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Strong Enough!

When I was younger, I wanted to be like my dad. I mimicked the strangest things like sitting like him, laughing like him (I still make fun of his laugh but its sort of more like a mockery now…its all love though). I would get my feelings hurt if he cut the grass without me, took a walk without me, played Nintendo (my system) without me or even took the trash out without me. These were things my dad and I did. I don’t even know if he knows to this day how important these times were to me. I was the only child for 7 years so its understandable that my dad would be one of my best friends.

For a while the trash can was too tall and often too heavy for me to tote to the end of the drive way and I would get frustrated, I dropped the can a few times but I kept trying. Not only was it a chore (that I earned allowance for…obviously reason enough) it was something my dad had taught me.

The other thing that I remember specifically when it comes to things my dad taught me, was how to mow the yard. Filling the mower with gas (using only the can without the black spot, that one had some other concoction in it), priming the mower and pulling the string to get it started…..oh the string. I hated that part. I was not strong enough to do it on my own and had to go get my dad every time (and every time, he would tell me that I was strong enough) I let go of the little bar thingy that keeps the mower running. I would get seriously upset after trying several times, to the point of blister calluses on my hands. I would give up. I simply was not strong enough.

Fast forward to today. Today was trash day and luckily I have a dope husband who will take the trash out but if I needed to, I can totally handle it. I got home from work and wanted to work out, so I decided to mow the yard as my workout session. The law mower I grabbed is basically broken so every time I went over a pat of the yard where the grass was a little thick, it would just shut down. The motor was getting choked out by all of the grass and the blades could no longer spin. (I guess, that’s my guess on why it was shutting down anyways). So, I had to keep pulling the dreaded string like…every 3 to 5 minutes. I did not even hesitate. I just reached down and pulled it until it started again, sometimes angrily, sometimes about 5 times but each time, it started eventually. I could have got my husband to pull the string or even mow the yard, but I pushed through the frustration and reminded myself that I am strong enough.

So my take away from this small lesson was that what you teach your kids will have an impact on them, if not now, definitely later in life. To be affected by a couple of motivational speeches from my dad in the 80’s speaks volumes. What are you teaching your kids? Entitlement? Slothfulness? Selfishness? Pride? Anger?

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You Are Not On The List

Recently, my brother graduated from the Air Force as a pilot trainer. My husband, son and I drove from Atlanta to Oklahoma to witness him receive his wings. After driving 12 hours, I noticed that I didn’t have my current license with me. Instead, I had an expired one. I had switched purses the night before and the current one fell out and was left behind.

We approached the gate and I did everything in my power to prove my identity (along with being on the list of guest for my brother), I provided my social security card and my expired license. I was able to get in. I entered the base like this for the next 2 days without incident, until the night before I was scheduled to leave.

My husband and I left the base to go get a burger, leaving my son at my brothers base housing with the rest of my family. The plan was to watch movies with my nieces and play cards with my brother while we ate our burgers. As we pulled back up to the gate, we both pulled out our identification cards, and in my case, also my social security card, and we drove forward with full confidence and empty stomachs. We handed the information to the new guy on shift and waited, and waited and waited. The young recruit came to the window and said that my husband was free to go but that I could no longer be on the base. Say whatttttt?!!! We pulled our vehicle to the back of the building where the cars having issues have to park and I walked over to the building so that I could try to get to the bottom of this. I was hungry, tired and unsure of what was happening.

The guy saw me approaching and came out of his little box to approach me.. I said, “Ok whats going on here?” he responded by telling me that I was not on the list and that my id was expired so he could not let me enter. I was in shock. ” I have been here all weekend, what do you mean? what list are you looking at?” He said “Ma’am you cant enter you need to leave the base because you being here with an expired id is a felony and i could write that up right now!” My jaw hit the floor. “What? How am I just now committing a felony when I have been here all weekend?” I proceeded to tell him that I have a current id card and that I know for a fact that I am on the list. He refused to look again (he had “looked” three times before). I still don’t know what list he was looking at, because I was on it. He told me there was no way to look my id up in the system to verify that  I was current so I was out of luck!

So, because I am saved and my attitude has undergone an overhaul, I did not want to deal with this man the way I would have formerly, plus….the way my life is set up, I was not in the mood for going to a military jail in a country town of Oklahoma….nah I’m good on that! He allowed my husband to go on base to collect our belongings and my son, while I stood in the grassy area of the gated entrance waiting for him to pick me up. We were being forced to head back to Atlanta that evening with no rest. We finally got it arranged to switch places with my parents and take their hotel room while they stayed the night at my brothers base housing. While I waited for my husband, the gate keepers had a shift change. The new guy was briefed on the situation with the crazy lady in the grass that was crying and getting attacked by bugs. He came over to me, he apologized for the way the previous guy handled me. He invited me inside to wait for my husband. I stood against the wall feeling completely violated and mistreated and then…a girl that was there for all of it, advised me that she had looked me up and told me that I did in fact have a current id (I know, that’s what I told you guys) and  that I was in fact on the list (I know, I also told you that) but that I still couldn’t get on base because I did not have my actual current id with me. Now I became upset again. I felt like I just could not win. I told them who I was, they didn’t believe me, they found out who i was but it still wasn’t good enough and yet again I’m crying and upset. “Just let me leave, I don’t event want to be here anymore” I said. Then the nice guy came to me and advised me that he spoke to his superior and told him everything and that they were going to allow me on for that one night but I had to leave all of my id with them and retrieve it in the morning.

After all of this, it dawned on me. We as believers, walk around and claim we are the true children of God, the co-heirs to the kingdom, but only when it’s convenient. Have you ever used your id to impress a fellow male/female believer in order to date them? How about to do “ministry” but were really only seeking the love offering or merchandise sales as opposed to doing the actual mission?  How many times as Christians, do we claim we are followers of Christ, but don’t have the id to prove it? Did you have the id but it is now expired from inactivity? How many times have you used the id simply for the status, the discount or the entry to some cool workshop, concert or conference? Well let’s hope that your id is current and up to date, or better yet that it is not fake!!! Like the nice guy at the gate who vouched for me, Jesus can also vouch for us with the Father. I would surely hate to think that I have been repping my status in the kingdom but my id is actually invalid and I AM NOT ON THE LIST.

matt7-23

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Happy Father’s Day

This will certainly be a different way to honor my father, but it will be the best way I can express my appreciation for him!

I was raised in a God-fearing home, we went to church every time the door was open, ate dinner together at the table (sometimes I stayed at the table much longer than the rest of the family because I wouldn’t eat my veggies) we went on camping trips, and so many more amazing experiences.

My dad taught me how to change a tire, change the oil on my car, how to fish (I still don’t touch the worm…or the fish) he taught me how to play video games and helped me with my math homework (I hate math still) he even did (i mean helped lol) my science projects. Science projects are his favorite thing to do…I’m pretty sure he did all of his children’s every year! Even though these things are all amazing and they provide some great memories, the thing Im most grateful for is not listed. I am most grateful for the times he punished me for disobeying, lying, stealing, etc.

There is a very memorable times he punished me that has stuck with me forever. I stole a jolly rancher from 7-11. After we payed for the gas (and after I pocketed the candy) I got into the car while he pumped the gas. I jumped into the backseat thinking i could hurry up and eat the cherry jolly rancher before he got back in to the car. Fool proof plan….except is was CINNAMON! My mouth was on fire, I was already dedicated to my crime so I had to finish and in a hurry. When he got back in the car he immediately smelled it and asked me what I was doing. I was hiding on the floor in the backseat with the jolly rancher stuck in my teeth making it hard to talk and i was dying of thirst from the heat. He said, “WHAT DID YOU DO? GET OUT OF THE CAR”. He had me spit the jolly rancher out, place it back in the wrapper and made me walk into the store to tell on myself. ~sigh~ with my head held low, I walked in and told the manager what I did and walked back out to the car. It was longest and saddest walk in my life!!!! He had taught me a lesson in honesty, broke my pride and displayed love all at the same time. I didn’t like it much then but I definitely appreciate it today!

Thank you dad! I love you!14115446_10153992803022998_4272577544921381016_o

In Search Of…The Good Life

 

Grab a newspaper, grab a pen, stress out over the lack of dividends

Circle this, circle that, wonder how to get your resume in the proper format

Make some calls, leave some messages,  obsess over your countless disadvantages.

Grow impatient, fall apart, allowing anger, discontentment even idolatry to take over your heart

Looking for a job, has now become your job, you start to feel defeated, now  all you can do is sob.

It starts to become an addiction, waking up early, going to bed late, ignoring your mate.

You forget to be grateful for things that you have and start to be resentful because of the things you

don’t have.

When a job calls, it sends you on a natural high and you start to dream about the way it can provide a

better life. But when you get the rejection letter it makes you realize that your degree and experience

don’t  guarantee much, now you look around and see your  beautiful family, home, health and feel

God’s touch.  All of the time spent on looking for a better job, to climb the corporate ladder pales in

comparison to God’s blessings and suddenly money doesn’t even matter.

 

See, this is a metaphor for how God feels,  when we seek out other “gods” and He’s  already paid our

emotional and literal bills. He allows us to chase for these worldly things so that we can find out that we

had all we needed to begin with.

 

 

 

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It Is Well With My Soul

I am sitting at the dining table in my husbands mum-mum’s (grand-mother) house in Lahnam, Md. We are here for the celebration and home-going of his pop-pop (grand-father). Who, by the way, was a great man. I didn’t even have to know him to be able to make that assumption.

We drove from Texas to Atlanta to meet up with my father-in-law and family in order to ride to Maryland together. We have all been in the same house for almost 3 days and surprisingly enough, had not had any problems, no fights, no one has been overly irritated with anyone else, it has been nice! It speaks volumes for the family’s closeness and the way that they were raised. This house has been filled with nothing but love since the first day we walked in. The children of this amazing man, WILLIAM P. MURDOCK JR, have been making sure that everyone around them has any and everything that they need. Not one of them, including his beautiful bride, has stopped working to make us, an any guest that comes by, comfortable. They are actually cooking breakfast (a large one I’m sure) as I type this blog.

Yesterday after service, my husband and his cousins jumped on the church’s stage and took over the instruments. No practice, no plans, just each person taking their respective place at the instrument they felt most comfortable with and started making beautiful music. During service, I learned that the infamous pop-pop was also very talented musically. He played the saxophone and had a gospel band while away in the Korean war.

As each person got up and spoke about Mr. Murdock and his character, I discovered that my husband is basically an exact replica of this awesome man. From the way that he handles stressful situations, to his desire and ability to work hard to the way that he sits quietly, assumingly not having any emotions or thoughts, but all the while, sitting in very deep thought but keeping emotions out of decisions. I envy this. But more importantly, I am so excited to know that I am married to someone who will no doubt leave behind such a wonderful legacy of love, commitment (he was married for 59 years) and love for the Lord.

Thank you Murdock family for allowing me to be a part of this amazing family event, even though somber, it has been an awesome time being amongst all of this love and acceptance.

Thank you Mr. William “Billy” P. Murdock Jr. for being such a strong man. Thank you for raising all of these people in the way that they should go.  From his wife, to his children, to his grandchildren, you have made a lasting impression on every one of them.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.

The channel-surfing, train conducting, hard-working, Lord loving man William. P. Murdock Jr.

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People are fickle!

As I reflect on this past weekend, which was full of love from family and friends, I have to stop and think about those that proved their worth in my life (in both good and bad ways).

My husband I have been married since May 1st, as I previously discussed in another blog. We had our public ceremony on Saturday. There were a couple people that should have been there, that either had really lame excuses excuse at all. While this doesn’t affect my daily activities or the fact that we had a blast regardless, it does hurt to think that I put some people on a pedestal that I definitely should not have. This is not new nor is it isolated to me. People will disappoint us. No one can have the same heat we have and we have to stop assuming that people will never hurt us. We don’t have to live in fear, but we do have to live guarded and remember to put only one on a throne.  God.

This wedding ceremony was my first and last and it was a success. I am so grateful to those that were a part of it whether by being in attendance or helping out. Some relationships were made stronger because of it.

Just know that we are here for more. We are called to be more like Christ. I love those who have hurt my husband and I as if they never hurt us. You can do this too. It is hard, but it is possible. When we do this, we display the greatest commandment of all. He calls us to love others.

John 13:35 – Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples

Philippians 4:13 –  I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.

 

 

Running The Rat Race

I am sitting here at my job watching my co-workers frantically answer emails, file reports, make and receive calls (that all seem so important) and smoke cigarettes like they actually have life enhancing properties. I am just in awe. I am literally shaking my head in  a combination of disgust and pity for these people who think that this is life.

I have never been one to enjoy spending long hours away from loved ones to help some individual I don’t know personally build their empire. Working with family doing something I love would be ideal!!! I just cant get on board with simply being an employee (or sometimes a number) in a sea of other numbers under some man/woman that I don’t know and that will never come and get to know me.

My irritation actually starts in the car on the way to work. Seeing all the people in their cars speeding to get to work, smoking in their cars, hearing of some people leaving their kids in the car because they were distracted by thoughts of work. I’m disgusted with our lack of enthusiasm for our own lives. I’m bothered by the fact that we are willing to just accept that this is what we have to do to survive. No one wants to take a chance on their passions and become their own boss. If we would come together with our friends and families and make a company that each one loves to be a part of, work wouldn’t be work.

Working is good. It shows character. Working demonstrates appreciation for Gods blessings on your life. I just cannot get with the idea of making work my God. The people I have talked about in the article are the type that are making their job their idol. Willing to continuously miss time with family, time in church, all for the sake of the dollar. The stress they have is due to lack of funds. The stress I have is due to lack of time in ministry and time with my spouse.

Signing off. Just needed to express the thoughts in this working woman’s mind.

 

Dangerous Places Are Safe Places

I heard the phrase “Dangerous places are safe places” for the first time at church in our youth department on a Wednesday night after my husband and I signed up to be a part of the growth that is no doubt taking place there. But, anyways this phrase has stuck with me since then. It is the most profound statement and truer words have never been spoking (well maybe a few, but you know what I’m saying).

When we think of dangerous places we think of we think of 3rd world countries, places where our type (Christian) would not be accepted, etc. But dangerous places are also gang heavy neighborhoods, strip clubs, bars, clubs, school and even work. These are places where not fitting in, claiming to be  Christian or simply being the wrong color can lead to a dangerous outcome. We usually shy away from these places. If we do find ourselves in a situation where we have to be in one of these dangerous places, we tend to blend. Blending in is safe…its comfortable. We have to stop blending in! Stop being weak!

If you are walking in the authority given to you by God, and he has called you to go to these areas, you must go boldly. Dangerous places are safe places. This means that if he leads you to a dangerous place….he will protect you and keep you safe. YOU WILL BE FINE, YE OF LITTLE FAITH!

next time you feel fear, anxiety or concern over the reaction of others when you speak of Jesus Christ…talk about him anyways. Fight the fear! once you do, you may be surprised at the open ears that some may have. The one that God meant to hear you, will hear you. They may not respond, just know you did your part and you planted the seed.

Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.

Bride To Be

In May, my husband and I decided that getting married was the only choice we had once it was necessary for me to move in. We already wanted to get married, but we just sped the process up to avoid living outside of God’s will.

It has been almost 4 months now and we are planning our wedding ceremony, which will serve as our public display of our marriage. Something like a late reception. I am pretty excited, actually. I have never been the one to care about dresses, color schemes, flower arrangements and whatever else there is to worry about. (I still haven’t figured it all out yet).

As the day approaches (2 weeks), I am exhausted with it all. I have managed however, to spend very little in my planning. I am hand making some of the décor, borrowing some, and allowing  to just happen. I am making sure to not have such dedication to my plans that I am over come by stress or worse…turn into a bridezilla!! I have met several speed bumps along the way during this marriage and hand making decorations while juggling a full time job and full time ministry has proven to be really  taxing.

My husband has been super supportive and offering to help make stuff, go shopping for dresses with me, shop for spray paint and look for mason jars. Thankfully, because I don’t have a lot of help outside of him. He reminds me of how Jesus is always available for us. It makes me realize that no matter how much or little we put in to our relationship with him, he loves us just the same. It is us who thinks we aren’t worthy of unconditional love which causes us to walk away from him. He does, however, want us to put on a public display of our relationship with him as well. We should strive daily to demonstrate our love for him and show the public how serious we are about it.

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.

bride

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