Archives for November 2011

Nov 10

Nothing Special

It’s tempting just to say it…”I have nothing special to offer.”  After all, I kind of feel that way.  I feel like I don’t have anything to offer that someone else doesn’t offer better than me.

I’m often asked, “Melissa, when are YOU going to write a book?”  My answer is simple.  What I’d write has already been written…and MUCH BETTER than I could write it.  After all, I’m so simple. I don’t know big words like “loquacious”  like my friends Heather Bleier and Samantha Reed do.  Other authors already feature stories from my life in their own books (one you will read about me and my son, Dylan at the end of The Confident Heart).  I’m not writing a book, I have nothing special to offer.

You should see my home. Usually a mess. Like 99.9% of the time. Others are great hosts and so good at homemaking and hospitality. Not so with me. When you come to a gathering at my house, we shove everything in closets and ask you to bring an appetizer to share. It’s more fun at someone else’s house, I don’t have anything special to offer.

Sometimes relationships change. Life gets busy and new seasons approach and for whatever reason some of the people you used to see or talk to all the time, you hardly see or talk to at all any more. Instead of looking at it for what it really is, I often go for the doubt first. Why should she want to spend time with me, I have nothing special to offer.

It’s so easy to talk ourselves into believing that we have nothing special. That someone else is more fun, more likable, better than us, really special. We don’t have what it takes. No wonder….

Did you take the time to look into your personality type and your spiritual gifts from Chapter 8?  I know some of you commented about them in the last post. For me, discovering these things was SO FREEING. I discovered that God really did make me unique. And although I may not have everything to offer, I do indeed have something special to offer.

My personality:  Sanguine/Phlegmatic – If you know me well, you guessed that right away.  I’m a social lazy person in other words! lol

My spiritual gifts: Exhortation and Mercy.

Just like knowing my personality strengths and weaknesses and knowing my spiritual gifts is helpful to me, it’s also helpful and freeing to know what I’m not!  I don’t feel so guilty for the qualities I don’t naturally possess.

I’d love to hear what you are if you haven’t shared already. I find it fascinating actually.

Remember, you do have something special to offer, we all do. And God has searched you and knows you….and He really really likes you a lot…even if you don’t know what loquacious means!

Be Blessed My Sweet Sisters!  Look for the Vlog on Saturday because today I am having a bad hair day!

Love You!

 

Melissa
Nov 7

A Confident Heart~Week 8

It’s time to take a turn for the best. In fact, let’s make a turn. Choose to turn. Not settle. Not whine. Not lay down and take it any more. You with me?

So far the enemy has whispered “I’m Not Good Enough and I’m Such A Failure.” Do you believe that? If you are trusting in God’s Promises like Renee Swope’s awesome book, A Confident Heart is teaching us to do, then the answer is a bold and confident, “NO.”

Admittedly, the doubts got the worst of me. The last two weeks were extremely trying, so much so, that last week I withdrew from anything I could. If it wasn’t a necessity, I didn’t do it. I took time to take care of me. I went to the doctor, talked to my counselor, prayed with some close friends, went to bed early every single night, and even stayed home from work for two days. I knew I needed to clear my head and really focus and rely on God with as few distractions as possible. I knew the doubts in my head were lies, but they were still bringing me down. I decided not to settle for that. If you can relate to what I’m talking about, I hope you will decide not to settle either.  God has better for us.

Hear what the devotion book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, has to say today:

My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away.  I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that abundantly.

Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in My Presence. This entails being satisfied with much or with little, accepting either as my will for the moment.  Instead of grasping and controlling, you are learning to release and receive. Cultivate this receptive stance by trusting Me in every situation.

I don’t think I can say much more than that!  Let’s choose a different path sisters. Let’s choose to trust God…No Matter What!

Word of the Week:

Special

Verse of the Week:

***there is NO EXCUSE  not to learn this one, LOL!

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. Psalm 139:1, NIV

And just to share the simply written Message version with you, check this out…

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; Psalm 139:1,  The Message

And just keep reading…not necessarily for memorization, but just to be amazed and so grateful:

even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! Psalm 139:2-6, The Message

 

God knows us better than anyone knows us. He knows our heart. And He thinks we are SO SPECIAL…NMW (no matter what).  NMW the past, NMW you’ve done, NMW others think of you, NMW you think of yourself, NMW mistakes you’ve made or choices you’ve made, NMW doubts you have, NMW your failures have been, NMW you have to offer…just very simply NO MATTER WHAT.  Yes, we are special to our Father every day, all day…and He wants us to believe it too.

I think you will like our next chapter, When Doubt Whispers, “I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer.” And hopefully through being immersed in God’s Word, you will realize that you do.

 

Suggested Assignments for the Week:

***Make sure to visit this blog often during the week. Your Online Bible Study Group needs your prayers, encouragement, and input!

Monday- Read Chapter 8.  Comment on Melissa’s Blog. Do you believe you have anything special to offer? I know you do!!!  So please share it!  :)   :)   :)   :)

Tuesday- This chapter is so good, I think we need to read it again! Highlight and take notes this time. Open your Bible when a verse is referenced. Write in your journal/notebook/on this blog if you feel like it.

Wednesday- Reflection Questions #1-3.

Thursday- Reflection Questions #4-7.

Friday- It’s time for the Friday Vlog right here.

Saturday- Ok, I know this is probably NOT important to most of you, but humor me. My Gamecocks have to win this week and the Georgia Bulldogs have to lose. The SEC East Championship depends on it. So, be a Gamecock fan for this week, ok?  Game on at 12:00 pm EST.  LOL, Seriously, whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun! Smile! Laugh! And stay close to God, Who thinks you are so special and awesome!

Love you Ladies!  It’s great to be back!   <3

Melissa
Nov 5

A Message Just for You – from Renee Swope

Hi friends!

I wanted to share a few thoughts from my heart as you finish up chapter 7 and prepare for chapter 8. I think I broke the standard vlogging rules of keeping it short and sweet (wink) but I just had more than 4mins of words I wanted to say.

First I want to encourage you and assure you that you are not alone in your uphill battle to live with confidence. I know how hard this is and how easy it is to give up. Second I want to give you some practical ways to live in the truths you’re learning and get rid of the defeat and doubts that are still trying to weigh you down.

If you are reading this in email, please click on the title of this post to go back to Melissa’s blog so you can watch this video message. At the end I mention a resource on my website you can download. It’s at http://ReneeSwope.com under the Free Resources tab.

Here’s the video message. If you have any thoughts or questions you want to ask, I would love to hear them! Just leave them in the comments section here on Melissa’s blog and I’ll probably answer them on my blog/website next week.

Hugs, blessings and prayers for each of you!
~Renee

 

Melissa