PK Life

Instant Replay

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I have written anything. There has been so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start or what to share. I haven’t been released by the Lord to share what all has been going on with me but when the time is right to share it with you then I will as I don’t believe He intends for me to keep this part of my journey to myself. It’s just that I am still in the process of fleshing it out and learning to press further into Him. Plus, I have to be sure that when I do share it with you this doesn’t become a “poor Melody” moment but rather a “to God be the glory, look what He has done” moment.

Super ChristianAnyway, until then just know that I am in this place where the Lord is completely emptying me of myself so that I have no other choice but to fill myself up with Him. Because when given a choice, I will fill myself up with other things … well meaning things but stuff that simply cannot satisfy like Jesus can. I am in a place of ministry that I never desired to be in and have had to draw much deeper from the well than before because I wasn’t prepared for what was placed before me. I wasn’t ready for what would be asked of me. So I have had to dig deeper and study more. Boy, am I thankful!

This past Sunday night, I attended a local church’s Easter program entitled “The Living Cross” where they shared the life of Christ as told in the Bible. It was beautifully portrayed. The song they chose to sing during the “miracles scene” was Take Me to the King. This song has been on instant replay in my heart and mind all week. No song better describes where I am at in my life right now and where I desire to stay in my life.

Truth is I’m tired
Options are few
I’m trying to pray
But where are you?
I’m all churched out
Hurt and abused
I can’t fake
What’s left to do?

Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch will change my life

[Chorus:]
Take me to the King
I don’t have much to bring
My heart’s torn in pieces
It’s my offering

Lay me at the throne
Leave me there alone
To gaze upon Your glory
And sing to You this song
Please take me to the King

Truth is its time
To stop playing these games
We need a word
For the people’s pain

So Lord speak right now
Let it pour like rain
Oh, yeah, we’re desperate
We’re chasing after you

[Bridge:]
No rules, no religion
I’ve made my decision
To run to You,
The healer that I need

[Chorus:]

Lord, we’re in the way
We keep making mistakes
The glory’s not for us
It’s all for You

[Chorus:]

The truth is I am tired. I am churched out – I know all the churchy answers to tell myself. I’m tired of the games we play. I’m tired of being in the way. I’m tired of trying to steal His glory. It’s not for me. It’s not for you. It’s all for Him because of Him.

So, please, take me to the King. Lay me the throne. Leave me there alone. My heart is torn in pieces over my sin and in awe of His goodness. I just want to gaze upon His glory and sing to Him. The audience of One. Take me to the King.

I love you all.

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Single Life

Truth Is … We Can Handle It

Yesterday, my path crossed on Facebook with another 32-year-old woman who was struggling with the fact that she was single. I sincerely told her that it is better to be holy, whole and alone than dating the wrong person. But like most she struggles seeing friends getting married, coming home to an empty house and not seeing any prospect of change in her near future. I shared with her that some of the ways I combat those feelings is to focus more on getting to know who Christ is & acknowledging that my being single is part of His will for my life at this time. I also find other ways to serve so I am less apt to notice my loneliness. It doesn’t work 100% of the time but it certainly does help me. She asked me what to do about coming home to a lonely house. I told her that now that I have my puppy my house certainly isn’t lonely but I still light a favorite candle and turn some worship music on as soon as I walk in the door. Those two little steps immediately warm up my home so that even I feel invited in. I also make it a point before heading home to either have it on my radar what movie I want to watch or book I want to start reading that night if I don’t have something else pressing that I need to do at home.

I’m not sure how well she received my advice because it doesn’t give her a quick answer of “do this and you’ll be dating someone within a week”. I don’t have those kinds of answers and to be honest, I am glad that I am not privy to that kind of knowledge. The start of my year has been interesting so much so that I have shared with several friends that I would rather be left alone than deal with the guys that I have dealt with! And I meant it. I know that I have turned a corner in my life when I can make a statement like that and feel it with every fiber of my being. I have been spoken to about things and in a manner that no man professing Christ should ever speak to a woman about.

I will be 33 next month and thanks to a friend’s husband, I am now calling it my “Jesus Year”! Ha. But in all seriousness, for me, there is something sacred about this age. I am tired of it all and in the same vein, I am fired up. I want this year to count. I don’t want to waste it wondering what is or isn’t being said by someone that I am interested in. So I humbly request that single men and women, who truly profess Christ and seek to follow after Him, stop these 3 dating practices immediately.

(Disclaimer: I have been guilty of all three of these. So rest assured, this is something I have sought to eliminate from my life and some of these examples are from personal experience while others are borrowed from friends but to protect the individuals I am sharing them in the first person.)

Dishonesty

If you aren’t feeling it … then just be honest about it. Somewhere along the line, we have come to the conclusion that we have to be deceitful in our reasons for breaking up with someone or opting out of continuing to get to know someone.

Ex. I have been told in the past that distance is an issue … it was a 45-minute drive. When in reality they just weren’t attracted to me. My brother and sister-in-law dated for 3 years living 6 hours away from each other. So I’m not going to buy the 45-minute drive excuse.

Would it have been painful to heimage1-4ar that a guy wasn’t attracted me? Yes. But it would hurt much less than the realization of being lied to by someone to whom you had hoped would be different because he “lives for the Lord”. Y’all, we are better than this. You don’t have to be ugly about it but tell the truth.

Guys, from a woman who is seeking to be honest in this area as well … hear me … I would much rather know that you don’t see this going anywhere beyond friendship than you leading me on with talk of future events and projects that you know will never happen. If you sought to get to know a woman because you were attracted to her but realized you would be better off as friends don’t assume she is on the same page … ever. I have so much more respect for a man when he is honest from the beginning than someone who backtracks to cover his behind because he is feeling guilty over leading a woman on.

Ladies, if you know that a guy will never move out of the friend zone then stop taking advantage of a “free meal”. He works hard for his money and deserves to spend his money on someone who is truly interested in him. You may be a great friend but don’t be so prideful as to think you are doing him any favors by spending time with him. Be kind but be honest. Let him make the decision if he wants to continue to take you to dinner or if the next time you meet you’ll be going dutch. It’s fair.

Most of us aren’t dating for the sheer fun of it because it’s not all that fun. We are dating for the potential of marriage. So let’s stop wasting each other’s time when we know it’s not going anywhere.

Ghosting

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The only ghost that needs to be involved in a Christians dating life is the Holy Ghost. Mmmkay? For those of you who aren’t sure of this term is please see definition #2 …ghostingIn many ways, this all goes back to being honest with each other but it could also apply to that illustrious idea of the “silent treatment”. And just to be clear, both women and men have been known to “ghost” someone. If you are needing space, ask for it. If you aren’t interested, tell them. Don’t disappear. It’s dishonest and petty. It is certainly not the mark image1.PNGof someone who is seeking to live their life with integrity. Now, if you have told them that you are not interested in them and do not wish to pursue things any further yet they continue to contact you then block them. But most people will respect this decision and move on as well. Don’t leave a person wondering as to where they stand with you or what happened in general. Do you remember “the golden rule”? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31

I have been on the receiving of both ghosting and the silent treatment. It truly is the most mature way of a handling a woman. We feel valued as a human being and cherished by the person we are talking to, I mean were talking to or may still be talking to. I have spoken with guy friends who have been on the receiving end of this as well and they admitted that nothing made a woman more attractive to them when they employed these juvenile tactics into their relationship. I mean they were truly clamoring for more time with that woman. Not. Just stop it.

Ghosting is a cowards way out of a relationship. The silent treatment is a petty way to avoid conflict or to punish your partner (like that is your place, anyway). If there is an issue in your relationship be a grown up a deal with it. Chances are you aren’t dating a mind reader.

The God Card

Please stop blaming God as an excuse for breaking up with someone! There is only one time in which He makes it clear we are not to date someone and that is if they are an unbeliever …

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Other than that … we pretty much have free reign on who we can date in the world of Christianity. So if all of the sudden you have to break up with someone because “God told me to.” Then chances are you didn’t pray about dating them in the first place because if He has a say in it now He probably would have had a say in it from the beginning.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that God gives us a head’s up when someone isn’t right for us but we tend to ignore those signs. So instead of admitting that you were being disobedient by entering into the relationship to begin with you then place the blame on God for breaking up.

Just be honest. It’s not working out. You aren’t interested in them. It has nothing to do with your need to focus on your relationship with Christ or anything else like that. Just tell the truth. You will be better off in the long run for it than doing otherwise.

Friends, let’s be known for telling the truth in love. Let’s be known for living our lives with integrity in such a way that our dating relationships and/or potential interactions with one another mirror Christ more so than the world. Let’s show the next generation how to have healthy relationships without sub-tweeting our relationship woes on social media. Let’s give them something to strive for rather than run from. We can do better. We must do better. Why? Because we are the image bearers of Christ and He deserves no less than our very best. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. But if we resolve to treat each other in the manner in which we desire to be treated then I guarantee you it won’t be so hard. And for those of you who are still scared to be truly honest with those you are dating … the truth is we can handle it and we will respect you for it. Is it hard? Yes. But it is worth it. Let’s be about the hard and holy things of God. Not people who run from challenges and destroy people in our path.

What do you think?

Please comment below.

I love you all.

 

 

Single Life

This Isn’t A Game

img_5208I will never understand why some married men don’t wear wedding rings … especially when they aren’t in a job that restricts them from wearing it.

Or at the very least mention their wife in conversation.

In case you are wondering, yes, I was just made a fool. But it happens. I wasn’t flirtatious, yet, or anything like that but I would have been more guarded in my friendliness.

This is the day that we are living in. When a man is just being friendly … emailing you all throughout the day … asking about your weekend … discussing common interests … sharing basic personal details – where you grew up, HS attended, pets, family life … but somehow leaves out the fact that he is married. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? I’m sorry but I have a huge problem with that. Maybe it’s just me. But marriage isn’t a game. Being single isn’t a game. Being a truthful person isn’t a game. This isn’t a game.

“May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:21

I am a HUGE supporter of Biblical marriage … and as a believer, as a single woman, I take my part in helping to protect those marriages very seriously. I do this by, not only, electing politicians who uphold that same value but by respecting the marriages of those I am around. I do not ride alone in cars with married men. I do not eat alone with married men. I will not be in a house alone with a married man who is not my relative. Not because I do not trust myself or my friends but because I do not believe in giving the Enemy a foothold through rumors or a lapse of judgment.

I have seen the devastation that can occur in a marriage due to an affair. I work hard to be friendly but never cross the line with the husbands of my married friends. Even the ones where the guys were my friends first. Everything changes when they get married, well, actually when they get engaged. That open communication we once shared is gone. I respect that his fiancé and/or now wife deserves his full attention and openness. An openness that I cannot and should not share in. And it’s an openness that he should no longer expect from me. It’s called boundaries. They are a good thing.

I appreciate boundaries. I work well with them and when you have them set in place it helps you navigate through murky situations. It helps you turn away from temptation because you know that you will not compromise on those boundaries that you have in place. For me, those boundaries have been put in place by the convictions of the Holy Spirit in my life and through the reading of the Word of God. I will not and cannot compromise on them. I am thankful that His Spirit prepared me in advance for what I was going to find out today. I will now approach my conversations a bit differently with men and will wait until it is confirmed that a man is single before I believe it. Can’t rely on the fact that he’s not wearing a ring.

This isn’t a game. 

“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:3

If you are married then wear your ring if you are able to. If you can’t because of a job then find some way to share about your spouse so that others know that you are proudly and happily married. If you are unable to wear your ring because it doesn’t fit then find something to wear in the meantime! This applies to both husbands and wives.

And please know that I understand that there is temptation all around us whether a ring is present or not … but for those of us who truly do desire to do the right thing, seeing a ring helps us know what boundaries need to be put in place when meeting someone for the first time. I am not desperate to meet someone but I do desire to be a woman of integrity and flirting with a married man has no place in my life.

I know I am not perfect … I fully acknowledge that. I fail all the time. But I repent and start fresh again. It may have been an oversight on his part but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I’ll still be friendly within the boundaries that are now firmly in place. I’m a little bit wiser and a tad weary of it but this is life.

I’m thankful I get to live this life and that this isn’t a game.

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

The Behind-the-Scenes Look

Let’s have some fun today.

I often receive some questions about my glasses, my clothes, my jewelry, my shoes and what not … so I thought I would share my “secrets” when it comes to affordable styles and whether or not keeping up with trends is worth it for a non-size 10 body. 🙂

**Please note, I am not receiving any compensation for any of my comments by any store or company. These are simply my opinions and advice. But if they want to compensate me then let’s talk!! :)**

Clothing:rarely spend over $30 on one piece of clothing. The few times I have it has been on a coat or something that is a timeless piece of clothing.

  • I primarily shop at Cato’s, JC Penny’s, Ross and Walmart. Yes, Walmart. If I need a basic white tee then I’d rather get one for $4.88 then spend $15 or more because it has a name brand attached to it that no one is going to see. Thanks to switching to a capsule wardrobe, I have significantly cut my wardrobe down to items that I actually wear and enjoy wearing on a daily basis. If I find a top I like for $10 or $12 then I will buy it in several colors as I know will get more wear out of them. Like the shirt that I have on today is a sleeveless, collared, buttoned down that I bought in the summer for $9.99. I am wearing the white one but I also purchased a gray, turquoise and blue one (from Kohl’s). This is how I am wearing it for “Fall.” img_4963

I paired it with a lightweight gray cardigan that I picked up Marshall’s 2 years ago (a rare find for me), a scarf bought 6 years ago at TJ Maxx, and jeans from Cato for $24.99.

What do I spend my money on??: I only spend more than $30 on quality makeup (because it goes on my face) and purses (because I carry that every single day).

  • Ulta and Sephora are my makeup friends. I go there about once a quarter and get what I need. It’s a happy day and yay for reward points! For my lipstick/lipgloss, I usually pick up something from Drew Barrymore’s Flower brand at Walmart. I love it and while it’s on the pricier side for Walmart I like the feel and the smell.
  • For my purses … I have sold and given away a ton of purses in the last 10 years. When I was in my early 20s, I would change my purse to go with every outfit. Sometimes that meant I was carrying a different purse on Sunday night than what I carried Sunday morning to church. Seriously. Then in my late 20s, I decided to get a purse of every color … almost. But they weren’t really quality purses. It was more about the style. I like big bags … and I cannot lie. I had few COACH purses but all of them were purchased at one of their outlet stores at a deep discount, except for two that were given to me unexpectedly as gifts which I will always keep. Now in my 30s, I appreciate true quality over quantity. So I will set aside money and purchase a purse that I know will last me. But I am selective in the style and what not. I still look for a deep discount on the price and adore shopping in the outlet stores for these finds. However, I still often find a steal at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Amazon.com.

Glasses vs. Contacts: I have worn glasses since I was 14 years old. I was finally able to purchase contacts in my 20s. Contacts are expensive!! It cost me $80 with the help of insurance to buy a 6mos supply this past January. I wear them sparingly and still have 3 pairs left! Thanks to Zenni Optical, I have been able to afford multiple pairs of glasses to spice up my look. My latest pair of glasses cost a whopping $11.95. Yes, that is the right price. It’s amazing what you can get when a brand isn’t attached to it. The most expensive thing I have purchased from their site has been my sunglasses … but it was worth it. Here are few of my glasses …

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The most expensive thing in this picture are the contacts in the top left. Thanks, Zenni!

 

Trends: I don’t consider myself a trendy person. I just have things that I like. I mean I still wear turtlenecks when given the chance, much to the chagrin of my darling sister-in-law. I know what I like! LOL. But I think I only have one left in my closet since the great wardrobe purge. I don’t try to fit into a look just because it is the trend. I stick to what looks good and fits well for me. I did shock myself a week ago with a purchase of a dress with “cold shoulders”. Perhaps if I had had more time I would have looked for something else but I needed a dressier dress for an elections return party for the next night and I really don’t like shopping for clothes. I was short on time and it fit my criteria … it fit well, looked fairly good and was priced well at $27.99. I bought it at Ross and paired it with a pair of Mary Jane pumps that I had also bought at Ross two years ago. I’m going to guess the shoes were $19.99 but I can’t remember. Here’s the look …

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Thanks, Crowne Plaza for the great mirrors and perfect selfie opportunity!

 

 

Jewelry: I do have a few really nice pieces that I have either bought myself with birthday money or that have been given to me as gifts. My two special rings will go to my nieces – well, one will at least go to Raelyn and if I have another niece then she’ll get the other one – when they turn 18 or 21. I’d rather they get the rings while I am still living instead of waiting till I kick it … hahaha. You’re probably thinking, “but what if you have a daughter?” Well, I don’t really have any plans to have children but should that occur then she’ll get any jewelry her daddy gives me.

  • I love me some costume jewelry. Cato’s is a great place for that! Yes, Charming Charlie is good too but the prices and overall the quality are better at Cato’s especially in the clearance section. Just check the clasps on the necklaces before purchasing. I also like Burlington Coat Factory for their jewelry as well.
  • If you want to buy a quality piece of jewelry like some nice studs but aren’t ready to fork out some major money then watch the ads for Kay’s around the holidays … all throughout the year … as they often have earrings, bracelets, necklaces or a ring ranging from $49-$99.
  • Don’t forget about Etsy for unique finds as well. I have a rose gold druzy ring that I love …  SouthernWire is the name of the store where I bought this ring for $29.50. WAY more than I would normally spend for jewelry but it’s handmade in the USA and custom to my size. I just love that. fullsizerender-12Another recent Etsy purchase that I wear pretty much every single day is my “DeeDee” necklace. I wanted something that spoke to my being an aunt. So I found this little shop called Felicity and Bliss and purchased a double-sided engraved necklace for $30, including shipping. I had one side engraved with my aunt name “DeeDee” and the other side with the verses I pray for my babies.image1-3

Shoes: I’m afraid I am not much help here in the way of tips as I am not a big shoe person. Shoes and I don’t really get along. They are one of the first things to come off as soon as I walk in the front door of my home. I have a short, wide foot that makes finding the right fit very hard to the point that most of my shoes are the correct width but too long. 🙂 So I tend to just buy shoes from Payless, Shoe Show, Shoe Carnival and The Shoe Department. I just don’t put any effort or money into buying good shoes. I probably should as my dad as always said, “Your shoes fall apart the first time you wear them in the rain!” The most expensive pair I have besides my tennis shoes are my pair of Clarks Wallebees that I finally replaced 2 years ago for the one’s I had been wearing since my senior year in HS. If you can wear a shoe for 12 years or more that’s a quality shoe! I can justify spending more than $50 for that. The only other thing I could imagine spending more than $25 on would be a pair of cowboy boots. I eventually want to get me a pair of those. So we’ll see. Other than that if it were acceptable to be barefoot I might try that instead. 🙂

Miscellaneous: I color my own hair which saves me a ton of money and the fact that I am in the process of growing my hair out means I am saving money by not getting my hair cut. Ha. Also, I paint my own fingernails. They are always painted but I do them myself. I buy good polish like OPI and Essie which keeps my nails from becoming too damaged. And every few months or so I will get a pedicure. For my perfume, I like Kate Spade Twirl and The Beat by Burberry but I love purchasing the full-size tester bottles off of either eBay or here for $25-$30. I don’t need the $80-$100 gift sets with body wash and lotion. Just don’t need them.

So that’s basically how I get “my look”. As you can see, it’s nothing special. If you are able to afford name brand items then that’s wonderful. If you aren’t, that’s ok too. It’s just about knowing what you like, what you look and feel good inthen wearing it. Some days that means I take more effort with my appearance and other days that means I am wearing a camo pullover. Either way, I am me … and that makes me happy. 🙂  Oh … and no look is complete without a loving puppy! My Knightley has grown so much in the last year!!!

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October 30, 2015/October 31, 2016

 

I hope you found this post interesting and enjoyable. Feel free to shoot me some questions if you have any. Most of all don’t forget to clothe yourself in the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). Be ready to bless someone with a word of encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and practice smiling as it may turn someone’s day around (Proverbs 17:22).

I love you all!

Single Life

Season of Thanks: A Prayer and Two Dreams

In honor of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday today, I am sharing the prayer/poem that his wife Ruth Bell Graham wrote in her teens about the man she hoped to marry someday.

The Man I Prayed For
Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.

By Ruth Bell

fullsizerender-10A few years ago, I adopted this as my prayer too. I have it printed out and framed in my living room as a reminder to myself to continue to pray for him, my future husband, as well as the empty picture frame that sits by my bed. I posted a picture of one of my many copies that I have of it in 2011 … 5 years ago … but I still stand by what I stated then. 🙂 I would like to say that I pray for him all the time but I don’t instead I bemoan the fact that he isn’t here.

Well, last night I had two very vivid dreams. The first I ended up in a “school musical” and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was now, however, I was a last minute addition. Let me just tell you that I have never been in a school musical theater production. As much as I loved singing, the thought of getting on stage and acting in front of people mortified me. So here I am, in my dream, thrown on stage in a school production at the last minute but it was the backstage conversation that has stayed with me all day long. I ran into a friend who was deep in grief and admitted that they had been using musical theater (of all things) to fill the void of their lost loved one yet they were still empty. I found myself empathizing with them and admitting there have been many times that I have used various things to fill the loneliness in my life that is only meant to be filled by the Lord.

Instead of seeking solace in Him, I look to things to satisfy that only work for a brief time when what I am searching for is something more fulfilling. I’ll be honest … I use food to fill that void 9 times out of 10. I’m not a glutton but if I am lonely, bored or sad then I’ll eat something. For others, it may be shopping, alcohol, relationships, your children, drugs, social media, or TV. We all have various things that, in and of themselves may not necessarily be bad or they absolutely are, we allow to fill the needs in our lives versus the Lord. And let’s just be honest, when we turn to other things than seeking the Lord first it’s ultimately a form of disobedience because we are in essence making other things our gods.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?  I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49

We will never be satisfied with the things of this world or with the things that are of the Lord if the Lord is not first. It’s that simple. What kind of foundation do you want to build your life upon? Are you, like me, replacing the Lord with something? Seeking comfort in something other than Him and His word? He’s ready and waiting for us to return to our right fellowship with Him. We just have to take that first step.

In my second dream, I was sitting in a house high above a city with a large picture window. There were several others in the home with me when I looked outside and could see planes falling from the sky along with other catastrophic events happening. It was apparent that the Rapture was occurring. It was actually happening in stages. You know in movies when you see a wave of implosion slowly overtaking a city? That is what was happening in my dream but it wasn’t a scary situation. Those in the house were worried because we weren’t “taken” yet but I had this peace that it was coming and we needed to get ready. And that’s what I believe this dream was about … the Lord is coming back … it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are regarding the end times. He’s coming. He told us He is.

 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.  People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-36

Are you ready? Do you have everything in order in your house? Because He is coming. Now more than ever it is time to be about the Father’s business and share the hope we have in Christ with others.

So today … the day before the election … the day of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday … I am thankful for the Godly example of marriage he and Mrs. Ruth set for us. I am thankful for the hope of Salvation that he faithfully preached to the nations over his lifetime. And I am thankful for the hope and assurance that Christ is coming again.

I love you all!

 

 

Single Life

Season of Thanks: A Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

Ha … that’s a little formal sounding coming from me but I did something different this time and decided to write to you, my dear husband, on my blog versus in the journal that has been set aside for your eyes only. (And I am saving my special term of endearment for you alone, hence the formality.) I am sure for those who are seeing this right now they may be greatly confused as they are 100% sure that I am still single and it is true,  I am.

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Moments like this … a drive on the Foothills Parkway

As far as I know, we have yet to meet or if we have, I am not aware that it’s you and I am assuming you are not aware of this either. But I write to you every once in a while like I have been since I was 18 because I believe that someday we will meet and there have been some key moments in my life that I have wanted to share with you. Moments when I thought, “I wish I had someone in my life to experience this with,” but for some reason, I wasn’t dating anyone so I wrote to you. I believe the Lord has saved my heart so that only you and He could have my entire heart.

I do not have high expectations of what our life together will be like. You do not reach 32 without seeing some of your friends and family experience deep heartache and heartbreak within their marriages to know that this isn’t the stuff of fairy tales. However, it is something hard, holy and totally worth it with Christ at the center of the relationship. I want to put the work into that kind of relationship, into that kind of a partnership … the kind that makes a difference for the Kingdom of God. Not a relationship that seeks to gratify self over others. I believe we are capable of this because we both know it is only by the grace of God that we have found each other and it is only through the grace of God that we can support each other throughout our marriage.

This is what I am waiting on. And while at 32 years of age, I am closer to 35 and 40 than I am to 25 or 20 I believe you are still worth the wait. In a few months, I will be 33 years of age and since Jesus laid down His life at that point, I figure this would be a good age for me to get married and lay down my life as well. So if you would like to come along say … today … then that’s fine with me too. 🙂 But if we are called to wait further still then we will wait.

However, in the meantime let me catch you up on our life, we have a niece due any day deedee-necklacenow and I am beyond excited for the moment that I get to hold her in my arms and sing “Jesus Loves Me” to her. We, also, have another niece or nephew due in May! Brantley is going to be a big brother. He is going to be amazing at it. Needless to say, come this Summer I will be wearing out the interstate between here and West TN to see our 3rd little one. It will be a blessing to have the 2nd one so close. I love being a “DeeDee.”  These past 5 years with just Brantley have been the most amazing years of my life. The protective love I have for that boy and knowing that I am just his aunt leaves me in awe at times. Speaking of Brantley … he’s been wondering where you are. 🙂 I hope you can throw a football as that is very important to both him and me. Tennessee football has been a roller coaster as usual but we still love our VOLS.

I am still working with the four and five-year-olds’ Sunday School class at my church’s new campus in West Hills (a community in Knoxville) and they leave me laughing every week. Oh, the things they say!

I am not singing in church like I used to as that is not how the Lord is seeing fit to use me but I still sing in the car and in the house … all the time. And you can probably count on at least one concert in the car on any given road trip. 🙂 Should the Lord decide to open that door again then I will gladly sing His praises from any pulpit but I am content with singing His praises from the pews and anywhere else I am led to break into song … just song … no dancing. Be glad for that!

knightleyI think Knightley has finally stopped growing. He even tries to play matchmaker and does the 101 Dalmation wrap up with guys whenever he can. It can get slightly awkward!

Even though the election has our nation in what feels like an upheaval, I have such a much-needed peace today that the Lord is in control.

I always feel His presence when I am writing to you and I have since I was 18. I need to trust Him with you more. I need to leave the who, what, when, where and how of “us” with Him and rest in the fact that He is in control.

For one final note … here is my costume for “Halloween” that I wore to work yesterday. I was a “Fisher of Men” instead of a fisherman. This is what I posted on Facebook …

What can I say?! I take my calling in life as a single woman to be a fisher of men VERY fisher-of-menseriously. The key is that you pick the right spot, you have the right bait and are prepared to wait. You have to be knowledgeable about which ones are just teasing the line and which ones are serious about the hook. Use your energy on that one. The bad ones, the young ones and the really old ones will be thrown back. And like all true fishermen, I’m still waiting on that “one” big catch of a lifetime.

Hahaha. So just know that until we do meet, I am going to keep having fun making jokes about being single as it helps set people at ease. Besides, I have no desire to be that single woman who cannot find joy in being single. At least I get the entire bed and control of the TV to myself … who couldn’t find joy in that?

I am thankful for this time as I learn what it means to seek the Lord on your behalf. I am thankful for you and the hope of you. Most of all I am thankful to the Lord who is faithful to sustain me.

Just know that you are never far from my mind and always in my heart.

Until we meet,

-Melody Faith

**It has been a privilege to link up with Kelly’s Korner today. May all the other singles out there be blessed, be reassured that you are not alone in this season and find contentment in every season of your life. Blessings … from Knoxville, TN**

Single Life

Lady Edith and I

“Where one story ends another begins.”

I knew something was coming as I could sense I would be sharing this story for several weeks now but I couldn’t imagine how I would be telling it nor how I was to be this open with everyone, therefore, I chose to keep my mouth shut and not write until He told me to …

…Here we are …

downton-abbeyFor the first time in over a week, I am lying in my bed and not watching an episode of Downton Abbey. The reason for this is that I have completely started and finished the series in a week’s time. What can I say? Go big or go home! Now for those who are not familiar with Downton Abbey, I should share that there were only 5 seasons and 9 episodes per season. Each episode lasted 45 minutes to an hour, give or take a 2 hour Christmas special. Kudos to those who actually watched the show while it was in production … I would have been so frustrated with only 9 episodes per season.

This show literally had me feeling “all the feels” … anger, joy, disappointment, heartbreak … all of it. I did not cry in some of those episodes that most have cried in but I could have. This is why I am accused of being heartless. Ha! There was very little language and I truly mean very little. They did touch on immoral issues but unlike today’s television show’s they were not issues to be celebrated but things to overcome. They showed how everyone, no matter their background, should be treated with love and respect. I will be watching this show again and again for years to come. It was not anything that I had expected and I am so glad.

I have never been one to become emotionally invested in a TV show. I like television but it’s entertainment. What I did not expect was to see myself in the three daughters of Downton Abbey. And lest you think I have visions of grandeur for myself, I do not. It was their faults and/or weaknesses that I seemed to resonate with the most. While I do not want to give away too much of the show to those who have not watched it I am about to become more specific with a few details.

I saw myself in Lady Mary’s coolness in her attempt to mask her feelings and her frequent regret over her sharp tongue. The sharp tongue is something I have worked hard, by the grace of God, to overcome over the course of my roaring 20s. In Lady Sybil, I see the war between doing what is right and wanting to rebel at the same time. Thankfully, she finds the right balance of being able to honor her family and stick to her convictions as well. For me, that was growing up in the ministry but still being my own person (i.e. not allowing everyone’s opinions on how I should dress, color my hair or when I wanted a break from singing in the choir determine my decisions). Finally, there is Lady Edith. Oh, Lady Edith. Lady Edith really struck a nerve with me. While I could not identify with her issues in seasons 3 and 4, I saw myself in her in seasons 1 and 2. I have never been more annoyed! I saw her chasing after a man and not taking the hint to leave him alone … it was all I could do to not groan out loud in frustration.

I spent 10 years of my life basically in love with a man who did not love me back … at least he wasn’t in love with me. We were friends. I still remember the first day I met him. I have movie reel in my mind that I can pull up at any moment and play through various memories of those first conversations. His smile. His laugh. His look in those first few years. Those first years when it seemed that something might form from our innocent friendship. Moments when there was flirtation coming from him. Then something would happen and I’d watch him shut down. So I would chink away at the wall he had put up again.

I had looked for the “signs” as all good Baptists do. You know the ones I am talking about … things that the world would call coincidence but believers know are of God and had found them. I could even find biblical significance in the number of years that we had been friends and so forth. I was that desperate for this to work. He was everything I had imagined for myself, except for a few things. He was “the one”. I knew it. Others seemed to know it. He just didn’t know it.

I dated some in between but my heart always his. I was finally challenged by a friend to ask the Lord for him. So I did. I got down on my face and asked the Lord. I called it my “bold request”. It took a few months but it became clear one night that I would never mean to him what he meant to me. He was never rude and it wasn’t anything he said or did. In fact, it was what he didn’t say and he didn’t do that told me everything I needed to know I remember leaving the dinner that night absolutely crushed.

We are still friends to this day but it is one of the many reasons why I do not have close guy friends anymore. The water can become too murky. Invariably one will end up wanting something more. My best girlfriends are the ones allowed into my soul and they, in turn, now help me to “hide my crazy” when it comes to men. I am sure he had to of known because I was as subtle as Lady Edith was or a bull in a china shop but he was always so kind to me. It is for that reason and so many more that he will always mean the world to me but he no longer has my heart. He hasn’t had it for some time. I just couldn’t see it or simply refused to see it, because, like with so many other things, it feels like another death of a dream. But, instead, I am thankful for the things the Lord taught me through those 10 years of being “in love” with him and for the things my friend taught me as it only increased my faith.

It is funny how a television show was able to help me finally bring that chapter of my life to a close but it has. So here’s to moving on … not necessarily to bigger and better because this isn’t a negative thing or bitter situation but simply in a manner more surrendered and less spastic! I’m looking forward to the days and years ahead because of this promise that I have from the Lord … a promise that doesn’t require a sign because I can enter His presence with just the whisper of His precious name.

 I love you all!

Single Life

So Hacked

A week ago Friday I received an email from Christian Mingle, letting me know that my profile update had been approved. I thought that was funny as I hadn’t submitted any changes to my profile. I figured that was their attempt at getting me back on the site as I had been pretty MIA that week while preparing for my sister’s baby shower. I logged on and saw that they were asking me to update my job title again which I was pretty sure I already had on there. Anyway, I submitted the information “academic support assistant” and moved on with my day. A few hours later I received another email letting me know my picture had been approved. I was like, “what?” I log on and find this looking back at me …

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Which one is not like the others? **

Yea, if only I had that jaw line. I quickly emailed customer support with the line “My account has been hacked.” I was with my mom grabbing a few grocery items for the shower at Walmart and quickly thinking of things to do when I decided to shut my account down. I didn’t want whoever this chick was to misrepresent me to guys or to offer things I would not be willing to do. I was so ticked off that this had happened. A friend that I met via CM emailed me through his personal email later that night to show me what was appearing on the website from me …

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Isn’t that nice?

 

It took 4 days for my account to be turned back over to me. I had to prove through various ways that I was the true account holder. I had to read the email where they talk to you like you are a kindergartner and remind you to not give your account information to anyone. “Thank you. I didn’t.” I have no idea how this chick gained access to my account. After creating an entirely new email address, changing multiple passwords and signing over the rights to my firstborn child (which the joke is on them as I do not plan to have children) my account is back in my hands.

After thoroughly checking my profile for any deviant changes, I am ready to shut it down. My 6-month promotional period is almost up and it’s just not worth it to me to keep paying for this. Please know, I am not sharing from a place of discouragement or anything like that. I am genuinely glad I put myself out there on this site and I know that there are others that I can try but I am just not feeling it right now. I guess I am weird because I don’t want a guy who is only going to look at my profile every day but never take the step to communicate with me or when I take the step to say hi then I am ignored. Where are the men with gumption? Men who will at least meet you halfway on this.

img_4425I’m not interested in continuing to pay so I can find email buddies. I’ve been “one of the guys” my whole life. I love my guy friends but eventually that all has to change, as it should, when they start getting married so I’m not looking to add to that area of my life.

I still have a hope that there is a man out there that loves the Lord with his whole heart, is seeking to figure out what it means to live for Him on a daily basis, knows what it means to make mistakes and learn from them, desires to love and be loved by someone. Maybe that is asking too much. I don’t know. I am honestly not looking for anything that I am not willing to strive to be myself.

I am thankful for the experience I have had with Christian Mingle over the last 5 months as I have learned a great deal about myself and about others. I have seen some really ugly insecurities surface in me but have been able to bring them to the Lord and face them. I have had my convictions tested but have been able to stand firm on them. I have been able to hone in even more on what I am looking for in a mate vs. what I am not.

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Thank you for walking with me on this CM journey. I’m ready for a break from it and should I decided to try online dating again it will definitely be with another site. But for now, I am not looking. I am going to enjoy Fall in East TN and prepare for the upcoming arrival of my baby niece.

Happy Fall Y’all!!

I love you all.

 

**DISCLAIMER** It appears the profile picture that the hacker added to my account was stolen as well. So the lovely woman in this picture is more than likely not even aware that her image has been used on a dating site!

Random Thoughts

It Is What It Is

“It is what it is.”

This is one of my most favorite statements to proclaim when things are not going my way, seem to be spiraling out of control or my presupposed plan has to be completely altered. It simply is what it is. You’ve just got to roll with the punches and go with the flow. I’ve never been a control freak but instead I am one who can typically see the bigger picture and better understands why something will or will not work. However, I do not have to have my own way and never demand it. I do like some sense of order in my life, even fullsizerender-3though you could never tell it by the chaos that is my house (but I have a theory about this which involves better organization, less stuff and having a second bedroom someday but I digress …), so if someone moves something on my desk at work it will be moved back to the correct spot. That is about the extent of the organization in my life … if I make set plans with friends then I stick to them but other than that whatever I plan for myself can change at a moment’s notice. I use a handwritten calendar to keep up with my life vs. a digital calendar because I like to write and because I remember things better that way. It has also allowed my creative side to really come forward. But again, I digress.

This past week has been one of the most stress-filled weeks of my life. It was glorious. (Please read that dripping in sarcasm.) Instead of turning to the Word of God for comfort and focus, I just plowed ahead and allowed the busyness of all that was before me  to overwhelm me. I did not manage my time well … shocker … and due to that fact, an event I hosted suffered. While to those on the outside it may have seemed quite lovely, I will always know in my heart what it could have been and what it wasn’t because of improper planning on my part.

This past weekend I have mourned my unrealized expectations as well as looked my pride and my false sense of perfection in the face. I have been humbled by all three. I struggle to ask for help when I truly need it. I am still like that stubborn toddler that insists she can put her right shoe on her left foot. I don’t want to need help. I want to be capable of doing this all by myself. And I am not. It is what it is. 

img_4295As I took a few minutes this morning to catch up on the reading I missed from last week I read these verses …

“Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.” Psalm 16:5

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. … ‘Be still and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.’ The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude Psalm 46:1, 10-11

fullsizerender-2“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for going before me this past week ready to meet me where I needed it the most with your Word. Please forgive me for relying on my own feeble strength and not turning to you when I needed you the most. Thank you for your faithfulness and patience with me, your stubborn one. Thank you for being gracious enough to still redeem the time this weekend by allowing us to enter into your presence Friday night as we prayed over my sweet sister and precious niece. Please continue to go before us in the days ahead. Thank you for loving me just as I am but not allowing me to stay this way.

I love you.

In Jesus’s Name I Pray,

Amen

Moving on and letting go … 🙂

It is what it is.

I love you all!!

Random Thoughts

Trust the Process

“Trust the process. God hasn’t brought you this far to suck the wind out of your sails.” These were the words I tapped out in a quick reply text to a friend a few weeks ago as she begged me for prayers over a situation that she was guaranteed wouldn’t be a problem.  I wasn’t just offering a flippant response but a sincere suggestion as a result of God’s faithfulness I had seen on display in her family’s life over the years that I had known her. While we do not a serve a name it and claim it God, He has been faithful to provide for their needs where He has guided their family to walk so I knew He would not fail them now. I knew she could trust the process. This whirlwind process that the Lord has asked her family to walk but with other believers at their side, praying with them and for them.

Trust the process. Those words have echoed in the darkest places of my soul the last few weeks especially when I am tempted to feel alone, insecure or scared. Trust the process.

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Trust the process. When I desperately desire a community with people my own age but I have been called to teach a preschool Sunday School class. Trust the process.

Trust the process. When the doctors are giving you a diagnosis you do not want to hear. Trust the process.

Trust the process. When it’s easy to see how He is working in other people’s lives yet you are blind to His work in your life. Trust the process.

Trust the process. When you are living a story you would have never written for yourself. Trust the process.

Trust the process. When He says “go” but everything within you says, “Now, but how? I’m not sure I’m ready. Are you sure, Lord?” Trust the process.

Trust the process. When I feel isolated by the standards and convictions the Lord has called me to in the online dating world and even in just the daily interactions with my neighbors. Trust the process.

Maybe just maybe trust the process is another way of saying have faith.

And when all else fails … cling to Deuteronomy 31: 8 “

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you, he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Trust the process.

I love you all.