This amazingly talented lady has been a presence in my life for over twenty years now! That is not to say we were close for all those years. The truth is she was an example of Godly grace and truth that I secretly longed to be but didn’t know how. Back then I would actually call us more like acquaintances. She seemed to hold a secret I didn’t know about back when I was in college…making poor choices. We weren’t exactly hanging out in the same places. Her gift of music spoke to my life, her gift of sharing her faith did too. She was prayer chairman in our sorority and I still have notes tucked in my bible that she passed out all those years ago. In a way only God can he brought her back into my life seven years ago. She has delicately been woven into the tapestry of my life and I am so thankful for this continual thread God has blessed me with. Melissa epitomizes grace and peace to me. She is a faithful servant to the Lord. Her love for him shines when she sings. I know the trials she has passed through in this life and still she clings to the Lord. That example is such hope and refreshment to me. Her family pours themselves out for the kingdom. It is a true sight to see. God graced Melissa with the most beautiful voice and musical ability. I hope you will listen to her wise words. Then I hope you will forgive the fact that we had technical difficulty and this interview gets cut short!!! We are two busy mamas and getting back together this time of year is more than tough. So, please enjoy what you get and forgive me for the rest!
I got some amazing tips from Melissa, I’m sure you did too! Here are my notes from our talk:
1. I love how Melissa illustrates gifts are meant to be enjoyed. If you give your child a gift you want them to play with it, share it and enjoy it. The gifts God gives us are no different. He wants them to be used!
2. In the same vein as using those gifts, they are meant to be shared. Melissa followed wise advice and passes it on. If you wait until you are perfect to start sharing what you’ve got, you will never get there and never share. We have to take peace in learning to share before perfection arrives because perfection is an illusion that never really comes to fruition.
3. We all hear about the seasons of life. They are real. But how does that relate to your gift? I love how Melissa has searched for ways to outlet her gift in the various season of her life. So often we think we need to serve the multitudes. And there may be a season in your life for that. BUT…if not, it is ok and good to bless just ONE person with your gift. One is better than none any day when it comes to sharing your gift. That is what Melissa’s season is currently and she is enjoying it immensely(not to mention the ONE she is blessing)!
4. The Lord listens to our hearts. Amen and Amen. This phrase Melissa said has just washed truth over me again and again. God is looking to see if your painting is the best on the planet, listening to if you are singing in tune or watching to see if you cooked that meal to perfection. He is listening to your heart and knows when you are working out of love, worship and glory to Him and Him alone! Re-read number 2 above. God isn’t looking for perfection, he is looking for love.
5. When Melissa is singing, praising Christ she says that is when she feels the most alive. Isn’t that beautiful. Don’t you long for that feeling? Maybe you already know when you feel the most alive. Maybe you need to think about it. I hope you will pray for God to bring that time/talent/gift to light for you and then ask him to show you how to share it for his glory!
Here are some thoughtful music tips from Melissa:
~ Play praise music in your home, especially when you are feeling down, stressed, angry or just plain blah.
~ Leave praise music playing in your home when you are gone. I really consider this our security system:).
~ My favorite stress reliever is to grab my ipod and head out the door on a walk. The Lord is always faithful to play the song my heart and mind need to hear.
~ Sing blessing over your kids. We sing “The Lord Bless you and keep you. The Lord turn His face upon you. And give you peace, and give you peace and give you peace forever” over our kids at night
~ Invite friends over and sing some favorite songs and hymns. With or without instruments! He Keeps Me Singing is the hymn my grandparents always sang with guests before they would leave and then my Granddad would pray.
~ With little kids sing Grace before meals
˜ Learn scripture through music Worship Seeds is an amazing way!
~ Sing with someone who is homebound, whether you think you have a good voice or not. It is amazing the life it breathes into the person and their home!
~ A favorite Pandora station that is fun is “Family Road Trip”
~ If you have always wanted to learn to play an instrument or learn to sing, find someone to give you lessons. It’s never too late to learn something new!
~ If you play an instrument, don’t wait until you think you’re perfect to share your gift. Just go for it!
~ As my kids’ taste in music is changing I am thankful to have NGEN Radio (93.1 FM here in town) that plays clean music and positive messages, even when it may not be my favorite tune.
~ Some of my favorite artists are Rend Collective, I AM They, All Sons and Daughters, Christy Nockels, Jadon Lavik (love his hymns!!), Stephen Curtis Chapman, David Crowder and Matt Maher.
~A few favorite songs right now:
I surrender All – Jadon Lavik
Anchor – Christy Nockels
Good, Good Father – Housefires.
I AM – David Crowder
Lord I need You – Matt Maher
Joy – Rend Collective
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