The Impact of Closet Prayers

For most of us, there is one moment- at minimum- that you regret more than any other moment. The reasons for the regret can be multiple, but the key is, it can’t be changed, or deleted. The moment happened. I have that moment stored, and I hold it close, because to expose that moment would break me, and everyone around me. I have allowed that moment to hold me captive for years. I look at it and remember it all the time. I will expose some of that moment now, so that it can’t haunt me any longer, and I will give God glory- because He is faithful and He is light in the darkness.

As I have shared before, I lost my step father in July of 2008 while I was separated from my husband, Tim. It was a difficult time and a horrendous loss of life. Even knowing he is with God, I am unable to find total peace. I desire too, but there is a weight upon me. I heard of Chris’¬†injury and went to see him, and while I was there I was making plans for my night. I left that day and went to watch my brother play softball, and when I left there I went somewhere else. The problem here is that normally, I am the one who goes to the hospital and stays until someone forces me to leave, unfortunately, my heart was so mixed up I selfishly left Chris and my mom to deal with it. While I was out in places I shouldn’t have been, my step father who I so desperately love, was slipping away and I wasn’t there to catch him. Even after he caught me so many times, and balanced me back out.

The last few weeks have been stressful and what happens to me, may happen to you, I get overwhelmed and I go to a place of darkness and I sit there and think of all of my mistakes, my errors- much like King David. Not that I am a Queen or Royalty, but I can read my own thoughts in the Psalms. Last night I had some worship music on and I felt like I needed to go to my closet to pray. Yes, my closet- I even cleaned it so I would have room on the floor to get on my face before the Lord. I opened my Bible and turned straight to Psalms 51, and I wept; because-there are not coincidences in His word, and the moment that you read it. He has a direct goal to bring you into His presence, to speak to you.

Psalms 51 is David crying out for God’s forgiveness after his sin with Bathsheba. He is asking God to restore his joy, to reunite his spirit with the heart of God. As I read this, I could relate on such a level that I almost felt like I was in the Kings palace, knowing I have everything, but not allowing that to satisfy me, and then carrying the weight of my sin along with all of my armor. The load is heavy, but He- Oh the Lord is faithful. As I was weeping I heard the closet door open, and felt a little body slip in. I didn’t look up, just continued to cry and pray to the Lord, and I heard a sweet voice calling out for God to come- to be with us in mommy’s closet. I looked up and my son-7 has his face on the carpet crying out to the Lord, and I broke.

That is our God. That is His presence and His love. He calls us to a place of brokenness and then He showers us with blessings and favor far beyond what we deserve. My sin deserved death. My God exchanged my sentence and instead gave me life. My heart exalts the Lord, exhorts His Name. He is a faithful, and just God. He is a loving father, and a joyful friend. He is one who mourns with you, and calls you back to joy.

I cannot take back my errors or my decisions, and despite how highly I thought of myself, I could not save my dear step father- I am not God. He allowed the loss, and while I may carry the pain and guilt of that for years to come, I know that I am forgiven and I am loved- beyond measure, against all odds, He calls to me, and says, “My Beloved, come.”

He says that to you today as well, “My Beloved, come.” He wants you to bring Him nothing but yourself, broken, used, devastated, heart broken, hurting, lonely, empty. He wants to take us from paupers, commoners and promote us to Royalty. He says- “For you and You alone, I would send my son to die, a sinner’s death- your death- on a cross- because I so desperately love you, that I had to tear the veil to give you access to my Holy Places.”

Go to Him today- and lay yourself before the Lord- and let your children see a contrite heart before the Lord. Show them the access that Jesus paid for- teach them to pave a way into His presence.

Blessings,

mel

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The Grace of God

jan 18 15 acts 20 24

I have always loved the Jeremiah 29:11 verse, but over the last few months I have adopted a new verse, Acts 20:24.

I am not good at telling the unsaved about Christ. It is my greatest weakness. What I am good at is interjecting into converations who God is , and what He is able to do.

At the end of everyday I can lay my head on my pillow with confidence that He is able and willing to do all things on my behalf, and most importantly, that I am never alone.

Blessings,

mel

2015- The Beginning

So- It’s been a few months, sorry about that. Life has been real and happening in the Summa house and we have been rolling with the punches to come out unscathed!

I hope your holiday season was everything you believed it would be. I can speak for us, and it was wonderful! I can’t ask for more than the Lord gives me. My dreams come true all of the time, and not just because I have small dreams! ūüôā

I have some interesting news for those who have been following along in this journey.

I met with my dad a few months ago, quite unexpectedly and we are working to restore a broken relationship. Please pray for us, as in growth, there is pain.

When I stopped writing a few months ago, I decided that maybe I would stop altogether, especially since it didn’t seem that what I wrote really affected anyone or anything. As I began 2015, I started to miss the gentle tapping of the keys and the clearness of mind that always comes after a particularly special message. What I write isn’t for you. I guess saying it and knowing it are two different things. I write to Him. I tell my deepest secrets to Him, and while you are certainly a part of that journey, it’s not your journey that I journal, it’s mine. Can He use my weakness? My tears, challenges, pain, and joy to show you the way to His heart? ¬†– well of course, He is God.

What does this year bring? I don’t know. I know what is ahead and behind me is covered by the grace and mercy of God, and I will keep walking. There are days my head is heavy, and I can barely lift it for the shame, or disappointment that I carry. There are other days when I feel like I actually am Wonder Woman, and no obstacle can conquer my mission. The remaining time, I realize that I am simply here for a short time; that my real life begins, when I meet my Savior face to face.

What I will tell you whether you are new or a returning visitor- God is Able, Faithful, Incredible and He wants to come along for your journey- but He won’t invite Himself.

 

Blessings,

mel

 

Fully Invested Moments

There are defining moments in every persons life. My moments have been like yours, some grab you and you feel completely unable to handle the battle in front of you. You are David and Goliath is standing there, and the stones are slipping from your hands, as the sword is thrust powerfully through your armor and you are completely unprepared for the wound that hides under the armor.

Other moments, you already have the sling in the air, and the whirring sound of it whizzing around is more deafening than the shaking of an entire armies armor. The stone connects and you didn’t even realize you released it.

stone

I don’t know what moment this is for me. It is a moment, something is changing, something deep within me, that is un-content with the same ole stuff. Dreams are coming back to life that I buried long ago, and they came back bigger. Like a weed does, with those dreams coming back bigger, fears have grown until they tower over me. I am learning that my greatest fear is to be forgotten.

That my ¬†life will have counted-for nothing. I am nothing but a vapor anyway. I don’t know about you, I really don’t. Most of you, if you follow this, I don’t know your names, I haven’t even figured out (despite being quite tech savy) how to figure out who does or doesn’t get a copy of this in their email everyday. I don’t know your life, your story. Your hopes, dreams, failures- epic failures. I just know we are all the same, because we have them. I believe you, like I have hopes that are gigantic, and wonderful and could change so many lives for the better, and I have fears that even if I accomplish those things they will all come crumbling down. My main purpose of this has always been to be real. To not be the one everyone wants to be like. There are some bloggers, and I sit in amazement at their accomplishments, both personally and professionally and I think how much I wish I was like them. But, I am not. I am me, and my life is quite messy and my best guess is, your’s is too. Marriage isn’t easy. Children aren’t easy. Work isn’t easy, both in and out of the home. Recreation isn’t easy, and relationships in general… well… they aren’t easy.

The one thing that is easy: Prayer. Because in the midst of your “I don’t know if I can keep doing this moment”, there is a still small voice. The one that spoke you into existence that says, “my strength is made perfect in your weakness”. It’s true isn’t it? When we can no longer hold our head up, mysteriously and miraculously, it somehow sits up there… and not only is it functional as a hat holder- there is a smile that comes from deep within, that the God of the Universe is FULLY invested in my mess. He isn’t a Jeanie in the bottle— we can’t “rub” Him the right way- He doesn’t work like that, but He is fully capable and incredibly able to make all of your yucky days; well. He can turn the dark skies to sunny in an instant, and He wants too. That’s my favorite part. He wants to hold my hand. He wants to tell me He loves me, and He wants more than anything to be my everything.

No matter where you are in this journey of life, grace and faith; He is there, and He loves you. So much.

Blessings Friends- whose names I do not know,

mel

In the Action!

Hey There!

I have missed you. I wonder sometimes what would happen if I just stopped writing, and then due to a crazy unexpected week, I did, and I realized exactly what would happen… I begin to go…¬†well crazy.

Tim, and the kids don’t deserve crazy me, so if I stop writing- pray for them, they need it! ūüôā

We have had a week. I won’t go into details, but hear me when I say, this week could not have been more unexpected. If you are having one of those days, weeks, months or years, my family has been there. We have walked almost every crisis on the planet. Literally- this is not an exaggeration. We have learned one thing in this process. God is Faithful. Always.

He never misses the opportunity to turn your life around. He never is caught unaware of what is coming your way.

He is always able, and always willing to inject Himself into your mess- self created or otherwise.

He is God, He is incredible and His grace is enough for you. No matter what you are walking through, or what you have put someone else through.

If you have a moment- please pray for our family today, or whenever you read this, that God will give us grace to forgive, as He has forgiven us. Don’t believe for a moment that the Lord has forgotten you, or misplaced you. Continue to cry out to Him, His ears are open— does God have ears?

I’ll leave you with that thought!

Blessings,

mel

 

Marriage Truths

Marriage= hard work

no… I mean really= hard work

I heard someone say “when you find the right person- it shouldn’t be hard”.

I wanted to punch them- right in the jaw.

Just my honest reaction- I don’t hide most of my thoughts, or parts of me from you guys- if you read more than 3 posts- you get a pretty good idea that I am; if nothing else-“real”.

Did I punch them- no. They were on a dvd, so I couldn’t get close enough.

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It’s His- Give it up!

I am behind the curve- I just heard “He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli—The words to that song… wow.

I have been singing since I was a little girl. Like a really little girl. I love it. It has given me such joy and such pain. When you sing, you are exposed. It’s the only way I can describe it. It’s not an instrument where your fingernail can catch on a string, or the pedal on the keyboard gets stuck- if you mess up vocally- it’s all on you.

I am a perfectionist.

I take every word out of my mouth in song, incredibly seriously.

I have failed.

I have succeeded.

I have led and been led into worship more times than I can count and the day I get to sing around His throne is the day my dreams come true.

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His Faithfulness Garnered Favor

I spoke with a friend of the family during the visitation hours at the viewing for Aunt Dee, and while I hadn’t seen that person in years, we took a moment and caught up. While she was talking I heard something I have heard all of my life about my mother; she was faithful.

During the times of separation my parents experienced early on in their marriage when my dad was testing who he was, my mother stood faithfully by. She waited for a man who verbally and physically expressed that he was gay, and she prayed. She prayed and we prayed, with her in the corner of our hall, and he came home. I was reminded that faith is one thing, but what we do with faith is another. We can plant our faith like the talents Jesus spoke of, or we can invest faith until the outcome is greater than the initial product. My mom is a planter. She created planters.

My brother is one of the most faithful people I have ever met. He has his quirks and like me, he shares some character traits that I am sure drive people crazy; we are so far from perfect, as is our mom; but one thing he got a greater dose of from our mom was faithfulness.

We have watched him serve his workplace for the last few years faithfully. He shows up on time, everytime. If he is supposed to be there it will take an absolute emergency for him to not be there. He goes in and does what has to be done despite the inconvenience of it. He doesn’t go around talking negatively about his workplace, he is just faithful. Lunch, no lunch, break or no break he is there to do a job and he does it. He left his job making more than he is currently making for an opportunity at advancement. While the advancement didn’t come as quickly as he hoped, a little boy named Micah did, and the weight of carrying his family on one salary for the first time began to test his faith. He now had a beautiful Jessa, sweet Ashtyn and wild and crazy boy, Micah; and his wife Lindsey- whom he flat out adores at home, and all of them counted on him for the first time, not only to keep things floating, but to be faithful enough to catch the eye of God and man.

Today the Lord showed that He is the God who promotes. My brother isn’t highly educated- although he is one of the smartest people I know. He isn’t fancy- in fact when his beard is in full force he is like an Alpine Mountain man -which I love- but his wife wins that war : ). He is a normal guy, your best friends brother growing up. He is faithful every Sunday to set up at church and most often helps to tear down leading to a full 6-7 ¬†hour work day on his day of rest. He has proven himself in so many ways and I am so proud of the man that he is.

I got a call today, and my beautiful sister in law was sobbing in my ear, and immediately I thought something must be wrong. She is trying to get out-“I’m crying because I am happy”… which to me presented so many word pictures in my mind– but I digress. She finally gets out, “Keith was called in to the office today(his day off) and he is getting a raise and is being promoted to a Supervisory position.”

HALLELUJAH…. You may not know what his faithfulness looks like, but I do. I know what it is to see him sweat after a full day of work and try to spend time with his children when he is flat dog exhausted. He has faithfully served his workplace and shown what true servant leadership. He gets to see today that God honors faithfulness. God promotes- HE SEES.

When you have the chance to slide by on something at work, or in your life; to not give your best; He sees. He is faithful to finish His work, do not think He will not be faithful to promote you in yours when you do it as unto Him.

Little Brother- I am so proud of you. May the Lord continue to shine His face on you and bless you with abundant favor. You are a special, gifted and generous man, and the Lord will give you much because you have been faithful with little.

Love you!

Blessings,

mel

Lights

The kids and I have started amping up for Christmas. We love the holiday’s. We basically skip Thanksgiving much to my dear friends chagrin. She loves the fall holiday’s, and while I love fall, there is something ¬†about the smells, sounds and sights of Christmas that stirs me.

As a child, I was blessed. I remember asking for very few things that I didn’t get. My dreams always came to life, this taught me that I could dream, but it didn’t teach me how to ¬†handle dreams that don’t come true. ¬†I would creep down the stairs last Christmas Eve, and see the gifts in front of the tree illuminated by the Christmas Tree lights and something inside me would jump. I would most often go quietly back upstairs, more than the gifts I wanted to know that he had come. That the cookies I made were eaten and the milk was mostly gone.

Christmas brings out a side of me that is caged throughout the rest of the year; a light, for lack of a better word. I am in my element at Christmas. I feel different, I look different, I am different. I don’t know what it is that does it, but it’s like a cloud of anticipation settles on me, and I begin to look for miracles everywhere. My children have the same excitement, we are already prepared for Halloween night when the first movies of this holiday season hit Hallmark, while we decorate the tree and drink hot chocolate- ahem- hot coffee… It draws me, and I am all in.

I have noticed that jumping feeling on the inside of me over things other than Christmas lately. I am finding that the feeling is closer to passion than excitement. I am passionate about a few things that affect myself, our family and our nation, and those things light up in me just like a Christmas tree in the deep dark night.

I am passionate about Human Life- every cell that becomes an embryo that bears the resemblance of God should be afforded and awarded the right to live. ¬†This bears witness in genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own¬†image. In the¬†image¬†of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When we continue to allow the massacre on our own soil, we are aborting the image of God.

I am passionate about Human Trafficking, specifically sex trafficking- no human should be sold or traded to any other person: ever. We are not property; and this is occurring right here in America. We can not turn our heads and think this happens in third world countries where we are “powerless”. It’s here and it must be dealt with. If you would like more information on this growing travesty please go to this site:¬†http://thegrayhaven.org/ or visit their facebook page:¬†https://www.facebook.com/thegrayhaven and find out what YOU can do to impact this horrific crime against humanity.

I am passionate about marriage- Marriage is so difficult; different backgrounds, family styles, traditions, values, and morals. I believe every marriage can survive; anything. I don’t support divorce in any aspect, because in no way does God get glory when we separate what “God has brought together”. He wants to heal your marriage. He wants you to be happy, but He is not dependent on your happiness, only your obedience to Him.

I light up internally, I jump and longing fills my soul for these things; when I hear, see or learn of something that impacts any of these internal indicators, it is like Christmas year round. I want to make an impact; I want my life to have been valuable to the Kingdom of God. I want to be so lit up that people see me coming from miles away, knowing that I stand for something. I want the gates of hell to shake when I wake up and put my feet on the floor in the morning. I want to be the light. When Christmas comes, a reverence falls upon me; that my glorious Savior would humble himself to walk among the sinners of the world and call them friend. I love Santa and the beauty of the wonder he creates, but he is nothing compared to the One who gives only good and perfect things.

He wants to make your dreams come true in a way that a physical gift never could. He wants to set you free from bondage to sin, transform your heart and release you back to the world covered in his grace and light. Everyday I make mistakes, some more than others, and while I often end up as Paul wanting to do right, and yet doing wrong, I am grateful for His grace and His desire to come to me anyway. You see no matter how many lights I put on the Christmas trees in our home- that’s plural- the physical light will never be what moves me. His presence is¬†light and that my friends; His light, moves me. As the holidays draw near, and they will quicker than most would like; allow each light you see on the store entrances, and home all around to push you closer to your passions. Those lights represent Him, and His light. Be ye the light of the World.

Blessings,

mel

Created, In Heavenly Places

“The¬†Lord¬†merely spoke, and the heavens were¬†created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.”¬†Psalm 33:6
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Take a moment and allow yourself to be captivated by a Glory so incredible that stars were breathed on a word. He, the Lord of the universe, spoke the stars into existence. The Bible Says, He “Merely”, spoke. Can you imagine what a shout would do? What about a loud boisterous laugh? He barely speaks, one word. It doesn’t imply he spoke a sentence, just a word, and He changed the Universe forever.¬†
I don’t know about you, but there are days when life takes over and I feel like I am struggling for air; and all I want in the world is for the Creator of the Universe to breathe on me. Are you familiar with that song, “This is the air, I breathe…” That song has carried me through some of my greatest and worst days. I can remember singing it with great fervor because I knew with confidence He was the very air in my body, and I can remember singing it on days when I was so beaten down by the world, that it was more of a repetitious reminder to breathe.
What I love, is that when we breathe in, we breathe in Oxygen which is of course the very essence of our being; we can not function without it, but when we breathe out we are removing from within ourselves that which is harmful to our human form. I believe that He shows us in so many easy to understand ways that He is the good in us, without Him, we have nothing, with Him we are able to expel everything corrupted within us. It is my prayer that on days like today, I choose to believe that the God of the Universe, the Creator of every living being, chose to sacrifice His son, to a sinners death on a cross, to raise me with Christ from the dead, to live and breathe and show the love of He who knew no sin.
His love is amazing, there is no comparison, there is no greater feeling, than being wrapped in the arms of grace, or sitting at the feet of Almighty Jesus, proclaiming, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty”. Would you sit there with me and just love on Him. I have found, that the more I choose to love on Him when my world is upside down, the faster the world turns right side up. I finally ¬†realized I can’t drive from the passenger seat without a mishap or two.¬†
Make Time to Love on the Star Creator; Your Creator today. 
Blessings,
mel