Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ultimate Trust

A beautiful, poignant song shared with me by one of the most genuinly christian, most special ladies I have ever known.



If You Want Me To
By: Ginny Owens

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Chorus:
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Cuz when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thisclose But Not Quite

I am cooking dinner at the moment for my famished, exhausted lot - Roasted Chicken, seasoned potatoes, homemade coleslaw and old fashioned green beans.

***
Funny Tangent Conversation:
Raegan: Is that a real chicken?
Me: Yes. It's just a whole one, so you aren't familiar with it looking like that. 
Raegan: Is it a dead one?
Me: Well, yes. It has to be dead. 
Raegan: DADDY! When did you kill a chicken???
***


As I'm cooking, I'm thinking to myself how nice it is to have a later dinner sometimes, as late dinners remind me also of summer. I was thinking about how nice it will be to take it slow and relax after dinner.  My nighttime bathers could leisurely take their baths, and we could snuggle down and all watch a movie together without rushing to bed, as we don't have school in the morning....

....except that we do.

We are thisclose to summer, yet not there quite yet.

Bummer.

***
Funny Tangent AFTER Dinner
I'm reminding them they still have school and that baths are in order today. 
Jakob - who spent the weekend basically in the woods says, 
"But, I don't need a bath, I jumped in the Creek!"
Doesn't Count, Jake.
And, Um. Ewww.

***

Summertime



Today actually feels like summer.

It's HOT. Like 90 degrees hot.

It feels good.

Jakob is Disc Golfing out in the country woods with his Papa and Uncles.

Abby is running around outside in her bathing suit with her girlfriends laughing, splashing and playing thanks to a kind mama (not me! hehe).

Raegan is watching Gnomeo and  Juliette - one of the cutest movies I've seen as of late.  She is desperately wanting to go outside but, she's simply exhausted from yesterday. It was very hot, and she was out most of the day. She stayed well hydrated and we had rest periods - but she still played her little heart out and ran her little legs off., I am trying to con her in to waiting until her dad returns home, has dinner, and then just she and he will go for a bike ride.

John is lazily sleeping after not taking a nap this morning and pretending during his normal naptime. He's really good about falling asleep on his own, in his own bed, IF he is tried and ready to sleep. If he is not, he cries and screams and yells and despite what some professionals deam as appropriate, I just cannot listen to him angrily cry and chant mamamamamama.  SO, I let his nap schedule remain flexible to his ques, as him falling asleep peacefully and after hugs, kisses and loves - is much more appealing to both he and I.

As for me, I'm confined to my porch or inside as the wee one naps for another hour and the big kids are away.  I'm really trying to read my Bible, trust my Heavenly Father and enjoy the moments I have today as so quickly it passes.

No Time To Cry

Ironic. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TobyMac - Irene

A good friend shared this with me a few years ago, when I was really struggling with something private, on top of deciding if I should continue to work outside the home. It was one of those songs that instantly made a connection with my soul and I've came back to it for issues big and small, and just because I truly love the message of this song. The second verse has always had very special meaning for me and has served as such a powerful reminder of how faithful God is - every second of every day. There have times since the moment this song first spoke to me, where I have listened to it over and over and over and over.

It's preformed by TobyMac, who is a long standing Christian artist - originally part of DC Talk. IF you remember from a long ago post - DC Talk was the very first concert I attended, and hold the spot as one of my most special albums of all time.



"Irene"

Hush little baby baby don't you cry
Daddy's gonna sing you a lullaby
Everything's gonna be alright
The Lord's gonna answer your prayer tonight
Hush little baby don't you cry
Daddy's gonna sing you a lullaby
Everything's gonna be alright
The Lord's gonna answer your prayer

Last night I had a dream you was the homecoming queen
Today you're 18, happy birthday Irene
Quit school you had to drop out to raise your little child
Doesn't seem to be anyone around
You got to reach up to touch rock bottom
The powers that be keep you downtrodden
Daughter of Zion, I heard your prayer
Just cast your cares and please beware of snakes
They come in all shapes and sizes
Tempt you, put scales on your eyelids
Don't waste your sorrows
They'll give you strength ... tomorrow
Your Calvary's about to come so
Keep your head up, don't you ever let up
This storm will pass you be ready for the next one

Hey little girl with the pressures of the world on your shoulders
Don't say that it's over
I heard your prayers, just cast your cares
And I'll be there so don't you fear

[CHORUS]

Irene I carried you when you was too weak to walk
I took to you when you gave your heart to God
Faithful and true, that's what I'll always be to you
Believe in you, believe in Me and these mountains have to move
You have dreams and aspirations
I knew you before creation
Your foundation's solid
I will give you a palace, restore your soul
You'll be up for any challenge
Many storms are on the way better sharpen your faith
Count the cost, take up your cross
And wear it every day
Rest in Me and I will give you strength
Blessed is she, Irene who seeks my face

[CHORUS]

Father I'm stronger than when I first believed

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Month Eleven

God gave me this beautiful little boy for a reason.

He is now ELEVEN months old.

I love him with every fiber of my being and to the moon and back.

He is so very special; I am so proud to be his mother. 


Do YOU want to get well?

I also wanted to share this one, as it laid upon my heart as well. It's another one from Proverbs 31 Ministries - and is written by Wendy Blight, whom I enjoy. I encourage you to check out all of their posts, I typically always find something that is meaning full.

I am posting the devotion in it's entirety here, you can find it online in it's original place, here.  I hope it speaks to you too. It does to me.

Do you want to get well? By Wendi Bright; Proverbs 31 Ministries.
"Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.'" John 5:8 (NIV)
          Do you have a physical or emotional pain so deep that nothing can soothe the hurt?
Do you ever feel paralyzed by fear, despair, isolation, or self-pity?
If your heart cried "yes, that's me!" as you read these questions, come meet the man on the mat found in John Chapter 5.

As the story opens, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem, walking towards a dirty, smelly pool of water. Every day the lame, weak, and sick gathered at this pool, believing an angel would come down, touch the water, and fill it with healing powers. Whoever entered the pool first received instant healing. As Jesus wandered through the crowd, His Father drew His eyes to an invalid lying on a mat.

Jesus looked deep into the man's soul and asked, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6b, NIV)

"'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'" (John 5:7, NIV)
Did you hear the man's excuse? He remained on his mat because no one would help him.
Friends, I lived like that invalid for over a decade. In June 1986 at age 21, just days after my college graduation, I was raped by an armed, masked stranger hiding in my apartment.
I had enjoyed four incredible years at Baylor University where I pledged a sorority, dated and eventually became engaged to a wonderful man, was voted a Baylor Beauty and homecoming princess, graduated with honors, and had an amazing job waiting for me. After that day, those worldly blessings seemed meaningless. My attacker's vile and cruel act stole my dignity...my worth...my security...my life. He forever shattered my hopes and my dreams.
I lived paralyzed on a mat of fear and despair. For years I could never stay alone. I suffered from panic attacks that often landed me in the emergency room.

Then I encountered Christ in this story. The words He spoke to the crippled man leapt off the page and into my heart. They literally pierced my soul. I was the man on the mat. I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there.

Read Jesus' next words to this man: "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8, NIV)
Through this story, I came to know the truth of Hebrews 4:12 (NIV): "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
I surrendered my heart and all that held it captive to God. He whispered in my ear, "Wendy, I have a most beautiful and abundant life for you, but you will never know that life until you have the courage to get up off your mat and walk." God's Word came alive. He spoke personally to me, and in that moment, I committed to take a first step off my mat.

Are you on a mat? Sweet friend, will you join me and take your first step off of your mat?

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You, my Creator and my Savior. I love You and thank You that You love me with an everlasting and unconditional love. I give myself to You now, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I deeply desire for you to come into my heart, heal my hurt, and take away my pain. Remove anything in my life that hinders my relationship with You and keeps me from living the abundant life You have for me. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Enable me to take the first step off my mat. Show me the great plans You have for me. I ask this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

We Can HOPE.

A wise fellow once told me - "Often times, the right thing to do is also the hardest thing to do."

I have had that advice on my heart recently - and was only going to post that sentiment. I became distracted when I felt the need to read the devotions I have subscribed to on a long term basis. (I've posted about Proverbs 31 before.). In typical Melissa fashion, my attention deficit disorder flexed it's skittish muscles and my eyes noticed another email - my bible verse of the day (another one I've received for the past several years). 

This was the verse and it is of no coincidence that it followed the above wisdom shared by a previous mentor:

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

If you don't know, Sarah and Abraham went on to conceive a child - because they prayed, trusted, loved and HOPED.

Even when we are faced with the most difficult situation of our entire lives or one that seems so bleak, we can HOPE.

Webster describes HOPE as verb: To Expect with Confidence.

We pray that I will mimic the faith and hope Sarah and Abraham taught us by their lives, in all situations.


Psalm 40:1-2, "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (NIV)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Vacation = End of MY Vacation

I've also been savoring the last few days of a big-kid free summer.

Meaning....

I am not feeling at all guilty about taking an hour or two to spend with my friend across the way most mornings, while the little kiddies eat their breakfast under Wilo's sleepy supervision.

I've been taking a long, glorious, phatty, nap every day having crazy dreams. The scariest one was bats landing on mine and Raegan's head - INSIDE - our house. I woke up trying to scream and swat them away. I thought Wilo was going to die laughing after he realized I wasn't having a panic attack or a strange seizure.

Dancing around a clean house by 8:30am,  listening to music,  because I know that once summer comes, it will be a constant game of pick up. Kids just bring messes where ever they go.

You could call me a daytime Music hog these days because I know that in a few weeks, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber and Katy Perry will fill my ears and I'll have to sneak some good stuff in between. Try as I might, I cannot stop the hold the pop music industry has on my 9 year old daughter.

I even had a cocktail or two before NOON! I even bragged about this to my father, as it's such a rare occasion.

I've also been watching every single movie I've put off so long as it has nudity and violence. Helllooooo, can't watch those with adolescents around!

I have been making these last few days ALL. ABOUT. ME.

Here is my song to the school year:


Private Person, Public Blog

There are just definite times where the thoughts in my head do not belong on "paper", even the virtual kind.  Sometimes, there are normal circumstances and events that warrant introspection and mandate privacy. There is something to be gained by confessional writing,  but there is also a definite sense of timing and appropriateness. None of these things have sync'd up at all recently.

I'm rather private by nature, At it's peak is when I delay in writing anything remotely significant. It seems kinda funny how a private person can have a public blog, you know? But,....really it's a reflection of me.

As I've mentioned before, I am one of those people who will answer you honestly when asked ANY question - I'm really open like that. Yet, I tend to hesitate when it comes to sharing anything personal unless I find you genuine and trustworthy.

Once that happens, it's like, Holy Crap, Melissa, who the hell knew?! (So wish I was kidding!)

Blogs are different in the sense that I voluntarily put whatever information I want on the Internet and who ever wants to read it does so. There is no level of trust, at all. Anyone can draw their own conclusions, make their own assumptions based solely on my words. There is something very freeing about that , but it also leaves me feeling very apprehensive and vulnerable. It is then that this flashing curser, and blank screen yells, "More retreat, less type!"

So, that's my reason for slacking on the writing lately.

It's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Typical.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Passerby - Dispatch

I'm not crazy like my brother
But its the way that i choose
I dont hang around with a sixpence
when i got everything to lose

would you bring my money
and take from me all that i was worth
cause i wasnt worth nothing
and i wasnt yours

Oh, don't you be a passerby
oh, won't you sit down and stay a while
Oh, don't you be a passerby
Oh, won't you sit down and stay a while
Cause it's been too long since you been around



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When Baby John becomes College John

This is a really bad picture of John that I took over the weekend. 

I can't help but love it. 

I also have a feeling that when Baby John, grows up to be College John, he will take a photo much like this one. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wilo's Words of Wisdom

I am feeling THIS MUCH  better.

I just needed to talk to my hubby who despite anything else, knows me better than anyone.

And, I can't go into detail here about what he said to make me feel all better, but I can tell you about a completely different story that makes me laugh, and shows how he's just exactly what I need him to be at just the right moments.

When we used to play World of Warcraft a lot - we started playing with a group of 25 people or so. I was the only girl, and as I've mentioned before, my voice is hawttttt. Or so they say. So, pretty girl + pretty voice + geek tastick =  alot of attention. Well, enter in this chick from Australia, with an accent and an equally sexy voice + the fact she was exotic and single and somehow spent 24 hours a day on WoW diverted much of this nonsense attention to her and away from me. Not a big deal, right? Um, helllllooooo it was WoW for fuck sakes. Anyways. So, I start talking smack, semi-joking, mostly sarcastic about her attention whoring ways and how much I couldn't stand how easily the stupid men played into that. Seriously, it was obvious that she was seeking hot, nerdy, attention. Not my style so much.  So yeah, it did bother me, I guess - She WAS really annoying- and what does Wilo do?

Wilo looks at me and says:

"Oh,Whatever Melissa. You're beautiful. The Real Deal. And, besides you know she's like 400lbs and ugly as shit, right?"

See?

Just what I needed to hear.

(In typical Melissa fashion, We eventually became friends and once I got to know her, I found her to be greatly misunderstood, and I almost felt kinda bad for her. You can't judge someone you don't really know, and each of us have our own quirks. If that's the only attention you can get, then so be it. All women are entitled to feel good, though we shouldn't setttle for less than we are worth.) 

He always has a way of putting things into perspective and making me laugh with his off color humor. Thank you for dealing with me Wilo when I most resemble a tyedied mess.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Make Me Wanna Puke.

EDIT: I am retracting my previous words I posted earlier (I was a little emo)...cause I can! I am only leaving the following, which, after the fact, amuses me greatly.

Experience should mandate better decisions on my part.

I also do not listen to music that contains enough angst and or the word Fuck.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

John Vs. Food

John is now 10.5 months and for the past several weeks, he's been eating like a champ. 

No seriously. CHAMP I'm two seconds away from throwing him in a pair of overalls, jumping in the back of a beat up pick up truck, visiting the Ohio State Fair and entering him in some kind of eating contest. My kid wouldn't just eat yours under the table, he'd probably eat the table too, then start gnawing on your kid's toe. I'm not playing - the kid is no joke.

He eats 3 meals of what I call - regluar people food. We said good bye to baby food last month when he literally took a handful of my sandwich and shoved it in his mouth. Since then, whatever the rest of the family is eating, he normally is too. I cut up everything in to small pieces, and he goes to town. I make sure his meals are balanced, and if we have something too advanced for his tiny palate, or something overly unhealthy (...coney dog night...) - I have plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand.

He is in the 95% percentile on weight and height, so he's not overweight. He's big - but healthy and perfect. His appreiciation and curiosity for food is really fun for me.  I find it terribly amusing that his most vocal time is before, during, and after meal times. Connoisseur, I tell you.

I am enjoying him SO much.

He enjoyed his first ear of corn SO much, too.

On Things Like Blogging

I always find it very amusing when people find out I blog. Most people wonder if it's some kind of hippie-esq jig I dance from time to time, or a bad case of something snot oriented, or an obscure health food I grow. If you are, or were, unfamiliar with this whole 'blogshphere', you are not alone.

My blog here is pretty straight forward and very representative of what it actually is -  My individual spot on the world wide web, where I can write whatever I want for a very, very small audience of family,  friends and former colleagues. I author my blog as a prime opportunity to better my writing ability, to share obnoxiously cute photos of my children, and to embrace this life long creativity that needs to escape. My posts are random in subject, though heavily focused on my family and music I like. I do not host ads to generate revenue, nor do I do much to promote and grow readership . When it comes right down to it, this blog is solely and selfishly, for me - I enjoy the challenge of becoming a better writer.

For many of you - my blog is the only you will read. While I adore that fact (I appreciate ALL the family, friends and colleagues who read), I am not a fair representation of this major, often underestimated, world of Mommy Blogging. (Go ahead and gag if you dislike that term, too. It's basically Mom's who blog.) Blogs written by mothers encompass a variety of platforms, agendas and topics - some very action oriented, or political, or humorous.

The most successful of Blogger's have put good ol' blood, sweat and tears into their craft by not only in writing insightful, captivating, entertaining posts, but also promoting, marketing and essentially building their own brand.

Through their own personal blogs, these women have become well known writers on many a popular Internet platform. It is through the relentless building of their brand, thousands of readers, and countless hours of social marketing that they have began to receive adequate compensation, aka wonderful extra money.There are hundreds of thousands of blogs - these women stand apart.

A brand new website was launched earlier this week, by a major ad agency of top bloggers. For people who are new to the world of blogs - it's a fantastic, easy to use, collection of some entertaining writers. You should check it out! It's called DailyBuzz Moms - can can be found here.

As for a quick personal list of my own favorites - here they are.  These are the pro's - the best of the best. The ones who get more page views in one hour, than I do all month. These are the ones I read every single day.

mamapundit.com

dooce.com

thegirlwho.net

thesphorsaremultiplying.com

girlsgonechild.net

herbadmother.com

I have several more that I read a couple times a week - some super big, some super small. I have much love for anyone who attempts to write daily - and have found many an interesting blog randomly.

Thank YOU for reading my words. You have NO IDEA, how much I love it. And You.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Say Men, But I Say No.

It ain't me
It's the people that say
Men are leading the women astray
But I say, it's the women today
Smarter than the man in every way

Monday, May 9, 2011

Celebrating Marvelous Mothers

I have a ton of writing to do soon. I also have a ton of house stuff to do to today too. We've been relaxing and enjoying the weekend.

Happy Mother's Day! Did you wish the Mother's in your life well? Did you treat them to anything special? If you are a mom, did you have a pleasant day of rest? Did you spa it up, or did you joyfully sleep it away? Any new bling, or a practical, though domesticated kitchen gadget?

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend, thanks to all of my loved ones. My bestest took me out for laughter, coffee and a bit of pampering. Wilo had to work, but made me a nice breakfast and I didn't have to make my own coffee (the most simplest, yet greatest thing anyone in this home can do for me), My house was cleaned, I was down a child with Abby at her friends for the previous overnight.  My mother in law brought be a special card, and we had a moment! She also surprised me with this darling anklet, and a couple pair of super cute flip flops I had been eyeing. The kids and I visited my parents and siblings (minus my knock out of a sister who is finishing up the last week of her 3rd year away at college. I am extremely proud of her, focusing on her education while playing collegic sports. SHE. IS. AMAZING!). I was surprised when Wilo greeted me at home, it was much slower than they expected. The kids played outside with their friends, and a simple cocktail with a friend helped me further unwind. I finished up the evening with comical conversation between our children, as well as a movie. It was easy peasy, and totally dope. I am thankful!

I am also extremely thankful to be the mama of four bright, beautiful, unique children. As I told Jake once, as I was sharing the story of how I never, ever, in a million years wanted children as I was growing up, and a young woman. Before I could finish the sentiment, he interrupted with this very sad, very concerned look on his face and said, "But, wouldn't you be sooooo lonely? Wouldn't your heart miss all the love?".  Oh yes, my sweet boy, it would. I am so glad God had his way, and not mine.

I hope you all celebrated with wonderful people and lots of hugs. Every single one of you are exceptionally special, and nurture in the most intimate, important way impossible. We are shaping our future! I have so much respect for all of my fellow mothers.

I'm gonna go dig into this task now, and rock my domestic duties.  We've spent too much time running around, smiling at the sunshine and kickin' it....as the kiddo's would say. This is baby Johns' example of how we roll after bath time, and before heading out. He was like a gorgeous little man, tipsy off the bottle,  just chilling waiting for his woman (me!) to get the show on the road. ADORABLE.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To The Gypsy That Remains

Three No More

Since my darling Rae of Sunshine turned FOUR, I decided it was time to try my hand at my first ever photo montage.

Here it is - a collection of random photos - most not previously posted, but all capturing her 3rd year.

While the pictures do justice capturing Raegan's personality - there is no way it could define her completely. She has this giant, bubbly, silly personality full of smiles and hugs. She's a diva who - at times I wonder - thinks she's a real princess, and we all are her subjects here to wait on her hand and foot. She has an uncanny attraction to Tattoo's, body art, costumes and Lady Ga Ga. Her imagination is constantly running and producing many laughs and some strange looks.

I am unbelievably lucky to be her mommy, and am so thankful that I have been able to spend most of her toddler years by her side.

So, here goes. The song was chosen by both girls - and seemed to fit.

Typical Slacker Justification

I'm long over due at writing.

Saturday...Really?

Tsk. Tsk. Melissa.

I really respect people who have found the discipline to write every. single. day. It's not as easy as one would think. It requires effort, focus, and devotion - even more so when you have kids. And, especially when one of those is a 10month old baby who tries to run, and climb everything he possibly can, and some things he cannot. He requires constant, non stop supervision. Unless he's sleeping.

At that peacefully silent point when all four kids are sleeping, It's all I can do to lay myself down on the couch and turn on some kind of ghost hunting show, or any of the different antique shows, anything not on Nick Jr (God Bless 'Em) and anything without blasted singing (other than GLEE!).

Some days, the couch seems thousands of miles away and I just wanna collapse in a heap of fresh, slightly chewed on cheerios (after already vacuuming them up 52 times today), cover myself up with laundry that needs to be folded (who else does 5 loads a day?), while Dora sings me to sleep and II dream of catching that bastard Swiper.

I am absolutely bone tired.

In addition to sheer exhaustion, the weather outside isn't conducive to feeling better, AT ALL. After a gorgeous weekend - spent mostly outside - this entire week has been obnoxiously cold (like turn your heat back on, wear a coat outside COLD) and consistently rainy.  What is it about gloomy days and grey skies that make you wanna cuddle up with your couch and practice the art of sloth?

Anyhow, that's my deal.  Here is hoping I catch up on some writing today. It's funny - even though I haven't been posting, I've thought of 2185 things to talk about. SO, here is hoping I can catch up a bit today. Good Luck, Me.

Hope all of you are enjoying you week, so far! It's half way over at this point!

xoxo