My First Sermon – Lady Wisdom

I was super excited when asked to preach at the church I serve. I’ve poured my heart out on the world wide web with my writing, but never had to stand up in front of everyone and say it out loud. So, after lots of prayer, conversation and practice in my bathroom mirror, I preached at Atonement on Sunday, July 19, 2015 for the very first time. I had a blast and was so blessed to have the opportunity to worship with these people.

If you are interested in what I shared, below is the sermon I shared.

Love, Mel

Good morning! I’ve been serving Atonement as your office manager for almost two years now. Many of us have not met face to face and I just want to say how great it is to worship the Lord with you this morning!

You may or may not know, but I’m a single mom to four beautiful boys – Jaden (9), and the triplets: Logan, Owen and Weston (4.5). I have two of them with me on earth – Owen passed away when the triplets were 6.5 months old. Let me tell you raising all boys on your own can be a wild ride! One that I often do not feel equipped for. Moms are always giving instruction to their kids … offering them wisdom. I can tell you that I’ve surprised myself with some of the instructions that come out of my mouth like …

  • It’s gross to pick your nose, you’re gonna lose friends
  • We wear pants to the dinner table
  • It’s probably best to change your shirt each morning
  • Quit licking your brother’s armpit!

On a serious note … As mothers and women, we are in a constant role of offering instruction and guidance. In an average home, women are the nurturers, the care-givers, we are daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, mother, wife … sometimes we are laundromat, dishwasher, keeper of the lost and found, chef, chauffeur, and sometimes the hold-the-family-together-ers. I’m not saying that men can’t or don’t fulfill these roles … I just think in a general sense these are looked at as feminine qualities.

I remember sitting in a marriage counseling session, before my divorce. Joe, the therapist, was explaining male and female roles in a marriage and family unit. My ex husband was all in a tissy because we stayed at my parent’s house an hour past the boy’s bedtime and he felt like I was being irresponsible. Joe looked at him and said, “I can promise you that Mel has already thought about the boy’s bedtime four times before it’s even crossed your mind. She’s weighed the pros and cons of the boys staying up a little later against the benefit to the entire family unit of spending extra time together. She sees her family as much wider than you do … as most women do. They have an intuition on how to manage a wide range of relationships.”

Now I have to admit I was flattered by his words, I didn’t feel that my role was that important, nor did I feel as though I had that kind of insight. But as I’ve grown and my family has changed, I find that maybe there was some truth to Joe’s words. And not in a “pat myself on the back” kind of realization, but rather as a better understand of how God has knit me together as female. Seeking and managing relationships is intuitive to most women.

What’s really interesting about today’s scripture, and partly why Greg asked me to share today’s message, is that Proverbs 8 personifies wisdom as a woman …

Let’s first define wisdom. When I try to define wisdom I think of someone who is really smart – someone who has been there, done that. The wise old owl. However, in the Christian sense, wisdom is not the same as truth or knowledge. It’s not just intellectual insight or book learning, either. Wisdom is: good judgment. Book smarts are not associated with biblical wisdom.  Making good judgements relates to knowing, listening to, wanting to know more about God. A wise person seeks God, always.

So here’s wisdom … she’s hanging out, calling our names. She’s raising her voice to get our attention. “Yoo whoo, over here! Listen to me fools. I’ve got something that’s far more valuable than diamonds and jewels.” Lady Wisdom Calling

She’s calling out to us. She wants us to pick up the phone and listen to her. We can’t have it both ways tho … we can’t answer the call to wisdom and stupidity at the same time. In order to answer Lady Widsom’s call, we need to reject other calls. Wisdom rejects other calls. She is calling us in one direction and away from another. Wisdom calls us towards truth and light and righteousness. We are called away from pride, from envy, greed. The call isn’t always an easy one to answer … sometimes it’s really hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that the problem lies within ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a wisdom-filled life. I am guilty of following the wrong “truth.” Taking the easy way out, instead of pausing to listen to Lady Wisdom.

Sometimes it’s really hard to hear Lady Wisdom’s voice over all the other voices. We live in a time, place and culture that has a thousand different ideologies and truth claims. It’s not always clear what biblical wisdom looks like anymore.

In social media, like facebook, twitter, pinterest – Proverbs is often used as a modern day fortune cookie.

The LutheranThe front page of this month’s “The Lutheran” featured an article on how society uses the books of wisdom as adages. Some adages are biblical, some are negative and some are just hurtful. But they are words that are meant to shape our lives and offer us a deeper understanding. The trick is to be cautious about what we are trying to understand … are we seeking God’s wisdom? Or something to satisfy our own desires?

When King Solomon originally wrote the book of Proverbs, his audience was young men. His writing was intended to form character and promote values. So … one could conclude that wisdom, being written as a mysterious woman standing on the corner, calling your name was a metaphor for the way a man desires a beautiful woman. This is the same way we are supposed to desire God’s wisdom. He wants us to yearn for and long for His wisdom – His good judgement.Sleeping

What do you think about when you first wake up in the morning? What makes you get out of bed? What is the one thing you want more than anything else in the world?

I struggle with wanting people to like me. I wanted to be popular in school. There were three girls, who really wanted to be my friend, Katie, Dana and Helissa. But I had decided they weren’t cool enough. I still hung out with them but never really committed to their friendship. Fast forward and I don’t keep in touch with anyone from high school. I don’t think that it’s abnormal, but on the morning Jaden was born, Katie, one of the girls from elementary school came into the room. She asked if it would be ok for her to be the surgical tech for Jaden’s c-section. She spent the next two days visiting with me and holding my brand new baby boy. It was then that I realized how much I had missed out on because I was so busy trying to be popular. My heart desired fame and approval rather than God’s wisdom and truth. The three girls are still friends today. They stood up in each other’s weddings, their children are all friends. I have to admit, I answered the wrong call back in middle school. I rejected a gift that God was trying to bless me with and was seeking to fill my own desire.

My mom tried to offer me the wisdom of recognizing an authentic friendship. I can still hear her saying “Why do you want to be friends with those girls when they are so mean to you?” Or “Dana is such a sweet girl, why don’t you play with her anymore?” But I didn’t want to hear it from her. The value of wisdom can not be taught. It’s something you need to learn from the inside out. Through your experiences and choices.

It’s through our choices we learn that

… wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8The good news is that, Wisdom keeps calling. Lady Wisdom keeps calling over and over again. Scripture doesn’t say that she calls our name once, it doesn’t say she gives up if we ignore her. God keeps calling our name, he keeps giving us opportunity after opportunity.

I heard Lady Wisdom calling me when I met a family in the NICU after the triplets were born. Wisdom told me to pause and have a conversation with this person … and he has blessed me with my new “framily.” They keep me grounded, they are a safe place to go when my kids are scaling the walls. We share holidays and make memories together. They are a true example of what authentic friendship looks like.

What calls from Lady Wisdom did you put to voicemail? Did you miss her call today? Turn up the volume of your ringer, save her phone number in your contact list and seek her out. She wants to share her insight with you …


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How did you do it?

Over the last few years, many who have lost their children have reached out wanting to know how “I did it.” Although I’m not quite sure what “it” was that I did …  I would suppose they are referring to getting up each morning and most of the time showering, how I continued to love my other children in the midst of my own unbearable pain, how I spoke of God’s love continuously even when I had countless moments of doubt I was too afraid to speak, or how I have continued on with life for four years.

Many have commented on how hopeful my posts were or how much strength I showed. I call this out because it is the absolute opposite of what I felt during those days after Owen’s death. I felt anything but strong, positive or hopeful. My life was upside down and I had no energy or idea on how to put it back together again. But I suppose that’s just where we all need to be in order to give up. That’s right, I threw my hands up and said, “I GIVE UP! I don’t know where to go from here so the rest of you just need to tell me.” And that somebody included God.

I completely surrendered myself to the care and love of my family and friends and most importantly my Creator. When friends called and asked if they could bring meals, I said sure. When church called to see if there was anything my family needed, I said, “well we are running low on diapers and that would save us a trip to the store.” A childhood friend wanted to give me a blanket she had made for Owen, I said thank you! and slept with it every night. My sister’s friend offered to just move in while Owen was in the hospital and take care of my kids and the house – I said thank you. I called uncle and gave up my control. The world had been trying to push me down my whole life, and it finally won.

It’s in that surrender that I found strength. Crazy and kind of poetic, right?  I found a path or a cue to what my next step should be. This strength did not come from my own will or decisions. It came from complete hopelessness, fatigue and grief. It came from the the conversation I had with God that went something like this:

God – what the heck? Are you kidding me? I have loved you. I went to bible study this week. When I was so mad at you after my car accident I continued to work on it with YOU! I could have ran, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I did – but wasn’t that enough? Didn’t I prove to you that I love you then? Why are you testing me again? This isn’t fair. My marriage is already falling apart, I have no idea how to mother these children and now this? Are you taking Owen away because I didn’t love my kids enough? I swear I’ll turn the tv off and just play puzzles on the floor with my kids like the commercials if you just make this all go away.


FINE. I give up. You let this happen – you figure it out. I’d like to see how you’re going to make anything good come of this.

I think God was waiting and hoping I’d say that. Because then, and only then, did he have a complete empty canvas – clean from any of my scribbly attempts of fixing things. He had all the paintbrushes in His hand so he could create a masterpiece I could never have imagined. He delights in those moments when His children give him total control. Not because He is this sadistic puppeteer but because He knows He can create something far more beautiful for us when we just let Him do His job – love us. He is our protector and our creator. He knows us far better than we know ourselves – which is hard to believe after how many hours of therapy I’ve been through trying to understand why I do the things that I do.

To my dear grieving parent friends, let go. Let it all go – drop it on the floor and rest at Jesus’ feet. Do not try to make sense of what has happened, but rather let those around you take care of you. Rest. Focus on your own feelings, allow yourself to feel the pain. Even if it’s for only a second today, try for two seconds tomorrow. Thru that pain you will pick up all of these treasures.

Love, Mel

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To each and everyone one of you (yes, I’m talking to YOU!) …

Four years ago – I wrote this blog:

Today, there is so much more. There is Josie who takes good care of Owen’s heart. There is an unnamed girl in IL who was given more time with Owen’s liver. There are family and friends whom I met in the midst of my grief and now I have NO CLUE how I could ever live without! I bubble over with care and love from the angels God has sent my way.

To each and everyone one of you (yes, I’m talking to YOU!), thanks for loving me and my children. Thank you for walking this path with me … I didn’t have a choice but you did. You chose to weep and cry with me 4 years ago and you continue to walk with me today. I am totally convinced that life is about who is on the journey with you, rather than any destination. It’s about the love we share, the support we offer and the truth we speak. I know with God all things are possible and I believe that he makes it just a little bit easier by giving us each other.

My gratitude for for family, friends and internet besties is endless. If there is ever a time when you need a sister to walk with you, I’m here. I’d be honored to pray for you or to be a listening ear. It’s the least I could do after all the healing you have offered me. Ya’ll are like my life band-aids :)

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Love, Mel


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How did I get here?

As I was getting dressed for the day I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered, “How the heck did I get here?” How did I get to this point in my life? Where on earth have the last 32 years and 7 months go? How did day come to be?

It’s been four years since I last saw Owen’s smile and laugh. In some ways it feels like it only happened yesterday, but in other ways it seems it happened a lot longer ago. Perhaps the time warp feeling has something to do with the fact that I’ve been divorced, moved twice, started two different jobs, Jaden has switched schools and I’ve bought a house since then.

I stared right into my eyes – studied my freshly mascaraed lashes, my blushed cheeks. I saw the face of a young, naive fifteen year old girl, who thought she could conquer the world. She was a hopeless romantic and totally in love with a boy in the youth group at church. She dreamed of how wonderful life was, how having a family would be so many laughs and smiles. She didn’t expect life to throw her out of cars, give her the greatest children in the world and then have one of them taken away. How did that young naive girl get to this point in life? How the heck am I still on two feet and getting up in the morning?

That young girl I saw this morning didn’t know how hard life would be, but she knew to cling the Lord and her family. She believed in good and she was right. I certainly don’t feel old enough to have that long of a rap sheet … yet here I stand – with many more years to live. What else is going to be thrown my way? The Lord only knows …

You all know I broke my ankle at the end of February. I got my cast off about three weeks ago a11265303_892450959551_3055223719381654783_nnd am getting around pretty well now. I  still have trouble with stairs and steep hills, but heck, I’m walking! School called me on Monday – Jaden fell off the monkey bars. He was moving his wrist, but was pretty sore. The next day it was swollen so I took him to the doctor. And wouldn’t you know … Jaden broke his wrist! My friend Sara said it all yesterday: “Mel, the universe likes to screw with you!” haha We are so lucky that it doesn’t need to be in a cast but he needs to wear a brace for 4 weeks – only taking it off for bath time. I suppose it was his turn … triplets had their tonsils out, my ankle … yep it was just his turn :)

I’m not quite sure how I have survived life up until this point. It certainly hasn’t been anything I imagined it would be. I can tell you that the fifteen year old girl was totally wrong about some things, but she was dead right about others. Life isn’t always wonderful – crumby but true. But it is good to be a hopeless romantic. Being a romantic isn’t always about a boy. Sometimes it’s about friends, God, or family love. We aren’t all lucky enough to have met our perfect spouse, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of love in my life. Family is the greatest blessing in the entire world! Family doesn’t always last a lifetime, so love them while you do and trust them with God when you don’t.

I love you Owen and I’m so glad you get to cuddle with Jesus today. If you had to be anywhere but with me, I’m glad you are with the greatest Father! It brings me peace knowing that you are safe and happy.

Love, Mel


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My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

I participated in a tenebre service last night at the church I serve. Seven people were asked to share a reflection on one of the seven last words from the cross. I reflected on Matthew 27:45-46 …

45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani (sa-bacht-na-knee) ?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:46-46

After five and a half hours of agony, Jesus says, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Very different than the “I will always be with you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Yet, in so many ways, we can relate to this piece of scripture easier than the others. This passage speaks directly to our broken human hearts. I don’t know about you, but I think there are many more times in life that I have questioned where God was, than the moments where I could feel his arms carrying me.

Let me set the stage … May 21, 2011 one of my triplet sons stopped breathing at home. Owen lived on life support for five days until he gave his ultimate sacrifice on May 26th. I can only explain those five days in the hospital as magical. The presence of God was so strong. He sat next to Owen’s bed WITH me.

Fast forward a few months … my marriage was falling apart. I was crying myself to bed every night. Begging for counseling and getting no where. Day after day I was lonely, hurting and slowly losing myself. I begged God to help me. I pleaded with him to please save my marriage. “God, I have served you through the death of my baby boy – I have spoken of your love in the midst of my unthinkable loss – where are you now to help me? Where are you now to comfort me? Have I not loved you enough for you to love me back? My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?”

I sought out wisdom from my pastor. To my surprise he advised me to leave. For the first time I heard the A word … abuse. What? Me? No … he doesn’t hit me, I’m not being abused. But my pastor insisted, “Mel … this is a death dealing relationship … God loves you so much, he does not expect you to sustain such abuse … it’s time.” I was tired and thirsty, yet God did not offer me rest. When I called his name, He neither comforted nor encouraged me.

Today, Good Friday, Christ died for us. The same silent God I begged to save me, screams his love by allowing his own son to die for me. Sometimes the extent of God’s love is hard for me to grasp … I can be so unlovable, yet this invisible being sent his only child to die for me … he literally died to save me. When trying to understand God’s love for me, I often think of the love I have for my own children. Would I go through unspeakable pain so that they would have a better life? Yes – without a doubt yes. If my ability to love is only a fraction of what God is capable of … then I suppose he would be capable of loving me, even when I am so far separated from him.

I do find comfort in these incredibly sad and painful words … God understands. He gets it. He’s been there, done that.

Did you know that Psalm 22 begins with the same words?

1“My god, my god why have you forsaken me”

Why are you so far away when I groan for help?

2Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.

Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Psalm 22

Jesus cries out the same feelings that Kind David did so many years earlier.

When we feel pain, we are separated from God. When we worry, we are separated from God. When our sin weighs us down, we are separated from God. When my children don’t follow my instruction, they are separated from me. When the sun goes down and at the height of his agony, Jesus experiences what it feels like to be separated from God. While you may not be able to see where God is in your life, be sure that he knows your pain.

15My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.

My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.

19O lord, do not stay far away!

You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Psalm 22

He has not turned his back on you … he will come again.

Love, Mel

ps I even rocked the steps up to the chancel with my crutches!


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20 Things I’ve Learned While on Crutches

It’s been 1 week and 1 day since the great fall .. and I’ve learned a few things from having one less foot.

  1. When your sister is waiting for you in the ER, the two of you can giggle like you were 8 years old again
  2. Your siblings have no shame in making silly videos of you just coming out of anesthesia or on pain meds
  3. When laughing too loud on the general surgery floor of a hospital, your nurse will come in and shut your door
  4. Vicodin can be better than a green beer on St Patty’s day (never thought this Irish girl would say that!)
  5. I am not tall enough for how much I weigh … although the nurse assures me that my splint could weigh +10 lbs
  6. Taking a selfie with my surgical cap is a must for all visitors
  7. A ride down to the OR feels like you are in a parade and should be throwing candy (the nurse might have thought I was a nut job at this point)
  8. You know it’s been a horrible, yet still fun day when your OR nurse greats you by saying, “I heard you are a fun one”
  9. A blanket on the other side of the room feels like it’s on the other side of the Grand Canyon
  10. Real friends take you out for retail therapy and push you up and down the yarn aisle in a wheelchair, complete with basket
  11. I’m sure blessed with some freaking awesome friends who bring me amazing meals!
  12. It’s a hidden bonus being on crutches right before tank top season … my upper arms are getting an awesome workout!
  13. When your 4 year old punches your foot under the blanket, asking you if you still have a boo boo, it doesn’t hurt as much as you would think it would
  14. During your first shower after surgery, do not freak out when you see yellow in the bottom of the shower … you aren’t peeing, it’s the iodine from your upper leg …
  15. Even if you aren’t able to play frisbee with your boys on the first beautiful day of Spring, it’s just as enjoyable to watch them from the window
  16. Breaking up fights between two 4 year olds and an 8 year old from the couch is virtually impossible
  17. Real friends smuggle Diet Mt Dew into the house when your mother insists on drinking more milk …
  18. Almond milk, not only tastes way better than milk, but it also has way more calcium – makes Mom and my taste buds happy
  19. When the phone rings and it’s across the room, I suddenly really don’t care who is calling (sorry if that was you …)
  20. Peanut butter M&M’s are acceptable for lunch when home alone, not only do they taste like heaven, but they are easy to carry in your teeth to the couch

My journey has only began … in all seriousness, I’m very thankful for my friends and family who continue to surround me and my boys in love and support!

Love, Mel


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So this happened …

So this happened on Thursday morning …

photo 2

At 5:24 a.m mom duty called. Jaden woke me up saying that he was gonna to throw up. I scrambled to the bathroom to grab the garbage can and just missed the first gag. Poor kid-o. After he was settled, I stripped the bedding. I’m usually the parent that throws it in the corner and deals with it after sunrise, but I decided to be an over achiever and take it right down to the laundry.

That’s when disaster struck. I can’t even tell you what happened. I didn’t trip, I didn’t really fall … the lights were all on. One moment I was walking to the stairs, the next I heard a huge crack and I went down. Once at the bottom of the stairs, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was too scared to look, but I broke my ankle – I was sure of it.

I called for Jaden to bring me my phone. We were the only ones in the house. He came running, crying “It’s all my fault mom. I’m so sorry I hurt you. I didn’t mean to throw up in bed.” As if I wasn’t already in horrible pain, my heart broke for my Jaden too. Crazy how even when in the worst of pain it’s all sunshine and rainbows when your 8 year old is looking at you terrified. “Jaden, I am going to be fine. I hurt my foot, which has nothing to do with you. I’m just a klutz. We are going to call YaYa and Pa and they are going to come and help us, ok?”

I called my parents, who live just down the road. They were on their way. Shock started to set in. I asked Jaden to bring me a sweatshirt. Now sit right here next to me, we’ll listen to some music. Thank goodness for iTunes radio. I held his hand and said a little prayer with him too. Then, I realized I still had my mouth guard in from sleeping. “Jaden, this one might be a little gross, will you put my mouth guard on the counter in my bathroom.” Jaden’s reply, “uggh … I’m gonna need a tissue for that one!” I could hear his little feet run down the hallway and all the way back and he took his spot sitting right behind me on the stairs.

I started to realize that my parents were probably not going to be able to get me into a car. I was trying to avoid a 911 call because i didn’t want to freak Jaden out anymore than he already was. He had such a traumatic experience when we called 911 for Owen. My parents walked in the door (after what seemed like hours of sitting at the bottom of my stairs) and they said we should call. My mom climbed over me to sit with Jaden upstairs and my dad stood by me and made the call.

Soon, the flashing lights were outside and two EMTs came to my rescue. They called in a ladder truck for a special chair to get me out of the house. At first it made me feel like a fatty – needing a special chair to lift me out of my house, but then it made me feel like an Egyptian princess being carried out haha. I put a big smile on my face and waved and blew kisses to Jaden has they loaded me into the back of the rig. Nothing mattered in that moment but to reassure him that his mama was going to be ok.

Finally getting some pain meds, I was feeling a bit more relaxed … we got to the hospital and was in the same garage they unloaded Owen in. They wheeled me down the same hallway and passed the same soda machine I stopped at for a diet coke to rinse the taste of CPR out of my mouth. Hard memories but it was ok.

The kind, smiling face of my male nurse greeted me in room 16. “You look familiar,” he said. Hmmmm … we couldn’t quite place it. Until he was walking to the other side of my bed and asked, “Are you Owen’s mom?” Yes! Oh how I just love being called “Owen’s mom.” Were you there that night? He said he was, but he didn’t actually work on Owen. Comfort. He explained that he and his wife are good friends of my fiends Jessica and Matt. DUH! of course I knew who he was! We took a quick selfie to send to Jess :)

photo 1

The ER doctor explained that my ankle was dislocated and would need to be set quickly. Wait, you mean there is a chance that it’s not broken? While there was a chance, it was not likely. Bummer. He gave me the option of being awake or getting knocked out. My reply? I have felt enough pain in this life, knock me out! When they started to attach heart monitors and oxygen, I started to wonder what I had signed up for. They took some X-rays and then knocked me out. When I came to, my foot was splinted and felt a whole lot better! My sister was able to finally come in. How lucky am I to have a family who comes to my rescue to quickly? And over and over again … She brilliantly balanced the “how does this kind of stuff keep happening to you?” jokes and the loving, supporting holding of my hand as the reality of being a single mom with a broken ankle set in. No driving, no weight baring, crutches, casts, physical therapy … holy crap.

The ortho doc came in and said my ankle was in fact broken in three spots and I would need surgery … today. Inhale. Exhale. Of course I needed surgery! That was already on my list of things to do today.

I was transferred to a room upstairs while we waited for an OR to open. At 11 a.m. my nurse came in to say that my surgery had been moved up to Noon. They would be over at about 11:30 to take me. My mom hadn’t made it up to the hospital yet. She was still home with my puking kid. As I like to say it, I sent my best nurse to be with my most important patient! My surgical chariot arrived sooner than I had thought …

photo 3

I called Jaden to tell him I loved him and then I called my mom to tell her they were going to take me before she could get to my room. She told me she loved me … she was just parking the car. SO CLOSE! The nurse who was taking me to surgery was named Star … my lucky Star. When she found out how close my mom was, she waited at the bottom of the elevator. Soon my mom came jogging (we won’t say running) down a hallway so she could give me a hug and kiss. Boy did that make both my mom and I feel a bit better!

Waiting in the recovery room was a little freaky … not going to lie. It was a big horseshoe shape so I could see into most of the other curtain “rooms.” There were patients still sleeping, just waking up … and then there was Michael, who kept forgetting to breathe. “Michael, BREATHE!” ::slap slap slap:: “Michael don’t forget to breathe!” Just a little unnerving. Note to self – don’t forget to breathe when you wake up from surgery. The doc came to see if I had any questions. He asked if I had family in the waiting room he should look for. I told him my mom and sisters should be, unless they run out for lattes and pedi’s while I’m under. haha

In no time I was waking up and being taken upstairs to my room where my mom, sister and “non-blood” sister were waiting for me. A breath of relief. I finally felt like it was all over. I just had to wait the healing part of the process out. All of this happened between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m.! Talk about a productive day!

I was so blessed with many visitors who had heard about my fall. Even a delivery of girl scout cookies :) For as crumby of a day as it had started out, I was reminded over and over by all the faces who smiled at me that day, that God is still good, life is still sweet and a mom can be as tough as nails when they have to be!

We have since convinced Jaden that he is my hero and he saved me that morning rather than it being his fault. I mean, can you imagine if I had fallen when I was home alone? How long would I have sat like that before someone found me? My mom has banned me from diet coke, insisting that I need more calcium so I stop breaking bones. My parents have once again came to my rescue … Jaden and I will be staying with them until I’m able to get around better on my own. My mom is also helping so that I can still see Logan and Weston. As much as I complained that bedtime was the worst and best time of the night … I have really missed reading them their bedtime stories.

I get my real cast in about a week and a half … what color do you think I should get?

Love, Mel


Filed under Posted by Melissa

Fox 6 News Story – Healing Our Heavy Hearts

The cover story aired on Wednesday night. My parents, sister and I gathered on the couch together to watch it. I really hope that this story helps others … lets them know that there is a place to go when your little one is grieving.

Check out the clip here:

Here’s the behind the scenes recap of how this all went down …

The same night the reporter and camera man were going to film, I had to be at school for to get Jaden’s school iPad rollout. I had to be at school at 5 so I thought filming at 7 would give me plenty of time. I got home from work, threw a bunch of stuff in a closet and ran to school. OF COURSE Jaden’s iPad would be the one that need to be rebooted, taken to the communication station and have all sorts of hiccups along the way.

At 6:50 I looked at his teacher and said, “I couldn’t make this up if I tried … I have Fox 6 News coming to my house in 10 minutes and I really have to get home.” We both had a giggle. A teacher said she would help finish up for me.

I flew in the door with just enough time to throw some Chapstick on need brush Jaden’s hair.  Enter Fox 6 News.

Jaden went first. He did so awesome! I sat on the couch to his right. He didn’t really need me. He knew what was on his heart.

Then it was my turn.  While answering my questions, Jaden stood by the camera guy. He thought it was pretty cool. All of a sudden he was walking around wearing a Fox 6 News hat. We laughed and I cried a bit. It was emotional retelling Owen’s story.


Filed under Posted by Melissa

Why God Created Spell Check

Most of the time I’m flying from one thing to the next. I’m balancing work, kids and my own emotional health (i.e. me time). I’m hoping that the decisions I’m making aren’t causing issues down the road. Am I giving my kids enough attention? Should I be taking more time off of work to go on that field trip? By not going on the field trip am I going to cause him “mommy issues” down the road? Do my kids really know just how much I love them? One juggling act after the other …

But then, it’s like God knows just what I need at just the right moment … there are these moments when everything is crystal clear. It doesn’t last very long, maybe a minute or two. But I have this clear vision that life is exactly what it’s supposed to be right now. I’m good enough right here.

This morning it was a moment when all the boys had been served their breakfast and they were watching a movie on the iPad. I heard a whisper: Look Mel! Just look at these three amazing boys! All sitting together and loving each other. They are as thick as thieves. You did this. I trust you with them. You are doing a great job!

photo 4

Me? I’m doing a good job? I don’t really feel like I am. Jaden and I forgot to study his spelling words last week. Logan was crying because his favorite pair of pants were dirty and I hadn’t done the laundry yet. I’m behind at work and forgot again to download the power points onto the computer in the sanctuary. There just isn’t enough time in the day to be “good enough.”

While it’s totally true that there are not enough hours in the day … it by no means reflects my value as a mother, friend or office manager. I am not defined by the unfinished jobs on my to-do list. But rather, I am measured by what I did accomplish. I didn’t study spelling words but I did cuddle Jaden each night before bed and I told him I loved him at least three times every day last week. I didn’t do the laundry, but I snuggled with Logan before school for a few minutes instead of curling my hair.

I have also come to realize that these “ah-ha” moments come when my kids are loving each other. We got some snow in Wisconsin this week and I had to go out and snow blow on Tuesday evening. I bundled all the boys up in their snow gear and set to work. While they did not help their mother shovel the driveway, they did go sledding on the side of the house – together. Their brotherly giggles and laughter was enough. It made the night feel almost magical really. This is my life … these are my boys … for real? How did I get so lucky to be the mom of these boys?

God whispered again: You are enough.

I have decided that if the only thing that my kids ever learn from me is to love one another and others, then my life in complete. Isn’t that why God created spell check? A gift for those moms who just can’t do it all.

I’m not totally sure what God thinks of me when my boys are fighting and screaming and kicking the living snot out of one another. But I suppose that’s for another blog … until then, I am enough.

Love, Mel


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Pay Back

During the years (holy cow it’s actually been years) following Owen’s death, I have found great healing in being able to give back to those who carried me through, quite possibly, the hardest part of my life. Healing Hearts of Waukesha County is one of the most deserving organizations.

The autumn after Owen’s death, Jaden needed a place to talk about Owen. So, I signed him up for Healing Hearts, a grief support group for children and families. This organization brought out the best in my boy. The facilitators healed parts of Jaden that I didn’t know were hurting. His 4K teacher spoke to me about what a difference she saw in Jaden. He had self confidence. He spoke of his family and his brothers boldly. For these reasons and so many more I agreed to do to cover story interview with Fox 6 News.

Bret Lemoine and a handsome camera man came to my home and set up the lights, camera and microphones. Jaden and I set to work telling our story and sharing why Healing Hearts is so amazing. In my heart I felt the desire to tell our story so that others who are suffering from a loss can find hope just like Jaden and I did.

If you are in the Milwaukee area, tune in tomorrow (March 4) to Fox 6 News at 9 p.m. Or you can check out and the video should be posted there. I’ll also try to post the link here on my blog too.

Whether you watch the cover story live, online or not at all – please remember that children grive too. They feel the loss of loved ones when they leave.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Posted by Melissa