Everyday Heroes – Inspiration Behind the Novel

I always get so excited when I finish something.  When I wrote Real Life, I wanted to do something fun and light with lots of humor and (admittedly) some pretty ridiculous situations.  Still, I love a happy ending so all’s well that ends well, right?

The idea for Everyday Heroes actually came from a ridiculous (what is up with me and ridiculous?) story I told my girlfriends on a sleepover at my friend’s house when I was in high school.  I’m sure none of them remember it.  It had something to do with the heroine saving a guy freezing in the woods in some winter wonderland. She drags him back to her cabin, hops in a sleeping bag naked with him, and saves his life.  (And stuff.)

This is NOT that story!!!

Having said that (loudly), the idea of saving a life without even thinking about the repercussions is interesting to me.  I also had a few goals in mind.  I wanted to:

  • Write a book about a woman who has faith.  I didn’t want to get all preachy and annoying about it, I just wanted it to be a natural extension of who the character is.  Kind of like me.  (Except she’s a doctor.)
  • Write about people who, on the surface, seem to have the perfect life, but behind the smile, are secrets.  No one’s life is perfect.  Ever.  At all.  Ever.
  • Have a subtle heroic theme throughout.

Maybe it’s because I worked on a game about heroes (and villains – trust me, there is one).  I think people who work in service to others (military, medicine, teaching, etc.) are already heroes.   There were many people I met while I was working on City of Heroes who had some pretty rough challenges (medical, personal, you name it) thrown their way and that made a mark on me.  I wanted to say thank you in a small way.

Also, since my experience working in hospice, I have come to the realization that the average person cannot survive in this challenging field.  It’s too hard.  Only a special person made of unique awesomeness, who is willing to look deeper than a terminal diagnosis and all the challenges that come with it (physical, mental, spiritual, social)  – and still perform their job with excellence and genuine compassion day in and day out – can.  I’m so proud of them, I can’t even tell you.


I decided to make Grace a doctor.  And a bit of a Doogie Howser.  Look it up if that name is meaningless to you.  She’s kind of awkward. over-achiever.  Imagine, if you will, that this woman who has succeeded at her career so wonderfully and so quickly (years ahead of most), rushes into a marriage with (she thinks) “the perfect guy”.  Except he’s not.  She spends the next 20 years a victim of physical and verbal abuse.  The book actually starts after she’s left that situation and is trying to get on with her life.

Wait!  What the heck happened to that cabin in the woods with the snow and the hypothermia?!  Yeah, sorry about that.


Okay, now we have John.  He comes from a great family, a military background, and over the years has worked his way up the military ladder.  Tragedy strikes.  He loses his memory and he loses his voice.  He goes from being a man defined by his career to coming home (in his mind) “broken.”  Rather than face these challenges, he runs away from his family, friends, and the world in general.  I’m not a military expert or a medical expert, but I did want to look at how the world just kind of moves on without you if you let it.

So I take two lives of people who serve so magnificently in their careers and they both get punched in the gut.  Thankfully, that’s just where the story starts…  Challenge and heartbreak is where heroes are forged.  They push through, they fall, they slide, but eventually they get back up, and push some more.  I love that notion.  Strength and character.  Integrity.  Honor.

This book’s subject matter is definitely a darker path than the popcorn and bubblegum of Real Life.  Of course there is still humor and silliness, this is a romance novel after all, not a documentary.

I really hope you enjoy it.


P.S.  My next book isn’t even a Romance.  It’ll be something completely different.  Stretch out those horizons!

Top 12 Reasons I Should Be Banned from Wrapping Presents

If you could “fail” a skill, this is my skill to fail.  And here’s why:

  1. I use tape like it’s law enforcement
  2. Giving it “the college try” is an insult because preschoolers can do better
  3. Angry tape
  4. There WILL be blood shed
  5. I don’t overestimate paper sizing, I GROSSLY overestimate paper sizing (as in, you could fit a small village in the leftover paper)
  6. Presents aren’t “wrapped” so much as they are “inflicted”
  7. Even my cat knows it’s probably best to stay away during “the dark time”
  8. Square objects present more problems than round ones because at least you can carpetbag a round one
  9. Who tapes their own fingers together?
  10. My presents look like I wrapped them for someone who cut me off in traffic
  11. Leaving wrapping to the last minute – despite years of trying – does not make me better at it
  12. I look for reasons to distract myself elsewhere when I should be wrapping – like writing blog posts

My Life as a Lucy Skit: Episode 1

I like to call this episode:  The Back and the Bottle

For those of you not familiar with my utter disregard for the English language when it comes to phrases, you can check out my Melissaisms post so you understand what a “Lucy skit” is, especially if you were born before the year 1980.

My back has been sore, really sore, for about four weeks now.  Some days, I felt like Fonzie in his “old suit” from Happy Days moaning and groaning as I rolled out of bed.  No, seriously, I literally had to roll out of bed, let my feet flop onto the floor, and then drag myself up by the bedpost.  If it didn’t hurt so much, it’d be pretty hilarious.  Actually, never mind, it hurt and it’s still funny.  Laugh away.  It took me three minutes to make my way to the bathroom for morning ablutions (which is not the same as absolutions, by the way).

Anyway, on this particular day, the pain was so bad that I just decided to stay in bed, rock the heating pad, and catch up on Season 1 of Suits.  Epicurially speaking, I was exceptionally well stocked with my Trader Joes baked corn chips, a big bottle of orange seltzer fresh from the frigid-y fridge, and my iPad.  There may have been some chocolate.  Look, I’m wounded, chocolate heals all ailments.  Don’t you judge me!

So I’m flopped down in bed, pillow under my knees, heating pad scorching my back (I really need to figure out how to lower the temp on that thing), enjoying the episode of Suits where Harvey and his protege, Mike, trade witty movie quotes and Harvey solves an insolvable legal situation within the last three minutes of the episode, when I have this strange thought:

Huh…this bottle of seltzer sure is sweating.

I touch my leg and it’s damp.  Seriously, people, this is the way my mind works.  I think:

Wow, that fridge must have been cold.

I ignore the bottle and continue watching the show.  Did I notice that the bottle was on its side?  Sure, but the cap was on.  That’s the great thing about caps: they keep the liquid inside the bottle.

I finish the episode and move on to the next one.  But my leg is really wet now and so I tap it again.  Then, I partially lift the covers and see a wet spot the size of a baseball on the bed.  My first thought is:

But the cap was closed…

Or was it?

Doesn’t matter.  This looks bad and there is no way I can pin it on the cat.  Cats simply do not urinate orange seltzer.  Plus, I get it into my head that my husband is going to think that I wet the bed in the middle of the afternoon.  (Swing back to the illogical comment about urine and smell.)

So, after a moment or two of, “I can’t believe that bottle leaked”, now I’m cheesed because my back hurts and I gotta hide the evidence that I was eating in bed!  Okay, corn chips, tossed on the floor.  Luckily, they landed open side up or that would have added insult to injury.  Get it?  Injury?  Back injury?  Whatever.  The mint M&Ms (oh right, that’s what I was eating) land on the night table beside me, clicking against each other in the (thankfully) sealed bag.

At this point, it still hasn’t dawned on me that liquid and a heated blanket make for “electrifying”, yet potentially Darwinian, stories and that I’d probably dodged a major bullet.  I managed to wriggle gracelessly out from under it and drop it on the floor.

I finally (again) flop myself off the bed, but not before fighting with the cover sheet and comforter, which had suddenly wound themselves around my legs and the pillow while I was trying to escape from the heating pad.  Let me tell you, every single twist ached.  You know the kind.  The one where you surprise yourself with a yelp.   I was like a puppy surprised by the bite of a really big flea.

Okay, now that I’m finally out of the bed, I have to bend over and pull all the covers back to get a good look at the mattress.

Wow.  That’s a lot of liquid.

That’s not a baseball, that’s a beach ball!

We’ve had an issue with particularly industrious (and committed) ants in the kitchen lately and I start to freak out, thinking all sorts of inane things.  You’d think I was on some kind of psychotropic drug with all the freakouts, but no, it’s just my own mind doing it’s thing.  So I have this scenario in my head where these ants somehow make their way from the kitchen, all the way through the living-room, down the hall, into our bedroom, smack dab into the middle of the mattress.  And then I start to imagine all these little creatures nested inside the bed,  burrowing and having babies, waiting until the black of night when we’re asleep and unaware, to slip out and start walking over my face and arms.  I started feeling invisi-ants immediately.  (Seriously, I just had to check my arm.  Even just writing this, I totally thought I had one walking over it.)

Not much I can do about the mattress, so I have to lug that freaking comforter off the bed.  The cat freaks out and thinks it’s play time at the zoo.  He launches himself onto the covers and has a field day.  Now I have to get the fitted sheet off the bed, along with the pillow top cover thingy, which means (you guessed it) more leaning, more stretching, more groans.

Rather than just lift and carry, instead, I grab the fitted/pillowtop and drag them down the hall.  Miko goes crazy and chases the sheet all the way down the hall.  I have to somehow get this mass of fabric out the door without the cat (who is an indoor cat, but likes to spontaneously make a break for it when the side door is open), down the steps, close the door (more twiiiiistinggggg), and into the garage where the washer and dryer are.

Mission one accomplished, I go back inside where the cat was waiting for me with his nose pressed against the crack of the door, ready to bolt.  One stern command from me and he backed off.  I was in no mood!

Now I have to go back for the dang comforter, which is bulky and heavy and wetter than I thought.  If I can’t lift some iddy biddy sheet and a pillow top, you know I’m going to be miserable with this thing.  So, whatever.  Deal, Mel.  I grab it and begin dragging.  This thing is far more voluminous that the other fabric and it’s clunky!  I’m draaaaaagging it through the house, doing a little impromptu floor sweep as I make my way down the hall, and draaaag it through the recycle bags, and the cat dish, and the shoes, and the ant traps right by the door in the kitchen.

Another warning to the cat as I slide open the dining room door and haul that thing outside, close the door and try and flop it on the outdoor chair to air out.  Well, I can’t get the stupid thing to hang right so that the wet part is facing the sun!  So I’m fiddling with this fabric monstrosity, grabbing (and pulling, and tweaking my back) more chairs over so finally I have this tent-like structure made out of comforter in the backyard.

I get back inside and open the sliding glass door in the bedroom with the hope that the breeze will help with speed-drying the mattress.  It didn’t occur to me that perhaps a door to the outside world just a few feet away was even easier access for ants.  Unlike the kitchen, say, which was all the way on the other side of the house.  Finally, I just had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to replace the mattress with a new one by the time Ron got home and maybe ants weren’t attracted to orange seltzer.  It’s not like it was a sugar-filled (‘scuse me, corn syrup-filled) bottle of Coke.  Maybe seltzer (even flavoured) was too bitter to even be appetizing?

Back to the bed.  I’m not even near done.  I still have to replace the fitted sheet!

Anyone who has ever made a bed knows that the fitted sheet is the worst part.  The leaning.  The bending.  The lifting.  The slip of fabric falling back.  The lifting again.  The tucking.  The realization that the stupid sheet is facing the wrong direction!  So now I gotta fight with that.

Again, the cat’s riding the sheet like it’s Splash Mountain in Disneyland.  I’m not going to lie when I say to you that I considered just locking him inside it, cute or not.

So all of this pretty much kills my movement-free day.  Hours later, the sheets have been replaced, the bed is made.  Before Ron even had a chance to ask, I had to spill my guts about the seltzer.

After all that, his response was:

That mattress hurts my back.  We should replace it .

Roll credits.

And yes, the cat was all up in my grill when I pulled the comforter inside, dragged it down the halls (through the stuff, and stuff), and up onto the bed to make it.  Again, he was all yeehaaaaa!!! flinging himself on top of the comforter, under it, around it, like a cowboy on a bucking bronco.  Clearly, if he was a good cat, he would have been more sensitive to the fact that Mommy’s back hurt and to knock that crap off!

Seriously, this is just a day in the life of me.  I can’t make this stuff up.

10 Things You Don’t Say To Your Mate When Arguing

I’ve had plenty of arguments over the years.  Some of these I’ve used.  Some I haven’t.  Usually, however, if I did, the fight got worse.  Sure, I may have felt temporary pleasure over that “zinger”, but did it really serve me over the long run of the argument?  Not really.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The people we care about most in the world are the ones we let loose the rampaging rabid dogs of war the quickest.

Top 10 Things Not to Say:

  1. “Whatever.  I’m done.”
  2. “You obviously don’t understand.”
  3. “If you loved me, you’d know…”
  4. “I don’t care.”
  5. “It’s not my fault if…”
  6. “You always…”
  7. “I hate you.”
  8. “I never wanted…”
  9. “You’re such a…”
  10. “Shut up.”

It’s pretty clear why these don’t work, but – for the uninitiated – things like sentences that start with “You always…” are impossible to defend against.  Because they’re not true.  Obviously no one always does something.  If that were the case, they’d be doing it all day long, 365 days a year.  About the only thing you can accuse someone of always doing is breathing.

This gem is reserved for spouses and boyfriends.  The “If you loved me you’d know…” comment presumes mind-reading.  And if there’s one thing a man is not equipped to do when it comes to women, it’s reading her mind.  Believe it or not, ladies, we don’t think alike!  You know how you go out with your girlfriends and you finish each other’s sentences, and there’s all that, “I know, right??” that goes on?  It’s because we think alike.  We see things in relatively the same way.  We are built emotionally in-sync.

Men, however, are not built like us.  This is why when we whine and complain they want to “fix it” and we get irritated.  Our girlfriends don’t tell us what to do, they just listen, commiserate, and offer up another bowl of Ben and Jerry’s.  We’re hardwired differently.  Maybe some guys really want to “talk it out” and get all deep in the emotions and really gab, for hours and hours, about what’s bothering them, but most guys just want to say what’s on their mind, fix it, and move on.

Guys want us to respect them.  Love is easy for us.  Respect is hard.  Respecting a man means not embarrassing/criticizing him in front of his friends or family, not making him feel “less”, not attacking him for something he didn’t know he did, not assuming you know what he is thinking or feeling (lack of mind-reading goes both ways), not presuming his intentions, not talking to him like you’d talk to your girlfriends – he doesn’t think like they do.

Women like to marinate.  Men like to flash fry.

Here is something we should remember:  Productive arguments have conclusions, not concussions.

Top Ten Things To Say:  (and mean)

  1. “I’m sorry.”
  2. “Let me just see if I understand you right…”
  3. “I admit that I…”
  4. “Thank you.”
  5. “Do you forgive me?”
  6. “Can we take a minute?  I’m getting upset and I want to figure out why.”
  7. “I’ll be quiet and listen so you can make your point uninterrupted.”
  8. “I love you.”
  9. “I didn’t realize I’d done that.  What I’d meant was…”
  10. “I forgive you.”

Oh, words.  They’re so easy and cheap.  That’s why I put the “(and mean)” in there.   When we were younger, my sister would smack me and immediately say, “Sorry.”  Then she’d smack me again.  Again, another “Sorry.”   The word is meaningless if you don’t follow up on it with action and that usually means not doing the same thing you were sorry for over and over again.

As a woman, my particular brand of live ammunition is – you guessed it – words.  I can mire myself down so deep in the details of what my husband has said that, by the end, I’ve utterly tied him up in knots.  I’ve “wordsmithed” him into feeling frustrated and helpless.  That’s like having a debate with someone and having them throw in ridiculous curve-balls like “define logical”.

So as you gear up for that next round, consider this:

  1. Would you say that to your grandmother?
  2. How would you feel if the other person said that to you?
  3. Do you really mean that?
  4. Is this the most important person in your world?  Why are you treating them less than you would a co-worker, girlfriend, Starbucks employee?
  5. What is your goal in this argument?  Winning?  Understanding?  Compromise?
  6. Words are permanent.  People remember things long after the “I’m sorrys” have been said.
  7. Accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness is strength, not weakness.
  8. Admitting mistakes is difficult, necessary, and builds wisdom.
  9. Love may conquer all, but it is not just a verb, it’s an action, too.
  10. Conflict is inevitable.  Choosing our response to it is 100% all us.

Ideally, the best thing to do is to recognize that you’re getting miffed, define it (what is really agitating you about what that person said or did?), own it, and articulate it.  If you can sort things out before the yelling starts, then you just saved yourself some grief.

I know, words are easy.

A Little Clarification for my Sister


You know, sis, I just had an epiphany.

Remember when you used to call me Smelly Constipation? (For the uninitiated, my middle name is Constance). Well, I was just thinking about it and, logically, that just doesn’t work.

Obviously, since everything is all backed up, there is no smelly to be had. Now, if my middle name had been Diana-Rhea, well maybe then you’d have something better to work with.

I realize you were only 10 years old when you came up with this brilliant (and surprisingly catchy and enduring) phrase, so your wordsmithing skills weren’t fully developed yet.

And, yes, it’s true that it has been over 30 years since you tortured me with that, but I figure we are never too old to learn.

Also, since there was really nothing to work with for your name, obviously, not only did Mom and Dad not think things through with my name, but clearly they loved you best.

Angela Dawn. Seriously. What the h-e-double hockey sticks am I supposed to do with that?


Your little sister, Melissa

P.S. Mom should have named me Elizabeth like she wanted and not let Dad name me after his old girlfriend.

Church In a Do-It-Yourself World

So I attended church this morning.  My family and I got up, we picked up my step-daughter’s friend, and drove to church. 

Religious Backlash

The Christian church has taken a few beatings lately, especially with the new Obama administration.  Abortion, embryonic stem cell research, Prop 8 – all of these things, biblically speaking, the church is against.   I’ve heard people describe church, Jesus, God, and church-goers as:

  • bigoted
  • hypocritical
  • narrow-minded
  • archaic
  • judgmental
  • useless
  • irrelevant
  • dangerous
  • bloated
  • money-grubbing (high-profile church leaders – usually associated with Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, et al)
  • dominating
  • opinionated

The list goes on.  The church is too opinionated.  Why does the church get to tell me what to do.  Why is God even in the equation when it comes to affairs of the State.   The bible isn’t real anyway, and even if it were, look at all the brutality of the Old Testament – you call that a loving God??

I didn’t grow up a Christian.  I grew up in an alcoholic family of divorce.  I didn’t focus on God, I focused on being invisible and making sure everyone around me thought that my life was “just fine”.  I had no one to really rely on and I managed to eek out a pretty good existence with some issues here and there.  

From the outside looking in, God and the church and all those “believers” is incredibly daunting, as if they know something you don’t know.  They have “all the answers” and it’s irritating when they try to tell you what you’re doing wrong.  So it’s easy to be offended by that, as if they know what’s right for you.

I went to church today.  And this is what I got from a big group of “narrow-minded, antiquated, judgmental” people who believe in “something that probably doesn’t exist anyway”.

My pastor spoke about past hurts and how with Jesus’ sacrifice all those mistakes we’ve made, they’re gone.  Guilt?  That’s gone, too, because when you’re forgiven it’s not just for twenty minutes, it’s for life.  Judgment?    If you’re a believer, that’s not God whispering in your ear telling you didn’t earn it or deserve it, well, that comes from a whole different and much darker place. 

How can I possibly explain to someone who has never “let go” of their life and given it over to the Creator of the universe that trust is not a four-letter word?  How do I explain the kind of heart-shattering love that comes with knowing there is ONE person out there who loves you more than even you can imagine and has only the best plans for your life?  How can you put that into words to someone who thinks I’m weak because I believe in something that isn’t fully understandable, but is absolutely knowable? 

We did Communion today as a remembrance of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and although it’s a little disconcerting to think about the trauma that Jesus went through for us (if you’ve seen The Passion of the Christ you have a very good idea of what it was probably like) so that we could be free of these very real, though intangible, chains that bind us and crush us and strangle us. 

I looked around as the choir sang Amazing Grace and I saw the Prayer Team, just regular people who love God and want to use their gift to help others, praying with people they didn’t even know in one big group until every single one of them had been prayed for.  I don’t know what the issues were, anything and everything.  Just because we believe in God doesn’t mean we’re not human, with the infinite capacity for making mistakes – even really big ones. 

Through my pastor, I heard what God thinks about my finances, how I should be a good steward of my money and becoming a slave to another lender.  Hear that, those of us who are in debt to credit card lenders?   I learned about how everything in life is cyclical and when pastor asked us who had ever  been in rough financial times to raise our hands, nearly 90% of the entire congregation did.  Know what that means?  It means we have been there.  It means there is no shame in needing help and it means that for those people who thought they were alone, well, they were wrong. 

Then pastor directed people to information about programs the church offered from Finance Seminars to Celebrate Recovery (like biblical 12-Step), to Hannah’s Hope Chest (free shopping if you can’t afford clothes, food, etc.), to Premarital Counseling and Marriage Seminars.  Do you know how much all of this costs to the people taking part in these church-sponsored activities?  Usually – nothing.  Maybe the cost of a workbook. 

You know who pays for all of that?  The people of the church who give their time, talent, and money to the church so that God can use it in a way that will be a blessing and aid to others.  Many people don’t agree with the church or what God says about many topics today.  In fact, when it comes to many issues, a lot of people don’t want to hear what God has to say.

Unbelievers – Before

  • God shouldn’t tell me what to do with my body
  • Sleeping around is my business, not anybody else’s
  • I get high,  so what?  It’s not hurting anyone
  • I don’t know what the big deal is, I lost my virginity when I was 12
  • The only person I gotta worry about is me
  • We need tolerance, but I can’t take what those Christians are preachin’, they shouldn’t be so narrow-minded
  • There is no God
  • What I achieve and what I have shows everybody how important I am
  • Religion is for suckers and weak people who can’t handle life

Unbelievers – After

  • I wish I hadn’t done it, I never knew it would be this hard – I still think about it
  • I’m pregnant / I thought he loved me, but he left me / I have a commnunicable disease / I feel used / It wasn’t worth it
  • I got busted / I got in an accident / I owe money to this guy… / I don’t feel like… / Whatever, who cares?
  • I wish I had waited / He was such a jerk, he told everyone / I didn’t love him / He pressured me / It wasn’t worth it
  • I wish I had someone to talk to / I’m lonely / Why don’t people like me? / Would anyone even care if I wasn’t here?
  • People should be able to believe whatever they want – except the Nazis, and the Christians, and those Jihad Muslims, and…
  • There is nothing but me.  Nothing.  But me. 
  • I’m exhausted / What if I fail? / What’s the next big thing? / Are they impressed? / Oh no, I failed, I’m losing it all.  I’m nobody.
  • I wish I had someone to share this burden with / Why doesn’t anyone even care? / How do I handle this on my own?

Believers – Before

  • I’m afraid, I don’t know what to do
  • I messed up – big time
  • I feel alone
  • I need wisdom and guidance
  • I’m hurting right now
  • I’m lost
  • What is my purpose?
  • How can I make a difference?
  • How do I share my gifts?
  • How can I turn my awful past into something that will help others?
  • What does God expect from me?

Believers – After

  • I prayed and even though I didn’t get the answer right away, you wouldn’t believe how God communicated to me…
  • I went to church and Pastor said that God has already forgiven us, we need to let it go and accept it.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me.
  • I joined a ministry, so now I help in the kitchen and I met some really great people / I joined a singles group and met my husband / I attended a seminar and met some…
  • I looked up a great passage in the Bible and it was so weird how it answered my question perfectly, I just needed the moral reminder to make the hard decision
  • I got a call from the girl in my Small Group and she said she saw me looking out of sorts so she felt compelled to call me, it was weird, but the timing of her call was so perfect
  • I felt really far away from God, I was doing some stuff I knew I shouldn’t be, maybe hiding from God, but I went to service and sat in the back and prayed and now I felt better – it was so dumb to try and hide from God, He knows what I’m up to, but just talking to Him and getting it out like that made me feel so much better
  • I never thought I could feel so alive and useful delivery home-cooked meals to someone who is bed-ridden, but the way she lights up every time I come over, if I were in her shoes, I’d want the same thing.  I feel like I make a difference and even though I’m exhausted, inside my heart I feel so energized!
  • I didn’t think it was a big deal donating that crib, but when I heard the story about the family who lost their home during the hurricane, it really showed me that even the small things make a difference
  • I joined a Ministry at church and now I greet people at every service and it is so wonderful to see how they go from nervous and confused about what to do, to smiling back and thanking me for showing them around.  I may have just led someone to their seat who could become a believer today.
  • I never in a million years would believe I’m telling the story of my life to an auditorium of over 5,000 people.  So many came up to me after the talk and said how they were experiencing exactly what I had. 
  • I always skated by on life before, I was never really very moral before and it really burned me, but now, I hold myself to a higher standard – Jesus’ standard – and even though I can’t be perfect all the time like He was, I know that when I am honest and trustworthy and sincere, that people see I’m someone who is decent inside and out.  I am someone that they can rely on and someone that they look up to. 

So I went to church today.  I saw people joyful loving and praising all the great things God has done for them.  I saw people in earnest prayer seeking God’s guidance and forgiveness for mistakes they’d made, mistakes they wanted to turn away from.  I saw people give and receive love from perfect strangers.  I saw tears of joy, heartache, relief, and sorrow.  I saw a community of people who collectively believe that they are not all they will ever have, that there is something/someone far bigger and more capable of handling the problems of their lives – and more than willing to do so, if they will let Him.

I saw a community of people who trust in God, as crazy and strange as it sounds, and I have seen miracles and wonders that He’s performed even in my life.   His way is not easy, it requires sacrifice, changes, moral inventory, walking away from things that – even though they feel “good” at the time – eventually sink their hooks and suck the life right out of us.  It’s a scary thing walking away from being free of moral responsiblity, believing in God, believing in Jesus and that He existed, and that the bible is true.  

But ultimately we have two choices:

  • live up to God’s word and standard and create a life of purpose and have guidance along the days of our lives
  • live down to the world’s standard, where everything is about you, you’re the only one that matters, and you are your own god

I went to church today and I learned just another wonderful lesson about life.  And my family did, too.