My first book is available now at Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and Amazon!

Introducing My Very First Book, Pages of Sunbeams

Today’s blog is going to be short and sweet.

On December 13, 2022, my very first children’s book was released. It’s called, Pages of Sunbeams: Joyful, Singable Rhymes To Brighten Your Day.

I just wrote that sentence and I feel as though it couldn’t possibly be true. I was so calm when I wrote it too. Maybe that’s because I have been in the this process since August. I’ve been working with a publisher, having conversations about it with friends and family and scoping out opportunities to promote the book and the purpose behind it. I often talk about it on video, sharing on social media with friends and followers. I even talk about it to people I have just met. This dream has literally become my reality!

It’s Christmas time and I’m honestly too tired to write about this or anything else; but it’s been a while since I’ve written and I want you to know I’m still here. I want you to know, the process of writing and publishing my first book has been life-changing in many ways. I am not being flippant about the term, “life-changing” either. I am serious. I have learned a few things about myself that surprised me. I’ve learned some surprising things about others too. I don’t want to randomly throw words on a page so I won’t share those things today. I’m just giving you heads-up. A longer, revealing post is coming. Until then, enjoy this beautiful season!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah! Mechelle

Who Do You Think You Are?

Behind his horn-rimmed glasses were eyes that resembled mine. I don’t really look like my dad. I’ve never even met him. But I do have a slightly worn, wallet-sized copy of his senior picture. My mom gave it to me at some point during my impressionable years. My mom also told me my dad was a doctor.

I honestly don’t know how old I was when she gave me that picture; or how I was able to hold on to it all these years amidst several moves in three states. But like that picture, the thought of my intelligent, responsible, admirable, doctor-father stayed with me far into adulthood.

I had no plans to write about this. Most of the time, I wake up and ask the Lord, “What am I writing about today?” (That is, if He doesn’t bring it up first.) Today when I asked Him, that old picture came to mind.

I spent some time this past week reconstructing the timeline of my childhood. I’m working on a dream project right now- publishing my very first book. God has given me a vision for some things I am to do once I have that book in my hands. I’m covering those things in prayer right now, or as my friend likes to say, “praying into those things.” To pray into something means, when God gives you an idea or a specific assignment, talk to Him about it. Spend time with Him. Let Him map out those things and give you specific strategies to accomplish what He has called you to do.

“Getting saved” is literally only the beginning of the relationship God wants to have with us. There is infinitely more. Think about the closest, healthiest, most loving relationship you have with someone. I promise you, that relationship pales in comparison to the relationship God wants to have with you.

I didn’t always know that.

To reconstruct my childhood timeline, I sorted through report cards, memorabilia and photographs. I googled places I’ve lived to cross-reference my memory. All of this took time and there are many years that don’t exist tangibly. Even so, I took notes based on what I have. I am preparing to tell my story alongside the stories that are in my first book. Even now, I am not privy to everything God is gently and lovingly pulling out of me.

This is where my bio dad comes in. I came across his picture this week. I picked it up and studied it. Apparently the picture has been exchanged a few times. Not only is it old and worn, but on the back of the photo there is cursive handwriting written with pencil and on top of that is my dad’s name printed with pen. Maybe the picture was given to a family member by his mother as school portraits often are. Maybe he himself gave the photo to a classmate. Maybe his sister gave the photo to one of her friends hoping they would think he was handsome. Maybe that friend was my mother. I’m too tired to explore the intrigue today. All I know is, at some point it became my mom’s possession and she entrusted it to me.

God used that photo and the story that came with it to establish a heritage in my life. From that point on, no matter what happened and no matter what was spoken over me, I stood firmly on the image and character of my father. I didn’t have to follow in anyone else’s muddy footsteps. I didn’t have to believe hateful, belittling lies. I knew who I was.

Do you know where I’m going with this? Do you see the parallel? God has established a heritage in our lives. If you don’t know what that is, you can find it in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, our heritage and our lineage is laid out before us. Life before Jesus is like life before that picture of my dad. Before that time I felt inferior and poor, lonely and broken. I had no reason to believe I was anything more than what people said I was. I had no reason to believe I could live a life that was any different than what I saw around me. I lived in fear of tragedy and wondered what tragic event would end my life or the lives of those I loved.

If you identify with any of this, I encourage you to talk to God and read the Bible. The New Living Translation is one of the easiest to understand. It’s the version I read. I also use study books from a group called, She Reads Truth. If you want to know more about how to start a relationship with Jesus or have questions, feel free to email me.

God’s plan for you will blow your mind!


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Fifth Grade

Sometimes when I go out to a restaurant I will ask the server if there is anything I can pray with him or her about. The last young lady I asked wanted prayer for her son who was in fifth grade; he was having a tough time in school.

When she mentioned he was in fifth grade, my mind and heart were immediately transported back to my son’s fifth grade days. He struggled a lot that year; so much that I withdrew him from school and homeschooled him for the next three and a half years.

My similar experience provided instant empathy. When I finished praying she said I touched on all the points she needed prayer for.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 New Living Translation

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Not only do I remember what it’s like to be the mother of a fifth-grader, I remember what it’s like to be a fifth grader. I still have vivid memories of my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Pierce. Do you remember your fifth grade teacher? If so, what makes them so memorable?

I remember Mrs. Pierce, not because she was beautiful or stylish or quirky. She was really none of those things. Mrs. Pierce was a portly woman. She had wavy, white hair. She wore glasses and skirts with suntan panty hose and old lady shoes.

I remember her because she was a woman who had a relationship with God and everyone knew it.

Mrs. Pierce’s desk was in the front of the class right next to the chalkboard; not in the back or to the side; right in the middle where she could keep an eye on us!

On her desk was a humongous, hardbound Bible; and she read some of it to us every day! She didn’t read Numbers or Leviticus or Revelation. She read the adventure stories like: Noah, Joshua, Daniel and Jonah. Mrs. Pierce also had a plaque of the 10 Commandments on her classroom wall. Mrs. Pierce was firm, but kind. Mrs. Pierce was only my school teacher for one year- Fifth grade. But she continued to teach and influence me throughout my days at Emmalena Elementary.

For example, one year in 7th grade, I decided to try to earn a free trip to Camp Nathanael. In order to earn the trip I had to complete seven Bible lessons. A bright, pink card was inserted into the middle of each lesson. There were 100 Bible questions on each card, and the answers could only be found by searching the Bible. (There was no such thing as Google in those days!) I remember thinking how tough those questions were! Each week toward the end of the school day, a representative from Camp Nathanael would meet me, and the other would-be-campers, one at a time in the hallway outside our classroom. They would go over the lesson and make sure we had answered all 100 questions. Mrs. Pierce was the representative. I saw her once a week for seven weeks and again she was sharing the Bible with me. I finished all the lessons and earned the free trip to summer camp and a Bible that was signed by Mrs. Pierce herself. It was my very first Bible and I still have it!

The last time I saw Mrs. Pierce was near the end of 8th grade. I was at home in my living room. There was a knock at the door and I didn’t want to answer it. It was Mrs. Pierce. I didn’t want to answer because I skipped school quite a bit that year. Reluctantly I opened the door. Mrs. Pierce came in and sat down on the couch with me. She didn’t yell or threaten me. She made no mention of even speaking to my mom. She simply promised if I came back to school and attended for the rest of the year, I would still be promoted to high school. I didn’t follow her advice. I was much too wrapped up in The Days of Our Lives and Bo and Hope’s love story. (There were no DVR’s in those days.)

We moved that summer from Kentucky to Florida. I went through the 8th grade again at Stone Middle School in Melbourne. I passed and went on to graduate from Vero Beach High School. I’ve had many wonderful school teachers over the years, but none of them have encouraged me in my faith the way Mrs. Pierce did.

The school system has changed drastically since I was in school. Teachers are not allowed to openly share their faith the way they were when I was in fifth grade.

If you are a Christian who teaches in a public school and wonders if or how it is possible to share your faith with your students, Focus on The Family has an article that will answer many of the questions you may have. Fifth Grade

The job you do is not just a job, it is a calling. Continue to draw close to God for the sake of your relationship with Him. Seek Him in the morning and allow Him to overwhelm you with His love so you won’t be overwhelmed by the challenges of the day. Live out your faith as much as it depends with you, producing the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control.

If you have a less than “fruitful” day:

  • Be honest to your students and peers
  • Apologize if appropriate
  • Repent if necessary
  • Begin again

And always remember this verse:

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Dear Sir

My heart goes out to men. Especially the men who don’t love sports and who are not six feet tall. The men who would rather see a play than a war movie. The men whose voices are soft and high pitched, not gruff and deep.

Just because you aren’t a carbon copy of the man you consider to be the epitome of masculinity- the man on the football field, the silver screen, or the magazine, you are still a man. God made you a man.

Don’t believe the lies.

Every person, male or female, feels insecure about some part of themselves, whether it be body or soul; wonders if they are good enough; wonders if they will ever achieve greatness; or truly be happy; though they may never admit it. Every. Person.

During these times of insecurity, we need to turn to God, to trust God.

Many people don’t trust God. They don’t think they can. They might not even believe in God… anymore. The distrust and unbelief has a direct link to some human somewhere who let them down, disappointed them, lied to them, hurt them, abused them… But God is not a man. God is a spirit. God does not reflect the image of man. Man was created to reflect the image of God, but they often don’t.

If you’ve been let down miserably by one person after another, tell God. Tell Him you’re angry or disappointed or scared. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, tell Him. Ask Him the hard questions like, “Where were You when I was being teased or bullied or abused?” Whatever that question is, (the one that always comes to your mind in the middle of the night) ask Him.

But do me a favor; do yourself a favor; after you ask Him those questions, give Him a turn. I’m serious. Give Him a chance to tell you His side of the story. I encourage you. I beg you. Your mind will be blown when He answers you. I’m praying for you. If I know you personally, I’m praying for you by name. We need you. We need husbands and brothers and fathers. We need you! Don’t give up!

Driven By Fear

I recently rejected someone who rejects me consistently.

I rejected them before they could reject me again. Why? So I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of rejection.

Jesus was despised and rejected. He understands.

Isaiah 53:3 NLT He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Jesus has the right to judge us.

John 5:22 NLT In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge

As a righteous judge, He says:

Matthew 10:33 NLT But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

I went outside to put something in our car and a group of my neighbors were chatting in the street. One of these neighbors consistently ignores me even when I smile, wave or say, “Hello.”

When I saw this group, I determined I would just do what I had to do and go back inside without acknowledging anyone; and I did so, quickly.

When I got back inside the house, I literally said to myself, “What was that?! I just treated her the way she treats me; instead of how I want to be treated.” “How do you want to be treated?” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “I want to be smiled at, spoke to or waved at.”

Why did I behave this way? I didn’t want to be rejected. So I took control and rejected first.

The Bible tells us to be controlled by the Spirit- not the flesh.

At that moment, I remembered a devotional I had just heard about godly and ungodly women of the Bible. Which woman was I emulating at that moment? I asked Jesus to forgive me.

A few weeks ago, I went to The Plant City Strawberry Festival. I brought several baskets of fresh strawberries home with me. After putting aside all the strawberries we could possibly eat and more, I still had a few baskets left. I thought of my neighbor- the one who always rejects me. “I bet she would enjoy some of these beautiful strawberries,” I thought. So I asked my husband if he would take some to her. He immediately went to task. When he returned, I couldn’t wait to hear about her response, (sensing this was a God-idea in the first place.) “I scared them to death!” my husband said. (It was just sundown and I guess they couldn’t fathom anyone coming to their door at that time.) “Her husband answered the door and when he realized we were sharing with him he said he was going to have her make him a strawberry pie!” I was all smiles and filled with hope about our next curbside meeting. It has been weeks now and I still haven’t heard a word from her about the strawberries or anything else.

Why did I have my husband go to my neighbor’s house instead of going myself? Fear of rejection.

If my husband dropped off the berries and received an unfavorable response, I would only feel the rejection indirectly. The flip-side of the coin is, if he received a favorable response, I would only feel the acceptance indirectly. (In the place of the word acceptance, you can also put the word, joy.) I was willing to open myself up to indirect rejection, but not direct rejection.

Rejection likes to drive us, doesn’t he?

Whenever I want to go to my neighbor- Fear, (disguised as rejection) says, “Give me the keys. I’ll drive. You know I’m a safe driver. Oh, and after we go to your neighbor, we might stop be Pity Palace or The Valley of Tears. Don’t worry, I’ll get you back before anyone knows you were with me.”

He might not drive you to a neighbor. Maybe he drives you to a former love or former friend or to a relative, boss or co-worker.

But we give him the keys, get in the car and then hide our true feelings, don’t we?

We cry. We feel self-pity and then we go to work building a wall. Because building feels proactive, doesn’t it? We determine to never let that person or maybe any person make us feel rejected again.

The Bible says:

Galatians 5:16 AMP But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].

In your life, who has the keys? Who is driving you?

In the above allegory, Fear said he was a safe driver. He was right. No one ever gets hurt when he’s driving. No one gets loved either. He even locks the doors when you get in. But guess what? When you decide to say, “Stop the car in the name of Jesus!” He has to let you out and hand you the keys!

My prayer for you and for myself is that we will get out of Fear’s car, take the keys from him and hand them to Jesus. Then we can be become life-long pedestrians, walking in the Spirit!