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!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Love Dare- Day 28

He laid down His life for us.  We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. – 1 John 3:16 HCSB

Life can be hard.  But what we usually mean is that our life can be hard.  We’re the first to feel it when we’re the ones being mistreated or inconvenienced.  We’re quick to sulk when we’re the ones who feel deprived or unappreciated.  When life is difficult for us, we notice.

But too often the only way we notice that life is hard for our mate is when they start complaining about it.  Then instead of genuinely caring or rushing in to help, we might think they just have a bad attitude.  The pain and pressure they’re under don’t register with us the way it does when it’s our pain and pressure.  When we want to complain, we expect everyone to understand and feel sorry for us.

This doesn’t happen when love is at work.  Love doesn’t have to be jarred awake by your mate’s obvious signs of distress.  Before worries and troubles have begun to bury them, love has already gone into action mode.  It sees the weight beginning to pile up and it steps in to help.  That’s because love wants you to be sensitive to your spouse.

Love makes sacrifices.  It keeps you so tuned in to what your spouse needs that you often respond without being asked.  And when you don’t notice ahead of time and must be told what’s happening, love responds to the heart of the problem.

Even when your mate’s stress comes out in words of personal accusation, love shows compassion rather than becoming defensive.  Love inspires you to say “no” to what you want, in order to say “yes” to what your spouse needs.

That’s what Jesus did.  “He laid down His life for us” to show us that “we should also lay down our lives” for others.  He taught us that the evidence of love is found in seeing a need in others, then doing all we can to satisfy it.  “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (Matthew 23:35-36).

These are the types of needs you should be looking for in your wife or husband.  Instead of sitting around upset that they’re not treating you the way you think they should, let love pick you up out of your self-pity and turn your attention to their needs.

Is he “hungry” – needing you sexually, even when you don’t feel like it?

Is she “thirsty” – craving the time and attention you seem to be able to give everyone else?

Does he feel like a “stranger” – insecure in his work, needing home to be a refuge and sanctuary?

Is she “naked” – frightened or ashamed, desperate for the warm covering of your loving affirmation?

Is he feeling “sick” – physically tired and needing you to help guard him from interruptions?

Does she feel in “prison” – fearful and depressed, needing some safety and intervention?

Love is willing to make sacrifices to see that the needs of your spouse are given your very best effort and focus.  When your mate is overwhelmed and under the gun, love calls you to set aside what seems so essential in your own life to help, even if it’s merely the gift of a listening ear.

Often all they really need is just to talk this situation out.  They need to see in your two attentive eyes that you truly care about what this is costing them, and you’re serious about helping them seek answers.  They need you to pray with them about what to do, and then keep following up to see how it’s going.

The words “How can I help you?” need to stay fresh on your lips.

The solutions may be simple and easy for you to do, or they may be complex and expensive, requiring time, energy and great effort.  Either way, you should do whatever you can to meet the real needs of the one who is a part of who you are.  After all, when you help them, you are also helping yourself. That’s the beautiful part of sacrificing for your spouse.  Jesus did it for us.  And He extends the grace to do it for others.

When the New Testament believers began to walk in love, their lives together were marked by sharing and sacrifice.  Their heartbeat was to worship the Lord and to serve His people.  “All those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have “need” (Acts 2:44-45).  As Paul said to one of these churches in a later decade, “I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15).  Lives that have been raised from death by Jesus sacrifice should be ready and willing to make daily sacrifices to meet the needs of others.

Today’s Dare

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse’s life right now?  Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part?  Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

"The solutions may be simple and easy for you to do, or they may be complex and expensive, requiring time, energy and great effort.  Either way, you should do whatever you can to meet the real needs of the one who is a part of who you are.  After all, when you help them, you are also helping yourself."

When I was growing up and was in and out of different relationships my happiness always seemed to be based on what my significant other was doing for me ME happy.  Was he paying attention to me enough?  Did he make me feel safe?  Was he affection enough in public towards me?  Everything seemed to be about what the other person could bring to our relationship to hold me there.  I made it very clear if that person failed then I would not be sticking around and  would find someone who would so I did not have to sacrifice myself.

Of course looking back at that behavior I realize now how selfish I really was and how absurd and immature it was for me to think that way.  (My hubby thinks I am a handful now, it is a GOOD thing he did not know me then.)  It's really embarrassing to look back on.

When I got married I told myself I was going to make it work, no matter what.  This WAS going to be my last relationship and I was not going to put my kids through another divorce.  I was going to be married till death do us part.  Even though we said our vows in front of a judge I said them in front of God.

It took me some years of growing to really understand how to love my hubby.  I really had to let go of all my wants and expectations and just give in to unconditional love.  I had to keep telling myself that me giving in on this argument, or getting past this hurt would get me one step closer to the life I have always wanted to live and have the love I always dreamed of having.  I just prayed to have the strength to get through one more day and one more event that was threatening to tear us apart.

I began to love differently.  I began to do things above and beyond for my hubby in hopes to not only please him but to demonstrate the kind of love I wanted.  It really is true when you can give up yourself and do for others you will feel better.  To me, this is God's way of teaching us how to love as HE loves us.

My hubby is a complicated man.  There are days I think I am on target with giving him attention and showing him the love he wants but can find out that I was no where near the target.  Then there are days where I can see my love fill him and he makes changes in himself to please me and to be a better man.  We are all struggling in the ins and outs of life.  Trying to find our place, the meaning for us being here and trying to maintain some happiness along the way.  I truly believe if we allow ourselves to let go to love and sacrifice the way Jesus did for us then our struggles will be over.

I am no where near perfect and I am far beyond an expert at loving my hubby but I am still here, I am still working towards it and I still love this man with all my heart. 

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy (CST), or cranial-sacral therapy, is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy focused primarily on the concept of "primary respiration" and regulating the flow of cerebrospinal fluid by using therapeutic touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. Craniosacral therapy was developed by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970s, and is loosely based on osteopathy in the cranial field (OCF), which was developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland.[1][2] In the United States, OCF, or cranial osteopathy, as it is more commonly known, can only be practiced by fully licensed physicians (DOs, MDs and, in some states licensed naturopathic physicians, NDs, or licensed massage therapists)- Wikipedia

A typical Craniosacral therapy session, as described by my massage therapist Andrea Thompspn, LMT http://www.ajafamilyhealth.com/,  takes place in a quiet, private setting.  You remain fully clothed as you relax on a comfortable, padded table.
Your therapist begins by gently touching various parts of your body to monitor the rhythm of  the fluid that is flowing around your central nervous system.  By carefully listening with the hands to locate areas of weak fluid flow or tissue motion, your practitioner can trace those areas of weakness through the body to the original source of dysfunction.  Delicate manual techniques are then used to release those problem areas and improve the form and function of your central nervous system.  What you experience from your own session is highly individual.  The sessions are generally deeply relaxing, creating feelings of warmth or gentle pulsing in the areas the therapist is working on.  Craniosacral therapy improves the body's ability to take better care of you.  It helps relive a full spectrum of pain, illness and dysfunction.

I have had this feeling for sometime now that I have a black mass in my body that hangs around the left side.  It is something that I am pretty mindful about and get little reminders every other day or so that it's there.  I have always felt a connection with my body and soul and feel like when something is not right my body or soul will give me warning signs.  Some call this being in touch with yourself, some people call this a spiritual guide, some refer to it as intuition others refer it as the Holy Spirit.  Regardless of what it is called I know that something speaks to me.  

Earlier this year my hubby and I had gone to a medium up in Seattle.  At the end of each sessions she will do a "check in" with your body before the reading is over.  Several times she has talked about me caring for my body and soul and that if I didn't take more care of myself she sees me having issues in the future with my head.  She described it as possible to severe migraines and damage to my brain.   But this last time she described something new.  She told me she saw a mass forming on the left side of my body.  She told me that I needed to spend time working through some issues I was having thus preventing the mass from growing.  She seemed very concerned with this area and told me that she really wanted me to focus on it and working through some emotional issues I was having.

Last week I took a step in the direction she suggested and had my first real Craniosacral therapy done.  I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first and really didn't understand how the whole process was going to work for me.

Andrea move around to different parts of my body just placing her hands on me and not saying anything.  The first half hour was in silence.  I thought about work, I thought about my hubby and our kids.  I thought about everything EXCEPT what was happening in that session.

Finally Andrea sat next to me and quietly started asking me about my body. As she laid her hands on my chest she began asking me to describe what my body was feeling like.  What were the images in my head at that moment.  She suggested I ask my body what it was trying to tell me and ask it what it needed from me.

I won't take you through the whole process of events however I do want to share that close to the end the heavy feeling I had in my chest started to feel lighter.  I felt as if I was able to face some emotional feelings I was hiding and blocking from thinking about by owning them and facing them head on.  One thing Andrea did tell me at the end was that after knowing me for nine years she has come to learn that I am good at compartmentalizing

Compartmentalization (psychology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person's having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.
Compartmentalization allows these conflicting ideas to co-exist by inhibiting direct or explicit acknowledgement and interaction between separate compartmentalized self states
my feelings.  I have became a master at putting certain feelings and emotions away in little boxes so that I can continue moving forward in my life but yet never really owning the feeling or giving myself permission to accept that my feelings are validated.  She stated that I am so use to making sure everyone is happy, everything gets done, everyone gets their needs met and I overachieve in areas of my life that I do not allow the time to process pain or discomfort. 

This was a pretty ah-ha moment for me.  Having someone who knows me so well be able to see this about myself and share it with me in a non criticizing way really helped me. 

Do I know what this "feeling of dread and heaviness" in my chest is?  No.  Am I concerned about what it may be?  Yes.  But after this session I really did feel as if though a little bit of weight was lifted and I was able to take a deeper breath.

I am going to continue to explore Craniosacral Therapy and continue to explore the feelings that I have locked away inside me.

Stay tuned........

If you want to learn more about this therapy or you need a great massage therapist check out Andrea's website and make an appointment. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love encourages- Day 27

Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. – Psalm 25:20

Marriage has a way of altering our vision. We go in expecting our mate to fulfill our hopes and to make us happy. But this is an impossible order for our spouse to fill. Unrealistic expectations breed disappointment. The higher your expectations, the more likely your spouse will fail you and cause you frustration.

If a wife expects her husband to always be on time, clean up after himself, and understand all her needs, she will likely live most her married life in constant disappointment. But if she gets realistic and understands that he’s human, forgetful, and sometimes thoughtless, then she will be more delighted when he is responsible, loving, and kind.

Divorce is nearly inevitable when people refuse to allow their spouses to be human. So there needs to be a transition in your thinking. You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations. The way your spouse has been for the last ten years is likely what he or she will be in the future apart from your loving encouragement and an intervention from God. Love puts the focus on personal responsibility and improving yourself rather than on demanding more from others.

Jesus painted a picture of this when He talked about the person who saw the “speck” in his brother’s eye but didn’t notice the “log” in his own.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:4-5).

Does your spouse feel like they’re living with a speck inspector? Are they routinely on edge, fearful of not living up to your expectations? Would they say they spend most days sensing more of your disapproval than your acceptance?

Perhaps you’d respond by saying that the problem is not with you but with them. If they really do come up short in a lot of areas, why is that your fault? As far as you’re concerned, it takes both of you doing everything you can to make marriage work. If your mate doesn’t want you to be so critical, they need to realize that the issues you bring up are legitimate. You’re not saying you’re perfect, by any mean, but it does seem like you should be able to say what you think. Right?

The problem with this kind of attitude is that few people are able to respond to criticism with total objectivity. When it seems clear that someone is unhappy with you – whether by direct confrontation or the silent treatment – it’s hard not to take their displeasure personally. Especially in marriage.

After all, unlike any other friendship, your relationship with your spouse began with both of you bending over backwards to please the other. When your mate was your boyfriend or girlfriend, they were completely charmed by your personality. You could almost do no wrong. Your life together was so much easier. And though you didn’t expect it to stay that way forever, you certainly didn’t see them being so sinful and getting so angry with you. You never expected that this man or woman who promised to love you could get to where they didn’t even seem to like you.

So when this stark contrast becomes living reality, your natural reaction is to resist it. During the early days of marriage, you may have been more inclined to listen and make subtle changes. But as the years go by, your spouse’s disapproval only tends to entrench you. Rather than making you want to correct things, it makes you want to dig in even deeper.

Love is too smart for that. Instead of putting your mate in a position to rebel, love teaches you to give them room to be themselves. Even if you’re the goal-oriented type who places high demands on yourself, love calls you not to project your hard-driving ways onto your mate’s performance. You must realize that marriage is a relationship to be enjoyed and savored along the way. It’s a unique friendship designed by God Himself where two people live together in flawed imperfection but deal with it by encouraging each other, not discouraging them.

The Bible says, “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble” (Isaiah 35:3). “Encourage one another and build up one another … Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14).

Don’t you want married life to be a place where you can enjoy free expression of who you are, growing within a safe environment that encourages you even when you fail? Your spouse does too – and love gives them that privilege. If your wife or husband has told you on more than one occasion that you make them feel beat down and defeated, you need to take these words to heart. Make a commitment to daily let go of unrealistic expectations and become your spouse’s greatest encourager. And the person they’re created by God to be will begin to emerge with new confidence and love for you.

Today’s Dare

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you you’re expecting too much, and tell them you’re sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you’ll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.

If there is one thing I am sure my husband is clear of, it is my unconditional love for him.  My actions over the past few years of our marriage have demonstrated that beyond measures I even knew I was capable of.  But that is in no way a free ticket for me to not continue to come up with new ways to show him.  

The unspoken expectations in our marriage I think are both understood by each other and most of the time played out.  Neither of us have this fantasy that our marriage should be one way or the other.  At times we have allowed our own selfishness get in the way thus giving ourselves permission to accuse one another for something that has gone wrong but is virtually the mistake of the one person doing the accusing.

I am my husband's biggest cheerleader, I am also one of the people closest to him that could bring him down the most.  That is a lot of responsibility to have as a wife.  Most days my mind is constantly going in the background of my day thinking about ways to improve my marriage and show my hubby what he means to me.  I have had times in the past where my expectations were that he would be doing the same, and when those expectations were not met I found heartache and felt unloved.

We each love differently.  No two people love the same way.  This doesn't mean they don't love it just means like everything else we all do things in our own way.  My hubby is not the most romantic person in the world.  He doesn't cook me breakfast in bed, he doesn't bring me flowers to work with my favorite coffee drink, he doesn't light candles all over the bedroom.  Does this make me think he does not love me, no it just reminds me that he loves in his own way and he shows romance in his own way and that is perfectly fine with me.

I have learned over the years that one way to have a successful marriage is to allow my hubby to be himself.  This does not mean that I condone his behavior that damages our marriage, I never will.  But this means that I am not trying to mold him into a shape that I think will fit into the marriage puzzle I have in my head.  If I allow him to be himself and find his own path then perhaps one day he will be his best he can be with Me. 
   Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wife's prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for my beautiful marriage. We have are ups and downs, we have our good times and hard times, but we continue to grow from our experience together. Our love is deepening and our marriage is strengthening. I am incredibly grateful for the man you have gifted to me. I pray that I can be his helper and that I would humbly serve him. Fill my heart with compassion for his needs and wants. Please give me understanding so that I may know him better. I also pray that we take more time to celebrate. Each new day you give to us is a gift and I want us to embrace it with joy. I pray that we laugh more, play more, and appreciate every season we endure together. Help us celebrate our marriage in Jesus name AMEN!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Twenty-Five

  What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 2:10

This one is tough – perhaps the toughest dare in the book. But if there is to be any hope for your marriage, this is a challenge that must absolutely be taken seriously. Counselors and ministers who deal with broken couples on a regular basis will tell you that this is the most complex problem of all, a rupture that is often the last to be repaired. It cannot just be considered and contemplated but must be deliberately put into practice. Forgiveness has to happen, or a successful marriage won’t.

Jesus painted a vivid image of forgiveness in His parable of the ungrateful servant. A man who owed a sizable sum of money was surprised when his master heard his appeals for mercy and totally canceled his debt. But upon being released from this enormous load, the servant did a most unexpected thing; he went to another man who owed him a much smaller amount and demanded immediate payment. When the master heard of it, things changed dramatically in his arrangement with the slave. “His lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him” (Matthew 18:34). A day that had begun with joy and relief ended in grief and hopelessness.

Torture. Prison. When you think of unforgiveness, this is what should come to your mind, for Jesus said, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of does not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).

Imagine you find yourself in a prison-like setting. As you look around, you see a number of cells visible from where you’re standing. You see people from your past incarcerated there – people who wounded you as a child. You see people you once called friends but who wronged you at some point in life. You might see one or both of your parents there, perhaps a brother or sister or some other family member. Even your spouse is locked in nearby, trapped with all the others in this jail of your own making.

This prison, you see, is a room in your own heart. This dark, drafty, depressing chamber exists inside you every day. But not far away, Jesus is standing there, extending to you a key that will release every inmate.

No. You don’t want any part of it. These people have hurt you too badly. They knew what they were doing and yet they did it anyway – even your spouse, the one you should have been able to count on most of all. So you resist and turn away. You’re unwilling to stay here any longer – seeing Jesus, seeing the key in His hand, knowing what He’s asking you to do. It’s just too much.

But in trying to escape, you make a startling discovery. There is no way out. You’re trapped inside with all other captives. Your unforgiveness, anger, and bitterness have made a prisoner of you as well. Like the servant in Jesus’ story, who was forgiven an impossible debt, you have chosen not to forgive and have been handed over to the jailers and torturers. Your freedom is now dependent on your forgiveness.

Coming to this conclusion usually takes us a while. We see all kinds of dangers and risks involved in forgiving others. For instance, what they did was really wrong, whether they admit it or not. They may not even be sorry about it. They may feel perfectly justified in their actions, even going so far as to blame you for it. But forgiveness doesn’t absolve anyone of blame. It doesn’t clear their record with God. It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them. When you forgive another person, you’re not turning them loose. You’re just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them His way. You’re saving yourself the trouble of scripting any more arguments or trying to prevail in this situation. It’s not about winning and losing anymore. It’s about freedom. It’s about letting go.

That’s why you often hear people who have genuinely forgiven say, “It felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.” Yes, that’s exactly what it is. It’s like a breath of fresh air rushing into your heart. The stale dankness of the prison house is flooded with light and coolness. For the first time in a long time, you feel at peace. You feel free.

But how do you do it? You release your anger and the responsibility for judging this person to the Lord. “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

How do you know you’ve done it? You know it when the thought of their name or the sight of their face – rather than causing your blood to boil – causes you to feel sorry for them instead, to pity them, to genuinely hope they get this turned around.

There’s so much more that could be said and so many emotional issues you may need to fight through to get there. But great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep “no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Today’s Dare

Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive."


I have done this chapter in the past and it continues to be one that is on my mind at all times...... forgiveness.  This ranks in the top ten, right next to Pride, as being one of the most difficult emotions for me to overcome. 

I like to think of myself as a simple person.  It doesn't take much for me to be happy, feel safe, feel loved, feel valued and share myself with people.  I often put out more than I get back and I am fine with that.   I try and treat people as I would want to be treated.  Does this mean I am perfect, that I have never hurt anyone in my life or done wrong to others..... sadly, no.  I am human, but I try and do the best I can and I try and be the best I can be.  I have made many mistakes along the way but I really feel like I learn and am able to move on.

If anyone knows me they know that my hubby and I have had struggles in the past, even a separation that neither of us thought we could recover from.  With that separation has been issues of trust, forgiveness and trying to build a new relationship between the two of us.  It has been a long road and a very rocky one at times.  There have been days that I was sure I was never going to survive and there have been issues I thought I would never be able to forgive. 

One day in particular, not so long ago, I was sitting on my bed listening to my hubby talk about things that were very painful to the both of us.  He was opening up to me and telling me things that frankly I wanted to know, but really did not want to hear.  As I listened to him and took in what was being said I recall my first thought was about him.  All I could think about was the pain I could hear in my hubby's voice and the sorrow he was expressing.  His words came clear, direct and with a shaken voice and it made me hurt for him.  Here I was in a moment of purity with my spouse and where others would be upset and focused on their pain all I could think about was his and the demons he had been fighting.

This situation, to me, proves that God is in my heart.  And that it is not my job to focus on the past and the pain we have caused each other in our marriage but to focus on the healing and how I can give this pain for myself and for my hubby to God and ask Him to take it away.  Forgiveness came to me easily that day and I know it is because I allowed God to take care of me.

Things have shifted since that day and I feel a bond with my hubby that honestly in the first time in our marriage I have really truly felt.  I still have fear, and I still have days where I feel insecure and worry about things changing again.  But I can see the change in my hubby and I can see his understanding and love for me more now than ever.

"But great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep “no record of wrongs”   

I choose to keep no record on wrongs in my marriage.  I take each day as a new day to improve my marriage, myself and my bond with my hubby and I choose to love him better than I have ever loved him in the past.  Great marriages are created by two people who choose to love and let go, and this is what I choose to do... but rather than letting go I choose to give it to God.

I have carried pain in my heart for many years, I choose to not carry that pain anymore and choose to love.


Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34).