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When Mamas Cry #JOHNNYSAWYERSTRONG

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When Mamas cry … surely heaven gets out all the buckets, right?

And surely the good Lord knows how long that Mamas gonna’ cry, and how many buckets she’s gonna’ need?

I reckon the angels are pretty busy when Mamas cry.

In my big imagination I can see the stealth, precise movement of angel wings as they swoop in and switch out the buckets … carrying them back to heaven for safe keeping.

These blessed tears of pain manifest a deep dependence on the Holy Spirit: because being in the presence of the Spirit strengthens a Mama’s heart. Heck we are all changed when we’re in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

But oh how God works through the tears of worry that birth a hungry faith.

The bible says there is a time to cry. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Mamas don’t pick those times … the heart does all the picking.

Mamas cry at the silly things too. The first day of school, the first time a heart gets broken, and the first time we realize our babies don’t need our help anymore.

But sometimes the biggest tears are those that bring the biggest fears. These are the most precious tears because they beg for a stronger faith and learn how to rest in a sovereign God.

God made us to cry so it’s okay to just boohoo when we’re at our Mama’s wit’s end. A good cry clears out all the cobwebs of anxiousness and lets the soul breath in the prince of peace.

God knew we needed an emotional release in this complex Mama makeup that’s wrapped up in our babies.

Even Jesus cried and He didn’t have no babies. (John 11:33,35)

So it makes sense that He knows the heart of a Mama’s cry and what He needs to do for her.

Oh you rest assured that God don’t waste a Mama’s tears. He’s just storing them up in His glory pools. One day He’ll release them like a broken dam and His glory will burst onto the scene to do its work.

Yes, He works through every tear a Mama cries.

So think about all those precious tears you’ve cried Mamas. Nothing so precious to you will ever be forgotten by your Creator … on no … He sent His son to die for those tears.

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There’s a couple of sweet Mama’s I know that’s been using up heaven’s buckets lately. They are precious friends to me. One’s a grand-mama who’s taught me a lot about Jesus. The other is her daughter. These girls sure do love Jesus.

But right now they are crying because their precious, 7 year old, Johnny Sawyer, received a diagnosis of MLA / Leukemia last week.

There’s some hard days ahead of them but these Mama’s are warriors. But even warriors need some help every now and then.

I got a lot of friends out there in cyber space and it would sure be nice if  ya’ll would pray for my sweet friends. Here is a link that will share more of their story. I promise … you’re gonna’ fall in love with the Dyers.

You can also find Johnny Sawyer’s Facebook page at this link. Go visit, like it … and please share it.

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I don’t take this sacred place that I share my heart with you for granted. I just love these sweet Mama’s so very much and they’re just flat out heartbroken right now … they are desperate for our prayers.

If you are a Mama who knows what its like to have endless tears … will you pray, please?

Thank you sweet friends. I’m so thankful for you … and for a Heavenly Father who cares about every single tear that each and everyone of His children cry. (Psalm 56:8)

love mel

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When You Need a Reason to be Thankful

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Everywhere I’ve been this week I see Christmas decorations. In the stores, in yards, and even Facebook is splattered with pictures of Christmas trees going up.

As much as I love Christmas, I couldn’t find it in me to take down my fall mantle. It has a set of broken pilgrims that stand tall and proud. If you shake the mantle … the male pilgrim’s top half will topple over, making him look like he’s been sawn in half by a magician.

I know … I need to superglue this universal symbol of gratitude together but somehow … I feel led to leave him broken. He reminds me of how I feel sometimes … broken … but still showing up and taking my place as God would have me do.

I purposely don’t want to forget the raw places that keep me close to God. I may whine at times … but the truth is … I need to see and be reminded of how desperately I need God.

Just as I write these words to you today … I sit here in mismatched pajamas … Indian style on my bed. My bible is laid open to Psalms 71 (a new favorite), there are about 10 used up tissues scattered about because I have a vicious cold.

The heating pad is on my lower back at the moment because I landed in the doctor’s office yesterday, doubled over with intense pain. It seems I have a rather angry kidney/urinary tract infection because God gave me two urethras. What a blessing right?

I’m miserable, physically, head to toe on this special day … but yet I am most thankful.

In my younger days, I am ashamed to say that I couldn’t always find gratefulness when life wasn’t all sunshine.

How about you?

Is there a situation in your life today that is swallowing up the goodness of God?

Are you wondering this morning how you were dealt the cards you are playing with?

Are you confused at how God allows the good and the bad … even from difficult people … into your life?

Yes, our infinite God allows places in life that we don’t understand … but HE is ever understanding about our plight.

Unfortunately, some of these difficult places we find ourselves in is of our own making … yet some are trials.

God wants us to learn the truths of His faithfulness through our mistakes and the trials … but sometimes we choose to check out on God in the middle of the test.

Sometimes we are walking through the wilderness and we decide to camp out for a while.

Bitterness, anger, and depression often stall us.

Just like the children of Israel, we can complain, blame God or someone else … but the truth of the matter is … we are responsible for checking out on God.

We are the ones who take our eyes off God and put them on self.

Trust me … I know.

I’ve done it too many times in years past.

So today on this Thanksgiving day … I challenge you to take your eyes off of what it is that’s stealing your peace.

Shift your focus … if only for an hour … to our faithful God who wants you to see Him today.

Make a list of the good things in your life. Then make a list of how HE has been faithful to you in the past.

I challenge you to spend some time in prayer thanking Him for all good in your life, past and present.

It’s time to shut down camp and move on.

We can choose to wallow in our circumstances or we can be grateful for what “is” good in our lives.

It’s simply an attitude adjustment my friends … one that replaces misery … with a faith in the one who created you and knows all about you.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”                                                                                                                     1 Thessalonians 5:18

So what is your “everything” dear one? Will you get alone with God and figure it out today? You might just be surprised at what He shows you.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. May you see our loving God through all of your circumstances today!

love mel

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Why God Allows Change

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Change can turn our world upside down if we’re not careful. Trust me, I know. There was a time in my life when God allowed change to become my normal. I fought it tooth and nail just like an unruly toddler.

But looking back I can see God’s hands were lovingly moving all the pieces of my life around … and it was for my good.

Today I am humbled to once again share a part of my journey in a guest post over at (In)courage. If you are not familiar with this beautiful place where women connect and share their hearts then today is your lucky day!

What is (in)courage?

Founded in 2009 by DaySpring, the Christian products subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, (in)courage is a vibrant community where thousands of women have gathered since then to connect, share stories, and spread encouragement.

Sign up here to receive free daily notes from (in)courage, sent right to your inbox!  

I promise you will love this place to connect with others and our God … this site has certainly been a beacon of light for me in recent years.

But don’t forget to click over right here and read more about the year that God totally changed my world … for my good and His glory.

Change is messy my friends … but our Heavenly Father knows that change can bring us closer to Him if we will let it.

love mel

Tweets:

Why God Allows Change, by @MelMel27http://www.incourage.me/?p=181625

At critical crossroads of melancholy, we must remember our faith in God is our future. http://www.incourage.me/?p=181625

Our Heavenly Father knows that change can bring us closer to Him if we will let it. http://www.incourage.me/?p=181625

Every season God brings into my life is lovingly filtered through His fingertips. http://www.incourage.me/?p=181625

Change is good for us even if it is wrapped in circumstances we don’t understand. http://www.incourage.me/?p=181625

 

 

 

 

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Reflections of Motherhood On a Special October Day #Sweet Memories

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The waves lapped the shore as we sat side by side on the sand. Sitting with my first born, we were soaking up the beauty of the ocean. All defenses were down as he relaxed in the sun and became the brilliant, talkative boy I remember. He and his brother were excited to have tickets to a medieval dinner show later that evening.

We found ourselves in a sweet conversation that I’ll treasure forever. It started with the subject of knights and their noble causes.

As he talked … I realized boys big and small, want to live out nobility.

To have a cause gives purpose.

He continued to tell me about Roman history, naming his favorite emperors and historic battles. And then he mentioned Constantine and the significance of the cross that was put on the soldier’s shields … taking me all the way back to the crusades.

His eyes danced as he relayed historic and symbolic meanings of Christianity.

Then I asked: “Would you have been a knight, son?”

“Well yea mother” he said. “I would fight for my faith, absolutely.”

Joy swelled in my heart. When sons and daughters grow up, taking their own paths, it’s a sweet blessing when they confess what we taught.

I struggled through the years with letting go and trusting God with my boy’s future: But in all my mistakes as a well-meaning mom, I see a hairy, man boy who isn’t perfect, but he gets what it’s all about and deeply believes his faith is worth defending.

I smile and remember the time he got a perm because he wanted hair like the knight, “Arthur” in the 2004 movie.

“Girls like curls” he said with a mischievous grin.

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The qualities of a noble knight are loyalty, generosity and chivalry … and my boy gets all these right. He is loyal to a fault, generous till it hurts, and he defends the weak fearlessly. He works in the medical field and is so compassionate that his patients fight over him. For all his human frailties … my boy has some mighty noble qualities.

I will forever cherish those two hours with my son that day. I saw him as a man … and not my little boy.

Too often we take this parenting thing too personal. We think our kids are a reflection of us … when they do good … and when they mess up.

But that’s just pride, because any good thing in our children is because of the Creator.

And even when they make a bad choice, it doesn’t mean we didn’t do our job as a parent.

A sweet friend recently said; “Kids do stupid things because their brains aren’t fully developed.”

How very true. So lighten up moms, our sons and daughters have to live and learn.

Our job is to keep pointing them to JESUS.

My boy immensely enjoyed the medieval dinner show that evening. He even decided to be knighted. When asked what proclamation should be put on his knight certification … he replied … “Because being a knight is awesome.”

And so as he knelt for the ceremony, the Lord of the Manor “dubbed” Sir James Matthew Porter, a knight, and proclaimed to the masses that he was granted all the rights and privileges of a noble man … “Because being a knight is awesome.”  He giggles like a little girl when we talk about it.

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So moms, embrace everything about your kids, big and small, quirky, normal, good and bad.

Feed their dreams, guide them through their messes and celebrate their victories.

Take every opportunity to view into their souls … because I promise, you will cherish it forever.

Wrap them in your prayers but leave their future to their creator.

And most important … give them unconditional love … just as our Heavenly Father gives us.

So on this October day 2016, I celebrate my noble son’s 30th birthday.

Happy birthday Sir Matthew. You are precious in my sight … as well as your Heavenly Father’s.

Gosh how I love you son!


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Aaron- my middle son, Matt- my first born, and the Falconer

Yes, Aaron humored his big brother.

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The Sum of our Hurts #Relationships

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Relationships have a way of packing on the hurts. They add up with each offense, snub, direct or indirect injury, and pretty soon we find ourselves hiding in retreat.

Walls go up and we keep a safe distance. Then as time passes the enemy comes around to taunt with memories and regrets.

Pulling further away is the reaction the Devil is going for. He wants to keep us isolated for obvious reasons.

I’ve been so guilty of letting hurt feelings dictate my waning desire for friends. I’ve declared at times that I don’t need friends … but the truth of the matter is … God wants us to have friends.

Over time the guilt builds that I could have done more or I should have done this or that. But in truth … I know there have been times I have loved well.

It’s a vicious cycle that the enemy wants us to wrestle with. He wants us to walk away and give up.

He uses our imperfections to overwhelm us but kicks our victories to the curb.

These emotions can prick the heart and bleed for days.

At some point we have a choice to make. We can pull away even further or we can dig our heels in and refuse to lose any more ground in this relationship merry go round.

The Devil wants us to hop off at every turn, every slight, every instance someone withholds good from us … but the Lord wants us to hold on for love’s sake … even when the turning is infuriating, exhausting or disappointing.

The beauty of real love is endurance … an endurance that exudes a beautiful fragrance of acceptance no matter what happens.

We’re not always going to be treated right … we’re not always going to be loved … we’re not always going to give love with excellence … but the important thing is … we can’t stop loving.

The sum of our hurts should be viewed as a beautiful tapestry that gets more colorful and rich with every stitch.

It’s not a perfect tapestry that would win awards or bring a great price … but it’s one that will warm the soul … and bring a smile that proves it worth.

Relationships are a big barrel of emotions. Sometimes the good ones rise to the top and sometimes they don’t … but we decide which emotions fill the brim.

And we must never forget … nobody is perfect, nobody has it all together, and nobody can be everything to everyone.

We are flawed beyond flaws.

The Amish people are beautiful artisans. Every exquisite piece of art they carefully make is always given one simple and often unnoticeable flaw … they do this on purpose. It’s to be a reminder that no matter how beautiful a piece can turn out … there is only one who is perfect … and that is our heavenly Father.

Love forgets the imperfections … even when it hurts.

So look for the places of redemption in the relationships that make you ache.

Love without expecting love in return … and leave the rest up to the Lord.

If we will simply love … He will take the sum of all our hurts … and cover them with His perfect love … and He never disappoints because He is the ultimate friend.

Father, help us discern the emotions that can harm our relationships …and teach us to love with endurance.

love mel

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God’s Not Looking For Perfection #PressOn

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This Christian walk is no bed of roses for sure. Some days it’s more like a terrifying roller coaster ride that takes you on breath taking dips and turns all while people stand on the sidelines laughing, scorning and pointing fingers at you.

Christianity certainly isn’t for the weak. And if you serve God in any capacity, you better have a thick skin because it’s harrowing out there in ‘Jesus loves you’ land.

I’ve been mistreated by more Christians than I’ve ever been by non-Christians.

We ‘Jesus loving folks’ are pretty hard on one another.

I stand up for Christ and get pummeled to the ground. I don’t stand and feel guilty for not doing so. The enemy calls me a coward while God reminds me that He gave me boldness.

Then if you are trying to live close to Christ and please Him in any sense, you got your own mess going on. The enemy tries his best to thwart, condemn and dismiss you in all regards.

And I can’t forget that the world puts Christian’s under a microscope. They wait for every fail and opportunity to call us out on scripture yet they interpret God’s word ignorantly because they don’t study context.

It’s much harder to be a Christ follower than to NOT be one at all.

I’ve been feeling this heavy weight of my faith lately.

It’s made me long for Jesus to come back every day.

The enemy keeps whispering ‘what’s the use in pressing on?’

But God is so good to sit with me and speak hope when the world is ugly.

Every stinking day, He pursues me in some way … and even more lately since my heart has been hurting.

He knows all about the heaviness of life, relationships, ministry, loss, unfair judgments, and disappointments.

He knows all about this flawed heart that struggles to process the arrows from the enemy. He knows when my reactions and thought patterns are sometimes less than pleasing as a result … and He celebrates when I get it right.

He also knows that no matter what is thrown at me … I know and acknowledge that He is all I got.

HE’S IT for me.

I’d be ruined without Him.

He’s the only reason I hang on.

So I know it may come as no surprise to you, but I’m not perfect.

Far from it.

But God recently told me that’s okay because He knows I’m trying.

I’m a pretty honest girl. There’s no pretense here. No fakeness.

You always know where you stand with me and that’s how me and God do life together.

So today as He has done so many times before … He reminded me;

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6 The Message

Perhaps you are feeling a heaviness in this walk we are called to? Maybe the enemy is trying to make you feel less than … worthless?

Maybe he is using another’s actions to bring you down?

Take heart my friend … we will never be perfect and God knows this.

The important thing to remember is that we keep looking to Him and live out the righteousness of the blood that Jesus shed for us.

Perfection is over rated because it leaves out the love factor.

This love factor keeps me running back into the arms of a Savior who loves me, my flaws, my hang ups and all my hurts.

I’ll take Jesus over perfection any day. Press on my friends.

love mel

Today let His Grace Like a Wave wash over you – worship with Elevation Worship.

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What is God Doing in the Stillness?

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Stillness. A place my soul is learning to rest in. It’s a place where I am all alone with my thoughts and the Lord.

It’s been a gradual journey to get here. Little by little He sets activities aside, narrowing the focus to Him.

Some days my introverted side loves the quiet, other days the extroverted me wants community with hearts most like mine.

At the core of this stillness is surrender. So I press in, soaking up the truths that He makes me aware of … and for the most part I get them immediately. Then there are times when He has to thump me on the head like a ripe melon.

Today the stillness finds me at my middle son’s hospital bedside. Sickness has a way of bringing life to a halt.

So I surrender my thoughts and plans for this time … to wait, to focus, to listen, and to rest in His unwavering faithfulness.

I eagerly anticipated this day … to celebrate my risen Savior. There’s a sadness that we couldn’t be in the Lord’s house as a family today. No festivities, fellowship, or good food.

Of course Aaron’s sickness didn’t catch the Lord by surprise. So with every detail or event that the Lord allows to touch my days … I linger … waiting to hear His voice. Today in the quiet He reminded me of a few simple constants that my heavy heart needed to recall.

1 – When life takes a curve rendering you helpless and powerless … He is fighting for you and stands guard over every overwhelming detail.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”  Exodus 14:14

 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them.  The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes. Deuteronomy 1:29:30

2- When you are tempted to worry … pray instead.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

3- Let your faith kick in.

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24

Yes sometimes those directives are easier said than done, especially if fear creeps in. But though we go through these life bumps … He hasn’t deserted us.

In fact, it’s for the sicknesses we have … that He hung on a cross and died.

It’s for the many regrets that nag our memories … He willingly laid down His life.

For all the brokenness, the mistakes, the hurts, the barren places … for every inadequacy we are or feel … He became the sacrifice.

And finally the stillness reminded me that … one day when I see His face … all the longings in this patched up heart will become obsolete. He will fill in all the cracks of my soul with a love that completely fulfills.

I’ll be whole. What a comfort. What a faithful Savior.

So if  and when you find yourself at a place where you are forced to be alone with your thoughts … there is a good chance the Lord wants to remind you of a few things.

It’s good to hear from the Lord.

I challenge you friend … Don’t resist the stillness.

Happy Easter to you. Ain’t God good?!

love mel