Archives for May 2010

May 28

Fun Friday: Randomness and Thank You!

First, if you haven’t heard about the rat who is now causing all of us Proverbs 31 office gals to live in fear, please take a look at this photo album on my Facebook page. I think it will give you a good laugh:  Fearing Templeton When you get there, click on the first picture and take the time to advance through each photo and read the captions.  Just gotta laugh!

If you are on Facebook, I’d love to be your “friend”.  Just invite me.  I love connecting with other sistas on Facebook for a more personal look into each other’s lives.  Melissa’s Facebook Page

Same with Twitter. If you tweet, I’d love to connect with you there too. Melissa’s Twitter Page

Just a little info on my FB and Twitter. It’s real, raw, and it’s me. Some don’t like what I post because I don’t just post about any one subject, I post about everything…depends on what’s on my mind. And often it has zero value to anyone else. But I have fun with it :)  I’m not obsessed with these things, but they are outlets I enjoy. I’ve met many dear dear friends on FB, Twitter, and on my blog. In fact when I look through all the cards and encouragement that came my way during my Mom’s illness, many are from people I’ve never personally met. Blows me away. I just love it. Love my friends, seen and unseen <3  (there’s that sideways heart again!)

I know many people don’t like social medias such as Facebook and Twitter…and that’s ok. I say “to each his own!”  We all have our thing, if it’s not yours, that’s alright with me.

Before I go, I just have to tell you something. I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday just reading through the comments posted on my blog over the past week.  THANK YOU so much for taking the time to write a message to me.  What you share not only means a lot to me, but often it encourages someone else. I was extremely blessed and my heart <3 touched by the prayers for me and the thoughts you shared.  There is not a comment left here that goes unread by me.  They mean so much.

Well, it’s time to toot my own horn again. :)  This week I’ve walked a total of 18 miles.  I’ve counted my points (on Weight Watchers), turned in 2 devotions for publication on the Proverbs site, and blogged I think 5 times.  I can’t tell you how great I feel. I still have quite a ways to go in the weight loss venture…oh my that’s always a struggle…another story for another day :)  I weigh in at noon today and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hey, toot your horn too. What are you doing for yourself?  What did you accomplish this week? Share your blessings with me :)

And Have a Beautiful Weekend!

***Edit. It’s Friday afternoon, 1:52 pm.  I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and I GAINED 1.4 POUNDS!!!  I just knew I had lost weight because I had been a good girl this week! (there’s a devotion there somewhere LOL!)  Anyway, I vented to my WW group and they were so sweet and encouraging. I even cried. (what a loooooser!) My beautiful leader, Mary Beth, had me feeling much better by the time I left. I went from crying and craving fried chicken to confident and coming back to my office to eat my cheese ravioli which was planned.

What do you do when your plans don’t succeed? I just wrote about it earlier in the week. You  try try again. And so I persevere. (any Bible verses come to mind here? Uh-huh!)

And hey, what’s up with only one person (Thank you sweet Joy) sharing their blessings? Come on, I’ve shared with you, now you share with me. That would bless me greatly!  (if you don’t want to it’s ok, I’m just kidding)

Bye now and have an awesome loooong weekend!

Melissa
May 26

Seeing God in All Things

Today I want to take a look back at a devotion I wrote over 3 years ago.  It was a time when God used my sweet precious Dylan to open my eyes to see Him in the midst of what at the time seemed a tragedy.  Every now and then I like to look back and see where I was then and where God has brought me now.  As I read this old devotion, I can see that God used a situation like this one to begin preparing me for the rocky road that was ahead. I pray that God will speak to you as you read these words.
Seeing God in All Things

“You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5(NLT)

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I was driving home after speaking all day at a women’s conference. The conference had been such a blessing and I was praising God for His faithfulness in showing up in a mighty way. I had the honor of witnessing first hand how God was impacting the lives of women and their families. Needless to say, I was on a God-high and loving every minute of it. God was so present and it was easy to see Him on this day.

During this time of spiritual bliss, I noticed something rather large darting on to the road ahead of me. It was a deer and she was headed for my lane. The traffic was heavy and my car had nowhere to go but to continue straight. I slammed on the brakes trying desperately to stop, but it was useless. At the moment just before impact, I looked into that animal’s big brown eyes. Why, oh why, did she run out into the road like that? My car hit that beautiful creature full force. She was tossed into the air and landed, lifeless, in the lane next to mine. I cried, “Oh No! I killed a deer!”

Many stopped to see if they could help, but there was nothing anyone could do. Miraculously, my car was not damaged and no one was injured – except the poor deer.

Anytime something bad happens, I try to see God in it all. I had clearly seen Him at the women’s conference that day. Where was He now? Why did this have to happen and ruin my God-filled day?

When I got home, I ran inside to get my husband. I was crying so hard he could hardly understand me. My four children were also home and quickly became concerned for their hysterical mother. I told them the story. First question from my kids: “Is the deer dead?” First question from my husband: “Is the car okay?” They surrounded me with love and reassured me everything would be fine.

Hours later, I was still shaken. My ultra sensitive and loving son, Dylan, noticed this and offered me a Godly perspective on my situation. He said, “Mom, there are many reasons this could’ve happened and none of them are your fault. God has a plan and a purpose for everything, even that deer’s life. Maybe that deer was very sick and God used you to put it out of misery. Or maybe God was protecting the man behind you, so He used your car as a shield. Or maybe God knew that there are many deer, but only one you. He needed you to be my mom today. Mom, whatever God’s reason, it’s not your fault, but you have to trust Him. He was with you the whole time. He never took His eyes off of you or His hand off of your head.”

Oh, will someone pass the tissue please? How is it that a nine year old boy who suffers with anxiety and communication disorders can put this situation in the proper perspective and show me that it’s not about me but about God? I’ll tell you how.

Dylan was looking for God in this sad accident. I wasn’t. It was easy for me to see God in the events at the conference because I was alert, aware, and looking for Him. When tragedy struck, I took my eyes off of Him. Just like Peter trying to walk on water I, took my eyes off of Jesus, and sank.

Do you look for God in all things? Do you see God in all things? I threw my arms around my precious son and thanked him for being the light in my life that day. Then I turned to the Lord and thanked Him, too—for the conference, for my family, for Dylan’s words of wisdom, and for the deer.

Dear Lord, sometimes it’s hard to feel or see Your presence in every aspect of my life, yet I know You are there. Help me to look for You, even when times get tough. Help me to trust You and believe that You are with me every moment of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
The next time you find yourself in an undesirable situation, instead of asking “why me”, thank God for being there with you.

Reflections:
Do believe God is working in your life only when things are good?

Do you thank God for everything that happens to you, good or bad?

Power Verses:
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” (NLT)

****Special Note of Interest:  This devotion was also translated in Spanish on the Proverbs 31 site.  A woman wrote in to Proverbs 31 Ministries after reading it. She accepted Christ as her Savior.  She was prompted to know Jesus after reading this devotion.  It was such a joy to share with Dylan that his words to me were the same words that led a woman’s life to forever change because she had asked Jesus into her heart.

Blessings Y’all!

Melissa
May 25

Did Someone Die Over There or Are They Havin’ A Party?

Oh how my heart is aching today.  For a few reasons.

I’ll give you the selfish one first.  I’m a horrible neighbor.  Seriously I am.  I am.  There are houses all around us and I have no idea what’s going on in the lives of these people at all.  Well, except for our next door neighbors to the left.   I’ve been so preoccupied with my own life that I haven’t even attempted to really get to know my neighbors.  Now they haven’t really gotten to know me either, but still. We wave when we see them.  It’s not that we don’t like them or anything, we just don’t know them so well.  We know the families who have kids who are our kids ages and we hang out with our church, college, and high school friends, but we really don’t know our close neighbors. Right across the street…right across the street, there are neighbors who I’ve met. I’ve even been in their home one Christmas for a party.  But beyond that, I don’t know them. An all too familiar site took place at their home.

The next reason my heart is aching.  About a week ago I saw my neighbor, who lives across the street, come home in an ambulance. When I saw the ambulance bring him home I was immediately reminded that he had cancer.  Another neighbor had told us that, but with all that was going on in my life, I never asked about it again. Seeing him come home like that took me back to the 2 times that my own Mom was brought home the same way. The days that followed I noticed a lot of cars at their home…another familiar site.  Hayley Grace, my 8 yr old daughter, asked me “Mom did someone die over there or are they havin’ a party?”  Wow. The fact that she associates lots of cars with those 2 scenarios is crazy.  But she’s lived it! She too thought it was a familiar site.  I went across the street and found out that my neighbor was dying and it would be soon.  I wrote a note to his wife offering my prayers, love, and whatever they needed.  Each time I looked at their beautiful home, I imagined the suffering going on inside.  It crushed me.

The couple who lives there, purchased their home about 3 years ago.  It was a big fixer upper.  And fix it up they did!  It was a 2nd marriage for him and a first marriage for her.  They were in their 50’s I think, I’m guessing.  They had dreams.  He died Friday.  Dreams over.

The funeral is today.

Another reason my heart is aching is for the widow who now is my neighbor.  Pray for her if she comes to your mind. Her name is Lisa.

When you look at the homes that are around you what do you see?  Some see wood, bricks, and a yard maybe.  I don’t know what I see.  When I look at someone’s home I know that I have no idea what goes on behind the walls.  There is pain and suffering all around. The beautifully redecorated home across the street was home to a dying man. I had no idea.  My eyes have been shut to those who live around me and I am embarrassed about that.  A man died this week. He was my neighbor and I don’t even know his last name.  That’s just wrong.

Yes, it was an all too familiar site.  Ambulance. Hospice. Flowers delivered. Lots of cars. Funeral.

An all too familiar site indeed.

Melissa