Thursday, December 30, 2010

Any Thing But Normal

"I just want to feel normal." is what was tossed in my face tonight as I enforced one of the rules in our house.  
That line cracks me up, and I responded with "There is no normal when you follow God."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Self-Realization time

So, there are moments in life where your eyes are opened up and you realize something about yourself.  Some of them can be good moments (like when you found out that you had feet as an infant).  And other moments of self-realization are not so great.

I had a not so great moment of self-realization tonight.  Before I get right to the point I would like to give you a little bit of a set up first.  There are two groups of people that I like to spend time with here in the city after evening events.  One group is my age and I love them all.  They are intelligent, fun-loving and very focused on developing deep and meaningful relationships.  It's a great group that I really am honored to be a part of it.  The other group is slightly older then I am and also intelligent, fun-loving, and focused on developing deep and meaningful relationships.  Normally I wouldn't have any problem with bouncing back and forth between them (and that's what I've been doing for a while now) but tonight something happened.  I realized something about myself that I had never known before.  I am a relational wuss.  I don't want to commit to one group or the other because it leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed when I share too much with people.  I like to hold back.

For the last few months I've been spending more time with the older group because it's easier for me.  They demand less of me.  I don't have to work as hard to feel like I fit.  Most of the people in that group think like I do and are as quick (if not quicker) to spout off some sarcastic remark in response to someone  else's statements.  It's easy there.  I'm comfortable with them.  I don't have to work to belong or to join in, it just happens.

When I'm with the group that is more towards my age it feels dangerous and unsafe.  I'm afraid that if I do show myself that I won't be acceptable or that I will say something wrong.  It's kind of like being in the 7th grade all over again.  I know that it shouldn't be that way because they already know me and they seem to like me but I'm just not sure about it.  The work that it is going to take for me to find my place in that group is demanding and intense.  

I've been copping out lately with the whole "but my work takes so much from me emotionally that I don't want to have to be emotionally engaged when I'm hanging out with people."  Such a lame excuse.  It robs me of so much.  I am allowing my laziness and my own fears to steal away my enjoyment of the people that God has placed in my life.  God has made me for relationships and when I bail out on that I am bailing out on his will for my life.  One of the things I came to the city for was to develop relationships with other people that are in my age group and now I'm avoiding the involvement in it.

So, now I've got to choose.  Do I remain this relational wuss person that I have become out of my fears, lack of motivation and sense of self-entitlement or do I suck it up and dive in no matter what the cost?

Have you ever been a relational wuss?  What happened and how did you deal with it? (Did you deal with it?) Join me and take the dive, jump in and give even when you're afraid of rejection.  Worst thing that can happen is we cry a little, right?

Nervous and Committing,

Mel C

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Babies and Toddlers, Toddlers and Babies...

So, I'm part of a singles ministry group at my church.  That means, obviously, that there are a lot of couples involved that have babies or toddlers.  Tonight we went caroling as a group.  I was privileged enough to carry a young baby around during our first half hour or so.  It was so breath taking to sing songs about the birth of Christ as I carried this baby around in the cold.  (She was wrapped up to the point that both of us were sweating, so stop your worrying about her being out in the cold!)  I very rarely get to be around infants but when I am something in my clicks and finds peace at the simplicity of a new life.  I know that being a parent isn't simple or easy, but man oh man being an infant is pure instincts.

We ended our night at our singles ministers house.  I got to hold a teeny tiny little girl there for a while.  She was so new she doesn't focus yet.  And then I had to toddlers climb up in my lap, hand me a picture bible and tell me to read.  We spent the better part of an hour "reading" through the Old Testament in this Bible.  It was precious because one of them knew some of the stories that the pictures went with and would get really excited about them.

I'm not sure what it is about being around children that makes me feel like a real person, but something just fits.  (I know that it's because I'm a lady and I was made for that but it feels like something so much more then that.)  I love knowing that there is this little person who doesn't know much about the world except for the love they have been and are being shown.  It blows my mind and makes me want to be a better person.  I want more times like this in my life.  Yeah.

Mel C

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Emotional Defrag

So, we had graduation today.  What that means is that two of the ladies in the house completed the ceremony and have now left our home.  It's part of the job, but man it's rough.  It's so exciting that it'll take your breath away but at the same time it leaves you feeling like part of your family is gone, because they are.

Our program is more of a family then it actually is a program.  The ten students that we have become sisters to each other.  They are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  (And yes, it gets as tedious as it sounds.)  The bonds and the relationships that they build are the some of the first healthy ones that some of these women have ever had.  The two ladies that left today were key in the dynamic of the house.

I didn't realize how much this would impact me until I found myself staring at the walls in the office trying to will myself to do something.  One of the ladies told me tonight that I can't hold my emotions in because it will get to be bad real quick.  The issue is that I feel the need to be this strong, steady person for them because no one else has been.  On days like today I usually fail at that.  Today was no different.

I broke apart tonight.  Not in some huge emotional snot-fest, but in a weeping, teary eyed push through it kind of way.  It was really amazing though.  Because in the middle of me having to deal with myself I was also having to deal with an argument that had occurred.  I love how just when we feel like we have no value and no use God will prove to us that he is still able to not only use us, but that he wants us.

Tonight was about me being reminded that I am not alone and that all the ladies here are more then just my students, they are also my sisters.  One of Satan's tricks is to make us think that we are alone in this mess called life.  It's a lie.  We are not alone.  God is with us and he will usually provide a network of people to support and encourage you when you need it the most.  And if not, He will be more then enough support for you.  He has proven this more times that I can count in my life and in the history of the church.

So, tonight as I am emotionally empty and drained I turn to him and choose to rest in His presence because I am not alone.  I am his and he is mine.

Emotionally done,

Mel C

Reasons why I love my job...

This past May I moved from my cozy small college town that I called home to the biggest city in the state for a new job.  I live and work in a Bible based addiction and recovery home for women.  I have had a lot of days that ended with me crying and wondering why I have to be here and deal with the mess that comes from this work but today was a huge reminder of why I love being here and dealing with this mess.  In honor of that I'm going to share with you some reasons why I love my job...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Avoiding the Necessary and Making My Bucket List

So, I've been avoiding this blog for a few weeks.  It's not something I'm proud of just a continuation of a well established bad habit.  I tend to avoid things that I'm uncertain about.  Let me give you a few examples.  I currently should be finishing up a training manual for work, putting together several craft-based Christmas gifts, cleaning my bedroom, organizing my desk, putting together a DVD for Tuesdays graduation service, folding clothes, and any other number of things.  So, I've decided to blog for the first time in two weeks because none of the rest of that is really calling my name right now.

Why I've been avoiding my blog is a completely different story.  I just am not really sure that I like the direction this whole thing is going in.  I like having a place to express myself, but I'm struggling with expressing myself here.   Maybe I need some kind of point in this.  Or perhaps I struggle because the idea of this being out there for the whole wide world to read is scary (even though I've only told 3 people about it and so I'm slipping under the radar of local and international interest).  I think the real reason I'm having a hard time is because I'm afraid of being rejected.  I don't like to do things that I'm not sure I'll be successful at.  I prefer to ignore my homework when it scares me.  I don't clean once my space gets past a certain point because, well I'm lazy and get annoyed at my lack of concern for tidiness. But I didn't get on here today to talk about why I procrastinate, I got on here to respond to a post from my dear friend at  Earlier this week she posted about her bucket list and tagged several other bloggers (including me) and asked what would be on our bucket lists, so here it goes:


  • I want to visit more countries then my step-grandfather did.  (He went to over 90 countries in his life.  I am currently at 8, well 9 if you count America.) 
  • I want to recreate some of the pictures that I have of my Grandmother in those places.  (There are some pretty awesome black and whites of her in places like Rome, Venezuela, Peru, all over Europe.  It's been really cool to look through them and be able to say, "Hey, I've been there.)
  • I want a family, a big huge family.  We're talking at least 4 kids and who ever else wants to join us can.  (Table for 12 please.)
  • I want a marriage that reflects the love and forgiveness of God.  (aka someone who is can forgive all the mistakes that I make on a regular basis.)
  • I would like to pull myself together long enough to write a book.
  • I want to be debt free (that may not sound that exciting to you, but for me it would mean a new kind of freedom).
  • I want to see the 7 wonders of the world.
  • I want to spend some time in the Amazon River Area.  (like several months)
  • I want to go out "dressed to the 9's" for no real reason.
  • I would like to pay someone to do my make up for me for at least a week (random, but true.  I've always wanted my own personal stylist.)
  • I want to dance (classy kind of dancing) under a street light with out a care about who is watching.
I think that's a good start.  There are a lot of other things I want to do, but these are the ones that have come up first.  So, there you have it.  11 things that I hope to do before I die.  And honestly I believe that God has more exciting things then this for me, I'm just to nervous to put them in writing at this point.  So, what's your bucket list look like?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Today is the day that our nation takes time to give thanks.  I love this holiday, I would even be willing to label it as my favorite holiday of the year.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and I enjoy giving (and getting) gifts and celebrating the birth of my Savior.  But there is just something about thanksgiving that makes it sparkle in my life.  Maybe it was because we always tried to fit the entire family into my grandmothers house for so long.  Or just spending time with my family for no reason.  I treasure this time of year.  I love the laughter and smiles that go with card games after lunch.  The shopping the next day is so unproductive that it's laughable, but it is a tradition that carries on because it's an excuse for us to spend time together.  I love Thanksgiving because it's a time when my family can gather together and enjoy each other with the purpose of enjoying each other.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Sinner pretending to be a Saint.

Tonight I was given the opportunity to prove how much of a failure I am and I took it, with gusto.  I mean let's face it, when I do something I like to go all in and I did tonight.  It's not like it was a huge thing.  I just spoke with out thinking to one of the students as I was leaving after working an 11 hour day.  I was tired and moody because who wants to load groceries for 14 adults into their car in the pouring rain, not this kid.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dead on my feet...

Today I feel like I've been dead on my feet for most of the last four days.  And now I'm just going to make a list of random things that I want to address in this post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Odd times at the Banquet

So, at work this week we had our annual banquets.  These banquets are a huge deal because I work for a non-profit organization and this is how we get the money to cover the end of the year expenses in our budgets and hopefully get a nice nest egg to begin the next year on.  Tonight we had our second and smaller of the two banquets.  It was catered.  We were responsible for pouring the tea and lemonade into glasses for the guests to get as they went through the food line.  We expected 300 people to be at the one tonight, and 300 people showed up.  I would like to tell you that everything ran smoothly and went off with out a hitch but it didn't.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why do we ladies feel that pain is necessary to be beautiful?

Tonight and tomorrow night are important nights for the house.  It's our annual banquet nights in two separate cities and it's kind of fancy.  As we were at a pre-function luncheon on of the ladies asked if she could pluck my eyebrows.  I personally have no issues with my eyebrows, she however really wants to shape them up.  Which I appreciate her wanting to "enhance my beauty" (her words, not mine) but I do not want to sit in a chair and let someone remove the hair above my eyes with tweezers.  I will gladly go to a trained professionally and let them rip all the excess hairs out with wax and cloth, but that whole tweezing thing is torture and should be used by spies.  "We'll see if you talk when I'm through ridding you of all your eyebrows.... mmmuuuuuuhhahahahahahah!"

When does serving stop?

I work in a para-church (that's a fancy word I've learned at seminary) organization where I spend my entire day serving and meeting the needs of the ten students we have here. So I present this question; at what point do I get to say enough is enough, I don't need to serve you?

Tonight at church we talked about serving and about what it takes in volunteer manpower to run our church.  The numbers were huge.  Technically speaking we have volunteer positions for everyone.  And everyone really should be serving to build up and support the church body as a whole.  I'm not saying that I don't want to serve at my church because I do.  I love serving at church and being a part of the family and I know that it is the quickest way to become comfortable with the people there but I'm lazy.  I work 40 plus hours a week at the house and then spend one of my two days off at school.  I 'll be honest I've been avoiding the topic with the people I know at the church because I didn't want to get involved.  Part of me wants to say "I've spent the last 7 years in ministry, don't I deserve a break?  Why shouldn't I get to stay home every now and again?" Then the singles minister started talking about how we should be serving in the church body.  And there is the issue of what Jesus says and the fact that I am trying to be like Jesus so that others will understand a little more about who he is (and isn't).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things that keep me up at night.

Sometimes at night I can't sleep. (okay, so it's more like 3 out of 7 nights a week, but who's counting?)  The other night was one of those nights.  I was avoiding a lot of work and was really apprehensive about the amount of work I have to get done and so I couldn't sleep.  Most nights I will just clear my mind, make a mental list, and then go to sleep.  It didn't work.  So I tried stretching and relaxing my muscles into the bed, but that failed also.  So I gave up and let my mind run.  And my mind ran to one of the most unusual places you can imagine.  I've been reading my friend's blog about simplifying her life at  She is trying to cut back the number of items she personally has to 100 items.   She amazes me and I'm not sure how she is doing it, but she is.

That chain of thought led me to consider what are some of the strangest items that I own and would have a hard time parting with.  These are not things that I need everyday or even every year, but they are things I'm attached to.  I spent somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour trying to figure out what I would consider to be my most random possession.  I have decided to share some of the finalists (and the winner) here with you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Beginning...

I feel like those kids from "High School Musical" because I really want to sing the song about starting something new.  I really pumped to be starting a blog.  It's something I would have done weeks ago but I had a research paper to avoid, I mean write, and this blog is my reward for finishing my paper.  I really don't have much to say right now, except that it's election day and I need to go vote.  But I refuse to be the lady there in her pajamas, so first I have to shower.  

I guess I'll let you know a little bit about me.  I live in a house with 11 other women, it's as crazy as it sounds.  I work in an addiction recovery and discipleship program and spend most of my days trying to teach ladies how to become women of God.  I have just joined a new church (I moved here in May from my home of 8 or so years).  I love the space I live in.  I've been a Christian for a little more then 8 years and I have no idea where God is going to lead me next, but I'll super pumped that he has led me here.  Well, I've gotta' go get ready to vote.  Talk to you kids later!