Start a Fire in my Soul!

It is January 7th and I am fired up for today and for this year! Heard this song on my drive to work this morning and it really got me going!

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

I am so glad I kept my blog. I really considered just deleting it. The writing just didn’t come last year. I felt like a failure and figured no one read my posts anyway.

I now know that this blog isn’t for anyone else but me. It is a place for me to put down my thoughts and praise my Lord. I was actually shocked when I got a comment from my friend, Jennifer, last night after I posted my one word for the year. It was such a sweet comment and has encouraged me today.

This is the year where I am just me – the me God created me to be!

original-839395-1This has always been one of my favorite verses, but finally it means so much more to me – I actually BELIEVE it!! And what a difference that makes!

I also realized this morning that I want to go to Uganda – I need to go to Uganda! After becoming an advocate for Sole Hope last year, I thought about how amazing it would be to visit. Now I know that this is one of my God-sized dreams. I will leave the timing and details up to Him, but I know in my heart that I will get there.

Until then, I will continue to share about Sole Hope and encourage others to have shoe cutting parties or donate to the organization. Dru and Asher are doing amazing things in Uganda and it is such a blessing to have a small part in helping.

So today, I will hold on tight to my Hope and pray that God will use me in some way each and every day. My fire has been lit!

My One Word for 2015 ~ HOPE

Hope

HOPE ~ this is a word we hear all the time. We hope for lots of things to happen, but do we HAVE hope?

For the past few years, I have chosen one word to focus on for the year. I would take my time, read scripture, and pray for the right word. This year was very different ~ my word was all in my face!

It started at our Christmas Eve service. Our pastor talked about hope.

Hope is a strong and confident expectation.

Not quite the definition I have used in the past. How about you?

Our pastor reminded us that our hope came down to earth as a baby and then gave his life for us. He gave his life for ME! Jesus gave his life so that I could have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I have an eternity in Heaven waiting for me.

After that service, I could not get the word Hope out of my head and then it was everywhere – on blogs posts I read, in pictures, in passages I read in my Bible.

The verse at the top of my blog is my verse for 2015.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19

One post I read gave me a better picture of this verse. The author talked about how we are solidly connected to God in Heaven. Jesus carried our anchor to the throne room. So no matter what storms come our way, we are anchored and cannot be moved.

How do I stay hopeful? By reading God’s Word each day and talking to my Father. He made us to have a relationship with Him. It can be so easy to let the distractions of the day keep me from building my relationship with Him, but my day always goes better when I put Him first.

After a very rough year last year, I am excited about 2015! I am stronger in my faith and I have a strong and confident expectation that God will do great things this year. I am sure we will still have hard times, but I cannot be moved because I have an anchor for my soul.

I am pushing back the fear that keeps me from being completely obedient and I am ready for Him to use me for His glory.

This Hope will keep me going through the hard times, it will give me courage to dream, and it will make me strong and courageous!

How about you? Do you have Hope? Do you have a word for 2015?

Blessing to You!
Melissa

Good-bye 2014 ~ Happy To See You Go

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Good-bye 2014! You were a hard year to get through, but you leave me with some wonderful memories and a stronger relationship with my Father.

This year I realized just how fast life goes with children. We had one start high school, one start middle school, and one start 2nd grade. In just four short years, our oldest will be heading off to college. He keeps us busy with three sports, but I will cherish all of the moments with him. I enjoy all of the time I get to spend with our children (well not ALL of the time – there are those rough moments). They do make me feel loved. I never get tired of hearing that I’m the best Mom in the world. :)

Our finances were the hardest part of this year. Paycheck to paycheck and still never enough. Money needed to go in every direction. The company my husband worked for wasn’t doing well in this area, so his commission check dwindled. He had already started looking for another job when his boss told him they were leaving this area. Already struggling and now he was without a job.

A few years ago this situation would have sent me into a panic and depression. Christmas was coming, bills needed to be paid, what were we going to do?

I prayed.

I prayed for a good job for my husband and I prayed for peace and direction. My Father provided what I asked for. It did not happen as fast as I would have liked it to, but I could feel Him working. Not just working on our situation, but working on me. Me learning to lean on Him and trusting that He would provide.

I can now see God’s hand all over the situation. A friend talking to her husband about his company – him talking to his boss – his boss talking to my husband and then pushing for him to be hired. We are so thankful for Angie, Mike, and Keith and their willingness to help us.

The beginning of 2015 will be a challenge – time to get caught up and pay off some bills. I am excited though! I know that 2015 will be a much better year for us.

I plan on attacking the year with well thought out goals, not just wishes. Goals for our finances, our health, and our family.

Most importantly, I will continue learning and growing. I will continue to spend time with my Father so that our bond will keep getting stronger. I will work on letting go of my fears and following His plan for my life.

Good-bye 2014 ~ I am not sorry to see you go. Hello 2015 ~ Let’s get started!

October 4 – X-rays, Cuban Food & Football

Those three words pretty much sum up our Saturday…

We started the day off by going to the orthopedic doctor to have Patrick’s hand checked. We were thankful the ligament was okay, but we found out he had a fracture at the base of this thumb.

They put a splint on and will put a cast on later this week. He is hoping Coach will still let him play defense. This mom is not too sure about that! He even said he hoped they could mold the cast so he can still snap the ball. That’s my boy – doesn’t want to miss anything.

While we were in the beautiful city of Athens, we went to one of our favorite places to eat – Cali n Titos. It feels like you are miles away from the city even though you are right next to campus. The food was great and it was a beautiful day to sit outside!

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Not happy about his hand, but happy about yummy food!

I wish we could have stayed and gone to the game later that day, but we headed on home and spent the rest of the day watching football on TV. It was one of those crazy Saturdays ~ lots of top teams lost! We were just happy that our beloved Bulldogs won and TCU upset Oklahoma.

It was a fun Saturday ~ minus the broken thumb. I always enjoy days when we can relax and spend time together. I am a blessed woman!

October 7 – You Are Not Alone

God can say a lot if you just listen!

I have been stressed. I have tried not to be, but it just creeps in and grabs hold of me. The company my husband works for has informed him that they will be pulling out of the Southeast ~ which means he will lose his job. I get stressed because we are struggling to make it by right now. I keep reminding myself that God has taken care of us before and He will take care of us again. The hard part for me is waiting to see what He has planned.

A positive thing is that my husband has gone on three interviews at a local company over the past few months. He had hoped to start working there anyway, but now he wants to start and start soon. I tell myself that God knew what was going to happen and He started moving on our behalf before we ever knew we needed Him to. The hard part is just the waiting.

Each day I keep expecting my husband to call and say, “I got the job!” And each day I am disappointed when it doesn’t happen. This morning I couldn’t even expect it. The stress had just weighed me down. He knew I needed Him. He knew I needed to know He was there and would take care of us.

First, there was a beautiful sunrise. The sun was warm and bright and I felt like my Father was covering me with His love. It wasn’t long before the clouds moved in and the beautiful sunrise was gone, but He reminded me that even though I can’t always see or feel Him, He is ALWAYS there.

I also heard the perfect song on my way in to work ~ He is With Us! My sweet Father really spoke to me this morning through those words. Have you really listened to the words before?

So don’t fret, my friend. Even when you are down and feel all alone – He is with YOU! I will be singing this song to myself each day as we go through this rough time. I will trust Him and trust in His timing.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

October 3 – Friday Knight Lights!

I Love Football! I actually love everything about Fall ~ cooler weather, pumpkins, picking apples, going to the mountains to see the changing leaves, and Football!

I have to tell you that I wasn’t thrilled when my firstborn told me last Spring that he was going to play football and Varsity football at that. It really changes things when it is your baby out there.

Now I could not be more proud of Patrick and his team this year. They have worked so hard and it was fantastic to see them get their first win at their homecoming tonight! They went into this game 0-6, but you would never know it by their attitudes. They played hard each and every game and left it all on the field.

The BCA Knights are a great group of boys and they have coaches that push them, encourage them, and believe in them. I have watched my son grow up ~ literally and figuratively. He is more responsible and a fun teenager to be around. He told me it has a lot to do with being on his football team. I am very thankful for that!

The scary part of the night was watching my son come off the field and talk to the trainer and then see him holding ice on his hand. It felt like forever until I could talk to him after the game. Looks like a trip to the orthopedic in the morning. We pray that it is not too bad.

Win or lose I am proud of our BCA Knights ~ but it sure is fun to get a win!

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October 2 – So Much To Do ~ So Little Time

Do you have that problem too? Way too much to do, but not enough time to do it?

so many things

I took the day off from work today so that I could try to catch up on some orders and work on the house. Well I got some orders done and a new shirt for my girl, but not a lot got done around the house.

Do you struggle to keep the house clean and neat? That is one thing that I struggle with each day. One of my children told me that the house will never be clean by my standards. You know what – He is right! It certainly doesn’t help when I get frustrated and start barking out orders to everyone.

We have started something new. I took popsicle sticks and wrote chores on each of them and even put a color on each one – one for each child. Instead of me telling them what they need to do, I just tell them to go check their popsicle sticks. It still needs some tweaking, but it has started to help.

I need to let go of the “perfect” house. Yes, there are some things that need to be done this weekend – like cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms and maybe finding homes for all the clothes in the basket in my room. Are my kids’ rooms ever going to look the way I would like them to – probably not.

I am working on relaxing more at home and just spending time with my family. My husband reminds me that once the kids are grown, then I can have my perfectly clean house. He is right!

I need to figure out the level of clean that I can live with and not stress over so that I can concentrate on the wonderful people I get to live with.

I hate to admit it, but I considered skipping Science Night at my son’s school tonight just so I could get some things done around the house. I am so glad I went with him instead. I got to hang out with my hubby, son, and daughter and do science experiments. Making Memories ~ That’s what life is about!

Do you struggle with the same thing? Do you have any tips for me?

(You can see that this post did not get posted on the 2nd. I told you – just not enough hours in the day!)

Blessings to You!
Melissa

October 1 – Am I Really Doing This?

Hello-October

Hello October and Hello Friends! I have to be honest with you ~ I had absolutely no plans to participate in this challenge. I have way too much going on to blog each day this month, but God has other plans for me.

When I talked to my Father this morning, I told him that I am already leading a Praying for our Boys challenge, I have signed up for Teri Lynne Underwood’s 31 Verses to Pray for your Girl, and I am doing the 31 Days of Prayer Marriage Challenge over at The Time-Warp Wife (I am not reading the book yet – just can’t do that right now). I have dedicated this month to boldly praying for my family!

Still ~ I felt him nudging me to do this. To come back to my blog and write. He must be planning to work on me through my writing this month. I will be praying and writing a lot this October!

I also felt His hand in this when He gave me the title for the month – 31 Days of Faith, Family & Fun. I feel that it gives me a hint for what is in store for us.

So here we go ~ I hope you will join me on this journey and I pray He will bless you this month!

Blessings to You!
Melissa

The Gift of Unconditional Love

As I sit here in front of the computer, I am trying to get hold of my thoughts and my heart. I am just blown away at the messages that I have gotten the past few days.

I just read Ann Voskamp’s post ~ How to Get Really Living Instead of Merely Existing. I feel the tears coming as I read the story about Maximilian Kolbe. And then I read this statement…

Because One died for me that I might breathe this breath…  It’s all a gift. 

And she asks these questions…

If we believe  we’re the lost who are saved — how can we lose our First Love? How can our bones not burn with thanks, with love, with the message of Who saved us? How can anything after His rescuing — be anything but appalling gift?

I am not here merely to survive each day – I am here to share God’s love, to make the most of each day!

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All of this after an emotional day yesterday.

I almost didn’t go to church yesterday. My husband didn’t feel well and my middle child just did not want to go. I felt that I HAD to go and I knew why once I got there.

I have read the passage of the woman that was caught in adultery before (John 8:1-11), but I have never heard a message like this one. It was about Unconditional Love – definitely something I need to work on. Here are some of the notes I wrote…

  • As a church (or as a Christian), we are more known for what we are against than what we are for. (Amen?)
  • What she did was wrong, but Jesus knew the motives of the Pharisees.
  • Other people’s wrongs remind us we are right.
  • It’s easy to spot sin (takes nothing to pick up a stone), but it’s just as easy to miss sin in our own lives.
  • Jesus dropped the rock and took the beating for her!
  • God’s law levels us all. We are all unworthy of His unconditional love, but He loves us no matter what. We are saved by grace.
  • Others should be able to recognize we belong to Him by our love for others.
  • It is the revelation of the love of God for us that produces love for God in us.

(Recording of the sermon)

What are our motives? How do we treat others? Can others see Christ in us?

Let me tell you – I can feel God grabbing hold of me and changing me. How about you?

I want to leave this world knowing that I accepted each day as a gift. I want to lose the drive to be right and judgmental. I want to love others unconditionally, because that is how my Father loves me.

Love & Blessings to you all!
Melissa

Lost ~ Five Minute Friday

LOST…

A good word to describe how I have felt lately. Lost, disappointed, worried, not sure of my path or purpose. Have you ever felt this way?

I left a job about 5 years ago to work at my son’s school. We went through some rough times, but I don’t regret the time I got to spend with him. I have missed the people I worked with and have looked for an opportunity to go back and then the “perfect” job for me was posted. I just knew this was what I had been waiting for. I went for an interview, felt good about my chances, and then I got the email. Yes, an email letting me know that they had selected a few others to move on to the next interview. I was crushed!

Then the next week, I thought I had finally found a teaching position that was a good fit for me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to teaching full-time, but I felt really good about it after the interview. Nope ~ got the call yesterday.

If you know me then you know I try to be positive. I look for silver lining. I trust that God has a plan and His plan is so much greater than mine. Lately though, I have struggled.

Today is a new day and I am holding on to His promise…

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I will continue to praise and thank Him for what He has done and look forward to what He will do ~ in His own time.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Five Minute FridayHop over to Lisa-Jo’s to see what others are writing today!