Waiting

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Waiting ~ the time between finding out something could be wrong and getting answers. The long, drawn out time that can drain your spirit.

We all go through times where we have to wait. We can let it crush our spirit and let worry and doubt overwhelm us or we can look to the One that is in control ~ our loving Heavenly Father.

Lately, I have watched loved ones wait and then get the news that they prayed not to get. I have watched them take on cancer and health problems. They have endured the kind of news that could make someone angry and bitter, but they have done the opposite.

They have a strong relationship with our Father, they know who is in control, and they let His light shine through them.

Now I am waiting. Waiting for more x-rays and answers. Worrying about the possibilities has been creeping in, but I am fighting back with God’s Word. I know that no matter what comes along in this life, I can get through it. My faith is strong and my Hope is in Him.

So no matter what comes your way ~ either in the waiting or in the answers ~ take a deep breath, relax, and give it all to Him. He loves us and will never leave us.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

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He’s Still Working On Me

When I think about how much I have changed over the past few years, I start singing the song “He’s still working on me”. Do you remember that song? My dad had it on cassette and loved to hear me sing it. I never realized how powerful the words were to this song until recently.

He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me

There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands

In the mirror of His word
Reflections that I see
Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me
But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the potter; I’m the clay

(written by Joel Hemphill)

I feel Him working on me each day…changing a little at a time…shaping me for His plans.

Change is not easy but it is necessary. He often requires us stepping out of our comfort zones, taking a leap of faith. This keeps us where we need to be…relying on Him. The dreams He has put in my heart would be impossible to do on my own, but I know I can do all things through Him (Philippians 4:13).

He supplies my strength, my hope, my joy, my peace…he supplies me with everything I need.

Since I made the decision to give Him control, my life has not been stable or comfortable. Walking away from a full-time position was very hard but He has been so faithful. We just get by some months, but we have a home, cars to drive, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I am thankful for everything He has blessed us with.

He has shown me that life is about so much more than things. It is about love and relationships. It is about learning and growing. It is about living the life He has planned for us.

I have always been a planner so letting go of our future was a hard transition for me. It took some hard times for me to give that up. Oh I still have my calendar (I’d be lost without it) but I am open to changes. I know that God’s plan is so much better than mine.

We are in a waiting period right now and patience is not something that comes to me naturally. I have gotten better but still have a ways to go.

There are some other job opportunities out there for me right now. I have applied and interviewed for two of them. I believe one job would be great for me and my family but I have struggled with the other one. It would be a great position with a better salary but one that would take a lot of time and effort on my part. It would be nice having more money coming in but my first ministry is to my family and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. I am a wife and a mom and those two responsibilities come first. (I think I now have my answer about the second position.)

God is so good and I am proud of the changes I see in me. Giving Him control of my life though is not just something I did one day and it is done…it is a daily thing for me. I still struggle and I still make mistakes. The difference is that I know my gracious Father forgives me and will continue to help me. Each day I turn to Luke 9:23. I want to be His disciple and bring Him honor and glory.

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How about you…is He still working on you? Is it hard to turn it all over to Him? I’d love to hear from you.

Blessing to You,
Melissa

Ready to Live Uncomfortable

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WOW!! Ann’s latest post really hit me hard. You can see that God is using her, speaking through her words.

Living radical isn’t about where you live — it’s about how you love.

You are changing the world – when you are changing one person’s world.

Go ahead, give us that. We want that. We are the generations that are done living the comforts of this world and we’re ready to live uncomfortable because we’re ready for the comfort of God.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that she is writing about her time with Katie, the same Katie I am reading about in the book Anything by Jennie Allen.

I have been wrestling with my God-sized dream. Just not sure where He wants me and what He wants me to do next. Things are changing though. I hear him speaking to me, leading me.

I am working on plans and details for our Beautiful You conference. I thought it should be this Fall but not anymore. February seems like the right time. This is getting bigger than I ever imagined. He is using me and I am nervous but so very excited. I want to see lives changed in my county and beyond!

I can see my dream growing and going to places I had not imagined.

I am so thankful for all the women that bless me and inspire me with their words. I know that God placed them in my life. I have never met them, but they feel like friends. I hope to meet all of them one day.

I am also blessed to have those that I do know…those that help and support me.

My heart is beating fast and I am making a list of things to do and people to contact. I am so excited about what God is doing in me and through me!

I’d love to have your prayers as I pursue this dream. Please let me know how I can pray for you too.

One more thing to think about from Ann’s post…

We want clarity; God wants us to come closer. Life is always clear when you press closer and see it through the sheer love of God.

Blessing 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

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

 

Comfort {Five Minute Friday}

It’s Five Minute Friday! I am linking up again with our awesome host, Lisa-Jo. She gives us one word each week and asks us just to write for five minutes. Our word for this week…

COMFORT…

What brings you comfort?

I think back over the past year. I have friends that have lost loved ones. My family has lost loved ones. I am watching my mother in law fight breast cancer. My husband and I went through a rough part of our marriage. I left a 17 year teaching career.

There are so many things in life that leave us asking “Why” and bringing us to our knees.

I have found that when I am on my knees I am the most vulnerable. I am more open to what He has planned for me. I am willing to give up myself and my plans.

I believe we go through these tough times so that He can speak to us and use us and help us grow.

When I think of comfort, I think of resting in His big, strong arms. I don’t have to worry about anything. I know He has me and will take care of me. I can get through anything with Him.psalm91_4

Blessing to You!
Melissa

Check out what the other ladies think about comfort…
Five Minute Friday