Melony will help you through the housework or the work day from 10am – 2pm with Positive Hits and conversation that is Always Safe For The Little Ears!
Yep, it’s that time AGAIN! I can’t believe I’m saying that so soon, but I’ve said that everytime. You see, I come from a long line of deep root diggers. In their seventies, my parents still live within 60 miles of where they were each born, as do my brothers and their wives. However, in the last 12 years, I have moved 8 times! This last home we moved into, I declared we would stay long enough to get window treatments up on all the windows. I did purchase the fabric, and then the economy collapsed.
After losing a significant chunk of our household income and having a family member move out, my family is in need of a good old-fashioned downsizing. So, we are packing everything into boxes once again and beginning to house hunt. The last time we moved, my kids were 1, 3 and 4. Now they are 6, 7 and 9. That makes this move much more challenging. Mostly, because now my kids have opinions AND they’re not shy about sharing them!
My son is demanding a pool. My oldest daughter just wants a room to herself. My youngest daughter wants room enough for a HORSE! I want them to know I hear them and their opinion is valuable to me; however, all the things they want don’t weigh as much into our final decision as the cost of the monthly rent, the safety of the neighborhood, the commute to work and church and the strength of the school system. All these things are far beyond their understanding. So, though, I hear them and value them and even desire to make their dreams come true, ultimately I need them to trust me to know the bigger picture of what is actually best for them.
Then there’s the moments when I find myself alone with My Father. I’m pouring out my heart full of hopes, dreams, opinions, heartbreaks and disappointments. I know He hears me, I know He values me, but ultimately I need to trust Him to know the bigger picture of what is actually best for me and my family. Isn’t that the root of all our struggles, the inability to fully trust the One who is fully trust-worthy?
Ps. 31:14 But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
Well, after a lot of drama and even a few fears that our neighbors would call DCF due to the volume of my kids’ protests, we finally have all three riding their bikes training wheel free. Teaching my kids to ride a bike was one of those events that I dreamt about almost in a romantic light. Oh, what sweet memories it would create! However, with all three of mine their level of fear made it much more challenging than my expectations could have imagined.
Yet, last night at long last, the magical moment happened. I was working with my 5 year old son to overcome his fear and just practise his ‘take off.’ I showed him how to position his pedals to get the best leverage, we counted down, 3-2-1 than blast off! With each try his confidence began to take off. As I ran along beside him, he kept imploring me, “Don’t let go, Mom, don’t let go!” Yet, with each try I could feel the tug, I was struggling to keep up and then I realized, I was holding him back.
So, the very next try even as his cries continued for me to not let go, when I felt the strain of the bike pulling against me, I ever so slowly opened my hand and let go. My son surged ahead and off on his own! It was amazing and exhilerating for him, as well as me. The screaming and celebrating from my son, myself and my daughters roused the whole neighborhood. In that moment of celebration I felt it, the bittersweet pain of my children growing and gaining more independence.
I’m the kind of mom that doesn’t let go very easily, but as I watched my son continue to amaze his sisters riding around the neighborhood on his own, I began to pray. God, help me to know when to hang on and when I am holding them back and need to let go. The realization grows in me everyday, that the only way letting go is possible, is by placing my complete trust in God. The One who created them for His purpose, who loves them enough to sacrifice His son for them and the One who has all the wisdom of the ages. That’s a pretty exhilarating place to let them go to.
Watch Ian riding bike…just click his name!
Fighting the GOOD Fight
Maybe you can remember those days in high school gym class when you were forced to wear those ugly school shorts and work out to whatever routine was on the schedule that week. I clearly remember the weeks we had to run a mile and the the panic that would roll through much of the student body. Even then we realized the major differences between a quick, euphoric 100 yard dash stacked against the growling, painful endurance of llllooonnngggg distance running. For those who had trained and prepared there was eagerness, but for the rest there were nearly disabling realities that would become aparent along the way. This run would take work, lots of it, pacing, control, sacrifice, as much brain as it did brawn. However, for those who actually perservered to across that finish line it became very evident the hard work and sacrifice were not only worth it, but it took them to another level. They achieved ‘something’, the rest of us who could only hope to.
So very many times since the day I said, “I do.” I have felt like I was tackling one of those impossible, marathon runs. No matter how many friends, family and even clergy tell you that marriage is not what you expect, not what Hollywood displays, but an enormous amount of work and sacrifice you just don’t ’get it’ until you’re in it. I have experienced more pain in my marriage than I could have ever imagined, yet at the sometime more JOY! Fighting, enduring, surrendering with God’s guidance, my husband and I have time and again reached another level, never to be the same. I have been reading the book “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. In it he challanges that God did not design marriage to make us happy, but He uses it to develope our holiness.
More today, than ever I see so many around me fighting the good fight. It’s messy, it’s HARD, it can be painful, BUT IT IS WORTH NOT GIVING UP. It is worth laying down your pride, your way and letting God’s hands work through your marriage to develope your holiness. I know, right now you’re thinking, “That’s great for you, but, you have NO idea what my fight it like…how impossible it is. How alone I feel!” Maybe I don’t, buy I know GOD does, and I know you may not be as alone as you think.
Today my purpose is simply to encourage where ever you are in your good fight to know you’re not alone, it’s not easy for anyone. Today, through others’ stories, I hope we can be the ones on the sidelines of your long marathon to cheer you along, to give you hope and strength to know that you CAN DO IT. These four couples were our recent winners of the Z88.3 Second First Date. For sharing their stories, they enjoyed an evening out at The Marriage Show and a night’s stay at the International Palms Resort in Cocoa Beach.
ERIKA AND ERIK
My husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old. We dated for 11 years and have now been married for 14+ years. We have been experiencing some very difficult challenges in our relationship over the past 9 months. Through prayers and our walk with the Lord, we are committed to making our marriage work. We see too often how the effects of a broken marriage cause so much destruction to so many, and we do not want to bring such pain. Our first priority is putting our relationship with each other in order as the most precious gift we can give our children. Many years of focusing on the kids has separated us and we desperately need to re-connect with each other. We need to make time for our relationship. We’re making this Second First Date the starting point of a new re-commitment to each other.
JULI AND MICHAEL
We’ve been married a long time and have gone through so much together. Two major things were surviving the destruction of our home in Miami by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and living in a motor home for 10 1/2 months as we rebuilt. We’ve also been foster parents for the past 12 1/2 years. We’ve had close to 50 kids come through our home during that time, and we were tremendously blessed to have adopted 5 of those kids. They have enriched our lives so much, but getting time away for us to connect just doesn’t happen. My hubby and I are about to celebrate 32 years of being married. Times are always changing and we find we need to continue to work on changing our relationship to meet them. Now as our kids are growing up, too fast, and going to college, our lives are coming full circle. We are back to finding each other again and discovering who we have become together and individually through the years. I’d love to surprise my husband and work on our relationship with a Second First Date.
LEDALIS AND RICKY
My husband and I were married young. We were both 19 when we decided to take the leap. Well, 5 years later here we are just now realizing the commitment we made. We are slowly but surely starting to fall in love with each other. After 2 years of being married we had a baby girl, she is the light of our lives. Unfortunately we have drifted apart, between both of us going to school full time, working, and a toddler we find it very hard if not impossible to make time for each other. We are a young couple who has fought and will continue to fight for our marriage. Thanks for this oppurtunity of a Second First Date!
GARY AND JEANETTE
When I think of my wife and our relationship I think back to when we first started dating. We were like two little kids just loving to be in each others company. We would do what teenagers do, watch movies all day, cuddle, laugh, go shopping and act like we had no worries. All we wanted was to be with each other. Things just seemed so simple back then. Things came to a head the moment we decided to move to Florida in 2005. It just seems like it’s been a constant struggle since. We moved here with a two month old and a 10 and 13 year old. Lately it seems like we are constantly fighting over the smallest of things. I work during the day and my wife works in the evenings. It feels like we are just passing each other. I know we still love each other, but often daily routines, children, work, and responsibilities overshadow that. Yesterday my wife and I got into a pretty big argument. She felt tired of begging for my help around the house, plus there were some insecurities about our relationship, and the support she feels she doesn’t receive. I felt like I don’t ever measure up to her expectations and wondered if she really still loves me. She left for work crying. As I was having dinner alone, I was so angry. So I tried to think how would God respond in my situation. How would God want me to lead this marriage and be an example of change? As I ate, I looked around and I started seeing things in the house that needed to be done. I started picking up everything hanging around or on the floor, our sliding back doors still had snow spray from Christmas so I cleaned that, I put carpet fresh down and vacuumed the house, and I put away the laundry. I then realized it was almost time for my wife to return from work, so I cleaned the bath tub, drew her a bubble bath, dropped rose pedals on the floor that lead to the tub and also made a heart with them. I setup a table with crackers, a small plate, butter knife and her favorite cheese along with a book and two cute little notes from me. I also added a whistle in case she needed my help or wanted something else. I’m not sure what came over me or where all that came from, except to say God was my inspiration. I wish I could explain how the look, the kiss and the hug she gave me felt. It was like she was saying, “This is the man I met, fell in love with and want to spend the rest of my life with!” I want her to feel like that everyday and am renewed to strive for that. My next step is this Second First Date!
Whatever your story, your journey, your fight we stand with you in prayer, that God would be the One to strengthen and uphold you, your marriage and your family.
“The LORD makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinner, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12: 1-3
Two Years: An Eternity or Just Yesterday, Reflections of the Haiti Earthquake
After a bite to eat, our team headed to Brache-Millot, one of the 26 schools and churches that New Missions had built in their nearly 30 years of serving in Haiti. We brought shoe boxes for the children. Boxes filled with simple things like crayons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, small stuffed animals, pencils and more. Things that seem inconsequentical to our consumeristic society, but things that were valued treasures, items of survival for these sweet, school kids. Many times we had to convince them the box was truly for them, they had never received any gift in their lifetime. As they opened their boxes with enormous awe and gratitude, I remembered a YouTube video of a family tearing open what seemed like an endless pile of Christmas gifts, only to have the youngest exclaim afterward, “It that ALL?!”
Following our morning at the school, interacting with children that had been sponsored by New Missions, children that were receiving an education, a school lunch (for most their only meal each day) and children that had school uniforms; part of our group walked up the beach to the village of LaSalle. For most, it was the first look at what life was truly like for the Haitian people. We saw the structures they called homes, the filth, the disease. We held children that were dangerously thin, that were barely clothed. This was the real life of children that didn’t yet have someone to sponsor them through New Missions. Gone were the bright, hopeful smiles we had seen in the eyes of the children we had been with just that morning.
There are a lot of visions that flash through my mind as I reflect on the earthquake that our New Missions team experienced 2 years ago today while serving in Haiti. I’ll forever remember the thunderous sound, the unimaginable force of being thrown, the confusion, the full vision of the aftermath as our Black Hawk helicopters flew over Port-A-Prince, the crushing despair of those who lost so much, so many.
BUT mostly I will remember the MIRACULOUS HOPE in the eyes of the Haitians, even in the midst of such great lose and pain! As tremors shook throughout the night, I will always remember hearing the choruses of villagers singing, LOUDLY in the pitch-black fields we had evacuated to following the earthquake. The stronger the tremors the louder their praise to Jesus! It is burned in me permenently the intense grip of one of the New Mission’s school principles, who lost so many dear to him. As his fingers dug into me all his soul was bared and he said, “You will get home, you will go home and when you do-DON’T FORGET HAITI.”
So, it’s 24 months later, a mire 2 years. There are piles of rubble that have not yet been touched in Haiti. Yet, so many have forgotten. Where are all the reporters, the news agencies, the activists who swore to stay and help until the task was done? Yes, it is an overwhelming task, BUT organizations like New Missions, that faithfully served the area before the earthquake are still at work, are still bringing hope, ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, have NOT forgotten Haiti. In fact, this is what Brache-Millot school looks like TODAY (01/12/12)!
This Saturday, New Missions will host their 2nd Annual Haiti Walk at Crane’s Roost in Altamonte Springs, 8 am-11 am. Whether you give to New Missions or another agency, whether you sponsor a child in Haiti or somewhere else in the world. If you’ve ever put a shoebox together or volunteered, if you have ever held Haiti or even our team up in prayer, please, plan to join us this Saturday and show that YOU HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN HAITI!!!!
Here’s a link. Feel free to pass it on
Never Say Never
Well, it’s 2012 and time to welcome the new. Right? I mean, it still feels very much like 2011 did, but with a new year we place new hopes, tackle new challenges and make new promises. A new year brings out the ambition in the most slothful of us.
The last two years have been unprecedented in my life as far as change goes. God has not so completely turned my world upside down since I first turned my life over to Him in 1986! So, I kinda had this idea of coasting through this new year resolution free, unencumbered by the pressure to reach some new lofty goal. Somehow, though, God has a subtle way of always keeping us moving toward His goal, of not allowing us to get comfortable. Thus, as this new year dawns, I find myself here, doing what I swore I never would do…..BLOG!
I remember when I was in third grade, my parents gave me my first diary, complete with lock and key. I loved the idea of delving deeply inward and recording, for all time, my greatest thoughts. That same Christmas, I got my first ever pair of real nylons….not little girl tights, but real, in the Leggs egg, nylons! I couldn’t wait the wear them. However, given I lived in the frozen tundra of North Dakota, December does not promise the best nylon weather, especially when you walked to school. The first entry in that blue and yellow flower covered book that was to hold my deepest, greatest thoughts, was my exuberant pride of owning nylons. Day two was my extreme disappointment in my mother’s decision that it was too cold to wear them to school. Each entry that followed, none longer than 5 or 6 sentences, my disappointment gave way to rants about the ‘meanest Mom in the world!” I’m sure eventually spring dawned and I got to strut my stuff in those Leggs, but it never made it into that diary. My diary keeping lasted, off and on, for 2 and a half weeks.
I think I tried journaling once or twice more as the years went by. I always loved the idea, but never really had the gift or discipline. My joy was complete when I was introduced to Twitter, 140 character thoughts! Now that seemed just about right for my deepest thoughts.
A couple of months ago, during one of God’s great reshufflings of my life, I was out for a run. All I could think about that whole time was getting home, being finished. In fact, I knew a short cut and was thinking about taking it when I stumbled on a branch and looked down. There was the most stunning, colorful flower growing right beside the sidewalk. How many times had I run this way and never seen it? How much of my life is spent just like that run? Pining so hard for the end result, taking short cuts, I miss the colorful scenery along the way, the lessons and blessings in the journey.
Alas, here I am in this new year, with a blog page that has my name on it. This truly will be a journey of discovery. No short-cuts, but I can’t guarantee great depth, either. Here’s what I hope and pray, that you and I have the opportunity to enjoy some colorful scenery, share a lesson or two with each other and maybe be blessed from time to time. Here’s to 2012, new hopes, new challenges and new promises.
Love In The Home
from the book “Mom….and Loving It” by Laurie Lovejoy Hilliard and Sharon Lovejoy Autry
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
But have not love, I am a housekeeper — not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
But have not love, my children learn cleanliness — not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.
Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,
Then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child,
But the greatest of all is love.
New Missions team in Haiti with Melony McKaye
We just received this quick video update from the New Missions team in Haiti right now (including our very own Z88.3 midday personality, Melony McKaye). This was taken on today (1/13/10) and sent to show all the friends and family that are worried and praying for them that they are safe.