Thursday, January 26, 2012

HEROES Fitz's Part 2

Okay, so had to save my favorite half of the Fitz post for second. It's hard to write this one because I don't want to think about having to say goodbye to her in 3 days. (And thinking about her just makes me think of having to say bye to her)

But, here goes my attempt...

(I have called her this for pretty much as long as I've known her, and I'm pretty sure I got it from the 2 year old version of Tierra Blake.)

Lori was the first person I met at Antioch Church, and talk about a good first impression. She was so sweet to me, and I really thought she was believable.

She proved that right.

Lori is the single most [genuinely] kind person I have ever known.
I've been friends with her for over 7 years and have never seen her treat anyone rudely, or be "fake nice" to anyone.
She is a true Christ follower, a Proverbs 31 wife, an incredible mom, & faithful friend.

She is the poster child for consistency.
I've always known I could count on her to be there for me.
She has prayed with me, fought for me, encouraged me, and been my favorite lunch date partner. She has sent me cards in the mail just to tell me she believes in me. She has celebrated my birthday every year like I was a part of her family.
She has made me feel like I can conquer the world.

Lori is an eternal optimist. I love this about her, and sometimes it drives me a little crazy.
(only because I am not eternally optimistic haha).
For every problem or annoyance she can find the positives, and a solution.
And so far, she hasn't steered me wrong. :)

When Lori is in your life, she's in it for the long haul. She is a relationship builder, and a maintainer. I can't recall a time where she hasn't been a key part of my life here, or any season of my life she hasn't been involved in. She has walked with me every step since day one, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her in it.

Lori is the perfect example of how to mentor people. In the process of raising me up to be who I am meant to be, she became one of my greatest friends. She has shaped me into the person I am today, and I couldn't be more thankful to have a friend like her.
I text her more than anyone other than my husband & sister, laugh with her until we cry, dream about the future, and obsess over Disney Channel Sitcoms (BA BAM!).
She make me feel like a priority to her, and loves me almost as much as I love her. (Just don't think she could actually love me quite as much as I her)

Heroes stick with you & catch you every time you're falling. They don't have to be everywhere at once, they just have to be fully engaged wherever they are.

I love you, LoLo.

Just this past weekend, Shaun & Lori became the Young Adults directors at Antioch Church. And as much as the timing of this makes me sad, I couldn't be happier.
And I can't think of ANYONE better for the "job".
I encourage you if you are a young adult in the KC area, and especially if you are at Antioch Church; get involved with The Rising. These people will literally "love the junk" out of you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HEROES - Fitz's Part 1

Okay, so it's no secret to anyone that I love Shaun, Lori & their kids.
They probably know it better than anyone, because I try to make sure these kinds of things don't go unsaid.

However, I figured I would share some of the reasons why they are my heroes.
(I was going to post them both in one, but that was becoming REALLY long, so this will be a 2 part post).


Shaun was on staff at Master's Commission my first year; & has been a pastor, mentor & source of encouragement since day 1 of my life in Kansas City. (Actually, I didn't like him the first day I met, maybe since day 2)

Shaun is compassionate. In fact, I would say he is the most compassionate person I know. He doesn't feel for you, he feels WITH you. He has kindness in his eyes & his heart bleeds when he speaks.
He is one of the most genuine people I know.

I have had a lot of amazing leaders in my life, but there is something very different about Shaun.
He is the first male leader I trusted to let be in my life (who wasn't already in it) since Junior High. I didn't ever tell him anything about what I had gone through, but he knew how to love me through all of it anyway.

There have been a lot of instances where Shaun has encouraged me, prayed with me, made me cry, & kicked my butt when I was being a punk.

There is one particular instance that literally changed the way I lived my life...

The night of my first year graduation some majorly hurtful things all came rushing to the surface.
You ever have one of those moments where something you thought you were "over" just hits you?
I had a moment. A big moment... Shaun "just happened" to be there in that moment.

I had just finished singing my last song, and honestly it was awful. I was starting to cry and everyone was pity affirming me (haha); not knowing my crying had nothing to do with the song. Shaun came over to me knowing there was something more, and put his arms around me. I spent a good solid 30 minutes just sobbing. I couldn't say anything at all, and all I could feel was pain. He didn't say anything for the longest time; he just cried with me.

Then he began praying for me, & I honestly don't remember most of the prayer. I do remember him saying negative things that had been spoken over me by other people and replacing them with truth.

Then he repeatedly asked God to show me how valuable I was. To this day I can hear him saying over and over again, "You're so valuable, Melissa".

That was a pivotal moment for me.
I wouldn't dare say that I wasn't loved or hadn't had that love expressed to me all my life, but I don't recall the specific word "valuable" being spoken over me. That word was extremely significant for a lot of reasons.
I always knew I was called by God, I knew I loved Him, I knew He loved me...but I didn't believe I was valued.
This was the first time I truly HEARD & BELIEVED it.

I had been believing the lies that the negative voices & circumstances had spoken for years without even realizing.
He didn't rush anything, he let God take His time with me in that moment, and that moment literally changed my life.

I didn't think, talk or act the same after. I have never again questioned my value to God. Never.

Heroes don't have to be bulletproof;
in fact, the best kind of heroes are the ones who bleed with you.

[...Just wait until I tell ya about Lori...] be continued...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HEROES Part 1 -Megan Munro

I thought it was time for me to write a little bit more, but I don't feel like I have much to say about me. So, I wanted to change the focus of my blog to other people. I'm going to start with a series of my "Heroes", and we'll see what happens from there!!

So here goes part 1 of "HEROES"

Heroes don't have to wear capes, scale walls or fly faster than a speeding bullet.

They just set an example of someone you can aspire to be.

And sometimes, they catch you when you're falling.

I'm thankful for all the heroes in my life.

When it comes to Heroes, the first person who comes to mind is my sister Megan.

(Yes, gentlemen, she IS single. And if you feel like changing that status, you have to pass my extensive background think I'm joking...)

Megan is my big sister by 16 months. We function like twins - talk the same, speak in code, similar mannerisms; but we are also TOTAL opposites...& I love it that way.

Here are just a few of the reasons why she is one of my heroes:

My sister can talk to anyone. She is fearless. In fact, there have been times I've wished she would stop talking to someone because I am, well...NOT fearless. No one is a stranger to her for long. She knows how to make people feel special, and can get anyone to open up to her. She doesn't disregard what someone is saying if it seems "off"...she finds the solution & brings correction in LOVE. She's not afraid to tell it like it is, (trust me I know that better than anyone).

She loves orphans.
I'm not just talking about the ones you see on the streets. She has a heart for anyone that has been used & abandoned; and she knows how to shower them with love. She fights for justice, and speaks for those who can't speak for themselves. She embodies James 1:27. TRUE RELIGION. (I'll leave it at that...;) ha)

She doesn't look like what she's been through. That's the reason most of all that I admire her. Someday, I'm sure she will be sharing her story with the world, and the world will be shocked and amazed. She has "LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE" written all over her. I'm so proud of everything she has allowed Him to do in her!

She is the coolest Aunt EVER.
London adores her, cries for her, requests to call her every day, stares at her pictures, won't let anyone sit on our guest bed because to him it's "Megan's bed", and says he is "Megan's boy". Sometimes he even calls me Megan.

She is my best friend for LIFE.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday. I was sleeping on my couch/bed/horribly uncomfortable futon when the phone rang. I didn't move. My mom left a message on the answering machine: "Meg,'s mom...wake up...turn on the t.v. right now"...


April 7th, 2001, I was on a bus with 60 or so other students heading for a field trip to the World Trade Center & the United Nations. I remember that trip so vividly...the towers were so big that I almost fell over just trying to look up at them. Overall my life felt as full of endless possibilities as those towers. Little did I know that day would end with a blow I never saw coming…

Ross & Elaine Munro were separating. This news didn’t make national headlines, but if you knew my family, you knew it was nothing short of devastating. It shook the very core of my being until my life felt like it was seconds away from collapsing. Everything I knew of life was ripped out from under me. Everything was going to be different, and no matter what I did I was never going to change what happened that day. The next several months of my life were nothing short of chaos.


...I fumbled around in search of my remote that sunny, not a cloud in the sky, East Coast September morning. I was irritated to be awake, and numb to feeling alive. I turned on the news to feel that sinking feeling everyone in the nation felt - nothing was going to be the same. I sat in shock and horror as the north tower burned, I gasped as the south tower was struck and we realized this was no accident. My sister and I periodically looked out the window when planes sounded low (we lived 18 miles from the Philadelphia Airport, so that was a lot). We watched both towers collapse. I felt like the whole world was collapsing with those towers. They had served as a painful reminder to me of a day I was never going to get back; now they became the same to an entire nation.

That day marked a spiritual awakening in my life. I wanted to live for more than my pain…I wanted to fight even though I felt like I had nothing left to give. I gave the broken pieces of my life to God that day, the ones I had been trying to fix on my own. I was ready for Him to rebuild me.

On September 11th, 2004, I found myself boarding a plane I questioned getting on. I was scared out of my mind; so much so that I nearly called my mom 50 times to come pick me up. I wasn't afraid of any man or machine, I was making the biggest decision of my life and I was about to bail. I made at least 5 trips to the bathroom to get sick, during the last one finding myself making a plea to God for a sign that I was doing the right thing. (He gave it to me, but that is a whole other story). It was around 8:30am in the morning that my flight took off for Kansas City. The sky was reminiscent of that early morning 3 years ago; so blue, clear & full of sunshine.

I felt like my life was just beginning on that anniversary of such horrible endings. The past 3 years had been a whirlwind of gutting out the broken pieces of my life. Those pieces were gone, but never forgotten.

I stepped off the plane into a world I had never experienced before. I had never felt so much peace about anything in my life, & I never once questioned if it was the right move. I felt full of the same feeling I had when I visited the towers 3 1/2 years earlier - overwhelming possibility. It was a new beginning.

God has spent these last 10 years rebuilding my life in too many ways to articulate. He has used so many people to impact my life along the way and believe in me in ways I never thought possible. Those people have become the every day heroes in my story. They have helped pull me from the wreckage, and walked me through to new life. I will never be the same.

Out of death God has rebuilt my life into something completely new. I will never forget 9/11. Never, ever, ever.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tonight I am having an evening at home alone.

While most in my shoes would welcome this occasion, I am really not too fond of the idea. I enjoyed my time of being single and childless, but I don't miss those days one bit. I look forward all week to spending Friday night with Mike, so I threw a bit of a pity-party when I realized I would be spending it with Hunter (that dog who got me a ticket) instead.

After I ate my can of worms (still don't understand that expression), I started to look to the positives of spending this night just me and my dog. I try to look for the best in every hangout situation I have, seeing what I can learn from the person I am with. What character traits do they have that I am lacking in? What would my life look like if I was more like them in (fill in the blank) area?

Call me crazy, but I think I just learned more from my dog than I ever expected.

If I could be more like Hunter:

I would love people even if they didn't love me back.

I would accept people for who they are, and not judge them for what they appear to be.

I would enjoy creation more.

I would be able to fall asleep in 20 seconds or less.

I would try something that scares me, even if everyone told me not to.

I would face my giants, even if they are rottweilers and I'm just a runt.

I would forgive people in 10 seconds.

I would like the taste of tap water.

I would fight for the safety of others, even if I had to die trying.

I would be happy to live anywhere, as long as my family is with me.

I would not be a picky eater.

I would run like there's no stopping me.

I would probably do something like this:

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your night no matter what situation you find yourself in. Don't do anything my dog wouldn't do!


Monday, November 15, 2010

you know that person in a group of people that always gets drowned out by everyone else talking?

you know, the soft spoken one that no one stops to listen to answer a question or share their thoughts.

it's the one you can only hear if you sit really close to them and move your ear really close so they can talk right to you...

the one you sometimes get frustrated with because you have to tune everyone else out in order to listen to them.

Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated when you can't hear God?

you know, the One that always gets drowned out by everyone else talking?

you know, the still small voice you don't stop to listen to answer your questions because you're too busy sharing your thoughts?

the One you can only hear if you sit at His feet and turn your heart to Him so He can talk right to you...

the One you sometimes get frustrated with because you have to tune everyone else out in order to listen to Him.

Take time to listen for the voice that speaks in the silence!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Best Friends

This is what best friends look like.

London is absolutely obsessed with his Dad. All day long he talks about him and looks for him in the house. He's the first person he asks for when he wakes up, and the only person he wants to put him to bed. He screams in delight when he comes in the door, and cries the saddest tears when he has to leave.

He is 100% a daddy's boy, and I think that's just how it should be. I love it!