Friday, March 15, 2013

sinners and saints welcome here...

my goodness.

My heart is just pained today. My mind is spinning with all the labels and the thoughts and the stances. I hate the divided world this is. I hate it.

I wrote about being a conservative republican last week and I just cant get it off my mind what those labels do to us as a people. So much is not understood through writing here, you don't know my heart. You don't see my heart. You don't see any ones heart really unless you really know them.

I am not perfect. And that is why I need God. Because he is perfect. Jesus, perfect.

I need that. I wont ever be it.

If its a liberal stance to give to the poor, its mine too. Its also a Jesus thing. I just think we should do it personally from our own hearts, give in our own ways according to what we are able to do and where the holy spirit leads.

Maybe I should be considered uneducated because I don't really know where I fit in. The only thing I am sure of is I fit in with God. I believe in the gospel. I believe in it because I have seen it at work in my own life.

I believe in justice. Standing up for the fatherless...for poverty.

Maybe that makes me a little liberal? A little republican? A little conservative? A little democratic?

On gay marriage? I just feel like you should know that its not my place to place judgement on you. How horrible I would feel and not drawn to anything peaceful if you yelled at me for all my stuff.

accusing, pointing fingers, labeling, does not lead to peace.

I can only speak from my own personal experience. I am not a religious person. I did not grow up in church. I went to a Christian High School and smoked and drank my way through it....

I just need Jesus because I cant do this life alone anymore.

I did not wake up one day and decide to stop the sin in my life simply because it was a rule that God wanted me to follow.The sin in my life, while it felt good, ultimately led me to my own personal destruction. The sin in my life, while it felt good, led me to want to kill myself.

But what I do know 100% without a doubt is that at my very worst moment in my life, God said, its okay, I forgive you...

I was sitting at my dining room table when my husband was in Afghanistan and I had just lived the worst moment of my life, sin exposed and I wasn't sure of anything. I wasn't sure of my marriage, and I wasn't sure that I even wanted to live anymore. I told myself if God didn't come into my mess that I had created that I was surely going to take death into my own hands. I just knew that it was the last straw for me. My ride with Satan, my broken spirit and my broken body needed God or that was it.

And God took one look at me and took me in, again.

And from here I stand with new life. A second chance. And a desire to shout to the earth about my God. My new heart and his heart full of grace and mercy written all over it, extended to me, for free.

My new life.

You aren't any different than me. But you are just as loved.

Your gay? I love you.

Your a drinker and a smoker? I love you.

Your a liar? I love you.

You do drugs? I love you.

Your a cheater? I love you.

Your angry? I love you.

I get it. I get why your there.

And I will only speak from my own personal experience of how I got here.We are on the same playing field. God does not want you to hurt. He wants you to be at peace. He wants for you all the things he planned, to come to pass. And if I can serve a God who loves you just the way you are, right now, then I will praise him. Because he loved me too.

I just love you friend. I just want you to be at peace within your own soul. I found mine in Christ and thats why I am here, giving my testimony everyday to his goodness and faithfulness.

sinners and are welcome here.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Im a horrible business woman.

Im not sure if I should be processing any of this outloud...

but this is real life.

Today was quite the day. Woke up not feeling good at all...and my hands are cold. Whenever I pile too much onto myself I get really cold. And that's weird because i am always hot.

I just don't really know how to balance the business end of this. The expectations I pile on myself and the bar I set is so clearly unreasonable and unfair.

I give myself no grace.

Im not exactly sure when this started for me but I am my worst critic and the hardest on my own self.

I am constantly expecting myself to do things that I don't know how to do and when I fail, no grace.

God sends people into my life to verbally speak out loud for him when he knows I have gone too far...

"Melissa, you could come back in here all day and fill out the forms again and again and you could do it their way or my way or your way and whats done is already done...let it go, pray to the international customs gods and let it go, you will be fine". said the UPS man.

*side note, It took everything in me to not ask him if he really believed in international shipping Gods, really it did.

My problem is that I am the kinda gal who NEEDS TO KNOW EVERYTHING. I need to know how to do my taxes, how to ship, how to package a box, how to make a certificate of authenticity, how to start a website, how to sell art. I need to know it all before I begin or I am already a failure. I give myself no room to learn and grow, learn and grow, learn and grow.

Another thing, I hate charging people for my art. I have no idea if its because I don't see its worth, I don't see my worth, I think you think I'm crazy for even doing this...or maybe its because I cant even afford my own art and I just feel so grateful that people enjoy my heart in this that they spend their hard earned money on it.

You know, times are really tough. And I realize that this is not a necessity. I pretty much fall to my knees when you order something because man, I'm grateful.

I have literally started this whole thing with God and google. And I don't know why I wont just grab his hand and let him lead. I don't know why at 30 years old I still feel like I don't fit in with the crowd. Like I cant handle it in the business. Like I don't belong.

This is everything I have ever wanted.

To live a creative passionate life, while I am still able to be the mom I want to be and need to be for my babies, and the wife I want to be for my husband.

This is the ugly side of my soul that you don't see. The little girl standing in the corner who just watches everyone else do life...and I just know that if I don't start to see my value in Gods eyes, this whole thing will not work. I wont keep putting myself out there, I wont take chances...I wont realize his magestic, wild plan for this girl. I just wont.

I just did a spell check on this post and I literally counted over ten "donts".

My prayer for myself is that I see myself as God sees me. Able to make mistakes and grow and live in grace. My prayer is that he keeps stretching me farther out from where I am comfortable so that I can realize my own need for him, and how quickly he is to rescue me when I need rescue.

I hope that through all of this, there is somebody out there who knows they arent alone. I am just as scared as you are. I am just as hard on myself as you are and I need him just as much as you do.

One year ago I was just sitting here with a whole lot of passion and desire and I wasnt doing anything about it.

Today I shipped my first painting to Canada.


(lets pray the customs agents have mercy on me)
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Mercy Ships, The Africa Mercy

   at least 10% of my sales for March will go to Mercy Ships.

A dream that began 30 years ago in a young man’s heart has become reality—a big, white, state-of-the-art hospital ship that delivers hope and healing to people around the globe living in dire circumstances.

"Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the forgotten poor by mobilizing people and resources worldwide, and serving all people without regard for race, gender, or religion.
We have found a powerful way to share our blessings and our hope is that you will do the same."


I didn't even have to research and find this one. It was laid gently into my lap. Here's the reason that I wish I would have been a doctor and could jump right onto this ship and get to work...

I have struggled with my own skin disease and dental health and know what its like to need something seemingly so small...but its so big when your in it. I don't have cancer, I don't have life threatening heart disease, but I have suffered with some of the disease that these people do. Just everyday things that can cause real trouble and even death if they are not treated. And I live in a land where I can walk into my dentist office with a serious toothache, get a root canal and get fitted for a mouth guard to protect my jaw from further damage and move on with my day. I can even open up a credit card to pay for all these horrible and painful issues. Its just there. Its in reach even if I cant afford it, I can still get it and pay for it later.

I have felt the personal isolation and shame because of my skin disease and felt literaly cut off from the world, like I didnt belong. I know what its like to feel like there is no hope.

These people. Just read their stories. Huge damaging tumors that are tooth enamel that wont stop growing and they leave them in danger of not breathing. They are cleft palates. Eye and vision issues. Did you know that some of these people are brought on board this ship blind and then leave being able to see after decades? Now if that isn't the true love of Jesus Christ and his healing, I don't know what is anymore. I once was blind...

I am going to leave you here with the video that aired on 60 minutes... I would encourage you to watch it. Its about 12 minutes long, grab a cup of coffee...and just watch what people are doing in this world. seriously! This is what some people are doing. What can we do? What can I do? I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nurse.

I am a painter. I can paint.

watch the video, leave me a comment. tell me something. what do you feel when you see whats going on in the world, when you actually see it? tell me how awesome this is. or just tell me that you will be praying for these people. or just say a simple thank you to the people who, very willingly and eagerly I might say, hop on board and dont ever get off. Your comment here will enter you into my $100 credit to my shop giveaway which I will announce monday Feb 4th! You have until midnight March 3rd to enter!!

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