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Mar 28, 2011

In Good Company

It is raining and thundering like crazy. I can't go for a run. I don't like to run inside so the treadmill at the Y is out. And I am eating way too much Back to Nature 100% Natural Chocolate Delight granola which by the way is a BoGo at Publix this week. 
I bought 4 bags.
Ted, the dog, is scared and is guarding my feet where they reside under my desk. Actually Ted doesn't care about my feet as much as he is simply hiding out under my desk. 
And I am feeling very out of sorts. This happens sometimes.

I think I have arrived at that stage in my life in which, when I can't find something I just had in my hand, I FEEL like I am going CRAZY!
And then I dramatically exclaim, "I FEEL like I am going CRAZY!" and then I ask one of my kids or my husband, "Do you think I am going crazy?"
And the reply is usually "no" except when there is no reply. 

They say silence speaks volumes. 

Lately I have been losing coupons and keys. 

My husband and I are really not much alike on a variety of subjects.
He likes naps. 
I don't.
Given the chance, he likes to sleep late.
Sleeping late makes me feel sick and lazy.
When he is stressed, he likes to sleep. 
When I am stressed, I have to move.(I don't mean for this list to be all about sleeping and naps.)
He likes Frosted Flakes. I like the healthy stuff.
He can skip coffee in the mornings. I require 2 or 3 cups.
He can go with the flow. I tend to want to control things.
I tend to use the word "tend" a lot. He typically uses the word "typically." A lot. Typically, that is. 
He pronounces this word: "pecan" like "pee-cahn" and with an emphasis on the "pee" part.
I say "puh-cahn" with an emphasis on "cahn."
He melts butters for his popcorn. I prefer sea salt - no butter.

And that's about it. Not really. But I'll stop now.

This is the point. Although my husband and I have many differences, on the really important stuff ~ we're on the same page.

This weekend we were driving somewhere and I had one of those crazy moments happen right before we left home. It was probably involving keys.

And I said to him, "Seriously, when things like that happen lately, I feel like I am going crazy!"

And he replied, "That's ok. We'll just go crazy together."

And I answered, "Good. 'Cause CRAZY likes company."

See? On the really important stuff, we're a lot alike.

Mar 21, 2011

Shop Your Closet

 I shopped my closet for Sunday's outfit. Since I work from home I can get away with dressing very casually Monday - Friday. In fact, some mornings I go from pajamas to running clothes, to the shower and back into shorts and casual tops for the rest of my day. A lot of what I do involves online research and writing. For example, today my work includes writing a resume/cover letter for a client in the insurance business. My day's work will also include preparing for my upcoming speaking engagement, "Turning Hearts Toward Home" in Mayo, FL. I am speaking Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning, so lots of writing, praying, and listening!

What do you do when your clothing budget is in a season of "non-existent"?
I shop my closet. I challenge myself to put together articles of clothing in new and different ways. Fortunately I also have my daughter's closet from which to "shop." The mocha colored blouse is hers and the skirt is one I rescued from her yard sale pile! In fact, before I wore it I had to remove the $2 sticker.
 My Shoe Tips
One tip: Do not buy cheaply made shoes. Buy well made shoes at discounted prices! And for me, comfort counts, too. When shoes are cheaply made, they do not hold up. Well made shoes last a long time.
I am not a "gotta have it right now" kind of woman. One of my best traits is that I am content with delayed gratification. When I shop retail, I shop the sales.

Another shoe tip is this one: Find a pair of shoes in a neutral color...one that is close to your skin tone. A neutral shoe coordinates with any color you wear. Don't know what to wear with a red dress? Wear a neutral shoe. I have 3 beautiful pairs of shoes (all purchased on clearance) in varying neutral shades. Living in Florida, I rarely wear hosiery. Once a year...maybe? Neutral colored shoes blend well with tanned legs. Need to fake a tan? I like Sally Hansen's Air Brush Legs. (Running every day gives me plenty of color on my legs but I have used Air Brush Legs in the past.)

3rd shoe tip:  If you want to elongate the leg, do not wear a strap across the foot or around the ankle! Wear a slingback or a pump. If you have long, thin legs, then go ahead and wear the ankle strap.
Stand in front of a full length mirror with one of each type shoe and see which looks best.
My favorite type shoe is a neutral tone with a platform and a slingback...just like the ones in this picture. The platform keeps the high heel from feeling quite so high.

One thing is for sure, I will not run into anyone else with this same outfit!

Silk Blouse ~ Apostrophe (thrift store); Skirt ~ Merona from Target; Sweater ~ The Loft;
Shoes ~ BCBG (purchased several years ago from Marshall's, I think.) Belt ~ old

Mar 18, 2011

My Friday Prayer

Abba Father, 
I thank you that you hear us when we pray. Your ways are perfect. Your path is plain. Your purpose prevails. 
You see our hearts when heartbreak threatens. You know our shoulders tire with burdens too big to carry. 
Open our eyes as you did the servant Gehazi that we may see through the veil of temporary into the truth of eternal. 
Fill us with an abiding kind of love that produces fruit, more fruit and much fruit. 
May we inhale the perfume of your grace and exhale the breath of new life.
In the name of Jesus Christ,

Mar 14, 2011

Shop Your Closet?

Yesterday morning I did a dumb thing. 

I decided to wear a pair of pants to church that I had rescued from my daughter's yard sale pile. 

Here's where the dumb part comes in. They were extremely long. My daughter is about 4 inches taller than I am and even with my highest heels, the pants were too long. 

So what did I do? Choose something else to wear? Nope.
I put them on and took up precious "getting ready for church on time change Sunday" time to hem them. While I was wearing them. Yes, I said I hemmed them while wearing them. Hey, it's a gift.

The pants are a low rise navy with a faint pin stripe. I picked a sleeveless silk blouse that has a water color-y look to it. It has tones of gray, blue and dark pink (fuschia-esq). Blouses are IN in a big way right now. At least that's what Ann Taylor keeps telling me. She emails me all the time.
I tucked the top in because it's rather long and the pants are quite the low rise.
Since it was also a bit chilly in Florida yesterday I borrowed one of my daughter's cap-sleeved sweaters in navy to top it.

I still think I need to hem the pants a little shorter.

Why am I telling you this?

Because way back in 2009 I started a blog series called "Shop Your Closet" and I am thinking about reviving it. 

And then this morning I found this post on this blog. And I felt inspired.

How about you? Do you enjoy putting things together that you already own in a new and different way?

Have you ever hemmed your pants while wearing them?

Mar 10, 2011

Got Fruit?

 ~ I'm a guest blogger at Roof With A View today. Click on the link to visit and read my post.

I'm working on my notes for the Fruit of the Spirit breakfast May 14th at Gulf Coast Church Family Life Center at 9:30 a.m. (Largo, FL)
And you are all invited. Hey, I'd love to share a cup of coffee with 2 or 200 of you!

In the meantime, I'd love your feedback on "fruit." (Galatians 5:22:23)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is...
  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Longsuffering
  5. Goodness
  6. Kindness
  7. Faithfulness
  8. Gentleness
  9. Self-control
Against such there is no law."

While these are virtues produced by the Holy Spirit, and not by the work of our flesh, do you find one or two of them to be more challenging to live out?

Thanks for your input and insight!

Mar 8, 2011

He's Been Faithful

The first time I sang again after Andrew passed to Heaven was nine days later at a Christmas candlelight service. 

Last fall I had the opportunity to speak twice in Maryland and sing again. 
I chose a song I have been singing for many years but never, never has it had more meaning than now.

Click here to view a 5 minute video clip of the song and bits of the message I spoke on from Galatians.

I suppose  I should start using vimeo for my video uploads so I can put upload them to blogger. 

If you are on Facebook and would like to friend me, see my badge in the sidebar.

Mar 7, 2011

"Miles with Melanie"

Often when I run, I meditate on Scripture. Last week a portion of Scripture came over and again to me as I ran my miles.

Click on the link to watch the video I recorded sharing with you what inspired me as I ran.

What passage of Scripture inspires you today?

Mar 5, 2011

Part 3 Life ~ Not What I Thought

Part One

Part Two

In the first few months I trashed the idea of ever standing before a group and speaking about the things of God. I still believed, and like Simon Peter, I confessed there was no other place I would go because it is the Lord, alone, who has the words of Eternal life. 

I just didn’t feel like I had anything left to say. I felt that even though I knew Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God, I no longer knew, beyond salvation, what to expect from Him. 
 And at the time, I reasoned He probably didn’t need me in the shape I was in to represent Him. 

A few friends of mine lovingly and perhaps courageously took the time to “remind me of who I was.”
I listened. And that’s about it. I heard the words. I appreciated the love.
But all I felt I had to offer anyone was hurt, bewilderment and lots of deep and dark emotions. 

What I knew for sure though was whether God ever did another thing for me, He had made a way for Andrew, for me and for anyone else who believed and confessed Christ as Lord, to live with Him eternally. 
And that was enough. 
That was enough for me. 

I found myself for the first time in many years relieved of the burden of trying to have any answers.
It became okay with me to not know.               
That was huge for me. I’m the thinker. The one who has the need to understand
The one who looks for symbolism and deeper insight. 

Once, a few years ago, my husband and I went for a walk through our neighborhood. 
We walked in silence for a bit until I said, “Sometimes I wish I could take my brain out of my head for awhile and get a rest from all my thinking.”

My husband walked on in silence. 

I asked, “Do you know what I mean?”

“No,” he responded. 

Perplexed, I questioned, “You don’t ever get exhausted with your own thoughts?” 

"No. I'm not a thinker." 

"You're not a thinker? You don't think?" What do you do?"

 He replied, “I be.” 
In struggling with the loss of Andrew, for the first time in my life I had a taste of what it felt like to simply “be.” I no longer needed to have all the answers. 
I relinquished that need. 

And as I ran at sunset and God and I moved around one another under painted skies, I just was
I just was there
And so was He.

(to be continued...maybe)

Mar 2, 2011

Part 2 "Life ~ Not What I Thought"

 To read part one, go here.

I’ll answer those questions from my perspective.

·        My life feeling off kilter, out of balance, upside down? YES!
·        Feeling on the inside far from picture perfect even when others commented that I “had it all” or “had it all together”? YES! (I don’t think anyone feels this way about me anymore.)
·        Knowing that God knows EVERYTHING but wondering if He truly cared about my desperation and my pain? YES!
·        Questioning whether He is a God who intervenes…still? YES!

And what about my dreams, hopes and confidence buried in a dark place six feet under? 

The first time I stopped alone at the grave site of my twelve year old son, Andrew, I stumbled from the van to the dark soil of the plot. Tears streamed and dropped off my cheeks. Falling to my knees, I dry heaved. I wanted to die so I could see my son. 

As the weeks passed I began to run again. Another heartbreaking issue reared its ugly head in our home and I knew I had to get to a healthy place in order to fight and shield my family from more fiery darts. Running each day was the setting in which a kind of dance between God and me took place. I won’t go through the details here because I do that in my message entitled, May I Have this Dance?

As God and I moved to the music of His magnificent sunsets, I hesitantly revisited those buried treasures – dreams, hopes, confidence in myself, confidence and trust in Him. They were like garments that I held up, examined and determined whether to keep, give up, or trash. 

What about you?
Do you have buried treasure? Is it time to dig it up? Re-examine the garments of your past hopes, dreams and plans and assess what is for keeping, giving away or trashing? 

(to be continued…)

Spring Fling in TN

This is an open event so if you are in the Nashville area and would like to attend, see the contact info at the bottom of the flyer.