Sunday, January 30, 2011

a glimmer

I have taken a couple of days away from writing my food story that I began here and here. I felt like that was appropriate because those days were incredibly dark. There are no quick answers. There are no easy solution. I am not a gifted writer so to put the depths of those emotions into letters and words that make neat paragraphs is heavy.

A couple of people have expressed concern about me and you are so precious for doing so. This is a topic that I have talked with other girls that are struggling on more of a one on one basis but I have never written it all down on paper. I have felt like I was supposed to actually put it on paper for a long time but every time I sat down to put words to the depths of the emotions and struggles they just seemed inadequate. On we go with my feeble attempt...

Each night it was expecting and believing that God would instantaneously and all of a sudden heal me.

Then, each morning being devastated that the battle had changed to- am I going to eat or not?

After spending the summer on Lake Cherokee where I asked God to search my heart over and over and for me to know and understand Him in a deeper way through this, an opportunity arose for me to travel with this group. I assisted in managing their first tour. We traveled in a tour bus to 25 different cities. In His kindness, the whole thing was a set up for healing. For me and thousands of college aged people. There were thousands that gathered in every city to worship and hear Louie.

During the actual events, I usually found a dark corner in the back. Bible and journal in hand. Sometimes I was quiet. Other times we were "dancing upon injustice." Whatever city we were in I poured my heart out to God, asking lots of hard questions of Him, and even more difficult questions of my own heart.

One night we were in the northeast in an old restored theater. Passion had been primarily in the south at this point and everyone was really excited that we had 500 college students show up for our event that night. We had blocked off the second story of the theater so that everyone would sit downstairs. I snuck up to the dark balcony for my date with Jesus.

That night I knew I was supposed to dance. Right there. In the theater. Full out. To worship music I did jetes, pirouettes, and choreographed as I poured an offering of redemption for the Lord. Sweet poetry only for Him...

Or so I thought. I got back to the tour bus afterwards. Louie asked me like he did every night, "So what did you think?" I answered like I did every time, "I had an amazing time with Jesus." Because I truly did. Then, one of the guys says, "Were you dancing?" (Oh no, my face was bright purple and there was lots of sweating that followed) Apparently, the lighting was just right that all the guys in the band could see. Oh my. OH MY. I just still throw my head in my hands and have to laugh at myself.

For Him its going to get even more undignified than this.

I went to bed hoping maybe that was it...tomorrow the clouds would clear. The next morning I woke up and the battle raged on.

I saw a little glimmer in the dark. I saw a worshipper. I was determined to worship. He deserved my worship. Even if I fought this the rest of my life, then I wouldn't quit fighting. I wouldn't give my worship to another.

I began to see myself through His eyes. This song washed over my soul time and again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Orphan Free Uganda- Africa Renewal Ministires

Will you pause with me today and get on your knees to pray for Africa Renewal Ministries. They began as a home church and now have over 1, 500 people that provide ministries such as Loving Hearts Babies Home, Women's Clinic, Bible school, educational programs, and so much more.

Lets agree together that God would bless their vision and give them incredible favor as they move forward.

"To develop “Next Generation” Christian leaders in Africa who transform society by living Christian lives based on Biblical principles."

To God be the glory!



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

darkest sun

Every day was a battle whether or not I was going to eat.

It was the kind of dark where there seems as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I felt hopeless, wreckless, and desperate.

I didn't know where to turn, who to talk to, or what to do.

Professional help. That seemed inevitable.

I tried some random psychologist and it was an utter fail.

I barely knew this lady but knew she loved Jesus, her husband was the college pastor, and she was a rangerette at one time too. Maybe she knew where to point me.

Instead of a professional counselor, they invited me over to share a meal. Is this some kind of cruel joke? They spoke truth over my soul and committed to walk with me along my journey.

By His providence, they knew exactly where to point me. To His throne. Again. And Again. And Again. And Again. And Again.

Then, when I desperately wanted formulas. When I wanted nicely wrapped with a bow answers. God sent me this precious couple to remind me to fall into His arms as Father and learn to be still.

I left Rangerettes after my first year because I knew I couldn't get healthy in that environment. They are a wonderful organization and were incredibly understanding. I knew I had to come to a place where I was content with whatever size I was. I knew I needed to understand my identity in Christ had nothing to do with what I weighed, what I ate, or what size I was or became.

It had been a year of carelessness with my body and my metabolism was shot. I didn't know when I was hungry or full. An alcoholic can just keep alcohol out of their house and stay away from the bars, but how do you live when the greatest temptation is your pantry? I remember I thought that my worst nightmare would be for someone to leave me in a grocery store all by myself. Yet I thought I was called to be a wife and a mom. How could I be left alone with thoughts, my pantry and my kids every day?

That summer I spent countless hours at the end of a two story dock peering out over a lake filled with stumps asking God to do the impossible, begging God to be enough for me, and believing that there was life beyond the mess I had made.

I had never met someone who had walked in the depths of this sin and now was free.

Is it possible?

Could I dare to believe?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here we go...

Growing up I didn't think too much about food or what I weighed.

I remember my mom was really into Atkins and we had less "junk" in our house than most people. I would go to school and be embarrassed by my lunch that was filled with whole wheat bread and carrot sticks when I looked at my friends who had "gushers" and chips a hoy. I would hunker over my lunch and tried not to display my oober healthy lunch even though looking back I'm sure no one who even noticed or cared.

Then I went to college and gained the freshman 15. I think it was due largely to Chick fil at the bottom of Mosier hall and the fact that I ate a lot of fast food and peanut butter sandwiches.

After my freshman year, I left A & M to try out for the Kilgore Rangerettes. At that time, I know I was training and tried to watch what I ate. I subsequently lost a little weight and was selected to be a part of the team there.

While you are a Rangerette, you have to sign a weight contract. The contract has your name, your current weight and the amount of weight you are allowed to fluctuate either way. Then you were required to weigh in every other week.

Oh, I hated weigh in day.

First, I began by not eating the day of weigh ins. I think that sowed a seed to my flesh that was fueled by the fire of unrepentant sin and unforgiveness. Within a few short months, I had lost 20 pounds and found myself drowning in an eating disorder.

I remember the girls around me taught me how to perfect my sin: eating 10 wheat thins for lunch, hours at the gym, and one girl even resorted to syrup of epecac.

From there, at times, I swung from not eating for several days to binging for an hour at a time. Then I would just feel awful, be crying and begging for God's forgiveness.

How could this happen to me? If I believe that Jesus paid the penalty for my sins and has given me the Holy Spirit to empower me to live this life, then how could I be drowning in this besetting sin?

For months, the war waged for my soul: my thoughts, affections, and devotion....

(We'll save more for later...)

Monday, January 24, 2011

oh no he didn't...

My sister, the bride, and her then boyfriend got a wonderful surprise that she was expecting a little boy. She has shared with everyone how God used her precious son to draw her to Himself. My dad, on the other hand, has had a more difficult time finding the positives in their situation.

Fast forward to their rehearsal dinner, the theme was "country chic." When that was sent out on the invitation, some of the family wondered...what in the world is that? Some thought it was "country cheek" others thought that it was just a joke.
My dad took the opportunity to come as the...


Oh no he didn't.

My dad is a riot. We did set him up as a prop so people could take pictures with him. Oh yes we did.

Here are our 2 year old cowboys! (Isaac's cousin, Thomas)

My sister's diva country bride outfit ROCKED!

I also wanted for you to meet my other brother that my dad and step mom adopted, Brendon. Doesnt he look like Usher!?! I love him!

We had a great time preparing for Stephanie and Zach's nuptials. Might I had that I had the BEST fajitas I have ever had from Papacito's. YUM!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fronk has been here...

My sister and I shared a room until we were in junior high. Every night before bed she would snuggle up next to me and in the sweetest little sister voice you ever heard say, "Will you hold my hand?" I always did it begrudgingly. (Secretly I think I loved it).

She is by far one of my favorite people on this planet. I just love being in Stephanie's presence. I am so amazed by the woman that she has become- trusting God, seeking to honor Him, and living to love to the fullest. Not to mention, she is going to be the most diva country bride you have ever seen; she's going to put Carrie Underwood to shame. I am thrilled that we are having her wedding out here at the Ranch!

In honor of the festivities we brought in a celebrity wedding planner...

Okay, I wish. A girl can dream, right?

We have been working for the last several weeks to turn the ranch into Normangee's premiere wedding venue....

All with this little one under foot.

Wouldn't have it any other way.

We did get to steal away for a bit for mani/pedi time and some fun wedding errands.

Stephanie, I have cherished this time with you and can't think of any better way to begin 2011 than celebrating what God has joined together in you and Zach. I am so thankful I have your hand to hold as we walk through wifedom together; the best is yet to come. I love you.

Pics of the final outcome to come...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Its just the way things are...

Photo credit: Nicole Graves <3

Right now.

Child #1 has been an idol in my life for a long time. Whew! I said it. Idols they are the pits.

When he's doing good, then I'm doing good. When he's not (most days) then I'm not. It is the pits.

Idols come down hard.

On top of that, Jesus and I are working through some anger issues. Oh my, its messy around here lately.

That's the ugly truth and I love it.

Last night in the midst of an intense training session with my little guy, it HIT me!

It is my JOY to train him. Its my joy to restore him to a sound mind. It is my joy to return his sweet soul to the "circle of blessing' (Tedd Tripp). So there is nothing to be angry about. His sin is NOT personal. When he disobeys it doesn't mean I have failed. When he dishonors me that doesn't mean that I am a horrible mother. I would be all of those things a part from Christ but I have His Spirit living in me so "Because of His great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail." Lam 3:22

My scripture that I am memorizing for this two weeks is so good and NEEDED...

"IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also." Galatians 6:1

While we're talking about the rip your heart out thing, I just have to add that he is the hardest working 2 yr old I have ever known. He likes to mow and edge the rugs, he loves to vacuum, he is quick to take his dish to the sink, he lives to help make the bed, and the list could go on all day. If he's not working he's on his "hand phone" delegating to everyone else what they should be doing. He brings a whole new meaning to work ethic.

Today with as serious face as they come. He said, "Mom, can I PLEASE go in the pasture and pick up the horse poop?" Every mom's dream question, right?

We're going to the other side. Are you?

God's grace to you as you face your parenting challenges with JOY!

All of my love.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Yet Important Note

Its been such a fun weekend already. My man and I snuck away for our first night alone since baby girl came along. We ate a-mazing food, bought a new journal to write down all that God is going to do in this next season, enjoyed live music and dessert, played a marital game ;) (we encourage one another toward love and GOOD DEEDS here!), woke up late (8 a.m.), enjoyed a coffee, paid for a day pass at a gym so he could whip me in racquetball, and headed home. We have some really amazing college girls to thank for taking such beautiful care of our little ones- Bless Meredith, Elizabeth, and Brittany 100 fold! Our children slept all night, were peaceful and in a sound mind to boot! Now that is a miracle of His greatest kind.

On another note, I'm memorizing scripture with the ladies on Beth Moore's blog. I did this in 2009 and I'm still bearing fruit of God's thoughts that I memorized then. I am so excited to be doing it again with them this year. There is not many things I love more than writing His word on this nasty, sinful heart of mine and watching Him do a work that only He can do.

Its not too late- you should do it too! To top it off, I ordered extra of her little spirals that she had made. If you will do it with me, then I will mail you your very own spiral! So email me at melissa (at) and I will put it in the mail Tuesday (no mail Monday with MLK day)

Who's in?

Alright, well, I'm out the door to my sister's bachelorette/lingerie party! Wahoo!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can you believe it?

How did we get from this...

To this....

Someone get me a tissue.

My girl is turning one this week. I thought it was only appropriate to have a few pics of my two monkeys together because they are by far each other's best friend. They just love being around one another, love on each other, snuggle, and fight for mom and dad's attention :)

Here are some random pics from my iphone of every day life in our house.

Baby Girl,

This year has been so much fun but it has just flown by too fast. You are a beautiful blessing to our family and we are so thankful God saw fit to bless us with you!

Just in the last couple of months you have discovered that there is life outside the boob and here are some of the other things you have discovered:

Likes: Sleeping through the night, playing with anything that crinkles, pinching mama's skin, eggs, cliff bars, carbs and more carbs (she is her mother's daughter), smoothies, kisses, musical horse, bath time, waking up happy, and snuggling.

Dislikes: Yogurt, When brother takes her toy, rocking, and booger extraction.

Loves: Daddy and to keep mama in arm's reach. She is our dog, Madi's, biggest fan. She LOVES to dance. If you turn on the music, her little body is a bouncing and she loves to get her groove on to the music. (Heart melt...Its so precious).

Happenings: Says "bye bye" "mama" "da da" "pease" and she signs "More" and "all done" all the time and thinks she is REALLY big. She is crawling all over the place and responds really well to boundaries we have given her. Unfortunately, she has discovered the fit the last couple of weeks and uses it with an a vengeance.

Soothing: The child occasionally uses the pacifier, doesn't have a blanky or stuffed animal that she keeps with her always...just skin. She likes to pinch your skin when she is tired and to soothe herself. It has tested my patience and my pain tolerance.

Oh little miss, every night when I pray for you, Numbers is always on my heart that "he would bless you and keep you that He would cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace." May it be so, little one. When we worship together before bed time, the song that is continually on my heart is "Jesus Paid it All." I'm so excited for year two and can't wait to see what all is in store.

Happy Birthday and we love you!