This is what one might call a “God Story.”

I actually first met her when I was her camp counselor and she had big red-framed glasses and in the 9th grade. She was hip… I mean, cool.  That’s the word we used then.   And, so sweet. I remember she was a loyal friend and easy to get along with and she was neat… as in kept things clean. You see these things at camp, you understand.. especially when there is a GOLDEN BROOM award given out to ONE girls and ONE boys cabin. Proud to say WE WON the Golden Broom award.  (I struggle with pride, sometimes.)

When Melissa was but a wee little thang – as in,a senior in high school- she was my assistant in my home office, helping me by doing the things I don’t do well and freeing me up to do the things I do best, and the things most important to grow a direct sales business – being in front of others. She also helped me with homeschooling/household things – like doing errands, and making lunch/feeding the little ones/and doing devotion with them if I wasn’t available.  Sweet for sure!

I was there when she was proposed to at the young age of 19.  In fact, my two oldest kids John and Alexis were the ring bearer and flower girl in their wedding.  One day when Melissa came to visit at our home, my daughter Alexis gave Melissa’s daughter Molly the flower girl dress that she wore in Melissa’s wedding – which had subsequently been enjoyed as a dress up bridal dress for countless girls, including my own four daughters.

Fast forward.  Marriage and three children later, Melissa is in her thirties. (Did I mention I’m in my forties?)  We had been in contact and talking and wanted to get together for lunch.  I am always ready for lunch with people I love. I think that’s my love language – eating… oops, I mean “quality time.”

We had the best time, picking up right where we left off, catching up on everything under the sun.  One of the things we discussed was that she would like to be able to work from home, perhaps even a ministry if she could.  Now, this might not seem too out of the ordinary to you.  But, I understood her thoughts.  She’s a homeschooling, stay at home, mother of three, minister’s wife and very content with all of that.. but she continued to want to do something else fulfilling in the way of ministry.


I about fell out of my chair

I had put starting “Cultivating a Home” on hold because I kept running into roadblocks that required effort in my skillset.  Things like where something required an errand to complete the task, or required multiple phone calls rather than just one, tying up loose ends, tending to lots and lots of details. I don’t do details very well. I feel like I’ll have to lose Honolulu, Hawaii to find a place to store them. (wait for it… did you get that one?) And then, I don’t know where to retrieve those details that I started. It’s like someone struggling with keeping an organized home, only THAT is something easy for me.. but not organizing paperwork and details.   Her face lit up when I explained this.

Her skills met my needs. My needs met a desire in her heart.

We both practically wanted to cry..

but we decided let’s make sure this is the right path.. so I asked her to go home and talk with her husband and pray..

I mean really pray…

for a few weeks.

Soooo, she did and we did.. and things fell into place and Melissa began a course of what she said was her goal, “To tend to all the details so that I could just show up.”  Show up to speak. Show up to blog. Show up to be with women. She has done just that. I am blessed.

Who would have thought that one day, God would allow us to work together again…16 years later. Isn’t God good?  He intertwines so much of our journeys in life.  I know you’ll enjoy Melissa.

I’ve asked her to write a blog on this website so that you will feel like friends with us, will experience hearing from a lady in her thirties, and will see how this whole mentoring thing works. I’m passing on things I’m learning at my age and stage of life; she’ll be passing on things she is learning from me in teachings, in doing life together, building “Cultivating a Home” together, and through observation and in real life stories shared as friends. I thought that would be kind of a neat experience.  I hope it is helpful and encouraging. That’s what we really want…  to mentor others as Christ is pouring into us through His Word, teachings, reading material, and learning from those around us.

So may I introduce to you, my assistant and business manager Melissa, “DB” .. She really is “Da Bomb.”

Rhonda sothankfulforthishappyREUNION..she’smakingthingsHAPPEN ellis

  1. Terri Brantley

    Isn’t it just like God to bring the exact person you needed at just the right time? I’m thrilled for both of you and am excited to see all God is going to do in your ministry!

    • Rhonda

      Terri, You have prayed for me specifically about help.. and LOOK!! God answered prayers abundantly above all that I could ask or even imagine. Thank you, thank you for your support and suggestions. I do look forward to getting your opinion and advice as we move forward. Love you!

  2. Bria

    I LOVE this Rhonda! I love how God works to bring people together and I love your heart for mentoring. Just beautiful. So happy for you and Melissa!

    • Rhonda

      Oh Bria, thanks so much for your continual encouragement in my life and prayers about this ministry!! Isn’t God good to continue to bring people into our lives at just the right time… just as He did with YOU!!

  3. mtsweat

    We had the privilege of serving beside this wonderful family years ago in Callahan… (the proposing husband of mention is a fantastically gifted man of faith and you are truly blessed to have Melissa beside you in your service). This is a marvelous site you have provided, may God use it to minister into the lives of His children.

    • Hi, Thank you for your kind words regarding Grant and Melissa. I sure love them. It is a joy to serve with them as we trust God to do His will with Cultivatingahome. They are both so important in this ministry. I’m so glad you wrote a message. You’ve encouraged my heart this morning.

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