Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

One of the difficulties in returning to your hometown after time away is convincing people that you’ve changed. In their mind, time has stopped and you are the same person you were when you left. Experiences, achievements, life changes are suddenly obliterated by the truth of who you used to be.

Five years is a long time to be absent, and a lot has happened to me in that time. Therefore, I will be proactive and {re}introduce myself to everyone before we return — because EVERYONE in Washington reads my blog, right?!

  1. I now drink coffee, and Coke, and sometimes {gasp} alcohol. When I moved out of the Pacific Northwest, these were the last things I ever would have chosen for liquid refreshment. Now, one of them has become a daily necessity…can you guess which one?
  2. I’m a blogger {duh}. This means that I’m obsessively involved in social media — I tweet, I update, I comment, I overshare, and I love to talk about comment applications, memes and site designs. Some of you will think I’m narcissistic, many of you will not understand {or care}, and a few will embrace me with open arms as one of your own. I’m ok with all responses.
  3. In my time away from the Northwest, I have doubled the amount of children I left with. FOUR! Yes, that’s a lot of kids. Yes, I have my hands full. Yes, we are loud, crazy, sticky, poopy, and we are full of love. Also, we have definite ideas about how we will raise and discipline our children. That does not mean that you have to raise yours the same way, or that I will judge you for being different. I really just want to hang out and drink coffee with you while my kids discover puddles {a mythical body of water they’ve heard of, but not seen}.
  4. I’m a licensed pastor and I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry & Leadership. Josh and I have ministry dreams: to plant a church, to start a mentoring program for young leaders, to have a retreat center for ministry burn-out prevention. My degree and license are not proof that I am perfect. In fact, I’ll probably say and do a lot that make you wonder why anyone would give me either of those two things.
  5. Remember #3? That has changed the way my body looks. Yes, I’m aware. Yes, I plan on working on it. Yes, I shouldn’t eat that brownie.
  6. Lastly, I hope that you will find that I now take criticism better, use sarcasm less for humor, value people more than tasks, endure frustration quieter, and extend grace to all.

I’m sure there’s more, but I thought I’d leave a few for you to discover on your own…

How about you?

What changes have you seen in your life in the past five years?

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30 thoughts on “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

  1. I’m in the midst of planning a 25 year reunion for my very, very small high school graduating class.

    I don’t even remember the person I was in 1986. I’m so different it’s embarrassing. My nerves will be shot, that day.

    1. Haha! Oh man, that is a daunting task! I grew up attending a small, private school and we all had definite ideas of who each other were. Praying for peace for you, and joy in reconnecting with old friends! :)

  2. Life has certainly humbled the once proud and know-it-all mom and Christian I was and even who I thought God was. He has shown me how little I know and how much HE knows and how He wants to weave Himself into the tiniest of details of my life. He has shown me I don’t have all the answers nor do I need to have an opinion on everything. The last few years have left me a little battered and bruised but it’s not without purpose. I am re-learning and rediscovering and rethinking everything. It’s all about do-overs and new beginnings.

    1. Wow, Donna! I feel like you described a lot of the changes I have been through (and want to go through). I love how you said, “…nor do I need to have an opinion on everything.” That is a great lesson to learn, in my opinion. :)

  3. Oh goodness… my body still hasn’t recovered from having my now 10 year old son, though I probably shouldn’t have that brownie either. I love coffee even more than I did 5 years ago (which was a lot back then). I am almost finished with my degree. And I am finally getting through some issues that I have spent 30 something years getting over.

    1. Someone’s going to have to really work to convince me that brownies are not SOMETIMES necessary. :) If I’m honest, some of that body change is residual from my almost 7-year-old. Haha! Congrats on the degree, April! That’s awesome!

  4. Over the last five years?

    I went from newywed w/ no kids to…. 3 girls. Yes and yikes! :)
    I went from driving a Jeep to a van.
    I started to blog (even though that’s only 7 months new).
    I’ve started helping out and investing time into high schoolers at church.

    1. Whoa! That is a yikes! You should call your van a Swaggerwagon, like Keri does. :) That final one, on top of the growth of your family (and blog) is impressive. You have your hands full, Dustin!

  5. Well, five years ago, I still was a tween, so my musical tastes were a bit different. I still liked the Jonas Brothers and High School Musical. {gasp!}. I hope that I have a little bit more sophisticated taste in music.

    Honestly, I know I have matured a lot in the past 5 years, but it’s been so gradual that I hardly noticed it!

    1. That’s funny, Tay! :) And I know what you mean about the gradual change. It’s not until I start thinking about how those who haven’t seen me in a while will view me that I realize just how different I am! :)

  6. This is hilarious, Melissa!

    Well, 5 years ago I was lost. Now I’m not lost. I write. I photograph what I see through my eyes. I intentionally live, rather than let life come to me. I have joy in my soul.

    1. So good, Justin! God has really been impressing on me the importance of intentionality in how I live my life. And it’s just good to have joy in your soul! :)

  7. I am so excited to be getting you back in WA State! SO much can happen in 5 years!! For me:
    – Oscar and I renewed our wedding vows and I am amazed at the work the Lord has doen to restore a marriage that was in shattered bits and pieces.
    – I have co-written songs and been apart of 2 church CD projects.
    – I have traveled to share, sing, speak and minister as well as been a part of an amazing church family at NWC.
    – I volunteered at Royal Family Kids Camp and met a little girl who stole our hearts and we just finalized our adoption, so now I’m a mom of 3!
    – I have struggled with ongoing lower back pain that has stolen some much of my time, energy and strength- but I haven’t let it stop me. This battle doesn’t help the fact that I need to get into better shape and I can’t use “baby weight” as an excuse cause my “baby” is 6 yrs old.
    – I lost my Dad and Grandma. Grief sucks. But the Lord is my comfort.

    In the last 5 years, my faith has been tested. I know now more than ever what I believe. I feel like the Lord has restored and rebuilt the ruins and continues to do great things. I just need to keep my heart soft, open to Him and quick to obey. Looking forward to getting to know the new you!

    1. Rebecca — this list makes me so excited to see you and rejoice with you over the amazing works God has done in your life! You are a talented, anointed woman and — whether it’s in singing, speaking, writing or selling someone a home — you touch people’s lives for the better. :)

  8. You should print this out and hand it to everyone as you see them. :)

    Oh my, my entire life changed in the last 5 years. I went from painfully broken to healed and whole.

  9. Yes, much can happen in five years…since I have moved from So. Cal. to the NW, I have….
    *I also drink more coffee (sometimes multiple times a day) and have a glass a wine every so often. (gasp again)
    *I have watched two of my kids go through high school (tears)
    *Blogging has basically replaced my love for scrapbooking..
    *I celebrated my 20 year wedding anniversary…20 is so much longer than 18..doesn’t it seem?
    *We have resigned from 20 years of ministry and seeking Plan B in our life
    *We are living with family…
    All things I can’t believe I am writing!

    1. Wow, Tracy! Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, that is an accomplishment in this day. It sounds like God is moving you into a new chapter of your life with your kids out of the house and stepping back from ministry. I love how He does things with us that we would never think or imagine! God bless you as you continue to abide in Him!

  10. The way I defined myself 5 years ago is almost nothing like how I define myself now. I’ve become more confident, more outgoing, more loving and more understanding. Oh, and there’s those 3 little boys that seem to follow me everywhere. And, the fact that I’ve moved 4 times and finally planted some roots in WA. I started a blog and met this supercool chica named Melissa. She has a blog, too. :)

    Ya know, even when you don’t move away, it can be hard to accept or even recognize when people change. There are a few relationships in my life right now in which I wish I really could just start over, and reintroduce myself.

    1. Interesting point, Keri…that’s so true that we can change right where we’re at, and people can have a hard time accepting or understanding it.

      I’m so glad you started your blog, and I’m super excited to meet in real life in a couple of weeks! Maybe we can create our own little bloggers conference. :)

  11. I love this post- it’s so similar to how I feel. I’m going home next weekend- just for a super quick visit, but it has been 5 years since I’ve moved, and though I come home once or twice a year, no one really knows the me ‘now’…just bits & pieces, and I am a very, VERY different person than I was way back when…It’s a bit nerve-wracking to go home after so long.

    Good luck friend. May you be true to you. :)

  12. Wow, I don’t even know where to start with the changes in my life over 5 years. Our adoption finalized, we’re looking to adopt again, I started a web design business, took over as lead pastor of our church… I could keep going and going! Blessings on your travel and getting reacquainted with the Pacific Northwest, Melissa. :)

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