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 candles... although we couldn’t quite fit them all on her cake!}🎂

We celebrated {and serenaded🎸} this sweet lady today, and I’m ever so grateful for the 90 years of her life!!! I’m especially thankful that each of my kids have had the privilege of knowing their great-grandmother! This is such a sweet mercy and rare gift!🎁

“One generation after another will celebrate Your great works; they will pass on the story of Your powerful acts to their children...I will tell of Your greatness as long as I have breath!” Psalm 145:4-6❤️

After tragedy touched our own family this past year, one of the biggest truths I have been learning {and re-learning over and over again} is to live with open hands. I’d be lying if I said this has been easy. My own hands and heart are so full with all these precious little ones that I love so dearly, and the tug is to let these triggers of loss make me worried and anxious for their futures, focusing on all the worst-case scenarios and what-ifs of the coming days. But instead of living crippled by the fear of an unknown future, I’m learning to entrust my life and all these I love so dearly into our Father’s hands. I’m learning how to walk through these days knowing that they are already numbered, trusting in His goodness, even when it doesn’t seem good through these earthly eyes of ours.

I’m so thankful for a faith that gives us the eyes to truly see and to trust {even while grieving} that God is still good and is always working all things, even these tragedies, for our good and for His glory. I’m also forever grateful for the life of our own little Faith Ana, and for the way the Lord used her life and death to help me learn more and more to rest in not only the mercy, but also in the sovereignty of God.

Throughout this day, I’ve been praying, remembering, and reminding my own heart these truths. It’s been a day spent winterizing my garden, bringing some of the less cold-tolerant plants inside, and preparing for the cold nights that are coming. I love how in the midst of this most ordinary of activities, hands in the dirt, there’s been these sacred lessons and sweet reminders whispered deep into my soul.

Every season is His. Fall, spring, summer, and yes, even winter.

“As long as the earth endures, nothing will put a stop to planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (Gen. 8:22)

“The winter of the grave gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory.” ~Charles Spurgeon

#CountingMercies {and seasons} #SevereMercies {and sovereignty in loss}
#FaithsFeat #Ponderings

My heart has been so heavy today as many in our community are reeling from a tragic car accident and the loss of a dear sister in Christ (she’s the momma of one of our first little golfers more than 15 years ago when Will and I first began teaching together}.

I’ve spent the day thinking about this sweet family, lifting them up to the Lord, and praying for their hearts to be comforted with the supernatural peace of knowing that this wife/mother/friend/ministry leader is now in the presence of her Father, full of joy those of us on this side of eternity only know in the tiniest part. She knows it now in full.

Tragedy and devastating losses like this one always make you think about all the people in your lives that you love. It makes you hug and say “I love you” more than usual and reminds you to focus on the things that matter the most in this life, which is ultimately preparing for the next...preparing to meet Jesus face to face. This is what matters most. He matters the most. Our friend knew this, and because of this, though so many are grieving today, there is also great rejoicing because of the hope of Heaven and an eternity for her, forever in the presence of Jesus...🌱

This song? It’s one of my favorites. These words? They’re my story. And these little faces? They’re my living, breathing, sweet and silly, laughing, {loud and lively} reminders of how HIS mercy met me. Their smiles a snapshot of His love. Their giggles a glimpse of His grace. Their precious hearts {all nine of them!!!} powerful proof that He truly can make all things new. This is beauty for ashes🖤...

God of the new beginning
God of the second chance
Your grace an endless river
Your love an avalanche
There in my darkest moment
All hope burnt to the ground
That's where Your mercy found me
That's when Your love came down
You turned my mourning into dancing
You turned my sorrow into praise

You give me beauty for ashes,
Beauty for ashes

Love met me in the ruins
Of all my past mistakes
Love walked me to the river
Love broke apart these chains
Love spoke a new tomorrow
Opened my eyes to see
Love washed away this sadness
Love came and rescued me
You turned my mourning into dancing
You turned my sorrow into praise

Oh I thank You, God
I'm overwhelmed by Your incredible love
You make everything new
Oh thank You, God...
“Beauty for Ashes” by Chris McClarney🎶

{For all You've done and yet to do}

... Well, it was a first for them as they trooped around our sweet little neighborhood collecting candy and a basket full of goodies! They all had such a fun time, except for the tiny cowboy who clearly had too much candy. And then there’s a certain little storm trooper who can’t stop thinking about the werewolf he saw. Oh my. All in all, though, it was a good, good day. I snapped a picture of these favorite people of mine right before they headed out, Web to his party and the others down the street, #CountingMercies for, yes, even Halloween.🎃

#OctoberMercies {and I love pumpkins, pansies, and all the pretty mums, but honest confession: Halloween is just not my favorite.🎃 I could list plenty of reasons for this, including (but hardly limited to) scary costumes, scary movies, scared kids climbing into my bed in the middle of the night because of scary dreams they had about all the scary things they saw while walking through the store helping me pick out those very pansies, pumpkins, and pretty mums.🧡

Over the years, especially with so many little ones, we’ve just always opted to skip out on trick-or-treating and Halloween parties. Being mindful of protecting their little eyes and hearts has always been a priority and a big part of this decision. Not to mention, this momma is a bit of a scaredy-cat herself and doesn’t like to see the particularly not so pleasant things that Halloween is notorious for.🙀So we choose what we fill our minds (and theirs) with, and truthfully, I’d rather it not be ghosts, goblins, and grim reapers. Now, I promise, there is no judgement here for everybody who does love this day, but, quite honestly, I’m always SO happy to see November roll around.

With that said, when this soft-spoken, shy, sweet-hearted oldest boy of mine told me this afternoon that he wanted to go to the costume party at youth group tonight, I was so excited. This is a big deal for him, and a big step outside of his comfort zone. So, we gladly (and madly) scrambled to put together a last-minute costume. We even braved the party store. It was CRAZY in there, and, yes, I had to cover the babies’ eyes as we walked up and down some of the scarier aisles, but we navigated the crowd and the ten minute long line 😳and were able to secure the lumberjack beard we needed to complete his look. He was a hillbilly banjo player, and this couldn’t have fit this free-spirited boy of mine any better!😊

Of course, when the other kids saw their big brother dressing up, they immediately joined in the action. They raided the dress-up closet and the pile of clothes I’ve been collecting for the thrift store, and they giggled and had the best time. And since they were already dressed up...

#CountingMercies {and good news for the broken-hearted; liberty for the captives; sight for the blind; a beautiful crown in exchange for the ashes; gladness instead of sorrow; victory, joy, and praise in place of depression and sadness; planted like great, towering trees; and standing to the GLORY of the Eternal.} - from Isaiah 61. It’s one of my favorites!💖

“Your faithfulness flows from one generation to the next; all that You created sits firmly in place to testify of You.” (Psalm 119:90)

#CountingMercies #SundayMercies #OctoberMercies #CacheLakeFarm 🌾

#CountingMercies {and this sparkly, blue-eyed-baby girl is halfway to one!}👶🏼

Lettie Bird, this sleepy-eyed momma of yours is grateful for every single one of the late nights, middle of the nights, and early mornings that I get to hang out with you! Every time I lay these eyes of mine on you I’m reminded that we have a good and faithful Father who gives the sweetest of gifts. You are one loved little Birdie!🐦

“My prayers for you are full of praise to God as I give Him thanks for you with great joy! I’m so grateful...” (Phil.1:3)🙏🏻

#BabyMercies #Birdie

The days I find myself taking the most pictures? There’s no doubt about it. Those are the days I’m most purposefully looking for the mercies.

It’s those days - days in the middle of the mess, days in the middle of the struggle, the difficult situation, the difficult diagnosis, the difficult relationship, or the difficult season...

It’s these days in the middle of the story, it’s then I most often have the most difficulty seeing...

Seeing the beauty all around me {it’s there, and it’s breathtaking}!

The blessings {there’s an abundance of them}!

The grace on top of grace on top of even more {ever-being-poured-out} grace!

So, just like today, I snap the pictures, and I see their smiles, the way the sun shines on their faces, the sparkle in their eyes, or, more often than not, just the simple sweetness of the little, ordinary moments during all the middle minutes of the day.

Inevitably, one of the kids will ask me, “why are you taking a picture of THAT?” And I tell them the same thing I tell myself: focusing on what is good and beautiful {rather than the plenty that is not} changes my perspective. This changes my mindset, my attitude, my parenting {which doesn’t necessarily change them or their attitudes, but it certainly does have the potential to positively affect their perspective, too}.

⭐️Seeing with tHis perspective, through the filter of His mercy, this doesn’t diminish what’s difficult. It just reminds me I’m not alone in the middle of it.⭐️

And this might be the biggest mercy of them all:

That He’s leading me, ever so purposefully. That He’s not leaving me, and promises He never will. That, right here, even in this middle part, He’s continuing to {lovingly and faithfully} write a story for my life {and theirs} that is good and grand and, most importantly, will bring Him great glory. And if that wasn’t enough good news, there’s more. 💛 He’s also pouring out a multitude of mercies, morning by morning, right here, right now, right in these middle days, too.

“...And He led His people right through the middle! His tender love for us continues on forever!” (Psalm 136:14)

#CountingMercies #SundayMercies {& today’s pictures + ponderings}

#CountingMercies {and the days} They go by so quickly! I blinked and these three little pumpkins are as big as me now.🧡

Then, we worked {very frequently} on being kind, not hitting or biting, encouraging one another, keeping our hands to ourselves, only speaking words that were helpful for building one another up, not retaliating in anger, and a host of other values and lessons that I knew were important to instill in their little boy hearts.👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

Now, I still remind them {just as often} of these very same things {minus the biting...I *think* they’ve finally outgrown that one}.😂😂😂

Then, those first three little stair steps of mine were exhausting, but parenting them was pretty simple and fairly straightforward.

Now, it’s {just as exhausting} but a tad bit more complicated, making it crucial that I keep my own heart prayerful, with my eyes ever looking toward my Heavenly Father for direction and discernment. The issues are bigger, harder, and more complex {than biting your brother😬}, and it’s daily becoming more and more evident just how very much I need His wisdom to parent their {growing-up-way-too-fast} precious boy hearts. This means I’m daily {many days, hourly} on my knees praying for these three, along with all their little brothers and sisters.🙏🏻

Also, I’m finding that this band of brothers are still the best of buddies, and seeing the way they still laugh together reminds me how important it is to continue cultivating in my middle and little crews the significance of always sticking together, standing up for one another, and loving each other fiercely!💙

“A cord of three strands is not easily torn apart.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

“Teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90:12)

#SundayMercies #FallMercies #PastMercies #BandOfBrothers #BigCrew #PrayerfulParenting

#CountingMercies {and counting it a productive night} 😉

All 9 kiddos had showers/baths. 🛁🚿

Also clipped 60 fingernails + 60 toenails + painted half of those bright purple! 👊🏼💅🏼

We’re ready for you, Monday! Let’s make it a great week, friends!💜

“...and may you have the strength you need for every day.” (Deuteronomy 33:25)

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