Saturday, November 6, 2010

October 4, 2010

This was our first day in Feldioara for clinic. I felt so excited yet so nervous! This was a moment I had really waited for for months as I prepared for the trip. I had never "assisted" really... so it was going to be new to me: instruments... everything.  I think this day I really described what I saw . Enjoy...

"I really didn't know what to expect today at Feldioara. But I truly love the people, they are precious. Some of them can be "drama queens." But isn't it like that here in the states? :) But in the end, these people know relief comes from just a little bit more pain of an extraction... so they do it. It's their only choice.

Our "operatory" is 3 stacked white plastic lawn chairs and a wooden table covered with bits of concrete and paint. You can tell it's been used for so many purposes. Who knew it'd be used to hold dental instruments, needles, gauze, blood, teeth and a lot of change for so many. The ambiance coming from the three windows into this dark dusty sanctuary room provides enough natural light to try and see to work. You could feel the coldness coming from the windows where you could look out and see the people pass and look in back at you.

Jason and I make a good team. 45 teeth pulled today on countless patients. 113 teeth total in all the teams today. I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like when word gets out. As fun as the numbers are to keep up with, it is nothing compared to the power and love of Christ that was represented today in all aspects of the clinic today. God is so good. The need is so great... but truly the workers are few... but God called me. It takes my breath away to think about it. God is my true provider.

To hear a Romanian say "Thank you" and "I love you" after being put through the pain of an extraction  is something that sticks with you and makes you reevaluate your own thankfulness in life. Jason and I did 2-4 extractions on one elderly lady . As we finished, Jason began to walk away and this lady grabs him by the arm to bring him back in. He looked so caught by surprise as she began to kiss his arms and hands. All I could do was watch and Jason nodded softly at her. We both stayed silent and looked at each other. I can only imagine that he felt humbled like I did. We did 11 extractions on a woman today. Most if not all the teeth were periodontally involved. She is now edentulous--meaning she has no more teeth in her mouth. We asked so many times if she was sure. But she stated over and over again that she was because she was in so much pain. When we finished... she smiled--a toothless smile-- that showed from ear to ear and said "Thank you" in Romanian. I'll never understand why the world has to be that way but I do know God helped me do something amazing today. He is so very good."

I have wondered time and time again since I have been home just why God isn't apparent in these people's lives like he is in America. But the thing I am learning... He is. If the world was a perfect place that didn't experience pain, heartbreak and poverty... we would not need him. If Romania was a place where all was sound, my life wouldn't have been changed. I really think that these people experience God on such a different level because they really don't have a lot. Thankfulness is something that is so outward in showing there when here in America we expect so many things to be given to us... as if we deserve every bit of it. There are people that lie in our own churches.... go every Sunday, volunteer for committees and get involved. That's great but where's the fire... where's the conviction that would make you stand in the middle of the busiest street in your town and scream at the top of your lungs how much you love Christ. These people have it and they have nothing hardly. But they have everything, in Christ. How desperately do I want to live my life like that daily. How about you?

Live. Laugh. Love.


Friday, October 29, 2010

October 3, 2010

On October 3rd we visited churches at Brasov and Feldioara. I truly enjoyed this experience! It was really neat to experience a church in a different language yet God is the great connector... Amazing. Enjoy...

"There are so many feelings that came with today. I woke up feeling so rested but it was more so because I had no sleep the day before hardly. We went to the Brasov church in the morning. It was so neat to hear "Lord, I lift your name on high" in Romanian but our team singing it in English simultaneously. God knows no language, no border, no passport, no race or age. He loves all and calls us as his own. (How cool?!) I felt again, the world is huge. What is pronounced..."Pache" or "Peace," people say it as they greet one another or say goodbye. They say it with such a respect and love to everyone. I think it's customary almost to do it all that are in the room. What ever happened to greeting one another at church? It is like someone decided it took up too much time and removed it from the time in service. What better way to spread the love of God than to fellowship with those around you who worshiping God as well? I've yet to figure out when churches became so business minded rather than people minded. The Romanians have beautiful voices too."

"Tonight we went to church at Feldoiara. Feldoiara is a town outside of Brasov and much different. I really did love the church here. The people were loving and inviting. God has consumed them and it is beautiful. Mandra... one of the women there, you could read the love of God all over her face. She shared a song with us. What a blessing to see the love of Christ so alive in somebody!  We gave them VBS supplies. Simple supplies gave such wonderful looks of joy on their faces as they knew that they would be able to bring the love of God to their children. I can't even begin to thank God for this blessing of Romania and our team. I cannot wait for clinic tomorrow."

That night I was reading through Psalm and found this and wrote it down:
"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness of your salvation all day long, though I know not it's measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O sovereign Lord. I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone." -Psalm 71:14-16

At Feldoiara church, Brother Roger from Mississippi preached of God using ordinary people to do his work. It really touched me in a way. God called me... little ordinary Melissa to do work in Romania. Think about the things that God calls you to do... big or small... to do his work. Embrace it and live it.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Going into the Brasov church!

Their beautiful baptistry!


Pastor Luchie, Donna and their beautiful kids!

Waiting for service to start!

Mandra singing for us at Feloiara church

Savina opening VBS supplies!

Feldoiara Church... Mandra to my left. Beautiful women of God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 2, 2010

I entitled October 2nd "Coming Together," because it truly was the day where everything came together. It was a day I had waited for, prayed for and was ready for. So enjoy some of my words from this day...

"Wow. That's really all that can be said. This day was so slow in the sense of all the flying and the lengths it took to get to where we needed to be. But so quick to think that I went to 3 places... 2 continents in 24 hours. It didn't go quite as planned... okay, as I planned." (it never does... does it?)
"I really wanted to sleep on the plane to Memphis to Amsterdam... a 9 hour long flight. That didn't happen for me. I think it was a combination of nerves and horrible sinus issues and distraction that didn't let me sleep. I slept... well.. shut my eyes for about 30 minutes then maybe slept for an hour between Amsterdam and Bucharest. 23 hours of not stopping... exhausting." (Me interjecting now: It's funny to go back and read what you write when you are THAT tired... I left a LOT of words out!)

"One thing that I will never forget is seeing the day change. In my lack of sleep... I feel like I got to see a lot of things that if I had slept... I would have missed it... so therefore I was blessed to not sleep. I could look out one window to see night and another and see day. Made me realize how BIG this world really is." (To note on this: if one thing gets me... it's how the God of everything loves me, little insignificant me!)

"Amsterdam was neat to see. There are so many diverse people and cultures all wrapped into one. I'd like to think of the airport as a big show case of the people God has created... all the different people. People were pretty nice... especially when I was buying something and didn't quite get what they were asking... they bared with my lovely southern accent and lack of foreign knowledge! I did notice that because everyone is so different... people seem more (I wasn't sure how to put this) unaware of one another. They just accept and move on. A concept I think Americans should adopt."

(Me now) I think being in airports is one of my favorite things and least favorite things. I am such a people watcher. But to notice all these different people... I see now the potential to be bold on faith and share your faith with someone. You have SO many people around you and in contact with you at airports. I think the next time I sit in an airport... I'll take myself up on that.

"On the KLM flight between Amsterdam and Bucharest, I had a terrible bathroom experience. I'm pretty sure when I walked out of the "lavatory" that my horror was quite apparent to everyone. Let's call it (Romania team will know what I'm talking about) a 'that's interesting' moment. I have learned that some Europeans are not the most clean people in the world. I walk into this bathroom (I HATE using the bathroom in an airplane... it freaks me out) and there is urine... everywhere. Let me restate that.... EVERYWHERE. That was "interesting.""

We were told in our preparation meeting that at any point that you see something different or offensive just say "that's interesting." Since there is a language barrier people really rely on facial expression and emotion to get your point. I really felt like a spectacle at some points because I definitely did not fit the "typical" Romanian look. I am quite tall, blond, light skinned and light eyes. I said many times... they stare at me like I'm a blond Godzilla. So, since I felt like I was being watched a lot... "that's interesting" has become apart of my adopted vocabulary.

"The hardest part of the trip over was the 3-4 hour van ride. I have never felt so exhausted in my life. It felt like 8 hours to me. I did sleep a bit though in the van but I woke up as I felt the temperature drop from a nice 60 to probably in the 40s as we traveled up the mountain side from Bucharest to Brasov. It was really cloudy and really wet. Before I fell asleep though and a little bit after... I was amazed at some of the living conditions and make shift markets. That is survival for some people. People walk around just on the side streets with livestock. A lot of times you'll see them free on the side of the road and not fenced in."

I talked about the house for a while in my journal and I mentioned about our friend that lived in the wall for the week "boo," the squirrel. He  was there all week and made many appearances during bed time. It made for some good laughs though.

"Today came together with all luggage accounted for (we had a TON of suitcases) and safely through customs with everything still in tact. Praise God! God has great things in store for this team. I cannot wait for church tomorrow!"

You'll see that until we really get into the "meat" of the week... clinic days, church, and down days to think... I would journal a lot about how I saw things so I would remember them. And as I said before, I will not write everything just because some of it was meant for only Christ and myself. Enjoy a few pictures of Air port time and the house!

Live. Laugh. Love.


(The pictures are little out of order, I think)
    At little rock (From left): Sandy, Caron, Garrett, Myself... waiting to go to Memphis!
Precious Beth and Dr. Joel at Little Rock Airport

Tracy and I in Bucharest, getting ready to go to Brasov

Caron and Beth in Amsterdam

Tracy, Sandy and myself in Amsterdam... tired much?

In Little Rock

Tracy and I had to freshen up in Amsterdam after the long flight!

Pam, Tracy and Sandy in Amsterdam

Most of the team from a distance, packing up the van to head to Brasov!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Start

As promised, I said I would begin blogging about journal entries through my journey. Now of course I won't write everything (some of it written was meant only for God and myself) but for the most part... I will share my heart through the trip... So we'll start with October 1st... The start of the trip. I wrote this in the Memphis Airport sprawled out across a few seats. I was really excited, nervous and ready to get going!

October 1, 2010 "The Start"
"I have been praying hard for God's direction in my life on this trip and there after. I feel like the Devil has tried to keep me from this trip--hernia, sickness and negativity. But God is ever faithful and here I am. Today, I will leave and become changed--forever. Isn't it weird to think that I will come back a new person... a person I don't even know yet." (From me now: God is so good. And yes, I came back very changed in many ways. I praise him for that).

"I am waiting in Memphis for our connection to Amsterdam. From there we head to Bucharest then to Brasov. Sounds easy, right? 23 hours of travel once it is all said and done. We have spent almost 5 hours in Memphis! But a blessing... we are already checked in for our flight--so no lines, no 'holding.' We board at 6:40 pm. We already got our baggage checked. We have so many supplies and medicines... the one bag that gets checked thoroughly... VBS supplies. Go figure. The flight we will go on is 10 hours... I'm actually a little nervous. But God is here. I can feel it. I'm ready to start."

God really blessed our team and putting together a group of us who worked so well. He watched over our supplies that we needed and saw us each through to start an amazing journey. I can't help but smile on that... God is really good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to the "real world"

I titled the "real world" with quotations because so many people today said, "So, how does it feel to be back in the real world?" I would reply "It's okay! I wish I could go back." Truth is... this isn't the "real world" to me anymore. I was in the real world. The real world isn't glamorous and it's not full of all the luxuries that I have. The real world is hard where people  have to grow up to fast because life is tough and you have to be tough for it. It's full of lost people, it has saved people, people who have seeds planted. So, I'll say... I'm back in the world God blessed me with because I feel that's the most true statement.

I am really happy to be back and I missed everyone. But it is a really bittersweet. I did leave 1/2 of my heart there. And as Sandy said, I probably won't really get it back until I go back.... then I'll leave it again. I will have to live with it. But pray in the days ahead as the things laid on my heart progress and play themselves out in God's timing.

I wasn't really able to blog the whole trip so I kept a journal throughout the trip. As the days progress, I will post parts from my journal along with some pictures from the days.

I will be uploading pictures to Facebook soon enough but just know, I will post mostly pictures from our 2 days of sight seeing and pictures from clinic that are appropriate for public audiences (i.e. ones without blood and the devastation of people's mouths before and after treatment) and ones that do not exploit the people of Romania in a way that is disrespectful. Just know that our team did not spend all our time sight seeing, if you see tons of pictures of scenery and hardly any of clinic.... it's just a respect thing. If you really want to see clinic pictures, I will show them only in private.

Thank you for your support during my trip and in the days to come. God is so good. I mentioned this at work today as a challenge and God really laid it on my heart... If God is calling you to a certain path, to him for a personal relationship or some place.... do not turn the other cheek and make excuses (when sometimes that's the easy way out). Trust in him and turn to him and place every ounce of faith you have in him and don't walk but run to him. You won't be let down.

Live. Laugh. Love.


Monday, September 27, 2010

In four short sleeps...

It's crazy to think that in 4 (very short) sleeps and 3 quick days my life will change. I don't just think it will change. I know it will change. God has been so very gracious to hand pick me for such a journey with an amazing team and to experience such an amazing change to come. It has been my prayer that God just open my heart and mind to anything he wants to show me about myself, about my life... anything. It is also my prayer that I be consistent with those things even after my return. I know God has great things in store for the "RoMed" team! The journey so far to this point has been one that I just love to share because it can only be written by the Lord himself... nothing I did... painted this picture that is about to unveiled. He has broken me, opened my eyes, humbled me, provided for me and held his truths (as always).  We serve such an amazing Savior and I am so blessed that He calls me his.

This past Friday, I went to a wonderful surgeon at Baptist Springhill to figure out all this discomfort and worry I have been experiencing. He said that it could be just a severe muscle strain, a small hernia or maybe even both. But (the good news) I am okay to travel! I cannot lift anything to heavy but I am at a very low risk of having the hernia rupture on this trip. What is even more neat: My doctor has been to Romania and made me feel more at ease about the health care there. Now, the hernia will need to be fixed with time because it will get bigger and bigger. But I can live with a diagnosis like that! Did I mention that God is so good?

During my trip, I will have times where I have access to the internet. As much as I would love to email individuals... this could be time consuming and I doubt I'll have much time! So to keep everyone (who is interested) updated I will update my blog about what God is doing and about the team! I cannot wait to share!

I am finalizing my packing (hopefully tomorrow!) I ask that prayers go up for all of the RoMed team. I pray everyone's suitcases meet weight limits, flight restrictions and customs guidelines to ensure a smooth travel. I pray for our supplies suitcases, that they make it with no issues and can be used to better the life of these amazing people in Romania. I pray for the hearts of the people that we will be touching. Maybe we'll just plant a seed, maybe we'll water the seed or maybe (how awesome) we could see a flower bloom from souls that need the Lord so desperately! In any case, I pray for them. I ask for prayers of safety, energy, love and endurance. The power of prayers are amazing... so don't forget!

I am heading to the missions service at Faith Missionary Baptist on Wednesday night! I will hopefully post one more time before I head out Friday morning!

Until next time.

Live. Laugh. Love.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayer Request!

Hey everyone! I am going to drop a short "prayer request blog" before I hit the bed tonight!
Tomorrow I am going for my ultra sound appointment for my hernia. After that hopefully things will move fast! I have a surgery consult Friday and surgery lined up for Monday to repair my hernia. I appreciate all of the prayers from everyone and encouraging words. I would like to send a special thanks to the FBC prayer group that prayed for my healing tonight. God certainly can heal me. I believe it. He is such an awesome God.

I promise to keep you guys posted! But pray, pray, pray! Pray for healing. Pray for the doctors handling my case. Pray for my sanity as I prepare and pack for my journey. Pray for my family as they endure this right along side me. (On that note, I seriously think my parents could single handedly run the world. They are the reason why I have a consult and surgery scheduled... all in one day!) Most of all, pray for the RoMed team that I will be apart of. I feel as though God has put a wonderful team together to do amazing things in Romania. Pray for our strength, spiritually and physically as we endure some tough work days ahead. But days that are surely going to be filled with abundant blessings and lessons learned. Pray for our safety as we complete 23 hours of travel!

God is so so good and has provided me a wonderful family, boyfriend and friends who all are so supportive and encouraging through this time.

Until my next update... hopefully soon following tomorrow!

Live. Laugh. Love.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayers, Peace. Patience.

In 10 days, I will be on my way to Romania! Time has FLOWN by. In true fashion (like with any big event), obstacles are beginning to take shape which can only be the enemy trying to dampen spirits. Luckily, I have a God bigger than any sitation big or small. Now, to pray for peace, patience and understanding, is a lot easier said than done. But I am asking for each and everyone of you to pray,  pray, pray!
For the last week or so I have been having pain in my lower right side. Most of the time it is just a dull ache but if I sneeze, cough, laugh or move suddenly just right it is a very sharp uncomfortable pain. So I paid the doc a visit to confirm that I have a hernia. They did run other tests (the results will be in in the a.m.... we hope) to rule out any infections. Next we'll have an ultra sounds and more likely than not a surgery to correct it. You could imagine my panic (and my parents panic) this situation when in 10 days I will be away from U.S. healthcare and in a foreign country! Crazy! 

So just pray for healing and pray for quickness but thoroughness by the right doctors! I appreciate everyone's excitement and encouraging words and prayers!! I'll keep everyone updated!

Live. Laugh. Love.


Friday, September 3, 2010

A month out!

Wow! I can hardly believe how fast time has flown by! Can you believe in about 3 1/2 months Christmas will be here... CHRISTMAS!!?!?? God has been so faithful to me this year and led me through some dark times. But with the dark times... he led me into some very bright moments in my life. I want to give a little update on my life since I have been really lacking on the blogging end... you know... being a big girl might do this to a girl. Haha!

I am ONE MONTH out from Romania... actually 27 days! I am so excited for what God has in store for our team that he is hand picked to do his work! I feel like I should be making lists and packing. I ought to get on that! I am just really curious on how to pack for the weather! I ask that everyone just pray for our team as we go and do A LOT of extractions in just a short 8 days! Pray that God will be evident in our spirits and the people of Brasov will see him through us. I get chills thinking about it! We recently had our "Packing  Party" where we have about 6 suitcases full of medicine and supplies ready to go! All of which are under 50 pounds! :)! God is so faithful to provide all of that for us! Any overseas traveling advice would be MUCH appreciated from anyone!

I am officially a team member of Burleson Family Dentistry as I have completed my 90-day probationary period. Can you believe, THREE MONTHS of working!? Crazy! I am so excited to see where God leads my career. I have grown so much in those short three months! God is so good and has blessed me endlessly already!

In late September, a wonderful woman named Barbara and I will be kicking off Secret Keeper Girls at FBC Cabot for girls ages 8 to 12! It is a study for Moms and Daughters! If you know anyone who would be interested! Have them contact me or sign up in the commons at FBC the next 3 Sunday mornings! I am so excited about this study and to get to know a new group of girls! God has really planted a seed in my heart for young women and has led me to some neat places with them!

9 months to the day I found out about my issues with cervical cancer, I am cancer free and abnormal cell free! Praise God for this. I will go for another check up in December but things are beginning to look promising! What a year?!

I have a wonderful "special someone" in my life who has caught me by complete surprise. He literally came out of no where in really unique timing. I am sure he will be making more appearances on my blog! But God has already blessed me through him and has shown me what a true sweetheart and gentleman and more importantly man of God looks like. I am so thankful for him and his little one, they have been my smile on days where I didn't think I could. God has shown me that he will provide whom he wants for me, not what I had set out for myself... and for that I am FOREVER grateful! 

Well, it is a big family weekend for this Labor Day weekend! I pray that everyone has a safe holiday and be smart! Enjoy the people God has provided in your life and don't take them for granted.

Today is a great day because God let me laugh with my "recycled teenager" of a Grandma (yes she did say that herself! Haha).

Live. Laugh. Love.


Friday, August 13, 2010

He said it.

"May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24 MSG)

How often do we forget as Christians that God is completely dependable? If you really think about it (and I know I am guilty of this), we ask "Why?" a lot. "Why didn't I get this job?" "Why can't I look like that?" "Why have I experienced so much hurt when I remain so faithful?" "Why me?" But why are we asking why to God... the God of EVERYTHING. He has a purpose in EVERYTHING. God knit EVERY fiber of my being and literally knows every depth of my mind and soul. Therefore, in all logic, I know that I should know that he knows (wow that's a mouth full!) everything about me. So why do I ask why? God is the most dependable person. He just asks us to seek him first above all else and find ourselves consumed in his Word and promises. I have learned the answer to "Why?" is often a short distance to your knees or a turn of a page away.

I want to reiterate again: God... the God of EVERYTHING knit EVERY fiber of my being. Not only did He knit every fiber of my being but He made it "whole" in him. He turned my sinful imperfection to perfection. To think EVERY fiber... tiny cells... DNA... all are so complex. But by the hand of God... He simply knit me together.. perfect by His saving grace. Precious Lord, thank you, THANK YOU for your grace. I have had the interesting privilege of seeing a human cadaver in a gross anatomy lab setting. If you ever get the rare chance to do this or even just study on the complexities of the human body, do it. To see every muscle, nerve, tendon, bone... every fiber woven and wired together to create life, GOD DID THAT. To hold a heart that once was beating and lungs that took breath in...GOD WIRED THAT. The answer to "Why?" is so simple with God when you think about Him in this manner... "Why?" Because you gave me precious life, Lord. Life that has been made perfect by your sacrifice. You took the fall for me. 

God calls us, He commands us and He guides us through his word, convictions and visions. This past year, God has proved to me every day how dependable he is, even when I doubt. He calls, He says it and He does it. He is ever faithful. Lord, take my "Whys" and turn them into instant "Because God CAN"s. 

I read this in my quiet time today and I think it is fitting to the times when we feel defeated and don't remember God's dependence. Psalm 17: 16-19 (A prayer of David) NIV: "He reached down from on high and TOOK HOLD OF ME; he drew me out of deep waters. He RESCUED ME from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster BUT THE LORD WAS MY SUPPORT. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me BECAUSE HE DELIGHTED IN ME." God said and he does.

Today is a great day because God says and always does... even when the "does" isn't what you expect at all.

Live. Laugh. Love.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My mother has no idea that I'm writing this but here you go Mom! My Mom is such a woman of God and has such a heart for serving others and for the Lord. She has such a strength in prayer and in patience. Only my Mom can begin to understand how she has taught me patience and strength in prayer since I was a very little girl. I thank her everyday for her patience with me, our family, our hard times... everything. I am so thankful for her heart. She posts encouraging statuses on her Facebook every day. Today she posted this:

"Patience with others brings peace to our own soul. Lord, help me to display patience even when I do not feel patient because everyone will benefit, but me most of all."

I never considered the thought of being patient with someone bring myself peace until I read that because I am seeing that first hand. When we are patient, we are more in tune with God, others and ourselves, even if it is with someone else. Thank you God for giving me the ability to be patient. I pray to use it more often. 

So I will be patient and count my blessings that God gives me for doing so. It's funny how God reveals the most to us when we choose to remain silent. He gives us strength for decisions that lie ahead.

Today is a good day because I was patient and felt better.

Live. Laugh. Love.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Need You

This is a song that I heard at Super Summer 2006, I believe. It's called "I Need You" by The Swift. It is such a beautiful song about how we go through this life and we really do try to do it on our own. But here's the deal: we don't have to. We become so worn out and so tired trying to be in charge of ourselves when this life isn't ours to begin with. We need to Lord and his perfect grace so much than we admit. I am so thankful that he gives such a perfect grace to me when I truly don't deserve it.

You can download the song on iTunes if you are interested, enjoy!
"My heart is restless in me
My wings are all worn out
I'm walking in the wilderness
And I cannot get out

I need You, oh I need You
Blessed savior come
I need You, oh I need You
Fill the every longing of my soul

Oh how I need You Lord
I need Your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed You just today

And my bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end
A downward spiral of despair
That I keep falling in

I need You, oh I need You
To You my soul shall fly
I need You, oh I need You
Yahweh how I love you more than life

Oh how I need You Lord
I need Your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed You just today

Your silence is like death to me
So won't You hear my desperate plea

Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They are all just passing by
Its not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yahweh's lifted me in His own strength

Oh how I love You Lord
I love your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The God who always will endure
Now I will celebrate
For all the thousand ways
That you have shown me grace

And made my heart in grace to stay
You made my heart in grace to stay
Lord, make my heart in grace to stay
I need You, oh I need You"

I have two favorite parts in this song. First:
"Oh how I need You Lord
I need Your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed You just today"

"Oh how I love You Lord
I love your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The God who always will endure
Now I will celebrate
For all the thousand ways
That you have shown me grace

I fail him... yet he shows me endless grace. Thank You, Lord.

Today is a good day because I received grace when I didn't deserve it.

Live. Laugh. Love.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Love Never Fails - Brandon Heath

When the Lord puts things, people, situations... anything in our lives, he does it for his ultimate purpose... all in his perfect design. That's just it, it is perfect.

Love can be such a deep subject. It can evoke joy, tears, heartbreak, and smiles. For those of you have ended your search for love and you have embarked on growing in this perfect love that God designed just for you and your other half, you can look back and see the path God made you take to get to your prince charming or your princess. Some of you may be thinking that your time has come to wind down your journey, you've found who you think is your Mr./Ms. "Right." You still think back to those times where you were heartbroken or maybe when you had a smile you didn't think could spread wider than that moment. You think, "could this be it?" On another note, you might find yourself still on the search that seems so endless for that person God has set aside for you, the person you have been dreaming of for what seems like forever. That "forever" seems so long and you wonder why on Earth has God lead you through so much heartache, confusion and let down. You wonder why "he" or "she" isn't there.

When I was in the 7th grade, my Mom was my Sunday School teacher. In honor of Valentine's Day, she had us write a letter to our future husbands outlining how we think/want them to be and the promises we make to them. Then she said keep it and over the years revamp it as you discover what you want. I have no clue where that first letter is, I'm sure it's tucked away in some box or some journal now, just waiting to be found. But I did revamp it over the years! As I began college and started to seriously date, I started just keeping letters to "him," my Mr. Right and I still do to this day. I have always used 1 Corinthians 13 has my guide of how I want the love of my life to be and the type of love that only God fearing man could give. I was so elated when the song "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Heath (shown in the video above) came out because it was everything that I wished for in love and put one of my favorite chapters or the bible into prospective. I hold these verses to my heart and I find myself referring back to them when making decisions in love or putting "mind over matter" on what's right for me. Here are the words to the song with some thoughts of mine:

"Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most"

Me: Love is not "big headed" and does not brag of all that it has, as if it was like that all on it's own. Love is a gift... pure and true from only God.
I think about where I am at... It doesn't and I'm thankful.

"does not run
Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside"

Me: True love will never cower away or give up on you. In true love, you will always care endlessly and never hide it.
I think about what I have... It doesn't and I'm thankful.

"Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you"

Me: Love over takes you and last through times of trail. The love that only God designs... NEVER fails me. It hasn't.

"Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time"

Me: This love will always last. Love doesn't put self over the other... it cares for more than oneself. The love that God designs for a couple is eternal.

"Love will protect
Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don't"

Me: True love is what makes you keep going. The person that God has set out for love for me will believe in love, in me and in life, when I won't sometimes. It puts up with
anything. I think about what I have... it has.

"Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you"

Me: This love will not have question but comfort in knowing it was completely God-designed. And for that, it'll NEVER fail you.

"When my heart won't make a sound
When I can't turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this"

Me: I love this part because this can happen quite often. When your world is crashing down, God placed that person there to love you through it and put it back together.
I dream that NOTHING will be greater than that LOVE. I think about what I have... I know I can willingly depend on love.

"Love is right here
Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life"

Me: God has given love as a gift and it's always alive... even when it doesn't seem so. I think... it's been right in front of me for quite sometime.

"Love is the river than flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you"

You could have love. You can think you have found love. You can be searching for love.

You could have LOVE, God's designed LOVE right in front of your face... all along. Nothing is greater than this and hasn't failed me.

Today is a GREAT day because I smiled because God is faithful to his promises.

Live. Laugh. LOVE.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Wake up America!

I found this post about the oil spill in the Gulf. Now, I know the coverage has consumed the media but what is so shocking is that people won't just WAKE UP! Yeah, I'm sorry your 1,000 + dollar beach vacation is ruined but look at the bigger picture! Yes, it is BP's fault. Yes, it is their responsibility. But it is our responsibility to take care of our home ground. Give to help these animals that are so heavily effected... that is their HOME. Give to help clean up. Give your time if you can. What ever happened to the America that had no problem in giving? Take a look at this article and pictures from the Huffington Post....

Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Realizing what "true love" is....

No, I haven't struck true love, yet. No, I'm not engaged. Nor am I getting married. The "true love" I am referring to, is more of a life "true love" (if you will); more so of a realization that can only mean one thing: I am growing up.

Last week was my first full week of work at my new job! Needless to say, I am so incredibly blessed. I work in a beautiful office, with wonderful people for a strong christian dentist. I even get to listen to good positive music all day while I work on some really nice (most of the time) and definitely interesting patients! I work Tuesday through Friday! No weekends and NO MONDAYS! It is a pretty awesome schedule! Overall, I had a wonderful week but as with any job I'm sure, I did have a really off day.

To put my off day in short: I really couldn't please a lady who was a parent of a child I saw (I actually made her pretty upset, I guess.), I had a late patient, a non-compliant patient and a patient who would rather be anywhere but the dentist office.  Not going to lie, for having such a perfect week before this day, I almost did shed a few tears. But as I left for the day and I was driving home, I realized I will always have an off day every once in a while. More importantly though, I realized that even though my day really didn't go my way, I still want to go back to work because I truly genuinely love what I do. That to me is a life "true love." Thank you, God for equipping me with gifts to do my job and help people. 

Tomorrow is my first official "day off!" What to do?! I have finally found a new apartment, so I know I have to go do things for that! Otherwise, I am excited about going back to work on Tuesday! :)

Until next time! Today was a good day because I got to relax and reflect!

Live. Laugh. Love.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

God is so good...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday! It has been such a crazy two weeks for me but oh so blessed!

April 3rd was 5 years since my good friend Brady passed away. It seems like forever ago but his memories still lie within me. Brady was such an incredible person and has left such an amazing legacy because he truly touched everyone he came in contact with. I miss him and I miss his "pep talks" we used to have when he always knew I was feeling down. I carry my promise with me every where I go that we wrote at MFUGE 2004. I hope that I'm at least 1/2 the person he was spiritually. I think of him a lot and he inspires me to be something better. I love you, Brady Hooper... for changing my life!

Easter is such a busy but neat time of year. We tend to forget what this is all about amidst the Easter Bunny, Eggs, and Easter Dinner. This year I thought a lot about Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Imagine being Jesus. He knew. He knew he would be praised and paraded around town and loved on by people and then just a few short days later, hang to a cross, nailed... pierced... beaten and ridiculed. They wanted him dead. Jesus knew. It said that Jesus was agonizing over what was going to happen in the garden of Gethsemane. So stressed he was sweating blood.  If you have ever seen Passion of the Christ, although not a movie that you would find yourself popping in on a Friday night, it is an amazing depiction on the true sacrifice and story of our Savior. Jesus, although most though he was over...dead... done for and put in a tomb: God is a God of promises and hope. Jesus died on the cross for me... selfish give me a world better than a dream. But he did it. Thank you, Jesus. 

Life will be changing so much this next month, I have clinical boards I have to think about now that National Boards are out of the way! Just pray for my sanity during this time! God has been so incredibly faithful to me during this process of discovering my career! Then I graduate and hopefully have a job... how crazy?! Where did 4 years go... I really have no clue at all! I have my check up on May 10th dealing with the cervical cancer, please be praying for God's healing power and in any event... my understanding and trust in such a wonderful God.

Today was a good day because Jesus Christ died on the cross for me (and does daily) so that I may have everlasting life... that is amazing.

Until next time... Live. Laugh. Love.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today is a good day... yes it is.

I had a patient today in clinic who asked me to call him "Charlie." Charlie is probably one of the sweetest elderly patients I have EVER had at the VA hospital. I was getting started with all of my stuff and I began talking with him while I worked (yes, I AM the hygienist that talks to my patients with my hands in their mouth like they can talk back, Ha Ha) and I quickly learned that Charlie was a very neat person with a very neat story. He began to tell me how he fought it WWII and he goes around to schools, clubs and churches and speaks about his amazing story! I learned that he was a crew member on a B17 that was shot down over Germany during a bombing mission. After falling several thousand feet at a pretty high velocity, Charlie found that he was the only survivor of this horrific crash. He was able to walk from the rubble only to be confronted by a German solider. Charlie said "That German looked at me and I knew then and there that he'd probably kill me, take my dog tags and turn them into American Headquarters and say he found me dead. But as he looked at me, he looked at the destruction at which I had walked from and he turned his back and spared me." I said to Charlie, "Wow, God had something really amazing planned for you because obviously he wanted you here. God has a funny way of putting us right where he wants us." Charlie looked at me and said, "You know, you are right. God knows even when we ask 'why.'" Charlie is right.

God, you have such a way of bringing things to my attention and preparing me so I can better listen to you. Thank you. Thank you for my blessing of Charlie today! You knew I'd need him and his knowledge!

Prepare yourself for a more personal note here but it's my blog I'm allowed! Feel free to quit reading! I had been having a pain in just one spot on my left breast. I felt around that area to find something very "sobering" (if you will)... a lump. I tried to think maybe this is normal (and it may be...) but it is a large lump and I can't deny that. So, I went to my Mom and she showed concern too.  More opinions... more concern. After my cervical issues in January and February... it is very sobering and I'm not going to lie... the "what ifs" and "why God's" are really hard to avoid. But Charlie is right, God knows why and what, even though I will question him to no end. God doesn't make mistakes ever. So I ask for prayers as we figure out what this lump is and I will keep posting in the days ahead.

Heavenly Father, thank you for providing me with peace.

Now normally, I post "Today is a good day because" to remember the happy lady in the post office line the day I found out about the Cervical stuff and to remember that Today is ALWAYS a good day when it is spent in the Lord's company! But today... I'm going to post the original "Today is a good day." Today is a good day because the Lord let me wake up and see another day. Today is a good day because God has provided a way for me and is patient with me! Today is a good day.

Until next time.
Live. Laugh. Love.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Almost over!

Wow! I realized.. it's been nearly two months since I have posted! But... boards kind of take me over! So I better get this thing caught up!

Well!! I have turned 22 since the 7th and I have had some neat things happening in my life!

Tomorrow I am about to conclude my "Esther" study! I am so excited about what the study has done! I know these girls have touched my life in such a way that I can't even explain. It's been really excited to see two of "my girls" go forward with professions of faith. Aside from Esther, the wonderful women of the Girls Ministry have embraced me and involved me with a very exciting event coming to Truman, AR. It is a Mom and Daughter day in which they get to hear the real scoop on real life issues. I am speaking about inner garbage and the things that can contribute to it. More importantly, I get to share the message of what God says about it all and the promises he has given us! I am truly excited about it!!

I took my National Dental Hygiene Board Exam this past Monday. I am so relieved it is over!! Yet, the waiting has begun and I feel nervous again! I feel good about my exam but I will feel even better when I see that I passed. It has been a whirl wind of a semester and I look back and I can say I am proud because I studied my hardest and I knew my stuff. Of course, I didn't know everything... but really no one ever will. I feel weird that I am not freaking out about it all but it is comforting to know that the Lord has given me the peace I prayed for. Thanks God!

After I took my test, the parents and I went to go visit my sister and her hubby! I was so excited because it's been 2 1/2 months since I have seen her! Definitely the longest in our lives that we have ever been separated! I refuse to let it be that long again!  It was a good time though! I fell in LOVE with that city, it is a lot of fun!

I am going to Romania... FOR SURE in the Fall! God has such a very neat way of working things out! Sandy, a lady that I have known since I was a young teen (for those of you who know my family really well.. Drew's mother), has been asking me to go to Romania... for probably close to two years (since I started hygiene school). I would always have some excuse as to why it wouldn't work: school, pageants, money, passport and other obligations. How selfish... I'm almost embarrassed to say all of that. But this is all very humbling. I knew I really wanted to go so I started saying sure but all the while keeping my selfish wants in the forefront. Well behold... God showed me what he wanted in the forefront. (This is totally where the neat part starts!) From stuff with the passport, timing, stress and worrying about a job, I began to freak out about everything on my plate... the main thing being a pageant on April 3rd. I cried "God, how am I going to do all of this stuff with boards, jobs, and things to pay for!! Help me!" Me being selfish... I said I'm stressed. I'm doing this pageant and the rest will fall in line. (Most of you know how many prelims I've done this year without win... all for good reason). Shortly after my plead with God and my selfish moment. Sandy came in to get Drew and asks "Melissa, are you going to Romania!?" I gave her the usual... "well boards and school and a job.. passport stuff... and the pageant... I'll get back to you." (again, quite ashamed...) So Sandy (and Jesus) clearly say: "Okay, here are the guidelines for this: I need to know you are going by April 3rd (I think to myself: OMG the day of the pageant. I think I can now see God laughing at me a little) and all you have to put down right now is 100 dollars (I think again: OMG that's the amount of money I was spending for the pageant. God is probably smiling me at this point saying... OKAY goofy... hear me now!?). I was silenced. My Mom and Sandy leave and just sheer embarrassment flooded over me and it was quite obvious how selfish I had been and where God wanted me to be... not doing this pageant but doing his work in Romania. Luckily for me my passport will be in in plenty of time... which was a worry! I cannot wait to see what God has in store and I thank the Lord for being SO blunt with me. :)

Today is a good day: because I realized Jesus calls me daily even when I dont deserve it. He never gives up.

Until next time...
Live. Laugh. Love.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you!

Wow what a week. The surgery is complete and by only the grace of God and of course my family, I made it through. We just pray that all doubt is removed through this surgery. We'll know for sure in a couple of months.

My bible study got its kick-off a couple of weeks ago! We had 20 girls! How awesome!!!! God is so good and provided such a beautiful and wonderful set of girls! Pray that this study will change a girls life!

Just pray for everything right now. School is tough but I know God will see me through it! Sorry this is so short! Loves!

Live. Laugh. Love
Today is a good day!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quick Update!

Hello!! I have been running ragged trying to keep up with school this semester. I thought 14 hours were going to be easy... WRONG! Aside from all of the project craziness that has over taken me, I am VERY blessed want to keep you informed that I do have a lot of abnormal cells that need to be taken care of. I will be going in for a surgery to get rid of the abnormal cells. There could be more surgeries to come. That is better than I could have ever asked for so praise the Lord for that!

It was truly amazing the peace I felt and I still do feel during this time. It's unbelievable when God lays the peace that surpasses all understanding on your life. It's a cool feeling because I feel like he says "I hear you, here I am." What an amazing God we have that can calm the storms in our life with just a simple word. Thank you, God.

The surgery will be on the 4th of February, prayers are always welcome (and thank you from the bottom of my heart for them!!).

I am starting my bible study with my jr high and high school girls tomorrow! I'm so very excited! So far we have 9 and I have a feeling we will have 10 before tomorrow night! What a great turn out!

I promise to be better about updating this because the time I get to talk to people is scarce and the time I get to spend time with people is even few and more far in between. I love you all! Thank you for being you!!

Live. Laugh. Love.

Today is a good day!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You can't put a price on love.

Well! It is the night before my biopsy and I have peace that I cannot begin to even describe! All I can say is "Thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart," for you prayers, your kindness and concern and your encouraging words. You cannot put a price on the love that people show you. It touches you so deep to know that you have a whole army of people on your side. I thank the Lord for the people who have prayed for my peace.

I have had clinic at Children's Hospital this week. It was probably the best experience I have had there. I got to experience a lot of great things and witness the most support parents. It made me feel so lucky to know I had the same support from the people that I loved. You cannot put a price on the love that people show you.

Without the faithfulness of the good Lord and the love of everyone, I would be a mess! The Lord has a plan. It may not be the one I choose for myself but he will give me the directions on how to get through it! I will keep you all updated. You can't put a price on love.

Today is a GREAT day because I have peace in my storm.

Live. Laugh. Love.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Today has taken a different feeling for me. Last night after spending time with the Lord, I realized that there is no reason to be afraid. I have a peace today that I needed. I was able to talk about everything without crying! That's saying a lot for me. I think I got a little weepy while listening to air one. But that's nothing new! The Lord has used song to really speak to me! Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I love you all!

I got to have lunch with my good friend Meagan today and then rested for a lot of it. I have had a head ache (probably stress) since two days ago. But, all of the out pouring of blessings, makes it all okay! They make me smile!

I go back to school tomorrow for registration and then 4 other girls from school are off to Dallas, TX for a board review! I am excited! It's really nuts to think this last semester is really starting. It is definitely my bed time! Hopefully this semster I will be better about going to bed.

Today is a good day.
Live. Laugh. Love.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Today is a good day.

The Lord has divine planning. The Lord doesn't make mistakes and he knows exactly what he is doing (even though it might not be what you think).

I am asking for a whole army of prayers from everybody. I thank everyone for the love and support I have received and yet to receive in the days to come. The power of prayer is beyond anything human.

I received a call today that I know will change the way I look at my life forever. I have been having issues with my body for a while now that I knew were not normal. As school ended I underwent a lot of blood tests and a pelvic ultra sound. They found nothing. I was really happy and went on about my way but I knew something was not normal. I had another exam done and finally received a call today. Something is wrong. I have a lot abnormal cells in my body that do not belong there. On a scale of low risk to high risk for those abnormal cells becoming Cervical Cancer, unfortunately my odd cells lie at the very top of that scale. As my doctor spoke to me, there was just so much information involved with tackling this to make sure there is not cancer already there and that there are not too many abnormal cells that we needed to take very serious drastic action. Luckily, I have a very thorough doctor and she is taking immediate action so I have the best outcome possible. That is a blessing in itself. If not for her caring, this could have gone unnoticed. I am going next week to have some biopsies taken and we are hoping for the best! It was so overwhelming to even face the chance of the "C" word. I spent a lot of the afternoon just numb but at the same time full of emotion. I have a wonderful family, boyfriend and friends who have left their love and support with me. I thank you guys for enduring my tears and just letting me talk. In such a time, I am lucky that I have a God and faith that never fails in my present time of need. No problem is too big for my God.

After I had just found out and called my family. I had to go to the post office and all I could think about was how terrible I looked and it was so obvious that something was wrong. I was waiting in the long line at the post office when I heard a woman say from behind me, "Hey! Happy New Year! Isn't it so cold outside!" This woman can only be described as probably the most happy and just straight joyful person I have ever met. I could feel her rub off on me a little and I began to talk with her. We talked about our holidays and how we enjoyed them. She began to tell me about the stack of letters that laid in her hand. She said she felt compelled to send this poem called "Today Is a Good Day" to her friends and family. She described it as this spiritual and uplifting poem and then she quoted a couple of lines from the poem to me. I can't remember it the exact wording but the lines she quoted said that in life you may face what you think is impossible; you might stare death in the face and have problems you think are more than you can bear; But Today is a Good Day because the Lord is with you and never leaves you. He never gives you more than you can take; He has a plan. It took everything I had not to cry to this woman, but I think she knew in her heart. I smiled at her and said Today is a Good Day. It was my turn at the desk and I went up. I had to fill out paperwork so she went while I did so. I though the lady had left as I finished up my purchase and began to walk out. I saw her standing there and she smiled at me and told me to have a great new year and remember "Today is a good day!" and I said "Yes, Today is a good day." I truly think I met my angel today because that encounter was totally God-designed and a true divine appointment! Today is a Good Day. Thank you Lord.

There is a reason why this is happening. One that I cannot see. But the Lord has shown himself to me through the lady in the post office, song and kind words from people. I am not alone. I have hope in the Lord regardless of the outcome.

Again, just pray! I know God will never fail me. Thank you again for caring. I'll leave you with this verse I found while reading the bible in Romans.

Romans 5: 1-6
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

Thank you Lord for hope. Until next time.

Live. Laugh. Love.
Today is a good day.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

It is so hard to believe we are in 2010! Isn't it crazy?!? I have told so many people that this year has been such a long time coming for me. I will be graduating, getting a job (that I hopefully find), getting established... basically learning how to be a big girl!

I have so many hopes and dreams for this year and I know they are right around the corner!

I got to start my new year out with my best friend and her husband in Nashville, TN! What a great way to start the new year!!

I am starting back school this week and going to a board review in Dallas, TX to gear up for my big exam! It's so exciting but so nerve racking at the same time!! I can't wait!

I pray that everyone has a safe and wonderful new year! I hope the Lord blesses you beyond belief! Until next time.. I'm sure there are going to be lots of news for this year!!

Live. Laugh. Love.