Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

Making pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

Dollar Tree Holiday Decor and More


Ran through my local Dollar Tree today and found some amazing items. Cannot find something at your local Dollar Tree? They now offer smaller quantity orders. But as always you can count on them offering items by the case AND delivered free to the store you choose!! Link provided below!!!!

Dollar Tree

Connect and Create {Coco Liner Daisy







Connect and Create began because of the coronavirus quarantine. I was missing my beloved community and found moments of the sacred in the stillness of my office, now creative space.

Continue with me on this journey of discovery and yielding to the Lord.

Please sign-up for email updates as we grow together in community~ both near and far.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20:21

Thank you Jehoshaphat for your example of praise in the midst of battle!

Simple Daisy Flower made from (3) Dollar Tree Coco Liners

Check out my Facebook Page- Melanie Self

Connect and Create {Coco Liner Flower}







Connect and Create began because of the coronavirus quarantine. I was missing my beloved community and found moments of the sacred in the stillness of my office, now creative space.

Continue with me on this journey of discovery and yielding to the Lord.

Please sign-up for email updates as we grow together in community~ both near and far.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20:21

Thank you Jehoshaphat for your example of praise in the midst of battle!

Simple Daisy Flower made from (3) Dollar Tree Coco Liners

Check out my Facebook Page- Melanie Self

Connect and Create {Coco Liner Flower}

Rhythms of Renewal Connect and Create


Hello MRO Ladies!!

I have given you a week to settle into the new normal your family is growing through. I just want you to know that I have been earnestly praying for you. I miss your family and especially time with you!

Last week I launched a 4 week Rhythms of Renewal FaceBook Live video. Connect and Create. A 30 minute lesson (Connect) and 30 minute (Create) craft much like what I would do at the track. Trying to be creative at getting us together. Now that I am not traveling, it will be great to connect with the ladies that do not travel as well. Please feel free to share!!

Every Wednesday @ 8pm – 9pm for the upcoming 3 weeks. (3/25, 4/1, 4/8)

This is a public video over on my personal FB page. Tonight we will consider our second word of focus- Restore! Oh such good stuff!

Staying Our Minds On God Through The Most Difficult Days


All of the noise, chaos and the information overload continues to be overwhelming this morning. Today I think we can agree that we ALL need an encouraging word.

We packed up the MRO Community Center in Atlanta Thursday night. My soul continued to long for caring for our NASCAR family. Heart so conflicted. I struggled with one of the hardest decisions that had to be made in my time with MRO. My mind understood. God’s call on my life to serve others settled at the forefront of my heart. In the end I found rest in knowing It was the good and right decision for so many reasons.

We pulled out of Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday morning and there was such a feeling emptiness in us all. While it would have been much easier to surrender to what I was feeling, I knew my heart would be much better served by running toward and clinging to the rock of my salvation.

I opened up my Bible App since my Bible was under the motor home slide out. I ran hard and fast to one of my favorite passages~ to a verse that has carried me through some of the hardest times in my life. So I thought you might be encouraged by my journey- one that continues to carry my heart.

Isn’t it amazing how God always knows exactly what we need? Thank you Lord.

I know this is long. The sixteen words packed in this are worthy of our attention. Save the post of your do not have time to settle in.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

We don’t know the tune, but these are lyrics to a song, since this chapter of Isaiah begins, “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah.”

When is “that day”? The impending day of judgment on the earth. Oh my. A terrible day for those who’ve turned their backs on God.

A glorious day for those who’ve put their trust in God.

Beloved, that day is going to come as surely, swiftly, and with far more destructive force than any natural disaster or COVID – 19. But for God’s people, He promises peace in the eye of the storm. And He calls us to sing a song of praise simply because He is worthy of it.

Just sixteen words in this verse, but every one packed with hope. Every word. I’ll try not to wear you out with this, but seriously, every word matters. Look.

You… Isaiah 26:3

This is “the Lord” (CEV). He is only One who can make the promise that’s about to unfold.

If we look for lasting peace elsewhere, we won’t find it. If we think any government in the world can provide it, we are fooling ourselves. Only God. Only, only God.

…will… Isaiah 26:3

Not maybe, not probably, not shoulda, woulda, coulda. He will.

In fact, He “dost” (RSV). It’s a promise that’s already been fulfilled in him and by Him. “I know that everything God does will endure forever” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). “Forever” means eternity in both directions. All the way back and all the way forward. Beyond the parameters of time as we know it.

This is the kind of promise Eternal God has made to His people. I will.

Unfortunately, I make—and break—a dozen promises a day. “I’ll be right there.” “I’m almost done.” “I’ll get back to you soon.” I mean well. But I don’t always deliver. Soon becomes two hours later, two days later. Almost done is worthless until you reach done. When God says He will, He will. Such a deep comfort in knowing this to be true.

…keep… Isaiah 26:3

How I love being a kept woman when God is the One doing the keeping! He will “give” (NIRV) and “guard” (AMP), He will “preserve” (CJB) and “protect” (GW). To keep something of great value, we put it in the safest of places. Like a wedding band, circling a ring finger: close, personal, never out of sight.

This is what God does to keep us: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16). Right here. Touch. See.

…in… Isaiah 26:3

I know, I know. Crazy, to park even for two seconds on the word in. But in high school, in was the end-all, be-all. Everybody wanted to be part of the in crowd, (Sing it with me, if you know it: “I’m in with the in crowd. I go where the in crowd goes. I’m in with the in crowd. And I know what the in crowd knows…”)

Years later, I still want to be in: “in God’s sight” (Romans 2:13), “in God’s service” (1 Thessalonians 3:2), “in God’s love” (Jude 1:21) and “in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24).

Please, Lord, count us in.

…perfect… Isaiah 26:3

This word makes perfectionists twitch, but here’s what it actually means: “constant” (AMP), “true” (ERV), “complete” (EXB), and “whole” (MSG). It means finished. It means Thy will be done. It doesn’t mean we get it right; it means God gets it right.

“As for God, his way is perfect” (2 Samuel 22:31).And his perfect way leads, naturally, to…

…peace… Isaiah 26:3

Some translations make this word perfect by doubling it: “peace, peace” (EXB), “shalom shalom” (OJB). Like squaring a number. Peace to the second power.

“Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord (Isaiah 57:19).

Peace is what everyone wants and few can describe: “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Exactly so. What is peace? Knowing we are in the center of God’s will. How can we be sure we’re there? “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will” (Acts 22:14). His sovereignty is how he keeps us in perfect peace.

Remember the saying? “God has this!” He still does.

…those… Isaiah 26:3

It’s not very personal sounding, but the fact is, those means us: His followers, His believers, His children, His own. That’s who rests in perfect peace.

…whose… Isaiah 26:3

It’s an ownership word, a possessive word. Those who know God’s peace. Those who have taken the next step—not with their feet, but with their heads.

…minds… Isaiah 26:3

True fact: my mind gets me in trouble. Yes, my heart belongs completely to God, but my mind sometimes wanders down the wrong path. No, not that direction. Not R-rated avenues. Or worse! Prideful places, mostly. Hoping to impress. Wanting to wow.

Left unchecked by the Holy Spirit, my mind can also drift into dark alleys where jealousy and envy lurk in the shadows, and self-pity sticks out its big foot to trip me.

Here’s God’s sure solution:

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2), and while you’re at it, God says, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds” (Deuteronomy 11:18). I study God’s Word and share with others so that we can learn what it means to fix his Word in our hearts and minds. When his life-giving Word is inside there, my thoughts have a safe place to land.

…are… Isaiah 26:3

Like the word will above, are sweeps away any sense of maybe.

…steadfast,… Isaiah 26:3

Outside of a Bible study, I could go a whole year and never use the word steadfast. It’s what writers call a 10-cent word. Not commonly used. We might say “steady” or “faithful.” But steadfast is more delicious.

A steadfast mind that’s “stayed on thee” (ASV) produces “sound thoughts” (CEB) that “cannot be changed” (GW). Now, that’s what I’m talking about. How can we have minds that don’t wander off, don’t wobble out of control? How, Lord?

…because… Isaiah 26:3

Here is the why, the how, the answer, the because.

This is the whole of the Christian life on the head of a nail, driven into the flesh of the One who lived and died and rose again, so we would believe and love and have faith.

…they… Isaiah 26:3

Goes with those, above. They is us. And this is what we gotta do.

…trust… Isaiah 26:3

There it is. The T word. It’s woven all through Scripture. If in my heart of hearts I would stay my mind on “trust” and repeat it over and over, again and again maybe I’d be more apt to reside there in my spirit. Maybe now and again I get it more and more and more right for all the times God has taught me to “write it on my heart”.

Trust is putting down my shield of defense and picking up God’s: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and He helps me” (Psalm 28:7).

Trust means letting God fight my battles: the battles in my mind, the battles in my flesh (Lord, we need a bigger sword!), and the battles in my heart.

And any looming pandemic that might sway us to run hard and fast AWAY from being wise, prudent and trusting God’s unchanging, faithful hand.

For those of us who are in the middle of trust issues, maybe this better is yet, the way in.

…in… Isaiah 26:3

It’s impossible to simply trust. You have to trust in something or Someone: “in you they trusted and were not put to shame” (Psalm 22:5).

Yes, even our tiny word in matters, because it leads us to the object of our sentence. (I can hear my eighth-grade English teacher celebrating). Everything that I have learned points to…

…you. Isaiah 26:3

Yes, YOU, Lord. You alone are: Trustworthy. Sure. Steadfast. Immovable.

Now, check this out: the last word of this verse is the same as the first word of this verse. You. God. The One who makes everything possible. He wraps this truth in his embrace and holds it all together for us.

So much truth in a mere sixteen words!

It took me almost sixteen hundred words to scratch the surface of just one sentence from God’s Word.

Wow, Lord.

Without even trying, I think I’ve committed this verse to heart. How about you? Give it a go.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:up

Now it’s your turn!! 😁

What is perfect peace?

What does it look like, feel like to you?

If you’ve been there, describe it for the rest of us.

Happy Camper Store Grand Opening


Please join my sister and I over @ our new adventure— Happy Camper Store!!

We have found our happy landing place!

We are sisters. Melanie and Claudia. Two “Happy Campers” since childhood. Weekend hikes collecting treasures, swimming in rocky rivers, bacon frying in a cast iron pan, lazy Saturday’s, fishing with our dad, games at the picnic table, family time, catching fireflies, roasting marshmallows under the stars and telling stories around the campfire until late into the night.

From a very young age our parents taught us the importance of tradition, adventure and making time for family. Together, we treasure childhood memories of doing life in the great outdoors.

So, welcome to our special little corner of the world over @ the Happy Camper Store!!

Our heart is to provide inspiring products that will bring the adventure back to every grown-up happy camper heart like ours.

Happy Days. Simple Life. Happy Campers.

We’d love to have you join this journey with us as OUR story continues. Keep dreaming. Keep writing your story! There’s a big and beautiful world out there!!!

Adventure Awaits!!

DaySpring End Of Summer Sale Extra 25% Off



Today is the LAST DAY of our End of Summer Sale – Up to 70% Off + and additional 25% Off at check out with code EXTRA25

Ends midnight tonight

Note: Full Affiliate Disclosure: When you place an order with this link I will potentially get a percentage of the order.

Young Living Premium Starter Kit Sale 10% Off


The best decision that I have ever made!! If you have been on the fence about diving in to the world of essential oils, this is an amazing opportunity!!


A Lantern Diffuser PSK AND 10% off!!!??

If the International Grand Convention and all the new products weren’t enough, how about 10 percent off select Premium Starter Kits (PSKs)!?



Promotion is valid for new enrollees in the U.S. and NFR only. Please note that shipping restrictions may preclude some NFR markets from participation. Promotion is not valid for Professional Accounts or APO.


Premium Starter Kit with Lantern Diffuser

—Item No. 29546D

—Price: $157.50

—PV: 90

Premium Starter Kit with Dewdrop Diffuser

—Item No. 26666D

—Price: $148.50

—PV: 90


July 24th 8 a.m., MT until 11:59 p.m., MT, on July 26 or while supplies last.

Young Living has 30,000 units of each discounted PSK type available.

Questions? Let me help you navigate the most amazing journey of your life!!!

God Wastes Nothing He Gets You Ready


Lately, my heart has been longing for a ladies gathering with you for the purpose of worship. While my private worship is an incredibly important and empowering part of my faith journey, there is NOTHING like ALL of our voices raised as one to our Lord, Savior and King. Our collective of hearts and deep soul’s longing to be in His presence is magnified when we lift our eyes toward heaven in praise and worship. 🙌🙌🙌

As I have prepared, prayed, planned, purposed, surrendered to the Lord’s will for the 2019 Summer Caution, I have considered this night, one of great significance as the vision and mission of this event is changing.

Case in point- I listened to an insightful podcast this week. I cannot remember who the pastor was or the church but the next seven words stopped me in my tracks.

The context of the pastor’s sermon was the life and battle between a very small and seemingly ill-equipped shepherd boy against a warrior and military giant.

Yep- David and Goliath

A young, ordinary shepherd boy David was prepared by God through the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly step in to serve the Lord no matter the directive!! He was READY!!!

In this season of my life, my family has continued to battle giants at every turn. This last month, God has led me deeper into the Old Testament. My spirit has been inspired, challenged hip-boot deep and stirred while lingering alongside of hugely significant historical faith moments in the lives of a nation, a people and individuals found in God’s Word.

The highs and lows of God’s people. Real life. Always a wonderful, good and faithful God. Failure, success- no matter the hardship or circumstances, they were humbled and bowed low with reverence in their response to the God of heaven. Forgiven, after taking God for granted, their immediate response was that of thanksgiving, gratitude, worship and adoration.

So we have lots of fun planned. You best be prepared to laugh, grow in community and end the night with an all-in worship opportunity!

Listen friends- Praise ALWAYS leads to victory. Simply opening our hearts, breathing out the air from our lungs and singing/expressing words from our throat and mouths opened up gives our souls the ability to clear out the things that weigh so heavy on our souls. You know what I mean. That weight we carry on our chests – every little thing for all the right reasons! He has made us to regularly worship and release.

So get ready beloved of God- Clint and Amber are bringing the band and no matter how bad our voices creak and crack, God will inhabit the praises of His people.

God wastes NOTHING that we have been through in our lives! He is preparing us for something bigger than we are, bigger than we can do- So am I ready? Are you ready?

God is doing something greater!!!

Isaiah 43:16

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horse……. But forget all that— And it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland…… Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my people can be refreshed. I have made you for myself, and they will honor me before the whole world.”

Man if that doesn’t make us shout and sing hallelujahs- Behold!!!! God is doing amazing things. Tuesday, as a collective, let’s surrender. Let’s send resounding notes in beautiful harmony toward heaven. Let’s watch and wait women of faith and courage. Let’s believe together for HIS honor and glory!!!

Not ticket? No worries!!!

Just let me know you want to join us. Or contact the MRO Office Monday. 704.455.3828

Text Heather Haaland 704.794.8496

Thanks Monica Palumbo Hancock ❤️❤️❤️

You can also check out what God is doing in the lives of Clint Hudson and Amber Hudson