Posted in Poetry, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love, Writing

Word Before the Day

As I stumble upon morning, yet again, My throat parched,
My eyes cluttered with matter,
My heart half-awake –
I reach for your Word.
Well, first coffee; because…coffee
But always your Word.
And not out of habit.
Well, it IS my daily habit, but
That’s not my motivation.
No. My sweet, smiley,
Southern-belle-heart
Doesn’t always drink-in a
“Good” morning
So easily.
Whereas I don’t always
Feel “good” –
It is good.
Which is why your Word
Is necessary.
It brings life.

I’m 2 weeks into this
Quiet journey today,
Yet there are moments I,
Like the Israelites,
Prefer my “Egypt”-
Because
There is comfort in the familiar.

Truth-be-told
I’ve walked through this
Desert for 16 years and I, too
Have grumbled about
Mannah and quail.
But it has been my provision.
We’ve never missed a meal,
Nor had no roof over our heads.

But it’s time to cross over the Jordan.

My “Egypt” looked like
Men comforting me via text with
Hollow words that kept me
Wondering – and wandering.
My “Egypt” looked like
Words on a screen that
At first soothed, then
Scarred my heart.
My “Egypt” looked like
Delicious foods,
Pleasing to my mouth, yet
Horrible on my body.
Like spending too much,
Like being “liked” by strangers,
Like “I got this.”

But I don’t. Not really.
Not without my good, good Father.

When I awake at dawn
And find myself alone –
And find a message meant from
A concerned friend
Saying “you don’t have a husband because you don’t love God enough and you must have hidden sin.”

I want to shriek –
And block their number
And, like Job, finally stand and utter:
“Look, my eyes have seen all this; my ears have heard and understood it. Everything you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty and argue my case before God. You use lies like plaster; you are all worthless healers. If only you would shut up and let that be your wisdom!” [Job 13:1‭-‬5 CSB]

This! This is why I reach for your Word.
Before work.
Before my daily wake-up greeting for Mr. Middle School.
Before my work inbox fills with requests.

And, like the Psalmist, I declare:
“If your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts for you have given me life through them.”
[Psalm 119: 92]

More Word.
Less text. Less grumbling.
More Word.
Less “likes.” Less posting.
More Word.
Less judgment. Less hatred.
More Word.
Just more of your life-giving Word.

Posted in heartache

Wait Lifting #7 – Rest Stop

Have you ever come to the conclusion that you’ve been headed toward something for so long that it’s just time to stop a minute and rest?

Me too.

This past weekend I took a long road trip with my daughter.

Every 2 or 3 hours I’d pull the car into a rest stop, we’d get out and stretch our legs, grab a cup of coffee, and people watch. Then we’d get back on the road for another 3 hours before stopping again.

I learned it’s okay sometimes to stop and rest. I learned that I’ll eventually get to where I’m going, but if I don’t slow down, stop, stretch my legs a bit, and fill up my tank, I’ll be too tired and too out of fuel to finish the trip.

My life feels like that right now. I’m on a long journey right now to a destination that is going to be beautiful, but sometimes it’s just necessary to stop and rest for a moment.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my heart’s tank is on empty. I simply cannot handle one more heartache. I’ve run my heart’s engine too long pursuing love and it’s just time to stop and rest awhile.

Perhaps it’s even time for a longer stop than just a rest stop. I need to let my heart cool off and heal before I journey on.

This may only make sense to me. That’s okay. Sometimes this blog is more like a journal for me than encouragement or information for anyone else.

I’m parking my heart for a while. And it’s okay.

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 Life Lessons, Love, Poetry, Truth, Uncategorized, waiting, Writing

In the Valleys

I sat and watched the sky
And the prairie running wild
Up to the mountains.
I watched the blues and reds
Scatter colors overhead –
Night fell around me.
And suddenly a whisper
Came from somewhere
Deep inside:
I’m walking here beside you
I hold every tear you’ve cried,
Just look around – see:
Some things grow better
In the valleys.

And I pondered the past year
And how if He holds every tear
They must fill an ocean.
When I looked up again
The prairie grass in the wind
Stirred up the notion –
That the God who made
The mountains
Is the God who made the seas.
The one who paints the skies
Is the one who painted me,
And peace swept around me –
Some thoughts are deeper
In the valleys.

If my heart ever finds love,
Or if it never does,
It makes no difference.
Please don’t misunderstand
I don’t think it’s in His plan
To be alone forever.
But looking at the mountains
It begins to make some sense
Some mountains are a fortress,
Some a tall, barbed-wire fence.
When He surrounds me –
Sometimes I’m safest in the valleys.

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, Friends, heartache, Life Lessons, Truth, Uncategorized, waiting, Word, Writing

Wait Lifting #6: What Are You Waiting For?

Fireworks are exploding over my North Texas town right now. This is one of my favorite holidays, but I skipped it this year. Oh, I had to work some, but the real work I did was on my heart.

I let it heal.

Sometimes it takes a long moment.

My long moment lasted 8 years. I’m finally ready to tell my story tonight…mostly because if I get it out, it’ll bring me closure.

July 2nd, 2011 was going to be one of the best days of my life.

I had been dating someone for a while and he was flying here from Ohio, where he lives, to spend the July 4th weekend with me and meet my family.

My kids were 3, 10, and 14. Stephi was especially excited to meet him – they talked on the phone when he would call me and he was all she could talk about.

Long distance relationships are difficult, at best. But every single weekday morning at 7:15am I would hear my phone ring and it would be him. He could not wait to say good morning and that he loves me. Then he’d text throughout the day just because he was thinking about me – until he texted to say goodnight – always at 9:30pm.

I’d driven up to meet him 2 months prior and the weekend was amazing. It ended oddly, but I was in love. Finally.

At this point I’d been a single mom for 8 years. I was in graduate school. I was teaching a summer technical writing course at the local university that summer, but school was out for this long holiday weekend and I was beyond excited.

His plane was to arrive late in the morning. I waited and waited for his call – well past the usual 7:15 timeslot. He finally called from the airport, said his flight was cancelled but he had been placed on another flight. He’d call with which airline/gate so I could know where to pick him up. So I waited. 2pm. 4pm. Nothing. I called the airline. I called the hospitals. I watched the news. Nothing.

His phone ringer was off. I left a third text message.

Nothing.

I had a massive panic attack. I just remember that my mom sat beside me the entire day. It’s one of my favorite moments with her, actually. I just remember her being close to me that day. Sometimes, even as an adult, you just need your mom.

How could I explain this to the kids? What would I say? Where was he? What was happening?

I finally slept. It was that sleep you have in the middle of an exhausting crying spell where you wake up, wonder where you are, remember, and start again where you left off.

The next day was a blur. No word. No arrival. Nothing.

The day after that was July 4th. I found myself pushing my kiddo in his stroller at the town parade. The parade is my favorite. I’d described it in detail to my boyfriend and he laughed at the Texas small town of it all. It was 9am. My phone rang just as the parade started coming down the street. It was him.

I shouted over the band. “Are you okay? Where are you?”

He said he’d had a medical emergency at the airport and he was at the hospital. He said which one. I knew he wasn’t. I’d already called them.

Short ending to a longer story: he was married.

I’d been waiting. Panicking. Crying over someone who I thought I might spend forever with, but things just were not what they seemed.

This blog is called “What Are You Waiting For?”

I told my story to say this: sometimes you’re waiting on the wrong thing.

Then again…sometimes you’re waiting on the right thing. Recently I waited almost 6 months to find a good job. My waiting and persistence paid off. I now have a great job.

Sometimes you need to wait.

Sometimes you just need to move forward.

I have friends right now who are waiting on healing – for themselves or others. Some who are waiting for spouses to come back. Some waiting on divorce proceedings to proceed. Some for a child to come home. I know two people this past week who have said they are just waiting around to die, and they hope it comes sooner than later.

I’m suggesting we stop waiting and start living in the pauses between the good things.

Hope. Anticipate. Dream. Dream BIG. Plan. Expect greatness.

But in the meantime – stop pausing your life (waiting) and start living.

Go watch the parade – even if you’re in tears.

Do what you need to do.

Today I didn’t want to do the normal July 4th stuff. I needed to spend time here with the kids. I needed it not to be a holiday. I needed it to be a healing day.

I got it.

Life is but a blip. Be present with the ones you love in every single moment.

Go enjoy.

What are you waiting for?

Posted in Poetry

Unanticipated

Life has its dips and straights.

Sometimes Summer feels more like Spring, sometimes Spring feels more like Winter.

Sometimes the road is paved with love and laughter; sometimes it is washed out by torrents of tears.

When I look back over my life I’ve always known what is right and what is wrong. And I’ve always known that my God is a good God.

I’ve not always chosen the recommended path. I have scars on my skin and my heart as mile markers for the roads to avoid.

Sometimes my silence shrieks while my karaoked daily routine resounds like a symphony.

I’ve come full-circle from where I thought my life ended to where I felt alive again. I stood on the precipice of hope, only to find what I’ve longed for is just out of reach, then gone.

When the straight highway to the great unknown I’ve anticipated takes an unanticipated turn in a valley ahead, and the road bends from an exclamation point into more of a question mark, I will choose to take a moment and ask for this one thing: God, if you’ll give me more of your Holy Spirit and I can feel your presence, then I’ll continue on. I can’t live without the power and the presence of the Almighty. In fact, I won’t.

Lord, fill me with your presence in this valley so I can get to that glorious unknown you have waiting over there for me to inhabit.

You’re a good God. Without you I add up to nothing.