Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Did you get the last chapters? December 21, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:07 pm
Tags: ,

Photo by on Unsplash

I’m not sure what happened last week but the last chapters didn’t get sent in the email. I updated it so it is on the blog but wasn’t sure if you anyone clicked on the title to go there. If not click here and you can read the last three chapters.

I hope you all have a blessed and Merry Christmas. May you celebrate the day with a fresh and new perspective and gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for us.


Try this again–Right On Time Christmas: The Last Chapters December 14, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:45 pm
Tags: ,

aaron-burden-178369-unsplashApparently, this post was empty the first time I posted it, so we will try it again.

Here are the final three chapters of Right On Time Christmas. I was going to post two this week and the last one next week but I think that last chapter will have more impact if you read them all together. 

I hope you have enjoyed Stephen and Caylee’s story and can see God’s persistent love of us through their story. I hope you can also see that His timing is perfect, even if it doesn’t line up with ours. 

Chapter 9

Three days had passed. Stephen sat on the sofa and looked at the television but not really watching it. He  resisted the urge to call Caylee and talk to her. He did need time to process everything. But after three days of no contact his heart screamed the same thing. She was the one. Always had been.

“Sarah comes in two days.” Mom’s voice interrupted his thoughts, or maybe she was reading them. She was really good at knowing what he was thinking.

“I know.” Stephen didn’t tell Mom what was going on. He couldn’t give her hope, but somehow she seemed to know.

“Should you tell her not to?” Mom sat beside him.

“Why?” How much did she know?

“You’re in love with Caylee.”

“Yeah.” A smile spread across his face. He was in love with her.

“Maybe it’s time to tell her. And when I say her, I mean both of them.” Mom patted his leg.

“You’re right.” Stephen jumped up for the sofa. “I have to see Caylee first. I’ll call Sarah later tonight.”

Mom stood and placed her hands on Stephen’s arms.  “I always knew this would happen you know. You two belong together.”

“I hate when you’re right. Usually. But not this time.” Stephen drew her into a hug then headed for his car.


Three days. Caylee threw herself down on the couch. Maybe Stephen had decided not take a chance on her? Who could blame him after all the times she hurt him. But she wouldn’t this time. This time was the real thing. She loved him.

She let loose a laugh. She loved Stephen Meyer. She never dreamed she would feel that way. After all the guys she went through, Stephen had always been there, why did it take so long for her to see the truth?

A knock sounded at the door and her heart leapt. Could it be Stephen? She stood, straightened her shirt, glanced in the mirror, not so hot. Oh well.

She reached for the door with a smile and opened. Her heart dropped to her feet. Why was he here? Now?

“Hey sweetie, I was hoping we could talk.”

Josh? Here, on her doorstep, looking way too handsome and put together, his brown puppy dog eyes reminding her why she fell for him in the first place.

“Can I come in?” He stepped forward and that yanked her out of her thoughts.

“Uh, sure.” No, he can’t come in. Wonder if Stephen showed up? But she moved out of the way. When Josh passed her he grabbed her arm and kissed her forehead.

Wait, he broke up with her, why was he acting like he was back in her life?

“Let’s sit in the living room.” Her words sounded choked even to her.

He sat beside her on the couch, which felt way too close.

“What are you doing here?” She finally asked when he slipped off his coat.

“I miss you. I miss us.” He reached for her hands. “I made a huge mistake.”

What? Josh admitting he was wrong? But he wasn’t this time.

Being with Stephen was like being with no other man she had ever dated. It was easy, yet exciting. He knew her so well, better than she knew herself.

She studied Josh and couldn’t think of their break up as a mistake.

“I don’t think it was a mistake. As a matter of fact I think you broke up with me right on time.” Caylee smiled, confidence filled her heart.

“Right on time?” Josh pulled his hand away. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s hard to explain but the timing was perfect. That’s what God does. He is always right on time, not my time.” As she spoke hope flooded her. She had never been more sure about something as she was right now.

“Are you okay?” Josh drew his eyebrows together.

“Never better.” Caylee nodded. “I appreciate your apology and I do forgive you but I’m okay. We aren’t for each other. You’ll find someone else who will make you extremely happy.” Just like she did.

“Okay.” Josh stood and grabbed his coat. Caylee followed him to the door. “I’m glad your doing well then. I guess I was getting lonely since Christmas is only a few days away.”

Caylee leaned around him and opened the door. “I get that. But you can’t make something happen that isn’t meant to be. I wish you all the best Josh, you are a great guy.”

Josh stepped out on the porch and Caylee followed.

“I hope you have a Merry Christmas.” Josh drew her in for a hug. No sparks, no regrets. Yes, she was in love with someone else.

She pulled away and smiled, still hugging him. “You too. Be safe driving back to Columbus.”

“Thanks.” He kissed her forehead again, but this time she sensed no hidden agenda. Just parting friends.

He turned and headed toward his car. That’s when Caylee saw Stephen sitting in his car on the street.


He couldn’t believe it. Caylee in another guys arms, again. She hadn’t changed at all.

Memories of senior prom flooded his mind.

He hadn’t seen Caylee for about a half hour. He thought maybe she had gone out to the parking lot to get some air. He went out but didn’t see her. Then he noticed a car with movement. He walked over to it, why he will never know, and saw her. Locked in an embrace with Jeff Thomas. It was more than an embrace though, it was down right passion. He should have walked away but he was glued to the cement. And then her eyes opened and her gaze collided with his.

That’s when he walked away. She soon followed, her gorgeous hair that he thought she had done for him was a mess, her lips red from kissing Jeff.

She pulled him aside in the banquet hall. “We’re just friends.”

“It didn’t look like you were friends.” Fire burned in his veins, his face flaming from the anger that raged inside of him.

“Not Jeff and me, you and me. We’re friends. I didn’t think you would care if I was with someone else.” Her words slammed into Stephen’s heart and couldn’t breath for a second. How thoughtless could she be? Couldn’t she see how much he cared for her, all these years? He waited for her, he never dated anyone, waiting for her to see him. She never did. It was clear she never would.

Now, sitting on her street, watching some guy walk away from holding her and her smiling up at him that same fire lit inside of him. But this time he was done. What a fool he had been thinking she had changed. That she could actually love him. What a stupid fool.

The guy drove away and Caylee stood on the porch and waved like nothing was wrong. Stephen pulled himself out of the car and strode towards her, his mission simple and clear. End this for good.

“You won’t believe who that was. Josh, my ex.” Her words rushed out but he didn’t care.

“Save it.” Stephen stopped short of the porch and looked up at her.

“What?” Her eyebrows drew together.

“Save it. I just came to say I am going to marry Sarah.” Stephen forced the words out and his heart ached with every syllable.

“Oh.” Her eyes glistened. Was she seriously going to cry?

“It looks like we both found what we were looking for. I’ll have Sarah and you can have Josh. You and I can be what we have always been, friends.” Stephen’s words dripped with bitterness.

“But I don’t want –”

“Have a Merry Christmas Caylee. See ya.” Stephen turned and headed for his car. It was the right thing of course. So why did it feel like he just made the worst mistake in his life?

Chapter 10


“Oh, sweetie it’s so good to see you.” Mom wrapped Caylee in a hug. She forced a smile, no need to bring them down with her.

“You too.” Caylee swallowed back the tears that wanted to continue flowing. She cried all night. No way could there be any tears left, yet there seemed to be.

“You look tired.” Dad took his turn hugging and kissing the top of her head.

“Yeah,” was all she could muster.

“Can you believe Christmas is only two days away?” Mom bustled around the house. “Oh, the tree looks wonderful. Thanks for getting it up. One less thing for me to do.” Mom threw a smile over her shoulder and disappeared in her room.

Caylee’s head was spinning. She wanted to crawl back into bed but that wouldn’t happen for several hours.

Mom came back out of her room and Dad went in, probably to take a nap

“So, what’s been going on with you?” Mom took Caylee’s hands and lead her to the couch.

“Not much.” Other then getting her heart broken by the one man I actually loved.

“I heard you’ve been spending time with Stephen.” Mom get right to the point.


“Mrs. Meyer told me. We are both so happy.” Mom squeezed her hand.

“Well don’t be. Nothing is happening anymore. He is asking his girlfriend to marry him. Probably in the next couple of days.” Oh, those words were like acid over her throat.

“What? Why?”

“I’m not really sure. I think he saw something that made him believe I was getting back together with Josh. I am definitely not. I love Stephen.” That was the first time she admitted that to anyone.

“Well, then tell him.” Mom’s eyes softened and pleaded with her. She was always a Stephen fan but tried not to push.

“I tried and he wouldn’t listen. The more I thought about it the more I thought I don’t want someone who doesn’t trust me.” Acid again. He had every reason not to trust her.

“Hmmm. You know I try to keep my nose out of things but maybe you should try talking to him again before it’s too late. I know he has always loved you.”

“I guess I could try calling. But how horrible will I be if Sarah is in town and I call  now and take him away from her?” She would feel like a fool if she was in Sarah’s shoes.

“How horrible would it be for Stephen to marry a girl he didn’t really love over a misunderstanding?” Mom spoke truth.

“You’re right, I need to try.” Hope stirred in Caylee’s heart again. She leaned over and hugged Mom. “I’m so glad you’re home.”

“Me too.” Mom brushed the hair from Caylee’s face and smiled.

Caylee rushed to her room and grabbed her cell. She sat on the edge of her bed and looked down at the phone. She could do this. She had to try.  

She dialed Stephen’s number but it went right to voicemail. He must have it silenced. She could try the landline that his parent still had. After two rings Josie picked up.


“Hey, Josie, is Stephen around?” Her voice shook. Why was she nervous.

Silence for what seemed like a long time.

“He’s with Sarah.”

Silence again.


“Yeah.” Josie almost sounded mad. “What happened? He wouldn’t talk to anyone. Just says it was never going to work between the two of you.”

Caylee drew in a breath and threw herself back on the bed. “He saw something and he interpreted it incorrectly. He saw my ex hugging me. I was giving him the boot because of Stephen, I love him. We actually left on good terms but doing so made it look like we left on really good terms, if you get my meaning.”

“That sucks.” Josie was always so bubbly, to hear her now you would think someone died. “It’s too late. He probably has already asked Sarah to marry him, that was the plan.”

If it was at all possible for person’s heart to fall to their stomach then Caylee’s did and she had no desire to pick it back up.

“I see.” Her words were only a whisper.

“I’m sorry.” Josie sounded as sad as Caylee felt.

“Me too.” Caylee thought she knew what heartache felt like but until that moment she didn’t. This is what it really felt like. Everything in her body wanted to curl up and hide and never come out. “Don’t tell him I called. This should be a happy day for him.”

“Okay,” was Josie’s soft reply.

Caylee hang up and stared up at the ceiling all strength and desire left her body. Stephen was gone for good this time.  She curled up into a ball and cried into her pillow.


“Mom.” Josie rushed into the living room. Melinda looked up from her ipad. “She loves him and he’s going to marry Sarah.”

“What?” Melinda sat up and tried to make sense of the words rushing from her daughter’s mouth.

“Caylee, she called here wanting to talk to Stephen. She loves him. He saw her with her ex but Caylee said it was over. Stephen misunderstood and now he is going to marry someone he doesn’t love.” Josie stamped her foot. “What are we going to do? He might have already asked Sarah to marry him.”

“Pray. We can pray.” Melinda smiled and peace flowed through her.

“Oh Mom, that’s your answer for everything.” Josie walked away.

“Because that is the answer for everything.” Melinda leaned forward and bowed her head. “Okay, Father. You got this. Your timing is perfect, I have always believed it. For some reason these kids need to go through what that are going through and it will make them stronger. So build their faith. Make them sensitive to your voice. May they remember as we approach this Christmas season that you entered this world right on time and you can bring Stephen and Caylee together right on time. Everything happens in your timing and we are trusting you right now that things will work out just as you have planned. It’s in Jesus’ Name, I pray, amen.”

Once again peace washed over Melinda. Nothing more she could do. Nothing more she needed to do. God would work this out, He was a right on time God.


Stephen had initially planned on proposing at the restaurant but  something told him to wait. So he did. Now darkness had fallen over Holly and the Christmas lights danced over the town.

Tomorrow was Christmas Eve. The town buzzed with excitement. But now all was quiet

as they neared the bridge where he enjoyed watching the Christmas parade.

He grabbed Sarah’s hand when his favorite spot came into view. The spot he brought Caylee too. The night he kissed her. He tried to feel guilty about that but he didn’t and that wasn’t okay.

Sarah kept up a constant stream of conversation that only required him to answer with grunts and nods. Thankfully. He had trouble focusing.

“You’re so quiet.” Sarah finally noticed.

“Sorry, just thinking.” Stephen stopped on the other side of the bridge, where it was quiet and the traffic not as loud. This was it. This was the perfect place to ask her.

“About good things I hope.” Sarah flashed a smile. She was very pretty and very nice. He was lucky to be asking a girl like her to marry him.

“Why don’t you sit here.” Stephen had her sit on large rock that was placed next the river. She must have been freezing in her dress in heals but she didn’t complain. “We’ve been dating for awhile now,” he began and dug in his pocket for the ring. He wrapped his fingers around it.

“Um-hm.” Sarah noticed emphatically.

“So . . .” Stephen had no idea what else to say. He pulled the ring out and looked down at it. His heart sank as realization flooded his. It was the perfect cut and setting but not for Sarah. It was perfect for Caylee. He couldn’t put this on Sarah’s hand, it was all wrong. It wasn’t her ring.

He looked up and confusion clouded Sarah’s pretty face.

“Stephen, what’s going on?”

He wrapped his hand around the ring again, even if Caylee never wore the ring Sarah couldn’t wear it either. It wouldn’t be fair to her.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I thought I could be but . . .” How could he break this woman’s heart the day before Christmas Eve. As soon as Caylee crashed back into his life he should have called things off. It was clear from the first moment he laid eyes on Caylee he loved her.

“But you can’t?” Sarah stood and her eyes glistened, little puffs of frost came out of her mouth as she breathed faster.

“I’m a jerk, I know it. I don’t think I’m the one for you.” Stephen didn’t know who he was the one for but he couldn’t force this.

“Oh.” Her response was short. “Well, don’t I look like a fool.”

“No, I’m the fool. You’re a great girl but I can’t be the man you need me to be.” Stephen reached for her hand but she stepped away.

“I think I should go home then.” Sarah turned and walked away. Stephen followed and a stony silence went with them.

Chapter 11

Christmas Eve.

Normally Caylee had a rush of excitement while she got ready for church. But the only thing she felt this year was a weight pressing in on her chest and an ache in her heart that seemed to get worse with each breath.

She would have to see Stephen and his fiance. She deserved this, even if it was a misunderstanding, she had hurt Stephen so many times over the years, now she knew what he felt like. It was terrible.

“You all set?” Mom popped her head in the room.

“I think so.” She tried to fake happy, but she was never very good at that and her tone reflected that.

“Oh, sweety.” Mom walked up and gave her a hug. Caylee swallowed back the sob that wanted to rip from her throat. “I’m so sorry.”

“I’m fine. Or I will be.” Caylee pushed away and grabbed her coat from the bed. “Let’s go.”

Mom shook her head. “It’s okay to hurt.”

“Not tonight. Tonight is about celebrating Jesus and that’s what I want to focus on.” Caylee planted a kiss on Mom’s cheek and walked out. If she kept her eyes on Jesus maybe she wouldn’t see Stephen and Sarah.

Caylee, Mom and Dad squeezed into an already crowded pew. The atmosphere buzzed with Christmas excitement. The lights were dimmed and candles peppered the stage. Caylee took a calming breath, closed her eyes and sent up a quick prayer, Father, let me stay focused on You tonight.

As crowded as the church was it would be easy not to see the Meyer family as long as she didn’t look around.

Service started and before long they were lighting candles and singing Silent Night. Caylee’s favorite part of the service. Tears filled her eyes, overcome with the gift of Jesus Christ and how good He was, no matter what was happening around her He stayed the same.

She glanced to her right and there he was. His back straight and tall, his brown hair brushed the collar of his white shirt. His profile took her breath. She looked beside him but only saw Mrs. Meyer and Josie next to him. Where was Sarah?

The pastor wrapped up with a prayer and service was over. Stephen seemed to sense Caylee’s gaze on him and turned just as the lights came up. Their gazes collided and the deep ache returned to Caylee’s chest. She couldn’t do this. She had to get out of there.

“I’ll meet you in the car.” Caylee turned to her parents and fled the building.


Stephen wanted to go to her, tell her he wasn’t engaged but that didn’t change anything. She was still with Josh.

“Stephen, have you talked to her?” Josie pulled on his sleeve.

“What?” Stephen turned to Josie.

“Have you talked to Caylee? Or did Mom talk to you?”

“I’ve hardly been home, and when I was Mom was here at church getting things ready for tonight.” Stephen’s shoulders tensed. The look in Josie’s eyes communicated that he missed something important.

“I can’t believe you don’t know. Caylee isn’t back together with her ex-boyfriend. What you saw was her saying good-bye to him. He wanted to get back together but she said no. She loves you.” Josie words rushed out of her mouth and over his soul like a healing balm.

This couldn’t be true. He knew what he saw. Yet, hope stirred in his heart. If it was true then they could finally be together. He turned back to where Calyee stood. She was gone and so were her parents.

“I have to go.” Stephen had to find her and talk to her.

It didn’t take long to get to her house. Lights were on. He jogged to the door and knocked.

“Stephen, what a pleasant surprise. Come in.” Mr. Thomas stepped back.

“Sorry to bother you on Christmas Eve but is Caylee home?” Stephen glanced around the house. No sign of her.

Mr. Thomas’s smile fell. “She took off as soon as we got home from church.”

“Did she say where she was going?” His throat tightened and he choked on his words.

“I’m sorry son, she didn’t.”

“Okay, thank you.” Stephen had to find her. But where?



Caylee sat on the big rock next to the bridge and looked over the town. Christmas lights shined through the darkness. Oh, Father, thank you for sending your Son to shine in the darkness.

Even after her prayer her heart didn’t feel any lighter. Over time it would get easier, she believed that, but tonight it hurt. After all of this time she finally realized she loved Stephen and now he was gone.

She hugged her arms around herself to fend off the cold. She should head home and not ruin Christmas Eve for her parents.


Her heart lurched at the sound of the voice and she fought the tears that wanted to fill her eyes.

She turned and there he stood, his breath white puffs of air coming from his mouth, hands shoved in this pocket. She longed to jump up and run to him but she didn’t. She wouldn’t make herself vulnerable again.

“Shouldn’t you be with Sarah celebrating?” She couldn’t keep the bitterness from sneaking into her words.

“Sarah went home last night.” Stephen took a step toward her.

A small flake of hope danced in her chest. “Oh.”

“Yeah.” He took another step toward her. “I couldn’t ask her to marry me.”

Caylee searched his face, what was he saying? “Do you know Josh and I aren’t back together?”

“I do now.” He closed the distance and squatted down in front of her. “I’m sorry I didn’t give you a chance to explain. I assumed the worse.”

“You had every reason to. I’ve never given you a reason to believe in me.” A sob tore from her throat with the truth of those words. She hurt him over and over and didn’t deserve the kindness that poured from his eyes into her heart.

“God has given me a reason to believe in you.” Stephen took her hand and removed her glove, the warmth from his hand spread up her arm and through her body.

Tears poured from her eyes, overwhelmed by the moment. “I’m sorry for all the times I hurt you. For all the times I never saw you.”

He reached up and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I love you Caylee. I have for as long as I can remember.”

She covered his hand with her own. “I love you, probably longer than I ever realized.”

Stephen went to his knees and drew Caylee to him. His lips captured her’s and any thought of winter melted away in the sweetness of the moment.

He pulled back and removed a box from his pocket.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t wear a ring that you bought for someone else.” Caylee didn’t want to sound ungrateful but it seemed wrong.

Stephen laughed. “The thing is this ring isn’t for anyone but you. When I told the jeweler about the girl I wanted to marry I described you. It’s always been you.”

Caylee covered her mouth as giggles bubbled out. “Are you serious?”

“Very much so.” Stephen pulled a beautiful, sparkling ring out of the box. “This belongs to you. Will you marry me?”

“Yes, Stephen Meyer, I will marry you.” Caylee nodded.

Stephan slipped the ring on her finger.

“It’s perfect,”she breathed. Like it was meant for her.

“Yes, it is.” Stephan smiled. He stood and pulled her to her feet.

“I’m sorry it took me so long to see you and realize how amazing you are.” Caylee wrapped her arms around his neck. She fit perfectly in his arms.

“I don’t know. I think you figured it out right on time.” He pulled her to him and kissed her again.

Yes, this was a right on time Christmas because she served a right on time God.



Right On Time Christmas Chapters 7 and 8 December 7, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:15 pm
Tags: ,

Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

Here is your next installment of Right On Time Christmas. If you don’t like romantic, kiss-y stuff you might want to skip these chapters 🙂

Chapter 7

Christmas shopping, so not what Stephen wanted to be doing right now. But it needed to be done and he needed to do it when Josie wouldn’t be home to insist on going with him.The mall gave him a headache, the blasting Christmas carols,  the lights, the people.

Yeah, the people.

Stephen tried to move out of the way when another person bumped into him without an apology. It was supposed to be the season of peace but making his way through the stores was anything but peaceful.

He finally got to the perfume counter that Mom loved. Every year she always asked for the same thing. But it made her happy. He slid down the counter looking for the exact one when he ran into someone. Now he was the rude person. Except he would apologize.

“I am so sorry…” His words died in his lips when he looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes he ever saw. “Caylee.”

“I was wondering who was being so pushy. Should have known it was you.” Caylee laughed. What a great laugh.

He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her since the Wassail festival. Who was he kidding. He hadn’t stopped thinking about her since she landed in his yard a week and a half ago. Had it only been that long? It felt like forever since that happened. Since he almost kissed her.

“Sorry. Looking for perfume for my mom.” Stephen finally found the ability to speak again.

“Me too. I think they wear the same kind.” Caylee pointed down at pink bottle.

“Yep. That’s what I need too.”

A sales clerk came and checked both of them out.

“Well, it was good to see you.” Her gaze seemed to search his face. He didn’t want her to go, maybe she didn’t want to go either.

“Hey, if you don’t have any place else to be maybe you could help me.” Stephen thought fast. “I have to get something for Josie and she is so picky I usually get her a gift card to American Eagle but it would be way more fun to watch her open an actual gift, could you help me find something for her?”

Something flickered in Caylee’s eyes. Did she not want to spend more time with him?

“Sure, I have some time.” Caylee flashed her perfect smile and made his heart kick up a notch.

They spent the next half hour laughing and joking over different outfits for Josie, imitating her response to some of the crazy stuff they picked out. They finally settled on a pair of skinny jeans and and top that Caylee thought would go well together. Stephen really didn’t care. All he cared about was the great time he was having with Caylee.

“Starbucks?” Stephen wasn’t ready to say good-bye.

“You like Starbucks?” Caylee raised her eyebrows.

“I don’t get the fancy-shmancy stuff. Regular coffee for me. But you look like the type who might like a latte of something like that. Plus, after all your help it’s the least I can do.” Stephen hoped he didn’t sound as desperate as he felt. When had his feelings changed from trying to stay away from this girl who broke his heart over and over to wanting to spend all the time he could with her?

“I’d love a latte.”

They made their way to the crowded food court and found Starbucks. Stephen ordered a Venti Cafe Verona and Caylee ordered a Tall Peppermint Mocha. Miraculously they found a small table among the crowd. They sat in silence for a few minutes sipping their hot drinks.

“So, tell me about this girlfriend of yours.” Caylee looked at him over her steaming cup.

Really? She wanted to talk about Sarah?

What was wrong with him? He was going to marry her, of course he should want to talk about her.

“Well, her name is Sarah. We met at school, we’ve been dating for about two years. She’s great.” Wow, that sounded rehearsed and unfeeling.

“I’m really happy for you. I meant what I said the other night. You deserve to be happy. I hope she will make you happy.” Caylee looked down at her cup. Did she mean that or did she think that was what she was supposed to say?

“Are you seeing anyone?” He really didn’t want to know the answer to that but he figured he should ask.

“I was.” She took a deep breath. “We broke up the day I landed in your yard. It wasn’t what I was expecting.”

So she got her heart broken. About time. No, that wasn’t right. She didn’t deserve to be hurt, no one did.

“I’m sorry to hear that.  I’m sure God has someone out there for you.” How Christian of him. He wanted to be that someone for so long but it couldn’t be. As much as he did like her now and missed her he couldn’t risk his heart again. She had trampled on it one too many times. The damage was done.

Chapter 8

“Yes, mom. I’m doing fine.” Caylee reassured Mom for the tenth time in the a ten minute phone conversation.

“We are leaving Florida on  Tuesday and should be back in Michigan by Thursday evening. We are so excited to see you.” Mom had to be smiling, it came through her words.

“I’m excited to see you too.”

“Are you going to the parade of lights tonight?”

Ah, yes. Another tradition in Holly. The Saturday after the Wassail Festival was the parade of lights. This time the town would be lit up with vehicles decked out with Christmas lights.

“Probably not.” Caylee had no desire to go alone and even though the thought of calling Josie, a.k.a. Stephen, crossed her mind she couldn’t do it to herself or him.

“You should give Stephen a call. I’m sure he’d be glad to take you.” Mom, she was always a Stephen fan. Truth was, Caylee was a Stephen fan, but Stephen was no longer a Caylee fan.

“I don’t want to bother him. You know he is asking his girlfriend to marry him.” Caylee needed to make that clear.

“Yes, his mother mentioned that. But she didn’t seem too convinced it would work out.” Was there something Mom wasn’t telling her. Did Mrs. Meyer say something to give Mom hope. To give Caylee hope?

No, Caylee would not hope in that.

A knock sounded at the front door. “I gotta go Mom, I’ll see you Thursday. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Caylee peeked out the window before she opened the door. Her heart jumped in a way it had no right to jump. Excitement flooded through her like a new string of Christmas lights.

He came.

She pulled open the door. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to get you out of the house, again.” Stephen gave her a smile that made her believe he cared.

“No Josie this time?” Caylee leaned against the door.

“Nope. She’s already there. But she did mention that you would probably be moping around tonight.”

“She’s was right. Give me five minutes. Come on in.” Caylee stepped back and let Stephen in.

“I haven’t been in here since I picked you up for our senior prom.” Stephen’s face paled immediately.

Yeah, the night she ruined their friendship. But they were making amends. She wished she had known then what she knew now. They didn’t come any better than Stephen Meyer.

Guilt flooded Caylee and she was at a loss for words. What could she say? An apology too late, did it still count?

“Go get ready. The parade starts in twenty minutes.” Stephen must not want to talk about it either. Good.

Caylee made fast work of changing into something more presentable for public viewing. Soon they were parked and made their way to the mass of people.

“Follow me. I have a secret place where I  like to watch.” Stephen reached for her hand and electricity seemed to shoot up her arm. Her hand fit perfectly inside of his, as if they were always supposed to be together. How silly. If that were true they would have been together a long time ago.

But wonder if that wasn’t their time, wonder if now was the right time?


Stephen pulled Caylee to his favorite spot to watch the parade. He discovered it when he was a kid, no else had managed to find it in all these years.

He tried to focus on the activity around him but that proved to be an issue. All he could think about was the warmth of her hand. Why weren’t they wearing gloves? At the moment he didn’t even care. He was holding Caylee’s hand and taking her to his secret place.

They ducked under a small bridge and came around to the other side. And the crowd was gone. The parade would pass over this bridge but for some reason no one ever bothered to cross over to this side of it. Often times the river was too high from the rain and snow, but not this year.

“What do you think?” Stephen looked down into Caylee’s eyes, his heart lurched and ached. He loved her. . . still. What was he going to do?

“It’s perfect.” She gave him a smiled that stole his breath and it took every ounce of control to keep from pulling her close.

He could stop holding her hand now, but he had no desire and since she didn’t pull away he kept holding on.

Soon decorated tractors and trucks drove by. Trailers pulling carolers singing festive music. It wasn’t a lengthy parade, unfortunately, and before long it was time to leave. He still didn’t let go of her hand.

His girlfriend was coming to town in four days and he just admitted he was in love with someone else, someone who didn’t love him. Granted, he only admitted it to himself, so it didn’t count. Right? He would get over this once Sarah was around.  

He opened the car door for her and finally let her go. That’s what he needed to do in his heart too, let her go. But wonder if . . . no, he bought an engagement ring for Sarah.

“So you think you’ll stick around Holly?” Stephen asked as they made their way back to her house.

“I hope so. I just need to find a job.” Caylee shrugged and stared out the window.

“You okay?” Had Stephen crossed the line holding her hand so long?

“Fine.” She drew in a deep breath and looked over at him. “I missed this stuff.”

“Me too. Holly is small but it is charming. Like you.” He couldn’t help joking with her.

“Looks who’s talking. I was bigger than you through most of high school.” Caylee shoved his arm.

“Don’t remind me.” Stephen hated that it took him so long to put on weight and actually start looking like a man. “I’ll walk you up.” He said once they pulled in her driveway.

Stephen climbed out knowing full well that walking her to the door was extremely dangerous. He would say goodnight and be on his way.

“Thanks for dragging me out again. I needed that.” Caylee stepped onto the porch, her gaze cast to her feet.  

“You’re not okay. What’s wrong?” Not thinking Stephen lifted her her chin and searched her face for a sign for what was going on. “Did I do something?”

“No.” Caylee shook her head and tried to look down again but he held tight. “When I said I missed this stuff I meant our friendship. I missed you.”

Did she still think of him as a friend because every desire in him was not friendly. “I missed  you too.” His words came out choked.

They stood there and stared at each other, Stephen fought the urge to kiss her. He was tired of always doing the right thing. He always did and looked what it got him. Nothing. Not the woman he loved.

Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers, giving her time to back away if she wanted. She didn’t. He still held her chin and softly, tentatively, placed his lips on hers and pulled away a centimeter, savoring the feel of her lips. Soft and smooth.  Lips he had dreamed of kissing for as long as he could remember.

He could see the frost from the their breath mingling, becoming one. He leaned in again, still tentative, searching for her consent. He started to pull away again but this time her hands wrapped around his neck and that was all the encouragement he needed. His hands found her waist and brought her closer to him. He hungered for her in a way he never hungered for any other woman. The woman he thought about for years was in his arms and kissing him back.

He could sense the kiss becoming more than he could handle, more than what was right, he needed to stop, hold back, even though he didn’t want to.

“Wow.” He breathed but kept holding her.

She rested her head in her his chest, her breathing heavy. “What was amazing.”

“Yeah.” Stephen smiled. Amazing indeed.

She looked up at him. “So, now what?”

He had no idea.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have encouraged you to kiss me. It was wrong, you have a girlfriend.” Caylee stepped out of this arms and he immediately felt the emptiness.

“Um, I’m pretty sure I kissed you.” Stephen raked his fingers through his hair. “I guess I need to break up with Sarah.”

Caylee’s eyes widened. “No.”

“Wait, what? Why not?” After that kiss she didn’t want to be with him?

“Think about it first. This was impulsive. You bought an engagement ring for this girl. You can’t decide after one kiss you should break up with her. I just got out of a relationship. I think we both need to think so we don’t ruin anything.” Caylee looked so serious. But she was right. Maybe this was a curiosity thing and his feelings would go away after a couple of days.

“Okay, you’re right.” But his heart wouldn’t be changing, it never had. He had settled for Sarah, never believing this moment with Caylee would transpire. He didn’t want to push her, not this time because this time was the right time.


Right On Time Christmas: Chapters 5 and 6 November 30, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:03 pm
Tags: ,

Photo by erin walker on Unsplash

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is your next installment of Right On Time Christmas. I hope you are enjoying Caylee and Stephen’s story.

If you missed the first four chapters you can catch me here and here.

Have a blessed weekend!

Chapter Five

“Oh, please stay one more day.” Josie leaned over and pulled on Caylee’s arm. They had finished lunch and were starting to clean up the dishes.

Stephen shook his head and headed for the kitchen with hands full of dishes. His sister had a way of getting whatever she wanted. And she wanted Caylee to spend one more day and help put up the tree.

“I really should go home.” Caylee’s gaze darted around, never landing on him, but he could tell she wanted to stay. Was she lonely? She always had someone to fill her time.

“To what? An empty house?” Mom joined Josie. “Stay and put the tree up with us. You can go home tomorrow.”

“If you’re sure.” Caylee looked at him now. For approval again? What was going on with her?

“Yes, we’re sure.” Dad chimed in.

“It’s all set. And tonight we can have a slumber party and you tell me all about your life in Columbus.” Josie jumped.

“There’s not much to tell.” Caylee looked at the floor. Something happened in Columbus. Must be the reason she was back.

Soon they were dragging boxes down stairs and playing Christmas music. It took hours to decorated the tree and the house, Mom had a place for everything.  

They ordered pizza for supper and laughed and sang while they ate. It was ten o’clock before they were finished and everyone was tired and ready for bed.

“You have school tomorrow young lady. You need to get to bed.” Mom kissed Josie’s head.

“Okay. Let’s go Caylee.” Josie pulled on her arms and dragged her up the stairs. Stephen hardly talked to her all day. Which was probably for the best. She would leave tomorrow and they could go on living their lives as they had before.

Everyone dispersed and Stephen went up to his room. He slipped on a pair of athletic pants and t-shirt and laid in bed. His mind kept going back to Caylee crying in church. What was up with that? What was really going on with her? His mind made up all kinds of stories.

Finally, he gave up. He headed downstairs to watch t.v. and hope that would put him to sleep. His heart dropped when he saw Caylee sitting in front of the lighted Christmas tree, her knees drawn up to her chin. She almost looked like an angel sitting there.

He stopped and studied her for a minute. He studied her a lot when no one was looking and sometimes he studied her when someone was looking, it was only bad when it was Caylee who caught him looking. Like this morning when he took her in wearing that sweater that hugged her in all the right places.

So many times he had  thought she was the woman for him, the girl he would marry. They seemed perfect together. But it never happened. She never returned those feelings.

Her blond hair hung long down her back, almost to her waist. He needed to stop starting.

“Hey.” He cleared his throat and walked toward her and sat down.

“Hey.” She jumped and gave a little smile.

“Can’t sleep?”

“Nope. You either?” She looked over at him.

“Nope.” Because all he could do was think about her.

They sat side by side staring at the tree, mesmerized by the lights.

“What ya thinking about?” The question slipped out before he could think about the consequences of asking her.


“Hope? What about it?” It was then Stephen noticed the trail of tears on Caylee’s cheeks. His arms ached to pull her close and comfort her.

“I lost mine somewhere along the way. But I think I found it today.” Her voice was a whisper, she sounded so fragile.

“I’m glad to hear it. Mom always says things happen for a reason, maybe you crashed here so you could go to church today and hear that message.” It wasn’t so they would find their way back to each other.

“Maybe you’re right.” She turned toward him and their gazes collided, crashed and something shifted in the atmosphere. Heat seemed to radiate between the two of them. She was beautiful, everything he always wanted and still did.

“I should try to go to sleep.” He  had to get out of there before he lost all control and kissed her. Kissed her like he always dreamed about. The way the light from the trees danced in her eyes made her even more attractive.

“Me too.” She pushed herself up and he followed. Caylee lost her balance and he reached for her.

“Woah. You okay?” Stephen wrapped his fingers around her upper arms and made the mistake of looking right into her eyes again, he could get lost there.

“Yes.” The word came out breathy and sent  heat rushing through his body.

Silence hung in the air and they stood there, neither one of them moved. But wanted to. Oh, yeah, he wanted to. He wanted to move right onto her lips and end the agonizing mystery of what they taste like. Did she want him too? 

“Good night.” And just like that it all ended. She stepped away and ran up the stairs.

Fine. He had a girlfriend. A serious one at that. He cleared his throat and headed for the bathroom. Time for a cold shower.


Caylee fell into bed. What was that? Why didn’t Stephen kiss her? Why did she want him to? What was wrong with her? She needed to get out of this house, the sooner the better.

Yes, first thing tomorrow she would go home. No one would talk her into staying any longer.

She almost lost herself in his blue eyes and that couldn’t happen again.

Caylee pulled the covers over her head and waited for sleep to sweep her away before her thoughts did.



Caylee quickly dressed and headed down stairs. Hopefully, no one else was awake yet and she could get out of the house without talking to anyway, especially Stephan. The feelings he stirred in her were totally out of line. He was dating someone, he obviously wasn’t interested in her. If he was he would’ve kissed her last night and he made no move to do so.

No sounds emanated from the kitchen. Good. She could slip out undetected.

“Going somewhere?”

Caylee’s heart jumped to her throat and she froze in the kitchen doorway.

“Um, home.” Why did she feel guilty?

“Why not some breakfast first?” Mr. Meyer smiled over his mug.

“I really need to get home. I’ve been imposing long enough.” Caylee relaxed a little, her shoulders sagged.

“You aren’t an imposition. You’re like family.” He put his mug on the table.

“Well, thank you for that, for everything. You all have been so kind. But I really need to get home.” She stepped closer to the door.

“Okay. If you think it’s best.” Something lay hidden in his words.

“I do. Thank everyone for me and I’m sure I’ll see you around.” She forced a smiled and slipped out the door into the the cold November wind. Freedom. So why didn’t she really feel free? Why did she feel like she was running away?

Caylee made her way through the slushy, barely there, snow that had gotten her into the mess in the first place. She climbed into her car and it started without trouble. Before long she puled into her driveway.


Chapter Six

Stephen clutched the steering wheel of his Chevy Malibu. Four days. Four days since Caylee left. Left without saying a word. He missed her and he hated that truth. He had no business missing her.

He made a right into downtown Clearwater, a larger neighboring town next to Holly. After he almost kissed her she hightailed it out of there. Sure, she had called to thank Mom but that was it. Not a word to him.

She didn’t owe him anything. He had a girlfriend. Who would be coming to visit in just over two weeks. Hence, the reason for the trip to the jewelers. He had finally decided it was time to ask Sarah to marry him and he would do it while she visited for Christmas. It would be perfect. His final declaration that he was free from Caylee.

He pulled into the parking lot, shut off the engine and took a big breath. His heart pounded in his chest. Nerves. This was the right move.

He nodded to make himself feel better, it didn’t work, and climbed out of the car. Christmas music filled the air of the small shop. The place was decked out with decorations, Christmas spirit filled the atmosphere.

Glass cases lined the walls. He walked over to one and started looking.

“May I help you?” An older man stood behind the case.

Stephan stood up and cleared his throat. “Yes. I want to buy an engagement ring.”

“Wonderful. A Christmas proposal?” He smiled and wrinkles deepened around the man’s mouth.

“Yes. Do you have recommendations?” Stephen sure hoped so. He had no idea where to start.

“Oh, well, that all depends on the one receiving the ring. Tell me about the young woman you are in love with.” The man’s eyes softened.

“Well, we’ve known each other since before we could walk. I’ve always known I would marry her, even though she didn’t know it. She’s much more special then she realizes and deserves to be the happiest woman I know.” Wait, what? That wasn’t Sarah.

“Then you need something very special. Something unique that will show her how truly one of a kind she is.” The man slide down the case and motioned for Stephen to follow. No way he could admit that he just described the wrong woman.

The man brought out a beautiful princess cut diamond surrounded by several smaller stones. It would look perfect on her long, slender finger.

“What do you think?” The man smiled again and leaned forward.

Stephen turned it every which way, the light caught the diamond and shimmered. “Yes, I’ll take it.”

The words left his mouth without thought. He had  just agreed to buy the perfect engagement ring for Caylee.


Saturday night and Caylee sat at home alone. So pathetic. The annual Wassail festival would be in full swing soon. She sat curled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and staring at a Christmas tree she decorated by herself. Every time she looked at it she couldn’t help but think about the kiss Stephen almost gave her and how badly she wanted it. In all the years she had known him she never wanted him to kiss her. Wanting him to now wasn’t fair to him and how shallow of her. Because he was better looking, more filled out? Was it because she was lonely? Or could there be something deeper behind her desire? Could now was the right time for them?

That couldn’t be, he was dating someone and he deserved to be happy and she couldn’t do that for him. She only caused him pain.

The doorbell rang and pulled Caylee out of her pathetic thoughts. She tossed the blanket aside and dragged her sad self to the door and swung it open, not sure who could be visiting her.

“I’m mad at you.” Josie’s smile betrayed her words. What a breath of fresh air.

“I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye.” Caylee did feel bad about leaving so abruptly but she couldn’t risk seeing Stephen, her feelings for him where freaking her out.

“Well, I came to find you and take you to the Wassail festival. So go get bundled up and let’s go.” Josie pushed her way into the house.

“That sounds like fun.” Caylee smiled and hurried to throw on a sweater and thicker socks. She gave her face a quick perusal. Eh, good enough, she didn’t have anyone to impress and Stephen obviously wasn’t with Josie. Or was he? “Hey, you can’t drive yet so how did you get here?”

“How do you think? My sad excuse for a brother was sitting around just like you so I made him bring me. He’s waiting in the car and not very patient, so hurry.”

That changed everything. Quickly Caylee changed into a more flattering sweater, which was silly since she would be wearing a winter coat, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. She threw on some mascara and slid some lip gloss on. She stood back from the mirror. Not great, but better. It would have to do. Josie would know she was trying if she did too much.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Caylee stepped out of the bedroom.

A slow grin pulled across Josie’s lips. “Hm. Interesting.”

“What?” Caylee tried really hard to school her features.

“Nothing.” Josie wove her arm through Caylee’s and pulled her out the door. “Let’s go Wassailing. Whatever the means.”

Stephen gave a little wave as they headed to the car, Caylee waved back, mouth dry, heart pounding. She didn’t want to like him but she did.  

“You can ride shotgun.” Josie skipped away and when around the back door.

Okay, could she be more obvious?

Caylee climbed into the front seat and immediately took in the woodsy scent of Stephen that hung in the car. It took all her strength not to take a big whiff.  

“Hey.” Stephen gave a small smile. “Sorry, she insisted.”

“I’m glad. I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself.”

“Same.” Stephen laughed and put the car into reverse.

Josie made excited chatter as they headed downtown. It was dark already, and Christmas lights hung from the lampposts, with wreaths dotting the doors of storefronts. Parking wasn’t easy but they eventually found a spot. People lined the sidewalks. Sanata always made his grand entrance the night of the Wassail festival. Children bounced up and down on their heels in anticipation. Many sat on their parents shoulders waiting for the man in the red suit.

“I forgot how much I loved this.” Caylee let the words slip from her thoughts.

“Me too.” Stephen wore a big, silly grin.

“See, aren’t you two losers glad I dragged you out?” Josie slipped between them and put her arm through the crook of both of theirs.

“Yes, dear sister,” Stephen laughed.

Caylee stared up at him, with his cheeks rosey from the cold his blue eyes danced even more under the Christmas lights. He took her breath away. An ache started in her chest and spread to her throat. She blinked back tears. Why? What was wrong with her?

“Hey, you okay?” Josie shook Caylee.

“Oh, yeah. Just cold.” Oh my, how long had she been staring at him?

“Well, after Santa comes by we can go get some wassail.” Josie smiled like she didn’t believe Caylee for a minute.

“Sounds good.” Caylee nodded and focused on the street.

Soon Santa came by throwing candy and waving at the crowd. Christmas carols filled the air sung by the local high school choir. Memories stirred in Caylee’s heart. She truly did love this town.

“I see some of my friends. I’ll catch up with you guys later.” Josie ran off before Stephen or Caylee could protest.

Now they were alone. Again.

“Should we get some wassail?” Stephen lifted one side of his mouth.

“Sure.” Caylee had never been tongue-tied around Stephen, she was always in control around him, he never had any effect on her and now she couldn’t think of a clever thing to say.

They followed the crowd to the large pots of the hot cider. They each got a cup and gathered around the large bonfire. The spiced cider warmed her insides, even though brushing Stephen’s arm through her heavy coat was having the same, if not more, effect on her.

Several students from the high school choir lead the group in Christmas carols. Soon Caylee found herself joining in and even heard Stephen sing a few off-pitch notes.

They laughed with the group of carolers as they came together in song. Music could do that to people.

After about a half-hour people started heading home. Stephen sent Josie a text asking where she was. She told him she would meet him at the car so they headed back to their parking spot.

Silence hung heavy between them while the walked. The last time they had been together they almost kissed. Where do you go from there?

“Why did you leave without saying goodbye?” Stephen shattered the void with the worse question possible.

Did he really need to ask? Didn’t he know?

“I just thought it would be easier.” Caylee tried to keep the answer generic.

“Easier for who?”

Caylee swallowed hard, heat rushed to her face despite the cold. “For everyone.” For me, I was afraid if I saw you again I would throw myself into your arms and beg you to give me another chance.

“Well, Mom was kind of upset by it. She thought I said something to make you run off.” Stephen turned toward her slightly. “It wasn’t anything I did was it?”

“No, of course not.” Of course it was. He almost kissed her.

“Good. I’m sorry I got so close that last night. I was wrong. I do have a girlfriend.” Stephen’s voice softened.

“Yeah, Joise told me.” Caylee’s throat ached again. What would have happen between them if he didn’t have a girlfriend? Yeah, because her track record with men was so great. She would ruin any hope of a friendship with Stephen. She couldn’t allow that to happen. It was better to be friends then not to have him in her life at all. She needed to remember that. Stephen was a great friend. Always had been. And that’s all he ever would be. “It is serious?”

“Yeah, I guess. I think I’ll marry her.” Boom. A weight fell on her chest. That was it.

“That’s great.” She managed to choke out.

“I bought a ring.”

“Then I guess you are serious.” Caylee bit her lip to keep from crying. “You deserve to be happy.” Her words sounded forced even to her her ears.

“Thanks. So do you.” Stephen bumped her arm

Did she deserve to be happy? She wasn’t so sure.



Right On Time Christmas Chapters Three and Four November 16, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:03 pm
Tags: , ,

Photo by on Unsplash

Chapter five and six won’t come for a couple of weeks due to Thanksgiving next week, I have a review scheduled for Friday.

Chapter Three

“Yeah, I’m looking forward to you coming here, too.” Stephen moved the phone to his other ear.

“I can’t wait to spend Christmas with your parents. They are always so kind.” Sarah gushed. Was her voice always this annoying? No, he was just tired. He loved Sarah.

“They can’t wait to see you either.” Stephen lied. When he told his parents Sarah  would be coming to spend Christmas with them they didn’t seem overjoyed. Mom had expressed that she didn’t feel like she was the one God had for him. He knew who she thought but it obviously wasn’t God’s plan.

A scraping sound came through the window. He walked over to the front window and pulled the curtain to the side. Caylee stood at her car and scraped her windows.

“Listen, I gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Oh, okay. I love you.” Sarah sing-songed through the line.

“Love you too.” But for the first time Stephen wondered if he really meant it. Seeing Caylee was messing with his heart even though she didn’t do anything to mess with it, being around her was enough to throw him into chaos.

He threw on his snow gear and headed outside. It was only twenty degrees out. This was not normal Michigan weather this early in the season. Typically this type of weather waited until after Christmas. But you never knew what to expect in Michigan.

He stepped outside and the cold wrapped around him and chilled him. He trudged toward Caylee, she didn’t even looked up, completely concentrating on her windows.   

“What you are doing?” Stephan yelled over his scarf.

“Scraping my windows.” Caylee glanced up, her cheeks a bright red, her eyes sparkled blue.

“Duh. I can see that.” He stepped up beside her, snow up to their knees and still coming down. “Why are you scraping your windows? You know you can’t leave yet.”

“I don’t know. I felt like I should do something to get my car ready to go home. I hope I can be out of your hair by tomorrow.”

He would love to have her in his hair, her fingers dance their way across his scalp. What would it feel like to be that close to her?

“I wouldn’t count on it. Besides, I’d be more concerned about the car starting then the ice on the windows.” Stephen looked down at her and she gazed up at him, her lips wet and red. He wanted to kiss her. He’s wanted to kiss her since he was in sixth grade, if he was honest. He thought there were times when she wanted the same thing but he couldn’t have been more wrong.


“Unfortunately, yeah. With the temperatures being so low and your car being buried you’ll be lucky if it will start even when you can get out.”

“Great.” Her shoulders slumped, she must really want to get away from him.

“Sorry. What’s your rush anyway?” Stephen bent down and grabbed a handful of snow. “We could recreate that snowball fight we had when I kicked your butt.”

“If I remember correctly, which I do, I kicked your butt.” Caylee’s gaze landed on the ball of snow in Stephen’s hand. Something sparked in her eye and she bent to get her own.

“How does one decide who wins?” Stephan packed the ball tighter and took few steps back, gearing up. This could be fun.

“Who ever cries for mercy first and it was you.” Caylee unleashed her snowball without warning and landed it right in his face.

Stephen wiped the wetness away. “That wasn’t fair. Now you have declared war.”  He drew back and let his snowball fly. She was quick though and turned, only getting hit in the back. She ran around the other side of the car and ducked.

Fine, he would take cover too. He hid behind the trunk and the snowballs started flying along with the laughs.His gut hurt and tears froze on the rims of his eyes from laughing so hard. When was the last time he laughed like this?

After a few minutes of stillness Stephen decided to sneak around the car and nail her. Her laughter sent flutters in his stomach. Her giggles had always sounded like music to him, although he never told her that and never would.

The snow made his approach quiet..

“Hey, what’s going on?” Her voice rose over the car.

He didn’t answer but snuck around the corner of the car and he found her squatting down with her back to him. Perfect.

“Hey.” He called. She turned and he sent his snowball sailing and landed squarely on her forehead.

“You jerk.” She came after him, tripped and they both fell. For one beautifully awkward moment she laid on him, face to face. So close he could have leaned up and  kissed those gorgeous red lips. But that would be wrong. She made her feelings for him crystal clear years ago.

Although the way her heart pounded against his own he wondered . . . probably from the snowball fight.

Silence filled the space between them and they both seemed speechless, their breath coming out in puffs and mingling.

She was so beautiful, after all this time, she still messed with him by being her. He couldn’t take it. He started tickling her and pushed her off.

“Still ticklish I see.” They both laid on their backs, side by side, heads turned toward the other.

“Unfortunately. And you always knew right where to get me.”

No, the truth was, she always knew where to get him, in the heart. They held each other’s gazes. He needed to break this spell.

“You know it is supposed to warm-up to about fifty tomorrow. Everything should melt so hopefully your car will start and you can go home.” Stephen put up the wall between them again.

Somethings shifted in her eyes. Disappointment?

“Great.” She turned her head to look up at the sky.

“Yep. But it’s cold now so we should head back in.” Stephen stood and offered his hand to her. Even with gloves separating them and the freezing temps the heat that radiated between them was real. He pulled her up and she bumped into his chest.

“Sorry.” She mumbled and looked down. A piece of wet hair stuck to her cheek.

“No problem.” He took off his glove and reached out to move the hair from her cheek and in the process his thumb gently rubbed her cool skin. If possible her cheeks became even more red. She looked at him, her eyes sparkled and searched his face. What was she looking for? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Love?

It would only take a second to pull her close and kiss her but he couldn’t . He wouldn’t put his heart out there for her to trample on again. And with that one thought anger burned in him for all she had done to him.

“You’re freezing. Let’s get back in and get some coffee and those cookies you made earlier.” He forced a smile and swallowed down all the words he wanted to say. How could he desire someone that made him so angry?

“Sounds good.” She gave a shaky smile and stepped away from him.

Give her time and she would continue stepping away from him, that’s what she always did.



Melinda dropped the curtain and stepped away from the window. She rushed up the stairs and fell to her knees beside her bed. How many times had she found herself in this position, praying for her kids, for their salvation and futures? And here she was again, but this time with clarity.

“Father, I know you see all things. I trust and believe that. I believe that you are a right on time God, nothing happens by accident. I don’t believe Caylee’s accident was really that, I believe you brought her here for a reason. Please open Stephen’s heart to forgive Caylee for all the times she hurt him. Open Caylee’s heart to see how much Stephen has always cared for her and still does, even though he won’t admit it. This is the time, I can feel it, Lord. You brought Caylee into our yard for such a time at this, right on time this Christmas.”

Melinda leaned back on her heels and sighed. Relief flooded her heart and peace surrounded her. She would keep on praying for those two because she has always believed they belonged together and she still did. Now, if only they would see it before it was too late.

Chapter Four

“We’re going to church, want to go?” Mrs. Meyer smiled up from her morning coffee when Caylee entered the kitchen.

“Oh no, I just got up.” Caylee hadn’t been to church since last Christmas when she went with her parents. When did going to church become a holiday thing? Probably when she started dating guys that didn’t care about church.

“It doesn’t start for an hour and half. You have time.” Mrs. Meyer tone left no room for argument.

“Are the roads clear? I could just go home.” If her car started.

“They’re getting cleared, it’s much warmer today so the snow is melting. But we would love to have you go to church with us before you rush home to that empty house.” Mr. Meyer took his eyes of the paper.

Yeah, but would Stephen be okay with it? She really needed to get away from him. Being around him messed with her head.

“Go on, go find something from Josie’s closet. She’s meeting us at church, she will be so excited to you. You were like the older sister she always wanted.” Mrs. Meyer raised an eyebrow.

“Okay.” Caylee turned and ran upstairs. She found a pair of khakis and a navy blue sweater and got ready for church.

When she made it back down stairs Stephen was at the table eating breakfast by himself.

“Morning.” He set his mug down and studied her. Yesterday she thought he might try to kiss her. In all the years they had known each other he never made a move. She always wondered if he ever really found her attractive. Which was fine if he didn’t since she was always dating someone else. Mostly. Unless there was a dance coming and then for some reason she never had a date dance and always defaulted to Stephen. That probably wasn’t the best idea, it must have given him false hope that she actually like him. She could never think of him as more than a friend in high school. But now that they were older . . . she could definitely think of him as more than a friend.

“I guess I’m going to church with you guys.” Caylee poured a cup of coffee and grabbed a blueberry muffin.

“That’s what mom said.” Stephen took a bite of his muffin. “I started your car. You should be good to go later today.”

“Thanks.” Caylee swallowed. He was in a hurry to get rid of her. He definitely didn’t want to be more than friends now. She couldn’t really blame him. Maybe he was dating somone.

They ate in silence until Mr. and Mrs. Meyer announced it was time to go. Like kids they got in the back of their Edge and road to the church Caylee had grown up attending in the center of town.

Caylee entered the church and memories rushed over her. All the hope that once stirred in her. Her unfaltering faith in God, in His goodness, His plans for her. When did she stop trusting in that?


Not that she went crazy, but she was always looking for affirmation from others and stopped getting it from God. She wanted attention from other people and that took her eyes of the cross. Wow. How come she never saw that before?

“Caylee, I can’t believe it’s you.”

Caylee turned and was swallowed in Josies arms.

“Hey sweetie.” Caylee hugged her back. She had grown up so much, into a beautiful young woman. Sweetie wasn’t the right word to use but she would always be like a little sister.

“Nice outfit.” Josie winked. “You make that sweater look way better than I do.”

“Thanks. But I doubt that, you are a beautiful young woman.” Caylee touched the girl’s light brown hair.

“Looks who’s talking.” Josie wove her arm around Caylee’s.

“Stop hanging on her.” Stephen stepped up beside them.

“Oh, you’re just jealous.” Josie laughed.

Stephen quickly walked away. Was there truth to that? Hmmm, interesting.

“You know he’s never gotten over you.” Josie whispered in her ear. “But now he’s dating this chick named Sarah. She’s even coming here for Christmas. But with you here, who knows.” She gave a Caylee a grin.

Stephen was dating someone. Heaviness pressed down on her chest. Of course he was. He was a great guy, handsome, had a future with a good job. He loved Jesus. He deserved someone.

“I have no intentions of breaking up your brother and his girlfriend.” She forced the words out of her mouth. Why did it feel like he had betrayed her? The way he teased yesterday, touched her face, took her hand. Did she see a depth of caring beyond friendship? Maybe it was her imagination.

“Well, maybe I’ll help you do it.” Josie pulled her into the sanctuary and pushed Caylee into the pew first so she was sitting next to Stephen. This girl was a ball of energy.

The message started with Joy to the World. She loved Christmas music. Then they  moved into some contemporary songs. Some of them she knew others were new to her but each one spoke to her heart, to a hidden place she had covered up and hadn’t looked at in a long time.

The pastor spoke about hope. The hope of Jesus coming to earth and we all know how the story ends. But the people didn’t know, they had to trust.

What did Caylee hope in these days? The next boyfriend? That he would be the one to love her no matter what? Tears filled her eyes as the truth sunk in. She had taken her eyes off of Jesus for so long so forgot what it meant to hope in something that mattered. She desperately needed to get back to real hope and today was the first step.

She sniffed and out of the corner of her eye she saw Stephen turn towards her. Great, he didn’t need to know how far from God she had gotten.

The pastor wrapped up the message and they ended with a couple of more songs that spoke of surrendering to Jesus. Yes, that’s what she needed. As she lifted her voice she lifted her hands and gave herself to Jesus again. She would keep on doing that until she stopped taking her self back from him.


Right On Time Christmas Chapters 1 and 2 November 9, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:24 pm
Tags: ,

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

So . . . I wrote this short Christmas story a couple of winters ago. God has been reminding me of His call on my life to write and I have been ignoring that call big time, making excuses and I know it needs to end.

I have dusted it off a bit and thought I would share it with my readers in installments. Today you will get Chapters 1 and 2. There are Eleven chapters so that will take us until December 14th I believe. 

It’s nothing fancy, I could probably do a lot more with it but if I keep telling myself that it will never see the light of day, so I will share this with you and hope you are blessed by Caylee and Stephen’s story. 

The title was inspired by a camping friend of ours. As we sat around the campfire one night sharing some struggles and questioning God’s timing he said, “God is a right on time God.” That stuck with me and inspired the name and theme of this book. 

God is never early or late. He is right on time, no matter what we think 🙂 

Chapter One

A blanket of white covered the windshield of Caylee’s car. Pain radiated in her head.

“Are you okay?” A baritone voice called from somewhere. This had to be a dream. Yes. That’s it, including everything leading up to that moment. A dream and tomorrow she would wake up and her life would be completely normal, whatever that was.

But the pounding in her head made her believe everything might be too real.

“We’ll get you out.” A different, deeper voice, called.

“Please don’t.” Caylee whispered. She didn’t want to face the reality of her life. Everything was so wrong, and the day after Thanksgiving too.  

A man stood outside her window, scarf wrapped around his face, hat pulled low. If she didn’t know better she might believe she was getting car jacked.

The man pulled on her door and it barely budged.

“We’re going to have to dig you out.” The man pulled down the scarf briefly and her heart jumped. It couldn’t be who she thought it was. That would be crazy. Maybe she needed to get her head checked out.

Another man appeared with two shovels. They began digging and all Caylee could do was close her eyes and hope once again that this was all a bad dream.

God, I know I’ve been ignoring you lately but if you could perform a miracle right now and allow me to wake up in my bed in Columbus that would be great.

The door creaked open and cold air rushed in and wrapped around her, like the coldness that wrapped around her heart a few hours ago when Josh dumped her.

“Are you okay?” Caylee looked up and this time the scarf was down. It was him. Stephen Meyer.

Her response caught in her throat so she nodded.

“Caylee Thomas?” Recognition lit up Stephen’s eyes.

“That’s me.” Caylee still hadn’t moved from her seat.

“Is everything okay?” Mr. Meyer came to the door. “Caylee. Oh my goodness. It’s been years. Are you okay?” He reached out his hand to help her out.

“I’m fine, just shaken.” Caylee  placed her hand in Mr. Meyer’s and stood. She allowed her gaze to slide over to Stephen. He probably still hated her. Who could blame him if he did? She quickly looked at the snow covered ground, much safer then looking at Stephen.

“Let’s get your inside.” Mr. Meyer wrapped an around around her shoulders and lead her through the three foot high drift that wrapped around her car. Michigan had way more snow than Ohio. She probably should have looked at the forecast before heading to her parents but her heart wanted to be home and nothing else mattered. That might not have been the best decision.  

All three stomped their feet in the mudroom and removed their outdoor gear without much talk, still frozen from the cold. Caylee had passed through this room as a child more times than she could count. She never expected to be here again.  

Once everything was removed, and the warmth of the house started to thaw out Caylee’s fingers, they moved into the kitchen.

Mrs. Meyer stood in by the table waiting for them, her eyes lit up and she rushed to Caylee, wrapping her in a hug that spread warmth to her toes. “My sweet girl. Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine.” Caylee choked back the tears that wanted to come pouring out. Nothing could be further from the truth. A replay of the day flashed in her mind. Josh, who she thought was finally going to ask her to marry him, dumped her the day after Thanksgiving, she got into a car accident and now she stood in the house of the boy she totally ignored for years, or maybe didn’t ignore enough, and whose heart she crushed over and over. Fine was not the correct word to describe her current situation.

“Let me get you some hot chocolate.” Mrs. Meyer finally released her and pulled her toward the dining room table.

“That really isn’t necessary. If I can dig my car out I can get home.” Caylee tried to stop walking, from being pulled further into the Meyer family, it was way too easy to sucked in.

“The storm isn’t letting up tonight. No sooner would we get a few inches dug and it would fill right back in.” Mr. Meyer sat the table.

“Well, what am I going to do?” Caylee sunk into a chair, exhausted and confused. Her muscles ached from being so tense in the cold.

“You can stay here tonight.” Mrs. Meyer rubbed her back.

“What?” Caylee and Stephan spoke in unison.

“She can’t go home in this.” Mrs. Meyer walked away as if the deal was done.

“I can’t stay here.” The words were out before she could stop them.

“Sure you can. It’s not safe for anyone to be driving in this whether. Your Mom and Dad wouldn’t want you out in this.” Mr. Meyer sipped the coffee his wife placed in front of him.

“What were you thinking driving in this?” Mrs. Meyer slide Caylee a cup and sat down next to her.

“It wasn’t snowing in Columbus when I left.” She couldn’t tell them she her only thought was to escape the heartache that followed her to Columbus and didn’t seem to let up no matter how hard she tried. And that was the problem. She tried to do everything in her own strength and that never worked.

“Maybe you should have checked the weather.” Stephen mumbled. Yeah, he was as happy as she was to have her there.

“Stephen.” Mrs. Meyer swatted his hand.

“No, he’s right. I wasn’t thinking.” Caylee glanced up at him. They made brief eye-contact and her stomach tightened. His eyes looked bluer and he had finally filled out. The poor guy had been so scrawning in high school she weighed more than he did. But now muscles stretched the fabric of his shirt, muscle she had to tear her eyes away from before someone noticed her stare.

“I thought your parents were out of town?” Mrs. Meyer drew her eyebrows together.

“Yes, they’re in Florida until the twenty-third.” Please, don’t ask any more questions.

“Then why bother coming home now?” Stephan asked the question and seemed to know the answer judging by the hard look he gave her. She was running away from something.

“I needed a break.” Caylee clenched her jaw. True, partially.

“Well, drink up your hot chocolate and then you can get to bed. We have the guest room all set up because you just never know.” Mrs. Meyer smiled over the rim of her cup. Her eyes twinkled and she winked.

Caylee brought her drink to her lips and sipped. The warmth of the chocolaty drink spread through her and made her feel too at home in this house she once knew so well. She would spend the night and then tomorrow the roads would be cleared and she could go home and forget this ever happened.

Chapter Two

Stephen slipped on a pair of athletic pants and a hoodie. The smell of coffee drew him downstairs into the kitchen. The room was empty. Hm, must have been Dad got up early and made coffee.

He walked to the window and looked toward the barn. Sure enough, Dad was out there doing something. He was always tinkering around in the barn, he had to stay busy. Mom on the other hand had no problem being still, especially when it came to being with Jesus. But right now she was probably still asleep. Since retirement she seemed to sleep in more. She deserved it.

The coffee beckoned him and he pulled a mug from the cabinet, poured that rich, inkiness into the dup..

He took a big gulp. Yes, this was coffee. All his years in college he never managed to make coffee as good as Mom or Dad. And now he was home, for good. Crazy. He never thought he would move back to Holly, but here he was with a great job waiting for him as a software programer.

He sat down at the kitchen table and took another drink. The floor creaked above him. Had to be Mom or Caylee.

Caylee. Just the thought of her tightened his stomach and he grasped his mug tighter.The one woman he hoped to avoid when he moved home and now she was in his house. The one girl that grabbed ahold of his heart at a young age and never let go. God sure had a sense of humor. He gave that girl so many chances, put his heart out for her again and again and she used him and stomped on it every stinkin’ time. Well, never again. He would never trust her. God had to understand that. He couldn’t expect him to welcome Caylee with open arms this time. Besides, Stephen had moved on. Was dating Sarah, who was great. Everything he ever wanted. Certain he would marry her.

Until last night.

The way his heart hammered in his chest at the sight of Caylee and the fear that she might have been hurt made him realize he might not be as over her as he had thought. But his reaction had to be from surprise. At least that was what he told himself.

“Do I smell coffee?” Caylee appeared in the doorway of the kitchen, dressed in the same clothes she wore last night, skinny jeans and burgundy sweater that made her gorgeous blonde hair shine like the sun. Still beautiful. More so now than in high school.

“Yeah, help yourself.” Again, with the beating of his heart. Surprised, that was all.

“Thanks.” Caylee found the mugs and the creamer. She had spent a lot of time there when they were kids and nothing had changed. She sank into the other kitchen chair, took a sip and sighed. “I needed this.”

“Me too.” Silence followed. He had no idea what to talk to her about and he didn’t want to keep looking at her gray-blue eyes. That only reminded him of all the times he held her in his arms at dances and wanted to get lost in her gaze. But she always kept him at arm’s length. With the amount of dates they’d been on they never even kissed. Which was good. Definitely good.

“Where is everyone?” She glanced around the silent kitchen.

“Dad is outside and Mom must be sleeping.”

“Where is Josie, I know your mom said something about her being gone?” Caylee lifted her mug and took another sip.

“She went to a friends last night before the weather got bad.” He was grateful. His younger sister was full of drama. She was the princess and being fifteen didn’t help any of that. There was a big age difference with Stephen being twenty-four and Josie seemed to get whatever she wanted..

“I bet she’s grown up. I haven’t seen her in six years at least.” Caylee sipped her steaming coffee.

“Yeah, she’s grown up all right. Along with her mouth.” Stephen chuckled.

“She always was a bit of a handful.”

“Still is.”

When was the last time they had a conversation? After prom, senior year. If you could consider that a conversation. It didn’t end well and now everything felt forced, fake. Once they were so natural around each other, they knew each other so well. Now they were like strangers sitting across from each other.

The back door flew open along with a gust of wind.

“It’s freezing out there.”  Dad called and shook the snow off his boots.

“Have they plowed the road yet?” Stephen could only hope. The sooner Caylee left the better.

“Not yet and they are calling for more snow today.” Dad hung up his coat. “You might be stuck here for a while.”

Caylee’s eyes widened. “I’m sure I can get out.”

“I’m sure you can’t. Not in that Verano you’re driving.” Dad grabbed a mug and poured himself a cup of coffee.

No, she needed to leave today, this was too awkward. Why would God place the one person he never wanted to see again, in his house?

“I can call a tow truck.” Caylee sounded as desperate to leave as Stephen felt.

“You will do no such thing.” Mom entered the kitchen wrapped in a pink robe. “You’re parents aren’t even home. You might as well stay with us for as long as you need to. You can wear Josie’s clothes, you’re about the same size. Beside, Josie just texted me and said she won’t be able to come today, they are snowed in and I need help making cookies. These two aren’t much help in that area.”

“I don’t want to impose on your family traditions.” Caylee’s forehead crinkled.

“I’ve known you since you were a baby. You are family. You’ve just been away for awhile. Family does that sometimes.” Mom placed a hand on Caylee’s head. She was always full of hope. Even when Stephen told her all that Caylee had done she still had hope that Caylee needed time to grow up and she would come around. But Stephen had no plans in waiting for that to happen. He had moved on. In fact Sarah would be coming to Holly for Christmas. That would help put his heart on track, headed toward Sarah, not Caylee, which is what was happening with each passing moment he sat and talked to her.

Caylee looked at him like she was asking for permission. Did she really need his approval? She would hopefully be gone by tomorrow. What was another day?

“Yeah, stay and help Mom. I don’t want to make any cookies and if you leave she’ll force me to.”

“It’s all settled then.” Mom beamed.

Yeah, it was all settled. Then why did his stomach feel completely unsettled?



This couldn’t be happening. Caylee shoved her hands into the sugar cookie dough. She should not be here. She should have stayed in Ohio and talked to Josh and figured things out. She would call him later. By now he probably saw the big mistake he made in breaking things off with her.

“What did that dough ever do to you?” Mrs. Meyer chuckled. Caylee looked down at her hands that were now pounding the dough.

“Sorry.” Caylee mumbled and unclenched her hands. “I think it’s good.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” Stephen’s voice came from behind her. Before Caylee could turn around he reached around her and plucked a piece of dough from the bowl. In the process his arm brushed her’s and warmth spread all the way up her arm and into her cheeks. He smelled good too. He had no business touching her and smelling good and growing up and filling out and being handsome. He was always cute but now, well, he was downright hot. “Yep, it’s good.”

“Thanks.” Her voice caught and she cleared her throat. She could have sworn she heard him stifle a laugh and walk away. He couldn’t know the effect he had on her. Then he would have the upper hand and she had always had the upper hand with Stephen. Look where that had gotten her.  

“That boy. Always sneaking my dough. Some things never change.” Mrs. Meyer laughed and gave Caylee a sideways look.

“And sometimes everything changes.” Caylee bit her lip. She shouldn’t have said that.

“Change can be good.” Mrs. Meyer grabbed a bunch of the dough and started rolling it out. “Tell me why you came home when you knew your parents weren’t even going to be here?”

The lady didn’t beat around the bush.

“I needed to get away from Columbus.” Caylee plunged her hands back into the bowl of dough even though it was thoroughly mixed.

“Hm, okay. But why did you have to get away? Don’t you have a job you need to get to on Monday?”

Ha. Another sore spot. Her degree in theatre hadn’t really helped her get a job or keep one. She considered applying to the community theatre in Holly, but what were the chances they would have an opening?

“No, I don’t have a job. I worked on and off at a small theatre in Columbus but nothing steady.” She removed her hands and washed them off.

“Oh, yes. I forget you went into to theatre. So you have nothing holding you in Columbus then?” Was it Caylee’s imagination or was Mrs. Meyer prying?

“Well, I was dating someone.” The words slid out slowly.

“You were?”

“We broke up yesterday.”

“The day after Thanksgiving?”

“Yeah, well, I don’t think he meant it. I’m thinking maybe I overreacted. I should probably call him soon.” Caylee forced a smile. Who was she kidding, he clearly told her she bored him. He wanted more of a physical relationship and although her spiritual life wasn’t what it used to be she wasn’t willing to compromise all she knew was right. And that is why no relationship lasted. No guy she met was willing to wait until marriage. So many times she thought maybe she should give in. If she did maybe they would get married and then she wouldn’t be sinning anymore. But she never could talk herself into it.

“Wouldn’t he call you if he didn’t mean it?” Mrs. Meyers pressed cookie cutters into the dough, never looking up.

Wow, this woman didn’t let up.

“I guess he would.” With those words the truth wrapped around her heart like a snake choking out every ounce of hope she had tried to hold on to. She had lost another man because she wasn’t willing to compromise. God, if you want me to follow your will why don’t you bring me a man who wants that too?

I have.

Caylee glanced around the room, sure someone else had to have said that. But no one was in the kitchen but Mrs. Meyer and unless she could miraculously change her voice to a bass it couldn’t have been her.

“Everything okay?” Mrs. Meyer smiled up at her.

“Sure. I just picked a really bad time to try to start over.” Caylee dusted off her hands.

Mrs. Meyer looked her directly in the eye. “Funny, I was thinking you got here right on time.”


Finding Rest (or appearing “chill”) April 1, 2016

Filed under: Melissa's writing — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:06 pm
By Jared Erondu

By Jared Erondu

Wow…I have just come out of one of the most crazy seasons in my life. Two weekends ago my high school students put on a production of The Wizard of Oz. Hence, why my Friday posts disappeared. But I’m hoping to get back on track now.

It was extremely stressful, overwhelming and a blessing.

Through this experience I saw God show up in mighty ways. Sometimes I didn’t always see it until later and other times I was keenly aware.

One verse that I clung to through these last two months was Hebrews 4:10:

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

God continually reminded me that I needed to rest in Him and only then could I rest from my work. No matter how tired I was (which was a lot) I still pushed myself out of bed every morning to be in His presence. I couldn’t have done a day without Him.

Just the other day a teacher came up to me and said, “You were so chill.” I laughed, if only she knew the tears I cried at home (and once in front of the students) and the grumpy moments with my family.

But this isn’t the first time someone has commented that I seem so relaxed. I don’t consider myself a very relaxed person but I think the Holy Spirit projects that so others will see Him. So when I’m asked how I stay so relaxed I can say it’s Jesus.

He makes me look chill 🙂

It’s certainly not my own strength doing that, because I feel anything but chill. Jesus covers me and others see Him. Yay!! Isn’t that what we all want, what we all hope for?

The production was a complete success and I have to say it wasn’t me, it was Jesus making me look good so He can receive glory. As always, He only recieves glory if I share what He has done with others…with you 🙂

Are you stressed, running around trying to do life? Stop. Just stop. Enter His rest. Notice I said ENTER. We have to pursue it, pursue Him. Enter His rest and then your mind can rest, your body can rest and you then you can look “chill” too.


My Writing Journey July 18, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's writing — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , ,

writing-13931299342873AvD[2]Today I have a guest post over at Kristena Tunstall’s blog. I share my writing journey beginning as a child until now. Don’t worry, it isn’t very long. It would be great you popped over there and supported her blog. While your there check out her story, she has a Genesis 5020 that I am sure will touch your heart.

Click here to check it out.

Have a wonderful weekend!


I Have a Story Published and it’s Free June 30, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's writing — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:59 pm
Tags: ,

SF Front Cover_96_lgToday am I very excited to share with you a book that I have contributed to. If you remember last year I was part of a book called Sweet Freedom. You can read the interview with myself about the book here. Well, I’ve gotten together with some authors again and Jennifer Slattery once again compiled all of our stories and devotions into this beautiful book about freedom.

I hope each and every one of you will get this book and  share with everyone you know. It is free all week starting today and ending July 4th on Amazon, after the 4th is it only $0.99. If you don’t have a Kindle I would be happy to send you a PDF copy so you can read the book on a different device.

It will be out in print eventually, at a very low price.

If you would like a copy for your Kindle click here. If you would like a PDF copy just leave a comment and I will email it to you.

About my story in the book:

If you read the first Sweet Freedom (click here to check it out) then you will be familiar with the characters in my story in the second Sweet Freedom book. Julie, Kari, and Ryan are back. I don’t want to tell you too much but Julie is struggling with her self-worth, hence the name of the story is Worthy. She thinks she isn’t worthy of Ryan’s love, that she will mess up this relationship like she did with her ex-husband.

I can very much relate to Julie. She returns to her chains and even picks them up for a bit. I have been there, have you? I think many of us have. I think many of us feel we aren’t worthy of Christ’s love and question why He would ever want someone as messed up as us. But that’s the beauty of Christ, He does want us, messes and all. He alone can set us free.

I hope you will visit Julie again and be reminded of the sweet freedom that Christ offers each and every one of us no matter how many times we return to our chains.

About the book:

For some, the fourth of July is a celebration of freedom; for others it is a reminder of bondage. Of pain. Of fear. Of hopelessness. But there is a hope that is deeper, a love that is truer, and a freedom that no one can ever snatch away. 

How can one take a step toward that freedom when the road appears shrouded with insecurities and doubts? These pages contain numerous stories: a woman longing to start again but bound by the failures of her past; a young man who, upon reaching adulthood, must face his fears of death; a woman offered a chance of true love but held back by crippling insecurities. 

Is God even there? Does He care…enough to reach down and pull these men and women from the messes they’ve landed in, some of them by their own hand? 

Freedom. Peace-saturated, joy-infusing freedom. 

We pray our stories demonstrate what it looks like in the day-to-day…and provide a little insight into how one grabs hold of that treasured state of heart and mind.

Remember the book is free on Amazon all week long. Click here. If you want a PDF copy just leave me a comment and I will send it to you. Thanks for your support, it means so much. I hope you will be blessed by all the stories in this book.



Review: The Lifestyle of a Prophet by James W. Goll June 10, 2013



The Lifestyle of a Prophet

A 21-day Journey to Embracing Your Calling


James W. Goll

From the back cover:

“If your heart says, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done,’ you will receive much as you read these pages.”–James W. Goll

Join respected prophetic leader James W. Goll for an incredible journey into the heart of the prophetic calling. This unique, hands-on 21-day guide will help you develop the intimacy with God essential to hearing His voice clearly. Reflection questions, devotional prayers and practical applications will help you proclaim His words faithfully–and step boldly into your calling.

My Thoughts:

I was really excited to read this book because I am very curious about those who have been called to be a prophet (yes, I believe there are still prophets among us today). I think I was expecting this book to be a guide to help direct those who are curious and possibly interested in pursuing that calling. So I had my expectation and the book was something different.

I felt the book really talked to those who have already been called not to those seeking so I was a bit let down. But, had I not gone into the book with that expectation it might have been a more enjoyable reading experience.

Regardless of how you feel about prophecy this really could be a great book to use as a devotional and draw you closer to the arms of Jesus. The readings aren’t very long and at the end of each chapter are questions for you to ponder or discuss.

I did latch on to a couple of great insights, one being this from page 45: “Worship is a prophetic action that releases the spirit opposite to the boastful pride of life.” And “Extravagant praise is a key that unlocks His presence within us.” Love that!

Depending on what you are looking for this might be the book for you.

If you want to grab your own copy stop by your local bookstore or you order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.

You can visit James’ website by clicking here.

A copy of this book was given to me by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.