Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sunday morning, I sat in church alone.

That may not seem like a big deal, but consider the fact that I am usually sitting with my husband and his parents and we've been attending there regularly for nearly 15 years so on the rare occasions that they haven't been there I have sidled up to a friend. This Sunday, I dawdled a little too long at the coffee cart talking to a friend that was on her way out and entered the crowded sanctuary a few minutes AFTER the service had begun so I just grabbed a seat near the front by myself.

The service was lovely! All three of the men who typically rotate turns leading worship were playing guitar and singing accompanied by a few more of our most talented musicians and it was a beautiful sound! I actually stopped singing for a while just to focus on the amazing sound of the congregation singing together. Our pastor's niece shared a beautiful testimony about being thankful in the tough times that truly touched my heart. We enjoyed communion, some more great worship time and the Pastor Mark spoke. He also focused on the call to be thankful for the good AND the bad.

I was teary through most of the service, but I found I also had a perma-grin!!!

At the ripe age of, I have led a life that has been relatively.... how would you put it?......mild? No truly catastrophic moments, no life threatening illnesses; I did try to walk away from God a time or two but I never got very far.

Still I wouldn't say its been a turmoil-free existence. My marriage has certainly seen some rough and rocky road, my heart has been broken, my back has been broken, I have struggled with CJ's ADD issues and Mac's strong personality, I have lost dear friends to death .........and worse. I have failed in things I hoped to be great at, put off things I may never get to do, and realized I just couldn't do all I wanted.

But this year, I got a great gift. I have felt the joy of this gift coming in bits and pieces for, at least, the latter half of the year, but Sunday I really saw it for what it was. Ive read about it a thousand times, "I know the plans I have for you...", "To everything there is a purpose..." you get the theme. A thousand times I have told myself, through bitter tears, clenched teeth, weary, ragged breath, "God will use this pain for His greater purpose!" This year, He did. And may I say, my friends, it was so worth the wait!!!

This year, my husband and I were able to stand beside a couple we love dearly while their marriage was slipping into the hands of the enemy and offer support, encouragement and understanding that we would not have had to offer were it not for the bad times in our marriage. I was able to hold my six foot plus "little" brother who had just lost his baby boy and pray with him and offer comfort to him that I might not have had to offer if I hadn't known the heartache of being a mama in the good AND bad times.

Perhaps most importantly, I was able to forgive friends I not only thought I was incapable of forgiving, but thought forgiving them would make me weak and vulnerable. Because I was willing to forgive them, I learned the joy of living without bitterness, and I looked up from my pity party to see a swarm of friends who love me and have loved me and most of all a husband who is willing to give me everything God has asked of him.

I walked to the stage after Pastor Mark's sermon and I thanked him not for the day's sermon but because I realized that day, he is another person that God has put in my life and said, "Pay attention. Watch and wait for what I am going to do here. It will bring you great joy!

Stop and offer up thanks for ALL of the things God puts in your path, all of the things he refuses to move for you, and most especially those that trip us up when we try to go our own way. Nothing else will teach you the true beauty of God's Love in such an inspiring way!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of Marriage and Metaphors

Some day I will write a book, I think, with a title something like, "Marriage is a giant elk head hanging on my living room wall!"

I am an impressionist art loving, poetry reading, singer, actress, writer, former anti-war pacifist; born in California's Bay Area on the brink of the silicon era. From my toddler years on, my dreams have been of teaching, writing, travelling the world to experience new cultures and traditions. In my youth, I imagined my adult years would be spent on university campuses all over the world discussing great literature, opening the worlds eyes to the beauty of Shakespere's sonnets and Whitman's poiniancy.
I would never have gone so far as to quit shaving my legs or going braless, and I know I could never have given up meat, or tied myself to any trees in protest. Yet somehow, I really never





pictured myself

laying on my couch...

in my house...

in Idaho....

staring up

at the head of an enormous bull elk protruding from the middle of my living room wall!

"This is compromise at its best." I thought as I laid there trying to accept this new addition to my home - while staring right into its nostrils.

In just less than 14 years, I have gone from being the afore mentioned wanna-be peace child to....

Troy's wife!

Now is when it is absolutely imperative that I stress the fact that I love my husband, live for the children we have together, and wouldn't trade my life for all the poetry circles in the world!

Still, I wonder: If I can trade Simon and Garfunkel for Big and Rich, Flojos for Ropers, Shakespere in the Park for UFC Fights, Hemmingway for McMannus and store bought beef for home-butchered elk!!!!!!!!!.....................

How is it that my husband - whom I love dearly remember - is still the military-minded, country music loving, levis and t-shirt wearing, snowmobile and four wheeler riding, master hunter that I met in 1993?

"Maynard? (that is what Troy's mother named the elk)" I ask him. "How on Earth did you get here?" Then more to the point, "How on Earth did I get here?"
I don't mean here as in Idaho. I made that choice for myself. I mean specifically here under Maynard's nostrils?

Time to explore the meaning of marriage and compromise!

More to Come!

Monday, October 13, 2008


That's me! Front row right of center (stage right that is~ your left). What a great bunch of freaks and geeks we are!
This is one of those shows that I wasn't ready to be done with. I really loved being a part of it. I played Ethel, mom of Ren, the lead character (Kevin Bacon in the movie. Although the musical is quite different.) It was not a particularly challenging role for me. I had only a few lines and one musical number (a trio), and I didn't have to dance. Woo! Hoo! I did my best and people responded well to my work. Its really the most you can hope for. The added bonus of spending so much time with some really great people just made the whole thing better!
Now its CJ's turn! He'll be playing a Lost Boy in Peter Pan! I am so excited to have him finding joy in acting the way that I do! I can't wait to watch him.
Well, I felt bloggy and really expected yo share some great stuff here, but I'm sleepy and my brain is not fully functional. So, that's all you get. So long Footloose!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is this the road less travelled?

Oh that God! He sure does like to lead us sheep!

I have come to realize that God has decided to start me on a journey that I never asked to take! I should have wanted to take it but, of course he didn't wait for my permission! He just set me down on the path! I also think it's possible that he then sat back and said, "Okay, let's watch what she does. Heh Heh Heh." ~ I don't mean that to sound like the Snidely Whiplash style evil laugh so much as the parent who knows that their kid isn't going to learn anything the easy way and figures that they might as well enjoy watching them try.~

So, anyway, I guess this journey began about a year ago. In order to be a good support to someone very important in my life, I had to face some issues in my past that I never really worked through. In the process, I had the unique opportunity to see the other side of things more clearly. I gained some very valuable new perspective.
I forgave~ or perhaps more accurately- began to forgive~ someone I really never thought I could or even should forgive. It is interesting how you can preach to others the importance of forgiveness and how not forgiving only hurts you blah blah blah......... but then when you do it; when you really get to that point where you are willing to stop being so angry, it really does feel better. The whole world brightens up a bit.

Now, it seems, the journey is a sort of metaphorical house of mirrors. Each time I turn a corner, I get a different, head-on view of myself. Once I get comfortable with what I see, I get to move on. Of course, as I go I have that constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'm not gonna like what I see at the next turn, or that I'm going to get turned around and end up facing "mirrors" I've already faced. I feel some certainty that I will find my way out of the maze and when I do I'll step into the sunlight and feel that exhilarating rush of accomplishment. I just fret a bit - okay a lot- about all that comes first.

I try to stay focused on the positives in my life; all the good that has come from this journey and past journeys. This helps. God has been good to me. He has placed some of the worlds most amazing people in my path and this has brought me great joy! Recently I have received compliments that leave me speechless and help me to believe that I really am doing things right. Just last night a sweet, new friend said, "Mel, I'm so glad I know you." And another person whom I love wholeheartedly actually told me I was one of the best people he knows. When I receive blessings like that, how can I possibly choose to dwell on the negative? How can I NOT continue on this path? I must! I will! It is the road less travelled, I think. But I don't mind forging a path. Someone I love may need to take the same route and what greater joy could there be than helping guide them and making the way easier for them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Catching up!

I've had this for a LONG time and never blogged here, so I'm catching you up with my MySpace bloggings:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My amazing boy! Current mood: blessed Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
My son is so cool!
Most of you know that Christian (CJ) was born completely deaf in his right ear. For the most part, this causes very little distraction in his everyday life. It really only becomes an issue when he is in a big crowd with a lot of background noise, or when things are particularly loud in any situation. It's also quite entertaining to talk to him about things like surround sound or directional hearing- these are foreign ideas to him. It will keep him out of the military which is far more dissapointing to him than it is to his mama, and occasionally it causes him some embarrassment when he doesn't hear something he should.
I have never heard him complain!
Seriously. Not once in 13 1/2 years. Oh there's been a time or two that he has talked about what it might be like for him to be able to hear like other people do, but no complaints.
Yesterday, I was watching a show on TLC about children with Progeria. That is the disease that causes children to age at an extremely accellerated pace. We were packing his bag for his DC trip so he stopped and watched part of it with me. He asked a few questions about the disease and I could see his eyes get a little bit teary. Then, he really touched my heart.
He said, "I am so lucky!" -Then he looked at me and apologized because he knows I don't beleive in luck and said, "I am so blessed. I think about all the kids in this world that are born with problems like this, or like Joey (my nephew who is physically and mentally delayed) or like what happened with Isaac (my nephew who was stillborn last month). I'm like, 'perfect'" he said. "I mean I've got this hearing problem but so what. It's not any big deal."
Now hear's the kicker. He said, "They must really be tough kids to deal with all of that and keep smiling. It really makes me apreciate what I've got."
And THAT really make sme appreciate what I'VE got! My son is so cool!
Man I am really gonna miss that boy for the next week!
Good thing I've got my stage son to give me hugs every night!
Please be praying for CJ while he is in DC! Sept 18-25

Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Love your babies! Current mood: disappointed
I was on my way to my church yesterday at about 11:45. (Yeah I skipped the actual service but was heading up there for some coffee training.) I was driving up 17th St ~ a fairly busy 4 lane ~ when I reached the Unity Church (corner of 15thAve.) I saw a little boy (not quite 3 by my estimation) preparing to cross the street with his little scooter in hand. ALONE!!!!
I screamed; pulled my car into the Unity church parking lot ~ not even bothering to park properly or turn off the engine~ and jumped out to stop him!
Of course, as soon as he saw me running toward him, he ditched the scooter and started running down the street. I slowed to a quick walk, grabbed his scooter and started talking to him. "Where's your mommy?" "Where's your daddy?" "Is your house nearby?" "What are you doing out here all by yourself?" All interspersed with, "No! Stay on the sidewalk, please."
Soon he was happily talking and giggling ~ not that I could understand a word~ as he skipped down the street. He was clearly not afraid of me anymore. "Where's home?" I tried again. He pointed up and down the street in a half dozen directions. Even as I was certain that at any moment a worried mama or daddy was going to cross our path, I was starting to wonder how many doors we might have to knock on.
Finally, as we approached the next corner, I saw a couple unloading a suburban. "Let's go talk to these people, buddy. Do you know them?"
Now, he started to look scared. "NO!" he said.
I approached the woman and told her the story. She called another woman over who actually lived at the house. "Yes!" she said. "That's Nick. He's one of the little twins that live next door. Nick, you better get in the house."
I turned to find my little friend, looking terrified, hiding behind a big tree in the front yard of what I now understood to be his house. "NO!" he yelled again. I was mortified to see how scared he suddenly was.
The neighbor's husband walked with me to Nick's front door and knocked. The man who answered looked quite angry to have been bothered by the knocking. When the neighbor started to tell him what happened, he screamed, "Nick! Get in here!"
Little Nick came out from behind the tree and headed for the house like he was bound for the gallows.
This guy wasn't interested in knowing how close that baby had come to being crushed by any manner of vehicle that might be driving up or down the street. He didn't even look at me! No thank you. Nothing. The neighbor lady said, "Please don't be mad at him."
Nothing. He closed the door as soon as Nick was inside. I left the little scooter where it sat, thanked the neighbors, and headed back to my car. My heart was in my feet. I couldn't really even feel good about helping the poor baby because I really just felt like I'd turned him over to the enemy.
Where was the hysterical, relieved parent, too happy that this baby was safe to even think of yelling at him or scolding him? I can't imagine. No wonder the big busy street and unfamiliar outside world weren't scary to him. He was escaping.
Pray for Nick. Pray for his twin. Pray for his parents. Pray for me. Pray that I read this all wrong. My heart hurts.
Hug your babies! Tell them they are special!

Sunday, March 09, 2008
Joey Scored A Basket!!!!!!! Current mood: touched
There are at present 30 children in this world to whom I am "Aunt" or "Auntie" I know- a bunch! (and mind you I have 4 siblings who have yet to have children and one who may not be quite finished- he actually has one on the way!) I love being an aunt. I love each one of these amazing kids and each one has a special place in my heart. From Andrew- the very first whose birth I think I anticipated as much as my own son's to Leah- with those almond eyes and jet black hair who often reminds people, "I'm from China!" There is Brehon who has always come running to give me a bear hug which, now that he stands more than half a foot taller than me often includes lifting me right off the ground and lilttle Emily who is a constant source of entertainment with her funny faces and happy, pixie-like demeanor. And of course the three wonderful children that my brother came to love as his own after they suffered hurt no babies ever should. I could go on about each one but the two most on my mind today are Ashley and Joey.
Ashley, 12 tomorrow, is a true beauty! A tall, lean figure, muscular as you would expect from a girl who spends every possible moment on a basketball court or soccer field. Her bright blue eyes twinkle with her constant smile in lovely contrast to her dark hair and fair skin. She is smart, hard working and quite popular among her classmates and competitors. The youngest girl in the state of Idaho to be chosen for her Jr Olympic team, we fully expect that she will one day earn a scholarship to play the sport of her choice at the school of her choice! It is no suprise when Ashley leads her team to victory! But we are proud of her every time!
Joey, twin to Robby, turned 12 in January. Beyond the age and the beautiful smile, there are few similarities to the sports star described above. Joey has seen great triumphs in his young life but they are not the kind most of us find ourselves hoping for in the children we love. Here is a list, in example, of some of his greatest acomplishments.... to date:
He lived
He spoke
He walked
He went to school
I believe Joey was four when they finally stopped adding to the list of things that add frustration to Joey's life; microcephaly, autism, cerebral palsey, epiliepsy..... But last week, in a real normal-kid moment, on a normal-kid basketball team Joey scored a basket! The crowed roared, his team patted him on the back, his mama cried, and best of all, for Joey, the score board changed. Not just the one on the gym wall but the one in our hearts and minds. Joey against the world- score one more for Joey!!! What else do you think he can't do? He'll be happy to prove you wrong!

Sunday, February 03, 2008
Rebecca’s wise words
This is a beautiful piece of wisdom from my beautiful young friend, Rebecca. She's pretty darn smart!!!

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone Current mood: vibrant
The past week or so I've been struggling. I've been taking things far too personally. I have been a little disappointed by the behavior of some of the people in my life. To put it bluntly, I've been feeling a little...unloved. I wondered why people didn't do more for me, or show their friendship in more obvious ways. All I was thinking about was myself. People were rude to me and hurt my feelings, and I just kept expecting a pity party. How selfish is that?!?!Then today, I was making a list of the people I wanted to send Valentine Crushes to. And the pity party was over. I am constantly in awe of my wonderful friends that would do anything for me, and they know I would be there for them in a second. I have been so amazingly and incredibly blessed with loving people in my life, that I don't know how to adequately express the joy that I feel. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."Galatians 6:2My role is not to be served, but to serve. I realize that it is not my job to mope around and hope that somebody will say something nice to brighten my day. I should be spreading joy to others. I shouldn't complain when things don't go my way--I should be upset when I see someone I love hurting. I don't need to be in the spotlight. I need to step aside at times and let my loved ones shine. I need to celebrate their happiness, and help them through their pain. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people..."Galatians 6:9-10I have always known these things, but I just kind-of got it. I finally realize that this life is truly not about me...and I'm ok with that :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Goodbye to the red-headed demon! Category: Romance and Relationships
I never thought this day would come.
I have carried bitterness in my very heart and soul for so long now.
It became a comfort to me.
I knew I could always rely on that pain.
It would always be there.
I don't believe I ever had a desire to see it go.
I said that I did.
I lied.

Now its gone.
And I feel so free.

He loves me.
I'm his.
That is all that matters.
When he says words like regret.... remorse..... pain.....
I realize that I have asked him to continue to pay.
No more.

You have no power here anymore.
I love him.
He's mine!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
TAG!!! Your it!

TAG: Here's how you play. Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end, you choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them to be tagged. Don't forget to leave them a comment "You're It!" and to read your blog. You can't tag the person who tagged you. Since you can't tag me back, let me know when you've posted your bulletin so I can see your answers.....

I am terrified whenever I have to drive on a bridge. I used to have a reoccurring nightare when I was little that the car I was in drove off of a bridge and I couldn't get out!
Claymation freaks me out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also a nightmare issue. I used to have claymation nightmares.
My greatest fear, however, is insanity.
On my wedding day, I rose bright and early and sat down to have a nice bowl of cold cereal but the milk was sour. I lost my appetite and didn't eat again until after the wedding that night.
When I was 4 I believed that I had been a Chinese man with 2,000 children in a past life.
I love reality TV!
I like to fall asleep with theTV on.
I am convinced that I am going to die at a reletively early age.
I am super starving hungry right now!!!!!!!
I once had the coolest black leather jacket but it was stolen off the back of my chair @ a bar. I swore that if I ever saw anyone in town wearing it I would take it forceably. I still miss that jacket!!!!! I think I know who took it..........
Okay, here's my 10 and why…
Myndie~ cuz I think its in our BFF contract
Phill~ cuz I love him
Pun~same as above
Lisa~ I'm wondering if I will know some of her facts
Mason~ Because he is the intellectual type & will likely have entertaining answers.
Gail~She never does these things
Kara~ She hasn't for a while
Torry~ Everything about him is interesting
Jen~ she'll have great facts, I'm sure
Kathy~ cause I never hear from her here but she is the fact master!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Take the Compliment! Category: Life
I always have these massive life changing bits of info to share here. Right? Of course I'm right!!!
So, an observation I made today:
I was coming out of the grocery store today, headed toward Troy's '72 Chevy truck that I have been driving since my car died. There was an older man - kinda the good 'ol boy type- standing there looking the truck over while he waited for his buddy to come out of the store. If you know me at all you know that I will strike up a conversation any time with anyone, so I said, "Were you checking out my truck?" He smiled- several teeth were missing- and said, "No I was looking at you." I laughed a little, and probably blushed, knowing me. Then he said, "If I take the truck do I get you with it?" I said, "Well, you'd probably have a tough time getting my husband to part with either of us." As we both got in our vehicles to leave he laughed and said, "Ain't that always how it happens."
My thoughts turned then to the episode of 'How I Met Your Mother' that I watched last night. The main characters plus 'Barney's' brother were all out at a club and as the two single guys (one gay one straight) ran around trying to help eachother "hook up" The two couples sat on a couch complaining about the horrors of being hit on in a bar. The guys were feeling no pity for the the women who were both very attractive and thought that they should quit complaining. "Oh poor me! I'm so hot guys just won't stop hitting on me."
Later in the episode, they all went to a gay bar. The women were thrilled because they could dance to their hearts content and not get hit on and every time a guy came up and complimented them they liked it because they knew that it was sincere. The men however, were repeatedly hit on.
Now, the writers lead us to think, the men get to see what it is really like for the poor hot women who are constantly victimized by the horribly forward guys who have the odacity to hit on them at bars and clubs.
Really? Is this the way we are to see things? I know I have spent literally no time as a single in a bar. I was a child bride. But I have been hit on a few times. Aside from a time or two that a guy has been slow to back off and I have had to firmly explain that I was married and therefore not interested, I've tried to take it all as a compliment.
Now, it would seem to me that very few men - or women for that matter- are really going to continue to pursue contact with someone who has clearly said, "Thank you, but I am not interested." I can't help but think that typically when a girl becomes irritated with being hit on it has more to do with who is hitting on them. I'm pretty sure if it was Mr. Perfect body and great smile, they wouldn't be quite so off-put.
It takes a lot of nerve, I'm sure, for someone to approach a stranger and ask for a dance or offer to buy them a drink. Maybe they don't have the 'total package' but they still deserve at least the minimum respect due to any human in a social setting. If you are not interested, say so, nicely. If it doesn't hurt anything, dance once with them. When the song ends, say, "Thanks. It was nice to meet you." Shake hands and walk away.
In the end, there honestly is no great conspiracy amongst the male gender to force women (or other men) to hate them or be disgusted by them. Yeah some men are real pigs we all know that.
But ladies, really, our gender doesn't always have its' best foot forward either.
If you truly are so amazingly hot that you can't go out in public without being bombarded by proposals at every turn, next time pick out a pair of baggy sweats, an oversized t-shirt & flip flops. Skip the perfume throw your hair up in a pony tail and plant yourself in a corner all night.
Because, seriously, the whole, "I have a right to dress any way I want its just my style" while wearing 4 inch heals, a mini skirt and a halter top that doesn't quite cover the belly ring and lower back tatoo coupled with perfectly styled hair, salon perfect make up and super hi gloss lipstick and dirty dancing with your equally 'accidentally' hot girlfriends right smack in the middle of the dance floor in plain view of everyone, just doesn't send out the "Please don't hit on me." message.

Friday, May 04, 2007
Why I believe! Current mood: loved Category: Life
HANDY CHART - God has a positive answer:

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)
You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you
(John 3:16 & John 3:34 )
You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)
You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)
You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it

Thursday, April 12, 2007
I really don't know.... Current mood: listless Category: Life
Oh this has really been boring week. I have been all alone all week long in my boss's home.Just processing orders and making phone calls. I am clearly remembering, now, why I have so enjoyed being in the resaurant business. I need people around me!!!So here I sit, all kinds of contempletive, thinking, "I should write a new blog".
I have NO IDEA what i should write......
Here's something:
I have a new song on myspace. "Better Than Me" by Hinder. I heard it for the first time last night. (I was in the tub so I was a very captive audience.) It is a really good song. Take a listen. I think that someone loved me like that once. It is a shame that all of that desperate passion is wasted on our young and foolish years. A day like that seems to loom in my future. All of you, (not that many will read this) love is our choice to make. Find the right person to love and love them wholeheartedly. Don't waste your time choosing to love someone you shouldn't. It will only hurt you in the end. People change, yes, but seldom do they change into what we want them to be or even what they say they will. No one ever should be told, "I love you, but..." The one I fell for once was, "I am going to learn to love you, I just can't yet. I need you to love me enough for both of us." Sounds stupid doesn't it? Yeah. That's how you end up engaged to someone who doesn't even remember the engagement a year later. I have no one to blame but myself.I do miss the days of mix tapes and notes and I was once a real fan of the endless phone call.Being a grown up is not as much fun but things do hurt less.