Melissa’s Fall 2008 Top Ten

Greetings blog-land! I do believe it has been months since my last entry and I could not wait another minute to say hello. Seriously, I miss all of you fine women! Unsurprisingly, my Mom has been working me harder than ever before over the past few months. The name of the game has been ‘focus’ and ‘more focus’ and so unfortunately my blog time was obliterated. So, in an effort to catch up with you, I’ve composed a list of my top ten Fall 2008 highlights. You’ll find that they are in completely random order. I know, how predictable, right? So here goes:

1. Living Proof Christmas Pictures. Have I mentioned how awful our Christmas pictures were last year? They were beyond hideous. The weather was so humid in Houston that not even photo-shop could cover the multitude of our hair sins. Well, this year we were determined to have better results. All was going well until my Mom looked at me half-way through and said, in front of everyone, “Melissa, check your barn-door.” This was my Mom’s archaic way of telling me that my zipper was wide open. Yes, apparently, my fly had been open throughout the entire first half of the photo-shoot. So much for earning respect from my fellow LPM staff!

2. Seeing a true Autumn season for the first time in my life. I walked around my neighborhood in Atlanta last weekend with tears in my eyes. The trees were raining leaves in all kinds of glorious colors. I will ponder that moment in my heart for as long as I live, a moment when I was content with merely having a set of eyes to see the beauty of God’s creation.

3. Reading Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N.T. Wright. What a great and refreshing read. Here is just one quote I love, “the Bible isn’t simply a repository of true information about God, Jesus, and the hope of the world. It is, rather, part of the means by which, in the power of the Spirit, the living God rescues his people and his world, and takes them forward on the journey toward his new creation, and makes us agents of that new creation even as we travel” (191). Just a glimpse into this wonderful book.

4. The Siesta Fiesta in San Antonio still makes the list! Not only did I have such a wonderful time seeing many of you in the flesh, but I am still pondering the profound implications that the theme of inheritance has for us as the covenant people of God. I have a feeling that we have barely scratched the surface of that one. What a great time of fellowship, worship, and the Word!

5. Walking into my home in Atlanta last week to find an embarrassing display of flowers and a new sweater from Colin Fitzpatrick. The best part was that it was completely unexpected. I mean, we weren’t in a fight or anything! I never knew that a little bouquet of flowers could mean so much. I’m learning more and more that little thoughtful things make the big things in marriage a whole lot smoother. I love my husband madly and I’ve had so much fun settling down into ‘normal’ life with him.

6. Auditing a Hebrew Reading class. We have translated Deuteronomy, some of the Psalms, and are scheduled to translate some of 1&2 Kings for next week. That is a whole lot of Hebrew, let me tell you! It has been so fun to be back in the formal classroom. My strength as a Biblical Research Assistant would be greatly diminished if I did not keep up with my Hebrew and Greek reading skills.

7. Driving to Macon, Georgia to visit our very own Georgia Jan. She is even more charming in person than she is in blog-world. We ate at a quaint little French-country restaurant called “The Back-Burner.” If you live near there, I strongly recommend it. Georgia Jan is my kind of woman- she can cook and talk some Scripture. A rare woman, indeed.

8. Teaching LIT. My Mom and I have been co-teaching a class for 17-25 year old women. This Bible Study is unlike anything we’ve ever done at Living Proof. For better or worse, I planned and outlined the study. It has been fun to actually see it run its course, in spite of how absolutely over-ambitious it was. I am really proud of my Lit ladies. They’ve paid attention to all kinds of tedious things, including transmission issues, translation theory, and biblical genres. And that is only a start. Just in case you may be interested, we asked them to do the following for their bonus project:

  • Choose any passage (about 5-9 verses) of interest, preferably a passage that you are not overly familiar with.
  • Read the passage several times, at least twice out loud.
  • What book of the Bible is your passage in? Who is the author? Who are the Recipients? What is the occasion and genre of the book?
  • Compare your original Bible translation (whether it is NIV, NASB, etc.) to other translations- use at least three or four translations. Make note of the significant changes/differences in a chart or some other helpful way.
  • If there is a word that sticks out to you in your original Bible translation, use a concordance to do a word study on that word. What is the Hebrew or Greek word that your English translation is rendering? Where else is it used?
  • Are there any topics/places/concepts in your passage that are unfamiliar to you? Use a Bible Dictionary to look up unfamiliar concepts and to answer general questions.
  • After you have done as much of the leg-work as you know how or have time to do, then consult one or two solid commentaries on your passage.
  • Conclude with how these resources contributed to your understanding of the passage. (P.S. I just noticed that I created an outline within an outline. I am annoyed by my own self. Anyhow, I really am so proud of the Lit girls. Some have already turned in their assignments. I could have cried reading one of them today. I was astounded by the spiritual insight. We all bring something important and different to the interpretive table, with our various experiences and backgrounds. It is beautiful. I can’t wait to read the rest of them.)

9. Making the entire Thanksgiving menu in Mid-October for our next-door neighbors. I made my very first Turkey! I labored for two days straight. I stuffed it with fresh sage and quartered onions and all kinds of stuff. I also made two different kinds of stuffings, a traditional cornbread stuffing and an apple-rye stuffing. Both were divine. Did I mention that my husband has gained ten pounds since we got married? Blush. I’m so proud.

10. Waiting in anticipation for my sweet niece that is coming into the world this February! Glory to God in the highest! I got her the cutest little diva boots. I am not sure Amanda went for them, though. Boo. (Amanda says: Whatever! I LOVED them!)

Enough talk about me, though, what the heck have y’all been up to? What have been the highlights of Fall 2008 for YOU? So please, de-lurk and tell me how you are, if only for the sake of proper social reciprocity!

Much Love,
Melissa

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  1. 51
    Joanne (The Simple Wife) says:

    Hi Melissa,

    In our family, we call those unexpected treats “Happy I Love You Day.” Toben and I have been doing it since we started dating. In high school.

    Seventeen years of marriage later, we still do it. A slurpee, flowers, a surprise trip to Carmel–big and small, we love it.

    Sounds like it’s your turn…

    (Which reminds me, it’s been a while since I treated Toben to a Happy I Love You Day–it’s my turn too!)

    Joanne

  2. 52
    Georgia Jan says:

    Melissa-Girl: We siestas have missed you and it is wonderful to hear from you!!!

    I have had an amazing Fall 2008 – here are some highlights for me:

    * Welcoming my first grandchild (a boy) into our family after the pain and heartache of infertility that my son and daughter-in-law experienced, she conceived and gave birth! I am so in love with that baby boy, hence the name of my blog…Gran Jan's JOY!

    * Welcoming a new daughter-in-love into our family. She married my youngest son, my baby boy, and she is a DELIGHT to our lives. She is the answer to a mother's prayers.

    * Learning that empty-nest-syndrome is a real experience, but that my heart is never empty because memories abound and Jesus fills my heart.

    * Having lunch at a quaint restaurant called "The Back Burner" in Macon, GA with none other than our girl, Melissa Moore-Fitzpatrick! Y'all, she is the REAL DEAL, SO very beautiful and intelligent, and did I mention REAL? It was a huge blessing for me personally, an unexpected gift from the Lord. We NEVER lacked for conversation – talked non-stop and had a blast! This is a case of verification that the proverbial apple does not fall too far from the tree…SHE IS HER MAMA'S DAUGHTER!!!

    * A trip to Savannah, Georgia for some R&R with my man, much overdue after our busy 2008. What a blessing. (Empty-nests can bring some R&R.)

    * As painful as it is, welcoming conviction from the Holy Spirit in some areas of my life that need changing – praise His Name. He's still working on me.

    * Experiencing REVIVAL in our church – Glory to His Name. I'm talking revial – hearts changing, folks getting saved, long services, true praise and worship…in a Southern Baptist Church!!!

    * Though it was technically late summer, traveling to San Antonio with my friend Twinkle (Deborah) for the Siesta Fiesta and meeting face-to-face with some of YOU! Happy Birthday Grateful in GA Tammy! I love this Blog and I love you siestas. Thank you Kim & Patty for the Siesta Fiesta Blog!!!

    I have already printed off Melissa's "bonus project" to do for my own bonus and can't wait to challenge my Bible Study girls.

    Oh – one more!!! Hearing the UPS man drive up and honk the horn meaning a package was left at my garage door…guess what my package contained??? ESTHER..It's TOUGH BEING A WOMAN! Yee-hah…wait until y'all read Beth's dedication page and Melissa's Foreward Page…WOW!

    Love all y'all siestas,
    Georgia Jan
    Romans 15:13

  3. 53
    Anonymous says:

    Yes! Your energy is contagious!
    1)Sending Daughter #1 to WOLBI-Florida.
    2)Completing 1Peter w/ Wiersbe.
    3)Fall Harvest Horse Show – love the Palimino!
    4) Watching God provide matching bags, pens & 2009 calendars for our winter Bible Studyy.
    5)A scholarship for daughter #2 toward Bible School next fall.
    6)Got a new recipe for Minute Mug Cake that is very addicting.
    7)A face down encounter for me from God.
    8)Seeing "Beloved Disciple" minister to a jail inmate!
    9)Provision for son #1 in Ga.
    10)Challenge from LIT I'm salivating for the DVD study version… upstate NY is HUNGRY!!!
    all about Him, andrea t.

  4. 54
    kctibs says:

    Well Good Day – 2008 was a miraculous year at our home. I had surgery to cure my Trigeminal Neuralgia and God had it work perfectly. I have been pain free and medicine free for a year now. What a miracle from above and we praise His name daily for it. No more face pain. There have been trials this year also but they are minor compared to others so we will let those go to God and focus on our accomplishments.

    The family is doing well, Colorado is lovely anytime of the year, and we have a very good Church life.

    Also, started Angel Food Ministries in our town. WOW WOW!! People have responded with gang busters and we are as busy as we could ever have prayed for with the ministry workings. What a true gift from our Lord!

    Glad to see your post this bright morning. You have a wonderful top 10 list and I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings!
    Kelli in Colorado

  5. 55
    TraciG says:

    My highlight was my birthday weekend in September: Living Proof Live-Billings with my best friend and then a trip to Red Lodge in the beautiful Beartooth Mountains of Montana with our husbands!

    Can’t forget to mention my miracle baby Allison’s two year birthday with family and friends and time with 4 year old Benjamin digging potatoes we planted last spring in the garden.

    We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of America. Living in the country where traditional values and thinking still thrive has allowed us to be somewhat buffered from the madness in our society.

    Another highlight is our on-line study group doing “Living Beyond Yourself”. I just finished the chapter on peace. What a great God we serve!

  6. 56
    Yolanda says:

    GeorgiaJan & Melissa, what a glorious combination! I only know that God allowed our connection because of this VERY BLOG! That Siesta has so much inspired and encouraged me. I only wished Macon & Ulysses were much closer!

    1. Wonderful Weekend for Women was a joy and encouragement to my heart in Salina, KS in September.

    2. Our church body coming together the night before the election and praying for our Nation. AWESOME! Something I hadn't seen us do since we have become involved there, in just a little over a year.

    3. Being asked to lead our Community Women's study. A HUGE stretch, doing it afraid and loving it even more!

    4. Doing some updating in our home after building it almost 15 years ago.

    5. Believing GOD!

    I love you all, dearly!

    Yolanda

  7. 57
    Osoblonde says:

    The highlight of my fall was the birth of my first grandchild. A beautiful boy, 6lbs,12oz. Brayden Christopher is our precious gift from God. I’m not jealous of Beth any more since I now have a grandchild!!!

  8. 58
    Patty says:

    Hi Melissa!
    I loved your Top 10 List!

    Fall is my favorite time of year. In fact, my joy is to decorate for Fall in September.

    I smiled at seeing Georgia Jan’s name because she is my Siesta that I am exchanging ornaments and Christmas goodies with and she is a special woman and we found out we have much in common.

    It was a joy meeting you and giving you a hug at the Siesta Fiesta. I am still thankful over the generous gift you gave us! The Siesta Fiesta was such a blessing and so much fun. The siestas have such a special place in my heart.

    I have enjoyed a beautiful Fall in Middle Tennessee. While Nashville doesn’t have mountains like I am used to, God has blessed us with beautiful trees and I have taken a zillion pictures.

    I turned 44 this Fall. Oh yes, loving the 40’s!
    I am having a great time with God and learning new things in His Word! Seriously, I love the homework and I cannot wait to start
    Esther.
    I am excited about Thanksgiving and I will leave you with this: I have already decorated my home for Christmas! Can you tell my love for decorating?!!
    Love you,
    Patty

  9. 59
    Karen says:

    What a great list! I’d love to have had some of that Thanksgiving dinner. (Oh well, I guess my day is coming up..) Okay, here’s the highlights:

    1. The most gorgeous autumn colors. (with the dry summer we’d had, I was concerned that we’d have brown for a fall color.)
    2. still working through the chronological reading of the Bible. Made it to the Gospels, woo hoo! (I can’t say enough about reading chronologically. It has been WONDERFUL!)
    3. More baking. Fall means cooler weather which means no “oven guilt” which means cookies and pies and cakes and things!
    4. A great series on first Corinthians at church.
    5. anticipating the holidays!

  10. 60
    Anonymous says:

    So good to hear from you Melissa! Yes, indeed the fall in Georgia is breathtaking! I must admit though, every time I read your blogs I feel very challenged to run to the kitchen and cook something! 🙂
    A few of my highlights:
    1. Watching God move in our church in a very powerful way.
    2. Getting to travel to Colorado with my son and tour Focus on the Family……what a ministry!
    3. Digging deep into the life of David through the Deeper Still study! AWESOME!
    4. Still walking in freedom gained at LPL in Atlanta! WOW!!

    Please know that I am praying over your marriage and am praising God right now that you have such a godly man!

    Keep the Faith!!
    Another Georgia Girl

  11. 61
    Anonymous says:

    Ok…your life is just down right cool. Thanks for updating us and if you are ever in Louisiana (north Louisiana…let me clarify), the Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe area, we’d love to entertain one of the Moore girls for lunch, dinner or whateva. Let us know. We love to show visitors a real, “Lusiana” good time. 🙂
    Love,
    Lindsey in Louisiana

  12. 62
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa:

    Thanks for the update. The assignment looks so enticing, not sure I have the time.

    Highlights from around here,
    1. My husband has been the pastor of the church here for 3 years and people are finally starting to let us minister to them in a deeper way. This is truly a great thing.

    2 The year before we started at FBC they had about 30 people in attendance. When we got there it was about 60. Now we have a range from 60 something to 8o something in attendance and we have 6 different families joining our church.

    3 My husband will be baptizing several non family members next week. (This is a first for him here.)

    4. Attended many college recitals that my children were in.

    5. My 10 year old had a wonderful soccer season.

    6. I am doing No Other Gods by myself. God has definitely been pointing somethings out.

    7. Celebrated my 20 wedding anniversary and yes I would marry him again in a heart beat.

    8. My second child (a girl) turns 18 in a couple of weeks.

    9. The SF in SA was great. I too am still overwhelmed by the whole being God inheritance thing. Makes me cry every time I think about it.

    Add to all that a very busy schedule and you have a recap of my fall. Wishing we had lots of fall color here in the high desert. Kim B. in AZ

  13. 63
    pam b from sc says:

    After reading your top ten, Melissa, I’m afraid mine would pale in comparison.

    Having said that, my top ten would be the grace of God from top to bottom of list!

    He is truly amazing and gracious with His children, I being the least of these.

    God bless you, sweet niesta! (You’re like a niece to me since I’m 47 🙂

  14. 64
    Longmeadow Mama says:

    Even though I’m WAY past that 25 year age, I am challenging myself to your bonus project. Next week is it for our Bible study and this would be a great thing before Esther begins in January! My almost 40 mind could use a challenging spiritual workout like this. It’s going to be fun to pick out a passage to use…can’t wait to get started!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Kelli

  15. 65
    mizbitz says:

    Melissa!

    Good to hear how things are going for you in Hot-lanta! 🙂 Thanks for the tips on Bible Study… Good stuff!

  16. 66
    su says:

    Melissa,
    I enjoyed your top ten, especially the ten pounds that Colin has gained. Yes, that is the mark of a good cook.

    My top ten is really just two:
    1)I spent 3 weeks in Tanzania. My husband went hunting while I stayed at camp reading, studying, singing along with my iPod, and watching animals at the waterhole. It was the ultimate. Intense time with the Creator of it all.
    2) Coming home to my little grandson. How much can a child change in three weeks? He’s not yet two and such a delight to my heart.

    Thanks for checking in with us, Melissa. You are such a wonderful addition to the team.

  17. 67
    Rachel in Louisiana says:

    It’s so good to hear from you again. I think I’m only going to be able to come up with a top five (and that’s pushing it).

    1. My dad retired this September after pastoring for the last 22yrs. (it was a profession God led him to later in life). It was so honoring and humbling to see how he impacted so many lives. Tears flowed.

    2. My kids have finished their fall sports (soccer and cross country). I put finishing as the highlight because by the time it’s over I need a vacation.

    3. Watching my man take up some of my slack this year and just looking like a pro doing it. Not even complaining either. How blessed am I?

    4. I just finished Believing God. This study couldn’t have come at a better time. (see #5)

    5. Finishing up my next to last semester in nursing school. Why I’d let God talk me into going back to school with three kids is beyond me. BUT….instead of my usual panic, God has taught me to trust Him through this (been saying a lot of “I’m believing God”). He who called me is faithful. I’ve been more at peace and the courses/clinicals have gotten harder. I even did better! Only God!

  18. 68
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Thank you for sharing your outline within an outline; I'm inspired to tackle that assignment.

    Top List…don't know how many there will be:
    1. Spending 10 weeks with 6 incredible women of different ages and backgrounds studying "Living Beyond Yourself"!
    2. Having the most amazing husband for almost 30 years to walk with me and support me during a very difficult time at work! He's the best!
    3. Watching my Granddaughter Ashley 2 1/2 years old grow and learn from her awesome parents; Robert & JoJo.
    4. Celebrating Bob's "50th" birthday with friends and all 3 of our kids; even the ones from Texas; Danielle & Toby…it snowed in the mountains while they were here!
    5. Fixing a trial run Thanksgiving feast for family and friends today…one of my favorite meals to cook.

    There are so many things to be thankful and grateful for…too numbeous to count; that how good God is all the time!!

    Ruined for Him,
    Joni AKA Grammy

  19. 69
    Wendy says:

    1. My 9 yr old son telling me “Thanks for taking me to BSF with you, mom, I’m learning so much about God”.

    2. Our friends adoption of a little guy from Russia. God’s outpouring of answered prayer in this situation has definitely had a profound effect on my faith.

    3. The gift of birthdays, my daughter, 13 and my son, 9. I love them madly.

    4. Quality prayer time.

    5. Coming up on 15 years of marriage to hubby!

  20. 70
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Melissa! So great to hear from you again. Love your list; you are blessed indeed. My list:
    1. Watching our 10-yr-old play tackle football for the first time.
    2. Watching our 7-yr-old play flag football for the first time.
    3. Facilitating a small group Bible study for first time.
    4. Having our 8-mo-old golden retriever crawl on top of me and fall asleep during a nap.
    5. Having six little boys sleep over and laugh all evening long.
    6. Being sad I didn’t win the ESV Study Bible (but so happy for Lauri!), and then having my mom call the very next day and say, “Hi Sweetie! What would you like for your birthday?!” 🙂
    7. Being distracted all through company last night with needing to pray for Beth and the Breaking Free tapings. I just loved that. Go God!
    8. Seeing the picture of the Esther study in print.
    9. BELIEVING GOD that a friend will be healed of neck and brain injuries and able to return to her medical work in a Brain Aneurysm Center (of all places!!!). Praying for God’s glory to splash all over like a tidal wave.
    Blessings! Linda in MN

  21. 71
    Anonymous says:

    I’m just yearning to ask some QUESTIONS!
    1. Melissa, a while back you wrote that Bible study is so much more fun with colored pencils. Could you, would you give us a quick lesson on what you do with them?
    2. What devotional did “inkstillwet” give to her small group Bible study ladies?
    3. What writer’s conference did Cheryl Barker attend?
    4. Does anyone have any recommendations for a devotional for a 10-yr-old boy?
    — LOVE the idea of studying the questions Jesus asked, moops!
    — Congratulations on all the Siesta babies, and for God’s burst of color into your heart, [email protected]’swife!
    Linda in MN

  22. 72
    Mommy Dot Com says:

    Fall Highlights:

    1. 15th wedding anniversary
    2. Homeschooling six children for the first time. Wonderful.
    3. Being a little Christmas crazy I put up the tree the weekend after Halloween – I couldn’t help me myself, I LOVE Christmas.
    4. Pitching some T.V. show ideas for a guy who does a lot of amazing work in T.V. land. Fun. Fun. Fun. I love thinking up ideas.
    5. Working on an incredible Bible study.
    6. Making chili. Having outdoor fires.
    7. Getting together at my neighbors house having coffee on her back porch while viewing the beauty of fall. Tear b/c she’s moving and we’ve been neighbor b.f.f.’s for six yrs. What to do?
    8. My four year old learning to read. My eight year old finishing her math book already. She tackled that thing. Go girl!
    9. My Jack had a birthday. Turned 37. Awesome time. Awesome husband.
    10.My Nate-dog had a birthday. Turned three. That dog loves me. And through your mother’s influence I have learned to love the Nate back. This dog follows me everywhere. He brings new definition to lap dog. Use to drive me nuts but then I learned that you’ve just gotta love someone who loves you so much.

  23. 73
    Hartman Family says:

    We recently moved to TX (whoo hoo!) from the Midwest. While we love west TX weather (particularly in the winter), we miss the richness of the fall colors in the Northeast. My two little boys and I were blessed to be able to spend a few weeks in OH this fall and one of my highlights was enjoying those beautiful fall colors again (a close second was taking the boys to a pumpkin patch/petting farm).

  24. 74
    Anonymous says:

    Our Top Three involve seeing years of parenting and praying PAY OFF:

    – Youngest child making mature decisions

    – “Center” child striving to live for God

    – Oldest child getting full-tuition scholarship!

  25. 75
    Heather says:

    Loved getting caught up with you, Melissa! You are so funny!
    My best highlight from the Fall is that we are having a baby! My husband and I have had infertility issues for 18 months and thanks be to God- we are PREGNANT! Praising God for His timing, His provision, and His promises! HE IS GOOD!

  26. 76
    MITZI says:

    I don’t have a list but right now at this time in my life God is giving me new awareness of his love for me. I’m so emotional about it He has me in tears alot of time, good tears. After 35 years of marriage God is reawakening my appreciation of my wonderful husband. Not that I didn’t love/appreciate, etc. him before but something is happening I can’t explain but I’m seeing my husband differently. He has integrity, love’s the Lord, loves children, our kids, grandkids, gives so much of himself to me, is so forgiving, strong, handsome, loves music and when he plays his guitar even asks me to sing with him! I thing I’m falling in love again! How sweet!! 🙂 That’s whats going on with me.

    PS I just love, love, love the extra assignment you gave your class. That’s my kind of study!! Can’t wait for the day you write and publish. In the meantime,I’m going to tackle that assignment for myself. Do I need your copyright permission to download and pass out to my small group?

  27. 77
    SarahfromWyoming says:

    Hi,
    It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your fall highlights. Mine are:
    1. Baptism of my 9 year old daughter
    2. The overnight road trip I took with my oldest daughter and her buddies when we celebrated her
    13th b-day.
    3. My 3 year old son learning to say “I yuv you”
    4.Finishing Wising Up with my Bible Study buddies and starting Jesus the One and Only
    5. Coaching 4th/5th grade soccer
    6. Teaching the Cubbies at Awana and playing my first game of Duck Duck Goose in 30 years.

  28. 78
    Tara G says:

    We married in Jonesboro, GA 8 years ago this fall. We’ve just been stationed in Monterey, CA for a year and although it’s been wonderful so far, I do miss the fall season. A couple from our OCF group watched the oldest two while we had dinner (with the baby) with a great view of the bay- a starfish even crawled onto the rocks for a spell while we ate.

  29. 79
    Marc and Charity says:

    Hi Melissa, it’s great to hear from you. I enjoyed reading your top ten list. I don’t comment very often here, but read faithfully. 🙂 My husband and I serve with the IMB over here in the UK and I’ve done A LOT of cooking (from scratch)and usually enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed your recipes by the way. Tarts, Pavlova’s, Cottage Pie, etc. Lots of British dishes. Anyway, just wanted to say hi to you. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  30. 80
    Stefani says:

    1. Homeschooling my 6 year old for the first time. Whoo hoo! God has really been helping me figure out how to do it every step of the way.
    2. I’m doing a Precepts study on Isaiah. I was very intimidated at first–the women in this group are all brilliant. But I love it and I have learned plenty.
    3. My baby girl started dance class. 2 year olds in leotards and ballet shoes are the sweetest things I have ever seen.
    4. My hubby got a second job (crummy times for realtors right now) and with the new job comes the BEST insurance we have ever had. PTL!
    5. Being asked to join the Women’s Advisory Board at our church. Me?! 🙂
    6. As of today, Nov. 15th, I only have 3 more Christmas presents to buy and I am DONE!
    7. The Lord taught me a never-to-forget lesson about hurting people’s feeling when I joke around. I won’t forget it for a long time.
    8. Red Velvet Sprinkles cupcakes.
    9. Watching my 6 year old whip around on the ice during hockey practice.
    10. Watching T.D. Jakes preach it while snuggled up with my hubby before we go to sleep. Not many men would do that! I am BLESSED.

  31. 81
    Nichole's Mom says:

    I’ve been wondering where you were! It’s funny how attched we get to people on the blog isn’t it? I’m not sure if I should give a list, I’m feeling a little in the dumps, lots going on and it feels like too much at times (then I remember to fork it over)! OK, no complaints…

    1. Just finished WGPDUGT… It was completely life altering.

    2. Wrote a letter to President Bush and gave him 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 and told him how much I appreciate his obedience to God and all that he has done for our country, and how much I love him as a brother in Christ (that’s ok isn’t it?).

    3. I’ve been praying for your mom and the Breaking Free taping and the attendies and the staff.

    4. I’ve been putting feelers out for work cause my husband hurt his back.

    5. I’ve been trying to raise my kids (this is one I have to fork over a bit more and let God have the reigns)….

    6. I’ve been reading about all my friends here on this blog.

    7. I’ve been hanging on to my Saviours leg for dear life lest I stray! lol! Sometimes thats the best I can do!

    I love you all. Thanks for being out there!

    Judy

  32. 82
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Oh, Melissa. It’s so good to hear from you. My top ten is a little too personal for this blog, but I loved hearing yours. I just wish I had the incredibly charming personalities that makes so many like them so much that other bloggers have.

  33. 83
    ocean mommy says:

    You are right about the leaves here in Atlanta! Last weekend was glorious!

    The best part of my fall was last weekend. My man finished his first 1/2 marathon up in North Ga. I posted about it and won’t re-tell the whole story..but just watching him.. healthy and with a smile on his face, cross that finish line was a miracle. (He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease the first year of our marriage and was very sick for several years) I felt like I was watching a miracle…so powerful!

    It’s so good to hear from you!!

    Blessings,
    steph.

  34. 84
    Butterbean says:

    Melissa, I'm thrilled for your first Fall in GA. It's beautiful. You and Colin should head up I-75N about an hour to Dalton. Our leaves and mtns are gorgeous right now! My Fall Top Ten is…
    1. Enjoying God's Fall paintings – red, orange, and bright yellow leaves!
    2. Making piles for our girls to jump in and demolish!
    3. Taking an occasional afternoon nap with our youngest.
    4. Watching the Great Physician heal our 7 yr old's broken arm through a godly surgeon.
    5. Crisp walks
    6. Chili and cornbread
    7. Experiencing seasons through the eyes of my children & preschool students.
    8. Remembering that He is working on me even when I feel dormant.

  35. 85
    Susan B. says:

    Highlights of my fall:
    1. Seeing the beautiful colors in the trees. My husband and I sat on the porch this morning and talked about how beautiful the leaves have been this year – while at the same time drinking some wonderful holiday coffee!

    2. Finishing a “man cave” for my son. We converted our garage into a bonus room. We have had so much fun family time in that room.

    3. Reconnecting with my Bible study sistas. We will finish Stepping Up next week. And I am so looking forward to our Christmas gathering.

  36. 86
    lori says:

    It is so good to hear from you Melissa!!!!!!!!

  37. 87
    Deborah says:

    Hahhaa…this makes me laugh, Melissa, because my October was such a blur, I had to write it out! If you're truly interested, my list is at the following link and Fidelicharis House (Latin & Greek) is the name of my house. 🙂

    http://www.xanga.com/FidelicharisHouse/679358948/my-octoberin-short.html

    Thanks for sharing the lovliness of your autumn! I'm glad you got to enjoy it this year! I was just referencing something you said about marriage to my best friend last night…still mulling it over. 🙂

    Many blessings to you! 🙂 We've been tearing into Habakkuk for the past 9 weeks…three weeks to go…and it's been wonderful!

    Thankfully,
    Deborah 🙂

  38. 88
    Moose Mama says:

    I don’t know if I have a top 10 but I have a top few….

    1.)I’m not just saying this to brown nose, but the highlight of my fall so far has been “Living Beyond Yourself”. Our last week is next Tuesday. Profoundly important to me. I have been moved to tears by who I am, but more so….who HE is and what I am to Him.

    2.)Now, (and I know I mentioned this earlier on a previous entry, but if I’d known you were doing this one, I would have waited) Adrienne (fuzzytop) and I started writing each other as a result of this blog and now we are going to do “Stepping Up” together. Or as much together as a girl from Tennessee and a girl from Wyoming can be!! We’re doing this till “Esther” in January!!

    3.) It wasn’t fall, but I’m thinking the Siesta Fiesta will be in my top 5 list for a long time. If you were there, you know what I mean.

    4.)Driving to San Antonio for the Siesta Fiesta, with Veronica and Miesta Moose. Oh my! Almost needing to pull over, more than once, because I was laughing so hard and couldn’t see through the laughter tears!

    Our fall didn’t quite “work” this year. Snow and freezing came before the leaves had all turned pretty. So they just turned crunchy brown and fell off. Bummer.

    Loved your list, Melissa. You always bless me.

    Melana in Wyoming

  39. 89
    valerie says:

    The Siesta Fiesta ranks right on up there in my favorite events of 2008. I took my grown, married daughter for her birthday and since we both have blogs and are both Siestas….we had a wonderful time together as well as with everyone else. I loved the q&a session after the conference.

    Another favorite the trip to New York City I took with my 76 year old mom and my sister. We had the best time together. We even got tickets the day of to David Letterman! I told them my mom was 76 and had always wanted to come to NYC etc. 🙂 Seriously, God's favor was all over our trip. I'll never forget it.

    In July my husband and I celebrated 29 years of marriage!
    That's a huge blessing. I'm so thankful for a godly husband.

    I started writing on my blog back in Jan. 2008 and it has been such a fun & amazing experience. I've met so many amazing women from all over the country and beyond. I have a very sweet friend who lives in Canada. I met her through a comment she left on the LPM blog. They encourage and pray and are just plain fun. I just love it and have been so blessed. Now I carry my camera in my purse and want to snap a picture of anything and everything. I see things differently now and want to blog about everything.

    I appreciate you and your family so much. We will be starting Esther in Jan. and I cannot wait!!!

    Love,
    Valerie

  40. 90
    valerie says:

    P.S. That was so sweet of Colin to bring you flowers! My husband goes hunting each year and I used to teach kindergarten and he’d come see me in my classroom before he left and he’d barely open the door and he’d have a little bouquet of flowers for me. I’d always tell the little boys how much girls love flowers. I bet they still remember him doing that.
    Very sweet of Colin!!! Those little gestures mean SO much.

  41. 91
    Shelia says:

    Highpoints of my Fall 2008…
    1) God has been giving me understanding of some long term challenges and how they have been used to develop and be a blessing.

    2) God has broken my heart for several years over the hurting, and the orphans and he is giving me yet another way to work in those areas!!!

    3) He has allowed several exceedingly gracious and Godly folk to cross my path, who are so humble and just radiate his love and I am so blessed by even our tiniest interactions.

    4) He is using even my failures… not such a new thing in my life, haha, but one that never fails to amaze me.

    5) The ways he is working in the lives of my children. Smoothing out some social issues with one, and helping another with guidance to the future.

  42. 92
    Jesusistheparty! says:

    Fall Top Three
    1. Going to Ridgecrest with my mom and her church for a “seniors retreat.” Precious people for sure! The leaves in Asheville and Black Mountain were not quite peak but amazing nonetheless plus the dreamcicle cheesecake at Veranda’s in Blk Mtn.
    2. Trip to New Orleans with my husband week before last with a Sheraton hotel view overlooking part of the Quarter and CBD and the Mississippi River and praying mightily for that place and then finding out that your mom would be there the day after we left to re-tape Breaking Free DVD’s. Plus the LSU vs. Bama game even though we lost in overtime but not getting bitter b/c after all, it’s just a game (ha ha).
    3. The Lifeway Women’s Ministry Forum this past week in Nashville with 3 fun women on our WEM team-meeting and hearing Kelly Minter, Jennifer Rothschild, Angela Thomas, and Leighann McCoy speak a God word to me but then my family telling me that the only thing I mentioned when I called home was Travis this and Travis that, pix with T-rav and Lily Kate passing out candy canes. But his music ministers to me so what can I say.

  43. 93
    Bullock Family says:

    Starting Ester……….. That is about all I can say. I am so thankful that the Lord had you guys write that one just for me for just a time as this! Love you and all your hard work!

    Kelly

  44. 94
    Anonymous says:

    As someone who has been married 22 years and has only mastered “pour in sauce mix and uncooked noodles” on the box of Hamburger Helper….I am so proud of your cooking! I think my husband has lost ten pounds since we got married. 🙂

    Dawn:)

  45. 95
    Anonymous says:

    Welcome back to blog world Melissa. I have truly missed you. Our fall season has been very busy. The football team my daughter cheers for got beat in the playoffs so we are done with that and now basketball has started. I am having surgery right before Christmas so I am busy getting things ready for the “Big Man” to visit our children and to make sure the house is in order and there is plenty of food in the pantry and the laundry is done as my husband will be in charge of the house, children and the final last minute things for Christmas. My daughters birthday is just a few days before my surgery so I am planning things for that was well. We always have Thanksgiving at our house so I am preparing for that too. But the really BIG thing we have done this fall (wait for it)….. My three year old son is finally potty trained!!!! Praise be to the Lord!! I am the one that asked for help months ago. Thank you siestas for all your input and suggestions. IT WORKED!!!!

    I hope all have a very Happy Thanksgiving and the merriest of Christmases ever. And always remember JESUS is the ONLY reason for the season.

    God Bless

  46. 96
    Anonymous says:

    Hello Melissa,
    You are so sweet to ask!
    1. Have been doing the “stepping up” bible study with my church sisters. It is almost done! boo!

    2. Almost done Christmas shopping! Something I always begin in the late summer early fall. I love Christmas.

    3. Live up in New England so we loved seeing Beth last month!!

    4. Also because of N. E. we have the most beautiful Fall ever!! Picked lots of apples and made many apple favorites.

    5. Watching my boys mature, now 12 and 15, they’re so wildly funny and fun to be around.

    6. Lastly, My husband and I had our 17th wedding anniversary this month!

    God Bless you Melissa!! xo
    Gina from CT.

  47. 97
    roxanne worsham says:

    Fall’s Fabulous Blessings.

    November 21 – married to a wonderful, Godly man for 16 years.

    Just got home from a playcation in the Big Apple.

    Leading a Ladies Bible Study Class tops my list! I love it!!

    Planning on 32 people (siblings and their families) for a Thanksgiving Dinner at our home.

    Working on the 100 lb mark as I have already lost 92 lbs this year!
    THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

    Next weekend seeing my son in his 8th Grade Musical “Bye-Bye Birdie”. I can’t wait to see the fruit of his labor.

    Last but certainly not least –
    Enjoying the journey with Jesus as I try to ready myself to be a cleaned up, beautiful, healthy(body, mind, soul)bride for my Savior!!

    God’s richest blessings to all my Siestas! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Roxanne

  48. 98
    Lynn says:

    Well, late this summer I was appointed to a leadership position in our convent. That has kinda turned my life upside down and inside out! I am learning to rely on the LORD each and every minute – perhaps that is why He ordained this for this time in my life.

    This Fall has been a glorious display of His awesome creation! Glad you could enjoy it there in Atlanta!

  49. 99
    Kiki says:

    Welcome back Melissa! You LIT class sounds awesome, keep up the good work. Here are a few highlights from my fall season:

    1. Savoring every minute of the fall colors..I agree the leaves are something else in Atlanta. It looked as if it were raining leaves this morning.
    2. Traveling to Florida to spend a long weekend at the beach for my friend’s 30th birthday.
    3. Beginning your mom’s “Loving Well” series. Oh how I need to learn to better love the “testy” folks in my life!
    4. Helping one of my very best friends prepare for her first baby.

    Be sure to keep in touch!

  50. 100
    Dana N says:

    Hi Melissa! I loved your post. So good to hear the good things happening in your life.

    Hasn’t this been a beautiful fall in the South? Here in TN we have enjoyed some gorgeous days. We have especially enjoyed these fall days with our 2 granddaughters (3 yrs and 9 mos). We have enjoyed some backyard weiner roasts over their fire pit (and s’mores, of course!), a visit to the pumpkin patch and building a front yard display complete with a “little girl” scarecrow that the 3 year old helped to make. The best part has been seeing that 3 year old, who has some development delays in communication (and a couple of other areas) respond to the therapies and special ed pre-school that she is attending. God has blessed us with the right people in the right place at the right time to work with her and she has blossomed like you wouldn’t believe. With the glorious burst of color that fall brought to us came the glorious burst of new words and phrases out of that precious child. And for the first time came the sweet words, “I love you, Nana”. (sigh) How great is our God to whom I give all the glory and praise for this little miracle!!!

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