PK Life

Not the Norm

IMG_2574

“Your dad is rare.”

FullSizeRender
MDiv Graduation 1990

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a counseling friend from my church who’s husband is on staff. As a mom of two little ones, she was asking me about my experience growing up in the ministry and how I handled knowing that church often took precedence in my dad’s life over my family. I looked at her and told her sincerely that had never been the case with my family. My dad was present for everything. Even when he was in the process of studying for his MDiv and DMin. In fact, I can remember the one football game that he wasn’t able to make due to revival during my

DMIN
DMin Graduation 1999

brother’s High School career and it was when my brother was a freshman or a sophomore. Our family sat down for dinner together every single night of the week except for Wednesday night. Even as we started eating out with the youth group after church, on Sunday nights, our parents were often at the same restaurant with us. For a while there, our youth group and parents, with younger siblings in tow, took over a whole section at Jason’s Deli on Ridgeway Road in Memphis almost every single Sunday night. Most Saturday mornings we had breakfast together. When my brother married my sister-in-law, they came over almost every week for at least one meal and we almost always ate out together for Sunday lunch.

wedding
Wedding 2005

As I shared this with my friend, her eyes became big and she told me “your family is the exception. Out of all the pastor’s kids I have talked to I hardly ever hear that. Your dad is rare.” I smiled and said, “I know. We were/are blessed. He had seen the opposite modeled before him early in his ministry and determined to never be like that. And at every church we went to he made it clear that we were his priority. Thankfully, that was accepted and respected.” I didn’t miss the look of awe on her face.

IMG_2439
My baptism – August 1993

I am fairly certain that I have shared it on here before but my dad has said for years “if I fail as a father then I have failed as a pastor.” Yes, he was/is called to the ministry but his God-given priority as a man is to first to his wife, secondly to his children then to his calling. There were times he made decisions that we did not understand at all. We wanted him to fight. We wanted him to react in a fleshly way, like us, but looking back I can see how he was having to look years ahead at the greater outcome for our family than the momentary satisfaction of being labeled right publicly.

pASTOR MOVES
My sister and I imitating his favorite preaching poses – July 2008

He has always been healthy thanks to his love of jogging but he is not a tall man, like my brother, nor is he someone who has ever been interested in lifting weights, even so, he’s always been the first line of defense for our family. There have been several times when my brother, sister, mom and I were attacked within our churches over silly things. Often times it was an attempt to point the finger or to make my dad look bad. My father never backed down and made it quite clear we were off limits. However, if we were in the wrong then you had better believe we were going to have to make it right. But my dad met it all head on … so if someone brought something up about us in front of a group of people then my dad dealt with it right there and shut it down. Once people tried to use me as  the source for a sensitive secret becoming exposed in our youth group, however, my dad tracked it down to the real source and the accusers had to back off his 7th grade daughter. It’s not that he thought we were angels … he was the first to admit our faults to people … from the pulpit (!) … it’s just that he knew the unrealistic expectations people had for us. He and our mom did all that they could to let us know that as long as we sought to do the Godly thing then the rest didn’t matter and that they would always fight for us.

EVERYONE
November 2015

As this Father’s Day approaches, I am thankful to have a father who is the exception to the rule when it comes to ministry. I am heartbroken for those pastor’s kids who did not grow up in a home like mine but I am thankful that we have a Father who can mend and restore what’s been broken.

Dad and I
July 2007

Daddy, 

Thank you for loving our family well, for putting our needs above your own, for showing us what a man after God’s own heart looks and lives like and for the always doing the hard and holy things of God. 

I love you. Happy Father’s Day.     –  Melody

Advertisements
Single Life

When Good Intentions Are Wrong: Part 2

So maybe this is more of an update than a part two but you all should know that I am still on Christian Mingle. However,  my whole outlook has completely changed in the past week. I’m not looking to find someone instead it has actually been more about getting myself out of my comfort zone and being obedient.

The Lord has really been doing a number on me this week. It started Sunday morning during my quiet time and has continued. He has invited me to ask Him to work in a very tangible way in my life and to my surprise (shame on me) He has. It has all been through His Word but He has spoken in some very clear ways to me this week and I am listening.

One thing I have realized about myself is I am hasty with actions … Sometimes I try to run ahead of God and assume I know how He will lead or I try to soften the consequences of my disobedience by doing what I think He would have me do now that I have repented. This week, I was called to sit still and shut up. Once I did that I was directed to stay on Christian Mingle as He wasn’t finished with using that in my life. There are still some lessons to be learned. They may be fun, they may be painful but I know they will be for my ultimate good.

So here I am … still on Christian Mingle but with the Lord at the helm. And as far as the little niggling fear of rejection well He sweetly answered that with this verse found in Romans 15:13 …

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I’m going to focus my eyes on Him and He can take care of the rest.

Love you all!

Single Life

When Good Intentions Are Wrong

The path to hell is lined with good intentions.”

That’s the statement a friend of mine made to me a little while ago today when I asked him on how you know the difference of walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit? I shared that it’s not my desire to walk in the flesh and that the decisions I make are with the best intentions and that’s when he made that comment. He shared that for him the same conviction and pull that drove you to accept Christ is how you know when your decision is Spirit based.

Despite what some may think, I did pray about the decision to join Christian Mingle again. I had a sweet peace to try it out again. So I did. And I believe I was led to do it for one simple reason and it’s the realization that I would rather be single for the rest of my life than deal with online dating sites. 

I’m not canceling my membership because I didn’t have any “luck” … I’m canceling it because I just don’t care enough to keep up with it. This process forces you into a false level of emotional honesty and intimacy that you wouldn’t have if you were dating in person. You are forced to bare your soul quickly to each other to see if you can handle each other’s baggage and if it doesn’t work out then you are left feeling exposed for having shared too much of your innermost heart with someone. I don’t want to leave bits and pieces of my heart all over the country.

I do not want to play God nor do I want to presume that He intends for me to marry. I want to be content with where He has me right now. I want to work through the loneliness and the aching for something more than to seek to fill that void with anything less than Him. I still believe these sites serve a great purpose but they do not serve me.

This isn’t a “woe is me” post but a “woe to me” post. It is easy to take control of life’s reigns and think we are doing the right thing but it is important to hold our intentions up to the Word for illumination.

So that’s the lesson I am learning right now … what it truly means to walk in the Spirit and how to rebuke my flesh. I am not in need. I am in want. My needs have all been met. I can rest in that and I will.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Blessings to you all.