Hi and welcome to the 5th Day of Christmas in our special series. If you are just joining us in our 12 Days of Giveaway goodies, click here to get caught up. You can enter to win the prizes on any of the 12 posts until midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th.
The fifth day of Christmas is fitting for us to host this particular Proverbs 31 sister of mine since she is known for writing and speaking on marriage—(Get it? F-I-V-E gold-en rings……!!!) Melanie Chitwood is a true gem…I’m talkin’ a huge, glorious, sparking gem embedded in one of those five golden rings. She is calming, caring, prayerful and the type of person whose very presence is a gift. I just love her smooth, soothing, southern voice. (as opposed to my Midwestern-talks-so-fast-listening-to-her-is-like-taking-a-drink-from-a-firehose voice!) Just being around Melanie makes my heart rate slow down and my worries melt away. Oh….and as you can see, she is stinkin’ cute too–with a family of males to match! So today…..meet my friend Melanie, in her own words:
Welcome and thanks for visiting! I’m Melanie Chitwood. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with my husband Scott and two sons Zachary and Tyler. We are co-owners of a new business, Carolina Courts, an indoor basketball/volleyball facility. Our lives revolve around basketball. I often think of myself as a Barbie doll girl in a basketball world.
I’ve been speaking and writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries for three years. It is so much fun to serve with the team of Proverbs ladies, both speakers and staff. We provide each other encouragement, accountability, laughter, courage and inspiration in this journey of following Jesus with all our hearts.
I’ve written two marriage books, What a Husband Needs from His Wife, and What a Wife Needs from Her Husband (due out January 2010). In both of these books I ask wives and husbands to examine their hearts to see if they’ve truly surrendered their marriages to God. Only when we’ve had a heart change will our lives really be transformed. And believe me – I needed a heart-change!
I don’t think of myself as a likely person to write marriage books because Scott and I have had – and still have– many challenges in our marriage. But what I do offer is honesty, biblical truths, practical ideas and real-life victories as Scott and I have surrendered our marriage to God. My favorite part of each book is the Bible study at the end. I’d love for you to visit my blog, Melaniechitwood.com where I share bits of everyday life and marriage tips on Marriage Mondays.
Now, for our interview:
Melanie, how do you intentionally focus on Christ in the midst of all the flurry of activities that happen in December?
We are just getting in to the thick of basketball season for both sons and Scott is getting super busy with basketball leagues at our business, so we are going here, there, and everywhere. I’ve realized at the Christmas season that we need to be really purposeful about what we say “yes” and “no” to. We’ve realized that for us it’s okay not to go to every event, and that we don’t have to incorporate every single tradition each year.
We ask each person in the family what’s important to them at Christmas time. The boys like to be home on Christmas morning, so that means if we travel, we’ll do that before or after Christmas day. I love reading portions of the Christmas story from the Bible several days a week leading up to Christmas day. As far as traditions, I love a live Christmas tree and going to Christmas Eve service, and Scott… well this year, as a new business owner, Scott just hopes to get some extra sleep! So we really just keep it simple.
What is your most treasured Christmas memory from your days growing up?
My mom and granny, who spent every Christmas with us, made Christmas a magical and fun time. Stockings were always a favorite part of our Christmas mornings. Everyone’s stockings would be completely stuffed with silly and special items. Granny tucked money into the toe of the stocking. Mom always found something funny to include, such as an embarrassingly awkward photograph or she’d write out a funny memory. Stockings are one tradition that I’ve carried over to my own family.
And what Christmas has been your most memorable one as an adult?
Two Christmases stand out. The first one I was in my twenties. One year toward the end of her life, my granny had to be in the hospital on Christmas day. We didn’t want Granny to be alone on Christmas, but we all wanted to be a part of the Christmas morning fun. I volunteered to be with her at the hospital that day. I got up really early, drove about an hour away to the hospital, and I was sitting right by her side when she opened her eyes that morning. I still treasure her sweet smile when she first saw me. While I was growing up, Granny was a place of safety, security and peace. So really, what I thought would feel like a sacrifice, turned out to be a gift to me. It felt so good to do something for this special person who had loved me unconditionally all my life.
The other memorable Christmas was last year. Our business was about to open in January, and we had been crazy busy the previous year preparing for it. The only Christmas decoration we put up was our tree. Christmas morning we opened gifts – and we really kept that simple. Then we went to see the movie Marley and Me, where Scott and I made spectacles of ourselves sobbing because we have two labs and we probably just needed a cathartic release because of all the stress that year. After that we went to Carolina Courts. Scott and I painted the baseboards and the boys shot hoops. We were all completely happy just being together.
You are offering a great giveaway today to one of our cyber sisters. Can you tell us about it?
I’m giving away a $20 Target gift card because just about all a girl really needs can be found at Target. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for the chat, Melanie!
Okay gals, here is the scoop…..leave a comment answering this simple question: Since Melanie mentioned that her granny made Christmas extra special for her, is there anyone in your life who created fond holiday memories for you in your past? Let us know! Or, again, if you are busy, (you know, rushing off to the Christmas pageant or attempting to hit a store sale before they run out of an advertised item), just declare, “I’m in!” You’ll be entered!
And, don’t forget to hop on this site over the weekend. Days 6 and 7 will take place on Saturday and Sunday. More gals to meet and gifts to win!!! Happy weekend everyone!