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Archive for September, 2005

Personality quizzes . . do they really capture us? Can 30 questions really give an accurate portrayal of me?  Are we really not that complex that 30 simple questions can sum us up?  Those of you who know me can read below and vote.

I had to take an online personality quiz for the program I am participating in next week.  Here are the results:I’m a O53-C69-E31-A79-N11 Big Five!!

Wrapping up a work day here. I was out late last night.  I went with Amy to Columbia at 9:30 pm for a concert at Mojos. She has been a follower of the band, Happy Endings, for awhile and saw they would be in Columbia.  Great band and great sound.  Check out their website and listen to their tunes.

Glasssmurfette_1Today has been a great day.  I had a great lunch visit today that was delightful and received a Smurfette glass as a birthday gift – and it had chocolate candy in it too!  Perfect. 🙂    It reminded me of my childhood.  I use to have a bunch of these glasses growing up and we got rid of them.  I’ve kept my eye out for them but haven’t found any.  This one is in perfet condition!  A beauty – and the glass isn’t too bad, either. 🙂

I also got a smurfette t-shirt from Cari for my birthday!  Looking forward to wearing that soon for everyone to enjoy.

Alright – need to head out. Got much to do before a bunch of friends come over tomorrow for the MU game plus dinner tonight with family and a couple from Belarus that are visiting.

Have a great weekend!

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What Happens Next?

Wouldn’t foreknowledge be great?  Wouldn’t it just be swell to know before you make a decision what the outcome of that decision would be?  Wouldn’t it just be nice and comfortable to know you are always going to make the right choice or take the right step because you’ve gone ahead and you know what the right choices are and which are the right steps to take?  Wouldn’t that be just grand?

Unfortunately, most decisions have to be made without that foreknowledge.  Its not the little decisions that bother me.  Its the big ones.  Its those big, life-changing, heart-risking decisions that I wish I could foretell.  That I wish I had a video to fast-forward through and see what my lines should be in order to bring about the ending I want.

I know, I know . . . to know such things takes all the joy and spontaneity out of life.

But wouldn’t it be nice . . . just once or twice . . . to know where you are going to end up before you get there rather than after you arrived?

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Weekend Update

Friday:  Worked all day and late in the night trying to catch up from being gone for nearly two weeks. Nice break in the day with lunch with my friend, Cari. Yeah. 🙂

Saturday: Played golf with Dan, Maria and Matt.  Dan and Maria have some skill.  Matt didn’t play but I’m sure he’s got skill as well.  Melissa . .  not so much.  BUT… I’m working on it.  I’m a highly self-competitve person especially with sports so I’m going to master this.  Watch out, (insert LPGA champion here).  Saturday night I went to the driving range and hit a bunch of golf balls with Dan and Brad.  Brad gave me some great pointers and about 1 out of every 10 swings rocked. OK – maybe a little lower ratio but nevertheless much practicing to be done because you know — If you ain’t got that swing, than you ain’t got a thing – doowap, doowap, something, something.

Sunday:  Full day of church.  God knows I need it.  Had children’s sermon and hospitality lunch so was busy until about 2 pm and then had to be back at 5 pm for revival services which are going great.  Our guest preacher is a great communicator and is bringing some wonderfully challenging messages.  After revival services tonight, the pastoral staff and the revival leadership had some fellowship time at our pastor’s home. Great bunch of folks.

This week will be busy with revival services each night through Wednesday so not sure how much I’ll post or if I’ll have anything worth sharing.  Although that has never stopped me before. 🙂

Chrisfarley_1 Random Funny:
There’s a little 2 year old in the church nursery that looks like a mini-me of Chris Farley. No, I didn’t get into the communion wine (besides – we’re Baptist. It’s grape juice.)  I told the mom this morning and she said I was the fourth or fifth person to say that.  It’s the hair, the cheeks, the eyes, the smile –  all of it.  Very, very funny.  At lunch today, I kept waiting for him jump on the table or hike his pants up by the belt. Didn’t happen.

That’s about all I got.  Wait . . . .  hmmmmm

Nope, that’s all I got.

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A miracle happened last night.  A bonafide miracle.  I can’t believe I forgot to post about it.  How often do you witness a miracle?  Well, probably more than we know but how often to we actually realize we’ve witnessed a miracle?  Not very often at all. So you would think it would resonate with you for a long time and that you would be moved to climb the highest hill and shout into the wind . . "I, Melissa Hatfield, have witnessed a miracle."  So tonight, atop of this magnificent hill, I proclaim the miracle of September 21, 2005:

It was a cool evening and friends had gathered for food and television in the basement of Grady Martin’s home. Neena had prepared a mouth-watering pot of chili and we’d been circling the slow cooker impatiently as it lived up to its name. We were hungry. The mouth-watering aroma of spicy chili on the eve of the Autumn season was so tantalizing it would drive Calista Flockhart to binge.  Although his physique would proof otherwise, Grady has a passionate and reckless relationship with food.  One need only to be around Grady at meal time once to know that you risk your very life if you manage to get between the two.  The final test on the chili had been completed and it was deemed ready to eat.  As if propelled by a broken spring in the couch, Grady sprung across the room to the slow cooker . . . and stopped.  And then it happened. Grady turned to me and uttered the Holy Grail of words that had never fallen on the ears of any Common Grounder . . . "Since it is Melissa’s birthday, she should go first."

There were audible gasps across the room.  The clock stopped.  The people of LOST abandoned their mission, inched towards the camera and peered out from the widescreen with stunned expressions to witness something more spectacular, more amazing than a blown hatch.  Grady let me, nay – INVITED me – to get food before him. 

We looked at each other – each one of us present – and we knew.  We knew we were standing on Holy Ground in that place, at that moment.  None of us could speak and I dare say none of us will utter a word about it again.  But we will always remember and hold dear to our hearts this miraculous moment in time when we can say that time stood still and all was right in the world.

Speaking of beans, Preston treated me to a birthday lunch at El Jimador’s.  Sadly, I had not eaten there in probably a year and was seriously in jeopardy of losing my Jefferson City and FBCJC citizenship.  So, Preston got me right with the world again and we enjoyed a great lunch and great conversation as always.  A special thank you to Preston from one neurotic to another: thanks for liking me even though I don’t know why you do and even though I’m sure you won’t after you get to know me a little better.  It was a great birthday lunch even though I don’t deserve it.  Wait . . . is that an ice cream shop up ahead on the right?  Great . . . our friendship is screwed.  The best I can hope for is to enjoy it while it lasts because like all things, I’m sure it will end in utter failure as the cosmic forces have ensured for me.  🙂 

Tonight I had a birthday celebration with my family.  It was a fun night.  We basically chased Blake around. 🙂  Not really – he did a great job and played with many things and only tipped over a glass of soda once.  So, he was really having a great night!!  While he did that, we ate pizza, cake and ice cream and watched Miss Congeniality II which was actually quite funny.  I must admit I prejudged the film when I saw it in the theaters but it proved worthy of several moments of laughter.  Even Blake laughed out loud a lot – although his only reasoning was because we were and its proof his gift of discernment has much work to be done.  It was really a nice evening where we could all get together which is very challenging to figure into the schedule.

I’m back to work tomorrow and it will be my first full day in the office since September 9!  Can you believe that? Its been good to be away and to be so busy with new and fun things.  I’ve really enjoyed the past two weeks and I’m sure I’ll be paying for it but it was worth every penny and every extra hour I’ll have to put in in the next weeks to catch up.

I’m going to leave with this great quote I found today:  "To be interested in the changing seasons is . . a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." – George Santayanna, The Life of Reason.   May we all embrace the changing seasons of life and not cling to one that has come and gone.

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Today I am 32 years young.  Today I celebrate 32 years of life.  It has been a grand day and an even grander year.  I was overwhelmed today with birthday greetings, cards, flowers and celebrations. From the rising to far beyond the setting of the sun, my day has been filled with gifts of love from the beautiful people in my life.  I am truly overwhelmed by the care and love that has been expressed.  Thank you to all who made my day special and meaningful. Thank you to all who took time away from your day to bless mine.  A very special thank you to my dad for driving me to St. Louis to get my beauty of jeep.  A very heart-felt thank you to Maria, Grady and the gang who helped me celebrate in style tonight and gave me the opportunity to make a wish.  No matter what anyone says – I will not tell.

Tonight after all of the festivities ended and I returned to the quiet of my home, I had a date with some candles, some stars and a peaceful deck.  Tonight I had two things to toast.  A toast to my 32 years that have come and gone.  Someone asked me how I feel about getting older.  I’m excited.  Every year of my life has been better than the year before and I have all the faith that this pattern will continue.

31 was a year full of wonderful, beautiful moments. 

  • It was the year of Marshall Blake – my handsome, gifted nephew who has brought joy, laughter, and future to our family.  Blake fulfilled one of my greatest wishes which was to see my parents as grandparents.  I knew that they would be as goofy and love-sick as they indeed are.  It brings me great joy to see the great joy Blake has brought to my parents and even more so to my sister and her husband. 
  • It was the year of becoming healthy.  After several years of talking about it, I finally have done it and I feel great. There is a renewed energy and joy that comes from being active once again and it indeed has been a major factor in my 32nd year rocking my world. 
  • And it was the year of Steve.  I met and dated Steve all while 31 and the journey with him was one of the richest experiences this past year. When I flip through the mental pictures of this past year, most of the ones that bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart have Steve in them. Thank you, Steve, for making this year of life such a beautiful year.

As I toasted my year, I also gave toast to summer.  Tomorrow – September 22nd – is the first day of autumn.  My birthday marks the official end of summer and the ushering in of fall.  So, tonight I raised my glass to the summer of ’05.  It was a phenomenal summer and as I sat on my deck, I journeyed through my favorite summer moments – many which took place on that very deck.

Bring on 32.  I have no idea what awaits me but I’m excited about the possibilities. 31 far exceeded my expectations.  32 will do no less.

Bring on the fall.  I’m ready now.  I’ve said my goodbyes to flip-flops, beaches, ice cream, swimming and sand between my toes.  I’m ready for football, campfires, warm jackets, cuddling and leaves crunching under my feet.

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Father Knows Best

My beautiful red jeep is patiently waiting in a small parking lot off of Chesterfield Parkway and Olive Blvd in St. Louis. A water pump, some hoses and $712 later, she’s ready to come home.  I’ll be heading up Wednesday afternoon to pick her up –  an expensive birthday present for moi! 🙂  I’ve missed her and the freedom that having a vehicle provides.  But family and friends have been extremely gracious and helpful to get me to the places I’ve needed to go.

I’ve been at Windermere the past two days for a pastor’s conference on new homiletics (preaching).  We discussed some new movements in the art of preaching and it was very informative.  It was also a wonderful time to fellowship with other pastors and individuals from throughout the state.  I was able to reconnect with several individuals which was a blessing.  I also received an invitation to preach at a church outside Columbia, MO, in October which I’m excited about.

Upon arriving home, I looked through the pile of mail waiting for me from Monday and Tuesday and was humbled and moved to find four birthday cards waiting for me.  There are times when you remember to feel gratitude for people in your life and the relationships you have with them.  I’m very blessed to have great friends that put up with me.  I pray that I never take that for granted and that I can be that same friend for them.

Tonight was C-Group at my home. Each Tuesday night about 12 – 15 high school youth invade my basement for Bible study.  I love it.  They started last week but I was gone on vacation and Preston served as host at my home. So, it was wonderful to greet them this week and to be reunited with them.  They are like a small family, an intimate church that gathers each week to engage the Word and experience community.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking the past few days regarding some future events in my life.  Not in a control kind of way but rather a result of resting in God with faith that God is in control and able to guide my life if I will allow Him to.  I’ve been more intent the past week of beginning my day with prayers that God will direct me that day and allow me to faithfully follow His lead without getting ahead of Him.  With this new, intentional discipline, I’ve found myself at peace in two areas of my life and future that I’ve been antsy on.  What is amazing to me is to find continual confirmations that present themselves without my manipulation that give me peace and assurance about God’s hand in my life and future.  It is a very real reminder of something I read a few months ago by Kate Goodell: "But it’s when we put our unabashed faith in He who formed us that we let our obedience to God lead the way.  God wants to bless us beyond what we can every fathom, but only when we put our faith in Him and lose our will to get it all figured out by ourselves does His plan begin to unfold."  I’ve really struggled over the past few years with trying to understand just how much and to what degree God interacts/intervenes in our choices and world.  A struggle with the dance of free will and divine direction. Faith has never been an easy thing for me.  I have an inquisitive mind and I like solid reasoning. But I crave childlike faith.  I hunger to be at a place where I have enough faith in God that I can live by faith and not feel like I’m copping out or taking the easy way.  In all truth, true faith is not the easy way.  It is the more challenging way . . . and the more rewarding way.  Lately, I’ve experienced the great blessing and beauty of daily, faith-filled living.  Sure, I still slip up and catch myself not trusting but I also have so many reminders just in these past few days of what blessings fill your life when you truly give up control of your day and seek God’s will and direction for your life. 

I have a fresh peace and confirmed understanding about where I believe I’m heading in the next few years – in both personal and professional matters. I don’t know all the details of the days between now and then but I have a big picture vision that appears to be of God.  I’m not focusing on that.  Instead I’m giving God my faith and trust one day at a time and keeping my eyes directed to Him because every moment matters.  Every day matters.  Everything I do and experience today is a part of where I’ll be and what I’ll experience in the future.  I can’t skip ahead or I’ll miss the things that are necessary to make that future a reality.  Every day is a necessary day in the journey.

The simple truth is this:  God is faithful.  God is trust-worthy.  Father knows best.

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Weekend Adventures

Its been a great end to a week of vacation.  My trip to Branson seems like several days ago which is a sign of a great vacation and the great weekend I had.  On Friday I spent several hours with my parents and my nephew, Blake.  I walked in the door to my parents house and Blake WALKED to me.  Yep – it seems almost overnight that he is walking everywhere without holding onto anything.  He loves it and goes non-stop.  What a cutie.  I posted a couple of new pictures in the Blake album for you to enjoy and to pin-up on your refrigerators.

Friday night was Common Ground movie night at the AB.  We watched Tommy Boy – a hilarious movie.  We had a great turnout with some new people which is awesome.  We stayed late playing some pool and fooseball.Just a fun night hanging out with some great people.

Saturday I played golf with some friends and had a such a great time.  I hadn’t played golf in awhile – probably a couple of years which is very sad.  I have clubs that my family got me for my birthday few years ago.  It was a perfect day on Saturday.  We did the golf cart thing which was totally worth the whole day. Every other time we’ve golfed, we’ve walked it but I’m completely sold on the cart thing.  Dan graciously shared the driving of the cart with me and we managed to stay on all four wheels.  At least I didn’t squeal tires like Alison!   I have to brag that on my very first hole, I killed the ball with my driver and it sailed through the air right to the green – just 3 feet from the hole.  The only problem was that it was the wrong green.  But it was impressive, nevertheless. 🙂 

Saturday afternoon I made some cookies Saturday afternoon, packed up, picked up my friend Amy and we headed off to St. Louis for the rest of the weekend to hang out with my friend, Jesse, and to attend The Journey on Sunday.  Saturday night Jesse had some friends over to his new house and we hung out and played games and talked.  We went to bed around 2:30 am and then we got up to attend church at The Journey church. I’ve watched the Journey for the past three years since it started and have been wanting to worship there since the beginning.  They have an amazing ministry to young people and have grown tremendously in the past three years.  Jesse started attending there this year and loves it there.  After church, Jesse fixed us a great lunch and we left around 2:30 pm.  As we were heading out of St. Louis near Chesterfield, I noticed that the air conditioning wasn’t cooling very much and then I read the temperature guage on the dashboard.  It was completely off the charts.  So I pulled off of Hwy. 40 and found an auto shop that I hoped would be open (mind you its Sunday).  It wasn’t but by that time smoke was pouring out from under my hood.  I’ve seen that in movies before and it’s not a good thing.   There happened to be a tow truck in the parking lot that had just brought another car there and so he waited around while I called AAA to see about a place that might be open on Sundays.  Nothing is of course.  I went next door and bought some anti-freeze to see if maybe it was just low but not long after we put it in it starting pouring out the bottom.  Again, not a good thing.  So, I decided to just leave the jeep there, filled out an envelope and dropped the keys in the drop box.  Then we called Jesse to see if he could help us locate a car rental place but instead he offered to drive us back to JC!  I hated to do that to him but he assured me it was no problem.  So we had extra time to visit and hang out, Amy got some papers graded and Jesse earned my deep gratitude!

Now about my Jeep . . .  I’ll call tomorrow to check on it but I’m out of town to Windermere on Monday and Tuesday and so the first time I can get to St. Louis will be Wednesday.  I’m going to plan to go up on Wed afternoon, pick it up and come back to JC.  My St. Louis trip has turned into quite an adventure.

It has been an amazing vacation.  I’m rested and renewed.  I’ve had some amazing fellowship with so many friends over the vacation.  But more than anything, God has really cared for me this week and we are at a very good place right now. I had a lot of time to think through some things in life and to just trust them to God.  Each morning, I’m laying down my day at the feet of God for God to guide and direct according to His will.  It is so wonderful to be trusting God and not worrying about having to make things happen in my life.  It is a wonderful difference to go from anxiousness to peace and that is the amazing kind of work that God can bring about in our life.

I wish for all of you this great peace that God brings to the chaos of this world.  May you experience God’s peace in your life this week.

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