Please excuse the mess....blog under renovations !

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


Here's to a much better 2009....Happy New Year Everyone !


~*Melody*~


Just FYI...Those are non alcoholic pina colada's I made tonight.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!!

Admittedly this is a very hard time of year for me. I'm finding it especially hard this year. The joy that Christmas once brought, now brings me the ever real reality of pain and loss. One day I hope to have that joy return, but for now I'll just gaze at everyone else's joy from a distance.

I'm finding it difficult to even go to the relatives homes this year. The only reason I'm going is to see my dad and give him the hat that I've knit for him. One always wants to make their father happy. I can't make him proud of me, but I can give him a little something I've made.

Anywho, Merry Christmas to all. I hope to be able to rejoin you in the new year with a better outlook on life. For now, I'm going to go back to my little world of pain.

Blessings,
~*Melody*~

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

110 About Me

Found this from Lauren. Put an asterisk by what you’ve done! My comments in parenthesis.

*1. Started your own blog
*2. Slept under the stars
*3. Played in a band (marching/concert/jazz)
4. Visited Hawaii
*5. Watched a meteor shower
*6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
*8. Climbed a mountain
*9. Held a praying mantis
*10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
*14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (several)
15. Adopted a child
*16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
*18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
*21. Had a pillow fight
*22. Hitch hiked
*23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
*24. Built a snow fort
*25. Held a lamb
*26. Gone skinny dipping (well sorta....)
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
*29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
*31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
*34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Yes my native American ones)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (For a few months, it didn't last long though.)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
*39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
*41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (One of my all time favorite things to do.)
*46. Been transported in an ambulance
*47. Had your portrait painted (Caricature, does that count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
*52. Kissed in the rain
*53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
*57. Started a business (Doing that one now.)
*58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
*60. Served at a soup kitchen
*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (Would love to!)
*63. Got flowers for no reason
*64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving ( I want to do this one too.)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
*67. Bounced a check (Unfortunately, but not on purpose.)
68. Flown in a helicopter
*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (um, all of them.)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
*71. Eaten Caviar
*72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired/laid off from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
*77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
*80. Published a book (A few poems and creative writing short stories in a book, not MY actual book.)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper (More times than I could count...I live in a small area.)
*85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
*87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Gross I know.)
*88. Had chicken pox
*89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (Does getting called for jury duty count? I got called last year, but not picked.)

*91. Met someone famous
*92. Joined a book club
*93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (I'm not sure how to answer this one.)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
*97. Been involved in a law suit (When I was a child, I was in a car accident. My parents settled it though.)
*98. Owned a cell phone
*99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
*101. Learned to play an instrument
102. Kissed the Blarney Stone (LOL, should I be embarrassed that I don't know what this is?)
103. Ridden a camel
104. Been arrested
*105. Visited someone in jail.
*106. Flown a Kite
107. Been surfing (Oh I'd love to.)
*108. Had a broken heart
*109. Wished on a star
110. Fell off a horse (Almost but not quite.)

If you are interested, fill it out too and let me know.

~*Melody*~

Friday, December 12, 2008

Determination

This morning I woke up with a bit of determination I had not went to sleep with. I dreamed a very disturbing dream this morning about my upcoming high school reunion next year. I saw each of my class mates in their 10 year senior state with their respective spouses; some with children present, but most without. It was strange as we began to talk to one another. My classmates all seemed so happy to see each other again. Most of them I recognized right away, but others had changed a lot. Apparently I was one of those who'd changed a lot, because no one recognized me without me first telling who I was. ( In real life, there are a lot of people who still recognize me.) I found that a bit disturbing, but wasn't really bothered by it.

The disturbing part came when we all decided to play a game of charades. The object of the game was to act out a description of yourself when you were in high school. Some people were acting like their old selves, but most were acting out friends or others. I stood around, watched and laughed with others while they performed their acts. Standing there the whole time, I couldn't think of one thing to act out about myself. Finally I was the last one to play, a former teacher, whom I didn't recognize, came to me and encouraged me just to do something. She suggested I pretend to read a letter and let them just give me a pity guess or two. I was appalled and wanted no part of that. In a weird twist, people just walked off without saying anything to me and went to do their own things. Even my best friends and those I'd been closest to in high school just avoided me.

The dream continued to include me crying with a friend who's 2 year old tragically died a few years ago. After she and I had cried some, she started laughing; the kind of laugh that just roars and you suddenly realize it's about you. Goodness, I couldn't get away from ridicule in that dream.

I woke up with a bit of determination though. I woke up determined to remember something about myself. I don't know what's happened to my brain, but I can barely remember high school anymore. I remember going to class and people's names, but the details are very fuzzy now. I can remember that I was sorta popular, at times anyway. I was one of the brains with good (ok decent) looks. I dated some, was a member of almost every club, hung out with almost every little cliche at some point, was into music and part of the most successful group of the school. But that's really all I remember....well other than my screw ups. I remember those vividly. I also remember being known as the 'skirt girl', because I was forced (by my church) to wear dresses or skirts all the time until I was in 10th grade. I finally stood up for myself and choose to rebel against those who had false authority over me. I went too far actually, but that's another story for another time.

Back to my determination....I'm determined to find my memories again. I don't know how I lost them, but I know they are still in my head somewhere. I'm also determined to look and feel my best for that reunion. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and was quite scared to see what chronic illness and loss has done to my body. Call this an early new years' resolution if you want, but I will loose some weight and tone up in the new year (providing that I'm not pregnant). I'm determined to have something to show for myself. Right now the only thing I have to show is what a mess I've become. I have no career successes, no children, etc, etc. But I'm going to have something. I'm not sure what, but I'm going to pray that God sends me something, because I'm tired of feeling like a nobody. I'm not a nobody, no matter what lies the devil may tell me.

Anywho, I'm off to prepare my grocery list and head to the store.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maybe I Need to Rant More Often?

Wow I think I got more comments on the last entry than I have on almost any other. Who would have known that talking about MSG would get such a response? Maybe I need to rant more often? *shrugs*

I've been battling a nasty little bug for the past 48 hours. I'm not sure what it is/was exactly. Yesterday I thought it was sinus related because I had some sinus and throat symptoms. But those seem to be pretty much gone today. Thank the Lord. I was so miserable all day yesterday. I haven't even left the house since Saturday afternoon. So, yes, that means that I missed church all day Sunday.

I'm in such a strange place spiritually. On one hand I feel like God has opened some new horizons for me. I feel like He's opening up the Word so fresh to me. I'm studying things lately that I've wanted to forever. God has spoken to me everytime I've opened up my Bible. It's such a time of refreshing on a personal level. But then there's the other side of my spirituality, it's a part that feels dry and somewhat distant. It's strange to feel such extremes. The latter part I believe is directly related to church life. There's times when I almost dread to go. It's not that I don't like my church, its just that compared to my personal times with God, it feels so dry. Does that make any sense? Maybe my expectations of church are different than they should be. I expect to go and be fed; truely fed the Word of God. The messages are good and I'm not trying to complain about them, but I just don't feel that same level as my personal times. Should I or am I expecting too much? It's just strange.

On the TTC front, things seem to be going smoothly. My cycle looks great so far. This is our last attempt at pregnancy in 2008. A big part of me is very apathetic about our chances for this year. I want to be hopeful, but right now I'm just surviving I guess. Unless you've been through this battle, it's hard to imagine the stress of it all. As the days go on, adoption is looking more and more appealing to me. But I know, for me, this is a temptation to give up. I must obey what God has asked me to do; simply believe and be still.

I'm off to find something to cook for dinner tonight.

Blessings,
~*Melody*~

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An MSG Rant **EDIT**

Last night RL and I were in the grocery store trying to find some ranch dressing. I usually make my own dressing, but I was out of the necessary ingredients to make my mix. To avoid spending a bundle on spices, I thought I'd just buy a bottle already made. Boy was I was shocked when I checked the labels of all the popular (aka delicious) brands of ranch dressing ! Every single one of them contained MSG (monosodium glutamate) . It frustrates me to no end that almost everything now contains this harmful substance. It's very difficult to shop for ordinary things. I posted a video below that shows some of the harmful neurological effects of MSG. I also have some physical reactions to MSG. Almost upon touching my tongue, my skin begins to become bright red and blotchy. I start to feel slightly nauseous and if there's a high concentration I can even become dizzy. The next day's effects are much worse though. I experience terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea, which often leave me bed bound for a couple hours.

One recent MSG reaction happened at KFC. I don't usually eat there, but I received some coupons in the mail and gave in. RL had worked a long shift and I had been busy all day, so there was no dinner made at home that day. I went to KFC out of the sheer convenience. I later wished I hadn't given into that convenience factor. We both got the hot bar there. I took a couple bites of some breaded okra and immediately the rush of redness came over my skin. I started to chill and felt like the sides of my face were literally expanding. I continued to eat some chicken and didn't notice any change, but when I ate another piece of okra, my symptoms increased. I'm certain that the okra was full of MSG to cause that degree of a reaction. A bit later, my symptoms started going away, but then I ate a little bite of the skin from my chicken and it all started again. So apparently I now am not able to eat there anymore. Take this as a word of caution if you too are allergic or highly sensitive to MSG.... no KFC.

MSG is a terrible toxin in our foods today. I learned a lot by watching the following video. I had always wondered why I was so drawn to foods with MSG. You ladies know that kind of craving I'm talking about right? You know when your mouth is literally watering thinking about some nice cheesy Doritos or Cheetos or even some peanut butter. Now I know why those things have enticed me so. I hope you'll be enlightened some from this entry and the video below. If you don't want these toxins in your body, please do some research and check your food labels. It's really important to take care of your body, especially for those of us trying to conceive and/or with PCOS.




~*Melody*~

**Edit** I wanted to add a link to another website. http://www.msgtruth.org/
This page in particular.
Apparently there's research now that theorizes some cancers can now be linked to glutamate receptor cells. Interesting...huh?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

After Some Prayers...

Since my last post, I've really spent some time in prayer. Most of it though has just been meditative prayer, meaning that I've been just sitting and letting God speak to my heart. God knows the questions that I have and He's honored me by answering a few.

Some answers:
How do I move away from youth ministry? His reply - Slowly. Prayerfully. Guided only by Me.
I'm still not exactly sure what that means, but I know that my biggest apprehension was thinking that I was just going to have to rip myself away like you'd rip a band aid off a wound. I anticipated the transition to happen immediately and that it would leave me empty. I dreaded that feeling of complacency that I have strived so hard to avoid. God's words have brought me some needed reassurance.

Do I just leave these kids and completely turn my back on them? His reply - No.
Again I'm not sure of how my relationships will change with these kids, but apparently God doesn't expect me to leave them high and dry. This eases my heart more than I'm able to articulate. It also gives me hope in the direction He's leading. The thoughts that keep running through my mind are that I may still have a ministry with this age, just that God wants to remove me from the traditional quote-on-quote youth ministry. It's hard to explain, but I feel that God is continually pulling me from these comfort zones that have held me for so long.

What doors will this close for us in our local church? His reply - silence....
I think I know the reason for the silence. I'm sure this is an area that God is trying to show me that He's working behind the scenes. I know the importance of this issue in my mind, but I suspect that He doesn't count this as such an importance. ....ouch....toes...stepped....on.....


So where does this all leave me right now? In a word, still. I'm left still at the moment. My husband and I haven't talked a lot about this. I suspect that God is working on his heart too and I'm sure he'll let me know all about it once he feels like he can. The only thing we've talked about is not doing anything till after the beginning of the new year.

So at this point I'm at....We shall see.

~*Melody*~

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Transitions....

Some transitions are easier than others. The one I'm about to describe is not one of the easy ones. It's through transitions like these that I reflect back on these words penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson...

"Not in his goals but in his transitions is man great."

And so as I pen my own words, my heart is heavy. I have felt this tug for a few months and have made every excuse for it. But no longer can I push this tugging aside. What is the tug, you ask? I even dread writing these words. It hurts to even contemplate that I'm going to write the words I know I need to.


It is time I said goodbye; goodbye to youth ministry.


I'm now sure that God is pulling me away. Today I sat and spoke with another youth leader who's been having some questions of their own. Talking with that person solidified the feelings I've been having. My husband and I have spoke about it. He's expressed a desire to let go, but I haven't been able to let go. I don't want to let go, but I feel I must.


There's so many questions on my heart and so many unknowns at this point. My heart literally trembles inside of me as I contemplate the hows of this transition. How do I leave when I know that I don't want to? I know God called me into this so many years ago, yet why am I being called away now? These are the questions I have for God and no human answer will do. I desire to hear from God directly. As scripture says, I will seek God with all my heart and soul and I will find Him (Deut. 4:29).


With a heavy heart, I write these words tonight not knowing the purpose of this calling to what seems like nothingness. But as the quote implied above, maybe this isn't nothingness, but maybe this is the great part of the journey.


One can only hope.


~*Melody*~


BTW, my thankfulness post is still on the way. I'm still working on my wording. It's really important that I get this one right.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Success !

I have finally succeeded in making bread with yeast. Thanks to the recipe and detailed instructions from The Pioneer Woman. I am so pleased with these tasty creations. Sure they aren't all uniform in shape and size, but goodness they taste AMAZING ! I can hardly believe that something so good came from these two hands of mine. This made all the hard work of today worth it. Actually I'm posting this at almost 3am. I have been cleaning and baking all day. Ok the whole truth, yes there was definitely some knitting in there too.

My wonderful husband came home from work and cleaned our master bathroom....without me asking or even knowing !!!! I was so caught up in other things around the house that he had it all cleaned before I even knew it. I was so shocked and thankful all at the same time. Briefly I was overcome with emotion, a sort of pride rose up within me (that kind of pride reserved for your husband) and then that overwhelming love one can't begin to explain. I have been so greatly blessed with such a loving and caring husband. He was so tired from working, yet he put that tiredness aside to help me. Sure my husband isn't the most romantic man, but my how generous and thoughtful. He loves me so purely that sometimes it feels like a dream; a dream I shouldn't be a part of. I'm so very thankful that God gave this wonderful man to me.

I haven't forgotten about my thankfulness post. It's been on my mind all day, so much so that I almost dropped everything to go sit at the local coffee shop and write. I probably should have done that, but household obligations held me back. I'm starting the entry in the morning, but I'm thinking about publishing it on Thanksgiving.

Tonight as I was thinking and pondering on various things, a decent book title came to my mind. For those that don't know, I do plan on writing a book at the end of our infertility battle; whatever God chooses to happen will be in those pages. It may never be published, but it will still be written. This recent NaNo challenge that many have participated in has really encouraged and inspired me to spread my writing wings. As a child, I often dreamed about being a writer or an exciting journalist. I've always been drawn to a pen and paper/keyboard. Somehow I lost that urge to chase writing dreams along the way. I'm sure it had something to do with losing confidence in myself, but we won't go there tonight.

Sorry this has been so random. I'll blame it on the time
;-) It's now just about to turn 3am. I am scheduled to go to Murphy with my mom for a quick errand at 10am. And then the rest of my day will be spent cooking, cleaning and preparing my home for a day of visitors. I truely enjoy having dinner guests and wish I could have more dinners and parties in my home. One day I'll live in a place that will better accommodate that and I'll have ladies and children over often. I desire nothing more than to use the skills God has given me to bless others. Charity does begin at home...often from more humble beginnings, as God continues to teach me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Preparations for Thanksgiving

We all have so much to be thankful for, but I often get lost in the whole preparations of Thanksgiving that I forget to be thankful. So this year I'm going to take some time out to blog about things I'm really thankful for. I plan to do that early Wednesday morning as I'm waking up and drinking my apple cider.

This is the verse that randomly appeared on my blog today...it's so fitting....
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

It's been so rainy and dreary here today that I've wanted nothing more than to curl up under some covers and just listen to the rain. But I've fought off the urge by sitting here in the living room next to Lola (my cockateil). We've been either watching videos at iTunes or YouTube all day while I've been knitting. LOL, she loves to watch things on my laptop. I have royally spoiled her. If I could I would teach her to knit with me so I'd have a knitting partner. She does share my love of yarn afterall.

Ok I'm off to get ready for a little Thanksgiving play that my god daughter Genna is staring in tonight. I'm videoing it so I may have a little snippet to share soon.

Blessings,
~*Melody*~

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seeing God's Glory

Last night as I soaked in the tub, I said a little prayer before I picked up my bible study book. I don't remember everything I prayed for but I do remember asking God to let His glory shine through me and allowing the words of my mouth to reflect Him. At church today the pastor preached on how to see God's glory. On several points he mentioned that God has revealed to him how His glory was confined and could be shared. At first I really didn't understand where the pastor was going with this. I was also holding my godson who had repeated seizures that I had to tend to, so my mind wasn't always fully on the service. I wouldn't change that though because I love spending time just loving on Noah.

Anywho, so at the end of the service the pastor finally shows us exactly what he's talking about. In front of the church was a large mirror that had been covered up the entire service. He had a couple men to come forward to stand in front of the mirror and two on the sides. The two on the sides unveiled the mirror as the pastor asked the first man to walk up to the mirror. (It was tilted so only a person directly in front of the mirror could see a reflection.) So as the first man glanced at his physical reflection, the pastor explained that in that mirror reflected back was the very glory of God. God is glorified through His children. The pastor called random people to see the mirror, each time saying something specific to that person about themselves.

And then, he came over near me, called me out and stretched his hand to lead me to the mirror. It was a moment that is very difficult to explain. I stood there expecting to see only me. But I didn't really see me when I looked at that mirror, I saw light and JOY. Yes I saw joy inside of me. I could barely believe my eyes and tears started welling up in my eyes. The pastor was saying to me that he saw such beauty in that mirror. He was talking about how God was showing His beauty through me. But the beauty he was refering to wasn't a vain type of beauty. I started praising God and I was literally shaking from God's very presence there at that mirror. It's something I won't forget anytime soon for sure.

But it's not the feeling that I find so amazing, it's that God answered my simple prayer from the night before. All this time I've been praying that God would bless us with a child so that I could truly show others God's glory in my life. But I think I've been missing that mark. God's glory has been with me all along, shining through me and reflecting Him. That thrills my soul beyond measure. I desire nothing more than to honor and bring glory to His Holy Name. What a wonderful gift that God gave me this morning.

~*Melody*~

Saturday, November 15, 2008

11-15-08 Journal from the Tub

I often journal while soaking in the tub. Tonight I thought about making some of these little writings available at my blog. So enjoy....

11-15-08 Lounging in the Tub

Ah, yes lounging in the tub with a good book, pen, paper, highlighter and a nice warm cup of apple cider. 'Tis a wonderful life at the moment ! There's just nothing quite like a nice hot bubble bath to cure what ails you. I'm very thankful for times like these when I'm allowed to let all the troubles, cares and worries of this life drift off into a sea of nothingness. Yes, 'tis grand. Praise be to the Lord !

~*Melody*~

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've Been Awarded and Tagged....

So the lovely Korey and Heather have both sent me a blog award. This is the first blog award I've ever received. I'd like to thank them for their thoughtfullness and generosity. So in keeping with the award tradition I'll do my best to pass it along to as many as I can think of.



This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

The rules are:

1. Accept the award and post it on your blog along with a link to the person who has awarded you.

2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the blogs I picked (so far....I may edit more tomorrow)

1. Jenn @ Knee-Deep In Munchkin Land

2.Christina @ Growing Little Women

3. Stephanie @ Here's Looking at You Kid and Ministry in Montreal

4.Donna @ Simply Me

5. Lauren @ Fizleglitz


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Stephanie has tagged me to write 7 random things about myself.


1. I've recently had a craving for Bacon Bits...the fake soy kind. Definately weird, don't ya think?

2. I haven't had satelite or cable for a couple months now. So I spend my days searching YouTube and the net for knitting and craft shows. When I'm tired of doing that I listen to messages from Redemption World Outreach Center and have church in my living room.

3. (Some of you know this) I HATE clowns or anything with a creepy face. Clowns actually make me sick at my stomach. So please NEVER send me or buy me anything clown related. Our pastor's wife likes to dress up as a clown and I can't even enter the church when she's dressed as one.

4. I often buy a random present for someone throughout the year in anticipation of their birthday or the holidays and totally forget it when that time rolls around. (I'm getting better at this thanks to leaving myself notes on my cell phone to remind me with an alarm a few days before the date to give the gift.)

5. I have more clean clothes in hampers than in my closet. Sadly this is a pretty consistent thing.

6. Oi Vey is one of my favorite phrases.

7. Sometimes the amount of useless information in my head overwhelms me.





So now it's your turn to play along! If I tag, here are the rules you must follow:

1. Link to your tagger (that's me) and list these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.

4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.



I'm tagging ...
Ok so I'm horrible at this tagging thing. So I'm going to just pick some random ones and if you haven't filled this out yet you are also considered tagged. Just be sure to let me know if you fill this out. I'm curious to read your answers.

1. Stef
2. Erika
3. Cynthia
4. Korey
5. Heather
6. Christina
7. Lauren

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good News...Bullet Style

Good news in bullet style.

  • Yes Monday was 'our day'. My temps have remained high and I got a clear line at FertilityFriend.com signaling a positive ovulation. Now I'm in that two week wait.

  • Shopping with mom today went great. I didn't buy a lot, but I got new shoes and yummy new yarn.

  • I figured out that my life does have some sort of purpose after chatting with a random stranger for around 30 minutes in a bookstore. What did I say, you ask? *shrugs* I'm not exactly sure, but I left that conversation knowing that God has used me to speak something to that lady. It was a very encouraging conversation for both parties.

  • Random acts of kindness are really good for the soul. I gave two unsuspecting strangers 50% off coupons at Michael's craft store tonight. I could almost hear their internal "Hallelujahs". Hehehe that felt good and I'm very glad I didn't think about it and just did it.

  • I'm now off to bed to rest my tired and achy feet. But it's a good kind of tired, like an accomplished sort of tired.

Blessings.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So Far So Good

Just a little TTC update...

So far I've completed the first little bit of my cycle and took my soy for the days 3-7. By looking at my temps, it appears that I ovulated on Monday, but I won't know for certain until Thursday. So it appears that we have a chance at conception this cycle. I'm praying that God does bless our efforts and gives us that little one we've been waiting so long on. Just think of what a wonderful gift it would be to find out around Thanksgiving that our lives would have an added blessing the next year. The possiblity makes me so hopeful. I can't tell you what it would mean to me to be able to share with our family at Christmastime that we were expecting. 'Tis is only a dream for now....but it could happen if only God would allow it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

He's Here !!!

Well today Adrian had her beautiful baby boy, that I'm sure to be sharing pictures of very soon. I was amazed at how little I thought of my own feelings when I saw him. I just had this newfound love for him that I never thought would be so immediate. It's simply amazing. I thank God for helping me to not loose my cool and composure. I can't wait to spend more time with him and Adrian tomorrow.

So I'm off to go relax and reflect for a while.

Blessings all and thanks for your prayers.....
~*Melody*~

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Day of Change

Today many things and attitudes around our nation have began to change. I'm not going to be speaking about anything political other than to mention that I recognize change/change to come.

A few hours ago I learned that my dear cousin Adrian is in the beginning stages of labor. She is about to bring a new little boy into this world. My heart is overflowing at the opportunity to see a new life enter this world. I'm so anxious its not even funny. I went into that frantic mode for a bit and now I'm more mellowed out, which is definitely a good thing for all of us.

Deep down inside I know this new arrival will hold some bittersweetness for me. As much as I want to deny that fact, I simply can't. I will see that little boy and think about my own children who have passed on. I know I will and I know the tears will flow. I'm not ashamed to admit that. I may have to excuse myself to have a moment of sorrow all to myself in a bathroom or empty waiting room somewhere. It will be ok and I'll overcome it. "This too shall pass..."

I'm looking forward to meeting this little guy and finding out his name FINALLY! I want to embrace him and breathe in that sweet smell of freshness that only babies have. To gaze into those little eyes and see pure innocence. Ahh....it will be a splendid time for sure.

Blessing...
~*Melody*~

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)

I should have posted this information in my past entry about apple cider vinegar. My step-father introduced me to it. He informed me that many people 'way back when' used this remedy to help them achieve a healthy pregnancy. I'd heard about it many times before on different boards and things, but didn't give it much thought. However, when I researched it I found that there are countless benefits of using ACV. Here's a link to a very thorough website. http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/acvinegar.html

Specifically I'm taking ACV to lower my blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. In doing so I should also see a few pounds drop. As well, ACV is supposed to clean out your system, purify your blood and level out all your ph levels. All of those things combined will help my fertility.

Currently I'm taking 2 teaspoons twice a day diluted in some hot apple cider and a drop of honey. I tried taking it in water and I absolutely couldn't stand the smell or the taste. I can't taste it in the hot apple cider so that works for me right now. Also it's important to note that the unfiltered unpasteurized organic apple cider is the only one that is beneficial to your health, because it's the only one that contains the 'mother of vinegar' which are the little stringy things floating around in it. I was able to find mine at my local grocery store over with the condiments and pickles. But many people may have to go to a health food store to obtain the right kind.

Hope this information helps. Be sure to check out my last post for a real personal entry.

~*Melody"*~

Monday, November 3, 2008

Here We Go Again...


Well it's been a couple months now since our last miscarriage and it's time to hop back on the trying to conceive train. Again.....


So I'm not exactly thrilled about it, but I know it's something that we must do if we plan to use the next couple years effectively. I've yet to start back on the vitamins and supplements, but I have used my natural progesterone cream, plan to start the soy isoflavones on Thursday, and have added apple cider vinegar twice a day. We are still determined to stay on the natural side of treatments.


I think I'm healthy enough now to add some exercise back into my daily routine. Adding exercise has been proven to give your ovaries an added boost, so hey why not. I'd love to loose some weight, but I'm really not focused on that right now. I just want to be as healthy as I can be and hold my child in my arms. I know it's going to be hard getting myself to exercise again. It's been over a year now since I've even been healthy enough to attempt exercise. But it's time now.


Lately several people have challenged my faith in regards to stopping trying for our own child and going down the adoption route. It's very strange that so many different people would come at me with the adoption card all at the same time (this is not said in disrespect to anyone adopting or a child of adoption). Now I'm not against adoption in anyway and I'm not saying that we won't ever adopt a child, but right now I believe that God is telling us to wait. I'm waiting on His promises to us. It's a difficult thing to be in a constant state of waiting, but it is what God has told me to do and it's what I will continue to do, no matter how much it hurts.


Psalm 25:20-21

20 Keep my soul, and deliver me;

Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,

For I wait for You.


Psalm 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord

More than those who watch for the morning—

Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.


Hear my heart Father and bless my complete faith and trust in You. I want you to use me for your glory Lord, even if that means showing myself and others the beauty of waiting on You. Be lifted up and glorified in me Lord. Let Your will be done and move Lord, move Lord. Let that latter rain fall afresh on me. I desire You Lord. I desire to hear Your sweet voice say, Child I am pleased with you. I want you to be pleased in me Lord and not just me pleased with me. Continue to help me Lord as I battle against this vessel of clay; this tug of the flesh that I'm constantly pulling against. So tonight I pray these words and scriptures over my life....may You and Your Word ever be alive in my life......In Jesus Name AMEN.


Goodnight Bloggers,

~*Melody*~

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Stiring Heart

Recently I feel like God is stiring my heart again. I'm not quite sure why or towards what, but I just have that feeling. With all my soul searching that I've been doing lately, I have found that I'm not as content with where I am than I thought I was. Now this isn't to say that I'm going to pick up and move my whole life a week from tomorrow, but it is to say that thought has crossed my mind.

Personally, I'd love nothing more to get out of this area. I'd love to go have the chance to really be me. The thrill of the adventure calls out to me. But the fear of the unknown, lack of money and family keep me grounded here.

I wonder what God might be able to do with me (and my husband) if we could step out of this comfort zone that we live in. It feels that both of us have not really taken initiative in our callings. We were deeply burned out and hurt leaving our last church. When first given the opportunity in our new church to really step out, I didn't because my heart wasn't healed enough yet. Now there's no real way to step out within the church and the ministry I once felt so called to.

I question whether God is moving us in a different direction at this time. My husband and I talked about this for several hours a few nights ago. I'm not sure where to go from here or what to do. The next morning I asked him in all honesty, "Do you really think I could give up youth ministry? I mean really give it up and walk away?" He didn't really have a response. I suppose he had the same answer I did though..."I simply don't know."

Truely following after God and doing His will is so difficult sometimes. But when you think about it, it isn't really difficult to know God's will, the difficulty comes when we know our will. We naturally listen to our will before we listen to God's Will. Our will makes hearing God's true Will cloudy. Confusion is not from God, it's from self and the flesh. God is a God of order and justice. We often confuse that with the mindset "life just isn't fair to me." God never promised that life would be fair, only that He is our ultimate justice and that He never changes. My will changes, but God's doesn't change. The key to finding God's will though is often hidden in all the baggage we carry around. We cling to that baggage and often refuse to let it go.

This time of soul searching has lead me to this: It's time to let go of some baggage.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Devotional and Some Personal Thought

FEELING WEAK? A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM REBECCA ST. JAMES
(directly copied from her blog)

Here's a relevant message for today from Rebecca's new book, "Pure"

Have you ever heard the saying, "Everything we need to know in life, we learned in kindergarten"? Many people learned a great deal in Sunday school. All of us as children with bright beaming faces have sung in our best and most earnest voices the words to "Jesus Loves Me": Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong! We all face times in life when we literally find that we, in our humanness, are not sufficient for the task at hand. We come face-to-face with the truth of the reality that in our weakness God is strong.

I once participated in an event called Thrive that was telecast live via closed circuit across the country to churches. I was not feeling very well the day of my concert—physically, emotionally, and spiritually I was feeling quite vulnerable. I was also a little nervous about sharing the stage with the caliber of the other women at the event—women such as Kay Arthur, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Lynne Hybels. If there were ever a time I wanted to feel it was "game on" musically and every other way—it was now—and I wasn't feeling that way at all.

I spoke with a friend right before I went onstage and asked her to pray for me.She said, "Rebecca, I want you to remember what it means to be a jar of clay. Even if we have only a few drops left in the bottom of the jar—that's a good thing! It allows God to fill us up—rather than us being filled up on our own strength. I want to encourage you to go out there knowing that God can use you probably more effectively in your weakness than He could if you were feeling strong today."Her encouragement changed my total perspective and outlook so much that day, as if it gave me an instant spiritual transformation. My spirit just felt so much lighter and free.

I was able to share honestly with the audience about how there needs to be a place for honesty and vulnerability within our relationships. It promotes community and an atmosphere where we can then turn to God together. What a powerful and beautiful thing it is.Some people think they can handle everything on their own, as if they are islands unto themselves, but sooner or later they will run into a situation in which they must draw on strength from outside. It might be a serious health issue, a financial burden, a difficult decision that must be made, or the need to overcome a nagging sin. Pity the person who feels as if he has nowhere to turn to in those difficult times.

God has provided strength for your life not only through His own supernatural power, but also through the friends He has brought into your path. The Christian life can only properly be lived in community—walking in intimacy with the Father, and doing life together with faithful brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God.

Is there an area in your life right now in which you feel particularly weak and vulnerable? Be straight up with those that are closest to you about what's going on in your life and you'll find your strength in God and in the community that He's given to surround you. Take heart, help is on the way.Be encouraged my friends! Rebecca

----------------------------------------------------------

For some time now I have been reserved and have backed away from sharing my feelings. This past miscarriage took me by surprise and left me more hurt than I ever could have imagined. One of the most important things I've learned is that time doesn't heal all wounds, only God heals all wounds. As for me, I'm still quite wounded and weak.

I read blogs from time to time, but I believe God specifically drew me to the one I posted above. I am indeed weak, but very few people know about this weakness. I have purposely did my best to hide any sort of weakness from those around me. There's a little group of women here online that I confide in. They have heard many of my stories from the pits of depression and sorrow, yet I'm unable to share that with anyone around me other than my husband. It seems a strange concept to me that I should be opening up, when the world all expects me to be strong. In reality I'm the weakest I've ever been. My body is weak, my emotions are weak, and unfortuneatly my faith is weak. I'm doing my best to work on my spiritual health, but my best attempts and best laid plans only fall short. God alone can heal my wounded spirit.

I believe God is calling me to a deeper place with Him. I am continually broken and I know there must be a reason for this brokeness. I have decided that I will take a brief sabbatical from teaching at the end of this quarter, because I need some time for my own spiritual self. I haven't yet decided what class I'll be attending, but I need something for me. I refuse to get back into the rut of giving and giving of myself until I have nothing left.

God has placed something very specific on my heart to try. This attempt would push me very far away from my comfort zone and would force me to allow other people into my world. I am very hesitant about this and am praying for God's will to be done through me.

So as I leave you all this entry, I hope you will be blessed by the devotional from Rebecca St. James. I am leaving tomorrow morning for a brief visit with family and some vacation time alone with my husband. I hope to come back refreshed and ready to take on whatever God has for me next.

~*Melody*~

Now this is how I like my coffee !

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Food Mistakes

I was just randomly reading the headlines on my Yahoo homepage today when I stumbled on the following article. It sparked my own curiosity. For those of you who are parents or caretakers of children, how do you get children to try new foods? Do you commit any of these 'food mistakes'?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/health/healthspecial2/15eat.html?ex=1379304000&en=916e6480bc36f917&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Looking back on the times I've cared for children, I've been guilty of a few. The no children in my kitchen rule has probably been my biggest no no. There have been times I've offered to teach children how to make something, but in general the kitchen is the me zone. I think that stems from my creative side. I like to be alone or in my own space when I'm busy creating something, whether that be writing, crafting, scrapbooking, and even cooking. There are some crafting things that I like others present or like to do while spending time with others, like crocheting and knitting. But in general I enjoy my own creative space away from the distraction of others.

I've also been guilty of hiding the 'good stuff ' aka the non-healthy stuff. I guess that shows that I shouldn't have that stuff in my home if it's not good enough for a child to eat. I need to work on this area.

And then I got to the part of the article that spoke about mothers that diet and how that affects their daughters. My mother always dieted when I was a child. Although she rarely needed to be on a diet, it was a household obsession and I can see how that's affected my own eating habits. I can't remember when I didn't know what calories, fat, and calories from fat meant. I remember looking at my milk carton in school and wondering if I was going to get fat from drinking it. Ironically, I did start to gain weight in 4th grade. That's when my little pot belly formed shortly before puberty began. I was so embarrassed and did everything I could to get rid of that pot belly. I felt guilty and wondered what secret calories I'd been eating that my mom didn't know about. Ultimately I hadn't been eating any extra or exercising any less, those were the beginning effects of PCOS. I wish I had known then and started some sort of treatment. Some 18 years later, I still have that pot belly....and more. I wonder if this will be an obsession of my own when I have a little girl someday. Will I look at her calories, fat and carb intake so closely that I'll make her feel the way I felt as a child? Will I be so paranoid that PCOS will affect her as well or will I be able to allow her to be a normal child no matter her genetics?

Interesting article though.....please share your thoughts.

~*Melody*~

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Blog Look

I've been wanting a new look here forever. I plan on making a new header eventually, but for now you just get a new background. Anyway...enjoy.

And now back to your regular websurfing.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

27th Birthday

I actually had 2 days of celebration this year. The first was on Monday Aug. 18th. My husband and I took a day trip to Chattanooga for some shopping and an eye exam for me. We had a nice day out, relatively uneventful, just nice and relaxed. I came home with some lovely items from the craft store and a new eye prescription with new contacts.

I was having some trouble focusing the contacts that evening but I thought nothing of it. By the next day, I was having major issues with the contacts and could no longer read anything closer than arms length. Using my laptop was near impossible, even after magnifying my screen to 200%. So that meant that it was time to return to the eye doctor.

I got another appointment scheduled for my birthday (Friday). It just happened by chance that my husband and mother didn't have to work. So we all loaded up that morning and took off for birthday celebration #2. *chuckles* I didn't mind at all.

When we got there we had to rush to my appointment before we could go shopping. My eye doctor told me that the distance between my eyes and contacts vs. my eyes and glasses had a major difference with the strength of my prescription. My brain just couldn't comprehend the strength of my new contacts, so I had to return to my old prescription. I can use my new prescription with my glasses though. The doctor gave me a different set of contacts and I headed out of the office.

We then went next door to look at glasses at Lenscrafters. I'd already looked at them on Monday and had an idea of the pair I wanted. I knew that I couldn't afford them though. My mom encouraged me to try on glasses again. I showed her the ones I liked the most. And surprise, they were my birthday gift ! So an hour or so later, I came out with these...

So what do you think? They are by far the most stylish glasses I've ever owned. LOL. I can remember when I wore glasses so big that they covered my little round cheeks. I look back at those pictures and ponder about how I ever thought those looked good one me. Oh well, I'm sure we all have 'those' pictures.

We didn't shop much in the mall after that. We ate while we waiting on my glasses to be made. I was looking around the mall for Lane Bryant only to find that it has been moved out of the mall. Boo, that's the kind of change I don't like. We drove to the local Lifeway bookstore where I purchased a new book for my Sunday school class and a new Willow Tree figurine.

I've always had a fondness for this collection. I think what draws me most to them is the life symbolism each of them have. Each one can represent different stages of life, different feelings, emotions, etc. I have received two as gifts and have purchased 3. When I look at them on my mantel, I think about different aspects of my life. The first one I received from my former boss. It symbolizes our unique friendship. The second was an unexpected gift from a dear friend who wanted to encourage me to never give up hope. I bought the next one at Christmas to symbolize the place where my husband and I were at during that time. The largest of my collection was purchased for me by husband to celebrate our love. And last but not least, the figurine at the left is called angel's embrace.

For me, this symbolizes that our lost children are in the arms of heaven. They have received the utmost of care and love. I take comfort in that on my hardest of days. I once saw an angel, the one I believe to be my guardian angel. She was small, had childlike features and light brown short flowing hair. When I saw this particular figurine, I saw HER. The tears immediately flowed down my face, but I also felt God's arm wrap that comfort around me too.

I've looked at that figurine on my mantel many times since then. It no longer brings tears to my eyes, but a smile to my face. God gave me a smile for my birthday.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Transitions in Ministry

RL and I have had yet another transition in ministry. I'm pleased to announce that we are now the college ministry leaders. We met with the pastor today and discussed ideas and some expectations. Basically I'll be using my dear computer here to keep in touch with all our college students while they are away through Facebook, MySpace and blogging. We'll also be doing some campus visits and a few get togethers for them when they return home. I'll be writing some devotionals periodically and keeping them connected with our services possibly through audio podcasts. In the future we'll be offering a class for this age group as well.

I'm excited to get plugged into an actual area of ministry. I've been teaching for some time now, but the ability to really make a difference makes me feel so much better about myself. I feel like God is going to challenge me to use my talents and abilities in a greater way than I ever imagined.

The college ministry is grouped under the youth ministry and we'll still be working closely with youth of all ages. This is a new age group for us, but I'm glad we'll still be in youth ministry. Youth ministry is my first love and I'm not ready to transition away from it yet.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement over the past months. God has definately blessed my husband and I. His guiding hand and provision over us never ceases to amaze me. I am in awe and very grateful.

~*Melody*~

Friday, August 8, 2008

Baby Can You Hear Me?

A video I found on YouTube....

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Question Posted

In reference to the last post, a couple questions were asked. I thought I'd post the answers here for others to benefit from.

Questions : How do you use progesterone cream? Where do you apply it, and what does it do?

First of all, it's very important that you purchase natural progesterone cream. It must have the label USP progesterone cream in the ingredients or it's not natural and could actually be harmful to your body. You won't find natural progesterone cream at Walmart, it's usually at a health food store.

Basically you rub 1/4 tsp. 2 times a day for cycle days 14-28. It's just like rubbing lotion on. You rub on any of the areas of thin skin; the inside of your upper legs, inside of your arms, tummy, or chest. Within 5 days of stopping the cream you should have a normal cycle. For the first month of use, you should double the dose and you may have to try twice before it works.

Our bodies naturally produce progesterone, so you aren't introducing anything new into your system. By using progesterone cream after ovulation (which means that you might have to adjust the cycle day that you start the cream), you are helping to balance out the levels of estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes women have too much estrogen that causes their cycles to be irregular. Some women have too much progesterone that causes them to have irregular ovulation. By introducing progesterone at the correct time into your system, it helps to naturally balance your levels.

Progesterone is produced by the corpus lutem (the remains of the follicle that drops to be fertilized). If conception happens, it produces progesterone until the placenta forms and takes over (usually around 6-7 weeks). If a fetus isn't detected by the corpus lutem, it stops producing progesterone and the withdrawl induces the beginning of your cycle.

I think I covered everything there. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I don't mind answering questions.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Normalcy... for Me?

I haven't written in some time about our journey with infertility. So I wanted to give a very brief update on that.

Basically here's the run-down since my molar pregnancy....
A few trials of natural progesterone cream helped the molar pregnancy to pass and hence no longer be a problem for me.

Post-pregnancy loss cycle (Cycle 1) - I used natural progesterone cream on cycle days 14-28 of previous cycle. AF (Aunt Flow) arrived on cycle day 31. I also started taking Soy Isoflavones 120mg on cycle day 5-9 to help my body to ovulate properly and in a timely manner. I tested positive for ovulation on cycle day 17. A normal cycle.

Cycle 2 - I used natural progesterone cream on cycle days 22-31. AF arrived on cycle day 31. I took Soy Isoflavones 160mg on cycle day 3-7. I'm not sure if I ovulated or not. I messed up the testing a bit because of traveling and taking the tests at the wrong time. A normal cycle.

Cycle 3 - I used natural progesterone cream on cycle days 19-30 of previous cycle. AF arrived on cycle day 31. I took Soy Isoflavones 200mg on cycle days 3-7. I also added Robitussin to the mix this cycle. I began taking 2 teaspoons 3 times a day on cycle day 5 to help thin my cervical mucus. I'm now in the waiting process to see if I will ovulate or not.

As you can see this is great progress. I give God all the glory and thanks for helping my body to once again be normal. I'm telling you natural progesterone cream is a miracle working cream. Who would have known that the cure for most of my problems was in a jar at a health food store? It just blows my mind that I could have been helping my body all these years, but I didn't know it even existed.

I've also adding BBT charting on FertilityFriend.com . I began that towards the end of cycle 2, but it was too late to show if I had ovulated. So far I've been consistent with temping every morning, even though it is incredibly annoying. I set the alarm on my cell phone to wake me up so I can temp at the same time everyday. It's slowly becoming a habit. I'm hoping that it will help me to discover a pattern in my cycles and if I'm truely ovulating.

If the soy doesn't work this month (meaning giving me a definate positive ovulation), then I'll be lowering the dose and using it on cycle day 5-9 again. Usually the dosage starts at 60mg and ends at 200mg. I choose to start in the middle because I was sure that I needed more help than the lower doses would give. It is a substitute for the fertility drug called Clomid. I took that last year on cycle days 5-9, so that why I started with those days first. It's a guessing game to figure out, so that's why I'm exploring using different doses on the different days. Hopefully I'll find a combination that works well for me soon.

I'm hoping and praying that God is healing my body in preparation for a healthy successful pregnancy. It's coming to the end of year 8 for my husband and I. At the beginning on 2007, I heard a message preached on God's new beginnings and how the number 8 stood for new beginnings. Since then I've been focusing on that new beginning; the possibility that year 8 for us would truely be a new beginning. It is probably merely coincidence that it is 2008 and our 8th year of marriage, but I hoped that it meant something. Our 8th year ends this upcoming month; the 8th month of the 8th year of 2008. It's very strange and probably something I've just thought about too much. Somewhere deep down inside of me, where the dreamer still lives, I wonder if it still might be possible to have that new beginning, our number 8.

And for a few laughs, here's a few more number 8's for you......I'm supposed to ovulate on or around 8/8/08. If I become pregnant it will be our 8th pregnancy. And when I switch to a new OB/GYN, this will make number 8 for me in the past 8 years. LOL... I think I'm becoming obsessed with the number 8. But this isn't anything new, because I remember as a child that my favorite number was 8. It's probably because my birthday is in August. I have always, as long as I can remember, picked the number 8 in everything; chinesse Christmas, pick a number for a drawing, etc. 8 has always been mine. I sure hope that God allows me to have number 8 this time.....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Pic Post

A little overview of my life through pictures.


Noah's 1st Birthday Party:

My beautiful goddaughter Genna...isn't that the cutest little pose?


Noah patiently waiting to eat.

Lou acting silly. This is so a MySpace photo...or maybe I'll keep it for a future date?

Bill's Graduation:

This was a really neat water feature. I loved the look of this photo.

A great pic of Genna and her dad at his college graduation.

Swimming with Genna:

Don't you just love that little swimsuit...even if it is a little blurry?

That's a cute little butt shot!

The only shot I was able to get at the pool. Lou and Genna were playing in the kiddy pool.

Deeper Still Weekend:

Adrian and I at her parents house.

A cute pic of me that Adrian caught.

The group shot of us Daughters girls who went to the conference.



The Phillips Arena where the Deeper Still Conference was held.

Another cute photo Adrian caught when we got back from the conference.

4th of July Pics:

Noah snoozing at the park before the fireworks show.


Genna stopped for a quick pose.
.Hannah, me and Lou grabbed the traditonal cell phone pic.
Genna and Lou lounging for a bit.


Genna and I anxiously awaiting the fireworks show.

Friday, July 4, 2008

High School Reunion and Other Things

I received a call yesterday from my high school senior class president. I recognized her voice immediately even though I haven't heard from her in a little over 9 years. Admittedly it was quite strange answering her casual questions about general life. She asked that I send a paragraph about my life so far to be put on our reunion's website and into a book available at the reunion.

I've been thinking about what to write ever since she called. I'd just gotten over the idea of not labeling myself based on my career or accomplishments. Now I'm struggling with writing this update. I don't want to seem like I'm a nobody and have nothing to say for myself. But on the other hand, I don't want to get back into the rut of labeling myself based on my 'accomplishments'. It's just a difficult thing to describe oneself to people you once spent everyday with.

Onto other things...I've been a terrible blogger. Life has been incredibly busy so far this summer, which not unusal for the summer. The unusual thing is that I've been simply overwhelmed by everything going on. I'll give a brief update on things and try to get more detailed later on, but I'm promising.

Women's Bible Study Class:
So far things have went just ok. Ok is fine, but I was hoping for great. So far it seems that we are generally disconnected. I believe this is due to the fact that we simply don't have enough time to interact with one another. We watch a video one week and then do a discussion of that session the next week. It seems that we are always so rushed to fit everything in that we really miss that personal aspect of the class.

The class format is definately a learning experience for me. Don't get me wrong the study itself is excellent. But if I ever choose to do a video series study again, I will not do so in a church setting, unless I have my own projector and a longer class time. Ideally it would be excellent to have at least an hour and 30 minutes for each class or have the full 2 hours that's suggested.

I also miss being able to actually teach. This class simply allows me to moderate the study. But I miss digging into the Word for something to teach to my students. I'm a bit lost because the teacher in me is not able to emerge.

Deeper Still Conference:

Meeting everyone: I was also shocked at how natural it was. I found everyone to be exactly who they appeared to be online, which was very refreshing to me. I thought Nicole's home was even more beautiful in person than in the pictures she's shown online. Lauren had a great personal style that I admired. I enjoyed the times that we had to talk. It's a rare occasion that I find someone who has a love for music like myself. I was also impressed with how cultured Nicole was. Although I felt a little bit uncultured when the topic of cheese came up Saturday at dinner, LOL. Overall, I wish we had had more downtime together to just enjoy each other more. I too was exhausted during the car rides and drifted off to sleep a few times.

The Conference: By far my favorite speaker was Priscilla Shirer, which I wasn't expecting at all. I'm a big fan of Beth Moore, so I was expecting her time to be the best, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was a bit thrown off with Beth's level of personal vanity, like talking about her hair, etc. Priscilla seemed to be more concerned with delivering a fresh Word to us.

I was not at all impressed with Kay Arthur's speaking. I found myself bored and a bit frustrated at all the repetition she used. Also I'm not fond of using the platform she had for political influencing. I was however impressed with her as a person. I admired her knowledge of the Bible and how she could use scripture so effortlessly in conversation. I aspire to be more like that.

I enjoyed the life stories that were shared. I was encouraged in my own personal walk. But I didn't have that 'spiritual high' that many spoke about in the Deeper Still blog.

Overall, I enjoyed the conference but the size of this conference was a bit much for me. I was exhausted and felt like we were so rushed. I wish that it was either a longer conference so that things could be spread out or that not so many things would be packed in. We definately needed longer breaks.

Time Spent with Family:
With the conference I got the added bonus of spending time with my family. I enjoyed the times that Adrian and I spent taking silly pictures and teaching her how to digital scrapbook with Photoshop. I'll never forget feeling her little boy move (she's pregnant) and how excited he became when I got a nasty case of hiccups on Monday morning.

Creatively:
I've been working hard on finishing up some projects. I'll leave you with a little sneak peak of the blanket I made for Adrian's baby. You can head over to my creative blog for more details.

~*Melody*~
*Picture courtesy of A.G.*

Friday, May 30, 2008

Reality Check

Sometimes we all need to take the time to do a reality check on ourselves. Today I decided to go to the library for a while so I could focus on preparing for my class that starts on Sunday. I was sitting there getting out my laptop, notebook and Bible when it really hit me. I'm getting to do exactly what I wanted to do. Yes you read that right, something is actually perfect in my life just the way I had always hoped it would be.

Let me elaborate here. You see I've always wanted nothing more than to be in full time ministry. I've never really cared about working a secular job, because I never had the true desire for money. Sure I know that we all need money to survive in life and I know that I do look for ways to earn little bits here and there on the side, but it's not my focus or ultimate goal in life. I've always had my heart set on staying at home, taking care of my family and doing God's work.

And I'm doing that right now!

Oh the joy that flooded through my soul when I realized that God had this in the plan all along. I've had days where I've literally mopped around the house feeling sorry for myself; times spent missing the past and my 'status' in the world. But all along God was preparing me and teaching me how to live out the life He had planned for me.

While it's not the exact picture of ministry I had planned, it's still ministry. Maybe God is testing me with this small thing so He can make sure I can handle the bigger things. Or maybe this is MY big thing. Maybe God is simply showing me His plan, no matter how different it is from my plan.

I am so excited to begin teaching this new class. It will be the first women's Sunday school class that I've ever done. I'll be teaching this group for the next three months. We are going to be using the Beth Moore study called Stepping Up. In preparing for the class I've been so blessed. This study is excellent. I encourage each of you to find a study in your area if possible or do the study on your own. The videos can be downloaded online for $5 each and are well worth the investment. I about shouted just listening to the Introduction video. They are seriously that good.

Thank you Father for a renewed sense of joy and zeal. It is my prayer that Your passion will be contagious and others will catch it. Use me Lord, this simple body of clay, to be a vessel that proclaims truth and gives glory and honor only unto You.

~*Melody*~

Friday, May 23, 2008

TTC Update

(Go Back an Entry for more Updates about 'Normal' things)

I have some wonderful news to share with the blog world.... NATURAL PROGESTERONE CREAM WORKS FOR ME !!!!!

I'm so excited, can't you tell? Finally after two cycles of progesterone cream I finally started a new cycle and can continue this natural path of trying to conceive again. After such a hard road getting here, this has renewed my faith and encouraged me to continue.

Today I began taking Soy Isoflavones to encourage my body to have healthy ovulation. I will take 120mg cycle day 3-7. So far I've just been a little extra crampy since taking the Soy. I was a bit grossed out by the smell of the Soy too. But as long as I don't burp them up, everything will be fine there.

I'll begin checking for ovulation at day 10 or so. There's a new test kit out now that offers 20 strips in one kit, so I'll be using that one for the next couple cycles until everything regulates. To all you pregnant ladies out there, send me some baby dust ! LOL.

~*Melody*~

Cooking, Freezing and Baking

Over the past couple weeks, I've been doing my best to find ways to reduce our grocery bill and reduce our food waste. I've bought more sensibly and have actually made a lot more food for a lot less money. (I'm also sure that God had a hand in stretching our finances.)

Here's what I've made (regrettably I didn't take any pictures):
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup - I use the word soup lightly though, because after I served the first serving almost all the soup absorbed into the noodles. But even though there's very little soup, it was still very delicious for the first batch of leftovers. I have a huge freezer container frozen for a later date. But here's the best part about all this....the cost of 12-15 servings $9. And the ingredients were completely organic, except for the noodles. Next time I'll be making my own noodles, so that will reduce the price too.

Homemade Potato Soup - OMG this is the first potato soup that I've ever liked. It was so rich and divine. YUM-O. I have another huge freezer container frozen for a later date. The price: $6.50 for 12-15 servings with organic potatoes and antibiotic and steroid free milk.

Homemade Turkey Chili - Adrian gave me her recipe for Chili Beans. I used that as a starting point for my tasty concoction. I used all organic ingredients. 8 servings - $5

I've also frozen two large containers of shredded cabbage and carrots. I found a steal of a sale on cabbage and I bought several pounds. I had the organic carrots left over from the chicken noodle I made earlier. I'm praying that the cabbage freezes well. I've been told that it does, but this is my first attempt.

I'm hoping to start making homemade breads soon. I have a few recipes to try, so I'm hoping to find a winning one. I bought yeast a few weeks ago when it was on sale for 25 cents a packet. It's usually about 70 cents a packet. I have been baking biscuits and cornbread lately so we've saved a lot on buying rolls and sandwich bread. I'm planning to spend some time in the near future to freeze some biscuit dough for quick use.

Today I'm going to be baking and decorating a cake for a party tomorrow. I'm looking forward to making my own buttercream frosting again. I have a much better recipe now and some experience with it under my belt. I'll post pictures of how I decorate the cake too. I love decorating cakes with some great tips and a bag. It's like painting on a cake. One of these days I'm going to buy one of those air guns to decorate food with. I think that would be such fun. It will bring back childhood memories of using my dad's air paint gun to make t-shirts and art prints.

~*Melody*~

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Twitter Post

Since the dear library won't allow me to use Twitter (ugh), I'm going to do a quick post here.

I've been sitting here in the library using some (crappy at best ) WiFi, in an attempt to download my precious writings out of my online diary. Regretably, the diary site is closing down and I'm forced to find a new place to host my online diary. It is much different than blog.

Anywho, a quick blognote....libraries are the loudest places on earth....completely filled with the latest old lady, middle age lady, teen and childhood gossip. My brain hurts from the overload of information in here.

~*Melody*~

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh the Difference a Day Can Make

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

The above scripture was the scripture of the day on my Facebook page when I visited tonight. Yesterday was such a great day. Things just finally seemed to all be falling in place. I was so happy and felt joy way down deep inside. But today.....well today has been a real test of my faith. Wow what a difference a day can make!

I am completely exhausted tonight. I'm suffering from pure emotional and mental exhaustion. I'm doing my best to trust in God to provide and handle things. I'm ashamed to say but honestly I'm really struggling with that trust thing tonight. I guess I just need to go spend some time in the Word and in prayer. My dear husband has assured me that he knows everything will be just fine and will work itself out. I admire his faith so much. I wish I had that level of grounded faith like he does.

~*Melody*~

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scripture and Joy

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18)

Another one of those scriptures of the day that is very relevant to my life lately. I just now remember that I still need to write about the other one I posted last week or so.

I'm off to ponder this while cooking a late dinner for my husband.

~*Melody*~

BTW: I'm super excited right now because I just found out that my new laptop will be here TOMORROW !!!! Oh my, how blessed I'm feeling right now; first yesterday's blessings at church and now a laptop too. P. U. R. E. J. O. Y.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh Lord You Humble Me....

I was humbled and deeply touched last night during youth group. It was a different night where the youth pastor spoke about stepping up to the plate and really doing something for God. He kept asking questions like, "are you just playing church and playing serving God or are you really doing something? "What are you doing for God?" I sat there the whole time not able to really answer the questions. I don't really know what I'm doing anymore and to me that's very humbling.

No longer do I have the blanket answer - "well I'm a youth pastor or I work in a counselor's office with disabled students." No now I only have myself and God to answer to. I can't hide behind a position of importance, I can only be me.

Over this past year and a half of changes, I believe humility is the biggest lesson I've learned. I always thought I was humble before. But I wasn't really, I just hid my pride behind my professional positions. I didn't understand that in one brief second all that could be stripped away from me and I'd just be left standing still, exposed in front of God.

Humility, like patience, is a VERY hard lesson to learn. It's proven to be one of the most painful areas of discipline for me.

~*Melody*~

BTW, I will get around to writing about the scripture I posted in the last post.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Conversations Full of Grace

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6)

This was my scripture of the day today. I must come back and elaborate on this. Lately a lot of scriptures have either popped into my head for teaching or been read at church along the same lines. It must be a God-sign for me to focus on them. So I shall write about this later (today hopefully).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Still Waiting

I'm in the middle of the five day waiting game. In a few days I'll find out if the progesterone cream is actually going to work or if I'll have to revert to taking Provera, a synthetic progestin that has some major side effects. I'm hoping and praying that the progesterone cream works to its fullest potential this time.

So far I've completely lost my baby bump. I'm estimating that I've lost around 5-8 pounds worth of pure fluid. It's great knowing that I'm able to loose some weight now. I have been planning on aggressively trying to loose weight, but so far my efforts have been short lived. I can't seem to find the utter motivation just to go walk around the track a few days a week. I have no excuse, except yesterday and today. Yesterday I had a horrible mixture of allergies and a toothache and today it rained almost all day. I know that loosing weight, even 5-10 lbs, could help jumpstart my system again, yet why do I find it so hard to actually just go for it?

I don't know what gets into me sometimes. I know what I want, yet I sit back and don't really go for it. I could be talking about several other of those transitional things in my life there too. But that's for another entry entirely.

Goodnight.....at 3AM!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Turning Around

Things are beginning to turn around for me. I'm feeling a lot better and have gotten over the initial coping stage of my loss. It always takes so time to be able to look at the other side of things. Adrian and I had a good teary chat yesterday that helped me a lot. It's amazing to have someone to talk to.

My water broke on Saturday morning. Thankfully I was at home and near my master bathroom. I had a ton of fluid and was still leaking some up until Monday morning. I've been feeling my cervix dilate off and on, but have yet to pass anything from my uterus. I have one more day of the progesterone cream, so it may be another 5 days before I see any results. Hopefully everything will pass as quickly as possible so I can get on with the next cycle. On day 3-7 of my next cycle I'll be taking 40 mg of Soy Isoflavones to help induce proper ovulation. If I ovulate properly I'll be able to avoid another molar pregnancy.

I have also gotten back on my vitamin and supplements regimen that I was on before. I'm already feeling stronger. The pregnancy cravings are slowly tapering off, but I still feel some of the effects of the weird hormones, especially when I'm around a baby.

Overall things are looking up again. I can't wait to get started on my next cycle so we can begin trying for our miracle baby. I'm not giving up for 2008 yet.

~*Melody*~

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Difficult Times


We received some news last week that threw me for a bit of a loop. I found out that I am between 14 and 15 weeks pregnant. However, this is a molar pregnancy and there's actually no baby forming in my uterus. My body simply thinks it's pregnant and is only adding fluid daily and nourishing an empty sack.

Apparently this is a side effect of using the fertility drug Clomid. I have experienced so many negative side effects from that particular drug. I will NEVER again take pharmaceutical fertility enhancers. I have learned my lesson; albeit the hard way.

This type of pregnancy can be because of a genetic trait that I inherited. I learned this week that my maternal great grandmother had a pregnancy like this. She went on to deliver several healthy children after that pregnancy, for a total of 8 complete healthy births.

I am not required to have a D&C because it was a complete molar pregnancy (meaning there was no form of an infant in my uterus). Once the progesterone cream initiates my next cycle, I will go through a type of false labor to get rid of the bag of fluids and tiny placenta that's there.

Thankfully, we have not lost another child. It is very difficult to look down at my baby bump and know that there's not a baby in there to connect to. I suppose I should mourn this 'loss' in its own special way. But I suppose it is really simply a loss of hopes and dreams for baby #10.

Here's to the real baby #10....hopefully a healthy baby girl that I've 'seen' so many times before.... Baby bumps and blessings to you my sweet.....

~*Melody*~

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sample Mobile Posting

I discovered a way to post directly to my blog from my cell phone tonight. This entry is just a sample to see if it actually works. I'm excited at the possibility of being able to blog anywhere I can get cell phone reception. Although I may have to go back later and do some spellchecking. LOL. Ok that's enough for a sample entry.

~*Melody*~

Computer Edit: Apparently apostrophies don't work very well when translating from my phone to Blogger. So from now on I know to use a period instead. It won't be exactly right, but it will look better than a bunch of computer jargon.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Church Transitions

Today was a hard day at church. Our pastor and wife have moved on to another church. It was time in their ministry to transition away from our church. It's hard to see them go, but I know that if anyone knows the will of God it's Pastor Pat. I know that he must follow after this great God that we serve. But parting is always so bittersweet.

If you read this blog and are a praying person, I would appreciate if you add my church to your prayer list. It seems that the transition will be smooth, but I'm sure that there will be some snags along the way. Change is the only constant thing in life, but that doesn't mean that it hurts any less.

Another change at church is happening in our small group ministries. Really this is the beginning of small groups/home groups. As of right now I'll only be involved with the youth small groups, but I might possibly be involved with a group eventually. It's a change that is welcomed by some, but feared by a lot. I'm not sure how I feel about such a change to the adult ministry, but I more than welcome the change to the youth ministry. I feel like this will be a prime opportunity to practically invest in the spiritual lives of these teens on a more one on one basis.

I've also been asked to teach Sunday School for the teenagers more often. However, my women's class was just accepted and I'll be beginning teaching that at the first of May. I'm ecstatic over the teaching opportunities that have been presented to me. I know this is God's way of showing me that I do have a specific purpose here at this church and at this time in my life. I am most grateful for the feeling of importance this brings to my life.

My last thing has nothing to do with church transitions (well maybe a little). I have a very important doctor's appointment tomorrow. I desire as many prayers as I can possibly get. The appointment is extremely necessary, but it's not one that I'm looking forward to. The nervousness and anxieties surrounding this appointment are immense. I'm praying for good news, but keeping in mind that I may need to prepare myself for the worst. It's a case of not being able to let it go and give it fully to God. I admit that fault. I recognize the need to let it go, yet as hard as I try, I just haven't been able to so far.

There's only a few more hours Lord. Please help me to turn loose of this overwhelming fear I have toward this appointment. I want to give it to you, but I don't know how. Lord, please show me how and take these feelings away from me. I know that it is all in Your Almighty Hands. Please help me to leave it there.

~*Melody*~

The Scripture I've Been Praying Over My Life Lately:
Psalm 86 (NIV)
1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. 3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. [a]
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life— men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

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