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. 151
    Deb Weaver says:

    Thank you for catching us up and sharing from your heart and life. Your struggle with the fear of failure and its insidious roots of pride while writing is a struggle I am currently sharing. I am writing a book for young adults and reading everything I can get my hands on about publication. What I have learned is helpful and discouraging and overwhelming, but I believe I am to write. I’ve also learned just how much I have to learn! I’m trying to face down this fear and pride by praying and writing. In the book Page After Page by Heather Sellers, the author notes, “The only thing harder and scarier and more white-knuckle difficult to sustain than an active, productive writing life is a not-wiritng life when you really, really dream and want to be a writer.” Be encouraged! We’re so glad you are facing your fears and vulnerabilities.

  2. 152
    Jo Ann says:


    You said you would not apologize for sharing your life and I want to thank you. I feel so much as if the sharing on this blog is done as part of the Body of Christ and I have been blessed by it.

    Jo Ann
    Philadelphia burbs

  3. 153
    texatheart says:

    Thanks for sharing and such great pics. I am in preparation for a move also back to the great state of Texas. I am leaving Kansas (36 inches of snow this winter ’bout did me in!) and moving back to the Dallas area, probably closer to Rockwall. I am hoping to get a teaching position in the fall. So excited for a lot of the same reasons, my sis, 2 brothers and my mom, and not to forget my adorable niece and nephew. I have lived longer in Kansas than I have anywhere else. I know it is going to be extremely hard to leave friends and family up here but feel this is the right move (hoping they will follow me down to Texas eventually).

  4. 154
    texatheart says:

    Thanks for sharing and such great pics. I am in preparation for a move also back to the great state of Texas. I am leaving Kansas (36 inches of snow this winter ’bout did me in!) and moving back to the Dallas area, probably closer to Rockwall. I am hoping to get a teaching position in the fall. So excited for a lot of the same reasons, my sis, 2 brothers and my mom, and not to forget my adorable niece and nephew. I have lived longer in Kansas than I have anywhere else. I know it is going to be extremely hard to leave friends and family up here but feel this is the right move (hoping they will follow me down to Texas eventually).

  5. 155
    Katie Coggins says:

    A. I can totally relate to the fear of making a mistake/perfectionism issue. Even now I just debated erasing this whole thing and not posting a comment. Outside of this year’s scrip memory verses, I have posted I believe two comments due to this “dark and sneaky form of pride.”

    B. I’m in Katy, TX right now with my husband. We just signed a lease and he found a job. We are moving from Appleton, WI on a straight-up call from God. There is nothing and noone here that drove the idea. I’m pretty excited, but oh the pictures I could post of people that I will miss, not the least of whom is my sweet mom. *tear*

    C. Loved the pic of Jackson with “Longtail.” Are there lizards to catch around here? My son would be so pumped.

    Thanks for sharing, soon-to-be-fellow-Texan. 🙂

    • 155.1
      Gena says:

      Oh, yes, Katie…there are lizards!

      Welcome to TX!

    • 155.2
      Lahna says:

      Thank you for exposing “the dark and sneaky form of pride.” I didn’t realize that is why I am so hesitant to comment,too. Thank you Melissa for starting the whole chain reaction. I came to the realization that sarcasm is a form of pride and not humor, but I hadn’t thought of perfectionism that way. What a lesson I got today!

  6. 156
    Denise says:

    It was wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your life with us. That is what friends do.

    I loved what you said about humility verses ego. I have read Timothy Keller’s book “Prodical God” twice. Honestly, the first time pointing my finger at others, the second time seeing myself right there in the middle of “the elder brother” syndrome…. something all Christians must truly guard against, myself included…OUCH!! So thanks for sharing!!

    I find myself caught up in the busy schedule of my 9 year old, horse trials, events, clinics, Pony Club and loving every minute of it. My husband and I can’t fathom how God has brought us here. I love that God is right in our midst with all that goes on in our life. Yes, I have worries about my job, my husband’s business, our country, and the world, but through it all God is STILL God, He is still GOOD and he does care what is going on in your life and mine!!! That siesta is relationship and I am glad you are willing to share your life with us!!!

  7. 157
    Sandi says:

    I really appreciate your vulnerability. It’s exactly how I feel, being exposed and afraid I won’t be accepted with all my “features”(as my husband affectionately calls them ). Really we’re not all so different.

    It’s that kind of vulnerability that your mom offers in her studies that has helped free so many, including me! Experiencing that is what really forces us to complete dependency on Him!

  8. 158
    Barbara Head says:

    Oh, wow, Melissa, you are one thought provoking verbalist!! Try not to be so hard on yourself. Of course going through with a loved one the “art” of writing has taught me a lot of lessons. One of those lessons is “boy, oh boy, this writing is a tough job”. But God is faithful and He WILL get the job done with or without your cooperation. I know you will “cooperate” because you love the Lord so profoundly. I’ll be praying for you, sweet one.

  9. 159
    Tanya Moore says:

    Great Post, Melissa! I love your quotes – I have two posted on my desk. The house shoes – Lion of the tribe of Judah, girl! Sweet pictures of your precious family.

  10. 160
    Nancy D says:

    I love your mother’s writing and it’s influence has definitely changed my life for the better, but honestly, there are times when fifty pages of her writing absolutely exhausts me. A good kind of exhausted, but still. I say that because just one sentence instead of fifty pages might be just what some of us need sometimes! You’re of the Twitter generation anyway where it has to be said in fewer words. I realize you’re probably talking about the actual time it takes rather then the total number of words, but encouraged. Everything you’ve ever written on here has blessed my soul regardless of how long it took to write it!

  11. 161
    kimberly mason says:

    hey melissa,

    thanks so much for sharing! i love your sweet family! and who doesn’t love pictures! this blog is so nice because it lets us get to know you better! 🙂 i’m so glad you’re getting to write with your mom! what a blessing! your family really gives so much! we are all so blessed by your generousity of studying and preparing and writing!!! you’re right about pride being sneaky – it masquerades as humility often times. all you can do is give your writing to the Lord and let Him perfect it through you. don’t be afraid of failure. remember that God does not give us a spirit of fear! so we know that fear must come from the devil. he knows how much you doing God’s will will bless all of us!

    blessings sweet Melissa!

    love in Christ,

  12. 162
    Rita says:

    Thanks for your sharing your life and your pictures! I loved the post! I’ve been doing your mom’s studies for a couple years now and I love hearing about your lives! I’ve never lived away from my family, and I know that must bring many challenges. But I’m happy that you’re working with your mom on the James study! I can’t wait 🙂

  13. 163
    Tammie Head says:

    Melissa! I love, love, LOVE what you wrote about writing. So, so the truth!! I cannot tell you how much I’ve dealt with this in writing that Bible study. To the point of being so sick of myself!

    I am so proud of you. You DO have this in you! I can’t wait to do James!


  14. 164
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:


    So good to hear from you! I am in transition myself, although on a MUCH smaller scale. I am going through the screening process for a potential new job. I will miss my co-workers and the customers I serve now, but I am looking forward to a more consistent wage and new relationships.(Not necessarily bigger, but I know God ALWAYS provides! I don’t care where He leads me as long as He stays with me!) This week is quiet as we sent our 2 daughters to Mississippi for a mission trip. Waiting for that domestic thing to kick in here so the house will get clean! I love the quote from Madeleine L’Engle too. I get caught up in perfectionism as well. May God continue to bless you and Colin wherever He leads you! Grateful you get to be close to your family right now.

  15. 165
    Terri Lynn says:


    I thoroughly loved and appreciated your transparency in this post. Your words were confirmation to what our loving Father in heaven has been affirming for me for awhile now. It is absolute truth that something we consider to perhaps be simple or simply understood can have such a dramatic impact for someone else. Thank you!

    As an aside, I was a military wife for 24 years so I’m well aquainted with the leaving behind and missing that comes with starting over someplace new or renewed to us in the case of finally going back home. May God bless you with a gaggle of godly girlfriends where you are now to help ease the ache for those your heart misses! And may He abundantly strengthen your resolve to continue to be a risk taker for His kingdom.

  16. 166
    Lisa says:

    Hi Melissa,

    It’s great to hear from you again! Thank you for sharing all the beautiful photos (I’m a serious photo-aholic myself). From looking at the last pics of you & Colin, all I can say is……girl, y’all are gonna have some GORGEOUS children! 🙂

    My family, too, is going through a bittersweet transition. I have four daughters, who I homeschooled, and we did pretty much everything together for twenty years. But since last year, two of them have moved out of the house to places of their own, one has graduated from college and is a nurse, and my youngest graduates from high school this May. So much change, for someone who isn’t big on change! And to top it all off, I just enrolled in college yesterday! After twenty-three of the most beautiful, blessed years as a stay-at-home mama, I am now going back to school to be a surgical technologist (I’ll work in the O.R.). I’m excited, exhilarated, and terrified — all at the same time!

    Like I said, I don’t really like change. But God has used it in my life to make me lean more fully on Him, time and time again. Without change, I would grow stagnant, complacent, and self-satisfied. With it, life is a trip through whitewater rapids, and my only hope is to cling to my Savior and enjoy the ride!

    Many times, I’ve been comforted by the words of the song, “Be Still My Soul” — “..through every change, He faithful will remain.” Praise God, He does.

  17. 167

    Melissa –
    We are doing well. Thanks for asking. And thanks for sharing your struggle. I SO get the pride thing. It drives so many of my other pet sins. One of the biggest being distrust… even God. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock Eternal” (Is 26:4) is my theme this year.

    Other than that, we are almost finished with our kitchen remodel. We were without a functioning kitchen for a solid 3 months and now we’re just down to the trim work and lighting; then comes the fun finishing touches of decorating. It needs color in the worst way.

    By the way, I want to say that I love connecting like this. It’s so nice to see a snapshot of each others lives at times and it’s always encouraging to see that others around us struggle with the same or similar things we do. It’s encouraging to see the victory that comes out of the struggle when we let the Lord do His work.

    Have a great day!


  18. 168
    Katherine says:

    Hello! Good to hear from you again. Have you ever read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott? She addresses perfectionism in writing, too. I have read and re-read parts of it many times when trying to find the courage to continue writing. That being said, thank you for caring so much. Thank you for realizing that your words matter and for taking your position seriously.
    “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 MSG

  19. 169
    Joyce Watson says:

    What a joy to know you are near family and friends, Melissa! Those wonderful pictures melt my heart as I think of how God passes through the generations His faithfulness and love towards you.
    I have to laugh alittle too. I wonder why little boys always have to stick their tongues out in at least one picture while they are growing up…I have several just like that. Annabeth is the sweetest little helper for her mom and I love her vacuum and the mittens on her hands…she is truly all cutie. And I think, all Paw Paw’s have a hat to wear_some favorites have been John Deere, Bass Pro or hunting. Like the coffee cup, can I borrow it. I have a collection of old cups.
    You mom is extravagently wonderful and your family beautiful. You and your husband blessed.

    Writing is a passion with heart. It is what you feel deep down in your heart and it overflows to higher heights. It is to express the deepest thoughts. It is to feel what others feel, to touch the very things that makes the soul hunger for more, and it is to reflect back yet look toward the future. It is to love life, people and places. It is to prayer in the silence. It is a poem of creativity. It is mighty power of God reflected on the times when we need Him the most. Writing__it emptys out the captive and lifts up the downhearted. It takes the joy we feel and it expresses thanksgiving. Writing creates more memories. Spread your wings and fly!

  20. 170
    Terri Lynn says:

    Ohhh, I meant to add as well, feel free to share the recipes (PLEASE!) of every tex-mex dish you shared a photo of!

    And! I adore the coffee cup. ♥

  21. 171
    Ryan Zwicky says:

    Thank you for your transparency. It is scary to strip ourselves of the “perfect pictures” we attempt to be and reveal our true fears and faults….knowing that we may be made fun of -or fail. I am grateful for your honesty and openness. May God continue to bless you and your writing.

  22. 172
    Sara says:

    Miserable with morning sickness = ( scratch that, miserable with all day sickness.

  23. 173
    Jodi Battle says:


    Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities with us, that is hard to do with those we know personally. Your courage and wisdom is an example for young Christian women everywhere. I am encouraging my daughter to read the blog hoping that something would spark in her and she would seek Christ deeper and wholeheartedly. Your mommy is so very proud of you – as she should be.. Beth, I know you are out there – way to go girl! The family pictures are precious and tell a great story of love and happiness. Thanks again for sharing. Hope to see you more! Love ya!

  24. 174
    Pat from Kansas says:

    Good to hear from you Melissa!:) I just know your mama and sister are so thrilled to have you (and Colin) around.
    Oh, that dreaded word, perfectionism. It has cost me so much lately in exactly what you describe, the decision to not ‘lay it all out there’ for fear of criticism, mistake or failure…ugh! Recently God gave me a great, victorious break through in an area of obedience then bam….stagnation… for fear of ‘doing it wrong’. Lord, help me press on through the self doubt, and pride in thinking You don’t know what You are doing and in secretly thinking You won’t really be there to walk me through it..:(

  25. 175
    Jill says:

    I love everything about this post. Friends, family, generations, redemption, china cups, house shoes, and Tex-Mex- does it get any better??

    The quotes are the best. I have cut and pasted yours and L’Engles, and both go in to my folder of quotations.

    Pride and perfection are such wicked little masters. Both seemingly for our best interest- look good, don’t make a mistake, stay in control!!! My daily lesson, Let GO- Let God.

  26. 176
    Stephanie says:

    Dear Melissa,
    Your blog posts have always blessed me so much, especially when you share your insights into a Scripture passage that has just wowed you. It never ceases to wow me, too. I am so looking forward to learning from you in the new James study. I know God’s hand is mightily upon you to speak into the lives of this generation of women His Word. You and your mom are a regular mention in my prayer time, especially regarding the James study. The Lord bless you, Melissa for the hard work you are doing so that countless may be blessed. “Blessed be the Lord my God, who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight” (with your pen-my addition)…(Psalm 144:1a) Amplified Bible

  27. 177

    I have missed you on FB! I loved your post and am excited you’re back in Houston. Lots of transitions have been happening with my family lately too. Our son, Seth was born in June and in Sept, we packed up and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for Taylor to pursue a Phd in OT (Ecclesiastes to be exact – crazy, I know!). We work for an int’l student ministry called Friends Int’l – what a blessing it’s been (though easy it is not!). Some of my American friends and I are going to start a Bible study soon in our uni family housing and might do the Esther study if we can get our hands on all of the materials over here. I got my workbook already and was blessed by your foreword. So good to get your update!
    Love you guys!! Robin

    • 177.1
      Melissa says:

      Robin, I have missed keeping in touch! Congratulations on your sweet Seth. I want to see pictures. I cannot believe you are in Edinburgh. Want to host some Fitzpatricks?? 🙂 Seriously, this is wonderful news. I had no idea your husband was working in the OT. I love Qoheleth. I am interested to hear what he is doing with Ecclesiastes. I am going to email you! Let me know if you need help getting the materials for the Esther study, okay?

  28. 178
    glenwood says:

    Glad you are enjoying life. I am reading Slave by John MacArthur. It is about how the word servant in the Bible is really slave in the majority of cases and if we knew that it would change our concept of our relationship with Christ.Can you give us a study on that?

  29. 179

    Melissa, Enjoyed reading your blog. You are a “breath of fresh air” in early spring. You are a very bright woman, but most important, a very bright “Christian” woman. Keep blogging!!

  30. 180
    Catherine says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us! I am sure that I speak for everyone of the Siestas that we love you all and pray for you all, but most of all you have become family!!!!!

  31. 181
    Martha in MS says:

    Thanks for catching us up on your life Melissa…love hearing from you and I love seeing all the pics!! Looking so forward to the James study!


  32. 182
    Sharon says:

    So glad you are back in Texas!!! As a mother of 3 there is nothing like having your kids all within driving distance. I have moved here from IL to be close to my 3, one is in Dallas, one is Austin, one in College Station. I am living with my oldest in College Station. I have been doing your mother’s bible studies for a long time and have grown so much in the LORD (still have a long way to go). I have been able to drive to Houston to participate in a few, which has been awesome. I have met some beautiful ladies of the LORD there. We keep in touch and meet for lunch as they are from the Houston area.
    You, your sister, mother and the LORD make a great teaching team. Keep it up!!!!!!
    Love Ya All!!

  33. 183
    Nancy Welsh says:

    Thank you for blessing me today,
    and may many blessings return your way!

  34. 184
    Kathy C. says:

    We have been in the Dallas area about 2 years now after living in Houston for 25, and finally found a church, finally got in Bible study, and just last week, finally went out with ladies after Bible study, and we ate at Cristina’s Mexican restaurant where I shockingly downed “two hefty burritos” (exact words on the menu) and talked constantly I was enjoying myself so much. It is great to be making those connections and building relationships up here in North Texas, where there is lots of Tex-Mex and fellowship to be had!

    Enjoyed all your pictures and all you shared, thanks for catching up!

  35. 185
    Victoria says:

    I am so glad that you are doing well and that things are working out. Cannot wait for the James study! I know my girlfriends and I are going to love it and I’m sure there is so much to glean from it!!!

    I love to write, so I had started a blog…but the problem seems to be that I try so hard to be perfect sometimes. That is my issue in life, Period. End of Story. I try way too hard instead of just being who God made. Thank you for this bit of wisdom. I really, truly need it at this stage in my life.
    You are a blessing to me and all who read this blog.
    Have a good one siesta!

  36. 186
    Leslie says:

    Melissa and siestas,
    I am about to start a new season in my life. The craft store where I work is closing it’s doors, so I will be jobless as of the middle of May. I know God’ s hand is in this, as several family things need more attention then a working woman could provide and the Lord has freed me up in His perfect timing. But I will sooo miss the darling women that I work with, as well as the sweet customers who I count as friends. Thank you for the reminder that we can cherish those both far and near.
    The photos are so wonderful and I love seeing the Jackson and Annabeth. Don’t know why but for some reason her wrestling with the vacuum cleaner in her stylin’ duds just made me chuckle.
    Thank you for sharing your insight into pride. My daughter and I are in week three of the Breaking Free study,(via the Internet and the phone), and I hit the pride lesson yesterday. I think this is going to be a loooooong haul with several semi’s full of conviction to be dealt from the heaven lies….sigh!
    thanks for loving on us,
    Leslie from Utah

  37. 187
    Marcia says:

    I enjoy every one of your posts, so I am glad that you decided to catch up. In the past I have started to comment but just never finished them. Your posts have been so thought provoking that I found them very enjoyable. I greatly appreciate the researcher’s point of view and I am excited for the stretch to continue to move forward in your writing. You have your own style and it is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  38. 188
    Kim says:

    Melissa. What a blessing to have you back in close proximity to your family! I think that is the best! I am sitting here watching the SNOW fall this April day in Alaska. Typical for April in Anchorage. But just wait…by this afternoon it will probably be 45 degrees, sunny, and all the new snow will be melting (I hope).
    The weather as well as the things going on personally seem to be working in tandem. There are bright and glorious days followed by days when it seems that we’re back in the same cold place we were just awhile ago. But I know through all this God is holding us, changing us, and bringing us closer to His heart and bringing His glory through all of it. Thanks for asking!

  39. 189
    Amy says:

    hey! we are in the midst of transition as my husband’s contract was not renewed, so he is busy applying at colleges all over the country. Aslan is taking us on another adventure and we are gearing up. i’m originally from atlanta, and i love it there – i miss it every day and i haven’t lived there in years. love*love* the quote from madeline l’engle. i am such a perfectionist and it is such a huge struggle to deal with the fear of messes up. thank you for sharing!

  40. 190
    Kristin A. says:

    “I am practicing the art of being patient with myself.” Girl, that is GOOD! So what if it takes you a little bit longer to write. Gems like that take time!

    Blessings to you,

  41. 191

    I really loved your update and transparency!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write from your heart. As far as I’m concerned, every word was perfect!!!! As we say in Texas, “You dun good!” :o)
    I loved the pics and the captions, too. So glad you are back here in Texas, and look forward to hearing more of what the Lord has in store for you.
    Blessings for a great week!

  42. 192
    Kristin says:


    You keep your chin up. Only Christ could compel us to be transparent enough about our own struggle with the ugliness of pride to share it publicly. Only Christ could take something as potentially impersonal as ‘social networking’ and transform it by His power, causing us to love and lift up and pray for one another–bringing great glory to Himself. Only Christ, indeed!

  43. 193

    Oh, wow! Did you hit the nail on the head about fear and writing and vulnerability and the dark side of trying to be perfect. You’re talkin’ my language. You really are. Thank you (squirming, here) for addressing that.

    And how am I? Well, I wrote about it here. We have an appointment coming up to follow up on a diagnosis for one of the boys. After meditating over it while waiting for the consult, I decided it just may be a diagnosis every daughter of His should have.

    If you have a moment, I share it quietly here:

    Blessings, for sure,


  44. 194
    Laura Humphreys says:

    What an encouragement! I’ve been struggling all morning with this terrible fear that sometime in the near future I’ll have to start homeschooling (my kids are 5,4,1). I’ve read a few books, and tried to trust that if God calls me to it He’ll equip me to do it. But, after several hours of struggling through kindergarten work with my 5 year old (who is currently in K just 3 days a week and works at home the other 2) and pre-k work with my 4 year old, while trying to keep my 1 year old from eating the crayons and dumping the cereal boxes out on the kitchen floor (both of which did happen!)…I decided there was no way I could do this, remain sane, keep a clean house and NOT kill my kids. Then I put the baby down for a nap, popped in a movie for the other two, and sat down to catch up on e-mail. I came over to check out the blog and read the most convicting sentence: “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.” Wow! Ok, thank you for calling me out! 🙂 So I will return to that scary yet secure place of trusting in the Lord for everything, every second, and knowing that if I am “barely hanging on by a thread” in His will and in His hands, then I am ok! Thanks for the encouragement!

  45. 195
    Carrie says:

    Thank you for the realization you just gave me….. I shoot for perfectionism because I do not want to make a mistake BECAUSE I would have to say that I am sorry! Oh my! Do I not want to say that I am sorry because it means I failed someone I care about?
    You gave me the realization now I have to work on the reforming of a humble heart!!

  46. 196
    Donna Benjamin says:

    Overwhelmed, with life at the moment, (thanks for asking). Trying to pay bills, deal with our monster health insurance for continuity of care in our new town, not to mention kids, schools, etc…I just checked in here for a breath of “fresh air”, and boy can I ever relate to this post Melissa! Thanks for sharing from your heart. I too miss our friends down in Florida, and elsewhere…but am so happy in our new town. The people here are so very kind, and I do feel so blessed by their welcoming hearts. I also get caught up in perfectionism, so much so, that at times it can be paralyzing. Never thought of it as a form of idolatry, but seems to make sense to me! Thanks for the insight!

  47. 197
    Sarah says:

    So good to hear from you–I was wondering how you were! 🙂 Such great pics. You are beautiful and I know your family loves having you around and vice versa. I know what you mean about researching vs. writing. Even in my current job when the writing has no spiritual component whatsoever (think financial, boring!) – it’s much harder and slower for me than crunching numbers and creating charts! I can tell, though, from your posts on this blog that you are a GREAT writer. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us…good to “hear” from you! 🙂

  48. 198
    His Jules says:

    Melissa, thanks so much for sharing-having lived in Texas and out for different parts of my life, I can understand the mish-mash of feelings you have! I will continue to pray for you & Colin during this transition.

    I also want to thank you so much for your comments on the writing. Just recently I have had some, shall we say issues with writing/preparing to teach at our annual ladies retreat. It is so hard to put it all down and get it down in the way that you know will be the most effective way possible. I was overjoyed two weeks ago when I knew God had spoken to me the theme of our retreat, but now I am trying to study and get my messages together, I feel so totally inadequate and at times I am sure that God must be wondering why I was chosen to do this at all. Thanks for letting me know that doubting myself is normal because if you doubt yourself after the wonderful posts that I have seen from you, I am in good company! I love your authenticity!

  49. 199
    Hope Hardy says:

    Welcome back to blogland! It’s good to have you back.

  50. 200
    Debbie says:

    Melissa, thank you so much for posting this. First, let me say you (with this post as proof) you write beautifully. It was fun to read but there was some real meat in here for me. It really resonated….and now, why. I was born a preacher/teacher and I journal ad nauseum. I have been encouraged to write a book (frankly, NO ONE who hears “our story” would believe it — wait maybe your Mom might) and for sure, to begin blogging. I have been draaaggggiiiiing my feet. I (think) I sense God calling me to this (I say with reluctance) but I reluctant (did I mention I’m reluctant and draaaaggggiiing my feet?). But, your post said a few things that I suspect were just for me. Reminders of what God had already made clear and is making sure I remember! I am going to read this over again (and I think again) prayerfully and just listen to God’s word to me in this. (I so want to print it out but my daughter and I are in So.Cal “on retreat”. She has been very ill and struggeling greatly…We are in a quaint little Inn with a DVD player and are doing a Beth Moore Study — maybe you’ve heard of her? — Believing God. If you haven’t already done so, check it out :0) I am praying for an amazing work of God in her life and frankly, I am seeing God done one in my life as we go through this. It really is a matter of life to my daughter.) Anyway, I will have to wait until I get home in 2 weeks to print this…but I’m going to!

    Thanks again Melissa. I pray for your Mom and the staff there at Living Proof but I’m adding you specifically to prayers as you miinister there also. Be Blessed by the Blessed One — greatly.

    • 200.1
      Debbie says:

      O.K. here’s why I must “preview”….note, I did not. Proof I need to be more of a perfectionst???!!! “I reluctant”? “I am seeing God done one…”? Hmmm, did I mention I have a degree in Education with a major in English — I did extremely well in school? I hope no one comes and asks for the degree back after reading this. :0)

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