Archives for January 2010

Jan 18

It’s a Copy and Paste Kind of Day

The past few days have flown by. They’ve held a whirlwind of emotions and my brain is just too tired to write much.

First, I’ll share a little joy.  I’ve lost 7 pounds. Still a long way to go, but I’m overjoyed. Not just for the number, but because I feel good.  My life circumstances really really stink right now, but I’ve been faithful to healthy eating and exercising and it’s starting to pay off in a very short time.  Not only have I lost 7 pounds, but my blood pressure is normal again at 117 over 74.  It hasn’t been in the normal range for months now.  Big changes can make a quick difference! That motivates me to keep it up.

So, are any of you doing the New Thru 30 challenge with me?  If so, how’s it going?  Miraculously, I’m keeping up. Today’s reading was from Mark, chapters 1-11. It was good and I marked many passages to write about on my blog, but I’m exhausted so I’m going to copy and paste what was on my pastor’s blog about it today:

I read today’s passage in the New Living Translation and saw something pretty cool:

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—
so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.”

-Mark 1:7

Jesus said that John was great in Matthew 11:11. Specifically, that he was the greatest man ever born of a woman.

But John knew that Jesus was so much greater.
And that’s what made John great.

Reminder:
Jesus is
so much greater than any trial you’re facing today.
He’s
so much greater than the pleasure of any sin you’re considering.
He’s
so much greater than any other ambition you could pursue.

To truly be great, never forget that He is so much greater.

Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church

We had some hard decisions to make concerning Mom’s care. We made a big one today. You can read about it on her CaringBridge site, or I’ll just copy and paste it here:

Dear Friends and Family,

Hope you are doing well today.  Your notes and calls have been appreciated.  Kenny and Denise Hammond came by for a visit today and it really cheered us all up. Mom said when they left, “They are so uplifting.” Buddy and Mom both thoroughly enjoyed them visiting for a short time. And I appreciated them taking Hayley Grace home for me! Otherwise she would have had to get up at 4:30 am tomorrow to go home and get ready for school.

Tricia and Becca leave tomorrow morning early. I’m taking them to the airport around 5:00 am. It has been wonderful having them here. They both have shed tears over leaving. 

Yesterday we had a family meeting with Mom. We all decided that bringing in Hospice was the best decision for Mom and our family. Although we know in our hearts this is the best decision, it was still hard to make. Just admitting that Mom’s life was at the stage to need Hospice was hard. Mom kept saying that she felt like she was quitting and giving up. We jumped to her defense quickly. We reminded her that when she was diagnosed, the doctor said she would probably live maybe a year with treatment, 6 months with no treatment. That was a year and 1/2 ago. I also told Mom that she wasn’t giving up. She didn’t quit. The chemo quit. It quit working. If it was still working, she’d be continuing it. As most of you know, Becky Nunn is no quitter.

When the Hospice nurse came over tonight, our decision was confirmed. What a blessing it was to have granted all we needed. Burdens were lifted, responsibilities were shifted. Her name is Janet and we consider her to be a Godsend. This time tomorrow, Mom will have more pain relief, a wheelchair, and a shower bench. There will also be a nurse coming out 3 times a week to bathe her and take care of her personal needs. That’s in addition to Janet coming out here a few times a week. We can call 24/7 for anything at all. No more doctor visits, they come here.

One of the hardest things for me is thinking that my Mom may only be in her bedroom for the rest of her life. I’m praying she will be pain free enough to enjoy and afternoon outside one day soon. It makes me sad we can’t go out to eat at a restaurant or she won’t be coming over to my house ever again. Never ever did I know how hard this would be.  I guess that all sounds pretty selfish on my part. But I love this woman so much. I’m sorry that I often pour out my own heart when I write here.  I hope I don’t bring you down by writing all this.

I just left Mom’s room. I’m in the den now, but I can still hear her moaning in pain. Praying she will drift off to sleep very soon. 

God Bless each one of you. Keep loving those around you and thank God for the blessings in your life. I know I am.

Love, Melissa

I’m still in Rock Hill at my mom’s tonight, but I’ll be going home tomorrow after I take my sister to the airport. Hoping to have a few normal days at home and work before I return later in the week.

I’m going to bed now to dream something beautiful.

Melissa
Jan 16

Big Milestones, Reason to Celebrate!

I’ve never been one to stick real well to the goals I’ve set for myself.  I have the knowledge it takes to succeed. And I can tell almost anyone what they need to do to succeed. So, what’s been my excuse for failure time and time again?  Giving up. Getting down about it.  Feeling defeated. And worst of all thinking, “Maybe this is just how it’s supposed to be. I’m just not cut out to have it better than this.”  Isn’t that terrible????  If someone else were sharing that with me, I’d spank their bottom.  I know that’s not the truth.  I’m not sure why it’s been in my nature to give up so easily. I’m actually very strong when getting through a crisis or when it comes to fighting for something. But for some reason, making my own dreams come true I haven’t been so good at.

That’s one reason why I’m so happy that I’ve made it 16 days into my 30 days of discipline (without sugar, caffeine, negative talk <I’ve kind of bombed in this area, but I think about it a lot>, sticking to WW plan, exercising daily <ok, I’ve missed 3 days on this, but overall I’m satisfied with what I’ve done and why I couldn’t do the days I didn’t do!>, and getting a good night’s sleep each night.  I know I’m making it to the end.  And at the end of the 30 days, January 30th, I will re-evaluate and decide my commitment for the next 30 days.  I feel great physically and I’ve been so focused on what really matters.  I’ve made tough decisions (which I’ll share in another blog post) about my speaking events this year, I’ve been able to prioritize because I know my priorities, and I’ve felt everything I’ve been going through without turning to a chocolate cookie, potato chip, or ice cream to make myself feel better! Which really makes me feel worse eventually!  All in all, I haven’t been perfect in my commitments, but I’ve done really well and I feel great about it!

Another milestone:  One week complete in the New Thru30 Reading Plan.  I’m reading the New Testament in 30 days.  I know many of you are doing this too.  It’s been awesome so far!!!!  I missed Thursday, but because of the built in “grace days”, I’m all caught up now.  I really thought this was going to be a chore, but it’s been a pleasure.  In fact, I have to watch it because I find myself getting mad when I’m interrupted!

And finally, a reason to celebrate!  My sister is here visiting from Dallas, Texas. Tricia (my sis) and her daughter (Becca) are staying with Mom and Bud (my step dad, mom’s hubby).  Today we are celebrating Tricia’s 40th birthday. What a blessing for Tricia to get to celebrate her birthday with Mom and for Mom to be able to celebrate too. Sadly, this will probably be the last time they get to do this. Whew! That’s hard to write without tears. It’s a bittersweet celebration.

Days 4 and 5, New Thru30

4-Acts 5:1-Acts 15:41

I’m not going to post too much here, just a few verses and thoughts of my own.

Acts 5:41- (the apostles had just been flogged (beaten) and released from jail) “The apostles left the Sandhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy for suffering disgrace for the Name.They didn’t cry like I would have done!  They rejoiced!  Love their perspective and outlook!

Acts 8:1, We see here that Saul (Paul) was present at the stoning of Stephen. Not only was he present but he was “giving approval to his death.” Chapter 8 goes on to say in verse 3, But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.” He was a bad boy!!  So hard to believe he’s the same man we see later proclaiming Jesus as his Saviour and spreading the Gospel like no one else in history. Doesn’t that just confirm, yet once again, that God is loving and forgiving and He can use us NO MATTER WHAT OUR PAST, as long as our hearts are truly His and we’ve changed our ways.  In fact, many of the Bible greats were originally bad boys or made serious mistakes along the way. Ladies, don’t ever buy into the lie that you are good for nothing. Not true.  God needs us no matter where we’ve been what our past.  In fact, He can use us to make a bigger impact because we do have a past and we know what forgiveness feels like on a deep level and we know what it feels like to be transformed for greater things.  Share that with others and WOW! just see the impact it has. (Read about Saul’s conversion in Acts 9.)

Acts 10:25-26, “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.'” Peter allowed NO worshipping of him, just the Lord.  I love how he humbled himself when doing God’s work. He made sure the people knew that he was not supernatural, but only God.  I know how good it feels when people compliment me after I’ve written a devotion or spoken at a women’s retreat.  But truly I want no credit. (actually that’s a lie, I have to pray and get my heart right or else I love taking credit!!!  But I don’t, because I couldn’t do any of it without the Lord!)  It takes prayer and focus on the Lord to be able to give Him all the credit.  Never should we ever think ourselves above God.

Acts 10:34, “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what it right.'” Yes sir! No human is greater than another. God doesn’t have favorites!  He loves us all.  Don’t forget that.

Acts 12:23, (concerning Herod’s death) “…and he was eaten by worms and died,” EWWWW! Just wanted to point that out.  Herod did not give praise to God and this is what happened to him.  Just sayin…

Acts 13:3839, “Therefore my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.  Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” Can I hear a “Whooo Hoooo”  on that one???  Forgiveness is ours.  Thank you Jesus!

Acts 15:22-31, Paul and Barnabas sent a letter along with Judas and Silas.  This was one of many letters that Paul wrote. We learn from Paul how powerful personal letters can be.  Maybe you find it difficult to know what to say to someone with your voice.  Don’t let that stop you.  The written word is so powerful. I twist my spoken words all the time.  I speak and then wonder why the heck I said what I said or why I said it that way!  Personal letters were used to encourage back then and they still are today. Never have we had more resources and opportunities to touch people with the written word than we do today.  The internet has opened the doors wide on this.  Of course the door has also been opened for things that aren’t good to be spread also.  That’s all the more reason for us to write and let our voices be heard.  FaceBook, Twitter, Blogging, Websites, YouTube, etc….these are all an amazing tools for effective sharing and ministry.  And of course, never underestimate the power of the pen and paper too.  Nothing means quite as much as a personal note, although admittedly, I don’t use those as much as I should anymore.  Verse 31, “The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.”

5-Acts 16:1-Acts 28:31

I said I wasn’t going to write much about Day 4. Well I’m really not writing much about Day 5, because it’s time to go to my sister’s birthday party.

In the 2nd half of Acts, the message of Christ was spread and the number of believers grew daily.  There continued to be persecution of those who were disciples of Christ and even Paul himself was discouraged at times.  When he was, Jesus was there:

Acts 18:9-10, One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.  For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Praying you are having a wonderful day wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Thanks for joining me today.

Melissa
Jan 13

We Can’t Find That ANYWHERE Else

New Thru30, Day 3, Matthew 24:1-28:20 & Acts 1:1-4:37

In the end chapters of Matthew, Jesus makes one thing very clear. We do not the time He will return, so be ready because it will be when we least expect it. (Matt. 24:44)  He emphasizes this with parables in chapter 25. He makes it very clear. Don’t be fooled by imposters, there will some, and be ready at all times.

Also in these last chapters are the big things happening in 3’s.  3 times Jesus prayed for God to take away his cup of suffering. 3 times the disciples fell asleep when they were supposed to be keeping watch. (Matt. 26:39-45) 3 times Peter denied Jesus. (Matt. 26:69-75) And 3 days til Christ rose from the dead.

Two really sad events in the end of Matthew (besides Jesus being crucified!):  Judas betrays Jesus, but then feels remorse. He gives back the 30 coins he was paid for leading the bad guys to Jesus. How my heart wants so badly for Judas to fall to his knees, weep, repent, and seek forgiveness. Instead he hangs himself. That makes me so sad.  The other event that brings me to tears is when Peter denies Christ 3 times. I can imagine that each time he denied he knew Jesus, his heart felt a wrenching because he truly knew Jesus so well.  After the rooster crows, Peter realizes what he’s done and he weeps.  I think this makes me sad because I can relate to it. Although I’ve never denied Christ with my words, I have denied Him with my actions. I have done wrong and been aware that what I was doing was wrong, but for some insane idiotic reason, did it anyway.  And when I realized what I’d done, I wept. I wept for my own lack of judgement, my own weakness and insecurity, my own evil heart. I wept because I was so deeply sorry, knowing I could not go back and do differently. I wept because I hurt myself and others. I wept because I knew that I also hurt Jesus.  Thank God, because of Jesus, my guilt is no more! I am free because I am sorry. I did confess and I truly with all my heart meant it. And God forgave me. He remembers my sins no more.

How encouraged we can be to continue today’s reading, finishing up Matthew and heading into Acts.  It’s there we find Peter, the same Peter who denied Christ, leading the crusade for Christ.  Doing ministry with others, spreading the Good News of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, doing the will of God. Denying Christ no more.  It’s comforting to know that God can use us no matter what we’ve done in our past. It’s an amazing feeling to experience forgiveness and know that God can work anything in our lives for good and know that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.  We can’t find that ANYWHERE else.

Update on Mom

Check Mom’s CaringBridge site for the full update.  Basically she has to decide whether to continue with chemo or not. Her cancer has spread to other areas (bones and liver) and there is nothing the doctors can do.  Chemo could prolong her life by a few months, but we are also concerned with her quality of life.  It’s big time stuff and it requires a lot of prayer, wisdom, and understanding. It’s really really hard.  Bud, my Mom’s husband, says Mom will have to make the decisions. Mom can’t even remember what the doctor said. So basically that leaves me and my sister.  She is flying in tonight from Dallas, TX, where she lives.  I’m sure whatever we all decide together, it will be what’s best for Mom.  I love her so much. Today I’m numb.  I’ll be here in Rock Hill for one more night, then I’ll go home to Charlotte, then come back this weekend.  We will be celebrating my sister’s 40th birthday together.

Surviving Diet Killer Aunt Gloria

My Mom’s sister, Gloria, drove to Rock Hill from Greenville, SC to visit today.  She came armed with loads of great food.  Seriously!  Home made from scratch everything….vegetable and roast beef soup, corn bread, Chicken Pot Pie (so good it deserves capital letters!), buck eyes (chocolate/peanut butter balls), homemade peppermint patties, fudge, cookies, red velvet cake, ritz peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate, some powdered cookie ball things, and so much more but I think you get my point!  So did this Weight Watcher Shredding Girl survive?  So far so good! I had some vegetable soup, but I’ve steered clear of the all the sugar and baked goodies.  I got them out of my sight.  At the moment, I’m feeling good about it.  Food is Aunt Gloria’s love language and she does it very well.  My Mom and step dad are thrilled with her gifts.  And everytime they  indulge they groan with pleasure over how good they are.  Torture I tell you!!!  Thank goodness I’m so dedicated, which is weird for me. For some reason, I’m remaining focused.  Grateful for that!  My WW friend sent me a text reminding me that all of this good food would not taste as good as reaching my goals would feel.  FYI:  I will be having Chicken Pot Pie for supper!  And that’s without cheating on WW, no sugar, no caffeine committments!

God Bless You!

Love,

Melissa