melaniemartinblackmon melaniemartinblackmon

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Melanie Martin Blackmon  Mama to many • Marking the milestones of His mercies through the mundane, the miracles, and the messes • Making much of His most merciful name 😇

#CountingMercies {and counting the years} 1️⃣4️⃣!!!

Fumbling a bit to find the right words to share my heart here tonight...Because, really, there are no words but these: Sheer Mercy.❤️

Surrounded by all these sweet babies, we are celebrating big, testifying loud, and standing here today as living proof that God can transform our broken stories into beautiful ones. He really truly can! No matter how flawed. No matter how messy. No matter what, He can redeem! And this is a mercy I will never stop counting!

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. And a tiny bit tired! It’s been a FULL 1️⃣4️⃣ years!😂😍Here’s to 14 more.

“Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now He shows me off—evidence of His endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting Him forever. Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time— One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always.” (I Timothy 1:25-17)

#AugustMercies #AnniversaryMercies

This third-born birthday boy of mine...He’s a fish-catching🎣, fiddle-playing🎻 free-spirit. He wakes up in the mornings with a smile on his face, and he’s about as happy-go-lucky as they come.🤗

C.S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” And, Hank, you’ve been helping us do some serious practicing for this since the day you were born 11 years ago today!😇

So, you better believe that on this special day we’re #CountingMercies and thankful for you and for all the joy and laughter you bring into our home. We pray you will always #ChooseCheerful and continue to choose to follow hard after Jesus! He loves you so much and so do we! Happy Birthday, sweet son!💙

“...when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness.” (Proverbs 15:15)

#AugustMercies #BirthdayMercies

A summer sale at our favorite music store made for some happy, happy kiddos here at our house today. It also made our musical instrument collection grow just a little bit...bigger!😳🤗😂

The boy on the right...He’s my passionate one, and he’s been dreaming about and counting his dollars for this {1/2 size!!!} upright bass since the day he first laid eyes on it.🙃And the boy on the left...he’s been counting down the days until his birthday {it’s tomorrow} all summer long. The only thing this free-spirited, fun-loving third-born boy of mine wanted was a fiddle.😊

And this momma? She’s #CountingMercies tonight {for bedtime and for a quiet house 😉} and for these bluegrass music-loving-boys of mine who haven’t put their new instruments down since they brought them home from the store early this afternoon!!!! 🎻🎻 I’m so glad they’ve each found something they are eager to learn and enjoy playing, and I’m especially thankful for the ways they fill our home with {so much and such loud} joyful noise!😇

Next up: learning how to turn the “noise” into notes and chords and actual music. 🎵🎵🎵 So, if there’s anybody out there who has an interest in helping my kiddos learn how to play the upright bass, banjo, mandolin, guitar, ukulele, or fiddle - message me! We need lessons!🤪🤣

I can remember a few years back during a particular difficult season my mom encouraging me and telling me, “it won’t always be this hard.” And she was right. That hard season passed, and now we’re in a new one. Not near as hard. Just different. A different kind of hard...We’re learning how to parent teenage boys. And how to care for {and contain} a trio of babies {all over again}. And also how to be purposeful and meaningful with a bunch of middle kids that could easily get lost in the shuffle. With so many {or with just a few}, I’m realizing more and more that parenting isn’t for the faint of heart.

For us, these are fluid, fast-moving days followed by long, prayer-filled, drawn out nights. There’s not a lot of reprieve, rest, or moments of calm in the midst of all the craziness. One thing is for sure, there’s not a lot of quiet. Between the banjos and the babies, the noise level here in our home is high. This means it’s not always easy to hear Him, and so we have to train our ears to hear His and be diligent about not letting all of the distractions {because there are many} drown out His voice.

Right now, for me, in this particular season, He’s whispering truths to my own heart as I seek to shepherd each of theirs. This is a mercy, and I’m so thankful for how He does this. He speaks to me through the crying baby, the strong-willed one year old, and the even stronger-willed two year old. Through the incessant questioning middle child, the one that never stops talking, and the one that I question but never can get to talk. All of their neediness reminds me of my own. His voice is in their banjo strumming, slightly off-key, amazing grace, how sweet the sound. It reminds me of my own need to tune my heart to His. Of how His grace is sufficient for every moment, for every need, for ever season. For this sacred season.

It’s in the little things, like a mountain of meatballs to feed a hungry bunch of boys. Or the way they slurp their spaghetti and the silly smiles and simple, faithful, sure provision. It’s in the front yard football game, the breeze, the promise of fall, and the hope of seasons changing and new ones always just around the corner...

Hard days happen, and when they do, it just means we need to look extra hard for the mercies to count. On my list tonight: (1) a #RareMercy for this momma of nine and an unexpected few hours alone this afternoon to think and write {turns out cemeteries are amazingly quiet places😉} (2) remembering #PastMercies and how He faithfully carried me through other hard seasons (3) also remembering and reflecting on the sacred privilege of being the momma to these precious souls and the oh-so-holy opportunity to daily point their hearts to His.❤️❤️❤️

#CountingMercies {and hard, holy, full, fun-filled, finally-over days} #ItsFinallyQuietHere #ReflectionsAndRamblings #Parenting #Perspective #ThisSacredSeason

#CountingMercies {and sweet baby girls sprinkled in between a bunch of boys} 💕

“...whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” (Philippians 4:8)💖

#BabyMercies #GeorgiGirl #LettieBird 🎀

The word for mercy in Greek is eleos. The first letter, epsilon, in Ancient Greek has two little dashes over the top of it. One is called a stress mark, and the other is a resting mark. This seems so perfectly fitting to me as I've witnessed, firsthand, God's mercy in both the stressful seasons as well as the peaceful ones.

We are in a resting spot now, and this is mercy. A sweet mercy. I don't know for sure what the Lord has for our family in the coming days. I pray that we will always have hearts willing to be front lines for Him and to be ready for whatever He may set before us. We trust Him to continue to reveal His paths for us. I know these paths will be full of mercy and truth.

By continuing to write about our journey of adoption and dissolution, my prayer is that you will see the beautiful thread of mercy that can be found in even the most difficult of situations. I hope that you will be blessed and encouraged as you witness the outpouring of God's goodness and grace to our family and to so many others that have been a part of this journey. I'm so thankful for the incredible privilege of sharing this story.

It’s a story that always reminds me that there is Only One who can carry our brokenness and make us healthy and whole again. There is Only One Solution, and He is our Perfect Father, the author of each and every single one of our stories. He calls us by name and graciously invites us into stories that reflect His merciful and sovereign heart.

They are stories of solutions and dissolutions, both of which point us to His Solution: the gift of His son, Jesus Christ.

They are stories of grace and grief, love and loss, woven together with the beautiful and mysterious threads of both His mercy and His sovereignty.

They are stories that always bring Him great glory.

They are stories, when humbly offered up and given to Him, can be used in mighty ways to point others to the Gospel, the Good News, and the Glorious Gift of Grace that is found in Jesus Christ alone.

Every path of the Lord is one of mercy and truth for those who cling to His promises. (Psalm 25:10)

#CountingMercies #FaithsFeat #Adoption #GotchaDay #BlackWhiteAndShadesOfGrace

Praying this snaggletooth beauty of mine and her baby sisters can always walk in the freedom of fully knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made...

#CountingMercies {and NOT counting the calories I eat 🍪🍪🍪 or counting the miles I run 🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️}. And this is a mercy because for the longest time I did.

#Recovery #RealLife #RealFreedom #RealMercy

Thoughts from a few years back. Different circumstances, a different season, but the same truths and ones I needed to be reminded of tonight...⭐️⭐️⭐️

...One day there will be no more weariness. No more exhaustion. No more nights unable to fall asleep, anxious about the future or dwelling on the mistakes of the past. One day there will be no more worrying. No more fear. I want my kids to know know that fear is a thief. That it sneaks in and steals our joy. That this life will be hard, but no matter what, this life is just a vapor. A blink of an eye. A drop in a bucket, compared to all that is yet to come. I want them to know that if they have placed their faith in Jesus, then there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to fear. I want them to know that a perfectly, completely, and unimaginable joyful eternity awaits them.

And, yes, He gives us happy and joyful moments along the way. Little glimpses of heaven, a foretaste of all the joy that is yet to come. Even in the midst of the hard, we have so much to be thankful for! So, around here, we will continue #CountingMercies and celebrating His grace, acknowledging the challenges, but always seeking to have a proper perspective. This means that as our eyes are opened to see a hurting and broken world, we will always seek to have have willing hearts to do the hard things. Just as He has poured out His blessings on us, we can be a blessing to others.

Giving thanks and giving ourselves is how we respond to all that He has given us.

I want my children to see this in our home and in our lives, and I want them to know that grateful, obedient hearts are also joyful hearts. I want them to know that there is absolutely nothing in this world that can bring fulfillment like the joy that comes from willingly surrendering our lives to the Lord's plans and purposes. And, one day when the Lord calls them to do hard things, I want them to be able to say yes, knowing that not only will His strength be sufficient, but that the joy He gives when we obediently surrender will be abundant!

#FaithsFeat #ConsiderItAllJoy

“When ours are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).” (Elisabeth Elliot)

So, instead of heading out for a much-anticipated, much-needed week in the sun, I’ve spent the day cleaning up throw-up, washing more loads of laundry than I care to count, and rocking {multiple} sick babies. It’s been one of those days. You mommas know the kind of day I’m talking about...

The kind of day where #CountingMercies doesn’t come naturally. Counting miseries maybe. Or counting how many diapers I’ve changed, or how much throw-up I’ve cleaned up, or how many doses of medicine I’ve dispensed. Yea, it’s been that kind of day! A day when I definitely don’t *feel* like counting my blessings and would rather be counting down the minutes until bedtime...Hello days with sick babies. Hello days with derailed plans. Hello one interruption after another after another. Hello life with lots of little people. 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

But here’s the thing. The days we feel the least like #CountingMercies, those are the days when we need it the most!😇

Making the choice - a deliberate and determined choice - to choose thankfulness over self-pity can make such a difference. It impacts us {and those around us} and has the potential to affect our mood, our frame of mind, and our perspective. This, in turn, filters into our marriage, our parenting, our work {everything, really}, and it, quite literally, can alter the course of our day. Most importantly, it shifts our eyes off of ourselves and allows us to turn our gaze to Him...which, by the way, I’m convinced is the only way to survive the stomach virus when you have nine kids!🙃

“And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18)

#CountingMercies {and remembering to give thanks in the midst of everything🤢}

They were bored this afternoon so I gave them an assignment: pressure wash the back patio. Little did I expect this fun surprise...

#CountingMercies {and counting the squares, creating a backyard checkerboard, and how I love these clever boys of mine!!!} ❤️🏁🖤

“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.” (Col. 3:23)

#CountingMercies {and sleeping babies are just the absolute sweetest!} #FirstTwo #LatestTwo {and a bit of deja vu} 👶🏼👶🏼

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