Thursday, December 20, 2007

What will this blog be about?

I have often wondered as to what type of blog this will ultimately become. I keep thinking that since nobody really reads it (yet), I could just put a lot of personal stuff on it and make it more of an online journal. There's the problem though, all my junk will be online, and I have no desire to be one of "those girls." So then I thought I could put lots of funny stories, but it also occurred to me that what may be funny to me, very well may not be funny to you. I also thought I might like to include "deep thoughts" on this blog, which was my original intention- but I don't always feel deep, nor have the capability to be so at all times. It's downright exhausting. I guess this is all to say, that at some point, as I get back on track with writing regularly, it will be a mixture of all three- some personal stuff, some deep things, and then some funny stuff. I hope you find them funny actually, since those blogs will end up becoming a bunch of nonsensical words if you don't find it funny! (Please, do tell me if this is the case)

Lately I've been plagued with a lot of information from many friends, family members, coworkers and strangers. Part of this has to do with the obvious responsibility I have as a bride planning her wedding, but I think the other part has to do with the time of year. As the holidays are in full swing, I've had more than one single girlfriend get sad about being alone...or in one friend's case, wonder if she should stay with her other half or risk being alone during these times. The theme under all of this information bombardment is relationship. I am often reminded as to how important relationships are. Not only do they allow us to find the flaws in our persons so that we can mend them and become (or remain) fully whole people, but they allow us to give and experience love.

Love is what makes the world go 'round. It also has the power to cause a standstill in life, when love ends or one finds themselves without it. It is what makes men do ceaselessly stupid acts in the name of love. The very same thing (love) causes women to float on cloud 9, while walking into incoming traffic. The love of a child towards their parent can be that healing balm that the parent needs after a hard days work. Anybody who is emotionally tired can get their love tank filled by just one hug or kind word from somebody who cares for them (and sometimes they may care for them in return).

Truly fulfilling relationships exist where love abounds. I am not talking about those relationships you may have with co-workers or your boss, or distant relatives. Those relationships serve a purely functional and duty-based purpose. Sometimes they may grow into the fulfilling relationships, but more often than not they remain as they are. True relationships, by definition are "true connections." Without connection, we are isolated...and isolation breeds discontent, selfishness, sadness, depression, etc...basically it is the catalyst for what our world struggles with as a whole.

I know I just hit the very tip of the iceberg of this topic, but I actually need to get going and finish up the duties of the day. So, I suppose one thing that I'd like you to ponder: What are the truly fulfilling relationships in your life? Are you connecting well? If not, is there somebody that you can go to for help in this area, or just to connect with?

Have fun seeking out those little places in life that feel like home to you! Enjoy your day :)

Friday, August 3, 2007


Have you ever noticed that you can be the busiest person in the world, and still be idle? I can recount numerous times of when I'm doing something that I'm not absolutely thrilled about, I have the tendency to let my mind idle away.

Idleness in itself is no fun, as it has a tendency to steal your time and energy so that you are somehow trapped into sitting with glazed eyes, maybe some drool at the corner of your mouth threatening to plunge onto your clean shirt, and free thoughts that your conscious is disposed to throwing out as rubbish. Lately, all that wanders around in my head are trashy and useless thoughts, productive only within the realm of intoxication, but not in sobriety. It makes me upset that I remain intellectually un-engaged for so long. I am starting to grow sores on my body from the lack of movement that corresponds with this stagnant thinking.

Interesting enough, my body reflects what is going on in my thought-life. If I am actively chewing on ideas, philosophies, even daily itineraries that must be kept, my body is actively When I begin to slink into that dormant mentality, my body will no longer respond in a locomotive fashion. Instead, I detect a certain resistance to awakening that fitness monster within me, as if the alive and ingrained healthy portion of myself threatens to take over at all cost.

What the heck am I talking about anyway? What I'm really saying is that, although my day was full of busy activities pre-set by my itinerary that I created last night, my mind was still idle all day, and as a result, I would like nothing more than to sit in front of the TV tonight and watch a movie cuddled up next to my loved one. So, I think for one night, I will indulge that sleepy monster, and snuggle away. Hopefully next time, when I'm busy being my own task-master, I will want to delight the robust exercise-fiend that I know lives somewhere inside of me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Christianity Today's blog

Just below, you'll find my response to a blog I found just this afternoon on Christianity today. Please read it first before you go on by clicking here.

After you read my response, I am interested in what your thoughts are as well (so please share, comment, email me, call me...send a dogsled after me with a stone-engraved message...)

Thanks for sharing the simple truths of what it means to be a part of a church in transition. My favorite part was the conjuring up of the Charlie-Brown rag-tag Christmas play image, that is now stuck in my head with the theme song played by Silas who is sitting in the back left corner of my mind (blankie placed "just so" across his lap), and Snoopy dancing with his nose pointed to the sky moving back and forth to the music.

My girlfriends and I have found ourselves looking for the place where we call our church home. As we have met weekly to check out each new place, time has taken its toll as each gathering hasn't quite been what we are looking for. One person is more conservative than the other, or the preaching is too something-or-other to quite fit the tall list that I think grows excessively large each time we get out there again.

I appreciate the normal every day occurrences that happen in a church without a building. Do you ever find that you are doing too much? I ask that because I have been an active member of a "homeless" church once, and found that I ended up in leadership for much more than I had bargained- from youth group, to women's luncheons, and then at last to worship- all at the very same time. It exhausted me, and as I slowly stepped down from different areas of leadership, I also took a step back to look at the church and saw things that I had been blinded to because I had worked so much. Ultimately, I ended up leaving there in search of a place where I could call home- a place where the whole church worked together to achieve the same good. In response to that experience however, I found myself more likely to shie away from the churches that met in small places and were a bit less established, for fear of allowing myself to be put back in that situation. So, this is a long way in asking- how do you avoid that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Prayer

Last night at TNL, the sermon was on "My Prayer Life." Now, I like to think that I can pray well. I mean, c'mon, I was one of two 14-year olds chosen in all of New England to join in on the monthly Concerts of Prayer! I think that may have had a bit to do with the impartiality of my friend's father towards the two of us, but that's another matter.

This morning when I woke up, I was struck with the whole idea of prayer. Seriously folks, think about it. If our God already knows what we are going to say before we say it, then why pray? I had considered this when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and as a result, my prayer life at that time stunk. I stopped praying for wisdom on decisions, and instead I just started having a constant internal monologue in my head where God was just included by default.

Before I go further, let me state that it is not wrong to constantly "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonian 5:17), which was my original purpose of having the constant monologue. The problem was that I was monologuing rather than dialoguing, which meant that the conversation was only going one way.

I have more to say on this subject, but I am interested in your initial thoughts on this. What does prayer mean to you? How do you pray? Are you comfortable praying alone, in groups, out loud, in silence or in verse and song? How has prayer impacted your life?

I can't wait to hear your responses! Until later....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unidentified Mind Wanderings

Sleep deprived minds have an unconscious way about them. They have this tendency toward internal chaos while successfully keeping the mind-owner in the dark about the growing inner riot. Different levels of sleep deprivation exist however, such that no person is safe from experiencing the best and worse case scenarios in a matter of minutes.

This week, I have averaged 5 hours of sleep a night. For many young twenty-something professionals, this is an apparent norm. I am not a huge fan! I continually set the personal goal of getting to bed early and inevitably make it to bed 1.5 hours after that time. I ignore the alarm that goes off in my head which says to me, "Melody, tomorrow will suck if you keep at this." I have no idea why I ignore this warning as it always tells the truth. I have a hard time discerning if this is a moment when God is speaking or if it's my perfectionist side tending toward self-punishment for once again not following a personal rule or boundary. When I arrive at the point that the decision between either or is necessary, my thoughts get thrown into a melting pot and I lose the choice to decide.

It is a foreign experience when I process thoughts, feelings and emotions at lightening speed when I am tired. It's almost as if a greyhound has been let loose in my mind, but my mind is filled with molasses, resulting in that inevitable uproar that ends in the shut-down of all mental function and coherence until I am able to get my needed drug: sleep.

What a wonderful thing this drug is. It can heal and destroy the body. Enough sleep lends itself to a rested body with a joyful soul. Too much sleep sends the body towards a depressive state that directs one into that downward spiral of natural drunkenness. I have used it in both cases and find that the former is the optimal use of such potency.

Ambling away from mind-numbing exhaustion, I find myself ready to hop back into bed and hopefully will wake-up rested with a joyful soul. I will let you know. Until then good-night...or should I say good-afternoon?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tender Words

A thought that continually captivates me is that our entire existence was created by the spoken word:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said," (Genesis 1:1-3a, emphasis added)

There you have it folks, everything as we know it comes from that simple truth: we are, because He spoke.

One evening, as I sat a listened to our guest speaker at church, Margaret Feinberg, something struck me. "We have an outrageously talkative God," she said. In my mind the words flashed, "No, I'm outrageously talkative." For the briefest of moments, I almost missed the point.

You see, since I was a little girl, I have been told that I talk too much. On good days, I've been told that I have a lot to say. I think at some level, it's true, my words have been many, although what other form of expression can one expect from an avid bookworm? During my late teen and early adult years, my self-consciousness for talking grew. It wasn't that I would typically see eyes glaze over, or that I would suddenly find myself alone on the street talking to myself. It was something more than that, something that became a ruling factor in my life that I still battle today. In my twisted little mind, somehow I decided that talking too much equaled my worthlessness. So, I stopped talking, and began to listen.

To this day, I am amazed at how much I have gleaned from listening to others speak. I have learned that almost everybody talks too much. Virtually everybody is self-conscious about their words and the eloquence of their speech. Many wonder if they matter to the rest of society as they ache inside to get the necessary encouragement from the person who's approval they have sought most of their life. If we truly admit it, we all suffer (or have suffered) from a bout of insecurity, which is a sad state for our human condition. From observation alone, it is safe to say that words and the effect of words not only have the ability to create, but to destroy as well.

When I realized this truth, I started talking again on a more regular basis. All of my fears and insecurities hit me like a brick wall as I stepped out into the unfamiliar. I found that a good healthy does of listening and talking are good for the soul, as I grow from the words I hear and create from the words I send forth.

Getting back to God's spoken word, a subject on which many people have written about, let me share with you what ultimately brought me out of my shell in order to talk again: God spoke to me. He daily whispered tender words of mercy, love, and of compassion. My understanding of how significant I am to God became clearer each moment that I chose to draw near to Him when He whispered to the depths of my soul to "come." He tells me that I am valuable, worth much, precious and beloved. Suddenly, I can't help myself when I hear those gentle affirmations from the Almighty Creator of the Universe. The sweet everythings that are communicated to my heart have healed and will continue to heal. My countenance looks upward as I shine and reflect His radiant glory, wanting the world to know what I know. To know the wondrous beauty and magnificence of God. And you know, I believe once the world knows, they too will start talking again.