May I Ask for Prayers? Please and Thank You.

Can I just say how very grateful I am for every single person who joins me here and in online groups?

I have been overwhelmingly BLESSED by comments and messages time and time again. It’s definitely been a lifeline when grief, other challenges and everyday living makes this old wounded heart want to give up and give in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I never take your presence for granted.

Today I’d like to ask a favor.

Would you pray for me and my husband?

This morning my husband and I are getting up before the sun and making our way to a local hospital for surgery. He was diagnosed a couple months ago with prostate cancer and, while caught early, it is severe enough to warrant treatment.

It’s certainly not the most fearful thing we’ve faced together and we have every expectation that it will go smoothly and will result in him being cancer-free for the rest of his life.

But it’s still kind of scary.

When the worst thing you can imagine has already happened it doesn’t take much for a mind to wander that dark and well-worn path back to potential tragedy.

So I’ve been concentrating on good things like our grandboys, recipes for Thanksgiving desserts, stitching this year’s family Christmas ornament and the amazingly hope-filled statistics for this particular type of cancer.

I’m choosing not to google complications or listen to anyone’s horror story of how “my cousin had that done and…”.

My loins are girded with coffee and optimism (and my favorite prayer for mercy and grace!).

I’ll let you know how things go.

Courage: Speaking One’s Mind While Telling All One’s Heart

It is scary to speak aloud what you hope will never happen to you.  It’s unbelievably frightening to admit that we really have no control over whether, or when, we or the ones we love might leave this world.

But I am not going to keep silent.

Not because I want pity or special treatment, but because I want that parent who just buried his or her child to know that you. are. not. alone.

Read the rest here: Courage is a Heart Word

Thankful Jesus Is The Peace Speaker

In the midst of a difficult week, we got some disturbing news that had the potential to make it even worse.

My fleshly response was to go down rabbit trails of “what if” and “why us”. But I know from experience that is a fruitless exercise.

So I literally took a deep breath, reminded my heart that in every storm we’d faced, our Shepherd King had been there. He had never abandoned nor forsaken us.

This storm would be no different.

It might be rough (probably will be). It might be frightening (most certainly). It might even end with hopes dashed or worse.

But no matter what, He is here. He speaks peace when all seems lost.

We are safe in His hands.

❤ Melanie

Life is full of storms.

Some are outside myself and others start in the secret corners of my own heart.

All of them make me wish for quiet and calm, peaceful waters where I can sail the ship of life and not worry about sinking beneath the waves.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the  world gives... - SermonQuotes

When I’m afraid I remind myself that Jesus is the Peace Speaker.

Read the rest here: Sea Of Love And Goodness

Oh Fellow Grievers-Let’s Love Brave!

I was unprepared for the many traveling companions grief brought with it.  I knew to expect sadness and despairbut what about anxiety and guilt?

I had no idea how large a space guilt would soon occupy in my thoughts and heart-guilt over what I did or didn’t do when Dominic was still with us, guilt over what I do or don’t do now.

I can do nothing to change what happened in years past.  

Read the rest here: To My Fellow Grievers-Love Brave

I Want To Live Unafraid

I had never been afraid of speaking in public.

I had never been afraid of strangers.

I had never been afraid of heights.

UNTIL.

Until I had children and then I was afraid of nearly EVERYTHING for them.

I didn’t want any harm to befall these tiny humans carrying my heart outside my body.  I wanted to protect them, to cushion them, to wrap them in a bubble so that nothing bad ever happened to them.

As they grew, I learned to let go- a little at a time.  I learned you can’t prevent the scrapes and bruises and heartaches and disappointments of life.  And I learned that a little “harm” made them stronger.

I forgot most of my fears and was again unafraid.

UNTIL Dominic was killed.

Read the rest here: Unafraid

Lenten Reflections: Fasting Fear, Believing Jesus

There is SO much meat in today’s devotion/reflection/challenge.

Once Jesus had wrestled His own will to the ground, submitted fully to the Father’s will and accepted that He would have to drink the bitter cup, and firmly faced cross-ward, He was safe from intimidation.

As Chole points out “Fear is intimidation’s oxygen”.

My enemies-spiritual or physical-can exploit whatever I fear and leverage it to intimidate me.

Jesus was totally free.

Safe and secure in the center of the Father’s will He was free from manipulation and intimidation. He was NOT safe and secure from pain or sorrow or trauma (He did not escape any of those things) but He chose to rest in the promise that no matter what man did to Him, His Father was in control.

Oh, how I long to be completely free of fear and thus free from the power of others to intimidate and manipulate me!

It’s so hard when I know precisely how painful the worst IS to resist the enemy of my soul’s taunts. Satan will tempt me (like he did Jesus in the wilderness) to test God and try to escape pain by whatever means are possible, even if they are outside the will of the Lord.

So I remind myself that Jesus (because He was fully God) KNEW what was coming, could feel what was coming (because He was fully man) and yet clung to His Father’s good, good character and love.

Fear is a liar and a bully.

But God’s perfect love casts it out when I listen to His song over my heart.

What do you fear? Being misunderstood or misrepresented? Being unwanted or unneeded? Illness or injury? Today, seek to fast intimidation by not letting fear bully you.

Alicia Britt Chole

**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**

Being Honest Takes Courage

It is scary to speak aloud what you hope will never happen to you.  It’s unbelievably frightening to admit that we really have no control over whether, or when, we or the ones we love might leave this world.

But I am not going to keep silent.

Not because I want pity or special treatment, but because I want that parent who just buried his or her child to know that you. are. not. alone.

Read the rest here: Courage is a Heart Word

Hey Fellow Grievers, Love Brave!

I was unprepared for the many traveling companions grief brought with it.  I knew to expect sadness and despairbut what about anxiety and guilt?

I had no idea how large a space guilt would soon occupy in my thoughts and heart-guilt over what I did or didn’t do when Dominic was still with us, guilt over what I do or don’t do now.

I can do nothing to change what happened in years past.  

Read the rest here: To My Fellow Grievers-Love Brave

Everyday Brave

So I did something last week that was pretty big for me.

I went to the dentist-not once, but twice-AND I let him make some long-needed repairs to my neglected teeth.

For some folks this might seem like a silly bit of whiny sympathy seeking for the kind of every day healthcare I should be grateful for and not complain about.

But for me, it was HUGE.

I’ve never, ever liked having my mouth worked on.

I don’t remember when it started but I do know that by five or six I would rather know I was going for a vaccine booster than to the dentist for a cleaning. Of course, having pretty lousy teeth (bad genes) and multiple cavities by my teen years didn’t help.

Anyway, fast forward to adulthood and of all the uncomfortable things I could make myself face in the name of being a grown-up I was never able to get over this ridiculous fear.

Last week it could wait no longer.

Retirement means our insurance provider changes and we needed to use up the benefits we had left on the old one. So armed with economic necessity, I dragged my behind to the dentist, committed to doing what had to be done.

One thing had changed, though, in the years (yes, I know it’s supposed to be every six months!) since I’d sat in that chair. I had learned to speak up for myself. I’d learned to be forthright about how much pain I was willing to take and when enough would just have to be enough for that visit.

I’ve discovered a perverse “law” this side of child loss.

I have suffered the absolute worst heartache and sorrow I can bear. So inconvenience or tiny slights or even some pretty large challenges are manageable.

But I’m not at all willing to suffer unnecessarily either physically or relationally anymore.

If a word to the wise, if honesty, if admitting up front that I need some kind of chemical aid or extra grace to endure a procedure will make a conversation, friendship or painful prod or poke go smoothly, then I’m going to ask for it.

So I did.

And while taking the short walk from the waiting room to the exam room involved some deep breaths and positive (silent) self-talk, once things got going it wasn’t bad at all.

I walked out encouraged and with sounder teeth.

I’ve got another complex appointment in a few weeks and am asking for the same treatment plan and protocol. But this time I’m not dreading it at all.

I’m learning that sucking it up or pretending isn’t the only flavor of brave.

I can ask for help.

That’s brave too.

Courage To Face The Future

I think it was somewhere around two months from Dominic’s departure when my heart realized life was moving forward whether I granted permission or not.  

Not only folks on the fringes and the “bigger world out there” but close by-in my own family, my own circle of intimate friends-people were making plans, having birthdays, going places and doing things.  

I wanted to scream.  

Read the rest here: Child Loss: Finding Courage to Face the Future

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