Monday, January 26, 2015

Dear Girls, What You NEED to Know about the Tongue

The phone call started with what I thought would make her happy. It ended with what felt like a prolonged tongue lashing and silent tears.

The who and why are not important. The grappling of my heart, sweet girls, well that is.

You see, when words hit like daggers on the playground and you share with me about it, I know you dream of the day you are an adult. Like me. When people have grown in kindness and treat each other with respect.

But the truth is we never graduate from the playground.                         

Even adults fail to express themselves in a healthy manner sometimes. Women tend to be primary offenders. Sadly, our gender tends to be especially catty. I can say that since I’m female J

I’m not sure why this is. If it digs deep into societal pressures about the varied ways to get work, home-life, and the Christian walk right. Or if we have less security than our male counterparts. Or if self-pride gets in the way of truly listening and treating others with dignity.

This hearing words of hostility is a lifelong condition. To tell you any differently would be to lie. And, for that, I’m so sorry.

During my middle school years I remember girls intentionally trying to intimidate and belittle. Girls trying to rattle my confidence. Girls trying to get under my skin and turn me away from doing what I knew God asked of me. Of being the person He made me to be. I’d go home and vent frustration to my dad, wiser than I, and each and every time he’d say, “Kill ‘em with kindness, Melissa.” I wanted to scream. I wondered if I was heard.

Being the good when you feel bruised is difficult.

It still is in adulthood.

So when this woman spoke like she did for the length of time that she did, I could hear my dad yelling from heaven loud and clear, “Kill her with kindness.” And I did. Though it went against all I was feeling. And I honored her. And I thanked her for her time and what I do appreciate about her. It wasn’t easy, but people will not forget how you made them feel. As an adult, I get this.



 
 
Girls, here is the bottom line. Treating...

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Our Deepest Fear

My freshman year of college my religion professor handed this quote out in class.



Of anything I received in class during those four years, this stuck with me most.

It scared me.

Challenged me.

Inspired me.

So we're a few weeks into #BeBrave2015 and it haunts me with relevancy.

I'm trying to play big & serve in grander ways,

And I want to encourage you to do the same.

Don't play it small, friends!

#BeBrave2015
XO Melissa


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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jill Eggleton & Jesus {How "Another Mother" is Like Life with God}


A strange thing happens when you let people in. They start to dream with you. For you. Sometimes they believe in you more than you believe in yourself.


And my vulnerability in really feeling the total opposite resonated with so many of you. I received the sweetest comments and stories. I also got speaking requests.

WHAT?!?!

“I am not a speaking powerhouse,” I told my husband. “Hand me a mic and my knees will go wobbly. Unless people are just wanting heart-level, genuine, doing the struggle with you, I don’t even get it. Why me?”

“Why not you?” He responded. “You might just be what some people need. And also, if you claimed the word brave because God inspired it I don’t think you get to limit God with where He leads.”

It’s so annoying when he makes so much sense J

 

One of my favorite things to do when my man is off work is volunteer in my girls’ classrooms. Teachers are rock star people that deserve to have their load lightened wherever possible. And those tiny little humans? Well I flat out adore them.

Recently, I read “Another Mother” by Jill Eggleton with a little boy bubbling with character. In the story, the emu decides to leave his mother because she doesn’t look like he thinks she should. While trying to find another mother, he encounters animals that also not only don’t fit the bill, but they pose more harm than good.

Not too unlike you and Me, child?

 

 I have a tendency to think I know what my Perfect Parent should look like. I play the if/then game and believe that if I live life as He calls me to then there will be certain results. And when that doesn’t happen the face of my God doesn’t always look like love.

I identify what I believe my strengths are and who I should look like and when my Perfect Parent reflects back differently I do a soul check and mentally run even though it might hinder me from peace and prosperity and a holy centered life.

Does our Perfect Parent look a little scary to you too?

The thing about God is He knows details about us we do not. According to the Psalms He knows the exact number of hairs on our heads and I believe that with everything in me. So it follows that He knows inner details I do not, and the life He carves out for me may look different than one of ease.

So maybe the bravest thing we do is trust this Jesus.

The Perfect Parent who presents a little on the scary side because He isn’t who we want Him to be but the One who calls us to be.

 

I think there are some places and spaces where I am supposed to share my heart so I’m talking with these people about possibilities...wobbly knees and all :)

What issue in your life or call over your spirit has you looking into the eyes of your Lord with fear? I’d love to pray over you.

#BeBrave2015

X0 Melissa  

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

My 2015 Word of the Year


I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Pinterest inspired me to try in 2013 but that was an epic flop before February even arrived. I should have known better. Most of the time New Year’s resolutions amount to nothing more than cramming one more thing into an already busy life, setting me up for failure.

If it isn’t from my heart it isn’t going to happen.

The word-of-the-year craze is a trend I’ve always been intrigued by. I love finding out why and what my friends and loved ones claim, but I’ve resisted that too. It seems one more stress to live up to creating a new path to failure. Something my perfectionist self avoids like the plague.

 

I heard the word while at my computer. So, I shut my screen and moved on.

Brave.

I hear it again and tell God all the reasons I don’t need a word-of-the-year, let alone this one.

Brave.

God doesn’t care.

Brave I am not.

At least from my vantage point.

I am a woman of faith, yes. I believe in a God bigger than me and that saves the frailty in me. I can quote Scriptures to get me and those I love through.

But I am a human at risk of letting fear hinder me. I’m critical of myself. I take what has been true of me or what I think to be true of me and emblaze that into my forehead like label of my potential.

My faith fills me up with life but it does not make me so bold and audacious as to say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!”

But to really embrace opportunities tantalizing me I am going to need to be brave. Self-preserving pride - that I know in my head limits more than grows - needs to die to really see how God is loving and growing me this year.

 

Brave.

I hear His voice again and I finally shut-up. And I resistantly claim this word-of-the-year because it’s God’s idea not mine.

I was going to keep it secret in my heart. No one would think to ask because I don’t do these things, remember? J But I didn’t because maybe you are like me. Maybe you don’t feel brave. Maybe you like to play it safe with what is to resist a strike to the ego.

Because what might we miss?

Today is a new day that offers more than great football and hors d’oeuvres and after Christmas sales. It’s a chance to take your messes and openings and try because we have a present Jesus who is holding our hand through it. Might you still be scared? I probably will be more times than I can count.

But tip-toeing in is better than sitting the fullness of His dreams for us out.

Take that, 2015!

We can do this, friends.

XOXO Melissa             

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” John Wayne
 

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