Melba Moments

A place of faith, DIY, and encouragement for navigating life’s moments.

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Grieving Loss Other Than Death

Most often when we associate grief with the death of someone we love. Death leaves a hole in our heart so grieving is a natural process.

What happens if we feel ourselves grieving but no one has died? While people expect us grieve after the death of a loved one, grieving loss of another kind is a concept harder to grip.

Having a position you love in a company, church, school, family, (you fill in your blank) ripped away from you causes grief that is as real as death. In reality, that loss is a type of death. The more passionate you are about what you lost, the deeper the grief and the longer the process.

We can be so hard on ourselves in those times. The first time I suffered such a loss, I sat in the parking lot and sobbed. Leadership transitioned and I was given no choice. I couldn’t tell anyone I was asked to resign. There was no going away meal, no official thank you for your service. No one there to wave bye and I knew I had to show back up on Sunday as if nothing happened. I was devastated and had no idea how I was even going to catch the next breath. This was NOT supposed to be happening! Nobody else seemed to understand or care and that made it worse!

It took me days to come to grip with the fact that what I was feeling was grief. I had suffered the death of a dream. That death was real, tangible and I had every right to feel that grief.

I have since dealt with no-death grief a few more times and it always hurts, but I finally know that it is grief, I am not crazy, and I will get through the process.

You may have suffered the loss of a job or ministry. Your loss may be not seeing your child graduate, go to prom, play sports, or whatever other crazy thing life has offered up. It may be a death of someone dear to you or something else. Allow yourself to grieve! Recognize what it is, deal with it appropriately, and move forward.

Remember – grief is a process, not a destination! Recognize it, deal with appropriately, and keep moving.

If I Ever Get Around To It

How many times have I said it? “I need to do (fill in the blank) and I will if I ever get around to it”. All the years I worked outside our home, I would fantasize about being able to home all the time. “If I could just stay home, I would cook better meals. If I didn’t have to work I would have time to sew or craft. If only I could be at home with kids I could help more with their school work and projects. If I ….” Get the drift?

It was only after I was able to leave the outside workforce that I understood those thoughts were just an escape from my reality. The projects I dreamed of did not get done. My house still did not stay clean, the laundry still piled up, I still wanted something quick for dinner.

Here we are in March 2020 and all the time at home we’ve said we wanted has come to many. We are only a few days into “social distancing” (was that already a thing?) and everyone is ready to get back to their other world. Possible that world that just last week we wanted to escape.

We have been handed a situation that can allow us to get around to it. Projects that have been calling for us to come back to them can come out of hiding. Cleaning we’ve been avoiding because we never got around to it can commence. Cooking those meals mostly like have to replace eating out.

Whatever it is that you we’re going to do if you ever got around to it, maybe this is your time!

To keep me reminded I have no excuses, I just ordered this cute coffee mug. Fingers crossed as I have lots and lots of things waiting for me, IF I EVER GET AROUND TO IT. You can order yours by using this link. I may receive a small commission but it will be at no extra cost to you.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday mornings were amazing for me as a kid. It was everyone’s “day off” and cartoons were in all three of the television channels. That’s right ALL three – 4,7 & 11. It was great but I was always amazed that Momma was not excited about our early rising to get started. She wanted us up early Monday through Friday for school and Sunday for church but thought it would be good if we slept in on our day off. But why?!

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I understood Saturday is not for watching cartoons, Saturday Is a cartoon! We became a bunch of crazy people running around the house with little people messing, Daddy trying to watch NOT cartoons on the only TV while I’m fantasizing about a day off. “Why can’t we just be like normal people?” Who was I kidding? We were normal people assuming that everyone else had it all together with a clean house, laundry caught up (is that even possible?), money for a Saturday funday out with the family. Please! Someone tell me I’m not the only one who thought everyone had together except me and was ashamed for anyone to know.

I was tired beyond words! I was overwhelmed with not enough money. I wanted a clean house. I wanted the laundry finished. I wanted to take the kids fun places. I wanted to go on a date with my husband. I wanted to shopping. I wanted all the things that I thought every good parent was doing for their kids. I had ONE day to do it.

We all survived. My kids are raising kids and life is still a cartoon. What I wish I had know then and have to constantly remind myself now is life is made of moments! Don’t miss life’s grandest moments looking for a grand life.

Whatever your day looks like today, look for moments and celebrate them. We laugh at cartoons because of the crazy things that happen. Laugh at your own crazy cartoon!

Furniture Fixer or Fix Her Upper

I love to sew, craft, all kinds of DIY. Some things I’m pretty good at, some I just leave for someone else. Recently a new antique mall/flea market opened in our area. Having more project material than I will ever be able to complete, I decided to rent a booth. Ronnie, my best half, agreed it would be a great idea IF I completed the projects and sold what I already have and not buy stuff to sell.

If only you didn’t need to spend money to make money, personal business would be great! For the most part, I have stuck to his wishes, but a move and Christmas rearranged my life and my stuff. I have purchased a few small things just to keep the booth looking full.

Last week I was looking at a local FB resale sight and bam! Right before my eyes, posted “just now” was a side table for $2.00. I was shocked but thought I could paint that and sell it in the booth so I commented “want” and scrolled on. Bam! Same lady, small desk with a hinged extension $1.00 – “want”. I was shortly on my way to pick up these great finds. It was obvious from the picture that the desk had been spray painted but nothing I couldn’t cover up.

Honestly, I almost left the dollar and the desk. It was a sad little thing with runs and drips. Imagine a faded giraffe print, maybe? It was, however, sturdy and the hinged drop down was great. “It’s only $1 and a little time, I can do this.” White chalk paint and a smooth brush covered the spray paint gone wrong. The can clearly stated that it would cover blemishes on most any surface and it did.

The next morning when all was nice and dry, I started the process of putting on sealing wax. I loved it! As I stood there gazing at it with a “YES!” kind of smile, I noticed that a circle had appeared. The paint had completely covered the glass ring, but the wax highlighted it.

In that moment, I was reminded that life leaves marks on us that are not always visible. We cover them up and then the simplest thing can suddenly reveal where an injury of some sort occurred. Only Jesus can make all things new. When we allow Him, He will redeem us and trade our scars for His. He is the Master of Fix Her Upper.

I finished the desk, yes I left the faint ring because I felt like it told a story. The side table and it’s imperfections were refinished with the same chalk paint and sealer as was a small bench. All the perfectly imperfect pieces are sitting in the booth waiting for someone who loves imperfect pieces.

God Doesn’t Read Resumes

I spent my adult working life at the same corporation. I had only been married a few months when I started. With all my family and friends living a couple hundred miles away, those people quickly became my family. I learned so much from them, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My last job, several years in, was to help with a startup division. I walked in the building my first day with a pink “while you were out” pad (I know I just dated myself) and an ink pen. There was a desk and a chair and the phone was ringing. It was great! I got to choose most everything. It was a lot of hard work but I loved it until…

The day came that we had to have employees for operate the plant. In a growing town where a major employer had just laid off bunches of people, applications and resumes, came flooding in. People who knew Ronnie’s wife (that’s me) worked there began to call needing an “in”. Lots and lots of good people, hard working, experienced, desperate people wanting to work applied. It was overwhelming!

Parameters had to be set to start the weeding out process of a huge stack of applicants for only a few jobs. Tears ran down my face, between the sobbing bathroom runs, while I told people “you are not qualified”. I knew it wasn’t true, but their resume didn’t say the right things. Their level of education didn’t match the requirements. I knew in my knower that horrible mistakes were being made, but there was nothing I could do.

We’ve all seen or experienced it somewhere – UNQUALIFIED! The task set before us is greater than the skill set within us. God places tasks before us, gives dreams and visions that far exceed our limitations and we can’t imagine why He would pick us. God is not looking for a set of fabricated sentences that make us appear to be superheroes. He is looking for a availability. God never calls or raises up the one that makes the most sense to everyone else. He says “My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts are higher than your thoughts”.

I left that company 10 years after the startup and that division ultimately failed and was closed. I will always wonder what if the “unqualified” had been chosen.

You are chosen, you are enough, He will qualify you.

God Doesn’t Read Resumes

I spent my adult working life at the same corporation. I had only been married a few months when I started. With all my family and friends living a couple hundred miles away, those people quickly became my family. I learned so much from them, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My last job, several years in, was to help with a startup division. I walked in the building my first day with a pink “while you were out” pad (I know I just dated myself) and an ink pen. There was a desk and a chair and the phone was ringing. It was great! I got to choose most everything. It was a lot of hard work but I loved it until…

The day came that we had to have employees for operate the plant. In a growing town where a major employer had just laid off bunches of people, applications and resumes, came flooding in. People who knew Ronnie’s wife (that’s me) worked there began to call needing an “in”. Lots and lots of good people, hard working, experienced, desperate people wanting to work applied. It was overwhelming!

Parameters had to be set to start the weeding out process of a huge stack of applicants for only a few jobs. Tears ran down my face, between the sobbing bathroom runs, while I told people “you are not qualified”. I knew it wasn’t true, but their resume didn’t say the right things. Their level of education didn’t match the requirements. I knew in my knower that horrible mistakes were being made, but there was nothing I could do.

We’ve all seen or experienced it somewhere – UNQUALIFIED! The task set before us is greater than the skill set within us. God places tasks before us, gives dreams and visions that far exceed our limitations and we can’t imagine why He would pick us. God is not looking for a set of fabricated sentences that make us appear to be superheroes. He is looking for a availability. God never calls or raises up the one that makes the most sense to everyone else. He says “My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts are higher than your thoughts”.

I left that company 10 years after the startup and that division ultimately failed and was closed. I will always wonder what if the “unqualified” had been chosen.

You are chosen, you are enough, He will qualify you.

Dream or Fairytale?

It’s January, the beginning of a new year and new decade. Yesterday was MLK Day and social media was filled with quotes from Dr. King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech. Rightfully, his intense words of wisdom which articulated his dream for the world rang in our ears again. Sadly, he did not live to see that dream come true but he moved toward the dream and people are still following.

A fresh beginning means we can leave behind last years “stuff”. This is THE year of making it happen. I felt for most of 2019 that 2020 would be the year of clearly seeing the vision or dream become reality.

We all have dreams for the day, the year, our life, career, retirement, kids, grandkids, ministry and so on. What takes us from mere fairytale to dream is the effort put forth to make it become reality.

Until the day teachers no longer wrote personal notes on my report card, the remarks were the same. “Melba is a daydreamer”. I’m sure there are special medical terms for that now, but I could never make myself be still enough in the moment to enjoy it. I was always thinking about all the other things that could be happening if I weren’t confined to that desk.

Look inside your dream and ask yourself what step can you take toward to seeing that dream become reality. Do you need to simply eat smaller portion, read a book, enroll in a class, clean a drawer or closet, update your resume, write a list or first paragraph? I am about to push publish on this post that I wrestled with for hours. I wrote and deleted it more times than I care to admit, but this post another step away from fairytale.

Dream or fairytale? If we only sit and whine to ourselves about the confinement, we have settled for a fairytale. Dreams become reality only when take action. Take a moment to think and pray about it then get up and move toward seeing your dream become reality.

Healing the Hurt

During this Thanksgiving season I’ve seen posts of thankfulness that hurts have been healed. What a beautiful thing!

As I read some of these posts I couldn’t help but wonder if those who had been hurt and now healed had gone to those they wounded during their pain. Hurting people hurt people. Once the Lord has healed us we need to ask Him to show us who we wounded while hurting. In our pain we lash out, we pull away, do and say things that we can easily justify because of our own feelings.

The best way to heal our hurts is to help heal the hurts we inflicted.

Grief

Nineteen years ago we got the report no one ever wants to get-cancer. Cancer, it’s a horrible ugly word but faith is bigger. Jesus paid for healing in the same death that paid for salvation. No lack of faith here, Daddy will be healed, all will be well.

For the next nine months we did what the doctor said, took treatments, prayed, cried, believed, struggled, wrestling all the while with believing for something we never got to see. We had good days and bad days, fun days and sad days. Then…Jesus took Daddy to heaven. Whoa!Wait! What?! This is not what we prayed and believed for. There’s no way to adequately describe the feeling of having everything in you torn and shattered, the struggle of trying to just breath.

Grief is not the same as a lack of faith. Faith placed in Jesus is not wasted. “It is appointed unto man once to die”. It’s a promise, just like all the happy ones. Death for a Christian is a promotion but knowing the truth does not make losing the ones we love easy. The mind battle of “God, why?”

Grieving is a part of loss. The deeper the love, the deeper the grief. There is no formula, specific time period, format, or deadlines for grieving. If you have suffered loss and your heart is broken, it’s okay to not be okay. Jesus went to the tomb of a dear friend and wept. He knew from the beginning that mourning was going to be a part of our lives. In Matthew 5, He just went ahead in His most famous sermon and covered it. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted”. I reread it and sure enough, no indication that mourning over those we love is a lack of faith. BLESSED are they that mourn.

More Questions Than Answers

“If you don’t toot your own horn, who will toot it?” This question was posed to me a few weeks ago and frankly, it set me back a little.

I have spent my life trying please The Lord with my service to Him. I have HUGE dreams that only God can bring to pass. I have been honored to meet people and be a small part of big things but tooting my horn has never been something I thought about. Why do I do what I do? Am I about a platform or changed lives?

I don’t want to toot my horn. What kind of sound would it make? If I’m going to make sounds I want it count for eternity.

“God forbid that I should Glory except in the cross”.

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