A constant state of evolution

There is a time to everything, a season for all, a purpose under heaven…


As I’ve often pondered over life’s events, time ticking along, I have found that to be true. Births and deaths and all the heartache and joy that lies in between. Each takes its place on the bookshelf of our lives. How we read it and what we comprehend, the interpretation of each work, now that is ultimately up to us. Certainly, there are times I was utterly positive that nothing could be gleaned from a particular chapter in my life.  Haven’t we all been there in some fashion or another?

Yet, somehow, someway, I was always able to flip another page, to “keep on keepin’ on,” as my dad used to say. I have to tell you honestly, there were times it was as if the breath of God was turning those pages for me. Like a subtle spring breeze brushing back the curtain, letting sunlight stream in.

It’s amazing the difference one sentence can make. One simple statement. Then, suddenly, a new chapter begins.

Beginnings are glorious. Beginnings are terrifying. They are everything you dreamed they would be and all you feared they could. Beginnings are not to be taken lightly. I suppose you might say that we, my husband, Vincent and I, are starting a new chapter, chapters really. Beginning afresh. And I know that we are not alone.

It makes me think of something we hear Marc Spagnuolo (aka The Wood Whisperer) say repeatedly in his videos…”Our shops are in a constant state of evolution. Always changing, moving, accommodating the current needs… And that’s as it should be.” Now, granted, I realize Marc was referring to woodworking but, you know what? He’s absolutely right! Our “shops,” our soul shops, the heartbeat of our lives, are indeed, in a constant state of evolution.

I felt bad the other night. Driving, alone, down our dark little gravel road, headed to the grocery store. Vincent was home in his shop. Working, striving, laboring over tiny details with a couple of boards that were crucial to a woodworking project he’s completing. The thing is, the details had ceased to be miniscule and were now massive. A massive pain. All because he just didn’t have the proper tool for that task. Or if he got one that was close, it was too old, too cheap, or too busted to work well. When I’d kissed him goodbye he looked tired, hot, and stuck. As I drove along, I was overwhelmed with frustration on his behalf. I felt sad for him. I pulled into the parking lot and under the glow of the street lamp I texted him. I told him how sorry I was that we didn’t have what he needed. How I wished we did. Then, I said how sad it made me to see him work harder and longer because of that. And do you know what he replied?

“Don’t be sad baby. That’s just how we grow and learn and get better.”

Always changing, always growing, accommodating current needs. And that is just as it should be.




“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:7

I stand in a pristine white corridor. The air is still. My chest rises and falls slowly. Before me stretches a long glass partition, as in the nurseries of the hospital maternity wards. There are dozens of clear bassinets lined against the wall. I am a statue. Entranced by the beauty each holds inside. Not a single one the same as the next but, all breathtaking. Minutes tick by. Hours fly. Days morph into months. Time marches steadily forward. One by one, the miracle making carriages are wheeled from the room. Off they go to their families. A new life. Life anew. I wait. I watch. I whisper. Finally, I see it. A last lone little light. It is glorious. My heart leaps within my chest. I lean nearer, my breath warm against the window. What wonders I witness.

A precious family. A mother and her four children all piled on the loveseat. Arms and legs crisscrossed like a giant pretzel. They are smiling, laughing, loving each other. Silly, spunky, and sweet.  And then… look, look, a man appears. A husband. A lover. A father. A friend. He grins down at the jumbled bodies, giggling together. His new family. The family God made for him. Sent to him. Entrusted unto him. The children squeal out his name, jumping up to greet him heartily, each in their own unique way. They swallow him up in love with their tiny arms and eager eyes. He beams. Next, it is her turn. His beloved. His forever. She rises to meet him, reaching up a hand to brush his cheek. He scoops her up with a smile and a kiss. “My baby. I missed you.” I startle at the tender sincerity of his words. Rivaled in richness only by the ringing lilt of the children’s spirited laughs. A miraculous, majestic moment.

Tears track down my face. As I gaze on, life unfolds. Music. Church. Family. Fun. There are songs, books, games. Faith, hope, and love. Above all, love. True love. Lasting love. And God’s love.

Suddenly, a door opens, snapping me back to reality. Someone is in the room behind the glass wall. For the first time, I see the small sign on the side of the bassinet. In big, bold letters a name is written.

“M”…  hope pumps through my veins.

“E”… longing seizes my heart.

“L”… my mind starts to race.

“O”… my legs quake.

“D”… my soul sings softly within me. A crescendo mounting.

“Y”… I can hardly believe it. After all these years. All my tears. All the sorrow. All the fear.

A smile spreads across my lips. Just as I open my mouth to let the joy escape, a hand reaches down to grasp the paper my name is etched on. Others come inside. They each have a sheet, too. Holding them close to one another, they begin to compare, to converse. Panic punches me in the chest. It’s potent power knocks me back a step. “No, no,no!” There’s no confusion. There’s no error. It was made for me. For Melody. I’m here. I’m ready. I’ve been waiting so patiently. Preparing so diligently. Rejoicing even in the midst of pain. Trusting through the trauma. Looking past the dark nights. Seeking out the light. It’s not a mistake. It’s my future!

They push closer to the door, still debating. I feel ill. Panicked and powerless. I stretch out my hand. Press my wet face onto the glass. Please. Wait. I’m here. I’m right here. Don’t leave me. I can see you. I can hear you. Just a bit closer and you’ll be in my arms. Forever. Please.

Can they hear me? Is it too late? What else can I do?

And then, I understand. I remember.

I drop to my knees on the cold, hard floor. I fold my hands and pray once more…

“God, I know I’ve made mistakes. But, Lord, I  know I have what it takes. Because you’ve grown a love inside my heart, that’s beautiful and pure, like a work of art. I believe this is your will for me. And Father, I ask that you fulfill my destiny. Yet, I don’t want to beg and plead. I simply want to be loved, just for me. But, at the end of the day, at the end of it all. I’ll lay my soul wide open and know You’ll catch me if I fall.”

Dry Bones


“I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then, you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord. Ezekiel 37:14


It had been a harsh winter. New beginnings with my music ministry degree program felt more like sputtered false starts than the tremendous take-offs I’d been hoping for. Between oodles of inclement weather and bout after bout of illness with the kiddos, it’s safe to say I was limping around the lane rather than racing down the roadway. Doubt began to creep in. Had I “heard” God correctly? Was this really what He wanted? Was  there actually any purpose in the music He placed within me?  I knew in my heart of hearts that the answers to these questions remained the same as before. Yes, yes, and yes. But, all those yeses did nothing to water my “dry bones.”

Sitting down to read my bible, I came across the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. I had forgotten about this passage written by the old testament priest and prophet. It tells of an incredible vision the Lord gave him… 

The scene opens with Ezekiel in the middle of a deserted valley, full of skeletal remains. There was nothing but dry, brittle bones all around him. The scripture says there were many bones, very many. It goes on to mention, again, that they were extremely dry. No life left in them. To the human eye, they may as well have been kindling for the fire.  God had other plans. He told Ezekiel to prophesy to those dried up remains.

First, God had Ezekiel give the command to, “…hear the word of the Lord.” Second, God tells them He is going to fill them with breath. That they will live again. He will place sinews/tendons on them. Put flesh on them. Cover them with skin. Breath will fill them up and they will live. They will know He is God. Ezekiel prophesied just as the Lord commanded. Suddenly, there came a loud rattling as those bones began to move. Every single bone came together. Bone to bone. One by one. Everything God declared came true. Not only did they breathe again, stand on their feet once more, come alive…we learn that they were an exceedingly great army. As Ezekiel watched all this in amazement, the Lord spoke to Him. He explained that this vision, these bones, were like the nation of Israel during that painful time.  Parched, hopeless, lost. Yet, He went on to say, He would open up the graves of the Israelites. Give them life anew. Bring them into a new land. A land of their own. One He had created just for them. He assured them that everyone would know that He, God, had prepared it, proclaimed it, and performed it.

Notice how He begins. “Hear the word…” Listen to me. If you want to know what to do, seek Me out, ask me, and then…LISTEN. So often we want God’s help but, prefer to get it without really listening purposefully. When you are listening with purpose, you are hearing with the intention of responding. It is not passive. It is active. What if you were driving around in the dark… almost out of gasoline, tired, confused, and utterly lost! You realize there’s one of those GPS navigation systems in the car. What a blessed relief! Just when it started giving you turn by turn directions (one step at a time), would you turn the radio up, roll the window down, and start singing or talking out loud? It’s giving you perfect directions and there you are, making all this racket, right over the top of it. It seems a silly example but truly, we tend to do that with God a lot. 

After asking them to listen, God lays out His promise. New life for them. It’s exciting and wonderful. As soon as He speaks it, He lets them know it is a step-by-step process. Bones coming together. Tendons attaching. Muscle growing. Flesh covering. Breath filling the lungs. New life. Knowledge of Him. It is a progression. The same is true for us. When God plans a new something or new someone for our lives, there are stages. Even when we aren’t aware of them. It can take weeks, months, or even years.  But, always He is there.

I love how He doesn’t just get them upright again, He makes them this awesome army. This force. I wanna be like that. I want to be full of God’s love for others. An encourager. A  helper. I want to change hearts… one sincere smile, one tender, truthful word at a time. Isn’t it wonderful to know God gets excited about that, too? He wants more for us than simply standing on our feet again. We are to mobilize. There’s lots to do. 🙂

This passage is a beautiful reminder of God’s grace and faithfulness. No matter how desolate, dried up, or daunting a situation may seem… He is able to renew, restore, recreate. When we look at the dried up places in our lives, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, desperate, or hopeless. But, God promises, if we ask Him to, He will fill us with His Holy Spirit, place us in a “new land,” and breathe life into our “dead brittle bones.”





“Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20 – 21


It’s December, my favorite month of the year. Time for evergreens adorned in shimmering lights. Velvet stockings dangling from the mantle. Candy canes, gingerbread, and hot cocoa (with marshmallows, of course). Cold nips at my toes and soon it will snow. Ooh, I love it! The season of advent is upon us. We celebrate Jesus’ miracle birth from long ago in the tiny town of Bethlehem. The baby – God/Man that changed the whole world. My lips smile, my voice rings out Christmas carols, and my heart is overflowing with beautiful thoughts of the past. Wonderful, warm memories of my mother, my sister, and my daddy Brad. I can see us all gathered ’round the living room, putting ornaments on the tree, Bing Crosby serenading us in the background. Years have passed on, as has my precious father but, those touching moments remain… imprinted forever on my heart.

 ~ Season’s Greetings to you all. May you each be truly blessed this holiday. And remember, sometimes it’s the smallest, simplest things that speak the sweetest to our souls. 🙂

C is for…


“David said, ‘The Lord saved me from the lion’s paw and from the claw of the bear, He will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine giant.” 1 Samuel 17:37

Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy.

You know, I’ve had some really messed up situations in my life. Interactions, some of which lasted for many years, that left me (for a time) utterly devastated and sickened with sorrow. God has blessed me greatly and helped me to heal but, I have noticed that lately my mind recalls some of these past experiences more vividly. One major theme during that time was what I call… the “crazy card.” This was the proverbial hidden card (kept in the individual’s back pocket, so as to be readily accessible at any given moment) that they repeatedly whipped out and waved wildly in my face. The “crazy card” had this kind of sinister magic about it. Transforming into one suit after another, it was really like an entire deck of cards all wrapped up in one. But, oh what a twisted game.

There was Melody,  you can’t do that – you’re not smart enough, good enough, talented enough … or… Melody, you had your chance ‘n’ screwed it up so God obviously has no further plans for you because you clearly can’t handle them … or Melody, you are worthless and  what is it that you actually DO, contribute, or accomplish anyway … on and on it went…perhaps some of you can relate.

I worked long and hard on my heart, soul, and mind to progress past the pain of such things. As I said, God saw fit to bring restoration to my sallow spirit. For that I am forever grateful.

However, just because we are restored doesn’t mean the memory banks of our minds are erased. That is where “real” recall comes into play. The bible talks about recalling past victories (no  matter how insignificant we may think they are), as well as God’s love, and faithfulness. In this recalling, we are redirected. Our focus moves away from past problems, negative mantras, and those lies about who we really are. This dramatically affects our  internal emotions (and consequently our subsequent behaviors). The outlook is no longer hopeless not because the world is suddenly perfect but, because it’s no longer solely about us. Yes, we still have our mistakes, our feelings, our shortcomings but… God is bigger than our screwups and our sorrows!

We can be strong. We can be courageous. We can be purposeful wherever we go. Joshua 1:9 says, “… Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be disheartened, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!” So, as each of us move forward in our relationships and missions on this earth –  my seeking, singing heart prays… I pray that you and I remember who we really are…

Cool. Creative. Called by Christ!



Christmas eve

“Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind… Nevertheless I am continually with You, You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psalm 73:23,24

This is it. This is the week. The week of my father’s birth and the week of his death. The 6th of October – the day God sent him to earth as a precious little soul and the 12th of October – the day he called him home to heaven. Oh Father, my eyes flood salty rivers for you. My heart beats slower, my spirit yearns, my ears burn to hear your voice, your infectious laughter ringing like the pealing of church bells. We miss you so so much daddy! We miss loving you, learning from you, listening to you… we still need you. We do, we do. I want to share my stories with you. I want to sing you my songs. To speak to you in my broken baby French. I know you would be excited for me. You would scoop me up – your little black-haired, green-eyed girl – your Melody. I need you to be proud of me. I need you to encourage me. I need you to remind me that I am priceless and worthy and special! That God made no other just like me. Sometimes late at night, when the children are bedded and I am all alone… I imagine us singing together again. I think of your beautiful voice, your long nimble fingers plucking the guitar to perfection. Sometimes, I see your black head bent in concentration and I lay my head on your knee.  Sometimes, you rub my back and stroke my hair and tell me how you care. How very much you care about me and about my dreams and my hopes and my life. Sometimes, you pray for me and counsel me and enjoy me. We could talk for hours – about God, about prayer, about scripture. Music, literature, movies… we never run out of things to say. You never judge me. You always love me. You believe God has big plans for me and you make me believe it, too. Sometimes, sometimes… I know you are not in pain any more – praise the Lord for that. I know you are at peace forever now – with your Jesus. I know we will someday all be together again – what a day that will be. But for now, in this moment, I wish we were together. I wish we had some… time.

Je t’aime daddy!!!

So I’ve made some mistakes…

Mel guitar3

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Before I ever open my eyes for the day, I say “Good morning God.” I remind myself that I am not on my own, aimlessly adrift in the cosmos. Although my days are brimming with tasks ‘n’ to-dos, there is more. Something deeper stirs. A plan with many levels. Multi-faceted service, purpose, and promise. God has plans for me ( and plans for you). Especially for us. In my case…I like to think of it as a one-of-a-kind incomparable composition.  Or a limited edition, mint masterpiece of Melody. It makes me smile just thinking about it. 🙂

So, how do I know this? How can I be sure He has a path just for me? Because I am wiser or wealthier, more talented or more attractive than average? No, on the contrary. Maybe it’s my serene life, my flawless decision-making, my social connections. Hmm, not so much. Let me share something with you…

I was raised in a Christian home. God, Jesus, the Holy Bible, church, prayer, worship, service… the whole nine yards. Not just my parents, but my grandparents, great-grandparents, their folks, and so on. A great spiritual heritage. God and love and scripture have always been a part of my life. Familiar, comfortable, warm… like nestling by the fire snuggled up in your favorite afghan. I was blessed with tender, wise, trust-worthy mentors from an early age. And I still made mistakes. Some big ones. When I turned 18 years old I met a man. Even though I knew it was ludicrous, I went up to the high school office (just weeks before graduation), signed DOR paperwork, and left school sans diploma. Yes, I did turn around and get my GED (even went on to take classes at the local college and complete other certificate programs) but, not until I had left my parents home – moved in with him and a house full of others – and made quite a mess of my blessed life in a very, very short time. Pregnant, distanced from my loving family, hiding out from God… this is how I began my married life, my “adult” life. Not a smart plan – big mistake! Did I try to fix my marriage, work to build a family, get myself back to God? Yes, I did. However, that didn’t wave my fairy godmother’s magic wand and erase the heart-wrenching consequences of my choices…

I was married for 9 years. I am now divorced. I have four beautiful miracle children. My boys both have autism. My life and soul have expanded into the world of special needs. My eyes have seen the ravages of cancer as it gripped my father’s body and ultimately claimed his life. Unwelcome visitors – pain, loss, and longing have traipsed alongside me over the last decade. Sometimes there by my own foolish mistaken invitation. Others, through no fault or control of my own. I have certainly made some mistakes. And I suspect, so long as I have breath within me, that I will again. But, that is not all. That is not “my story.”

I have also bathed in the crystal clear pools of love, joy, passion, and peace. I’ve beheld unparalleled blessing and beauty. Songs and words, music and musings bubble up like a spring inside of me. The source is not my own but, the Spirit – God’s Spirit. The well that can never run dry. The drink that never smacks of bitterness. You know what? I’ll tell you a little secret. 😉 There are dreams still inside of me. Plans swirling. I wanna sing for God. I wanna write for Him. I wanna change the world for Him. And – I wanna partner in all that. Yes, I “work” for Him now in my own quiet way. And that is a wonderful, awesome thing. But, here’s the “secret” part… I’ve never really said it all out loud before (so bear with me if I whisper it in hushed tones). ***This isn’t all. He has bigger plans for me still. Things that I never dared to dream before. I can feel it. It’s coming…*** No, I don’t know exactly how they’ll come to fruition yet. No, I can’t see all the way down the path, through the trees and brush, to the very end. I haven’t arrived at the destination but, the journey has already begun.

Are there things I would do over again? Decisions I might unmake? Roads I wouldn’t have traveled? Though intriguing questions, they aren’t really the ones that matter. Does God still love me? Can He/will He use me in spite of my mishaps? Am I armed with faith and hope, ready to march along my winding (sometimes hazy) path, hand-in-hand with Him? Yes…yes… and…yes! That is the sheer glory of it! It isn’t all about me. What I can do. Where I’ve been. Who I know. It is about God’s path, God’s presence, God’s pleasure. Yes, I have made some mistakes but, I am still His Melody and He is still my marvelous Maker. We modify, we meditate, we maneuver together. So, look out world… here we come! 🙂