If It’s Not One Thing… 

Do you ever feel like life gets ahead of you sometimes. Like, before you’re done dealing with one problem 3 more have popped up? 

Yes? 

Sigh… Ok good, I’m not the only one. 

So what do we do when things get overwhelming? Honestly, sometimes I just wanna hide under a rock. Sometimes,  I’ll joke with my husband, “I’m going to hide under my rock now!” The “rock” of course, being my bedroom. My place of solace, where the boogie man aka life, can’t reach me. 

I’ve been feeling like that a lot lately. Right now, most of it has to do with physical issues. 

Up to today I’ve had a horrid muscle spasm (that’s what the Dr is assuming it is) in my neck since the end of February. Sometimes the pain intensifies and travels down my arm and I’m useless. Sometimes, and on and on. Sigh… 

In the first 2 months the pain was so bad that I could hardly move without crying out in pain. For any mother that’s a difficult thing to go through. What about dinner? Homeschool? CHURCH!?  

Thank God I have an amazing husband that took great care of me and never let me feel like a burden. He even googled some recipe after I couldn’t handle anymore “Dad dinners” such as, burgers, pizza, fries…. 

“We need veggies!” I pleaded. Thankfully he agreed and arose to the challenge and made some amazing meals. The kids might be a little sad I’m back to cooking again… Might. 

Anyways, when we first go through these things I feel like we go between frustration to looking on the bright side to talking ourselves into being patient with the situation. 

But now I’m going into my 4th month with this pain and it’s not so easy. I’m tired of hurting. Tired of moving slowly and smiling and telling everyone I’m fine. Sometimes…  I’m even tired of mustering up my faith, currently the size of a mustard seed, to believe for healing…. again. Am I the only one? Am I being to real? 

So what do I do….? 
I do it again. 
I believe again. 
I have to. 
I need to. 
Isn’t that the very definition of faith? 

As I write this, I also have a bad cold. Nice, right? Can’t I get a break? Nope! That’s life and I’m definitely not the only one going through some tough stuff. So what are we gonna do when “life” throws life at us? Curl up under our rock? No! We must trek on. We’re stronger than we think we are, especially when we lean on Jesus. 

I haven’t learned necessarily how strong I am but how much I still need to lean on Jesus. How sometimes we get good at being good. How it’s easier to believe for others and not so much ourselves sometimes. Can I get a witness..? 

I’m not gonna lie, these 3 months have been frustrating. (Getting mugged during this time definitely didn’t help). Sometimes don’t you wanna yell on the rooftop, “What next!!!” 

However, let’s not give in to that. Maybe instead I will quietly whisper, “God, with you all things are possible”. Maybe I’ll shout that instead. 

These are the best times to put our focus elsewhere, to read our bibles more, pray more, seek God more; not pull away. 

Emotions are unruly little things. If we’re not careful they’ll control our focus, our will, and our lives. 

However, growth comes from being stretched. Some of the most blessed, happy, and centered people I have met have been dealt a heavy hand in life and they choose not to feel sorry for themselves. They serve others. They’re grateful and full of joy. 

They’ve served as great examples to me during these times. Dare I say, our suffering can be a source of comfort to others…? 

My weakness is made strong in Him. In my weakness He carries me and deserves all the glory. 

I will choose to believe for healing EVERY time I’m prayed for. I have plenty reference points of getting healed in the past. It’s all in His timing. 

So while we can’t control our circumstances, we can control how we react towards them. God knows I’m fallible, and I know He’s powerful.

Amen. My hope is in Him and I’m ready for life if it throws me another. 

Sincerely, 

Melody 🎶

Impact

Impact. Isn’t that what we all want our legacy to include? That we had impact?

Whether it’s in the ministry, in a nation, in the lives of others or maybe even in our trade. We all desire to matter and to have impact.

I’m just like everyone else. I desire to make a difference. I desire to make an impact somewhere. I desire to leave this earth knowing that my life had meaning.

Lots of things that we pour our hearts into can be thankless. Parenting, for one. You always hear that parenting is a thankless job. I don’t necessarily agree with that at all, btw.

Pioneering can be a thankless job. People are naturally self-centered so it can be difficult when your giving your all to them and they leave, talk bad about you and etc, etc. However, if we truly believe our reward is in heaven then it’s not exactly thankless, is it? I’d much rather have God’s reward for doing His will than man’s anyways. Wouldn’t you?

I write this because in the middle of a “pioneer battle” my daughter sent me a message. It represented so much more to me than just kind words from a daughter to a mother. I thought, “Oh wow,  I’m having a profound impact on her life”. And not just in a mommy-daughter way but in a spiritual way.

We’ve been here in Brazil for 3 years now and as my daughter matures it seems to dawn on her more and more every day how much of a sacrifice it was to leave everything behind and take this step of faith.

Some people can be scared to enter the ministry because of what it’ll “do” to their kids, especially being a missionary. We don’t have all the comforts of the US. My kids aren’t getting extra-curricular activities like in the US, maybe they’re not even getting an amazing education, maybe they won’t graduate with college credits already under their belts so on and so forth. The list could go on!

No, my kids are getting a completely different experience. Neither is better, both are great, both have pros and cons, you get the idea. Ultimately, its all up to them what they make of the life they’re given.

Imagine that just by saying “yes” to God we can have profound impact on them and others. Could it be that simple?

Remember someone is always watching even if we don’t realize it and it’s usually our precious children. Let us not focus all our energy on building the church and neglect our children. How about getting them involved in building the church?

Or… how about not putting them in ministry just because they’re yours and actually expect them to strive for it by being righteous and a godly example…? Hmm? There’s something to chew on. I guarantee that’ll have a positive impact on their lives. (Oh, no she didn’t!) 

We never tell our kids, “you’re a pastor’s kid, so you need to be an example”. No. We tell them, “you represent Christ and if you’re a Christian you’re called to be an example”. A little balance can bring about a greater impact on our children.

Anyways, my heart was refreshed by my daughter’s words so much that I wanted to share. I wanted to show parents the possible impact you can have on your kids by doing what’s hard, what’s right, or WHATEVER God has put on your heart to do.

As the saying goes, and I believe it to be true, “being in the will of God is the safest place to be”. (and I say that after getting mugged a while back) Ha! However, I’m referring to eternal impact, not temporal, eternal. Think about that with me. E-ter-nal. Mind blown yet?

Honestly, I’m nothing special. I have no extraordinary talents. I’m shy, awkward and stubborn sometimes. I just try my best and ask God to fill in where I lack, and He is faithful and willing.

My intention here is to encourage and inspire.  My intention is to show that in our struggle, someone is watching how we handle ourselves. Someone’s watching if we’re complaining or finding joy even in the hard times; the world is watching, and our children are definitely watching. 

The beautiful thing is that we can be completely human, completely imperfect and still make a diffrence. In our willingness to be real and glorify God in our failures, we give people hope for their future. Isn’t that what our testimonies strive to achieve? I want my kids to know that I desperately need God because I fail. I desperately need God because life is hard sometimes. I want them to see godliness in me the midst of my hardest battles. 

Thanks for taking the time and stopping by. Now, go! Conquer and make a difference!

Tchau for now!

Melody

On a side note: Julia has started a blog of her own so I hope you stop on over and check it out! Jewlzoflife.wordpress.com

A Taste of Brasil

Hey guys!!!

So how are things with you all??? No seriously! I wanna know. Don’t forget how important your comments are! Nothing makes me happier than hearing from y’all, especially living the way over here.

ouro nava fam

Not that long ago we had a special visitor! Now, we’ve actually had lots of visitors since we’ve been here. Any missionary knows how special it is when people invest and come preach for you. Not only is it a blessing for your church but…..oh how it feeds our souls as well! Can I get an A-men!?

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Anyways, back to my “special visitor”. We were so blessed to have Manuel Delgado come do a revival for us, for many, many, many reasons. One of those reasons is that he speaks Portuguese. One of the unique challenges of being here in Brazil is the language. Our fellowship is really young here in Brazil. There’s no conferences in Portuguese, no conference videos in Portuguese to bring home and share and so on.

Continue reading “A Taste of Brasil”

I Was Mugged!!! 

Hey y’all! 

We’re now in the fall season slowly inching our way into the winter months…. Opposite seasons remember? After 3 years here, it’s still a little strange celebrating Christmas in summer and July being “the coldest month” in Belo. 

Right now it’s usually mid to low 80s during the day and in the 60s at night. Very nice weather, indeed. 

I’ve been meaning to blog for a few weeks now. I’ve gotten all my pictures ready. We had a wonderful revival recently and y’all know how much I love to share our church events. However, we also moved recently and my kiddos started homeschooling so that’s taken up some time. 

I actually prefer the school season to summer because everyone is up earlier, the schedule is more consistent and we’re all learning and feeling more productive. No surprise there, huh? 

I’m also a little more aware of my cooking. Usually the meals are healthier cuz they’re planned and we throw some food and fitness learning in with our curriculum so we’re all around more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies. Even my daughter and my “veggie loathing” son are excited about eating our nutrients and vitamins. It’s a win-win situation! 

I’m also normally a bit more excited about the food part than the fitness. I don’t really enjoy “getting out”, I don’t get the urge to leave the comfort of my couch and “conquer the world”! (I know I must sound like so much fun… ) I actually prefer to sit on my couch and read. Another fun part of homeschooling is the material. I love reading my kids lessons and learning all over again. Wish I could say the same for my kiddos. 

Recently, my daughter and I decided to go walking. There’s a nice open trail close to our apartment. We went around noon, which is probably why there wasn’t many people out. Who goes walking at noon??? Well, it doesn’t get too hot here so I figured we’d be fine. 

It was the first time I’d gone walking without my hubby so I was a little skittish but it was midday so I figured we had nothing to worry about. Anyways, long story short.. I was mugged. For the first time ever. My never been mugged streak is now gone. Sad. 

It wasn’t an extremely violent experience. I’ve heard several times that people here don’t want to hurt you. They just want your stuff. 

Well, that’s what happened. While the punk WAS armed, he just wanted our cellphones. So I handed mine over and he told my daughter to hand hers over as well and I went to get hers out of her backpack…

 Then he ran. He just took off running. Maybe he saw someone coming. I didn’t. Maybe he figured he had one phone and that was enough, but why not grab another? I don’t know. But I believe it was God, because something spooked him into running. We saw it in his eyes but no one but God was with us. God is good like that and I know people are praying for us constantly.

So while the experience was a little traumatic. I know God is watching out for us. The devil’s a bully and wants us to live in fear. So we can focus on what happened or focus on the fact that we’re okay and God was watching out for us. I choose the latter. While I’ll definitely be more cautious, I refuse to be jaded by this event. 

I pray for salvation for that guy. Who knows? Maybe he has an awful home life. Maybe he needs money more than I do? Who knows? 

While buying a new phone is definitely not in my budget right now, what’s more important is that we’re okay. 
No matter where we are in life the devil would love to rip us off of our peace and security. We can’t allow it. 

My grandfather, not knowing, texted me such an appropriate verse that day. 
Philippians 4:19

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Believe it or not, I think I was more upset that I’d lost my phone than the actual experience so this verse was just what I needed!

Also, our needs go deeper than material things. I needed peace and God gave me that. He gave my daughter that also. She’s learning to trust in God for herself after these situations. We know the Bible says, 

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

My friend Claudia texted me this verse, which was a great encouragement. 

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Amen! 
I want to thank everyone for their prayers. I pray God blesses you in return. 

Now I can finally work on my intended blog and share with you all the pics from the wonderful revival we just had! 

Brazil for Jesus! 

Tchau for now! 

Melody

Desires of My Heart

Hey y’all!

Today I wanna get real. Let the nitty get gritty, the rubber’s hittin’ the road… And so on…

I wanna talk about desires. Will. Destiny. The hard stuff.

The bible says that if you,  “delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart”.


Sounds so nice, doesn’t it? There’s even tons of clipart!

So… I mean,  what does it REALLY mean to,  “delight yourself in the Lord and he’ll give you the desires of your heart”? It’s such a pretty and quotable verse,  isn’t it? It’s one we say to feel good and hopeful inside.  Continue reading “Desires of My Heart”

Boa Viagem

Oi gente!!! (Hey guys!!!)

I just returned from a two week trip to the US! It was an awesome trip even though it began a little rough because of Texas’ and Florida’s bad weather, not good weather to fly in. I missed two flights and panicked but it all turned out okay. At least I learned some things that’ll help when I travel next time!

Our mother church blessed my daughter by sponsoring her to this years South Texas Believers Boot Camp. She was so happy. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever have the opportunity to attend and had made peace with that, so it was an unexpected, wonderful surprise for her. It was special for me too, because I attended the same camp when I was a 17 year old new convert. I attended the 4th annual boot camp and she attended the 23rd….man, that makes me feel old! The experience changed my life dramatically for the better. I was a drug addicted rebel when I went. I had only been to The Door Church twice before going to the camp and came back completely changed and never touched a drug again. Her background is very different (Thank you Jesus) so her experience was different but with the same result. God dug deep and exposed issues of her heart and she’s thankful. We’re all thankful!

Continue reading “Boa Viagem”

Perserve

Well,  hello there peeps! It’s been so long!!! April’s been a fun month for us but I’ve been missing everyone! Even you that read and don’t comment! Hope to hear from you all down below.

But first here’s a pic of this….

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Glorious, isn’t it?

We’ve been keeping busy with the usual… educating our munchkins,  exploring our city and sharing the gospel. Can’t get better than that!

Our daughter turned 14 this month and she received the news she’d be going to boot camp this year for the first time. She’s beyond excited and so am I! I went to the same boot camp when I was 17. How awesome it is to share this experience with her.

Continue reading “Perserve”

Giving Christmas

Ahhhh…… Christmas Day is here!

I. Absolutely. Love. Christmas.

Even before I gave my life to Jesus it was my favorite holiday. As I sit here, my heart is so full of gratitude. I am overwhelmed by what Jesus has done for me. I am immensely grateful for His birth. I can’t even imagine who or where I’d be without Him.

I’m also so grateful to be here in Brazil. I’m grateful to spend Christmas with our friends and church family here. Grateful. Grateful. Grateful.     You get the point.

As I’ve stated in many of my post….being a missionary has been such a blessing in so many ways. Being in Brazil has been such a blessing. Knowing the Brazilian people has been such a blessing. Seeing lives changed by the gospel has been such a blessing.

Isn’t it true that any time you strip all the “extras” from your life you’re left with what truly matters; Jesus, family and friends? Simplicity….ahhh, say it with me my dear friends. Simplicity. Let’s be honest America is full of extras. Don’t get me wrong. I love those extras; I miss those extras…a lot. I love receiving those extras in the form of care packages in the mail. wink! wink! BUT sometimes where you are in life forces you to enjoy life without them. And you don’t need to leave the country to be in that position. I’ve been broke many of times and been forced to choose between an attitude of ungratefulness or contentment. So be of good cheer! It’s possible!

Continue reading “Giving Christmas”

Foreign to Familiar

It’s Saturday, I’ve finished unpacking and I’ve caught up on my sleep. I’m looking forward to church tomorrow. It’s nice to be home again.

This past week and a half we’ve been in the US for the San Antonio Bible Conference. I couldn’t wait for this time to come. I envisioned myself soaking it all in; absorbing the sermons, worshiping God in my native tongue,  eating all the food I’ve missed and fellowshipping with my favorite people. I was NOT let down. In fact,  all in all the time spent there exceeded my expectations…

On the way to the airport I figured it’s time to leave the foreign for the familiar…
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Continue reading “Foreign to Familiar”

3 Months Past

Hello!!! My goodness…it’s been a long time. My apologies. I just hadn’t felt like blogging lately…. sometimes we just need to take a step back and spend more time with Jesus. I missed it though! download_20150725_104829 Last year, we were denied our visas. It was frustrating. We should be able to renew our visas here in Brazil; however, after being denied we had to start making plans to go back to our “country of origin” to reapply. This was definitely an inconvenience. However, after being in a foreign country for a little over a year it was nice to be able to enjoy some things from home. We scheduled our trip so we could attend our mother churches Harvesters Homecoming in April. It was such a blessing to get refreshed and see our friends and family! And eat all the food we’d been missing!!! I’m talking to you cold coffee and powdered donuts! Continue reading “3 Months Past”