Can We Catch Up, Please?

Hey Ladies,

I was just missing you and thinking of you all and thought I would do a quick catch-up on my life since it has been so long.

Life for Colin and me over the past few months has been a bittersweet transition, a combination of missing our first home together in Atlanta and fully embracing this new season God has for us with both hands.

Here are just a couple of reasons I miss my life in Atlanta:




And, friends. Especially friends who can cook like this one:

Here are just a couple of reasons I love my life in Houston:

Getting to know my Aunt Gay again after many years. The purest redemption I have ever witnessed.

Sunshine with Mom.


Watching Amanda transform into an impromptu barista at Bible Study:

Fighting with Mom over our favorite coffee cup at work.

Wearing my favorite slippers at Living Proof. They’re really feminine, right?

Tex Mex.

Tex Mex.

And, oh my goodness gracious, Tex Mex.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Thank you, Roxanne Worsham.

Watching Jackson bond with his lizard who he first named “Lizard” and then, later, “Longtail.”

Annabeth Jones.  She is too busy and wiggly to take pictures but here are a few.

She is the cutest thing on two legs.

Also, she has taken to domestic life. Who knew?

Generations before and generations after.

My Pawpaw and Memaw.  My Pawpaw is in his hard hat with his house plans watching his new house get framed exactly like he wants it.  The two of them were sitting in folding chairs watching 6 men work.  A classic moment.

And here is one very good reason I love my life no matter where I am:

In addition to the big move from Atlanta to Houston, the biggest change in my life is that I am back at the Living Proof offices writing some small segments for the James study with Mom. I was joking on Twitter the other day that I am able to write about one sentence per every fifty pages Mom writes. It is a slight exaggeration, but not much. I am a very slow writer and Mom is a machine. She has to repeatedly tell me, “Remember you don’t have to say everything to say something.” This is probably the best piece of advice I have gotten since I started the project. I think about it multiple times per hour.

Over the past several years I have grown quite comfortable with working at the research level. It is nice and convenient. I can remain detached from the conclusions and implications of the data with which I am working and can’t be held responsible since Mom is the author and I am not. I am smiling right now because I know Mom would be smiling at that comment. But, seriously, writing is a different beast. It is vulnerable. I feel stripped and exposed. I am finding that it takes a whole lot of courage. The ugly truth is I am inordinately afraid of making a mistake. And this is not humility, folks, but a very sneaky and dark form of pride.

In Madeleine L’ Engle’s reflections on writing, she quotes a few lines from Anton Chekhov’s letters that have been restorative to me in this new process: “You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures” (Anton Chekhov quoted in Madeleine L’ Engle, Herself, 72). Just reading that is liberating.

While I obviously think writers and teachers should think carefully through content and style, perfectionism really is incapacitating. And it can become an idol. All that to say, I am practicing the art of being patient with myself.

So, that is me and probably a lot more than you wanted to know.

How are you?


460 Responses to “Can We Catch Up, Please?”

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  1. 1
    Marie says:

    “The ugly truth is I am inordinately afraid of making a mistake. And this is not humility, folks, but a very sneaky and dark form of pride.”


    Tears are in my eyes as I read over that again and again, for its like you poked your head into my day. Graduation is just around the corner and I’m starting to wonder if this whole theology degree is worth it – all because I’m getting B’s instead of A’s. I’ve been so depressed and disgusted with my imperfection. I haven’t been listening to God’s words of correction and love. Thank you for being vulnerable and letting me know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, despite appearances to the contrary. I’m going to take down the L’Engle quote and put it up on my bathroom mirror.

    If I could give you a huge hug right now, I would.

    May you be blessed.

    • 1.1
      Michele says:

      I know how you feel. I cried when I got an A- in my Isaiah class. I was crushed & felt like a failure.

      I realized that I was believing lies. I was placing my value in my theology grades, believing that if I did well, I would “master” this thing with God or gain the approval of God or other Christians. One thing I’ve learned, no matter how much you think you know about God/Bible/Theology, there are always people that know a whole lot more.

      For some reason I think it’s easier to believe you have to do well when the subject is God- or ministry-related.

      Don’t believe the lies that you are not good enough or that your degree is useless. You have infinite worth in Christ, and God is teaching/building/growing you through your studies, maybe in ways you can’t see yet. Someday, someone wondering about God will ask you questions and you will use what you have learned to sow seed into their heart that God can use to bring them into His kingdom.

      Don’t give up. The final part of the semester is tough but it is worth it. And Siestaville will be cheering for you as you walk across that stage and get your diploma.

      Remember- iron sharpens iron. That B is your professor’s iron scraping yours, making you sharper. God will use you, but all He wants from you is your heart. The only thing we need to do well is love God with all our heart.

      • Marie says:


        You have no idea how much your encouragement means to me. I see from your blog that you are a dog lover – me too! I look forward to reading more of what you have written. I pray that Jesus wraps you up in a big ol’ hug tonight. You serve Him well, dear siesta. 🙂

    • 1.2
      Melissa says:

      Marie, I read your blog today and it was absolutely stunning. So I know that your theology degree is worth it. Hang in there! All my best.

      • Marie says:


        God is stunning. I just get to share Him. 🙂

        Well, shoot. Now I see how my focus has shifted. I get discouraged when I look at me, encouraged when I look at Him. Thanks for helping to point me in the right direction!

    • 1.3
      Warm in Alaska says:

      God is so good. Marie, I scooted over to your blog and you said, in the last two sentences of your second paragraph, just exactly what I had been mulling the past couple days. I loved having the Lord speak to me like that, straight as an arrow, via your words. Have a blessed day wherever you are.

  2. 2
    Brigit says:

    Totally loving the pictures. I’m a picture freak. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    What a fun way to catch up! Loved your pics 🙂 I think it is tremendously cool you are reunited with your fam!! I would LOVE,love, love it if all my kiddos grow up and plant somewhere around me but know His way is bes. My oldest is already 13 and I cant imagine her leaving….

    Loving Jesus, thankful for His grace and patience, thankful for God’s Holy Spirit, for His voice that reassures me and for the precious fam He has blessed me with!

  4. 4
    Michele says:

    Hi Melissa!!

    So good to hear from you!

    I know what you mean, sometimes it can take me 2 hours to write 3 paragraphs. -The paralysis of analysis.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

    Love the pictures…so glad you are enjoying being home. Thanks for sharing…

  6. 6
    Elisabeth says:

    Nope. Not by any means more than I wanted to know. You, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, are one mighty, beautiful, and incredible woman. Thanks for sharing today!

    I’m very contemplative right now. I was at Fresno this weekend. Definitely not my first LPL, but this was different. It was very sweet on my spirit to be with that many other women who love Jesus. I live alone & wk in a secular workplace. It refreshed me, but also spoke some things into my life that are hard. And I’m really not finding words that describe how it’s hitting me. That’s frustratingI had to be back at wk at 4:30 Sunday morning and am having a
    hard time pulling my head back into where I am. Apparently It stayed in Fresno!

    Think He may be pushing me WAY out of my comfort level to step out into deeper ministry. Yikes! Freaking me out a little! I’m thankful for examples of families like you and Collin & Amanda & Curtis. I read what y’all write & He uses you to give me courage sometimes when I just need an extra nudge. He’s so creative & perfect in timing like that! He makes my heart happy.

    • 6.1
      Melissa says:

      Hey Elisabeth, thanks for sharing some of what is going on in your life. I know the Lord will finish the good work He started in Fresno. All my best.

    • 6.2
      Heather in CA says:

      Praying for you, Liz! It was AWESOME meeting you, my first Siesta in Fresno. You blessed me so much to include me! God is going to use you in a mighty way!!! So excited to see what He does!!!


  7. 7
    GlowinGirl says:

    I don’t chime in much, even though I read faithfully. I just had to say I completely empathize with your bittersweet transition. When we moved back home four years ago, I had no idea how difficult it would be to leave those dear friends behind. I was so excited about the perks of being near family, that I didn’t think through how sad it would be.

    I also identify with feeling exposed in writing. It is a beautiful, but sometimes difficult, gift to give to yourself and others. I’m sure it will bless many!

    • 7.1
      Melissa says:

      It is hard! Where is home for you and where did you leave friends behind?

      • GlowinGirl says:

        Out of respect for my dad (who is highly protective of our family and distrusts the Internet.:-)), I don’t tell online where I live. I have my own AnnaBeth (2 1/2) and two boys, and it makes him nervous that I had a blog. But thanks for caring enough to ask!

        Thankfully, it’s near enough to drive once or twice a year to visit our friends, but it’s not the same as worshiping with them every week and dropping by their houses when I want to chat. I STILL miss them! Someday . . . Heaven!

  8. 8
    aussie monica says:

    i’m lonely.
    i miss my mum.

    i love Jesus. He sustains me.

    • 8.1
      Melissa says:

      Hi Monica, I’m so sorry you’re lonely. I pray the Lord brings someone into your life with whom you can really connect on a special level. Love, Melissa

      • aussie monica says:

        Thanks Melissa 🙂 This blog helps with the loneliness! i love reading all that you and your mom share. I just finished “Esther” and now I’m finishing up “To Live is Christ”.

  9. 9
    Volleyball Ginger says:

    This Siesta is loving her life. Almost 23 years of marriage to my collegiate baseball coaching husband. Love our ladies Bible study group (we’ve just begun Ruth). Love my 3rd grade Sunday school class. Love my job…both the people I work with and the kids I’m blessed to teach and coach. Love the fact that in a bit over 2 months, I’ll be on my way back to Poland for a mission trip/volleyball camp. Love my rose garden that is literally bursting forth with many different colors from my 20 rose bushes.

    I’m blessed, content, and working hard at my Siesta Scripture memorization verses! 🙂

    Wetumpka, AL

    • 9.1
      Melissa says:

      Hey Ginger, Good to see your face, girl. Glad to hear all is well in your world. The volleyball camp/mission trip in Poland sounds wonderful! I love volleyball. Love, Melissa

      • Volleyball Ginger says:

        come go with me and help me with the volleyball. Leaving June 20th and returning July 5. Josiah Venture is the ministry… with the former Eastern European countries. Head stateside office is in Wheaton where you used to go to school if I’m not mistaken. Seriously, come go with me!


        • Melissa says:

          I am serious when I say I would think about it but Colin and I are taking a week off for vacation around that time and I can’t afford to take time off work. It sounds like a blast and if you go back again you will have to let me know. I have been dying to see Eastern Europe and the volleyball camp would be a blast.

          • Volleyball Ginger says:

            okay… is my desire to go every summer! I’ll keep you posted if it looks like I’m headed back next June.


  10. 10
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Thanks for the pics and the quotes (your Mom and ML’E). I always love me some good quotes – and some good pics. Gracious. God spoke directly to me thru that video segment Beth posted last week with Tammie (is that how you spell her name?) and I had to keep going back to relisten to what she said so I could get it written down verbatim and hung up on my baking cupboard door.

    I am homeschooling my 7th grade son this spring. Heaven. Help. Me. My dear husband has basically begged me to homeschool that child, but I (apparently mistakenly) have thought the best homeschooling situations are with moms who are highly scheduled and dogmatically organized.

    I am not highly scheduled. Nor am I dogmatically organized. (In fact, the only thing I like about the word ‘dogmatic’ is that it starts with d-o-g and I do dearly love dogs).

    Anyway. We are somehow not only surviving 7th grade – but in our own weird little way we are also thriving at it. And there are lots and lots of sweet moments where God meets us and it’s just too fun. Like about an hour ago we were studying the reign of Ashurbanipal (don’t worry. I hadn’t heard of him either) of Assyria when Noah (said 7th grader) asked if Jeremiah was alive during that time. We looked up Jeremiah and read the ‘background’ section at the start of the book (thank you, NIV study Bible) and whoa! Guess who’s name was right there near the bottom of the page? ‘Ole Ashurbanipal himself!

    Little moments like that. They’re sweet. So, to all you homeschooling moms out there in Siestaville – to you I tip my hat — (had to go find a hat to put on so I could tip it. I guess I am kind of dogmatic!!)

    Happy day, everyone ~

  11. 11
    3GirlsMom says:

    The pic of your mom and Gay? Tears. That is so beautiful. The smiles say it all. Praise!

    Adoring y’all from Birmingham! Doing well here – trying to stay safe from the storms that are headed here tonight. Gonna be a scary one, I’m afraid. Praying for no wind damage and for kids who are scared of thunder to be able to sleep well. Exclamation on the 2nd part. For real.

  12. 12
    Sheri says:

    Melissa, thanks for sharing, what a fun post, loved the pictures. I am so looking forward to the James study, I know God will do great things with it through you and your Mom!! I am currently finishing the 3rd week of To Live is Christ with my small group, so good. Also, enjoying sweet moments with the Lord as I practice trusting Him alone and waiting on His timing in receiving our baby’s referral picture for our Rwandan adoption. He is always good to give us what we need in whatever pursuit He directs us to. Please enjoy the wonderful tex-mex for all us northerners 🙂

  13. 13
    Sister Lynn says:

    Hey Melissa,

    I am doing well. I don’t have an official date that I will be moving back to our monastery in Missouri but I am pretty sure it will be before the end of the summer. I am super excited about that.

    I understand the frustration, fear, and vulnerability of putting yourself out there in your writing. Praying for you!
    Thanks for sharing your heart with us. You are loved.

    Sister Lynn

    • 13.1
      Melissa says:

      Thanks, Sister Lynn. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time before you head to Missouri. I hope it has been fruitful for you. Love ya!

  14. 14

    I’m so happy to hear you are taking up the pen on this ‘right strawy epistle.’ Ha! It’s going to be fabulous because you, dear, are a natural.

  15. 15
    Lynda Rickey says:

    First off, the pictures were great. I digitally scrapbook for my family all throughout the year, so I am a picture buff. Too cute, one and all. Loved the quote, in fact I’m going to copy it for my classroom (for me and for them). The Lord will bless work that is done for Him, so keep your chin up and there is no such thing as perfection, but Christ Jesus!

  16. 16
    Esther Burrougha says:

    You are an amazing woman of God. Keep writing!

  17. 17
    christina says:

    Like you, I am a (recovering?) perfectionist. A chronic illness flare over the last 9 months has pried loose my grip on some of those things, as I have had no choice but to let others do laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping (and therefore let go of some control of how they are done).

    Writing for others to read is definitely scary! That insecurity, just as much as the perfectionism, is a sneaky pride. For me, anyway. Thank you for sharing that L’Engle quote. I’ve read that book but didn’t remember that specific bit. Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel is also good medicine.

    Thank you for catching up and inviting us to share. May you find courage and humility to “go on working steadily” and bloom like crazy where you are planted in this season.

  18. 18
    Janet says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for sharing a portion of your life with us through the pictures. Do you think you could share a few of those titles on those bookshelves with us? I love to read Christian non-fiction. Love your lion slippers. I love my slippers too although mine are just black booties but boy do they keep me warm on cold NY days and nights.

  19. 19
    dj says:

    I am feeling closer to God than I ever have before thanks to the amazing event in Fresno this weekend. Being a Houston girl it was great to have your mothers spirit and poof on the west coast. I cannot even begin to put into words the way I was touched from the heavens and I am so very thankful. I also am now very hungry for texmex as calimex just doesn’t cover it.

    I now know how it feels to be blessed.


  20. 20
    Patty says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Great catching up with you. I must say that I know the feeling of moving back home. We have been back for two years. I am thrilled about the quote you shared. I am writing a book and I needed to read that quote but also your thoughts were insightful. Thank you. Nothing new to report. In July, I am taking a small group of women to a LPM conference. This will be for most of them, there very first LPM. I am excited for them. We are going to Charlotte. 🙂 We are gearing up for VBS in June. I am teaching middle school, I haven’t taught children in years. This should be interesting. lol

  21. 21
    Puzzlepiecesista-Angela says:

    Welcome Home to your “Siesta Family” as well!!

    We’ve missed your wisdom around here. I love hearing your perspective and insights Melissa….I think you have so much of value to offer. I truly appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your fears about writing and about making mistakes. I hear your heart when you say it’s not “humility” but a “very sneaky and dark thing called PRIDE” all dressed up in perfection!! I struggle with that and the Lord continues to deal with me on this very subject. I just finished reading C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters for about the hundreth time and this year I’ve been reading a daily devotional called “A Year With C.S. Lewis”, some of his classic works. I want to be so on guard and recognize that PRIDE slithers in dressed in soooo….many different outfits. I’ve been asking the Lord to keep me on guard and ever alert to the schemes of the enemy in my life.

    Fear of not being Perfect has always been a BIG one for me. It can be very dark and deceiving and it can be dressed up so pretty and so beautiful that I hardly recognizes it’s disguise. But when I do….EWWW YUCK!! ICK, SICK, PUKE!!!

    I also love, love, love the advice your mom gave, “you don’t have to say everything to say something”. That’s some mighty fine wisdom we all should chew on a little bit!!!

    I’m glad you checked in with us, my day is better for it :)grin!!! Really sweet pictures of dear friends and family and loved seeing the smiling faces of your mom and Aunt Gay. God is sooooo good to us. Slippers are great, and I see why your fighting your mom over that coffee cup, I would too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Much Love and “WRITE ON” sister!!!!

  22. 22
    Kate says:

    I’m originally from Texas – I currently live 1200 miles away…..and the pictures you posted of the “Tex-Mex” food are driving me crazy. I’ll take a few enchiladas and fajitas, please. Oh how I crave them. Just don’t post any pictures of Blue Bell Ice cream – that just might do me in 🙂

    Love that quote by Madeleine L’ Engle. On a MUCH smaller scale – that really helps me. The only writing I do is on my blog – where I have about 5 readers. (One of them is my Mama.) But even there…in my teeny-tiny corner of the blogosphere….I’m paranoid about trying to make my posts brilliant and spectacular. I need to just chill and write for the fun of it every once in a while. Yeah. That sounds good.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Kate 🙂

  23. 23
    Fonda says:

    Wow, Melissa! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. It was good to hear from you again!

  24. 24

    “The ugly truth is I am inordinately afraid of making a mistake. And this is not humility, folks, but a very sneaky and dark form of pride.”

    ouch. this is so painfully true for me. My sincerest desires to find “the *right* way to….(love my man, parent, be a friend, teach, “fill in the blank”)” puts me dependent on myself and not Christ. It isn’t humble to always be thinking of myself and my, my, MY mistakes, heck even “potential” mistakes ~ yes, truly debilitating! Grateful for the L’ Engle quotation. Now, this perfectionist’s question is how do you prepare? 😉

    quick peek into my life: I’m settling into new life in So.Cal. We’ve found a small, Bible teaching church and that has been a blessing. Life is moving quickly and slowly at the same time. The LA area is so.very.busy. It’s hard to connect with people and enjoy community (also, I have young children…which demands a lot of “home” time) And because life is so busy, making new, meaningful friends has been slow, though, not non-exsistent, praise God!!

    Reading through Bonhoffer’s “Cost of Discipleship” (STILL! it’s been 18 months or more.) Trying a few new recipes with all the yummy produce CA has to offer. And excited to do lots of travelling this summer…I have a 10 year annivesary get away to our honeymoon hotel (The Fairmont Empress…High Tea, anyone?!) in Victoria BC in June. That will be a joyous couple of days!

    Thank *YOU,* Melissa, for a sweet, honest look into your life in HOU. I sure hope to meet you someday, perhaps at the SMT Celebration!!

    much love,

  25. 25
    Nichole H says:

    Gorgeous pics. Vulnerable heart. Not wasted. Thank you.

  26. 26
    Andrea says:

    Wow! I love all the pics! And I really love the quote! I have an awful fear of failure which can prevent me from trying things. God has brought it to my attention that it is pride and that scares me too. I don’t want to be prideful. Well the Lord and I will work this one out, but the quote was very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  27. 27
    Jamie says:

    I love the pic of you and your mom in the sunshine. You look more like your mom there than I realized you do. (Not that we’ve ever met in person of course). I always love your posts. Your family is precious, and I love that you share a peek into your life with us!

  28. 28
    TraciG says:

    We here on the wide open plains of Eastern Montana are excited to see the brown dormant grasses emerge after a VERY long winter…We are finally nearly all cleared off from the snow. My sister and her husband up near the Canadian border are not so fortunate… they have received over 115″ of snow, 10″ just this past couple of days. In the midst of that they are fighting power outages and trying to keep poor baby calves from being frozen little bovine popsicles! My two nieces (aged 7 and 5) had to ride the 16 miles from their ranch to the highway on a snowmobile with their grandpa, as that was the only way to get them into town for school this week. Luckily they can stay with their grandma. Please keep them in your prayers… they are wearing down physically, emotionally and spiritually.
    Further south we are about done calving and there’s nothing quite like watching a field full of little black calvies jumping and frolicking around, or to watch the one mama cow who is in charge of “babysitting” as many as 8-10 calves while the rest of them are off trying to find a couple of fresh shoots of grass.
    My man is chomping at the bit to get into the fields, but as his getting stuck on the prairie this morning reminded us, all in good time! I love spring and the warmer weather, but the days in the field are extremely long, and so they are at the house for me and the little ones! Thank goodness for them, or living 40 miles in the country would get awfully lonesome.

    Love the pictures of you and your family. I truly enjoy your posts and the way you make us all think a little deeper. Keep them coming!

  29. 29
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Dear Melissa
    I understand where you’re coming from with your “growing quite comfortable with working at the research level where you can remain detached from the conclusions and implications of the data.”
    Just like you, I like to spread all the books out and roll up my sleeves and delight in getting get caught up in the Biblical research, but am either timid to share about what I’m learning or I want to share it ALL.
    How wise your mother is to counsel you as she does.
    And, yes, she is brave to step out in faith with the Word God gives her, but you are just where God wants you to be right now. That is your gift.
    Thank you for catching us up with your life and for all the pictures. One especially touches my heart, and I praise God for the power to do for us, and for those we love, all we can ask for or imagine.

    Hilton Head Islans, SC

    PS For reflection…How long did it take for you to write this post that you’ve now shared with so many siestas? Just askin’.

  30. 30
    sue says:

    Thank you for your sharing your heart that is what women do!! If we are not talking we are writing and writing, writing and it is all good Sure your fam is happy you are home in Houston…

  31. 31
    Maureen says:

    I love the Madeleine L’Engle quote and what you write about perfectionism. i think I’m going to copy it and post it on my bulletin board. i loved this post Melissa. Thank you.

  32. 32
    Dee says:

    Hi Melissa!!! Thanks for catching us up and for all the pics. Your little ones are so adorable!!! I just want to hug and love them all up!!! Life in Zeeland, MI is good right now. I’m completely discontented with my job. Not sure what God is doing there, but I’ll wait on Him. 🙂 He brought a completely fabulous man into my life. Not all that long ago, He whispered so sweetly into my ear that after a lifetime of pain, He wants to fill my crazy world with love and laughter. He certainly has done that. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life as I have in the past four weeks with my new gentleman friend. Again, it’s completely up to my Daddy God what happens there. I’m excited and so loved. It’s the best feeling ever. 🙂 All of us in our woman’s Monday night study survived “Jesus the One & Only”. All of us had many battles to get through the study, only to find ourselves completely revived and refreshed in our Savior King. God is so good to us. Next week we start a new study.

    Thanks again for sharing. Love you much, little sister. 🙂


  33. 33
    Elizabeth says:

    Melissa –

    My day was one of those days. Thing after, thing after thing…but between that one SSMT verse that I can now recall and the joyous picture of your Aunt Gay I can do a joyful 180.

    Always appreciative of every Moore post.

  34. 34
    Traci says:

    love hearing your “voice” melissa 🙂
    glad you’re adjusting and appreciated your words. i’m memorizing Matthew 5:5 from the Message…
    “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are~
    no more, no less…
    that’s the moment you find yourself proud owner of everthing that can’t be bought.”
    that’s what’s going on in my life right now. learning the secret of being content…key word, learning.
    so happy you’re back home. because i love your mom so much, it gives me such joy to see both of her girls close. what a gift!!

  35. 35
    Julie says:

    “You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures”

    Late last fall, I watched the Wising Up DVD on Wising Up at Work. In that DVD, your mom said, “If you can’t be successful at your job, leave successfully.” That hit me like a ton of bricks!

    I so wanted the job I was in to be one that I was called to do, I wanted it to be my giftedness. Teaching. I was asked to fill in a year ago and renewed my contract, but no matter how I tried, I would never be called to teach and never would it be my gift. It was causing problems of all kinds between the lead teacher and myself. I felt like a failure. I had failed and failed big time.

    In January, the principal told me I would not have my contract renewed. No big surprise there, but still hurtful. More failure, more condemnation.

    In February, God broke me of my pride – the pride of hanging onto MY dreams and not giving it up. The pride of digging my heals in with God. Three weeks later, I was offered a job in which I know is my gift – and I know I was called to do. I started today. I have never felt so right for a job before!!! Plus it’s with a local ministry!

    While I feel I failed at my teaching job, God allowed me to leave successfully. How can any brokenness from God be a waste – be a failure? It can’t be. I certainly am not the same person I was two months ago. Don’t know if anyone has gone through a dark season and then total brokenness – but it’s worth it. I’ve learned my lesson on this one, and I don’t want to go back and have to relearn it again!!!


  36. 36
    Kristi says:

    I can’t wait for the new study to come out! I’m so excited!

  37. 37
    Kelly Jo says:

    I love it when you post pictures!!!!!

    Melissa I am going on the trip of my life. In less than 4 weeks I am going on a holy land cruise. I fly to Rome April the 28 and return home May 16th. I am so excited and a little scared. Can not wait to see Israel!!!! I will be there for two days and I know 2 days is not a lot of time. We will have from 7am to 10pm each day!!! What was your favorite site in Israel? What’s the one thing I don’t want to miss? Have great week 🙂

  38. 38
    caroline says:

    Oh girl – how did you get in my head!?! 🙂 Like mother like daughter, I presume. 🙂
    I have just begun (i.e. finally laid down my own sneaky pride and quit ignoring His calling on my life)this true calling of writing and the way you explained it was brilliant. (Here’s hoping you didn’t spend a couple hours toiling over that brilliant sentence!) 🙂
    Writing for Him is just not for the weak-kneed, can I get an Amen? I want so badly to represent my Jesus well in my actions and behavior and now I am like choosing a whole ‘nother new area that I could screw this up with? Oh goodness! Lord help me! But like you have probably run across in your “research” for your precious Mama, my verse this week is James 4:17 “Anyone who knows the good he should do and doesn’t; sins.” Ouch, that one is pretty clear. James didn’t beat around the bush much did he? Love it!
    Welcome back to Texas. I know we missed you!
    Enjoy the life God has for you now friend, it is a blessed one! Love love – Caroline

  39. 39
    Sue says:

    wow, thanks for putting that quote in by Madeleine. That spoke very loudly to me. I always want to make the “right” decision, wanting to do what God wants me to do, not making any mistakes. Thank you, Thank you!

  40. 40
    Church Lady says:

    I so glad the we are able to hear from you more often. I know that your family is so happy to have you back in town. Love the pictues.

  41. 41
    Marilee says:

    I often find my writing hung up by wanting to say something profound or funny or, well, perfect. So I end up writing nothing! Thanks for the inspirational words from Ms. L’Engle 🙂

  42. 42
    Lisa says:

    Thanks for the glimpse into your life right now. I love all of your mom’s studies, but I am so excited to see what the two of you do in God’s power with James. Praying for you both!

  43. 43
    Missy S says:

    Wow, Melissa! This post couldn’t be timed any better than if God had timed it Himself – oh wait, He probably did! 😉 I, too, am just beginning to write. And, just this morning, as I was driving to work, I was talking to my mom on the phone telling her, “I’m so afraid of failing, that I get stuck don’t write anything.” It is exactly what Laura Fraser talks about in her article (“My So-Called Genius”) that your mom referenced in the Esther study – or was it SLI? Can’t remember now! Anyway, my mom sweetly reminded me that if God has truly appointed me to do His work, then I don’t need to worry about whether it will succeed. It’s up to Him! Anyway, LOVE the Madeleine L’Engle quote – what a mind she had!

    Thanks for letting us know what you’re up to! When I saw your twitter post, I wondered if we were going to be blessed to hear from you in the James study! (I was so blessed by your talk at the National Women’s Leadership Forum that I’m looking forward to how God speaks through you next! I was so intrigued by what you taught us concerning the revealed v. “hidden things” of God!)

  44. 44

    Melissa~ Love the “catching up”! …the photos were awesome, and your raw openness in this post much appreciated.

    All is good down south Texas; has been on the warmer side (80-90 temp) & we’re wondering when we’ll see the first rattler of this year (killed 8 rattle snakes last year starting in mid-April through November within 3-8 feet of our house foundation)- scares me to think about the ones we didn’t see! They freak me out and I pray everyday the Lord keeps my 4 kids safe when they’re outside playing which we don’t encourage them to do. We LITERALLY claim Luke 10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (we have lots of scorpions, too as you may know).

    Other than Texas critters, I’ve been keeping busy with my faith,family,friends,and home renovation project… that’s about it. God bless you, Melissa~ & I can’t wait for the James study!!!

    • 44.1
      Melissa says:

      Teri, Colin and I saw on the news the other day that there was some rattle snake killing festival somewhere in TX (can’t remember). It was so nasty! I cannot fathom that you killed 8 rattle snakes last year. I am totally freaked out! Where in South Texas are you?

      • Corpus Christi, Texas. We live just outside city limits, “in the country” 😉 … surrounded by farm fields. Originally from WA state, but lived in TX for 4 years (husband is in the Navy). “Snake killing festival”??? YUCK! I do regret however, we didn’t skin and perserve the 8 snake skins from last year; could have had a radical custom handbag made out of them – a conversation piece for sure. Maybe save the skins from this year- but hopefully NOT!

  45. 45
    Dayna says:

    It was so good to read your blog Melissa. I loved all your photos!! You are so beautiful! I am sure that goes for the inside too! : ) I am looking forward to the James study also. Right now my church is doing the Esther study. I am so blessed by Lord through your moms teachings. I am also doing the SSMT. I enjoy it so much. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Love, Dayna

    • 45.1
      Melissa says:

      Hi Dayna. I am so glad you said hello and that you’re enjoying Esther! It is such an interesting book of the Bible! All my best, Melis

  46. 46
    Amy Beth says:

    I sent your mom AND your sister that book by L’Engle and included a note saying I was going to try to find a copy for you, too. I see you’ve already found one. 🙂

    • 46.1
      Melissa says:

      Hey! You know what?! I am using my Mom’s copy and she doesn’t know it 😉 SO, I am indebted to you. Thank YOU!

      • Amy Beth says:

        I’m going to see if I can try to find a copy for you, too. It’s a hard book to find sometimes! But it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

  47. 47
    Kristin says:

    Great post, as always! I love reading what you have to share. I also struggle with serious perfectionism, and writing just about kills me. I think it is because it’s so final–once it’s on the page and I send it off, I can’t get it back. When I speak, I can see the faces of my listeners and clarify if I see confusion on their faces. I’m learning that oftentimes, I just need to keep it simple…no matter how much research I’ve done in preparation.

  48. 48

    I loved reading this post. The L’Engle quote I’ll tuck away in heart and ink.

    We’re brand spanking new emptynesters and I’m struggling with folding the 30-year-old apron (and Brooke blurts out: “You never wore an apron!”).

    Life hasn’t ended up where I thought we would be. No permanent fulltime jobs. No permanent place to live. Our income is small due to my cancer and our God’s Love is magnanimous. I’m floored how He is providing in my terror. My hand is over my mouth (Job 40:4)! What is success in the eyes of the world is not us. But you know what? My Lord’s hold on me is strong (Ezek. 3:14). His Hand of Grace is on our shoulders (Deut 33:12).

    This is just a story and stories don’t define us. He does! He is my everything! A Greater Story! Always encouraged by your words, Melis. Don’t ever stop your pondering and wondering…such encouragement here.

    • 48.1
      Melissa says:

      Bev, you are such a special person. When you start talking, I start listening. You are so right that our stories do not define us, but they do matter so much and yours is so very dear and precious. Think of you often. Love, Melissa

      • Humbled by your kind response to me, I Cor 15:10. You and your precious sister and mama all live in Romans 5:4 (Msg)—Wide Open Spaces of Beautiful Grace. You rain Him down on our thirsty needy souls (Dt 32:2)—taking risks, welcoming strangers, falling forward on your Present God! The words that come from blog and books and brokenness offer us *here* a tad more courage to say to our mountains—with our teeny tiny grains of faith—“Move Forward” (Matt 17:21). Bless you three for trusting Him to live between Isa 66:2 and Phil 2:12. We see a beautiful tremble!

  49. 49
    Erin says:

    I love Madeleine L’Engle – she is one of my favorites. Welcome back to Texas! – although I’m from GA, so when you were in ATL I could relate to that, too. I always enjoy your posts!

    Erin ‘
    Austin, TX

  50. 50
    Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for that quote..writing is a paralyzing art for me most days. While I know I am called to share my story, the fear of saying the wrong thing or leading people the wrong way is crippling at times. And, you are so can become a form of pride. I have learned that all I can do is surrender to God the words and the message people receive from those words.
    Enjoy your family!

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