Posted in healing, heartache, Letters, Life Lessons, Love, Poetry, Truth, waiting, Writing

Tear-stained Wisdom

You never really knew me until you sat across from me at coffee on a cloudy day and watched the rain fall from my eyes.

You never really understood me until you let me get past the catch in my throat that’s always there when I sit across from you.

It’s as I listen to your heart through your words that I can make sense of my own feelings, which is why I always pause and let silence stand between us for a long moment before I speak.

It’s when I make sense of my own feelings that I can process yours. Then I can give you the tear-stained wisdom that is chiseled in my soul.

I never really knew you until I sat across from you and realized that we can both as freely give as receive wisdom and love.

And I’d like to know you more.

And I’d like for you to know me more.

But texts don’t form tears, or capture the pitch when you really laugh out loud, or give a full picture of what’s inside a heart.

But it’s all we can do now.

And it’s going to be really hard to give my whole heart again to anyone else when it’s broken but still yours. But it’s going to be hard for anyone else to break my heart when it isn’t really whole because it’s still yours.

I can only let time and silence and steadfast prayer heal me.

Posted in constitution, Letters, Life Lessons, Writing

My Personal Constitution

Me a Person fed up with the relentless pursuit of keeping up with everyone else’s wants and wishes, in Order to form a more perfect Life, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for my personal Defense, promote my general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to myself and my life, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the Life of Melissa.

My Personal Constitution

One: I retain the right to establish and exercise my faith in the way I so choose. In so saying this, I today declare that I am a child of God, an instrument to be used at His bidding; I am Christ minded, Spirit filled, and Heaven bound.

Two: I retain the right to establish, maintain, and defend my self respect. No person who comes against my self respect shall be allowed to remain an active part of my life.

Three: I retain the right to nurture, protect, and defend the children God has entrusted me with. In my children’s defense, I will not put up with any man coming around them without first proving to be a stable provider, a great father figure, and a willingly active participant in their lives. And no one else for that matter shall be allowed entrance into my children’s lives without respecting my position as a parent.

Four: I retain the right to protect my heart against the advances or trickery of any man who only wants to engage in immoral conduct. Any man wishing to be in my life must first be compared to the following list and meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Love God with all his heart
  2. Love me at least as much as I love him
  3. Possess the ability to actively communicate with me about all things
  4. Be educated and possess a mind that wants to continually learn
  5. Hold a stable job and have an adequate income for providing for me and my children
  6. Possess the patience, love, attention, and discipline necessary for raising children
  7. Remember special occasions and mark them with me in some way
  8. Possess a creative energy and flow; as writing is the key to my heart
  9. Posses the desire to maintain his own space and personal life while allowing and respecting my desire to do the same
  10. Be honest and trustworthy
  11. Posses the desire to date me; woo me, charm me, and impress me even after the first few months of dating and/or marriage
  12. Possess the ability to receive love in return
  13. To not be actively addicted to any substance, object, mindset, or activity
  14. Never cheat on me or go outside our relationship for any form of intimacy
  15. Posses the desire to pray with me and promote our family’s spiritual growth
  16. Never abuse or manipulate me mentally, emotionally, physically, or in any way

Five: I retain the right to guard my individuality; to walk through life at my own pace without being pressured by others to conform or dumb down my intelligence for any reason. I retain the right to determine and defend my life’s code of morality, political views, and points of view without the express input of others.

Six: I retain the right to remove myself from society now and again for the purposes of self reflection and growth without fear of retaliation, pressure, or questions afterwards.

Seven: I retain the right to protect my personal property including but not limited to my physical property and my thoughts as spoken or printed. Plagiarism and thievery will not be tolerated.

Eight: I retain the right to remain human. Realizing I am prone to sin as are those around me: forgiveness, grace, and mercy shall be reciprocally distributed between myself and any person wishing to walk in close proximity to me. I expect those closest to me to point out my imbecilities lovingly and, when I repent, to not hold such against me so that I can be restored, if need be, to right standing with God and man.

Nine: I retain the responsibility of being a good friend: to stand by those who stand by me, to love openly, to share my life with, and to value those persons that I hold in high esteem.

Ten: I retain the right to propose Amendments to this constitution at any time so long as they don’t dispute or negate these first ten. I retain the right to do so without the express consent or negotiation of any other party or person.

Done in closed session by the sole Consent of myself present the Sixth Day of February in the Year of our Lord two thousand and eight and have hereunto subscribed my Name,

Melissa Ann Fairchild

Posted in Letters, Life Lessons, Truth, Writing

Maybe It’s Time to Change Your Filter

Good evening from North Texas. I just had dinner with my two youngest kids (ages 18 and 11) at the city’s square. It’s an amazing place where the locals gather to relax and unwind.

Right now my current view is my backyard. It’s 79 degrees on a Texas night in July. Rare.

I’m sitting out here watching a momma Robin feed her new hatchling and listening to the thunder roll in. The evening smells like rain.

Out here on my back porch is a small 10 ft by 3 ft deep pool. I noticed its pump was making strange sounds yesterday, so I went to inspect. I screwed the lid off and disgusting water gurgled out all over my hands. Yuck. It was full of …gunk – a sign I’ve been working too much and haven’t kept up with pool maintenance. I don’t mean it was a little green. I mean it was teal with hard chunks of nastiness. No wonder the pool was dirtier than usual. The water could go into the pump, but the filter inside was so clogged that the bad stuff just remained in the pool. I changed the filter, vacuumed the pool, and replaced the necessary chemicals it needs for balance.

I put the pool cover on just now. The water and bottom of the pool are still clear. I checked the filter – it is already slightly brown. That’s okay though. It’s a sign that the filter is doing its job.

It got me thinking…

  • When the proverbial water in my life is looking cloudy, maybe I need to replace my filter. I stopped watching smut-laden movies and stopped watching TV a few years ago for this reason. Garbage in. Garbage out. Especially the 24/7 news cycle. When I filter my thoughts through my faith, it usually catches the bad stuff so my life remains clear. When I filter my life through negativity and selfishness, my life will surely show it.
  • When my life looks like the bottom of the pool, which yesterday was full of bugs, leaves, and dirt, it shows up as anger, depression, and anxiety. When I replace kind words with snappy comebacks (I’m guilty of this, this week), it indicates to me that something is wrong inside. Perhaps I should get out the vacuum (get in the Word, get off social media, reset boundaries with people) and get that junk out of my life. Some things are too big to be filtered out. Sometimes you have to physically, intentionally remove stuff (people, vices, etc.).
  • My life, like my pool with its chemicals, needs a maintenance regimen of elements designed to bring balance. When I work out 5x a week like I have been. When I eat right. When I surround myself with people who pour in wisdom. When I read regularly. When I get up early for my cup of coffee and my half hour in the Word and prayer before my day begins… these are the elements I need to keep my life balanced.

In case you’re wondering, I’m still waiting on this storm. The baby birdie is asleep in its nest under the covering of the roof’s edge. The pool pump is running smoothly. And there’s still no rain. Just a cool evening for me to enjoy my favorite thing – writing.

I’ll leave you with this:

To have a clean, balanced life, maybe it’s time for a little routine maintenance.

Change your filter. What you allow is what will continue.

Oh…there’s the rain.

Rest well. I love you.

-Melis

Posted in family, Letters, Life Lessons, Love, Parenting, Word, Writing

For my Daughters and Nieces

Dolls,

You are lovely. You are beautiful, captivating, intelligent, lovely, and kind.

As a Mom and an Aunt I feel I’ve done you an injustice by living in an unhealthy way physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I have not correctly modeled “healthy” for you. Please forgive me. I plan to rectify all that over the next days and weeks.

I have not lived as if I’m a daughter of God. I’ve lived as if my worth, security, and confidence depend on the approval or disapproval of a man, of other women, or of society. Thank God He brought all this to my attention. I’ve just been so entirely wrong for so entirely long.

This stops today.

Here’s what I now fully understand: I am not the product of nor do I bow at the bidding of my own faults, the faults of others, or anyone but God. And neither do you.

1 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬17 (CSB) says this:

“Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and that is what you are.”

Ladies, you are God’s holy temple, his dwelling place: mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Psalms 84:1‭-‬4 (CSB) says this:

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of Armies. I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. Even a sparrow finds a home, and a swallow, a nest for herself where she places her young — near your altars, Lord of Armies, my King and my God. How happy are those who reside in your house, who praise you continually. Selah”

Ladies, I reside in His house. YOU reside in His house. We are lovely. How happy are we who reside in God’s house. Future generations dwell in you.

What a joy and a privilege!

Katie: you are wonderful, beautiful, generous with kindness, and full of patience. This next generation needs a teacher like you. Walk in strength, wisdom, confidence, and security.

Stephanie: you are full of light, life, and creativity. We need your gift of worship to draw us to God. Walk in love, creativity, confidence, and security.

Madi: you are lovely, witty, curious, and highly intelligent. This generation needs your steadfast devotion to God. Walk in wisdom, godliness, confidence, and security.

Bree: you are beautiful, nurturing, fun-loving, and a pure delight. Your children will rise and call you blessed. Your husband is delighted with you for good reason. Walk in love, laughter, confidence, and security.

Lauren: you are the sparkle in your Daddy’s eye. You are a joy to all you encounter. The world needs your smile. Walk in love, laughter, confidence, and security.

To my future step-daughter (whom I have never met): you are a light in a dark world, a delight to your father, and a joy I have yet to behold. Your generation needs your light. Walk in boldness, grace, confidence and security.

To my goddaughters, my future granddaughters, and all my future greats: you are lovely, pure, intelligent, and kind. The world needs your love. Walk in wisdom, faith, confidence, and security.
I love you ladies. All of you. I applaud you and so enjoy watching you become women who love God.

Our battle isn’t against Dr. Pepper, carbs, comparison, or insecurity, but against evil itself.

Let’s remember to put on the armor of God daily. Walk like you’re walking next to Jesus. Remember you have angels assigned to you.

Write this on your mirror in dry-erase marker (I know y’all do this): I am a child of the Lord of Armies and today I will walk in confidence and security.

Remember I love you. Always.

Love,

Momma, Mommy, Aunt Melissa, M&M, and whatever all you grand-darlins will call me one of these years

Posted in Letters

Dear Me(lissa),

Tonight I allowed my heart
To envision myself
As I sometimes envision
My daughters:
7-year-old dimples with
Auburn ringlets
Spilling out of a
Bobby-pinned bun
With tattered ballet slippers
And a fresh recital bouquet.
Carefree, joyful, graceful feet
Pirouetting across the stage.

Grandma used to say
“Beauty is only skin deep –
Ugly goes to the bone.”
But she meant bitter.
Bitter lives inside and eats a person up
Until callous actions flow out of a
Bitter, hard heart.

Whereas
Beauty bursts out through the
Kind of smile you can see
In someone’s eyes.
Beauty lives inside a heart
But can’t be contained, so it
Flutters out in
Thoughtful words and kind gestures.

So I wrote myself a letter that I should probably re-read often:

Dear 7-year-old-me,
Your heart is full of kindness and grace.
You are worth fighting for, being faithful to, and being loved unconditionally. You never have to chase love or earn it. You don’t have to give anything to receive it.
God IS Love.
Love created one unique Melissa with a blonde mane, ocean-water eyes, and a sassy, creative, caring personality.
He didn’t mess up.
He didn’t give you used parts.
He methodically, wonderfully designed you exactly like he wanted.

Unfortunately, this world has made a mess out of what God designed. Because of this you will be hurt, abandoned, used, discarded, abused, and rejected.
God didn’t order any of this, but when it happens he promises he can bring beauty, growth, love, acceptance, grace, peace, solace, order and joy from it.
But hear me – you have to let him.

Don’t let bitter dwell within.
Don’t even let it knock at your door.
Bitter (ugly) takes up residence in you when you:

  • Delay grieving
  • Keep reminding yourself you got hurt
  • Stay in a bad situation too long
  • Take on responsibilities that belong to others, not you
  • Willfully sin
  • Join in with mockers
  • Close your mouth in prayer but open it to gossip
  • Fail to guard your eyes, ears, and heart
  • Keep your Bible closed, but your TV on
  • Rely on yourself rather than him

You’ll have 3 amazing kids, adorable future grandkids, and be a bonus mom to so many hearts in need of a mother’s love.
Above all, baby doll, remember to walk in beauty.
Remember you are worthy of love – in fact – you were born with both a capacity for receiving love and the capability of giving love.

Keep walking with God and never get too old to enjoy the promise and beauty of a sunset.
Go be amazing.
Love,
Me(lissa)

Posted in Letters, Parenting, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Love, Mommy (a letter to my daughter)

Sweet child,

No one taught me how to be happy. No one. Not my Mom or Dad. Not my siblings or grandparents. Not my cousins or teachers or friends. No one.

Happiness, contentment, joy – these aren’t things I can teach you. They are things you already have inside of you.

We tend to look for something newer, better, more exciting to woo us or distract us from the yucky parts of life. This isn’t because we are made to be adventure addicts, it is because we are created to live fully, love creatively, and laugh continuously. Unfortunately, this world is far too full of muck and anxiety. The trick is to decide to pursue life to the fullest anyway.

We are made in His image. We are created to experience all manner of emotions. These emotions – even if they are sadness or anger or anxiety – these are what make us grow. Like the way a tree is strengthened by the tossing of the wind. Like the way life-sustaining oxygen bursts out of waves as they crash and tremble and die on the shore. Like the way you and I understand each other and ourselves better when we collide sometimes. This is why we are put into families – so we can grow before we go.

It’s this part – our clashing – that made me pause my work and write to you this afternoon.

You see – I don’t really mind it. It means you’re one day closer to being who I’ve imagined you to be. It means you get to find yourself in a mess on this side of life – on the safe side – instead of in the world where it’s too often dark and damp and scary.

So I’m inviting you to sit with me and laugh and love and rise and fall and fail and succeed and learn what it means to live. I’m inviting you to work through your emotional ups and downs in this “training environment” instead of in a “published environment”. Here you get do-overs. You get the joy of being safe enough to play.

It’s been an honor, these years, to spend my life watching you find your wings.

If you’ll trust that the process of learning flight means falling, striving, and unexpected flight-path corrections, you’ll find that my past experiences (and failures) will enhance your success rate exponentially. You WILL fall, but I promise I will be here for the getting up and beginning again.
Just focus and keep trying.

Remember the song we’d sing in the car on full blast on the way to elementary school:

I’m not afraid to fall
It means I climbed up high
To fall is not to fail
You fail when you don’t try.
-Superchick

My whole life has led to this window of time where I get to watch you unfurl.

And this is exactly where I want to be: in this moment.

The ability to climb this mountain, jump off, and find the elation of exercising your wings is in you.

Embrace joy and gratitude.

I love you more,

Mommy