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

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

 

A Celebration for Education {Lanier Technical College & Barrow County Schools}

What a beautiful morning! I was able to go celebrate with friends and family from Lanier Tech and Barrow County this morning.

I was surprised at my emotions at the ground breaking ceremony. It hit me as I sat listening to the speakers that Lisa Maloof had finally seen one of her God-sized dreams come true. Years of dedication and hard work made today possible.

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Next Fall there will be a new Lanier Tech Winder Campus and a Barrow County Career Academy. What a blessing for those in this area! There will be training for all ages and for the specialized skills needed in and around Barrow County.

Our speakers talked about the importance of education and training and reminded us that what we were a part of today would affect generations to come.

Our Georgia Representative Terry England was there and our Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. I was especially happy that my cousin and new President of Lanier Tech, Ray Perren, was there. He is such a good, honest man and leader. I know he will do great things for the staff and students at the college.

I can honestly say that working at Lanier Tech was the best part of my teaching career. I loved the people I worked with and I enjoyed teaching skills that would help our students reach their goals.

I still remember my last day at Lanier Tech. It was so hard to leave but I knew God had other plans for me. I have no doubt that He put a love in my heart for the people and students at this college and will lead me back there one day. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of their celebration today.

Blessings 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

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

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