Thursday, November 17, 2011

today I'm broken.  it has been a week of realizing just how messed up I am; of having sin brought to light; of repenting and tears.  it has been a messy, messy week.  I don't know how to share it with the ladies that I work with. I'm not sure how to teach them the things I want them to learn from this time in my life.  it's all i can do to not break down and cry when i look at them.

they need so much more then I know how to provide.  they need more then me, they need God in all his fullness to come into their hearts and change them on a regular basis.  I need God in all his fullness to come into my heart and change me on a regular basis.  I know this is a truth as old as time, but it is currently one of the hardest things I'm trying to understand and apply in my life.

How do you teach something you have no understanding of yourself?  How do you convey the importance of an issue when you know that you don't really understand what's going on either?

I'm struggling today.  It has been rough here, but I can still quote my friends and say "I don't know the way, but I know THE WAY."

Tears and growing pains,
Mel C

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creative Changes

When I think about what it takes to be a writer I consider how I used to write.  I used to write on an almost daily basis.  I felt like I had something new to express every day and so I expressed it.  Everything started changing when I began to find other outlets.  When I was writing everyday it was because I didn't do any other creative activities.  

That all changed when I began to work at a bakery after college.  That provided me with a lot of outlets for my creativity.  I was daily discovering new things, new ways to do stuff, and thinking of new ideas when it came to bakery products and their presentation.  

Now I am in the new job and find that I don't have the same feel as I did before the bakery even now.  I want to write often but at the end of the day I find that I'm super worn out and have taped the bottom of my creative tank after 8 hours of work.
As I've reflected on this phenomenon in my life I realized that I really do like being creative, and I'm able to be creative in a whole lot of different ways.  In college I wrote, at the Bakery I baked, here I counsel, advise and love those around me.  It's crazy how different the same person can be at different times.  I love watching how God is taking the woman that I am and making me into the woman that he wants me to be.  I love watching God use different things to change people and their thought process.  I love watching things change and shift at the hand of God.  It's a blessing.   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Recap

Struggle, struggle, struggle.  That's what this week has been all about.  I've struggled to sleep.  I've struggled to stay dry eyed.  I've struggled at work.  I've struggled in my room.  I've struggled at church.  I've struggled at school.  I've struggled.  That's the sum of it.  It's been hard and tiring.  And I've discovered the problem.

I haven't been having my personal times with God.  It had been an embarassingly long time since I had had a quiet time and I seemed to be doing just fine.  But then we went on a three day trip with work.  When we came back from that it was like nothing in the world was every going to be right again.  (Dramatic, right?)  I made it through Tuesday and Wednesday simply because I didn't have to go to work.  Thursday I went to my Bible study and conviction ran deep because I was 9 days behind in a 5 day a week assignment book.  When I got to work I was weepy and tired and upset.  I wanted nothing more then to just walk away.  I was ready to run out on my responsibility, on my calling, on what God required of me.  I was ready to go like Jonah on a boat to Tarsesh.  Not the best response to a hard week.

But I didn't.  I cried  privately when I could, I did my job.  I collected work from my students.  I did what I had to to make it through my shift.  And then I slept, after reading through the book of Jonah.  I slept for 9 plus hours, it was fantastic.  And then I got up and had some time with God.  Yesterday was better.  I wasn't as stressed out.  I actually got some work done.  I walked like a woman who knew where she was headed.

Last night was a blessing.  I got to attend a concert that benefited the adoption ministry at my church; I cried a few times because God is breaking my heart for the children of the word that need to be taken into good homes.  After the concert I ran into these four beautiful children that had recently been brought into a loving home and it was great to sit in the floor and let them climb all over me for a few minutes.

Today I'm making it.  I'm fighting because I know that it's worth it.  I'm pushing on because I know that I have too.  I want to be the woman that God has made me to be and I want to be here at all times, not just when I'm at work or at school or at church.  I want to be that woman at all times.  I want to be God's in all that I do.

I want a home that is full of children that are loved when the world deemed them unlovable.

I want a life that changes others because I choose to be obedient to the Lord, my God who was the creator of the land and the sea.

I want a life so full of love and joy that others can't help but be drawn in.

I want a life that serves and glorifies God in all things.

Mel C

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The weather has turned here.  The temperature went from 101 degrees to the high 60's overnight this past weekend.  It's so strange around here.  It's cold and drizzly like we are in the Northwestern part of the country, but we aren't; we're in Kentucky.

I find the weather fitting for how I feel today.  It's been a strange day.  I've been draggy when I've wanted to have energy.  I've been sleepy when I needed to be awake.  I've been awake when I should have been asleep.  I've been moody when I should have been steady.  I've been scattered when I should have been organized.

I find myself discontent.  I love what I do.  I love the work God has me doing, but I'm tired.  For some reason I find myself wanting to go any where else.  This is a struggle that I watch the Ladies of the house deal with on a regular basis.  Being here is hard, in every capacity.

Mel C

Saturday, September 3, 2011

That Girl is Gone...

Since so few people actually read this thing, I'm going to write about what is on my heart today without worrying about sounding prideful, because this isn't about my pride.  It's about God's grace and His glory through my testimony.

Last night I realized how much God has changed me.

I have worked more then 24 hours since 2 pm Thursday.  It has been a long couple of days at work.  I know my limits, and they are very, very near.  As in it could get ugly if I'm at work later then I'm scheduled to work today.  I miss having more than an 8 hour turn around between shifts.  But at the same time I have learned a lot about the person I'm becoming here.

In college, way back when I was just starting out on this journey with God (9 years ago last month), I prayed crazy prayers.  The kind of prayers that you pray when you are young because you don't really understand the work that is going to come after you pray them.  I asked God for patience.  I asked that He would help me to be a better listener.  I asked that He would lead me to a position of ministry with women.  I prayed that He would give me a job that impacted lives in a direct fashion.  I prayed that God would lead me to women to disciple.  I prayed all these things with out really understanding the words coming out of my mouth.

Now 9 years later I find that I am a woman I never expected to become.  I never anticipated that I would be patient enough to hold my words until I could speak without harming others.  I didn't think I would ever be living and working in an addiction recover facility.  I didn't know that praying for someone to disciple would mean living with 13 other women in a 3 story house.  I never would have imagined that I would be going to a Southern Baptist Seminary for graduate school.  I didn't think that God could or would change me so much.

Last night the ladies expressed some of how they see me and I was taken aback.  It's alarming to hear how other people view you.  It's also alarming how easily satan can convince you of how flawed you are.  I struggled with knowing if I was the woman the ladies described me as or if I am the woman I have known myself to be.

And then, well actually just now, I remembered 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, the new has come."  I am not the flawed, self-centered woman that I was even just a year ago.  (I will point out that I still have huge struggles and issues on a regular basis, they are just not the ones that I used to have because I have matured past those issues for the time being.)  I have been made new and I experience new mercies everyday.  I am not the girl that I was, I am becoming more and more the woman that God has made me to be and it's been happening when I wasn't paying attention.

I am amazed at the work that God has done in the little time that I have lived here.  When I think about the things I struggled with daily before I moved I realize that my battles are very different.  God is teaching me the fine art of preserving and pushing forward toward the prize.

 I am more then changed.

We are more then changed.

We are made new, completely new.

The belief that "this is just how I am" is false.  We are how God has re-made us to be.  The parts of me that I thought were here for good, that were unchangeable, have become something new.  God is for real when He says He wants to purify our hearts and minds.

To paraphrase Beth Moore: "I am not that woman any more."

Mel C

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Sometimes I want to run-a-way.  (I like to spell it like that because that's how I say it, it's one word in my world.)  I look at the recipes on a cooking blog and dream of having a kitchen that is predictably available and organized.  I miss cooking and hosting and providing a good time for others.  It is probably one of the biggest hang ups I have about the life that I am currently living.  I love my job, I do not love not having a kitchen to call my very own.  Right now almost everything from "my kitchen" is sitting on a shelf in my overly large bathroom.  I honestly think that Someone could do a little remodeling for me and create a kitchen by adding a wall to my bathroom, I mean what one person needs a bathroom that is bigger then my first dorm room at college?

OMG, that idea may have just changed my entire life.  I need to find a contractor or someone who could do this for me..... I'll need outlets, cabinets, a stove, and a water line.... that shouldn't be too involved should it?  What do you think about that.... I would lose most of my closet space but I am willing to make it work....

Shew, that's not where I saw this going at all.  Oh well, that's where it went.  Welcome to my run-a-way thoughts.

Daydreaming of cooking...

Mel C

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So it's almost August.  I'm not sure where the year has gone.  I haven't decided if time is moving faster or if I'm just less aware of it's fading into the past, I'm pretty sure it's moving faster.  I was reflecting over the last two or three years (all the files I have on my current computer) today and was astonished by the things that I had prayed over the years that were now true in my life.

I had voiced the desire to have a job that would follow me home, and I now live where I work.

I realized that I was being lead to full time ministry and wasn't sure what that would look like; now I put 40 hours a week in with a Bible based recovery program.

I wanted a community of like minded believers that would push me to be fully committed and all in in my relationship with God and with them; I now belong to a singles group in a church that practices solid community.

I prayed for emotional healing that I was sure would take many many years and have discovered that it really only took a time of repentance and a little more then a year.

I prayed to be more then just "one of the guys" and have found my self in a place of being able to have healthy well guarded friendships with boys and leaving knowing that I am a woman in their eyes.

And the list goes on.  We serve a faithful God who has saved us from ourselves.  We forget that the biggest issue we have (our sin) is not just a series of actions it is literally part of who we are.  Our problem is ingrained in our beings and the only way we can get passed it is if we are rescued from our selves.  After looking over the last few years I am amazed at the woman that I have been made into.  I don't say that to say that I'm amazing because it is truly nothing I have done to make this change happen.  It has all been at the hand of God and as a result of his redemption of me.

Redeemed and loving it,

Mel C

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Nights

Some times I yearn for a few real summer nights.... You know the kind I'm talking about?  Sky so clear that you wish you could count the stars, a light breeze, lightening bugs, windows rolled down kind of night.

The thought of driving down Highway 44 near the county line makes my hear skip a beat.  I love this time of year in Kentucky.  It is a time of cold and hot.  A time of beautiful nights and memories spent under the lights of a softball field.  Sometimes I wonder how different my life would have been if I had stayed home for college.  Who would I be?  What would I be?  Where would I be?

Would I be the one playing ball in the summers?  Would I own a small business or work in a factory?  Who would I be if I had never truly met God?  And then I realize that it doesn't really matter.  I've gained so many more experiences as a result.  Some of the stories I have happened only because I've been brought down the path that I have been brought down.  I love the life I've been given.

Blessed and Realizing It,

Mel C

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Derby

That's right today we are going to talk about The Kentucky Derby.

 I know that I'm a baptist and so I'm not supposed to endorse things like horse racing (in public) but I'm also from Louisville, Kentucky.  And on the first Saturday in May that means only one thing; The Kentucky Derby.  We have a two, sometimes three week long festival to prepare for the Derby.  Some people think that it's ridiculous to make so much fuss over something that only last for 2 minutes, and I used to be in that party so I know the argument.

I'm going to take a moment to explain to you what happened to change it all for me... Being from Louisville is an advantage because you also realize that Derby is a great time to pick up a little bit of extra money by taking on a seasonal job at the track.  In college myself and several friends began working Derby as mutual tellers (the people who take your bets and your money, and who you should be tipping when you cash out just so you know.)  It was a great way to make some extra money to survive the time from the end of the semester until my first paycheck of the summer.  I loved it!

It was the experience of being at Churchill Downs on Oaks and Derby that showed me just how special this event is.  I still get chills when they sound the call to the gate.  I tear up when they play "My Old Kentucky Home."  And I miss the excitement of being among all those people that are just there for a nice day at the track.

So today, I've made my picks.  I've got three of them.  One is purely based on my gut and it's name, the other is because I laughed when I saw it's name, and the third one is my more serious pick...

Here's to a wet and muddy track and all the chaos that adds to the races!  

Dreaming of thundering hooves and pumping hearts,

Mel C

Friday, April 29, 2011

Secret Church

Last Friday night I was one of 50,000 other people who sat under the teaching of David Platt from The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.  It blew my  mind.  It was 6 hours of teaching from the Bible about the Bible using the Bible.  There wasn't a lot of cute stories, just scripture and tons of it.

As a result I've been using the very first secret church (from 2006) in the house with the ladies and they are loving it.  It's all available free online, complete with study guides and videos.  I just wanted to give a shout out to a ministry that is doing great things and to make other more aware of it's existence. If you have the time, check it out.  You will learn something from it.  (If you dig around long enough you can also find a place to donate to those that are having to rebuild after this week's storms.)

So here it is:  just go to the resource library and they'll take care of you.

If you want to learn more about David Platt (he has also written a few books) and the ministry of The Church at Brook Hills you can go here:

In the words of Levar Burton, don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself,

Mel C

Monday, April 25, 2011

Got Any Ideas?

We are going through a lot of administrative transitions at work right now, which means that my job title has changed.  I am now responsible for the curriculum for our students.  The ladies are adults and our main focus in the classroom is to teach them how to study the Bible, live addiction free lives for God, to be whole and complete in their identity with out other people's approval, how to be Godly wives/mothers/women, and just over all how to live and be sober (you know, the little stuff).  We have around 15 hours of class a week and I am looking for some new material.

I am really looking for great, cheap, and easy to use resources to teach our students how to live financially healthy, how to have a balanced life-style, what to look for in a church home, how to manage and run a household, some really great in depth Bible studies, etc.  Pretty much any topic you can imagine is open for use.

I am also just looking for some great teaching resources (videos, short lessons, activities, etc.) to use in devotions/chapel time.

Please, please, please let me know if you have any suggestions.  I would love to look into them and have some help diving into this whole "mess."  I'm really excited to see what we can come up with.

The most exciting thing about this?  I am using the things I learned in college on a regular basis.  I never expected to actually use the curriculum stuff I had to learn to get my education degree.  Turns out that teaching isn't just for the classroom any more! (Which I've known for some time, I just wanted to make sure that you all were aware of it.)

Thanks for the help,

Mel C

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I went grocery shopping with my parents last Friday night.

I know it's an interesting way for a 26 year old to spend their Friday night, but it's tradition that the whole family goes grocery shopping on Fridays.  It was that way when I was growing up and will probably stay that way unless my father really does retire at some point and they start going to senior citizen day at Kroger or something like that.

I wouldn't have life any other way for my family, it's predictable and consistent (except for the weeks where there is a community festivity of some sort and random holidays or birthdays)

Friday night trips mean one thing in my life; Mom will buy whatever I slip into the cart, sometimes with out knowing it.  When I was in college this was a sweet deal for me, I had no money so I would cash out all my lose change for gas money and go home so my family could provide me with groceries for the next month.  When my sister left for college a few years later she began to follow in that tradition.  It's been fun to watch my parents do this for us.  As I've gotten older I've stopped putting stuff into the cart because I'm 26, my parents should not be buying my groceries (unless it's a birthday gift type thing, which was a great gift that I loved receiving).  But I digress...

This past Friday I slipped 3 things into the cart; shampoo, conditioner, and the one, the only...

These bad boys are golden, just fantastic and 10 of them officially became mine.... Needless to say I've had 3 this morning.... I'm so glad that I don't buy this junk for myself, but I'm so thankful that my Mommy will buy them if I ask her too!  Yea for sugar coated Marshmallows!

Here's to all my Peeps!

Mel C

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Long Days

Growing up (like when I was in High School) there was a show called 

I have little rec-election of what the show was about, but I use the title often.

Today has not been a "strange day" it has been a "long day."

It hasn't been bad.  I helped my friends move out of their apartment so they can move into their new home (the parsonage of the little church) and then I had to come to work for 8 hours.

I think it's long because our work schedule for the April was released yesterday.  Next week I have two days in a row off!  Two whole DAYS!!!  I am so excited that I am distracted from much else and so today has been another "Long Day"

Dragging and making it,

Mel C

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Break

I miss spring break mission trips.  

Like this one to Panama City Beach for "Beach Reach" in 2006.

There isn't a lot that I really miss about college because I really love the life I have now, but I do miss spring break mission trips.  When else do you get to pile into vans with people that you kinda' know and come back so tight it feels strange not to be together after only seven days of being gone?  

All the college kids are getting back from their big trips to New York City, Big Break, and the like and it makes me miss those days of roaming around a city and looking for people to share Jesus with.

Even as I write this I realize that this should be my everyday life.  That spring break is not the only time I can go around spreading the truth and love of the Lord.  It's not something that only radical college students can do when they are on spring break.  It's something that we all should be doing and it's something that I struggle with.  I don't normally strike up conversations with people so that I can tell them about Jesus.

I don't normally pray for strangers on the street.

I don't normally give rides to people who need them.

I don't normally spend 24 hours a day with people that I want to build relationships with.

Maybe I should.  Maybe I should be praying for people on the streets.  Maybe I should be helping out those that I can help.  Maybe I should be more intentional about the relationships in my life.  

Maybe I should go on Spring Break everyday and make the most of what I've been given.

Nostalgic and noticing it,

Mel C

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Strange Day

Today has been strange.  I started out strong and energetic and ready to go.  I even got up early enough to make an omelet for breakfast.  I made it to campus early enough for me to be comfortable with myself and to not feel rushed or hurried.  I enjoyed chatting with friends before service with friends and classmates and most of chapel.  About half way through service I started slipping down the slippery slope of sleepiness.  It was all down hill from there.  I got to class and felt like all the energy drained out of me and left me a sloppy mess in a chair.  It was sad and pathetic.  I always feel like such a mess when I have to fight against sleep so much.

I got back to the house had lunch and took an hour long nap.  It was a good nap and I felt good and then my energy fell out from under me.  I'm sitting here doing phone calls trying to keep my eyes open and not really doing anything that I need to be doing....  oh well.

Maybe it's the weather.  Yeah, definently the weather.  Over and out kids.

Here's to a good night's sleep!

Mel C

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the hard thing

This week our state director challenged us to step up as a staff and do the hard thing.  "What is the hard thing?" you ask.  Well, it's loving the ladies so much that we discipline them when they break the rules.  And I'm not talking about huge, massive rules, I'm talking the little ones.  Ones like not turning their hair spray in on time, still being in bed 3 minutes after wake up, not signing off on chores.  Little bitty things that don't seem to be that important.

Why are things like how neat their desks are when they leave important?  Basically because they won't be here forever and it's the little stuff that will trip you up and throw you right back into the pit that you just clawed your way out of.  We as a staff have been called upon to serve them women by helping them to become disciplined in everything.  Little things like getting too much food, regulating how many times they can have soda a week, keeping them in check with they words and jokes matter.

And it doesn't just matter for recovering addicts.  It matters for you and for me.  We have to choose to do the hard thing in our lives and to be disciplined.  Right now I am struggling with how I use my time.  I have so much to do that I don't want to do anything, so I've been choosing to watch "Friends" for hours on end.  It's got to stop. I've got to choose to do the hard thing in my life and be disciplined.  I can not give disciplines out to my students for not doing what I don't do.

It is the little things that will get you in the end.  People will tell you that affairs don't just happen because they don't.  There are a thousand smalls steps leading up to the actual affair.  A thousand small choices like what you are going to watch on TV tonight, or read while you lay in bed lead up to huge issues.

That is satan's gimmick.  If he can convince you that one little lie won't hurt anyone, then he will eventually convince you that cheating on your taxes is okay as long as you are still giving to the church.  We can not live lives of compromise.  In the book of Revelation Jesus tells the church of Laodicea that he will spit them out because they are living lukewarm lives (Revelation 3:14-22).

I choose to live a life that is decisively for God.  A life of integrity and honesty.  It hurts and it is not an easy path, but I choose it any way.  I choose the hard way with my students and with myself.  I'm not sure what this means in my life right now, but I will keep you up dated on the changes as they happen.

Choosing the road less traveled,

Mel C 


Today I slept until 11.
Today I organized a list of donations for a conference.
Today I'm scrambling to fix all the forgetful things I did last week.
Today I want nothing more then to be at the beach.
Today I've been using 2 different computers in a side by side fashion.
Today I'm ready for next week to be here.
Today I've done zero homework.
Today the house is empty.
Today I work at 3 pm.
Today I miss my church, I haven't been there in more then 10 days (that's a long time in my life.)
Today I want for a "normal" life all the while knowing that if I had that I would not be happy.
Today I revel in God's glory and hope that I am bringing glory to His name in all that I do.
Today I will shower.
Today I will laugh with the ladies of the house.
Today I will live life abundantly.
Today counts.


somedays i get tired of doing the reasonable thing.  i get tired of stuff like using the shift key, doing my school work, making the ladies of the house follow the rules.  somedays i listen to country music as loud as I can and  somedays i just want to run around yelling "i got a mustang, it'll do 80."  Monday was one of those days.  And so i listened to the song in the car driving not quite 80 through the "country" on my way to my parents house.  Because Monday was one of those days I'll share a little bit with you about what happens when God fearin' women get the blues.  enjoy.

You don't have to be my baby,

Mel C

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Doldrums

The last few months have been breath taking in my life.  God has been doing some great things.  He has revealed areas that had to change in my life, helped me in changing them, healed me, and moved me miles forward in a very short time.  It's been the kind of time in my life where so much has happened that every moment has been new, fresh, exciting and exhilarating.

Only once before have I ever experienced a time like this.  It was an equally amazing time where I was taught more they I can begin to explain.  But something I always forget about times of extreme growth and rejuvenation is that they are followed by a much slower time.  A time where not much happens because you have to adjust to being this new person.  You have to take what had been shown to you and begin to apply it to your everyday life.  To prove that you have really changed, and I don't mean to prove it to God but to yourself.  I think that God factors these doldrums into our lives so that we can adjust to the person he is making us into.

If God where to completely rework you and then throw the new you into the mess that is this world with out any time to adjust then you are more likely to fail and to fail grandly.

I am in the doldrums right now.  I slept 12 hours last night because I've been going full speed ahead for two months.  The past week I've not been very good about having a quiet time because I've been so tired and stretched thin.  I feel like the world is going in slow motion so that I may hold tight and stay firm in the newness of me.  God is giving me this time in the doldrums to adjust, reset, reaffirm who I am now and to prepare for the next big flurry of activity.

It's a good time of deep breaths and at the same time I find myself frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed with myself.  I have to remember that I need this time.  That this has nothing to do with my failure or performance but is just a time to breath deep and settle into how I have been changed in the last two months.

Thankfully resting,

Mel C

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Visits with a Purpose

I got off of work yesterday at 4 and had to promptly jump in the car and zoom (if you can call 2 hours zooming) to the little town that was home a little less then a year ago.  One of my very near and dear friends has been commuting from the city to be a part of the play "Doubt".  It was wonderful.  She did amazingly well.  It was a great trip that last 4 whole hours and then I returned to my current life because I have responsibilities here on Sundays now.  It was like a dream.  I don't know if you have ever had that kind of experience in real life but I have.  There have been a few other times where I have veered so quickly from the life I am living onto some tangent and quickly returned.  Those times leave me spinning circles and evaluating every part of my life.  Except for last night's trip.  I left the play house knowing that I was good.  That a short visit was nice but it was nothing compared to the joy that I have found in the city... I love it.  I'm glad I'm here and I realized that this is more home then that.  It's taken a little longer to make the conversion to calling this city home, but home it is and that is really fun for me.  It was a great visit that had a great purpose beyond going to a play in a community theater.

Big City Lady,

Mel C

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's that time of year again...

Every year around April or May (sometimes as early as March) I start to get antsy... I start wanting to change things; be it where I live, what I do, what I wear or whatever, I just want to change things.  It just doesn't feel right for me to be somewhere for more then a year.  I don't necessarily mean change cities or towns, just the place where I live, but not this year.  This year I'm staying put.  I'm not packing bags to go away for the summer or boxing up everything to move to a new place (or storage unit).  I'm staying put.  And it kind of makes me ache a little.  So I've decided to cut my hair.  I've been growing it out for a few years (in case some tall dark and handsome fellow where to come along and propose and my hair would be long enough to fix in our wedding, and to donate to Locks of Love) and woke up on Tuesday morning knowing that it was time.  The weather is getting warmer, my hair is getting more and more broken with every passing day, and I'm using waaayy to much shampoo and conditioner.  I can not support a bottle a month need for this mess on top of my head.  As soon as I can squeeze a hair cut into my schedule (and budget) this will happen.  I'm beginning to get super excited about it.  I think my only requirement is that Patsy (my hair dresser) doesn't cut bangs into again.  I'm done with that scene.

Long locks no more!

Mel C

P.S. I'll post pics of the current length soon so that you have an idea of how much hair I have.  (It's never been this length at any other point in my life, ever.  Not even in High School.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm a verbal mess.

So today someone asked me if I am from Tennessee.  I wasn't that insulted just concerned because he asked on the bases of my accent when we were talking.  I have never been asked if I'm from farther south then Kentucky before.  This only means one thing, I'm beginning to lapse into mimicking the speech of some of the ladies that currently live in the house.  We have 2 ladies from Tennessee, only one of them has a heavy accent and I must be picking it up from being around her.  For most people it's not that big of a deal, but for me it's huge.

My first summer in college I worked at a camp in Michigan and when I realized that my students were struggling to understand my accent I began to alter it so that I spoke more like them.  I was only there for 9 weeks.  Three years later I still had people asking me what part of Michigan I was from.  I keep the accents I pick up for far to long.  Being able to change how I speak is a fun game (that I am really bad at.  Any international accents I try all end up Hispanic or some indescribable mess of words and sounds) but a dangerous one for me.  I went through a phase where I would speak with a fake lisp, three months later I had a problem in the form of a real lisp.  So, right now I guess I sound like I'm from Tennessee ya'll.  (hehe, this may not be that bad.)  We'll see how bad this gets before it starts to get better.

Dialect drop-out,

Mel C

Monday, February 21, 2011

Life and other things

I just wanted to record this day as a day when I did not get a lot done.  There was a storm coming in for most of the day and my head felt like it had a load of bricks in it, so once I got off of work I did the logical thing and watched TV while pretending to organize my room (which consisted of my putting my shoes away).  And since that point I've been catching up on Hulu.  That's pretty much it.  I think I'm storing up time for tomorrow... My day is going to start super early (hopefully around 5) for a 7am meeting, then some have to happen contact points, chapel, class, and then I am going to go help set up for some crazy car race thing at church... I'm really excited about how much I have to do outside of work.  It means something for me to be able to say that I have a life, social and otherwise, here in this city.  One of my greatest concerns when I moved was that I would be so homesick for the little place I left that I wouldn't fully commit to the place I moved to.  Well, I had a few months (around four of them) like that, but now business is starting to pick up and I am truly enjoying myself.   It's good stuff this life is.

Livin' La Vida Loca,  (I just did that)

Mel C 

Sunday, February 20, 2011


So, I live in this new city.  I'm part of a singles group at my new church.  The only reason why large groups of "singles" get together is so that they will hopefully not be single any longer. I would like to note that my singles group married 28 people out in the last year, the rate of success here is pretty good.  (That's right I know the stats, but I didn't ask for them; that's makes it less pathetic right?)  This hit me full on this week.  For most people this wouldn't be a problem.  For me it's an issue.

It's not an issue because I want to stay single forever, it's an issue because I don't want to be single forever and I've realized that I have no idea how to interact with a BOY with out shutting him down or making him feel like he has been put into the dreaded "friend" pile.  This week while I was out with my students I was getting hit on and didn't even know it until they told me.  Oh goodness.  And not only that, it's been so long since I've been attracted to someone that I'm not even sure how to communicate that feeling (or how to deal with it)...

Very rarely do I find myself in situations where I have no experience, but this whole love life thing is completely out side of the scope of my experiences.  I feel like a middle schooler at her first dance. Does that feeling ever go way?  (I mean, there should be a cut off for that feeling.  26 is way to old to feel like I'm 12 again.  What's with the sweaty palms and junk?)  Just where my head is tonight.

Inexperienced and nervous,

Mel C

Friday, February 18, 2011

High Point of the Week

So, it's the end of Valentine's Week here in the city and I can't help be think about how it's been a great week.  Don't get your hopes up, I'm still single; but it's been a really great week.

 I would have to say that the highlight of the week was Valentine's Day it's self.  Well, not so much the day as it was that night.  The singles department at my church hosted a Parent's Night Out event (free baby sitting) for families so the adults could enjoy their evening together.

I was in the 2-3 year old room with a couple of other people.  3 semi-adults plus 8  two-three year olds for three hours equals sweet glory.  My favorite part of the night was when I pulled my hair down out of it's pony tail and one of the little girls said this (and I'm not kidding this is really what she said) "Your hair is like Rapunzel."  Thank you Disney for putting that story into her little heart so that I could laugh and reflect on it for the entire week.  And of course the next course of action was for three or four of the kids to start "fixing" my hair, it was fantastic.  (You know that's it's a secret desire of mine that I would have personal fashion assistants and such.)
It was adorable and unforgettable.  The funniest thing for me is that my hair really isn't that long, my little sister's hair is way longer right now.  (I'm trying to convince her to give to locks of love with me.)  And hey, isn't her hair how Rapunzel got her man?  Maybe I'm on to something here.  My friend George from college would say the long hair is a deal breaker for him.  I'm going to stop before I wonder off down some strange twisted trail lamenting my singleness (which I am throughly adoring right now).

One long haired lady, 

Mel C

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Longest Week Ever!!!

This week is dragging by, did you know that it is only Tuesday?  The calender says it's Tuesday, the date says it's a Tuesday, but my mind says it's Wednesday.  Why is it only Tuesday?   .....      Bahh, why is this taking so long?

In all actuality I know the answer, and it's because I'm going out of town this weekend.  The funny thing is I"m going back to my old town to work at the Bakery I worked at previously.  I'm going back to dip stuff in chocolate, not that exciting really, but I miss it and it's been a really long week.

So, it's still only Tuesday and I'm trying not to pull my hair out.... just 2 more shifts at work, dinner at steak and shake, chapel, class and then my road trip.   I can do this.  Yeah, I can do this.

Tuesday is killin' me,

Mel C

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's nice to be missed...

So, I've really began to establish friendships here.  You may be asking how I know that; let me tell you....

Tonight is the Souper Bowl Party at church.... I can't go.  I have to work.  I'm really not happy about it because I was really excited about the whole party but then my schedule came out last week and I have to work.  The best thing about the whole situation is that people were not happy about the fact that I couldn't make it.

It was nice that people asked if I would be there and then were sad for me when I couldn't be there.  It was nice to be missed.  It was nice to know that people care about me enough to want me to be places.  I wonder why it's so important to people to feel like they belong to a community of people?

But honestly I don't care.  I'm happy.

Mel C

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Note About School

I don't really talk about the fact that I am very (very, very, very) slowly pursuing a masters degree at a school here in the city.  I'm apparently working towards my M.Div in Women's Leadership and Biblical Counseling (sounds fancy right?).  This is my second semester and my second class.  Class began on Tuseday and I think I'm going to like it.  The class I'm in is one focused on personal spiritual disciplines and I just wanted to share a few points with you from the first chapter of this book:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Not-so-Subtle Reminders

Today I watched as a not-so-subtle reminder about how satan likes to deceive us.  It was a really hard day today that started out rough and ended with a bang at the end of it.  Sometimes I forget what it's like when you have lived for so long believing so many different lies from the enemy that you have a hard time knowing what is real and what is not; and at those times God sends days like today.

Days where I am forced to watch someone's bad decisions and poor choices catch up with and shake up their entire lives and the lives of those that love them.  It's alarming how long someone will try to hold up the pretense of a lie even when they know they have been caught.

What I find even more concerning is that we can appear to be following God in all that we do in the midst of our lies.  We can read and study the Bible, attend praise and worship services, go and pray at the alter and still be living a life that is false.

We have to be a people that is dedicated to the establishment and upholding of the Godly standards that God gives us.  We can not be willing to enable our brothers and sisters in the midst of their mess.  We have to have relationships that are open and honest so that we may call each other out about our mistakes, our lies, or bad habits.  I need to trust that you love me enough to be honest with me and you need to trust me to be honest with you.

God's word gives a look at how the church was made to be.  We were made to have tight community that held each other accountable and yet welcomed in all who wanted to join.  This is what we need.

Today I saw the "you reap what you sow" principle played out.  God will not let you hide in your sin forever.  He will give you opportunities to confess and repent but there will come a time that your mess will become known to others so that you have to deal with the consequences of your actions.

It has been a rough day full of not-so-subtle reminders.

Mel C

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I fail.

Today was a great day.  I started my day with laundry and (re)setting up my budget for this paycheck.  I'm one of those people who likes to make budgets but don't really do that great of a job of following my budget.  So, today I had to do some leg work to make sure that I would not be (gasp!) overdrawn.  Over drawn is one of those places no one wants to be in because it means that you have no money and having no money is going to cost you money.  I try to avoid that area of the world as much as possible.  There was a time in my life where it was an almost monthly thing.  My mother and I wrote it off as I was unhappy with my current career path (aka student teaching) and too much stress.  In all honesty it was a case of immaturity and lack of responsibility.

We never think that though, or at least I don't.  I never stop to think about what the situations in my life actually mean.  I usually look for a way out or a person (not me!) to blame.  Part of growing up and maturing in your relationship with Jesus is realizing that you are to blame.  That you do make mistakes and fail and flounder and just plain go the wrong way.  With that realization comes the revelation of how wrong we are.  We are flawed and failing.

For someone like me that's a "jagged little pill" to swallow (thank you Alanis Morrisett).  I tend to expect my "work", what ever it is to be great.  I don't know that I ever shoot to be #1 but I like to be a contender.  I push to impress and satisfy and anticipate peoples needs in all kinds of situations.  I can be scary good at it also.  But the thing about it is I have a little bitty pride issue.  I like recognition, I like to be praised, I desire to be noticed and "oohed and aaahhhed" over.   And then I mess up.  I lock my keys in the office.  It takes me 6 hours to get somewhere that is less then 2 hours away.  I fall up the steps.  I forget the lesson plan.  I break the glass out of a window.  I lie.  I pretend to not know.  I spend money like I have money.  I over book my life.  I serve with the wrong heart.  I fail.

I fail.
I fail.
I fail.

And then something amazing happens.  God doesn't.  He doesn't fail, he doesn't trip up, he doesn't get broken, he doesn't fail.  Even as I fail, God succeeds.  He wins.  The universe doesn't collapse because my cake didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.  Volcanoes don't erupt because I over sleep and worlds don't collide when I don't get to go out to eat.

The last eight months have been a very humbling and eye opening experience for me.  I have no idea how to succeed at my job.  I don't know what it's going to take for me to be "successful" here.  Most days I have no idea of what is happening and if I think I do it changes faster then I can breathe.  I have learned to laugh as I fail.  To enjoy patiently waiting for someone to come when I lock my self out.  To chuckle when I realize that I should have stayed on I-64 instead of going north.  To relax when I can't finish my laundry because the machines are full.  God has shown me that his plan is complete and that he has chosen to use me and all my failures to advance his kingdom in this world.

So, here's to our continued failure.  That we may never forget that in our weakness, God is strong.  Lock your keys in the wrong places, break a few dishes, go the wrong direction, and remember that God redeems, redirects, and renews.

In love and laughter,

Mel C

In no way am I telling you to go out and blatantly sin; what I am saying is that you can not let your sin keep you from God.  If you've made a mistake, confess it and move on.  Do not allow it to consume you and keep you from being with God; he has made a way in spite of our mistakes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I think I'm nesting... is that strange?

So, there is this phenomenon that happens to women in the last little bit of their pregnancies that society has deemed to call "nesting."  Now having never been pregnant my self I have never experienced this, but from what I understand is that it is a time in the last few months (or weeks) or the pregnancy that the soon to be mother cooks, cleans, and tidies up like mad.  I understand it to be a time of "spic and spanning" every thing including the pets.

I bring this up because well, this past week has been all about cleaning and cooking for me.  I have been in the kitchen everyday since last Thursday and plan on cooking something everyday until next Monday.  For some of you that sounds normal, but for me it's strange.  I live in house where someone else makes the food, I don't have to cook, I don't really have to clean, I just grocery shop.  But for some reason or the other I have decided that the best thing for me to do with my spare time is to cook or bake or look at recipes.  It's getting out of control.

Last Friday night I made a dinner that could have easily fed 6 for 2 people to eat.  Saturday I dipped pretzels in chocolate for 3 hours and then popped a whole lot of popcorn.  Sunday, I tried to bake a cake (epic fail due to a slight mix up with the ingredients).  Monday I tried to grocery shop (don't ask what tried means, let's just say I had to go back with money this time).  Today I'm making a cake and packing up four bags of supplies for a day in the kitchen tomorrow.  Tomorrow I'm going to make 2 batches of sugar cookies and 3 batches of sausage balls.  Thursday I'm going to prepare myself to make icing for the sugar cookies, and I'm going to ice them on Friday.  Saturday I'm going to prepare the sausage balls for a party, and make corn chowder for the house.  Sunday, I'm making rice and beans and some chocolate chip cookies.  The thing about this is it's madness.  These are not things I have to do, I want to spend this time cooking and in the kitchen.  It's where I find my time for myself and it's beginning to freak me out.

Please, if you have any ideas about what I can do to stop the madness send them on.... (All joking aside I'm learning that I really do love to cook and prepare menus and shop for the menus and to serve people with food.  It is a blessing and an honor to have so many opportunities to share with others.)  When I started this blog I didn't have a whole lot of guidelines for myself, except for one.  I didn't want to do a food blog.  There are a lot of those out there already.  But as I'm going along and spending so much time cooking I'm beginning to see that maybe, just maybe I should roll with it.  Keep your eyes peeled for some foodie posts soon.  I'm so excited!

Cooking like a crazy lady,

Mel C

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did you know...

Did you know that there are 143 million orphans in the world?

Did you know that Jesus told us to care for the orphans, the widows, and the fatherless?

Did you know that there are organizations and foundations set up to help families pay for their adoption process?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Best Part About Today

Today was a strange day.  Nothing bad happened, no one at the house had a huge mishap; it was just a rough day for me.  My day started out nice enough.  I slept until 11 am, showered, had some time with God and then went to the kitchen for lunch and to dip some pretzels in chocolate for work.  That took me around 3 hours when everything was said and done.  By the time I had finished in the kitchen I felt like trash walking.  My head was throbbing, my mind was reeling and I just didn't want to spend the evening with the ladies.  I have learned that on days when I feel like this it's rough to be at work.  The house feeds off of everyone's mood, particularly the staff.  So, I tried to keep it low key and not be around the ladies to much because I did not want my emotions to rub off on them.  We had a nice slow night and enjoyed an evening in for a change.  Then one of my favorite time of day came.

I don't really like to work nights simply because it cuts out of my social life, but there is one part of the evening shift that I love.  I love lights out time, and not because they are going to sleep and I get to go to bed but because I get to tell them good night.  I go around from bed to bed and give them all hugs, tell them to sleep well and that I love them.  It means a lot to the ladies because they are away from those that love them and that they love and night time is the hardest time to be away from home.  It is a sweet, sweet time for me.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I also really like doing it for some very selfish reasons.  The biggest one is that I get to be hugged 10 times and I am told that they love me.  I don't really talk about this much but sometimes being single can be, well, lonely.  When I hug the ladies and they tell me they love me it reminds me that I'm not alone.  And tonight was no different.  I got to go from bed to bed and hug their necks and say "I love you" and be told that they love me too.  It was good.  At the end of a day like today it is good to be reminded that I am loved and that when everything is said and done it's all going to be okay.

Good night, sleep well, and I love you,

Mel C

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Find

I don't know who does the grocery shopping in your house, but I do the shopping here.  I have the distinct privilege of shopping for a house of 12 adults.  We have a budget of around $200 a week.  I say around because I have a little bit of room to play.  A very little bit of room to play, and this week I played some.  I tend to hop around a lot.  Sometimes I shop at Wal-Mart some time Kroger.  Once I even drove the half an hour to Meijer (the money I saved was spent in gas to get there and so it is out of the rotation.

Anyway this past week I went to Wal-Mart because it was closest and easiest in the time that I had to shop.  As I was headed down "action ally" on the grocery side I found the trail mix aisle that I had missed the other 17 times I had been there.  I started looking because we try to have healthy snack options that also pack a nice serving of protein.  As I was looking I found some good sized bags of stuff for around $3 a piece.  Some thing you need to know about the ladies of the house is that they love them some spicy food.  Our director says that it's because their taste buds have been so dulled by their drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and what ever else have you that they need the spice to engage their taste buds.  Me, I just like the hot flavors and tend to have a heavy hand when I use spices.  So I picked up a pack of Wasabi Peas.  Oh my goodness.  I have never had them before and it's like dawn is happening in my sinus' when I eat them.

None of the ladies enjoy them so that means that they pretty much are mine.  I like the sizzle through my nose and into my eyes when I eat them.  They are so tasty.  I just thought I would share that with you today.  So, if your heart desires go get you some and enjoy!

Mel C

P.S.  Here is my favorite line from my favorite romance movie, "The Last of the Mohican's."  The lead male (Daniel Day Lewis as Nathaniel) says this to his love interest (some woman in the role of Cora) when he leaves her behind to save her.  Such a great moment.
"Stay alive, no matter what occurs.  Stay alive, I will find you.  No matter how long it takes, no matter how far; I WILL find you."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A List, because I like lists.

Prepare yourself, this might very well become a maddening mish-mash of all the things in my head...

  1. I'm currently watching "My Fair Lady,"  it's one of my favorites.
  2. My other option was "The West Side Story".  It was a little dark for my tastes tonight.
  3. I love my recliner.  It's the chair my Granny slept in for years, and now it's in my bedroom.  So cozy.
  4. I'm really nervous about my class this semester, one of the assignments is to find and establish an accountability partner in the class.  I've historically been very poor at meeting new people in the classroom.  
  5. I'm excited to do some baking soon.  
  6. I miss having my own kitchen that I can play in on a regular basis.
  7. I am loving the community that God has recently placed me in.  It is so nice to have a local church family.
  8. I wish I cared enough to take more pictures.
  9. Dressing up is something that I like to do, any reason to put on my best is a good enough reason for me.
  10. The play is the thing sometimes.  I love the theater and all that goes into a great production.
  11. I am not ashamed to admit that I also enjoy a good ballet, not that I've seen one since my time in high school.
  12. Sports are quite fun.  I miss game nights and playing volleyball with friends.
  13. I'm waiting for my delivery of books from Borders, I really am excited to get my hands on the rest of my textbooks and a fiction book I threw in for fun.
  14. My favorite song in "My Fair Lady"  is the one where she tells the young man that is after her that she wants more then words.
  15. The writing of this post is because I'm avoiding making a Fruit Pizza.  There are some things I just don't want to do.  
  16. I get nervous about random things; like turning down the wrong street, not knowing the best way to order my food, misspelling words when I write things, and other silly things like not noticing that my shoes are untied.
  17. I really should go make this  fruit pizza.  
  18. There is a blanket that I want to finish.
That is nowhere near to the beginning of my thoughts.  These are just the ones that I wanted to put on ink tonight.  Oh man this movie is so good.  

Mel C

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Soil of My Soul

I don't know how much experience you have with growing stuff.  I don't know if you grew up working in a garden or riding a tractor around the fields.  For all I know you could be like my college roommate and kill everything green you touch.  But I grew up in an agricultural family.  My Daddy has only ever worked on farms, with farm equipment and with farmers.  My grandparents had two gardens and an orchard at their house; if you showed up for a day anytime from June to October you would spend some time in the garden.  My parents are country folk who grow a large part of their own produce and they enjoy doing it.  There is something that makes you feel capable when you can grow and care for your own food.  It's satisfying to sit down for a meal and realize that less then 5% of it was purchased.  But I'm not here to convince you to start growing your own food (even though you really should), I'm here because I want to talk about something that happens when there is no rain, no water, on the ground.

I grew up in an area with some really great soil.  I know that's a funny comment, but it's true.  The soil (it's not dirt.  There is a subtle difference between dirt and soil.  You don't want dirt, but soil is so good to have.) is rich and it smells rich.  There is a smell that accompanies freshly turned soil.  It smells like life should.  Fresh, wholesome, vibrant.  Good soil smells like it's alive and new.  Really good soil smells borderline tasty (I'm just being honest here).  The life in soil comes from the moisture in the soil.  When your soil gets dry it starts to die.  The life seeps out of it.  Nothing grows or sustains in dry soil, not even cacti at a certain point.  When soil gets really dry it turns into what I would call dirt.  You don't want it.  It has no purpose when you are trying to feed your family.  It does pretty good on a softball field, but is bad for a garden.  Eventually the ground begins to crack and break apart.  It's not pretty, especially if your life is tied to the state of the ground.

I'm writing about this because I have been learning a lot about thirsting for God.  Recently God has revealed an area of sin in my life.  For years I knew that something was wrong, that I was hurting and wasn't being freed like I knew God could.  Recently God revealed that it was a result of my not desiring Him first.  At a point in my life I had been plugged up to God.  We were spending all kinds of time together, he was teaching me and growing me and changing me into the woman that he made me to be.  Then I got distracted and choose to pursue this other thing that looked like everything I could ever want.  I stopped desiring God and I started drying up.  The water started seeping out of the soil of my soul.  I wore a face of peace in spite of the fact that I was dieing on the inside.  This past month God has started raining on me.  After the sin was brought to light and forgiven, the rain came.  This process began when I moved recently and has come to the point that I am now breathing in the smell of living soil in my life.  Seeds that were long ago planted, forsaken, dried up, and forgotten are beginning to bud and grow again.  Trees of hope that I cut down in my reckless choices are re-sprouting as God rains on the soil in my life.

It is a beautiful time and I am blown away that God would choose to renew me.  That he cares enough about the dead state of my heart to bring new growth.  My heart is now bent on learning how to desire him and him alone again.  I am re-learning how to hunger and thirst after Christ, and it is good to be thirsty in a flood.  God will never run out for me and my desire.  He will always satisfy in ways that nothing and no one else ever will.

If you find that your heart is a dried up and barren waste land, turn to the one who comes like the rain.  Turn to him that will heal the cracked and broken land in your soul.  He desires to flood you with his love and provision.  You must rest and know that to be true today.  He will come to you and heal your land.

Praising God in the rain,

Mel C

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tuesday Mornings

I spent the summer of 2008 in Ethiopia.  As I was looking over my journal from that summer I found this in it and decided that it would be good to share it.  I was there to teach orphaned and refugee children English.  This is from my 8th and final week there.  Leaving was like leaving home again and a part of me is still not completely happy with still being here.  So, from Awasa, Ethiopia in July of 2008 I give you ...

Tuesday Mornings...
Today is Tuesday, my last full Tuesday in Africa.  I have found myself here to teach English to about 45 or so refugee children.  I am one part of a team of 8.  We have had 3 weeks of camp leading up to this point, so we are tired; tired to the point of being unhealthy.