31 March 2008

Shower #1 - NashVegas Style

So this weekend was my first bridal shower in my hometown!

So, I learned a few things about ...

My family -

THEY ARE LOUD! When I arrived at Jennifer's (maid of honor and shower hostess) she met me in the garage and with a firm look said "Get in here and get your family under control, they are all loud, look exactly alike and I don't know their names." Turns out my family all showed up at 1:25 though the shower didn't start until 2 and they promptly began asking Jennifer questions: Where is Melissa, When is she getting married, Where, Who is James, etc.. etc...

They don't play by the rules! Not only did only 2 out of 9 of them RSVP apparently they don't know how to use a gift registry either. Evidenced by the fact that I now have two identical crock pots, two identical George Foremans.

They are REALLY sweet. My cousin Vonnie made me a quilt block. It is of a Dutch Girl, our mawmaw's favorite pattern. What's extra cool about this is that the Dutch girl herself is made from scraps from our mawmaw's old dresses. Way cool. Though it will match absolutely nothing in my entire apartment, it will be prominently displayed once I find a cool frame that prevents it from fading.

Kay will embarass you, badly.

First, Kay's gift was a decanter for water for the nightstand for after. After what? FOR AFTER ... yeah you got it. It's Kay's typical gift for a wedding shower, and I've always been grossed out by it. Now I too have a beautiful cut crystal one for our nightstand.

After the shower was over and my loud family left, Kay sat me in a chair across the room from herself, Patty, Sherry, Brittany, Jennifer & Carrie--all ladies who are/have been married and from my home church (though some don't attend now). Kay apparently had orchestrated this event and Sherry was tagged to give me the talk. Yep, a sex talk from six church ladies. Quite mortifying and hilarious all at the same time.

Check back later for pictures of all the pandemoneium.

21 March 2008

Why I believe in Christ ...

I just want to share with anyone who may be reading this blog, why it is that I trust in Christ alone as my savior.

1. Creation. Growing up I learned "The Big Bang Theory", the theory of evolution, etc... but there were just too many holes. The design and order of this world, even with all the things that go so wrong at times, screams the fact that there must have been a designer behind the design.
2. My own body. There is no medical reason why I should be able to walk and move around--none at all. I've been to the doctors, I've studied Anatomy and Physiology. There's just no explaining it. Must be the work of one stronger than science, one stronger than the weakensses of my own flesh and blood.
3. The witness of others. I didn't come from a "christian" family. There were no prayers said at my home ... there were no hymns sung ... no Bible read. However, for some reason I have been surrounded my believers my entire life. My parents saw it fit to drop me off at church each Sunday once I started school-perhaps it was out of guilt, perhaps it was free daycare. Whatever the reason, at a very early age I began hearing and listening to the testimony of believers who had a relationship with Christ. Now these believers aren't perfect and many of them have lived a very flawed life. However, one thing remains constant--their faith in Christ.
4. The Bible. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners. News flash, huh?! I remember being a very young girl and understanding very well that I was a sinner. How could I not? As much as I got in trouble, and my parents didn't know half of what I did or even worse-what I thought. Look at the newspapers-murders, rape, theft. Look at your own heart. Even if you are for the most part a "Good Person" you sin as well. Whether thinking bad thoughts, displaying a bad attitude, or just not doing all the good you could do. We are all sinners. The Bible tells us that our sin must be punished with death. We will all die -- that is a fact no one can deny. After death comes judgment. It is at this judgment that it will be determined who will be dead eternally or who will live eternally. The Bible tells us that Christ paid the debt of our sins--he died in my place, as my sacrifice, my atonement, my substitute. The Bible tells me to trust in Christ as my Savior. I can't be good enough to earn God's approval. I'm a sinner who is bound for death. Yet there is hope in Christ. God allows us to trust in His son-he gives us the faith to do so.

It is my prayer that this Resurrection season, that you prayerfully consider who Christ is and what relationship you have with Him.


19 March 2008

58 Days - Biblical Wifery

Christian Wives Can Change Lives

Check out this link from IBC here in L'ville from their series on Biblical Femininity & Masculinity.

Favorite Quote:

"You may be as skillfull as the Proverbs 31 wife, but if you're not submissive you won't be helpful."

Valuable Points:

1. Submission is among equals.
2. Submission is not mutual.
3. A wife's submission is exclusive.

18 March 2008


Last night I had a dream about my friend Mojgan. I met Mojgan at an ESL program I served at for a year and a half before graduating seminary. On the first day I met Mojgan, she asked me for help. That afternoon, I ended up scrapping all my plans and driving Mojgan to a single-mother assitance program office and terribly translating her broken English-Farsi to the sweet lady at the office. About six months later Mojgan called me needing more help-her abusive ex-husband was showing up at her work at closing time to talk to her and she was scared. I've shared the gospel with Mojgan and have prayed for her earnestly, though not as earnestly as I ought. I've kinda lost contact with Mojgan over the past 8 months or so. She no longer comes to the ESL program due to her work schedule and I'm not longer there due to my work schedule to get updates from her mom. I usually try to track her down at the Wal-Mart she works at to say 'Hi."

Anyway, last night I had a disturbing dream about her. I had a dream that she called me, needing my help. Something was clearly wrong, though I can't remember what it was. I woke up quite upset this morning ... in that daze, confusion of whether what just occured with real or a dream. I'm not one ot be into the whole "dreams have meaning thing" but I do know that God has and can communicate to us through dreams. Today I have felt burdened for Mojgan in a way that is stronger than ever before. I'm going to try to track her down ... whether at work ... showing up at her home ... somewhere. Please pray for Mojgan, even if my dream is nothing and she is technically OK, she is still trapped in the lies of Islam and that is her real need.

(Mojgan and I at her Naturalization Ceremony-Dec. 22, 2006-also her b'day!)

17 March 2008

60 Days

So we've hit the two month mark. God has been doing a real work on my heart recently.

Sadly, I've felt recently my self-consciousness becoming worse as I look forward to marriage. Born with a weird birth defect that causes me to walk with a limp and other quirky things, my differences never really bothered me and I usually tried to view them as an opportunity to give God glory for enabling me to do things the doctors didn't think were possible. I must admit that deep down, though I always had a desire to be married, I never really thought any guy would want me as physically broken as I am. Then James came into my life. Sweet James who knows everything about me. Stuff only my parents and sister and doctors know - not even my closest best friends really know what all goes on inside my body. Yet James loves me anyway and actually wants to marry me. One would think that such love would be freeing and I would be filled with confidence. Yet I've been surprised that I have suddenly become even more self-conscious. I know all women are self-conscious on their wedding night and such ... but I'm just scared. I guess I have this irrational fear of disappointing him. I say irrational because God tells us that "perfect love drives out all fear" (I John 4:18). While I know James and I's love is not perfect by any stretch of the means ... the fact remains that his love for me and my love for him should not cause fear in each other, but be at ease with one another not fearful of rejection or punishment, etc...

This I need to meditate on more and pray about more.

14 March 2008

64 Days - To Do List

Here's what's left to do:

-find shoes
-get dress altered
-begin tanning?
-finish invitations
-find jewelry
-bridesmaids/flower girl/ring bearer gifts
-two showers in the next 3 weeks
-begin second round of pre-marital counseling with my pastor in April
-buy stamps ... lots of stamps
-think about: hair, makeup, ceremony details, music for ceremony, music for reception, food for reception, cleaning up after reception, yada yada yada

whew ... wanna help? anyone??

13 March 2008

65 Days - Rest

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5
So, the past week has been a blur and it's not even over yet.

Work has been crazy! Our internet/email has been down all week until today so we had to resort to doing everything old school. You know, faxing and *gasp* actually calling a human on the phone.

Monday night after work, I helped James study for his Sci-Fi and the Gospel mid-term. Tuesday night, after work I went to Moe's and Wal-mart with my roomie. Wednesday night, after work James and I taught 15 normally hyper children at his church's Children in Action program. Then I helped him study for his Apologetics mid-term on Thursday until Midnight. Lenny, one of James' best friends at SBTS is leaving to go work with a church in Chicago this weekend so we met with him at Barbara Lee's Kitchen this morning at 6:30am for a goodbye breakfast. Tonight I get to go look at a condo, work on my wedding invitations, finish the guest list. Tomorrow, work then ESL then a going-away party at Lenny's apartment afterwards.

I can't wait until Saturday morning when I can sleep in ... wait ... what's that penciled in on my calendar?! Hospital visitation ... errr ... life is busy. But God is good and that's enough for me.

Photo: Romeo, my sweet brown hound, resting comfortably on his couch at home.

11 March 2008

67 Days-Outdo One Another in Love

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10

Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage is proving again to be a huge blessing as I prepare for marriage. He uses the verse above to exhort readers to strive to outdo their spouse in the love and service. To intentionally seek to do the things that let your spouse know they are loved and appreciated. So, I've kinda made it my own personal goal to begin doing this. Monday I stopped by James' after work to help quiz him on his mid-term that night (which he got a 97 on btw!) and I secretely snuck some Creme Savers and a little note of encouragement in his bookbag when he wasn't looking--it was rather fun!

07 March 2008

71 Days - Helper

I think for a long time, I had a faulty view of what my role would be as a wife. I mistakingly thought that my future husband would be perfect-no weaknesses, no sins that would annoy me, that I would be in awe of his ability to do everything. However, this is not true. All people are sinful (Romans 3:23)
We all have weaknesses, which may or may not be sinful in nature. These weaknesses were present before the fall-hence the reason why it was not good for man to be alone, that he needed a helper--Eve, his wife.

Carolyn Mahaney spoke at a women's conference on "Watching Your Man". How to serve your husband by being a true helpmate-a wife who uses her strengths to help her husband, who picks up the slack where he falls short, and gently encourages him towards godliness even when that involves rebuking/correcting.
Here are some of the main points:

1. God made woman to be a helper for man.Marriage is about love and friendship-part of friendship is helping each other. Proverbs 27:6

2. Know how to correct and how not too. Avoid self-righteousness, be respectful. God commands us to inspect our own heart before inspecting his. Humility is far more important than insight. Being humble will help your husband accept your insight.

3. Know what to correct and what not to correct. We have four options: overlook, forebear, lovingly drop it, and persist. Must distinguish between important and non-important. Ask God for wisdom to pick our battles.

As much as I love James, he is sinful and he has weaknesses. I must admit that I, too, have many weaknesses and am quite sinful.

God has already showed me how our individual strengths and weaknesses work quite nicely together. For example:

James is Mr. Detail-Oriented, especially in the little things. Each purchase he makes, each gift he gives, each project he completes has been combed over thoroughly. I, on the other hand, am a fast-paced worker-I tend to value efficiency over quality in the details, which has been one of the criticisms I receive most at work and school "slow down Melissa, take your time and pay attention to the little things." Sometimes deadlines are present and we can't pay as much attention to little things, but must focus on the big picture and often it is the little things that make a big difference and they shouldn't be overlooked.

James can't multi-task at all. He is the typical boy-one thing at a time. Often this annoys me as I get discouraged when he can't follow my conversation as I jump from item to item. I however pride myself as little Miss Multi-tasker. Sometimes we need to be able to multi-task and other times we need to focus.

James is patient, beyond words and kind beyond belief. I must confess to being passionate to the point that I often over-react. Both of us need to strike a balance between when to be patient and when to act.

I thank God for creating me with gifts and talents that will compliment James' gifts and talents. I pray daily that God prevents me from being prideful of my gifts or being critical of James' weaknesses, but focus on how I can best serve him and improve my weaknesses and avoid my personal sins. I truly do long to be a good helper and need God's help to do that.

06 March 2008

Game Night

Enjoy these snapshots from last Friday's ESL Game Night with our Cuban Friends :)

Eric, Eduardo y Madelyn

Laura Beth, Rachel y Madelyn

Melissa, Eduarito y Emanuel

The Roomies


Emanuel y yo

05 March 2008

73 Days-Apartment Hunting

Can we say stressful? So, I looked at four different places to live yesterday. Three all within 2 hours of getting off work! One of them I LOVED, but it's a little expensive. Two of them are definite no's and one is a maybe. We're checking out two houses to rent today between getting off work and going to church. Woo Hoo!

03 March 2008

75 Days - A weekend home and brake work

I had a wonderful time in Nashville this weekend. Woke up bright and early Saturday morning and drove straight to my sister's house to take my neice shopping for her bridesmaid dress. David's Bridal was rather chaotic, but she has it narrowed down to two dresses, both of which she looked gorgeous in! After dress shopping, we headed to Academy Sports so she could get new volleyball shoes and boy was she excited. I mean girls typically are excited about new shoes, but new volleyball shoes! Then I spent a couple of hours at my sister's house playing with my nephew Woovens while Sharon & Chuck slept, Angela did homework and Andrew played video games. It was a great time!
Then I drove down to Scottsboro to spent the rest of my time in Nashville with Marvin and Kay. We had a great time-just relaxing together and catching up on each other's lives. Marvin's getting a new boat! How exciting!
Then when I got home on Sunday and headed to school to change cars with James (He asked me to drive his car since it is more reliable) I found my sweet guy all covered in grease and grim. Apparently my brakes were leaking brake fluid and Pep Boys wanted $70 in labor plus parts to correct the leak. James was industrious and did it himself. So, I treated him to some great fried chicken at Cracker Barrell. I hated seeing him work so hard, getting so dirty with my old car-but he was more than willing-stating, "If all the baggage you come with is an old car with bad brakes, I can handle taht." He's too kind to me!