Top 10 Posts of 2017

Happy New Year, ya’ll! I’m super excited about 2018. I’m not much for ” new year resolutions” since I always fail them within three days. However this year, I’m doing something a little different. I’ve written down all my goals for 2018. Being able to look at the list as something to work towards rather than to change myself for is a much more inspiring focus! 🙂

2017 has been a great year over all. Yes, each year holds it’s own trials and troubles, but they dim when compared to all that we’ve learned, accomplished, and experienced. While I want to get on with the new year, I thought it’d be great to take a peak at the most loved blog posts of 2017. Which ones made it into the top 10? Check them out below!

Anabaptist Orchestra Camp

#1 | Anabaptist Orchestra Camp {Pictures}

Last weekend, I had the privilege of traveling to Elnora, Indiana for the Anabaptist Orchestra Camp (AOC). It was an incredibly inspiring, encouraging, and refreshing weekend both musically and spiritually. I came back a changed person. It was a blessing to see the passion and dedication in each person there at camp. Each person put forth their best for the benefit of others and the glory of God… Read Post

The Day I Finally Gave Up

#2 | The Day I Finally Gave Up

I had hit the bottom. Literally. For weeks, I’d been struggling, trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities, financial problems, and a ton of various pressures (both perceived and real). Most of the time, I was able to keep up-beat. But every once in a while, exhaustion over-whelmed me, and I would spiral downward into a pit of despair… Read More

My Testimony - The Fully Version

#3 | My Testimony – The Full Version

I may be only sixteen, but God has worked so much in my life. I have seen his power and felt his love in a true and personal way and I want to share that story with you. I’m not sure how to describe it all, but I’ll do my best. I’m sharing this, because I hope to shed some light into someone else’s life. I don’t have a really amazing or especially spectacular story like some, but it is still beautiful. Because every life that has been touched by the Master’s hand is beautiful… Read Post

 

Self Portrait: The Younger Me

#4 | Self Portrait: The Younger Me

Finally, I got around to doing a portrait of a little (ahem), I mean small girl. Or, more precisely, me when I was about five. I didn’t count the hours, but it probably took the longest of any picture I’ve drawn. I had great fun applying some new techniques to the hair, that I had learned through observation… Read Post

Rebekah Graphite Portrait

#5 | Rebekah – Graphite Portrait

For the fun of it, I’ve added the original picture after the drawing. Can you recognize her? And for all of you who are wondering who she is and if I know her, I don’t. It’s  a picture I found on a photo website. Her smile is just so sweet, I had to draw it!! 😉 I named her Rebecca and already feel that I know her! For all of you who wonder how many hairs are on a person’s head, believe me, it’s thousands. Quite literally! 🙂 Doing this picture gave me a glimpse into that fact as I had to apply hundreds of strokes. Quite fun actually… Read Post

The Influence of Mothers

#6 | The Influence of a Mother

Sunday was Mother’s Day. Perhaps you may think this post is late, but it’s really not. Because, hopefully Mother’s Day prepared you for this post. All across America, and probably other countries too, people were celebrating the gift of motherhood. At the same time, others are sitting back wishing they had a mom to celebrate with. I feel for you. But I have a little challenge for you. Celebrate her, even though she isn’t with you. The fact alone that she brought you to this world has had the deepest impact on your life… Read Post

The Long Hair Family

#7 | Finds From the Old Notebook: The Long Hair Family

The story of a really good family written by a six year old. 🙂 I’m going to warn you right off that this story will bore your socks off. So if you don’t have too much patience, then this one isn’t for you. It quite accurately shows though, what type of writer I was when I was  six and seven. Actually, it’s slightly embarrassing. 😉 But back then, I thought I was the best writer ever and wrote simply the best stories(!)… Read Post

Art attempts From Before I Became an Artist2

#8 | The Dustbin of History: Art Attempts From Before I Became an Artist

Every artist has a story of how they got where they are. Some are natural prodigies who paint beautiful pictures from age eight. For many of us though, our pasts are marked with more failures than successes. I was convinced that I would never become an artist. I wanted to, but I didn’t “have what it takes” or so I thought. And indeed, I am certainly no prodigy! I thought it would be fun to share with ya’ll where I come from. Starting when I was about six, I’ll lead you through the years right up to the present. 🙂… Read Post

God's Hurting Child

#9 | New Song: God’s Hurting Child

We have heard of God as a Father and we as his children (the “sons of God”). How often do we think of it in that way in our hearts? Many know a Father as someone who doesn’t particularly care about them and perhaps is even angry and abusive. They don’t know what the real love of a dad can look like. When it comes to God, they don’t understand how he could be so good and be like a father… Read Post

Unashamed to Speak

#10 | Unashamed to Speak

I’m going to be bluntly honest: being a blogger can be difficult at times. There’s the temptation to ignore things God has laid on my heart to share that I know might not go over well with some people. I might get better stats on my blog if I do things my own way and avoid certain subjects. But really, what is the purpose of this blog? To give you all the same things that you’ve already heard a million times?… Read Post

 

There you have it folks! I hope ya’ll have an amazing year!

Best wishes,

Melody

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The Christmas Guest

The Christmas Guest

It happened one day at the year’s white end,

Two neighbors called on an old-time friend

And they found his shop so meager and mean,

Made merry with a thousand boughs of green,

And comrade was sitting with face a-shine

When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine

And said, “Old friends, at dawn today,

When the cock was crowing the night away,

The Lord appeared in a dream to me

And said, ‘I am coming your guest to be.’

So I’ve been busy with feet astir,

Strewing my with branches of fir,

The table is spread and the kettle is shined

And over the rafters the holly is twined,

And now I will wait for my Lord to appear

And listen closely so I will hear

His step as He nears my humble place,

And I open the door and look in His face.”

So his friends went home and left Conrad alone,

For this was the happiest day he had known,

For, long since, his family had passed away

And Conrad has spent a sad Christmas day.

But he knew that the Lord as his Christmas guest

This Christmas would be the dearest and best,

And he listened with only joy in his heart.

And with every sound he would rise with a start

And look for the Lord to be standing there

In answer to his earnest prayer

So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,

But all that he saw on the snow covered ground

Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn

 

And all of his clothes were ragged and worn.

So Conrad was touched and went to the door

And he said, “your feet must be frozen and sore,

And I have some shoes in my shop for you

And a coat that will keep you warmer, too.”

So with grateful heart the man went away,

But as Conrad noticed the time of day

He wondered what made the dear Lord so late

And how much longer he’d have to wait,

When he heard a knock and ran to the door,

But it was only a stranger once more,

A bent, old crone with a shawl of black,

A bundle of kindling on her back.

She asked for only a place to rest,

But that was reserved for Conrad’s Great Guest.

But her voice seemed to plead, “don’t send me away

Let me rest awhile on Christmas day.”

So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup

And told her to sit at the table and sip.

But after she left he was filled with dismay

For he saw that the hours were passing away

And the Lord had not come as He said He would,

And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.

When out of the stillness he heard a cry,

“Please help me and tell me where am I.”

So again he opened his friendly door

And stood disappointed as twice before,

It was only a child who had wandered away

And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.

Again Conrad’s heart was heavy and sad,

But he knew he should make this little child glad,

So he called her in and wiped her tears

And quieted her childish fears.

Then he led her back home once more

But as he entered his own darkened door,

He knew that the Lord was not coming today

For the hours of Christmas had passed away.

So he went to his room and knelt down to pray

And he said, “Dear Lord, why did you delay?

What kept You from coming to call on me,

For I wanted so much your face to see.”

When soft in the silence a voice he heard,

“Lift up your head, for I kept My word –

Three times my shadow crossed your floor

– Three times I came to your lonely door –

For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet,

I was the woman you gave to eat,

And I was the child on the homeless street.

Three times I knocked and three times I came in,

And each time I found the warmth of a friend.

Of all the gifts, love is the best,

And I was honored to be your Christmas Guest.

 

~ by Helen Steiner Rice

christmas present

 

Longwood Gardens Digitals

My first visit to Longwood gardens. Oh yeah! It was amazing. I didn’t realize that so many beautiful plants could be packed into such wonderful gardens and pathways. Like seriously, acres!

And after spending the whole day there, we went out for supper and came back for the night show. Music and amazing light shows made for a very calming and relaxing atmosphere. (I must admit though, that I had to limp back to the van due to a very sore leg from all the walking. My dad called me an old lady. 🙂 )

To say the least, it added an unexpected spice to the rest of my vacation (you can view my last post, Philadelphia Digitals). I hope I convinced you that you need to go there for a visit… 😉

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Part of the fountain show.

The two pictures below  are only a small amount of the enormous pipe organ they have in the music hall. Seriously, over 10,000 pipes! There were five of these rooms that visitors can view through glass (and yes, that grand piano you see in the back of the second picture, really is controlled by a stop on the organ… all but three of the 88 keys!), plus a whole room of pipes below!!

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These are GIGANTIC world class mums. The one in the background stands taller than humans!! I can’t even start to imagine how much work must go into growing these perfect mums.

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Ya’ll have a wonderful and blessed fall!