I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Um, wow, that's exactly not what I wanted. (i.e. The Gift of God Being Smarter than Me)

We're having weekly giveaways during December.  Read more about it below.

I made a crucial mistake the other day. Like, a putting-a-metal-travel-mug-in-the-microwave kind of mistake. (Yes, I've done it. Yes, there were flames.) My most recent misstep: saying, "I would never shave my head.

Warning! Saying those words probably made my eventual Mr. Clean look a sure thing. I’m serious, anytime I say, “I would never blah-blah,” it’s only a matter of time before I do indeed blah-blah.

Exhibit A
Melissa, sophomore year of college: “I never want to study abroad. I love campus life too much to leave.”
Melissa, junior year of college: “London rocks! Studying abroad rocks! Even tea rocks!”

Exhibit B
Melissa, senior year of college: “I will never work in a small-town newspaper. I need more excitement.”
Melissa, upon graduation: “So, it seems I'm now working at a small-town newspaper."

Exhibit C
Melissa in 2007: “I really never want to move to a larger town. Small-town life is so quirky and fun.”
Melissa in 2008: “Welp, looks like I’m moving to Des Moines.”

It’s like God takes some kind of pleasure in giving me exactly what I didn’t ask for…or want…or think I wanted. Thing is, I almost always end up loving whatever I-didn’t-ask-for-this thing comes my way.*  

Well, if you haven’t noticed, we’re talking about gifts this month at the MBT Ponderers. And as I “pondered” what to write about, it struck me that some of the best gifts God has ever given me have been a direct result of His knowing me better than I know myself. The same has been true in my writing, actually. Believe it or not, there was a time when I insisted I did not want to write a romance. But as Georgia and Case’s story came to life on paper, I eventually had to admit that what I’d written was indeed a romance – a contemporary, humor-laced, hopefully fresh one, but a romance all the same.

I think those surprise, completely contrary to what we thought we wanted gifts can be some of the most wonderful blessings in our lives. I’m so thankful God takes my “I would nevers” and turns them into “wow” experiences.

How about you? Ever find yourself being blessed by the very thing you said you didn’t want?

Melissa Tagg

*Notice: I said almost always. I’m not sure I will love it if I really do end up sporting a Daddy Warbux no-hairstyle.

p.s. Wondering about the photo? That's me hanging out with a monkey at the top the Rock of Gibraltar during spring break of my semester abroad. Monkey and I never would've been friends without God ignoring my "I will never."

December Contest: We're having weekly contests during December and we're giving away fun prizes! Leave a comment this week and you could win: a journal and a mug containing 3 Starbucks Christmas flavored VIA packets and 3 flavored tea bags. The mug has a photo of an old-fashioned typewriter on it and says: Write your own story. To see a photo of this week's prize, go here.


  1. Wow! what a neat post, Melissa. And you're so right about God giving us what we didn't know we needed. Those are some of the best blessings I've ever received.

  2. Your posts never cease to make me smile. I love the uniqueness of your voice, no matter what you write.

    When I was in fourth grade, there was a kid a year behind me who was named Patrick. As my friend and I stood in the lunch line, he walked by. I said, "I'll never marry a guy named Pat."

    Haha! God had a good chuckle that afternoon. My Patrick and I have been married for 21 years. :) Thanks, God, for knowing what was better for me.

  3. I once said, "I will never, ever write fiction. Actually, my friend Roxanne will tell you I said that a lot. Again and again.
    Um, just handed my first novel into my agent. And I'm working on my next one. With plans for a third.
    I do believe God's led me down this bend in the writing road. And I'm so thankful I haven't missed any of the blessings he had waiting for me--and the ones still waiting for me!

  4. Thanks, Pat. I'm so thankful God ignores my rash "I would never" pronouncements and sorta shoves me through the door to things I thought I didn't want. :)

  5. LJ, that story is hilarious! How does your husband feel about it? Hehe...Hmm, I'm pretty sure I've said I'd never marry a man named Gaylord. Yikes...

  6. I am sooo thankful, Beth, that you converted to the dark side because I probably wouldn't know you otherwise! And I'm thankful for God leading you down that bend in the road...because from just the tiny bit you shared over a year ago at Storycrafters, I know I am going to devour your novels as soon as they hit bookshelves.

  7. Great post, Melissa. I'm lovin' the pic of you and the monkey. It's sooo cute! :-)

    I didn't want to move away from my home town in FL, but almost 10 years ago God had my family move to TX so my Dad could start a ministry in Mexico. Hindsight I can say that God knew best. If I hadn't moved to TX, I'd never have met Miss Teri, and probably wouldn't be writing fiction now.

  8. Melissa, Loved it!

    My never "wanted to" was I never wanted to own or operate an online magazine. It took me being obedient to my hubby for that to happen. Now it's one of the most important things I'm doing in my life and it is taking me places I could never have gotten into otherwise. So, you're right.

  9. Oh LJ I said I would NEVER marry a guy named Patrick too! Oh boy we both did it! LOL

    The Patrick who lived down the street was a mama's boy to the max. Still is. Yeah.

  10. Oh M-Tagg, say you'll never marry a rich, handsome, man of God!

  11. Well, I'm glad you moved to Texas and met Teri, Angela...otherwise our paths may have never crossed!

    Glad you like the monkey photo...true story...seconds after that photo was taken, the monkey jumped off the tree and wrapped its arms around my neck. Freaky and totally cool. Wish I had a photo of that. So glad it didn't bite me...I must've looked like I needed a hug...

  12. Yes, Ginger, you are soooo smart. I'm saying it right now...out loud...do you hear me, God?

  13. I posted earlier today, but for some reason, I'm not seeing it up here. :) Anyway, Melissa, I loved what you shared today. :) I also like how you put a positive spin on "I never." :) I learned never to use those words together, because when I did, it was a negative thing, and I always did what I never said I would do (not good things, like yours! :)). Thanks for making it a positive perspective. :)

    I never, ever thought I would write fiction. Maybe non-fiction. Maybe. But never fiction! Well, God is changing that perception in my mind, and life. In the process, He has given me the gifts of learning more about Himself and introducing me to wonderful people!

  14. Great post and a great giveaway - you're 2 for 2! :) Thanks for doing this. If I win, my email is grig at gmx dot com

  15. So true, Melissa. When I've said strong things that turned out exactly as you describe so well, He has helped teach me to be less opinionated and do more "Selahing" (pause and think calmly of that) before making such strong statements. I also think that in these situations He's like a track coach s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g our endurance and capability to reach new outlooks and abilities that are much better for us. Hmmm...I wonder what's next?

  16. Melissa - you always make me laugh! Your humor is such a blessing. And, I would agree - God's gifts are always much better!

  17. So glad you ARE writing fiction, Jeanne. I hope I get to read it someday. Yay!!

  18. Thanks, Grig! And good luck in the contest. :)