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

 

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A Smile is your best defense!

I wish I was as good at actually doing the things that I tell my children to do.

Example: Cash is being made fun of for his super awesome, incredibly sweet new glasses.

I say, “Cash, when they start to tease you, tell them to have a nice day and walk away.”

I feel like I don’t have to tell you that my gut reaction as his mom is to go to the school find the kid and “deal with it”.

He of course is worried about it, and it was breaking my heart to hear him worry about it, so i said, smile at them when they tease you; they will stop. He says, “yes ma’am”.

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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

Birthday Wishes

It’s my birthday— and the crowd goes wild! Just kidding! I would post a selfie, or something that our generation used to call a photo of ourselves- but It’s my birthday present to you to withhold it! : )

I remember how much I looovvveeed my birthday growing up. Around 17, it was the most exciting day of the year for me. I had incredible friends in High School, and though we have gone our separate ways, I will always remember that birthday in particular. It was an intentional thing, and intentional things mean so much to me.

I woke up and my mom had made a big birthday banner for me that was hanging on the wall downstairs.I got dressed and ready for my day, and walked outside and I had a card and a rose on the hood of my car.

I got to school and had my locker covered in birthday notions…My friends about 10 of them started coming in and everyone of them had a white t-shirt decorated the same way, “Happy 17th Birthday Melissa!” The front and backs were done in green sparkle glitter glue! It was wonderful, someone handed me a rose then, and in each class I got a new set of balloons. I felt like a princess, and yes they even had a Burger King Crown decked out, that I was mandated to wear with a sash that said, it’s my birthday.

I walked out of school to a car creamed- literally. It was covered in streamers, balloons and a dozen roses. I cried, I was so moved.

I went home and my family and friends had worked together to plan a surprise party after school. I had a ScoobyDoo cake, which means my mom really does love me like she says! 🙂 I had a date planned with my boyfriend and when he brought me back home it was about 10 at night…

I was in my bathroom upstairs when people in black masks, not speaking attacked me. Yep. I was terrified, screaming and acting a fool, and then I heard my cousin Robert downstairs laughing… I finally relaxed because I knew he would NEVER let someone hurt me. Those wonderful idiots drove me around in the back of a van tied up while they played Phantom of the Opera at the loudest possible decibel. Finally they drove me home, rolled me out of the van and left me- in the middle of the field in the front yard. Apparently they had arranged a sleepover. It was wonderful. I will not forget it for the rest of my life, and if I do. I pray I have friends who come back to remind me of that special time, knowing I was on the mind and heart of so many people.

I looked up Birthday on BibleGateway and saw something that pricked my conscious.

Matthew 14

3-5 Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.

6-12 But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias’s daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.” That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.

I read this and was 1) excited to see the word Birthday in the Bible- I would have expected -day of birth… and 2) amazed at how easily we are convinced to do sinful things simply because we are unwilling to lose face.

It shames me because I have done those things. Haven’t you? You were in front of someone and you reverted in your character because of who you were around, instead of reverting to your true character because of Who you were around- the One who is in the midst of all you say and do. Why does it not affect us to know that we are in the presence of the Most High God? Why do we allow ourselves to not only see the temptation to be angry, or speak unkind things, but to rampantly go after it! To become engulfed with rage, or gossip for an hour with someone only to  find later that the information you shared or heard was completely incorrect?

This birthday I look into me, and determine who will I be? What do I want my legacy to be? Will I be a woman that changes the situation? Or a woman, changed by the situation? Will I use my pull, or position with people for good or will I unloose compassion beyond someones expectations to rock their world with the Love of Jesus?

Blessings on this ordinary day… and Thank You Mom for giving me life. May I be a blessing unto you and your home!

mel

Love & Respect- In the Beginning

I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s Live  and Archived shows lately, because I know what goes into me, comes out of me, and I want to leave a legacy. A strong legacy. A family others want to model their family after, one that honors the Lord, and makes the tough decisions for the short term to pay off big time in the long run.

His show has a commercial for “Love & Respect” written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, and it really caught my attention. Within the commercial Dr. Eggerichs made a comment that just captured me, and since I will mess it up, I am going to paraphrase it, “Unconditional Respect is respecting my husband, because it’s what God asks of me, not what my husband fails to do to “earn” my respect.” I definitely butchered that, but that is the basic concept.

Little preview into my life. I don’t tend to see myself as disrespectful; I am typically kind, until my tongue gets out of control- which happens. I am gentle unless I must be bold. I love my husband, more than most anything, even on days I can’t stand him and wish I didn’t have to see him. Is that honest enough? Even on those days there is something on the inside of me that REFUSES to quit. I Refuse… Kentucky had a slogan last year for their Boys Basketball Team- Refuse to Lose… That’s me, everyday. On days he and I want to give up, we dig in our heels. If we didn’t, if we weren’t so very stubborn, we would not have made it past a month of marriage. He and I have both voiced that we just have to stick it out whether we want to or not. That’s not how we WANT to live, but it is how we have lived.

Until now. I found something in this book, that made me feel like I saw Tim for the first time. Really saw him. Understood why he says I don’t listen to him, and looks at me with such frustration, hurt and anger. I got it! Here’s the scoop- not the whole carton, for that you will need to invest in your marriage, and get a copy of this book. Seriously. I disrespect him. A lot. Way more than I would have said before I read this book. In a counseling session last summer, I remember looking directly into his eyes and saying, “You want me to respect you? Are you KIDDING? Do you not know respect has to be EARNED? I love you, but I do not respect you.” I saw the light leave his eyes and I was disappointed in myself for hurting him, but justified myself, “Doesn’t he know what he has put me through? This is hell on earth, how dare he expect respect from me?”

As Dr. Eggerichs teaches, If He told me He didn’t love me, or that love must be earned, or that he respected me but didn’t love me- I would be crushed. It is the same emotion Tim experiences when I boldy tell and show him that I do not respect him.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

It doesn’t say, “He must be worthy of your respect.” “He must never hurt you, and then you shall give him your respect.” or “If you feel love for one another, you must give him your respect.” OOOUUCH.

This hurt me so much, because I felt a blow to my gut. I don’t treat him with respect, and in front of people, I tend to be even worse, even if I am being honest, I should know it’s better to keep my mouth closed that hurt my husband through disrespectful words or actions. I have mastered the rolling eyes, half cocked head, and sigh of disappointment. I have cut him with words in front of others and forgotten that until he came to me, he was an athlete; a good athlete, one highly valued and respected by those around him. When I came along I not only showed him disrespect but  I injured his pride and taught him that while he was accustomed to woman falling all over him for his athletic prowess, that I saw nothing in him to fawn over, at all.

I am so grateful for this book, this is the third day of having it in my possession and I am certain to be finished today, and practicing these easily applied principles to turn my marriage around.

For the 1st time in almost 9 years of marriage, I see that I have to own the fault, not of everything, but at the core of this marriage there is a dysfunction that I alone caused.

Check this book out! If for no other reason than verifying that you “DO” respect your husband. I wonder how many wonderful occasions in our relationship I missed due to my lack of giving him something that God called me to give him. Tim doesn’t ask for my respect but the Lord determined for him, that I was to be respectful period, regardless of his level of “worthiness”.

Blessings, 

mel

Love Suffers Long, but It’s Rewards Are Beautiful

Isn’t this beautiful… and true?

Love suffereth long: it is bountiful: love envieth not: love doth not boast itself: it is not puffed up: It doth no uncomely thing: it seeketh not her own thing: it is not provoked to anger: it thinketh no evil: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 GNV

When I thought of love as a child, it was my mom and dad; when I thought of love as a teen, it was holding hands, starry eyes, and sweet whispers of affection; when I think of love as a married woman in covenant with a man, I know it is so much more than looks, words, or emotions;

it is binding yourself to one person knowing;

if they sink; you float,

if they hurt; you comfort,

if they struggle: you pray;

if they leave; you stay;

if they fall; you stand.

There is no battle my husband should fight alone. He is mine and I am his and we are both God’s, created in the image of God to do good works, such as- love your spouse. With action. I love the translation above.

Love suffereth long:—Yes it does. It is hard work.

it is bountiful:— Praise God- it is full of joy and hope

love envieth not:— You Picked them- you have them- end of the story!

love doth not boast itself:— I do not always get to win, and I shouldn’t say I am right

it is not puffed up:— On my best day, I am still not without sin, for my God or husband

It doth no uncomely thing:— It shouldn’t want to hurt- words… so sharp and painful

it seeketh not her own thing:— We are in this together. period. for all of our lives.

it is not provoked to anger:—Is there anything that a calm conversation can not correct?

it thinketh no evil: — it wants only good for the other.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 GNV

As we near this greedy holiday, I exhort you to be LOVE. You can BE LOVE. You can show love beyond your loved ones expectations. You can make a treat, be the treat-wink wink- or you can find something that makes all the difference for them from a yucky day to a blessed and beautiful time with you.

Tim and I don’t exchange gifts. Throughout the year we buy small tokens of love, Pepsi for him, Dr.Pepper for me, and when I feel tempted to be overwhelmed by the 3rd round of Delivered Red Roses, I can find more than contentment that he thinks of me daily. It’s rare to not get something at least 4 times a week. Do I need $70.00 flowers- or to be a contended and joyful wife? I bet he would pick me 10 dozen roses himself if I could become content with who I am, and more importantly who I am to him. That’s where true value lies.

Blessings and Love,

mel

His Grace is New… Every Morning

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12 NIV

Thank You Bible Gateway for once again giving me a word in season. I think the above verse is so fitting for the beginning of a new year. A time when most everyone embraces who they are and determines what they want to be. They make plans, goals and resolutions to change, but they often attempt this on their own.

Disclosure: On your own, you can achieve nothing more than what you already have.

For example, my son is a Lego builder, he got so many sets for Christmas and we have had a wonderful time creating masterpieces. Most sets can be reworked into different designs using the same pieces. The same is true for us. We are each created with 1 design. If we try to modify it alone, we end up using our old nature/ choices, to re-write something previously written. When we invite the Lord in to work within us, He adds to us. He creates something new, with new pieces, such as, self control, peace, contentment, joy, love, etc. Alone, I can not create these things, but with Him, I have a new day, full of new mercies, grace, and joy.

He gives us the ability to say no, to what is good, but not best. He gives us grace to love our enemies, and bless them instead of curse them. He gives us every good and perfect thing. He is, every good and perfect thing.

Blessings Today!

mel

Good Character-

I feel like a secret agent sometimes…. take a moment- process this.

Lil’ ‘ole me, an undercover secret agent… I so wish I had a picture of me dressed in “spy gear”, I would have relished putting that on here. The holidays bring such joy and such stress. I am quite amazed at the end of the season how many people have been offended by the words, Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greeting. Let me rephrase that, I am amazed by how many Christians find offense at words that are actually a spoken or written blessing.

Season’s Greetings-

  • used as an expression of goodwill at Christmas or the New Year.

Happy Holidays-

  • (Happy) Characterized by good luck; fortunate. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase. Cheerful; willing:
  • (Holiday) A day free from work that one may spend at leisure, especially a day on which custom or the law dictates a halting of general business activity to commemorate or celebrate a particular event.

We know the truth of Christmas, why we celebrate it, what it really means, the symbolism, the beauty of the gift given to us that makes us cherish the 25th of December every year. We know that the calendar our Country uses, marks Christmas as a national holiday, not season’s greetings day or Winter Holiday. We should rejoice in that. How few of our fellow Christians abroad can share that same knowledge. We can celebrate it without hiding in a closet, reading contraband scripture. We have an incredible gift already, can we not in turn go on our secret mission to offer a smile in return to a well wished Season’s Greetings, or a Happy Holiday. Can we not use that moment to build relationship, instead of destroying that relationship, with a quip or ill mannered retort?

Can we still know what we believe to be true, without flashing a neon sign of disrespect above our head? Can we do what Jesus did, and love unconditionally, with deep affection even those that we do not agree with? Can you smile a heartfelt smile that shows the love of your savior, and share a Happy Holidays blessing back to someone? It isn’t a Biblical request given by God that we use the term Merry Christmas. If it were, a direct from the Lord, this article would be vastly different, we are not showing our Lord disrespect, we are showing our brothers and sister on this earth Godly Character, a smile instead of a frown, joy instead of anger, a merry response instead of a rebuttal.

The Lord who sees, will bless in abundance and could use your kind returned greeting to prompt a relationship that could be life changing and life giving in someone else!

Much Love and Many Blessings, this Holiday Season, this Christmas Season, and may joy overwhelm you in the new year!

mel

Joy… From Deep Down

What would it be like to have the kind of joy that has you brimming over during the most stressful day of your life?

JOY.jpg

I contemplate that sometimes, because while I have Joy, I don’t seem to have overflowing, bountiful joy. I really want it. I have met some people, who never seem to have a bad day, but I know they do. I know they deal with the same things I do, so what makes them different.

We both have the love of the Lord flowing within us, we both have faith that He can move mountains, that He has already and that He will continue too. So what is it? I have walked through hellish days, I have seen Him heal beyond what I could have imagined. I have been a part of His incredible ministry and seen the light bulb go on for children as they learn about Him. What am I missing?

I am finding that every day I am lacking the moments with Him that He so desires. Throughout the day, I am able to have little moments with Him. To just say Hi, and I love you, and hey, yeah, thanks for sending your son to die for me… but am I doing that? Is that the difference. Is the time I spend with Him just not enough to fulfill my inner being? Is it only enough to get by? Could He withhold that extra portion of Joy just because I didn’t pursue Him as He pursues me?

I pray that we experience the true joy of the Lord. I can see the world; changed. Because we feel joy unspeakable, because we look happy, because we as Christians are meeting the need and smiling while we do it.

Join me in seeking His face, for just a moment more each day. He is worth it, isn’t he?

Blessings,

mel

My Son is Now My Brother!!!-

Get your minds out of the gutter people!

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(If they were. I am gonna be honest- mine would have been with an opener like that!)

Cash accepted the Lord yesterday as His personal savior! He understood. He got it! I have been praying for his heart to be tender to the leading of the Lord, and yesterday, was the day. He asked a few more questions. I asked for a lot of explanations, about what he was doing, what it meant, what happens next. Who died, why? Who is that? What does that mean for you? etc.

I probably asked too many questions, but he understood the gravity of the situation. His sister, bless her soul, wanted to pray it too, but she was very giggly and Cash quickly explained that this was “serious business”. ” This isn’t something you laugh at”.  We were in our truck driving down the road as this was taking place. I grabbed my cell phone and hit record, just in time. My wonderful brother is trying to edit the sound to make it more clear. It’s a bit garbled right now, but I wanted him to have it. Him speaking to God so that when he is older, and the path becomes less clear, and far more treacherous he will be reminding himself, that the Lord his God, is with him. Forever.

He prayed the first prayer and felt a need to go back and say some more things to the Lord. It was AWESOME. My Mom heart was overflowing with joy, that I will never be separated from him. He is now my brother and I anxiously await the incredible adventure the Lord has for him in this life. Your children are never too young, they are just the right age to come to the Lord with the one quality they have that we can’t re-create: child-like faith. They believe He is who He says He is, and He says, “Call me, I AM”.

uggghhh… gulp- “Yes Sir!”