Monday, September 23, 2019

Monday's Memo

Just a quick note as we plunge into a new week.  Remember that you are not journeying alone this week.  As a Christian, you have God with you each step of the way.  You have a forever friend.  You have a strong loving Father.  You have someone that knows everything you think and feel.  You have a counselor and provider.  You truly have all you need with Jesus.  Please don't forget this truth as you wake up this Monday morning. (Biblical Reference- Deuteronomy 31:6).

What if you are reading this and you know that you are not a Christian?  Well, let me tell you about Jesus.  Jesus is God's son and He died to cover our sins and to bridge the gap between sinful man and a Holy God.  He loves you and longs for you to receive His love and forgiveness.  John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Cry out to God today.  He loves you and longs to never leave you.

Happy Monday!
Melaina

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dear Younger Mom

I am an older mom now.  All my sons are grown and I have two grandsons.  As I look back on my life there are some things I wished I had understood.  I want to share them with you.

1.  I was often told, "Enjoy them as they are little, because you will blink your eyes and they will be grown".   I remember wondering how that could be, until now.  Time does have a way of flying by; enjoy those babies....those toddlers....those pre-schoolers.   Yes, they demand alot of attention.  Yes, you often have to put your wants on hold to tend to them.  However, as you get my age, you will look back and miss those days....those days that they never left your side....those days that you always knew where they were and who they were with.  Please don't rush through your child's younger years.  Read those books.  Listen to those little chattering voices.  Take time to pray with them and for them.  Turn off the phone and tv.  Embrace this stage because I promise you, you will miss it one day.

2.  Train them to be independent not dependent on you.   Babies are born totally dependent on us.  However, year by year they become less and less dependent.   Sometimes, we view that independent side as that they don't need us or that they don't like us.  On the other hand, our goal is to raise a strong, God-fearing young adult that can make decisions and move forward.   If we don't give them room to make some decisions then they don't build those skills.   So go ahead and let that 3 year old pick out his clothes for the day.  Don't force your child to hug someone they don't want to hug.  Teach them to respect and love others while they are being their own person at the same time.  Sometimes when my children were little I worried too much about what people thought about me as a mom....and didn't see the bigger picture that they were growing into their own person that God planned them to be.  God wanted me to guide, nurture, and direct....not control out of fear.  From birth on, point them to Christ as you trust God with them.

3.  Don't forget that you are modeling how to be an adult to your children.   How you respond to your husband matters.  How you take care of yourself matters.  How you seek God matters.  We can talk all day about what our children ought to do....but they learn alot more by watching us.

4.  Take time for your relationship with your husband.  Again, you are modeling that relationship for your little ones.  How you treat your husband may be how your daughter grows up treating hers.  How you respect your husband may be how your son grows up and expects to be treated.  Taking date night or weekend is NOT neglecting your children.   It is actually blessing them when you take time to nurture your marriage.

5. Put God first everyday.  Even if it means reading one verse a day.  Take time to pray and draw from HIS strength.  You may have to pray when you take a bath or as you wash dishes....but let Christ fill you constantly.  You need His strength.  

6.  Don't feel guilty for needing a break.  Take that nap.  Go to the ladies retreat.  Eat lunch with that girlfriend.  When you take small breaks here and there you will be better for your babies.

7. Don't worry about how clean the house is.....enjoy those children.  The house will be there when they are all gone.  Take it from me.  I can have a clean house now, but I often miss the joy of having a full home.  Don't trade the eternal for the temporary.  Your children are little souls that need lots of love and grace.....the house can wait.

8. And lastly, don't be a helicopter mom.  I was the typical helicopter mom for sure.  I wanted my sons to never have to experience the trouble and pain I had went through. I didn't let them forget anything. I wanted them to match perfectly.    I tried to make things perfect.  I tried so hard to protect them from everything.   However, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep life from touching them.  In fact, trying to play God in their lives actually caused me great stress and kept me from having more joy in the home.  If you are like I was, I want to encourage you now to take time to surrender your babies to the Lord.  Ask Him to help you guide and nurture them but recognize you can't be their God.  However, you can point them to the one true God so they can grow into adulthood being dependent on Him, not you.

Sincerely,
An Older Mom

Thursday, August 1, 2019

To the One with an Anxious Heart


To the One with an Anxious Heart,

I know how it feels to be anxious, especially in the middle of the night.  Boom! I wake up with dozens of thoughts swirling around inside my mind.  From my to-do list to worries regarding my family and future. I toss and turn and eventually get up.   I am praying and talking to God as fast as I can but the anxiety seems to prevail.  Sometimes I feel like crying or just stepping outside.  At that time my mind is literally a battlefield.   One part of my mind remembers what the Bible tells me about being anxious and another part of my mind is spinning out of control.   The feelings grow stronger and I start doubting that God really has me.  However,  I cry out to God  and with the Holy Spirit, I have the power to steady my mind on Christ. Isaiah 26:3 says: You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You. all whose thoughts are fixed on you! As I reflect back on all God has brought me through and all His promises in His Word, often the anxiety feelings subside.  

Some say the answer is in taking medicine, and maybe for them the medicine worked perfectly. However,  when I was younger I tried medicine for a year, yet that did not solve my problem.   On a side note, I had a family member that benefited greatly from using medicine and am not against it at all....it just didn't take it away for me.    I always wanted to be instantly healed of anxiety and even prayed for that to happen.  Some people may say it's because I don't have enough faith in God.  I will tell you though, any faith I do have in God is a gift from Him.  He knows me through and through and  I have prayed since I was a little girl for anxiety to be taken away.   It hasn't completely went away.   However, as real as this battle is, I have found hope.  There is hope in the Truth of God's Word. For me, God seems to want me to need to totally depend on Him for my healing.  It also is a process and not an instant deliverance.   God has strengthened me in His Word and even though I still can feel anxious, I don't camp out there like I use to. People that have known me closely since I was a young adult can tell you how much I have grown in this area. God is strengthening me day by day as I draw closer and closer to Him.  He has delivered me from so much in my life and I know that anxiety is already defeated but I must renew my mind daily and stay in the scriptures to actually live it out. Philippians 4:6-7 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.  I do want to mention that we can not stop anxiety feelings from coming but we don't have to agree with the feelings and walk it out.  A good pastor friend always said, " You can't keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair!"   Fight!  Fight! Fight!  The Word of God is your sword.

So, if today you are in a dark place and anxiety has a grip on you; don't give up. I want to encourage you to start by crying out to God, just as you are.  God is your deliverer.....He may do it instantly.  He may do it through a Dr. using medicine.  He may do it through a process of getting closer to Him as He has for me.  But be sure of this, not only is God the One that can set you free, but the good news is that He wants to set you free!  Jesus says in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free!"  

Praying for you,
Melaina

Friday, May 24, 2019

Bloom or Grow❤

We often hear "Bloom where you're planted" but more than blooming, we need to be growing where we are planted.  Sometimes it is not the season for blooms.  Your love, ministry, friendship, and heart may not always be accepted or appreciated.  Sometimes people can be deceived by flattery, smoothe talk and schemes of the devil.  However, when its all said and done God sees and hears and knows the motives of all men's hearts.  Dont be discouraged today if it looks as if evil is winning...David felt like that many times which led him to write:

Psalm 37
A psalm of David.
1 Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop being angry!
    Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
    it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
    but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

So wherever God has you planted today...no matter how hard the circumstances...let your roots go down deep into God's Word and let His Spirit bring you life and growth.  God will take care of the weeds🌻

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Are you in bondage to pleasing people?

 Does your stomach get in knots when someone is upset with you?  Do you feel a little rain cloud over your head when someone you love is unhappy?   For many years I have been a people-pleaser.  When I was younger, I would say and do things to make people happy even if I felt they were wrong.  Also, I would keep quiet when I should of spoken up.  I felt it was my personal duty to make sure everyone was pleased with me and my performance.  Exhausting!

Not only is being a people-pleaser exhausting, it is not healthy nor Godly.  I can just hear someone saying, "but are we not suppose to love and care for others?"  Of course we are.  However, being a "people-pleaser" often has nothing to do with love and everything to do with fear.   We fear losing a friendship or love relationship.  We fear of losing status or position.  We fear failure and loss of approval.  We are called to love.  Love is a free gift that wants nothing in return.  However, when our goal is to please people more than pleasing God, our goal is no longer love; we want something in return.  We long for approval and love that can only be found in Christ and a personal relationship with Him.  When we seek to please a human and neglect pleasing God, we are destined for heartbreak.  Galatians 1:10 says:  For am i now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ.

We must have only one Master.  When we let someone control us out of fear, we are letting them master our lives.  However,  as we surrender our lives to Christ, we have all we need: love, approval, validation, security, purpose, peace, love, joy and so forth.  Let's search our hearts today. Who or what is on the throne of our heart?  Who is our master?   If anything or anyone is there other than Christ, we are in bondage instead of the freedom Christ longs for us to have.

Melaina

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Trustworthy

Each day we put our trust in many things.  When we flip the light switch we trust the lights to come on.  When we put the key in the ignition we trust our car will start.  When we pull up to the drive-thru we trust the food we crave will be ready within minutes. There are so many things we put our trust in however, very few things are truly trustworthy.  People and things can let us down.  However when we put our trust in God we can rest assured that He is very trustworthy.

You may be in a rough patch today.  You may up against a mountain of pain and not sure what to do next.  You may have been hurt by someone you trusted very deeply.  You may be in a health crisis and not sure what the future holds.  Wherever you find yourself today, you can trust God's heart.   When you receive God's gift of salvation you become His child.  In Romans 8:28-39 God's heart is revealed.   He lets us know that for his children He causes all things to work for our good.  He also tells us that He loves us with a love that nothing can take away.   We can trust a God that loves us with a perfect love.  Even when we face heartbreaking circumstances He does not abandon us.   He doesn't hide when we hurt.  He is close to the down and broken-hearted.

I want to encourage you to put your trust in Someone that is trustworthy and true; God our Father.  He gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit and He loves us very deeply.  While people and things are unpredictable, Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Cracked Cisterns

A cistern is a artificial reservoir that is used for storing liquids and rainwater.  A cracked cistern would be useless.   The Lord says in Jeremiah 2:13: For my people have done two evil things:  They have abandoned me---the Fountain of living water.  And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all.
Imagine abandoning a fresh fountain of living water only to pursue a cracked pot in hopes of quenching your thirst.  Ridiculous!  However, we often do that very thing when we trade our relationship with Jesus for something this world offers.   Jesus can fill us up continually with hope, love, and peace.  Things of this world can only temporarily help and most often end up hurting us.   For example, as Christians we know Jesus is our answer.  We face a trial and we immediately begin to look for solutions.  Often we don't even check with God about it.  Or maybe we are lured away from our hope being in Jesus by something this world tells us will help:  more money, alcohol, drugs, shopping, eating, a new love relationship, looking younger, and the list goes on.   However, eventually we find out that things of this world are like cracked cisterns that will never fill us up.   On the other hand, Jesus is a Fountain of living water; fresh and alive.  Choose wisely!  

Jesus replied, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.  It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."
John 4:13-14

Thursday, January 24, 2019

When Addiction Hits the Homefront

Addiction is a sad thing.  Addiction keeps us in bondage and binds our soul from truly healing.   Addiction is even more heartbreaking when it affects someone we love.   There are all kinds of addictions that can plague a human heart; alcohol, pills, people pleasing, sex, food, gambling, gossip, and more.  Addiction can have a powerful effect on a person's heart and mind.  What can you do when you have an adult child caught up in an addiction?

There are books upon books addressing the subject of addiction and the adult child.  Advice ranges from "tough love" to catering to the "inner wounded child" to attending various rehabs.  However, one thing that stays the same is that the parents of addicted children hurt.  They hurt bad.   Depending upon the age of the young adult, parents may or may not have any say on whether their child gets help or not.

In my opinion, we are fighting a losing battle by begging, pleading, nagging and scheming.  It's all about control.  You have no control over your adult child. You may feel you do or try to, but we don't!  The devil wants to deceive you into thinking you can fix this soul problem; more money, more love, more effort, more intervention, more pleading.   From experience I can tell you that you can not fix an adult child.   You are only prolonging this adult from seeking for a solution themselves, which is often found in Christ.  Getting out of God's way is the hardest thing to do, but oh so necessary. Getting out of God's way can look different for each situation. It may mean to cut off money supply.  It may mean to stop pushing your child to do things that they have no desire to do. It may mean to ask them to move out.  It may mean for you to stop scheming up plans for his/her freedom when they are content in their addiction.  Whatever it may look like,  peace comes when we stop pleading and begging and begin to intercede in prayer to the One that can break every chain...Christ is the answer.

If your heart is breaking over an adult child in bondage, please know you are not alone.   Press into God and trust Him.  We can't control the decisions and choices of our children, however God can do mighty things when we get out of His way!

Praying you will trust the Lord with your son or daughter today.....one day at a time!
Love,
Melaina

Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!  Ephesians 3:20





Saturday, January 19, 2019

To Hurting Parents

Recently, I have had on my heart to encourage a certain group of people;  hurting parents of teens or adult children.   Being a parent of three adult sons, my husband and I know full well the joys and pains of  this season.   When I was a young mom I went to a Mom Seminar.  I will never forget what the speaker said.  She said when our children are young we are often physically tired but when they are grown we are emotionally tired.  Her words flew over my head until my boys hit the teenage years.

You see, since I was a young girl, I wanted to be in control of my circumstances and make those I love happy and safe.  I honestly felt that if I tried my best and did what it takes I could actually achieve my goal.  My desire carried over into motherhood when at the age of 23 I had our first son.   I wanted him to be perfectly clean, wear matching nice clothes, have educational toys that would launch him into being a genius, and much more.  I read lots of books on motherhood, toddler-hood and child raising. All these things were not bad if I also understood that we could not protect him from everything forever.  Of course when he was little I could watch him closely making sure he was out of harms way.   I could make sure he was bathed daily, teeth brushed, fingernails clipped and hair combed.   However, year by year the control I had over my son was lessening.  I had overlooked a very important fact; it was not my job to protect my son forever.   My true job was to point him towards Christ and to prepare him to be independent of me.   What??  Yes, to be independent of me.   When I was a young mom my identity was wrapped up into being needed by my kids.   However, when they hit the teenage years and were naturally becoming their own person my heart experienced a new break.   My belief that I could do everything right and they would avoid the mistakes and pain I endured came crashing down suddenly.  You see, I was not only trying to point my kids to God but I was mistakenly trying to BE God in their life.  We did teach them about God, love, respect, and hard work.  However,  I micromanaged out of fear and wouldn't let them make many decisions on their own.   I wanted the very best for them and felt I knew what that was.  So, it was no surprise that the teenage years were hard on both sides.  However, it was only preparing me for the boys leaving home and moving into adulthood.

As our boys are now in their 20's and we have one grandson and one on the way,  my husband and I have experienced much joy and laughter.  However, to be very honest, we have also experienced some deep heartbreaks that only the Lord could mend and is still mending.  There were days when the pain was so great it was hard to press on.  However, God was and is so faithful.  I would love to encourage others from the journey we have traveled and are traveling now.   I need your help.  Are there any topics you would like to learn more in regarding being parents of teens or adult children,  and the effects these things have on our marriages?  If so, please send me a reply.  Also on the website page is a place you can ask for prayer and can share how you need encouragement.

Thank you for taking the time to share your heart and your struggles.  Whatever you are walking through right now, remember that God is with you.  He not only has the answers but He IS the answer.  He will give you strength when you can't go any further!  Please know I am praying with and for you!

Love,
Melaina

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Identity Theft-Are you a Victim?

Everyday we hear of someone experiencing identity theft; someone tries to assume a person's true identity.  In addition to the identity, they steal bank account numbers, credit cards and other benefits of being the owner.  This crime is very common today due to the fact most of our business dealings are done online or through electronic mail.  However, there is another identity theft that is very prevalent today and it happens in our minds. 

 As a Christian, our identity is found in Christ and who He says we are.  Therefore, Satan tries to "steal" our identity by planting lies in our mind that contradict the truth.   Satan will tell us that our value is in what we do, where we work, what we wear, how we perform, or anything else that centers around self.  Therefore we run hard after these things hoping to be "successful".  He tempts us to believe our feelings even when they go against the Truth in God's Word.  When our identity is taken by Satan, we often get depressed, give up hope and chase after false gods.  We forget who we are because we believe lies instead of the Truth.  On the other hand, when we receive God's truth we find freedom.   As children of God our identity is found in Christ, therefore, we are loved, forgiven, chosen, a new creation, not condemned, more than a conqueror, God's workmanship, provided for, a work in progress and much more!

I want to encourage you today to spend time in God's Word finding out who you are in Christ.  Get your true identity back and refuse to let Satan steal it anymore.  There is power in knowing who we are in Christ and the devil knows it!


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Knowing God in 2019

Good Afternoon!  I'm praying you have had a wonderful Christmas. We had a very busy but blessed season. As this new year starts, I have so many things swirling around in my mind that my days often just blur together. This life can be really overwhelming and sometimes we just have to get back to the basics: loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind.   When I love God (Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit) with all my heart, He will be at the core of all I am, say or do.  When I love God with all my soul, I let Him fill my emptiness and longing for emotional fulfillment.  When I love God with all my mind, I will keep the truth of His Word directing my thoughts and mindset.  I want 2019 to be the year that I get to know the Lord even more intimately. When we fall in love with God, knowing Him becomes easy! I want to share a song my son Zach wrote. This song is about falling in love with Christ; it's a love relationship not something we check off a list.   Praying we all know Christ better in 2019❤