Archive for the ‘Melinda’s Blog’ Category
Posted on January 30, 2011 - by melinda
February is the LOVE month: all things red and pink, flowers and gifts, sentiments and lots of candy. But behind this feelings-frenzy, we can feel threatened or “less than” if we don’t get the love we desire, expressed in the way we want. “Who really loves me? Who will show me love in a way that’s meaningful to me? Behind my smile, I feel so alone.”
In her book, The Single Mom’s Devotional (Regal), author and speaker and Carol Floch writes “Your intrinsic value is bound up in God’s unconditional love for you.” Most of us find our identity in relationships and roles. When they don’t measure up to our expectations we can feel stripped and vulnerable.
Carol reminds us that our significance and value are found at the cross of Christ, “…a reminder of the one essential relationship that can never be altered or removed, the one defining relationship that declares your ultimate worth in Christ Jesus.”
Do yourself a favor this month: purchase or create a cross you can hold or wear or study. Commit to exploring God’s never-fail love for you in His guide, The Bible. Explore His promises to fulfill your desires for love, value and significance that you hold in your heart today. (Carols suggests starting with Bible verses like Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 139, Matthew 10:29-31, Romans 5:7-10, Ephesians 2:8,9 and Colossians 2:9,10)
And if you’d like to talk with someone about understanding God’s love for you, here’s a toll free number you can ring up: 1- 888-NEED-HIM.
**listen to Carol on Midday Connection: go to the Past Programs tab at www.middayconnection.org and look for the January 26 program
Posted on October 31, 2010 - by melinda
If I could walk out in my backyard (left) and pick up the leaves that have fallen and glue them back onto the limbs from which they fell, I would. Each fallen leaf taunts me, “Winter is coming; it is coming, and you can’t do a darn thing about it!” And back at them I think, “If I could just turn back time and get you back on the tree…maybe….”
Ok, I realize at this point there’s a good chance I may sound like a whining spoiled brat and I begin to question me:
Really? It’s all about your seasonal preferences? Do you remember driving through the west side of Chicago the other week and cringing at the dilapidated homes you would never want to come home to? Do you remember wondering about the possibility of unbounded cruelties that might take place behind windows of those miserable looking homes? How do the men feel who stand on the corner of Augusta and Latrobe or Lavergne or Lamon Avenues with seemingly no job to go to? Will things ever get better for them? Do the girls who walk by that corner feel safe hanging around those guys? What does it like feel like for a teen girl to do life in this neighborhood? Has her future already been determined for her? Can she get out of here?
I felt life-claustrophobic when I took that drive home.
Struck by the reality of great need on the west side of Chicago… our country…our world, my “winter is coming” lament is tempered. What will winter be like for families crowded into messy, heat starved homes alive with the chill of destructive relationships and not much hope for anything better?
But I live winter in the ‘burbs. And I don’t like the inconvenience of it, the look of it, the cold of it. And I don’t want it to come.
Mark Buchanan, in his book Spiritual Rhythms (see it on my Resources page) speaks of both the reality and metaphor of Winter. “Winter is when, it seems, God deprives us of much more than He bestows. But such deprivation is really cultivation.” (p. 50)
Deprived of the warmth of sunny summer days, the colors of Fall and of Spring, what will Winter’s losses bring me? What will God nurture as I sit by the fireplace with a cup of tea over the next months?
My heart holds in tension this call to active participation in the coming season and the recollection of that drive through Chicago’s west side. Why are these two thoughts showing up together in my mind?
Posted on August 14, 2010 - by melinda
Christine Wyrtrzen’s daily email blast called “Daughters of Promise”* included a photo of a gorgeous princess chair – overstuffed with beautiful, inviting lines that’d she’d paid for to use in her newsleter – otherwise I’d have printed it here! When I opened the email today, that chair…that chair… drew me to its side, inviting me next to stop and look at it. And here’s what happened next, that chair…it began to talk to me, or rather I began to talk to it! Talk to myself.
- Will I sit in that chair? Do I feel good enough to sit in this chair for a Princess?
- Would I be worthy or even scarier, deserving of sitting in that chair?
- It’s beautiful and inviting…but…is it for me?
- Am I too dirty to sit in it?
- What if someone sees me sitting in it…will I feel stupid for assuming I could sit there?
- What would others close to me think if I sat in this chair?
- Might I break that chair with my presence? Maybe I am too much for it.
- It’s gorgeous and I want it…but maybe it’s one more thing in my life I have to walk by…and sadly never own.
- Don’t feel anything about that chair. You might begin to feel too deeply, and never come out of it.
Since I am the daughter of a king because I follow King Jesus (Acts 17:7), it makes a lot of sense that He’d ask me to sit in a Princess-chair like the one above. In other words, to take on the full rights of being royalty (Romans 8:17a), including where I plant my Princess-self!
Where is God asking me to courageously, regally, without insecure questioning, plant myself? What is keeping me timid about being an heir of His – fully female, fully a Princess, without a spirit of fear that I must please him like a slave with her master would do (Romans 8:15) – instead of a daughter of a King? A daughter who just has to “be” who she really is. Deserving.
I am looking at that chair – and I am wondering…will I sit down in it?
(*find out more about Christine Wyrtzen’s ministry at www.christinewyrtzen.com)
Posted on January 11, 2010 - by melinda
I just watched “I Am David” and enjoyed this story of a persevering boy who broke out of a prison camp after WWII and learned to trust again (see link below). How about you…any suggestions?
Posted on November 11, 2009 - by melinda
I am looking out on nature
engaging in a life of the mind
with people who take faith seriously
my spirit is twirling, smiling, celebrating, creating
How about you?
Posted on October 11, 2009 - by melinda
I finally saw it this afternoon, the movie Julie & Julia. www.julieandjulia.com I walked out chatting with a woman who was beaming, declaring she’d made some of Julia Child’s recipes in the past. I admitted I hadn’t. If a recipe has certain words in it, like ”French,” I’m usually too scared to try it! She couldn’t believe it, and I felt sheepish. I’ve always prided myself (there’s the first problem) in simple and easy cooking. What’s the need to “fuss,” to search for odd ingredients? Even capers scare me off – besides, I’m practical. Why purchase an ingredient I’ll only use for one recipe and leave the bottle to decay in the fridge for the next couple of years? I’ve left the Junior Women’s League cooking to my freinds Terry, Joan, Sarah, Beth, etc., etc. But – oops – somehow I got a little smug about it too. Where’d that come from? Author and speaker Janet Davis says it’s easier to say, “I’m not creative,” than, “I’m scared.” I have to admit – I’m scared. “It might not turn out. ” That’s the big roadblock to my creativity in ALL areas…so I often just don’t try.
I walked out of the moving smiling and wondering, “What’s the harm in expanding my horizons. What’s wrong with creating a culinary work of the heart that requires hard work, forces me outside my comfort zone and makes me face possible failure?” Enough of constant “30 minute meals.” What’s that saying about my lifestyle and spirit of play?
My daughter Kelly and I did cook Christmas Eve/Day meals out of the Williamsburg Holiday Fare cookbook. We were exhausted and declared next year will be simpler. Is that part of it – Julia Child-style cooking is (like inthe movie) both exhausting and requires A LOT of one’s focus?
I’ll be talking about diving into our creative selves at the DIVE! Conference on Nov. 7 – I know I’ll be adding a pinch of Julie & Julia to my talk! Check out the conference dive.soulcare.com And I hope, that by Nov. 7, I’ll be able to report that I’ve cracked open my White Gull In cookbook, popped in my Pride and Prejudice movie soundtrack cd and created…and smiled.
Posted on September 16, 2009 - by melinda
Susan Boyle – I watched her on America’s Got Talent tonight. I am sure you’ve seen her on Youtube, if not somewhere else where her amazing story has been told. Tonight in a little filmed piece before she sang, Susan said, “I used to be on the inside looking out at life – and now I’m a part of that life.” What a thrill for her to realize her dream. Her album releases in November. What is a dream of yours? Or what would move you to say, “And now, I’m a part of life….” I’m thinking about that too…..I sometimes dream of being a Freshman in college again, knowing what I know now, and getting a degree in leadership, creativity or spiritual formation. Just having the world before me all over again sounds exciting. I couldn’t appreciate the moment back then.
Now it’s your turn….what do you dream of?