January 20, 2014

Welcome, friends! We are now blogging at a new site called Kevin & Melanie: letters to our future children. All of these posts are available over there as well. Come visit us!

December 18, 2013

Prayer for Mending

You're entering into a broken world, wearing sinful flesh. You will need this Jesus, just as I do, today and always. 

from The Book of Common Prayer

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succor us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us,your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, now and for ever.

Restore us again, O God our Savior.

Risen Christ,
you claim your own among the nations;
mend what is broken in us, loving Savior;
do not forsake us when we fail,
but in your service grant us daring and love;
for your name’s sake.



December 17, 2013

Tears are Timeless

Dear Child of Mine, 

Grown ups cry too.

THERE. I said it.

When I was a kid, I had this vague notion that adults just didn't cry unless they were at a funeral. But that's just not true.

Exhibit A: Your mom is out in the storage room and boxes are falling and she is getting extremely frustrated. In her mounting frustration, she stands up quickly to take a breather and proceeds to smash the top of her head into the low-hanging, angled ceiling. Tears were everywhere. Your Dad heard the dull THUD of the accident and came to her rescue.

I know that the range of emotion expressed by adults is much more varied than when we were children. Not all grown ups cry when they stub their toe or watch a touching film or see their loved one for the first time in months. But I just want you to know that I cry, and while you don't need to be privy to every up and down in your mama's life, I want you to know it's okay if you see me crying. Don't be scared or alarmed. Be comforted, knowing I'm human. My feelings still get hurt. My struggle with selfishness and anger still rears its ugly head. And sometimes I just can't handle the pain (physical or emotional) like you may think a grown up should.

But I'll cry with you, too. And maybe sometime, having that instinctual sensitivity that only children possess, you'll crawl up in my tear-filled lap and hold me.



December 15, 2013

Drinker of Tea.

Dear Child of Mine,

I hope someday we can sit side by side on the couch, cozied up with a few blankets, sipping a cup of our favorite tea and enjoying good conversation. I am a tea lover, and I hope you will be too.

12_15_13 Drinker of Tea

My mom and dad have always been tea drinkers - Dad with his classic black Lipton, with a long steeping time and lots of cream and sugar, and Mom with her herbal teas and a half packet of Splenda.

Loving tea has developed over time. In high school I developed an affinity for Apple Cinnamon Tea when I would share a cuppa and a conversation with my friend, Maria.

College introduced me to the wonders of lightly sweetened Blueberry Tea. My roommate, Brittney, spoiled me with a cup whenever I asked.

Since then, I've expanded my horizons to include an appreciation for most teas. Your dad has a wonderful collection of loose leaf teas; they're so pretty in their mason jars all lined up on the stove. The Orange Chocolate Black tea is one of my favorites. I enjoy French Vanilla or Winter Spice blend, a good Earl Grey, a mug of Lemon or Peppermint if I'm a bit under the weather, perhaps a fruity herbal teas when the mood strikes, and green or chamomile if I'm feeling particularly docile.

Every morning before sunrise, the first thing I do is plug in my 1985 Hot Pot (a $0.50 rummage sale find!) which works like a charm, and pour myself the first cup of the day. 

I love holding the warm mug in my hand (the mug is key to the tea drinking experience). 
I love the steam rising to my cheeks. 

And, I confess, I am a tea-bag-re-user. As long as there's flavor left in those leaves, I'll use the packet again and again. That's my frugal/practical side coming out.

My cinnamon-clove spiced tea as lost its warmth, telling me it's probably time for bed.

Goodnight, sweet one.



December 14, 2013

Cooked Butter is Delicious

Dear Child of Mine, 

One thing you'll learn quickly is your mom likes loves to bake cookies and concoct cakes and create candies. (At least I hope you'll find this out relatively early in your life...but maybe not, because from what I hear raising kids takes a LOT of time. Baking may take a back burner. pun intended.) The oven was on from 10am to 5pm today, as I was busy making sweets for my piano studio Christmas Concert which is coming up Friday.

I already have multiple batches of Homemade Spritz Cookies and Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies in the freezer, but I today I added Chocolate Covered Butter Toffee sprinkled with sea salt to the list.

12_14_13 Toffee

Seriously, child, this candy is like a miracle in your mouth. It's THAT good. Who knew a pound of butter could turn into something so delicious? (I try not to think about the pound of butter become pounds on my hips. I truly believe indulging in your favorite foods is totally part of living fully. We just have to have the self-control to not cross the line into gluttony. But that's another sermon for another day.)

I hope my piano students and their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends will enjoy my sweet little Christmas gifts to them. Their support is continually an encouragement to me and to my business and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to thank them. 

Are you going to have a sweet tooth, I wonder? 

Will you be playing in a piano recital one day? 

Time will tell.

Love you,



December 13, 2013

Prayers in Anguish

Dear Child of Mine, 

I am certain I'll want to shield you from the pain of this world, this temporary dwelling place we are born into which offers us the opportunity to seek God, find him, cleave to him. While we wait for his final Advent, his Kingdom come, we pray.

We pray in the peaceful times, thanking him for rest and reprieve.
We pray in the joyous times, honoring him with our excitement.
We pray in the troubled times, asking for our eyes to be open to his hand at work.
We pray out of anguish, sorrow, pain, regret, anger.

God can handle it. He wants you to give him all of you, wherever you are.

I am aching for our friends, Wayne and Lisa, who are enduring very scary times as they seek a diagnosis for the masses in Wayne's abdomen. I can't believe my friends, such young, vibrant, wonderful followers of Christ, are facing this trial.

Having read Lisa's blog post describing the gut wrenching sobs she can't seem to control, the guttural anguish that hasn't allowed her to see God's peace, I sought Scripture for answers. She is not failing or lacking in faith because of the deep emotions that are welling up in her. Neither will you be failing God, dear child, in times of crisis. Cry out to Jesus.

Psalm 55:1-2, 4-5
Listen to my prayer, O God,
    do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught...
My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me.
Psalm 6:2-4

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.

Psalm 31:7
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.