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! 🙂

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

How Can It Be

Old Testament Alert

Yes, the Old Testament. It rocks my world, because although God never changes the law changed for you and I when He sent His son.

I am working on the post- be ready- I think God will reveal some things to us in it.

For now- Here is an incredible song that really moves me- hope it moves you too!

How Can It Be

Lauren Daigle- Bless you and that incredible voice! Thank you for sharing this song with the world and reminding us of Who He IS, and what He did!

Blessings,

mel

 

Two Sparrows in a Hurricane

When I was young, around 12ish, I was at my grandmother’s, more affectionately known as Nannie, and now as an adult- Nan. (More about why the name grandma, or grandmother doesn’t seem affectionate another time) : )

We were in her house either sewing or cleaning- either could have been correct, because that’s what I did there most of the time; and I loved both.  The song Tanya Tucker used to sing came on the radio- Two Sparrows in a Hurricane. If you don’t listen to Country Music then you probably haven’t heard it, but I remember that she stopped what she was doing, and that was odd. She is like me, we don’t sit still. It just doesn’t happen, I would love to sit still, yet I can’t seem to get my body to listen. She closed her eyes and I asked her what was wrong, and she told me, “This was papa’s and my song”. She didn’t sing it, in fact, I don’t know that I have ever heard my Nan sing. I am sure she sings the hymns at her church, but I think it is more Millie Vanilli style. Lips are moving, but sound does not appear.

She sat still for almost the entire song, and I was moved. My grandfather, Papa, died when I was about 8/9 years old. He had a head injury and lived in a coma for 3 years after. When he began to get better, he fell out of his wheelchair at the nursing home. I remember sitting in his lap cuddling him and laying beside him in his bed at the nursing home. I remember when he passed and how sad everyone was. More pleasantly I remember him riding me on his tractor to the mailbox to get mail, and on a fun golf cartish contraption from back in the early 80’s. I remember being called “toot-toot”. A name I have ashamedly lived up too. 🙂 I remember joy when I was around him, and feeling like I mattered. I remember hat he had a scratchy gray, black beard and that my Uncle Steve looked just like him.

What I don’t remember are the years before I was born, the times when my Nan weaped at home, because she lived during a different time. A time where her wants, rights and wishes for her life, mattered very little. Where adultery was a norm, and women must turn a blind eye to it, or live miserable for presenting it as a problem. My Nan was different than most women. She is tough as nails, most of which I am learning is how she protects herself. She hides as I do, behind a very strong exterior. Inside though, there is brokenness and pain. She loved my papa. I mean really loved him. He was not a saint, nor was she. He was not her dream come true everyday, but neither was she. He was full of himself and stingy with his money. He was a good father, and a good friend. From all accounts I have heard as an adult, he was a good man. Who made mistakes, just like you and I. My Nan loved him, and he loved her and they fought the rest of the world to make it. Never believe that your marriage is not a place of attack. The enemy doesn’t care whether you are serving the Lord, or not, he hates marriage. He despises when we value and honor a covenant, because it is something HE does not have the ability to have.  Within every marriage there are hiccups, some are huge, and some are small. Some matter a lot, and others seems little by comparison, but never believe that the mini fights can’t be the last straw. The little fights, normally range around very important things that matter. For my Nan a little say in some things would have made a huge difference to her. Being asked what her opinion is and feeling that it mattered- could have changed everything.

As it is, Nan loved my papa and he loved her, and despite what pain they caused each other in their years together, they brought just as much joy and happiness. The lyrics below tell not just my Nan’s story, but mine as well. She taught me to persevere. To not back down, to value my marriage, to fight for it when everyone else thinks you are crazy. To value the risks with the reward.

 

She’s fifteen and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the keys to her heart
It’s just matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

There’s a baby crying and one more on the way
There’s a wolf at the door with a big stack of bills
They can’t pay
The clouds are dark and the wind is high
But they can see the other side

She’s eighty-three and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the key to her heart
It’s just a matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

Like two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

Love makes a way- where there was no way. On the days I want more than anything to throw in the towel, those tough days where you must dig deep within yourself to find a well of love for your spouse, I remind myself; I fight not for myself and Tim, but for my grandchildren and great grandchildren who will be able to say, the World says, we will never make it; but Love says we will. Love is God, and God is love. He says we will make it. I hold onto His word tight and I believe that He will be faithful to complete every good work He begins.

 

Blessings,

mel

Nothing Is More Free Than Your Will

I am consistently amazed by what my children say and do.

Sometimes I feel like the smile stuck to my face due to Cash’s crazy antics will never go away; my cheeks hurt and my tummy is normally tied up in laughing knots.

Loralei will say something so kind, beyond her years ,that will bring me such inner joy that her heart is so sweet that I am overwhelmed with emotion.

And then…

There are days…

some of you know what I am talking about… where…oh…

It takes a miracle from God, to renew my mind, body and spirit to view them out of Christ’s eyes instead of my human eyes.

My human eyes… whew-  they are like laser beams when I am upset- frustrated of angry.

That is when I transform negatively into the Hulk, and smash becomes my attitude.

I have given you access to my most inner failing. I am so far from perfect. I write this blog because when I write, I have to contemplate my life, my mistakes, my gifts and pray that the Lord renews my giftings, forgives my mistakes and corrects my hearts cry until it matches His again.

I often realize that I talk about Cash a lot. Enough that I have to be careful to make sure I tell of Loralei’s beautiful qualities as often as a rail against Cash’s negative or comical qualities. Qualities I myself have; qualities Tim has, and qualities we have displayed and Cash has received- the good- the bad-the ugly.

My sweet boy- because he is sweet- don’t get me wrong, he calls me sweet momma, and thinks of such cool things to say and do to make me feel special; he really struggles in some areas. We as his parents don’t spoil with gifts. We never have and we have done all we can to keep he and Loralei from having “more than enough”, and to teach giving. They receive commissions each week for work they do at the house. They know what is expected; just because you are in the family, and they know what is expected; if you want to get paid on Friday. They then separate their money, OfferingGiving, Saving and Spending. He is trying to save up to buy yet another Lego set.

Last week they both had their tonsils removed, and since, have stayed with various and wonderful family members who care for them while Tim and I work and they recover.

My grandmother kept them for the first time ever on Tuesday. First. Time. Ever.

I was thrilled, because they love her and they are old enough now to behave and be helpers instead of needers.  She wanted to take them to the store to buy them something. Which is awesome! A special gift for nothing! Too cool!

In the aisle they stand, and Cash is adamant, he needs 2 things. (he needs to thank God I was not there.) He doesn’t just need the NERF Crossbow, but the extra pack bullets too, for an additonal $10.

Thankfully she had the good sense to tell him NO! When he got back to her house and started playing with it, he started whining about not having anymore bullets, and he made no attempt to relocate the bullets that did come with his gun. Unfortunately, He had the misfortune of explaining to me that he had done nothing wrong, and didn’t believe he owed his Nannie an apology. It quickly spiraled into a temper tantrum of intense proportions. Although I had to deal with the reactive behavior, I was much more concerned with the initial behavior. Ungratefulness.

Due to those behaviors he lost the gun he so desired, television, and his tablet time at home. A truly devastating loss to a 6 year old.  Most importantly, he will be going to his Nannies to work off what she paid for the gun he no longer has; in yardwork. – that’s right- hard work is good for the soul! Those who do not work- do not eat. Those who gripe and complain about a free gift- lose the gift!

He will quickly learn that the thing we are given that is free- our free will- can cost us everything or give us everything. We must choose our attitude and attempt to line it up next to His heart, if not we are giving away something much more valuable- our intimacy with Him.

Isn’t that the way of the Lord, if we seek Him first, He will add everything to us. If we seek us first; we will most assuredly lose everything. It’s a hard lesson to learn, at 6 or 90, but learn it, we must!

 

Blessings,

mel

 

A Great Big Thank You!

Have you ever worked with people who made your life different?

You weren’t the same after being around them, day in and day out for a few years?

I was so privileged to work with such a group for 3 years. They changed my life. They taught me who I was, and walked with me in faith, through storms that alone, I could not have withstood. They were the kinds of bosses you dream of, people who encourage you to be more than you are. To push beyond the limits, to believe that you actually can do it. Who care as much about you as a person, as they do about you as an employee. There were many days of prayer, literal prayer in the middle of the day. Days that I was able to be real, about real life changing issues, and I was encouraged to keep going, and not even for their benefit… but for mine.

Ms. Sandi, Charles & Terry, you forever changed the course of my life, in the three incredible, fun, hard, and busy years I spent with you. Thank you for being people who care, and make a difference in the lives of those around you. You will never know what an impact you had on me, and by extension my family! I love you dearly and thank God that He sent you to me. You didn’t know He brought you all together for me, but that’s what He did. You built me into a strong, and capable woman, and it overflows into every area of my life.

I don’t know how to say it that will make you feel it, like I mean it, but, Thank You! My children will always be different because of what you helped transform in me.

I wanted to thank them today, and in tribute to them, encourage you to be such an employee, and friend wherever you are. If we can all be that for one person- we can, change the world.

Blessings,

mel

You Want… Me? Really?

Hi!!! I am coming off of an awesome weekend! Not at all Superbowl related! For those of you who are football fans, I hope you enjoyed the game!

We had a guest speaker at church this weekend, Pastor Bryn Waddell with Truth Temple in Kannapolis, NC. He came and gave 3 incredible messages, words from God for our region. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Nothing new under the sun?” This weekend there were a lot of “New things under the SON”. I was personally impacted by the messages shared. I have told you all before about the past, my past, not to glorify my sin, but to acknowledge the wrongs the Lord made right! He is incredible! He is able to do everything He promised to do.

I have been promised many things, over the years, I have been called out, more times than I can count. Each time I was unworthy of the call, but the calls still came. He sees in me what I can not see in myself. He sees in my what my family and friends can’t see in me. He takes an adulteress woman, a drunkard, a liar, a thief, and sees a leader, a faithful and on fire woman after His heart. He sees me. I wrote a few days ago about when Hagar, Sarah’s servant, who conceived Ishmael with Abraham before the promise was ready, had a moment with the Lord. She ran from who she was, she desired an escape from her situation, and she found Him. She called Him, “The One Who Sees Me”. She was saying, “He sees me, the real me, the one no one else views as important, or worthy, and He accepts me”.

This came back to me today, as I have been processing the onslaught of information, the complete and total download of His spirit. Sometimes when we say He’s overwhelming, we literally mean, He is overwhelming! I am so grateful for His love, and desire to see me changed, to take me out of the muck and into His incredible goodness. I won’t preach Pastor Bryn’s messages to you, but would tell you to visit any church near or far that he is speaking at, he is a man of God, and will be obedient to the Lord. If you are in the sound of his voice, you will be blessed.

I have battled with worth for quite some time now. I made decisions that I have felt negated promises the Lord made to me, I disqualified myself from the race before I ever ran. I saw more weakness than strength. I was not the kind of woman the Lord would use. I was the woman at the well in John 4. I was not only a used woman, but a willing one. I was broken and lying prostrate at the foot of the cross, and that is right where Jesus found me. I always knew of Him. All of my life, I followed Him to the letter of the law, save one thing… I had not love. I had rules, and laws, and regulations, and while those things are very important, He Himself told me, it’s worth nothing, if I don’t love. He allowed me to travel a road, a winding path, away from Him, to get to a place where I knew shame. I knew regret, and I knew soul wrenching despair, the kind that leaves you paralyzed. He came to me, right there in the dirt, sat down and laid my head in his lap. Wiped my mascara stained eyes, and whispered loving comfort to me, washed my soiled hands and then lifted me to my feet.

This is where I got lost- I erected a monument engraved: Lost Girl Found… and I stayed there.

He didn’t. See, He didn’t just find me. He claimed me. Completely restored who I was, down to my DNA. There are so many children lost in this world, actual children, needing homes and families. So many are chosen by their looks, by the outward appearance. This is done so unlike God. He doesn’t look at the outward, He warns us not to either. If we do, we see in the natural, He desires us to see in the supernatural. To see what is not as those it is.

His monument said: New Girl Claimed.

An adopted child, comes with very little to their new home, their new family. They bring different things depending on their age, time without a family and memories locked within. Some good and some bad, but when you take them home, claimed, as your child; everything is new. EVERYTHING. You have created a place for them, a safe place, where they can grow under your wisdom, learn from your knowledge, and receive a chance towards things they can only dream about. You in your love, will do all you can to make those dreams come true, you will prepare them for the dream. You will guide them, teach them and train them to be everything they can be. When they break their promises to you, it will hurt, but it will not deter the course of action you have set in place. When they hurt you, you will be wounded, but you will continue to create in them all the beauty you know exists. You will not leave them, you will love them and tell them, to get it together, and show them what you have for them when they do.

That is Our God. He is that kind of parent, He corrects, and disciplines when necessary, He holds you when you have fallen, and skinned your knee, or your pride, He loves when He should be angry, He runs towards when He should walk away, and this God, this incredible God, says, “If I made you the promise. Get it in order, so I can bring it to pass”. Whoa. It sounds simple doesn’t it? Who knew that the 10 year hiccup in my life, could so easily be corrected. Yes I am flawed, I made mistakes, but I was forgiven. Yes I got words from God, special things He wanted to do in my life, but I was unwilling to let go of the past, and where I am going, it can’t come with me.

Today, you too, can make a decision. You can choose to follow Him, and drop everything in the dust as you walk towards His plans, or you can do what I did, sit down, right where He found you, too afraid to move for fear of walking in the wrong direction. There is a neon sign on you today… He is ready for you, calling for you. Will you answer?

His promises, His words to you, are based on His goodness, not yours! Isn’t that refreshing! 🙂

Love Ya

mel

Garments from Rags-2.0

I am re-posting this today, because today is a day that our culture puts on a literal mask, and costume and parade don streets and avenues showing them off. I deeply desire for you to see your beauty without the costume, without the makeup, without… the mask.- mel

Let’s paint a picture…

cinderella rags1

So in Cinderella, do you remember when she was at home with her Step-Mother and Sisters, how she was seemingly poor, her clothes were torn and ripped, held together by seams that were loose?

In that story the way it is outlined, she was a good girl and seemed to be the one wronged.  We only got her side of the story. Her step-mother and step-sisters were told and shown to be evil through the creation of this fairy tale.

We will come back to this…Hold it tight in your mind.

Unveiled- The conference this weekend was an incredible time to learn about who you are underneath of everything that you use to cover your flaws. They gave the example of wearing a mask, at some point after wearing a mask for a long time, your face grows to the mask, and to remove the mask would be physically painful as well as psychologically and spiritually painful.

I will use my life as an example, I know God will continue to deal with me on this, but from this weekend I learned many things about myself. From childhood to 19, I was almost an angel. Truly. I was so firm in my standards to live by the word of God. I  made mistakes, some big ones, that have affected me everyday since. I have baggage that I have to carry because of those mistakes. I thought I was like the cream of the crop Christian. I had it together and everyone could see it. I knew how to pray; well. I could sing, I could dissect scripture and lead others, and through all of the beauty everyone saw on the outside I was full of sin. I was so self-righteous. I was one of those people you didn’t want to confess anything too, because you would be judged. My role quickly reversed. I was brought to a place of great trial, and intense pain and since that day 10 years ago, I have been on a constant journey to find me.

I re-met my husband in August of 2003. He was a dear friend to me from Middle School on and I thought so much of him. He had gone away to college out of state and I hadn’t seen him in 3 years. I couldn’t believe what a man he had become in those 3 years. He is a tall man who was always thin, but now here he was, tall, dark and handsome. He had filled out. Know what I mean? 🙂 I was hooked. We went with my brother and now sister in law, my best friend and his cousin to dinner, and dinner lead to drinks, drinks lead to a fuzzy head. My brother, my dear friend, my family suffered great loss that night; I was gone. I was so caught in Tim. I couldn’t see anything  but him. I was in LOOOOVVVE. I fell away from church gradually over the next 2 months.

My family disapproved, my friends disapproved, not of Tim, but of me changing me to be with him. I changed, whew I ran the complete opposite way of Self-Righteous, we began an immediate trip into sin, and I would go on to sacrifice relationships that it took decades to build.

I began wearing a mask that year. I hid myself behind layers of confidence and security, and I felt none of those things. From there, the hurt I felt created in me anger and cut off my family. My friends were history, they can tell you parts of this story that I wasn’t there to witness; time spent with my family in agony crying out to God on my behalf. I didn’t want anyone in my life who didn’t support me in my relationship. Oh, the things I have learned from this decade of pain, of inner torment, the masks that I put on one at a time, and called them reality. Mistakes, seems too small a word for the life I lived out of God’s will.

If we could sit down, the story I would tell you. Some parts I have such shame about, and I pray that God will do what He did for Adam and Eve for me.

Would you take just a few minutes to read this part of scripture? Read it slowly and as you read it picture it, hear it with music playing softly behind it that would amplify the words spoken. Read the Bible verses first. They are the important part and after that you can read my words in navy blue.

Genesis 3:

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (There is always something set on our course to detour us)

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (She didn’t actually hear God say this, Adam was told, before God fashioned Eve from His rib, it doesn’t excuse her disobedience, or her desire to step outside the bounds set for her and her husband)

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (The enemy speaks to us with our own voice, to convince us that we aren’t actually going too far, he makes it seem so harmless, although it brings death. Did anyone ever wonder if the animals in the Garden of Eden spoke? I mean it doesn’t say in any translation that she was startled to have a snake/serpent speaking to her.)

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (I have to wonder if the serpent took a bite himself, and showed her the inside of the fruit dripping with juice, and seeming more appetizing than being disobedient, more like when we are physically craving something that leads to sin?)

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Isn’t this what we do? We try to make something that covers our mistakes, our sins.)

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (How this must have hurt the Lord, His friends, His creation hid from him.. but that’s what we do right? We hid from God during moments of weakness and shame)

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (This was probably the first time since Adam’s creation that He had to look for him.)

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Oh the sorrow God felt to know it was intentional.)

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (He must have thought, your protection is gone, Your life has been shortened, you will know pain, you will know sorrow, How I wanted to protect you from those things)

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Eve probably elbowed him right in his gut. You traitor she probably said, you ate it too. We love to have someone else fall with us, then it’s not just a focus on us in our sin)

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (My favorite part… they made fig leaves to clothe themselves, but our God says, “my love, that is something you made, your mask is something you made, let me clothe you in righteousness, in a new skin, in my grace, in my mercy, in my love.”)

Isn’t that beautiful. They had one law, one command, one rule to obey. Although there were consequences, consequences we all still pay for, he made a way to restore them even from their sin, to make them new. He is a good God. A gracious God, a King worthy of worship. 

When Cinderella met her Prince, she was clothed in a different version of herself than she had previously known, created by one who loved her, who clothed her in beauty, in a fashionable garment when she was used to filthy rags. She was presented to him without blemish, spot or wrinkle.

Cinderella-Blue-Dress

Our God is looking for us, He is searching for the bride who is wearing only one glass slipper, He is looking for us in our beautiful garments, the ones He created us in, that He designed specifically for us. But we are hiding, behind a mask, behind a tree in the garden, behind our past; and He is calling, “Come out! Come out! My bride, I am searching for You, Why do you hide from me? I love you, I long to be your beloved and for you to be mine.”

He can’t find us if we aren’t willing to come to him, even naked and ashamed. He has a new gown for you. It’s beautiful, and He is so anxious for you to put it on. Let’s do that this week, slip off one mask. One area of your life that you hide from Him and allow Him to take your filthy rags and turn them into silk.

Blessings,

Mel

Let the Children say, “Lord, Lord!”

I really enjoy BibleGateway.com They are an instant inspiration to me, because it is the word of God speaking to me.

I don’t know about you, but I can spend time reading Proverbs and read the same verses over and over, but on specific days when I read them I am entranced by their message. Today, this is Biblegateways Verse of the Day.

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NIV

I have a travelling mind, so it goes everywhere when I am reading and pulls things to memory that maybe have been gone for a while. A long while. I remember in my “lost” phase- it really was like I was stranded on an island when I walked away from my life, my family and friends couldn’t get to me, and I had grown toward the natives in my new land. I can remember when I was finally getting ready to swallow my pride- a whole watermelon sized knot in my throat, that all I wanted was to get my baby girl into church. That was about 8 years ago. She was between 8-9 months, and I was pregnant with our little guy. I knew I was responsible for them. It was up to me.

“If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9

I am certain that this verse has nothing to do with what I am using it for. Truly. I read it though and I am reminded when I was lost that I wanted so desperately for someone to tell me, that the Lord still loved me, that His hand was still upon me, that my purpose was alive, that Hid heart still beat for me, and that nothing- no thing- could separate me from His love. My mistakes were many. More than I can count, Mostly things that make me shudder even now when I remember.

Then the Lord allowed me to marry Tim. I loved him much, he was a precious friend to me, and I realized that sometimes the Lord allows us to make decisions simply so we become usable. I needed the flaws, a marriage that wouldn’t be cookie cutter, so I could reach other people who aren’t living the fairy tail they believed they were promised.

I thought marriage was going to be this grand thing that ended with me being happy. Happily ever after and all that jazz. Then I quickly learned that marriage is what I make it. I can spend every day berating my husband for not being that dream I had as a child, or I can make a choice to love him every day and every moment as my creator loves me. I can point out all of his faults for the world to see and still I will be left with my own flaws and imperfections pointing right at me. I must be the one who brings change, and I can do it with a heart of love or disappointment. I certainly can not still be the image he had when he chose me. I have changed so much throughout our time together and yet he makes a choice to love me, and love on me everyday, in little ways that I can easily overlook or cherish.

Our children brought out incredible differences within us. Our parenting styles. Our values, our commitment to activities, or sporting events. Our two worlds merging into something quite twisted, and leaving a minefield for our children to walk through. W e have a choice to make. Will we give an apt reply to one another in these times or a timely word. I want to give an apt reply… “appropriate or suitable in the circumstances” or I can give a timely word- “done or occurring at a favorable or useful time; opportune”.

They seem like they are the same- both good. But really, is it best to give a word that is suitable for the circumstance or one that is opportune, at a favorable time? I can say the same thing to Tim, but my timing is everything.

“Tim, It would be great if you could call the bank and ask them to close our account before Friday”.

Scenario one, We are eating dinner and I glance at a bill laying on the counter and remember that we need to close our additional bank account to avoid any yearly fees. I bring it up in the middle of the conversation he is having with the children. He is annoyed, and responds negatively.

Scenario two, We are alone, I ask when it’s a good time to talk with him about our week and some things that need to be done by the weekend. He responds with a time, we are able to have a productive chat about our home, family and schedule.

The Lord advised us to be wise with what we say and the timing with which we say it. He placed us over our children and advised us to grow them up in Him. To teach them His ways, His plans and His commandments. When I do that I lead them to a life of fullness, joy and eternity. That is my responsibility. They are my responsibility.

When I chose to come back to myself- to come back to the Lord, my creator and Savior; I felt the burden of their responsibility. The world is the captor of my children, if I show them the ways of the Lord, and I turn back to Him, then my children are able to turn to Him, and He will look upon my children.

We are now working with out children on solid decisions for Christ. I have gone back and forth, I think my children knew and loved the Lord at the capacity that they could until recently. I am getting questions know that are provoking thought and even concern in me as a mother. I am so desperate for them to know the Lord, that I will never be separated from them, but more that they would never be separated from the love of the Lord that drew me back to where He was.

I know they will go through life circumstances and they will have to make decisions that impact eternity. I want them to know the Lord, to know Jesus as their Savior as their father and not just their creator. The captor of their hearts right now tends to be a television show, a book, a lego, a barbie. I so strongly desire that they would be drawn at a young age to the arms of the Lord.

Will you pray with me over our children today- yours and mine, young or old.

ladies prayer

“Lord, we thank you for every good and perfect thing that comes from you. Your mercy, your love, your grace and truth in our lives. Your forgiveness and the washing of our sins until we from blood appear as snow. Would you join with us in intercession for the hearts of our children. We give them back to you, as you gave them to us to nurture, love and care for. We desire that they know and love you, follow you and obey your commands all of the days of your life. You look not at age, but at the hearts before you. I pray that they will be found free of blemish or stain. Teach us to pray for them and encourage them as they walk toward you. Let your hand not depart from them. Let your mighty strong arm hold them tightly within the shadow of your wings. Let the anointing you have for them fall now, that they would harness your power and use it for your glory. Deny others the ability to speak down or against their age as they demonstrate your works. Let them lay hands on the sick and see them healed. Let them dream dreams, and see visions of your works, and your hand in the earth. Let them bring the Kingdom of Heaven here, but more than any of those things, let them call you, “Lord, Lord. My Savior, my redeemer.” Let them look to you and their names be recorded in the book of life. We give you all the praise and all the glory, forever. Amen!!!!!!”

 

Blessings,

mel