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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 23 January 2016

To the man who once put a ring upon my finger...

To the man who once put a ring upon my finger...

My heart aches for you...but it's not in the way you and the rest of the world would think.

And honestly I'm not annoyed by this as I know you don't think as I do and you simply don't know the love I do.

A love that is as deep, as it is wide – a love that is truly pure and holy.

You see, what you meant for my harm, my God has used to draw me even closer to Himself.

Every breath I've taken and tear I've cried, has taken me closer...

And although I would never have wanted to feel so broken, I have learned what it means to truly be a child of God and of course, it has nothing to do with prosperity.

Because Jesus + Stuff does NOT = God's Blessing.

Jesus period, is the greatest blessing one could ever receive.

Brokenness leads to seeking Him for healing

Emptiness leaves room for His filling

Isolation leads to being completed by Him

Being stripped back leaves rooms for Him to be our One Desire, Our One True Love

Loneliness leads to Him being the only One to hold us.

A love that is as deep, as it is wide – a love that is truly pure and holy.

And this is why my heart aches for you.

You see, you deserted me, not caring if I lived or died, to escape reality and pursue your ran from love when life got hard.

Yet my Father kept me safe and secure in Him, to raise the 3 most precious gifts...

My life did not come to a stop.

I know what it is like to sleep secure under the same roof as our children and to embrace their love.

I know what it is like to strive and come through adversity.

To feel joy abounding in my heart as I sing praise to my Lord and King even through tears.

A love that is as deep, as it is wide – a love that is truly pure and holy.

And yes, I truly know I did nothing to deserve this love!

You see, this is why my heart aches for you...knowing you don't have this.

I do not see myself as better than you, or somehow more deserving of this love...

I know you've now put a ring on another's finger and honestly please know I am fine about heart aches as I know you remain empty...I see the cracks from a broken foundation.

I do not envy you, marriage is difficult.

In a day and age when the world will say, 'Good on you! Do whatever makes you happy, as long as you don't become a Christian!' I will continue to pray for you.

There is life-giving water to quench our thirsty souls, a love that is as deep as it is wide to satisfy for all eternity and His Name is Jesus Christ.


For my brothers and sisters reading this letter, you may like to also spend some time reflecting upon the life of Joseph as another pre-destined for a life with God.
You can read it here: Genesis 37-50.

Also I would strongly encourage reading Ephesians 1-3.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What is your preoccupation?

I want to ask you a question – what is your preoccupation?

I am asking as I sit here, feeling quite drained from a tough week. As someone knowing I don't have all the answers to life's tough questions, yet as someone also knowing The One who does, and of what it is like to walk with Him...during the sunny and overcast days.

A preoccupation is something one is engrossed with – something which takes up all or the majority of their head-space...

Earlier I was reading a section of Luther's writings where he boldly asserts a very challenging truth – that we can make an idol of our Good Works.

And yes, this therefore includes our ministry work.

I think we're so accustomed to thinking of idols such as unhealthy obsessions like fame or wealth we don't think of things like our good deeds and even dare I say scripture, as possible idols.

Yet I think of Jesus saying, 'You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.' John 5:39-40.

I believe when our preoccupation becomes anything else than our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ we have made ourselves an idol...any yes, this can include many good things including our ministry work and even scripture.

So why do I think this? Well, it comes from looking around and seeing a lack of fruit.

Jesus said we can bear no fruit without abiding in Him the true vine.

Don't be fooled, as there can be a lot of glossy, plastic fruit around...He's speaking of true good fruits of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22-23.

When someone's preoccupation is anything but their RELATIONSHIP with Jesus what we will see is SOMEONE WITH AN AGENDA.

They can even be someone who works really hard and this is because their preoccupation is their works – over time cracks will appear that show their foundation was not laid over time in RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, instead their own fleshly desires...desires for approval, status, worth.

The cracks which appear could be a broken family, heavy legalistic shepherding, spiritual abuse and so on...

Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is the first, to love God and have no idol before Him, and a second is like it, to love others as ourselves. So I will assert that our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus must be our preoccupation and our family must be our FIRST MINISTRY.

Jesus said His disciples will be known by their LOVE for one another.

Loving our brothers and sisters is not trying to be superior by scripture.

It is not communicating an agenda.

It is listening more and speaking less.

It is respectful communication of ideas and problems to help each other mature.

It is stepping aside to let others spread their wings and have a turn.

It is forgiving and letting go.

It is loving our kids and family.

It is doing God's good deeds He's planned for us, and not our own good ideas.

So what is your preoccupation?


Friday, 8 January 2016

Priorities, Obedience & Achievement:

My 3 boys are in a transitional stage in their lives as they gradually begin to let go of childhood and embrace maturity…the big stage of adolescence!

I am so grateful to The Lord I am seeing their willingness to mature!

Yet, I believe this has come about due to my intentional efforts to make this a focus and priority…

My boys are just like any others their age; they would like to sleep in each day and spend all their time playing video games and/or getting outdoors to the skate park or shops to buy more video games! Regardless of their Christian upbringing…You see from my observation adolescent hormones seem to bring along for boys in particular; tiredness, outbursts of anger, and disenchantment with life (especially school and people).

Now I am NOT saying, I do not let my boys play video games or sleep in, for that would be a lie. What I am saying, is that I do not want to raise my boys in a way which enables them to more easily become dysfunctional adults…In a way which says (even nonspeaking) that it’s okay to not achieve.

This may sound harsh but I honestly believe that it’s really love.

Even a child with disabilities can be working towards achieving a goal.

So I have begun with my own personal example and attitude.

Young people are NOT inspired by those who preach what they don’t do…So, if you are constantly having to tell them to get off their phone and do their homework; ask yourself how often do you work on a project at home after work rather than watch TV?

This year I have made a ‘no screen’ time for us all each evening; where we spend time devotionally together, discussing an important topic and then all journaling at the dining table. Many years ago we used to do this during the day when we home-schooled. With the business of life, many of our talks had transitioned to taking place in our car during travels to and fro. However our new ‘journal/devotional time’ has been a great success - my boys LOVE it and very quickly I have seen some leaps in maturity and personal responsibility! I did however have to be obedient to what I knew was the right thing to do (leading intentional devotional time) and also to make this a priority…I needed to sacrifice my evening social media time but it has been so worth it!

We’ve discussed how being obedient ISN’T just doing what we’re happy to do when asked…Of how really, it is obeying what we’re asked to do willingly, even when we don’t want to!

True obedience requires sacrifice and humility and this leads to maturity and self-control.

We’ve talked about how people who achieve prioritise and are obedient to sacrifice.

For example we know in order to save money; one must first make it a priority and then be obedient to sacrifice their indulgent treats to achieve their saving goal.

Or if my boys want to achieve success in their hobby they must sacrifice their personal time of watching TV or gaming…Otherwise there will be no time for their hobby, due to homework needing to first be completed.

I believe without knowing their life priorities, young people will most likely continue to float through life not achieving their desires and this will extend into their adult life. I believe unless I model and teach my children, that in order to achieve they must prioritise and be obedient, they will not be as likely to develop these skills.

We have been blessed recently to have a travelling missionary visit our church. My boys are quite inspired by this young man as he has clear priorities and lives a life of sacrificial obedience to achieving his goal of sharing the Word.

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. (Deut 11:18-21)

Let me ask you what are YOUR priorities and how good are you at being obedient to achieve them? What example are you teaching your children and how are you intentionally helping them to develop these skills for adulthood?

Melanie :)

Friday, 1 January 2016


Isn't it amazing what God can do in a single year?

Do you ever stop and ponder this? 

Perhaps not, perhaps you more often than not, stick your head down and just get on with the work at hand...

I can understand this attitude...for who are we to know the plans of God? Yet I also have seen His hand at work in such amazing ways, that I also at times let myself dream, and try to imagine the hidden things in store...Like a child staring at a wrapped present wondering what is inside!

I just looked back at my New Year's '2015' post - I wrote about not knowing what God had in store for the boys and I, and that I only knew I had ahead a year of study.

I am pleased to say thanks to The Lord, I have successfully completed by Bachelor of Ministry degree and that I also eventually kicked that problem I wrote about...Although I will be honest and admit it took me much longer than I would have liked, and I stumbled along the way and needed to repent more than once.

And now here the boys and I are, living in a whole new state! I have been given a 'dream' job, that to to be truthful I didn't even imagine, as it is so fitting for me personally. I could not have written a more perfect job description or even dared to. Not failing to mention, my boys have blossomed incredibly since we moved here! God has factored us all into His plan.

This is not to say we don't have struggles...We are still human and so is everyone else we encounter. But it is to say, I really do feel we are in a new season. It feels as if we've stepped into the promise land after a 4 year wilderness. 

This 'promised land' is certainly different - It's like experiencing Australia in a whole new way...I never realised how much of an East-Coaster I was!!

We've been here now almost 2 months and I am beginning to see new blossoms appearing from the past pruning that took place during the wilderness. Although I can say I did not enjoy the stripping back, I am honestly grateful for it, as there is so much that happened in the wilderness, shaping who I am today, it is almost incomprehensible - Yet here I sit writing and I can tell you that I feel so alive and am still in love with Jesus. I feel He is drawing me even closer to Him than ever before and it is exciting. 

The boys and I have just had the most joyous, fun and relaxing Christmas and New Year's Eve that I can remember.

For the first time in a long time, I actually have some intentional plans made that I am hopeful, God willing I will see come about. I am calling them intentional plans, as they're not just ideas or a New Year's resolution that let's-face-it won't happen...They're plans that I can see God is equipping me for.

One is of these plans is a book. 

In 2013 I published an Amazon e-book 'Beauty From Ashes', a women's devotional/small study group resources for Christian living based on 12 blog posts I'd written, and while that was an amazing experience this new book will be all new fresh work. So now with family, my new ministry position and this writing project I may not blog much for the month of January...

I will keep you in the loop, but if you don't hear from me as much over the next couple of months, please know I am drawing closer to Jesus and continuing by His grace to work for His Kingdom and Glory!

A friend helped me today re-cover my most precious Bible. The one I bought 8 years ago for Bible College! I had no idea it's what we'd get up to this afternoon and when we finished, she commented on how the new cover really suited me and she's right. It's interesting when I look at the before and after shots - It really does represent me...The before being loved, well-worn and tired (just like me in the wilderness) and the after, newly re-covered and now ready for a brand-new season!



Lots of love, Melanie...
May you know His love and peace, if you don't already...He's only a prayer away - give yourself to Him, you'll never look back!