Thursday, April 30, 2020

Are you in the Dark?

Have you ever been in the dark?   I am not talking about at night when you go to bed...Or when the lights go out during a thunderstorm.   I am referring to a dark time in your soul; a time that you didn't know where to turn.   I'm thinking of a time where your heart is confused, burdened, and hopeless. Have you ever been there?  I have.....in fact, I have been there many times.
When we find our self in a dark place, our first tendency is to try to "turn on the light" with something we think will help.   Some people turn to alcohol, relationships, music, sex, food or anything that seems to promise relief.  However,  the darkness comes back again.  Sometimes we find it hard to even pray.   Our minds are spinning out of control with what if's.  I think back on a particularity hard emotional time for me.  It felt as if it was an effort to breathe, much less carry on as normal.   One morning, I sat on my couch crying out to God and I came across Isaiah 50:10-12:

Who among you fears the Lord    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord    and rely on their God.11 But now, all you who light fires    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires    and of the torches you have set ablaze.This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    You will lie down in torment.

I was speechless.  It was as if God spoke to me audibly saying: I realize you are in a dark place, but TRUST ME.   Don't go try to fix your own darkness.....run to Me and trust Me!

That day was the beginning of much healing for me.   You see, God knew where I was.  He wasn't hiding from me.  He still loved me and cared for me.....He was teaching me trust.   And guess what?  He still loves and cares for you too!  Don't give up.  Cling to Him and His promises.

Praying for you,
Melaina

Monday, April 27, 2020

Quarantine Life Lessons

What has God taught you during the COVID-19 Quarantine?   Are you peaceful?  Are you fearful?  Have you been both?   Yeah, me too.

During this time we have made some sweet memories.   My grown children and grandsons were here alot.  We spent time playing Croquet and doing other activities together..  We have taken many walks together in our neighborhood.   We have cooked together, laughed together, watched movies, worshiped together, and more.   On the other hand, there were times that I thought my house had shrunk and I felt like I couldn't move without bumping into to someone.   It was loud, hectic, messy and chaotic!  There were days I wanted to retreat to my closet and just breathe.  Isn't that just like life?  Good and bad.....messy and neat...up and down?  However,  as a daughter of the Most High King,  I can trust that all these things, good and bad, will work towards my good.

During times like this, our true self, struggles and heart are shown clearly.   Under pressure we act out what we believe. It's alot easier when things are smooth and calm to have faith.   However, Faith is the assurance of things hoped for , the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)  God is faithful and when we have faith in HIM and HIS WORD, we can be hopeful.

To go a step further, we need to remember that God is still here and loves us deeply.  Romans 8:28 tells us:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose

What comforting words!    No matter what is happening, God is not on vacation.   He is not looking the other way!  He is working!  He is working things together for our good! He cares about you and what you care about.  He loves you deeply and wants His best for you.   Wouldn't it be awesome if instead of stressing and worrying how this pandemic will affect us, we just surrendered our fear and worry and trusted our Heavenly Father to keep His Word?

Let's keep our eyes on our Father.   He's got our back and He knows what He is doing.
Melaina


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Why do I blog?

Why do I blog?  First, I love to write.  I can express myself better through writing than speaking most often.   Secondly, I feel it is my calling.....to write and encourage others in Christ.   Do I always feel like writing?  Do I feel I have all the answers?   Do I have it all together?  No, no, and no!  I don't feel I am wiser than anyone else.  However, I do feel, in Christ, I have something to offer....hope. 

About 32 years ago, I was on life's journey stumbling and bumbling through.  I was trying the best I could but kept coming up short.  I was battling with rejection, depression, and hopelessness.   I kept doing things that led to more pain and hopelessness but couldn't find the strength to change.  One day I hit a solid wall.  I didn't think I could make it one more day.  It was at that time I attempted to take my life.  I simply had no hope in things ever getting better.   Have you ever felt that way?  Do you feel that way right now? Let me tell you that there IS HOPE IN JESUS.   He is the answer.  He took our place on the cross to cover all our sin and make a way possible to be in close fellowship with God.  He made the way!  He can give you hope and peace where there is nothing but hopelessness and sadness left.  He can take your mistakes and past and turn them into something beautiful.  If God could redeem me from all my brokenness I know He can you too.   Cry out to him today.  If you need more info or prayer, please message me. 

I Blew It!









Have you ever felt like you just blew it?  You were feeling fairly peaceful and out of nowhere you find yourself reacting or acting in a way that did not glorify Christ?  Well, I have.....more times than I would like to admit.

When I find myself reacting in ways that later embarrass me, it is often a sign that I have my priorities out of order.  God has to be first in my life...Spending time with Him...Praying and reading my Bible.  My motive to do these things isn't that I'm afraid God will get mad.  I long to spend time with my Heavenly Father and be refreshed and restored.   However, even in the times when my heart feels cold and out of sorts, I know I can ask the Lord to restore the joy of my salvation.   I am weak.  He is strong.   Where I get into trouble is when I think I am strong on my own.  I am just weak.  I am so imperfect.  I cry, gripe, and throw fits.  However, God's strength can be made perfect in me.  I just need to surrender and give Him room to do the work in me.

So, if you have recently blown it......don't waste time having a pity-party.   Just run to God and tell Him your heart....ask Him to restore the joy of your salvation and allow Him to make His strength perfect in your weakness.

Praying for you!
Melaina

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Please Don't Give Up

Hey you!  Don't give up!  I know this is hard. We are all journeying in a territory we have never been before.  You are tired and worn.  You can't see things ever getting better.  You have no rest and no refreshment.  You feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. 

Let's get back to the basics:

1. Get some rest:   You may not can take a nap today, but you can take a 5 minute break to count your blessings and thank God.  Ask God to give your mind and spirit peace.

2. Ask for prayer:  With all that is happening in this world sometimes we feel our burdens are trivial.  However, God cares about us and we are called to share each others burdens and pray.  Don't be afraid to ask a Christian sister to cover you in prayer.

3. Ask God to show you a verse of encouragement:   I have had several verses over the years that have literally carried me through some horrible times.  One of my favorites is 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

With God, we can be overcome, live in power and love and a sound mind.  Let's press into Christ and His Word.

Keep pressing on!
Melaina



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Got the Quarantine Blues?

Sometimes I wake up and just can't believe that we are in a quarantine over a dangerous virus.   Although I am enjoying family time, I am missing my extended family and friends.  I miss meeting together with the youth group that my husband pastors.  I miss Sunday morning worship with our whole church body.  I miss these things.  I have days that I feel sad and I wonder how life will be after the quarantine is over. 

I recently joined a Zoom meeting for Christian women that discussed this topic.  It is perfectly normal that we have sad days.  Why?  Because being sad is a part of the grieving process and we are grieving.  We are grieving that we can't see our loved ones,  celebrate a college graduation nor have a birthday party.  We are mourning the loss of interaction with others.  Let's be patient with ourselves.  We can still trust God and have a day we deeply miss our loved ones and feel sad.   However, we don't have to stay sad because we have a hope.  Jesus is our hope and He keeps His promises! He loves us and won't leave us.  This season will work together for our good. 

Please know you are not alone.  God is still in control and He keeps His promises!

In this together,
Melaina

Friday, April 10, 2020

Power Down and Unplug

Each notification on my phone brings some kind of report; some good and some bad.  I am well-trained to respond to the familiar sound that notifies me of a new message.   I couldn't imagine life with a cell phone before and now I can't imagine life with out one.  My phone is my connection to  others.   On the other hand, what if suddenly all cell phones and computers were gone?  What would our life consist of?  What would our normal routine look like?

When was the last time you sat quietly and watched a sunset?  When was the last time you rocked your grand-baby with no sound besides your own voice singing?  When was the last time you and your family played a board game?  When was the last time you went a whole day without looking at your phone, social media or news?

I believe as a society we are really craving quiet and peace.  I believe that our minds are over-loaded with info and news. One part of the Holy Spirit's fruit is peace.  When was the last time you felt peace?  As we enter this weekend celebrating Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, I want to encourage you to "unplug" and be still.  Let God fill our hearts with His Word and His fruit.

Have a peaceful weekend!

Melaina


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dear Hurting Heart









I just want to encourage you.   You are not alone.  You are not a mistake.  You are not a failure.  You were planned....maybe not by your parents, but by God.  Every hair on your head is counted.  God knows your thoughts, your hurts, your struggles.  Life is not a cruel joke.  You are loved by a real God.  He can make beauty out of ashes.  He can take the broken pieces of your heart and create a brand new one; a heart that seeks Him and loves Him.  He is waiting for you.  He still loves you.
Come home running......

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Yes, you can!









What are you needing to do today that you feel you just can't ?  Do you know that the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, that as a child of God, we can do all things through the strength of Christ?  Are you struggling to be at peace during COVID-19?  Do you feel that you can't be content staying home everyday during a quarantine?  Are you having trouble with the fact that we can't find certain comfort foods or toilet paper at the store, nor get our nails done or hair cut? 

Don't despair.....let God work in your heart during this time. This time in history could be a game-changer in your spiritual life. What is really important right now? Surrender all the anxious thoughts to Him.  Surrender your need to be in control.  Be still as much as possible.  He WILL give you the strength to do what you need to do.   However, we must start at His feet.....praying, praising and waiting.  Look up!

Praying,
Melaina

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How are you doing?

How are you doing?  We are well into our 3rd week of quarantine.  So much has changed over the last several weeks.  I have changed over the last several weeks.  Have you?

This is such an unique time in our lives.....we have never walked this way before.   Everything is new and life seems so fragile.  Our normal routines have been altered greatly.  So, how are you doing with all this change?  I admit I have my days of crying, fretting, and having melt downs.   Being in a house with 5-7 people every day has it's challenges.  However, the simple truth that Jesus never changes is carrying me through.  He still loves me.  He still loves you.  He still knows you have needs.  He still has plans for us.  We are still breathing, aren't we?  We are given today.  What will we do with it? 

I want to encourage you to love and laugh with the people God has you with now.  Be gracious, knowing you are all in this together.  I feel we will look back on these days of quarantine and have fond memories with our loved ones.   Really, when was the last time we all spent this much time together?   

Each day we are praying for the sick ones.  Each day we are praying for the well ones.  Each day as we allow God's spirit freedom in our hearts, we are becoming more like Him.  Hang in there friend.
Love and prayers,
Melaina