See, I am doing a new thing…running!

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Hello Friends! I want to share something new I am doing…running. I am actually training to run in a 5K. I was proud of myself that I completed a 5K earlier in the year. I ran a little, but mostly walked it.

Those of you who have known me for years know that I have never been a runner. I never had the desire to be a runner. Actually, never thought I could be a runner.

I have joined a group called Know Mercy. We meet each week for a devotion, fellowship, and to run. We also have a running/workout calendar that helps us train during the week. I have to be honest. I almost didn’t go to the first meeting last week. I almost let the devil convince me that I had no business being there and there was no way I could do this. I am so glad I didn’t listen! I had such a good time with the group and was able to complete the run that night. My whole attitude changed that night.

Even though last week was super busy, I was able to run two more times. I made the time to do it and I can tell you I wouldn’t have if I had not been a part of this group.

One of the reasons I have never had the desire to run is because of my flat feet and my knees. I didn’t think I was physically able to do it. My husband helped me with that yesterday. He took me to a store that evaluated my feet and how I run and I found the perfect running shoe for me. I had no idea how much science goes into creating running shoes. I also had no idea how much they cost! It was very hard for me to spend the money for shoes but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I love that my hubby is being so supportive of this. I just wish he would do it with me.

A few years ago I would have let this opportunity pass me by. I would have given so many excuses. I feel like God has led me to this place though. I can look back and see that I found AdvoCare for a reason…to lose weight and feel like a new person, to make new friendships, and to reconnect with old friends. I am now more open to new experiences and pray that God will use all of this in some way for His glory.

I am doing a new thing! How about you? Is God calling you to do a new thing? It might not be running, but I am sure He has wonderful plans for you too!

Blessings to You!
Melissa

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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

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

 

Summertime at UGA

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I’m probably a little biased, but I work at one of the best schools in the world! Yep, I’m talking about the University of Georgia! I might feel this way since I grew up only 30 minutes away and ended up getting both of my degrees from here. I also had the privilege of traveling around and cheering on the Bulldogs with the Redcoat Band…I was one of the girls out there with a flag.

Our campus is buzzing with activity this week…orientation is going on for the new students. It is kind of quiet in our office so I have been able to get out and walk around (when it is not raining). I love our beautiful campus and I have so many memories here…some good, some not so good.

What a difference 20 years makes…I am such a different person than I was when I walked around this campus as a student. I wish I could impart some of my hard learned wisdom to the students here, but I am sure they would listen as well as I would have back then.

I would tell them to…

  • be confident in who they are and remember that they are God’s masterpiece.
  • find a career that makes them happy and gives them purpose…don’t just pick a career because of money or because others want them to.
  • read and study The Bible…have a close personal relationship with their Creator…only then will they be able to follow His plan for their life.
  • wait to find someone who loves you for you and wants the same things out of life…don’t ever settle.
  • dream God-sized Dreams!

Yes, life would have been different if I had taken this advice when I was young. I don’t wish I could go back though. My experiences have made me who I am and I am thankful that I have a loving, gracious, and patient Father.

How about you? What do you wish you could tell students just starting college? Were you already confident and following God’s plan? Are you just getting started…what do you think of this advice?

Blessings to You and Go Dawgs!!
Melissa

Listen {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…

LISTEN

Who do you listen to?

Do you listen to those negative comments in your mind? Does your self-worth come from what others say to you or about you?

I spent years trying to do and say the right things so that others would like me. My self-worth came from my job, how my kids acted, what we drove. I still listen sometimes to those negative thoughts that creep in but I am working on that. A good way to fight those thoughts is to remember who you are and whose you are…I am a daughter of the King!

I used to wonder why I didn’t hear God…why wasn’t He showing me His plan for my life. I realized that I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t spending time with Him so that He could speak to me and lead me. I also had to learn to give Him the control. I had wanted Him to show me which way to go and then get out of my way.

My day is so different when I start it off spending time with my Father. He speaks to me through His Word, through songs, and through others.

Right now I am waiting patiently and listening for what to do next in my life. There are other job opportunities for me but I want to make sure I am following His path for me. What may seem like a good idea to me could actually lead me away from what He has planned. So I will wait, pray, and listen.

Join us over at Lisa-Jo’s to see what others have to say about listening.
Five Minute Friday
Blessings to You,
Melissa

Fall {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…

FALL

My mind was already churning this morning about self-worth. This word makes me think about how many times we fall into Satan’s trap.

I think about the times I felt good or bad about myself just from the number of likes on a Facebook post or a post on my blog. I have caught myself thinking “Well he/she didn’t like my post so they must not like me anymore.” When I come to my senses, I realize that negative thoughts like that are just Satan’s way of keeping me from what God has in store for me.

Comparison, self-doubt, and jealousy keep us from our God-sized dreams. They keep us from stepping out and doing what God has created only for us to do. We have to remember that each of us was created unique and for a different purpose.

So when the negative thoughts start creeping in, remember this verse…
Pay careful attention to your own work,

Blessings to You,
Melissa

Check out what others are saying about the word Fall…Five Minute Friday

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. 🙂

 

Imagine {Five Minute Friday}

It’s Five Minute Friday! I missed a few weeks but 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…

IMAGINE

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Imagine if we knew our worth.

Imagine if we could always see our true beauty.

Imagine if we trusted God with everything in our lives.

Imagine if we truly loved one another.

Imagine if we did more random acts of kindness.

Imagine if we spent more time building others up instead of tearing them down.

Imagine if we dreamed God-sized dreams.

Imagine if we let go of all our worries and fears.

Imagine if we spent more time reading and following His Word.

Imagine if we told God we would do Anything for Him.

What kind of world would we live in? We would truly be the hands and feet of Christ and leading others to Him. I don’t want to just imagine these things…I want to live them. How about you?

Blessings to You!
Melissa
Five Minute Friday

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