Sunday, February 12, 2017

Enough

I am back from my little hiatus. I am going to continue with my posts based off of singular words. Just a heads up that I will be trying to incorporate some guest writers on my blog so that there is not such a lag between posts!

Today's word is enough. Before I talk about what my understanding and definition of that word is we are going to look to the dictionary. Dictionary.com gives 4 definitions for the word enough:
Adjective
1. adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire
Pronoun
2. an adequate quantity or number; sufficiency
Adverb
3. in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire; sufficiently
4. fully or quite

I see a few commonalities in these definitions: sufficient and satisfy. Sufficient means " adequate for the purpose of; enough. competent."

I don't want to talk about  having enough. I want to talk about BEING enough. Isn't that what we all want at some capacity? I know I do.

I cannot tell you how often I have felt like I am not enough; not good enough; especially in the past year. I did not realize though that every time I told myself that I was not enough; I was telling myself that I am not adequate, not sufficient not satisfying, and not competent.

Lets look at some of the 'situations' that I have recently questioned if I was enough:
Student teaching:
I question if I am smart enough, strong enough, or even good enough to be a teacher. On a daily basis I have 31 precious minds and hearts counting on me to some capacity. In the midst of questioning if I am enough God revealed to me that I already had what these kids needed:Me. I love these kids with everything I am and I will do the work that it takes to nurture their hearts and minds. My love for them is enough, I am enough for these kindergartners.

Being a sister/daughter:
My family has been through a lot this year and I know that we have more ahead of us to go through. Sometimes I wonder if I am enough for my family. Am I helping my family through the bad times? Am I making things worse for them? It breaks my heart to see the people I love struggle but am I enough for them? I know the answer to this one, yes I am enough. My family loves me and like any normal family we will have our ups and downs. However, no matter what, my family is there for me and I am there for them. I am enough because I love my family and they love me.




As a friend: 
Who am I kidding- I have the best friends out there who always love me, despite my shortcomings. I am a care taker, a nurturer, a little moma. I want to make sure that the people in my life are cared for and loved. I always want to make sure that I do everything I can to love on them and support them but sometimes I miss the power of presence. There have been times when I will ask one of my friends what I can do for them and their response is "Just continue to be here for me" Well, I certainly can do that. Being me and being present is enough. I am enough.

Okay.... here is the big one...



Am I enough for love?
Now I have already established that I am loved by my friends and family... This time I am talking about that romantic love. Am I enough for someone to love me? Can some one fall in love with me and accept who I am? the good, the bad and the ugly? This is the one that plagues me. I honestly question this. Am I smart enough to be loved? Kind enough? skinny enough? beautiful enough? strong enough? Is who I am enough to be loved? I think the answer is yes. I do know that it will take a very special person to love even the darkest parts of me but I know that such a person could exist and until I find him, I am just going to work on loving myself.


When I first sat down to write this post I was staring at a blank screen. I knew that I needed to write, I needed to make sense of a sliver of this world for a moment. I texted one of my friends and I told her that I didn't know if I had it in me to write something that meant something. She told me that I did. I do not know if this post will mean anything to any of you reading it but I do know that it means something to me.  Once I started writing I realized something: I am enough. Some days I forget that but when I took time to look at some of those situations in question I came to the same conclusion. All I have to give is me and that is okay. I may not be everyone's cup of tea (or whatever their drink of choice is) but I have found people that love my kind of 'tea' and more of those people will come around.

Today I am thankful because I am me and I am enough.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dear Daddy

Dad, I started writing this on your birthday but life kind of got in the way of me finishing until right now. Sorry about that. There are a few things that I wanted to tell you though with your special day in mind.

The first thing that I want to say is that I miss you. The 1200 miles that lie between us is about 1200 miles too far from you. I miss you so much and I do not do a good enough job of telling you that.

The second thing that I want to tell you is thank you. You have been my greatest support system from the beginning.

Thank you for teaching me what hard work looks like. You led by example and you walked along side us to ingrain a strong work ethic in all of us kids and I cannot thank you enough for it. 

Thank you for teaching me about culture and for developing my love for travel. I never realized where that passion came from before I sat down to write this blog and I realized that I fell in love with the world in 2003 when you and mom took us to Mexico for the first time. Thank you for the opportunity to see and love the world. 

Thank you for teaching me how to laugh. How to find joy in life even during the hard times. You always have been able to find something to laugh at and you never cease to make us kids laugh. (except for when you are scary mad). Your joy is contagious and I am so thankful for that. 


Thank you for teaching me that I am beautiful and showing me how a woman is supposed to be treated. You have no idea how valuable that has been. You showed us by loving moma and treating her right. You love us girls and you make us feel beautiful. There are not words enough to tell you how grateful I am for that. 


I also want to thank you for supporting me in all of life's adventures. You encourage me when I struggle in school, you help walk me through a difficult decision, you support me on mission trips, you drove me to Kansas to leave me there for 5 years. I know that I can always call you and count on you to be there when I need you. 



You have been the best father that I could have asked for. I am so thankful to have you in my life. Nov. 19th will always be a very special day because it is the day that my favorite guy was born into this world. I hope that you had a great day for you birthday. Please just know that you are oh so loved and we all appreciate all that you do. It killed me to not be there with you. I love you so much and I cannot wait to see you soon! <3 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dear Future Husband

Dear Future Husband,

I am writing this letter to you with a broken heart. I recently got out of a relationship with a person who I thought was supposed to be my forever. I guess you are still out there somewhere. If I am being honest, I sometimes wonder if you exist. Some people treat me like I am silly for having that thought but in the midst of heart break it is hard to push those thoughts away. There are some things that I think you should know.

The standards have been set high. I let my standards fall and I got my heart broken. Not only in romantic relationships but in friendships as well. Now, don't get me wrong. I think that every person that has come into my life has played a huge part in who I am and they have played important parts in my life. They have either been critical to that specific time of my life or they have been a lesson. All that said, the bar has been raised. Not only by learning from my experiences but by the example and expectations set by my father. My dad loves my mom and us girls so much. He showed me that I deserve to be treated like a princess. I hope you realize that too, no, scratch that. I know that if you are the man for me then you will be the guy that treats me like the royalty that I am. I am a valuable daughter of the One True King and I know that you will see that too. I am done letting other people get by with not valuing me and not seeing my worth. I am so excited for you, to have a man that sees how much I am worth and treats me accordingly.

I am praying for you. Before my last relationship I had started writing letters to you, I stopped when I started dating. I wish that I had not stopped because maybe those letters would have been a reminder to me of what kind of person I am waiting for. I have so many hopes for you. I adore you already. I love you. Thank you for loving me for the crazy mess of a person that I am. You are a trooper. Just know, I will love you with everything that I am. I already do. I pray that God is putting the right people in your life that will encourage you and support you and love on you until we come together. I am already cheering in your corner. Any obstacles you may face, I am supporting you in prayer already.

I am so excited to do life with you. I dream about what our life together will be like and where God will take us. I know that whatever comes our way we will face it together. I am comforted by that thought. I am comforted by the thought that you are out there, anxious for the day that we meet. Me too honey. I think about you and pray for you often. Please, be brave, be safe, take care of yourself, trust in the Lord always.

I hope that I see you soon darling, and until then, I will be praying for you. I will hopefully start writing more letters for you, no promises though.

I love you,
Melynda

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Growth

Here is the second post in my series that are inspired by singular words. Last one was "beautiful" and the word for this post is growth. Again, I will try not to ramble in this post but I am kind of just going to type what comes to mind.

The first thing that I think of when I hear the word "growth" I generally think of plants. So lets think together, what does a plant need for healthy growth? I went online to find a list of things to do for growing healthy plants... I then compiled a list I like for where I am taking this blog.

         1.  Know your plant: no matter how much care and attention you give to plants, they are not                  going to thrive if you do not know their specific needs.

         2.  Make sure their "home" is big enough: there needs to be room for growth so that the space              does not limit the growing process, specifically for the roots to grow deep enough.

         3. Make sure they have enough sunlight

         4. Water the plants as often as they need: do the research to find out what they need. not enough          water will kill them and too much water will kill them as well.

         5. Fresh air and healthy soil: clean air is crucial for healthy growth and the contents of the soil            are absorbed through the roots, therefore healthy soil is very important.

        6. One thing that we do not often think of is time. We cannot rush the growth process.


Now we are not plants but I think that if we analyze the components of healthy plant growth then we could correlate them to our own lives. I decided to blog about growth for several reasons: the first is that one of our speakers spoke to my heart when he talked about how people who suffer together grow closer and experience a bond that they would not have otherwise. The second is from the day that I was looking for inspirational quotes or phrases to write on my calendar for encouragement and I came across one that said "no rain. no flower."


Lets break this down... on a spiritual level.

1. Know your self- know your specific needs because if you do not know them and are not able to meet them, all the care and attention is not going to make the difference.

2. Make sure your "home" is big enough. By home I mean your environment. There needs to be space for your roots to grow. Growth can be stifled by having unhealthy people in your life, or being in unhealthy situations. Don't get me wrong, on the other hand those situations are extremely conducive to growth. Some of the strongest people that I know grew up in some of the most unhealthy and dysfunctional situations you could imagine. However, I do think that it is good to remove yourself from unhealthy situations when possible. (I do not know if any of this made any sense. Sorry guys.)

3. Sunlight. I do not know about you but when I do not get enough sunlight I get sad, lonely, sickly, and even depressed. However, I get some sunlight from other sources. Physical sunlight is wonderful, not only for a physical level but spiritually and mentally too. My best friend, A, has the same effects on my life as direct sunlight does. I love physical sunlight but I also love the sunlight that comes into my life through the wonderful people that God has blessed me with.

4. Water or nourishment. It is crucial to nourish your soul with lots and lots of Jesus!!! Now, unlike a plant, I do not think that you can overdue the nourishment in this area; it will not kill you. Devotions, prayer, worship music, fellowship, and intimate time with Jesus.

5. Fresh air and healthy soil. I think it is a pretty known fact that you start to become like the people that you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with healthy people then you will start to replicate healthy things from their lives. If you surround yourself with unhealthy people then you will start to replicate unhealthy things from their lives. It is okay to let go of toxic people. That does not make you a bad person, it means you are keeping yourself healthy, and that is totally okay.

6. Time. Growth and change is not going to happen overnight. Give it time. Be patient. Growth will come and sometimes it come from the most unexpected places.


Growth is stimulated from so many places. Suffering, heartache, health, happiness, rain, sunlight, and and endless amount of places. Growth can be painful, exciting, wonderful, scary. God can use so many things for growth. Do not be afraid of growth, accept it.


Luke 12:27 "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

1 Corinthians 3:7 "So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Beautiful

First of all I would like to apologize for not being very active on here as of late. I let life get in the way. I will try to do better guys, I promise.

I decided that for this blog and for an undetermined number to follow, that I will write based on a single word that comes to my head. Honestly, it could sound better in theory than in reality but we will give it a shot.

The word that has been circling in my mind the last few days is beautiful. I do not know what this post is going to turn into so bear with me. I will try to not ramble too much.

BEAUTIFUL:

I typed beautiful into the search engine and I had many results; some were song lyrics, but a lot of them are definitions. Can we define beautiful? Who are we to say what or who is or is not beautiful? What does it mean to be beautiful? to feel beautiful? Why is the term beautiful generally limited to ladies as an attribute?

I am going to do my best to explore what the word beautiful means to me. I think that everyone and everything is capable of being beautiful. One of my favorite definitions that I found online is as follows: "excellent of its kind". I firmly believe that each and every person is made in the image of God, I think that makes every person beautiful in their own way. I think each person is one of a kind, therefore, doesn't that make each person "excellent of its kind"? I am going to list some things that I would classify as beautiful:

*God
*Unconditional Love
*Family
*My Sister
*My best friend
*Sunrises and Sunsets
*Vulnerability
*Authenticity
*Friendship
*Coffee
*Elephants
*Flowers
*Animals (most)
*Genuine Happiness
*Smiles
*Children
* The list goes on and on......

When I looked up images for the word beautiful the results were pictures of gorgeous landscapes and airbrushed models, therefore I have started a "campaign" for lack of a better word. Its called "Jesus in disguise" and I am documenting the faces in which I see Jesus. Make sure to check it out on Facebook if we are friends!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Under the influence

Alright. I will admit it. I am under the influence.

Now, mom and dad, before you freak out I should clarify that I am not talking about drugs or alcohol or any other kind of substance like that. I am talking about the influence of people.

What does it mean to be under the influence of someone?
According to Dictionary.com; influence is defined as: the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc.,of others.

If I am being honest with myself then I would say that I really do not like the idea of other people or things effecting my actions, behavior, and opinions. While I am on this honesty role, I will acknowledge that I am under the influence of other people. So what do we do about that?


If I look back at my life, I can see a pattern. I can see that during the times that I was most depressed, anxious, and lonely were times that I had some of the most toxic relationships in my life. That is not to say that I had "bad" people in my life, it is to say that some relationships are just toxic for me; and that does not mean that the person that I am in relationship with is a toxic person. 

I look back and see all the heartache and pain and I realize that sometimes I put myself in the position to feel that way. I let myself be in toxic relationships. I can see how my circle of friends has an effect on my life, my health (mental and physical), my walk with God, and so much more. 

This causes me to examine the people that I am closest to right now. Man, I have some amazing people in my life. Now let me highlight a few people for you: 


My parents are amazing, godly people who show love wherever they go. They love me and they support me. They have taught me what a godly relationship looks like and they are amazing examples of what it means to follow God. I hope that I can become at least half the people my parents are. They are simply the best. 


 I live with some of the greatest people ever. I have been friends with Rachel for almost 14 years and she is one who provides constant encouragement and support; she just has such an amazing heart for the Lord. Her husband Ryan is just as wonderful. He is so gifted and uses his talents to glorify God. I have learned and continue to learn so much from these two. 

My dearest April is such a godsend. If you click on her name it sends you to her blog. This girl has such an incredible heart. I do not think that I could have survived this last school year without her. She has walked beside me through the good and bad and she loves unconditionally. I pray that I will be continually blessed by this sweet soul for many many years to come. 


My boyfriend, Shane. He is such a joy. He brings me so much happiness and peace. If a person could be your safe place he would fall in line right after my dad; and since my father is about 1200 miles away, Shane is my safe place. He lifts me up in prayer, he is my strength when I feel weak, and he keeps me in check. 


My sweet Breanna, if all the joy and the love of the world could be found in one person it would be her. Her and I are education majors and I know that these last four years would have been so much worse if I did not have Breanna walking next to me through them all. 

I really have been blessed with the best. Anytime I am struggling, hurting, celebrating, laughing, crying, enjoying life; I know that I have these people to walk beside me through anything. Thank you all for your amazing friendships, my life would not be the same without you. And for those that were not specifically listed in this post: that does not mean that I do not love you. I simply felt the need to highlight these specific people.  

While I am thinking of influence, and I have already addressed the people that Influence me, I should talk about my influence. What kind of influence do I want to have on the people around me? What kind of impact do I want to make on the world? What do I want to be remembered for? 

On May 19th I posted this to facebook: "Last night Javi wanted the green hand sanitizer to match me and this morning he wanted the strawberry yogurt to be  "just like you" he said... I am honored that this little munchkin wants to be just like me! However, I am also scared. I have these precious little eyes watching my every move, just to be like me. I am just praying, and praying hard, that I can be the best person that I can be, that I can be a good example.... if only for this little boy that I love so much."
I want to be like my parents, Rachel and Ryan, April, Shane, and Breanna. I want to be a great example for my younger siblings. I want people to look at me and see the Lord. I have a long way to go and a lot to work on, but thankfully, I am under the influence.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Letter to the Weary Mom

This is an open letter to the weary mom,

Now I am not a mother, and I do not plan on being a mother anytime soon. However, I am a daughter that has watched my own mother fall and get back up again. I think that there are a few things that I should have told her as I grew up, feelings that I should have done better about expressing. This post will be my attempt to do so.

I am going to be a little bossy so bear with me. First thing is first. Listen to this song and be held.


Okay, now that we have centered down and we are letting the Creator of the Universe hold us, I want you to listen to these truths.

1. You are important.
As your child's parent, you are the most important (or one of the most important) people in that child's life. I have two moms, a step- mom and a biological mom. Both of these women have made crater like impacts on my life. I was raised by my step-mom and I refer to her as my mother, she is one of my best friends and I cherish her so much. She has done so much for me and taught me so much. My biological mom has taught me a lot too. Even though she has played a different role in my life, I have learned things about life by watching her live hers. It doesn't matter if you are a step-mom, a biological mom, an adoptive mom, or even an absent birth mother. You help define who this child will become. No pressure though.

2. You are enough.
You may feel stretched thin. You may question if you are enough for your child. Here is what I know; if you are present in your child's life, if you love them with everything you are, and if you do your best to provide for your child's needs; Then you are enough. God chose YOU, to parent this child..... He knew that YOU would have that special something that this specific child needs. Again, no matter what role that is, YOU ARE ENOUGH!!

3. Your sacrifices are worth it.
We really do appreciate everything you do, even if we don't do a very good job of showing it. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed; maybe at first, but not forever. As an "adult" child, I can look back on my life and recognize all the times that my parents went without to provide for us kids, and I can say that I am beyond grateful. Your sacrifices (mom) have taught me so much about the Lord's love, His unending, sacrificial, noble, generous, selfless, unconditional, absolute, relentless, and unconditional love. I think that God gave us mothers to help us understand His love more fully. I think that good mothers are an embodiment of His love. (and I got blessed with an incredible mother!)

4. Some day your kids are going to thank you.
Thank you mom, for supporting me in everything I did. Thank you for standing out in the cold for hours on end to watch my track meets (which I know were not exciting times for you). Thank you for coming to my choir concerts. Thank you for making me eat right. Thank you for making me do my homework. Thank you for telling me no (even when I fought you on your answer). Thank you for disciplining me. All those things you have done for me, all the things I watched you do when you didn't know I was looking; have made me the person that I am today. You shaped the woman that I have become. And I hope that I make you proud. THANK YOU!

As mothers, you have the hardest jobs out there, but I think they are the most rewarding. They certainly are the most important. So keep your chin up, I would like to think the journey gets easier; however I am not a mother so I do not have experience in that field. I do know that my mother is now my friend and she is the best. I know there were times that she felt worn out and I know there were times that she questioned if she was enough for us; but everyday she got up and did her job, she played the role of mom, and I could not be more grateful.


Here is my final request: please remember these truths on the hard days and the good days. Please take the time to be held. And please hug your child! Mothers and mother figures are certainly a gift from God. I could probably go on and on with things I should have told my mom as I grew up and I know that I could never express with words how much of a difference she has made for me; but I will end it here just by saying this: Thank you, and I love you more than words can express!