Archives for January 2010

Jan 27

Today is My Birthday

And I’m spending the day with my Mama!!!  I have to admit it’s been one of the hardest working birthdays I’ve had. Mom is quite high maintenance today!  And sassy.  She’s running me ragged.  I told her to be patient, I was working as quickly and efficiently as I could…washing sheets, scrubbing the sinks, fixing her BLT with extra crispy bacon, adjusting pillows behind her head, and refilling her cup of water (milk with the BLT though)…and did I mentiion ALL AT THE SAME TIME!  Who does this woman think she is?  Ha ha, just kidding, but I did let her know that it was MY  birthday …and she let me know that it was she who gave birth to me.  Well then, ok Mom, you win :)

Mom is in a great mood today and it has changed me drastically. I’ve been so down, but today she’s brightened me and for that I thank God.  He has provided a wonderful day on my birthday to spend with Mom.  Thanks God, I love you so much for this.

Admittedly, I’m a little behind in my NT reading.  Because of this, I am sharing a post from my pastor’s blog, he’s not behind. :)  I hope you like this, it spoke straight to my heart.

Just Like Jesus Said (Luke 22:7-13)

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

-Luke 22:13

Jesus gave the disciples very specific instructions about the preparations they needed to make for the Passover meal. SeeLuke 22:7-12.

The disciples followed His instructions to the detail. And everything was in place, just like Jesus said.

I can’t count the number of times God has called me to take a step of obedience that seemed somewhat far fetched at the time. But when I got to the place where he told me to go, I found things just as Jesus told me they would be.

When God calls you to obey Him in your finances, career, or relationships, do it. And once you get there, you’ll find everything is in its place.

Just like Jesus told you.

Don’t you love that Jesus keeps His promises?  Obedience can be scary.  Sometimes doing what God has asked us to can mean we are doing something we’ve never done. Something we don’t think we could ever be capable of. Something that is beyond our reach. Something that others will frown upon. Something that will let someone else down. Something that requires we work a little harder. And sometimes it means doing NOTHING at all.

Obedience has been a requirement for me lately. (of course it always should be, but I’ve been very intentional about seeking the Lord diligently in recent times.  Honestly, I haven’t really liked what I’ve heard.  It wasn’t matching up with my agenda, my dreams, or what I’ve wanted. But just like the disciples, in my obedience, I’ve found everything in it’s place. Decision making is easier because I know what it is I need to do. I don’t need to apologize to anyone, because I’m obeying God and I know that.

I’ve been in the process of developing new topics for my speaking and writing ministry.  My writing has received great confirmation from readers.  Speaking is something I long to do, it’s in my soul and calls me. I was ready to begin pursuing excellence like never before in this area of my life.  God has made it quite clear that ministry as I would like it, is not in His plan right now.  My Mom is dying.  As much as hate writing that, it’s the truth. She accepts it and I do too, but I hate it. (just sayin)  In 2010, God has shown me where my efforts need to be.  I have 4 priorities.  The Lord is #1.  My family is #2.  Caring for my Mom and spending quality time with her is also #2.  My office job at Proverbs 31 is #3.  Attending Bible Study on Fridays and church on Sunday (either in person or live online) are #4.  That’s it.  As I’ve obeyed God in these areas, He has blessed me because of it.  My focus has never been better.  For the first time ever, I had to pull out of 2 speaking events this Spring.  That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I cried my eyes out as I met with Barb Spencer, P31’s Speaker Coordinator, and she made the calls. While it was terribly hard for me though, a sense of relief surrounded and filled me afterwards. The 2 event coordinators were so gracious and understanding, even though this puts them in a tight spot.  Their gracious response as well as a note I received from Lysa TerKeurst confirmed that I had done the right thing. The following days with my Mom further confirmed this.

Pastor Steven wrote:   I can’t count the number of times God has called me to take a step of obedience that seemed somewhat far fetched at the time. But when I got to the place where he told me to go, I found things just as Jesus told me they would be. And I have witnessed this in my life.

Of course, with obedience to God, fear tries real hard to grab me…and it has succeeded a few times. Well, more than a few times.  Fear whispers:

Melissa, you don’t speak now and you never will again.

You are going to lose support.

No one will want to hear you later. You aren’t quitting because of God, you are quitting because you stink at what you do and you are scared.

Proverbs 31 doesn’t need you anyway.

God doesn’t need you.  He doesn’t want to use you.

And oh, so your family is your 2nd priority…ha! What a joke. Great job you are doing with them, kids fixing their own suppers and always looking for clean clothes to wear…and Jeff, geez, there is not a more deprived guy on the planet right now!

Obey God. Follow your new priority list. You’ll see, you are not as needed as you may think.

You don’t need to spend time with your Mom.  She doesn’t even remember you are there half of the time.

Shut up!!!!  Enough of that already.  Those are lies. I hear them in my head and go to the Lord right away and ask Him to fill me with His truth. He has NEVER let me down.  And my family, friends, and God centered business relationships haven’t either.  Everything is in place.

I don’t trust the voice of fear, I know that it’s not from God.

Today is my birthday and I’m celebrating.  I’m celebrating my 43rd year of life.  I’m celebrating the gift of more time with my sweet Mama.  I’m celebrating the contentment in my heart I have through Jesus.  And I’m celebrating obedience.

Hey, why don’t you celebrate my birthday too!  Do something crazy fun and sing Happy Birthday to Melissa :)  People might think you are crazy for doing it, but that’s half the fun!

Love to All!

Melissa
Jan 24

We Had Quite A Scare Today

Today began like most Sundays.  Up around 7:30 am and sitting in church at 9:15 am.  Right after worship and as the pastor began this week’s sermon, my husband’s phone (on vibrate) let him know a call had come in.  Ordinarily, he would ignore all calls during church, but this one was from my Mom’s home, so he stepped out to answer it.  A few minutes later, he returned, summoning me and my kids to come with him, we needed to leave.

Fear. That is what I felt as we exited church. Fear of the unknown.  What could be so bad that my Mom or her husband, Buddy, would call this early and want us to come to Rock Hill?  Silently, I prayed, mostly for God to be filling my Mom with peace and comfort.

As it turns out, she was feeling sick in the early morning.  As she was trying to throw up (with no success), the strain caused a wound in her back side to burst (wound from a previous surgery last summer) and blood poured out.  Buddy was scared out of his mind, and later when I saw the blood on the towels and the bed I could see why.  He said all of a sudden she was laying in a pool of blood.  He called Hospice and a nurse was over soon.

For those of you who don’t know, my mom has lung cancer, which has now spread to her liver and bones. She is now under the care of Hospice.

Thank God, Mom is ok. The bleeding stopped.  For now she is fine.  Jeff and the kids stayed for a couple of hours, but I decided to stay the day and night.  In fact, I’m sitting on the bed with her right now just trying to soak up each moment we have together.

I am grateful for this moment. We had quite a scare today.  Just a reminder to make each day and each moment, if possible, count.

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New Thru 30 , New Testament in 30 Days

I fell a little behind in my reading of the NT last week, but caught up today.  I hit the half way mark and that feels good.  This past week, I read Mark, James, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Romans.  Just when I think I’ve read my favorite, I read another favorite!  Today, I read another favorite, Romans.  How I wish I had the time tonight to really dig deeper and write my thoughts on this book of the Bible, but I don’t.  I will tell you this. I have 4 favorite passages in Romans. Here they are:

Romans 5:3-9, Romans 7:14-8:39, Romans 10:9-13, and Romans 12

I hope to one day soon, come back to these Scriptures when I can study and write about them in depth. Plus I want to hear other’s (yours!) thoughts on them too.

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My 30 Day Challenge

I cannot believe that I’m in the final week of my 30 day challenge.  This was just something I did to start the year off on the right foot. I wanted to be disciplined. I wanted to renew my mind. I wanted to be as healthy as I can be. I have surprised myself by remaining true to my commitments with relatively little effort. My focus has not wavered.  I feel good.  Already almost 10 pounds lighter, blood pressure is back in the normal range, I’m sleeping and resting most nights, and my priorities are in order. I think that’s been the key for me.  Because a big piece of my life is totally out of my control (my Mom’s sickness), it has actually helped me order my priorities so that decision making is very easy. I keep my eyes on my goals for the day and when something unexpected comes up, because I know what’s most important, I can easily do what I need to do and let go of lesser things without guilt.

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Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions or January goals that you are trying to keep up with?  What are the challenges in your life right now?  Is God’s Word a part of your daily regimen?  I know God’s Word has been the glue that has held me together!  I couldn’t get through life the way I do without it.  Just check out those passages in Romans (above) to see what I mean!

I pray this is a great week for each of you.  Thanks for your prayers and support through the messages on Twitter, FaceBook, my blog, and email.  My love to all of you!

Melissa
Jan 19

The Most Important Commandment

I’m on Day 11 of reading through the New Testament in 30 days and I discovered that “they” tricked me!  It’s not really 30 days of reading, it’s 20 days!  Saturday and Sunday are make up days in case you miss a day.  Which is good, because I needed more time last week and got all caught up on Saturday.  So “they” call it Day 11, however technically it’s really day 7.

No matter what the day, today’s reading has been my favorite so far I think. Mark, James, and Galatians are the books I read today. I could write a book myself on all that is rich in the book of James. It’s my favorite of all I think.  It’s short and I encourage you to read it today if you can. It doesn’t take long and it is jam packed with very helpful, life applicable info that is both encouraging and convicting.  Although there is much to highlight in both James and Galatians, I’m going to leave them alone today and look at a few verses in the 12th chapter of Mark.

Let’s look at something Jesus said in Mark.  He was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28b)  To which Jesus replied,

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)

Now if Jesus is going to make a statement like that, my ears perk up and I’m listening.  But I don’t stop there. I can’t.  How many times have I heard Jesus ask His disciples did they still not get it???  I don’t want to be one who doesn’t “get it”, so after I listen to what Jesus says, I have to ask myself some questions:

Do I love God with all my heart?

Do I love God with all my soul?

Do I love God with all my mind?

Do I love God with all my strength?

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Now if you just asked me the first half of those questions (Do I love God? Do I love my neighbor?), the answer is easy.  Yes maam I do! No doubt about it.  But do I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?  Ooh, I’m not sure I want to go there.

I am not pointing this out to make myself or anyone else feel bad about not loving God or your neighbor enough.  I point this out because I truly believe there is always room to love more. 

These 2 commandments that Jesus gives summarize all God’s laws.  These 2 commandments should rule our thoughts, decisions, and actions. (Life Application Bible)  When we take these commandments into consideration it really does help in deciding what God wants us to do.  Try it and see.  If it’s a big enough deal for Jesus to say  “There is no commandment greater than these”  then it’s a big enough deal for me to pay attention and examine my actions to see if they line up with that.

How about you?  What are your thoughts? How do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?  How do you love your neighbor as yourself?

 

 

Melissa