About the Author

4:10 Ministries encourages others to USE THEIR GIFTS and walk in obedience where He leads. Mela writes about music, motherhood and faith that sustains.

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  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is just what I needed to hear. I am just on the edge of coming alive again. Finding it difficult to take off. Didn’t have the words to express what I am feeling. Your words helped to give definition and explanation to many of those emotions. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Hope – I love how you put that “on the edge of coming alive again” – it feels wonderful & terrifying sometimes, but oh so beautiful when we take off.

  2. You have encouraged me this morning! I was told (once again!) last weekend, after speaking to a lovely group of women, that I should write a book about my story. I don’t know why I keep pushing it away…..fear, laziness…not sure. But I am trusting that I will have the courage to pull it all together!

    • Deb – how wonderful! Those nudges are sometimes necessary to get us thinking, praying and moving. Our stories give others permission to say “me too.” Praying for you today.

  3. Mela-Such an encouraging message! I can so relate! I was a journalist, too, and started writing songs more than 20 years ago. I shared a few, but mostly they lay dormant in my dresser drawer’s darkness. Then two years ago I got the courage to professionally record some of them! Now I’m almost done with my CD. I’m also writing/illustrating a book for broken women like myself! It’s the most exciting time in my life and I’m almost 50 years old!! God is using all my creative gifts (music/art/writing) for His glory just when I was beginning to wonder if I’d be a ‘starving artist’ the rest of my life. I may never make any money, but I won’t ever be starving; He has satisfied my soul completely. I listened to and believed Satan’s lies for far too long and now I’m living in God’s grace and freedom. I’m on a life mission now to encourage other Christian women to do the same!

    • Wow, Karen – so excited for you! I love your mission, your obvious passion and your wisdom to know when we’re following after Him, we won’t lack for anything. Grace & Freedom – sweet, isn’t it?!

  4. I cannot tell you how timely this was.

    At 31, I’m wondering what options are left for me.

    I can do it. I CAN do it.

  5. To dream impossible dreams and do something to make the impossible possible – and keep God at the center. Amen Mela.

    You wrote. “My fears could have counted me out … the enemy telling me to keep my head down, go through the motions” From the inside, and from the outside invading the inside, those voices are too familiar.

    To keep this in mind today, “There are no expiration dates on your gifts or your dreams” amen. These were good words to hear today.

    God Bless and Keep you and yours

  6. Mela, I love what you wrote, and congratulations on realizing/finding your dream! Here’s my problem: I love – LOVE – to sing. I have had training, and my only outlet was in church – my feeling is, God gave me this voice – I should use it to glorify him. Well, now, with a change of leadership, I’ve just been told that my voice isn’t “right” for our style of worship. After 1.5 years of trying to change my voice to fit the style, it’s over. So what now? My dream has always been to sing for God – not necessarily by making CD’s, but to just sing. I don’t play an instrument, so I can’t just sit down at a nursing home & serenade the people. I don’t have a clue what to do, but I’m floundering, and my joy is gone. Any advice?

    • Elaine – I’m sorry – that’s painful to not feel like you have a place to express yourself. Here’s what I want you to hear: God gave me THIS voice – it may not be commercial enough, or sell a bunch of albums, but it’s the one voice I have and God hears it all as Hallelujah. He hears you too, whether it’s in church, at home, with a group of friends. And, for the record – I don’t play an instrument either – my first “gig” was singing a capella to a group of women at a shelter. I will pray that you don’t lose your joy and you find an outlet for this passion.

    • Elaine, the Bible says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. I say sing your heart out, Sis, wherever you are!! God is worthy of your praise, regardless of what anyone tells you. So sing, as unto the Lord, and I believe you will be blessed for it!

  7. God stories fuel my fire. Thank YOU. I’m so happy to hear of your dream coming true. I know you bless others. I’ll pop over and listen to your music. Hugs from Colorado Springs! 🙂 Happy dancing..

    • Thank you – it’s definitely the follow through that makes the difference. It’s there for the taking – we just have to have the courage to reach for it. Most of the time, it’s well out of comfort zone, but that’s the fun, freeing part of daring to dream – the more you do it, the bigger the dreams get and faith grows to meet each new one.

  8. Thank you for this post! I feel like I have fallen into a rut that I can’t get out of. I feel that God wants to use me, but I don’t know what way that is. I still feel the stiring inside.

    • Thanks, Emily – I’ve been in that rut too. Yes, God wants to use you – it might not be in the way you imagine, or it might be exactly how you imagine – that stirring is a great clue.

  9. This is a great reminder for me. I am in the process of my whole world changing. I have been a stay home mom for 10 years and I am having to go back to work because my marriage is ending. Through all of the junk I have gone through as of late. I have learned a lot about myself. The most important thing I have learned is that I let my fear of failure control me. I also let the roles of wife and mother define me. Now that I am entering this new world I am finally doing things for me. I write a blog and I have spoken a few times. I have also picked up my camera again and I have begun taking pictures of something besides my children.
    I have learned though all of this that mine is not an uncommon tale. Too many women lose themselves in the roles of wife and mother out of a sense of duty only to wake up one day and realize they have no clue who they are. I am in the process of writing a book to empower women and help them to see that God has given them talents outside of just wife and mother. I know God has given me this and I just have to not let fear or the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all keep me from completing what He has called me to do.
    Thank you again for this encouragement and the reminder.

    • Love hearing how you’re breaking out and discovering yourself. And, yes – you’re right – not an uncommon tale. The more I share about my story, the more I hear “me too” from other women. Bless you as you use your gifts for Him!

  10. great post, mazola!

    hmm.. was I one of those closest to you that didn’t know you could sing? oh no…i wasn’t. we were never close 😛

    xo
    your fave bro-in-law (true story, jeff)

    • Ha – Doug … it’s much easier to be vulnerable with new people than it is to share a big dream with people who know where you’ve been and who you’ve been. For me, it was a silent judgment I thought I’d face from my music-loving, culturally relevant brother-in-law. Thanks for not telling me I was crazy for believing.

  11. Great story! God can use all types of situations to bring our gifts out in the open. I recently went through a nervous breakdown and struggled emtionally and mentally, but God is using that pain to bring me to a place to reach out to others who are pusing themselves too hard and are afraid to be vulnerable and admit they *can’t* do it all and need help. Oh, and btw, I am 45, it is never to late to be what God wants you to be!
    I am definitely going to have to go check out your music! Thanks for sharing today!
    Bernice
    Is multitasking the key to productivity?

    • So true, Bernie – it’s never too late! Good for you for seeing the good even in a tough situation – glad He brought you through so you could help others.

  12. This made me smile so. stinkin’. BIG.

    I love this…it really never is too late. And I am so happy for you!

    I feel the same way with my blog…my husband and I wrote one together for six years, and I finally found the courage to start my own, to put myself in that vulnerable place and just spill my heart.

    It’s been so amazing and so healing. We’ll see what happens with it…I need a few more readers (or more than that!)

    I can’t wait to listen to your album! Thanks so much for sharing…my heart needed this today. 🙂

    Mel

    • Thanks, Mel – be vulnerable and spill away – Sheila Walsh says “Our brokenness is a better bridge to others than our pretend wholeness will ever be.” AMEN!

    • Thanks, Alli – I keep telling my story, because some days I need to hear it again just as much as someone else does. I still hear those voices, but the more I share what God did, the stronger I am to conquer the next thing.

  13. Now THAT was ENCOURAGING!! Thank you for sharing your BIG, unexpected, unanticipated dream — a dream with no background and few credentials — for surely God is able and will do immesurably more than anything we can begin to ask or imagine. You have inspired me to reach higher, to trust God with the dream He has sewn into my soul, and to step out in faith wherever, however, whenever He leads. THANK YOU, Mela, for sharing your (in)couraging story!

  14. Oh my, I can’t thank God enough for putting this on your heart to share with us. I’m sending it to my daughter who is, hopefully, ending a marriage of 25 years to an emotionally and psychologicaly abusing man who has verbally assaulted her to the point she thinks of herself as of no worth and with no talents. I so well remember the beautiful, charismatic woman with tons of women friends who used to sing, play the piano, work in her church but no longer does those things. No makeup, no pretty things, no confidence, etc., but that is beginning to change and she is becoming more excited about life and her role in it. She asks me to pray for her often, which I am privileged and honored to do. God is getting her back and your article will help her see her worth to our Lord and her friends and loved ones. Thank you.

    • Mary – I’m so so sorry your daughter has been hurt like that. Prayer is powerful – and thankfully she has a faithful Mom who brings those requests to the Lord. Bless you!

  15. “There’s no expiration date on your dream.” Love that!! Love that David was chosen as a boy, but didn’t become king for years…but, he never stopped believing who he was called to be. Thanks for sharing Mela!!
    Love ~ Kristin

    • Thanks, Kristin – I know you’re a big dreamer & love to see you, your family & Chris Ann’s all venturing out to encourage others through your acts of faith, kindness and love.

  16. Your post was just what I needed today. I have a master’s degree in music education, but besides singing in church now and then I have not ventured out to use my degree. (The Lord has blessed me with 4 beautiful children in under 5 years – so I have been otherwise occupied :).) The Lord has recently been prompting me to start teaching private lessons – and I would say my number one hinderance is fear. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging me to do what God has gifted me to do! I also dream of one day recording an album, and maybe someday I will see that dream realized as well!

    • Awesome, Deana – yes, you’ve been occupied for sure! Love that you’ve listened to that still small voice & are stepping out to use your gifts!

  17. Mela, I’m so glad you decided to take that leap of faith and follow the dreams God placed within you! You’re an encouragement to all of us. I’ve had one of your songs stuck in my head all week and it has made my heart smile!!

    • Thanks, Holley! This space has been such an encouragement to me – I’m continually amazed at the God stories that line up & tell us over and over again we have it all in Him & nothing can stop us. You are a gift!

  18. and then you go and take the fruit of your dreams and bless people like me and my mom. i have listened to your cd so many times since dad died this summer… because it’s joyful and lovely and came from the kindest heart. i’m so glad you believed in you and trusted Him.

  19. Oh, what a sweet story! Such a beautiful way God used your gift. So inspiring. I thank you for sharing this. Sometimes I feel so incredibly silly because I have oodles of dreams and desires and hobbies. I feel, most of the time, like a failure and its a constant attitude of letting God use whatever gifts I have in his own way. No matter how small! Again, thank you for your words. I needed them today!

    • Yes – no matter how small! That’s a great attitude to let Him use our gifts in whatever way He plans. I get WAY ahead of myself and His plans when I try to jump from here to there. But, if I did – I’d miss all the small, seemingly insignificant moments He put in front of me to shine. Thanks, Amy!

  20. Hi Mela! Yay for you, for steppin’ out of your comfort zone. The awkwardness outside my comfort zone challenges me. Prayers for us all as we “step out of the boat” to walk towards our Saviour.

    P.S. I can’t wait to listen to your CD.

  21. Thank you so much for this post. You are a great encouragement for what God has already been telling me in my heart. I don’t see how it will come to being, but He has put a dream into my heart. He has re-sparked a love and gift for writing within me, something I did when I was younger. But that wasn’t all. I felt He has called me not only to writing, but to speaking also. And that scared me to death (well, almost!). Now in reading your post, it confirms all He has laid on my heart. I would look at all those already ‘there’, and compare myself to them, and say I can’t do THAT. But He lovingly and reassuringly would encourage me to ‘seek Him to find myself’. To find what it is He has to blossom out of me! I am still in the ‘bud’ stage, not quite opened up, but I am one step closer, if only in my mind-set. Thank you, I definately can relate!

    • Oh, I love this, Tina – “seek Him to find You” – absolutely – like in Psalms “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” – I think sometimes we mistake that for desires of our head, but if we really listen to what our heart wants, He will make that known and give us the strength to move toward that. I like the flower metaphor about being in the bud stage – can’t wait for you to see how He wants you to blossom!

    • Thanks, Dawn! I am so grateful to you for the gifts you’ve used on the desktop calendars – they are stunning & we love having that as our backdrop to our day.

  22. wow! so inspiring! i feel like I have a lot of bottled dreams locked up inside and I don’t even know where to start and how to start…life just moves so fast and I feel like sometimes I am just trying to hold on… thank you for sharing this! i believe God is speaking to me about dreams right now as they are burning in my heart and I feel like<"don't los your dreams," is being said everywhere I turn… thank you mela, and your music is beautiful!

    • Thank you, Jessica – bottled dreams – yes, I felt that too … it took some time for me to have the faith and courage to “pop the top,” but when I did – overflow! God placed those dreams, gifts and desires to make a difference in you – I’m excited for you! Blessings.

    • Thank you, Doreen! That’s exactly the reason I love to share – I need those types of God stories to give me courage to know He’s in control, guiding our steps and asking us to GO even if we sometimes don’t know where we’re going!