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

Marriage & Mommyhood ~ Priorities

Today is the kickoff of my new (in)courager group. I joined up with my friend, Laura Pratt, in the Marriage and Mommyhood: Finding grace in the balance group.

Not sure I could have found a more perfect group for me. I am looking forward to learning, sharing, and growing with these other moms. Sometimes we just need others to listen, those that have been there and done that. A place we can go for grace and encouragement.

Do you struggle with all the responsibilities of being a wife and a mom, while also becoming who God created you to be?

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I know I feel like I am drowning at times. I have so many things I need and want to do, but not enough hours in the day. It is during these times that I have to stop and re-focus…time to look at my priorities.

Finding time to spend with my heavenly Father has to come first. I need His love, strength, and guidance to get through each day. I find that if I don’t have my quiet time I start doubting myself and I let the negative thoughts start creeping in. You know…the ones that tell you that you aren’t good enough and you can’t do what God is calling you to do. The only way to fight these thoughts is through His Word and asking Him for help.

My husband and children come next. My family should be my most important ministry. Sometimes it is easier or you get more appreciation by helping others outside of your home, but God blessed me with them and they should get my best. Annette Soldini calls this the Family Ministry Golden Rule…”goes a step beyond the regular golden rule: treat your family members as you would like them to treat you and see them as your most important ministry.”

After that, my life gets messy. I have got to start doing a better job organizing everything…cleaning, blogging, reading, crafting, exercising, and following my dreams.

As I look over my calendar for the next month, I will HAVE to be organized to get it all done! It seems a little crazy with everything else I have to do but I have decided to take the 31 Day Challenge. This is a challenge to write for 31 day straight in October about a particular subject. After lots of prayer, I decided to do it and came up with my subject…31 Days of Living with Purpose. Each day I will look at a different part of my life and how I can improve. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in my life at the end of the month. Want to know more about the challenge? Hop on over to the Nesting Place.

As a mom, I don’t think I will ever find true balance in my life. I just need to focus on God and His plan for my life, my family, and then prioritize the rest.

How about you…How do you manage all of your responsibilities? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by and I pray you have a Blessed week!
Melissa

 

A Reminder ~ Psalm 37

I love how you can read a passage in the Bible many times over the years but then when you read it again…it jumps off the page.

Psalm 37 was that way for me today. Have your read this passage lately?

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Our Lord reminds us that He is here for us. Life may be hard and it may not seem fair, but He will take care of us. He is our refuge.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good

4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord: trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

23 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;

24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

These verses remind me of how I am to live. I am to trust my Father and follow His plan for my life. I can only do that if I spend time with Him and stay close to Him.

Sometimes fear keeps me from stepping out and doing what He wants me to do. I have to remember that as long as I am following Him, He will hold me up with His hand and help me.

My Father loves me and He loves you too! What desires has He put in your heart? Are you following His plan for your life?

Just some things to think about on this beautiful Sunday morning.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

Life Interrupted…Worry or Worship?

Another crazy week for the Wallace’s! I am so thankful we read Chapters 5 & 6 in Lysa’s book this week. God knew I would need to read those words. He knew I would have a choice to worry or worship.

This week started off with taking Patrick to an orthopedic doctor for his elbow. He was in a lot of pain during his baseball tournament last weekend. The doctor told him no throwing, hitting, or lifting for a couple of weeks. If you know my Patrick, you know that this will be very hard for him. Patrick also has to go to physical therapy for a few weeks. They hope to help him strengthen his arm so that he doesn’t have this problem again later. I am thankful that it is not too serious and that he has people working with him to make him stronger, but the worries about money started creeping in. (How much will all of this cost? How are we going to pay for it all when we just get by now? More bills on top of the one I just got for my CT scan.)

Was I going to worry or worship? I remembered a part that I had just read in Lysa’s book…

“…I do know that Satan hates the radically obedient soul. He hates it when a person jumps off the fence of complacency and into the center of God’s will. There is a spiritual battle raging around us and, because of that, life can be hard.”

Life can be hard, very hard at times, but we have to remember that God is in control. Satan sees the changes in my life. He knows that I am done with sitting on the fence. I am a woman saying “Yes” to God and I am ready for what He has planned for me. I can get through anything as long as I focus on my Heavenly Father. I also have to remember that He works on us through the hard times. He changes us and molds us into who He created us to be. I am reminded of this in Romans 8:28…We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Lysa also talks about this in her book…

“God has a purpose, and His plans to accomplish that purpose are perfect. Trusting God’s good purpose, and seeing to understand that He takes all the events from our life and orchestrates good from them, leads to a changed perspective.”

I got through the day at work and was feeling better about things on my way home but then I ended up in an accident. Can you believe it? I haven’t been in an accident in almost 20 years! It was my fault. There was a lot of traffic and someone up in front slammed on their brakes. Well I slammed on mine, but wasn’t able to stop in time. There was minor damage to both our vehicles but I was thankful that no one was hurt.

My first reaction was…Really? Did this really just happen? Wow, Satan must really want to distract me and stop me from following God’s will. God must have great plans for me!

Not the typical reaction to having an accident, but the time waiting after the accident wasn’t typical either. I met a sweet girl that was on campus for an interview. We talked about our families and plans. We even ended up hugging each other before we left. Am I happy that I had the accident? No, but it could have been so much worse and I see now that I am truly under attack and have to be ready for the fight.

Yes, this week was a tough one for me and my family, but I know we can get through anything with God on our side. Things are going to happen, our lives will be interrupted, but I choose to worship. How about you?

Just remember Romans 5:3…We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Blessings to You,
Melissa

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Say What?

What a week! I really feel God working in my life and speaking to me…showing me He is faithful and that I can trust Him with all my heart.

I don’t know why I still have trouble trusting Him. As I look back over the past few years, He has been so loving and faithful. It happens though every time when things get tough and I just don’t know how we are going to get by financially, I start worrying and trying to find a solution.

Over the past few months I have been on a few interviews, felt really good about them, and then didn’t end up getting the job. As I look back, my focus was more on the extra money we would have and not the job itself. I have had to let go and just trust and that is very hard for me. He has always provided for us so why do I still doubt?

This past week I have focused more on Him and the blessings He has given us. I have spent more time thinking about the dreams He has put in my heart and asking Him what His plans are for me and my family. I was able to let go and feel a peace about our finances.

Well let me just tell you, I used our Bible study phrase of the week when we got a check in the mail this weekend…Say What? He had provided for our needs and then some!! My husband received his commission check for the month and it was much more than we ever expected. I stopped right then and there and thanked God. Then I felt guilty for not trusting Him like I should.

I can’t tell you that my doubt won’t creep in again and that I won’t worry, but I am a work in progress. My Bible study and the lessons that we are learning at church are helping me grow and change how I handle life.

I love that my Bible study and our lessons at church are emphasizing some of the same things. I can feel my Father speaking to me.

Some reminders from church this morning…

  • God hears – He hears our complaints and loves us anyway.
  • God is near – We have to slow down sometimes to feel His presence. Sometimes we work so hard to honor God that we miss His presence.
  • God provides – Provides everything we need, when we need it.
  • God tests – The purpose is so that we see our hearts and mature in our faith.
  • God is so generous – If you have God, what else do you really need?

Here are some notes from my study

  • Find a quiet place – Choose a quiet comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted.
  • Invite God to guide you – As you begin to review your day in God’s presence, ask Him to guide and teach you.
  • Begin with gratitude – Look back on your day–morning, afternoon and evening–and notice all the ways in which you experienced God’s goodness.
  • Look for leadings – Now go through your day again–morning, afternoon, and evening. You may want to imagine that Jesus is sitting with you while you watch a video replay of your day. When something you see catches your attention, push the “pause” button. Then ask Jesus for His guidance and insight.

It is all about spending time with Him, to feel His presence, trusting Him with everything, and letting Him guide us.

How about you? Did you have a Say What? moment this week? Are there things in your life that you need to let go of? I’d love to hear from you and pray for you!

Blessings to You,
Melissa

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Step Out~Trust God~Go Deeper

Don’t you just love it when our Father sends us messages? He reminds us that He is there and that He loves us so very much!

The past few weeks have just been hard for me. I felt like I had lost my direction and was so frustrated about things in my life. If you read my last post, you will know that part of the problem was not spending enough time with God so that I could feel Him near and hear Him speak to me.

Well my sweet Father has been speaking to me loud and clear over the past few days. I have to admit it makes me feel so special and loved when He does it. 🙂

One thing I have realized is that I am trying to do way too many things. All good things, but too many for me to handle. I just end up feeling overwhlemed and can’t do anything well. I have to slow down and focus on what God wants me to do right now.

Isn’t it funny that Jeff Goins issued The Slow Down Challenge just when I needed it? This challenge helps us

  • Live with greater intentionality
  • Have better focus
  • And develop deeper relationships.

I also felt like our pastor was speaking directly to me Sunday. He taught from Matthew 14:22-33…when Peter steps out of the boat. Here are some of my notes…

  • The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus at first ~ When Jesus doesn’t move like we think He will, we panic. We try to take control or just settle and go back to where we started.
  • Jesus tells Peter to “Come” ~ Jesus wants us to step out on faith, He wants us to take the next step.
  • As you take the next step, here are some things to remember…
  • Focus determines direction – what are you focused on?
  • Distractions and other voices are everywhere – who are you listening to?
  • Jesus has the power to rescue you – do you trust Him?
  • We grow through our stuggles
  • Do we TRUST that God is really in control?
  • Keep following and trusting Him because He is faithful.

Step Out ~ Trust God ~ Go Deeper!

And if all of that wasn’t enough, the title to the blog for our study yesterday was “Hearing God’s Voice“. Lysa gave us five questions to ask ourselves when we are trying to discern God’s voice…

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This week I am taking time to slow down and listen for my Father’s voice. I need help figuring out what I need to be doing for Him and what I need to give up. I want to follow His plan for my life. I want to step out of the boat with unwaivering faith and say “Yes” to whatever He asks me to do. I may struggle or be scared but I have to remember that He is faithful and will never leave me.

How about you? Are you hearing His voice? Are there changes that you need to make in your life so that you can follow the dreams He has put in your heart? I’d love to hear from you so that I can pray for you.

Blessings to You,
Melissa

Palms Up

Palms Up…a phrase that we have been using this week in our Proverbs 31 Study. I am having to learn to put my palms up when all I want to do is put my head down and go hide.

It has been one of THOSE weeks. You know the kind…busy, disappointing, lots of daily stuff going wrong. I struggled to just get through the week.

As I sit here in the quiet on Saturday morning, I finally get to spend some time reading, reflecting, and writing in my journal. I can now see that my enemy had some fun with me this week. Instead of focusing on God and spending time with Him, I let myself get caught up in the craziness of the first week of school, some disappointing news, and worry about our finances.

I want to say “Yes” to God…I want to live a life that is poured out for Him. He has put dreams in my heart and has a plan just for me. Why can’t I just do it?

Why? Because I still get scared and insecure. Yes, it is time to be honest. I am afraid I can’t do it. I am afraid I am not good enough. I am hoping this study will help me change that.

There are days when I feel like nothing can bring me down, that I can do anything that God asks me to do…then I let all those other thoughts start creeping in. I turn to verses that I know but the problem is do I really believe them. That is something I have been struggling with this week.

I “know” God loves me and will provide for me, but do I truly “believe” that?

I am holding on to this verse and I am going to work on truly believing…

This God–his way is perfect;the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30

I am going to focus on being thankful and keeping my Palms Up.

I love what Lysa wrote in Chapter 1…

Being a woman who says yes to God means making the choice to trust Him even when you can’t understand why He requires some of the things He does. It also means that once you’ve said yes to God, you refuse to turn back, even when things get hard.

I am publicly saying “YES”. I refuse to let the enemy have his way in my life. I refuse to quit. I will fight through the fear and insecurities and follow His plan for my life.

What about you? Are there things in your life keeping you from following His plan for you? Are you having a hard time keeping your Palms Up? I’d love to hear from you. We can pray for each other.

Blessings to You,
Melissa

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Just One of Those Days

Friends, have you ever felt just…well…I can’t even think of one word to describe it. Have you ever felt tired, overwhelmed, unorganized, uninspired, not sure what to do next all in one day? That’s where I am at today.

I am usually a positive person…the one smiling and encouraging everyone else. I usually have a good attitude and am just thankful for all God has blessed me with. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still very thankful but I just feel off.

These feelings probably come from school starting this week, lots going on at work, getting grades in for my night class, trying to keep up with chores, and getting over a kidney stone. I just don’t like feeling this way.

I know what I need more than anything…time with my Father. With everything going on I haven’t spent enough time with Him. I even apologized to my partner in a Bible/Book study today because I haven’t had a chance to post. I haven’t posted because I haven’t taken the time to journal and process what I have read.

I need to get my priorities back in order…get my focus back on what really matters.

One thing I am going to do is take The UnWired Mom Challenge. I have caught myself too many times just wasting time on my computer or phone. You too? Why don’t you join us? Check out Sarah Mae’s blog to find out more.

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I am also going to make time each day to read, journal, and pray. With a husband and three kids, finding the time can be hard some days but I know I will be a better wife and mom if I do.

The Bible/Book study I am doing right now is through Proverbs 31 Ministries. We are reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.

I want to say “Yes” to God. I want to be used by Him. I realize though that in order for that to happen I need to put Him first, let some things go, and get some rest. He certainly can’t use me if I am too busy doing other things or just too tired.

Thank you for spending some time with me and letting me vent! I am already feeling better. How about you? What steps are you going to take to make some changes in your life? We are in this together so let me know if I can pray for you or help in some way.

Blessings to You!
Melissa

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Broken {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…

BROKEN

The perfect word for me this week. I felt broken yesterday. I found out that I didn’t get the job I had interviewed for…actually had two interviews for.

A local private school contacted me about a technology position for this coming school year. It sounded like a good fit for me and I thought it would be a great school for my kids. I really thought I would be offered the job after the second interview. You can imagine how it felt when they contacted me yesterday and said that even though I was very qualified they had chosen another candidate. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

I have to admit that I did cry a little bit yesterday and had myself a pity party, but today is another day. God has blessed me with a good job. It doesn’t pay as well as I would like but you know what…my God always provides.

I didn’t realize until last night that this was the first time in 18 years that I had not been offered a job that I interviewed for. Wow! That made me stop and really think.

There is a reason I didn’t get that job…He must have better plans for me. So today I don’t feel broken…I feel blessed!

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How about you? Have you gone through times where things didn’t work out as you had planned? Can you look back now and see why?

Blessings to You,
Melissa

Click on the link below to read what others are writing this week…
Five Minute Friday

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