have 4 children and each have had their share of pain.  And each time, no matter what the case, I’ve wanted to fix it, make it better, wipe the tears away for good.  But that’s not possible.  I am only human and anything I do to “fix” their situation can only be temporary.

My good friend, P31 Woman Magazine editor, author, and one of the most loving people I’ve ever met, Glynnis Whitwer, wrote a book about this titled, When Your Child is Hurting.  It would be my pleasure to give one of these away today.  If you’d like to be in the drawing, which will be completely random, just leave a comment in the comment section of this blog sometime over the next 2 days.  I’ll be away from from home spending a few days computer free in the mountains with my kids and my friend Denise and her kids.  I’ll do the drawing when I get back and announce the winner on Thursday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve.  Check back then to see if you’ve won.

If you or anyone you know is hurting, it is my sincere prayer that you seek refuge in the only place you can truly find it, the arms of God.  He knows us better than anyone and He knows how to take care of us better than anyone.  Jeremiah 29:13 tells us to seek Him with all our heart and we will find Him.  Let’s make that the first thing we do.

Praying Blessings of Protection and Shelter to You and/or Your Children Today,

Melissa