“I wanted to be a great employee, an amazing, understanding, non-nagging wife… a mom who successfully executed home-cooked dinners, kept the house clean, played with her children and never lost her cool…” Inspiring Women: Life With Melody
I met Melody through a gym where her children and myself were both members. Melody has a gift of building other people up and letting them know what she likes about them. She’s a good listener, an encourager, and has a heart of gold. Melody is truly a beautiful woman inside and out, and I am honoured to feature her.
Inspiring Women: Life With Melody
A Little About Me
My name is Melody, and I am a follower of Jesus. I have loved Jesus for as long as I can remember. I can still hear my dad making an audio recording of me when I was a very small girl. He said “Melody… why do you love Jesus?” I responded…”I don’t know… I just do…”. This exchange went back and forth a few times, and he said “Melody… why do you love Jesus?”… I finally responded…”Because He first loved me…”
My earliest memories are learning about Jesus.
I remember sitting with my mom and dad and singing about Jesus. My dad was determined that I would be musical, so he and my mom started off by naming me, Melody.
My earliest memories are of singing with my dad, and for anyone, he could get to listen to me (his little girl).
My dad used to do ‘hymn sings’ at Nursing Homes, and I remember when I was just a wee little girl, he would put me up on a table and say “Sing for the people, Melody”… He loved to bless people in every way he could.
My dad was the lead singer in a gospel quartet when I was a child… and I remember many nights listening to him practice and some of the first songs that I knew were big girl songs like… “Redemption Draweth Nigh, The King is Coming, Because He Lives” haha.
I consider myself to be extremely blessed to have been given the mom and the dad that I have.
God chose them just for me!! They loved me very much and did their very best to raise me… I was/am an only child, but it isn’t something that I ever felt was a negative thing growing up. My parents kept me busy and always had room for friends to come over. Often times when we went on family trips, they would bring along my cousins as well. It was a good time.
I grew up in ‘the church,’ going to typical ‘church’ activities. Well… maybe not ‘that’ typical. I grew up in The Salvation Army – and typical for us was learning to play a brass instrument (cornet in my case), playing in the band, playing for the elderly in nursing homes, putting on musical concerts, going to music camp… We also learned about the Bible through weekly programming for kids at our church.
Overall I enjoyed my growing up years and generally wanted to please God and my parents.
I am so thankful for the many people who were there throughout my life… those who were praying for me, loving me, encouraging me and were examples in my life.
Now, I’m a 46-year-old wife and mother of two children, who I am so proud of. My daughter Jaelyn is 16 years old and my son, Brennen, is 12. I can hardly imagine how it is possible that I have been married to Shane for 19 years… or how I have been a mom for 16 years!! I remember when my daughter was first born, I would count the days and be proud of myself that I had ‘looked after her’ and kept her alive for one more day!!
What an amazing ride it has been with these two children… I am SO blessed and honoured to be their mom.
I am also an Administrative Assistant at The Salvation Army and have been working there for 26 years. I say ‘Administrative Assistant,’ but my job has been in constant ‘flux’ for many years. I have done everything from working in a store, serving people in our Food Bank to bookkeeping and even being responsible for all of at times. My job has been an ever-changing situation.
Nobody ever said that being an adult was going to be easy! I have most certainly found that to be true. Life has definitely thrown some curves my way. While I am always aware of how good my life is: the past 10 years have definitely been the most challenging years of my life.
I have often heard it said: ”we grow the most during the trials.” I have also learned that to be true.
I have spent the past 10 years trying desperately and unsuccessfully to keep a lot of ‘balls up in the air.’
I so desperately wanted to be good at everything I was doing. I wanted to be a great employee who could keep everything managed, an amazing, understanding, non-nagging wife… a mom who successfully executed home-cooked dinners, kept the house clean, played with her children (not to mention run them to every activity) and never lost her cool.
I also wanted to be an amazing daughter to my mom and dad who deserved nothing less… as well as being a good friend to all who might need me.
Did I mention that I also hoped to remain physically healthy, fit and grow closer to God?
You might wonder how that turned out for me… Well?? Life began to get very bumpy about 10 years ago when my dad’s health took a horrible turn. My amazingly strong, highly involved, rock-of-a-man dad… fell apart very quickly.
In a matter of a couple of months, my dad became extremely anxious, couldn’t sleep, started having trouble with his walking and generally became quite ill.
The man who I had always looked to for strength and assurance started looking to me…
He needed me to help him feel secure and take care of things that he otherwise would have. My dad’s health continued to deteriorate each passing year. My mom did everything she could to take care of him at home, and I did everything possible to take care of everything else for them. From driving them to appointments, grocery shopping, doing their business, many Emergency Room visits, too many hospital stays and finally, after fracturing his hip, a nursing home.
My dad acquired an infection just two months after moving into the nursing home and passed away in the hospital a few days later, February 14, 2018. This journey alone… was excruciatingly painful!
Watching him and my mom go through this all, was so painful…
However, I can honestly say, as painful as it was – I am so honoured and thankful that I was able to have walked with my dad through this all….
Beyond what was going on with my dad and his health, so many more things went on over these past 10 years that made my ‘perfect picture’ crack!!!
Just a brief list includes:
- My husband’s father died suddenly and unexpectedly.
- My daughter broke her arm while training in gymnastics. This injury required two surgeries and broke her heart because she loved gymnastics so much and obviously it affected her training. Just when her arm was finally cleared for full training, she fell from the beam and broke her foot. For a 12-year-old girl, who loved her sport – this was devastating. Just a few days after she broke her foot, her grandfather (Shane’s dad) died. After all of this, she started to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Thankfully, her anxiety has been mostly under control now for a few years. Although she still suffers from some moments of anxiety, she is doing extremely well and thriving.
- Extreme stress at work… my boss/friend became very ill and actually almost died twice, this forced me to take on much more responsibility at work. Suddenly, I was the ‘boss.’
- Extremely close friends and support moved out of town.
- There were more extremely hard times, but I will leave those for another time.
Through it all, although I didn’t ever understand why I was going through these things… and why I couldn’t be the perfect mother/person I wanted to be….
I can honestly say that it forced me to chase after God in a way that I never had before.
He was there for me like I never found before.
Shane has begun a new career as a nurse, after going back to school, and although it isn’t easy to start a whole new career at 43, he is pushing through. Although I know he is still in the ‘learning curve’ and it can be very stressful, I know he is such a blessing to all that he comes in contact with in his job. I am very proud of him and thankful that his heart is to serve God’s people.
A Typical Day
My days have changed quite a bit over this past year but, these days…. I like to begin my days slowly. Cup of coffee and a few minutes with God (if I can stay awake). After that, I make lunches for Jaelyn and Brennen (and sometimes myself), get everyone up and driven to school. After the kids are in school, I go to work.
Balancing the family schedule and figuring out how everyone is going to get where they need to be with our ONE car seems to be my job.
Shane works doing Home Care, which requires him to be using our only vehicle to do his job.
As you can imagine, it takes some creativity to figure out how to get everyone where they need to be. In the evenings, I drive my kids where they need to be (sports, work, friends).
Also, I still do my best to support my mom in various ways by taking her shopping, to appointments and just spending time with her. Of course, there is always Laundry and daily household jobs! Although, we would like to be doing more ‘family activities’, we just don’t seem to have the time. Often at the end of the day, we all sit together and watch The Voice or something like that.
My Daily Struggles
Balancing life continues to be a daily struggle. Finding the energy to do the things that I know I should do (clean the house, cook, and take care of myself). Getting meals made for my family… raising a pre-teen and teen, to become great human beings who love Jesus.
I struggle with having the strength and focus to be physically healthier. Over these past years, I have tried many times to eat better, get on an exercise program… However, each time I started, something BIG and bad would happen in my life and totally derail me…
So, at this point, I am beyond discouraged and each time I fail… it’s harder to get back up again. Just being real!
Honestly, I do struggle with not allowing ‘discouragement’ to take me over. This is definitely a struggle for me when life isn’t going how I want it to… and when I am not performing to what I ‘think’ I should be. Sometimes ‘the darkness’ tries to get ahold of me, but I continue to fight it off with what I know to be true in God’s word.
I am trying to learn how to have JOY… real joy… the kind that doesn’t depend on the circumstances… I am also learning to activate my faith…
I dream of being healthier and having more energy. I dream of growing closer to God and being able to access His presence easier in my life…. I dream of being able to use the pain that I have experienced in my life to help others through whatever they are going through.
I dream of there being no wasted tears…. I dream of being able to sing again.
Somehow over this past year, I have almost lost my ability to sing. I’m not sure if it my asthma or what it is, but I am unable to sing… I want to sing!!! I want to be able to express my love for God in the way that I have been taught to do so since I was a small child. I dream of the amazing people my babies will become…. I dream of one day seeing those I love again in heaven.
I dream of helping other people…
Joys in my day
Even though at times I forget this – I have many joys in my day! Coffee is definitely one… ha ha! Many of the people that work with me at The Salvation Army are a joy to me. It’s amazing to see how God uses different personalities from different backgrounds to serve His people. Also, many of the people we serve at work are also a joy and a blessing to me.
Other things that bring me joy in my day are: seeing my children after school and hearing about their day (of course, my daughter is more of a talker than my son…), Shane making me laugh and spending time together as a family.
Ultimately relationships and good conversations are most important to me.
Moments with God
I have always felt like God is with me throughout my days… He is like a friend who never leaves me, and I can always talk to Him… and I do. I have always been so incredibly thankful for that. Over these past years, I can honestly say that I know He never left me… and was always so close.
Although, He didn’t always respond in the way I would have liked… I knew He was loving me… I knew He had it all in the palm of His hand. I am so thankful for that reassurance.
*Click below to hear a favourite song of Melody’s
To be honest, it is always a struggle to do the things that we know are good for us… whether it be exercise… eating broccoli… or spending time with God. However, I try to spend time in my Bible each day. I have always found that even though I may not know exactly what God is saying as I read… somewhere along the way, it comes back to me…
Also, finding the time (and making a point) to spend in extended prayer is something that gives me strength.
I definitely don’t do it as much as I should, but when I do it is so uplifting! He wants to hear from me… He wants to spend time with me and for me to just be in His presence. I used to read the bible and just not ‘get it.’ I wanted to… but I didn’t feel like it was saying anything ‘real’ to me.
I’m thankful to say that through these years, His word speaks to me like never before.
Also, Shane and I enjoy listening to various podcasts of pastors that we respect. We have found this to be great encouragement… something that also confirms direction for us.
These last years have been a process for both Shane and me of meeting God in a whole new way. We are just trying to follow Him and be faithful and obedient in what He has shown us. He has been leading us down some new paths… and has asked us to make some changes. Change has always been scary for me, but I am thankful for this new path… and excited to see where He leads us.
I can honestly say that I am excited about my journey with Him.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Melody’s life and her love for God. Read about another woman who struggled with something most women won’t talk about: Inspiring Women: Life With Laila.
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