... Living inspired by the beauty of life, one post at a time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Inspire me' - Melissa Brotherton

Melissa has four children under the age of six. She likes to try out new recipes, take photos of her kids and read a good book. Her blog is a place where you can gain comfort and encouragement in the discovery that you are not alone. Melissa is learning to balance her very full and busy life as she works towards fulfilling the plans and purposes that press upon her heart. As she devotes her life to her young family her eye is focused on eternity. I hope you enjoy her story.

Mother’s Day | 5:30 AM

Seated in my familiar green, micro suede recliner, I struggled to clear the cobwebs from my brain as I nursed my 11-month-old son. His little fingers curled around a strand of my hair, pulling my head down and to the right. Sometime during the night my husband had gotten up to soothe our two-year-old son, who had awoken in terror from a bad dream. They were now cuddled up together in a pile of blankets and limbs on our sofa.

My thoughts turn to the future; to my dreams. A professional writer, an accomplished speaker, these are things I envision for myself. Further education is a requirement, in my mind, to see these dreams become reality. Since my graduation from bible college two years previous, I have longed to return to school for my master’s.

With three (and then four) small children, a husband finishing his own degree, and the daily demands of home, my school career seemed at a standstill. My husband graduated, my two oldest are off to school this fall, and the two younger daily grow more independent; now would be an appropriate time to apply for a master’s program, right? (We can talk about my crazy later.)

Mother’s Day | 6:30 AM

Seated now at my kitchen table, the only light in the room coming from my glowing laptop screen, I click “apply” on the seminary website. A master’s in global leadership would provide me with the knowledge I need to be an effective ministry leader, and the credentials I desired to bring legitimacy to my calling.

My husband, surprised to discover me awake and on the computer at such an early hour, asks what I am doing.

“Applying for my master’s degree.”

A nonchalant statement regarding a huge step in my life. He laughs at me, and goes to get ready for worship practice.

Mother’s Day | 5:30 PM

Finally finding a moment to call my own mom, I mention to her that I’m in the process of applying for a master’s program. She pauses, and I know what she’s thinking. She worries that I take on too much, that someday I’m going to fall down dead from overdoing life.

“What does Josh think of that?”

Not until that moment do I realize I hadn’t talked to my husband before I began the application process.
We’d talked in the past about my desire for further education. He knows how much I want this. Honestly, I hadn’t thought to discuss it with him because I didn’t think it would impact him. Homework could be done during the day, and a generous education trust from my grandparents would cover the cost.

Mother’s Day | 10:30 PM

“Josh, I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you about the whole master’s thing.”

The end of a long day of festivities and houseguests finds us lying quietly in bed. In the pre-sleep moments we can finally decompress and process. Our focus can be on one another, without the distraction of kid’s needs or TV shows.

He isn’t upset, just confused. In all of our previous discussions, we’d said life was too hectic for me to go back to school. Now, with our upcoming move to Washington, and the uncertainty of what life will be like there, he feels that it is still not the right time.

I have allowed my goals and desires to rule, rather than putting the needs of others above my own. Of course it would impact him for me to return to school. Absolutely it would be a burden of sorts on our home.

As moms, as wives, our days are not our own. Kay asked me to describe what I’m devoted to in my life this week. At 6:30 AM on Mother’s Day, I would have answered: “My dream to earn a master’s degree and to become a published author/speaker.” However, after 10:30 PM that same day, my answer is: “The needs and concerns of my husband and children.”

I’m not saying that we can’t take time for ourselves; to educate and better ourselves. For me, right now, the cost outweighs the benefits. My time will come…and it will be in His perfect timing. Now, I need to focus on the ministry that He has called me to in this season. Then I can sit in that same micro suede chair at 5:30 AM the next morning, focus on my son’s tiny fingers, and not worry about an assignment I need to finish. I can be present.
Melissa Brotherton

destined, devoted, daring

12 'heart 2 hearts'…heartfelt comments here.:

Melissa_Rae said...

Thank you for asking me to be a part of your project, Kay!

Shanda said...

I so understand your struggles. I also have felt God wanted me to pursue speaking and put it aside while my children were small. I have given up so much over the years for others, each of which, even though hard at the time, was the right decision. My last child leaves for college this year and I am actively pursuing my career now.
So I say, good for for sacrificing and doing what you feel God leading you to do. In due time, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Waiting on God's timing can be hard to do sometimes. Actually, all of the time. I want to push through with my own plan too often and I need to slow down and see what His plan looks like.

Melissa, you've got a great heart!

Leah said...

I think many people in this day and age have a hard time "being still and letting God in". Thanks for checking out my blog. Come back soon.

xo L.

Robin Norgren said...

loved reading more about this lovely woman's story.

Lindy said...

That was beautiful and I can very much relate! That used to frustrate me that my plans could change that fast or that I never had time to wrap my head around an idea before it was gone. Melissa spoke the truth.

Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I am almost done with my photo project. It wasn't pretty some weeks, but it was our life!

N. Amma Twum-Baah said...

I am loving the Inspire Me series. Beautiful and uplifting entries so far. Keep going!

Heart n Soul said...

Thanks for your encouragement ... it keeps me going :)

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, well, I completely forgot how I got here, but it was through a fellow blogger. And, I'm so glad that I found you. What an inspiration! You seem to have your heart is the right place and are definitely putting your family's needs above your desires. You will not regret that. I promise you that these years will whiz by and you will all kinds of time to pursue your dreams. Hang in there and may the Lord continue to bless you as only He can. Have a joy filled week!

Amy Sullivan said...

Can't wait to read more of the Inspire Me stories!


I am popping over from Gg - Notes on the Journey to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for your recent support during my dad's open heart surgery. He is doing so well.

Over 60 comments with prayers and well wishes, including yours. Such sweetness. It helped me not feel quite so alone, having recently moved to Chicago.


Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

I've been ruminating over that exact verse from Jeremiah, too -- it's such a good one.

And I was delighted to read Melissa's Mother's Day thoughts here, too -- isn't it amazing the way God can work through us in just one single day?

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Thanks for sharing, kind words are sunshine to the soul!

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