Tuesday, April 16, 2013

About Me

When my mom passed away last year, I wasn't sure what to do with my blog.  My blog was started as a way to keep a long-distance Grandma who was passionate about her grandkids in the loop.  I mostly recounted family activities and special days, with lots of pictures.  Now that's she no longer with us on this earth, my blog has evolved into something different.  I still share stories of major family events and pictures of my kids (lots and lots of pictures), but this blog has become more of a personal outlet, where I share my reflections on modern life and spirituality.  Because our personal experiences and circumstances are partially responsible for our opinions, getting a window into a blogger's life is very interesting.  Sometimes I'm prone to "Wizard of Oz" syndrome.  I enjoyed writing academically when I was in college, so sometimes a narrative, personal touch is missing from what I write and it can become pedantic.  And that's no fun, so, here's a look behind "the curtain". 

My name is Melissa and I am 34 years old.  I grew up in Wisconsin and still identify strongly with my roots there, as well as my upbringing in the Lutheran church.  I was so blessed to grow up in a Christian home that was shored by my parents and blessed with three children, myself and two younger brothers.  I met God's life-partner for me, James, when I was 18 years old and preparing for college.  In a scene that was completely out of character for steady-and-responsible me (which is no surprise, because it was surely God who brought us together), I agreed to marry this 21 year old man on our second date!  Six months later, on May 23rd, 1998, we tied the knot - just a couple of crazy, madly in love kids.

My "first" family - Mom, Dad, and two brothers.  This picture was taken at my mother's surprise 50th birthday party in February 2012 (I flew out as an additional surprise) - two months before she unexpectedly went home to Jesus and the last time our entire family was together

We moved out to Idaho, James' home state, shortly after getting married in order to buy a home and finish college at a less expensive state university (my private school tuition, even with a hefty scholarship, was out-of-reach for two kids working entry-level jobs).  We've been mightily blessed, throughout our time here, with six children.  Had someone asked me, as a newly minted high school graduate, what my life would look like 15 years after graduating from school, it probably wouldn't have been further from what it actually is!  But God knew exactly what we needed (as he always does, even when we think he's made a mistake) and our family just never felt complete and we always had room in our hearts and our home for one more.  Our eldest daughter, Hero, is 13.  Our second child, Allegra, is 11.  Ian, our firstborn son, is 9.  Colin, our second son, is 5 (soon to be 6).  Cecily is our third daughter and is 3 (but eagerly counting down to her birthday next month) and Elinor (we call her Elle sometimes) is our current caboose at 2.  I love my large family!  It's a conversation starter and, at its best, a positive testimony to a Christ-centered marriage.

My six beautiful blessings from the Lord on Christmas 2012

Spiritually, James and I were weak in our first decade of marriage.  We both certainly professed belief, but the fruits that that faith bore in our life were puny and anemic.  God worked through personal and financial trials to bring us closer to Him, and, for the last three years, we've become true Christ-followers.  We attend an amazing bible-following church that believes in the Baptist distinctives.  Every day we pray diligently to find ways in which we can lay down our life and pick up His cross.  The Word is our sustenance and our delight.  We strive to be a Godly couple with a God-honoring marriage.  We've learned so much from the fine example of mature Christians, and as we grow we hope to provide the same kind of model for new believers.  For me, a shy introvert in person, blogging has been the most amazing gift to use my God-given skills in outreach and just plain old personal growth. 

So, I'd like to thank you for making it through my little autobiography of sorts and I'd love to have you join me in the journey of following Christ in heart, mind, body, and soul.  Comments are such a blessing to me, and I appreciate them so much - sometimes they serve as a gentle correction, and other times it's an encouragement to know that others feel the same way I do.  Go with God today, and always!

My beloved and I, on our 14th anniversary May 2012





Unknown said...

HI jumping over from the meet and great Your family is beautiful!! We also have six children children and I agree it is a conversation starter!

The Merry Band of Fife said...

Thanks, Tesha! I haven't yet been able to check out any of the other meet and greet responders, but can't wait to find some great blogs and sisters in Christ.


Anonymous said...

My dear Melissa, I am so proud of you and James. I teared up seeing moms suprize party picture. How you explained everything and with pictures, it is so beautiful. I thank God for you and your family. I can't wait to see you! I read your blogs but don't respond to all of them. This one was incredible. I love you all Dad

Serena said...

Oh, Melissa. I have been sooo LAZY with my comments. I'm sorry. I have read every word that you've written these last few weeks, and have thought about them a lot. Maybe that's my problem. Too many thoughts = too many comments = too much time required to write = I give up! I am going to try to do better, because I know how meaningful it is to get some feedback.

It has been very good for me to get to know you better through your blog. I have seen such visible growth in you and James at church, that I can only imagine what is going on inside. I love that you guys are part of our Sunday school class, that you're changing up your family holiday traditions, that we get to serve together on the Spiritual Growth branch, that you're on fire with your Bible reading program, that you and James are LEARNING HEBREW together on Tuesday nights, etc. WOW! It's such an encouragement to see God working in the hearts of others and it makes me pray harder that He will continue press me hard into His image. Soli Deo Gloria!

I don't know if it would fit into your blog series on the Fundamentalist Straw Man or not, but I would love to hear what aspects of modern American culture you find particularly honorable, lovely, of good repute. Having grown up overseas, I know that it is a wonderful privilege to have been born into this great nation. I am proud to be an American. However, I also see huge drawbacks that come with this privilege. Most notably, that the "American Dream" is NOT the Bible's standard for the children of the King of Kings! I guess that I have a love/hate relationship with my earthly citizenship. I would love to read about the good that you see in our modern American culture. Does that make sense?

Okay - time is really up for now. I'll be back, though.