confessions (of the heart).

 I'm going to be honest with you, friends.
There have been moments, and there have been days, where I feel overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by the to-do lists.
Overwhelmed by trying to be a 'good enough' parent.
Or, a 'good enough' wife.
Or, a 'good enough' friend.

Trying to cover all the bases... and it turn, feeling spread too thin.
"There's just too many 'good' things!  I'm no good at keeping up with them all!" I'd sigh.
At that point, the mountain of dirty dishes, or laundry.. or sin in my heart... would be enough to throw me into an internal fit of 'shutting down'.
"I'll just seethe inwardly until I survive to the end of this day.. sleep it 'off' and TRY, try again tomorrow" I'd think.

Repeat cycle.
Repeatedly overwhelmed.

Call it a 'Saviour complex' if you want - this gauntlet of trying to be 'all things' for all the needs around you.  But I call it a misplaced FOCUS.

Because you know what I keep discovering?
When I keep the ONE THING my main thing... all the other things fall in their proper place.

I was meditating on Psalm 27.  That beautiful verse came off the page at me:
 "One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock."

This was the answer to all my weariness.  This is the joy in all the whirlwind of life.  When I get my sights fixed on Jesus I get overwhelmed again.
Overwhelmed by His grace and love towards me.
Overwhelmed with care and compassion towards those around me.

Once my heart stays focused on this ONE THING, I am empowered to attend all the other things.  For when my 'vertical' gaze is set right, my 'horizontal' gaze sees all the needs and lives of others through this cross-centred lens.

When I look to the 'things I do' to define me, I resent them and grow weary.
When I look to 'who I am in Christ' to define me, I rejoice and serve eagerly.

I think it's right back to that recent post I wrote about being like Martha or Mary.
If my heart is consumed with anxiety, I know I'm running off a horizontal perspective.
If my heart is overwhelmed with a peace beyond my power, I know the vertical perspective of gazing on the goodness of the gospel has lavished my heart.

This is my testimony.
When the days and moments feel overwhelming, when it feels like I'm drowning.
I look to Christ, and know my feet stand high upon that rock.

I hope and pray this sure footing is in your lives as well friends.

Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 5.0

Please tell me I'm not the only one...?
I think if it weren't for my dear husband who shoves breakfast in front of my bleary eyes each morning.. I would overlook feeding myself till fainting (or rage) struck me! ;o)

Sometimes I remember to graze off the kid's leftovers, you know.. still being the mama goat around here.

Mel ;o)

You can find all the previous COMICS (that yes, I still sketch right from a pen!) here!



whispers amidst the wailings.

You'll find my nose in a book much more often than a blog lately, friends.
Thus, this corner of the interwebs is growing some cobwebs... but thanks for being here.

Can I share with you where my heart's growing though?
I was reading this book the other day (can't recommend it enough) and this quote jumped out:

"My spiritual life languished when my first child was born.  This wasn't her fault in the least.  I was under the false assumption that the Holy Spirit comforted, guided, and assured me only when my schedule was cleared out or when I had my journal sitting on my lap.  I thought that I couldn't hear God if there was noise in my life"

My head starts nodding like those dashboard hula dolls.
My heart starts shouting 'that's US, that's us!'.

How often I have fallen for the trap of thinking that God is not in the whirlwind of babies wailing.
That His fingerprints are not seen in the Nutella smudges across a clean table cloth.
How often would I mutter under my breath "I'll spend better time with the Lord when this child is not needing me every.moment.of.the.day".  I would think back to my 'quiet times' as a young adult, sitting cross legged on my bed in a sunbeam, scribbling my thoughts into endless journals and feeling I was so close to God.

Then the fog of motherhood clouded out those 'quiet moments' it seemed.
At least... for a while it did.
But, His grace pursued me.
The cross started to shine through the chaos.
It's due in part to many helpful books along the way, in part to many prayers on our behalf, in part to a revival in my husband's heart, in part to many steps along the way... that all point to the FULL reason:  God's grace to whisper through the weariness of my heart.

A heart that was weary of trying to be 'good enough'.
Forgetting that Christ came for sinners.. not the 'keeping-their-nose-clean' ones.
A heart that was sleep walking through the 'survive another day' approach to living, instead of having 'eternity stamped on my eyeballs'.

Do you know how I've started hearing God better again?
By staying in His Word.
Duh. right?

I used to just flip it open for a quick 'guilt removal', as if inserting a few rushed over verses into my day would give me a fresh 'face lift' and let me shine another day.  I called it cosmetic Christianity: just enough to smear over the cracks in my facade.. but not enough to soak deep in to my soul.  I don't want to skim over a passage anymore, I want to stay there.  To meditate on what is truly being said.  To let Christ shine from the pages.

It's like an old radio.
Remember how you turn the dial through endless noisy static and finally break upon the music loud and clear?  I think we so often wonder why we can't hear God in our daily lives.. when it's because we are stuck in the static zones.  We are tuning in to the T.V, we are satiated in social media, we are feeding our souls on the fluff.  Half the time we are stuck in these zones because they seem easiest.  It seems to difficult a chore to pick up the Bible, after a day of endless giving.  You actually want to 'tune out'.  But then... afterwards you feel even more despondent.
Tune the needle of your heart to God's Word... read the Bible slow and steady, and pray that He will speak through it to you.  He doesn't ignore that prayer.

I've discovered that if you keep stacking the kindling around your heart (solid sermons, wonder-full worship, beauty books, persistent prayers) God will light the altar of your heart ablaze.

Maybe this all just sound too 'religious' but I can tell you it's real.
His Word is a treasure far vaster than all the gold of Middle Earth.

(A helpful tool to mining it can be found here.)

Thanks for hearing my heart,
Mel ;o)




A.musing.mama! 4.9

Life has officially spun full circle.
I'm sounding more like my Mom each day...
The above conversation happens almost daily this winter (much like it did thirty years ago!)

What lines do you catch yourself 'passing on' to the next generation?

Mel ;o)

You can find all my previous COMICS here!


fresh start, open heart:

gift for a friend

Happy New Year out there friends,

Today I thought I'd share with you a few Scriptural scribbles, some divine doodles... I've been putting on paper and pressing in my heart.
So I've been wondering if this would be the year to stop blogging (gasp).
Years ago I started it to showcase my creative productions and pursuits.
It was a place to connect with others (as a new mama) and know I wasn't alone in motherhood.
It keep me creative, like an accountability diary for the world... hehe.

As I'm growing older (and hopefully a smidgen wiser) I'm reassessing this space.
It's always been written from where my heart is at (another reason I never pursued advertising, for fear of writing what *they* wanted me to write).

Thankfully my heart is growing much fonder of Christ than clutter lately.
If I blog it will be much more about those delights, than other distractions.
I still love/need to create... but not in order to blog about it!

So, this new years focus:


If you like that kind of stuff.. stick around.
Thanks for being a sweet part of this space, friends.

Mel ;o)