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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.

murdock

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

Dear Christian; Do You Want To Be Famous?

I talked about this before and many times in the past few weeks with those close to me. I have seen so many people shooting for overnight fame. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. But at what cost?

People often don’t consider the cost of fame. We see celebrities dying of accidental (or on purpose) overdoses, suicide, etc. They are in depression, lonely, sometimes in jail. I don’t see much attractive about that lifestyle. Oh money? You think that’s the awesome benefit of fame? ok, sure, you have some money and can buy this buy that, but what about your quality of life? I don’t know may people that would commit suicide if they were living a great life filled with love and pure joy. So money obviously doesn’t provide that.

Sometimes fame imposes itself upon our lives. Take the lady that spoke to news reporters about the fire (Lord Jesus, there’s a fire), or the guy that told news reporters that everyone need to hide (hide your wife, hide  your kids, they’re raping everybody), or most recently Chewbaca Mom, made famous in one night for her infectious laugh. Well you can choose to use your newly appointed platform for personal gain (money, fame, etc) or you can use your platform for spreading the word of God. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, this should be your automatic response.

I challenge you to consider your motives. In everything we do, it should be to glorify God.

Galations 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Matthew 6:1-7 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …

 

Giving It Your All

This morning, I had an interview for a really awesome job. The position was for a sales assistant at a real estate company. It has great hours, great pay with raises and bonuses a plenty, company phone, company laptop, gas allowance and amazing benefits. The icing on the cake is that its only a 15 minute drive with no traffic EVER!!

The interview was a group interview. Usually these are pretty stressful. You easily get lost in the pack of 25 people while trying to stand out without rudely speaking over everyone. This group interview though, was different. There were only 4 of us and almost immediately I felt like the job was mine. Not sure why I had such a healthy dose of confidence today, but I did and I basked in it.

One woman stood up and introduced herself and started low key bragging of all the business she has started (and lost in her divorce). Not sure why she felt the need to tell us that but she did. So, you can imagine they had looks n their face of complete disinterest. The guy stood up and spoke of his world travels and education from abroad. That was a little intimidating. Next a lady with years of apartment property management experience spoke and demonstrated her notebook full of certificates. Then I was up. The first thing I said was “Im not money driven” lol whyyyyyyy did I say that? Its a sales job. Money is exactly what drives it. Then I told them I am a gospel hip-hop artist. After I thought about it, I figured I didn’t look like much of a catch. But I gave it to God and then gave it my all.

God had different plans though. I got chosen to move to the next phase which is a paid 3 days of training. After that will be the salaried position with awesome company perks. So from what I can tell is that when God has something for you, it doesn’t matter what you do, you cant mess it up. If you walk in faith and the authority given to you by Him, you will be successful at whatever you attempt.

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.


Philippians 4:19  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

faith

 

 

Woman

Woman. Mother. Wife. Girlfriend. Sister. Daughter. Grandmother. While these words are amazing and demand respect, they can easily be stripped of their power. Sometimes, the words to describe the female can be traded out for words that have different meanings. Taxi driver. Doctor. Counselor. Operations manager. Housekeeper. Cook. This list can go on and on. If you know a woman, or are a woman, you know this is true.

No one notices the mother as she so elegantly keeps the house running smoothly. Never letting any one miss a meal. No one sees her ninja moves as she gracefully catches dirty clothes, headed for the floor, in mid-air without ever letting them reach their intended destination. No one thinks about how awesome she is for cooking a full meal complete with desert while holding a baby on her hip and talking on the phone with one of the other kids teachers and balancing the check book. How does she do it? Do you ever wonder? Do you ever thank her? Do you even see her?

Hardly ever is the woman that works at the coffee shop that whips up your mocha latte frappe-whatever-its called drink every morning, ever thanked or admired. More than likely she has another full-time job or is a full-time student. When you see her though, she’s just a coffe shop girl, waitress, minimum wage earner. You devalue her based on a surface level judgment. She may not have kids. She may not even be married, but I guarantee you she is a valuable key player in someone’s life. Quite possibly yours. Next time you have a female waitress, cashier, sales agent, customer service agent or doctor, think of them outside of their gender. Think of them outside of their rank. Think of them instead, as a person that does a lot of a lot of people and not enough for herself.

Most women, not all, but most, have a hard time taking care of themselves before others. I personally struggle with this. We sometimes feel guilty for wanting to do stuff that makes only us happy. We feel like we are neglecting those around us. We don’t feel worthy of the extra attention on ourselves. This is from people making women feel so pressured to go and go and go and go. Women are not the energizer bunny! We are super heroes though. I’m just saying.

No one would exist without woman. I hope that the next time you see a woman, you see past her outer shell of continuous selfishness. See her for who she is and how awesome she is. Thank her. Tell her she’s beautiful. Tell her you’re proud of her.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers

Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

woman

P.T.S.D.

“You most certainly have P.T.S.D.” That was what the psychologist told me, and in such a matter of fact way. She said it as if it was a no-brainer and as if she could not understand why I didn’t know already.

Thinking back to most of my childhood and pretty much all of my adulthood, I can understand why this was my diagnosis. I just was in a full state of disbelief because P.T.S.D. was for war vets! I had never heard of anyone outside of our veterans having it. In retrospect, I have been to war! I have survived traumatic events in childhood, abusive relationships, resentment from family members, bullying, identity crisis, faced a prison sentence, abusive marriage, divorce, fake friends, unclosed emotional wounds, more abusive relationships (obviously more than I person should have experienced), been on my death bed (more than once)…the list goes on. I am a survivor! I am a war vet!

Having P.T.S.D. is no excuse for any negative behavior, but much like a war vet that has P.T.S.D., there are things that trigger certain behaviors, responses and reactions. Although, in the moment, the reaction may feel like the right thing to do or say, it’s most likely not. But what happens after one has been triggered? for me, my thoughts get caught up in a train that goes around and around in a circle of repetition. I remember a situation that was similar to the one I’m currently in and then I start to see a familiar pattern. Once this happens, I am thinking a million miles an hour and have a hard time getting off that train. I am actively trying to solve the problem before I really even know what the problem is. I become a strange blend of defensive and offensive which keeps me busy for a while, even long after the other person has walked away.

I don’t like it and I can imagine that any one else who suffers P.T.S.D. hates it as well. I like to tell my story about the things I have overcome. But I like to try to tell them from a place of victory. Because, I feel like I am victorious. Truth be told though, as long as I allow myself to fall into the dark pit of my own memories, I am keeping myself hostage. I can not enjoy my friendships or relationships because Im in constant fear of being hurt again. A huge part in dealing with this is having friends and loved ones around who know you have it and understand  (to the best of their ability) what it feels like.  If you try it alone…you may only end up worse off….trust me. Seek counseling, have an accountability partner, talk to a pastor and BE HONEST!

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

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