Single Life

Not Now Mingle

I pretty much have come to the conclusion that I am screwed up. Ha! Well, I mean we all are in some way or another but having never really dated I don’t know how to relax and just enjoy the process. I question everything I say and do and figure it’s probably the wrong thing anyway. I want to blame it on growing up in the ministry but I don’t think I can because my brother and sister don’t seem to be like this. Or perhaps they chose to not let that part of the pressure of growing up in the ministry get to them. The part where everything you say and do is reflected back on your father and that spoken/unspoken fear of somehow if you do something wrong it could get your dad fired. I mean, seriously? I could write a whole other blog about what kind of church would put that kind of pressure on a pastor’s family or who has that much of a power trip to hold that kind of expectation over a kid. However, some of those fears were self-inflicted and I fully recognize that as it seems to be my own issue and I am so tired of living like this. It is suffocating. I want to be likable. I want to be enough. And in my eyes, I am neither. Ugh … that is so gross. LOL.

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How many filters does it take?

Over the past two weeks I have struggled with being able to sleep while part of me wonders if it is “the change” … reality says I’m too young for that. Although, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if menopause was causing my sudden bout of insomnia. Ha. However, in those sleepless moments all throughout the night I grab my phone to see if I have a notification on the Christian Mingle App letting me know I have received an email or if my profile has been viewed. When it hasn’t, I’ll disappointingly roll over and attempt to go back to sleep.

I have had the opportunity to spend some time in the presence of several lovely teenage young women. As I have listened to them talk about their lives and experiences I have not envied where they are but thought how grateful I am that I am past that point in my life. But am I? Am I past that point of comparing myself to others, trying to find worth in someone else’s eyes, hoping that the right filter on a selfie will make me feel pretty? No, I am not. And this insecurity has stared me in the face the last few days.

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So many options …

It is not lost on me that all this past week the Lord has been leading me to verses about finding shelter in Him during my daily quiet time. Well … apparently and obviously, I am a slow learner … but I am running to His arms to find shelter. So if you can’t find me in the next few days, just look somewhere around the feet of Jesus and you’ll find me in the fetal position clinging to the hem of His garment and taking a break from Christian Mingle. 🙂

Don’t misunderstand me, I am still on Christian Mingle but over the weekend I did turn my profile off. For this week, I am not actively searching on there. I am going to take a break from the search. It has been a wonderful experience of getting out of my comfort zone and just talking with guys from all walks of life. It’s not that I don’t know how to have a conversation I do. I am just working to not second guess myself. I am working on just relaxing and being me.

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your Word.” Psalm 119:14

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14

 “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-20

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:16-21

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This is the real me … dark circles and all!

Being online hasn’t been easy. It’s raw and it’s vulnerable … at least for me it is. But in the end if all that has come out of it is that I am seeing myself through His eyes then it will be worth it all.

I love you all!

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Single Life

Oh the Mingle … 

I wasn’t going to blog about this but here I am doing so anyway. In the previous post I mentioned that I was talking to a few normal guys … WRONG! Lol.

So here’s a crazy one for you … I had a guy contact me and he seemed pretty normal. He asked if we could email outside of the app just because he’s not able to be on it much throughout the day. I agreed to it as I certainly understand. Sometimes it is easier to email through personal emails vs. going back and forth through app. Well, his first email thanked me for agreeing to email and to tell him about me. Can I just say that I can’t stand that question! People need to stop asking it in interviews and in general. What do you say? Well I am amazing and quite a catch … 

So I shared some basic info and asked about him. His second email had info that lined up with what was in the profile and he said that he would be canceling his account as he likes to talk to one girl at a time. There was some wording in his response that flew a red flag. I hadn’t responded to his email when I realized he had attached some pics. I pulled them up and it was not the same guy at all! I emailed him back and gently questioned the difference. As much as I tried I couldn’t figure out how there would be a justifiable reason for pictures of two completely different guys.I haven’t heard back from him.

As I laid in bed late last night, I looked up the guy’s name on Facebook just to see if I could find him and found the real guy who’s pictures matched the one in the profile. This guy has a beautiful girlfriend and everything else seemed to match his profile. I felt led to message this guy on Facebook and gave him a head’s up that someone had either hacked his account, stolen his identity or was doing some sort of weird/mean joke. The real guy was super appreciative and there was a huge difference in how he writes so I have a peace that it is a different guy. He wasn’t sure how to fix the situation. I advised him to change all his passwords and not worry about the website as for now the profile is down.
I don’t really know what to make of it but I know this, if it’s crazy and unlikely to happen to anyone else then it will happen to me! But the good news is you get to read about on here.

Is it October yet?

My verses for the week:

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23-27‬

I love you all!

Single Life

Lingering on the Mingle …

IMG_3710So this past week on the Mingle, I kindly said “thanks, but no thanks” to a guy who kept making it quite clear that the distance between us just wasn’t going to work and that if anyone was going to be making trips to visit the other person it would be me. See, he kept bringing up the fact, on his own, that he absolutely could not relocate because of his child which I totally respected until I found out that I lived an hour closer to his child than he does and I am 4.5 hours away. So call me mean if you want but I just can’t get behind being the one asked to make all the sacrifices when he won’t make the sacrifice of living closer to his son (and he made it clear he just doesn’t want to move). I am all for making a major move for someone who lives in the same city as their child but beyond that then there has got to be some give and take.

I also had a guy the week before messaging me answers to another girl’s questions. Now grant it, he had just been released from the hospital for what I believe was a medical and not a mental issue. J So he may have still be under the influence of some good medication. Anyway, he was so embarrassed when he realized what he had done that he blocked me. It saved me the effort of having to say “thanks, but no thanks!”

There are a few others, who seem to be normal, that have just started messaging me and

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Romans 10:9-10

thankfully, they know of a definitive time in their life with they came to know Christ. Y’all … I would now say that 9 out of 10 guys mark on their profile that they have been a Christian their entire life. This is not possible. We were not born Christians. We were born sinners. And it is not possible to be raised to be a Christian. You can be raised a Baptist, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, etc … but you have to choose to follow Christ. Our parents cannot choose it for us. Period. Did you see where it says in verse 9 if you confess with your mouth and then again in verse 10 with the mouth one confesses? I don’t know about you but I understand to mean that at some point in every person’s life we have to face the fact that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. There is no other way around it. I am so burdened for these men. Head knowledge will not save you. Only a heart relationship with Jesus Christ provided through His redeeming work on the cross will.

IMG_2439I just updated my profile to include most of this paragraph as well as the verses commonly known as “The Romans Road” … perhaps it will cause some to think. At the very least I may receive some hateful messages about being judgmental but hey, I grew up in the ministry … I have thick skin. 🙂

Who knows … maybe I am on here to encourage others through this process but I am paid up through October and after that I doubt I will renew it. There are better things to spend my money on than weeding through every 6 out 10 guys’ stating that they are looking for a Proverbs 31 woman. I often tell them I’m looking for her too. J I’ve met many women who emulate many characteristics of her but I have yet to meet one woman who completely embodies everything about her …

So yea, one thing I am learning is that I am perfectly ok with my imperfect self that is seeking to grow more in the Lord, learn more about me and continue to find joy on the journey through this process.

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I love you all!

 

PK Life

Simply Not True

Hi Friends –

FalseCan we just talk about how wrong this statement is for a minute? First, it’s not biblical … I mean Google will try to direct you to 1 Corinthians 10:13 to try at justify that erroneous statement. Well, let’s just look at that verse. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  We don’t know what we are capable of bearing but what we do know is that we will be tempted but it will not overtake us. We will be provided a way of escape so that we may bear that which we are to go through.

Look at 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 … Paul, a faithful minister of the Gospel, endured great suffering, “We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.” If they hadn’t experienced such great suffering would they have learned to rely only on God? Would they know that He is the God who can literally break prison chains and set His people free for His glory? Would they know that the very Gospel that they were risking their lives for was worth it because it was real in the way the Lord had manifested Himself in their lives through their suffering?

Secondly, it just sounds wrong. It’s horrible advice to give to someone. So don’t. Instead share a comforting Bible verse or just share a hug and move on. But by all means bite your tongue if you are tempted to say the other. 🙂

Is suffering fun? No. Is it enjoyable? No. But can we be thankful for it? Yes. At the very least, we can be thankful in it as we see how the Lord is at work around us. It is in our weakness that He is made strong. Paul said this about the thorn in his side … “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

So if you are going through a time of suffering hang in there, my friend. Hold tightly to the Lord. Press into Him when the weight of your trial presses onto you. Know that ultimately God can and will use this for His glory and for your good (Romans 8:28). Trust in the fact that is a refuge for you (Ps. 46:1) and rejoices over you with singing. (Zeph. 3:17) And join with Paul proclaiming, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

I love you all!!

 

Single Life

More Mingle Thoughts …

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Chances are a profile picture will get you more profile traffic than not …

If you have been through a divorce it would be in your best interest not to post a picture with your wedding ring still on …

Also, don’t use a picture from your wedding … it’s pretty obvious …

Do not talk about previous relationships unless asked …

Do ask questions when starting the communication process …

Respect boundaries …

 

A few other deeper thoughts on CM …

I get that the whole Bible is full of wonderful verses but surely a person can think of at IMG_3713least one or two that mean something to them. When a guy puts down “there are too many good ones’ to pick just one” it makes me think they don’t really know the Bible. LOL.

Also, it has greatly concerned me how many guys will put down that they have been a Christian their whole life. Some have even put that they were raised Christian. No, I’m afraid that’s simply not possible. If you haven’t had a time in your life where you came under the conviction that you were a sinner, repented of your sins and asked Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life then I am afraid you will face the Lord one day and hear “depart from me, I know you not.” This is the day in which we live.

“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved…” 2 Peter 3:8-15a

I love you all!

PK Life

Transitions

Life is one big transition.” Willie Stargell

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2016 Verse

The last few weeks the idea of transition has been heavy of my heart. I have thought about friends and loved ones transitioning from this earthly life to their eternal life as well as those who are left to find their new norm without this precious loved one present. I have thought about the upcoming election and the transition that will occur no matter who is in leadership. I have thought about transitions that are imposed upon us when we do not want them whether that is due to a health crisis, a job loss or the end of a relationship. And then there are transitions that come about for great reasons,  for example: a new baby is born into the family, a new campus for your church or a new job. For me, it is all three except the new baby isn’t due until November! (My sister and brother in law … not me. LOL) This Summer, I have started to see several transitions in my life come full circle and it is something that can only be of God! 

8 years ago this month, all hell started breaking loose at the church my dad was pastoring. Dad and IOur family had been there for 6 years and seen some wonderful years there. But selfishness overruled integrity and our family left as my father was not going to be a part of some ugly church split. We had seen firsthand what that does to a church and never desired to be a part of something like that no matter how “right” it seemed. Our family has been blessed to enjoy many wonderful friendships with so many from that precious church and I am truly thankful for those years that we were there.

The transition from being the “pastor’s daughter” to “just Melody” was hard at 25 years of age. I was hurt over the things that had happened and spent many a Sunday hiding out in the balcony of a local church weeping. I was finished with ministry. If this was how the church treated their leaders then I wanted nothing to do with it, however, it was in that balcony that the Lord began to work on my heart. He restored what I thought had been stolen and gave me a renewed passion for serving Him.

LCTI was led to another church to begin my time of serving Him as “just Melody” and joyfully served Him for 5 years in that church. I forged some lifelong friendships there and was content to stay put for the rest of my life. However, the Lord started working on my heart in March of 2014 that He was calling me away from my ministry. I had gone from being “just Melody” to “Melody, the soloist, the praise team member, the choir member” and I found such peace in that identity but the LordLCT 2 wanted me to find my identity in Him alone. So I took some time off and stepped back from all my singing responsibilities at that church. I thought that was it but the Lord wasn’t finished. He started leading me away from that church all together and broke my heart. Being a PK (pastor’s kid), it is not in my nature to church hop. You find a church, you join, you serve and you die there, unless God calls your father to pastor elsewhere. 🙂 I fought Him on this one but I finally relented and then made my own plans for what my next church would look like. I know He laughed at that.

The next church was to be medium to small in size. No more large to “mega” size churches for me. At the persistence of some very good friends I visited a very large local church on my first Sunday to visit other churches. This was the same church that I had healed in 5 and half years before but I had no intention of liking this church. I didn’t want to be in a big church. But God had a different plan for me that day. It was the only church I ever visited and I joined a month later.

I love this church. I love my pastor. I love the people here. But it’s been weird because it’s my home yet not. At my apartment complex, I have started to get to know quite a few people who live near me. It’s funny how daily walks with an adorable puppy and seeing the same people at the pool every few days can really tear down social walls. Their stories have shocked and saddened me while spurring me on to pray even more for those around me. At times, I have questioned why I even live in this complex as I do not fit in with anyone here yet at the same time I fully recognize that this is a mission field for me. But it can be so hard being the only one here or feeling like you are the only here … and then I found out my church is starting a second campus 2.9 miles from my home! Help is coming. I don’t have to do this on my own anymore. Our new campus starts in 3 weeks and I can’t wait! I fully recognize that the Lord has placed me here to serve within my own community and I am in awe of this fact.

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4th Grade 

But the Lord didn’t stop there, I now have a new position within my current place of employment. I am now working 9 minutes from home vs. 19.8 miles from home! The Lord has opened up a door for me to live, work, serve and worship within my own community. Something I haven’t done since my family lived next door to the church my dad pastored 14 years ago! Not only that but my new “boss” was my 4th grade teacher in Lenoir City, TN. My family lived there from 1991-1994 because that’s God called my dad for his first pastorate. This dear woman left an indelible mark on my life. The Fall that I had started her class I had just asked Christ into my heart a few weeks before. I knew she was a Christian by her words and her actions. To have come full circle 23 years later can only be of God. I am so thankful to be under her leadership once again.

I am in awe to see where this new transition will lead me but I know one thing whether it comes about within in 3 weeks or 23 years, the Lord’s timing is always perfect. While I am excited about these transitions and typically take changes well for some reason my heart has been heavy this time. Maybe it’s age (I’m tired) … ha … maybe it’s the fact that I have had to celebrate my new job on my own or the fact that it’s been a bit rushed but whatever it is, I am not pushing the feelings aside but letting everything just wash over me as the Lord has continued to put Romans 8:28 before me, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Oh and in case you were wondering … I gave my life to Christ on either August 2 or 3 of 1993. The best decision I have ever made and a lifelong transition of surrender.

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Gave my life to Christ in the bedroom of the top left window. 8/1993

I love you all!