Strollers and highchairs and camp, oh my!

If you have been reading here for long at all, you know that being a teen mom is a major part of my testimony and serving teen moms is a personal passion the Lord has laid on my heart. Today, 20+ teen mama's that I love are headed to have the time of their lives at YoungLives camp in Glen Spey, New York.  Overall, more than 200 teen moms from around the East Coast will converge on this camp for fun, fellowship and to learn about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. As in years past I am not able to join them {God shuts that door every.stinkin.year :(  My hubby says it is to protect my health but I would rather be on that bus right now than anywhere else} but my thoughts and prayers, as well as my heart, are on the way to camp with these precious girls. I am praying circles around this … [Read more...]

I was once a lost cause

A girl of just thirteen faces torment and abuse from her peers. We excuse it that kids that age don't know any better.  They are too young to wrap their minds and manners around the concept of a peer having a baby. Then, you witness the behavior of those same kids mama's...throwing stones of accusation and ugliness at a situation they know nothing about. Nobody knows what we're for, only what we're against, when we judge the wounded... ~Casting Crowns If they knew that this girl was the victim of abuse and chose life for her baby anyway, would they still hurl cruelty her way?  Would they use the telephone lines to spread the wildfire of gossip and judgement or would they get on their knees and beg for forgiveness for their haste in jumping to conclusions? Are they aware that the venom … [Read more...]

Giving Up On God {part two}

Read part one here. Why was God letting this happen?  What did I do wrong?  This isn't how it was supposed to be. It didn't take but a few days for my family and the authorities to find me when I ran away.  The family court judge deciding my fate took my "strong feelings" into account and allowed me to attend a boarding school close to my paternal grandparents rather than return to foster care. That decision did improve my immediate circumstances. From the outside looking in, I had a good life.  Friends, good grades, acceptance to an elite academy, grandparents that loved me, material possessions-- you name it, I had it. But I also had a heart of stone.  A determination that no one would hurt me, a desire to manipulate before I could be manipulated. An entry from my journal at the time … [Read more...]

Giving Up On God {part one}

I remember the day I gave up on God. I held the phone to my ear while angry, hot tears streamed silently down my face.  As I listened and realized that I had been lied to for months by those closest to me, I made a rash and defiant decision.  If no one was looking out for me, I was going to have to look out for myself. I gently depressed the button on the phone so that my grandmother would not know I had listened in and started to pray. Prayer was an automatic response to crisis for me.  Prayer had been my constant companion in my brief 13 years on the earth. This time the prayers felt empty.  It was as if my heart's cries were not being heard and I determined God must not be any more trustworthy than the rest of the adults in my life.  Right then, in that moment, hurt and confused I … [Read more...]

Short Fuse

  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  I Peter 3:14-16 I am getting used to having a commute. Granted, it is only 11 miles each way but with traffic, road work, school buses and/or stop lights, it takes me 25 to 35 minutes to go each way.  For those that know me, I tend to be short fused.  Driving does NOT bring out the best in me.  {God love my husband who commutes 90 miles each … [Read more...]

It’s All A Miracle

"I'm a nurse so I have to ask.  Why do you wear the medical ID bracelet?" An innocent question. A fairly simple answer. "I have a blood clotting disorder so I am on blood thinners....and I almost died of a pulmonary embolism in 2008". Her face paled.  She told me that one of her best friends had a pulmonary embolism two weeks after giving birth several years ago and had passed away. I am a miracle. Working as an Admissions Coordinator in a health care facility, I encounter all types of sad and dire health situations.  Terminal cancer, unexpected strokes that completely alter quality of life and other unfortunate circumstances. I contrast that with my work with teen moms.  The miracle of a new life.  The excruciating difficulty of watching moms make poor choices.  The amazing moments … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 6- Pray Without Ceasing

This week we are focusing on the verse in Ephesians that instructs us to pray without ceasing.  Is that really possible? I don't know about you but I find myself praying much more often than I used to. In the car, when I see an ambulance drive by, when I drive by a cherry blossom tree in full bloom..there are so many things to talk to God about throughout the day. Let's live our lives as a prayer. See you next week for our final installment of Plugged In. Thank you all so much for the privilege of sharing this material with you.   … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 4 {Pray and Start a Prayer Journal}

Hi friends! Here we are at week four of Plugged In: Accessing God's Power Through Prayer. Thank you for sticking with me for this journey and I pray you are being blessed by what God has laid on my heart through this study. In this session, I recommend using or starting a prayer journal. I have created a .pdf with more information and tips for prayer journaling. If you are interested in having a copy of that, email me at kmelissasmallwood@gmail.com and I will email it to you as an attachment. See you next week for session 5 :) … [Read more...]

Sweet Tea, Lent and Gratitude

I've written about sweet tea before. It is funny how a drink can be fodder for so much growth and insight in my little 'ole life. I gave up sweet tea for the first week of Lent. It has been more difficult than you would think.  {It's only a dollar at Mickey D's and often a pick me up during a long day} Tea is always in our big gallon pitcher at home as well {sweetened with stevia, that is good stuff!} I have been praying every time I go to the fridge to reach for it.  I have been amazed at how much more often I find myself talking to God throughout the day {almost embarrassing to admit}. I am thankful for the small reminder that has impacted my life in a significant way this week. Next week, I will be adding a category of food to my Lenten fast.  Dairy will probably be it, as I am a … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Accessing God’s Power through Prayer {session 2}

I am so encouraged by the emails and messages I have received from our first week of this study.  I have been praying for each participant this week, that God will bless your desire to grow closer to Him through prayer. Today begins the Lenten season.  Although the church I attend doesn't celebrate Lent, I do in my personal walk with Christ and have for the last several years. It is a sacred time of growing closer to Him and asking Him what He thinks has become an idol in my life that I then deny myself of for the traditional 40 days.  One year it was pride, another negative attitudes.  I will share in a later post what I am surrendering to Him this season. Here is the video for session two:   We identified two barriers to an effective prayer life during our study today.  If you … [Read more...]

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