14…How did he get here so fast?

14…How did he get here so fast? My sweet, little baby boy is now becoming a man. I’m caught off guard at times at his lower voice and I just can’t believe he is already my height. I can’t imagine how big he is going to be when he finally stops growing. But when I look at him, I still see that sweet baby face and a smile that warms my heart.

I have to tell you I am very blessed! Yes, he has his typical teenage moments…whining and complaining and a mouth that works a little faster than his brain, but he is a good kid.

I think back to those early school years when the teachers kept telling us he needed to learn self-control, but then told us that he had such a sweet spirit. I am happy to report that he is much better at self-control, but has never lost that sweet spirit. I love to watch him when he is playing one of his many sports. It makes me proud to see him helping and encouraging his teammates. I do wish I saw more of this at home with his siblings.

I pray for this young man of mine every day. He is at an age where there are so many temptations and Mom is not always around. I pray that God would lead him and use him. I pray that Patrick will look to Him for his character and direction. I pray for true friends and for ones that will hold him accountable. I pray for purity and for the girl that will steal his heart one day. I have learned that it does no good to worry, I just have to be diligent in my prayers.

I thank God for my Patrick! He gives the BEST hugs and still tells me He Loves Me every day! I am so proud of him and look forward to watching him become the man God created him to be.

Happy Birthday Patrick!! I Love You!!

I’ll love you forever.
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
my baby you’ll be!

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Need a great resource for praying for your boy? Check out Brooke’s new book ~ Praying for Boys!

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Day 24 ~ Stubborn & Quirky…accepting others the way God made them

Have you ever dealt with a stubborn, quirky child?

My middle child has made it tough to be his mom sometimes over the past 10 years. He has also made me a more patient and understanding mom. One that recognizes that we are all created differently by our Father.

I used to get so upset with him, now I just accept him for who he is. Yes, he can be stubborn and kind of quirky, but he is such a sweet, loving child. He has a dry sense of humor and he loves to draw and build with Legos. He is extremely smart and writes amazing stories.

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This morning though we had to deal with the stubborn/quirky part…

It was COLD this morning. The first really cold day we have had. I suggested he put on pants and a jacket or at least a jacket with his shorts. But no, he said you don’t wear a jacket with shorts and he didn’t want to wear pants.

Okay…off we went to my mom’s house. I think he realized it was cold (just like Mom had said) because he wrapped up in a blanket in the car.

My mom had some clothes at her house and he reluctantly picked out some pants to wear. The best part was when he said it was hard to switch from shorts to pants in the middle of the week. This should be something done over the weekend. He also said he wished he lived in a place where he didn’t have to switch back and forth.

I just shook my head and laughed about it when I got in my van. What a boy! Something that most people don’t even think about or care about really bothered him.

He is different and it drives me crazy sometimes, but I love that boy with all my heart! God made him this way for a reason and I look forward to seeing how God uses him.

Do you have a stubborn and quirky child or were you? I’d love to hear from you!

Living with Purpose…accepting others the way God made them.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

 

Day 23 ~ Live & Learn

Being a mom is so hard sometimes. You hurt when your child hurts.

My oldest is in 8th grade and at a new school this year. I was so thrilled when he told me he had decided to run for Vice President of his class. He wrote his own essay and had to give a speech to his class. He felt really good about it.

Well they had the election yesterday and he didn’t win. He called me as soon as he got out of school and sounded so sad. I wish I could have waved a magic wand and made him feel better, but I know these experiences are part of growing up.

He feels better today. He knows he is loved and we are so proud of him for trying. I know this is just the beginning though. He is growing up and has so much to go through. I pray that he will look to his Heavenly Father when things get tough…and I will be there to listen and hug him tight.

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Living with Purpose…listening to and loving on my child when things are hard.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Day 14 ~ A Fall Day…family fun, laughs, pumpkins, and apples

Today I focused on one of the biggest purposes I have here on this earth…my children. I took the day off from work, left social media behind, and headed to the mountains. My Mom and Step-Dad came along too.

What a beautiful day God gave us! Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love to ride in the mountains and see the beauty He has created. I also love spending time with my children and making memories with them.

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We picked pumpkins and took some fun pictures. Then we rode to an orchard to get some yummy apples. Of course we had to stop by a farm to play on the playground and pet the animals. We got so tickled when we passed by the donkey without petting him. He really let us know he was not happy. Me and my daughter went back to rub him and that made him very happy. I don’t think any of us will ever forget the fuss he made!1381431_10201827863205904_1707147580_n

We now have pretty pumpkins sitting around in our home and we have lots of apples to eat and share. It was another day that I will cherish and be thankful for.

How about you…What is your favorite time of year? What special memories from childhood or with your children do you have?

Living with purpose…one way to do this is making time for the people that matter most.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Don’t forget that we start Week 2 of the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge today! Last week we focused on praying for peace in our home. This week we are to add pursuing gentleness. Courtney’s challenge for this week is having game night with our family. What is your favorite game to play? I like playing Candy Land and Uno!

Girl Time

I am an early riser…I am usually up by 6:30 or 7:00 even when I don’t have to go to work. I love my quiet time…a time to read my Bible, study, and get ready for the day.

This morning didn’t work out as I had planned. As soon as I got up and got in my chair I heard footsteps. My sweet, little girl got up early too and wanted to snuggle. She asked if I had to go to work, when I told her “no” she said she wanted to spend morning, all day, and night with me. That made this mom’s heart feel like it would bust!

We curled up and snuggled for a long time and talked about how we would still snuggle when she gets older, even when she is an adult. I don’t know if that will really happen but I can hope. She is such a blessing! She will tell you that God knew I needed a little girl and she is right.

After we snuggled, she put on her dance clothes and put on a recital for me. I love to see her dance! I also love her self-confidence and her love for our Lord. I have to admit I do worry about her as she gets older. I pray that she will continue to grow closer to God and that she won’t let this world change who He made her to be.

I love the time we got to spend together at the beach last week too. I enjoyed getting up and walking on the beach with her. We got to see God’s beautiful creations while having some girl time. My focus at first was to get out and get some exercise, but it quickly became about having fun and enjoying our time together. I did tell her to try not to get her dress wet, but she told me that was part of the fun. What a reminder to me…stop fussing and just have fun!

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Well she decided to watch one of her movies so I eventually got to have my quiet time this morning, but I am so thankful for the different start to my morning. I am so blessed!

How did you start your day? Was it busy or did you get your quiet time?

Hope you have a wonderful day!
Blessings to You,
Melissa

Father’s Day…Happy & Sad Day

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I know this day is not an easy one for a lot of people. Either they have lost their Dad or some don’t have a relationship with him.

I am feeling blessed this year. I still have my Dad, my Step-dad, and my Father-in-law. We hope to see all three of them today. My kids and I are also blessed to have my husband. I love to watch him with the kids when we are fishing, cooking, or just hanging out. I pray that they will feel how much he loves them and that they will have so many wonderful memories of him when they are adults.

I didn’t always have a good relationship with my Dad. My parents divorced when I was 14 and saying it was hard is such an understatement. I moved away from my family and friends and our father-daughter relationship was torn to shreds.

I am sad to say that I tolerated him for a lot of years, even at my wedding. A year after my wedding though I severed all ties. My husband and I moved away and I decided I wanted nothing to do with him.

Let me tell you, forgiveness is essential for a happy, peaceful life. I didn’t have that for a long time. I thought I was okay but deep down there was a hole. It wasn’t until after my second child was born that we began working on our relationship again. I can tell you that it was only through God’s example and His teaching that I was able to forgive and love my Dad again.

We don’t talk about the past. We focus on the here and now. I have forgiven him for everything we went through back then and have told him so. We don’t have the perfect father-daughter relationship, but it works. I enjoy being around him now and my children LOVE to see their Grandpa!

So I know not all Father’s Days are good ones. I missed out on several years with mine, but I am glad I still have him and that we can celebrate this day together. It breaks my heart for my friends that don’t have their Dads today.

We are blessed to have my Step-dad and my Father-in-law too! My step-dad, Roy, has been so good to me and my family. He has always loved me and treated me like his own daughter. People are surprised when they find out that he in not my biological father. Everyone can see how much he loves me and my children. My husband’s dad, Thomas, is such a sweet man. I love to see him cuddle up with the kids and just talk with them. He has had to be so strong lately with my mother-in-law fighting cancer.

I am thankful for all the years I had with my Papa but this is a day that I miss him terribly. I have so many wonderful memories with him. I wish my children could have gotten to spend more time with him. He was a sweet, loving, God-fearing man and I love him!

Whether this is a happy or sad day for you, remember that you always have your Heavenly Father and He loves you unconditionally. If you are struggling in your relationship with your Dad or if you are missing him today, I pray that God will wrap His loving arms around you and give you peace. If you do have your Dad or Grandpas, tell them how much you love and appreciate them today. If you are married and have children, make sure to tell your husband too!

Blessings to You,
Melissa

 

Summer…Time for Family, Fun, and Faith

Whew! The past month has been a busy one…end of school, working, writing, teaching at night, kids’ activities…all while trying to lead our Bible study and find the time I need for rest. How about you? Have you been busy too?

This month I am planning some time for fun! I am still working and teaching two nights a week but I am making time to study God’s Word and making memories with my family.

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I didn’t always make the time for those two things. I focused on my career and tried to make everyone else happy. I wasn’t happy with myself so I felt I had to work harder and do more so people would like me. I thought that would make me feel better. I was so very wrong!

I now know what brings me joy and happiness…
It is having a close, personal relationship with our Creator.
It is focusing on my most important ministry – my family.
It is knowing that God has a plan for me and it is better than I could ever imagine!

I am teaching a night class back at the college I worked at four years ago. It was so hard leaving that place. I love the people there and it is still the best job I ever had. It has felt like going home.

I left because God had other plans for me, but now I feel like He is leading me back. They don’t have a full-time position right now but I can see myself there within the next year. It would be a perfect fit with my non-profit too.

I want to help women follow their God-sized dreams. If their dream is to go to college, then I could help them get in and be right there to encourage them all the way through.

There is a peace looking back and seeing how God has used people and experiences to get you ready for the next journey. I see so much in my past that makes me the perfect one to pursue my dream. It hasn’t always been easy but it will all be worth it.

Do you have a God-sized dream? Have you been struggling to find your path? Spend time praying and reading His Word and He will make your path clear. Just leave me a comment and I will be praying for you too.

Do you plan to slow down this summer and focus on making memories? Please feel free to share your ideas and activities with the rest of us. I’ll be sharing some of our fun here on the blog. Check out some of the cool things I found on Pinterest too…http://pinterest.com/mjwallace3/summer-time/.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Are you looking for something to read this summer? Two books I highly recommend…
Holley Gerth’s You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream and it is 50% off this week at LifeWay.
Jennie Allen’s Anything…reading this right now for our Good Morning Girls study. I had planned to do a different study this summer, but God had a different plan. 🙂

 

The Journey With My God-sized Dream Team

For I know the plans I have for

Blessed…so very blessed!

I remember reading on Holley’s blog about the God-sized Dream Team she was putting together. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity to meet other ladies and to grow closer to God. I never really thought I would be chosen though.

I remember the day I opened my email and Holley welcomed me to the team. I sat there smiling and crying at the same time. I knew then that God was about to change my life.

The past six months have flown by. I have been challenged, encouraged, and loved by 99 other women that I have never met in person. Only God could make that happen! We have shared our fears, our accomplishments, and our struggles.

It has always been hard for me to share my true feelings, to show the real me. I am still working on it but I am so proud of the changes I have already made. I have learned that God can do great things when you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and trust Him completely.

One of the big obstacles for me was not feeling worthy enough to be used by Him. Boy was I wrong! He uses our weaknesses to show how wonderful, powerful, and gracious He is. I am truly humbled and so thankful that He wants to use me.

When I started this adventure I wasn’t sure what my God-sized dreams were. I had left a 17 year teaching career in May and I was homeschooling our three children. I thought that was the plan He had for me.

In December, He provided a new job for me which led to some really hard decisions. I had never imagined sending our children to public school. My fear and pride got in the way at first but after lots of prayer I had a peace about it. We couldn’t have asked for better teachers or administrators at the school they attended. God had them in the palm of His hand. I went to work knowing that everything was according to His plan.

Over the past few months, I have started leading Bible studies and I have started planning a ladies conference. We are still in the planning stages for the conference but I hope to have it this October. I would appreciate your prayers and would love to have any of my GSDT sisters come and speak!

I am so very thankful for you Holley Gerth! Thank you for following His plan and blessing me with your love and support!

I look forward to staying connected and watching all of the amazing things God does through this team. I will be praying for each one of you as you pursue your God-sized dreams!

Who I am now…

I am a new woman in Christ that will continue seeking His plan for my life. I am no longer afraid to step out and do what He calls me to do. I want to be used for His glory. I want to follow my God-sized dreams. I want to encourage others to find their God given gifts and go after their dreams.

Love, hugs, and blessings to you all!
Melissa

Back on Track

Welcome! It feels so good to be writing again. The past few weeks have been so hard…a very busy time of year with my family…feeling overwhelmed…losing my direction.

One problem is that I let the negative thoughts take over. You know, the thoughts like “What am I thinking, I can’t do all of this” and “Who are you to think God has called you to do this?”

The biggest problem though was that I wasn’t spending enough time with God and in His Word. I let my busy life take over and I lost my direction. If we want to follow our God-sized dreams then we have to spend time with our Father. I went back to one of my highlighted parts in Holley’s book

“It’s about a relationship. God is not all that interested in your getting things done. If he made the world in seven days, there’s nothing he can’t check off his to-do list without your help. What he wants on this journey to your dream is intimacy with you. Success is simply this: obedience.”

Obedience…intimacy…He just wants to spend time with us and help us follow the dreams He put in our hearts.

I do feel back on track now. I plan on having our Beautiful You conference in October. I am working on finding a place and I am working with a friend on getting t-shirts made. I want to go ahead and start selling t-shirts to help with the upfront costs of the conference.

One thing that I have been thinking about this week is the focus of the conference. It is definitely seeing ourselves as Christ sees us…we are Beautiful…but I was searching for something more. This morning He showed me what I was looking for. Ephesians 2:1-10…Come Alive is the focus of the conference. We have been saved by grace, we are God’s workmanship, and we have good works to do.
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I am praying that this conference will encourage women to truly see their beauty and their worth, to grow closer to their Father, and to dream God-sized dreams.

Can I do what it takes to plan and have this conference all by myself? No way! I need God’s strength, His direction, and His grace. I also need friends that will help with different pieces (I have already had a few offer to help) and lots of prayers. Will you pray for me that I will continue following His plan and that my focus will be on how He can use this conference for His glory?

Would you like to help with this conference? I’d love to have you join us!

(Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I sat down to write this morning, I heard my daughter get up. My first thought was “Oh no, I really wanted some time by myself this morning to write”, but now I can tell you I sure did enjoy the time cuddling and talking with her this morning. Isn’t that what is important…our relationships? My daughter will be grown before I know it so I will cherish all the moments we have now. The writing, the cleaning, and all the other stuff will get done eventually. Our relationships with our family and with others should come first.)

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Being a Mom…

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Being a Mom is hard but it is also the most amazing and rewarding job God could have given me!

I had no idea what to expect when they laid that sweet, baby boy in my arms 13 years ago. He was so small and fragile. I thought my heart would bust with all the love I felt for him. I became a Mom that day.

As I look back over the years, I mostly focus on the good stuff. His first birthday…starting school…playing baseball…all the hugs and kisses. I try to forget things like that one year in pre-school he lost all of his ice cream scoops almost every day – not a good thing.

When I look at this teenager now, I see a boy growing and changing and on his way to becoming a man. I just want to stop time. I know that in 5 short years my baby boy will be going off to college. Since I can’t stop time I will do what I can…enjoy all the moments I have with him and pray a lot!

God has also blessed me with two more children, another boy and a girl. My daughter tells me that God knew I needed a little girl and she is right. She adds so much personality to our family and lots of pink! She brightens my day and I cherish our “girl time”.

My middle child has been the hardest to figure out. He is very different from the other two. He is quiet…a thinker…strong-willed. The good thing is that God has used him to teach me patience. I also realized that there wasn’t just one way to raise a child. What I did for my first child did not work for my second.

Parenting is a lot of trial and error and a whole lot of praying. Each child is a new creation with their own look, personality, and gifts. I am still amazed at how different they are even though they came from the same two parents. Only God could be so creative.

God has also used these three blessings to work on me, change me, and make me dependent on Him. I have had to learn to give God control over every part of my life. Believe me I have tried to do things on my own and it just doesn’t work.

Moms have such a big responsibility raising their children. There are days when I am stressed out and just don’t think I can do anything right, but I can find comfort in knowing that my Father and my children still love me and give me grace. I cling to the days that are great. Those are the ones I will remember when I am older.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them? Ecclesiastes 3:22

Yes, being a Mom is hard but the benefits are priceless!

Blessings to You,
Melissa