My Life, Captured

All Eyes on You January 24, 2011

Filed under: Musings — Melissa @ 2:08 pm

Recently I ran into a friend who asked me how our church’s search for land was going.  My mind flashed through the dozens of leads we’ve exhausted in our search for a permanent place to build our church.  I told her that we have no current leads, that we are waiting on the Lord.  We know that He has a plan for this church and that we just need to patiently wait on Him to show us that plan.  I was reminded, as I have been frequently lately, of a passage in 2 Chronicles 20.  Jehoshaphat, with all of Judah, was facing a huge enemy army and certain defeat.  Having nowhere to run, Jehoshaphat cries out to the LORD and in verse 12 says, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.

There are many instances in my life – in parenting, in ministry, in marriage… – when I just don’t know what to do.  I’m not sure which way to go, what move to make next.  That’s when God patiently reminds me that I need only to set my eyes on Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tell me to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”  He will make my paths straight when I keep my eyes on, and place my full trust in Him.

The account in 2 Chronicles 20 goes on to tell us that God caused Judah’s enemy armies to fight against each other, completely destroying one another.  Judah didn’t have to lift a finger – the Lord fought their battle for them.  As I read that I am filled with hope because all through that account, God whispers His faithfulness.  When my eyes are on the Lord, and my trust is in Him alone, He fights my battles also – I’ve seen Him do it over and over again in my life.  He tells me, just as He did the Israelites when they were cornered by the Egyptian army against the Red Sea, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  (Exodus 14:14) 

So today, Lord, help me be still, fixing my eyes squarely on You, trusting You to fight for me.


Grandma’s Butterfly January 15, 2011

Filed under: Photos — Melissa @ 2:15 pm


Home January 13, 2011

Filed under: Photos — Melissa @ 2:00 am


Creating Gifts January 11, 2011

Filed under: Crafts,Photos — Melissa @ 3:06 am
Tags: ,

One of my goals this year is to save money by making gifts. Well, Ella had a birthday party this weekend, so to the craft store we went. This is what we came home with…

We’re both pretty pleased with the resulting journal and pen.  Not bad for a first attempt…



Filed under: Family Life,Musings — Melissa @ 2:54 am

This morning after lifting my son from his crib, he took a long look at my face and gave me the sweetest grin. He put his little arms around me and placed his head on my shoulder. It was one of those life moments that I wished could linger on forever. The feel of his soft hair on my cheek, the smell of the back of his neck after a good sleep, the pat, pat, pat of his chubby hand on my back. I wanted to drink it in to my memory and cement it there.

As I cried over the tenderness of the moment, I heard a sound coming from the next room that every mother dreads – that choking, coughing sound of a vomiting child. I put my son down to play, and ran into my daughter’s room to find her using the throw-up pot we had put her to bed with. My face still wet with tears, I automatically kicked into mommy-nurse mode.

After taking care of the necessities of the moment, I had to laugh. It’s just such a perfect example of the reality of motherhood. Times of blissful sweetness smashed right in there with the more difficult (and/or gross) ones. It’s funny to me that the latter are just as important and special to me as the former. Every moment I have with these babies is a gift from the Lord, and I am thankful for His reminder today to cherish each experience (whether nasty or nice) that I have with both of them.


Ode to the Pioneer Woman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa @ 2:50 am

Your cinnamon rolls are delicious,

Your brisket and lasagna are too,

Hubby’s tastebuds nor mine

Know what we would do without you!

Thank you for sharing your genius

With those of us who lack it.

No more empty boasts in the kitchen,

I now have the food to back it!


Rethinking Christmas

Filed under: Crafts,Family Life,Musings — Melissa @ 2:41 am
Tags: ,

Lately God has been challenging my thinking regarding those things I accept as necessary ingredients to a “good” Christmas. Every year seems to be the same for me. I struggle to cram Jesus into our crazy December schedule – right in there with the stacks of Christmas cards that I feel obligated to mail, the half a dozen or so parties we must attend, and the frenzied visits I have to make to the mall. The “I-Wants” seem to get the best of all of us, and even I end up making a long list of things I just have to have. I don’t want to have my focus hijacked by consumerism each December, but it sure happens anyway. And every year I’m left feeling disgusted by how I allowed stuff to steal my attention away from what I really want to be celebrating: my Redeemer, my Rescuer, Jesus.

We made quite a few changes this year, trying to focus our energy on what matters, and distribute our resources in a way that more accurately reflects our family’s goals and convictions. I recently stumbled upon some interesting resources online that God has been using to challenge me to make even bigger changes next year. I hope you enjoy them too.

Advent Conspiracy. About a month ago, I stumbled across this video about the staggering amount of money that is spent on Christmas gifts every year, and how a just a small portion of that money would be enough to save lives.

Happy Birthday Jesus.  One of the things we are going to do this year is have a birthday party for Jesus, complete with gifts that we give to Him. This site offers some great free resources.

Buy Nothing Christmas.  This site presents an intriguing argument against celebrating Jesus’ birthday by spending obscene amounts of money on gifts. While I’m not ready to say I agree with everything here, a lot of it did make sense to me and definitely started me thinking. I really loved their purpose:  

“Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites who offer a prophetic “no” to the patterns of overconsumption of middle-class North Americans. They are inviting Christians (and others) all over Canada to join a movement to de-commercialize Christmas and re-design a Christian lifestyle that is richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving to people less-privileged.”

We’ve decided that some of our gifts this year, and an even greater number of our gifts next year will be handmade. Here are some of the websites where I found great homemade gift ideas:

Ruby Glen.  This website had some great inexpensive handmade gift ideas.

Get Rich Slowly.  This site offers cool ideas for homemade gifts.

Not Martha.  One of the ideas on the Get Rich Slowly site referenced a project for homemade magnets. I thought they were adorable, plus it led me to a site that offers lots of great craft ideas. And, I love the name of the site: “Not Martha”, as in Stewart…

Family Crafts.  This site offers lots of great gifts kids can make.

Moms Who Think.  This site offered handmade gift ideas for different age groups.


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