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,



  1. I love you girl, we are definitely kindred spirits!! You uplift me and challenge me..THANK YOU,

    Living in His Glory,

  2. What is with us Taylor women? (wink). You and I have similar dreams for 2010.

    I like the idea of the fast from caffeine, sugar and negative talk. I need to fast from all three.

    I do need to exercise more consistently since I’ve packed on an additional 15 lbs since She Speaks. YIKES! My knees are having a hard time with it. Plus my diet also affects my fibromyalgia. Very good reasons to get diet and exercise in order. What’s the name of the devotional you guys are reading? I’d love to read it to.

    I have two books slated to release in 2010 and need to get my marketing efforts in gear. PRONTO! And I need to get going on regular articles and the next book. Yep, I need to set writing goals and stick to them, all year, not just in January.

    My husband and I have had a really rought year. Some due to finances and some due to just neglect of our marriage – okay, my neglect of the marriage. So that needs to be worked on. Finances and time together, those are the keys.

    I look forward to travewling this journey with you. I’ll be praying for us both. Have a great New Year’s Eve!

  3. Melissa,
    Thanx for such honesty. I “found” you through an email and knew that God was the one who sent it. I had been on the edge, ready to give up on most of the dreams I had. Right at that time I picked up the book Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkerson. That night in the parking lot at church there was a white feather, just like the one in the story. I knew God sent it. It’s easy to get discouraged and think that our dreams are not reality, but a dream without a plan is just a hallucination. Fifteen percent of people know their dreams, 3% write it down. Know your motive, reason why and what your motivation, things that energize you, and you will succeed. From what I’ve read from you so far, you’re quite an amazing woman. May God continue to guide and bless you for His name and glory!

  4. Someone stole my list!!
    At least the first three points of it…

    Investing with ups and downs always have been good but with coming of kids we needed to work on it a little harder. By the end of 2008 we made the following agreement and stick mostly to it:

    1) getting up 15min earlier to pray together every day
    2) one night a week is our night and we found a babysitter for that evening
    3) one day a month we go out (shopping or something)
    4) one weekend a year away together

    And its working great of course I”ve married the most wonderful, handsom, intellegent, sweet, carring, succesfull and did I mention best looking man in all of Europe (and maybe US to!! Sorry ladies) and that works wonders too! (FUN) (ow yeah and he loves shopping!! no men topping that!!)

    But I’ll stick with u praying and working on the other three items 😉

  5. sorry investing above must be: Our marriage…

  6. You and I have SO much in common girl! We really should have coffee one day! I need an accountablity partner with the weight thing so if you need one too let me know! I did WW several years ago and did really good with it. You’ll do awesome! :)

    We also just made Elevation “Home” and I’m SUPER excited about the reading through the bible in 30 days. I keep thinking about Steven’s sermon about your “this” and your “that”. Did you hear that one? Well just remember 2009 was your “that” and 2010 will be your “this”. THIS will be a great one! :)

    Much love,
    Nicki Koziarz

  7. Great goals!! Have an awesome 2010!! I will look forward to hearing about it on Facebook and Twitter! Perhaps our paths will cross again in Charlotte this summer!

  8. Well I am praying 2010 will be better than 2009. We have gone through things I NEVER thought we would. But, I know God allows things to happen for reasons, and I have grown closer to Him. I have been in His word for the last four months everyday. I never was before. I’ll keep praying for you Melissa. Sweet Melissa!!

  9. I will be praying for you! I have never been a huge soda drinker or love of sugar. But in 2002 when I was pregnant with our fourth blessing I started craving soda. I would have it a couple times a week. In 2005 I decided to give it up for lent. I craved it and wanted some really bad. But little by little I started noticing how much better I was feeling and have not had a soda in almost five years. In 2006 I decided to give up candy for lent. I only really liked plain M & Ms but definitely ate them often enough! Little by little I noticed how much better I was feeling. I have not had any candy since February of 2006. I do not miss either. I wanted to say notice small things each day. It is a day to day journey and thankfully God is with us each second of the way! Happy 2010! I will be thinking of you and praying for you!

  10. Melsa – I am with you girl! Our lists could just about be the same.
    1. The 30 Day Shred & 30 Day Fast – You have inspired me and I am joining you on the challenge. It will be a tough one for me, as soft drinks are my business, but I will make it work. Sounds like water to the rescue! I look forward to sharing our progress!
    2. Fun – I couldn’t agree more and would love to be at home more with my girls. I just got a new boss and plan to talk with her next week when I return to work and make this happen. I also will commit myself to planning some fun with my Charlotte Girls who I rarely see so add that fun to your list!
    3. Speaking and Writing – Although I don’t speak and write in the same venue or environment that you do I know that if I use this approach in my work and with my girls goods things will happen!
    4. My Marriage – This one is awesome! I love holding hands, talking and spending time together and know that making a daily effort will strengthen our daily walk. We are starting with a date for NYE! Like you and Jeff we live by Dave Ramsay’s principles and refocusing will make a huge difference.
    5. I could add to the list like you, but know that it must be realistic in order to be accomplished!
    Love and Miss You! Thank you for all of your inspiration! Kelly

  11. Sandy Smith says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I’ve also spent much time in prayer about change for 2010. I was a receptionist for WW, but resigned when I got so busy being a “Visiting Angel” i.e. home health care for mostly elderly. I’ve gained 10 pounds just like that, all in my thighs and stomach…ugh… I am so glad this year is behind me (ha-ha) that I feel guilty. Wierd. (Well, I’m not glad the fat is in my behind…) But, I’ve decided to “Give God A Year” by Carole Lewis is my plan. How scary to even write this down for the world to see. Accountability? I don’t know, I’m not really afraid of admitting I failed at something, but I don’t like telling God I’ve sinned…which I believe I do when I get the out-of-control=eating-sweets -thing going knowing I’m going to feel louzy when I’m done…anyway, I’m with you on this. Hopefully, we’ll all encourage each other through 2010 and GIVE GOD THE GLORY! Happy New Year, Melissa! p.s. I am also praying for a friend every single day thanks to your gift of prayer idea. And I bought my own personal pretty pink 365 day Bible because though I’ve read the Bible every day for years, I can’t say I’ve read the entire Bible. So…here it is in writing….SCARY! :)

  12. Melissa, just had to stop by to thank you for so often being there for me in 2009. One of my most difficult years…yet strangely I’m struggling to say goodbye.

    You are a blessing and so very dear to my heart. Love ya tons. Praying the Lord will fulfill many dreams in you, through you and for you in 2010.


  13. You are a courageous woman numbering and naming your New Year’s goals on your website!

    My goal this year is to find a full time job. Last year I half-heartedly looked…now it’s time to seriously look and find!

    I carry my New Year’s Resolution from 2008 forward through 2010. I am a card sender. So I commit to send cards to people who need encouragement, prayer, sympathy, etc.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  14. Congrats on your goals! You can do it girl … I know you can. Step by step … it is possible – you can take care of your health, you can speak/write and your marriage can survive and even thrive (though at times I need magic for that to happen 😉

    I understand your thoughts about dreams … Most dreams are magical, we have to work our bums off to make them happen. I like this sentence you wrote, “Sure dreams can come true, but we can’t count on dreams.”

    Hey … I’m dreaming of doing the Virginia Beach Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on Sept 5th … want to join me? I would probably do a combo of walk/run to complete it.

    Happy New Year!

  15. Melissa,
    I have always believed in dreams, and that they do come true. But I believe that in order for that to work, I have to put in some hard work.
    Anyway, I have a few goals for the New Year. I was actually thinking about them last night and wrote a few down. I thought I would share them with you and the rest of your blog friends.
    1. Spend time in God’s word every day. I went online and found a reading plan for the Bible. I plan to read through the entire Bible this coming year. When the year is over I will have read through the whole Bile for the first time.

    2. Pray every day for someone in my life. I got this idea from one of your posts. I think you had given someone in the P31 ministries an ornament one year and along with it you gave a note saying you were going to pray for her everyday of the year. I thought this would be a great idea if I pray for a specific person in my life everyday.

    3. Lose 110 lbs in 2010. This is a big one. Like you, I am disgusted with myself for getting this big. I am a big woman for my age. I’m only 26 and over 350 lbs. Over the years, I have let excuse after excuse keep me at this weight. Actually, I was bigger, but over the last 15 months I have lost 64 lbs. But this will be the year that I will lost more weight, feel better about myself and look better too. to lose that much weight, I would have to lose about 2 lbs a week. I have a work out plan made up for January. I wrote in pencil the activities or exercises I’m going to do everyday. Then, when I actually do them, I’m going to write over it in ink. If I don’t do that activity that day then I will erase and write what I actually did. This way I can keep track of my progress on exercising. I have decided that I will be giving up fried food this year. I really think this is holding me back a bit. So none this year.

    4. Build my savings account. I have been trying to do this for sometime but something seems to always get in the way. Either I decide to go on a shopping spree or I need the money for emergencies (Which is why I have it).

    5. Pay down some debt. I have student loans, credit cards, and personal loans that I am going to try to get paid down on this year. Although, I’m in graduate school so the student loans will keep growing this year but the other stuff will be good for me to get paid down as much as possible.

    6. Complete 2 full semesters of grad. school.

    7. Grow in my relationship with God. This goes with the reading my Bible and praying everyday. But I feel the need to put it here at the bottom. I really want to be closer to God and this last year I did grow closer to Him than I was the year before. So this next year, I want to be even closer to Him. I know He has exciting plans for me and I can’t wait to see what they are.

    Thank you for sharing your goals with us. You have inspired me to stick with my goals this year. Sharing our progress will be great too because we can all help one another. Maybe we should make this our community blog where we check in every week. ***great idea**** if I do say so myself. Anyway, gotta go.

  16. Melissa, I know you read my blog of all the praises and ways God has worked in my life and the lives of those around me this year. As I walk back into this diet full force I join you in the no sugar, no caffeine. I have to add alot more into my “no” list than you but the sugar is the absolute hardest. I have learned that it is a day by day, sometimes, hour by hour journey, especially at first. My doctor compared sugar addiction to alcoholism and how your body has to break that addiction. That is where I begin 2010 as well. We went out to Red Robin this evening and I had a burger, minus the bun, fries and a root beer. We have to do this for our health and know I will be praying for you on this journey. I will be praying for you in all the things you have mentioned. I am so thankful for P31 and your leadership in the prayer ministry.

    As far as dreams, my prayer I wrote in my journal today was Psalm 37:4, that the desires of my heart will be God’s desires. I know when mine line up with His then dreams do come true. They come true because He is the one that places them there. I have to do my part and walk in obedience and He will do what I can not do.

    God Bless you Sister! May 2010 be a year of growing in the Lord in all areas, because He cares about everything you have mentioned, every detail of our lives!


  17. Thanks for sharing your goals….I so want to be in the get healthy group…and that’s an everyday decision….I have been thinking about the sugar fast….and I need to exercise more….I look froward to walking this journey with you….Happy New Year.


  18. I thank God for you sharing your dreams, your hopes and aspirations so open and frank. I am certainly going to take a page out of your book as I will be retiring mid year and there are so many things going over in my head. I need to get some more fun and laugh breaks in my life.

  19. Thank you for courageously sharing your goals for 2010. I appreciate your honesty and know God will use your experiences to help others.

  20. Hey Melissa! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I really know what ya talkin’ ’bout for REAL … gonna post something on my blog that you and others have inspired me to post… (soon) thank God for you! Opening my EYES for sure…. Just thanks so much! God bless you! {{{{Hugs}{}}} <3 ~Jenni

  21. Julie St John says:

    Hello Melissa, Thanks for your post. Here is a word that came to me this week as I was looking to the New Year: Determination. God spoke it to me to encourage me as I am going to Weight Watchers and making it happen this year–only with His help of course(and this after a lifetime of ‘doing it on my own’). We ‘determine’ what we eat and how much exercise we schedule but it is by relying on the Lord and His good and perfect will that gets us through the hard choices and the decisions we must make. If He is for us, who can be against us? God bless you as you work on all your points for the year.

  22. I swear Mrs. Taylor, if you don’t continue to challenge me in ways I never expect… seriously. Cause I am a dreamer. I know it. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I wrote about it. Cause that’s what I do. I write. (and cheat on my diet but do we really need to talk about THAT at a time like this? 😉
    So you can take away from it what you will. But I love that God made me a dreamer. I’d be sunk without dreaming. My diet would be sunk without dreaming. And I am thankful for the big ones. And the thin ones.

  23. Melissa,
    Thank you for your honesty. It is inspiring just hearing someone else “be real” and list their struggles and goals. All too often I think we forget how much we are alike in so many ways. I can relate on all your goals. I am not one for New Years Resolutions, so I took out a piece of paper on the 1st and just listed my goals and self improvement wishes I could change and what God has to uproot and change in me. Of course they all take God, but the little stuff like not critisizing or putting my hubby or kids down and watching my words when I am in a foul mood, I feel I have some mind over matter control. Its the major stuff like my kids coming back to God, my husband and I serving God together in some capacity, friendships with God as the third strand etc, I know will be gifts from Him. I have been following you for a year now and have been keeping your Mom in my prayers. I just want to say how I appreciate your “frankness” and keep on being you ~ because you are reaching women like me! Blessings, Kris

  24. WOW! What a great blog entry! I am new to the Proverbs 31 Ministry devotionals. I remember loving your radio spots back in the late 90’s when I lived in Charlotte.

    Recently, I was looking for a good devotional to read every day and have so enjoyed the Proverbs 31 devotionals. They help me focus on different areas of my life where I need to be more devoted and obedient to God.

    I loved your devotional about marraige yesterday and decided to check out your blog. You could take your name out and insert mine for everything other than the speaking part! I look forward to you future entries and will pray for God to work His will in your life.

    I am also going back to Weight Watchers. I’ve been “Watching” it go on. Now it’s time to “Watch” it get off!! I look forward to losing it alongside you, Sister!

    I am also working on my marriage. I pray for God to renew passion and intimacy in my relationship with my wonderful husband. Which leads me to my biggest desire for change this year. I want to be a better Daughter to God, a better wife to my husband and a better Mom to my precious Children. I can do so much better than I have been doing, but I am now realizing I can only improve with God’s help. I try so hard on my own and it is fruitless. Time to ask for the Big Guy’s help. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Praise God.

    Thank you for your transparency and for your inspiration. This is the time! Let’s DO IT!!!

    God Bless You!!

  25. Want you to know I’m praying for you RIGHT NOW.

    Hugs ~ Rachel

  26. Melissa,

    Thank you for blogging about your honest feelings, negects and needs. I, too have gained a bit of weight. I asked for a Richard Simmons workout video for Chrismtas but no on took me seriously! LOL
    Definelty with you on the issue of FUN. I love to be funny, I love to have fun too, but we sure have been stuck in a rut. Blah! I just posted on my FB page….2010…look out b.c I am getting out of this slump I have been in! And I am serious! Our family has so much fun sledding outside, playing tickle torture and hide and seek inside or out. We get laughing so hard one of the girls will say….I am going to pee my pants! You know the type of fun. We have to do that more often instead of getting stuck in the rut of everyday-ness. I am guilty of that. After working all day, dinner and homework every night, I just want to go to bed. I forgot I need to walk myself on the treadmill, sit down and watch tv or talk to my husband. We used to have date nights, but somewhere along that way, we kept forgetting to plan them. We gotta get busy on that one. We also are thinking about attending a weekend marriage retreat this year. We have been talking about doing that for IDK…three years at least. It is good to talk about it but you gotta
    do it too! I, too, miss the connecting with girls. I need to be better about making a plan for a walk around the mall to talk or lunch.
    2008-09 were tough years for us. My husband got moved to nights for work and he wasn’t hope a lot. When he was he was so tired and irritable I would have given him away if someone would have come to the door asking for a man! Jesus heard our prayers and they were answered two weeks ago when my husband was notified he was moved back to the day shift. God is Good!

  27. Thank you so much for putting into words all the things that have been in my heart. I truly aspire to know God more intimately in this year. Thank you for your honesty and openess.

  28. Hat’s off to you for an awesome start to a new decade! Blessings to you and your family as well. Thank you for your authenticity and vulnerability. As a fellow woman in ministry….the enemy can make me feel like I should have it more together in those areas of life that you mentioned..marriage, family, etc. But we know the TRUTH, right? If we had it ALL together ALL the time we wouldn’t need Jesus.

    Wishing you a blessed day!


  29. Anne Marie Neely says:

    Hey Melissa,

    Love your blog!!! I have an idea for you – you and your husband should go to the Black Eyed Peas concert uptown and then spend the night! The Ritz is now open, wouldn’t that be fun? It’s next month!!