Well ain’t that jus like me…

Well, it’s almost the New Year and I’m sitting here outside my son’s school after a basketball tournament.  He did pretty good too. 20, 27, 27 and 10 points respectively.  He is now a senior and it has been a whirlwind! I’ve heard friends talk about the infamous senior year but nobody, and I mean nobody told me it would be like this. SAT scores, GPA’s, scholarships, colleges, football, basketball,  and Lord have mercy that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The word stress took on a whole new meaning, and prayer has been at the top of the list. But through it all I can see God’s Hand. I can see that in spite of the stress, the disappointing moments, and the unknown, I am yet encouraged. I am thankful, and although we are still in a holding pattern, I can truly say THANK YOU JESUS! We learned that we can take it, we can make it, and it really is all good! I know that I know that I know, God is faithful and He will make a way out of no way! And did I mention, storms are nothing for God, so if you are in one, hang in there and rest in the fact that you are not alone and God is in control. Ride it out! Happy New Year!!!


I can see clearly now….


I can see clearly now…

Blessings dear Readers,

It has been a minute since I last blogged. Due to a fun but hectic summer schedule and transitioning from summer vacation to the first week of school, I havent had much time to sit very long, let alone blog. But today I had a few hours of quiet time, and that is usually when the inspiration comes. Today I want to talk about being THANKFUL.

Today when Judah, my youngest got in from school, he pulled out all of his new school books and showed me all the classes he will be taking this year. He started last week and cried almost every day, and by Sunday evening was in complete distress at the thought going back. This particular school is considered one of the best academically in the state and fast paced as one would expect, so you can imagine that he and I were bracing ourselves for what that was going to look like compared to homeschool, which was our norm the last two years. I cant blame him for being a bit weepy, I sure would have been if it were me.

I sorted through the various folders, and came to that subject he and the now retired homeschool Mom (me) struggled with for the last two years. Math. As I picked up that big giant heavy MATH book, I took a deep breath and started for the index. As I read through the lessons in the book, my heart settled and a big smile came across my face. That big heavy monstrous book now seemed a tad lighter. I immediately recognized the material. A lot of what we labored over last year was staring me right in the face. Judah and I had already done at least the first half, if not more of the math concepts I was looking over. Before I knew it I was giving God some praise and even let out a big shout. THANK YOU!

In that moment I realized that what might be a little blessing to some, was an answer to a prayer for me. and the added bonus was that I had not even thought to pray for that in particular. It also came to me that there was a time when I couldn’t even appreciate it. But with a grateful heart, I could now see very clearly the blessing right in front of me. Could it be that these kinds of blessings appear when our hearts can really appreciate them? I dont know, but for some reason the first thought that popped into my head, after I let out that big thank you, was that I could see clearly now and the rain was gone. Maybe giving thanks in the small things, allowed me to see clearly that it wasn’t a small blessing at all, but an answer to a prayer I didn’t even think to pray. Now thats a huge blessing in itself. It was just as powerful as some of those blessings we so often like to call big.

For some reason I had the feeling that vision and thanks go together. The clarity of heart and mind in that moment was so much bigger than repeated math material. It was the revelation of seeing that gratefulness somehow allowed me to see a little farther and much more clearly. Gratefulness allowed me to see the little blessings all around me. As a matter of fact I think maybe in some kind of “meta” spiritual way, I attracted the blessing I really needed, or rather Judah and I needed, without even uttering the words out loud.

So the moral to this story is to just be thankful.

Be thankful before it happens and definitely be thankful after it happens and expect to see more than you expected.

Melani Ismail


Song of the day:
Artist: Johnny Nash

Link: http://youtu.be/FscIgtDJFXg


I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin but blue skies

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Forgive Us Our Debts As We Forgive Those Who Have Debts Against Us

Post from my friend Carla @sparkleliving

Carla's Encourage You

August 6

Forgive! Forgive! Forgive!

This word is found 182 times and forgiveness 150 times in the bible. That’s over 330xs on the subject of forgiveness. Anytime God uses a word that many times in His Word, you can bet He is serious about this priority in His kingdom.

In Matthew 18:21 Peter asks Jesus,”Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother and sister who sins against me, up to seven times ?” Jesus replied,”I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.” Gesh! That’s 490 times! Ok out of His mouth directly Jesus is telling us all to forgive each person 490 times. Why? Why is it that forgiveness is so important? Maybe it’s because God is saying, “I will forgive you as many times as you are willing to forgive those who have sinned against you.”

I know you have had unforgiveness in your heart…

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Visit http://ubeempowered.com TODAY to get your daily dose of Empowerment!



I am sitting here in the wee hours of the morning contemplating what the day will bring. I tried to sleep but after a few hours of tossing and turning, I finally gave in at 4am, and decided to get up, pray and start my day. Get up pray and start my day….hmmmm. I guess the day starts when it is good and ready, mine sure did. I have a lot on my plate today. As a matter of fact it looks more like a buffet table at the moment. I’m envisioning myself standing in front of it, and trying to figure out what to eat first. Something about it makes me want to just go back to bed. But I know better. I know that if I don’t seize the day, the day will seize me. So what better way to start than to put a few words to paper and declare to myself and the world…This is the day that The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Rejoice in spite of sleepless nights. Rejoice in spite of full plates and buffet tables filled with life’s courses. Rejoice in spite of sore feet from standing in heels too long (fuschia pink suede Michael Kors, by the way, so kinda worth it) Rejoice because a sleepless night is better than a day that never comes. Rejoice because my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Rejoice because God has never broken a promise. Rejoice because He never sleep nor slumbers and He watches me night and day. Rejoice because that not only applies to me but to all of His children. Rejoice because I get another day to be a better wife and a better mom and plant seeds of love into my husband and children. Rejoice because it is never too late to make necessary changes and strive to do better and be better. Rejoice because even though the sun is not quite up, the birds are already on their posts with a new song for The Master. Rejoice because it is just not that bad. Rejoice because God is faithful. Rejoice because sometimes you just need to take the focus off of you and your problems and just start thanking The Problem solver. Rejoice because you can. Rejoice because no matter where you failed, or how miserably you failed, you still have a right to praise God. Rejoice because its not about you and your failure to do, to be, to measure up, to fall short, or miss the mark. Rejoice because everything you strive to be has already been done perfectly, and all you have to do is follow in His footsteps. Rejoice because the more you rejoice, the more energized you feel. Rejoice because the body can feel those vibrations of thanksgiving and gratefulness, and the cells love to to hear such things. Rejoice because the organs cannot stay toxic when praise permeates the body, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. Rejoice because praise pushes out worry, fear, regret, sadness, despair, depression and every other nemesis of our faith. Rejoice because the more you rejoice the more joy, the more peace, the more love, the more grace, the more mercy, the more of God’s loving kindness, and that which is indescribable on paper but only tangible by The Spirit, becomes available to a previously tired soul. But tired no more is this soul. Thankful would be a better description. Rejuvenated! Filling up as we speak. All because something in me decided I would rather Rejoice and Be Glad! Rejoice and Be glad! For joy comes in the morning. The morning is when we wake up and acknowledge just like the birds, that He is worthy of a new song as my friend, Lawana once put it. So if you’re feeling a little tired today and maybe you have a laundry list of blah blah blah, just STOP and take a moment To REJOICE and be glad for this is the day that The Lord has made. Rejoice!


Indeed, He has made me glad today and thankfulness floods my soul


Melani Ismail

Scripture Reference (KJV)
Phillipians 4:4
Rejoice in The Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Photo courtesy of T.Hill

The house that LOVE built

There are times when the vicissitudes of life, can push you into a corner of hopelessness, anger, despair and many other emotions. These are the moments when our tongue can be most unruly. The enemy wants us to tear down the walls of hope, faith, and love we so painstakingly built during our strong moments. We sometimes give in to the pressure and find ourselves sitting amidst the ruin caused by our own mouth. This is a painful state and one that can cause us great condemnation. But even as I write this having had first hand experience many times, I realize that the scripture that tells us how to avoid this trap is the also the very one that is our deliverer. Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Speak life. Speak life! Exactly. The word is the living, moving, breathing part of God. It is God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word is God. Jesus is also described as The Living Word. The word works as soon as we receive it or apply it. John 15:3 says, Now, you are clean because of the word that I have spoken unto you. So as I look around at the destruction that my words have caused I don’t have to stay in defeat or in the midst of ashes. I can grab hold to the NOW WORD WITH NOW FAITH. Speak Life! A day with God is as a thousand to us. Yes, I tore down what I built, but He can build back up what took me a lifetime to build in a moment with just one word. One promise. One decree. So don’t just stand there! Use the word. His word. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. You must see the building restored. See the marriage restored. See those dreams restored. See lost finances restored. See those loved ones restored. See your life restored. Speak life! Speak restoration! Speak love! Speak forgiveness. Speak His Word! Every word you speak let it be brick on brick! Some words being the foundation. Pour the foundation of love into that building. Build walls of forgiveness and shore them up with patience. Cut out windows so you can see His grace, His goodness and new mercies coming to the door daily. Put a new roof on to symbolize His refuge where there is safety. Leave vents in the roof so praise can go up and blessings can come down in unison. This is the house that praise built. This is the house that faith built. This is the house that Gods love built. This is a house crafted by the word. The Living Word. Jesus is the foundation of this house. This one can’t be torn down or penetrated by the devil. This house was built by God not you. Winds may blow, storms may rage, enemies may throw accusations and hurl rocks but this house will not fold. This house is fireproof. You can’t even own a house like this without being tested in the fire. Your credit doesn’t qualify you. God qualifies you. The King himself is the deed holder. He is in charge of the grounds. He is the Landlord. This is a secure house and no one comes in without His permission. He guards the gate ferociously and no one enters except by permission. This is your house. This is the house that love built.

March 2011

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time?

Have you ever heard that saying, “how do you eat an elephant”? Well if you haven’t the answer says, “one bite at a time”. This saying may have just saved my daughters sophomore year. Okay, let me explain. A few weeks ago my daughter came in crying and very upset. She had a weeks worth of low grades in geometry and chemistry and was really struggling. This was a really big deal for her because she has worked hard to be a great student. Especially since she struggled with math from grades 4-7 grade until we had her tested and found out she was actually great at math and that it wasn’t all her fault. Apparently, somewhere in her elementary years a teacher(s) had left out a few key math concepts. To give the teacher(s) the benefit of the doubt and a fair trial I will say that quite possibly my daughter missed those weeks of school (not likely) or maybe I wasn’t on top of her homework (50 % percent likely) or maybe it was all meant to be and this brings me to this story I’m trying to tell you now. Anyway, my daughter gets in the car after school, and she is pretty upset and emotional about the whole thing. A few days go by and she still can’t seem to pull herself out of disappointment. So my husband decides to give her his normal, “don’t defeat yourself before you start speech”. After awhile he realizes he isn’t getting anywhere. The tears are still flowing. Well, somewhere in that brilliant mind and that loving Daddy heart of his,  he remembers the saying my mother says to us all the time when we get overwhelmed. It went a little something like this… Baby, how do you eat an elephant? My daughter replies dryly with a sigh, since she has heard it over and over too, “One bite at a time, Daddy. And my husband replies, “No, baby, with ketchup! My daughter bursts into a roaring laughter, not expecting that answer. She and my husband come in the door and my daughter after 3 days of moping, is laughing harder than I have seen in a long time. She shares the talk with me through more laughter. Needless to say, those classes haven’t been a problem since. Dear Lord, Thank You for that man and his quick wit and loving heart, and thank you for laughter, cuz’ it sure is good for the soul. Have a great day everyone.

Image  Image


…20 feet from stardom

I just watched a movie called ‪#‎20feetfromstardom‬ that literally just left me speechless. But now I have something to say… I have loved music my whole life. Every single facet of music. I didn’t care who sang it played it wrote it hummed it or otherwise I love it. I have studied music my whole life. I tried to no avail to disciplined myself to learn how to play. I even sing a bit from time to time and I have even sang in front of a million people and did it totally unprepared which is definitely a no no in this business, but that never stopped me from stepping up and seizing the moment. It is those moments that opened other unexpected doors so I can never take credit. I have suffered great losses in this business and plenty of times walked away in an effort to find another place to deposit what draws me the most. I write books, I write songs, I have produced records, films and just about anything that allowed me to remain creative. But every single time the thing I hear and understand most is music. I have questioned God on many occasions and sometimes with the greatest frustration as to why He would place something in me that has caused me so much pain. But after seeing this movie and watching these amazing, skilled and disciplined singers I might add, who have suffered the pain of rejection in spite of having gifts that belonged in another stratosphere, I am once again inspired. I don’t think its the music so much as it is watching the truest forms of creativity come gushing through the spirit of a human being and conveying what goes beyond anything one could properly put into words. I am aware that I have many talents, some stronger than others, but I am even more aware that a gift is greater than a talent because a gift comes from God and no matter how much you go through you must come back to the place of realizing that no matter what…You must always use your gift no matter what. I thank God for the gift of creativity that has inspired me to do more than I could have ever imagined.

I would encourage anyone with a gift to watch this movie.


To watch movie go here  http://twentyfeetfromstardom.com



Quick post… Seasons Change

Sometimes the best thing to happen to you is a change of seasons, friends and familiar surroundings. God knows when you are leaning to hard on others and not enough on Him. It is not men that promote, It is God. And sometimes He has to remove all the things around you that you think you need but really keep you from seeing that it is Him who brought you this far and it is Him who will take you the rest of the way. Don’t be mad at your friends or feel sad when things change, it doesn’t mean that they are bad or that you won’t see them again, it might just mean that they couldn’t take that part of the joutney with you. You may see them down the road and hopefully you both have have great stories and testimonies to share.