The Entrepreneur Caterpillar

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Not everything great comes easily or quickly. Sometimes a caterpillar takes a month to metamorphosis into a gorgeous butterfly,  sometimes it takes a year; no matter the length, it takes a lot of nourishment, hard work, growth and patience in order to reach the final product.  For entrepreneurs going from caterpillar to butterfly is a constant work in progress. You want your business and/or product to flourish and be awe inspiring, and it will be…but it takes a lot of hard work, constant learning and evolving and patience. Lots of patience. Don’t give up before the world gets a chance to see your final product. Put in the time and hard work and your ‘butterfly’ will emerge. I guess that analogy could also be given for life, in general šŸ™‚

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God: The Artist

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Nothing more beautiful and peacful than an Arizona sunset…except, say….an Arizona sunrise. Lol I understand that there are many who don’t believe in God or a higher power but when I see nature like this, I just can’t understand how one can doubt. To me, it’s like the earth, sea and sky is God’s great canvas and He is the artist who is always trying to outdo himself
Lol He’s like…you think that sunset is beautiful…just wait until you see my next one! Lol

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About Me

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Every great bookĀ has a beginning that draws you in, content that fills you with emotion and an ending that eitherĀ leaves you wanting more or leaves you content in the knowledge that theĀ book hasĀ fulfilled it’s purpose and like all great stories, must come to it’s natural end. Ā The book of my life has chapters full of joy, tragedy, searching, love, chaos, resentment,Ā faith, heartache, healing, forgiveness, loss,Ā friendshipĀ and continual learning.Ā Ā When time eventually leads me to the last page of my book, the page that reads ‘The End,’ I want to know that each chapter of my life had a purpose and that I made the most of the knowledge I gained. Recently I’ve started a new chapter. This chapter is all about defining myself. Who am I? What do I want out of life. What do I have of myself to give to others? So, I’ll start by giving the answers that I do know…so far….

Hi, my name is Melanie. I never liked my name, for 2 reasons: First, everyone tends to call me Mel for short, and I’ve always viewed Mel as a male name (from the t.v. show ‘Mel’s Diner’) and secondly because, as a child, I would be called Smelanie. Within the last maybe 10 years I’ve decided that my name is actually pretty cool. It’s kind of folksy, a bit melodic and fairly unique. So, my name is Melanie…and I love being a Melanie.

What I want out of life is probably what everyone else wants: love, happiness, security, the ability to watch my son grow up to become a great man (he’s well on his way!), to have fulfilling relationships with my friends and family. Financial security is on that list, of course, but life is really about experiences, not things (although things sometimes make those experiences a lot more fun šŸ˜‰

What do I have of myself to give to others? Stories. Insight. Encouragement. Honesty. A different perspective.Ā Life experience. Maybe a good chuckle or two? I want to connect with people and I’d love for people to want to connect with me. My blog is just little snippets of my life, past, present and maybe things that I’d like for the future. If I can encourage someone, make someone laugh, have someone feel like they’re not alone in their experiences, possibly inspire someone to start a new chapterĀ in their life book, or perhaps to reflect on the chapters that have already been finished and to find their purpose, then this blog will be well worth the typing cramps in my fingers šŸ™‚

Mr. Bluejay, a Sweet Little Surprise

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I am not a great photographer and I am painfully aware of that fact however, I still try! When visiting Jamestown. VA a few months back I thought I’d take a sweet little picture of a chicken enjoying her lunch. As I was skimming through these pictures a few minutes ago I realized I had captured more than that! Apparently, Mr. Bluejay decided to perch himself on a barrel and enjoy the scene as well! I hadn’t even noticed him but I’m so very glad he decided to get in the frame! I love little nuggets of surprise like this. For some reason this discovery reminded me that, although ambition and goals are a great thing, I shouldn’t be so focused that I forget to look around and enjoy the WHOLE scene of my life or I might miss something special. 

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God Already Has Him Picked Out

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I struggle with lonliness. It has been a year and a half since my separation and impending divorce began. For a long time I was hurt and angry and so focused on survival that lonliness wasn’t a feeling that came into play.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought me to Maryland, and His timing, as usual, was perfect. Within months of meeting and forming very strong bonds with a close knitĀ  circle of good, Christian friends…I started my very unwanted and unforseen journey through personal devastation. My friends surrounded my son and me, took care of us,Ā and went above and beyond to make us feel loved.  I never really felt lonliness at that stage of my journey.

The lonliness has come recently. There is a certain comfort that comes from having a partner in life. Sure, relationships are never perfect and some, like mine, end up being an absolute catastrophe and have a very harsh ending….but still, if you’ve been with one person for any length of time…you get used to their presence and when it’s gone, no matter how devastating the circumstances that surround the ‘ending,’ you are still left with a void. When I have to run to the store…it’s by myself. If I’d like to go out to dinner and none of my friends are available, I stay home. If I have a question about something, Google now answers me instead of a real face and voice. Sex is missing from my life, obviously, but it’s funny…as much as that is part of a good, healthy relationship…it’s not high on my list of things that I miss most. The intimacy of holding someone’s hand, or being kissed on the forehead during a hug, or just having a warm body snoring away on the other side of the bed…that’s where the lonliness and void come in. When my son is asleep and I’m on the couch watching a funny movie…there’s nobody on the other side of the couch laughing with me. To be blunt…it kinda sucks.

I have never been the type of person who ‘needs’ a man in her life. I actually enjoy solitude to a certain degree. I feel strong and ready to take on the world regardless of my relationship status…and I know that my circumstances, at the moment, prevent me from having a relationship with someone anyway…but that doesn’t stop me from feeling the lonliness creep in every once in a while.

God has great things in store for my future. I have been hurt and let down because of my own poor decisions in the past but God has never let me down. Every tragedy and heartache in my life He has taken and made something beautiful out of…whether it be new friendships, personal growth, renewed faith, closer family bonds….I know God works everything for my own good, but every once in a while I need to be reminded that His plans for my future and whoever He brings into my life will far surpass anything that I could imagine for myself….I just need to keep my eyes on God, trust that He wants the best for me and that He is far better at providing for me than I am for myself. He has always been faithful to His word…others may let me down but He never has. He WILL provide me with the man of my dreams, especially now that my dreams have changed.

My future relationship must be with a man who loves the Lord first and me second. He must be a purpose driven, holiness minded, ‘head of the household’ qualified, God fearing, prayerfully seeking, compassion giving, Word receiving man with God’s stamp of approval. I’m pretty sure those qualifications align with God’s will…so He’ll have no problem filling that order šŸ™‚
My brother once said something to me that I will never forget…because it tends to always be appropriate to my life. He said, “You need to get out of God’s way and let Him take care of things!” So, that’s exactly what I am going to do, even though I struggle with it sometimes. I am going to remember that although I might feel a bit lonly at times, God has a special someone, intended just for me, that will fill in the missing puzzle piece but it will be in HIS timing so I need to have patience and not worry. Until then, I will keep my heart filled with God, my knees to the floor and my eyes in the word (just to clarify…that will continue no matter what happens! Lol)

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Forgiveness to Heal

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I’ve been in a reflective mood today. I’ve had a very rough 2 years: a failed marriage, broken financial promises, losing a friendship over a simple misunderstanding…it’s like every time I start to get through something. ..a new painful situation arises. 

If you would have asked me 2 years ago if I saw myself, in the futur, ever getting past the pain and heartaches that I was experiencing ..I would have laughed and called you crazy. I was in grudge mode.

I focused so much of my time and energy into anger and resentment…and for what? The only person I hurt was myself. Hatred,and resentment are such a waste of space Also, as a Christian, I believe that all impure thoughts and behaviors are straight from the pits of hell…they are not of God. So, when God says to forgive, but I don’t, then I am being disobedient to God’s word. When I harbor a grudge or resentment in my heart, I am allowing Satan to occupy a space that is only meant to be occupied by God’s love and forgiveness. How can I claim that I am a child of God when I act so foolishly? How can I set a good example of my values when I’m just talking the talk but not walking the walk? The answer is, I can’t.

Forgiveness is not always easy. I suffer from a condition known as ‘stubbornness. ‘ My stubbornness is a constant struggle and it brings nothing but negativity to my life when I allow it in.  Sometimes I am so hurt that I don’t want to forgive someone, especially if they haven’t asked for it. But what good does my resentment and unforgiving heart do for me? Nothing! It leaves me feeling cold, lonely, empty and angry…my heart hardens a little bit each time I hold a grudge or withhold forgiveness. In essence…I’m damaging MYSELF….not the transgressor!

When I think back to all the poor decisions I’ve made in my life that have affected others (my son in particular)I mentally and emotionally beat myself over said decisions. Why? Because ‘self hatred’ is exactly where the devil wants my mind to go…and when I do start analyzing every bad decision I’ve made and start beating myself up over them…I have let Satan win.
Forgiveness is freedom. You don’t need to wait to be asked for forgiveness…do it as soon as possible, for yourself…it’ll bring you peace. When you have peace and are practicing God’s love…there won’t be much room for anger. When you start to feel like your past is overwhelming your present…pray. Don’t give the devil the power to distract you with a past that you might not be proud of…but that you can’t change.  Forgive yourself and move on. The only behavior that you can control is in the here and now and the future….the past is done and over. Leave it there.

Forgiveness brings healing.

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There Will Always be Someone

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No matter how hard you strive to live a life of integrity and joy there will always be someone, somewhere, who prefers to have a different opinion of you. Sometimes those people are complete strangers who are jealous of the strength of character that you show and it makes them feel better to put you down. Other times it might be someone close to you who, through misunderstanding or because of unresolved issues in their own lives, suddenly turn on you and try to find fault with the people they once considered friends. Either way, don’t let other’s opinions of you dictate your behavior. You know yourself. If you are an honest person, nobody calling you a liar is going to change that. If you are a hard worker, nobody who calls you lazy is going to change that. If you are a generous  person, nobody calling you stinging is going to change that. When others think hateful thoughts about you or speak to others about you with malice….they are showing their character, not yours. Know yourself. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let someone’s false opinion of you change your behavior and definitely don’t allow someone to steal the joy in your life just because joy is lacking in theirs.

Beauty in the Journey

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Keep focused on where you want to go in life and who you want to become…but don’t forget where you’ve been and who you once were. The road of life isnt always smooth pavement, it tends to be filled with sharp bends, potholes, unwanted detours & numerous wrong turns. Navigating those areas, the rough parts, learning and growing from each detour and wrong turn, picking yourself up and patching the damage from the potholes…continuing to move forward…that is what your journey is all about. Look back on the rough times, appreciate them for the growth they inspired and the strength and character those times helped mold in you. The beauty in your journey comes when you realize that you canĀ  take a less than favorable situation, turn it around and make something positive out of it. Use it to propel you forward, not hold you back. Your journey isn’t over, there are still lessons to be learned and growing to do but, man..look how far you’ve come!!

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