Saturday, February 23, 2008

Please Pray for Me!

I haven't posted much lately because I've been busy being self-controlled (grin!) and also getting ready for our church's women's retreat next weekend (Feb 29-Mar 2). Like I've mentioned, I'm speaking the first night about God's love and I'm leading worship for the rest of the weekend. The other girls and I who are speaking have all been feeling like God REALLY has big plans for us all at this retreat AND that the enemy REALLY doesn't want any of it to happen. So if you wouldn't mind praying for me, Annette, Monica, Kathy, Gina & Jamie as we finish preparing this week, we would be so incredibly grateful. I probably won't post anything again before then, but you can be sure you will get a report when I get back!!!!! Yay God!!! ~Melissa

Sweet, Sweet Spring!

Well, I think it was almost 2 weeks ago now that I took this picture, but I had to share it with you all! Mikaela had a day off from school and the weather was BEAUTIFUL (I am SO glad I live in the middle of California... I'll take the relentlessly hot summers as long as I get mild, short winters anytime!!!) (Remind me of that in July when it's 110 degrees, please!)
Anyway, Mikaela and Toby played outside for 7 HOURS STRAIGHT that day. I don't know if they've ever done that before. I guess they had spent enough time in the house over the last few months and were making up for it. By the end of the day, they had made enough mud to cover the slide (on the left there) and they were sliding down their nice little mud-slide. So creative, I know.
(And by the way, in case you're jealous of our weather, Spring was very short and we're back to Winter & rain. I really hope we don't go straight from here to summer, regardless of what I said just a few sentences ago!)
And though I don't have much time, I also wanted to tell you about my incredibly sweet husband and Valentine's Day and the singing card he made me open in the middle of Black Angus, but unless you understand the words to "Besame Mucho" you probably won't understand. : ) But I love him so much... even if I don't blog about him all the time. I wouldn't be where or who I am without him and God knew that when he put us together.
I love my family! Can't believe next month we might get to see the face of our missing member!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who prayed for me or left encouraging comments or emails or phone calls last week. I am so grateful for every one of you! (And sorry I didn't respond to you each individually...) I am feeling much better and grateful for God renewing my peace. : ) And I pray that God will do the same for you wherever you need it...

You probably know (even if you forgot already) that this last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday which marked the beginning of Lent. I won't pretend to know a lot about it, but this is the (ummm.... calculating.... ) 14th year that I have observed the Lenten season (40 days prior to Passover=Palm Sunday) by fasting from something. Last year I fasted from all sweet stuff except honey. It resulted in some neat revelations about honey, which meant a lot to me since my name means "Honeybee". In the past I have "fasted" from a wide variety of things... Dr. Pepper, Ice Cream, self-pity, prime-time TV and even listening to music in my car (that was 1995!) I usually know what God wants me to fast from b/c my reaction to the thought is "Oh no! I can't give up that!!!" But I'm always grateful for how much more self-control and freedom I have in each area when Lent is over. And it usually lasts!

This year is a little different. In connection with what God's teaching me about self-control/self-discipline, this year I am giving up both self-discipline and self-indulgence for Lent. The trouble with this is that it's a bit hard to measure (and explain!) The thing that I'm doing to help is keeping a chart of how I'm spending my time (the area where I need self-control the most) and at the end of the day I'm reviewing it with God. It's amazing already how He sees things differently than I do and I'm starting to recognize the difference between when I'm listening to Him and when I'm trying to discipline myself. As part of this process, I'm also reading I Thessalonians chapter 5 every day. And I am being blessed by it every day! Maybe I'll share more than just once a week what I'm learning with you... (or maybe not... we'll see) But today I wanted to point out verses 23 & 24.

"23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

My God, our God, is THE God of PEACE. And HE is the One who sanctifies me. He has called me to follow Him, and He is the faithful One who will complete what He has begun in me. There is more in the earlier verses of this chapter that talk about self-control and about how God didn't "appoint us to suffer wrath", but to LIVE WITH HIM. I've been realizing that when I'm trying to discipline myself, I often am feeling guilty about what I'm doing and I feel less inclined to pray about it b/c I think I already know what God thinks about what I'm doing. I'm afraid of His wrath and avoiding Him! God wants me to remember He hasn't appointed me to suffer His wrath, but to learn from Him and to walk and live WITH Him as He leads me and teaches me. He doesn't want me to avoid Him. : )

And I don't really want to avoid Him either. : )

Until next time... "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." (1 Thess. 5:28)

Y, Melissa

Saturday, February 02, 2008

When I Need Him the Most

Well, I've been avoiding writing this because I feel like my posts have been so serious lately and I was hoping to do something more fun this weekend...  (which I probably still can, but not at the moment!)  But here's what's really going on with me right now.  I'm struggling.  I'm doubting.  I'm feeling weak.  I have one of the most exciting opportunities I've ever had coming up in a few weeks...  and I'm scared.  Our church is having a women's retreat Feb 29-Mar 2 and I'm leading/coordinating the worship for it AND speaking at the first session.   (!!!!!!!!!)
The thing is that up until 2 days ago I was so full of excitement and energy about the whole weekend that I could hardly contain myself.  I am thrilled that I get to share the first night and amazed at how God is putting things together for the whole weekend.  (Our theme is "Believing God" and I'm sharing about Believing how much God loves us.)  But the last day and half I have started to feel uncertain and I'm quite sure the enemy is stirring up my insecurities and fears and that it IS NOT FROM GOD.  I know this because God has been speaking quite clearly to me about these fears I'm having.  He even sang me a song about it.  : )  So that's what I'm going to share with you all tonight...  in case anybody out there needs some encouragement too. 
Y, Melissa

When You Need Me the Most


I've given you hope every time you needed it

Why would you doubt Me now?

I've given you strength to move the mountains

Would I take it from you now?

I've held your hand and dried your tears and wrapped you in my arms

So why would I ever leave you now

When you need Me the most?


Can you look into My eyes and see how much I love you?

That I'll never let you go?

You might not always hear Me or see Me or feel Me, but I promise

I am with you wherever you go

So wrap your arms around Me just as tight as you can

Oh why would you not trust Me now

When you need Me the most?


When you pass through the waters and through the rivers

And through the fire I will be with you

I have called you by My Name and you are mine

You are precious and honored in my sight


You're right that you're not strong enough or wise enough or good enough

That's why you need Me!

My great power is for you; if you believe, I'll give you wisdom

My Son's blood has made you holy

Be joyful and keep praying, giving thanks all the time

And don't put out my Spirit's fire

When you need Me the most


Will you believe that I love you?  Will you believe I am Almighty God?

Will you hold on to Me with all your might?  Will you trust my arms to keep you safe?


I believe that You love me.  I believe You are Almighty God.

I will hold on to You with all my might.  I will trust Your arms to keep me safe.


I believe.     I believe.

Lord I believe.     Lord I believe.



Written by Melissa Ens  2.2.08