Monday, April 27, 2009

God's Masterpiece, Yes You!

Good Morning! I am exhausted today! This past weekend was mine and my husband's 25th High School reunion. It was a combo reunion, Classes of 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86. Jeff was Class of 84, I was 85. It was a weekend I will always treasure. Getting all of those people together and having such a super time. The coolest thing was all of the screams and squeals you'd hear when two people who hadn't seen each other in a long time would recognize each other and run into each other's arms. It was a special weekend indeed.

If you are visiting here from the Proverbs 31 Devotion, welcome! I hope the message in today's devotion was helpful and encouraging for you.

Admittedly, for a few months now, I've been a little nervous about this reunion. I'm not the size 8 or even 10 I was hoping I'd be. With that said, I've been very focused on God's perspective lately. When approaching a situation I say, "If God was in my shoes, what would He be thinking? How would He feel? What would be most important to Him?" This has helped me so much! I've been able to take my thoughts and eyes more off of myself and onto others. And I've enjoyed my life a little more even though I'm going through a lot of tough stuff right now.

When I really took the time to soak in what it means to be God's Masterpiece, WHOA! It makes me stop and I almost have to gain my composure again. It's that amazing and incomprehendable to me. I just can't grasp that! And not only am I God's Mastepiece, but so is everyone He created. When I look at everyone else that way, it makes me want to be a little more patient and kind to all of the Masterpieces in my life. I had a great opportunity to do that this weekend.

Are you convinced that you are a Masterpiece, created by God? You were created in His image. Wow, you really are beautiful then aren't you? Yep, you sure are ;)

When you finally can look at yourself the way Your Designer looks at you, you gain a freedom to live more in the moment and with appreciation for yourself, not pity. I thank God today for creating me, His Masterpiece. And I thank Him for creating you too. Afterall, we are made in the image of God. We are His Masterpieces. And that my friend is just pretty darn special!

Hugs and Blessings,


Thursday, April 23, 2009

High School Reunion

I have a High School Reunion to attend this weekend. It's a multiple class reunion, '82, '83, '84, '85, and '86. Jeff is the class of '84. I am the class of '85. East Mecklenburg High School, Charloote, NC. Jeff is in charge of the event. He initiated it, planned it (with help from a committee), and has worked overtime in making it happen. Obviously with Jeff being in charge and the fact that he's my husband, I've known when the reunion would take place for months and months.

So, the plan was that the reunion would motivate me to lose weight and look decent by reunion time. Hmmmm, hope I have a plan B.

Actually I do. I didn't lose weight. But I lost something better. I lost my lack of self confidence. I lost my lack of valuing appearance over my identity. I lost my lack of comparing my looks to someone elses. Isn't that beautiful?

I am so excited for this reunion. I loved high school and can't wait to see old friends this weekend. Plus this is an awesome get away for me and Jeff. We are staying at a swanky hotel in uptown Charlotte all weekend.

I know that reunions are often stressful for some. The great thing about this reunion is I've finally learned that people will not see me as gaining or losing weight, or attractive or not. They will see my heart. I'm kind, friendly, I love Jesus, and I'm fun. And ......

I am Beautiful.

And just between us, I can't wait to dance to 80's music!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Feel Beautiful!

I haven't exercised this week. Shame on me. I have had a major pity party this week. Shame on me. I got some new clothes today. I feel better. I feel pretty. Yeah Me!

This blog is dedicated to the glory of God. It is all about how the outside doesn't define us. The heart does. It's also an honest blog. It's about how the outside does affect how the inside feels.

For the past year, I've been wearing pretty much the same thing to work each week. I wear jeans, my husband's clothes, a few shirts, and not much else. Why? Because not much else that I own fits me.

Today that changed.

My ultra sweet, wise, and fashion smart mother in law took me shopping. I called her a few weeks ago. I gave her my budget and told her my longings for pretty clothes and a better body. She took me out for an hour and in that hour changed my whole perspective.

First thing she said, "Melissa, you are wearing men's clothes. Stop that. You are a woman. A Beautiful woman. Do not wear your husband's clothes. You are covering the beautiful woman that you are." She took me to a store. She sent me to the dressing room. I stayed in there and she brought me clothes. And they fit. They looked good. They made me look pretty. I even looked lighter. And I did feel better.

At first, I was thinking to myself...."clothes should not make me feel better....feelings are fickle and they change with the why do I feel better for looking better?" But the truth is, we do feel better....WHEN OUR CLOTHES FIT!!!!!!

I spent $120 today. I got a pair of jeans, a skirt, a shrug, 3 shirts, and a pair of shoes. And I love them. Stacey and Clinton would be proud. (What Not To Wear)

So, does the outside make you feel better? For a while maybe. But it's not permanent. It's only temporary, while you are looking in the mirror maybe. The inside has to be there in order to have a lasting beauty. But I have to be honest here....the outside does make a difference.

I don't have much more to say tonight. Do you? If so, share please.

You guys are always so insightful!

Love you!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do You Feel Beautiful?

I hope you do. Today I don't.

It's so pathetic. I know it's not from God. I know it's self pity. And I know that Satan loves to attack me in this area because I'm vulnerable.

Read here the post from my other blog. It explains a lot of how I'm feeling tonight. Just overwhelmed.

Hey. I'm blue. I really am. I was hesitant. I'm full of self pity and I admit it. It is what it is.I'm overwhelmed by so much.

My mom....y'all know about her. She's amazing and beautiful. And she's suffering in pain right now. Cancer is consuming her body. It's so hard to watch.

My dad...I've kind of neglected him lately. I haven't seen him since Christmas. His health is not good, but it's more of a daily struggle not so much a terminal thing like Mom's. He has diabetes and depression. The depression is plagueing him at the present time. Hayley Grace and I are going to pick him up tomorrow. It's his birthday and he's lonely. I'm thinking that a visit to Charlotte will do him good. While he's here he will get to go to Hayden's track meet and Dylan's baseball game and we will celebrate his birthday. Hayley Grace and I are going to get him tomorrow. I'm so thankful she's traveling with me.

My kids...all good, but they are involved in so much. Hayley Grace has CheerDance and Hip Hop, Dylan has baseball, Hayden has track, and Blake has CYC (Committed Young Christians).

My husband....Oh my, he rocks. He's been so loving and supportive of me and my feelings. God love him! He loves me. That isn't easy.

My friends....if you only knew. They have stepped in and filled in gaps that I was unaware needed filling. Cleaning my house. Bringing meals. Having my carpets cleaned (I'm sure that was the dirtiest water ever seen!). And giving of a mountain house for a weekend getaway or 2. But there are still those friends who also have many needs and are in hard places right now. I so wish I could do more.

My laundry...ugh. It's ugly. And thankfully my kids don't mind picking their clean clothes out of the clean clothes basket. Or atleast they don't complain. Or that I haven't been cooking much. Hot Pockets and Stouffers have been lifesavers!

My of the highlights of my life. I get uplifted daily from my coworkers who also happen to be great friends. They surround me with prayer. They also have been filling in for me when I can't pull my weight around the office. God bless them!!!! They make me take a break and bring laughter to my days. And I get paid!

My Speaking...God help me. I have an event in 2 weeks and I feel so unprepared. The theme is "Leaving An Eternal Legacy". This has never meant more to me than it does right now. My mom has left a legacy and I'm so aware of that now. I never was before because I had no fear of losing her. She was here. I didn't think of her as a memory. Now, I think of what I can keep of her. What parts of her I can hang on to. Her legacy is huge to me now. This event will be too. I just know God has the plans. I just wish I had them. I also have 2 other events in May. One at my family's church in Greenville, SC and one here in Charlotte where many of my friends will be in attendance.

My Email...I get so many loving emails each day. And I also receive the Proverbs 31 prayer requests each day too. It's so hard because I can't respond to all of my emails. I try, but I fail. That is hard for me. Also the prayer requests we receive each day at Proverbs is so hard. I love these people. I love them. I care for them. I wish I could respond to each one, but I can't. I do read them though. And I send them to our prayer team. But I wish I could connect with them.
Just have to trust God that He will take care of them.

So, tonight....I'm blue. I'm frustrated. I'm tired. I want to have some time alone. I want to read and write. I guess also, I'm selfish.

That's where God comes in. He provides. Whatever I need, He provides. For today. And that's all I ask.Blue for today but strength, peace, and love to make it through the day and whatever tomorrow may bring.

Thank you so much for your prayers and love.


Hey, You are Beautiful!!! Yep, you are.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Heading to the Mountains...Happy Easter

My family and I are going out of town for Easter weekend...and we need it! We've been under a lot of stress and trials lately and this will be a welcome get away....made possible by our great friends Kenny and Denise.

You may remember a few months ago, Jeff and I had an amazing weekend away together in the mountains. It was at K and D's mtn house. Well, tomorrow we are going back to the same place, only this time with the kids and Princess too. We are so excited! We have movies picked out to watch, games to play, hikes to go on, places to visit, and beautiful views to view from our private balcony!

We will be returning Sunday and attending Easter Sunday service at our church on Sunday evening. I'm so thankful they are having an evening service!

Wherever you are and whatever you do, I pray that you will have a blessed Easter. Please take the time to celebrate Jesus, the risen Christ. We are free because of Him and what He did for us. We will be hunting for eggs, making cookies, and awaiting the Easter Bunny....but we will be celebrating our sins being forgiven most of all. Thank you Jesus! I love you so much. You have made my life possible and worthwhile. You have given me purpose and allowed me to fail and bounce back. Thank you so much.

Happy Easter Y'all! He is risen!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who Told You That?

I saw this on my pastor's blog today and wanted to share it. Too often we women listen to the lies in our head or allow the thoughts and opinions of others to influence what we think of ourselves. When we hear things that cause us to think less of ourselves we need to ask the question, "Who Told Me That?" If it wasn't from God or from a godly perspective, we can throw it out.

Read below from :

Who told you that?

After the fall, Adam began to explain to God how he was ashamed and afraid because he was naked. I love the way God responded: “Who told you that you were naked?”

Genesis 3:11

Obviously Adam had been influenced, informed and instructed by a voice other than the voice of God. God was perturbed about it! “You think you need to hide in shame and be afraid? Who told you that?”

I wonder how many times God has the same objection when He hears the lies we believe: Who told you that?

Who told you weren’t capable?
Who told you one little compromise wouldn’t hurt?
Who told you you’d never accomplish anything significant?
Who told you it was too late to start over?
Who told you that you couldn’t be forgiven?
Who told you that you had to settle for that?
Who told you you’d never gain victory over that sin pattern?

So many voices compete to create a cacophony of confusion concerning the things we believe about ourselves. God’s voice resonates with clarity, wisdom, and vision.

Who misled you?
Who talked you out of your dream?
Who convinced you that you didn’t measure up?
Who told you that?

Beautiful Blessings,


Monday, April 6, 2009

For the Health of It

I'm trying to really focus on good health. Not a number on the scale (although I have to admit that I'd like it to go down!....I have to be honest.) But since spending so much time with my mom, I have this overwhelming desire to do whatever I can to be healthy. Some things we can't control. But many things we can.

If I'm honest, my healthy eating and exercising have not been consistent. I get on a kick, but then I fall off. This was clear to me the other day as I had my blood pressure taken. Typically, I run low. Not this time. Now it wasn't high, but high for me. 120 over 85. The 85 number was enough to grab my attention.

I have been reading "YOU on a Diet". I am officially starting tomorrow. I partially started today, but I still had some shopping to do. I really do want to be healthy. I want to be here for my kids and grandkids. That's what I keep telling myself when I don't want to exercise or when I want to eat chips!

Today, me and Princess walked about 2.5 miles and I jumped on the trampoline for 20 minutes. I ate on plan and even discovered that I liked edemame. Who ever knew such a thing existed!

What are you doing to stay healthy?

Please share your secrets!

Go Tarheels! (watching the national championship right now)



Friday, April 3, 2009

Here I Go Again...

Yes again, here I go. I'm reading yet another book on weight loss and health. This time, I've chosen "YOU on a Diet" by Drs Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz.

If you know anything about me at all, you know I've tried every diet around. Weight Watchers, Atkins, LA Weightloss, Calorie counting, Fat gram counting, NutriSystem, South Beach, Fasting, Skipping Meals, Dexatrim, Self Magazine Diet, etc etc etc....I know there are more I'm just not thinking of. All of my adult life, I've been on one diet after another. Various exercise programs as well.

I've talked with friends about diets. We've prayed about them. We talk at work about them. We talk at home about them. The great thing is...they work! Yes, I've lost weight on all of these diets. The bad thing is...I've gained weight back after these diets. I know it is my life style that needs to change. I know what it takes. And I know that I have failed many times over resulting in negative feelings about myself. And each time I gain the weight back, I just beat myself up worse each time. This last time especially. Let me tell you about it.

I went to LA Weightloss 2 and 1/2 years ago. I lost 20 pounds, going from a Size 12 to a Size 8. It was a great program, very realistic, real food, and reasonable maintenance program. They even hung a before and after picture of me in the lobby. I swore I would never look my "after" picture again ever. Life happened and I fell. Today I would love to look like my "after" picture. I am 10 pounds above it now. How did this happen? What was I thinking? Life got real hard, it really did. But why did I turn to food? Was I punishing myself? Was I not thinking? I know better. I love the Lord. Yes, yes, that's all true, but I'm also human. And it's ok. Don't give up. Never give up. Hope is powerful and I have it.

So, I bought a new book. This time, not one with a specific plan, but filled with knowledge about what I'm doing to my body and how I need to treat it for good health. According to the authors, this book was written for people like me....glad to know there are others who have my same patterns! I'm not alone.

I'm spending this weekend reading and educating myself. Getting the plan and pantry in order so I'm ready on Sunday for the week. I'm taking the doctors' advice on food and exercise. And I'm set on focusing less on me and more on my health. Not weighing on the scales but measuring my waist. Not running marathons, but walking 30 minutes everyday, no matter what.

Will this be "it" for me? Idk. But I'm going to try. Jesus wants me to try. He says with God everything is possible and I'm believing that. I haven't been feeling well. I'm very tired. I'm stressed. I know my eating patterns have a lot to do with that. And my face is breaking out worse than a teenager. What I'm eating could be contributing to that too.

Both of my parents are in poor health. I don't want to go down the same path if I can do anything to help it. I quit smoking in my early 20's because it was bad for my health. Yet I'm 42 and still eating junk. Doesn't make sense.

I'd cherish your prayers. I'd cherish a partner as I begin my new journey too. If you are interested in joining me, let me know. Either way, I'll be writing about "ME on a Diet" and what I learn along the way.

Healthy Living Hugs,


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

By Golly Girl, You Are Beautiful!!!!!!

Ok ladies. This has been an extremely tough week for me. I won't go into all of it, but here's a bullet point run down:

*Great event on Saturday (that's a good thing)
*Left my Bible, had to turn around and go get it.
*Drove 4 1/2 hours in the pouring rain.
*Overslept for church Sunday morning.
*Voice of doubt plagued me on Sunday.
*Visit with Mom on Monday. More waiting from doctors.
*Devotion "No Condemnation" ran on Monday. Ironically condemnation filled my head all day.
*Out of sync on Tuesday. Cried much of the day.
*Jeff and I had words...misunderstood each other. We are all good now, but for a day we just couldn't connect. I was just taking everything the wrong way. Condemnation! Argh!
*Received so many emails...a few from women who were at my event on Saturday, a few from women who read my devotion, and a few that came through our prayer request line. My heart was broken. They were so sad, defeated, and down on themselves. I know how that feels. But BY GOLLY GIRLS, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Why why why do we do this to ourselves? Because the condemnation is not from God. It's not from our Creator and it is a waste of our time. And I think Satan is so pleased when he can get to us.

My pastor said recently, "The greater the level, the greater the devil." What he meant was the closer we are to God...the higher the peak (God high) we are on, the greater Satan will strive to tempt us away. It may be by getting us to focus on our appearance, size, marriage, kids, past, failures, weaknesses, fact I know he gets to us by doing this. And for me, it often works.

Oh, sweet sister, don't go there. Surround yourself with all that God thinks you are. He made you. He has purpose for you. And no matter what anyone says about you or what you think of yourself, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are to be celebrated.

What are some Bible verses that remind you that you are important to God? Verses that let you know you are loved and treasured? Please share them with us.


Beautiful Blessings,