Seven Take-Away’s to Remember from 2016

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I’m sure glad 2016 is history. It was a rotten year for me. But the lessons learned have born a stubborn faith to blot out the bitter feelings I fought most of the year. That’s the way God does things; to taste the salt of our tears leaves us with the memory of what shifted in our spirits. There was a lot of shifting in me from 2016.

In short, I guess the good Lord told me to get over it all, especially myself. A whole lot of inner turmoil can come when the enemy sends a good distraction. Too many times we change the station in our brains to the poor pitiful me channel.

Seriously though, some things in my mind are of my own misery making and some of it is a reaction from the devil’s bullseye hit. I thought I’d passed the spiritual warfare test a million times ago but it turns out that 2016 was one big flunk for me. Dang it.

So at the risk of embarrassing my family … I believe transparency is a good way to bring glory to God and just down right infuriate the devil. After all, if we don’t share what we learn from tough seasons, we can’t help each other right? So here it is … my seven take-away’s from a hellacious year.

  • God knows I attract crazy.

I have PTSD from living with a husband who has severe PTSD, because he’s a combat soldier stuck in 1969. Seriously, I’m not kidding people, it was the worst year for PTSD since he quit drinking. Where’s the fix in that, right?  So the thing about this whole situation for both my man and me … grace covers crazy, even when I’ve lost my mind. So thank God for crazy grace and just know, He’s got enough for your crazy too.

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  • People have two sides, and unless you’re on their bad side, you’ll never see it.

Some do a good job of hiding the side that reeks while others don’t have a clue they need to hide it. Some are better fooler’s that’s all. It makes me laugh every time I hear the word “fooler.” My husband calls a baby’s pacifier, a “fooler.” But I got to thinking about the use of a fooler / paci. It’s to keep a baby occupied, to give them comfort and create a diversion. At times the clues are obvious for people with two sides, but sometimes we let the fooler entertain us… it’s just easier than dealing with the truth.

  • People with opinions, ignore them.

Especially if those opinions are about you. When someone slates an opinion about you and it’s not favorable or even remotely truthful … let ‘em spew. No matter what man says about you, it will not thwart God’s purpose for your life, period. Let God’s word define you … not man’s. And remember … faithfulness always out lives the enemy’s lies.

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  • My dog is my best friend.

Seriously, he loves me unconditionally … even when I forget to feed him. He’s constant, never fickle, and his opinion of me is pretty awesome. He loves me, period. If only we could all love this big and beautiful, right?

  • Glory hogs will always be glory hogs.

It’s best just to let the good Lord deal with that nonsense … and He will. Chuck Swindoll says; “Maturity means we no longer need the mother’s milk of public attention.” In the words of Forrest Gump … “That’s all I have to say about that.”

  • The only people that have a problem with truth, are the ones that don’t want to be held accountable.

Truth is an agent of change. Human nature hates change because truth exposes the worst. Eventually truth takes center stage and sings like the beautiful, exotic, lady at the opera. Slowly but surely, truth becomes the star. Thank God for some needed truth in my life in 2016.

  • Some things aren’t worth the battle, especially in view of life and death matters.

For example, “No Shave November.”

I have 3 hairy, man-boys who have been able to grow a Grizzly Adams beard since they hit puberty in 6th grade. This freak of human nature and hormones is a great source of pride for them. It’s been a source of contention for me, needless to say. This moma slicked their little heads down like Remington Steele (google it – it will be worth it), every time they stepped out in public. I ironed a crease in their jeans until they left home – they resent this too by the way. These little handsome dudes looked like they stepped out of a GQ magazine. Anyway, the beard and hair thing’s been a controversy between us for years.

But then my middle, hairy, man boy got very sick. For days he was terribly sick. In fact, when doctors finally figured out what was wrong (in a six-hour surgery that was only supposed to be two), Aaron’s body was in a critical state. The surgeon said he was hours away from organs shutting down. We were dangerously close to losing our boy, but God sent that crazy grace to cover him. Thank you Lord.

That night after surgery as he lay in the hospital bed, I sat beside him in one of those hideous chairs that’s supposed to recline like a roll away bed. They don’t by the way. Nevertheless, I watched him sleep, and lying on his chest was that big, beautiful, manly beard that the doctors and nurses all admired in post op. I was eternally grateful to see that rebellious display of facial hair rising and falling with each breath.

So … when this years “No Shave November” rolled around, I embraced it by ordering beard products for all three of my hairy, man boys. These items were Christmas presents but the fact remains … I let it go. Some things just aren’t worth the battle anymore.

With each lesson I learned during this unpleasant year, I count it all grace … that crazy grace. Grace that helps me see behind the frustrations, the pain, and the aggravations. It’s a glorious thing this crazy grace.  And don’t forget, He can cover your crazy too. 

love mel

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The Porter Boys

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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.