Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Love Dare-Day One

The first part of this dare is fairly simple.  Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart.  For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all.  If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything.  It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

Love is patient-- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Love works. It is life's most powerful motivator and has for greater depth and meaning than most people realize.  It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest problems.  Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is.  Those pillars are patience and kindness.  Love will inspire you to become patient.  When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to negative situations.  You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper.  Love helps you settle down.  No one likes to be around an impatient person.  It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish and regrettable ways.  Anger almost never makes things better.  Patience stops all this kind of behavior, it is a deep breath.  It clears the air. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.  As sure as a lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. Patience allows your spouse to be human.  It understands everyone fails.  When mistakes are made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.  What would the tone and volume in your home be like if you tried this biblical approach:  "See that no one repays another evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another."  (1 Thessalonians 5:15)  This Love Dare Journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to possess is patience.  Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race worth running.

Starting over on The Love Dare, this time along side of my hubby, brings a new meaning to this chapter for me.  Yesterday was the first day of our challenge and I was sure that I was not going to say anything negative to my hubby.  It was a great day, we had lunch together and we communicated during the day so it was easy to stay positive with him because I felt like we were depositing positive contributions to our love banks.  Later in the evening I had a little bit of a struggle, but I refrained from attacking him or giving him attitude.  He was quick to pick up on my struggle and did the best he could to try and ease my fears so our evening ended up great.  I felt good at the end of the day that I was able to maintain positive reactions to him and nothing was negative.  

Love is patient is something I am really working on in my marriage.   I come from a long history of emotions and an emotional family.  The issues in our home growing up were resolved with my mother screaming at us and throwing things.  She would blow up at the child that was in trouble, belittle that child and then ignore that child for a period of time.  I caught onto this behavior quickly so it was always my intention to do whatever I had to do to make her happy, even if that sacrificed my own happiness.  I still feel I act this way in my adult life too, always want people to be happy and everything to be okay so I can feel safe in my life.  But what I did not realize I was learning was the temper part too.

I am quick to anger.  I am quick to jump.  I will determine a situation and the outcome of that situation and rather than just sitting quietly and letting it settle or giving myself time with God I will jump and get it out on the table with the person who is involved, which of course is my hubby.  This is a big flaw of mine.  Not because I want to attack him or I want to make him uncomfortable but because I am the type that I just want to rip the band aid off.   If we have an issue.. rip it off, lets face it, talk about it, learn from it and hopefully move on from it.  That would seem reasonable to most people however the way I go about it is driven by emotions only.  There is nothing rational going on when I am pushed up against a wall or feeling like I am threatened or being made to look like a fool.

Reading this first chapter in the Dare gives me a new perspective on how I need to learn to change who I am and how I react to situations.  I do not know exactly how that will work at this time but I am anxious to find a new way that will honor my hubby, honor God and will allow me to feel like the issue is being handled properly.  As we dig more into this journey I am sure these tools will come to me and as I make more time to learn the Word of God I am hoping to find my answers there as well.  It is my intention to find peace in my life, give peace to my marriage and grow as a person.  I just hope that my hubby will be with me along the way, in every way and together we can grow into a stronger marriage.


I had do do everything in my power to keep from reading Michelle's blog, to help frame my response. I thought well let's see what she has to say before I decide how yesterday went. Even though many of you agree with me, I'm sure, that this is a sensible approach, my understanding of this blog is that I am supposed to have my own feelings and thoughts, independent of hers. This is going to be hard work!

I can't help but to notice several paragraphs above, however, that appear to be approximately ten sentences each. Perhaps I should increase my font. I do not have several paragraphs worth of material. In fact, I fear, I can some up yesterday in a few sentences:

Yesterday was a good day. Michelle and I were both coming down from the high of her birthday weekend. What could possibly be a point of contention? As I was driving home, I could sense her concern and impatience. Well, maybe it was less of a "sense" or more of, I read her texts. I was 17 minutes later than projected. The troops (Mellie) were getting restless.

Today, I am sorry to say I got confused with "Day 2" versus "Day 3". This means, I thought today was the day I was supposed to call her out of the blue and tell her I was thinking of her, at least once. I performed this task twice today. Unfortunately, I have the wrong day. Today, I am supposed to do something unexpectedly nice. While I initially felt that coming home on-time as expected would in fact qualify as something unexpectedly nice, I fear that feeling may not be mutual. So, while I feel slightly robbed, apparently I called home for no apparent reason and in fact have to still do something unexpectedly nice. I am drawing a blank, but am confident I will succeed.

Reading the first chapter of the dare reminded me I need to learn to shut my mouth, and listen. Yes, I have plenty to say. And, I might add, I have a self-proclaimed proven track record of being right....approximately 33 years straight. I am learning that in a relationship there is no right or wrong, there is only a "US". The point is not to "win" an argument, because when someone wins, really everyone is losing. Rather, the point as I understand it, is to be and stay united, communicate your way through issues. I will continue to work on this.

For the record, however.....I am nearly always right. And, I did in fact have several paragraphs worth of material. I hereby declare Day 1 a success.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

A New Beginning...... The Season of Lent

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima) is a solemn observance in the liturgical year of many Christian denominations, lasting for a period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. In the general Latin-rite and most Western denominations Lent is taken to run from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) morning or to Easter Eve. In the Catholic Church, Lent lasts until Holy Thursday, while other denominations run until Easter Eve.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the the Bible when Jesus is crucified on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.

Penitence: The quality or state of being penitent : sorrow for sins or faults.  

After being married for ten years the hubby and I are both guilty of sins and faults against each other.  Like most people we have our disagreements, we have times where words are said that can be painful and we both have times where our actions in the marriage have not honored one another.  Marriage is hard and can put you in situations you never thought you would be in.  But through it all one thing has remained for me towards my hubby, its my love and dedication to him.

The season of Lent it about being sorrow for your sins and faults while honoring Christ for what He gave up for us... HIS life.  My family practices this tradition each year by deciding what we are going to give up for Lent and what actions we will do to bring our faith and relationship closer to God.  This is something we have tried to do each season and have our children do as well.

My hubby and I strive to do the same with our relationship, what we can do to bring us closer together and our bond more solid.  For those who know me and follow me the way I started was by taking the The Love Dare.  I took the dare as a way to help improve myself as a wife and show my hubby what he meant to me.  Now my hubby is wanting to take the challenge with me.  So last night we decided that we would begin the challenge together by each of us starting over.  We want to help anyone out there who is trying to improve their marriage as well so my hubby has agreed to blog along with me.

Going forward we will each blog together about the chapter, the challenge and what affect it had on us.  This is a way for us to be able to share our growth with anyone out there and let you see it from both view points.  I am very excited to be sharing this with my hubby and all of you.

We will start on Monday the 25th of February.  

I look forward to this and I hope you do as well.

Have a great day, a wonderful weekend and remember all things are possible through God.


***I have a couple friends who are struggling in their marriage.  I challenged them to take the Love Dare with me.  This is a 60 day love challenge based off the movie FireProof Your Marriage.  I have started this challenge in the past but not fully dove into it or completed it so I thought if I got these ladies to do it with me we could all work through it together.


I am always looking for ways to improve my marriage, my faith and my relationship with my hubby.  I am doing this for me more so than FOR him.  It is about changing who I am and who I want to be as a wife and mother and child of God.****

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

39 Years of Living in Fear......

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9

Today as I started to open my bible to study the word a strong force came over me and told me to start looking up passages in the bible about fear.  Then I began to find scriptures on the internet (Catholic pages) about fear and it became clear to me the strong force was God telling me to learn and read why I am not to live in fear anymore.

39 years of my life I have lived in some sort of fear in one way or the other.  When I was a child my mother had struggles of her own that left us kids to basically raise ourselves and fight for our survival.  There were times as a child we would have no electricity or hot water and even times of no food in the house.  Dinner for me, I recall, on several occasions was a slice of white bread with sugar on it and maybe a glass of milk.  

My eldest sibling had emotional issues that would cause him to rage at the drop of a hat.  His rages were not only mental but physical and he could strike at you in a second. My mother use to say she was afraid he was going to kill us all one night in our sleep.  This, of course, developed a fear of being physically hurt.

My mother would go on drinking binges and could be gone for a few days at a time when I was smaller.  There were nights I would pray to God that she would not die or that she would come back for us and not just pick up and leave all together. Naturally, this developed into a fear of being abandoned.

My mother never really worked during my childhood.  She would have a few part time jobs here and there but generally she lived off Social Security checks from the death of my brothers' father.  She also depended on the men in her life to help pay for things when she fell short.  This caused us to have to move many times during my childhood because we could not pay our rent. I established a fear of being homeless early on in life.  Then true to the fear it happened the summer before my freshman year. My mother didn't have a job and didn't have a man at the time she could lean on and she and I ended up homeless sleeping in the cab of her truck at a rest stop in West Linn.

Fast forward to my first marriage.  My spouse and I were very young. We had no business being married at such a young age, especially me I was only 17.  My spouse at the time was not a forthcoming man and usually would lie about where he had been or who he had been with.  This developed a fear of being taken advantage of.
As you can see the patter developed throughout my entire life, fear has grown in me from as far back as I can recall.   

There is a saying that I have on my computer that sums my fears up pretty good:  

"I over analyze situations because I'm scared of what will happen if I’m not prepared for it." 

The fears that I live with continue to be detrimental to my life I am trying to live.  I have talked about letting go of my fears in the past, giving them to God.  But when you live with fear for so long and you live in fear each day of your life it is hard to just put them on a shelf and walk away.

I live a much different life now than I did as a child, I am blessed.  But my old fears that were developed as a child are still alive and with me as I get ready to turn 40.  Situations in my marriage to my hubby now have thrown me into stronger fears than I have ever had and sometimes I feel like I can be falling down a dark hole.
This is not how I want to live the next 40 years of my life.  Timothy 2 1:7 says: 

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 

The life of power and love and self-control is the way I want to spend the next 40 years of my life.  I trained my mind to be a better person a few years ago, happier.  I trained my body to be in the best shape of its life.  I taught myself how to forgive and be able to put the transgression aside.  I WILL teach myself not to live in fear anymore.  This is not the life I want for myself, this is not the life God wants for me and I know this is not the person my hubby wants to spend the next 40 years with, someone who lives in a darkness of fear.
I hope that I can achieve this and I pray that my hubby will help me along the way.  John 4:18 says 
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" 

I know this verse is speaking of our Lord but I think it goes for our spouses too.  We need to have no fear in love, we need a love that casts out those fears and it is up to us as married people to ensure that we are casting out the fear for our spouses.  I don't think my hubby has any fears when it comes to me in our marriage but I know that while working on putting my own fears aside and learning not to live in them I am going to go out of my way to ensure my hubby has no fears of his own.

I will learn fear is not where God wants me to live. I will learn that I can only control myself and the rest I have to give to God.  

40 more years of life and I am praying for strength, for the will to live outside of fear and for the perfect love that casts out fear.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Sixteen

Begin praying for your spouse's heart.  Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

Love intercedes-- Beloved, I pray that in all aspects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.  You cannot change your spouse.  Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Isn't that what happens when you try and change your mate?  It's frustration as the highest level.  At some point you need to realize that it's not something you can change.  But what you can do is become a wise farmer.  A farmer cannot make a seed grow into a fruitful crop.  He can not argue, manipulate, or demand it to bear fruit.  What he can do is plant the seed into fertile soil, give it water and nutrients, protect it from weeds, and then turn it over to God. This challenge is not about changing your spouse.  It's about you daring to love.  If yo take the Love Dare seriously, there is a high chance you will be personally changed from the inside out.  And if you carry out each dare your spouse will likely be changed and your marriage will begin to bloom.  It may take month, or even years. But regardless of the soil you're working with you are to plan for success.  You are to nurture the soil of your mate's heart and then depend on God for the results. God is sovereign.  He does things His way.  He's not a genie in a lamp that submits to your every wish. But He does love you and desires in intimate relationship with you.  This doesn't happen apart from prayer.  Prayer works best when coming from a humble heart that is in a right relationship with God and others.  The Bible says "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another."  Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse's hidden faults?  Do you really think it's for endless nagging?  No, it is for effective kneeling.  So turn your complaints into prayers and watch the Master work while you keep your hands clean. Pray for his heart. Pray for her attitude. Pray for your responsibilities before God. Pray for truth to replace lie. Pray that forgiveness would replace bitterness.  Pray for a genuine breakthrough in your marriage.  And then pray for your hearts desires- for love and honor to become the norm. Pray for romance and intimacy to go to a deeper level. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)

"Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse's hidden faults?  Do you really think it's for endless nagging?  No, it is for effective kneeling."  

This statement made me laugh yesterday when I read it but it also made me really think and reflect on what I was praying for and how I was going about it.  How many of us really want to change our spouses and think if we just do this or that we can get them to come around to our way of thinking?  I know I am guilty of this ten fold.  I am embarrassed to say it, but it's the truth.

I have always been able to tell when something is up with my hubby.  Maybe it is just a feeling at first, maybe it's a list of things that are adding up, maybe I don't find out the whole thing at first but eventually it all comes to me.  I have always thought this was Evil trying to fill my head and point things out to come against my marriage but when I read the statement above it hit home, perhaps it's really God showing me so I can get down on my knees and pray for him.

I am no saint.  I am not the wife of the year.  I have baggage from my life.  I have trust issues from here to Canada.  I listen but sometimes I do not hear.  I care but sometimes I do not love.  I give but sometimes I have resentment.  These are just some of the reasons I took this challenge and then invited my friends to do it with me.  I am not trying to proclaim that I am the wife of the year, I struggle with so many issues on my own then you add my hubby to the mix and sometimes we can be on a roller coaster of events that can change each day.

However, what I do know is this.... I WANT to be better.  I WANT to be a better wife.  I WANT to be off that roller coaster.  I WANT to listen and hear everything.  I WANT to care and give love in everything I do.  I WANT to give and not resent. I WANT my hubby to feel safe and have trust in me too.  I really feel as this challenge goes on I am growing on the inside and I am getting closer to God and in the end that will help my marriage.  

I did pray for my hubby and I had my three specific areas that I prayed for.  And for the first time I felt like I was REALLY praying.  I did not ask him to change my hubby, I did not ask him to get my hubby to do this or stop that.  I just prayed for him.  As I drifted off to sleep last night I prayed again this way for him and really felt a sense of peace.  I think I am finally learning how to pray.

***I have a couple friends who are struggling in their marriage.  I challenged them to take the Love Dare with me.  This is a 60 day love challenge based off the movie FireProof Your Marriage.  I have started this challenge in the past but not fully dove into it or completed it so I thought if I got these ladies to do it with me we could all work through it together.


I am always looking for ways to improve my marriage, my faith and my relationship with my hubby.  I am doing this for me more so than FOR him.  It is about changing who I am and who I want to be as a wife and mother and child of God.****

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Fifteen

 Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.  It may be holding the door for her.  It might be putting his clothes away for him.  It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication.  Show your mate that he or she is esteemed in your eyes.

Love is honorable-Live with your wives in an understanding way.... and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.  There are certain words in our language that have powerful meanings. Whenever these words are used, an air of respect is associated with them.  One of these words is honor.  To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth.  You keep your language clean and understandable.  You are courteous and polite.  You take them seriously and give their words weight and significance.  Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the television.  You give your mate's voice and opinion equal influence in your mind.  You honor what they have to say.  They matter, and you show them that in every way.  He or she is sacred to you, a person to be honored, praised and defended.  This means no other person in the whole world is supposed to enjoy this level of commitment and endearment from you.  Is that the way it is in your marriage?  Would your mate say you honor and respect them? Do you consider them set apart and highly valued?  Holy?  Love honors when it's rejected.  Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return.  You are to be devoted to one another in love.  But when your attempts at honor go unreciprocated, you are to honor just the same. That's what love dares do-to say "Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most.  Of all the things I am willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you.  With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults-past and present- I still choose to love and honor you."  That's how you create an atmosphere for love to be rekindled.  That's how you lead your heart to truly love your mate again. And that's the beauty of honor. 

I always write about my dare the day after.  Today I am struggling within myself and struggling to let go of some past issues.  I actually re-read my own blogs to remind myself of the lessons I have learned so far in this exercise so that I could deal with my emotions and fears that I am having.  Learning to give it to God, learning to stay within myself, learning to honor, rules of healthy engagements... all of these reminders I am calling on today to help me change my behavior and patterns. The mind is a powerful tool and it can run away with the smallest detail and create the biggest scenario.  I am not going to allow this to happen today and by getting my challenge from yesterday down and moving forward into the season of Lent I know God will see me through.

Yesterday I had to honor and respect my hubby a new way and go above and beyond my normal to show him that he is highly esteemed in my eyes.  Yesterday I failed.  I thought all day about this challenge.  I read the chapter several times.  I underlined points of the chapter to focus on.  Yet, I could not come up with an "action" that I could do to go above and beyond my normal towards my hubby that would show him

Or did I fail?

We had a great evening yesterday.  We didn't go to the gym and rather than getting lost in chores around the house, the kids or other things that needed to be done we just spent time together alone when he got home from work.  We connected with each other and enjoyed our evening together.  We had a little stress over dinner but rather than letting that take over us and determine the rest of our night we both handled it pretty well and got over it together.  There was a point at one part of the night where I came to my hubby with a question over something he had done.  I tried to not sound condescending or accusatory and I think he responded well to my attempt.  So perhaps the challenge was not a failure.  Perhaps me changing the way I dealt with the stress of dinner and the question over an action was me going above and beyond to show him honor and respect. 

I think this is so hard for me not because I do honor and respect him, I really do.  But because of past situations between he and I one of the things he has said to me over and over again is that he does not feel respected.  This has always weighed so heavy on me because I do honor and respect him and it has frustrated me when he has said these things to me.  How could he not feel respected?  I feel I go above and beyond what I am supposed to do.  Then I recall something a manager once told me when I had a team of employees to supervise.  She said "Perception is 100% the truth.  If their perception is saying this, than that is THEIR truth and you have to decide if you are going to change their truth."  That always stuck with me over the years and when my hubby says things like he does not feel respected, then I tell myself that is HIS perception and it is up to ME to change it or not.

This is a challenge I will continue to work on and hopefully continue to improve in my marriage.  Because it is true.  Of all the relationships I have, I value this one the most.  Of all the things I am willing to sacrifice, I would sacrifice the most for him.  With all his failures, sins, mistakes and faults-I still choose to love and honor him.  I don't have to lead my heart to truly love my hubby... it already does.


***I have a couple friends who are struggling in their marriage.  I challenged them to take the Love Dare with me.  This is a 60 day love challenge based off the movie FireProof Your Marriage.  I have started this challenge in the past but not fully dove into it or completed it so I thought if I got these ladies to do it with me we could all work through it together.


I am always looking for ways to improve my marriage, my faith and my relationship with my hubby.  I am doing this for me more so than FOR him.  It is about changing who I am and who I want to be as a wife and mother and child of God.****