Monday, October 19, 2015

Changes...

I used to be afraid of change.  Even little changes, like when my sisters would decide to rearrange our room.  I would freak out.  "It's such a mess!" I'd cry.  "It'll be fine," they'd assure me while yanking  clothes out of the closet and flinging mattresses out the door.  "You'll see."

Even now, not knowing what is around the bend-- i.e., in the next few months-- can make me break out in a cold sweat sometimes.  I like to have my ducks in a row.  I like to know when to pack my bags.  Just give me a few months' notice, and I'll be fine.  No big deal.
Except, sometimes-- OK, a lot of times-- God doesn't work that way.  And it seems He leaves those alone who have got it down (we all do, right?) and works on those who have the most problem in this area.  Yes, I admit it...




Life was going along hunkie-dorie for me this spring.  I taught music part time and the rest of the time played in my family's bluegrass band.  Now, five months later, I'm living in another state, working at an amazing job with amazing people, learning a ton, and loving every minute of it.  Wait... what happened?  And yes, several people have asked me that very question.  I'm a bit stunned as well!    

In July I came to intern at the Bulk Herb Store, a growing company in Tennessee that specializes in high quality herbs, loose leaf teas, and accessories.  By September, I knew I wanted to stay.  The things I'm learning-- and not just in graphic design and costumer service-- the friends, the community, the opportunities to serve.  I don't know if I'll be here for the next five months or the next five years.  For now, this is where the Lord has put me.  And I'm content.

But that's not all that has happened since May...


In September, a joyous occasion happened-- Faith got married!!!  A little ceremony was held in the small town of Rocky Mount, Virginia, and Faith is now the proud wife of Elijah Meggs.  I now boast two brothers in law, both of whom rank pretty high in my book. ;)  The happy couple now resides in Virginia, where they are preparing to serve the Lord in Africa very soon...  too soon for this sister.  And yet, it is so exciting to see them start their own little family, and watch what God does in and through them.  (Wedding pictures coming soon... after the big celebration and exchange of vows next month!)



We as a family knew that this would happen some day... that one day, there would be four out of the eight left at home.  One day, the arrows in the quiver would be sent out to every part of the world (Psalm 127:4, 5). We just didn't expect it to happen so soon.  Do we ever?  Does God always work by our time table?  I'm so glad He doesn't!!

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths." Prov. 3:5-6

I do miss home.  Sometimes I miss playing music with our band. ;)  And yet, I am reminded that my purpose is to serve the Lord and follow His leading, wherever that may take me.  The verse mentioned above just about sums up my life at this point.  I don't know what is next.  All I can do is to be ready for anything.

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."  Ephesians 5:15-17

Seeking the Lord,
Melody

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday and Cyber Monday SALE List!!!


I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving!  My family had dinner with my aunt and uncle's family which was a nice treat as we haven't seen them in a few years.  I feel pretty old after seeing kids grown up whom I knew when they were little!  My, how time flies...

Speaking of time and opportunity, I am so excited about this year's Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale list!  There are so many self-published, christian authors I never knew about and I can't wait to read their books.  No need to stand in long lines in the cold on Black Friday, just enjoy browsing through this treasure trove of great titles and purchase a juicy book for all the book-lovers on your list!  Enjoy!!  (Make sure and take advantage of the sales on my books as well! ;)

~Melody

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale List!

Listed by author's last name

Kendra E. Ardnek
The Ankuluen: Cyber Monday
Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories: Cyber Monday
Do You Take This Quest?: Cyber Monday

Faith Blum
A Mighty Fortress: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Be Thou My Vision: Black Friday [7626YZAK -- 20%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Brown
The Prodigal Pup: Black Friday [SB14CP31 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]
Learning Lessons from Furry Friends: Black Friday [SB14CP31 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]

Kelsey Bryant
Family Reunion: Black Friday [YFY84GHU -- 20%]

Elizabeth Ender
Ransomed: Black Friday [GNE6VUXY -- 30%]

J.J. Francesco
Blood Chain: Cyber Monday

Julie Gilbert
Nadia's Tears: Cyber Monday

Leah Good
Counted Worthy: Black Friday [K7CVNEER -- 40%] and Cyber Monday

Melody Grubb
The Land of Calais: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Warmth of His Eyes: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Send Me, Lord Jesus: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Rachel Heffington
Anon, Sir, Anon: Black Friday [9MTYHSX3 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Rebekah Jones
Journeys of Four: Cyber Monday
Grandmother's Letters: Cyber Monday
A Year with the Potters: Cyber Monday

Jaye L. Knight
Resistance: Black Friday [Q45HN6G9 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Tina M. Neely
Diamond Hair Princess: Black Friday

Joel A. Parisi
Shadow Play: Cyber Monday

J. Grace Pennington
Radialloy: Black Friday [Y2XHGYDN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
In His Image: Black Friday [KXNZ7PYN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
Machiavellian: Black Friday [UFXGUYMM -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Jennifer Sauer
Why Rodney Never Should've Gone to the NAPIC: Black Friday [F76DDR7S -- 45%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Touch My Tears: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Third Side of the Coin: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cara Simmons
The Haven: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Leviathan: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Champion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Jordan Smith
Finding the Core of Your Story: Black Friday [NL4NJXWS -- 30%]

Rachel Starr Thomson
Reap the Whirlwind: Cyber Monday
Lady Moon: Cyber Monday
Angel in the Woods: Cyber Monday

Therese Heckenkamp
Past Suspicion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Frozen Footprints: Black Friday

T.R. Lykins
Last Heartbeat: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Life Gift: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Melanie D. Snitker
Calming the Storm: Cyber Monday

What is your favorite book genre?  Comment below! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mission Trip to St. Paul de Vence

It was such a blessing to be able to go to France this past month, something I had thought about for quite a while and was excited to do at last.  I learned some words while there which made me very excited, but more than the language, learned a little more about the French people and helped bring the Gospel to their children for a week.

Mrs. Marie O. was the one that fed us all week with her crew of kitchen workers.  She and her family welcomed our team warmly when we arrived and saw us off when part of our team headed home.

I went with a team from Denton Bible Church and we arrived in France on a Friday night, rested up over the weekend and helped with VBS for all of the next week.  It was neat to listen to the different accents of the children and to try and pick out words I knew from the rapid French they were speaking half the time!  (Most of the children are bilingual.)  The gospel was preached to every one of the 40+ children that attended throughout the week, and it was exciting to get to do some one-on-one with them as well and hear their responses.  It was a fun, tiring, and rewarding week and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Please pray for the French.  All the lost need prayer (and someone to share the gospel with them), but the French in particular have lost much of their fear of God in recent generations.  They need to see their need for a Savior-- one lady told me that when she witnesses to people they seem not to care about stealing, lying, etc.-- it's not such a big deal anymore... until she creates a scenerio in which they themselves are the victim.  

Story time-- one of the times when the children, many from secular homes,
heard the gospel clearly preached.

More highlights from the Trip...


Science class-- one of Edward's (center) favorite times during the day!

Charliie, one of my fellow 'leaders', and I.  She lives in Paris with her sister
and spoke just enough English for us to understand one another. I loved learning new
words from her!
One of the beautiful views where I stayed (one of the church families
graciously offered their home for team members to stay in while they
were gone.)





Brussels, Belgium-- where we stopped before the last leg of the
flight to France.


The Mediterranean-- one of the highlights of the trip was the beach party on Tuesday night!

A great skit put on by one of the older groups, that epitomized the whole point of the
VBS camp -- How good is good enough to get into Heaven?  The answer, of course,
is not how good, but Who we put our trust in.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to France.  I was challenged physically (keeping 6 and 7-year olds can be a little of a challange! :), worked long hours with wonderful people who are true brothers and sisters in Christ, and made many friends.  I pray that I'm able to go again next year.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rabbit Update- Winter (and Summer) Housing

Mischievous 'Archie'

The rabbits are happily nested in their winter home, inside an old chicken shed/milk shed we used to milk our goats in when we had them.  It's a tight fit, but it works, and I'm so glad there is less chance of my having to thaw frozen water bottles and put up weather breakers! 

There are four rabbits now, two New Zealands and two mixed-breed, and I am in need of a new female New Zealander.  'Rowena' is past her prime now, and though she makes wonderful nests, nothing happens.  I think she's ready to retire.

One of the mixed-breeds, 'Douglas', is quite the wild one.  His previous owners let him run around their backyard, because he absolutely hated being in a cage.  However he would still grab a hold of the kids' pant-legs and not let go.  Not such a good pet!  When I brought him home, he toned down a little, but still ran around like a crazy thing whenever I came into the shed.  So about a week ago, I decided to see how he'd do on his own on the shed floor-- with a puppy and a chicken!  At first I wasn't so sure he would survive, as the puppy (who's name is 'Wolfie' by the way...) liked to grab a hold of him and hold on for dear life while the rabbit tried to get away.  Not such a good idea.

I didn't want to be responsible for the rabbit's demise, so I put him back into his cage and instead let him out into the shed only when I was in there feeding.  This way I could train the puppy to leave him alone.  It worked!  After a while Wolfie lost interest in trying to eat Douglas, and Douglas is happily rooting around and exploring his new home.  He and the puppy are actually friends.  They run up to the door when I come down in the morning, Douglas looking for his grain, Wolfie anticipating his morning inspection of the rest of the farm.

And Douglas has found another friend.  His eating companion is the chicken (who happens to be from the same previous owner), who discreetly pecks at the oats while Douglas chows down.  It's a perfect match! 



Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Autumn Walk

Autumn in Texas is often a fleeting thought, and one does well to enjoy it while it lasts.  This year it is exceptionally beautiful, and I gaze daily with untiring eagerness on all the gorgeous coloring of the trees as I drive to and from work!


The colors were beckoning to me, and the air was so crisp and clean, that at last I couldn't resist a walk out on our land-- which is only about 13 acres but just big enough to get some good exercise.  I knew that if I didn't make time for it, the perfect weather and Autumn colors would soon be past.  Mom, Faith and Abi joined me, as well as Faith's new little puppy, Wolfie, who was only too glad to go for a walk!  He is a sweetie and loved posing for pictures. :-)

Abigail, 14



Moi :)
We were just in time for sunset and enjoyed an awesome show before heading back.  By then it was quite nippy and we were glad to get back by the fireside and have chili for dinner.  God's blessings never end, but we have to take the time to enjoy them!  That is my challenge to you-- get out and enjoy God's creation. :-)

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Friday, July 5, 2013

Granola Adventures

We just got back from a mini tour in Colorado, where we shared the gospel through music, were blessed to meet new friends and visit with old ones!

Healthy, quick meals have always been a puzzle for me on long trips (this one was 3 weeks.)  For an easy breakfast, we had always tried to make Granola but made it the wrong way.  At last, a couple of years ago a friend of ours (in Colorado, where else?) showed us how not to burn the granola, which had always been our problem (I won't go there... far too embarrassing.)  So for our trip to North Carolina in March, my friend Lois looked up an easy recipe online and we made a big batch together (three gallons, to be exact!) which was delicious and lasted us almost the entire six weeks of that trip!

For June's trip, I tweaked the recipe a little to suit what we had in the kitchen.  Therefore, use whatever nuts you like!  Here's the recipe (multiply to suit your needs):


Homemade Granola Grubb (Pun intended...)


4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flax seed (or 1 1/2 cups desired nuts)
1/2 cup brown sugar* plus a dusting of powdered Stevia to your taste OR 1/4 cup honey plus a dusting of Stevia
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the oats, nuts, brown sugar, salt (omit if using salted butter) and cinnamon.

In a saucepan melt the butter; wisk in vanilla.  Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Spread granola in a 15x10" baking pan.

 Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes.  Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely.  Stir in raisins.  Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag.  Store at room temperature for one week or in the freezer for three months.

*A healthy alternative to store-bought brown sugar is to mix raw/turbinado sugar with molasses.
**Thanks to my sister Abi for the great close-up photography!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

South Carolina History


I didn't realize, before coming to visit my sister in North Carolina, how many battles were fought during the Revolution in North and South Carolina.  It has been a great experience learning about the southern campaign of our War of Independence!

Kings Mountain National Military Park

The battle of Kings Mountain was fought on October 7, 1780.  What the British thought would be a final routing of the rebels, turned out to be the turning-point of the Revolution in the 'rebel's' favor.  Ferguson, the determined major in the British army, refused to retreat from off Kings Mountain even though his plea for help from Lord Cornwallis and Sir Tarleton went unanswered.  And even though the Patriots were outnumbered by 200 men, their surprise attack was so complete that within an hour the battle was over, Ferguson had been killed, and his men surrendered. 
   Though we weren't able to walk the trail to the actual battlefield and monument, we had time to look through the museum and view some of the artifacts found on the battlefield, such as shoe buckles, rifle parts, etc.  It was amazing to read an account by one British officer whose last entry in his journal (which was found on the field) said in part, "I bid you farewell as I am going to the Warm Country..."

the Green River Road
The battle at Cowpens was fought a few months later in 1781, near a supplies road called the Green River Road, and an army of settlers and 'overmountain' men defeated the British there using the terrain along the road to their advantage.


Also near the battlefield is a log cabin built by Robert Scruggs who settled there in 1828.  During that time a journalist-historian, Benson Lossing, used the cabin as a reference-point to find the exact scene of the battle fought nearly fifty years before. 
  

I can't wait to find more battlefields on our stay here.  However, I think one little person will keep me occupied most of the time!  (hint: a niece. :) )